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

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

Friday Funk, Saturday and Sunday Sunny Sewing Fun!

I was really down in the dumps on Friday. Work was boring, it was the first day of Quilting Month, and I couldn’t do anything because I was stuck at work! Why! Why must I work and have to buy food and clothing and pay for my car! Why can’t I just sew all day and make a living doing that? OK, so that was Friday. After work I headed over to my favorite quilt shop, Memories by the Yard, and had some shopping therapy. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a sample of the fabric from the sashing on my t-shirt quilt, so it was difficult to pick out something for the border.  So, despite the chance to immerse myself in a world of fabric for a little while, I actually DIDN’T buy anything!  On Saturday, after I got home from grocery shopping, I decided to work on something for this Pink Fat Quarter (and other stuff) swap I am in.  I still don’t know who my swap partner is, but we have to send 4 pink fat quarters, thread, cards or stationary, and some other pink surprise.  Well, I started checking my stash and it turns out I had some VERY cute pink chenille which I had forgotten about. So, I went to work. So far I have two fat quarters, a little baggie that I made to hold the pink buttons, and a cute pin cushion with chenille on the back (thanks Lauri for that idea).  Then, from there I decided that I wanted to try my hand at a disappearing nine patch which was one of the first projects for Quilting Month on Sew Mama Sew. I didn’t have any measurements to start with so I just decided to use what I had (what a concept). Well, I had some 3.5″ strips left over from cutting for the Chelsea’s Boutique quilt. Guess what, if you start with 3.5″ strips and then sew them with 1/4″ seam allowance and then CUT them in half and sew them together again with another 1/4″ seam allowance, the block keeps getting smaller, and smaller!  At this point I don’t even know what the finished size is!  I wanted it to be about 9″ but I don’t know if it made it.  Then, when I sewed the last two rows together, I opened it up, and GASP! I had sewn the last row WRONG!  I blame my DH because he yelled up to me that dinner was ready and broke my concentration!  But it was very nice of him to make dinner for me.  Since dinner was ready and hubby was calling me, I didn’t have time to reverse sew the block and get it sewn together correctly. I really wanted to do this so I could show it off on the Quilting Month photo pool on Flickr. Well, perhaps tonight. After that, I sort of forgot about the block and decided to work on my embroidery project. I am just a little sewing butterfly, flitting from project to project.  This project is really a challenge for me because a) I don’t usually like hand work b) I don’t know all the fancy stitches it requires and c) I get sore really easily. But I found that it is also addicting. Once I’ve started, I don’t want to stop until I’ve finished one entire letter (the piece spells out the words Sweet Dreams with a different symbol for each letter, so the “w” in sweet was a butterfly and the “t” is a dragonfly made with sparkling thread.) It is such a beautiful piece and I am enjoying learning the new stitches. This weekend alone I learned the buttonhole stitch, the leaf stitch and the lazy daisy.  I was so lucky when I found a stitch encyclopedia at Half Price books for about $10!  It is such a great guide and the one I have has color pictures and step by step instructions, so vital for this type of hand work!  The main reason I purchased the kit to make this Sweet Dreams embroidery “thing” is that the letter “D” in the word “Dreams” is in the shape of a MOON! Well, since my last name is Luna, I have a particular affinity for moons. I thought it would look adorable as framed art in my future nursery.  I also figured it would probably take me from the time of purchase until I HAD children to finish it! (I bought it more than a year ago.) But, if I keep up at the pace I am going, I might get it done before I have kids! That will give me a year to let it sit in a drawer waiting to be framed. I still have a couple of cross stitch pieces that are waiting to be framed. Oh, and some art we purchased in Italy on our honeymoon three and a half years ago! But that’s a post for another day. Sorry about the lack of photos in this post. I haven’t even taken any of my current projects and, of course, I do not even have my camera with me at the moment.  I hope to make up for that this evening. Mom is coming over to sew again tonight, she MIGHT get the sashing finished on her quilt.  Then we have to get started on the border. I think we are both considering paying a long arm quilter to quilt them for us. We only have until March 4th to finish them and that isn’t very much time!  It’s very tempting but from what I’ve heard, all the long arm quilters in my area are booked for months.  To sum things up, I suppose that Friday was a temporary relapse in my efforts to meet Goal #4 which is to “Count my blessings and be happy.” So in closing I will leave you with some things that I consider blessings:

1) Saving $400 in January plus money for our V-Day trip to Fredericksburg and for Sammy’s (my BIG dog) teeth cleaning

2) A loving, sweet, caring husband who lets me buy fabric almost whenever I want

3) Spending time with my mom learning to quilt and getting to chat about things

4) Blogs and my bloggy friends and all the friends I’ve made on the Internet

5)Being able to keep in touch with my sister through her blog so that Montana doesn’t seem soooo far away.

Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna  

February 4, 2008. Tags: , , , . Quilting, Quilting Month, sewing. Leave a comment.

Quilt Without Borders

topwithoutborder.jpg

My first quilt top is almost done, I just need to add the polka dot border. It took me all day today to get the top finished. I had to piece the sashing and cornerstones. I am so proud of how it turned out.  It is very difficult to see from the picture but the blue “solid” blocks actually have outlines of butterflies on them in a batik-ish sort of look. Recently, I read about a great concept on Bonnie Hunter’s website called Leaders and Enders.  I sort of thought it was silly but it really does make sense and works. Here’s the run down of the concept. Most people will use a little scrap piece of fabric to prevent their machine from “eating” their good fabric of their project. I know that whenever I would start my machine or rethread, I always used a scrap piece of fabric to “test it” but I would always just cut the thread and keep going. Well, this made for a lot of wasted threads and time.  Bonnie’s concept is this, use your precut scraps (cut while you are are working on a project as part of the Scrap User’s System, also on Bonnie’s site) as a leader, fabric that you run through before your “real” project or an ender, which you run through at the end of whatever you wanted to piece, and which will become a leader. It’s pretty much the same as chain piecing something.  Bonnie explains it really well with pictures on her website.  So, if you follow her system, you can, in theory, work on two projects at a time! So, I started the leaders and enders just using the precut “bricks” which were 2.5″ by 4″ rectangles I had cut from my scraps. When I ran out of those, I realized something, I have a TON of strips just waiting to be pieced for my Chelsea’s Boutique quilt! Why not just run those through in between piecing my quilt top?  So, I decided to do it, and I DID! So, I have pieced my entire quilt top, PLUS finish strip piecing 36 light/dark strips for my Chelsea’s Boutique quilt.  Believe me, just running strip, after strip, after strip would NOT be very fun, but putting them in beween the pieces of this top worked perfectly!  Now I am about two steps closer to finishing that top as well!

In other news. I decided I wanted to start working on some embroidery projects I have but have never started. The reason I have never started them, I don’t have a light box. So I searched around town and I could either pay $50 or $80 depending on the box I decided to purchase! Way too much!  I remembered someone saying one time that you could easily make a light box/table if you had a glass table with a lamp underneath.  Well, I didn’t have a glass table, but I did have a sewing machine table with a top that drops down. Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I got something that is made from glass and put it on top? Well, I have this Pyrex dish (9″x13″) and if I set it on top… Now I just need a lamp. I grabbed the lamp off my cutting table which has an adjustable top.  Hmm, if I stack up some books and prop up the lamp, MAGIC! A light table that works perfectly and didn’t cost me anything! I am so proud of myself for being so frugal!  Here is a picture of my light table:

lightbox.jpg

Click on the image for a closer view

Sometimes I am so smart I amaze myself. Well, I hope that this idea for a light box will inspire you to create something out of common household items. Hopefully I’ll have pictures to post soon of the embroidery I plan to do. Until next time,

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

 

January 21, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Beginner's Quilt Class, Quilting, sewing. 3 comments.