November 30th, 2013
I finished my triangles in record time, just one week! It's only baby quilt sized, but still, I was pretty pleased with myself. I kept it simple, and Oscar helped out by napping well and hanging out with me in the sewing room for a few afternoons. I loved the half square triangles! They were really fun and easy to do. I'll definitely be using that technique again, it makes triangles so manageable. I don't always pre-wash my quilts, but this one I did. And because the quilting was not as dense as I usually do it got very crinkly. Which I think is okay, makes it more cozy. This was a gift for a baby shower, and was very well received. I hope the new baby enjoys snuggling with it when he or she arrives!
November 16th, 2013
About eight or so years ago, I came across an entire set of dishes in this amazing vintage pattern at a thrift store. For some unknowable reason, I decided not to buy the complete set and picked out this serving bowl and a few bread plates instead. Almost immediately I regretted not getting the set - how often do you come across a complete set like this in such good shape, and in such a cool pattern? What was I thinking? It's marked as Ridgway Ironstone in Espresso. I kept an eye out for awhile but never saw the pattern again and had kind of given up hope of finding another such set, but would kick myself from time to time for passing it up when I had the chance. I happened to mention this regrettable mistake to my mom and my aunt when they were visiting. Awesome ladies that they are, they immediately set out to rectify the situation. First my aunt scored me more of the bread plates on etsy. Then my mom started finding all kinds of pieces at her local thrift stores and mailing them to me, until I now have a complete eight piece dinner set! Amazing! I get such satisfaction out of using these and am glad not to have to live with that buyer's regret trailing me any longer.
November 6th, 2013
Quilting on the vintage linens project on hold temporarily, as a new project moved to the top of the list with an upcoming deadline. Sewing under pressure, hopefully I will make it on time! I tried to keep things simple, and keep a lid on my tendencies to over-complicate things, in order to not drive myself crazy. These are half square triangles, my first time using that type of block. I love them! Triangles can be intimidating, but this is a pretty easy way to do them. I loved how this pile of tiny triangle trimmings looked too. Like a little confetti party just got swept up.
November 2nd, 2013
October 21st, 2013
October 18th, 2013
I started this project way back in December when I was pregnant and thought I would get it done by the time Oscar was born. Well, I got about half way through quilting it and then got stalled in my third trimester when I had no energy to do anything other than basic tasks required for survival. Then I managed to find a little time this summer to finish it up and we are enjoying getting a lot of use out of it, mostly as a play mat in the living room. I wanted a design that would show off these great woodland party fabrics from Circa 52 by Monaluna for Birch Fabrics so I did big squares alternating with patchwork blocks. Then I used the woodgrain quilting pattern from Angela Walters’ Free Motion Quilting (I love that book!). I thought this quilting pattern would be quite challenging, but once I got the hang of it it wasn't too hard at all, although it did take a bit more time. I especially like how it looks on the back of the quilt where you can see the overall effect of the pattern. The backing also includes this great fabric with a little scalloped bunting pattern from Michael Miller that complements the woodland party theme perfectly!
October 9th, 2013
I am more than halfway through my 365 photo project for this year. I have found it easier to keep up the past few months, being on maternity leave and now that Oscar is a bit older and out of that all consuming newborn phase. I have been using the VSCO camera filters, which I find much nicer than the instagram ones, and the Project 365 app on our ipad to keep organized. I take all my photos on my android phone so this is an extra step - waiting impatiently for both to develop android apps, because there is nothing of similar quality and functionality that I have been able to find available on android. So frustrating! Anyways, this month there is a lot of Oscar putting things in his mouth and learning new things like jumping and sitting, and we tried to get outside a lot too and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
October 6th, 2013
This is what I ended up cramming into my suitcase from Denmark. This lovely piece of fabric, about 2 metres. Also doubled as packing wrapping for the breakables, so was pretty easy to justify. This two piece set, which we speculated as to the purpose. The one with the lip looks like it would make a good spoon rest to me, but not sure if that is the original purpose. The marking on it is Upsala Ekeby. It's actually Swedish and operated from 1886 to 1978. I found a really interesting description of the company from a museum exhibition online here. Then I got this set of soup/pasta bowls. I love this pattern, and I find this shape so hard to find in vintage dishware, although it is some of our most used dishes. The marking on this one is Egersund Norway (so no actual Danish stuff that I bought, funnily enough) and I did find a description online here - it is from a ceramics factory in the town of Egersund that was open from 1847 to 1979. Interesting that they both were in operation for roughly the same time period - I guess the 1970s marked the end of this kind of ceramics production in Scandinavia.
September 25th, 2013
September 16th, 2013
One of the coolest things we saw in Denmark was this amazing hidden gem of a vintage shop that my sister in law took us to. It was in a tiny small town on the west coast, in the owner's backyard garage. It is usually open only on weekends but my sister-in-law made a special arrangement for us to visit, and what a treat! The whole garage is packed floor to ceiling with vintage scandanavian designed lamps, linens, dishes, rugs, so many things that I couldn't even take it all in. I wished that I had brought a whole empty suitcase with me! I had to content myself with a few select purchases (that I'll show you soon). One of the things I was most drawn to wasn't actually Scandanavian, but was this collection of Kathie Winkle ceramics. I actually have several of these patterned plates and didn't know anything about their origins - they are made by the English company Broadhurst, and Kathie Winkle created more than 100 designs for them. Amazingly, all the colours on these are hand painted. I loved looking at all the different patterns he had collected in the shop.