Sunday, May 17, 2015

Operation: Stabilizer Organization

WOO HOO!! This is post #100!!!  Just thought I'd share :-)

I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember. I leaned how to knit when I was about 6, and started sewing around 7 or 8. A couple of years ago, I was introduced to scrapbooking. Finding time to craft, especially with so many different ones has always posed a problem. Even more so is finding places to store everything!  The more crafts you do = the more stuff you have.

With my recent obsession/passion for quilting and embroidery, my craft "hoard" has gotten a little out of control. I've got things stuffed into tubs, my closet, two bookshelves, storage chests, and pretty much any space bigger than a matchbox. As you can imagine, it makes finding things that much more difficult. 

Last December Hubby and I moved my craft cave from a smaller upstairs bedroom to the first floor master bedroom. Not only is it nice to not feel so disconnected being cooped up in an bedroom upstairs away from everything, but the master bedroom is MUCH bigger, giving me the space I needed. 

I've made it my mission this summer to get organized, use from my stash, and to get projects done. First step... Freeing up a drawer in a filing cabinet which holds up my craft table counter. It's "prime real estate" in my room and I'm desperately needing a place to organize and file all my patterns and embroidery stitch out sheets. 

This is what the drawer was being used for....

It was housing all my embroidery stabilizers, and not very well I might add. I was having to pull out almost every roll looking for what I needed and it was becoming such a nuisance.  So.... I went in search of a solution. 

I found a bunch of ideas online, one being a shoe rack. Great idea, but I wanted it to match my room if it was going to be out in the open. So, I figured I could just make it myself. I found this awesome pattern on Etsy and immediately knew it would be perfect!  

I got some pink & black fabrics from Joanns, along with some clear vinyl and I was ready to go. The pattern is very well written and very clear and easy to understand. With a little help from Hubby in cutting the dowel rod for me, it was ready to hang. Only took a couple of evenings and it came out better than I had hoped!  

Stabilizer Holder Details:

  • Started: May 13, 2015     Finished: May 16, 2015
  • Finished Size: Approx 18" x 35"
  • Pattern: Embroidery Stabilizer Keeper by I Gotta Stitch on Etsy
  • Fabric: Keepsake Calico: Leigh Medallions and Flowers and Keepsake Calico: Leigh Dots from JoAnns
  • Batting: Warm & White Cotton Batting remnant
So great to finally have a place to store them that makes them easy to see (and monitor amounts).  I've got it hanging by a Command clip on the back of my door and it really looks great!  I also so happy to have that filing cabinet emptied!  Now I can get my patterns and such organized.  It's a small step in my mission for organizing, but it's still a step.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Let The Fates Decide

This is the first time in over a year that I don't have projects with deadlines or on the "desperately need to do" list.  Totally feels weird!  Honestly, I've been so preoccupied with gifts and such that I haven't even made anything for myself :(

Hubby kinda demanded that my next project be something for me.... however, I have oh so many projects on "the list" that I had no clue where to even start!  So, I decided to let everyone else pick what was next on my list.  I posted a poll over on the Missouri Star forums with ten options, ranging from Etsy store stuff to a commissioned project, to quilts for my house.  I let my fellow quilters decide.

"Technically" the poll won't close until today, but I gave the deadline of 6 pm last night.  Whichever project had the most votes was the "Winner."  After 75 votes.... The "Charmed Spools" quilt for me looks to be what's next on my quilting table!  I actually bought the materials for this one back in December when Missouri Star was having one of their free shipping days.  I can say enough how much I LOVE this store!

Here's my "haul" from December for this quilt....

Most likely I'll just be using some plain white muslin for the backing, but we'll have to wait and see what "goes" with it. 

I'm going to be starting my quilt this weekend, but before I do, I want to finish up a smaller project I've been working on. Since getting "Pearl" last November and getting back into embroidery, I've accumulated quite a stash of stabilizers. Up until now they've just been thrown into one of the drawers in my filing cabinet. It is a pain to have to keep pulling them all out just to get to the one I need. Going in search of a solution, I turned to Google, scouring the web. I saw a bunch of blogs where people are using shoe racks, but unfortunately I have no room in my HUGE walk-in closet to hang one (I know... Cleaning it out is on my list for this summer). I then stumbled on this adorable pattern on Etsy and it was just what I needed!  I can hang it on the back of my door and it'll be personalized to my craft room :-)

After a trip to Joanns for fabric and vinyl, I was set. First thing I did right off the bat was make the bias tape. I can honestly say that's one thing I've never done before. Lol. The pattern author suggested the "continual bias tape" method (something I have never heard of).... So back off to Google I went. A couple of YouTube videos later, I was ready to give it a try. 

