Friday
Jun202014

Auction #10 - Rainbow Dancers Pattern Test

Here's another pattern tester for your consideration.  I submitted my book proposal for "S is for Stitch" in May 2011.  My proposal was accepted a few months later.  I was on an extended holiday at the time, but my optimistic self had packed all my embroidery supplies so I was prepared. :)  I was soooo excited and I got to work right away.  This "Rainbow Dancers" sample was the first thing I made.  It was inspired by one of my daughters who had recently learned "ROYGBIV" (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) at school.  I remember spending quite a bit of time in the California sun choosing all the floss colours.

A word about framing.  I've spent a small fortune over the years on custom-framing for my needlework.  It's always worth it, but it's not always affordable.  So it was very important to me that this design would fit perfectly inside an easy-to-find and affordable 8 1/2" x 11" frame.  In fact, all the framed ideas in my book fit a standard frame size ... or the designs can be adjusted easily with a photochopy machine.  :)

I used plain white linen for the version of this pattern that ended up in the book, but I stitched this tester on a white-on-white print with pretty, subtle roses.  I hope you can see them in this photo.  I love embroidering on a white-on-white or a gentle print.  It adds a layer of interest and unique design element to your work. 

This auction ends June 25 at 8:00 pm MST.  I will ship anywhere, but shipping is not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Thursday
Jun192014

Auction #9 - Pinterest Pencil Case

:)  I'm putting this up for auction because ... well ... because I made it almost 6 months ago and I've never used it.  It just sits there, looking pretty.  It is one of my most favourite things I made this year.  Honest to goodness I really did make it for myself.  But - as with most things I "make for myself" - it turns out it's the making for myself I enjoy most, not the keeping/using for myself.

I used my absolute favourite PamKittyPicnic fabric.  Oh do I love this floral.  I think I bought something like 7 yards of it ... and NOT for a quilt backing either.  So, if I ever regret letting this one go, I can always make another one.  It measures 8" x 2" x 2 3/4" and the label is leather. 

This auction ends June 25th at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Wednesday
Jun182014

Auction #8 - Farmer's Wife Block Pincushion

This sweet little pincushion makes me laugh.  I made it from a Farmer's Wife Quilt block that didn't turn out right.  You can read about it here.  It measures 4 1/4" x 1" and is filled with ground walnut shells so it's nice and firm and weighty. ;)  All the fabric is Lecien's Flower Sugar. 

If you would like to bid on this pincushion, you can do so in the comments section.  This auction ends Monday, June 23 at 6:00 pm MST.   I am happy to ship anywhere, but postage is not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Tuesday
Jun172014

Auction #7 - Patchwork Cushion Cover

I had a few questions yesterday about the embroidered letters on the Nesting Dolls bag.  Yes, it is a stem stitch (also called outline stitch).  It's my favourite stitch because I like how it has a rope-like texture that appears to lay on top of the fabric.  The trick for using the stem stitch is to make your stitches really small to make smooth lines.  If your stitches are too long - especially on tight curves - you will have little lines that stick out, like slivers.  So no trick really, just tiny stitches. :)

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This one makes me a little sad to let go.  I made it specially for the "music room" in our new house.  (The room is labeled "Dining Room" on the blueprints, but since it's the only place on the main floor for a piano and we don't need an eating area at the back end of the house AND a separate dining room at the front of the house, we're turning said dining room into a music room where my girls can practice piano and violin ... I was going to say whenver they liked but who are we kidding?  They usually need to be "reminded" to practice.  Where was I - I've gotten myself all turned around with these tangents.)

Oh right.  Music room.  Since I made this cushion cover, however, I changed the paint colour for that room and now my perfect cushion cover - complete with music-themed fabric - just won't coordinate very well.  So it needs to find a new home.

I put some cute little details on it like a little satin ribbon ruffle, some lace and a few of my linen tape labels.  I also added a neatly hidden zipper closure on the back.  It fits a standard 20" square pillow form. 

This auction ends June Sunday, 22 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping and pillow form not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Monday
Jun162014

Auction #6 - Nesting Dolls Drawstring Bag

Happy Monday!

So I did more packing and purging over the weekend - pleased to report more purging than packing, yay me (I'm really sorry to keep talking about this move, but it seems to be all I do so I don't have much else to chat with you about ... I hope you don't mind.  I feel like you're all my friends and I can go on and on about my silly life and you are just sitting there politely smiling and nodding and letting me get this off my chest.  So thank you for that.

Anyhow, I keep finding little bits and bobs in cupboards long ignored and boxes forgotten ... you know ... things that I once thought were important but now are just quaint relics from my past.  So I got an idea in my head that for all the winning bids I'd could "gift" these relics to you as little surprises in your package that hopefully you will like and use.  'Cause everyone likes surprises, right?

