Monday, March 3, 2014

Circle 7 {Lindsey's Quilt}

Our Circle 7 traveling bee is coming to a close.  I received two quilts from Amy last week and quickly got to work on Lindsey's.  Lindsey chose to do a kitchen theme for her quilt and it is looking amazing!

I added that top row of four squares and espresso cups, but other than that, this is how the quilt looked when it arrived in my mailbox.

I recently bought the book Playful Little Paper-Pieced Patterns and knew as soon as I read through it that I would be making this for Lindsey's quilt!  By the way, this book is amazing.  The first portion of the book features a calendar quilt with a pattern for each month of the year (and a bonus project to make for each month's pattern).  I think the fruit plate is September. 

Before I got that book, I purchased the kitchen and pantry pattern sets from Sew Ichigo during a black friday sale.  I figured I should put that to use as well and made a row of cups and four patch blocks.  The only problem with an organic creation like this is that it can be hard to get things to line up.  Do I center my row on the real center?  Try to line it up with some other patchwork?  I really wasn't sure what to do.  I did add a border of white above and below it.  I was really trying to help this quilt grow vertically a little!

I didn't sew my fruit stand to the quilt before I passed it along, I figured Jennifer could finish that row before it goes home to Lindsey.  So now I have Jennifer's quilt to work on and it will be a full circle!

I have a busy week of sewing ahead of me, and it seems like everyone does!  Are you overcommited for March too?
Hope your week is off to a good start! xo, Courtney 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crafty Traveler Blog Hop :: makeup roll

I am thrilled to be headed back to Sew South this year and so excited to be joining Jennifer in the Crafty Traveler Blog Hop.  I love to travel handmade and it is so much fun to see all the great ideas and words of advice from the stops on this blog hop.

After much hemming and hawing I decided to make the Makeup Roll from Stitched in Color.  I purchased this pattern an embarrassingly long time ago (like, um 2011!).  I love the finished product, but sometimes it is hard to get around to making things for yourself.  I also had it in my mind that all those pockets would take forever to sew.  I think I thought they had elastic in them to keep the contents from spilling out, but the good news is that they don't (so no elastic casings or pulling elastic through).  All in all, it took me about 2-3 hours to make and I love it so I am just slapping myself for not making it 3 years ago!

I used a print from Anna Maria Horner's new Dowry line for the outside and had fun picking different prints for the inside and pockets.  Although it would be faster to make all the pockets from one fabric, but not as fun!

As I've come to expect from her, Rachel's directions were very clear and included lots of photographs in the PDF file.  I was a little confused during the final assembly process, but I just did what the directions and pictures showed and it all worked out beautifully!

 I ended up using the standard layout, although the pattern comes with several variations on pockets to help you fit your products in perfectly.  My only adjustment was to make that bottom right pocket an inch wider to accommodate a large bare escentuals compact.  I just made bigger pleats to fit it in the same "footprint" on the case.  
Another thing I did different was to use fusible fleece instead of batting.  And I fused it to my background (green hugs and kisses print), before sewing the pockets on.  I felt like this made everything a little more stable, but probably wasn't necessary. 

 Here it is all filled up with my essentials.  I'm actually not just traveling with them like this, the case is their new home in my bathroom drawer.

The final change to the pattern I made was the button and loop closure.  Rachel suggested a lovely crocheted chain loop, but I am horrible with the needles, so I did my old standby, a hair elastic!

 This is the nice flap that helps to keep everything in place.

You can see I am pretty pleased with my little pouch and I probably will make a few more.  I was also thinking it would be pretty easy to customize this pouch to hold lots more than makeup.  This won't be my last makeup roll!

Now, for some more information on the blog hop and how you can win all the fun stuff below:

Crafty Traveler Blog Hop: Feb 3- March 12

Link-up your travel handmade project March 6-12 for a chance to win one of three great prizes! (US only) 

#1: Free Spirit Fabric, Crafty Traveler Tote supplies and Dritz rotary cutter. 

#2: Box of 50 Coats Threads

#3: Pellon Prize Pack (Interfacing & Batting) 

To enter to win simply link up your project at on March 6. Please link from a new blog post but your project can be anything you've made to travel handmade within the last 6 months. 
You may also link from Flickr or Threadbias. 

Blog Hop Schedule
3/6: Link-up opens at 
3/13: Winner's announced!

So get ready to link up your project!  Good luck! -Courtney

Friday, February 14, 2014

Share the Love {giveaway for imagine gnats indiegogo}

Two items to share today, one completely selfish and one not so much,  we'll call it mutually beneficial.

