Guilty Confession

Does anyone else do this? Do you ever play “Guess the machine?” When I read other blogs that have sewing tutorials I sometimes realize that when I’m looking at the pictures of someone’s sewing machine I try to guess what sort of machine it is. Most tutorials only show a small portion of the machine such as the presser foot, the needle or throat plate, etc. I especially like to see if they’re using a Bernina, probably because I sew on one and they have a very distinct look. I just wondered if I’m the only crazy one out there or if anyone else does that. If you do (or if you will never look at another tutorial the same now) check this post on TipNut for links to some great tutorials and lots of Guess the Machine eye candy. By the way, you may want to sign up for the TipNut daily tips. They are awesome! They basically scan the web and find neat posts about various topics (usually crafty stuff) to send directly to your e-mail address! If you don’t like it, just delete it, but I have a whole folder in my e-mail dedicated to saved TipNut ideas. Cool, cool stuff. Sorry no pictures this time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

February 21, 2010. Tags: , , . random stuff, sewing. 1 comment.

A Cardmaking Mood

Sometimes I venture into the crafty realm outside of just sewing and quilting. Way back before I started sewing I actually played with rubber stamps and scrapbooking. Today, for some crazy reason, I was inspired to make a couple of cards for fall and Halloween. I know most people don’t exchange cards for those reasons, but my birthday is only four days before Halloween and when I was younger, my favorite colors were even orange and black! I also noticed that I had some of those clear stamps that were for Halloween so I thought “hey, why not?” and started playing. The first one I made was a lot like those cards I made WAY back a few years ago that look like a sort of log cabin quilt block. Here it is:

spooky_card

It’s not actually crooked, too much, it just scanned in that way.

The second was inspired by a cute pattern for an adorable embroidery project I found on a new (to me) blog call The Sometimes Crafter. I LOVE the name of that blog because that totally describes me too! She had this cute pattern and instructions available for free and since I was playing with paper, I decided to trace them out onto my scrapbook papers and make it into a card instead. I like her tree better, and I might even go back and add some more paper to give mine a little more heft. But I think it came out cute anyway. By the way, I {heart} my Xyron Create-a-Sticker machine!

Thank you Christina Lane for this cute pattern!

Thank you Christina Lane for this cute pattern!

So stop by and tell Christina a big thank you for her cute pattern! I think there is still time to stitch this up into a cute trick or treat bag! Too bad I don’t know anyone who will be trick or treating this year!

I’m sorry for my absence from this blog for awhile. I’ve been spending all my time updating the Crafty Girls Workshop blog. I also just haven’t had any time to do anything sewing related so there hasn’t been anything to report on here. Bummer, who would have thought that opening an online fabric/sewing/quilting store would actually give me less time to sew and quilt! Until next time, I hope you get to  have a lot more time for crafting than I have.

Happy Spooky Stitches to You,

Anna
DIY Day @ ASPTL

October 25, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, random stuff. 1 comment.

Saturday Morning Chores

“Yes, Cinderella, of course you can go to the ball (a.k.a.sew all day long) as long as you get all your chores done before hand” Next scene is the evil step sisters piling mounds and mounds of work onto Cinderella. Do you ever have a day that feels like that? I sort of feel like that this morning and I have to say, I’m a little bitter about it. Originally, when I woke up and after I cleaned out the right side of the sink so that I could wash the coffe pot and start some coffee, I didn’t feel so down. It was raining outside and I thought “Oh goody, I can just sew all day long if I want!” As if the rain magically gave me permission to just ignore my “chores” and sew.  I even wrote a poem:

Rain rain, I hope you stay,

I really want to sew today.

If you stay I don’t have to mow,

rain rain, please don’t go.

How’s that for poetic? Well, my happy poem writing time has faded and now I have to do the rest of the dishes. I also feel the need to wash the laundry, fold the dry laundry, declutter the house, clean out the turtle tank, fold more laundry, vaccuum the floor, use the deep cleaning vaccuum to steam clean the carpets, and the list keeps going on from there. When am I going to find time to sew? Oh well, I guess I’ll just squeeze it in here and there. Sorry for the depressing post. This is just how I feel some Saturday mornings as my husband sleeps the day away. He’s a teacher, he’s tired!

Happy stitching to you,

Anna

P.S. I’ll post some pictures of my studio very soon for the studio post thingy from Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

October 3, 2009. random stuff. 3 comments.

