Saturday, October 4, 2014

Changes

As I sit here trying to write, my mind is flooded with thoughts and I'm not even really sure where to begin.  I enjoy blogging and love to read other great blogs.  I admire the bloggers who can share intimate thoughts and ideas, yet protect their own privacy.  Sometimes I struggle with where that line is.  I wish it could be the place where a person could be completely honest, but because of so many reasons...you just really can't do that.  Unless, of course, you are okay with the whole world knowing you very personally.  It seems human nature to want to share our life with others, I mean, look at Facebook and Instagram - people bare all to the world, yet in a world where that can leave you vulnerable, I dare to share too much.  I have pretty much stopped using Facebook, mainly because it seems so invasive.  And when people call it Stalkerville, that scares me, but it's true...when we want to know about someone else's life, what do we do?  go to Facebook to find out the scoop.  I admit, I'm guilty of that too, but I avoid it now.  I say all this to say, I have had personal changes in my life lately and would love to share, but for 'online' security I will not share on the computer, but if you see my in person, let's talk.

The changes have brought on a new 'schedule' for me, and that means less time to spend on sewing and pattern design, but I refuse to give it up completely.  So today I am taking some fun 'fabric' photos and dreaming of my next project.  Many of you know I'm a 'bag lover', and I must start making myself a new bag.  Since I started bag making eight years ago, I rarely, if ever, use a purse from the department store.  I always carry a bag I made.  Sometimes I think it would be fun to carry a fancy bag from some big name brand, but I can't bring myself to spend the money, even if it was cheap.  It's just a querk about me.

One of my favorite quilt patterns is the 'tumbling' block.  I love that it's 3-D.  I make a lot of these blocks and hope someday to make a large quilt, but for now, the panel in the photo will become a bag front.  It's made with Civil War prints, which I adore.


I finally have my pearle cotton threads organized.  I love using these plastic containers (from Joann Fabrics) to store stuff in and it works so well for the pearle cotton balls.  I also had my husband make flat wooden spools to wrap thread around and they fit perfectly into my container.


This is a random photo of a soup I discovered this week at LifeSource (a health food store in town).  At first, I was skeptical, but being the dill pickle lover that I am, I gave it a try.  It was amazing!!!!!  So, now I have the ingredients and hopefully can recreate it at home.


Last, but not least, my adorable kitty Margaret.  She's a persnickety little thing, but we love her.


Happy Saturday Sewing!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Etsy Shop...for bags only

I find that anytime my schedule 'changes', there's always a transitional period of time before I feel readjusted to the new schedule.  Sometimes the transitional time can be exciting, and other times it's just plain difficult.  The latter is always what I experience when it's either the end of the school year or the beginning.  The first week is always the challenge...and not only is it back to school week for us, we also decided to paint a portion of our house the very same week.  Ack!  What were we thinking.  So in the midst of adjusting to getting up early to catch the bus, taxiing kids to practice and games, etc...we are painting too!  Despite the crazy week, it does feel like a huge accomplishment to get some of our house painted.

In the midst of the busyness, I also have opened a new Etsy shop to sell my bags, designed and made by me.  I will still sell my patterns separately, but I needed a place to sell the bags because so many of you have asked for them.

My new shop is called:



You might find the story behind the name amusing...my husband has received a magazine in the mail for many years and the address the company has put on the magazine has always included Apt. 5 along with our street address.  We have contacted the magazine to have them delete the Apt. 5 part because we have never lived in Apt. 5 anywhere ever!  But, they have never changed it.  So it has kind of stuck as a name we use for various things, like new Etsy Shops. 
 You can visit my shop by clicking the link below.


I will be adding new bags on a regular basis AND this week I am offering free shipping!


One of my most favorite  bags to make is a backpack I designed.  For all the details visit my shop. I have three backpacks currently for sale.

 I will also be offering a bag like the one below with the log cabin block on the front and back.  This is my MOST favorite bag ever!  It carries a ton of stuff and I even used it as a carry-on and it was perfect.  So be checking back for this one to debut.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Swing Before and After

This first photo is the 'not so lovely' look at my swing 'before'.  A neighbor had given me this swing about two years ago and my husband had given me an ultimatum...he said if I didn't fix it up before the end of this summer he was trashing it.  Now, any reasonable person probably would have just forgot about it because it was looking kind of hopeless, but I'm always up for a good challenge.  So yesterday I figured since I only had five days left of summer before school official starts, I had better get a moving on the makeover.

