Some Cool Stuff in the Works

I took Friday off so I coud have an EXTRA day to this three day weekend to spend doing some housework and yes, even SEWING! Well, yesterday, I slept late (LOVED THAT!), did a load of laundry, called my mother in law (fellow Crafty Girl) and decided to head over to the shipping and receiving department of the Crafty Girls Workshop to take a look at our newest merchandise shipment. OK, so the S&R dept is actually Regina’s house, but that didn’t matter to the UPS guy. I packed up my sewing machine, several honey bun rolls and headed over there. OH DROOL! We got in some BRAND NEW fabric!! Yes, it’s new and yes, it’s exciting, should I let you see it? Oh, OK.

Mill House Inn Fat Quarter Bundle - 40 fabrics!

Mill House Inn Fat Quarter Bundle - 40 fabrics!

One fat quarter bundle (be still my heart!!) of Mill House Inn from Joanna Figueroa. (Hopefully more of this to come a little later) And six, yes, six of these…

Mill House Inn Honey Bun - 40 1 1/2" strips

Mill House Inn Honey Bun - 40 1 1/2" strips

Can you tell how beautiful it is? We also got a set of six honey buns of the NEW Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille, a mother/daughter team of fabric and pattern designers. This is their second line and it’s JUST as beautiful (if not more) than their first line Cotton Blossoms. So without further ado, here is a picture of the honey bun.

Simple Abundance Honey Bun - 40 1 1/2" Strips (2 repeat)

Simple Abundance Honey Bun - 40 1 1/2" Strips (2 repeat)

I just noticed that Camille has a really nice new pattern out that uses a Simple Abundance layer cake. Unfortunately, we are feeling rather lucky to even have gotten any of the Simple Abundance line at all since we were told it was too late to order it when we placed our first order, BUT if you hop over to Camille’s site and see that pattern and think it looks like something you’d like to make with a different layer cake, hop back here and let me know so I can get it on order ASAP.  In the mean time, I’m going to go and drool over the new honey buns, no, I’m just kidding but Regina OK’d it for me to take one of each and see what fabulousness I could create out of them for samples! Yipee! Oh, and lest I forget the second part of my post, I decided to join a Quilt Along! It’s at a great new blog I found by Quilting Dad, named John. In fact, he was a guest tute writer on Moda Bakeshop. And the Quilt Along is for a Wonky Log Cabin, which I have totally been DYING to make, so here’s my chance. I just hope that I can catch up in the next two days. So I guess that’s it. I hope this wasn’t too much of a chatty post. Happy stitches.

Anna

P.S. Check back tomorrow, I’ll be posting pictures of at least two of the items I’ve already made with some honey bun strips!

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September 5, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Crafty Girls, fabric, Quilt Along, Quilting, sewing. Leave a comment.

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

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.

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.

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.

Metamorphosis Monday

met_monday

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting yet another Metamorphosis Monday!

I am sort of bummed, I can’t find my before pictures of the yucky bathroom! So, I’ll try to describe it. When we moved into our house, the master bathroom had ivy wallpaper border adhered to ALL of the window and door casings and floor trim! It also had some sort of ivy stickers stuck around the GINORMOUS mirror that spanned the double vanity. It had the usual builder blah lighting too. The walls were blah white (sort of looked like thin primer.) The first thing I did on the FIRST day I was in the house was start scraping the ivy stickers off the wall around the mirror.  I slowly began peeling the wallpaper border off the trim too, turns out it wasn’t stuck on too well. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the previous owners had also decided to stick contact paper with a criss cross palm tree design on the front of the cabinets and the linen closet door. And the smallish closet door (which was in the closet and had a hole in it above the doorknob) had been replaced with a folding accordian “door” thing. That quickly came down too. 

[Pictures coming soon, keep reading]

FINALLY, during July of 2007, my fabulous hubby started painting the bathroom, we had picked a nice creamy color for the trim and ceiling which was the same as in our bedroom and a light, fresh green color for the walls.  We eventually picked out some new lighting, turns out of if you buy the glass shades separately from the fixture, you can save some major $$, which is what we did.  Well, the new fixtures were great and the paint was nice, but we didn’t paint around the new fixtures and didn’t want to paint anything else until I found the perfect set of mirrors (for the best price) to replace Super Mirror.

[Almost there, I promise, pictures in a bit.]

