Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh Baby! I finished a baby quilt... a week late.

Ta da! Here's a bright little baby quilt I made for a sweet new baby girl. The shower was last weekend, but I don't think the baby will mind too much.
On this quilt I did everything. I designed the pattern (not that it's anything revolutionary), I pieced it all together and then quilted it on my little home machine. It's "mostly straight" lines that matched the piecing.
Here's the back. I love pieced backs. And I added a label that has the baby's name and birthday. Whew! Feels good to finish a project, even when it is a week late.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Look At This ADORABLE Puppy Pouch!

How cute is this guy? I used the brand new Straight Stitch Society "Feed The Animals Coin Purse" pattern and I absolutely love it. AND I actually put in a zipper, something I've been avoiding for a while and it wasn't even that hard (in fact, I'm thinking I'll make the other two animals soon).

The pattern totally walked me through my anxiety about tackling a zipper (can you see the part where is says to take a deep breath and get out your zipper??), which really cracked me up and made the process a lot more fun.

Let's see... I also recently made my new Mail Sack purse out of some lovely Melody Miller Fabric I've been coveting for a while. I really stressed for a while on what to pair with these awesome typewriters...

then I found the bright and amazing floral pattern by Phillip Jacobs - perfect! Bright and fun, just what I need for summer (hopefully it gets here soon).

Here's my awesome bag in action. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this pattern? (PS I made P's shirt too... an ode to the car he currently loves and loves to take apart—I don't get it but it's fun to make custom t-shirts as gifts).

And speaking of making shirts, here's my last project to share. My ba-BLING Sis Boom Dana Top made out of ba-BLING Dear Stella fabric. It's peacock feathers with gold lamme sprinkled in. I know it sounds crazy, but I think it's lovely and just the right amount of ba-BLING! I finished it up on Mother's Day right before Quilt Market (it was supposed to be for Quilt Market but I was so excited about the ba-BLING that I wore it for Mother's Day too).

Cheers!! Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Charlotte Made An Adorable Apron

I'm so proud of my 8 year old (almost 9) daughter Charlotte. Here she is posing with an apron she made (mostly) by herself. We used the new Riley Blake Verona Apron Panel, which I highly recommend for beginners or sewing with kids. It was quick, easy and a lot of fun. Plus look how darling it turned out. You could easily add your own embellishments to really make it your own masterpiece.
It took Charlotte maybe 15 minutes to cut everything out, give or take a few minutes if you add time to play with Sparky and scraps while cutting.

Then the next night we started sewing the pieces together. I had Charlotte do most of it herself. I've had her help me make other little projects (we're both beginners) and she's gotten better and better and handling the machine. At first it was scary, I was worried about somebody loosing a finger, but now that thought only occasionally pops in my head. It would be neat to get her into a sewing class for kids, and maybe she could eventually teach me a few techniques.

She sewed and turned the pocket and straps.

I had her do the pressing too.

I did the finishing edge all around the apron.

She chose the layout of the apron with the pocket at the top and buttons. It turned out great and she's so proud of herself. Now I'm thinking it would be fun to get another colorway (this one is calling my name) and making matching Mom & Daughter Aprons. I bet our cookies will taste even better when we make them wearing these adorable aprons! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Epic Race: Turtle vs Hare 2012

Once upon a time, there was a resourceful, little turtle who was tired of racing and losing against a cocky, little hare. The clever little turtle took his allowance money and bought himself a bicycle and the rest is history. 
My submission for the Spoonflower Weekly Contest. This week's category: Bicycles (3-color). I thought it would be kind of fun to try to create a bit of a story with the design.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Name Tag and More! (lots more)

Last month I joined the Portland Modern Quilt Guild (PMQG) — YAY! Exciting! It's really inspiring, there are so many talented quilters out there.... and they're pumping out super amazing quilts like crazy! We meet each month and they're all bringing new incredible quilts to show & tell each meeting. WOW (where do they find the time?)! I love it, the ideas the colors, the fabrics. Last month they kicked off the new year by asking members to make a name tag to wear at meetings. Above is the name tag I made. BRIGHT, Amy Buttler and Anna Maria Horner fabrics - plus I used the sparkle thread I won at the last meeting (I love sparkles even more than bright). Then I ironed on my label I created for my quilts and added some buttons for a little extra touch of cute. The binding isn't the greatest (it's actually kinda sucky because I was in a hurry and it's pretty darn tricky to make a binding for a little tiny quilt) but's it's OK I still like it, even if it's not perfect.

