Monday, October 28, 2013

Not At Quilt Market....

So I wasn't at Quilt Market this weekend.  But you know what?  I'm totally o.k. with that because I've been looking at the bright side.....

I slept in my own bed all weekend.....

I went for a long run in fresh air, under bright blue skies and along streets full of trees showing their glorious autumn colors.....
Quilting Fabric
I made TONS of progress on my hexie quilt......
Hexagon quilt made from pink, green and aqua Lakehouse Dry Goods fabric
I spent my days relaxing with Col. Sew Fab and the fur babies....

And I felt like I was "virtually" at Quilt Market thanks to the all of the wonderful, inspiring, colorful, fun photos all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  All of the eye candy.  None of the travel hassles!

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better.....

I woke up this morning to a super cold, grey, blustery, rainy day......and I LOVE IT!

Because that just means today is full of fleece pants, hot cups of cinnamon spice tea, homemade mushroom soup, a warm, glowing fireplace and snuggling next to the fur babies as I work.  Heaven!
Baxter the quilt shop mascot

P.S.  Are you on Instagram?  I'm a wee bit obsessed with it lately!  I'm @SewFabShop.  Who are you???

Friday, October 25, 2013

Still Hexie-ing Along....

It's finally coming together....

I'm almost halfway there.....

Bit by bit.....piece by piece.....a sweet, little, hexie quilt is coming to life....

And as I'm sewing hexie after hexie.....I keep thinking......Oooohhhh.....I should do a Christmas hexie quilt.....or maybe a red, white and blue one......or maybe autumny colors......or maybe a bright one in shades of lime, aqua, pink and orange.....or maybe one with little motifs embroidered in the center hexie of each cute would that be???!!!  The hexie possibilities are endless!!!
Hand pieced fabric hexagon quiltBut for now, I'm just looking forward to a weekend full of sewing hexies, playing with Vintage Valentine quilt pieces, sipping wine, eating warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies, snuggling with my fur babies and chillaxing with the fabulous Col. Sew Fab.  Happy weekend to all!

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Things Baxter Has Chewed On

Puppy on quilt fabric
Oh, how I wish I would have kept a list of all of the things Baxter has chewed on since we brought him home four months ago.  In the past two weeks alone he has chewed on......

A bundle of silk embroidery floss

The plastic wrap that held a raw pork roast

A razor

A piece of slate from a patio tile

Col Sew Fab's reading glasses

And a bag of marshmallows.  

That last one was actually pretty darn cute.  I was putting groceries away, I turned my back on him for about 5 seconds.....and when I turned back around he had dragged the bag across the room, torn it open and his face was inside the bag as he happily chomped away on marshmallows!

And a few other notable items that have been chewed on in the past few months....

Col Sew Fab's wallet

The lid to a gasoline canister

A random sharp, jagged piece of metal that he found in the yard

Every snail in the yard

Lots and LOTS of fabric hexies

Spools of thread

A glow stick (one of those emergency, flare type of things)

My needle book full of threaded needles 

Wine corks

And a Christmas ornament with jingle bells on it
quilt shop puppy mascot
Isn't he the best???!!! I love my little guy soooo much!  Puppies are awesome!!!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Block Of The Year???

Vintage Valentine by Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool
I've never made one of these really fancy, schmancy, highly detailed applique "Block Of The Month" patterns before.....but now I get it.  I really, truly understand why they assume you'll need a month to do each block.  I'm even considering calling mine a "Block Of The Year."  That way if it takes me 2 or 3 months to do each block I can still feel good about myself for getting more than 1 block done per year!  It's a logical way to boost self confidence and keep my motivation going, right?

Even with all of the tedious and time consuming steps of prepping a bazillion applique pieces I still love it.  Every minute of it.  There's something very soothing and calming about tracing and cutting and ironing and then seeing it come to life piece by piece.

And there may have even been a few squeals and happy dance moves once I had the first block haphazardly laid out on my ironing mat.  It's just so pink and green and feminine and flowery and sugary sweet!!!

Now, I FINALLY get to move onto the sewing part.  Yippee!!!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  I'm using the Spray Starch and Freezer paper applique technique.  You can find a great tutorial right here.

P.S. #2  The pattern is The Vintage Valentine by Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool.  You can find it here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Day Of Autumn

Vintage Valentine quilt pattern and Lakehouse fabrics
Yesterday was the first "real" day of autumn to me.....

The air was cold.  The sky was gray.  The leaves are starting to turn.  But inside it was cozy and warm and the house was full of the scent of freshly baked rum cake and the sounds of snoring pups and purring cats.

A sweet new friend came over with a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread for a day of sewing.....

We talked and ate....and talked and ate.....

And we even managed to get a bit of sewing done in between all of the talking and eating!

And I finally dove into a quilt pattern that I've been hanging onto and dreaming about and drooling over for eight long years - Vintage Valentine.

I happily retrieved my carefully selected pile of fabrics that were tucked away in a box.  And this isn't just any pile of fabric.......this pile includes those fabrics that you hang onto forever and never cut into because you just love them tooooo much!  But I'm being brave and throwing caution to the wind and using them in this quilt.  I think I'll love them even more once they're in a beautiful quilt.
Lakehouse and Lecien fabrics for pink and green quilt
I'm still at the stage where I'm prepping the pieces for the first block.....the one in the upper left corner....
Vintage Valentine pattern by Verna Mosquera of the Vintage Spool
I'm not even at the sewing stage yet!  This quilt is going to take a LONG time to make......but it definitely made my heart happy to see how the pieces and colors were all starting to come together.  

