Thursday, 26 January 2012

Robots and Rainbows

Okay, so, I'm in a but of a lull in terms of sewing.  Well, maybe it's a lull in actual project completion!  Instead of sewing the past few nights, I  1) sat down with my hubby and watched a movie (which was wonderful), 2) doodled out a robot on graph paper to see if I can paper piece one for the back of Elliott's quilt:

and 3) went to my first ever sewing class last night.  This has left little to no room for actual project completion of any sort! 

On a happy note. 

I wanted to share some lovely fabric that I got in the mail last week - it's from the Far Far Away III collection by Heather Ross and has been out for a while (though I just stumbled upon it recently due to my 'newness' to fabric shopping)! All I have to say, is 'Guitars in Pink'

The fabric is partial linen and the feel of it is wonderful. I generally buy quilting cotton, as most of my time is spent on actual quilting, but after making the penguin backpack I knew that I needed some other types of fabric to explore creativity options! The problem is, I just don't want this material to get dirty, so I'm not sure what to use it for (like making a kids bag is out of the question)! :)

There are still some shops that have this material and others in the collection available, like Bloomerie, but I think it's getting scarce! 

On a happier note.

I was able to finish this 34x34 section of the back of Elliott's quilt.  I still have a long way to go with more scrappy sewing, but it's coming along!


On an even happier note.
I stumbled upon this wonderful reminder in Arlyn's room this morning.

I love little reminders like this. 
I hope you're all having a rainbow filled day...and if you're not, one must be on its way!


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Elliott's Quilt - the Top!

Elliott's quilt top is completed!  What it lacks in detailed design, it definitely makes up for in size :)  My previous quilts (found here and here) were both baby quilts, so it was much different sewing such a big quilt (it will fit a double/queen bed when complete)...and I can imagine how much more time consuming it will be to actually quilt this puppy! 
Quilt blocks sewn together!
That said, I'm a little torn. Initially I was thinking that I would straightline quilt just on either side of the seams to end up with a modern looking finished product. But now seeing in person how big the triangles are, I think that it would be missing something. Maybe I should straight line quilt every inch or so to add some detail? Or free motion quilt? Any ideas? Well, I have some time to decide - I still have to find material for the back and also find batting on sale - it's CRAZY how pricey that batting is!   Oh, and I never ended up getting that material I was waiting for...looks like and email to that Etsy seller is needed! :)

To update you on those cute little sewing machine ATE one and the button holer kinda messed up another.  Can you tell that I don't want to take the blame for my ineptitude? !  :)  My idea was to make button holes on either side of a two sided heart and string the hearts on ribbon, like garland.  Here's the first one that turned out (kind of...)
And now you all know I have yellow-orange panelling in my basement...
Despite the setback of ruining the first two, I decided to continue with these hearts.  After figuring out how to use the button holer on my machine I'm ahead of the game (or the machine, at least)! 

Here's the finished product! Just a little gaffer - I think I might continue with the length this evening!
Ignore the blue one that I threaded backwards! :)

I'm starting to get really excited for Valentine's day; I love special celebrations, and Valentine's day is one of my favourites!  My mom always made delicious V-day cookies that I now make for my kids (and husband, of course).  This string of hearts has put me in the mood for heart cookies!  :)
Well, that's all for today!  I've been a little sad that I haven't been able to update my blog as much as I had hoped...but I've been loving all of the encouragement and support!  Now GO, get your craft on! 


Monday, 16 January 2012

Hearts and Other Parts

Because I was away for the weekend (back home, celebrating my 30th...AHHH!) I didn't get ANYTHING sewing-related completed.  But I had a wonderful weekend with some close friends and family!  When I returned on Sunday evening I wasn't planning on diving into any craftiness but after 'retreating' to my bedroom I came back downstairs to get something (now I can't even remember what it was) and saw some fabric.  And then I thought of Valentine's day.  And then some ideas went whirling around in my head.  I cut out a couple of these hearts and have a great idea in mind!  So, you'll have to some back to see what these turn into...

I'll be scrounging through these bins to see what other wonderful fabric has been lost in the madness.  I'm coming for you pre-hearts! 

Elliott's quilt is gloriously on it's way...I'm so happy I decided on such a simple design!

