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.

Enter a New Giveaway!

I just found a giveaway on a very cute blog called Red Gingham written by a sweet girl from New Zealand named Sarah. She is about as crazy about quilting as I am so I was so excited to find out she was giving away some really neat items that represent her country. How awesome is that!? So here is the link. She gives you lots of ways to enter and there is still time.

You can also go over to Crafty Girls Workshop and get my craftygirls e-mail and drop me a message with your name and address and I’ll send you a pincushion! Yes, a cute one with a ribbon tab that is great for pinning it to your design wall! Two giveaways for the price of one, yippee!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

P.S. I know, I’m going to sew something on that LONG list of Christmas gifts, starting this afternoon.

September 10, 2009. Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, friendsday, Give Aways, Goals, Holidays, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

Quilt Retreat Projects

Here are the projects I want to work on (and hopefully get the tops done) by the end of this weekend:

  • Enigma Quilt 1, made with 8 FQs (Posh fabrics, all cut and ready to piece)
  • Enigma Quilt 2, made with 8 FQs  (Brown and Pink, all cut and ready to piece)
  • Teacher’s Pet Jelly Roll Quilt (All cut and ready to piece)
  • Christmas charms table runner (pretty much cut and ready to piece)
  • Snippets Layer Cake easy peasy quilt from Quilts and More magazine

I guess I should stop there, huh? I’m taking along some embroidery to work on when I get tired of machine sewing. I might also take an applique block to work on. I guess this is sort of ambitious for only 1 full day of sewing and maybe half the day on Sunday. Darn, why do I have to waste time eating and sleeping? I’ll just play it by ear and get as much done as I can. It’s better to have too much to do than not enough and then get really bored, right? Oh well, happy stitches.

Anna

July 15, 2009. fabric, Goals, quilt retreat, Quilting. 2 comments.

A Fun Project, hopefully

Amazingly, I have tomorrow off as an observed holiday for July 4th! YIppee!! So this is what I am planning to work on:

couponclutch header2

The tutorial is on Moda Bakeshop and it is so adorable! They used the fabric called Objects of Desire by Sandy Gervais which has shoes and bags and lipstick and all sorts of cute girly things. It’s a great pattern because it uses a charm pack to make it, but I don’t have a charm pack of that fabric, I do, however, have about 10 strips of a honey bun (1 1/2″ strips) in that line. It was part of a mini honey bun box I bought from Hancocks of Paducah awhile back.  So, I am going to try to finagle the pattern, just a wee bit to see if I can get a similar effect from piecing together strips. I figure it will save me a little cutting at least. I also think this pouch will be super cute for more than just coupons, in fact, I think it will make a really cute wallet. And, as it turns out, a close friend of mine has already asked me to make a couple for her as well, if she buys the supplies. That’s soo cool!  So this is my plan for the weekend.

Friday: Sleep as late as my dogs will allow (probably about 8:30 am), drink some coffee, eat breakfast and watch some of silly morning shows on TV, start some laundry, do the dishes and maybe vaccuum.  Then, if there is any time left over, either work on above project or scan some pictures of the new products we’re going to list on Etsy very soon (it’s a surprise though.) Try to go back to the project again. Go to sleep and get some rest for July 4th.

Saturday: Sleep as late as I can. Clean up house some more, get ready for family to visit around 2:00 pm. Maybe work in some sewing. Hopefully all the laundry and dishes will be finished.  Enjoy family visit. Clean up after family visit, do dishes. Stitch while watching TV with hubby, go to sleep. (Yeah! Still one more day of the weekend!)

Sunday: Sleep as late as possible. Do whatever I want, hopefully getting to sew A LOT and hopefully I’ll have finished the coupon clutch (or two or three) and some other fun projects I want to finish. Maybe decide if I want to start a new quilt project. I’m having a lot of fun doing easy and fast stuff right now.  Oh, and hopefully I’ll have gotten all the new items added to Etsy by this time.  Relax and enjoy the rest of my day off before going back to the work grind.

Doesn’t that sound like an AWESOME weekend? I am really, really looking forward to it, because I know that next week is going to be rather hectic. I hope you’re going to have a fun and relaxing weekend too, with a little bit of sewing time squeezed in there.

No Buy Update: I’ve done really well! There are soooo many temptations out there but I’ve managed to just say “No” It also helps that I took my credit card OUT of my wallet and I know there isn’t enough money in the bank account to cover much more than our bills.  This has really caused me to take a super close look at what I have and the projects I really want to finish. If I have extra fabric that is no longer appealing to me, I am planning to destash it very soon (so check back for updates on that.) Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

July 2, 2009. fabric, Goals, Holidays, No Buy Challenge, Quilting, sewing, UFOs. 2 comments.

