Wednesday, 18 December 2013

WIP Wednesday

My husband is on vacation.  We had our first major snow storm of the year on Sunday.  There is another storm coming tomorrow.  And next Sunday.  Which means my house is full or will be full.  And although I won't be spending the normal amount of time in my happy space, a full house means I will be sneaking down for some quiet time over the next week!

Here's a few of the things I am currently working on

Rainbow Patchwork
A personalized baby blanket for a brand new baby!

Sorting and trimming these monster sized scraps
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

FabricFast 2014

Early in 2013 I stumbled across Jodi's blog.  I followed to see how her fabric fast for 2013 would pan out (be warned, you will want to read every post on her blog if you go over there.  She's that good!).  And as I read, my mind started percolating the idea of a personal fabric fast.

I was resistant to it at first.  I came up with all sorts of reasons why it just wouldn't work for my situation.  I have a relatively small stash of fabrics.  Sewing is my job. I don't really buy that much fabric anyway.  But as the year progressed, the idea appealed to me more and more.  After my third Black Friday checkout, I knew it would happen.  And then I had the good fortune to learn that Rebecca Lynn and  Jess were also fasting in 2013.  Plus, they are doing linkies!  I love linkies LOL  Here's my plan and my caveats!

1. Use up my scraps!

I have a ton of scraps.  I'm sure others have lots more than me (ahem, Amanda Jean!) but I still feel a little overwhemed when I look at my piles.  I actually have plans for 2-3 quilts using scraps and I am eager to tackle them.  Of course I have grandiose visions of empty scrap bins by February.  But based on others stories, the bins will probably be just as full come next December.  But at least they won't be twice as full!

2.  Finish up some of my WIPs.

Now I consider WIPs anything I have floating around in my brain that I would like to complete.  The list is long (you can click on my WIP page to see just how long) and I imagine I will continue to add things to it as the year progresses.  But I would like to try and finish the year with less UFOs than I start with.

3. I'm not stocking up.

Well, I'm not stocking up anymore than I already have LOL.  I shopped liberally during Pink Castle's fall sales.  Some with specific projects in mind, some just to round out the stash.  But I didn't buy up a whole lot of fabrics for backings.  I barely have any white left for backgrounds.  And I don't have a roll of batting in my studio.  Which leads me to...

4. My caveats!

a) I can buy notions and batting.

b) I can buy fabric for commissioned quilts if I can't work with my existing stash.

c) I can buy backing (again if I can't work with what I have)

d) I can buy white if needed

e) I may place an order for my shop in the late winter/early spring

f) I can buy fabric for class samples.  I am starting to teach at a LQS this year and class samples have to be made from fabric they sell.

I'm actually quite excited about this adventure.  Every December, I get struck with the urge to go through our house and clean out all of the things we no longer love or use on a regular basis.  I feel like this will give me the same impact in my sewing space.  Is anyone else participating?

Monday, 16 December 2013

Move It Monday and a Winner!

This week was a solid reminder of how I gained 10 pounds last holidays and why I need to be thinking about not gaining this year.  It was easily my busiest week of the holidays and it was also a rest week on P90X.  What does that mean?  It was really easy to skip the stretching workout when you are going non stop all day.  And skipping the workout makes it a lot easier to decide on the drive thru for dinner.

We were both feeling the effects by Saturday afternoon and eager to get back to it.  And even though I was really tired last night we cleaned up the living room and got er done!  I may not lose a bunch of weight over the holidays but I WILL NOT regain!

Now for the good stuff!  There was a whopping 692 posts on my giveaway post last week.  Crazy people!  Mr. Random chose #236 and y'all are going to have to trust me.  No matter how many times I try, I cannot seem to embed the image :(

Anything by Anne Kelle because I sew for ill children.
Unfortunately Dona is a no reply blogger so I had another number chosen which was 635 

Currently lusting after the Charlie Harper fabrics...
Thanks for the giveaway.
Also a no reply blogger :(
I'm a huge fan of Bonnie & Camille. I'm currently lusting over Scrumptious. I also like Aspen Frost.
I have contacted Diana via email.

