Work-in-Progress Girl


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WIP Wednesday: Rainbow Text Mini

I’m on vacation from work this week, so I’ve been trying to spend my time working on a mini that’s due to be sent out by August 31. It’s for a swap that requires us to use at least two text prints… I’m using quite a few more than that.

A mini I'm working on for an Instagram swap

I rotated through at least a half dozen options before finally settling on this pattern, Glam Garlands by Elizabeth Hartman from her book Modern Patchwork. My partner seems to be a fan of rainbows, so I dug deep into my collection of text prints to create (most of) a rainbow.

A mini I'm working on for an Instagram swap

I’ve got it all basted and have spent the last 4 hours not quilting it, even though I could probably be (nearly) done by now if I’d just get going on it. I’m a little torn about how to quilt it though – I had been thinking about long lines down the length designed maybe to look like crepe paper garlands or something like that. But then I wondered if that was too boring and thought about maybe emphasizing the garlands by stitching in the ditch round them and then densely quilting the background with pebbles or stippling, so that it sits back and the garlands pop out. I really just need to make a decision because I’m planning to be out of town for three days and it needs to be finished before that so that I’m not rushed in the last day before it needs to be sent.

Anyway, it’s my birthday this week, so it’s time for a giveaway. Basically the winner – who can be from anywhere – can choose from one of two prizes.

The first prize I haven’t really put it together yet, but I’m going to make a scrap bundle of text prints:

Fabrics for a mini I've been working on

This scrap bundle might include bits of all of these fabrics (or it might not – some of them I don’t have enough left to call them scraps really) as well as some of the rest of my giant collection of text fabrics.

And the second prize will be a charm pack of all the prints from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabrics.

Both prizes will contain similar amounts of fabric – I’ll aim to have them both approximately the same weight. To enter, follow the prompts on Rafflecopter:

(Deleting the Rafflecopter link.)

(Ugh. I clearly didn’t edit that well. Forgive the misspelling. And make sure you follow the prompt – I will be checking!)

Edited to Add: I can’t figure out how to make this work on WordPress. They do NOT like script based HTML. So let’s skip that.

Same deal, just with me using Random.org to figure out a winner! Please leave a comment below telling me which of the two prizes you’d rather win. That’s it! I’ll be accepting entries until 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 1st and will draw the winner the next day when I’m home from work. Anyone anywhere around the world can enter.

Also, please don’t enter this giveaway into any giveaway aggregate services. I’m happy for anyone at all to enter, but I’d rather it be organically found by followers and people who’ve also linked up via one of the below Wednesday Link-ups.

Linking up with all the Wednesday link ups – check the sidebar for additional links to Work in Progress Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

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Orphan Block Adoption

NOTE: This giveaway/orphan block adoption is now over and the winners have been contacted! Here’s hoping they’re all able to make beautiful things about of these unwanted projects!

Do any of you have old works-in-progress or works-not-in-progress that you don’t love and that don’t make you want to make anything? Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework is hosting a link up for sending those old unwanteds out into the world where they might be used and loved. I’ve got three.

I will send out the BLOCKS for free, but if you want the extra fabric (where it exists), I’d ask that you pay shipping (or rather, the portion of shipping above what I’d pay if it weren’t included). And you have to understand that I’m in Canada and shipping rates here are often ridiculous. If you ask, I can let you know approximately what it will be. Try to remember that even if it seems high… You’re getting a bunch of free blocks and fabric,.. so it’s probably not that expensive after all. (Don’t worry. I won’t hold you to it, if you’d rather not pay shipping in the end.)

Here’s the thing. I would like it if these blocks were turned into quilts or whatever for charity, but it’s not a requirement. The real requirement is that you’ll use them and hopefully love them. I’m going to keep this adoption post open until Saturday, June 13. If you’re interested in any of the three things I’m posting, let me know by number which you would like to have. If there is more than one person interested in any of them, I’ll draw names for each project.

1. Amy Butler Midwest Modern Sampler

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Fair to say these blocks have spent a few years in a ziplock bag waiting for me to do something, anything, with them; sorry about the wrinkles! There are 12 of the blocks, all of them different, using three different prints, plus the pale pink background.

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I think I need to try this photos again later when the sun comes around the side of the house because they look awfully dreary, don’t they?

I believe I had planned originally to do 20 or 30 blocks and there is quite a bit of fabric left if you have thoughts in a similar direction. (This is the part where you’d pay to shipping, if you’re interested in the extra fabric.)

The print on top right was never used in the quilt blocks – it always seemed too big to cut up. It might work if you wanted to expand the size by alternating blocks with “plain” squares and using this instead of a solid? There’s 1 metre of it. There is approximately half a metre of the floral print to the left, plus assorted off-cut scraps. There is a 12″ x WOF strip of the dotted fabric, and 15″ + 6.5″ x WOF of the stripe. The darker pink wasn’t used in the blocks, but it’s a good match and I think I’d intended to use it for sashing or cornerstones or something to do with a border perhaps. It doesn’t need to be included, but it’s a 1 metre cut. And then finally, I’ve got a huge quantity of the pale pink, about 3 yards. It’s an Amy Butler solid. Again, if you just wanted some rather than all, I’d be happy to cut it down for you.

