Fractals, Turtles, and Hexagons

Check this out, I found this cool store on Etsy by complete accident one day.  After looking at the pictures and being mesmerized, I started to wonder if anyone had ever tried to recreate a fractal in a quilt, with fibers. So, of course I went and did a Google search and found thispage. Aren’t they amazing? At first I really thought it was all pieced in curves and then I realized that for this technique she is actually printing the design onto cotton fabric and then goes back and embellishes it with thread, beads, and the quilting design. I’ve sort of been obsessed with fractals lately. I think they are sooo pretty and just fun to look at. I guess that’s because when you sit in a little white box (office) all day by yourself, you start to crave color and something interesting to look at (or at least I do).  When I found that book, Material Obsession, I saw a cute wallhanging that looks like a window with some adorable birds. “That’s what I want to make to hang on the wall in my office.” I thought, because at least then I could pretend I had a window.  You know, normally I don’t like applique, but I find that if it’s the right sort of project, I’m willing to give it a try.  Also, since I’ve been working on quilting my Avalon quilt I’ve realized that it’s not that hard to feel artistic even though I never thought I really was very talented in that area. 

In other news, since hubby brought his turtles home from his classroom, I had sort of been helping take care of them over the summer. I never realized that they could be so sweet and smart! By the end of the summer (he took them back last week) the turtles would swim close to the side of the tank when I said hi to them and they would let me pet their heads and eat food from my hand. In fact, I fell so in love with his little red sliders (who really grew over the summer) that yesterday we went to the pet store and came home with two new baby turtles of our own! We have a passthrough space between our kitchen and dining room and the sink is right in front of it. Ususally the view from the sink isn’t very exciting, although during the summer, that’s where we kept the turtle tank. So now, that’s where the new turtle tank is and I will always have some company while I do the dishes. Oh, did I mention that the turtles are just sooo uber cute?  Now that I found some new batteries for my camera, I’ll try to get some pictures of them. We even used some flat rocks from our backyard in the tank! What a great way to recycle! Alright, now, after doing a little research I think I’ve decided on names for my turtles. One is going to be called Oolong and the other is Rooibos (prounounced roy-bos) which are both types of tea. I think it’s because they are green turtles and the lady at the pet store is a friendly lady from China so I sort of assumed that the turtles must be Asian in some way. Uh oh, just realized that Rooibos is actually a South African term for redbush tea, but that’s OK. I think I’ll call him Roy for short. 🙂  Now I guess you’ve learned your new fact for the day, haha.

And finally, hmm, hexagons. Well, as I’ve said, I really don’t like handwork much, such as applique, or embroidery or English paper piecing (EPP). Ha, I guess all that is changing. Turns out that when I come home from work in the evenings, mostly all I want to do is veg out on the couch. I don’t really feel much like trekking upstairs to my glorious (and HOT) sewing room to sew something all by my lonesome. I did move my sewing machine downstairs for a little bit while I quilt Avalon, but that’s also consuming my machine time too.  As it turns out, doing handwork on an embroidery project or applique or English paper piecing is something I can do while I veg in front of the TV so at least I also feel like I’m being productive.  As it turns out, Aneela over at Comfortstitching LOVEs to do EPP (makes sense since she lives in the UK) and her posts on her blog have sort of inspired me to give it a try. I was also inspired when I saw this quilt at Common Threads in Waxahatchie, TX last week. It sold me on the idea to try EPP because I’ve always loved the look of the hexagon flowers but never wanted to make a hand pieced Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt. This one blends the best of both worlds! So I bought that pattern and decided to try my hand at EPP. I have almost completed one flower in “test” fabrics and I think it’s looking pretty good. I’m getting the hang of it but had to figure out how to keep the stitches from showing up on the front.  Good thing I’m practicing first! So, that was my weekend. Oh yeah, we also had a Crafty Girls Workshop meeting which was super fun! I think I’ll post more about that tomorrow.

I guess I’ll do the obligatory appology for no real pictures in this post. But I hope the links will help to illustrate what I’ve blabbed on about. Thanks for visiting and reading my rambling thoughts.

Until Next Time.

 Happy Stitches,

Anna

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August 24, 2009. Tags: , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, Quilting, sewing. Leave a comment.

Calling All Homemakers-Last Chance for a Cool Coverup!

Two of our shop’s SUPER cute aprons are about to fall off the listings and into obliviooooooooonnnnnn! We’ve marked them down 10% to give you an extra incentive and since they are also featured items, we’ll send you a surprise along with your order! Here’s another look at them one more time.

Cherry and Cheery Apron for You!

Cherry and Cheery Apron for You!

 Perhaps you prefer a little more vitamin C in your diet? Margaritas anyone?

Great for making Margaritas!

Great for making Margaritas!

