Friday, April 8, 2016

The Road Back to Sewing Again...

Hello again..There has been so much death in my family in the past four years that it has left me stumbling. Grieving has been a very difficult process, but my days seem to be getting better. But I have decided to go back to doing the one thing that has always brought me a sense of peace and tranquility. Sewing...
I am taking the road back to sewing again. Sewing for me is art and creating makes me happy. Not every project is perfect or beautiful, but I want to find that creative energy that embodies my soul again. It has been lost in death and has buried in pain. Maybe I can sew my out of the grief and find my way back to the person that I used to be before the loss and the grief that overwhelmed me. Blogging has been a difficult thing to do because I haven't wanted to pour my heart out onto my blog pages. I have always used my blog to share the creative side of me and unfortunately that part of me has been lost for the past several years. 

One of my goals this year was to learn how to sew circles. I signed up for a swap on Instagram called the Little Bits Mug Rug Swap. It motivated me to learn how to sew curves. My local quilt shop had a class with Sandy Marcum the inventor of the Curve Master Presser Foot. I took the class after I tackled my first Little Bits Mug Rug. There are some great videos on YouTube about how to use the foot. The Little Bits Mug Rug is designed by Alexia Abegg. It's a free pattern with a lot of tiny pieces and is very fun to conquer. This was the beginning of my first mug rug with that pattern:
 I must admit that I did a bit of cursing when I made my first mug rug. I had never sewn a curve before and I was watching the YouTube videos to learn to use the Curve Master Presser Foot and was asking for help on Instagram at the same time. I am grateful for the advice I received on how to master the foot and curves. So now I am stoked about curves! This was my first finished Little Bits Mug Rug. 
Luckily there was a second round of the swap. My second mug rug came out a
bit wonky, but it was cool looking none the less. One of the challenges with this particular project is that the curves are so tiny and so is the piecing. My next curves project will be with bigger pieces...LOL
I recently made an Pillow Cover for an Angel Project in a swap. The pillow cover is very simply made with Snowballs and Bonnie & Camille Fabrics. I straight line quilt most of my projects because I love the effect it gives without overwhelming whatever is created. This project is in the mail to the recipient and hopefully she will like it when she receives it!
So my road back to sewing begins again. Hopefully I can find the Mojo that has been lost for quite a while. Sewing has been the one thing over the past twelve years that has been so fulfilling for me. I guess you could say that it has been the glue that held me together. I hope that all has been well with you in my absence. Have a Happy Thursday and Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Blank Quilting Giveaway Winner!

Please accept my apology in the delay for posting the winner of the Jaftex Giveaway. The winner of the bundle is Michelle Pen! Congratulations Michelle! Have a happy Tuesday and Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sewing Retreat with Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild

Happy Wednesday! I hope that your week is going well! I was lucky enough to be able to attend a sewing retreat with the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild in Crestview, Florida several weekends ago. They had classes and some Sewcials to attend. It was a lot of fun! I took two classes. One was a paper piecing class to make a Whirling Star Block and the other was to make a Pixelated Heart. The classes were excellent and lunches were served buffet style.

What I loved most about attending the retreat was that all of the ladies from the Guild were so friendly and each class was very well organized. The retreat was held at a church in Crestview and the guild lined the walls with their beautiful quilts! Below of pictures of my projects from the classes I attended:

The paper piecing class was quite an adventure for me. I am fairly new to paper piecing and it definitely is a learned skill! You literally are thinking backward as you sew the pieces to the paper! I used Kaffe Fasset fabrics and Kona Ash a solid for my background
The block turned out beautifully and is actually a Free Pattern on the Fresh Lemons Blog. This block will turn into a mini quilt for the Kaffe Mini Quilt Swap on instagram. I will post another picture in a future blog post with a picture of it quilted and bound for my partner.
In my afternoon class we made a Pixelated heart! The process had us fusing the squares to a grid then sewing the rows diagonally and horizontally to assemble the heart. The class was very fun and I definitely will make another one of these! I used Liberty of London fabrics and a Kona Light Pink fabric for the background. 
This is a picture of the ladies that I attended class with and our semi finished projects! All in all it was a very exciting day! I definitely would attend another one of these retreats if they occur again.
It really does feel good to be sewing again! I am far behind on some prior Bee commitments from last year but will make the blocks and send the ladies an extra gift with them as I finish. Well, time to run again! Have a Happy Wednesday and Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Jaftex Bloggy Giveaway!!

