This is my newsletter for August. I did I cut and paste, so please excuse the quality!
Hope to see you back here soon!
This is my newsletter for August. I did I cut and paste, so please excuse the quality!
Hope to see you back here soon!
SO! This is a terribly overdue post. Casey is older now and doing much more than crawling… Read on and you will see
I do love a quilt made of triangles. My love for The Triangle started when Jennifer Mathis from Ellison Lane and Sew South shared her gorgeous “kitchen sink” quilt at a Sew South retreat. All colors from the rainbow were included and every single kind of design of fabric married together to create a beautiful harmony of textures and hues. In a word …
I do think the equilateral triangle is my most favorite!
So above is Jennifer with her lovely quilt. This is 1 of 2. She made another one later. Isn’t she cute and so is her quilt! Seriously though…. Jennifer is one of the most beautiful persons I know, both inside and out. She is so positive, giving, inspirational, creative, supportive -oh gee, I could go on and on…..if you ever get the chance to meet her you will truly be blessed. Go to Sew South if you are able, and you will know exactly what I mean.
Originally I set out to create a knitted blanket for Meghan and Shawn, our friends (that are in our opinion, family) from the Boston Area. I chose colors I thought would work with either a baby girl or a baby boy. Gray, yellow and white. I knitted along with Maggie Pace in a creativebug course called: How to knit a baby blanket. I was determined to knit this blanket for Meghan and Shawn and I wasn’t going to give up.
Disclaimer here…. This is the first real thing I have knitted. In the past I have done a simple scarf, but it came unraveled after a couple times of wearing (Sorry mom). So to me that wasn’t real knitting.
Have I ever told all of you out there that I have a “gift”? I think many of us have this gift, we just aren’t aware of it or we ignore it. Let’s just call it “women’s intuition”. We will just call it that for now.
ANYWAY… the colors I chose here, were actually the colors that M and S chose for their baby’s room. Wow, right? I think so too. I also correctly predicted the sex of the baby. YES…..A BOY! I had a 50/50 chance. See I wasn’t kidding about these gifts that I have….
Back to the blanket. I took this little scrap of yarn everywhere I went. On a plane, on a train, in the car- while eating lard….no, no, no- I didn’t eat lard, but I had to go there because it rhymed. You get the idea though, no?
I must have ripped it out and stitched it back together again 20 times (maybe more, cuz I lost count, because all the swearing associated with the counting). I wanted each stitch to be perfect… I finally finished. Sadly I do not have a finished photo. I was SO over it by the time I finished it. When this project was finally completed it was almost in the shape of a my beloved triangle! In all reality though it resembled a trapezoid. Given my very green knitting skills, my stitches started out super tight and then loosened to a more reasonable confident size, thus creating a trapezoid.
During the knitting and unknitting of the gray, yellow and white blanket fiasco I started to work on a baby quilt for them. I knew that making a quilt wasn’t going to be an experiment (like I knitting was for me). I knew exactly how to tackle this.
You can’t go wrong with a triangle. They are cute, compact and pointy. I have a TON of gray, yellow and white scraps, so I dug through my boxes to find some awesome prints.
By this time Casey Patrick (see above) was born and we found out he was a boy, I knew to go a little more masculine and rough and tumble on the prints. This quilt would feature some dog and bike prints. I purchased a special fabric that had a french bulldog on it, because of their little family member, Barlow. The french bulldog.
Isn’t he cute? The dog folks, the dog. I’m a married lady!
Below the backside of Casey’s quilt
So the above photo is of the finished quilt. AND…..
Photos of Casey using his quilt. It warms my heart to see this cute little guy using this quilt. How cute is he? I think he is going to be a ginger, like his dad!
ADORABLE! Meghan and Shawn do some great work. They make beautiful things too!
And there you have it. Another quilt that went to a great home!
Have a wonderful weekend!
I am super elated to announce today that my fabric collection Floral Flurries in both colorways is now for sale on MassDrop! It will be available from today, September 29th through October 7th in a Fat Quarter Bundle.
