Friday, September 30, 2011

Drunkard's Path QAL- piecing curves

Drunkard's Path. So named because those curves may drive you to drink, eh? I get it. You might be scared to jump in to the drunkard's path block- piecing curves is intimidating! I feel the same. So today I am going to give you an introduction to the process to ease your worry :)

As mentioned in the QAL announcement post, Kate and I are both hosting, and while I am using an Accuquilt Go! Baby to cut my fabric, she is using templates. This way anyone can participate! As a result of our two methods, our piecing methods will be a bit different. So, if you are using templates, go hop on over to Kate's blog for her show-and-tell. The rest of youz....stick with me!

So, once you have some fabric cut (more on that next week), you will line up an innie and an outie....just like this:

Now, it's time for that dreaded 4 letter word....PINS. I hate them, I am usually too lazy to use them. I only own about 5. But I resigned myself to use them here. You can pin the crap out of it, but I did it using 3 and it worked just fine.

UPDATE: I have since evicted the pins! While this method is still effective, if you would like to try my new pin-free quick and awesome method (not that I am trying to sell it to you or anything), click here.

First- pin the centers together (right sides facing if using 2 prints) using the handy notch as a guide:

Next, pin the two sides, making the edges square with each other. Yes, it is going to feel awkward! If it does, you are doing it right.

Now, take it to your machine and sew it up with a 1/4 inch seam. Use your fingers as you go to smooth the curve.

Take it to the ironing board and press (I pressed towards the darker fabric, either in or out).
Just FYI, these Go! Baby blocks are 4 inches, so will finish up at 3.5 inches in your quilt.

Ta da!

Now, don't stress if you have some puckers. I know I had some! These will all disappear when you quilt it up in the final stages, and make the crinkling in the wash and dry stage even sweeter!

So, there you have it. Not so scary, was it? Hopefully that eases your fears and you will join us in the fun :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Go! Baby Winner :)

So, I hopped over to and chose a winner....Alison from Little Island Quilting!

Now, those who know me know that Alison is a good blogging friend of mine, and I know what you are thinking....fixed! You would also know that I have issues getting the thingy to cut and paste onto my blog, so I took a PHOTO to prove it is the truth! See?!?

Spooky thing is, it actually first chose #44, which was Alison....I thought it looked suspicious and so I chose again: #46- ALSO Alison!! I gotta say, that freaked my freak!!! I can't mess with that kind of craziness, obviously this was meant to be and the last thing I need this week is to be struck down by lightning or something for not obeying the Gods, so to Alison it will go. I know she will make lovely things with it. Congratulations!

I also wanted to say a big thank you for all the thoughts, prayers and warm wishes regarding my post about my friend yesterday. It meant so much to me :)

Have a great day, and check back tomorrow for the next installment of the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along saga.....sewing curves!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In a heartbeat

A whole world can change in a heartbeat.

I found out last week that my best friend had a heart attack. A. Heart. Attack. I am still trying to wrap my brain around this.

She is 37 years old, like me. No risk factors or family history of heart disease. She has 2 daughters, aged 5 and 3. A husband. Parents. A career.

She is the friend that I met in 3rd grade, played hopscotch with in the school yard, went to my first school dance with, picked up first when I got my driver's license. She is the friend who cooked for me and comforted me when my little brother died in a car accident. Who stood up for me at my wedding, and who I stood up for, in return. We have shared the joy of 5 perfect babies between us, and she honored me with being the Godmother of her firstborn. She is the friend I talk to almost every day about all the little things that make a life, and is who I always expected would be the old lady by my side, making mischief together.

Thankfully, after a week in the hospital, she is now at home again. She is on the road to recovery, but it will be a long road, with many ups and downs. While her heart will heal, the biggest hurdle lies in her mind. How does one get past something like that? Wondering what lies ahead? The fear of leaving your children motherless in the blink of an eye?

I am hoping the answer to that, is love. She has an amazing support system of family and friends. The days have been filled with a rhythm of visits, cooking, scheduling, driving kids, hugs, crying.

So. I am tired. Sad. Scared. Relieved. Thankful. In short: a basket case!

What does one do when life comes apart at the seams? Piece it back together.

