Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How are my works in progress going?

It's a semi warm (68 degrees) and rainy day here today.  Perfect sewing weather or napping weather.  I'm trying really hard to stay awake though.

I've been trying to spend some time working on items for my etsy shop.  In particular, eye pillows.  They sell really well this time of year and all year long really.  I spent 2 days cutting 60 rectangles.
This is about half of the stack.  I've already started listing them in my shop.

I've also been working on some of my WIP's.

I finished my January block for the Lucky Stars BOM.  I decided to make the 6 inch squares because I wanted to use a charm pack that I already had.  It's Eat Your Fruits and Veggies from Moda. 
 I like the way it turned out.  Although, I did make a mistake which I didn't even notice until I started taking pictures of it.  Can you see it? 
I meant to alternate the star points of the blue fabric so that the cherry fabric was on opposite points but somehow it didn't turn out that way.  And I was being really careful too.  Oh well.
I've gotten all my half square triangles made for my Saturday Sampler BOM.  I just need to finish trimming them and sew them into the square.
And finally, this is how far I've gotten on my paper pieced pillow.
I've got a white border going on but it's not big enough.  I need it to fit a 24x24 inch pillow form and I think it's about 18x18 now.  So, I ordered some solid green fabric and also one of the damask prints that's in the pillow.  I think I'm going to make a border with the green and then use the damask for the back.  Also, I'm thinking about doing a cording but I'm not sure.  I'll keep you posted.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Works in Progress

Today I thought I'd share some of my works in progress (WIP's). 

I'm trying to keep a list of everything that I'm working on so that I can stay organized and actually work on each project in the hopes of one day finishing it.  Isn't that sad?  Hey, don't judge me.  You know that you have WIP's too :)

So, here goes:

1.  Lucky Star BOM - so far, I've printed the pattern and decided which fabric to use.  This is the original fabric that I was going to use and I was going to make the 12 inch blocks:
 But I've since changed my mind about the fabric.  I'm going to use a charm pack that I have - Eat Your Fruits and Veggies by Moda - and make the smaller 6 inch squares.  But that's as far as I've gotten on that project.

2.  Saturday Sampler BOM - no progress.

3.  Quilted Wall Hanging for my son - I have this book of really cool paper pieced blocks.  They've basically taken quilt patterns that have been around forever and skewed them just a little.  This block is called Toppling Log Cabin.  It's the only block I've finished so far.  Isn't it cool?

4.  X Pillow - I originally found this paper pieced pillow on Pinterest. 

It was pinned by Fashioned by Meg and I thought it was wonderful.  So bright and I love the piecing.  I tried to find where the pattern came from but all I have is this - "X Marks the Spot by Kim Noblin - BlockCentral.com" - which was on the top of the downloadable pattern.  You can download the pattern from the blog post on Fashioned by Meg above.

I decided to use a charm pack I had been saving called Summer House by Moda.  I LOVE the colors in this pack.  But I wanted to punch up the colors a bit, so I added yellows and oranges from my fabric stack. 

 There are 4 paper pieced squared per block.  First you complete each small square and then you sew them together in the order you want to make your X.  Getting the seams to line up is a bit of a challenge and you can tell mine aren't perfect. 
Here is where I'm at right now.  I have all the X blocks completed and I'm ready to sew the white strips between each block.
Ignore my lint.  I didn't realize there was so much until I took the pics.  This is going to make a 24x24 inch pillow, by the way.  I'm still trying to decide on the backing fabric. 

5.  Table skirts for the tables in my sewing room.  - No progress except that the fabric is setting on my cutting table.

6.  I have one more project that I've started but I'm going to save it for a later blog post.  It's really good too. :)

Okay, that's it for today.  See you next time - same bat time, same bat channel.

Monday, January 14, 2013

EtsyMom Ready for 2013 Blog Hop

The EtsyMom team is having a blog hop to celebrate the new year!  Participating team members are blogging about business tips, ideas, recipes, organizational ideas and anything else that might help out fellow moms and business owners.

So here we go - my business tip/organization idea is about packaging and shipping of your sold items.

I am lucky enough to have a whole room as my sewing space.  I love it and I try to keep it organized mostly because disorganization overwhelms me. 
I have a table that I use as my "shipping area".  On this table, I keep everything that I might need to package a product that has sold.  I package every product exactly the same way.  The repetition of it keeps me from making a mistake and forgetting something.  How many of you have packaged up an item and sealed the envelope only to realize you forgot to include your business card?  I know I have.  Thus, the repetition.