In this industry I am always searching for a hero. Someone who is going to give me a chance, let me get my foot in the door, so to speak- and Sandy from MassDrop is one of those people. She was approached initially by my husband Jim (my always hero) who has a contact at MassDrop. Sandy was open to viewing and hearing all about my design work. We worked together to bring this to fruition and I just couldn’t be more stoked.
The quality and hand of this fabric is exceptional. It was printed in South Korea and is also the same exact place that not only Cloud 9 has their fabric printed, but Art Gallery as well! Super exciting. It really is a joy to work with.
Selling this product through MassDrop is a great opportunity for me to show and share some of my work with a greater audience. I really hope it is received well.
In celebration of this momentous occasion I am also releasing a pattern that I designed for The Peekaboo Zippy Pouch.
IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD AND PATTERN…
I have personally tested it, and written it, so please, let me know if you see any errors… I am sure I missed something given the late nights I’ve had writing it. I am probably also way to wordy with my directions, I find it hard to know how much to simplify it, since there is no way of me knowing what level each and everyone is at.
Just e-mail me (Traceywirth@comcast.net) with any questions or any errors you see, okay? Thanks!
This pouch pattern is perfect for me, and hopefully others out there. I use it to carry my soft covered moleskine 10″ x 7.5″ sketchbook and pencils, pens, eraser and a very small moleskine (that keeps track of ideas and appointments and such). It’s been really great for travel, because my I-phone, earbuds and wallet also get stashed in it. It’s all in one place and easy to get to! Yay!!!
If you have a chance and you are loving the fabric I made my pouch out of- hop on over to MassDrop and Treat Yo-Self!
Happy Friday everyone! Have a crafty weekend!!
When Jim and I were first married he would surprise me with a “just because” gift. Usually it would be jewelry, which I completely loved receiving. He does pick out the best kind! Well, I am a gem (yeah, right) and he picked me, right? So I rest my case on that subject.
Getting back to my story though, the story that prompted this post “Just Because”.
We have noticed a huge turnover in our neighborhood. Older folks are moving out and newer, younger folks with small children are moving in. It is a wonderful hood to raise kids in, and since there is a tiny park across the street from out house, it’s super fun to see the neighborhood kids using it once again.
We are lucky enough to have a new (young) family move in right next to us. They are so cute, all fresh faced and new- their future so wide open in front of them… and that’s the parents! The kids are even cuter! It really does bring me joy to see that abandonned cozy coupe with the driver side door open in my neighbors front yard, the memories start flooding back to when my boys were young. Ugh- I am now writing this with tears streaming down my face! Oh the horror!!!
Getting back to my story. When our new neighbors moved in, there were three in the family and then THERE WERE 4! Imagine that! The young couple moved in with a 2 something year old boy and a little bun in the oven…. a baby girl. Well, when I heard they were having a girl, I just couldn’t help myself- I had to make a baby quilt with A LOT of PINK!!
I scoured through all my pink stashes of fabric scraps and fussy cuts. I am sure many of you have those same kind of stashes.
I used my Accuquilt Go! Cutter to cut triangles- and ALOT of them too.
After the quilt top was pieced and “sandwiched” I did a little quilting, with my continuous circle technique. Every girl wants a banana seat bike with fringed handle bars, right?
I of course had to add a little something extra to the back, because as we all know, “it’s those little things” that make a big difference.
Now, while I cannot say without lying that “I am an expert paperpiecer” when it comes to letters. These 4 letters litterally kicked my behind. I sooooo struggled with them. In the end though- I made my point, and June’s name appeared on the back. I am sure it only bothers me that the letters aren’t perfect.
And in my humble opinion, it is pretty darn cute! Just like the recipient!
All dressed up and ready to go- but the gnome stays with me! Sorry June!
I’ve taken on a challenge. This challenge is to create some sort of art for 100 days and post it to instagram with the hashtag #the100dayproject. I chose to do watercolors each day, knowing this would be challenging for me since I haven’t really worked with watercolors since high school. Below you will see a video of day 39. A pair of Hunter Boots. Finding subjects to paint for me has become increasingly harder.
