Sunday, 25 May 2014

WIP Sunday?

OH man, this has been a tough transition. The first two weeks of full time work it was all I could do to keep us all fed and in clean clothes on a daily basis.  Most of this was due to the transition happening during an exceptionally busy two weeks in the store and my working my regular part time shifts on top of my training shifts.  This past week was a bit more like what a regular schedule will be.

I was able to find some time this week to work on a custom patchwork quilt that I set a May 19th deadline for.  I was nervous for a while there but now the top is finished and I'm just waiting on a label from the client to start quilting. UPDATE: This quilt has been finished and delivered to the client.  She was so eager to have it that I didn't even get finished pictures of it!

For Mother's Day I requested three hours of uninterrupted sewing time :)  On top of that I snuck down on Saturday and Sunday evening for an extra couple of hours.  I worked on my Bee top.  It's all finished and I can't wait to get it basted and start the quilting.

Now that my body has adjusted a bit to being on my feet 8 hours a day and we are starting to settle into a new routine at home, I'm hoping to find some regular quilting minutes.  But I don't promise to blog with any kind of regularity.  To be perfectly honest, blogging is not my favorite thing to do.  So it gets pushed to the back burner.  Case in point: I wrote this post on Mother's Day, took the pictures the following Sunday and am just now combining the two today.

But I'm pretty good about instagramming so if you want to keep up with what's going on in my studio please follow me there.  I'm ellascottage :)

Linking up with Kim for SewJo Saturday!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Three Things Thursday

I've been flat out insane this week training for my return to full time work next week while also working my evening shifts.  There has been precious little time for sewing or anything else for that matter.  Here is what I have managed to squeeze in.


My triangle quilt is basted but I haven't even been able to thread bobbins for quilting.


I've been stealing a few minutes here and there to work on these Dresden blades for my Library Project.


Any other time is devoted to my obsession project of the moment which will be revealed in more detail at a future date :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sunday Stash: Meadow

When I decided to make the trip to Intrepid Thread in California I knew thatI wanted to indulge in a line of fabric.  And it didn't take long to decide on Meadow by Leah Duncan.  I asked Julie to cut me a fat quarter of every print she had in stock :)

I love all of these prints incredibly and they work together really well as a collection.  But don't think I'm hoarding these!  They've already been cut up and I'm making two quilts out of them!

Linking up with Sunday Stash!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

WIP Wednesday: Scattered

Normally I try to keep my active WIPs to two each week.  But this week I'm inspired in a ton of different directions and haven't been able to keep myself from working on a bit of everything.

I have been able to keep myself focused on the Triangle Quilt Along.  I finished up my quilt top this week and plan to have it basted.

This guy is 75% quilted and I plan on getting back to him tomorrow.

But probably not until I finish up the remaining blocks for my Global Scrap Bee quilt.

These lovely Dresden pieces are for one of my Library Projects and I love this fabric so much (Meadow by Leah Duncan) that I have needed to find time to cut into them.

And Monday inspiration struck while perusing IG and it definitely wouldn't wait for me to have a chunk of free time.  So while watching Game of Thrones I cut out these petals.  I predict they will be turned into something sooner than later.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday and Paula The Sassy Quilter!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Triangle Along Progress

Is it Thursday already!  Holy cow this week has flown by.  Of course, I've been kept pretty busy by more than a few non-sewing activities.

  • My "baby" turned four.  How did that happen?!  We had chocolate chip pancakes upon her request :)
  • My eldest had a bladder infection and was miserable.
  • I decided it was time to banish the builder's beige in our bedroom (we've lived here 2 1/2 years!)
  • Game of Thrones and The Voice.  'Nuff said LOL
What sewing time I did have was filled with triangles.  I'm glad that I made this my ALYOF goal for the month.  There are other projects that I've wanted to get started on but I don't need another half finished project lying around!  

I have to say that these are coming together much easier than I expected, most likely due to only working with two colors.  Less to keep track of.  Although they are definitely not a mindless sewing project.  The few times I was distracted, I ended up unpicking LOL.  So far everything is looking good but I am not making any grand statements until I have connected rows with points intact!

Linking up with Paula and Kelly

Friday, 4 April 2014

Friday Finish: Scrappy Strings

This quilt has been a bit of an obsession for me.  Way back in September I made four blocks when I was having a crappy day and absolutely loved them.  I love the process and the effect of the finished blocks.  But then I was hit with a pile of obligation/deadline sewing.  But I thought about those blocks often and yearned to make more.

In January , I got back to them but was thwarted by a lack of prepared strings.  In March, when I started sorting and cutting my scraps this quilt shuffled it's way to the top of the pile.  Once I started, I just couldn't stop.

