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Sew Ottawa! Sew-a-Long: Borders

Welcome to your first block free week! 16 Blocks! Are you enjoying laying them all out and admiring how beautiful they all are? We know it might take a little longer to get all three blocks done and that is totally ok, work at your own pace.

How is your sashing coming along? Do you need any help deciding what to use for sashing? Feel free to post on the thread or send us a message – we are happy to help you spend your money decide on what to use.

This week our giveaway was this sweet little Dresden Pincushion. The winner was Kate Barbosa! Congratulations!

This week we are going to talk about borders for your quilt. Borders help with a lot of things

  • Frame your quilt and reduce and possibility of stretching in the quilting process
  • allows you to add extra size to your quilt if needed/wanted
  • compliments the colours in the quilt and helps tie the colours in the quilt together

Since everyones blocks are probably going to be a slightly different in size and I know I have talked to several people who are adding extra blocks the easiest way to do the borders is as follows:

Step 1: Fold your quilt in half and measure the middle of the quilt – I get 23″ so my first border will be 46″ – cut 2 strips of fabric at 46″ x the width you are doing your border. We are choosing to continue with the 2.5″ that we used for the sashing of the quilt so 2 strips at 46″ x 2.5″. You will want to pin the borders on before sewing – I recommend pinning in the middle, the ends, and then in between those two (quarter mark or so). Sew those to the sides of your quilt and press. If your quilt is wider than the width of the fabric you just sew two strips together – press the seams open and then continue as normal.

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Now you will need to fold your quilt in half the other way and measure down the middle – make sure you are measuring including the two borders you just added. For my quilt I get 24.5″ so I will need 2 strips at 49″ x 2.5″. Sew those to the side of your quilt and press and voila! you are done putting your border on your quilt.

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Next week we are going to talk about batting, and the longarm quilting process. We will be going Live at Mad About Patchwork with Sharyn to talk the ins and outs of the Longarm process.

Looking forward to seeing all your quilts laid out this week!

Much love,

C

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Happy Birthday Sawyer

On March 14th, 2017 we found out that our sweet little daughter, Sawyer Marie, had passed away. At 39+3 weeks pregnant her little heart stopped beating suddenly and unexpectedly. She was born with the most perfect little red lips and the chubbiest little newborn thighs.

I didn’t know what to do with myself, all I wanted was Sawyer. I wanted to spend my days curled up in bed with the blankets over my head (and gin in my hand if I am being perfectly honest) but I had my 2.5 year old son to worry about and take care of.

Shortly after Sawyer died I headed down to my sewing room to finish a quilt I had started for my son. I hadn’t spent a lot of time down there since my son was born aside from a few projects here and there and it felt good and comforting to be in there. I was able to lose myself in my projects and found comfort in the process.

I have been quilting since 2011 and had tried a few clothing items but really fell in love with making clothes for my son and his little friends. I started to sew things for Sawyer, things that I had been excited to sew for her before she was born, little rompers and dresses, sweaters and grow with me pants. She wasn’t here to wear them but it brought me comfort getting to make things for her.

Late in the fall I started to think about her birthday and what Sawyer would be doing when she turned 1 if she had been here with us. She would probably be walking (running like her brother??) and she would probably be busy (oh so busy!)  I started searching for the perfect dress pattern, I tried out quite a few on my friends daughters and had my friends on the search for the perfect pattern as well (thank you Tania, I appreciate you so much). Suddenly a few weeks ago I stumbled on the perfect dress. I had found this fabric from Rifle Paper months ago and tucked it away waiting for the perfect dress.

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Yesterday a friend showed up with cupcakes and that beautiful sign for my little blog here, and that cute little cupcake topper. I couldn’t resist putting them together with her little dress I made for her little birthday celebration.

This past year has been hard, impossible a lot of the time but we have had the most amazing community surrounding us. That first month there was a meal train set up and the most amazing meals were delivered. Some other amazing friends organized a fundraiser and we were able to get a beautiful bench and tree at our local park dedicated to our little Sawyer.

I am going to go up whenever Spring shows up and get a photo of her little pink cherry blossom tree in bloom. It was put in in November so I am hoping it survived the winter!

Thank you so much to this amazing community who lifted us up and always keep Sawyer in their hearts. It means the world to me to know that while she doesn’t get to be here with us she is never far from everyones thoughts and she is remembered and celebrated.

Here is a poem written by Edward Searl that was read at Sawyers Memorial when we unveiled the bench, it puts to words what I have never been able to properly say.

My little, one, my dear one, my love, you will be with me forever: in the thin sunlight and long shadows of a clear winter’s day; in the dawn excitement of birds sounding in early spring; 

In the beauty of apple blossoms and butterflies. 

