Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whirl Into Winter Giveaway

UPDATE (2009JAN16): The winner is KK! KK, I've sent you an email. Congratulations!
There will be another giveaway on this blog in the spring. Thank you to everyone who visited and left comments.

I decided to participate in the Whirl Into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway. This is my very first giveaway. Front View - various scraps from my stash.

Brown Flannel on Back has a swirl pattern -from my stash. There is another layer of flannel between the patchwork front and the flannel backing to add warmth.

The idea for this patchwork scarf came from a tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew.
To win this patchwork scarf:
  • Please leave a comment between January 1 and January 15, 2009 telling me your favourite thing about winter. It could be an activity, craft, drink, recipe, etc. If your favourite thing about winter is a recipe, feel free to include the recipe in your comment.

  • Make sure I can get your email address from your blog profile. If you do not have a blog, please make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

  • The winner will be announced on this blog January 16th. Please note any comments posted before January 1 and after January 15 will not be entered to win.
  • UPDATE (2009JAN05): You will have until noon (Eastern Standard Time) on January 18 to claim your prize, after that I will redraw a winner. There have been a few comments left with no email address to connect to i.e. email address is not available on your profile, your profile is not public. Please ensure to have an email address available, to make it easier to contact the winner.
  • International entries are welcome!
There are about 60 participants in the giveaway, giving away fabulous prizes. Click on the snowflake icon on my sidebar to be directed to the Whirl Into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway. On the sidebar of Whirl Into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway there is a list of blogs participating in the giveaway. Check out all the fabulous blogs and enter on each blog to win the prize they are giving away.

Handmade Christmas - Part 3

These are the handmade things made for my daughter.

The guitar bag was opened on Christmas Eve. My daughter has been taking guitar lessons for 3 years and loves this bag. There is a tutorial for this bag on The pink is a canvas from Fabricland. I bought it full price (which I almost never do), but only needed .5 metre. The black is broadcloth. The strap is made from webbing and is adjustable. The silver-gray circles are all handsewn. Any one who knows me knows how much I hate to handsew and will try anyway to machine sew. These circles were so small I knew there was no way I could machine sew them. It took about 2 hours to do all of the handsewing, including sewing on the buttons. I would imagine that if I did any handsewing at all it probably would have taken considerably less time to do.

The turtle is from Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. The flower fabric is scrap fabric left over from pj pants. I used the same cordory remnant as I did for the boys' turtles. I also made one of these turtles for my niece.

Last February my daughter chose this yarn for a scarf. I tucked it away and worked on the scarf for about an hour a couple of nights each in September and had it completed by the end of September. It was the first handmade Christmas item that I made for this Christmas.

Still to come - handmade items made by the boys and by the girl for each other. Also the very thoughtful gift made for me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Handmade Christmas - Part 2

These are the gifts we gave our boys for Christmas.

Bean bags - well actually rice bags. The fabrics are from Joanne's.
Turtles - made from the Bend-the-Rules sewing book by Amy Karol. The John Deere fabric is from my scraps stash, leftover from pj pants I made a few years ago, the beige cordory is a remnant picked up at Fabricland when they had remnants marked down 50% off.
Capes - these were opened on Christmas Eve. We let each of our kids open a gift on Christmas Eve after church. The fabric is broadcloth from Fabricland I got for $1/metre. The appliqued initials are from scraps leftover from some beachbags made for last Christmas. You can't see it in the picture but there is red bias tape around the top part of the cape, purchased at Value Village - 8 packages bagged together with some pink velvet ribbon for $1. The capes are secured around the boys' necks with velcro. I thought this would be easier for them to put on and take off the capes on their own.
I also made a cape and a turtle for my nephew, given that he is a year younger than our oldest and a year older than our youngest.
The capes were a hit and had to be worn right away. The turtles were put in their beds on Christmas night and have been carried around the house ever since. The bean (rice) bags haven't really been played with yet, but we do have one sick boy, who hasn't really felt much up to playing and the other boy is kind of lost without his older brother to lead in the playing.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Handmade Christmas - Part 1

This was our family's first Handmade Christmas. I think everyone liked what they received and more importantly liked making something for each other. I'll be breaking down the list and will try to post once a day until all of our handmade items have been posted.