I absolutely LOVE this quilt.  I wish that it was staying in my home.  But it makes me very happy to be giving a quilt I love so much to a person I love that much.  I met my neighbour Charlotte a few days after we closed on our house and we just connected.  Sometimes you just know from the first meeting that someone will play a large role in your life and that's what it was.

My original goal was to make it 72" square so she could snuggle under it with her three boys.  But I ran out of strings and wanted to finish it and gift it to her more than I wanted to get stuck on a size.  So it finishes at 60" x 66" which is still a good snuggle size.  Each block is 6 1/2" square (unfinished).  I followed Maureen's QAYG tutorial, using batting as my foundation.  I cut the batting 7" square as it stretched some during piecing and squared it up at the end.

It's my first quilt backed with Ikea's Britten which may not have been the best choice.  You can see the seam allowances through the back as it's quilt thin.  But, I'm not dwelling :)  I quilted diagonal lines through the white centers in both directions and bound it with a scrappy binding.

It's in the wash as I write this and will head off to it's new home tomorrow.

Linking up with Amanda Jean! (So happy she is back from her online hiatus!!)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


I've been slowly cutting out triangles for the Triangle Quilt Along.  And I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is!  I'm using starch for the first time and cutting with my 6"x24" ruler.  Smooth sailing!  Except it's taking a lot of cutting to get to 204 triangles!

I've also decided that staying current with this Quilt Along will be my April goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I have several other projects tickling at my motivation and I know it would be easy to set this aside and forget about it for months and months.

Linking up with Paula and ALYOF

WIP Wednesday

Last Wednesday was the first of FIVE snow days.  Since March 12th, my oldest has been to exactly two days of school thanks to March Break and storm days.  So really, it's amazing I've accomplished anything at all this week.

Most of my time has been spent working on my Scrappy Strings quilt.  It's just about ready to head to it's new home.

Cutting triangles for Paula's Quilt Along.  I'm going to work really hard at staying on schedule for this one.

An empty design wall was too enticing so I stole a few minutes to start playing around with my bee blocks from the Global Scrap Bee.  This was not my original plan but I'm liking it better.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

Monday, 31 March 2014

ALYOF March Scrappy Success

I did it!  I sorted and cut.  And then cut and cut.  And then cut some more.  It took waaaaay longer than I expected but as of Thursday I cut up my last scrap and it felt so good.  Not only did I cut it all but I used a whole bunch of it as well.  But enough words, on to the pictures.  Just a month ago my scraps looked like this.

         Just a reminder of where I started!

And today it happily looks like this!

6.5" and 3.5" squares

2.5" x 6.5" strips

On the left, 2.5" squares, most of which have been sewn up into 16 patches for Bits and Pieces II.  On the right, 2.5" strips for scrappy bindings.  I use scrappy bindings in all my scrap quilts.

My scrappy strings (less than 2.5" wide) have all been used up in my scrappy strings quilt.

It's such a relief to have this done.  And now I feel like my scraps will actually get used instead of intimidating me with their mess.  As to whether they will stay this tidy, who knows.  I know I am motivated to deal with them after each project when they are small and manageable.  But I also know that when I need to complete projects on a deadline things get messy.

Linking up with ALYOF

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday Stash: Bite Sized

I have not been a big buyer of precuts so far in my sewing career.  But over the past six months I've collected a little stash of them.

I started with a charm pack of Botanics that snuck into my shopping basket (one of them anyway!) in the fall.

When I ordered fabric for Audrey's quilt in December, these mini charm packs were an inexpensive way to try out a few lines that appealed to me without adding to the shipping cost.  During my spree at the Intrepid Thread in February I added the Hello Petal and Color Me Happy charm packs.

I'll admit that I've been kind of stuck ever since.  What do you use precuts for?  Any favorite patterns that use charm packs?

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Finish: Hearts and Crosses

Guys, it's finished.  I'm so happy to be able to say that.  Clementine Cross has been a loooong time in the making, started in the late spring of last year.  My first thought upon finishing it was Thank God!  My second: This is a hot mess.

Now I am able to stad back and say that it doesn't look so bad in this picture.  And that is why you won't be getting any close ups LOL.  It finishes at 90" x 100" and is the largest quilt I've ever made (significantly).  I chain pieced the crosses and because the center bars are one piece there is some wonkiness to them.  But the worst is the quilting.

There is crazy puckering all over this puppy.  As I quilted the last few rows and bound it, I was able to reframe my thoughts.  Like I told one of my students, I simply began to look for what I had learned.

One, if I want crisp shapes, mindless chain piecing is not the best option.

