Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An explosion in the sewing room

Although I'm glad to be done with this last craft fair, I'm not looking forward to cleaning up the mess I created. I think I'm pretty brave for showing this off, but I'm sure that some of you have or have had sewing areas that look just like this. Well, at least I hope some of you do. Not only is my cutting table messy, but under the table is just as bad, if not worse.
It has even spilled onto the floor and our hutch, which was the one place I was trying to keep "clean."
I suppose it wouldn't be that bad, but since I sew in our dining room, I have to look at this everyday on my way to the kitchen. There is just no way of avoiding it. Hopefully I can put a dent in it tomorrow when Isaiah's at school. I'll probably find some fabrics that I forgot I had. That's always exciting.

I've also been updating my shop, so there are a few new items and more to come. There are also pictures up on my flickr site of things that are not yet in the shop. If you're interested, just e-mail me and I'll get them up there for you.

Monday, September 29, 2008


It rained on and off for pretty much the whole day on Saturday, making for a very wet craft fair. I of course forgot my camera, so I have no pictures of my booth or any of the other vendors. I did ok, making my booth fee back, but since it was an outdoor fair, there wasn't much traffic. I was a little disappointed, but at least I have a lot of stock now, both for my etsy shop and upcoming shows.

We also had a surprise birthday party for my mother in law Saturday night. It was my job to keep her away until the party, which was almost foiled by the rain. I had to convince her to go shopping on the way home and stay out for almost 4 hours. I was nervous that it wasn't going to work, but in the end it was the perfect distraction. She was completely surprised and it was a great party.

Yesterday I got to hang out with my sister in law and her two kids who were visiting from Florida. We were able to get pictures taken of all my leftovers from the show to put up in my etsy shop. I always think that getting photos is half the battle.

Anyway, today I am relaxing after a packed weekend and attending to a sick child. Hopefully we'll both get some rest today. Eventually I'll have my shop updated with everything from the show. I've already started this morning. Check it out here if you're interested. Happy Monday friends!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hop, skip, jump

I knew after making Autum's block that there would be more wavy seams on the way. In Kathy's tutorial, she makes reference to a baby quilt she made based on Denyse Schmidt's "Hop, Skip, Jump" pattern. Of course, I had to make one right away. Like Kathy mentioned, I did not use the templates provided in the book. I just cut a rectangle from a piece of paper (I think 13.5 x 16.5), and used my rotary cutter to make slices in it. Then I just did the same with the fabric, using the paper pieces as templates.

I also (stupidly) tried free motion quilting for the first time on this quilt. I never knew it was such a full body workout! My hands started to hurt after a few rows, so it took me longer because I had to stop and start so much. I originally intended to quilt it using bigger loops like it is in the book, but I found the smaller loops a lot easier to handle. In any case, I'm happy with the way it came out, especially for my first time using free motion. I had really been looking forward to trying it out, as it was one of the main reasons I wanted a new sewing machine. Now I know why people were those quilting gloves!Now I'm back to sewing for the craft fair this weekend. Only a few more days to go and I'm stressing about not having enough stuff and trying to finish up the final details. Ugh, I seriously don't know why I do this to myself. Hopefully it'll be a success and I'll have lots of fun. I'm just praying that it doesn't rain!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quilting Bee Block

I've been admiring the virtual quilting bees that have been popping up everywhere, so I was really excited when I had the opportunity to join one. Sarah of Small Fox organized the Busy Little Quilting Bee, where there are 17 of us. This means that some months we are making 2 blocks for two different people. It's exciting to have more than 12, because it means more than 12 blocks when it's your turn. This block is for Autum of Creative Little Daisy. She sent us the black and gray fabrics, and requested that we put a bright color in the center. I was really inspired by the Gee's Bend quilts and I thought the gray fabrics were perfect for it. This was also my first time using wavy seams, and Kathy's (of PinkChalkStudio) tutorial was great! I hope you like it, Autum. I'm having a really hard time sending this one away. I think I feel the need to make myself a full quilt just like this. Next up is Dana's block. She sent some midwest modern that I can't wait to use. There may be some wavy seams for this block too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More of the Same

Nothing exciting has been going around here lately, although I have been busy sewing away for the upcoming craft fair. I finished three more lunch bags today, this time with chocolately brown linen. I seriously love that linen and wish I had bought more on my last trip to Joann's. Anyway, these lunchbags come together in a cinch, and I'm thinking about putting together a tutorial after the craft fair. Quick and easy, just the perfect project for me these days.

It has started to feel like fall around here, and I am loving it. It's putting me in the baking/cooking mood, especially after the fall Williams-Sonoma catalog arrived yesterday. Anyone has some good fall-ish recipes to share?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Inspired by....

