Monday, December 30, 2013

I'm Joining the Library Project Quilt Along!

Hands up who got new quilting books for Christmas?  Me me me!

My amazing mom gave me these two fabulous looking books.

Both of them are filled with totally amazing projects from people in the Modern Quilt blogging world, like HappyZombie, QuiltDad, FreshlyPieced, CluckCluckSew, SpottedStones, BettyCrockerAss, OneShabbyChick and sooooo many more.  

I also bought myself a book before Christmas....

I'm completely in LOVE with the quilts in this book.  IN LOVE.  

But I'm also guilty of buying quilt books and then almost never making anything out of them.  So I've decided to take the plunge and join the Library Project Quilt Along started by Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.  

The challenge is to go through your library of quilt books, pick at least 4 projects, and make them over the next year.  There will be a monthly linky party on the 3rd Friday of every month on Adrienne's blog.

I'm not a very prolific quilter -- 4 projects is going to be a challenge for me!

Will you join me?


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cross Stitch ... my new crafting love.

Oh cross-stitch.  Where have you been all my life?  It's my new obsession.  It completely feeds into my A-type personality and mathy-brain needs.  I've done so much stitching over the past year and I still have a number of projects either partially finished or planned for the future.

After seeing Holly show off a finished cross stitch at a VMQG meeting, I rushed out and bought a pattern from weelittlestitches -- The Big Bang Theory cast.  I stitched up Penny first and it was the most gratifying thing.   All the counting! Precision! Nerdy-ness!

The start of it all... Big Bang Theory cast by weelittlestitches
The BBT one was given to a friend.  Next I did Buffy.  Because I love Buffy.  And I wanted to make one for me. Look at that wee little Spike! And Xander's eye-patch! Even Buffy has Mr. Pointy in her hand.  I'm still pondering taking this out of the frame and captioning it "She saved the world. A lot."
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
One of my other favourite TV fandoms is Firefly.  As in "I can quote the dialog" kind of fandom.  This particular pattern I found for free online from a fellow Vancouverite Browncoat who blogs under the name cthulhucrochet.  It was a lot more challenging than the weelittlestitches patterns because it involved half-stitches as well as a ton of outline backstitch.  I adore how it turned out, especially the "Big Damn Heroes" text at the bottom.  

Little weeble versions of Firefly.  Jayne's hat just kills me.
For Riley's birthday last year, I combined 3 different weelittlestitches patterns to make this huge one of Harry Potter and Friends.  From left to right we have: Mad Eye Moody, Tonks, Lupin, Sirius, Hagrid, Hermione, Harry, Ron, Dumbledore, Ginny, Fred, George, Luna and Neville.

Harry Potter and friends -- weelittlestitches
Also from weelittlestitches, I did up the cast of Star Trek:TNG.  This one went to a friend but I'm definitely going to remake this one for myself as well.

Star Trek: TNG cast done for a friend.  

I also have experimented with plastic canvas ... I used some and did up this little 16 bit Yoshi (based on an image I googled).  Then I stuck an adhesive magnet to the band and wee Yoshi now lives on my fridge.

Yoshi fridge magnet.
Another free pattern, this one from Dorkstitch... this one is the 2 "standard issue nerds!" from British comedy The IT Crowd.  This also went to a friend who is a huge fan of the show.
Roy and Moss and the famous catch phrase from the IT Crowd.

The other great thing about cross-stitch? Compared to quilting, it's an EXTREMELY affordable hobby.  The embroidery floss and Aida cloth are both really affordable.  That and the speed at which I can make things results in this being a perfect craft for gift making!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lily Ashbury

Holy crap, everyone.  Could it be another blog post?

One thing that happened this year that I'm really excited about is some new work I've taken on.  For the past 6 months, I've been sewing samples, writing and editing patterns, and even doing a little design work for Lily Ashbury!  Lily Ashbury is the name of a Moda fabric line designed by the amazing Stephanie Carter, who works right here in Vancouver.  You can read the Lily Ashbury blog and find yourself some cool tutorials and projects.

I'm beyond thrilled to be her helper, and one of the perks of this job is getting to see the new fabric lines waaaaaaay before they hit the stores.  The most recent collection, called High Street, was released in May of this year.  The next one is called Folk Lore and I completely adore it; it's partially inspired by Mexican folk art prints.  I cannot wait to get started on projects.

With the High Street line, Stephanie asked me to write/edit the patterns and sew up samples for a sweet ruffle-pocket apron, a travel sewing kit, and an appliqué quilt.

Me modelling the Chelsea Apron in very terrible lighting.
The High Street quilt sample, nearly done (unbound).
Printed patterns! Exciting!
Patterns, Travel Sewing Kit sample, High Street Quilt sample,
 and fabrics on display at the Cloth Shop on Granville Island.
Stephanie and I also worked on some block designs for submission to a 100 quilt blocks magazine.  I don't think we've heard yet which block(s?) have been selected for publication but the three below are what we came up with.

