Tuesday, 31 December 2013

December 2013 - month in review

How have twelve months passed so quickly?  I've never known a year to evaporate as quickly as 2013 has.  So, what did I make in December?  Here is my mosaic:

My absolute favourite item that I made has to be 'Noel Bunny'.  This is such a whimsical and primitive way to sew and I love the results.  I loved meeting Julie Arkell too - she is just so darn cute!  

I also really love the two pouches I made on Boxing Day as well (my first time using a metal-teeth zipper):

I can't believe December is done and we are now moving into a new year.  I welcome 2014 with open arms and hope it is a happy and productive year for all of us!

Thank you to everyone who has commented and visited my blog this year - you make me smile and I appreciate your kindness and friendship!

Happy New Year!

Linking to Fresh Sewing Day

Friday, 27 December 2013

Needlebook swap - sent and received

The London Modern Quilt Guild and the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild swapped needlebooks at our December meetings.  It was so much fun to open up the wrapped pressies that had been lovingly and creatively made, and then posted across the ocean!  I made two - one wonky neon triangles with circular hand stitches and a heart button and the other a spool of thread in raw edge applique with a vintage button:

...and received two in return.  The first was made by Stacey using all selvages and with great pockets inside (so clever) and the other a petite needlebook using all Tula Pink fabrics made by Cheryl.  This one will be a nice reminder of meeting Tula in 2013!  Thank you both for participating in this swap and thank you for your needlebooks!  

Also, a big thank you to Krista and Shevvy for organising - it was a lot of fun to see all the different needlebooks!

 The Modern Quilt Guild

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Last bit of sewing for 2013

A few months ago I won one of the prizes in the Q3 FAL linky.  Quilter in the Gap (Rhonda) sent me a mystery prize and I have finally made a zippy pouch with them - cute eh?  As soon as I saw the owls I knew they had to become a Noodlehead Open Wide pouch with the cream cotton/linen on the bottom!  I forgot to take a picture of the dotty fabric used for the lining but I am really pleased how it turned out.  Thanks Rhonda!  I even experimented with some of my 'fancy' stitches on my sewing machine using some Aurifil 40 weight in 1103 - yum!  

I have decided to participate in a Fabric Fast in 2014 so last week I went through my stash to take a visual 'stock' of what I had and re-discovered a fq of Sock Monkey fabric so it too became an Open Wide pouch.  This was my first time using a metal-teeth zip and I only broke one needle!

I tried out a running diamond stitch and it turned out ok on the brown itty-bitty dot fabric.  My zip was too short really for the size of pouch I made so I had real troubles sewing on a tab at the end but I eventually got there!

All in all I am happy to report I have two projects completed using just 'stash' fabrics, zips and wadding which makes me feel [slightly] less guilty about the Boxing Day sale fabric I bought late last night!  Hey - don't judge: it is still 2013 and the fasting starts January 1st 2014.  I still have a few days!!  ;)


A huge thank you to Emily (of Millicent Crow) who drew my name in her Christmas giveaway.  I was the lucky recipient of a piece of her art, a badge and a brooch (picture from Millicent Crow blog).  I shall have the print framed and it will look great in my kitchen!


Thank you also to Monica of Diary of a Quilt Maven for sending me this amazing parcel (picture from her blog) - you made my day when it arrived before Christmas!!  Thank you so much!  Woohoo - I have an aqua coloured Olfa now! 


I would also like to thank Andi of Patch Andi for sending me a pattern of a pixel Santa!!  This should be a fun quilt to make!  Emily of The Caffeinated Quilter designed a great festive quilt called Colossal Peppermints - thank you for sending that to me - I love the holidays so this will also be a fab quilt to make! 

Wishing you all a very happy last few minutes of Boxing day! 
Linking to:


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Santa must have forgotten that Jax wasn't necessarily a good boy the WHOLE year because Jax was given a squeaky toy this morning:

Jax also had a parcel full of yummy things to unwrap.  He decided that he would take the parcel away from us (we might steal it you know) and he promptly buried it in the garden.  What a hound!!  Here he is 'sneaking' off with it:

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. xx

Monday, 23 December 2013

Fabric Fast 2014 goals

I've decided I need to have a 'fabric intervention' with myself.  I have to STOP hoarding and START sewing with what I already have!  Therefore, I am going to join in with Fabriholics Anonymous!


Hello my name is Amy and I am a Fabriholic!  The 12-step Fabric Fast program is outlined over at Making Rebecca Lynn so go check it out (or Jess's link at the top of this post)!!  Here is a picture of my stash:

- To use the stash I already have (to make quilts and other things)
- Aim to finish UFOs and PHDs BEFORE starting something new
- Stop buying the latest and greatest fabric and save money!!  
- Only buy what I need in order to complete specific projects/commissions
- De-stash the fabrics that I realise I am never going to use
- Make a list of all projects that have been started and work through them!

