30 March, 2012

Admitting Defeat


Our 10th Anniversary is a week away. I'd hoped to have this quilt done to give to Hubby as a present but damn that baby getting in the way!

I was too pregnant to baste the king sized quilt and now I'm too busy nursing to do it. Oh, and Hubby has been great and been home more. Fantastic from a parenting point of view, but a bit tough on planning a surprise. I'm not complaining, though. I've got my gorgeous boy keeping me busy and really, the distraction is pretty much about our marriage.

So, thank-you for all the good wishes. We're doing great (well, as good as it gets) with our expanded family.

A quick question though, have you ever given an unfinished quilt as a gift or do you simply give a rain check?

26 March, 2012

Another Date



Want a glimpse of what it was like when Amanda Jean and I were like working together while writing Sunday Morning Quilts? Listen to our interview with Pat Sloan on the American Patchwork and Quilting Radio show this afternoon. 4 pm EST or you can download the podcast after the show.

22 March, 2012

Introducing...


Nikolai Douglas

He joined our family after weeks of prodromal labour, hours of real labour that went nowhere, then 40 minutes of holy hell here comes baby labour.

7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 1/4 inches (my biggest baby)
March 20, 2012




19 March, 2012

Preparation


Call it nesting or call it freaking out. In between living life, nursing the worst cold ever, and so much more I am actually sort of getting ready for baby. Considering that I am 37 weeks now and both the girls were born between 37 and 38 weeks I best call my prep done.

The basement isn't finished, which means no nursery. That means this kid is another dining room baby. Yup, we're adding to the empire. Both the girls spent the first six months of their life sleeping in rotation - empty room - dining room table - empty room - dining room table. Considering that there isn't an empty space in this house 90% of the time that means the dining room table it is!

To make myself feel marginally better about this situation I did a few things around the house in preparation. The first was new cover for the little pad in the bassinet. I picked out a couple of flannels, Ann Kelle Izzy flannel to be specific, and whipped up these little covers. Honestly, I measured poorly, but they cover and I'm sure baby won't mind that they are a little short.

Remembering that literally half of the first 2 months or so are spent nursing, and knowing that my girls would happily spend that time parked in front of the TV if I let them, I've been gathering. Books, colouring books, puzzles, stickers - anything that will hopefully keep them engaged and not cranky about the being that will literally be sucking the life out of me.

We've got some classics for reading all together - Alice in Wonderland and Grimm's Fairy Tales. Some books that appeal to The Monster's sense of wicked curiosity and insatiable appetite for medical and natural knowledge. And puzzles for my Evil Genius who loves to spend her time plotting and purposefully putting things together just so.

The girls share the biggest room in our house. And the childless, middle aged couple that owned the house before us thought it would be a great idea to put French doors on that room. So pretty, but oh so impractical. Even though I redid their room last summer, I never got around to replacing the curtains on this windows. Knowing that I'd be up and about at all hours with the dragon in my belly I thought I better replace them ASAP. We'd had enough cheap lunch dates/free babysitting at IKEA this winter for all of us to fall in love with this fabric. An hour on a sunny morning and they had new curtains. Double layered and they actually block out a pretty good chunk of light.


Of course the prep does require some handmade. Not my handmade - I can't knit to save my life! But we did receive this gorgeous hand knit blanket from a friend. We worked together for years in my last job. Thanks to Twitter and FB we've stayed in touch. One day she came over for a visit and gave us this blanket. I can't wait to have cuddles with baby and this.

She's also a bit of a DJ, so she'll appreciate this bit of clothing we've also gathered.

16 March, 2012

Cosmic Burst Top 1

In the midst of radio interviews, a wicked head cold, and now 12 days of false labour I've been quilting and sewing.

Here is the first of my Cosmic Burst baby quilt tops. This was Hubby's favourite layout. Considering he commissioned the quilt he got the final say on layout. Interesting thing though, many of you loved this one too.

Not sure when this one will get done, but a burst of energy might get it at least basted before baby. Provided false labour stays false.

Cosmic Burst by Mark Cesarik ships in April

13 March, 2012

Make a Date

What are you doing Wednesday afternoon? Nothing? Great! Now you can join Mark Lipinski and I as we chat on his radio show: Creative Mojo.

Wednesday March 14, 2012
3-5 pm EST

It's been a couple of years since I dropped off some cabbage rolls for him as he came to Calgary for Quilt Canada. I wonder what he has in store for me now? As far as I know we will be talking about Sunday Morning Quilts. So tune in to hear more about the book, maybe a little bit more about me, and probably a lot of laughing. You can even call in to chat. We'd love to hear from you. This is your chance to ask me anything!

To listen live go to toginet.com when the show airs.

Call 877-864-4869 to chat with us.

We'll catch up on Wednesday. It's a date.

Updated: Here is the link for the podcast:
http://toginet.com/shows/creativemojo
Click on the March 14, 2012 show to listen.

12 March, 2012

Rush

I'm totally blaming the hormones.

