Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I've been spending lots of time reflecting these past few weeks, do you all do that? I'm really looking forward to a new year with a brand new start. Let's just say 2011 hasn't been my favorite year, but I have high hopes for 2012 and a really bright outlook.

I've been doing more thinking and designing than sewing the last couple months, (and spending lots of time with my little beastlings).  I feel like I'm going into the new year with a fresh perspective.

My plan (for my shop - and my sewing habit hobby) is to introduce a bunch more useful templates, with beautiful examples of how to use them.  Afterall, design is my first love.  I'd like to have lots more giveaways, and host a contest or two.  Thanks so much for sticking with me this year! Cheers to you all and a wonderful BRAND NEW YEAR!!

sneak peek of my first finish of 2012
and first new template design

Friday, December 16, 2011

And the Winner is...

Amber said...
I'd love the hexagon templates.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

It's that time again! Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day!!

Time for me to shamelessly promote my tiny Etsy shop.

For those of you new here, I make and sell acrylic quilting templates and rulers, check out my shop to see what's available. (I do custom orders too!!) These are the same great quality of the major brands you buy in your LQSs. Mine are laser cut and etched here in my home. Here are some examples of what I have in my shop, and some pics of what I made with them:

I'm offering 1 commenter on this post 1 item from my shop, your choice! I'll happily ship internationally as well. So leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite size/shape ruler/template is, or what you would like to see in my shop in the coming year. My valued followers may have a second entry - just let me know you're a follower (or you can become one).

Good luck today, and have a wonderful holiday season! 

Winner will be chosen on Friday, Dec 16th at 5:00pm PST

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What the heck have I been doing?

Well, lets see - not much sewing going on, but I've...

...moved my sewing space into the guest room and gotten it all set up for heavy use,

done a bunch of crocheting (for the 1st time!),

It's going to be a blankie - for me!

trying to keep these 2 out of trouble...yes, she's trying to change her own poopy diaper, and who the heck knows what he's doing. Yes, she got up there on her own.

Trying to keep them from harming the Grandparents chickens who are staying with us for a bit,

attended a fabulous (as always) PMQG meeting,

thinking I'm seriously clever for this, then realizing that 4 yr olds can open child safety devices and 2 yr olds can ask them to, better go mop the bedroom floors again...

checking out lego dragons, etc,

the dreaded grocery shopping with the race car cart that noone of the earth can possibly control,

thinking of how to put together these lovelies for our guild holiday swap,

a bit of designing...

and finally finishing up this potholder for our swap with the KCMQG.

So, no, not much sewing, but a whole lotta life....  Phew, I'm tired.  What have you all been up to?  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cool Messenger Bag for a Hip 8 yr old

A while back I received a request for a 'hip' messenger bag from my 8 yr old neighbor.  She's way ahead of her age in her fashion and design sense.  It was her birthday in September and I decided I'd try to pull it off for a birthday present. Fast-forward a couple months and here we are.

Aren't they cute?

I think little Sis wants one too...

She picked out the fabrics herself, and wrote a cute little wish list for the bag including diagrams (in elevation!).   I love this seed packet fabric, and I had just enough. It has a shimmer to it that I just can't capture on my silly phone camera in a dark house at night ;)

She requested her name on it (easy with my new love of laser cutting fabric).

A place to attach her lunch bag.

Inside pockets for a laptop and other goodies.

Front pencil pockets - which again, my phone camera can't show too well.

This was a fun bag to put together, and I think she officially has the coolest bag in school. 

Now I think it's time to resume my search for the missing camera.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

 AND Mini Quilt Sew & Tell!!

I wanted to link up to the current Blogger's Quilt Festival because I have really enjoyed following it in the past. There's always so much inspiration to be had!  (edited to add:) AND I want to link up to this wonderful mini quilt challenge hosted by Amy - go check out the wonderful eye candy!!

I haven't finished a (real) quilt in awhile. Just small projects. But a small quilt is still a quilt, isn't it?  This is a tiny quilt that I made for The Post Sewing Summit Swap that's going on right now. I know I've been mentioning the Summit alot, but, well - it's the coolest thing I've done in awhile.

I have a cute little mini quilt to share. In this teeny plus quilt, I've tried to incorporate my partner's color and fabric likes with my love of geometry.  The quilting sort of represents river rocks and little echoing waves of water. I'm not much of an improv quilter - I usually like to have a plan. This was fun though, it was nice to let go a little bit. I really like the juxtaposition of orthagonal geometry with wacky quilting, I think I'll try to explore that more. 

So I let my 4 yr old 'borrow' my camera (it's a point and shoot) a week or 2 ago. I need 10 minutes of quiet, so I said - here go take some pictures. I haven't seen it since. I've really looked for it too. Damn kids :)  OK, I've learned my lesson - 10 minutes of quiet isn't worth losing a camera.  So I'll be doing all of my picture taking with my outdated iphone 3. Yuck, sorry for the horrible quality.

Monday, October 17, 2011


...and the winner is:

crangel said...
i would love to try apple core or retro Flowers, but Apple core would be my first choice. thanks for the opportunity. Prayer for quick recovery.
my email

Drunkard's Path

I've recently had a bunch of requests to add drunkard's path templates to my shop.  I wasn't sure which sizes would be popular, so I made 3 different sets. A 4", a 5", and a 6".

