Wednesday, December 29, 2010

just what I needed

mod sampler top
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
Myra's challenge to finish up Projects that are Half Done over the next six months, is just what I needed. I'm so excited to have come upon this PhD challenge and am looking forward to seeing everyone's progress.
Here's my list of 6 PhDs that I hope to finish:
first one is my Mod Sampler.
pattern: QAL hosted by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson!
from it, I learned the basics of cutting and piecing.
status: backing almost finished piecing, then quilting and binding.

second one is my Hazel Ilene Diary quilt.
pattern: QAL hosted by Shelly Pagliai; Flickr pool found here.
status: blocks are done except the setting blocks, then to finish piecing, quilting and binding. this pic only shows half of the blocks.

quilt layout

Third is Joanne of Thread Head's QAL.
Pattern/info can be found here.
status: we're still making the blocks but will complete it over the winter months. Come join the fun! I don't have a group shot of the blocks completed so far but this is one design:
Thread Head QAL - block 2

Fourth is my A Tisket, A Tasket, 12 Months of Baskets.
pattern: QAL hosted by Bunny Hill Designs. Flickr pool found here.
status: have all but 3 blocks done, then the piecing together yet to do and quilting and binding.

Fifth is my baby pinwheel quilt.
pattern: found at Moda Bake Shop here.
status: yet to quilt and bind.
baby pinwheel quilt top

And lastly, is a very bright pinwheel and star quilt being made for my son.
pattern: kind of winging it, but alot of the block patterns are from a pinwheel QAL hosted by Rachel Griffith. Flickr pool found here.
status: a few blocks yet to do, then the sashing and quilting and binding.
pinwheel/star quilt

I really hope to get these done in the coming months. Some I may take to a long-arm quilter to just get'er done. I'm looking forward to watching everyone's progress on their PhD's!
Happy sewing everyone in 2011! ♥

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

more gifts

For these fun notebook covers, I used this tutorial by Deanna of Wedding Dress Blue. I just varied the closures a bit. Deanna's instructions are great so it's easy to do. I think they make a nice, useful gift for someone.
My two year old daughter loved this owl fabric so thought it would be a fun scribble pad for her.

For this set for my sister, I used the gathered clutch tutorial by Anna of Noodlehead. It was the first time I'd added covered tabs to the ends of a zipper and I really like the outcome. I just added a strap to make it like a wristlet.
I didn't put pockets inside, so for added stability, I used batting. Think it should provide protection for her i-phone, camera, etc. this way. I quilted the back a bit.

For this little crayon roll-up for my daughter, I used this tutorial by Lindsey of Pleated Poppy.
Fun and fast to make up.
It's a little tight for fat, toddler crayons but would be perfect for regular ones.

I had so much fun making these little projects up. A big thanks to all those wonderful bloggers out there that are so creative and inspiring and freely give of their knowledge and talents. It's so appreciated!

ornaments and mug rugs

Here's a few ornaments I made in December. A few I kept and hung on doorknobs throughout the house. I liked that, so want to make more. I had to give the gingerbread guy away because my two year old was quite distressed with him...she kept bringing me fabric to 'patch' him up with, lol!
The tutorial for this half eaten gingerbread man can be found here.

For the muslin I used in these, I tea dyed it. Thought it made them softer, warmer looking.

The backs:

This mug rug my nine year old son made. I just did the cutting for him. He did the rest, designing and stitching it. We omitted the binding so it was easier for him.

These I had fun making. The colors aren't accurate here but they are away in the mail now so I can't do a retake of them. Doing the bit of hand stitching made me realize how I miss hand work; need to do more of that this coming year.

I love this fun print for the backs. Thought it would make them reversible when one side gets dirty.

And another one with a matching ornament.

So that's a few of the things made for Christmas. I have a few more to show in my next post. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Still can't believe it! Wow, I'm so thrilled! I won Linda's giveaway and got to pick which beautiful Santa I wanted. I've done that kind of work before, with beads and counted cross stitch on perforated paper, and know it entails many hours. It was so hard to decide but eventually I chose the top one, Saint Nick. And he's already at my house, hanging on the tree! He's so perfectly stitched; just beautiful. I love him! Plus Linda included a lovely card and gorgeous green fat quarter. Thank you so much, Linda!!♥ I feel so lucky to have won this wonderful giveaway! Thank you, thank you!♥

Saturday, November 20, 2010

So many give aways!

