Wednesday, December 5, 2018

True North Cowl

I've been keeping busy with non-blog related things lately, but wanted to post about some news... I released my first pattern!

True North Cowl modelled by Stacy from Craft de Ville

It is a simple cowl with an asymmetrical closure, designed to keep you cozy during the winter. It is extremely beginner-friendly but also endlessly customizable; each one is unique! 

I taught it as a workshop at Craft de Ville in November and everyone had fun making it. The majority of the time was spent picking out fabrics and buttons... always the best part! The pattern is for sale as both a printed pattern and a digital download at Craft de Ville. If you are in Montreal, Stacy also offers a variety of flannels that are great for making this pattern, stop by and check her shop out! 

There may be other patterns down the road, but for now just wanted to share this one with the world. If you make one, I'd love to see it... use the hashtag #TrueNorthCowl on Instagram so I can see your lovely work! Stay warm out there, kids... 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New - Quilt binding services offered

I am officially now offering my quilt binding services to the quilting public! Binding seems to be something that either you love or hate to do... personally, I love it. It is a quiet, meditative way to finish up a quilt that I really enjoy doing.


If you are in the camp that doesn't enjoy it, I'd be happy to help you put a professional finishing touch on your quilts. For full details, check out the Services Offered link at the top of my blog (or follow this link: https://queenofwandsstudio.blogspot.com/p/services-offered.html).

If you have any questions that I haven't covered in the above link, or wish to discuss a project, please don't hesitate to get in touch: qowstudio@gmail.com

Friday, May 18, 2018

But then I made more...

The job hunt continues, so while I wait for Mr. Musk or Mr. Bezos to track me down and offer me zillions of dollars to work for them, I am filling my downtime with lots of crafty things. I have been digging through my piles of half-finished projects and making surprisingly good progress on my infinite 'to do' list.

Recently I've had the same conversation with a few different people about creativity, and it has gotten me thinking. I've been asked, in one form or another, how I got started sewing/quilting/crafting/etc. I always kind of dreaded being asked that question as I never had a good answer for it. I didn't sit at the knee of a kindly grandmother when I was little and watch her work magic with a needle, I didn't bond with sisters (I don't have any) over sewing our own clothes, I didn't even take any Home Ec classes... do those still exist? 

When people ask how I got so creative, I tell
them it is because I ate paste as a child*. 

My default answer when asked "How did you learn how to do X?" is usually a casually dismissive "Oh, I don't have a good story for that, I just kind of taught myself." And then recently I realized, that actually *is* a pretty good story. I taught myself. Damn, that's kind of impressive!

When I was in my 20s, for some reason I decided I needed a red and off-white striped scarf. I don't know why I decided this... I was still living in California at the time, living in a climate where I barely needed a coat, let alone a scarf. But, a scarf was required and unsurprisingly, I couldn't find anything that fit the bill. Then one day, it dawned on me that if I couldn't find one to buy, I could just make one for myself! While that doesn't sound like an earth-shattering idea in this day and age, back in the 90's, DIY wasn't really a thing yet so it wasn't as natural a conclusion to come to. So I got myself some red and off-white yarn and some knitting needles and proceeded to figure out how to knit.

It did not go well.

I did eventually figure it out, and promptly realized it was not the hobby for me. It was slow and fiddly and my 20-something patience levels were not up to the task. The scarf was eventually set aside and forgotten, unfinished. A little anti-climactic, I know... but that failed experiment planted an important seed in the back of my mind... I could make things myself. That small thought had a huge impact on my mindset going forward.

A few years later, I moved to Montreal (and learned the actual importance of a good scarf!) and the same idea came to me when I wanted a skirt but couldn't find anything I liked, so I made one myself. And it was terrible. But then I made more, and they got better! One Christmas I decided that making a quilt as a gift for my mom would be an easy (hah!) and inexpensive (HAH!) thing to do, so I made her a quilt. And it was awful. But then I made more, and they got better. I have continued to sew my own quilts, clothing and bags, each time improving a little bit, and some 15 years later here we are.

No capes!

