Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Etsy Listing

I posted my very first donation quilt as template for quilts for purchase on Etsy!  Get your very own I Spy play quilt today!  :-)


Monday, August 30, 2010

Design Centerpiece Monday

What a weekend!  I didn't get much sewing done until last night (and even that wasn't terribly impressive), but it was a really good weekend regardless.  We got our marriage license, I got fabric for centerpieces, we walked through the ceremony (the 5 minute version), I got a better idea of what to do for church decorations, we had a photo shoot at the fair (SO FUN!), I got my hair trial done...whew!

So first the design centerpiece pics:

 MOTU said he felt like this needed definition so I added some binding to it.
 Better. Still missing something though.
 Added some foofy stuff at the bottom, and that helped some.  I'm still not 100% sold on it, but it's getting there.  I want to make sure it's simple enough that the caterers won't have a hard time getting 16 of these done, but it needs to look good (and not like I threw fabric and a wine bottle on each table lol).  I also need better candles - these were just the ones around the house.
 Hair trial!
 This mess took 2 hours to get done, but that included a cut, shampoo, dry.  My hair is THICK.  The stylist was like "wow...you have a rope attached to your head!" when she got it wet.  I think I'm gonna cut it short for the winter...shorter looks cuter with beanies.  :-)
 Lotsa curls.  This held up surprisingly well for the whole night. 
 We went to a friend's vintage clothing store and this was the pattern on the floor.  I desperately want to make this into a quilt. 
And last but not least, the teaser pic from the photo shoot!  We had so much fun with this!!  I can't wait to see the rest of them!!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Indulgence - Friday Fave Five Version

Man, what a great day!!!  What a great week!  If you don't regularly follow my blog (welcome FFFers!), check out the two or so posts previous to this one...if you're not smiling by the end, you need a hug!

On with it!

1. I can't believe it was earlier this week, but Mom was here! She helped me get a lot of wedding work done, and was in town especially for my shower...

2. ...which is number 2 because I had 2 showers this week!!  One was a complete and utter surprise!  My coworkers, Lisa and Maryrita, organized the office (mostly boys, so this was a feat!) and had them turn the August birthday party into a birthday party/shower!  I was completely caught off guard!  The first shower was on Saturday, which was also amazing...you can see the rundown here.  Suffice it to say, I have some pretty covetously awesome friends and family.  You should be jealous.

3.  Indulgence!
At lunch I ran out and got MOTU and my marriage license!  That's right folks, the state of VT is letting us get hitched just 4 weeks from tomorrow!  And wouldn't you know it, but between the library (where I'm working today) and the town clerk, there was a quilt shop!  If that's not divine inspiration, I don't know what is!  They had all their fall fabrics out in front, just waiting for me to rub up on them and hold them in stink-eye-inducing ways.  The four on the right are for the tables at the wedding...I'm going to cut them into 18x18 blocks and hem them, so now I don't need to collect leaves for that.  I still need leaves for the flower girl to throw though.  The one on the left is for the wedding rings quilt I'll eventually make from all the fabrics people gave at the shower. I got enough to make a border, to tie the whole thing together (it's going to be VERY colorful...)  After the wedding, the 18x18 blocks will magically turn into napkins.

4. How could it get better than that?  It's just a glorious day out.  I went to a deli in town and got a freshly made sandwich with good quality meats and local veggies on it.  I sat outside the library and soaked up the sun until I had to resign myself to coming back in to work.  It's maybe low 70s out, not a cloud in the sky (except the pretty white puffy ones but those don't count), and I'm in small-town VT.  It is a damn good day.

5. Foreshadowing: tomorrow I'm going to get my hair and makeup trial done for the wedding, then we're meeting up with some friends at the fair.  Then, we're having a second engagement shoot done, at the fair!  I cannot express how much I'm looking forward to that!  MOTU has been tolerant of this whole thing, and I know he'll do his best to grin and bear it like last time.

What the heck, it's been such a good week, let's throw in an extra:

I finished and shipped out two quilts this week, got all my thank you notes for Saturday's shower done and sent, and had my first etsy sale! Nothing can stop me today!  Nothing!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Send Off

It's been a particularly busy week...I can't believe my mom was here 2 days ago lol.  Last night I had a meeting for work at 1030 at night, so I needed to keep myself occupied until it started.  I put the finishing touches on the surprise quilt (which I've posted below, since I'm fairly certain momma has better things to be doing right now than reading my little ol' blog), then tried my hand at making bibs (MOTU's coworker's wife just had their first baby - a boy). 