For my husband I made a fleece camo pullover (see picture below). He is into hunting, so I thought this would be perfect. He seems to like it and has already used it a few times, so I would call that a success! The fabric was on sale at two summers ago and I think it was around $4/yard. The pattern is Simplicity 3651. I plan on doing a pattern review of this pattern in January, so check back for that if you are interested.
Also I knitted a simple scarf for my husband for hunting.
It was made short to go under his coat. The yarn came from a yarn store in downtown Kingston, Ontario. They have a fabulous selection of yarns and the owner is extremely helpful. I will definitely be going back there again. This is the 4th knitting project I've done, all scarves. I think I might be ready to start trying other knitting projects, but have no idea what to try next. Obviously it will need to be relatively simple, since I've only done the straight knit stitch for all 4 scarves. Any suggestions on what my next project should be?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Traditions Exchange - package received

I received my Holiday Traditions Exchange package from Tamara on Monday. Tamara is extremely talented and makes these fabulous gift tags.
The package I received from Tamara included a gorgeous handmade necklace, beautiful hand beaded tree ornaments, a recipe for shortbread, Merry Christmas stickers and ribbons for our handmade Christmas and Tamara's holiday tradition. I hung the hand beaded tree ornaments on my Christmas tree right away. They look absolutely beautiful on my tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Traditions Exchange

Tamara (, my swap partner for the Holiday Traditions Exchange received her package, so I can now post my pictures of the Christmas decorations I made for her. All 3 ornaments are made from felt. The snowman ornament is just freehand drew and sewed some beads on for the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. The ribbon is some scrap ribbon I had left over from some other project years ago. The mitten ornament is based on mitten ornament I saw on only mine isn't stuffed and it's bigger. I left the top open so she can stick a candycane or little treat in there for her daughter. There are beads crazy glued on under the ribbon trim. For the snowflake I traced around 2 snowflake cookie cutters and cut them out. Any one who knows me knows how much I hate to handsew, but I do think the blanket stitch around the outside of these ornaments adds a little more craftiness to them.
Also included in the package was a recipe for chocolate cookies that I add crushed candycanes on top of, and some recipe cards. I also shared one of our family's Christmas traditions with her.
This swap was a lot of fun and I couldn't wait for her to receive her package. My package is in the mail now and I'll share when I receive it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yet another bag and more finds!

This is the bag I made a few weeks ago for my daughter's friend's birthday. The denim is from the sale fabric I got a Fabricland. The front pocket is a scrap I won from

This ribbon was found at the local Dollarama for $1 for each package. I love the colours!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Won, I Won

I always enter Sew, Mama, Sew's Free Fabric Friday giveaway. I won 1 yard of fabric ($9.18 and under per yard). I've looked at the fabric on the website and have narrowed it down to 7 or 8 choices. I'll have to think about which one to get. I'm so excited! I love their blog and they have tons of free tutorials!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Bag

This totebag was made for my daughter's friend's birthday. The pink fabric is from Fabricland and was on the clearance table last November. I had already made my daughter and my niece beach bags for Christmas last year from it. I still have a little bit left! The inside lining fabric is a green print that I found on sale at Wilton Creek Fabrics last December. I had used some of it to line my niece's beach bag and had just enough left to line this bag. I can't remember where the stripe fabric for the handles came from but I do know it was on clearance. And the green ribbon with the brown polkadots is from the packages of ribbon I found at Target.

My daughter's friend loved the bag and thanked me profusely for making the bag for her.

We are starting to plan the handmade Christmas items to give this year. Every year my daughter has given everyone we exchange gifts with something hand/homemade. We have decided this year that instead of buying for each other (in our little family/household) we will be making something. At first this was met with great apprehension from the oldest. After all what great thing can a four year old and two year old make her? I have reassured her that I will be lending a helping hand on this front. I have also reassured her that it is the thought that counts and that she will be surprised at how much more a handmade item is treasured.
I am also planning to give hand/homemade gifts to everyone this year, even if I am buying something there will be something hand/homemade with it.
Do you plan on giving hand/homemade items this year? If yes, what are you planning?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finds and Bugs

I know I promised to come back with some pictures of projects I've been working on. And now I'm ready to share the few things I've acutally completed. We have been busy with summer parties, birthdays and birthday parties and just having fun!

