Friday, February 28, 2014

Etsy Feature Friday

Happy Friday!

One of my goals is to keep working to stock my Etsy shop - - - but it's tough to do while I'm staying nice and busy with custom orders and fun sewing! (not complaining, not at all.... this is a GOOD problem to have - one I've been lucky enough to have since I started this adventure a little over 3 years ago!)

While my Etsy shop is mainly ready-to-ship (RTS) items, I also have some custom items available.

One favorite listing is "The Messy Baby" gift set.  Perfect for a new mama-to-be (or daddy-to-be!), to prep for YOUR little one's arrival, as a new grandparent gift (have some of the essentials at Grandma & Grandpa's house for visits!) - or just because!

This set is comprised of three burp cloths and an over-sized patchwork bib.  Made in the color scheme of your choice - or to match your favorite in-stock fabric.

The set pictured is one I made for a friend to give as a baby shower gift - - - I also made a matching nursing cover and tie onesie!  So fun! :)

Hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend - lots of sewing and family time planned here!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Zoe's quilt {progress!}

After a wonderful vacation with a little bit of sewing sprinkled in - I was excited to get back behind the sewing machine {the iron?  Not so much!} this week!

I have a few different orders to work on right now, and each is a work in progress.  Some adorable dresses, a birthday onesie, super cute ruffly PJ pants - - - lots of fun things coming across my machine!

The last time I shared about Zoe's quilt I was sorting, designing, and stabilizing each piece.  Since then, her mom found a few rogue items that fell out of the bags when she took them to be shipped to me (oh no!!!) - so she sent them my way to be added in {phew, good thing I've been taking my time on this project - a few of them were really sentimental / important items!}.

Once I had sorted all the items by the size of the design, I started ironing on the stabilizer.  Stabilizer is important because onesies, etc. are all different thicknesses and most of them have some stretch to them.  Stabilizing them helps protect the integrity of the quilt (won't stretch out / break down).... but it takes time!  I knew I was going to work with three different block sizes - 6", 4", and 2" (finished square size).  I cut stabilizer a bit bigger than each size and ironed it on.

Then after returning from vacation, I got to cutting out squares!  150 of them to be exact!  {okay... actually a few more than that... it's good to have extras on hand - and they'll find their way into the backing!}

I *may* have had an unfortunate incident with my rotary cutter during this step.  Thank goodness some sort of survival instinct (or???) intervened and kept me from really doing BIG damage.  I still have all my fingers!!!!

Then I got my handy dandy colored pencil sketch of the quilt, and started stacking squares for each row.

I plan on using a "quilt as you go" method - similar to that shared by Maureen Cracknell - for this quilt due to its size (it will be around 50" x 60" when finished!).

A side note: Maureen is amazing.  Not only is her quilting beautiful and inspiring, but yesterday within minutes of commenting on a blog post of hers, and asking a question, she had responded by email!!!  To say I was a bit star-struck would be an understatement.  She answered my question, and truly took the time to respond with more than just a quick "thanks for commenting".  She even included photos to help explain her process!  Wow!!!  We emailed back and forth a couple times, and I was left even more inspired than before.  So a HUGE thank-you to her for taking the time out of her VERY busy day to offer some tips, etc., and truly show she is invested in the sewing community!

Anyway...... back to Zoe's quilt!

I now have all of the rows sewn together, and I have to say I LOVE how it's coming along.  I don't know the story behind all of the outfits, but I know how much they mean to her family, and I am so honored to be working on such a big, important project!

I'll be switching gears and working on clothes for the next few days - - - then will pick back up on this project again soon!!!  {though it's tempting to just keep sewing and get it all put together!!!}

What are you working on?  What inspires you?

I'm feeling refreshed from our vacation - and VERY inspired to create!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced - - I am link #116 - so excited to see what others are working on!

Monday, February 24, 2014

ALYOF - February Finish!

I finished up my February goal - a pillowcase (and small blanket) for Brendan - before we left on vacation.  I was still trying to decide what "theme" to go with for his room... so I went with construction because both boys love all things tools / trucks / construction.

