Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frenzy's Frantic February

"I'm a visionary; I'm ahead of my time. 
Trouble is, I'm only about an hour and a half ahead."
George Carlin

Next month will be a race to get ready for the 2010 season at the local Trade and Market Days monthly shows.  I will be adding several new items to my inventory getting ready for the Spring and Easter season along with items that will add to the fun and festivites of local events.  I have selected two new projects to complete during February as part of my quest to complete as many UFOs as possible this year.  Then there are family commitments that need to be taken care of and my nephews wedding to attend.  I can feel the blood pressure rising already and the "works well under pressure" title going into full swing.LOL 

The first project, in my quest to "tame the beast within" of UFOs, will be to put together a quilt top of crazy quilt blocks.  These beautiful blocks are the result of a block swap that I hosted on an on-line forum and they have been sitting in my collection for about a year and a half.  The blocks will be put together with sashings and cornerstones and some will be embellished along the way.  This quilt when completed will be added to my personal collection.

The second selection is a lap quilt that was added to the collection of UFOs about 8 months ago.  The top needs the last border attached and after the top is finished it will be quilted and a binding will be added.  This quilt will be listed in my Etsy shop as soon as it is done.

Kick off day for these projects will be Monday February 1st at 9:00 am, after I check in with friends on the internet and have some much needed coffee.  I have a few days to gather my supplies and prepare for a very busy month.  I hope everyone meets their goals next month, I know I will be doing my best to do so.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Showcase

"I never did a day's work in my life.  It was all fun."
Thomas Edison

Having your own business and working for yourself can be so much fun if you truly enjoy what you do.  This week I listed some new table runners and I am happy to say that one sold very quickly.

The first one I call Chickens Galore because of the focus fabric I used.  It has a very country look that is enhanced by the checkered binding.

The next one is done in the same french braid design using a floral focus fabric and coordinating fabics. 

The last one, also in a french braid design, is done in a coffee themed focus fabric also with coordinating fabrics.  All three of these table runners are perfect for dressing up your kitchen table or your breakfast bar.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


"Only put off until tomorrow
what you are willing to die having left undone."
Pablo Picaso

I finally finished my first UFO of the year and I am happy to say at least one more creation will not be left undone.  Of the two items I had set aside for this month this rag quilt gave me more work than what I had originally thought it would. 

The front background squares, applique and backing are all  made out of flannel and there is a layer of cotton batting in the middle.  I did an outline stitch around the flowers and a cross hatch on the solid squares before piecing them together.  Once the rows were completed I realized that they would not make a quilt wide enough for a lap quilt so I had to come up with another idea to add width.  I decided to add a border on both sides alternating the solid colors which turned out to be the perfect touch.  The quilt has a decorative stitch around all the edges and then clipped to give it that ruffled edge that distinguishes a rag quilt from other quilts.  I am very happy with the outcome and glad that it is finally done.

Now I am off to work on the wall hanging that needs my attention and also to select 2 more projects for next month UFO project list.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Create, Create, Create

"Create like a god; comand like a king; work like a slave."
Constantin Brancusi

I don't dare compare myself to God, but I do understand what this quote implies and I am taking it to heart this week.

I have been working like a "slave" trying to get one of my January UFO items finished, and a custom order lap quilt completed as well So far both are going together nicely and should be done by the deadline I have set for myself.

Three of four rows have been put together and the fourth row is soon to be attached along with a border around the entire quilt. It will be listed in my Etsy shop as soon as it is done, a flannel lap quilt with a layer of cotton batting inside making it a very cozy little quilt.

The custom order quilt is the final one of four commissioned as a memory quilt made from mens shirts.  This has been a job that has touched my heart knowing that these quilts are filled with memories for the owners of a loved one they have lost.

Still need to sew rows together add borders and then quilt and bind.

