Changes ahead!

There’s a blog I have added to my google reader called My Simpler Life that is all about simplicity.  If I remember right, I first found it via Pinterest, and someone linking to the downloadable decluttering calendar (which I attempted to use, but eh, just didn’t work for me).  At the same time I snooped around the rest of the blog, and liked what I saw, so I added it to my google reader.  Ever since I get a weekly post with little prompts about how to live a simpler life. I don’t always agree with them, nor do they always apply, but often they contain nice little ideas that do apply.  The ongoing theme is “What do you want” and “How are you going to attain it?”.  We all that need that reminder from time to time.  It’s also nice to be reminded that life isn’t final.  It isn’t “I’m going to do this one thing and then I’m going to be set!”, it’s a series about small ongoing actions.

Anyhow, all that to say that one of the things I’ve thought about it why I blog. And it comes down to the fact that I like to document what I make, and share it with others.  But see I have another blog, one Dave and I started as a sort of journal of what goes on in our home. And then I started this one, because for some reason I thought that my home stuff couldn’t mix with my crafty stuff.  Dave tried to convince me otherwise, but I wouldn’t have it.  I used to like keeping things separated: my work life from my home life, my online life from my in person life, etc.  But with social media becoming more and more invasive, and with the realization that guess what?  I’m the same person at home and at work, whether I’m crafting or cooking or adventuring!  The division just doesn’t seem necessary.

So at some point in the near future I’m going to be merging the two blogs.  All my existing crafty posts are going to be heading over into Blog du Mont-Royal.  And that will be that.  Things will be a little simpler, which maybe will mean I’ll post more?  Perhaps!

WIP: nautical baby quilt

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I did some rearranging in my craft area and made an impromptu design wall with a fleece blanket that I had taken camping just the night before. I can see the allure of design walls now, I think I may have to come up with a more permanent/practical solution when I have some spare time.

WIP: top secret friendship quilt

In between all the blue nautical quilt brainstorming I’ve been finishing up a very special quilt for a friend who had an unfortunate event happen to her.  A bunch of us decided to work together to produce a quilt for her.  It was slow collecting up the individual blocks from everyone, and then I was on holidays/busy with life, but I recently found the time to stitch up all the blocks and now I’m onto quilting!

Here are a few shots of the quilt all jumbled on my sewing desk, in the process of quilting.  I made sure that nothing is too recognizable, in case the recipient happens upon this page.

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Playing around: more nautical baby quilt brainstorming

My labour day deadline is fast approaching, so I need to start making decisions.  I keep flip flopping back and forth between a classic or a freeform look for the quilt.

Classic triangles?

Modern free form waves?

Modern free form waves?

I started my shopping, as I’m committed to my beach blue colour scheme. Last Friday I biked up to Effiloché, a nearby store filled with neat fabrics (and knitting yarn as well). I browsed about and was happy to pick out a few blues. Then back at home I made an order with Sew Fresh Fabrics, one of my favorite Etsy fabric shops. Now I get to patiently wait for my package to arrive.  Or maybe not 🙂  I think I’m going to start playing around a bit in anticipation.

Blue Fat Quarters from Effiloché

Playing around: nautical baby quilt brainstorming

I’ve made quite a few greenish themed baby quilts over the last couple of years, so I’m ready for something new.  I’m thinking nautical themed.  Lots of blue and yellow and white and red.  Maybe some grey thrown in to balance things out.

I’m starting with a really neat fat quarter of fabric I bought while in Paris, at a quilting shop called Le Rouvray:

Moucheron #3 Marine

Moucheron #3 Marine

Isn’t it neat?  It’s called “moucheron”, as in “little flies”.

It reminds me a lot of the time we spend in New Brunswick visiting family.  Here are some pictures from previous trips:

Back to fabric!