I've been plugging away on my Sparkle Punch Quilt Along. I've got a long way to go, but I'm hoping to finish for my daughter's birthday in April. Cross your fingers for me.

Here's the awesome swap gift I received from my GenQ Valentine Swap partner. It's a lovely little zipper pouch. The colors are gorgeous - scrappy pinks and reds. But my favorite part is the quilting she did on it. Random straight lines, some follow the shapes and others are just on their own. Looks great.

And look at this super cute pin cushion my sweet friend made for me! Doesn't it look GREAT with all my favorite leaf pins stuck in it? So colorful and cute. I love it!! 

In the meantime I've been doing a lot of drawing (instead of sewing). More cartoony caricatures for my friend in the commercial real estate biz. I hope these guys like their funny bottle labels I've been making. Here's the finished project — a custom Maker's Mark bottle— for the last drawing I posted.

It's kind of weird to draw pictures of all these random people I've never met. Here's the next one I've been finishing up this weekend.

I'm working on my watercolor skills with Painter as well. Below is my Christmas card (I know - old news) I drew for this past Christmas. Painter is a little less forgiving than working in Illustrator, so it's a bit of a learning curve. I really love the look though. 

I'm practicing and hopefully I'll get a lot more polished at these cute watercolor illustrations soon.

Monday, February 6, 2012

This Little Piggie is Going to Austin ...

Here's my first swap project - Petunia the Love Pig. Or maybe just Petunia. She's headed to my swap partner in Austin, Texas tomorrow morning. It's the Melly & Me pattern and this is the second time I've made it (I'll probably make it a few more times since I know a lot of little people that like cuddly little piggies).
Petunia made the rounds posing with a few family members before getting stuffed in a box.

Here's an adorable baby announcement I did for an old friend. Look at those twin babies aren't they ADORABLE!

And here's another caricature I've been working on for a different friend. This guy is going on a bottle of bourbon as a thank you gift for a job well done on a big project. Bottoms up!! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Swap Gift and Graffiti Love Bots

Swap Gift and Graffiti Love Bots — what? Yep, that's right. Here's what I've been working on this past week.

I signed up for the GenQ Valentines Swap. Here's my Valentine surprise I'm working on for my swap buddy. I'm pretty excited, this is the first swap I've done and my partner looks pretty cool. Check out her blog. I hope she likes this little goody I'm working on. There's actually three different projects in the works in this picture. YIKES... I might need to just go take a clean-up break.

And.... I'm really digging the Spoonflower Fabric Design Contests. Putting together a fluid theme and repeat is way hard. It's much harder than I originally thought (all those gorgeous fabrics in the quilt shops make it look so easy!). I'm really enjoying the learning, and the reason to exercise my doodling skills— I get rusty if I don't draw for a while. Really rusty. The image above is my entry for the Graffiti/Street Art contest this week. I call it - Love Bots. Funny though, I don't really love it, but it was fun trying to come up with an idea and illustrate it based on the theme. What would you write if you had to graffiti up a wall?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spoonflower & Wonky Stars

I've been wanting to join the fun of the Spoonflower Weekly Fabric Contest ever since I heard about Spoonflower. Have you heard of Spoonflower? It's so cool — custom printed fabric! You upload your own designs and have it printed on a variety of different fabrics. AND there's so many talented people uploading their own incredible designs on a daily basis. Inspiration overload! So anyway, they do a weekly contest where they pick a theme and ask people to submit designs based on that theme. This submission is for "Outdated Technology". They specifically said "think cassette tapes" and my mind went immediately to all my old mix tapes! Mix Tapes - I loved them (I also had an obsession with recording Rick Dees Weekly Top 40s every Sunday too)!! And then I remembered my high school BFF who was pretty fond of creating fun mix tapes and adding her own dose of quotes and worldly wisdom in between songs. She was wise and quirky beyond her years in high school. Fun memories.

