20 October 2014

Cross Stitch, the Sanity Saver.

The very first craft that I learned (besides gluing things together and mutilating paper with my mother's good scissors) was cross-stitch. I don't know if my mother said, "You shall learn this like your foremothers!" or I went "what are you doing, let me do it. I want to do it. Let me do it. I NEED TO DO IT." But, what I do remember is "helping" her cross stitch. She'd point to where I needed to poke the needle through, on top, and then she'd poke the needle back through the bottom. Repeat. I was delighted. Soon there after, Mom found some 10ct Aida (or something else ridiculously large) and she told me I was going to learn how to cross stitch with the same pattern she learned to cross stitch with. A simple little owl, sitting on a branch. Like, this one:

This is not mine. I found it here.
Oh! Exciting times for me. I like birds. I liked doing what Mom was doing, LET'S DO THIS. So, with Mom's help, I cross stitched my first owl. I don't remember how long it took, or how many times I did it wrong, but my incredibly patient mother helped me get it done. I remember doing the pine needles. I was fascinated. Cross-Stitch: The Gateway Drug to Crafting. I'm sure Mom still has my little owl somewhere at home.

Fast Forward to today.  I recently discovered The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and all their kawaii patterns. No, seriously. Go look at them. While I was drooling over their patterns, I was drooling over the fabric they stitched them on. Where do people find fabric like this? Walmart/Joann's/Hobby Lobby doesn't have stuff like this. THEN, Facebook alerted me to the fact that they have a FB group (how thoughtful.) So of course, I joined. THEN LO AND BEHOLD in their links was a place to get "the most wonderful fabric ever." Curious, I clicked on it: Picture This Plus. As I was drooling over the fabric, I looked at the address to see how long it might take me to get some fabric. I blinked. I blinked again. Then I shouted at my husband, "WE'RE GOING TO ABILENE [KS]!!!" This place was less than an hour from us! I wanted to hop in the car and go right then and there, but then I realized that it was 7pm and they were most definitely closed. So, I had to wait until the next day.

AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. Picture This Plus is an adorable little shop underneath a bookstore. EVERYONE was friendly, helpful, and let me fondle the Aida. The fabric is beautiful, wonderful and soft and oh my all the threads! Being that I am not an expert cross-stitcher, I bought some non-fancy thread, from Sullivan's. It was only 9¢ more than DMC and had the DMC color on it, so I figured why not? I needed some. And then I spent like two days picking out fabric. But, I finally went with Fresco.


Everything went so well together, that it was like it was meant to be. Except for that last color on the right. You see it? Well, it almost blends in with the fabric, so I'm trying to decide what color I can replace it with. But, until then, I'm just gonna skip that color and keep on stitching. 

As for the pattern I chose, it's the Autumn Sampler pattern. Look at how adorable it is. And as of last Friday, this is my slow, but steady, progress!

Can you see the coloration of the fabric, where it looks like it has blue splotches? Yes? Yes, it's that amazing. I'm having fun with it, and hope to have it done before winter. (Ha!) I'd like to do all four seasons like this, but one step at a time. One tiny, tiny step.




08 October 2014

Happy Fall, y'all!

Ah, October. My favorite month of the year. And here I am. Stuck in a hotel room not being able to enjoy you properly. Waiting. Hopefully for less than two and a half weeks. But still. Why? Because we're in process of buying a house! Yes! OUR FIRST HOUSE. And it's flippin' amazing, y'all. It's a gorgeous, cozy home. Whenever it's ours, I'll post pictures. Maybe.

But, we've been homeless for 25 days now. TWENTY-FIVE DAYS. Because I like stats, have some:

Pounds Towed: 6,822
Miles Driven: 1,034
Gallons of Gas: 105
States Traveled: 7
Beds slept in: 6
Places Stayed: 5
Projects Started: 4
Books Read: 3
Grumpy Cats: 2
House Purchases Pending: 1

In other news, I finally finished Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers. I've been reading it since July. JULY. I don't know why it took me that long. The book was amazing and hard to put down, but yet...I did. Which also means I surpassed my 52 books goal this year with flying colors. Because, that was book 61 and I'm still not done with the year. Next up, Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches. Someone told me to read it, and it was the first book I came across in one of my new libraries, so why not?

