Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Things I love

My sewline glue stick and how it makes foundation/paper piecing so much easier.

 And fantastic patterns, like the paper piecing ones from Soma Archarya from

And both my Add-a-quarter and Add-an-eigth rulers

And watching a block grow from a seemingly random collection of tiny pieces of fabric

And I love it all even more when I only have to use my stitch ripper once!

Have a Grand Wednesday and thanks for taking a look. Check back in the New Year to see where this block is going.

Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. 

Happy Holidays

Thursday, 27 November 2014

I strongly dislike hemming

The last few weeks have been amazingly slow in the sewing department. I have finally finished making curtains for the kids bedrooms. They weren't difficult but it took me 3 times longer than I thought it might because I was easily distracted every time I finished hemming one of the edges. Not that hemming the edges was hard, I just don't enjoy it.

This was my first time using grommets and I was pleased with how easily the plastic snap together ones worked. I am just not thrilled with the finishes some of colours.

The curtains for both kids' rooms are just quilting cotton which although its not ideal for drapery the prints were perfect and I got the yardage at a great price.

Both Monkey and LB loved posing for pictures with their curtains after they were hung.

GeoDad and I had a weekend away last weekend and I spent a ton of time stitching hexies together for my Not Your Grandma's Garden Quilt. I pieced 8 rows of 12, and sewed 3 of those rows into a block that will easily attach to the main piece.

The other thing keeping us on our toes is demolition and remediation in the basement. We found mold when we first moved in and had a crew in cleaning it up last week. Along the way they also found asbestos so the project keeps getting more expensive and is taking more days. Good news in all of that though is that I have been able to sew a bit in the mornings while I wait for them to arrive.

This morning I took Tycho's old ratty collar cut off all the hardware and made her a new one. It was pretty easy as I had some webbing that I recycled out of my infant carseat which had expired and the LQS had duponi silk on sale during the summer. The collar is very pretty but won't last long if we let her wear it when she wrestles with my brother or mom's dogs.

I will probably go back into blogger silence for the next few weeks as I have some secret sewing to do before the holidays. Then when the new year starts I have a couple projects that will need to get done for my March wedding. And if blog is quiet I have a hard time not sharing photos over on instagram! Follow me @geomamaquilts for sneak peaks of secret sewing.

Happy Thanksgiving to the American's reading this and thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tools, Baby Quilt Finished

It always feels great to sew the last few inches of binding down on a quilt and normally I am super eager to blog about it right away, but this quilt seems have needed more time for everything. It has been my keeping sane project through 2 months of renos, packing, moving, unpacking and settling into a new routine in our new house.

So without further ado. Here it is, the Tools Baby Quilt for my new nephew.

Oops pine cones were falling lots while I took photos.

The straight(ish) quilting on the drill is my favourite.

Instead of making a label I signed my name while I quilted and there is secret message just for my nephew along the bottom.

The big open space in the middle of the quilt was perfect for his name and birthdate

Quilts Stats:
Pattern: Tools, Baby! By Kelli Fannin of
Size: 48"x 48" (or so)
Fabric: Background is Kona White, most of the colours are from the Kaufman blender line Dazzle. Backing is Shannon Cuddle Light blue dimples.
Piecing: Pieced on my grandma's Husqvarna Viking with 60wt Presencia Thread
Quilting: Freemotion quilted by me on an APQS Millie Longarm with white Glide Tec thread
Binding: Green Dazzle fabric is machine stitched.

Notes:  I really enjoyed putting this quilt together because it came together so easily. I chose to omit the borders because the quilt was big enough to be a good sized baby blanket and I really didn't want to have to piece the minkee/cuddle for the backing. It was fun to free motion quilt this on the longarm and I am eager to try it again to improve my skills. Plus minkee is so wonderfully cuddly for baby quilts and it was so easy to manage it on the longarm.

Thanks for having a look.

Blogger Quilt Festival: Snapshot of Skiers Pillows

This entry is for the small quilt category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival being hosted by Amy at . Although individually each pillow would fit in the mini category they were made as a pair as a wedding gift and I felt that the small category would be a better fit. These pillows finished up just over 20" square each.

The skier block was designed by Amy Friend of It is a paper pieced block with a huge amount of teeny tiny pieces. I wasn't sure I had the skills necessary to make it, but after a couple weeks of very careful sewing they came out great.

The quilting on front was mostly stitch in the ditch and echo quilting the mountain lines. The ski poles were quilted using 30wt purple thread as were the pillow backs.

The original plan was to have plain purple borders, but as I was sewing late at night I realized I had used more of the purple fabrics that I had calculated for. I choose to extend the mountain range beyond the green frame and I think provided a great finishing touch. 

The backs were done with a simple patchwork which overlapped across the envelope style closure. 

The pillows were gifted to the newlyweds at a beautiful mountain ceremony at one of their favourite ski hills. 

