Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update on my Dresden Plates

I started off kind of slow today. I couldn't breath because of my cold for the last two nights, so I barely slept for two nights in a row. With the kids coming in and out of my room all morning, I really didn't rest but didn't get in the studio til after noon either. I sewed all of my cut out dresden plate pieces. I only started with one charm pack, the Friends and Flowers by Moda. I need to get another one asap. I won't do a tutorial on these, because there are a lot of good ones out there already. I will say to be sure and clip your corners before turning and I love the the wooden "turny thing". My dresden ruler by Darlene Zimmerman came with it's own "turny thing". Good idea!

I can't wait to get these stitched together, but I am happy with the progress I have made so far. Turning and ironing them all is a job in itself.

I was excited to get an email today about the Potholder Pass 2. I got the name and colors for my person and my mind is already whirling with ideas. I have been to her blogs and am trying to find out what her tastes are through her blog.

Oh....can you see me doing the happy dance? Well, I am. I just checked the mail and have already gotten my package from Pink Chalk Fabrics. I received my two patterns and my Studios magazine. I just ordered them 2 days ago. Bravo, Pink Chalk! You rock!! I am gonna post my pics for you and dig into my package of goodies. I feel like a kid at Christmas. If I still have time after that, I may go cut out some of my Conkerr Cancer pillow cases.

Happy Sewing!

Sewing and Movies

I am feeling a little better today. Well, enough to sew anyway. It just so happens that my favorite movie and series is having a marathon today. I just adore the "Love Comes Softly" series from Hallmark. They are running the movies back to back all day. I plan to stay in my jammies, sew and watch the movies. I love watch tv or movies while I sew, especially when I have seen it before so I can picture what is going on and not have to pay constant attention to the tv screen. I don't have a tv in my new studio yet, so I will have to move to the living room.

What about you? Do you like to sew while the tv is on or do you find it distracting? I would really love to hear your comments on it.

My sewing for the day will be to sew some Dresden plates. I cut them out last night out of the Friends and Flowers charm pack. I haven't made a dresden plate quilt yet but I am excited to start. Also, I have a ton of Koncerr pillow cases to make.

It is cold and rainy today and I am so grateful to be able to stay home and sew. Happy Sewing!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Journal Bag

One of my daughters has a party to attend tonight. The Birthday girl wants to be a writer and she loves purple, so I made her a journal bag. At first I was going to cover the journal but then I thought it would be a little different to make a journal bag. I think it is fun. We are gonna try and find her a couple of little purple goodies to go with it. I hope she likes it.

I'm linked to:

I Love Surprises! Blogging for Bliss

My sweetie showed up last night with a surprise for me. I had just briefly mentioned that I was looking for the book "Blogging for Bliss" and the magazine the "Artful Blogger" and he got them both for me. What a sweetie! I was still a little too sick to read last night, but I did briefly look through them and I can't wait to read them cover to cover.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Still Sick and More Shopping

I have taken my Nyquil and I am getting ready to snooze. I wanted to share with you my final purchase. I went to Fabric Worm for the first time. They have a great selection of fabrics. I decided to get one of their fabric bundles. I am planning a new quilt for to sell for Etsy and these fabrics will be great.

Having a Sick Day and Shopping Online

This magazine was 50% off

A few days ago, I was thinking..."Gee, I haven't been sick in a long time." Note to self: Don't think about not being sick. Yesterday, I had just finished hand sewing the binding on a cute baby quilt that I made to sell on Etsy and all of the sudden I felt body aches, my throat got sore and my nose started running like crazy. After a long sleepless night, it is official. I am sick. I warned the girls that I am going to spend the day in bed. I gave them a few simple school assignments and went to bed with my trusty laptop.

So, to make myself feel better I have been doing a little online shopping. Most of it...window shopping...just drooling, I mean dreaming. I did, however, just make a few purchases at Pink Chaulk Studios. I will share with you what I bought. I am very excited about the overnight bags. All of my girls will be getting one very soon.

