Thursday, December 03, 2009

dopp kits

A while back I thrifted some vintage houndstooth wool fabrics. I ended up bringing home the gray and brown, but they also had red which I regret not buying now. Anyway, they've sat around my sewing room for months now, taking up space, but looking oh so gorgeous. I finally decided that I'd make some Dopp kits with them because I think they're pretty classy fabrics. I used some leather from thrifted skirts and lined them with some Joel Dewberry woodgrain home decor fabric. I think the brown one is my favorite. Mostly because I love the bright green zipper with the dark brown. Now I'm going to have to search my stash of zippers to see if I have anymore in that color.

I'm headed out for a trip with my sister to somewhere in southern virginia. She has a conference and wanted me to come along, so Isaiah and I are tagging along. Hopefully I can get some Christmas knitting done in the car. I really need to catch up on presents. If anyone's interested in one of the dopp kits, they're in my etsy shop now. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

little birds

Wow! Look at this. Posting two days in a row. Craziness I tell you. I spent the last two days working on my ornaments for the Freshlyblended Ornament Swap. This is my third year in the swap and it's always so much fun. It's so hard to decide what to make though, especially when Martha has so many great ideas. In the end I went with the cinnamon bird ornaments. I needed something that I could make several of and that would ship flat. The first year I made cardboard houses that took forever and were hard to ship. I learned my lesson. I'm happy with how these little birds came out. I didn't mess with the template the instructions had but instead used a bird cookie cutter I had on hand. The dough was pretty easy to work with. I just mixed it up in a ziplock bag and let it rest until it was ready to be rolled out. I let them dry overnight but it didn't really work, so I ended up putting them in the oven for a few hours. I'm starting to get sick of the cinnamon smell which I never thought was possible. The recipe made about 22 birds which is nice because now I have some to tie to Christmas gifts. Speaking of, I really need to get the Advent calendar down before Isaiah gets home from school. What are you guys putting in your Advent calendars? I need some ideas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

virtual quilt blocks

How was Thanksgiving? We had a great one, lots of fun and games, but I'm glad to have it past us and to get back into the groove of things again. I'm doing another craft fair in a few weeks and I'm trying to get prepared for it so I won't be sewing the night before. I finished up a few blocks for the two virtual quilting bees I'm in. I've had them done for a while but I'm just getting around to photographing and mailing them now. It's so fun to work on different blocks and imagine what the finished quilts will look like. Darci (above) is doing a tree themed quilt. Mary is doing a quilt titled "Neighborhood in the Sky."

Hope your week is starting off well! Now back to sewing. Hopefully I'll post more than once this week (now that would be a miracle!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

craft fair and gift suggestions

The craft fair on Saturday went pretty well. It's always fun to be surrounded by a lot of crafters/artists. It was so hard to resist spending the money I made! I did make a few trades which I'll have to show you tomorrow. So, so cute! Of course I don't have any pictures of the show since I forgot my camera, but hopefully my friend and fellow vendor Katie will put some up on her blog.

I have plenty of leftovers for my etsy shop. Mostly I have the metal frame purses. I showed you the smaller ones before and I also used the same pattern to make larger clutches. I love the way these came out. So much fun to make, albeit a little time consuming.

My house is now a totally disaster area (well it's been like that for a week), so I'll be spending the next few days before Thanksgiving cleaning up. Then I have to get started on Christmas gifts and prep for another show in December. What are you all making for holiday gifts?? I need some ideas for some quick projects.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Hello everyone. I've been MIA the past week because I've been busy sewing for my craft fair tomorrow. If you're in the D.C. area come stop by and say "hi" and/or shop with some great handmade crafters! It's taking place in Vienna, Va at the Soundry and is hosted by D.C. Craft Mafia from 12-6pm. Hope to see you!