Lots of work to still get done so I am off to my "sweat shop" to get closer to my goal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Mother's Work is Never Done

"If evolution really works,
how come mothers only have two hands?"
Milton Berle

No she is not in Kindergarden, nor in elementary school, she is not even in high school, but mom is still driving her to school.  It is the first day of the spring semester in her 2nd year of college.  You may ask.... Why is mom driving her to school?   Dad is having a hard time admitting that his baby is growing up and she is ready to fly the nest.:)  I think DD and I need to come up with some ideas to "help" Dad see the light and let go.

I love my baby, she is the youngest, but if we don't find alternate transportation for work and school soon I think I am going to go bonkers.  If I had a dollar for every time I   have had to interupt my sewing, crafting, cooking, reading, tv watching, etc, etc, etc to run and play taxi mom, I would be one rich lady.  Instead I am one disorganized crafter with
a stack of UFO quilts, eating meals that are just thrown together, missing out on the cliff hangers and never able to finish a book in peace.

Well at least she has classes all day and I have some uninterrupted time to do some sewing, that is if nothing else comes up that needs my undivided attention.  I just hope she doesn't have to go to work tonight or I will be driving again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesdays Thoughts

"When I work I relax. 
Doing nothing makes me tired"
Pablo Picasso

I have been super busy today working on a local custom order memory quilt and I feel so energized.  The quilt will be similar to the this one but in a different color scheme and is for the same client.  I can't wait to get finished so that I can deliver it and show it off to everyone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sew the World Turns

It is 6:40 on a Sunday morning, coffee is brewing and the only thing I can think of is that I need to go to JoAnns and buy some flannel that I think goes on sale today.  As much as I love fabric I dred walking into a fabric shop right now, so much temptation that I really don't need.

No sales so far this year (2010) and I really can't justify buying more fabric, except for the fact that if I don't I can't finish one of my UFO quilts that I want to list.  It is such a "Catch 22".  I need it, I want it, but I feel so guilty doing it.  Another problem is also the uncertainty of a sale.  If I make it will they buy?

I get discouraged, as I am sure many of my fellow Etsians do too, I make things and they sit in my shop forever.  I have had 2 sales this last year that I was ready to remove because they sat there for almost a year with tons of views, few hearts and certainly no sales.  So the question is.....Will this continue to happen?  Will I just have to wait till the end of next year to sell items that I have listed this month?  Let's hope not.  Answer... Be Patient.

Life will go on and "Sew the World Turns".  I will create items and concentrate on colors, designs, techniques that I love and pray that someone else loves them too.  Shabby Chic Flannel lap Rag Quilt and matching throw pillow cover will be a new listing for this next week.  We will patiently wait and see what happens.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Shopping

Since I got up extra early today I thought I would take a stroll through some of my favorite shops on Etsy.

My first stop of the morning is MagpieKnits to check out some cute Valentine Day cards.  This lovely fabric art card is perfect for a loved one or a "very" special friend.

Fire and Kindness has a great little rose blossom necklace that would be the perfect gift to send along with Magpie's card.

 What about a lovely jewelery box to put that little necklace in?
annapanik has a lovely handpainted jewelery box that would finish off this one of a kind gift.

I love shopping!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Power of a Word

I have never made New Year Resolutions; there was never any point because I knew I wasn't going to stick to it.  I was always a "fly by the seat of my pants" sort of gal, but as the seat of my pants have gotten larger over the years, it has become more like flying a kite.  A kite sort of just goes wherever and you need to fight with it to keep it up in the air and just sort of hold on for dear life, not my idea of a good plan.  Something needs to change.

While looking over my Facebook page I found, Lisa Fulmer the guest designer at , inviting readers to join a challenge.  Pick an inspirational word for 2010?  The possibilities are endless, but it had to be "one" word.

Last month I began looking at my quilting UFOs (unfinished Objects), and trying to get them under control by vowing to complete two of these each month.  So far so good and maybe blogging about them will keep me accountable, sort of like having someone watching you so you need to follow through.  Yet I feel that there needs to be more than completing things that have been left by the wayside.  There has to be new stuff along the way to keep me motivated.  Could the word be "stuff"?

