Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Words {Reality}

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I've never been good at those Wordless Wednesday posts that I see on other blogs.  I always seem to have more to say OR I'm just lacking those really cool photos... ;)

So because I always enjoy being real here, I thought I'd take today and share a little more of me.  Now I don't want this to come across as a negative post because it's really nothing more than me thinking out loud.

Would you believe that I'm a shy person?  I'm in a relationship-centric job with a large client base, I coach softball for 10 players and 10 sets of parents, and I have this blog that for some reason, more than just a few people read.  That's a lot of people for this shy girl to interact with.

It's obvious that I love quilting, fabric, and sharing what I'm working on... here.  In real life, not so much. 

Steve is my biggest fan and probably because he's one of the few that I am comfortable with and actually enjoy showing off to.   The idea always sounds nice but the reality of attending a guild meeting, a quilt retreat or any kind of creative get-together nearly paralyzes me with fear.

Am I the only one like this?? 

A lot of the time I find myself feeling like I am because I see so many people blogging about their wonderful experiences at guild meetings, retreats, etc... .  I love looking at their pictures but I secretly find myself wondering, how the heck did they manage to get out of their car?

I promise that I'm not snobby.  Weird maybe; but not a snob.  But whatever it is that I am, I feel like I'm missing out on the whole quilting "experience" and I can't decide if this is something I need to push myself to do so I can be more normal.

Or maybe I'm good staying right where I am... in my comfortable studio... in my favorite chair and subjecting Steve to my revolving quilt show-and-tell. 

Poor Steve...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Have a Stitchin' Weekend # 4 + A Winner!

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How was your weekend?  I had a great one.  We had a lot of family activities but I mixed in some sewing too.

100 half square triangles for a Moda Bakeshop quilt in progress...

Hexagons in the car...

And then there's a winner of the giveaway to announce.  Thank you all so much for your comments and a big hello to my new followers!

According to RANDOM.ORG's True Random Number Generator:

#554 is the winner of 5 yards of fabric from the Fat Quarter ShopRobin who said, "Beach Mod is a fun line - love those little campers! :)"

Congrats, Robin!!  I'll be emailing you to get your details...

I hope ya'll had a Stitchin' Weekend!  Below you can link up to a picture of the project{s} you worked on this weekend.  It doesn't have to be finished, it just has to be something crafty you worked on.  Please link back here in your blog post or just grab the Stitchin' Weekend button. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Introducing Fat Quarter Shop {sponsored giveaway}

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This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for all the entries!

I can trace the origin of my love for online fabric shopping back to Fat Quarter Shop.  My first online fabric purchase was here and I just can't seem to stop.  Kimberly Jolly is the owner and they are based in Texas which makes me happy as a fellow Texan. :)  They always have an amazing selection of the newest fabrics plus a great sale selection too.

So guess what I get to offer all my lovely readers today?? 

FIVE yards of fabric!! 

Yep, you read that right.  Kimberly is generously offering 5 yards of fabric {your choice} to one of my lucky readers.  Your choice!

How do you enter?  Easy...

For one entry go take a look at the amazing selection and then come back and tell me all about your favorite fat quarter bundle for one entry.

For a second entry become a follower of my blog and leave a separate comment telling me OR if you are already a follower {thanks!} leave me a separate comment and let me know.

And if you are dying for a third entry {which I would be if I could enter!} "like" Fat Quarter Shop on Facebook and leave a separate comment letting me know.  And believe me, you won't be sorry that you did because Kimberly always has awesome specials going on just for her Facebook peeps...

This giveaway will end on Sunday, March 27th at midnight.  I will announce the winner Monday morning and also give you the chance to show off your weekend projects.

Good luck and have a Stitchin' Weekend!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's about that time...

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I think Chaney is just as excited as I am...
... where things get really busy.  Chaney started softball last week and I'm coaching again.  Last season was fun and challenging because teaching softball skills to 5 & 6 year olds can feel more like herding cats a lot of the time.  But before I was ever a wife, a mom, an employee, or a quilter, I was an athlete so I have missed it and I'm so glad that we are back on the field. 

I love the smell of the equipment bag {as weird as that sounds} and my car has once again been transformed into a dugout on wheels.  Our team name is the Spouts and this year we are a team of 7 & 8 year olds.  And wow, those extra years make a difference!  So far no one is making dirt castles at home plate or twirling like a ballerina on the pitchers mound. So far... ;)

So if I'm not posting nearly every day like it has been lately... you can probably find me on a softball field.  And even on those off days, you are more likely to find me playing catch in the back yard with Chaney and talking about our days as we throw the ball back and forth.  I love my job, I love quilting, but what I really love are times I get to spend connecting with Chaney and Steve.