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014 [exceptions listed below]  
2) At the 6-month mark [July 1, 2014], re-evaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year
3) Create a UFO/PHD list and really try hard to complete them
4) Exceptions and allowances:
~ I can buy solids to assist in completing a project
~ I can buy wadding and fusible fleece
~ I can buy yardage to make a quilt back/bag linings
~ I can use my remaining fabric gift certificates to buy fabric
~ I can still receive my stash club fabrics (currently in two stash clubs) which I have already paid for
~ I can still receive the magazine subscription I have already paid for
~ I can purchase necessary notions (thread, zippers, needles etc.) as and when needed
~ I can participate in swaps and bees

I think that covers it!!  Fairly reasonable right?!!  I have wanted to 'control' my fabric hoarding for a while now but haven't had the willpower.  Hopefully by joining in with other people doing the same thing will keep me focused!  The money I save can go towards the something I hope to reward myself with that I am saving for!

Happy hoarding stash busting!!

Saturday, 14 December 2013


The Le Challenge theme was "Precious" and I have made a little something that is definitely precious to me!  Her name is "Noel Bunny" since she is all dressed up in wintry clothes and carries a heart and a snowflake.  She wears her favourite snowman print long sleeve top and has a lace belt that looks like icicles! 

I made Noel Bunny last Sunday at a fantastic brooch making workshop with Julie Arkell!  I spent some quite a few of my hard-earned pennies on that workshop but it was totally worth it because it was JULIE ARKELL - someone whose works I adore and admire!  Julie is so sweet, does not have a blog or website but is all over the web.  Do look her up and you will see how amazing her creations are!   

Her real pocket is stitched with silver floss

This primitive, naive and whimsical style of sewing suits me perfectly!  100% hand stitched, this little bunny has french knot eyes, a working pocket for her hand to keep warm in, and some wool felt boots with dotty stockings!  I love the hand sewing part - stitches to get it stitched instead of all perfect and pretty - that's my kind of sewing.  This all adds character to the figure.  I hope to make her a friend soon. 

Noel Bunny carries a heart and a snowflake

I also made a snowman brooch (oh how I LOVE snowmen!!!). 

Though I have followed the Le Challenge since its inception, this is my first time linking up.  Happy Saturday to you all!

Le Challenge

TWO Giveaway Day winners!

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered my two 'Sew Mama Sew' linked giveaways over this past week.  I tried to reply to as many as I could but I just ran out of time!  So many funny jokes were listed - I will share two of my favourites at the bottom of the blog post!   And as for favourite notion - people love their seam rippers, rotary cutters and thread.  I agree, agree and agree!! 

The winner of the SUPPLIES [Giveaway #1] is:

Sarah, whose joke was courtesy of her 6 year old: 
What do you call an eskimo's house with no toilet?  

An Ig

The winner of the HANDMADE ITEM (the Christmasy striped fabric lined drawstring gift bag which will be packed full of surprises) [Giveaway #2] is:

Joanne who said: Sharp pIns, but yet I can never find enough in this house. 
My husbands bare feet seem to find them easily enough though!  Thanks so much 
for the chance of a second brilliant giveaway! 

I have just emailed the winners and I will update the original giveaway blog posts as well.  Well done to you both and once again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who entered [and particularly to those who follow my crazy ramblings of what shenanigans I get up to!]! 

Ok, here are my favourite jokes from the comments:

What do you call a cow with no legs?
 Ground beef!

I don't have any sewing jokes for you - I ran out of material!!!

What is brown and sticky?
A stick!

Yes, these made me laugh!  Those who know me KNOW that I cannot tell a joke to save myself, nor do I 'get' jokes very often ... but now I have a whole list of 'funny' (which is debatable!!) jokes to tell unsuspecting people!  Thanks for all your help everyone!!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Making Christmas - Week 9 or is it 10

Here I am for my Week 9 (possibly 10) update - I am having so much fun!! 

Christmas 2013 TO-MAKE list:
1.  Tissue holders
2.  Hanging tea towels - COMPLETE
3.  Drawstring bag - COMPLETE (but here is another and is part of my giveaway)
Enter my giveaway to win this gift bag FULL of 'schtuff' - ends on Dec 13
4.  Pom pom snowman ornament
5.  Paper pieced robin - COMPLETE
6.  Felt ornaments - COMPLETE
7.  And Sew On blocks into project(s)
8.  Robin in Wreath paper piecing project
9.  Infinity scarf in voile
10.  Christmas wine bag - COMPLETE

11.  Toothbrush travel wrap - COMPLETE
12.  Tea holder pouches
13.  Pot holders
14.  Recycled Christmas Card boxes
15.  Tea towel - COMPLETE
16.  Bibs - COMPLETE
17.  Dog bandana [added]
18.  Brooches [added] 

Linking to Charm About You this week (I think!!)