I'll post my projects a little later. Two are gifts, and two aren't finished, so, you'll just have to suffer and wait. Or, deal with my pictures on instagram: amberghini4


29 August 2014

Leftovers Bag.

A friend, we'll call her Alicia, contacted me on Saturday and asked if I had time and could whip her up a plain white purse for her before DragonCon for her costume. (Apparently, they're cosplaying people from the show Leftovers. I don't have HBO. I don't know what it is) Why, yes. I did have a little bit of time to squeeze her in! So, I ran down to Hancock Fabrics, picked up some white twill, a zipper and some bag parts and back home I flew.

Alicia sent me pictures of what she wanted, the shape, the size, specifications. I found a pattern, but I didn't like the way it was put together, so I just made something up as I went along.

And this is what happened.


 
EVERYTHING'S SO WHITE. Blindingly white.

Zipper teeth. nom nom nom. Check out dat pocket.

Annnnd hanging up for good measure. The strap all the way together makes a nice shoulder bag, while when it's loosened, makes for a great crossbody.


I'd never done a zipper like this before, so I just made it up as I went along. I think it turned out okay. One of the edges was bunched, and I couldn't fix it, so I just gave her a bit of a discount. But, overall, I've discovered I don't suck at pattern making, like I thought.

28 August 2014

Petite Street is neat!

A LONG, LONG TIME AGO, IN A MONTH THAT ISN'T NOW a friend asked me to make her a diaper bag! She found one she loved and asked if I could recreate it. Well, I'll try, was my reply!

I got close. Or at least I think so.

I found the Petite Street Nappy Bag from Susie D Designs on Etsy. I shared it with her, and she liked it! So, now for the fabric. The fabric seems to be the hardest part. I believe she went through three or four pattern changes until she found the perfect one. And then the perfect liner. And the perfect accent. And then I screwed up and didn't buy everything and time, so we found a NEW perfect accent fabric.
And then I started to put it together.





If you followed the directions, this is what it was supposed to look like before you started assembling it. My friend, we'll just call her Spam from now on, wanted a zippered pocket on the outside, too. So I happily obliged.


BAM. One zippered pocket for Spam!

And then I started putting it together. Got the outside done.


Wait. The strap thingies aren't straight.





Thaaaaat's better.

And before you know it, for a grand total of four days (forgot to count the hours) I was DONE.

Aww yiss, just look at it.
Ain't she a beaut?


Check out that interior.

Aww yiss.

And one more while it's hanging up.


I'm pleased with this bag. It'd actually make a great purse, too. It's very roomy and very sturdy. I'd add the extra outer zipper again, but, I wouldn't put the fleece on the pocket. It made it a little weird and puffy looking.

The pattern's well written, and instructions are clear! Though, when preparing to cut out fabric, (being that I used only three) was a little confusing on what to cut. Recommended!

26 August 2014

Oh, look, it's August.

Oh, hey internet. What's that? I haven't posted since July? Oops.

I've been a wee bit busy. I finished the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge and had so much stuff I had a yard sale TWO weekends in a row. Donated 90% of what we didn't sell, brought 10% back and am selling on Ebay and Craigslist.

My new workout/diet program thing is going well. Well....as well as it could. I've lost 6lbs and 4 inches all over, and have a bit more energy than I normally do. Muscles are a bit sparse, but I can do 35 pushups, so that's something.

Haven't been reading much. Still stuck in double digits in The Dovekeepers. It's REALLY interesting, but I just can't keep my brain from wandering these days.

Moving's coming up a lot closer than I think. I need to start preparing things for the movers, but oh look! SHINY THINGS.

With that, I'm trying to finish up my sewing projects. I just finished two bags, and have one more to go. I also have a dress to finish. And IF I have time, I'll be making a skirt. Out of Cotton + Steel fabric.

No pictures today, but look out for upcoming finished projects and some moving updates.

24 July 2014

Row by Row Experience: Part Three!

Today's the last four stores that I shop hopped around on Monday. There was supposed to be two more, but sadly, they were closed on Monday. :(

The first of today's post is the astounding Little Quilts. I've heard so much about the amazing-ness of it, and even used to pass by it when Brian lived in the area. Never went in until yesterday. Holy crap. It's jam packed with the most amazing stuff. I should have taken a picture.