Friday, 13 December 2013

A Friday Finish for a Finicky Mom

Several months ago, I was browsing through my photos and realized that while my middle sister had two quilts made by me, my Mom and baby sister had none.  So I asked my baby sister if she would like a quilt from me.  "Sure" she replied.  Then I asked my Mom.  "Nope, I already have the one your Dad bought me.  Don't need anymore."  LOL.  My Mom is both practical and sentimental, but practicality obviously won out this time!

However, while helping me with my first craft fair of the season, she decided she wanted to buy one of my quilts.  She went back and forth between String of Luck and a Christmas Quilt the entire afternoon before settling on String of Luck.  Since it's one of my favorites I'm pretty happy I get to snuggle under it whenever I visit her!

It's the one of the far left
Over the next few weeks, she kept asking me if the Christmas Quilt had sold.  It was a pretty easy decision to gift it to her as her birthday gift.  Her birthday isn't until January but I made her open it early so she could enjoy it this season.

During November, she also let me know that she really liked my scrappy table runner and would love it if I made her one as her Christmas gift.  Perhaps in beige, brown and forest green, measuring 20" x 50".  She's subtle, my mom :)

And here is is.

Turns out I have very little beige, brown or forest green in my stash, so these are all purchased for this project from my local quilt shop.  I cut strips between 2.5 and 3.5" wide and arranged them randomly.

It's quilted with straight lines randomly spaced in cream thread and bound in brown scraps.

The reverse is made with Christmas scraps left from the pillows I made for my MIL last year.  I had just enough!  My Mom loves Christmas and this way, she can use the table runner year round.

And now she has three quilts made by me!

Linking up with Amanda Jean. and TGIFF

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

WIP Wednesday

December is turning out to be an extremely busy month for us as a family.  Instead of feeling scattered and rushed in my quilting as well, I decided to pick just a few projects per week and work on them.  Here is what I'm focusing on this week.

Working on the layout for my baby sister's Mustache quilt.  This is meant to be a birthday gift.  Her birthday is December 18th!

A jumbo custom taggie blanket.  Due for delivery on Friday.

Chevron class sample quilt.  The sooner I ca get this to the shop, the sooner people will start signing up (hopefully!)

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It's that time of year again!  If you are here via Sew Mama Sew, welcome!  If you are a regular reader then here's a treat for you :)

My name is Leigh Anne and I run Ella's Cottage.  Some of y'all might be wondering what I get up to here in my little corner of the universe.  Others might just want me to get on with the giveaway already (you folks can keep on scrolling!).

Ella's Cottage was born when I was pregnant with my second daughter, about 4 years ago.  I was in love with all of the wonderful handmade baby items I saw around the internet and thought I could probably have a go at them myself.  Never mind that I hadn't sewn more than a straight line ever LOL.  From the first time sitting at my machine I was hooked!

Eventually folks started asking me to make things for them and I decided to have a go at selling my products.  Amazingly, people kept buying them :)  The more I made, the more I read about.  The more I read, the more I started seeing amazing modern quilts.  I was pretty anti quilts until this point.  But the modern prints and bright colors pulled me in and I was a goner.

My first custom order

These days, I make a combination of small children's items, pillows and quilts.  But mostly quilts!!  I blog about quilting, fitness, home improvement projects and pretty much anything I am inspired to.  But mostly quilts!!  Along the way I also started carrying a small selection of Moda quilting cottons in my Etsy shop.

And now to the reason you scrolled to the bottom :)  Giveaway time!!  Leave a comment letting me know what fabric line you are currently lusting over and you will be entered to win this fat quarter bundle of Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille.  International folks are welcome to enter but I will only cover half of the shipping costs outside of North America.  Still a great deal :)  If you are a follower of my blog (new or old) leave a comment for a second entry.  And everyone can get 20% off fabric through the New Year by entering HOLIDAY20 at checkout.

Winner will be chosen Sunday December 15th at 9pm AST.  Be sure to head over to the Sew Mama Sew blog and check out the other giveaways!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday Stash

Notable News:  I was featured on Boutlier Babblings Friday with a giveaway to boot!  There's still time to enter and she has giveaways regularly leading up to Christmas.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been shopping.  It seems to be a regular occurrence that when the cool weather hits I get the shopping itch.  And then sales start popping up on IG and I get sucked in big time.  But in a good way!

