Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 in pictures

While browsing through the pictures I've taken over the year 2010, I came to think that it might be nice to show them here.  I have made three mosaics (sorry for the quality, they were made quickly as I have to get ready for tonight's party), one as a review of this year's craft projects, one of my garden, and another one of places I've been to this year.

Hope you enjoy this little journey in what really makes Maevy's Corner!
All these projects can be found in earlier posts. 
Flowers include, in order, lilac, sunflower, wild red cherry, gaillardia, rose, black-eyed susan, hosta and lupine.
1. Birding in Parc du Bic; 2. Old building in Bois-de-Coulonge; 3. Rodeo in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier; 4.  The lake at Duchesnay; 5. A rainbow seen from my porch; 6. A street in Old Quebec; 7. The view in fall, from my rooftop; 8. The marsh at Cacouna; 9. Fontaine de Tourny, downtown Quebec; 10. Gardens at Domaine Joly; 11. Beachfront houses in Ste-Luce; 12. Sunset on Ste-Luce.
See you all in 2011, wishing you all the best!


Thursday, 30 December 2010

Handmade decorations

I know I am coming a little late with these, but as I was gifting them to my mom for Christmas, I couldn't show them earlier.  They are just simple designs cross-stitched on Aïda and backed with red cotton, but they make fancy decorations.  The designs come from an old Christmas edition of Marianne magazine. 

Best wishes for the New Year!


Monday, 27 December 2010

The Final Cut

Remember my quilt top?  I finished it in August and four months later it still is just that.  A quilt top.  

I received a few weeks ago the fabric that I'll use as backing, pictured above, right, and seriously, I can't believe that it took me all these months to finally make a decision about this backing fabric.  I have been so fussy about it, and it could have kept going on, the hesitation, the constant "what if I find something better".

The only reason why I decided to buy this fabric now is that the store was down to 4 1/2 yards and I needed four.  I got scared that they would sell out and I'd be back to my starting point of having no idea what fabric to use.  Because this Valori Wells Del Hi Pom Pom was the only remaining option on my list.

I am still not convinced that it is the best match to my quilt top, but at least the fabric is gorgeous and bold enough to get some attention.

My plan when I received the fabric was to baste the quilt over that weekend and have it ready for hand quilting during the holidays.  However, as I write these lines, the fabric is still waiting, unwashed and uncut.

For my defense, I was working on Christmas presents at the time, and they had to be finished before the quilt.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Here is - finally! - a tutorial for my little FQ fabric basket.  The incredible response I've had to my giveaway has given me the small push I needed to sit down and write it.  So here it is, hopefully clear enough to be understood, but if anything is missing, please let me know and I will try to clarify.


Material needed:
Coordinated fabric scraps (fat eights work well for the sides)
Thin polyester batting (cotton and bamboo are not stiff enough)
Non-woven, heavy weight sew-on interfacing
Two yards of ribbon
Matching or contrasting thread
Vanishing-ink fabric marker
Plastic Ruler
Hand-sewing needle
Rotary cutter (optional)
Cutting mat (optional)
Sewing machine (optional)

Cutting List:

From the outside fabric (here the black and green fabric)
2 pieces of 13" X 4" for long sides
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4" for short ends

From the inside fabric (here the green dots)
2 pieces of 13" X 4" for long sides
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4" for short ends

From the bottom fabric (here the floral)
2 pieces of 13" X 51/2"

From the batting:
2 pieces of 13" X 4"
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4"
1 piece of 13" X 51/2"

From the interfacing:
2 pieces of 13" X 4"
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4"
1 piece of 13" X 51/2"

From the ribbon:
8 pieces of 7" long

Once you have chosen your fabrics, iron each piece and cut according to cutting list above.  I have used two coordinated fat eights for the sides, but any scraps will do.  It would even be fun to have all different sides.

What you choose to use as batting and interfacing will determine the sturdiness of your basket.  I wanted a clean look, but I don't plan on moving this basket around much, sot extra sturdiness was not necessary.  I have tried different combinations and this light batting with the thick interfacing is what gave me the most satisfying result.  However, if you need something sturdier, inserting plastic canvas might be a better option.  In that case, you would need to leave larger openings when you sew around each side.