So, my crafting time will be limited for the next while. Just making a quilt for my friend. If you don't hear much from me, don't sweat it! I haven't had the time to respond to e-mails and comments like I normally like to do, but have appreciated them all. I am still looking forward to the quilt along, but will generally be spending my time where I am needed, as long as I am needed. Because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I could count on her to do the same for me and my family if the situation were reversed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today on Moda Bakeshop....

....I am cooking up some sweet framed coin purses and clutches!

So, if you want to learn how to use a couple slices of layer cake to make one of these...

...or some charm squares to make a stack of these....

....then pop on over to Moda Bakeshop and I'll walk you through it. Be sure to say hello!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quilt along announcement and a Go! Baby giveaway!

I have hinted in the past that a quilt along was on the horizon, and the time is now, People! I have paired up with Kate from Needle and Spatula to co-host a Drunkard's Path Quilt Along. As soon as I saw Kate's gorgeous quilt top (here!), I knew I wanted to delve deeper into this block and that she was the perfect person to do that with. So, the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along was born! I hope you can join us :)

I love the versatility of this block. It is traditional, yet can produce some of the most beautiful and modern patterns. Just check out some of these quilty inspirations in addition to Kate's take on this block!

1. go! baby. mini quilt., 2. Ripple quilt top, 3. Doll Quilt , 4. Bouncing Baby Blanket (Drunkard's Path Variation), 5. DRUNKARD'S PATH VARIATION - Handmade by Zilla Cook - quilted by DLQ, 6. mon sheri waves, 7. Yet another Drunkard's Path Variation, 8. Gobstoppers Quilt, 9. DRUNKARD'S PATH VARIATION - Multi Scrap/Cream - detail 1 - by Zilla Cook - quilted by DLQ - overall meander, 10. Drunkard's Path quilt...coming together nicely so far, 11. Drunkard's Path quilt top, 12. Drunkard's Path

We'll be starting up this project on October 21. We will be posting fabric requirements October 4 so that you can start to stock up. The quilt top will be finished in November, so that you can have it quilted and ready to gift for Christmas! One more thing off the holiday to-do list ;)

Here is the schedule:

September 30: Block construction options/curve-sewing tutorial
October 4: Fabric requirements
October 14: Block arrangement ideas
October 21: Planning blocks and cutting your fabric
October 27: Sewing your blocks
November 8: Assembling your blocks
November 15: Putting it all together to make your quilt top
November 21: Show and tell linky and giveaway!

Of course, there will be some fabric giveaways for those who get their tops done on target. Randi from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics has offered a gift certificate for $40 of fabric of your choosing- that is enough for 5 yards of fabric, basically another entire quilt top!

And Jody from The Fabric Shoppe has also generously offered up a fat quarter pack of Tula Pink's Prince Charming:

The cool thing about this quilt along? Kate and I are each doing it differently. Kate will be providing information and directions using templates, and I will be doing the same using the Accuquilt Go! Baby Drunkard's Path die!

Don't have a Go! Baby yet? Well, that is where the giveaway comes in handy, eh?

The lovely folks at Accuquilt have given me a Go! Baby to share with one of my readers, along with 3 dies of your choice! So go ahead and select the Drunkard's Path die as one of the three, and get right in on the quilt along fun! Want to see what else is available? Click on the link below to check out some free patterns by Accuquilt to get the ideas flowing :)

22 Free Patterns - Download Now

To enter, leave ONE comment. If you grab our QAL button and put it on your site, come leave a SECOND comment with a link and you get another entry. Winner will be announced on Thursday September 29. Best of luck!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

sewing with kids

When I visited Toronto in June, "Aunty Sam" sent me home with a suitcase full of birthday and "un-birthday" goodies for the kiddos. When The Middle Child turned 6, we had a kind of Christmas in July gift opening extravaganza!

Among a million great items, one of my favorite things was this "tea for two" set for Last But Not Least, which included 2 wooden tea cups with saucers, spoons, tea bags and lumps of sugar. Aunty Sam added some homemade felt cupcakes and sugar cookies with sprinkles, and some adorable cupcake napkins. Too cute! LBNL insisted this come in the van with us on our road trip, where she would pull it out periodically to have a tea party with her kitties :)

Another fabulous gift was sewing kits for both of my girls. Not that I want to mold my kids into mini-me or anything, but if they learn to love to sew, I would be SO PLEASED.
Aunty Sam even made The Middle Child a tote that read "J-'s Sewing Bag".
Of course these needed to come out of the box right away. The Middle Child, who I love dearly but usually has zero attention span, sat down and did the entire contents of this bag in ONE sitting!

