January 2010

…as if I need more projects!  These are “work related” though so that has to count for something extra!

Being the youngest at SewFlakes has it’s advantages! Like this evening a new book came in for me to review. My homework is to go through the book, make up some of the projects, and decide which ones I want to teach to beginner seamstresses, i.e. kids during school vacations. I actually really like the idea, besides it is a book I get to use for free – definitely a plus!

The Best of Sew Simple Magazine

Like I said, I just got this book this evening, but by the looks of it, it is going to be awesome. I already went to Kinko’s and had one of the purse patterns enlarged. FYI, Kinko’s was able to enlarge the pattern by 400% on a single sheet of paper for something like $2.42. This is so much easier and cheaper, labor wise, than piecing a gazillion regular sheets of paper together – more accurate too.

The next project I’m planning on is this quilt.

Cartwheels by Tula Pink

I will show a little self control though. While I can’t wait to make this, I will wait until I finish making my quilts using the “1974” fabric. At least I will try to wait, it is just so darned cute.

Last thing for the evening, I promise. The ice storm we are suppose to get starting tomorrow morning might knock out the electricity. Thinking ahead about this I went to the store and picked up a few things to be prepared.

I didn’t get bottled water, or stock up on canned foods. Instead, I found a pack of 3 flour sack towels at the Dollar General for $3. If the electricity goes out I won’t be able to use my sewing machine so I will do some hand embroidery instead! These towels are softer than the towels I’ve seen at regular craft stores so not only will they be easy to stitch, but they will also be practical to use once they are finished – Bonus!

It is going to be a fun weekend!


P.S. I didn’t forget about the scrap bag give away I promised to have. It isn’t the end of January yet, so I’m not even running behind on it.  I will have the details posted later this weekend, saying we don’t loose electricity.  Also, the Tula Pink pattern will be available in the SewFlakes Etsy shop tomorrow.

I could probably put everything in one post, but I figure it would be easier to read it I broke it up a little. With that being said, here is my second post for the evening, but I don’t think it will be my last. ….

This winter has been a crazy one for Oklahoma. We had a blizzard over Christmas! A blizzard! In Oklahoma! Needless to say, it has been pretty cold, which of course, makes me want warm comfy clothes. Unfortunately, I do not knit so sweaters are out of the question unless I want to go buy a massed produced one from the department store – which I don’t.

I found the solution though! Etsy has a section called “Alchemy”. You can post details of a project you would like made, along with a time frame for it to be finished, and your budget. Then people from all over the world respond with bids. It was the answer to my sweater dreams!

I received several bids from really talented people. In the end I chose Dana who owns the UIACouture shop on Etsy. Not only is she talented, but she is also really helpful (letting me know which supplies to buy) and she is very reasonably priced.

She is going to make this sweater from me.  I bought the pattern from Knit Picks.

Telemark Ski Sweater

Telemark Ski Sweater

I can wait to wear it for the first time. She will be sending pictures of it in progress, which I will obviously post here. I’m really so excited about this! Think of the warm comfy prettiness I will experience when wearing it!

Dana doesn’t have a blog yet, but you can bet I will post it if she decides to make one! In the mean time, if you have any questions about commissioning her to make something for you contact her through her Etsy shop, linked above.


They aren’t done yet, but here is a peak of the progress.

Bento Box

Bento Box

The first quilt I decided on was the Bento Box.  It went together so quickly! Of course I only needed 4 blocks because it is a small quilt, but still it wouldn’t take much longer to do a lap or twin sized quilt.  I used this tutorial.

I need to order some Kona Solids to finish this quilt, so it is as done as it can be for now.  In the mean time I started my second baby quilt, also using the “1974” fabric. I decided to play with the Thangles some more because they are so easy and fun! The effort resulted in a pin wheel quilt.

Pinwheel Baby Quilt

Pinwheel quilt

The picture doesn’t really do the quilt any favors! I promise it will look better when it is finished, at least I hope it will! I was going to use Kona Solid, Ash, as the background, but I didn’t want to wait so I went with the next best thing. After searching SewFlakes for the perfect gray, I found this linen in the sale section. (Normally $14.50, marked down to $7.25 per yard!)

The linen makes it look so wrinkly, but that shouldn’t be a big deal after it is quilted. I didn’t use a tutorial or pattern for this quilt, instead I used graph paper to sort of map it out, not that it is complex or anything. It worked perfect, except for when I cut my gray pieces I forgot to account for seam allowances, but that was easily fixed.  I just trimmed my pinwheels down, rather than re-cutting the gray pieces. 