I started my business a year and a half ago and although I know that any new venture takes time, I see others doing similar work that are doing much better than I am, leaving me a bit unfullfilled.  I have decided that I need to read and learn and listen to others and their experiences and not duplicate but adjust things to my needs and what I do best.  As I continue to give my business more thought I realize that this last year I have been "making" items for my shop but not been adding many "creations".  This has left me uninspired and unmotivated.  So this has to be my word for 2010, "create", a word that challenges and fulfills me at the same time, something that I feel I have not been doing.

I proceeded to "create" my inspiration board.  This is what I came up with.

As a quilter I had to include thread and fabric, but I also love to embellish and applique so those techniques had to be included also.  The background layer of fabric and thread has an overlay of irridescent tulle that sort of adds a veil to the foundation of my board.  The upper layers are sewed on or glued on bringing them to the top as they surface and inspire me to "create".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Learning to Juggle

Lately I have been trying to multi-task and I feel like I am becoming quite the juggler.  I do feel like I live at the circus sometimes so I guess this is a good outlook on my life right now.

 I spent the last month making items to sell, custom work, gift quilts and all this at the same time I was decorating, cooking, baking and shopping. 

Just as I thought life was going to settle down I realized I still have custom orders to finish, make items for my Etsy shop, a gift quilt to make and I am still cooking, cleaning and shopping.  Life is never dull around here and thank God I don't have little ones to run after or else I would really be in trouble.
my UFO project
Some of my Quiltsy Team members on Etsy have actually listed the number of UFOs they will work on this year, but honestly, I am overwhelmed by the  task of making a list.  I admire them for their commitment and their ability to organize themselves in this manner but for me that would require more time than I feel I have in one day. 

Mult-tasking, I guess the reality of the word is being able to work on more than one thing at a time and still accomplish a goal of finishing.  I don't know if I will ever be able to be a true multi-tasker in the real meaning of the word as I understand it. Maybe I am wrong but if you don't finish anything are you truly multi-tasking or just disorganized?  Time will tell if I am a true multi-tasker, but at least for today I feel like I am accomplishing a few smaller goals.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Okay the new year has started and as I promised myself I am starting to tackle my UFO stack today.  I was very industrious this weekend gathering supplies for my project list and completing a lap top that will be for my Etsy shop.  I selected a nice dark purple to be the backing on my wall hanging and I searched through my stash to find the right color of green flannel and other coordinating fabrics to add to the Rose Garden rag quilt. .

The first step in finishing my wall hanging is to make a quilt sandwich and this is not my idea of fun since I purchased my HQ16 mid arm quilting machine.  This wall hanging will be quilted on my domestic machine and that requires the making of a quilt sandwich.  For the non-quilters, a quilt sandwich is not edible, but it is what we call layering the backing fabric, the batting and the quilt top together and either pin baste it together or baste it using needle and thread. I prefer to pin baste using curved saftey pins with grip covers and a handy little tool called a kwik klip that helps you clip the safety pins closed and it saves wear and tear on the fingers.
This task took not more than 30 minutes from setup to completion of basting and now I am ready to start the next phase which is the actual quilting.  Unfortunately today I do not have the time to play in my sewing room.  I am a wife and mother and not always free to work on my sewing projects when I wish, so the quilting will have to wait till tomorrow, besides I have till the end of the month to finish.  Don't I?

As I whittle down this UFO list I still need to continue creating items for my shop and my monthly trade day shows that will resume in March 2010, so I expect each month to be full of activity in my sewing studio.  Working on the quilting will have to fit in with the housework, the taxi mom service and other family commitments, but it will get done.  I have commited myself to finishing at least 2 UFOs a month so there will be early mornings of getting housework and errands done to make sure that I have the free sewing time that I need.

I join other members of the Etsy Quiltsy Team that are working and encouraging each other along the way as each of us works on our own UFO list.  I hope that we may all be successful in our commitment to rid ourselves of all these projects that have been set aside midstream. 

Good Luck to all of us!