Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Talk

Do you remember when I wrote about this pyrex, hoping my family would take notice...and maybe purchase something for my birthday? Well, hello orangey goodness!

This orange pitcher is the coolest thing. It was the centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table. During the meal I was asked, "So do you like the centerpiece?" Of course! "Well, it's yours!" Same with the cool pyrex, which I believe contained our yummy stuffing. The orange pitcher is way too mid-century-modern-cool to put in the cabinet, so it's going on my sewing table for quick access to skinny rulers and such.

Along with this.

Finally, one of my own pincushions. Customized of course. You can't see it from this picture, but the selvage on the top is "dumb dot," the selvage that started my obsession collection.

These went out in the mail today. The first is to Jennifer Moore. Yes, that Jennifer Moore, designer of fabulous Monaluna fabric (Hope she likes orange. Oh wait, these selvages are from her fabric lines, so obviously she does like orange. Me too!)

And these may or may not be gifts....probably to people who don't read my blog so I think I'm safe. But names have been covered to protect the gift-giver:

I'm joining an advent calendar sew-along, starting tomorrow. Because another thing to add to each of the next 25 days seems like such a great idea. Maybe I can get my sewing elf to pitch in. You all have sewing elves, right? Yeah, me either.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Philosophy Friday

Hope everyone had a thankful and relaxing day. If not, here is my recommended solution:

Available here in lots of different colors!

And the winner of the Gobble Gobble Giveaway is lindaroo, who said:

"I really enjoyed seeing all the creativity and beauty on BQF. I started quilting a year ago, and blogging only recently, and I'm not confident enough to make it public, yet! Happy Thanksgiving!"
Happy Weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gobble Gobble Giveaway

This year my birthday is on Thursday. That's right. On Thanksgiving Day. Which guarantees that I will be spending nearly the whole day with those who are nearest and dearest to me. What a gift!

Were you a part of Blogger's Quilt Festival 2010? Did you post one of your quilts? Did you check out the other amazing festival quilts? What amazing talent out there in blogland. It's not too late. You can still spend some time getting inspired here.

Through a series of kind of weird events, I have an extra pincushion that I made specifically for Blogger's Quilt Festival 2010. Just leave a comment and let me know if you posted a quilt, if you checked out the other quilts, if you've never heard of Blogger's Quilt Festival, whatever. Time ends on Thursday, November 25, at 4:37 a.m. PDT.

I know. Weird time. But that's when I was born. Month, day and time. And that's as much info as you're getting about that topic...

I'll notify the winner on Friday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I did it...and, um, no....

I did it.

I cut into my Flea Market Fancy fabric. And guess what? Completely painless. Who knew? So my advice for anyone who is safeguarding this, or any other line, because it's too hard to make that first cut: just go for it. Cut, cut, CUT! And I ended up with a nice little pile of selvages, just waiting to become something equally as glorious as the fabric they came from.

And all the fabric is cut and ready to sew for each "popbead" block. Ah...so (sew) pretty...

Um, no...

I'm almost fnished with my brown "connector" bead blocks. It's the technique where you sew diagonally across a square on a square. And then you cut off the little triangle corners.

At first I threw them in the trash can. And then I thought "What am I doing?? This is FMF!" So I retrieved them and sewed them together to make little squares.

Did you get that? Little. LITTLE. Finishes at 3/4 inches. Um, no. As in no way.

But don't fret. I'm not throwing them away. My friend, Katie, turned her little scraps into super cute cards.

So off I went to Joann's where all my supplies were 40% off. Cardstock and envelopes, a set of alphabet stamps. Something like this will be showing up in my etsy shop next weekend. Wouldn't they make great little stocking stuffers?

Back to the sewing room..

Friday, November 19, 2010

The value of graph paper

I said yesterday that I was going to cut into my Flea Market Fancy fabric last night. Instead, I ended up going to my LQS holiday open house. Then I came home and started plotting the best way to use FMF fabric. My big question is: how has this fabric come to have such an iconic status? Sure, the colors are great. Sure, the designs are wonderful. But great and wonderful fabric hits the shelves on a weekly basis. So it's just puzzling to me. But I would love to know why personally I am willing to spend way over market value for a fat quarter!  And why can I give away literally yards of fabric that I know I won't use, and then freak out feel a bit apprehensive when I see this little scrap on the floor that could inadvertently be thrown away? Is therapy in order? (And please don't suggest fabric therapy as I think we all know what that means...)