I got the Patriotic Little Quilts book; it was on sale! And it's full of great patterns. I got a little heart quilt kit, their adorable row, some "chicken wire" fabric, and a great small package of fat quarters. The picture doesn't do it justice, but they're gorgeous together. And they, too, were out of licence plates, so I was able to order theirs also. I could have bought more from this store, but I didn't. I also bought some number sign/pound sign/hashtag/# fabric, but for some reason, I didn't take a picture of it.

Then, I zipped over to Cottontail Quilts in Kennesaw, GA. Thankfully, it wasn't anywhere near Barrett Pkwy. I would have cried, if it was. This was an equally adorable store.

Got a cute Christmas Tree pillow kit. I figured I'd try my hand at it. Also picked up their row kit, along with two grey fat quarters, and two buttons. "My stash is bigger than yours" and "sew creative." Also ordered their license plate, too.

Realized I should have gone to Tiny Stitches in Marietta before going to Kennesaw, but it actually worked out better in the long run. When I pulled up into the parking lot NO ONE was around. Got nervous but saw the little quilted "open" sign, and walked on in. Dangerous store. DANGEROUS.


As you can see, I got in a wee bit of trouble. I saw the yellow fabric on a blog somewhere. It's directions on how to fold a paper hat, and omg, of course I needed that. The pink/purple is some Eric Carle fabric my mother was looking for, so that doesn't count. AND THEN SOME ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE FABRIC OH MY GAWD. That was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and I have never seen the fabric before, so I jumped all over it. Don't know what I'm going to do with it, but !!!!! Moving along, got some really cute rainbow striped fabric, and some rainbow "swiss dot" heart fabric. Got a lot of that. I'll share it with Mom. I know she wants some. And lastly, hedgehog fabric. Yeah. It was too adorable not to get. Got their pattern, they were out of their bug kit, too, but got a really great idea to do veggie fabrics! And ordered their license plate, too. They were out. All the "closer to Atlanta" stores were out!

And lastly, I went to Pickleweeds. The name alone was worth the trip.


Though, their row was one of my favorites, so I HAD to go. Do you see how cute it is? Also, they had MORE chicken wire fabric for 50% off, so I bought the rest of the bolt. The Christmas fabric was 20% off, so I figured, what the hell, and got some of the Chalkboard Christmas. I mean, it's red and black Christmas fabric. What's not to like? I also got some other fabric, but it's for a Christmas present, and I think she reads my blog, so you'll just have to wait until I'm finished with it. Had to order their plate too. BUT, because I live in Alabama, they have an Alabama discount of 20%, so I got 20% off on top of all of that!! How great is that? They know us sad folks in Bama don't really have any quilt stores, so they pity us, and help save a little bit.

So, looking back, hopping across eight "north" Georgia stores was fun. I amazingly only got stuck in traffic for 15 minutes. Seriously, that's a miracle. Sad I didn't get to go to two stores, but maybe, I can go back soon! Hitting all the GA stores would be amazing. Wonder if I can do it?


23 July 2014

Row By Row Experience: Part Two!

So, Monday, I sped my way through the Atlanta area, hopping through as many stores as possible. I got through 8. EIGHT. I originally was only going to do four, and then...whoops.

Let me tell you about the first four!

My first stop was going to be originally in Jonesboro, but when I realized that Patrick's Feed and Seed opened at 9, I figured, "what the hell" and went there first. No regrets. It's a quilt store/feed and seed/CANDY STORE in Covington, GA. That's what sold it for me. It was nice! A third of the store was quilting, a half was gardening stuff, and the rest was candy. It was definitely a little country store. They had hoop cheese. If I wasn't gonna be in the car for a million hours, I was totally gonna get some. But I got cookies, instead.

This is my small haul from there. Got their kit, license plate, and two grey fat quarters for an upcoming Christmas present. I also snuck a picture of this quilt.

Gorgeous. I'm gonna go back and get that kit, one day. I love it! (Bribe parents for Christmas present?)

Next stop was also unplanned, but I realized it was on the way, and so I said "Hell yeah!" Very happy I stopped. A Scarlet Thread in McDonough, GA is amazing. It's so bright, and colorful, and cheerful, and I could have left with a car full of things. But I was good, and I didn't.



I got the V & Co sewing machine quilt pattern, their cute pattern, their license plate, and one grey fat quarter. And, because they were featured in the Quilt Sampler magazine, I got a complementary copy! How nice! Every one was super friendly. I'd totally go there, again.

