Friday, May 31, 2013

The Stitchy Edition

I have finally finished one of my samplers!

I'm thinking that I will make all of them into throw pillows for our foyer (in that big, fancy house that we will someday own, of course...wish you could see me rolling my eyes).  But seriously I would love to make them into throw pillows.  I'm hoping they end up doing a different one for each holiday in addition to each season!

I also started on the Summer Sampler.  So far the only part that has been released is the frame.  I decided this one needed a little bling so I picked up these fun sparkly threads at my LQS ($6 each!, holy cow!!!).  I'm just hoping I don't have to buy more...

That's it for today.  This weekend will be spent basting, quilting and binding the dreaded Wedding Quilt, working on nine (!) custom clutches, and a cutting, and hopefully piecing, a long overdue custom comforter for a very patient friend.

Linking up with TGIFF.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Busy, Busy Bee & Gender Reveal

A few things I've been working on since the middle of last warned, there is a lot here!

First, and most important, is the block for the raffle quilt our local quild is working on.  We decided to use the colors from our guild logo and go for a scrappy effect.  I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

One of our guild members also designed a graphic showing support for those affected by the tornado.  It was too perfect not to make a paper pieced pattern out of.  A little bit of embroidery and it was done!  I'm thinking of adding a border or two and entering it into the mini challenge I read about last week (can't remember which blog it was, but it's one I follow so it will pop up before too long).  Another guild member and I agreed that these would make great pillows.  Simply add borders or enlarge the original pattern a bit...

I started this fun little hexagon, log cabin quilt on Friday.

By Saturday I had six blocks completed and no more fabric to play with :(.  Hopefully they still have all of the prints in stock...

And since it's the last week of May I decided I should try to finish at least one more BOM.  Since I couldn't find my templates for And Sew On I was left with my Lucky Stars block.  The first attempt didn't go so well.

Not only did I use the wrong fabric on a couple of pieces (which I think I made work ok) but I sewed the sections together COMPLETELY wrong!  I originally said I wasn't going to fix it, but in the end...

the perfectionist in me won.  Much better!


This project was started a couple of weeks ago and got put on hold.  It's another wonderful pattern by Sara at Sew Sweetness.  The grommets were a lot easier to work with than I thought they would be!


This project was the perfect opportunity to give free motion quilting a try.  I will admit that I wrote the words on there with a Frixon pen before attempting to quilt.

 Interior shot...

I'm afraid that's it for the sewing portion of today's post but I thought I'd go ahead and throw in a bit of random for you...

 The first baby bump pic (and can't you tell I'm thrilled about it ?!).  I despise being pregnant.  I feel huge and disgusting...ok pity party over :P.  Would you like to know what I'm having?

Well, this will be her first toy.  I saw it at Target this weekend and couldn't resist especially since I've decided to use a combination of Sarah Jane's lines Let's Play and Out to Sea.  I'm thinking Squeak may be due for a makeover on his portion of the room too so I will be picking up both lines in two different colorways.  So much work to do in five short months!

I found this fabric by Alexander Henry on sale at JoAnn's and had to have it.  I will be making myself a maxi dress next spring to celebrate getting my figure back (cross your fingers I can do it that quick!).

To help prepare Squeak for the arrival of Little Sis, we've made some big boy changes around the house.  He now uses a booster seat instead of a high chair (this pic was his first time sitting at the table).  The kitchen is now open to him as well (unless we're actually cooking).  And we have introduced the potty chair.  We don't actually expect him to use it yet but at least he can get used to it.  In the next week or two we will also be getting him a big boy bed so little sis can have his crib.

We have a standing date with my brother on Sunday nights.  He comes over and eats dinner with us and watches tv for a bit.  And to tell the truth, we usually all fall asleep on the couch around 9ish.  While we were busy cooking dinner Squeak picked up an apple and started chowing down.  I didn't even know he could eat it like that!  This little boy LOVES fruit and veggies!  Apples and raw red pepper seem to be some of his favorites, oh and bananas, gotta have bananas!


Just to prove it's possible, here's a shot of the dinner.  I won't share the recipes I used because they were just so-so.  I will be on the hunt for different ones in the future.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday, BOMs Away Monday, Paper Piecing Party & Let's Get Acquainted.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lots of Little Lovelies

I would like to start off by saying how rough the last couple of days have been for my family and me.  Just a couple of miles south of our home a tornado (which is being called the most destructive and possibly deadly of all time) took out numerous homes and businesses, including two elementary schools.  I haven't been able to turn the news off but when I watch it all I do is get upset.

