What do you think of 'wonky' anyway?

I think I've mentioned that I am participating in an online bee with 11 others this year. It is fun! I get to try new thing without having to make a whole quilt or project. The first block was for Lisa in April. I actually made two of them. I think the quilt is going to look wonderful.

That brings me to my question for you though.  Do you like wonky?  If you do, what do you like about it?  This month I had to make a block for Toni (I don't have a link for you because I'm not at home.)  She asked for wonky and anything with crooked lines.  That's my block below.  It's not bad, but it certainly isn't my favourite either.

After thinking about it somewhat I think I know why I don't like wonky. I quilt to get away from the 'wonkiness' of life. I'm a mom of 5 (ages 3 - 11) and I deal with a lot of dirt, spilled milk, arguing, messy rooms etc. It's not all bad, I'm not trying to paint that picture, but you do understand what I mean right? So when I'm in my sewing room, I like to make nice things, straight things, accurate things to balance out the 'wonkiness' that makes my life. Do I even make any sense? Anyway, that's just my take on it. What's yours?


Pattern Review: Croquet Dress by oliver + s

Description (taken from pattern):  Short-sleeved, dropped-waist dress in two versions.  View A features a nautically inspired collar detail.  View B has gentle gathers at the front and a simple yoke detail which is perfect for embellishment.  The elasticized waist in both views is comfortable and features a cute bow detail.

Sewing difficulty: 2 scissors; a beginner with some experience.

Fabric recommendations: Light to medium weight fabrics like quilting cotton, broadcloth, shirting, poplin, chambray and linen.  I used quilting cotton.  Floral is Taza by Dena for Free Spirit in Cynthia and the solid is from Connecting Threads (and so you know - it is a very good quality that I'm happy with.)

So excited that button worked with this dress.  I won a set of these buttons from Incomparable Buttons a few months ago and I am happy to use one of them.  You should check them out.  Read their company story here.

Overall Design and Fit - Excellent!  I think it's a neat design, different than the usual.  I made a size 7 for Deanna based on her measurements.  I lengthened the skirt though (I cut it at the size 10 length), as I didn't think the size 7 skirt would have been long enough for my tastes (modesty.)

Written Instructions:  Overall they are good instructions.  Leisl Gibson has a way of making pattern instructions that 'regular people' can follow.  There are good diagrams and helpful tips throughout,  making it more than just a pattern but also a learning experience.  I do have to note one part of the instructions that I could not decipher no matter how many times I read it over.  In the "Attach the Drawstring Casing" section, Part 2 I couldn't figure out how I was to attach the casing to the top and the skirt.  I finally tossed the instructions aside and just winged it.  It looks fine and it works, but I'm not sure a more beginner sewist would be able to figure it out.  I will be emailing the company to make note of that and maybe they will explain further in their forum.

Modifications:  I  made a few minor mods to the dress, but nothing huge.  As I stated earlier, I added length to the dress.  I do this to most dresses.  Deanna is fairly tall and I like dresses to be modest.  View B has only the casing and the bow in a contrasting fabric but I decided to do the yoke and shoulder straps in the contrast as well.  I am glad I did, as I really like it.  One last change is the button closure.  I didn't make a thread chain loop, rather I made an elastic loop.  I wasn't in the mood for hand stitching.

Conclusion:  I like this dress.  It is different than the usual.  It isn't ruffly or lacy but still very feminine.  Aside from the small section in the pattern, it is easy to follow and fits together beautifully.  Success!  I hope to make it again in the fall with different fabrics, make it shorter and pair it with leggings and maybe a long-sleeved t-shirt under it.  How do you think that would look?

Time to go to church now Mom!  Just adding this photo because that garden in the front is where I've been spending most of my 'spare' time these days (rather than in the sewing room.)
Have a good week!  I am going here tomorrow. :-)  (To be honest, I am really quite nervous about being in such a gorgeous place.  I am really a down to earth, not very fancy person, but it'll be a good experience.)


