Saturday, August 29, 2009

Midwest Modern Contest Entries

My entries for Amy Butler's Midwest Modern Contest are finished and yes, I actually entered them! I didn't chicken out! (Which was a HUGE step for me! Those of you who know me understand!) My first piece was a purse that I designed. I foundation pieced all of my left over "strings" to a piece of muslin.

My next piece was a MUCH needed portfolio to keep my split personalities organized! I have been very intrigued by the new textile trend of selvedge sewing so I grabbed up all of my Midwest Modern selvedges from my scrap bin and foundation pieced those as well to develop this great portfolio.

One side is business and one side is personal. I have places for checkbooks as well as my business cards (A Joyful Soul Fabrics and NSHS Ombudsman stuff.) There are places to stuff receipts/stamps/post it notes...all of the things that get lost because they end up at the bottom of my purse.

I had to raid my stash of ribbons and vintage buttons for these projects which is always fun! I've already had one request to develop both patterns into a class which is so flattering! Or maybe I just have the greatest friends on God's Green Earth!! (The latter is the absolute truth!!)

If you have a Midwest Modern project you'd like to enter, just send pictures to The deadline is September 15 and your entries may be uploaded to her Flickr page. She's giving away patterns, Midwest Modern fabric and a signed copy of her book.

What's on my "Creative To-Do-List" now?? Well, besides a couple "Navy Quilt" requests, I have a dress floating around in my head right now and it absolutely needs to get out! It will either be the most beautiful thing I will ever wear or it will be a total disaster but I need to try it either way. I am in search of the perfect fabric which of course doesn't exist locally so I may take a trip to Dallas or OKC to find it. My first trick is to make a mold of my body. A couple friends, a bottle of wine, a form fitting T-shirt and a million rolls of duct tape....this should be interesting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One Donation Down, One to Go

I've finished the donation quilt for our CPO Selectee's. I did a rag quilt this time hoping that it will earn a little more money than the fleece blanket from last year. I've spent quite a bit of money on this one not to mention the time it took and the cramping hand from snipping all of the seams....but I'm not complaining or anything! Let's hope it will go for big bucks!

This is their T-shirt in the center. I used a lightweight fusible to stabilize so the knit wouldn't go nuts when I sewed it all together. It turned out great!

I love this Navy fabric! Everytime I see it, I smile!

That grey fabric is the exact color of the Big E (USS Enterprise, the best 3 years of my husband's career!)

This is the back. Not a great picture but trust me, the fabric is really cool! It's red and white striped swirly banners on a navy blue background with gold stars. So very patriotic!
Now that this one is done it's on to the Breast Cancer 3-day Walk donation quilt for my sister's team. It's at the quilter's now and I should have it back soon to be bound and shipped off! Then I get to sew for myself! I am redecorating my room in August Fields. I even bought a really neat antique wicker backed chair to recover.

Friday, August 21, 2009


(Not a chance.)

Hi Friends!

It has been a whirlwind week of sewing for me. I finished up some baby things for my best friends new addition, Rowan. We drove out to visit her and big sister Olivia (and Mom too!) to deliver her new Ellie/Blanket combo. The Happy Stacker didn't make it but she can't do much with it at 2 months old anyway so that will arrive later. I finished my sisters 3-day Breast Cancer Walk raffle quilt and two more samples for the shop. Now I'm working on a donation quilt for the Chief's Mess. I'm surprised that I haven't gotten sick of sewing by now but strangely enough, I am anticipating what my next project will be.

One thing's for sure! I need help!! Not the professional kind (well, maybe that too) but I think I need to hire someone to help out in the shop! It is impossible for me to sew as much as I need to sew, keep developing the web site and my patterns, keeping up with inventory, paperwork, packing and shipping. I'm not complaining! The shop is doing fantastic but I really thought I was going to be able to handle it all myself. Not a chance! I haven't been able to even think of shooting my online classes yet and before you know it, it will be show season again so I can forget about doing anything come December! I am having so much fun though. Well, not the paperwork part. Quickbooks is a HUGE mystery to me! I am trying to talk my Mom into doing my accounting stuff for me. I have no desire at all nor the skills, which is hysterical because I used to take care of the books for a guy in Virginia who owned his own business. Now I know why he dropped all his stuff off to me. I never could understand how he just couldn't do it himself. Now I know. It's not lack of knowledge, it's lack of motivation. I'd rather be sewing!

