Category: Sewing

Gettin’ my quilt on


I have seen some beautiful quilts, and I’ve got friends who quilt, but somehow the art has never called to me (possibly because I suck at sewing. Just a thought.).

But then – my cousin and his fiancee found this lovely little neighbourhood with this colourful little yarn and quilt shop and thought ‘we need to do our engagement photos here’ and, because my cousin knows my version of a candy shop when he sees it, they also thought ‘we need to bring Shireen here‘.


Log Cabin Yardage was love at first site. Colourful and warm, their brick n beam store is spacious and filled with both fibre goodness, and Nicole – the awesome owner who didn’t believe for a second that I was too clumsy to manage a simple quilt.



She got me started on something called a ‘jelly roll‘ – pre-cut strips of cotton in complimentary patterns that you can just roll out and sew together without much thought or planning. She also gave me some basic advice about joining, pinning, consistency and ironing, and invited me to come back with the finished piece to learn how to take it the rest of the way.


Another treat we picked up was fabric inspired by one of my favourite artists, Edward Gorey. Check this out!




I can proudly say that this project broke the mental barrier I had against sewing :) I pinned, I sewed, I changed bobbins and threads, and I had a blast doing it. The fabric is so bright and colourful that watching the quilt grow is is a blast. It’s like variegated yarn, except that the project moves much faster and I got to pick what colour came next.



Here is where I netted out – 65″ x 45″ with fabric to spare.


I can’t wait to take it back up to Nicole and learn how to complete it! If you’re in the Pickering neighbourhood check them out – and if you’re not, don’t let that stop you! You can also order online here.

Sewn Away

I’m taking another crack at this ‘learning to sew’ thing.

Sewing, skirt, learning

I tried to be a good knitter about it. I looked at the pattern, bought enough fabric, looked into the notions, saw things like ‘piping’ and ‘zipper’ and bought those too.

Sewing, skirt, learning

Buying a sewing pattern is like opening an envelope written in a foreign language, by someone who was a bit nutty, and who didn’t like you. At least… this is how I felt.

Sewing, skirt, learning

And it’s like pandora’s box. You pull out all these mysterious symbols, on crepe paper, and you can’t get them back in!

Sewing, skirt, learning

Armed with tenacity and Tito (who can actually sew, and that means it’s extra frightening when even he doesn’t get the pattern..) I took a crack at it.

Sewing, skirt, learning

And step after step, like your first raglan sweater, the thing started to take shape and resemble a skirt. I was so excited, but then –

Sewing, skirt, learning

Then the pattern went and called for ‘interfacing’ whatever the heck that is. I know what it isn’t though… and it ISN’T in the ‘notions’ list.

Sewing, skirt, learning

The skirt is shelved until I can find interfacing and time to finish it.

In the meantime I took lots of photos… because there’s no better way to take the sting off something you suck at than by documenting it with something you’re good at ;)




Sewing FO – Throw Pillows!

I’d like to say that learning to sew has been very easy for me, and I suppose in a way it has. I’ve had an amazing teacher (thanks Tito!) and my other design experience has certainly come to bear when it came to making up a simple pattern (What Tito calls a safety margin, I call ‘bleed’. Printers terms translate better than you’d expect).

However, that’s not to say that there wasn’t lots of ripping out stitches, lots of cursing, a narrow escape from a drinking habit and lots (LOTS) of crooked stitches. Tito had to work to convince me that there was such a thing as ‘acceptably crooked’ in sewing, that cloth was forgiving and that no one would ever find themselves needing to draw a straight line armed only with one of my cushions.

Here they are, crooked or no I’m pretty pleased wi’ my bad self ;)

I got to enjoy a few new things. I made up my own pattern, I shopped in a Fabricland, I held up countless bolts of cloth and assessed them for cushiony factors and colours that I thought would match my home. It’s about 10x more fun than IKEA.

The Blue Brick is taking a Blue break until Monday evening – I shall return with many lovely photos of Boston :) Have a lovely weekend!

Make All the Things!

These are my purchases from Saturday. They make me so stupidly happy that I had to share them. Incidentally, this photo contains my favourite colour range (ocean, earth) and my 2 favourite yarn artists – Tanis Fiber Arts and Viola Viola.

Viola Viola, alas, is not dying any more yarn for the time being. She’s headed to England to go on an adventure, and I wish her well. However, this did result in my purchasing every thing I wanted from her at the frolic, because hey, this is all there is now!

Believe it or not, it’s all planned for. Yep, I’m organized.

1. TFA Blue label yummy sock yarn. One of a Kind colourway, oh yeah! This one is destined to be paired up with this one of a kind TFA sock yarn that I purchased on Etsy a while back:

I’m joining the TFA Colour Knit Along, and using this beautiful pair to make the Colour Affection shawl.

2. Viola sock weight in a gorgeous ocean blue. Yes, it’s time to finally make the Cream and Sugar Cowl.

3. TFA again, a real treat for me: Orange Label AND a new colourway – Frost! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on either. This lovely stuff has got to end up around my neck somehow, it’s so soft and squishy and luxurious. This baby is destined for my new Jeanette cowl (pattern coming soon!).

4. Another gorgeous, earthy skein of Viola. So earthy that I might make a smallish, long Saroyan from it.

5. Dew Drop by Viola. So lovely and soft! This lovely toned down colourway contains such gentle variations, I know it’s destined for a lacy pattern, I just don’t know what – but I’ll know it when I see it.

6. My last Viola – this one needs to be a simple neck kerchief, something I can tie on, or wrap around easily. Either a simple, shallow, long triangle shawl or I might try to create a sock weight version of Purl Soho’s Bandana Cowl.

7. I saw this fabric and couldn’t resist. I’m sewing pillow cases right now and definitely don’t feel ready to tackle this with my current skill set – but when I do I’ve bought enough to make a lovely, girly, A-line skirt.

Oh, and the best part of the weekend? I got to give a yarn bowl to my favourite fibre Artist. Thanks Tanis!

Begone, crafting void!

I have a sewing machine :) Last night I made my first thing – headbands. Simple and pain-free and the machine was easy to learn on. Here’s my new toy:

And here are my snazzy new headbands.

…And here’s a weirdly blown out pic of me wearing said headband and sporting my next free pattern – the Jeanette Cowl! Stay tuned for details :)

Next up; chair covers for our white IKEA dining chairs. This is why I need chair covers.

At least she’s cute ;)


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