Daily Prompt: Five a Day

Q: You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

  • meat (because I’ve watched enough survivor, and surely I can catch fish?
  • watermelon (it’s juicy yumminess, and a source of water)
  • butter (can’t imagine life without butter!)
  • daily vegetable medley (except broccoli)
  • macaroni pie (all that cheesy goodness)

ok, ok, so this is not the most practical list, but my first thoughts included chocolate and dim sum 😉

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Quilt Resources: Craftsy, Spoonflower, Pinterest, Flipboard and more

So it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to sew (sigh), because my sewing machine and I can’t seem to be in the same place for a reasonable amount of time. But my iPad follows me everywhere, and I’ve been experimenting with some interesting sites/apps/technology.

Let’s start with www.Craftsy.com:

  • What It Is: It’s an online tutorial site and craft shopping site. There’s surprisingly very good free content as well as excellent paid content.
  • What I’m doing with it: Lately, I’m browsing the free content, watching the lectures from the latest QuiltCon 2013 hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild. Everyone from Amy Butler to Mary Fons, each with their own unique point of view. Interesting stuff. Jacquie Gering’s presentation was endearing and really brought the emotion of quilting to the forefront.
  • What I’ve done in the past with it: Several free and paid tutorials – excellent content, I can pause and rewind, and play it over and over. Browsing the shopping area, I was able to download a free paper piecing tutorial (from ipatchandquilt.wordpress.com). I was not able to buy fabric through this site (maybe because I’m Canadian)
  • What I think of  It: I love this site…. iPad friendly, do download the app! There’s so much to learn here, and it’s a really easy to access.If you are a new quilt enthusiast, or even a quilt guru looking for help with expanding your skill set, this is definitely a great resource.

Pinterest.com:

  • What It Is: Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love – photos of things, that is
  • What I’m doing with it: making collections – you can create boards where you can pin inspiration pictures, things that you have made, things you wanna make, etc
  • What I think of  It: iPad friendly app available. I don’t use it as often as I should, but it really is a great great resource. You can find me at http://pinterest.com/offquilter/

www.Spoonflower.com:

  • What It Is: Spoonflower lets you upload your own designs and turn them into fabric, wallpaper or decals. You can sell your stuff here too. Or buy from others
  • What I’m doing with it: I just uploaded a few sketches today that I wanted to turn into fabric for a future project.
  • What I think of  It: Not iPad friendly for the create fabric phase, but purchasing looks ok. No app available. It allows you to use PicMonkey to edit your work – I rather like the texture feature of this site! Although it’s not iPad friendly, it works really well in a browser, and I’m quite happy with the first uploads. You can find me here

Flipboard:

  • What It Is: an RSS feed reader, which incorporates Google Reader content, somehow (don’t ask, I dont know)
  • What I’m doing with it: reading quilting and sewing blogs!
  • What I think of  It: Not all my favourite bloggers have RSS feeds turned on their sites. I wish they would. The beauty of this site is that it’s like an online newspaper or magazine of every rss feed you wanna read – convenient, easy to use interface, and iPad friendly 🙂

Other apps/software/technology that I’m exploring right now:

  • PicMonkey (online photo editor)
  • PaintBrush for the Mac
  • Inkscape
  • SketchbookX for iPad
  • Adonit Jot Pro – touchscreen stylus – I’m really loving this!

reblogging: Wish upon a star – part 2

Paper Piecing Pattern – Wish! by ester at ipatchandquilt.wordpress.com. I just downloaded it, and can’t wait to try it out! also my first attempt at reblogging – how cool is this?

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Maybe you remember that I had the privilege to test the alphabet pattern FONTASTIC by Kristy at Quietplay. A group of pattern testers had to try out a selection of words and than send the blocks to her so Kristy could make them part of two charity quilts.  I added a little seven pointed star to my package and told Kristy to do whatever she wanted with it. She has now finished the quilt top for the first of two quilts with the test blocks.  And my little star rocks on the bottom!

Have a look at these gorgeous photo’s from Kristy!

Did you also spot my WISH block on the top?

