Wandering and wondering

As I write, I’m thinking of my Dad, travelling alone and lost in Latvia, apparently (he’s often lost though, I think he likes it). He’s quite the character, Poppy, always really in love with travelling the world and meeting people. He started off young, leaving Germany on a ship after the war to start a new life in Canada first, heading west to the land of golden opportunity, California. Where he grew up. After getting married he travelled for a long time around Europe in a van with my Mum. Lived for a while in Germany again, where my brother was born, returned to California years later and then decided Australia was where their family future lay. They’ve been Australians for many years now, quite proudly so and while they still travel back to the US and beyond, their home is definitely Aus.

You’d think after all that he might tire of planes and ships, my Mum did, but I guess it’s just part of some people. After trying to cycle up the Ganges in India last year, this years trip seemed much more appropriate for a man his age, Helsinki down to Istanbul, back up to Berlin. I’m not sure 3 months travelling alone is easy for anyone, but it sure is nice to have an adventurer in the family. He’s a good example of not getting stuck in routine, especially with aging. Showing me that the world is an amazing place, that people always have something interesting to share, that there’s no time like the present.

I do worry about him though, for a few reasons, but I’m happy he’s going for it. Do you have a bucket list? Somewhere you’re dying to go? Something you’d love to do or see? It’s time and money stopping me, but I wonder whether that’s a valid excuse.

If you’re reading Poppy, take care of yourself! Love you xo

Next level Banana Bread

My clients are awesome. They trust me with their hair and their life stories. I really enjoy learning so many new and various things from them all. This post is about a banana bread that changed my life. I don’t say this lightly, I had a food blog for almost 5 years! I must have had 3 or 4 recipes for banana bread on there, but it wasn’t until Alison gifted me a mini loaf of this banana bread that I realized you could take such a classic to another level!

It’s all about the millet, added last minute to the cake batter. It adds the best crackly crunch ever. The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, it’s so good I’m making it almost weekly!

Bound

Bound is designer April Rhodes‘ third line of fabrics (she designs clothing patterns too) to be released in a week or so. I usually gravitate towards fairly bright colours, but now and again I crave the softness of a more muted collection. I love the southwestern feel of all of Aprils fabrics. I can picture still mornings with cool sunrises over dusty rock and tough sun loving flowers that prepare for hot dry days.

There are lots of similarities with the colours of Australia too. I love the subdued tones of those warm landscapes that have to reflect sunlight and store water any way they can. No saturated lush greens. But the sky is bright and the red earth is too. I’ll be figuring out a way to incorporate this fabric into my work soon. Especially because they’re made by Art Gallery fabrics, which is great because their fabrics are super soft and easy to work with. Definitely looking forward to this release.

Bound sprung from April’s love of collecting & making woven wall hangings, cozy blankets, vintage macramé and paintings. Stroll to an empowering environment organically colored with brushstrokes of tangerine, soothing sea, malachite greens and autumn sunset.

Summer

Isn’t it strange how some days are just so productive and others are so blah? For me it doesn’t have anything to do with my best laid plans, organized scheduling and alarms set on the weekend. I still wake up and feel one way or the other and that feeling is what directs the day, not my itemized list.  I’ve been drinking coffee, which if you knew me, you’d be gasping at that news! So I know I’m working hard. I had intended to slow down a little over the summer, just so that I could really enjoy the warmth and catch my breath a bit. But it’s busier than ever and not just with work either!

Montreal botanic gardens

When you have your own business it takes precedence over everything. I want things for my clients to be as easy and convenient as possible. I work my weekends if they can’t come another time or have special events and I often start early or stay late. It’s my pleasure really, I like my job and I’m so grateful people support me with their business, I feel it’s the least I can do. That being said, it’s really important not to lose yourself and especially if you are in a relationship, to take the time to make sure other parts of your life get the attention they deserve. Nothing new here right? The all elusive work-life balance that a couple of people seem to have achieved really well, but most of us struggle with for years. I just need to clear my head more often and feel ok with saying no. Or even just, not at this moment, but how about this time? I’m pretty sure no-one would bat an eyelid.

Taking the time to sew is time for myself and while it seems like that’s all I ever do, it’s really just a few hours each weekend that I cherish. But lately, like I mentioned, I prepare for my precious sewing time full of ideas and plans and then can’t figure out how to start! Not usually my problem, but the last month or so, gah! I guess usually I would expect myself to have a problem with choosing an inspiration, but this is more with motivation. I just feel like things are so busy I want naps instead of projects and even writing that gives me the lazy guilts.

I did make a secret pillow and this colourful flying geese quilt top (with legs!!) as a test for a bigger one I might make soon! It’s insanely bright in person, which I love, but Ange was right when he mentioned it might come off as a bit hippie-ish all together. Seeing as I come from the ultimate hippie parents (sorry Mum, you were) I figure it’s good to have some bright psychedelic cheer in your life. It’s a wonderful pattern called the Four Winds Quilt from Fancy Tiger Crafts a great store I’d love to visit in Denver, Colorado. Hopefully I get back on the organized motivated horse and will report back with a dozen inspiring completed projects soon.

Half way

Through the year! Whoa. Thanks so much for all your kind words regarding the little for sale quilts! Some are still available and I am going to add a couple more soon. I will be opening an etsy store soon too. Turns out it will be the easiest way, ha!

