Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Funday!

So sorry to see the day come to an end. It was a lovely weekend although a bit cloudy today. Ernie and I started out the day by going out to the St. Armands Art & Craft fair to see a client/friend of his. I just love our weekend time together. On our way back to the car we had a little rain shower. Nothing major just enough to make us a little damp and chilly. Then we headed back to go our separate ways for a little while. I dropped Sophie off at the mall and went to the grocery store. Then I came home to sew for a little bit. One of my machines, Little Nellie, is at the doctor's office and my old Bessie is here but sick. Well, I think I figured it out! I took out the bobbin and I noticed there is a little raised bump right on the edge where the thread comes out…I pulled out another bobbin and popped it in and sure enough, she is stitching like the old girl she used to be. I haven't tried free-motion quilting with her yet because I didn't want to push my luck. But she is piecing ok!

These beauties came in a few weeks ago and I have been trying to decide what to do with them. Then I found Amy Gibson's blog Stitchery Dickory Dock and fell in love with her new BOM - Sugar Block Club. I may do another one of these with other materials I have as a gift for someone. So fun! 

Well, I am so glad one of my machines is running. When you get an itch to sew you just have to sew! Don't get me wrong…there are other things I could be doing but none of them are quite as fun :)

What projects are you working on this week?


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Puppy Love

Right now I should be sewing. That's what is humming in my blood this morning…sew….sew…sew… I'm sure that is because I can't right now. Three machines in the house and not a one of them working nicely. At least until Saturday when I can get one of them looked at. So instead I have a warm cuddly dog in my lap while I read about what other people are sewing. I keep looking at this picture of her and it makes me giggle every time.

Maizy was confused yesterday. Lots of small things that looked like her...

This is my little cuddle bug hanging out with her main squeeze watching M.A.S.H. She's not picky. Besides, if she sticks around long enough maybe he will give her a grape or two. She doesn't look comfortable but she wasn't squirming and that is where you will find her most evenings if she isn't squeezed in between the two of us. 

Okay, off to see what I can do with my day.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

What a great day!! Right now I am bubbling over with happiness. Well, as bubbly as I can be since I'm fighting some bug that is trying to take over my body. Anyway…I went to the Modern Quilt Guild meeting today, which I was excited about anyway, and they were having a free-motion quilting workshop. At the beginning a lady with converse type sneakers snuck in and started setting up at the front. I thought "she looks cool - I like her style - this should be interesting!" I paid my dues and was wandering around and started flipping through the cool looking lady's book…a quilt in it looked familiar, hey! So did the next one! Wait a minute…it turns out it was Elizabeth Dackson! I follow her blog Don't Call Me Betsy. She is super amazing and lives right here in Tampa. She invited me to her guild meetings in Tampa and I would love to try to make it out there. Her's are on Saturday too so we'll see. THEN, another awesome looking lady came in and sat near me. She is new to sewing but LOVES to cook and has chickens (ahem…Ernie…she has chickens!! I want chickens…) This awesome lady is Jaden from Steamy Kitchen. She loves to cook which is amazing because I love to eat…and cook a little myself. She lives here in Sarasota and wants to go to the Tampa meetings too and then go out for dinner afterwards. I am so happy right now. After living in Florida for almost 3 years I feel like I have finally found my niche. I have a wonderful boyfriend, I'm finally making girlfriends and finally making a life for myself and for Sophie here. 

Oh, and I learned some tricks to free-motion quilting to top it all off :) 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sarasota Surface Design Guild

I promised myself that I would get more involved in life this year. Creative life, community life, etc. So, the boyfriend wouldn't let me back out of going to the monthly meeting last night as I so often do. I joined in December 2012 and went to 3 meetings all year :( Poor sportsmanship. Epic failure on my part. I joined again last night and plan on getting more involved. Such a lovely group of ladies from all walks of life! The creative energy in that group is astonishing! Weavers, painters, quilters, art quilters, jewelry makers, nature printers, fabric dyers, doll makers…I could go on and on. Plus they do play days once a month and you can try your hand at something you may never have thought of doing. One meeting I learned how to hand dye silk and made a beautiful scarf. I'm not sure why I talk myself out of going to the meetings. Maybe because after 3 meetings I still knew the same amount of people? ZERO. This time I brought a show and tell.

An art piece that I have been working on. I will finish it as soon as I get my other sewing machine up and running. I need the free-motion quilting foot. Oh well, I need it anyway for the Modern Quilt Guild meeting I am going to join this Saturday. They are doing a workshop on free-motion quilting too so it is perfect timing! 

