Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Quilt Completed

I finally finished a quilt for my Dad. I started it about three years ago and I bought the fabric almost 8 years ago, when I worked at Granny's Trunk it Lakeland. My dad has been constructing things my whole life, so when I saw this fabric with power tools and screws and nails, I just had to have some. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it and I didnt really get enough of it. I had to add thses other solid colors to it and I used almost every inch of it. When I bought the solid backing, I was short changed by 1/2 yard from the lady at the fabric store. That meant more piecing for the back. I think it looks pretty cool, but unfortunately I had to cut two inches off the front borders. I am very glad to have it finished in time to give it to him for Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Still Kickin...

Wow! What a year this has been. My divorce was finalized and I am weaving my way through the life of a single mom (truly something I never thought I would have to do). I am making last minute preparations for Christmas for my five daughters who still live at home. Thing are shaky financially, but I have hopes of things looking much better in the new year.

I was feeling pretty blue today, having a little pity party. I have remained pretty strong for the sake of my girls, but today the stress of life and the Holidays have caught up with me.

I was asking myself what I could do to "shake" this mood. As you usual the answer was : I need to sew, quilt and create something. That is my passion, my therapy and my escape. My sewing room is in disarray right now, so I cant just dive into a new project. I know what I need to do. The kids are going to be with their Dad beginning Christmas afternoon and through the weekend. I intend to get my workspace functional. I hope to begin teaching some of my classes at home soon, so it is just a necessity to get organized. I will let you know how that goes.

I did make my Dad a quilt that I began a few years ago. I was inspired to finish it, frankly, because I am broke and I have no other way to get him a gift. I am very glad to be able to have it finished and given to him. I will share pics and some background on it soon.

For today, I want to remind my readers that the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior. Jesus is the reason for the season. May you all come to know Him and his love. Enjoy your friends and families and don't sweat the small stuff.

God Bless you all,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Inchies Christmas Ornaments Swap

I have found a really cool ornament swap. Inchies look fun to make and are a good way to use your small scraps. Go to inchiequilts.com for more information and a tutorial that shows you how to make them. I am joining the swap and I hope you'll join me.

Catching Up

I have been gone for a while. No where special, just dealing with life. I have been going through a divorce for about two years and it is finally coming to an end. The good news is that the ex and I are putting the children first and handling things as friendly as possible. I am so grateful to him for his cooperation. We have awesome kids and they deserve the best.

I am still working on my patterns and have some fall classes scheduled at Fabric Warehouse in Lakeland. I have designed a new quilt called Cupcake Cutie by Abby-Sue Designs. I will be posting a sample very soon and have the pattern in print and available for purchase.

I find one the best ways for me to de-stress is to let me creative juices flow. I will share my journey with you and hopefully you will find ways to deal with your issues. God is my strength and my everything. I am so thankful that He gave me a creative mind a spirit.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fruit of My Labor

Well, after discovering worms in my corn and being flooded by torrential rains storms and flooding ....we FINALLY have harvested something from our garden. We picked two round watermelon. They are in the fridge awaiting the taste test. Some of my sunflowers are 8 feet tall and blooming. I have discovered that I really like sunflowers. I dont really care for watermelon...but the kids do and that was the point.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast

Sometimes it takes a while for things to sink in. I have known for a while that my children were getting older. My son just graduated from our homeschool ....what a milestone. And today, my baby...number six....is turning seven years old. I am officially out of the baby business. As most moms know...this is all bitter sweet. I just took three of my middle girls on a vacation and it was great. They packed for themselves, everyone carried their own luggage and I even sent them (with a buddy) to get ice from the hotel ice machine. I didnt miss strollers, or car seats or not being able to take my eyes off of them for a second in the pool. But I do miss the baby words, the sweet baby smell and the way they look at you like you are the most awesome person that God ever made.

I guess the best thing to do is ...preserve those memories by scrapbooking and journaling. Talk about the memories to keep them fresh in everyone's minds and be grateful for the freedom that comes from having older children.

To all of my children.....I love you with all of my heart.

And to Princess Faith....Happy Birthday, Baby.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Bobbin

This is Bobbin, my baby. He is a little over a year old now. I named him Bobbin because I bought him with the money I made from my sewing business. He has been such a joy to me. Well, last weekend he was close to death. Friday nite he was having trouble, walking, crying in pain and vomiting. By Saturday morning he was in shock and near death. It was a very long night. I truly believed he was going to die. I wasnt sure if he was stepped on and had a broken hip or if he had been poisoned. To make a long story short, our vet, Dr. Carrier went ahead and treated him for Addison's disease, even though the test results would not be back for a few days. Now the tests are in and he does have Addison's Disease. It is very complicated and will require treatment his entire life. I am so grateful to know what the cause of his illness is and so very glad that he is still alive.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!!

