Thursday, 2 July 2015

One Lovely Blog Award!

Hooray! It's always lovely to be appreciated! :)


I am thrilled to have been awarded the One Lovely Blog award by Lori at SewPsyched! She awarded it to me a month ago and I just pulled my head up from my fabric stash and realized that! She is one of my best online friends and I really enjoy her blog so please check it out. You will learn so many cool things from her! Okay, so now I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself. Oh, la, la! This is always a challenge to me. I think I might get personal here so I hope that's okay with you.

1. I am an army wife. Most of my "in person" friends are army wives but almost all of them live far from me. I find it hard to make new friends now because there have been so many separations. I don't know if I'm alone in this but it seems to me that people these days often size you up to see what you can do for them and give no thought to how they can be a friend to you. I find this exhausting and exasperating. I have lots of fabulous online quilting friends. I wish we all lived in the same town. Or some secret quilting commune or something. Just kidding about the commune. Kind of. ;)
I wanted to put a photo of my husband in uniform here but he wouldn't grant permission. So here is one of my favorite makes. This was made for the IG Mini Quilt Swap last year and mailed to Texas. I called it "Gasoline Rainbow."

2. I'm sure you all know this about me but I love quilting. Other than my three children, who I love more than anything, quilting is my reason for living.

A recent photo of me with my three kids.


One of my most favorite quilts I have ever made. A Quilt of Valour for a Canadian soldier. Pattern by Cheryl Arkison.

3. I'm Canadian (as you can tell by the above quilt) and a prairie girl. I have lived in Alberta for most of my life except for four years in Vancouver BC (British Columbia) as a child and four years in Oromocto NB (New Brunswick) in my early 30s.

Another favorite: This was made for the Strawberry Swap last summer. My first ever quilt swap.

4. I rarely live in one place for more than four years. There was only one house (the first house my husband and I had) where I lived for 7 years throughout my twenties. That is the longest I have been in one place.
Not one of my favorite quilts but fits with the moving around theme above.

5. It took me until I was 40 to realize that I have some great ideas to share and to have the confidence to start writing patterns and submitting ideas to quilting magazines. I wish now that I had this confidence ten years ago. It's the perfect use for my Journalism Arts diploma don't you think? If only I had know when I was at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) at age 18 and 19 that I was destined to become a quilter and would want to write about little else.

 A mug rug extra for the Rainbow Swap made with tiny off cuts from English Paper Pieced hexagons.
6. I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It took a long time to get a diagnosis. Then I struggled with infertility through the second half of my twenties. I feel absolutely blessed to have my three children. For anyone reading this who is also struggling: We are all different but what worked for me was being on Metformin (a diabetes drug). I was on that drug for each conception. It takes some trial and error to find the right dose. For the middle child I was also on Clomid (a fertility drug). The last child was a fabulous surprise and I had recently lost about 20 or 30 pounds when I conceived her. I am no longer on Metformin (or anything else) and am trying to eat very healthy foods and limit sugar intake as much as I can.

A quilt top I made and donated to victims of the Calgary flood.
7. My maternity leave will be up next week. I will not be returning to work outside the home so will be concentrating in earnest on writing fun patterns and hopefully publishing a book. I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog, follows me on Instagram, follows me on Facebook, writes me lovely kind encouraging comments and buys my patterns. So many people that I know personally just glaze over when I start talking about quilting and couldn't care less. (Which to me means they couldn't care less about me.) I truly appreciate all of you in the quilting community who interact with me and care about what I'm doing. I recently rolled over 2000 followers on Instagram and I'm having a giveaway. Write me a comment on my giveaway post over there to enter to win some Cotton + Steel from me. :)

It was Canada Day yesterday. This little doggy is no longer with us. He's been gone to doggy heaven for a year now but wasn't he cute one year in his bandana?
So now I would like to nominate the the following blogs for the "One Lovely Blog Award." Please stop by their blogs and check them out.

Angie at Gnome Angel

Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts

Kerry at Pennydog Patchwork

Adrienne at On the Windy Side

Brianna at The Iron & Needle

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Cotton + Steel Mini Quilts Swap

My partner in the Cotton + Steel Mini Quilts Swap received her package on Friday so I can safely show what I made for her.

