Monday, November 7, 2011

lined drawstring bag

I needed a quick gift bag as our new kitty literately shredded a pattern I was using to make one. A quick search of flickr and I found this one:
It's great! Fun, fast and easy! I just might make up a bunch to have on-hand for gift bags.

lined drawstring bag

Sky just had to pop into the picture too!

PS. I'm still having problems with Blogger's editing tools. Now I just learned that Blogger is no longer supporting my browser so that's why certain functions don't work; ugh! Not sure what I'm going to do now...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hamels Fabrics: a great store!

I've recently found a wonderful Canadian on-line store called You'll have to check it out! Compared to where I live in Ontario, the prices are fantastic, even with shipping costs. And I had prompt emails and wonderful service with my orders. I bought one of their quilt kits and when there wasn't enough of the backing that I wanted, they kindly let me know and gave suggestions, of which I picked one and I love it! I can't wait to get started on it.

a quilt kit

Also, I was running low on fabrics for my Thread Head quilt and so was thrilled to find this fat quarter bundle, on sale, of Collection for a Cause. I'm using these fabrics in the quilt, along with other projects, so it won't be hard to use these up.

Collection for a Cause FQ bundle

So if you are in need of a fabric 'fix' or need any sewing supplies at all, check them out!

And since I have no sewing to show because we are renovating and hence I can't find my machine with all the chaos, I'll show our new little kitty instead. She was named Leisha by my 3 year old and came to us in a clay strawberry pot in our garden. Yes, that's right. She and her sibling were found weak and hungry in the pots. Thankfully, they had found this shelter because the night before was cold and raining.
This is the other kitty when we found them:

We shortly found out that another one was found the day before in our neighbours yard. Since the neighbours had already taken theirs to the vet, they shared the kitty formula they had with us, as they were only about 4 weeks old. So we got food into them right away. My son fell in-love with one and my neighbours each took the others. So all worked out great!

Now we already have two dogs and a cat but it's amazing how well they have accepted her and get along. She often sleeps with the dog!

She likes to clean the dog's coat too, especially the ears, which is interesting as our dog is being treated for an ear infection. It's like she knows.


So I think she's settled in very well. And like many cats, enjoys sleeping on quilts best!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

a little sundress for my sweetie

For the FNSI last night, I decided to make this simple little dress found over in the free pattern section at the Fat Quarter Shop, called the Pretty Pillowcase Dress.

My daughter loves this dot fabric, so I thought it would be fun to use. I wanted to try out the old White machine, so it was a bit of an experiment. Ended up sewing most of it on that machine except for a bit of machine embroidery on the hemline, and I was pretty happy with it. It did take some getting used to though, with not having the fancy buttons of a newer machine!


Here she's on her tippy toes, dancing about!

She won't take it off now, so I think it's a hit! :)
I like these FNSI's!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sew-In tonight!

Handmade by Heidi

It's that time again! Tonight! Maybe I'll use my new-to-me sewing machine.
vintage WHITE Zigzag Sewing machine, model 363

Isn't it lovely?! A vintage WHITE zigzag machine, model 363! My dear husband picked it up at a garage sale for $25, complete with table, manual, attachments, seam rippers, bobbins and needles!!

lots of accessories!

It has a knee pedal which I'd never used before.

vintage WHITE zigzag machine

I've had a chance to play with it some after my hubby oiled and cleaned it up a bit, and wow, it's so quiet! It has a lovely straight stitch and plows through 4 layers of thick denim with ease! This is great as I'm drawn to repurposing old jeans and other thicker clothing fabrics and my current Kenmore machine struggles with that. The zigzag is nice too. The only thing that appears to need replacing is the bobbin winder rubber ring, so hope we can find that somewhere.

Anyone else drawn to the old machines? Like to collect them? I'd love to hear about them. I also have a Normar and Necchi Lelia 515, an old treadle Singer and another old Singer that needs restoring. Someday I hope to have them all set up and working!

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

another album cover

These album covers are so addictive! This one is for my Mom, who loves doing photo albums. I used Moda's Patisserie and Aviary to make it and some vintage rick rack of my Grandma Helen's. The pattern can be found over at MBS here:

materials for album cover

album cover

I did a larger meandering pattern when quilting this one and I liked the effect. Luckily though I didn't adhere the backing to it before doing the quilting, because I had lots of loops on the underside. Didn't do something right! But that was okay as the backing covered it up; whew! I just adhered it with spray adhesive and that seemed to work fine.

full view of album cover

For the inside pockets, I pieced them with the floral on the inside and a wide strip showing on the edge, with a bit of machine embroidery.