When I was clearing out my sewing room, I went through stacks of old quilting books. I quickly thumbed through them, and then most of them went into the donation pile. There were a couple of patterns that looked interesting enough to make a copy for future reference. One of them was this one, based on an old vintage quilt. The designer called it "Mama's pop beads." Anyone old enough to remember pop beads?

While the fabrics in this quilt did nothing to draw me in, I really was intrigued by the design. With a few change-ups. In the original quilt, all the "beads" were small-scale blue prints in the same value, and the connectors were different colors. My original thought was to also strip piece the beads. Each bead would be the same color family of FMF, but it would have a good variety of fabric in the bead, probably including some that were not part of the FMF fancy line.

But then I got out my graph paper and colored pencils so I could check color placement. And that's when I had a much better idea of making each bead out of one single FMF fabric, and all the connectors will be a brown fabric from the FMF line, all against a background of Kona snow. Much less sewing, it will show off the fabric, and it will have the clean and modern look that I'm going for.

So what do you all think? Is it time to make the first cut?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Color Therapy Thursday

Some oldies. ("freckles" by FreeSpirit to coordinate with FMF blocks. Eeek. I'm actually cutting into my precious FMF tonight; dots from Lightning Bugs by Heather Ross.)

Some new goodies. (It's a Hoot by Momo).

A week ago today was Vertical Day 2010. How did I let that pass by without even a mention? Becky called me very close to 11:11 a.m. my time (1:11 p.m. her time--all vertical numbers, get it?). And then this box arrived in the mail with all its vertical goodness (the picture totally doesn't do it justice).

11 inches of ribbon
11 straight/vertical treats (pixie sticks)
1 very "meager" contribution to our vertical year/month/day/hour/minute fund (eleven pennies--because we'll planning to fly to Chicago next year to share vertical day together--and lunch at a restaurant in downtown Chicago, called...wait for it...Eleven!)
1 early bird and vertical birthday gift (crocheted in limey green, blue and orange--lovely!)
1 length of leftover yarn--all that was left.
1 vertical Christmas ornament (crocheted in red and white, ready to hang on the tree)
Vertical writing utensils (lots of pencils!)
a great big hug.

ahh. Thanks, Becky. Anyone want to join us for lunch at Eleven next year?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Midweek Miscellany

Just some random things on this middle-of-the-week Wednesday in this middle-of the-month November. (Yikes, that means the holidays are getting closer and closer!)

If you are looking for a great advent calendar

or if you already own one but would like a Christian-based advent "kit" of things to add to the pockets

check out this post and then rush over to Fairytale Pumpkin. But don't wait too long--they are flying off the shelf. Including one that is coming to live at my house.

I finally got these Block Swap 2 blocks in the mail today. Brittany had us make blocks for a Halloween quilt. Fortunately she wasn't planning on having it ready to go for this year. At least I don't think she was! Ooops...

Brittany sent the fabric pieces for the left block and requested disappearing 9-patch. But because I have this funny witch's underwear fabric, I couldn't resist making an extra block.

Near the border it says" witches undies scarey screamy, have a happy halloweenie."

And I added a lovely chalkboard to my sewing room. I took an old way-too-ornate gold frame and sprayed it with this.

You see where it says "all-surface paint"? I thought it would cover the black velvety inner border of the frame a little bit better, but it just ended up being kind of a charcoal grey. No problem, since the walls in my awesome new sewing room are grey. It's all good.

Slapped some Valspar chalkboard paint on a piece of masonite, and ended up with this.

Oh, and those names on the board? Just a reminder to get their pincushions in the mail. Have a happy Wednesday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the winner is...

Needled Mom, who said:

Congratulations on hitting 300!!
I have started some of my Christmas sewing, but still have a lot more to do.
November 12, 2010 6:47 AM

Wow, she reads blogs early in the morning, just like I do. Although I kind of intersperse blog reading throughout my whole day. Too bad I can't say the same thing for exercise.

Okay, that was kind of off topic.

Anyway, Needled Mom, when I get your mailing information, this will be on its way (I finally got around to taking a picture...)

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. There is a lot of sewing going on already..and a lot of plans in the works. I hope to move mine from the planning stages in my head to some actual sewing in my beautiful new sewing room.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Got all that?

CELEBRATION: Hooray! This is my 300th blog post. I was feeling pretty good about that until my good friend celebrated her 1000th (!). She has some really beautiful pictures so you should check out her blog. Plus she is the mother of Jessica Jones of How About Orange, and if you are one of the few people who don't read Jess's blog, you should check hers out as well. She has lots of great stuff, especially this time of year--free stuff, tutorials, great ideas.