Near and Dear to my Heart

In the fall of 1998 I joined the second oldest women’s fraternity, Phi Mu. One of the main reasons I wanted to join this group was that they support the Children’s Miracle Network. A friend of mine when I was very little had Lukemia and I vaguely remember her being sick many times and having to be out of school. When I became a teacher in 2002, I had a child in my class who had Lukemia and he was also out of school several times due to doctor’s visits. Sadly, he passed away in 2003, when he would have been in first grade. The Children’s Miracle network supports hospitals for children who have terminal illnesses. It provides the money so that the children can get the care they need to make them comfortable and help them fight their illnesses if possible. It just so happens that San Antonio, the city I live in, has a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the money our Phi Mu collegiate and alumnae chapters have raised has all gone to support our local hospital. We not only raise money, we visit the children at least once a year and are constantly looking for ways to support our CMN hospital. So, what is my point here? Well, it turns out that a wonderful event, called the Torch Relay, Miles for Miracles is passing through San Antonio in November! I’m going to participate, it’s a 5K walk, and my goal is to raise $100 (at least) whereas our team goal is to raise $2000.  It is very possible that the Torch Relay will be going through your town as well. Please, consider supporting this amazing event. The stories about the children are so fantastic and heartwarming.  If you feel comfortable doing so, please consider donating a few dollars to help me reach my goal. You can do so by clicking here.  It is completely secure and your information will not be shared, except to tell me you donated. Thank you so much, I hope you’ll consider this or some other organization to support, since there are so many amazing groups out there. Thanks for listening to me ramble about this special organization.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

September 12, 2009. Tags: . random stuff. Leave a comment.

A Giveaway and Other Cool Stuff

Hurray! Crafty Girls Workshop hit their 30th sale! To celebrate we are having a giveaway on the Crafty Girls Workshop blog. It’s easy to enter (I list 5 different ways to get your name in the drawing) and I am going to choose 3 winners! One for every 10 sales!  Also, if the blog post reaches 100 comments I’ll draw another name for another little something special.  Do you want to know what the first three prizes are? Well, I made some easy pincushions and even added a little ribbon loop so that you can hang or pin them to your design wall. I found out from the quilt retreat I attended back in July that  life is so much easier when the pincushion is actually attached to the design wall. No fussing with trying to hold the pin and the quilt at the same time. So I made three pincushions and now I’m going to give them away! You’ll have to visit the CGW blog to see a picture, sorry, I don’t have the picture with me at the moment. So please hop on over there and enter the drawing. You have until next Wednesday 09-09-09 to enter.

Other Cool Stuff

I am totally in love with the patterns in this book. (Available here.)

fast_and_furious_booklet

It uses so many different pre-cut fabrics and has so many fun projects that I can’t wait to get started on some of them. This one book has 17 different projects which comes out to just about a dollar a project! That is such a great buy since I’ve bought entire quilt patterns to make just one quilt that cost me $9.00.  The projects range from table runners, place mats, coasters to tote bags and baby quilts. There are projects you can make for yourself or your children or make to give away as gifts. See that tote bag on the front made from strips? It’s made from jelly roll (2 1/2″) strips but wouldn’t it be a cute way to give a fellow sewista/quilting friend a jelly roll and a pattern too?  We have one set of jelly rolls listed at the moment that I think would make an absolutely adorable kid’s quilt and we’re all set to get some more pre-cuts very soon.  Or make up one of those totes and fill it with yummy candies or even some embellished dishcloths for a friend’s new home!  At our Crafty Girls meeting last weekend, we had so much fun learning to embroider flour sack towels. Then, you would never believe what Moda decided to feature as their next Bake Shop project! Embellished flour sack towels!! At the moment we’ve listed a kit to make 12 towels with pretty Christmas embroidery designs(including the DMC floss) but we had a few flour sack towels left over and would be happy to sell them to anyone who is interested. (Just drop me an e-mail or comment.) We hope to be able to list these as a pretty regular item on our site very soon.  Well, making three pincushions and working on more hexagons was the sum of my crafty weekend. I just wanted to take a break from my non-stop, never slow down life. It was a nice relaxing break too. Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

August 31, 2009. Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, Give Aways, Holidays, Quilting, random stuff, sewing. Leave a comment.

Oolong and Ginseng, my turtles

Aren't they sooo cute?

Aren't they sooo cute?

Can you tell from the picture how small they are?  They are only about the size of a 50 cent piece. I am glad I decided to try the Macro setting on my fancy pants camera. What do you know? It works great! I decided that the name Rooibos was too hard to pronounce and understand, and we wouldn’t want the babies to get teased when they go to school, now would we? So I decided on Ginseng instead. Don’t ask me which is which because at the moment, I have no idea! I do know that one of them is a little more shy than the other so that one would probably be Ginseng.  I am hoping they will learn to recognize my voice and swim to the side of the tank when I say hi to them, like my hubby’s turtles do.  You can tell I lead a really exciting life when getting two baby turtles is the highlight of my week.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

P.S. We’re having a HUGE sale in our shop! We’ve marked down several sewing garment patterns and some of the older fabrics by 10%! That means we have SEVERAL items for less than $5 or $10.  This is a great chance to stock up on patterns and fabrics to give as gifts or make for yourself. I hope you’ll stop by! If you mention that you heard about the sale from the Sew Good Sew Far blog, I’ll send you an extra surprise with your purchase.

August 25, 2009. Tags: , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, random stuff. Leave a 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.