I hunted around a bit on etsy and found this beautiful blue sailboat fabric:

The Fleet Navy from Seven Seas - Cloud9 Organic fabrics

The Fleet Navy from Seven Seas – Cloud9 Organic fabrics

Then I found lots more neat stuff:

Fish Scale in Tea by Alexander Henry Fabrics

Fish Scale in Tea by Alexander Henry Fabrics

Mountainz in Mint from Monsterz - Cloud9 Organic

Mountainz in Mint from Monsterz – Cloud9 Organic

Scribble in Gray from Happy Drawing - Cloud9 Organic fabrics

Scribble in Gray from Happy Drawing – Cloud9 Organic fabrics

Static in Yellow from Monsterz - Cloud9 Organic fabrics

Static in Yellow from Monsterz – Cloud9 Organic fabrics

There’s more where that came from, you can check out my nautical quilt brainstorming board over on pinterest.

Shop update: dumpling pouches

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For most major gift giving occasions I always make my sister a zipper pouch of sorts.  She’s an artist so she’s always toting around supplies, so she wears out her pouches on a regular basis.  For her birthday this year I made her one of these dumpling pouches, except hers was made using scraps from my black and white and red quilt, colours that are very much her.  Of couse, I forgot to take a picture.  Instead, I made a few more, this time made using purple scraps leftover from my rainbow charm swap fabrics.

They are made using a Keyka Lou/Michelle Patterns tutorial, that can be found here.  Simple and cute, they sew up quickly.

I made a couple and listed them over on Etsy in my shop.

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Inspiration: tote bags and roofs

I never know where inspiration is going to strike next, so I like to take snapshots with my iphone when I can.  I couple of neat images from the last couple of days:

Most grocery stores here in Montreal charge for plastic bags, as an incentive to get people to use reusable bags, so I have quite the collection.  The one on the left is from my most recent Ikea shopping trip and reminds me lots of my black and white and red quilt I’m working on.  It’s going to go to work to be my permanent “I have too much stuff to carry in my hands to get to my meeting” bag.  The one on the right was bought at Hema in Amsterdam, when I needed an extra bag to tote around some stuff while on vacation.  It’s a nice size, not too big, and best of all has a zipper!  I like the mutted grey and red/pink of the floral design.

At work one of my current projects is overseeing the complete replacement of a 100+ year old copper and slate roof.  I consider myself so lucky to get to go up on the scaffolding and get up close and personal with the roof on a regular basis.  Aren’t those slate tiles neat?  I especially like the scalloped edged ones.

Swaps: Breakfast for Dinner Rainbow Charm Swap – RECEIVED!

I was recently away for a couple of weeks (more about that another time) and upon my return I was excited to see a big envelope siting on my kitchen table waiting for me (I am very thankful for friends who are able to drop by to bring in the mail and water the plants!).

Rainbow charm swap - received!

It was my Breakfast for Dinner Rainbow Charm Swap package.  I last posted about it all the way back in March, so I’ve had time to build up the anticipation.

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I’m not sure yet quite what I’m going to do with all the charms. For now I’ve been enjoying flipping through them, using them as a sort of catalogue of fabric designs out there. I don’t get to see many “in person” on a regular basis since there are not many designer fabric stores nearby to me (or at least not within my daily walk/bike trajectories, I tend not to stray too far from home on a daily basis). I generally stick with Fabricville or buying online (though this summer I should take some time to go a a few kms out of my way to explore what my city has to offer).  So I’ve been spending quality time flipping through, enjoying all the rainbow goodness.  Good picks everyone!

I particularly like this red print. Perhaps a dress?

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And in case reading blogs has been getting you down because everything looks too perfect, a “behind the scenes” look at what goes on in my home. Yes, that is our little cat Lola trying to bite her way into a bag of catfood. After I shooed her off the table and resumed taking pictures, she decided it was time to grab onto my skirt with her claws and not let go. Fun times.  And yes, my home is cluttered.  Fact of life when you live in an apartment and have lots of stuff.

Behind the scenes . . . is a bad cat