Summer Sampler Finish and other WIP s

We grew pumpkins! Lil' nugget ones.

The velveteen backed Sari quilt had some repairs this weekend. The seams on these silks were pulling apart in places, so I had to whipstitch them together again. I used DMC floss and made it bold and chunky, as I love that imperfect look. It adds character right? I forced politely asked my husband to hold it up for me in the backyard. 

The Summer Sampler Quilt is finally finished...well...sort of. 

I chose straight line quilting and my own layout. The batting I used was the end of the roll (I bought 40 yards of Warm and Natural 90" last November). SUPER happy to have used all that within one year, with very little scrap left over. 

Anyways, for whatever reason I was struggling. 
Skipped stitches.

Hours in, I ripped out a ton of stitches and attempted to re-baste.

It was an ugly scene. It was 2 am. After working all day.
I had visions of throwing it on a campfire. But then I remembered:

So, I kept on with what I could. In the end, it's just not worth crying over. 

There are some empty spaces left that I just cannot machine quilt without puckers. So--my plan is to hand quilt those with chunky Aurifil 12 weight thread.  

A mistake but with an "intentional mistake" look.   (I hope.)

I had my husband look at it and asked him to find what was wrong with it.

He--- naturally---- pointed out other mistakes, like my cut off points and seams that aren't perfect. 

I told him in the future, that is a rhetorical question that actually doesn't need an answer at all. 

Has he learned nothing in all these years together?!

I used Carolyn Friedlander's Doe Trellis in white & graphite for the backing. This is the second time I used Doe but this batch was much rougher than the orange for some reason. It didn't feel as silky, not sure why. You can see the first quilt here.

This Summer Sampler was really enjoyable - I learned a lot, tried new techniques, and met some pretty darn cool people in this group. I was inspired every time somebody would post their pictures on Facebook. I think this is what social media is really about- connection & support. 

Here is my layout diagram with measurements:

Next up is my Halloween Quilt this year made with BOO fabrics and Alexander Henry background. The pattern is by my friend Amy at Purple Pineapple Studio. I'm nearly done piecing, so just need to buy some more batting and I'll get her quilted up in time. (I'm saying that as a positive reinforcement to myself. LOL)   "You can do it" like 

I'm getting in the mood for more of these chunky knit scarves. I'm hoping my Mama will teach me how to make them again. I just can't seem to remember how to start knitting, ever...no matter how many times I make something. 
If I stop making it, I forget. It must be a syndrome--maybe crafty amnesia.

I'll be popping 2 or 3 in my Etsy shop really soon!

I made another Isla dress--this time in super sexy SPACE print! HELLO!
Yes dears, I'm shouting. I've always wanted some spacey clothes.

Well this is better! Slinky, silky feeling, workout knit from Joann Fabrics. It had me at Hello.

To make this Isla, I only needed 1 yard so it cost me $7 since I had a nice 30% off coupon. 

Click on Isla for pattern link.

Here Tori is modeling the Pearl Wallet, by Swoon Patterns. I used Boo fabrics again, and soft and stable for interfacing.

It was fun but a little tricky on the very last step- not difficult by any means, but my brain wasn't "going that way" sort of thing, ya know? Then when I got it, I was all "DUH"!
I found later I could've watched the full length tutorial Alicia made--double duh on me right?! Geez.

It happens.
Have some chocolate.

Brainstorming lately on what I'm making for Xmas gifts this year.

I am sticking to a rule of only "buying" ONE gift per person this year, the rest must be hand made.
Should prove interesting.  

Not sure if I mean in reaction of the receiver (what did you make me and whyyyyyy?)  or the pressure on myself to get things done.  BAHAHAHA

Yes, it will be interesting. I love eyeballs. And skeletons.

What are you making for the Holidaze? 

On a last note, I've been binge watching Fixer Uppers and have now moved my furniture around 45 times in the last 2 weeks alone. bahahaha 
Dang you Joanna Gaines..and Netflix....

