Life

So, according to my website, I’ve not posted a single thing since August… of last year. I do apologize! Life has been overwhelming and amazing and chaotic, all rolled into one.

In fact, I started dating someone back in August. It’s been an adventure, to say the least. He’s got two kids of his own –  a 16 year old son, and a 9 year old daughter. They’re really awesome people, and can’t wait to spend more time with them. Anyways, my weekends have been consumed with spending some time with him, and exploring Colorado and just living life to the fullest.

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My kids really adore him (his name is Larry, by the way), and his kids get along very well with mine and well… he’s simply perfect for me. I wasn’t really in any hurry to start dating again, nor am I in any hurry to make any changes to our lifestyle, but I can definitely see the possibilities here. And who knows, maybe in time, things will change! But for now, we keep on trucking. 🙂

Now that life has settled down a bit, I’ve been very slow at getting back into quilting. I’ve really only done a few baby quilts and one pillow in the last 6 months. I’m hoping to get my mojo back soon, but this has been a well needed break.

I’ll leave ya with this pillow I made for Larry. It was a back and forth battle on what to make and what might be his style and I was having second thoughts a lot. Ultimately, I went with my gut and just created. I love how it turned out and love the feel of the denim I used, too.

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Til next time! (And hopefully, it’s not six months from now.)

 

The Evelyn Handbag – Swoon Patterns

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Can you believe summer is already pretty much over?! My kids go back to school in less than two weeks. They’re ready and very excited to meet their new teachers; one is in first grade and the other is in her last year of preschool. They sure do grow up fast!

Anyway, this summer we also had a visitor from across the world. Nona came from Abu Dhabi and we got to see her a whole lot this summer which was fantastic! The girls saw her more than I did because I was working a lot but either way, we were so happy she was here. Now she’s about to head off to the middle east again and I figured I’d send her off with a farewell present. I did some digging around in the patterns I have and came across this Evelyn handbag by Swoon Patterns. I’ve done her Charlotte City tote before and found the directions super easy to follow and fairly quick to sew up. This was no different. However, her pattern calls for this to be made in all cotton and I had a black vegan leather I wanted to use instead so I did modify a few things but it still worked out in the end.

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Because of the bulk of the leather, I had to modify a few of the pattern pieces and kept a few the same. The handles remained the same as the pattern but I used some leather screws to attach because my machine was NOT going to sew through 8 layers of leather. It works great and holds up well, too, using the screws. For the accent pieces, I only cut one of each instead of two since I didn’t need to sew it and flip it out. For the handle stripes, I just cut one 1″ piece instead of what the pattern calls for.

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I will admit that this is my first time using Soft and Stable in a bag and it made things a little tricky at times, but not impossible. I’m not sure I’ll use it again, either. I guess I prefer my bags heavier and more weighty as opposed to fluffy and light, but again, it’s a personal preference. It does work great for this bag though!

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The outside fabric is Typewriters from Cotton + Steel’s Black and White collection and the inside is a coral newsprint from Collage by Carrie Bloodstone. I kinda LOOOOVE how it turned out. 🙂 What do you think?

Hope you’re all having a great summer!

I promise I’m still around!

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Where do I start? The last six months has been quite a roller coaster of changes! I’m working full time now, which means a lot less sewing time and it’s become limited to nights and weekends. But working full time is quite exhausting, so at night, I’m sewing thinking about sewing and coming up with lots of ideas. However, by the time the girls go to bed, I’m just plain tired. Even my weekends have become a cycle of grocery shopping, cleaning, getting the dog out, and never-ending laundry. I wish at times, that I could go back to being a stay at home mom, but I know I can’t and really, prefer not to. I love working! I kinda love the feeling of being so tired! I’m definitely sleeping better, and the kids are doing such much at daycare that I know they aren’t bored and missing me.

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Back in May, a friend asked me to contribute something to a fundraiser for the local library. I created this mini and it was totally a challenge for me because it’s outside my normal style! I mean I totally love it and want to make another! The pattern is from Michelle Wilkie and was featured on the SewMamaSew blog. It went together so very quickly and picking fabrics was my favorite part. I’m not sure what the mini quilt finally sold for but I was happy to get it done in time, because it was looking iffy there for a while.

