Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Little Etsy Item

Getting a little more of that feather practice in while I'm at it...  ;)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School

Today was the first day back to school for my babies, oh how bittersweet!  I barely know what to do with myself and all the free time, it's just me and the baby today.  I've already pittered away most of my day making phone calls and talking about how much I miss them - before I know it they will be home!  I suppose I will go weed that garden, it was hard not to notice the weeds as I took the girls' photographs by the morning glories and black eyed susans.  Then chores, then hopefully a little time for sewing. 

After hearing all about their very exciting first day of school of course!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pattern Giveaway and Happy Sunday

Uh oh, we need more comments!  Please enter my pattern giveaway by commenting on this post:

Happy Sunday!  :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Almost a Top and Giveaway Update

Geese!  I love geese...especially pretty pretty batik geese.  ;)  This quilt has been in the works for over a year now, but I'm finally nearing the end.  Working on my last two borders today.  The girls have a game for cheerleading this afternoon so I may not get to do much until late this evening, but I will be dreaming of it all day!  :)

I updated the pattern giveaway to give you all more chances to win!  Don't forget to go check it out...  ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pattern Give Away

I tried my hand at pattern writing, and I thought this was awful cute!  I am always coming up with project ideas and I have been wanting to do this for years.  Life is short, so why not?  Here goes...

My first pattern!  Alright folks I'm not saying I'm Jinny Beyer or anything, but this was fun and I'm an awful proud girl.  Here are a couple color options:

I would like to give away a free pattern to one of you reading out there, and say thank you for the encouragement and inspiration.  I have come into contact with so many wonderful people through blogging, and I'll tell you what, NOTHING can improve one's self esteem more than a couple comments telling you "good job!"  :)

This is going to be an easy peasy give away.  All you have to do is comment and you're in.  Be sure I have a way to contact you if you should win.  If you're email isn't available through your profile or you don't have a blog, please leave me some way to get ahold of you.

This giveaway soon as this post is published.  When does it end?  Whenever my little heart pleases!  As long as you are commenting I will keep it open...when comments slow down...I will close it up and draw a winner.  (In other words, you'll have to check back often for a winner!)

Thank you again to all of you who have been following along and "hanging" out with me for the past several years.  It's been so much fun and I look forward to many more years of blogging, and lots of new and fun exciting things to blog about!  :)

***This Giveaway is Now Closed***

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Little Quilter

How did I get so lucky?  My Husband is truly wonderful, and my kids are just amazing.  I love them to bits and more.  My oldest is SO proud of her first hand pieced she should be.  This is my overwhelming joy, my family.  :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Christmas in ... August

Only a crafting mind would start thinking of Christmas this far ahead, right?  Us sewers and quilters know it takes time to create our treasures, so I've begun thinking ahead.

I bought this panel a few years back at the very first and only quilt retreat I've ever been on.  My Mother and I went together and a vedor there was selling the collection and I went a little overboard.  I made a quilt top from another panel purchased that has also yet to be quilted...I better get on that.  :)

More thread and feather experimenting...

I never thought I'd get that into panels, but this whole thread thing just opened up a new dimension of quilting to fall in love with.  This is why I just NEVER get sick of quilts!!!  There is so much creativity to be had.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Tote for Me and a Quilt for Etsy :)

All those totes and I really wanted one for myself.  I showed you the Kate Spain fabric I purchased to make one...and I finally finished!  I've been "toting" it around all weekend, I love it!

This is the front...

...the back...

...a closeup of the stitching...

...the handles...I wanted a little more color in the handles so I used some of the charms there too...

...a closeup of the inside stitching...

...isn't it pretty?  This picture just doesn't do the richness of that fuschia and orange together justice.  I'm really happy with it.  It's nice and sturdy and I can toss it in the wash if it gets dirty.  Perfect for a Momma of 3!

