Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yet Another 241 Tote, Yet Another Winner!

The first winner of my giveaway hasn't turned up, so I ran a second random number generator and the result was 115, who is Gill! Congratulations! Luckily, Gill was reachable through her Google profile so she's been notified of her big win. Thanks again to Sew Sisters for their generous giveaway.

I had the pleasure of a quick visit with my friend Leanne yesterday on beautiful Granville Island, where she treated me to a birthday lunch. We'd spoken a couple of months ago and made arrangements for me to make her a 241 Tote. Her visit in person was a great kick in the pants to get it done for her.  I will never tire of making these great bags. Finding just the right fabric combinations is so much fun (fabric details are on flickr in the photo descriptions).

241 for Shecanquilt

This time, I completely lucked out while shopping my zipper stash - I had a perfectly coordinating spotted zip from Daiso.

241 for Shecanquilt

241 for Shecanquilt

After lunch we speed-shopped at The Cloth Shop, where I've been dying to see the Cotton and Steel fabrics in person. They have the entire line, including linens and lawns!  I was very selective and only bought a few fat quarters and two half meters. I had my eye on the blue with diagonal silver metallic dots to stash for a binding one day and I adore Melody Miller's mustangs, so I splurged on a hunk of those as well. 

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I'm finally down to business on a new quilt and free pattern that you will all see next month  (so exciting!). Apparently all I needed to boost my creativity was install a fresh rotary blade. Wow, why do I always wait so long to do that? Cutting through 6 layers of fabric like butter is just SO GOOD!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sew Sisters Giveaway Winner!

Thank you for entering everyone, and for all of the very complimentary things you said about shopping with Sew Sisters including their selection, shipping rates and service!

The Random Number Generator has spoken:


And it looks like our winner is Burgess


Now, the only problem is that I cannot reply to your comment, and your Blogger profile is empty. Because I forgot to include the step of making sure your email is somehow linked to your comment in the giveaway post, I feel I should wait 24 hours for you to contact me, but if I don't hear from you Burgess, then I'm afraid I have to choose a new winner. PLEASE people, if you are entering giveaways, make it easy for the blogger to contact you! It's a drag to have a winner that doesn't get the prize because there is no way to contact them.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sew Sisters Giveaway

I'm so happy to share that the lovely Judy and Karen at Sew Sisters have partnered with me here at Poppyprint!  I first got to "know" their manager Carol a year ago, when I participated in their Kona Club blogger tour of free tutorials, all using gorgeous Kona solids.



By way of introduction, Sew Sisters is a Canadian (yay!) quilt shop dedicated to all things quilting.  For the past decade, they have offered Canadian quilters great quality fabric, notions, books, kits and patterns, both in the bricks & mortar store in Toronto, as well as online.  A customer favourite is the Sale Section where you can find 100's of bolts of fabric for only $7.99/metre!   During a quick scroll through, I spied Thomas Knauer's Asbury prints on for $7.99 as well as this cute low volume print, Jeni's Color Me Retro for only $6.99 and this super fun shark print that would make fabulous boxers or PJ pants for boys!

I love their shop motto "at Sew Sisters, we believe that you should buy fabric, not postage, so we offer great rates on shipping within Canada".  They are true to their word!

There's a weekly giveaway on their Facebook page, so head over there and Like the page so you don't miss those!

To celebrate our new partnership, Sew Sisters is going to send one of you a FQ set of the beautiful Field Study fabrics by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures.  I think both the plaid multi and diamonds multi prints would make fabulous bindings and I'd love to back a quilt with those flowy white flowers of the Floral Mist print. I think what makes this collection extra special for me is the hand-drawn quality.

The giveaway is open to everyone, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post for your entry. Like Sew Sisters on Facebook, then come back and leave a second comment saying you did for another chance.  I will draw a random winner on Wednesday, August 6th at 6:00 p.m. PST.  Good luck!

ETA: comments are now closed, thanks for entering!



Monday, July 28, 2014

Word Crimes

Weird Al Yankovic is a smart guy. This is absolutely the BEST song about grammar since Conjunction Junction. I guarantee it.  If for some reason you are not able to view the video here, just head on over to YouTube and search for "Weird Al Yankovic Word Crimes". 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Infinity

The adorable Mai was in town recently for work, so a bunch of us MQG peeps got together for a fun potluck dinner. It's so much fun to visit with IG friends when they come to town!  Mai had previously been a personal sherpa flying gifts between Oahu and Vancouver for me, so I wanted to make her a little thank you present.

It was a last minute plan that came together thanks to the great free tutorial at Pink Chalk Fabrics.  I have a small stash of AMH voiles on hand, so I was able to sew up this infinity scarf in no time!

Pink Chalk Fabrics free infinity scarf pattern made up in AMH voile.

I mentioned on IG that the scarf is draped on one of my precious wooden hangers, handmade by my great-grandad Sparks. He lived in a little cottage beside my paternal grandparent's home in a small town outside Montreal  (Saraguay) that has since been incorporated into the city. He had a sunporch with a workbench at the back of the cottage where he planed wood and bent metal and glued up coat hangers. I don't know if he sold them, or just made them for family, but I am lucky enough to have a few.  Sadly, the family home and cottage are long gone now, replaced with a housing development years ago.  I have a few memories of the swing that hung between the house and the cottage, and my great-granddad's big hairy dog Buster that would sleep against the picket fence gate. Mostly I remember the smell of the sunporch, which was sawdust and toast....but I digress.

