Slow sewing

Things have been moving slowly in my house the past several days. On Friday I had surgery, it was planned, and yet I was surprised at how it knocked my on my butt for several days. The doctor said I’d be uncomfortable but having never had surgery in my life, or at least the kind where they knock you out, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Apparently 3 days of complete exhaustion is what I should have expected.

My surgery was outpatient so I was home on Friday morning by 9:30 or so. But I spent all of Friday on the couch, as well as all of Saturday and all of Sunday. As a matter of fact, I felt far worse Sunday morning than any other morning. I did decide on Saturday night that perhaps the drugs I was taking were making me feel worse, crazy dizzy and lightheaded, so I stopped taking them and that may have helped. But the anesthesia. Ugh. Who knew that would be the worst part? Needless to say, here I sit on Monday afternoon and I’m still fall on my face tired but I have walked more today than the past 3 days combined. I mean, I walked ALL THE WAY to the mailbox, it was huge.

By yesterday afternoon I was able to do some work on my hexies for my block of the month quilt. I think I’ve decided that hexies may not be my thing. But at least I had them to work on because sitting on the internet for 48 hours was melting my poor brain. Poor, poor brain. And my poor fingers, this hand piecing thing is causing me sewing calluses! Gross.

What next?

My dad came to visit this weekend and we had a wonderful visit. I love when we get to spend time together and he gets to spend time with the kids. They just love my dad and he’s so great with them. The weekend went quickly, as they always do, and I was sad to see him head out early Sunday morning. While he was here, my dad asked me how many projects I have going at a time. Ha, funny question. Maybe 10? Maybe 12? I’m not totally sure. In my head I have about 1000, or so it seems. 
Now that I’ve finished both Courtney’s quilt and my star quilt, I’m without a couch project. Sort of. I enjoy taking a break from the machine at times, relaxing on the couch and watching a movie or catching up on my Hulu queue. But I’m not a person who can just sit so being able to hand sew on a binding or sew buttons is a nice way to pass the time. Sure I can sit and lose myself on the Internet but I get bored and can’t help but feeling like my mind is turning to mush.
When I was at QuiltCon in February, I heard a speech by David Butler, the designer behind Parson Gray. I’ve loved the “manly” look of his line but I think hearing him speak (and seeing him in person – yum) pushed me over the edge to buying some of his fabric. I found 2 fat quarter bundles of his line at the conference as well as a bundle of Kona solids that matched. I’ve pieced the designer fabrics to the solids, using Xylophone by Elizabeth Hartman as my inspiration,  and now I have to figure out how to put it all together. 
I’m also working on my Block of the Month with Alyssa and have taken my first journey into English paper piecing. I’m not sure how I feel about it but I did enjoy being able to sit and sew during ballet class this morning. I can see this becoming addicting but I can see how it would take FOREVER to make a full quilt this way.
And then of course there’s the day to day fun projects that keep coming. I put this fun watermelon shirt together for Patrick and will list it in my Etsy shop when I take a better picture. I’m also making some ties for my dear friend Kelly so she can use them on the cutie pies that she photographs. 
I have patterns for at least 3 dresses for me that are cut out and I have some kids clothes I’d like to make out of fabric I have on hand. I also have a quilt that I’d like to start for Patrick’s next bed as well as 2 quilts that are already in progress. And then there are all the things that I’ve started but haven’t finished. The “work in progress” pile is dangerously high and I’d almost be afraid that if some small person gets under there, they could get hurt!  
Well, off to the sewing table I go. What are you doing today?

Finished stars!

Last year I took a Block of the Month class at Whipstitch. It was the second year long class I was taking and I was super excited to be taking the class with some lovely ladies I knew from the previous year.  We chose our fabrics in February or so and the idea was to make the fabrics last all year long. I started with the orange, grey and green/white/orange fabrics to start. The theme for the year was the star and I was thinking I could do the entire thing in just 3 fabrics, I was wrong. I added the blue fabric later in the year when one of our blocks required at least a 4th color. The blue seemed like a natural choice and I love the pop that it gives to my blocks.

The other idea behind this quilt was that each star would “float” on an orange canvas. I decided in October or so that there was NO WAY I could look at an orange quilt on my lap forever and I desperately wanted to add some color. After talking with a color expert, we decided that green was a natural addition to bring out some of the green in the white fabric but it was also a good balance to the other colors. I had also seen this quilt from Fresh Lemons on Pinterest and LOVED the way she’d pieced the front. I was much more interested in doing something like this so back to the fabric shop I went and bought even MORE fabric.