Found these spools of ribbon at Target - each package was $1! There is only 18 inches on each spool. I don't have a plan yet for these but I just couldn't resist the great deal. My daughter is thinking about switching bedrooms and moving downstairs. Of course that means redecorating, so she may want to use a few of these for decorative trim on new pillows.

Found this funky print at my local Fabricland on the clearance table. It was $2/metre! I picked up 2 metres and am thinking of using it to make a top for next spring/summer. Fabricland also had denim on their clearance table for $2/metre. I had to pick up 5 metres, but have been kicking myself for not getting more. I'm hoping the next time I'm there they'll still have some.

These are the shorts and pants I made for my boys. They are so cute with the frogs and snakes and so boyish. They love them! I got the fabric at Fabricland (in May?) on sale for $2.99/metre. The pattern is one I've used many times before, but really you don't need a pattern if you use a pair of pants that fit right for your template. I have a pattern that is for kids, youths and adults that way I can make bigger sizes for the kids to grow into (for next summer).

These shorts were made for my daughter. Made from a knit found at a yard sale. The lady was retiring from her sewing business and had tons of fabric and great deals. The piece I got was a little over 1 metre and was $1. I still have a little bit left and have it in my scrap pile now.

Overall, not a lot of sewing got done over the summer. But the kids and I did do a lot of crafts, colouring and gardening. We did manage to get a way for a few days as a family.

Hope you had an incredible summer!

Now that school is back, it feels more like we have routine here. The bedtimes are a little earlier and the days are more structured. Although we did start the school year of with a case of headlice. This is the second year in a row we have had lice the first week of school. So far only 2 out of 3 kids have it, but how do you keep it that way? I've been cleaning, vacuuming and doing laundry in hot water. I've taken all pillows away and everyone gets a blanket rolled up and stuffed into a pillowcase. It's easier to wash a blanket than washing pillow everyday for at least a week. I'm getting new pillows for everyone just for my own piece of mind. I know it's kind of wasteful, but what if there is one still alive even after being washed in hot water and run through the hot dryer twice and not being used for a week?

The lice got passed on to the youngest (2 years old). The poor little guy ended up with a 1/4" long brush cut because he can't sit still to get his hair combed to get rid of the nits. I do have to say that that worked though because so far (fingers crossed) there hasn't been any sign of any more. The one that brought the lice home had a Nix treatment, but I was still finding live little buggers in her hair 4 days later. So I went and got a new product called Resultz. That stuff work wonders! It can only be used on 4 year olds and up. It takes the protective coating off the lice and the nits and makes them dehydrate. I know what I will use the first time around if anyone 4+ get it again here.

Last year I tried the more natural remedies of mineral oil and vinegar and picking the nits out of the hair (which you have to do no matter what). That did not work for us. Maybe because she has long hair, but I ended up doing 2 Nix treatments and 1 other treatment (I can't remember what the product was called now) before we ended up getting rid of the bugs altogether.

So hopefully all the lice is gone now. I'm still washing everything in hot water and using the hot dryer for a few more days until the final treatments are done, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I have bought tea tree oil to mix in with the shampoo as a preventative, but I think some are using a little too much all they need is 1 or 2 drops, but I think they end up with more. So I'm going to get some tea tree shampoo. Hopefully that will keep the lice away for good!

Hope you don't end up with lice at your house!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Long Break

Wow - that was a long unintended break!
Been busy with summer fun, gardening, vacation etc.
Back soon with some photos of projects I've been working on!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Giveaway at Lila Tueller's blog!

You have to check out this giveaway

You can win a purse made from some of her fabric and second place giveaway his a copy of her Peasant Blouse pattern and a copy of her Bohemian Bag pattern

What a great giveaway!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pattern Review - Simplicity 3546

Pattern: Simplicity 3546 (Project Runway)
Pattern Rating: Difficult (this pattern is for Advanced Sewers)

Pattern Description: Girls' dress or mini dress

Pattern Sizing: 8-16 (also available in plus sizes 81/2 - 161/2)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope when finished? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, however the pattern pieces were difficult to pick out. But once you have the correct pattern pieces the instructions were easy to follow. There were lots of pictures as well to help clarify the instructions.