Monday, November 02, 2009

trying something new & a winner

Oh you ladies are too funny! I'm glad to know I'm not the only scrap addict. I wish I had my own sewing room, but this is actually our dining room. Which we never dine in. So I guess technically it's my sewing room. The mess is not quite cleaned up, so no updated pictures, but it's clean enough for me to feel inspired again.

I have a craft fair coming up in a few weeks and I ordered these metal purse frames to try out. I've been wanting to do them for a long time but I was nervous about how they would come out. Turns out it's pretty easy albeit time consuming. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more done in time for the craft fair!

And now for our winner of the scrap box.

Beth said...

Good for you. I always have problems starting a big cleaning project. And well scraps are just an additional bonus for the rest of us:)

Beth I've sent you an e-mail! Thanks to everyone else for playing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My sewing room has been in a sad state for over a month now. It's pretty obvious by my lack of sewing lately that I've felt overwhelmed by the mess. Yesterday I finally dug in and started some major cleaning. It's still need some work, but I'm feeling much better about it after just a few hours. I even tackled 5 bags of scraps that haven't found a home on my new shelf. I threw a lot of tiny pieces away, organized those that I'm keeping, and stuffed a flat rate box to giveaway to one of my fellow scrap lovers.

While I was cleaning, I also came across a whole bunch of scarves I made last year. Apparently I had anticipated listing about 10 of each colorway and never did. To make room for some new things, I've listed these in my etsy store for $20 each. They make great holiday gifts!

So you know the drill. If you want to win a box of scraps, leave a comment and I'll pick a winner Friday. I should also mention that it's not just scraps. I believe I threw some random yardage in there and some vintage linens as well.

Friday, October 16, 2009

blocks, john & a walk

Wow, I can't believe how long it been since my last post. Things have just been a little busy around here. I'm taking a few classes, working out with a trainer at the gym, and applying to nursing schools. To add to that, we found out that John was going to have to go through more treatments, so I've been stressing about that as well. Seems like there's never a dull moment around here.

Anyway, it's been raining for the past few days and I finally found the perfect opportunity to sew. I had a lot of virtual quilting bee blocks to catch up on, so here they are:

For Sandy

For Sam:

For Beki:

For Valerie:

For Heather:

I'm glad it's finally Friday. We are walking the Light the Night Walk to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. My parents are coming down for it and my sister-in-law are also here with her kids. I'm excited for all of us to be together to support this cause. A few people on our team still need to reach their $25 fund raising goal, so if you had a few dollars to spare, we'd really appreciate it. If you're able to donate, you can do so by clicking here or here. If you want to read more about the latest with John, you can visit his page here. Thanks for all your support. Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


For the first time, I finally finished a handmade gift before the intended day. A miracle in its own right. This was my first foray into lace knitting and I have to say it was pretty fun. It's the Swallowtail pattern by Evelyn Clark. The only problem is it turned out much, much smaller than I thought it would. It's more of a scarf than a shawl and I'm not sure its recipient would like something scarf-size. Since I have more of this yarn, I'm knitting another one with larger needles and probably adding more repeats. This probably won't be done in time, so I'm right back to giving gifts late. Oh well, one can try, right? And this picture of me? Taken by Isaiah, our new house photographer. Not the most flattering, but I'm impressed that it's pretty much in focus.

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl
Needle size: #4
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Lace Emerald

Thursday, September 24, 2009

doll quilt received!

One of the best and worst parts of joining a swap is the anticipation waiting for your little package to arrive. For the last week I've been waiting and stalking my mailman for my quilt to arrive from the Doll Quilt Swap. I love this swap. I've received several fabulous quilts in the past and this round is no different. Today I was delighted to see a package in the mailbox after returning home from working out with the trainer at the gym (ouch, but that's a whole other story). I knew it had to be my doll quilt! I was so happy to open up this little gem and couldn't help but notice that my partner, Jennifer, was from VA, just stone's throw from me. Small world, right!??! I hung it up on my bedroom wall, a spot that's been empty since we moved here 3 years ago. I just love it! Thank you so much Jennifer!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

