Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Craftiness

2009 Craftiness, originally uploaded by Lucy & Norman.

I guess I was pretty busy this year! This is an important milestone for me because I only began sewing and knitting again one year ago after my mom bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas. The rest is history. I also made a lot more baby stuff than is shown in the mosaic, but I have been really lazy and cheap about upgrading my Flickr account so I can pull my older photos (put that on the to-do list).

I didn't make a New Year's resolution last year because I figured being pregnant was work enough. Maybe that was a good tactic because not only did I learn an absolute ton about the needle arts, I also gave birth to my beautiful girl and learned how to care for her. My proudest accomplishment yet!

Well back to the boring old classic New Year's resolution this year.....healthy living for weight loss. I want my body back! Probably just in time to get pregnant again, but if I don't get these last few hanger-on-ers off I am going to freak out. I am thinking of going for a farewell Red Mill burger today (you other Seattleites know what I mean!) and then lots of Champagne and pasta tonight. Then it is three days a week of cardio, two days of yoga and lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean protein and cutting back on the wine. Not too fun but we are going to Mexico in May and I need to be beach-ready!

My other resolution is to stay on my fabric diet :(. I will show you a picture of my stash soon, but it has really become quite obscene. Now if only Denyse, Heather and Anna would quit designing such must haves.

I am hoping to continue in a big way with my crafty streak in 2010 and looking forward to having another wonderful year full of inspiration from all of you. I truly couldn't have gotten to where I am without the benefit of all of you sharing your beautiful creations. Here is to a Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Garden Party quilt

It is finished! And just in the nick of time!
This is my mom's Christmas gift. It is queen size, by far the biggest quilt I have ever made. The thing was an absolute beast, and both my little machine and my body took quite a beating. I made this using Anna Maria's Garden Party line - my mom fell in love with them and I have been keeping this a secret for awhile now! I used 28 different fat quarters ordered from sewlovefabrics on Etsy. For the quilting, I used Gutterman %100 cotton thread and did a fairly close stippling, my first time doing free motion. It was time consuming but pretty fun and easy once I got the hang of it. The back is a pieced Cyan blue Kona cotton solid and it turned out a bit wonky so I don't want to show it to you. Luckily when it was washed and dried all the flaws mostly disappeared. Since I was in a rush I also tried machine binding for the first time, which for me was a disaster. I'm leaving it as is for now and then I will undo and hand bind it before it goes on her bed.
I hope she loves it! I am really excited to give this to her. I need to get in all wrapped up in time for tomorrow, so goodbye for now!

Wishing all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What I've been up to......

Well, I can hardly believe Christmas is nearly here.....
I would really like to be posting more often here, but I haven't even finished shopping or begun baking! I am proud of myself for finally finishing the quilt top for my mom's Christmas gift!
Now please just wish me luck in the quilting and binding that will most likely consume most of my weekend!
During my down time, I have returned to making hexes in full force! I was sad to see my hexagon pillow leave, even though I am so happy my swap partner loved it, and I love my received pillow as well. But, I was inspired to start what I am calling "the five year quilt", because making enough hexes to make a nice big throw will most likely take that long. I like to call this quadrant "sunshine and lemonade" ...

And here is a nice big old pile of hexagon loveliness. Don't they make you happy?

And I'll leave you for now with another happy picture - my Christmas gift to myself! I have been on a strict fabric diet for a bit now, but just could not resist in ordering a fat quarter set of all the prints in Denyse Schmidt's new Hope Valley line. It will surely be awhile before I get to use them, but in the meantime they make lovely eye candy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two very wonderful swaps

Wow! I really didn't mean to be away so long. I'm sure most of you can relate, between the holidays, illness and just everyday life time gets away and so does creative time. That being said, I did cook Thanksgiving for twelve and my husband, then me, and then Lu all got taken down with a nasty virus. I am feeling a lot better now, but she is still totally congested. Her first cold!
I did have enough time this weekend to finally finish my pillow for the Pillow Talk Swap. Sorry it is late - hopefully all the hand-stitching will count for some understanding.

