Friday, November 30, 2012

Travelling PicStitch Pouch

When I saw the Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me to try out English Paper Piecing. I don't do much any traveling...ever, so I picked a photo from the internet that inspired me.

I still hate hand sewing :) but I love the way it turned out. I wasn't sure what to do with my finished piece and although I hated to cut it, I decided to do a quilted version of Noodlehead's Open Wide Zippered Pouch.

I didn't have a big enough zipper to do the sizes on the tutorial so I just used their method of installing the zipper and winged it from there.  I did straight line quilting on the front.

And decided to try wavy lines on the back.

The lining.
The measurements are a little funny:  6" tall x 5" wide x 2 1/2" deep but it makes a cute, functional pouch.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Really Random Thursday

Never in my life would I have imagined that I would be asking for an iron for Christmas, but that is exactly what I am doing.  Mine is being very temperamental at the moment and is on the verge of being replaced. 

On another note, I managed to whip up a cute little Quilted Wine Tote for the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop. I wasn't sure what I was going to make when I started piecing Kristy's Snowman Block but I love how it turned out!

I didn't have any pieces of fabric big enough for the entire tote so I used the scraps left over from my Vintage Holiday Quilt.
I saw these cute little guys on Pinterest and decided that I MUST make them!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WIP Craft Show Edition

I had my first craft show in over 6 months last weekend.  While I feel my booth has definitely improved, it still has a long way to go...therefore my WIP of the week.  All of my other projects have been put on hold so that I can stock my Etsy shop for the holidays.  I would love your input and suggestions about how to make it more cohesive.  Remember I have a small two door car so elaborate backdrops are out of the question and booth size and set up always vary.  My dad is working on making me lightweight, collapsible shutters to use as backdrops but I'm still not sure they will work.  In the meantime, this is what I have come up with:

I finished my sign on time but think I would like to add some hand quilting around the letters to help them stand out.

I rented the peg boards and tables.

Most shows I only take the smaller items that fit onto one table and a small tiered shelf with baskets.

Right now I have a sort of shabby chic vibe but I don't feel it really represents me.  I was thinking of changing it to more contemporary look. 
There is lots of work to be done and it will have to be done in little bits over a period of time but I would love to know what your thoughts are on how to improve my booth and make it more appealing to the customers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fabric Ban Fail

I would just like to acknowledge the fact that I have failed miserably when it comes to my self imposed fabric ban. I picked up some of the Sew Stitchy and Oh Deer fabrics yesterday as well as some of the mustache fabric that is so popular (I'm baffled by the popularity) and lots of other random fabrics to add to my stash. Are there meetings I can attend to help with my "cravings"?!?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scrappy Stash Quilt: A Proper Post

When I wrote my original post about my Scrappy Stash Quilt I was in a hurry to make the deadline so I simply posted the pictures and a promise of more details.  I was finally able to get a decent picture of the back of the quilt so here we go:

My Scrappy Stash Quilt measures 48" x 56" and is made up of black, yellow and gray monochromatic blocks that measure 8" each.  The back has three various sized blocks pieced together with a solid black.  The binding is made of the fabrics used in the blocks on the front. 

I had a craft show this weekend (more on that tomorrow) and spend most of Sunday putting everything up and getting caught up on my Etsy orders.  Pretty good week for me!

I also got these: the fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop that I won for my Scrappy Stash Quilt and the Quick Curve Ruler so I can start the Curve It Up QAL both came in the mail and I picked up the other items at the craft show this weekend.  I met such wonderful people and have decided to sign up for more shows next year.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Road Trip Prep

Last night I thought that I would try to prep for the road trip that we'll be taking this week.  There's no way that I can take my machine with me so I figured this would be the perfect time to work on some EPP and hand quilt and bind by sign.
I cut out a template that I printed from the internet and resized it until it perfectly fit the charm squares from the I Spy Spoonflower Swap Round 3.  I cut all of my pieces then started cutting coordinating fabrics for the first one.  (I had decided they would be perfect for mug rugs.) 

