Quilt Top Almost Done!

You might see my new feature over to the side called My Design Wall. I think it’s going to be neat to show what is on my real design wall, maybe that will motivate me to get it finished so I can change the picture. Case in point, I finished most of the quilt top I’m making out of JUST ONE charm pack and a yard of Moda Bella Solids Mint. This is what it looks like so far:

Love U Charm Quilt

I love how it looks with those cute fabrics all framed out in the solid green but I think it needs a little more kick, so I’m going to add a wider border of this cute coordinating Love U ABCs in Blue that we just received yesterday. Won’t it be cute?

Love U Blue ABCs by Deb Strain

I’ll probably use another yard and put a nice wide border, maybe around 3″ or so all around it. This is a completely made up pattern, but it’s not exactly rocket science. I think I’ll use this same fabric for the backing and a cute Essential Dots Royal Blue  for the binding.

Essential Dots Royal Blue

I think it’s going to be totally adorable! I love trying to come up with new ways to use those charm packs. I think of it as a challenge each time we get more of them in. So, do you think this is cute? If you’d like to buy the supplies, just let me know and I’ll make it into a kit which will be super easy to purchase all at once. Otherwise, what are YOU working on right now?

Happy Stitching to You,

Anna

P.S. It only took about 3 episodes of Robin Hood, 45 minutes each and about 4 trips downstairs to let the dogs in and out to get everything put together today. Now I have the Robin Hood music stuck in my head!!

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February 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, Crafty Tuesday, fabric, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

I really need to stop surfing…

I really need to stop blog surfing and get into my sewing room and WORK! I keep finding new projects I want to try to make like this one for a t-shirt tote or this one for a pin cushion cuff when I should really be finishing the quilt(s) I have on my design wall right now! That’s the bad part about having two design walls! I also get sucked into the Blogosphere and can’t get away from my computer! Well, it might be because my home office is so much warmer than my sewing room right now, partially because it’s the middle room without as many windows and is insulated better. Also, my sewing room is over the garage and is ALWAYS harder to regulate the temperature. Maybe that’s just an excuse. Look at this totally awesome set up I have for my sewing room.

Sew and Watch Robin Hood

I have a mini laptop and it’s right next to my sewing machine so I can watch streaming video episodes of Robin Hood (or anything else I want) while I sew! Gee, that sounds like a good idea, I guess I’ll go do that now.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

February 23, 2010. Crafty Tuesday, Goals, sewing. 2 comments.

Blogland Inspiration

I know I’ve been gone for awhile. But I’ve been finding inspiration all over blogland lately, here are some of my finds that are for projects I’m definately adding to my “Some Day” list:

1) This adorable sewing machine cover tutorial on Sew Mama Sew. I can’t wait to make this out of the new line of fabrics from Chez Moi called Boutique, due out in November!

2) Look at all these pictures of string quilts people are making around Blogland! It’s very inspiring, maybe I’ll make one eventually. 

A Spoonful of Sugar Amy Butler my favorite!

Quiltin’ Like Crazy Sooo pretty.

Crazy Mom Quilts Always inspiring 

Film in the Fridge Even more string fun!

Click here to see a cool slideshow of the search results for String Quilts on Flickr.

I just love the in progress pictures. OK, here is a tutorial from the Fabulous Ashley over at Film in the Fridge.

I also love this Wonky Log Cabin block tutorial because my motto is Wonky is Beautiful!

So how is that for inspiration? I even included how to do it! Now I have no excuse for NOT making a string quilt, except I don’t know if I have the right kind of scraps, haha. Does that mean I actually have to CREATE scraps for myself? I’ve been working on actually quilting the Avalon quilt. It started out as a real pain because I wanted to do some cool concentric squares but that’s REALLY hard on a regular non-long-arm-machine. The, I figured I would try just doing rows, ALSO hard because of the bulk of the quilt. SO I got fed up with that and decided I’d used my stitch regulator and do whatever the heck I want, good thing this quilt lends itself to different quilting in each block. So some will have straight stitching but I think most will have “other” quilting patterns. I’ll post pictures if I EVER finish quilting the darn thing. OH, and the cool thing about the BSR is that using it is SOOOO much faster than trying to quilt with a walking foot in straight lines.  OK, going to go now. Sorry no pictures, hope the links will make up for that.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

August 11, 2009. Crafty Tuesday, fabric, quilt designs, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