Step-by-step how-to

1.  As we have four layers for each four sides of the basket (inside fabric, batting, interfacing and outside fabric), we will quilt three of them together to give stability and add a little interest.  The quilting may be done differently than what I do, a simple cross pattern, but from experience I would recommend to avoid vertical or horizontal lines as they make a bend in the side of the basket and make it lose its shape.  So, this being said, take a small piece of the outside fabric, and using a ruler and a fabric marker, trace an X from corner to corner.  Repeat for the other small piece of outside fabric.  For the two long pieces of outside fabric, trace two Xs, from corner to middle of long side.

2.  Now what you need to do is a “sandwich” with one piece of batting, one piece of interfacing, and one piece of outside fabric on top, right side facing up.

3.  Quilt the three layers on the X that you have marked, either by machine or by hand.  Repeat for the three other sides.

4.  Now is time to add the inside fabric and the ribbons to the “sandwich”.  Place a quilted piece of outside fabric on your work table, outside fabric facing up.  Position two pieces of ribbon, one on either side, at 1” from the top.

5.  Then, lay the inside fabric over, wrong side facing up, and pin everything in place, making sure that the loose ends of ribbons will not get caught in the seam.

6.  Sew around the “sandwich”, leaving a 2” opening on the bottom side, i.e. the long side farther from the ribbons.  Clip corners.

7.  Turn right side out and repeat for all three other sides, and for the bottom part, omitting the ribbons on this last one.

8.  Iron flat all pieces and hand sew the openings.

9.  Now is time to assemble the sides to the bottom of the basket.  Place the bottom on your work table, inside up ( I chose the quilted side to be inside the basket, but you could choose otherwise, it won’t make much of a difference).  Take one side of your basket and lay it on the bottom piece, outside up, aligning the bottom sides of both pieces.  Pin in place.  Hand sew both pieces together.

10.  Repeat for other three sides.

11.  Tie the ribbons in the corners and you have a finished basket!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Giveaway Winners

Oh, this was a fun giveaway day, or should I say week?  I've enjoyed reading comments and I am thrilled to have had 300 entries, plus a bunch of new followers.  Welcome to all of you new readers.

Many commenters have requested a tutorial for my fabric basket, and that was just what I needed to convince me of doing one.  So check back in the next few days and I will have it posted right here.

Now, to the winners - 'cause really that's the reason you're here today, right?

Names were picked at random, with the help of my boyfriend, and the lucky ones are:

Carol, who won the ready-made basket


Kerry , who won the kit.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who entered!  Stay tuned for the basket tutorial!


Sunday, 12 December 2010

It's Giveaway Day!

Thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew, Giveaway Day is back, and I wouldn't want to miss it, so I have prepared a little something to offer.

A while ago, I came up with a simple basket designed to store fat quarters.  I wanted to write a tutorial for this, but being the big procrastinator that I am, I never did.  However, I still want to share my little baskets with others, so I thought this giveaway might be a good opportunity to do so.

I will have two prizes:  one is the basket below, all sewed and ready to receive your fat quarters (or anything else you might want to store in it, it is up to you).

The other prize is a kit to sew your own basket, including all fabric pieces, batting and interfacing, as well as ribbon for the ties and a simple how-to.

If you want to enter my giveaway, here are the rules, which I have tried to keep as simple as possible:
  • Leave a comment on this post and let me know whether you want to be entered for the already-made basket or for the kit, or for the two of them.  If you don't mention which you want, I will assume you are in for both. 
  • Make sure I have a way to contact you.  If your profile is set up as no-reply, make sure you give your e-mail address in your comment.
  • Giveaway is open until Friday, December 17, midnight EST.
  • I will ship internationally, so everyone is welcome to enter.
  • Winners will be selected at random and will be annonced next weekend.
Best of luck to everyone!  


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Winter crafting

I know I have been silent for a long time, and I am sorry about it. I have been quite busy crafting and there wasn't much I could show here because most of the projects I have been working on are to be gifted at Christmas, and I don't want to spoil the surprise.

A few weeks ago, I took out my Sculpey clay and made the figurines above.  I was in the mood for small things I guess, the little bird is just over 1 cm long!  It wasn't easy to paint such small things, but don't they look pretty sitting in front of their paper house?

 While at it, I also made this set of mushroom buttons, and the little lady below, just for fun.

And now, I'll be going back to my Christmas crafting, I have a little project going on with these fabric remnants from last year.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Goodies in the mail

See how happy they all look?  But not as happy as I was when I opened the package from Blushful.  A few weeks ago, tired of fighting with my tangled embroidery threads, I went on a search on Etsy to find some cute thread cards, and came across these.

