Saturday, May 29, 2010

Awesome Custom Giveaway with only 2 Days Left!


It’s the last two days of MAY, which means it is also the last two days of May you be inspired days. I’m both happy to see what a wonderful month has brought and sad to see it go. But to celebrate the end of a VERY inspirational month, I'm gonna give away one of the items from this month's inspirations on June 1st!


All you have to do is:
1. Become a Follower of StressTheSeams. YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER TO WIN!!!
2. Comment on one of the posts this month
telling me what you would love to win!
International readers will have to pay their own shipping, but American followers will get it for free!
I'll close entries at 1am eastern standard time on June 1st and use the fabulous random number generator to select one wonderful winner. The prize will be a surprise for the reader, but I might just be looking at what they say....hint, hint! :)
So go become a follower and comment!

-Laters

handmadeheatwaveweb1

Friday, May 28, 2010

Paper Piecing, Baby! I'm so inspired!

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So I was having a problem with inspiration. I know.... after a month of inspiration, I was running low. Okay, so I do HAVE inspiration, just it was darker and more sinister. You see, the twins are teething. This means one is pitching royal death fits and the other is biting and turning canibal. Lovely. Combine this with the hubby being unable to work or lift things due to his fabulous semi-truck accident, and I'm fit to be tied. Then we had WONDERFUL thunderstorms, so I decided dark and sinister, baby!

The hubby has a brilliant plan for how he can combine his metal with my fabric. And the only info you are gonna get is the picture! Just wait. It shouldn't take long. :)

Laters.... off to enjoy cake!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 Things I need to share because

Look what I was awarded!!!!

Beautiful_Blogger_May

Janimal, over at Delilah's Momma, is the rockin' awesome! You’ve heard me rave about her before in my post on a fabric business card holder or even my map recover of a hanging file folder organizer. Yep, she rocks. Go visit her often. She’s a brit. I always try to imagine an strong English accent as I read her stuff! :) Everything is better with the right accent! :)

The rules appear to be that I have to tell you 10 random things about me.

1. I have a degree in Religious Studies. Not exactly common… and almost as useful as Underwater Basket Weaving degrees.

2. I got married at the courthouse in Dallas, Georgia. On April 1st. By a judge who looked like Johnny Cash (complete with black leather vest) named “Tex”. And it WASN’T a joke.

3. My husband and I were born 11 days apart.

4. I have a rubber tree carving in my bedroom of a foo dog. I wanted a dog, so my husband bought this one for me.

5. I collect temple rubbings.

6. I’m allergic to pork. My husband jokes that it is my “inner Jew”.

7. As a young girl, I wanted to be Nancy Drew when I grew up . Or a fighter pilot.

8. I love penguins. My master bathroom is even done in them. :) And my children love the Penguins of Madagascar, which I did NOT introduce them to!

9. I’d rather clean than sleep… (This is according to my husband. Okay, so I’m OCD.)

10. I named a dog after Freddie Mercury. Yep, I’m a Queen fan.

Passing this award on to some other lovely bloggers....

1. Remodelaholic, baby. Wow. I’m inspired by her stuff big time.

2. Happy Zombie also makes me happy. Her fabric is amazing! And she’s so darn friendly! :)

3. Knock Off Wood lives a life I can hardly imagine. Alaska. Hundreds of miles from what I have within five minutes. And still manages to produce amazing stuff. Wowzers, does she make me feel like I’m lazy!

4. Oh Fransson has the most amazing quilts. Her ideas are so different and challenging. I really love her work. I can’t wait to see how the subway inspired quilt will come out!

5. Sew a Straight Line challenges me to re-evaluate WHY and HOW I sew. Her process of working through a sewing manual is just wonderful. I’ve learned so much about accepting mistakes as learning opportunities and taking advantage of projects to learn more from her. You simply must check her out!

6. I just recently stumbled across Southern Matriarch, but I’ve known her all my life. Okay, not literally, but she is that southern woman I think of when I harken back to my summers with my grandmother who grew up in Charleston. I can just taste the sweet tea, feel the breeze, and enjoy the southern hospitality when I visit her blog!