Happy Friday! I hope that all is well with you and that you will have some Quilty time to sew this weekend! Thank you for visiting my blog! Today is my turn on the Jaftex Blog Hop and I was able to create some really cute fabric baskets with a Beach theme to share. I wanted to thank the division of Blank Quilting for the opportunity to sew with their Fusion Illusion bundle of fabrics!

Jaftex is celebrating their celebrating their 85th year in business!  Jaftex Corp. was founded in the 1930’s when Jacob A. Fortunoff started selling fabric on the streets of New York.  At that time, the mainstay of the business was women’s sleepwear and lingerie.  In the 80’s, Jacob’s grandson, Robert, dramatically changed the business of the company.  The business focus was transferred to the over the counter quilt industry when Robert purchased companies like A.E. Nathan, Henry Glass, Stylemaker, Chanteclaire, Fabric Editions/Studioe and more recently The Blank Quilting Corp.  Robert is now joined by his two sons, Scott and Greg.  Scott currently is the President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.  Greg just joined the business in late 2014 and has successfully spearheaded the company’s foray in to precut fabrics among other contributions. 
Please be sure to look for the link on the side bar that will take you to the Nationally sponsored giveaways by Jaftex and visit all of the other bloggers on the Blog Hop to see their beautiful projects! When I received my bundle of fabrics I was so excited to sew with them! There was a wide range of colors and I started to daydream about fabric baskets again! So when I began to sew my idea became my starting point. Some of my favorite things to make are Fabric Baskets and Wonky Stars. The jewel tones in the Fusion Illusion Bundle presented the perfect background pallet for the wonky stars. I went to two local quilt shops to find the beach prints from Blank Quilting to use for the focal points in my baskets.
After the outsides were sewn together it was time to sit and do some straight line quilting. Machine quilting with straight lines is a favorite of mine and it gives the fabric basket extra sturdiness. The pictures below are of each color way being quilted. Quilting always brings a project to life!
Don't they all look amazing and I just love the sea life! Below is a picture of the finished baskets and a peek into my messy sewing excuse my lovely mess...the baskets turned out quite gorgeous, don't you think?
If you would like a chance to sew with the Fusion Illusion Fat quarter bundle, then today is your lucky day! A special thank you to Jaftex for sending a bundle for me to share with one lucky Bloggy Giveaway winner!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to Sewing Again...YAY!

Happy Thursday! It's been quite a while since I have written a blog post. Grief from my sister's death and work stress totally disabled my ability to be creative or sew. As much as I missed sewing it was difficult to sit in front of the sewing machine and sit without feeling nervous or fidgety.

Luckily, I am finally getting back to feeling like myself again. When my sister Tammy died I felt my world crumble. In my heart I felt a need to withdraw from many activities and just grieve and assimilate so many things. Most of my time has been spent with my son, my little dog and feeding my neighbors. In many ways life was like a bear in wintertime with a need to hibernate and wait for warmer weather. 

Sewing again is so exciting! I have wanted to overcome my fear and learn how to install zippers. Last weekend I took a class to make a Bionic Gear Bag at a LQS. The pattern for this sectional bag is available on Craftsy. It was fun and nerve wracking at the same time! The class was a two day event. I dug into my stash used both Anna Maria Horner Field Study and Innocent Crush fabric for the bag. I love the Bionic Gear Bag mainly because of all of the zipper pockets and all of the room for my sewing tools! It feels so awesome to learn a new skill and add another dimension to sewing.