The pillowcase

The blanket

But then we went on vacation..... and the fourth Project Quilting challenge was posted.... and I found a really cute space-themed fabric.... and created a great kiddo-sized blanket.....

....and Brendan went to bed last night snuggled up in that blanket.

So I'm thinking his room theme might change - again.

But hey - I finished my goal item(s) for the month!


Linking up over at Sew Bittersweet Designs for the ALYOF February Finish Party
My Button

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"From another universe"

Even before the Project Quilting Challenge #4 - Across the universe - was posted, I knew it was going to be a fun & funky challenge for me.  We have been on vacation since last Saturday, visiting my in-laws.  We don't fly home until tomorrow morning, so I knew if I was going to participate I would have to do 100% of the challenge while on vacation.

My mother in law has a sewing machine - she assured me of that - and even had a rotary cutter and {very, very small} cutting mat (and yes, after this week, she now has a more appropriate sized cutting mat (18" x 24") and a 6" x 24" ruler).

hehehehe.... do you see those pictures in the bottom left corner?  Yup... that's the hubby just *a few* years ago! ;-)

The challenge was posted at 10am CST on Sunday, while we were exploring the Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake City - actually right before we walked through an astronomy portion! :)

My original thought was to do something using dark blues / purples / blacks - very celestial - but when we visited the fabric store I just couldn't pull those fabrics.  I tried, I really did.  I think my recent fabric diet (I've now made 73 items - out of the 100 I need before I can buy superfluous fabric) may have something to do with that!?

eeeek - another cute pic of the hubby in the background! :)

We walked through the prints and I saw a fun spaceship and stars fabric that I just couldn't resist.  I pulled some solids, and headed to the cutting table.  Since I was having to buy fabric (I considered this very similar to a  "custom order" - thus not breaking the fabric diet), I wanted to buy as little as possible - both so I didn't have to haul tons of "extra" fabric home with us on the airplane (in addition to a quilt), but also so I felt less guilty about "breaking" the diet.

I got home..... and drew up an idea - incorporating a few blocks / techniques I have seen recently that I wanted to try out.  

Then I got to cutting, and sewing.... and then found I was going to have to change plans (see my post about that here).

Well.... I just went with more of an "improv" style and kept sewing away.  The machine I was sewing on was not what I'm used to (and a little strange to me..... I even had to use a pedal for the first time in a while - wink!) - - - but it came together pretty well!

The finished quilt is 40" x 48" - perfect for one of my boys (or both?!).  It is three layers of cotton - the top is pieced, middle is a layer of quilters cotton, and backing has a little bit of piecing because I ran out of the spaceship fabric.  I went with cotton for the "batting" for a few reasons - I didn't really WANT a thick quilt.... and didn't want to have to squeeze a thick quilt into a suitcase.... and didn't trust the unknown sewing machine (that was doing GREAT) to quilt / handle that thick of a project!

I named it "from another universe" because of the space-theme, and the fact I felt like I was creating far from my comfort zone / universe! :)

This quilt was created while on vacation - in Riverton, Utah

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

We are on vacation in the greater Salt Lake City area visiting my Hubby's family..... But vacation isn't an excuse not to sew for me! ;-)
This week is another Project Quilting challenge - "across the universe".
I found the fabric.... Drew up the plan... And today I started sewing!
But as you'll see - the method I tried to use for my chevron portion of the quilt did not work out as planned / promised (another post on that in the future!)
So my chevrons morphed into another shape.... And that's okay!
Linking up with WIP Wednesday -  and checking out others' projects!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vice Versa BOM - February Blocks

As I sit at PDX, rain streaming down the windows, waiting for a delayed flight (we are headed to Utah to visit family).... I figured I had a quick second to share my blocks for this month's Vice Versa BOM with GenX Quilters. {while the boys & hubby run around like maniacs through the terminal!}

This month's blocks are comprised of LOTS of HSTs!

