TSNEM: January Quilting

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The theme for this month’s Try Something New Every Month was quilting. First off, I have to say that I’ve long declared quilting to be the one sewing thing I don’t touch until I have an empty nest. Something about it just always seemed so crazy overwhelming. Piles of fabric, cutting, measuring and those huge quilts that you would have to lay out all over the floor. Not something I wanted to attempt with kids underfoot – no matter how big or small they were.

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Enter paper piecing and mini quilts. I did my first mini quilt swap last Fall and had so much fun with it. It wasn’t perfect, but I love how it stretched me creatively as I tried to combine a new skill with one that I truly love – aka embroidery.

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I happened upon a quilter that I love named Elizabeth Hartman last year too and her work has just convinced me that I can do this quilting thing on a small scale and get my feet wet before I ever launch into it large scale (as in – making that queen size quilt for our bed that I’m longing to make).

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One of my goals this year is to start figuring out how to combine this new found skill with embroidery. I would love to work more with adding my embroidery to mini quilts versus hoops and also adding more paper piecing ideas to my hoops. First up, this quilt square – well actually it’s a rectangle.

Not all who wander. Quilted embroidered wall hanging

I gathered up a bunch of Cotton and Steel and Heather Ross and some other fabrics I had lying around that reminded me of the outdoors. For some reason I had the quote “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” stuck in my head and just knew that this was the one I was going for first.

Not all who wander. Quilted embroidered wall hanging

It’s not perfect and I’m still working on my hand binding skills – but I’m so super proud of myself. I am proud of myself for taking that step to try something new and different. I hope you like it too! And if you really love it, it’s for sale in my shop! 🙂

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Custom Embroidery: An Extended Family

Back in October a customer approached me about stitching up over half a dozen portraits of her extended family. I spent the months leading up to the holidays stitching them up. It was such a privilege to be asked to do such an order and I had such fun creating each one.

Here’s a peek at a few of them.

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DIY: ikea hack work table + a studio tour

Gratitude board in the kitchenFor the past 2+ years I had been working all of my etsy business in our dining room due to a flood in our basement. About half way through realizing that it was going to take us a while to get the basement back in working order, we took a trip to Ikea and I purchased some expedits in order to get myself a little more organized. I knew that eventually when I was able to move back downstairs I would use these as the basis for my work table. Fast forward to a few months ago and the basement was finally pretty much complete and I was able to start moving back in (hear the angels sing!). building a work table

My original hope was to line these shelves up next to each other, put them up on casters and then lay an unfinished door on the top for a large workspace. We researched a bunch of different options for casters and ended up buying some locally at a small hardware store in town. We opted for a size a little larger than we probably needed to give it some good heft and also because in all honestly the basement might very well flood again and I wanted everything elevated off the floor.

building a work tableBecause we went with a larger caster and because of the height of the 2×4 that we used to attach them to the base of the shelves, we ended up not being able to use the door as a work surface. All of that together made the table too high with the door on top. My handyman husband pre drilled holes in the base of the shelves to attach the 2×4 to. building a work table

Screwed the 2×4 to the shelves – basically pulling them together and then attached the casters to the 2×4.

UntitledWe talked through a lot of different options in order to make a larger workspace on top, instead of just using the dimensions of the two shelves, but honestly I’ve been working for the past couple of months just on top of the shelves and it’s been working just fine. I laid out my cutting mats and got busy. Untitled

I can’t even begin to express what a joy it has been to be back down in my own space. To be able to lay out all my projects and not have to clean them all off the table so we can eat dinner has been amazing for my cluttered brain. I’ve even been able to teach a few classes in this space and it’s been amazing.

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My kids also have their own art space. This is still a work in progress as we try to figure out the best way to set it all up. I got this drawer cabinet from my neighbor who was tossing it out of his garage. It sat in our basement for almost a year while I tried to figure out what to do with it. I finally decided to paint it and use it as storage for markers, paint, crayons and other art stuff. I am hoping to add some labels and also figure out a way to display art that they are working on up on the wall. And I’ve got to figure out some good storage for all the papers and coloring books piled up on top!

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Shop Update: The holidays are around the corner

There’s a chill in the morning air and it’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner! It’s time to start planning your holiday decor and gift giving. I’ve got a few new items coming into the shop this year and a few more coming in the next couple of weeks.

Introducing…

my new advent calendar for 2015!

Advent wreath 2015 preorder available October 1

This calendar is made up of quilted scraps in the background with a wreath of felt leaves stitched on top and set into a 14 inch wooden embroidery hoop. A felt bow is added to the top. Twelve mini hoops are hung onto buttons as a way to countdown the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

Advent wreath 2015 preorder available October 1

Labels are provided filled with fun activities for you and yours to participate in as you countdown – along with some blank labels for you to write your own holiday traditions on.

Advent wreath 2015 preorder available October 1S

imply hang all the mini hoops facing out and flip them around when the day comes or hang each number up or take each number down as you count down the days. You choose! This is a completely reusable wreath that is easy to store for each year and includes a little bag for storing all your mini hoops that hangs on the back.

Advent wreath 2015 preorder available October 1

I’ve only got 6 available – so get your order in while supplies last!

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Shop Update: New shoes and a new studio space

Etsy is a weird bird. There are times when it is super silent and then times that it seems to explode. All of a sudden I was swarmed with shoe orders and I’ve been steadily working trying to stay ahead. Here’s some of the shoes I’ve done recently (and my first time with Converse high tops!)

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And the biggest news is that after nearly 3 years of working in my dining room I am FINALLY moved back into my “new/old” studio space. We still have some work to do (trim, painting, hanging shelves etc) but all of my sewing stuff is finally in one spot and I am so relieved! Today was my first day of “working” down there officially and man it’s awesome. Here it is while I was bringing everything down and trying to get organized…

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And here it was this morning 🙂

 

 

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