Sewing Room Clean Up

As Ella put it, “Messy Mommy.  Clean it up!” about my sewing room and how it might have spread out into the main basement area.  I will admit that I wasn’t really enjoying being in there work at all so I mostly avoided it.  But once Ella and Nate got on to my case I realized I better clean the mess up.

With Nate’s help we pulled EVERYTHING out of the sewing room and sorted through it.

These are the bags of fabric I had around, from projects that were finished but I just didn’t put away – this is also embarrassing but its time people know the truth.

This pile here is projects.  Either cut out and bagged and ready to go, or fabric and patterns that need to be cut.  There is a middle pile that I didn’t take a photo of, it was of just cuts of fabric and scraps.

After 2 evenings I was able to sort it all and get it put away in a more orderly fashion and one that I can actually work with.

Now I’m down there quite a bit puttering away on projects that I’m enjoying and enjoying being in the space again.


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Status Update: Shiny and Brite

Back in March I was telling you about the Crabapple Hill’s Shiny and Brite quilt I was working on.  I was also lamenting about how I wasn’t sure if I liked the fabric I had selected – well I take back everything I said.  In the end it turned out wonderfully.  I love it in fact, though I don’t have the foggiest idea of where I’m going to hang it at Christmas time.  But I will cross that bridge in October when it begins to snow here.

I think what clinched it for me was the red polka dot binding I used. It just makes me happy to see it outlined in that fun red.  This took a little while to quilt as I stippled in the middle section and then used a straight line patten around the pinwheels and a loopy pattern in the borders.  The straight lines took the longest part and it took me a couple of passed to figure out a good, logical and effective way to stitch around so I wasn’t twisting the turning the quilt to much.

I was even able to complete it for the deadline at Out of Hand for their shopping spree contest.  I didn’t win, but I was able to walk away with 12 other ladies who completed something in the year.  As a door prize I was given a pretty sweet little iron that I have very much enjoyed using.

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Italy: School Trip

This March I was fortunate to be a chaperone on the school travel club’s trip to Italy.  It was the first one we had ever taken and I knew it was an experience of a life time. For months leading up to the trip I didn’t think I would be able to go.  Simply because I didn’t know if I could leave Ella and I am not the best flyer.  But as Nate and my parents said, it was a chance of a lifetime.  So I went.

After long plane rides and long layovers (Calgary – Toronto – Frankfurt – Naples) we landed in Naples and immediately began our adventure. Herculaneum and Pompeii were amazing to see, I can’t believe how they were buried under ash from Mount Vesuvius.  Then we were off to Rome for a couple of days.  My head is still spinning from all we saw in Rome.  The Colosseum, Imperial Rome, the Spanish Steps, Circus Maximus, the Vatican, and 5 or 6 Basilicas.  On our way to Florence we made a stop in Assisi.  I had the best time in Florence, we were given some free time to go around and explore and the group of girls I was with was amazing.  Loved them.   From Florence we went to Jesolo and would take a water taxi to Venice.   Venice was so busy as it was Good Friday the day we were there, but what a place it is.  I was terrified about getting lost.

I saw things I never thought I would ever get to see in my lifetime.

Italy 2015

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Hazel the Hedgehog

Good friends of ours announced that they were expecting their first child in November of 2014. Now before I continue, let me just state for the record, this quilt was finished well before now, I just haven’t blogged about it.  As I was saying, they were expecting their first baby.  They, like many, decided not to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, which as a quilter can be challenging.  I have found some nice collections of fabrics but sometimes I struggle with what colors or fabrics to use.  I worry about using a fabric that has some florals, in case it is a boy.

Well, after some searching I came upon Elizabeth Hartman’s Hazel the Hedgehog.  I thought it was the prefect quilt to do for a little girl or boy.  I really leaned toward this one because the original was done in solid fabrics  and that is a great option when you aren’t sure if the baby will be a boy or a girl – no big flowers to worry about.

One afternoon I headed out to the local fabric store and picked some fun solid fabrics for the hedgehog spines and bodies. Of course I threw a red hedgehog in as red is one of the first colours a baby will see.  By the time I had all my supplies I had a little over a month to complete the quilt from start to finish.  Completely feasible as October is a fairly “easy” month at school.  I remember going to school on a Thursday morning and sharing with a friend which quilt and colours I was going to use. That morning I spoke with the mom to be on the phone about a surprise shower they wanted to have a work – as the dad works with me and nothing surprises him.  Then I got a text from the dad saying they were off to the hospital as the water broke.  Later that night they welcomed a beautiful little girl into the world and they moved the surprise shower up 4 weeks.  Which gave me just two weeks to complete the project.  After pulling an ALL NIGHT sewing bee in the kitchen (sorry again Nate) I was able to complete it for them.  I simply love how this one turned out.  Look at their cute faces?