No Buy Update

OK, it’s getting a little easier. My hubby is the only one who says that buying that flannel “counts,” everyone else I asked (and believe me, he’s way outnumbered) says that a) if it’s on sale it doesn’t count b) if it’s for a specific project it doesn’t count c) if it’s not at a “real” quilt shop it doesn’t count.  So I think that means that it doesn’t count! I haven’t made those blankets yet, but I DID get the jelly roll sliced and diced and it’s ready to go for the quilt retreat, yeah!! Oh, and as much as I LOVE the Figgy Pudding fabric and I am sort of afraid it won’t be around when my buying sabatical is over, I dropped a hint to my dear MIL about how nice it would be if “someone” would buy a layer cake and charm pack of that fabric (for the pattern on Moda Bakeshop) and just keep it for me for a birthday present in October. She jumped on that opportunity, and then immediately told me to forget we ever had that conversation, a.k.a. act surprised when I get exactly that for my birthday! Also, the jelly roll that I won from the SEWN Launch promotion arrived on Friday so I was able to receive fabric without even buying it! That’s always fun.  And a new blogger buddy of mine in the UK, Aneela, and I are swapping scraps so that will be fun to get some mystery fabric in the mail sometime soon. I guess there are ways to feed my fabric addiction without actually buying any, hehe. You know, considering that I am paying bills today (YUCK!) and realizing how much of our money goes out right at the beginning of the month for bills (MOST of it) I am even more motivated to abstain from indulging my fabric addiction.  I think the good karma is paying off because I just found out that I WON a Frenchy bag from Heather’s blog giveaway! YIPPEEE!! Me, who never wins ANYTHING! I guess I can’t say that anymore!  Well, I guess that’s the weekend update. Oh, one more thing, I decided, right in the middle of making a charm pack tote bag, that I needed to grab my staple gun, some random demim-ish fabric and the Thinsulate batting (good for oven mitts and ironing board covers) and just go crazy. What was the result? Uhm, a semi useful place to press fabric right on my sewing table! Yes, I STAPLED the fabric to my sewing table (one of those “farm” tables with a pine top and white legs) to make a pressing space. Hmm, maybe I’ll take a picture sometime this afternoon. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with the idea because it’s such a pain to have to step around my ironing board to get to my cutting table, you know? Now the only problem is that it’s sort of difficult to actually reach over to the pressing space, but at least it’s easier to get to my cutting table. Well, more tomorrow I hope.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

June 28, 2009. Cut it Up Thursday, fabric, Give Aways, Goals, No Buy Challenge, Quilting, sewing. Leave a comment.

No Buy: Day 2

Well, I suppose this could get rather redundant, but so far, I think I’ve done pretty well, even if this is only day two. This might be due to the fact that I’ve been staying a little later at work so by the time I get done, I just want to go straight home and once I get there, I basically eat dinner, watch TV and fall asleep. No time for fabric shopping!  But, every morning as part of my routine, I visit several blogs and one is the Moda Bake Shop. Well, they’ve done it again, posted a project that I totally love and of course don’t have any of the fabric for. Bummer. Oh it’s using my FAVORITE fabric, Figgy Pudding too! How can anyone get into the Christmas spirit this early in the year? I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with our weather, which has been into the triple digits for the last two weeks, with no relief in sight. I mean, thinking of the cooler days that will eventually come in December (hopefully, although we have been known to have highs in the 80s around Christmas, but that seems cool compared to 100) makes dreaming of Christmas in June sort of understandable. Oh, back to the topic of Figgy Pudding. Well, the project calls for one charm pack, one layer cake and some yardage for sashing and binding. Of course, I don’t have any of that. But I’ll just save the pattern to my thumb drive with all the other Someday Patterns I have and hopefully when I have the money, the fabric will still be available.  I just need to stop looking at these sites that offer temptation to buy stuff! Sometimes I really wish my birthday was in the Summer instead of October because then I could ask for it for a birthday present. You know how this goes, these fabrics come and go so quickly that if you don’t snatch them up right when they come out, you might never get any of it. By the way, I just couldn’t get motivated to cut up that jelly roll last night. I worked on my embroidery a little while I watched TV, but cutting fabrics is such a tedious job that I didn’t want to do it. Maybe I’ll save it for Cut it Up Thursday, another Stashbuster idea. That’s all for now. Anyone else joining me in the no-buy a.k.a. I Must Resist challenge?