Oh and I cannot forget my Etsy chinese coin quilt...I am so happy with how this turned out.  Isn't it pretty?  I am so glad I finally experimented with poly thread and bleached muslin fabric.  I just love this clean crisp look.

More feather practice!  LOL*  I am so happy with it though.  I can really see the improvement, I think the spines on these are much more polished looking.  I can only improve the more I do them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thready Freddy.

That's a lot like Feathers Shmeathers.  ;)

Got my thread order today, and bought some thread on sale from Jo-Anns after my good experience with poly for quilting.  Also bought some low loft poly (fleece) batting to experiment with.  I love the look and feel of cotton but I'm going broke at $13 a yard and hopefully this poly will give a similar look and cut the cost a little.  I can also lower the price a bit on my Etsy quilts, as I know not everyone afford $100 for a baby quilt.  We will see.  The biggest thing I want to get done is my tote!  I have been making so many for others I want my own!  :)'s my pretty new things...  :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If I didn't think I could do feathers before...

I know I can do them now!  LOL*  I think I have pretty much quilted this little quilt within an inch of it's quilty life!!!  The feathers are not perfect...actually they are a bit sloppy, BUT, I really got a feel for what the best way of doing feathers for me is and it was great practice.  It's actually growing on me.  I am tempted to keep it...after all we spent about 10 hours together yesterday!  LOL*  Here are some pictures...I'm kinda proud...even if it is all warped out of shape!  Oh well I need some practice, but it's still pretty.  ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feather Schmeathers.

Well, they are far from perfect, but I thought my nightmare quilt would be the perfect quilt to practice on.  I have already offered this quilt as a functional quilt for my In-Laws to use on their boat.  I have of course quilted a nice big ol' wrinkle in the back, lol*, but at least now I can go to town and experiment and not worry about imperfections.  I thought even if the quilting isn't perfect, at least the colors are bright and right for the boat.

You can see where I began, there on the left - the feathers are small and kind of funny looking!  LOL*  I had to get my rythem going and figure out how the easiest way to create feathers for me would be.  I like those big chunky round feathers, for a quick over all feathered look, but my favorite ones on quilts are the long flowy skinny ones that really give that antiqued feathery look. 

Still gotta work at achieving that...but it is really FUN!!!

Motivated by the refusal to be at the mercy of any thread or fabric company, I purchased POLYESTER thread today.  I have always been fascinated by the mysterious world of thread and what it can do for my quilt.  My budget hasn't afforded me much other than inexpensive spools of 100% cotton (which is just fine I might add), but lately there has been this need in me to experiment.  I have blogged about this before, so many of you probably already know I've played a little with rayons.  But today my starving artist Momma of 3's budget could afford this little spool of Coats and Clark trilobal polyester thread...

...and what fine feathers it did create!  I can DEFINITELY see the difference, can you?  I really love the silky shiny look it gives - it's a different world to quilt with than cotton.  I noticed that I had to play a lot with tension and could not get away with using this in an old fashioned metal bobbin.  Yes, I still have old metal bobbins that I can't bare to part with, so when I run out of the new plastic drop ins I fill those metal clunkers up.  Usually they just make a lot of noise but quilt fine, but this polyester thread likes to catch on it and bunch up underneath.  No fun.  But I seem to have gotten it going fine with the plastic bobbin so that I can go full speed without too many hiccups.

I need some practice, but I think I'll feel good about feathers AND polyester when I'm done with this quilt.  :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Death of Customer Service and a Table Runner

I just had such an awful conversation with one of my favorite fabric and thread compaines...I literally was in tears over it, thinking I could possibly never order from this place again because they just treated me like I truly didn't matter.  I won't name names as of yet because they said they would take care of it, but it's someplace that I name drop like crazy and was absolutely dumbfounded at the way they spoke to me.  I have never had such an experience with this particular place, it has always up until now been really wonderful.  I really hope they do something, even just an "I'm sorry, that wasn't right on our part" would make my day at this point.  Wow.  What a crummy way to start a blog post, I know, but wheew, what ever happened to customer service?  I'm not expecting anyone to move mountains, but at least just act act a little understanding towards my complaint and maybe like you value me as a customer a little.  I will elaborate once things have fully resolved, unless they just leave me hanging and never respond to me again.  I may very well soon be professing love to a new line of thread and never looking back.  Oh what a phooey stinky day!