(Do you see my mistake?)
 I sewed the first two pieces together...only to realize that I had cut octogans not hexis (insert screams of frustration). I continued trying to piece the first one since I had already started and the pieces were cut- makes me wish I had started with one of the fabrics that I didn't like instead of one of my favorites. I resized my HEXI template to fit inside the already cut octogans and will be recutting my pieces and starting over :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm a Sucker for a Good Quilt Along

The last thing I need right now is to participate in another "along" of any type- my poor Amy Butler Weekender Bag missed the deadline for the Long Weekend;  I will finish it...eventually- yet I bought these last night :
The fabrics required for the Sea of Stars Quilt Along.  I only plan on making the baby size quilt since it will be a lot easier and quicker.  I'm still behind on the How Far Will You Go QAL, Super Penguin QAL, Curve It Up QAL (waiting on my ruler to arrive), and numerous other small projects.  But this quilt is beautiful and I couldn't resist.  I cannot wait to get started.
I didn't get a picture of it, but I finished the quilting on my sign and added the binding to the front.  I have it pinned and waiting for the long car ride this weekend.  Tonight I'll be trying to gather up other projects to take with us.  I'm thinking I should try to whip up some mug rugs real quick so I can hand bind those on the road as well... 

Monday, November 19, 2012

My First Friday Night Sew In

I'm a little late with this post, but it was a crazy weekend. I worked all of Friday night but don't feel like I accomplished much. I waited until the last minute to start prepping for my craft show that is THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY!!! At one point I had a ton of inventory to take...then I sent some to Crafted and some sold through my Etsy shop. And while I planned on making more I got distracted by all of the things I was seeing in Blogland. Instead of working on replenishing my stock I started quilting and following in sew alongs (don't get me wrong, I love these, but I should have prioritized a little better). Now at the last minute I'm scrambling to do things. First thing on my list was a sign. At all of the craft shows that I've done I've never had a proper sign - if I've had one at all. With my new found love of quilting and paper piecing I thought that would be perfect. I found an alphabet I liked at Paper Panache. It arrived quickly and I got to work on it this weekend.
When paper piecing you need to remember that the letters are flipped so be extra careful when enlarging and making copies of letters like may just end up with some z's.
I also designed my own paper pieced pattern for my shop logo. I haven't finished it yet but so far it doesn't look too bad.  Not too shabby for my first time participating in the Friday Night Sew In.

I found this adorable little guy in the ornament department at Target.  After seeing the Fox Softie Contest that is going on at Sew to Speak I have been thinking of entering.  I actually have several ideas and she might get a box full :).

After another trip to the copy store and a bit of sewing an quilting my sign looks like this.  I will be adding more quilting (some of it by hand, eek!) and a scrappy binding, most of which thankfully can be done while I'm on the road this week.
One of the first blogs I started following was Stitched in Color. She has some amazing posts on her craft show experience and I have taken inspiration from the set up of her booth. I would love to make my own version of her scrappy background but don't think I will have enough time. Maybe for the next one...

I also received an e-mail from Crafted requesting more of my Coffee Sleeves. I guess they were a big hit and have almost sold out. I have several new ones sewed and just waiting on buttons. 

And an adorable picture of my little helper.
I am also linking up to Handmade Monday and Linky Tuesday for the first time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Last Minute Finish

No time for a proper post :) But I managed to get my quilt finished just in time to link up to the Scrappy Stash QAL.

More on this later...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Curator Contest x 2

There's another fun contest going on at Sew Lux Fabrics.  I couldn't resist making 2 bundles this time (2 is the limit). 

When building my bundles I like to find one fun, bold print that I love and build the rest around it.  Here's what I came up with:

Summer Spectacle

Birds & Brambles
I can't decide which is my favorite.  There are a lot of great bundles already linked up so be sure and take a look!
My WIP of the week is my Scrappy Stash Quilt.  I managed to get all of the black blocks quilted last night and the blocks for the back pieced together.  Not much left to do!
These are the blocks for the back and the fabric I chose for my binding.

I also used Quilt Assistant to make my first paper pieced pattern.  I need a sign for my Craft Show next week so I will be putting this together as well as paper piecing my shop name.  Hopefully I can make it look like what I have in mind.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quilting Decisions