Mystery Solved

I went to a mystery quilt class on Saturday, although since we really weren’t taught anything I would call it more of a workshop. It ran from 4:00pm to midnight. It was fun and I feel like I got so much accomplished. You know I am a busy quilter and so getting a big block of time like that to sit and sew is really a treat, especially when there are other quilters around too.  In advance of the class I really didn’t have any idea what the quilt would look like, I was instructed to purchase 20 FQs and 2-1/3 yd for a 6″ border.  I found the Flutterby collection by Tula Pink for Moda. Such cute fabrics!

MemoryQuilt2

I washed them and cut them according to the instructions.

Then when I got to the class, they handed me another set of instructions. I looked around and realized that this would be a sort of self paced “class” so I set up my machine and got to stitchin’!  It was so easy, just put two stacks of the 20 pieces next to each other and chain piece them as fast as possible.  Here are the blocks before I put them into the top.

MQblocks

They came out pretty big about 16-1/2″ unfinished.

I didn’t finish all the blocks during the class. Can you believe it? I had six hours to sew and I didn’t finish all 20 blocks! I did work on them Sunday night and got the top finished except for two borders.

MQLayout2

I know it’s not the best picture. Sorry, it was late, close to midnight on Sunday when I finished the pieced top! Then last night, Monday, I stayed up until almost midnight just putting on a 1-1/2″ border to set off the center. I was so proud of myself for being able to use some of my stash for that border. I haven’t taken a picture of it yet due to the need to frog stitch (rippit rippit) a little bit. Then I plan to add the 6″ border which is the white background with the teal criss cross design. Maybe I’ll get that done tonight and take another picture. I couldn’t believe how much I got accomplished in just two nights of sewing! See, even busy quilters can Git Er Done! They even talked me into signing up for the next mystery class in August. This time I might bring my MIL and/or mom.  I think my mom would like it because it’s fast and very easy (she’s still a beginner) whereas my MIL might think it’s boring, she’d probably rather spend her time doing other things.

By the way, we’ve gotten a few new items in our shop, so stop on by and see what’s new! If you purchase any of our featured items I’ll send you an extra treat with your purchase!

Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

May 19, 2009. Tags: , . Quilting, random stuff, sewing, Use What You Have Challenge. 3 comments.

This is a cool idea

My sister is always pointing out ways that people have reused IKEA products in interesting new ways.  She happens to really love IKEA and she’s used their furniture throughout her home. Well, I’ve finally found a way that I can use something from IKEA in my sewing room. As a design wall!  What a cool idea. I was thinking of taking it even futher and putting the thing up on wheels so it could be moved out of the way if needed. In fact, my problem right now is that I have two design walls and sometimes I wish I had more, so I guess I could use this concept to create another one! Darn, the closest IKEA store is in Round Rock, north of Austin, I might just have to take a little roadtrip up there soon. They sell fabric too! I did some crafty stuff yesterday, but it wasn’t sewing. I’ll try to take some pictures and post them soon. The items I made are going to be gifts so perhaps I should wait to post the pictures until I’ve given the gifts away.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

May 7, 2009. Organizing, random stuff. 1 comment.

Calling all Busy Quilters

Do any of these describe you?

a) You LOVE sewing and/or quilting

b) You work full time outside the home

c) You work full time inside your home

d) You LOVE sewing and/or quilting

e) You are busy with spouse, children, pets, cooking, cleaning, decorating, working, blogging, sleeping, laundry, dishes, etc.

f) all of the above

If you said yes, then you need to join my new Yahoo e-mail group! It is called Busy Quilters and I hope it can be a place where busy quilters can gather and share ideas for squeeeezing some quality time with their sewing machines and fabric into those busy schedules. Maybe we can swap recipes or tips for dealing with housework that -ahem- hubby doesn’t ever seem to have the motivation to do. Perhaps we can share stories about how we use quilting and sewing as an outlet to relieve stress and relax. Maybe it will just serve as a way to justify my love of sewing and quilting and to help me know I am not alone, am I?  Oh, and hopefully we can set it up as a place to store some great FAST patterns and tips for easy household chores (maybe make the kids do them? oh, that only works if you have kids!)  I decided to make this an e-mail group for a couple reasons, one, it’s really fast to just read e-mails, and two I was hoping I could draw in people from a variety of sources. I mean, people search Yahoo groups all the time.  Many groups have restrictions about what you can post, and I understand those, such as NO SPAM or keep the discussions to the topic (usually whatever the list is called) but many of them also discourage people from trying to advertise their little side businesses. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind if people want to post the link to their Etsy store in the signature line of their post, or share that they are having a sale or promotion (perhaps I don’t mind because I plan to do this myself.) As long as it’s semi related to quilting, I am OK with it. By the way, if the group gets gianormous (like the Stashbusters group that has 4000 members!!) Yahoo Groups has the nifty feature of creating daily digest versions of the posts, which means it groups 25 posts together into one e-mail. Helps reduce the clutter in your inbox a little. I doubt our group will get there for awhile. Well, that’s it for now. I haven’t gotten anything done lately worth blogging about besides creating a new group. Until next time,

Happy (Busy) Stitches to You,

Anna

May 5, 2009. Quilting, random stuff, sewing. 1 comment.

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