There are some positives that can be seen from this tragedy.  If you are ever in need, Oklahoma really is the place you want to be.  The way that people here pull together and help each other out is just amazing!  I have seen so many heroic and awe inspiring acts that again I am brought to tears.  We were all very fortunate.  Hubby's cousin was at the hospital that was nearly leveled but walked out without a scratch (and I do literally mean walked, she had to walk several miles home due to the roads being closed because of debris) and one of my best friends since high school sustained damage to her home but had already left for safer ground.  

Our local guild is organizing a quilt drive if anyone is interested.

On to happier things...a lot of small projects finally got completed this weekend.  I have had these zippered pouches cut for quite awhile now.  Some of my favorite Spoonflower fabrics were finally put to use :)

Plus I was trying to use up some small pieces left over from other projects:

Small Curvy Clutch

Medium Curvy Clutch

 Large Curvy Clutch

 Large Curvy Clutch

And the final pictures of the Wonky Star Baby Shower Quilt.  I believe this has just become one of my favorite quilts to make.  Simple and easy!

I actually remembered (ok, that's a lie, my husband asked me about it) to put a little patch on the back saying who it is for and who it is from.

Lots more little items to come but I'm thinking I may have to finish up my Soda Pop bag that has been on hold since last week....I deserve it, right!?

Today it is off to the store for more fusible fleece (and probably some other stuff too) :P

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Bit of a Disappointment

My craft show Saturday wasn't all I had hoped for.  It was open from 9 to 6 and people just weren't buying.  It wasn't just me either, all of my neighboring booths were struggling to make sales as well.  I did get to try out my new booth set up though.  I typically don't get large booths but I am trying to clear out all of my large purses so that I don't have to store them any more (got to make room for more quilts!).

This is what I've come up with:

All of the gray crates, large and small, are new.  They add a surprising amount of extra display space. 

When I rented the tables I was told they were 6' long but when I got there they were 8' feet and my table clothes wouldn't fit so there was a little bit of improvisation with a quilt.

A couple more clothing racks and double hanging extenders placed behind the tables were the perfect place to display my larger bags. 

The hat boxes on the corner of the table are purely decorative but they add a bit of much needed color.  I have a couple of things I will definitely change next time but right now my focus is on building up my inventory.  I hadn't realized how depleted my stock had gotten until I was setting up.  I've pulled lots of new fabrics and will be putting aside the quilts for a little bit to concentrate on clutches, pouches, coffee sleeves and other small items.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Week of Progress

No finishes to show, but lots of progress has been made on several different projects.  Wednesday I realized that I have a baby shower to attend on Sunday and not a thing to baby quilt it was.

(Aren't my helpers the cutest?!)
One of our guild members showed a quilt using a very similar pattern at our meeting on Monday so I simply used it as inspiration and got to work.  It is now basted and ready to quilt.  I did buy a binding fabric, but I'm not 100% sold on it so there may be a trip to the store in order on my lunch break..

I also realized that this weekend is one of my shows.  I haven't had a lot of time to restock depleted inventory but I do have a couple of small pouches in progress.  I reserved a large booth this time so I will be taking EVERYTHING!  It will be my first time trying out my new set up.  Hubby will be finishing up painting the crates and decorative items for me this evening (I hope!) and I have printed new price signs that will hopefully make my booth more appealing.  Think there's any way I can finish up two pouches, quilt a baby size quilt and machine bind it, pack and load all of my items for the craft show, and make any last minute changes that need to be done?  Me neither, but I'm sure going to try!!

A couple of other random things:

I picked up this book at a great price on Wednesday and can't wait to try several of the patterns!