My to do list only got one item knocked off of it this weekend. The Pervalong quilt top.  I had a couple of problems with this one.  When I went to start working on the borders I could not remember where I had put the part I had already put together.  (As chaotic as my sewing room is I typically know where everything is.)  After searching for about 30 minutes I remembered I had hung it on a nail behind the door to take a picture and never taken it down.  Since I never close the door to that room I completely forgot it was back there.  I also miscalculated my fabric needs on this.  I completely left out one fabric when planning and buying colors, which is why it doesn't go together quite as well as I had pictured in my head.  I had a "light black" left over from another project that I did a long time ago so I threw it into the mix.  Then when I got to block 14 of 20 on the outer border I ran out.  Thankfully I had to run to the store for other things and was thrilled to find that they still had some in stock.
Despite the warnings I managed to put the border on the wrong way (UGH!). There was no way I was going to rip out all of the stitches so I decided I am okay with it the way it is. I haven't removed the paper from the back - which is why it's laying so funny - because I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet.  I could add borders and make it into a lap quilt, keep it the size it is and use it as a wall hanging, cover a canvas with it and call it wall art?
The only other thing I worked on this weekend was my Scrappy Stash Quilt. I had been wanting to do this since it started but time got away from me and on Friday I realized the deadline is Tuesday and I hadn't even started on it yet!!!  I make lots of small items for my Etsy shop and Crafted so I don't have a lot of scraps around but I did have a bunch of 1/4 yard and 1/8 yard cuts in various blacks from another project that I never got around to doing.
The rules only require 30 blocks so that was my original goal. I whipped up 30 monochromatic black blocks but after laying them out I decided that 1) it wasn't big enough and 2) it needed some color.
I had a few yellows but not the variety that I wanted.  A not so quick trip to JoAnn's Saturday morning solved that problem. I also picked up the fabrics that I will use for the Curve It Up QAL. So much for my fabric buying ban. Since the fabrics are for a specific project it doesn't count, right?

After putting together my yellow blocks and deciding on a layout I felt it was still too small and missing something.  After another, much quicker trip to JoAnn's for grays I ended up with this.

The gray blocks don't stand out as much as I had hoped but I'm pleased with the overall color scheme and layout. 

For a little touch of whimsy I fussy cut the center blocks of all of the black blocks to make sure they had a frog or toadstool.
Now I just need to get home and start quilting my squares.  I've decided to try Maureen McCracknell's tutorial for quilting as you go.  Since my machine is definitely not quilting friendly I think it may be a lot easier and produce better results.  Then comes the hard part.  What to do for the back and binding...
For the back I was thinking of doing three log cabin blocks in various sizes (one small, one medium, one large) and color combos on a solid black background.  As for the binding I'm stuck.  Should I use a solid black?  A yellow or gray print?  A print that has all three colors?  Since I have a very limited amount of time to finish it I will be machine stitching the binding on (eek!).  I bought quilters tape to use as a guide so hopefully it will go smoothly.
It's Squeak's first winter so we bundled up to go eat last night.  Isn't he cute in his little coat and mittens?! :)
I will be linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story for the first time :).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Accountability & a Tula Pink Finish

First, I want to share my little curvy clutch that I made for the Tula Pink Sew Along at Sew Sweetness.

I feel like a bit of a cheat since this is a pattern that I have used many times before but since I only had small pieces of one of her prints I didn't have a lot of choices. It is now available in my Etsy shop (which now that I look at it, is in serious need of some new items!).

I managed to finish up the two remaining blocks in the second set of the Super Penguin QAL
So happy with the fabric I chose for the building.  It was a little piece I had left over from my Cheep Talk Diaper Bag.

I love the way the individual blocks are turning out but beginning to worry about how the quilt as a whole will look in the end.  It may be hideous :) !
I am planning on doing my own version of a Friday night sew in.  My mother in law was more than thrilled to watch Squeak this afternoon and my husband has the night off and will hopefully be willing to keep an eye on him so that I can (cross your fingers) get caught up!
On the the accountability part of my post---I have a serious problem...Compulsive Fabric Buying.  I WILL NOT buy any more fabric (unless it is necessary to complete a project already in the works or specially requested by a customer) through the end of the year.  My hope is that by putting this in black and white I may actually feel obligated to stick with it.  I do have some fabric that I have ordered and en route so please don't think I've cheated when I post those pics :) but as of today there will be no more!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Project Planning

I was able to finish up the second block of the 3rd set of blocks for the Super Penguin QAL (sounds a little confusing) last night.  And I started my English Paper Pieced Block for the Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop.  I definitely need some practice!  My stitches look terrible and my pieces are not fitting together as I had planned.  I'm not giving up on it yet...I'm just going to try to adjust the pieces as I go.

And here are the charms from the Spoonflower Swap!

There were a few that were more "adult".  I'm thinking they would make great mug rugs!
But most seemed to be geared more toward boys, which is wonderful!  Any ideas on what to make with these?  Anyone?  I'm leaning toward a quilt made of triangles or maybe wonky log cabins?

These are my favorites.  I am in love with the little mammoths!  Would it be weird if I made something for myself with this?  Maybe an e-reader cover...