These will only be listed for a few more hours and they’ll be gone, gone, gone! So get them while you can!
Click the image to visit Crafty Girls Workshop and get it before it’s tooo late!
Also, some great news! Regina and I went on a buying trip for the shop on Monday at the MODA WAREHOUSE! We came back with a Prius Load of bolts of fabric that we really think you will just LOVE. Unfortunately, Etsy is not quite as user friendly when it comes to purchasing items in more than one quantity but the techy-guru, Anna, found a way to solve that problem, another website! Haha. Yes, it’s true, we have yet another site to visit where you can find some of our bolts (new ones added whenever possible, so check back A LOT). Very soon, all these sites will be merged into one AWESOME place to find out EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about Crafty Girls Workshop, but for now, if you want to purchase some fabrics by the yard, please visit us on our new website. Be sure to bookmark it so you can check it often for updates! And if you want us to add you to our e-mail list for shop updates, Etsy or otherwise, just drop us a comment on this post, an e-mail, or visit our main website and sign up.  Thank you for your patience while we get off the ground!
Happy Stitches to you,
Anna

August 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, sewing. Leave a comment.

Inspiration Waxes and Wanes like the Moon

Wow, how poetic is that title? I wish my post would be quite as poetic. Let’s see, the weather lately: HOT! The work situation: BORING Inspiration: Thought I had some, then it went away. As I’ve said, I’m sort of working on quilting something with my BSR. But in order to do that, I moved my sewing machine downstairs so I could use our dining room table because it’s BIG and has lots of surface area. Oh, and also because it’s HOT upstairs in my sewing room which is over the garage and never seems to get as cool as the other rooms. Well, here are some pictures I’ve taken and finally managed to rescue from my camera.

Going to make this - eventually.

Going to make this - eventually.Mmm, momo Wonderland charms with some limey green linen, yummy! I think this coudl become a great pinwheel quilt.

 

I bought the honey bun and charms on sale with plans to frame the charms. Then the yardgae was on sale too! Yippee!

I bought the honey bun and charms on sale with plans to frame the charms. Then the yardgae was on sale too! Yippee!

I have a couple more of what I’ve learned are called WHIMM (Works I Have In My Mind) or something like that. These represent projects I hope to do in the future, eventually, on my to do list or something. They aren’t WIPS because they aren’t in progress I would maybe call them HSY which means Haven’t Started Yet. But these aren’t even part of a kit, can you believe it!? I guess I’m branching out. Oh, speaking of kits, we hope to be able to stock some in our shop very soon. Please stop by the shop and if you decide to buy any of our items, mention you heard about it on my blog and we’ll send you something extra with your purchase. Oh, and tell your friends! I guess that’s it for now. So many projects, sew little time!!
Happy Stitches to You,
Anna 

August 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Quilting. Leave a comment.

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.

Giveaway on Terry’s Blog

Hey Everyone,

 I wanted to share about this great new blog I found. It’s called Terry’s Treasures and she’s giving away a lot of awesome goodies to celebrate that she’s been blogging for a year! So go check it out!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

August 7, 2009. Give Aways, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

Last Chance Items on Crafty Girls Workshop

The Crafty Girls Workshop has officially been open long enough for some of our listings to expire! That’s both exciting and sad at the same time. Since we decided to shift our focus almost a month ago to primarily selling fabric and patterns, we’ve decided against relisting the home sewn items that we listed back in March as their listing time expires. But, at the same time, we really would like to sell them and send them off to a new home (because as much as we love pillowcases, we really don’t need that many!) So, this is a good thing for you, the potential purchaser of these items. We’ve discounted them as much as we possibly can which results in some GREAT deals for you! Just think, you could easily purchase several pillowcase kits at a time and just whip them up and have some easy to give and fast to make gifts for Christmas for all those little kids in your life. These make great stocking stuffers too. We have some kits and some that are home sewn and already finished! That’s even better, just take them out of the envelope and wrap them up, then you have a one size fits all gift for birthdays or holidays. And don’t forget to take a look at the cute tote bags we have featured. One last thing, if you purchase a FEATURED item, you will get an additional free goody in your package. It’s a surprise from us to you as a way of saying thank you for your purchase. So go and check out the shop. Oh and while you’re there, check out the adorable Snippets fabric we listed this weekend. There is even a great project on Moda Bake Shop for making cute bags out of that exact fabric! Well until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

P.S. Did you know I’m hosting a give away of 1/2 yard of adorable Christmas fabric over on the CGW blog? Stop by and leave a comment for me! You have until Friday to enter.

July 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, Give Aways, Holidays, Quilting, sew along, sewing. Leave a 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:

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.