Outside of the Bionic Gear Bag 
 Inside of the Bionic Gear Bag
I had also participated in the Starbucks Mug Rug Swap on Instagram. I love this swap because I have been collecting different Starbucks Mugs for my younger son to have when he is ready to have his own apartment. The package pictured below was an Angel Package that was mailed to someone that did not receive their swap. I failed to take a picture of my regular package that was mailed quite a while ago.
The final project that I just finished today is a zipper pouch with a lining! I followed a YouTube video to figure out how to sew the pouch and lining together. I broke two needles along the way, but otherwise everything went smoothly. I used fabrics from Heather Ross, Cinderberry Stitches, Aneela Hoey and various Lecien Scraps. The pouch measures 9" X 11" and is lined with some really cute Lakehouse Fabrics. It really felt good to tackle a skill on my bucket list!
Well, I better run for now. My goal is to start blogging regularly again. It's time to start moving ahead again. This year has unfortunately been a lost year with my Birthday Club and I apologize. I hope to start it up again in 2016, once life has totally settled down. Have a Happy Thursday and Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jaftex Blog Hop! Come Join the Fun!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope that all is well with you! I wanted to share some exciting news about Jaftex! They are celebrating their celebrating their 85th year in business!  Jaftex Corp. was founded in the 1930’s when Jacob A. Fortunoff started selling fabric on the streets of New York.  At that time, the mainstay of the business was women’s sleepwear and lingerie.  In the 80’s, Jacob’s grandson, Robert, dramatically changed the business of the company.  The business focus was transferred to the over the counter quilt industry when Robert purchased companies like A.E. Nathan, Henry Glass, Stylemaker, Chanteclaire, Fabric Editions/Studioe and more recently The Blank Quilting Corp.  Robert is now joined by his two sons, Scott and Greg.  Scott currently is the President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.  Greg just joined the business in late 2014 and has successfully spearheaded the company’s foray in to precut fabrics among other contributions. 
To celebrate this milestone, there are many of us who will be participating in a bloghop which began yesterday, September first. Here's the official lineup:
September 1 - Kim Diehl guest posting @ American Patchwork & Quilting
September 2 - Pepper @ Pepper at the Quilt Studio 
September 3 - Anjeanette @ Anjeanette Klinder 
September 4 - Leanne @ The Whole Country Caboodle   
September 5 - Mark @ Mark Lipinski's Blog
September 6 - Heather @ Heather Kojan Quilts  
September 7 - Heather @ Trends and Traditions  
September 7 - Martha @ Wagons West Design  
September 8 - Linda @ Linda Lum DeBono 
September 9 - Heidi @ Red Letter Quilts 
September 10 - Jill @ Jillily Studios  
September 10 - Dana @ My Lazy Daisy  
September 11 - Penny @ Sew Simple Designs  
September 12 - Ida @ Cowtown Quilts 
September 13 - Liz and Beth @ Lizzie B Cre8ive  
September 14 - Melissa @ Sew Bitter Sweet Designs
September 15 - Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl    
September 16 - Amy @ Kati Cupcake 
September 16 - Barbara @ QuiltSoup2 
September 17 - Erica @ Kitchen Table Quilting 
September 18 - Leona @ Leona's Quilting Adventure 
September 19 - Margot @ The Pattern Basket  
September 20 - Sylvia @ Flying Parrot Quilts   
September 21 - Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts  
September 22 - Kim @ Aurifil Threads  
September 23 - Rebekah @ Don't Call Me Becky   
September 24 - Julie @ The Crafty Quilter 
September 25 - Mary Ellen @ Little Quilts  
September 25 - Mary Jane @ Holly Hill Designs 
September 26 - Daisy @ Ants to Sugar
September 27 - Melissa @ Happy Quilting
September 28 - Janet @
September 29 - Jenny @ Martingale& Co.
September 30 - Teresa @ Third Floor Quilts
There are really cool prizes, for both you and, your local quilt shop! Just click on the widget on my sidebar to enter the competition to win the super awesome prizes!

1st Prize:
Blog Readers:  A Janome Skyline S5 sewing machine
Your favorite quilt shop:  30 bolts of fabric

2nd Prize:
Blog Readers:  15 Fat quarter bundles and a box of Aurifil thread [48 spools] 
Your favorite quilt shop:  15 bolts of fabric

3rd Prize:
Blog Readers:  6 Fat quarter bundles and a special edition tin of goodies from Schmetz Needles  
Your favorite quilt shop:  6 bolts of fabric
Good Luck!

Be sure to come back and visit my blog on September 18th to celebrate with a very cool giveaway for my blog readers and to see the project that was created for the Blog Hop!! Have a Happy Wednesday and Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stash Report

Happy Tuesday! Just a quick hello to share a stash report! Yesterday's mail arrived with my fabric purchase from Quilt Taffy on Etsy! One of the fabric lines in the box was Milk, Sugar & Flower by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics. 
The prints in this line are so adorable! Little birdies, kittens and luscious florals. Most likely the fabrics will go into fabric baskets, mini quilts, mug rugs and perhaps a small lap quilt. 
Have you made any new fabric purchases lately? I would love to hear from you...On Saturday I will post a Saturday Stash Report on some of the other precuts that have been accumulated...Have a Happy Tuesday and Happy Quilting!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Catching up on Swaps...