Here she is! Finally my pillow case for the Pillow Talk Swap is finished. I hope you love it partner,

because as you can see, she was quite enamoured with my own Pillow Talk swap piece I received......

This came fro Isa, and I am also in LOVE. My husband is quite taken with this pillow as well:) And here is my absolutely gorgeous Little Red Riding Hood piece from Sam for the Embroidery Swap. I LOOOOOOVE her!!!
And Sam also sent me some gorgeous wool embroidery thread and beautiful buttons along with the package! So generous. I am thinking LR is going to find her way into a throw pillow case soon!

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season, and I promise not to be away so long this next time!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fairy Tale Charm Pack Winners Announced!

I am so sorry to have been keeping you all waiting so long......
The winners of the charm packs are Sarah and Liz B.! I am so happy to know they are going to homes who will love them and I can't wait to see what you make! (I will contact you both as soon as I get a chance between naps and other craziness around here.) Thank you to everyone who entered!
I have been way too busy this week. Husband and I decided to take our first mini vacation without Lucy! We packed up and headed down to Portland, one of our favorite cities, for a two night stay at Hotel Lucia downtown (a great place!). We spent two days walking around the Pearl and Hawthorne, drinking Stumptown coffee, drinking Oregon Pinot Noir, eating at awesome restaurants (Biwa, Apizza Scholl's, Kenny and Zuke's, Ken's Artisan Bakery and Pok Pok) and even got in a little shopping! Here are some purchases I made from some cute little quilt shops in Portland:

As if I needed to buy any more fabric!

Well, back to the business. Does anyone else feel like the holiday madness in beginning early this year?!? If I manage to get in any sewing this week, I hope to make some stockings from comfortstitching's fabulous new tutorial, found here!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Happy Day in Fabricland

Yipee! Yesterday I hit the Munki Munki Marshall's jackpot! Snowmen on flannel!
Shoes! Lipstick! Coffee! Polar Bears! Even the elusive OOP Coke Travelers! And full-length cotton poplin Camper Van robes! Lucky for me my mom is a Marshall's regular so she has been on the lookout. These are of course not all for me, some are for some of my lovely swap friends. If you have been searching Marshall's for Munki, too, now is the time to try because once they hit one it is only a matter of time before some of the other locations start receiving some too!

To top it off, I got a long-awaited parcel from Japan containing one of my all-time favorites, Little Peter Pan, and in three colorways. I couldn't resist buying a yard of each. These came from Sonatine on Etsy and she may have a bit left if you act fast. I'm pretty sure this line is long OOP and was too excited to see it pop up!

I also wanted to show you that, yes, I actually DO sew sometimes, not just shop for fabric! I have been trying to do a little work on this simple nine patch using all my Munki prints. It has been so much fun to cut into these fabrics. I am shooting for a twin size quilt for Lucy's big girl bed one day, so I have quite a long way to go, but I'm in no rush. I just wanted to play with the layout a bit, I am thinking of somewhat of a rainbow color-gradation.

I will be drawing the winners for the giveaway this weekend, too - so exciting! I can already tell from all your awesome comments they are going to wind up in a great home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My First Blog Giveaway!!!!

I am so excited for this - my very first blog giveaway!!! As many of you know, I have been obsessed with japanese kawaii fairy tale fabrics for awhile now. I have scoured shops and the internet and spent way too much on shipping from Japan and Australia to acquire what I believe to be a lovely little collection. Oh, and not to mention the wonderful ladies who have swapped some of these to me! I really, really love these fabrics.
I know a lot of you love them too! Most of these are out of print or really hard to find. There is Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks, Pinocchio and many more. And don't forget Little Red. I have the fairy tale quilt I plan to make for Lucy all mapped out in my head but with all my other WIPs and the holidays looming that isn't realistic right now. Sooo, I needed an excuse to cut them - you! I really want to share and see what someone else would come up with.
So here is the giveaway - I spent tonight cutting 5 inch charms out of all my favorites - 25 different prints in total. TWO SETS are up for grabs! To enter, all you need to do is leave a message here about what you would love to make with the charms. If you sign up to follow me, you'll get another entry. And of course, the 25 great gals who have already been gracious enough to follow me will be entered a third time! I am thinking I will have my 11 year old niece help me to draw winners, the random number generator intimidates me! Comments will close Sunday evening November 8th at 10 PM Pacific.
Thanks again to everyone bothering to read my postings here. I am still so very new to this crafty-sewing-blogging-quilting-mama business and so many of you have been such a great inspiration to me. All your support and constructive comments are always appreciated!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spoonflower Snow White is here!

