Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Bittersweet Ending

Well, it's done! And I'm kind of sad! Weird, right? I don't know, I've never quite had this feeling before. I've always been relieved when I've finished a project. But this one had me in such a quiet and peaceful place, I really am sad that I'm finished! I did disappear for about a week. My friends were wondering where the heck I went. But, I resurfaced this morning with my "Therapy" quilt finished. Now, when I snuggle under it, all of those peaceful and quiet feelings will come back to me!

I'm thrilled with it and I think I may even attempt to quilt it myself. It will look fabulous in our booth. The quilt I made above is from the Creamy Gelato colorway. I love the Apricot with the bright Fuchsia. It's truly sparkling! I do have these quilt kits available in the shop in case you're interested. Here is the other colorway. (Courtesy of Patricia Bravo.)

This is a fun looking color combo. Now the kit that is in the shop is bigger than the quilt above. The picture they sent me was of a smaller version of this. The kit is an 80"x 80" and has 6 12' finished blocks across. Here is a link to these kits:

Monday, October 11, 2010

This Blasted ADD!

No, I have not been officially diagnosed but I'm willing to bet my entire fabric stash on the fact that I have ADD. Albeit, a mild form but I am constantly trying to maneuver around these wild hairs of mine so I can actually get something accomplished. I don't think you'll blame me on this one though. This was a fun wild hair! I'm working on the Sweet Dreams quilt as you know. You'll see a picture of my progress below. In the middle of this project, the UPS man HAD to interrupt with a shipment of the Portabellopixie pattern, Cupake Pincushion. This pattern has been out for a while but I have recently jumped on the cupcake bandwagon! I took the scraps from my Sweet Dreams Quilt and cut out a couple small ("low-calorie") cupcakes and started sewing.

On the cover of the pattern, Sandi has the cutest little cupcake pin in her cushion. She lists where you can find them in her pattern. It is an artisan on ( who is so talented an imaginitive. I strolled through her etsy shop and wanted one of everything! She hand paints her little clay sculptures and puts them on the end of stick pins. So adorable! The cupcake pins were something like $8.50...for ONE. I really wish my business was going so well that I could afford to pay $8.50 for one pin but this economy has me pinching everywhere I can. So, I decided I would try my hand at it. We went to Michaels and bought some clay.

Remember how I said that these pins were $8.50 each on Gigi Minor's etsy shop? Yeah, after making my own...she should be charging $20 for ONE!! What a lot of work! But it was super fun! Needless to say, I won't be starting a clay sculpture pin business any time soon. I'll leave that to Gigi! But these pins turned out really cute and they will look awesome in our booth at the front table next to the cash register!

As promised, a picture of my progress on the Creamy Gelato Sweet Dreams Quilt. It's a bit blurry. I took it at night and I really need the natural light to make photos come out. My sister was the one blessed with the photography gene. Not me!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Windows open. Ready To Go!

Ah, this quilt. My Sweet Dreams sewing sessions are fast becoming my meditation time. I've opened the windows to let this crisp, cool Texas Fall air sweep into my sewing room and clear my mind of all that is stressing me out. For the minutes I am able to sit at my machine, the rhythm of piecing this quilt is helping me put my mind at ease. And isn't it easier to handle the trials that life can throw at you when your mind is in the right place?

The morning started a bit rocky. I exceeded my coffee limit of one cup and had a second which threw me into a caffeine induced craze. Even my daughter wondered what in the world was wrong with me. I'm silly to begin with but when she thinks I'm nuts, I know I've gone off the deep end! (All I remember was squaredancing with my Lab. And I don't know how to squaredance.) It took about an hour for that second cup to wear off so I am now ready to sit and center myself. I am now on the last unit of the second combination. Almost ready to piece all of these sparkling squares together.

One thing I must say before I forget. I did go out and buy myself a 6.5" square ruler. Can I tell you how much time I'm saving with this little beauty? Boatloads! If you attempt this pattern, invest in a 6.5" square ruler! I bought the Quilt-in-a-Day 6.5" Triangle Square Up Ruler by Eleanor Burns. Worth it's weight in gold for this project! (Any 6.5" square ruler will do!)