And now they have a new home on a loveseat where they are greatly loved by a pair of avid skiers.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Snapshot of Skiers Pillows
Size: 20" x 20" (each)
Pattern credits: Amy Friend from During Quiet Time for her Vintage Skier Paper Pieced Block, the rest of the design is my own.
Piecing: Skiers, paper pieced using 60wt Presencia Thread, Patchwork and borders, pieced using 60wt Presencia thread
Batting: Quilter's Dream Select (pieced together scraps using batting tape)
Quilting: Quilted on my Grandma's Husqvarna Viking Sewing machine. Thread used white 60wt Presencia, light green 50wt presencia and 30wt Wonderfil Mirage variegated purple thread. 
Binding: Machine stitched. (The machine wasn't super happy about going through 8 layers of fabric and 3 layers of batting on the overlap of the envelope, but it survived)

Thanks for having a look and enjoy the rest of the entries to the Blogger's Quilt Festival. 

Leatina aka GeoMama

Friday, 24 October 2014

House, Life and Everything Else

As some of my regular readers may have noticed I sort of disappeared for most of the last 2 months. To put things lightly, it has been crazy busy. Through September we did renos at our new house, packed the old one, ran into problems with the new basement and eventually moved.

Since then we have been getting settled into new routines and trying to get things unpacked and organized (which is WAY harder with toddlers around).  

Up until now I had been working part time at the local quilt store learning to be a sewing machine technician and I only worked every other day. As we had to change childcare around after moving we decided it was probably time to put the kids in daycare full time.  This has proved to be way harder than I expected.

Monkey is in a toddler room where most kids nap every day, and now she is napping some days and not other days. The days she naps she stays up an hour later than her normal bedtime. She had been quite liking the alternate home/daycare days before and is not enjoying going to daycare 2 or more days in a row.

LB on the other hand seems to be adjusting just fine. He wasn't going to bed well at the other house and he still isn't. But he is ending up in our bed more often and longer in the night. The daycare ladies have told me that he is doing great while he is there.

Just to make life a little more fun the kids have had 2 colds in the last 3 weeks. GeoDad and I have had to take turns staying home with them (since you definitely can't go to daycare with a fever).

Due to the location of the new house I would need to take a bus and the train to get to work and it would probably take longer than I think it should. So since moving I have been biking the ~5km to work. It is only taking 20-25 minutes depending on the day and it is very refreshing to get some exercise a couple times a day. All in all I am enjoying being at work full time but I am exhausted by the end of day.

Can't complain about biking past this twice a day.

There is lots of sewing I would like to be doing but most nights by the time the kids are sleeping I am too worn out to even think about it. And some of my free time in the evenings has been spent on wedding planning as our wedding is less than 5 months away (ack... so much to do and figure out still).
Closer to workable.. Need to unpack and make a spot for the ironing board.

Anyway, I think the blogging/sewing slump is coming to an end. Last weekend my brother laid some beautiful laminate flooring in the sewing area and I finally have a spot to sit down and sew. Tonight I finished putting the binding on the Tools Baby Quilt that I longarm quilted a couple weekends ago (so here's hoping I get a finished quilt post written this weekend). 


Sunday, 21 September 2014

September is slipping away

We have been busy. Not normal busy with toddlers... super busy. September 2nd we got keys to our new house and since we planned to have 4 weeks of overlap with the 2 houses it means that I have been splitting my time between them. Attempting to keep up with normal things like laundry and dishes at the current house and painting, demolition and construction at the new place.

Lots of ugly valences had to be taken down.

Along with the horrible wallpaper
So far we have striped wallpaper off of 6 walls, 2 in the dining room and all 4 in LB's room. I had family down for one weekend and they painted all the closets on the main floor (and closets are super slow to paint). We also got 2 coats of red on one of LB's walls, 2 coats of light pink on Monkey's 1 wall, the first coat of white on 2 walls in each kids room and the first coat of dark pink on Monkey's 4th wall. The dining room and half the living got both coats of white done.

Nice white closet will feel to unpack our clothes into

White done on walls, not sure what happened to the one strip of baseboard but they got it the second try.

Since they were around I finished painting 2 coats of blue paint on LB's other wall and another coat of dark pink in Monkey's room.

Monkey is 3 and was only ok with looking for a new house and the idea of moving because we told her  we could paint her walls pink.

I was only going to paint LB's walls 2 shades of blue, but we are letting our 3 year old make design decisions and she said her brother wanted blue and red. So thats what we did. The red wall is my favourite of the 4 coloured walls.

We tore out a wall that had some ugly mirror tiles and scary texture on it, and my brother re-drywalled and started mudding it. We removed bifold closet doors and replaced a few with new ones, which also needed a coat of paint.

We also found a opening for a doorway, so we installed a new door.

My brother also started to build me a super awesome new cutting table/fabric storage system.

GeoDad has been on furniture building duty (some new dressers for the kids from Ikea) and switching out all the light switches and electrical outlets (as the old ones were yellowish from age, and new ones make the place feel so much cleaner).

