Saturday, October 15, 2011

Leanne's Quilt

Our family has had a bit of a rough 2011. In the spring my Mum fought breast cancer and kicked its butt! Her latest tests showed her to be cancer free!! We are so grateful for that, that she will be with us for a long time to come - we love her so.

But, just as my Mum was finishing up her treatments, my sister was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour. I am ever thankful to live in Canada, with universal health care, or our family would be bankrupt by now for sure. My sister saw her specialist within a few months and was scheduled for her surgery within a month of that. Her surgery went well and she is now spending time at home recovering. We always joke that we are twins, only five years apart so I'm not kidding when I say I don't know what I'd do without her. I can only thank the universe for allowing her to still be with us.

When I found out Leanne would be having neurosurgery, I kind of lost it for awhile. You see, our Dad fought a brave battle against his brain tumour and finally succumbed to it in 1994. So, needless to say, our family doesn't like the "C" word, and we couldn't believe we were dealing with another brain tumour, especially. I couldn't stand the thought of my beautiful baby sister undergoing brain surgery.

And even though she already has quilts made by me, I just had to make her another one. Not because *she* needed another one, but because I needed to make her one.

I started making her one with coordinating fabrics in yellow, brown, and cream, thinking it would match her decor. Just as I was prepping the fabrics, I was talking to her on the phone and she said, "You know, I hate that all my stuff is brown!" I thought, oh no, now what? I didn't want to buy more fabric, and anyway, scrappy quilts are my favourite so I made this:

Every quilter has fabrics that they love so much, they don't want to cut into them. This quilt is full of those fabrics! I pulled out all my beloved prints and a few sort-of neutrals to balance them out and started cutting.

I've wanted to make this quilt pattern for awhile so I'm happy I finally did :) And who better to make it for than my sister!

Of course, we wish her full and speedy recovery and want her to know how much we love her!

I love you forever, Leannabelle.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My very thoughtful husband decided to take our son to the movies today and give me a little quilting time - over 4 hours of quilting time, actually! Although I completely love having Cade home for the summer and spending so much fun time with him at the beach, kite flying, and bike riding, about mid-summer I start to wish for time to myself. I am definitely a person who requires some "me time" :)

The other day, I was commisioned by a friend to make a doll quilt for a mutual friend. I knew this would be a quick and easy project so I said yes. The person asking me to do this wasn't fussy about colour but said the recipient might like pink so I went into my stash and found all this coordinating fabric in pinks and greens.

I thought it would be perfect as the quilt is for a recently refinished antique doll cradle and I felt these muted colours would suit it perfectly. And so, here are the photos of the finished quilt. I have a red patio umbrella over my table so it distorts the colours a bit, making all the fabric look a little more pink that it actually looks in real life :)

(oops! lens cap snuck into the photo!)

(closeup of the fabrics)

(closeup of the quilting)

(closeup of the backing)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Pattern - The story behind the hats.

If you're anything like me, you like to start on winter projects in the summer. That way, they're finished by the time you actually need them.

Each fall, my quilt and craft club donates hats, scarves, slippers, and mittens to the local food bank, to be distributed to families in the Christmas hampers that are given out in December. We usually end up making about 100 items to donate, which I think is pretty good as normally there are only 3 of us who actively make things for this particular charity (we're a small crafting group of 8-10 women).

This year, I designed, and now have published, the hat patterns I used for the hats I donated to the food bank and also for the chemo unit in the hospital where my Mum underwent treatment.

In September 2010, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and was in need of hats when she lost her hair. I designed these three hats for her. I also made many for donation to the chemo unit at the hospital where my Mum was receiving treatment. My Mum is now finished her treatment and is doing well - I'm so proud of her! In June 2011, after my Mum finished her treatments, my sister was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour, and is now about to begin treatment. Please join me in sending positive energy her way, in whatever form you like, to help her on her journey to health.

About the hats:

The Barbara Hat: a very thick and warm rib for our cold Canadian winters, with a tweed look; named after my dear, brave Mum, as this one was her favourite.