Now, the pattern said that 3/4 yard should be enough to do all the double-fold and single-fold needed. I'm thinking I did something wrong as I only got about half of what I needed out of that 3/4 yard :-(

ANOTHER trip back to Joanns to get more fabric. Made up another 3/4 yard of tape and hopefully that will be enough. I actually grabbed 1.5 yards just in the event it wasn't. Not that I have any problem with going to Joanns, but I just didn't want to have to run again as going in for "just one thing" ends up costing me a fortune. Lol. 

I've now got my holder to the point of adding the vinyl pouches and I'm determined to get this done today so I can empty out that drawer and use it for other goodies!

As soon as I get get this done, it'll be time to start my quilt and I'm so excited!!  It'll be so nice to actually have something for myself for a change :-)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday!

Linking up with Show Off Saturday at SewCanShe

Friday, May 15, 2015

Finish Friday: Totally Wicked

Well... I can FINALLY share my "top secret" project I've been working on over the past few weeks (ahem....months).

This one is for my mother-in-law who is a HUGE Wizard of Oz fan.  She even refers to herself as the "Wicked Witch" and threatens to "send her flying monkeys at us."  I bought the panel months ago and then found the matching fabrics to go with it.  I had no clue what pattern to do, but then found the "Totally Wicked" quilt by Quilting Treasures online and it was perfect!

The top was fairly easy to assemble, but I did realize after I had started that, according to the pattern, the finished quilt size was going to be a bit on the small side (44" x 52").  I wanted this one to be something big enough for her to cuddle under, so I added a 1" green border, and then a 5" black-print border.  The final size (before washing) was 56" x 64" which I thought would be a good size.

I'm getting much better (and faster) with basting, so I had no trouble putting this one together.  The backing is plain black and I used unbleached cotton batting due to the white fabrics (didn't want them to look "dingy" by using natural batting).

Then came the fun part... Quilting!

I had NO CLUE how to quilt this baby.  I didn't want to do too much over the panel in order to prevent from distorting it, so I went with a simple cross-hatch and used a Hera marker to draw the lines (no, I don't quilt that straight without help.  Lol).  After the panel was quilted, I just did stitch-in-the-ditch around the diamonds in the border, and then along the borders themselves.

Oh, I forgot to mention... I really didn't want to use any color thread for the quilting that would make the panel look awful, so after doing some research online as well as getting some tips from the Missouri Star forums, I went with some YLI Wonder Invisible thread in the top and just black Superior Omni thread in the bobbin.  I honestly was expecting some troubles with tension and breakage, but "Rosie" (my Viking Eden Rose 250c) did a wonderful job with absolutely no problems!

I started the quilting a few weeks ago, but then got sidetracked with a bunch of little projects (here and here), so it got put on the back burner.  With the intended due date of Mother's Day, I finally had to kick it into high gear and get it done.  I cranked out the rest of the quilting, and then the binding followed soon after.

Since I added the extra border, I didn't have enough fabric to do the original binding on it.  I went in search of a suitable replacement and found some Black & White Striped fabric by Timeless Treasures on Etsy and it was a perfect fit!  Totally reminds me of the socks the witch was wearing when the house fell on her!!

Finally, it was DONE!  Just needed a label and it was ready to go.  I made up a label on my embroidery machine and even did some cool applique on it!

The applique ruby slippers came from AppliqueGuru on Etsy, and I found some cool red sparkly fabric at JoAnns on one of my recent trips.  The fonts used were ones that I had on my computer and was able to digitize them using the Viking 6D QuickFont program.  Took 3 tries to get it to look good, but it was totally worth all the effort.  Added some of the extra binding to the edges and I am so pleased with it!