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In June, I participated in an Alison Glass mini quilt swap and received these ADORABLE dolls for my girls from Karen and they were immediately loved! I also received an awesome mini quilt, too! I LOVE the color teal and she got this so spot on!

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July…let’s see… July was a whirlwind.

It went by far too fast. And now it’s August and my girls go back to school in 2-1/2 weeks. Where did the summer go?! I had all these grand ideas of things I wanted to accomplish and places to go and I just never got the time.

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We did manage to go see the fireworks! It was our first time going, because quite frankly, keeping them up late enough to see them was just too hard in previous years. They were so excited to do sparklers and watch the big fireworks at the park in our small town. It was filled with “Wow!” and “Oooooh!” and “Did you see that?!” so I’d say it was a great evening. Until the fireworks ended. Then the sprinklers came on and we narrowly avoided getting drenched and I left my phone behind which meant I also had no flashlight to find it and my friend’s husband had to come to the rescue (thanks, Ty)!

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We did manage to spend our entire weekends at the park and going fishing, so that was amazing. What all that means, is that sewing became less of a priority for me and my creative energy is zapped. I’ve got all these ideas but seriously, no energy to sew. 😦

Any advice? I wish it would come back. I miss sewing but it doesn’t seem to hold the same satisfaction as it did before.

August… is off to a great start! We attended a wedding shower this weekend and are very excited for the upcoming nuptials. The shower was so much fun and filled with all the interest-inspired awesomeness you could imagine!

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See what I mean?! I can’t wait to see the decor for the wedding! I imagine it’ll be just as amazing and adorable! Best wishes to Beth & Brian! Sept 12 is coming up quick!

Anyways, that’s enough rambling for now. I am hoping to force myself back into the habit of sewing each night so I don’t completely lose interest in it. Can’t wait to hear from you all and hope you’re all having a great summer!

Good news!

With all the life changes going on right now, why not make it more crazy?! The girls are in daycare, I’m researching employment opportunities, working part time for Pink Door Fabrics right now (and that won’t change) and then I’ve been asked to join the Blend Fabrics sewing team!

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Basically, what that means, is that while also designing quilt patterns for them, I’m going to be receiving bundles of fabric prior to public release, and I get to create anything I want with it! Isn’t that exciting?! I’m very excited about this opportunity and a summer filled with working, creativity, and time with my girls. I may be incredibly busy with no time to relax, but I’m happy. Happier than I’ve been in a very long time.

I gotta show off these two collections for a minute though. The first one is Snow Day by Maude Asbury. It’s just plain adorable. The penguins?! Polar Bears?! Seriously. So CUTE!

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— Next up, I’ve got Hip Hooray by Lizzie Mackay. I’m waiting for inspiration to strike on this collection. It’s not something I would normally purchase, but is quite cute. Not to mention, there are two border prints in this collection. Maybe some skirts for the girls?

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What would you make with these collections?? I’d love to hear your opinions.

The Curvy Clutch [ a free pattern for Pink Door Fabrics ]

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I recently created a free pattern for Pink Door Fabrics, called The Curvy Clutch. You can find the tutorial here as well as the download of the pattern here.  I won’t bore you with details, but I’ll show you a bunch of pretty pictures instead. 😉

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Aneela Hoey’s Nesting Boxes

I’ve been on this binge to completely purge my house (I do this often – don’t ask!) and I started in my sewing room. My desk…this big heavy metal beast of a desk, well, it needs to go. I have already procured a replacement from a friend of mine. The new desk is a beautiful old wooden desk from the local Holy Cross Abbey. It was one that the monks used fifty years ago. Can we say exciting!? I do need to sand it down a bit and refinish the top as it’s a little rough for fabric, but it’s otherwise in fabulous condition! I also need to disassemble it so I can bring it down to the basement, eventually. ;) But anyways, in hopes of kicking off my new storage solution and work area, I created some fun little nesting boxes for my desk! You can find the pattern here and it seriously, took me no more than 3-4 hours to do them all! SO SO EASY!

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I contacted Jennifer at Monaluna Design for the absolutely GORGEOUS fabric, and in case you’re curious, it’s called Westwood. You can find some for yourself here and I promise, you won’t regret it. It’s a lovely fabric made with Organic Cotton and the drape is amazing. It’s most similar in feel to Art Gallery Fabrics, but a little thicker. Not much! The colors are so very me! I especially LOVE LOVE LOVE the Deerheart print!

