Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Stash 1!

I'm ready to participate in my first Sunday Stash link up!! It's been a long time since I did any sewing shopping worth sharing.  Most of the time I am buying batting or thread or needles.  But a few weeks ago my husband suggested I go and spend some money on myself and so I ran to the computer LOL.

First up is a selection of Nordika half yards from Pink Castle Fabrics.  This bundle is destined to become a giant log cabin a la Robot Mom Sews.  After I saw her giant log cabin and she posted on my jumbo churn dash, I issued a mini challenge for her to make a jumbo churn dash and I would make a giant log cabin.  Well, she went above and beyond with her churn dash, just look at all those selvedges!!  I'm really excited to make this quilt but it will have to wait :(

I'm planning on making the Christmas Tree QAL that Christa Quilts is holding so I bought some Christmas FQs from my LQS.  Now I am just waiting for my ruler to arrive and the cutting will begin!.

Don't worry there is more Sunday Stash posts coming as I just did my yearly stock up thanks to Brenda's awesome sale at Pink Castle this weekend.  30% off everything?! Too good to pass up :)

Linking up with Sunday Stash!

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Friday Finish

I actually finished this quilt last week but the weather has not been cooperating lately.  It's been rainy, dreary and cold :(  Not the lovely September we normally see.  But it's time to show it and put it to bed so indoor photos will have to do.

I'm sure you are all ready to see the end of these chevron quilts, and to be honest, so am I LOL.  I love them but I think doing 5 was too much!

This one has been quilted with blue thread 1/4" on either side of the seam line and bound in Simply Color Ombre Blue.  Which it is also backed in.  I LOVE this fabric for backing (as I'm sure you noticed!).  I'm hoping you didn't notice how badly this needs to be lint rollered.  Or at least are too polite to mention it :)

From the beginning these quilts were planned as a pair.  I think they would be so adorable for boy/girl twins.  Now I just need to find some boy/girl twins :)

Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

WIP Wednesday Lite

Most of my sewing progress this week has been on my stock for the craft show in November but I did make a few blocks for the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt Along (MSBHQAL). 

I'll be honest.  These blocks are more than a little frustrating for me.  But they are getting easier with practice.  The first one took me an hour.  Then I did two at the same time and it took me an hour to do the two of them.  I have one more navy one almost complete and then it will be put on hold until I receive some swapped strings in the mail :)

In non sewing news, I started reading Harry Potter to my 7 year old this week.  It's been a few years since I read them for the first time and it is even better now.  She knows nothing about the story and is completely into already.  At the end of each chapter she groans "Why does is always have to end at the juicy bits!!".  And they've only just arrived at Hogwarts.  I can't wait to see her reactions when things start to actually happen!!

And this has me thinking of all the other books and series I loved as a child that I want to read with her.  So tell me, what are your favorite books/series from your childhood?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Yesterday I got the urge to sort through my unsorted scraps and I thought you might like to see how I sort my scraps (cause I love that sort of thing!).  I keep a shoebox next to my cutting table where I pile all of my scraps as I work.  In theory I plan to sort it every time it gets full.

In theory that is a good plan :)  See that shoe box right there?  The one that is 2/3 full.  This is after 45 minutes of sorting and pressing.  All of those piles covering the rest of the table?  They started inside the box.  It was a little overfull LOL.

On the far right is a pile of snips/crumbs.  Basically anything that cannot be cut into a 2 1/2" square.  This is the second pile.  I put the first pile into it's proper storage box when it threatened to topple.  To the left of that is a pile of strips smaller than 2 1/2 " wide.  And to the left of that is a pile of large scraps.  I would say larger than about 5" goes here.

Bottom right corner (pink mushrooms) is a pile to be cut into 2 1/2" squares for Bits and Pieces II.  Above that is 2 1/2" (or wider) strips for scrappy bindings.  The polka dot is a reference fabric for a blanket I'm making and the pile on top of my ruler is scraps that will work in that blanket.  Bottom center is larger than 2 1/2" but smaller than 5".  These will be cut into 3" and 3 1/2" squares.

And there you have it.  A little random scrap adventure for your Tuesday morning.  I would love to read about your scrap sorting/hoarding/storing strategies.  Leave a link in a comment if you have a related post and I will surely stop by :)

Linking up with Better Off Thread

Friday, 20 September 2013


I started and finished my first quilt for Project Inspiration this week.