7. The Cottage Home is another one of those blogs that you just KNOW. She’s that woman you see in the grocery who has everything where it should be and doesn’t look frazzled about it. She’s the only one not loosing it in line at the DMV. Why? Because she’s happy with who she is. Her writing just exudes self confidence, but not in that icky way that car salesmen do. :)

8. Pink Chalk Studio has amazing hair. Okay, I love her hair.  :) And she loves some color, which I LOVE! I know I can stop over and enjoy a relaxing opportunity to enjoy a fabulous piece of work done in a lush color palette. And her picture is just so darn happy. With the hair that I covet! :)

9. Between Naps on the Porch is another Atlanta native blogger, but WOW is her stuff beautiful! And she did an entire tablescape for Alice in Wonderland! I’m so in love. Her china collection must just be amazing. And her photography skills are just… wow. Check out her entry on the Blue Hour. It is not to be missed!

10. Last, but certainly not least, is EPBOT. From the creator of Cake Wrecks, which I think is one of the funniest pieces of internet real estate, comes her conversations with daily life. I just laugh my way through each and every entry from Jen. I can’t count how many times I’ve nearly coated my computer screen with beverages because she caught me mid-sip with one of her intelligent, hysterical lines. This is where to go when you need that laugh, for sure.

Thank you, one and all for sticking with me through my lists. Please be sure to check out some of these beautiful bloggers who make the internet just a little bit nicer for the rest of us. And while you are at it, make sure you become a follower of me and leave a comment. I really want to make something amazing for one of my readers! It could be YOU!

And be on the look out… my Cheshire Cat Tutorial is nearly complete. I’m putting the finishing touches on it tomorrow! :)

stresstheseamsfinallogowebc

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fabric Folding and Flat Rate Box Storage Tutorial

Eep! I made a promise and I intend to keep it. What did I promise? Why, a fabric folding tutorial! When did I do this? Well, you can look back at my organization post and see. But I’m going to keep that promise today.
Ingredients:

    Cloth to be folded that is LARGER than 6”x6”
    6”x13” (or longer) ruler. I use Sharon Hultgren’s Easy Rule. You could just as easily use a piece of thick cardboard, plastic, or even a thin piece of wood or metal that has smooth edges (so not to pick the fabric) and is reasonably stiff.
    A flat surface. I usually use my ironing board.
    Used Flat Rate Box. 11”x8”x5” size.
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Step 1: Make sure your cloth is laundered. Nothing is worse than going to sew and discovering that your fabric is gross.
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Step 2: Find the grain of your fabric. It doesn’t really matter what size it started out as long as you fold it in half if it was MORE than 20” in one direction. This makes it more manageable.
 
Step 3: Fold the fabric in half its longest way (or selvedge to selvedge if it has selvedges) on your flat surface. I don’t stress about wrinkles TOO much, as I’m going to have to iron it before I use it anyway. That’s me. You might be more… particular… than I am and want to iron it. That’s all you
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Step 4: Place your ruler so that you have about an inch hanging off your selvedge edge.
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Step 5: Fold your fabric over your ruler.
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Step 6: Continue to roll your fabric around your ruler until you have it entirely rolled up that direction.
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Step 7: Carefully pull your ruler out.
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Step 8: Place your ruler so that it is perpendicular to how you were rolling before.
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Step 9: Begin rolling your fabric around your ruler again until you have it entirely rolled up into a 6” square.
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Step 10: Set your fabric aside.
Step 11: Take your USED Flat Rate Box (FRB) and fold in all the flaps from the top.
Step 12: Sit your FRB on its side.
Step 13: Put your fabric in the FRB so that you can see the edge of your fabric.
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Okay. So there are a FEW things I should point out.
First, you can only use FRBs that have been PREVIOUSLY used for a shipment, per the federal requirements. So you will want to clean your boxes out really good, or else you’ll get ick.
Second, FRBs are NOT acid-free. So if you are really particular about how your fabric is stored, then you should devise a DIFFERENT method than used FRBs. I cycle through my fabric at a reasonably high rate, so I don’t worry about long term exposure. My fabric is lucky to sit unused for a month. And my piece come out and go back so often that I don’t worry about dust, either. If you do, I would suggest hanging something like lining or sheers in front of your fabric. I like to use the vacuum, so when I do, I often use the wand attachment to brush the fronts of my shelves, just in case. But I LIKE to vacuum. :)
Third, this method works GREAT for anything over 6”x6”. I keep everything UNDER that size in large zip top bags divided into fabric categories. I have used this method on everything, including silk, voile, flannel, faux fur, cuddle, fleece, even gnaugahyde. I have a REALLY diverse stash. The largest piece I’ve used this method on so far was a duck cloth (heavy weight woven) that was 11’ by 60”. That was DIFFICULT. I wouldn’t suggest it, as it gets to be a real workout! But I try not to have bolts around. My twins climb them. That ISN’T helpful.
Last, this method works BEST if you have shelves to put your fabric on. You could always use this if you keep your fabric in drawers to make separate areas to lift out. You could always start with a different size ruler and end up with a different size square. But this is what I have found works best for me. The box gives just enough resistance and structure to the fabric that it doesn’t all go everywhere when you pull a piece out.
I’m hoping someone out there finds this useful. I know when I was trying to get organized, I searched EVERYWHERE and couldn’t find much that actually helped with my diverse and odd sized stash, since I don’t typically have the same fat quarters as all the other quilters out there. :)
And please check out my other entries this month for my giveaway! Chances are really good that you’ll get a used flat rate box out of the deal to try this method on! :)
stresstheseamsfinallogowebc