Surprisingly these were the only ones for girls.
And there were a few "what were they thinking!?!" fabrics in there too but I won't post a picture of those (don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, lol).
Send any ideas or suggestions my way :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jumping on the Tula Pink Sew Along Bandwagon

While cleaning my studio and attempting to organize my fabric this weekend I realized that I had received some Tula Pink fabric in a box of scraps I purchased from Etsy last year.  If you have viewed my past posts then you have seen a lot of these fabrics.  I used them for the piecing of my Long Weekend Bag, a Reversible Swing Bag, and several other small projects.

Last week I saw the Tula Pink Sew Along and though it looked fun.  When I asked about getting her fabric at my local shop (the only one that carries designer fabrics) I was told they didn't have any in stock :( and I didn't feel that I had enough time to order the fabric, wait for it to ship and then be able to get anything ready before the link up.  I don't have a lot of the fabric but it's a print that I love and I have just enough left for a small bag/clutch of some sort.  One more project to add to my list!

Yesterday was a great mail day for me too.  I received my fabrics from the Spoonflower I Spy Swap Round 3 and all of my zippers that I ordered last week.  And last weekend I got my Echino fabric.  I may have trouble cutting into it.  Now to decide what to do with my Spoonflower charms...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend WIPs

On Friday at noon my To Do List looked a little something like this:
*J. Collins set (2)-need orange zipper
*Earbud Pouches (3)-need zippers
*Crochet Fedoras (2)-ready to start
*How Far Will You Go- ready to do Block 12, Block 14, Block 15
*Long Weekend-need cording; ready to cut lining
*Rooster Project-ready to start
*Value Added QAL-ready to start
*Traveling Pic QAL-need fabrics
*Super Penguin QAL-ready to do set 3 (Block 1, Block 2, Block 3) and set 4 (Block 1, Block 2,
        Block 3)
*Pervalong-need to figure out layout for borders
*Scrappy Stash QAL-ready to start
*Cathedral Window QAL-ready to start
*Clean & Organize Studio
Today it looks like this:
*J. Collins set (2)-need orange zipper
*Earbud Pouches (3)-need zippers
*Crochet Fedoras (2)-ready to start started but not happy with results so far
*How Far Will You Go- ready to do Block 12, Block 14, Block 15
*Long Weekend-need cording; ready to cut lining all pieces cut; fusible interfacings applied;ready to
*Rooster Project-ready to start
*Value Added QAL-ready to start
*Traveling Pic QAL-need fabrics picture found; fabric picked and pieces cut
*Super Penguin QAL-ready to do set 3 (Block 1, Block 2, Block 3) and set 4 (Block 1, Block 2,
       Block 3)
*Pervalong-need to figure out layout for borders
*Scrappy Stash QAL-ready to start
*Cathedral Window QAL-ready to start
*Clean & Organize Studio

Not too bad for one weekend :) !

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wholesale Heaven

With Christmas season coming up I'm trying to get a stockpile of supplies together.  Last year my most popular items were my earbud pouches so I want to have plenty of zippers on hand (we all know having enough fabric won't be an issue).  I only have one local store that carries a good variety of different colored zippers-and it is a 20 minute drive each way.  Sooooo, I cannot tell you how excited I was to find a great shop that stocks 65 different colors in various lengths!  And for less than a fourth of what I usually pay!!!  For anyone else out there that needs zipper be sure to check out Zipit.

At this time last year I only had four earbud pouches to choose from:

This year I have a lot more variety.  Amazing the difference a year can make!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Really Random Thursday: Our First Halloween

I really wanted to make Squeak's first Halloween costume.  I knew exactly what it would be and how I would do it.  The only problem was I couldn't find the supplies I needed locally and didn't think to try and order them until it was too late.  At the last minute I managed to pick up a costume at Babies 'R Us.  The 0-6 looked HUGE so I thought it would be a safe bet but when I went to put it on him it was a tight fit!  All in all it worked out pretty well.

My little monster in all of his cuteness :)

And since he is too little to take door to door, we just went up and saw his daddy at work.
I am forever trying to reorganize/rearrange/redo my sewing room.  I can never seem to get it just perfect and chaos reigns.  I found this tool at that allows you to virtually rearrange your furniture so you can see what it will look like before you move it an realize it won't work.

This is my room as it is now.  In addition to the armoire there are various bins filled with supplies under all of the tables.  The tables have supports underneath in a v-shape that prevents me from making the most of the storage space though.

And this is my ideal layout.  My dad, the master carpenter/woodworker/handyman that he is, is working to make my dream room a reality :)  Such a better use of the space and with the chair and shelf I will have a perfect place to photograph my items.  The supports for the table will be shelves with dividers (cubes?) used to store random supplies.  I'm hoping this will be my Christmas present :)