Other than that I've been cutting and cutting and cutting..... and cutting. I cut over 600 3.5" stars for the Sparkle Punch Quilt-Along. That took me most of a Sunday. I actually watched 3 movies on my computer while I was working on the cutting. Then I started cutting my negative space squares last weekend another 300+ to go. Fun times (mostly).
After a while I decided to try and make a few stars. They are trickier than they look. Elizabeth mentions testing out the technique on some scrap fabric before starting on your quilt fabric. I thought "pssssshhh" that doesn't look too hard and started on my precious squares. Turns out she was right. Figuring out that wonky angle and getting the angles to line up for a straight cut when you square up the edges is tricky! I had a few oppsies and a few seam ripper moments (after I learned to stop cutting the fabric BEFORE measuring to see if the angle worked), but I think I finally got the hang of it. I have five stars done and A LOT more to go.  I'm learning quite a bit along the way on this one. Quite a bit indeed.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hello 2012

Sheesh... What happened to 2011?! And what happened to me in December? I haven't been great at posting to my blog this past month. Here's what I've been up to:

Making bags with Valori Wells gorgeous Wrenly Home Dec fabric (Valori is from Central Oregon and although I don't really know her, I sort of feel like I do because I grew up in Central Oregon too... I know weird but I was pretty excited to use her fabric because of the Central O connection). It's my favorite bag pattern - The Mail Sack by Pink Chalk Studios. This time I actually tried the smaller version and it works pretty good. I can still cram if full of all the stuff I need to pack around. It's hands-free and stylish - LOVE. I made one bag for me and one bag for a friend.

Then I started making these awesome fabric bowls/boxes. The pattern is in the Sewing In A Straight Line book. It's really easy and quick, plus they turn out pretty cute. We made some for teacher gifts with the teachers' favorite animals on the fabric and filled them with their favorite candies too (cow fabric with butterfingers and peppermint patties in cat fabric incase you were curious). Then I made some for home so Paul could put his odds & ends into fancy little fabric boxes instead of just on the counter. Fancy, huh? I think he likes them, he said he'd like some for work too, but in more "manly fabric". Apparently flowers and chickens are not manly enough for office use. I like it though, look at those chickens standing on little eggs. Those of you who know me well, know my fascination with chickens. The fabric is by Robert Kaufman but I'm not sure of the name. 

Then I started making these fabric headband. Cute!! I just love them and they work so well keeping the girls' hair out of their eyes. Check out the tutorial here. Josie enjoys modeling for me.

And here's Charlotte and me with matching headbands. We were running to catch the bus yesterday and I made her stop real quick to snap a photo.

I finished my mom's quilt. Just in time to wrap it up and give it to her for Christmas. It turned out really lovely. I love the bright colors.
Here's the back with my special label that says "A Bright and Colorful Quilt for My Bright and Colorful Mom". Love you mom!!
And then I made some more of my fun labels. A friend of a friend of a friend (related to Papa's Packing Heat) wanted to surprise her mom with a custom wine bottle for her mom. How cute! Nana lives in Alabama so they call her "Nana Bama". The friend had one of her mom's co-workers trick Nana Bama into bringing in a baby picture for some work contest. Little did she know she'd be seeing that picture on her custom wine bottle on Christmas morning! Isn't that picture ADORABLE? I just love old pictures and she looks like a sweet little southern belle. 

And this is another Christmas gift where I drew the caricature of the body builder and slapped it on a custom vodka bottle label. That happens to be THE BIGGEST bottle of Kettle One I've ever seen. And they liked the caricature so much they wanted to find an even bigger bottle to put it on. Pretty funny, but I'm glad the ended up liking their caricature.

Plus, we went to Disneyland for Christmas!! Lucky us, Santa dropped off the trip a week before Christmas. Check out the video above if you'd like to see our vacation video. 

Sparkle Punch Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman

So I guess that's about it. You get a super huge blog post after I've been missing for a while. Here's a quilt I'm hoping to complete this winter. Elizabeth Hartman is doing a quilt-a-long for her amazing Sparkle Punch Quilt. Go check it out! It's so pretty, but requires cutting 500 - 3.5" squares. Yikes! I better get off this blog and get to cutting.