Friday, November 1, 2013

My number is up!

It is my month to be Queen Bee of the Scrap-Bee-Licious quilting bee and I knew pretty much from the start that I wanted to to the X and + block, aka X Plus block.  I was inspired by this beautiful AMH X Plus quilt made by Holly of Bijou Lovely.  Since we've been in major move mode (which I talked about here) for the past month, I didn't have too much extra time to put towards dreaming about all the potential color schemes that I could request.  I did, however, have the chance to look through all my fabric as I carefully and sadly packed it away to be shipped across the waters and found an inspiration piece.


Liberty of London, Bloomsbury Collection, Copeland, Magenta Teal

So, my idea for the X Plus block is to use a dark gray-ish neutral print (see the left 3 prints below) for the Plus edges and to use a cream-ish neutral print (see the right 3 fabrics below) for the background of the X's.

Then I pulled fabrics from my stash to coordinate with the other colors in this print.

To make this block, I used the tutorial from Badskirt's blog, which can be found here, but to get a 12.5 in. unfinished block, I used the dimensions provided here and also here.  

This is the block that I came up with...

I don't love this color combination by itself, but I didn't have time to make another one.  I think it will look better once it joins its brother and sister blocks that my bee mates will be sending me.  I can't wait to see the blocks everyone comes up with!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Things are getting real...

I have taken quite the blogging hiatus recently because I have been overwhelmed by some changes in my life, namely an international move that we are about to embark on.

We are moving to Panama in 10 days!!  My husband is originally from Panama and his parents and most of his family live there.  For several years now, we have felt that God might be leading us to move there, but only very recently did we get the kick in the bottom that led us to make a firm decision.  We have sold most of our belongings and will be packing everything else this weekend to be shipped out on Monday, which is why I hustled today to make October's Scrap-bee-licious blocks.  All of my fabric and sewing machines will be gone as of Monday for 3-4 weeks!  

Cath of Wombat Quilts asked for 12 in. finished paper-piecing blocks using low volume and pastel fabrics.  I admit, I was scared.  I paper-pieced one 4 in. block a few months ago and hated how it turned out and the process as well.  I have to admit though, that the more I worked on these blocks, the easier it got.  The first block I made is called Icky Thump.  This one went together fairly quickly and I love how it turned out.

The second block I made is called Flying Home and can be found here.  This one was quite complex for my rookie abilities and I had to rip out a few seams, but overall, I think I handled it like a champ.  I timed myself and it took me 22 minutes from start to finish to make the last 1/8th piece of the block.  I think with more practice, I could whittle that down to maybe 18 minutes.

I did complete my September bee blocks on time and sent them out to Gwen of The Rainbow Revolts.  She asked for themed Scrappy Trip blocks, so this is what I sent..

(Theme..  Butterflies)

(Theme.. Amy Butler's Alchemy)

November is my month as Queen Bee and I hope that tomorrow I can make final decisions for my block and pre-schedule my blog post to go live as of Nov. 1st since I'm not sure how quickly I will get access to Wi-Fi once we are there.  My posts here will probably be pretty sporadic until we get into the groove down there, so please bear with me!  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!  I had everyone's name on a scrap of paper and the birthday boy drew the winner, KT, who said "Wow look at that stash! I have been aching to make myself some skirts before summers over, but finishing up my three half started quilts are taking priority!"  KT, I already emailed you for your address.

I did finish up my oldest son's quilt last week.  This is the first quilt I've made for anyone in my household and I am so happy to see my son sleep under it each night.  My daughter and youngest son are now impatiently asking when their quilts will be finished.

Cesar picked a Riley Blake Stars and Stripes layer cake as the fabric for his quilt.  I used a 10" tumbler template and added some white on the sides.  I used some fat quarters from my stash for length to the top and bottom.  The back is done with a minky dimple dot in red.  Boy, was that heavy to maneuver through my machine.

And here's the quilt with its owner..

He just turned 12 in June, but he is already about 2 inches taller than me and has to be reminded to shave his little mustache.  Where has my little boy gone?  At least I can still cuddle him via the quilt, I guess.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

An Apron All for Me: A Selfish Sewing Update

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, please go here to do so.  It's open until tomorrow night.

I have been wanting to make an apron for myself for a long time, but have been putting it off while looking for a pattern that I really like.  After spilling greasy tomato sauce on my favorite only pair of jeans this week, I decided that I couldn't put it off any longer.

