Good-Bye 13, Hello 14!

It’s been a good year.  Our youngest, Will, successfully started a new school and is happy,  and our oldest Kenny applied and was accepted to his first college choice – Michigan State University!  It just so happens to be both mine and Mr. Swellsewing’s Alma Mater!  Yay – we are both as proud as peacocks!

I had many makes this year. Well, many for me anyway.  If I were to compare my makes with other people, I would pale in comparison.  I would say that I chose what I was going to make quite carefully though.  Some of these makes were made for other people, and some of these were made in multiples.  How about you?  Was there one in particular that you are proudest of?  Do you feel that with each “make” you learn a little bit more?  What about Works In Progress or WIP’s?  I do have many of those and these are first to be finished for the beginning of the new year.

 I have been slowly progressing with my quilt making, challenging myself and learning along the way.  The more quilts I sew, the more skills I acquire, thus learn and create my own style of quilting.  I find myself honing new organization skills and shortcuts.

At this point I feel like I am in a chrysalis stage, there’s a lot of developing happening here behind my sewing room door.  It’s like magic. To me it’s like magic anyway.

With the quilt I made for Heather, I learned a lot.  There were many components to her quilt.  Organization and preparation are the keys.  It is a slow process (for me) and in order to stay efficient, I cannot rush.

Here are my “makes” for 2013, I am sure I have left 1 or 2 out.  For the most part though, they are all here.

Untitled

Just to highlight a few of my makes…

#1.  Is a quilt that I still have in my procession.  It is my quilt.  I am willing to share with other housemates though, if needed!

#10.  Is from a Heather Bailey tutorial, for a trinket tray.  I made about 8 of these for a wedding.  The bride put together little care packages for those that came into town from far away and stayed at a hotel.  These nautical trays were filled with little goodies waiting for the arrival of their guests.

#21.  This cosmetic bag was sewn from a pattern and tutorial from Creativebug.  The genius behind this bag is Betz White.  I loved this clever bag so much that I made 3 of them.  The other 2 were given to my Sewing Summit roommates and were crafted with just the right fabrics to meet their personalities.

Everything I have sewn really has meant something to me.  I think probably though, The Ellen Quilt has had the biggest impact on me.  It has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions when it comes to that darn quilt.  

Long story short, I have heard from some of Ellen’s people.  I got tickets to her show, and I am going to Burbank to see an Ellen show taping on January 16th.  I cannot confirm if Ellen has actually seen or held the quilt, or (and this is really hard for me to admit) if she even knows about it.  

That’s okay though.  I keep chanting this over and over again while rocking back and forth.  Ha, just kidding.   It is just fine.  I appreciate Ellen, I crafted her a quilt, I sent it to her- and my ultimate goal was met- I got 3 tickets to her show and will be sitting in her audience, hanging with my gal pals, Carol and Patty.  The girls and I will get to spend some much-needed time together, and it will be great!  I will keep you posted on that trip- I am sure I will have something to blog about.  

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In other news though, before I close up this post and take a nice big fat nap –  Jim, Kenny and I headed down to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena California!  We watched our Michigan State Spartans beat the Stanford Cardinal (which I learned is a tree) for the championship of the 100th Rose Bowl!  It was sooooo awesome!  So glad we went, and Kenny?  Well he is over the moon.  He will start at MSU in August of this year- what a way to start his College career.  I know College isn’t a career, but I wasn’t sure how else to state this!

SUCH A GREAT WAY TO START THE NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year everyone and stay crafty my friends!

Sew Done!

I should really keep better track of how much time I really put into a quilt.  I think one of the best things about quilting is the fact that you can share them.  Even with the smallest of family members.

peeks and quilt

Now that I have officially completed my third quilt, I wanted to do a little review.  I really think with each quilt I have improved and learned so much!

Here is my first quilt:

(notice my crinkled edges) I also didn’t use the highest quality batting.

quiltdone6

My second quilt:

(This quilt was given as a gift to my folks for Christmas)

squaresquilt3

And now my completed third quilt:

Asilomarquilt

This is how it all started:

I was inspired by Tacha Bruecher’s Book, Hexa go-go.

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I sliced up many “strings” of oranges, reds, pinks and yellows. Amazingly, these fabrics were all found in my sewing room.

stringblock

I “string pieced” 8.5″ x 8″ squares: (80 of those)

stringblock2

……sewed those together to create blocks. (20 of those)

stringblock5

I crafted a bunch of “fussy cut” hexagons, mostly using Heather Ross prints.

hexagonspileofhexagons

Those were then sewn into rosettes and sewn onto the white “negative” spaces on the quilt.

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dogtailsquilt3

The quilt top was finished.

Asilomarquiltbeforebinding

The quilt “sandwich” came together, and the binding was added.

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She came together and I finished her!

Asilomarquilt

(My 6’3″ husband is holding the quilt from behind to give you an idea of how big it is)

The back is pretty also.  I did some “free-motion quilting”, which is going to be an ongoing learning process.

Asilomarquilt7

Asilomarquilt6

A couple more things before I say bye for today…. This made me happy beyond belief….. I spotted a photo on the Creativebug instagram feed of Heather Ross at Quiltcon donning the blouse I gave her at the Asilomar workshop!!!! You will also see, my friend, Ava Herceg hanging with Heather at one of her Quiltcon workshops.

creativebugheatherross

Yes, I saw this blouse in Anthropologie, and it said “Heather Ross” to me!  So I bought it and gave it to Heather, because she has given me sooooooo much!