Both blocks - traditional and inverse - - - it's hard to see, but the white is a pretty white-on-white paisley

Block 1

Block 2

With last month's blocks!

Loving how these are sewing up - can't wait to make more!

The boys are back..... and getting antsy.  Wish us luck on our flight {thank goodness it's a quick one!}
Gen X Quilters Vice Versa BOM

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday

We are preparing for a 9-day vacation visiting family - - - - but I'm still sneaking in a *little bit* of sewing time.

As of this afternoon I have three BOM / QAL blocks cut.  I'm participating in the Vice Versa BOM with GenX Quilters, Wishes Quiltalong with Fat Quarter Shop, and Aurifil DOM sewalong - - and this month's blocks for all three have LOTS of half-square triangles (HSTs).  So..... I have been cutting lots of squares!

These squares will all become slightly smaller squares made from two fabrics, then arranged to create some fun blocks! :)  My goal is to get these babies sewn up tonight after the kids go to bed - as the pre-vacation laundry is being washed!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday - and hopping over to see what others are working on!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Brainstorming, designing, decisions!

I'm working on another cathedral window quilt - same construction as my "Feel the Rainbow" Project Quilting piece from last week - - - but different design / colors.

I don't have fancy quilting software..... but I do have graph paper and colored pencils!

That's my design idea - - - but I just can't decide which side will be the back (squares & raw edges of the cathedral windows on the front) and which side will be the inside of the windows on the front.

Here are the piles of circles.....

Each stack is a side of the quilt.  But which will be the back?  The front?  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  I keep changing my mind!

So.... I will cut batting squares and go to sleep and think on it.  Hopefully I'll wake up to a decision!?

What are your thoughts?  Lighter fabrics for the "inside" of the windows on the front and dark fabrics for the back / raw edges?  Or vice-versa???


Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek at my latest creation - and I look forward to your input on the design.  I'm sewing this one up so I can write up a tutorial on the design / creation of these fun quilts! :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February Goals

Yep..... 8 days into the month and I'm finally making my goals official! ;-)

This month's goals will be pretty similar to last month... but here they are!  We are headed to Utah to visit my in-laws {yay!  we get to meet our newest nephew!!!} for 9 days during the month - so combined with an already short month my sewing days are much fewer!

Year-long goal: Do more sewing that is NOT paid orders
I have a few gifts to sew up for my lil' nephew - - - and would love to do a bit more sewing for my kiddos.  Maybe start on some bedding, etc. for our youngest? {you know, now that he's 16 months old!}

A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYOF) February
Goal is to make a pillowcase for Little Man #2 - as he now has a pillow in his bed!  I'd also love to sew him another little blankie - a "backup" to the one he sleeps with!

Project Quilting 
My goal is to participate in all the challenges during the month.... this could be a tough one though!  Challenge 3 was posted Sunday 2/2 - and I completed my "Taste the Rainbow" quilt earlier this week.  The next challenge will be posted 2/16 - and must be completed by 2/23.  We will be in Utah throughout that whole time, and combined with my "no buying fabric until I make 100 items" challenge.... it could be a little tricky to participate.  But I'm going to try!  The hubby agrees that it will be okay for me to buy fabric while there for the challenge as they are pretty "extreme" circumstances..... and I think that's a good compromise!

100 item challenge
I made 54 of the 100 items during the month of January.  My goal for February is to get to 80..... we'll see!  As of this post I am at 68 items sewn... not bad! :)  I have a few more custom orders I'm hoping to finish up before our vacation - and BOMs, etc. to complete - so I think 80 is achievable.... but will be a challenge!  But it would be awesome to have 20 {or fewer!} items left to sew as of March 1st!

Vice Versa BOM
We were emailed the BOM instructions 2/7.  I'm a little stuck. I don't know if I have enough white-on-white fabric (for the background) to get this month's blocks sewn up - - - but I haven't hit 100 items.... so I can't buy more.  We'll see - may involve some creative cutting or some fabric trades with friends!

