Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Exciting News For The Day!

In just a few weeks I'll be screen printing my own fabric. I signed up for a beginning screen printing class at Lillstreet Art Center. I've been wanting to take it for a while and it is always offered when I am working. This one barely fits into my schedule but it is manageable, 10am-1pm on Saturdays for 5 weeks, plus for those 5 weeks there is very generous open studio time. It means that I need to be trusted to wake up with an alarm, which I know sounds silly but I'm on a late night work schedule so it can be difficult.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Monday!!

I love Mondays!!! For me it is the same day a majority of you know has "Saturday". But since the rest of the world is working right now it is always nice and quiet during the day and I can just do my own thing which is amazing!! I spent the early afternoon misbehaving. I had a little bit of an accidental fabric purchase. Fabric diet = broken. Yep that's right my face is covered in "chocolate" right now. But the important this is that I am happy. And I have good reasons too...

There is this great quilt shop in Chicago called Quiltology. I actually used to live 3 blocks from their old location. I've NEVER been! NEVER! Why you ask would I not make it a priority to visit a quilt shop I could walk to in a few minutes. Because their work schedule was the same as mine. Closed Monday and Tuesday and Noon-5 the rest of the week. I never even managed to make it in for a few moments right before work. Well I noticed the other week that they moved to new location. Earlier today I was browsing the internet in my pjs and I decided to check out their website to see where their new location was and was greeted with these words: "NEW SHOP HOURS." They are open on Mondays!! So I ran to my room threw on some cloths and was out the door. Seriously it was a little weird but it is all true.

A large portion of their selection is Kaffee Fassett and Amy Butler which for me both of them are hit or miss... and usually a miss. It has taken me a while to admit that I don't like Amy Butler because everyone seems to love her. I have a few of her prints and like them but if I had to put her on a like/dislike list... she would fall in the dislike column just to play it safe.

Sorry back to the point of this post my Quiltology story... they have lots of stuff I loved too! Including Kumari Garden which I have had my eye on. Since it would have been incredibly rude of me to stare at all the fabric for 20 minutes and I'd probably already made the shop woman uncomfortable by petting it (just a litle) well I just had to buy something. This is what I came home with:

The top two I needed well because I've never seen those particular dots before it is Woodstock by Isadora Phoenix (1yd) and the AMH Good Folks (1/2yd) I didn't have and it is going to be all gone soon! The middle is the Kumari Garden (all 1/2yd) and the bottom is Jenean Morrison Wild World (both FQ) which I just really liked in person. See all good reasons for fabric purchases.

So as long as I was out and about and misbehaving and had a freshly deposited pay check... naturally a visit to JoAnn's was in order. I actually was planning on buying the 3.5 square die for my Accuquilt (it was 25% off and no mom it wasn't one of the ones my b-day list) so I can make this quarters 3x6 bee blocks because you know a rotary cutter would just be too much work for me.

I also left with the new copy of Stitch. And because I love grommets (yes I love them) when I saw these new snap together plastic grommets in fun colors on a shelf I knew I had to buy some and find something to do with them. So I get home and open Stitch (no I didn't even look at a single page in the store) and what do you know the grommets are featured in the "new + cool" section.

That must mean I'm cool. So since I've been so bad today I'm going to spend the rest of the day cleaning and organizing all my precious fabric (trust me it is a disaster right now) I will return to flickr tomorrow (or possibly late tonight) with pics of things to swap... it is time to destash!

Oh right... GO VOTE... SYTYC... preferably for me!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

SYTYC: Week Three Revealed

Week 3 came to an end last night and I lived to see another week. This week I had a little bit more of a cushion between me and last place. Projects geared toward kids appear to be the most popular and well since I don't have kids crafting for them really isn't on my mind. Anyway here is my project since I can reveal it now...

The Cozy Clutch

This is a project I've had in the back of my head for a while and of course all the supplies for too! When I saw there was a 'cozy' theme I knew I had better get started! This project combines two of my favorite crafty hobbies - crocheting and sewing! I'm calling this the 'Cozy Clutch'.

The finished size is is roughly 6x10. I've sewn in some sturdy plastic sheets hidden between layers of the interior fabric to make the clutch durable.

As you can see there is plenty of room for the basics in the main compartment and a small pocket for anything you'd like to keep separate. A magnetic snap keeps everything securely inside.

One of these weeks I am hopefully going to have time to make one where I iron out some of the minor mistakes I made in creating this first clutch. Then if all goes well I will finally list something in my etsy shop and we'll see how it goes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Liebster Award

I WON!! I WON A LIEBSTER!! I'd like to thank... Wait you haven't heard of the Liebster Awards before? I should stress that I'm just being silly and in no way making fun because I really do love the idea and spirit of this award. The 'award' is for blogs with 'small' followings (less than 300) with the idea being that in order to accept the award you must pass it along to 3 fellow bloggers.