So that's all I've done lately. Having too much summer fun! Hope you are too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

mug rugs completed

Using the bits I had cut and sewn on the last FNSI, my 10 year old son and I came up with these:
mug rugs

He did all of the quilting himself and alot of the binding sewing. We used this tutorial for the binding, seeing as I'd never sewn on binding completely by machine before:
Figured these things should be durable for frequent washing so opted to do it this way. It was not without struggles though as at first, we tried a decorative stitch to sew it down. Bad idea! Machine didn't like that. So we had to cut it off and try again; this time using the walking foot. Still took a bit of getting used to, but by the last one, think we had it figured out. The machine just didn't like the jean thickness.

The funny thing is, we worked to get them done in time for school ending on Wednesday, but I don't think he's going to be able to deliver them until the Fall. He came down with chickenpox! :( He's healing well though so there is still a slight chance he'll be able to go on the last day.

Now onto the next project which will be top secret for now as it's a gift. Then back to my PhD challenge projects. I know it ends at the end of June, and I wish I'd have completed more of my UFO's for it, but I'm happy with at least getting two done. And I still want to complete them before the year is done. That's my goal now and it has stopped me from starting various tempting quilt-alongs! So I'm okay with that.

BTW, is anyone else having troubles with their blogger editing tools? I haven't been able to use any fonts, colors, hyerlinking, etc for ages now. I found a keyboard shortcut to hyperlink that worked once, but now doesn't. Very strange! So that's why I've got all these links in my posts now. So if anyone can help me out, please do comment or shoot me an email. It's really annoying!

Thanks for dropping by!♥

Saturday, June 18, 2011

FNSI results

Not too much was accomplished last night, but turns out, that was a good thing. I was going to make another jean tote for a teacher as a year-end gift, but I like to get my son's opinion on fabric choices, design, etc. when we do these things. I got to a point and wanted his opinion on something, so I decided to call it a night as he'd already gone to bed. I'd got the jeans cut to size and the pieced blocks were to be for the front panel/pocket.

FNSI results

But we got talking this morning, and have now decided to make mug rugs out of this for four teachers he has. This way, he'll be able to do more of the sewing and quilting himself.

So that was my'd you make out? Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to pop on over. Thanks for dropping by!♥

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

Handmade by Heidi

I almost missed this one but thanks to seeing Deanna's post on Wedding Dress Blue, I was able to sign up in time. This is just what I need to keep me moving on the totes. I'd like to make at least one more for a special teacher. So that's my plan for tonight. So if you haven't signed up yet, scoot on over there, sign up and pull out those projects! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

jean tote and coupon clutch

I know I said in the previous post that I was trying not to get sidetracked by smaller projects, but you know how it goes, right? I just realized that I needed some school year-end gifts for some people.
So I decided to make another jean tote, like the one I made for my husband. This time I made sure to write down more detailed measurements so the next one wouldn't take as long! It's finished measurements are 5.5" deep x 15" tall, so it's a good size bag. I used a pair of child's jeans for this one and some yardage from my stash. Feels great to use it up!

jean tote #2

I made one deep pocket on the inside to hold a coupon clutch. The bottom is made firm by a piece of mesh canvas inside a sleeve that has a slit on the back of it. This way, it can be removed for cleaning purposes.

jean tote #2

I used Deanna's of Wedding Dress Blue's tutorial for the coupon clutch:
This went together nice and quick!

coupon clutch

This will be for the school crossing guard, who is just the sweetest lady and really looks out for the kids. I know she loves to shop so hopefully she'll enjoy this.

jean tote & coupon clutch

Now maybe one or two more totes, then back to the crazy, oh-so-bright quilt that I am suppose to be working on for my son!

Thanks for dropping by!♥

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Made my day!

Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts, wrote a piece about me and the quilt I just finished from her quilt-along, and posted it the other day. I was the featured participant! It can be found HERE. This was so nice of Shelly to do! It really made my day! She has mentioned that she has another quilt-along in the works, so I'm looking forward to that.

I should add, I know that it's been quiet around here. I have been working on a quilt for my son. It is one of my PhD's or UFO's that I'd really like to finish, so I'm trying not to get sidetracked onto other smaller projects. But I managed to come down with eye shingles last month and am still recovering. Thankfully, my sister recognized the symptoms so we caught it early, but I'm still having issues. So not much sewing has gone on.

