Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Party Hangover......

Whew....  I am still not done mingling at Karen's Blog Party - she sure knows how to throw a doosie!  I have met so many awesome ladies and seen some gorgeous studios/craft/sewing rooms!  If you want to check them out - just hit the banner over there on the right side of my blog.... Karen loves to be the best hostess!  

Since I needed a break (and I had tons of homework from quilting class) I spent some much needed therapy time in the craft room.  I had to move some things around - partly due to some inspiration I received from visiting all the creative spaces - and mainly because I needed a design wall for my quilt layout.  
Also needed to get some of the items I had on a table - up and away - so taking a cue from many of the other crafters and artists - I went and got an over the door shoe holder and put it on the door into the room.  Pretty awesome!  Now I have a nice free open place to cut fabric.  

Now for the design wall - I had to move my bulletin board (which I now knowshould be referred to as an inspiration board) over above my ribbons... Now I have a nice place to tack up some old batting.  

You now have a little bit of a sneak peek of my first ever quilt - This was one of the layouts I was toying with at the time.... I love these rust colored fabrics..... so rich and beautiful.  

Here is another peek at some of the other fabrics and the main focus fabric.  The middle fabric - the golden yellow with the white stars..... I fell in love with that fabric the first time I saw at the quilt store....  I knew I had to have it....  So, when I picked the focus fabric and we were instructed to pick three colors out of that fabric and then..... pick a light, medium and dark of each of those colors.....of course I saw gold in that fabric. :) 
This is the layout I've decided to use......  I wonder how hard it will be to put it together!!!  hmmmm... the design layout might change.  I stayed away from the obvious blue in the focus fabric.....  I just hope it works out!  Last week our homework was to cut all the fabric (except the pretty focus ones) into 2 1/2 strips.....  this week our homework was to come up with a way you want your strips (by color) together and then sew the colors together - after that cut them into 6 1/2 squares....  I finally finished up last night.  I was bummed because I was all done!  

So, I decided to make myself a sewing machine cover....  Earlier in the week I had googled sewing machine covers and found this great blog and loved the look of Audrie's scrappy patchwork cover.  I adapted her pattern and came up with an easier one for me - because I am a NOVICE sewer!  

I have to admit that I was pretty happy with the results..... 

Now I do not have to worry about dust getting into my machine when I sadly am away from her.  I have had this sewing machine for many years.  My parents gave it to me and it sat in my closet for a long time.  I was scared of her and until recently realized I was not using her correctly.  I believe we are now very happy with our relationship and I thank my folks so much!  

Next week, I am going to San Diego with a friend, her two granddaughters and my youngest (who is 20!).  I have never been to San Diego.....  yes, I know!  The best part is that next week, while we are there, I will be celebrating my 48th birthday!  I have not been to a beach since I was 5 or 6 years old!  My grandparents lived in Florida and we would drive down from Virginia to visit them..... that was the last time!  So, I am super excited to be sending time on the beach again!  I received some great gifts from friends far away and they are just awesome!  In my post about the quilting class - where I mentioned my friend who moved and decided to take a watercolor class - look at what she sent me!!!!  

Isn't that awesome!  It fits just perfect with my (dwindling) buttons..... so I hung her beauty right on the wall in behind my sewing machine - so I can see it all the time!  Isn't that just the perfect place for it.... my little sewing corner of the room.  

Do you see the little tin plate on my sewing table?  I found it recently packed away and had to put it to good use.  I got it from my grandmother.... I believe it may be an old advertising gift.... just do not know from where... Here is a close up - I just love it.....  "We are all here"  

As I think all of us tend to do, I have been a little reflective on this last year.  There have been lots of changes - all mostly really great......  Our family has grown with the marriage of my oldest daughter to a great young youngest daughter getting closer to to going away to college....  my husband and I are re-discovering our dreams from our youth.  I am pretty happy with all the changes....  

I cannot wait to see what changes this year will bring... which dreams will be achieved and what new dreams will develop!  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Its A Party..... Where Bloggers Create 2012

Another milestone for me as a blogger..... Its my first ever Blog Party!  Very, very exciting.  

I have been in a flurry all month, working on projects, completing projects, starting a class..... The funny thing is that I waited until the very last minute to take pictures of my craft room and they did not come out well... but you get the gist.  (The truth is that the room was a mess...... I had stuff everywhere - but that is what I wanted the room for - a place to go and just leave the tools of the trade out and not have to worry about putting it all away!) 

I just love my yellow doors!  The rest of my house is very I just went crazy with color in my craft room.  

My Singer.....  We are becoming fast friends. I love all of my colorful threads and buttons.  

One table.... and then there were two!

