Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel - Midtown Messenger

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

I know you've all heard of Perfect Pattern Parcel, the fantastic collections of patterns that you get to name your own price for, while supporting indie designers, and a great charity. Perfect Pattern Parcel is a win for everyone.

This time around the theme of the parcel is BAGS! I love a good bag pattern so when the opportunity to jump onto the inspiration tour was presented to me, I hopped on board.

I made Betz White's Midtown Messenger. I had never before worked with some of the hardware and wanted to give it a go. It ended up being much easier than I imagined to install the hardware. You'd never know that I hadn't previously installed hundreds of tuck catches!

I like this bag a lot. It's a great size. It holds books, magazines and of course my iPad - in its own padded pocket!

There's a pocket on the back and a divided pocket on the front. Great for staying organized, which is something I struggle with, so I'm happy for all the help I can get!

I thoroughly enjoyed making this bag. I've been taking it everywhere!
Thanks to Perfect Pattern Parcel for putting together such a kick-butt collection of patterns, and for including me on the tour!

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6 2014

It's funny to me, how life goes in waves. Things and people come and go, making change the only real constant. A dozen years ago I never would have imagined myself where I am now. I'm glad to be here, if only for a while. 

And where am I? Sitting amid piles of thread, fabric and needles. Currently stitching a series of insects to give some life to my ensuite wall. Starting a quiltalong. Hand quilting a billion little stitches on a Dresden plate quilt for a friend's 50th birthday. How do I have friends who are turning 50??! But the best part is helping my daughter plan the perfect Christmas. So yup, right where I want to be.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

quilts and friends go hand in hand

A year ago today, I hopped on a plane for Salt Lake City to attend Sewing Summit. At that time I had no idea that I'd make a few really great friends. Sure I thought I'd meet some people and become part of a larger community, but I had no idea what I was in store for.
I roomed with Bianca of Sweet Diesel Designs  we had been online friends since January so it was such a treat to meet her and spend some real time together. Along the way we met Nydia the ADD Crafter and her roomies Sarah and Sylvia. Suddenly the five of us were inseparable. For the rest of the weekend, if you saw one of us, the other four were nearby. Then, we hatched a plan.
We decided we should make traveling quilts. Each of us would start a quilt, with a block, or a row or a panel and then send it on to the next person for them to add to it. The rules were fairly simple, we mostly had generous leeway to be creative and add what we thought fit the feeling of the quilt and the recipient's style.
When we started, I had no idea that I'd end up with a quilt so pretty and so exactly what I've been dreaming of. I'm so very overwhelmed by how much was put into my quilt.
I started with a panel that I made with an EZ Dresden ruler. Simple, basic and as it turns out, lots of possibilities.

Blue Iguana starting block

From that simple panel came this amazing quilt.

Blue Iguana Quilt

Blue Iguana in the wind

Blue Iguana goes to the beach

I had no vision for how I thought the quilt would turn out. I wanted my friends to have total creative freedom to add whatever they wanted to the quilt. It couldn't have turned out better.
So thank you friends for this beautiful quilt and a fantastic memory. You guys rock!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Alison Glass Designs Blog Hop

The comments are now closed and the winners have been notified. Thanks for playing along!!

Hi friends, both old and new! Welcome to my stop on the Alison Glass Designs Blog Hop. I am thrilled (stoked, as my kids say) to be participating in this huge exciting event. Just like pretty much everyone else who blogs, Flickrs or instagrams, I have been very eagerly anticipating the release of  Sun Print and Clover Sunshine. To get the chance to play with these colourful beauties was a dream.

I chose to make Carolyn Friedlander's Social Tote. It's perfect for me, since I do a ton of hand work, and was a great way to use a few different prints ( I used six!). You've used Andover Fabrics before, right? Soft, wonderful drape, deep saturated colours. Pair that level of quality with Alison's designs and BAM! Match made in Heaven. But I'm gushing.....I'll just get to the pictures.....

Alison is giving away tons of this awesome fabric. Want in on that action? Want to win 2 1/2 yards of the Circles print, in Sunny (blue)? That's what I used as the main exterior for my project. I think it would make a great top, skirt, bag, curtains....It's a larger scale print with a regular repeat, and it's my favourite from the line!

Alison is also giving away the fun embroidery patterns that she designed with Nydia Kehnle! Yesssss! Winners choice of either the "crafts" "flowers" or "animals" collection.  If you choose "crafts" or "animals" you'll see on the pattern back, the samples that I stitched up for Alison, and my name in print on the pattern! WooHoo! 