First, the selfish.  My hubby has been out of town all week.  So that meant the three days that the older kids were out of school for snow I was on my own.  I did a lot of laundry and a lot of dryer-only loads of mittens, hats and scraves.  We had a blast, but I ended each day in a state of exhaustion.  I had big plans to sew in the evenings while he was gone, but instead I let the big boys stay up and watch the Winter Olympics with me since we didn't have to worry about early school mornings. Side note - I LOVE the Olympics and this year with the patchwork and matroyshka dolls, I am just smitten (I choose to ignore the politics and focus on the athletes and regular people coming together in peace) and I am so planning a project with those diamond rainbow patchwork panels! It was definitely a fun week, but I was itching to sew.  Today, my in-laws took the big boys to go get heart shaped donuts and hang out for a while during the baby's afternoon nap and wouldn't you know, the stars aligned and he actually took the nap.

I knew exactly what I wanted to sew.  I had seen this adorable valentine's pouch on IG and had to make a copy.  Perfect for the coupons I never seem to bring into the store and the frequent customer cards crowding my wallet.

I loved cutting all of those pink squares and I used my glue basting tips finally!  I think I'm converted!

My valentine is finally home from New York and putting the boys to bed.  When he woke up this morning he found his flight home was cancelled.  When he called the number for USAir, they just hung up, so he went to LaGuardia and was told "we can get you on a flight Tuesday."  So he kept trying to talk to different people and wound up on a flight to DC this afternoon, thinking he would have to drive a rental car home.  He got lucky and got a flight to Charlotte on standby.  He landed on time and then when he got to his car it wouldn't start.  Volvo-on-call told him 11:30pm was the earliest they could get to him.  A nice man with the airport parking deck spent 45 minutes trying to get his car jumped and they finally got it.  So I'm extra happy to be with my Valentine tonight.  After 15+ years of valentines with him, I don't need candy or flowers, I just want to watch the Olympics next to him and maybe make some popcorn!

Okay, if you're still with me, thanks for that!  Second item of business, the mutually beneficial one, is a favor for a friend!  Rachael, the amazingness behind Imagine Gnats has started an Indiegogo campaign to get her patterns on to paper!

You know I love her patterns, from the Meridian Cardi to the Bess Dress and all the sweet ones for little girls, too.  You have a chance to fund her dream and you can get her awesome patterns just by donating (as low as $10 if you get in quickly).  There are many options and every dollar adds up, so please consider  donating (HERE!).  If you donate a bit more, you can even get shop credit as a perk, that's what I did - I love her fabrics!

image credit: Rachael, Imagine Gnats

If you donate (or already have) and leave a comment here, I will pick one winner to receive an awesome selection of charm squares from my fabric collection.  No idea how many or what yet, but don't worry, I'll take care of you : )  Let's just do honor system here.  Tell me "I donated" and make sure I've got your email address somehow. 

thanks for reading!  Extra hugs and kisses for today, I love my readers and stitchy friends! xxxooo, Courtney

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On My Design Wall {the one with the applique}

Hello, well it took a bit longer than I hoped to get another post in this series up, but here goes:

My design wall is filling up with lattice nine patches from my Stash Bee mates.   I added another Castle Block in Anna Maria Horner fabrics, and I have two more cut out.

I managed to get the February do. Good Stitches blocks finished, which are big 12.5" x and + blocks for the Haven Circle. Why does it always take so long (and make such a mess) to do scrappy blocks?!

Finally, I completed 3 applique blocks for the February Stash Bee.  Diane requested applique blocks with hearts and flowers and no color restrictions, so I hope she likes them!

And, these are too little for my design wall, but I've had a blast working on postage stamps for the SWAK swap from this tutorial!

It's been snowing all day and we're supposed to get even more tomorrow.  So I think I am going to curl up with some hand work and hope that baby doesn't crawl too far out of my reach!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On my design wall {Jan 20}

Okay, so I'm still struggling with getting blog posts written and I had this new idea.  Maybe I'd just take a photo of my design wall to catch up once a week!  By the way, my design wall is super fancy - I used 6 thumbtacks to attach a twin size piece of quilt batting to a wall in our playroom!

When I went to take a picture yesterday, finally remembering to do this during daylight my camera battery was dead, of course.  So I have a not so great phone photo.  Not the best start, but it will be easy to improve on!

