Friday, 17 January 2014

Free Skate Cover Tutorial

Today is a tutorial day again! 

Today we are making a super cute skate cover! It can be made for any size skates, for todays tutorial we are using a child's skate. My little one received some skates from Santa this year and she needs a cute quilty cover! This is a GREAT place to practise a little Free Motion Quilting! Or even better, why not use some of the samples we made with Leah Day?


1. You could start with  2 sample sandwich's we made with Leah Day, or we can make our own small mini-quilts! I made my own, finishing with an 11 by 11.5 inch rectangle

2. Two old face cloths, dish rags, basically anything that will absorb water to line the skate cover to avoid rusting our blades.

3. Two pieces of elastic, about 12 inch's long or more. Depending on the size of skate you are using.

Lets Get Started!

1 . If you are starting with  2 practise sandwich's, skip this part and go to "Attaching the towel" portion.

If you are starting fresh you will want to either find a scrap of material that is a couple inch's longer than your skate blade and fairly wide. For example, for a childs skate (size 8) I used an 11 by 11.5 inch rectangle. For a more "quilty" look, why not find some strips in your stash and make your own rectangle?

Here is my example;

I then lined these pieces with a large scrap of fabric. I did this by finding a piece of material slightly larger than my pieced rectangle and stitched it right sides together. I then flip it inside out and press. If you would like, you could make a quilt sandwich in the traditional way, with batting. This is up to you, I chose not to because my daughters skates are not that sharp or large, keep in mind though that adding the batting will provide extra protection for the blades. This is what makes the quilt sandwich samples with Leah Day so great! 

2.  Towel Lining

Now it is time to attach the towel to the inside of your square/rectangle quilt sandwich we have just made. 
You will need to find a towel scrap slightly smaller than your quilt sandwich. An inch smaller all around is ideal for this step. 

I used some old facecloths I had made to practise some embroidery work from a few years ago. I cut them down and made sure there was some space all around the towel. Sew the towel down to the lining (or wrong side of our quilt sandwich) just stitching along the edge the entire way around.

3. Quilting the Skate cover.

You can now quilt your quilt sandwich with the towel attached. If you are using an already quilted- piece, why not echo quilt what you have quilted previously? Or maybe you could try to travel stitch and mimic some of your quilting lines?

If you are like my sample here and it has no quilting, this is a great place to experiment with some designs you wanted to try. When quilting, I placed the towel side down, I found this worked better so that the needle did not get hooked into the towel loops. If you do not like free motion quilting, you could simply quilt some lines accross. This is basically just to keep the towel in place.

4. Fold your quilted rectangle in half, right sides together. Sew along the edges, this makes the envelope for the skate blade.

5. Attaching the elastic- Final step!

Now it is time to attach the elastic to the top edge of our skate cover. With the towel side out, Take the beginning of your elastic, place one pin and lock stitch. Now using your zig-zag stitch, gently pulling the elastic, sew all the way around.  Lock stitch when you get back to where your stitching started. If you can remove the bottom of your sewing machine (as if we were sewing a sleeve on a garment), that will help you sew continuously around the skate cover.

You can now turn your skate cover right side out and slip over your skate!!

For information on great FMQ designs, and how to make the quilt practice sandwichs I mention in this post, please go to for more information! She is inspiring if you do not already know who she is!

January is mine!

Hello and welcome. Today is about the middle of the month of January and I have to say, resolutions.. are going fantastic. I know it is merely the beginning of 2014 but that does not mean I can not be enthusiastic about the accomplishments so far!

All my BOM's in separate cute bags :) 

This month I really wanted to stay on target with all my quilting and home style goals. I want to work on fewer projects, but have the accuracy be outstanding. We are talking quality over quantity. I have been working on my BOM's I signed up to and they are very accurate. I equate this success with some small changes in my sewing life that had some big results. Want to hear them? Here they go;

1. Change the time of day I sew - This means no more midnight sewing with crazy seams and mismatched pieces. This has been one of the best things I have ever done.

2. Only sew when I can dedicate my whole attention. - No more cooking the lunch, sewing a seam and wiping a 3 years old sticky face all at the same time. 

3. Respect my quilting. - I know what I am capable of, but often, I settle for wonky seams and make-shift blocks. No more! I rip out seams that do not match, and ensure I have all my materials before I start. 

