Monday 27 February 2017

Celebrating Five Years: a giveaway

Does time go faster as you get older? It sure feels like it. I cannot believe it has been five years since I stared talking to you here. My blog was always meant to be a journal for me to record my quilting journey. After five years it is still that and so much more.

Since I started blogging I have found a community, birthed a guild, become a teacher, and I can even make something now without a pattern!  Becoming more confident with my sewing skills and sharing these skills with others has been a huge triumph for me. This blog started all of that. And you, my dear readers make all of this a ton of fun! I still get a thrill when a comment shows up after a post.

Before I get into the giveaway, I wanted to share my finished Mad About Patchwork Scrap Challenge that I talked about last week...String quilt success!

I had so much fun making this piece. Reflecting on it now I see some things I would change, but that is the fun part about learning right! Overall, I love it and it now lives on my office wall where I can enjoy it at the day job.

Many thanks to Rachel at Stitched in Color and Mad About Patchwork for this fun challenge. You can enter for a chance to win the same fabric bundle that I used for this challenge over at Stitched in Color this week so make sure to drop by and check it out.

OK, OK, back to the good stuff.

Congratulations to @twilight_leigh

To celebrate blogging and YOU I have a wee giveaway. I have been asking around about favorite notions and it turns out many of my favorites are yours too. So today's prize is a selection of my top five sewing notions...

1. Wonder Clips - the name says it all!
2. Rotary Cutters - we all love our rotary cutters. My favorite is the Olfa Splash, I love the quick release button for blade changes.
3. Rulers!!!! - everyone loves rulers and I have recently discovered the magic that is Olfa Frosted rulers. That little bit of grip makes cutting that much easier.
4. Seam Ripper - you love them, you hate them, but this Clover one is my favorite
5. Hera Marker - not on everyone's list, but it's on mine (and I love the Clover version) and I give them as gifts all the time, a great way to mark your quilt with no marks!

1. Leave a comment - any comment.
2. For another chance to win head over to my Instagram Page @chezzquilts make a comment and tag some friends for more chances to win.

The draw will close at midnight AST on Friday March 3rd
** this draw is open to the whole world!

Good luck and as always, thanks for visiting!

Sunday 19 February 2017


Tomorrow is Heritage Day in Nova Scotia. A time when we celebrate contributions to this province’s unique heritage. A great day to talk about my latest challenge!
A couple of weeks ago I was having a little quality Bloglovin time and came across the Mad About Patchwork Scraps Challenge at Stitched in Color. Eight fat eights were up for grabs from MAP, for Canadian readers to make something scrappy. Rachel was going to pick three readers to take on the challenge.

I wrote this: "I am in the East Coast (NS) and am dreaming of a pattern. A pattern that brings traditional NS quilting and modern themes together. Modern Heritage?". I was one of the folks picked!
We were allowed to add one fabric to the scrap pile so I chose a new white tone on tone from the Friedlander Collection.
Now I needed to make something. And in a very quick turn around time. especially since I did not get the scrappy fabric until just two days ago and our finished piece is due Thursday! (note- late fabric due to blizzards, not MAP!)

So what is my quilty heritage in Nova Scotia? I did some research. I looked for stories and inspiration. Looking for something unique that I could then interpret in some modern way. Guess what I found?

The quilters in Nova Scotia have been making the same patterns that all quilters have been making since the beginning of quilty time. Four patches, hexagons, Irish chains, bear paws, strip quilts, flying geese, HSTs. I was looking for something different. What I found was a comfortable solid ground.

"the story of quilting in Nova Scotia has less to do with creation of elaborate or unusual quilts, and more to do with production of functional but often visually pleasing quilts by hardworking, practical women. It is a story of continuity, of tradition and remarkable output. Where hands of many generations have worked together to provide comfort for family, friends, and strangers, both at home and abroad." Scott Robson, Sharon MacDonald, Old Nova Scotian Quilts

Right, so you will not see anything revolutionary from me here today. But maybe you'll see one of your old favorite patters or techniques in a bit if a different way. This is where string blocks came in.

