Saturday, December 12, 2009

it's official....

I have completely lost my mind!:) I have been working so hard lately. Trying to turn this:
......into this:

It's really a good feeling to do something constructive with your scrap pile I must say. I decided while I was working on my first quilt this season the weekend before Thanksgiving that I should do another quilt for my daughter to give to her at Christmas since I have not yet made her a quilt. (this is the part where I lost my mind) So, long story short, my house is a complete mess, but I finished the binding on quilt #1 last night, and this quilt for my daughter is off to the longarm quilter. I'll start working on my 3rd tomorrow. not kidding. More on quilt #1 later. It is a surprise. How's that for some mystery?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

picking favorites

I don't usually pick favorites between my babies, aka the clothes that I sew, but I have to say that this little dress is definitely my favorite thing I have made for my daughter so far *I think*! :) I made this the day before we were having our family pictures done and I loved how it turned out. I did not have a pattern. I just looked at a shirt my daughter already had and figured out how to make it into a dress. I think there will be more of these in her future. It was easy too! Maybe if I ever get around to writing some of my patterns out, I will include this one. Bonus: you get to see my sweet little guy too whose shirt was the basis of our color scheme for the family photos as it was one of the only "nice" shirts he had! Love how the pictures came out too. They were taken by Christy Johnson here NC.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

match making

Do you, Sandi Henderson's vintage cherries in fall, take Patty Young's tapestry in lime and Anna Maria Horner's polka line in brown to be your mates on this very cool shirt? To stay together always making these little girls' personalities shine with all the delightfulness that they are? ..... hahahaha! I have happily joined these fabrics together to make these custom shirts for my dear friend's 2 little girls. I think it was a match made that was always meant to be. LOVE how they turned out and they are so fall-like. Putting fabrics together is one of my very favorite things to do! Can you tell?! I think this combination will live happily ever after....

Friday, November 13, 2009

making lemons....

Well, I have been so busy sewing, and I love that! I have not been taking the time to blog it all, and I am going to try to do better with that. So, ever have something great planned out and things just don't go according to plan? Well, that never happens to me either, but I have heard that it really stinks! :) Nora Kate had her school pictures scheduled for this past Tuesday, the 10th. I had ordered the cutest royal blue floral peasant top (which I thought would really bring out her blue eyes) from a direct sales clothing company ON OCTOBER 1 and still had not received the order. Turns out there was some kind of random problem with the sales rep that I had worked with and bottom line was that I was not going to get my stuff before her school picture date. So, I had to improvise. Now, these were her first school pictures EVER so she had to wear something unique is what I was thinking. So, in other words, I had to make her something uber cute that would bring out all her darling characteristics:) So, on Sunday I made her some new ruffle pants, and on Monday I made the top and finished the headband that I had started to go with something else I made for her. I really like how it turned out and I am in love with the fabric choices on the top. I just love color. I don't know why I fight this. The only thing I would have done differently is to make the top smaller. It was a little bigger than I would have wanted, with it being her school picture outfit. See, I was being lazy. I had cut the cherry fabric out as a mistake when I was making something for an order a few weeks ago, so I thought, hey, this looks cute, I'll just use this for the top part. Love it! Then later I realized that although I had originally thought it was a size 4, it was in actuality a size 6. So, oh well. She'll actually be able to wear it for 2-3 more years! (again with the making lemons.....:)
So on Wednesday I made her a pair of ruffle pants to wear to preschool on Thursday and also made a new quilt block from scraps! And I got 2 adorable matching shirts mostly done for an order for my best friend growing up's little girls and believe me, the fabrics on these shirts were always destined to be together! Look for more on this in future posts!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

custom order

I just finished this custom order this morning for someone local. I am really pleased with the way it came out! I made the skirt and headband with fabric flower, appliqued the 'm' on the shirt, and embellished the knee socks with lace and a pink bow! This is just another less than great picture from my iphone, so please excuse that. I seem to just grab whatever is closest. Someday I will actually take the time to take nice pictures with my nice camera! But for now, I just wanted to get this up quick! Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

going out today!