2. Orange and Green Batik Sampler

I started this sampler at the same time as the last one. They both were part of Crystal of Sonnet of the Moon‘s 2009 Modify Tradition sampler and I didn’t wind up loving either of them very much. (No knock on Crystal – I loved her blocks way way more than mine!) For this one I have 9 blocks, plus a 10th with a different yellow background that I thought made it look too much like my grandma’s kitchen.

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These blocks used a mix of solid gold, orange, and brown plus the orange and green batik for the main fabrics and then a very pale yellow for the background.

If you’d like to pay to have some or all of the extra fabric shipped out, this is what I’ve got left. Of the batik, there is 24″ x WOF. There is about 10″ x WOF of the gold, 14″ x WOF of the pale yellow, 31″ x WOF of the orange, and about 31″ x WOF of the brown. Plus scraps of all.

3. Pink Bento Boxes

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This was originally intended to be a charity quilt that would have been auctioned off at my work for the Breast Cancer Foundation in Canada, but my work has changed the way it does charities and so it isn’t going to work for that any longer. I didn’t photograph it, but if you most solemnly swear to me that it will be used for charity, then I will include a metre or two (whatever I’ve got) of fabric with pink breast cancer ribbons on it, no additional charge. (But seriously, only if it’s for charity.)

There are 16 blocks and they were made by a variety of women across Canada and the US. The particular problem with that is that they’re varying in quality a bit – both in terms of their workmanship and their fabric.

So yes. Check out the other Adoption options at Cynthia’s Orphan Adoption Event. And remember all of this.

1. This post will be open for offers until June 13.
2. If you would like any or all of the things above, leave a comment telling me which, by name or by number.
3. I will draw names if there is more than one person who wants something.
4. I will pay shipping for the blocks only.
5. If you would like some or all of the additional fabric (to be worked out later, once a winner has been chosen), you will have to pay the remainder of the shipping costs. Shipping from Canada is expensive, but our dollar is weak right now, so try to remember a Canadian dollar isn’t going to cost you a full American dollar (or whatever – maybe you’re from a country with a weaker dollar than Canada, though, in which case you should keep that in mind too).
6. If you pay for shipping extra fabric, please remember that YOU are responsible for the cost to send money through PayPal, not me.


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Talk to me… Saturday

This is a video I recorded on Tuesday earlier this week when I received a package in the mail from Mara of Secretly Stitching! I’m trying to get decent pictures of what she sent to me, but so far my attempts to photograph the pouch haven’t turned out very well.

Here is the fabric, threads, and chocolate:

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I may have eaten some of the chocolate since…

I don’t think I ever showed pictures of what I sent to Mara when she won a giveaway from me, but I think I must not have taken any – I can’t find any in my files. Anyway, I think I probably showed the strawberry pouches in plenty of TTMT videos in the past.

Here are some photos of the things I sent out in that dumpling pouch swap:

Dumpling Pouch

Dumpling Pouch

Dumpling Pouch swap

Dumpling Pouch Swap


227 Comments

December Giveaway Day!

EDITED TO ADD: This giveaway is now closed and the winners – Mom C from Utah and Susan Holden Hutchens from Kelowna BC – have been notified. Thanks everyone for playing along and entertaining me with your comments! Better luck next giveaway day!

I thought I was going to miss giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew this year – we’ve been going through a huge software change at work that has led to my working so very much overtime that I have hardly opened my laptop in the last couple weeks and I’ve hardly read any of my blogs (I think I’m down to about 50 unread posts now!) and I haven’t answered any email in all that time… But here I am! I always love doing giveaway day, so I couldn’t avoid it, even if I don’t think I’ll have time to enter too many giveaways myself!

Typically I’m going to give away two prizes, both for craft supplies!

Giveaway One
A $25 gift certificate to my favourite online shop, Mad About Patchwork!

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Mad About Patchwork is a shop in Stittsville, Ontario… which I think is near to Ottawa (I’m from the West of Canada, so I’m pretty shaky with my geography out East). Pam, who owns the shop, has been wonderful to me over the years, largely because of just how much she’s helped contribute to my fabric stash… but she even let me mail her a swatch of shot cotton once so that I could have her tell me what colour it was so that I could buy enough for the background of a quilt. (It was Jade, I think… but I could be wrong because I never write these things down!)

Worst quilting idea ever...
This is the shot cotton in question… photographed in some pretty poor light and on my phone, so I’m not sure it’s the best Jade representation going…

She’s got a fantastic selection of both Kona Cottons and Kaffee Fassett shot cottons and all sorts of assorted other print collections, books, patterns, and notions. One of my favourite things to get sucked into buying are the curated Monday Mosaic bundles, which I think are usually put together by Laura who also teaches classes at the in-store studio. Here’s a fairly new one, Rustic Winter:

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Love!