Two, more basting pins.  Use as many as you think you need and then add more.

Three, If it's really important to have "perfect" quilting on a queen size quilt, send it out!

At the end of the day, I'm able to appreciate it.  My husband loves it and it keeps us warm :)  You can see the back here.

Next up, a finish that was quick and came together exactly like I envisioned.

I've really enjoyed watching Anne's quilt design a day over on Instagram (#qdad).  When I saw her hanging hearts, I knew immediately I wanted to make it.  I've been drooling over pixelated heart quilts pretty much since I started quilting.  So I grabbed my notebook, sketched up a mini and started cutting.

The pink squares are 1" finished.  I made my HSTs using 2.5" squares and trimmed down.  Everything in this mini is from my scraps which makes me incredible happy.  A shout out to Jenn for inspiring my quilting.  Straight lines on the diagonal :)  I used my Hera to mark the center line and then used my foot for spacing so they are around 5/8" apart.

The backing is more hearts, All My Love by Robert Kaufmann, that I picked up in a destash on Instagram.

These are finish one and two towards my next fabric splurge and I'm linking up with all the Friday Finish parties I can find :)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fabric Fast 2014: March Update

Well, technically I bought that splatter fabric in April.  Instagram did me in again!  This was posted by Lucie Summers and I immediately knew what I would use it for.  Since it's not something that would be available again, I scooped it up.  Tuesday I stopped by my local big box fabric shop to get some vinyl (2.50 for half a yard!) so I can finish this project.

As an additional update, I've decided to modify my fabricfast.  Over the last three months I've realized that the fabric I'm lusting over is completely different than most of the fabric in my stash.  Part of this is because I've been buying fabric with the thought of making quilts to sell.  Now that I'm going back to work, my quilting will be what I WANT to make and work with.  If it sells, great.  If not, at least I will love it.

BUT I still want to work through my stash and WIPs.  Many of those are projects and fabrics I love.  So the new plan is:  For every 6 projects I finish, I can buy one line of fabric.  Three of these finishes must be quilts. This is keeping me focused on finishing those projects that I have everything for and that are already in progress.

Linking up with Rebecca Lynne

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WIP Wednesday: Strings and Triangles

So on Monday I realized I hadn't blogged since March 7th!  And then Jess  mentioned that I've been missed.  Whaaaat?!  People notice when I don't blog?!  That's bizarre to me folks.  Anywho, I had some unexpected travel and some expected travel happen this month.  I also made the huuuuuge decision to go back to full time work outside the home after 5 years of being home.  Since my sewing time will become almost non existent when that happens I have been choosing sewing over blogging most days.  This is also why I haven't been responding to comments.  I hope you will forgive me!

During one of my expected travels, I went to Halifax to take part in sew in day with the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  I tend to take way too many projects to days like this and this was no exception.  I brought three different projects but only focused on one and I am thrilled with my progress.

My original plan for this quilt was to make it 72" square.  But now my plan is to make blocks until I run out of scrap strings.  I'm hoping that will yield a 60" square.  Oh and the weird hole is where I had another project laid out on my wall :)

In other news, I've decided to take part in Paula's Triangle Along.  No, I don't actually need another active WIP but I've been planning on doing a grey and yellow triangle quilt ever since I received my bolts of Comma.  So participating in a QAL should increase the odds of this actually happening LOL.  I will most likely pull in other yellows and greys from my stash as I get started cutting but this is the groundwork.

Linking up with Lee and Paula 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday Finish: Best Friend Present

My youngest daughter has a best friend in daycare, Presley.  They are inseparable and talk non stop about each other at home.  It's a sad day when one or the other misses a day for some reason.  So it was very devastating to hear that Presley and her mom were moving across the country. This also meant that Alexis would miss celebrating Presley's birthday by one week.  But that didn't mean there couldn't be a gift to remind Presley of her best friend!

I followed this tutorial making a few modifications, including adding the monogram.  A matching crayon roll and a few coloring books will make it ideal for the airplane.  It took me longer than expected because there were a few parts of the tutorial I had to read through multiple times before I fully understood them.  I think future attempts will go more smoothly.  And there will definitely be future attempts because I love the outcome!

As for Alexis, she is adjusting well to the loss of her best friend.  Within a week she had a new bestie at school, although she asks about Presley nearly every day :(

Linking up with SewGiving for TGFF

PS: I've listed some pillows in the shop at sale prices

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

WIP Wednesday: More Fairy Tales

Still without my machine so I've been finding myself with loads of time to work on my cross stitch sampler. After falling desperately behind, my trip to California gave me plenty of time to catch up.  And I'm finding myself believing that I could actually be completely caught up by the end of March!

