Friday, September 27, 2013


Today's post will be short and sweet. You have heard me going on about finishing my star flower quilt top for quite some time. (Way too long!)

I'm happy to report that with the exception of some borders (awaiting the last step in the tutorial), this baby is done. I will focus on my backing piecing next.

I love absolutely everything about this quilt. It's bright and happy and every single star has polka dots. It's definitely been worth the effort.

The hubby has dropped the hint that maybe I should work on his "not quite a surprise" quilt while I am waiting for the tutorial. Sounds like a perfect plan!

Linking up with the always inspiring Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Rediscovery of Socks and Sanity (mostly)

It's here. Finally. Autumn. I can't begin to tell you how much I love autumn, and everything that comes with it.

After what must be six months of flip-flop wearing, it's time to break out the boots, and socks.
The kids are back in school and settling into a routine of early mornings and early bedtimes, snacks and homework, and of course, books. There is a certain magic to that moment in the day when I have the house to myself and my baby is snuggled up having his nap. And I can think. In quiet. This is when the sewing happens.

This past weekend found us in Victoria. It was the first time on the ferry for two of our children and they loved it. They especially loved getting up "in the middle of the night" (5:00 AM), and beginning our journey with the sun rising over the water.

Our first mission of the morning was hitting not one but two fabric shops and a yarn store. My husband has clearly decided to embrace the inevitable as he suggested we do this first. The first shop we found was "Avenue Fabric Studio". I had heard about it from Allison Harris's blog, Cluck Cluck Sew. She will be coming up to Victoria to do a weekend workshop, featuring her quilt pattern "Suburbs". The shop is new, and the owner, Vivian, is absolutely charming. She opened her door early to me (I got there 40 minutes ahead of opening - craft shopping is one of the few times I am ever early), and upon hearing that my troops were out in the truck, went out and invited them in.

This is not a quilt shop, she explained. It's a sewing studio, a community gathering point. It's a place where people can come to sew by the hour on one of the shops many machines, to sit and stitch by hand, and where parents and children can learn crafts together. It's genius. There are workshops and other amazing creative things going on in there. And, of course, there is fabric.

I found a wide assortment of lovely prints from various designers, all reasonably priced. I even got my hands on some lovely Anna Maria Horner Hand Painted Garden, and a Valorie Wells Wish fabric. It was an excellent start to the day.

Next up was Satin Moon. This was also fruitful. The sale section had some lovely modern fabrics that were clearly just waiting for me to find them.

We saved my traditional "Beehive Wool Shop" till after lunch and some wandering around the harbor. (There is only so much crafty shopping my family can handle at a stretch.)

I can honestly say that I have never seen a yarn store quite like the Beehive. It is a traditional stop for me on every trip to Victoria. I have never walked out empty handed, but am usually toting at least one new project, pattern, and a whole bevy of ideas. This time was no different. I came out with a stack of yarn, some for socks (the kids will be asking soon), and for a couple shawls/scarves. I think what makes this shop different is the fresh and new displays of projects and accompanying yarn. For some reason, my creative juices go haywire at the Beehive.

I could not stop thinking about this one pattern and was worried that if I didn't go back, I'd never remember what it was. I ended up swinging by again on our last day to scoop up the name of a pattern of shawl (Color Affection) and the yarn that was clearly meant for it. I cannot wait to cast on. I'm valiantly trying to exercise a tiny bit of self-control and finish what's on my needles first. But it's something to look forward to.

Back at home now, and settled into the routine again, I'm desperately trying to finish my star quilt top. I have two rows left to seam together. This sounds easy but it is a series of starts and stops as you go in a y-seam pattern all down the joins. It takes quite a bit longer than a normal seam. But it will be so worth it. And quite honestly, y-seams no longer scare me.

I still have to figure out if I'm going to do a border or not before backing the quilt. Can't wait to get to that part. Till then, this is where I'll be...

Linking up to:

My Quilt Infatuation  Really Random

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mothers and Daughters

Today's finish is a somewhat unexpected project. It just happened. This just might be the best kind of starts and finishes.

My niece, owner of the quilt in this post, has a mother that is a baker. (This, by the way, is a dangerous sort of person to have in the family... calories seem to migrate this way much too frequently.) She is a wonderful sister-in-law, and to see her and my brother's family grow has been so precious.

It occurred to me one morning, while snuggling my littlest, that the tiny little fingers belonging to my niece will soon be wanting to help her mama in the kitchen. And that means she needs an apron. And ...  I just happened to have some leftover fabric from her quilt.

I didn't want to go out and buy a pattern. It seemed like it would be a simple enough thing to draft my own and create it. Completely unexpected was just how much I loved this process. Within an hour or two, her apron was made with just a couple finishing touches left to do, the little bits that make it special.

It is made in a toddler size, that could go up to about 5 or so. I took a couple shots of my daughter modeling the apron (as I don't have an extra toddler about), to give you an idea of size.

This post is about family and growth and traditions passed on, memories made. We are so blessed to have the newest little hands in our family.

Linking up to CrazyMomQuilts for Finish it Up Friday.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Plugging away...