I also really like the Stash Bundles, which are grouped together by colour. Here’s one I don’t think I’ve bought, in fuchsia, which is a colour I always used to hate, but have really come around on over the last year:

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Anyway, all this by way of saying: imagine what you could buy, gift card in hand email!

Giveaway Two
A 5-fat quarter collection of Tula Pink Moon Shine fabrics plus some as yet undecided bonus prize… which may or may not be crafty in nature. Maybe I’ll make something. Maybe I’ll include a mini-charm pack. Maybe I’ll top it up with some coordinating non-Tula fabrics. Maybe I’ll put in some cute bottles of nail polish. Maybe it’ll be Christmas candy, I really couldn’t say!

Moon Shine

Okay, I cannot tell a lie… these are my least favourite prints from Moon Shine and won’t be terribly sad to see them go. But there’s a lot of Tula love out there, so I think these fabrics will shine a little brighter in someone else’s life – maybe it’ll be yours!

The Details
I always choose one winner from Canada or non-US locations in the world and one winner from anywhere in the world. (So, in theory, there could be 2 Canadian winners or two Malaysian winners or one Brazillian and one American winner or whatever combination you want to come up with… but there can’t be TWO American winners.) The reason for this is that sometimes those of us from non-US locations get excluded from some pretty amazing prizes. This is a teeny tiny way I’ve come up with to give the rest of us a little bit of a boost for winning. (It’s important to note, I don’t particularly care what nationality you are – if you’re an American living in Paris, you count as “non-US location” because your mail is going to Paris, not Omaha. Likewise, if you’re Romanian, but are living in Pensacola, you count as US.)

I will draw the winners on Saturday, December 13 using Random.org, which means you MUST enter by 11:59 PM PST on Friday, December 12. When I do the first draw, if the winner is from the US, then I will continue drawing numbers until I find someone from outside of the US. If the first winner is from outside of the US, then the second number drawn will be the second winner, regardless of location. I’ll need to hear back from the winners by Tuesday, December 16, so that I can get your prize in the mail to you.

If you want to be entered, I need to know…
1. Where you live!
2. Anything else… what you like about where you live, what the weather is like, what you’re planning to do this week (besides enter giveaways…), what your crafting goals are for next year, what you’d like to receive as a surprise gift if you win the Tula Pink fabric, what you’d buy from Mad About Patchwork if you win the gift certificate, etc… Anything your little heart desires.

I will delete your comment if you don’t include your location and some other comment besides “thanks for the chance to win” because those are my least favourite comments to receive. Do not include your email in the body of your comment – WordPress will provide it to me (and keep it hidden from everyone else).


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Work-not-in-Progress Wednesday (plus Birthday! plus Giveaway!)

Work NOT in progress? Yeah. Well. You may have forgotten, but back in March I got my hands on a Juki straight stitch sewing machine. Which wouldn’t work for me. It took me half an age, but I finally took it in to a sewing machine repair shop in mid-July to have it looked at. I’m not honestly sure what they did with it – the feed dog lowering mechanism was broken so they repaired that and they got it stitching again, but it didn’t seem as if they needed any parts to get it working again. They did charge me for (and sent me home with) a packet of specialty needles, which I’d read in the manual that it needed, but which I didn’t know if I was using (because I just used a needle from one of the packets that the former machine owner had stashed in the ziploc baggy full of spare machine parts). So maybe it was as simple as swapping the needle!

In any case, I brought the machine home and I sewed an entire quilt top on it and it was great and running smoothly and happily and I was impressed and pleased and all things wonderful and good. Until I switched to a new project, which was going to be a quilt from John Q Adams/Quilt Dad‘s Beyond Neutral quilt book (not an affiliate link). It’s using all that green fabric I showed off on Sunday and 5 yards of a blue I’d bought for something, which it turned out not to work with, and I was really excited to get working on it. Until something weird started happening:

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I started getting runs in my fabric. It’s just like when you catch a toenail on a pair of stockings and suddenly there’s a run up the side of your leg, except it’s my fabric that’s being ruined! My exciting new project!

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Looking at it from the reverse, it looks like the needle is catching a single strand of thread on the fabric, pulling it through to the back (the biggest loop here is the pale blue you’re seeing the wrong side of in the top photo), thus pulling a run into the fabric. In fact, all those little loops of whitish looking thread are blue from the front. It’s not just ruining one of the fabrics, though, it’s ruining both layers — all the fuzzy looking blue blobs are bits from the bottom layer of fabric (bottom when it’s run through the machine, top when you’re looking at it above), which are pulling runs into the bottom as well.

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I think this is the worst one I had — it pulled the thread through so far that it pleated/puckered the fabric!

My only real thought as to the cause is that there must be some kind of flaw in the needle, maybe some kind of rough spot that is catching the fabric on the way by and causing the runs in the fabrics. It’s the same needle I used to sew the aforementioned quilt top (which you can see in my Instagram stream or can wait to see when I finally get it quilted) and it didn’t cause any problems then, but it seems (to me) the most likely cause. Feel free to prove me wrong, though! I tried to do a google search on the subject, but I didn’t really find any suggestions or answers!

