Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My First Quilting Journey

Have you ever been so excited that you find yourself continuously talking about the same thing over and over to the same friends? You never notice it until they begin to roll their eyes and say, "You've told me already!"

Well that's how it's been for me for the past 2 weeks since joining the Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew Along! I am just super excited to learn new techniques and even more ecstatic to have a finished quilt at the end of the 25 weeks. My very first quilt!

My sewing journey began about 3 years ago as I saw a purse that was handmade but was a bit costly and decided I can make it....why? Because I can make anything I want and put my mind to! (So I was told as a child, and so I believed!) I should interject here that I now know why it was so costly and totally relate to trying to explain to potential customers the procedures and funds that is needed for any creation. By the way, I love making handbags and wallets but thought I should spread my wings a little!

I'm scrolling through my instagram account (click here to view) and stumbled upon an interesting sew along that's about to start. I quickly replied under a post that I was interested and would love to join, HOLY MOLY was my expression after sending that message. I was actually doubting myself and second guessing if I would be capable of actually getting the task of putting all those little pieces together.

I am happy to say that this sew-along has been one of the easiest sewing task that I have ever taken on, all thanks to Sharon and Maureen. You two have made this possible for new quilters like myself and for that I am thankful! You to can jump on this bandwagon as it's never to late and I am sure you can catch up on no time. We are only on block #4, quickly head on over to their blogs for more information.

I have decided to use #desertbloom fabric selection by Moda Fabrics for my first quilt, totally not the norm of my love for beach colors and theme.

I found that this quilt is going to end up costing me approximately about $300 in total! (mouth drops open) I have purchased the fabrics on the supply list as needed and I've reached to $150.85
Material List • 3-½ yards total for blocks
                     • 2 yards total for frames
Above is what I've purchased already.

                     • 1-½ yards total for sashing
                     • ½ yard total for binding
                     • 4-½ yards for backing
                     • 80’’ square batting

Week 1

This was my first attempt at quilting and I was nervous as hell, but I am so happy I gave it a try.

Week 2

By the second week I was feeling so comfortable that I was anticipating gleefully what it would look like.

Week 3

Week 4

Another block has been issued today as it's WEDNESDAY! This has really made hump days more enjoyable.

Remember to follow me for updates of my postings.
Have a great evening!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Happy Spending Day!

Hello everybody!

I had such a great day roaming the aisles of Joann Fabrics store yesterday, especially since I knew I was going to find some treasures that were on my must-have list.

As I have been told a million times by my dear husband, "you don't have to buy everything when you take on a new craft", I tried to remember this as I was alone and free to spend whatever I want without any eyes watching (no husband and no daughter)! Bless his heart for trying to keep me grounded. Haha.

So let's get to my goodies that I got. Oh, first I should say that yesterday was a "start the car moment" when I was able to use a "60% off" coupon TWICE, use a "40% off" coupon and also get "$30 off when you spend $75"! Wow, I have never saved like that before.

I won't keep you in suspense any longer! Let's get started.

1. Light Tracer

I recently came across a conversation that brightened my light bulb. I am a newbie in the hand embroidery world and was tracing a design onto my fabric and wondered if there was another way to get your design on your fabric without having to stare down with my eyes wide open whilst having my OttLite 2 inches from my eyes and my pattern that was torture. Thankfully, someone mentioned using a light box and that was the start of my hunt!  Happily, my hunt was short lived when my eyes sparkled and landed  on a LightTracer LED Light Box!

2. Olfa Rotating Rotary Mat

I have wanted one of these mats for sometime but could not justify spending (insert coughing) on a 12 x 12 mat, especially after owning about 6 different cutting mats. So today, when the opportunity arise of being able to use another 60% coupon, without hesitation that was what I headed for! Now there should be less getting up and twisting my body in yoga poses and awkward hand movements. Easy Peasy spin of the mat works like a dream!

3. DMC Embroidery Thread

Honestly, I was totally trying to make the process of picking colors be over in 1 minute! Usually I am all excited to match up fabrics and other color related crafts, but for the love of God.......why must there be a zillion different colors? In the end, I decided to gather up every color in 3's, which was much easier! Also, I picked up a Collector's Edition box of variegated floss and I was back on my merry go round of happiness again. Note: They were a part of the door buster sales 3 @.99

Forgot to mention the purchase of the storage container and accessories.

