Saturday, 28 December 2013

Homemade Christmas Continues

In the week before Christmas I finished 2 more gifts.

I made a little lunch bag sized tote for my sister in law. This little bag is about 12"x12"x3". I managed to make it using all fabric from my stash (the green strips on the outside are jelly roll strips is from the same jelly roll I am using on my hexagon flowers), and the lining is the dark green I used on my Moses' Basket quilt which lives on my bed. I used webbing inside the handle to give it some support. There is a pocket inside with strips too. No wasting ends of the jelly roll on this one.

My mom also got a tote, hers is bigger (but I definitely didn't measure it, nor did I follow directions very well, so I needed to add a ~3" piece all the way around the top to make it fit the pocket I made. 

For this bag I knew I wanted to have a house on the pocket because my mom designs houses and does working drawings for builders. We have often joked about red doors, and how sometimes they are just the unique thing a house needs and how sometimes they are completely out of place. I drew the house and paper pieced it, then sewed a backing on it and turned it to be a nice little pocket. I also did my first set in zipper for one of the interior pockets.
Inside zippered pocket
Inside pockets
Again, this was made from fabric in my stash. All the text fabric I acquired at my local quilt store the week they had the clearance fabric on for $3/m, I used most of 3 half meter cuts and a bit of a fourth. I would have used a zipper that wasn't green, but I didn't have one at home and I really wanted to just put it in. 

I was going to make an Ipad cover for my brother, but found out a few days before Christmas that he sold his Ipad. Instead I gave him the fabric I had purchased for his project with a note saying I would make him something of his choice. Hopefully I will get organized and in a few days he will have a cover for his new Ipad Mini. 

I am aiming to finish the Ipad Mini cover as my final project for 2013 and I am super excited to get going on some fun ideas I have for 2014. 

Thanks for checking in. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday: Countdown to Christmas

After the super quick coasters I made last week it was time to get my self in gear to make a few more gifts. Both of these ones are for my niece who loves princesses and dolls. So a quilted crown for her and an itty-bitty quilt for her dolls. The blocks for the quilt are 3 inches finished.

Did a little bit of Free Motion Quilting on the background. It was fun, but I am not that good at it yet.

All laid out, probably only an hour and bit of actual work time on this. I should make smaller  quilts more often.

Monkey is totally in love with the crown so I think before I mail my niece's I will have to make a replacement for her. The quilt came from a kit that my grandma gave me when I first started quilting, so I am glad to be putting it to use at last.

Happy Wednesday and thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

WIP Wednesday: Quick Christmas Gift

GeoDad told me that there will be a gift exchange at his company holiday party on Friday. I did a quick search for an easy tutorial to use some of the Christmas fabric I have and found this one. This is what I whipped up in an hour and half from start to finish including a few breaks to get things for Monkey as I went. I think I should probably warn my friends and family that they will all be getting coasters at some point because these are SO easy.

It was nice break from the free motion quilting that I have been slowing plugging away at on my Oink-a-Doodle Moo Quilt. 3 borders are done and 2 bits of vertical I am about half done. 

Linking up with Freshly Pieced. 
Thanks for stopping in to take a look.


Monday, 2 December 2013

Discovery Toys: Cyber Monday - Mystery Host Week

I can't believe that it is December 2nd already. Are you ready for Christmas? Do you have all your shopping done?

Well if you are like me and don't enjoy crowded malls and toys that make the same 2 sounds endlessly through the day, I have the solution for you. This week my Discovery Toys business is running a Mystery Host Week.

Discovery Toys offers a line of kid powered, educational toys, games and books with layers of learning to grow with your child. All our products have a lifetime warranty and replacement parts are available so that if you lose pieces your toy can still be used.  

All the orders I collect this week will be put totaled and I will draw names for who will get the host credits at the end of the week. Here is the break down of what the host rewards are: 

I am sure you next question will be how do you decide what products your might want for the kids and young at heart in your life.

Here are some ideas: 
For an infant

For a 1-3 year old

For a 3-5 year old

For a 5-8 year old

And for the quilter in your life:

So, check out the my page and the catalog, then send me a message at leatinadiscoverytoys (at) gmail (dot) com . I will call you to enter your order, so that if your name is drawn I can apply the host reward to your order. I will take orders for this event until December 8th and the morning of December 9th the order will be submitted. This is prior to the shipping deadline to Canadian residents. 