This was a tutorial by Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey for Fat Quarter Gang.  The tutorial has been languishing in my Pinterest folder for quite some time and I'm happy I finally made it.  I followed the tutorial very closely, if by very closely you mean downloading the mustache template and checking to see what size to cut my blocks LOL.

I used Therm o Web to heat set the mustaches and then raw edge appliqued them.  The fabric is all from Basic Grey's PB&J line for Moda.  I LOVE the fabrics for this projects.  Originally I was going to use all solids for the back and patterns for the mustaches but I'm glad I changed it up.  The navy mustaches are my favorite by far :)

I backed it with white dimple minky and bound it in the Navy Grunge Solid.  I didn't use batting but I did stitch in the ditch to hold the two layers together.  This was my first time "quilting" minky and it wasn't as bad as I feared.  That could have been thanks to the bazillion pins I used LOL.

Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

WIP Wednesday

Project Inspiration has begun!  I got started on my Mustaches! this week and I love them far too much :)  I'm using fabrics from Moda's PB&J line, alternating solids and patterns.  Can't wait to see this one all finished and ready for cuddling!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Productive Procrastination

For the past few years I have taken part in multiple local Christmas Craft Fairs.  They are small and I've had some mediocre success but not as much as I have hoped.  This year we decided I should take part in a large show in a nearby large city.  They have a history of seeing 20 000 people through the doors over 3 days.  That's 10 times my largest local show.  Their booth fee is more than I've made at any of the local shows.  To say I'm nervous is an understatement.

Those nerves came to a head on Friday.  So I did the logical thing and worked on Clementine CrossKatie at Sew Katie Did talked about this a few weeks ago and it really rang true with me.  I am a master procrastinator.  Always have been.  And while I can be a useless procrastinator at times (ie internet wormholes), often I find myself doing other things that need to be done, usually housecleaning.  While these things still need to be done, they are definitely not time sensitive or the most urgent.

And that is how I turned this pile of fabric

Into this pile of almost done blocks

Don't worry, though.  On Monday I got back to working on building up my stock :)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Project Inspiration

Do you guys follow Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts?  If you don't, then you should!  Last month she introduced us to her Library Project, a brilliant plan to start actually making some of the quilts in her quilt book library!  The idea implanted itself in my brain and wouldn't let go!

My library is quite small but if you add in my patterns and pinterest boards it's huge!  All of this inspiration sitting there unloved for far too long :(  So I chose 12 projects to complete between now and next September.  I've loosely planned them by month but reserve the right to switch them up as my schedule/whim changes LOL.

Please click through to the original post if you would like to pin these images!

1. Must Dash Quilt - This is a Fat Quarter Gang tutorial by I'm a Ginger Monkey

2. Trees Christmas Quilt by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

3. A Christmas Tree Skirt - I have several languishing in my pinterest boards

4. Pincushion/Threadcatcher combo- this one has been on my list for several years now

5. Heart Applique Quilt

6. Crooked Cabins - A pattern by Kati Spencer at From The Blue Chair

7. Indian Summer Quilt from Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe.  Another Katy Jones quilt and my first Dresden quilt.  I'm a little scared of this one!

8. Scout - A pattern by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew

9. Neighborhood from Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman.  This pattern made me fall in love with Madrona Road.  I may need to buy some more when I get here :)

10. A Beach Quilt for us- simple and colorful

11. Scrapper's Delight from Sunday Morning Quilts

12. A bag!  I've been pinning bag patterns and actually own Amy Butler's Style Stitches but have never made a bag for myself.  It needs to happen :)

So there you have it.  A year's worth of projects to keep me busy and using the inspiration I'm hoarding.  Some of these may change depending on materials available to me but I'm committing to making one project per month.

Anyone care to join us?

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Thursday Threads

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

WIP Wednesday

The last chevron quilt is quilted!!  And I may not make another one by choice for a while LOL.  Like the pink one, I quilted this 1/4" on either side of the chevron in blue thread.  Next up binding.

