Saturday, 31 December 2011

Give, Give, Give!

I LOVE giving things away.  I just love it!  So, I'm sure you can guess that Christmas is my most favourite time of year!  Before I show off some of the wonderful things that I received for Christmas, I thought that I would share some of the things that I had the pleasure of giving away this season. 

Mug Rugs.  I made up four mug rugs: two for my little sister and two for my sister in law.  Here's a sample of them!

All four of the mug rugs were made from the lovely Echo collection by Lotta Jansdotter that I posted about earlier this month.  I truly loved working with these beautiful prints and found them to be so inspiring!

Bags.  I gifted a number of bags this Christmas and they were each received very well by the little ones who opened them up!  I posted earlier about the Nature Explorer Bag tutorial I used to make this great car bag for my nephew...well, I made a robot themed one for my son, Elliott, and a guitar themed one for my nephew, Jack!
Car themed bag for Nate
Robot themed bag for Elliott

The next bag (tutorial here) was actually one that I thought I would be making for all of my nieces and nephews, but it turned out a little tinier than I had anticipated (probably due to me not reading about the final size)!  It is super adorable and I gave it away as a purse to my four-year-old niece, Kaitlyn (who immediately filled it with her new fairy figurine, mini horses and Zoobles...).

Kaitlyn and her bag

You probably remember the quilt that I made for my Sister's baby who is arriving in two (or so) weeks!

And, last but not least, I made these very cute fabric letter magnets that I saw at Chez Beeper Bebe.

Phew.  Wow.  I think I may  have to turn down the 'let's make everyone something for Christmas' dial next year.  It's a very good thing that I started in September...I was sewing the binding onto the mug rugs on the way to our family Christmas!  :)

I hope that you all had a beautiful Christmas and that your holiday season has been full of family, friends, reflection and crafting.  I wish you a New Year that is full of health and blessings!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Quilt Number ONE!

So, I finished my very first quilt way back in October, but since it was a Christmas gift for one of my sisters, I had to wait to post the finished product (and also tried to keep my mouth shout about it...that was difficult)!  She's having her second baby boy in a few weeks and I hope this quilt will make him feel welcome...though, I guess it's a little big right now.  :)

Here it is!

I selected all the fabrics online from Hawthorne Threads and (as usual) fell in love when they arrived in my mailbox! 

The back:
I used my good old (okay, it's not that old) Kenmore sewing machine to free-motion quilt this puppy and It turned out great!   I did have numerous run-ins with my bobbin thread that would snap every few seconds, but once that was under control it only took a few hours to quilt.  Thus, my love of quilting had begun!  Thanks to Elizabeth Harthman's book The Practical Guide to Patchwork for the pattern and inspiration!

Click here to see my second quilt!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Merry Christmas to Me!

Looky, looky what I got in the mail yesterday!  I wish I didn't have to spend money to get stuff like this in the mail, but it's so worth it!  When I order fabric online I usually can hardly bare the anticipation...and then when I get the package it's so hard to decide what project I want to use the beautiful fabric for.  I always have something in mind when I order the fabric, but in the week that it takes for the fabric to be shipped my way, I never fail to come across a few other ideas that each would be wonderful for! 
How great do these look on my couch?!
 Yesterday's package was filled with gems! Above are a selection of fabrics from the Echo Collection from Lotta Jansdotter. From left to right: Spring Buds in Espresso, Woven in Navy, Small Spring Buds in Mustard, Standing Stones in Heather, and Pebble Stripe in Grey. 
And then there are these prints from the Lamour de la Vie collection from Hoodie (Aux Champs Elysees in Pink, Bicyclette in White, Paris in White):

I bought these oh-so-cute Children at Play fabrics to make a little summer dress for Arlyn:

And last but not least...

Fish in the Sea in Navy by Hoodie from the Catch of the Day collection! And I LOVE how this print pairs perfectly with the Woven in Navy 1/2 yard I got from the Echo collection! 
I'm having idea overload right now...can't wait to get started on some new creations (some of which I'm sure will become Christmas presents...speaking of which, I better get started)!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Quilt Number Two...