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

June 24, 2009. fabric, Goals, Holidays, No Buy Challenge, Quilting, sewing, Stashbusters. 1 comment.

Personal Challenge: A month without buying fabric!

I am going to try this. Can I go an entire month without buying fabric? That’s like going a day without eating chocolate! (That will be my next challenge)  I hope I’ll be able to post every day for a month about my progress (or lack thereof) in this challenge. It will be interesting to see what projects I am able to complete (or at least get to top status) in this duration. I can’t take credit for this idea. I am on a Yahoo e-mail group called Stashbusters, they have 4000 members! I have been on that list for several months now, usually just reading the posts and lurking, occasionally chiming in with my humble opinon or suggestions. One of their ongoing challenges is a No Buy challenge, which I have never had the nerve to join. Their challenege is pretty strict, if you buy any fabric, you have to send a charm or fat quarter to the No Buy coordinator to put in a collection for the person who goes an entire year without buying fabric! Wow!  I think I’ll be lucky if I can make it a week. How’s that for confidence? But I discovered that buying fabric has really become an addiction with me, there is something about the thrill of finding something I completely love and being able to snatch it up. I think my “stash” of fabric is sort of unique because I probably have more actual kits or future projects than I do just fabric in my stash. I guess this is because of when I started with my quilting craze. I only started this about five years ago (I have a lot of catching up to do!) and that was after the idea of putting together kits was becoming popular. Actually one of the first fabric stores I was introduced to, Creations in Kerrville, TX, is a master at pairing their beautiful samples right next to the fabrics and precut kits for that exact sample. So, basically I can walk around their store and if I see a sample I LOVE, just look below where it is hanging on the wall and whatdoyaknow, there is the kit, all tied up in a beautiful ribbon and ready for me to put in my little basket. (The backings are sold separately, of course) Of the seven fabric stores in San Antonio, very few of them, if any, are able to accomplish this attractive marketing technique. So, since I have always fallen in love with and purchased the kits, I should be able to go a little while without really needing to buy any fabric (yeah right.)  The rule on the Stashbusters list is that if you complete a quilt from your stash, but you need to buy extra yardage for sashing, backing or binding, you are allowed. Those are the parts of quilts that are usually held off until the project is complete because the sizes never come out quite what you thought they would. That is the rule I’m going to use in my challenge too. Now, here’s the tricky part, I can’t buy anything, but that doesn’t mean I can’t window shop a little! Oh, that’s difficult! I’ve managed to reduce the number of e-newsletters that I get from fabric shops but I still get the one from the Fat Quarter Shop and from Hancock’s of Paducah. Talk about eye candy!  Oh, and because I have an account on Etsy, it is very difficult to resist buying fabric on there. The sellers on Etsy have the sorts of fabric that I really love and haven’t really been able to find in the shops in my city (for reasonable prices too!) So, since a blog is sort of like a journal, I think I’ll try to post daily about my progress.

Day 1, June 22:  Yippee! I made it a day without buying anything! The urge was there, that’s for sure, because with this down economy, the fabric stores are hurting and they are having some great sales. They’ve also really stepped up their e-mail marketing. I don’t blame them, it’s not like it costs them more to send an extra e-mail or two.  So instead of visiting a fabric store after work (the one I really like is closed on Mondays anyway) when I got home I decided to revisit my stash a little. I’m trying to get some quilts cut out so that I can just sit and sew at the quilt retreat in July. I’ve already got two cut, but I decided to start on one that uses a jelly roll. In fact, it was a jelly roll that I didn’t even realize I had! It’s the Portobello Market fabric, which is just BEAUTIFUL, it turns out. I am sure I snapped up that jelly roll way back and then forgot about it until I went through my jelly roll basket last night (yes, I have a basket with probably six jelly rolls.) I also saw that I have this great pattern for a quilt made with one jelly roll and two borders (haven’t bought those yet.) Last night, I unwrapped the jelly roll and laid it out on my kitchen island. I had forgotten how awesome those fabrics are! The pattern said I only needed 35 of the 40 strips and at first I wondered how I was ever going to choose 5 fabrics to take out of the group. Well, I managed and last night I pressed the creases out and tonight I hope to get them cut and ready to piece at the retreat! You know, I have a lot of jelly rolls and patterns, but I’ve never actually really made anything with a jelly roll! They’ve just been sitting in my sewing room, patiently waiting for me to find the right pattern, I suppose.  Well, now is the time and with my new challenge I hope I can actually get some of these projects finished. I even managed to get a UFO finished over the weekend (see yesterday’s post.)  Well, until tomorrow.

