Monday, September 29, 2008

1960 big eyed print by LEE

I had something very like this in my room when I was a kid....wow. No wonder I grew up thinking I had small beady eyes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

my first quilt!




This is my first quilt.

I had never quilted before but the idea has become more and more appealing lately. I had made a patchwork pillow (without quilting) in the summer, and the process of choosing colours, fabric, and assembling them was really fun. I loved it. So I decided to treat myself this fall and take an amazing three-day "nine-patch" workshop at the workroom, my favourite local sewing/fabric shop.



The bonus was they just received a fleet of Berninas to sew on. I was able to try one for the first time. Sweeeeeeeeet.



Of course what you see here is my own personal wonky handstitching. Not the product of a nice quiet Bernina - that's what I sewed the patches together with. Not by hand, are you crazy?



The mission of the class was to learn the basics of quilting by machine by creating a 32" x 32" "Nine-Patch" design quilt. Sort of a baby quilt, or a "lap" quilt. It was my first foray into quilting so I stuck with that size. Other participants expanded theirs and they were all absolutely gorgeous -- without exception! (Check out the workroom's flickr page, I think a few are over there.)

I started out by choosing my nine fabrics, focusing on blue-grey and variations. I included a silver fabric I would never normally have chosen (a little shine, how very non-quilt!) then threw in some horses, and some japanese -looking stuff, then I held up a red flowered fat quarter against all that blue and it was pretty yummy. So I threw in one fabric in red.




Later, when I did the "base" fabric -- all the strips around the edges -- I decided red would cheer it up ever more so I chose yet another red. Maybe I should have stuck with the planned blue-greys for an elegant, masculine look...but I couldn't. I had to throw a little retro in there. And I love the pale blue/red combo, always have. Sort of a 1930s palette, right?

We were also expected to put thread ties on here and there at regular intervals, but (no offense) those little threads hanging always sort of bugged me. But the real truth is I love to hand sew. So I tried my hand at that, too. I feel now the variegated blue thread is a little pale -- it sort of reads as white -- but c'est la vie.



The backing I like -- sort of a Japanese-kimono-type fabric. Chosen before the reds came along...;)



There are wonky bits but I still am pretty happy with it. Mainly it inspires me SO MUCH to make more quilts. It seemed fast though I suppose it was nine hours. But that's pretty fast, wouldn't you say? Nine hours...times three times the size for a queen size...equals 27 hours...uh....hmmmm.

Where am I going to get the time? Because I'm HOOKED now!

And we have a king size bed. It's going to take me a year...




xoxo
ella

if princesses wore aprons...




A month or so ago I tried to make a birthday collage on a canvas for a friend of ours -- a girl turning 5. It was awful. No gift! Ack! Then I got busy with work...and then my machine broke. So. Finally with my machine back, I finished this apron. I think this is the best use of this fabric I've been hoarding. And that woodgrain stuff is so cute. The ties are simply organic cotton binding - it's very soft. The trim came from the little girl's grandma -- she donated a stash to me -- isn't that sweet! ? I really wanted to make her something handmade and I hope she doesn't mind too much that it's late.



Now to take the kids to cheer on hubby who's running a half marathon this morning.....banana bread and hot cocoa to bribe them. The kids, that is.

xo
ella

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

mister two-whisker, etc.




Allright. I have lots to post so next week will be much more fun around here. But here is a rabbit...Mister Two Whisker. Daughter was helping me do the whiskers and she got bored. She is only three, after all. So...he's lop-sided. Might grow more whiskers. Might not. He's moody that way.



And, a mushroom. Given to a friend on a dishtowel...she's moving to London. Sniff. Turned out she used to be obsessed with mushrooms as a kid. So -- lucky. (Sniff).

Blue ribbon. I should give it as an award to someone. Let me think...



I dunno. My husband for being a superstar Dad the last few weeks.

And in other news, I've gone completely QUILT CRAZY thanks to a workshop at a sewing centre here (the oft-mentioned workroom). AGHGHGHGHGHGH.

I made my first one, now I'm hooked. It's wee -- 36 x 36. And not perfect. But I'm hooked.

Oh, dear.

Problem.

Prob-lem-o.

Not enough hours in day.

Or fabric in my life....

xo
ella

Thursday, September 18, 2008

anyone remember catalogues of childhood?


This was around when I was small...I REMEMBER it! What about you? Any catalogues you pored over when you were little?

I distinctly remember some red and blue suede shoes...circling them. And then they arrived. Joy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

...i'll be back soon...

Hi there. Not sure if anyone cares or notices my absence, but for those two or three of you who read this, I'll be back to blogging in a few days. Working my a%% off on "work"-work...several empty espresso cups on my desk at all times...

So I'm behind on sewing updates. I don't know where I am sneaking time but I do have a ton of works in progress to show (including a small quilt I'm making at the workroom! Cool class. I decided to take time for myself and it's pure joy.)

Of course all these works in progress are that -- all unfinished. WIPs. Except for one wonky Burda bastardization dress. Whew. I wore it...but...you know...threads hanging everywhere. That kind of "finished".

I hope you are very well and enjoying the fall so far.

Happy creating.

xo
ella

Thursday, September 4, 2008

what we talk about when we talk even when we are too busy to blog




I am very busy with my day job this week..so the above is only a snippet of a project I'm working on. What do you think of this fabric?


And here are some buddies to keep you company in my absence. Courtesy the children. Oh - and a sushi roll. Son is currently obsessed with sushi.

xo ella

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramble on Last Day Before School



How was your Labour Day weekend? Ready for school? Not me. I'm fried. Clothes dirty. Suitcases from the weekend litter the front hall...and the rooms...and I'm going to bed.

So there.

Look at this fabric (above). I love the crazed line drawing style here. What do you think? Found it purely by accident just now.

Reminds me of a great-looking book by Quentin Blake (readers will know I'm a fan) I just found on line and am thinking about getting for...hm....there's the problem. I guess, for me. It's actually supposed to be for ages 4 - 8. So, er, getting it for the kids. Yeah, that's right.

Sorry about the "search inside" thing. Can't get that off. Buy it at your local independent bookstore...if you ask me. ;)





Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered.

Isn't that a great title?


xo
ella

Easy Pants Tutorial

For those of you who saw my stinkbug shorts, this is the great tutorial I used to make them. It's on Handy Home Projects. The author seems to have a massive modern home underway and it looks cool. Anyway SparklePower was wondering about pyjama patterns and I thought this would be great to use (for the bottoms, at least) -- no side seams. And you could just use a tie or string to tie up the top and Bob's yer uncle. PJ bottoms.

Hm.

I have a friend who's just purchased a Harley motorcycle. He's going through a "wild boy" phase. Think I should buy some fabric with skulls and whatnot on it -- maybe some of that crazy "Day of the Dead" fabric I've seen here and there, and make him some jammy bottoms for lounging? Boo haha....or maybe a tote bag?

That's not right.