Thursday, September 26, 2013


I couldn't help myself. I needed to get my hands on some Koi, Waterford Park and some of Alison Glass's feathers and text prints. I ordered from Stash Modern Fabric and the service was terrific. Beth put a custom bundle together for me and it arrived lickety-split. Oh! And the Shelburne Falls was on sale. Score!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP Wednesday: En-listing Help

Whenever I feel overwhelmed by everything I have to get done, I make a list. Lists help me focus, prioritize and reduces my anxiety. I think this is one of the reasons why I love WIP Wednesdays. If I only have time for one blog post a week, it's most likely going to be on a Wednesday!

I have a ton of projects on the go right now. My Mom really liked the Lush Uptown fabric I bought to make pillows and requested I make some for her too. This meant making eight pillow covers! I've finished six of them and they look great on my couch. I think she'll be happy with them too.
I've finished quilting the Plus quilt using Oh My Deer for my sister's baby-to-be. I didn't have enough binding fabric so I posted a photo on Instagram asking if anyone had any extra in their stash. Nicole offered to send me a skinny fat quarter and I received it early this week. I love the internet quilting community! People are so generous. I'll be attaching the binding this week.
My Marcelle Medallion is coming along well, but hasn't been without it's challenges, that's for sure! Piecing the triangle border was really tricky. Despite working so hard to have accurate seam allowances, my first length of border was too short!
 In fact, every single length of border came out a different length. It was maddening!
I was unwilling to redo the borders. You've heard me say before that I'm trying to embrace imperfection, so I considered this another opportunity to fight perfectionism and just make it work. I'm currently contemplating what colour to make the next border. I'm also procrastinating on starting the flying geese border because the pieces are so very tiny! I want to make them using the no waste method, but I need to figure out the math first. I'm hoping someone else will do it for me!
Oh! I almost forgot! I was the week 2 winner of the Marcelle Medallion QAL. Penny is sending me an awesome care package of a Lecien "Doubles" charm pack, three spools of perle cotton, and a Sunburst Template Set! How lucky am I?!

I've also spent time this week on my Stacking the Odds quilt back. I'm beginning to really regret having tackled a queen sized quilt! I've also come to the conclusion that I'll need to send this to a long-armer. The thought of basting this beast makes me want to put it away for another year. Does anyone have a favourite long-armer they can recommend? Preferably someone in Canada because postage would be more reasonable.

Finally, I did some knitting this week. I turned the heel of sock one. I'm knitting the socks toe-up and using short rows for the toe and heel. It's my favourite method, but I always mess up the short rows at some point and end up with more wrapped stitches at one end than the other! Once again, I decided to "fake it" and make it work.

My other WIPs are Lila's Tula quilt, which is half quilted and my Farmer's Wife sampler. I didn't touch either of them this week. 

And now for your weekly dose of adorable:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Deer!

It feels like I have a lot of balls in the air right now. September is always so busy, even without children in school. With the high holidays so early this year, it's been even more hectic. In fact, we'll be heading to London for Sukkot in mere minutes. Here's what's been on my plate this past week.

First up is my Marcelle Medallion. I LOVE this quilt-along. There's been such awesome camaraderie on Instagram. I needed advice on my first border and got great input.
The hot pink Lizzy House jewels was the crowd favourite. The rulers on the left will be used for a future border. I just love the print. 

I started working on the second border, which is 60 degree equilateral triangles. I have an acrylic template and I used washi tape to mark the size. Penny did the exact same thing in her tutorial which I thought was too funny, since I read the tute after taping mine up. Great minds think alike!
Then I started cutting. It took way longer than I'd have liked, but that's life with an infant! My layout is now finished and I'm ready to start piecing. It will have to wait until after our weekend away though.
Luckily, I have a knitting project on the go. I love the portability of knitting socks using the magic loop method because I'm less likely to drop stitches in transit (an issue when using double pointed needles).
Another accomplishment this week was recovering two of the throw cushions on my living room couch. I have two more to do. I'm using Lush Uptown which I LOVE. Who can resist those deer?!
I'm linking this post up with WIP Wednesday. Check out what everyone else is up to!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fabric Addicts Anonymous

The first step is to admit you have a problem. I'm not quite ready to do that yet.