A while back, I fell in love with this "Broken Dishes" quilt by Crazymomquilts. I had wanted to make one, but like so many times before, I got sidetracked. Then while browsing flickr, I noticed Erin from House on Hill Road had made one too. She used a charm pack, and I remembered that I had one stashed away too. Quickly, I began working on it, sewing together all the triangles. I had planned to give this quilt as a gift in July. Eventually it was pushed aside, in favor of other projects, until I saw JCHandmade's sneak peak of her quilt last week. (and who has coincidentally blogged about it today!!)
I was instantly inspired to use some dark brown linen for the squares. It worked out well for two reasons: 1. I had run out of my remaining charm squares and 2. It was seriously quick. I was able to finish up the quilt in a matter of hours and managed to hand sew the binding on during the Redskins win yesterday. Isaiah was a little disappointed that it wasn't for him. I guess I'll be making him another quilt in the near future.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

more wristlets

I've had these wristlets on my cutting table, unfinished of course, for longer than I'd like to admit. Usually when I'm preparing for a craft show or large order, I like to work assembly line style. It's a great method for making a lot at once, but the problem is, more often than not, I have a lot of half finished things and nothing complete to show for it. This morning I had enough of them looking up at me begging to be finished, and I finally gave in. I'm glad I did though because now I have a feeling of accomplishment. And that's a nice way to start a morning, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Old is new

There has been a lot of sewing going on around here lately, but not a whole lot of completed projects to show. My mind seems to be jumping all over the place, so I'll start one project and then have to start another one right when I'm thinking of it. It is throwing me into a little panic because I'm doing a craft fair in 2.5 weeks. I seriously must be crazy. The other day, while I was sitting at my sewing machine, I happened to look under a table a noticed this quilt top that I thrifted over a year ago. It had been pushed aside, forgotten about, probably just like it had been when it found its way to the thrift store. But at that moment, I had a plan for it, and begin cutting out squares from its nine patches. I was amazed at how suddenly, after a year, there was inspiration for this quilt top. Now it's not anything magnificent, but they eventually became coasters. This was the perfect project for the quilt top.

It had all been handsewn, so there was a lot of tearing and some stains that I had to cut around. The whole time I was wondering about the person who had begun this project but never finished. I'd like to imagine a younger girl learning from her grandmother. The stitches were large and uneven, but in some places smaller or on top of the larger stitches. In any case, I hope the person who had started this project would be smiling about me giving it new life. However simple it may be.

Monday, September 08, 2008

more pillows

As I type this, I am enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee and some yummy banana bread, without hearing "mommy" a million times or having to go fix the Thomas train track again. Isaiah is at his third day of preschool, and while it is an odd feeling not to have him here, I am really enjoying my free time during the day. It has also allowed me to be really productive when it comes to sewing. I just love sewing during the day with only the natural sunlight, something I miss out on when Isaiah is here (not that I'm complaining about being home with him, because I love it). Sewing now feels less like a chore or a job and more like a fun activity. Which is the way it should be.

I've been having a lot of fun making pillows with the $1.49 pillow forms from IKEA. Seriously, how can you beat $1.49?? I made these two on Thursday while Isaiah was at school. They are really quick and fun to make. Plus, I love that you only need a small amount of fabric. That way I can use my favorites, but not feel like I'm using them all up. You know what I mean? I'm sure I'll be making more of these today, so please forgive me if I post these everyday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

No more brown bagging it..

Because I am either insane or just like to torture myself, I signed up for a craft fair at the end of September. To be fair, John insisted that I sign up, as it will fall on one of his "good weekends." As I was writing a list of things to make for the fair, I thought maybe some lunch bags would be quick and easy. I had been wanting to make them forever, and when I noticed a few (ok, a lot of) scraps laying around and some linen, I thought it to be the perfect opportunity. I wanted it to be lined with something that could easily be wiped, so I searched for safe plastics for foods. One that I found to be o.k. was PEVA and it just so happens that most of IKEA's shower curtains are 100% PEVA. A nice excuse for a trip to IKEA, plus they are really cheap!

I wanted to sew a pocket on the side of utensils and napkins, but I forgot. Hopefully on the next one I'll remember. Since I always have trouble pricing, I thought I'd ask you my readers what you thought would be a good price for the craft fair. This one in particular is patchwork and 100% linen, but I may make them in other fabrics as well. What do you think?

On another "school" related note, Isaiah starts his first day of nursery school tomorrow. And I am freaking out. I cannot believe he's going to be a school for 3 days a week, all.day.long. He is beyond excited and keeps asking when he can go to school. Hopefully that excitement will still be there tomorrow when he actually gets there. Wish us (me) luck!

Monday, September 01, 2008

A new obssesion and winners

I've long been admiring those who have turned selvedges into pretty objects. There were pincushions by Manda of Tree Fall and this doll quilt by Ric-Rac. But, the one that I really fell in love with was this quilt I found while browsing on flickr. It is simply stunning. Anyway, I started cutting off all my selvedges in sight, which were far less than I thought I would have.

I cut four backer squares from muslin and began foundation piecing the selvedges. It was a little time consuming, but let me tell you, I think I have a new obsession. Now the only problem is I have run out of selvedges, which is hard to believe, but at least it's a new excuse for buying fabric. There's a couple more images on flickr if you're interested.

And the winners of Friday's giveaway, according the the random number generator, are :

So, Philigry, Jessi, and Julia, please send me your address to katiebhandbags AT gmail DOT com, and I'll put them out in the mail this week.