Metamorphosis Monday After a Stash Report

Well, the Slash my Stash Dash day was sort of a bust. I woke up with every intention of going up and working on sewing but after my hubby left for his workshop, I got completely distracted with Spring Fluffing! I decided to change out the bed linens for something lighter and springy-er. The only thing I managed to get made was one pillow, and I didn’t even finish sewing it closed. I wanted to make some spring pillows for my couch because the couch is sooo dark red and I thought it needed something to spruce it up. Well, that led to digging through my stash and then I got distracted with the idea of making a new baby blanket for the shop, and then when I dragged the stuff out for that, I noticed I needed to wash the center fabric. Hmm is this sounding like a book I read when I was little, I don’t know maybe that one called, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? How about a new one, If You Give a Quilter some Fabric…She might just decide that she wants to make some new pillows and if she wants to make some new pillows she might realize she doesn’t have enough fabric to make the pillow so then she’ll have to use some of her other fabric. And then she’ll have to sew it together, and then she’ll sew it COMPLETELY wrong and need the seam ripper. This is where it gets REALLY interesting, turns out that two weekends ago, on the Crafty Girls day, I lent my seam ripper to my mom, and now I can’t find it. So, then I had to go to the fabric store to get another one… And then we start ALL over again! No, not really, I mean there were LOTS of awesome fabrics I wanted to buy at Hancocks this weekend but I resisted (mostly because my husband was waiting in the car and I knew I’d have to explain the new fabric purchase to him.)  But, I did manage to get myself a new seam ripper until I find the other one (it’s always handy to have a backup, my last backup broke!) I did manage to get the pillow sewn mostly together, the right way, just enough to take it to my MIL’s house and show it to her. She said I should hand stitch it closed and when I said I didn’t feel confident in my ability to do that, she offered to do it for me, yippee! And that was all I got finished, sewing-wise. In TWO days! Maybe I’ll do better tonight.   

In other news, I found this neat thing that people are participating in on Mondays called Metamorphosis Monday.  Susan from Between Naps on the Porch is the hostess of this weekly event. After reading the blogs of the MANY people who participate in this, I was truly inspired to do some sort of metamorphosis in my home, which REALLY needed it. And, given that it’s Spring, a metamorphosis sort of makes sense. 

This is not a huge change, but to me it seemed like one. I suppose because it did take some work. One of the biggest changes here you can’t see in the picture, but I can feel it when I sleep. I have a new mattress set on my bed. It’s awesome! I love it! The new mattress is great, but the bedding didn’t look so wonderful.

bedroom_before

 So I ran over to Kohl’s (one of my favorite stores for bargains) and I was able to find a new bedskirt and  a coverlet that matched my decor. The coverlet was orginally marked at $129.00 and I got it for only $25! It’s very light weight and perfect for these funky cool nights and warm days we’ve been having lately. Here’s the after picture.

bedroom_after

 

The pillowcases were from my MIL for Christmas. I LOVE that fabric, it’s sort of funky and those colors really POP. I also decluttered the side tables and added a little ceramic container with potpurri. Now I just need to find a better clock.  I also love the way the coverlet goes perfectly with the picture on the wall (I got that at Michael’s awhile back for something like $6! It’s coordinating cousin is in the bathroom off to the right.)

Now our bedroom is mostly complete with decorating and the bathroom is mostly done too.  I have pictures to share of the AFTER of a pretty major change to the bathroom but I want to show BEFORE pictures (which are on a different computer) so I might wait to post that until next week.  Well, I guess that’s it for now. Sorry this post is soo long.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

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April 6, 2009. Tags: , , . Crafty Girls, fabric, Goals, Metamorphosis Monday, sewing. 5 comments.