Eventually, a few weeks ago (2.5 yrs after moving in and almost a year after painting), I found those mirrors, and though hubby didn’t way to help paint, I set to it. We took down the giant mirror so that I could paint the wall behind it. I also painted around the light fixtures (FINALLY) and while I was waiting for that paint to dry before the second coat, I decided to apply the antiquing glaze (Ralph Lauren Tobacco) to the yucky white cabinets. Oh, and I also attached the hardware we had purchased forever ago. Things were really coming together.  Well, I must say that I REALLY LOVE  how the bathroom turned out. So much that I took A TON of pictures from different angles. I still think we need to put some little shelves between the mirrors, but it’s not bad for one day’s work of painting, antique glazing and mirror hanging.

Pictures, NOW!

bathroom_fullview

New Bathroom

Closeup of the antiquing glaze and hardware.

Closeup of the antiquing glaze and hardware.

View from the side toward the bathtub.

View from the side toward the bathtub.

If I ever find the before pictures I’ll be sure to come back and update this post. It really is a rather dramatic change.

Thanks for visiting to see my metamorphosis for today!

In quilting news, I finshed my Avalon quilt top this weekend (only one week from start to finish!) and purchased quilting thread, batting (from Bamboo, how earth friendly is that!) and some white and matching pinkish fabric for the backing. I’m going to a pieced back inspired by Crazy Mom Quilts. We’ll see how that turns out. I am totally excited about it. I think it will turn out fun and funky and the bright pink quilting thread on the white sashing will really pop! Maybe I’m breaking all the quilting rules, or perhaps I’m just making up some new ones.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

P.S. New updates to the shop! Visit Crafty Girls Workshop Blog for pictures of just visit our shop.

April 20, 2009. Tags: , , , . Crafty Girls Workshop, fabric, Metamorphosis Monday, Quilting, UFOs. 5 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.

Material Obsession Part II

So I got the book! I immediately started paging through it, just drooling over the awesome photos and the amazing ideas of what to make. The very first project, which is a super easy quilt called Avalon, just called to me. I mean, it’s easy, just pick 12 FQs and go from there. So I ran to my closet where my FQs are “neatly” organized, even if they are sort of overflowing from the FQ buckets, and started pulling out the ones I liked. Well, that seemed like a good idea, until I put them up on my design wall (a white sheet tacked to the wall) and realized, none of them really “went” together. Hmm, need to rethink this. So back to the FQ box I went. After playing around with them, I went back to the book and read the part about “pick a focus fabric and then pick coordinating fabrics” oh, I get it now! So I did that, and the colors and patterns started to meld and I now have an awesome quilt on my design wall, waiting to be pieced. One thing I found out when I was cutting the blocks to their 18″ size, almost NONE of my fat quarters, which are SUPPOSED to be 18″x22″ were actually the correct size! Granted, I had washed them so they would be preshrunk, but I find it difficult to believe they could shrink an entire INCH! Have any of you ever had that problem? Well, being the resourceful person I am, I made a snap decision, cut them ALL to a size that would work, at least if it’s consistent, it will look OK. I ended up cutting them all down to 17″ square because that was the greatest common size. Sorry that I don’t have any pictures to share, I hope to take some pics tonight. But, of course, once I had the FQs picked out, I realized I didn’t have ANY white fabric for sashing. This meant I needed to run out and get some at Hancocks, which just happens to have opened a BRAND new store 5 minutes from my house! So off I went and got my white sashing fabric on sale because of their grand opening! I also ended up getting two yards of a really pretty blue linen deco fabric. Yeah!  (Check the shop because that might just show up there in a pretty pillow or two.) So now I have the FQs cut to size and the sashing pretty close to being done. Tonight I hope to get time to piece it together and then the top will be DONE! Maybe today will be a Crafty Tuesday afterall. I guess that’s it for now.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

April 14, 2009. Tags: , . Crafty Tuesday, fabric, Quilting, sewing. 1 comment.

Chaos to Creativity

I just found an awesome website for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Think YouTube for PowerPoint, it’s called SlideShare. So, here is a slideshow I created and have uploaded to slideshare, we’ll see if it will work here.

 

 

Oh, I just find this to be so incredibly cool!  Now we can have death by PowerPoint on my blog too! If you’ve ever used PowerPoint for anything and wanted to share it online, you have to visit SlideShare. I hope you enjoy my presntation. I tried to add some hints that I found helpful while I was reorganizing my space. Enjoy!

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

February 11, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Quilting. Leave a comment.

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