Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let's Get Real.

You're getting all excited to see the photos of all my projects now, right?

I procrastinate in every way possible when it comes to Christmas readiness. Actually, yesterday I came to the realization that my parents are to blame. Yes you read that right. I'm blaming them.

I'm forced into a society where Christmas begins in late November. This is impossible. You see, growing up, it was unthinkable to get the decorations up before December 15... We didn't get a tree up till usually around the 15-20th. Therefore, Christmas spirit has been indoctrinated to not appear until past mid December.

I was getting worried people, very worried. Every time I heard Bing in the shops, the tears would well up. Where did my spirit go? I think it's arriving, finally, albeit late according to society. I realized this yesterday, when I finally had some kind of wee bit of spirit developing inside - I even wrote Christmas cards.

So here is my list from last post, December 6. I'm keeping it real -

pillows - finished one, see below...other one needs a back. I still have 7 days.
ipad pouches - found them at Winners (like TJMaxx) for 5.99! Keeping it real folks.
zipper pouches - do I really need them? nah. I still have 7 days.
kleenex pouches - kleenex already comes in sanitary plastic pouches. Why waste fabric? I still have 7 days.
coasters - cut out , but on a recent dollarama trip, found some great croco ones for $1.50 - good for now, why stress to get them done for Christmas? I still have 7 days.
pyjamas - Walmart had all pj's on for $9. Really? Do I need to explain?
quilts - ideas ready. backing ready. I still have 7 days. backup gift already sent.
zipper coin pouch - ready to sew. Still have 7 days.
table runner - I still have 7 days left, right?
tree skirt - presents are under the tree right now. Nobody will see the skirt?!
couching experiment - Ideas ready, however, need scraps of cool yarn. May delete this project until I collect cool yarn scraps.
Hopeless.

What have I done with myself for the last 11 days you ask? Well, normal tasks aside...there have been field trips to help with, stomach flu, crafts at school, winter concerts, a birthday party to plan and execute, drapes and hardware to shop for, purchase, mount and steam/iron. Blinds to shop for and mount.

And in between my lady of leisure life, I catch up on Days of Our Lives. ;-)

Pillow - Red is an accent colour throughout my house - I wanted to make red for sure. I almost bought a set of red cushions at the big W - for cheaper than making them. But I didn't want to totally cop out of my list.

I also found this gorgeous wool blend that had clear sequins attached throughout in a very random pattern. The fabric just glistened, without being gittery. I knew this was the accent I wanted for my pillow. After seeing THIS cushion at Urban Barn I was inspired. My other pillow will follow a slightly different design...same concept though.

Super easy to make - I cut out 2.5" squares of fabric, folded them on the diagonal, and sewed them in a straight line down the background fabric.
I took a few photos to try and show the sparkle that the triangles have - but it doesn't show up as nice as in person. One day, I'll be a great photographer!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Making my list....

Things I want to accomplish in the next 19 days.

pillows
ipad pouches
zipper pouches
kleenex pouches
coasters
pyjamas
quilts
zipper coin pouch
table runner
tree skirt
couching experiment

Doable right?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Etchings - a Moda Bake Shop Project



The day is here to finally share my new Moda Bake Shop project. Please go and check out my new tutorial on Moda Bake Shop. It's the Etchings Quilt. The fabric, Etchings by 3 Sisters, is just SO lovely! Please go over and leave a comment - or leave a comment here. I'd love to hear what you think!








I am away on a ship right now, talk about timing. Anyone like me that just adores receiving comments - and here I am, away at sea and not able to check if anyone commented! ;-)

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lily's Quilt


This quilt is way overdue. I belong to a lovely group of friends called the BCBabes. We met online while planning our weddings 10 years ago. You know, when all that revolved in our lives was eating out, growing our careers, wedding dresses, favours, honeymoons...

We formed some great friendships and often get together once a month for potlucks or babefests, as we call them. A while ago a dear friend and fellow BCBabe had found out she had breast cancer. This was just an awful and silencing time for me. The thoughts that I had when we first formed our group were starting to come true - when we were planning our weddings I often thought about the future of the babes - our future children, our future success and failures and as we got older, our health issues....and it was starting to happen. How could so many years be passing us by already?