I finally got this order finished and it will be going out today! This was the largest order I have gotten to date. It was for all 5 of these pieces shown which are available in my shop. I am really excited as the pieces can be mixed and matched and can be worn a lot of different ways. I hope she likes them and they fit perfectly! Hopefully things will start getting back to normal for my blog soon. As you can see I have been busy sewing up a storm to get orders filled. This order pictured is actually just 1 of 7 that I have had in the last 3-4 weeks. Seems the new photography is helping sales in my shop! Thanks Donna! Now to attach my 'Love Hazel' tags and off it goes. Whew!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

bathroom re-do

Last weekend we re-did our hall 1/2 bath. I had this decorating itch that I just had to scratch so I ordered some home decor fabric (that I have been looking for a good excuse to order for a long time anyway). I used Anna Maria Horner's Drawing Room collection. The fabric itself is absolutely stunning, as is everything else Anna Maria creates! So, I sewed a valance, embellished my hand towels with fabric, and created some "art" pieces for the walls. I picked out the paint myself and did so in less than 15 seconds, so for me this is the hardest thing. I am not sure I like it and am still getting used to it. My 8 year old son described it to our neighbor as "poo poo brown", and my 4 year old daughter walks in there shaking her head and saying "not pretty, not pretty". So it may be that they are giving me a complex, but it also may be that it really doesn't look that hot, because decorating is definitely not my forte! So, if you have an opinion, please leave it, good or bad. I am trying to learn. I must clarify that these pics were taken with my iphone so they are not the best quality pics, but you get the idea. You can only see the corner of the valance, but that is because I could not get the lighting right and it happened to come out ok in that one, so that is all you get of the valance. The "bird picture" is fabric stapled on to an art canvas and then covered in mod podge. I don't think I would do the mod podge step again unless it was for a bathroom or kitchen. It does make it look nice, but almost gave me a heart attack as it really wrinkled up when applied. I had to re-stretch and re-staple it. It all turned out ok in the end. **Ok, I am having a lot of trouble with the layout of this post, and I am running a fever. I don't know if the 2 are related, but I am just going to let it turn out as it may, so forgive me if it is all wonky.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

this just in....

Sorry again for the long pause. It has been very busy around here with school and fall activities starting and I have just been feeling a little down. I have been sewing and will try to start posting more about my sewing projects. That much has not changed. I am still in love with sewing, but still not in love with my Baby Lock 'Grace' sewing machine. I need to go have a class. Maybe I can now that the kids are back in school. Well purpose of this post.....I have gotten a couple of pictures back from the photographer of my clothes. These will be going up in my etsy shop very soon! I love how they came out! What do you think?!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

long break

So I have been neglecting this blog. Sorry. I have been really busy as we all are, specifically with sewing. I have been sewing up a storm getting samples ready for a photographer who is going to take some nice professional looking photos for my etsy shop! I can't wait to see what she does. I got them sent off yesterday. I would have liked to have had more samples, but I really did as much as I could. This picture is one of my favorite new outfits I have created. It is a total hodge podge of fabrics and that's what I like about it the most I think! It can also be mixed and matched with other things very well, like the shirt can be paired with denim ruffle pants (also coming in my shop very soon), and the pants can be paired with numerous different tops. I plan on creating a peasant top or petal knot top in matching fabrics for those who like the fabrics to coordinate a little more! The shirt is also an original design by me (my first!)! I actually drew it out on paper and modified it, cut it out, etc. The whole thing from scratch! I am in the process of figuring out how to make it into a pattern and I am so excited about it! By the way, my 'model' wasn't being cooperative, so this was just a quick shot of the outfit laying on the floor with my phone!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

my first quilt

I loved Camille and Carrie's idea for the parade of quilts so here goes my contribution!

This was my very first quilt that I ever completed. It was made for my long anticipated niece, Rachel (who is now 12!). The picture is not great so I will explain. The center was a Precious Moments cross-stitch quilt kit that I bought when I found out my sister was pregnant. I was SO excited to become an Aunt for the first time! It took me a lot longer to complete than I thought it would. It was quite a project. I ended up not having it done when she was born, or turning 1, 2, or 3! When Rachel was 3 I found out that I was expecting my first child so I thought I better get to work on that quilt for Rachel. By this time she was too big for the little center quilt that was originally intended so I enlisted the help of a friend who knew how to quilt to help me figure out a way to make it larger. She really came up with the plan and I got to work. I had been collecting fabrics from our local Laura Ashley store and I used those to finish off the quilt. I tied it and I don't think I would do that again unless I was in a terrible rush. I also did a horrible job on the binding. I can say though that it was given with much love to Rachel on her 4th birthday and she still has it in her room!