In any case, since I have no work in progress to show you, I might just as well jump on to the next part of today’s post: it’s my birthday!

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And birthday’s mean giveaways around here! Last Sunday I talked about buying a nice big stack of (kinda sorta) peridot coloured fabrics from Mad About Patchwork and some of that bounty of greens could be yours… or possibly better yet (I dunno… maybe you hate green?), you could pick out your own fabrics to celebrate my birthday!

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(The very lovely) Pam at Mad About Patchwork is sharing a $50 gift certificate with one of you to help me celebrate! Just think what you could do with $50 at a fabric shop….

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You could pick up a kit for Lorna McMahon‘s adorable Fox & Friends quilt pattern.

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Or you could pick up a Chasing Fireflies curated bundle of Fat Quarters.

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Or you could curate your own bundle, as I did with my collection of greens (though, admittedly, I did also pick up a green stash bundle to round out my choices.

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Or you could save it for a little while (yeah, right!) and pick up something from the coming soon section, like this Kate Spain Horizon jelly roll. In any case… I don’t think anyone would have too many problems finding a way to drop $50 at a shop like this one!

Greens

I haven’t been flashing this green around for nothing, though, because if you don’t happen to win the gift certificate, you might just win a Fat Eighth bundle of all 18 fabrics that I picked up from my last virtual shopping trip at Mad About Patchwork. (They’re all approximate cuts, by the by. I took the super scientific approach of not pressing the fabric and then just cutting them up the fold line in the middle, so they’re… approximate.) I don’t know what you’ll do with them, but my brain flashed through a dozen options before settling down on the pattern I mentioned above. Green is awesome – you can do something fresh and spring-like with leaves or trees or you could add reds and go holiday or add a bunch of blues for a more soothing watery palette or add purple for something floral and vibrant…

So if you want to enter: please leave a comment below. Maybe tell me about your birthstone and if you like it (or don’t) or (if you read my Sunday Stash post) about your favourite gemstone for jewellery or about your favourite famous piece of jewellery. (Yeah, okay. So I’m not a very girly-girl, but among my favourite blogs are From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault and The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, which I mostly only like when they’re talking about jewels. I’m not a jewellery person, but I do like to look at all the amazing sparklies locked up in the royal jewel vaults of various European houses.) Or maybe you could tell me about the kind of day you’re having – I’m writing this post a day ahead, but I can almost certainly guarantee I’m at work and grumpy about it while most of you are reading this. I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but my back-up broke her foot and is off work, so I had to cancel and… well, I’m a little bitter about it! Maybe you could tell me about your up-coming weekend. I think I’m going to go check out the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaentology, which I haven’t been to in years (and years and years…). In any case, the point of all this: leave a comment. I WILL NOT count your comment if you only say “thanks for the chance” or anything along those lines – I’d like to hear something a bit more interesting than that! You don’t have to wow me with your witty repartee, I’d just like something more interesting to read!

I will draw the winners on Tuesday, September 2, so enter sometime before then! (Or anyway, sometime before I come home from work that day. I usually get home around 3:30 pm MST.) The first name drawn will win the gift certificate (unless you’d prefer to win the fabric bundle, in which case: say so in your comment!) and the second name will win the fabric.

A very, very special thank you to Pam for providing the gift certificate (and for always providing me with the sweet, sweet hits of fabric that I sometimes need to get me through a crappy week like this one, when I’m meant to be on holiday but am not).

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And finally, finally… linking up with Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social, The Needle and Thread Network, and finally Work in Progress Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Sew Fresh Quilts wipwednesdayneedleandthreadnetwork WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day/Sunday Sunrise (de)Stash

The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is now closed – the winner will be notified today and the winner will be revealed Sunday, May 18.

If you’re here for the SMS Giveaway Day, just scroll down a bit till you see the SMS logo – there’s a bit of bloggy housekeeping up top here! Feel free to stick around though or just to come back when the craziness of Giveaway Day is over – I’d love to have you back!

So last week I did a bit of a giveaway with my Sunday Stash and in the end I wound up with three winners — I had chosen two people who both wanted Strawberry zip-up pouches and then I thought and thought and thought and decided that I’ve got more than enough fabric to make pouches for both of them, so I decided to do that, and then found a third winner for the gift card. So my winners are Jo at Riddle and Whimsy, Mara at Secretly Stitching, and Katy at Lethargic Lass. So congrats to all three of you!

Just for a change, I haven’t got any new fabri…. okay, I lied! I just remembered that I went to my local fabric shop for some sewing machine oil and came home with these beauties I’d shared on Instagram:

Fabric fast schmabric fast...

I didn’t, incidentally, come home with sewing machine oil because I got so distracted by the mirror ball fabric and Lizzy House’s jewels prints that I completely forgot the oil. When I did go back the next day, I did walk out with oil and without fabric! Success! (Of sorts. The oil was my last attempt at getting that Juki sewing machine working. It didn’t help, so I think it just needs to be serviced to see if there’s something wrong with the machine or with the way I’m trying to use it.)