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I made this little bag totally on a whim.  The cute decorative ribbon - which I'd bought on impulse - inspired me.  You can read about it here.

The fabric is linen and Atsuko Matsuyama (including the lining fabric) and it measures 5 3/4" x 7 1/2".

This auction ends Sunday June 22 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping not included.  (Nesting dolls in the photo also not included.)  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Sunday
Jun152014

Auction #5 Best Buds Pattern Tester

I stitched up this little thing last summer for the April 2014 Issue of Better Homes and Gardens "American Patchwork & Quilting" magazine.  This was going to be the one that made it into the magazine, but it ended up being a "pattern test" for me.

After I made this framed version of my daisy pattern, I started on the purse.  But I didn't plan out my fabric choices for both pieces before I started because I ended up using the same paisley print in green for the bottom fabric on the purse.  I didn't want to have both items in the magazine with the same print on the bottom so I decided to re-make the framed version as seen below. 

Fabric is "Scrumptious" by Moda.  The piece measures 7 3/4" x 8 1/2", but I designed the stitched area to fit neatly inside a 5" x 7" frame - no custom framing required. 

It's really simple, but I quite enjoyed stitching it up at my kitchen table.  It has such a light, breezy quality about it.  And I like the wonky imperfection of the blossoms.  I don't need it, but it's just too cute to throw out.  Maybe you'd like to have it in your home. :)

The auction for this "test" embroidered daisy meadow ends Saturday, June 21 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is not included.  I will send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Saturday
Jun142014

Auction #4 - Stitch Zakka Kit

Ok, ok.  I know today is only Saturday and yesterday I said I'd be back on Monday, but I got a little excited about this one.  Besides, I had the moving company here this week ... the more things I can find a new home for, the better!

As I am slooooooowly working my way thru my sewing room, I realized that I could put together a kit (I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed about that) for my Stitch Zakka project ... the Simple Sampler Tablet Case.  (But if you don't want a tablet case, this pattern converts easily into a lovely cushion. :)

"C" is for "COSMO", but it's also for my last name. ;)

(I didn't have enough of this cream/blue rose print so I replaced it with the identical purple/pink print for the lining and back.)

This kit includes:

  • 11 strips of assorted Lecien prints for the cover (9 are exactly the same as the original and 2 are near-identical, but still from the same fabric collection
  • Lecien fabrics for backing, lining, binding & tab closure
  • 11 skeins of COSMO floss (as specified in the pattern which coordinate perfectly with the fabric)
  • A package of my favourite Foxglove embroidery needles
  • Fusible fleece
  • Magnetic clasp
  • And of course, a copy of Stitch Zakka :)

I love kits ... one-stop-shopping.  This would make the perfect little summer embroidery project, don't you think?

This auction - for the kit only - closes Friday June 20th at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is not included.  I will send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Friday
Jun132014

Auction #3 - Single Strap Tote (Pink)

I love this bag.  I really do.  But I made it a little too narrow for its intended purpose as a music bag.  You can read about it here.  It measures 10 1/2" x 13 1/2", which is still plenty big for magazines and craft books and things.

This auction closes Thursday June 19th at 6:00 MST.  Shipping is extra, and I'll send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Have a great weekend.  I'll see you next week with more auction items!

Thursday
Jun122014

Auction #2 - Rectangle Pincushion

Holy cow!  Thank you for your interest in my needlebook.  :)  Very much appreciated.

I know I just made this a few weeks ago.  But as much as I love it, I really don't need another pincushion.  I've got lots.  So here you go.  It measures 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1" and is stuffed with ground walnut shells.  (Sorry, pins not included, but you can find them here.)

Bidding ends at 8:00 pm MST on Monday June 16.  (I'll ship anywhere, but postage is not included.)  And I will send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Wednesday
Jun112014

Auction #1 - Linen, Pearl & Coral Needlebook

One quick thing before I start, I got a lot of requests for the pattern source of Monday's pencil case.  :)

It's just a flat version of my Round Pencil Case pattern (available both as PDF or Paper ... and it's my best seller too!).  I omitted the round ends - super easy. 

I was so happy that many of you are particularly interested in the covered zipper.  I do prefer a hidden zipper myself.  Sometimes an exposed zipper looks really cool and modern, but for the most part I like to cover mine with binding.  So thank you for asking.

*     *     *     *     *

Ok.  Auction time!

Since I got so many comments about my needlebooks, I thought I'd start with this ...

You can read about it here.  Pins and needles as shown are included. :)

To bid, go to the comments section at the end of this post.  You can enter your bid as a comment. Bidding ends at noon on Sunday June 15 MST.  (I'll ship anywhere, but postage is not included.)  I will send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Monday
Jun092014

it's (totally) easy being green

Ok.  You can't really blame me for the title of this post because I had a Sesame Street LP when I was a kid ... the kind that had sing-a-long pages.  My sister and I played that thing to death.  Kermit's famous song was on that record.