If you follow me on Instagram you can see my progression to 100 days, some are video’s like this one and some will just be photos of the finished piece. I’m on day 41 I think, and it has been quite a journey!
I have also uploaded some of my designs to Spoonflower and printed them onto organic cotton sateen. We chose this fabric, because we have done some testing with many different fabrics from spoonflower and found that the organic cotton sateen seems to be the most color fast as well as the most vibrant.
This collection above is Floral Flurries in Pink.
My Floral Flurries Collection all working together to create The Perfect Wallet (above), which is a pattern by my friend LR Stitched. I will be showing this in my booth at SURTEX. It is such a fun wallet to make. I have made several, and I am not stopping, anytime soon!!
I will be exhibiting with Vivid Art Agency at Surtex May 21-23, in booth 2823. This year has been less stressful for me. Having an agent has many advantages and there is less for me to prepare for this year. I also won’t be glued to my booth, I can visit other booths and I can maybe also catch some New York sights. Should be a pretty chill visit. Fingers crossed this is a good show for me.
That’s all for now! Have a great week!
It is hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone and it is even harder to believe that 2016 is coming to an end! Our boys are becoming young men and the hubs and I are noticing our own signs of aging. It sneaks up on you. It really does. Those things that you thought that “SOMEDAY” you would be or do…. those things that haven’t happened yet? Well, the time is now.
I am realizing that “someday” is now and there is no sense in waiting for the future. At the risk of sounding morbid, none of us knows what tomorrow holds. So whatever it is that you want or feel as though you have wanted to do… DO IT NOW! I’m not waiting anymore, if any of us have any doubts about this, look at the string of celebrity deaths that have occurred lately! It’s shocking! Some of these people in their 50’s, which, when you are in your 20’s seems old, I know, but it isn’t in all reality!
So you have a special dress you are waiting to wear? I say get it out and wear it now, create an event! Celebrate Monday, if nothing else comes to mind to celebrate. For me, I am pushing full steam ahead with my designs. Any rejection is just going to make me push harder. So all those textile companies out there, better watch for me, because I am coming.. whether you are ready or not!!!
The end of the year has been very busy for me. It has been full of awesome surprises as well as some very big disappointments. I am choosing to focus on the great things that have happened, and allow those icky disappointments to encourage me to try harder, create more and to also remind me that “nothing worthwhile comes easy.”
I participated in an Instagram Challenge in December. It was an advent calendar instagram challenge. The challenge was created by Four Corners Art Collective. This group of talented designers created prompts for December 1st- December 21st. It was loads of fun, and I am so grateful to all of them!
You can see all my renderings by clicking on my photo below, it will take you to my portfolio website.
Doing this challenge was a great exercise! You have to put your work out quickly and it needs to go out every day for 3 weeks.
On to another topic. I made a quilt for my sister-in-law Sheri. The last of the sister-in-laws to get the gift of a quilt for Christmas. She’s been waiting. Finally, her day came!
I went WAY off script with this one. I let all the fabric do the work for me. I chose bright solids and all the Cotton and Steel prints I had in my sewing room. I used them all!
I used my Accuquilt Go Cutter to cut lots and lots of triangles! It really does make cutting go faster.
In the picture below, I was trying to figure out how to put these half square triangles together. You can really see how the fabric is doing the work for me.
In this picture below you can see the quilt assembled and nearly ready for quilting.
I didn’t even start to think about what I was going to do for Sheri’s quilt until after Thanksgiving. When I finally had some kind of idea, I was overtaken by a dark cloud of depression. It usually comes on this time of year, when our days are shorter and there are a million things that need to be done before the holidays hit. I pushed through though. I would sew a little bit each day and luckily I finished up the binding on Christmas morning. Just in time!
Sheri’s finished quilt was created with many half square triangles and some solid 6.5″ x 6.5″ squares as well.