And the winner is...

...using Random.org...#85!

Home ade play dough or let them glue scrap fabric to paper for their own quilt design

I will email you :)

Btw, how do people put the actual Random Number generator thingy in their blog post?


*Closed* Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Yesterday (and all week!) was/is the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I'm a little late here but we do have something small to giveaway.

But first off "hello" to our regular visitors and welcome to all those coming from Sew Mama Sew!  We are two sisters who live in different provinces and share our sewing creations and bits of our daily life here.

On to the giveaway...I'm putting an order in at Connecting Threads today and I've ordered a set of 4 fat quarters to give away along with one of Alisa's Perfect Fit Bib patterns!

The giveaway is open to anyone and will close on May 25th. A winner will be picked randomly. Please make sure your email is in your comment or on your profile so I can contact you if you win!   Because the fabric is still coming to me in the mail it will be shipped to the winner as soon as I get it. To enter, leave a comment with a fun, frugal kid craft idea.

Have fun visiting all the giveaways over at Sew Mama Sew!


A new dress for Anneke

Anneke's dress is done!  I was hoping to have this finished a few weeks ago but I got stuck at one point so it got put aside and then I went out of town last weekend so this week I was determined to finish it.  She was very happy to wear it to church today!
The pattern is an old Simplicity one. I made a size 10 but lengthened it about 4".  We also added a bit of crocheted lace at the empire waist to hide the seam allowances and add a bit more "prettiness".
I didn't have the complete instructions for the dress and because the fabric was quite thin I lined it.  This is where I ran stuck.  I put the invisible zipper in and it went so smoothly!  But then I realized that I couldn't attach the lining and flip it the right way any more.  So after staring at it for a while and asking the help of a friend I ended up taking the shoulder seams apart and hand-stitching them once I had the neck and arm holes put together with the lining.  Hard to explain but I'm glad I didn't have to take the whole zipper out!
My three girls.  Sophie's skirt I made 3 years ago or so for Tessa and Tessa's dress was made 4 years ago for Anneke!  Love seeing them come out of the storage bins again :)
"Ahhh...there's all kinds of bees up there!"
Anneke celebrated her 9th birthday this week!  She requested a soccer ball cake - it worked out okay and she like it :)  Two more birthday's over the next week...should be fun!


Blogger's Quilt Festival - Zachary's Quilt (by Alisa)

For those who read my blog regularly, you will recognize this quilt.  I just finished it up last month and it now resides on Zachary's bed.

If you are visiting from the Blogger's Quilt Festival, then I'd like to say, "Welcome to our blog!"

The pattern is Double Crossed by Amy Smart.  A great pattern, one that I'd highly recommend.  Great for beginners too.

I liked doing a new (to me) kind of quilting.

The back.  I love how it almost looks like a whole-cloth quilt with all that dense quilting.

I love this quilt.  I love that it lives at my house and I love it that Zachary loves it!  It should last him for many years!

Thanks Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  If you want to visit a virtual Quilt Show then get yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for a great show!

Amy's Creative Side


Ruffle Shirt

I'm not sure if you remember that I was planning to make my five year old a dress for her birthday.  It was a flop.  I started with a shirt (that was too big for her) and started adding ruffles to it.  It was actually really hard to put the ruffles on the existing shirt (and I went about it all wrong.)  I finally got her to try it on when there were three rows of ruffles (I was going to add a fourth) and it looked awful on her.  It was baggy and way to fluffy.  It was then that I decided to just make her a '5' shirt.

Excuse the little spots, this was on day 2.

But then Deanna (7 years old) tried it on and she liked it.  So instead of a birthday dress, it's a cute shirt for Deanna.  Phew!

I'm not overly proud of it, but it's wearable and I though I'd be honest and share the less than stellar sewing too. :-)


My boys bedroom

Now that I'm finally finished Zachary's quilt, I think I'll show you what my boys room looks like. When we moved into our house it was dark brown. I didn't really mind the colour, but it was full of holes and it made the room quite dark. So during Christmas holidays, Gord and Benjamin painted the room.

