Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm Guesting Posting Today!

...over at Adventures in Dressmaking! Suzannah is on her honeymoon in Hawaii (jealous) and I'm over there talking about t-shirt quilts (you can see my latest one - I went FMQ crazy on it) and ways to use t-shirt scraps :) Check it out here.

Otherwise, today is the first day of classes, and I'm all settled into my dorm! Glad to be living with one of my best friends. It's going to be a good day.

I hope your day is good as well :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Separation Anxiety. (and Harry Potter crafting)

Tomorrow is my last move-in day to college dorms (thank goodness - unfortunately those tend to be very stressful!). And I'm parting with some very loved quilts and projects, such as the fabric bulletin board, "You Are Loved" quilt, "Lucky Charms" quilt, and t-shirt quilt I have yet to blog about. "Lucky Charms" is going to Quilts for Kids, and I'm dropping it off at a local quilt shop tomorrow morning.

These projects made up a huge part of my summer, but I know they are going to people who will love them just as much, or more, than I do. But still. I'll miss looking at them when I come downstairs in the morning, and while I'm sewing during the day. Sigh.

For the next four months, I'm going to try to blog, but I won't have *too* many new creations to share (though I plan to be craftily productive over breaks and weekends). My blogaversary is coming up, and I have a small giveaway to thank the followers who have been with me for the last year! If it is happening again, I also plan to participate in the Fall into Fall giveaway series, and from there, I'll be doing hand-sewing and working on some holiday projects. I won't have too much to add to my etsy shop either, but that's fine by me. I started it to earn a little extra money on the side, and because I love to craft! It's been so much fun so far.This is the LAST time I EVER have to be away from the sewing machine long-term, and even though I'll be student teaching next spring, I'm going continue working on sewing and quilting full time when I'm finally home for good in December. :)

Meanwhile, I got into a crafy frenzy last night and made four Harry Potter inspired lanyards, one for each house - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw! I love, love, love them and plan to make one for myself when my official house is determined on Pottermore :) (has anyone gotten their welcome email?)

Linda from Stray Stitches was my first official etsy sale, and I was excited to send her package out today! Thanks, Linda! Now I've had two sales:) If you want to check out the listings for the Harry Potter inspired lanyards, here's my shop link.

I hope you have a wonderful week! - and that those who are on the East Coast with me were not too badly affected by Irene.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Opened my Etsy Store - Purple Strawberry Handmade!

Purple Strawberry Handmade is now open for business! I bit the bullet - I wasn't going to open anything until the winter because school is going to keep me quite busy - but I made a bunch of fabric lanyards over the weekend and I think they came out great. Unfortunately right now I'm still figuring out international shipping so I'm only shipping within the U.S.

I plan on making a LOT more for the shop once I"m home again in the winter. I'll be posting more lanyards over the next few days, and if I have the chance to craft today, that too. :) Take a look around! I'm just happy to be officially part of the etsy community and to have an official presence. I sent away for business cards too, so whenever someone says, "OH, you make quilts?" I can just be like, "Yephere'smybusinesscard!"

Future plans for the shop: mug rugs, fabric magnets (my specialty), baby quilts, some clutches, hexie creations, and Harry Potter inspired products.

Irene didn't hit us too bad - just a lot of wind. No flooding here. Hopefully my move in to the dorms tomorrow will be uneventful and easy... :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

"You are Loved" - A Finished Quilt

I was so taken with Quilting in the Rain's Summer Love quilt tutorial that I knew I had to try it for my next baby quilt. The only thing I did differently was nixing the border. I conveniently had plenty of Bella White solids stashed away (you need a decent amount), and the heart pattern gave me a chance to pull out my favorite girly prints (Dumb Dot, Soul Blossoms, bees, purple paisley, etc.).



Cutting out the white strips was a realllly fun (*note just a touch of sarcasm here) task - though, one night I just felt like doing it! I wasn't about to go and buy a jelly roll, even though that would have made things 1000x easier. I had the fabric, I just had to put in the work! I've said this before and I'll say it again - quilting should be a sport! You can really work up a sweat!