The Cindy Hat: a more delicate rib of medium warmth.

The Leanne Hat: the most lightweight of the three hats, with a ribbed contrast-colour band; named after my dear, sweet sister, who is now fighting her own brave battle.

I hope you enjoy making these hats for yourself, your family, a friend, or for donation!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One Last Project Linus Quilt

Since tonight is our local quilt & craft club night's annual Project Linus blanket collection, I thought I would finish up this little baby quilt that I've had the top finished for awhile. So easy and fun to make and I'm happy to say that Lucy (my longarm) cooperated for this one, for the most part :) The bird fabric is my favourite fabric in the whole quilt, and really, it was the reason I made this quilt. I've been wanting to make a pink/yellow/orange quilt for some time now and when I saw that bird fabric, I had to use it! I bought a lovely 1/4 yard bundle from Down Shadow Lane on Etsy - the service was great and the fabric fantastic so I know I will be ordering from them again.

I think I have 5 or 6 blankets to donate this time to Project Linus. I'm hoping for more this next year, now that Lucy is working again. I am also hoping to make more boy blankets this year as I'm sure most of my donations are for girls this time. I really try hard to make them even, but, my being a girl means I tend to gravitate toward flowers and stuff ;)

But, I have a wonderful boy of my own and I know firsthand how difficult it is to get nice boyish things, and I am promising myself right now that I will make some really great boyish blankets this year!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And the Winners Are ......!

This Free Pattern Giveaway contest has been so fun and, as promised, I have a new pattern available (pictured here): the Logan Baby Blanket!

Welcome to the new facebook fans - I've enjoyed chatting with a few of you! And, most exciting, is that now I get to give away some patterns and look forward to, hopefully, seeing the finished items :)

I am going to list the winners first (determined by the handy-dandy random number generator on the right) and then those winners can look below the list to see how they can receive their free pattern!

And the winners are:
1. Fern Brownlocks
2. Megan Pike
3. Jamie Spero-Toner
4. Catherine Burnside
5. Jen DebutantDesigns Landry
6. Sooz E. Cue
7. Mandy Silver-Marko
8. Saritha Shenoy
9. Rebecca Smith (could you please contact me via facebook, etsy, or ravelry - I couldn't send your coupon via facebook - thanks!)
10. Janet McLachlan Slater

There you have it! The 10 lucky facebook fan winners! Look for your coupon codes through facebook tomorrow (February 11) - there might still be time to make something in time for Valentine's Day!

There are 2 ways you can receive your free pattern:

1. Unfortunately, Etsy will not allow me to issue a coupon for 100% off (I hope they change this). However, I have still issued coupons to each winner for 99% off. If you choose this option, please go to and put one pattern in your cart. Proceed to the checkout where you will prompted for your coupon code. After entering the code, you will be left with a balance of 2 cents (!) which you will have to pay for either by credit card or paypal (still very easy and your part is now done!).

After your transaction goes through, I will email your pattern to you and refund your 2 cents! Although this seems like alot to go through, if you choose this option, I would appreciate positive feedback when you are finished (unless something is making you unhappy in which case, I would love to hear from you so we can fix it) :) Phew! A long explanation for something so easy!

2. If you would rather send me your email address through facebook along with your pattern selection, I will email your pattern to you. I completely understand that this option is easier and I will also understand if you choose to use it. If in the future, you visit my store again (and I hope you will!) and purchase another pattern, I hope you will leave positive feedback then :)

So, that's it - another contest finished - if you have any questions please convo me through Etsy. When you make up your pattern, I would love to see the finished item - my Ravelry ID is MonsoonCalamity and I would especially love it if you put up a project page there ( - it's free!).

Thanks, everyone! Now, off to think of what to do for March........

Lucy is Finally Working Again!

Don't forget! Today is the last day to enter my February Pattern Giveaway draw! Details in the previous post!