While reading Maureen's post about her late night inspiration I was blown away by the simplicity of combining QAYG and strings.  I've been wanting to do a string quilt for a while but wasn't crazy about using a base.  Molli has a fantastic tutorial for string blocks but I wanted something a bit scrappier and bigger.  The brilliance of using my batting as the backing hit me and I needed to begin RIGHT NOW!  So last night I trimmed up some batting scraps and pressed/trimmed a handful of strings.  After a tough morning of uninspired "needs to be done" sewing I grabbed my pile and sewed up these four blocks.  And got happy :)

Over the weekend, as we made the bed, my husband said "We are going to need a quilt soon" and I sighed.  Because he is right.  The nights have been downright chilly.  Over the weekend I went to work cutting.  And cutting.  And cutting.  Several hours later I had this lovely pile of squares and strips ready for some marathon chain piecing sessions.  I do want to clarify something from my last post.  The close up of my first block does indeed show three 2 1/2" squares for the center white strip, but in all of my subsequent blocks I have used a single strip for that long white section :)

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Labels and Some Flower Fairies

Have you read this post by Amy at 13 Spools?  While I didn't participate in the comments the questions posed definitely got me thinking.  Especially this one

     Do you ever feel embarrassed to show one of your quilts to 
a "certain group" of quilters because of its style?
Because I have a quilt like that.  
A little background: I have several friends who are pregnant.  I have let each of them know that I would love to make their baby a quilt as my gift to them.  The first was Nolan's and while the color scheme was outside of my norm, everything else felt like me, as well as like Nolan and his Mom.

When Emma's Mom contacted me about her quilt she mentioned flower fairies and I can admit my heart sunk a bit.  First, what the heck is a flower fairy and second, how the heck do I make a quilt from them!  When I asked for more details, she sent me a photo of a quilt made from this Michael Miller panel.  This was really outside of my comfort zone.  But I really believe that if I am going to make a quilt for someone, it should be something they want.  Not something I want to make. So I bought the panel and made the quilt.

All along, I had no intention of sharing it on the blog.  It's so not my style and it doesn't represent Ella's Cottage.  But as I worked on it, I started to like it a little.  And I'm actually pretty happy with the design decisions I made and the finished product.  Reading that post from Amy made me realize that I should be able to share everything I make here.  After all, I hope that as Emma grows up she connects this quilt with the love that I have for her and her mother.

The details: The panel measures 22" x 42".  I beefed it up with an asymmetrical border in a green solid from my local fabric shop.  This is definitely the most styles of quilting I have ever used in a quilt.  I did some outline quilting of the fairies and flowers on the panel, connecting them with a meandering loop.  The small border around the panel was filled with four petal flowers.  And the green border is filled with a free motion flower from Angela's book.
The backing and binding is a pink/purple blender called Stonehenge.  I can't remember the Manufacturer and it seems my selvedge have been tossed.  I got it from my local shop and just looked for a blender that coordinated pretty well with the pinks in the panel.

You can see some fairy legs in this one
The quilting is done with a pale pink thread to blend in the panel and stand out in the border.  I really hope Emma and her Mom love it.  And I hope that you know you can share any of your quilts with me and I will appreciate them.  The more quilts I make, the more I truly appreciate the time, work and heart that goes into each of our quilts.  I would hate to know someone didn't show one of their quilts for fear they would be mocked or not taken seriously.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Bits and Bobs

I've got a whole bunch of little things to write about and none of them are really worth a whole post on their own so here is a little brain dump!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

First off, the winner of my 100th post giveaway!  I've struggled and struggled in the past to get the random number image in my blog with the number visible.  So this time I went old school.  I asked my husband to choose a number between 1 and 31 (the number of comments) and write it down on a piece of paper.  Then I had Ella hold it up for a photo op!

Congratulations to RobotMomSews!  You should have an email :)


Well that's a mouthful, isn't it?!  If you haven't heard about the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt A Long yet, color me shocked :)  And immediately head over to read about it.  As soon as he began hinting about it, I knew I would be partaking.  Those broken herringbone blocks are so pretty and this way I actually tackle them instead of pinning them for years LOL.

I had a definitely plan to make a rainbow quilt from this block with each block representing a different color of the rainbow.  I'm honestly not really sure why I pulled these fabrics for my test block but I love it.  It will either become a cushion cover or a quilt LOL.  The tutorial by Play-Crafts is easy to follow.  It took me an hour to make this block but I'm hoping it will get easier as I get more familiar with it and don't have to read each step.

Churn Dash in Details

A few folks asked questions about my Jumbo Churn Dash so I thought I would answer them here in case others had the same question.

