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Welcome to Bear Country

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

So – hope 2012 is off to a good start for all!

I spent the day puttering with the family and visiting with an old friend.

The inventory – not so much.  But I do have news!

Welcome to Bear Country – Precuts are in, still waiting on the yardage.  Will be in the store soon……


Counting Down……

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I hope you all had a happy and peaceful Christmas season….and are enjoying the countdown to the New Year however you so choose.

In our house we have our resident very soon to be 5 year old telling the time approximately every 6 minutes, using the convenient wonder of the digital clock she can see……when her father asked me if she was going to do this all night she cheerfully chirped “yes!”…..we shall see…..

Anyhow – sorry about the absence, the level of relative joyous chaos, between kids, monster puppy, family, last minute before hosting christmas home renovations, and of course work winding down, and everything having to happen before the holidays, both work and play, I had the best intention but was woefully short on delivery.

The MAC got a bandage – so it will keep trucking until the new year – so that front is sorta ok.

What has been happening on the LogCabin front?  Well……I have emailed the contest winners, so that is moving along.

One of the renovations was to allow my baby long arm  place to live, and we (make that HE – my capacity was of a first aid nature, I couldn’t watch the progress, instead I stayed within bellowing range in case assistance was required) dragged my (very well built but neither small or light) cutting table downstairs as well – in theory the cutting table and the fabric will now live together on the same floor, which is my Christmas present, as reducing the overall numbers of trips up and down ALL the stairs in the house makes me quite happy!

What else is happening?  Some new precuts arrived – they will get into the store, but most interesting is the Bernstein Bears line from MODA, the yardage will still take a while.  There is other stuff expected anytime, including super heroes.

Yesterday the doorbell rang to the arrival of my UPS man, bearing the full line of Tilly by Daisy Janie!

There are 8 prints in the brand spanking new 100% GOTS certified organic line.

The designer and producer of this fabric is a lady named Jan, and she is very realistic when it comes to the integration of Organic products into our real lives.  The fabric industry has been pushing to bring their prices inline with the mainstream designer cotton market.  The wholesale cost on this product line is now only somewhat higher than the “regular” cotton goods.  That disparity exists with any organic products though.

More interestingly are the statistics.  Each yard of Organic fabric purchased has prevented the use of one-third of a pound  of toxic fertilizers and pesticides to grow the cotton, as well as diverted the use of the toxic waxes, chlorine bleaches, petroleum scours, azo dyes, formaldehyde and heavy metals used in the conventional harvesting, processing and finishing process.  This results in better health and environmental conditions for the farmers, the workers, their families and ours.

And it is realistic to start with one yard, or make one yard matter.

The GOTS (GlobalOrganic Textile Standards) stamp is the most stringent certification, and Daisy Janie has conscientiously made this choice in order to make the best product possible, and offer a pure and healthy raw material which matches the passion and heartfelt intention sewists bring to their creations.

This line echoes the 70’s kitchen colours some of us grew up with, and offers a variety of print scales.  All 8 work together wonderfully, and I simply loved cutting into them in order to liberate the first fat quarters form the bolts.  As an interesting aside I noted that the bolts are numbered.  I am restraining myself from making something out of this.  See these FQs below?

An acquaintance (client who is also a friend now, and lives super close!) dropped by yesterday, to talk about patterns she makes, and LogCabin kitting the patterns, there are several synergies which hopefully develop……in any case, Tilly was opened as she was leaving, and a potential pattern she has designed jumped out at her….so I am restraining myself until I hear from her on what she has in mind.  She of course also has a young family and works full time, so both our schedules are interesting(!) but fingers crossed!  Check out her blog if you want to do some surfing!

SO – I haven’t done anything as crazy as make any resolutions, sadly I usually forget them before I can even attempt to maintain them, and in some ways I find the effort rather facile, any true resolutions are more meaningful or timely when they are needed, as opposed to one night a year.  I am hoping to get more sewing time in, and writing here done, and the very neglected newsletter up and running again, and there are a few other places I have the opportunity to contribute I would like to do so… one old one I have decided to dust off is the FQ flimsy – I think I will have flimsy fridays……the concept is working on an FQ friendly flimsy during the week, and hopefully having a finish by a friday, but since day to day life does have a way off welling up and overtaking  I am sure there will be weeks there it is simply an update on a flimsy.  Once there are enough of those perhaps we will swing into full finishes, but let’s go slow.  This includes you guys – send me pics of your flimsies to post on a friday.  I don’t mean to insult anyone, but in case you haven’t heard the term, a flimsy is the pieced top, before it is sandwiches, quilted or bound.  It can be any size, the only rule is fully pieced.  SO, please feel free ot send something for me to post, or link to your post about, on friday.  As well I will put them into a flickr gallery, and give oyu a link to that.

SO, since I am not touching Tilly right now I figured I would use an old (but timeless) personal favourite…….

