Monday, October 5, 2015

This DIY project is exactly like my Love Pillow DIY from a few years ago.

Using the same method, just a different font and size.

Applique felt letters onto sweatshirt and prepare to have an excited kid. :)

Cutting out is the most tedious part.

In other news, I've finally whittled my scrap bin down half way! You know what that means? ...

I'm about to get my fabric shopping on!  (Sshhhhhh don't tell.)

I have three quilt tops finished ready for quilting too so I "have to" buy backing fabric anyways--I may as well "save" on shipping cost and order some designer fabric at the same time.... Right?!  (Right!!)

Here is my latest scrappy quilt made with all Sugar Skulls fabric, in honor of Halloween:

I pieced large 9 inch squares together, some are strips some are charm squares, some are full 9" cuts. It's crazy and wild. Stipple quilted in orange and hot pink Aurifil thread (of course!).

I used a turquoise voile on the back side, so it's super soft. We already used it during our bonfire last night, while roasting Smores.  I'm just glad to use up my scraps, as I'm SUPER ready to make some purchases! (Did I already mention that? LOL)

Have you seen what's been released lately by Art Gallery?! Gahhhhh!!!!

Another great stash / scrap buster are these pumpkin families. My pattern comes in Baby size, teen, and adult. They are so cute and original-customize the fabrics according to your taste.

Get the Softie Pumpkin Pattern in my Etsy shop

These nuggets make great gifts, you can make them smell luscious by including nutmeg and cinnamon and/or cloves into the stuffing. Lush! Sell them at craft events too- I always sold out. ;)

I'm making a few this year for friends, as thank-you gifts and what not.

I'm off to Autumn'ize my house! Here I come Pumpkin Spice Candles & orange everything.

See you soon friends!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's been a huge curve of learning and exploration around here lately.

I attribute it to letting go of the "fear" of what people think.

You know, that thing that holds you back for absolutely no logical reason whatsoever? That one.

My mission in life- every damn day- is to live it as if it's my last. This change in attitude helps me from the most mundane (like bitching about that mountain of laundry I need to deliver to everyone's drawers) to the way a driver may act all crazy on the road. I used to cuss a blue streak and get all worked up. What a shame. What a waste of energy. I don't have time for that nonsense. 

You don't either. 

Translate that to the sewing world: just because you're new to this art form doesn't mean you're not a badass. In a self-empowerment kind of way. Who cares if it isn't perfect? It's done. It's made. Somebody is bound to appreciate the work and time involved. And beyond that, you SHOWED UP.

Ya know?

It's funny, because just this past weekend I did part of a triathlon, on a whim, without prep. I had intended to give support and some friendly company to a friend of mine completing her first Tri ever. I didn't realize the lesson I would end up teaching myself in the process.

No, it wasn't the lesson you think-- aka "you need to run more Natalie"...I mean, yes, I learned that as well. (LOL) But what I'm talking about here goes further than that.

 It's called taking action. Doing it. Showing up when it would be easier not to. 
 Doing what you say you can/will/should/would.

How many things do you "say" you'll get to? 

When the time is right.     ---Right?
Or when you can afford those special shoes / machine / camera, etc.... right?
When you "research it" a little more.

Friends, if there is one thing I've heard from my years being a trauma nurse, it's this:  you will never have enough time.

Now get happy, not sad about this fact. Make it a reason you sign up for those French lessons, or take that piano lesson, or enroll in college to get your degree. Whatever-pick your poison. You don't need anybody but YOU to begin something fresh and new. 

My scrappy bin has been on the floor for a week now. I've made a sizable dent in it! 

Scrappy charm quilt thing, I think...

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing here. Just so you know.

Do life "improv" style.

Mix it up.

Throw away the directions.

Follow your intuition.

Enjoy the process.

That was my formula when I made this quilt design--everybody around me was like "a skull? ? ?Really?" 

(In my head:)  Yes, bitches. Really.

Now it's in a magazine (go buy it please LOL Love Patchwork and Quilting) Issue 26).  haahaha

It's so freeing to let go of society's instruction manual on whatever subject: beauty, fashion, a "good" piece of art, decorating your house, ... ... ... Who really gives a f*$%? I admit, it's taken me 37  1/2 years to finally figure out- I don't. Give. A F*%$.

I gave my 5 year old my Fuji Instax and a pack of film the other day. You should have seen the happiness glow around her for the rest of the night. It made me think-- when do I feel like that? That joy that gives so much energy you can't go to sleep. . . . .
When do YOU feel like that?
What's floating around in the back of that brain yearning to be set free?

My kids wanted a mural in their bedroom. So I said "okay but you have to make it".

Let go of your preconceived notions of "how". 
Train your brain like a child--revel in those small, glorious moments of appreciating what is.

Because in the end, that's all we've ever got.

 Positive energy to you all, friends. See you soon.

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Over- planning kills magic.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

This quilt was the first thing I ever started to piece. The tiny 2 inch squares were cut from whatever scraps I had in my bucket, waiting for me to sew them together. I started that journey three years ago. 

I was almost too embarrassed to actually put it together this summer, because lots of the squares are mis-measured, sewed on wonky, or altogether just "not working". But I took a deep breath and had a Zen moment. They say Buddhist monks aspire to be a beginner, because that is when the mind is most open. So here's to being open. Here's to non-perfection. Here's to the idea that imperfection is beautiful in a world where everything is photo shopped and air brushed. 

This quilt is my personal lesson that practice does improve skill, if you are patient enough to enjoy the journey.

What do you want to do, but haven't begun because of the fear of being a beginner?

We all have moments like this:

On another beginning note, I've teamed up with D & F Studio again to bring a sewing workshop to local kids!
We launch first weekend in November in Freeport, IL. If you're local and interested (or even if you're a BIG kid), sign up now. Check it HERE on FB for more info.

Behind the scenes at Sweat Shop sewing school.

I just want to share the JOY you guys! Sewing makes me so HAPPY!!!!

Or maybe it's the "creating" that does it.  We were meant to be creative humans. Period.

image via

Want more? Read this amazing article.

It's worth the 5 minutes. Seriously.

Love & Peace to you. See you soon!

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