2/03/2016

January finishes and February sewing plan







Here's the finished Heart Quilt that almost didn't get "done-d".   


I nearly scrapped it, but in the end I think it turned out okay. 
It's a simple design with charm squares I cut from Ann Kelle's fabulously bright and happy heart print fabric. Remember last year I made this heart skirt with it?) On the back I used Michael Miller's red with pink dots print that I l o v e and have been saving forever. I quilted hearts in each white charm square with free motion, after I had traced a heart I cut out from paper-as pictured below. They are definitely not perfectly quilted, but I think that's alright, sort of lends to the folksy look.  That's what I'm sayin' so go with it..


I'm glad to use up this fabric, as that is one of my 2016 goals. "Use it all"...  (then buy more ---lol)...









For the back I added the extra hearts I made using the tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.
Originally I had planned a full quilt with these hearts, but decided mid way through to make pillows instead. These quilted pillows are lined, which is lovely and luxe. They will come in handy as gifts or home decoration. (Or to throw at unannounced visitors when walking through the door--be warned.)









The light was fading fast-winter storm on the approach here:


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In quilty news:



I'm starting the Fat Quarter Shop hosted quilt along "Snapshots" now , only a year behind--but hey, who's watching? Do it when you can is my motto. The pink sewing machine block I made below is from this quilt along. I used Pam Kitty Morning fabric, which is my current obsession. If I could have a sewing machine exactly like this, you bet your bottom I'd buy it, no matter the cost! 

Join the quilt along with me, the blocks are super duper cute and easy to sew. FQS asks for a $5 donation per block --donated directly to St Jude's Children Hospital. I give to them every year anyway, so I was very happy to give a little extra this year.  That warm fuzzy feeling is nice ya know?

While we're talking about giving, let's touch on that a moment. We recently have been hit with a lot of donation requests, and I always make a point to tell my kids "yes, we can donate but let's decide what can we give up today so we can donate this amount?" Usually it's a Starbucks visit or some kind of treat--(no I don't visit Starbucks that often, but still..and you know, $20 here and there does add up...)  I listen to Tony Robbins weekly, and he is always talking about "giving money" away because then it comes back full circle. I truly believe this--you can live in scarcity thought, or you can live in abundance thought, whatever you choose is how your life will end up being.  
If we get down to it, really it's about being content with what you have r i g h t now.
Right?
What do you think?








I finished up a quilt-as-you-go table runner for my coral coffee table (lower right corner).
I'm not sure if I'm a fan of QAYG or not...still on the fence.
It's a good experience though for sure--another way to get it done.


This baby quilt was finished today (owls and aqua/pink)--using up scraps of fave fabrics so I can whittle my stash and feel good about using what I've got. The owls are so dang cute with the rain drops and umbrellas.

Of course this means I will probably stay up until 2 am filling my fabric cart on Hawthorne Threads or Fat Quarter Shop (in hopes of abandoning it before I find my debit card)... haha. Do you ever do that? Fill your online shopping cart then "X" the page after looking at the total? No?    Oh.

Ruby and I made focaccia the other day and then dipped it in oil/vinegar all day long. It was a huge piece too-so this week I must put the miles in. ;)  But I do love bread you guys, I'm not gonna sugar coat it. I could eat bread and cheese for-eva. And apples.

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Did January fly by or what?
I had several goals for the month that I did finish, and more that I didn't. But--that's life sometimes.




I did end up making a design wall for my quilt making. I followed this tutorial with a couple modifications. Mine aren't quite as tall, as I need to move them from downstairs to upstairs easily, and I didn't hook them together, as I like having two separate panels. So far they are GREAT! Do this is you are designing on your floor, as it helps to see it more clearly (in my opinion).











I made two pairs of Luna pants and talked about sewing with Indie pattern designers here.






I finally finished my Bonnie and Camille flannel quilt, which now resides in Texas with my friend Mandy.















This Katarina Roccella quilt was made on a whim one night while watching vintage Xfiles, (gets my mojo going). Today the quilt shipped out to Chicago, to live in her new home. I am obsessed with making quilts with Art Gallery Fabrics. I spoke about this in a previous post, and how it's really the only brand I'll make clothes with because of the softness and drape. So naturally for quilts it's lush.












I also made my Eye of Wisdom design into a prototype---the eyeball needs some tweaking, and more balance with the grays possibly taking some out too-but overall I'm happy to get this design out of my brain and into a tangible piece. I'll have it figured out soon. ;)











As for goals in Feb...

