Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hey, you there!
Have a finished handmade travel bag or one in the works? 
How about a bag related tutorial? 
Hey, even an inspiration mosaic will do!
Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit
If you answered yes to any of those, then be sure to head on over to the Travel Handmade Linky Party!
There's even a fabulous prize up for grabs!
Yes, that's right. Sewing Summit sponsor Beebolt is giving away one copy of Carry Me-20 Boutique Bags to one lucky linker! Plus, Amy and Erin will be throwing in a $25.00 Beebolt gift certificate!
So far there are only 11 projects linked up, which means high winning odds for you! :)
What are you waiting for? 
Link 'em up!
xo, megan

Monday, August 29, 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday #32

I can't believe it's already {Sew} Modern Monday time again!
The weeks just keep flying by and by!  I mean, September starts this week.
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Here on the sewing home front, I have been hard at work on my Weekender Bag. And while it's not actually finished (breaking my own linky rules here--wink, wink), I am just so stinking excited about this bag that I have to share it with you all today! :)
weekender bag [progress]

Way back when Jeni and I started brainstorming Travel Handmade, I knew from the get-go that I must have a Weekender Bag to bring along to The Sewing Summit (or any travel excursion for that matter!). I mean, come on. The Weekender Bag and traveling are like milk and cookies. They just go together.
But, I was scared. Very, very scared of this pattern. There are just SO many pieces and steps, not to mention all the Weekender struggle stories out there. So what do you do when you are scared? You grab a friend and hold on tight.
Enter Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy.
Elizabeth and I have been chatting, encouraging, and even laughing (right, E?) through our Weekender Bag process. Thank goodness for picture messaging. Life saver.
weekender bag [progress]

And, I have realized there's nothing to be scared of. Just as long as you read every step, then re-read every step, walk through the step in your head, and then re-read it one more time. No joke.  
I'm about 3/4 of the way through the bag and I can't wait to finish it up! I fairly certain it's going to be a new favorite of mine. :)
What have you been sewing up this past week? As always, I am looking forward to some great modern sewing inspiration!

Friday, August 26, 2011

friday favorites [for the love of solids edition]

Elizabeth and I started the For the Love of Soilds [a modern swap] last month and there have been some great projects popping up in the flickr group!  So as any proud swap mama would, I thought I would share some with you all.
xo, Megan

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a little birthday love.

it's a big day 'round these parts because...
my little (and only!) sister, L., turns 18 today!
not only that, but she moves into her college dorm on friday!  i can hardly believe it!
a little birthday love.

while we might not always see eye to eye, 
and we can butt heads like only sisters can, 
i love this girl with all my heart! :)
with both of these exciting days happening in the same week, i decided i wanted to make something for her to take to college--and that actually meant something. :)
a little birthday love.
and because a quilt was out of the picture (mostly because her "graduation" quilt is still in pieces!) i went with a little wall art.
with a little paint, one canvas, and a whole lot of creativity (that even surprised me!) i was done in no time!  i truly forgot how much i like painting.  it's SO relaxing!
a little birthday love.

and, i couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.  bonus!
a little birthday love.

so little sister, a very happy birthday to you! 
i love you to the moon and back!
xo, megan

Sunday, August 21, 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday #31

it's that time again!
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

{sew} modern monday

i hope you all had a wonderful weekend (full of sewing!). :)

thanks so much to each and everyone of you who linked up last week!
like i mentioned, i was totally lacking creative juice (and any motivation for that matter) and your link-ups completely recharged my batteries!

4x5 Bee Blocks for Hive Thirteen!
like these fun bee blocks that were linked up by Linsey from Linsey Sews.
they are so fresh and modern.
love them!
 backpack back

or these adorable bags made by Felicity of Felicity Quilts!
they are perfect for children, or they would even made great little bags for the gym.

oh, and i love this pillow linked up by Kim of My Go-Go Life!
amy butler + cathedral windows = perfection.

which brings me to today--and i can't wait to see what you all have been working on!
so, without further delay.
hit it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

help a girl out!

