Friday, February 25, 2011

My Heart Skipped A Beat...

I glanced at my email the other day and saw I had a new email, then I saw who it was from and knew exactly what they were going to tell me. My heart skipped a beat and the breath caught in my chest...the Creativ Festival is coming back this spring. And there are dates. I'm in my happy place just thinking about it.

April 15 & 16. Free parking (yeah, baby!!).

Check out the festival website for more details. And if you're in the Toronto are, I hope to body-check you at a remainders bin :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ikea, Etc.

Did you all know that Ikea sells fabric. By the metre? (sigh) I think I was the last person in the world to realize this...all the times I've sauntered on by and not even noticed.

But I noticed this time. And boy, oh boy, did I have some fun.

You see, the new place has windows that are the exact same size in every room (there must have been a sale on when this place was built), and the previous dwellers left the curtain rods behind. So, I've been making curtains all weekend.

I've never done this before, and let me tell you, it kind of shows. On all the windows. The first two pairs were a couple of inches too short. So for the next set I added two inches. Two. And those curtains are about 8" too long. Seriously. I even called my mum to see if she had any tricks. She just laughed and told me that's why she won't make them. Hmph.

Anyhow, the original reason for this post (other than to blather on about my inability to make drapes that are long enough for the window they're on), was to let you know that some of the fabric at Ikea would even be good for quilting. Especially the plain unbleached cotton fabric that they are selling at 1.99 a metre (BOMULL) - great for all those quilt blocks I've seen that require a base to them - string blocks, etc., and it's a 59" width...a little more bang for your buck! And do you see that fabric up at the top with the words on it?  Those are all just numbers written on white, 59" wide - only 3.99 a metre! (BRITTEN NUMMER is the name of it) Great for a quilt back, methinks!

Oh, and yes, those are the mice from Cinderella on my windowsill. Aren't they sweet? Distracts from the too-short drapes. I hope.
Fortunately, as a way to distract me from the depressing job of curtain-making, I have also begun to sell things we no longer require on Kijiji. Love it. LOVE it. Anyhoo...I sold enough to (pretty much) make up for buying these two beauties this weekend...Aren't they pretty? Yes, they need a little cleaning up, but I think they're worth it (got them on Kijiji too!). 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Aaaaaand, we're back!!

I bet you thought I'd lost my computer in the move, didn't you? But thankfully, no. We are coming out from under the sea of boxes and I managed to uncover my sewing machine this past weekend. I missed her. A lot. Pretty sure the lumberjack was happy I was sewing again too...I was crazy anxious leading up to the move.

Anyhow, just before Christmas (was that really 7 weeks ago already??), I ordered and received this fabulous bundle of Freebird by MoMo fat quarters - not the whole line, but 20 of the prints. Delicious, no?
This FQ below is going to be a pillow, in the end, I just couldn't bear to cut into that...

Ever since I got these I've been plotting in my head on what to do with them, and all I kept thinking about were stars. More plotting over lunch hour below...

I've had a hankering to do some classic quilt blocks and I want to start with stars. I foolishly thought "I'll just google star blocks and see if there are a few to choose from". Are you laughing at me, or with me right now? There must be thousands of patterns for stars!! I narrrowed it down and attempted my first one this weekend.

I don't know what this star is called, since I've seen a LOT of names for it, so in my world it is the "Simple Star", fair enough?

I wanted to make blocks that were 12" finished (go big or go home, right?). I don't have the full requirements for fabric as I just grabbed scraps that would be big enough to test this out, but stayed tuned for further posts on this little project. Oh, and this tutorial also has the coolest way to do Flying Geese, which I've always shied away from as I felt you lost too much fabric in making them, but you don't lose any with this one!

You will need two fabrics - one for the star and one for the background. Cut the following from each fabric:

Main Star Fabric:
1 - 6 1/2" square
4 - 3 7/8" squares

Background Fabric:
4 - 3 1/2" squares
1 - 7 1/4" square

Your first step is to make 4 flying geese. So easy, I love it!

Take your four 3 7/8" main star fabric squares and draw a line with pencil ( or your choice of disappearing marker) from one corner to the opposite, on all four squares.

 Then place two of them on your 7 1/4" background fabric square, right sides facing, on opposing corners, with the pencil marks lining up.

 Sew 1/4" on either side of the line.

Cut down the pencil line.
Iron seams open, toward the darker material.
For each of these two pieces, take one more of the 3 7/8" main fabric squares and lay it, right sides facing, on top.
Sew 1/4" on either side of the pencil line and cut down the pencil line.
Iron seams towards dark material.
You now have four flying geese! Congratulations! Doesn't that make you just want to spend the day doing that? Yeah, me too. 

Okay, now you will square up your flying geese...give them a tiny trim if they need it. Their length should be the same as your inner square (for us, 6 1/2" long). Mine needed a tiny little trim, but I also tend toward sewing with a scant 1/4" and I think you need to be generous here.

Now, line up your block for sewing...
Top Row: 3 1/4" background fabric square, flying geese (point facing in!), and 3 `/4" background fabric square
Middle Row: flying geese (point in), main fabric large square, flying geese
Bottow Row: 3 1/4" background fabric square, flying geese (point facing in!), and 3 `/4" background fabric square
Sew each row together and iron your seams well.

Then sew your rows toghether and, voila! Shan's Simple Star.

By the way, if you know the actual name of this star block, please tell me!


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