I stripped all the old, yucky padding from the seats, and bought 6 cans of Ruby Red spray paint.  I washed the swing, let it dry, and then went to town spraying the entire thing red, including my sandals, and feet (which afterward made me look like I had a super bad sun burn), Oh, it was so funny!

I then had to come up with a tricky way to make supports for the back and seat, since ripping off the cushions eliminated the supports.

I went to Lowe's and after searching the aisles for strapping, I found BUNGY CORDS!!!!!! 
Oh, those things rock!

As you can see in the photo below I used the 24" flat, rubbery bungy cords and hooked them on one side and the other.  They worked absolutely perfect.  They are pretty tight and do not sag much at all.
The four blue cushions I found are outdoor chair pads and they were the perfect size.
I temporarily draped a vintage table cloth over the top for shade, but eventually will make a cover.

I'm absolutely over the moon in love with my 'new' outdoor swing.  
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

QUILT, KNIT, STITCH!


QUILT, KNIT, STITCH! is over for this year and if you missed it, I will tell you all about it...

This event took place last weekend at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. There were about 200 quilting, knitting, and stitching vendors from all over the US, England, and Canada.  I went as a vendor and in order to go as a vendor I had to sign up and pay for my booth way last year.  If you are interested...go to Quilts.com to start the process.  It's definitely an event you have to plan for if you are wanting to go as a vendor.  I purchased a half booth which is 10' wide and 6' deep.  It was really quite small for all my quilts and bags, but due to the cost of the booth (which is enormously costly) I opted for the smaller option.  Set-up was last Tuesday and Wednesday and I opted to only set up on Wednesday which was ample time for me.  I drove from Salem to Portland which is about an hours drive, then I spent about 4 hours on set-up, then drove home.  The show opened Thursday and went until Saturday and was open each day from 10am - 6pm.  Anyone who has done a show like this will probably be able to relate...IT'S A LOT OF WORK.  From set up to take down, to greeting 1,000 people in the middle, it's tiring.  By Saturday evening, I fell into bed and didn't get out until sometime on Sunday after noon...I was so exhausted.  I think I was running on adrenaline and I definitely hit my wall.

This was the premier opening of this show and it sounds like it will run for at least 3 years.  I thought the show was well attended, but many vendors had mixed feelings about how it went.  Each day brought a good crowd in the morning, but by 2pm it was pretty quiet.  I chalk this up to it being the first show of it's kind and maybe when word gets around, the attendance will be up next year.  

I do have to make this very clear...there were some of the MOST top notch designers and shops at this show.  Here's a couple to name a few:

Jodie McDougall - beautiful glass buttons
and me, of course ;)

The verdict is still out if I will attend next year as a vendor.  The benefits to attending this year for me was to be seen by a few shops and distributors that I am trying to get in with so it was definitely a boost for my business.  As far as selling enough to pay for my booth....well, no.  But that's okay, sometimes you have to go to shows to get your name out there and to advertise.  








Thanks for reading my blog!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Pattern and Countdown

Debuting my newest quilt pattern "CABIN".

When I sat down to create this beautiful quilt, I had my husband in mind.  He has been asking me for a quilt for years.  Funny...it's kind of like the 'cobbler's children' who never get new shoes...many have received my quilts except for my dear husband.  So last November I set out to make him his very own quilt and I presented it to him at Christmas.  

Fast forward a few months...it became a pattern, and this very quilt now hangs in a quilt shop on display.  Needless to say, my husband still doesn't have a quilt.But...my plan is to make him another one very soon.  In the meantime, you can enjoy making this pattern for someone special in your life.  I particular like this pattern because it can be made for a male with solid colors.  Although, I would absolutely love to see it in fabrics with prints as well.  I'm getting excited...8 days until Quilt, Knit, Stitch in Portland, Oregon at the Convention Center.  This show will be similar to quilt market, but open to the public.  The show is the 14th, 15th, and 16th.  Open 10am-6pm.  Be sure and stop to say Hi at my booth.  I will be offering patterns, hexagon starter kits, ring pin cushions, and demos.


Pattern may be purchased in my Etsy Shop
or by contacting me directly.


Thank you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

QUILT! KNIT! STITCH!....Portland, Oregon


I'm counting down the days...this is really going to be a fun show!