"Totally Wicked" Details:

Now it's time to get started on a new project!!  Hopefully the next one won't take so long to complete  :-)

Hope everyone has a Fabulous Friday!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Show-Off Saturday: Yet ANOTHER Bag!

I know, I know... I think I have an addiction!  I made yet another Bionic Gear bag.  However, this one wasn't my choice, it was a request by my mom.  She loved her bag so much that she wanted one to give to my uncle's wife for her birthday.  She was just going to give her the one I made her (and pay me for it) and then keep the sewing-themed one that I made for her.  Told her that was silly, and of course I could make another one for her.

Went "stash diving" and found an awesome FQ bundle I had gotten from Fort Worth Fabric Studio a little while back.

This was one of their "Friday Bunches" a few weeks back and think it was called "Silent Movie."  Loved the black and white prints together... so fun!

I used the chalkboard fabric for the outside and then bits and pieces of the rest of the bundle for the inside pockets.

Bag Exterior

Bag Interior
I'm SO glad I ordered a million zippers from Wawak the last time they had a huge sale!  Honestly thought I went overboard and bought way too many (close to 200 total!), but now I'm seeing how quickly the stash is going down with every bag I make :-)  May have to keep an eye out for another sale soon!

I also FINALLY have my "top secret" project finished and should be able to share soon!  Just need to get it to the recipient before I do, seeing as though I don't know if he/she reads my blog or not.  Don't want to ruin a surprise.

Trying to decide what project is next on the list... I've got so many, I don't know which one to choose!  No more secret projects (I think) or projects with upcoming deadlines, so it may be time I finally made something for myself.  We'll have to see ;-)

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday!

Linking up with Show Off Saturday at SewCanShe

Friday, May 1, 2015

Finish Friday: Lotsa Projects Pt. 2

Happy May Day!!!  Wow!  I can't believe it's May already!!!  This year is going so quickly and I just can't believe it's almost half over!  That being said, I've had a lot of "Rosie Time" lately.  Hubby technically works 2 jobs (a full-time, day job and runs a DJ-ing company), so I'm home in the evenings a lot by myself, as well as sometimes a lot of time on the weekends.  I don't mind it actually.  I've never really been one to be on-the-go constantly, so being home is actually where I love to be.  It is especially welcome when I've had a long week at work.  It's so wonderful to just come home on a Friday night, put on some comfy clothes, grab a cup of tea, and bury myself in my craft room for the night!  With that being said, I've been VERY busy over the past few weeks!

Here are the projects I can safely share so far.  I've got a couple more that are in the works or almost done that I really can't share until after next week, but I promise... They're awesome!!  So, without further ado...

Hawaiian Pin-Up Shirt

Hubby needed a Hawaiian-themed shirt for a "Spring Fever Luau" he was DJ-ing and he couldn't manage to find one he liked at the stores.  Then.... I got the question.  "Can you make me a shirt?"  Of course I couldn't say no.  The only rule was that it had to be "cool."  After hours of searching online, I found this fabric over at and he loved it!  I also bought the same fabric, just different background for his DJ partner for a shirt, but he ended up being out of town for the event, so I didn't rush to get it done.

Hawaiian Pin-Up Button Down Shirt

  • Started: April 13, 2014     Finished: April 16, 2015
  • Pattern:  McCall's M2149
  • Fabric: Pin Ups Mirage - Garnet from
  • Notions: 5 -19mm clear buttons
  • Thread: Coats & Clark - Tan All-Purpose Thread

Butterfly Cuddle Quilt

One of my girlfriends since early childhood is expecting her first (a little girl!) in July.  With the shower coming up, I whipped up what is quickly becoming my "signature" baby gift for her.... A Cuddle Quilt.  She's definitely not a real flashy gal, so subdued colors were my choice, and the butterflies are just so dang cute!  Sorry for the big crease in the pic... it's been folded on my work table for a few days before I was able to snap the pic.

