Peace, Love & .......

I have been working on a few new projects in the new year. My friend karin asked if i could help her make a custom baby gift, and of course, if you know me well - then you know this sparked tons of imagination for me and the ideas came so fast I couldn't catch up with them... Thanks to her it led me to doing a few other things that have been sitting on the back burner in the right side of my brain!

Here is a shot of my first custom adult applique shirt - modern style.
Peace, Love & Wool

Peace, Love & ......... what would yours say??? I will show you what mine says in a week or so!

I also finished my blocks for Cancer is Sew done, in the nick of time. I met my February 1st deadline a week early! They were fun and easy to make once I found the extra time to do them. I am making 2 child size quilts for Project Linus and will use 2-3 of the friendship blocks in these quilts also.

The top one is from Amy Butler's 'I love Lotus' fabric line and because I ran my deadline so short I didn't have a chance to go get some solids to add in, so i put all of the patterns together - this wasn't my first choice and I don't think i would ever do it for an entire quilt - but it did grow on me. The 2nd block is from the 'everyday is christmas' group and i little more in favor of my modern taste - i like the pink thrown in with the xmas fabric.

I have spent a few days reflecting on where sewing has taken me in my life. I was introduced to it at a very young age by my Aunt who had 3 boys and no girls. She and my Uncle were always hand-making me things and their youngest son was 9 years older than me, so I would say i was definately spoiled by them. I have very fond memories of Strawberry Shortcake dollhouses, a giant rocking giraffe, handmade barbie clothes and doll clothes. The best hand-painted doll chest for my 'American Girl' doll and clothes to go with. My 2 sons play with many of these items today (among their loads of trucks, legos, trains and all-boys toys!). She taught me how to sew and gave me the fabric and tools i needed to construct my first quilt with 4" square blocks when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I still have that quilt and dabbled in and out of sewing during the years but never 'really' getting into it until after my first son was born.

Suddenly I felt the need to create again and began reading and researching everything sewing i could get my hands on. I borrowed, then bought my own machine and took it up again. Most of you know where that took me and I founded and owned a custom sewing company for 4 years until I sold it. I began sewing for myself again and started thinking of what I was really passionate about - learning the art of quilting. Then I began sewing cloth diapers for a good friend. I have been doing that for about a year and a half now and have enjoyed every minute of creating the delicate pieces. I just learned a few days ago, very sadly, that she has decided to close up shop. Such a hard decision that many small business owners, especially in the craft and hobby, sector, and much WAHM businesses (work at home mom's) have to contemplate. The art of balancing raising children and working from home is almost impossible to achieve for the wages you make. I will be sad to sew my last 60 cloth diapers but am excited at where my sewing will go next.

After almost 6 years of constant sewing, I have finally realized I am somewhat of an expert in certain areas of sewing. It's funny to think that and really crazy to say it out-loud. But, I am a very good, detailed seamstress. By absolutely no means does this mean that I never rip out seams, or make mistakes, but my work is exceptional. I've spent many years learning, researching, trying new things and finding my niches and growing in my abilities - just as anyone else would in their full-time job. I can't wait to explore the next area and start creating my own quilts and putting my ideas on paper. I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me!


Welcome 2010

It seems like the last month has been a big frenzy sending us into the new year. We were so grateful to have family in town for 2 weeks after Christmas. We had so much fun even though the weather was exceptionally cold for southwest Florida. This week was our 2nd week back to school and of course the germs returned and our little guy is sick with virus and ear infection. He was so worn out yesterday he fell asleep on the bathroom floor waiting for me to get out of the shower and lay down with him!
My parents and grandparents drove down after Christmas and then my grandparents stayed an extra week afterwards. We did so many fun things....

Christmas pj's in person!

A little Rockband on Christmas Eve...

We spent a lot of time cruising around Coconut Point Mall...an outdoor mall less than a mile from our house with lots to do! Dad and the boys outside the Trek Bicycle Store...

The boys outside of Moe's - I'm so very lucky that they get along so well and love each other so much!
Dad taught Tyler how to hold up #2 for how old he is - try it - not an easy thing for chubby little fingers! More coordination involved than what we know!

Tyler and I at Lakes Park (the train park!)

I did get some sewing done over the Holidays, sadly I only had 1 WIP finish for the Joy in the New Year Challenge, but that is okay! My grandma brought her double wedding rings quilt that she had started hand-quilting about 15 years ago and hadn't done anything with for over 10 years. She had 8 blocks finished and we cut out the pieces for 4 more blocks and I machine pieced the little pieces for her. I was able to send her home with 4 more blocks to piece together - this definately brought Joy in the new year by starting an old project and adding another generation of sewing and handiwork to the project. When she originally starting cutting this quilt there were no rotary cutters. She was tracing the pieces by hand and cutting them out with quilting scissors. I introduced her to a mini-rotary cutter and mat and we cut the blocks in probably 1/4 of the time it would have taken years ago.

I also stumbled upon this challenge while at the bookstore browsing the magazine section...I've learned to use the memo function on my phone for things like this - I type in the title of a book, website, etc. when I find something interesting that I want to check out later, but not necessarily purchase the book or magazine. So, I came home and went on the All People Quilt 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge website and downloaded 4 FREE pillowcase tutorials. If you have a coordinating 1 1/4 yards of fabric you can donate to this wonderful cause and be part of the challenge. I tested out the basic pattern on a train fabric Tyler had picked out with Grandma over vacation. It is SO easy!!! Take the challenge today - I dare you!

I have also started another one of these pillows, because they are so easy and I love doing them - no measuring at all!! Other than that I managed to clean (literally wipe off) the top of my cutting / crafting table yesterday - which really means i sorted, put away, threw away all the contents crowding the top of it - this really needs to be done at least twice a year, right? I really wanted a fresh start to 2010~ and now feel like i have it. I have sorted my immediate sewing projects into 3 stacks for most current and hope to add to that often. I am starting a list on the left hand side of 2010 WIP's (works in progress) and hopefully they will filter into 2010 projects finished.

Last but not least I finished sewing these custom beauties yesterday for my friend / founder at OBB Diapers....aren't they amazing?