more thrift finds

I can't believe it's only Wednesday. This week feels like it has been so long! We went up to NY on Friday for a quick weekend trip. It was beautiful & fun, but way too short. Of course Isaiah and I are both sick, which is not fun since I've had class this week and an interview for nursing school. Hopefully we'll start feeling better soon. One thing that is brightening my day is these great thrift finds. Lately I've been having a lot of luck in the fabric/linen department at my thrift store. I found these 3 sheets and 2 pieces of wool/nylon/acrylic houndstooth still with the tags on!

Some of this will probably end up in my vintage etsy shop. I can only hoard so many vintage sheets here. I just have a major problem passing them up when I see them. If anyone's interested in any of them, let me know and I'll set up something for you on etsy. Hope you're all having a good beginning to your fall!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Little Houses PDF patterns ready!

I just wanted to pop in and let you know that the Little Houses PDF pattern is now available for sale in my etsy shop. The pattern includes templates for 6 different houses all using the paper piecing technique. Thank you to my testers, who made some very cute houses. Tammie has posted some pictures of hers on her blog and you can see them here. Mary also tested the blocks and finished a doll quilt which you can see here. It's soo cute! Each block is about 5.75" square finished so 6 of them together makes a perfect doll quilt. Of course you could make a whole bunch to make a larger quilt. I swear, once you make one house, it's hard to stop. They are so cute and addicting!

Also, to celebrate my newest pattern, I'm having a 2 for $10 sale. You'll get the house pattern and the ruffle wristlet pattern. Happy Sewing!

Friday, September 11, 2009

want to make your own house?

Thank you for all your comments on my little house quilt! It was really fun to make and very addictive. So much so that I'm working on some paper piecing patterns for the houses. Mine was not paper pieced, but I figured that it would be easier for people to follow. I've created one that I'll be sharing with you all for free. It is the same pattern I used to make the block of the pink house. The finished block is approximately a 6" square. I have a couple more blocks in the works and I'll be offering them for sale in my etsy shop as soon as they're ready. ** Update-- They're available now in the shop!*** If you've never paper pieced before here are two sites that have pretty good tutorials.

You can print on regular printer paper or use freezer paper, whatever you prefer. Also remember to set you stitch length to a smaller length so that it will be easier to tear the paper off in the end.

Here is the link for the free house pattern. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to answer them in the comments section. Paper piecing can be tricky, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. Scraps are fine to use for this project, but make sure you have enough fabric to cover the piece it will go on.

I'm also in need of a couple of testers to try them out to make sure everything works out. If you're interested and can get back to me quickly, let me know!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Finished Doll Quilt

You may remember me asking your opinion on how to finish my doll quilt for Doll Quilt Swap #7. I was finally getting ready to finish it yesterday and started making a pieced house for the back. The house turned out so cute it became addictive and before I knew it I had made 5 more, just perfect for a doll quilt. So what did I do? Yep, I started a brand new Doll Quilt and actually finished it this afternoon. I tried my hand at some free motion quilting and I think it came out pretty well. I still have a lot of practicing to do but I'm happy with the way it looks. I was really inspired by this amazing quilt, which I'm sure many of you have seen already. It is so cute! My houses aren't nearly as small and I can't imagine how that woman managed to sew such tiny pieces. It felt good to work on this project because I actually started and finished something within 2 days. I can't remember the last time I did that!

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend. I'm hoping to squeeze in a little more sewing time and hopefully have a few more projects finished!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Winner winner chicken dinner...

Which is a completely appropriate phrase since our winner is Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew who said :

"I'm Allison, and I'm sitting here blogging trying to avoid changing a poopy diaper and hoping my husband will do it instead. Not likely. :)"
Allison, please send me your address so I can mail our your scraps!

