Monday
May142012

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 50

No color theme ... I think the rest of my blocks will be done all higgledy piggledy.

Block #96 - Tulip

There's a very good reason I haven't made this block sooner ... I just.don't.get.it.  I admit it.  Where, exactly, is the tulip?  I mean, yes the 2 parallelograms in the middle can be interpreted as the blossom, but I don't get the rest of it. 

And the asymmetrical fabric choices in the book?

I don't get it.

I always thought I'd find a way to assign order and balance ... but I'm as surprised as you are that I ended up going all PICASSO with my version too! 

This is not like me at all.  (Although I couldn't stop myself from at least putting green along the bottom for leaves.)

And I'm even more astonished that I like my tulip! 

Block # 84 - Spool

Sigh. 

For such a simple block, it caused me a lot of anxiety. 

Until I noticed this print in my stash (that I've only used for the gingham and a few wreaths) ...

and got the idea to make my spool look like it had eyelet lace wrapped around it.

I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Sunday
May132012

Happy Mother's Day

Friday
May112012

Fun Today - I'm Done!

2:55 pm

So, did you guess what I was making? (In case you're just checking in for the first time today, I've been posting all day as I worked on this pencil case ... if you want to start at the beginning, click here.)

I made one here and here too a while back...

Eeep!  In't she cute?

This is sort of my thing ... as a mom ... I always make a gift when my daughters are invited to a birthday party.  When they were younger I usually made little purses, and then monogrammed pillows.  Now that the recipients are a little older (this birthday girl is turning 11) I like making more practical things.

I have so much fun with these little birthday projects.  My girls are responsible for finding out what the birthday girl's favorite color is and then we pick the fabric together.

There was no hesitation ... my daughter went straight for my stack of Rosalie Quinlan's "Folkheart".  (Love her style!)

And now it's exactly time to do after-school pickup!  And then make dinner ...

Oh well, at least this part of the day was fun!!  Hope you enjoyed today as much as I did. 

Happy weekend to you!

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part XI

2:21 pm

Confession:  If I weren't blogging about making this, I would have TOTALLY cheated and machine-stitched the second binding edge.

Does that make me fraudulent?

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part X

2:02 pm

LOL!  It's been a while since I accidentally got my DNA on a sewing project.  (That li'l pin prick really hurt!)

But I'm on the home stretch now!

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part IX

1:38 pm

With all these parts I'm starting to feel like I'm writing a Hollywood Horror series! LOL!  Hope this project has a happy ending. ;)

I wonder if it's normal to be this excited over perfectly matching stripes.

Oh who cares ... normal it TOTALLY over-rated! LOL!!!

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part VIII

1:17 pm

Vetoed daughter's pick of a white zipper ...

to blue.

Because I can.

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part VII

12:41 pm

Oh how I love having a picnic when it's 11C (52F) degrees with a very chilly wind ... NOT ... thank goodness I remembered to bring a wool sweater!  But the kids had fun. 

Ok, I did too. :)

But now I REALLY need that tea!

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part VI

11:40 am

Mmmm, fresh strawberries & mini brie cheese ...

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part V

11:25 am

Gotta get the picnic ready. 

Bag of chips and a juice box won't cut it.  LOL!

Well, I know SHE would like that, but I'm a stickler for at least attempting SOME nutrition ... 'specially if other moms are gonna to be there ... ;)

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part IV

11:10 am

Gotta boil another kettle and dump the tepid and waaaaay over-steeped cup.  (This is normal for me.)

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part III

10: 47 am

Cut, pressed and layered.

Next, top-stitching. 

And fixing my cup of tea before it goes cold.

Friday
May112012

Fun Today Part II

10:25 am

So when I was leaving the house this morning my daughter says to me, "Mummy, you're amazing.  You can be like all messy and stuff and then 5 minutes later you look all spiffied up!"  (That is an exact quote.)

Yes, it IS rather amazing with I can do with a hairbrush, toothpaste, lip gloss and yesterday's outfit that luckily was laid out nicely on a chair last nite instead of dropped in a heap on the floor.

I'm back from my meeting, the kettle just boiled, got the tunes on, sun is shining and I'm ready to roll ...

Friday
May112012

Let's Have Some Fun Today!

8:20 am

Ok.

Never mind that I'm still in my PJs and I have a meeting at my daughter's school in 15 minutes ...

My OTHER daughter reminded me about a birthday party she was invited to tomorrow.  We discussed what I'd make for the birthday girl a few weeks ago ... and forgot about it until she reminded me last night.

So!

I have some sewing to do today and thought it might be fun to show you how it goes.  Sort of a "blogging live" thing.  Could be fun, could be a disaster (I was also just now reminded that I promised my little one a picnic lunch today, so ... but ... I'm game if you are!