And no - the hexie quilt isn't done yet!  You know that I'm easily distracted!  But since I don't have any other applique projects going on I felt justified in starting this new project.  I feel you need to have at least one project from each of the "Craft Food Groups" going on at once - applique, hexies, pieced quilt, embroidery, cross stitch, doll houses, hand quilting, hand tying.....I know I'm forgetting a bunch......which ones am I forgetting???  But that just means I'm obligated to start projects in all of those categories to have a well rounded "Craft Diet," right?!  If this theory is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, October 7, 2013


Bear with me because this might get kinda long.....

Back in February, the talented, hilarious and all around awesome Mary of Spoolhardy Girl told me about a creative design retreat she'd signed up for called "Find Your Lula."  She thought I might be interested because there were going to be a lot of Illustrator classes and she knew that was my current obsession.  There were also going to be life coaching, photography and some craft classes and the whole event was hosted/created by one of my favorite designers - Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish and it was being held at a fabulous house in Park City, Utah.

I looked at it.....thought about it.....and then made my decision - NO!  Come on.....I can learn Illustrator at home with online classes.  And life coaching.....seriously!  Pfffft!!!  That sounds sooooo silly.  And being trapped in a house full of people that I may or may not like.....yeah, right!  No thank you! 

Great attitude, huh?!

I'd also recently taken a bunch of online classes and most of them were a total waste of money so I was pretty apprehensive about spending money on ANOTHER class.  Especially one that involved forcing my introverted self into a house with a bunch of strangers for four days!

A few months went by and for some reason the thought of the retreat popped back up into my head one evening as Col Sew Fab and I were planning our whirlwind move from Florida to California.  Maybe I just felt a pull deep inside of me to be brave and try new things and break out of my shell......maybe it was some desire to embrace adventure and change because so much adventure and change was being forced upon me....or maybe it was just the wine talking.....

But on a whim, I did it.......I signed up.  I bought plane tickets.  And waited for five months for the big day to arrive.

I thought about cancelling a million times.  I was pretty sure I wouldn't be missing out on much.  And I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my pets!!!  It was going to be the first time that I'd EVER left Baxter alone.....the first time I would leave them all alone in a new house with a new pet sitter......and the worst of would be the first time I was going to leave my fur babies since Daisy died while we were off house hunting in California. 

Talk about an event that could scar a girl for life.....I'm already so paranoid about leaving my pets behind while I go on a trip.....and after my biggest fear became a reality back in May I just didn't know how I was going to do it.  How on earth could I leave???!!!  My heart would race and I'd get lightheaded at the thought of having to say goodbye, walk out the door and not see them for four days.

But some nagging little voice inside my head.....probably the same one that convinced me to sign up in the first place.....also convinced me that I was about to become an agoraphobe if I didn't get the heck out of the house for a few days. So just do it!  Go, girl, GO!

Soooooo......I packed my bags, faced my fears and headed out on my little adventure.  And I am soooooo glad that I did.

It's hard to find the words to describe just how amazing this retreat was......but the one word that keeps coming to mind is MAGIC.  
Amanda and the Lula Team showered us with gifts all week - adorable tote bags full of crafty and fun goodies, custom slippers made in everyone's favorite colors, fabulous name tags on our doors, a dreamy, colorful room full of a rainbow of candy and snacks, Smash Books (kind of like a scrapbook), a mountain of scrapbook supplies, trinkets and baubles to make an amazing necklace, a needle turn applique kit, aromatherapy samples, a book on discovering your strengths and a pewter "Dream Big" key chain were just a few of the fun surprises.  
My days were full of taking amazing classes learning all about Illustrator, photography, needle turn applique, aromatherapy, photography, stretching and alignment and running a creative business while wearing my pajamas ALL DAY LONG with my snuggly new slippers, learning amazing things about myself and feeling truly energized in the life coaching sessions, eating wonderful homemade food, watching the snow fall on the mountains, having hot cocoa with mounds of whipped cream every morning, making amazing new friends, coming out of my introverted shell, laughing hysterically at least 10 times an hour, watching hilarious videos, eating ooey gooey cookies straight out of the oven and basically feeling completely warm, cozy, inspired, energized, grounded, centered, rejuvenated, pampered and completely lucky to be spending time with such an amazing, talented, fun and awesome group of people.

Leaving Lula was like leaving a safe, warm cocoon but it's o.k because I'm ready to fly.  Ummmmm.......apparently, Lula also turned me into a sappy, sentimental fool because I never would have said something so touchy-feely in my pre-Lula days!  

And the cherry on top of my extraordinary week was that after I returned home and opened my suitcase I found that everything inside was covered in glitter from the goodies I brought home.  What a fitting end to a totally magical and sparkle filled week!


P.S. - #IMissMyLulaSistersAndBrother (It's a Lula thing.......)

P.S. #2 - It was pretty awesome learning Illustrator from a human who I can bombard with questions and I'm going to give life/business coaching a whirl (being coached.....not becoming a coach!).  The girl that thought it was going to be silly now thinks it's the coolest thing ever.

P.S. #3 - I don't think registration is open yet for Lula 2014 but as you've probably already guessed I would HIGHLY recommend that you sign up the second it's open! 

P.S. #4 - You probably already figured this out but I LOVED everyone there!