If you love anything to do with Quilting, Knitting, or Stitching...you'll want to come visit.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tablerunner Tutorial and Tassels Too!

Today I am guest posting over at the Timeless Treasures blog...they are a fabulous fabric company with just the nicest people to work with.  Hop over to the link above to read thru my tutorial.

I was given some beautiful pre-cut packages to work with, and I was inspired to create this fun, beachy tablerunner...it displays all the fabrics in the collection called Cabana by Daniela Stout.  

Happy Friday!



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts...

I've been a little MIA lately here on my blog...
School was out last Friday, and I have to admit, the first week is never easy...
On one hand we are so excited for summer break, but on the other hand, we have to adjust to a new schedule, which can be the challenge.  My girls do best when they are busy, and I do best when I can be working at home.  That sometimes creates a conflict of interest...
but, by the second week we always have it figured out.  

I was thinking about one year ago, almost to the date...I got the terrifying call that my dad had fallen 20 feet off a ladder.  My world came crashing to a halt.  In a blink of an eye my summer was determined.  I spent every day with him and my mom at the hospital.  It's truly a miracle that he is just about 100% back to normal...we are so blessed.

I have to share with you my Father's Day treat for my husband.  First I took him to a restaraunt called The Screen Door in Portland.  Their specialty is Chicken and Waffles, among other very delicious food.  Let me tell you...the food was amazing.  Don't let the little building fool you...the inside is charming and the service is wonderful.  Just get there early before they open or expect to have a bit of a wait.




Next, I mapped out outdoor staircases for us to work off that wonderful breakfast.  Here is a link to the staircases in Portland.  We did four of them (about 1,000 steps)....needless to say, by the fourth one my legs were jelly!  Oh, but it was fun.  

My favorite staircase was the one leading up Mt. Tabor.  At the top you could see across to OHSU, but it was a little hazy on Saturday so my photo is not the best.



 These stairs were up by OHSU Veterans Hospital.


 It was a super fun day and I would love to go back and do some more stairs.  There are about 24 staircases listed on the website (link above)...so maybe someday I'll climb them all.  

Until then, I will be working on a blog post for Timeless Treasures fabrics.  It will be an easy project perfect for 2.5" strips.  I will post a link in about a week.

Happy Sewing! and Happy Summer!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Snazzy Striped Tote PDF


I couldn't even tell ya how many of these little Snazzy Striped Totes I have made...let's say, quite a bunch of them.

They become addicting to make, and all I want to do is sew strips together all day to make these fun totes to give as gifts or to store my stuff in.

They are a great way to use a fabric 'jelly roll' or 2.5" fabric strips you have been collecting.

Cotton strapping is suggested for the handle and the chalkboard label on the front makes it super easy and fun to know what you've stored inside each one.

The pattern, which I am now offering as an Instant Downloadable pattern in my Etsy shop, includes three sizes. 

Click on link above to be directed to the pattern.




Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cut Loose Press Bag Pattern

This is a fun bag pattern that I designed last year right before Quilt Market called the Merry Berry Vinyl Tote.  I published it through Cut Loose Press, printed and distributed through Checker Distributors.  Which basically means, I submit the pattern, and they print and distribute...who, hoo! no printing and stuffing in to zippy bags for me. :)

It's really cool how Cut Loose Press prints the patterns.  All the patterns are printed on 8.5" x 11" cardstock and are 3 hole punched for a binder.  It's super easy to collect a lot of the patterns because they fit into a small space, and won't take up precious 'fabric' hoarding space ;)

Anyway,  Checker Distributors offers the patterns at wholesale, but through my shop you can buy one or as many as you want.

The bag is Simple Dimple to make, easy enough for a beginner.  The tote measures 15" tall, 12" wide at the base, and 5" deep.  I made the outside with laminated cotton, but it can be made with fabric of your choice. The inside has a pocket and I've added Annie's Soft and Stable to the inside.  Soft and Stable is a thin foam to give the bag shape and form.  I've only found this product at Quilt Shops and online.  I'm not aware that it is sold at chain fabric stores, but it could be.  I love the product in bags and find it very easy to sew with, although it can be thick for some sewing machines.  The tote closure is elastic with a button and I added ribbon to the handle for some added pizzaz.

In a nutshell, it's a simple to make, fun to carrry bag.  It makes for a wonderful bag to teach if you are looking for something to add to your class schedule.