We all wanted to do something special for her. Lily has an obsesssion passion for tea...and the teacup theme came about. We came up with the idea of collaborating on a quilt and the 'craftier' people would sew up the quilt, while each person in the group would hand stitch/make a teacup block representing Lily's interests or symbolizing themselves on the quilt. This process took the longest - just rounding up everyone and keeping tabs on who was finished, who needed help, who needed a little fire under their butts to get going and complete things. Fast forward to today, when the presentation was made to dear Lily.


An idea of some of the teacups...



Closeup of the quilting and lovely crinkling...


My dear friends presented the quilt to her in person - I linked up through facetime on the Ipad and was able to watch everything from LA, as I awaited my boarding time onto the cruise ship.
The technology collaborating this was awesome - we belong to a bulletin board forum strictly for our group - and we were able to start a private discussion. We have members that are in Calgary, Iowa, Australia and northern BC.

The quilt started in Australia, where a great babe started the process of the center medallian and all of those wicked looking pinwheels. It later got shipped to me in Calgary. All of the tea cup blocks were sent from BC, Alberta, Iowa, and Australia to me, and then I compiled and completed the layout of the quilt. I pieced it together, machine quilted it and sewed on the binding....it was then sent to BC for the binding to be hand stitched by some other lovely babes, and finally to be packaged and presented.

It's just another way that quilting has brought together a group of women, and hopefully brought a hug to someone who needs to know we love her.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts....

Life is full of ebb and flow isn't it?

Mine is all about flow at the moment.
I can tell when my life is full of flow because my eyes and forehead start to hurt, I find my face constantly in squinting position, and it feels really really good to rub my face. I'm sure I'm forming wrinkles from the rubbing/massaging that's happening.

Sometimes I think that we get a little extra flow in our life as a 'test' to see how we can manage. And when we overcome life's challenges, it things just seem a bit easier on the other side of it.

I'm heading on a quick holiday next week, and hope that the flow slows somewhat. I'm going on a Disney Cruise! My first stop is the ice cream machine, followed by stalking Goofy on deck for a photo op.

Life is just going so fast...I'll be back just in time for the Christmas season to flow. I'll start some happy sewing.

While I'm away, can you make sure you stop by ModaBakeShop on Monday November 14? My project will be up and ready to show you! I hope you like it.

Here is something for you to watch (they're only 30secs long) my big E is up to..making stop motion animation videos. Enjoy!
video
This first one is only 30 secs long - so stop it after 30..the music just continues...
video
He figured out to shorten the music on this one..

Friday, November 04, 2011

Garment Sewing

I've been watching all of these gorgeous tunics, shirts, dresses and skirts pop up in blogland. You know the kind - artsy, unique, comfortable. The kind where you see someone wearing them and you make a mental note of admiration.
What a sewn tunic looks like on:
Her - adorable, artsy, classy with an edge
Me - mu-mu.

I feel the same way about handbags and totes that pop up everywhere.
What an artsy bag looks like on:
Her - SO cute, she can really carry those colours off well. It just makes her outfit work.
Me - a homemade bag. Who the heck raided the remnant bin at the fabric store?

So in the spirit of making things I will make something I don't have to wear out and about. Something that I can wear comfortably at home.
What handmade pajama pants look like on:
Her - cute and crafty...could easily wear them to pajama day at school.
Me - baggy and sloppy.

Am I the only one that cannot wear home made garments well?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Machine quilting....

Sigh... I could doodle all day. And I did...for several days. ;-) This is all I can show you for now.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Secret Stuff to share with you...



No I'm not in a magazine, or designing fabric, or naming the new colours for Kona Solids, or writing a book....

I've been working on a quilt, with someone or some people. I can't say who because the recipient, if they read this, would figure it all out. I can tell you it's collaborative and has been a long time in the making. I've just finished the top and will be quilting it tomorrow.

It is lovely. It's quite traditional, but the thoughts behind it and how it all came to fruition is sure to make a great story...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Finished...


