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!