Spring Sewing and Saturday Stash Dash

springsewing_buttonw

The lovely ladies over at Sew Mama Sew have named April as Spring Sewing Month! That means they are giving a lot of things away and to enter all you have to do is comment on the blog posts.  Of course, their posts are always awesome too.  Yesterday they posted all sorts of CUTE Easty inspired project links. I think it’s totally cool to be able to just independently declare a month to be dedicated to a specific thing. I always thought that you had to get the Mayor to write a decree for that or something. But hey, why not? So, in that light, I’m going to declare that this Saturday, April 4 is the Saturday Stash Dash, a.k.a. Sew-til-you drop-or-the-hubby-comes-home-and-demands-attention day. My hubby is going to be attending a teaching workshop for the morning so he’ll be out of the house. Hopefully I can force myself to wake up early (the new recycling pick up on Saturday mornings will probably help) and get into sewing mode. Last Saturday I went to my mother in law’s house so I could help work on projects for the shop. Unfortunately, I didn’t work on anything except cutting up some denim for a future kit.  This Saturday I am NOT going to leave the house to go to a fabric store. I am NOT going to even worry about household chores, I am just going to GO into my sewing room and NOT come out until I have finished SOMETHING! Can it be done? I think so! Now that I’ve posted it here on my blog, I am sure all you out there in blogland will keep me accountable. So, check in on Monday to see if I’ve posted an update of all the TONS of projects I get completed on Saturday.  Some of those might even end up in the Crafty Girls Workshop.

On another note, we got our NEW trash/recycle bins! YIPPEE! Yes, they have changed our pick up days to include Saturday morning, sort of a bummer, but that is A-OK with me. I won’t have an excuse to sleep late on Saturdays anymore. I’ll be able to get so much more accomplished! Wow! This is the beginning of an entirely new eco-friendly chapter in my life. I’m going to find myself a trash can and use it for a compost bin. Then maybe next year hubby won’t have to go buy tons of dirt, he’ll be able to use our earth friendly compost! My goal is to have more recycling than trash (we are well on our way towards meeting that goal anyway.) Yeah! for San Antonio going green (wait, the recycle bins are blue, how confusing, oh well.) That’s it for now.

Happy Stitches and Happy Recycling to you,

Anna

April 2, 2009. Tags: , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, Goals, Quilting, sewing, UFOs. 2 comments.

New Recycling Effort

Sometimes I am amazed at what small things will make me so happy and excited.  For at least the last two years, the city of San Antonio, Texas has been passing out standardized trash cans (brown) and recycle cans (same size as trash cans and blue) to houses in the city. This is in an effort to reduce the number of work related injuries the garbage men were getting because the new trucks have an arm that lifts the cans.  Well, I think my neighborhood is the VERY last in the city of over 1 million people to get these trash cans. I have been so excited at the prospect because we really do try to recycle a lot and the smaller green bin we had was just NOT big enough! Well, the reason I am so happy and excited is that we got a notice on Friday that we will be getting the new cans sometime in the next 10 days! Yippee!  The city even gave everyone a small trash can to put in the kitchen to put our recycling in before we transfer it to the big bin. That’s just AWESOME because I was getting tired of using paper bags, even though I’m happy to recycle the bags that way, they are sort of a pain. SO, this will help me with one of my new year’s resolutions because I really want to be more ecofriendly and create a compost pile. Once we get our new trashcans, I think I’ll be more motivated to start composting.  Today I am so excited by the little things that make me happy. I hope you’ll find some little thing to be happy about too.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

P.S. There is new stuff in our shop and I’ve posted everyone on Etsy now. I think you’ll find it’s easier to use. If you want to keep up with the shop updates, put the Crafty Girls Workshop Blog on your bookmarks or RSS feed.

March 30, 2009. Crafty Girls Workshop, Goals, random stuff. Leave a comment.

One Step Forward, Three Steps Backward

It was a goal of mine to use my fabric stash before buying new fabric. This has been difficult. My mom is becoming quite the fabric-a-holic. I think I know where I get my tendancy to get really excited about a project and then go onto something else before I finish it.  That is exactly what she is doing! Now, it’s her money, and her choice and her hobby, so if all she wants to do is collect the fabric, that is perfectly OK with me. I am not the stash police and I will not go over to her house and demand that she shows me the items she’s created with her stash.  (That way, she can’t do the same thing to me, hehe.)  Well, I would say that as I’ve used some fabric, I’ve purchased more to take it’s place. So even if my stash isn’t dwindling, it’s not growing beyond control either.

 It was also a goal to work on the projects on my list before anything else.  I’ve done a lot better with this goal. I’ve been able to complete the Bailey Quilt, and a quilt for my Godson, Joshua. Both of those were made with fabrics I basically already had in my stash.  I am already designing another quilt for my next Godson, Ben, and it is using the fabrics from my stash, but that project was NOT on my list! But that is OK, because I feel that making a quilt for a Godson is a higher priority at the moment.  So I think even though it seems that I’m taking one step forward and three steps backwards, maybe it’s more like two forward and one backward. Even though I am not really moving forward too much, I am still having fun, and that’s what is most important.

