Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Hundred Days Odyssey continues

I was looking back through all the photos I took of this challenge and realized, as I was going through, that a lot of life occurred between the beginning and the end of this project.  The one thing I am super grateful for through the four months this took, is that doing it as an Instagram sew-a-long challenge means that I have progress shots of every single step of the process -- from the book and the fabric selection to the final layout.  Its kind of cool.  AND, even more cool is the fact that between house-sitting, and a trip to Europe, I was able to keep pace and do the whole challenge on track.  For realz.  100 days and 100 blocks.  Let's just not focus on what has happened since the 100 days ended.  

I took a look through the archive and pulled out a couple of my favourites from the whole 100.  It was hard to choose.  Check it out:

This is one of my favourite blocks from the challenge.  I really love Alison Glass focal prints and this mustard yellow is so rich I can almost taste it.

Each block isn't a lot of intense work in and of itself but if you choose the right fabrics, there's so much going on in each.

I really like how I was able to mix collections together - both new and old  - it makes the quilt a time line of my collection.

There are some pieces in some of the blocks (like this one) that represent the last tiny scraps I have of a particular fabric in a specific colour way.
I'm not gonna lie, when the challenge was over and I looked at the collection of BRIGHT and INTENSELY saturated blocks I had made, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make a coherent quilt.  Naturally, the only solution was to create a photo-mosaic to see what I had and if it would work.  Happy to report (as you can see below) that somehow the mish-mash of intensity translates into an actual thing.  Yay!

My photo mosaic of my least 81 of them.
As I transitioned into thumb jail at the end of the summer, I took to actually laying out my blocks the way I think I want them to appear in the final quilt layout.  While the disorder above show me that it will actually work, I need a bit more structure in my life.  Perhaps a little rainbow colour order structure...

You guys!  All the heart eyes for this!
And one last thing...


These are the most sinfully delicious doughnuts I've ever had.  

Daddy O Doughnuts peeps.  Yum.  

Friday, 1 December 2017

100 Days 100 Blocks challenge 2017

Alright, so not so much blogging happened in the last little (okay long) while.  Because Instagram is so... instant! I can get on Instagram anywhere and blogging requires me sitting with my laptop. 

But - there was craploads of sewing!  And there's no better time than the time you're in thumb jail to catch up.  I bring you the first instalment of my 100 Days 100 Blocks Challenge!  So Gnome Angel hosted an Instagram challenge under the hashtag #100days100blocks2017 which you can read about here. It was the second time she ran the challenge and as I had seen all the goodness from the previous year, I decided to take the plunge in 2017.  If you are up for a project, she is doing it again in 2018 -- you can check out her blog for more information.  Anyhoo, since I already had the book and since I have more fabric than sense, this seemed like the perfect idea. 
The sew-a-long required you to have Tula's book
There was some lead up to the kick-off so there was plenty of time to choose the right fabric and map out times to sew to get ahead so I could compensate for the busier times.  Step one was to decide what fabric to use.  I have amassed a ridiculous collection of Alison Glass fabrics so I pulled out the stash and decided to dive in. 
Sadly (or not), this stack represents only half of my Alison Glass collection - there is another big plastic bin which I also pulled from.
I kept the colour scheme as consistent as I could with the original blocks in the book because I liked one of the rainbow colour order layouts that is included at the back of the book and wanted to get a similar effect in my finished quilt.  I even threw in a piece or two of my very valuable Tula stash along the way as an homage to the original quilt designer. 
Block one done -- see?  Similar colours, but different fabric designer.
This quilt was captivating to make and I was able to get a lot of blocks off the ground quickly.  Each block is different and the sections of books are broken into block types or "themes."  Because each block is different, each daily finish felt like a real accomplishment.  Also, the super saturated Alison Glass colours made me super happy to look at on the daily.  Adding them to the design wall in my sewing room made me happy.  I may have zoned out a time or two just staring at the rainbowy goodness.
These block made my design wall so happy and bright.
So, before I could bat an eyelash, the first ten blocks were done -- I created my own hasthtag #crissas100blocks, so I could keep easy track of my blocks in the sea of thousands of others that were being posted from all over.  The sew-a-long had prizes for each set of ten blocks that got finished so there was lots of extrinsic motivation to keep up as well.  I also created a separate album in my phone so I could see all the rainbowy goodness whenever I wanted.
My first ten blocks!
Next time I will show you my progress and where I ended up.  Do you think I was able to keep pace with the challenge?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

