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New in the shop

July 31, 2014
Posted by: Pam

Lots of pictures today as I play catch-up with some recent arrivals …

BirchFarm

Birch Farm by Joel Dewberry

Empire

Empire by Parson Gray

mochi dots by momo

Mochi Dots (linen/cotton blend) by MoMo

Riley Blake Colors

Basic color bundles from Riley Blake

It’s time for my annual week at Red Pine Camp with my family. Can’t wait! And this year for the first time I have help in the shop, so Kaisa and Sharyn will make sure online orders are shipped while I’m away. The loft will also be open as usual — Tuesday and Wednesday 10 til 4 and Thursday 10 til 8.

Happy stitching!

Projects

July 29, 2014
Posted by: Pam

HouseMugRug

I spent a few hours with Bonnie and Sandra in the Waffle Kisses sewing studio last night.

Houses-Workshop

We made this lovely little neighbourhood of mug rugs — I’m on the left, Sandra in the middle and Bonnie on the right. Laura’s workshop included all the materials, so all we had to do was arrive on time. We found the perfect fabrics in Laura’s stash for our creations, and spent the next couple of hours sewing and socializing.  Laura has a nice line-up of workshops for August posted, and  her fall schedule is in the works.

String X

These are the String X blocks that have been arriving from my Canadians Quilt { bee } mates — everyone has done a great job of finding just the right shades of green and taupe for me. I’m looking forward to finishing this up in August once all the blocks are in. I hope you’re finding some time to create this summer.

 

 

Light As A Feather

July 28, 2014

It’s hard to ignore when two of my favourite things come together. In this case, it’s feathers and fabric. In fact, I’m not sure I could think of a more delightful combination and this Duck Feathers print by Martha Negley is spot on.  We’ve teamed it up with some graphic and geometric prints to create contrast and build interest, and added some additional green, blue and gray tones for this week’s Mosaic Monday bundle, Light As A Feather.  If you’ve ever wanted to feel light as a feather, this fabric and this palette is where it’s at. Light As A Feather is on sale until Sunday, August 3rd at midnight for 20%.

LightAsAFeather

Sew Canadian – July 27th

July 27, 2014

Welcome to week four of our Sew Canadian summer studio tour. Today we’re peeking into the sewing spaces of Shena from Apple Pie Patchwork and Katherine from Sew Me Something Good.  Be sure to stop over at their blogs and say hi! If you’re not part of our official tour schedule, you can still participate by uploading your sewing space pics to our Sew Canadian Flickr Group.  There may even be an Ombre Sewing Studio Kit up for grabs!

Our first space today belongs to Shena@Apple Pie Patchwork:

Shena5
1. What do you like most about your space?  
I love how my sewing space is so central in my house.  Because it is basically a nook in my kitchen, I feel very much part of everything when I sew.  If my husband is using the kitchen table for his hobby (model trains) then we are very close together, and I like that.

2. If you could change one thing about your space, what would it be? 
I would have more space and have the spaces that I use be more efficient and dedicated to sewing.  For example, since I cut fabric on my kitchen island, I have to clear it out of the way for preparing meals.  I have to warn my kids to be careful with their food when my fabric is in the kitchen.  I don’t necessarily want a separate, enclosed room for my sewing, but a space that I didn’t have to share with other tasks would be great.

Also, I would like more room around my actual machine.  My sewing table sits in a little nook that is 40″x52″.  That’s like the size of a baby quilt!  Needless to say, it can get a little tight in there when I’m sewing large sections of quilt tops or backings together.

3. When do you find the most time to sew and when are you most creative? 
I typically sew the most in the evenings, because then I can set up my cutting station on the kitchen island for more than an hour at a time, and really get into my sewing groove.  If I have all my pieces pre-cut and I only need to sew and iron, then I  sometimes sew in the afternoons as well.   In general, mostly evenings though.

4. Do you listen to music or podcasts, watch tv or movies while sewing or do you prefer silence? 
I love to listen to music on Songza while I sew.  I don’t listen to podcasts or watch tv, because then I start really listening to them and I stop sewing.  And that’s not what I want!  :)

5. What’s your favourite sewing snack and/or drink? 
It depends on the season.  In the summer, cold water or an iced cap from Timmy’s, if my husband was sweet enough to run out and get me one.  :)  In the winter, mostly tea.

