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!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Extrinsic Motivation

I'm a pretty motivated person.  I don't need rewards usually - just the desire to do something - and the accompanying stubbornness (which I have in spades) typically helps me follow through.  I am my own best competition after all.

However, that last sewing hiatus I took?  It was epic.  And I'm trying to figure out any/all contributing factors.  One might be that I have SO many projects on the go and not a lot of finishes to be proud of. I get to a point where I know I shouldn't start anything new, and yet I don't want to finish the old stuff....and then....nothing.  Hence, maybe its time to add in some extrinsic motivation.

So I've been successfully peer pressured by How My Time Flies to join a Finish-a-long being hosted by She Can Quilt (among others).  I'm going to publicly declare a few finishes and then welcome the accountability to get those things done.

I'm joining in on the second quarter of this Finish-a-Long and have until the end of June to transform my projects from WIPs to Gifts (except the scrap baskets - which are selfishly for me).  Hopefully moving the older stuff out will make some space in my sewing room.

Here's what I think will be reasonable to manage as we get into the most chaotic part of the school year:

First up, is Puppy Love - a quilt top, pieced back, and made binding combo I have had sitting around for LITERALLY six or seven  years.  What a disgrace.  This will be a finished quilt by the end of the quarter.
Second, I will finish the Red, Orange and Yellow one hour scrap baskets I need to make to finish off my rainbow.  I can then save the pink, grey/black and neutrals ones for the next quarter.  I think I might also need more shelf space to keep them.  :)
And the third finish will be this quilt -- made with Jaybird's Dance Floor pattern, I just need to add  pieces to make it bigger, piece the back and quilt the sucker.  I even know who I want to give it to!  Again, it shames me to admit that this quilt has been sitting around for four years.  Yikes.  Move on already!
Okay, that's it.  Anything above and beyond this will be a total bonus.  AND moving out a quilt means I get to start a new there are two new quilts in my future!!!  Yay!

Good luck to all who are participating!

Monday, 4 April 2016

And that's a wrap!

I have a finishing problem.  Well...not really a finishing problem - it can more aptly be described as a not-having-the-degree-of-expertise-I-want-so-I-put-it-off-for-forever problem.  What seems like a gajillion years ago (but which is actually about 22 months ago) I started a 40th birthday present for my friend Brenty.  He the best.  He's like a living cartoon character...or a muppet.  The big brother I never had.  Anyhoo, I bought all the fabrics and cut them all up and planned out this quilt with a little help from the birthday boy. 

The random pink circle is courtesy of the aforementioned muppet
I got to this point VERY quickly: then it sat there....and called to me....and mocked me...and I ignored it....until Brenty started whining.  Nothing lights a fire under your ass like an almost 42 year old who whines that its almost time for ME to turn 40 and he doesn't have his quilt yet.  Jerk.  :p

So I buckled down over the last couple of weeks and finally finished it!

This thing is a bit of a monster.  Its 90" x 100"  and I bitched and moaned that my friend Alice was doing enough to make her wing span quilt-suitable.  I'm a good friend.

The quilting is done with a bright turquoise thread.  In one direction the lines are two inches apart.  In the other direction, they are random distances.  Thanks to A and L for their input on how to finish the quilting.  It matches the wonky crosses.

The backing is a black and white print from ikea that may have been $3.00 a metre.  Gotta love cheap ikea fabric for quilt backs.
I attached the binding by machine.  It follows my rules for quilting -- boys, kids and dogs get machine done.  They don't care that much, right?

And there you have it!  Hi-Jinx.  A quilt for Brenty.  May his next forty years be better than his last.  I'm officially back in the quilty saddle.

Also, here's a photo of my dog giving his bff a know, just 'cuz.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Ohhhhhh....I have a blog!

Guys!  I have a blog.  I feel like I forgot.  More importantly, you probably feel like I forgot.

I've been busy.  Super busy.  Epically busy.  I lost my sewjo.  I lost my sewjo so bad that I didn't touch my sewing machine for over seven months.  I lost it so bad I even stopped buying more fabric than I know what to do with.  

I moved.  I moved jobs.  I then was successful in making it to the Principal's pool.  I'm waiting (not so) patiently for my own school.  I moved houses.  I got a puppy (FYI, he's not a puppy any more).

Everyone meet the Tuckerdoodle!  My very own 60 pound ball of fluff!
So after I stopped sewing (and blogging)...I started again.

I have decided to try and finish my Lucky Stars BOM.  I'm only 30-something months behind!  I have chipped away at a couple of missing blocks.  My goal is to make this into a quilt this year!  I have eight more months to make that happen.

I have also started making scrap baskets....out of hold my scraps.  My friend Atty would be so proud.  Or maybe not.  She used to like to use the giant pieces of fabric I scrapped to make things. #sorrynotsorry

Purply one!  My favourite!

In my whole ROYGBIV arrangement, I really only have ROY left.  But I kinda need a pink one, and one for grey and black.  Maybe one for neutrals...oh, and one that's chartreuse.  Most of my green scraps are actually chartreuse and they look really out of place in the green one.
I also made another Sew Together Bag for my VP partner's birthday.  A little Tula Pink never hurt anyone, right?
Some Eden and some True Colours and little Lizzy House for good measure!
And after all of this I got ambitious.  So I've had this bundle of Joel Dewberry's Birch Farm sitting on my shelf for over a year (during the dark ages of my sewing history) and I love the geometric and graphic nature of the prints.  They were screaming to be made into a big block quilt that would allow the fabrics to shine.  I knew just the right pattern...but I didn't have it.  No problem -- I just reverse engineered the thing from a picture.  A little sketching, a little colouring and a little quilt math...BAM!
Not too shabby!
And less than 24 hours later:

Now I'm quilting an almost 2-year old quilt I made for my friend Brenty's birthday while I wait for the backing fabric for this to arrive.   I think my sewjo is back.

I have more to show -- perhaps I should strive to make this blogging thing a regular occurrence?  Keep myself accountable to someone?  Maybe?

We'll see!  :p