Aunt Millie’s Garden

I just finished glue-basting this first block from Aunt Millie’s Garden by Piece O’ Cake Designs. I’m super excited about it, and instead of being exhausted, I can’t wait to start the next one! I’ve been collecting Denyse Schmidt fabrics for about six months in preparation for this project.

aunt millies garden-1

I also found a few new gems on the web – these are some super awesome embroidery sites:
First I found PimpStitch (don’t miss their blog), thanks to a photo on Flickr. From there, I found Stitchy Stitcherson’s blog (I really love that name), which lead me to AnnieOakLeaves (awesome – free patterns!) which lead me back to Floresita, whose blog I already love (and is chocked full of free patterns), which lead me to Stitchy Britches (another great name), where I ended up at Exceedingly Curious’ scans of an 1886 pattern book! What a cool find! Thanks to John Governale for all that hard work!

So that’s it for the black hole of productivity (a.k.a., the internet) for today.

I’m stoked about Joe Biden. Excellent choice. I sad the Olympics are over, but glad I may actually get some sleep this week. I’m excited that my husband has a job interview this week and things may be changing soon.

Now, it’s 7 am, so it’s time to head to the park before it’s 100 degrees outside!

applique complete!

My friendship group is making an applique apron quilt for the auction at our annual quilt show. We all made two blocks. I finally finished the embellishments on mine – I kept them pretty simple, but I’m happy with the results. The apron patterns are from Lori Holt’s Apron Club pattern. I don’t think she has a website, but I’ve seen her patterns in a few online shops. The cup and cupcake were embroidery patterns in Sublime Stitching. I decided to applique them first, then embroider over them. I had a few problems because I doubled the white fabric so my print fabric wouldn’t show through – made it hard to stitch, but I think it’s alright. Once the whole thing is assembled and it’s been washed, I know they’ll be great.

apron 1

apron 2

gems on the web

Some new and excellent web finds for the crafty:

This month’s Real Simple had these cute little cocktail napkins that had fortunes on them. I went to the website, and it turns out it was an Etsy shop – Avril Loreti! How awesome is that. A national magazine – great press for all Etsy sellers because even though only one product was highlighted, how could a shopper turn away from all the rest of that handmade goodness?

By the way, her ideas on coctail napkins and heat transfers are super creative and wonderful. I will be copying them (for personal use, of course) very soon.

If you’re not shopping on Etsy yet, you’re missing out.

Lynette Anderson Designs

As you all (all four of my faithful readers :)) know, I have been bitten by the embroidery bug. Pauline sent me this awesome link…Lynette Anderson Designs. A lot of her stuff leans towards primative – as in the style, not as in primative peoples or something – anyway, that’s not my thing. BUT, she’s got the cutest Noah’s Ark Block of the month patterns – she’s offering the PDFs for free, putting one out every month or so. I love the cows with the rainbow.

Here’s the link. Thanks for sharing, Pauline!

http://lynetteandersondesigns.typepad.com/ – just scroll down, the Noah’s Ark BOM link is on the bottom of the left column.

If you do like primative designs, check out the rest of her stuff. I love some of the samplers! I’m always excited to see people taking their passion and turning it into a growing, profitiable business. Good luck, Lynette!

weekly events

moo package

My Moo cards arrived this week! I really love the packaging. I think that sleeve around the box would make an excellent quilt design. Here’s a sampling of my cards…I got the pack of 100, with 10 different photos from my flickr.

moo cards

On the back, they have my name, number, email and website. Pretty cool. I also got a fun little carrier for them, but the picture is blurry. Trust me, it’s cool.

watercolors

William has been doing lots of painting lately. He’s really getting more imaginitive. I mean, all the paintings kind of look the same to me – masterpieces, of course – but he says things like, “Look, Mommy, waves! A bird! A whale! A road!”

haircut

Today, we took him to a cool little barber shop on Main Street and got all of his sweet messy hair cut off. I was a little sad to see it go, but he does look pretty great with shorter hair too. He didn’t cry at all – probably because of the orange lollipop he had a death grip on throughout the entire process. His second lollipop ever.

wee wonderfuls!

