Friday, 29 August 2014

TGIFF! - Lunch Bag

Happy Friday, all! I did get in some sewing this week and managed to finish this lunch bag. It uses Ayumi @ Pink Penguin's fabulous lunch bag tutorial. The fabric is Rashida Coleman-Hale's Washi line.


I've made this bag many times before -- here, here, hereherehere and here -- and I love trying to find a good fabric combination. This is the first time though I made this bag for me! On Tuesday, I will be starting a new professional adventure and returning to the federal public service. Yes, big changes are coming for the Quilt Matters household. I'm very excited and very nervous! Very, very nervous. Deep breaths. :)


We're heading into the Labour Day weekend here, hoping to see some hot air balloons and spend some time with family. I hope you have some great plans of your own!

It's TGIFF! is over at Ms. Midge this week. She has a beautiful quilt made using the Quick Curve Ruler -- gotta find me one of those!


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

All In The Family

I received the Fall issue of The Canadian Quilter on Monday and look what I found! Daniel was pretty chuffed to see himself and his quilt in the magazine. I think features like this are a great way of encouraging kids to take up the art of quilting so thank you Jo and The Canadian Quilter for doing a profile on Daniel. If you have any youth quilting story ideas, please send them to youthprograms@canadianquilter.com


My quilting mama's heart was already pretty stoked about Daniel's feature, when I got an email from Brandy Lynn Maslowsky saying that my story about Patrick was last week's Quilter's Corner winner on her Canadian Quilt Talk podcast. Eeek! I caught up on all of Brandy Lynn's podcasts this summer during our road trips and have become a huge fan. She has a great energy and features wonderful quilting talent and content on her show. I had been saving Thursday's podcast for the kids' first day of school, when I could listen to it in peace (with tea and bonbons). ;) 

A while ago, I had submitted a story about my oldest son's reaction to my Snow Crab Nebula being 'featured' in the Canadian Museum of History. It was such a thrill to hear Brandy Lynn share it in the podcast and what a delightful bonus to hear that I'd won a fat quarter bundle of Elaine Quehl's new fabric line with Northcott. Yummy! Patrick was pretty psyched too and I suspect he may try to claim the winnings. Ha, he'll have to arm wrestle me for it! Elaine is the featured artist on the show. I've taken three workshops with Elaine and adore her work. It's a great episode so check it out if you get a chance. All of the podcasts are available online so you can go back and listen to past ones too. Thank you very much Brandy Lynn, Elaine and Northcott! 

Now to get son number 3 involved...muwahaha! 

I'm determined to get a little quilting in today and will be playing with this palette for a friend's new baby. Almost feels Fall-ish, eh? I don't think the final quilt will feel Fall-ish, but we'll see. What are you working on?


Have a great one!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

And the Number Is...

Happy Tuesday, y'all! My kids started school today and I spent my first day of 'freedom' running around doing errands and cooking all day. Hmm, this was not how it was supposed to go. Where was my chance to eat bonbons and rewatch the first episode of Outlander?! Maybe tomorrow. Ha, right!

But let's get to the important stuff, shall we? I loved reading all your favourite summer memories -- summers at cottages, spent with family, adventures with friends -- so wonderful and joyful! Thank you for sharing them with us! The winner of my By the Numbers Giveaway is...


getting sunburned with my cousin when we were 16

Congratulations, Barbara! I'll be sending you an email shortly.

Now for a little inspiration. Here is a video of my friend Mary Pal's solo show. Congrats, Mary! Some serious inspiration! Enjoy!


Friday, 22 August 2014

By the Numbers Giveaway

It's been a great summer in the Quilt Matters household. Although not a lot of quilting has happened, a whole bunch of other good things have -- one new nephew, two getaways, three happy and dirty kids, four sleeps 'til school starts, five puppet shows, six soccer festivals...well, you get the idea.

To celebrate a numbers-filled summer, I'm going to give away 2.5 metres of the IKEA Bitten Numbers 60" wide fabric. Yes, this is the fabric that is being discontinued and is being hunted down by quilters at IKEAs the world over. Okay, I can't really speak for what's happening in other cities, but we've cleaned out the Ottawa IKEA.


