Are you participating in the Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew Along, sponsored by the wonderful Maureen Cracknell and the talented Sharon Holland? It has been on-going for the past twenty-one weeks with one block released each week. There will be 25 blocks total. I am making blocks, though I must admit to being behind by about three or four blocks at this point. But I love the quilt I am making. I have been using fabrics from the Fleet & Flourish collection and the Garden Dreamer collection, both of which are designed by Maureen Cracknell. I have mixed in solids as needed. It will be sashed with one of my all-time favorite, low volume fabrics, Mesh Joy – designed by Sharon Holland. Click here to see it in my shop!
If you are participating in the sew along, you are aware of the giveaway that happens each Friday. Wonderful prizes have been offered up by the event sponsors each week. This week I am hosting the giveaway. If you are eligible, hop over to Maureen’s site to find out how to enter to win this bundle of fat quarters! A combination of eleven fabrics from two of Sharon’s lines, you could win pieces of both Gossamer and Bountiful. These muted, peaceful prints are gorgeous as a bundle. They are available now in my shop, both as fat quarters and yardage.
Essentially each participant is a winner this week. You may use coupon code SEWCIALBEE15 to receive a 15% discount off of your purchase from my shop all weekend long. The code will be active through Sunday night, June 25th. If you purchase one of the special SBS bundles and then are lucky enough to be drawn as the winner, I will refund the amount of purchase. No worry there. Take advantage of the coupon code to do some shopping — there are all sorts of wonderful fabrics to choose from! Happy Sewing. 🙂
Most of you have read that I have an Etsy shop. I opened it just over two years ago, about the same time I began blogging. I love having a shop and enjoy my customers, several of whom are repeat customers. However, until recently, my shop mainly sold items I had made, which means I am usually selling to customers who are not makers.
About a year ago, I began listing a collection of both vintage and current sewing patterns for garment makers. Also, I listed some cuts of my collection of vintage sheets, including fat quarters, fat quarter bundles, and charm squares. As these items began to sell, I realized that I was very much enjoying the interaction with the makers who were coming to shop my store. These are my people, know what I mean? It has been really satisfying to answer questions, chat back and forth about their projects, and help them find the pattern they are looking for, etc.
After much talking and brainstorming with my husband, I have decided to greatly expand my shop! To say I am excited about this new adventure doesn’t come close to describing how I feel. My husband, Ray, is very supportive and has many good ideas about the business end of it. I am not sure if you remember but my father owned a couple of fabric stores when I was growing up. This is a business I am very familiar with. I worked in his shop on many Saturdays as well as during the summer as a teenager. My father was almost always self-employed which means I am well aware of what this entails. However, in this time of on-line shops, I have the wonderful opportunity to open a business without having a brick and mortar shop.
I have been working very hard to choose a selection of fabrics that will have something appealing to each of you. Of course, the seed money to get this adventure off the ground isn’t limitless (oh how I wish…) With my start up budget in mind, I made list after list of the manufacturers I wanted to work with and the lines that I wanted to carry. Then I went through an arduous process of culling that list and narrowing it down to what I can afford at this, the very beginning of my adventure! I have selected some gems. Over the past several weeks, I have received bolts of beauty from designers such as Alison Glass, Maureen Cracknell and Kim Diehl to name a few. I have fabric from Henry Glass, Andover, Art Gallery Fabric, and PB Textiles to offer you. Over the next two weeks there are some amazing bolts coming from Red Rooster and Windham as well as a few more from Andover.
A sampling of what is available now!
Fabrics began arriving during the first half of January. When I got home from Toronto, things really kicked in. I am slowly but surely listing inventory as it arrives. There is still more to come but I wanted to share with you what I have so far. It is so exciting to see this take shape after weeks and weeks of preparation. I am fortunate to have a large basement level family room. There is one wall with built in shelving. This is where the current fabric lives. As it grows, we will need to add more shelving but for now, this is working well.
Alison Glass’ 76, Fiesta Fun and Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer!
I plan to hold a Grand Opening of sorts in the beginning of March. I have a blog hop and several giveaways planned- it will be a blast. Waiting until the first of March also allows the craziness that is QuiltCon to subside. But for now, let’s celebrate here! I am really proud of the shop and very excited to show it off to you. I am offering a giveaway of a $25.00 gift certificate to my shop. In an effort to get to know you better and to decide how to best serve you, will you take a look at the questions below?
