Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sew Retro

Recently I listened to an episode of Pat Sloan's Creative Talk Radio on my iPod featuring an interview with Judi Ketteler, author of *Sew Retro: A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution + 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl*.

It had been on my mind for weeks, and I finally ordered it from Indigo and picked it up from the post office today.  I'm thinking it's time to lock myself in a room with my new book.  It's so cute.

June Goals - Mission Accomplished!


  • X 5 Grandmother's Choice blocks
  • X finish ANY quilt
  • X Sampler pillows
  • X 4 Dear Jane blocks
  • X start a Leader & Ender project
  • + 3 hot pads
  • + 3 dish towels
  • + mini ironing table
  • + Week 1 Scrappy Stars QAL

I'm pretty happy with my progress so far this year.  I haven't always completed all of my goals, but I am making progress. So I haven't always stuck with the idea of nothing but UFO's but anything new I have started, I have finished -- so no new UFO's are being created! That's progress!

Five Grandmother's Choice Blocks

This week's Grandmother's Choice BOW is Star of Hope


Finish ANY Quilt

Okay, so it's not a big quilt, but it is finished.  

Sampler Pillows


4 Dear Jane Blocks

I actually did many more than four.  I don't know if I took photos of all of them or not.





Start a Leader and Ender Project

I've had this bowtie quilt cut and ready to go for years.  It's about time I started stitching it together. I'm pretty sure I have a few more blocks than this finished.

3 Hot Pads and 3 Dish Towels from the Zakka 2.0 SAL

I only took a photo of 2 of the hot pads, but I did make three.  I gave the tri-coloured one to one of our admin assistants at the office.  The other two I sent out to Nova Scotia to Sailor Boy's girlfriend.  I was intending to send the dish towels out as well, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Mini Ironing Table

This has certainly changed my sewing life.  It's so much faster to make a 90 degree turn and press a seam.  It was simple and inexpensive to make.

Oh My, Scrappy Stars QAL

(no photo - yet)

I spent most of last weekend cutting the fabric for this QAL, and have started sewing the parts together.  The instructions for this were posted on Thursday.  It's a tremendous amount of work - I hope I can keep up!

I guess I can think about my July goals -- the 2nd half of 2013! -- tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Just about done!

I finished the quilting and tied in all the thread ends.  Now to add a binding and label.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with this, but I enjoyed the process of paper piecing these blocks using nothing but scraps.

I ordered some summer reading last week, and half of my order arrived today.  I read two Marie Bostwick books in the last couple of weeks, as well as a Clare O'Donahue.  Can't wait to read both series!  

Currently I'm reading:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Roomie

I talked about my distress over losing my office/room-mate of nearly two years in THIS POST.  He was supposed to start at the end of May, but because he was writing his bar exams, his start date was moved back to today.  This was okay, because it gave us time to replace Stacey's big honkin' desk with something smaller to decrease the encroachment into my space.

He's an INFANT!  A neonatal lawyer-to-be who is doing his articles with us.  My mothering instincts went into overdrive, and I did try (in vain, in some situations) to not fuss to much, spit on a kleenex to wash his face, put him over my shoulder to burp him, or lick off his afterbirth.

Here are a few things that he learned today:

1.  If the office is too cold, you should bring a parka and toque tomorrow.
2.  This file cabinet?  It's mine.  No, you can't have anything from it.
3.  There are many approaches to professional practice - but do it my way anyway. 
4.  I will dole out paper clips one at a time.
5.  Don't ask me any tech/IT questions. Call IT.  They won't do anything either, and it will take four or five days to find that out.
5. Several new swear words. gets a little cozier.  He's is also my neighbour.  His parents moved him into the apartment across the hall from us last night.  Of course, I felt it appropriate to go over in my nightgown and welcome the fetus to the building.  He wasn't there yet - - but I met his parents (mom Tracy, and grey haired guy), sister, and sister's boyfriend.  Itty Bitty came with me.


ME: They seemed nice.
HE: yeah - nice family!
ME: You know what?  Tracy's son is a lawyer.
HE: (blank glare)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Quilt Themed Fiction and Machine Quilting

I've been doing lots of Quilt Themed Fiction reading lately - three in one week, and I've started on my fourth.  I would recommend any of these:

And after hearing so much about this book on podcasts over the last month or two, I started reading this:

I did get my quilt basted yesterday, and started quilting it last night.  I had everything required - quilt, sewing machine, iPod loaded up with podcasts, and wine coolers.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Some Sunday Stash and Slow Sunday Stitching

Okay - there was some serious stash enhancement this week.  After all - there was a big sale on at The Greenwood Quiltery. I snuck in there on Tuesday, looking for a little linen, and left with a rather large bag.  But, I also found a great thrifty find on Friday!

I needed pink and green thread for my B.L,D towels, so my plan was to check a couple of thrift stores which are on the way to the Lens Mills store, and see if I could score some cheap thread. I had a coupon for 30% off thread that I printed from the Lens Mills website, so I was willing to go with "new" thread, but because I only needed a little, know how cheap I am.

