Friday, December 20, 2019

Starlight Plaid is a pattern!

I'm pleased to present the quilted and bound cover quilt for my newest pattern, Starlight Plaid.

Starlight Plaid by Canuck Quilter Designs

I had planned to quilt this one myself, but there just are not enough hours in the day. The pattern was written, the tester feedback was in, the edits were made, and still the cover quilt was not quilted.  Something had to give so I sent this one out to Liz Meimann to quilt.  It was the right thing to do.  The longer the top sat unquilted in my sewing room, the more the frustration of not having found time to quilt it ate at me.  With that baggage, I started falling out of love with the quilt.  I handed it to Liz and in a day or two (I swear that woman does not sleep!) I had a beautifully textured quilt to bind.  By the time I finished binding it with a pop of solid red, I had fallen back in love again...and promptly lost the quilt to my daughter, but that's another story.

The greys and reds remind me of cozy plaid flannel, so I had to put some flannel on the back to make it as cozy as it looks.  It is so, so cozy as the weather gets colder.

The pattern features four sizes:  baby, throw, twin and queen.  It also has my favourite stars:  the kind whose points you can't accidentally cut off! 

Get your copy of the pattern in my Etsy Shop at 50% off the regular retail price now through Christmas Eve! (Sorry, cute dog not included!)

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Frosty placemats

Here's one of the projects that kept me away from the computer over the last month. These fabrics had been calling my name for a long time but I was a good girl and didn't bring them home until I had a plan for them.  When a customer at the LQS where I work gathered these up and paired them with my Geese Across the Table placemat pattern, I took one look at her stack and knew I had finally found my plan!

It is hard to tell from the picture, but the grey is actually silver metallic, and all the fabrics have silver metallic accents.  You can see the sparkle better in the closeup below.

Sparkling fabric is not usually my thing, but these spoke to me.  Maybe it's because the sparkle is paired with blues.  You know I love blues!

I stitched in the ditch on both the place mats and runner, because really, the gorgeous fabric is doing all the work here!  The binding is machine stitched.  There's a lot of binding in 6 place mats and a runner, and I just did not have the time or inclination to hand stitch that much of it!  

I have some Christmas place settings on my table right now, but come January, my table will be dressed in frosty blues!

I thought my receipt had information about the fabric I could share, but it doesn't.  I'll check next time I'm at the shop and report back.  I'm pretty sure most of the blues are from Timeless Treasures, and the white background is from the Quilter's Linen collection by Robert Kaufman.  And I know Quilting Connection in Ames IA has kits made up and they accept phone orders! (Just note that the kits have a different grey/silver fabric for the accent.)

After working on these I'm in the mood for frost on tree branches and sunlight sparkling on snow.  Right now we have the cold, but not the snow.  I'm sure it will come soon enough, and then I'll be wishing for spring!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

December means ornaments

How did a whole month streak past? I could have sworn I posted just a week or two ago, but it has been a whole month.  My lack of posting certainly wasn't for lack of stuff to share.  I've been happily humming along with my sewing machine in the sewing room.  Come to think about it, that pretty much explains the lack of posts.  I can't sew and type at the same time!

I'll share a bit about those 4 finishes and one top over the next couple of weeks, but tonight, while I listen to Christmas music, I'm in the mood to share Christmas ornaments.

Last weekend I enjoyed an afternoon trimming the Christmas tree with my family, and was overwhelmed at the number of ornaments we have.  I remember the first Christmas my husband and I were married, we had a little 2 foot tree and not much to put on it. Money was tight. We bought one box of cheap plastic bulb ornaments, made a popcorn garland, and I made 4 little cinnamon stick baskets.

I didn't sew at the time, but I did know how to crochet, so the next year I found a book of patterns at the library and crocheted some snowflakes, and the tree was little less bare.

I have a list somewhere of what ornaments we added every year.  One year I finished a cross stitched wall hanging instead, and another year the kids assisted in making a felt tree skirt, but there has been something new every year, and I think for all but those 2 years it has been a tree ornament.  The kids contributed most years from preschool through grade school, and occasionally since then as well. One year we made felt mittens, and another we found instructions for the cute felt and Popsicle stick reindeer.

The sand dollars make me think of mom and dad, as we collected those on the beach together.

I found the vintage cookie cutters at the antique mall with my mother-in-law during one of my in-laws' Thanksgiving visits.

There are many more, each with a memory attached.  Most of the store bought ornaments have stories as well.  Yes, we have many ornaments.  Maybe too many.  I really need to stop adding more.

Except that I remember the joy of making something for that little bare tree 26 years ago, and I just can't bring myself to break 26 years of tradition.

Here are this year's additions for our tree.  I need to add some hanging loops still.  You can find Angie's Bits and Piece's video tutorial here if you also feel the urge to add just one more thing to your tree.  (I'll just add that applying a little bit of Fray Check to the edges and points where I needed to take a stitch, before starting, helped a lot.)

My Ridiculously Tiny Ornaments tutorial is also still available for you to download to make some tiny patchwork ornaments.  These are from Christmas 2013, I believe, and are really not as finicky to make as they seem. I blogged about them here. They are a bit addictive though, so be careful!

Ridiculously tiny patchwork ornaments

I'd love to hear the stories your favourite ornaments tell. Please share in the comments. I'll be reading them while munching on Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas music!