I shop on-line for fabric – All the time, Sometimes, Rarely, Never?
True or False-When shopping on-line, I am comfortable interacting with the seller (eg asking questions about product, asking for a custom bundle or a specific cut of yardage etc)
Two or three of my favorite designers are: (eg Maureen Cracknell, Tula Pink, Kate Spain, Bari J, Pat Sloan, Joel Dewberry, Bonnie & Camille, Zen Chic, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross, Kaffe Fassett – to name a few out of the zillions available!! Who knows? Maybe your favorite is someone I am not familiar with. Teach me.)
True or False-Modern fabrics are my fave.
True or False-Repro fabrics are the best.
Batiks? Use them all the time or not so much?
Novelty Prints? Yes/No/Sometimes
Precuts? Love them? Or only when I win them in a Giveaway? Or not so much?
If you do love precuts – tell me your preference? (eg Charms, Fat Quarters, Fat Eighths, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls?)
What type of sewing (if any) are you interested in other than quilting? ( eg Garments, bags, totes, zip pouches)
You absolutely DO NOT have to answer all of the questions. But if any of them speak to you and you don’t mind taking a minute to give me some input, I will be forever grateful! Leaving a comment with your thoughts, on one or more of the questions above, is your entry to the giveaway! If you prefer, you can also send me a quick email, using the “contact me” form. That counts as an entry too. As always, if you are a follower, just tell me how and that is an additional entry. I will leave the giveaway open until the end of the month. A name will be drawn on January 31st with the winner announced in a post on February 1st.
NOTE: Giveaway is now closed!
Additionally, in appreciation for your loyal following of my blog over the past couple of years, I would love to offer all of you a discount code. To receive 15% off any order of $5.00 or more enter NANDFREADERS15 at checkout. This code will be active for just over two weeks, through February 12, 2017. Use it now or in a week or two. Use it once, twice, as many times as you like! I love the fabrics that are in stock now and look forward to the pieces that are due next week and the week following. Oh how I love the sound of the UPS truck coming down our drive!
Finally, I will be posting updates on incoming fabric and promotions on Instagram. If you don’t yet follow me, now is a good time to start. There will be a fun promotion over there the first week of February. Don’t miss it!
2017 is definitely going to be an adventurous one – with my son’s wedding, our first grand baby, and my own fabric shop! I hope you will come along for the ride. Please know how much I appreciate your support of this journey of mine. Blogging wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun without readers – you are what makes this worth doing!
I doubt there are many of us in the quilting community who have not heard about the Quilter’s Planner. This calendar was developed by Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter in 2015. She worked furiously to put out a great product for the calendar year of 2016. I purchased one from her for 2016 and used it extensively throughout the year. (I wrote about that one here.)
The planner for 2016 was such a great tool. But Stephanie wanted to know how she could improve it. She did a survey, talked with the many quilters that were actively using the planner, and then implemented the suggestions she heard in this new version. The resulting planner is greatly improved. Here are some of my favorite features of the planner:
A monthly look at the calendar and then individual weekly pages.
A FMQ motif is included with each weekly page and Stephanie has written a tip or two for practicing with the motif.
Each of the blocks from the 2016 New Blogger Block Hop are included with links to a full tutorial for the block. (Mine is featured the week of April 2nd!)
Quilt Patterns! So many gorgeous patterns – some complex and some simple projects, designed by the likes of Yvonne Fuchs, Amy Smart, Chery Brickey and Rita Hodge, among others.
Each weekly page contains several separate areas for the list makers in the group. I use that section religiously. There is a personal section that I use for projects and goals for my home, a work section where I outline blog posts I want to publish that week, a quilting to-do list where I jot down what I hope to accomplish in the sewing room that week. You know I love a list and the satisfaction gained by checking things off the list!
The reference section is awesome and the graph paper for sketching out a project is wonderful. I used nearly all of the sketch pages last year and I am sure I will this year.
