Home Sweet Home, Part 1

The turquoise quilt has found a new home with my newest niece! She is the sweetest thing, I’m so glad that she is happy and healthy.

My next project is going to be a success or a flop, I’m not certain yet. It’s for my partner’s dad, Opa, who turns 75 in July. I put together a fantastic bundle, and showed it to my partner….

This was a bundle of precuts, and I combed my stash for some blenders. I thought it was amazing. He thought it was not – too bright, too modern, and what was with the black prints? Sigh.

I tossed it all back into the stash, and tried again. Batik! My partner loves batik (after all, his quilt is made of batiks). I put together another bundle…


These are a happy palette. I got intel on Opa’s favourite colours from the family – blue and brown. Well, no one really knows for sure, but he wears a lot of blue and brown… and I know he has a favourite orange sweater and yellow shirt… and he loves nature, so I threw in a pile of greens that I’ve been dying to use. Soooooooooo, I asked, wouldn’t this bundle work?

The weird look I got in return was not really helpful. So I decided to ignore everyone else’s opinions on the subject to solve the problem. I did toss the pink back into the stash… but now I needed more fabric.

Lucky for me, Creativ festival was rolling around. I took a trip to Mississauga, and headed straight for Hamel’s. I went through the shelves of batik (hundreds of pieces), picked out my favourites, then sat on the floor in a corner to compare them to a photo of fabrics from my stash. Reluctantly, I discarded a few, got a nod of approval from a fellow quilter who was looking over my shoulder with interest, and headed over to the register.

Back home, I combed through my stash again, and here’s what I’ve come up with…


Close ups below:




It seems like a lot of fabric. But I can always edit once I decide on a quilt pattern. Now, what can I make with this?


Totally Turquoise Quilt, part 1



When my cousin got married, she wore an exquisite sari in turquoise. Unusual, since most brides wear red saris, but it suited her perfectly. She looked radiant. The pictures above show close-ups of her sari (the difference in colour is due to lighting indoors vs outdoors).

Turquoise stones are full of interesting colour – shades ranging from almost green to almost blue.

I love the pattern in these stones – makes me think of rippling water, tropical shores, views from glass bottomed boats on Caribbean reefs.


I decided to google turquoise – tonnes of inspiring photos. According to Wikipedia, turquoise stones range from white to blue to green, depending on the chemical composition. The most desired stones tend towards robin’s egg blue. Turquoise (the color) is often synonymous with aqua or teal, although teal is greener and darker.

My cousin announced she’s pregnant…. hmm, is there a turquoise quilt idea milling around in my head, waiting to be made? I’ve combed my stash, and settled on 3 gorgeous turquoise shades – a robin’s egg blue, a deeper french blue, a bright aqua. I also pulled out some sunflower prints leftover from the bright and bubbly quilt – blues and greens on sky blue and orange backgrounds… now to find a theme, and figure out some contrasting colours – turquoise works well with orange, deep purple, and pink. Orange, check. Maybe one other colour?

Shopaholics R Me

on the way home from work on Friday, I stopped off at the Creativ Festival show, for a little retail therapy.

Here’s a quick snap of some of my loot from Sew Sister, Hamels, Fabric Spot, Kallisiti Quilts, log cabin yardage and Hyggelit. I will share some close ups soon from each of these retailers. it was a lousy day for photos, although I had everything piled up on the window sill ready to go, just in case a little sun peeped through. No luck today…


Bird Huts R Us – Part 2

20130416-221659.jpgFollowing the success of the sleeping hut pour deux, I was asked to create some lounging huts – or liming huts, if you’re Trini 😉

I created these from IKEA home dec weight fabric – the same fabric I used for the tango dance shoe bag. I used white twill for the inside and cut “windows” framed with grey store bought binding. it was a challenge to sew the binding on the windows, particularly where the circular top meets the straight “window sill”. The end result is two washable liming spots for the birds, and a very relieved bird owner. My sister got a rare shot of both Pickles and Bubbles liming together above – they are just too cute!




UFOs – one too many


UFOs or WIPs? who am I kidding? I was sketching an idea for a new quilt, and suddenly felt the need to make a list. This list has been on my mind for a few days… I sorted my stash, and did a little cleanup of my workspace this weekend. I found…. things. projects. unfinished projects. stashed in containers or bags, waiting to be picked up and continued. I’d like to be optimistic and call them works in progress, but let’s face it, that’s a bit of a stretch.

The Phoenix quilt was supposed to be a Christmas gift. if I can get moving on it, it will be a birthday present. I have less than a month. the good news is that I figured out what was the problem with the project, and have ripped out some of the patchwork and replaced it with more blue batik. I auditioned some reds for borders, and hopefully can get things back on track.

Cushion Covers – Lone Starburst with a twist


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


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.


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.


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.

Practical Matters 2

Working on additional bird cage mats, since the first one was so successful. This grey and pale french blue quilted mat needs to be bound, and I used a thicker polyester batting to give it stiffness, as the first one was a bit floppy. I bought these fabrics at FabricLand, 1 metre@$7 for the blue and cream print, and 1 metre@$4 for the chevron. The blue and cream print is very french country in feel, and is a lighter weight drapery panel type fabric.


The chevron grey stripe is thicker, and will form the base. The top blue and cream reads very yellowed in this shot.


I shot this photo with a natural light reading lamp. Will try to get better snapshots later on.