They were by far the cutest I'd ever seen, and I ordered a pack of 20.  Now, they look even better in real, and I've had fun selecting one mushroom for each color thread.  But where it gets really cool is that because I was her first Etsy customer ever, Annie was overly generous and sent along some more gorgeous handmade goodies:

A cute little pink haired girl, made out of a wooden spool and dressed in pompom trim.

 And this felt beauty, hiding decorative pins in her hair.

I feel very lucky to have received all these nice gifts.  Hop on over to Blushful if you want to see more of Annie's work, she's got the cutest pincushions!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Black stitching

I had planned to come back earlier this week, but life got busy and the days were gone before I noticed.  I started to stitch a few weeks ago, and worked on a little project that I can't show you right now because it will be a gift to someone who might read this blog.

I then found this little pattern somewhere on the internet -- but I can't remember where exactly -- and decided to stitch it just for fun, and because I love roosters.  It was the first time that I tried monochromatic cross-stitching and I enjoyed it a lot, plus I like the dramatic effect.

That got me looking over blackwork and I got fascinated with all the intricate designs like this one, or this one.  Now I really want to try some more black stitching and see where it will get me.

As for the rooster, I have yet to decide what to make of it.  Any suggestions?

Enjoy your weekend!  I have a special crafting day scheduled with my big sister on Sunday, can't wait!

Cheers, Sylvie

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hello there!  I am back after a long silence, caused in part by all the work that needed to be done around the house in preparation of winter, but mostly because of our computer's illness (a nasty virus) over the last week and some trouble with our internet connection.

I have a few things to share in the next few days, starting with some pics from our little escapade in Saint-Hyacinthe and Victoriaville which took place a week ago.  What took us there in the first place was an event called Salon Passion Bois, a kind of fair where woodworkers meet and sell their creations.  We had a great time there, and found many pieces that we would have gladly brought home.  Instead, we came back with some exotic woods like Canary wood, lacewood and amarante, to be used for inlays in Patrick's future creations.

We spent the night in a gem of a B&B in Saint-Hyacinthe, Le Nid Fleuri, and fell in love with our room.

The victorian patterned wallpaper covered all the walls and the ceiling, and even baseboards and switchplates!  It was the kind of bold decor that I would never dare have at home, but love to live in for one night.

The furniture was very interesting as well, like this reproduction of an Arts and Crafts armoire, made of pine instead of the traditional oak.

The next day, on our way back home, we stopped at every antiques places on the road.  It was our first time antiquing out of Quebec-city and we had a blast.  Most of these places we huge and packed with (affordable) treasures.  

This place is my favorite of all, Antiquité Michel Prince Inc., the picture comes from their website.
I came across lots of stuff that I would love to call my own, like this library card cabinet.  I am crazy about those, and I wish someday I can have one in my house, in my craftroom maybe...

via Benoît Rochefort
I also have a thing for floor grates, I like all the lovely lacey patterns, but I have no idea what I'd use them for, so this will be for another time.

via Benoît Rochefort
We met a bunch of cute cats all through the day, because it seems that every antique store in that area, ,most of them barns, had its mascot cat, and I just couldn't resist taking their pictures.

Yup, this is me with my new friend, who followed me to the car and would have jumped in if I'd have let her!
This little kitty is Zoé, and she was clumsily trying to catch a fly.  I thought it was funny that she'd choose to lay on a carpet with leopards on it.
I almost stepped on this one, she was lying very still behind a table, looking a me with her big green eyes.
Finally, here are our finds of the day.  Pictures are as we found them, they all need deep cleaning and a new coat of finish.

I wanted a small chair to use as a spare in our office, and I really liked the simple shape of this one -- and its price.  I can already figure it with a cute checked cushion, and I just happen to have the perfect fabric for it in my stash.

The telephone was an idea of my boyfriend.  It came to him while we were at a flea market a while ago, and we thought we might get one to hang in our living room as a decoration.  The small size of this one was perfect for our tiny space, and I really like the big tag Made in Canada.  We just don't see that much anymore...

And last, but not least, Patrick grabbed these two old planes.  They don't look like much today, but you should see what he can do with them, they'll be all shiny and ready to go when he's finished with them.

This was our little antiquing expedition.  If you ever are in the region and want to follow the route too, here is a link to the Antiques Roadways & Byways.

That's all folks, I will be back later this week with some stitching I've been working on lately.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A walk in the yellow wood

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;"

"Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,"

"And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back."

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

-- Robert Frost, The Road not taken --