Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday already!?

For whatever reason - maybe it's the wonderful sun we are getting here in Washington? - this week is flying by.  I shouldn't be surprised.... as the month of April was the quickest month yet this year!  But here we are - welcome to Wednesday or as my 3.5 year old says "hummmmp daaaaaaaaaay!" (and the 1.5 year old mimics this pretty well!)

Even with a fairly quiet blog and Facebook page I have been working a ton the last week.  Some of the sewing was for gifts / upcoming blog hops - so posting pictures is delayed - but I've been checking things off the to-do list and sneaking in fun time in the sun - playing outside, a family run after the hubby got home from work yesterday, and dinner on our back deck!

This week I FINALLY cut into a beautiful large-scale floral print from the Ashbury Heights line for Riley Blake.  I have a jelly roll of this line stashed away for a "someday" project - and will save enough of the floral for backing - but a friend of mine fell in love with it for a dress for her daughter - and I LOVE how it is coming along!

I shared this "peek" yesterday on Instagram

Finishing it up today so it can get in the mail - - then on to some sewing for ME (gasp!) - and my April quilt blocks for the various BOM's / QAL's I'm participating in.  Hubby suggested I work on the May blocks this weekend, too.  Hmmmm.... smart man?!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced - excited to see what everyone else is working on this week!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Project Quilting off season challenge 1 & ALYOF April

Pheeeeewey!  Nothing like realizing - while still out of town visiting family - "the Project Quilting challenge ends in 15 hours"..... when for whatever reason I had it in my mind we had until the end of the month.  Whoopsie!

Based on my birthday, June 8th (6/8), I was to use a deep purple and gray for this challenge.  So..... we got home, got laundry started - and I quickly pulled out my purple and gray scraps to get to work!

See more about the challenge by clicking HERE.

April has been a super busy month - my blog has been quieter for sure - and I really have no idea where the month went???

I knew when I originally saw the challenge I wanted to make something for me - because it was based on MY birth date.

So.... today I decided I'd whip up a coffee sleeve!

I get up at 4:30am with my hubby most weekdays to get some work in before my kiddos wake up - so coffee is a MUST around here.  I have a few reusable cups that don't have built in insulation - so they definitely need a sleeve!

Purple + gray + coffee sleeve + ONLY using scraps = this!

I did a little bit of straight line quilting through all three layers (cotton / fusible fleece / cotton) along the seams.  

Decaf?!  Yah, right!

Perfect - ready to protect my hand from that delicious, hot, oh-so-necessary java tomorrow morning! 

I love making coffee sleeves - and sell them in my Etsy shop - I'm always willing to cut into any in-stock fabric to make one!

In true Project Quilting fashion here are the details:
This coffee sleeve was (quickly) created in my home sewing studio in Montesano, WA.  It measures approximately 9.5" x 2.5" and is three layers - cotton / fusible fleece / cotton with bits of straight line quilting in a light gray.  Oh... and I'll call it "quick and scrappy"! :)

Linking up with Persimon Dreams - Project Quilting Off-Season Challenge 1

Friday, April 25, 2014

Upcoming blog hop! Tie Dye Diva Perfect Party Dress

I'm so excited to be participating in an upcoming Blog Hop hosted by Handmade Dress Haven featuring 16 blogger's interpretations of the Tie Dye Diva Perfect Party Dress.

{{I previously owned the girls Perfect Party Dress but was given the baby version for free to participate in this blog hop (how I didn't already have it I'm really not sure!?)  This post also contains affiliate links.  If you purchase from Tie Dye Diva after following my links I receive a small portion of the sale - thanks for supporting my lil' business.... and my fabric addiction!}}


First off, I LOVE Tie Dye Diva patterns.  Well written, great fit, professional finish, and Jen (THE Tie Dye Diva!) is an awesome gal and always willing to answer questions or give tips.

The Perfect Party Dress is a pretty little dress that has some great options included in the pattern.  There are two sizes - for baby (newborn through 24mo) and for girls (size 2-10) - - - and they are both just too sweet!