Well lucky me! I was nominated by two people, Kelly of kelbysews and Bry of A Blonde Quilts. So be sure to visit their blogs as they both create some pretty amazing stuff!

I've noticed lots of blogs I follow have been nominated already, so hopefully my picks for 'small' bloggers will be some new ones. Here they are in no particular order:

Sewing With Love is written by Monika who is known to the flickr world as monaw2008. She makes lots of cute things. She is a member of my Quilting Journey Bee group. One of my most recent favorites is this pillow she created:
Colours and STripes ...

cali quilter is written by Joan who is also a member of the Quilting Journey Bee group. She has some fun original block patterns this is one of my favorites:
Catching Up!

13 Woodhouse Road is written by Shruti. She is in a number of the same swaps as I am. Right now she is doing this great feature on her blog where she is having guest bloggers write about their sewing spaces. Each week has a different theme. It just started on the 10th, but it is sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop and there are prizes!! And I might be guest blogging later in her series.

Also, I was trying to figure out where this award idea started but I couldn't really find anything in my searches. Anyone have more information?


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bloggers Pillow Party

Blogger's Pillow Party

I thought this looked like fun! The Blogger's Pillow Party! I've decided to put my Angry Birds pillow in the running... who knows maybe the judge is a big fan. There are lots of us out there!!

You might remember seeing this pillow I made last month as a birthday present for a friend. I was inspired to make this for him because we are both huge addicts of the game. He is actually my boss too and as the evenings start to draw to a close at the restaurant we sit at the bar playing Angry Birds. He plays on his iPad while I play on my little iPhone as I haven't yet joined the iPad world. He was very excited to get the birds pillow, and it is in a very good home. But I'm a little upset I had to part with it. Here is the original blog post.

I was really excited about the way the pillow turned out. The sky and grass is all pieced. The rest of the elements are all attached with my favorite little helper 'Steam a Seam'. I cut all the pieces out by hand. I had a printout of all the characters that I used as a template. There is some light straight line quilting on the gray border.

The back has three stars that are appliqued on and there is some light straight line quilting.

Here are some shots to give you a better look at those adorable birds & pigs:

The pupils on the blue bird were not fun to cut or attach!

The mustache pig is my personal favorite!

There are lots of great pillows already for the judges to chose from. Entries close on the 26th and a winner is announced on the 27th. I'm hoping to come up with something FANTASTIC for March as I've got my eye on that Sherbet Pips prize!!

Week 2 Results SYTYC

Week 2 of SYTYC finished up. And once again I narrowly escaped elimination. I'm not doing too well in this thing. Hopefully next weeks voting will go better. Voting for week three starts tomorrow morning.

Here is my post from the SYTYC website:

I Spy Chalk Board Playmat

Kids Can Do! So my project isn't a craft that small kids can make but it is a fun project that gives them something to 'do' and will keep them very busy. This project would be very appropriate for older kids (or anyone) learning to sew. It is also a project that can show off some of your favorite designer fabrics (for all you fabric-holics out there!)

I have lots of fun fabrics in bright colors and love looking at all the interesting things going on in them. Lately, I've seen a lot of people creating "I Spy" quilts for their kids and decided to work off that idea. I have enjoyed recently coming up with fun uses for chalk board oil cloth. It is super easy to sew with, write on and to clean off.

I hope you enjoyed the project I came up with! Thanks for checking it out!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This always happens to me...

I'm sewing along... sewing along... coming close to finishing a project... and then I screw up the last seam I need to sew.

The piece all the way on the left... belongs all the way on the right incase you can't tell. How I managed to screw this up I don't know. I just needed to sew that last little piece and of course I was already pushing it for the time I needed to leave for work. So ripping awaits me tomorrow.

This is a quilting bee block I'm working on for Cindy in The Hive she is making an "I Spy" quilt for a child. Hopefully I will get it right tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

SYTYC: Week One Revealed & Week Two Voting

Below is my project for Week 1: Thrift Store Challenge on So You Think You're Crafty

Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Don't know if you figured out which project was mine or not? But I barely escaped elimination. Hopefully I will do better this week. You can head on over to the website and vote for this weeks project with the theme Kids Can Do.

Thrifted Table Make Over

No need for these tables to hit the trash they just need a little love:

So technically this was a rummage sale find. I hope that is alright. This summer I was looking for a small table for a small space. I really liked the idea of nesting tables so I could have more space if I needed it, but didn't want to spend a lot of money as the table would seldom be used. These are originally Ikea nesting tables and I think there is supposed to be a third one. When I came across them there were only two. They were a couple of bucks and slightly beat up, but I figured I could paint them or something. So the before picture is in fact that, my bad attempt at painting them. They started out white and you'll notice the chipping. I thought that spray paint for plastic would work on laminated particle board and well it didn't. So it was back to the drawing board or send them to the alley for someone else to try to love.