Here's what I'm starting with:

See you later!

Tuesday
May082012

Farmhouse Parlour Quilt

So, are you curious to know what I did with these ...?

Well, here she is ... Farmhouse Parlour ...

... the quilt I made with Lecien's "Antique Flowers" fabric (which will be available in stores in a few months ... I PROMISE to let you know as soon as it's available and where if I can find an online source, kay?)

I am totally over-the-moon happy with how this quilt turned out.  I was very disciplined and used exactly the same amount of each print because I wanted the quilt to be an accurate representation of the entire fabric collection. 

Aren't you proud of me for not favoring the pink as I so desperately wanted to do?  And in the end those little rosy sparkles are absolutely perfect.  I think if I'd added more pink it would have thrown the color balance off and made this quilt too sacharin.  By respecting the collection this quilt has a sophisticated personality with gentle & feminine characteristics.

It's even more beautiful than I was picturing in my mind.

I stitched 1/4" inside every.single.piece in every.single.block ... and THEN I appliqued the circles on!  I wouldn't necessarily recommend that method, but I reeeeeally wanted this quilt to have that old-fashioned, hand-quilted look and I didn't want to stop and start every time I met up with the circle in the middle ...

This is a traditional quilt design.  I saw a picture of it once and was inspired to make it for 2 reasons:  I LOVE hexagons and I LOVE dresdan plates.  The single, repeated block is basically a hexagon/dresdan love child. 

I couldn't think of a better fabric collection to use for this design.

And I'm absolutely banana.nuts.crazy over the secondary pattern created when the blocks are all put together.

Isn't that just THE.coolest.thing.EVER?!

I'm particularly pleased with the side edges ... I knew I wanted to take advantage of the hexagon shape.  This angled edge is just sooooo vintage-y to me.  In my experience, the extra time and effort required to make a non-straight quilt edge is ALWAYS worth it.  Always.

And yes, these pictures were taken in my livingroom.  Doesn't it look perfect on my sofa? 

Honestly, I didn't realize how "old-fashioned, parlor-esque" my livingroom looked.  I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed! LOL!

The sofa - or rather "chesterfield" as we Canadians who hail from the east call them - happens to be a family hand-me-down from the 1930s.

But never mind about that. 

This post is about this quilt, and how the fabrics reminded me of my Grandma Irma's farmhouse parlour and how the vintage aesthetic of that room inspired me to find the perfect heirloom design.

Oh, I should also mention the background fabric is NOT part of "Antique Flowers".  It is another Lecien fabric - a beautiful linen - from Meg Hawkey's new collection "Inkwell".  (I've been a HUGE fan of Meg's embroidery designs for years!)

Hope you like it.

You know I do!  LOL!

Monday
May072012

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 49

I was gonna try to make up for missing last week and post 4 blocks today ... that didn't happen.  I was lucky to get these done and photographed before the sun went down!  LOL!

And as you can see I wasn't in the mood to bother with a color theme.  I just picked whatever.

#52 Hovering Hawks

I had a bad feeling while I was cutting that these colors were too weak to go nicely together.  I was right.  At a distance, this block has virtually no definition - 'cept for the red splotches from the flowers.

Blech.

But at this point in the FWQAL, I really don't give a (insert curse word of your choice here ... anything from mild to severe will work ... tee hee).

#94 Tall Pine Tree

You know me and my literality (is that even a word?)  This is supposed to be a tree.  I guess ... if you were on LSD or something ... (I got that reference from an episode of Mad Men a few weeks ago ... I've never actually tried it ... just sayin'.)

Can you tell I've hit that legendary mile 18 of a marathon and am having a hard time being excited about FW right now?  I think I have only 11 more blocks to make ... feels like a million to me ... (wheeze, cough, sputter)

Also, I hate math.  If this is Week 49 and I've made 2 blocks / week I should have 98 made with 13 to go.  But I counted my blocks twice and I have 100. 

??? 

Whatever.  I don't care.

;)

Friday
May042012

Whatcha Doin'?

No really.  I'm curious.  What are you working on?  A quilt?  Embroidery?  A DIY decor project?  Something else?  Too many things?

Me?

I'm doin' these ...

... all 52 of 'em.

With these ...

... to keep me company.

(SO wishing I had a magic wand right now!)

Thursday
May032012

Totally Wiggin' Out Here

Ok.

The freakiest thing happened to me when I was photographing the Antique Flowers fabric yesterday ... in my livingroom.

CHECK-THIS-OUT!!!!

Area Rug Sampler I made at the turn of the century (THIS century ... LOL!)