Material Obsession Part II

So I got the book! I immediately started paging through it, just drooling over the awesome photos and the amazing ideas of what to make. The very first project, which is a super easy quilt called Avalon, just called to me. I mean, it’s easy, just pick 12 FQs and go from there. So I ran to my closet where my FQs are “neatly” organized, even if they are sort of overflowing from the FQ buckets, and started pulling out the ones I liked. Well, that seemed like a good idea, until I put them up on my design wall (a white sheet tacked to the wall) and realized, none of them really “went” together. Hmm, need to rethink this. So back to the FQ box I went. After playing around with them, I went back to the book and read the part about “pick a focus fabric and then pick coordinating fabrics” oh, I get it now! So I did that, and the colors and patterns started to meld and I now have an awesome quilt on my design wall, waiting to be pieced. One thing I found out when I was cutting the blocks to their 18″ size, almost NONE of my fat quarters, which are SUPPOSED to be 18″x22″ were actually the correct size! Granted, I had washed them so they would be preshrunk, but I find it difficult to believe they could shrink an entire INCH! Have any of you ever had that problem? Well, being the resourceful person I am, I made a snap decision, cut them ALL to a size that would work, at least if it’s consistent, it will look OK. I ended up cutting them all down to 17″ square because that was the greatest common size. Sorry that I don’t have any pictures to share, I hope to take some pics tonight. But, of course, once I had the FQs picked out, I realized I didn’t have ANY white fabric for sashing. This meant I needed to run out and get some at Hancocks, which just happens to have opened a BRAND new store 5 minutes from my house! So off I went and got my white sashing fabric on sale because of their grand opening! I also ended up getting two yards of a really pretty blue linen deco fabric. Yeah!  (Check the shop because that might just show up there in a pretty pillow or two.) So now I have the FQs cut to size and the sashing pretty close to being done. Tonight I hope to get time to piece it together and then the top will be DONE! Maybe today will be a Crafty Tuesday afterall. I guess that’s it for now.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

April 14, 2009. Tags: , . Crafty Tuesday, fabric, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

Headstart on April projects and Shop Update

I have tried to list my hopeful projects for each month so that I could cross them off as I’ve completed them. Has this worked? Uhm, not especially, but I always say, if at first you don’t succeed, buy more fabric and try again. Haha. I’ve definately got that buy more fabric part down to a science.  Well, what do I plan to work on in the coming days of April? I have started a new applique quilt. The pattern is in the magazine called, Quilt, the April/May issue, I believe. It is the Pink Daisy Quilt pattern, made with all scraps! I think it’s going to be very cute. This is one of my “sit in front of the TV” projects because I have opted to hand applique all the pieces on, and each block has 12 petals, and there are 16 blocks, hmm, that’s…(getting out calculator) roughly 192 petals! Then the small flower blocks have four leaves and all the flowers have yellow circle centers, phew! That’s a lot of stitching! Good thing I’m not in a hurry or anything.  So, that is one of my projects. I also just bought some beautiful chenille yesterday in light blue and pink!  I plan to make those into some kits for fast and fun baby blankets (pattern included!)  And I will, of course, list them in my shop.  I also have some more fabric for making a dinosaur pillowcase, a cute girly fairy princess pillowcase, a boyish train themed pillowcase, and a grown up fashion/shopping diva pillowcase. I am sort of debating if I want to finish these out or kit them so that, should you be in the pillowcase making mood, you can just buy the adorable, already coordinating fabric for them.  We’ll see, I guess it will be a surprise when I list it.  I also need to work on the quilt for my newest Godson, it’s cut out and ready to be pieced together. I just need to DO it! I think I’ll work on that when I get home today. I’m trying to work on something a little bit each day. So far, Regina’s been doing most (read: all)  of the sewing for the shop, and although I’ve been buying tons of fabric (the fun part), I also need to contribute to the sewing side. I have some plans to make an ADORABLE little girl outfit perfect for Spring, with a matching hat and ric rac!  Well, I guess pictures of these items, or fabrics would be nice wouldn’t they? I will put that on my to do list as well. So, I have three things on my working-on-this-month (and next) list.  Oh by the way  Somehow I have acquired an affinity for ribbon. Why, I have no idea! But when I was at my local craft store a few days ago, they were having a sale on ribbon, I bought a few spools, and since then I have become addicted! I sure hope I can figure out something awesome to DO with all those precious spools of lovely color. You know, I always have an idea in the back of my head. I just have to figure out where to store it until I have that much time! OK, well, that’s it for now. Please take a moment to visit the Crafty Girls Workshop if you haven’t already and if you like what you see, tell your friends!

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

March 24, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, Crafty Tuesday, Quilting. Leave a comment.