I won't have much time to work on this as the husband is off early today and will, I am certain, be ready to decorate this house for Halloween. It happens to be his favorite holiday so we "Griswald" it up at Halloween. It looks like the November 1st clearance aisle at Wal-Mart. The only thing I like about Halloween is candy corn (well, I LOVE candy corn) and the fact that Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away. This year is particularly special. My sewing buddy and Mother-in-law will be joining us for Thanksgiving this year and I am so excited! I'll be setting up a second machine so we can make a quilt together. Now I need to find the perfect project! Then, the Christmas holiday will be spent with my family. I'm in desperate need of Mommy Time. You just can't be too old for some Mommy Time, can you? Well, I am going to turn on some Metric and Paramore and get back to my meditation. (Nothing like some good girl rock to get you going!) I'm hoping to have a finished quilt to show you by the end of this long weekend!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Unit 2 and 3 for Combo 1...(huh??)

For those of you who care to follow along on this quilting journey, this is Unit 2 and 3 (when turned upside down) of my Combination #1 block for the Sweet Dreams Quilt.

This is the completed Combo #1 block with all four units. I was pretty impressed with the seams, a couple of them were a bit off but all in all, I think I did a pretty good job. Not having that 6.5" square ruler is causing me to take a little too much time trimming the units so I'm off to the quilt shop tomorrow to grab that. Making this quilt has got me all zen-like! I'm so calm today!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sewing is my THERAPY...only more expensive.

Those of us who enjoy sewing use it as a form of therapy. (You all know what I mean when I say more expensive. Take a look at your stash.) It most likely makes us happy (most of the time), we feel productive, it nurtures our creative mojo and so on. When you own a business that is centered around your form of "therapy", it is very easy for the "therapy" part to fly out the window (along with the sewing machine). It becomes a "have to". Lately, sewing has very easily ranked right up there with doing the dishes, the laundry and even cleaning out the garage (scheduled for this weekend). But I have started a project that has brought back that sense of calm that I can only find with the purr of my Pfaff!

Traveling the Quilt Show circuit means that I have to have samples on display of the quilt kits I carry. As you can see above, my booth is plastered with them! It makes it easier for a customer to see a finished product than just looking at a picture. I normally stick to projects that are simple with big pieces. Most of my customers are like me, I don't have the time or space to have a project laying around for weeks or even days for that matter. Quick and easy is what I'm all about! Unfortunately, that frame of mind has brought a "manic-ness" to my sewing life.

I have started a quilt by Pat Bravo using her Sugar line of fabric. I bought the entire line for our shop and planned on using this pattern to make kits. It's a beautiful quilt but when I sat down and started reading the directions, I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into.
One inch strips? Are you serious? And to top that off, I need about 800 of them. Not to mention the roughly 250 triangles. I don't know why but triangles scare me. I'll find just about any short cut to avoid piecing a triangle.

I've done some work with selvedges but I foundation pieced them onto muslin so it was a breeze. These little 1" fabric worms are just being pieced with a 1/4" seam and it scared me. I sat down at my machine and started to sew...because I HAD to. The way these blocks are put together it was very easy to organize myself into a chain piecing party so I took my first unit and laid it out on my sewing table in order and started to piece.

Can I just tell you, I have no idea why I was fretting so much over this quilt. And I don't think I'm ever going to say that I'm not a quilter ever again. The peace and tranquility that came over me while I put these units together was blissful. My family wasn't too happy as dinner was completely forgotten but I was in "the Zone"!

It helps having the best sewing machine ever! She and I will never part! I love my P-faff as I lovingly refer to her. I replaced my open stitch plate with a closed, put my 1/4" foot on and engaged the IDT. A little Bravo on TV and I was good to go.

Sew a set of strips and turn in my chair to the pressing board to iron them flat and back to sew the next strip. I took them in sets of 18 and that was perfect to keep me alert and interested in what I was doing.

Here is my beautiful rainbow of scary triangles and 1" strips. Isn't it pretty? I was going to show you a picture of the finsihed quilt but it's one of those computer generated deals and I thought it would be fun for you to see the progression!

In Pat Bravo's directions, she suggests getting a 6.5" square ruler to do your trimming. I wish I had one and I probably will head out this weekend to get one but my regular 6" wide ruler is proving to be just fine. I need to pay a little more attention to the lines than I would with the square ruler but it's cool. I can manage for now.

So this is Unit 1 (and flipped upside down is unit 4) for my Combo #1 block. There are two combinations of blocks that when pieced together make a gorgeous, sparkling beauty!

When finished, this quilt is 80" x 80". The kit includes over 10 yards of fabric for the top and binding. Another 5 1/2 yards is suggested for a backing. The kit retails for $99.75 and comes in two different colorways: Fruity Sherbert and Creamy Gelato which is the one I decided to do. For the first week of October, I am offering free shipping within the United States too! I'm so excited to be working on this quilt and sewing is no longer a "HAVE to". I'm finding my happiness in sewing again. If only cleaning the garage made me this happy....I might be able to pull my car in!