Sure, I am powerless when The Workroom gets new fabric line that I've been enviously watching my Instagram friends (aka Enablers) add to their stash. Exhibit A: Lush Uptown.

In my defense, the two prints which I bought yardage of (on the right) are destined to become pillow covers for the throw cushions in my living room. In fact, two of the four have already been made. So this purchase was totally justifiable. We won't speak of the extra three fat quarters that found their way home with me. Or, the FQs below which were essential additions to my Marcelle Medallion palette. The fact that I don't know exactly when and how they'll work into the quilt design is neither here nor there. 
We can all agree that it would be foolish not to buy at least something at the annual Sew Sisters Anniversary sale, right? 29% off people! Everyone needs to have yardage in a variety of stripes for binding at the ready! And having those frames on hand is truly the only way I'll remember to label my quilts. I have no excuse for the Mirror Balls though. Lila insisted I get them to make her a dress with. For a three month old, she's quite persuasive.
Finally, I feel no need to justify purchasing Best Press, foundation paper or air erasable marking pens when they are on sale. I know you understand. The Seam Fix seam ripper just looks cool. A girl deserves a treat, right?
So no. I don't have an addiction to fabric and notions. As one of my Enablers said, it's called building a "workable collection." Call it what you will. I do love me some pretty. What about you? Have you done any stash enhancement lately?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marcelle Medallion Progress

So far, the Marcelle Medallion QAL has been a total blast. The QAL is taking place on Instagram, Flickr and on Penny Poppleton's blog, but Instagram is definitely where it's at. So many people have made positive comments on my photos - it feels great!
I shared a photo of my palette on the blog last week. I didn't love it, but I thought it would work, so I started paper piecing the centre star.
I hated it! It looked terrible. I needed to go back to the drawing board. I reshelved all of the fabric, except the low volume and teal prints. I still wanted to use the Shelbourne Falls floral as my inspiration print, but instead of reading the dark hue as navy, I considered it black (which I think it actually is). I looked to Chicopee this time and pulled all of the chartreuse prints. Instead of pure pink, I selected coral hues from my stash.  Here is the resulting palette.
Now THAT is what I'm talking about!  I had some difficulty lining up my points along the way...
But in the end, I had a centre star to be proud of! I LOVE IT!
I need to focus on my Stacking the Odds back and a baby quilt I have on the go this coming week, so I'll be reluctantly setting aside my medallion for a bit. I do have it hanging on the wall though, so I'll look at it lovingly while I work on other projects.

I'm linking this post up with WIP Wednesday, because it's unlikely I'll have time to blog tomorrow! Check out what everyone else is up to!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, September 6, 2013

September Goal

This is going to be an extremely short post. I'm running out of time to set, post and link up my September goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. My goal is to piece the back of my Stacking the Odds Quilt, as well as baste it. This will be challenging for several reasons. First, this month is full of Jewish holidays, so my time is limited. Second, my attention is being pulled towards the Marcelle Medallion quilt-a-long. Third, I need help to baste...this is a queen sized quilt after all! Wish me luck!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WIP Wednesday - The Marcelle Medallion Edition

I'll admit it. I have a problem. I can't say no to a great QAL, especially when I already own the pattern. So when I saw on Instagram (add me!) that Penny Poppleton was hosting a Marcelle Medallion quilt-a-long, I couldn't resist. Have you seen this quilt from Liberty Love? Go take a peek at some of the finished quilts on Pinterest. I'll wait. Pretty gorgeous, right?

The centre star looks daunting, but Penny wrote a terrific tutorial for drafting a foundation piecing pattern from the templates provided in the book. I was nervous to try it, but took a deep breath and just went for it. I'm so glad I did! 

