October 31, 2014

GIVEAWAY from Fat Quarter Shop!

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a giveaway of a fat quarter bundle of Roots & Wings from the Fat Quarter Shop! This bundle has 15 fat quarters, and one of my lucky readers is going to win it!

But before we get to how to enter, I want to tell you about the Wishes Quilt Along and how it's helping raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation. This event is being hosted by Fat Quarter Shop and Moda. Each month a new block is released, and these downloads are available for free on the Wishes Quilt Along page. The finished quilt that was made for this is going to be auctioned off with 100% of proceeds going to the Make a Wish foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. You can help by making a donation to this worthy cause, by making a pledge here or bidding on the auction quilt.

But back to the giveaway - wouldn't this bundle work great with the Wishes quilt pattern?! Just use the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

October 29, 2014

sewing up some quick baby gifts...

There were three sweet babes in our congregation in need of a baby shower this week, one of them being a new nephew for me. So instead of shopping, I dug through my fabric stash and used up some scraps and flannels to make a receiving blanket, some burp cloths, and soother straps.

I used this tutorial to make the receiving blanket with a self-binding edge...

and the soother straps are a mix of a couple different styles, the ones with the piece of elastic are for soothers that don't have handles.

Now back to some quilting projects on my machine. And I'll be back on Friday with a sponsored giveaway from the Fat Quarter Shop - check back then!

October 27, 2014

Fabri-Quilt Winner...

With the help of random.org, a winner was chosen for the fat quarter bundle of Season's Greetings prints from Fabri-Quilt...

Congratulations Joyce! Your fabrics will be out to you shortly.

And if you'd like to follow me along on Bloglovin', Feedly, or another reader, I have some more pattern reviews and fabric giveaways in the works.

October 24, 2014

featured on Purse Palooza...

This past week, I had a pattern review posted in the Purse Palooza over on the Sew Sweetness blog.

It's for the Sun and Surf Tote by Modkid, and the fabrics are from the Bear Creek Quilt Company. If you want to check it out along with all the other bag pattern reviews, you can hop on over there.

And there's still a few days left if you'd like to enter this fat quarter bundle giveaway.

October 21, 2014

Hexagon table topper tutorial and giveaway...

This is my second tutorial for the 12 days of Christmas on the Fabri-Quilt blog.  The fabrics used are from the Seasons Greetings line.  This topper is perfect for a round table, or a side table. It starts with a hexagon (the tutorial shows easy steps on how to cut one), and then how to border it.

Instead of using a solid backing, I used some fat quarters in my stash to make it reversible. Fabri-Quilt has a line called Cassandra which would work fantastic for this and make great use of the border print.

Fabri-Quilt is generously offering a fat quarter stack from their Seasons Greetings line to one of my readers!  To enter, just leave a comment below, and I would love it you hop over to the Fabri-Quilt blog to check out the tutorial.
For bonus entries, follow me on Facebook or Instagram and let me know that you do in separate comments. Winner will be selected by random.org on Oct 27.

October 16, 2014

Christmas is Coming . . .

Fall has been a blur so far for me this year, so in order to feel like I'm on top of something in my life, I've started some Christmas sewing. The lovely people over at Fabri-Quilt sent me some of their Season's Greetings prints to play with. The prints and quality of these fabrics were fantastic to work with, and I have a couple table topper tutorials to share.

First up, is a longer table runner - perfect for showing off the large ornament print and reindeer prints in this collection.

To see the full tutorial, just hop over to the Fabri-Quilt blog.

And here is a matching coffee table runner that I sewed up with some of the leftover scraps and another print from this collection. It was the perfect mini to practice some free-motion swirls for quilting.

I'll be back on their blog next week with a tutorial for a quilt topper perfect for a round kitchen table, and check back here for a fat quarter bundle giveaway of these lovely prints to go with it!

October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday...

It's been a busy September, that seemed to drag into October. I won't lie, I'm feeling a little fried lately. But my big fundraiser commitment for the year is DONE, my bookkeeping year-end is DONE, and things have started settling into a more normal pace around here, starting with getting more time at my hobby...

Last night was spent putting the last of hand-stitching on one of my projects for the Fabri-Quilt blog. Check in with them tomorrow for my first Christmas project tutorial, and there will be a second one featured there next week.

And these are some lovely prints from Bear Creek Quilting Company, that will be turned into a bag for the Purse Palooza over at Sew Sweetness. My day comes up on the 21st.

September 29, 2014

back to school...

Our four little people are back-to-school, and that means my kids are all a year older, again...

I was asked by MomCentral to write a post for RBC about the importance of RESP's and how they can have a huge impact on post-secondary education costs. With government grants, investment income, and little monthly contributions, it's easy to save. I was fortunate that the college I went to was local, and my parents helped out by offering free room and board and free car insurance while I went. But this might not be possible for our kids, and post-secondary education costs are rising every year, so RESP's will be a big help down the road.

