November 26, 2013

Bring on the holiday sewing bug!

I forced myself not to sign up for the holiday round of the Pillow Talk Swap but I've really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful pillows everyone has been making. It inspired me to make some Christmas pillows for our couch this year. I had a little spare time and this fun log cabin quilt was born:

It is so bright and cheerful, just what our couch needed. I have a few ideas saved on Flikr for a couple more pillows ... just have to find the time and energy to get them done! (Way easier said than done... second trimester might be easier but I sure don't feel  "normal" nor anywhere near "energized"!)

Otherwise, I've been working on a few presents. First up is a baby blanket for my co-worker who is due this weekend. The poor girl looks ready to pop, I sure hope she does ... she needs to snuggle her little girl and get over this misery that is pregnancy! I made her a simple car seat quilt with minky on the back, I think it turned out cute and snuggly for her new little darling.

Last but not least, I finished up a table runner for my mom as a belated birthday present, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday!

I haven't sewn for months so it feels so good to get so much accomplished, especially in just a few days! Hopefully I will have more to show before the holidays as I work on more Christmas pillows and maybe some decorations.

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving week with family and friends and lots of yummy yummy food! Stay safe and warm!

October 7, 2013

Guest Blogging at Sew Sweetness ~ Purse Palooza

Hello! I finally sat down and got some sewing in this past weekend, woo hoo! 
Check out my guest post at Sara of Sew Sweetness' Purse Palooza 2013

After finally pushing myself through the non-sewing rut with this project and deadline, I feel ready to get back to my stash and machine. Online classes and work are keeping me busy but hopefully you'll hear more from me in the next weeks than in the past few months and hopefully I can keep up more with what you my awesome sewing friends are up to as well!

Happy sewing everyone!

October 4, 2013

(Long Overdue) ~ Mayhem in Paradise Retreat Recap

Without further delay ~ a recap in photos of the first annual "Mayhem in Paradise" craft retreat!

A recipe for success for any retreat:

1. Good friends and a fantastic house to stay in

Gina, Carla, January, Deb, Whitney, Julie, Tiffany, + Lyanna (missing from photo)

January, Whitney, Julie, Lyanna, Deb, Carla

2. Good food

"Always good" pretzel shop - best thing EVER!! :)

Mmmm pretzels!

Free ice cream at Burkholder's Fabric Shop

Best homemade root beer sold by adorable little amish girls on a farm

Ooey gooey o so yummy smores by Gina

3. Fantastic fabric shops in Lancaster, PA with great sales and wonderful merchandise

Whitney and Deb

Julie and January

Me buying WAY too much fabric!
4. Generous "Doggiebag" goodies from our Sponsors - Fat Quarter Shop, Stitches & Giggles, and The Old Country Store

5. And lots and lots and LOTS of SEWING!!

Julie - the binding elf

Me concentrating on paper piecing

Gina - the amazing terrarium design genius

Hard at work - January, Julie, and Whitney
6. Last but not least, unending jokes about Intercourse, PA - the best little town for fabric and pretzels in Lancaster County, PA

Couldn't we all use a little more in our lives? Miss you girls!! :)
As you can see, it was a long wonderful weekend with friends and I am very much looking forward to Mayhem 2014!

August 30, 2013

One more week til "Mayhem in Paradise" ~ A sewing retreat

Wooooooo hoooooooooooo....... a week from yesterday our sewing retreat will begin in Paradise, PA and I couldn't be more excited!!

Sewing, shop hopping, friends, and lots of fun... what more can I ask for? Ok, cookies, let's work some cookies into that equation lol.

Stay tuned for lots of project updates from the past few months I've had to keep secret as well as pictures and posts about the retreat :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

August 19, 2013

Paper Piecing - My first block!

Even tho I took a class in paper piecing at the Sewing Summit last year, I never even finished a block, just a couple sections of the block I was supposed to be making. We ran out of time, I messed up one block when I was at home... long story short, it is on the WIP pile and may even be lost, who knows lol.

Recently tho, I saw a really cute star block on Pinterest from Sew Crafty Jess and used her templates to try paper piecing again. There are no step by step instructions for constructing the blocks, paper piecing, etc. but she does reference a good tutorial to get you started, or in my case, refresh my memory.

For my first attempt at this block, even tho it isn't perfect, it isn't too shabby and I'm happy enough with it:

First paper pieced block!

I was going to use it for a present for a friend, but it bothers me that the bottom left text is going in a weird direction. It isn't quite upside down, it just isn't angled correctly in sync with the other ones. 
Plus the center doesn't line up 100% ... so we'll see. I'll probably end up keeping it and make her something else but all in all, I'm happy with my first try and glad to have raided the scrap bin!