4. Bias Tape Maker

Have you ever made a bias tape before? How about trying to iron that sucker? That's the detrimental part for me. Imagine the pain of getting burned from the steam of your iron and having to continue the process of ironing to make a half inch bias tape which you urgently need to complete a swap partner's gift, which of course is due to be mailed out the next day! Whoaaaaa, never again. Now, that I know they come in various sizes, I've decided to start with the 1/2" width size and grow my collection as needed.

Update: I actually got 2 different sizes!

5. Jumbo Wonder Clips

I must be getting old, as I bought a pack a week ago and was also excited to get a pack today as well (my excuse: they were 40% off). Well, one can never have too many of these. They really live up to their name "Wonder Clips". I have only used these from the time I started sewing, which was about 3 years now and wonder how people made it without them (well I know there were pins) but they also would stick the crap out of you!

6. Aunt Martha's Stitch 'Em Up

Like I mentioned earlier, I am new to hand embroidery and thought what better way to try out different patterns on fabric that was made especially for the purpose of Hand stitching. I couldn't decide, so i bought kitchen towels, pillowcases, dinner napkins and flour sack towels (there goes my husband rolling his eyes as he reads this) xoxo!

All in all I'll say I had a great shopping President's Day Sale at Joann's.
Thanks for stopping by and
 I hope to see you again soon!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Let's get it Done!

Good Morning! There's the sun shining through my window and I've had my coffee, that equals a beautiful day ahead! As the new year rolled in with a bang for me, I realized that I had not set any resolutions for 2017. I was determined to skip this year rituals as I can never fulfill my promise to myself, so why the hell should I make more empty promises, right? I thought I'd do this 'self inflicted empty promises' differently this year!

For starters, I am going to continue to try my best to be the best that I can be, but not at the expense of feeling deflated because I couldn't get a task done.

This year, it's all about me! Selfish? Well, maybe I am. :-)
I will start to live out my dreams day by day  and if I don't get it done....then there's always tomorrow!

Breathe: Happy to get that all out.

I have joined a challenge hosted by a Carla of Carla's Creations, which I made a pinky -swear that I will try my best to create one item a month from my ever growing stash of sewing books. I thought this was such a great idea, as i can now justify my need to spend too many hours roaming Chapters and too much money purchasing books and not creating anything.

I have a few others that I've "collected" (sounds better than saying bought haha) over last week! Well, truthfully, two were ordered and one I went on the hunt for and it was well worth it!

So, In order stay on my planned budget expense list, I've decided to purchase one book (chuckle), we shall see, spending $20 -$25 every two weeks. Sounds like an excellent plan to me! So now I have to clear additional space on my bookcase!

This month, I will create a pot holder from Sadef Imer's "Quilt Petite" book.
There are so many new techniques in this book, and it was tough choosing what to make, that I've decided to jump right in and face the seam ripper without fear attempting Paper Piecing! Ive always wanted to try English Paper Piecing and this is a great opportunity to give it a go. Making my own pot holders is going to be interesting. I promise to keep you posted!

It's time to get my work started picking fabrics and gathering my supplies. 
Let's see if I can stay on track.

Have a Super-fantstically morning!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hi and Welcome!
I"m so excited to share with you my creation for today. This Canada Day weekend, I broke into my stash of fabrics from my favourite Canadian fabric retailers.  My favorites include The Needle & EyeSpool of Thread and A Great Notion, which is temptingly close to home.  As you can see, I have more than my fair share of fabrics on hand in my work-space to pick from! (well i'm only showing you the neat section).

I'm almost always prepping for a show, so have never taken time to make something special, just for myself.  This weekend, as part of the Canada Day Blog Roll, I decided to treat myself to a "Pretty Floral Divided Tote"  by Sherri, from 
Thread Riding Hood. Click here if you'd love to try this pattern. 

This design caught my eye right away, as it's spacious enough to use as a market bag.  Lots of room for my fresh-baked PIES (this has nothing to do with sewing but I couldn't resist)

(drooling for a piece of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, I think I'll bake one today), breads, eggs, carrots, kale, fresh berries...just about any bounty the Canadian summer can send my way!

 It would be great as a general carry-all, too.  I'd love it as a beach bag as well and that would be my next selfish sew and oh I have the right fabrics in mind already! 
 I took inspiration from Sherri's vibrant colour combinations, which were right up my alley. Sherri has a few other patterns and tutorials that I've tried and I have to tell you, they are all pretty well written with easy to follow instructions.