Squeak got his first haircut and he looks soooo much older :(

And I have finally finished week 4 of the Spring Sampler.  One more row to go!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Thanks to all of the comments on my Giveaway Day post I have lots of different sites to share with you.  I did limit the list to current, online QALs, Sew Alongs, and BOMs only.  I'm afraid that there is no way I could ever include all of the swaps, round robins local "alongs".  So without any further ado, here they are (and if I've missed one, please let me know!):
  1. Bestie QAL - a fun sew along between friends.  Make matching quilts with/for your best friend.
  2. Forest QAL - 12 cute forest themed paper pieced blocks.
  3. Super Penguin QAL - another series of paper pieced blocks.  It seems to be on hold since she is having a baby but has promised there will be more.
  4. Dr. Who QAL - 20 Dr. Who inspired paper pieced blocks for the inner geek in all of us :).
  5. Threadbias Pretty in Patchwork:  Holidays SAL - a different project from the book every month.
  6. And Sew On BOM - sewing themed paper pieced blocks
  7. Lucky Stars BOM - paper pieced star blocks
  8. Sugar Club BOM - not only do you get a great block every month, but a recipe too!
  9. Riley Blake Mystery BOM - complete with video tutorial.
  10. Retro Rubies QAL - ends July 1st so there's still time.
  11. Skill Builder BOM - a great way to try something new!
  12. Modern BOM 2 - hosted by Sew Mama Sew so you know it will be good :)
  13. Crazy Block Sew Along - almost over so hurry and take a look!
  14. Designer of the Month - a different designer with a great block each month.
  15. The Compass Collection - a monthly paper pieced block
  16. Quilt Sampler 2013 QAL - focuses on free motion quilting
  17. Modern Blocks QAL - started this month and runs through April 2014
  18. Texas Teardrop QAL - an applique QAL
  19. Hop, Skip, Jump BOM - consists of 12 12" blocks
  20. Toes in the Sand BOM - using the Hex N More Ruler
  21. The Quilty Barn Along - build a barn around your block
  22. Great British Sewing Bee Sew Along - sew along with a great show (or so I've heard anyway :P)
  23. My Castle is my Home BOM - 12 8" x 8" blocks
  24. Gen X Quilters BOM - redoing traditional blocks in a modern way
  25. Tula Pink City Sampler Sew Along - based off of her new book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
  26. Patchwork Please:  Zakka 2.0 Sew Along - starts in June so there's still time to get your book!
  27. Easiest Sew Along Ever - hopefully it lives up to its name
  28. Craftsy BOM 2013 - complete a sampler quilt and make new friends in the process
  29. Farmer's Wife 2013 - based on the book The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt
  30. Another Year of Schnibbles - schnibbles are patterns for small quilts and projects (you learn something new everyday!)
  31. Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM - I couldn't find a lot of information about this one...I don't think it's started yet so keep an eye out for more information.
  32. Block Rock'n Block of the Week - a weekly paper pieced block named after musicians
  33. Virtual Quilting Bee - a 70" x 70" finished quilt
  34. Le Challenge - a monthly themed craft along is probably the most accurate way to describe this. 
  35. Steam Punk BOM - not the QAL I was expecting, but I'll add it to the list
  36. Steam Punk QAL - I could only find a Flickr group on this one.
There are a lot of great projects out there to take part in and nearly all of them have prizes (yay, prizes!).  Sorry I couldn't put up pictures of all of these but hopefully you'll think it's worth the time to follow the links and take a look.  You might be surprised with what you find!

    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    Another Winner!

    This time the random number generator (which I did take a picture of) chose #276 Margaret.

    Congrats, I'll be e-mailing you shortly!  Thanks to all of those that entered and an even bigger thanks to those of you that decided you would like to follow me and see more in the future :)

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    My New Motivation

    I have four new patterns from Sara at Sew Sweetness (one actually has three different versions though so there are actually six new items) that I am dying to try.  I've made a deal with myself that if I can finish up my Scrappy Swoon, Wedding Quilt, and a couple of small BOM blocks I can start on at least one of them.  Time to buckle down and get serious with the finishes!

    Here is the Scrappy Swoon (with lots of toys in the background):

    Backing and batting are bought and waiting.  I plan on basting this afternoon!

    A suspicious package was waiting for me when I got home from work.  Inside:

     My items from the Modern She Made Swap.  I knew that I had put mine in the mail to my partner but I never even really thought about receiving something.  And didn't she pick the most perfect items for me?!  DO YOU SEE ALL OF THE OWLS AND BIRDS?!  (And do you see the little hand reaching in to snatch my goodies?)

    He has claimed the pillow for his own :).  I have to admit that this pillow looks strangely out of place on my couch since all of the others are a muddy brown color (eeew!).  Maybe I'll have to work a little quicker on those pillow covers I have planned.