Have you ever filled up your frequent buyer card at your favorite quilt shop so that you can get a credit to purchase more fabric for “free?”  My favorite store in town, Memories by the Yard, has a frequent buyer card and I recently filled it up and was able to pick out $25 worth of fabric for FREE (if you don’t consider how much I had to spend to get that free $25.) I immediately picked up a Honey Bun from the new line for Moda called Oh Cherry Oh! Do you know what a Honey Bun is? It is the sister to a Jelly Roll, a Honey Bun is a roll of one and a half inch strips, one or two from each fabric in a specific collection (usually around 40 in a roll.)  The Jelly Roll, you may remember, is made up of two and a half inch strips.  Oh, I love to collect Jelly Rolls. Well, I just couldn’t figure out WHAT I would ever do with a Honey Bun until I came across Moda’s Bakeshop website.  They created this website/blog to specifically feature patterns that use their precut “pastries.”  The Honey Bun project looked pretty cute, it was a pouch made out of 10 of the strips. Well, that means one could theorectically get FOUR of those pouches out of one honey bun, AWESOME!! I spent most of the afternoon and evening of last Saturday (yes, Valentine’s Day) at my mother in law’s house, sewing that cute strippy pouch. But, I just couldn’t let it go without putting a handle on it, because that’s how strange I am.  It turned out REALLY cute! (Sorry, no pictures yet. You know I’ll get some added soon.) It felt pretty good to go home with a completed project. I am sure that the next time I make one, it will go a lot faster as well.  Oops, I just noticed that the project for the Sweet Treat Bag actually came off the main Moda website, where they have LOTS of free patterns as well. Well, either way, both sites are great resources for inspiration and patterns. I also did some research and found out that most Log Cabin blocks are made from 1 1/2″ strips so I might attempt to make a log cabin block or two from those adorable strips. Although, what in the world am I going to do with only two log cabin blocks? Hmm. I am sure that is a post for another day. I guess I should stop rambling now. Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

February 18, 2009. Goals, UFOs, Use What You Have Challenge. 2 comments.

Bailey’s Blanket – DONE!

TADA!

Here is the finished, quilted quilt!

Here is the finished, quilted quilt!

I am just soo proud of myself for finishing this quilt. I washed it and it wrinkled and puffed out exactly how I wanted it to!

Close up of the stipple free motion quilting.

Close up of the stipple free motion quilting.

And here is one more picture of the lovely creation (if I do say so myself). This is a 100% original, one of a kind (OOAK) design. And it’s going all the way to Germany for the precious baby girl, Bailey.

The border fabrics.

The border fabrics.

 (See me doing the happy dance!?) So now, it’s on to the next baby blanket, either for Dawn’s baby, or my future Godson, which is the son of my best friend, Danny. I would have to go buy fabric for that one though, OH DARN! By the way, Sew Mama Sew announced that they are organizing a fat quarter swap on their site, so hop over there to visit and sign up. That’s it for now!

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

February 10, 2009. Goals, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

Notice anything new?

Well, it’s a new year, might as well choose a new theme for my blog, right? I wanted something with a little more color at least.  01/13/09 Update: Sorry, changed my mind when I noticed that all my links went away.

Now, the big question, did I finish ANY of the projects I posted back in November? Here’s the list:

1) Joshua’s Quilt (finish the top, tie it, and bind it) DONE! (Even wrapped up and ready to give, PLUS I made a pillowcase!)

2) Chelsea Boutique Quilt (I’d be happy to get the top finished) Uhm, not DONE quite yet, but I have assembled all the rows, and the border, so just need to sew the rows together and put the border on. I HOPE to be able to do that this evening into the wee hours of the morning or maybe even get the TOP done before 2009!

3) Aprons galore (have two cut out, need to put them together) Hmm, I haven’t finished any of the aprons I cut out but I did help my mom finish her’s as a Christmas present for my sister. So, now I know how to finish one of the two that I started.

4) Houses Penny rug (bought this as a kit at HQF (Houston Quilt Festival) want to have something to work on while watching TV Need to work on this one, add it to the list for 2009 I suppose.

One out of four isn’t bad, right? I know I posted about Joshua’s Quilt already so I must be really proud of that one.   I DO have pictures to share of the finished quilt and pillowcase and even of the shelves I got for Christmas!  I think I will post them sometime soon, perhaps even as early as tomorrow if I get the Chelsea Boutique top finished.

