Traveling Pic-Stitch bloghop

This post is part of the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop.  From 1st October - 30th November we are hopping all over the world EPP-ing in some fantastic locations.  Check out the full list here and be sure to check out the other participants. Life is crazy 'round here these days! I'm drowning in fabric to be sewn into samples for Quilt Market (luckily it's awesome fabric), and my WONDERFUL husband surprised me with a last minute ticket to Sewing Summit! Excited does NOT adequately express my feelings right now. totally worth the all-nighters I'm going to have to pull to get stuff done before and after.  In the mean time, I've been working on hand sewing every chance I can get! I have a bunch of pics to post, at some point, including (finally) my finished Tangerine Tango quilt!

But on to the bloghop!


we live about 2 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, and my kiddos have a favorite playground on the bluffs, so we went down at sunset last week, and I made the hubs get involved... he took these pictures:the ocean and the sky at sunset

sunset and ocean

I took the yellow, pink, and purply-blues, and made this piece:

and, since The Bean is already worrying about me leaving, last night I quilted it up into a pillow for her. I like to pretend that I'm Angela Walters when I FMQ, so I totally copied her and did these super tight lines on the blue feathers.

I quilted big petals everywhere. I added in The Bean's name, just because I felt like it.

and that's my finished project! hopefully she feels loved even though I'm gone (it's a whopping 4 day (3 night) trip, but she's only 3, after all). And isn't it pretty?

I think I put her name on it so I couldn't keep it myself. ;)

Sponsored by Paperpieces.comFabricwormPink Castle Fabrics  Marmalade Fabrics, the Fat Quarter ShopWantItNeedItQuilt, and Aurifil.

Full details for competition entry can be found here.

On 30th November it's over to you to link up for a chance to win these fabulous prizes!

Thanks for visiting, be sure to check out the other sites!

the next few days of the hop are here:

11 Jessica @ Life Under Quilts
13 Catherine @KnottedCotton
14 Amanda @ AmandaMillar
15 Rachel @ Stitched In Colour
but if you go here, you'll see the whole line up. COOL stuff.

Block of the day

it seems like journalling is becoming a thing these days, and part of me wants to jump right in and play along, either with lists or special books or whatever, but another part of me remembers the Project Life album I requested 4 years ago that remains unopened, etc, and thinks perhaps something simpler would be better.... so last night I was looking at journals online (because I rarely listen to the latter part of me, I'm all impulse), and saw some 365 book, advising how to do a project for 365 days.... and a lightbulb lit up So here's my quilt block of the day (for yesterday):


center is a Cosmo print scrap from my dress, text is Architextures, by Carolyn Freidlander (coming soon by RK). Block measures 4.5" square, and took 3 minutes. this fabric combo made me so happy at 11pm last night.

My goal is to do one block every day, with scraps that are on my cutting table. On crazy busy days, I might just cut 2.5" squares, on relaxed days, I might make a more intense 8.5" block.... I'm gonna to it magic # style... at the end of the year, I'll see what it looks like, and maybe turn it into a quilt... or maybe just at the end of the month?

Does anyone want to play with me? (cough cough, Liberty, I'm thinking of you)

Overwhelmed by WIP's Wednesday...

I had to take a blood test at the Dr this morning, and took some quilty books to look at while waiting for the hour to pass... As I did so, I reminded myself that I have several unfinished projects... I made a list... this is stuff that's already been cut/started (but just fabric/yarn purchased/saved doesn't count)

it's a little overwhelming, and on top of the fact that I failed my glucose test, (and therefore have to go back sometime soon for the 4 hour test, which is HORRIBLE), I'm feeling a little overwhelmed (or maybe just whelmed, since it means the EXACT same thing as overwhelmed. English makes no sense.).

So, I decided to start with garage-ing the fabrics I have plans for, but are as yet still yardage. to clear some space in my cutting area.

In doing so, I found a box o' blocks from the Modify Tradition QAL, however many years ago that was... I think I need to whip this out into a quilt top so I can be done with it....


but they're all different sizes, so I have to figure that out... I have lots of Kona in Ruby, and some more of that red floral that's in every block....


I also found this baby quilt top... not sure why it was abandoned, but it needs to be quilted and gifted to some little baby girl pronto.


here's my list....