Felt good to sew today even tho this block took me 3 hours to make and now I have a headache, am super tired, and a little cranky haha. Perfect time to go to bed! Hope everyone is having a good week!

August 10, 2013

MIA ~ but I'm here, I'm here!

Hi all! Wow it has been a long time since I've blogged! We have had a really crazy summer so far which hasn't left me much time for fun things like sewing. I finally started unpacking my sewing room today, after being in our new apartment for over 3 weeks, and am wishing I had time to sew too! All in due time I suppose...

Before my little packing/moving/unpacking hiatus, I was working on a new project that I want to share. This is a mockup using a smaller section I pieced ~ I wanted to brainstorm a little and see what could be created out of it.

The first picture is 4 sections rotated together ~ love it!

This second picture is 4 of the above, so 16 of the original sections, pieced together. A little dizzying, but I really like the effect the waves of color make over a bigger space. 

I would love to make one of these into a larger quilt but just one section used 36 drunkard's path blocks - So 144 would be needed for the first option, and that would only end up being about 30 x 30 when finished. Insane ~ I know! 576 drunkard's path blocks would be needed to make the bottom version, and that would only be 60 x 60 ... not quite worth all that cutting and curved sewing for a throw that isn't even long enough for my giraffe legs!

If I had the larger Go! cutter and could cut the larger drunkard's path blocks, I might consider it... but for now, I'll enjoy the images and brainstorm for the future. Maybe I'll get snowed in for a month and those 576 blocks won't seem so crazy then hahaha.

Once I get sewing and blogging again, expect to hear from me a lot! I have a lot of projects underway as well as the "Mayhem in Paradise" quilt retreat coming up in September! Lots of good things on the horizon, just need to get organized and get going again first!

Happy sewing everyone!

June 22, 2013

Summer Sprouts ~ A pillow experiment

Wooden Spoon made this AMAZING pillow for the latest round of Pillow Talk Swap:

PTS10 Scrappy Spring Sprouts... finished

I'm doing a swap with some friends and I thought something like this would be perfect for one of them... so here is my attempt:

I always tend to like the originals better when I recreate something that another sewer has made, but I still like mine and look forward to hopefully finishing it up this weekend. Not sure yet how I will finish it up ~ border, binding, quilting, etc. but I'll figure that out once I trim up the leaf blocks and attach them all together tomorrow. 

We'll see if my friend decides she likes it for our Swappers Anonymous swap. If not, I'm super happy to let this cheerful pillow live on my couch! 

Feeling pretty lousy this weekend but at least I got to spend some quality time piecing on Yeti ~ can't complain too much about that! Looking forward to trying her out on some quilting with I get that far on this pillow. 

June 14, 2013

Good luck come in threes!

Have you ever heard the saying that good things come in threes? Well I've heard it, and never paid much attention to it, but it sure did smack me in the face this past month.

I try to keep long personal narratives out of this blog and keep it more about craftiness, but right now it is time to share. To summarize all the back story, suffice it to say that after months and months of major stress and worry, especially right up until the last possible moment... some really awesome things happened for our family.

The biggest thing was that my husband got a new job! An AMAZING new job to be frank. We couldn't be more shocked, overjoyed, and filled with gratitude!

Next, we were able to find a new place to live when our current apartment lease expires. We have a huge fuzzy monster of a dog, which makes it really hard to find a decent apartment or any type of rental really. Again, shocked that it worked out at the very last possible minute and sooooo happy that it did!

Apparently this time tho, big shocking awesome news decided to travel in threes because all of a sudden, this beauty now lives in my craft room:

Who is that, you may ask? Her name is "The Yeti" ~ because she is white and I still can't believe she exists, in MY Sewing room!

More formally, she is called the Janome New Home 7700 ~ a rebrand and recolor of the Horizon 7700. Yes... you got it... my dream machine I was drooling over last year! She may not be red and named Roxanne (see last year's Horizon post), but the Yeti is everything I could have ever hoped for and wanted in a machine! :)

How did she end up in my sewing room, you may also be asking yourself? I ask myself that almost daily; I am seriously shocked when I walk by my sewing room and see her sitting there, begging for me to come sew on her!

Well to answer that question, my awesome thoughtful father bought her for me :) The same weekend we found out about the job and the new apartment, he happened to be visiting and out of the blue he started talking about sewing machines, the Horizon, blah blah blah. I was a little slow on the pick up, and then mostly just in shock that he was really truly offering to get her for me!! I'm not very good at accepting large gifts, especially something of this magnitude.... but I was screaming and jumping for joy on the inside and still am!