So, to win this fabric, leave me a comment with your favourite summer memory. You also get a bonus entry if you follow the blog, just leave a comment telling me how you follow. Another bonus entry if you follow via Facebook -- again leave a comment letting me know. That's 1, 2, 3 chances to win! Ah, ah, ah! No one else heard the Count from Sesame Street there, did they? Okay, moving on...

No reply bloggers, please leave your email address in your comment or I will need to pick another winner. Hint: If you've commented on my blog, except during a giveaway, and not received a response, you are a no reply blogger! Find out more about it and how to fix it here so you can win stuff and we can chat via email!

This giveaway is open until Monday, August 25th at 8 p.m. EDT. Winner will be chosen via Ms. Random Number Generator (RNG).

Good luck and may the RNG number be in your favour!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Modern Block Tuesday?

I have some bee blocks to share with you today. This was July's String X block for Pam @ Mad About Patchwork. She's making this fabulous String X block quilt and asked us to just make the strips. She provided a few of the fabrics to help guide us and give continuity to her quilt. I was pretty happy to find a number of fabrics in my stash that went well with her aqua, gray and taupe colour scheme.


August's block is for Patti @ Retired to Quilt. She chose Simply Woven block in grays, pinks, dark blues, greens, and purples. I struggled with getting a set of fabrics in those colours that worked well together. Getting the greens and pinks I had to work together was the issue mostly, but I'm happy I finally found two that worked.


I've actually done this fun block before in solids: 

Woven Block


Once again, I'm amazed at the difference fabric and colour selection can make. So many possibilities!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Banner Day for Otis - A Finished Top

The top is done! Good thing too, because my new nephew, little Otis, has made his debut! And with the completely objective eye that only an aunt can have, he's stinking adorable too. I got to hold him yesterday for the first time. :D

When I last shared this project, I was debating the striped cording. You guys gave me the thumbs so away I went. With the layout I was trying to go random with the colours and sizes of the bunting triangles, but I just couldn't do it.

The bunting was appliquéd to a white background and I secured them using a glue stick instead of pins before sewing them down. There are fewer bubbles between the bunting and the background this wekk so I'm much happier with the result.


Now I'm debating the quilting. Using plexiglass sheets and dry erase markers, I tested out some different motif combos. There are so many ways to quilt this with all over designs, but I wanted to accentuate the bunting somehow.

Option 1: Lines, wishbones and swirls:


Option 2: Loops, lines and wishbones:


Option 3: Loops, lines and stippling:


Option 4: Pointy curves (yeah, I can't think of what these are called right now):


I'm a bit behind on replying to comments rights now, but I hope to get back to you all once I'm done cuddling Otis some more. Hope you are having a fabulous day!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Room of One's Own

Have you been following along with Mad About Patchwork's Sew Canadian studio tour this summer?  I have really enjoyed stepping into some of my fellow Canuck quilters' sewing spaces and seeing how they organize their space. Today, it's Janet @ What Comes Next and my space being featured.

I thought I'd do a post here to elaborate on the information and photos I provided for the Sew Canadian post at Mad About Patchwork. My sewing space has evolved a lot over the years -- from the bottom of a closet, to a couple of shelves, to a bookcase, to a bookcase and closet, to now. My current sewing haven is an L-shaped guest bedroom/former in-law suite on top of our garage. The room is straight out of the 60s. There's a little apartment-size kitchen that we made into a craft space for the kids, a fake fireplace mantel, and a tiny little bathroom. One day, we'll renovate the room to make it into our bedroom, but for now it's my quilting aerie and my favourite place to be.

Against one wall, I have two shallow bookcases packed with my scrap boxes, selvage collection and other art/quilt supplies. I found the selvage jars and red and blue containers at the dollar store.
I also love using old tins to store safety pins, buttons, fastenings, cords, etc. It's no coincidence that a lot of my tins are chocolate tins. ;)


I found the scrap containers as a set at Costco a few years ago. I love that they have clear fronts so I can see at a glance what is in them.