So here are the fruits of my labors over the past week:

This is also the quilt I am donating to raffle off for my sister's 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk Team. If anyone wants tickets, let me know.

These will be offered in my store as kits. I have 3 different colorways that will be offered. Check out this post to see the third colorway. This is a great priced kit at $55.00 that includes the pattern, Picture This by Ann Hansen of Pixiegirl Quilts, 10 fat quarters for the top, 3/8 for the small border, 1 3/8 for the big border and 3/4 for the binding. It is a nice lap size at 46.5" x 58" but I have mine hanging on the wall! It's too bright and cheery so it hangs outside my office so I can look at it while I work!
I better get back to work on this rag quilt for the Mess. I'm hoping this will bring in a lot of money for the Khaki Ball!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Domestic Goddess Review

Hi Friends!

It's been a busy few weeks but I've finished the third apron from Amy Butler's Domestic Goddess Aprons Pattern. I love to review her patterns. I always find it helpful to read "Real People" reviews before I attempt to tackle a project. I don't get paid by her studio so you'll get honest opinions from me. So, here goes:

Project One

Half Apron

The Half Apron was a blast. My sister requested an apron so I thought this would be a great time to test out the half apron. She chose the fabrics (LOVE them!) and I went for it. This was a super easy pattern to follow. It comes in 3 lengths. I made it at the Mid length but I think I would have been fine with the short length. My sister and I are both tall so I wanted to make sure it would have good coverage but in my opinion, it was too long. Not sure what Robin thinks. Hey, Robin, if you're reading this, comment on what you think about the length. The Apron requires some pleating across the front. Amy's directions for pleats are super easy so no issues there. The way the waistband goes on was really cool. Great directions, easy to follow. It also gives you an option for long or short ties. According to the picture on the cover, the long ties should wrap all the way around your waist and tie in front so this is what I opted for. Well, Amy used one of her super skinny friends as a model so it is a bit misleading as to how much tie you actually have hanging. I am a size 14/16 and was able to tie at the front with a bit to spare. Certainly not as much as the model on the cover! But that's okay! It still works. If you want more to hang and you are my size or larger, it would not be a problem to just add some inches to the ties. (You might need to add enough yardage to account for the length.) Easy!

Project Two
Pleated Full Apron

While a little more time consuming than the half apron, the pleated apron was just as easy. A few more pleats since you are pleating the front bodice as well as the bodice lining but it all went together very easily. The one thing I will change on this one for the next time? I am going to add a few more inches to the bodice length. This will also require my adding inches to the bodice sides. It would be really cool if these instructions were included in the pattern but most of these patterns are made with an average height woman in mind. I am a few inches over average....every woman in my family is. This apron, however, was made for a friend who just turned 40 and happens to be vertically challenged, so there! A perfect fit! This is the shortest length option. I think I prefer this length vs. the mid length.

Project Three

Split Bodice Full Apron

(This one is mine!)

Again, easy to follow instructions and a quick project. This bodice has a drawstring neckline and when I make another one for myself (my goal is to have one for every day of the week!) I will definitely add a few more inches to the bodice. As you can see, it needs to be just a little longer to look right. I might also pull the bodice sides all the way to the end of the apron sides. I don't know, I might like it with "fuller coverage". Don't get me wrong, I love this apron! Super cute!

In my opinion, this would be a great pattern for all levels of sewers. Don't let the pleats or waistline scare you. The instructions are so easy to follow! I especially love that now that I have made all three, the pattern will be easy to adjust to account for my height. I love being tall but it does make it hard to sew for myself with my limited garment sewing history!

***** 5 Fabulous Stars...Again! *****

As usual, if any of you are in the middle of a pattern or project and need just a little help to get you through, please email me! I love to help people complete their projects and if I don't know the answer, I'll find out for you! Also, if there is a pattern that you want me to try out, let me know!

~~A Little Shop News~~

We will be participating in the Fab Shop Network Summer Blowout Sale this month. I will have some super crazy prices on some of our project kits and fabrics. Click on the link for my web site to check it out. This sale starts August 17 and ends August 21. It's a short one so check out the store fast! I'll blog and give you the link the day before the sale starts. Sign up for my blog updates and you'll receive an email to remind you.