Monday, 9 December 2013

GIVEAWAY DAY - Giveaway #2 handmade item

GIVEAWAY CLOSED ~ Joanne is the winner!

Welcome to Giveaway Day!!!

Giveaway Day

I have two giveaways for Giveaway Day!

You are currently on my HANDMADE ITEM giveaway [Giveaway 2]
Click HERE for my SUPPLIES giveaway [Giveaway #1]

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you like what I have made for you!  Even if you don't like the handmade item, this giveaway will also contain a few SURPRISES so enter anyways and be surprised by what I send!!  Mystery parcels are always fun!   Here is a picture of my 'handmade item':

This lined drawstring gift bag will be full of things for you to discover!  Want to enter?  Great!  Here are the details:
  • Leave a comment on this post - any comment will do but maybe tell me your favourite notion (hint hint in case you win).
  • Open internationally - yay!
  • Second entry if you are a follower - woohoo!
  • Wordpress people -- please leave an email address as you are often 'no-reply' bloggers.
  • Draw will close on Friday December 13th and the winner will be emailed and announced soon after.
Good luck and enjoy blog hopping   !!

P.S.  Please feel free to enter my SUPPLIES giveaway and be sure to stop by Sew Mama Sew for the list of participating bloggers!

GIVEAWAY DAY - Giveaway #1 supplies

GIVEAWAY CLOSED ~ Sarah is the winner!

Welcome to Giveaway Day!!!

Giveaway Day

I have two giveaways for Giveaway Day!

You are currently on the SUPPLIES giveaway [Giveaway #1]
Click HERE for the HANDMADE ITEM giveaway [Giveaway #2]

Thank you for visiting me today!  Happy Monday to you too!  I want to have a fun giveaway and I hope you will enter!

One winner will receive: a Tula Pink 'Crown Jewels' quilt pattern, a pink seam ripper, a pink pocket mirror, a thumb/finger pincushion with three pink pins, a pack of elastic, a pack of pocket tissues, a notebook, pink hotlips sticky notes, three pink fabrics [pink mirror balls FQ, Sun Print Text in Hot Pink 22" x 5" approx, and Tanya Whelan 'Grand Revival' fabric from Free Spirit 22" x 44" approx] plus three tiny safety pin charms. Close up:

Want to enter?  Great!  I know it is a lot of pink but it is fun, right?  Here are the details:
  • Leave a comment on this post - any comment but if you are feeling funny, tell me a joke!
  • Open internationally - yay!
  • Second entry if you are a follower - woohoo!
  • Wordpress people -- please leave an email address as you are often 'no-reply' bloggers.
  • Draw will close on Friday December 13th and the winner will be emailed and announced soon after.
Good luck and enjoy blog hopping   !!

P.S.  Please feel free to enter my HANDMADE ITEM giveaway AND visit Sew Mama Sew for the list of all the other people participating today!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

What the....?

Guess I will take a rest too!!  Good night!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Month in review - November

November had a slow start but I made a list and got busy!  Once again I spent most of my time sewing several small projects.  I even sold a few things to work colleagues - yay!!  Now I have a few more pennies to go into the stash drawer bank account!  Here is my mosaic of November makes:

As you can see from my mosaic of makes, I love to make quick projects - projects that get completed!  This makes me feel happy!!  [Confession time]  I will admit that I now have 15 [fifteen] quilts on the go.  One is basted and [patiently] waiting to be quilted, I have four flimsy tops ready to baste and then quilt and the rest are in varying degrees of 'incomplete'.  Hey - don't judge me ;)  They will ALL eventually get done!

So now you know why I procrastinate and make small things - because they make me happy!  The unfinished quilts make me sad and make me feel overwhelmed!  Anyways... My two favourite November makes are the applique mouse:

...and my Henna ensemble.  I made a Headboard Topper, two embellished pillow cases and a pj pillow pouch using some of the prints from Beth Studley's new fabric line "Henna" from Makower UK (and I won her competition - yay!):

I hope you had a good month!  2013 is almost over - can you believe it?  11 months ago I had such great plans to complete the 10 WiP quilts on my list but instead I added five more - oops :)  Here is to a productive month of December sewing up quilts!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Challenge 4 Art: WINTER

The third 'Challenge 4 Art' theme is WINTER.  I knew I had to make something with snow, because when you say 'winter' to me, it means snow and all the memories and emotions attached to it!