The bad news? I'm still waiting on fabric. Yep, still! One print is still on it's way and I can't continue without it! Ah well, it will give me time to start and finish something else...tonight (perhaps those little hearts)!

I have to let you know.  I've registered for Sewing 101 at the local college!   I'm thinking long-term here...I'd really like to eventually get into pattern making (for fun), and in order to take those courses I have to have the pre-requisites under my belt.  I think that parts of the course will be quite easy peasy for me, but I don't have a lot of experience at sewing clothing and using patterns, so this should be interesting!  And, I'll be able to hopefully hone my zipper-installing skills!  :)  I received my sewing machine as a birthday present last year from my Husband, and really started using it in this past September.  I've been able to learn how to quilt by reading books and articles, etc., and I've been enjoy it so much!   But right now I think that I want to expand my sewing repertoire and see where it leads. I think eventually I'd like to focus on one main area, but for now, I'm going to explore all my sewing options!  Plus, being new to the area AND a stay-at-home mom, I'm still in need of some social outlets.  :)

Hoping today was a great start to the week!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Elliott's Quilt

So, one of my goals this year is to make both of my kids a quilt, and I'm happy to say that Elliott's is already on its way!  I was able to order the fabric before the New Year and the bundle arrived safely into my hands two days ago...
I've decided to go with a robot theme - Elliott is four and LOVES video games and everything of the sort.  The above photo is thirteen of the fifteen prints that will be included in the quilt front - I was hoping that the colours would be bright, and I think that's been accomplished with these prints!  My favourite print, by far, is the Soulful Strip in White from the Soul Garden collection by Carolyn Gavin.  I want more of this collection (especially this print)!

I've managed to cut the prints into 10" squares that will eventually be matched with the Free Spirit solid in Slate Gray to make a two-triangle block.  This quilt is going to be simple...yay! 

I'm just hoping that I can get most of it done before Curves Class starts on February 1st!    Check out Rachel over at Stiched in Color...she is seriously amazing and will be hosting an online class all about sewing curves.  I'm definitely should join me in taking the's relatively inexpensive and Rachel's work is beautiful!
Well, that's it for today, folks.  I'll post more photos soon of the quilt progress.  Because the blocks are simple and the design isn't difficult, it truly shouldn't take to long!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Before I Go On...

Before I go on with my posts, I thought that I might share a little bit more about myself so that those who don't know me personally can get a feel for who I am (look out)!

This is my family.  They are the loves of my life.  I find that there is a delicate balance between spending time with them, on my house, by myself and crafting.  Now, as important as these little gems and this big gem are to me, I know that sewing is an outlet for me that helps me be a better mom and wife.  That is why I take the time to create.

Dave and Elliott on Christmas morning!
One thing that you might not know about me is that crafting doesn't always come easy to me.  I often feel stuck when it comes to starting something new or making something up on my own. When I look around at others' work and see what they've done I often think to myself - 'oh, I wish that I was that good!'  I often feel limited by my vision, my skills, and my time.  And then I tell myself, "Karina, suck it up"! :)  I'm learning that comparing myself to others is completely ineffective.  I'm learning to use others' work and ideas as a catalyst for encouragement to get better! 

A few more things.  I love's like this new-found love that has always been there but never really appreciated until now!  I could spend HOURS just shopping around, trying to decide what I want to use for an upcoming project!  The horrible part about it is that I can't sleep at night because I'm thinking about fabric.  Seriously.

I love a good cup of coffee.  And sweets.  And most any food that anyone is willing to make for me (because it always tastes better when you don't have to make it yourself)! 

And just to reinforce why I started this blog - I love to sew and create.  It truly brings out the best in me...and I want to encourage others to get started on something they love to do!  DO IT!  Jump right in!  You know you want to. 

Monday, 9 January 2012


Here's the truth: I've found it so very difficult to get back on the sewing horse since Christmas!  It's not that I haven't wanted to sew, but I just couldn't decide what project to start next!  I've been dying (er..., maybe a slight exaggeration) to start another quilt, and I've ordered some lovely fabric from Hawthorne Threads for said quilt, but anticipating it's arrival has proven to be too much to bare while not being preoccupied with another project.  I have been excitedly waiting for the material to arrive, but I needed to make something while waiting....and waiting (it's amazing how long a week feels when fabric it on it's way)!
In walks Mr. Miss Penguin.  Remember that adorable Oliver + S book that my sister got me for Christmas?  Well, I chose a little project out of there to keep me busy the past few evenings.  And she turned out just perfect!