After not being able to use my longarm since early last fall, I have finally managed to make her work again! I replaced the rotary hook assembly and, as mentioned before, our good family friend, Blaize, fixed the issue with the motor shaft by drilling into it and putting a screw in so it wouldn't slip anymore.

Now, the longarm is still not perfect. In order to make it work, I have to turn it on, needle down, needle up, turn it off, walk around to the back of the machine, finish the stitch by turning the hand wheel a little bit more, turn it back on, walk around to the front, needle up, draw up the thread, and then I can start. I need to do this each time I have to start a new area of stitching or change threads or if the thread breaks or runs out. Like I said, it's not perfect, but at least it's working!

And, so, the quilt pictured above is one that I have finished this week to donate to Project Linus! Yay! Makes me want to piece again :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

February Pattern Giveaway!

For February's giveaway, 10 lucky people will receive a free pattern (of their choice) from my Monsoon Calamity pattern store! Free patterns will be given in the form of an Etsy coupon!

It's really easy to enter - just become a fan of Monsoon Calamity on facebook ( - on February 10th, 10 winners will be chosen from the list of fans!

By February 10th, there should even be a brand new pattern available in the patterns you can choose from!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coupon Winners!!

I'm so excited to announce the 10 lucky coupon winners from my January draw! The coupons are good for 20% off your entire order (not including shipping) in my Etsy store, Monsoon Calamity! So, here goes:

1. Alba Patchwork
2. Ellen Silver
3. Colleen Hachey Montgomery
4. Julia Vassileva
5. Logan Gennings
6. Mindi Calverly
7. Anthony Cornelio
8. Sarah Phillips Walmsley
9. Crisan Amarillas
10. Anne Dalgarno

Congratulations to the winners!! Look for your coupon codes and instructions on how to use them tomorrow - they will be sent out by pm through facebook! You will have until the end of 2011 to use them and I will be adding lots of new things this year to my store so check back often!

Monday, January 10, 2011

You Could Win!

You could win one of 10 20% off coupons!!! If you win, your coupon will be good off your entire order from Monsoon Calamity and you will have until the end of 2011 to use it!

To enter, become a follower of this blog or become a fan of Monsoon Calamity on facebook! Share this offer with your friends!

Draw will take place on Wednesday, January 12 - become a fan now!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Item and New Draw for Prizes!

First, let me say Happy New Year!! I hope your year is off to a good start!

At our house, the new year has started well - lots of relaxing, playing in the snow, some quilting (photos to follow another day), school starting (yay! more quilting time again), and a feeling of gratefulness for my family and friends and those who have supported this endeavor of mine with Etsy. Thank you all for everything!
Next, I would like introduce the start to my new product line: decorative cushion covers! The photo above is the first 16" cushion cover, a gorgeous wavy stripe in blue/green/brown/cream. I have enough fabric for 8 of these and I've made 2 so far; I have to admit, I love them so much that I may have to keep a couple for myself :)
Finally, I have a confession to make - or rather, I feel guilty about something I promised to do and then didn't. Last summer, I promised to draw a name each month out of the followers of Monsoon Calamity. Sadly, life got in the way, and it didn't always happen. A few lucky ones received a set of handmade gift cards, but I have fallen behind in my name drawings, sigh.
To correct this situation, and to move forward, I will draw 10 names on January 12, one week from today! Ten lucky people will win coupon codes, good for 20% your entire purchase in my Etsy store (discount is not applied to shipping)!!! Your coupon will be good until December 31, 2011 - that's almost a full year to use the coupon for yourself or gift-giving!
To enter this contest, become a follower of this blog or a fan on facebook!
It's that simple!!
Why wait until January 12, you ask? This gives you plenty of time to spread the word about this great offer - share it with your friends and family, heck, share it with strangers ;)
Whether you decide to enter this contest or if you would rather quietly follow along in my sewing and quilting pursuits, I wish the best for you this year. May everyone you love be happy and healthy, and may this be the best year yet!
Join the Monsoon Calamity facebook fan page on facebook for new product information and future contest information!