Will I still be blogging, sewing, and quilting?  Yep.  For sure.  But I'm also not going to allow myself to feel the pressure or the obligation to sew when I would rather be playing catch or even reading a book because I'm exhausted after a long day at work followed by practice.

So when I start complaining about how stressed I am {it's most likely because I'm trying to do too much} please remind me of this post.  And when I'm ready for the season to be over with, please remind me of this post and that the next season is always right around the corner after a nice break. :)

Go Sprouts!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lunch Sack Tutorial

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Thanks for all the nice comments about my lunch sack!  Today I wanted to share how I made it... and the bonus for me is that I had to make a second one for this tutorial so now I have two.   For this sack I used vintage sheet for the stripey outside and linen for the top and lining.

To make your own you will need:

two 12" squares {for the outside}
two 3.5" x 12" strips {for the outside top of the bag}
two 12" x 15" rectangles {for the lining of the bag}
one matching elastic hair tie
one matching button
thread, ruler, & other sewing notions

Use a 1/2" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.  RST = fabric right sides together

Take your 12" squares and cut a 2" square from the bottom corners.  Do the same on the two rectangles for your lining.  Doing this will make it very easy to square the bottom of your bag.

Now take your two strips and with a 1/2" seam allowance, pin right sides together {RST} and sew width-wise to form the top of your bag. 

Press open. 

Take the two pieces for the outside of your bag and pin RST.  With a 1/2" seam allowance stitch down both sides of the bag.  Stop when you get to where you cut out the 2" square.

Continute and stitch along the bottom of your bag from end to end. 

Now here's the cool part!  With your bag still inside out, open and match the side seam to the bottom seam and pin {this will make sense when you do it}.

Stitch along the newly formed line. 

You now have a perfectly square bottom of the bag!

Repeat the above steps with your lining but when you get to stitching the bottom of your bag, begin sewing and then STOP and leave a 3" opening in the middle and then continue sewing to the end.

{this is where you will turn your bag} 

Square the bottom of your lining just like you did the outer shell of your bag.  Leave the lining turned inside out.

Turn the outside of your bag right side out and press.  Measure to the middle of the bag.  This is where your hair elastic will go.  Make a loop with your fingers and very carefully stitch it down to the outside of your bag. 

Once it's secure you can clip the metal part away.

Leaving the loop right where it is, slide the outer shell into the lining that is still inside out.  Match the two side seams and then pin around the rim of the bag.  Stitch all the way around the bag.

Remember the 3" space you left in the bottom of the lining?  Push the outer shell through this space.  Before pushing the lining into place stitch the space closed.  Once that is done, push the lining of the bag into the outer shell until the bottom is square and it looks neat. 

Press the top of the bag.

Topstitch around the top of the bag for a neat finish.

Now, pick out a button!  Fold the top of your bag over and mark where you want the elastic loop to meet the button.  Handsew the button on that mark through both layers of the bag.  Trim your thread and any other loose threads. 

That's it!

Congrats!  Now you have a green lunch sack!  When it gets dirty just wash on cold and lay flat to dry.  Let me know if you have any questions... 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Have a Stitchin' Weekend # 3

Pin It Good morning!  How was your weekend?

I had a great weekend working on several projects including a new pattern.  I also started an unexpected project... reading The Hunger Games.  Holy cow!  Have you read this trilogy??  I finished the first one in a day and I'm working on reading the second book now.  If you haven't read these books, I highly reccommend them.

Today I wanted to feature just a few favorites from our first two Stitchin' Weekend link ups that I was able to find on Flickr.  Several are new-to-me bloggers so I hope you will go take a look at what these creative ladies are up to.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing my lunch sack tutorial!  In the meantime, please link up and show off what you worked on this weekend.  It can be anything crafty and it doesn't have to be finished.  Please mention that you are linking here in your blog post OR you can grab the button and let it live on your side bar so you don't have to remember every week.

I hope ya'll had a stitchin' weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Have a Stitchin' Weekend {project}

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I need to start taking my lunch to work everyday.  It's healthier and more economical.  I can't say that I'm super excited about packing a lunch every night before {or in the morning} but I think I can be a little more motivated if I have something cute to put it in.

I made this little bag last night.  It's the fabric version of a paper sack.  Completely washable and re-usable so it's green too.  And have your read all the reports about the plastic linings in lunch totes and how dangerous they can be??  I'm much happier having something that is chemical free touching my food.