I Fell Off the Wagon

Well, I fell off the wagon for the No Buy Challenge, but I am proud of myself for the two and a half weeks I made it without buying anything. I think I was able to resist a little because I’ve really been too busy to buy anything. Also, I’ve gotten my fabric fix from being able to go to my mother in law’s house and help her sort, cut and scan fabrics to add to our shop listings. Yes, this is a selfish plug for our shop. We’ve listed over 100 items in the last two weeks for our Destash Sale so please visit and I hope you’ll find some new “friends.” The reason I fell off the wagon is this, I needed to get some fabric for a Christmas present for my sister and brother in law and I found a great deal on the exact fabric I wanted so now I’ll be able to make them something additional to the original item I was going to make. How’s that for vague? Plus, the fabric arrived YESTERDAY, so I think I might even have time to get it ready to take on the quilt retreat with me this weekend, yippee! I have three quilts cut and ready to piece this weekend, so what’s one more? These are all speedy piecing projects and I hope they really will be as speedy as the patterns claim. I am so excited about being able to come back on Monday and post lots of pictures of the tops I’ve finished. Oh, and I also got a great deal on a couple of Swanky Honey Buns yesterday that I really couldn’t pass up, I mean they were more than 50% off! I think that’s the only fabric that technically counts “against” me on the no buy challenge since it wasn’t for a gift for someone else, per se. Although, it might turn into a gift eventually. Well, that’s it for now. I guess I should actually do some work since I’m at work at the moment (shh, don’t tell.)  Oh, but one last thing, I’m having another giveaway on the Crafty Girls Workshop blog. I’m giving away 1/2 yard of CUTE Christmas fabric by Sandy Gervais! Please stop by and enter the giveaway. It’s easy, just comment and tell me your favorite fabric or designer or company (on that blog, not this one.) You can read the other ways to enter the drawing on that post, so check it out! Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

July 14, 2009. Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, Give Aways, No Buy Challenge, Quilting, sewing, Stashbusters. Leave a comment.

A Productive Weekend, but not what I planned

Well, I didn’t sew ANYTHING this weekend! Can you believe that? I can. It turns out that after a little bit of soul searching and stash busting, Regina (my dear mother in law) and I have decided to change course a little bit with Crafty Girls Workshop. In fact, we’re now heading more in the direction we had originally planned to go.  We’ve always wanted to sell patterns and fabric and that’s where we are steering our path. But, at the moment we don’t have the capital to just go out and buy bolts of fabric, but that’s OK too. We’re taking this sort of slow, to test the waters. With that in mind, Regina has looked at her mountainous stash (and believe me, it’s overflowing) and realized that a lot of the fabric she bought is brand spanking new but since we’re no longer making items to sell, perhaps we should sell THE FABRIC!! One little eentsy weentsy problem, the fabric is pre-washed. OH NO! Hmm, don’t you think it’s a better deal to purchase fabric that has been pre-washed/pre-shrunk and then cut to the specific length? I certainly do. I know that it has taken me a long time to realize that the fabric stores were not shorting me when I bought fat quarters, it was the washing machine!! Translation, I would buy a fat quarter, 18″x22″ and get home and throw it in the wash as I always do, then, when I went to cut the fabric for a project I’d find out that my “fat quarter” was really only about 17″x21″ including the selvage!! What’s wrong with that picture?? So since this is a DESTASH sale, we don’t feel bad about the fact that we’re selling fabric that is pre-washed/pre-shrunk, hey, it saves you the time of washing it. If you aren’t typically a pre-washer, you can always use a little spray starch or that Best Press stuff to get it to flatten out a little more. We have pressed all this fabric and it will come to you in the best condition possible, sans sizing.  Personally, I’ve noticed that when I work with fabric that hasn’t been washed, such as a jelly roll or charm pack, I start sneezing like crazy! I think it has to do with the sizing on the fabric. Oh, but I digress. About this special we are having. Granted, I didn’t sew this weekend, that is because on Friday (my observed holiday off from work, yippee!) I went to Regina’s house and we started scanning in images of ALL the fabrics and patterns that we’re planning to sell in this destash. Actually, the 75 items I listed this weekend are only the beginning!!  She says she already has some more stuff for us to list soon. Since the fabric is prewashed, and since it’s not ALL current (although a lot of it is still current) we chose to price it very reasonably. That is an advantage for you since we are dealing with tough economic times right now. We’ve also uncovered some very usable sewing patterns that have never even been used! (These were mostly mine that I purchased before I figured out that a size 10 in sewing patterns is not the same as a size 10 in commercial clothing) To make a long story short (too late?) we have a lot of new items listed in our shop and I think they are more along the lines of what our blog readers are interested in, patterns and fabric! Hey, just because I’m on a no-buy challenge doesn’t mean you have to be! In fact, if you purchase something from us, it will help us be able to buy new to the market patterns and fabric in the future which we can then offer to you! So, please hop over to our shop and take a look, then tell all your friends. Oh, and please stop by the Crafty Girls blog and sign up to be a follower so you can find out about new items listed and giveaway promotions we’re having. In fact, I’m trying to get 100 responses to a poll I have posted on there and if I can get it to 100 by the end of the month, I’m going to give something away! Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

July 7, 2009. Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, No Buy Challenge, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

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.

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