This was SO much more fun than I expected!  I'm finding myself actually putting in the effort of pinning and marking stuff now...and it's really paying off!  See how straight those lines are! 
I bound it with this blue stuff I had lying around, cut on the bias (the second time I've ever done that...first was on the surprise quilt below).  It really is pretty stretchy that way.  I think it turned out pretty well!  Just need to put on some velcro and this one is done!
The other side.  I've got one more of this fabric, then two of this adorable dinosaur stuff I found as well. Though I also have some green terry cloth that I'm debating using as the back (or front) for those, so maybe I'll end up with 6.  Bibs are a great way to use up my batting scraps stash...that was getting out of hand.  It's also a great way to use up the flannel I can't resist buying...it's so cute!!!

The big reveal!  This quilt was a lot of firsts for me...first time I'd done letters, first time I doodled a pattern on the quilt then followed it, free-motion, first time cutting fabric on the bias (did not go well the first attempt...I have a 2.5 inch wide Charlie Brown strip now...), first square quilt (ok that's not as big a deal, but still). 
Here's the back...you can't really see the quilting, but it's there.  I did a flower in two squares, a heart in two squares, and outlined the letters in three squares.  The other two I left empty.
Here it is all boxed up and ready to go!
*sigh* I always feel like I'm sending a piece of me when I put these things in boxes.  Am I the only one who aches a little every time a quilt leaves home?  It's even worse if you don't get to see any sign of whether or not the recipient even got it (let alone if they like it)...it's like a lack of closure.  I guess that's better than finding out that all your time and love and effort was wasted on something the person never even uses...I won't specify, but I'm pretty sure at least one of mine is in someone's closet somewhere, on a stack of "too many blankets".  Ouch.  Won't pretend that doesn't hurt a little.

Anyway, moving on.  I posted this quilt on Etsy as well...well, not this specific one, but a custom one.  I'm sure no one reading this (since most of you are quilters yourselves) has any need for it, but it's up there.  It was so quick and fun, I think I could get one or two done before the wedding if they were ordered.

Oh!  In completely other news, once again I was blindsided yesterday by how crazy awesome my friends, family, and coworkers are!  The two wonderful women I work most with banded the office together (keep in mind that I work in the tech industry, so this is mostly guys we're talking about here) to throw me a SURPRISE bridal shower at work!!!  I had no idea!  They caught me completely off-guard - I almost worked from home yesterday, even!  They got a bunch of lovely things for us, including a picture frame I've been coveting from afar for a while.

I cannot express (which makes thank you notes hard) how completely awe-struck I am at the uninhibited outpouring of love and support MOTU and I have been experiencing.  I had no idea I'd made enough of an impact on people for them to band together like this and be so unrelentingly positive.  It's really beautiful.  This wedding has taken on a life of its own, and it has definitely had some stressful moments, but overall, I am SO excited to spend the day embraced and surrounded by people who genuinely care for us and genuinely want us to succeed.  It is just amazing and wonderful to feel so completely loved.  I have never been so at peace, so content, and so filled with joy, even during the most mundane moments of my days, as I have been the past week or so, and will continue to be knowing these wonderful people are in our life. 

I almost forgot!  I got the stamp for the programs, so here's what the covers look like now (well, 20 or so of them...I still have about 80 or so to put the leaves on).  

The stamp came from this lovely Etsian, who was extremely responsive and very quick with her work and the shipping.  Soon I should have pictures of our napkin rings, and when I do I'll post a link to that shop as well.

I hope everyone's feeling at least a fraction of the love and happiness I'm feeling today! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shh Don't Tell!

Last night I made my first attempt at making letter blocks for a baby quilt for a dear friend who's having a girl next month.  From that, if his wife reads this (I don't think she does), she'll know who it is...so if you know who you are, knock it off and go read something else!  :-D

Anyway, a sneak peek is all I'll give until it's safely in the arms of its owner to be:

I have to say, I have simply LOVED putting this quilt together.  Maybe it's the softness of the flannels.  Maybe it's the genuine joy and "you SO deserve this"ness I feel towards the new parents.  Maybe it's the pinks, maybe it's the little hands, maybe it's just because it's a nice quilt.  But regardless, there's just such a good soul to this one.  (Am I the only one who thinks quilts have souls?  Maybe I'll expand on this tomorrow.) I keep getting images of momma and baby in a rocking chair, and that little girl is just SO loved.  I think the love you put into a quilt magnifies it and gets passed on to the recipient, even if they don't recognize it as such.  I adore this little girl's parents so much, I keep getting giddy at the thought of them raising a child...they are just such *good* people, just genuinely, to the core GOOD people - and that's a rare find anymore. 

Anyway, enough.  I'll show the rest in a week or two when it's safely at its new home.