Butterfly Cuddle Quilt

  • Started: April 13, 2014     Finished: April 16, 2015
  • Pattern:  Play Time Quilt by Karie Patch Designs
  • Fabric: Snuggle Flannel Solids & Prints from JoAnn's
  • Thread: Coats & Clark - Purple All-Purpose Thread

Butterfly Embroidered Burp Cloth

I bought a bunch of the Gerber cloth diapers a few weeks ago, wanting to embroider some as gifts.  I pre-washed them all, but then they just sat.  Lol.  Finally dug one out of the basket, ironed it, and it was ready to go!  Added some of the leftover flannel from the Cuddle Quilt to the bottom and used "Pearl" do embroider some cute butterflies on it.  The 3-ply cloth diapers are really thin!  Guess I didn't pay too much attention to the package when I bought them.  For a burp cloth, I'm sure they'll be fine, I just know the next time I'll go for the 6-ply ones.

Butterfly Burp Cloth

  • Started: April 30, 2014     Finished: April 30, 2015
  • Pattern:  My Own :-)
  • Fabric: Snuggle Flannel Butterfly Print from JoAnn's
  • Other Materials: 1 - Cloth Diaper, No-Show Poly Mesh Stabilizer
  • Embroidery Design: Butterfly Pair (A5140) from Embroidery Library

Sewing Bionic Gear Bag

I made one of these Bionic Gear Bags back a few months ago for my BFF and couldn't wait to make more!  Before I had even made the first one, I had bought fabric at JoAnn's to make my mom one to hold all of her sewing gear while she's on the road.  Found the adorable dress form and tape measure fabrics in the novelty cotton section and snatched it up.  You can't see it in the photo, but the insides of the pockets match the blue and coral from the front.  Unfortunately, I don't really like how this one turned out.  Thinking I should have done different fabrics on the inside instead of all the same.

Sewing Bionic Gear Bag

  • Started: April 24, 2014     Finished: April 26, 2015
  • Pattern:  Bionic Gear Bag by Sally Thompson
  • Fabric: Novelty cotton from JoAnn's
  • Notions: 4 - 9" Nylon Zippers & 1 - 2" Nylon Zipper from
  • Thread: Coats & Clark - Grey All-Purpose Thread

Rosie Bionic Gear Bag

Since I didn't really care for the sewing bag, I went "stash diving" and came up with a FQ bundle I had bought a while ago from Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  I love, love, LOVE this FQ bundle, and it was soooooo hard to cut into it!  But it turned out to be totally worth it as I LOVE the way this bag came out!  The colors just pop and are so bright and cheery.  Now I can't decide which one to give her... Lol.  May just take both of them over for Mother's Day and let her choose. 

Rosie Bionic Gear Bag

Nursing Bionic Bag

I saw this fabric over at the Fat Quarter Shop some time ago in their "Coming Soon" section.  I requested to be notified when it came in stock, and about 2 weeks ago... I did.  Ordered it right away, with really no clue what I was going to do with it.  Well, being on this Bionic Bag kick, it became an easy choice.  My sister is an ICU Asst Nurse Manager for a Cleveland Clinic hospital and also a mom to an 18-month old and has one one the way due in August.  She's always got her "nurse" stuff with her, and this bag is perfect to hold all her band aids, gauze, tape, suture removal kits, etc.  Lol.

Nursing Bionic Gear Bag

Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Lotsa Projects

I've been so busy in the craft room... I just keep forgetting to post.  Bad Blogger!!  Lol.  Unfortunately, most of my recent projects are upcoming gifts and I don't want to ruin the surprise (in the off chance they read my blog).  I'm most definitely going to have a bunch of finished project posts here in the next few weeks.  I promise!

There are, however, a few projects I can share.

I saw this awesome pattern over on Craftsy and knew I just had to try it out.  Turned out to be SUPER SIMPLE, and even with adding the embroidery to it, still was done in less than an hour!  I've got enough fabric to make two more of these, just need to get a couple of other projects done first.

1-Hour Basket 

  • Pattern:  1-Hour Basket Tutorial by Hearts and Bees
  • Started: April 8, 2015     Finished: April 8, 2015
  • Fabric: Home Decor fabric from JoAnn's 

Also on the finished projects list are some Keychains/Snap Tabs I did on my embroidery machine.  These will soon be in my upcoming Etsy shop and I hope they'll be big sellers :D  Especially considering I kinda went overboard with the vinyl and have enough to make quite a few :D

They're made using marine vinyl and some KAM snaps.  I'm seriously addicted to making these!  I've probably got two dozen different designs in my arsenal and can't wait to start getting them made up so I can get them listed up for sale :D

I've got lots more projects to share, so stay tuned for more updates :D

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Also linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Another "Addition"

Wow, dropped the ball again with blogging. :-(. So sorry!!  It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks and I've just been crafting away... Forgetting to document things.