(the little Santa box in the pic holds safety pins)

All of my items are placed in cello bags once they are listed on etsy.  Here are the steps I take when an item sells.
1.  Print the receipt/packing slip.
2. Gather the sold item.
3. Make sure it has a "care instructions" card if needed.
4. Seal the cello bag.
5. Tie a pretty ribbon around the item to make it look like a gift.  I want my customers to enjoy opening their purchase.  I think the packaging should make them feel special.
6. Fold the packing slip and slip it and a business card under the ribbon. 
7.  Tie a Thank You card to the ribbon.
8.  Place in envelope, weigh, print shipping label and attach

Here are pics of an apron that is ready to be placed in an envelope:

I've gotten so many packages from sellers on etsy who don't even take the time to write "thank you" on a piece of paper and include it in my package.  They just stick the item in an envelope and mail.  I've even received breakables that weren't in bubble wrap or bubble mailers.  Just stuck in an envelope.  I hate when that happens. 

One final tip - packaging your items doesn't have to be expensive.  A 3x2 inch piece of scrapbook paper folded in half makes a good thank you card.  Just write a little note on the inside.

I hope my tips help.  Thanks for reading!

To hop on over to the other blogs that are participating, just click the links below!

Hi Mamma www.himamma.com

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Block of the Month Clubs

What's new and exciting for 2013?  I've joined 2 block of the month clubs (BOM for short).

One is through a local quilt shop.  I got my first block on Saturday.  It was only $5 and all you have to do is complete the block and return it at next months meeting and you get your next block for free.  So, by the end of the year, you could have 12 completed blocks for $5.
Pretty sweet!
Here's my block fabrics - I picked the bright batiks:

The other club is over at Don't Call Me Betsy which is a really cool quilting/sewing blog.  These blocks will all be really cool star shapes and they are all paper pieced.  I took a class on paper piecing last year and I really love it.  It's easy once you get the hang of it and there's no exact cutting or measuring.  None of that pesky stuff that takes the fun out of quilting.
There's still room over at the Lucky Stars Paper Piecing BOM, so if you're interested, just click the link above. 
Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth (it's not Disney!)

This post is a catching up post of some stuff that happened this past fall that I just had to share.

This past November, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I decided I was going to go several months before and just sort of informed my husband that I was going to fly out of Tyler to Houston on one of the little puddle jumpers and stay in a downtown hotel near the convention center.  I think I freaked him out a bit.  The last time I went on a trip without him was about 16 years ago and it was to present a research paper in Philadelphia.  Although, he goes on trips to Disney World by himself every year or so.  The reason he goes by himself is because my son and I are so freakin' sick of Disney and all things related to Disney that we just refuse to go at this point.  (Believe me, we've been enough to last a lifetime!)  But as I've mentioned before, he's addicted much like I'm addicted to fabric.

Anyhoo, once he realized I was serious about going, he decided to go with me.  I think he was afraid that with my illnesses and all the meds I'm on, I would just pass out in the street or something.
So, we drove down there - it's only 4 hours by car and about 45 minutes by puddle jumper.  We stayed in a downtown hotel about 6 blocks from the convention center.  It took about 10 minutes to walk it.  We went on Thursday and came back Sunday afternoon so I had 2 whole days there and the half day Sunday. 

I signed up to take 4 classes which were great and I really learned a lot.  The instructors were awesome.  All of the quilts entered for competition were amazing.  But what truly made it the happiest place on earth was the vendor area.  OMG.  It was like being in heaven completely surrounded by fabric, notions, gee gaws and doo dads.  I'm breathless just thinking about it.

Here are some pics of my loot:
It's kind of piled on top of one another and you can't tell what most of it is but let me just say, it's a huge pile of awesomeness.  Sigh.
To commemorate my first Houston quilt show ever, I decided I had to have a handmade tote.  So, I spent a couple of days right before we were to leave, making this one.  I looked up simple totes on google and let me tell you, there are a lot of tutorials.  I don't remember which ones I looked at but basically, I just got the general idea from them and then just winged it. 
 I used about 5 different fat quarters to make it cute and then lined it with red Ta Dot fabric from Michael Miller.  I also embroideried my name on it with my new Brother embroidery machine.  It's a really big tote and it carries a lot of stuff.
 This is the back.  Pretty huh?
 Locally, we have a really good quilt show put on by the East Texas Quilters Quild (which I'm looking forward to in the spring!)  But it's nothing like the Houston show.  There were some ladies from other states staying at our hotel and they all said that the Houston show spoils you for all other shows.  I had a great time and I'm looking forward to the 2013 show :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy 2013!
May we all be truly blessed in this new year.