Friday, December 31, 2010

Something forgotten

My daughter Maili had a birthday last month and I filled her little tool box with all sorts of sewing notions. I bought a set of scissors for her and I made her a scissor fob.

I was going to stitch it in red but then I asked her younger sister what Maili's favourite colour was. She said she didn't know but not red or pink. So, I made it in my favourite colour, blue.

Apologies to the designer, I have forgotten where the pattern came from but her initials happened to be SM. Maili's are MS so it was an easy switch to make. I like easy.

Why is it that we make for others but don't make for ourselves? I don't have a scissor fob nor do I have a biscornu. I must put them on the list for future projects. I also want to make a pincushion for Maili. Small projects but they do take time...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yesterday and today too

Just some creativity happening. On the kitchen table, no less.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Bag

Not for me.
One side.

The other side.

The button trim on the strap.
The zipper pull. The bag had to have a zipper.

The inside lining.

One side of the lining.

The other side of the lining.

Raw edges of lining encased. 

An extremely well-made bag.

A gift.

Not from me.

Addendum: The pattern is McCall's 6045.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


First off, this is what came in the mail.

I had won these holiday cards when I followed along on Syko's blog tour (sorry, I forgot which blog it was since I went to all of them. I even forgot that I won them.) Unfortunately, I didn't win a copy of Kajsa's new book Scandinavian Stitches but I have put it on my wish list. BTW, Kajsa is a Finnish/Swedish designer and as you can see she has a distinctive style. Finland has two official languages - like Canada.

This too came from Finland. It's from my Finnish blogging friend Ulla as a thank you. A Finnish magazine with many "do it yourself" projects, some gorgeous Marimekko fabric with houses on it (I do love architecture and I love Marimekko designs), a card (typical Finnish Christmas cards are more like postcards, just like the ones in the first photo), and a wrapped present which will not be opened until perhaps Christmas Eve. Finns celebrate Christmas Eve and presents are opened then. When the children were growing up, I allowed them to open one gift Christmas Eve in honour of their heritage and I have kept up that little tradition.

And here's my twig tree with my gifts under it.

More surprises - but for someone else. This is what I'm working on at the present moment. They are gifts and so I cannot show you much more than these little sneak peaks.
Now, back to sewing....

Saturday, December 11, 2010


For ME from dear friends.

I forgot to show you what my quilting buddy Judy got me. We exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. Her birthday is in September and mine is in October. Judy lives an hour and a half away and there have been times when we haven't been able to get together so we exchange both Christmas and birthday gifts at the same time.

This is a wall hanging kit. It's so cute. We both have cats. At one time Judy had five but now she just has one - along with a gecko/gekko (it's spelled both ways.) I can't remember what all I got for Judy but one of the things was a paper-pieced kit that made two mini leaf quilts.

Thursday night was the last meeting of the Champagne quilters since Ann will be leaving for Florida to spend Christmas with her son, daughter-in-law and only grandchild this coming week. So, we had our little Christmas party and exchanged gifts.

 This is what I got. The chocolates and BodyWorks trio came from Marg (as did the napkin that they want me to use as inspiration.) The four fat quarters and box of shortbread came from Ann. Ann always makes shortbread at Christmas and we always get some. I usually have to hide them or else there aren't any left when Christmas comes - and it isn't me who eats them. Aren't those fat quarters cute? Marg got a set of green ones since it is her favourite colour. She said she has to think of something to make now.

And here's a close-up of the fabrics. Kiddy prints - so I can make something for the little one that's due in April... I gotta find a great pattern to showcase these. Got any suggestions?

Friday, December 10, 2010


Seriously, starting in 2011, you can participate in making an inchie a week. How hard can it be? A one inch by one inch work of art prompted by a word. Check it out. You can even get a head start since a lot of the words are posted already. Eclectic is the first one - due Jan. 3rd.

These have been shown previously but for those of you who haven't seen them, they are paper-based.

I have also made fabric inchies.
So, go ahead and sign up. Should be a lot of fun. How hard can it be to make an inchie a week?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Craft night again, mail and that white stuff...

With Christmas fast approaching we got out our supplies of nuts, walnut shells, felt, embroidery floss, batting, fabric and markers to make these little mice.

This is the only one that ended up with a teeny tiny pom pom nose.

