Thursday, November 26, 2009

Around the World

I will be on a business trip beginning Nov. 28 and will not return to the States until Dec. 8. As you can imagine, I need to take a hiatus from blogging between at least those dates - if not a little longer.

Hope you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and start to the Christmas season!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 Fall Quilt Market

I watched every one of these videos that PortabelloPixie took at the 2009 Quilt Market. Cannot get enough of looking at the yummy merchandising and getting a sneak peak at what's next.

I especially enjoyed the interview with Anna Maria Horner - she looks just like her daughter. They could totally be sisters. Hope someone says that about me and Olivia some day!

And, of course, I was glued to my computer screen watching the Amy Butler interview. At one point, Olivia said - Mommy, it's you. Guess I wear my hair like Amy sometime, but I"m definitely not as tall and this as she is - nor will I ever be no matter how hard I work Weight Watchers. :-)

In my next life, I want to come back as a designer. What a cool job. And to be surrounded by all that beauty all the time... plus, they get paid to sew. Who wouldn't want that?

Thanks to Sandi Henderson at PortabelloPixie for giving us this great behind-the-scenes footage!

Friday, November 20, 2009

WIP-ed Around

There's a reason for the acronym WIP for Works in Progress. At some point, we sewers and knitters have so many we feel whipped around by them!

Here is a snapshot of my list of active WIPs (disclaimer: this does not include the many projects hibernating in the dark corners of closets because I can't stand the site of them).

1. Quilt A - Can't say what or for whom as it is a Christmas gift.

2. Quilt B - Same as quilt A (but here is a sneak peak at it)

3. Olivia's Christmas dress

4. Scarf for Christmas gift

5. Hat for me (because I got tired of giving all my projects away)

6. Scarf for Bill

7. Tunic for Olivia

8. Advent quilt

9. Custom order from craft fair

Plus, I just got the fabric for Olivia's Portabello Pixie outfit that I want to take on our Christmas cruise - completed.

Oh, and there are several other Christmas gifts I want to make that I have not even started. In fact, don't even have the fabric for!

No wonder I'm overwhelmed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Want it Wednesdays

Couldn't help myself. I ordered these patterns from PortabelloPixie along with Anna Maria Horner fabric to make them.

This one is called the Analise .

This one is called Ruffle Pants. 

Can't wait to get started on these!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Barter and Trade

Recently, I joined an Etsy trading group. The idea is that we all have something another desires and would prefer to exchange product for product rather than money for product to get it.

My first trade is almost wrapped up. I made a toddler scarf with adorable flower applique in exchange for some pretty amazingly cute felt hair pretties for Olivia.

Here is the shoppe  I traded with for the hair pretties. I selected the Holly Holiday , Owl , and Bright Pink Strawberry barrettes. Aren't they adorable? Can't wait until they arrive in the mail!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Pillow with Envelope Tutorial

Only I would wake up at 6 a.m. (the day after doing a craft fair) on a perfectly good Sunday morning for sleeping in to make toss-pillow covers in Christmas fabric. Listening to Christmas music all day yesterday must have gotten me into the spirit - after I publish this post, I'm going to get out my Santa collection and redo my mantle for the holidays!

So, back to the pillows. I used two different Debbie Mumm fabrics. My daughter will enjoy the rustic scenes - skiing bears, ice skating owls, and snow-ball throwing squirrels. Very cute.

Here's a picture of the front.

Here's a picture of the back.

To make, cut one panel 21"W x 21"H (this fits a 20"x20" pillow). If you have a different sized pillow, just add a half inch on each side. This panel is the front. Set aside.

Next, cut a panel 24"W x 21"H. Then, cut the width at the 15" mark. Now you have two panels for the back - one that is 15"W x 21"H and one that is 9"W x 21"H.

Next, iron the back panels along one of the longest edge. First, iron 1/4"and then iron another 1/2" for a finished hem.

Next, put the front panel right side up on a flat surface. Put the larger of the back panels down on top of the front panel.  Right sides should face and the hemmed edge go in the center.

Then, put the smaller of the two back panels right side facing the front panel's right side. The smaller back panel should overlap the larger back panel.

Pin the edges in place. Sew 1/2" seam around all four edges.

Finally, turn the pillow cover right sides out. 

A large knitting needle is a great corner-poker tool.

And, voila! You have a easy, fast pillow cover. I made 4 of them in under 2 hours!

More Pics from the Craft Fair

Saturday, November 14, 2009

CLC Craft Fair Today!

If you live in the Dayton area, please stop by the Christian Life Center craft fair. Mom and I have a booth in an awesome location - right by the food line in the main gym!

Didn't our booth turn out cute?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Want it Wednesdays

Posey Flower Pins

Just $8 for a set of 20 pins at this adorable Etsy shop: The Blue Daisy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scrap to Treasure

So, this is what the scraps I blogged about this weekend yielded. A small baby-sized quit with a large border. I made 6 disappearing nine-patch squares and then evened out the quilt dimensions with a larger border on the width than the length.

I have to say I'm pleased with how the front came out with the free-motion quilting technique. However, the tension on the back was off and caused the treads to look spidery. What a disappointment to put so much hard work into a piece only to have your machine betray on the last step. My low-budget Singer is just not cut out for the free-motion thing. I need to find some straight-line quilting techniques I'm happy with until I can invest in a better free-motion machine (maybe a long-arm someday?).

I was going to sell this quilt at a craft fair my mom and I are doing this Friday and Saturday. But, because of how bad the back looks, I may have to sell it for a very low price as an "oops." Or just give it to my grandma for Christmas... grandmas love everything their granddaughters make them, right?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scrappy Quilt

I was inspired to "make do" with the fabric in my stash after going on a mini shopping spree for my daughter yesterday. Any fabric allowance left in my budget went to dress my little fashionista. She totally made out getting a Janie and Jack sweater, several tops from Gap, a winter coat from Von Maur, and an adorable pair of courds from The Children's Place. This kid is better dressed than me!

So, as I was saying, I decided to shop in my own collection of nice fabric scraps and cut a stack of 4.5" squares about 3" high. All are high-end designer fabrics that will make a very nice modern quilt.

If I can make the pattern work, I'd like to try a tossed 9 patch pattern just for some variety. Here is a great tutorial from p.s. I Quilt.

Now, the question is, can I finish this quilt in time for our craft show, which starts Friday!?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Studio Space

Thought you might enjoy seeing where I work:

My husband built the unit where I hang my WIPs - originally it was built for wrapping paper rolls but, well, as usual the sewing has taken over.

My knitting and sewing supplies mingle on a roughly 8 foot long table - also custom built by my husband who constructed a trash can within the table so I can just sweep my scraps into it. How lucky am I?

Love my sewing space. It's my sanctuary.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Want It Wednesdays

Lizzie B Creative has a new podcast - and the cutest quilt patterns in the world. I am in no way skilled enough at this craft to even think about attempting them.

Each has a theme - seasonal or an emotion or a scene - and builds a cozy story around it.

I have to say I love the girl in the fall-themed quilt.

Maybe some day I will go good enough to make one of Lizzie B's patterns. Until then, I will enjoy the eye candy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And Now It's November

Hope you had a Happy Halloween! Despite a little tantrum getting into the costume, we had a fantastic time taking Olivia trick-or-treating. She was the perfect butterfly.

And so now it is November and my thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and - eek! - handmade Christmas gifts! So much to do and really only 55 days until Christmas morning. Let the countdown - and late night/early morning sewing - begin!