22 December 2011

Return to the bee blocks

November and December ended up being a kind of break for me from the online bees. And I have to admit, a rather welcome one... and I'm sure I'm not alone in that opinion! But, that break is over and I'm ready to get back to it! Thankfully the new bee I'm going to be doing with a great selection of women, with Jennifer at the helm again, got started a little early.

Jennifer directed us to this tutorial from Aneela Hoey, which she calls "Crazy Scrappy Block." She's planning to do this color box style, so we each got to choose a color for our blocks.

I chose to go with black - a great way to use up some of these B/W prints I've collected over the years (mostly several years ago, to be honest!) and a fun challenge.

Happy January (almost)!

21 December 2011

Post-holiday deadline post

It feels as though I have hardly been in the sewing room at all in the last month, since returning home from my Thanksgiving travels, but I know that is not the case. However, my projects have been on short term, short turn-around time tables. Those projects are all now done.

The last week or so was dedicated to some presents, which are on their way to the recipients (if not already arrived). I'll post photos after Christmas ;-) But NOW I get to concentrate on new things! Yahoo! (of course there will always be UFOs hanging around, ready to be completed, but the new stuff is always more fun to think about!)

I've been eyeing this Alexander Henry fabric for months now... I finally succumbed today.

In 2012 I'll be participating in 2 new bees, continuing with one, plus I'm planning on taking part in Round 2 of the For the Love of Solids sewing swap on Flickr, hosted by my do.Good Stitches Bliss hive mates Megan and Elizabeth. With all of these great new adventures on the horizon, I've begun thinking about my inspirations for these various groups, and seem to have fallen in love with the color palette within that fabric. I've also started noticing other people's projects with those deep, wintery, somewhat earthy jewel tones (how's THAT for a contradiction in terms??). A couple of my favorites, found on Flickr are this quilt by Shelley Brooks and this one by rainyday*knitter.

I'm not sure yet how I hope to use this fabric, but while at work today (at the stellar Cool Cottons, of course!) I've been playing around with possible combinations...

Matched with Shot Cottons

Matched with Kona Solids

I decided to start out with a combination of the two, plus a couple of prints thrown in for good measure:

Oh, the possibilities!

The blue placemats are mine no more!!

remember these?

Well, it took me the better part of a year, but I managed to finally finish these guys up and send them off to the recipients. I don't think I could have moved forward into the next year if I had this project hanging over me, and I KNOW that my friend Erica is glad that I finally finished them.

So here are some of the final photos that I took of the whole set before sending them off.

12 December 2011

Spiderweb blocks received!

So, in mid-November I finally received all of the spiderweb blocks for my Seams Perfect Scrap Bee quilt (originally posted about here)! I actually ended up with a few more blocks than I had expected, due to some remakes for size issues as well as Jenn, our awesome fearless leader, stepping in and making angel blocks for a couple of the members.

So, yesterday I played around and arranged them on my design wall:

and I have about 3 or 4 orphans which will end up pieced into the back... but for now, I'm happy to have the top ready to put together. Yay!

And in addition, I FINALLY have a "new" quilt finished! The quotation marks indicate that the quilt top itself has been hanging around for, oh, I don't know, 2 years or so... but I just quilted it last week before heading up to the holiday bazaar so that I had some binding to work on while hanging out there last Saturday.

backtracking... getting ready for Auburn

Coming home from my Thanksgiving travels I went directly into making last-chance preparations for my first (what I thought would be a) craft bazaar as a vendor. My friend Saskia, who makes handmade soaps and lip balms under the name Base Natural, has been doing craft fairs and farmers markets for a few years now, but recently moved up to the Pacific Northwest from the Bay Area, so the possibility of attending one together is a newfound treat! Thanks to her diligent searches, we found a holiday bazaar at a HS in Auburn, WA where she works, scheduled for December 3rd.

I took at least 3 different place mat sets with me to St. Louis and Ft. Lauderdale to finish off bindings over the nearly 2 weeks away. So, the last additions to my inventory made it in just under the wire.

I also made sure to print up cards and labels for everything, of course:

and had heard that it is very important to test your table set-up before actually getting there. Not entirely sure of the table size I would have to work with, I did the best I could at my studio.

Now, I really should have taken a good look at these photos (and more I have not included) to realise that my set up was maybe a mite too busy. But these are lessons we learn one way or another. Too bad I had to travel 150 miles for one day of work to figure it out.

So I packed all these goodies in a suitcase and a couple of large totes and loaded my car for the ride up to Tacoma. The bazaar was not quite what I had expected, but still worthwhile for a first time experience. And great to do it with a good friend at the next table. Too bad I was mucho forgetful that weekend - first I left my camera in my overnight bag at Saskia's house, so couldn't take pictures of the table. I did eventually get to take a couple of photos later in the day using her boyfriends' camera, and I'll try to upload those when I get them. My sales were a little less than impressive - only a set of coasters to a walk-by customer (though Saskia's mom did purchase one of the place mat sets, and Saskia bought a couple pairs of pot holders)... I think less going on on the table will be better in the future - pick and choose which types of inventory I'll be showing at any one time. I'll play around.

SO, a first try is always a good step, and one I'm glad I've taken. By the time spring rolls around and more markets are looking for vendors, hopefully I'll have ironed out some of the newby issues and be ready to present myself the best I know I can.

06 December 2011


This will be a quick post.

I hope everyone is having a good beginning to the holiday season craziness. I've been hopping around, visiting with family across the country, gearing up for my first craft bazaar (which was last weekend) as a vendor, and finishing up some old commitments. I have some fun and exciting photos to put up, as well as perhaps a couple of anecdotes relating to the last month that has gone unrecorded, but I won't be able to add those until next week when I get my primary computer back home (with all those lovely photos on it!)

I'm also in the process of building a website (or rather, my brother is in the process of building a website on my behalf!), so there might be blog address changes coming in the new year. On that I will most certainly keep y'all posted as the site develops.

Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!