Our house has too many walls, too many doors, and too much wood. But i suspect in 15 years I'll like this style more than I do now. She's a good ol' girl at 100 years old.

AND we have Tori, so all is well.

Tori and Ruby



On the sewing table this week


Collage features the Gemma Tank in Nani Iro double gauze top left, Washi Dress in Lavish by Katarina Rocella, Gemma again with a long skinny scarf I whipped up with the leftover remnants, the Everyday Skirt in Tim Burton Jack Skellington print, the newest Rae release- "Isla" top in Far Away knit by Ceri Gwen, and the Dove Blouse- a new pattern from Megan Nielson.  

(Click on names for links.)

Get the modern jersey knit if you're making Isla:

It's always so much fun to finish a garment--and doubly so when I can actually wear it! LOL   Just keepin' it real.

 I get a lot of questions about "which pattern do I start with if I'm a beginner?" and I always say- stick with the Indie designers. They have the fit right, the style is fresh, and there aren't weird wackadoodle instructions like you can get with the big box patterns. 

Once you have some experience, the big box patterns are okay, but usually require tweaking and twerking.

I tend to hoard make up / skin care/ bath shit so I had to make this size large train case to hold my stash. This stellar sewing pattern is by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness... as if you didn't already know, right?

It looks way more difficult than it is. These would make amazing Xmas gifts.

Fabric is Avante Garde by Katarina Rocella. Stripes are a Robert Kaufman print that I really should just purchase by the bolt.

Stripes are my jam.

I kinda feel like it's BeetleJuice's fault.

Which brings me to the puzzle of WHAT am I going to be for Halloween?! I'm already past the "what will I make for my kids" thing this year. I made costumes last year, so this year it ain't happening. I told them the news and you know--they were all "oh, okay"---and went on playing with their Legos like nothing happened.  It's like "HELLLLOOOOO"...do you not know what I go through to sew you these monstrosities? Have some damn respect. LOL LMAO
Cry or something.

"Oh, okay."


Halloween 2015 with Pops keeping things classy with his Miller lite.

Fall has been too warm if you ask me. I keep blabbing on about Global Warming while my friend looks at me with wild eyes and fans herself through another hot flash. It's a b*tch all over I tell ya. 

But at least we have sewing and quilting to keep us happy!

I put away my quilts sometimes if I feel they could've been better, but now I'm rather in love with this one, made with Pat Bravo's first Indie line. (Her second Indie comes out at Quilt Market in two weeks, and ships in the spring.)

I think my next quilt might be this pattern but made with Pat's new Indie line. Art Gallery fabrics has tons of free quilting and sewing pattern on their site. Not to mention their Look Books---swoon worthy. Triangles kinda freak me out because of their biased attitude, but whatever.
I'm ready to throw down.

Autumn is my absolute favorite. 

When I smell the misty cool air, apple spice tea,  or pumpkin bread baking, I get all Buddy-ish:

Speaking of Autumn,  Quilt Market is at the end of this month in Houston. 
I can't make it  (I mean HELLO it's on Halloween!--seriously quilty people, what were you thinking?).... but I can't wait to see Instagram blow up with the photos. Abby Glassenberg has written a super informative article on Quilt Market in case you aren't in the know about it. While you're over there, sign up for her newsletter. It's seriously the best email I get all week. Every Wednesday. At 11 am. 
Not that I wait for it or anything.

Lastly, these two issues of In Style magazine had me reading till 2 am. Usually that would require Edgar Allen Poe or Hilary Mantel, but I'm telling you- the articles are so good. 
A lot of She Power going on here, and I like it.

I also really dig the Street Style pages. Real folks being themselves.

That's my zippy pouch tutorial on the left in Boo fabric, blown up about 250% to hold my emergency make up supplies. You know, in case I get pulled over and I'm in my jammies with no makeup on- I can quick swipe some lipstick on so I look Human. Don't lie, you have a stash too. Breath mints. Tampax. Cash for Starfucks. You get me.

Oh- and lastly lastly.... I VOTED.