    Wedding Quilt update:

    I'm waiting on the last of the fabric for the top to arrive.  I have the backing and batting waiting in the wings though.  I have to admit that I am having a lot of trouble finding motivation for this quilt.  I had a totally different layout in mind.  It was originally supposed to be the Sea of Stars Quilt but due to time and fabric constraints I've had to change it up and just do not love the way it is shaping up.  There's no time to change it or make something else though, so I'll keep plugging away and just hope the recipients appreciate how much time and effort went into it.

    I also want to say a huge thank you to all of the you who entered into my giveaway and decided to stick around and see more :)  I am working on compiling a list of all of the QALs and BOMs that are CURRENTLY taking place (with links of course :P).  There have been several that I've never heard of and more than a couple that have been tempting me.  Unfortunately I'm not up for the task of making a list of swaps and bees at the moment (sorry!)

    I took the plunge and changed all of my shop/information to Sewing With Squeak.  Guess that means I need to order new business cards :/.  When I changed my e-mail address in Blogger, it deleted all of the blogs I follow so I guess I will be using only Bloglovin from now on.  I still have my old e-mail address since I don't want to lose the chance to be a tester for some of the wonderful pattern makers out there but won't be using it for anything else in the future.

    Thursday, May 9, 2013


    ***Update--as someone was just kind enough to point out, I ended the giveaway a day early. I did not so this intentionally. All day I have thought it was Friday. Since I have already emailed the winner I have decided that there will be a second winner drawn at the correct time tomorrow. I haven't decided exactly what the prize will be yet, but I'll make sure it's something good :)*****

    The winner of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is #471--Deb. I used the generator at but didn't get a photo before I went to check out who the winner was. When I went back to take the photo it had already reset itself :( so no picture. Congrats Deb, I will be emailing you shortly!

    Really Random Rant & a Small Finish

    First, the finish:

     My May Sugar Club block.

    My first attempt at taking a photo of all of the blocks was foiled.  But it's hard to get mad when he's so cute :)

    This one is better!  I am now caught up on exactly ONE of my BOMs/QALs--about 11 more to go :)

    There has also been lots of progress on the Scrappy Swoon.  So I may have a finish tomorrow if all goes as planned.  My brother has asked me in the past if I could make a Dr. Who quilt for him and since the new QAL started yesterday I figured this was as good of a time as any to get started on it (what's one more WIP added to my stack anyway?--well two actually since there are two versions he wants).  I'm thinking maybe after we go pick out his fabric this evening I can make him stay and watch Squeak for a minute while I get some work done. 

    Speaking of fabric...when I went to pick up the goodies for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway my LQS was having a token sale and my token was for 40% off!!!  Let's just say I have plenty to show for Sunday Stash this week :).  The sale runs through the week so I'll go today and hope that I can get another good token so I can buy some backing fabric for the Swoon and Wedding quilts that I need to finish before the end of the month.  Speaking of finishing the Wedding quilt, I did finally order the fabric I need to finish it, yay!

    I do have 5 earbuds pouches that I need to make before I can start the fun stuff tonight :(

    If you thought all of that was the really random then you were really wrong :P

    First off, I will start with my rant:  Why is it that anytime a pregnant woman cleans she must be nesting???  Maybe she's just fed up with her house being a chaotic mess due to having a one year old and a husband (not sure which is worse at this point).  Now if I start labeling things unnecessarily or rearranging the furniture we can revisit the nesting idea, but if I'm just doing normal stuff like laundry, dishes and bathrooms then leave it alone!

    Alright I feel a little better :)  Now on to the second part and a serious question.  I am considering changing my Etsy shop name to Sewing With Squeak (the tags on my items would have SWS instead of SD) instead of Swallow Designs.  While I like the original name, I wonder if there is a little confusion when people first hear it.  Does it almost sound like porn or lingerie?  And it would just make things easier I think, especially when marketing.  People ask me where they can find my stuff online and I have to spout off several different things.  If I changed it, I could just say Google Sewing With Squeak and you will find me.  I would love to know your thoughts since you can only change your Etsy name once and I don't want to have to start all over :)

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Have You Seen...

    Sara from Sew Sweetness's new patterns??? 

    They are absolutely wonderful and since we opened one of those bank accounts where if you make so many ____ $ purchases within a certain time period they will give you a $100 I figure I better do my part in getting that extra money by making a purchase immediately :)  I will be picking up the two newest patterns and waiting to see if by some miracle I win her pattern bundle giveaway before I purchase the rest. 