Here we are, diligently working away.

Maili made twins - with reverse felt ears.

Just two of the many that got made that night.

And in keeping with the Christmas theme, we have snow - finally.

It is just a light dusting but it should keep up till at least tomorrow.

 Santa Claus popped in via the mailman all the way from New Brunswick. Isn't he just adorable and Linda also sent me the gorgeous green fat quarter that is acting as his backdrop. I love the dresden plate note card.

Here's a close-up. Santa is cross-stitched and beaded on perforated paper. I was the second winner of Linda's giveaway and I am so happy that I can add him to my Christmas tree this year. Many thanks, Linda.
Go visit Linda and take a look at all the wonderful things she is creating.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Giving and Receiving

When I gave a donation to the Hawaii chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I not only received a tax receipt but this...

a fabric postcard and it just came in the mail today. It is made by Kristin La Flamme who sent out fabric postcards to those people who supported her cause. She exceeded her goal and that was so good to hear. Kristin is a member of the Twelve by Twelve group.

This is the very first fabric postcard I have ever received in the mail and it is gorgeous. I will consider it my little Christmas present. Thank you, Kristin.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Napkin Challenge Reveal

It was really hard to decide on which napkin to use for inspiration and then to translate it into something else.

 At first I was going to use the blue one since I am partial to blue but nothing inspiring came of it. So, I changed my mind. There were so many really nice ones to choose from but I did have an idea.

Can you figure out which napkin I used?

The colours in this napkin were all in my stash and I decided to update the Christmas red and green in the ornaments.

Here's a better picture without the napkin. I had those snowflakes and thought they would make a nice addition.

I enhanced three of the ornaments with embroidery.

Click on any of the photos to view them better if you wish. All in all, a fun little project.

NOTE: to view the other projects in this little challenge, click on Mrs. Moen's Napkin Challenge button in the sidebar. I have changed it so that it will take you directly to the list of participants.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finnish baking and other goodies

This past weekend we went to a Finnish/English Lutheran church to get some goodies at their annual Christmas bazaar. We used to have a Finnish deli but this time last year it burned down and they have not replaced it. Sad really, since it served customers from other parts of southern Ontario. There, you could order your smoked ham or turkey for Christmas dinner and loaves of pulla or black bread. They had smoked fish and head cheese and sugar-coated, jelly-filled doughnuts (munkkeja), cheese buns, along with meat-filled dough pastries. A lot of the other stuff was Finnish imports of mustard, hard, crisp bread, jams, chocolates, candies and on and on...

This is pulla. I bought two of these. It's traditional Finnish coffee bread with cardamom. You can eat it sliced with butter (my husband eats it this way), toasted, or dunked (my favourite way of eating it). It can also be used once it has dried or become stale. It's called korppu then. We just slice it to about 1/2 inch and cut the slices in half so they look like fat fingers. Place them on a cookie sheet and in a low oven until golden. You can flip them over to get an overall colour - or just leave them. The other way of doing it is to slice the pulla into 1/2" thick slices, smear one side with butter and drizzle some sugar (coarse, if you have any) and cinnamon on them before putting them on a cookie sheet and into the oven. I have eaten these kinds but not made them - neither has my mom. You can then dunk korppu in coffee (the Finns' national drink of choice.) One final way of eating korppu is to take some of the kind with cinnamon sugar on it, place it in a bowl (soup bowl) and pour hot milk on top. My dad used to make this and I miss having it. In Finnish it's korppumaittoo or korppu-milk. I don't think it's a traditional Finnish thing - it may just be a made up Canadian-Finnish thing. Perhaps my Finnish readers can tell me.

Note: Satu just let me know that she serves 'old pulla' by dipping both sides of the slices in milk and frying them on the hot pan. When they are golden, she serves them with strawberry jam and whipped cream. She also likes to dip buttered pulla slices in a HOT milkcoffee.

Ulla makes "pullaputinkia" pulla pudding by putting old slices of pulla, eggs, milk and raisins or jam baked in the oven.

These are S-cookies. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I had to buy them since the little girl is coming home from England on the 16th. She likes these and I bought two dozen - put one in the freezer for her and am slowly eating the other dozen.