Next stop, was originally my first, in Jonesboro, GA. Quilts N Fixins is a cute little store, who always has a gaggle of ladies there when I visit. They also have an amazing rooster quilt.


I'm determined to make at least four of those roosters. The quilt is absolutely gorgeous in person, and it's so inspiring every time I see it.

So, this time, I bought one rooster, Rascal, to give it a shot. He's all flustered looking and I love it. I also got the Lost Socks pattern, because I'm crazy and decided that I'm bored enough to try applique. Or as Brian pronounces it "Apple-Kay." Got one of their license plates, and their kit. They were out of their kits, but that's okay. This was also the last store I was able to pick up a plate at.

My next stop was Intown Quilts, in Decatur, GA. THEY HAD COTTON + STEEL. I molested all of the fabric. It's really great fabric, and I can't wait to see what they come out with next. I was able to hold my excitement and only pick out ONE yard.


Do you see it? I picked out the canvas, because it was amazing. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but there it is. I own some Cotton + Steel. I also picked up some license plate fabric to go with all my license plates I'm getting. Thought it would be cute to go on a quilt. Got their pattern, too.
Found a bunch of grey fat quarters, including the chemistry one. It's awesome. The spider webs glow in the dark, and the football is for a project I've been commissioned to do. And lastly, do you see that one by the footballs? That's SELVAGE printed fabric. So, of course, I needed a fat quarter of that. And for a dollar, I got a button that said "UFO-logist." Cause...that's how I roll. They were out of patterns, so I put in an order for one.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's next four.

22 July 2014

Row By Row Experience: Part One!

For those of you who don't know, the Row by Row Experience is happening right now! And if you don't know what that is, it's a US wide (and Ontario!) shop hop, where you go visit stores from 1 July to 1 September and pick up rows from each store (and a cute little license plate) and use at least eight of the rows you've picked up to create a quilt! The first one to a participating store with a finished quilt, wins 25 fat quarters! It's all very exciting, but I'm only in it for specific rows, and mostly the license plates. To read more, go here.

So far, I've been to eleven stores. Yes, eleven, just in Georgia. Could have been thirteen, but two were closed yesterday. :(

The first store I went to was Magical Stitches, in Macon, GA. It was a quick "on the way home" stop. I picked up their license plate and their pattern. I don't remember what I did from them, so here's the photos from the Georgia Row by Row Facebook page.






Cute, right? I didn't get their kit, because I was seriously in a hurry. I stopped there on the 3rd of July.

And right before I got home, I was able to make stop #2 at Sunday Best Quiltworks in Ellerslie, GA. It's a cute little store. I got their pattern, but they didn't have any license plates. The owner didn't realize they were fabric, and thought they were real licence plates! Oops. Though, I did pick up their acrylic templates for their Ceaser's Crown quilt. Lookit:


Yoinked off their website.
It's absolutely gorgeous in person, and I think it's going to be my first curved piece quilt. Go here to their website to check it out!



A little later on the 15th, I made my third stop at my local quilt store, Sew Much Fun in Columbus, GA. It's a great store, too! I went in because they had their Christmas fabrics out, and I needed their snowflake quilt.


From their Facebook page
I have a Christmas quilt in the works, but I don't have a winter one! I saw that, and knew it needed to be mine. I also picked up some Eric Carle Christmas fabric for Mom. She needed it. I also got their kit and their licence plate, too!


I mean, come on. PEACHES.

 How cute is that? I mean, as a native Georgian you HAVE to have something peach themed in your house. So, I picked up their kit.
And look at that tag. How can you not have one of those?

So far, this has been really fun. I mean, what's better than quilt store hopping?

Anyone else out there in blog land participating?

17 July 2014

I Spy with my Little Eye: My Craft Room!

I always enjoy searching for craft room ideas on Pinterest. It's mildly inspiring, and makes me wish I had a permanent house so I could do cool things like I see in some. But, alas. I move too often for that to happen. So, I made do with what I have. And today, I'm finally pleased enough to show you what I make-do with.

It's not perfect, but who am I kidding? Neither am I.


So, I suppose here's the "messiest" part of the room. You can clearly see a computer that should have been put to pasture about three years ago, that has "next in line" projects piled on it, or around it.