Not only is it awesome to have this amazing machine as mine mine mine all mine!, but it is awesome too that it comes from my dad. He reads my crafty blogs, comments on things I make, and follows along with my hobby. That alone makes me smile and warms my heart ... but to have him remember the machine I was obsessing about and offer to get her for me, knowing how much it would mean to me.... yea, just awesome and more amazingly generous and nice than I can express gratitude for in a million years!

So there she is... The Yeti... hanging out in her new table, courtesy of my husband... pinch me, I'm still pretty sure I am dreaming.... especially because I have had NO time to sew on her! I know I know, skip work and play right? Haha I wish. I started classes the day after all this awesomeness happened, so I've been run ragged trying to manage life, work, and homework these past couple of weeks.... hence this super delayed post. I assure you tho, you will get more pictures once I clean up my sewing room, constant reviews of how she handles my upcoming projects, how my "learn your machine" classes go, etc.

I am so grateful for a kind and loving Heavenly Father who brought about the huge blessings for our family of a new job and a new place to live, and so very grateful for my loving Dad who brought about the huge blessing of enabling me to own this amazing sewing machine that I couldn't have afforded for years still!
Big ol' hug to my Dad... should he happen to be reading this... you are awesome for so many reasons and the Yeti is just one daily reminder of that and the fact that you love me and care about my silly hobbies :).

June 7, 2013

PTS received and I'm in love!

I can't even begin to express how excited I was to see that Kelly from Scrap Studio sent me a package and THIS is what was inside ~ PTS10 ~ I got the best one!!!!!!

Front - Joel Dewberry + Farmer's Wife blocks = awesome!

Back with the cutest fox EVER and a great little fabric bundle

Happy new pillow on my couch :)
I was super overjoyed to unwrap these goodies yesterday and I will cherish this pillow cover forever... or until I snuggle it to death lol. I shouldn't play favorites, but this is definitely fighting for first spot from all my swaps ... loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :)

May 26, 2013

The drunkard continues on! :)

A mini drunkard's path pillow with leftovers from my PTS10 pillow ~ absolutely keeping this one! 
I've decided I really like circle quilting too!

Finished package ready to go!

I finished up a pouch and a quilt card for my partner this week so the lovely little package is all ready to go out in the mail next week.

Feels good to be done ahead of schedule and I'm sooooooooooooo excited to see what I'll receive from this swap in the new few weeks! June 3rd is the official mailing deadline so I'll have to patient a little longer... *sigh*

Now I have 1 month to work on my "Swappers Anonymous" items for Diane and Marika, woo hoo! This is going to be a fun "friend swap" with these wonderfully talented ladies! It is funny that in honor of the fact that we all sign up for WAY too many swaps, we decided to do our own little swap... counter productive but still awesome, hehe.

May 22, 2013

Bee Blocks ~ I'm on a roll!

I was so productive a couple weekends ago... just not productive enough to finish this blog post haha.

My Bee group is making Flags for Boston this month ~ here are the 2 I sent over for the exhibit this coming Memorial Day:

To read more about this exhibit in Boston, go here.

I'm also helping with another special project and made these fun blocks for it:

This was a fun non-stressful bee block month. It is nice being done early ~ I already have some ideas for my June blocks and then I will be done done DONE with Bees! While I've loved all that I've participated in, I am definitely ready for a break from Bees and hopefully getting a few of my own quilts done the rest of this year!

Stay tuned for June x & + blocks! :)

Drunkard's Path Pillow ~ PTS10

O man... this wants to stay on my couch and be snuggled!

My Pillow Talk Swap 10 pillow is ready to go ~ just need to put together some little extras and it will probably head out next week to my partner! I decided to use Madrona Road text for binding, I love the way it finished the pattern off. It is so hard to part with this one but I'm hoping my partner will love it as much as I do!

Feels good to be almost done with another swap. I need a break from swaps... lol, did you ever think I'd say that? Seriously tho... there are so many "I want to make this" or "I need to finish this" projects sitting around my sewing room. June is the time to get to those... I hope ;-)

May 5, 2013

PTS10 ~ Pieced & Ready for quilting!

After a nice long break (aka chores and sleeping) I felt ready to piece together my PTS10 pillow this morning. A friend commented that it reminds her of Moroccan Tiles and I really like that image and do agree, especially with the darker background it does have that feel to it.