It was all going very well, except for a small (we hoped) moisture problem in the basement... Turns out after having a contractor from the condo board in and an air quality specialist, we have a bigger problem than we hoped. We are still working on how to solve it and hopefully we can get it mostly dealt with before we move in next week.

As if all that at the new house wasn't enough, I got a call to do some contract geophysics work. Not stellar timing for how much was on my plate, but the extra cash will definitely help with the basement demolition.

We also had to deal with the collapse of our gazebo at the house we are currently living in during the freak September snowstorm which is being called 'Snowtember' throughout Calgary.

So after the first 2.5 weeks of chaos, I finally needed a down day. I let the kids watch cartoons and run around all day and I sat and sewed. It was a wonderful break. I have almost completed a quilt top for my new nephew, and hopefully I will get a chance to write a proper sewing post about it after we have moved.

Thanks for making it through it this rather wordy post and I look forward to sharing pictures of rooms as we get them set up.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

WIP: A Whole lot of EPP

First off, a big thanks for everyone that reads my blog regularly (and for those that just read now and then, and those who are reading it for the first time today, and really everyone who ever read it).
I checked my page views this week and I am at 10058!!! I think that I pretty exciting and I had no idea that I would ever make it that far. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Summer has been great for hand stitching while my kids play in the yard. It has been a super hot summer so we are all getting in lots of time outside and if we are at home I almost always have my hand sewing with me. It lives in sandwich sized plastic bin on counter so it is always ready to go.

Over the last couple weeks I have completely the third block of Project Seventy-Two, which was made with 72 half-hexagons.

 Project Seventy-Two is coming along nicely (I think). I would love to say I have a clear game plan for it, but I don't and I am not in any rush to get one. I knew I didn't want the blocks to touch one another so I chose to separate them with setting triangles of a fourth contrasting colour. Here are the first two triangles, also make with half-hexies, sewn onto 2 blocks.

I am also playing catch up on the Hexie Block of Month hosted by The Hexie Blog.
Here is the June BOM

The July BOM

And the August BOM

As if that wasn't enough stuff on the go outside and away from my sewing room, I also finished 2 wedding gifts (read about them here, and here).

And made a dress for Monkey to wear to the second wedding (which I finished sewing in the truck on the way out to event)

And finally, I felt it was time to sew something for me (or rather, work on a project for me that I started back in the spring). The main piece of it almost all quilted, and I am still trying to decide on the rest of the details.

Sorry for the post overload today, and thanks for sticking around to the end.
Linking up with Sarah at Sarah Did It! for HeLP for Hexia-aholics,  Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP:Wednesday and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Snapshot of skiers - Quilted Pillows Finish

A whirlwind project. Started and finished in 3 weeks. Finished just in time for my cousins wedding.
It started with a very large number of very tiny pieces.

Slowly they came together.

When my eyes got tired from staring at the tiny pieces I made some patchwork envelope style pillow backs.

I did some stitch ripping after assembling some pieces in the wrong order.

But eventually I had a skier pieced and ready for a border. But due to some miscalculation and lack of planning, I did not have enough purple to do square borders

So I extended the mountain range.

Backs were quilted with simple straight lines and the lines of mountains were echoed on the front. 

Ski poles were added using the variegated purple thread that most of the quilting was done in. 

Envelope backs were stitched to the quilted fronts, and then a pretty binding was added by machine.

And then 2 pillow form were stuffed inside!

One for my cousin.

And one for her new husband.

Now for a few details,

Quilt Stats:
Name: Snap of Skiers Pillows
Size: 20" x 20" (each)
Pattern credits: Amy Friend from During Quiet Time for her Vintage Skier Paper Pieced Block, the rest of the design is my own.
Piecing: Skiers, paper pieced using 60wt Presencia Thread, Patchwork and borders, pieced using 60wt Presencia thread
Batting: Quilter's Dream Select (pieced together scraps using batting tape)
Quilting: Quilted on my Grandma's Husqvarna Viking Sewing machine. Thread used white 60wt Presencia, light green 50wt presencia and 30wt Wonderfil Mirage variegated purple thread. 
Binding: Machine stitched. (The machine wasn't super happy about going through 8 layers of fabric and 3 layers of batting on the overlap of the envelope, but it survived)
Notes: I would have loved to make a quilt for my cousin and her new hubby as their wedding gift, but with both time and budget constraints pillows were a much better option. They are both great skiers, so when I saw the Vintage Skier Block by Amy Friend I knew I would be perfect. I was slightly intimidated by the tiny pieces but I went slow and used lots and lots of sewline gluestick glue to keep pieces in place while I stitched and finger pressed all seams really well. I am so excited that it worked and I am pretty sure I built my paper piecing skills by leaps and bounds. It was a super fun project and the wedding was beautiful.

Skier pillows at Mt. Norquay where the couple was married. Congrats!!!

Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday

Thanks for having a look