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Archive for April, 2012

Creativ Festival….regrouping

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Hey guys, sorry for the vanishing act.

I just finished the Creativ weekend, with the help of the one and only BotBot DeeVine mastermind, and another friend of mine.

Right before the show a few things came in, and I embarked on a website overhaul.  So those will be hitting the site soon, along with another method of searching.  Excuse the messiness for a few days, I need to load up icons for categories that until now haven’t needed them.

In other news I looked at a potential retail space, along with the space being larger than it needs to be I had a zoning concern (which would likely be fine) and more importantly the space just didn’t feel right.  The previous occupant had been a print company, and the space was pretty beaten up, which isn’t a deal breaker, but it also just felt off…..I figure that the place hasn’t been vacant long enough with the doors open long enough to air it out really well.  So unless some element in that equation shifts it is back to looking around.  I will keep those of you who are local posted on that.

Today was double birthday party day, on the heels of Creativ and the lack of sleep that brings, along with the physical effort involved (note to the International Centre – I know I need exercise, that is why I play soccer.  I would really love to NOT have to enter and exit the facility with heavy loaded dollies that first hurtle down a steep hill, stopped only by my body (little risk of it getting past me, true), but the pushing the heavy dolly up the other side of the steep hill really sucks).  FIrst party was my eldest;s at a spa, second was a mutual friend of my girls who is a Star Wars fiend.  I had been hoping that my Stars Wars fabric would be in stock both ahead of Creativ and in time for me to whip up a pillowcase for the birthday party to hold the gift, but it was not to be…..

These little guys got in just ahead of time….


Those are 6 inch designer rolls, produced in a Limited Edition (yes, seriously) for 2012.  Only what was pre-ordered by shops was manufactured, and there won’t be a reprint.  There were 3 collections, Earth, Ocean and Fire.  The tones of the rolls, or overall scheme, is as suggested by the name.  The strips are the width of fabric (42 inches approx.), with 20 strips to a roll.  I opened an Earth roll and love it, for the show I joined strips in groups of 4, but not sure what I am going with it yet.

Same with these guys….

These are 6 inch squares….in my case I have the Fire and Ocean in squares.

Very cool stuff, gotta fly now as I am late for my late soccer game, midway thru writing this I had a little girl wake up as they do…and wanted to finish.

So this will be in the store soon, have a good evening all……

What a weekend….

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Seriously – I have days when I swear time is accelerating.

Brought into sharp focus by the fact that I played soccer in a facility way to hot and airless tonight and feel ancient as a result….or perhaps feel too much soccer history.  Anyhow.

So – there was a baby disaster in this house tonight.  No, not a human baby – those are now their respective ages going on 30.  The furry big grey baby.  He had a tick.  Easily enough dealt with.  Thanks to a tick identification via a poorly taken iPhone picture, and a video that was supposed to be a picture from our breeder….I cannot tell you how difficult it is to take a picture of a 70+ pound long haired weim’s throat and the tick, when you have to part hair to get it, and the engorged tick is the same colour as the dog.  That excitement is over, the dog was hardly worried about it anyhow.

So what else is new?

I have to play catch up on the website.  I have been madly folding FQs to take to Creativ in 2 weeks….working to sort out the display for the booth…if you are around Toronto and want to head out to the International Centre (tons of free parking, easy to find out by the airport) in 2 weeks you can purchase tickets online.  Use the code 234LC and pass it on.  I don’t get anything out of it, but I think for this show you get both a dollar of, and earlier admission than the general public.  There may be some draws, not so sure about that.  But if you are around it is a good show, tons of stuff.  But some of the ladies mean business….they are there to SHOP – watch out for the pull trolleys and your toes!

I get asked a lot what people can make with pre-cuts.  Don’t let me insult you, but let us back up a step, just to catch everyone up.  Pre-cuts are best known through the manufacturer Moda, who makes a good chunk of the fabric out there.  I could be incorrect in saying this, but every Moda line I have looked at comes in their full range of pre cuts.  Other manufacturers do them now, but Moda probably promotes them the most.  They start with Charm packs, it is a square of fabric, in this case 5×5 inches in size.  The edges of all Moda pre cuts are pinked (the little triangle shaped crinkly edge?  Comes from “pinking” shears, meant to reduce fraying, causes a ridiculous amount of irritating dust, I now cling film all of the pre cuts I stock!!).  So Charm packs usually, by Moda, come in packs of 42.  A charm pack is specific to a collection, and will contain every print in the collection (excepting perhaps panels or such that can’t be cut) in each colour way in the collection.  If need be there will be duplicates of certain prints to come up to the number. To go one, in brief, a Layer Cake is a 10 inch square, the other main one is a jelly roll – these are 2.5 inches wide and WOF (width of fabric, ~44 inches, selvedge edge to selvedge edge).  Same number of pieces in each.