    Be sure and check out all of the bags the testers made.  My favorite of the Lilium Laptop Bag is the one by Laura of Quokka Quilts.  She is already aware that I plan on blatantly copying her fabrics and their placement :)

    BTW this is NOT a sponsored post.  I just happened to make an Aeroplane Bag using one of her patterns the other day and absolutely love it so I'm eager to try more!

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Giveaway Day Response

    The number of comments I have gotten on my Giveaway Day post are a bit overwhelming!  I've definitely got a few BOMs and QALs that I'll need to check into now :)  Would anyone be interested in a list of current ones?

    I managed to finish up a couple of small projects last night.

    I chose this as my first block in the Forest QAL.  I love paper piecing but this one had a lot of little sections.  Can you spot my three mistakes?  Oh well, I'm not ripping it apart :)

     Due to extreme exhaustion and lack of energy I missed out on March and April of the Threadbias Pretty in Patchwork Sew Along.  This month I'm on the ball and already have my project completed!  A cute little drawstring bag using a charm pack and fat quarter of Glamping and a bit of pink left over from the Kirby Pillow Cover.  The sparkly pink ribbon was in my stash and was the perfect drawstring for this project.  Who doesn't love a little extra sparkle!?

    Since the photo above was from Instagram I thought I'd include this one too so you can see the true colors.  Plus isn't my helper cute :)  Look at the mess he created while I was finishing up this little bag!!!  Maybe it's time to weed out some of those toys...

    And in case you were wondering how I keep track of all of my BOMs and QALs, here it is.  My magnificent system.  Each labeled and kept in a corner of the room.  This way I don't have to search for by fabrics and patterns each time I start working on them.  Now there are a few exceptions.  The Lucky Stars and And Sew On BOMs are being made from scraps every month so I pull those from my stash as needed but the finished blocks are kept in the bins.  I decided to pull them out last night and set them on my cutting mat as a kind of motivation.  I am behind on every one of these.  I can't put the bin back in the corner until I finish at least one bin/section.  Think it will work?

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

    Hi there!  I thought I would give all of those who are (hopefully) stopping by from the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day a little overview of what I do here :).

    I love anything crafty.  Mainly sewing and quilting, but I also embroider, cross stitch, crochet, knit, and I have been known to dabble with paper crafts on occasion.  I am also an avid reader, mother, animal enthusiast and wife.  Not so much on cooking or baking but that could always change :).  So to sum it up I write about a bit of everything!

    There are some possible big changes in my near future that could allow me to focus more on my blog and projects (yay!) as well as a new little one in mid October :).

    A few of my favorite projects so far:

    Now on to the good stuff and the real reason your here ;)

    I have a fat quarter set of some of the popular Architexture prints as well as a mini charm pack of Moda's Happy Go Lucky.  

    So how do you enter?
    Just leave a comment. If you need a topic, please let me know about any QALs, BOMs or Sew Alongs that your participating in.

    Followers old and new get an additional entry.

    If you are a no-response commenter, please leave your email in the comment.  Entries without an email address will be disqualified. The winner must respond within three days of the end of the contest. If the winner does not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! It gets a bit chaotic on Giveaway Day and I can't always respond to every comment like I want, but I really appreciate your visit! Good luck and thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you again!

    International entries welcome.  The giveaway will be open through May 10th at 6 p.m. CST. 

    ****Man it has been a strange week for me. I got my days of the week mixed up and ended the giveaway a day early. Since I've already sent an email to the winner I will be drawing a second place prize on FRIDAY 5/10 at 6 pm CST. I'm not sure what it will be exactly. Maybe another set of architecture FQs, maybe something entirely different :)*****

    Custom Quilt Top Complete & Bit of a Dilemma

     I have to admit that this turned out much better than I had imagined.

    I'm picking up the backing on my lunch break and hope to get started on quilting tonight.  I'm just using widely spaced straight lines so hopefully it won't take too long.  The binding is already cut and will be applied by  machine.

    I managed to finish up this little guy on Friday.  There's one May project out of the way :).  I also got quite a bit accomplished on my Spring Sampler!  And I started one block of the Forest QAL.  Ugh, another WIP (why do I do this to myself?!)

    And my dilemma...after searching through my stash this morning I couldn't find anything worthy of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway (of that I could part with) so I suppose I will probably pick up something while I'm getting my backing fabric at lunch.  I had the same problem with my homemade items :(  I may try to whip something up this afternoon so be sure and check back to see what I come up with!