Wednesday, October 31, 2012

a costume and a winner

Happy Halloween!  So this year, I did something I swore I would never do.  I sewed a Halloween costume.   I always thought that the time and effort to make a costume for one day of the year was not worth it, and would send my kids to the dress up box on Halloween to find something that fit over their snowsuits and call it a day.  And they never seemed to mind.   But this year, my 8 year old son had it in his head that he wanted to be a puffle, and only a puffle would do.

A what?!?!?  For those of you unfamiliar with puffles, they are the wee colorful and fuzzy pets in the Disney online game Club Penguin, and look something like this:

Big G wanted to be a red puffle, so I got some fun fur and some red hairspray and we have this:

Mission accomplished!  Happy kid, happy mom.  The Middle Child chose her Minnie Mouse cosutme from her last dance recital, and Last But Not Least....a princess.  Again.

Now, onto the winner for the Ghastiles fabric bundle from Alice at alidiza.  I took out a couple entries that were duplicated to bring the total to 46 the winner is:

And that is Tawny! Tawny happens to be a fellow Winnipegger (who I have yet to meet in person!) and has a great blog here.

I will get your mailing info and pass it on to Alice.

Have a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Welcome, Festival Goers!

Amy's Creative Side

This time around, I have decided to share my favorite quilt-du-jour and most recent finish, my Ghastlies quilt.   I found the perfect "haunted house" at which to photograph my quilt...very spooky!


I made this one with no pattern or plan in mind, just started with a few wonky blocks around fussy cuts from Alexander Henry's The Ghastlies line, and the project grew.  I added oranges, purples and pinks from my stash to compliment the greys and blacks, and had a blast bringing it all together.  One of my favorite parts is the wonky border, and the huge spiderweb quilting.  I did a tutorial for the quilting here (and there is also a Ghastly giveaway that you can enter if you'd like!).

The back is a simple spiderweb print from the local Fabricland, which, we discovered by fluke recently, glows in the dark!  My kids were VERY excited by this, really ramped up the "cool" factor for them (is "cool" the word to use these days??).

Wishing you all a spooktacular Halloween, and thanks for stopping by!  You can peek at some of my other finished quilts here if you'd like.  Enjoy the Festival!

Update:  It is nomination time, so if you are kind enough to nominate my quilt, I am #352!  Best categories would be:
- quilt photography
- home machine quilted (spiderweb!)
- throw quilt

Thank you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

spiderweb quilting tutorial and giveaway

*This giveaway is now closed*

Have you heard about the Ghastly Gathering hosted by Alice at aldiza?

A Ghastly Gathering!

She is running a fun little link up of all things Ghastly over at her blog, along with tutorials and such.  You should stop by!  And to top it off, she is giving away bundles of Ghastly fabric to participants (and I was lucky enough to win one- thanks, Alice!)!  She asked me if I would do a tutorial for the spiderweb quilting I used on my own Ghastly quilt.  

And as an added bonus, she will be awarding this bundle of the Ghastlies to someone who comments on this post!

So, here goes!

First of all, RELAX.  It is very freestyle, i.e. impossible to mess up.  The less mapped out and linear, the better.  But it helps to do a bit of preplanning.

I took a piece of paper and roughly sketched my quilt size, and decided how I wanted the web to extend.  Instead of centered, I found it was more dramatic offset to one side.  I placed the epicenter at the top right of the quilt.  Then I mapped out the radiating lines from that point.  I liked it best when lines did not cross through the center and keep going...made it a bit more wonky, which suited my quilt.

I basted my quilt and then chose my thread.  I opted to use a thicker thread, Aurafil 12 wt ("normal" is 50 wt), in a coordinating orange/yellow shade so that my quilting was very pronounced.  This thread reminds me a bit of the Perle cotton thread that I like to use for hand quilting, though not quite as thick.

Next I took some time to mark the radiating lines with dressmakers chalk and a ruler.  This will wash out completely so it is great for this purpose.

I started my quilting, following along those lines.

Once my radiating lines were placed, I started the webbing.  Beginning at the epicentre, I made c-shaped connections between the lines, turning the quilt as I went, the curve dipping towards the centre.

Continue until the entire quilt is covered in a spooky spiderweb!

Remember to leave a comment here to enter Alice's giveaway. Winner will be drawn on Sunday October 31!

*This giveaway is now closed*

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday: the one where I knit sh**

With the cooler weather whistling away outside, I have the annual feeling to nest.  Curling up in a cosy sweater with the knitting needles is just the thing!  So I have been knitting up a storm of late.

So far: 4 finished knit objects.  But all for gifts, so you will have to wait for the reveals.  I love this rainbow stack of yarn colours!

Currently on the needles (and aren't they cool needles??):  a Herringbone Cowl for me.  Love this pattern by Purl Soho. And the Madelinetosh chunky in Cove is divine!