To win, just leave a comment telling me your favourite kind of pie. That's it. No skill testing question, no solving the world's problems, just pie. Besides, I think the world's problems seems smaller after pie..... I'll randomly choose  two winners on October 11, the last day of the blog hop. Please make sure there is some way I can reach you if you're the winner. No reply blogger profiles make everyone sad :-(

 Thank you Alison, for including me in your blog hop! It was absolutely my pleasure to play with your new fabric!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


You guys! Have you heard about the Alison Glass blog tour and her BIG FABRIC GIVEAWAY? Well unless you've been living under a rock, I'm pretty sure you have. Alison has lined up a fabulous group of bloggers to showcase her delicious new fabrics. I am honoured and humbled to be among these talented people.

The new fabrics coming out are so deeply saturated and have such inspired colour combinations and fun motifs. Today I received a gorgeous stack to play with, and I am seriously IN LOVE!

Be sure to visit everyone on the blog tour for your chance to win!!

Group 1 - Feathers, Text, Party Streamer
8.21.13 - One Shabby Chick
8.23.13 - Silly Mama Quilts
8.26.13 - Threadbias
8.28.13 - KD Quilts
8.30.13 - April Rhodes

Group 2 - Feathers Quilt Pattern
9.2.13 - The ADD Crafter
9.4.13 - Sew Sweetness
9.13.13 - Imagine Gnats

Group 3 - Clover Sunshine
9.16.13 - Crafty Fox
9.18.13 - One Girl Circus
9.20.13 - Sew Sweetness
9.23.13 - There and Back   <--------- that's me!
9.25.13 - J.M.B.
9.27.13 - Modern Maven

Group 4 - Corsage, Bike Path, X & +

9.30.13 - 

10.2.13 - 
10.4.13 - 
10.7.13 - 
10.9.13 - 
10.11.13 - Fresh Lemons Quilts

Thursday, July 11, 2013

vacation.....all i ever wanted

Ok, so I admit you have to be a certain age to sing the title of this post the way I do. I've been singing it for a few days now, ever since returning from a 9 day camping road trip. I know it's not everybody's idea of fun to haul two of their three kids, plus the dog and a tiny trailer over 800 miles (1800km) each way, but it's definitely mine.

We set out at 6 AM for the first ferry of the day so we could get an early start. We had lots of driving ahead of us, as well as shopping to do. Along the way we saw a few interesting sights. Mt. St. Helens anyone?


None of us had ever seen it before and we didn't even know it was visible from where we were. But there it is. We actually questioned if that was Mt. St. Helens, but really, how many Washington mountains have their top blown off? Pretty neat to see on our first day out....

We made it to our campground in Hammond OR (just outside Astoria) around dinner time and shortly after we went down to the beach. Now I have to say that I really wasn't prepared for the wide openness of the ocean. Yes we do live in a beach town, but we have all of Vancouver Island between us and the wide open Pacific. So really, it's like we're on a peaceful little bay. The wind and the waves here were incredible. Sand dunes for miles and crashing waves you could hear from at least 500 feet away. It was a great start to our trip.


The campground beach gets better through. There is a 100 year old shipwreck! Yes! The Peter Iredale wrecked in 1906 and what remains of it's steel hull sits on the beach. There really is no way to explain the feeling I got looking at this strangely beautiful piece of history.


We had to keep moving so the next morning we packed up to head to Reedsport OR, heart of dune country, where we would spend two nights. Along the way we stopped in Cannon Beach, where I went  into Center Diamond Fabric Store. What a store this is! If you are ever anywhere even remotely close to Cannon Beach OR, you should run to this store. Such a great selection of modern fabric, as well as a huge selection of batiks, books and possibly everything else you could ever need. It was really unexpected to see the fantastic selection in a relatively small town! Know what else I didn't expect? The wind sculpted trees. Pure craziness, but I guess that's what happens when the wind blows in off the ocean non-stop.


Farther down the coast is Manzanita, which is not only a gorgeous town, with a seven mile stretch of white sandy beach, but it's the friendliest toward dogs of any town or city I've ever been to. ANY restaurant/cafe/bakery/coffee shop with outdoor seating welcomes your dog in the outdoor area. What a blessing for people traveling with dogs. I wanted to stay forever.


As we came into Reedsport OR we knew the first thing we wanted to do was check out the dunes. Seriously, 300 feet high? You better believe it!