I was sure to photo copy the individual template pieces before taping them together, just in case something went wrong. And I traced on tracing paper so I was able to just flip the pattern over and photocopy the mirror image. Easy peasy!

I also began pulling fabric from my stash for this quilt. I am basing the palatte on a print from Shelbourne Falls by Denyse Schmidt: pink, red, navy and teal, plus low volume prints for the background.
I'm continuing to make progress on my other major projects. My Stacking the Odds quilt will be basted at the end of the month, so that's my deadline for making the quilt back. I'm half done the FMQ on the Tula quilt for Lila. Plus, I made a few Farmer's Wife blocks this week! The first is No. 23, Country Farm. I machine pieced it and I am surprised by how well it turned out, because I wasn't totally sure about my fabric choices.
The second block is No 25, Cups and Saucers. It's the first monochromatic block I've done for this quilt and I love it so much! I'll definitely do more.
Finally, last night I took a Serger Essentials class at The Workroom. It was a great introduction to sergers although now I really want to buy one! I made four luncheon napkins. They have a rolled hem and I used a piece of vintage fabric I purchased over a year ago at St. Lawrence Market from Jan of Fabrique Fantastique. It's perfect for napkins.
Looking forward to hearing what everyone else is up to!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Peek at My Sewing Space & a New Thread-catcher!

Now that I have a dedicated sewing space (yahoo!), I can finally create an optimal set-up. My sewing desk can fit both my machine and cutting mat. I have five drawers that the tabletop sits upon which are being put to good use. The top drawer holds my most reached for tools: rotary cutters, fabric, paper and pinking scissors, pencils, needles, seam ripper, etc.
Drawer two is for threads and bobbins. Small rulers, templates and my sewing machine manual are in drawer three. Drawer four holds my washi tape and the presser feet that I don't fit in my machine. Finally, drawer five has my zippers and ribbons.
One thing I noticed after sewing in the new space for the last week is the amount of thread that was collecting underfoot. So, last night I decided to whip up a thread catcher. I used this tutorial with modifications. I used template plastic in the upper seam to keep the basket rounded (instead of boning/belting) and I filled the pincushion with rice and lentils. To be honest, parts of the tutorial were a bit unclear, but having made reversible totes in the past, I was able to figure it out.

The fabric I used for the lining is Jewels by Lizzy House (my favorite blender ever) and the outside fabric and pin cushion fabrics are from the Riley Blake collection Sew Happy Together. I think they are just adorable, don't you?  I'll admit, this isn't my cleanest sewing job ever. I wanted to finish it quickly, you see. Despite some untidiness, I just love the end result!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Nights, They are Long

Levi has always been a pretty good sleeper. We've had our ups and downs with bath and bed time and he are currently experiencing a down time. As in, bedtime sucks. Every step of the routine is a struggle, from taking a bath to teeth brushing to putting on his diaper to turning out the lights. I'm guessing it's a toddler defiance thing. Unfortunately, we live in a small condo and his insistance on leaving his bedroom door open "a bit Mommy" seriously impedes my ability to spend my evening as I wish (i.e., no radio, can't sit at the dining room table easily, etc.).

Friday night, Levi was up until 11 p.m., fighting bedtime. He spent over three hours in his room singing loudly, reading to his stuffed animals, yelling at us for water/crackers/who-knows-what, attempting to get dressed (and getting stuck halfway), dressing his stuffies, pretending to have made a poopie in his diaper (we almost always check when he says he's pooped because the one time we didn't, we awoke to a very unpleasant smell) and pulling every book he owns off the shelf. Tonight was better. Only 30 minutes of tantruming and the books were on his bed instead of the floor.
Last night was a write off for me creatively, but tonight I managed to play on my new design wall AND finish a Farmer's Wife block. 
 No. 23, Country Farm, Machine Pieced
Here's the thing. For all the fussing and tantrumming and long weekend days, it's pretty hard to be annoyed with your kids when they are so damn cute. Am I right?