Mai's Ugly Quilt

My friend Mai is going off to college on Saturday, so I got this thing done just in time.  It's called "Mai's Ugly Quilt" in reference to an inside joke between the two of us.  I don't think it's ugly at all though.  :-)

Grisgris doesn't either.
Apparently my mom left to have lunch with me and came back to this guy shamelessly catting up Mai's quilt.  Fortunately, it still needed washing anyway.  He stayed that way for most of the night...I feel like that's a good sign.  He was just infusing it with some of his kitty love so she won't be homesick. 

I think what makes that picture even better is that he's laying on Mai's college quilt, which is resting on the quilt my mom made for ME when I went off to school!  It's nearly a decade old, but it's still my favorite rainy day quilt!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Etsy Stuff!

I just posted a new card set in my shop!  The Best Wishes Autumn edition cards are now available in a set of six!

Color options are pearl (which looks like silver but is less visible...not my favorite), red, green, gold, silver, or copper.  The default set is two each of red, green, and pearl, and three each of the cream and brown envelopes.  You can request different combinations (though it looks like I'm down to 5 brown envelopes for now...must reorder those) of colors and envelopes in the buyer's notes box.

You can see the pearly a little bit better here.  My camera isn't capturing it very well at all though.  More cards to come! I ordered my Christmas stuff yesterday, so keep an eye out for those as well!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Triple Monday

Seriously, I am working.  I'm just waiting for stuff to load, and mulling over proper wording subconsciously while I purge my creative overflow consciously. 

So I need some opinions.  I'm thinking ahead and thinking about Christmas cards.  Since this is my first year as wifey, they need to be good.  And since I'm all gung-ho with all this embossing and handmaking stuff, I'm thinking I'd also like to hand make them.  To that end, I'm trying to pick cardstock colors.  I have the following options all picked out on paperandmore.com, but I need a sanity check:

Option Red:

Option Green:

Option Envelopes:

Ok, seeing them all lined up like that I feel a little better.  Maybe I'll even alternate them so half the loved ones get green and half get red.  Now I just need some stamps and such to emboss on them.  Thinking vintage storefront almost.  We'll see. 

In other news, next up on the projects list, quilts:
* Joseph's "Just My Size" quilt
* Wedding rings quilt
* College friend's first daughter's quilt
* Not completely quilt-related, but MOTU's work friend's first son's bibs
* The Valentine's Day quilt, which has been granted a backburner pass until January since I know it wouldn't sell until then anyway.
* Christmas gifts - a few lap quilts are in store for this year, as well as various other handmade stuffs.  I have 2 families to make for this year!  Lucky lucky me!  :-) 

tamera quilts: My 100th Post and A Finish AND...A Giveaway!!!!

tamera quilts: My 100th Post and A Finish AND...A Giveaway!!!!

She makes it easy to link to her blog, so I'm doing it for a second chance at her fabulous giveaway!

Design Presents Monday

So currently my mom is living in my sewing room - anyone else, and I'd be getting twitchy about them touching stuff they shouldn't, but she knows better...she's a quilter too.  As such, my design wall is technically empty, but its future is bright.  You see, what I mentioned yesterday is this:

 With the invitation to my bridal shower (which was Saturday), my "aunt" Pat sent out instructions asking for each person to write a favorite story or memory with me, and to select a fat quarter of fabric that goes with the story.  Some people sent back multiple fabrics, some sent more than a fat quarter, and my grandmother, bless her heart, taught herself to print pictures onto fabric and MADE her own fabric out of a picture of us from Mardi Gras two years ago!  I am so blessed!!

My next project, once the wedding/Christmas chaos has settled down, will be to make a wedding ring quilt from all this beautiful fabric.  I haven't even let myself touch it yet, it's so tempting.  I'm still just awestruck that they all did this for me!
 This is the book - I had to sift through the pile of presents to get a picture of it, so pictures of the inside will come later. It's a scrapbook of all the stories, pictures people sent in with the stories, pictures of the fabric, and various other little embellishments Pat added along the way.  I was completely floored and read it with my jaw on the floor the whole time.  It was just incredible.
 To make things even more special, my mom MADE me a garter!  Not just that, but she made it so that it could be used, sometime about 50 years from now, for a headband for our future babies!  She said it counts as "something borrowed" because I'm borrowing it from my future daughter.  Didn't I tell you my mom was amazing?
 Last night, Kini just made herself right at home on "her" quilt.  She didn't seem to think there would be legs under there, so she just jumped right up like it wasn't a thing. 
 She got progressively more comfortable as the night went on.
Until finally, she was just dead to the world.

Grisgris slept in "his" bed with MOTU's great aunt Margaret, who was a nun for many years and has actually probably never shared a bed with a man until Saturday night.  What a charmer, that kitty o' mine.  Sorry Jen, he's a ladies' man, what can I say?