I could go on and on about the planner but I will move on to the giveaway now. Stephanie generously offered a copy for one lucky reader. As we move toward the new year, it is a great time to think about what we have accomplished in 2016 and what we hope to accomplish in 2017. This tool will help you do just that.
To enter the drawing for your own copy of the Quilter’s Planner, leave me a comment with a hint on staying organized (whether it be for life in general or in the sewing room). Due to the cost of postage for this gorgeous book, this giveaway is open to US readers only. My apologies. I will leave the giveaway open through Wednesday, and will email the winner on Thursday.
Giveaway is now closed!
Good luck everyone!! Remember,if you are not the lucky winner, there is still time to order one from the website. I think this would be an amazing gift to give or receive over the holidays! Check it out here!
Today I am celebrating Autumn! Our maple trees are filled with color. Fortunately, we have several different varieties which means the leaves all change at different times, enabling us to savor the season for a bit longer. It is gorgeous.
In preparation for this blog hop, I have been working with a line of autumnal fabrics provided to me by Paintbrush Studios. PB Studios has been a very generous sponsor. They provided me and four other bloggers with the fabrics of our choice in different fall lines and we have each made a project showcasing their beautiful fabrics. The line that I selected for my project is called Golden Harvest.
Here is the schedule for the Autumn Abundance Hop this week.
When considering my options for what sort of project I wanted to make, I decided I wanted to have something to hang during the Thanksgiving season. Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday. It centers around family and food – what else does one need? I have been having a lot of fun doing some relief quilting (remember my THREAD and FABRIC pieces?) and thought it would be a good idea to do another one.
I did a quick sketch but didn’t really plan too much beyond that. I began with the center piece. I had this gorgeous brown solid (PB Studios calls is Espresso) and I cut a rectangle and played around with the placement of the lettering. GIVE THANKS was my focus. With the stabilizer fused to the back, I quilted the letters. This goes quite quickly. Especially since Muv over at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Quilting encouraged me to free motion this instead of using a walking foot. She is absolutely right – it worked just fine! Much, much faster to get the lettering done.
Once I had accomplished that, I thought about what sort of design should be placed below the words. At first I thought of doing some applique but the more I thought about it, I decided I wanted to quilt a design instead. I love playing with thread and here was an open space to do with as I pleased. I decided on a pumpkin and took a look at Lori Kennedy’s site, The Inbox Jaunt, for some inspiration. She never fails me. Never! This pumpkin is taken directly from this tutorial. It came together easily.
Using YLI variegated thread, I started by outlining the pumpkin, stem and leaves. Next I filled in the sections of the pumpkin. Following that I added to the outlining to give it some depth. The stem and leaves were also filled in and outlined a couple of times. So much fun!
The next step was to put a narrow border of the olive green solid. I had already decided to do a patchwork border to set off the center. I wanted to use a 2 1/2″ square because of the scale of the fabrics I was playing with.
While I worked things out with the patchwork border, I was thinking about the corners. I made some pinwheel blocks but thought they looked too flat. Following that I made some churn dash blocks and liked these much better.
As it always does, the quilt came together with the sum being so much greater than its parts. I really love this project. The sunflowers, pumpkins, leaves and turkeys are so cheerful. The fabric really is adorable. The green, orange and yellow blender prints worked well to tone down some of the color within the borders. The traditional colors and themes of this line are just right – they made me happy just playing with them. I used a brown print that was in my stash to back it and then used the olive green fabric to bind it. The quilt finished out at 23″ x 25″ inches.
As with most projects, there are a few things I learned. One is better planning equals better results. While it is fun to just sew and see how things come together, I should have done a bit of measuring and planned the patchwork border in more detail. I had to fuss with trimming borders and such to get everything to work together. Also, when I was trimming the piece, after quilting it, I somehow forgot that about the bits that the binding would consume. This is a little bit ridiculous considering the number of quilts I have bound. But I trimmed too deeply, forcing myself to cover points on the churn dash squares on each corner. I was going too fast without considering the details.
I will enjoy hanging it this season and bringing it out again with each Thanksgiving. This simple message of gratitude will remind us of all that we have to be thankful for.
Something I am very thankful for is the generous support of Paintbrush Studios. They were a pleasure to work with and the fabrics they sent to me are just lovely. They are a nice weight and have a very nice feel to them.