The quilt pictured below made my heart skip a beat, or maybe it was the pink chair with leopard upholstery. I remember seeing it in an issue of Quilty magazine, which by the way I miss! I subscribe to a British Quilt magazine Love Patchwork and Quilting because it's so fresh and pops with color.
Do you find the selection of American quilt magazines sort of--- well--sad?
I was talking about this with a quilty expert friend/co worker and she totally agreed, she subscribes to LP&Q too!  I'd love to get Modern Patchwork magazine, but I want it more often than 4 times a year. Ya know?  Any suggestions? What do you subscribe or buy?

Anyway, I hope to make this flying geese quilt in pink and lipstick because it's fabulous:






I also hope to finally cut into my Carrie Bloomston stash and make a "Vast" quilt, the pattern in Jeni Baker's new book, Patchwork Essentials. 
I think the large HST will let the fabric shine, as the prints are large scale and I want to really see them. I would ideally like this quilt to be -- GINORMOUS.  Maybe I'll even send it out to be quilted .. hmm....







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 I'm starting to participate in the Crossroads Quiltalong hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. I'll be using Tanya Whelan's fabric line rather than Strawberry Fields revisited by Fig Tree for Moda, because it's more my color palette-- though Fig Tree is lovely.
This quilt along is to raise money for March of Dimes, another great cause.

I figure it's a great way to get at least a block done every month throughout this busy year, and by the end I'll have a gorgeous quilt ready to gift at Xmas --or keep myself if I'm feeling selfish. (Most likely the case.) lol
:D










Getting close to releasing a new pattern--- this one is a special request and is close to my heart. A few more testers and then hopefully I can put it together quickly in Adobe. I thought this Frida peeking out from a pocket was so funny:





Also this Friday, Feb 5th my Vinyl Organizer Bin tutorial is available on SewMamaSew!









Did you hear Robert Kaufman / Kona solids is hosting a challenge in about 2 1/2 weeks using the COTY (color of the year) which is Highlight! This is such a happiness inducing color I ran out like a wild woman and bought a half jelly roll immediately. I can't wait to see what happens--watch their IG feed to stay tuned in regarding the challenge info. 








This also marks the second month for BOM club.
Each month a new bag pattern is released. I can't wait to make this new pattern by Mrs. H Sewing Patterns. It is huge, with unique handles-which is just the challenge I need to expand my skill set. I'm slightly scared but looking forward to it!

Here is a recent bag made by Hilari S in our Facebook group, it's so professional:



If you'd like to be a part of a social support group with bag making, you can still join the group. It runs until July, when the competition is over, but you can make the bags anytime, even after July if you don't care about the prizes. ;)  C'mon--do it! 
I always think of Beavis and Butthead when I say "do it".    Do it do it heeeheh heheh hehee.

:D



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Did I mention February is my birthday month?! Yes--it is--so of course I'm filling my Amazon wishlist with all things pink. Especially household items that I use daily like pots, pans, an iron, a vintage phone, mugs, pens, towels, etc...
So now you know what you can get me.
bahahahahaha







I've sent my Valentine cards out, all went to the UK because ya'll are the only ones that write me back.
LOL  just kidding
(actually..not really kidding) lol


There is something really special about a hand written note that text messages and emails just can't convey. I love cards. I love letters. It's so worth the time, and it's my way of saying "I'm thinking about you". Do you agree? This is why I force ask my kids to write hand written thank you notes. No "video thank yous", no texts, no phone calls. Write. It. Down.


I found this photo of a pink typewriter and nearly fell over. I mean----PINK!

I remember watching my Grandma picking at the keys as she would write her poetry. Her typewriter wasn't pink, but if it had been I bet I would've tried to sweet talk her into giving it to me. hahahaha







I heard on the radio it's Super Bowl Sunday--but this is how I feel about that:




hahahaha



I'd love to know what you're up to in February!  Do you organize your "to do" list or just wing it? Sometimes I don't know which way is better.
Organic flow or organized making machine?

Hmmmm........







Have fun and keep making stuff!

XOXO


















1/29/2016

Roundups for Heart quilts and Valentine inspired projects







Fun Valentine Heart Day Post! Ready? Set. GO!









I made these heart pillows with the sweet tutorial available from Cluck Cluck Sew.

We sewed six inch blocks and then bordered them with white. They are lined and quilted, and close with a zipper. I followed the tutorial for lined pillows posted on Sew Mama Sew by Gingercake.

A few are for sale in my Etsy shop if you fancy a gift. ;) 








In search of pretty but EASY crafts? Do a pom pom sesh.
The results are always pleasing with poms. :D







This roundup with links is on a long-ago written blog post I did in 2011 right here.
These would make super fun crafty sessions! 








More heart day roundups:















Tired yet?
Too bad, keep looking. LOL

(LOL= lots of love according to my Mom. bahahaha)













 Make felt roses and then blanket stitch the top edge like I did here. Felt roses.










