Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 2 of Crafty Chicas Weekend!

NOTE: Please click on these photos to enlarge them so you can
truely appreciate the amazing details of these quilts!

After the most fabulous homemade breakfast at Amy's house, we headed off to
the Long Beach Convention Center for the International Quilt Festival.

One of my favorite booths at the show was Lazy Daisy Cottage! I love these fun bright prints and we met the fabric designer and her hubby. I wanted all of these fabrics, but I had to control myself, there was still so much more to see, so I walked away with one charm pack :)

How gorgeous is this? The center of the sunflower is all beaded by hand! Awesome!

This quilt was fun and colorful, but not really a favorite of mine,
but the 3 ladies in the photo are definately favorites :)

How cute is this quilt?
I am so in love with this fabric!
It's called Breath of Avignon and yes, I already own this fabric :)

Here's Amy and Denise at the American Jane booth.
I would have taken the entire booth home if  I could have.
Those are definately my colors!

I had to take a picture of this quilt for Regena :)
Isn't it cute?
Here's another picture of the Lazy Daisy Cottage booth.
The quilts and the fabrics are just soooo yummy!

This quilt pattern can be found HERE
I love love love this little quilt!
I mean seriously.....?

We stopped by Birdbrain Designs booth. (Remember the fabulous Perle Cotton bubbles?)
I picked up some more Perle Cotton and Amy and Regena
also picked up a few fun items they couldn't go home without!
The 2 sisters who own it were so sweet and helpful :)
Amy was having too much fun at the Bernina booth.
(Don't you just love Regena's smile?)
Here we are with our treasures in tow and our sore feet.
Happy and ready to head back to Amy's for pizza and some time to
drool over our purchases :)
This is what I came home with. Quilt batting, fat quarters,
 charm packs, yardage and some perle cottom.
Let the crafting begin!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

We're off to a great start!

How crazy cute is my new Minion?
 Regena stitched this onto a dish towel for me.
 Is he not seriously fabulous????? Love love love him!!!

And this is the aftermath of our outing to M & L yesterday.
Some of these fabrics are for a specific purpose
 and some are "just because". 
We had a lovely dinner last night.
These ladies are such a crack up
and it was fun for my hubby to get to meet them :)
Today we are off to the International Quilt Festival!
I can hardly wait!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Today is quite a big day! My blogger buddies from Antioch California, Regena and Denise are driving down to Southern California to meet up with Amy and I to attend the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach tomorrow. Amy lives about 30 minutes from me an we've already spent some time together "thrifting". She is so much fun! The 4 of us met through apron swaps and have become truly good friends! This is the first time that we will all meet face to face! We have shared so much together this past year and we've laughed together (A LOT) and cried together (OK...Regena doesn't really cry)  and today we are going to shop together! Yep, that's right.....a trip to M & L yardage is on the agenda for this afternoon and then dinner at my house. I'm making Picadillo, a Cuban dish (you can find the recipe here) and cheesecake for dessert :) Yum!
On Saturday night Regena is going to make fried chicken.....
oh my!!!
 I can already tell you that the best part of this weekend is going to be the laughter and the memories we are about to make!
Great friends, fabulous fabrics and good food....
what's not to love?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My First Quilt Ever is DONE!!!!

You know how they say you always take WAY more pictures of your firstborn child then any of the subsequent children? Well I'm sure that holds true for your first quilt too! By now you are probably thinking....."Enough already with Evie's Quilt!"
 But just like a first time mommy,
I'm gonna bust out the photo album and bore everyone with every nuance of my first quilt!
(Do you think carrying wallet sized photos in my purse is a bit too much???)

I don't know why, but I've always loved seeing pictures on other blogs of neatly rolled up binding....just waiting to be attached :)

I'm so happy that I hand quilted this. I even love the fun patterns on the backside of the quilt.

This is just a gratuitous beauty shot :)
For this quilt I used a pattern called Lemonade Lollipop by Sweet Jane. The pattern was so easy to follow even for someone like me who had never done this before and I learned how to square up my blocks through her very clear instructions. You can follow this link to her etsy shop.
I'll definately be buying more patterns from her in the future!

I hand embroidered the tag on the backside of the quilt, so that Evie will always have a reminder that her Nana stitched lots of love into her special quilt even long after I am gone :)
This is the backside view :)

Another gratuitous beauty shot :)

And having completed Evie's quilt last night means that I can begin all the handwork on Sofie's quilt! I started with a blanket stitch on the leaves of the flower appliques. I'll be doing the same stitch around all the flower appliques and when that's done, I will sandwich the quilt and start the hand quilting. I am having WAY too much fun with this!!!

By the way.....I have a question for all you seasoned quilters:
What is the proper protocol for gifting a quilt.
Do you wash it before you give it away?
I've read on other blogs about how these quilting ladies are always so excited to see the quilt all wrinkled and squishy after washing it as a last step to the process. Maybe because I hand quilted this, I don't feel the need to wash it first. It already looks wonderful the way it is.
I appreciate your input, since I am a new quilter.
Thanks in advance!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday Night Sew In #3

Last night I took part in my 3rd Friday Night Sew In and as usual it was so much fun! My buddies Amy and Regena were also playing along and we chatted online in between sewing our projects. A few weeks back I carried Evie's quilt over to my daughter's house to do some hand quilting and I really wished I had a large tote to carry it in safely. So I thought I'd keep my eyes open for some fabric that would work.