I met some really amazing women last night and am very glad I have a boyfriend as stubborn as me who pushed me to go. Calamity Kim is a member of the guild and is a bit of a renaissance woman. She did a presentation/history of fashion and talked about losing your inhibitions and creating your own style. She talked about cutting up old pieces of clothing and reverting them back into just fabric to create something new and useful. I loved her quirky style and she was too funny! Such a great spirit. It is not my style to wear but I would love to make an artist apron using her techniques. Hmmm…just what I need. A new project…


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter Cleaning…Kinda Like Spring...but Not

So, I finally got fed up with my creative work space and took the time to do something about it. Our little duplex leaves much to be desired but I am so grateful to have any space at all that I should at least make it user friendly! When we lived in Texas we had a 3 bedroom house and the 3rd bedroom was my sewing/craft room. It was wonderful! Somehow I had to cram that entire room into 1 wall. I read a few of my favorite blogs and took tips from their spaces. Let me give you a quick tour. Now don't get lost…I know the space is enormous ;)

My very embarrassing "before"

The lighting is better than it looks. We have a wall to wall sliding glass door to the left of the space and a light on the hutch behind it. I moved the Ikea basket shelf thing to the side so that I have more useable table top space and can watch Netflix and my favorite obsession of the moment. 

I added a little cheap bookshelf (Target $22) and found a little hexagon shaped tray, some cute heavy paper boxes with ribbon handles and a pack of stick on labels in the Target dollar section. I may have to go back for more before they are gone. I labeled one little box for scraps and the other one for selvedges. The blue containers on the new bookshelf are from the dollar store and I labeled those with current projects I am working on. One is for a Split 9 Patch Quilt and one is for an Art Quilt series I am creating.

All in all I love my new space! All together my "remodel" cost $27. Whoo hoo! I guess sometimes it helps to have a lot of crud you can reuse and repurpose. It's still a work in progress but I will tell you this past Sunday morning was bliss. It's so much easier to sew when you can find everything and not trip over boxes. Off to sew for the last 30 minutes of my morning…


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Short n' sweet...

I have to get ready for my real job but I wanted to post the progress on my modern petals table runner that I am working on for Sophie's Aunt Robyn. It's been a challenge with all of the curves but I think it is going to be pretty! I need photo tips from Ernie obviously…

So tonight I will hopefully at least have the blocks stitched together and the quilt sandwich put together. The backing I found is a perfect match and I can't wait to see it finished! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Yay for Saturday!

It is so nice to wake up and not have anything pressing to do. I can just enjoy a cup of coffee, peruse emails, news, social media, or a good book with a warm puppy at my side. I think Ernie and I are going hiking later to look for Bald Eagles so I will enjoy my quiet morning for now.

I finished my Blogger Girl's January Block of the Month II Thursday. This will be very cute by the time I am done with it! It's fun to watch the other bloggers put theirs together and see all of the different color combos.

On another note…I have to have a proud mama moment. My daughter just turned 15 the week before Christmas. She has always had a talent using color and shading, etc. When she was young we would buy her more blank drawing tablets than coloring books. She loved to draw and when she colored in coloring books she would use the crayons like pastels and she would shade whatever she was coloring to give it depth. This is something she is working on for her 9th grade art class. It's not finished yet but it is already pretty amazing. It's been such a blessing watching her talent grow. 

Well, I will jump back into the book I am reading for a few more minutes of solitude before the troops are up and wanting breakfast.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year…New Goals!

This may have been one of the best New Years ever. Of course I was asleep (or trying to be asleep while the neighborhood hooligans were blowing up their firework stash) but so many good things happened in 2013 and I just know this year is going to be full of good things too. Do we ever think the New Year is NOT going to be better than the last? :)

I have very simple goals this year…

1. Finish projects…ANY projects.
2. Get my Art Quilt collection for the coffee shop on Siesta Key done. 
3. Take my Real Estate test and get my license. Class is done I just need to take the blasted test!
4. Get involved in the Modern Quilt Guild of Sarasota and the Surface Design Guild.

and then the usual…
5. Lose a little around the middle.

Okay, I've started 2 new projects to get the New Year going…

The first one is Blogger Girls Block of the Month.

Monique at Open Gate Quilts has a free 6 month Block of the Month where you do 2 of the same blocks in 2 different color settings so by the end of the 6 months you have 12 blocks. She also has the settings designed for you for free. She did red and greens but has a list of a few other bloggers that are doing this as well and they have different color schemes so you can see what that would look like. I chose turquoise and tangerine…although instagram made them look like turquoise and hot pink :) I will post pictures as I go along...

The second project is a table runner that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for one of Sophie's Aunts. I was killing myself trying to finish the other one from my last post for the other Aunt so I decided to stop worrying and bought her gift instead. So this will be a New Years gift! This one is also from Modern Patchwork's Winter 2014 magazine. The colors don't show well in the picture but they are deep rich colors and the gray has a nice sheen to it. I just love that fabric. I am challenging myself because I have never sewn curves in a quilt so hopefully my next block won't be so messy!

 We'll see how this goes!

Happy New Year!