Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Beach Fun

Summer officially began last week and next week is the 4th of July, which I always thought meant that the summer was half over.  Now isn’t that confusing?  Anyway, it’s the time of the year when a lot of people hit the beach.  Here in NE Ohio we have Lake Erie close by, but who knows what is swimming in there.  Anyway, I digress.

I thought today I would feature some of the beach bags I make with embroidered mesh inserts.  These bags came out of my head as usual a few years ago and I have made them in various sizes and shapes.  The fabric used in this set are made from fabric I “bought” from a friend at our recent yard sale.  Funny, she doesn’t even sew and had over 3 yards of this cute alligator print from Alexander Henry.

The center panel is stitched on a plastic mesh that I embroider on with my embroidery machine.  People are always amazed when they see me sewing on the mesh.  The colored mesh can be bought online at various websites.  If you want just black mesh you can go to your local hardware store and ask for Pet Mesh.  The black is cheaper than the colors.  Just remember the guy at the hardware store deals in feet, not yards.  I’ve been down that road before!

Enjoy your beach time!

Blend Fabrics – YUM!

In April I attended the International Quilt Festival  in Cincinnati.  This event is held two other times each year in different parts of the country – Long Beach, CA and Houston, TX.  It’s 4 days of exhibits, classes and of course, shopping. 

Today I want to share with you one of my “finds” from the event.  It’s a new fabric company called Blend Fabrics.  It is the most YUMMY fabric!  Their booth was packed with customers.  They featured an adorable quilt made from a fairy panel that sold out so fast that they were taking orders for the kits.  Here’s a sample of the fabric I bought.

Lately, I have been so loving all the grey and yellow fabric collections that have been coming out.  Not sure what I will do with these …… like I ever do when I buy fabric???? 

The company has also partnered with Anna Griffith and were featuring her bags and accessories at the booth.  I, of course asked, “where’s the laminated fabrics these are made of?”  They said they might start doing yardage of them.  I guess I will have to keep checking the website. 

Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing more of my experiences at the Quilt Festival with you on upcoming posts.

Crafty Continues ……

Well, maybe not too crafty, but it really involved fabric this time and much more in my comfort zone.  This lovely wicker chair was my mother-in-laws.  In fact, I didn’t even know she had it till she had me make a cushion for it many years ago.  I told her that I wanted it whenever she was ready to part with it.  So when she moved several years ago she gave it to me.  Since then it has been sitting in my basement with a very worn and sad cushion on it.

So after my table adventure it was time to attack the chair. On a Sunday afternoon a week ago I dug through my stash and decided to use this home dec fabric that I bought on Craig’s List.  It was good fabric and a good buy, so I bought it with the thought of someday….now someday was here.  I already had the piping, just needed to buy the foam.  Then decided it needed some toss pillows.  Again I had the fabric from some fabric buying trip and the pillow foams that I also bought new on Craig’s List for someday….

So here it is!  It doesn’t match the rest of the decor of my porch, just look at the table in the previous post, but it is fun and tropical and just may end up inside the house instead.  Summer please come soon!

Yummy Yummy Fabric

I got a big fabric fix yesterday at JEllen’s House of Fabrics, a local quilt store.  I don’t get there much, but the shop is bright, cheery and has the cutest displays.  I had seen Malka Dubrasky‘s new fabric collection A Stitch in Color by Moda online and fell in love with it!  The hand dye look , the vibrant colors and the irregular geometric shapes are so YUMMY!  I just had to have it, so off to the cutting counter I went with more and a few bolts of the collection.  “Give me a yard of each” I said with a smile and my mind started to whirl. I have no idea what it will end up being, so stay tuned!

Seeing Pink!

I’ve been having “pink” eye lately.  That’s pink boiled wool, not the contagious kind.  I purchased a piece of pink boiled wool at a fabric yard sale this summer and it has so far been made into 3 purses.  There is still a little left, so I’ll see it for a little while longer.  The wonderful qualities of boiled wool is that it does not ravel when you cut it.  You can use it raw edged or do a decorative finish and not have to worry about lots of strings.  I’ve been pairing it with some faux leather/suede type fabric and it makes a nice mix of soft and hard contrast.  Check it out!


When Fabric Talks – Listen!

I always say that if the fabric isn’t talking it is not the day to buy or cut it.  I had been eyeing this fabric at my local Joann Fabrics store for quite some time.  I kept thinking it would make a great shower curtain for my guest bathroom.  I dislike the shower curtains that you buy at your local Target, Kohl’s or wherever.  They are cheap and very polyestery, if that’s a word.

The fabric kept talking to me and I finally gave in.  I bought it and that was only the beginning.  I wanted to use the big snap on Dritz grommets instead of shower hooks.  Well, when you do that you have to allow more width that makes it bigger than the standard 70″ shower curtain liner and you can’t hang the liner separate.  So I took two fabric shower curtain liners and sewed them together to get enough width.  Next up I had to sew the liner into the header of the shower curtain to attach it.  Good thing I know how to sew and can figure things out. 