For my Divided Tote, I chose an outside fabric Posh by Chez Moi which is a bold floral design in soft pastel colours that reflect the breezy feel of summer.   To blend, I used coordinating pink and pale yellow frolicking mushrooms for the inner divider, strap contrast, and outer pocket.  So summery and soft!

I made a few adaptations to the pattern, using a heavier weight interfacing, as I wanted to give more structure.  This baby has to hold a lot of market treats, so she needs to be strong.  Instead of using basic interfacing, I used heavy weight interfacing on the outer pocket, and heavy interfacing plus Peltex ultra-firm interfacing for the divider and at the bottom.

All told, the bag took me about two and a half blissful hours of quiet stitching while the early July air cooled me down, tempting me to hurry up so I could bring my bag to market to gather my supplies for my pie!

And here's the finished product: locally sourced, Canadian-designed, and beautifully market ready.  This one is definitely a keeper for me!

I really love the this bag um Big Tote!

If you missed the start of this Blog Hop, here's the line up!
Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win lots of amazing prizes!

Thanks for stopping by!

June 24: The Tour Starts HERE at Happy Okapi

June 25: Celine guest posts on Happy Okapi; Marsha @ Seam of my Pants

June 27: Sherry @ Thread Riding Hood; Reece @ Happy Okapi

June 28: Nicky guest posts on Seam of my Pants

June 29: Daniela @ On the Cutting Floor; Reece @ Happy Okapi

June 30: Michelle @ Michelle's Creations

Canada Day--July 1: Ula @ Lulu & Celeste

July 2: Marsha @ Seam of my Pants

July 3: Keshia @ Sand Dollar Design Studio

July 4: Wrap Up @ Happy Okapi

July 6: Give away Winners Announced

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review ~ Swoon Pattern Harriet

If you ask anyone who makes bags, they would all tell you it's a labor of  hard work LOVE!

The creation begins with picking fabrics (the best part for me), then all the cutting and other great details needed to create a beautiful exotic handmade bag/purse. Which is always a great reward at the end.

I stumbled upon Swoon Patterns  almost 2 years ago and this has been the best ride of my life in regards to my Crafting Journey!

The very first bag I sewed was Coraline by Alicia Miller (the creator behind Swoon Patterns). So I know that if I can do it so can you.....
"Coraline" ~ A Swoon Pattern
 made by  Sand Dollar Design Studio 

I am such a die-hard Swoon fan and I know that I am definitely not alone. You can find us all on this Facebook group basking in glory land with each other here - be warned!  ~ the place where all obsessed fans hang out!

Today I am reviewing "HARRIET" from Swoon Patterns (Affiliate Link)

She is described as an Expandable Tote - a midsize bag to transport your day-to-day items and can quickly be converted to a spacious tote by opening the side zippers!

Priced at an affordable $5.95 for the downloadable PDF version and $9.95 for the printed paper version makes this a "MUST HAVE". I particularly love the downloaded PDF versions as I receive them in a blink of an eye after payment.....I'm very impatient when I really want something :-), also patterns pieces can be printed time after time.

Harriet was not a difficult bag to sew especially if you are a seasoned bag maker. It is listed 3/4 on the difficulty scale meaning you should already be somewhat familiar with sewing patterns and common sewing terms. After saying this, let me fill you in on a little secret......Alicia has done such a fantastic job on her patterns that any excited beginner can make her bags ( I know this because I was once in that shoe).

I had such a great time choosing the fabric for this one and I love every detail on this bag.

Harriet measures 12.5" Wide
                              10"  Tall
                       and 4.5" Deep
A great size for carrying all needed items on a day out!

 I went with Tula Pink's Free Fall Fabric in this beautiful Orchid color and accented it with grey Essex Linen. I used gunmetal hardware as I thought it was a perfect subtle match for the fabrics. Check out how easy Rivets work and make your bag look so professional. I also used a magnetic snap for the closure as the pattern called for, but this can be changed to so many other options such as zippers.

I'd say this took me about  5 hours to complete this bag and that includes facebook breaks, cooking, telephone conversation....yes I'm easily distracted especially if it's something to laugh about ~ enjoying life always.

Here is the inside of Harriet with a zippered inside pocket.
Sand Dollar Design Studio

Side Zippers ~ allowing Harriet to transform from a Tote to a Mid-size bag.
Sand Dollar Design Studio

It was an enjoyable sewing quest for me as always. Hop on over and take a look at all the other patterns available on

Have a super fantastic sewing day!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Studio ~ where all creativity begins!