As for the back, I love a pieced block. I had almost EXACTLY enough fabric to piece the back and I’m really thrilled with how it turned out. For the quilting I echo quilted around each star and then did some sort of quilting IN each star, mostly in the ditch. I then quilted two inch diagonal lines all over the quilt but not IN the star blocks. I ended up burying a zillion threads but I’m really pleased with how the quilting looks. Overall, I love it. Love love love. I’m thrilled with the quilt and now that it’s quilted and completed, I can’t wait to see how it looks when washed.

Jelly rolls and geese – quilt top finished!

I could not be more thrilled with how Courtney’s quilt turned out. It’s the perfect color pallete for her personality (and her room) – it’s bright, it’s sunny and it’s heavy on the purple – her favorite color! The quilt top itself was super easy to make. I was drawn to this fabric line for the colors and the spring like feel, I think I bought it in February and I was definitely channeling some spring. The jelly roll quilt 1600 is crazy easy to make and doesn’t take long – you sew, you chop, you sew, you chop and on and on and on – but that alone wasn’t enough for a twin size quilt. I went ahead and bought a charm pack (precut 5×5 squares) to make the flying geese around the edges. I added some white sashing and voila, my largest quilt to date!

At my Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild meeting a couple of months ago, a woman showed a quilt she’d made using flannel on the back, “good flannel” she said. I went ahead and bought some good flannel (aka expensive) while it was on sale at for the back. They were super helpful in helping me match the right colored back to the front and I’m THRILLED with how it looks.

Because this was my largest quilt to date, I wanted to go ahead and try it on a long arm machine. A local sewing machine store has one here that you can rent and I decided to give that a go. I learned a lot by using it. For example, I learned that we’d loaded it wrong and that it’s super important to drop the presser foot or you’ll spend 30 minutes taking stitches out… I used a meandering stitch on the top, which I think was perfect for my first long arm experience. There’s no right or wrong and you can’t really mess anything up.

I also wanted to leave a little note for Courtney on the bottom and that was crazy easy to do on the long arm…. 

Lastly, I went ahead and added a purple on purple polka dot binding. I wanted to incorporate more purple (favorite color and all) but almost any color for the border would have worked.

I’m really thrilled with this quilt, as simple as it was. I love how the geese add a little something to the top and how all the colors are just so happy together. I really hope that Courtney enjoys years and years under her new quilt and as she grows up, she’ll always think of me when she cuddles up with a good book and a cup of tea.

A belated Easter post

The kids and I just returned home from a week in South Georgia with my family and we had an awesome time. We’ve gone the past several years but this is the first year that my brothers and their families were able to join us as well. It was kind of mayhem but totally worth it.

The place we go has an awesome Easter celebration – huge brunch with awesome food, Easter egg hunt with frightening bunny, pony rides and lots of family togetherness. Really though, it’s an excuse for me to make adorable clothes for my kids (that they’ll spill chocolate all over later…). And I have to say, the kids were crazy cute.

The adorable girls were dressed in bubble dresses. My nieces were dressed in coordinating dresses from the same fabric line with one bodice made with the fabric from the others skirt. This dress is super easy to make and so, so cute.

Patrick’s cute little outfit was a combination of a shirt from a Fishsticks pattern and some cute tuxedo pants. I need a better picture of his shirt but I added some piping to the yoke and the shoulders. He’s just so freaking cute.

My sewing space/A look into my disgusting home

I may regret posting this or maybe this will spur me to get some cleaning done but either way, here’s a glimpse into my sewing space. Or spaces, as the case seems to be.

When I first started sewing, I was working out of my bedroom. I had a small little table that I got at Ikea for my sewing machine and the leaning shelves I got years ago to hold my fabric. It was so cute. But then things started to grow and expand. I got another table at Ikea to use as a cutting table. But after a while we came to the realization that I could move my stuff to a room in the basement. AN ENTIRE ROOM ALL FOR ME! It was a bedroom with windows and a large closet. So I moved everything downstairs and we set it all up and it was so lovely. I wanted to paint, but we just didn’t get around to it, but I had a fine time down there.

But after a while Courtney quit her afternoon nap and it wasn’t feasable for me to be in the basement while she was having “quiet time” in her room. All I needed was for her to be sitting on the toilet, screaming at me in the basement, while Patrick was sleeping in the room next door. So I moved the sewing machine and some items up to the dining room table and that’s where things got out of control.

I’d love to tell you my space looks like this:


But that would be a big fat lie. Maybe someday, but definitely not today.

I no longer have a sewing room. I have sewing room explosion all over the house. OK, maybe not all over the house but it sure does seem like it. So here I show you my space(s). They’re a disaster. I mean – DISASTER! I’m getting a new cutting table tomorrow, a huge one, and I’m super excited. I’m also hoping that it’ll spur me into doing some cleaning and organizing.