The pattern is quite fun to do once you get a handle on all the spins and not misplacing them – or having someone borrow them off the table.  Because it is Elizabeth Hartman it is very well written, with great diagrams and options for bigger sizes. I love that about her patterns.  I would definitely make this pattern again, after of course I try the foxes, whales and bunnies.

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Summer 2015

Right now I am sitting on my deck in my adirondack chair, the temp is 22 degrees Celsius (though apparently it feels like 25) and it is lovely out.  Just so you are aware I wrote that sentence on the evening of July 21, I finished the post a little later on.  The only thing that could make this scenario better is if I had a lovely drink beside me like a black tea lemonade or a mocha frap – as I am not a wine drinker.

Summer has been lovely so far.  Ella and I have gotten up to many great adventures so far.  We have been to water splash parks, playgrounds, farmers markets, the zoo, some pancake breakfasts and a bit of shopping just to name a few.  We often spend our afternoons playing in the back yard – her in the pool and me hand stitching as I try not to get splashed.

Currently, I am stitching the Crabapple Hill Whooterville quilt.  The owls are great in this quilt because they are too cartoony.

This summer I also took another quilting class at Out of Hand here in Calgary.  It is a 6 part series that has us working through the My Small World Quilt by Jen Kingwell.  It was featured in the Quiltmania Special Issue that came out a little bit ago – I can’t remember the date I’m sorry.  It is such a fun quilt to make as well.  I’ve only done the first section but really like how it is taking shape.

A couple of weeks ago I spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon at my friend Paula’s place for a quilting time – non stop and managed to complete all the “sky” section.  That is all the top section of low volume fabrics – most of the pieces are 1.5″ with a few 2.5″  It took the entire time I was there to complete it, but it is done and now I can have fun with the bottom.  YEAH!

We have also been to Canmore and Kelowna for a short holiday and Ella and I will be working on round 2 of our swimming lessons.  Can’t wait!

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How Embarrassing, 3 Months? Really?

Photo by George Hodan

Photo by George Hodan

It is embarrassing to think that its been about 3 months since I’ve been on the blog.  Good intentions lead my goal making for this year, trying to write something at least once a month, but some how LIFE had other plans for me.  You know the saying, “Life happens when you make other plans.”  Nothing bad, mind you, but life, busyness, too much of everything got in the way.

Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve had a school year like this since, oh, I first started teaching – that very first year about 10 years ago.  This year once Christmas break finished it was a steady roller coaster.  It felt just like a roller coaster too.  One minute I was climbing that slow, jerky climb to the top, knowing full well that there was going to be one heck of a drop on the other side.  Slowly, painfully it climbed, it was torture.  The top couldn’t come fast enough because on the other side was an easy descent – just incredibly quick – often I would blink and it would be over A couple of twists and turns and loop d loops thrown at me and then another monstrous climb.  And once March hit, hold on to your socks, Jen, it is going to be quite a ride until June.  Often I felt like the dandelion in the picture above, just holding on as the rain was pummelling me.

There was little time for anything, and I mean anything.  From March to June I was busy, almost every evening with one thing or another as well as on the weekends.  On evenings or weekends I was at home, I was prepping or working on something for upcoming events/classes/meetings OR I was passed out on the sofa from exhaustion.  I missed out on time with Nate and Ella and Molly and that was too much for me.  God bless Nate for picking up the slack at home, and not once complaining about it.  (Though, between you and me, I think it means i’m going to have to keep pretty tight lipped come hunting season this year.) Anyways, I wasn’t very fun either and I looked a little worse for wear – lets just say I tried a lot of anti puffy, dark circle removing eye cream, still trying to find one that works.

When June came, I felt better.  I was sleeping, really sleeping, not just a couple of hours here or there, but for 6-8 hours. That is practically unheard of for me.  Probably because I was trying to catch up on months of sleep depravation.

This upcoming school year, there are some changes coming.  I am reclaiming my time, my family time, my priorities and putting somethings on hold or aside.  It will be healthier.


Filed under Everyday Life

Shiny and Brite

I’ve really enjoyed stitching this pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios.  The color tinting was a lot of fun to do and I loved using the sparkle floss by Cosmo.

However, I’m not sure if I love the fabric I picked to do the outside borders.  I was also surprised about how big it ended up being.

I’m trying to get this finished for the Out of Hand challenges – so May 15 is my date to finish this, though I now have to find a wall to hang it on, once it is finished.

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