Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Working on Halloween Houses this WIP Wednesday

Wow! The response to my free Halloween Houses pattern and Quilt Along idea has been wonderful. And here I thought I was going to be sewing all alone. So I've been working on the quilt along today on WIP Wednesday.

Last night I was going through my stash at midnight, when I should have been sleeping, and pulled some more fabrics that go with the focal fabric from the "Witch Hazel" line that I showed you in yesterday's blog post. I am very excited to incorporate these into my Halloween Houses quilt too. It's amazing what you find in your stash!

This morning I sewed a couple of blocks to show the applique and improv options for the houses in my pattern. (Bottom middle and bottom right blocks). This afternoon I made three YouTube tutorial videos for the blocks and now I have blocks in various stages of completion.

The first video will be in Friday's quilt along post but if you don't want to wait to see it you can click over to my YouTube channel or my Facebook feed to see it (click on the mason jars in my sidebar). It's two minutes long and covers the basic house block. (Blocks on the left in above photo.)

Click over to my introductory post from yesterday to join in on the fun and find the link to my free pattern in my Craftsy shop. :)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced (button in sidebar).

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Introduction to Daydreams of Quilts' "Halloween Houses Quilt-Along" and a FREE Pattern

Introductory Post:

It's only two months to go until Halloween. I have some lovely fabric here that has been carefully saved in my stash for over a year. Well, a few pieces from the same line were acquired this summer but the majority has been treasured for a year.
"Witch Hazel" designed by "October Afternoon" from Riley Blake Fabrics.

This is the "Witch Hazel" Line from Riley Blake. My most favorite print in the line is the text fabric but they are all fun. I want to sew a quilt with these that showcases the prints so I have written a FREE "Halloween Houses" Pattern. This pattern features 9" blocks (8 1/2 inches finished) so I can really show off my prints.

A Halloween House block. My free pattern includes applique templates for doors and windows as well as directions for improv piecing windows, doors and a chimney.

Now, I spend a lot of time sewing alone which I enjoy but sometimes it's fun to sew in a group. I would love it if my online quilting friends would join me in a quilt along. This will really help me to get this quilt finished for this year's Halloween. You can download my "Halloween Houses" pattern for free from my Craftsy Shop and quilt along with me!

If Halloween is not your thing (or not a holiday in your country) you can pick a different theme. You could showcase your treasured Christmas prints. Make it in pastels to celebrate the coming of spring for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere. Make it in primary colors for a child's bedroom. I will post weekly tutorials over four weeks showing different ideas for the blocks. I will link them all here on this "Halloween Houses" page. If I have an indication that some of you are with me I will host a linky at the end and I will come up with a fun prize for those who link up their quilt tops.

**Update** Wow! The response to this has been amazing! Thank you so much everyone! So far 48 people have downloaded the pattern and six have told me they are quilting along! I will put a post up each of the four Fridays in September and we'll have a linky in October. Probably the middle to last half of October to give people time to finish.

I have created a hashtag on Instagram: #HalloweenHousesQAL

I haven't told you how much fabric you need in the pattern because I wanted to leave it open for you to make whatever you want but if you need help figuring out how much you need just comment, email, tag me on Instagram... however you would like to contact me and I will help you. :)

So please, help yourself to my free pattern, grab the button for your blog and join me. If I have an indication that some of you are with me I will host a linky at the end and I will come up with a prize for those who link up. It's all in fun! C'mon, what are you waiting for? :)


Friday, 28 August 2015

Cushion Cut Quilt

You know when you were a kid and you used to pretend to be a princess or a Queen? Wasn't it fun to imagine what your crown would be like? If I were a Queen and I had a crown I would want a cushion cut gem in every colour in rainbow order across the front. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a big cushion cut gem of each colour? Well, I obviously do not have that but I do have a quilt full of gorgeous fabric cushion cut gems in every colour. Here it is!

"Cushion Cut Quilt" pieced and quilted by Anita LaHay of Daydreams of Quilts. Pattern by Caroline Greco of Nightingale Quilts.
 This is a very clever pattern that I have been testing for Caroline of Nightingale Quilts. Each block uses three different tones of one colour to achieve a 3D effect. Almost all of my cushion cut gems are sewn with Kona Cottons and my background is Kona White. I had some "Natural History" fabrics by Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics left from my Yuma Quilt and they are perfect for these blocks so I put some of them in the quilt too. Maybe I will make another "Cushion Cut Quilt" out of all Natural History fabrics and it will be just rubies, sapphires and emeralds. (If I can even find more of these Natural History fabrics! They seem to be sold out everywhere I look.)

I made the throw size and it is five feet wide by seven feet long. My husband is standing on a milk crate behind this quilt and it's still lying on the grass at the bottom.

See what I mean about the "Natural History" fabrics? Look at that cushion cut gem smack in the middle of a cushion cut block. I love it! :)

Here's another one with the cushion cut gem near the top of the block.

