Friday, June 29, 2012

Spring Cleaning

One of these days I am going to get back to sewing I promise but my studio was such a mess I had to deal with it first! This week being one of only two weeks my kids will be in camp this summer I knew I had to take charge. 

Playing around with PicMonkey I put together some fun before and after photos.

 This one might not look that different but there is one important change.. I finally hung the iron holder I got at Ikea 18 months ago hooray!

The biggest change was getting rid of the pile up top and replacing it with a desk my husband didn't need. I am now typing away on my laptop at it instead of hunching over at the kitchen table. I also plan to use the desk for some new artistic endeavors. 

And there's nothing like having your stash all nice and tidy!

One thing I found going through old sketchbooks and journals was a self portrait of myself with my hand raised next to it I had written "Excuse me I have a question...... What am I doing? Where do I go now?" I think I wrote that 15 years ago but for the first time in awhile thanks to quilting I think I have a pretty good idea! 

Amy's gathering messy studio cleanups over at her blog stop by to see more!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quilt Inspiration

There's a new mural going up down the street. The artist is just getting started but I wanted to capture the beginning stages for a future quilt. 

I am so glad I got the photos when I did because Haberman (the artist) did a lot of work today and there are more faces and less squares. I just love the colors and lines it makes me want to start a new quilt!
Where do you get your inspiration?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stash Developments

It's been awhile since my last stash post but for good reason I've been abstaining from buying new fabric. When I first started quilting I only bought fabric for the project I was working on, crazy right?! I'd see fabric I liked but pass it by because I didn't have plans for it then I heard about a "stash" what is this? A hoard of fabric you have that's just stacked up on a shelf yes please! Of course I already had some leftover fabric from projects but I slowly started adding to it I don't think I went overboard but my piles grew. 
It's so handy to have fabrics at hand to use for swaps or filler when a project is missing something but I realized I had precious fabrics that were sitting around with nowhere to go. There were new fabrics I wanted to buy and use what would happen to these older ones? So maybe I was over thinking things but I decided to slow down on the fabric buying front for awhile. 

 Now 4 months later I finally couldn't hold out any longer and had to buy just a few things. First was a little pack from Kaelin's destash.There were a few of the fabrics in particular that I really wanted the others will just be handy to have around. 
The main fabric was this Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Forest Hills Voile that I needed for a project I've been planning. It's so soft I can't wait to make a Voile quilt!

 Then from Cool Cottons this little stack: top a little more Lotta Jans Dotter Echo and second from the bottom as well, Timeless Treasures Graph Paper in grey, Summersville, and then the bottom Essex Cotton/Linen, I have been waiting to get my hands on for awhile. 

Last my happiest purchase a complete don't have any plans but too cute to resist fabric is Cloud Nine's Monsterz Mash. 

So while I have been fine not buying fabric there's still an itch that needs to be scratched every once in awhile. What new fabric additions do you have?


Monday, June 18, 2012

Teacher Gifts

A little Sugar Pop paired with I think an Alexander Henry print (I'll update the name when I get home).

My family and I have been outside of Houston visiting my husbands family for a week. It was a mad dash to leave for our trip the day after school got out so I never was able to share my teacher gifts for the year. The kids are swimming in the pool and I'm drinking a glass of wine so I thought it'd be a good time to share. 

 For both the teachers I made these soft sided nesting containers. My kids picked the fabrics. They were really easy to make and nice and sturdy. 

My favorite Heath fabric paired with some P&B Fabrics Wild Thyme and Dots.
While I am here I hope to get in a little visit with Jacey and catch up with her in person, I am keeping my fingers crossed because going to visit someone in Houston can be like driving to another state. 
I hope the start to your summer has been good I'll be back next week!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mailing Fun

One thing I love about swaps or giveaways is mailing away your gift. I think this started for me when I was little and my Granny taught me how to wrap presents. She always saved the special bows and ribbons and had a whole gift wrapping area set up in her studio just for the Holidays. I still try to teach my husband her methods every Christmas but he's wrapping dyslexic and ends up using way too much paper and tape. Of course I don't always have time to wrap what I'm sending but I at least tie it up with a cute selvage or strip of fabric. For mailing I started making envelopes when I didn't have one the right size. 

