Friday 28 December 2012

What's in a Year?

The answer is - more sewing than last year!

Welcome to my 2012 Roundup! Last year at this time I was ogling enviously quilt blogs that I follow as they showcased their 2011 Roundups in those cute little photo collages. I wanted to do that, and more importantly, I wanted to actually sew this year, get some projects completed, renew my creativity (tall order maybe, but I was up for the challenge).

So I am very happy today to share my 2012 Roundup (I even found out how ti make the cute collagey thingy - thanks to Janice for her help!)

First, the quilt finishes

And because I was having fun with collage toy, here are the Stash Bee Blocks I made this year

Now I must admit, I wanted to have like 6-10 quilts done this year. However, since this is supposed to be fun, and not work, and considering my day job keeps me pretty busy, I am very proud to finish what I did. Plus, I have two finishes just around the corner, so I know that even in January I will be ahead for the year for my 2013 roundup!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday 25 December 2012

It's Christmas!

The snugly day has arrived. Perhaps I was a bear in a previous life, but I am so down with hibernating once snow touches the ground. Christmas Day is the best day to snuggle inside, by the tree and your hubby, play with your new toys and maybe watch some Christmas themed movies. My hubby and I are not feeling 100% today, so looks like we are going to miss Christmas dinner. But we are nevertheless snugly on the couch soaking up Christmas goodness. Here is a peek inside our house...

The Tree - I am trying glass ornaments this year. Was not sure about our wee Penny (kitty kat) the last couple of years, but she seems to leave the tree alone. Well except for last night when she tried to eat the garland...

The Food - I make this sinful Bacon, Potato and Cheddar tart each year, and only once a year. It will likely kill you, but it is sooooooo goooooooood. If you want to make it yourself, here is the recipe.

The Kids - We are blessed with three "kids", Sally (dog), The Orange Cat (self explanatory), and Penny (kitty). When Orangie wants to be loved, he makes his presence known, even if you are trying to play computer. Sally has been guarding the tree...and the presents.

The Husband - This is Max in all of his glory on  Christmas morning. Each time he got a new piece of clothing, he would strip off the old and put on the new. He is looking decidedly Canadian with the cammo hat, elk jammies, and of course the t-shirt. I feel it is my duty to remind him of the Canadian part of his dual-citizenship.  

The Inspiration - My friend Jenn broke out some ribbon  candy last night in memory of her grandmother (who always had it out for the kids). I am not sure how yet, but this feels like a quilt pattern to me...

The Us - A terrible picture (snarling Max and all), but somehow I like it. My new year's resolution is to actually take more pictures of us together (which will make the new camera lens that was under the tree this morning very handy). We have one picture from when we were 15 years old, our wedding picture and then this one. Not good! It will be a fun resolution at least. 

So that's my house at Christmas. 

Wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas and a Creative Quilty New Year!

Sunday 16 December 2012

What's in a label?

It is a snowy day here in Ottawa and I am cosy in my sewing room, Christmas lights atwinkling. Last couple of weeks has been full of stops and starts. Does that ever happen to you around the Holidays? Blogs I follow have been posting like it is going out of style with all of their Christmas handmade goodies. Have I made anyone anything this year? Nope. I think that if I was going to do that I would need to start in January! On the bright side I now have a list of things I would LIKE to make for next Christmas. See, there is always a bright side.

All of that being said I did do some sewing this weekend. I completed some Bee Blocks. As you know, I am part of Stash Bee, and recently I joined a second  Hive so I have a couple of bee blocks per month. It's fun!

So here are a couple of Improv Log Cabins (you can find the tutorial here)

and some Arkansas Crossroads (tutorial here).

An exciting bit for me to share with you today is the arrival of my quilt labels! Not sure about you, but labelling quilts has been the exception to the rule for me. Not quite sure why, but I just never did it. So with this blog and my internal plans to get more serious about my quilts, I splurged and ordered my very own labels! From Lilla Lotta they are custom cotton tape which you just cut one sew one...

Of course, I have this roll of goodness in my hand and no quilts at home in need of a label. Completely sucks, since I like to use newly purchased items ASAP! Then I had a brainwave, a  quilt that I made for my friend's 40th birthday this year, just happens to live in the bedroom next to my sewing room (said friend also happens to be my roommate!), so I have stolen it and labelled it quietly this afternoon. A treat for her later.