So now I know that I do have a pretty awesome 'origins' story to tell people when they ask how I got started sewing.  :)

* I've never actually eaten paste. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

#unemployedandcrafty (and the Death Star)

Well, first things first... I finally finished my patchwork Death Star quilt and sent it off to its new home!!! Getting a good picture of this guy was impossible... the wind kept coming up just as I was about to snap a photo (of course), so the perfectionist in me insists that I point out the Death Star itself is actually round on the quilt, it's just the drape of the fabric that makes it look a little misshapen ;)

Death Star front

AT-AT back
That's no moon on the back, it is actually another little Death Star and the AT-ATs are from QuietPlay's paper piecing pattern. I should have taken some more detailed photos of it, but I was in such a hurry to get it in the mail, this will just have to do ;) The title of the quilt is "What does it do? It does death!", and if you don't know what that's from, you should watch this:


So, in other news, my dull office job of more than a decade has been outsourced to the Philippines and at the beginning of this month I found myself abruptly unemployed. Yeah... still processing that one but I am trying to look at it as a positive thing. Not sure *how* it's positive just yet, but I'm sure I'll figure it out! ;)

The job had become very stressful over the past few years, so a part of me is very glad to be done with it... but it paid the bills, so another part of me is understandably freaking out about finding something else. Yet another part of me is saying now is the time to start a creative business or learn a new trade and get into something I enjoy doing. It's exciting to have so many paths open to me at once... and terrifying to not know what's at the end of any of those paths. Failure? Success? Another bland dead-end job, or the career path of my dreams? Anyone have a crystal ball I could borrow?

If nothing else, this gives me plenty of time to catch up on some of my work-in-progress projects!!! I have a long list of partially done or needing to be started projects, so hopefully I will soon have lots of finished projects to share with you here. But first, coffee...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chubby bunnies and flannel quilts

Well 2018 is chugging right along... sorry to have been so quiet here for the past few months. It is surprisingly hard to keep upon a blog when you have Instagram!

This winter has been relatively quiet, as they tend to be. Winter in Quebec is a time (for me, at least) to hunker down and enjoy some quiet time at home. I don't do winter sports so when it's cold out I tend to stay in and keep myself busy in the workroom.

And busy I have been! Since last I posted, I have finished a surprising number of projects (how is my "to finish" pile still so big, then?!?)... I won't share them all here, you're welcome to check out my Instagram feed if you want to see them all. But a few of the highlights have been:


The Ugly Plaid Quilt, part deux. I absolutely love the variety of plaids in the Mammoth Flannel bundle and when our beloved couch quilt, which had affectionately been dubbed the "ugly plaid quilt" reached the end of its life, I knew I had to replace it with a quilt made from that bundle. I do not think this guy is ugly, of course, but it's name is a nod to its predecessor.


Chubby bunnies! With Easter on its way, I'm making a litter of these little guys for the nieces and nephews. You can get the pattern from Fluffmonger over on Etsy and make your own! Seriously! Get your own... I'm not making any more for other people :P


This is Karl... short for tomtekarl, a Scandinavian gnome. He is from a larger quilt pattern which I made into a wall hanging as a gift for a friend. She amazingly snagged me a personalized signed book from John Green, so I wanted to make her something as a thank you. In fact, he was such a hit another friend asked for one so Karl's brother is currently in the works and he will be travelling to Columbia as a mother-in-law gift.


I've also been participating in the Canadian Modern Quilt Bee with a few fellow Canadian quilters. It has been a blast getting to do a different block each month... I need to make a few more of my block (above) and get it turned into a finished quilt! It's been so much fun, I've already signed up for the second round of it starting later this year.

I also have some semi-secret projects on the go that will hopefully be finished soon so I will share those when the time comes. I also bought the pattern for Ginger Jeans in the hopes that I will make myself a pair and see what everyone is raving about. That's the plan, anyway... I have yet to make myself a pair of pants I was happy with, so we'll see how it goes.

A lot of people in the sewing/quilting/crafting community make resolutions for the year ahead (how silly does it feel to be talking about new years resolutions in March? I'm such a slacker), but I'm not much of a one for resolutions. For now, my goal is to work on getting through some of my in-progress projects, like finishing my Halloween Cat quilt, the Death Star quilt, and making a few of the pieces of clothing that have been waiting for my attention since last summer. We'll see how much of it I actually get done ;)