Thursday, 4 September 2014

Back to School

School started last week. It feels so weird to have some time alone in the house. Weird, but good! Time when I can totally focus on what I'm doing and be more productive. I had some small projects to make before school. My son needed two pencil cases. My younger one asked for one too. Also, I wanted to make some gifts for his daycare teacher since he was changing group. So, I decided to make them some zippy pouches as well, for a total 5.

Four of them were made with the open wide zippered pouches tutorial from Noodlehead. I love that tutorial and how this pouches open-up in such a way you can clearly see what is in it.

Zip pouches

For my sons pouches, I ordered some eco canvas from Spoonflower. It's not as stiff as I thought it would be and it does fray a bit. But, the colors printed on that fabric looks so vibrant. The design I ordered was a winning design from a past contest (Fishing Lures) by Laura Mayes. It's the fish print in the picture above. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to order some for my sons. They both loved it. So much, that they didn't even notice the pink in the print, which they usually do

For the 5th pouch, I used this tutorial which I've been wanted to try for a while. I also like how it opens up. However, I was expecting something a bit more bigger. Or it's the school who asked to put way to much stuff in it.

Zip pouches

This one was much harder to assemble. It didn't help that my cord for the piping was too large and my bias tape way too narrow. I didn't have time left to go at the fabric shop, so I used what I had at home. But I manage to finish it and I hope that he will be able to use it for some time.
Zip pouches

Now, back to quilting. I'm working on new projects and it's quite exciting. I'll try to share some with you in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sew Canadian

Have you been following along the Sew Canadian blog series at Mad About Patchwork? All summer, two Canadian bloggers have their sewing space featured on their blog on Sundays.

Today, it is my turn along with Felicity of Felicity Quilts. You'll find the post here. If you come from there, I welcome you in my space. If not, I invite you to have a look. It's great to meet other Canadian sewers/quilters and learn about their sewing space.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sewing Without a Plan

Usually when I start a quilt, I plan most of it ahead. I even choose my binding fabric before I start cutting fabric for the top. For the quilt I'm currently working on, I didn't and I'm really enjoying it. It all started with a charm square bundle. At one of our guild meeting, we organized a rainbow charm square (5") swap. The participants had to bring a solid charm square and a coordinating print charm square in one color of the rainbow for all others participating. Here is what we came home with.

This year, the guild is making quilts for a palliative care center. I decided use my charm square bundle to make one. So, this was the start for my quilt. I started working on it at our last sew-in. I decided to make simple pinwheels for each color by slicing the charm squares in half and sewing them with halves of white charm squares. Then, I sew 4 units together to create pinwheels. Because of the seam allowances, I had to trim them down afterwards. I ended up with 8" blocks.

With the blocks done, I worked on their layout on my design wall to decide on the arrangement of colors. I thought it would be interesting to extend the secondary pinwheels created by the white fabric in the border. I just had enough Kona in Medium Gray to make additional blocks and the border for a good size lap quilt. I think it will end up a bit less than 40" x 50". I didn't measure it exactly.

Pinwheel Quilt

I finished assembling the rows last night. I don't know yet what I'll do once the top is finished (backing, binding and quilting). For the quilting, I might try to extend the pinwheel pattern in the gray border too, but I don't know how I'll do it.

But, before I start quilting this quilt I have another one to quilt. It's also for the palliative care center. This one was pieced and basted by my friend Cinzia from Deux Petites Souris. It features small improv houses from the same bundle. Even though it started from the same fabrics, it looks so different. I love it. She gave me the challenge to quilt it with a a contrasting variegated thread in orange/yellow. I'll try to show some pictures when I'm done quilting.

Cinzia is really a reference for improvisational piecing. I admire her work. This is not natural for me, but I might be tempted to do this again. I'm not ready to make something without my rulers though. I have another charm square pack waiting (Pretty Potent collection by Anna Maria Horner). I might do something along the same lines as this pinwheel quilt. I think projects like this without too much math and no need to calculate everything in advance are perfect for summer.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Closing the Loop on the Cosmic Voyage

Some of you might now that I participated in this year's Fabric 8 contest (see this post). The contest is hosted by Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The theme for this year was Cosmic Voyage. You can currently vote for the final collection.

