Monday, September 28, 2009

Just don't know where to start...

Life has been crazy busy lately...mostly in good ways. I have been travelling for work (boo!), but my boys (husband and son) came to meet me in Toronto by train (yay!). Evan was very excited to travel by train and behaved BEAUTIFULLY for his dad. We visited with family and went to the Toronto Zoo. Fun for everyone...and we were sure that Evan would adore the zoo. Ask him what his favourite animal is...? The truck (but of course!). At least it was a zoo-y safari truck.



The camel ride was also pretty exciting:




Doesn't Alice look lovely and gentle? (OK...I don't actually know the camel's name, but why would you name a camel anything other than Alice?).


That lovely young lady in the pictures (no...not Alice the camel - the human one), is my cousin's daughter and Evan took a total shine to her. Notice how he wouldn't let go of her hand - not even in the safari truck! That is devotion. He was pretty smitten (and cute!). I was worried that it might be too much for a 10-year old girl, but she was lovely with him. Thanks Alexandra!

We stayed at my aunt and uncle's house (where we were married!). They have a lovely house that backs onto a small forest and stream. So very relaxing. On Friday night my aunt and I sat outside by a fire (with a lovely glass of wine) while my uncle and husband admired the largest TV that I have ever seen.

I don't know how to put this (it will possibly sound very hokey)...We don't have any family in our adopted home town. Much of the time this is just fine. We have built a close community with dear friends who serve as family. We are happy. But - there is something so easy and peaceful about passing time with your family. People who know your history...maybe this means that they "get" you in a way that others can't access? Maybe the pressure is off because they HAVE to love you?? I don't really know, but there is something very easy and centering about spending time with family. (Told you it would sound hokey.)

Back into the real world routine (at top speed). I'll post about my fun flea market finds in my next post.

Monday, September 7, 2009

She did it!

Remember when I (in my undignified way) declared my crafty crush on Martha's fantastic ABC embroidered quilt top?


Well - UPDATE - she finished it! Go check out the gorgeousness on her blog.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The one in which I am not that smart...

My crafty stories today very clearly demonstrate what a quilting novice I truly am. I wonder if when other people say "self taught" they have had to rip out the same (very high!) number of stitches that I am ripping out in my new hobby? Oh well...I see seam ripping time as time to come out of the sewing room and enjoy a bit of television.

I (FINALLY!) started quilting my zig zag quilt. I thought that I would do some straight line quilting because I really admire how clean the straight line quilting at Red Pepper Quilts looks.

I had measured the width of my walking foot and decided that I would use the edge of the foot as my guide for 3/4" spaced lines. Here is the part where I am not smart - I didn't really account for the fact that the needle travels down the centre of the 3/4" measurement. The result? Extreme busy-ness on busy-ness. Not pretty.



So....I learned something about how to measure.

I also came to the realisation that what I really liked about the quilts that I had seen at Red Pepper was exactly what my quilt is NOT! Calm, quiet, soothing and linear. This does not mean that I don't like my quilt...it is bright and bohemian. It just means that this is not the quilt with which I should try to emulate a crisp, clean style.

Here is the plain old zig zag quilting that I did (once I had finished watching some TV and ripping out the previous straight quilting):


Much cleaner stitching against all the ziggy-zagginess and the bright, bold colours and pattern.

I also enjoyed some quality time with a glass (or two!) of red wine and a movie (Vicky Cristina Barcelona). Clearly I was too into the movie (or the wine!) and I made a mistake in my ripple blanket. Can you spot it? I didn't until I was a few hours past my mistake. Boo!

I'm off for some quality time with the TV and crochet ripping out.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quel d├ęsastre!!


OK, so a summer of fabric ordering and in & out of my craft room has resulted in a MESS! I was not feeling inspired or happy facing the chaos that has taken over (somehow the chaos in the rest of the house is OK...fixing it would take too much time away from crafty pursuits!).

I saw a great tutorial on folding fabric...YEEESSSS, you read right. I really like folding fabric. I like ironing it, folding it, then I stack and re-stack it into happy little piles. I find that it clears the mind of any worries and fills it with happy pattern and bold colour instead. Mmmmm....soothing and peaceful. OOoohmmmMMMMmmmmm.


I have the world's smallest craft space. I think that it is around 7X8 (that might be generous!) and is shared with the recycling bins. It is small...but I am SO grateful for it! It's the first time that I've ever had a dedicated craft space that was mine. It is such a luxury to be able to leave the sewing machine out. It frees me up to steal a few minutes for sewing here and there (without using up all of that time hauling all of the gear out). It means that I can leave all of my crafty things out on display. It means that I have my very own little "haven". Do some of you feel similarly about the crafty space you have managed to carve out in your life???

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Uh oh...

Look what is coming in December! Amy Butler's new fabric. drool. I think that I feel another crafty crush coming on...


Dearest Santa,

Please bring me some pretty new fabric and many of the free hand drawn little dot fabric (which I feel certain will be perfect for all binding!).

I promise to be extra good. This morning I gave my seat on the bus to an old lady...and I will try to pet some puppies on the way home. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Love & Ho Ho Ho,

Holly

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lazy Sunday post on a Tuesday

Ah Sundays...how I love a rainy Sunday. Sundays are usually the day when I get some quality crafting time. The rest of the week crafting is all about stolen moments between the daily routine and falling asleep...but SUNDAY! Sundays we wander to the Farmer's Market, buy something delicious for breakfast and come home to good coffee. After that my husband usually reads, my son plays with trucks and I craft. How glorious are Sunday mornings at our house?!

This Sunday Evan and one of his trucks joined me in the craft room. It was really an enjoyable way to spend a morning. It was especially nice to have his company since this is the first weekend that the cat isn't around to hang out with me...

Just when I thought that his little hands were not going to be able to resist "helping" with the scissors or the sewing machine, Evan found the amazing little box of buttons that Sara sent as an extra surprise when I bought some vintage linens from her Etsy shop. Thanks Sara! Evan and his truck were entertained for nearly an hour by the little box and all of the pretty buttons inside. What fun to sort, stack and dig little buttons.


I finally finished piecing the back to the zig zag quilt. It's not that it was complicated or even big, just that I couldn't quite decide what to do. I'll try to finish basting and quilting ASAP so that I can finally post the final pictures.

BTW - Yes, my son was still in his pyjamas after the Market and YES...that is a hockey mask on my son's pyjamas. Yes...we are a Canadian stereotype!