Thanks to everyone who played along. I loved reading your little "about me's." We all sound like we like to do the same thing: sew or quilt and forget cleaning! ha. I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow for some good craftiness.

Friday, August 28, 2009


So things have finally calmed down around here. I finished my class last friday and John went to back to work on Monday. Isaiah's school is closed this week so I finally got some time to hang out with him again, just me and him. It's been so nice. I finally started going through my scrap bags and I've decided that it's time for a giveaway. Plus this also happens to be my 350th post so it seems like a perfect time for a giveaway. I have a ridiculous amount of scraps because I really never throw anything away. Even tiny little pieces. For some reason I always think I'm going to need them. It might be a sickness. Anyway, I have a FRE stuffed with all sorts of scraps. Some are larger like fat quarters and others are just small scraps that would be good for patchwork. To win just leave me a comment telling me something about yourself. It could be anything, like "hi I'm Katie and I really hate putting silverware away." To earn an extra entry, you can either tweet about it or post it to your blog. Just make sure to mention it in your comment here. I'll pick a winner on Monday afternoon. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Light the Night (and fabric)

John and Isaiah are in Cape Cod this week vacationing with his parents, while I'm stuck here studying in 100 degree weather. Seems unfair, right?!?! Well I am glad to have a little time to myself and if I can get my act together maybe I'll fit in some sewing. Anyway, I wanted to pop in here and mention that in October John and I, along with some friends and family will be participating in the Light the Night walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As many of you know, my husband John has been fighting cancer for the past 2 years. In December he had a bone marrow transplant and is on his way to beating this cancer. As a stay at home mom, this was scary for me in so many ways. John was our family's sole provider and he was unable to work for several months. During this time, we received help from many places, without which I would have had to search for a job during the most difficult time in our lives. Thankfully this was not the case and John has since been able to return to work and I am going back to school to obtain a degree in nursing. It is so important to have these foundations around to support cancer patients and their families. Not only do they provide money for those who need it during treatment, but they also fund research needed to cure and prevent cancer. I have gotten more long winded about this than I had intended to, but this is a cause near and dear to my heart. If you have any money to spare (and I know things are tight right now), please consider donating to our team. We are hoping to raise $5,000 as a team so even the smallest donations will help. If you are in the D.C. area and would like to walk with us, we'd love to add you to our team. Simply click the "walk with us" button on the page. The more the merrier!

And as a thank you (or a ploy) for your donation, I will hold a giveaway for all those who donate. I will most likely send an assortment of vintage fabrics, including the fabrics from the last post. If you donate and want to be entered into the giveaway, please let me know so that I can enter you. Also, the fabrics are also in my vintage shop if you just want to purchase from there. I know several people were interested, so I thought I'd mention it.

Finally, thank you for all the support and prayers you guys have sent our way over the last two years. It has been so appreciated and made us feel really loved!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thrift scores

I've been pretty lucky the last few weeks with the thrift store and a really awesome moving sale. Oh, the moving sale. I'm still dreaming about it, wishing I had bought more stuff. It was a very nice old lady who was moving from her home and I really could have just moved right in and kept all of her things. She had a sewing room filled with fabrics & notions, a kitchen full of great pots, bowls, and recipes, and a huge room filled with old kids toys & books. When I say toys, I mean awesome fisher price toys that had barely been played with. Of course, I don't have any pictures of these. Isaiah's already playing with the toys I bought and the fabrics I bought are in the wash. What I do have to show are the awesome fabrics I picked up at the thrift store last week. There were probably about 15 more pieces of fabric I could have brought home, but I'm really running out of fabric storage space around here.

Two of these pieces are screenprints on 100% linen. I'm sure this was really expensive fabric. It has the most wonderful texture.

This pink one is just fun. Maybe a bag or a skirt?

And this other fabric? Well, I have an entire bolt of it! Exciting, right?