This is my most recent COMPLETED quilt project! I made this little quilt as part of a get well kit for a friend of mine's daughter who was in a terrible accident. You can read about it here.
This is one of my very first quilts also. I think my second, but it was started during the time I was working on my first, so it is also kind of my first if that makes any sense!! Basically meaning that they were both done when I didn't have any idea what I was doing but knew I wanted to make a quilt!! This is the quilt where I learned that there is such a thing as a rotary cutter and you don't have to cut each square out by hand!! HA ha ha! (I guess I am a slow learner who does things the hard way at first!) This quilt still needs it's binding. I had just picked it up from finally having it machine quilted when we moved (again) from PA to NC. We have been here 2 years now and it still sits binding-less, but it is still close to my heart and won't be without it's binding forever! None of the corners match up on this quilt and I was a little embarrassed when I took it in to be quilted, but when I picked it up, the lady at the quilt shop told me how everyone had commented on the pretty bright colors while it was in the machine being quilted in the shop. I do love yellow!
This is my most recent quilt project that is not yet completed! It is a portion of the quilt from the quilt along at Old Red Barn. I used Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party and a couple of fabrics from her Good Folks line. I think I am going to love it! It will actually be 6 blocks by 7 blocks when I am finished. Can't wait!

I think that over the years I have learned that it's nice to be exact when making a quilt, but it's not the end of the world if you're not. I love to make quilts for the sheer enjoyment of it. Another quilt that I did not post but will have to post some time is the one that my Grandmother (Hazel) used to teach me how to quilt. I would drive an hour with my little boy who was just a toddler at the time to go spend the day with her and we would talk about how to quilt and eventually she showed me and taught me, specifically about how to do a 9 patch and hand quilt. Those are very special memories to me that I treasure as she is now gone. I think quilting is a way to give back joy and love to others and I try to do that when I make a quilt as a gift. My Grandmother used to make quilts for fundraiser auctions for their church and they would always bring in a lot of $$, which she loved. Sure, over the years I have learned to be more technical with my quilt making, but mostly I hope that through the quilts that I create that love and joy will flow through them to future generations.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm back!

We have finally returned from our trip. Well, ok, we actually got back last weekend, but you know how it takes a week to recover from your vacation! We had a great time visiting family and a fantastic time in Alaska. I was not disappointed, there were many opportunities to ooh and aah over the pure beauty of the place. Snow capped mountains in every direction, moose families, bald eagles carrying sticks to their nests, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, rainbows, earthquakes, and calving glaciers to gawk at! We missed the kids, but it was great to actually be able to have conversations with each other, and when Josh went back to work last week, I missed him terribly. So here is a picture from my phone of us hiking on the Matanuska Glacier. It was awesome! I look forward to getting back to my sewing projects soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

cool chicks

I made these 2 little chicks for my kids at Easter for their baskets. We don't make much of a to-do about the Easter bunny here because to me, the real reason for the holiday is just too somber to cloud it with bunny propaganda. We mention it a little, but I think both of my kids "know". In case you're wondering, we do still do Santa, but to me, the 2 holidays are totally different, both still very joyous, but Easter really hits me when I think of the sacrifice Christ made for me, for all of us. *** Anyway, the kids have loved these little chicks, and they love that I made it for them. They named their chicks, and have played with them quite a bit. The egg comes out of the pocket and has a little removeable finger puppet baby chick that they can play with separately. In my son's chick, the egg is turned around backwards, and in my daughter's you can see the face of the little baby chick sticking out. I got the pattern from mollychicken, and you can find her tutorial for the Easter birdy chick here. I have been having trouble with my links, so in case they don't work, you can find the tutorial here:

Monday, June 15, 2009

surprise, I can follow a pattern!

This bag was made using a pattern by Amy Butler, and was done in fabrics by Amy Butler. I made it almost a year ago, and I was SO proud of myself! It was the first time I had ever followed a pattern to sew anything. Everything I had ever done before I had just made up myself. I kind of used it as a test to see if I could actually do it. I thought if I can sew this bag, I can probably sew some clothes for my daughter. So, it was really the start of something big for me! I have since sewn a lot of clothes for my daughter, pj bottoms for my son, clothes for other people's kids, and opened my own etsy shop! Sometimes what you think you can't do really holds you back from all the wonderful things you can do. Whatever it is that you think you can't do, give it a try. You may surprise yourself, like I did.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

leaving things undone

I have tried to keep up, but alas, I have not. I really thought I would finish all the tasks for week 3 of the quilt-along, I really did. It just didn't happen. All the tasks that come with the last days of school and getting ready to leave for 2 weeks came upon me, and I had to prioritize. I'm sorry beautiful quilt that you will be, but family has to come first. I'm sure you understand. So, I was able to sew almost all of my strips together (boy was that a big job!), and I have ironed almost all of my strip sets. I will mainly just have to cut my strip sets into blocks when I get back, sew them together and then do whatever weeks 5 & 6 hold, and I will be all caught up! No problem, right?! I actually do think I will be able to get caught up relatively easily, unless the quilt-along includes hand quilting. I will probably try to get mine machine quilted anyway which may take a while, depending on waiting lists. I have had to wait 6 months in the past to get a quilt machine quilted, but it is worth it in the end if you ask me. I love the way it looks and feels. I am comparing to hand tying a quilt, which I have also done, and I just love the machine quilted effect so much more. I can quilt on my own machine with small projects, but not something like this. So, I will still keep you updated on the status of my quilt-along quilt, I just may not be on schedule with old red barn anymore (see link on sidebar).