This is my dining room table. Or was. It’s a mess. You can barely see my sewing machine, it’s hiding under a shirt I’m working on.

This is the bed in our guest room. Or was. I “store” stuff that won’t fit on the table on the bed. You could call it a dumping ground…

I have this little cart I used in the old house for laundry detergent. That top pile of stuff is all works in progress. Pathetic.

This is the actual sewing room. The one that I don’t ever get to use. You could also call this a dumping ground…

My lovely fabric closet. There’s also a great deal of Christmas stuff in here. But mostly fabric. Shhh, don’t tell Paul.

And I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t show you the floor under the sewing table. Shoes, shoes, shoes. If I can’t find a pair of shoes, they’re under the table. (There’s also thread, thread, thread under the table but it doesn’t show up in the photo. Thankfully.)

So that’s it, that’s the disaster that is my sewing space. Perhaps after Easter sewing is done, I can do a little cleaning and organizing but it’s certainly not happening this week…

The Easter Rush

I’ve been really busy lately trying to get things done for Easter. I finished Courtney’s dress well over a week ago, I was actually testing a pattern out for someone, but knew that the other dresses I wanted to make were the same style. I’d offered to make dresses for my nieces (and a couple for a friend), and since we’ll be with them for Easter (the nieces), I thought it would be cute for the 3 girls to be dressed the same.


The dress is really very simple, it takes no time to make at all. What got me though was attempting to cut 4 dresses, with different fabrics, in 4 sizes all at the same time. Not my brightest move. But, of the 5 bubble dresses I needed to make, I have 4 done with 1 to go. My plan is to knock out the final dress today. I need to add buttons and then viola, finished!

I still need to come up with a plan for Patrick though. I know I’m thinking pants and either a piped shirt or a vest. I have some fabric that I’d love to use for the vest/shirt but I don’t feel it’s very springy. I’ll need to evaluate my stash and see what I have but I do have some ideas. I’d just better get moving, I’m running out of time!


I’ve been trying to keep busy of late and that hasn’t been too hard. I had some dresses to finish up for some ladies I help out and they seemed like they were trying to kill me. The ruffles, I just couldn’t get things to work out. It took DAYS for me to get done what should have taken hours. I don’t know what was wrong with me but things happened and I FINALLY got the dresses done.

I also have some friends that have asked me for some Easter dresses and t-shirts. I finished up the shirts today and am excited to start working on dresses for friends. I’ve also ordered some adorable new fabric so I can make some baby quilts. I’m still all fired up from QuiltCon and am really anxious to get creative. I have stacks of beautiful fabric and I can’t wait to cut into it!

Hank and Scarlet

I’ve had a cold thing for the past week or so and I’ve been completely unable to focus. My nose has been like a faucet and my head weighs  at least 300 pounds. It seemed wise to stay away from the sewing machine, the rotary cutter and sharp needles. I barely touched the sewing machine all week and it was probably a good idea. I did a little sewing on Saturday and spent an hour tearing apart most of my work. Today I was cutting fabric for Easter dresses and I cut the wrong thing at least 4 times.

I’d picked up 2 little doll patterns from Spoonflower when I was at QuiltCon and it seemed that maybe that was more my speed this weekend. Meet Hank and Scarlet, way easier to just cut and sew on the line. No thought involved, no math, no tracing. Way more my speed.

  Sadly, I’ll be spending Monday trying to get a doctors appointment, I do believe said cold is now a sinus infection…

Welcome home, my friend

Before I left for QuiltCon, I asked Paul to take my machine in for a check up. I wanted it to be with the doctor while I was gone, minimizing the amount of time we’d be apart. See, my sewing machine, which doesn’t have name (what’s that all about?), and I have become quite close. Life just isn’t the same when she’s not here (because OF COURSE she’s a she) and I find myself idle and with nothing to do. Sure, I could clean closets or organize the kitchen but that’s no fun at all. I’d rather be creating. Anyway, I forgot to include a part with the tune-up and they didn’t do anything with it in my absence. So, I brought the missing part over and SNAP, they called me with an estimate and said it would be done in a matter of HOURS. (Not the 3 weeks that my normal shop takes.)

Today I dragged the kids over to the store to pick her up and I’m SO excited to get to work! I had cut out the fabric for a new bag that I think is going to be beautiful when I’m done! I’m also super excited because the fabric I ordered for the back of Courtney’s quilt has arrived. I’m going to have to piece some of it together to get it to the right size but I think she’s going to love it. I’m also going to quilt it on a long arm, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, and once it’s done we can get her a new bed.

I have a list a mile long of things I’d like to make, I’m just glad my baby is home and humming along.