I had wanted to draw the paper piecing pattern for this seven pointed star myself, but had not gotten around to do it. (I had used a drawing I found online before.) And when Kristy  put my star…

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Cushion Covers – Lone Starburst with a twist

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I have a project in the works for 2 cushion covers, and one pillow slip. The cushion covers are for 26 inch foam cushions from IKEA, for the kids to use for lounging in their room. Six White Horses has an excellent tutorial for paper pieced stars called the Lone Starburst. I love this star, and have seen it on quite a few other blogs. But it’s designed for about 12.5 inch block, and I needed something to span a 26 inch block. I downloaded the pattern and, using Inkscape, have attempted to enlarge the star. I’ve just finished 2 of 8 points of the star, and so far, it looks like it will come together nicely. Keeping my fingers crossed!

I’m seriously scrap busting on this project, featuring some coveted african print fat quarters which I have been hoarding jealously (shame, shame, shame). I nearly shed tears when I cut into these fat quarters, really. But they are readily available online via Kallisti Quilts, and she does visit Toronto a few times a year (for the Creativ Festival in April and October, and also the york Heritage festival). Given that I can get this fabric, and that I LOVE this fabric, you’d think it would feature prominently in more of my projects.

I’m also delving into my collection of batiks, most of which are half yards that I pick up from Hamel’s Fabrics when they visit at the Creativ Festival. There are also a few batiks from a leftover tonga treats 2.5 inch strip pack. Instead of using white for the background, I’ll be using a Kona medium blue solid.

For the pillow slip – this is for a pillow that my cousin’s late grandma made for her when she was a little girl. I wanted to preserve the pillow with a new quilted pillow slip. I have no ideas for a pattern, although I’d like to do something that is paper-pieced if I can. Any ideas?

Bird Huts R Us

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So accessories for birds are really expensive in the stores, and they either (a) don’t last due to wear and tear or (b) are difficult to keep clean. Did I mention that a lot of birds like to chew on them as well? My sister asked me to create a bird hut that could be opened flat and tossed into the washer. She also wanted light coloured fabrics for the inside, with little pattern. That was the biggest challenge of this project! As big as my stash is, I have few solids in pale colours.

I used some leftover Kona in a pale cream from the sweet sawtooth basket weave quilt that I made for a friend’s daughter. I also had some scraps of peach and orange quilting cotton from Mum’s orange summer tote. A scrap of bright blue hawaiian print (sorry, I have my limits, I needed something bright in there) and leftover bits of a red strap for a tote were commissioned for this project, and I finished it with ready made grey double folded bias binding from FabricLand.

The bottom of the hut is actually an open ended pouch where I inserted medium weight corrugated cardboard for reinforcement. The card board is easily extracted prior to washing, and the whole hut opens up flat. I experimented with decorative stitches to quilt this hut, and used unbleached cotton batting (3 layers) to add rigidity.

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This hut is roomier than the original store bought ones, to accommodate two lounging birds. However Bubbles has decided it’s a room-for-one, and has proudly staked claim 🙂

I have since scoured Fabric land for cheap white cotton to make another one for Pickles. Stay tuned for part 2.

Tango Dance Shoe Bag

I was making (yet) another simple tote, and had picked up some deep blue and purple kona fabric from Sew Sisters to match Ikea striped fabric that I had in my stash. This is IKEA’s off the bolt drapery line, a simple pastel rainbow stripe that reminds me of awnings. After cutting the tote front and side panels, stitching the wide bands of fabric and adding some decorative stitching, I changed my mind. I decided to go with the flow. Experiment a little. You know those moments in life? So I chopped up the front panel – fashioned it into a cylinder and made a kind of deep bucket bag. I lined the inside with some grey, pink and peach quilting weight cotton, and some leftover pink tartan wool. The wool, as I learned later, was not a good choice for lining a shoe bag, as it attracts dirt and dust very easily! The lining has two pockets, one is for my dance membership card, and the other can hold an iphone or keys or both – the pocket is quite deep. I had some blue cotton straps to make an adjustable strap (in case I want to wear it cross-body). The findings were too large though, but it does a decent job. I used orange polka dot ribbon for the drawstring at the top. I was going to put a zipper, but decided that the bag needed some breathability, since it’s for shoes.

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Overall, I was not happy with the choice of fabric, but it was meant to be a prototype, using whatever I had on hand. I’m working on another one in  a different shape, and will test both for several weeks to see which shape is more suitable. This second one is being constructed using drapery fabric from my stash, and if I can get it right (!), it will be completely reversible. It would help if I used patterns instead of winging it, I suppose.