I’m home alone for almost the week, well Mitch is here too, we’ve been walking a lot. Turns out having a dog and not sharing the walks with someone else is tons of work! I’ve been making a few things, trying to stave off some homesickness as I miss my little nieces  first birthday and my sisters 30somethingth. Rainbow coloured breakfasts, Scandinavian music, the worst romance/comedy movies I can find on netflix and sewing are all helping. And Skype. Thank the maker for Skype.

I made another little delectable mountains quilt for Ange’s good friend Eamon, who had a baby girl earlier this year. I like how bright and cheery this quilt is. I always ask Ange’s advice on backing fabrics and while we don’t always agree, this one we both were 100%!

The cool thing is always when I get a picture of the little recipient with their quilt! Even better Luella’s Dad, Eamon is a professional photographer.

I’m trying to decide (agonizingly) on which pattern to use for a surprise quilt I’m wanting to finish by the end of the year (it’s a biggie) but sometimes when something means so much to you, it’s especially hard to just go with the flow and not over analyze every detail. I want it to be super special, but I’m second guessing my original idea, so I’ll have to spill the beans with someone to get some advice!

Enjoy the week. I hope it’s a goodie wherever you are. Make a rainbow breakkie if you get the chance! It’s surprisingly satisfying : )

Quilts for Sale!

I’m so happy to write this post with a couple of my little quilts for sale. At this point I’m not setting up a store, I’ll write the prices for each under the photos and you can email me if you’re interested! I hope so much you like them and can think of someone who might enjoy one. Shipping will be something I’ll figure out specific to each country and I think paypal invoicing will be the easiest way to pay, but maybe if things get complicated I’ll figure something else out. Prices are Canadian dollars.

While these look best for smaller folk, please note I have numerous small quilts I use while watching telly and I can’t imagine life without one to snuggle under, so they’re for all ages. Although I do especially love seeing my 3 year old god-daughter sleep under the one I made her when she was born as well as carry it around the house.

I’ve been making a point of using all my FAVOURITE fabrics this year. Often quilters hoard fabric and just pet some of it instead of using it. But I realized they are SO MUCH HAPPIER IN A QUILT. Ha!! Of course. These quilts all use my best fabrics, some of which will be gone for good soon. I like to try different techniques with the little quilts too, so you’ll see a collection of squares and triangles making up different patterns here.

First up, Morning Walk with friends, with the majority of this fabric designed by the amazing Leah Duncan this little quilt is an abstract landscape, dark in one corner, green in another, it is one of my favourites for sure.

$220 + shipping   100% cotton   measures: 45in x 38in (115cm x 96cm)

My second is a variation on the tradition pattern known as the Irish chain, but mine is multicoloured. It was inspired by a similar one I saw posted on Craftsy (I’m not sure who made it originally, sorry whoever made it). I love grey, so I always like to sneak it in as a neutral when I can. Backed in cheery feathers, this one is also one of my favourites ; )

Colourful Irish Chain

$220 + shipping   100% cotton   measures: 53in x 38.5in (135cm x 98cm)

The last quilt I’m posting this month is one you might have glimpsed before (if you follow my instagram). This pattern is known as a version of “Delectable Mountains” which are really fun blocks to arrange in all different patterns! I had a lot of input with choosing this one, which was so fun. It is backed in one of my all time favourite prints (again, Leah Duncan ♥)

Delectable Desert Mountains

SOLD  100% cotton   measures: 44in x 30.5in (112cm x 78cm)

These are all machine washable in cold water and you can dry them on warm too. Especially good if babies and toddlers use them! Don’t forget different computers or devices make colours look a bit different, so if you want to know more, contact me!

That’s it for now. I feel almost nervous posting these for sale. I genuinely love making these and always make them thinking  - oh I’m going to keep this one for myself… While they are all smaller quilts, they take a couple weeks for me to make from start to finish, I’m not so fast and I work full time, so they’re my relaxation and creativity on weekends. Thanks for taking a look and please share if you think someone you know might love one.

PS, more quilts coming next month too, a couple more neutralish and a more ‘boyish’ one too!! Stay tuned.

Happy May!

April

It’s the end of April and spring still doesn’t seem to want to make much of an appearance. Even though it’s a bit dis-heartening, I have been insanely busy sewing because I’ve decided to start selling a few of my little quilts! I won’t be taking orders, but I’ll be posting finished quilts that if you like the look of, could be yours!! Or someone you know :) I’ve had lots of people ask if this was possible and while most of the quilts I make I love and want to keep/hoard- it’s just not totally practical to have 10 lap quilts for snuggling on the couch, one should do. Plus as soon as I send one to someone and they send me pictures like these back… I feel happier than ever!

 

I’ll be posting a separate post in the next week or so with all the for sale quilts!! 4 or 5 I think. For now I’ll just share them on here and my fb and instagram, but if you know of anyone who might like one please share! (Thanks you awesome friends!) Here’s a sneak peak until then.

Also I had to get a new iron, ugh, turns out my last one was a bit crap even when it did work because my new one is waaaay better! (And purple)

And I found some imported baked beans, phew, just in time for Anzac day. Energy for the week!