Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oakshott Weekend Sale and Free Shipping!

In the true spirit of enabling, and as an appreciation to Michael Oakshott's generosity in providing me with project fabric, I am passing along the news that Oakshott has a wonderful offer this weekend. You know that I don't blog a lot of advertising, but when I believe in a product and there's a great deal, I want to pass it along to all of you.  If you've been wondering about Oakshott, this weekend is your chance to save! I've had the distinct pleasure of working with Oakshott Lipari and most recently their new Colourshott's.  You'll see my new Colourshott quilt soon!

This gorgeous F8 bundle of "Italy" cottons that are shot with a silvery grey for gorgeous subtlety are on offer for only 15 pounds Sterling! A savings of 50%.  I could see this fabric used to great effect as a shadow element in a tumbling blocks quilt design.

This 30 FQ stack of Colourshotts is on sale for 169 pounds Sterling (down from 180). Oakshotts come 54" wide off the bolt, so these 27" x 20" FQ's are plenty large to split with a friend!

There are  plenty more quilting fabrics on super sale this weekend, including lovely stripes and plaids that would also be perfect for garment making. Free international shipping codes available here as well.  If you go in with a friend on a larger order you can qualify to have your fabrics send lickity split by Fedex for absolutely nothing!

Michael Oakshott is one of the kindest, most generous people I've ever met in the fabric industry. I'm more than happy to promote his family's business and amazing quality fabric!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Uhm, You Missed a Spot

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Thormanby Island again. My generous friend A invited our little gang of island-hopping quilters that usually descend on Mayne Island every February for a retreat. As you can imagine, our February weekends are almost always spent indoors, enjoying the cozy sewing room while buckets of cold winter rain fall outside.  Let me just say that our August weekend together had 90% more sunshine and about 20 degrees of Celcius more to enjoy (as an August weekend should!).

The perfect cabin quilt!

It stood to reason that I should bring along my almost finished scrap vomit quilt - which, by the way, I will now refer to as the Scrapalicious quilt. This quilt has been over a year and a half in the making (actually I've pieced two of these tops and have enough squares cut to make a few more!).

  • Katy's fab tutorial for the quilt is here
  • See my Anti-Voodoo piecing tutorial for making sure your squares make it from the design wall to the machine in the right order using a method I learned years ago from a favourite quilting teacher. This works for efficiently piecing blocks into a quilt top as well.
  • A post including a pic of the second top I've pieced with different coloured "B" blocks is here 
Back in February I'd finished the quilting and attached the binding while on Mayne.  As I do with all large quilt bindings, I pressed the binding to the back and temporarily secured it with tiny dots of Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It.  Hand-sewing the binding has been a hit and miss 'whenever I feel like it' activity for months and it needed to just. get. done. I figured if I brought the quilt along to sleep under, I could finish off the binding in the daylight hours while sitting on the sunny deck. Which I did. Wearing a bikini. OMG. That's all I'm saying about that.

Scrapalicious by Poppyprint

And then I came home and washed the quilt. When I pulled it from the washer and saw batting and frayed thread, I had a momentary coronary event thinking that something had ripped the quilt, until my brain registered that, in fact, I had missed sewing down about 20" of binding!!! So, yeah, I missed a spot. Oops.

Scrapalicious by Poppyprint
Scrapalicious: the Full Frontal

So, although you've seen several iterations of this quilt from blocks, to top, to quilted top, now it is finally complete, washed and folded on the back of our family room couch for everyone to enjoy.  Even this little gnomey.

Scrapalicious by Poppyprint

I free-motion quilted it in an all-over interlocking flower pattern that I learned last year in a FMQ class with local teacher Lynne Fanthorpe.  I had so much difficulty with the Sulky 40wt thread I was using - it was breaking constantly and driving me mental with stopping/starting and burying threads. I finally had to abandon it from frustration but when I resumed quilting at Mayne my friends helped me discover that the variegated spool I was using was simply 'bad thread'. It broke with a gentle tug! I had pulled my hair out and came very close to tears thinking that my machine, the tension, the batting, the many needles I tried, or my skills were to blame. I've never experienced bad thread before. Luckily, I had a second spool of the exact same brand and colour variegation that I purchased on the same day as the offensive spool. The second one worked PERFECTLY FINE. Bizarre. 

Next time I'm sticking with Aurifil thread and less involved quilting. I'll also do a more careful check of the binding before my quilt gets its first wash!

Scrapalicious by Poppyprint

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yet Another 241 Tote, Yet Another Winner!

The first winner of my giveaway hasn't turned up, so I ran a second random number generator and the result was 115, who is Gill! Congratulations! Luckily, Gill was reachable through her Google profile so she's been notified of her big win. Thanks again to Sew Sisters for their generous giveaway.

I had the pleasure of a quick visit with my friend Leanne yesterday on beautiful Granville Island, where she treated me to a birthday lunch. We'd spoken a couple of months ago and made arrangements for me to make her a 241 Tote. Her visit in person was a great kick in the pants to get it done for her.  I will never tire of making these great bags. Finding just the right fabric combinations is so much fun (fabric details are on flickr in the photo descriptions).