Cotton + Steel mini made for the Cotton + Steel Mini Quilt Swap using Fat Quarter Shop's "Snapshots" sew along Sewing Machine Block.
Here it is! I used the Fat Quarter Shop's Snapshots Quilt Along Block 2 Sewing Machine Block for my mini quilt. I used the matches fabric because I thought it looked like lights on a screen of a modern computerized sewing machine. I stitched in a little needle with black thread and wrote "I just want to sew all day long" in thread as well. All fabrics are Cotton + Steel including the backing. I didn't take a shot of the back but it's the mint with metallic gold dots. It was Melody Miller's border print from the first group of lines they released.

I also put in skeins of embroidery floss as my partner embroiders, some charm squares of Cotton + Steel "Cookie Book", a Lindt chocolate bar, and a thimble and post card from the town I live in. Oh, and a zipper pouch I made Cotton + Steel "Mesa" fabric. It was a fun swap. Can't wait for my package to arrive! :)

If you haven't heard of Fat Quarter Shop's Snapshots Quilt Along it's a fun quilt along they are hosting that benefits St. Jude's Children's Hospital in the USA. For each block pattern you download (there are 12, one for each month) they are asking for a $5.00 (minimum) donation to St. Jude's. I donate $10 every two months. I think some people have also donated $60.00 at the start and then they are set. Of course, if you are able to donate more you certainly can. St. Jude's sends tax receipts out in the mail for the donations.

Six blocks have been released and there is a Facebook group as well as Instagram hashtags (#fqssnapshots) for showing off your work and seeing what everyone else made. I have made 4 blocks so far out of the 6 that have been released. I need to catch up!

This mini quilt was in my Q2 Finish Along goals. Yay! Another finish. Since the second quarter of the year ends in two days I think there will be quite a few projects carried over!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Being Charming is a Plus

I wrote a quilt pattern! It's a beginner quilter and charm pack friendly modern quilt pattern that has two versions of one quilt.

I love to buy charm packs and buy them whenever I can. Then they sit and sit in my stash because I'm not sure what to do with them and I don't want to waste them. I wrote this pattern to solve this problem for myself and I'm sure I can't be the only quilter in this situation.

Version 1 of "Being Charming is a Plus" uses 180 charm squares (or 4 1/2 charm packs). I made this quilt out of "Sweet Serenade" by Basic Grey for Moda.

"Being Charming is a Plus" version 1 using 180 charm squares.
 Version 2 uses 60 charm squares and solid yardage. I had two "Canadian Maple Squares" packs of "Cookie Book" by Cotton + Steel. These charm packs from Trend Tex Fabrics contain repeats of prints so I was able to create this quilt with just two charm packs and still had charms left to share with my swap partner in the "Cotton + Steel Mini Quilt Swap." (More on that swap here on the blog tomorrow.
"Being Charming is a Plus" version 2 using 60 charm squares and solid yardage.

One Quilt, Two Ways.
(My husband and son with their heads peeking out from the top of the quilts.)
 My pattern offers two version of one quilt design plus additional ideas and sizing options. These quilts are throw sized at about 48" x 60".

This little cat crashed my quilt photo shoot. Clearly the cat knows a good quilt when he/she sees one. ;)

"Being Charming is a Plus" is now available on Payhip, Craftsy and Etsy.
This pattern is easy to sew and beginner friendly. An experienced quilter can easily piece one of these tops in a day (as I did). If you can sew a straight quarter inch seam on a sewing machine you can make these quilts!

"Being Charming is a Plus" can be found on Payhip, Craftsy and Etsy.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Yuma Quilt Along

Hello! Have you heard of Gotham Quilts? I've been following them on social media for a while now. They are a quilt shop in New York City and have recently released a free quilt pattern called "Yuma" which you can download here. Their version shown below is made with Alison Glass "Handcrafted" and I love it! I wanted to be different though so I ordered Lizzy House "Natural History" from Gotham Quilts and it arrived today so I am all set to start my Yuma Quilt. I think my kids will love this quilt made with those fabrics. You can see my Instagram photo of my fabrics here. I might have to do the Handcrafted version too though because the geese on the fabric look so awesome in this quilt design.