Sew Mama Sew FQ Swap

I recently joined the Sew Mama Sew FQ Swap (I promise I will be sending those out soon to all my swap partners.) Well, just last Friday I was reading the Sew Mama Sew blog and they listed the people who won their weekly FQ bundle give away and Nova was listed as one of the winners. I immediately clicked the link to go read her blog, A Card a Day. It is such cute blog, but guess what she posted that day? She posted about the FQs she was sending to her swap partners in the Sew Mama Sew FQ swap. Little did I know that I was going to be one of the lucky recipients!  Yippee! Yesterday when I checked the mail late in the evening, I was so thrilled to see a letter with the words “AIR MAIL” on it, indicating it had come from a far away land. It came from Australia and it was from Nova! I immediately recognized the pink tissue paper from the picture I had seen on her blog. That was so awesome, plus the fact that she chose to send me an Amy Butler print, when I absolutely adore any fabric that Amy Butler makes. Isn’t that cool? I mean, we didn’t even list anything about our preferences and she chose something I really liked. Must have been fate. I really enjoy being able to make new friends, especially in far away countries such as Australia. It is so cool to be able to tell people, Yeah, I have quilting friends in Australia, England, Switzerland, Canada and all over the US. Plus, these friends are so sweet and generous. You know, there are some serious bush fires going on in Victoria, Australia and I have seen so many bloggers post about the blocks they are making. In fact, I think I’ve seen it on almost every quilty blog I’ve read recently, and BELIEVE me, I’ve read A LOT of quilty blogs. In fact, according to the flickr group for the Bushfire Quilt Project, there are over 356 items listed, WOW that is A LOT of blocks.  So it seems as if that project is a huge success. Amazing. In addition, the Sew Mama Sew FQ swap inspired me to host another swap on my Quilting Friends group. I posted about it and had 15 people sign up! I think the format for this swap is so much easier than the previous swaps, and much more manageable. I mean, it is easier to send out four FQs to various addresses than it is to send the total number to one place, include an envelope for return shipping and postage, and then have to wait so long to get it! I am really excited about all the FQs I’ll be sending and receiving soon.  Also, I did get the supplies to make the butterfly project. I didn’t get to sew anything last night, but while I watched the President’s address to a join session of congress (official name) I was madly punching out butterflies from the pages of old catalogs or colorful scrapbook paper. I also think that in the process I have found a kindred spirit in Lolly at LollyChops.  Like I said, I totally enjoy making new bloggy friends and I’ve made two in the last two days! Yippee! Until next time.

Happy Stitches and Paper Punches to You,

Anna

February 25, 2009. Crafty Tuesday, friendsday, sewing. 2 comments.

Slash Your Stash Update

Last night I actually DID sew something! I decided to try to make a very cute little flannel teddy bear for my Godson. I got the pattern from the Bunny Hill website  (scroll to the very bottom for bear pattern) for FREE! Thank you Anne Sutton for your cute designs. So, I started working on it and will most likely finish it tonight. I was very tired after work yesterday it is sort of a miracle that I did anything at all. Today I am very excited to have found such a cute blog called LollyChops. This girl is awesome. She is so crafty and so generous! She gives away her awesome patterns for FREE as well! Her blog is so incredibly well organized and fun to read. She has such a cute sense of humor as well (reminds me of myself actually.) I have already added several of her patterns to my pattern folder on my pin drive and can’t wait to print them out and do stuff with them. Also, I plan to take a little trip to Michael’s Craft store this afternoon and spend my 40% coupon I got in my e-mail on some really cute crafty punches and make a butterfly project like this one that she made. LollyChops, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing your idea! Hey, you need a Flickr group to show all the ways people have made things from your blog. Or do you have one already? Your photographs are awesome also LollyChops. I can’t wait to visit your blog again tomorrow to see if anything is new. I think this would count as a Friendsday post, even though today is Tuesday and it’s supposed to be a Crafty Tuesday post. Maybe on Friday I’ll post something to show how crafty I’ve been this week! You know, I can really relate to butterflies, they fly from one pretty flower to the next, but only for a short amount of time. That’s sort of how I am about crafty projects. “Anna, you need to FOCUS!” I am really looking forward to working on more projects this evening. Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

P.S. I have added LollyChops to my blogroll as well, in case you want to visit her in the future.

February 24, 2009. Blogroll, Crafty Tuesday, friendsday, sewing, Use What You Have Challenge. Leave a comment.

Random Stuff and a New Quilt Design

Even though we love the basic floorplan of our house, there were several things we knew would need to be fixed, updated, or painted over time. One of the things I really wanted to do was improve the look of our mantle. Right now it’s just this floating thing over the fireplace that is surrounded by tile. Long story short, my dad has a friend who does building demolition and along the way he has collected some fireplace surrounds. Here is the one we have recently acquired.

Isn't it pretty?
Isn’t it pretty?

My hubby thinks it needs some sanding and to be stained a darker color. I almost think it would be perfect how it is. At this point, it’s just leaning up against the fireplace. We wanted to try it out to see if it would “fit.” I think it’s a huge improvement on the old mantle.