6. What kind of machine do you sew on and how many machines do you have?  
I have many machines, though a great number of them are vintage and don’t get sewn on a lot.  I have 3 treadles, a Singer 301 that needs to be thoroughly cleaned to be usable, and I think 4 more older Singers in those wooden cases.  Of the older machines that I do sew on, one is a Singer 99k, and the other is a Singer 338 in a lovely shade of mint green.  I wish the 338 had a more consistent stitch, because it really is such a pretty machine.  Many of these machines I got very cheaply or for free from people who know that I like older machines.

I mainly sew on a Singer 247.  It is a lovely workhorse of a machine, and is very reliable.  I got it for free from someone who thought it was broken, but it turns out they were just threading it wrong.  I suspect it’s a 70s machine, but I don’t actually know for sure.  The cabinet it sits in was actually purchased a year before, and one day I happened to check if my 247 fit, and it did!  That was a very happy day.

The machine I use for quilting used to be my main piecing machine as well before I got the 247.  I also take it to sew days since it is lighter and not in a cabinet.  It is Janome 6019, and it works well, but I wish the harp space was bigger.  I am saving up for a Juki so that it is easier for me to quilt my larger quilts at home.

7. Does your machine(s) have a name? What is it?
No, I’ve never named my machines.

8. What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
I could not live without my cutting mat, rotary cutter, and ruler.  They are so indispensable to all my sewing.  I don’t know if I would still quilt if I had to give them up.  Well, I probably would, but my productivity would seriously suffer.

9. What advice or tips and tricks do you have for others when first setting up or modifying sewing space?
I would recommend to try and make your space as efficient as possible.  I store my scraps by colour, so that it’s easy to find what I’m searching for.  I have my rulers on a pegboard on the wall behind my machine to make use of what would otherwise be a wasted space.  My sewing cabinet’s drawers are full of my other tools and thread so that they are close by and easily accessible.  My design wall is in my kitchen that I couldn’t hang anything else on because it’s tiled.  I made a smaller ironing board that would fit on my counter so that I wouldn’t have to find space for my whole ironing board.

I don’t have lots of space, so I try to make the space I have as efficient as it can possibly be.

10. If you could pack up and move your space anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
Oh, this is a hard question.  Probably Portland.  The landscape there is incredible.  You’re so near the Columbia River Gorge and the Pacific Ocean.  The quilting community there is thriving and the quilt shops are fabulous.  The weather is mild, albeit very rainy.  They also have a very strong model railroad scene, which really appeals to my husband.  I love how conscious people there are of the environment.  I don’t think it will ever happen, but if I had the chance, I’d probably move my sewing room to Portland.

Shena4

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Shena3

Shena2
Next up is Katherine@Sew Me Something Good

Katherine2

1. What do you like most about your space?
Storage!  I have a set up that allows for everything to fit in my small room and still be easy to find. Plus, I have a layout that makes the most of my space.  My cutting table is in the middle of the room with my sewing machines on two sides of the table.  I have my ironing board stationed nearby, so that I can press without having to get up from the stool I sit on for sewing.  I simply turn my body and my ironing board is at the right height. Great for piecing!  I also have a wheeled drawer unit that tucks under my sewing machine tables, but keeps things like threads and bobbins, right at my fingertips. The final feature that I love is my design wall.  It is so helpful when I’m designing and and my family calls it my “art wall”.

2. If you could change one thing about your space, what would it be?
More natural light!

3. When do you find the most time to sew and when are you most creative?
Traditionally, evenings are when I sew the most, but I will sew any chance I get during the day, too.  I don’t really seem to have a specific time when I am most creative – I’m always mulling over ideas of things to make -  inspiration often comes from a need (whether for a gift or for something to aid in everyday life or just because a fabric or design caught my eye).

4. Do you listen to music or podcasts, watch tv or movies while sewing or do you prefer silence?
I always have something to listen to when I’m sewing!  Either music, a movie or an audiobook to keep me company.  However, when I’m designing (working out the math), I like silence instead.

5. What’s your favourite sewing snack and/or drink?
I love herbal tea and my current favourite is Stash’s Chocolate Orange (caffeine free and organic!).