In the rustle of heavy-leafed trees in a mid-summer’s night; In the rich aromas and bright colours of a warm autumn day. 

All that is excellent, brushed by Life’s brightness and shadow, will remind me of you. 

My little one, my dear one, my love. You will beat with my heart, see through my eyes, hear with my ears, feel on my skin. Because your soul is mingled with my soul, forever, My little one, my dear one, my love. 

I love you my sweet little baby girl.

 

 

 

Sewing

Dresses and Cupcakes

It’s been a winter of hibernating in my sewing room and working on all sorts of fun little projects! I have been trying out a few dress patterns for an upcoming class at Fabric Crush that I will be teaching – We have decided on the Bellevue Dress and Romper from Little Lizard King. They have such awesome patterns, I find them so easy to follow and the instructions are always so clear.

We went for a little photo shoot with my dear friend Dominique Lamontagne who is not only an amazing photographer (seriously you guys, she’s won international awards!) but she’s one of the best humans you will ever meet. She brought her daughter to model the dress and we convinced another friend to come along with her daughter as well.

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Anabia Cupcakes we were able to get some fabulous photos of these cute little ladies and the dresses as well!

Here is the Bellevue Dress with a Peek a Boo Bonnet from Made by Rae I will be teaching the Bellevue Dress at Fabric Crush on the 25th of March, you should come and join us! All the fabric from this dress is from Fabric Crush and is from FreeSpirit Fabrics.

 

This dress is the Pearl from Simple Pattern Company, I love the look of the dress, its a beautiful dress but I am not impressed with the pattern instructions at all. The fabric is from Fabric Crush from Tanya Whelan Designs. Such fabulous fabric!

This last dress is a favourite around these parts, it’s the Starlight City Dress from Lil’ Luxe. I love this pattern, it is such an easy sew and is always so cute. This one has the double skirt option which makes it feel so full and look so fluffy!

 

Seriously, look at these two!

What’s on your sewing table this weekend? I am participating in the #IGQuiltFest this month, you should head over there and follow along!

Have a wonderful weekend!

C

Sew-a-long

Sew Ottawa! Sew-a-Long Week 8

Welcome to Week 8 of the quilt-a-long!

Thank you all for sharing your beautiful blocks with us last week! You guys are doing amazing! Are you finding it’s getting easier to get your points lined up? It’s all starting to come together!

Last week our prize was a Moda Charm Pack and Mini Charm Pack. Our winner was Erica Prince! Congratulations Erica!

This week our prize is this cute little hexi pillow cushion cover pattern (pattern only) from Tania.

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Tania and I are working on the Mug Rug Tutorial – we are going to tie it into the blog post about binding your quilt – you can’t make a mug rug until you know how to bind a quilt! Lots of fun stuff coming up for you all!

Have you thought at all about the back of your quilt? What are you going to put on the back of this pretty that you have spent 3 months working on? There are a lot of options!

I am a sheet junkie, as in, I see a pretty sheet set that I think would look pretty on the back of a quilt and I buy it and stash it for the perfect quilt. Its economical – you can usually get at least 2 quilts out of one sheet set depending on how big your quilts are/how big the sheets are that you bought, and they are usually good quality meant for lots of washes. Keep an eye on the thread count and the quality of the fabric though, you want to make sure it is a quality sheet. I bought a few of the fleece sheet sets from Costco this winter and used them as well, the quilts are so soft and smooshy and amazing! Something to keep in mind with fleece though is that it is really stretchy so you’ll need lots of basting and possibly pinning. I got Sharyn at Huntley Studios to do my last one though and there was minimal stretching on the long arm machine.

Second hand stores – I have been known to snatch up super cool/funky antique sheets from the second hand store. This is also a lovely, economical option but you do have to look over the sheet thoroughly. Make sure there are no threadbare spots or weak spots in the sheet. The last thing you want is to put all this hard work into your quilt only to have the back tear or come apart after a few washes/rough play with your kids.

Fleece and Flannel – If you are going to to go this route it is a fabulous option but make sure you stick to fleece from quilt shops (or higher quality sheets). The lower end stuff tends to be stretchier and will distort more when quilting. It also won’t give you the longevity you are looking for. Years ago I made a rag quilt for my husband, I used a mixture of cheapie and quilt store quality flannel. Within 4-5 washes the cheapie stuff was so washed out looking and lost its softness. 7 years later and that quilt store fleece still looks beautiful and vibrant and still so so soft.

