Tuesday, September 27, 2011

doubleplusgood - top complete!

Well, it only took me two months, but the last 2 rows of the doubleplusgood quilt are done and attached and I can officially call this top complete!

Doubleplusgood Quilt

I can't remember exactly, but I think it's roughly 70" square. A generous lap quilt. While at Ikea on a massive fabric binge (more on that later) I found a fabulous blue and orange fabric that will eventually become the backing for this baby. Now I just need to get around to finishing it up.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Blue Diamond Baby Quilt - Complete!

After a long silence around these parts I am back and I've got some fun stuff to share! I'll start with what I consider to be the most exciting. A new baby quilt for a sweet new baby!

Nope. Not my baby. But really, this little man is the next best thing. One of the two families that I nanny for welcomed a brand new member of their little family last week. I got to meet him at just 7 days old and we snuggled for quite awhile!

In honor of the little man's arrival I whipped up a quilt. I had been playing with a little stack of fabric for some time trying to perfect it, and it wasn't until the new baby appeared (10 days earlier than expected!) that inspiration hit.

I used this incredible tutorial by the lovely Jess of Urban Patchwork to create what I have named the "Blue Diamond Baby Quilt." Original, I know.

Blue Diamond Baby Quilt

Here's the stats:
Fabrics: 4 pieces of Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt, 3 men's dress shirts (thank you brother!), grey Bubbles and Blooms, and a bit of white (somewhat like Kona Snow) from Ikea. Backing has pieced strips from the fabrics on the top and some blue, also from Ikea. Bound in Bubbles and Blooms with a small piece of Big Dot Little Dot from the KJR line.
Dimensions: 36 x 52.
Quilting: Straight lines 1/4" on either side of all the seams.

Blue Diamond Baby Quilt

What is left over of my stash of Katie Jump Rope has been really hard to part with. The only other place I have used a significant piece is in the little denim jacket I made for a baby shower gift. The fabrics are near impossible to find anymore, and I truly love the entire line, so it's been difficult to find the right project to use them in. When the new baby was born I knew they were destined for him. Not only because they fit in his nursery, but also because I know without a doubt that this quilt will be treasured. I am a big supporter of using beloved fabrics and not hoarding, but I want to be careful to use them in projects I know will be cherished and not ones that I plan to sell.

Blue Diamond Baby Quilt

When it was all finished, I decided to use the button placket from one of the shirts I cannibalized for the project to wrap it up. Super easy! All I did was take a button and add it to the placket where the ends overlapped. I thought it was a cute way to present it to the new mommy.

Blue Diamond Baby Quilt

I am beyond excited to have met this newest addition to the family and am looking forward to seeing him grow up. Welcome to the world Baby M!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pretty {Little} Pouch Swap - Complete!

Well, another swap has finished. I can now say that I have both sent and received my Pretty {little} Pouch Swap packages. Here's how it went:

Prettly {little} Pouch Swap - Sent

I made my partner two pouches, one on the medium/large side and one small one. She had added a few items including applique to her inspiration mosaic so I ran with it. The grey for the cloud pouch came from an old pair of linen/cotton pants I had. The other pouch you may recognize from the wedding gift I made for some friends in May. I had created an extra panel of green and brown patchwork so I decided to put it to good use in a bonus pouch. Both items came together without a problem which is totally remarkable considering my limited experience with pouches.

My partner sent me this little goody:

Prettly {little} Pouch Swap - Received

The little box pouch she made me was a cream canvas(?) with a sweet little puppy in a tea cup on the side. He looks all wriggly! I don't know for sure, but I'm going to claim this as a Heather Ross print. Correct me if I'm wrong please.

Inside was a pile of surprises!

Prettly {little} Pouch Swap - Received

Not only did she line it with some of the blue and green dots of the DQ Quilts collection (which I can't get in Canada because there are no Joann's) but she added some goodies from Cath Kidston and some green tea mints from Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's is yet another brand we don't have in Canada so it was a real treat!

I am thorougly impress with my partner and how hard she worked on my little pouch. It was really sweet of her to include extra goodies as well! Overall I would call the swap a success.

All that being said, I feel like I should add something to this post. While I am so happy that my pouches were well received, and love the package I got, I actually didn't really enjoy this swap. This has nothing to do with the organization, the talent in the group or anything outside of myself. In fact, this swap is fabulous! It is well organized by two very sweet and hard working swap mama's, the group is full of incredible talents and there is eye candy galore.

I didn't enjoy the swap because I realized that I would rather drool over the eye candy than fret about what to make for someone else. I've taken part in several mini quilt swaps including two rounds of Doll Quilt Swap, and I think those might be more up my alley. Designing and creating mini quilts comes more naturally to me and I am more likely to be satisfied with what I have made. The pouches are not as much fun for me and I feel like that really held me back.

Do any of you participate in swaps or online quilting bees? Do you feel like it encourages your creativity? Or, like me, do you prefer to let inspiration come when it comes and stick to your strong suits?

Friday, August 19, 2011

365 June 2011

365 June 2011

1. 365.157, 2. 365.158, 3. 365.159, 4. 365.160, 5. 365.161, 6. 365.162, 7. 365.163, 8. 365.164, 9. 365.165, 10. 365.166, 11. 365.167, 12. 365.168, 13. 365.169, 14. 365.170, 15. 365.171, 16. 365.172, 17. 365.173, 18. 365.174, 19. 365.175, 20. 365.176, 21. 365.177, 22. 365.178, 23. 365.179, 24. 365.180, 25. 365.181, 26. 365.182, 27. 365.183, 28. 365.184, 29. 365.185, 30. 365.186

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the week in review

Well, the week (at least the "work" part of the week) has come to an end and I have a status report for you. It's not as stellar as I would have liked, but here goes:

Tuesday, Wednesday and a good part of Thursday was spend doing....not much. I pushed some laundry through and managed to make the bed each day and keep the kitchen tidy. That is about all. Oh and on Thursday I had a little workout. Clearly I was relaxing a bit. A lot of time was spent on Pinterest. Do you Pinterest?

It brought me such gems as:


That's right. It's a serious time waster.

Thursday and Friday became cooking days though. Here is the run down:

37 individually portioned freezer lunches including:

-butter chicken (from scratch - seriously the best recipe ever - email/comment if you want me to share) with rice, and homemade naan bread.
- vegetable risotto
- chicken noodle soup
- cheesy shell pasta with broccoli
- shepherds pie
- penne with meat and vegetable sauce

Seriously. I was about ready to fall over by 9pm on Friday when I finally finished all that cooking.


It's now been a few weeks since I did that cooking and I can tell you it has made a huge difference in our house! Both Joel and our roommate make use of them regularly and have told me how much they appreciate not having to think about lunches.

My favourite recipe has to be the butter chicken with rice and naan. It is as good if not better than the butter chicken you can get from local Indian take out places and it's SO MUCH cheaper. Joel had purchased a 4L (1 GALLON!) tub of plain yogurt and it was put to good use with this recipe. In fact, last week when it was about to expire I made up a huge batch of butter chicken sauce and stored it in portions so we could just poor it over some rice and chicken if we want a quick dinner.

All of this cooking really got me excited to cook more and since then I have tried out a few new recipes including pizza monkey bread. It does make me want to facepalm (yes. I said it.) because I never get pictures of my delicious food. I just eat it or freeze it. Oops.