Sunday, 28 January 2018

Aloha Baby Quilt


Making baby quilts is something I really enjoy doing, but I have difficulty making enough time to finish them between my normal every day responsibilities. Because of this difficulty, I plan my smaller projects like making bunting and candles amidst my normal routines, and I schedule baby quilt-making for when I visit my family in Manitoba. My mom is an experienced and adept quilter. She's the one who taught me to sew and gifted me my very first sewing machine. When I make the trip to my small hometown in MB, I usually stay for at least five days, giving me enough time to catch up with family and friends but also have some serious quality quilting time with my mom. My parents' house has a cozy little sewing room complete with a fireplace, windows overlooking birds feeding in the backyard, enough counter space to set up two sewing machines, and a golden retriever named Sunny who doubles as a foot warmer. My mom and her quilting talents are a big help with my quilt layout nit-picking. As I'm arranging fabric for a quilt top I often look at it my layout and can tell that something isn't quite right, and my mom always knows exactly which blocks I should swap to make the quilt look perfect. 

See the Aloha Baby Quilt in our Etsy shop



My most recent baby quilt is a modern ombre pattern consisting of warm floral and cool blue fabrics. It is a baby sized quilt, measuring 30" by 38". Like all of our Evergreen quilts it is constructed of three layers: premium 100% cotton fabric on the pieced quilt top and coordinating backing, with natural 100% cotton batting in the middle (to keep it warm and cozy, but not heavy). A prewash with hypoallergenic baby laundry detergent has make it wonderfully soft and ready for cuddles! This quilt was handmade using sewing machine piecing and quilting techniques, and the binding was lovingly stitched by hand. 

The solid green binding adds visual interest with its contrasting colour

Linear quilting adds to the modern feel of the Aloha Baby Quilt


There is one more great feature of this quilt I ought to mention: it comes with a free baby onesie! It's not just any old baby onesie either, a fair trade certified and organic cotton baby onesie with a cute little pocket that matches the quilt! :) 



Fair trade certified organic cotton baby onesie


Thanks for reading about the newest addition to our shop! If you're interested in learning more, click here to see the listing on Etsy.

-Marie

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Fall/Winter Craft Shows

Here is where you can find us selling our handmade products in the coming weeks:

Sunday, September 17th 11:00 am to 4:30 pm, Toronto
Artisan Village Festival at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Saturday, September 23rd 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Aurora
Etsy: Made in Canada - York Region
**Only our candles will be available at this event**
*See our facebook page for free entry coupon*

Saturday, October 14th 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Breslau
28th Annual Breslau Craft Show
website / facebook event

Thursday, November 9th to Sunday, November 12th, Stouffville
Beyond Craft Show & Sale
**Only our candles will be available at this event**
*A portion of the sales go towards supporting the Latcham Gallery's exhibition and educational programming*
website / facebook event

Saturday, November 11th 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Stouffville
Springvale Harvest Market
website / facebook event

Friday, November 24th 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
and Saturday, November 25th 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Stouffville
The Hartman Christmas Artisan Market
website / facebook event

Friday, December 8th 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Aurora
Girls Night Out 2017
facebook event


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Canada 150+

I am Canadian. My family has been in Canada for 4 generations. Being a Canadian citizen is part of my identity. I love a lot of things about Canada, let me name just a few!




I love Canada’s diversity. I love that Canada is made up of so many beautiful people with different backgrounds. I love that Canadians can celebrate our differences and learn from them, but that we have a sense of solidarity through national pride- we’re all different, but we’re all Canadian; that’s what makes Canada the beautiful mosaic that it is.

One of the ways that I have greatly benefited from Canada’s multiculturalism is through cuisine. Growing up in a small town in Southern Manitoba, there was not a large variety of cuisine options. Other than generic pizza and burger joints, we had one Chinese food restaurant in town. Since I’ve moved to Toronto, I’ve had tons of opportunities to sample some of my old favourite cuisines (Mexican, Japanese, Indian, and Greek), and I’ve found a few new favourites as well (Jamaican, Ethiopian, Lebanese).

See Canadian mini fabric bunting on our Etsy shop 

Another thing I love about Canada is the diversity between the provinces; from the mountains of BC, to the fishing villages on the east coast (that I have yet to visit), and the wheat and canola fields as far as the eye can see in the prairies between. When I moved from Manitoba to Southern Ontario, I did not anticipate any differences, because it’s all Canada. I was wrong! There’s more diversity in Southern Ontario, a warmer climate, and you don’t get the same cheerful greetings from everyone you pass on the sidewalk as you do in Friendly Manitoba (just a little shout out to my homeland :) ).

The changing seasons we have in Canada bring me so much joy. I love them all! Spring, summer, fall, and call me crazy, but I even love winter! There is a big public garden close to my house, and as soon as the grass turns green in spring things start to bloom. I walk through it every week or so throughout the spring/summer/fall, and it looks different on every visit. The landscapers who planned it must have put so much thought and love into it, because there is always something new blooming! Here are a few photos from my walk through the garden today:










I’ve spent a lot of time talking about what Canada means to me today, but it’s important to remember the rich indigenous history in Canada. Indigenous peoples were living in Canada for 10,000 years before European colonials arrived. During this time the Indigenous population was able to satisfy all of their material and spiritual needs with the resources available to them in the nature they were surrounded by. The various indigenous cultures all share a deep connection to and respect for the earth, oral traditions, sacred spiritual ceremonies, and art traditions that continue to this day.