On the right we have blocks from my Stash Bee Hive 6.  I'm the hive mama, so January is my month to be the Queen Bee.  Here is my tutorial post. Three of the blocks I made and two were sent to me (two more came in the mail today - super exciting!).

This is my first block for the S.W.A.K. envelope and stamp swap.  The pattern is from Ayumi's Patchwork Please book.  They are so fun to make!

Moving along in a clockwise direction, you can see my two do. Good Stitches blocks for Haven Circle this month.  We are making blocks based on a pretty Alexander Henry fabric, so it was fun to get to play around a little! The one above is something I made up and the one below is from a free pattern on Charise's blog.

And finally, we have a castle block in various Anna Maria Horner prints.  The big must do for 2014 is to make a king size quilt for our bed using my precious AMH prints. I thought I would try a few big blocks out and see how I like them, figuring I could use any that I don't like for pillows.  This castle block is super fun to make and at 21" I don't need a million of them (maybe 25?).  There's no rush for this project, I figure I won't finish before spring anyway, so hopefully I will by the time it gets cold again later in the year!  You can find the tutorial, but Amy, of badskirt amy, here on the SMS blog.

TTFN!  See you soon, xo, Courtney

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Meridian Cardi for Imagine Gnats Pattern Tour


I am excited to be posting today as part of the Imagine Gnats January Pattern Tour.  You know I love my Bess Dress pattern and now I'll share my love of the Meridian Cardi for Women.

I just love my reversible cardi and it was SO fast to sew.  Rachael's directions are clear, concise and filled with pictures to help you out.  You can definitely use a serger, but I just used my sewing machine to make my cardi.  I just used a ball point needle and a slight zig zag so the seam has some give to match the knit.  I bought both of my knits from girl charlee

I made my cardigan a few months ago as a pattern tester and I waited until the last minute to get it sewn up.  Of course it rained that day and so I photographed it inside with the door open trying to get a little light.  

The bunnies on the fabric I chose ended up being a little larger than I expected.  I still love them.  This is a great layering piece to wear for a cold day like today - two layers of knit on top of my base layer.  Perfect!

Here are the rest of the bloggers participating in the January Pattern Tour:

Inder Loves Folk Art / mon petit lyons / Sew Delicious
la inglesita / Miss Matatabi / Rae Gun Ramblings
Welcome to the Mouse House / Casa Crafty
Make it Handmade / Made with Moxie / Buzzmills
girl like the sea / just me jay / Play Crafts
Sew Well Maide / Sew Charleston / Mingo and Grace
Caila Made / Sewbon / do Guincho / call ajaire
Alison Glass / a.Amelia Handmade / Bored & Crafty
you & mie / Stitched Together / things for boys
fake it while you make it / Sanae Ishida
Behind the Hedgerow / I Seam Stressed / Charming Doodle
The Crafty Kitty / Siestas & Sewing / Figgy's

And just in case you haven't heard, Rachael not only has some awesome patterns in her shop, she also has fabric now!  How amazing are these double gauze reversible polka dots?!?  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Quilt Alongs for the New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday (whatever you might celebrate) and are already off to a great start for the new year.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to try to get back on the blog a little more frequently.  Looking back at my posts, I had about 75 last year, with most before the baby arrived in April, 125 in 2012 and 200 in 2011.   I'm thinking about twice a week is about right.  I think when I started this blog I posted every time I sewed a seam!  I'll try to find a happy medium!

Well, I guess I should show you what I have been sewing:

YES!  More economy blocks with my precious Heather Ross scraps and stash.  I started them back in September but they took a backseat to other things.  Well, Katy, Rita and Brenda started the #economyblockalong on Instagram (and added a flickr group) and I had to join back in the fun!

So far I have 16 and I have no plan or intention of stopping, so we'll see what becomes of it.  I am making 5" paper pieced blocks from Rita's free craftsy pattern and I still plan on using Nancy of Owen's Olivia wonky triangles border when I finish the squares.  I am really intrigued by Cristy's no-paper glue basting method, so I ordered some glue tips and we'll see how that works out.

Another Quilt Along I can't wait to jump on board for is Sukie's Vintage Quilt Revival block along.  I got the book (by Katie, Lee and Faith) for Christmas, and it is beautiful.  I may not do a sampler quilt, but I want to do something with each (or most, anyway) of the blocks.  There are lots of non-quilt projects in the book too.

So, I'll actually be back again tomorrow for a blog hop, so that might be some kind of recent posting record.
xo, Courtney