Happy Stitches to You (and stashbusting),

Anna

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . fabric, Goals, No Buy Challenge, Quilt Shops, Quilting, sewing, Stashbusters, UFOs. 1 comment.

LEON Day, Join the Club

OK, I guess it’s time to get caught up in another challenge, or gimick or hype. I just found out about something that is new to me although apparently people have known about it for awhile, LEON Day. What is this you may ask? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with a guy name Leon or even a lion (Leon is the Spanish word for lion.) L-E-O-N is NOEL spelled backwards! So, therefore (prepare to groan) LEON day, which is June 25th, is the half way point to Christmas! Yes, June 25th means there are only 6 more months until Christmas so if you’re going to make any gifts you’d better get the show on the road! Well, remember, I have a separate page up there for the 2009 Christmas Challenge. I would also like to mention that I just saw the cutest tutorial for a plastic bag dispenser thingy over on Moda Bakeshop! This is a great project that should be finished in less than an hour. What a great backup gift that you can make! Not to mention the tons of other awesome projects they have on that site, all using those ubiquitous pre-cut fabrics. Also, don’t forget that Sew Mama Sew has tons of links to tutorials and projects on their blog. So, are you ready to get a jump start on LEON day? It’s only two days away! I just finished a cute tote bag this weekend that I had cut out and even with fusible fleece on it, all ready to put together for FOREVER. I hope I’ll take some pictures of it soon to get it posted on here. I am very proud of it. I hope you are having a wonderful week and get to spend some quality time with your sewing machine and fabric.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

June 22, 2009. Tags: . Goals, Holidays, Quilting, random stuff. Leave a comment.

Some Progress this Weekend

I am sew excited! I finished another quilt top this weekend and this one was on my Work In Progress list!  It was on my design wall for a long time and only needed the rows put together and the borders put on, for the top to be done. So here is how I spent some of my weekend:
Stitching the Rows

Stitching the Rows

and in between stitching I had to press them, of course.

 

Pressing Station

 
Pressing Station

Eventually I was down to just a couple rows left and the borders.

Getting There (Design Wall)

Getting There (Design Wall)

Finally, it’s all done! (Well, the top anyway.)

Yippee!!

Yippee!!

Boy am I exhausted!

Starbuck, my precious puppy

Starbuck, my precious puppy

So, among other mundane things, like laundry and dishes and absolutely-nothing-worth-watching-on-TV, that’s what I did this weekend!!

Oh, and I JUST found out that I WON a fabric jelly roll since I participated as a blogger in Sarah Fielke’s SEWN Launch Party Giveaway! (Actually on my other blog Crafty Girls Workshop) That was such a great way to start the week! The SEWN network will be launching sometime tomorrow. Yeah! If you’d like to enter my giveaway on the Crafty Girls Workshop blog, stop by and leave a comment on the post about the launch party (you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find it.) There is still time because I’m not going to draw a winner until 6:00pm tonight.  See you there!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

June 8, 2009. Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, Goals, Quilting. 3 comments.

Rain in the Forecast

It was raining pretty hard as I left my house this morning. Sort of one of those fresh spring rains that we haven’t seen much of this spring. Unfortunately, before I got a mile down the road, it had sort of died out. But that’s OK. I think it’s going to be gloomy and yucky this weekend, perfect sewing weather. OK, I know what you’re going to say, the last time I promised a stash busting, sewing challenge weekend I failed, but this time it will be different. I had to run to my sewing room this morning to grab something before I left for work, and my Avalon quilt was CALLING to me! It was saying, “Annnnnaa, don’t foorgeeeet meee!” Creepy, huh? So I just know I need to get in there either tonight or tomorrow to work on it. I think I could even FINISH it, including the quilting part by the end of the weekend, how’s that for an ambitious goal?!! The only place I get a little hung up is knowing what color of thread to use for the quilting. The top has lots of different colors and the sashing is white, so I am sure whatever color I use will really show up. I guess that will be an interesting poll for another day.  I really love the modern look of the quilts on AmandaJean’s blog and she is sort of my inspiration for the pieced back to this quilt.  Not just one of her quilts, ALL of them! Oh, and I am also really excited because I am planning to set a date for a quilt retreat. I’m going to book the dates at an actual Quilter’s Retreat place and go up there with my MIL and maybe some other quilting friends and we’re going to spend the entire weekend sewing and being pampered and having our food prepared for us. Hopefully we’ll get to go in late June. Oh, that will be sew exciting! Well, that’s about it for now. Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

April 17, 2009. Tags: , , , . fabric, Goals, quilt designs, Quilting, sewing. Leave a comment.

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