6. What kind of machine do you sew on and how many machines do you have?
Until about 3 years ago, I owned one sewing machine (a Janome MC 7500) and a serger (Janome MyLock).  Then I was bit by the vintage sewing machine bug. ;o)  It started innocently enough.  I was using my Janome for everything and  I decided that I needed a second machine, one that could be used for the simple stuff -  a little workhorse without lots of bells and whistles.   Long story short, I bought my first vintage Singer (15-91 that I named, Belle) for $50 and she became the machine I  use for piecing my quilts.  I enjoyed sewing with her so much that I went on to collect several more vintage machines, including 3 Singer Featherweight 221k, a Singer 99k and a Singer 201 (which is now the machine I quilt on).  Oh, and I also managed to add in a Janome 1200D (cover stitch/serger).

7. Does your machine(s) have a name? What is it?
For some reason, I’ve never named my Janome machines, yet  3 of those vintage machines have been named….
Singer 15-91: Belle
Singer 201: Fancy
Singer 221k: Beyoncé

8. What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
My rotary cutter, Olfa ruler, iron, frixion pen and Ott-lites.

9. What advice or tips and tricks do you have for others when first setting up or modifying a sewing space?
Think about how you will use your space (what things do you mostly sew? quilts? clothes? bags? etc.) and plan out what you need for you to keep everything organized and easy for you to do your craft.

You don’t have to have fancy built-in shelves to make a decent sewing space, but you do need to be organized to make it work – no matter what amount of space you have to dedicate to your sewing.  When I was first married, I started out with a cardboard box for patterns/fabric and a sewing basket for needles and thread.  I set my machine on the kitchen table to sew. Obviously, I could not leave everything set up for sewing all the time, but because I kept all I needed organized, I managed to accomplish a lot of sewing.

Personally, I love to sew a variety of things,  so I need to store my various materials and be able to lay out fabric for garment cutting as well as for quilting.   The space I’m set up in adjoins our kitchen, which means I have only two walls available for storage/display.  I chose tall shelving units to make the most of the vertical space – leaving me room to place my  cutting table and machines in the center of the floor, like an island. The third wall in my room has a door and narrow vertical window flanking an ugly brick fireplace and hearth. Since we do not use the fireplace, I was able to utilize this space for my design wall (with limited storage available on the hearth).  My room is not huge, but I have storage for everything plus access to everything and I think that’s important.  If you can’t find it, you won’t use it!

10. If you could pack up and move your space anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A retreat type studio, located with a view of nature, please.  A natural setting inspires me.

Katherine1

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katherine4

Thanks for sharing your lovely spaces!  Stay tuned next week for more eye candy, ideas and inspiration.

Flickr Friday – Pinwheels Star Baby Quilt

July 26, 2014

One of my favourite parts of sewing and quilting is scouring Flickr and Pinterest for inspiration.  This week, when I looked in the Mad About Patchwork Flickr Group, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this colourful, scrappy combination set against a warm gray background.  Using gray as a background for detailed piecing is something I have never done, but now I feel I need to.  And the diagonal quilting in the negative space has me swooning.  So there’s no surprise that this great Pinwheels Star Baby Quilt by Lisa in Port Hope is this week’s Flickr Friday winner. Congratulations, Lisa!

FlickrFriday

EZ Breezy Pitch It to Win It Table Runner

July 22, 2014

Our third winner in our Pitch It to Win It Summer Days contest is Erica from Happy Fabric.  If you head on over to her blog, you’ll get a glimpse at an additional project she made using the Summer Days Bundle scraps.

Erica used the EZ Breezy Quilt As You Go table runner pattern from Tiger Lily press. Erica assures us:

“the pattern looks complicated – there are lots of curves – but I promise you it is so easy and there is no curved piecing to it. If you follow the directions it comes together really easily; I made mine in an afternoon and it probably took me longer to handsew the binding to the back of it than to do all the rest (well, maybe not quite).”

SUMMER DAYS runner 1

She also has a secret..the pattern calls for fat quarters and the bundle was fat eighths, so she moved the fabric and pattern pieces around as much as she could (no straight of grain here), but in a few places, she just couldn’t fit the pattern piece on to the fabric available. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she took it in stride and made it out of the fat eights she was sent, so on three sections, she patched the fabric together to get a large enough section for the pattern piece. Are you able to spot these sections?  I know I can’t!

SUMMER DAYS runner 3

SUMMER DAYS runner 4

Thanks for such a great project, Erica! It’s too bad you live too far away for me to come and visit and share lunch over your lovely table runner!