Anyway, in light of the fact that I thought I had nothing to share, I decided to do a Just One Day Early post of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway prize, which is a little bit of a destash, since the two fat quarters are fabrics I’ve had in my stash of “uglies” for a while and since the charm pack was something I’d bought with the intention of eventually using it in a giveaway. (I’ve had it for some months, these are neither of them recent purchases.)

Sew Mama Sew giveaway day prize

The two fat quarters are both from a Dear Stella line, which I think was called Mimosa, which I haven’t been able to confirm. (Dear Stella doesn’t list the line on their site any longer, but Google suggests I might be right.)

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The charm pack is the very lovely Sunrise collection from Kona. I just love that photo of it – makes me want to buy a bit of all the colours and just stack it up somewhere to ooh and ahh over. Lovely!

So my giveaway is open internationally and will be awarded to someone who leaves a comment… oh, I don’t know… telling a story about a favourite sunrise you once saw or maybe a link to a photo you took of a beautiful sunrise. Or maybe you can tell me what you like to do with charm packs or with layer cakes (since I’m working on a Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong, I’ve got layer cakes on the mind… I’ve got at least three or four more stashed away in the closet!). Or tell me about your fabric stash: do you have an uglies pile for things that come into your possession that you don’t like (or things you’ve changed your mind about and then wonder what the heck you were thinking when you bought them)? What do you do with those fabrics? (I’ve heard and even believe that adage that if you still don’t like it, you haven’t cut it small enough. It’s true, you can do a lot of good with a lot of ugly when it comes to fabric, if you figure out the right thing to do with it, but sometimes I just don’t have the patience.) In any case, leave a comment! And leave a comment that’s more than just “thanks for the chance” because if that’s all you say, then you’ll be disqualified immediately. Also, please don’t leave your email address in the body of your comment – WordPress gives me (but NOT my readers) access to your email address so as long as you type it correctly, I’ll be able to contact you.

Best of luck and remember to hit up Sew Mama Sew from Monday through Friday this week (May 12-16) to enter as many giveaways as your little heart desires.

ETA: I always do my best to respond to all the comments people leave on my blog – and will even be doing so this week! – but I WON’T be forwarding them to your email like I usually do. If you’re interested to see my response, feel free to pop back in another time, but I’m not expecting it, so no worries! (Mostly I’m just using my comments to number label all the entrants so that Random.org can do an easier job of drawing a winner.)

Also, linking up to Molli Sparkle‘s Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Emily at Sewing by Moonlight.


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Sunday Stash: Strawberry Patch

Winter for a Year

So I don’t know if you know this about Canada, but sometimes we get snow. And sometimes it lasts forever and ever and ever and ever. It’s May, yes, but it’s been snowing again. Normally when we get snow in May it hits the ground and melts, but it’s only melting on pavement and sidewalks, so the trees and grass are all white and wet and it’s gross and depressing and this winter just won’t end. A month ago I kept taking pictures on Instagram and labelling them #ohmygodawinterforayear, which was a reference to an Arcade Fire song, Winter for a Year:

But the other day I had some mail arrive from China with various different cuts of strawberry print fabrics. Summer in a brown envelope! I’d ordered it because I was participating in a Strawberry Dumpling Pouch swap on Instagram/Flickr (#strawberryswap or Dumpling Swap), but it didn’t arrive until after I’d finished sewing the project with non-strawberry fabrics. Sigh. Thanks, Canada Post, for holding it in Richmond for a couple extra days after saying it’d been processed through customs!

Strawberry fabric

Now that I don’t have a need for strawberry print fabric, I’m wondering what the heck I’m going to do with the stuff! I need a second strawberry swap just to use it up… But then again… WordPress is telling me that yesterday was my 3 year anniversary on WordPress and this is going to be my 222st entry (which I’ve been watching/waiting for), which means it’s time for a giveaway!

Per usual, I’m going to do two giveaways and they’re going to be as follows:

1. A $25 giftcard to my favourite Canadian fabric shop, Mad About Patchwork. You could pick up this Mormor bundle from the Designer Bundles section or Spring Forecast from the Curated Bundles section or, you know, you could get five-sixths of that Shot Cotton Sampler from the Stash Bundles section. (It’s really too bad there’s not a $30 gift certificate option – it’d open a few more doors!) Or you could do like I always do a throw in a little of this and a little of that. I recently picked up a selection of Essex Linen blends and you could too!

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2. The second possibly more boring giveaway will be a hand-made pouch or drawstring bag made with some strawberry print linen, as seen above. It’s not made yet, so you’ll just have to imagine it in your mind’s eye! The winner can choose between a zipper pouch (likely the wide-open pouch from Noodlehead, but it could be a dumpling pouch if you’d like something tiny) or a drawstring bag from the In Color Order tutorial. I will also include some charm squares, cut from my own stash, in the colours of your choosing and, well, who knows what else… something, surely.