I still can't sew

Okay, I can admit it - I'm not a laid back or easy-going person generally.  I'm a planner and there is a lot of intentionality in the things that I do.  However, I didn't know that this "uptightness" translated into areas of my life beyond work and into the actual way I hold and use my body.  Apparently it does.  Apparently there is a lot of intentionality in the way I hold things like pens, and my phone, and the steering wheel of my car, and my rotary cutter.  And that intentionality is that I death-grip everything all of the time to choke the life force out of it.

Hence....thumb jail.


Thumb jail

Thumb jail is attempting to rectify tendinitis in my thumb and so far it's been three and a half months. There's been physio, acupuncture and massage three times a week since October but it doesn't seem to be getting much better.  Last night. my physiotherapist finally gave up (temporarily) -- time to bring in the bigger guns -- so back to the doctor and onto the next step.  Meanwhile, my thumb is on lock and I can't sew.

However, before thumb jail I had a really rad spring and summer and sewed all of the things...which actually might explain why I need thumb jail in the first place.

One of the things I did was finally replace my old, stained, and burnt ironing board cover.  I feel it prudent to add that I had no idea what the hell I was doing and reverse engineered it by taking apart the old cover.  Lol.
Step one: un-sew
Step one: take apart the old gross one.  I normally would question why someone would serge the old blue and yellow fabric cover with bright purple thread but in this instance was totally grateful for the contrast.  Also, I'm pretty sure my grandma made this cover and I'm not in the habit of taking my own life in my hands so I have ZERO questions.  Zero.  Do you hear me, Nan?  None.

Figure out how the fasteners were attached.
Once I had it all taken apart (and then panicked because I wasn't sure I could put something similar back together). I used the old bits as pattern pieces for the new bits and went to town.  All in all, a pretty quick project and now I can iron without fear that I will catch the iron on the lip of a hole and tear a ten-inch gash in the old, brittle, burnt fabric.  Sure makes things go faster.
Excuse the terrible lighting but here is the new and improved cover!
Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016


Ahem.  Sorry.  My apologies.  Its the summer and I'm a wee bit excited.  Like excited in the cannot-possibly-keep-a-lid-on-it kind of way.  This year kicked my ass and I am so ready for 57 days of no stress and warm weather and cold beverages and sunshine.  I'm gonna soak up every sweet-assed moment of these blissful months that I can.

These days of bliss are hard earned though -- hence the absence from the blog.  In order to make it so that I didn't have to bring work home with me and so that I didn't have to come into the school at all, I worked my tail off in May and June.  And it paid off I suppose with 57 glorious days of FREEDOM!!!! Ahem....sorry.  I digress.  I was sewing though...and even crafting - I swear!

Early in May some quilty peeps arranged a hybrid retreat close to home.  One of the women has a family business with her husband and they transformed a production area in into a sewing haven.  Even though it was close to home, some of the ladies made a weekend of it and stayed overnight at a local hotel.  I went home each night so I could snuggle with the Tuckerdood but the weekend was awesome AND productive.
I finally finished piecing my Point Quilt which I shall now lovingly refer to as "Directions"

I also got the bottom portion on my paper pieced sewing machine.  I am LOVING how this looks and can't wait to finish it!
Next up, in May I got to go to Spirit Point Lodge with a bunch of peeps from my school board.  It was a FANTASTIC weekend full of traditional teachings and crafting and conversation and laughter.  I was really stressed out leading up to it.  But thankfully, the universe hands you the right experience, at the right time, with the right people and suddenly you feel like you're gonna make it.

