Love at First Touch

Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush Velveteen


Christmas Tree Hunting

My husband's family has an annual Christmas tradition that we enjoyed this weekend.  Christmas tree hunting!  An afternoon where we freeze our butts off, dodge and throw snowballs, and hopefully end up finding the perfect Christmas tree!

Andrew after a serious snowball battle.

Our nephew Colton running after his uncle Andrew with a snowball.

Colton pulling his snowball making supplies in his sled.  
He was very protective of those supplies, wouldn't let anyone near his sled!

Our niece Paris with her Grandmother (my MIL).  
Paris was very proud of her Christmas tree.

My SIL Carola with her dog Triton, our tree pulling work dog! 
He's so big I don't think he even felt the weight of the tree; 
pulled it like it was nothing!


Christmas Bonus Time!

I got some Christmas bonus money yesterday and it was burning a hole in my pocket!  So, I went to a quilt shop here in Toronto on my lunch break today.  Sew Sisters had surprisingly good prices.  I was impressed with their sales section.  I was able to find some cute prints for $6.99/meter.  Bonus!

Here are some of my finds:

David Walker's Robots (sale)

Minny Muu (sale)

The first one is Joel Dewberry (paid regular price)
 and the last two are Jennifer Paganelli (sale)

These are Meadowsweet (paid regular price)

I can't wait to get them home and cut into them!


Mini QT Finished!

My Mini QT partner has received her quilt, so I can finally post this:

This was my first time participating in the Mini QT Swap.  The theme was "houses" and my partner littleloops suggested that she would like me to work on something with the theme "pink houses."  I love how this quilt turned out; pink and green are one of my favourite colour combinations and I think they really pop on the bright white background.

Here is the finished quilt.  I made the houses removable so that littleloops could place them whichever way she wanted.

Also, if you flip the houses around they each have a pocket on the backs.  To go in the pockets, I found some old skeleton keys and created tags that are meant to be a little inspirational.

Here is a closeup of the tags.


Above are pictures of the pieces taken off of the quilt.

It is a relief to have this (successfully!) finished, and I really hope littleloops likes it as much as I enjoyed making it! 


I'm Boring, I Know.

I have had so much to post about, but unfortunately because it is all about swap stuff I can't post about it yet!  There are two projects that I have finished in the last week or so that I would love to show you, but since my swap partners haven't received their goodies I am forced to wait.  Please mail, go faster!  Go FASTER!!

Stay tuned :)


December Packages Ready!

December is my month in the Pretty in Pink Bee and so today I spent some time preparing my packages.  I've asked everyone to make me a star block (two if they have time) any size up to 12.5" unfinished.  The people in this bee are a creative bunch and I really look forward to what they come up with!

The fabric I chose was Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow in Berry.  I just love pink and green together!

Also, since December brings the holidays, I added a little something for everyone.  Enjoy!


Bee Blocks and Soul Blossoms

Ravishing in Red Bee Blocks for November

Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler


Eating Right

Okay, so now that I am all booked for Panama I am newly motivated to eat better and hopefully lose some weight.  My biggest challenge is snacks.  I don't tend to eat between meals (and often skip meals altogether) and this obviously is not working for me!  Does anyone have any suggestions for healthy snacks?  If I have to resort to carrot and celery sticks every time, this endeavour will be an epic fail!

And, because fabric diets have no calories...some fabric love:


I Remember

Today is Remembrance Day, a day that has always made me feel a little melancholy. I take this day to not only pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, but to think about the people in my life who I have lost and the family stories that fade with every day that they are gone.

This year, I am thinking about my grandparents. My grandfather who fought in WW2 and came back with secrets his family wouldn't know about until years after his death, and still don't fully comprehend to this day. My grandmother, who selflessly put aside her dreams to care for her ailing husband, only to spend her last few years alone, struggling for every breath as a result of pulmonary fibrosis.

Today, my Remembrance Day is for you. To Alex and Kathleen whose lives were forever touched by WW2, and who in spite of their challenges, were able to build a life and family together.

A good account of what Remembrance Day represents:
CBC News - Canada - Remembrance Day: Lest we forget


Fabric Love

Yesterday I had some fabric arrive in the mail that I ordered from Hawthorne Threads.  I just love buying fabric from there, the website shows off the fabric so well, and the shipping is reasonable for me.  It is amazing how much fabric can fit into one of those flat rate envelopes!

These red and blue fabrics are the ones I really set out to buy, but if I am paying the shipping, I always like to fill the envelope, you know?

With these I plan on finishing my first "bee" quilt.  Back in May I had everyone in one of my bees make these blocks for me:
I had sent out all of the red and aqua fabric I had for this quilt and unfortunately, I didn't receive one of the blocks back.  So, this now being November, I gave in and bought some more red and aqua fabric so that I could finish the block, and ultimately the quilt, myself.  I can't wait until I can finally enjoy this quilt!