Moving to another area of the room, I have a five drawer organizer to keep the things I often reach for when I'm at the sewing machine to the right of my sewing table. And yes, I did tidy this up for the photos.

The top drawer has snips, scissors, seam rippers, extra blades, pin cushions, etc.


Next, I have threads that don't fit on my thread holder and my handy dandy Aurifil colour card. 


The third drawer is where I keep my current leader/ender project. I keep pressed units on a repurposed cardboard can tray so I bring it to the ironing board and also...


Get to the 1.5" squares and finished granny squares below it. 


The fourth drawer has my free motion quilting tools -- gloves, practice quilt sandwiches, etc. 


The bottom drawer stores miscellaneous design tools -- markers, colour tools, bendable ruler and so on. 


Across from this organizer, I have another drawer organizer for leftover binding scraps and other scraps cut into a variety of widths. 


Moving to my cutting table, I keep my cutting table pins attached to a magnetized pin catcher in a basket. See those yellow containers? Those are the little toy containers from Kinder Surprise eggs. I use them to store and throw out bent pins. I definitely don't need that many at the moment, but I figure I'd better keep them now because the kids won't eat Kinder Surprises when they get older.


I use a cutlery caddy for my cutting table tools. 


I'm super psyched about the newest addition to my sewing room. This was my design wall -- a flannel backed table cloth. It's a great temporary design wall, but trying to lay out anything larger than a lap quilt is really frustrating. I only have about a 48 inch-wide wall though so what to do? 


My solution was to get (4) 24" wide insulation boards and cover them with batting. One king size batting was perfect for covering the boards. The batting is cut and wrapped around the boards and secured with duct tape. I'm not convinced that this is going to work long term as the duct tape seems to separate a little from the insulation board. It's holding right now though so we'll see. 

Now I can lay out the boards for a baby/lap size quilt...


Throw or twin-size quilt...


Or a full/queen/or kind size quilt! Putting out all four boards cuts off part of the room though, so they'll only be laid out like this temporarily. This is also very handy for taking photos of large quilts.


Don't forget that you can get in on the action too! You can add a photo of your own space to the linky party, whether it's a corner of your kitchen table or a studio addition to your house. At the end of August, they’ll be drawing one lucky series participant and one lucky linky party participant to win an Ombre Sewing Studio Kit by Sew Fresh Quilts. So get inspired and get sharing!

More great spaces are coming too:

August 17th – Erica @ Happy Fabric and Jacqui @ Treadle Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @ She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @ Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @ Mad About Patchwork and Laura @ Waffle Kisses

Have a great one!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

TGIFF! - A Bright Modern Totems

A couple of news-y bits before we get to the main TGIFF event...

For those in the Ottawa area, bring in your empty Aurifil spool(s) to the The Running Stitch on Saturday, August 9th for a Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Off sale! The specifics can be found on their site.

Also, my TGIFF! partner in crime, Laura @ Quokka Quilts is hosting a new QAYGFMQAL (Quilt As You Go Free Motion Quilt Along) -- so excited! She also has a sweet giveaway from the Fat Quarter Shop so be sure to check it out!

Ooh, and Craftsy's having its Dog Days of Summer Sale right now. Enjoy up to 50% off ALL online classes! Take advantage of big savings today. Hurry, offer expires August 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. I've been eyeing that Joe Cunningham course myself...

***

Welcome to TGIFF! Today, I'm very happy to be sharing my test of my soon-to-be-released Modern Totems pattern for TGIFF!

My first go at this quilt was with more of a Spring-like palette, but this time I went Bright! I used a Snap Pop charm pack by Sandy Gervais for Moda that I got from Sew Sisters and used Kona White for the background. The binding is Blooming Glory from Woodrow Studio. Look at me, throwing fabric names about like I know what I'm talking about! Next time, I'd like to try this design in  solids...mmm!

It was right down to the wire with this one and I must fess up that I haven't even buried the threads yet.


The quilting -- done with my favourite white 50 wt. Aurifil 2021 -- was horizontal squiggles in the totems, spirals in the squares and stippling in the background. 




The backing is that wonderful IKEA Numbers fabric that I stocked up on. It works so well with the hot pink binding. I know, I used pink!


