February 2010

I just opened up my Etsy shop. There is one part of the goal for this year done, now just to sell something, which, of course, will take time.

I only have three things listed so it looks really boring! Besides, the smock top isn’t really something I can sell, per se. If someone actually orders it I will make another one just like it really quickly. (It will still be done well quality-wise, mind you.)

I’m hoping that after this Spring Break Sewing Camp (S.B. Camp) is over I will magically have some time! I definitely will try to refrain from volunteering anything else. I would really like to concentrate on getting some more items made for the shop through the end of March.

My problem right now, is not knowing what to make. There are so many cute things on Etsy. How do I compete with that! What can I make that people will actually want to buy – that they can’t already make themselves or buy some where else?

Its weird. I’m so excited about the possibilities, and yet so discouraged at the same time. Did any of you feel like this when you started your Etsy shop (or selling via another venue)? Do you still feel like this? Can you offer any words of advice for a beginner?

Thanks for reading,


Let’s see. What all do I have going on now?

SewFlakes Quilt Block Swappers Group

Twiddletails -Pin Wheel Party

The Pattern Challenge

Spring Break Camp (I’m teaching)

Preparing for trip to Market

I think that about covers it. Oh no, wait, I joined another group!

Quilting newBees

It is a quilting bee for beginners (or really for any skill)! It is going to be so much fun! Each month, except for November, I will have a package of fabrics sent to me. I will make the designated quilt blocks out of the fabric and mail it back to the sender. Then in November it is my turn to send out fabric and receive back finished blocks in return! My head is atizy (is that a word) with all the possibilities!

My grandma says I get to many irons in the fire, but the stove hasn’t blown up yet so I presume I can probably handle a couple more and be fine!

Wouldn’t that be a cute name for a quilt blog – Irons in the Fire. I’m sure someone has already thought of it. (If it hasn’t been used someone hurry up, claim it, and put it to good use!) I was thinking about that earlier; how everyone on my Google Reader has such a cute name for their blog. Then I thought, “Trina, your name is cute enough, and you were able to make it make sense with your hobby so just leave well enough alone!” And you know what, I think I thought right! *smiles*


I suppose this doesn’t really count for the pattern challenge, but since I haven’t picked out a pattern for my birthday dress yet, this will have to due.

The Best of Sew Simple Magazine

The Best of Sew Simple Magazine

I’m suppose to be using this book to teach a Spring Break Sewing Camp at SewFlakes later in March. Unfortunately the two projects I’ve done out of the book so far have proven that the instructions are faulty, not making this the best book for beginners.

Following the instructions for the Smock Top I had to rip out seams twice, though the second one was mostly my fault. When it came time to attach the band to the bodice piece of the top I totally disregarded the book. I wouldn’t suggest that anyone get this book who didn’t already have some knowledge of how things are suppose to go together properly. Thankfully, Chris, my boss, was close by the whole time I was working on the top and she was able to show me how to make it all work out.

This is the finished product.

Smock Top

The main fabric is an Alexander Henry.

After going through the complete process I’m confident that the next time I make this top it will come together a lot quicker and easier. (Touch wood.) In the mean time I’m glad to have this done. Now I just need to get a new seam ripper since mine is dull!

Some people do Sunday Stash days on their blogs, where they showcase different pieces in their stash. Instead I thought I would show some pieces I would like because they are so darned cute!

After receiving my Japanese fabric earlier this week from Felicitysiu, I am thinking that I might need to start a small collection of “Little Red Riding Hood” fabric. So that is the theme of this segment of Sunday Stash Wish-list.

I’ve listed the names of the Etsy shops with the price of the fabric under each. (“Myetsyshop” is the name of the shop, it doesn’t refer to my etsy shop because I don’t have one yet.) There are several other ones available if you search for “Little Red Riding Hood”, but they are more expensive than what I would pay for fabric, i.e they were near $10 per half yard. They are still nice to look at though.

Earlier this year we received a new notion from Checker, called Print ‘n Fuse. Basically it is Heat n’ Bond that you can put in your printer to print designs you create instead of having to draw them by hand. The idea was grand, but the product – not so much. At the beginning of February it was recalled because there were reports of fusible web coming off the paper while in the printer causing a paper/fuse jam. We were told to destroy any packages we had in the shop.

However, instead of destroying it I decided I would bring it home and risk it. I didn’t have any problems with it in the printer. Instead, I found that the fusible doesn’t hold to well, and it gunks up on the fabric. Its not a horrible gunk, but if you look closely at the pictures you might be able to see a gray haze over the seal.

I’m interested to know if the other products like this work better or have the same out come. Personally, I figure it is probably best to stick with Heat n Bond for fused appliqué projects. Either way, here are three quilt blocks I worked on using the Print n’ Fuse.

I knew I wanted to do a pink penguin, but I didn’t have the right color pink in my stash. So I broke open my new Plume Layer Cake, that I was going to use in the Pin Wheel Party. The penguin turned out so cute that I had to do the seal and Eskimo as well. I also have a walrus in the works, and think I will do a fish, some sort of bird, and an igloo too.

I think it is funny to be using Plume – a wonder spring fabric collection in a quilt with cold area characters, but its cute. Now I will have to get another layer cake for the quilt along, which doesn’t hurt my feelings in the least bit!

I’m debating whether or not I might make the patterns I made into a PDF quilt pattern to put in an Etsy shop. What do you think? I suppose it will be better to tell once I have all the different quilt blocks made, though there is no harm in planning ahead.


P.S. I have to do hand stitching on the Eskimo and seal so that they will have facial features. That will come after I figure out how I’m going to secure them to the fabric. I guess it is time to learn how to do a blanket stitch.


Thank you to everyone that participated in the give-away! The winner is Helena!