I LOVED quilting this one! After the practice I had on a t-shirt quilt this week (post to come soon), I was in total free-motion quilting/FMQing mood - so I quilted the whole thing in flowers, hearts, stippling, and loops. =D It was so much fun (to be honest, I *rarely* have FUN quilting a quilt, but baby quilts are so much easier and this design was so carefree - I feel like I'm so often wrestling with a quilt that I enjoy piecing so much more! But I still want to quilt my own quilts and I will continue to do so :) Anyway, I digress...).


(see the flower and heart? Okay, not my best flower, but it was the quickest flower by a heart I could find on there!)

I quilted the baby's name, Lucia...


And then, a few lines on the heart down: "you are loved."


I know it's hard to find on a quilt like this but I think that's the fun of it!

By the way - I folded over the backing as binding again. I'm getting better at this every time, but it's still a learning process! I definitely don't plan to do this for all of my quilts but sometimes, yes. It works.

I am SO happy with the way this came out. I've been having separation anxiety with my quilts lately and I'm sort of NOT looking forward to giving this away. However, the program advisor and secretary in the history department at my college just had a baby, and she's helped me out so much - I thought this quilt was a necessary gift. :) I can't wait to give it to her! Okay, there I go being a little bipolar. Does anyone else do that with quilts, too?


My sister and I had fun outside... :) She's the best. I often ask her for photoshoot help and she is more than happy to do so. How lucky am I?


Messy, quilty living room, while I was pinning - I love how this looks from afar!

We're tuckering in for Irene - I live in western New Jersey so Saturday night/Sunday is supposed to be the worst (my move in day on Sunday to the dorms got changed to Monday!)... stay safe everyone.

Linking up to:

A Law Student's Journey
Sew Happy Geek Fresh Poppy Design {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Have you heard of Incomparable Buttons?

Incomparable Buttons is a company that creates employment for South African women. I am a huge supporter of jobs for women, and South Africa is pretty high up there on my I-need-to-travel-there list - I considered student teaching there! I know whenever I need to buy creative buttons, all I need to do is go to their site, rather than my nearest Joanns or Michaels. I've been lucky enough to win two sets of buttons from them - penguins and owls. How cute are these, really? Can you resist? (PS - They are handmade/painted!)

Penguins: 3/4 inch

Happy Pastel Blue Cats: 2 inch

Check out this page where they list all the ways you can use their buttons. They are like little charms! You can put them on everything!

Sewing Buttons 12mm - 24mm

Oh my goodness... I need to have these.

The Incomparable Buttons blog is here. I always enjoy reading their posts because they are all the way on the other side of the globe! They also have (as I've insinuated) great giveaways. ;) So go over and say hi!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hexies, baby quilts, and lanyards, oh my!

Things have been so busy around here, getting ready for school, and I've been babysitting every day! I leave a week from today - but thank goodness, I've enjoyed sewing hand-sewing hexagons so far, so I'll be taking a whole bunch of little projects with me to school.
I'd really like to start swapping them and/or making a nice quilt out of hexie flowers. I have a couple of requests from friends who just want one to hang on their dorm bulletin boards, so I'll be working on that first.

I've been making this small table runner (table decoration? it's not long enough to really be a runner) for my mom for the fall season/Thanksgiving. I love the Saltbox Harvest fabric line, and I fished out my charm pack for this. The holiday is usually at our house so I thought it would be nice to have that on the table. I think I'm going to hand-sew the backing on - I tried with machine but I had a lot of trouble even with the quarter inch seams. I took this picture when I first started - the hexies are all sewn together now. Does anyone have suggestions? And should I put batting in the middle at all? This is all so new to me, so anything would be helpful.

This is the first picture I took of the baby quilt I 'm working on - following the fantastic Summer Love tutorial by Quilting in the Rain. I need to take some more pictures of the quilting - I'm more than half done. I've been FMQing it and it NEEDS to be done by Sunday! More about this soon!

I made this lanyard for my mom, whose other lanyard was getting ratty and was not a pretty fabric lanyard :) I love it and I can't wait to make more.