My oldest daughter is just a year away from middle school now, and we've already had talks about what comes after school and trying to influence the importance of getting post-secondary education. So far, she seems to be leaning towards moving out, getting a job, and spending her days shopping :) But we've been trying to get through to her that post-secondary education would make that job hunt a lot easier, and the job pay better. Another one of my daughter's just wants to grow up and be a Mom, which opens up the conversation to which type of careers would allow her to re-enter the work force when she's ready, much like my bookkeeping education and experience have allowed me to do. My husband went through a trades apprenticeship program, and RESP's will also work to pay for that if one of our children decides to go that route. We've realized through all this, that it's not too early to start having these conversations, and the more we put the emphasis on post-secondary education now, hopefully the more likely they will pursue it later.

An RBC advisor can sit down with you and explain the different options for an individual or family RESP fund as well. If it seems overwhelming to set up a fund for each child, you can just set up one fund and it will be accessible for all your children later.

RBC would like to invite you to a twitter party on October 1st - find them with the hashtag #RESPwithRBC, they will be giving away 6 $100 gift cards. They are also running a Facebook contest, Grow Your RESP with RBC, where you can win 1 of 4 prizes of $500 towards an RESP.

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

September 26, 2014

sewing for the boy...

Sometimes when I'm working in my craft room, my little guy walks in and starts looking through my scraps and asking for things to be made for him. And sometimes I give in...

These superhero fabrics were made into a new pillow case.

And a whole bunch of scraps were turned into a wallet, complete with coin pouch on the back, a clear ID spot, a place for bills, and cards.
Now I just need to get through a big fundraiser next week, year-end for my bookkeeping job, and a king size quilt I'm quilting for a friend, and then hopefully back to some new quilting projects.

September 19, 2014

easy HST quilt tutorial...

One of my blog sponsors, Bear Creek Quilting Company, sent me some of their solids and I turned them into a quick baby quilt for a new nephew. This is just a simple half square triangle (HST) quilt, arranged in this layout. I wanted the quilt to fit a piece of 60" wide minky quilt backing so I went with 7.5" finished blocks to make the finished quilt approx 42" x 56". But the math is simple if you want larger/smaller blocks or a different finished quilt.

I also recommend working with good quality cottons, because thinner ones tend to stretch and warp even after squaring them up. For this project, Bear Creek Quilting has a nice selection of Robert Kaufman solids to choose from, and they are fantastic quality.

For this project, you will need 2 yards of your main fabric for each HST (I chose chestnut brown to coordinate with my nephew's room). Cut twenty-four 8.5" squares, you will have enough left over for binding. Then decide on how many coordinating solids you'd like and cut twenty-four more 8.5" squares. Each HST will be made with one main fabric square, and one coordinating fabric.

When making HST blocks, I prefer to start with a full inch to spare when cutting them. So for 7.5" finished blocks, I cut two 8.5" blocks. Then draw a line on the diagonal between opposite corners on the back of one of them, put them right sides together, and sew 1/4" on either side of the line. Then slice down that line, press open, and using a ruler and rotary cutter square them up to 7.5".

Then just lay them out in the design you like, sew the rows all together, and your quilt top is complete. There are many HST layouts out there, this is just one idea.

September 12, 2014

Mod Owl Stuffies

This past week, I got the chance to review the Mod Owl Stuffie pattern from MODKID. This is a PDF pattern from their Etsy shop, so you get it instantly, and just need to print the pattern pieces on your printer.

This was a quick project, and it came together with absolutely no problems or seam-ripping. It's also a great pattern for fabric scraps, and I used a piece of minky for the owl backs to make them extra huggable.

I've made several MODKID patterns now, and they definitely don't disappoint. They have clear instructions, computer-drawn pictures which are easy to decipher, and lots of inspiration photos. In fact, I even dived into this pattern by making three at once since there's a double birthday party coming up for my daughter, and she of course wanted one for herself too.

My other three children have all asked for their Mod Owl's next, and I'm thinking that a superhero version complete with mask and cape for my little guy would be a big hit.

ModKid is gearing up for a sew-along of their popular Avery Dress pattern, and are offering a 20% off coupon code, good for anything in their shop (including the Mod Owl pattern). Just use coupon code AVERYSAL2014 at checkout. The coupon code expires on 9/24/14 at midnight EST.

September 09, 2014

Catching up with Joy Circle...

For the past couple years, I've been a member of the JOY circle for Do Good Stitches. Each month we make one or two quilt blocks for the host quilter who sews them all up into a quilt for a hospital or charity.  Here are my blocks for July (Greek Crosses above) and August (large HST below).

While I've loved being a part of this group, I'm finding it hard to keep up with the commitment lately. The last two quilts that I hosted are unfinished in my craft room. Hopefully once I've settled back into the school routine, I'll find time to catch up on the quilts that I need to finish and make a decision from there. But first, I have to catch up on bookkeeping work, get our GEMS group kicked off for the year, and work on a school fundraiser. And I thought life would get less busy with all my kids in school...

September 05, 2014

Making necklaces with my GEMS...

This is a project I did awhile ago with my GEMS girls for their moms for mothers day. They were given their choice of a pre-printed charm, and then had to add jumprings, attach to a chain, attach a clasp, and add beads and a charm of their choice. There was a lot of concentration around the table as they worked on them, and I think they all did a fantastic job.

A new year of GEMS is about to start, and I'm looking foward to working with a younger group this year. Time to start searching pinterest for new crafting ideas!