Does anyone else have a project that they have on the back burner for one reason or another?  What reasons do you have for stopping work on a project before it is finished?


Getting a Start on Christmas

Made some soap last weekend for Christmas gifts, and maybe a few bars for my annual supply.  The soap always turns out so pretty, if I do say so myself....


Dresses, check!

Invitations are out, location is booked, and bridesmaids dresses are ordered.  Check, check, check!

Somehow I am having more fun planning this wedding, than my own.  Ah, the joys of spending someone else's money!  LOL.

The dress we chose for the bridesmaids was from the Cynthia Rowley Bridesmaid Collection for The Dessy Group.  The colour we chose was "Apple Slice."  


Great timing!

Yesterday I posted that I was having trouble with getting the points to line up on my pillow.  I had some great suggestions for 'saving' the one that I already made, and I think instead of entirely ripping it apart I am going to embrace it for what it is and keep it.  But since the intended recipient was my Modern Swappers partner, I just want it to be more perfect so I will attempt it again.

Fortunately, when I went on Flickr this morning I saw that someone else had made a pillow similar and the points matched up!  Also fortunately, she was kind enough to make a tutorial for her pillow that I think might help.  Especially since the suggestions she gave for sewing it together were already mentioned by Kelly in yesterday's comments.  Apparently I need to hear it in stereo for it to sink in!  LOL.

Anyway, I'm hoping to make another one this weekend, so wish me luck!


Points? What Points?

Yesterday I was flipping through my Stitch magazines and saw the Pi Pillow in one of the Spring Issues.  I thought it looked pretty darn good, and so I immediately put together some fabrics and cut out the wedges.  I laid the wedges out on the table and everything was going well.  I might even have given myself a mental pat on the back.

Picture of the Pi Pillow from the magazine

This morning, I woke up and my first task of the day was sewing all of those wedges together into what was promising to be a cute "rustic" pillow.   Unfortunately, even with careful pinning, the wedges did not line up at the end.  Instead of looking like the beautiful pillow in the picture above, I got this:

...and here's a close up:

So if anyone has any suggestions about how to get those points to line up, please share your expertise, as I could really use the help!



As I mentioned yesterday, I spent last Saturday at the Creativ Festival in Toronto with my mother.  When we were leaving the show my mother reminded me that I had wanted to test out sewing machines.  I have a very basic Janome that has been great so far, but is limiting in what I can do.  Recently I finished free motion quilting a queen sized quilt and the sore shoulders and frustration of trying to feed it through my machine told me that I needed to either avoid bigger quilts, or find another machine.

So, we wandered over to the Janome booth and I explained to the sales person what I needed a machine for.  I tried out a couple of machines and found I really liked the Elna Q7200.  Unfortunately, the price was more than I could afford so I halfheartedly asked about payment plans, knowing that wasn't an option for me.  I figured at least I had a number in my head for what I had to save up for a new machine.  As I was talking to the salesperson, my mother interrupted and offered them $300 under the show price, which was $700 under the list price and said we wanted to take it that day.  Uh, what?!  I had to sit down.  My mother was offering to buy me that sewing machine!  And amazingly, they took the offer!  So, my good news for the day, is that I now have a beautiful new sewing machine that I thought I would have to wait months to afford.  My mother's price?  A quilt and some pillows.  Done, and done!

Here it is:

More info about it here.

My mother's comment to the salesperson when the transaction was finished: "I just love surprising my children."


Splurging at the Creativ Festival

This past weekend I went to the Creativ Festival in Toronto with my mother.  She had never heard of the festival before, but once I told her about it she did some searching online and happened upon The Crochet Crowd where she landed some free tickets.  Beginner's Luck, I say!  Except that she wins stuff all the time, *sigh* must by why I rarely win anything - she has all the luck!

I've been to the festival a couple of times in the spring, and usually am able to find some interesting things.  This time however, I found that there really wasn't a lot in the way of fabric or yarn (my two loves).  It seems that beading and scrapbooking are taking over the show.  The quilting/sewing booths that were there were mostly traditional fabrics and batiks.  In the way of modern fabric, I didn't find much and what I did find seemed like last season's news. The good news is, this helped the pocketbook.

Here are some pictures of what I did pick up.

Variegated thread from the Wonderfil Booth

Liberty of London Fabrics from the Hyggeligt booth

Shot cotton and a Cloud9 Fat Quarter, also from the Hyggeligt booth

I also had a VERY nice surprise while I was at the show, but since I have no pictures yet I will post about that later.  Let's just say my mother was VERY generous.  I love you mom!


Couldn't Be Happier

As I mentioned in an earlier post, friends of ours finally got engaged and they will be tying the knot in Panama next summer.  Naturally, since they made us all wait so long, everyone is very excited to join them for their special day (week?).

