Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A winner!

I am happy to announce that Lisa is the winner of the My Memories Suite scrap booking software!  I hope she enjoys it and it will be great to see what ideas she comes up with for the software.  Lisa is a photographer in British Columbia, Canada her website is here. I will be emailing her shortly for info and she can collect her prize and get started!!

On the sewing front I have been crazy busy with Annie.  Here is an "action shot" of three of the dresses I made.  This is at the dress rehearsal.  There was also an incredible number of costumes to alter or make, I am so thankful that I was not alone in this endeavour!  There was a fabulous costuming director and a great team of worker bees.  All in all a great experience.
The Boylan Sisters

Moo made a great orphan!

Bean was backstage every night taking care of "Sandy" when he wasn't acting.
It was fun but thoroughly exhausting!  We must have done well though because the show was a sell out and it ran for five shows.  I also have been asked to assist with the next production that runs next week called the King and I.  Yikes!  I still have Christmas sewing to do!
See ya soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A new trick! And a GIVE AWAY!

Hi there, it has been a little while since I've posted anything creative but it is not because I haven't been busy!  I have been very busy sewing lots of costumes for the production of Annie that my daughter is in, but I have also had a new toy.

My Memories contacted me a while ago to see if I wanted to try their digital scrap booking products.  I had to think about it for a little while because I am not very well versed in computer software programs and I knew I would be very busy at this time of year.  What I also discovered is that I will ALWAYS be busy and they have a great customer service line!!  I used to scrap book with my film printed pictures before I had children, but now that all my pictures are on my computer....A). I NEVER get to see them and B). they NEVER get a journal log or shared.  What is the purpose of taking pictures if they only live in the computer and no one ever sees them?  And what if the unthinkable happens and your computer hard drive fries? (Like mine did this summer???)  What happens with all of those fabulous memories you downloaded to the computer for "someday".  Well, I decided that I should at least try a digital scrap booking method. So I decided to go ahead with My Memories offer.  They allowed me to download the My Memories Suite software for free to try it out.  Let me just say it is VERY comprehensive!  I LOVED all the options for backgrounds and papers.  They basically have a layout for every imaginable event, season or Holiday.  I really appreciated the pre-organized pages that allowed me to drag and drop my pictures into a fully designed layout.  I am a busy Mamma and I don't have the time to dream up beautiful page designs!  However, if you do, they have options for you as well. Pick your own papers and accents and design away!

Now for the really fabulous part!  They very generously offered me the opportunity to do a give away for you guys, so you can have your own My Memories Suite software download!  The ideas for this are endless.  Of course for you scrap bookers, there is and endless array of digital scrap booking options, but for you sewers and quilters out there, I am envisioning a whole new level to memory quilting!  No more just printing plan old photos onto transfer fabric, now we can make a whole story unfold on the page with test included and print it out onto the transfer paper ready to incorporate into our projects!!  Yippee!  The page above is just a quick layout I picked but I hope to be able to do some really fun pages and get some printed on fabric for Christmas gifts.  I just knew that I couldn't wait until all of that was done if I wanted one of you to be able to have some fun before Christmas too!

So, to enter the draw, please go see the My Memories website and let me know you did in a comment below.
If you would like to have more chances to win you can chose any or all of the following options! If you check them out on Facebook you can leave another comment and if you become a follower or post this on your blog/FB leave me a third and fourth comment and I will make the draw November 30th.

Please make sure I have a way to contact you!  Leave me your email in the comments if you are not a blogger or if you are a "no-reply" blogger!

They have also offered a promo code to anyone who doesn't win, which will give you $10.00 off the software and $10.00 to spend in the shop which is a $20.00 value and actually buys a lot in the shop! Just enter this code (probably best to copy and paste it to be sure!): STMMMS21894

FULL DISCLOSURE:  Please also be aware that I do get a benefit when this code is used. Please don't feel you need to buy anything you wouldn't have purchased without knowing this. Please shop responsibly! 

Good Luck to everyone!

Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You

Our Remembrance Day started like this.
It has been a long and thoughtful Remembrance Day for my family.  My nephew, my brother's son, is serving in Afghanistan and that frightens me.  I am here and cannot do much to keep him safe but pray and "remember".  With her cousin in mind, my daughter, who has always wanted to be a singer finally won a solo part in the choirs performance at the Remembrance Day service today.  She was nervous and excited but determined to sing her gratitude.  I am so proud of her and so thankful and proud of my nephew as well.  I hope that you all were able to take a minute today and be grateful for our freedom.

Sorry apparently this link won't work.  If I figure it out I will edit again! 

It takes a long time to load and is almost 4 minutes long.

On a sewing note, I have been sewing like a fool for the production of Annie and hope to take some pictures soon!  I seriously need to be done so I can start Christmas!!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stylish Pincushion Tutorial

I think it is time to share a tutorial for this cute little repurposed candle holder.

This pincushion happened quite by accident.  I was thrifting at our local Value Village and found this cute little chair.

It used to be a candle holder but to me it just screamed PINCUSHION!  So it came home with me and we started its transformation.
I hadn't thought of a tutorial when I started so I don't have a lot of pictures but it is so easy you won't have any trouble.

Here is what you will need:

A holder of your choice
Two small pieces of fabric about 5 inches square
Light interfacing to match
Polyfil (stuffing)
a cute button
Thread to match
Some type of floss (I used crochet cotton)
Needle with a large eye
Marking pen
Fray Check
Hot Glue gun- loaded!

I measured the seat of the chair (base of the candle holder) which was three inches.  I didn't want the cushion to be too high cause then I wouldn't be able to see the fancy back so cut decided to cut my circles
4 1/2 inches diameter.  I used my Olfa circle cutter  but you can do it however you like. Accuquilt Go! die cutter, saucer, free hand, what ever works!

Apply the light interfacing on both circles as per the manufacturers instructions.  I find it really helps with the structure and it makes it easier to pull and push the pins with the added stability.

With right sides facing, sew around the circles leaving a gap about an inch and a half for turning.  I used generous 1/4 inch seams.  Clip your edges and turn right side out.  Smooth circle by using a chop stick (your favourite gadget) to push the seam out completely.  Stuff the cushion to desired fullness and hand stitch the opening shut.  I use a ladder stitch because I don't like the stitches to show but you can whip stitch it if you like.

Find the centre of the top of the cushion and mark it with fading ink. I eyeballed it but you can measure!
Using your floss (knotted) and needle and starting from the bottom of the cushion come up through to the centre mark and add the cute button. Take a few stitches to secure the button.  Once you pass the thread through the cushion to the bottom side begin to make the sections of the cushion by bringing the thread up around the cushion edge instead of up through it. I made six sections, of course you can do more or less. Finish at the bottom centre and knot your floss and cut it.

Since I knew that the chair used to be a candle holder with a spike, I figured that I could push this cushion onto it for more stability. However, I didn't want my fabric to fray, so on the bottom at the centre point, I put a few drops of Fray Check.

Now with the cushion ready it is time for the chair.  After the surface is cleaned (this is thrifted after all) apply a generous amount of hot glue to the seat area.  Then firmly push the cushion down. Not so much that the spike pops through but enough so that it is well in place.

Add a few pins and it is ready to go!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Catch up!

I figure I have some catching up to do since it has been so long since I was last here.  It has been a busy season for all members of my family.  I'll just do a quick update and then I am working on a fun but simple tutorial and will make a new post.  As you know my husband has been battling colon cancer since early this year.  It has not been a fun journey but there are still good things that come out of these types of trials.  We learned a lot about each other and ourselves.  We also learned what incredible children we have, they are such troopers!  He is still doing a few more rounds of chemotherapy but we hope that by Christmas we will be done and looking forward to a new and healthier year.

The kids have started their new school year and as always they run in the Cross Country meet at Hiawatha Park.  It is just gorgeous there this time of year and this year we were blessed with a most spectacular day.  Both kids did very well and what I was most pleased to see was their character.  They cheered each team mate to the end and many other runners that they could see were frustrated or feeling defeated. When their sibling was struggling to do that sprint at the end of the race they both ran to the end with the other and cheered words of encouragement.  Moo came across almost in tears from a cramp and Bean ran beside her until the end and caught her as she collapsed in pain at the end.  When I got to her, he was holding her and telling her what a great race she ran and how proud he was of her for running through the pain and finishing still in fourth place!  When it came to his turn she did the same with him and he had his best finish ever.  He finished in 3rd place and she was telling him how proud she was that he had worked so hard and done so well.  I was a proud Mamma that day!  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my little ones love and encourage each other.
Absolute Determination.
Total Perseverance.
                                                                                                                As for me I am standing in on both school councils and the volunteer committee this year which should keep me insanely busy!  And to top that off, Moo auditioned for the Musical Comedy Guilds production of Annie and got in!  She is an orphan and is loving the theatre group.  So of course when they asked if anyone sewed I said yes, and guess what?  Now I am part of the costuming team!  YIKES!  I am quickly brushing up on 1930's period costumes!  Other than that..... well as usual Christmas is coming!!! So yes, I am sewing like a nut!

In an interesting turn of events I was contacted to do a product review for a scrap booking company and they have also offered a give away so I will be working through the details of that and post about it soon!
Nice to see you all again!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer comes to an end.

We have had a wonderful summer here over all.  The weather has been mixed between hot summer days with high humidity and thunder and lightening shows at night.  I love the heat and the humidity doesn't really bother me so I have been a happy clam!  We have travelled some and spent some time at our boat.  I am sad to see summer go but I do love the fall as well.  I live at the bottom of a foothill and the colour show in the fall is spectacular!
This is last year!  We are not this deep in colour yet!
As for the sewing department, I have been doing several projects but nothing too big.

I made this sun dress for Me!  I love the pleats on the front but the underarm binding on the back was a little odd, just ending out there all on it's own!  Maybe it is the pattern....maybe it is me sewing in the wee wee hours of the morning?  However, it is light and flowy and doesn't touch me much which is great when the humidity is really high!

I made Kobo covers for the kids.  One for Moo (girly) and one for Bean (boyish).

And we all made several dog beds to donate to the Humane Society.  Of course they need to be tested before they go so the Princess Moo did the testing!  They work well apparently!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Farewell, my friend....

It is a sad time for me and my family as we say good bye to a wonderful woman.  I am sad to say that our dear friend Hazel has passed away.  She was a lovely, friendly woman who "adopted" me and my children as though we really were hers.  We shared a love of quilting and fabric hoarding collecting.  She was amazing at many forms of crafting and I have some wonderful items that she made that I will hold dear and cherish as memories of time spent with her.
If not for Hazel and her hubby Jim, my move back to Ontario to take care of my parents would never have happened.  They were a slick packing team and kept me in good humour while we tackled the daunting task of packing up my life and my two children and moving across the country.  I have many pictures of Hazel with my sisters and my children but I think my favourite is of her rocking my "eternally colicky" son when he was tiny.
She had a brilliant, captivating smile and a gentle soul and I will miss her dearly.
I am grateful for her time on earth and I know she is in Good Hands.  Thank God her suffering is over.  If you have a minute please say a prayer for Hazel's family and friends as those who remain are hurting.

As I was in the process of making an Alzheimer's touch quilt for Hazel with some of her fabrics, I will still complete it but I will now donate it to the Alzheimer's Association in her name (unless of course her hubby would like to have it to hold on to).  As for the rest of her fabric and the Singer Featherweight that I inherited, she will be remembered every time I touch any of it.

Rest in Peace Hazel, may you find the best Fabric Shops Heaven has to offer.  Say, "Hi" to Mom and Dad for me and give them a hug.  Love you......

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday Night Sew In ....Success!