It's here! My first very own fabric design printed by Spoonflower. I can't believe how fast it got here. The print and color is incredibly true to my original drawing! There she is, surrounded by her seven dwarves, animal friends, the evil queen, and even her Prince Charming! I would show you a few more photos but I am not getting any good shots with the dark weather, but I wanted to show you something right away.
This was such a fun process - I only ordered a yard to begin with to be sure I liked it. I think I would make the scale a bit smaller if I have more printed along with a few other changes but other than that I love it. The cogs in my brain are churning with the next girls to be made into fabric - Cinderella, Thumbelina and of course Little Red! There can never be too many prints of her, can there?
In honor of Miss Snow White's arrival, I will be posting my first giveaway soon - tomorrow if all goes as planned!
I also wanted to mention the new group and blog put together by some uber-talented ladies, The Block Party. They are putting together a book about virtual quilting bees, and starting a new Flickr Group as well. I have also just joined my first quilting bee, The Bee-utiful Quilting Bee, and I am so excited to be working with this group of awesome women. Their work is beautiful and I can't wait to start!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Spoonflower Fabric Sneaky Peek

I finally did it! After months upon months of contemplation, I finished my first Spoonflower design and sent it off to be printed. Here is a little sneak peek of the artwork I scanned and sent in:

Yep, Snow White. I know that Little Red seems to be the reigning champion of popularity, but I am quite partial to this ivory faced, dark haired beauty (not that you won't see any Little Red from me in the future if all goes well!) Does this scene look familiar? Every artist has their muse, and mine was this japanese kawaii print which is probably one of my favorite fabrics of all time.....
Unfortunately it is out of print, like most of my fave fairy tale fabrics. I wanted to create something similar to the Cosmo japanese prints but with my own artistic style. It has been so much fun to create again! I am a bit nervous to see how the lines and color translate onto fabric, but if it works out then I can see this becoming an addictive little hobby. Look out Little Red, Alice, Thumbelina, Goldilocks and Cinderella! The fabric should be here in about two weeks!! Yay!

I am also making some progress with the hexagon top for the Pillow Talk Swap. Speaking of addicting, these hexes are just that! And I love the fact that I can just pack the project up and take it to go. I was toying with the idea of doing an all Flea Market Fancy hex pillow (my partner loves the line, but who doesn't?) but so far I am liking this one - I call it the Hexagon Hodge Podge. Or should I go back to the all Flea Market idea?? Luckily there is still time!

Oh, and I apologize for the crappy photos. It is crappy weather here in the Pacific Northwest and I can't get decent lighting to save my life.

And by the way, True Up, which is my favorite digest in the crafty world, has a great giveaway going on - japanese fabrics. I'm entering for sure!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sometimes I knit...

I haven't had much time for knitting these days......or sewing for that matter. Add to the list cleaning, laundry, dishes, oh and sleeping! This little pea you see here is a very busy girl! And she is not even crawling yet. I am really in for it.
While I was pregnant I spent every evening after my hubby went to sleep sitting in bed knitting, and this little sweater was my proudest accomplishment from that time. It is knit top down and the sleeves are added later so all in all it was fairly simple to do. The pattern is the Easy Baby Cardigan by Diane Soucy and I found it for free on Ravelry . I really loved the yarn used too. It is the Desert Bloom colorway from the Taos line by Crystal Palace. I got lazy and haven't yet added the ties, but it fits her and I am hoping to get some wear out of it all winter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Quilt only a Mother could love.....