My colorful shelves - holds lots of papers, stamps, glitter, paint, embellishments..... lots and lots of joy is what my shelves hold.  Do you see the fun little S above?
Karen - I agree - I do love the sound of buttons going into a glass jar - but even more I LOVE them coming out of the jar onto my table!  Because that means it is time to create something....  
My original idea was to just to keep it clear.... just on the glass - but when I saw it up against my yellow doors - I thought... ooooo maybe some color is better.  So.....  I put a piece of green paper behind the glass - viola.... I loved it!    This just might be part of my new blog button that I am hopeful to get done this weekend.  
Decided that the garden needed a little loving - so I got all my flat marbles out and some of my larger mosaic marbles that I had put modge-podged pictures on.....  then got an old yucky stepping stone and went to work...
Isn't the little fishy cute with his really big smile?  He now has a new home in my garden....     
My daughter had come up with a great name for our garden.  So, of course, that meant we had to make a sign!  Got these wood pieces at Michaels - a little paint, stickers and glossy sealer and the garden has a fun new sign.....  Isn't that name great?  I hope the garden lives up to its new name......  (sorry the picture is so bad - not very good light that day!) 
Tomorrow is when I get together with my Prayer Shawl ladies.... we have made these several years ago - but they are making a come back.... by popular demand from one lovely lady from our church - who gives them out like candy!  In fact, she has put in a special request for a couple red, white & blue ones for some friends of hers that are going to the Olympics!  Who would have thought that our little mini Prayer Shawls would go over to England!  So I made some little tags for the mini shawls.... 
So easy!  
So now, I just need to make a couple in red, white and blue!  

Well, it is time for me to close up the craft room..... I want to go and be a part of other parties, get a little inspiration and share a little crafty love!  

Thanks Karen for helping me reach a new milestone in my blogging life.... you are awesome!   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Being Brave...... with a little help from my friends.....

It has been awhile since I posted.....  But actually it has been for a good reason.  I joined my first ever blog party (July 13-14) so I have been frantically creating in my craft room so I would have some pieces to show.  I also have been working on cheering up my home too.  So it has been for a good reason.  

As long as I can remember I have wanted to quilt... to be a quilter......

I have dabbled a bit, read A LOT of books, articles and blogs on this subject... but never ever took the plunge.  I have cut a million little squares and triangles to make a Jacob's ladder quilt, only to make two blocks because I realized I was using a fabric that was not easy to quilt with.  I made a couple of crazy log cabin blocks, but have not finished it.  

So, I started..... I just never followed through.  

I have a wonderful friend who moved out of state.  (I miss her dearly).  She  wanted to explore the medium of watercolor.  She had mentioned it a couple times when she still lived here.  So after she got settled in her new home, she found a class, joined and is now preparing for a show!  How awesome is that!!!!  She set an example for me..... if you want to learn something - go for it.  You never know what will happen if you do not try.  

Now, let me get this straight.... I am not so delusional to think that I will be as truly artistic and fabulous as my friend is with watercolors, in the quilting world.... but it is sure nice to dream....  

At church a couple of weeks ago, another friend, out of the blue, mentioned she wanted to learn to quilt.  My ears perked up and I told her that I had the same wish.  So we talked and thought it would be fun to take a class.  Tick one thing off our bucket list.  My job was to find a store in our area and see about classes.  Since I did not write it down or put a notation in my phone..... I promptly and completely forgot about it.  Yep.... it was gone!  Life has a way of getting me all jumbled up sometimes.  

So it was to my complete surprise and utter joy when I got a text from my friend telling me SHE found a store.  And it was ten minutes away from our homes and offer classes year round!  So we set up a time to go and visit the store for that Saturday.  We originally wanted to take a hand piecing class.  

Quilter's Bee.....oh that store is great.  There are bolts of colorful fabric everywhere, fat quarters and quilts - gorgeous quilts - all over the walls AND it shares a wall with a sub sandwich shop so it smells like fresh baked bread..... yes... fabric, quilts and fresh baked bread.  What more can this girl ask for.  

My friend and I promptly signed up for Quilting 101!  That's right - no arguing, no hemming and hawing... just whipped out the credit card and signed right up!  We will make a beautiful small quilt in five 3 hour classes.  I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am.  The best part is that they let us have another class "BeeCome a Sewer" for free. My friend dubbed it "Bobbin 101."  It is a class designed to help you become familiar with your sewing machine.....  

Margaret at the Quilter's Bee is a dream teacher (super patient!)   We had our class in BeeComing a Sewer on Monday night. I was pretty confident that I was threading my sewing machine correctly - but was definitely struggling with my bobbin.  Apparently I was probably only putting my bobbin in my machine correctly only about 50% of the time.  So, we learned a few tricks - like do not have your stitches so small - they are hard to rip out if needed.  So we now have a healthy partnership with our sewing machines - no more fear.  The best part was watching my friend who was super scared of her machine and struggled with it for 30 years, become confident!  It was awesome to see her light up when she was able to thread her machine without Margaret prompting her.  Pretty amazing.  

My homework is to purchase a 1/4 foot for my machine because it will make sewing the pieces together much easier.  So I was researching on the internet.... the lovely "lets google it!"  Well, in my research I came across another blogger who has the same sewing machine as I do.  I replied to one of her posts about machine feet and she sent me a note and offered to mail me a 1/4 inch foot if she had one.  How generous and wonderful is that!  I tell you - I love all my new blogger friends!  

So I feel brave, maybe still a little nervous......  but with a little help from my old friends.......and now with new ones.... I will get a little bit braver.