The outside is made from vintage linens and the inside is lined with a slightly sturdier quilting fabric. 

The little elastic tie is actually a hair tie.  The button is vintage and it my favorite part of the bag.

So what will I be working on this weekend?  A tutorial for making this lunch sack... a quilt... and if I have a little time maybe a new pattern too.  What will you be working on?

See ya'll on Monday to link up your and show off your weekend projects.  Have a stitchin' weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky {me}

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Would you believe that I have never made a simple patchwork squares quilt?

I've always wanted to but somehow it has never made it to the top of my list.  So when I was asked to make a custom quilt with 3" squares I was thrilled.  My customer sent me fabric to use and she did a great job picking the different prints.  There was even one really cool vintage plaid in there which always makes me happy.

The quilt finishes 36" x 54" and I believe it's going to be a wall hanging.  I quilted it with a meandering free motion pattern.  Simple quilting which really lets the squares stand out.

I even did a little bit of fussy cutting... and can you see that clover in the upper left hand corner of the picture??  I promise I didn't go hunting for a patch of clover to take quilt pictures in.  I just found some grass and a brick wall behind my office and there it was.  Lucky me!

Some of you who know me well are probably smiling at the fact that I made a "green" quilt.  For those of you who don't know, green is not my favorite color but it's actually beginning to grow on me.  And really, how can I resist when I'm working with such fun fabric??

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Don't drink too much green beer today... ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {Spring Break}

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday {favorites}

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Quilt & Photo by You had me at bonjour
It's always fun to see a pattern that I designed creatively interpreted and made by someone else...

You had me at bonjour...  is a new-to-me blog that is not only full of great quilts, photos, and projects but the writing is very well done and witty.  You can see all of her Serendipity quilt photos here.  Don't you just love the color gradation?

Quilt & Photo by Carla of Lollyquiltz
Lollyquiltz is one of my favorite blogs.  Everything Carla does is quality and she has a great eye for color.  She is also having a giveaway today to celebrate her 1 year blog anniversary!  You can see all of her Serendipity quilt photos here.  I especially like the border and the straight line quilting to define it!

I hope you will go take a look at both of these blogs and get to know two fabulously talented quilters!  If you want to make a Serendipity quilt for yourself, here's the link to purchase the PDF pattern. :)

And BTW, if you have made a quilt from one of my patterns or a project from a tutorial of mine, I would love to feature you here... even if you don't have a blog! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Have a Stitchin' Weekend # 2

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How was your weekend?

I feel like I got a lot accomplished but a lot of what I worked on are things that I can't show quite yet.  But I did do some crocheting and made some really cute flower clips for my niece and Chaney who wanted to "try one on" and never took it off. :)  I made a few more grocery bags too but losing an hour yesterday really made the day go fast so I didn't get any pictures.

I had a great time browsing through all of your links from last week!  I don't like trying to pick my favorites because really, all the projects were great.  {If you missed last week, the links are still up...}

So, here we go... add your link at the bottom of the post and share what you worked on this weekend.  It doesn't have to be finished and it can be any project as long as it is some sort of crafty!

Please visit and comment on at least a few other links so that no one feels left out.  And lastly, please either link back here or you can grab my Stitchin' Weekend button and let it live on your sidebar.

I hope ya'll had a stitchin' weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Have a Stitchin' Weekend {project}

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I should have ironed better but it was late...

I have been meaning to make some fabric grocery bags for a long time.  I grocery shop weekly and I almost hang my head in shame when they bag my stuff in the plastic bags.  But not this coming weekend!

I have been sewing with Keyka Lou patterns for several years now and I have never been disappointed with one of her designs.  Her patterns have great pictures and easy to follow instructions.  She also has a great blog with additional tutorials and tips for almost all her patterns.  So when I was ready to make some grocery bags, I headed to her site and downloaded her Reusable Grocery Bag pattern.

Start to finish, it took me 40 minutes to make this bag and that includes picking out and cutting the fabrics!  Aren't those fabrics cute??  I bet my next bag will go even faster.  It is fully reversible and washable.  She has a genius method for making the bottom of the bag sturdy and all the seams are double stitched for strength.

I will be making a few more of these bags this weekend {they are a great stashbuster project too!}.  What are your weekend sewing plans?

Have a stitchin' weekend!  See ya'll on Monday to show off your weekend sewing projects...

PS: Keyka Lou is not a sponsor... I just love her patterns that much!

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