French General!

I will let you know how this works out.

Sorry about the uber-long catch up post, and Happy New Year!

The winner(s)…….

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Ok, I  have to apologize, I don’t know where last week went, compounded by the fact that I am in the midst of having to do some major overhaul work on my computer.  The little monster is actually being whisked away this  afternoon for a bandaid solution, after the holidays it will be totally revamped, new hard drive remounted etc. etc. etc……in the interim – I have to announce the winner.

And since I am late I did a 2nd prize and 3rd prize – it is Christmas after all!

So – for the first prize, which is the pick 4 fat quarters – congratulations Melissa.  I will be sending an email, or get in touch…..another technical delay will eat up today though!

For 2nd and 3rd prize – Annalea and Luba, again I will be in touch, and I will be sending you each 2 fat quarters, and I am suggestible as to what your fabric preferences are…..agian email will be forthcoming from me, but delayed!

As to what is going on here…sewing consisted of sewing toe lines back onto a very much loved and used puppy doll…next up is a sheep with an eyebrow issue, but he has gone MIA (hopefully not due to our newest family member, the monster Weim….).

I am also trying to get the kids to help me with making stuff for their teachers….the current project is christmas trees with cones covered in fabric (so they can be future decorations) covered in candies held in place by pins with beads or buttons on them….we shall see.  I also found an articles on $5 or less christmas gifts, which had a shaped sugar cube project, we may try those also using candy molds, we shall see.

So – more later tonight, after the silver mac gets a bandaid…..

A lot like Christmas….

Friday, December 9th, 2011

No sewing news (sadly), or even cutting into my treasures which keep going in circles in my head!

Instead – an egg emergency was looming, and may have occurred.  I get a farm share delivered – meat, winter veg (this time of year) and eggs from the farm….egg consumption got slack… 4.5 dozen I figured it was time to get cracking (hah – you didn’t think I would miss that one?)

The girls are anxiously awaiting snow….none has fallen and stayed….these snow covered trees might suffice!


It’s beginning to look…..

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Alot like my version of Christmas!

Amy Butler Lark has arrived….the order was mis-filed by my rep, so this is late, but better than never as far as I am concerned.

I do have an Amy Butler inventory that is pretty comprehensive…..

Just thought I would share a shot of my current Christmas tree….

Another Griswold finish, and a love affair…..

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Hello all – November was crazy, and I am firmly in denial regarding December.

Remember the Griswold sock monkey advent calendar?  After being tactfully thumbtacked to the wall (and centred by my husband, leaving extra holes that weren’t my fault!) it has been in full use, mysteriously little trinkets get deposited over night to be found each morning….the magic is alive.

The the Riley Blake – the unused tree skirt material is making 2 table runners – one is a gift for my parents with their new table, the next when finished will be for us, it almost covers our kitchen table….

Again joined in the pillowcase way I described a while ago, the quilting is a quarter inch line inside the seam on each block – simple and quick and Christmas – AND DONE!

Now – I do have a problem, I have several Christmas quilt projects….with a very finite deadline….but parked in my living room for a lot of November (and into DEcember) has been fabric that hasn’t made it to the site – until tonight!

Some of the new site members are those I have fallen for……

I have to do something with these, I don’t know what, but something.  The rich blues and purples…I can’t resist.  Top left is my favourite japanese chrysanthemums by Philip Jacobs in a new colour line from fall 2011, and like the other print I have, it is hard to get the richness on the screen.  top right is a new violets print by Fassett – total match – you see lime and berry curlicues by Jane Sassaman, as well as a feature print from her early bird line in the bottom right.  And a purple solid.  These all work, and are destined for something – the start was the Jacobs and Fassett, Sassaman just works with it as well. I love the colour palette, now I have to come up with a pattern….I am thinking this is another one of my fat quarter patterns…….more when it strikes me!

And as well, here comes the holiday sewing, I will keep you posted.

100 comments reached…..

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

So – in honour of this milestone – a give-away!

What to give away……that is a great question!  I didn’t really plan this, I just decided to do this spur if the moment…..

So – you decide – the winner receives 4 fat quarters from the shop, winners choice.  This would exclude panels or odd sized repeats – those can’t be cut into fat quarters.  So – 4 fat quarters, your choice, postage in canada or us included…..what do you have to do?

Oh, it is simple……

Follow this blog (I moved the RSS button to the top!) from the website.  Or like on facebook.  Or subscribe to the newletter at Each one of these gets you an entry.

Then leave a comment on this post telling me what you did, leave a comment for each entry please.

Entries will close Fri. Dec 9th – I will use a scientific method (or random number generating husband) to select a winner form the entries received, and be in touch.  So please be sure to leave an email address so I can follow up with you……

I don’t like a picture-less blog so…..