Gotta go, back to shopping and hopefully healing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Chickens Got A New Home

Sometimes you have to count the costs. We hand raised our seven hens from the day after they were born. They had finally gotten to be good layers and we were getting a good supply of fresh organic eggs. However, I have not been able to let them out to roam very much. They decided they liked the neighbors mulch and jumped the fence a few times, even though I clipped their wings. Well, since they couldn't free range very much, I had to feed them more and the cost of their food was costing me more than it would cost me to buy eggs. It was also a pain to get the girls to feed them on a regular basis and if we went out of town, I would have to arrange for someone to take care of them. So, it just so happened that an acquaintace of my boyfriend asked if I was wanting to sell my chickens. He already had a couple of chickens and a huge area and coop for more chickens. At first I thought I didnt want to sell them, but then I counted the cost and decided it would be better all around to sell them while I had an eager buyer. So I caged up the girls and they were shipped off to their new home. To be honest it has been kind of nice to have one less thing to worry about. Lord knows, as a single mom with five girls at home and a home business, I have enough to worry about.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Serious Addiction

Hello My name is Susan and I'm a fabricholic. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step to healing. Well, I'm not sure I want to be healed of my fabric addiction. I do, however, question the undeniable need I have to see new fabrics, to touch them, to caress them, to let my mind see the new creations they will become. I have really been trying to conquer my stash and not add to it too much. I have done really well at using what I have and I plan to do even better. But today was one of those days that I had to go visit my local fabric store and touch and feel and yes.....bring some home to join the others in the stash. I did have a purpose for all of it and even finished a quilt top tonight when I got home. Sometimes you just need a little inspriation to get you going.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Great Time at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo

Connie Spurlock, owner of Sew Wonderful Designs

Today my boyfriend, George (a very patient man) and I attended the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Tampa, Florida. I have attended this event for many years, eight or nine, I think. Usually I take one or more of my daughters. However, this time I wanted to attend an important workshop and I wanted George to go with me. George is my encourager when it comes to my pattern business, Abby-Sue Designs. I have been in the process of designing patterns for over 2 years now, but have just not gotten things tweaked. I have taught many women how to make my designs, have printed the instructions, but just haven't gotten them ready to market. Well, this workshop was taught by Connie Spurlock owner and desinger of Sew Wonderful Dreams. She has designed more than 200 patterns and has been in the business for more than 20years. Her workshop was so very helpful. I went to her booth afterward and she gave me more helpful hints. She is a very kind and generous woman and very creative. While back at her booth, I realized that owned some of her patterns already, that I had bought through the years. Do yourself a favor and visit her website to purchase patterns or see her teaching schedule.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Cloth Diapers

Front view of diaper

Back view of diaper

The other day I cut out a bunch of diapers and used the left over flannel to make bibs and diaper soakers. Today I sat down to start constructing them. I plan to sell these in my "soon to be" Etsy shop. After making the first one, I decided to tweak the pattern a little. I plan to add elastic to the back, so that they fit snuggly in the back. The first one came out so adorable. Makes me wish I had a little cutie to put in one. However, with six children, I would say I have changed my fair share of diapers. Well, back to sweat shop mean Studio.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Joseph's Coat Quilt A Long

Ok, Ok, I know I have way too many unfinished projects. But I have fallen in love with a new quilt. I found the blog "Don't Look Now" and she is having a quilt a long using the pattern Joseph Coat. The technigue is similar to one I use in Hexagon pattern. It looks so fun and a good way to use some of my fabric. I can't wait to get started. I would start tonight, but I need more printer ink (grrrr). I will post pics of my blocks as soon as I can. Happy quilting!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Hostess Apron made from Scraps

We spent another day getting ready for the girls' Valentine Party that we are having tomorrow night. I got the girls some $3 shirts just for the party in red and pink. But I didnt want to spend the money to buy myself somethting and I dont have a red or pink shirt that would work, so I decided to whip up a hostess apron from the scraps left over from the table runner. I made my own pattern and it was lots of fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quilted Valentine Table Runner

I had the top of this runner pieced for a few weeks. I spent today quilting and binding it. I finished just in time to use it for the girl's Valentine Party we are having Friday night. I love mindless projects like this, where you don't have to think a whole lot...just sew. Good therapy today.

