From our Families to Yours...

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas!

Alisa and family
Suzanne and family

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
Romans 15:13


Book Character Day

I finally uploaded my pictures from the past month onto the computer and realized I didn't show you our costumes from Book Character Day.  (Now hopefully my computer doesn't crash as it's been acting up lately!)

Here we have....Gandalf, Blabbermouth, and  Princess Rachel !

I spent the most time on the Gandalf costume.  The only thing I bought was a brown curtain for the cape!  I just cut it to the right length and put a tie through the casing at the top.  For the robe I used a fabric I had in my stash that's pretty heavy and doesn't really fray.  Lukas made the beard using this tutorial.  The hat is based on this tutorial except I used the plastic from a crazy carpet sled for the brim :)
Close up of the hat.  Definitely the hardest part but I'm happy with the result and Lukas was very, very pleased!


Quilts for Charity

Last February when we had our quilt retreat we asked everyone to bring a blue/white and green/white 9 patch so we could make a quilt for the Pregnancy Care Center.
The 9 patch blocks we started with...
They sat in my sewing room until May when Fenna from FABulous Home Sewn spear headed a sew-a-long for Pregnancy Care Centres.  It was a good push to get it done!  Laura, from Crafty Hour, and I worked on it together, making it a disappearing 9-patch quilt.
Over the next couple of months Laura made a few more quilts with fabric from Fat Quarter Shop that they generously donated.  Laura pieced and I quilted this cute Dr. Seuss one.
Check out the flickr pool and see the other sewing and quilts they made.  Still a few more to be made from all the fabric that was donated.  Hopefully we can do that this winter sometime.



On the Grid Quilt

Or I could call it "Finally Finished" but then that would be the name for many of my quilts, so that would be boring.

This quilt started with a collection of blue fabrics.  From an online charm swap, another charm swap at my first ever quilt retreat five years ago, and other blue fabrics that found their way into my stash (like these freebies from Connecting Threads.)

I kept all my blues in a small rubbermaid container for a number of years and then last March I sent out 11 packages for my bee-mates to make me a 25-patch block and an optional 16-patch block.  I had an idea in mind of what I would do with them.  It was feeling good to use them up finally.

But, in reality my idea looked horrid and I stuffed all of the blocks back into the container where they sat for another 1.5 years.  So sad.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled out the container and decided that something would be done with those blocks.  I also made up my mind to spend no money on the project and use what I had on hand.  

I first made all of the 16-patch blocks larger, then made four more 25 patch blocks for a total of 24 blocks.  That's 600 squares of fabric.  I had slightly less than 1 yard of the red so squeaked out the sashing from that.  It's actually quite rewarding to limit yourself sometimes to make things work with what you have on hand.

I love the backing.  I bought it while visiting Suzanne earlier this year.  I think it was $3/metre or something.  I still have more of it.

This morning after walking 'our trail' by the river, my friend Jen and Zachary, of course, helped me get these photos.  Thanks Jen!

It's been beautiful weather the past couple of days.  When you live in our area (Fraser Valley, BC), a sunny November day is a bonus.  A whole week of sun is incredible!  We've been enjoying it!


Scrap Stacks by Melissa and Deanna

I am totally proud of my girls (9 & 10 yrs) for seeing this one through!  They started it in March Break and finished the top at the beginning of September.  I started by cutting out 4.5 x 8.5 inch bases from a thrifted sheet.  I gave them free reign on which scraps to use.  'Whatever you think looks good." is what I told them.  They cut strips, sewed them onto the bases, pressed them and added more strips.  I showed them how to sew the rows together (alternating directions).

I helped sew some of the rows together as it was getting heavy and some spots had a good number of layers to them!

I did the quilting and the binding.  They opted for rounded corners and I really like it!  This quilt will be a snuggling quilt in our family room.  It's approximately 44 x 52 inches.

It's a fun quilt for my kids to look at.  A different kind of I spy game when you are looking for scraps of many different things I have sewn for them and others over the years.  I see scraps from bibs, quilts, pajamas, dresses, curtains, shirts, skirts, bags, purses, and more!  A very fun finish for both the girls and I.

Have a good day - I am enjoying the sunshine streaming in through my windows!


16th Century Dress

Melissa was in a play this morning.  It was about Guido DeBres and the Reformation.  (October 31, 1517 is often remembered as the start of the Reformation when Martin Luther published the 95 thesis) 

Melissa was Margaret of Parma, who was against the Reformation.  She played her part and remembered and spoke all of her lines well!

I made her dress, using the Miss Madeline dress as the base and then copying 16th century fashion as best as I could.  

