Monday, September 29, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop


My friend Chantal nominated me to share with you in the World Wide blog hop. It's been so much fun reading everyone's posts and learning more about them. Even though I know Chantal (for real!) I learned some new things about her reading her post here. You really should go check out her awesome blog! So many beautiful quilting projects, lots of pretty crochet.... she inspires me all the time! 

Meanwhile, here are my answers to the questions for the blog hop.....

1.  What am I working on?

oh so many things! I'm playing with ideas for the Instagram mini swap. I'll share that with you soon. Lucky me, I was on a quilting retreat this past weekend with my friends from The McKinney Modern Quilt Guild.  I finished up TWO quilt tops that have been on my list for a while. First, my Asterisk Quilt top, made with the bee blocks I received:

The second top I completed is my Metro Hoops top, which I started at a class in August. This one is made with the Quick Curve Ruler. It's an awesome technique for sewing curves, but there are a million steps and I do believe this is a one time deal for me! I do love the finished top...

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm I'm not really sure it does! I consider myself a modern quilter, though I do drift over into other types of quilting sometimes. I also love garment sewing. I rarely follow a pattern exactly as written (that metro hoops above would be the exception). I prefer to put my own spin on things, often creating my own layouts for quilts.

3. Why do I create what I do?

I've always been a creator, since I was a little girl! It's in my gene's I think..... my mom was always crafting when I was a child (she still is) and she encouraged me to create alongside her from a very early age. I'm so thankful for that! I try to create something every single day. It brings me joy! I have dabbled in many different crafts, scrapbooking, basketweaving (for real!), beading.... but for some reason fabric is my true love. I always seem to return to sewing and quilting.

4.  How does my creative process work?

This is a hard question! I'm one of those people who just jumps right in and tries things. Often my quilts and other projects evolve as I go. Sometimes I draw up ideas on graph paper. Here's the sketch I did for my Asterisk quilt:
I really love graph paper! Whenever I see a graph paper notebook in the store I snatch it up. Also, prismacolor pencils. A few years ago my husband bought me a tin full of every color pencil there is. I love them!

So there you have it. What about you? Tell us your answers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lila Lounge Pants and the Schoolhouse Tunic

Tonight I'll be teaching the Lila Lounge Pants class at Stitched with Love. I wanted a cute, easy pair of pajama pants that beginning garment sewers could make. I chose this pattern before I had tested it out (note to self, never again!)

Aren't they cute? I do think they are. And not hard to make at all. HOWEVER....

The pattern is, sadly, not well written. In fact, I rewrote the instructions so my students would have a clearer guide. The original pattern has steps missing and is very unclear. I was disappointed! 

I am happy with the finished garment however (this is the store sample which I made a month or so ago). I have added instructions to finish the seams with french seams which makes the pjs neat and sturdy for washing.

The other class I will be teaching beginning next month is the Schoolhouse tunic. I first made this pattern in 2011 and it was love at first make! I have made many since then, including this store sample....

As you can see, it fit Ally perfectly and put a smile on her face. Of course I made a second one, exactly like this one, and mailed it off to her for fall. And a new one for me to wear too.....
 I love it made up in teal grunge. Now if only cool weather would arrive here in Texas so I can wear it! The calendar says fall but the thermostat says otherwise.

What have you been sewing?


Saturday, September 20, 2014

another fun weekend

Since becoming empty nesters last month, it's been fun for Hubby and I to enjoy our children one at a time. This weekend our oldest, Leigh Anne flew in from New York City to spend a couple of days with Mom and Dad....

There have been lots of tacos consumed in the last 2 days (by her and us). She swears she can't find a decent taco in NYC....
 Today we ventured down to Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas where there was a lineup of food trucks...
 One of which was serving tacos which Leigh Anne indulged in, of course! The park offers spectacular views of the city skyline....

 There is no sign of fall in Dallas as you can see. It was a sweltering 90+ degrees and the park was filled with families having fun (lots of kiddos playing in the fountains!)