Hey there!

We all have our stories and memories about joining the online sewing community and starting a blog.  I started Canoe Ridge Creations with no expectations and was fairly certain no one would ever want to read what I write about--and am still surprised that people do!  I still remember the day I got my first follower. 

And her name, Lee from Freshly Pieced! :)

We have since become bloggy pals, which is why I am asking a little favor of you all.  Lee is in the running for a fabric design contest with Connecting Threads and I would love for you to all head on over and vote for her "Flourish" design! :)

So come on, help a girl out! :)

xo, Megan

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Travel Handmade: Professional Tote Bag Review

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit
This post is part of the Travel Handmade series, for more great bag post click here!

Today I am going to be reviewing the Professional Tote Bag Pattern by The Creative Thimble and designer Laura Martell (she blogs over here!).

travel handmade [dino carry on]

While the pattern says "tote bag" this bag is my all time favorite, carry all bag.  Perfect for a carry on.  It measures 18" wide x 15" tall x 5" deep--which is great for holding things like a plane ticket and passport, a book or eReader, and an extra set of clothes and toiletries.  Most definitely the biggest bag I have ever made, the fabric and stabilizer requirements had me a little worried (and can get a little pricey)--almost 3 1/2 yards total of the main, contrasting, and lining fabric and over 2 yards of heavy weight interfacing (I used Decor Bond by Pellon).  But I decided to carry on none the less, and am so glad I did because this bag fits everything!


Like I said, the pattern calls for a hefty amount of heavy weight stabilizer which means normal quilting cotton can be used without the bag losing it's professional looking shape-which I love!  So keeping things fun, I decided to go with these dinosaur, striped, and polk-a-dot prints by Michael Miller.

In my opinion, the most time consuming part of this entire bag is the prep work you need to do before you even sit down at your sewing machine.  There are over 16 pattern pieces (between bag body, interior, and pockets) for both the cotton fabric and the stabilizer--which can be overwhelming!  However, the pattern designer does included a labels page for you to cut apart and pin to your pieces as you go in order stay organized as you go--much appreciated!

travel handmade [dino carry on]

Once I had all the pieces cut out, and then ironed all the stabilizer pieces to it's matching cotton piece, it really was smooth sailing from there.  The pattern designer did a great job of writing clear, easy to follow directions with lots of illustrations.  While sewing, there are spots where things can get a little rough because of all the layers--but with a new denim needle and my walking foot I was able to stay out of trouble!  My favorite part is how professional looking (probably all the topstitching) this bag really is and the fact that all of the seams are enclosed!  Brilliant!

If you notice, the side pockets have elastic cording and cord locks on them.  Two words: thrift store!  Look for things like winter coats and rain jackets--most of them have the cord stops and matching elastic cording.  Not to mention the zipper pulls you can find!

travel handmade [dino carry on]

I would classify this pattern as intermediate to advanced--because of all the zippers and the button holes.   It is a great project to learn new and review your sewing skills because there are so many great elements to the bag.  In fact, I don't think I had touched a button hole since my 4-H sewing days!


This bag has already gotten tons of use just because it is so versatile.  It can fit anything and has lots of pockets to keep things secure.  From day trips to long travels, I know this bag will get lots of use!

Now that I have this bag under my sewing belt, it is time to tackle the Weekender Bag! :)  I will have one for The Sewing Summit!

weekender fabric

xo, Megan

Please let me know if you have any questions and I will answer them here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

on the map.

i live in small town iowa.
population 8000.
think corn fields, poor cell phone reception, and lots of farms.
and i LOVE it!

yesterday, my little home town of 23 years was all over the news because President Obama came to visit and even spent the night! 
my dad (who had been actively involved in the prep for the event for the past week--security and such) was able to meet the man first hand this morning.  and i couldn't be more proud of him! :)
while i didn't actually get to see him, it was surely a once in a life time experience.

he arrived in our little iowa town (decorah!) last night and spent the night down town at our hotel winneshiek (when i was actually eating dinner--i'll spare you the stories).
and worked out at our local gym this morning.
politics aside--it sure has been an exciting whirlwind for the past 24 hours.