These are some of the things I made at Spirit Point: a mini drum using deer hide and sinew, a beaded medallion (which was my absolute favourite thing to make and I think I'm hooked), and a medicine pouch complete with the four sacred medicines safely tucked inside. 
Then, after Quilt Market, one of the bloggers/instagrammers I follow was destatshing a bunch of stuff she picked up at sample spree.  I was able to snag a fat quarter bundle of Elizabeth Hartman's new Paintbox Basics!  Squee!!!  And it doesn't ship till August so I got it early!

I love her colour aesthetic - so saturated and delicious!

I also was able to take National Aboriginal Day off and used that time to get to the sewing machine in the midst of chaos.  Although I didn't finish it until the school year ended, I got the yellow scrap basket finished.
Now, I only technically have two more to go.  Although, in reality, the colour quality of my scraps means I likely need to make one that's pink and one that's chartreuse and then a black and grey.  Yikes.  I kinds feel like maybe I have a scraps problem.....nah!

And finally, my most recent milestone has been two more of those paper-pieced sewing machines.  I have a total master plan for them and am going for a big reveal once the whole shebang is finished.  I kinda like this secret sewing business!  It keeps me motivated.

I'm calling these "the triplets" right now.  I just need to add some paper pieced phrases to the bottom of these two and then I will officially be in business.

I'm officially off on my Epic Summer Road Trip starting on Saturday so the blog may be quiet for the two weeks I'm gone.  But I promise to visit lots of fabric shops on my tour of the Pacific Coast so stay tuned!

Happy Summer everyone!!!!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Sometimes I wish this was my job

It's official - I have reached that magical point in the school year where I wish it was over.  I love the big kids I'm around all day.  But you know that feeling you parent-people have two weeks into the summer?  Yup, I've got a big case of the see-ya-laters.  Lol.  This is why I wish sewing was my job.

 My friend made me this bitmoji.  It's supposed to represent who/how I am.  At the very least, it's how she sees me.  Um...just a theory here...but if that's what she thinks I'm like, it might help explain the reason I'm done with the school year.

Anyhoo...Ive been working on some moderately secret sewing.  So far I have managed to make one of these:
I have lusted after this paper-pieced sewing machine for MONTHS!  And I finally made it!  Squeeee!
There's more to add to the secret but it will come later.  I so love this that I find myself walking into my sewing room just to take a look at it.  Ahhhhh......

I still have my finish-a-long stuff to work on and complete but with the Fort McMurray Fire Disaster and then the #quiltsforfortmac initiative started by some of the members of the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild, I have been focused more on doing my part to help.  My quilt army decided to pool resources and send a package with all our blocks.  We have all made 5 or 6 each.  These are mine:
There is a tutorial available on SLOstudio if you want to make any of your own -- check out her May 5th post!
I mean, finish-a-long projects can wait till June 30th.  These folks need help now.  I even donated $100 to the Red Cross in my mom's name as her Mother's Day present.  I just can't imagine the massive sense of uncertainty and loss these folks are feeling.
Dunno why, but this one is my favourite.  
After I finished my set of six blocks and let the quilt army know I was done, I returned to the secret sewing.  I was working on something tiny to add to it.

This little guy is only 2.5 inches wide and he contains 13 separate pieces of fabric.! I think I might go blind before I finish.  
And now I'm looking forward to this weekend -- a quilty friend is hosting a sewing retreat!  Yay!  Her  and her hubs own an industrial bakery and he agreed to give up the space for a sewing fest this weekend.  What could be better than a sewing retreat in a bakery?!?!  The universe is rewarding me I think.

And finally....this...because this morning as I was getting ready for work someone was having a serious case of the Mondays....