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Back to the infinity scarf.  The pattern is super easy and there are only a few inches of hand-sewing required. I highly recommend it for a quick gift!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny-Weeny, Yellow Polka-dot....

...half square triangle.

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While working on another project that will remain under wraps for a while yet, I decided to save my twofers (that's what I call the corner triangles that you cut off when doing stitch and flip triangles on the corner of larger squares or rectangles like snowballs or flying geese). These ones are very small, and I trimmed them up to 1 1/8" square after piecing them with their low-volume backgrounds.  

I'm in the market for a mini-quilt gift for a friend so I figured this made a good starting point. Without a real plan, I sewed the tiny half-squares together to create an on-point checkerboard. After that, 6" squares of low volume prints (including one of my old poppyprints) were added as a large border.

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I still had a little pile of the jewel tone scraps lying on my cutting mat, so thought about ways to use them on this border. I've been admiring a lot of applique on IG lately and have been thinking about a little project to have on hand for stitch sessions with friends.  I envisioned a curvy vine around the patchwork with some appliqued berries scattered around.  I dug out my late FIL's old Flexi-curve from his graphic design supplies (which we still keep in a rolling cart: french curves, circle and oval templates, T-squares, india ink, pigma pens, Lettraset...etc) and marked out the curve with a Frixion pen.

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I used this technique to machine applique the bias vine, matching the raw edges of the folded bias strip with the drawn line.  The 1" berries were prepared this way (except I used a thread spool and stamp pad to mark the circles on the fusible interfacing).  

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My next step is to fuse them to the background and have them all ready to stitch down at tonight's annual outdoor meeting of the VMQG.  I'm not sure where this mini-quilt is headed after that...but maybe someone will have an idea at tonight's meeting. That is the wonderful thing about stitching with friends: there is never a shortage of great ideas!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The weather was hot, the beer was cold...

My skin has turned a golden brown, my shins are covered in an itchy red rash and I spent two days this week doing laundry. Yes, we are back from camping.

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014
Washington Pass lookout - spectacular!

Last week we ventured south to Bellingham, then east over the Washington Pass to find ourselves in Winthrop. A refurbished gold mining town that is picture perfect for a western movie set, or a Harley convention. There were tons of riders in the valley and parked in town, strolling in the 100 degree heat in their leather vests, chaps, beards and bandannas. You've got to give those guys & gals credit for commitment to the brand!

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

Ten families from our elementary school joined together and camped at Pearrygin Lake, a state park on a perfectly-sized little lake nestled in the grassland hills a few miles above the town. It was just my husband, daughter, her circus friend and I (our son is learning the ropes of construction with his uncle back east for 5 weeks).  We scored a great site; shady, right on the water and complete with nesting ducks who were sure to invite us to their breakfast party at 5:00 a.m. each morning.

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

The days were filled with lots of activities including water sport fun; as one of the dads rented a little Sea-Do speed boat to pull the kids on tubes and a wakeboard.  Everyone in our very large group had a bicycle of some kind. There were the downhillers and cross-country riders seeking single track flowy trails through the grasslands and ponderosa pine forest, a few road riders (myself included) looking for quiet valley roads to tour, and kids who just had fun ripping around the campground.

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

Our group of four departed one morning in search of inner tubes at the Winthrop Motors gas station - we'd heard it would be great fun spending a couple of hours floating down the Methow River that runs through town east to Twisp. We handed over our $20 each (and were assured our tubes would be purchased back for $5 if we returned them in PERFECT condition).  I don't have any photos of this adventure (no waterproof camera), but suffice it to say we had a ball for an hour and a half, froze our asses (literally. Like, completely numb in 5 minutes and remained that way for the following 85, which came in handy for the one or two times we bumped over the smooth river rocks), screamed a little in the rapidy parts, laughed a lot, held hands and hoped we wouldn't miss our landing place downstream.  This was a very 'local' experience, made even more so by the humourous advice we got while trying to figure out how to make the river float happen. At the gas station, the attendant told us "don't land at the KOA campground, they don't like it if you're not actually camping there. Instead, go further and park your car on the side of the road where the big pile of dirt used to be". Uhm, ok.  B left us girls at the starting place (the big red barn in town) and drove down the highway in search of the phantom pile of dirt beyond the KOA campground. Having no luck, he asked someone at the campground where to leave the car and they said "just keep driving down the highway until you get the place where the big pile of dirt used to be."  Seriously?  In the end, it all worked out and the lovely local Jennifer picked up my hitch-hiking husband and drove him right back to us at the starting point.

Later that afternoon we were told that the local outfitter wasn't running river float tours because the water was too high. Oops.

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014

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There are some things you just don't see in the city...

I'm pretty sure we're all in for returning next year. The road riding and mountain biking were fantastic (I managed one fun trail ride on a borrowed full-suspension bike and that's where the rash comes in - my legs are covered in tiny welts from riding through the dry grasses and shrubbery).  Despite the fact that it was over 100 F each day, the lake cooled us off, ice was plentiful in our coolers and there was a lovely old willow to shade our group at the beach.

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I hope we can get reservations during a full moon next summer. Camping under this super-moon, in warm and dry conditions with no tent fly required was truly dreamy.

Winthrop-Pearrygin Lake 2014