Old mantle = that brown thing above the pretty one.
Old mantle = that brown thing above the pretty one.

You can see where I have tried to make it look prettier than it is. I mean, it’s painted brown, yuck!  So, needless to say, I am thrilled about our new/old fireplace surround. It’s old because it came from a building that was torn down, cool, huh? And so far, it’s been FREE!

Onto more cuteness from my precious Starbuck (new puppy). Here is a little video I took of the dance she does when she knows she’s going to be fed. Sorry you have to go to a different site to see it, but I had already uploaded it over there and don’t really feel like taking the time to remember my YouTube password and everything.
And lastly, a new quilt design! I am making a quilt for my newest Godson, Ben. He is two years old, so I figured he should have a slightly educational quilt.  (That’s the former teacher in me.) So here is the design, luckily, I haven’t had to buy ANY new fabric for this one!
Made with novelty charms, denim charms, and 10" denim squares.

Made with novelty charms, denim charms, and 10" denim squares.

It might be difficult to see, but I tried to make the novelty charms in each block match in some way. Here’s a close up.
See? Trains in one block, turtles, and trucks. Each block matches.

See? Trains in one block, turtles, and trucks. Each block matches.

I am so excited about this quilt. It should be fast and fairly easy. I can’t wait to work on it this weekend (especially since the baptism is only a week away!) Well, that’s the update of everything for now. Until next time.
Happy Stitches to You,
Anna
 

February 18, 2009. Crafty Tuesday, quilt designs, Quilting, Use What You Have Challenge. Leave a comment.

Anna’s Got a Brand New Bag

Here are some pictures of the new tote bag that I made for myself Sunday and last night.  I tried Lisa’s suggestions of putting a solid color behind (I didn’t have any foam board so I used kraft paper instead) when I took the pictures. I think they turned out rather well.  What do you think? You might notice that instead of just doing the traditional straight rows of stitching down the handles, I used a decorative stitch from my machine. That was really quite fun! I also changed the pocket up a bit. After looking at it, I realized the pocket would be too big and stuff would get lost in it, so I added an extra row of stitching to create a smaller pocket for my pens and the other pocket is perfect for my cell phone and keys.  I used fusible fleece on the back of the outer bag, which I completely LOVE for bag making.  It’s easy to apply and gives the bag extra stability.  I think it turned out pretty awesome considering that I had no real pattern for this. The best thing about making tote bags is that once you know how to do it, the instructions are pretty much the same every time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

April 22, 2008. Tags: , , . Crafty Tuesday, Quilting, sewing. 2 comments.

How Do I Quilt Thee, Let Me Count the Way(s)

It started like this:

picture-or-video-017.jpg

And this:

picture-or-video-020.jpg

And progressed to this:

sewing-projects9.jpg

And then this:

sewing-projects8.jpg

And somehow ended up like THIS:

sewing-projects16.jpg

So the QUILT TOP IS DONE! I just have to figure out how to quilt it! I don’t think I can actually put a poll widget ont this blog, so you’ll just have to comment with your vote. In fact, there isn’t much to vote on. I don’t know if there is any other way to quilt this than with stitch in the ditch. I also want to do some sort of cable design on the border (like cable knit sweaters which make me think of cold, blustery Ireland). If I get really ambitious I might do some cool Celtic design in the blocks that have to be quilted somehow as well. Oh, did I mention, I”VE NEVER QUILTED ANYTHING! That is why I am a quilting enthusiast I just LOVE to enthuse about it, but have’t really, actually, truly quilted anything that would need to have a binding and be used by someone, someday.  I have made blankets galore, but never a quilted blanket.  So I have a couple of questions: 1) What color thread should I use? I have a pink that I think would be perfect, but I am worried that if I stitch in the ditch it will show up. That wouldn’t necessarily be a BAD thing, but if I mess up, it could become very obvious.  2) I basted the quilt sandwhich with safty pins and then, when I flipped it over I saw that there are several puckers in the backing fabric, does that mean I have to unbaste it and try again? HOW can I get the back to be flat? I tried to tape it down, but I don’t have a large enough surface in my house that is not carpeted to tape it to. I have heard spray basting is good and I really want to try out the fusible 80/20 batting by Hobbs, but I’ve already cut my batting for this one, so I’ll stick with what I’ve got for now.  Well, any suggestions or comments are appreciated, as long as you keep them nice. Thanks for any advice. Until next time.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

P.S. I am calling this quilt the Irish Baby for now. The picture might not show it very well, but it is pink and yellow.

March 18, 2008. Tags: , , . Crafty Tuesday, quilt designs, Quilting, sewing. 5 comments.

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