Anywho, I have a new addition to my sewing machine family :-). Meet "Thor"....

He's my new Juki TL-2010Q and I LOVE him!!  Last week I had the opportunity to get him for a fabulous price and I just had to jump on it!  Now, he's not to replace any machine, but as an enhancement to what I have. Being a straight-stitch only machine with a great sized harp (amount of room from the needle to the side of the machine), I think I'm going to be able to quilt much faster and easier, not to mention more accurately. 

I love my "Rosie," and even though she has a 10" throat, she's only got 4" in height which made getting quilts thru her harp somewhat of a challenge. Lots of cramming and adjusting and frustration. Doing anything more than straight echo stitching in the body of the quilt was sometimes a real pain. I've only been able to do FMQ really on the borders because of the space issue. With the Juki, I don't see that being much of an issue. 

The other thing I love about him is he came with practically every foot I could need plus a generously sized extension table. No need to run out and purchase the accessories to do what I need him to do... He's good right out of the box!

I got him Friday and just couldn't wait to get to work!  Got him set up, figured out how to wind the bobbin and get him threaded, and I was off!  Grabbed some scrap fabric and just started going. I had some tension issues, but that could be because of the kind of thread I was using. After some finagling with the tension knobs, I finally think I got it :-)

Now, this being my first "industrial"-type machine, there was definitely a learning curve. 
  • Speed - Oh yea!  So fast (1600 ditches per minute I think). Got him set at medium speed and so far that is working for me. I'm sure the high speed will be great for quilt piecing though, and chain stitching. 
  • Auto Thread Cutter -Something I've never had on a machine before.  Took a while to get used to the rocking back of the foot petal to cut.  Kept cutting threads when I didn't mean to.  Lol.  After a few days of playing, I finally got the hang of it... and now I'm spoiled!  LOVE this feature!
  • Knee Lift - Honestly, I thought this was going to be the greatest feature, but turns out... not so much.  At least for me.  I put the knee-lift on right away, and between that and the thread cutter on the foot petal... I was a mess.  I'm sure once I get the complete hang of the machine, the knee-lift will be a valuable lasset, but for now, it's being stored away.
Now, for the things I'm not quite liking....
  • Lighting - This machine has some serious lighting issues.  Even with my OTT light on my desk, there is so much shadowing it's hard to see.  Thankfully, I saw on a bunch of blogs when I was doing research that there is a bit of a work-around.  I ended up buying a set of the Inspired LED lights off of Amazon and I think that will be the fix.  Haven't had a chance to install them, but that is on the list of things to do this week.  I think they'll definitely make a difference!
  • One-Piece Presser Feet - This is something that I'm totally not used to, nor do I think I ever will be.  Instead of the snap-on feet like on the rest of my machines, this one has solid piece presser feet which require unscrewing in order to switch out.  I've been working on Bionic Bags over the past few days and having to keep switching between the regular foot and the zipper foot has proven to be a bit of a pain.  Not a huge deal-breaker, but still an annoyance.
  • Walking Foot - It's awesome that they included a walking foot with the machine, however it takes some finagling to get it to work correctly.  First time I tried it, it made such an awful sound and I was afraid I was breaking something.  After further investigation, I found out that you're supposed to drop the pressure on the pressure foot and only go at about a medium pace.  That is supposed to be the fix for it.  Haven't tried that yet, but will definitely be doing that soon.
Other than that... I LOVE HIM!!!!  So happy with the purchase and can't wait to see how well I can do my quilting now.

Oh, and on his name..... Hubby totally named him.  Lol.  Since it was Hubby that pushed me to jump on the opportunity, I let him chose the name.  Told him it was going to be my workhorse machine, so he saw it fit to name him "Thor."   I was fine with that, so Thor it is :D

I've got LOTS of projects to share, and I'm going to attempt to get them posted here in the next week or so.  Been busy, busy, busy... I just need to remember to post :D

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River, Fabric Tuesday at A Quilt Story, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts

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