The first thing I do when Pink Castle Fabrics has 25% off the entire store, is check out the sale section for potential quilt backs.  These flannel birds jumped out at me right away so I bought two yards.  And the majority of the fabrics I pulled to coordinate were purchased during that same order.  There's some Waterfront Park, Pearl Bracelets, Sketch, Spot On, and Simply Color.  Just off the top of my head :)

Linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash!  Ooops jumped the gun a bit.  Linking up with Finding Fifth!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Love from Margaritaville: A Friday Finish

I have to admit that this was not a quilt I ever thought I would be making.  A memory quilt to begin with.  A memory quilt  made of Hawaiin shirts, pajama pants and fish prints using a proper quilt pattern most of all LOL.  But it has grown on me and at the end of the day I love it.  Which makes sense given that I end up falling in love with every quilt I finish!

I used the Crooked Cabins pattern by Kati at From The Blue Chair.  The pattern was wonderful to follow and the only issues I faced occurred when I added squares without doing proper math!

Jenny's Dad was a huge tie dye fan so there is lots of that in this quilt.  Including his initials in one of the lower corners.  Sadly, her dog passed away while I was making the quilt.  The heart is from her sweater.

I used a medium weight woven fusible interfacing on all of the fabric.  Doing that definitely added a large chunk of time to the process but I had zero issues sewing with all of the different fabrics.  There is everything from t-shirts, to hawaiian shirts to rugby shirts and pj pants in this quilt.  The interfacing also added a bit of weight to the quilt which I think makes it super cozy.  I also pressed all of my block seams open to cut down on bulk and pressed toward the sashing whenever possible.

As soon as I heard there were lots of Hawaiian shirts involved, I started thinking of the floral print from Glimma for the backing.  When we couldn't find any tie dye this was the clear winner.  It's bound in the coordinating stripe.  I'm pretty sure this is my first striped binding but I guarantee it won't be my last!

For the quilting I knew I didn't want to interfere with the fabrics so I stitched in the ditch around all of the squares.  Then I quilted organic lines (AKA not even or straight!) in all of the sashing.  Areas to the left and right have vertical lines.  Areas to the top and bottom have horizontal lines.  And setting triangles have diagonal lines. 

Not gonna lie, the quilting was a bear.  I used my walking foot which meant I had to manipulate a 72" square quilt through the throat of my machine many, many times.  My shoulders ached a lot but it was totally worth it.  The texture is amazing and as a bonus side effect, the Kona Snow I used for sashing became really soft after 5 hours of quilting.  I'm not sure if it was from the softener on the clothes of being handled frequently but it's awesome nonetheless.

Linking up with Amanda Jean.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

WIP Wednesday

Bit of a scattered week around here.  I am working hard to try and finish all of my required projects before Friday the 13th.  My husband goes on vacation for 3 weeks and it would be nice for us to have some relaxed days before the girls go off for Christmas vacation :)

I offered to make my baby sister a quilt and she chose a larger version of my mustache blanket in quilt form.  So cutting has begun.  I would love to mail this out in time to reach her for her birthday on the 18th.  

This is destined to be a table runner for my Mom's Christmas gift.  Made to her specifications for the front and I used Christmas fabrics on the back so it's reversible.

And strip piecing Riley Blake for another chevron quilt.  This one will be a class sample for the very first quilting class I will be teaching in January at my LQS.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Move It Monday

It was a rough week and the scale mirrored it with a 3 pound gain.  I'm not pleased with that but I'm not overly surprised.  I had soda and sweets every single day.  It was Thursday when I realized I was PMSing which at least explains it somewhat.  Thursday evening I had a birthday dinner out for a good friend.  And then we went to my inlaws for the weekend.  They show love through food.  I actually showed a lot more restraint than I have on previous visits and am ready to get back at it this week.  Started my Monday without buying a Diet Pepsi with the groceries.

On the plus side, I worked out everyday except our scheduled rest day on Saturday.  We even got up earlier on Friday to fit in our workout before leaving.  And I really feel like my body is responding to the strength training.  Even more than the scale, I am looking forward to retaking measurements at the end of the first month!