The REALLY fun part about this blog hop is that we are all going to "play" with the pattern - changes may be subtle or bold - but they're all made using the Perfect Party Dress as a base.  Then we'll share about how our creative process!  I love what Kathy says about this fun twist:
I want to help people learn to use patterns in creative ways, not just the one or two ways the designer shows you.  We all can't be pattern designers, but we can all think outside the box now and then and get creative!

I shared a sneak peek of my creation on Instagram (I'm new there.... so you can giggle while I figure it out!) - - and can't wait to take pictures of it on my adorable niece this weekend!

The blog hop takes place next week - at these fabulous blogs:
Mon. 4/28 - Kathy, Amy, Michelle
Tue. 4/29 - Tasha, Ren, Alyssa
Wed. 4/30 - Sara Beth, Shawnta, Shelly
Thu. 5/1 - Jenny, Meriel, Victoria, Nichole
Fri. 5/2 - Deanna, Zura, Kim (that's me!)

I hope you'll join us - I know I can't WAIT to see what everyone has sewn up - and learn a ton from all their tips!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Avatrix Medallion fabrics

Phew - Wednesday again?!

It's been a LONG week and a half around here - with my main sewing machine needing an unscheduled trip to the repair shop (boo!) and long days / nights of working for the hubby (double boo!).... it's been crazy!  Add to that a to-do list with lots of firm deadlines.... and well, it's been quiet on the blog!

But..... The beginning of this week has brought progress! {thanks to 4:30am starts to my days and sneaking in exercise that helps re-energize me!}

I am feeling a *bit* out of my comfort zone and will definitely be pushing my limits by attempting the Avatrix Medallion Quilt - but I'm excited for the tips & tricks shared by Oh Fransson! during the upcoming quilt-a-long.

I have been wresting with the color scheme / fabric choices.  As in spending HOURS upon hours on a bazillion {yep, that many!} fabric shop websites / blogs / pinterest.  Yikes.

I never work with solids.  Like never ever.  But I'm here to challenge myself.

So my fabric choices are {mainly} solids.  I just *had* to throw a few prints in there (one per color group).

I will be using the white-based "Confetti" in turquoise (part of the Minimalista line for AGF) for my white (because solid white still gives me the heebie jeebies!)

Then I have 5 fabrics in each color group: gray (the one in the middle will also be used for borders), turquoise, green, yellow / light orange, and dark orange / red.  The majority of the solids are Michael Miller Cotton Couture.  There are also a few Pure Elements solids - as well as Laura Gunn's Painter's Canvas (gray textured fabric), Violet Craft's Domino Dots (turquoise), Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet (lime), AGF Chromatics - Pointelle (yellow), and Denyse Schmidt's Dotted Leaf (red).

Want every.last.detail. about each of these fabrics?  Check out my Pinterest Board for this project HERE!

It took me FOREVER to make this decision.  A huge thanks to the friends & family that helped put up with my constant "this turquoise or THIS turquoise?!" questions!

I'm excited that one of my friends is going to split the fabric with me and we will be making matching quilts!  Yippee!  We. Can. Do. This.

My fabric should be here later this week thanks to the super fast shipping over at Hawthorne Threads.  I plan on giving them a look-over once they get here because it's SO tough to gauge colors online - and editing if needed at that point.

If I thought this step was hard I'm REALLY in for it when we actually start MAKING this quilt, huh?!

Care to join in?  You can read more about the sew-a-long HERE.

I am linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  Can't wait to see what everyone else is working on!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baseball Shirts!

I am *trying* to do more sewing for my kiddos - it's one of my recurring goals each month.  They are amazingly appreciative EVERY time I do.... and I always love seeing things I make actually being used (but don't get to see this often because most of what I sew is sold and ships to my customer and I might get a picture back - which always makes my day - but I don't get to REALLY see it being used).  Making things for my kiddos allows me to see the item in action - being played in / on, snuggled with, thrown through the wash who-knows-how-many-times.  Love it!