SUMMER DAYS runner 2

Cinnamon and Spice

July 21, 2014

Last Friday I spent the morning sitting on a good friend’s deck with a cup of coffee in hand.  The breeze was blowing, the shade was cool and we were basking in the glow of the warm sun.  There was a crispness in the air that is usually only felt in the fall.  It made me think of cinnamon and hot drinks.  It made me want to buy boots and chunky sweaters.  It left me longing to start some fall sewing.  So this week, we’ve got a fall inspired bundle for anyone who can’t wait to feel the leaves crunch under their feet.  Cinnamon and Spice is on sale at 20% off until Sunday, July 27th at midnight.  Be careful: like fall, you might blink and it’ll be gone.

CinnamonAndSpice

Sew Canadian – July 20th

July 20, 2014
Posted by: Laura

It’s week three of our Sew Canadian Summer Series and today we’re featuring Anita of Daydreams of Quilts and Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  If you’re not part of our official summer tour schedule, you can still take part by uploading pics of your own sewing space to our Sew Canadian Flickr Group.  There may even be an Ombre Sewing Studio Kit up for grabs!

First up today we have Anita @Daydreams of Quilts who has this to share:

AnitaMachine

1. What do you like most about your space?
It’s large and I can fit all my quilting, stamping, scrapbooking and knitting stuff into one space.

2. If you could change one thing about your space, what would it be?
It would be on the main floor of the house where it’s warmer and the natural light is better. (Right now it’s in the cold basement.)

3. When do you find the most time to sew and when are you most creative?
Usually in the evenings/night once the kids are in bed. Sometimes I get up very early in the morning as well so I can have uninterrupted sewing time.

4. Do you listen to music or podcasts, watch tv or movies while sewing or do you prefer silence?
Usually I prefer silence but sometimes I listen to iTunes or podcasts on my computer. I also watch YouTube tutorials on my computer while I am sewing.

5. What’s your favourite sewing snack and/or drink?
I do not bring food or drinks into my studio. If I need a snack I go upstairs to the kitchen for milk or tea and cookies.

6. What kind of machine do you sew on and how many machines do you have?
I have a Kenmore that I piece on and sew garments on and a Juki that I normally do the quilting on. I also have an antique but I have not attempted sewing on it. (I am planning to buy an inexpensive Brother machine at the end of June.)

7. Does your machine(s) have a name? What is it?
Normally it does not have a name unless things are going wrong with it and then it’s name cannot be written here.

8. What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
My sewing machine, rotary cutter, ruler and mat.

9. What advice or tips and tricks do you have for others when first setting up or modifying a sewing space?
I have had four sewing/crafting spaces. Two were custom built by my husband to my specifications but we have been renting the last two houses so I cannot customize this space as much as I would like. If you have a handy person who can build for you customizing to your needs including electrical outlets and overhead pendant lights is awesome! I currently have pendant lights over workspaces that do not have to be hardwired in because they are from IKEA and have very long cords. All of my crafting spaces have been in the basement which is not ideal but it keeps me from infringing on the rest of the family’s space and having little hands getting into supplies that they are not allowed to touch. I recommend a hard floor such as linoleum, concrete or tile. It’s not the most comfortable but I wear slippers and it’s easily cleaned up if there’s a spill of paint or glue. Also, dropped pins and needles are much easier to find. I had a carpet in my first studio space and I was forever searching for dropped pins. I tried a magnet wand but that caused all my pins to be magnetized and stick to each other which was very annoying.

10. If you could pack up and move your space anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The climate in Alberta is generally pleasant for indoor pursuits like crafting. It is not humid here though it is awfully cold in the winter. So I would stay in Alberta but I would love to have my own studio space that was warm in the winter so I wouldn’t have to wear a down jacket to sew and that had great natural light. Something possibly that was a dedicated studio separate from the house would be ideal.

AnitaTable
This is my sewing room. Those are stacks of fat quarters and fat eighths on the shelves under thewindow. My rubber stamps are on the white shelf. The dresser drawers contain fabric as well. The bins and baskets along the wall contain yardage and scraps. The cardboard in behind on the wall contains two glass desktops that I have been meaning to get IKEA trestle legs for and raise them up to a comfortable cutting table height. Hopefully in July! This is in the basement of military housing so they do not finish the ceiling as that way it can be called “an unfinished basement”.

AnitaMachine
This was a computer desk that my husband built for me but now it is my sewing table. I have a Juki and a Kenmore on there. Often I take the Kenmore up to the dining room and sew in a sunnier environment.