Photo courtesy of Academic Quilter
Paintbrush has also provided me with a fat quarter bundle of Into the Woods to offer to one lucky winner. Enter the giveaway by telling me about your favorite part of Thanksgiving Dinner. (Mine is definitely stuffing followed closely by homemade cranberry sauce. Way back when, I posted the recipe for the cranberry sauce I make at Thanksgiving…. just in case you want to try something new.) Leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite. If you are following the blog, leave a second comment and tell me how for an additional entry.
Now for my giveaway. I wanted to make something to give as thanks for all of the friends, inspiration, and community that happens within our online group of amazing quilters. Using this tutorial from Buttons and Butterflies, I made a pair of potholders from some of the scraps. I will pick a name from the comments to win these two potholders as well.
After finishing the potholders, I decided to cut the remaining scraps into charm squares. I was able to cut a set of 40 charms. So, let’s give those away as well!
I added a small spool of coordinating Aurifil so you can make a fall inspired project of your own!
Good luck! Winners for all three giveaways will be drawn on Friday evening, October 28th. I will email winners and announce them the following day on the blog. Make sure I have an email address to contact you!
Be sure to check back each day this week with the others on the hop. They have been working on wonderful projects for fall and have used gorgeous Paintbrush Studios fabrics that are different from mine. You are sure to enjoy their work. There may just be some giveaways on their sites as well. Enjoy this season of brilliant colors, family and friends, and some darn good food.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks everyone!
Linking this post to She Can Quilt as a part of the Q4-FAL event.
If you are wanting to gain confidence in your free motion quilting skills, today might just be the day to purchase a Craftsy Class! Just today, all classes are $14.99. Can’t beat that. I know I learned a great deal with the classes I have taken. I have taken this one from Lori Kennedy and this one with Angela Walters.
In case you didn’t already get the message, I LOVE our community. So creative and so generous, I am continually amazed with the giveaways that are ongoing. About a month ago, Quilter’s Candy Box had a giveaway. Guess who won? Yep, me. Lucky, lucky, lucky me!
Just in case you aren’t familiar with them, Quilter’s Candy Box is a brand, spanking new business run by Tracy and Elizabeth. It is a subscription service where you receive a box of quilty goodness in the mail each month. The first month of business for Tracy and Elizabeth was this month of June! On Instagram they have been actively marketing their fledgling business. (You would be very wise to give them a follow on IG.) They ran a giveaway for one free box in June and yours truly got very, very lucky that day.
I received the box yesterday and had been waiting anxiously because there were some subscribers that had already received theirs and were flaunting all that goodness over various social media outlets. The box did not disappoint! The contents were generous and included lots of fun things like a charm pack, pattern, crafty items, sweets and more. Take a look at the adorable coffee mug up there! That will be happily used by this quilter for her morning coffee.
This pattern is a special edition, created just for Quilter’s Candy Box, by Bonnie Olaveson. I have never tried Cathedral Windows so I look forward to making this. Take a closer look at this Serenity Charm pack. The colors are soothing and just so pretty.
I’ll tell you right up front, when I make this project, it is staying with me. I love the fabric and I’m keeping this one! Ok, let’s look a little further.
I love these little labels. The colors remind me of Maureen Cracknell but as far as I know, she didn’t have any input here. They just look like her, don’t they? Thread Wax. Here I have to admit my lack of knowledge. I have never used it and don’t know what to do with it. Anyone want to give me a hint? Thank you!
Here is this month’s treat. A lemon cookie. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks yummy. See the paperclip bookmark? I love it’s simplicity with one sweet button. It is currently holding my page on a new Anne Tyler book I started yesterday. (Are any of you Anne Tyler fans? I love her books and have read most of them.)
Here is the month’s crafty element.
This little embroidery kit looks like fun. I have been thinking of giving embroidery a try after looking at the 25th anniversary piece I made for my parents all of 37 years ago. (You can read about that here.) Maybe this is the place I am meant to start.
