Friday, March 22, 2013

My Latest Obsession

Or should the title be, "Continuing With My Obsession".  Another quilting, twin mom friend blogged about her hexagon sewing experience and I became obsessed.  Not only do I love hexagons, but I love, maybe even more than hexagons, english paper piecing other shapes.  I have a huge pinterest board for hexagon quilting and english paper piecing.  I love finding new shapes to add.

I keep looking up blogs and finding new ways to english paper piece.  I love crafty blogs, but lately I am really interested in  EPP.  Since I am cheap and I can't stand to wait (I have a little trouble with needing almost instant gratification with my crafting.  I don't like projects that take to long to complete.  Often those projects become UFO's and WIP'S in my crafting bin), I have been making my own templates.  One thing I love about EPP is how forgiving it is.  Even though my pieces aren't perfect, the outcome is really good.

Recently, I made these:

pre-sewing together

pre-sewing together

sewn together

without the green diamonds

I decided that I needed to make a new hanging for the door.  With spring here and the snowstorm we had the day before the first day of spring, I decided I needed something springy.  I decided to create this:

This door quilt combines both english paper piecing and machine sewing.  It's a little wonky, but I'm pretty happy with it.  I can't wait to look for more EPP blogs and maybe even a hex-along.

Happy Spring!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meet My Machine

I thought I'd join in with the Meet My Machine bloggy link up.

  • Please tell us about your current machine - make, model, etc. (and if there's any story behind you obtaining it, etc.)
  • What's your favorite machine accessory/doo-dad? 

  • Does your machine have a name? What is it? Have you tatted your machine up with fancy stickers, decals, etc? let's see 'um!

  • My first sewing machine was a White that I bought from JoAnn's Fabric.  It was a really basic machine and I did really basic projects with it.  I stupidly gave it to my sister (who subsequently got rid of it) after I had bought a new machine and thought that I would never use it again.
  • I own 4 machines.  I have my great grandmother's machine that, I guess used to be a treadle machine (have never sewn with it), but was made into an electric machine, I have my grandmother's White Serger, I have a Babylock Ellageo (that I bought after my grandmother died and she left me some money), and I recently bought a Babylock Sofia2 to use as a travel machine since my Ellageo was too heavy.
  • I love the different things that I can do with my machine.  I love that I can use basic stitches and also do some embroidering.  I love how portable my sofia2 is as well as how good of a machine it is.  I love my Ellageo, but with a 5 year old and 2 four year olds, I need to be able to have a sewing machine that can be portable.
  • I love that I don't need to have a foot peddle to sew with my Babylock machines.  I also love that it has a cutter as well as self threading ability.
  • For now, I have everything that I could want in my machine.  I'm not sure that there are any features, other than more stitch options (and that is really just to play).
  • I would love a higher end Babylock quilting/embroidery machine.  I have heard really good things about Janome Machines too so I would be really happy to try a high end Janome too.
  • I don't really have a sewing space right now.  I have everything in my basement and I just make do with what I have right now.  I really would love to get it a little more organized and have a space where I can go and get away and have a creative space.
  • Right now I am using plastic drawers for my yardage, a plastic bin for my fat quarters and a fabric bin that I just throw my scraps into.  Nothing special, but it is somewhat organized (more organized that what it was).  I can now go into a draw and know where to look for what.  I still have more work to do, but I am really happy with where I came from.
  • I love anything sewing/craft related!  I love my crafting and quilting magazines and books.  I love youtube and crafting and sewing blogs!
I had a lot of fun writing about this.  I love creating and sewing and I love sharing what I love.


Monday, March 18, 2013

My Latest Projects

I forget what inspired me to actually start this project, but I decided to pul out my jewelry supplies and attempt to make a wire wrapped puzzle piece.  Actually, I think that I was looking at the build-a-bear website, since I pre-ordered an autism bear, and that was what inspired me.  We had a very lazy Sunday and I played with my jewelry supplies.

I initially used my wire jig and made a large puzzle piece.  It was a little large for what I initially wanted so I set it aside and worked on making a smaller piece.  I photocopied it at 50% and it was a really good size.  At that Point, I just decided to free hand it.  It was much easier to free hand the pattern than I thought it would be.