And just because I like to post with at least one pic, here is the UFO that I'm trying to finish:

pinwheel/star quilt

But I've changed it entirely; taking out blocks, adding blocks and putting it on point. Now I'm working on the scrappy border. Hopefully soon I'll get the top finished. Stay tuned! :)

Thanks for dropping by! ♥

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hazel Ilene Diary quilt is done!

Thanks to all your encouragement, I decided to quilt the Hazel Ilene Diary top myself. I just used the walking foot though to go around the blocks and the inner border. I would have liked to do some FMQ inside the blocks, but I chickened out. Figured any quilting was good practice and I just wanted to get'er done!
I used Shelly's method of putting on the binding and I really liked the outcome. It was easier to stitch down the binding without the bulky seams. It's likely how most quilter's do it but was different than how I'd learned. I still can't hyperlink for some reason so here's the link to her tutorial if you need it:

almost done!

I did a hidden label again for the corner and added a sleeve at the back for hanging it. Now I just need my husband to have time to make up a wall quilt rack. It will go above the sofa that's in the pic in our living room.

Hazel Ilene Diary quilt finished!

I'm so happy to have this done! I learned so many new things from Shelly, like how to do the fast flying geese, how to get your borders on so the quilt is straight, the binding method...oh, just so many things. I hope to do the other option for this quilt-along which was larger, because I know I'd learn some new things with that one too.

Shelly has said she's working on another quilt-along project, so I'm looking forward to doing another one! In the meantime, she's still posting about Hazel's diary each day, so it's still fun to read along on a girl's adventures in 1951/52.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a binder cover

This is my latest project. It's called a funky quilted binder cover and the pattern can be found over at MBS....hmm, for some reason, the blogger editing tools aren't working for me so I can't hyperlink anything; wierd?!
so here's the link:

Karen C., Funky Quilted Binder Cover

It went together fairly quickly. I was worried about messing up the measurements but in the end, it fit my binder perfectly. I did a little happy dance, then, lol!

I've always loved this type of 'braid' in quilting and wondered how it was done. It was alot easier than I thought it was. For the braid, I used a charm pack of Simple Abundance which I won awhile back from Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts while doing the Hazel Diary quilt-along..thank you, again Shelly! ♥ And the large scale print is what I used in my Hazel quilt which is also by Bonnie of Cotton Way & Camille of Thimble Blossoms. I wasn't going to use such a large print as it's rather busy with all the prints in the braid, but that's what the tutorial suggests to do, so I did it. And I'm really glad I did as I do like the outcome.

Karen C., Funky Quilted Binder Cover

I used Aviary green for the inside which was also used in my Hazel quilt. Then, because I'd cut up too many of my charms, I decided to piece the pockets and trim the edge with the charms.

This is the most FMQ meandering I've done in a project, and I can see why so many like doing their quilts this way. It was fun! And I like the resulting texture. I did it with the feed dogs UP instead of down, as I read Joanne of Thread Head likes to do and she does amazing work! so I had to give it a try. I had much more control and the tension on the back was good, without alot of loops. So I was happy with that; still not great but it's improving.

Karen C., Funky Quilted Binder Cover

So if you need a cover for a wedding album or baby album or gift, etc., this is a fun pattern to try. Mine holds all the tutorials for the Hazel Diary quilt-along and will be at my sewing desk to enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Aviary pillow

pillow using Aviary by 3 Sisters
I made this pillow from a pattern designed by mimi'sdarlins on Flickr (no blog). She was so kind to share it with me. I used Aviary fabrics by 3 Sisters for Moda. I did the stem my usual machine blanket stitch but then tried free motion quilting the rest. The petals and leaves are two pieces sewn together and turned RSO, via a slit you make on the back side. I tried a bit of FMQ in the background for texture after watching Leah's video on microstippling. The back is made with an opening, so I sewed up a pillow form to pop inside. I like that, for cleaning purposes.

I think my little sweetie likes her new pillow and quilt!

Aviary quilt and pillow

Thanks again, mimi'sdarlins, for this lovely pattern! ♥

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hazel Ilene Diary quilt top done!