(Man, do I ever love YouTube!)

Speaking of Sesame Street, I think my favourite thing about this case is the lining.  I can't remember where I found that fabric - probably my LQS.  I bought it specially to line pencil cases.  You may or may not know I have a thing for the alphabet and I love all things letter-y so this classic alphabet print is my idea of fab.u.lous.

It's a birthday gift for my daughter's friend so I was not in charge of the colour and I didn't give (much) input into the fabric selection.  Bonnie & Camille's "Scrumptious" is a favourite in my house.  Hopefully the birthday girl will love it as much as we do.

The party was supposed to be Saturday afternoon so naturally I started making it Saturday morning.  But we got a call at noon saying the birthday girl was sick and the party has been rescheduled.  And now instead of finishing just under the wire, I'm two weeks early! 

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Just a few housekeeping items:

A lot of you asked me where to find that Hexagon Flap Bag pattern.  I already packed up most of my craft books and I have no idea what it's called since it's in Japanese, but I promise to post about it after I've unpacked. 

I'll be listing a few auction items this week so check back soon.  And yes I will ship anywhere in the world, but I will wait until after the auction to calculate shipping rates. 

Friday
Jun062014

it's the making, not the having

I've said that many times.  I need to make things more than I need to have things.  This need, however, has left me with pretty little things that are now looking for good homes.  So I've been thinking of selling them. 

But here's the thing ... pricing can be tricky.  For example, I asked a few sewy friends for their opinion on what to price a particular thing.  One said $15 and the other said $68!  LOL!  So instead of guessing the market value - and to give everyone a chance instead of "first come, first served" - I thought it might be fun to have an auction.  I'm going to list each item separately and you can bid via comments on each post.  Here's a sneak preview of a few items I'm thinking of listing ... although I may panic and change my mind at the last minute on one or two of them.  ;)

 Sound like fun?  Stay tuned ...

Monday
Jun022014

japanese hexagon flap bag

This isn't the first time I've made this Hexagon Flower Flap bag.  In fact, it's the fourth.  I made three versions of it as shop samples and taught a few classes on it.  But that was ... wow, like 8 years ago!  If I recall correctly (and that's a big if these days), this was the first "Japanese" bag I ever made.  It also started my love affair with Japanese bag-making techniques, patterns, craft books & magazines, and of course fabrics. 

It's a clever little design with the hexie flap and the little snaps inside so you pleat the opening or leave them undone.  I was inspired by the gorgeous Daiwabo acorn/stripe print I found last year (sorry, very hard to find) and I used old scraps from my precious Japanese fabric stash for the hexagons.

I wish I could have found silver or brass snaps in my cupboard, but I had to settle for black.  It makes me wince just a bit when I see it.  Maybe if I remember the next time I'm at the notions store I will get a better colour and replace it.

Tuesday
May272014

everything but the kitchen sink

I hope you don't mind me doing only little-ish sewing projects lately.  I've had a serious craving for a few months now to make a nice big quilt.  Nothing complicated.  Just a bunch of squares or triangles or something.  But I don't dare start because of our impending move (late-July ... ?). 

The last time we moved it was just me and him and a few pieces of secondhand furniture.  Seventeen years adds a lot of weight - two kids, more stuff, (too much fabric ... if there is such a thing).  We're only moving 2 kms (1.2 miles) away.  It will take longer to actually LOAD the moving van than it will to DRIVE to the new house.  I've been slowly packing a box here and a box there for months.  I even tempted fate and packed all the winter stuff last weekend.  I feel rather unsettled - almost displaced. 

So when it comes to starting a big quilting project, I'm afraid that it won't get finished.  And then it will get all disorganized and messed up and then I will shove it all into a bag and toss it into the box marked Sewing UFOs and then mayhem will ensue and life as I know it will turn into an endless state of chaos and then I will die and my tombstone will read, "Here lies a quilter who couldn't land her UFOs" or "She got carried away by her UFOs" or "May she rest in pieces" or "She snipped her last connecting thread" or ... I dunno ... something ridiculous.

So.  My point is that today's offering is yet another little thing.  I played around with pretty fabric, lace, a label, patchwork, fussy cutting, machine applique, felt, ribbons, novelty trim, sequins and beads ... and they all went into this diminutive 3.5" x 4" sewing case.  I guess you could say I used nearly everything but the kitchen sink for this project.  But the best thing was that it went together quickly.

Now.  If only moving a house was that quick.

(Strawberry fabric available here.)