Since this is more fabric than I need at the moment, I'll probably be putting some up for sale in my vintage etsy shop. Which is looking pretty bare, I probably should upload all the vintage items laying around my house! If you'd like me to reserve you some fabric, let me know.

I almost forgot! Thanks for all the input on the doll quilt and for your well wishes for John. I haven't decided what to do about the quilt yet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

DSQ #7

I couldn't resist signing up for Doll Quilt Swap 7. I just love making these small quilts and getting one in return. I think this is the 4th round that I've participated in. As fate would have it, I have no tests or quizzes this week, so I thought I'd get a head start on my quilt. I didn't want to get too behind. This is what I've come up with so far. My original idea was to put white circles at some of the points, but now that it's together I'm not sure if I want to. So, any opinions? The circles in the picture are just freezer paper, so if I did end up doing the circles, they'd be more uniform and they would not be see through. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! (sorry for the blurry photo!)

I also wanted to give you guys a little update on John. He had a scan last week and received really great results. There is very little sign of cancer left and we are so thrilled. Now he's dealing with a skin rash from what is called Graft versus host disease. He's really being a trooper, but I know he'd be much happier if it would just go away! So, if you want to send a little prayer his way that the doctors find the right treatment for that, I'm sure he'd be most appreciative.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

catching up

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. I just finished my class on Friday and I ended up doing really well in it. It's nice to know all my studying (and therefore lack of sewing) really paid off. I had a nice little break over the weekend before starting the 2nd half of the class yesterday. I fit in a little sewing yesterday and today before I got crazy busy with studying again. I had two blocks to make for the Pieced Together Quilting Bee. One for Stephanie who is making a spiderweb quilt. I just love the fabrics she sent and I can't wait to see her finished quilt. It is going to look amazing!

The second block is for Edith and she requested circles of some sort. I had seen this circle tutorial on dioramarama a while back and have been wanting to try it forever. It turned out to be a perfect technique for sewing circles and didn't take longer than a hour to do (which included me allowing the glue to dry for a while). I think this could get really addictive.

Anyway, what's been going on with you guys? I hope you are all having wonderful summers. It's hard to believe it already half way through July. Sorry I haven't been commenting lately on your blogs, but I have been reading. I promise to be back to commenting after this class is over, probably with a margarita in hand!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I finally found a few hours to finish up a project for my friend Katie. I'm afraid to admit how long ago she gave me this cushions to make new covers for, but better late than never right? (At least I hope anyway!)

It was really a simple project, most of the time was really devoted to measuring and cutting. I think usually this is the longest and most boring part of a sewing project. I just traced the existing cushions and measured the rest of the covers that Katie dropped off. I love the fabric that she chose. I think she got it at Joann's and it was from the Better Homes & Gardens line. I don't think the pictures really show the true color since it is more of a lime green. Very summery and fun. All I need to do now is press and trim some threads. Hope you like them Katie!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A gift for you!

So life has been crazy since I started this class. The house is a mess, I've done absolutely no sewing, and I think I've never studied this much in my life. And this is only for one class. I think this is partly due to the fact that it is a summer class and so everything is just packed into 6 short weeks. The only other thing I've been doing besides studying (well and playing a lot of baseball with Isaiah), is swapping a lot of fabric. It's kind of getting on the obsessive compulsive side! So many cute fabrics! If you look at my post about swapping, there is a link to the flickr group. It's private now, and I think you have to ask for admission into it now. I've received a lot of my favorite Flea Market Fancy fabric from this swap and it's been so exciting to look at the mail box everyday!

Speaking of fabric, was nice enough to offer my dear blog readers a coupon for $5 off your next purchase. It is good from June 17th to June 24th, just enter "blogseekatiesew" at checkout. You could get yourself some of my newest favorite fabric Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn. Isn't it pretty? They also have a whole section of fabrics for under $5 a yard. I highly recommend I've ordered from them in the past and they ship quickly and have so many great fabrics in stock. Don't say I didn't warn you!