The original had a blue pocket at the front, but since I was making this for Arlyn, I decided on a delightful pink print and added the bow for a little girly flare!

Side view.

The book gave step-by-step instruction on EVERYTHING...which was especially needed for the zipper.  I haven't had a lot of experience with zippers, but the directions were very clear and it actually worked!  :) 

View from the back.
The straps were simple and they're adjustable...perfect for the growing baby/toddler/preschooler.

Note that she's trying to take it off...
Arlyn loves to look at her new back pack, but is not too keen on wearing it....yet.  I'm sure when she realises that she can carry around all of her 'stuff' in it she's going to bring it everywhere (and yes, I am an idealist).  :)
Crossing my fingers that I'm going to get my fabric tomorrow - to be honest, I actually have three different packages I'm waiting on: two small and one hefty.  Bah!  I can't wait any longer!!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Paper Piecing...Oh Ya!

Okay, so the other day I was wondering around (online, of course), and peeking at a sewing/quilting technique called paper piecing. If you're unfamiliar with the technique, basically it involves sewing fabric to is extremely helpful when trying to sew together intricate or small pieces that are likely to stretch when sewed.  Basically, paper piecing helps the sewer create virtually perfect blocks every time!

Then, when I was rocking Arlyn last night (okay, so I was day dreaming), I thought that I might like to try paper piecing Arlyn's name together and hanging it up in her room somewhere. I sketched out some little templates this afternoon while Arlyn slept and started my mock-up tonight!  And oh boy, it turned out wonderful (in my humble opinion)!
Completed 'A' mock-up!

I didn't want to use my 'good' fabric, just in case my design wasn't quite right, but these fabrics still look cute...I just love the yellow print!   Here's a few pics that I took of the process tonight, in case you're interested! 
Sewing on top of design with piece one and two behind.
Back of paper with pieces one and two sewn together
Seams opened and pressed...the start of something good!

Paper held up to light so I can see what I'm doing!  :)
Done with the sewing, now for the trimming!

The finished product (for now, at least)!
 Now for the rest of the letters...more to come!  Oh, and if you have any ideas of what I should do with this little lonely, 'A', leave me a comment and let me know! 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

SPOILED...and ready for 2012!

I am so excited to share with you all the wonderful gifts I was SPOILED with this Christmas!  Wow.  I am utterly blown away by my family's generosity and also with how well they know me :).  I feel so loved!  I feel a bit like I'm bragging right now...but look what I get to start this new year out with!

I have already ordered material to start Elliott's quilt and will be using a pattern from Little Bits Quilting Bee that I got from my husband on Christmas morning. The inside of this book is filled with delicious looking quilts, all created from charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes and fat quarters.

And looky here!

This Oliver + S book is so adorable I can hardly look at it without getting giddy!  There are so many cute projects inside that will work for Arlyn (15 months) and Elliott (4 years)...I'm so grateful that the sizes and patterns in the book span from infant to size 10.  Wonderful!  Thanks to my sister, Sarah for thinking of me while walking through the book store (and of course, to Liesl Gibson who designed these little gems).  :) 

Oh, and what could this little box be holding inside? 

When my sister Heidi was in New York this past fall she picked up some beautiful fabric with me in mind!  She selected two prints from the Storyboek line by Birch Fabrics that just radiate adorable.  I'm still deciding what to make with these prints, but I'm sure that I'll have more than enough ideas from the above resources!

And if I haven't mentioned enough books already, I'll now fill up my book mention quota!  My mother-in-law picked up this great little book called Pocket Posh Tips for Quilters which is filled with just that!  I think I'll keep this puppy right next to my machine!

All gifts aside, this Christmas was simply wonderful.  Having moved away from family this past August, any time we are able to spend with our parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. is such a great blessing.  At the end of the festivities it feels good to come home to Bowmanville filled up and ready for the year ahead.  And, it doesn`t hurt that the above goodies plus a new walking foot for my sewing machine (thanks Nana!), a gift certificate for Hawthorne Threads (thanks Mom!) and a new quilting magazine (thanks Melinda!) were all saying, `go home and use me`!  :) 

Family and friends, I am blessed to have you in my life; wishing you all an incredible 2012!