I am pretty much loving this pillow top. My piecing isn't 100% but I got it as close as I could and I'm pretty pleased with the results of my first large curved project. My next task is to quilt it... I am going to follow this tutorial and try for concentric circles, scary! PTS is not for the weak of heart... I always like to try something new and a little challenging each round so I'm going to give that quilting a try and hope it works out well!

Now I have a dog to walk, some chores to do, and a few bee blocks to make for this month... as well as a few small Mother's Day presents to finish up. Busy busy... hope you have a lovely day everyone!

May 4, 2013

Pillow Talk Swap ~ Round 10

Another Swap?! I know I know... I am ridiculous this year but seriously... I am sooooooooo sad everytime I've had to pass up a round of this swap and don't miss it if I can help it! The sewers in this group are so incredibly talented... I am so inspired by the projects everyone makes and always receive gorgeous pillow covers in each and every round!

Although my friend and I were talking about how we needed to stay out of swaps because we've done so many this year, probably half of which because we egged eachother on lol, we agreed this one could not be passed up :)

I started off with this fabric pick for my partner ~ she likes color and these all seemed pretty cheery to me:

Not everyone loved my selections but my partner seemed to be interested in them so I decided to keep going once I received my background fabric. I am thinking of some type of drunkard's path variation, haven't decided 100% yet what direction I am going in but this is what I have so far:

I love the brights with the darker cross hatch background and really like how this is coming together so far. Waiting for my partner to comment to see if I should keep going ... but I may continue anyway because even if she doesn't like it, I want to finish this and keep it for myself! :)

I am trying to not just choose something directly from her mosaic, but be instead inspired by the colors, fabrics, and shapes she has chosen and make her something unique and especially made just for her. I have plenty of time to start over but I am hoping I am not off track with this because I think it is really fun ... but in the end I want to make her something she adores so I'm fine starting over if needs be. We shall see!

Until then... I have a very empty evening ahead of me and lots of sewing to do ...... so I should get on that ... or go take a nap... both very tempting options haha.

Hope everyone is having a good Saturday! The sun is shining here and I'm having a much needed wonderfully relaxing day after a super long week at work ~ thank goodness!

Modern She Made Round 3 ~ Finished & So happy! :)

My Modern She Made partner received her mini-quilt and needle book this week ~ she seemed really happy with her package which always makes me glad to hear. I tried to make something she would love and put a lot of time and energy into this package, so I was glad to hear she was excited that it came to her! Always feels good to hear that your partner specifically hoped to receive what you sent them :)

I am always nervous and excited for my partner to receive their package and I was glad it made it to her so quickly. The next fun part is wondering what I will receive from the swap and stalking packages through the "sent & received" discussion feed :)

I have to say, there was a beautiful mini-quilt from Lori H. in the photo feed that I was in love with from the first sketch and fabric picture she posted. I didn't think I would be lucky enough to get something from her because she is so amazing but I kept stalking the package anyway :) She mailed on Wednesday so I told myself if I got a package today or Monday maybe it could be from her! There were some other things in the feed I thought maybe could be for me and would have been really happy with  ~ but I was holding out hope I would get Lori's mini. 

Well... I came home to a package today after going out to lunch from a friend and guess who's name was on it! That is right... I got this beautiful mini-quilt from Lori ~ posting her picture because it is way better than mine lol:

MSMS - Round 3 Finished!

Isn't it beautiful? I've been wanting something in a pattern like this ever since my friend Marika made a kaleidoscope pillow last year. When I saw this in the feed I hoped beyond hope it would be for me and now I am the proud owner of this beautiful quilt!!

She also sent me a bunch of thoughtful and awesome goodies with this quilt, as if I needed anything else! Check out that awesome keychain, fabric, ribbon, thread, and even a handmade monster! I am so spoiled and could not be happier with this entire swap experience ~ I had an awesome partner to make something for and had an amazing woman make something especially for me! A++ to round 3 of Modern She Made :)

Aside from the Pillow Talk Swap, Modern She Made has been one of the only swaps I've participated in that I've want to continue in round after round. I'm selfishly hoping that they will wait a few months for round 4 so that I will have time to participate since I'm pretty booked up for the next few months and REALLY need to take some time off of swapping after all my other projects are done in June! 

 The organizers are great, they do a wonderful job keeping everyone informed and upbeat, and I've enjoyed ever partner I've had & received beautiful creations from those who've gotten me as a partner. They also keep it interesting by incorporating a new shape each round that has to show up in our piecing, quilting, etc. The first round was a circle, the second round was a triangle, and this round was a star. 
Love it and hope to have many more happy rounds ahead of me in the future! 