At our January MMQG meeting we had a great demo by Miss Scrapmaster Herself on string blocks. These babies have been on my mind a lot in the last year as my scraps have been piling up and I am still in Sew My Stash mode. It seemed the strings were calling me.

I turned the MAP bundle into more scraps (the 9" strip dictated a 6.5" foundation square) and added a white background to spruce up the darker color palette. I started off thinking all of my strips would be the same size. Randomly placed, but the same size. But then I got bored. I started piecing large  strips and narrow strips. In the end if was an improv frenzy. It was fabulous!

I finished up this special piece this morning and I am just smitten. I can't share with you yet, but watch here and at Stitched in Color for the full reveal later this week.

Ill also be celebrating my Five-Year Blogversary this week, so stay tuned for a birthday giveaway!
Happy Heritage Day!

Sunday 12 February 2017

Tinsel: Christmas in February

I have decided that the best time to make holiday items is during and post said holiday. Way less pressure!

Over the Christmas Holidays I really felt like sewing something holiday-ee. I had been sitting on these Cotton + Steele Tinsel scraps from a project back in...wait for it...2013! Time to use those scraps!
the size and shape of scarps that I had left really helped determine the pattern, and I wanted something that let the fabric shrine so I chose a simple cross block. There is a lot of a color in these fabrics so I thought I would go with a cream solid for the plus. A great idea in theory, but can you see the pluses in all of that noise? Neither can I.

Not giving in and taking some advice from the cyber world, I added sashing in the same cream. Much better! 

Once the top was done I still had some scraps left. Now I was on a mission. Must. Use. All. The. Scraps. So I improv pieced the rest of the scraps and came out with a giant plus which I then pieced into the back. I still had a couple of scraps left so I made that into a pillow top (yet to be finished).
The last piece - binding. I was out of fabric. I had lots of cream left but I really wanted a tinsel finish. So a call out on IG and my friend Chris at Patch Halifax came through from her scrap bin. Enough for binding with four inches to spare!
So the good news - all scraps were consumed and I declare this Scrap Project #1 for the year. The goal is to have lots of scrappy finishes this year.

So have you made a Christmas themed quilt? I have always wanted one, but I suspect it will be used all year round...

PS. don't forget I'm celebrating 5 years in the bloggy universe this month! Stay tuned for a giveaway!

Saturday 4 February 2017

The only swap I will do this year...

I keep repeating that to myself over and over, like a mantra, warding off evil spirits...this is the only swap I will do this year, this is the only swap I will do this year... This is my mini quilt for the #mqgswap, the first swap run by the Mothership.

It's not because swaps are evil or anything like that. I really like them! But I tend to get sucked into things when I already have a million things on my list to do. Then I fell overwhelmed, then I feel quilty. Why do we put ourselves through that? So, no more swaps for me this year. I'm going to focus on that pile of WiPs again this year, I am getting to the bottom! And, I am still sewing from my stash this year which delights me...using all of my fabric treasures.

A little more about this swap. I started with fabric of course. My partner wanted bright colors and in the depth of winter I needed some sky colors so this is where I ended up...

Then my partner really had a liking for Libs Elliott designs so I thought HSTs would make me happy and get to a Libs Elliott feel. I hit Pinterest for some inspiration.

The mini-quilt ended up at 24" square. I did spiral quilting on this piece, I love the texture that it gives and thought it was a good contrast to all of those straight lines.

 This piece is now off to Calgary I hope my partner likes it!

In other news, at the end of this month I am going to be celebrating five years in the quilty bloggy world. Where has the time gone? So of course I am all "reflecty" this month, but I promise not to get too boring. In fact I am planning a little giveaway for my blogversary so be sure to stay tuned...

I have also been busy sewing up orders for Seamwork these days. Canadian Flag Pillows are pretty popular since our Country is celebrating it's 150th Birthday this year.

And I made this sweet puppy pillow for my friends daughter to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Well, that's me for now. I'm off to Patch Halifax this morning to teach some folks how to make Elizabeth Hartman's Sleep Sloth. Should be a fun day!

See you soon!

ps:  I'm going to sneak in to TIGFF! this week, and also linking up with Show Off Saturday.