Wall color & hardwood floors

Planter

Art PianoAnd just when I thought there was NO WAY I'd find burgundy wine ANYWHERE in my house, I see this ...

Daughter's violin caseI swear, if you had told me these fabrics would be PERFECT for my livingroom I would have slapped you across the face with my kid-leather glove and challenged you to a duel at high noon in the worst fake French accent you have ever heard (think Inspector Clouseau).

Kidding ... but I WOULD have told you to get your eyes checked.

I am totally flabbergasted by the discovery that I love Antique Flowers, not just because they remind me of my Grandma Irma's farmhouse parlour, but because they remind me of MY OWN LIVINGROOM!

Now excuse me while I go check to see if the sky is falling ... 'cause I'm just not certain about ANYTHING right now! LOL!

(Sorry about all the shouting today ... but I AM TOTALLY wiggin' out!)

Wednesday
May022012

And Now For Something Completely Different

"Antique Flowers Collection" by Lecien

Do not adjust your set ...

I KNOW!  What is UP with ME?!  LOL!

I'll tell you what.  Another Lecien quilt for Quilt Market!

Yes, I know.  There's nothing really Shabby Chic about these colors either.  In fact, one could argue they are like the anti-Shabby colors I most often relate to.

But I'm totally head-over-heels in love with this fabric all the same. 

Why?  Lemme 'splain.

Even though I’m a city girl I have many fond memories of visiting my Dad’s childhood home.  He was raised on a small farm (80 acres) and my grandparents grew wheat & corn.  They also had sheep and chickens.  They lived in a tiny (and by tiny I mean the original bathroom was an outhouse) turn-of-the-century Cape Cod style farmhouse in southern Ontario (Talbotville, if you know the area) with a quaint parlour just inside the front door to the left.  To me, that little parlour was the ultimate in old-fashioned, traditional romance.

Well, my sentimental heart jumped the moment I laid eyes on this collection.  You see, my Grandma Irma - of Finnish decent - had beautiful long auburn hair (always worn up in a gentle bun). 

And these colors are, in a word, her. 

Soft golds,

rich merlots,

tobaccos, (this is a very ... unusual color ... but it plays so well with the other colors in this collection and I think is one of the "keys" - hardy har har - that really make Antique Flowers feel ... antique)

warm caramels,

deep chocolate, (I was gonna say coffee, but I don't drink coffee ... and I do love chocolate)

silvery greens, (another color that almost defies description but is so gorgeous in real life)

... even the littlest hints of blush & rose

... it's all Grandma Irma. 

Her parlour was appointed with everything one would expect to find in the "best room" of a country farmhouse.  The window was adorned with cream, voile curtains.  Heavy velvet drapes – which matched the gold wall color - functioned as a closet door. 

There was a dark, antique pie-crust coffee table and oak cabinetry with glass doors to hold her books.  A small wingback chair occupied one corner while a chesterfield lined the far wall and a smaller couch sat in front of the brick fireplace.  (Her prized Royal Doulton & Hummel porcelain figurines cluttered the mantle!)  The furniture was all mismatched and covered in a variety of upholstery from brushed mocha velvet to goldenrod cordeuroy. 

The accent colors were wine and smoky blue/grey. 

And the painted, squeaky floors (which were almost EXACTLY this color ...)

were covered with layers of oval braided rugs in russet & autumn browns. 

And then of course there were the quintessential vintage glass bottles on the window sill to catch the light and the doilies to protect the wood and decorate the furniture.

I think you've got the picture. ;)

So.

It's as though Lecien went to my Grandma's parlour, took an inventory of all the colors and made these fabrics especially for her.

And I've not even MENTIONED this quilter's dream combination of timeless cabbage roses,

dainty posies,

floral etchings,

bouquets,

and whimsical polkadots ...

you know ... to keep everything from being too serious.

Can you just IMAGINE what beautiful quilts can be made with this collection? 

Well, I've got one in the works here.  Partly the reason I haven't got my FW blocks done yet.  I've been cutting and sewing like crazy working on this quilt these past few days and can hardly wait to show it to you.

Tuesday
May012012

Wacky Hair Day

I don't know if your child's school does this, but mine does ... Wacky Hair Day.  The kids love it.  Secretly, it's my favorite fun day too ... since my girls and I came up with this idea:

crossing a french braid concept,

with a small collection of Littlest Pet Shop toys.

There are 9 creatures in all.  Each one is held in place with a small, clear hair elastic around its neck.

Pretty cool, eh?

Best part is that the hair is out of her face and the animals stay put all day.  These pictures were taken AFTER school. 

Other best thing is there's no hair spray, glitter, color, gel ... nothing goopy or messy.