Considering that this is my LAST post of the year 2008, I thought I would consider some goals for 2009. I did this last year, and I am not sure I stuck completely with my goals. I know I was able to use some of my stash, although I did add to it as well (I blame the Houston Quilt Festival for that one, but it sure was fun!)  I haven’t gotten into better shape, but since my hubby gave me the Wii Fit for Christmas, I have a new incentive to try again this year.  I have tried to be more eco-friendly and recycle more. Perhaps this year we can work on getting a compost system started. So, that was a quick review of last year’s goals, how about 2009 goals:

Quilting Goals:

1) Use more of what I have FIRST.

2) Get those WIPs DONE.

3) Whittle down the stuff in the project boxes.

Personal Goals:

1) Be more aware of others and their feelings

2) Be happy in every little joy in life.

3) Look for the good in others.

Eco-Goals:

1) Start a composting system

2) Get a bigger recycling bin.

3) Ask for paper bags if forget to bring in cloth bags to grocery store.

Argh, I have a lot of goals for myself! I hope I can keep them in mind and actually make some progress by the end of the year. It is sort of difficult to realize that by being thrifty and using my stash first, I might be, in some tiny way, hurting my local quilt shop. It’s not as though I purchase enough to support them each month, but if several quilters who usually buy fabric every month decide to cut back, that can put a dent in their sales. I am sure I’ll still need to visit the store for backing or binding fabrics, so I hope they don’t feel neglected in the coming year. Well, I suppose that is enough rambling for now. See you next year!

Happy New Year!

The barefoot quilter,

Anna

 

December 31, 2008. Goals, Organizing, Quilting. Leave a comment.

November Project Update

In a few moments, I will be finishing the binding on Joshua’s quilt which was item number one on my list of projects for November. I finished piecing the top, then tied it to the minkee backing and only needed to find the perfect binding. I had a gift card to my favorite quilt shop in Kerrville, TX, Creations. My dear husband agreed to let us stop by there on our way to Fredericksburg, on Friday. That is our traditional Black Friday pilgrimage.  It just so happened that they had the perfect fabric for the binding, a stripe that had every color from the quilt! I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon cutting the binding and putting it on the front of the quilt. All that’s left is to fold it over and stitch it down! (Pictures to be posted soon.) I am excited because I have enough minkee left over to make a matching pillowcase! I also had time to work on two of the four pin cushion woolie patterns that I got in a kit at the Houton Quilt Festival.  I hope to get the other two finished some time in December. Here is my list for December:

1) Christmas presents for various people

2) Chelsea Boutique quilt top

3) Aprons

Hmm, I think that is enough. December is a busy month anyway, and we agreed to host Christmas dinner. Don’t forget to let me know if you are posting your list of projects.

Until next time.

Happy Stitching,

The Barefoot Quilter

November 30, 2008. Tags: . Goals, Holidays, Quilting, sewing. 3 comments.

Eco Friendly Holidays

I hope everyone is having lots of fun thinking of all the great home made gifts to make for your loved ones this year. I always start thinking of that waaaay too late and feel sad when I run out of time. I think next year I will start in January and make some gifts for someone every month. In fact, check back here because I have something brewing that could be exciting if you are in the same mindset about gift making. Otherwise, check out the blog at Sew Mama Sew because they are featuring awesome blogs and tutorials every day with TONS of ideas for Home made Holidays. 

NOTE: The following is not exactly sewing related, and it’s not exactly crafty, but I think it is VERY important for something that I care about A LOT which is our planet. So, if you don’t want to hear an eco-rant, stop reading, but if you are curious, READ ON! I’ll try to keep it civil.