My Big Fat Craft Studio ~ the place where creativity happens! 
Getting organized and staying organized always seem to be on my list of New Year's Resolutions. Like many creative persons my studio has always been a work in progress. I find it hard at times to keep things organized (then I can't work) and that makes me the type of person who is maybe a little obsessive-compulsive! Ha!

I have so many tools and supplies that I utilize on a daily basis, that I had to find ways to organize them before I go loony crazy!

So today I thought I'd share my creative space and a few ideas to organizing Your space. This space is just the landing at the top of my stairway, meant for an office I guess......but who needs that? I'd say give me a craft room over an office any day!
This is my sewing table


This was definitely a life saver as I accumulated (shhh brought) over 50 cones of thread and didn't have anywhere to store them......light bulb no really it was a  pinterest idea. Then i went on a search for a huge frame.....which I found at Michael's on sale, and then took it to Home Depot for the measurement of the pegboard, then I had my S T R O N G husband positioned and attached it to the wall for me! Sorry Ladies, I'd love to rent him out, but he has a new long list of "To-Do's" for 2016 from ME!

The pegboard frame can hold about 150 thread spools


I'm such a sucker for beautiful, creative crafty spaces! I purchased an Ikea Bookshelf with additional shelves to display(a fraction) of my collection of fabric. You CAN NOT go wrong with displaying it all stacked so nice and neat....... ok I'll admit....I still have 6 times as many fabrics to fold, therefore looks like I may need 3 more bookcases............ but pray tell me where in the world would I put it!?

A close up of my folded fabric on the shelf!
(after reading this tutorial from "I Always Pick the Thimble")


Ok if ever there was another way to scream how i love this shelf, it would be inserted right here!
This clever piece of furniture is so versatile that it can be used in any section of your house.
 I used it in my crafting space to hold any and everything from my books, to gemstones, to another sew machine and much more! I also attached a desk to it that sometimes substitutes as my cutting table. (beats using my island in the kitchen)Haha

Here is a selection of books I am currently reading and getting my ideas from.


I am so not going to show you my 50 containers stacked neatly one on top of the other.....maybe I'm afraid you would label me "a neat hoarder" like my daughter does!
So you today to get a peek at how these containers has helped me to organize my gemstones in color and size.
 This is what it looks like when it's all stored in the correct container!

I stumbled upon this burlap bin adorned with Gypsy like fabric in Pier 1.....well I think it was Pier 1!
At the time of purchasing of course i had NO clue what I would use it for......but here's another light bulb moment for me, why not use it to hold your INTERFACING? Sadly now I need more bins like this (and I'm pretty sure I won't find another)as the interfacings have rolled onto the floor! lol

I am not completely satisfied with my space....still working on it!
Tell me what's missing.................
Well I'm missing COLOR!
Here's examples of what I'll be working on this month and in the near future.
*Covering my chair in Tula Pink fabrics.
*Shelving units on the wall

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mug Rugs and Teabag Holders

Hello there!
It's such a beautiful day to be sitting out on one's back patio, sipping on your favourite morning drink!
And NO, that's not what I'm doing! 
I'm happily picking out the next batch of fabrics to make my next MUG RUG!!!!!

I have a new LOVE, a new OBSESSION!!!!

Mug Rugs!
What is a Mug Rug?

It's a mini quilted mat (sometimes called a snack mat) that's bigger than a coaster and smaller than a place mat, making it the perfect size for that craving of a cup of tea (or caramel brûlée latte- my favorite) and a sweet baked treat!

It's the perfect size to be used in small spaces such as a work desk , nightstand or a coffee table with ladies gathered around having a TEA PARTY!!!

I've created this scrappy patchwork mug rug using Leah Duncan's #morningwalk fabrics. 
I love this fabric has such a soft romantic look.

In addition to this crafty rug mug, I've created a tea bag holder!!!
Yes, ever went to a restaurant and want tea, but to your dismay they don't have any herbal teabags, no caffeine free tea bags..........well now you can carry your own teabags in your purse properly stored away from being crushed amongst  the other contents in your bag.

Scrappy Patchwork Rug Mug and Teabag Holder
created by : Sand Dollar Design Studio

This item will be available in my etsy store on Monday along with a few different designs.
It's about my coffee break time!!!!
Until we meet again, have a "superfantastic ~ crafting" time.
~Happy Sunday~