Sheri has had a hard year, in 2016. She had a huge family loss herself. I hope she knows that this quilt, as with all quilts I have made are more than just a quilt, it’s a hug as well!
Happy New Year to you all!
Last week I started cutting pattern pieces for Noodlehead’s Campfire Messenger Bag. There are many pieces to this bag. There is not only the main, lining and accent fabrics, but there is also the fusible fleece and fusible woven interfacing pieces. Sadly, I am not the most organized when it comes to sewing- so I tend to cut woven interfacing as I move along with each fabric piece as needed. YOU would think I would learn, and cut all the lining pieces ahead of time, but no, I don’t- I just continue to use my method of madness. Oh well, what are you going to do? I did get a pretty nifty bag out of the whole deal, so I guess in a way my method worked!
The Campfire Messenger Bag, in my opinion is a MUST MAKE and should be put on the top of all of your “to make” lists! It has just enough pockets both inside and out. The backside of the bag has a snap pocket, and once you open the flap there are 2 roomy and easily accessible front pleated pockets. There is a zipper pocket above those pleated pockets, and on the interior side of the bag, you have two pockets, side by side. There are many options that Anna presents you with in her pattern for flap closures, heck, I may try them all. Why not? I did go with the snap closures for this particular bag. I feel it gives this bag a nice clean look, very professional. There is also an adjustable strap that makes it easy to wear the bag either “cross body” style or just over the shoulder.
This bag is roomy enough for all you essentials and then some. I don’t have an iPad, but I am pretty sure that would fit also!
I basically used the fabrics I had around already. I had some Cotton and Steel fat eighths on hand and I used these for the flap and linings. This particular collection of Cotton and Steel looks really great with navy blue so… I constructed the strap, snap closures and bag binding all in a solid navy blue. I think from these photos, it may look black, but it is a very, very dark blue.
I didn’t have a navy blue zipper of the correct size on hand. So I opted for an ecru instead. I also did not add the zip bag closure (optional) for top of the main part of the bag.
My friends went wild when they saw my Campfire Messenger Bag. Then they went even more wild when they found out I made the bag!!!
I hope you make this bag and enjoy the process as much as I did!
Have a Great Weekend!
One more thing also, I am having a pretty nice giveaway through my instagram, @Traceywirthdesigns. Hop on over to instagram and follow the qualifying rules. The giveaway closes on Monday September 26th at 5:00 pm PDT. Best of Luck for those who enter!
I had a stack of fabric in my large pile of fabrics, that has been slated for a particular quilt. The quilt, you ask? The Bright Heart Quilt, by Amy Butler for Free Spirit Fabrics. I love the color green, so this quilt kit, as it came, was a no brainer for me. The deep hues of emerald, along with a lime green and a bright pink, which is hard to see from the photo, called to me. I had to make it and so I did.
The quilt pattern is available for free on the Free Spirit website, and it’s easy. Any of you out there with “half square triangular” experience will certainly find this to be an easy and quick quilt to construct.
The fabrics that come with the quilt kit are all voile. I have to say, I have never, never made a quilt with voile before. It’s texture is more slippery than quilting cotton, which for me at times was a little frustrating, but I managed. Above is the quilt top only.
I quilted and bound this baby in less than a day. I did a straight stitch on either side of the “ditch” instead of in the ditch. I chose this particular stitch because I like the way the stitches look when they cross over each other. The photo above is an outside shot and below you will see an inside photo of the finished quilt.
Making a quilt completely out of voile, (even the quilt back is voile) really makes for a lightweight quilt. It has such a different feel that all the other quilts I have ever made.
Well, I hope you all have a great weekend.
As my earlier post stated, I was super busy with SURTEX preparations for the last several months. In February my sister-in-law Debbie approached me. You may remember I gave Debbie a quilt I made for her Christmas gift. She asked me if I would help her make a quilt for her daughter (my niece) Taylor’s graduation gift.