Wishes Quiltalong
I got this block cut out on 2/7 - can't wait to sew up another black / orange / white / grey block.  Oh.... and somehow all three of the BOMs / QALs I'm participating in are VERY half-square triangle heavy this month - - - so I'll be doing LOTS of HSTs!

Aurifil DOM sewalong
Amy Gibson is the Designer of the Month for February and I'm very excited - I love all the quilts / fabric combos I've seen from her!  Her "Cathedral Window Playmat" tutorial was some of the inspiration for my "Feel the Rainbow" quilt!

Blog Goals
I have a few tutorials (applique letters, cathedral window raw-edged quilt) that I'd like to get written up and posted.  I'd also like to incorporate "Etsy Thursdays" (or maybe another day of the week?) as inspired by Persimon Dreams (showcasing one or more of my Etsy listings)

Other Goals
I NEED to organize my printed patterns / applique designs / etc. binder!  I think I will be splitting it into two binders so it's not so crowded.... and organizing it even more.  It's not a big disaster yet, but if I don't work on it soon it will get out of control.  Also organizing my blank onesie / shirt cabinet.  More progress on Zoe's onesie quilt..... and sewing up some stock for my Etsy shop.

Oh... and one more - Hubby is moving back to day shift when we get back from vacation - - - so my goal is to transition back to that "normal" smoothly..... we'll see.... going to mean more early morning wake-up-and-sew sessions - - - I've liked staying up late to sew! :)

So..... just a short list, right?! ;-)

January Goals Recap!

Hmmm... over a week into the month and I'm finally getting a chance to check-in on how I did with my January goals.... and I promise I have my February goals written up - will post those soon, too!

Main Goal: Do more sewing that is NOT paid orders
I think I did pretty great on this one!  During the month of January I sewed 57 items - and 9 of those items were "just because" / not for paid orders.  Yes, I realize that's only 15.8% - but that is a MUCH higher percentage than I have had in the past.  Included in those 9 items were BOM quilt blocks, some fun "add-ons" to paid orders that were gifts for a friend, and Project Quilting sewing!

A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYOF) January
Goal was to make a stop sign pillow - and I completed the stop sign pillow on January 13th.  Colby has slept with his head on that pillow since! :)

Project Quilting 
I completed challenges 1 and 2 during January - my "Bath Time" wall hanging and a fun construction wall hanging for Colby's room.  A fun bonus: I have won prizes both weeks so far - as one of the random winners!  Score!  Week 1 I won a sewing pattern, and week 2 I won a quilt pattern book.

100 item challenge
Oh gosh - this has been a "fun" one!  Actually - it's been great!  As of January 31 I had made 57 items - not bad for 29 days with a few days completely void of sewing!  As of this post, I have sewn 7 more items, bringing my total to 64.  Oh.... and have I bought fabric?!  NOPE!  I placed ONE order for two half-yards of fabric needed for a custom order - but I found a seller on etsy to buy from - not my usual "big box" online seller that offers free shipping after a certain amount spent (which would have made it REALLY easy to add to my order).  I bought the two fabrics, and that is ALL!  This has been a great challenge for me.  Since I am unable to buy fabric, I have to look at / use the fabric I have on hand.  It's interesting that there are fabrics I still don't tend to work with even when I can't buy a better replacement - - - guess I'll have some fabric to sell soon! :)

Vice Versa BOM
I recruited my mom to do this BOM with me!  I got my blocks sewn up on 1/7 - can you tell I was excited?!  It took me forEVER to decide on the fabrics.... but I'm happy with what I picked!

Wishes Quiltalong
This one was a "maybe" on the list - and I joined in!  I found a FUN quilt pattern that has football blocks - and after I saw that, I thought it would be fun to make a quilt using some of the football blocks as well as all sorts of black / orange / grey / white blocks from a few QALs / BOMs - the hubby and I are Oregon State University alumni and LOVE football - and the team colors are orange & black.  Should be fun and scrappy - and I'll be able to work on it throughout the year and finish it up during football season!
My January block!  These are big blocks - - - 14" plus seam allowance!