Fabric Baskets

Well, it took me long enough yesterday to get to my "therapy sewing". I had to take Abby to the college for her class, then took my other four daughters shopping to buy supplies for their Valentine Party we are having on Friday. I am so excited about their party. We have had a rough few months, especially financially, I thought they could use some fun. We have invited a handful of girls to go with our four little girls. We are going to decorate cookies and do some crafts and Eat. Anyway, I after we shopped all over town, I had to deliver the drapes I was commissioned to make. (And she wants more, yay!). Then a dear friend came over and visited me in my new studio. By the time I was ready to sew, it was night time. I was determined to finish a project and by 11:30 pm I had made an adorable fabric basket. I used the measurements from the Pink Penguin's tutorial. I have seen these baskets on lots of blogs. They are SEW adorable! This one is a little small so I am going to enlarge the pattern and make the next one bigger.

Thankfully, today I have no running around to do. It is going to be cold outside (for Florida standards) and it is a perfect day to stay in my studio. I am going to assign some workbook pages and reading assignments for the girls to do, then make a basket and work on the craft ideas for the girls' Valentine Party. Happy Sewing!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sewing, Sewing and more Sewing

Anyone who sews knows there are many different kinds of sewing. There is what I call "utilitarian sewing" which involves sewing for practicality. There is "work sewing" which involves sewing for the purpose of making money. There is "gift sewing" that is when you make gifts for someone you love. Then there is plain ole "therapy sewing". Therapy sewing is when life is beating you up and you just have to escape to your sewing space and create....just for survival purposes. Sometimes these forms can overlap from one category to another. For instance, I just finished make drapes that I was commissioned to make. These were both "utilitarian" and "work" sewing. They were a little on the boring side, but very helpful because they will buy us groceries this week. Last week, I was able to do some "gift" sewing, one of my favorites. I helped my oldest daughter make a quilt for her boyfriend for his birthday and I embroidered two baby blankets for a friend who just had a baby. These blankets were already embroidered, one with a monkey and one with Santa. All I had to do was embroider the babies name and make it very personal. New parents just love to see their new baby's name in print or thread as the case may be.
I am posting pictures of the gift sewing projects. Then I am headed to my studio to do some much needed "therapy sewing". Life is kicking my butt right now and I need a's my kind of "re-boot". Hopefully, I will feel human soon and get back to "work sewing". I am making cloth, fitted diapers to sell. I will post detail and pictures later. To all of my fellow sewists.... Happy Sewing! and don't let the bad guys win.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Organizing my Sewing Studio....still

Now that I am a single mom with five daughters still at home, I have to worry about mundane things like paying bills and supporting my girls. My ex is now unemployed and isn't able to pay the agreed child support, so things are getting tight. One would think that being a homeschooling, stay at home mom to six children and starting my own small business would give my a lot of marketable skills. However, I find myself to be very "under qualified" (atleast on paper) in this business market and especially this economy. My friend, George, keeps reminding me to follow my gifts, talents and dreams. My dream, my goal is to be able to support my family by teaching sewing and quilting and designing patterns AND to be able to continue to homeschool my girls. To that end....George spent 3 days and nights helping me clean out and organize my sewing studio. It had become a dumping ground for anything the kids couldn't find a place for. He has a gift for decluttering and organizing. Actully, I think it helps that he has no "emotional" attachment the stuff and can move quickly from one task to another. Anyway, by the end of day one, I was truly inspired.

I had been given two pattern cabinets by a dear friend who I helped close her quilt shop when she retired. These cabinets have been in outdoor storage and had become rusty. I had to sand them and they looked rough, to say the least. Well, I knew that they would drag down the looks of the studio, no matter how neat we got it. So....I just had to paint. I was actually thinking of having them professionally sprayed but time and money didn't allow. So, I visited my local Home Depot and bought two cans of Rustoleom paint. I wanted a very light blue but they didnt have it. So, I bought a dark royal blue and a white and mixed them myself. I rolled the paint with a small roller. It came out SO good!! I love paint. It makes things look new and fresh immediately. Love, love, love it. I am posting a before and after of the cabinets and one picture of the studio. I am making new curtains and have a few more things to put away. Then, I will let you see the rest. I am SEW excited.