It’s funny, she said help- and of course I would help- but I knew she hadn’t sewn before, and even though we meant to do a few lessons over a year ago in preparation for this very moment, those lessons never happened, and I knew that helping meant more like making. Help=Make
“Not a problem” I told her. And I really meant it. Somehow I would get all these sewing projects done for SURTEX, I had no idea how and if it were even possible, but I told her I would have it done for Taylor’s graduation.
You know it always seems impossible, until it’s done.
Since the word HELP was thrown into the mix of our conversation, I thought I would have her hold up her end of the deal. So I first asked Debbie to pick a pattern from Pinterest. She was looking for something that was saturated with color, beautiful, young and sort of bohemian. She said she couldn’t decide, there were too many to choose from and she didn’t know where to start. So I did some assisting by choosing a handful of designs that seemed to lean toward the aesthetic she was looking for.
She chose that one I thought she would. It is the prettiest and most saturated, AND also the one that had the most cutting and piecing! So I had her come over one afternoon to help me cut, and cut and cut and cut. And then cut some more!
The quilt pattern she chose was the Garden Wall Quilt, by Anna Maria Horner. This quilt has 5 different sizes of rectangles and squares. There were 9 blocks in the quilt, with each one consisting of 51 cut pieces!! I can safely say that the cutting was the most labor intensive part of making this quilt.
I used all Anna Maria Horner fabrics, from many of her different collections and they were mostly purchased from Etsy. It was pretty impossible for me to find any of Anna’s Garden Party collection anywhere, so I had to wing it and I used her other fabrics.
I did follow Anna’s pattern as closely as I could, with fabric substitutes and the results were fairly similar. After all the cutting was done, the quilt went together easily- and it was great that Debbie came and spent an afternoon cutting fabric.I really enjoyed our time chatting it up AND the extra set of hands were hugely helpful!
Taylor’s quilt was made larger than Anna’s pattern called for. My niece has legs for days and I really wanted the quilt to cover her from head to toe.
I used some small pieces of my designed fabrics with Anna’s fabrics on the backside. It was fun to see my designs quilted in circles. I completed this quilt in about 2 weeks. Whew, I did cut it close!
I always take a “box shot” with my completed quilt tucked neatly in a box ready for gifting.
My lovely niece Taylor!
Taylor seemed to really love her quilt. This should keep her cozy at college, and remind her of all of us who love and miss her when she is away. I hope she feels all the love that went into every cut and stitch of this quilt.
Gosh, I really have no idea where time goes!
It’s all I had been talking about. “I’m getting ready for SURTEX”, “I’ll do that after SURTEX”, “When I go to SURTEX, this could happen”. SURTEX, SURTEX, SURTEX! MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA! This 6 letter word had consumed my life, by dictating sewing projects, both at home and at out of town workshops, and by creating a stress that until now I had avoided most of my life. Yep that’s right, I am an AVOIDER! If you ignore it, it will go away, right? NOPE! Don’t even try.
So as this blog’s title states, this is about before and after SURTEX, so let’s talk about before, shall we? Many, many errands and projects (not sewing or design related) were put on hold until after this event. You know, like house cleaning, laundry, folding and putting laundry away- let’s just say that my house was in desperate need of some TLC and so was my entire family. Almost every waking moment was spent on preparation for this event. Luckily SURTEX had some great webinars. These were key for us first timers that opted for the “telephone booth sized” booth.
They talked about banners, lighting, trash cans, backdrops (heights and widths), podium sizes (which was impossible to actually get the correct measurements) and last, and my favorite, PRESS KITS! These weren’t really my favorite, especially since we came home with over 100 press kits that nobody wanted. I say my “favorite” because Jim, Will and I put 200 of those little devils together, which we were told to do in one of those informative webinars. I even asked if we were new to the industry and haven’t any clients yet, will we also will need 200 press kits? Yes- we were told.
Well, I am here to tell you now- DON’T DO IT!! 75 would have been a very nice number. WE were told to make and bring way too many. WE spent countless hours assembling these kits, not too mention, Aaack I hate to even think of it, but the money that was spent on these- I haven’t done the math- and I don’t think I am going to.