First stop was St. Vincent de Paul store.  Some quilter has made a significant donation here, because I've been scoring quilty stuff every time I visit.  This time was a brand new table runner kit.

You can see that the Copyright on the fabrics is 2013 - and all six of the fabrics are from a collection called "Neutral Love" from  The kit is not on the website (I had to know what the retail price is!) but I still think I got a great deal for $5.

But no thread.  So next stop was the BFM, where I did find two sandwich baggies full of threads - pink AND green - and a 1/2 yard of a white on cream print - a neutral always finds a home in my stash, and a couple of hard cover quilting books. 

I was up at the crack of dawn this morning and immediately sat down with my morning coffee and some Slow Sunday Stitching.  I stitched the centre appliques in this Dear Jane block:
Linking to Kathy's Quilts

The stars are appliqued as two separate pieces.  Thank goodness for "That Quilt" or I'd never figure out how to have made this block.

Yesterday was a good Dear Jane day.  Here are two more blocks I finished:

I'm very happy with how Starburst came out. The points are as perfect as I am likely to ever get!

....which sort of makes up for Papa's Star.  I was dreading this block (likely why I left it to almost the very end)! At least two if not three of the star points are going to get snipped off when I add the sashing.  But it's good enough for me.

No big plans for Fathers Day here - we walked down to a neighbourhood restaurant this morning and treated Hubby to brunch.  Now we are ready for a nap. 

I did warn Itty Bitty that he was helping me baste a quilt today.  I've accomplished all of my goals for June (with the exception of the next two BOW's from Grandmother's Choice). So I'm gonna DO it!  I am going to finish a quilt!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Couple of Grandmother's Choice Blocks

I can't believe I'm keeping up with this BOW!  

This week's block is Cats & Mice 

Last week's block is Contrary Wife

Zakka 2.0 Week 2: B, D, L towels

Because I used these great patterned linens by Parson Gray, I chose not to put binding on my interpretation of this week's project.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Finish - another UFO Bites the Dust!

A partner for this pillow:

The House by the Side of the Road

by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)
There are hermit
souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Let me live in a house
by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I see from my house
by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears-
Both parts of an infinite plan;-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
I know there are brook-gladdened
meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.
Let me live in my
house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lost my Linen Virginity!

I went shopping for linen the other day, in order to make this week's Zakka 2.0 project: B, L, D towels.  I came across a new product I'd never even heard of: Parson Gray World Tour Utility Linen.   I chose three of the available prints, and have already got the breakfast towel 90% finished.  

I tried using my rolled hem foot to hem the linen - I decided I didn't want to use cotton binding as shown in the book instructions.  Yeah - that didn't work.  I ended up having to cut the end off of my first trial - it was a big stretched out mess.  

If you visit the Parson Gray website - you must check out the Skullduggery Quilt Pattern!

 I totally stole this image from this link.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I made a thing!

I've had this project, with a great tutorial pinned on my Pinterest board for some time, and been on the look-out for an inexpensive table so I could have one just like it!  

On Saturday, Hubby and I went out to Shedden, ON for "Rosy Rhubarb Days"--an annual event we look forward to--and I announced before we embarked on the village-wide yard sales: "All I'm looking for is a foldy tabley thingy, and a Stevie Wonder CD."  (I have very specific desires).

Well, no CD, but I did find a table for $3.  I had some old polished cotton in my stash, scraps of quilt batting (I bought a chunk at a yard sale the same day for a dime!) and between the three of us - - Hubby, Itty Bitty, and me - - we successfully created a small pressing table!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Think I'm Pretty Clever...

This week's Zakka 2.0 challenge is Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Towels.  That meant a LOT of tracing onto the Heat n' Bond.  I had photocopied the applique patterns from the book, because the letters had to be enlarged a bit.  So I used spray adhesive to stick the copy paper right to the paper of the Heat N' Bond.  Yeah, I think I'm kinda clever. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zakka 2.0 Sew Along

A package arrived yesterday with a copy of Patchwork, Please!  by Ayumi Takahashi, so I am all ready to hop on board the Zakka 2.0 Sew Along!

Penny at Sew Take a Hike posted the first project.  In the book, the bell peppers are shown as coasters, but Penny blew up the pattern by 180% to make a potholder, and so did I.  It was a fast and fun project.

I chose the green stripe first, and then chose the yellow and red to match the colours in the striped fabric.  Penny used a piece of Moda twill tape for her stems, I just used a strap of brown checked fabric.

I liked the red print so well, I had to use the other matching fabrics that went with it to make a second pot holder.  I like these fabrics because they look so much like kitchen linens.

I used Insul-Brite batting for the overall potholder, but used a scrap of thin cotton batting for the centre patch.

Here's the back of the potholders.  I made sure the back of the centre patch matched the backing fabric so there was no noticeable change, making the backs look a little more...I don't know...consistent?