Happy Sunday! Thank you for your kind comments on my last blog post. It really made my heart happy to hear from those of you who responded. Bit by bit I am taking baby steps to come out of the bubble that my life was in. I hope that all is well with you! It feels good to slowly get back to sewing again. Work has been pretty busy and I am trying to squeeze in a little bit of creative time on the weekends. In my last post I shared the kindle case that I made for Courtney for the Fairytale Swap. Below is a picture of the fabric basket that was mailed with her package. It included some of her favorite fairytale prints from Hansel and Gretal and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The next picture below is a grouping of four mug rugs that are in progress or have been mailed for swaps. The top right is for the Starbucks Mug Rug Swap on Flickr, the bottom right is for the Woodland Swap on Instagram. The bottom left is actually part of a gift that I am working on for my Aunt. She lost her husband several months ago and I am putting together a Mug Rug, Fabric Basket and some other items as a pampering package to send to her. I will post a picture in a future post of the package before it mails. The top left mug rug is left from scraps from another swap, so it will be set aside for future use.
The picture below is a closeup of the completed Woodland Swap Mug Rug. Very simply done and scrappy, utilizing Heather Ross fabric, Timeless Treasure mini foxes and some Japanese Kei fabrics from Yuwa, the mini creates a cute little theme. It went out several weeks late (of course), so I hope that she will like it when she receives it on Monday.
There are still a lot of late projects to complete before my conscience is clear. I used to be a really good swapper, but I guess the overall stress of the past several years caught up with me and I just couldn't sit in front of my sewing machine or blog without feeling a certain level of anxiety. Many of the projects that I am working on are just simple patchwork. My plans are to use my Baby Go Cutter again and create some new things once the backlog of projects has been completed and mailed.

After that it is on to the UFO pile of quilts. Many of the Bee Quilt blocks that I received over the past several years are gathered in project cases. A good portion of the blocks are destined to be donated or gifted quilts. We received an email through work that one of our fellow employees had a house fire and lost everything. My plan is to go through the completed bee blocks and create quilts for his family. For this particular project I will have to squeeze the assembly in with my swap projects, so the quilts can be sent out to the long arm person.

So, what are you working on? Do you have anything special planned? I would love to hear from you! Today is a sewing and cleaning day for us. Have a Happy Sunday and Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sewing again...

Happy Monday! I hope that you have been doing well and have had much time to sew! I haven't done a lot of sewing, in many ways I have been a bit stuck. You could call it Quilter's block or a creative catastrophe. Much of it has to do with the events of the past year with my sister's death and coming in contact with my father at her funeral. 

The one year anniversary of Tammy's death is on Thursday. In many ways it has been a long and tumultuous year for me. I haven't socialized with my friends, or done much blogging. Once I get past Thursday I want to try to take some Baby steps to find my way back to blogging and creating again. I have had bouts of anxiety that have been pretty paralyzing, so I need to find a way to begin to move on. In many ways I miss the person I used to be before her death. So much has changed since February 26th of last year.

This week I am working on some projects for some swaps to try to find my Sewing Mojo. I am not taking on any new swaps or Bee's this year because I need to get caught up on the things I had promised to sew last year and just couldn't find the energy to complete. (if that makes sense) It has always been so important to me to follow through on swaps and I just feel so bad that my mind was so bogged down with grief. So moving forward with baby steps, my goal is to get caught up and start to find the joy and love in creating again.

One project that was finished is pictured below. I made a Kindle case for a swap on Flickr called The Fairytale Swap. My partner was Courtney and I just wanted to create something magical and beautiful for her. The picture below is the outside cover before it was assembled. Many of the fabrics were found on Etsy, ordered from Japan, or pulled from my scrap bins.
 The Kindle Case pattern that I followed was a free pattern from Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night. The free tutorial she had was excellent! Her case was pretty basic, so I used my imagination with patchwork to create this for Courtney. This is how the front cover looked when it was finished.
 This was the back cover of the Kindle Case. I think I spent more time creating the patchwork than assembling it! All of the little bits of fabric created the feeling of walking in through the woods and the joy of fairytales. I had also made a coordinating fabric basked, but didn't photograph it.
So what have you been sewing lately? I have a few more projects to work on and will share them as I go along. I wanted to apologize for not blogging, but the year has been filled with so much turmoil that I have just pretty much been trapped within my own thoughts. 

My goal is to restart the Birthday club within a few months. I apologize for taking some time away from it, but now it is time to move on and start fresh. Until next time, Have a Happy Monday and Happy Quilting!