http://www.thethriftyhome.com works for me wednesday at we are that family

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Desert Corsage Accent Pillow

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Whew! It is done. See, the center panel is SOOOO busy that I had a really hard time figuring out how to match ANYTHING to it. So I tried reds, whites, greys, silvers, blacks..... you name it. Patterns and plain. No success. Finally, I gave up and put a black border around it with Moda Bella Solids. The  reverse of the center panel is entirely black, in fact. Then I used the same print that is in the apex points to do a band next to the black. Then a band of white. Finally, a band of the circles and triangles that are in the outer edges of the flower petals. I wanted a LONG  pillow for an accent, and this definitely fits the bill.

Now my problem is that I'm not wanting a red, black, and white bedroom. The hubby and I have decided that the combo is just a little too much for our RELAXATION. Le sigh. So now we're (okay, I) thinking of turquoise blue, white, silver, and black. Thoughts?

Sewing Kit Roll Up for May You Be Inspired Days

In pursuit of the best item for a purpose, I am trying a DIFFERENT way to make a sewing kit. I like how my knitting kit came out, which you can check out in the entry Craft Army Roll Up Knitting Kit. I like that it doesn’t let things slip out, which can be a problem with my Craft Ninja Sewing Kit. While the scissors holster I put in keep it in place, the pocket for the measuring tape doesn’t keep it where it needs to be as well as I had hoped, so it migrates out the sides.

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So here is the new sewing kit design. It’s not perfect yet, as this is too deep for my regular sewing supplies and not wide enough for my selection of scissors and tweezers I like to have on my person.

I’ve listed it in my Etsy Store, because it is perfect for someone out there. Just not me. So I’m going to attempt the same idea, different sizing. I’m actually really excited about it, as they aren’t difficult and are fun!

I’ve also been working on my paper pieced desert corsage square. I finally managed to get fabric around it I was happy with. It only took 3 attempts. It’s not quite done, but I’m hoping to finish it today. You can see the original post about it in this entry about quilting class. 

What things are you working on? I’m in search of some answers to weird problems in some of my projects, so I’d love to see what others are working on. I’m thinking about starting a weekly feature for WEIRD problems or solutions in crafting. Any thoughts on that?

And don’t forget about my giveaway! Make sure you become a follower! Check out my first entry in May for more details, or almost any other entry this month! I can’t wait to see who wins so I can get crafting especially for them!

later !!!

stresstheseamsfinallogowebc

 

 

ThreeOrMoreTuesdayLogo BCD
Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday Favorites: Valentine’s Cards

Forgive my horrible writing and linking… I’ve learned so much in three months. But I wanted to share this project with my new readers.