In the midst of all that I've got going on I'm in a rush to finish this quilt. Because a book, a pending baby, a reno, and that giant anniversary quilt is not enough. This is a gift for a friend and it is queen sized. And I somehow thought it would be a good idea to do this itty bitty quilting pattern all over the thing. I desperately want to get it delivered before baby. If the false labour stays false it just might happen. That anniversary quilt too. Oh, and that baby quilt and the other one. And maybe one for our baby...


09 March, 2012

It's here!


Well, it's official. The book is out there in the universe. Nearly 2 years after starting the whole process and almost a whole year since we submitted the final manuscript, the book is in readers' hands. Can I tell you? This is the most exciting part for me. We're getting emails, tweets, and notes from readers and people are so kind.

Thank-you for reading and supporting me as we explore quilting and creating together. Now that the book is available I'm looking forward to new opportunities to get us all going in playing with our fabric.

There were a few folks with the correct guess for the book date. But we're still waiting for baby... There was a baby this week, but my sister's, not mine. I guess I better finish that quilt!

One more thing. I'll be offering signed copies of the book for sale in my shop. As soon as those copies arrive on my doorstep I will list them. And I'll let you know when that happens. And stay tuned, I've got some fun things going on in the next couple of weeks, baby not included!

08 March, 2012

Cosmic Burst Play Part 2

A little more play. This round includes the options that come from using only one type of block.

Seven

Eight

Nine

Now, just to get a top or two together. Hubby has expressed his preference. I have mine. Now, let's see what I can do.

What do you guys think? Part 1 of the options here.

07 March, 2012

Cosmic Burst Play Part 1

So, let's play, shall we?

This first round of layout options comes from an even amount of the two different types of blocks. Opposite corners make for a dearth of layout options.

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

All the blocks are made from Cosmic Burst by Mark Cesarik and some friends playing along. See the first two posts in the series here and here.

06 March, 2012

Cosmic Burst Blocks


This week I'm playing with the charm pack of Cosmic Burst by Mark Cesarik.

Inspired by my improv curves on the bee blocks, I decided to make some Drunkard's Path inspired blocks.

I started with a rectangle of plain white (Kona White) cut to roughly 13'' by 7''. My hope was to trim the blocks down to 12.5'' by 6.5'' when I was done. I placed the charm over one corner and freehand cut a quarter circle through both the charm and the white. Remove the white fabric and sew the charm into the gap. Press towards the white and trim the block to size.

It all went surprisingly quickly. And easily. And it was the exact kind of block I wanted to make.

I alternated which corners I sewed the charm into. Just for fun.


When I started I had no clue what kind of final design I would end up doing. After I'd made about half the blocks I did some sketching. I learned two things:

1. For most of the designs I was sketching I could have put all the charms in the same corner. Oh well.
2. To make anything but a baby quilt I needed to make more blocks.

That meant I went shopping in my stash. Turns out I don't have a lot of the bright florals that we've been seeing for years. I could think of tonnes of fabrics I've seen that would work really well with Cosmic Burst, like anything from Jennifer Paganelli, Amy Butler, Tula Pink, and Kaffe Fassett. The colours are quite rich so they wanted to play well with Lizzy House and Kate Spain. But it seems I haven't stashed much of those fabrics! Hmm...

But I did have a charm pack of Lizzy House's Outfoxed which has some deep colours and then dug through all my fabrics for perhaps some unconventional matches. But once I cut charms I could see that Cosmic Burst was going to play well with lots of different friends.

Oh, and once I got all the blocks done my Hubby asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend of his and could I please use these blocks. So it looks like there will be two baby quilts out of this week of play, instead of the lap quilt I'd planned.

Tomorrow I'll show you some of the layout options for these blocks.

(Cosmic Burst ships in April)

05 March, 2012

Cosmic Burst Charms

Look at me, playing with a charm pack!

I couldn't resist when Mark Cesarik, an incredibly funny designer I met at Market in the fall (along with his smart, creative, and equally funny wife, Cara) asked if I wanted the chance to play with his upcoming line, Cosmic Burst. I love Calyspo Swing, his first line, for all those greys punctuated with pink. And having the chance to work with such bright colours when winter is still surrounding us was worth any charm pack reservations I always have.

Besides, Mark and his wife Cara live in NYC and I like to bank contacts there for my one-day-soon-again trip to NYC.

Cosmic Burst is a line of bright, bold, prints. My favourites are the oranges/pinks, but there is a huge depth of colour in the line. It's been fun to play. Stay tuned all week as I document my play with this little pack of charms.

(Cosmic Burst ships in April)

02 March, 2012

Empire Strikes Again

My Dining Room Empire strikes again.

Lest you think all is pretty and creative in my world, let me set the record straight. That is a piece of batting wrapped around our artwork. I've pushed the table to the side, therefore constantly hitting my head on the ugly light fixture. The table is covered with: quilt blocks, a craft kit, computer, mailing information for the bee blocks below, placemats and napkins for dinner, morning tea, my blood pressure monitor, some paperwork of Hubby's, books of the girls, and some very pretty freesias.

And here are the bee blocks I worked on that day:

Improv curves for Christine, inspired by Malka.

Some anything goes blocks for Valerie. I was on a curve role so I tried my hand at these.

Embracing improv in all forms here.