Well, the Friday Night Sew In went on until 3:00 am Saturday morning and I am not quite done, but I am thrilled to say that I sewed two Christmas presents!!!
This one is for my grandson's to share.

Room for six cars.

I love how the cars settle all the way into the pockets!

This one is for my nephew....

He is a Hot Wheels fan.

I used the tutorial here from Punkin Patterns blog.  I managed to scrounge up the Riley Blake Wheels (My Minds Eye) fabric from a Canadian fabric shop online called Dragonfly Fabrics.  The mat folds up and buttons closed for play on the go.  The cars all stay put and it is small enough to pop into just about any bag or purse to take along to the doctors or park.   I need to get some cute buttons for these two mats and then I can show a picture of it all folded up.  But all in all, I think Friday Night Sew In was a great success!  I also got to watch a great movie called the notebook while I was sewing.  A friend lent it to me and it was a lovely movie.
Well I think I may try a Saturday night sew in also, just to get ahead!
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pay it Forward and a New Challenge.

We have been traveling quite a bit this summer and so I have not been able to blog much but I wanted to share a picture of my first "pay it forward"! 
I made this apron for Kelly from A Plain Path.  She is a sweet Mamma and a terrific, supportive bloggy friend. If you click her link you can see her wearing the apron!  We got a chuckle out of the fact that I was making her apron as she was making jelly and needing one!

This was the first time I used the labels that I made and talked about in this post.  They seemed to work great!

Now for the challenge,  I have finally decided to join the Friday Night Sew In group.  I really need to make some sewing commitments and be accountable, so I am hoping that I can do it with this FNSI plan!  You can find out more by clicking the link on my side bar under For Interest Sake. Come join in and have some fun!
Now off to my sewing room so I can set up for tonight's Sew In!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thrifty Find!

I took a little stroll through the Value Village Thrift store a couple of weeks ago with Bean and look what we found!
1950 Singer 301

A 1950 Singer 301.  The "Big Sis" of the Featherweight that Hazel gave me last year. She is in pristine condition, not a thread or wisp of lint to be found anywhere.  Just a minor scratch or two if you really look close (excluding the dust she has collected this week in my sewing room after sewing a flannel housecoat!).  The cord was in excellent shape and after I oiled and greased her she purrs like a kitten.  The nice thing about her is that she fits in the same table that the Featherweight came in.  Although, when I sewed the housecoat, her top speed causes that table to shake!  I was looking for a machine to do free motion quilting on because none of mine will comply. Many of the quilting sites suggest this 301 was "made for quilting".  Imagine my surprise when I found her laying on the floor all dishevelled in her case at the thrift store!  Button holer and several interesting feet all intact in the original boxes as well. And, you will never guess at the price!  The sticker read $14.99.....and I had a coupon for 30% off!  So all in all, she cost me $10.00 and $11.00 at the local shop for a check up for the tension.  Now I need to find a free motion foot for her and see if all those quilting ladies are right.
Hope your weekend was great!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The quilt in Action!

It has been a busy few weeks here but I did want to show you the quilt I made for my Granddaughter in action.  We drove down to London, Ontario to see them before they left for San Francisco and brought Little E the Quilt. She put it to use right away.  She is just learning how to roll over and having her toys clipped on to the loops made it more interesting for her to be on her tummy (which she really dislikes!)  We are hoping that since the toys can't get away on her she may attempt to figure out a way to get to them and start to crawl.

She was quite happy that her toys couldn't get away, and was more happy to be on her tummy for longer periods.

It was a nice week of seeing family and we got to see all of our grandchildren in the course of one week.  That never happens since they all live so far away.  But since everyone of them is moving somewhere, we all got to meet them all in the middle!

This was our day on the beach with the kids and Grandkids.  We have been so blessed with great weather these last few weeks, so we took advantage of it!

Well I am off to search out information on a new sewing machine. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finally some finishes!

I finally have some pictures to show of the finishes I have made lately.  As the pictures loaded I realized I got more done than I thought.
First off I am finally done my granddaughters play quilt!  It is from the Quilt Almanac 2011, called "Hey Diddle Diddle".
This lighting is bad but it lets you see the loops that her toys can be clipped to.
Here is the back and label.
This is my very first free motion machine quilting attempt.  In the main block I made her initial.
In the middle shot you can see that I did make a label and it turned out really well I think!  I never used to label my quilts until I started blogging and read about how important that is. Who knew?  That was just something I was never taught.

Speaking of labelling things,  I made these:
using a tutorial by Patchwork Pottery.  I haven't
ironed them on to the twill yet but I will soon and I
have the perfect jar to store them in as well!  The
figuring out of the computer was the most challenging part of these.

I have a few more finishes to post about but I will save it for another day or else this is going to be one really long post!

I will leave you with a most wonderful parcel that arrived in the mail yesterday though.  I left a comment on Sweet P's blog on her give away day and I was the lucky winner!  Two great patterns and some lovely black and brown fabrics to start one of the projects off with!!
A stash piece to match!!
I really didn't think I had any colours even close in my stash but I took a peek anyway and look what I found!  There is only one match, but it is indeed a fabric that I can add to this quilt pattern!

For the other pattern though, I made a quick trip to the LQS for a couple of charm packs that I have had my eye on but didn't have a project for....
Now I am all set!  Thank you Paulette!!  I love my new projects.

Have a good night everyone.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fabric organizing, now that I am finally able to post again!

I have been unable to post for quite some time because somehow the hard drive on my I-Mac died!  Not sure what happened exactly but now it is fixed (not in the budget!) and I can get back to blogging.

I have been busy sewing away and keeping busy.  My kids are away visiting with their Dad and that is always a hard time for me.  I hate having my kids away from me.  So while they are gone, I have been tidying and sewing.

First I really had to fix up the spare room to accommodate the fabric overflow.  I found a great deal on shelving at Wal-Mart and bought 3 units for 30.00 plus tax total!  Then I assembled them and sorted the fabric onto them. Here are the before and after photos:
Before, all the fabric heaped everywhere!

Cube shelving set up and loaded. 

It is even somewhat organized by fabric type and co-ordinates!
I am very happy with the way this turned out and how easy it is to find what I am looking for.  Now if I could just get some organizing done to the fabric that is shelved in the cutting room!  My focus is learning to be grateful for what I have and the space I have to store it in.  I am very blessed and I need to learn how to take care of it so it can be used wisely by everyone who sews in my home!
I have a few "finishes" to share as well as soon as I get the photos loaded into this new hard drive :)
Have a great day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I won!

I don't know about anyone else out there but I LOVE Stitch Magazine by Interweave.  I get updates from the Sew Daily blog and I love to read all the new information.  A while back they had a Freebie Friday for two great books for girls, so I entered.  Now really, I enter quite a few things out there in blog land but I never win the prize...only a new contact with another great blog which is great too!  But, this time, I WON!!  I was so excited, I emailed my address back right away and in 2-3 days my books were in my hot little hands (right after both my kids who also sew, had gone through them thoroughly!)  If you want to see what I entered to win just go here!  They have give aways regularly.


They are two spectacular books and they came with a great little note from Stephanie, such a classy touch!

Hope every one is having a great week.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Work In Progress!!

Well, here are the early views of the quilt I am making for my Granddaughter.  It has been a long time since I have made a quilt and it is nice to have a way to track its' progress.
It is interesting how much of a difference a 1/4" foot makes!

I love the "twists" that will allow her Mamma to hook toys to them.

I am also getting the hang of quilting in a progression.  It saves so much time!

See?  All lined up and ready to go!

I was also trolling around in blog land today and found a great blog called Ruby Slipperz. She has some great ideas and give aways going on.

I was particularly excited to find this:
on her blog!  I am not sure if Mac brought the image over with the link or not but if you click on "blog"  it will take you there.  I so need to be finishing some of my projects that a little "challenge" may be in order!  Go have a peek!
Have a great Wednesday!