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Congratulations to Estee C. who says she is a "labeller wannabe"!  You won a copy of Lori Holt's Great Granny Squared book.  Thank you to all of you for playing along.  It seems I'm in good company when it comes to not quite getting around to labeling my quilts. :)

Friday
May232014

if at first you do not succeed ...

I made this music bag a little while ago for my daughter, but it was too small because I didn't use an actual music book to measure the size (I know ... sometimes I do the silliest things).

This time, I did use a music book. 

HOWEVER, apparently she also takes a 3-ring binder to her lessons, which - of course - does NOT fit.

Sooo, I guess the third time is the charm ... or at least I hope it will be.  Thank goodness this bag is really quick and easy.

(Floral fabric available here, and it's on sale too!)

Monday
May192014

great granny sew along & giveaway 

Hello and Happy Monday! 

Welcome to the final installment of the Great Granny Squared Sew Along with Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet and Fat Quarter Shop.  If you've been sewing along, you know the drill - I've got photos of this week's project, which is a ton of fun to make by the way - and a link to your homework PDF, as well as a copy of Lori's new book to give away to one of you. :)

The last thing you need to make for this quilt - but certainly not the least - is the Label Block

It's a whimsical change from the traditionally little label we so often associate with quilts - and it has a blank square in the middle of the block for you to customize with whatever embroidery design you like. 

Lori's book has lovely label ideas and embroidery templates.  I started my stitched square with Lori's floral motif and then did a little designing of my own.

Since I don't need a quilt label at present I took another idea from Lori's book - adding a border to my block - and turned it into a zippered cushion cover.

Not surprisingly, one of my girls requested it for her room in our new house.  So what about the other girl?  Well, this block is so quick and easy that I didn't need any arm-twisting whatsoever to whip up another one ...

For those of you who don't embroider - I know you're out there ;) - try adding a little ribbon to the center square as an alternative to stitching.

(A few extra details on the back of a cushion is never a bad thing.)

For more inspiration, check out my labelling partners over at Pink Penguin and Lily's Quilts.  And remember to add your photos to the Great Granny Squared Flickr Page to be entered for the weekly prize.

Without further ado, I'd like to give away a copy of this beautiful book, which is page after page of gorgeous photography, inspiring designs and easy-to-follow patterns.  If you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment on this post (not an email) telling me if you are a labeller, a non-labeller, or - like me - a labeller with good intentions who doesn't always get around to it. 

This giveaway is open to all and closes Sunday May 26th.  I'll announce the winner soon after.   Good luck to you!

Monday
May122014

it all started with tiny pink flowers

I'm referring to this sweet new Tilda print that just so happens to be the perfect scale for 1/2" hexagons ...

... which just so happen to be the perfect size for a little hexagon pincushion.  (I made this one last year and finally got around to making another one ... for me this time.)

I added some linen, a hint of pink gingham & embroidery, and a mother-of-pearl button and then called it a day.

I filled it with ground walnut shells - as I do with all my pincushions because I love the weightiness and form you get with them - very different from toy stuffing.  (I get my shells in the reptile bedding department at a local pet supply shop.)

I even have the perfect pintoppers.  (You can find them here.)

Happy Monday, y'all!

Friday
May092014

these things are like popcorn ...

Bet you can't make just one.  I couldn't.  I think this is my ... ... 6th or 7th?  It is so my "go-to-quick-handmade" gift these days.  I hope you're not annoyed with me for making/showing too many of them.  I know they say variety is the spice of life, but sometimes life requires quick and easy - hold the cayenne please!

When I was told the birthday girl's favourite color is blue, I surveyed my stash for a few minutes.  Nothing really jumped out at me until I spied my PamKittyPicnic bundle. :)  She makes the best coordinates.  And I thought I'd see what my "ruler" cotton ribbon would look like as the handle this time.  Kinda fun, no?  Love how it pairs up with the "handmade" label.

Happy weekend!  (No snow in the forecast for us this time, thank goodness.)

Monday
May052014

when life gives you snow in may ...

Make a little drawstring bag and watch a movie that's been on your list for a while.  That's what I did this weekend. 

My daughter does NOT like the little bee/wasp tag.  I didn't like bugs at her age either.  But I thought it would be fun to have a bee buzzing around the cherry and strawberry blossoms on the print.

I also added a little lace trim and a fine taupe gingham ribbon for the string ... and then I watched this on Netflix. 

Thank you for all your snow empathy, by the way ... it turned out to be not so very bad after all.  The temperature was only just below freezing and there was no wind.  And it was pretty.  I saw a neighbour shoveling his sidewalk while wearing a winter jacket, shorts and flip flops.  That was funny.

Saturday
May032014

rendered speechless

What would you say?  I've run out of ways to express my feelings about this winter that just won't quit.