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating. This was the quilt I made for my mom's birthday last week. It is actually the first quilt I had ever started - I began it back in the spring before Lucy was born. I love Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line so much and it seemed to fit my mom's personality well. Plus, she is the reason I am back to sewing again so I wanted to give her my first quilt as her birthday gift.
Ahh, the first quilt top ever! I am sure many of you can relate to this: I was so eager to jump in I really had no idea what I was doing. I have learned so much about quilting from the start to finish of this project that by the time I even finished the quilt top I was totally dissatisfied with my work I thought about tearing it up many times. But, in the end, it is pretty and my mom loves it. Oh, and if you are wondering, the pattern was a free one from Anna's website, the Folk Dance quilt (the flaws in the quilt are a result from not reading her pattern, the actual pattern is fabulous if you follow it correctly!)

Here is a view of the back. Very simple patchwork piecing and I quilted with a simple quarter inch stitch on either side of the zig zag seam. The quilt was hand bound on the fly to finish it in time for her birthday. It feels so good to finish one, and my mom really loves and appreciates it. That makes it all worth it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I heart the mailman...

Sorry, I know this is really boring, but do you ever get one of those awesome maildays where everything arrives at once? It feels like a holiday! I was never too excited before when the mailman came - mostly only bills! - until I started swapping and buying fabric online. Now I can't wait to see if something fun has arrived.

So here are some new additions to the family! I have been spending so much of my fabric budget on Munki and Japanese prints lately that I knew I would have to wait before getting the entire line of Amy Butler's new Love line. But I couldn't resist getting the sunspots print in every colorway - I think it is definitely going to be the most popular of the line, because like the full moon dots from her Lotus collection, they will make great coordinates. The elusive Pool Floaties and Inchworms were from a swap - thank you Meagan! Lots of Munki Munki Christmas flannel and brides, goldfish and chairs, along with some Paula Prass Cobblestone half yards from Kerri's Etsy shop sewdeerlyloved. I love them so much! The Christmas flannel has plans for some fun holiday projects I have been dreaming of, and the other Munki will surely make it's way into this project I started a few nights ago.

It has been so much fun cutting into all this gorgeousness! Although I still haven't been able to bring myself to axe the Field Trip! I hope Lucy cooperates and lets me get in some sewing today. The "crying it out" experiment is going reasonably well if not a bit heartbreaking. Thank you all for your words of encouragement. We have a very busy weekend at the winery we need all the sleep we can get around here.

In other news, I was very flattered to receive a message from Sew Hip magazine out of the UK asking me if they could use the photo of me in my Socialite Dress for a pattern review in their magazine! I am not sure when it is due to be published but they are sending me a copy so I will share it with you then.

I will be getting around to my giveaway within the next week and a half! I think you will really like it! Here's a hint - anyone who has signed up to follow me BEFORE the giveaway is announced will get an extra chance to win!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Liquid courage....

Yes, that is a glass of red, red wine in the corner (my husband made it!). After my first evening of letting Lucy "cry it out" for the first time, it was needed! (Not that I needed an excuse!) And, it was also needed perhaps to cut into some of my precious Munki! And Mark is working at the winery late again tonight - harvest time - so I got a nice relaxing evening to sew.
I decided it was time to take action instead of watching my Heather Ross continue to pile up. Let me tell you, cutting into those Recess girls hurt a bit as they were my only tiny squares. I guess Field Trip is next!
I'm planning a simple Nine Patch to showcase these beloved prints. I have so many log cabinish WIPs I wanted to do something different for this one.

OK, back to sewing, but stay tuned....I am about to unveil my mom's finished Birthday quilt which has been six months in the making, as well as my first Spoonflower fabric design - and I am planning a really fun giveaway!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going a Little Hexy

So this is what I have been up to this week....

It is pretty addictive! I don't know why I was so intimidated to try this - they are super easy! I found this online tutorial, and here is a link for the hexagon template (mine are 1.25 inches). What a great way to use up scraps. I also dove in and fussy cut a few of my favorites, like the Munki Munki kittens and dogs and my new Cloud Nine Happy Garden birds.
What will I do with these, you ask?
Well, I joined the new swap group, Pillow Talk (see the button to the left). I am so excited - this will be my first swap piece ever. I am thinking these hexes are going to make their way into my pillow. If you were my partener, would you prefer a hodge podge of hexes or should I go for a color theme?