The ultimate outcome of this idea was a wire puzzle piece pendant with blue stones dangling from it.

I thought about the larger puzzle piece that I had made with the jig and decided to put it on my wrist and bend it around a little.  I then put a pink Swarovski butterfly and Swarovski blue bead in the middle.  I had thought about putting a beaded bracelet to attach to my wrist, but I decided to use a large chain instead.  The outcome:

I put pictures on Facebook and got a lot of comments and likes.  My sister, wants a set and I have a friend who is interested and who shared the picture on her page.  Now I have to figure out how much to charge for things.  Maybe this is actually working.  Maybe I will be able to sell things I make.  I may not or I may be able to make a living at this, but maybe I'll be able to recoup some money to buy new supplies instead of just spending money!

All I know is, I have fun when I create, and if I can make a little money while I do something I love, how can that be bad?

Oh, and since my inspiration for this was the Autism symbol and since Michael has Autism, I will donate a percentage of my earnings to an Autism fund!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goals for 2013

Do I dare even write this down for all to see?  This summer I am going to be 40!  Sometimes I can't believe that I will be 40 and then other times it doesn't phase me in the least.  I recently found a blog someone decided to make and give away 36 quilts this year since she turned 36 January 1st.  The blog I found was at  It has inspired me to create and give away 40 things by the end of the year (If I have to I'll give myself until I turn 41 next summer).

As some of you know, I am the MA National Chapter leader for  I recently got my first donation to send to a local shelter.  The goal of the National Chapter leaders is to: "Enchanted Makeovers is growing across the country one sewing project at a time! Each state has a chapter, led by a coordinator who will answer your questions on our three sewing projects and collect/deliver the hand-made pillowcases, capes and dolls to shelters for women, teens and children. Hand-made items are a big part of our mission because we believe each gift carries with it the love and positive energy of the crafter. We have seen first hand the impact this has on those who are re-building their lives while living in a shelter. Please join us by donating our sewing projects to your state chapter. The National Chapters only represent our sewing projects."

I now have to find local shelters that would like to have these donated items.  My goal is to make at least 40 pillowcases, dolls, and/or capes to donate to the shelter that we partner with.  My thought is to find a smaller shelter as the larger more well known shelters more than likely have a lot of donations coming in.  They probably don't have items like this, but I'm sure they have more things donated than smaller less known shelters outside of Boston.  I love this idea and it is inspiring me to do something in my own community, I just have to actually formulate a plan and put together something that will fill the needs of my community.

I am thinking that we have a local food pantry and that maybe they would like to have handmade hats, scarfs, mittens, and blankets.  I can only imagine that if they can't afford to buy food, they probably can't afford other things either.  Also, having something handmade to comfort them and keep them warm is always nice.  We also have a large population of people with mental health issues.  I was thinking of tapping into that area to for areas to donate handmade items.  I think I had another thought, but unfortunately that has left my conscious memory right now.  I was also thing we have a local hospital, and hospice agency that could benefit from handmade craft items, like chemo caps, prayer shawls, etc.

This is one way that I am trying to merge my love of social work, community, and crafting.  One of the things that I would love to work on is figuring out how to make this into a career.  I was thinking of at some point looking into grant writing for some funding.  I am contemplating working with my local farmer's market to have a place to have collections of handmade items to donation to local agencies that have needs, maybe even a knit, crochet, sew out.  They do a plain aire paint out every year and have the wakefield collaborative there.  This may all be a pipe dream, but I really want to utilize my love and passion of my social work career, community involvement, and crafting in my career.  I don't want to not do something for fear of failure, but I want to make sure that what I do has the thought and time that it needs put into it.

Before I do anything, I do need to do a community needs assessment to figure out what my community needs.  I certainly can start small and see what I can do even by myself and hope that it will grow in to something larger.  I have a lot of thoughts spinning around in my head.  I also have a part time job, 3 kids, a husband, and a house that need my attention.  I do need to find something for me that I enjoy though, and have it maybe even be something that can grow into a career.  Lots of research to be done, but I am looking forward to it. (I wish my iPad didn't get ruined.  Maybe since I don't have a ton of money I can look into a windows one.)


PS- I also have the goal of getting healthy.  I want to eat healthier, exercise, and have good mental/spiritual health!