Hazel Ilene Diary quilt top
I'm so happy to have this quilt top done! It was March of last year, that I started on this mystery quilt-along. It's been so much fun, reading Hazel's daily entries in her diary and then doing a wee bit of sewing each day on it. Must say, that I never thought a quilt like this would be sitting on my sewing table, made by me. But thanks to Shelly's wonderfully, detailed tutorials each and every day, I managed to get'er done! And along the way, I learned so many things. It really was like an on-line quilting course for me because its' taught me the fundamentals of piecing along with various new techniques. I can't thank Shelly enough for this gift to me. It's so appreciated that you have shared your knowledge and talents with us all.

And we're still following along on Hazel's diary, as Shelly is so kindly, continuing to post Hazel's daily entries. They are so entertaining! Just go HERE if you want to read more about it.

Now I just have to decide if I should send it out to a long-arm quilter..something I've never done before. Or should I try quilting it myself, which would likely be just in-the-ditch stitching around the blocks? Anyone have any thoughts or ideas to help me out here? I don't want to totally mess up something that's taken me a year to complete, so I'm all ears to any suggestions.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday Night Sew-in results

So this is what I got done last night...they are block 15 of the Thread Head QAL. I changed the tips of the star to a different fabric on the right one, just so they weren't exactly the same. Joanne had mentioned that in her instructions, which I find is a great help. I'm always amazed at how just a wee change in the placements of light and dark fabrics, can make to a block! They look so different!

Now off to see what other's accomplished last night. I'm always in awe at how much other's get done.
Leave me a link and I'll be sure to check it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

paper pieced heart card

paper-pieced heart card by JasonsMum
paper-pieced heart card a photo by JasonsMum on Flickr.

I love making cards for my family. They are a great way for me to try out new sewing methods, stitchery, etc. This one was paper pieced. I found the pattern HERE. I just used bits from my bag of pink scraps, hence it doesn't blend very well, but it was fun to do. Don't think I could do a whole quilt of this block, but maybe a mug rug or table runner would be fun. I just used regular printer paper which was rather tricky to pick out. I'm sure there is likey better methods of doing it. Anyone try paper piecing before?

Firday Night Sew-in

The Friday Night Sew-in is almost here. It's tomorrow night! Yippee! So today, think I'll do some cutting to prepare for it. I take forever to pick out fabrics sometimes! Then I can just sit and sew tomorrow night.
I've got so many projects on the go, it's hard to choose. I'm really behind in my blocks for the Thread Head QAL, so perhaps I'll work on a few of those.
So if you haven't signed up yet, there's still time! Pull out some projects and go to it! Don't forget to sign up HERE!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

jean tote

jean tote by JasonsMum
jean tote a photo by JasonsMum on Flickr.
Here's my latest project...a tote made from our old jeans! I made it for my husband to take his thermos and other lunch items in, along with a few tools, to work. It had to be durable as it will get muddy fast, riding the tractor and being tossed around on the farm! He's been using those cloth grocery bags you buy, but they didn't last long. He'd mentioned how the bags weren't much good, and so I thought why not give it a try, using denim.

I happened to have seen this great tutorial on Piece N Quilt. This quilt is on my to-do list now. I love it! I tried ripping the jeans as mentioned and it was so fast and easy! If you want a pile of jean strips in no time flat, do this! I was going to just sew them together to make a patchwork-type bag, then I saw the Jane Market Bag Flickr group and really liked the style. So I guessed at how it was put together.

jean tote

There is an outer pocket on both sides. Even the trim for that came from inside one of the pants! After I boxed the bottom, then I sewed up the four sides to give it structure.

jean tote

For the lining, I used some heavy cotton fabric that I had on-hand. I did a lined pocket for a binder or magazine. I didn't bother doing the corner pleats this time. For the bottom, to add more structure, I made a sleeve and popped in a piece of mesh canvas (thanks, mimi'sdarlins' for that idea!). That way, I can easily remove it to wash it.
I didn't bother with interfacing, even in the handles and it seems fine. In fact, in some areas, I really held my breath, expecting the needle to break because of the thickness, so I'm glad I didn't add it.