Mystery BOM
I decided not to join in on this one.  Didn't feel like my style and I had LOTS of other fun things I was excited about!

I added one more QAL / BOM - the Aurifil Designer of the Month sewalong.  Each month they're featuring a different designer, who will share a block of their choosing and we'll sew along with them.  January's block was "spools" - so I thought I'd make a block I could eventually make into a wall hanging for my sewing studio. {the fabrics coordinate well with my adorable ironing board cover, and the red face on my beautiful sewing machine.... and all the pink gear I have from my Susan G. Komen 3-day walks!}

For future months, I plan on using fabrics that will create blocks for the black / orange / grey / white / footballs quilt, too.  Oh.... and each month you complete the block you are entered to win a box of Aurifil thread (which I've heard is wonderful.... though I have yet to experience it!)

Phew!  Lots of sewing for January - - - feels good to have gotten so much done (including a bunch of custom orders for my shop, items to stock my Etsy shop (that sold out VERY quickly), and starting on a BIG upcoming project - Zoe's quilt!)

Oh - and one of my non-sewing goals is to find / make more "me" time and.... of course.... eat healthier / exercise more.  A friend of mine started the Bikini Body Mommy 90 day challenge and I saw it as an opportunity to have some measurable, attainable goals - - - Today is day 23 and I have only "missed" one day (and I doubled up my workout the next day to catch back up!) - Wahoo!!!!

I'll get a post written up about February's goals ASAP..... because there are only 20 days left in the month and 9 of those days we're on vacation!  Hahahaha.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

PQ "Sweet Treat" Challenge 3 - Finished!

Well... I did NOT intend on completing my "Sweet Treats" challenge item last night.... or really anytime before this weekend.... but last night I got on a roll and stayed up WAY late sewing away!

I finished the piecing and quilting, and was pretty excited about how my quilt turned out..... but knew I needed to wash it to see what would happen with the unfinished edges I was hoping to leave.  So this morning I got it washed up - - - and now I'm in love!

The colors... the textures... the soft-and-snuggly feel... how it is just going to get even more soft and "raggy" each and every time it's washed.... the fact I didn't use squares..... Love it!  I learned a TON during the construction of this quilt - trying out something totally different and pretty much "winging it" the whole time.  I had seen a tutorial by Amy Gibson (Cathedral Windows Playmat) at the Moda Bake Shop that was similar to what I was picturing - but my construction and methods ended up a bit different than hers.

I took a bunch of pictures as I was sewing - and plan on sharing a simple tutorial in the near future - but I think it would make MUCH more sense if I did a bit more "simple" color scheme / design - for the sake of a tutorial, at least.  So.... My plan is to create another quilt with this same design - but different colors (and fewer colors) - in the near future.... to make sure I don't lose people along the way with the tutorial.

The front and back are 100% cotton (quilter's cotton) - and there is cotton batting between the two layers (within each "square").  This one measures 40" x 45" - a great toddler / little kid size!

Oh wait... did you want to see pictures?! :)

A shout out / thank you to the hubby for helping me snap a few pictures before he headed off to work!  Seriously one of the most supportive husbands I know - - - he was so excited to see the quilt he actually pulled it out of the dryer for me!

Now I just have to decide on a name.......
.... and figure out if it's staying here or being listed in my Etsy shop (it will probably be listed)!

You still have time to join in on the Project Quilting fun!!!

Project QUILTING Season 5

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Project Quilting Challenge 3 - Sweet Treats - brainstorming!

The third challenge for Project Quilting, Season 5 was posted on Sunday at noon CST.  We were busy prepping for superbowl festivities - but I read through the challenge quickly so that I could be brainstorming while chopping veggies, making salsa & guac, and maybe a little bit during the game.  {though most of the game was spent cheering on our awesome Seahawks to their superbowl victory!}

This week's challenge is "Sweet Treats" - read more about it here

While I really enjoy chocolate.... if you give me a choice between chocolate and fruity / sour / gummy candy - I will pick the fruity / sour / gummy candy 9 times out of 10.  Skittles are a fave for sure - also on the list?  Hot Tamales, Gummy Bears, and Rips.