Just one of the many casual set ups we saw. Ha! People take their dune adventures pretty seriously in these parts.


I'd say my kids and dog enjoyed the beaches in Reedsport.....


We couldn't stay long though, with only two nights before we had to leave for California. On our way we stopped in the woods for a picnic. These tall trees were just a hint of what was to come. Incedentally, this stop was just outside Crescent City CA, home to Pelican Bay State Prison. Now that may or may not concern the casual picnicker, it didn't bug us to be less than a mile from a Supermax. We thought it was kind of interesting and did some reading on the prison and the current issues facing both staff and inmates. You can actually get a glimpse of the prison from the freeway, which is as close as I ever hope to get.


Our tiny trailer is a 1978 Boler that has been lovingly restored. Bolers are fiberglass trailers that were built in Canada from the late 60s to late 70s. Ours is one of the latest built. It's also bigger than most. A regular Boler is 13' while ours is a spacious 17'. The company went through an ownership change in the 70s and the new owner decided that some people might like an extra 4' so the design was changed. "Real" Boler people don't consider ours authentic, as the original company owner/designer had no input on the changes. We however, don't care about that. The trailer is perfect for us :-)

So. Onto Eureka CA, which is pretty much as far south as we went. No trip to Eureka is complete without a drive-by of the famous and huge Carson Mansion. This house is massive even by today's standards. I can't even imagine what people must have thought of it 127 years ago when it was built.

carson mansion

Old town Eureka is a really beautiful part of the city, with some gorgeous homes and a revitalized shopping district. The harbour isn't bad either!

eureka ca

From Eureka it's a short run down the freeway to the Avenue of the Giants, a 30 mile stretch that winds through the redwoods. Jackpot. This is what we came to see. Trees 300 feet tall and 40 feet around. No words can describe how tiny you feel. It's dizzying to try looking up at them.

avenue of the giants

We spent four nights in California, including the Fourth of July. We enjoyed Eureka's street fair and fireworks. I had no idea until we got home that I lucked out with this smiley face fireworks shot. Total score!

happy fireworks

More time was spent at beaches


in caves


and exploring.


But then it was time to go home and say goodbye to California. So long, Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse.

Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse

So long, gorgeous sunsets.


We made our way home and even after being back for three days, I'm still in vacation mode. I really should get out there finish unpacking *sigh*

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Season by Hand

A Season by Hand is a fun blog hop featuring all projects you can do by hand. Whether you're sitting by the pool, at the park, or in the car, these projects are great on the go. You'll find plenty of inspiration for whatever kind of work you enjoy. English paper piecing, applique, embroidery, hand piecing, you name it! Follow along and enter to win some great prizes!


June 3 - Kick-off
June 4 - Alyce - Blossom Heart Quilts
June 6 - Emily - Mommy's Nap Time
June 7 - Jodi - Pleasant Home
June 10 - Suz - PatchworknPlay
June 11 - Beth - Plumb & June
June 13 - Jenniffier - Jenniffier's Sometimes Creative Life
June 14 - Heidi - Fabric Mutt
June 17 - Rachael - Imagine Gnats
June 18 - Elaine - Dashasel Sews
June 20 - Sandie - Crazy 'Bout Quilts
June 21 - Amy - Lots of Pink Here
June 24 - Danny - Mommy for Reals
June 25 - Cindy - Tops to Treasures
June 27 - Leanne - She Can Quilt
June 28 - Melissa - Sew Bittersweet Designs
July 1 - Cindy - Fluffy Sheep Quilting
July 2 - Rhonda - Quilter in the Gap
July 3 - Trish - Notes of Sincerity
July 5 - Erin - Why Not Sew
July 8 - Chrissy - Sew Lux
July 9 - Carrie - A Passion for Applique
July 11 - Katy - The Littlest Thistle
July 12 - Kelley - Casa Crafty
July 15 - Emily - Strawberry Patch
July 16 - Heather and Megan - Quilt Story
July 18 - Annette - My Rose Valley
July 19 - Katie - There & Back <-------- it="" look="" me="" p="">July 22 - Melissa - Lilac Lane
July 23 - Jenelle - Echinops & Aster
July 25 - Shanna - Fiber of All Sorts
July 26 - Jane - Jane's Fabrics and Quilts
Wrap up and Linky running July 26 - August 5, 2013

Share what you're making:

Flickr group Facebook group Instagram - #aseasonbyhand


These lovely shops and pattern designers are sponsoring some amazing giveaways throughout the series, so make sure you stop over and show them some support!


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