Sunday, 27 October 2013

The concept of "Homemade"

This week was very busy for the Moose Mama. I took my daughter to the nature museum here in Ottawa. It is an enormous castle downtown and it was very recently renovated and now contains 5 floors of spectacular exhibits. Chloe was so thrilled by this outing she has been talking about it all week.The time we spend with our little ones is short and the special moments they will remember too.
The playroom quilt

This really got me thinking of how children form their memories, and what really sticks in our minds. In todays day we do not always sit together for dinner, Sunday is no different than Saturday to most of us. We purchase all our clothing, beddings, gifts and food. The concept of "homemade" is reserved for the artsy people and our grandmothers. Yet when I try to remember my haloween costumes, or my favourite suppers, you can bet they were the homemade ones.

Home-made coat I made for Chloe from a pattern from the 1940's

I love making something for my family and friends because I really think it shows how much we care.This is not to say that a gift-card for the movies isn't nice, but I am certain that my handmade quilt for a friends new baby, will be more thought of during those 2am feedings. They let the receiver know that they, or the event they are celebrating, is important to us, so important I spent 50 hours cutting, pressing, sewing, and planning a new blanket for a very new neighbor.

Baby quilt for a little guy born a few doors down

I also feel that quilting (or sewing in general) really helps us not be so disposable. I really feel that when I make a garment, a quilt, or even just a pot holder, I am much less likely to throw it away and get a new one, compared to a purchased version. In a time when being eco-friendly is more important than ever, I think sewing will play a big part in this. When I go through  my linen cloest, I will donate and get rid of old blankets I do not use anymore. This can be compared to people who collect antique quilts, or family heirlooms passed down through generations. These items have a soul, a history, they were handled for hours in the making process and given to someone on some holiday, they really meant something to the people they belonged to, they will never be thrown away. We tend to give handmade items more respect compared to objects like store bought comforters for example. When something breaks we throw it away, when an old family quilt gets torn, we gently mend it, and put it back on the bed in the guest room.

So take a minute and remember how we used to preserve our foods, sew a quilt for a new baby, and make our childrens Halloween costumes. If you don't already, you should try making something you are proud of, and just watch how long it lasts or how much more it means to someone when you answer the question I always get.. "Did you make this?!".

Happy Stitching! Make something homemade!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Paper Piecing Plunge Tutorial

Continuation of "The Paper Piecing Plunge" now complete with pictures! I am a visual learner, eventually I hope to have videos :)

To paper piece "Circle of Geese"

To begin paper piecing you need a pattern of course. This one is courtesy of, 2012 BOM, which they got courtesy of Beth of 
Some people like to perforate (sew with an un-threaded needle at a low stitch length) before starting so that the paper tears away easily at the end. I tried this and found the paper fell apart before I attached my fabric! Now I simply use a stitch length of 1.0 while I attach the paper and fabrics together and I find the paper tears away with no problem when finished. This is just my personal preference, do what works best for you!

My printer decided to hate me, so I simply traced it using my husbands laptop.
 G= goose fabric B=background fabric
Pattern piece, double check your lines when tracing!
Next we will trim down the paper with craft scissors to 1/4 inch around the square. 
This is also when I pre-cut my pieces. When you are pre-cutting your pieces make sure to make them approximately half an inch larger on all sides of the shape you are sewing. This will allow you lots of fold over, and seam allowance space. 

All the pieces pre-cut and in order to sew

Now to start the block we will take one of our "geese" fabrics and place it right-side down (we only put the first fabric right side down) underneath the piece marked "1", as in the first piece to place. Feel free to pin or glue that fabric in place. 

Right side down only got the first fabric.

Now we will fold the pattern on the line between piece "1 G" and piece "2 B". We then trim what will be the seam allowance for the join between pieces 1 and 2. 

Trim seam allowance where you fold
Next we will align our next fabric (which happens to be a background piece, the piece marked 2 B), right side up (or right sides together). 

Now we unfold our paper pattern, keeping our fabrics together (feel free to pin) and we sew on the line between piece 1 and 2. 

After we are done sewing that line, we are going to flip over our pattern and trim the seam allowances on the stitching line we just sewed. Then we are going to press our work so far. 


Now we repeat these steps for the rest of the block. Pin paper pattern back onto the line you will sew next. Place the next fabric right side up with the last fabric you sewed. Unfold paper, sew on the line, trim seam allowance, press, continue on.

Now it is time to square up the block and tear away the paper after the final press. I find that pressing, then tearing, then re-pressing works best. 
Remember to give yourself that quarter-inch for seam allowance all the way around the block. 

We will then assemble 4 of the same blocks and attach them together to make a full Flying Geese traditional block!

Happy stitching! Hope this was helpful, shoot me an e-mail or comment if you have any questions. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Paper Peicing Plunge

I have always considered myself a rookie quilter, only quilting for a year or two now, but not anymore. I have paper peiced!! Yes, its true, I took the plunge. With the paper peicing I think the best advice I can give to someone like myself who swore I could never do it, is to watch a really fantastic tutorial online. I know we love our live classes, but when you are sitting at your machine, it can sometimes help to have a 30- second replay.

I watched the Craftsy BOM with Amy Gibson (Craftsy) , I watched it over and over and over. Finally I got it! I have decided I am doing a whole quilt made out of 'Circle of Geese' blocks. Scrap-busting galore with paper peicing because you only need small scraps, all put together little peice by little peice. Its simply amazing after you get it, you just run with it.

With paper peicing you print your pattern (or trace it like me when your  printer decides to go on the fritz right when inspiration strikes!) and get your fabric pieces ready. Make sure for each peice of the pattern, the fabric peice you select is about half an inch bigger on each side, this helps for the first time. You attatch the fabric to the back of the pattern, with a pin or glue, then fold over the pattern on that line, and match up the ajoining peice, fold the paper back flat and sew on the line.

I will post some pictures this afternoon of how I am paper peicing. Of course there are so many types!

Never be afraid to try something, if you take your time, you can succeed.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Welcome, welcome!

I am a mother, I am a quilter, I am Canadian! This is the very first blog post and here we go! I will put an 'about' section up very soon, but for now I will give you the quick summary.

I am a young mom living in Ottawa, Canada with my husband and darling daughter. My daughter, Chloe, is 3 years old and basically runs my life. Her needs taught me to sew, her vibrancy is always my inspiration. I learned to sew by creating the bedding for her nursery with my mother, then I made all her clothes, now I got bit by the quilting bug and it has stuck! My husband is a tech guy who loves all the quilting tools, currently he is really excited about a craft cutter.

I promise that any quilts I make I will make a little formula here for you! Quilts are expensive enough and if I went through the trouble to make it, I am going to share them with you! I try to take as many photos along the way as I go ( stressing the word try here, my three year old keeps me rushing sometimes!).

Thanks for stopping by, I will try to blog as much as possible and share my life with you, and don't worry, my life always involves a quilt or two.

This picture is from a baby quilt I did some English paper piecing. More to come soon!