But hey, enough about them. Back to me.

So. My 300th post. I can hardly believe I have found 300 things to write about. (It's my celebration so let's not discuss the quality, just the quantity...)

DESTASH: I added a new category to Sewing on the Edge. In all my cleaning/organizing/new flooring/painting, etc., of my sewing room, I am destashing some amazing fabric. All from great designers at Moda. 3 Sisters, April Cornell, Minick and Simpson, Fig Tree Quilts. There are some charm packs, jelly rolls, fat quarters and some 2-yard cuts (the yardage is all prewashed because, well, because that was my philosophy at the time. Now? Not so much...)

As I was eloquently writing the description for two charm packs for Sanctuary by 3 Sisters, a fabric line that came out in 2006, I realized I didn't have a picture to post to etsy. What to do, what to do?

GIVEAWAY: Bet you didn't see that coming! Since I'm too lazy to get my camera out it's night and the lighting is not ideal to take a picture, how about if I give one of those charm packs away? It's really beautiful fabric. Trust me (since I don't have a picture of it).

Just leave a comment and let me know if you have already started to do a lot of holiday sewing, and the random number generator will choose a winner at noon DST on Monday. You'll make me feel really bad if you say "yes, yes, yes, I've been sewing up a storm," but fortunately for you, it's the RNG who picks the winner. So do tell!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do you ever get discouraged?

Just curious. If you are trying to sell your handmade items on etsy, do you ever get discouraged by lack of sales? I realize you can't just list your items on etsy and expect buyers to come flocking to your virtual doorstep. I know it doesn't happen by magic, and that it takes time and marketing strategies to get people to notice you.

Giveaways on my blog? Check.
Giveaways on other blogs with a lot of traffic? Check.
Networking? Check. I've made some really good friends this way, so that's been a huge plus, sales or no sales.

Sponsorship for specific events, like Bloggers Quilt Festival? Check.

Being published in a magazine--even with a cover photo? Check.

Any sales from the last two?

Nope. Not even one.

A lot of positive and encouraging comments, but nothing that has translated into a sale. Wow. Is that humbling to confess.

I'm feeling discouraged. When you hit a slump, what do you do? How do you get your creative mojo back? Do you think of quitting, and instead just sewing for the fun of it?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Whose idea was this anyway? Part 2

If things have seemed quiet around here, it's because I have been painting. You know how you start one project and then it leads to another? and another? Since everything was out of the sewing room and dining room for the new flooring, and they both needed to be painted, I started Wednesday night with the sewing room. I even painted over my beloved Kermit-the-Frog-green wall.

I'm kind of sorry to see it gone, but there is so much clutter colorful fabric in the sewing room that I was ready for the serenity of the grey walls. Yesterday I painted the dining room the same lighter grey as three walls in the sewing room, and then I decided I was so over the sponge-painted walls in the entryway which connects the two rooms, and painted them the lighter grey as well. It was a little too close for comfort with the amount of paint. I had a little left in the bowl I used for cutting in, but the roller pan was dry.

I previously had written quotes on my sewing room walls. Mark wants them back. Maybe....or maybe not...or maybe some new ones. Not sure yet.

The new floors are beautiful!

And pay attention to this picture. My sewing room will never look this neat again. But I can hardly wait to settle in and start sewing. And just as soon as I can find my charm packs, I'll try to catch up with this.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Whose idea was this anyway?

For a while now we (and by that I really mean me) have been thinking about replacing the carpet in the dining room and sewing room with laminate flooring like we have in the rest of the house. Problem number 1: the line of flooring we installed about five years ago is no longer being made. Well, the flooring is still being made, but not the same color. We don't like any of the new colors. Or the new "wood" they are carrying. So we went with another company, slightly different color next to what we already have. Oh well...

Today I moved everything out of all the furniture that has anything stored in it. Dining room question: do I seriously need all these glasses? Uh, no. Sewing room questions: do I really need all this fabric? Duh, yes. It took me 1 1/2 hours to move all that stuff out of the china hutch, the armoire (do I really need all these Christmas decorations?), and then moved all my sewing items. Oh, yes, and all that fabric. It took the guys about fifteen minutes to move all the furniture. Okay so there was one of me, and five of them. I'm giving me some credit...

My office:

The guest room:
 And the L-shaped hallway:

Whose idea was this again?

Oh, yeah. Now I remember.

It was mine...