It certainly was fun and quick to make. I love making things like this, where you are repurposing old fabrics!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

cloth ABC book

cloth ABC book
Originally uploaded by JasonsMum
Another UFO that had been shelved for months, is now done! Woohoo! I didn't put it on my list for the PhD Challenge b/c it wasn't a quilt. But after doing all the 'pages', it sure seemed like I made a quilt!
I presume from the book panel, that you are to just cut them apart, and sew together into a small book. But I decided that I wanted it larger and saw a pattern in McCall's Quilting magazine, June 2007 that I could get some measurements from for the pages. The book in the mag though wasn't layed out like my letters and covering pages were so I had to figure out the layout. I did that months ago, then when sewing it and almost completed, it dawned on me that I really hadn't checked my layout. You should have seen my happy dance when I saw that it was okay, lol!
pages pieced

Note my little helper there :) She was so excited watching me make this!
The pages are layed out this way b/c I matched up one on the left side with the one directly across from it, ironed a light fusible interfacing on one of them and sewed them together, turning RSO, then top stitching. For the cover, I actually used batting between the layers.
It made for a very thick book so I couldn't machine sew the spine, so I just tied it in knots up the spine using quilting thread. Hope it holds!
The recipient of it, doesn't seem to mind though.

I'd shelved this months ago b/c I needed more yardage and my LQS was out of it. I'd put it aside then, being frustrated. The letters came from a Love U panel by Deb Strain for Moda, along with some yardage that I used.
But now that I'm in the get'er done mood, I just decided to finish it up, using whatever scraps I had on-hand. And I'm so glad that I did. I think she likes it!

she likes it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday Night Sew-in results

I'm happy to have two more blocks done for the Thread Head QAL.
The other star block was finished up as I pieced them; gotta love that!
I'm using a Moda scrap bag to make stars with my pile of ugly 9-patches that I'd pieced ages ago. I was going to rip the 9-patches apart to use the fabric in other ways. I'm glad I didn't now.
Hope you had a good evening of sewing too!
Thanks for dropping by!♥

Friday, February 18, 2011


It's here! :)
Plans: to work on blocks for the Thread Head QAL and as I'm doing it, via the leader and ender method, make a star block for another quilt I'm working on. Have some pieces cut out so far.
This is another project that's in the's a cloth ABC book for my daughter. Not sure I'll get any done on that but will see.

Got my house in order, comfy jammies on, nice glass of wine, and off we go...
Hope you all have a great evening of stitching too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pinwheel Baby Quilt done!

I'm so thrilled to have this done, just in time for my daughter's third birthday! The pattern is at Moda Bake Shop, by Jodi of Pleasant Home and can be found HERE. I'd actually finished the top back in Jan./10, but was scared to quilt it. I'd never done free motion quilting before other than what I did recently on a FMQ sampler, so I was tossing around what to try and what types of patterns I wanted to quilt on it. Then came along Myra's PhD challenge and it was the boost I needed to get'er done! So one of my Ph'D's is off the list now; woohoo!

To be putting on the binding the other day, made me happy, so just had to take a pic, then and there! If you are learning how to do binding, hop on over to Oh, Fransson!'s blog. She has some great sewing tutorials and I really like her binding tutorial, which is how I learned to do it.

I love all the prairie points. I did all the quilting with my darning foot. I was trying to do some loops in the pinwheels to make a star-like pattern and then loops along the thin border. To keep the hearts on the outer border somewhat uniform, I used a wooden heart shape, making dots around it, with a disappearing marker. Fancy stencil, eh? lol!

This pic kinda shows my label...see that embroidery on the far right corner? (I didn't do a straight on shot of it just b/c it has personal info on it.) It lays that way when you want to read it, then you just flip it over and it's on the backside. I think it would protect the embroidery from wear and it doesn't distract from the backing, as that side of it, is the same as the backing (well not exactly but similar in this case b/c I ran out of backing fabric). It's easy to do too, as you just make the corner label up and sew it in as you do the binding.
If you want better pics of this method, go HERE. It's where I first saw it.

For the back, I had a piece that was just big enough...think my binding is even covering up bits of the salvages. But I really wanted to use it. I just love this Moda line by 3 Sisters called Aviary. Think it's my favorite that I've worked with so far.

And the quilting is far from good, but at least it's done. Stitching is very uneven, wonky...oh, just lots of issues with it, but when I was doing it, I just kept telling myself things I'd read over at A Few Scraps in her FMQ quilt-along. Christina has so many good tips and words of encouragement...just to keep trying, get through the first quilt and onto better quilting. So that's what got me through it. And I figure my daughter, who kept saying it was "so pretty" as I was working on it, won't be bothered by the stitching.

So that's one down and five more Ph'D's to go!
Thanks for dropping by!♥