When I saw Alyssa's pattern review for the Old Tyme Baseball Shirts I knew it was going on my "someday" list.  You know the list..... "Someday I'll sew that.  I might even buy the pattern today.... but someday I'll actually get around to sewing it."

Well.... then my friend Eileen contacted me about being a guest boutique for a themed auction group - and guess what one of the themes was?!  Yup - "Take me out to the Ballgame" - perfect!

We are coming up on recreational softball league season around here - and our boys LOVE cheering on Daddy's team, the Yard Dogs - so I thought I'd make them shirts in his company colors - black & yellow (yes, like the song).  If you want a giggle.... check out this remix done by someone from my hubby's company (it's clean... and makes me laugh because he definitely drives a "bumblebee" - yellow truck, black hood)

To say they love them would be an understatement, for sure....

I may have had to bribe them with the new super-duper-massive-sized bubble container to get them to take the shirts off....

I loved sewing these up - and this was my first attempt at piping (it went well.... I learned a ton.... and the second shirt went even better)

We have one left-handed lil' guy.  We started noticing this around 7 or 8 months old - as he was starting to feed himself little snacks.  Sure enough.... he's a leftie!  Partway through last softball season we got him his own glove.  I ordered it on Amazon because I wasn't finding anything small enough for him locally.  I wasn't about to pay twice as much for colors that were more traditionally "boy" - so he has a black and pink glove.  And he loves it.  Then again, we have lots of pink around our house! :)

We are pretty sure B-man is right handed..... check out his form!

This picture cracks me up.  They were both being a bit.... uncooperative.... with the photo taking (can you blame them?  The sun was shining so they wanted to be PLAYING!) - so I told them there was a monkey inside my camera.  He's looking for the monkey in the lens!  Tehehehehehe

A few detail shots - love the curves at the front - and the piping!

The hem is also curved - longer in the front and back, shorter on the sides - just like a traditional jersey - so cool!

This design will be one available for custom order - - - or you can bid on your own custom shirt(s) at the When You Wish Designs Auction (it's a group on Facebook.... they just recently started using the group in an attempt to increase visibility and communication) - their Facebook page is also used for previews / advertisement. 

The auction runs Tonight through Thursday! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I am a WIP

Thanks to my sewing machine deciding to freak out and stop working on Monday (read: now I'm sewing on my "backup" machine) and today being a BIG day the focus of my WIP Wednesday today is going to be slightly different.

Because I am a WIP.

We all are, really.... but today is a big day in the "Kim as a WIP" world.  Today is Day 90 of my Bikini Body Mommy 90 day challenge.  I promise this is not a sponsored post.  I promise I AM the girl who HATES running and puts exercise / eating well / making time for ME last.  But that has changed.

This photo below.... it freaks me out.   It makes me uncomfortable.  The day 1 photo?  It's almost like that nightmare where you're giving a speech and you're naked.

Bikini Body Mommy 90 day challenge success
I am a WIP.
90 days ago - January 17, 2014 - a friend of mine posted about a "killer 8 minutes" of a workout she was giving a try.  I asked about it - and joined a group on Facebook - and thought I would give it a go.  The first day of this challenge is a fit test - 8 minutes.... psh - I could handle 8 minutes!

Holy moly.

50 seconds of activity, 10 seconds rest - immediately move to the next activity.

Speed Squats, High Knees, Push Ups, Jump Squats, Tricep Dips, Burpees, Alternating Lunges, Elbow Plank (hold as long as possible - could be more than 50 seconds).

On day 1 I wasn't sure what each of those exercises was.... but I learned.  Quickly.

Today is day 90.  90 days of a 6-days-a-week workout routine.  Alternating strength days and cardio days (though she is NOT joking anyone - the strength days are awesome cardio, too - and the cardio days are building strength!)