Tomorrow is my daughter, Hannah's Birthday. She will be ten years old, but she seems like 20 already. Hannah is my miracle baby. She had menangitis when she was only 6 weeks old. She was in a Children's Hospital for 2 weeks. The doctor in charge of her case, pretty much told me she would die and not be leaving the hospital. I refused to believe him and I told him that I knew God would heal her. We had people all over the country praying for her. When he saw that she would leave, he told me she would probably be deaf and learning disabled. WRONG!! She hears fine, is very smart and sings like an angel. I am so glad he was wrong. She is a true blessing to me as all six of my children are.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Confessions of a Wanna Be Farm Girl

I confess. I have always dreamed of owning some acreage, having horses, a garden and any other critters I felt like having. Well...I have been growing a vegatable garden for a few weeks now. I am growing the entire garden from seed, so there isnt much to show yet. But, have no fear, I will be posting pictures. Well...today the girls and I went and bought 8 baby chickens. We have raised them in the past...several years ago. Then it was more for fun and learning for the little girls. Now, however, it is for those reasons, plus the eggs. I figure if we are able to have organic vegatables from our own yard...we should have hormone free eggs also. The girls are very smitten with the chicks, now. I am sure when they are feathered and not as cute...they will lose interest and I will have to harrass them into feeding them. Bobbin, my baby dog, loves them...but Whiskers, our outdoor cat...is totally disqusted with the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My New 1930's Stash

Last weekend, my family took a mini vacation in Orlando. We went to a hotel with waterslides and cool pools for the kids. I enjoyed watching them play for hours...and I got to play too. I was able to check out four quilt shops. I was so excited to see that all of them had reproductions. In the Lakeland area, they are very rare to find. I don't know what it is that attracts me to them. I think it is the pretty pastel colors, the clean and timeless look of them. I have been collecting them for a while and have had several quilts planned for them. Today, I am going to use them in a new baby quilt that I have designed. I wanted to make two quilts for my cover photo. One, in pastels (my repros) and one in bold colors. So, today I am going to delve into my new goodies. I will post picks as soon as I can. In the meantime, I will post a picture of my newest stash.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nature Walks

Yesterday, I took some of the girls to the lake to feed the ducks. The ducks weren't very hungry and the irritating seagulls took the fun away by swiping bread from the ducks. So, we did what all adventurous girls do...we Explored!! We found a nest full of duck or swan eggs. A very cool find. Rebecca was responsible for this find. I love hanging out with the girls.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast

My oldest daughter, Abby, turned 15 the other day. Now I have two teenagers on the road. Aaahh!! Well, she is a "restrictedly licensed driver" as she likes to say. First thing in the morning, we went to the DMV for her to take her written test and of course she passed. She is very happy. For her family party that night, she wanted my desert pizza instead of birthday cake. I made it bigger than usual, since we had many to feed. It was so good! The recipe is very simple....just roll premade cookie dough on a stone or cookie sheet and bake. When it is cooled, spread a mixture of cream cheese, vanilla and sugar to taste. I dont like mine too sweet. Then place fresh fruit on top. Yummy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sewing Therapy Results

Well, my Saturday sewing didn't work out as I would have liked. I had to clean my sewing room some before I could sew. My girls had gotten there to work on their art projects and made some messes. Then I got a million interuptions.I decided just to make a simple sundress for my youngest daughter, so that I didn't really have to think, just sew. I even had expectations that she might be able to wear it to church the next day. I had a multi-sized pattern that I traced first because I have other girls to make the same dress for. That took a long time. Then, more interuptions and time for dinner. I didnt turn on my sewing machine until 8pm. From then on it was smooth sailing. The only problem....by the time I was ready to put the dress together, she was asleep, so I couldnt try it on her for sizing. Anyway, this is Sunday night...actually early Monday morning and I just sewed on the buttons. I think it is adorable. I am going to make her many of these to wear this summer with cute little sandals. I am also going to make her a matching wristlet, to take her offering to church. I finally remember to use on of my "made by Mommy" tags too. I did enjoy my "fun sewing" time. Now, it is time to get back to "work sewing."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sewing Therapy Day

I have had an awful week. Nothing major, just a lot of "yuk" building up...then yesterday I had a Dr's appointment where I learned I have high blood pressure again and I have to go get a mammogram to check some things out. So, I have declared this beautiful Saturday, "Fun Sewing Day". What do I mean by "fun sewing"? It means I will work on whatever I feel like. Not the quilts that I need for my pattern covers or samples for future classes.....just something that looks fun to me. I am going to pray I can keep the girls outside today and turn on my favorite music and sew to my heart's content. I reallly need this!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fun at the Sewing Expo