I do love the Kona fabrics so much! As usual when I am taking quilt photos lately it was stormy and windy here. The quilt was flapping like a flag in the wind. It does make for good lighting though to get the colour to really pop.
This is a great pattern and it's not hard to make these blocks. I would say this pattern would be at a "confident beginner" level. I made three of each of the colours and was able to do so with a fat eighth of each of the three tones. I really enjoyed choosing the colours for each gem.

I was on a tight time line as it took me a while to make up my mind what fabrics I was going to order. I wound up using a "Brights" and a "Classic" fat quarter bundle from Mad About Patchwork. I didn't use all of the fabrics in the bundles but I needed a good variation of tones to choose from. Originally I was just going to use the brights but then I broke open the classics too which were on hand for another project. (I still have enough for that project though.) The awesome thing about Kona fabrics is they don't go out of print!

To save time and thread I chain pieced at every step of the way until I got to the final blocks and was ready to put the top together. The blocks themselves form the sashing which is wonderful for someone like me who really dislikes sashing. I used 8 strips from a jelly roll of Kona brights to make my rainbow binding. I really love how this quilt turned out!

Caroline has offered to give a free copy of her PDF pattern to one lucky reader of my blog. To enter please leave me a comment telling me how you think you would make your "Cushion Cut Quilt". Would you make all your gems the same? Would you use all the colours? Or maybe just pick three? Would it be a Christmas quilt? Or a Halloween quilt? Leave a comment and a winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator Sunday evening. This giveaway is open to everyone. **Update** Giveaway closed. The winner was comment #7 Cathy! Congratulations Cathy! :)

The "Cushion Cut Quilt" pattern will be available in Nightingale Quilt's Craftsy shop. Click the follow button over there to ensure you don't miss it! I think she might have another cool 3D design in the works too.

Please visit some of the other testers to see their versions of the quilt. You can also see even more in the hashtag #cushioncutquilt on Instagram.

Skinny Malinky Quilts

Frankenstein's Fabrics

Linking up with "Finish It Up Friday". I actually had this finished last Friday but waited to post today for Caroline's Pattern release schedule.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Patchwork Quilted Shopping Cart Cover

I have been working hard for about a week on this little project whenever I got a chance to work on it. Summer is coming to an end soon and not long after it will be cold and flu season and shopping carts will be frozen in sub zero temperatures. I needed to get this project done before the impending doom winter season.

I am writing a pattern for this and have a few testers who have volunteered on Instagram to test it for me so it is coming soon (hopefully a month) if any of you will be wanting to make one.

We took my baby girl for a test drive of it within an hour of my having it finished. I think it's safe to say she likes it. :)

I made it large enough to fit a Walmart shopping cart which has a double seat if (Lord help you!) you were shopping with twins or two toddlers. The cart cover only has leg holes for one child though so if you actually were shopping with two you would need to modify for your needs.

It has a seat belt which goes around the back through the cart's rungs and back through the quilt to attach around baby's waist and keeps her (or him if you have a boy) from falling (or launching) out of the cart. Also, when Mommy is tearing through the grocery store with 20 minutes to school pick-up and baby looses her balance this can prevent the ensuing screaming that results when baby bumps her head on the metal cart. Not that I would know anything about that.

Here you can see the seat belt a little better.

This may seem over the top to a few people but if you've ever shopped with a baby who is teething you can appreciate the desire to keep them from mouthing the shopping cart handle and any other surfaces they can reach with their mouth especially during flu season. It's also a courtesy to other shoppers who probably don't want to put their fresh produce in a freshly saliva-ed cart (or worse if there is a diaper wardrobe malfunction).

Here is a view of the leg holes which have a bias binding around them.
I started off with a patchwork quilt and put the two leg holes in it.

I posted this photo on Instagram which got a bit of attention when at first I pretended the holes were not intentional. But then I said "just kidding!" and explained what this was for.

Here's another Instagram photo of the leg holes bound and my webbing and clips ready to go. This was last night at 11:00 when I was calling it quitting time.

And here it is fresh off the sewing machine all ready to try out this afternoon.
Thank you for visiting today to see my patchwork quilted shopping cart cover. I think I will list these in the Etsy shop and see if I get any orders. :)

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday and Let's Bee Social. Buttons are in my sidebar for you to go see what everyone else is making too.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Edge Tote - Pattern by "The Iron & Needle"

Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! :) Today I am beginning a new series on my blog called "Spotlight on Canadian Pattern Designers." I know of a few pattern designers that I would like to highlight so that will start me off but if you are a Canadian pattern designer, or you know of one I should highlight, please leave me a comment or send me an email. (Email button in Mason jars on the sidebar.)