Okay, so I know that there is no post on my blog called 'Quilt Number One,' but you'll understand why I posted this one first in a few weeks!  I have a friend who is having a baby (and I'm not telling who it is in case she is reading this!), but again, in keeping with my inability to keep gifts a surprise, I just had to post photos of the quilt I made for her baby!  Here it is!

The quilt was made mainly from scraps that I had from previous projects, and I think that the colours look pretty good together considering the only thing I bought for this project was the white sashing.  I had originally cut some 5" squares into triangle quarters for a project that I was starting but ended up kiboshing it because it didn't look quite right.  So, instead of the 'easy' formation of pinwheels (like found here), I pieced all of the triangles individually.  This took much time, and I admit, I almost gave up (pinwheels are not my favourite right now). :)  I also didn't use any sort of pattern, so I had to change a few things along the way which added to the project time.  But, now that it's finally complete I can tell you that it was worth the effort!  Now for some more pics (sorry they're a bit wonky...I really need to work on my photography skills)!


I used a meandering stitch to machine quilt the entire piece...I think that using a walking foot and quilting with straight lines would have been beautiful as well, but I don't have a walking foot yet (I really need to get me one of those)!  Here's a close up of the meandering stitch:

I'm thrilled to be able to wrap this one up...look out, it might be coming your way!  

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Curtains for Arlyn

We moved into our new (to us) place in early August, and I finally was able to make some curtains for Arlyn!  I knew when I saw this fabric that it would be perfect for her room...

I decided to make the curtains a little more 'frilly' than my usual style; my work tends to turn out more masculine than I'm usually trying for, so I purposefully added a tiny but of girly.

(Ooooh!  And that's the adorable hanging light I picked up for $14.99!) 

Her room is still in need of some TLC (I'd love to replace the blinds and carpet) but I think that curtains are a major improvement!

Some of Arlyn's minions!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sneak Peek Before Christmas!

I've been working like a MADWOMAN on some Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews and I just can't wait until after Christmas to share them!   The tutorial came from one of my favourite blogs: Chez Beeper Bebe - the Nature Explorer Bag.  I had a few minutes to take a few pics of the one bag that I made this week...I am seriously in love with these little bags!
I first saw this Cars in Lime fabric by Michael Miller in this Kid's Messenger Bag tutorial at Zaaberry, and knew that I wanted to make something out of it for my Nephew, Nate!

The tutorial included a D-ring closure at the front, but I decided to leave the bag without the D-ring closure to ensure easy access to the bag and its contents for my nephew.  The accordion pockets at the front were a little difficult to make at first, but nothing that a few pins couldn't help with!  I have one other completed and another one in the works...I am so excited for Christmas! 

Friday, 9 December 2011


We need stockings.  When Dave and I first married we bought two of the most hideous stockings I've ever was so close to Christmas that there were only a few left in the stores...and none of them were suitable!  I decided on blue stockings that had an AWFUL pink/purple cuff on them, which I brought home and immediately covered with white felt.  It was a okay solution in these dire circumstances, but enough is enough!  While out thrifting last week I came across this beautiful sweater...
The beading adds so much beauty and the buttons are great!  Straight away I thought of how nice it would be to have stockings that look at beautiful as this, so I bought the sweater (with the not so hefty price tag of $5.99) and brought that baby home!  Fifteen minutes of pinning and sewing today and here is the finished result!
And, even though one of those beautiful beads cost me one of my sewing machine needles, I'm completely satisfied with the outcome!  Now to find three more sweaters...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Naked Spool...

The Naked Spool has been born out of the many reasons I end up with spools gone bare:  Quilting. Crafting.  A need just to feel like I've created something today.  A sewing machine that likes to eat up thread.  Kids who love to find the end of the thread and watch the spool roll along the floor... 

I've created this blog mostly for myself, to help document my creative adventures, but also for my husband (poor soul), who tirelessly listens to in-depth analysis of my sewing experiments that have or have not gone haywire!  I hope to encourage others to follow their passions, even if they haven't quite mastered them yet (or have not yet figured out what they are)!  Take a look at my About Karina page to find out a little more about me!  Thanks for stopping in :)