This was how the kits were assembled
200 Kraft paper folders were purchased. Dum Dum lollipops were used as a closure for each folder. I think this is a genius idea, clever, and if you would like to borrow this idea I would be flattered. All folders needed to be punched twice (through both front and back of the folder) for the lollipop insertion.
I created a special coloring booklet just for SURTEX
I printed 300 Coloring Booklets and each was packaged in a vellum envelope with a box of 12 colored pencils, (not 8 as it stated in the photo above this photo). The extra 100 booklets and pencils were to give out at my booth.
It’s The Little Things That Make a Difference
In the photos above you see a bunch of embroidery hoops and a custom stamp I had made in my logo from Tailormadestamps on etsy. I highly recommend them, the quality is awesome and they are quick! I used the stamp to put my logo on the embroidery hoop backside and the backside of the swatches.
On to the “Phone Booth Sized” booth. The Floor space, was a mere 5 feet x 5 feet. I couldn’t get exact measurements of the shelving that was offered through GES at the Javits Center, so I opted for these shelves…. Actually- they are shoe racks, but they were light weight and they fit the space nicely!
These were purchased from The Container Store, they were cheap, they came flat in a box and they didn’t need any special tools to set up! This photo was taken in the container store- this was not them set up in my booth.
This is my by booth before! I know! RIGHT?! It is SO roomy and spaceous! I wish I would have opted for the next size up- It would have cost more, but this space was so small that I couldn’t even change my mind in it!!! Also, there was no privacy, those on either side of you could get in on your conversations, and dare I say it??? I’m going to- steal your potential client! Yep- it happens, and did!
That tiny space to the left of my booth is where I put those stackable shoe shelves. They fit perfectly!! You can see them in the photo below.
Here is the booth during set-up. My banners were AWESOME. They were done by Production Resources of Boston. I put mostly characters on my banners and with the black background they popped! People came around the corner and saw my pig on a vespa and couldn’t help but laugh! That made my day!
A shot of my amazing and handsome husband (my BUMBLE) Jim, hanging my banners with care, he also helped many others hang theirs!
Setting up in progress! I am holding a spring-loaded curtain rod- this was put on the backside of my podium and was where I would hide my handbag and other things that I didn’t want to be seen.
I had these items I sewed with my fabric printed from Spoonflower represented in my shelving unit. You can see them in the photo above in the
shoe rack shelving unit.
The Sewn Items
This little clutch made from Noodleheads Rainbow Clutch-(pattern from her book), The fabric is from my Lily Pond Collection.
This skirt I also sewed from my Lily Pond Collection, the pattern is from Colette Patterns The Ginger Skirt. It is super easy to sew, but I feel like it never feels right when it is on- like it rides up or something- I wore it to SURTEX anyway.
This is also a pattern from Noodlehead. The divided basket, sewn from my Lily Pond Collection
The blouse above is the Biscayne Pattern from Hey June Patterns – the fabric is from my Splendor In The Grass Collection and the large pouch and small change purse were sewing projects from Sew South. The fabric is from my Granny’s Rock Garden Collection.
You all know that I really want a fabric gig, so I really put that medium to the test to show what my collections can do for a plethera of patterns! I really think they work well with clothing and bags- and quilts of course.
Since my characters were mostly represented on my banners, I put my design repeats into a portfolio I had printed through Shutterfly. It measures 11″ x 14″.
Over 100 of my design repeats were represented in this lovely tidy book. It made for a great display on my podium. I purchased a book holder to keep it upright to catch peoples eyes.
Here I am on my second day. Wow, look at that, I am having a good hair day!
What I learned and what I would/would not do again
I may do SURTEX again. Now that I got that all out of my system, I feel like I am ready to start planning for next year. I did make many contacts, I learned from others and I got some really great feedback from folks. I am also working on a contract with a company, and this happened because of SURTEX. Things are moving ahead- I’m pushing forward and it feels great.
Thanks for reading and visiting.
Stay Well and Stay Crafty