Friday, March 30, 2012

Snail mail

I love sending and receiving snail mail, especially when the card itself is handmade! When I saw this DIY watercolour notecard tutorial on Heather's lovely blog Joy of All Crafts, I knew it would be fun to make! I immediately busted out my daughter's cheapo watercolour set and made this card (next time, I'll use some different colours so it doesn't look exactly like the tutorial!). It's now on its way to Germany to greet my sister who arrives there very shortly. 

Did you have any good mail days this week? We had two birthdays here, so we hit the jackpot when we opened the mailbox on Monday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I made a banner!

Both of my daughters have had birthdays this week, I still haven't unpacked fully from our Spring Break trip, and I'm generally feeling a little scattered. When I don't know what to do first, I usually pick something low on the priority list. That's why I ended up making a very simple blog banner today. My poor blog hasn't ever had a banner and it's nearly three and a half years old! I used the free font ChunkFive from Font Squirrel, a fun source of free fonts.

What do you do when you feel scattered? Is there one area you tackle so things feel more orderly? Or are you a procrastinator like me?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Canadian cross stitch

I'm a Canadian. As a typical Canadian, I'm not often overtly patriotic, but when I saw this Bob and Doug McKenzie cross stitch pattern, I knew I had to drop everything and stitch it up. Nothing says Canadian like these two hosers:
Bob & Doug McKenzie, pattern by weelittlestitches

If you're not familiar with these Canadian icons (I didn't know about them until my high-school-boyfriend-now-husband made me watch Strange Brew in the early 90s), they're SCTV characters created by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas in 1980. Bob and Doug are beer-drinking, donut-eating, hockey-playing, toque-wearing hosers. They went on to star in their very own version of Hamlet, a movie called Strange Brew. Here's the movie poster:

My husband and co-worker went as Doug and Bob for Halloween last year complete with donuts, accents and even stubby beer bottles with Elsinore brewery labels. They won third prize. Beauty, eh? The resemblance is uncanny!

Anyway, when I saw the cross stitch pattern I knew it would be perfect for Dean's desk at work. I found all the floss at Homecraft Importers, refreshed my memory on how to do cross stitch (it had been about fifteen years, but it's just like riding a bike), and stitched all weekend.

How's it goin' eh?

Bob and Doug fit perfectly into a regular 4x6 frame. The text reads: "Take off, you hoser!"

So go ahead, show your Canadian pride and stitch up Bob & Doug for yourself! If you prefer other pop culture icons, weelittlestitches has patterns for characters from Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pretty in Pink, the Golden Girls, Lord of the Rings, and so much more! Beauty, eh?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Potholder swap (take one)

Explanatory note: I've had this blog post in draft form since early December. I wanted to wait until my partner had received the potholders to publish this post. Sadly, that never happened because the potholders were lost in the mail. I've finally given up hope that they'll resurface, so I've decided to make a second set (I got started at the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild's inaugural Friday night sew-in last night!). Goodbye lovely potholders, maybe someone found you and you're living a life of luxury in a kitchen somewhere in the Fraser Valley!

I was excited to participate in the VMQG-FVMQG potholder swap this fall as a way to connect with members of our sister guild in the valley. I'm pleased to report that I sent my potholders off to my partner in the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild before the November 30th deadline (less than an hour before the mail was collected, but still before the deadline!). I started this project on November 26th and was hoping to finish them last weekend, but life got in the way, so I spent Tuesday and Wednesday sewing while hanging out with my inlaws who were visiting for my daughter's first ever dance recital. Here are the completed potholders, shown by Sophie who is proud of her gap toothed smile:

I had been wanting to try equilateral triangles for ages, so I thought this would be a perfect time to give them a go. I had the best luck when I pressed my seams open. I was happy with the results and think I'll try them again in a quilt. The triangles were a bit fussy to cut and piece, so I went with a simpler patchwork design for my second potholder (time was getting short and I had to use every minute wisely).

 I tied the two potholders together by using Kona charcoal and an Erin McMorris leaf dot print in both. I love this fabric and used it to back both potholders.

Creating round potholders was very simple. I made an 8.5" diameter circle template out of freezer paper and ironed it onto the quilted square potholders. Then I cut along the edge of the freezer paper, pulled it off, and added some bias binding.

8.5" diameter circles
Kona charcoal, cactus, grass green, teal, aqua corduroy (scraps from Ellie's baby quilt), Erin McMorris leaf dot in green and teal
Batting: one layer InsulBrite and one layer cotton/bamboo blend


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