I'm gonna try to get some of the easier things done quickly, so I can shorten this list.

painting the roses: aqua, white, glacier, curry (piecing) C negroni shirt (sew) butterfly quilt (on red) grandmother's fan/dresden (piecing) Summer Sampler (piecing) Modify Tradition (make into top) crockett monster pants (knit) D pirate sweater (knit) afgahn (crochet) (need to find hook) hexy sweater (crochet) (NEED TO FIND) Xmas swoon Tangerine Tango (paper piecing) Windmill quilt (hand quilting 1/2 done) found baby quilt (needs back and quilting) floral embroidery quilt dad quilt (needs quilting) Postage Stamp (needs back and quilting) D raincoat (need to sew now that I have buttons)

Day 3: KCW challenge

I bought this birthday card from Trader Joe's several months ago, for no reason other than that I LOVE the dress. image

Since my Ottobre Kids mags *STILL* haven't arrived (ok, magazines from Norway or wherever they are have a right to take a while), I think I'm going to attempt this today. Time to see what stripey fabric I have in my stash...

BTW, Day 2 of KCWC was spent knitting (and binding a quilt), not sewing, but since I was knitting another pair of longies for Baby Crockett, I think it counts.


Market time


I got my postage stamp quilt top done just in time. Quilting it will have to wait till June, as I've been informed that the craze of market has begun. This week I have to paper piece a quilt top:


Design, sew, and write the pattern for a duvet cover; make a clutch bag or 2; make a pair of ladies shorts, and a pair of reversible baby pants; design, sew, and write the pattern for a sewing machine cover; make some free-motion-quilting samples; write up the pattern for that lift-the-flap bunting quilt; sew a shop sample and write the pattern for that hobo bag I designed, and, um, maybe that's it (other than maintaining my house, homeschooling, etc).


So here's a gratuitous beauty shot of my postage stamps. Just because. I'll post sneaky shots when I can, but y'all can expect a deluge of posts after market at the end of May!

I have tons of back logged blog posts, but this makes my too happy to wait...

This bag is my tester, to see if I could figure out how to set the zipper in below the top edge, without having to cut the front into 2 pieces. Of course, this method means that tabbing my zippers is completely unhelpful, but at least I figured out the hard part.Side note: my house smells lively because the Jasmine is all blooming and beautiful. I love LA winters. 20120202-150510.jpg


20120202-150553.jpg Oh, and my apologies for all the tester/missing posts. I'm trying to figure out how to post via email, and somehow neither I nor my very smart hubs can figure it out....

Appliqué and thimbling

20111108-221658.jpg I <3 Interlibrary Loan! After buying my Thimblelady thimble a few weeks ago, and loving it, I used ILL to order her quilting and applique books... I read through the Applique book today, and then practiced this butterfly.... Not bad for my first attempt, right? I started with practice butterfly #5 of 20 (sequenced in order of difficulty). I think I'm hooked!

Oh, and here's a sneak peek of a teeny tiny swoon bit I'll be guest posting about on Thursday:


Photo shoot!

Lauren (of Sewmodern) asked for some pics of me and my kiddos and pets and sewing stuff (ie a headshot and some "studio" shots). But my "studio" is all over my house. My cutting table is in the enclosed porch I share with the laundry and dogs. My ironing board is behind the sofa. My sewing machines are in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and garage. So we lugged *some* of my quilts and machines into the front yard, C climbed a ladder, and we came up with these: 20111103-205601.jpg





20111103-205809.jpg Not pictured: an industrial sewing machine, 2 sergers, 4 hens, 2 huge dogs, and 3 other cats. (Radiator really likes it when I hand quilt. The hand underneath *might* just be a rat. He cannot resist.)

a little school jumper...

So, obviously yesterday was 9/11, and I totally couldn't handle it.  I hugged D so hard at one point he complained (he normally loves hugs)... It's a crazy day for me, because we could see the smoke (and we were covered in ash by evening) from across the bay (we, my best friends and I, were all in New Haven, CT at school), so it was pretty tangible, but not tangible like the people who lived IN the city, (although we did go there a good deal). And I found out afterward that my high-school-job-at-the-Gap boss, Ron Gamboa, and his partner Dan, and their 3 year old son, (all of whom I had met, and whose house I'd been at numerous times), was in one of the planes that went into the towers. Geez, I'm tearing up while I write this. But I went to school with people whose parents/siblings/close friends WERE IN THE TOWERS, or were in med school dealing with the emergency stuff, etc, and so my personal trauma has always felt minor compared to theirs...

Still too much for me to deal with though.

So I went crazy yesterday making things. Like that dress on top.

It's just like this yellow-bird jumper I made a few weeks ago, but I wanted to try a new piping idea...  and it worked! yay!