I start with a grocery bag cut to size and stitch it together. Sometimes I put a little tape on the corners to reinforce them but you really don't need to. For the labels I use some Lotta Jansdotter post-its I bought a few years ago and cover them with clear tape (after the address goes on). 


This is what I sent out to my partner Tacha for the Secret Santa Swap last Christmas.

This is what I received from Sarah look at all the amazing details in her wrapping. 

If I don't need to make an envelope I have this cute tape by petitcollage I get to play with. They sell the tape in Portland at Presents of Mind.

The flower is from my new Lotta stickers.

I have a pouch swap I'm finishing up and will get to wrap soon. Wouldn't you know it there are lots of fun groups on Flickr all about mail art if you want more inspiration. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Fabric Belt Tutorial

 I made this belt for myself and gave away one for my Sew Mama Sew giveaway. 
Wanna know how to make it? 
It's an easy summer belt and you can even make a wider one for dresses.

You will need
2 D rings, I like 1 1/2"
Fusible interfacing light to med weight what ever you have on hand.
Fabric of your choice, Tracie (the winner) wanted black or sea colors.

1.Cut your fabric 3 1/2" wide by the desired length. There are a lot of belt charts online or you can measure one of your own belts and add an extra 4" to thread through the D rings. 

2.Fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric following the manufactures directions. If you have lightweight interfacing fuse to the entire back if you have a medium weight cut to 1 3/4" wide and fuse to half of the back.

3. Fold over edges 1/4" and press.

4. Fold in half lengthwise and press.
5. Sew close to the edge around the entire belt. 

6. Thread the belt through both of the D rings. Make sure your belt is the desired length then pin and sew the end in place. I like to sew an X to make it really secure.

That's it you have a new belt! I have three with the addition of my new brown one. Tracie has a post on her new belt be sure to check it out. 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Creative Space...

One big change around here is above. I finally got up the nerve to change my blog over to the domain my husband bought for me for Christmas 1 and a half years ago. I know so lame I was scared to switch it over and then it took seriously 4 minutes to do. Blogger made it so easy. Next up is a re-haul of my studio!!

 My creative space this week was busy with a few really good days spent sewing and it seems like so long since that's happened. This is a fun little project I've been working on for a book review I'll be sharing next month. 

 Fun circles.

With bright colors.

Over tomorrow and the weekend I will be squeezing in everything I can before school is out. It always sneaks up on me and I have a million things to do!

How's your Creative Space? See more here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Contest

Have you heard of Umbrella Prints? I found them in 2009 when I had first started blogging and made my second quilt from the good ol Quilts, BABY! Book (that's how I got into all this quilting business). Eventually I dug around a little and found their site and the beautiful fabrics they were printing. At the time I ordered one of their trimmings packs to play around with at home and had a lot of fun with it. For the past 3 years Umbrella Prints have been holding their Trimmings Competition and this is the first year I've managed to enter. Today the Pinning (voting) starts for the peoples choice. Head over to their Pinterest board to see all the entries and vote for your favorites. This year there will be prizes for the People's choice and Judge's choice. Honestly I would love your vote but I think it's more important you to vote for your favorite so poke around and see what you think. Keep reading to see how my runner came about. 
My pack
I made a Spring Runner (top) for our table with my pack. I started by laying out all the trimmings and moving them around to find the right balance. I added another tone of linen for some subtle depth and Cotton Couture Vanilla as a highlight. Other fabrics used are Heath in Green and Navy, green linen, and Kona Cotton in Aqua and maybe Mustard.

 For the quilting I chose to do really improvisational free motion sometimes highlighting different shapes. It was so fun and flew by. The final size of the runner is 14 by 45.

Did I mention Umbrella Prints makes a quilters weight cotton now as well as their screen printed works?! 
Have fun!