Back when I started this blog in August, I joined the Star Flower quilt along hosted by Amanda of A Crafty Fox. The diamonds were quick to cut out and the stars came together in record time. But the row piecing has kind of been slow. The first several joins didn't work out and I ended up having to undo and redo some stars and seams which got me a bit discouraged. It's also not very conducive to chain piecing, but I'm trying to sort that one out.

So it's sat for a bit, staring at me from my work table.

Anyways, last night I decided enough was enough and got going again. School is back in session, all three little rug rats were in bed (on time!), and my hubby was working late. After the usual self pep talk that practice makes perfect and perfect isn't necessarily the goal (ahem... maybe sometimes), I started.

I've adjusted the row/column ratio for the quilt. The length/width in the original design is a bit long and narrow for my taste. I've finished my first row and am looking forward to doing the rest.

Its not a lot, but rows are coming together. And I love the fabrics so much that I just want it done, now, in time for fall. (It's still meltingly hot here, but that can change quickly.)

That being said, my baby just went down for morning nap, I've got a fresh cup of coffee and a stack of stars calling my name.

Today I'm linking up to two smashing new blogs (new to me) I found called "My Quilt Infatuation" and 627handworks. Thanks ladies!
My Quilt Infatuation
Thursday Threads

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


After my last finish, I was seriously missing hand quilting. Within a day, I dragged out an old work-in-progress, my Chinese Lantern Hexagon quilt. I love this quilt. Really I do. But I hadn't quilted on it in months - mostly due to hand quilting fear. Happily, I'm much more comfortable with it now.

This is a quilt I started a couple years ago. It didn't have a pattern. I just drew a large sized hexagon template, cut them out, and y-pieced the rows together. At about the same time, I went back to work after a five year baby-making/home-making mama leave. Hence, the drag in it's completion. I'm back on maternity leave and am really enjoying getting to craft when I can. (Not to mention, being able to be a stay-at-home mama for a year!)


Can't wait till this one is done!

I've also been fitting in some time for knitting while watching the occasional show with my husband and waiting in the pick-up line at school. I'm working on a little romper from Bergere de France for my little niece. Hopefully she'll be able to wear it next summer. I'm just about half way through and loving it.

The vintage feel to this pattern really appeals.

Hope you've had a crafty week too! :)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and WIPW with Tami's Amis.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Labour of Love

My finish for this week is something I started back in late June. My niece was due in August and I wanted to make a baby quilt for her – something special that she can use for years. It took me a while to figure out the perfect pattern for the fabrics I chose for her as the fabric line had some pieces that I wanted to showcase. The fabric is Owls by Adornit. It is absolutely lovely and has just the right colors. 
I ended up fussy cutting three large owls and raw-edge appliqueing them to plain white squares. The other center blocks are simple squares with white borders, all divided by a sort of dots and dashes sashing, mixing in a bunch of the fabrics. It’s a simple and clean look.

This is the first quilt I’ve ever completed using hand-quilting the entire way. For the thread I used a DMC red perle cotton. I experimented with different shapes and quilting in each block and did a simple outline quilting on the edges of the larger block. I love the look of the quilting.

The block above might be my favorite bit of quilting. I'm pretty sure this design is going to be reappearing in future quilts.

The stitches aren’t perfect but they got better as I went along. I started out using a large hoop, but by the end, I was quilting without it. It seemed easier and I don’t feel the fabrics shifted too much as I both spray basted and pinned the layers.
The backing was pieced using a few different fabrics, and on a whim, I added a fussy cut tree branch and appliqued it to the edge.

It was shockingly difficult to let this quilt go ... it had become a sort of friend of mine. I was sad that it was finished, it was such an enjoyable quilt to make. But it makes me happy to know my niece will love it through the years. And she will know that each stitch was stitched with love. 

I've linked up to Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, September 2, 2013


There is less than a week until school starts. I've been looking forward to this and dreading it at the same time. My baby girl is going to Kindergarten. She's waited for this for 3 years. It's finally (already???) here. 
It wasn't that long ago that she was this tiny...

We've had our last camping trip of the season. We spent about 5 days at Lake Pearrygin in Eastern/Northern Washington. It is just beautiful up there. And of course, I checked to see if there were any yarn or quilting shops nearby. I found "The Quilting Hive". I'm so glad I went. I found fabric I didn't think I'd ever find... "Ruby" by Bonnie and Camille. They only had 5 bolts of different types but I bought a yard of each, and on a whim, bought a couple fat eighths that looked suspiciously like they belonged (and upon research were!!) to Ruby. I was ecstatic. The lady in the shop had no idea what I was going on about. :)

I also found some Valorie Wells "Nest" fabric that I couldn't put back and some Tula Pink and a few other goodies. A fat quarter stack of "The Sweetest Thing" by Riley Blake may have landed on my hoard as well. And after hearing about Aurifil for months now, I found it in the flesh and bought a spool. I LOVE IT. It feels so durable.

On our way down to the states I picked up my package of Riley Blake's "La Crème" collection of low volume dots. I'm in love. Really. Have I ever mentioned I love polka dots? These precious prints will be appearing in many, many quilts.

This weeks goal is to finish sewing the last few stars for the Star Flower Quilt Along, to cut out my hexagons, and begin assembling the top. Can't wait to see how things shape up with the quilt.
Till next time,