So do you label your quilts? And how?

So off I go, not to make last minute Christmas gifts, we have already covered that, but maybe to at least pin some rows together on the Foreign Currency quilt. Perhaps I could get that top done this week. Wish me luck!


Saturday 1 December 2012

Saturday Night Fever

No, I am not going to break out in Bee Gee's and sport Farah Fawcett winged bangs. So you are safe. But, I found myself home alone on a Saturday night. What to do?

Shocker right? Yeah Right. Put up some twinkly Christmas lights, pop in a good movie, crack a beer, and plop down to the sewing machine to work (wine and music works too, I'm not fussy. But it's not really work is it? Quilting for me is relaxing. I guess that's why it counts as a good Saturday night activity

The other side benefit of all this "relaxing;' is the the blocs are coming down off the design wall to join their buddies in the top!

Perhaps Foreign Currency will have a completed top by Monday!

So, when you have a quite night at home, do you end up at the sewing machine?

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Works In Progress

That's right, it's Wednesday! Time to talk works in progress. Last week there was no sewing. That's right I said no sewing. We all have those weeks, and last one was mine. But by the weekend I was feeling a little motivated. Guiltily I closed the closet on my Postage Stamp top which is crying to be basted and quilted, and opted to start something new. The idea of breaking out some new fabric and the rotary cutter was very appealing.

Doesn't my rotary cutter et al look cute in this
basket made of magazines from 10,000 Villages?

So I started my Foreign Currency quilt. The is a pattern from Cherry House Quilts, and one I have had in my pile of "want to make" for quite some time. This is also my very first all-solid project. I am pretty stoked! When the rotary cutter hit those Kona Solids I was having some fun!

I have even saved the trimming for a future stringy something ;)

The pattern came together fairly easily, and today I can show the top all ready to come together. Please disregard my hastily thrown together design wall.

My next work in progress needs to be a design wall! I have very little space, so need to do something portable. But there was no choice with this quilt as I needed to play with color and volume, so I ended up thumb tacking a batt to the wall (thank goodness for my forgiving roommate!). Either way, I hope to get this top stitched together this coming weekend.

The other little thing I did this week was pull my fabric for the Sugar Block Club which starts in January. I am looking forward to starting the monthly blocks and enjoying the recipes that go with them!

I chose the Metro Heaven & Helsinki fabrics that I recently bought. Can't wait to cut into them.

That's it for tonight. Need to sweep up some thread and get the sewing room ready for the days ahead. Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking up today at Freshly Pieced

Thursday 15 November 2012

Catskill Musings

No more serious sewing to report since my last update. I had a couple more days in The Catskills with my hubby and then I caught a plane for a second week of vacation in Nova Scotia. It is great to be in the Maritimes with my family, even if it means being away from the fabric stash (oh how I miss you!).

my mom and nephew

My last day in New York State was a beautiful one, and I felt the need to get out of the house. So I took the opportunity to check out a local quilt shop that I had been meaning to drop into for some time. The Patchwork Co. is nestled in the quaint village of Windham.

At the base of a ski hill, the shop is charming and a joy to visit. The owner said that this was her retirement gig. Would I love to work with fabric all day? Heck Yeah!

Besides the pleasant creaking of the wide hardwood floors and the bright white shelves simply loaded with fabric - guess what I found? Flea Market Fancy! I have never seen the whole collection in person - it was so great! Of course I bought a little to satisfy the fabric craving...

For sure my outing was a successful one. Fabric, sunny skies and the Catskill mountains all around. I have been coming to Roxbury for five years now, it is a gorgeous place. Filled with mountains, trees, old farmhouses, converted barns, waterfalls and great people. Yet another thing in my life that I am grateful to my husband for.

I guess I did fib a little. Since my last post I did make some Stash Bee Blocks. I forgot how simple and awesome the hour glass block is. I think I need to make more of these.

That's it! A couple more days and I have to get back to Ottawa and the real world. But on the positive side, it also means I will be back to my sewing room. Talk soon!

Wednesday 7 November 2012

WIP Wednesday

Reporting in from the Catskills today. It is a grey day, and I am missing the sunshine. But on the quilting front I finished my Postage Stamp top today! Yahoo!