I’ll be drawing two names, the first one drawn will get their choice of prize, so if you prefer one giveaway over the other make sure to mention it in your comment. (If the first winner doesn’t mention a preference, than the second name drawn will get their first choice.) Otherwise just leave a comment of some kind and something other than “thanks for the chance!” You could tell me about the weather where you are (though maybe I won’t want to know, if this snow doesn’t go away…) or you could tell me why raspberries are better than strawberries or you could give me your favourite strawberry-based recipe or you could tell me about your favourite place to shop online or what kind of swaps you like to participate in or share some of your favourite music with me or whatever….

The winners will be drawn on Saturday, May 10 and will be announced on Sunday, May 11 in my next Sunday Stash post, so enter the giveaway by Friday, lest you miss out! You don’t need to be a follower of any kind of be entered, so if you’re popping by from Molli Sparkle’s Sunday Stash or from Fabricholics Anonymous, feel free to enter.

Molli Sparkles FabAnon

And speaking of Fabricholics Anonymous? Well…… this was an April purchase and it’s not something I pre-planned and it’s not something I “needed” to finish a swap requirement (I’d planned to use it for a swap, but I got by without it when it didn’t arrive in time and would have got by without it if I hadn’t bought it at all). So I guess that’s another month in the failure zone. (And if you’re a close reader, you might also have noticed I mentioned recently buying some Essex Linen blend fabric. So you know. There’s that.) I’m really not very good at this not-buying-fabric thing. Maybe May. Actually, no, not maybe May, because Pink Castle Fabrics had a big sale on all their bundles and I am weak. Maybe June.


432 Comments

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day – Kiddie Fabric (Canvas)

Giveaway Day is now Closed. Winners will be notified Saturday December 14, 2013 have been notified and a post about the winners will be up as soon as I hear back from them. Thanks everyone for playing along!

Here was my winner:
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Katherine blogs at Sew Me Something Good, and lives right across town from me. I sent out her prize on Monday, so here’s hoping Canada Post managed to make the trip across town by now!

It’s Giveaway Day! If you have stumbled across my blog somehow without knowing what Giveaway Day is… well, it’s a day (week, really) when Sew Mama Sew does a link-up of blogs where something crafty (handmade or supply related) is being given away. There are several categories: Handmade Baby and Kid Items, Handmade Accessories, Handmade for the Home, Sewing and Craft Supplies, and Handmade Bags two categories this year: Craft Supplies and Handmade Items. What used to take a day, has grown so large that it encompasses the whole week to let people have a chance to enter as many giveaways as possible. Stop by Sew Mama Sew to check out all the categories and to spend countless hours (seriously!) entering your name into the dozens of awesome draws that are held.

I’m holding two separate giveaways, one for children’s fabrics in quilting cotton – see here! – and this one, which is for children’s fabrics in canvas. This giveaway is open worldwide. The draw will be held on December 14, whenever I wake up, but I will only accept entries date stamped with December 13. Mr Random will be doing the honours.

Kiddie Fabric

When these Daiwabo elephants were first released, you me and everybody else in the world I think fell all over ourselves to get our hands on it. But in too much of a rush, I didn’t pay enough attention and bought myself a Fat Quarter pack of canvas elephants, rather than quilting cotton elephants. Oops. I couldn’t figure out what the heck to do with them, so mostly they’ve just sat around unused. (A few of them do have a couple small pieces cut out of them, but not much.) The hippos came later and that’s actually a half yard of fabric (I believe, I didn’t measure it though to be sure). Canvas as a fabric kind of mystifies me – except for bags (and maybe slipper outers?) I can’t really figure out what to use it for. It’s a bit coarse so I don’t like it for quilting and it’s strong enough it seems like it should be used for things that might take some abuse. But what exactly? I just don’t know. Cushion covers? A fat quarter didn’t seem (to me) like enough to just… make something with.

The Important Bit: What you need to do to be entered
Unlike my other draw, I don’t need to know where you’re from, but I like it when people are a little more engaged than just leaving a “Thanks for the chance. email@email.com” type comment. So tell me what you do with small amounts of canvas. I don’t care what the winner actually does with the fabric, but just a general idea about how you would make use of quarter yards of canvas. (I just can’t imagine using it in a quilt. Although it does give a nice weight, and I do sleep better under a weighted blanket than under a lightweight one.)

You do not need to include your email address in the body of your response. WordPress requires an email address from all people leaving comments and it is accessible to me (though not to anyone reading my blog).

Don’t forget to stop by my other giveaway here and Sew Mama Sew to enter as many more giveaways as you’ve got time to enter!

giveaway_2013_Dec9

Please also note that I will be editing your response to include a comment number, so as to save myself counting (and then counting again) through dozens (hundreds?) of comments to find the winners. If you do not post some sort of response that indicates you’ve actually read the post, you won’t be entered. You don’t have to answer the canvas question – you could tell me where you’re from or what your day has been like or what Hogwarts house you’d sort in. Please forgive me if I don’t respond to your comment – I try to respond to every person who comments on my blog, but Giveaway Day has a tendency to make one’s email inbox explode, so I might not this go-around.