I cannot tell you how much I love this quilt...the colours are so stunning. It's large enough for me to snuggle on the couch and wrap it under my feet - and include a child or two with me.
I'll let you know when the date will be to be posted to the Moda Bake Shop.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Basting a large quilt in my house...

uh, mom...I want to go outside now.
my food and water dish are over there...in the far corner. uh, mom?
I finally found a spot I could baste my quilt.

Thanks to the help of my wee ones, I spray basted and smoothed it in no time flat. Don't worry, the doors and windows were all open...I LOVE spray basting. Haven't done a quilt this size before, so I'll report back if the spray basting holds up on this almost queen size quilt.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Naming your blog

Have you ever thought about changing your blog name or your domain name? I have. many times. For about 2.5 years now. But Millions of Thoughts (trapped in my head) is just so attached to me, I've had it for 5 years now.

When I first started a blog, I never fathomed it would have lasted this long...nor would I imagine people read it! Have you seen that crazy ticker over there? =====>
Definately a giveaway when I hit 30,000. Holy moly!

The address, however, millionsofthoughtstrappedinmyhead.blogspot.com is just so long.

millions of thoughts is better.

If I change it...do I just shorten it, or do I go for a brand new name?

Quilting Thoughts
Millions of Quilts

or something cute and catchy?
or something studio-ish and modern? (even though my 'studio' is a dark corner below grade in my basement)

How do you take the plunge, or do you even do that?

This is kind of like the haircut question. You've grown your hair for so long and are bored with it. Do you just get a trim, or do you go for the short pixie cut and dye it jet black with a blue streak?


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sewing a Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving Day to my Canadian friends! My family usually celebrate Thanksgiving on Sunday, and then have a lazy roly poly day on the Monday (the offical day off)
Last night Cameron and I made Cranberry Bread. We named it Camberry bread....he was totally chuffed about that.


Today, Ethan had a very keen interest in the unwrapping and dresssing of the turkey. He was particularly fascinated with the heart, liver and neck that come in the little 'gift' bag inside the turkey cavity. He helped me stuff the bird, and said that he couldn't wait until Christmas to see the guts of the next bird. ahem.


So, as he's stuffing the bird I realize that during our move, I've misplace my skewers and need to sew up the bird instead. I had a giggle as I went to my sewing space and rifled through my needles and threads.



Aurifil?
Guterman?
Poly?
Cotton?

Sharps? Embroidery needles?

What does this bird deserve?
I settled on an old discarded machine needle and some Aurifil. If it's good for my machine, it's got to be good for the bird. right?

right?



Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Letter A



It's cool... whatever it is.

It's a nice...patch.

*blink*
*blink*

Those are the words from my darling supportive husband.


It was a learning experience in the following ways:
  • how quickly organized becomes chaos
  • realizing how many solids I actually have
  • sewing curves
  • making a paper pattern and realizing one must include seam allowances when cutting
  • my machine does not like to sew slowly
  • need to learn more about art quilt binding...or rather, have patience to learn more about art quilt binding
  • still hate Guterman cotton thread, and still adore Aurifil thread. (and no, there is no giveaway coming up...I just plain adore the thread and so does my machine)

Yes, the edges are curved. I could tell you I did that on purpose. I did not. But I went with it...you see, I quickly made a paper pattern without thinking or planning. That's all.

To remind you..here is my original doodle

So in response to my husband's "uses" that this has. *ahem*
a lovely tree ornament


A stunning fixture above the doorway...reminding me that I'm A, the alpha of the home...

A chef's dream for resting precious cooking utensils

A Mug Rug.
NO!!!!
It's a cookie rest.

I had quite a giggle about it all. Alot of work, alot of learning, alot of quirky comments between dear husband and I.
Back to my normal quilting....

Saturday, October 01, 2011

doodles..


I was doodling again, and a few cool ideas for new graphic patterns emerged. Onto the pile of the 'to do' list they go. There's just so many on my to do list. Frightening.