On the way home we stopped for some treats for later. Cupcakes for the two of them from Sprinkles, and a fabulous gluten free berry scone with lemon glaze for me from Tu-Lus. 

I promise to return to some creative posts soon. But for now I'm having fun with my family! And eating way too much!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

San Antonio Botanical Gardens

This past weekend was family weekend at Texas State. For most folks this meant football (they lost) and campus activities, but Ally had other things in mind! We decided to spend some time in nearby San Antonio. Ally had found a botanical garden that she wanted to check out, so off we went!


I decided to treat this as an inspiration day. I took my camera along and got some interesting up close shots of berries....
 And flowers....

 But the really cool thing was a special exhibit they had going on with legos! All of the following objects were made with legos and incorporated into the beautiful scenery. Like this huge butterfly....

 a gigantic bumble bee....
 Even a lawn mower!
 This rose stood about 5 feet tall....
 Some birds on a bird feeder (filled with, what else? legos!)....
 And even some cattle (this is Texas after all)...
It was an unusually cool weekend for Texas and a perfect day to walk outside and soak up the beautiful scenery. If you're ever in the San Antonio area, I highly recommend the botanical gardens!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Washi dress

I have exciting news to share! After many years of teaching young ladies to sew here in my home, I am able to officially add the title of Teacher to my resume! I have been asked to teach some classes at Stitched with Love, one of our fabulous local quilt stores. I will be teaching garment sewing classes, beginning with an intro to garment sewing class (tomorrow!) and then moving on to some patterns I selected.

After making my first Washi dress in the spring I knew I wanted to make more, and I knew it would be a great garment to teach. I made this Washi as a store sample......


Then I set out to make myself another, to wear when I teach (and to church, etc). I knew I needed to do some fitting adjustments (most notably to the bust! sadly most sewing patterns are geared toward petite little b cup ladies which I will never, ever be!). I found this Full bust adjustment tutorial, referenced on Made By Rae's Washi dress page and I went to work.
 I eliminated the extra little scoop in the neckline on this one and added some extra length (about 3 inches).
 The shirring on the back went so smoothly and guess what? IT FITS PERFECTLY! Yay!
 The fabric is from Sara Lawson's Jungle Avenue line and I think it will be great all through the winter, with a bright colored cardigan and some tights.

Local folks who want to learn to make a Washi should check out the class schedule. It's an awesome pattern and I know you'll want to make more than one.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Modern Quilt Guild charity sewing

I'm blogging on the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild blog today about our charity sew day. Check it out!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bee Blocks

I've never been part of a swap bee before. I've always wanted to do it! I see all of the fun bee blocks posted on Instagram and always think "that would be fun". So I decided to see if anyone in the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild wanted to form a bee, and what do you know? We had enough ladies sign up to form two bee groups! I went ahead and made myself the queen bee for my groups first month. I chose the asterisk block in reds and aquas. Here are the sample blocks I made up using this tutorial:
Look how neat and tidy the backs look if you press them the way the tutorial says....

 I asked the gals to make me a pair of blocks and to begin with an 8 1/2 inch square. These are the fabulous blocks I received on Tuesday night....
Don't they all look terrific together on my design wall floor? I will trim them all up to the same size and play with some layouts. I really do wish I had a good space for a design wall. hmm...


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Crafty Tuesday!

Today was Crafty Tuesday's second birthday. Any excuse for a party, I always say! Of course there were balloons....
 My crafty friends turned out in full force today, and Melissa took pictures for me. She says I'm never in the pictures and I should be! Grace was crocheting and I was laughing appliqu√©ing.....
Joellen and Raquel were having an intense discussion about english paper piecing. Or working on world peace. Or something....

 Cheryl was drinking soda (to be fair, she did work on her photo albums!) and Trae had a cool art quilt happening (or she was eating a brownie. one or the other)...
 And Melissa was taking pictures, which is why she wasn't in any of these! Then she set the timer on the camera and we got a great group shot. Even Lexi got into the action...
ah I do love our Crafty Tuesdays!