As we celebrate Canada 150+, I encourage you all to reflect on what you love and appreciate about this country, as well as the rich history that extends a lot further than 150 years ago.

    -Marie


Thursday, 18 May 2017

MAKERS Workshop & Creative Social - Button Earrings

You guys - we are so very excited to be offering our second MAKERS Workshop & Creative Social. Our last workshop was awesome - we had so much fun hanging out with some really wonderful women over treats and crafts. In fact, we had so much fun that we couldn't wait to get planning the next workshop. So here we are!

We strongly believe that everyone has a creative bone in their body and sometimes it just needs to be stretched. There are so many benefits to pushing ourselves to be creative - it's therapeutic, joy-inducing, and can encourage community amongst other creators. We love being able to encourage those things by intentionally bringing you all together in one place to work on a project while socializing and learning.

So consider this your official invitation!


It's important to us that you have lots of time to just socialize and relax, so our projects are easy to create. We'll start by giving you a quick little lesson on how to tackle the project, but then will allow you the opportunity to just create alongside other makers. We'll be around to answer any questions you may have throughout the process, though. 

In this workshop, we will be creating button earrings. What are those, you may ask? Exactly what they sound like - cute little button earrings covered in the fabric of your choice. These little earrings are some of our best-sellers at craft shows because they can be so cute and customizable so we know that you will love making some. Check out some of the photos in this post for more details.

The workshop will take place on Saturday June 24, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the KIND Yoga By Heart Studio (10825 Ninth Line, Stouffville). If you've never heard of KIND Yoga By Heart, it's an awesome yoga greenhouse - the perfect place to spend a warm Saturday evening. (Please note the date change for this workshop, as it was originally scheduled for Sunday June, 11, 2017)

The earlybird cost of the workshop is $25, tax included ($30 after June 17, 2017). This includes all the required materials and supplies to create three (3) pairs of button earrings, all required instruction, a beautiful place to create, and the most delicious treats you can imagine. At the end of the afternoon you will leave with three pairs of earrings (perfect to share as a gift to a friend), new friends, and a very happy heart!

The workshop is open to any individual who is interested in learning a new skill and building new relationships. Any skill level is welcome to attend - whether you're a seasoned pro or someone who doesn't consider themselves to possess a single creative bone in their body. Regardless of your experience, we are happy to have you join us!


Would you like to register?

There are only 15 spots available, so reserve your spot today!
Your spot will be reserved once we receive the full payment. Please contact us by email (theevergreencollective@gmail.com) or through Facebook Message (www.facebook.com/theevergreencollective) and we will be happy to arrange payment through either cash, cheque, e-transfer, or PayPal. As always, please contact us if you have any further questions.

We're really looking forward to this evening and we hope that you are too. Start warming up those creative muscles!

-Amber and Marie

Monday, 13 March 2017

Hand Stitching Hexies




Just over a year ago, while relaxing in a cabana on the Sea of Cortez, my mom taught me the art of English Paper Piecing (EPP). I was instantly in love. It was simple to learn, produced beautiful results, and doesn’t require a ton of concentration; I could chat away while stitching! I already knew I loved hand-stitching fabric- I find it to be very calming, and making things with my hands is very fulfilling for me. But EPP brings another whole level of enjoyment for me. The only form of EPP I’ve learned (because, as far as I’m concerned it’s the only form of EPP that I need to learn) is the hexagon, lovingly coined “hexies” by the quilting community.



Our Hand Stitched Hexagon Pillow

My favourite hexies, and the ones you will see on items in
our etsy shop are the smallest size I make at 1.5” in diameter. Hexies are so versatile, I frequently start making them without having a plan whatsoever, not even a pattern in mind. Some of the projects I’ve made with them so far include a hexie throw pillow (one in our shop, and I’ve started one with larger hexies for my own couch), hexie crop top, and my personal favourite, a hexie tank. At this point in my life, I don’t have a place in my regular routine for making hexies. So I always bring hexie-making supplies on airplanes while traveling, and I usually work on them when on vacation or visiting my family.


Our Unisex Hand Stitched Hexie Tank, which is sweatshop free



Aside from the enjoyment of creating unique handmade items, making hexies (or hand stitching in general) can have the added bonus of therapeutic effects. For me, hand stitching is a source of relaxation, stress relief, and creativity. Studies have shown that sewing activities can help participants relax. For me, hand stitching requires just enough focus to shut out the hustle and bustle and enjoy the act of creating something, without feeling like a chore. It also helps develop fine motor skills, and a sense of accomplishment when finishing a project!


Our Hexie Crop Tee, also sweatshop free 



Someday I would like to create an entire quilt made of hexies. After hand stitching each individual hexagon, the hexies need to be hand stitched together to create the quilt top. Then: layer the batting and backing, quilt the quilt (finishing stitches through all three layers of the quilt), and bind it (which also involves hand stitching) to finish it all off. Clearly, creating a hexie quilt would be a true labour of love- a whole lot of love, and a whole lot of labour!


Have you ever tried English Paper Piecing? Have you ever made a quilt? Leave a comment to share your experience!

-Marie