Last year's Valentine Quilt:
(tutorial/pattern in Quilty magazine)























































Maybe this roundup will keep you busy for a few days eh?



:D

1/19/2016



Sewing your own clothing has to be one of life's trickiest endevours. It's so easy to mess up (at least for me). I have tried so many patterns, including the big four --- but every time I go back to my favorite Indie designers. They seem to know something the commercial companies haven't grasped yet.

1. Fit:  Indie designers have a modern concept of fit and sizing. It makes sewing the garment infinitely easier. The numbers are closer to what I wear off the rack- and the waist bands aren't up North of my belly button. (Not a good look for most people- ya know?) 


2. Comfort: I don't want to spend days sewing something that in the end sits on my closet shelf. Fabric is expensive, that sh*t should feel good to wear -- and fit so I don't have to hold my breath when I sit down.


3. Ease of sewing: I'm not quite sure who pattern tests the commercial sewing patterns, but dang if they confuse the hell out of me! More than once I've found mistakes (go with it, don't say it was me)--and then after thinking for a month moment on it, I figure out a much simpler way to get the job done. Indie designers have their patterns refined and tested by ---wait for it---- REAL people. Real sewers like you and I, who possibly don't know what "under stitch" actually means. 
*I love you Google.











Here are my favorite pattern makers so far, most of which I found through my friend Sonja over at GingerMakes. She always has inspiring posts --I think her entire wardrobe must be sewn.

If you're new to garment sewing, I would stick with simple projects like The Akita top by Seamwork, or the Sorbetto tank by Colette Patterns (it's free!)-- something to build confidence and work on honing skills like binding armholes and making facings. Leave the buttonholes for another day.   ;)  (I'm still not there yet really.)


More beginner patterns I found easy and worth the effort because the end result is very wearable:  the Scout Tee by Grainline Studio, the Washi tunic and dress by Rae Hokestra, the Mission Maxi  dress by Jamie Christina, and the wrap skirt pattern by LoveJill on Etsy.








But wait- I wrote this blog post so I could tell you how much I love the new Luna pant pattern by Rae. I made my first pair the day the pattern launched. I'm serious. I used the lovely Frances Newcombe "African Safari" print in turquoise-though it's more green to me (LOVE).

African Safari was supposed to be a quilt backing, but Luna won out instead. 





 Here I'm showing how roomy the pants are--which is my fave. I need to move in comfort. However next time I will wear a more form fitting top to balance it out better.



OMG that looks like a crazy hanging boob doesn't it?! LOLOLOL
It's NOT I promise!






Today I finished making another pair in a lovely emerald green challis. I lined these as it was pretty see-through fabric, and I am so in love. I will wear these into the ground, I can tell already.

The slinky feel of the challis is a dream, and it was easier to sew with than I expected. I had one tiny bunch/wrinkle in one cuff that I guess I didn't press right, but it's hidden due to the elastic cuff design.
Genius Rae.





Here I'm looking at my very dirty floor--but not feeling guilty enough to do anything about it. 

No shame. 



The pockets are the best part of these pants, and then the elastic waist which sits low enough that it's not annoying. So often elastic waists on adult garments make a person want to set that sh*t on fire. You know what I mean? I get chills just thinking about the fashion faux pas of elastic waist Mom jeans with those endless zippered crotches.      ewweeeee











Luna can be made in any quilting cotton fabric, but I have found that I like the drape and feel of Art Gallery fabrics the best. I stick to AG when making clothing, but it's personal pref as everything is.


















I super love the Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated.
The fabric is Emmy Grace by Bari J of Art Gallery Fabrics.








peach voile
green challis






I have yet to learn why some necklines come out wavy-ish with knits. For now, a sweater over top is an instant fix. I love this dress with tights and clogs, and my super chunky fisherman's sweater/jumper I bought in London at a resale shop. 
This one:

These pink pants are a Burda pattern, but the three rows of elastic in the waist annoy me, so now I will only make Luna.





Washi in black voile with optional bow tie neckline. I wear this so much I had to reinforce the bust darts the other day. Next I may try a FBA (full bust adjustment) on the Washi, as I'm right on that cusp of needing the adjustment. 





It's fun and rewarding to mix and match self made clothes.
I won't kid you- I've made more pieces that I "can't" wear than pieces I "will" wear. But that is part of the process, the journey of finding what suits you. I don't worry too much if something isn't quite right for me-I give it to somebody else (and then sit back and laugh and laugh)....   hahahaha
Just kidding.


Maybe.

Here are some makes I may have "given" you:






Anyways, the point is "have FUN". Learn with each experience and enjoy the journey.

Isn't that the point with life anyhow?












Here is a list of 26 simple ways to make your life more exciting-- and "learn something new" is #10.
It's worth 90 seconds to read over. 




Happy Week to you!