April 29, 2013

QAYG ~ An experiment

I decided to try something new and chose a "quilt as you go" pillow tutorial from Let's Eat Grandpa. 6 hours (and only minor cursing) later ... I finished this:

Although it was just for practice, I took a chance and used some of my favorite fabrics and o buddy am I in love!

I can't say I would do this all in one sitting again, 6 hours of QAYG is a bit too much for my patience and nerves, but it is super easy and lots of fun. Let's Eat Grandpa has some amazing pillows she made in this style and I'm hoping to try more colors next time and get a little closer to her awesomeness.

For my first try tho, I'm pleased as punch with my new pillow :)

April 27, 2013

April finishes ~ finally! :)

As April comes to a close I am happy to report that all swaps and bee blocks are finished as of today and ready to mail this coming week, woo hoo!

First up is my Modern She  Made swap package:

This Lonestar mini-quilt is definitely one of my favorite swap items I've made over the past couple of years. It turned out around 27 x 29 ~ not as "mini" as I was going for but hopefully my partner will like it!

I also made her a little needlebook based off of this tutorial from Nanacompany:

I've never made a needlebook before but it seemed like a cute and useful "extra" so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Hope my partner likes her package! I am a little nervous and super excited to see what I will receive in this swap!

Up next are my April Bee blocks for Aylin:

I have to admit that I couldn't figure these blocks out from the instructions at first and I was pretty stressed about them all month. I finally realized today, after asking again for additional instructions, that pictures were included in the original write-up but since I'd opened it in a web browser, all I saw before was text! DOH! After seeing the pictures it all made sense to me and I was able to whip up these 4 half blocks pretty easily. I feel so bad for making Aylin doubt her instructions and have to deal with my bazillions of questions!
I really like the effect these blocks create when put together and can't wait to see her finished quilt ~ the blocks I've seen so far together look awesome! Off to Germany these little blocks will go as of Monday/Tuesday! 

It feels good to have everything finished up on time and ready to send out! And it isn't even Sunday yet, woo hoo! 

I have to admit, even tho I shouldn't have, I did sign up for another swap. I know I know, this is my 4th big swap in a row on top of my 6 months bee and really stupid of me... but I can NEVER pass up the Pillow Talk Swap! The one time I did, I absolutely regretted it!!

So here is my inspiration mosaic for my partner:

Pillow Talk Swap

I included a bunch of my all time favorites so I can't wait to see what she will make me!

My partner's mosaic is very interesting and challenging... so I need to do a lot of brainstorming before I get started. I'm hoping to pick a pattern and pull some fabric for her approval tomorrow. It feels good to have a whole afternoon/evening to work on something else after church tomorrow, now that the above projects are completed! This one is due June 1st so I need to stay on top of it so I'm not stressed out by the end of the month with this and bee blocks again!

I'm also doing a personal swap with 2 friends due by the end of June. We are making a large and a small item for eachother... I need to get going on those as well so I will be busy busy until the end of June and then no more swaps until Pillow Talk Swap comes up again!!

I've loved most of the swaps I've been in but I've tried out too many in the past year+ and haven't always been pleased with the result. I've spent a lot of time, creativity, and money on these swaps and really need to just back off for a while. I've learned which ones I love and which ones just are not worth it, and am ready for a break.

I've decided that I'm only making space in my life for the Pillow Talk Swap for the rest of the year and ignoring all others, no matter how intriguing they may seem! I have tons of personal projects that are waiting to be finished, plus new things I'd like to start for myself, my home, and my family... so that is what the second half of this year will be used for. 

Until then... stay tuned for more swap progress in May & June :) Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

April 4, 2013

Full Moon Lagoon ~ The new Mendocino?

I was browsing on Hawthorne Threads the other day and came across Full Moon Lagoon by Mo Bedell and I immediately fell in love. Fuchsia and sea horses? Yes, I'm sold! 

I think one of the things that really grabs me about this line tho is its similarity to Heather Ross' Mendocino line

HR Full Mendocino Collection Pics

So what are your thoughts? Loving both? Neither? I am definitely putting Full Moon Lagoon on my wish list! 

March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

Apparently the expiration date on the Peeps package is no joke... who knew Marshmallows could turn so evil... but still so cute! hehehe

Being the strange Aunt that I am, I made these little cuties for my niece and nephews who are visiting my Mom this week during their Spring Break. Heading over for an early Easter dinner today since they have to head out tomorrow morning for the long drive home. Hoping they like their new little friends! 

Happy Easter!