My girls and I attended the first day of the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. We go every year and, as always, it was great. There were fewer "make it and take its" this year. But we all got to do some fabric dying with water color crayons. We all loved it, especially the girls. Guess what is on our "To Buy" list?? That's right....water color crayons. I saw lots of fabric and goodies. I did very good in the "not buying fabric department". My Stashbusters group would be proud. I did buy 4 fat quarters of 1930 reproductions...because I need them for a current quilt. However, the Expo is not over and the girls wont be with me for the next two days, so I will most likey "hear" the fabric calling my name. We got lots of great ideas and inspiration. I highly recommend it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Original Sewing and Quilting Expo

The Original Sewing and Quilting Expo is in Tampa this weekend, March 19, 20 and 21. They offer classes and have many free demos and shows at the stage. The neatest part for me is that it is like going to 50 sewing stores in one day...but all in one large room. I have attended the last five years. It is one of my girl's favorite "field trips" of the year. I plan to attend all three days and see lots of eye candy and get lots of ideas for future projects.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Some of My Sewing Students

I am so blessed to teach sewing and quilting for a living. Here are some of my latests students and their work from last week. The girls and tote bags are from my Sewing Academy Classes in Winter Haven and Heart to Heart Fabrics and More and from Brandon, Florida at the Bernina Pfaff Sewing Center. The ladies with their Quilt As You Go Baby Quilts were in Lakeland, Florida at Fabric Warehouse. Go to http://www.abbysuedesigns.com/ to see my schedule of Classes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shoulder Pad Mice

My girls are so creative!! Becky from Fabric Warehouse gave us a bag of shoulder pads. She thought we could come up with a use for them. Today while helping me clean the school room, the girls got into them and made the mice. I think they are adorable! I love when they use their imaginations and creativity.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Finding Treasure!

Susie Orman, the financial advice guru has always said the first step to getting your finances in order is to de-clutter. One may think that one has nothing to do with the other. However, when people try it, they find uncashed checks, cards with money in them and all kinds of hidden treasure. Well, I have been on a quest to get my sewing stuff in order and to finish my UFOs. I was looking through some unfinished projects from past years of Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion. I found a dress I had forgotten about. It is a 1930's Madeira Dress by Wendy Scheon. It is almost finished. The bad part is I cant find the instructions. I am going to call Petite Poche Patterns and see if they can walk me through. The pattern is now out of print, but they may be able to help me.

The best part about this find is that the dress is a size 6...the size my youngest daughter wears. Sadly, I havent made many heirloom dresses for my girls. Quilts...yes. Dresses...not many. I am posting a picture of this pattern. Mine is in pink...and I will post a picture of the finished dress.

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Latest Quilt

I have spent most of the week working on this quilt. It is called Emma's Quilt and it is is made with 2.5" strips. I was able to use some of my scraps from jelly rolls and charm packs, but I had to add some pinks and greens. Stash Busters would be somewhat happy. I did use backing and batting from my stash. Yay! This quilt was made for a friend at church who is having a baby shower tomorrow. I am done just in the nick of time. I just finsished the binding and sewing on the label. I really enjoyed making this quilt. I think I will make another one to sell.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Free Embroidery Designs

I know I have mentioned this site before. But I love http://www.emblibrary.com/ ! I am working on some baby shower gifts and I only need one design for it...not an entire pack. I was also looking for some Easter embroideries. I was thrilled to find one Easter embroidery for .17 cents!!! And a cute little bunny for free. There designs are adorable. Now I need to quit scouring their site and get to sewing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teaching Children to Sew

I love teaching people of all ages to sew. I mean I love it. I want to do it as long as I am able. But, there is something very special about seeing children finish a project. I currently teaching my Sewing Academy in three local cities. It is a beginning class that builds to higher skills at each class. We make really cool projects in the meantime. Yesterday, I taught at Heart To Heart in Winter Haven, Florida. Above is a picture of two of my students, Hannah and Victoria's Zippered wristlets. The did a great job and they are already working on another wristlet. Way to go Girls!

Friday, February 20, 2009

At Home Quilting Retreat

I came home from teaching my Sewing Academy, at Fabric Warehouse in Lakeland, and I started reading emails from the Stash Buster Group. Some of them are having an At Home Retreat. I decided to join in this weekend. I have a lot to finish. Normally, I would plan ahead for this. They suggest you plan meals ahead or use the crock pot. Well, I did go grocery shopping and the kids are older and can do alot for themselves. I wont be able to sew all weekend, but I am going to try and lock myself in my sewing room for atleast part of the weekend. I think I will rent a few movies to play in the background or maybe I will play some sewing shows from QNN on my laptop. I'd better stock up on diet coke and maybe some chocalate. Sewing and Chocolate...sounds like heaven! If you havent had an at home sewing retreat lately...maybe you should try it. I will let you know what I accomplish. Happy Quilting!!