The finished quilt measures just under 44" square.  Some asked about my process for making the quilt.  Here it is :)

1. Decide how big I wanted the quilt.  I knew I wanted a baby size around 36".  So each block would be 12" sq finished.

2. Dig through my stash for appropriate fabrics.  Quickly realize that I didn't have enough blue or orange 12" square fabrics.  Choose the biggest ones and figure out how big my starting squares could be for my HST corners.

3. Make HSTs and measure to determine the size of my connector blocks.  Real precise LOL.  I'm just not very good as calculating HSTs so I tend to wing it if there isn't a pattern.

4.  From there I just assembled the churn dash and added a scrappy border to beef up the size.

I'm sorry it's not more precise than that.  I tend to not spend a lot of time thinking things through or calculating when I get an urge to make something RIGHT NOW.  And fortunately this block is pretty basic and forgiving :)  Here is a good tutorial for a 6" square if you aren't sure how to make one.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend that was less wet than mine!  I'm looking forward to getting back to a regular blogging schedule.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Jumbo Churn Dash Finished!

Back at the beginning of summer, I started seeing churn dash projects popping up all over the internet.  I was intrigued.  But I'm not generally a fan of traditional quilts and I like fast finishes :)  Then one day, I got a vision of it in jumbo and I could NOT get it out of my head.  Thinking about it all day.  

So way back in July, while my children were staying with their grandparents I whipped this up.  Took me less than two hours.  That's my kind of quilt top LOL.  Honestly the hardest part was coming up with enough large fabric pieces in my desired colours!  Then I folded it up and added it to my pile of finished tops waiting to be quilted.

You see, I had a definite vision of how I wanted the quilting to look.  And when I know exactly how I want something to look I get scared that it will take forever, or I'll screw it up, or it won't turn out how I want it.  But that picture up there ^ ?  That is exactly how I envisioned this quilting.

After reading a few other's experiences with spiral quilting I followed their advice and FMQ the very center.  But before I started that I took an hour to mark the quilt.  I marked out every inch from the center up, down, left and right.  Then I simply rotated my ruler, keeping the center point as the start, and marked 3 or 4 angled lines in each quadrant.  You can see it a little more clearly in this post.  After that it was simply a matter of connecting the dots.

It's backed with Simply Color Ombre in Tangerine and bound in scrappy blue to match the front.  I am truly in love with this quilt.  It's such a perfect option for a baby girl or boy which is rare these days.  It's going to be hard to part with this one but it is listed in my shop.  Hopefully it will got to a home where it will be loved and used often!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

WIP Wednesday - The 100th Post Edition!

Today is my 100th post!  I was a little shocked when I saw that number yesterday.  It truly does not feel like I have been writing for that long.  And I'm double thrilled to share my 100th post day with Ashley from Wasn't Quilt in a Day!  Head on over if you don't already follow her.  She's got some amazing projects and has a giveaway to celebrate.  And since I love me a good giveaway as well, let's have one to celebrate mine!  Just leave a comment and Mr. Random will choose a reader to receive a Happy Go Lucky Honeycomb Precut!

Now on to the WIP goodness!

I've decided to get started right away on my ALYOF September goal.  This monster churn dash measures at 43" square.  It's all basted and the quilting is beginning today.

See all those lovely blue dots?  Marks for quilting.  It took a little time but I have a feeling it's going to be worth it in the end :)

Linking up with ALYOF Goals and Molli's guest post at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

On the Wall

I hope all of my North American readers had a lovely labour day weekend.  Hopefully one that was a proper send of to summer instead of the dreary rainy weekend we had here!  Don't forget, there is still time to take advantage of my back to school sale on fabric.  Just enter B2S2013 at checkout to save 20%!

Saturday was a rough day in my house.  I woke inspired to make all the things.  The kids were not so inspired LOL.  I didn't get a spare moment at my machine and after a two hour bedtime filled with screaming I had zero motivation to do any sort of thinking.  But I also know that an hour at my machine tends to soothe my nerves.  Then I remembered the simple patchwork quilt sitting in my WIP pile.

All of the squares were cut and half of the 4 squares were made.  An hour later and I had the rest of the 4 squares were made and I had a preliminary layout.  But the best part was the improvement in my mood!  And I'm left wondering why I put this off for so long!  It's coming together really quickly.  I'm excited to finish it up and get started on the quilting, which is what inspired the quilt initially.

What's on your wall today?