Back in June, I wasn't selected in the semi-finalists. Still, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do for the different prints in my collection. So, I continued working on this project of mine. Today, I'm closing the loop and showing them to you. Here are previews of the different prints at a fat quarter scale. You can also see them in my Spoonflower shop. I tried to make designs on the theme that could be fussy cut, but that could also be cut on a smaller scale just for the color and texture it would add to a patchwork project. I hope you'll like them.


Solar System




I just uploaded them last night. I will order some samples. I can't wait to see them for real! Does it inspire you some projects? Is this the kind of print you like to work with? Let me know what you think about it.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Petal Pinwheels Tote Bag

I was able to finish my project for the current MQG fabric challenge yesterday. As I said in my previous post, I made a quilted tote bag.

Petal Pinwheels Tote Bag

You can see a few pictures of the process for the variation on the cathedral window and the portholes in this previous post. As mentioned there, I followed the construction instructions from on Elizabeth Hartman's tote bag pattern to assemble the bag.

The bundle of fat eights provided to us for the challenge was from Michael Miller Fabrics. Most of it came from the Petal Pinwheels collection. I used most of the prints provided. I did buy two additional prints from Michael Miller for the bag exterior and lining. They are respectively: Painter's Canvas in Slate by Laura Gunn and Nature Walk in Coral from the Wee Wander collection by Sarah Jane. Below, you can see the lining and inside pockets.

Petal Pinwheels Tote Bag

The only think I regret is that I didn't put interfacing on the center print and the first porthole fabrics. I was too eager to start and I didn't have any home. I did put some on the Painter's Canvas print and I prefer how it holds. Now, I want to take a look at what others have made with the fabrics provided. If you are are on Instagram and want to have a look too, check the hashtag #mqgfabricchallenge.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Half-Rectangle Triangle Valance

A few months ago, I made a valance for my sewing room using half-rectangle triangles. I've been waiting for my tutorial to appear on Sew Mama Sew to share it with you. Then I completely forgot about it. So, here it is.

Half-Rectangle Triangle Love!

The HRTs have sizes ranging from 2" x 2" to 2 x 5" in the center. I've used the same templates as the ones provided in the tutorial. It's just different layout of the HRTs. The prints are all from an earlier collection by Cosmo Cricket for Andover Fabrics (Early Bird). Just like those sewing machine covers I've never finished (here and here). I should really get back to those!

Back to the valance. I've lined it with a black out fabric. It was a leftover from curtains I've made for one of my boys room. I hope the lining will help to avoid the patchwork fabric from fading. I also took a little shortcut for hanging the valance. Instead of sewing a hanging sleeve, I used a translucent serpentine tape similar to this. It works great. Here it is hanging on the wrong side for you to see.

Now, I just need to change the curtain pole which is way too large for my valance!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Summer Sewing

It has been a long time since I shared some projects on the blog. With the kids summer vacation, sewing time has been a bit limited. However, I did manage to finish a few quick projects before school ended. I made two open wide zippered pouches (tutorial from Noodlehead) and a few lanyards (similar to these). I didn't take the time to picture all of them. But, here is the set that I made for my son's teacher.
Zip pouch and lanyard

I also made a set of tea towels for my step father's birthday. My mother and him just finished renovating their kitchen. Since he loves to cook, I thought he would love some handmade tea towels. I used some yarn dyed Essex linen in black and just added a strip of green quilting cotton to add a bit of punch.
Essex linen tea towel

I was looking for a good way to finish the corners and I found this great tutorial on how to do mitered hem. It really makes a neat finish.
Essex linen tea towel

I also started working on my Michael Miller Challenge organized by The Modern Quilt Guild. I'm making a tote bag. It's based on Elizabeth Hartman's pattern. I'm following her construction instructions. However, I'm not making quilt-as-you-go log cabins for the exterior. As mentioned in this post, I wanted to explore some fabric manipulation techniques to add texture to my project. I chose to make a variation on the cathedral window with some portholes. It was inspired by the windmill cathedral window block. I just love this version by Nylia on Flickr. As for the portholes, they were inspired by a quilt from Lucie Summers. Here she explains how she does her portholes. Today, the kids were at my mom's place. So, I had time to work on my project and I manage to finish my portholes. Here are a couple of pictures of the process so far.

Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge

Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge

Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge


Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge

The next step will be the quilting. I hope you are having a great summer!