Several years ago, my hubby moved into my house about the same time his parents were moving to a new house. (He lived with them until we got married.) So, the goofy post office got his forwarding address and his parents’ names mixed up and we’ve gotten onto A TON of mailing lists for catalog companies. The strange thing is that my WONDERFUL mother in law has submitted numerous change of address requests, but the catalogs still come to our house with her or her hubby’s name printed and with OUR address. And even stranger, is that when we MOVED to a completely DIFFERENT house, we are STILL getting catalogs with their names and our NEW address printed on them (or Current Resident).  SO, last year I was a little tired of my mail box being filled up with useless catalogs that were tempting me to purchase from them, especially when I wanted to have a home made holiday (or at least support the crafters on etsy.com or something). What did I do about it? I took the pile of catalogs I received up to my computer room, logged onto the Internet and went to every website from the catalogs and asked to have my address removed from their list. I did this for as many catalogs as we received, and believe me, sometimes we got the same catalog two weeks apart.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it makes me feel a tiny bit better to know that I am not going to get these catalogs and might save a tree or something. Well, I THOUGHT that this year would be better and I wouldn’t get as many catalogs, boy was I WRONG. So far, I have visited 15 websites and requested to be removed. A word of caution, sometimes if you get on ONE catalog mailing list (my husband likes to order from one company), they have four or five affiliate companies and you end up on four other catalog lists. Therefore, if you write these e mails, you should also suggest that they remove you from their affiliate lists as well.  By the way, the majority of the catalogs I have gotten this year seem to be DIFFERENT from what I got last year. And I noticed that hubby’s name is on some of them.  I figure that if I can pass this idea on to a few people and they ALL get online and get their names off the catalog lists, it might save a few more trees.  Also, I am always sure to be nice in my request, to mention that I am trying to me eco-conscious this year and that I will keep their website in mind for future purchases. I mean, if I really like their company’s products, I’ll go looking for it, right?  And I already have their website on my computer since I had to go to it to find their customer service e mail.  One catalog site I visited didn’t have an e mail to send to but it had a LIVE chat interface. I was able to chat with a rep and ask to have my address removed. That’s so cool.  Now, I think I’ll go search for some ideas of how to make cool stuff out of unwanted catalogs.  Please, if you are getting a ton of unwanted catalogs this holiday season (mine started just after Halloween this year), consider unsubscribing from their mailing list. And check out the option of recycling the catalogs before throwing them in the trash, the recycling pick up in my city allows us to recycle catalogs and I’ve also heard that the green and yellow recycle canisters outside of many schools accept shiny catalogs (and sometimes they receive fundraising dollars for the paper they collect). Thank you for listening to my rant. I am off to be crafty now!

Happy Craftyness to You,

Anna

November 14, 2008. Tags: , . Goals, Holidays. Leave a comment.

November Project List

I am going to start something new (of course). I am going to list the projects I hope to complete for each month. I’ll try to post pictures and updates each week as I go along. I hope this will help keep me accountable to get some projects completed!  By the way, Houston Quilt Festival was a blast! I bought soooo much fabric that I have to take a shopping sabbatical for the next year or so. Haha.  It was very inspiring as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet any of the designers as I thought I would. I guess that is only for those vendors who go to Quilt Market the week before the festival.  Maybe someday I will be able to be counted among those people.  As for now, I am working on getting some projects finished. I feel a renewed inspiration and motivation.  In fact, my Crafty Girls meeting for December is going to be a UFO/WIP day. A chance for everyone to bring their unfinished projects to work on.  Also, November is going to be a card making day. No sewing required (unless you want to sew on paper).  Here are my current projects:

1) Joshua’s Quilt (finish the top, tie it, and bind it)

2) Chelsea Boutique Quilt (I’d be happy to get the top finished)

3) Aprons galore (have two cut out, need to put them together)

4) Houses Penny rug (bought this as a kit at HQF (Houston Quilt Festival) want to have something to work on while watching TV

I think that’s enough for the moment. Anyone want to post their projects on their blogs? If you do, let me know and I’ll link over to you from here. It would be fun to have a Finish What You’ve Got challenge, wouldn’t it? Until next time.

Happy Stitches to you,

Anna

November 5, 2008. Tags: , , , . Goals, Quilting, sewing. Leave a comment.

A New Project, Maybe

Do you ever just wander around your sewing room/area searching for inspiration? I am maybe half way through with Chelsea Boutiqe, or at least with piecing the blocks, and I guess I have gotten bored. So today I started a new project without any idea what the end result will look like. I can sort of see it in my head. I was inspired by something in my scrap pile. I have this beautiful pink swirly batik that is left over from a skirt I made awhile back. Plus, at our last guild meeting the speaker showed her quilts and she did something that I think is called Raw Edge Applique. This is my sort of technique, you don’t have to worry about turning the edge under or carefully stitching around the end of the object. Just pick a decorative stitch and use that to stitch down the applique shape. Or at least, that’s what I think the general idea is.  So, I found a nice flower shape, enlarged it a little on my printer/scanner/copier (I love that machine) and have traced out my shapes onto freezer paper. The next step is to iron it on to the fabrics and cut them out. I am going to try putting the shapes onto denim. I think they will look really cool if I can do it right.  I am going to challenge myself. It’s called the Use What You Have Challenge. Can I make something without buying any new fabric for it? We’ll see. I’ll try to post my progress. Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

June 29, 2008. Goals, Quilting. Leave a comment.

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