Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5 years tomorrow.... :)

So tomorrow is my fifth anniversary. I love my husband and am so happy to have him! He teaches me such amazing things and helps me in ways I cannot begin to explain. I'm so thankful. I just wanted to share that with the world.

In other news, I've taken the plunge and have commissioned a logo and banner for StressTheSeams. My horrible attempts at digital graphics just didn't result in ANYTHING I was happy with. So the hubby and I agreed that it was time to step it up.

Why is it time? WELL..... I got a huge project today!!! An ongoing headwear creation and garment repair job that is likely to pan out to MANY others. I'm in the process of drafting the pattern right now. The hubby has already started picking out fabrics.... hehe. He's excited!

I've been working like crazy this week on the cloth activity books (quiet books). I've finally gotten all the color pages planned out and pieces cut. Now I've just got to do the structural parts and I'm ready to sew. When you see the pictures of these pages, you'll understand why it's taken me a week to figure all this out. They ROCK!

Here's a sneak peek :

Monday, March 29, 2010

Super Fun Weekend

So the husband took me thrifting on Friday, which was good until the twins melted down in the glass aisle....eep! That was scary! I have some good things to show for it too! I found a cute pair of hollister shorts that are just begging to be "happy" with some additions and subtractions.

Then I found some orange for the boys' quiet books that I am working on. I realized last week that for someone born at the University of Tennessee, I didn't own ANY orange. So that has been rectified.

Micahman found the bandana. Who knew that 15 month olds are good at thrifting? :) And with his love of satin, I couldn't pass up the top from the women's section. Then the baby seersucker in orange and white was just too adorable.

Then Tater found this

Which I HATE the frogs on, so I'll be removing those for sure, but the fabric is amazing and in great condition. So it will most likely be repurposed into bedroom decorations for the master redo I'm planning and collecting for.

We also found a ton of fiestaware, which included a bunch more dinner plates, some saucers, and two serving bowls, all in colors we didn't have. Which is happy. Now I have loads of color choices!

Then we hit Sam's for some pizza in their noisy food court area (which is perfect if you have toddlers!). Since they have the pizza ready ahead around dinner time, it's super quick and easy. And there is plenty going on, so the boys have a ton to entertain them. Tater ate his OWN slice of pizza! Yowza! We picked up some essentials as well as a roll of butcher paper. 1000 feet for $17. Not bad!

After that, the hubby took pity on me and entertained the boys so I could run in Michael's. I got some felt, a few ribbon bits, and some SHRINKY DINKS!!! :) I don't know what to do first with them, so I'm totally open to ideas!

So I'm off to make Monday morning happen, but you'll hear more from me later. I've still got to share my WONDERFUL Saturday and crazy Sunday.... and get your ideas for this week's project!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ack!!! Where did the week go?

So I'm sure I'm not the only one looking at the CALENDAR and wondering where it went (forget looking at the clock...that thing moves WAY too fast these days). So hard to believe that it's nearly April.... jeeze.

So I've been working furiously this week, just not blogging. I know, bad me. No cookie. (Ha ha... I already had PIE!)

I finished up the hand work on my Primate Party quilt. It's hanging out on my Etsy if you want to look at it . I'm really happy with how it turned out, as are the boys, so I won't be too unhappy to make another. :) And it's available for a song (okay... a little more than a song, but compared to the work and material cost....a song), so I'm hoping someone will snatch it up or ask me to make one for them... a girl can hope for more monkey time!

I've also been using up fabric scraps, as my scrap stash was getting pretty darn deep between the monkey quilt and the quilting classes of late. Lots of odds and ends. So I've started a spring bouquet that isn't far enough along to share yet and a quiet book for the twins. Okay, so it's gonna end up being more of a quiet trilogy or so. I've got lots of plans! You can check out some of the places I'm getting my ideas from by clicking the buttons on my sidebar. I'm so happy to share them with others!!! Here's a short (haha) list of some of the pages I have planned!

Colors (I've at least started these pages!)
Count to 3
Zip, zip, zip up
Match the shapes
Unwrap a present!
All buttoned!
Pick a Basket of Fruit
Put Teddy to Bed
What time is it?
Traffic Light
Tie my shoe
Chalkboard (I've got the chalkcloth!!!)
Dress me up
Lace the football
Color match balloons
Compare Textures
Numbers 1-10
Backseat driver (steering wheel)
Parts of the Face
Parts of the Body
Hot or Cold?
Animals in their Habitat
I spy
Who is it? (pictures of family)
My name is . . .
Family Tree
Flower garden
Barn with Farm Animals
Picnic Basket with Table Setting
Weave a blanket
Make a cherry pie (also weaving)
Bake me a cake
Road map
Closet (for the dressup pages)
Write me a letter with fabric envelopes
Build a burger
Tic Tac Toe
Fish Bowl
Climb the Stairs
Build an ice cream sundae
9 piece square puzzles
Counting Beads on strings
Laundry Day (with clothes on a line)
Color Wheel
Drive the car (with car window that changes)
Seasons (changing scenery)
Peekaboo (face with flap hands and googly eyes!)