Look what I found on etsy!!!! It's called "Sew Now Sew Wow" by Alexander Henry and they had it in upholstery canvas weight! I was immediately smitten! Every time I look at it I have to smile! The seller shipped it so fast that it arrived yesterday morning so I was able to use it for the FNSI :)
Oh yeah....I'm a happy girl :)
Of course I lined the bag in red and white polka dots!
 I'm going to make a small zipper bag to carry my perle thread, scissors and thimble in but I'm still on the fence as to what pattern to use for that.

For the tote I used my trusty Simplicity 9658 view C pattern and it fits the baby sized quilt and all my perle cotton bubbles and scissor with room to spare!

I fussy cut the pocket to include that adorable black sewing machine with the red heart detail :)
 I've been told by my friends that I should not leave this bag unattended as it might suddenly go missing......:)
Maybe I'll sew a LoJack into one of the seams,
 just for good measure!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Early to rise.....

I get up every morning somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45am. I make the hubby's lunch and get my day started. I make the hubby's lunch and then I usually play on the computer while I drink my coffee, read my emails and chat with friends on fb. Not always the most productive use of my time, but I tell myself that I need to "ease" into the day. Well today for some reason I am full of energy! I decided to bust out my reusable Grocery Bag PDF pattern that I bought on etsy a few months back for $5.00 designed by Keyka Lou. If you haven't seen her patterns, you need to go check it out. I think I've used 3 different shopping bag patterns from different sources so far and I haven't really found one that I like. Some have had long handles, which I don't like and some have had flimsy construction that doesn't hold up when filled with heavy groceries.  I think this one might be the winner! I haven't road tested it yet by actually shopping with it, but I like the construction and I like the reinforced short handles. I also like that it is fully lined and washable.

This pattern took about an hour to make from cutting to completion. I used home decor canvas for the "focus" fabric and regular weight cotton for the lining. There are no pockets inside or out, but I really don't think grocery bags need pockets. It was FTS (fun to sew) and had very clear instructions.

All in all a great early morning project. I can totally see more of these in my future and maybe a few Christmas gifts as well. Thanks Keyka Lou!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coupon Commotion Baby!

When Joann's gives you literally "tons" of 40% off coupons and you choose not to use them,
well that just wasteful! It's like throwing money away!
 My hubby works hard all day long and it's my job to take care of the household finances.
 It would just be wrong of me to allow those coupons to just sit there and expire......right?
So I did what any budget conscious wife would do. 
I marched myself right over to Joann's
and I saved my hubby lots of money!
I wonder if he realizes how lucky he is?
 That fun French home decor fabric was purchased from during their clearance sale last week.
It was 65% off plus an additional 30% off with a coupon code and free shipping! I mean they practiaclly paid me to take it off their hands! I don't know why I love it, but I do. So at Joann's I purchased the natural canvas to co-ordinate with it.
I see a tote bag in my future. (shocker I know)
The sewing book if full of fun projects that I will undoubtedly use for Christmas gifts. (you see how I'm saving even more money by making the gifts? I'm good!)

You may be wondering, "is that a really tiny pattern
or are those incredibly large Smarties in that photo?"
Well the answer is that Joann's happens to be the only place I've found that sells those over sized Smarties that my hubby is a major fan of. So you see, I drag myself all the way to Joann's to make sure that my hubby never runs out of one of his favorite candies.
(Wow...I am a pretty amazing selfless)
And besides all my coupons, all Butterick patterns are only 99 cents this week. Woo Hoo!
And all quilting notions are also 50% off, so I picked up the spray adhesive to give that a try.

And these are probably my favorite trinkets of the day!
 A 3 pack of different sized Thermal Thimbles
 to protect my fingers and thumb from steam burns when I'm pressing all those seams
now that I am a big time quilter!
Can't wait to try these babies out!
And with my coupon they were 40% off!
I always joke with my hubby that when I shop,
I don't even get out of my car for less than a 40% off discount!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boy Oh Boy!

This past week I got a lovely surprise when one of my blogger friends Jenny, placed an order through my etsy shop for 25 tissue covers for a baby shower. The colors she requested were chocolate brown, cream and blue. I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use. These fabrics are all from Sweetwater's "Pure" collection. There are some fabrics that definately scream "boy" to me but I didn't want to use those for the tissue covers because these shower favors are for women even though it's a shower for a baby boy. I love that there are hearts and roses and tiny flowers as well as stripes and tiny polka dots!

And because Jenny is such a sweetheart (she made me the cutest apron and you can see it here) that I wanted to send her just a little something extra with her order. Since I am participating in the Craft Book challenge, I decided to use a pattern from the book Sew, So Cute by Mary Engelbreit. I used some of the more masculine co-ordinating fabrics from the Pure collection to make the patchwork front panel for this bib. I love it and I hope she does too :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Apron Giveaway and my on-going quilting adventures!