now that he has come and gone, things have already started to quiet down.
the media has packed and gone.
the secret service men are leaving (sad face! why are they so attractive?!?).

but we were on the map.
if only for a few hours.
and it is almost hard to believe.

xo, Megan

Monday, August 15, 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday #30

hey there!
who's ready for {Sew} Modern Monday?
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

i apologize for the delay in today's post, but i completely forgot it was monday! :)  
mostly due to the fact i have been working an insane amount of hours and haven't even had a chance to think about my sewing machine or blogging all week.
sad day.

so in case you missed it, here is my latest modern sewing finish (from last week!).  you can read more about this little pouch here.

pretty {little} pouch. round 2.

and there you have it, the short and sweet version of {Sew} Modern Monday!
i am totally looking forward to your link-ups this week because i my creative batteries (or whole body for that matter!) could sure use a little recharge--at the moment i am feeling a little burnt out. :)

so, link 'em up!

Friday, August 12, 2011

pretty {little} pouch swap awesomeness.

alright, i have said it before and i'll say it again.  
my all time favorite swap is the pretty {little} pouch swap!
i totally lucked out and scored this pretty awesome pouch from round 1.
so when round 2 sign-ups opened a little over a month ago, i excitedly decided to join in the fun.
and this round totally rocked!

pretty {little} pouch swap. sent

as with any swap, i started stalking the heck out of my partner Elaine (dashasel on flickr) as soon as assignments went out.  her favorites and inspiration mosaic told me she loved gray and AMH, which happen to be two of my favorites, too! so with lots of ideas swimming around in my head i decided to sit on it for a few days (which turned into weeks).  and then finally--at the last minute--inspiration struck.

pretty {little} pouch swap. sent

pretty {little} pouch swap. sent

i was loving my bee blocks that had already started popping up on flickr, and really thought hoped it would be right up Elaine's alley.  so i started with one small-ish x and + block, added a few borders (gray of course!), and topped it off with a little hand stitching and a fun zipper.  and ta-da! 

pretty {little} pouch. round 2.

at this point i was loving it!  and i secretly wanted to keep it! :)  i really hoped Elaine would feel the same way about this little pouch and i need a little reassurance. in one last partner stalking session i came across this picture in her flickr stream. um, hello?  how cute is that!  i remember thinking to myself, "awe man, that is going to be one lucky partner!"  i completely ruled out the fact that it could potentially be for me because, let's face it, that never happens in swaps. 


the day after i sent my package (and the day before Elaine received hers) i was completely thrilled when i opened up this little pouch!

pretty {little} pouch. received.

it turns out our swap mama played a little trick on us and assigned us to each other!

pretty {little} pouch. received.

i seriously adore this pouch! from the stitching detail, to the gray, to the adorable LOVE on the front!  i couldn't have imagined a better pouch!

pretty {little} pouch. received.

thanks for making the perfect little pouch, Elaine!  i absolutely love it!

now, the only question is: when does round 3 start?

xo, Megan

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Travel Handmade

As many of you know, I have been doing some social media and blog stuff for The Sewing Summit--a modern sewing and blogging conference this fall--and totally loving it I might add. :)  Somewhere along the way, Jeni Baker from In Color Order and I started discussing a little blog hop series featuring handmade bags--zippys, duffels, weekenders, you name it!  We really wanted to have some pretty handmade bags to bring along to The Sewing Summit (or any travel excursion for that matter!) and we thought you might too!  Sound fun?

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit

So today, we are super excited to announce Travel Handmade!  We will be kicking off two fabulous weeks of inspiration, tutorials, and pattern reviews next Monday, August 15.  Each day will feature a different Sewing Summit teacher and/or staff (or two!) with their own handmade project, tutorial, and maybe even a few giveaways! Head on over to The Sewing Summit blog to catch all the details and be sure to join the flickr group.