I decided to make a little bib front, and so I used some straight stitch and a decorative stitch (the asterisks), and some old buttons from my gram, and I crocheted a little trim to give it a bit more dimension (I would have preferred lace, but I really didn't want to go anywhere yesterday)

it was just chain stitch with a DC in each chain all the way around, using perle cotton, then sewed down with the bib...

I did the same decorative stitch on the pockets, (but no crochet).  The Bean really likes the buttons. a lot.

The Bean seemed pretty happy with it, although, since I was using a pattern I made almost a year ago, I added an inch in width to both the front and the back. whadyaknow, it's about 2 inches too big around... le sigh. SOMEDAY she will grow, right? (actually, she IS getting taller, finally. those blue pants are size 6-12m, and now they're shorts!)

I blind-hemmed some bias tape for the bottom:

and am quite happy with the finished result... so then, to avoid being alone and watching the news, I also worked on this dress. Non-teaser pics to come soon:




Warning: feel free to skip the words and look at the pictures. Just prepare to be disappointed by my pictures. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I started this blog just to keep track (albeit in a public way) of my crafty adventures. I do not strive to earn money by blogging, nor do I try to entice random subscribers to read. This is a selfish blog. For me to track my own progress, and perhaps to allow me to connect with other crafters out in the world. I am not a professional photographer. I am not a professional writer. I am not a professional crafter. I am a mom. I need to make something, to accomplish something tangible on a daily basis, because being a stay-at-home mom is very hard. Occasionally I get caught up in the lure of professional blogging, and therefore edit my projects, or refrain from sharing something because it is imperfect, or imperfectly photographed. But then when I try to refer back, I realize I never showed that, or worse, because it was finished last minute, and I didn't have the "nice" camera, I never recorded it. Tonight I made a backpack. I want one for me. A light but comfy one (ie, no laptop compartment, but yes wide padded straps), for packing a picnic lunch in, or snacks, etc when we hike about the hill. I used today's junk mail to draw out what I wanted (after looking at pinterest and google images for inspiration first). I raided the garage for some of Grandma's old fabric (I wound up with some kind of weird polyester/wool blend, maybe? Strong and SUPER itchy!), didn't bother ironing it, or checking grain, (even though it's plaid). I had 2 kids "helping" me throughout the drafting, cutting, sewing process, and it's JUST a test. For size, for construction; A TEST. I finished it. D won't pose in it (even though it fits him perfectly), because it is (VERY) itchy (what can I say, I knew I would NEVER use this fabric for anything other than a tester).  So I tried it on the bean. But she's too tiny:

Indietute's Toddler Backpack would be PERFECT for her. but she doesn't actually need  a backpack
Then I took pics on the floor:
At night, with artificial light, with an iPhone.
I tried to improve things by posing the backpack on a toddler chair:
But I haven't ironed the fabric (for the record, the lack of ironing is not ONLY laziness, but also a general fear that this gross fabric might melt and ruin my new Miracle Board ironing cover (which I love) and make me sad).
So it isn't showing up well. Here's the dilemma. Do I hold off posting it, waiting for that perfect day/weather/time/model/setting/cameraso that I can stage it and stuff it and make it catalog worthy? Or do I accept that that time might never come, seize the moment, and just post it as is, knowing that, as it was a success, pattern wise, I will make more, prettier, soon?
Obviously I have decided to post now, unedited. I hope you, dear random reader, will not think less of me for my realistic posts, but rather be inspired to play around, make mistakes, enjoy the process, and share your unedited moments.
I think this is especially affecting me right now because my wonderful hubs, knowing that I want to sell patterns, eventually, has built me a fancy, reasonably professional website. Once I figure out how to do all the fancy things (and import this blogger site over) I'll switch over to that one exclusively... The thing is, while I want to present myself professionally, I also want to show my imperfections... I CAN make a perfect quilt/backpack/dress/mens-shirt, but it takes practice and testing etc, and even when things are made perfectly, they don't always photograph well... So here's my promise (or my threat, depending on your point of view)... I will "feature" my best work, but always post the random/off/mistakes/tests that are so much a part of creating. 
Am I overthinking? probably. Sorry. But professional craft blogging is so prevalent, I feel that I need to shout : THIS IS MY CRAFT JOURNAL, NOT A CRAFT BLOG or something so that I don't get judged for the poor photography, lack of freebies, etc.  and so people realize that I am just a mom, trying to make something personal, record it, and perhaps inspire others to do the same.