On deck: a sweater in this pattern for The Middle Child in this luscious purple yarn by Malabrigo.

As for sewing, I have an optimistic (and likely unrealistic) list of handmade Christmas gifts I plan to make.  Quilting wise, I am in the midst of assembling my Linky Love quilt it!  Grateful I have Tracey's pattern as a road map....lots of little pieces in this one, so it is good to just turn off my brain and rely on her excellent instructions.

Sharing over at WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the latest.

Working on some odds and ends.   Plus trying to get a jump start on some "Christmas Crafting" so it may be a wee bit quiet around here!

I made these seedling blocks for Tracey, who is putting a quilt together for a friend diagnosed with cancer.  I am sure a quilt full of these cheerful blocks will soothe her.

And been knitting away!  A sneak peak of a gift...used a cool new "cross stitch" for this one, and some lovely Malabrigo yarn.  So colourful an soft!

I am doing a little swap with my friend Svetlana.  My couch has been wanting some pillows for ages, but I never get around to it, and she makes such lovely ones, so I hit her up to make me one in exchange for a knit cowl.  Almost is a sneak peak of that as well!

Aren't I mysterious?  Hope to have more to show you, sooner or later!

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

because I was in a bad mood.

I had a bad day today.  Not exceptionally bad or anything, in the grand scheme of life, but enough to make me cranky.  And you wouldn't like me when I'm cranky...(as she turns green...Hulk reference).

I blame it on work.  It was a bloody, messy day.  Okay, I am a dentist so "bloody" isn't anything to get alarmed about.  But it was bloodier than necessary, in my opinion, and I just didn't like it.  On the plus side, it was a half day, so I got to go home at lunch time to sulk and eat sugary things to console myself.

I had a good shower to wash off said blood (ha ha, kidding...sort of) and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.  But I felt like I wanted to be prettier.

If some Little Folks voile can't cheer a girl up, what can?

I grabbed a couple strips that I had in my stash and got to work.  Within a half hour, I had made this infinity scarf.  Seriously, instant gratification.  If you look you can see that my hair is still wet from the shower!  It was that fast.

Feeling much better.  Thanks, Anna Maria, for never failing to bring a smile to my face!  I owe you one.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ghastlies quilt is finished!

It's done!  Muahahahahaaaaaa!  (Did that sound evil?)

This quilt has to be the most "unnecessary" quilt I have ever made.  And the most fun!  It all just fell into place so instinctively, and I enjoyed every minute of the process.  Let's face it, normally I utter more than a few curse words in the quilt-making process,  but this one was smooth sailing!

Truth be told, I don't even really like Halloween.  But when I was introduced to Alexander Henry's The Ghastlies while at Sewing Summit last fall, I loved it, and bought a half hard with no particular plans.  I started making some wonky blocks with it last fall, inspired by Thumbelina's quilt.  I thought I would just make a wall hanging, but as the blocks accumulated, I ended up with more than enough for a quilt, especially once adding the wonky border- this thing finished at 65 by 75 inches!

Once the top was made, I instantly had visions of quilting it with a large, sprawling spiderweb. The epicentre is to the top left of the quilt (you can click on the photo to enlarge and see the quilting better).  I used a thick Aurafil thread in a yellow-orange shade so that the quilting is quite pronounced.

 I used the same thread to topstitch the binding for continuity.

I even love the back- found this perfect spiderweb fabric at Fabricland on clearance for $3.50/meter.  Score!

It was Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday, and we headed out to rural Manitoba to have dinner with The Hubs' family.  This "Haunted House" is just down the road from their farm....all perfectly rusted and falling down!  Even the day was grey and rainy and desolate...perfect for photographing a Ghastly quilt.  I have to give a shout-out to The Hubs for climbing over barbed-wire fences, avoiding the multiple cow patties, and patiently holding this up in the rain while I gleefully took photos!

Wishing you a SPOOKTACULAR day!

Shared at Quilt Story and linked up to A Ghastly Gathering at alidiza, which runs until October 28!

A Ghastly Gathering!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beginnings, middles and endings

Beginning a new quilt....using the Linky Love pattern by traceyjay.

In the middle of some adventurous quilting.

Finished a project with this lovely Malabrigo yarn, but it's a gift for someone special who often tunes in here, so you'll have to wait for the full reveal!

Speaking of beginnings, looks like we are beginning a new season today. Not ready for that white stuff.

Seriously. We were doing this just 4 days ago.

Mother Nature sure has her mood swings!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sunday slippers

I am working on a little swap with my friend Cherie, who I met at Sewing Summit last year.  She had requested some knit slippers.  I found this great pattern by French Press Knits for some felted ballet-style slippers, and since felting was new to me, thought I would do a test knit in my own size first.

What can I say, besides I absolutely love them.  So cozy, the perfect weight for wearing around the house on hardwood floors.

Or, for putting your feet up on a lazy Sunday afternoon :)

Deets on my Ravelry page.