Here's the good part - I did get a runner done to put on Etsy.  I am SO tempted to keep this.  But Hubby's birthday is this Saturday and my daughters want these fancy light up Etsy this pretty little runner goes.  :)

I Just Can't Stop!

I am really on a roll here!  Maybe it's the few sales that I've had that are motivating me, it's really nice to have a little extra fabric money.  But also I think it's been so long since I've sewn that I just can't get enough.  I really missed this!

Here's a little pincushion I made...isn't it cute?  I don't know if I'm going to put these on Etsy or not.  Do people buy pincushions?  I don't know.  Lol*  But it IS awful cute and I cut a bunch of fabric to make more.  These could use up a lot of scraps too...and some vintage buttons that I could barely part with, but you know, what fun is collecting fabric and supplies if I'm never going to use them?

You know I am finding I just love the quilting process.  Even on my little Simplicity Quilter's Classic.  My new goal with this whole Etsy thing is to save up for a good sewing machine...maybe a Pfaff or a Bernina...or really, a Viking Husquavarna...I demo'd one of those with the embroidery option at Jo-Ann's and I loved it!  We shall see.  It will require lots of saving but I am itching to have a machine with stitch regulation...I think it will dramatically improve my quilting and allow me to do some things that my little economical machine doesn't like to do. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Nightmare Quilt

This quilt I love and hate at the same time.  I'm not happy with the muslin I purchased for it and won't be using it again.  There have been several flaws and I've had to cut completely new pieces of fabric and thin spots.  Also I didn't anticipate this, my mistake really, the dark blue threads from the blocks show through the white fabric!  ARGH!  This was my fault, I knew I should have been more careful using bleached muslin like this, so this one is going to be for sale, but as a "slightly imperfect" quilt.  I think it will still be quite beautiful and will still keep someone warm.  But still, what a pain in the patoot!  I sold another tote to a friend so I'm just waiting to get paid and then I'll buy some white thread to quilt this...the Coats and Clark thread I have for some reason my machine hates.  It always twists up and breaks when I try to free motion with it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Out of My Comfort Zone - Kate Spain Terrain

Well this is really out of my normal comfort zone...but lately I've been finding myself drawn to these bright loud modern colors.  In the past I have stuck towards more traditional prints, primitive/country or a little vintage.  But this line is just so pretty!  I have been doing well with the totes, I just sold another yesterday, woohoo!  But I thought that I needed to make one for myself, so I started this last night.  The fabric is my favorite prints from a charm pack of Kate Spain's Terrain that I purchased at Cottonpicker's Quilt Shop in Chardon, Ohio.  Isn't it pretty?  I am going back as soon as I get paid for more.  I ordered some thread from Connecting Threads (the sale on spools ends tomorrow!) to match, and some to go with my circular geese compass quilt, so just waiting for that to come in so I can quilt it.  I can't wait to carry this loud little tote around!  Lol*

Quilt Inspiration

I get really hung up on a quilt sometimes when I see it.  I took about a dozen pictures of this one at the quilt show this year at Lake Metroparks in Kirtland, Ohio.  The quilting in it was AMAZING.  I particularly love this anchor.  My in-laws are boaters, so while the boat itself scares me to death and you won't find me out on the lake EVER, I just love anything nautical themed.

I HAVE to try and do this kind of quilting!

While this incredible quilt didn't win any awards in the pictorial competition it was entered into, it DID win viewers choice...and I must say I voted for it!!!  ;)