Happy Monday! I was so overwhelmed and excited to see that there are 200 followers for my little blog! You guys are awesome and it's always such a fun part of my day to read your sweet comments :) Thank you all so much!!!

This week I am teaming up with Mindie over at Bacon Time to offer this Spicy Apron Giveaway. Her blog is full of all kinds of fun ideas and giveaways! To enter just click on  this link to Bacon Time to sign up. You will have several chances to win and the winner will be chosen from Mindie's blog on Wednesday July 27th :) You can also grab a coupon code good for 15% off any ready to ship item from my etsy shop that is good this week only.

 I have definitely been bitten by the quilting bug! I just can't seem to get enough! I bought this great charm pack "Le Petite Ecole" by Moda a while back. It doesn't really go with my house but I just loved the fabrics. I decided to make a table topper from this great free pattern that I found on I'll admit I was a little nervous when I had to cut the 5" squares into tiny strips 1" by 2 1/2". But once I started to assemble the blocks, it was really fun to sew!

This is the almost finished table topper. I machine quilted it by stitching 1/4" from each side of the squares. After all the hand quilting I've been doing on Evie's quilt I'm not really sure I like the way the machine quilting looks. I haven't done the binding yet because I"m not sure if I want to take out the stitching and hand quilt this little guy. There is such a charm and beauty to hand quilting that this feels cold to me somehow.
I used up some of the tiny pieces of leftover fabric to make a strip for the back. I'm planning to list this in my shop once it's finished. So what do you guys think: leave the machine stitching and bind it as it is or hand quilt it and bind it?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I really love Thursdays!

 I love Thursdays! I really do!
 I always tell my hubby that Thursday is the best day of the week!
Why you ask?
Because by Thursday I have all my grocery shopping, laundry and housework is done!
(oh who am I kidding....I don't do much housework)
But most of all, Thursday is the only day during the week that my Chiropractor is closed.
I've been seeing him for 11 years.
He has helped me so tremendously.
After just 2 months of seeing him 3 times a week
I was able to get rid of all my pain meds, including Vicadin.
So why am I happy that he's closed on Thursdays?
 Because although he is amazing, getting adjusted when you have Fibro is always painful.
 It's like going to the dentist on a weekly basis.
You know you need to go, but you also know it's going to hurt.
So I do a happy little dance on Thursdays :)
And today I had a lovely quiet morning to do a bit of sewing.
I made this bright and fun apron for my etsy shop.
I used my "Cute Apron Tute" for the bottom 1/2 of the apron,
and the bib is from the Sweetwater apron pattern.
The black fabric with the tiny flowers was purchased over
15 years ago so it's kind of hard for me to part with it.
This apron makes me happy.
If it doesn't sell, I'm totally fine with keeping it for myself :)
Happy Thursday everyone!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flannel Baby Wipes Tutorial

A few years ago my beautiful daughter in law did her research into cloth diapers verses disposable diapers and cloth diapers definitely won out!
(For me personally I just think babies with those big cloth diaper "bubble bums" are just too cute!) 
She also began using flannel wipes. It cuts way down on diaper rash, they save money too and there is less waste for the environment.
 Win, win, win!
Naturally with baby girls in the family now we needed to add some pink into the mix. No more boring white! I made some a few weeks back and she asked me to make some more.
They are super easy to whip up
and are a cute inexpensive baby shower gift.
These are great because even if the Mommy-to-be isn't planning on using cloth diapers
these are great for wiping little noses and soft and wonderful for cleaning little faces!

You will need several 1/4 yd pieces of good quality flannel, depending on how many wipes you want to make.
Stay away from dark colored flannel.
There are times when Mommy has to be a "poo detective" and you certainly don't want to make things harder than they need to be. Little ones can't tell you when there is something wrong with their tummy, so you'll need to clearly see if there is something unusual going on.
From each 1/4 yd piece, cut 5 rectangles 7 1/2" by 8 1/2".
You can mix and match your fabrics for a cute look :)
This size should fit in a wipes warmer
or just run one under warm water just before you use it.
I had someone ask about washing these so I called the expert, my daughter in law :)
She says that she uses a cloth diaper detergent called
Rockin Green but you never use
dryer sheets because that will coat the flannel and they will no longer be absorbent
and they won't hold diaper wipes solution or warm water very well anymore.
She says they wash up nicely and stay very soft.
She says there are many other cloth diaper detergents available
but Rockin Green is the one she prefers.
I used a roll of thread and a pen to mark a rounded corner.
I used my scissors to cut off the corner.

You will need 2 pieces of flannel for each wipe.

With right sides together, use a 1/4" seam allowance and beginning on one of the straight sides of the wipe,
stitch all the way around.
Leave an opening approximately 2" for turning.

Turn right side out and press.

Begin top stitching close to the edge,
making sure to close the 2" opening.

Press again and wrap them with a pretty ribbon
 and try to appear humble while everyone
at the shower tells you how adorable your gift is
and how thoughtful you are!