This was indeed a box of treasures. Quilter’s Candy Box runs a monthly giveaway and if you are following them on either Facebook or Instagram (or both) you are sure to see when to enter to win. The monthly subscription is another way to take advantage. I also checked in with Elizabeth to see if they was a way to order a box as a gift for someone without subscribing. This would make such a nice holiday gift for a quilter. (Note to my kids: bookmark their site. Hint, hint.) While it might not be right for a person’s monthly budget, many quilter’s would certainly love to give (and to receive) this as a gift. Elizabeth was quick to respond to my email: “As for purchasing single boxes as a gift, we will have them available occasionally. We will email our newsletter subscribers about it, and post about it on Facebook and Instagram. We also hope to eventually have a few boxes that are always available (like a birthday box) for a one-time purchase.” I plan to keep an eye out for these opportunities.
Thanks so much Tracy and Elizabeth for this very fun box of pretties!
Linking up to a few fun linkies. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Today I drew the lucky winner for my second annual blogiversary giveaway. I had asked readers to tell me what donation they would like me to make a contribution to if they were picked. The winner is Nicolle whose blog is called LadySchep. It is kind of cool that her name was drawn. Here is why:
Happy Blogiversary! My two year was last week, but I totally missed it, lol. What a great way to celebrate! If I get picked, I chose Pregnancy Solutions in Venice, FL as the beneficiary.
See? It’s perfect. She didn’t get a chance to celebrate her blogiversary (she started just two weeks before I did) so we are celebrating it together with a donation to Pregnancy Solutions. I checked out their website and it looks like they provide a wealth of support to women of all ages who are experiencing pregnancy. What a nice choice for a donation. Happy Blogiversary Nicolle! If you haven’t come across her blog, check it out. Attorney by day & blogging in all of her “spare” time, Nicolle writes with a joyful tone and has made some lovely projects including quilts, stuffies, bags and more. I even read a few book reviews sprinkled in there, which I love. So many books, so many projects, so little time – right??
Thanks to all who entered and gave good wishes. I am so looking forward to my third year with all of you! Here’s to more projects, visiting, quilty support and friendship!
I am so excited to tell you that I have a tutorial posted over at Sew Mama Sew today! I hope you will go over and check it out. This tutorial is so timely – at least for the West Coast. We are sweltering this week with temps ranging in the high 90’s. This is the season where I wash clothes in the early morning and hang them on the line. Running the drier only heats up the house and it is hot enough as it is.
I have made a number of these bags and they come together quickly. I love using upcycled denim with a bright summery fabric for the lining.
There are tons of printed twills that work well too.
Upcycled burlap, lined with a fun print and embellished with trim, is adorable as well.
I hope you take a look at the tutorial and give this a try. In celebration of summer and this tutorial, I have a giveaway for you today. I know, I know – two giveaways within the week! If you haven’t yet entered, check the first one out here!
Today’s giveaway is a generous one provided by Sheryl, my sponsor at Brewstitched. Enter the giveaway and you could win a $20.00 gift certificate to her Etsy shop.
I have written about my partnership with Brewstitched before – you might check out an earlier post here. Sheryl has done some fabric shopping lately and stocked her shop with some gorgeous new fabrics, such as this Art Gallery collection, Pastel Thrift.
Soon, Brewstitched will also have the Dear Stella line, Foxtail Forest in stock. It is just gorgeous -but then you already know that I have a Dear Stella addiction. You can preorder yours now and Sheryl will ship it asap when the fabric arrives!
OK – here is how you enter, leave me a comment and tell me what you do to keep your house cool this time of year. For a second entry, let me know how you follow Needle and Foot (Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook). Want a third try? Just follow Brewstitched on Instagram and let me know that you did. The giveaway will stay open until Saturday, June 11th with the winner announced on Sunday, June 12th. Good luck!! Giveaway is now closed.
All through the month of June Craftsy is having a Mystery Box Giveaway – one for you and one for a friend! Go and enter to win. Good luck!!
(Note: I am a Craftsy affiliate and if purchases are made by clicking on the link I provide, I will be paid a small commission.)
Two years ago, when I started this blog, I was so nervous. Like most people that start out, I was afraid I would host this party and no one would show up. But guess what? People read my posts, and not all of these readers were related to me! Hard to believe that it has been two years but it has.