Bloggers are just amazing in their generosity. There are so many wonderful give aways going on right now. Just had to mention a few:
Joanne from Thread Head is giving away one of her beautiful quilting pieces. You must check this out.
Linda from Stitch Lines is giving away a beautiful stitched beaded Santa ornament.
Jodi from Pleasant Home is giving away a huge box of her wonderful scraps. It's the end of the Sew Scraps Along. I'm sad to see this one end. I just loved all her great ideas of quickly using up those scraps we all have and I had so much fun doing them.
So head on over and check them out. I know I will be and good luck!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

mug rug #2

I made this mug rug with selvages...yes, those bits of fabric one trims off and usually throws out. I started collecting them awhile back, not knowing what for, but I'd seen lots of cute things made with them in bloggy land. Well, Jodi over at Pleasant Home, just so happened to do another great scrappy tutorial, for this Sew Scraps Along; this time using selvages. Don't think I'll ever have enough to make a quilt like she's doing, but this was a fun way to use some up. It measures 9.5"x6"; just right for a mug and snack.
Notes to self:
-don't be lazy; press them first and trim up. My strips turned out kinda wonky b/c I didn't.
- now that I know I'm going to use these strips for 'something, sometime' and they won't be wasted, trim a wider section. Mine were too skinny, plus I think you're suppose to trim 1" or wider off, right?
-when getting them in place on the fusible web, work on the ironing board, lol! Will save moving and hence having to do it all over again!

It was a fun, little project.

And I finally got around to getting some binding clips. I didn't care for sewing on binding b/c of always getting stuck with pins. These clips worked great! I'd highly recommend them.

Hope you have a happy, sewing day :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

another scrappy finish

denim rag quilt
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
Awhile back, I'd made up some squares of denim or cotton, layered with two flannel squares, for my two year old to play with. The denim was from our old jeans and the flannel from old sheets. She loved playing with these, as in the pic below, laying them out, stacking them, etc.
my little helper

Well they were looking rather scruffy from all the play so I decided to put them in a wee quilt for her.
What fun and fast to make up! And when I told her it was her's, she said, "This mine, this mine? Oh boy, oh boy" and jumped up and down! LOL! I wanted to get a pic of her with it, but she was too upset that I took it for a few minutes to take a pic of. So this will have to do for now.

I wasn't sure how I'd like the look of the seams showing like this, but I do like it alot. I can see using up all kinds of scraps or clothing to make more of these. Plus, this is great for in the stroller...won't have to worry about it falling in the dirt or snow.

Have you made anything with your scraps lately? It feels so good!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thread Head QAL - block 3 & block 4

A few more blocks done for Joanne's QAL. I'm really loving the block designs and her directions are great! I'm still working out my alternating block fabrics; thinking of making them scrappy to use fabrics I have on-hand. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

scrappy mug rug

Another scrappy finish! I've wanted to make one of these mug rugs for awhile now. So handy for a cup of tea and a cookie, or in my case, cookies! And it just so happened that Jodi of Pleasant Home posted a great tutorial to make one. So here's my attempt at it:

Here are the scraps I started with...
They were cut from charms when I was doing another project and I just couldn't toss them out. So this was a perfect way to use them up. I just used muslin as a foundation to piece the strips, to make the tree and then followed Jodi's tute.
I can see making more of these; great for gifts for teachers or to pop in the mail for a quick gift. If you haven't made one yet, go grab some scraps and have fun making one! There are lots on Flickr to get inspiration from too.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scrap quilt

So when I say it's a scrap quilt, this one most surely is! It's made using bits of fabric that have been in my scrap bins for years, some even two decades. Yep! I try to use bits here and there in projects, but nothing was making a dent in the heap until now. And they were a tangled mess! Until I took Jodi's great advice in this Sew Scraps Along and sorted them out. I mean I had all kinds of fabrics, like twill, jean, cordoroy, velvet, etc. all mixed in together. So I took those out and put them aside and just worked with the cottons, sorting them by color. That was a week ago Saturday. Now my scraps are nicely stashed in ziploc baggies by color which is so much easier to use. Eventually I plan on having a bin for each color but that will come later when I reorganize my stash.

Then I used Jodi's scrap block method and went to work, only using greens, blues, pinks and yellows. It was so much fun to make and so quick and easy! The blocks finish at 9". I can see that if you had your scraps nicely squared up before starting this, it would be a very quick quilt to make.
There are no designer fabrics here (other than the pink Aviary sashing/borders), but I can look at each one and think what I'd made with it before, or there are bits from my Mom's stash or from a teacher years ago that gave me a bag of scraps b/c I'd told her I wanted to learn to quilt some day. Nothing fancy but they have memories for me. And I've made a quilt top in just over a week, which is a first for me. I do love it and am so happy that I've finally used up so many of my scraps! Hopefully my two-year old daughter will enjoy snuggling in it once I finish it up.
Now I just have to decide how to back it and bind it and then maybe, just maybe, I might be brave enough to try some FMQ on it. We'll see! But in the mean time, I'm going to enjoy starting more of Jodi's scrap busting projects.
Thank you, Jodi, for this great Sew Scraps Along! I can see how these ideas of managing one's scraps are going to be so helpful to me in the future.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thread Head QAL - block 1 & 2