I'll tell you what, the hardest part of this design is the time it took to lay out the 100 squares in each block. Not hard work, but time consuming. Once that was done it went together fairly quickly. I was going to do a 3x3 layout so that the finished square echoed the stamp block, but once I got going I went 3x4 and now it is  a nice size lap quilt. Now I will just have to decide how to quilt it. I am open to suggestions :)

My helper for this project was Penny, our tabby. I have to put a picture in here since she helps at every step of the process.

Well, I will have to wait until I get back to my batting stash in Ottawa to quilt this baby, but no worries, I have more fabric with me so I can start something new! Oh and I have bee blocks to catch up on. Guess WIP Wednesday continues!

What are you working on this week?

Thursday 1 November 2012

Chezzetcook What?

I have been thinking about this for awhile..the name and look of my Blog. I have been blogging for less than a year, and when I started I really struggled with what to call the darned thing. Seems simple doesn't it, and likely I have over thought it. But over the last few months I realized that the title "Shot Cotton" did not speak to me.

So here I am with a new name and a bit of a simpler look. Chezzetcook is the name of a small community on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. This is where I grew up. As I get further away from the ocean and my home province, I realise how important it is to me.

Chezzetcook Inlet from the air

So, this blog is my little tribute to that small place that had such a big impact on my life. And now, any quilt labelled "Chezzetcook" will carry a little piece of that influence wherever it goes. 

Now, let's get away from the serious stuff. It is one-day post Halloween, so here are some old school pics of me and my sister back in our house in Chezzetcook getting ready to go Trick or Treating

My sister Christina.
Why did a blacked out tooth seem so important to every costume?

That's me - note blacked out tooth again!
Thanks for dropping by.

P.S. wondering how to pronounce Chezzetcook? If you are a local, forget the "t" and say chezzencook! Say it fast and it will come out fine.

Sugar Block Club

Quick post today to share an exciting block club I joined today - the 2013 Sugar Block Club

if you are interested hop on over to Amy's Blog Stitchery Dickory Dock  to sign up!
Talk to you soon

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Storms & Fabric

A little fact about me...I am married. I live in Ottawa, Ontario and my husband lives in the Catskills in New York. Sure, long distance relations have their challenges, like super storms coming aground and you are not together. So this week, as Cyclone Sandy threatened NY, I headed South to hole up with my hubby and our "Kids" (two cats and the sweetest dog ever). We were a lot luckier than those on the coast. We did have rain and wind, but with our 12 hrs of power loss and all of our trees still standing we consider ourselves very lucky.

When the power goes out - it's card and ice cream for us (It could have melted and been wasted!)

One of the benefits of a cross-border romance is the shopping! I often order fabric from US websites and have shipped to my NY home (I sound pretty important huh? "NY home", trust me, not so much). The thing is, when I visit NY I get super surprises in the mail, because I often forget what I have ordered. So this visit was awesome, because there have been some great sales on at Pink Chalk Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop. Here's what I got:

And a great pattern - cannot wait to try this one.

So, with all of this travelling, storming and shopping, there has not been much sewing this week. But things are looking week is vacation for me, and I have brought my postage stamps along with me to work on.

Next week is all about sleeping in and quilting. Yay me!
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Stamps: W.I.P. Wednesday

1,200. That is the number of 2" squares I placed and fused yesterday.

I am following Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial using fusible interfacing to make 100 square blocks. The technique is just awesome. I needed to start by making myself a pressing board. A quick trip to Home Depot and I had a piece of plywood. Some spare fabric, batting, a staple gun and good ole' duct tape (my Dad's fave) and I am set!

Another trip to the fabric store and I found a rocking deal on fusible interfacing. It was marked with a grid, but I found my 2 inch squares overlapped the grid, so I just made sure I started with one side of super straight blocks and then moved out from there. Elizabeth was right, you really need a "scant 2" block" for this project. Nevertheless, I am super happy with how pretty they look. Now to sew all of those suckers together!

So when I started cutting my scraps up, I thought I might have enough for two or three 100 square blocks. I had enough to make 12! So depending on layout, I could make one or two quilt tops... Any layout ideas for me?