Saturday, April 30, 2016


How the year has flown by. I didn't believe adults when I was younger telling me that time just flies by as you get older but I am a believer. Now that I am 40, I can only imagine how quickly things will happen. Fingers crossed that I am ready for it.

I lost my sewing mojo for a while, hence the lack of posts in recent months. This was the first time in years that I didn't sew everyone's Christmas presents. I have decided to not put any stress on myself for any reason to finish any project. I have not signed up for any additional swaps (other than those I committed to before this year) and did not join my online sewing bee for this year. Letting go has been quite liberating.

I've been slowly getting back to my sewing space and working on my projects. I do have a few things to share and will post more of my progress this year.

Bought a new machine. This beast is pretty awesome!

Made a little pouch with this great Afro fabrics from Spoonflower.

Finished my last blocks for my online bee!
These were fun to make with one color way and selvages.

Designing for my Michael Miller Glitz
quilt for QuiltCon 2016.

Thank goodness for a design wall and post it notes
to help keep things organized.
I had a lot of fun putting this together.

My Houndstooth quilt.
Although it wasn't accepted into the show, I think it was a winner in my book!
(It was really hard to photograph this one. I need to up my lighting skills.)

Made a bag for our guild's holiday party swap.

It was made with lots of love!

Working on a design for the improv blocks made by
the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.

Final top design before it went to our quilter for her to work her magic.
Check out: the quilted piece HERE

Took a great class with Lee Monroe of May Chappell.
She was such a fun teacher!
(This is all the progress I've made, too. I look forward to finishing
this quilt top later in the year with the Charlie Harper fabrics I've been collecting.)

Fabric pulls for my second to last mini quilt swap.
I chose a pattern from Make Modern Magazine called
Betty Hearts Fabric. These will be the rainbow pile of fabrics in
a stack for part of this mini.

I really love when paper piecing projects come together so nicely.

Betty Hearts Fabric
This is the finished piece that went off to it's new home in GA.

Pattern testing for an IG friend.
It had so many little pieces. This is a 12.5 in block!

Here's the mini rainbow quilt I was given from my swap partner!
She used all Tula Pink and created this amazing piece.
I love how perfectly the tiger's face came out from two separate pieces.
All the goodies from my partner! It was a rainbow of so much fun!

My latest project is finishing my economy blocks from last year's 
online bee. I asked for novelty prints in the center with a
coordinating color for the second square. 

The outer squares were made with black, gray or white fabrics. About 30 were sent from
my bee hive mates, the rest I made over the last few
months trying to get my "sewing mojo" back.

I plan to piece this together and quilt it over the next few months.
I joined one last swap with my guild to make a mini for a
Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild member.
She asked for a traditional block made modern so I decided to stick with the economy squares 
but made them a third of the size of the ones I have above.
She loves Cotton+Steel and Tula Pink so I tried to incorporate those in the center.
Then I used Anne Kelle (another favorite of hers) to make the rainbow border.
She loves rainbows like me!

Making a little baby quilt for my friend who is due in 7 weeks.
I have 1 week left before her "Baby Sprinkle" to have it done.
Her theme for this baby is this Gypsy Baby line.
I tried to pull from my stash colors and prints I thought would compliment this style.
(I am still not sure how I will quilt it yet. It's 36 x 36 and will fit nicely under my Juki.)
Wish me luck!
I made gnomes!
My friend is a gnome maker and recently invited me over to work/play at her
house. She showed me how to make this little gems.
After trying 3 different dying methods, we used coffee to get a darker skin tone!
The bodies are made with super soft felt that I cut into tiny strips, too.
She made the tiny glasses and hair for my partner's gnome.

Because we also needed capes, she did some amazing
embroidery work on the back of each one.
(Can you see the little baby pick in my Super Afro emblem?)
I worked with raw wool roving to make my afro. I had to use a needle and
 Styrofoam board to get this shape to come together.
(I only stuck myself a few times before I got the hang of it.)

She is working on a series of vegetable king/queen gnomes.
These are her pumpkin and tomato royalty.

She made these stools for her kids using logs and
felt to make the seat top.
She's pretty crafty!

This is just one of her gnome tree houses where some of her
creations live. She has a gift for working with wood, wool, and felt.
It was pretty cool to see another artist work her magic and share her passion.
I came home from that trip energized and ready to get back to sewing.

Last but certainly not least, here's a quick set of picks of Artemis. She is doing so well and learning new tricks every day. I bought this book and cannot believe how simple the directions were and love the step-by-step photos. (Many of my dog-owning friends were given a copy of this book for Christmas.)

She really likes sleeping with a pillow and has laid claim to this one.

Our first purchase of a LootPets crate included a matching shirt
for Artemis to celebrate the return of the X-Files!
We have yet to wear our matching shirts out yet.
(It's way too hot to put her in black!)

A very rare, non-blurry picture of her sleeping.
She never stays still for photo ops.

This is what happens when I try to work on the couch.
She puts her head on the keyboard to make me stop and pet her a while.

We both wear each other out on long walks in this Florida heat.
(I often want to lay on the cool floor next to her.)
I am grateful that she makes me go outside every day because work has been hectic!
Artemis has stolen our hearts for sure.

I hope you are well and having a great year so far. Let me know what you've been up to in the comments below if you wish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Falling Backwards

Daylight savings time is still trippy to me. I don't understand why we still have to change our clocks. Perhaps I would have felt differently if the extra hour was of any use today since I wasn't even able to get much sewing done. Ah well, here's hoping for a more productive week.