Happy Thursday and happy stitching!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Insul-Bright by The Warm Company


I posted my fabulous Potholder Tutorial yesterday and I got to thinking after I posted it that some of you might be wondering what Insul-Bright is.



Insul-Bright is a wonderful product that looks like a thin batting, but at closer inspection you will see little silver flecks which protect against heat.

Insul-Bright can easily be sewn in to a potholder or my 'Coffee Cup Cozy' pattern to protect your beautiful hands from getting burned.

I have listed 9" x 11" pieces of Insul-Bright in my Etsy shop for your convenience.  I'm saving you a trip to the store.  Just pop over to my SHOP and order some and I'll get it in the mail to you.

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all!

Friday, May 23, 2014

How to Make a Potholder

I made these potholders awhile back and gave them to a friend for her bridal shower.  I figured someone would oooh, and ahhh over them, but I didn't expect the reaction to be that from everyone at the shower.  It was fun and embarrassing at the same time.  Apparently, when someone receives a 'homemade' gift it's VERY special.  I didn't know this was the case nowadays.  When I got married 18 years ago, it seemed very common to get embroidered towels, cross-stitched doilies, and homemade potholders.  Since then I've had several people ask how to make them so I decided I would do a tutorial.  I just kinda thought everyone already knew how to make a potholder, but come to find out it's not as common as I thought.  The potholders shown are made from a cheater cloth from the 70's.  This means that the 'patchwork' you see on the front is stamped on the fabric and made to look pieced.  In my tutorial I've cut up an old quilt and used that for my potholder.  You can certainly use anything you want, but remember for a potholder, use a fabric that won't melt, preferably cotton.

This post is dedicated to Lee Ann, hope your trip has been magical!

I've written up a step by step tutorial and all you have to do is print the PDF link HERE.
or follow the steps below.

Hexagon Potholder
Materials List:
8.5” x 11” cardstock
9” x 11” fabric for top of potholder
9” x 11” fabric for backing
9” x 11” Insul-Bright heat protective material
Thread
Sewing Machine
Scissors or Rotary Cutter

  • Grab a piece of cardstock 8.5” x 11”

  • Fold piece of paper in half lengthwise.  Mark size as indicated. Note: Fold is at the bottom.

  • Cut paper on pencil lines.

  • Hexagon template ready for use.
  • Don’t be alarmed when I tell you that I cut my shape from an old quilt.  The quilt was not sentimental to me and I didn’t mind cutting it up.  It had some pretty worn spots so it was only good for smaller crafts.


  • Using template and a rotary cutter or scissors, cut shape from fabric.
  • Cut a piece of backing for your potholder approximately 1” bigger than the front.


  • Cut a piece of Insul-Bright the same size as the backing.

  • Layer the backing (wrong side up), then the Insul-Bright, then the top (right side up).
  •  Use Spray and Fix 505 Adhesive or pins to hold layers togther.


  • Sew thru all layers to “quilt” them together.  I just followed a seam line and stitched right in the ditch between two fabrics.  You can barely see my stitches.  You can get fancy if you want and make some curly q’s.

  • Cut backing and Insul-Bright down to the same size as the front.

  • Cut a strip of fabric 2.5” x width of fabric.  Fold in half widthwise so that raw edges are matching along one long edge and press with a hot iron.
Cut selvages off.

Cut a piece off the end that is 4” long for the loop.


  • Fold raw edges of the loop piece to the center and fold again.  Pin in place.

  • Sew along folded edge.

  • Fold loop in half and pin to the backside of potholder at one of the corners.
  
  • Place raw edge of binding on backside of potholder along edge.  At the start, fold binding over as to hide raw edge.

  • Sew binding on using a ¼” seam.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning.

  • At the corners, stop ¼” from end, then pivot sewing machine foot.  You will notice that fabric will bunch a little bit and that’s okay.  You are going to be making a slight mitered corner so let the fabric ‘puff’ a little when you pivot.

  • Sew to the point where you began the binding and overlap the binding about an 1”.  Fold binding up about an 1” so that the end trails off to the right.

  • Cut off the extra binding.

  • I have a helper for this step…
Fold binding over to the front of the potholder and pin or clamp into place.  Fold over binding as far as it will nicely go.


  • Take special note at the corners.  You will make a little tuck which will look like a mitered seam.

  • Topstitch close to the fold on the binding.  Then stitch again closer to the outside edge.  This will help it to lay flatter and hold up through more washings.

  • Finished!