Monday, August 31, 2009

Scrap Quilts

I have a love for scrap quilting and the random organized look these quilts show. In the summer it is wonderful to wash them and let them dry outside, not in direct sunlight of course. They are queen size and are resting on my hammock in the backyard The two shown are two of my largest and most favorite.

The "red" one is quite detailed and took about 8 months to piece during the fall and winter months evenings and weekends when I worked full time and lived on my own.

The white one is called "Delectable Mountains" when I made this and tried to use lighter colors and no red. It was seeming that all my scrap quilts were looking red so avoiding red for this was my goal. This is a fresh quilt that we often use on the bed in the summer months.

Getting the hang of it

I am finally getting the hang of adding elements, widgets, buttons and hoo-ha's to my blog. I would still love a more colorful background and header but for now I am ok with the standard template. I have been peeking around etsy for this and so far not found the perfect look, I may put in an alchemy request though to be honest this is not real appealing to me. I also really want to keep the three column look so I need to be sure this will still be an option.

What I have sucessfully gotten to work, is the "Follow me on Twitter" button. I added a list of places I visit on the web, I will update as I can. I also made a list of items I am sewing for the week, these will be listed in the shop probably within a week to 10 days of being on the list, not sure how reliable this will be but it is fun to try this virtual list. I added a few other widgets and moved others around a bit.

I am sure it will only get better, guessing others have gone throught this learning curve as well.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Craftgawker is fun to browse

I recently learned about Craftgawker an online gallery where anyone can display handmade goods. You apply or "submit" items for their review and if chosen get front page exposure, usually for a few hours at a time. I have found some amazing shops and items from this venue and am always impressed with each front page presentation, you can tell they really put thought behind each item chosen and the site is proffesional and very visually appealing.

I have submitted a total of six items, three were accepted and three were declined. I like many online sellers constantly struggle to get great pictures and having items chosen for Craftgawker is a real treat and motivating factor to improve my pictures even more.

You can see my Craftgawker gallery here, enjoy and thanks to Craftgawker for the opportunity.

My Craftgawker "Accepted" Gallery:

My Rejected Gallery:

I am always excited to be accepted to Craftgawker, and do not take rejections personally. I have been using this experience to better all my pictures I put into my shop, so it has been a great learning tool.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I piece therefore I am...

A quilter that is. Saving and sorting scraps is both fun and daunting, diving into them and sewing like mad is fun, Fun, FUN.

I start with a pile of scraps for string piecing, the best ones are long and thin my goal for this was fabrics that had brown in them. For this project I made 8 inch muslin squares and so the strips need to cover that at least, and I try to go an inch or so beyond that at a minimum.

String piecing is a simple and very old way of quilting blocks, in my technique I simply sew a strip face down to the muslin, flip, iron and sew the next one. I like thin random sizes sewn straight and on angles. I do this in both directions until the entire muslin square is completely covered.

Once the muslin square is covered you trim from the back into your desired finish size, in this case 7.5 x 7.5 inches. This is actually my favorite step, seeing the block emerge and the fabrics that are featured is great fun.

When done sew them into your own creations, this is a pillow I made and is now for sale in my etsy shop. I also make coasters and placemats with this technique but they can easily go into any creation you can think up to use and enjoy!

The question always is at the end of this "Is the scraps stash ANY smaller"?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sneak Peek, placemats

I am a quilter, therefore I have and save scraps of fabrics. If I can get 1.5 inches from a piece of fabric, it is most likely sorted somewhere in my vast collection.

This is one thing I like to do with those scraps, string piecing. String piecing is an old technique that uses up those mountains of scraps. This picture is using this and putting scraps into blocks which I then put into place mats. I have used 6 colorways and made 6 place mats, each with the same overall look but quite different in fabrics within each place mat.

This go with everything look was inspired by my own dishes which have every color in the rainbow.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hint of fall

Like every summer it just goes by too quickly. This year has not been the best summer weather in Michigan, many days in jeans and long sleeves. Even with this I was shocked too see this bright red leaf on a bush just outside my front door, a small reminder of the upcoming change of seasons.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend on Lake Michigan

It is always wonderful to travel your home state to be reminded how beautiful it truly is. Michigan is no exception, and we were lucky enough to stay with friends right on Lake Michigan in the little city of Glenn. This was the view from the gazebo that was built on the bluff, at sunset Saturday the 22nd.

We stayed with a friend who owns a home that was a barn that had been restored into a modern home. The barn was originally built in 1870 in Indiana and was moved to Michigan in fall of 2002, the home was then renovated into a 2700 square foot home with amazing features and views.

We enjoyed amazing sunsets, beach time, and best of all hanging out with friends. We spent Monday swimming and sailing, looking for rocks and the occasional beach glass. The time on the beach was amazing as it was so private and beautiful.

A wonderful weekend away and look forward to the day we can return.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sometimes I sew for myself

Been having the urge to do some sewing for myself. I love sewing and sharing with others, but taking the time to do for my family and just something to enjoy is also very satisfying.

I have been making yo yo's and with this group of 36 batik yo yo's I hand appliqued them onto a quilted denim pillow cover. The thing I think I love most about this, is it used fabrics I already had, though I was tempted to get some new batiks these were all from my stash along with this great light colored heavy weight denim.

I loved making this so much I am doing it again in ivory denim with fabrics from a line called Surf and Sand, and hope to write a tutorial on this pillow.
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