Early. No lines. I highly recommend it you guys, it's essential this year to make your voice heard. 



How to stay inspired in a creative business

OK. I'm fresh back from two sewing retreats this month and something occurred to me. It's both inspiring and humbling to be around other Creatives. Just when you think you're "getting there", ALL is laid out in truth before you.... There will always be somebody better, somebody who knows more, or somebody working harder.  It's not a bad thing, it's essential for growth and development of skill. The trouble comes when you start comparing. 

"Comparison is the death of happiness" 
(adapted from Mark Twain).

That quote has stuck with me forever. Even when I think I'm not a person who compares or tries to "out-do" another, it's there. Staring me in the face. That voice in my head whispering "it's not good enough... it's too weird....people won't understand....who do you think you are?"   ???

I'm going to tell you, it will never go away fully, and that's okay. It's what keeps us in check so we don't become assholes like the Donald.

Having just come back from my second Sewing Retreat this month, I have found myself more enthusiastic and energized than ever. I've put together some tips below on:

How to stay inspired.

5. Keep positive people around you at all times.

It's a bonus if they are sewers/quilters/artists. Empathetic people will encourage and support your crazy ass, even if it's super wild and bonkers to "logical" folk. By the way--who gets to decide who is logical? That in itself is illogical.
Now I'm confused. Anyways, carry on.

4. Don't let people, events, or social media take your time away.

We've all been there.... "I'll just check Facebook really quick"-- as the bacon is cooked as if it landed on Venus...
(Surface temperature of Venus is 864 degrees F.)

3. Set Goals and make a plan.

Even if it's not perfect, it's a start. This website uses the GPS process to walk you through it. It's worth the 10 minutes to fill in the blanks and get your brain going.

2. Go to retreats or events of like minded folks and learn something NEW. If it's not something new, mingle. 
You never know where conversation may take you.

Modern Stitching Affair

Teachers photo/ Glamp 2016 Pink Castle Fabrics

Sewing retreats, quilt guild meetings, Art Museum openings, any event that most likely will have "your people" there. Just GO. It could be the beginning of a thousand doors opening, you never know.

1. Begin Making. Or, begin the work.
If it's uncomfortable, it's necessary.

Even if the work is crap, it's the process that will carry you to your masterpiece. Hopefully.

Be open and supportive of others. I heard an interesting quote this weekend- "you never know who you're talking to"......and how true that is! It's happened to me so many times. Just this year I was being asked a bunch of questions about my job as a nurse, just in casual convo,  and it turned out I was talking to the President of the Hospital! HELLO! I was so grateful I didn't complain or act like a whiny beotch. LOL! WHOA.


Speaking of being supportive, I've met so many amazing designers this summer and fall I just have to share with you a few of them below. 

My friend Amy Bradley has opened her pattern studio Purple Pineapple Studio, and is selling these postcard style quilt patterns for a few bucks. They are all easy to understand, modern, and fresh. I just love Amy-she wears a purple pineapple headband on her head when at events. My kind of gal!

Hello Melly is a super cute blog by my friend Melanie. She has super cute patterns in her shop including this Popsicle quilt that I HAVE TO make before next summer. I adore it! She is also an amazing lettering artist- some items are for sale in her Etsy shop. I super want that birthday cake topper!  I met Melanie at Sew Pro and feel so lucky for it. Pop over to her blog, it's total eye candy.

Lysa Flower has been creating her empire over the past year, and I can't wait to see where she takes it. Her Cassette Tape pattern is one of my faves E V E R, and now she's launched a Nintendo mini quilt pattern called Control Freak.

She is also a surface design artist as well, and has her own fabric (in photo above). 

She also answers all my annoying questions with smiles and turd emojis, so naturally I adore her.

I have a ton of fun stuff to share with you this week if I can just find the time to sit at my computer. We totally need some sort of voice recognition/ blog post writer thingy where you can speak into your phone as it types the post up for you, complete with photos attached.  I should invent that right? Or did somebody do it already? Bahahahaha

Keep making & see you soon.