I am so grateful for the friends I have made so far and all that I have learned. When I was starting out, my son, Andrew, showed me how to track how many views I was getting and where they were coming from. Both of us were so surprised to see that this community of quilters was spread out all over the world. I love that. I have made friends all over the United States, Canada and Europe as well as Israel, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden and Mexico. How exciting is that! Our world is spread so far yet we are all able to share this common interest.
I am also thankful for all that I have learned via this blog and our community. Over the past year, I participated more and grew my blog. I joined the 2015 New Blogger event, wrote a few tutorials, was brave enough to hang my quilts in a local show, entered a challenge for QuiltCon and worked ever so hard to further my FMQ skills. All of this was because of the quilting community I am a part of. This amazing group of people that so generously shares knowledge, ideas and feedback is a huge source of information and friendship.
As thanks to all of you, I would like to host my second annual Charitable Giveaway. I am feeling ever so fortunate but there are many out there that need our support. Like last year, I want to donate to one of your favorite non-profits. It can be any cause that you hold near and dear to your heart. Leave me a comment telling me what charity you would like to be the recipient if you win. I will draw one lucky winner and make a donation of $25 to the charity of their choosing. Because I don’t have to pay crazy shipping fees, this giveaway is open world-wide. I hope all of you will enter. The giveaway will stay open until Thursday, June 9th and the winner announced on Friday the 10th. Here’s to another awesome year!
Good morning! I want to announce the winner of the giveaway sponsored by Brewstitched! Drawn by Random Number Generator, the winner is 24, Tami from Sew Much for Free Time! Thanks to all who entered! If you didn’t win today, remember that you can still have 10% off of your order through the end of tomorrow by using coupon code NANDFMARCLUB10!
Here is my tip! I have been working on quilting my Square Dance quilt for the past week or so. My machine has been giving me all sorts of grief, not the least of which is eyelashing on the back side. It has been really frustrating. Consulting the wizard of all things, Google, I have read a fair amount on technique and the speed of one’s hand movements related to the speed of the needle. I also came across quilters who touted these Magic Bobbin Genies. These are small washers made of teflon that are dropped into the bobbin holder, underneath the bobbin. I gave them a try and they are very helpful. It didn’t solve the problem 100% but certainly improved the stitching by quite a bit.
I am not totally sure why these work. My best guess is the washer provides a slick surface on which the bobbin can spin. This is not an affiliate post, I am just spreading the word in case it might be helpful to you. They come in packs of 12 which seems to be a lifetime supply! I am not sure how long they last but it seems like there isn’t much wear and tear on the little discs. I didn’t pay close attention when I ordered and ended up with Size L. The package says they are for machines with snap-in bobbin cases. I have a Janome and my bobbin drops in. At any rate, the washer fits perfectly and definitely improves the quality of my stitching.
Now that I am nearly done qulting my Square Dance quilt, it seems a good time to begin something new. Seems like I haven’t started a new quilt for a while now. Several weeks ago I was perusing blogs and came across a quilt along that was sorting soon. I have never followed along with a QAL and it sounded like fun. I liked the pattern (called Stepping Stones) and thought it might be fun to meet more of the online quilty community. Jennifer, over at The Inquiring Quilter, is hosting the QAL. It is definitely not too late to join if you are interested. Other than the social aspect of making the quilt with a group of quilters that are working from the same pattern, there is the benefit of having a schedule to work to each week. I am really enjoying seeing the fabric choices that the others are using for their quilt. As for mine, I have had a collection of black and white charms in my stash for a while now. I didn’t have quite enough for the project so I found more on Etsy. The charms will be bordered with 1 1/2″ strips. If ever there was a time for pre-cuts, it is this quilt. I found a honey bun in royal blue at Missouri Star Quilt Co. This was my first order from Missouri Star and I smiled when I read their shipping notice. Someone over there is a very creative writer! I also smiled when I was ordering my blue strips and I saw their Daily Deal with a package of Kaffe Fassett charms for $2.00. Score. And so my stash continues to grow, bit by 5″ bit.
Time to sew. I have been neglecting my Etsy shop and need to make a few new Chemex cozies today. I also need to work on about a billion little HST’s for the quilt along. Hope you will carve out a few minutes to sew as well.
Linking up all over the place. Check the tab, Link Ups, at the top of the page for details!