Speaking of links, sorry for the problems I have been having with my links lately. Not sure what is going on. I have been doing them exactly the same as usual, but they are not working for some reason. Most of the people I reference in my blog are also located on my sidebar.

And finally, YES, you heard correctly, I am leaving for 2 weeks. 17 days to be exact. We are going to visit family in OH, KY, and MN; and then Mr. P (my husband's 'mafia wars' name) and I will be going to ALASKA, yes Alaska, for a week!!! We are really excited about it. I cannot wait to see the beauty God has created that waits in store for us there! I remember when I was a consultant for Close to my Heart, an awesome scrapbooking company, and I flew to Portland, OR for our convention..... well, this midwestern girl (grew up in OH) had never been to Oregon, or seen the likes of anything like Mt. Hood. I think I nearly caused a scene taking pictures out the window of the plane! I remember being overwhelmed at such an amazing sight, and thanking God for the clear day to allow me to see just a small snippet of the beauty of this world which He has created. My friend who I was flying with that day had grown up in Utah, so she had seen a lot of this stuff, and I think she was a little tickled at my level of enthusiasm! (hey Melissa, remember that?!) Anyway.... hoping & expecting to have a lot more of those moments in Alaska. Just hoping one of those moments is NOT seeing a bear up close & personal! Our agenda so far includes hiking, a glacier cruise (with buffet - yum!), a midnight hike on a glacier, and probably a kayaking/ mountain biking excursion. Seeing as how I got worn out last week from my rotary cutter, I am probably not in the best possible shape that I need to be in for this trip, but I will do my best and will enjoy it every step of the way. Can't wait to tell you about it when I get back! Hoping to be really inspired! I have a few scheduled posts for while I'm gone, so keep checking back, and let me know if you've stopped by!! Thanks!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

hot pink polka dot ruffle pants

These pants are in my etsy shop for only $15! They are made from really nice cotton fabric from Chez Ami. I am lucky to live in Raleigh, where they have the Patsy Aiken/ Chez Ami factory and outlet. The outlet store is open for a week, once a month, and they have some of their fabrics for sale there. That is why I am able to offer these ruffle pants at such a great price, because I get a good deal on the fabric. I have found that you can pair these with almost anything, and she cannot wear them anywhere without getting TONS of compliments! They are SO cute. I love them. I just got the same fabric in a bright kelly green at the last outlet sale which I will make her a pair from that fabric too, and will have them for sale in my etsy shop as well. These can also be made as capris! Take a look!

Friday, June 5, 2009

getting to know grace

Grace is my sewing machine. She is a Baby-Lock, and their models are actually named, and I have Grace. Well, Grace came into my life mid-April, and we are still getting to know each other. I'm going to keep it clean, so let's just say that she has affected my progress this week on the quilt-along. Wow, have we had a lot of problems. There was the E6 error that kept popping up on the screen indicating the motor was locking up because of tangled thread. Then there was the improper threading of the upper thread (ok, that was not her fault....), and finally the ongoing problems with thread tension. I know it is a good machine, I am just having trouble adjusting. I LOVE my Baby Lock serger. I have the Imagine, and she has been a dream. My husband surprised me with the serger at Christmas and it was such a great moment for us. (my husband and I , not the serger and I!) It was so sweet of him. He knew I wanted one, but would have never expected one because of the cost. Don't say that girls don't like gifts that plug in... Well, despite the problems we have had this week, Grace and I are expected to finish the tasks assigned for week 3 of the quilt-along. I have 3 strip sections ironed and ready to cut (on the left in the picture), 5 sewn and ready to iron (on the right in the picture), and 6 still to sew. With 2 more days plus the rest of today, I am confident we will finish on time, something I was not so sure of a couple of days ago!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

giveaway at lanie jane

Check out Lanie Jane. She is giving away some beautiful Moda fabric that she picked up at the sample sale at quilt market! See my sidebar for a quick way to access her blog regularly!