You can like my Discovery Toys page to keep up on all the future offers.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Only open to Canadian Residents. If you are in the US, please find use the search option to find a local consultant. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday: Thank You.

Although I live in Canada, it is Thankgiving south of the border this week, so I think it is a great time to say some thanks for a few things.

Thank you for all the fantastic and encouraging comments on my last 2 posts. I feel overwhelmed and excited that so many of you are inspired and appreciated what I have been doing.

Thank you for those that have decided to follow my blog. While for the most part I write to document my own progress, it is nice to have people to show things to, ask for opinions and to share tips and tricks with.

Thank you to my coworkers at my LQS who are always ready to give me a hand picking fabric

Thank you to my family and friends who started reading at the beginning of my blogging.

Thank you to GeoDad, he has been supportive, and allowed me to duck downstairs to sew instead hanging with him every evening. He has helped pick fabric, and held finished quilts up for photos.

Thank you to my Grandma, who has let me use her old sewing machine (the Elna) all year, as well as her newer Husqvarna a bunch. (I currently have her serger at my house). Without my Grandma, I doubt that I would have taken up quilting. I love spending time with her and she is the quilter who inspired me to start.

And now for the WIP report for the week.
On the sewing machine, I did my first bit of free motion quilting on the Oink-a-Doodle Moo Quilt in the sashing. Only 16 inches of sashing done so far. And I made my binding for the quilt.

I have also basted another 140 white hexies. 

Linking up with Freshly Pieced today. 

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy Thanksgiving everyone who will be doing that tomorrow. 


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Blogathon Canada

Hello Everyone stopping in from the Blogathon Canada blog tour and Freshly Pieced's Work in Progress Wednesday.

My name is Leatina and I live in Calgary with my fiancé GeoDad, and kids Monkey (2 and half years old) and (LB 14 months old). I started quilting when I was pregnant with Monkey, prior to that I had been super busy working in camp situations and found that I was suddenly at home ALL the time with not much going on. Since having the kids we have moved from Whitehorse down to Calgary to be closer to family, after moving to Calgary I found a job working part time at a local quilt shop, which is pretty fun.

Over the summer I made a large throw quilt as a wedding gift for my brother, it took a ton of time and it is the quilt I the most proud of. All the background is heavily quilted with organic straight lines to give it a woodgrain vibe (my brother lays hardwood for a living) and the circles are definitely my sister-in-law's style. The pattern is from Cynthia at Ahhh Quilting.

My taste in quilts is definitely leaning towards the modern, but I love the complexity of some traditional blocks. Which brings me to my current WIPs:

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt:
I have been stalled on this for over month while I have been working on baby quilt in super slow motion, but I really do plan to get back to soon. I am loving working with the yellow-pink-orange color scheme and I think this is destined to be a twin size quilt for Monkey.

EPP Hexagon Project: 
I won't elaborate on this today, as I did a big post on it last week. But here are the quick stats and a few photos. 364 colored hexagons, basted and sewn into flowers. 1100 white-on-white hexagons basted. 3 rows sewn together, and a layout that is totally not a traditional Grandmother's Garden.

Some have called me crazy, I call it persistent and determined (~1000 white-on-white hexies in  storage). 
My Oink-a-Doodle Moo baby quilt:
I am making this for my best friend who is expecting her first child in January, the fabric was passed along to me from a co-worker who had already made 3 quilts with it. I added a bit, in the way of sashing and a little extra of some of the fabrics. Right now I am quilting it, but its not going very quick. Monkey doesn't mind hanging out while I piece quilts because she can sit next to me at my desk, but once I'm quilting there isn't room for her.
Just stitching in the ditch so far. Not sure what else I might add to it.

Other odds and ends: 
I have small problem, I have too many ideas and not enough time to figure them out. I have been doing a bit of pattern drafting in AutoCad360 (which is free online autocad and I am a big fan so far). It doesn't have all the functions that a full version of AutoCad does, but it is working for me right now. I have visions of a math quilt with blocks like this:
My first attempt at paper piecing, and I did it all with random bits of jelly roll strips. 

So maybe once I get done the baby quilt, and finish Christmas presents for my niece and kids, and hem some curtain panels (ugh, hemming is no fun, but my living room would look so much better). Maybe then I will get back to the Farmer's Wife Quilt and continue doing drafting... maybe I will get organized and make my first pattern to share with others in the new year. 