Thankfully, I had just happened upon See Kate Sew's Ruffled Apron pattern, which you can get for free if you sign up for her newsletter.  I had 2 yards of some Fairy Tale Friends fabric by American Jane on hand that I had bought about a year ago and a layer cake of the same line (which I pulled 1 square from for the pocket), so I went ahead and washed the fabric, printed out the pattern pieces and cut out everything.  The pattern suggests 1 yard of main fabric for the skirt (44" x 20"), 1 bodice piece (12.5" & cut on the fold) & 4 main lining straps (3" wide each & cut on the fold), but I was not able to arrange these pieces all on the fold out of just the 1 yard, so I had to cut the straps not on the fold and sew them together.  No big deal, but if you want to be able to cut all the pieces on the fold, I would suggest getting 1 1/3 yard just to be sure.

I sewed everything together and, except for one little mistake of sewing the skirt on backwards to the bodice, it was easy going.  The gathering of ruffles is very easy to do if you haven't attempted it before and the instructions and diagrams make it very easy to understand the steps.

Thanks to my goofy 14 yr. old niece, Samantha, who took beaucoups of pics of me, all the while laughing at me and my ridiculous poses.  I guess we managed one or two decent ones.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My very first giveaway!!!!!

When I started my blog, I thought that if I ever reached 50 followers, then I would host a giveaway.  I reached that number a few days ago, so I started thinking about what I could put together.  I'm really digging the low volume trend right now, so I put together a fat eighth bundle of some of my favorites.

This bundle includes some Dear Stella, Lecien, Timeless Treasures, Andover and some others.

I also love rainbow colors (who doesn't?) and put together a fat eighth bundle of some of my favorites.

Maybe you see some of your favorites in there too?  

I have really enjoyed the last few months of blogging and I appreciate all of you who have stopped by, read a post, looked at some pictures, or left a comment.  I also look forward to the days ahead and hope to continue to be an active part of this wonderful online community that has taught me so much.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling me about a project that you really want to make for yourself, but haven't got around to it yet.  The giveaway is open internationally.  You don't have to be a follower to be eligible, but I would appreciate it if you would consider becoming one.  Please make sure you leave your email address in your comment if there's a chance you are a no reply blogger.  The giveaway will be open until Saturday night.

Also, today is my youngest child's 5th birthday!  Shout out to the birthday boy, Nathaniel!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Stash

I've added some pretties to my collection recently...

These came from the Anna Maria Horner charm square swap that Leona hosted on Flickr.  I love that they have such deep, rich tones.  I'm thinking rainbow-esque gradation from opposing corners towards middle.  

My wonderful sister picked up some fabric for me from Ikea (that I asked her to bring me)...

These 2 above are a home decor weight (which I did not know when I asked for them).  I'm thinking the bottom one would be great to make girls' tote bags or zipper pouches and they could color them in.  I'm really not sure what to do with the top one though.

This one is a home decor weight also that my sister picked out because she wants me to make some pillow covers for her couch pillows.

Here is the prolific "number words written out in cursive" that I think makes for a nice backing to a busy quilt top.  I got 5 yards of this stuff.

And I think this last one would make a really cute backing for a Briar Rose quilt top..

I also snuck in a few purchases at Joann's to take advantage of the 40% off some of the designer fabrics, plus I get an extra 20% off because I am was a home school teacher.  I bought quarter yards of several of the DS Quilts line..

And I bought some of Juliana Horner's line because I really love these greens..

Linking up with Sunday Stash!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Feeling overwhelmed...

Things have been crazy around here recently, to say the least.  My great aunt, Aunt Joyce, passed away 2 weeks ago.  This is a picture of her opening up the quilt I gave her this past Christmas.

Her favorite color was blue and she liked peacocks, so I thought this would be perfect for her.

She was always so quick-witted and funny, warm and generous.  She will be missed.  

Also, my husband and I have been faced with some pretty monumental challenges recently and we are in the midst of trying to figure out what we should do.  If you could send up a quick prayer on our behalf, it would be sincerely appreciated.

The good news is that I have been able to do a little sewing.  I finally finished up a quilt that my sister asked me to make for a co-worker.  