Topics I need ideas for actual pages:
Days of Week

Some of these are stolen from places like: (who also has an awesome idea using drawerpulls and can lids that I want to do in the kitchen!!!) (who has a great easter egg decoration up today!!) (who has reminded me that I need to use some of my flannels and such to make chennel!!!)

Please visit them and my buttons! They all ROCK! Must go get the boys dressed now, though. The husband has promised me a thrifting trip and grocery shopping tonight! Nothing like an EXCITING Friday night!!! :) Maybe I'll be able to post awesome shots of my thrifty finds tomorrow. Here's hoping for good stuff and cooperative toddlers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Busy quilting weekend!

So Saturday I went to class at Kiwiquilts. It was on speed paper piecing. It ROCKED!!! As part of the class, I learned how to make a Desert Corsage square. Here's a picture of my completed square, which is currently hanging behind my desk as a motivational token of what I CAN do! :)
I'm realy happy with it. I should take some micro shots for you so you can see how precise the points came out. I picked the layout and fabrics, so I LOVE them. They are so darn bold!!! This was really the tested for the color combination for our master bedroom. I LOVE the batiks that are red and black (the center) and then black and red (the outer points). And the black and white points are AMAZING!!! So this color scheme is DEFINATELY a hit. MetalMan is more than willing to let me do the entire master in this color scheme, so that's a good thing. He's not sold on this quilt pattern, though. But that is okay, as I'm not either! But I LOVES me some paper piecing now!!! So quick and easy! Low stress and highly productive, which in this household is a GREAT thing!

The other thing I've worked on this weekend (aside from the family schedule.... woooboy) has been the monkey quilt. It's so close!!!! Today I got the top finished, backing trimmed, and sandwich made. Whew! Then, to top it off, I managed to stitch in the ditch the outermost row all the way around. Here's a pic of it in Helga's arms :
Don't worry. I think I'll be able to finish the quilting tomorrow and then get the binding done on Tuesday. Which gives me Wednesday to fix the binding on the Tator's pirate quilt (washing machine ate it.... but thankfully, it's easily repaired!). Then I'm going to start on the color quiet book for the twins. I'm already collecting up all the stuff for that, so I've just got to get started now!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Primates on Parade

So I've been working like crazy on my monkey quilt. Part of me feels REALLY successful to have started and finished a quilt in the same week. So I'm determined. As I write, Helga sits chunk-a-chunking behind me, completing the label for the back of the quilt. It is embroidered (big surprise) and looks quite nice. Embroidery looks so pretty on suedecloth.

Yes, I said suedecloth. Not the standard choice for a quilt back, but I think it works. This quilt is intended to be a picnic, play, outside on the grass kind of quilt. I wanted something durable and washable that wasn't going to pill badly (like flannel will) or show dirt horribly (like quilters cottons) but was light colored enough to show bugs and other nasties that might try to hitch a ride inside.

I also added a row of funky squares to the back, right down the middle. It is made from leftovers from the front that I cut into turnover triangles. I think it is VERY fun. I can't wait to get it all pieced together and sandwiched. Then I can furiously quilt it (I'm gonna stitch it in the ditch, I think, as I want to really emphasize the fabrics and applique work, not the quilting), bind it (I think I have enough black micro dots left and I KNOW I have enough red if all else fails), and let the boys love it. After it does a stint visiting Kiwiquilts....

Speaking of Kiwiquilts, I have a class on piecing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to that. Helga's first trip out of the house, so she'll enjoy herself. I need to get her a travel bag, but I just can't find the right one, as she's large and in charge. I leave you tonight with a picture of Helga hard at work. She'll be so glad she got posted on the blog!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So close.... yet so far

So I worked on my monkey quilt today. The top is all pieced except the final border and it has the applique' on it, which is also stitched down except the eyes, mouth, and ears. So close to being done with the top... yet so tired that my fingers hurt today! So I'm working on my logo instead. I'm hopeful that I can come up with something I will love. So far everything recommended to me or done for me just hasn't been IT. I don't know what IT is, but I will when I see it, ya know?