The first two blocks are pieced, and the third is appliqué.  I must admit, I haven't done a ton of appliqué in the past but I think I'm managing it well.  The pieced blocks have an interesting secondary pattern when put together into a quilt top.

Coming soon will be a pattern for the Bon Voyage Cosmetics Tote. I pretty much designed this from the ground up -- with a number of samples made and a lot of feedback and tweaking from Stephanie, of course. The pattern has been submitted to Moda and I believe the final pattern sample will be made of the yet-unreleased Folk Lore line.  The image below shows the final prototype; it includes a pouch pocket on the exterior, a zip pocket on one side of the inside, and a set of 5 expandable pockets on the other side of the inside.  These expandable pockets are perfectly sized to hold your travel-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, cream, etc.  There is plenty of additional interior space to hold other necessary toiletries or even a small zippy pouch full of makeup.

I wish I could give you a sneak peek of the Folk Lore line -- the colours and designs are so fabulous.  Perhaps soon!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stuff I've made recently.

Of course, there's been about eleventy-million things I've made since I last updated this poor, neglected blog.  Some very significant life changes have been happening and I'm totally sticking with that as my excuse for not blogging.  Yep.  So I'm just going to post a few things that I've made in... say... the past 3 months.

First, a new advent calendar.  I'm tired of either (a) spending a ton of money on a cool Lego or Playmobil one or (b) getting some crappy thing filled with crappy chocolate.

This advent calendar, which I didn't finish until December 6th (good thing Riley was away with her dad in Hawaii until the 9th!) is from Pretty in Patchwork Holidays, a super cute book curated by QuiltDad. I still need to find some nice, flat candies to put in the pockets but at least it's done.  That hexi Christmas tree is also the first, and likely the last, hand-done english paper piecing I've done.   I'm happy with how it turned out but good grief, so fussy to do!

The original pattern calls for using permanent ink and stamping the numbers onto the advent pockets, but I've been doing a lot of cross stitch over the past year and I thought I'd try using waste canvas to stitch the numbers on. It worked but waste canvas is a total pain to remove, I've discovered.

The VMQG and the LMQG also did a needlebook swap this past month.  This is what I sent across the pond.  I'm excited to receive a needlebook in exchange at our December VMQG meeting!

At the end of October, the VMQG also ran a 241 Tote Bag workshop, taught by our own Krista Hennebury.  It was a totally fun day.  The black and white dotty print is some sort of mystery poly fabric from the clearance section, which I paired with some turquoise quilting cotton and black twill.  I love this bag and I really want to try the Noodlehead SuperTote now.

Riley's bedroom has the apartment's breaker box in it.  Apparently, according to new building code, the box cannot be inside a closet (I guess for access-related reasons?).  Anyhow, she was pretty bummed about it and, truth be told, it's gunmetal grey and pretty ugly.

The VMQG had a Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge a few months back where we were given bundles of bright, citrus-y solids.  I added in the turquoise and the navy blue from my stash and made this wall hanging to be exactly the right size to cover up the horrible breaker box.  She was beyond thrilled with it.

Ah, cross-stitch.  My new crafting love.  I blame Holly.  Way back over a year ago, I think, she showed off a cross stitch she'd done from Canadian designer wee little stitches at a VMQG guild meeting.  I want to say it was a Star Wars one but I can't remember clearly (see her finished Buffy the Vampire Slayer one).  I do remember thinking, "That is the coolest thing ever and I want to make one."  And then there was a pattern sale at the wee little stitches store and I was off to the races.  I've made a bunch of these and most have been given as gifts. 

This one, though, is just for me.  Sherlock.  Possibly the best thing to ever grace Netflix.  I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes nerd in general and I think the new series is absolutely BRILLIANT.  This one is now framed and hanging in the living room.

The one below is from a different pattern designer called PixelPower.  I made this for a friend who recently started working as a high-school english teacher, and it's the Stark children from Game of Thrones and their respective dire wolves.  You can buy this pattern on their Craftsy store.  Like wee little stitches, they have lots and lots of amazing pop culture and nerdy designs.  Jon and Ghost are my favourite :)  I stitched it on light blue Aida because I thought it would make the dire wolves pop out more than on white or natural.

I think that's enough for today.... man, I really hope I can do a better job of keeping up with this thing.

Seems to be a thing I do around this time every year... promise to update my damn blog and then never do it.  

It's actually been so long that I had to figure out how to add my gmail account as an owner to the blog... so much blog-guilt.

And there's this new-fangled thing called Bloglovin!  Yep:

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