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!