Over the last 90 days I have gained strength, courage, confidence, and respect for myself.  I have become accountable.  I have modeled healthy choices - food and exercise - to my kiddos.  I have battled through TOUGH workouts and "yah, right!" moments.  I did not miss a workout.  Not one.  Not when we were on a 9-day vacation.... not when life was crazy (when isn't it?!).  Not when I thought "ugh, I just don't WANT to!".

I did all this with an awesome hubby by my side - pushing himself through the workouts, too!

By the numbers:
Speed squats: 39 / 37 (though I KNOW that my squats were ALL full squats on day 90 - huge difference!)

High knees: 107 / 120

Push ups: 30 (knees) / 30 (full!!!!) - this one is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I have not done more than a few full push-ups since high school when I hurt my shoulder. To have strengthened my body enough that I can now do them - and a BUNCH of them is a HUGE win!

Jump squats: 27 / 34

Tricep dips: 18 / 25

Burpees: 9 / 12

Alternating lunges: 19 / 24

Elbow Plank: 54 seconds / 1:12

Weight: -5.5lbs (I gained in the 90 days, then lost it all and more)

But I am STILL a work in progress.

Completing this challenge is not the finish line - not even close.  This is just the beginning and a wonderful example to myself that I CAN do whatever I put my mind to (especially when surrounded by people who are pushing through with me!).

For anyone who is curious about this challenge you should definitely check out Briana's website / facebook page / youtube videos.  The workouts are FREE.  The videos?!  You'll see her sweating and struggling and having to modify and kicking BUTT!  I have tried a few workouts... and a few diets, etc.  This one just clicked for me!  Oh.... and BBM 2.0 starts May 5th!  I'll be participating - and have recruited a bunch of friends who are excited about it thanks to that "hard to post" photo near the beginning of the post!

So..... I am a WIP - but I am proud of my progress so far.  Oh.... and I don't know that I can say "I HATE running" anymore..... shhhhhh, don't tell!

Cell phone selfie (a friend of mine and I sent them to each other after every workout for accountability) - smiling after a run?!  What?!
In case you're stressing out because you feel like none of this has to do with quilting / sewing / my creative life.... a) it does!  Last night I purposefully ran before working so that I could be energized and ready to go... and b) here are a few sewing WIPs on my table! :)

Hanging kitchen towels about 90% complete
Yellow / white chevron /// black "solid" - for an upcoming project for my boys!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced - can't wait to see what everyone else is working on!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pattern Review: Promenade Girl by Ellie Inspired

Oh my!  When Laura from Ellie Inspired posted that she had an opportunity for boutiques to do a review of one of her patterns in exchange for a bit of cross-promotion I definitely jumped at the opportunity!

Can you see why?!

Meet the "Promenade Girl" - - - and my adorable lil' model!

There are SO many adorable patterns over at Ellie Inspired - beware!

The nitty gritty:
Sizes: 4-12, and two doll patterns (for 15" and 18" dolls)
Options: skirt only, skort, and about a bazillion options for pockets / no pockets, trim / hem style
Fit: slim, average, and plus sized options are ALL included in this pattern (WOW!)
Time: my skort took me 90 minutes from printing to finished skort - breakdown of that time after another adorable picture....

Here was my time breakdown:
Taping pieces together - 3-5 minutes
Cutting time (including cutting out the paper pattern after it was taped) - 23-25min
Shorts sewing time - 17 minutes
Pockets with accents - 44 minutes (phew!  But they're sooooo cute!)
Skirt / final construction - 42 minutes

A few key things I LOVE:
Printing: there are 2 pages to print for the various pocket options - and 6 pages to print if you are adding the shorts (skort option).  If you are just sewing a skirt (no shorts / skort), you don't need to print those 6 pages!
Pattern design:  The use of different patterns for the lines for each size (like Laura does for this pattern) is one of those things that just makes me do a happy dance!  I print SO many patterns (because I'm constantly printing a different size... and because I have TONS of patterns) - and I much prefer to print in black & white.  The use of different line styles for each size makes it SO much easier to follow the correct line!!!  BIG brownie points to her for that one!