Here is what I came up with:

I used fabric and Modge Podge Hard Coat to create the new table tops. Even the black is fabric as paint wasn't holding up on the particle board. So far they are working great. I think I am going to do something similar on my night stands but probably a cute quilt block.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crafty Temptations

Joann's must have heard that I was going to be saying no to craft supplies for a while. So they print my name in the weekly sales ad in an effort to call me in:

It's not going to work Joann's... unless you discount rulers and templates by 50% and then maybe we'll talk... half off pillow forms and batting might make me come running too.

And then of all times to find a new online fabric store... well new to me anyway. Wish someone would have told me sooner. Free shipping on orders over $25 and a big selection with kona solids too!!! I have been in no way solicited to write this... I just like a deal when I find one. But if they want to send me a bunch of free fabrics I will talk about them forever and ever.... Marmalade Fabrics

I also learned of a brand new start up online fabric store and the exciting thing about them is that their minimum cut is 1/4 yard. It is probably rare that I would order a cut that small but for certain fabrics it is nice to have the option. They can send me free fabric too if they want me to talk about them forever and ever... Monna Fabrics

Anyway if you haven't checked in for the first week of the fabric diet make sure you do! Fabric Diet Check-in: Week One

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


So You Think You're Crafty

The first round has begun! I can't tell you my project, but the person with the lowest votes gets sent home :( Nooooo!

Go Vote!!

Monday, January 3, 2011


I got several fantastic Christmas gifts that I forgot to share!

Before I get to the presents here are my holiday decorations. This is my small silver tree which is in red & black and in the living room:

This is my living room windows. I think the star lights might stay up year round now:

And my big silver tree in my craft room which gets decorated in my jewel tone ornaments from Crate & Barrel purchased many years ago:

These were some of the presents I gave:

Now on to those I recieved...

The first has been on my want list for a while. A new camera. I've been in need of a camera that takes crisp close-up pictures for all my craft projects. Since I usually just talk about the thinks I really want and fail to purchase them (probably because I'm off buying fabric) I hadn't gotten around to getting this like I planned to. Luckily Dan and Alan came to the rescue! Thank you so much.

Now here is a crappy picture taken of my new camera with my old camera:

Canon PowerShot A3100

And here is a nice crisp picture of my old camera taken with my new camera:

Olympus FE-20

Old Camera:

New Camera:

See why I needed a new camera. I could eventually get the old one to take a pretty decent picture but I would have to take about 20 pictures to get one good one. It was fine for landscapes and people shots but close-ups not so much. Anyway the new camera is a very welcome addition to my crafty lifestyle.

I feel bad putting down my old camera because it was a very generous Christmas gift from my boyfriend two years ago. At the time he got it for me though I wasn't really documenting things I made so close-up pictures were not a necessity for me. Going back to gifts this year, he gave me a fantastic crafty gift that I will not need to be replacing any time soon. An Accuquilt Go! Cutter!!! Now this picture was taken with my new camera but in very poor lighting (so it's not the camera's fault). You will notice Peanut & Lucky in the background enjoying their gifts.

Santa Came to Chicago Early!!!

And my final crafty gift is a mountain of fabric all half yard cuts from my mom, aunt and 4-year-old niece (my SIL took her to a craft store and she picked out some fabric for me).

New to the stash...

Thanks for all my crafty presents.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fabric Diet

I'm not usually one for New Year's Resolutions but this is something I was considering doing anyway:

Fabric Diet Challenge

I'm joining Angela on her fabric diet challenge who blogs at Cut to Pieces.

The goal of Angela's project is to not buy any fabric for 8 weeks starting yesterday. Obviously this challenge is on the honor system. But every week you don't buy fabric you check in on her blog and receive one entry into a drawing at the end of 8 weeks for of course what else... fabric.

This is something I was going to do for myself anyway. I have an insane amount of not only fabric but craft supplies in general. I am going to go the full 8 week with no fabric purchases of any kind and I'm going to go as long as possible (hopefully 3 months maybe more!) with only buying kona solids as needed for specific projects to get finished. I also want to start a stash buster series (fabric and other misc. craft supply goodies) on my blog where I will make projects just using what I have and not buying any items to finish them up.

My goal is to use this week to finish up any projects I am behind on and clean my craft room from top to bottom so I know what I've got to work with. Next week I'll start some stash busting!

What will I do with all this money I'm saving by not purchasing fabric & craft supplies?? Well hopefully buy a new sewing machine - ha! I've got my eye on the Baby Lock Symphony.


I like to look at this picture and drool regularly. A flickr friend got it for Christmas, Kelly aka kelbysews

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bee Blocks in Review 2010

Here are all the blocks I made for my various quilting bees this year. It is quite a few considering I only joined bees starting in April & May.
Bee Blocks Year in Review 2010 - Part 1
Bee Blocks in Review 2010 - Part 2

Happy New Year!