It turned out quite well and it was something different than the usual for me.  I made up my mind to spend no money on it and I didn't.  The navy blue is a thrifted sheet from my stash, the cream/gold fabric was a curtain in our bedroom when we moved here and all of the laces and ribbons also came from my stash.  Some were give to me and some came in a large variety bag at Liquidation World many years ago.  I am now glad I saved all this stuff!

And in action this morning.  Not the best pics but I was at the back and working with 20X zoom.


Blogger's Quilt Festival - Going in Circles

My favourite quilt I've made this past year is the quilt I made for my sister and her new husband for their wedding.

I had a vision.  I bought the fabric.  I got going on it and it actually turned out how I wanted it to.  That doesn't always happen.

I had so much fun making this quilt.  I had wanted to make Drunkard's Path Blocks for some time and had pinned a bunch of quilts in this style.  I decided on a colour scheme similar to their wedding colours with the addition of gray and yellow.

The quilting took forever, but it was totally worth it.

For the back I used up some pieces of fabric I've had in my stash.  I especially love the keys fabric but I've had it on my shelf for about 4 years and haven't used it yet, so it was time to use it!

Thanks for stopping by!  I am looking forward to my cup of coffee and looking at some quilts this afternoon.

And thank you to Amy at Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival!


Sisters Weekend #3

Just sharing some pretty photos with you today!  This past weekend I got to spend some quality time with my sister-in-laws.  We've done this before, and every time it is a good time!

View of the ranch from the bluff.

The colours were amazing again.

Quad Ride.

 The five s-i-l's.  

Ready to roll.  Carol was my chauffeur.

I was sewing while the rest were card making.  They make amazing cards!

They were also much more productive than I was.  I made some bibs for my gift stash, some binding and a backing and that's it!.  Oh well, I got plenty of good eating in. :-)

Do these photos make you want to visit beautiful British Columbia?  So glad I live in close proximity (about 1.5 hrs to the east) of the Black Diamond Ranch and the beautiful area surrounding it.


Stringing with the kids

We recently pulled this project out of the woodwork again.  A great project that the kids can work on too!


Uptown Girl by Make It Perfect

Uptown Girl for Carolin

I made a size 6 and then lengthened it by 1.5 inches on the sleeves and the bottom.  Carolin is tall and slim so this should keep her in the coat a little longer. :-)

The other change I made to the coat was on the hood.  I added elastic to the front of the hood so that it will actually stay on.  It still isn't the greatest fit, so maybe next time I'll enlarge the hood itself.  Here in Southwestern BC, it is nice to have a hood that actually works.

The outer fabric is something I've had on the shelf for several years.  It was intended for another project that just didn't happen.  It was great to use it!  The inside fabric is from my local Fabricland.  And the buttons were also in my stash,bought at the thrift store, a card with only two big buttons - perfect!

The pattern calls for the entire coat to be interfaced.  Interfacing is expensive and I don't really love the way it looks in the finished project.  So I used a thrifted sheet and interlined the whole thing.  It worked very well and now the coat is quite a bit warmer too.

All in all a rewarding project.  Carolin loves it and so do I.  If you are a confident beginner  I think you could tackle this project.

The photos were taken on the way home from church this past Sunday.  I suggested to Gord that we stop by a field on the way home to take a few quick photos.  Instead he drove right into the field.  I'm glad the field was reasonably dry...


A dress for me!

I finally finished this dress and got to wear it to church today!  I started making it in the spring but when summer arrived I pushed it aside.  It feels good to have it done and that it fits and I actually like it :)
Simplicity 1882 Amazing Fit Collection.  Great pattern because I could choose my bodice size (A, B, C, D) and skirt style (slim, average, curvy) separately.
Hard to see the details with the busy fabric but I'm very pleased with the fit.  I'd never have been able to buy something this style off the rack and have it fit me properly.
 I found a nice purple cardigan to match and can wear it in the winter with my boots.

The strangest thing with the pattern is that it has you make most of the dress inside out to get the right fit and then take it apart and sew it up the right way once you've made adjustments.  I couldn't wrap my head around taking it all apart so I chose to make a muslin first.


Two Sided Table Runner

Made for Gord's nephew and fiancee for their engagement.  It was fun to do some quilting again!  A darker side for fall time, using a mini-charm pack that I got from Suzanne for my birthday last month, and a lighter side that is quite springy.  

I find it hard to make things for people I don't know very well.  Just because I like it, that doesn't mean that they will.  Hopefully they will like it and use it in their new home.


The Only Crafty Thing...

... I have to show for this week.  Zachary fractured his arm a few weeks ago and his cast was looking pretty gross.  So we fixed it up with some acrylic paint.
 I actually have stitched a bit this week, but it's not finished yet. I'm sure I'll have something to show next week.  Hope you all have a good weekend!