Feel free to poke around my blog to see what else I have done. Thanks so much for stopping by on the Alberta portion of the blog tour. 

Happy Wednesday! 


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Hexagons: Not Your Grandma's Garden

I would to welcome everyone visiting from Splish Splash Stash's In Hand EPP Link Party (and everyone else who may be reading this). Because I haven't posted anything for the party before I am going to do a complete summary of my English Paper Piecing project.

Once upon a time I was sewing away on my Grandma's 57 year old Elna. It was a fantastic machine until I broke a gear under the bobbin. I was lost. No sewing to be had. I searched the internet for ideas and found some English Paper Piecing tutorials (can't remember where). I figured it was worth a shot...
I started with a jelly roll of batiks, and found some easy to print/cut out papers from Texas Freckles. 1 inch hexagons started to be formed very very slowing from 2.5 inch squares cut from the jelly roll. Some days only 3 or 4 would get basted. Let's just say between February and June I managed to basted roughly 300 hexies in assorted colors from the jelly roll. 

Then in june I started making flowers. Also a slow process to start with. I have sped up alot since the first couple. So here is the recap in photos (way more fun than reading what I might have to say)

52 flowers complete and on the design wall ~ August
Once I had all the flowers done it was time for decisions. Would I applique the flowers onto a background or keep going doing EPP. I have a bit of a 'Go Big or Go Home' attitude so basting ~1500 white-on-white hexies seemed like a good idea. I basted and basted and basted. Then I went away for a weekend and had no papers cut and ready to go, so I decided it was time to start stitching some together. I made strips of 10, then joined them into rows. When I got back I was having so much fun that I kept going and put the first 3 rows together. Inserting the first flower along the way.

End of September

Then it was time to fix what I had thought was a problem with the design on wall for 2 months. When I pictured the layout, I pictured the flowers falling towards the lower left corner, and with the original layout they would have been falling to the lower right. (Silly right, but I had to fix it, it was driving me crazy). 

Since I was happy with the layout on the design wall, I thought I should probably finish basting the white hexies. I am using so many different white prints that I didn't think it would be wise to get too eager sewing them together before I had enough and risk having a whole section with the same 2 or 3 prints when I reach the end of the supply. 

So this is where I am at now. 2 trays of white on white hexies basted for a total of 1034. Add in the 364 colored ones, brings it is nice big total of 1398. I think I need 1850 plus some ~100 half hexies.  All of the these numbers seem totally attainable, and not in the far far away future. Thanks for stopping in.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Work in Progress: Oct 30th - Oink-a-Doodle Moo

Hey everyone, Thanks for stopping by to see what I have been up to. It has been a slow month for sewing. I have been distracted by many many things (other than my children and their less than ideal nap/sleep schedules). Like getting engaged, and deciding I need more income to help pay for the wedding (if you are in Canada and need toys for gifts this season, check out my Discovery Toys page through the button on the side bar).

As for sewing, I have been slowing plugging basting white on white hexies for my hexagon quilt. I now have 975 white on whites to go with the 364 colored ones already sewn into flowers. Here is what ~900 basted hexies looks like:

I am running out of storage space for these basted hexies, and I need to do roughly 450 more. But first I need to decided on 1.8m more white on white prints to use. 

I have been slowing piecing blocks together for my Oink-a-Doodle Moo quilt too. I have decided on a layout, picked sashing and am ready to piece the front together. Here is a sneak peak:

I have a few more blocks made that will go on the back because I hadn't figured out a layout before I got fussy cutting and making the blocks and I have tons of 2.5 inch squares left that I think are going to be turned into a scrappy binding. 

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday. 
Thanks for checking in, have a great week.


Monday, 28 October 2013

New Business Venture: Discovery Toys

Last week after GeoDad proposed to me and we talked budget for life + planning a wedding I thought it would be wise to find a few more ways to bring home some money. Ideally I would be back doing some geophysics work, but my experience is in hardrock mineral exploration and I am living in an oil and gas city. So while I have the education to work oil and gas, my experience and time at home with the kids is making it a harder to get a job in the industry.

So fast forward to the last week. Putting the kids in daycare for a job in my field makes sense, working evenings and weekends when Shawn can be home and we don't pay for child care makes sense. Working at something full time during the week where I make just enough to cover the childcare expenses does not make sense. We discussed the ways I could make more without full-time child care. And came to the conclusion that a stay at home business would be a viable and probably a very good option.