4. Work on my body. - This seems a little funny, I know, but it is actually a really big help. I FINALLY got a raised cutting surface. I found some little bench's left behind by the last tenants in our home and made a little raised mini table I can plop down on my sewing table to give me about 8 inch's of height. 

5. One thing at a time. - No more starting something, then stopping, working on something else, you know the story. I will set small goals such as "finish all the blocks on this baby quilt before I work on my January BOM" This has been working well because I feel more accomplished and can really focus. That doesn't mean finish the whole quilt before working on my BOM, but maybe I get to a milestone. 

So that is it for today. We are feeling accomplished! We are even beginning the steps for a winning quilt for maybe a quilt show? Bring it on 2015 Quilt show! Your mine ;)

But before we part... did you want to see that baby quilt I finished? Of course you did! 
Good friends of ours are expecting baby number one very soon. A little boy! This quilt is actually quite thick and I am planning it to be more of a playmat for some tummy time.

My fantastic 'only child'!

Today I received an odd comment from a mom at a playschool function. The lady was speaking to another mom who happened to be pregnant (and not really in a mean way) about how her second child will make her "a real mom". This made me a little puzzled. I have only one child and I have always considered myself to be a full mother.. so why was this woman so adamant about not gaining the title until the second came along?

Her point was not meant to be mean, it was her opinion that having only one child is very easy, makes you less of woman even because you are not as busy as other mothers with multiple children. While I can understand how more little faces to wipe, play dates to get to and nap scheduling mayhem would be difficult, I felt she was missing some of the challenges and unique situations that mothers of only-children deal with.

For instance, having only one child means we do not have "the more the merrier" effect, and sometimes it can be very lonely. To counter this I have my daughter enrolled in ballet, pre-school, library groups, Friday picnics ect. ect. Part of my job is now prepping her for social interactions with other children. If you had more than one child they will have to learn to get along and share and all the wonderful things that having a sibling teaches you. Loneliness is something we deal with by finding friends, and almost more importantly, I get to be the friend sometimes.

Often times I find myself stopping everything to have an hour of playing with barbies, colouring, dancing, just so my daughter does not always have to play alone. Social interactions and how my child will handle them is something, I would argue, that I maybe have to think about and put more effort into than a mother with a few children of similar ages.

Todays blog post is to salute all the mothers (and fathers!) of an only child. There are many benefits of only having one. It was not our choice to only have one but God and my biology decided that is how it is going to be, it took time to accept but now we are thriving! In fact, my husband and I have decided that one is perfect for us and that is where our little legacy will stop. It is now our choice to have one and be appreciative of the blessing that is our daughter. Enjoy your only child and be excited about all the opportunities and energies you have to help them learn and grow!

Did I mention only having one child means there is an extra bedroom that is perfect for a sewing room?
Happy Friday!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Free Tutorial - Quilted Chore Chart/Weekly Menu Holder

Tutorial Time!

This is my tutorial for what I call a "Quilted Chore Chart/ Weekly Menu"

My daughter is starting to do some routine things and I thought it was time for a chore chart for the fridge. Something we can put stickers on and keep track of what she does. At the end of the week, if all the stickers are full, she gets to head to to store for a treat of her choice. This free- pattern tutorial would also work for a weekly menu on your fridge. At our house we have a menu for two weeks at a time. It is a paper cover that hangs on the fridge and is a cute and easy project for your home. Lets get started!

Materials Needed:

  • A peice of fabric that is 2 inchs bigger (on all sides) than a standard printer sized sheet of paper 
  • A contrasting (or not) peice of fabric 1 inch bigger (on all sides) than a standard sized sheet of printer paper. 
  • A peice of batting the same approximately the same size as a peice of printer paper
  • (4)  4inch square peices of fabric (I coordinated mine to the background but it could be scrappier if you like)
  • (1) 2 inch wide Strip of fabric slightly longer than a sheet of printer paper
  • (1) 3 inch long by 2 inch wide strip
  • 1 peice of printer paper
  • 1 peice of thin cardboard/thick cardstock -same size as printer paper

The Steps

Place your largest peice of fabric (the one that is two inchs bigger all around) with wrong side up and trace the cardstock shape onto the wrong side. 