I used several fabrics from Sarah Jane's Children at Play line and some coordinating prints and solids from my stash.  For the back, I used the rest of the border print from the same line that I had, sandwiching it in between another pretty girly floral.  

I also sent off my Triple-Zip pouch for the Flickr swap.  My partner kind of let me have free reign, but did indicate that her favorite color is purple, so this is what I came up with.  

I love those little dolls!  I forgot to take a picture of the goodies I sent along with it, but I added some purple fabric scraps, some candies, a postcard and I think a little notebook.  I hope that she likes it.

I also received my Triple-Zip pouch from Becky and she did an amazing job.  I asked for something that would go with my messenger bag, which I use almost exclusively (I hate changing bags).  

I think the colors look great together and this is becoming my new wallet.  She also sent loads of goodies...

What a funny coincidence that she sent Matryoshka doll fabric since that is what I used to make the pouch for my partner.  Look at that cute needle book.  It is even patchwork pieced on the backside!

I am so excited to be participating in the Scrap-bee-licious bee with 12 other bloggers that I met through the 2013 New Blogger Blog Hop.  The first Queen Bee is cutie pie Ashley from Wasn't Quilt in a Day, who asked for converging corners blocks in rich, jewel tones, so this is what I will be mailing off to her.

I recently made an effort to represent my blog in fabric form and came up with this block.

Throughout my life, when people hear my name, it often conjures up the literary work of Lewis Carroll for obvious reasons.  When I think of Alice in Wonderland, I think of her blue dress and blond hair, the black and red of the playing cards and the larger than life mushrooms.  This block is called Card Trick, so I felt the combination of fabrics and block design suited my blog well.  

This week, I hope to finish up the quilting and then bind my oldest son's quilt and maybe do another selfish sewing project.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

... I was supposed to have finished this quilt.  This one has been a long time coming because I'm such a procrastinator.  This quilt was for my nephew's birthday, which was May 23.  I even got a reprieve when we decided to celebrate my son's and nephew's birthday together in early June, but I still didn't finish it on time.

Nevertheless, the quilt has been gifted to it's new owner, he loves it and all is forgiven.

My daughter turned 10 yrs old last week and one thing she asked for was a sleep mask that said "Save the Nerds" (she saw this on some pajamas at Kohl's and was really inspired by this phrase).  I did a pretty poor job on this sleep mask, but she wears it to bed each night, while pondering the best way to carry out her mission.

Amanda, of A Crafty Fox, was offering up a free mini-charm pack with each order over $30 from her Etsy shop this past weekend, so I decided it was the perfect time to buy some fat quarter bundles I had been ogling for a while.  (It really doesn't take much to convince me of that.)

Ocean Depths Ombre Blue FQB and La Creme Low Volume Polka Dots FQB, along with a Pot Luck mini-charm pack

I had pre-ordered a Briar Rose FQB also from Westwood Acres and added a coordinating solids FQB via Instagram and I am really loving these beautiful fabrics.

I received my July Stash Stack Club picks from Pink Castle Fabrics and right now, Brenda is running a promotion that for every $50 you spend, you get a prize code with your order that could be worth anywhere from $5-$100 or it could be for the grand prize of the whole first year's Stash Stack Club collection of 144 fat quarters.  I might have placed an order for this bundle of low volume fat quarters, along with a few other necessary items just to see if I can win the grand prize. (even though I already have almost every one of these, but just look at it!!  who can resist wanting more?)

I hope to have several more quilt finishes in the near future, plus my sister has charged me with making some custom couch pillows for her new living room set, so I will be busy, busy, busy in the coming weeks.

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's raining!?!

I can't believe that it's been raining for 2 days straight in the middle of summer and I am so grateful!  It's been miserably hot and dry around here lately, so this is welcome relief.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a quilt I made on the Craftsy blog.  It is a disappearing 9-patch quilt I made for a friend at church who was having a baby girl.  You can find my Craftsy member page here.  I love Craftsy and have purchased several classes (which I need to finish watching).

Alyssa at Pile O'Fabric is hosting a Stash Share each Monday in which she selects a color scheme and pulls fabrics from her stash to coordinate.  She invites other fabric lovers to do the same and link up their pic to her post.  This is her color palette and stash pull for today..

and this is what I came up with from my stash...

I think this is a fun way to challenge myself regarding color selection and design possibilities, so I plan to participate as often as I can.  