Here's what it looks like from the door.  On the right side is Zachary's bed (he's in it, just ready for his nap) with the bunk bed rails still on it.  Works great for a toddler!  On the left is Benjamin's bed.  I made his quilt when I was pregnant with Zachary.  He still really loves it and takes it off his bed to snuggle with in the winter.

Benjamin likes the Vancouver Canucks so he got a couple of posters. I had these mounted on foam board so they wouldn't looks so 'posterish' and would stick out from the wall a little bit.  He also has a new Canucks lamp by his bed.  A great garage sale find!

I forgot to take a close-up photo of the sign above his bed.  It was a free download from here. (I have searched and searched and I can't find it right now. I'm 99% sure it was from V & Co.) The frame is an ugly one that I spray painted to match.

Zachary's side of the room. I would still like to get something for above his bed.  I have my eye on this illustration from Sarah Jane Studios.

Gord's Grandmother was a very prolific cross stitcher.  She also loved to sew, knit, crochet and anything else she put her hand to do.  She is 92 years old and she still loves to talk about sewing with me.  She made all of her grandchildren a cross stitch when they were younger.  That's Gord's on the left.  She also made many of the great-grandchildren a cross-stitch too.  That's Benjamin's on the right.  Before Zachary was born though, she called it quits.  She couldn't see well enough to do it any more.

Zachary loves his new quilt and I just had to include this photo of him snuggling under it. Did I mention I'm glad to have it finished?!


The messy corner. Everyone has to have one of those, right? Nice thing about this one, is that the door opens right in front of it, so I don't have to look at it every time I walk past.

These curtains came with the house and I like them. I spruced them up a bit with some of this cute Michael Miller bicycle fabric. I had bought if for Z's quilt but it didn't make the cut (too light) so it was nice to still use it for their room. And that's the tour of my boys room. Maybe next time it'll be my room. Probably not for quite some time...

Thanks so much for all the comments on Zachary's quilt!


Zach's Quilt

So glad to finally have this quilt finished! It was quite the giant to quilt and took about 750 metres of thread to do so!

A great pattern, one that I'd highly recommend.  Great for beginners too.

I liked doing a new (to me) kind of quilting.

Thanks to my wonderful mom for holding this quilt up for me.  (My parents' backyard has many more places to take quilt photos than mine.)

Thrifty Notes on this quilt - The back is a thrifted sheet.  As in $2.00 for the whole backing.  The sheet is 100% cotton and very good quality.  Also, the white strips on the front are also from a thrifted sheet.  I love designer fabric, but I also like frugal, so this is my compromise.

The back.  I love how it almost looks like a whole-cloth quilt with all that dense quilting.

Below is the gazebo my dad built about 5 years ago.  He's not a builder by trade or anything, but he can figure anything out.  It's a great place to sit in the summer.  I have fond memories of sitting in here with my mom and sister, gabbing and watching the kids.

Zachary really loves visiting Opa and Oma's house too!

Thanks for stopping by our little blog.  Have a good weekend!  I hope it's sunnier and warmer than it is out our way.

Linking up with Sew and Tell Friday


Oliver & S Bear Carrier

For Carolin and Zachary's birthday I made them each a bear carrier from the Oliver & S Little Things to Sew book. It is a great little pattern that came together quite easily.

She did her own hair.

The kids like to carry their bears or dolls to the mailbox and around the house.

The only change I made was to use snaps rather than velcro.  This was based solely on laziness.  For me, snaps are easier than velcro.

The criss cross back.

She also wrote on her hands.  Love this girl!
The Oliver & S Little Things to Sew book has got to be my favourite sewing book to date.  I have made quite a few projects and hope to make more.

Next week (or the next) I plan to review one of their new patterns.

Have a good day!