Take your squares, fold them in half, right sides together, and sew down the open sides. Leave about 1 inch at the end so that you can flip them right side out.

After flipping the triangles right side out, sew the open seam closed, and press. Repeat for all 4 squares. These will be the corners of your chart holder.
 Next, sew the long strip into a tube, either sew a long and slip it over, or fold it twice into itself and sew. Either way, you end up with a long sewn strap, longer than a printer paper. 
Now this is what we have so far. The grey fabric you see here is the inside peice. It is slightly smaller than the outer fabric. 
Now it is time to layer up. Leaving the backing fabric wrong side up, place the batting in the already traced square. (we traced the cardboard in the center to show us the size our paper will be) Now place your inner fabric on top, right side up. Baste (I used safety pins) the layers together and you are ready to quilt them. 

I sewed the edges down then just bounced around with my walking foot for a fun quilting design that is easy. The quilting isnt important here so do whatever you like. Do make sure it isn't too lightly quilted, the more quilting, the stiffer it will be to hang up. The stiffer the better. 

Next I trim off the excess inside fabric. It is also a good time to lay down your cardboard and double check that there is a smidgen of grey all around. 

Now it is time to lay down all you triangles and middle strip like this. You then sew along the border of the inside fabric, sewing over the edges of the triangles and the middle strip so that everything stays in place. 

Now we use the border as binding. Fold it onto itself twice, pin, and sew the edges down. You will now be ready to attach the key ring to hang it.

Make the key ring the same way as you made the middle strap. Then fold over the end to form a loop and sew it down. You can hang it like this, or, I attached a keyring to the end to make it that much easier to hang up.


Attach the strap by lining it up with the middle on the wrong side and sewing into place. You now have your completed menu/chore chart holder! Time to hang it up!

 Place the paper inside, I also had a peice of cardstock behind the paper just to keep it nice and stiff. Depending on the batting/amount of quilting you chose, you may or may not need to add the cardstock behind the paper.

Congratulations! You now have your quilted chore chart/weekly menu. Chloe loves to put stickers on the chores she completes!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Resolution time!

Happy New Year!  Cue the noisemakers, confetti and all that silly stuff. I hope you had a fantastic holiday, saw all your family and friends, and really enjoyed the season. Here is a picture from our holiday, a view from about 10 minutes from my home, it is taken in Ottawa overlooking to river and into Quebec;

A new year is here and that is fantastic! This is the time of year for resolutions, goals, fresh starts and for quilters... new Block- Of - The - Month clubs! Yippee! To start of the year I have joined Amy Gibson's Sugar Block Club again and I cannot wait to get started. Today I went to the fabric shop (with my 3 and half year old in tow) and chose the fabrics we will use for the year. I picked 6 different fabrics ranging in values and complexity of print. I steered clear of absolute solids though, and this was new because normally I use a couple prints and mix with solids, but not this time. My neutral fabrics look solid from far away, but are actually small prints. This is what I chose:

As I said earlier this is the time for resolutions, and unlike most people, I tend to stick to my resolutions. Last year I decided I wanted to be a better mom, a more involved mom. I really felt at the end of the year that I accomplished that. I feel very close to my daughter :). I also achieved some of my quilting goals! I learned paper piecing this year and tried many other techniques I am proud of. I joined a guild, I made quilty friends and I presented my work for the very first time to the guild. 

This being said it is time for this years resolutions! This year I have some specific goals for myself, on a personal level;

1. Cook  more meals, avoid getting stuck in kitchen ruts. This includes homemade snacks for my daughter, rather than things like goldfish crackers, maybe a homemade oatmeal muffin instead. 
2. Help my husband more! This includes everything from making sure his office shirts are ready to kissing him goodbye at the door. (Making his lunch wouldn't hurt either) 
3. Take time to reflect and live in the moment, not look forward so much. Eat, pray, love sort of thing. 

These are all personal goals... now for the good stuff! The quilting goal! This year is the year of.... ACCURACY! No more rushing, no more jamming it through the machine. I have a beautiful sewing space that is well lit, well organized and decorated with some fun things. My work needs to reflect that I like to take my time in that room and not rush. I am very proud of all the techniques I learned (or invented in the case of my light up quilt..see above) and I challenge everyone to learn one thing this year they swore they would never try.

Happy 2014!