Having designed my own wedding invitations, Robyn knew she could come to me to help her with hers and I am quite happy with how they turned out.  It was a whirlwind couple of weeks, but the invitations were printed, assembled, and mailed out for the beginning of the month.  With the bride's permission, I thought I'd share what we came up with.


The top flap contains the booking info (some information was removed for privacy), the middle is the wedding invitation proper, and the bottom flap is the RSVP, which is held in place with photo corners so that it can be removed and mailed back.  The flaps folded in and the entire invitation was held closed using the green ribbon.


Patience & Mail

So, its no secret that I buy most of my fabric online.  Even with shipping and the odd time I have to pay customs, it is still cheaper to purchase fabric from the US.  Do I feel unpatriotic for not supporting local businesses?  No.  Do I feel smug about getting a good deal?  Uh, YEAH!

I soothe my patriotic side by reminding myself that most of the popular designers right now are not available at my local quilt shops.  Last summer I went on a "shop hop" to my four local shops and not one of them had Joel Dewberry, Denise Schmidt, Heather Ross, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, Paula Prass...you get my drift?  None of them.  Modern fabric in these shops are narrowly limited to Moda designers, Kaffe Fassett, and Amy Butler.  Not that these aren't lovely, but I was a tad jealous of my online friends having access to such variety!

After that, I starting shopping almost solely online.  Not only do I get much better selection and prices, but who doesn't love getting mail?

Yesterday I was delighted to come home to my parcel box full of packages from my online shopping and my quilting bees.  Seven packages awaited me!  SEVEN!  Yay!  Ordered/sent on very different dates, so though I was thrilled that it was such a good mail day, I have to wonder - is my mail being hoarded at the border?

Hmph.  Someone over there certainly wants to teach me some patience.

Pictures as requested :) 
Sorry for the picture quality, I haven't been able to make it home before dark this week.
From left to right: 1. Fresh Scrap pack from Hawthorne Threads 2. Khristian A Howell's High Society fat quarters from Hawthorne Threads 3. Heather Bailey's Ellie & Ollie pattern from Fabric Closet 4. Various Polka Dot fabrics from Hawthorne Threads 5. All my packages stacked up neatly 6. Ravishing in Red Bee fabric for October 7. Moody Blues Bee fabric for October 8. Sew 2 Speak Bee fabric for October 9. Sneak peek of the quilt I am making for the Mini QT Swap (this didn't come in the mail, but I needed a ninth picture)


Work in Progress

Work in Progress
Originally uploaded by cilvee
Today I took a look at the blocks that I have received back from my fellow Ravishing in Red Bee members.  They all look so good!  My plan all along was for a bigger quilt, so I started making more blocks. My plan for this quilt includes a few yellow blocks that will be mixed in probably randomly, but we will see.

This picture only shows the blocks that would fit on my dining room table. There are about 8 more that are not pictured.

I really love how the red and white looks together, and am excited to get it finished.


Sew Modern Bee October

Well, I am a little late posting this as I sent the fabric packages out a week or so ago, but better late than never!

October was my month in the Sew Modern Bee, and I asked everyone to make asterisk blocks.

Here are the packages all ready to go:

And here are the two blocks I made:

As I mentioned above, I sent out the packages a few days ago so a few of the bee members have already finished up their blocks. 

You can see them here, here, here, and here.

I can't wait to see them all in person!


In the Nick of Time!

I don't really know what it was about September but it flew by.  Before I knew it, we were in the last few days of the month and I still had bee blocks to complete!  In my attempt to stay up-to-date, I've been really making an effort to finish all of my bee blocks as soon as they arrive but this month the packages arrived and went to the top of my to do pile.  The overwhelmed feeling I got when I realized I had less than a week left and so many blocks to do was a reminder to keep to my self imposed schedule!  May October be better!

Today I finished up the last of the September blocks, so here are some pictures:

Wonky Star Blocks - Sew Modern Bee

Square/Rectangle Blocks - Sew 2 Speak

Strip Block - Moody Blues Bee

Quatrefoil Blocks - Red & Aqua 2 Bee

Variable Star Block - Ravishing in Red Bee

Strippy Blocks - Pretty in Pink Bee

Finished, yay!


Love it all!

Swap package received
Originally uploaded by cilvee
Well, it took me awhile to get around to posting this but it was such a great swap package that I felt I couldn't skip posting about it!

My Modern Swappers partner turned out to be Kelly (Kelby30) from sunny Florida. She did such a great job at putting together my package and everything is so appreciated.

Since a picture says it all, I will just tell you what I got:

A beautiful sewing machine cover, a fabric basket, two pieces of "hoop" art, and 8 fat quarters in various lovely fabric.

After such a great experience with the first round, I am eager to get started with round 2 :)