Photo from

The timing of this challenge couldn't be more perfect!
a) thanks to the Seahawks star running back, Marshawn Lynch (aka Beast MODE) - and his love for Skittles - my 3-year-old has been running around the house for weeks now hollering "Beast Mooooooooode!" and "Skittles - - - Taste the rainbow!!!"
Photo from

b) I have really wanted to make a rainbow quilt - but haven't had a reason to sew one.
c) My goal to challenge myself even more than each PQ challenge requires us to will fit perfectly this week!  Last week, my creation was far from my comfort zone - a funky, abstract creation.  This week...... rather than putting together a rainbow quilt using squares - or even half-square triangles (HSTs) into a chevron (which was my original plan for the rainbow quilt - prior to reading this week's challenge post) - I *plan* on working with CIRCLES!

I posted this photo {it's a cell phone pic!} to the "Challenge Quilts" facebook group - at this point I was about halfway through cutting out all the 8" diameter circles (not all pictured here).  A friend of mine sent me a text not long after - "What are you doing with those circles?  How do they connect?"  Yep.... my brain is not the only one that has to stretch when thinking outside the square!

By this point, my hand was RAW from cutting out circles {I have a circle cutter.... but the repetitive nature and the fact I think my blade is a *bit* dull were definitely working against me!}.  And both of my boys refused to take naps in the afternoon.  So I headed upstairs to try and do the dinner / play / bedtime routine..... which took last night!  After the usual books / songs routine with Little Man #1 and a handful of trips back into Little Man #2's room (for more songs, or snuggles, or a little more milk, or....?!?!?!) - I headed back downstairs to cut the rest of the circles, iron them all again, and get to work.

Last night I sewed two "rows" of my quilt.  They are test rows - I need to see if the concept I'm considering is really going to work.....

*Fingers crossed* for better sleepers today / tonight so I can really give this idea a try and get some work under my belt!  Don't worry - I'll take lots of pictures along the way just in case this concept works! :)

Want to join in on the fun?  Check out Project Quilting and challenge yourself, too!!!

Project QUILTING Season 5

Monday, February 3, 2014

ALYOF - February Goal!

February already?!

Since I made something for Colby last month, I felt it only fair that February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes would be for Brendan.  So..... what do you make for a 16 month old?!

Just this past week I put a pillow in his crib for the first time.  He was REALLY congested thanks to a nice lil' cold - and since he moves around his crib SO much during the night, I didn't figure elevating one end would really help much {though now that I think about it..... how is the pillow really ANY different?!  I guess that's the quality logical thought process you get on wake-up #5 or so of the night....?!}

So... this month's goal will be to make a few fun pillowcases for Brendan's pillow!  While this may seem like a simple goal..... and it is a relatively simple one, it also will force me to think about what fabrics I want to use - - - seeing as I never made him a nursery set, I may take this as the jumping off point for a bedding re-do..... we'll see.... but if nothing else, it will get SOMETHING sewn for him!

Plus... we will be on vacation for 9 days during the month - so a "smaller" goal will be good!

Oh.... and even though we are only supposed to have ONE goal for the month (for ALYOF - I have LOTS of other goals in general.... like keeping my house cleaned up - not just when I know people are coming to visit - HA!  not happening!) - - - my second goal is to make another lovey / security sized blanket for him - cotton on one side, smooth minky on the other, satin binding - as he now LOVES the one I made back when I had the lofty plans of making him a custom dinosaur nursery.  But we have one blanket.  What happens if that blanket needs to go in the wash?!  So yes.... another similar blanket is a must!

Yup..... this little dude needs some mama-made bedding!!! :)

What are YOUR goals for the month?!  Share them here (I love to read your comments!) - join in ALYOF!
My Button