Anyway, it maybe the most expensive shower curtain I’ve ever had, but then again I have only decorated this bathroom once in the 25 years we have lived here.   So if the fabric is talking….listen! You have the starting point for everything else in the room or project.  I even painted my walls Mango which matches the orange bird in the fabric.  LOVE IT!!!

Show Time!

The summer show season is well underway.  In July, I attend the Willoughby Arts Fest which is always a great event and HOT!  I have to say it wasn’t as hot as last year and due to them moving the booths to the sides of the street we actually had some shade.  Good move because we were like eggs frying on a black top skillet.

August proved to be an equally crazy weather month for events.  We started with a rain out for the Medina show on August 14th, decent weather for Painesville’s Art in the Park on the 20th and well another scorcher Labor Day weekend at Hale Farm and Village.  This time 94 degrees and frying on a skillet of grass. 

Show time is always a great time to meet new people and pick up a few new customers.  Every year I try to add one or two new events to try and so far  Hale Farm turned out to be good. Let’s see what the Wooster Arts and Jazz Fest on September 17th brings.

Please come out and support your local artists and communities!  Shop local!

My Designer “Original”

As I was looking at the latest catalog that arrived in the mail, I came across a blouse from Garnet Hill.  I keep an idea file of pictures from catalogs, websites, etc. of things I like.  It might be a garment, a cool embellishment or surface technique.  So when I’m lacking in the creative department I get out my notebook and look for some inspiration. 

That is how this blouse came about.  The blouse is basically pretty simple.  Button up the front, mandarin collar with asymmetrical raw edge ruffles.  Simple right?  So why does it cost $98?????  I set about making my blouse and this is the result.  Mine cost less than $20.  I started with McCall’s pattern 5433 view D.  I took out the darts and moved the fullness to the top by adding a yoke.  To get the mandarin collar I just put on half of the two part collar. I bought some wonderful cotton lawn fabric from and used some old buttons from my mom’s sewing room that had 59 cents marked on them.  How cool is that?

Dream Coat

Last month I attended the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo here in Cleveland.  Each time I go I swear it gets smaller, but supposedly this was their biggest one yet.  Anyway… of the booths that I always stop in to is Barb Originals by Barb Callahan.  This year she had her latest creation called Dream Coats.  She took various sweaters, t-shirts and other fabrics, then serged them all together to make a fun and unique jacket.  I fell in love with the one she had on, just my colors.  Luckily, she had some kits made up to sell along with her DVD called Dream Coats.

I first watched her DVD on how to cut and assemble the project.  Next was a stop at my friend Mae’s house for serger thread.  She has a ton of it in a million colors, so it is like shopping in a candy store.  That is one reason she is so amply named the “Serger Queen”.  So last Monday, which it was a very rainy day, I set out to make my dream coat.  Luckily, all the pieces had been pre-cut and labeled in my kit, so I was ready to go.  Wow!  How Fun!  How Easy!  I had it done in now time! 


My dream coat really is a dream!  Thanks Barb!  What new things will you have next year?

The Long Winter

Here in NE Ohio it has been a veryyyyyy long winter.  Record snow falls, crazy storms and cabin fever.  The long winter has taken a toll on my creativity, thus the lack of work on the website.  New Year’s came and went and so did the annual resolutions and things I’m going to do without a budge.  February came and with that no change in the weather and an injury that kept me sidelined for 3 weeks from my workout routine.  Thank God that has finally resolved itself, but again trying to get in a routine.  It is now March.

Summer shows are begining to kick off with application deadlines looming, that in itself is process and takes a whole day to work through.  Taking pictures of my latest work, printing the pictures, filling out the applications (which no 2 are the same), mailing the checks and then waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted.  Your summer is penciled in till you hear and other applications are in the “maybe” pile to send in if you don’t get in to another show.

I also have put myself on a “fabric diet”.  After doing my end of year summary I realized how much fabric I bought last year and went ouch!  So as I started last year – to use it up is going to continue to be my motto.  There are a few rules:

1.  You can only buy fabric to finish/complete a project that I already started with from my current stash. 

2.  Tools and equipment (sewing machine/serger feet, iron, software,) are exempt from the diet.

My husband says it sounds like there are a lot of rules to the diet and that they change as needed.  Oh well, you should never deprive yourself totally on any diet as my good friend Karen reminded me as I was shopping for lining fabric to finish a project and she “allowed” me to but another piece I liked too.  She was my “fabric supervisor” the other day as I shopped at a vendors event.  Also when you find 6 new pillow forms on Craig’s list for $25 you can’t pass that up.

I know I said this before and it’s been more than 6 months…….I WILL be better at doing this site.  So YOU be better and send me some comments!