Thursday, 27 February 2014

California Recap

I'm back!  After a week in the gorgeous California winter (seriously?!  It was 21 degrees Celsius every day!) it was tough to head out into the Canadian winter this morning.  But so nice to snuggle with my baby girls :) Since Jeremy and I were in Califoria in October, this wasn't a sight seeing trip for me.  I really just wanted to hang out with my bestie and snuggle her baby.  So I spent a lot of time doing this...

Pardon the blurriness, facebook picture
But I definitely was out and a bout pretty much daily.  I went to Ikea for the first time ever!  I wanted to buy some Britten for quilt backings and  I grabbed one other pattern as well.  I've seen this used all over the internet so I assume it works well.  But I'll admit I was surprised at the thinness of it.  Have any of you used Ikea fabric for quilt backs?  Did you prewash?  How does it quilt?

Just before I left, I learned that Josh from Molli Sparkles  was going to be at Intrepid Thread, just 30 minutes from where I was staying.  You know that had to happen :)  It was a great visit and I was thrilled that Anne from Play Crafts was there as well.  I pretty much knew before I got there that I would be breaking my fabric fast.  It is so rare that I get the opportunity to see and touch fabric before I buy, I just had to take advantage.  And I did :)

I got some Rapture, Meadow, and some purples for my stash (seriously lacking).  I was back and forth on Hello Petal but I resisted fat quarters and grabbed a charm pack.  Also, a charm pack of Color Me Happy.

I also picked up Alison Glass' Feathers pattern (guess that means I will be paper piecing again LOL) and A Month of Sundays at Intrepid Thread.  I've been hunting for this book locally for several months.  I love wandering bookstores so we took a trip to Barnes and Nobles.  You can imagine my excitement when I found two back issues of Love Patchwork and Quilting.  When Vintage Quilt Revival hit the internet I was unsure if it was a book that would fit with my style.  But the more I saw people making blocks and quilts from it, the more it felt right.  Seeing it in person cinched the deal and I found room in my suitcase for it :)

So not the greatest Fabricfast update but I'm ok with what I purchased and should probably be good at least until July :)  Linking up with RebeccaLynne

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday Stash: Instagram Edition

I've a relatively new user of Instagram (username: ellascottage) but quickly got the hang of it and it's probably my favorite form of online networking.  There is just soooo much awesome inspiration on there, it moves quickly and there is a surprising amount of communication.  Plus, that's where most people do their destashing!  This lovely pink bundle came from @rsbooth.  The top fabric is what sold me on the purchase since there is enough for a baby quilt back!  The selvedge says Dab of Jazz by Maywood Studio.  Bottom left is Object of Desire by Sandy Gervais and bottom right is Robert Kauffman All My Heart.

Are you on IG?  Let me know in the comments and I'll check you out :)

Linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday Finish: Audrey Grey

Baby Audrey Grey is here and I am snuggling her while you are reading this :)  And happily I finished her quilt before catching my flight!.

The fabrics are a combination of Marie Antoinette by Northcott and the Watermelon colorway of Minimalista by Art Gallery.  I love how they play together but I did leave out a few of the Minimalista fabrics that were especially bold in contrast.  The honeycombs were cut with the template that comes with the precuts from Moda.  The cutting was a bit frustrating and as a result my shapes are not perfect.  I used this tutorial by Kati at From the Blue Chair.  The assembly went extremely well with only a few puckers which I think I could avoid on a second try.

I gathered up all of the remaining fabric when I finished the front and started to piece together a backing. It's not my favorite thing to do (piecing backings) but I do like this one and think it could work well on its own if she wants to reverse it.

I didn't want a scrappy binding so it was Minimalista Prisma since that was the only fabric I had enough yardage of :)

I quilted with a light grey thread in a floral pattern.  I love the texture this quilting pattern gives.  The quilt finishes at approximately 36" square.  A little on the small side but I was nervous about how long those hexagons would take to piece.  All of the photos in this post are taken post washing.  So crinkly and awesome!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

WIP Wednesday: Stitching

As you read this, I am in California soaking up baby snuggles and catching up with two dear friends who have moved there over the past 6 months.  Which also means I am not sewing anything this week!  I am not without a WIP though.  I packed up my Once Upon a Time Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and hope to catch up during the looooong flight.

When last year's Woodland Sampler started popping up in my IG feed, I was intrigued.  I hadn't done any cross stitching since I was a young teen.  But I remembered enjoying it quite a bit.  So I poked around and ordered a Winter sampler.  From the first stitch, I was hooked!

Just look at that adorable castle!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tuesday Tidy: Routine

I haven't written a Tuesday Tidy post in a few weeks.  Mostly because there haven't been any major areas cleaned out.  No large trips to Goodwill.  Instead we have slowly been building daily/weekly cleaning into our regular routine.  I know that many people just do this. I grew up with a Mother who did :)  But that innate cleanliness did not get passed on to me (or my baby sister.  Middle sister got all of our share LOL).