Her comment: “I love scraps. I like to make quilts with them. I also fell in love with sew mama sew scrap busting month lots of ideas there. That I would love to do.”

I have to agree! I love Sew, Mama, Sew tutorials! The next tutorial I’m going to do is the reusable lunch/snack bag. I just picked up 3 really cute oil cloth prints at SewFlakes 1/2 off sale! *Maybe I will start eating healthier lunches if I take them in cute bags?*

Anyway, I will be sending out a box at the first of next week fill with scraps and goodies. I hope you love it!

The Big Huge Mondo Sale at SewFlakes this morning was an insane success! We had people lined-up down Main street waiting to get in as soon as we opened at 7:00am! When I arrived at 7:06 (36 minutes after the time I was suppose to be there…go figure!), via the back door, I had to maneuver my way to the register. Once I got to my “station” I didn’t move from it until 1:45pm! Yes, we were that busy!

All this makes me so glad that the employees were able to shop at the discounted rate for an hour after close of Friday. If we hadn’t been able to I might not have gotten the perfect fabric for my “Birthday Dress”.

Pure Silk

Most of my pictures are taken after dark, so the fabric isn’t as dull as it looks in the here. This silk piece was in the sale area already marked down 50%, but because of the sale it was an additional 50% off! The original price was $24.50 a yard, and bought 3 1/4 yards for $19.91! It is going to be perfect for a cute, fun, flirty, but not to “flaunty” birthday dress.

My only problem is not knowing what pattern to use! To help solve this I put all the pictures in an album on my Facebook where my friends can vote for their favorite. Each vote counts for 1 entry into a prize give-away made custom for the winner, and each person can vote up to three times by clicking the “like” button under their favorites!

More good news about this dress is that I came across as “sew-along” type group in the Sew, Mama, Sew Forum today. It is called “Pattern Challenge” and is being hosted by Sarah.

The idea is that that you make a goal, work towards that goal, and share its progress with the group as you go. If you want to learn more, you can click the badge below.

I’ve never sewn silk before, so this is sure to be an experience. Thankfully, I have until May to get it done!


P.S. If you want to become a friend on Facebook, please include a short note with your friend request letting me know where you found me. Thanks.

I remain a bit skeptical about this, but the more I look into it the more I’m liking this website. Listia is sort of like Ebay, but it works on credits instead of money. Click the link above to learn more.

Pencil Holder

Pencil Holde/Trave Case

I just posted one of the pencil holders I made as an auction to test it out. Right now the bidding is at 0. You can bid on it after you sign up because you get 50 free credits and there isn’t a minimum bid. It really is getting something for nothing. (Well almost, you do have to pay to ship the item, but thats cheap!)

I was born 2 days late and have been running late ever since! It doesn’t seem like I can ever catch up, but I’m sure I will get there eventually.

Either way, I did take pictures of the bag of scraps today, and I finally uploaded them. So here is what you could win.

Two pictures of the same pile of scraps.  There are name brand scraps from Moda, Michael Miller, Alexander Henry, Amy Butler, etc., and there are also some lower quality scraps from Hobby Lobby, Joanns, and Hancocks. (Oh, and there are also some batiks in there as well.) I haven’t finished going through all my fabric, so more pieces may end up in there as well, but this is what it is so far.

Along with this scrap bag I will also throw in some buttons and ribbons, and possibly some other goodies.

To enter to win all you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite scrap fabric projects.  Easy-Peasy!

If you would like a bonus entry then post this give away on your blog. Be sure to leave a second comment letting me know you did so.

I will choose a winner on Friday, February 12th, using random.org.

(I’m sorry, but at this time I’m not ready to ship internationally. It will come soon though, I’m sure.)

Good luck,


Because of the snow I had a 3 day weekend. Most of it was spent lounging around the house playing board games and spending time with Erik, who celebrated his birthday yesterday! However, I did manage to start and finish some projects.

Okay…I confess. I started 3 projects and finished 1. The first and complete one is a pillow case using the tutorial from Film in the Fridge. (By now you are probably getting the idea that I really love her blog!)

Bright Pink!

Her directions say to leave the selvage edge on the fabric, but I read that about 10 seconds after cutting it off so I just went with it. Nor did I do the French seam to finish up the case because I didn’t read that far until just now when I went to get the link to post here. I also did the cuff a little different, but not really. The first time I did the cuff I did as she said, but the fabric kept slipping.  I ended up needing to rip the whole thing out and redo it.  The second time I had to do it I ironed the cuff in half and used about a 100 more twice as many pins, which worked out great.

I love the way it looks folded!

All in all it is a great tutorial if you read all the way through it first instead of jumping the gun like I did! I already have another case cut out, pinned, and ready to be sewn together tonight. Later I might try to alter the sizing a bit because the case is a lot bigger than my pillow, but for now it will be just fine!

My second project that is about half way complete is one of the flour sack towels I mentioned at the beginning of the weekend.  I decided to use this free pattern. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

From Bad Bird's Embroidery Patterns

I will take an pictures of the towel’s progress over the next couple days and post them later.  It is coming along nicely, especially since I bought more colors of embroidery floss to play with!

My last project I’m not satisfied with at all. There is a chance it could turn out once I complete the hand stitching on it, but right now it looks like something definitely went wrong somewhere. It is a purse out of the “Sew Simple” book I posted. It looks mostly like the picture, but the handle seems to be really small.  I’m not confident that it is going to be a practical purse, but I suppose there is still hope since its still unfinished. I will let you know.

So if anyone actually reads this please leave a comment letting me know what sorts of things you did this weekend.  I would love to hear from you.


P.S. I will be taking pictures of the scrap bag for the give away this evening and posting the details tomorrow evening, so stay tuned. (Yes, I know, I’m officially late in posting the give away, but it will be worth it…I hope.)