259 Comments

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day – Kiddie Fabric (Cotton)

Giveaway Day is now Closed. Winners will be notified Saturday December 14, 2013 have been notified and a post about the winners will be up as soon as I hear back from them. Thanks everyone for playing along!

Here were my winners:

cotton-malaysia

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Zura blogs at Sew Retro Chic and has a sweet little boy, so hopefully that fabric will be useful for something cute for him. Leigh Anne blogs at Ella’s Cottage.

It’s Giveaway Day! If you have stumbled across my blog somehow without knowing what Giveaway Day is… well, it’s a day (week, really) when Sew Mama Sew does a link-up of blogs where something crafty (handmade or supply related) is being given away. There are several categories: Handmade Baby and Kid Items, Handmade Accessories, Handmade for the Home, Sewing and Craft Supplies, and Handmade Bags two categories this year: Craft Supplies and Handmade Items. What used to take a day, has grown so large that it encompasses the whole week to let people have a chance to enter as many giveaways as possible. Stop by Sew Mama Sew to check out all the categories and to spend countless hours (seriously!) entering your name into the hundreds of awesome draws that are held.

NOTE: One of the following giveaways will be drawn for a Canadian or International (meaning not from the USA) entrant only. There are always a bunch of giveaways that are restricted to US residents only and while I don’t begrudge anyone the need to keep their mailing costs down (especially just before Christmas, which so many of us celebrate a little too extravagantly) I always like to have a giveaway that’s just for those of us who are typically excluded. I have one more giveaway here, which is open to entrants worldwide. You may enter either or both of the giveaways as you choose. For this giveaway, I will have Mr Random.org draw two numbers, one of which MUST belong to a Canadian or non-American entrant and then divvy up the prizes from there. If the first person drawn is from the US, then I will continue to draw numbers until I draw an non-US winner. The International recipient will get their first choice of prize, whatever is left will go to the second prize winner. (If MR Random draws two international names, the first name drawn will receive the prize pack of their choice.) The draw will be held on December 14, whenever I wake up, but I will only accept entries date stamped with December 13.

Kiddie Fabric

I’ve been on something of a mission this last few months to get rid of unwanted things. I’m having a really hard time getting rid of fabric – even the fabric I don’t want any more or know I won’t use! – but getting rid of children’s fabrics is pretty easy for me. If I make kid quilts, I prefer to use fabrics that aren’t necessarily baby or child focussed whenever possible. And yet somehow I’ve managed to amass quite a collection of children’s prints. Sometimes it was just because it was so damned cute. Sometimes it was just because it came in a scrap pack of fabric I purchased online. Sometimes I bought it with a particular project in mind (and then never finished it, most likely…). I’m splitting this pile of fabric up into three different bundles – two quilting cotton and one canvas (the canvas fabrics are being given away here). Both cotton packs are a mix of cut lengths (the dinosaur fabric is a half yard) and totally random scraps – some large, others small. I’ve broken the packs up by weight, so they’re both about the same amount of fabric (within about 15 gr).

Prize Pack One: Boy(ish) Prints + Blue Alphabet Panel

Kiddie Fabric

I don’t generally love to buy fabrics that are kind of… gender-specific – you know, cars and dinosaurs for boys, dolls and princesses for girls – but it’s awfully hard to find kids fabric that feels gender-neutral without just being green and yellow. I don’t actually mind putting pink or purple into a boy quilt or wrenches and robots into a quilt for a girl, but some people do get really bent out of shape if you cross the lines. (I gave a blue quilt to a friend once for her daughter and she actually questioned me on my choice of colour for a girl quilt! I felt like taking it back and still sometimes do, when I think about it!)

Kiddie Fabric

This Alphabet panel came from Deb Strain’s Love U line for Moda. I think it was designed with a soft alphabet book in mind. Each of the patches is about 6″ square, and the panel itself is 24″ by Width of Fabric.

Prize Pack Two: Girl(ish) prints + Green Alphabet Panel

Kiddie Fabric

I say that about not loving to do gender specific quilts, but it’s awfully hard to get away from anyway! Look how readily my fabrics split down gender lines. If I were to show you all the baby quilts I’ve ever made, at least two are boy specific (blue and brown with trucks on the backing or blue with little car fabrics) and two are girl specific (purple with mermaids or pink pink pink). (The rest could go either way, I think.) How do you feel about gendered fabrics? Do you think you should have a pink/blue divide? Do you mix a little of both regardless of the recipient? Or do you do like me and try to default to what the parents will prefer or avoid the situation altogether by not using children’s fabrics and pink/purple?

Kiddie Fabric Kiddie Fabric
Kiddie Fabric

The panel is exactly the same as the blue one – just a few close-ups to show what it looks like.