So many memories of snow come to mind when I think of all the winters I spent in Canada as a kid.  When we were children, we would make forts in the snowbanks, build snowmen, make snow-angels.  My mother would put up a set of Styrofoam laser cut snowflakes on the big tree in the front yard and we would rescue them daily when they blew off the tree during the night!  My parents had snowmobiles and we spent many winter days out on the snow in a 'caboose' that dad built and pulled behind the Alouette.  We would catch snowflakes on our mittens and try to catch them on our tongues!  Then there were the snow days at school when we would make paper mache creations!  Tobogganing in the snow on the hill at the primary school.  Shovelling the snow off the driveway.  Wearing snow pants and having mittens on a string dangling out from the sleeves of the coat.... ahhhh - winter!

Things I love about WINTER:
The quiet of winter. 
The tranquillity, crispness, cleanliness.
The peacefulness and beauty of a fresh snowfall. 
Bright sunny days with snow glistening. 
White snow that looks blue in the shadows. 
The sensation of ice crystals forming on your eyelashes. 
The sound of the crunch when you walk on packing snow. 
The sound of the crunch when you walk on dry snow - totally different from packing snow. 
Waking to the first snow covering of the season - the thrill of it!
Being the first person to make tracks on a field of fresh snow! 
Writing your name in the snow using your boot prints!
The fresh, crisp, bracing air, inhaled deeply to make you feel alive.
Breaking icicles off the things they dripped from.

Size:  18.5" x 13.25" (it isn't really this wonky)!  Photo taken after washing and drying.

I used 8 different white, off-white and white-on-white fabrics as my background, pieced in a random, haphazard way to symbolise the way snow can fall.  I then embroidered two snowflakes using Perle and Anchor floss, including two different colours of shimmer/silver threads to help give a sparkle (like snow glistening) to the snow, plus I machine stitched three more snowflakes on the top and through one layer of wadding.

Before washing and drying.

I also made dozens of french knots to represent snow flakes in the distance!  To sandwich the three layers together, I used a fancy circular satin stitch on my machine.  Small wonky circles are dotted around the mini and could represent snowballs! 

Before washing and drying

The previous challenges have been to interpret GROWTH and BLUE.  I love these challenges - it is fun to sew to a theme and be creative and not know what the others in the group are sewing, and to finally see how they have interpreted the theme on reveal day!  I am excited to see what Ellie Q of Color My Word and Susannah of Fiberchick have made!  Claudia will be back for Challenge #4!

Satin stitch snowflake.  After washing and drying.

To read more about what 'Challenge for Art' is all about, see my posts HERE and HERE.

Linking to She Can Quilt for the 4th Quarter FAL.  Here is my original post about my goals.
 she can quilt

Sunday, 1 December 2013

HEADBOARD TOPPER and coordinating pillow cases

Image from The Village Haberdashery

Henna is a new fabric line by Beth Studley of Love from Beth.  This is Beth's first fabric line and it has been produced by Makower UK.  I was one of a few people from the London Modern Quilt Guild to accept her challenge to make something with a few pieces of this stunning fabric!

The criteria was to be creative, be unique, 'sell' the fabric, use as much of the fabric given to me as possible, be an original/my own idea and write a tutorial as well.

My idea was to make a HEADBOARD TOPPER.  I was looking for a unique way to jazz up a headboard and to inject some beautifully rich colours into the bedroom.  The Henna fabrics I was given contained a lot of purple (one of my favourite colours) so I used that as my backing and as added detail to the pillow cases.    

The headboard topper was so much fun to make!  From a rough sketch to a mock up/practise topper to seeing the completed project in situ in my bedroom is so satisfying!!  It certainly does jazz up the headboard and inject some richness to the bedroom.

Continuing with the scallop idea, I embellished a pair of crisp white pillow cases to echo the scallops on the headboard topper.  I even used some fancy stitches on my sewing machine to add a little extra detail to the purple strip on the pillow cases. 

With a few of the remaining scraps, I made a cushion cover.  However, once I put the last stitch in and turned it out, it reminded me of a zippy pouch so I decided to put my folded pyjamas in it!  It has become my 'pj pillow pouch'!!  To continue the theme of all three pieces of the 'set', I used the same stitches on the pj pillow pouch as on the pillow cases, and the same ones on the topper on this pj pillow pouch.  

I really enjoyed sewing this coordinated ensemble for my bedroom.  My purple sheets are a great solid paired with these fabrics and these projects - thank you Beth for letting me take part in your challenge and I look forward to making my bed each morning and seeing my new coordinated accessories/decorations'!

My TUTORIAL to make the Headboard topper WILL FOLLOW shortly!

Linking to TGIFF over at Quokka Quilts