And I’ve been hard at work stitching up some Wee Wonderfuls stitchettes. For Pauline: I’m using 3 strands of floss for most of them – sometimes less strands on their eyes or mouths. My backgrounds are 10-inch squares of mostly white cotton. I plan to copy dontcallmebecky’s awesome quilt eventually.

hexes

And finally, my hexes are pinned, and I’ve already appliquéd the big one and three little ones down. Not in this picture. But they’re coming along great. I’m excited that the whole project will be done by hand. Hand pieced, hand appliquéd, and eventually, hand quilted.

So that’s it for me. What’s happening with you?

The joy of work

For my part-time job, I make calls. I call about 75 companies a week with different purposes. Sometimes offering market research, sometimes scheduling appointments. But all the time, I have to wade through ridiculous voice mail systems.

The worst are the companies that put the prompts for “personnel directory” at the very end. Say it first, people! I don’t have all day. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on the phone, listening to all the prompts I don’t want, waiting for the one I need. This is hard for me. I hate my hands being idle.

When I watch TV, I crochet or hand-piece or surf the net on my laptop. But until recently, I haven’t done any of these things when I’m calling because if I don’t pay very close attention, I miss my prompt and have to wait through the whole message again.

Good news! I found a new activity that I can do while I’m making my calls. Embroidery! I’ve already completed two stichettes (from WeeWonderfuls.com)! I’ll include some pictures soon!

Embroidery really is perfect. I don’t have to count or follow a pattern or concentrate. The image is already on my fabric, my colors are already selected (because I’ve done these things in advance), and I just stitch. When I need to type or dial the phone, I stab my needle into the fabric, set the hoop in my lap, take my notes or whatever, and then pick it back up.

I’m very excited about this. Not only am I burning through this embroidery, my calling list seems to go by faster! A true accomplishment!

new crafts…

Here are my latest creations and almost creations. I made this cool hook roll using a bunch of Denyse Schmidt fabrics and my special pink Japanese bunny and squirrel fabric. I think it came out great. The pattern is from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, and although it looked pretty intimidating with all of those strips, it was very fast and easy.

look at my hooks!

hook roll supplies

Plus, I loved using all those fabrics at once. I am really bad about collecting fabric and then not using it because I hate to cut it, and I hate the idea of not having it anymore. Isn’t that silly? What good is a fat quarter sitting in a box? Isn’t it much better cut into pieces and sewn into something cool? I can see the rationalilty of this right now, but when it comes to my next project, I’m sure I’ll have trouble selecting the fabric I’m willing to cut.

i put a hex on you!I’m also slowly working my way through a million hexagons. I don’t know how many I’ll make, but I cut about 400 squares from five different fabrics. And I’m using my handy hexagon templates (available for download!) which are working perfectly. I can’t decide if I want to just sew them into a big mix, or if I want to create a pattern with them. I saw a fun quilt in a book called Modern Primitive Quilts where the hexagons were appliqued around embroidered blocks – I loved that idea. Especially with fun embroidery patterns out there like Wee Wonderfuls stichettes. In fact, I think Heather Bailey’s fabrics would be the perfect frame for my Quilting Bee embroidery.

wee wonderful!

self-improvement…

Here’s what I’m working on…I finished a quilt, but it’s in the wash. I’ll post pictures when it’s dry and snuggly. Cross your fingers for me that all the batiks don’t bleed into the white parts! One day I’ll learn my lesson and stop being so lazy about pre-washing.

Anyway, I’m working on some new skills…trying to advance myself or something. Namely, embroidery, paper-piecing and hopefully applique. I haven’t started applique yet, but I got some supplies (steam-a-seam 2 and a pressing sheet.)

embroidery book paper piecingpaper pieced birds

I got this pattern at Road 2 California from ABC Patterns. I’m really enjoying how easily the little birds come together. I wish I had gotten other patterns! They gave us a crazy patch for free…I’m excited to try that one with different types of fabrics (old ties, silks, corduroy…).

Also, I’m working on this…my absentee ballot.

ballotI guess I better get my booty off the fence!