For today's WIP Wednesday project I am working on some bags using a pattern designed by Brianna of The Iron & Needle. The pattern is called "Edge Tote Pattern" and you can find it in her Etsy Shop. Brianna is from Ontario, Canada. In addition to quilting and sewing she enjoys kayaking, reading and photography.
I sewed this Edge Tote last night from start to finish so it can be done in one evening. I think it took me about two hours to make it. This one is going out in the mail tomorrow to my August Secret Pal in the year-round "Secret Pals" swap on Instagram.

There are a few other special people in my life who I think should have one of these fabulous bags as well. Today I am working on one with toile. Such a timeless classic fabric.

The red is quilting cotton weight and the yellow is home decor weight. I like to make bags with home decor weight so I don't have to interface it. The pattern does give instructions for interfacing your quilting cottons so you can sew it with whatever fabrics you like.
I love the diagonal cut on the pocket. I used some twill tape for trim on the outer pocket and a little piece of zakka tap in the side seam with sewing tools on it.

I used home decor weight fabrics for the outside of the bag and pocket. The ticking stripes are off cuts from some IKEA curtains I had in my old house. The fabulous pocket fabric was a gift from one of the ladies in my #CanunckBdayClub. The twill was also a swap gift. The lining is quilting weight cotton.

I lined the pocket and the bag interior with the same fabric but I might change it up on the next bag and use two different fabric choices.

I also recently bought some gorgeous Kona fabrics from one of my favorite online Canadian fabric shops Mad About Patchwork and I am using these to make a baby quilt using Brianna's amazing Tilted Quilt Pattern. This pattern has 10 variations and you can learn more about it in this blog post. Brianna made a fantastic "Lone Wolf" quilt which is one of the pattern variations and there are photos of it in her pattern introduction post.

This is the Kona Bright Collection. I cannot tell you how much I love this! It was painful to take the band off the jelly roll but it is off and these will make a gorgeous baby quilt! Some of them are also in a very cool quilt I've been testing the pattern for that I should be able to show you next week (maybe even Sunday!)

I hope you have enjoyed learning about a Canadian pattern designer who has brought some great ideas to life. Thank you for stopping by to see my WIPs this week. I am linking up with the linkys "Let's Bee Social" and "WIP Wednesday". Buttons for those are in the button bar so you can visit and see what everyone else it working on.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

My Finished Christmas Quilt

Finally! Victory is mine! Not another Christmas shall pass that we do not have this warm cozy quilt to cuddle up under! I am so pleased. And just to entertain myself I have looked through my ancient blog posts and here is the first post on this blog about this fabric. September 11, 2012! And in that post it says I bought the fabric a year before! So that means I have been planning this quilt for four years!

"Penny Candy" Christmas Quilt. Pieced and quilted by Anita LaHay of Daydreams of Quilts. Pattern by Kathy Brown from her book "Strip-Smart Quilts". Fabric is "Holiday Happy" by Monica Solorio-Snow of the Happy Zombie for Lecien fabrics.

I have the Finish Along to thank for spurring me on (and cheering me on!) to get it finished. It's been on my list all year including my Q3 goals list (#2).

One more photo just to be sure it's real.

This was one of the bigger quilts I've sewn and the idea of quilting it was daunting so it sat for a few months. Then one day, inspiration struck and I had it quilted in two days.

Another shot of the quilting. I quilted this on my Juki TL98E.
This year I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my Juki and it's been working like a charm ever since. The problem was I kept putting the bobbin in running clockwise when it has to run counter clockwise. Such a simple thing but it drove me crazy for months! Soooo happy I finally figured it out! :) It was the answer to a prayer let me tell you.

Here is the cozy flannel back. I bought this blue polka dotted fabric from the "Quilter's Quarters" quilt shop in Edson on the way to Jasper for our annual May trip to the mountains. It's so soft! 
The batting is bamboo. This quilt is going to be so warm and cozy at Christmas time this year. :) Now, I hope I can get some matching throw pillows and a tree skirt done too! Hooray for a nice day for taking quilt photos and hooray for a finished Christmas quilt. :)

Thank you for coming by my blog to see it. Linking up with the Linkys: "Sew Cute Tuesday", "Fabric Tuesday" and "Let's Bee Social".

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Giveaway Winners and Charity Quilts

I had hoped to have a post up showing my finished Christmas quilt but it is pouring rain here and showing no signs of stopping so I cannot get a good photo of it at the moment.

Despite that, I wanted to pop in here and announce that the winners as chosen by the Rafflecopter of my four year Blogiversary fat quarter giveaway are Lori M. from Ohio, USA and Cindy K. from British Columbia, Canada. The prizes were mailed out yesterday ladies so hopefully they will be with you in a week.

Also, I am featured on the Frankenstein's Fabric blog as a charity quilter. If you are interested in learning about the quilts I've sewn for charity please click on the blog button below and check it out. :)

In the meantime, I am sewing a pattern test for a quilt that is pretty cool! I can't wait to show it to you when it's finished and the pattern designer gives the go-ahead.