I was invited to be a blogger in the Yuma Quilt Along which kicked off last Wednesday. Here is a link to the Kick Off Post where you can read all about the QAL and the prizes which include $100 gift certificate to Gotham Quilts and a bundle of "Handcrafted."

My day on the Yuma QAL is July 6th so make sure to come visit me that day when I will be showing my Yuma quilt made from "Natural History."

Here is the schedule of bloggers so you can check everyone out. There will be giveaways on the blog posts! I hope you will join in and quilt along with us. :)

June 17 – kickoff blog post on Gotham Quilts
week of June 22 — Made by Chrissie D
week of June 29 — Faith and Fabric
week of July 6 — Daydreams of Quilts
week of July 13 — Lisa in Port Hope
week of July 20 — Sunflower Quilting
week of July 27 — Roar Haus
week of August 2 — Gnome Angel
August 10th — Life Under Quilts
August 12th – closing blog post on Gotham Quilts, start of linky party
August 19th – winner(s) chosen from linky party


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Gnome Swap

Hello! Just popping in here on the blog quickly before I run out to school pick-up so I can show you what I sent to my partner in the Gnome Swap in Instagram.

I appliqued some Gnoma Claus onto a giant nine patch. Fabrics are Winterkist (gnomes) and Holiday Happy by Monica Solorio-Snow for Lecien. This is Christmassy, yes, but still cute. :) And I like that the snowflakes coordinate with the pattern on the black gnomes. There are mini gnomes on the binding too. I used a variegated thread with pink, blue and yellow in it for the quilting. This was my first time trying out a double loop for free motion quilting.

I also made this gnome out of felt. It is all hand stitched. This is a free pattern from Ric Rac. You can find the pattern here.
Both projects were loads of fun to make. I still plan to make the Santa version of the little felt guy above.

I also sent out a little garden gnome and sign for a plant pot, a book called "How To Survive A Garden Gnome Attack" (hilarious!) and some fussy cut Heather Ross gnomes. My partner was happy so I am happy! :)

I received an awesome package too! Check out photos in my Instagram feed to see the paper pieced gnome purse and accessories I received. And a crocheted gnome too!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Finished Summer Picnic Quilt - Another Q2 Finish Along Goal Met

I finished this summer picnic quilt last week but haven't made it onto the blog to write about it until today. This was number 9 on my Q2 Finish Along list. I've had this jelly roll for about four years and I put it up on destash over on Instagram but no one bought it so I decided if I couldn't destash it (which I didn't really want to anyway) then I needed to get it out of my stash by sewing it into a quilt.

This is my favourite thing to do with a jelly roll. I've seen quilts like this in two of the books in my quilt book collection. I didn't really follow any directions this time around because this is the fourth time I've made a quilt like this. You just start sewing your strips together in pairs. It helps if they are a light and a dark or contrasting colours in the pairs. Then you cut them with a quarter square specialty ruler making triangles. Then start sewing triangles together to make squares and then sew the squares together into rows alternating the direction of the centre seam. It looks much harder than it is when you're done and you can space out at the sewing machine and chain piece most of it.

I used IKEA fabric for the backing and it was wide enough that I didn't have to piece it! White is not the best choice for the back of a picnic quilt but let's get real... I'm probably never going to take this out on a picnic and risk getting it dirty. It's on the couch right now as I type.

Despite the fact that I bought the jelly roll four years ago one of my favourite fabric shops in St. Albert, Alberta "Quiltessential" still has quite a lot of the cherry yardage on the bolt. After having them cut a metre of blue I spotted the black but it was too late. It's a good thing I love blue. :) I quilted large feathers in the border and stitched in the ditch on the main top. (This fabric is "Recipe for Friendship" by Mary Engelbreit for Moda.)

A closer look at some of the fabrics. My favourite is the paisley with the tea pot in the middle.

The lilacs smelled so lovely as we were out taking the photos. They are gone already! Such fleeting flowers.