Minky/Fireside/Cuddly – Same as above, please buy from a reputable quilting shop/fabric store. Dont cheap out on this stuff. Its amazing on a quilt back and makes for some awesome snuggles! The cheap stuff tends to be stretchier and will distort like crazy – don’t waste your money on it! Fireside is denser and has less stretch, it’s a great option and so soft.

Quilt Stores – I know a lot quilters who only use quilting cotton (or linen etc) from the quilt store for the back of their quilts. This is a wonderful option, you are guaranteed to get coordinating fabric to match the top of your quilt (yah know, if you’re into that sort of thing), it’s excellent quality quilting cotton, there is little to no stretch and its always super pretty. It is usually a pricier option though – a twin quilt can use 5&1/2 meters of fabric for the backing!

Piecing – sometimes I use multiple pieces of fabric for the back of my quilt, usually to use up larger scraps I have. Sometimes you might want to make your quilt back another part of your quilt. This backing that Monica from Mad About Patchwork made is like the back of a hockey Jersey to go with the ice rink on the front. The sky is the limit really when it comes to piecing on the back!

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When it comes to the back of your quilt it is all up to you. These are just a couple of my favourite options. Just make sure that whatever fabric you are using is of good quality and will stand the test time.

Now, on to the blocks! We are back up to two blocks this week and will continue with two blocks until the end now.

I love this stripy block, it’s just so sweet and the options with it are endless.

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Edited to change the second block! I actually did the same block twice – no more late night blogging for this girl!

Here is the new block, I will give you two variations of it and you can choose the one you like best – same block you can just choose how you want the centre of the block to look 🙂

I will get a better photo in the morning in natural light!

I hope you like this weeks blocks! Have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing all your pretties!

Much Love,

C

Sew-a-long

Sew Ottawa! Sew-a-Long Week 7

Week 7! How are we at week 7 already!? Block 9 is the last block of February! Wasn’t Tanias block from week 6 so gorgeous!

Have you started thinking about actually quilting your quilt yet?!? So exciting! We are going to be going live from Huntley Quilting Studio to show how Long Arm Quilting works. Once we get the date and time solidified we will let you know and you can either watch live or come to the studio and join us!

This weeks giveaway was your choice of one of two awesome #sewottawa mugs generously donated by Tania and a little rainbow mug rug to keep your desk or sewing space clean of crumbs and coffee/tea spillage. The winner was Krystal Girvan! Congratulations Krystal!!!

27973340_10160260742045529_2887631464720714022_nI will be doing a tutorial this weekend on mug rugs – it’s a great way to practice different quilting techniques while not investing in a huge quilt.

This week our prize is this sweet little charm/mini charm pack from Moda Bake Shop. Here is a great place to start on fun projects that include charm packs and mini charms.IMG_2536.jpg

I had been working on a blog post to give you a detailed description of how to square up your blocks to make sure everything is lined up perfectly. I realized that one of my absolute favourite quilters already had an amazing tutorial and there was no way I was going to be able to top it, so if you are struggling with your points lining up or getting your blocks properly squared up then I highly recommend heading over to Diary of a Quilter and taking a look at her squaring up method.

A few of you mentioned seam ripping this week so I thought I could share my favourite  little tip about seam ripping (I am a pro at it, believe me!) If you have to remove some stitches, use a seam ripper to undo every 3rd or 4th stitch on the bobbin-thread side of the patches. Then pull the top-thread side and the seam will magically unzip!

Now, onto the block! We are just doing one block this week but will be going back up to two blocks next week, we just wanted to give everyone some time to catch up.

I don’t have a name for the block this week but I think she’s really pretty! Lots of point matching so you’ll get lots of practice and make sure you do lots of pressing!

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I am sorry for the wrinkled look of this block. Mr3 ran off with it so it’s looking a little disheveled for its photo!  IMG_2533

Thank you all so much for sharing all your beautiful blocks with us every week. We are having so much fun hosting this SAL and seeing all the blocks you wonderful ladies create!

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

C

 

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Sew Ottawa! Sew-a-long Week 5

Welcome to week 5! You guys are doing so amazing and your quilts are coming together nicely! At this point we should have all have 5 blocks and we will be adding 2 more this week – almost halfway there if you aren’t quite caught up yet that’s ok, we will have some time at the end to get caught up.

Last week we had a wonderful prize donated from Jenna-Rae at Fabric Crush. Thank you Jenna-Rae! The winner was Christa Fine with her beautiful Purple blocks!

This week our prize is a box of Shout Colour Catchers and two FriXion pens – perfect for all the HSTs we are doing!!

This week we are going to talk about lining up points and keeping seams lined up. It has been brought up a lot on the weekly threads so I thought we could go over a few tips.