AnitaCubbies
Cubbie shelves containing fabric kits, layer cakes, yarn and so on. There are scrapbooking/card making supplies in the white wall unit. The turquoise shelves on the right contain all my Aurifil Threads with Divine Twine on the bottom shelf for gift wrapping and card making. The sewing cabinet below (under the hat boxes) contains my Grandmother’s old sewing machine that is in my blog header.

AnitaComputer
Looking back the other way to my home office area. The white shelf on the wall has all my rubber stamps. (The clutter on the right is overflow from the kitchen…not enough cupboards in this house!)

AnitaBaskets
A three tiered basket (from Pier 1 imports) with more precuts and yardage. My “Farmer’s Wife” plastic templates are in the little box marked “b”.

So there you have my sewing room in all its messy glory. Thanks for checking it out.

Our next fabulous space belongs to the lovely Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts

LornaSewingTable

1. What do you like most about your space?
What I like most about my sewing space is that I have everything I need all in one place.

2. If you could change one thing about your space, what would it be?
If I could change something it would be to enlarge that space and add more natural lighting.  My current set up is essentially a high traffic area better known as a hallway and the only window in that room has such a limited view.  Especially in the winter when the snow covers over the gap in the roofs.  There are occasions when I have moved my equipment down into the Blue Room which has large windows to allow for better quality photos when taking pictures for tutorials.

3. When do you find the most time to sew and when are you most creative?
The best time for sewing in my home is when everyone is at school or at work.  As much as I do love having my family around, it is much easier to concentrate on creating and executing designs and doing quilt math when there are no distractions or interruptions.

4. Do you listen to music or podcasts, watch tv or movies while sewing or do you prefer silence?
I do not listen to music or watch movies unless I am quilting a large piece and move everything out to my kitchen table.

5. What’s your favourite sewing snack and/or drink?
I prefer not to snack or drink while working, but I do take coffee breaks to answer emails and catch up on my blog roll.

6. What kind of machine do you sew on and how many machines do you have?Does your machine(s) have a name? What is it?
Aunt Elna is my newest machine.  She is an Elna Excellence 760 that I purchased this January.  She is roomy and makes quilting large projects so much easier.  However, my trusty Lil’ Janome 2030QDC has been a great machine and is much better suited when it comes to free motion quilting.

8. What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
Tools that I could not live without are my seam ripper, small scissors and, most of all, my pointy tweezers.

9. What advice or tips and tricks do you have for others when first setting up or modifying a sewing space?
When first setting up or modifying a sewing space, I would recommend having a source of natural light, a large sewing surface to accommodate quilting larger pieces and that it would be in a room separate from other living spaces.

10. If you could pack up and move your space anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could pack up and move my sewing space anywhere in the world, I would move into a glass house set up in my own back yard.  Then I could enjoy lots of natural light, have a scenic view for inspiration, and the traffic congestion caused by setting up my ironing board would no longer be an issue.

LornaBinsCorner

LornaElna

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LornaHexagonsThat’s all for this week.  Stay tuned next week to see some more great spaces!

Tale of a Tula Raccoon

July 18, 2014

It’s another summer Friday and we’re celebrating with this Ribbon Star Tula Mini by makinglifeprettier.  The raccoons in my neighbourhood seem to be out in full force and, although they’re cute, I’d much prefer to happen upon the raccoon featured in this block. Makinglifeprettier, please send us an e-mail or a PM on Facebook.  You’ve won a half yard of fabric!

TulaPinkRibbonBlockIf this block has captured your wild side, be sure to check out the sale section in the shop.  Some of the fabrics featured are on clearance!  Have a great weekend, everyone!  Happy sewing!

A rainy day at the lake

July 16, 2014
Posted by: Pam

Postage Stamp in pink

I was invited to spend the day with some QuiltCo members at their summer retreat at Buckingham Palace (a lovely lakefront property not too far from the town of Buckingham in Quebec). Although the weather was dreary the company definitely was not! Such a talented group of quilters, and excellent cooks to boot. I came home rested and relaxed, with most of my pink postage stamp top pieced (only 4 more rows to go). These pink squares were cut from my scraps quite some time ago, and I am happy to have this UFO almost ready for quilting.

Pink Bolts

I had it in the loft today to take some pictures, and at the same time audition some backing fabric. How about Catnap Finn in Raspberry? Or Enchant Tea Party in White? Wee Wander With The Birds in Pink?  I think I have a winner — can you guess?

You win too … with 20% savings on all 3 of these awesome pink prints for a limited time. Sale ends Monday July 21 at noon.

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