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

ALYOF March: Scraps!

My machine is away for maintenance.  This is the worst part of the year for me.  Going with sewing for 3 weeks is torture!  Fortunately it falls around tax season and I can occupy myself preparing all of my receipts for the accountant.  This year I had the added bonus of being in California for a week of that time.  But I'm still left with too many hours without sewing :(  Which makes it difficult to know what is a realistic goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  

Instead of aiming to finish a quilt top or sewing project, I am going to tackle my scraps.

This disaster is the pile that sits on my cutting table and gets in the way constantly.

And this is the rest of the scrap bins.  My goal for this month is to sort/organize/cut all of these scraps.  I have several projects planned to utilize them and if I can get them prepped I will be ready for some marathon sewing when my machine comes home.

Linking up with ALYOF and Messes and Mess Ups

Monday, 3 March 2014

Move It Monday

That's not a pretty number folks.  I knew that it would not be great.  My body does not respond well to air travel or to being out of my food and exercise routine.  When I saw this number my first thought was that I had two options.

1.  Give up completely.

2. Go to extremes.

I sat with those options for a few hours and then gave myself a mental slap upside the head.  Neither of those options are going to help me reach my ultimate goals.  Because, really, this is not about the 10 week challenge.  It's about changing some habits and making progress towards my goal weight.  So here I stand, four weeks from the end of my challenge with 14 pounds to lose.  The odds are not great.

But my best option overall is to simply make the best choices I can going forward.  To get back to tracking my food on My Fitness Pal.  To make an effort to be active each and every day.  To recommit to my water bottle.  I may not reach my challenge goal but if I do these things consistently (not even perfectly!) then in 4 weeks I will be further ahead than I am now.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Stash: How low can you go?

I don't own a lot of low volume prints.  I'm definitely drawn to bold colors and prints and those fill the majority of my stash.  But I love so many quilts that combine bold and low volume.  So when I was filling my cart at Pink Castle Fabrics this fall (one of many full carts this fall!)  I tossed in a scrappy low volume bundle.  And really couldn't be more thrilled that I did.

Look at all this goodness!!  Because they are fat 16ths, there aren't many selvedges.  I know the top right dots are Comma Period.  The hexagons next to that and the little triangles in the top left are Minimalista.  And the bottom right selvedge says Leah Duncan for Art Gallery (my research shows it comes from Tule).  If anyone can identify the others, I would love to know!  Especially the birds in a circle!

EDIT: You guys are amazing!  There are many more fabrics identified in the comments for anyone who is interested.

Linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash

Thursday, 27 February 2014

California Recap

I'm back!  After a week in the gorgeous California winter (seriously?!  It was 21 degrees Celsius every day!) it was tough to head out into the Canadian winter this morning.  But so nice to snuggle with my baby girls :) Since Jeremy and I were in Califoria in October, this wasn't a sight seeing trip for me.  I really just wanted to hang out with my bestie and snuggle her baby.  So I spent a lot of time doing this...

Pardon the blurriness, facebook picture
But I definitely was out and a bout pretty much daily.  I went to Ikea for the first time ever!  I wanted to buy some Britten for quilt backings and  I grabbed one other pattern as well.  I've seen this used all over the internet so I assume it works well.  But I'll admit I was surprised at the thinness of it.  Have any of you used Ikea fabric for quilt backs?  Did you prewash?  How does it quilt?

Just before I left, I learned that Josh from Molli Sparkles  was going to be at Intrepid Thread, just 30 minutes from where I was staying.  You know that had to happen :)  It was a great visit and I was thrilled that Anne from Play Crafts was there as well.  I pretty much knew before I got there that I would be breaking my fabric fast.  It is so rare that I get the opportunity to see and touch fabric before I buy, I just had to take advantage.  And I did :)

I got some Rapture, Meadow, and some purples for my stash (seriously lacking).  I was back and forth on Hello Petal but I resisted fat quarters and grabbed a charm pack.  Also, a charm pack of Color Me Happy.

I also picked up Alison Glass' Feathers pattern (guess that means I will be paper piecing again LOL) and A Month of Sundays at Intrepid Thread.  I've been hunting for this book locally for several months.  I love wandering bookstores so we took a trip to Barnes and Nobles.  You can imagine my excitement when I found two back issues of Love Patchwork and Quilting.  When Vintage Quilt Revival hit the internet I was unsure if it was a book that would fit with my style.  But the more I saw people making blocks and quilts from it, the more it felt right.  Seeing it in person cinched the deal and I found room in my suitcase for it :)

So not the greatest Fabricfast update but I'm ok with what I purchased and should probably be good at least until July :)  Linking up with RebeccaLynne