Let me just say one more thing about Creativebug, if you haven’t joined yet do so!  It is a wonderful community of creative people, famous crafters that teach you their craft, through tutorials, you can watch over and over!  It’s really awesome!

My last thought for today is to remind you to enter my Give-Away!  There is still time!

Have a great day!

A Handmade Christmas? Is it even possible?

So here we are at the end of November, and I am just now thinking about A Handmade Christmas!  Wow, procrastinate much?  I have already “bitten off” a lot more than I can probably “chew”.  I am undertaking an 80″ X 60″ quilt for my Mom and Pops.

I started by doing a little research on what I found to be easy on the eyes and just plain easy.  I discovered this beauty on an inspiring blog Quilt Story.  There you will find an easy to follow tutorial done by Megan and Heather.  Gosh, isn’t it pretty?!  I believe mine will be a little bigger than theirs, and also a little different, mostly because as usual, I screwed up!  🙂

I wanted it to be large enough for both my parents to sit together under while watching television, and also if my dad takes a little snooze on the sofa, it will cover him from neck to toes.  There’s nothing worse than having your feet stick out under a blanket just so you can cover your shoulders or covering your feet up and then getting the “cold shoulder”.

Here’s a quick look at what I have done so far:

momandpopsxmas

Three blocks completed, each measuring about 20″, just to give you some reference to the scale of what you are viewing.

There are many resources available to all of us for creating a handmade Christmas.  One thing I discovered the other day is something that came to me on Twitter.  It’s called A Hip Handmade Holiday from Craft Pack.  

A Hip Handmade Holiday - a digital craft book with 18 projects, 9 instructional videos and over 100 downloads

This awesome pdf can be purchased for 10 US dollars.  It consists of 18 craft projects that cost about $10.00 each to make.  I have it, and will be crafting some of the items included in this clever magazine.

Two other great resources that I have talked about before are, Creativebug.com and Craftsy.com.

I am especially enjoying Creativebug at the moment.  I have once again crocheted the one skein scarf, I bought 5 more skeins of yarn today to crochet more scarves!   Creativebug has all sorts of paper workshops for decorative gift wrapping, party decorations and much ,much more.  Really, you have to stop by and check it out.

Here is a picture of the One Skein Scarf.

oneskeinscarf

My last resource, is Etsy.  If I am unable to make it myself, then I will purchase a handmade item made by someone else.  Why not?  I think doing this, for me anyway, will make Christmas seem a little less overwhelming, (since crafting to me is therapy) and I love supporting my fellow artisans!  There are some very talented and creative people on Etsy.

Another Item I stumbled upon on the internet was a paper pieced Christmas Tree.  I saw one similar to the one here I have sewn up.   I just drew up my own rendition of a tree and sewed it up.  Really, it is very easy and I think if I make 2 of these they will work quite nicely for a festive table runner hmmmmm…..this might be a gift after all.  Now I just need to figure out how to paper piece a Santa- I wonder if it is even possible?!

christmas tree paperpiecing

So, as you can all see, I am going to be a little busy, cheap therapy though, eh?  Maybe you also may want to partake in A Handmade Christmas?

Have a great weekend!

Somebody Stop Me! Please?!

Yes, this is a cry for help.  I am a MAD woman!  I cannot stop making things for the Sewing Summit!  I imagine I am like a person on crack, but instead my vice is fabric, and I can’t stop manipulating it into different shapes and sizes.  Ugh!   What the heck!  Last year, I wore two dresses, and received an incredible response and it was really fun.  I wore Gretchen Hirschs’ Bombshell Dress that I sewed with the help of her tutorial on Craftsy and I also wore the Burdastyle Heidi Dress, that I downloaded off of the fabulous Burdastyle Website.  So this year, I wanted to do the same, but bigger.  Well, I am well on my way, but the family, house and pets are all being a little neglected because, I can’t stop myself.  I need more, more, more.  What will I wear for the trip to Utah, on the plane?   Hmm- still trying to figure this out.  Then Thursday morning shop hop needs something handmade and of course and there must be a change of clothes for our evening cocktail party.  Friday classes will need a different outfit and Friday dinner will need a costume change, Saturday!  Wow- OMG I am so crazy on this end!

So far I have created The Amy Butler Weekender Bag,

The Amy Butler Cosmo Bag

The Amy Butler Business Card Keeper.

The Deb Stoeller One Skein Scarf from Creativebug.

The Anna Maria Horner Schoolhouse Tunic.

The Anna Maria Horner Proper Attire Skirt.

My Quilted Computer Cozy.

A Name Tag- still in the process of finishing:

A pouch to trade in the Zipper Pouch Trade.

Needle keepers that I am going to give as gifts to my wonderful Sewing Summit teachers.

AND

a new business card that I designed using Illustrator, Thank you very much!

Still not sure if I LOVE it, but I did learn a lot when I was working on it!

As I bid adieu to all of you, I am eagerly awaiting the Sewing Summits arrival.  I wait in my hotel room for the first of the festivities to begin tomorrow!   Many of us sewists  are heading out early for the “shop hop” and it should be a fun shopping experience.  I have already met some really great people- and am so GLAD that I came!!   Yipee- Stay tuned for some great pictures.  And if you would like to follow along, many of us Summit attendees,will be posting pictures to twitter and Instagram under the #hash tag #Sewingsummit.  You will probably feel like you are almost here!

Have a lovely weekend!