The pattern includes directions for four (4) different size boxes. There’s a small (3″ x 4″ x 2″), medium (3″ x 8″ x 2″), and large (6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ x 2″) and with their 2″ height, they are PERFECT for inside drawers! The pattern calls for Fast 2 Fuse interfacing, but suggests that Peltex 72F will work too. I only had Peltex 71F, meaning it’s fusible on one side one, so I used Pellon Wonder Under to make the second side fusible. Works like a charm! I do recommend using a heavyweight interfacing for the nesting boxes as they are meant to be sturdy. Pellon DecorBond or similar will make for floppy boxes, and that’s definitely not the look I was going for.

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The patterns was well written, and easy to follow. There are some diagrams to illustrate steps as you go and it’s seriously a very fast project! Like I said, I made all four in 3-4 hours with child interruptions (they’re ALWAYS hungry!) and picking up kids from school, etc. The only machine stitching you do, is while the nesting box is flat; there’s a bit of topstitching done. Otherwise, the pattern says to hand stitch the corners, but I rebelled and machine stitched mine. As long as you go slow, and take your time on that part, it can be done. Don’t worry about those pesky wrinkles you see (if you used Peltex 71/72F) as they’ll iron right out. I can’t say if that’s the case with the Fast 2 Fuse, as I didn’t have any to test out.

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As you can see here, the boxes all “nest” together, hence the name, Nesting Boxes. They’re really the perfect size for all your notions or threads, or even a pair of scissors and glue pen. You can also separate the boxes and use them individually however you’d like! The possibilities are endless! I definitely see myself making many more sets of these as gifts for my family and friends. Go get your pattern now and spend a few hours making them! You will not regret it!

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Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap [ Round 3 ]

This Spring, I participated in my third round of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. I chose to help moderate the swap this time, as there were 900+ people signed up. It was insane! I love participating in this swap every year, and look forward to the next round.

Part of being a moderator means that not only do I make a mini quilt for my partner, I also keep an eye on 40-50 people involved in the swap. I become their “Swap Mama” and keep in touch with them every couple weeks. My job is to ensure everyone stays on track, and if not, I reassign as needed, as well as answering questions, clarifying addresses, etc. It’s a big job, really, and also quite time consuming. Let’s not discuss how many emails I had to go back and forth on. 🙂

Anyways, time to show off the mini I made, and the mini I received. I was creating for Sara, and she’s such a sweetheart. I had a blast making this mini for her, and the design came to me, easily. I saw a much larger version of this pattern somewhere, probably Pinterest, and decided it would be perfect, so I got to work on sizing it down.

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I used these GORGEOUS Wild & Free fabrics by Maureen Cracknell. I got the chance to meet her in person at Quilt Market and she’s amazing. So real, honest, and down to earth. I could have chatted for hours with her. 🙂

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The mini quilt top went together really quickly. I was able to piece it in one night, baste and start quilting the next night. That’s the best part of mini quilts- they are so fast compared to big quilts! After it was done, I sat down and bound it and then started collecting little goodies to go with it, because that’s my favorite part.

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Here’s my completed mini quilt. It was really hard to send this one off, but I’m so glad she loved it.

Several weeks later, I received my mini quilt from overseas! I was blown away. It’s completely hand pieced and so stunningly gorgeous!

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DSC_1948I mean, seriously, look at the fussy cutting! The details! The COLORS! It’s my favorite mini quilt EVER. 🙂 She even sent along some goodies for the girls, which was a shock. Not many people consider the family members of who they’re sending for and it was such a grand gesture.

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Life can be a challenge. But also, so so good.

You can probably tell by my lack of posts lately, that things are changing. You would be correct. I’m now a single mom of two daughters. It’s been a change, for sure, but in most ways, not as hard as thought it would be and more difficult in other ways.

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I struggle daily with my decision, as part of me knows it’s for the best, but the other part of me… wonders. I know that I needed to stand up for myself and become a true role model for my daughters and THAT is what keeps me moving forward when I have self-doubt. We are getting through each day and while some are harder than others, it’s been so much more peaceful, overall. I won’t divulge a whole lot of details for now, and may never, but know that I appreciate all the support I’ve been given from my family, friends, and social community. You’ve all helped so much!

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For today, let’s keep moving forward, one foot at a time. Things will get better. 🙂