We have been working with the girls to get in the routine of picking up the living room after dinner.  And with ourselves to tidy the kitchen each evening.  I've started making the bed every morning again.  On the weekend, I spend a few hours dusting/sweeping/mopping and helping the girls do a major tidy of their rooms.  In the first few weeks that was all I could get done in the time allotted.  But last weekend I was able to clean out a drawer in the kitchen. And this weekend the spice cupboard was sorted and wiped down.

The bed is made.  On a weekend day.  That blue blanket is to keep the cat from scratching the footboard :(
Along the way, there has been some decluttering.  When Ella couldn't close her drawers after putting away her laundry, I had her pull out some pieces she didn't wear any more.  I'm also having her choose one item per week to sell/donate/toss.  This might not be able to go on forever but given the amount we are starting with and a birthday in March, I would guess we could easily go until summer arrives.

There are no dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, and no toothpaste in the sink!
Slowly but surely we are creating a peaceful home.  One we aren't embarrassed to open the door on when a friend visits spur of the moment.  But more importantly, one we are happy to just "be" in.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Stash: The Kindness of Friends

I have a friend who dabbles in sewing here and there.  Knitting and drawing are her main crafty hobbies but every so often she gets the urge to sew something and buys fabric for that project.  A few months ago, she was decluttering her craft closet and decided she didn't need to keep all of the leftovers from her projects and she called me to see if I wanted to take a peek before it went to Goodwill.  Ummmm, that would be a yes!

Yummy black and white prints that have already been put to good use in my Tula Pink City Sampler. There was also a small pile of Joel Dewberry scraps.  None of these black and white prints had selvedges so if you know what they are, let me know and I will update the info!

Linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Tula Pink Update

I've lost my Tula Pink City Blocks challenge partner but for an absolutely proper reason (anyone else want to join me?).  And I also came up with a new method for making these blocks a lot easier for ME to complete.  The longest and most tedious part of this quilt is all of the cutting of those teeny tiny pieces.  Seriously, there are a large percentage measuring 1"!  In January, I cut all of the blocks and then pieced all of the blocks in a two day period.  I didn't want to work on anything else because I feared losing one (or more) pieces.  When I originally started working on this project in the summer my plan was a block per day.  But it was a lot of work and mess to pull out my fabrics, cut and piece for one block.

And then the light bulb came on!  I would cut all of the blocks and package them in little baggies.  Then whenever the urge struck I could grab my book and baggies and get sewing.  So instead of making much progress on piecing this month, I have been cutting away.  Once they are cut, I might go back to a block per day.  Or perhaps one marathon session per month.  Or inspirations might really strike and see me piecing them all in a week long caffeine fuelled frenzy LOL.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

WIP Wednesday: Babies and Beds

Just two quilts filling my limited sewing time this week.  I'm on a mission to finish my hexagon baby quilt before I leave for California on Tuesday.  It's pieced and basted.  I've been trying to fit a bobbin's worth of quilting in each day.  Enough to find my groove but not long enough to have sore shoulders!  I'm using a flower pattern that I've used once before and plan to use on my Swoon quilt as well.  It fills quickly and my body seems able to find the groove relatively easily.

Sorry for the blurry photo.  It was the only way I could get the quilting to show up.

I'm also finally back to quilting Clementine Cross.  I bought all the right colored spools my big box fabric store had in early December.  And they just restocked!  Grrrr.  Never again.  If I need a special color I'll be ordering online or going to my LQS.  This is another I'm hoping to finish up before I leave.  I want to sleep under it just once while it's cold LOL.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday Stash: Alison Glass

Have you ever seen a fabric collection and just had the insane desire to own it all?  I've heard of this happening around the interwebz but it had never happened to me.  Until this fall.  That's when I was first introduced to Alison Glass and her Sun Prints fabric.  I decided this line, I would own.  And I started collecting.

It has it's own storage!
I loved that each print was being released separately so I could buy it up here and there  instead of one large purchase.
I started adding Sun Prints to all of my orders.  And then I realized I should probably come up with a plan to use them LOL.

Bike Path
This is easily the most fabric I have ever owned from one collection and I think it may have changed the way I buy fabric.  Don't get me wrong, I will still have an eclectic stash organized by color.  But I'm finding myself drawn to more complete collections over the past several months.  There is a good chance there will be 1 or 2 quilts each year made from a single collection.

Text Prints

Party Streamers and one rogue feathers

A neutral Scrap pack I won in an Instagram contest where I was the only entrant!