Won’t make a difference on a galloping horse!

One more blog I need to refer you to is Film in the Fridge. She makes quilting look so easy! Her Hope Valley quilt series is the inspiration for the pinwheel, though her quilts are so much better!

I have more to post about, but that is all on this topic for now. I hope you enjoyed it, at least a little bit.


Ellen Medlock is having a give-away on her blog! All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment (on her blog) telling her which you prefer of the three colorways her fabric comes it.

Ellen's fabric

I voted for Turquoise. It is so beautiful!

Oh I bought so much fabric! I hadn’t really planned on getting any at all, especially since I work in a fabric shop, but once I laid eyes on the beautiful pieces I couldn’t resist!

It started off with just a few pieces on the first day:

Save the Planet Recycled Canvas by Fabri-Quilt

The black piece was from Prairie Quilt, but then I lucked into finding the white piece at Patchwork Place. I got 1/2 yard of each so I can make market bags out of them.

Amy Butler Dots

Amy Butler Dots

I got these from A Joyful Soul Fabrics. They carry all of Amy Butler and Heather Bailey’s fabrics, and they keep them in stock as much as possible so it is available if you are ever 1/2 way through a project and realize you need more.

So see, for not intending to buy fabric at all I did well for the first day. I only walked away with the equivalent to 1 3/4 yards of fabric. Not bad..

Then comes the second day. The day I went crazy after I found a shop, Legacy Patterns*, carrying almost the complete line of a super cute fabric priced at only $2.00 per fat quarter!

*I can’t find their website right now, so I will post about it later.

I was only going to get this colorway.

1974 by Urban Chicks for Moda

But then I couldn’t resist getting the rest of the color ways.

Really I did resist for a while because there are three other pieces missing out of these collections. I thought I could go without them, but then I had a chance to sleep on it. By morning of the third day I figured that I might as well get the last three pieces that Legacy Patterns had available because I might miss my chance to do so later. (Besides, getting them at the show allows me to avoid shipping costs. *smiles*)

I still don’t have a picture of the last three pieces, but they really aren’t anything special, they are more filler pieces than anything. However, I did go back to Patchwork Place and buy 4 pieces of Art Gallery fabric that I had eyed on the first day. (Sorry the pictures is bad.)

I love the dandilion piece next to the dots.

What is sad is that had I had more money I would have gotten yardage of the 1974 line! As if I really need more of it! Now that I have so many pretty fabrics that actually match I can’t put off putting some quilts together. Not that I was trying to put them off before, its just I didn’t have a robust enough stash to have a good starting place. It is time to get busy! I have to find some way of supporting this addiction!


P.S. The ending count for the weekend was 2, 1/2 yard pieces and 31 fat quarters. (The equivalent to 8 3/4 yards – a record amount for me to buy at 1 time, by 3/4 yards.)

I am back from the Oklahoma Winter Quilt Show in OKC. It was so wonderful to get to be there all three days. I have loads of pictures, but to avoid turning this into a stereotypical boring slide-show presentation I will try to breeze through to the fun part.

I tried to make sure the pictures are in order, but it doesn’t make a lot of difference really. In the picture with Ellen Medlock you can tell how beat we were by the end of day 1. The second and third day went better as far as being well rested, especially since I was able to go for relaxing swims in the hotel, eat my yummy food in bed, and sleep through the night. (The first night it was hard to sleep because I was so excited.)

Flip’s was an excellent Italian restaurant we ate at 3 nights in a row. I’m actually proud to say I didn’t eat chicken alfredo once while on this trip. I left my “safe zone” and even tasted artichokes (in my tortellini) and had cucumber dressing on my salad. The dressing was wonderful, the artichokes I can live without though they were okay. If you are ever in Oklahoma City I seriously recommend this place.

This was my first quilt show, and though I didn’t look at all the quilts I  thought it was awesome! I can’t wait to go again… maybe this summer?

That is all for this post. The next post will have pictures of all the fabric I bought! (i.e. The fun post is on its way!)


Okay, the cleaning and rearranging process is almost done. Man oh man, what a chore this has been. I almost don’t want to post this picture because it is such a mess, but I don’t think you can fully appreciate the finished project unless you see a before picture first. Well, actually this isn’t even a real before picture.  It is more of a half-way point picture.

In this case it really did get worse before getting better!