The specific question I get asked is how big a project will be using pre cuts, or what can be done.

Now, I did do all the math to figure out the equivalent yardage, but in telling people I have also wondered if they get it.  If my telling them an amount of yardage translates in their heads to a visual impression of fabric opened out.  I figure the answer is no, so I whipped this out yesterday.











This is a table topper, a table quilt really, which uses one entire charm square pack, it is double sided, each side takes 15, and there are 12 around the perimeter (those aren’t full squares but close enough).  But it was dead easy, and makes tangible what a charm pack can do.  I did some not so great (my standards) stippling (don’t look to close at the back, my only excuse is I was testing a new 30 wt. thread and my machine was determined to undermine me.  In between the layers I put some of that heat resistant batting, it can’t hurt.

I made my table topper using the new Kansas Troubles Christmas fabric Holiday Medley, which I have just received (coming soon into shop) in charms, layer cake and jelly roll.  In typical Moda fashion the yardage doesn’t come out for a couple months yet.  So I was a wee bit stumped, as the only yardage I ordered from this is the antique tone text you see above.  That text was an issue, as I wanted it right way round regardless of which side of the table quilt is in use, so that entailed some thinking, some sewing, and some ripping.  But d’uh, finally (I had a wee bit of fending off a cold to do this weekend) the triangle tabs were done.  That idea came from seeing the Kansas Troubles booth at Quilt MArket, and I will find the pictures sometime but what they did was attach pinked tabs to their quilts.  It was a neat effect.  I also didn’t want to bind this, so I made a sandwich including the triangle tabs and the batting, flipped it over and quilted it, not well and with one pucker washing will hopefully eliminate, but quick and simple.  And Now I can tell people what a harm pack can make!

What else?  Oh there is other stuff, but it is now late, soccer is resulting in atrophy setting in.

Oh – something funny? My separate lives collided tonight, and confused my husband as I was leaving for soccer with a chunk of just cut fabric in hand… friend I play with told another friend I play soccer with about the shop, as she knew this girl is a quilter.  I know she is a good soccer player with bloody magical ball control – but she quilts!  I have known her for years, but mainly on the field, and when I play soccer, well, I am playing soccer!

More importantly – I am not the only one!  My guild meeting after the mashed fingers was our garage sale, so I had a table, and was asked how I came to have hockey tape wrapped fingers, and other guild members were quite surprised to hear I both play a contact sport and quilt (hah – quilting can be a contact sport, or shopping anyhow!), they couldn’t reconcile the two interests……seems there are others.  I wonder if we can start a group….

It is here!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

I can’t tell you how happy I am that the St. Ives collection has finally made it – to my eye this is a very fresh and fun collection I have been waiting to get for quite a while.

So here we go, it is late, and I haven’t yet got too much more to say about this collection, the ideas are skipping thru my head, but I will keep you posted.  There is also the lovely “Made in Cherry” quilt which is a pattern from Sarah Fielke, the designer of the collection, produced by Lecien.  I may give that one a whirl…..About the designer?  See, you knew I wouldn’t end this post without telling you something….Sarah Fielke hails from the “land down under”, second designer of late to do so (the other being Kellie Wulfsohn of Don’t Look Now), These two have tipped the balance in this household away from that other Aussie export (no, not Marmite, technically that brand isn’t Australian, but I did in my day-job life recently spend a tradeshow beside a pair of Australian jokers giving away Marmite samples to the unsuspecting general public for several days, very earnestly), the other export would feature a gentleman in purple who my youngest daughter has been madly in thrall to from before she could express it, she still finds it outrageously funny he falls asleep all the time…..but back to fabric!

Sarah has authored an awesome book recently, From Little Things, and co-authored two excellent books which I also highly recommend if you can get them, the Material Obsessions books 1 and 2, all of these books will make your mind race with creative inspiration, as well as provide a whole ton of information along with the eye candy.

This collection is named after the suburb of Sydney in which Sarah grew up, and Sarah also managed to take inspiration from the 80’s (I am still repressing most of the 80’s), the colour ways of this collection are named after Slushies (remember the Blue dog, that was a good thing from the 80’s I guess), I am carrying the Cherry line (also happened to be my next favourite flavour after whatever flavour blue was….), what you need to see are the names of the prints.  Every designer handles this differently, but I don’t understand the ones that don’t name the prints, why not have fun with it?  Sarah has called one of them Gobstopper (do you remember the white one so big it hardly fit in your mouth at the outset?) and another Legwarmer (sorry, repressing that one….Cyndi – you have a lot to answer for!). Tomorrow I will put the collection into the store.

