After I got home from my trip I haven’t had much sewing time at all. Work work is coming in fast and furious, plus in the middle of it all, a big design review date is fast approaching for my fabric designer side of me, so I’ve been working on some new collections to send in.

I started this quilt in Montana with Bea’s help, she showed me her method of making wonky log cabin blocks, which are really cool and fun to make.

We are cutting fabrics for a sew-in day tomorrow, Bea is showing me her wonky block technique to try- she let me raid her amazing stash for scraps!

She also let me raid her amazing scrap bins to supplement the meager supplies I brought, so I have her to thank for the awesome range of fabrics in this quilt top!

Making wonky log cabin blocks at sewing day #fun Bea also has this awesome small cutting mat that spins (attached to a base), which makes it super easy to trim down blocks. I am now looking for one for me, it’s pretty darn handy.

Finished quilt top, wonky log cabin blocks with stash enhancement from @gus.rocco and a few others, started in Montana- will be a kids quilt for sale soon!I sewed the top together yesterday, so fun and happy!

I also kept all the pretty scrap trimmings that were still usable in size and sewed them all together into one big “sawdust” block (no pic of final block yet), as Cathy says, to put on the back.

Making "sawdust" blocks a la @cathyeric with scraps of scraps

I just need to sandwich this one up and finish it, maybe over the weekend….!

Once that was all done, my Chillingsworth skeleton panel was burning a hole in my brain so I got started on devising a plan for him.

Started working on a new halloween quilt with my fab Chillingsworth panel, thinking a wonky medallion style quilt, first round using wonky flying geese, fun! #andoverfabric #chillingsworth #halloween #forouranniversary #17years

I decided to do a wonky, shabby, medallion style quilt with him in the centre (or maybe off centre- hmm I like that idea!) and do wonky rows around him, first with a row of wonky flying geese. And, I was proud of myself because I learned how to sew them together using angled seams and they still line up vertically, using this book, which I love and if you’ve ever wondered or struggled where to start with making wonky or improv style quilts, it’s a great one, Liberated Quiltmaking 2 by Gwen Marston. (As in I actually read and followed directions rather than looking at pictures and making it up myself lol!).

I bought a bunch of fabrics while I was away, intentionally and not intentionally, that all seems to work really well with him. It’s not specifically Hallowe’en designs, more like shabby grungey textures and prints and a few assorted others that all work, plus a bunch of different colours of Essex and other linens, so I’m just going full on mix and match and scrap happy with him. Perfect for Hallowe’en I think!

And that’s where I’ve gotten so far!

I love finding sweet little things at thrift stores to give makeovers to. Sometimes all something needs is a fresh coat of paint and some funk to make it a bit more fun, right?

startI found this little guy at the local thrifts recently and at a $1.50 it was a great price for a much needed desk organizer for my office, it jst needed a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to make it more “me”.

I did a bit of searching for ideas on what to do with it and came across a tute for red milk paint cupboard doors and loved the look of them so used the same overall idea and colours but with acrylics.

underpaintingFirst a coat of red, then some shabby dark purple “worn” edges. Looks kinda bad, lol! But it won’t be all red when it’s done. Keep on with it!

top coat Once the red was dry, a top coat of sea glass bluey-green.

topcoat done Looking better already!

Being a typography junkie and graphic designer  and vintage obsessive, I had to add some oldey time lettering to it,

letteringbut in a modern way. Have you heard of Montana markers? My new fave- you fill them up with liquid acrylics and you can draw away to your heart’s desire. Much easier than a brush sometimes. So I took mine to this and drew/painted on the lettering in black.

lettering done

Then I added an old school metallic gold drop shadow, I love a bit of sparkle!

Once the whole thing as dry, out came some sandpaper and I sanded the whole thing down for that extra worn look.