I wasn't going to buy any of these but my husband just added them to the pile. This is just one but there were 6 in the bag. It's what we call black bread (musta leipä). It's a dark "sour" rye bread. Usually the bread is bigger but these ladies made them into smaller, individual sizes.

This is one of the best ways to eat the bread. I lathered butter on it (I covered it up so I didn't get flack from the healthy ones in the family) and then sliced some old cheddar cheese on it. That's my lunch today with a big glass of milk. Yesterday's lunch was...

two of these. They are Karelian piirakkaa or, as I describe them to my English-speaking friends, rice boats. The dough is made from rye flour again and the middle is just rice cooked in milk. The traditional way of eating them is warmed up and with egg butter which, I do believe, is hard-boiled egg mixed with butter. We grew up eating them fried (in margarine) and then we put on more butter and salt. I know it's totally cholesterol filled but who cares, they are not eaten every day. I bought lots of these. They came two in a zip lock baggie and I got seven since I had to give some to my son and his wife and then put some in the freezer for those that are coming home for Christmas. There is another Finnish church in Toronto and I am hoping that their Christmas bazaar is soon so I can get more. I did manage to pick up a hunk of white linen for the unbelievable price of $4.00. May Britt and Hanne have a giveaway for a pattern for an embroidery that goes on a baking cloth. That's the reason for the linen purchase. I will be making a baking cloth to cover my baking when it is rising.
I have not yet started baking for Christmas and I am hoping to make some pulla. My eldest daughter has perfected the bread machine variety and I know that she will probably be making some when she gets here. There are cookies and maybe a sour cream coffee cake to be made when the little one comes home. It is her specialty. She has made so many that she does not need to look at the recipe. I love to do any kind of baking. Cookies are really a favourite, though. I didn't grow up with cookies in the home so I think that may be the reason.

And, not baking related but it is a goody. I recently won a wonderful giveaway from Lara. I was one of three winners and had my choice of one of her gorgeous prints. I had help since I couldn't make up my mind on which one since they were all so great. The girls and I all chose this cow print in the end.

Isn't she a sweetie? This print reminds me so much of my trip out west to visit my daughter. 
Go visit Lara and she has an etsy shop too - here.

Tomorrow is the big reveal for Mrs. Moen's Napkin Challenge. So, come on back.

Friday, November 26, 2010

How to quilt the old fashioned way Part 2

Sorry it's taken so long to get to the end of my little demo.

 So, here's the quilt and this is as far as I could reach comfortably to quilt. As you can see, I have decided to just echo quilt the nine patch in the lower right corner. Now, I have to start rolling.

Before I can roll the quilt, I have to take out the pins along the side. The ones on the end (that hold the quilt to the board) stay put.

Both sets of pins have to come out but only as far as you are going to roll. By both sets I mean the pins holding the backing and the pins holding the top - and also from both sides.

All pins have been taken out.

Now the C-clamps have to come off the side you are about to roll.

When you are working on a bigger, full-sized quilt, it helps to have an extra pair of hands. This was not difficult because it really was a small quilt.

Now start to roll the board under - keeping the tension as even as you can.

Keep rolling.

This is as far as I can roll.

Put the C-clamps back on and keep on quilting. Normally, I would work from both ends and would therefore, roll the quilt from both ends toward the middle.

I didn't use any templates or rulers for the lines. I just eyeballed them. I didn't take any stitches out if they were too big, I just carried on.

And here it is all completed. Gee's Bend Revisited has been renamed Freedom. There was total freedom in putting all the pieces together and total freedom in the quilting. Once I took it off the frame, I couldn't believe the amount of quilting that was in it. Kind of overkill I thought.

And now on to the Champagne Quilters.

This is half of one of the plain blocks quilted. I wanted to wait to show you all the whole block quilted but since this is as far as Marg could reach to quilt and it now has to be turned. Therefore, the whole block will not be shown fully quilted - yet.

This is the little filler pattern that will be going into those odd spots that just need some quilting.

Here's the whole of one side totally channel quilted. Next week the other side should be finished. We have already taken two turns on both ends of the quilt so it seems to be going along nicely.

And lastly, not quilt related BUT, if you want to enter a wonderful giveaway, head on over to my very good friend at Soggibottom. It's a birthday celebration but I'm not saying for who/what and how old. Find out for yourself. Become a follower too, you won't be disappointed.