Holy cow! What a mess it was, and still is. (Never mind the ironing board cover, it has seen better days, and I haven’t been able to find a new one that fits correctly. …Its okay though because I hope to replace it with an ironing table within the next couple months.)

I’m still not finished, as you can tell by the next picture, but it is getting there. Slowly, but surely. I should be done picking it all up and organizing by the end of the weekend.

Almost done

I decided to put Taylor, my dress form, on top of the chair because it is the living room after all, and it is nice to have optional seating if we happen to have guest. FYI…the bag on the shelf below the sewing machine that is on top of the yellow thread box is full of scraps I will be giving away later.  I still have quite a bit more fashion fabric to go through and put on the bottom shelf. Not to mention that the second shelf with the quilting fabric needs to be refolded and organized! Still, its nearly there.  It is going to be beautiful and functional when everything is finished.

I can’t wait, until its done. I will give a pictoral tour when it is. For now I leave you with a picture of our Miniature Schnauzer, Gracie, getting a helping of vitamin C. (Seriously, she prefers vegetable scraps over doggy treats!)

One Healthy Puppy!

We took down the Christmas tree this week and spent a couple hours picking up the 6 bazillion pine needles that ended up on the floor. Now I can start putting my sewing area back in order. I’m so excited about it because for Christmas, Erik’s parents, gave me a wall shelf that will help me get all my fabric organized.

Really, I don’t think I have enough fabric. It seems that when ever I want to start a new project there just isn’t enough an any one fabric to complete the item. So I keep buying fabric, and though it is never enough I am at least developing a nice little stash….finally.

Speaking of buying fabric, I found an Etsy shop with really cute Japanese prints, and everything in the shop is 30% off until January 24th. Be sure to take a look at Felicitysiu’s shop. The fabrics above are just a few examples of pieces I would like to get. Imagine some really cute baby clothes being made from (most of) them.

Also on the same note, as I clean up my supplies I have a bag set aside for fabric scraps. Sometime later this month I will be hosting a give away for these fabric scraps so keep an eye our for more details soon.

For now, this weekend is going to be consumed by practicing using Thangles so I can demo them at the Oklahoma City Winter Quilt Show. I will be cleaning my area, and of course packing for a trip to OKC, needless to say the next week 1/2 is going to be pretty full, but I’m eagerly looking forward to it!

These are in no particular order.  I’m sure the list will grow as the year unfolds, but this is a good starting point.

1) I want to open my Etsy show and sell the things I make.  I really love fabric and sewing, so it wouldn’t hurt to find a way to sustain my hobby.

2)I want to enter into a Tulsa State Fair contest.  I have a photograph I took a while ago at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum that is at the very least advertisement worthy.  On a more practical note I will most likely enter into the quilt or table setting contests.

I think it is kind of silly that there’s a table setting category, but it would be fun all the same.  If I enter into that category I won’t use plastic ware, I will paint my dishes to match the setting, and if there are flowers they will be my own arrangement, not some bouquet from the store.

3)I would like to publish a pattern to make available for sell.  I’m not sure what sort of pattern it will be -probably a bag or apron. Either way it would be so encouraging to see someone buy and make something I have designed!

Starts of a blouse

4)To design a complete outfit and sew it together proper would be a great achievement.  Imagine me walking in to a  Utica Square boutique wearing a marvelous three piece outfit and selling my clothes there! This goal starts relatively small and morphs into something extravagant quite quickly I realize, but you just never know what will happen if you give it a go!

Testing possible fabric for a jacket

In all reality I don’t plan on becoming a fashion designer. (I would have to be able to sketch for starters and I can’t.) I don’t even really plan so much on making clothes to sell in a mass production sort of way.  It would be nice to make something, wear it around, have someone notice and like it, and then make that person their own custom outfit. The experience would be really gratifying in itself, being paid for it would be an added bonus.

First Baby Quilt

5) Star a “Hope Chest” for future children.  I want to be a mother so much! I don’t want to have children right now, though I regularly have a battle with hormones when I hear about babies. (I can’t help I am in my prime breeding years. *laughs*) Anyway, I am almost finished with my first baby quilt which will go in the chest (made of something other than cedar of course). I will make some baby clothes to put in it as well.  The first piece will be a dress for a baby girl using the fabric I received from Germany.  (The fabric is based on the book known to us as “Parent Trap”.  Really cute!)

"Parent Trap" fabric by Westfalenstoffe in Germany

6) The last one I have, so far, is shrimp. I am going to learn to cook shrimp in such a tasty, sophisticated way that I will completely forget they are the cockroaches of the sea.