So – stay posted, more to come, must dash back to folding fat quarters for now…..

Kids do say the damnedest things…..

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Easter weekend has ended up being an at home weekend for 3 of the 4 days for us, a pleasant surprise…and very unusual in our family.  Mr. LCY has revelled in introducing his daughters to Star Wars, if memory serves they have watched 3 of the 6 episodes, the 3 that were out first but are the end of the story…..there had been concern regarding the little one being ok with it….first movie he covered her eyes strategically (not her ears), now she is up to watching it…..funny little kiddo that she is, she has decided she likes them.  But it is funny what she absorbs….fast forward with me if you will….Mom (me) has been cutting and folding FQs for the upcoming Creativ show in Toronto.  And as you all know I am sewing up samples/booth decor….I attracted an assistant late in the day.  This project, normal time (following the instructions, without an assistant, using the correct notions – none of which apply to my sample) is easily under an hour.

So what happened?

Highlights include…Mummy, can I sit on this chair? (being the chair mummy is sitting in, while sewing….) Not to be deterred, one day I will show you what happens to a seam when a determined 5 and a half year old launches a side assault, or better yet gets behind said sewist and uses leg extensions to try and remove said sewist from chair sewist occupies, from behind…..Mummy, (holding up a bolt) “don’t put this fabric in the store” (of course, the bolt is at the bottom of a pile, or what was a pile…..then she moved on to a leaning stack, a formerly leaning stack….and finally, holding a purse side pre-assembly “Mummy why is this fabric made of steel?” (a good question, apparently she isn’t a fan of fusible products).

The latter led to a discussion, after quizzing me about the purse construction…..once she understood that mummy had stuck two fabrics together (this would be mummy’s inability to follow instructions, fuelled by the lack of fusible interface…..only double sided adhesives onhand) the little darling pointed to the top of a bookshelf and said “did you use that?”  that being a spray adhesive, to my questions she wouldn’t admit as to how she knew what it was….but she asked me to explain what it did, so I told her along, along with delivered by rote (and I presume summarily ignored) stern warnings not too touch it.  She listens and then says “Mummy, can we spray daddy with that and then stick him to….”she trails off at my reaction and then very matter of fact says to me, “Oh, we should save that for the bad guys I guess?”….poor Mr. LCY, seems his younger Jedi knight has been doing some thinking…at least if the bad guys arrive she has a plan!

Anyhow – this is a panel from Free Spirit, in a heavy weight not quite canvas but headed that way… is meant to be put together using an interfacing on the inside, which I didn’t have.  I did have onhand a very heavy fusible web (hadn’t used it before, no idea what I while use it for it is so heavy that I have likely made a waterproof bag) which I used to adhere a lining to the bag.  Even doing that this is a dead simple project that goes together pretty quick.

So I am going to throw a few kits together for this, it is a huge but very easy bag to assemble, and the lining matches perfectly!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.

A pillowcase for a grey day…..

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

It has been a dreary, drizzly cold day here…, along with making cookies and the kiddos play date lunch I tried to get a few sewing type things done…..still pushing for the Creativ show (or coming up with a booth theme…).

I finished the top for a quilt/display piece which I may actually kit up, and which I will show you on a non-grey drizzle day – I doubt Mr. LCY would be thrilled with standing in the midst if the miserable afternoon to get a picture, nor would it do much for the quilt.

I had a wonderful experience with some metallic thread…..I am in the midst of going through the process to carry thread….this was a silver metallic rayon thread, due to dance prop needs this thread withstood my stitching zig-zag stitches about 2.5 inches apart the width of a towel at breakneck speed.  How I end up doing these bizarre things isn’t really relevant, suffice to say the thread withstood the fat rabbit setting on my machine at full throttle through terry cloth (coral, if that is relevant), and the top thread only frayed once.  Much better than I have done with any other “fancy” threads, I had this one on top and in the bobbin, and unusually for my occasionally persnickety Janome the top thread didn’t slip/jump/get dropped from the not so secure take up arm once.

I also played with a new to me technique for pillowcases, not so far off how I did them last time I did this, this time it was sewing a tube with the pillowcase rolled up inside it and pulling it out.  I am sure this has a technical name, but essentially the cuff is laid out right side up, the case body is laid over it right sides facing, all along the ~42 inches edge, and the case body is rolled up tight enough to allow the cuff to be folded in half over top, and stitched down, then pulled out through.  I varied this by adding in a thin contrasting band between the body and the cuff, I just think it finishes pillowcases better.

I was able to to take a picture on the dry bit of the railing on the front porch, our neighbours house is further up in their lot than we are, so it blocks just enough of the wind/rain in the front…..

This will be a kit, along with a few others, soon……