241 for Shecanquilt

This time, I completely lucked out while shopping my zipper stash - I had a perfectly coordinating spotted zip from Daiso.

241 for Shecanquilt

241 for Shecanquilt

After lunch we speed-shopped at The Cloth Shop, where I've been dying to see the Cotton and Steel fabrics in person. They have the entire line, including linens and lawns!  I was very selective and only bought a few fat quarters and two half meters. I had my eye on the blue with diagonal silver metallic dots to stash for a binding one day and I adore Melody Miller's mustangs, so I splurged on a hunk of those as well. 


I'm finally down to business on a new quilt and free pattern that you will all see next month  (so exciting!). Apparently all I needed to boost my creativity was install a fresh rotary blade. Wow, why do I always wait so long to do that? Cutting through 6 layers of fabric like butter is just SO GOOD!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sew Sisters Giveaway Winner!

Thank you for entering everyone, and for all of the very complimentary things you said about shopping with Sew Sisters including their selection, shipping rates and service!

The Random Number Generator has spoken:

And it looks like our winner is Burgess

Now, the only problem is that I cannot reply to your comment, and your Blogger profile is empty. Because I forgot to include the step of making sure your email is somehow linked to your comment in the giveaway post, I feel I should wait 24 hours for you to contact me, but if I don't hear from you Burgess, then I'm afraid I have to choose a new winner. PLEASE people, if you are entering giveaways, make it easy for the blogger to contact you! It's a drag to have a winner that doesn't get the prize because there is no way to contact them.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sew Sisters Giveaway

I'm so happy to share that the lovely Judy and Karen at Sew Sisters have partnered with me here at Poppyprint!  I first got to "know" their manager Carol a year ago, when I participated in their Kona Club blogger tour of free tutorials, all using gorgeous Kona solids.

By way of introduction, Sew Sisters is a Canadian (yay!) quilt shop dedicated to all things quilting.  For the past decade, they have offered Canadian quilters great quality fabric, notions, books, kits and patterns, both in the bricks & mortar store in Toronto, as well as online.  A customer favourite is the Sale Section where you can find 100's of bolts of fabric for only $7.99/metre!   During a quick scroll through, I spied Thomas Knauer's Asbury prints on for $7.99 as well as this cute low volume print, Jeni's Color Me Retro for only $6.99 and this super fun shark print that would make fabulous boxers or PJ pants for boys!

I love their shop motto "at Sew Sisters, we believe that you should buy fabric, not postage, so we offer great rates on shipping within Canada".  They are true to their word!

There's a weekly giveaway on their Facebook page, so head over there and Like the page so you don't miss those!

To celebrate our new partnership, Sew Sisters is going to send one of you a FQ set of the beautiful Field Study fabrics by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures.  I think both the plaid multi and diamonds multi prints would make fabulous bindings and I'd love to back a quilt with those flowy white flowers of the Floral Mist print. I think what makes this collection extra special for me is the hand-drawn quality.

The giveaway is open to everyone, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post for your entry. Like Sew Sisters on Facebook, then come back and leave a second comment saying you did for another chance.  I will draw a random winner on Wednesday, August 6th at 6:00 p.m. PST.  Good luck!

ETA: comments are now closed, thanks for entering!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Word Crimes

Weird Al Yankovic is a smart guy. This is absolutely the BEST song about grammar since Conjunction Junction. I guarantee it.  If for some reason you are not able to view the video here, just head on over to YouTube and search for "Weird Al Yankovic Word Crimes". 

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The adorable Mai was in town recently for work, so a bunch of us MQG peeps got together for a fun potluck dinner. It's so much fun to visit with IG friends when they come to town!  Mai had previously been a personal sherpa flying gifts between Oahu and Vancouver for me, so I wanted to make her a little thank you present.

It was a last minute plan that came together thanks to the great free tutorial at Pink Chalk Fabrics.  I have a small stash of AMH voiles on hand, so I was able to sew up this infinity scarf in no time!

Pink Chalk Fabrics free infinity scarf pattern made up in AMH voile.

I mentioned on IG that the scarf is draped on one of my precious wooden hangers, handmade by my great-grandad Sparks. He lived in a little cottage beside my paternal grandparent's home in a small town outside Montreal  (Saraguay) that has since been incorporated into the city. He had a sunporch with a workbench at the back of the cottage where he planed wood and bent metal and glued up coat hangers. I don't know if he sold them, or just made them for family, but I am lucky enough to have a few.  Sadly, the family home and cottage are long gone now, replaced with a housing development years ago.  I have a few memories of the swing that hung between the house and the cottage, and my great-granddad's big hairy dog Buster that would sleep against the picket fence gate. Mostly I remember the smell of the sunporch, which was sawdust and toast....but I digress.


Back to the infinity scarf.  The pattern is super easy and there are only a few inches of hand-sewing required. I highly recommend it for a quick gift!