Thursday, November 29, 2012

Flinging is great fun!

My goodness!  I stepped away from my cutting table yesterday and was surprised at how bad it looked. It was piled so deep - I just kept flinging fabric this way and that, and shoving everything backwards so I'd have some space to work.

But, our realtor had an Open House today, so I had to put it all away and get everything spiffed up. Having a sewing room and not being able to keep it cluttered is the pits!  Hopefully we can get this house under contract and sold soon, so we can stop showing it.

Here is what I was frantically working on - journal covers.  I had wanted to make covers for a long time, and so started collecting fat quarters and one-fourth yards here and there. I  was actually had a mission as I traveled around the state this fall facilitating my seminars as part of my Day Job.  I now know every quilt shop from the tip of northern Idaho to her southern reaches.  These journal covers were intended to make out of scraps, but I didn't have many scraps that blended well. Now I do!

I only had time for five, but I think they turned out real cute. And of course, as I was making them, I kept thinking, "Maybe I should just keep this for myself - I really, really like it."  But then reality set in and I think that after they don't sell this weekend at the Christmas Bizaar, I may actually have several coming back home with me.  So I might as well wait.  I got the basis of my pattern from Stitched in Color and you can find her tutorial here. This would make a fun Christmas gift for a daughter or niece or for the office Christmas Exchange.

I also finished up this Christmas table runner yesterday, too.  It's made from this really rich fabric called Happy Christmas and designed by Fabric Freedom of London.  It costs a little more than average, but it's such a high quality fabric, you can feel the difference and it's really nice to work with. I bought quite a bit when I had the chance, so more table runners or Christmas projects should be forthcoming.

Only three-fourths of a day left before the craft fair.  Oh - I should say I was quite pleased when I saw one of the posters advertising the show.  Apparently it's a juried show (I didn't know because I just blindly wanted to participate, so I applied.)  They took one of the photos I submitted with the application and used it for their poster.  That made my little heart sparkle for a bit!!!

So, wish me luck. I'm down to the wire.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sewing for the Christmas Bizaar

I wish I could say that I am such a calm, cool, and confident person that juggling three major things at once has no ill effect on me.  But as it turns out, that's just not true.

In addition to just finishing up the busiest time of year with my Day Job, I have been trying to prepare items to include in a Christmas Bizaar next week. I think I could have managed okay, except then my husband and I got a wild idea to try to buy a different house.  The offer was accepted, contingent on selling the one we're in of course. This was just enough to tip the scale out of balance to the "Oh My Gosh What Are We Doing" side.

Stress levels have hit the roof.  As many of you know when you have your home for sell, it needs to be in tip-top shape and ready to show at a moment's notice. And when it is shown, you have to vacate the premises. All understandable, but this all takes precious time away from my productivity.

For awhile, I was really downing the Tums, but now I have organized myself and am feeling much more calm about things. Whatever will get done, is what I will show. And all the yards of fabric I have left over can be used for next year.

So as a preview to what my booth will look like, here are some of the new items I have been creating.  But first of all, here is a great banner that I got from Vista Print - it was just $9!

I'm trying to hit up the festive, holiday time here in our resort community, so I have make a bunch of these classy wine bags.  They have squared bottoms, and I dressed them up with some great, sparkly rhinestone buckles that I found online at Lucy's Buckles. I have about 26 of these in assorted fabrics. If they don't sell well, I won't need to make cookies for my friends this year - they will get wine in these fantastic, reusable wine bags!

And then I decided that Christmas stockings are a staple at this time of year, but nice ones are really hard to find, at least in our stores. So, I made up two dozen of these. Most of them have really soft faux fur cuffs, and are lined with batting and a coordinating fabric. I even have some for the pet dogs!

To have different price points, I made up several sets of Christmas coasters. I tried FMQ them on my regular sewing machine, but found that after using my long arm, I can't get the hang of FMQ on my domestic machine. Drats. So, I decided not to quilt them and just let the great fabric pattern do the talking.

I also added some great new fabrics for my microwavable hot/cold rice/flax packs.

And to finish things off, I'm frantically trying to finish up about five Christmas table runners, two baby quilts (just binding them), and a large Summer Weight Quilt that is perfect to use at all the outdoor concerts we have here in the July and August.

 Whew. I thought there was more?  Oh, yes - a few mug rugs, just for good measure. They will look good displayed with a fancy Christmas cup and some cookies for Santa.

Thank goodness this is a two-day show.  It will be interesting to see if it is a worthwhile venture, and if I will repeat it next year.  If I do, one thing is for certain:  I will be making Christmas items in July, not in November!


P.S. Linking up to Quilting Lines: Christmas Stocking Hangout

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winter is setting in, plus a winner!

My goodness, our Canadian friends have sent all their cold weather right down into Idaho and the Northwest. Cold, snow, more cold. Not complaining, mind you. Just had to dig out my down coat and find my gloves. And the ice scrapper for the car.  I was so enjoying this very nice fall that we've had.  For me, winter means lots of sewing and quilting, so see? I'm not complaining. Not really. Sorta, but not really.

Thank you for all the comments and ideas you gave me this week for my One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  And the winner is......Kris from krislovesfabric!  I've emailed you for your contact information.  Congrats.

I'm out of town this week, but then I'll be entrenched in my sewing room to finish up a lot of projects for my local Christmas Bizarre Dec. 1-2.  I can see a two-week sewing/quilting marathon in my near future.  It should be fun!

And I'd like to salute all our military personnel and their families who make living in the United States a freedom we all enjoy.  Often times we take it for granted because our lives are busy and complicated.  But I'd just like you to know, that you are so very much appreciated - thank you!  

Stay warm out there,

Monday, November 5, 2012

One-year Blogiversary and Giveaway!

My goodness, how time flies when you're having fun!  And it flies even faster the older you get, too, but that's an entirely different story.

A couple of weeks ago I was updating my blog and noticed that I began blogging at the end of October 2011.  I couldn't believe it had been a year already, but there it was, in black and white. One year.

It's been such a fun year. I've met many wonderful women and a few good men who share my love of quilting.  The ideas for cutting up fabric and stitching it back together are endless! Reading through other quilters' blogs is fascinating, inspirational, a bit overwhelming at times, but always keeps me coming back for more.  I certainly would not be at the same level of quilting ability if I had not had so many tutorials to learn from.  Heck, I remember when I was starting out, I back-stitched every seam, not knowing that you could just sew right on through without securing the seam. Who would have guessed?

I'm afraid to admit that I am not a very consistent blogger. I'm very sporadic due to my Day Job and travel. I find that when I'm sewing or quilting a project, I just can't take time to stop and take photos. But that's okay. That's not my goal. I don't have sponsors. I just write because I like to write and share common interests. That's me, pure and simple.

You have all been a part of my Quilty Journey.  I've have more than 100 followers, and I've learned so much from you.  To celebrate, I'd like to offer a Giveaway!

Before fall is completely over, I've got this great charm pack from Moda called Phenomenal Fall. Would you like a chance to win?  It's easy.

Just leave a comment and let me know your favorite thing to make with a charm pack.  If you have a pattern or link to share with us, all the better. You don't need to be a follower, but the more the merrier!

This is a short and sweet contest because I have to be out of town on business next week. I'll leave comments open until Friday Nov. 9.  If you're a No Reply Blogger, be sure to leave your email address in your comment.

I'm so looking forward to my second year and all the great quilting projects that await. Thanks for being a part of my journey!


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