Oh Tuckerdoodle!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Making progress

I didn't sew a lot in the last week.  I IS baseball season...and I had chores to do.  Oh yeah, and I guess I work for a living too.  :p    I did, however, get to the semi-annual Creativ Festival though and I picked up a little tiny bit of fabric I have been coveting.  More on that another time.

I think I have mentioned before that I am trying to chip away at my 2013 Lucky Stars BOM.  If I manage to get it done before the year is up, I will only have managed to be 36 months behind!  Haha.  I did manage to piece one of the small blocks using mostly scraps so I'm one step closer to being able to turn it into an actual quilt top.  I WILL get this done this year.  Maybe I should make it one of the finishes for the next quarter of the Finish-a-Long.  

I'm always happy that this messy looking gob of fabric...

...turns into this little bit of loveliness 
I have eight months worth of the 12-inch blocks but was missing a chunk of the 6-inch blocks and I'm beginning to remember why.  All those teeny-tiny bits of fabric in the small blocks!  So.  Much.  Concentration!  I think I only have one more missing small block before I can have the joy of going back to working on the gigantic ones. 

Brought it upstairs with me so I can at least cut out the pieces while I watch the Jays beat the pants off the White Sox! news that's a bit more fun...I am starting a secret sewing project!  SQUEEEEE!!!!!  I happen to love both secrets and surprises!  Here is a hint:

Paper piecing is involved!  I just kind of adore the precision of a paper pieced project!
Let's see how long it takes me get this done so I can post it!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Knockin 'em down!

I feel like this whole finish-a-long thing might be really good for my sew-jo.  I've already finished one of my goals -- and it's only been a week!  All it took was the previous posting of a seriously aged WIP (as in - it may have been old enough to get married and have quilt babies).   So I dug out a couple of almost finished quilt tops and then knowing they were sitting there, and knowing I was now obligated to get them done, finally lit a fire under my ass.  

This quilt was something I had intended for a friend pretty early on in my quilting journey.  Unfortunately, I got...well...a little distracted by everything else available out there in the quiltiverse and so I never quite finished it.  A little motivation though, and it seemed to take care of itself.

I got up early the morning after my initial post to sew together some franken-batting so I could baste it.  I had it all properly basted before lunch.
Dog fabric!!!  Loves it! I bought this fabric the first time I went to the Creativ Festival -- which is this weekend coming up!  It was a Moda fabric by Basic Grey if I remember correctly.

It was a mission, but I buckled down after lunch that same day and got the thing quilted.  Its not a huge quilt - but its no baby quilt either!  Only binding to go!

In for a workout -- even looking at this picture makes me want a massage!

I spent Sunday evening hand-sewing the binding and got about halfway done.  One more session on Friday night and it was finished and ready for its crinkling up in the washer and dryer!

And this was Saturday morning!  All done!
This is not necessarily the quilt I would begin now -- there's not as much negative space as I find myself liking -- but its still cute.  And given the recipient's affinity for dark colours and leather, I think it will suit her space.   And the border?  The plain fact that there is a border at all?!?  Yikes!

I quilted basic dog commands and the name of my friend's new puppy into the border.  Since there was a border, I felt it needed some detail.

The back is a wonderfully soft, pre-washed flannel.  Its mostly dark brown to play off the front but who can resist a little contrast!

A little close-up of the stipple that was used in the main part of the quilt.  A little hard to see, but you get the drift.
 So I'm calling this quilt "Puppy Love" and giving it to one of my closest friends.  Her name is Sydney (she's the one I make competition suits for -- a.k.a. blinged up bikinis) and she has a SUPER cute new golden retriever puppy named Henry.  Well, he's not SO little any more -- he's now a 38 pound 4-month-old.
And there she is!  All ready for gifting this afternoon.

I couldn't resist a little of my puppy love next to Sydney's new "Puppy Love"

So that's one of my three goals achieved!  Yay!  And I still have two and a half months to go!  Woohoo!