The Important Bit: What I need to know
1. Where are you from – please include your country, I don’t know what all the US short-forms are for state names.
2. Which prize pack would you prefer to win, one or two
3. Gendered fabrics/colours, what do you think? (This isn’t a requirement, I’m just interested to know people’s thoughts! Please don’t start an argument in the comments if you disagree with someone.) (Haha.. as if anyone has time for arguments, with all the giveaways to be entered!)

You do not need to include your email address in the body of your response. WordPress lets me require an email address from all people leaving comments, and I do, so it is accessible to me already.

Don’t forget to stop by my other giveaway here and Sew Mama Sew to enter as many more giveaways as you’ve got time to enter!

giveaway_2013_Dec9

Please also note that I will be editing your response to include a comment number, so as to save myself counting (and then counting again) through dozens (hundreds?) of comments to find the winners. If you do not tell me where you’re from, your response will NOT be included in the draw. Please forgive me if I don’t respond to your comment – I try to respond to every person who comments on my blog, but Giveaway Day has a tendency to make one’s email inbox explode, so I might not this go-around.


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Apple Potholders

A while ago I had my 111st post and I’d decided to do a secret giveaway, where anyone who commented would be entered into a draw and the winner was going to win something handmade by me, something probably kind of silly, but hopefully useful, I’d said. The winner was Carly at CitricSugar, and I figure it’s probably time I talk about what I sent her, because the package did arrive earlier this week.

Apple potholder/hot pads!

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The pattern for these apples was adapted, kind of, from Ayumi Takahashi’s Patchwork, Please! book which came out earlier this year. I think a lot of you have probably read it – it’s been kind of big on the craft blog scene, which makes sense because it’s a cute book, with lots of fun little projects in it. It’s nice that everything in it is do DOABLE, but also so cute and useful while they’re at it. There are quite a few things in this book that I would like to make, which is more than I can saw for a lot of craft/quilting books. I’d decided a while ago to quit buying craft books and start borrowing them from the library first and this is the only book I’ve bought since then without reading it for free first. By and large I wasn’t disappointed by that choice, though I often find the pattern directions slightly mystifying – for instance, when you sew things right sides together, it usually if not always recommends sewing the entire way around, then unpicking part of the stitches to turn it right side out, which… why? – and I mentioned some time ago being frustrated by not being able to easily print the patterns (trying to get them onto a photocopier so that I could eventually blow up the pattern – by 143%, of all the ridiculous amounts) and how eventually I just ripped a page out of the book:

Pattern, Please?

The pattern I ripped out of the book was NOT the apple pattern, but a pattern for a hexagon potholder. Which I never did make. In the book, the apples are actually bibs, but as I have no use for apple bibs (and didn’t think Carly did either), but still wanted to make this ridiculously cute pattern, I converted them to potholders/hot pads.

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I made the green hotpad first, and it’s truest to the book – it’s the same size as the bib, with the leaf made as suggested. You stitch together a front and back with right sides together, then flip it right-side out, and stitch it down. It was hard to do. I think I stitched around the outside of the leaf three times before I got it close enough to the edge to look good and not super jerky (because I was using a quarter inch foot and couldn’t really see where my stitches were going on that tiny space). So for the next two potholders, I decided to do a lazily embroidered leaf, rather than stitching one down:

Orange Apple Potholder

Not that those leaves are perfect either – I didn’t switch over to a darning foot/FMQ foot, so I had a really hard time making smooth curves with the machine. It was more successful than unsuccessful, but yeah. Not perfect.

For the second and third potholders, I upped the size a little. The green one is big enough to put a small pot on, or a coffee pot or something, but it is a little bit small for a hot pad, so I made the next two a little larger. They only ended up about 1/4-inch bigger all around, but they are a slightly nicer size for a pot holder.

Red Apple Potholder

By and large, I really enjoyed making these. I was glad to have an excuse to use some of that apple fabric (in all three shades I own!) and it can be really satisfying to make small things (quicker turn around, and I’m far more likely actually to finish them!) and I love giving things away and I got to practise a new technique.

Bound, Binding, Unbound

The new technique being bias binding. I’ve made projects before that should have used bias binding and I very stubbornly tried to do them with straight-grain binding (and naturally it looked like crap), but this time I decided to suck it up, princess and get on with it. It was really not so hard to work with, although I had varying levels of success with the dip in the top of the apple. It was great going around curves, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that dip look good. I think they all came out pretty well despite my lack of experience. I had to smush a lot of fabric up under the binding at that point, but it looks pretty smooth I think.

Apple Potholders

Inside of each potholder is a layer of Insulbrite and a layer of batting underneath that. They feel impossibly thin and I barely thought they’d actually function as potholders, but I put a hot casserole dish on one of them for a quite a while, and the counter top stayed cool, so it must have reflected the heat back up as it was suppose to.

Anyway, I think it’s as pretty fun thing to make, and a great way to mod the bib pattern, if you haven’t got little kids to put cute apple bibs on. (I do recommend making them larger than the bib size – add about half an inch all around and it should be big enough to use with most pots.)