And.... there are so many options - and this makes for such a professional, fun lil' skirt (or skort) - perfect for playing!

The directions were clear and easy to follow.  Laura does a great job of explaining each step, using lots of photos, and letting you know what you can skip over (depending on what options you are including).

Play structure to climb?!  No problem!

The fit is GREAT!  this little girl wears a size 4 in ready-to-wear clothes, so I made her the Promenade Girl size 4 - average.... without getting her measurements (GASP!) - and it fits perfectly!

After all that playing.... it was time to relax for a bit....

... and soak up some sun!

If you can't tell.... I just love this pattern!  I look forward to sewing up more!

I added Ric-Rac to the pockets - because, well, why not!?

One thing to note: I used 3/4" elastic (not the 1" the pattern calls for).... mainly because I'm a rebel - but also because it was going to be a VERY tight fit to get that 1" elastic into the back waistband.... and this skort was just too cute to get all frustrated over something simple like some finicky elastic! :)

Peek!  See - look at those adorable shorts under there!  No undies will be showing when this lil' lady is busy playing!

So..... I know after all these pictures you are itchin' to sew one (or ten?!) yourself!  I know I will be sewing a bunch over at my shop - Eggo in the Oven.  You can find the pattern here:
Promenade Girl by Ellie Inspired

A HUGE thank you to my friend Heather, who provided the adorable model (Seriously, those curls?!  And that smile!?  Love her!) - and took these amazing photos.  My friends rock!

A thank-you to Laura from Ellie Inspired for giving me the opportunity to sew up this sweet pattern and share my photos / experiences with it.  This could be dangerous, though.... there are many more patterns from her shop on my wish-list now!

If you made it this far.... you should be rewarded, right?!  How about 10% off anything and everything in my Etsy Shop?!  Use the coupon code "Promenade" (without the quotation marks) through this Saturday!


This review is 100% my opinion after sewing up this (adorable) pattern.  I was given the pattern for free to sew - but was not compensated in any other way and my review is a completely honest representation of how I feel about this pattern!  I had a really great time sewing it - and the questions / suggestions I had along the way were met by Laura of Ellie Inspired with open arms!

Linking up with The Inspired Wren - Inspire Us Thursdays

The Inspired Wren

WIP Wednesday - a special project

I can't share much about this project.... but a friend approached me and of course I couldn't say no!

A peek at what I'm working on....
Last year I walked two Susan G. Komen 3-day (60 mile) walks - raising $4600 for SGK through my participation and helping with the $2300 each of my walking partners needed to raise to participate.

Me and my boys - San Francisco - Jun 2013
These walks will be something I never forget.

Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge - after a LONG first day - June 2013

I know, I know, there are all sorts of political debates about SGK and other organizations out there - or the color pink - or... you name it.  I choose not to focus on that.

My awesome friend (and walking partner) Heather and me - San Francisco 3-day - June 2013
I choose to focus on this... I am doing SOMETHING.  I know that.

"Baby" brother and me ready to start the Seattle 3-day - September 2013
My favorite sign from either walk.  I got a few blisters during the first walk - and they hurt - but they didn't require chemo.

The people I met, the love I felt, the stories I heard and witnessed, the support I was shown by friends and family - monetarily, emotionally, and by actually taking steps right next to me in training and during the walks.  Those things are what I am passionate about.

(left) pausing on the I-90 floating bridge in Seattle  - - (right) My amazing hubby was a stand-in walker with me for day 2

I walked 120 miles last year in those two weekends - but I didn't stop walking when I crossed that finish line.

3-day success - San Francisco - June 2013
60 miles complete - Seattle - September 2013
So this pink project I'm working on.... actually a few pink projects... are pretty special - and making me antsy to walk another 60 miles.....

The loves of my life - supporting me (and surprising me with homemade shirts - - - even Mr. Eggo is crafty!) - after finishing the San Francisco SGK 3-day - June 2013
Linking up for WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced - I am link #69 -  can't wait to see what others are working on (and eventually share with you my finished projects)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced