The sneak peek...
the orange and purple quilt begins

>> Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here are some of the pieces and scraps of fabrics I've gathered up for the "single girl" quilt. Luckily Bradley isn't threatened by the title - one of my anniversary presents was a batch of fat quarters from the workroom. Yay!I wish I had more of the little bird fabric, there's just one tiny scrap - enough for one orange bird piece in the quilt.More orange, and a smidge of pink.
More orange...
I love the lutes in the bottom left, and the floral fabric above it, these are some scraps of feedsack material from a batch I bought on ebay.
I love the wobbly lattice in the middle, and the purple and orange floral is so perfect for this quilt! The adorable russian doll fabric is from the workroom.
This was a little batch of purple prints that my friend Sarah bought for me at Purl when she was in New York. Finally they have the perfect project for them. Thank you Sarah!

I had forgotten I even had some of these fabrics, it's great to have a theme so you can go through what you have and pull it all together to create one nice big (even useful!) thing from all the scraps and little squares of fabric you've been hoarding. Hence, I love quilting. We're going on holiday soon, so I have to resist the urge to wedge all this into my suitcase...



>> Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm revising my sewing corner now that I have the new sewing table and this is one of my favourite things. I've loved inlaid Victorian boxes for years and finally found the sewing box I liked best on ebay. It wasn't the fanciest one by far, but it has all the details I've decided I wanted after years of gazing adoringly at pictures online.

On the outside it has nice inlaid wood in a detailed pattern. The main wood has a nice colour and patina. The inside of the lids of these antique sewing boxes are usually covered in ruched velvet, or have a button-tufted upholstery kind of look, or are just plain silk. This one is a bit unusual with the lattice pattern on green silk. Most of the boxes are lined with pink or blue.
My favourite parts are the trays with compartments. This one is fitted with silk-covered pincushions, and some silk-covered lids with small mother of pearl buttons.
This is a detail of the mother of pearl cartouche on the top. Sometimes these are silver, and some have engraved initials.
And there's a matching mother of pearl escutcheon - which is what the little detail around the key is called. Unfortunately this box didn't come with a key - but after all it's not that necessary. It would keep the lid closed while carrying the box around but it's not really meant for travel - well, just travel around the living room.
And this is the inside with just a few odds and ends. Mostly tins that keep pins, snaps and buttons. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Heaven!


Anniversary post

>> Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I don't want to brag but it's our 2-year anniversary today and I feel really lucky because I have the loveliest husband ever. For example, yesterday he went to the workroom to find the "single girl" Denyse Schmidt quilt pattern for me because he knew that's the one I was hoping to use for my next quilt. How sweet is that? Unfortunately it wasn't in stock in the shop yet, which made me realize how much I depend on Karyn for my craft supplies. I was sure I had seen it there. But of course I have lots of other projects to keep me busy in the meantime.

I like taking candid pictures of people, but it doesn't always work out... I got the impromtu smile but it's pretty blurry.

So today I was thinking of what I should post for our anniversary and decided to show some pictures from our last camping trip in August.
This photo is pretty terrible too but I had to show you - we saw a bear! You really don't have a lot of time to compose the photo when you see a bear. I didn't even get the chance to zoom in so you can pretty much see how far away he was. I wasn't scared of him because he just seemed very slow and ambly (not a word - I mean ambling along-ish). Like he's had his main meal but was just sort of mildly interested in an extra snack. Luckily we're good campers and all the food was tucked away.
This is my favourite part of Kilbear where we were staying, the beach at Granite Saddle. It has this pretty grove of trees near the beach which is fairly small but rarely crowded.
The first day was a bit cloudy but we still did some swimming in case it was rainy on the next day. And this is what I like to do on the beach...We're also big readers. We read at the campsite, on the beach, and in our hammock. I don't have a picture of it though because the only one (taken by Bradley) is me falling out of it. It wasn't very flattering.But I will be brave and show you a picture of me:Chipmunks are a-dime-a-dozen at our Canadian campgrounds, but I'm remembering that blogs are international so I'll show a picture of this small visitor. My friend Sogut is from Turkey and she was amazed when she first came to Toronto at all the "cute" squirrels everywhere. Just boring ordinary everywhere-you-look squirrels. It made me think.And in the same vein, our lovely Canadian landscapes...Because we did get that sunny day after all.And one last picture, just to make Bradley laugh... Fifi and Francis getting ready to watch Dr. Who.Happy Anniversary Bradley!


The next quilt

>> Sunday, September 14, 2008

I know this doesn't look like quilt preparation but I've been thinking a lot about my next quilt. I've decided on the pattern but I think I will show you that later. But first of all, the colour scheme was inspired by this little vignette in our living room.

As you may know I like monochromatic colour schemes, but sometimes even I get bored of it. But it's definitely not going to be some madcap multi-coloured extravaganza. Maybe someday...

I also just spent the evening sorting through my quilt scraps. Which is a small white vintage train suitcase filled with little pieces of fabric that I've saved up especially for quilting. They're either flea market bundles of quilt pieces I've bought, bits I've picked up at fabric swaps or leftovers from other projects.

I organized all of them by colour so I could see how much I had. So now I'm thinking the colours will be orange: And purple:With some yellows and pinks thrown in. Oh! and white.

It's a bit odd because lately I've been loving green. I guess that will have to be the next one...


Fat Quarter Bag

>> Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's amazing what you can do with a fat quarter. I was thrilled when Karyn starting a shelf of fat quarters at the workroom because it's a great way to pick up usefully-sized pieces of fabrics that you're coveting without investing too much. Although if you get, like, twenty, it can add up. But that's between you and your fabric addiction. (And Karyn, who is very understanding.) p.s. I keep going on about the workroom.. here's a post that has some great pics.

I finally found a project for this fat quarter, it's barkcloth with an oddly pleasing mix of colours: green, lavendar and tan. The bits where the green overlap the purple make a nice olive green too. I wasn't sure about it when I first saw it but now I love it.

tiny scraps = matching change purse

The other benefit of the fat quarter is you don't have to think too much about what you can make because you're limited by the piece you have. So you don't have to worry about cutting into a nice big 3-yard piece of fabric, if you know what I mean. My secret joy is to use every little scrap of the piece and end up with something I like and nothing left over.

In this case I decided to just wing it and make a bag in this style about as large as I could using my square of fabric. I'd seen similar bags in shops and thought I could figure it out as I went along.

I folded the square of fabric in half and cut a long strip about a foot wide for the front and back of the bag all in one. Then I cut two panels for the top of the bag and two side panels. The side panels add more width to the bag and some shaping.

Don't be afraid of your vintage Singer buttonholer attachment, they look big and complicated but they're one of the easiest extras to use. Way easier than the hemming foot. Of course if you have a modern machine that does buttonholes automatically, nevermind.

The main part of the bag is pleated on both sides, then the top panels attached, then the panels are top-stitched. After the top panels were added I sewed on the side panels and top-stitched those as well. The lining is just a scrap of sturdy white cotton fabric.
After making the top and side panels there was a large remaining square of fabric that became the inner pocket (lined with white), and two small squares which I made into a little matching coin pouch (also lined with white).

Then I was left with one tiny scrap of fabric... which I used to make covered buttons, one for the outside and one for the inside pocket.

Of course I didn't have enough for the strap, so I used a green piece from my stash, that luckily was sort of cross-woven with tan threads so it matches really well. It took most of a day, but this is now my new favourite bag.


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