Thread Head QAL - block 1
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
So I've started in on Joanne's awesome quilt-along. I'm going to be using my jelly roll of Tradition where ever possible along with some other Howard Marcus FQ's that I have and various charms. Think a run to the LQS is in order though this weekend, to pick up the fabrics for the alternating blocks.
We're to do two of each block so I'm going to vary the second one I do of each, just a tad. In the first, I made a scrappy 9-patch so I could use up some scraps.
In block 2, I just changed the outer points to another fabric to give a different affect.
Thread Head QAL - block 2

Now back to sewing...feeling like I'm swamped in QAL's right now but it sure helps to keep ya motivated when you don't know anyone IRL who quilts!
Thanks for dropping by. ♥

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thread Head's QAL

Joanne of Thread Head, who is so incredibly talented, is hosting a quilt-along that I just can't resist! She'll be posting one or two blocks a week over the next few months and we're to make two of each block; that is if you're going to do the large size quilt. But if you want to do something smaller, she's posted lots of options! I'm already dreaming of what I'm going to do with these lovely blocks.

So far, I've decided to use my Howard Marcus prints. For the alternating blocks, I'm undecided. May require a trip to the LQS but that's never a bad thing, right?!
Hope you'll join in the fun too!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Colours

Hope all of my fellow Canadians had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We sure did, visiting my parents in Northern Ontario on Georgian Bay. I love Fall and this year, the colors have been amazing...

Now back to sewing.

Jodi of Pleasant Home is starting up a fun sew-along. It's purpose is to help you use up your scraps. She'll be doing 4 or 5 projects; telling us enough to get us started using up those scrap bins. Sounds like fun, so think I'll join in...though I know it's not likely wise, considering all the UFO's I currently have, but you know how it goes. Tomorrow it officially starts, so go on over and join in the fun too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

FMQ practise

FMQ practise pad
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
So I mentioned in my previous post, I've joined Christina's free motion quilt-along over at A Few Scraps (button in my sidebar). I've wanted to learn this for awhile now, but each time I've attempted it on scraps, my tension is all off. Guess this is common and each person has to play with their machine, thread, needles, speed, etc. to get it right. So I'm persevering this time.
This pic is of my first practise pad. You can see, with the straight lines, the tension was way too loose (click pic and it will enlarge). So kept changing it and finally by the last rows, it was pretty good with few loops on the back. Here I'd used just scraps of muslin and bits of batting left over from making totes.
Then I had to make up a quilt sandwich like this. The objective is to just whip something up quick, even if it's ugly, so that you don't fear messing it up. I had an old panel from my MIL that looked like it was to be made into crib bumper pads. It was old and yellowing so figured, why not cut it up and try to make a quilt top of it.
Then I had an old sheet that I'd made into a curtain for around my drafting table that I'd used as a change table years ago, so again, figured why not repurpose it into the backing. Took out some seams, cut it up and repieced it for the backing. So here's my quilt sandwich:

FMQ practise quilt

Hope it will make a fun play mat for my 2 year old. I used some cheap poly batting I had in my stash. Quickly found out that was not a good idea! It's hard to work with. Too fluffy. Hard to avoid puckering. My first two lines of stitching were too loose and looked awful. Decided to rip them out. Was going to throw in the towel then and there! But then Christina wrote this in her blog:
"So if you're just starting out, with angles where you want curves, crooked lines where you want straight ones, stitch length issues and awful tension, carry on. It's just the way it has to be.The way out of this free motion morass is through. Keep stitching. Get through that first quilt and on the road to better quilting."

So I decided to keep trying. Tried working on my loops and pebbling. In so doing, I totally forgot that I was planning on working around the pictures of the teddies. Sewed right over top! But not going to worry about it now.
FMQ practise quilt

I really like the pebbling effect. Tried doing different things in the center of them like I saw over at Leah Day's great site.
FMQ practise quilt

So at least I'm doing it. See my quote at the top right sidebar? That is what I'm going to keep telling myself! And maybe one day, I'll be able to finish up some of my quilt tops!

