quilting

I invented a quilt block pattern!

Well, not really…

A few months ago, a good friend of mine from high school requested I make a quilt for her teenage daughter. She wanted something bright and colourful, and sun-inspired. After much time spent on Pinterest, we found a photo of an amazing vintage sun quilt on the blog The Lettered Cottage that was exactly what she wanted, but it didn’t come with a pattern. So I had to get creative.

white and yellow quilt
The inspiration from The Lettered Cottage

I put together a paper-piecing pattern that has worked very well for me to accomplish the look we were going for with this quilt, so I thought I would share it with fellow quilters of the interwebs.

Download the pdf file here

The pattern comes in two pieces. These two pieces get pieced together to form 1/4 of the quilt block. You need to print 4 copies on 8.5 x 11 ” paper to make one whole quilt block.

Note that seam allowances are not included around each 1/8th of a block. When cutting the paper, add 1/4 inch all around.

The block finishes at a little over 16 inches. I wasn’t very finicky about sizing, because the size of the quilt didn’t really matter as long as the result was lap-sized. I assume you can play with the printing to have your blocks finish at smaller or larger size.

sunblocks
Aren’t they pretty? I love Anna Maria Horner especially.

Here is the result of the pattern. I used the Anna Maria Horner True Color collection, as well as some Alison Glass and Tula Pink prints. I’ll post a photo of the finished quilt when it’s all done!

I hope you use and enjoy the pattern and feel free to send over questions or comments!

musings

I’m back!

I have not blogged for almost 3 years. I had a baby, went on mat leave, changed jobs, and picked up a new hobby / passion since I last posted here.

I started quilting / sewing about two years ago. Lately, I have been wanting to blog again, mainly to talk about my sewing and to show off my finished projects. So I decided to launch my blog again, and will start posting very soon.

Thanks for following. À bientôt!

marketing/social media

How not to respond to a complaint on social media

Two weeks ago, I stayed at the Novotel in Downtown Toronto for a work thing. Most of it was a pleasant stay, however, one morning, the whole hotel had no hot water. I called front desk, was assured they were working on it, and then naturally I took it to Twitter.

Three days later (3 days!!!) I received a reply:

Image

After a few exchanges, I was told they would contact me via email. Now, I wasn’t expecting much, but since they had taken the time to respond (albeit very late) to my tweet, I figured maybe they would contact me to give me a travel voucher or something.

Instead, a whole week later, I received an email by the marketing manager of Novotel North America, entitled “Your feedback on Twitter”. They start of apologizing for the experience, and then:

However, if we do get the chance to welcome you back in one of our hotels please give us the chance to help you with any issue you may have by letting the hotel team know about it, during your stay.

Indeed, you have the opportunity to contact directly the Front Desk of the hotel and they should be able to assist you instantly. We just launched a new program in all our hotels “YOU: Our mission, Your satisfaction”, in which we encouraged each and every guest to tell us in the hotel and during their stay if they encounter any challenge. If we can’t fix the problem, we will make sure to compensate you (You should not have missed the communication about this program as it is communicated in the room, on the magnetic cards, on the digital screens etc…).

Firstly, yes, I did miss communication about the “new program”. I’m pretty sure most people would. Secondly, this feels strangely like I’m being reprimanded because the thing to do is to call he front desk (which, incidentally, I did) and not take to Twitter (you can do both, can’t you?).

But it gets better:

Posting your concerns on social media is not the best way to be instantly heard unfortunately as our social media team does not work 24h/7 and is unable to directly assist you as they do not work in the hotel. Communication with the hotel is therefore always a bit delayed.

ACTUALLY, I’m pretty sure the WHOLE POINT of social media is to be instantly heard. And sending me this condescending email about social media is really not helping your case.

This, to me, is social media done WRONG. It’s also customer service done wrong. But what do I know?

EDIT: The wonderful Scott Stratten at Unmarketing put this blog post into his UnPodcast! Watch/listen to it here!

beauty routine · health · natural/organic

OVM blog posts round-up: Going natural

I recently wrote a series of 4 posts for the Ottawa Valley Moms blog on natural products, which offered tips and tricks on how to make the switch to natural, organic products in your home, personal care and for your family.

Links to the posts on OVMgreen leaf

Part 1: Getting started is available here

Part 2: your skincare and haircare is available here

Part 3: To take care of your family is available here

Part 4: Cleaning the house is available here

craft/diy

DIY menu planner for your kitchen

About a year and a half ago, I joined Pinterest. I became obsessed. I’ve always loved crafts, so a whole platform dedicated to craft projects? Heaven.

I filled boards and boards of ideas I probably would never do. I became a pinning maniac. Pinterest ruined my life, really. But I disgress…

In my old appartment, I had an ugly chalk board that I used for my weekly menus. When we moved to our pretty new house, I wanted something nicer. I just didn’t know what. Enter Pinterest. I found a ton of ideas there for dry erase boards, that I adapted to my needs.

I made this:
photo of my menu board

The how-to is pretty easy: take a frame, cut strips of paper, glue on paper shapes and add sticker letters, finish the edges with some ribbon, and voilà!

After my first success with menu boards, and started making them as gifts for everyone I knew.

I made this one for my friend Courtney, for her new house:

photo of the menu board for Courtney

I then made this one for my friend Lindsay, who also bought a new house:

photo of the menu board for lindsay

I’ve found that having a menu board, coupled with my binder (which I will detail in a future post) has been really useful for staying organized! Because meals are planned in advance, there is less food waste, we save money, and less improvisation at dinner time means less headaches for me.

Thanks Pinterest!

health · training

How I lost the baby weight, mostly…

During my pregnancy, I gained 45 pounds. On my 125lb frame, that was a lot of weight. Granted, I had a pretty big baby, but once I had Sam, I had quite a bit of weight to lose.

All my life, I’ve always been skinny. Too skinny. Getting bigger during my pregnancy, I realized how much better I felt, with a little more meat on my bones. So when I gave birth, I told myself that I wanted to lose most of the weight, just not all of it.

pregnancy photo

Because I had a very difficult birth, I couldn’t do anything for almost of 5 months after Sam came. For the best of 2 months, I could barely sit down, let alone exercise. So coming up with a workout or weight loss plan was pretty challenging.

In the beginning, I started out slow. When soring came and Sam was 5 months old, I started taking a walk with him around the neighbourood every day for 45 minutes. After a trip to France where I swam in my parents’ pool a bit, I realized I was well enough to step it up. At that point, Sam was on a pretty rigourous napping schedule. Every morning, around 9:30 a.m., I would put him down for an hour or two. That was my designated workout time. Every day of the week, I ran. I started at 15 minutes. Then 30. And by the time I went back to work, 10 months postpartum I was running for an hour straight. I took it one day at a time, and was really happy with my progress. Of course, after I went back to work, I stopped running completely, but that is a story for another day.

In terms of a diet, I didn’t do anything drastic. Everything in moderation. I stopped snacking between meals, cut out desert, except for yogourt and fruit. That was it. I don’t really believe in drastic dieting. I think that all you need is to eat a good diet and exercise.

In the end, I lost 35 pounds. I’m still a bit bigger than I used to be, I still have a stomach pouch, but I’m happy with my weight, and comfortable with myself and my body for the first time in a long time. In the end, that was the most important thing for me. Weight is just a number, it’s how you feel about yourself that matters.