Ok, who's excited??

xo, Megan

Sunday, August 7, 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday #29

under pressure. 

it's {Sew} Modern Monday and i had every intention of sharing my finished pouch for round two of the pretty {little} pouch swap. but, no.such.luck.  you see, i have a serious thing for procrastinating.  it doesn't matter how much thought and prep i put into something (in this case deciding on a design and fabrics), i wait until the last minute to make a final decision. or i avoid the task at hand like it's the plague and distract myself with other sewing projects. either way it always ends the same, last minute stitching.
to be completely honest though, i am a-okay with it. i like to think i do my best work under pressure. (:
so as i type this blog post (at 11pm cst sunday night) i am finishing up a little bit of hand stitching on my pouch before i put the whole thing together in time for tomorrow's shipping deadline.  here's a picture in case you were curious.
pretty {little} pouch swap. round 2.

my partner really likes AMH fabrics and gray (just like me!), so this little pouch is right up my alley. i definitely predict making another one in my future--hopefully with a more relaxed timeline.

now please tell me i'm not alone on this procrastination thing.  (:  felicity, i'm looking at you!

alright, onto the rest of the {Sew} Modern Monday festivities. we had a record number of link-ups last week (42!) with lots of new peeps. thanks everyone!!  i apologize for not being able to comment on all your great modern sewing posts, but the interrupted internet service from the lightning strike totally cramped my style last week.
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

and now without further ado, it's time to party!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

back up and running.

Hello my bloggy pals!

Things have been a little quiet around here this week because we have been without internet for a couple weeks.  gasp!  Which makes for a pretty lame bloggy/online sewing community life if you ask me.

You see the day before we left for the lake, our house was struck by lightning.  And yes, it was about as scary as it sounds.  We were all in the house at the time, but thankfully no one was hurt.  The lightning hit fried our internet and telephone lines (plus a few little electronics that we had plugged in at time)--all things that can be replaced.  Oh, and no worries--the sewing machines were all unplugged. thank goodness!

As of last night, we are finally back in business.  woohoo!  It's amazing how dependent on the internet I am, because access to the internet is as much of a creative outlet for me as my sewing machine.  I am sure you can all relate. :)  So, please excuse the delayed response to comments and last week's {Sew} Modern Monday link-ups.  If all goes well, I am hoping to get caught up this weekend.

And because a post without a picture is just plain lame, here's a little look at my blocks I have received this month for the {Sew} Beautiful Bee.  I cannot wait to put this quilt together!

xo, Megan

{Sew} Beautiful Bee blocks.

Monday, August 1, 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday #28

Hey, hey, hey….
 It’s MONDAY! 

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Are you all ready for another edition of
{Sew} Modern Monday?

Every summer, our family heads to Northern Wisconsin for a week away at the lake.  again, apologies for last week’s interruption.

We love to just get away.  No work.  No day-to-day obligations. 
Just family time.

And the best part…

You can eat when you want to.
You can drink (you know the good stuff—like margaritas and wine) when you want to.
You can go fishing, lay out, hot tub, and take the boat out when you want to.
You can do what ever the heck you want to.  All day.  Everyday.

Not to mention the fact that you can live in sweat pants and a messy pony tail and sew till the cows come home.  And ladies and gents that is exactly what I did.

Sewed, sewed, and sewed!

LOTS.  oh man was it heaven.

Like this tumbler quilt top made with Kona goodness.
tumbler quilt.

My GO! Baby worked perfectly to cut all those little pieces out in no time at all.

tumbler quilt.

Oh, hey wait.  Did I mention a GO! Baby cutter showed up on my doorstep right before I left for vacation??  Perfect timing if you ask me.
tumbler quilt.

So rather than spill all the quilty details now—plus, I really want to finish quilting this puppy before I share the entire thing—you all are just going to have to wait.

But, I promise it will be worth the wait.  Because you all know what comes after every good GO! Baby tutorial, right?!?!

wink, wink. :]

Alright enough about that, it’s your turn to link up.  I can’t wait to see what you have all been up to!  But please remember, this linky party is for modern sewing finishes only.