I am participating in the Triple-Zip Pouch Swap hosted by Stephanie from Quarter Incher and based on my partner's preferences, she is pretty much up for anything.  This is my first fabric pull for this pouch...

I plan to do a few more fabric pulls and see what kind of vibe I get from my partner (if any).  I ordered from Zipit for the first time for this project and was really impressed with the value and speed of delivery, so I will definitely be going to them again in the future.

I have 2 quilts that I hope to finish quilting and binding this week, so fingers crossed that I get those completed. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted, Shall We?

Today's my day on Plum and June's 2013 Let's Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop and I've been thinking about this for several weeks.  I'm going to share a little bit about myself and my crafty journey thus far and then introduce you to a new little series that I'm starting.

I was laid off in 2011 from my job in the financial industry and my husband and I decided that we would try to make it work with me becoming a stay at home mom (which I had always wanted to do).  I do not consider myself to be a creative person naturally and definitely not artistic in the least, but I decided that I needed to find a hobby to keep my hands busy given that I now had a small amount of free time.  (Please see my About Me page for a little more info, if you would like.)

I started off doing a little bit of crocheting, making a hat here and there and starting this huge queen size afghan (which will take several more winters to complete).

I then ordered a sewing machine with the bank reward points that I had saved up and that's when I timidly dipped my toe in the sewing and quilting waters.  The first several things I made were a pair of Dallas Cowboys fleece pajama pants (how bout dem Cowboys?) for my husband and several aprons.  

Then I moved on to quilts after taking Jenny Doan's Quilting Quickly class on CraftsyThis was my very first one, which was made using a batik charm pack and jelly roll purchased at (gulp) Wal-mart.  Please go easy on me, I didn't know any better at the time.  And here is a mosaic showing some of the others that I have made since..  

1. Blue Hues Peacock Quilt, 2. Baby Boy Zig-Zag Quilt, 3. Vintage Baby Girl Quilt, 4. Baby Girl on Parade Quilt, 5. Vintage Modern Baby Quilt, 6. 10 Little Things Baby Boy Quilt, 7. Good Fortune Zig-Zag Quilt, 8. A quilt I made for my niece, using this tutorial:, 9. My first quilt

I love fabric and, much to my husband's disgruntlement, I have collected quite a bit.  Some of my favorite fabric designers are Sarah Jane, Sarah Watson, Bonnie and Camille, American Jane and Tasha Noel.  I have 2 Singer sewing machines, but aspire to one day be able to get one with a much larger throat space, which would help tremendously with free motion quilting.  You can see a little of my sewing space in this post.  Here's a picture of my current fabric stash (I know it's a mess).

You may notice that I have pretty much only made quilts for children so far (except the peacock one, which was for my great aunt), which leads me to introduce you to my new series, Selfish Sewing.  I know that the term "selfish sewing" is not a new idea in general, but it's a fairly new concept to me.  I have a hard time doing things for myself sometimes.  For example, my husband gave me a gift certificate for a massage and facial for Mother's Day 2012 and it is still waiting to be used.  And the only reason I made pajama pants for myself this winter was because my sister gifted me the fabric.  I really don't think it's selfish to make something for myself, but too many times, it feels that way.  I decided recently that I will start making more things for myself.  So, without further ado, here is my Selfish Sewing creation...  


I bought the pattern from Made by Rae quite some time ago and then I bought the Dear Stella fabric with this dress in mind.  I didn't pay attention to the yardage requirements and only bought 2 yards of fabric, which left me in a bit of a bind for cutting out the final piece, which was the top front bodice piece.  My lovely sister came through with the suggestion of piecing 2 halves of the bodice together and covering the seam with some sort of decorative strip of fabric, so this is what I came up with.. 

I think it turned out okay.  Actually, I think it turned out great.  I am so pleased with the dress.  The pattern was really easy to follow and I plan to use it many times over.  I definitely want to make a few tunics and another dress.  I would like to try voile fabric next time and see how that feels.  

I hope to do a Selfish Sewing post every few weeks or at least once a month, so please feel free to check back with me soon.

You can find me on flickrinstagram or pinterest or you can email me if you would like.

Please check out the other bloggers on the hop today also:  

Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher

Thanks so much for stopping by and as a reward to making it to the end of my post, you get a treat!  I'm doing a dance for you (or something)!