One idea, came from a sort of fancy letter A. This was a very quick 30 second idea, but I wanted to share the process stemming from an idea to pulling fabrics to fruition. This will be a VERY vulnerable train wreck, I'm sure. I'm planning to make this a small quilt... 'mug rug' size (gawd I HATE that term)
I started pulling reds and blues, which I love, and then some browns - the photo depicts more mustard colours, but they are browns...

I have no idea how this will turn out. I may need some hugs later. ha!

This has all stemmed from my reluctance to restart my beloved baking project. I spent 3 days watching Dr.Phil, Ellen, Days, and Dr. Oz, ripping apart every.single.seam. In all my extensive (ha) quilting experience, I've seen bloggers post about ripping apart quilts and starting over again. I've never had that desire. Until this project. I love the colours too much to do an okay job. So in a pile of unironed, seam ripped state they sit. For days. They haven't moved from the living room in a week. Can you tell?


I've reworked the colours and they are much better now. But I'm just taking a few days off to recharge.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Confession.

I can blame this entirely on me being a Canadian and not knowing otherwise. Kind of like when some Americans think of Canadians as being red coated mounties riding horses through igloo cities.

Paducah.

How do you say it?

I've always said it PA-duh-kuh.

And today, I learned it is not. I actually prefer my way of saying it. It sounds a little more refined and not so quirky.

Just incase you are like me and don't know.... it is pah-DOO-kah.

*shrinking back into my igloo*

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bobbins winding me crazy



Do you ever get into a rhythm of sewing...for me this week it's mega strip piecing, only to realize about 8 pieces in, that your bobbin thread has run out?

*blink*

please tell me I'm not the only one.

Random thought of the day: the silence in my sewing room grew louder today. ( well, aside from a snoring dog) There was no ticking of my wee little clock, the battery died. That thing is so darn loud
Today, I just may or may not be ripping apart all 36 blocks I have made. I'm not sure I like the 'scrappiness' of my blocks and am thinking colour specific may be better. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sounds around me..

I was sewing for 3 hours straight today...I looked up from my machine and noticed the big huge monster mega man cave tv in front of me:

huh. I've been sewing here for 3 hours, and I could have listened to all of the doctors of daytime tv, or the trashy soap stories of Days of Our Lives. I just noticed this? What a perfect setup!

I realized how I've never even had the radio on while I'm quilting. I don't know what it is...the concentration, the silence. But I never have anything on.

You?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Etchings....

etchings by 3 Sisters - moda.

Do you find it difficult to unwrap these pretty little packages? I do. Part of the beauty to me is seeing the colourway wrapped up and scrolled around.....
Etchings has been unwrapped. It feels like I have taken a bouquet of flowers out of the vase and tossed the flowers randomly on the floor.

I bought a new sewing centre last weekend, for a super duper price. I couldn't NOT buy it. It has some storage and two sections for two different machines. I'm only using one machine space, and the other will be a cutting area (not for big jobs) and a pressing space. My Juki fits perfectly in the sewing machine place and fits flush with the table top (the hydraulic lifter is adjustable)

Random thought: I am in desperate need of thread. Lots of colours. I feel a big urge to experiment with smaller quilts and machine quilting.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

It's September...

My husband climbed "Heart Mountain" on Sunday. Part of me is jealous, part of me is like, 'why'?
Part of me hopes he has released his desire to climb a mountain, as I was worried about him from the time he left, to the time he returned.

School is back in session, my boys are finally starting to realize that school is not an option, and that they will be push, pulled, or dragged daily even if they cry. haha.
Big Grade 1
Big Grade 4

We had a great summer..we moved to our new city, had several sets of visitors already and are enjoying our new home and new city immensely. We were able to do a quick trip down to Myrtle Beach and visit the grandparents.
Am I the only one who fights bunny ears in each photo op? What do bunny ears mean? Why is it so entertaining?


My machine is set and ready to go. I've got a project ready to "bake" and will share it with you as soon as I can. I'm pretty stoked about it, because not only is it uber cool, but the colours in it will match my new bedroom perfectly. Score.

I'm excited about the year. It feels good. The past year has been emotionally draining and a mega roller coaster ride. I feel the dust settling. I feel like things are going to be more permanent here.