Also, does can anyone tell me how to respond to people's posts on my blog? I just can't figure it out!

Also here is a new pic of Lucy - 5 months old! She has her first hair-do (I did NOT do this to her, my silly friend Kari did!) and she is eating her first veggies, carrots, which she loves! And yes, that is my gi-normous sewing mess in the background!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Stash, Birdie Quilt and a lot on my crafty plate!

Fabric for Birdie quilt, originally uploaded by Lucy & Norman.
So this is a project that has been on the back burner for quite awhile. I just love all the cool bird fabrics out there and decided to start collecting them with an all bird themed quilt in mind. The quilt I am planning I found on a tutorial at Amanda Jean's great blog. I got inspired to show you this after talking to Meagan yesterday, and seeing that she was planning the same thing. I just love it so far, but at this rate it won't be finished until 2012!
Oh well, I just love starting things but sometimes have a bit of trouble finishing them. At least I have come to terms with this flaw.
Here is a scary list of just how many WIPs I have on my crafty plate:
1. Bird Quilt
2. Mom's Good Folks Birthday Zig Zag
3. Old Red Barn Co Wonky Log Cabin Flea Market Fancy Quilt
4. Pillow Talk swap pillow
5. Hand Stitched swap piece
6. Summer's wedding quilt
7. Spoonflower fabric design
8. Sunrise circle sweater (knitting project)
Ouch! That doesn't even include all the projects I have brewing in my head, or all the things I need to whip up for the births of about six babies coming up! Does anyone else have too many crafty things going on?
At least it is fun! My mom's birthday is the 17th of October and I am almost finished quilting it. The FMF quilt is coming along well - I have about 12 blocks done, but I think this will be a big one so I am keeping at it. I should definitely be farther along with Summer's disappearing nine patch, but the backing is arriving next week so I guess I'll get going on it then. Luckily the swap pieces aren't due for quite awhile and the Bird quilt I have just resigned to being an ongoing project. I am not even going to tell you how many various knitting projects that are collecting dust!
Here are a couple of the birdie blocks I have done so far......
Aren't the little owls so cute?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heather Ross MISC package arrived!

Finally! It feels like I have been waiting not so patiently for this parcel to arrive for FOREVER! It was on the doorstep when I got home this evening, with this cute little note written on the outside.....

It reads "Sorry about the Addams family packaging, I'm hopeless with a tape gun." - H. I know I am sort of a groupie (I won't even tell you all about my Prince obsession) but this was pretty cool.
I couldn't restrain myself and blew my whole months fabric budget on the package! So this is what two hundred duckets gets you.....

I did specifically ask for some Recess or Field Trip, but alas there was none! I am guessing she doesn't have enough to spare because I haven't seen any of you other lovely ladies score a piece either. Oh well, plenty of other goodies in big, fat pieces! There is roughly a yard of Alice in Wonderland on poplin, pink dandelions, white dream bikes and goldfish! Also some very generous half yardish pieces of kittens on poplin, Munki dogs, sushi and pink dots. In varying sizes was some vans on flannel, ice cream trucks, girls on twill and a sea scene one - not sure what it is called. The one I found to be very exciting is a large scrap of what looks like to me the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland with mushrooms, but I have never seen it before! I wonder if didn't make it into production? It is very cute!
Oh yes that is a piece of Flea Market Fancy seeds in the corner - I mentioned in my letter I love Denyse's stuff too!

She also included lots of adorable outfits for Lucy! Gotta love the little green gnome pants! And also sock monkey flannel PJs, a dandelion top with pants and a knit 2T Sushi dress- score!

Overall, I am really thrilled with my loot!

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Hubby love!

My wonderful husband Mark has seemed to have started a tradition of hitting a quilt shop when he goes away on business and bringing me back a surprise package of fabrics he picked out all on his own, with a little help from the sales gals. Isn't that about the sweetest thing you've ever heard? I used to complain that he didn't bring me flowers as often as I'd like him to, but this thoughtful gesture is so much more romantic than flowers if you ask me! Just imagine my giant six-foot-five, bearded man walking into a fabric store and telling them his wife loves Heather Ross and Japanese fabrics - could they help him find something I would like?