What did you particularly like/dislike about this pattern? I liked that there were lots of pictures to follow as sometimes the explanations were confusing. Also I liked that there were many different variations of the dress to choose from. I disliked that finding the pattern pieces was so difficult as they didn't seem to be clearly labelled. As well the facing around the neckline doesn't sit as flat as it should despite several attempts to do so (as well as multiple pressings). Next time I will line the entire bodice to avoid this.

Fabric used: Cotton - from Fabricland (on sale) and velvet ribbon trim from WalMart.

Pattern alterations/design changes made: I made the mini dress, but my daughter wanted more of a top so I cut 6-8 inches off the bottom to make a top. I also had a hard time finding ribbon trim for the midriff that was wide enough and that my daughter liked. So I just sewed ribbon trim on the top and bottom of the midriff, which I think looks nice.

Would you sew it again? Recommend it to others? Yes I would sew this pattern again, as there are many ways to make different looks with this pattern. I would recommend this pattern to advanced sewers, as it may be difficult for beginner sewers to choose the correct pieces and there are some curves to manipulate. As you can see from my picture above I do have some wonkyness going on on the neckline.

Conclusion: Overall an easy pattern to use that took 2-3 hours to complete (including seam finishing).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Strawberries & Jam

Instead of sewing I've been picking these.....

and making this.......

At first I was quite intimidated to make jam. But it really is easy and doesn't take nearly the amount of time I thought it would. We don't really eat that much jam. Maybe 3 jars a year, so I've arranged to trade some jam for pickles and we'll give some away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Bags!

School finishes on Thursday, so I thought I should whip up something for my daughter's teachers. Both teachers love green and my daughter wanted to give them totebags. I swear she is getting just as addicted to bags as I am. She keeps going through my fabric stash saying you should make a bag out of this fabric or this fabric or this fabric, even though she knows I have other plans for the fabric. The fabric for the first bag (above) are both from Sew, Mama, Sew. The outside fabric for the second bag (below) is from Hancock's of Paducah. The inside fabric is a remnant from Fabricland.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I found a recipe on the internet for banana chocolate chip muffins a few months back. I was wanting a good, easy homemade banana muffin recipe. Well this was a hit! The other day I made 11 muffins.The next morning I was going to freeze some, but when I opened the container to see how many were left there were 3. They only lasted 2 days! The recipe was from Click on the banana muffing recipe on the sidebar.

Summery Apron and Owl Bag

This is the apron I made for my daughter's class play. She was cast as the mom. I love the flip-flop fabric. It's so summery. I knew I would use this apron after I made it for her. The fabrics are both from my stash - leftovers from other long ago projects.

Fnished this owl bag last night when I got home from work. This is from the Bend-the-Rules Sewing book by Amy Karol. The owl fabric I won on an e-bay auction last summer and it's lined with fabric I got from Sew, Mama, Sew. (love that website!) Took less than 2 hours to whip up from selecting fabric to cutting, seamfinishing and completion (with interuptions). I like how it turned out. My daughter is invited to a birthday party today. The birthday girl's favourite colour is purple. Hope she likes it as much as my daughter does.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hundred Skirts Project

I'm sewing 3 skirts (2 girl's size 14 skirts and 1 ladies small skirt) to send off to Charity, who has organized the Hundred Skirts Project . As well I'm going to include t-shirts to match. This is for orphans in Guatemala - you can find out about it here

Sunday, June 8, 2008

First post

Here are some projects I worked on in April and May.

First is the Pleated Beauty Handbag made for the BTRS Swap ( for my swap partner. The pattern is from the Bend-the-Rules Sewing book by Amy Karol. Both fabrics are from Fabricland. The second round is for placemats and napkins and the sign up just completed, but there is to be another swap round later.

The second bag I made was for my Mom for Mother's day. The green paisley I got from Hancock's of Paducah about a year ago on clearance. The brown is fabric I bought at Fabricland to make a dress for a wedding later this month, but I just had to use some for this purse!

This is the bag I made for my sister-in-law's birthday. I had started it a few days before her birthday thinking it would be done in time, but the boys ended up sick and it was late getting to her. Thank goodness she was understanding and she loves it.

That's all for now. I do have 5 projects cut out and two that I have been thinking about getting started on. 4 have to be done soon so hopefully I'll get everything done that I have planned for June. Now on to sewing......