LBNL was in there like a dirty shirt, and did her very first hand sewing {mama glows!}.

Thanks, Aunty Sam, for spoiling the kiddos yet again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Go Jets Go!

Welcome back to the 'Peg, Jets. We sure missed you. First preseason game is tonight. I'll be there to welcome you home!! Your fans are gonna raise the roof tonight (and every night)!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quilting WIPs

Phew! That was a week I am happy to leave behind. Sometimes life bites you in the arse, eh? Anyways. Enough about that. Let's talk quilting!

Since I gave you a knitting project update the other day, I thought I would also give you a peek at some of my quilting WIPs (happy, Alison?). I appear to be suffering from a bit of quilting attention deficit disorder these days, with several projects on the go and lots of hacking and slashing going on.

First up- I cut up this pile that I had shown you earlier....

And put it back together like this:

I used this pattern from Four Wise Monkeys on Sew Mama Sew, which of course seemed a perfect use for my Children at Play fabric. I've decided not to stop here, though- I plan to do some calculations to add some borders to convert this from a lap quilt to a double bed size. Back to that later!

Also- am feeling a little Christmas-y....

And have also used my Go! Baby to make use of my Bonnie and Camille Ruby layer cake. I may have utilized a bit of slave labour for that one ;)

Off I go to stitch these back together again!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Knitting conquests and WIPs

This summer, knitting was my craft of choice. We had such a hot, dry summer here that I didn't want to miss a minute inside at the sewing machine, so knitting was the perfect solution to satisfy my crafty urges while keeping me in the great outdoors. I brought it on car rides to the lake, to the playground while my kids played, or for just lounging in the back yard. It may have looked a bit odd, knitting up toques and mittens in the blazing heat, but it was all good to me!

So- here is what I have been weaving together. First up is a pair of mittens!

These little lovelies were made for a friend, to go with the purple hat that I showed you last month:
I looked high and low for a pattern in the same seed stitch as the hat, but nothing came up. So, I decided to make my own pattern! My first knitting pattern, and they turned out really well! I am planning to whip up another pair to double check a few things and then I will make the pattern available here on zee blog!

In progress: tiny tea leaves, take 2. An orange version of the blue sweater I had made for The Middle Child. Naturally, Last But Not Least started whining for one the second I cast off her sister's. It is my first time using Madelinetosh vintage hand died yarn, and I am IN LOVE. Cost a bit, but, like the "good" quilting cottons, is so worth it. I have to remind myself that, while I would never spend this much to BUY a sweater for my kid, the cost is really part garment and part entertainment for me ;)

Also making up a really cool new slouchy beret-style hat using some gorgeous Malabrigo Rasta yarn. The color is called laguna negra, and has some really beautiful shades of grey and amber.
I have kind of sworn off buying more fabric for a bit while I catch up on my stash, but yarn? Game on! This shade of Madelinetosh Chunky, called Cove, with its greys, browns and blues, has to be one of my all time favorites....

I also added a couple more skeins of Malabrigo Chunky to my stash, in Hummingbird. Likely for another set of seed stitch hat and mittens!
Soon, soon, soon, I will succumb and knit a sweater for me. Looks like I will be spending a lot of time in hockey arenas this winter again, so I think my needles will come along for the ride!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

so this woman has this sheep.....

I am having fun (read: wasting time) on Pinterest much eye candy! I promptly pinned a photo of this fantastic sweater:

Followed the links to Ravelry, and saw that the woman who made this sweater MADE IT FROM WOOL FROM HER OWN SHEEP. As in: raises the sheep, sheers it, cleans the wool, spins the yarn, dies it with natural ingredients, and then knits up a sweater (with her own design, no less). Just like that. Like a Mighty Pioneer Woman!!!

Damn (can I say that here?), I was impressed. Stuff like that rocks my socks. Inspires me to do more, push my limits. It got me to thinking....I should try to be more self-sustaining. Maybe plant a garden with vegetables for my family to enjoy?

Maybe raise my own animals to about a little Schnauzer on the grill?

(Just kidding, Bailey, you are safe with me! xoxo)

What do you think? Could you make it as a pioneer chick? What kind of things are you already doing from scratch for yourself? Tell me all about it.