When I heard he had to go to NYC without me :( I was hoping he would be able to get over to Purl in the Soho district. He knows I am collecting honeycomb dots (I guess he is observant after all!) and got two colorways of the Cake Rock Beach dots, as well as a couple of adorable Japanese prints and three from the organic Cloud Nine line. The birds are so cute!

I think he did pretty well this time! I'm not sure if it softened the blow of not being able to go to The Spotted Pig and Babbo, though, well maybe just a little bit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Inspiration (and Sunday Stash # 4)

Look at what goodies arrived in the mail yesterday!
Japanese Hansel and Gretel.....

and Little Red Riding Hood!

They are so unbelievably cute. I had been on the prowl for both of these prints for quite awhile with no luck. Then suddenly one of my swappy friends lets us know one of her Etsy sellers just got this in stock! Totally made my day! They make me happy just looking at them. Both were purchased from Japankawaiiya on Etsy.

I was under the impression that they have both been long out of print - maybe this is hope that Cosmo textiles is reprinting these popular fairy tale prints? I really can't understand why a textile manufacturer rarely does second runs of the most popular lines? Why not make money instead of letting the secondary market cash in and raise prices (i.e. Flea Market Fancy)? Seems like poor business planning to me, just my two cents.

So by now you may be realizing I have an obsession with these Japanese fairy tale prints. I literally pour over them on a regular basis (haven't yet sewn with them, though. That would mean having to cut them, haha!). I have always loved drawing and sketching and I was even a Fine Arts major for part of my college career, but it has been years since I picked up a pencil to draw. But these fabrics have been such an inspiration.......

I have been checking out Spoonflower fabric designs for a long time now and have decided to start some planning for my own fabrics. I was really intimidated because of all the computer designing involved, but after seeing the lovely designs of Ariel (Pocketful of Pinwheels) and Aneela (Comfortstitching) and a little reassurance that it really isn't that difficult, I am ready to take the plunge.

These are some preliminary sketches and experimentation with markers. By the way, if you love markers, these Copic Sketch pens are far and away the best I have ever had the pleasure of using - but beware, they are not cheap (although I did find some online for about two dollars cheaper a piece than the list price). It feels so good to create in this avenue again!

Snow White is the first one I am seriously working on - trying to go for a very obviously Kawaii-inspired style. Someday I hope to make Lucy a quilt with fairy tale fabrics all designed by me. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Stash #3

Twenty nine fat quarters from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party. Aren't they lovely? My mom fell in love with this line and I am making her a queen sized quilt for her bed for Christmas. At least for once I'll be starting early!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Zig Zag Quilt completed!

Yay! My zig zag for the Old Red Barn Co. quilt along is finally quilted and bound. Now I just need to learn how to take a decent picture of it! I apologize for this one, but I took about a hundred and none of them were any good. I think quilts are pretty hard to photograph anyways, and this one in particular is just SO much prettier in person. I think because the prints are so delicate it is hard to get a good idea of how lovely they are in the photos. The fabric is from the My Folklore collection by the Japanese manufacturer Lecien.

This is my first completed quilt. I have about five other works-in-progress and about fifty others planned in my head but it is so satisfying to have made one beginning to end. It is a throw size and it will live over the back of a chair in our bedroom for now.

Here is Lucy chillin' on the new quilt. I think you can see the fabrics better in this one

And I thought I would give you a little peek at what I am working on for Round 3 of the quilt along - Wonky Log Cabins. I'm sure I don't need to express the thrill and sheer joy of cutting into all this Flea Market Fancy goodness! Most of the prints came from the jelly rolls mentioned in a previous post (Aka biggest fabric score of the year) and I am also cutting into some of my yardage as well. Such a beautiful collection I think deserves a quilt all it's own. I am having a ball making these since I am not such an accurate person and accuracy is unneeded in the making of these blocks.

It's not too late to jump into Round 3, just click on the quilt along button to the left and follow the links to Quiltdad.