The big names that came to mind were Avon, Mary Kay, etc. Now this is where I need to admit that I rarely wear make up, I don't take any health supplements and I don't have much interest in changing all these things to be a successful business person. The next ideas were more kitchen related, Pampered Chef (I have some of their products and I love them) and similar products, but the reality is that I have 2 small kids that would make prepping for parties in the kitchen way more challenging. Plus GeoDad and I have tons of kitchen stuff that I don't want to be replacing just yet.

When I ran the idea past my mom of doing a party based business she suggested Discovery Toys. I checked out their info and remembered how much fun my brother and I had with some of their products when I was little. I think it is a great company and I love educational toys.

So I am excited to announce that as of yesterday I am an Educational Consultant with Discovery Toys and I am ready to take your orders, host parties (both in Calgary and online), and maybe get you started on your own home based business too.

I doubt Monkey and LB will mind as I will be getting great discounts and free toys. Here are some of the cool toys I can get for them (and your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc). I played with Marbleworks growing up and it was lots of fun for my brother and I for many many years.
Thanks for checking in and if you are shopping for toys this holiday season please come see what I can offer you here on my personal Discovery Toys Website. Today I am going to work on getting a button for my sidebar for anyone looking to purchase or check out the products without having to scroll through all my posts.

GeoMama PS. I figured out the button for the sidebar. It takes you right to my Independant Discovery Toys Webstore

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Exciting things that aren't sewing related

I haven't sewn much for the last 2 weeks. I had a week of LB waking me up at 4:30 in the morning and Monkey waking up occasionally in the night, so I was too tired to do anything other than baste hexies. Then this last weekend I thought I would get tons of sewing done on my Oink-a-Doodle Moo quilt, but instead had a date night with GeoDad and spent all day Sunday on the phone with family letting them know some good news.

Can I give you a hint?

Yep, thats right. GeoDad popped the question Saturday evening while we were out for dinner. 

We have had a date picked to get married since I was pregnant with LB, but due to the calender (the specific date not falling on a weekend), and other commitments the date is still a year and a bit away. I think I will be posting pictures of wedding dresses to my fridge to try and avoid snacking. 

Happy happy week!! Maybe once I am a little less excited I will get back to work on my sewing projects.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Work In Progress: Oct 9 - Something new

Good day everyone,
 It has been an exciting week in my sewing room. I now have 1100 total hexies basted on my hexagon quilt. That is 736 white on whites and the 52 flowers. I figured that I needed about 1800, so I am well over half way there!!

 I also finished 4 more Farmer's Wife blocks, and used up the last of my Triangulations paper and cutting instructions I got from the teacher at my local quilt store. I have 27 blocks and am waiting patiently for the next month's class.
Block 73 - Rainbow Flowers
Block 92 - Streak of Lightning
Block 98 - Waterwheel
Block 102 - Whirlpool

All 27 together:

Lastly I started a new project with the generous gifted fabric I got last week. Here is the first block of my Oink-a-Doodle-Moo quilt: 

I don't have a clear plan yet, or any idea how big this will be, but I know I will be fussy cutting a fair bit and using 2.5 inch squares to frame the fussy cuts. 

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for checking in and have a great week.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Work in Progress: Oct 2: Quilting is...

"Quilting is the crack cocaine of hobbies" - An awesome coworker
I chose to start this post by quoting a coworker who generously gave me a bundle of Oink A Doodle Moo fabric that she was not going to use any more of (she made 3 quilts out of what she had and wants to work with something new). And I have been pondering/planning/wishing to start making some baby quilts as I have 3 friends due to have their babies within the first couple weeks of 2014. My grandma was also digging through her stash and found a alphabet panel that she doesn't think she will use. So I think between these 2 awesome fabric shares, I should be able to get started on 2 more projects!!

One Oink A Doodle Moo Fabric
Alphabet Panel
This last week I took a wee break and did a ton of filing (which covered my cutting table for a couple days), and only did 4 more Farmer's Wife Blocks.
Block 48 - Homeward Bound
Block 68 - Postage Stamp
Block 103 - Whirlwind
Block 107 - Windblown Square
All 23 blocks together. 
I am running out of blocks to do without getting into quarter-square-triangles, paper-piecing and more complicated stuff, so a bit of time to work on baby quilts will be nice. I am signed up for the Farmer's Wife Class at the store I work at so I am waiting for the next month's worth of blocks to keep going.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced again this week.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for stopping by to read about my very addictive hobby. Hope everyone got their fabric fix this week.