I've also got two fabrics that are going on a journey to California, so I need to get them packed. I love both of them, but I will never use all of either of them. And they are going to a good home where they will be appreciated. It may be silly to think of my fabrics as pets, but they are. At least, organic bamboo velour definately is. :) I'm not truly destashing, but when someone needs something I have, I feel TERRIBLE if I don't open my stash. I'm a sucker for a good project!

So I've got to finish this monkey quilt. I'm determined. So off to pack up two of my pets and then get some rest so I can wake early and finish the quilt while the boys are still sleeping.....hopefully!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rabbits and Aprons

Whew. So this past weekend my brother was here with us before he flew out for Korea. He's in the service, so we tried to squeeze all the time with him out of the weekend we could. So I managed to finish my apron after he left on Monday. It is the Emmaline Apron from Sew Liberated. Here's some pictures of it.
It is reversible, which I LOVE!!! I used a green and black polka dot on one side that is a quilters cotton. The other side is a piece of white with black flowers for the bodice and a piece of white vinyl on the bottom that I snagged from Wal-Mart's remnant bin. It's washable, flows and hangs really nice, and is perfect for doing dishes and other messy tasks! You can find the pattern here Her patterns are well written and easy to make. I highly suggest them. I'm planning on making another apron soon, but modifying this pattern so that it has pockets, a top that doesn't have to tie, and maybe even not quite so wide in the bust. But that is for another day.
So when I finished that, I decided to get started on some spring surprises for the twins. I made them bunnies out of the most vile fabric in the world.... cuddle! But they are insanely cute and they went together really fast. Its just the clean up of the cuddle that will take forever. And the sneezing.....ugh!
Then yesterday, I got to stop at a new quilt store in our area. If you are in the Atlanta area, you should check it out. They are super awesome. Tracy is wonderful and VERY helpful! And they have a lovely selection of the brightest and best fabrics out there. This is NOT the quilt store for the traditional quilter. This is definitely a place for the more open minded set! I'm planning on going to their piecing class this Saturday, if MetalMan will keep the twins!

White wednesday 2

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Celebrate Cupcakes!

So what do you think of my completed cupcake exchange sweets? :) I'm happy to have them completed. They definately meet the "whimsical, girly, and bright" requirements for the swap members. The random white one at the top was the tester that I made to begin with. I didn't like it (my brother said that the marabou was weird) for the exchange, so I changed the background and added the flowers. Those I really liked! So I decided it needed to get repurposed, as it will be lonely when the others get shipped off. So I made this:

I took the original cupcake square, added the pink from the background of the other squares and the rose print from the top of the cupcake as a border, and then trimed it out with the same pink marabou. Then I quilted the top with swirls in the cupcake, stripes in the cupcake paper part, and then topstitch around the exterior of the square. The back is the same pink as the frame. It is really fun.

So it's listed on Etsy. I really enjoyed making it, so I'm actually hoping to get custom orders for them. I might just make more for fun. :) Cupcakes are so sweet that I just HAVE to have fun while making them. So celebrate cupcakes with pride! :)

And I'm not very girly, normally. Pink isn't my thing. But these are fun to make, so I can't imagine someone not liking them, even in pink. So yeah, I like it. It doesn't go with a thing I own, but it's cute. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I wants the Kona!!!

Okay, so I have a growing stash. But really, I NEED more fabric. Okay. I need more colors of basics and quilting blenders. That's the reality of it. I have loads of knits and fleece that I can make into clothing. I have loads of specialty stuff for drapes, formal wear, and even cloth diapers. But my quilting cottons are woefully unloved in comparison. So, I MUST win this!!!! Or one of my wonderful followers can win it and share it with me :)

So.... go here

Win the Kona! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Contest over at Mad Sewing Love

So I love this mama's blog and now she's doing giveaways of her fabulous bags!!! She picks the most amazing fabrics, so I just have to give her a shout out (and okay, earn another entry for a free bag!!!). You should definately jump over to her site and enter too.
Follow her, blog about her, or twitter/facebook her and you'll earn an entry too! But don't you dare win. That's MY job!

Speaking of my job, I need to go finish the sewing room take over. I've managed to get the fabric under control and am now attempting the grand notions organization. Whew, is it work. Thankfully, it will all be worth it when I'm done. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Operation Get Organized Is Underway!!!

So I finished the fabric prewashing today and have moved on to the actual organizing part of the task. Here's the picture of it all in the floor in baskets.