First of all, I really want to thank everyone that entered the giveaway last week. I loved reading about all of the Christmas memories. So many really sweet stories were told; I encourage you to take a peek at the comments and read them. It was very heartwarming. Julia drew two winners. My gifts were sent off to Kelly (she won the bunting) and Sarah (she won the tablerunner). Interestingly, both winners hailed from Pennsylvania! Congrats to both!
I have been busy in my sewing room over the past week. Working on my row quilt, Christmas gifts (which I will share after the holidays), a very frustratingly fluffy yellow bathrobe and a gift for my dad for his upcoming birthday. Where to start? Let’s go with the frustrating stories and end up on a more pleasant note, shall we?
Oh, this bathrobe! The fur and fluff that flies when I work on it is truly amazing. I had NO idea what I was getting into and never will I buy such a fluffy fabric again! I have the robe basically assembled – I sneezed my way through it only to find that it will fit nicely once I gain about 75 pounds. I don’t know how to account for this. I made it a size small (8-10) but honestly, I could wrap it around me twice over. When I re-read the post about planning to make this, I can hear a very cocky tone in retrospect. I said that garment sewing came naturally to me because I had done it so often. In some ways that is true. I knew how to put it together, didn’t need to ponder the directions, just dove in and sewed. But what about trying the thing on? At least holding it up to me in front of a mirror at some point?? Nope, as I was getting ready to hem it, I thought, ‘hmmm, this looks a tad large’. I put it on and my jaw dropped. It frustrated me because I can only imagine the fluff that will fly if I try to take a seam ripper to it.
I tossed it on the bed in the sewing room where it landed in a cloud of yellow. There it sits, waiting until I calm down and decide how to fix it.
Next project update: My Classic Stitches project that I have been working on all year. You probably remember that I have been doing a BOM project led by Mari over at Academic Quilter. All I had left was to complete the green row of ‘Peace and Plenty” blocks. Well, I can honestly say these blocks gave me no peace. Not a moment, in fact. It started out well enough. When I was up in Downieville over Thanksgiving weekend I got all of the green pieces cut and I felt so proud. All organized and ready to go. I came home and assembled the first block. It was adorable and I even shot an email with a picture of it to Mari. (What is it they say about pride????)
With that one done, I quickly made another. So far, so good.
After those two, everything hit the fan. For some unknown reason (though it may have to do with that whole pride thing) I couldn’t assemble block number three. COULD. NOT. I sewed it and picked it apart and sewed it again and picked it apart. After the third time using my seam ripper (you know when the edges of the fabric are frayed and you know that the integrity of the block is nill?) I gave up. Luckily, I had just read Mari’s post about finishing her row quilt (which is spectacular – take a look here!) I saw that she had issues with the brown row and decided to just make a checkered row of simple squares. Since I had my green blocks cut, I just trimmed them down to 3 and 1/2″ and called it good. I figured I was really just taking my cue from the master. So my green row is now a simple row of blocks. (See it to the left of the pink hearts?) I actually like that it is a small row. I wanted a change in the height but couldn’t see myself really making any of these blocks in a three or four inch size. At least not without a considerable amount of pain. 😉
Right now I have all the rows hanging over the back of the couch (luckily we have two!) I am at the stage where I am moving rows around, trying to decide what order to put them together with. I need to get sashing fabric too. I don’t have any stash that is long enough and I don’t want to piece the sashing. I do love how this is coming together and hopefully I will get it assembled in the next few days.
Finally – to leave you on a good note… I went to the monthly meeting of a gardening club that I belong to. Since there really isn’t much gardening to be accomplished right now, we made wreaths for the holidays. I decided to make a really big one so i could hang it on the front of the house. All of the boughs were cut from trees in out yard, which is a nice thing. It turned out so pretty and was incredibly easy to put together. (I really needed a win at this point!)
I also wanted to show you how pretty the Swoon Mini looks. I hung it on the wall behind the Christmas tree and the lights just make it glow. I just love it. I need to make another one that doesn’t have a holiday theme.
I hope your recent sewing efforts are a bit more successful than mine have been. I feel I am turning the corner though. Ready for success.
Linking to Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social. Links to these two lovely blogs are at the top of the page, under Link Ups.