  1. Cutting and Sewing. Make sure you are starting with your 3.5″ blocks and they are not misshaped or the wrong size, a 1/16th of an inch can make a big difference in the final product! Check your seams and make sure your seam allowance is correct. You will need your seam allowance to be 1/4″, if you don’t have a 1/4″ foot for your machine then use your ruler and measure as pictured, then use tape to give you a guide when sewing.
  2. Pressing. It’s a game changer, I promise. It will keep everything crisp and sharp and help you get the end look you really want. Take a look at Tania’s awesome tutorial last week on the fine art of pressing.
  3. Squaring up. If everything is squared up properly it is going to reduce the chances of your seams not lining up properly. If you have a ruler with the 90 degree angle line it is going to make everything go a lot smoother. You want to make sure that the center seam of your HST lines up with that line. If it is off your points are going to be off. When you are squaring up make sure you use that line as your guide and trim from there. I am going to do another blog post dedicated to squaring up – stay tuned later in the week for that but for now – here is what I am talking about:IMG_2409
  4. Pinning. So so so much pinning! I like to pin immediately before and immediately after a seam but when necessary I go ahead and put the pin right through the two seams, it isn’t going to harm anything and will pretty much guarantee that you are going to get the outcome you desire.
  5. Have FUN! Quilting is meant to be fun (at least in my opinion) and sometimes no matter what you do there might be an off seam, it’s going to be OK. Once your quilt is quilted and the binding done you’ll never think of (or notice) that seam again. Take a deep breath and enjoy the process.

Now, lets talk about blocks! I have two pretties for you guys this week. The first, in honour of upcoming Valentine’s Day, I have this beautiful heart! You are going to need 8 3” HST blocks and 8 plain 3″ blocks. 2 of those plain blocks need to be your solid (in this case the white).

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There are 8 HSTs, 2 white(contrast) and 6 solid.

Lay them out like so:

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Sew them altogether, I find for this one it comes together nicely doing each row and pressing your seams open. It makes for a nice clean finish. I’m actually  going to show you my flawed block this week, I struggled with the bottom right corner of this block  and I also got a little over zealous with the steam on my iron so there is some seam rippling, I’m just going to call it practice and do a new block!

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Our next block is a traditional HST block, it is a take on a Civil War Era block called Port and Starboard. It is a really pretty block and one of my favourites. You will need 16 HST squares for this block. Lay it out like so:

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This one can be a little tricky in some of the corners where there are 4 points coming together. Lots of pressing and pinning (and stitch ripping if you’re like me ha ha ha) should help with getting all those points lined up.

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I hope I answered some of your questions this week! Stay tuned for a squaring up blog post soon!

I look forward to seeing all the pretties you create this week,

Much Love,

C

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RoundUp!

I have decided that I should probably do a weekly roundup. I am participating in so many amazing quilt-a-longs and I want to share with everyone all these amazing quilters and resources!

I have been following the #citytilesQAL through QuiltyLove on Instagram and I am loving how my rainbow quilt is slowing coming together. I am about 3 blocks behind so I will be playing some serious catchup this week. For anyone that wants to join you should come on over to instagram and join the party! It will be a great quilt for adventurous beginners, lots of chain sewing and piecing going on.

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Fabrics are #konasolids (the grey) and #inthebeginningfabrics for the colours

Other fun stuff happening is the #12minisin12months sew along hosted by Knot and Thread. It’s self led so you can chose what mini quilt you make each month and then just post it to instagram with the #12minisin12months hashtag. Mini quilts are so awesome for new patterns that you want to try but don’t want to commit to a full size quilt. I like to use them to try out new techniques or practice my free motion quilting. My block this month is a heart for Valentines day, I threw it together last minute from some extra HST blocks I had from another project (hopefully on the blog soon!) and besides a few little silly mistakes I am happy with the way it turned out. The entries this month are incredible so I definitely need to up my game and try some new things!

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The goal here is to fill a wall in my loft area upstairs. We have been in this house for almost 5 years and I have never been able to figure out what to do with that space or how to decorate it. We have a new couch coming for the space and I will slowly decorate it with the mini quilts, I am looking forward to showing you the progress on that!

I am also doing the Moda Bake Shop Layers of Love quilt with hopes to have the top pieced by this weekend. The Moda Bake Shop was an incredible resource when I was just starting out quilting and I am still on there all the time trying their free patterns. You really need to go over and take a look, its pretty incredible!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Block 5 & 6 for the Sew Ottawa Sew-a-long! The ladies there are doing amazing, so amazing that we are doubling up on some weeks so that we have more time at the end to chat about batting and quilting and binding and all that fun stuff!  I can’t wait to see all the completed blocks (and quilts yay!!)

Much love,

C