Monday, 30 September 2013

September (Lack of) Fitness Update

To all my faithful readers I have to be honest. I have totally fallen off the exercise/fitness bandwagon that I had been riding since February. It started when I my back was out at the end of August and I didn't complete the 100 Day Burpee Challenge. When my back started feeling better around the 10th of September I didn't have any desire to start doing the last 15 days of burpees, so I called it quits. I should have immediately started working on my home work out routine that a personal trainer gave me before I was pregnant with LB, but I didn't. So to be truthful about it all.. I have been walking a bit with the kids, but that is it.

The last month our old house up north was for sale, we got an offer at the beginning of the month, but with it came conditions, and more repairs needed. This was more money we didn't really have, and trying to organize it all from 2600 kms away was very hard. Dealing with it was super stressful and I don't think I admitted soon enough how much of a tole it was taking on my emotional and mental health.

To add to that stress both kids have been changing their nap routines. LB has gone from being a very consistent napper early in the morning, and shortly after lunch to late morning naps followed by late afternoon naps, or only 1 nap. Monkey has stopped napping altogether (for the most part), which means  no R&R(or exercise) for me in the middle of the day.

When we moved to Calgary, one of my first goals was to find a gym right away, and now we have been here 4 months, and with only running 1 vehicle I am unable to get myself and both kids to a gym with childcare. (I suppose I could take the bus, but I'm not sure how that would go with having to keep both under control and by big stroller won't fit... and between naps, and LB eating almost continuously throughout the day it is hard to get out).

So there it is, September sucked. I didn't eat great, I didn't exercise at all, and I am emotionally exhausted from the stress of selling the house.

Here is the good news, the house sale is closing today, and starting tomorrow GeoDad and I will no longer be paying a mortgage and rent. We are going to recover and get caught up. And I am going to get back to focusing on my health and working towards my goals.

But I am not going to wait for tomorrow. I have finished my coffee, and I am going to go get dressed and do my first day of exercises from the personal trainer.

I am going to try to get through this set twice
Box squats 15
Walkouts 10
Toe taps 20 per leg
Bench dips 12-15
Lunges pulses 10 per leg
Opposite arm/leg lift 10 per side
Plank 30-45 secs
Knee push ups 12-15
Mountain climbers 10 per leg
Jumping jacks 30

Thanks for reading and being supportive. 


(PS. I know I said no more excuses in February, and I just gave a bunch today...  but at least I can pinpoint what was happening and why I was struggling.)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Work in Progress: Sept 25

Good day everyone,
I wasn't sure I was going to get a chance to post today, but I have found a bit of time. I was at a wedding on the weekend out in Banff and since then I have been busy finalizing the sale of our house (lots of paperwork, phone calls, and running around, etc.). Over the last couple weeks I have finished a few more Farmer's Wife blocks bringing the total to 19. The next 2 I plan to do are easy with just squares and rectangles, but I haven't had a chance to get down the sewing machine in almost a week. Here are the new ones:
Block 12 - Broken Sugar Bowl
Block 70 - Prairie Queen
Block 62 - Old Windmill
Block 34 - Calico Puzzle
Block 111 - Wrench
Block 81 - Snowball

And all 19 together:

While I was out of town on the weekend I had a good chance to start stitching some of my white hexies together. I made my first row and bit on the way to and from Banff. I laid out the first row on my queen sized bed when I got home and decided 33 is the right number to go across.
First row!
After stitching the first row I decided it was time to redo my design layout of the flowers. Ever since doing it the first time I felt there was a couple flowers that were out of place, and that the whole idea needed to be mirrored. I was picturing the flowers falling toward the bottom left corner of the bed, and the way they were laid out they were falling to the right. Silly I know. But I had to change it for my own piece of mind.
Before mirroring layout
After, minus the top blue flower.
I added the top flower to the first row, then started adding my second and third rows.

2 and half rows done.

Pretty blue flower for the top of quilt. 
I will need to make some half hexies soon so that I can feel like the rows are actually finished as I add them. And I still need to baste lots more white hexies.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by to have look. I am linking up with Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy Sewing