I am determined not to hoard these.  In fact my feathers prints have already been chopped up and I've started piecing blocks.  But you will have to wait a little longer to see the plan!  Also, if anyone has any corsage scraps they are willing to pass on I will happily take them.  It's the only print I didn't purchase and now that my fabric fast has started I can't.  So this quilt will be corsageless :(

Linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday Finish: Purple and Patchwork

I spent more time this week on paperwork and administrative tasks than sewing but I did manage to get one finish for the books.

A bigger blankie for the three year old!  A week ago I asked her what color she would like for the minky background and every day since she has asked if I finished her purple blankie :)

I used raw edge applique and Therm o Web to add her name to the bottom in patchwork letters.

It successfully covers her toes in bed and surprisingly she has given up her beloved first blankie almost entirely!  The patchwork doesn't really have any plan or scheme.  I just gathered up a whole lot of my favorite bits and pieces and put them together in the way I discussed here.  I stitched the top to the minky right sides facing, leaving a small gap on one side; then flipped and top stitched.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Friday Finishes

Thursday, 6 February 2014

January Bee Blocks aka Terrifying!

I'm behind on telling you about my Bee Blocks for the Global Scrap Bee.  I procrastinated on December's blocks and didn't even blog them.  Too bad, since they were adorable I Spy Polaroid blocks!  I did post them to my IG though. Our Queen Bee for January was Anna from Quilting Along the Grain.  Anna requested the Kaleidoscope Block by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts.  Oh and it is a paper piecing pattern!!  I have never done one of these.  I've been tempted by lots but never quite worked up the nerve to try one.  Honestly, without this push, I may have gone forever without trying it.

I was very nervous about attempting these blocks so I started by watching several videos and reading a handful of blog posts on paper piecing.  It seemed pretty straightforward so I printed out the templates and got started.  Oh, but wait!  This block has two pieces that need to be pieced together.  Nothing I read/watched said anything about that.  Hopefully, it won't cause too much trouble.

Attempt number one and I put my fabric on backwards.  Attempt number two and I didn't position the second piece right, which meant it didn't cover the whole surface it needed to.  No problem!  I expected a few botched attempts.  That's why I printed four templates right!

Attempt number three provided two successful halves!  And a mess when I joined them together.  I was starting to get pretty frustrated at this point but decided that maybe the fourth time would be the ticket.

I was wrong.  And near tears, I was so frustrated.  So I walked away for a few days.

On my second day paper piecing, I printed out 6 copies and sat down determined to get it right!  Attempt 5 was a failure at the joining stage.  I needed help.  I took a picture, posted to IG and begged for help from Rita.  She is awesome and immediately responded.  Over the next 20 minutes she sent me some tips and suggestions for getting my points to match up.

Attempt 6 yielded a successful block!  Attempt 7 another failure :(  Attempt 8 was also a success and I believe I figured out what I was doing wrong at this point!

I had hoped to make 4 blocks to send but at this point I was just done with paper piecing!  Since it was nearing February and our February Queen Bee, Aylin had already posted her block I took a peek.  And then sighed in relief.  She had chosen a relatively simple domino block.  I grabbed my low volume fabrics, got cutting and shortly had two sets of blocks finished.  I really needed a quick and easy finish, too.

How about you guys?  Any paper piecing horror stories?  Or any tips for a beginner paper piecer?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

WIP Wednesday: I'm Over There!

I'm guest hosting at Freshly Pieced this week for WIP Wednesday!  Head over to see what I'm working on this week.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Move It Tuesday?

Well yesterday just got away from me.  Add a busy schedule to a pissy mood and blogging just didn't make the cut.  But I did weigh in!

A little higher than I would have liked to see and higher than it was earlier in the two weeks.  Some extra treats and higher sodium meals over the weekend contributed to this, I'm sure.  I also haven't been working out and I can feel the sluggishness that creates.

So my goals for the next two weeks are to get in my workouts and move more in general.  I got a new battery for my fitbit and will be aiming to hit 10000 steps daily.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sunday Stash Pink/Coral/Grey

Way back in September I showed you two quilts I made for friends that recently had babies.  The babies didn't stop there!  My best friend was due the end of January and obviously I was going to make her a quilt.  She had a hard time deciding the color scheme for the nursery and finding a quilt pattern she liked but between Christmas and January we finalized a honeycomb pattern with a pink/coral/grey scheme.

I ordered these January 29th, just under the wire before my fabricfast began :)  The bundle on the left is Marie Antoinette by Northcott.  The bundle on the right is Minimalista in Watermelon. I love the pop of coral it adds to the subdued pinks and greys.

I'll be honest, I was concerned about them but when they arrived and I laid them out they were perfect and reminded me of my friend completely.  A little traditional and soft with a hit of bold modern thrown in. Baby Audrey was born two weeks ago and I plan on visiting in March (they moved to California ::sad face::).  So my goal for February's ALYOF is to complete this quilt.

Linking up with Sunday Stash and ALYOF!