All done! Coat of varnish to go on when it's all dry! #thriftstorerevamp #shabbychicI love how the layers of colour show through after it’s all sanded down. I added a top coat of clear varnish and it now sits on my desk corralling all the bits of paper, invoice books, drawing supplies, and sketchbooks that seem to spread when not contained.

A cheap n’ cheerful new desk organizer for $1.50 plus a bit of paint!

Funny how time flies when you’re having fun! Did I tell you about my recent trip to Montana (via Calgary and Lethbridge) to visit my friend dear Bea? It was lovely and fun and omg the shopping and it went far too quickly, we kept saying what, the week is over already?

Bea has been here twice and I hadn’t been to visit her so it was definitely my turn to go down her way! I’d never been to the prairies before, (bad Canadian!) so I was super excited about the trip and it didn’t disappoint in any way, of course it didn’t!

It's very pretty here! Outside of Calgary on the way to lethbridge

The prairies are gorgeous and the fields of canola, wheat, barley, beautiful. (I feel a quilt brewing there somewhere).

I flew into Calgary and Bea came up to pick me up. We then met up with my bff from elementary school, Michelle, who I’ve known since Grade 4, for a yummy lunch and (far too short) visit. So great to see her and meet her son too!

Calgary peeps visit!

Bea, Michelle, me

Then off to Lethbridge, (thru Nanton- The Candy Store- whoa!-)

Candy store in Nanton AB, yum!

where we met up with my friend Kelaine, who I met thru Ladies Who Launch in Vancouver. We met at Casa, a very cool new combined gallery and workspace for many disciplines of the arts- what a great space and brilliant place. We need one in BC. Just saying! After a tour of the space and seeing all the bright yummy rooms full of creative goodness, we went for a winetasting event which was really fun. I discovered a sparkly wine that I really really like. Must find in BC….!

Après wine tasting with Kelaine, Bea, & Denise in lethbridge #fun!Me, Bea, Kelaine, Denise

Then we headed home to Bea’s hometown in Conrad MT where we spent a lovely week of sewing,

Making wonky log cabin blocks at sewing day #fun

Sewing day with some of Bea's Montana guild peeps!

Fun sewing day with some of Bea’s guild peeps

@gus.rocco Bea has a plan, using Sewing Studio collection fabrics! It's gonna be awesome!

Bea made a quilt top (now a finished quilt!) and pattern (coming soon to a blog near you!) using my new fabric collection,

shopping,

Hand dyes from PM Quilting in Sunburst MT

Hand-dyes from PM Quilting in Sunburst MT, dyed by the owner, lovely!

visiting, more sewing and shopping,

Some of the fabricy loot I got in Montana and Calgary! #omg #fabricporn

Only part of the loot I came home with!

sightseeing,

Cool grain elevator in Sunburst MT
Wide open views , Montana

more shopping, omg the fabric there- they do quilt shops really really well!-

Handmaids collection pieces, love!!

eating ice cream, playing with Bea’s dogs and cats,

My new buddy Gus @gus.rocco in Montana

New Best Furry Friends, Gus

My other new friend Abby @gus.rocco

and Abby, hi guys!

more shopping, meeting lovely, friendly Montana peeps, admiring the lovely wide open views,

See ya next time Montana! #latergram

and the week flew by like nobody’s business!

We then headed back up to Calgary, and met up with Cheryl Arkison

Shopping day in Calgary with @cheryl_arkison and @gus.rocco , now off to the airport and home!Me, Bea, Cheryl

who took us to her fave fabricy hotspots and of course, I found a few more excellent goodies to tuck in my very heavy suitcase! Bea loaned me a carryon which was also stuffed to the brim with fabric and some cute FireKing bowls and a few other goodies! (omg the thrift/antique stores there omg!)

And then home! The week went entirely too fast so a return visit will be in order!

I have loads more pics, you can check them out here if you like!

All in all a lovely trip, with big huge thanks to Bea for being such a lovely host and sharing her beautiful home and state with me! xoxo