I couldn't sell them without testing first... so here is what I made with the 4" set.  Just a simple quilted pillow, with a traditional circle pattern. This size set is really cool because you can cut both pieces of the block out of 1 charm square. No really. The waste is less than a square inch, it's really cool. One of the (many) very cool items in my Sewing Summit swag bag was a kona solids charm pack.  Mine was in the 'dusty' palate, which wouldn't have been my first choice, but it worked for this scrappy pillow which is destined for a friend, who I know will love it.  Incidentally, everything I used in the making of this pillow (except for the muslin) was received at the Sewing Summit weekend, either in the swag bag, or from giveaways. The thread and batting included. I still can't say enough about how awesome that weekend was.

What types of templates or rulers are you guys looking for?  Give me some ideas, I'm really open to suggestion!  Cheers!

PS:  check out some other Sew Modern Monday creations here!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sewing Summit - Was it All a Dream?

 *giveaway now closed*

So I spent last weekend in Salt Lake City at the Sewing Summit. It's a super cool sewing/blogging conference that's going to happen once a year - this was the first one. It was awesome. No really - Awesome.  It was so super cool to meet up with all these ladies that are super into sewing and creating and design. Loved it - very inspiring, I'll totally go again next year. I didn't take a camera, so here are some of my horrible phone pics of the Fabric Shop Hop I went on last Friday. Was it just a week ago? It kind of all seems like a dream already.

 50 fab ladies on a bus shopping for fabric. Noone threw up (bus driver was sketchy).

 There were ducks hanging out in front of Pine Needles Shop

 This creepy thing was also hanging out there. Who did this, and why?

 Monica got a pretty end cap at Material Girls shop - I touched it a bit

 Worst picture ever - my loot from the shop hop. Not too much damage done...

 Seriously cute faces I cam back to after 3 nights. One is flipping me off and the other is putting on her 'smile' face. They were way more into the salt water taffy that I brought them, than me.

So overall, it was a blast, I learned, I met awesome peeps, I laughed (a lot), I drank (a little), I crocheted (more on that later), and I just had a big smile on the whole time. 

I'm not the best writer - many others have summed things up alot better than I can. Check it out.

OK, I have actually been back for awhile and I have sewn 1 thing...

My fave local quilt shop is Cool Cottons... I live literally 3 blocks from it. If you ever see me there in a car, shame on me.  A couple of weeks ago I was in there and found this super weird/cool fabric with dress patterns all over it. I had to have it.

Not long after, the Quilt Club started up, and I found the perfect use for that fabric. Here's my 1st 'homework' block from quilt club. I screwed it up, then compensated for it. I like it, it's a little funky. I think I'll use this same combo of fabrics for the whole club quilt.

OK, WOW, long post - sorry. So if you made it this far, how about a treat?  Maybe a giveaway? One lucky reader will receive their choice of 1 item from my shop - just leave a comment telling me which one sounds best...I just added some new ones too!  1 comment per reader - and I'm gonna make this a quickie, because my hubs is having hernia surgery next tuesday, so I'll pick a winner at 5pm on monday the 17th, hurry up, and make sure I can find you.   Cheers all, have a happy and safe weekend 

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Like A 3-Weeker Than a Weekender

 OK, well, here she is: my Weekender bag in all her glory. Complete with adjustable shoulder strap and matching luggage tag.  I won't lie - this bag was a wh0re to make, but I am absolutely in LOVE with it.  I changed a lot of things from the pattern, so I cannot blame the pattern - it was clear and I did not follow the instructions.  I'm really bad at following instructions.

Weekender Tip #1:  Follow the pattern - not me

What did I change from the pattern? Well, lots of things - basically the whole construction of the bag.  I constructed mine very similarly to Michelle's Weekender. I wanted pockets on the inside and no saggy lining, so I basted the lining to the bag pieces before I put them together - leaving 2 big shaggy seams exposed on the inside, which I had to cover with bias binding.  I ended up having to stitch the bias on my hand because my machine wouldn't sew through all those layers. I also added an adjustable shoulder strap so I can wear it across my body - I rarely have a free hand.

Weekender tip #2:  don't use a heavy canvas/duck cloth for the piping fabric

During my construction of the bag, I put my poor little machine to the test. I ended up using the piping foot to guide the bag through, but had to use my scissors as a presser foot to press the fabric together before each stitch. It took FOREVER. I couldn't pin the sides to the middle section, I did however end up using staples and that worked fine.

Weekender tip #3: Staples are better than pins

I added a 10" zippered pocket to the outside of the front pocket - to keep things like ID/plane tickets safe. That part was easy and didn't interfere with the construction of the rest of the bag. 

I also added a zippered pocket and 2 open pockets to the inside lining of the bag. Even though I love how these came out, it was a huge pain in the arse to sew over these extra layers of fabric when attaching the sides to the middle section.

Weekender tip #4:  If you add inside pockets - don't let them go all the way into the side seams

So maybe my favorite addition to the pattern was the bag feet (acorn nuts with allen bolts on the inside).
My hubs help me cut a masonite hard bottom for my bag, and I attached these 'feet' right through the fabric to help protect and extend the life of the bottom of the bag. It's also now super sturdy. I just added a false bottom that matches the lining to cover up the ugly masonite.

 Weekender tip #5: Read the whole pattern through before starting, and understand all the cutting that you have to do.

The cutting is the biggest part of this bag, and it took FOREVER. It can be very frustrating when you want to just jump right in. It's also pretty boring.

So that's it!  I'm off to The Sewing Summit this Thursday! Hubs and the kids are going to take care of each other for 3 whole nights. I can hardly wait - but there's still so much to do before then. I'm just really, really happy to have finished this bag in time to take with me.

Also check out Megan's bag!