My blogaversary is coming up! I'm thinking about what to giveaway... hm... :)

Sounds I like today: Blue October's new CD, Any Man in America. There's only one song I dislike and that's so rare for me! I love it! Does anyone else love this band?
Food I like today: Birthday cake from the party across the street yesterday
Excitement of the day: Made my first business-y purchase! Lobster claws for lanyard and clutches I'll be making. The goal is to start my etsy shop in December/January :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Lucky Charms" - A Finished Quilt

*This quilt has been donated to Quilts for Kids! :) (as part of 100 Quilts for Kids)*
I finished my quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids, following the Warm Cool QAL on In Color Order. It was time to go through my scraps, and it was time to try some HSTs. I'm glad I did!

However... now that I have my baby GO!... I'm going to be needing that HST die - this was a pain to cut out, even for a baby quilt. Onto my Christmas list it goes! :)

The name just came to me. All those rainbow colored charm squares = cereal (in my mind, apparently!)

The quilting took a lot longer than I thought, but I love the effect, so I'm happy with it now (it's a little wrinky in this picture but you get the idea). And I following my new favorite (slightly lazy) technique of folding over extra backing to make a binding... :) All I can say is, when you are on a deadline to finish three quilts in two weeks, you start to value your time a lot more.

Still need to sew on my label!

I'll be linking to this post in September for the 100 Quilts for Kids linky party, with an update about where I donated it. Working on it :)

Linking up to:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Sew Happy Geek

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Special Giveaway at Green Fairy Quilts

Clint and Judi are going to Romania to give quilts to kids in need - it is an amazing charity and I highly encourage you to watch their video for last year; it's very touching.

They are trying to raise money for school supplies and food for the kids - so a donation is greatly appreciated. You could win a layer cake, jelly roll, or FQ bundle - and you don't have to donate to enter. I gave a little bit of money because I was unable to donate a quilt this year, but I plan to next year. You can enter here!

P.S. I'm slowly changing the look of my blog - check out the tabs on top! More to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Terrain Skirt = Finished!

As I said when my layer cake came in the mail, I've been lusting after Kate Spain's new line, Terrain, since I first saw it. The bright colors (and the purples, of course) scream "FALL!" - which is my favorite season. And since I'm going back to campus in t minus 3 weeks, a skirt is what I wanted to make...

I had never made a skirt before, so I searched allllllllll over the web for patchwork skirt tutorials. I used two posts over on indietutes (here and here), which were infinitely helpful. The blogger, Vegbee, and the commenters weren't kidding when they warned that it's a process... hahaha. Ha. But so worth it. Five days of work - and I didn't even use patchwork for the whole thing!

(This was before I sewed the whole thing together - I ended up taking off the last two rows because I liked the shorter length. But GOODNESS does it stretch far across the living room - and you can see some of my other WIPs on the couch, I just realized this... classy, I know).

Plus, this skirt allows me to TWIIIIIIIIRLLLLLLL as much as I want! :D

I sewed long basting stitches (by machine) to the first three layers but the thread kept breaking, so I gave up and just randomly folded over/pinned the rest of the layers. To be fair, I didn't have the recommended elastic thread, but gathering always makes me want to cry, so I did half and half.

I bought a layer cake because I honestly wasn't sure how much I would need - almost everything I found online was about making a skirt for kids (and at the time, I considered doing it completely in patchwork without solids). You could definitely make a knee-length skirt with three charm packs, and have a little left over - well, I guess that depends on how tall you are. I'm tall, 5'10", if that helps at all. Since I ALSO originally thought I would make it ankle-length, I bought a layer cake, which was cheaper than buying four charm packs. Scraps would also make a great patchwork skirt!!

Now, for most of the prints, I have two charm squares left to use (because I originally cut them all). But that's ok - I'll definitely be using them (with my Go Cutter, I hope!). This line is still one of my favorites right now.

I know the colors are a lot, but I'm going to wear this thing loudly and proudly on campus. Watch out, college, here comes the senior!

If you decide to make a patchwork skirt, don't forget to finish the inside seams - or else this thing could fall apart pretty easily in the wash. I don't have a serger, so I used a wide zig zag stitch. Also, the elastic band was really easy to make - I had never done that before. Though, the amount of thread I cut off from the inside of the skirt was insane :) You can also make a skirt liner - I may do that at a later date.

It was nice to do something other than quilts and mug rugs (but now I miss them, so going back to regularly scheduled mile-long list of projects that need to be finished)! I'm so happy though!

Linking up to:
Fresh Poppy Design

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Sew Happy Geek


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