Since my last post I was working on the American Made Brand fabric mini quilt challenge. Even though my pieces were not selected, I had lots of fun making them. Now, you can actually get to see them since we weren't allowed to post them yet.  I am really exited about hanging them in my sewing room.
Modern Traditionalism

This set of half-square triangles set on point was run and liberating to make. I used 2.5 in blocks in various colors. I cut them in half and just pulled 2 random halves to sew together. Straight line quilting and gentle curves finished off this first block.

A Brilliant Cut

I knew I wanted to draft my own paper pieced pattern for my second mini. I also wanted to use as many different colors in this design to make another rainbow piece to add to my collection. When it was done, it reminded me of a mulit-faceted diamond hence the name, "A Brilliant Cut".

Our guild hosted the wonderful Carole Lyles Shaw for a class on modern improv techniques and to learn more about her new pattern using the Fibonacci sequence. I have my first of 4 sets done and plan to finish this one soon. I am excited about the direction it's taking.

I finally cut into my Alison Glass and
Anna Maria Horner fabric collections.
Totally worth it!

Two dear friends celebrated their marriage in October and I wanted to celebrate their love with an idea I had from last year. I won these X blocks from our December block lotto at the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I knew I wanted to make a cross stitch heart if I was the lucky winner. Here's the top:
A cross-stitched heart

I had to make a few extra to make the final design work and decided to make the surrounding blocks in a set of low volume whites. I might have to make another one for myself one day.

Finally, I was lucky enough to join the Gold Coast Quilter's Guild in a class with the amazing Dianne Hire. We learned about her process for designing quilts and how she makes these fabulous, curvy designs come to life. She even autographed my copy of Vivacious Curvy Quilts.
This is so gorgeous in person.

Her attention to detail and the little beads/embellishments
make this even more stunning up close.

She quilts with a double needle and varigated thread!

I can't wait to finish my final design now that I have most of my blocks cut and sewn. I used only shot cotton to make it more interesting. Here's a sneak peek:
My pretty scraps!
Piano keyboard border: Heck Yes!

Here's is my October block for the Stash Bee. We were given a set of colors to pull from and total freedom on the design. Since I was pattern testing for Sew Kind of Wonderful, I made this block for Kaja:
Chic and Jazzy: A new pattern using the
Sew Kind of Wonderful Curved Ruler

I recently signed up to work on the Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern with Salty Oat
We are completing one block per month and will finish up in 2016. Here's my Block A:

I might remake this one since I think it needs to be a little more dynamic, even though we are going for a minimalist look. I think I am the only one in this group making a gray quilt instead of a white one.

Since I've been working like crazy, I was told I needed to take some time off or I would lose some vacation hours. I am pretty excited to take another week off this November and look forward to sewing like crazy over the next few weeks. I need to finish up my QuiltCon entry, too, so wish me luck!

Are you working on a special project that is keeping you busy this fall?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back to School

I relish the fall each year because when students go back to school, my workload gets to slow down. The weather starts to cool just a bit. (In Florida that means we went from 99 degress to 90 degress.)
Fall means more time for creativity and sewing.

Stash Bee:
Our next block in August was super cute and easy to put together. She wanted low volume whites/creams and I realized how few of them I owned. I tend to buy brights and grays when I see them so putting together white blocks was a fun challenge. (I can't wait to go shopping again.)

Speaking of shopping, I've broken my New Year's Resolution officially to purchase some pretty amazing fabrics. The Sewing Studio had this panel that is going to become something fun for my godson who loves Jack from "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

This panel is a huge 24 x 36 piece that's going to
make a little boy very happy soon.

This came out September 1st and I couldn't just wait on it.
I am counting the days until the newest Star Wars movie is released in December!
I had to create something with this Star War fabulousness right away. I made a boxy bag for my boss who is leaving in mid-September. He and I geek out to the movie previews as they are released. I am so going to miss him.

He loved it!!!

Is this liner perfect or what?

AMB Update:
I started catching up on my projects for American Made Brand's mini quilt competition. I wish I could post my progress photos but since the rules state you can't post your projects to any social media sites, I have to leave my colorful creations to your imagination. There was some paper piecing and some regular block making that I am pretty pleased with. Hopefully one will be accepted and I can post all of my photos in October. Fingers crossed.

Maker Faire Orlando:
Maker Faire was this weekend!! Last year, I participated with a few friends and had such a great time that I decided to join in again. I shared my love of sewing/quilting with everyone. It was my first time selling anything I made so it was quite rewarding. I said I would be happy if I sold just one thing and I ended up selling 20. Whoo hoo! (More money for fabric later.)
Everything I made with Wonder Woman fabric sold
out pretty quickly.
As part of our demo, we had everyone color or design their own button or magnet and showed them how to press it using our 1.25 inch button maker. We had so much fun chatting with the kids and they loved pressing their own creations and having a fun take away. I especially loved how many adults sat down to color and had just as big of a smile when their button or magnet was made.
Check out my two favorites:

I, regretfully, didn't take many pictures of the weekend because we were worried that too many parents wouldn't want photos posted of their children. However, we will have the memories to last a long time. I cannot wait until next year!

Artemis update:
Arti is doing well and has been keeping me company in my sewing room a lot lately.  I just love to see her various poses when she finds just the right spot. I am so glad we found her!

What have you been up to since school has started and fall is slowly arriving?