In other news, Mom has been slaving away in the sweat shop with me all weekend, and we got ALL the ceremony programs into a steady state yesterday!  Every last one is assembled and tied, and has the name/date stamp on top.  I still have about 95 to put the leaves on, but if I had to get married tomorrow the date would be wrong, but the programs would look ok otherwise.  :-)

Also, for those of you who are coming here via Design Wall Monday (thanks, Judy!), I had my first Etsy sale last night!  Now, I really need to get cracking on a logo and some branding (maybe even a "made by" stamp for good measure).  I've changed the store name to Tex|Everlasting because I think it looks cooler than Tex, Everlasting lol.  I'm hoping to have some kind of business card (or as Mom suggested, a bookmark) to send along with products soon...but I really need a logo.  Maybe I'll make something out of this:
One more reason why my mom ROCKS!!!  (Mai, if you're reading this, stop here!)

I left my mom at home on a rainy day with the sewing machine that was once hers but is now mine, a quilted, squared-off quilt, and a  pile of binding about a mile long.  She did what any natural-born quilter would do...she bound it for me!
This is Mai's Ugly Quilt (to go along with Mai's Ugly Mug, which I painted for her as part of our reward for her reaching her 3-month goals a couple years ago).  Mai was the high schooler I mentored last year, and IS the mature, outstanding young woman who's now leaving for college on SATURDAY!  Time flies!  So this is finished just in time for me to label, wash, and send off with her for her first ever night away from her parents!  Mai, if you're still reading this, a) shame on you and b) I am so unbelievably proud of you! 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Logo Designs

Guess what???  I had my first sale!!  Some kind soul took pity on my poor deserted shop and bought a set of thank you cards!  Woohoo, that makes me officially open for business!  Right?  Right!  So Ive decided I need some branding. Maybe even some business cards to send along with products (assuming I sell more LOL).  Barring another kind soul taking pity on me with my severely limited graphic design abilities, Im likely going to be relying on some pre-packaged thing that looks terrible but gets the job done.  Like the above!  Thank you, Vistaprint...you read my mind!  When people buy stuff from me, they should know that it packs a one-two punch!  Or something.

In any case, Ill keep trying...just had to share that little gem with you guys.  Be sure to come back tomorrow - my bridal shower was this weekend, and it was AWESOME.  Ill have pictures then - related to a design wall of the future and everything!  (Seriously, if you have any soul at all, youll want to hear what the magnificent women in my life put together for me.  I was stunned.) 

Til then, sleep tight!  Dont let stuff punch you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quick Critter Post

I know Shelby has no concept of the internet, nor would she care even if she did, but she's been such a raging brat lately that I refuse to post pictures of her until she behaves (as in, stops peeing on everything BUT her litterbox...last night it came scary close to being on our bed and so help me God, if that little demon ever pees on our bed again (especially if we're sleeping in it), no amount of clapping will bring her back from the backyard I'll send her to). So to that end, here are a couple of cute pics I took last night:

Grisgris has started staking out underneath the bed in the guest room.  Not stalking, just...being a kitty. 

Meanwhile, directly above him:

Kini happily munches away on her rawhide bone, oblivious to the danger and fun lying directly beneath her.

Home is a fun place to be.  :-) 

While I'm posting, quick updates:
* Mai's quilt is so nearly done.  It's trimmed, the binding is cut, sewn, and ironed - just needs to be sewn on.  A good hour or two tonight and the whole thing will be done and I can ship it off to her tomorrow.
* I got the centerpieces and the favors (which double as escort card holders) in the mail yesterday. MOTU got his tux jacket and vest, and the boys' ties came in as well.  Things are coming together and I'm not panicking.  I'm still waiting to hear from 10 people, but of those 10, 6 got last-minute invites, so we're doing pretty well. 
* I started on the programs last night.  I definitely need to figure out how to streamline this.  Maybe once I have more of my workspace back (my room is a second guest room for this weekend) I'll be able to figure something out.  For now, I got 5 done.  5.  In about 45 minutes.  That's just not going to cut it. 
* I ordered more stamps - one for the top of the programs and 4 for thank you notes/guest book inserts.  I'll show you once they get here.  They're cute. I have high hopes, but that's one more thing I'll need to emboss. 
* MOTU passed MEPS.  We still have to wait until we get official word from BuMed that he's fit for duty, but this is a huge step.  This means he can finally start putting together an application packet and actually *apply* so we'll know if he gets in.  And then the real fun starts.  :-)
* Work has been great.  I found a new way of doing some stuff that will literally save me about a week of work - and I get to present it to my boss and team today.  So I'd better get on that.  :-)