I then decided it was time to actually put it all away so that I could actually find it again and use it, now that it had been properly cared for. So I started by using the Domestic Diva's fabulous system of organizing fabric collections into categories. You can find her system here: . I used her Option A system, which allowed me to sort everything into fabric types. I had to change around her types a bit (I don't do chenille so much and I have TONS of fabrics she lumps together as "specialty"), but it definitely allowed me to see what I have. I took a few pictures for you. Here's what it looked like after some sorting:

Then I started to get really excited about the whole idea, so I got busy. Here's what it looked like after an hour:
Then I got totally done with the sorting and was so excited, I jumped right into folding it all! Here's a picture of the fleece and woven prints all done and in their homes, which is how I'm leaving it for tonight.

I've managed to organize it all in such a way that I can reuse all these medium flat rate boxes I get from my coop buys and eBay purchases! Recycling and organizing all in one! I'll try to do a tutorial tomorrow of how I fold them for you so you can see the best way to store fabric for nearly free! But I must get some sleep now, or else I'll turn into a pumpkin. By the way, I don't own any fabric that has pumpkins on it. This is sad and must be fixed before Halloween! :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Arrrgh..... awash in the sea of fabric

The pirate quilts are done. Completely. And so am I. Whew. So you'll have to wait for tomorrow for pictures, but your patience will be rewarded. They aren't my best work, but they are definately the practice I needed to get my feet wet on my machine's wonderful capabilities. Now I have tons of interest in doing more and learning more.

I've almost completed washing of all the fabric stash. I would have managed to finish that as well, but the Micahman decided to crowd surf the kitchen. Unfortunately, his crowd was a little thin, so now he's got a lovely cut and scrape on his forehead. The trials of celebrity.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Cat's out of the Bag.....

Okay, so it's ON the bag. And now the bag is on Etsy! :) I only had to do the listing three times. And I'm really not happy with the final version, but it's done and I can edit it later, right? Now I've got to get on with all that I have going on.... whew.

So I'm finishing up the quilting of the Tater's pirate quilt. Only 18 blocks to go. I should have them done tomorrow. Then I can get the binding on both of the pirate quilts, launder them, and on to the beds they shall go. I can't wait!

I've also been trying to multitask, which is hard when you have twin sons "helping" you. So I found the perfect task for them. I have had the majority of my fabric stash hidden in large bins for a LONG time now. It's to the point that I have no clue what I have. So, with me doing this cupcake exchange, I need to actually locate a few colors I don't normally use a lot of ( So, I set my boys to sorting.....or otherwise known as playing in, my stash. It all needed to be washed anyway. The stuff that had been prewashed had migrated in with the stuff that needed washing, which then all jumped up and down on my storage room floor. And I have the sweet smelling detergents right now, so my entire stash now smells of blueberry muffins!!! :) If you haven't heard of enjoying laundry, well, check out Her laundry saddlebags are TO DIE FOR!!! Loves them, I do! :)

So anyway, my entire stash is spread out and almost all of it is washed and dried. Now it all has to be folded and bolted, but this gives me the opportunity I've never had to fold it all the same sizes and organize it so I can find stuff! I'm so excited. So I'm gonna comb the web for excellent cloth organization ideas. Be forewarned, that's the next post!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cupcakes, Banana Pants, and Columns

So I got all the columns of the Tator's pirate quilt done today. Done, as in quilted. Which means I just have to do the rows (which includes any necessary quilting to blocks) and the binding for his. And Micahman's just needs binding. Whew. I'm determined to finish them this week!

I also completed a pair of pajama pants with pockets and detail hems. I'll have to post pictures tomorrow. My husband has declared them "The Loud Banana Pants". I can't wait to share pictures, but my model has already fallen asleep in them, so I won't risk waking them! They have a cute detail hem that looks like bananas on the cuffs, which I think is cute. They are also a complete custom pattern, down to "pockets that will hold my iPhone" as requested.

Finally, the cupcakes. I've signed up for an online quilt block swap. I'm doing this block . I haven't picked fabrics or details yet, so I really should get on that. I'm really excited, as this is my first quilt block swap. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to practice more applique. You can never have enough applique practice, and you can never make enough fat free cupcakes. :)

Off to dream land.... maybe I'll come up with a fabulous answer to what to do with the green brocade dress I'm working on. The top needs help and I just don't know what I want to do. It's hanging on my double and I swear it's learing at me. If I can't solve it tomorrow, I'll post pictures and maybe someone can point me in the right direction.


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