This is a small picture (WEstminster website is down) of the latest Kaffe Fassett Collective love affair I am having – it is another colourway for Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs……going into the shop (unless I hog it all!) once I get a decent picture for the site…..

Rail Fence tree skirt….

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

SO – the tree skirt that was going to be a quilt is back to a tree skirt…..don’t worry, I have extra rail fence rows I have sewn together, and extra strips, there will be something else yet.

But – we need a tree skirt.  And as decorating is likely this weekend, sooner than later.

So – 2 Christmas finishes…..nothing like a deadline that absolutely won’t move eh?

Advent goes Griswold…finished….

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Do you have a “theme” at Christmas?  You know, tying your whole house together?  Or even your tree?  If so can I borrow your house – or get you to decorate mine?  I find I am incapable of committing to one theme, even one colour scheme.  Are you surprised by this?  It occurs to me that I am as fickle with my decor theme choices as my fabric choices obsessions… why Griswold?  It is because I have given up.  I am throwing up my hands and relenting.

Let’s take the tree – it has had several themes over the years…..the first tree was a Charlie Brown tree – perhaps the most pathetic fake tree, as we thought in our weeny little first house you get a small (read cheap (possibly a hand me down that was vintage?) ) fake tree….it was pathetic.  My husband McGyvered that one, the house was small enough that to wedge it into place all the fake branches came out of the slots on one side and got jammed into slots on the other.  It was still sad.  But it is ok – Charlie Brown Christmas is one of our classic christmas must watch movies. We progressed thru real/fake/real/fake and Victorian, Blue and Silver, all vintage, hand me downs, the odd year of total mish mash just get it decorated….then I was on red and white, with a little bit of country(ish) thrown in….until last year.  You see, I just got back from a conference in San Francisco, and was there this same time last year.  And I went to Macy’s last year.  We don’t have Macy’s here, so it is novel, and last year I only got a block from the hotel anyway and it was there.  Well, let me tell you about the holiday floor at Macy’s.  It destroyed my theme.  I brought home a suitcase full of decorations.  I avoided the Holiday Lane or whatever it was called this year.  Extreme self control was demonstrated.  And I went with a small suitcase – I knew my problem.  Impressed?

WELL – this year is full Griswold.  Last year I did a little tree for the kids to decorate upstairs – to keep the princesses off the main tree – forget it this year,  whatever they want.  So in the theme of Griswold let me bring you a rare for me, more or less finished project – tactfully thumbtacked (shhhh) to the wall as someone still has to buy balsa wood and sew in a sleeve……the sock monkey advent calender….

There is a surprise in pocket number one, and a wee stuffed monkey santa that will have to be put there and move on with each day.  When the ladies awake in the morning.  That should ramp up the general excitement level over the next month……

Now – on a quilting note….Due to being very almost late, and veering away from making an advent quilt – I kid you not, I mulled it over for a few days – instead I decided to finish this super fast and I “pillowcase” bound it.  I have read, in meandering through blogs, of people who finish their quilts like a pillowcase – they make a sandwich that is backing right side up, top face down, and then batting.  The edges are pinned and then stitched down, with enough of an opening to turn it all right side out and the opening is hand finished.

To be honest – it was cheap and cheerful for this, but I don’t know if I would do a quilt like that, unless the corners were stitched round, as the corners I got this way weren’t bad, but they are sharp after being pushed out and with more bulk in them would look a bit funny I think.  Just Sayin’.

So – not sure I will pillowcase finish anything again, but happy to have something finished, and up and in place for the ladies in the morning.

Good night all…..

Griswold Christmas Central…..

Friday, November 25th, 2011

So – Griswold Christmas update – house lights…one additional tactful matching string…clearly Mr. Christmas (as the girls refer to their father) is being very mature in his holiday decorating……whereas I am holding up the Griswold end of things.  Though I haven’t gotten into any eggnog….yet….or burnt anything down…yet…..I have done this…..

The sock monkey advent calendar project panel comes with directions PRINTED ON IT – nothing that you see above is referenced in THOSE directions……instead I am in the midst of constructing an advent calendar quilt….I can’t explain what happened.  Generally speaking I view instructions like I view speed limits, a suggestion, and figure that “MacGyver” is a legitimate step in constructing, building or assembling anything….this is a total departure though, impressive even for me in the departure taken from the plan…..oh well, an advent quilt (albeit a very non-subtle one) will be hanging on the wall soon I guess.

Do oyu guys know it is nearly December?  I guess any Americans reading this do, as they are enjoying Thanksgiving, but it was literally a revelation to me the other night, as I was contemplating my unfinished tree skirt quilt – not too mention the not even in existence yet tree skirt… occurred to me the advent calendar (that was the original plan) would have to be finished and on display prior to DEcember first, which is next week.  Is anyone else entirely unprepared for Christmas?

Now that we have established that….we move on…..