One last look. It completely covers my husband here and he's a pretty big guy so it's great as a lap quilt in the living room.
Thank you for coming over to see my quilt today. This week has been very busy with volunteer work at my kids' school but I hope to have more finishes to show you soon! :) In the meantime you can check out my Instagram and Facebook pages for more frequent posts of what I'm up to including some outfits I have sewn this week for myself and my middle daughter. (You can click the icons in the mason jars on the top right of my button bar.)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Super Easy 20 Minute Child's Sundress Tutorial

This afternoon I set to work on this little sundress that I had in my head. It is so easy! I was even able to sew it with three kids at home on early dismissal day and no husband to help. :)

My daughter in her Cotton + Steel sundress.
 To begin: measure the child you are sewing for from arm pit to knee and add two inches to this length. Also measure the child around the chest. In my baby's case she is 19 inches around the chest. My piece of fabric was only 24 inches wide. I would recommend having a yard just to make the dress a bit fuller and it will fit for a longer time. For future dresses I will use a yard. (This dress may soon become a drawstring bag as I think it will be too small soon.)

Cut your yard to the correct dress length for the arm pit to knee measurement plus about two inches for the hem and elastic casing. In my case my fabric is 16 inches long by 24 inches wide.


Sew the edges of your fabric together to made a tube. (You will be sewing along the arm pit to knee length.) This will be the centre back seam of the dress. I used a 5/8" seam. I then zig zag stitched to prevent fraying and also trimmed with pinking shears. This is optional. If you have a serger or a serging stitch on your machine use that. Press your seam open.


Fold up your hem edge to the wrong side by about a quarter inch and press. Fold up once more and press. Top stitch along your hem edge. Ensure that your bobbin thread matches your dress fabric as you are working on the inside and the bobbin thread will be what you see on the outside of the dress.

Then repeat this procedure on the top edge of the dress. Turn fabric down a quarter inch on the wrong side and press and then turn down once more but this time make it a half inch or 3/4 inch depending on the width of the elastic you are using. Sew all the way around the top edge starting and stopping on either side of the centre back seam. Leave an opening big enough (about an inch or an inch and a half) to thread your elastic through the casing. If you are making fabric straps and you wish to catch the raw edges inside the casing you should attach your straps in this step (See more about straps below). Tuck your raw strap edges under the casing and pin so you can catch them in the seam. You will need to wiggle your safety pin past these edges in the next step.

Cut your elastic to the chest measurement you took of the child you are sewing for. Thread the elastic through the casing using a safety pin attached to one end of the elastic.

Overlap your elastic ends by half an inch and stitch them together with a square shape. Before you stitch your ends together make sure you did not twist your elastic in the casing as a twist will be uncomfortable for the wearer. Begin stitching near one edge, turn and stitch across the elastic to the other edge, stitch along that edge, turn again and stitch back to where you started thus making a square shape.

Tuck the elastic ends (now stitched together) into the casing and stitch your opening in the elastic casing closed.

At this point you could say you were done and have a strapless dress but straps will keep it from falling down (especially on wiggly babies). I used four 10 inch lengths of grosgrain ribbon for my straps but you could also make your own straps from the left over fabric you have after cutting your yard to the dress length.

If I were making my own straps I would cut them about two inches wide by the length I wanted and then press them in half. Open them up and fold each edge into the middle and press again. then fold it back in half along the first fold I had made and edge stitch along the edges.

To add straps, lay your dress out with the centre seam in the middle. Measure an equal distance on either side of the centre seam and pin your back straps to the dress. Match the location of the straps on the front of the dress. You may need to check the dress on the child to make sure the placement of the straps is right. To do this I would try the dress tube onto the child and mark where the straps should go. (Do not try the dress onto the child while you have straight pins holding the straps in place as it is likely the pins will poke the child.) I just took a guess at where I thought the straps should be and it worked out. My straps are about two inches in from the sides.

Once you like the placement of your straps tuck the raw edges under and sew to the inside of the dress sewing over the original casing seam so that it is not noticeable. Go back and forth to make sure your straps are secure (or catch them in the casing seam when you are making the elastic casing in the steps above).


Tie a little knot to finish the ends of your straps and then put the dress on the child and tie the two pairs of straps with a bow at the top of each shoulder.

 There you have it! A simple and fun sundress.

Thanks for visiting Daydreams of Quilts today. We're off to sew more sundresses now. :)