Friday, May 29, 2009

quilt-along coming along

Well, I ironed all my 1/2 yards and cut them into the 2 1/2" strips today, and boy did I work up a sweat doing it! I don't know if I'm out of shape, or if I need to jack up the AC in our house, or maybe both. Ok, it's both, but mostly the first one. Yeah, that rotary cutter can really wear a person out. I have gained 10 pounds since last year and it really stinks. What a difference 10 pounds makes. I am telling you.... anyway....ok, back to the subject. Ok, I love my fabric and have spread it out like a fan so that I (and you) can admire it fondly until the instructions for week 3 are posted. I am really excited about this! Can't wait to have another quilt top finished and awaiting quilting or a binding. Currently I have 2 quilt tops that just need a border which were both given to me. One was done by my Grandmother Hazel and was given to me when she passed away. The other was done by my Aunt Nannie, who has also since passed away, and was also given to me to finish. Oh the pressure. I have another quilt that is finished and just needs a binding, and one that is basted together and is in the process of being hand quilted (for the past 5 years...). It is the quilt my Grandmother Hazel and I worked on together and the one she used to teach me how to quilt. Special. Maybe I can share with you on this blog as I take on these challenges, but I need encouragement people.....!
Oh, and there is a giveaway I failed to mention earlier that is going on over at Nutmeg Designs for some Texture Magic. I had never heard of it before, but she has a tutorial using it and it looks really cool. Giveaway ends May 31, midnight, EST, so hurry over.

get well soon package

Some good friends of ours' 4 year old daughter was recently badly injured in an accident. I have put together this package to send to her as a little get well gift. The dog I purchased at Target for $10. The quilt I made from some fabric I have here. It was a very easy quilt to make and only takes about 1-2 hours from start to finish, depending on how much the other people in your house will leave you alone :) haha! I have made 2 of these for my daughter's dolls, and one for a friend of hers. I think they turn out so cute, especially for how quick they are. The first aid box was made from an empty Nestle container and holds the band-aids and gauze, which are for the little girl to use to nurse the 'injured dog' back to health. My son painted the first aid symbol on the front and wrote the words, and my daughter colored a couple of pictures for her. It was good for them to be involved in this, and they were both very pleased, talking about how much she was going to like this. My son will write a letter that will be included that asks her to take care of the dog, who was in an accident just like her. I got this idea from visiting the Wilmington Children's Museum in Wilmington, NC. They had a room which was like a doctor's office, and it was full of stuffed animals that could be 'examined' and 'treated'. I would have never thought of putting actual band-aids on stuffed animals before visiting there, but why not, and the kids loved it. So, this idea for a get well package, or even rather an activity for her to do during her recovery, was born. I hope she likes it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

fabric giveaway

There is a fabric giveaway that you can still enter through the end of this week over at Terri's Notebook. I found this blog through Sis Boom Sightings flickr page, which I had arrived at from Jennifer Paganelli's blog. I also found Meg from Boutique Nutmeg Designs over there too. She is doing the quilt-along too, and she is using some beautiful fabrics from Paula Prass' Flights of Fancy collection. Her quilt is going to be awesome. She makes some beautiful bags too!

Today I have been working on cutting my fabric for the quilt into 1/2 yards. I will then cut the strips after I get all the 1/2 yards cut. I have also been working on a skirt order for my 'sunny day skirt', which is in my etsy shop. The skirt is also done in fabrics all by Anna Maria Horner, so it will match my quilt when I'm done! Thanks for stopping by, leave a comment if you like so I can come visit you too!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I have decided to do something I have never done before. I am joining a sew-along, in which we are sewing a quilt! I have made several quilts before, but I have never done an anything 'along' with anyone else. This is being done at Old Red Barn Co. with fabulous prizes each week and an unbelievable grand prize! They have started week 2, but I will be fine catching up. I have so much fabric here at home that I was easily able to go through my stash and pick out the needed fabrics. They are using fabric by Paula Prass which I love, but seeing as I am behind a week, I will use what I already have. That way I am being thrifty too, right?! So, last week was gathering supplies, which I already have, and this week is just cutting your fabric. No problem. I am using fabric by Anna Maria Horner, one of my absolute favorites! I believe these are from her Garden Party line with the exception of 2 prints which are from her newer Good Folks line. I will post pictures as I progress with this 'quilt-along'! Check it out. Maybe you want to join too! It's not too late!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming Soon!

I hope to get started posting soon for this, my new blog! This blog will be focusing on things that I have sewn or crafted, but mostly sewn, as that is my main craft, at least for right now! I plan to post some things that I have made from patterns, original items, and perhaps a tutorial here and there! Looking forward to getting started! Check back soon!