The quilt finishes at 54" by 60" -- a great lap quilt and just perfect for the recipient I have in mind.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Experimenting with Glue - A Work in Progress

I was cleaning up my quilt haven the other day and found a surface design WIP (another one!) from a few years ago. I swear they multiply like rabbits up there.

The project below was started with a friend of mine who loves surface design work. Lutradur, tyvek, organza, velvet, screen printing -- you name it, she's tried it. She showed me this 'use Elmer's School Glue (Gel) as a resist, let it dry and then paint on it with Seta Colour paints' technique. There's a great free Quilting Arts Surface Design eBook available on how to do this too, if you want more details. 

This is the wrinkly mess I pulled out from its little warren. It still had the resist in it from three (?) years ago. I honestly wasn't sure the resist would come out anymore.


I soaked it in water for an hour and gently scrubbed the glue away. And then scrubbed it a little less gently and the resist all came out! 

And voilà!


I'm liking the colours a lot, the spirals less so, but that's okay -- it's a learning piece. I have no idea what to do with it now, but if you have any ideas, I'm all ears! 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Quilt Hack #1: Wrist Pincushion

I love hacks. Not the computer hack or bad worker meanings of the word, but more the Urban Dictionary definition - taking something meant for one thing and modifying it or repurposing it for another. I especially love quilt hacks.


This is a runner's armband (You're welcome, Medtronic). We got some as a promotional giveaway at a race my kids participated in a couple of years ago. It has a handy little zipper and pocket to keep your key, money or an MP3 player.

We don't really have an ongoing use for these bands and we have several so I took one and stuffed some poly fill in the pocket. Voilà - easy peasy wrist pincushion. :) The material is lightweight and stretchy, so it doesn't get sweat and it's easy to slide on and off.


And it sits nicely as a regular pincushion when I don't need it on my wrist. Win-win!


Have a fun hack like this to share? I thought I'd do a series on quilt hacks that I've either done or come across. I don't have any plans for this being a regularly timed series, but more as I come across them. If you have any that you'd recommend, let me know. I'd love to feature them!

Friday, 1 August 2014

That Special Spark

You know the one. You feel it when you find that perfect fabric. It sparks your imagination and you dream of the possibilities of what that fabric can become. Daryl at Fabric Spark clearly knows that spark well and she's been honing it cleverly while stocking her Toronto-based online shop. Yes, another wonderful Canadian online quilt shop! Lucky us! And I feel very lucky that Fabric Spark has become a sponsor of Quilt Matters. Thank you, Fabric Spark!

If you haven't come across Fabric Spark yet, let me introduce you. They carry beautiful designer fabric from Alexander Henry, Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake, Birch, Art Gallery and more. And yes, even Cotton + Steel! They also carry a great selection of solids, pre-cuts, kits, and independent patterns. And they are always adding new fabrics.

I love that they give ideas or a "Spark" for each fabric to get your imagination going. I've included the Spark for each of my favourite finds below so you can see what I mean.

Overland Journey Lime - Art Gallery

"Spark - This collection really looks fantastic together and would make a great patchwork on anything. This fabric would also make a beautiful duvet cover on its own."


Classical Elements - Geometric Light Grey

"Spark - A very subtle approach to put them all together in a patchwork project or great neutral decor fabric for table top or bedding."


Stof Twist - Large Dots

"Spark - I want to put the dots together in a beach bag - perfect for carrying your water bottle, towel, summer reading, and sunscreen. The dots just beg to be somewhere bright, cheerful, and casual."


Elementary Equations by Sweetwater:

"Spark - Pair with Calendar or use on its own for a school bag, lunch bag, fun garment, or kid's room decor. Hey, some people like Math!"


Pepe in Paris by Riley Blake

"Spark - Where to start? I love this fabric and the whole collection for any kid project. I see clothing, a quilt, bedding, a backpack, a sun hat, you name it. But it would be fun for adult clothes too. Make that joie de vivre into a tank top pour une promenade dans le parc?"


This is just a small taste of what you'll find over at Fabric Spark. You can head on over now and find that spark! Enjoy!
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