 

Sew, mama sew http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=4778 has an incredibly inspiring tutorial and contest for Valentine's Day. So I decided to participate, as I was just that inspired. I decided to do Valentine's Day cards from my 14 month old twin sons to the special people in their lives (mostly grandparents and such). Each card is two layers of fabric on the front and one layer of fabric on the back with two layers of stabilizer inside, as I embroidered each side independently and then sewed them together. The two layers for the front allowed me to embroider a monster on the underneath layer that then appears to be ripping through to the front. Each envelope is two layers (with the exception of the green one). I machine-embroidered the cards using files from http://www.urbanthreads.com. I LOVE their work. It stitches out so perfectly each time. The monsters on the backs of the cards are actually stuffies, but I turned them into appliqu├ęs for this project. I did one monster for each of my twins, though I didn't try to match the monsters too much to my actual sons. :)

Set #1 2-11-2010 207 2-11-2010 208

Set #2

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Set #3

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Set #4

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Set #5

2-11-2010 215 2-11-2010 216 I don't really care if I win, though it would be cool. I really enjoyed making them. I also got to thinking about how easy it would be to make them out of quilter's layer cakes, since they are already laser cut into 10" squares, which is PERFECT for the envelopes. Then you'd just have to cut down the pieces for the cards, which wouldn't be that big of a deal. Getting the envelopes perfectly square is the hardest and most important part. If that first square isn't ideal, then you'll end up with weird envelopes.... don't ask how I know this. Maybe I'll post pictures of that some other time :).

Sunday Favorites

Sunday Favorites at Happy to Design

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May You Be Inspired Days: Pi, Baby

First I will share with you the inspiring embroidery piece I created today, then I will share with you what got me going. Without any further ado, off to talk about Pi!
Yes, I’m referring to the number/symbol. And sort of to the fabulous dessert. Every baby needs to learn to love Pi!
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This beautiful baby blue terry cloth bib just needed something to jazz it up. And what is better than blueberry Pi? And since Urban Threads makes it so easy to love pi, I decided to bring on the Pi! What good is an embroidery sewing machine if you can’t use it to work when you need to do something else?
Which brings us to the inspiration for this bib. I’m a neat freak. I love things to be neat and tidy and need them to be that way to actually function. I have no problems making a mess, but I have to clean it up. So this past week, with MetalMan not so able because of his car  accident, the twins both teething molars (still…), and other crazy stresses, I tried to work off all that. I like to work while stressed. Idle hands tend to think too much, you know?
So I WORKED. I produced at least a dozen new TYPES of items, most of them three or four different styles within that type. I also produced TONS of messes. I try to clean as I go, but strings wander, tufts of batting migrate, children’s toys wander in. The usual.
Today I decided to clean up. Wow. I found my desk again. All my patterns are put away. I’m not overwhelmed by the sticky notes and tatters of designs. And my to do list ISN’T as long as I my leg…maybe my arm, but not my leg! :)
Then there is the location I formerly called the Patterned Pit. It was where all the fabric scraps and remnants go to wait for me to have time to divide them into their size/usefulness piles and be put away. It had taken over an entire corner of my studio. While I didn’t take the time to actually put it all away today, I did coral it better, so it is much smaller and less likely to take over.
Because I needed to clean so desperately, I wanted to be WORKING while I was WORKING, if that makes any sense. With the big show a little over a month away, I didn’t want to take the down time just to clean. So my dear sewing machine, Helga, embroidered the entire time I cleaned. She’s so diligent.
In summary, I guess inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes, it is definitely necessity to stay sane that drives one to create. Today was one of those days.
I’m going to list this gorgeous bib in my Etsy store, but I’ve got plans to make more similar ones. I’d love to do personalized ones. You know…. “Little Johnny thinks Pi=delicious” kind of thing.

And don't forget! I'm gonna give away one of the items from this month's inspirations on June 1st!
All you have to do is:
1. Become a Follower of StressTheSeams. YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER TO WIN!!!
2. Comment on one of the posts this month
telling me what you would love to win!
International readers will have to pay their own shipping, but American followers will get it for free!
I'll close entries at 1am eastern standard time on June 1st and use the fabulous random number generator to select one wonderful winner. The prize will be a surprise for the reader, but I might just be looking at what they say....hint, hint! :)
So go become a follower and comment! And there will be other ways to get extra entries as the month goes on, so don't miss a day!
-Laters
handmadeheatwaveweb1 
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