Anyone else struggling with FMQ?
Happy stitching and thanks for dropping by! ♥

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hazel Ilene diary QAL - block 12

Yippee! I finished up the last block. I love this one! A few areas didn't match and it's a wee bit off from the 6.5" it's suppose to be, but think it's okay.
We have a bit more work to do on the setting blocks and then we'll start putting it together. I'm so looking forward to this! Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm not too far out in some blocks to get things lined up all right. But it's all been great practise for me. Shelly has done such an amazing job with this QAL, explaining things in such detail that you really can't mess up, even for a beginner like me. I so appreciate that!

I'm debating on whether to have a long-arm quilter do the quilting for me. In the meantime, I've joined another quilt-along run by A Few Scraps. Just click on the button on my right side bar for it and it'll take you to all the details. It's focus is not on the quilt but to quickly put together a scrap quilt to practise free-motion quilting. Such a great idea and very fun! I've already learned a whole lot but I'll save that for another post.

Thanks for dropping by! ♥

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

money pouch for son

school wallet for son
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
Every week practically, my son has to bring money to school for something or other, mostly fund raising. Often there is a form too that accompanies it, which we put all in a ziploc baggie. But I was looking for a 'greener' alternative b/c he often tossed the bag afterwards. We already use these for our sandwich bags which are wonderful and if you want to know about this site's awesome cloth diapers, I'd be more than happy to tell you. Anyways, he needed something larger than just a little wallet for both the money and forms.

So I decided to make this wristlet pattern from Ayumills of Pink Penquin. My son chose the fabrics, deciding he wanted one side with patches and the other a large print. He didn't want the inner pocket or the wristlet strap, so it made the project quick. And they are such great instructions that it was easy peasy! Have to say, if you've been afraid to put in a zipper with a lining like me, try this tutorial! This was my first time, and her hints and ample pictures make it easy. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

And the other side:

school wallet for son
I tried a bit of free-motion quilting on it and what fun it was! I have tried it in the past and my bobbin side always came out a big mess with loops. Well after watching a few video's from this site, I decided to take a deep breath and just go for it again but at a faster speed. And it worked! Woohoo! The underside was fine! Obviously I have much practise to do to perfect my stitch length, but now maybe I can try some loopy patterns and other fun stuff and maybe one day, be able to do a quilt with it. That would be wonderful!

And one note, incase anyone else has this problem with their machine is a Kenmore and it states in the manual to use a certain number stitch for when you're using the darning foot. Well it's fine for basting as the machine stops after every stitch and you have to press the pedal again each time. But that won't do for FMQ! One day I decided why not try it on just the basic straight stitch and see what happens, and it continued to sew. I was so happy to discover this as I primarily got this machine to FMQ and to find out that it didn't work, I was super dissappointed. I even checked on-line reviews and found other's with the same problem so I knew it wasn't just me doing something wrong. And I really felt any machine should be capable of free-motion quilting so there had to be a way. And now I know!

Since then, I've been playing with all sorts of new stitches and methods. Soon, I want to make up a booklet of pages of stitches and the settings and foot I used to achieve them. So often I forget what a stitch actually looks like. Have you ever made up a stitch book for your machine? Have you discovered anything new about your machine recently?

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hazel Diary QAL - block 11

Going on holidays, put me behind but I'm all caught up now. This one is called the Barbara Frietschie Star. I'm so excited now to be doing the last block. Then we'll just have the setting blocks to finish up and can start assembling it. Woohoo!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

binder pouch

pencil case
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum

Anna from Noodlehead, has many great tutorials. This one was fun to make. It can be found here on Sew, Mama, Sew. It was good practise for me, sewing with the clear vinyl and putting in the zipper.
What I changed:
-the piecing in the front section b/c we were working with scraps and my son wanted the embroidery
-used french seams so the edges were concealed inside and won't fray

My son loves it :) The car got cut off more than I expected as I was doing the french seams but otherwise, I'm happy with it too. The tutorial was well done.
A fun, practical item to make. Check out Anna's blog for lots of other great ideas!
Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hazel Ilene QAL-block 10

Hazel Ilene QAL-block 10
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
Another one done! woohoo! This one is called Mississippi Star Variation. I'm getting so excited to see this one come together. Just two more blocks and then we start the assembly. I'm seriously thinking of taking this top when it's finished to a long-arm to do the quilting. It would be such a treat to see fancy quilting done on it.

And a big Thank You to Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts for the wonderful Simple Abundance charm pack she sent me. I love the fabrics and she sent one of her patterns too. What a delightful surprise in the mail it was!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Anne Sutton's I ♥ My Pet Contest

Cheyenne & Dakota
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs is having an I Love My Pet contest on her blog right now. She's giving away an incredible basket of goodies to the lucky winner.
These are my pet pics that I sent in. We have two yellow labradors and one kitty.
You only have until Aug. 14th to submit your pet pics, so send in your pics and get in on the drawing!