Here's my sewing counter. You've got my ironing station, my sewing machine, my serger, my shotglass collection and a few things piled. (I like piling things.) Because of the window, this picture is dark. :\ My photography skillz are not fantastic.


Here's my cutting area! And things that should be on the wall, but aren't, because there's no point! You can see my Halloween quilt still sitting there. I'm also very pleased with my bins under the table.


Look how nice and labeled they are.


And here's the other half of the room. The shelf is actually a vanishing design wall that's really, really awesome. It's one of my favorite purchases EVER.

 

And of course, inside the closet. It's still cluttered, but who am I kidding? It's a closet. It has doors. I can find things. It's just fine.

And there you have it. This house's craft room. I've had three different craft rooms since 2011. How many more will I have? How will I lay them out and design them? STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT.

(But the real question is, where's my fabric?)

12 July 2014

Cats are Assholes.

So, Scout has found her a new spot, sleeping on our CLEAN TOWELS.


Yeah, I see you there, looking all cute and innocent. GET DOWN.

I thought I was being clever, and I put the hand towel across it. "That'll stop her."

Next morning, SIKE. 

 Look at her, shunning us. Pretending that if she can't see us, we can't see her. NOT. GET DOWN.

So, I figured putting the washcloth bin up there would stop her. Hubs didn't agree. *sigh* He was right. Later that day....


YOU GINGER HEIFER. GET OUT.

So, I got a freakin' Mantry crate and put it up there. She jumped up there, and we heard a crash, and saw her running off.

So far, so good...

11 July 2014

Mini-Updates

I did so good last week. I actually posted a lot. This week? Not so much. So, have some mini-updates.

 I'm almost done with my 40 Bags in 40 Days. I'm on day...25, and I still have a few things left. 


Now that the guest room is void of fireworks, I can go re-tackle that. Yes, I have to re-clean it, because everything was thrown everywhere and just ugh. As you can see, the craft room is now mostly done. I just need to go through some bins in the closet. I'm still procrastinating on the living room. There's not even much to do, but still. And then, of course, go back through all my denial stuffs. But, I'm very pleased with how I've done, and my husband is shocked. Shocked, but incredibly pleased. (He's super neat and organized. I'm...not. At all.)

I started a Halloween Quilt, because hey, Halloween in July, not Christmas in July. It's Maude Asbury's Spooktacular (with one fabric of Spooktacular Too). I'm using Amy Smart's Lattice Quilt pattern, and I can't tell you a good review yet, because, I'm still cutting it out. See?


Looking to finish it and a bag or two by the end of the month.

In more exciting news, I joined a class on Fitocracy, and it started on the 30th. I'm tired of being pudgy and weak, so I figured it was time. Wish me luck. One day, I'll be brave and post my results.

03 July 2014

Tiptoe Through the Tulips!

Back around Mother's Day, a friend (I think it was Kristy) posted a pattern giveaway from Quilting in the Rain. I knew I needed it, immedeatly. It was a TULIP pattern. Tulips are one of my top three flowers. (Followed by Ranunculus and Peonies) So, I entered the giveaway, and I sadly, did not win. So, I zipped over to her etsy store and bought it. And waited. Not very patiently. Keeping up with my destash promise, I went through my fabrics. Found the perfect one. Dear Stella's Clementine collection. I believe it's called Flower Market. Anywho, I decided it was the one.
Move over to my Fat Quarter boxes, and decided just to go with some solids for the tulips. I didn't have big enough scraps, or like any six particular patterns together. And for the background? Stumped.

Thought for a while.

Polka dots.

But what kind?

I really wanted some multicolored ones, but only in swiss dot. Couldn't find any. I was almost about to resort with grey on white swiss dot, when a thought occurred to me. SWISS FLOCKED DOT. And low and behold, an etsy seller had the perfect one for me. Mint colored with white dots. She even checked to see if it matched my Dear Stella fabric. (Now that's customer service.)

So I waited some more.

It came in!

Started cutting everything out, immediately. The next day, I put the whole top together and basted it with some vintage blue floral that a friend had given away before she moved. But how to quilt it? I was stumped. I let it sit for a while, while thinking about it and looking up examples. Nothing I liked. Quilting on the flocked swiss dot, just wouldn't do it. So I consulted a friend, and BAM. Just stitch in the ditch, and give the leaves veins. Duh. (Thanks again, Courtney.) I finished it last night. 2nd quilty project ever to complete in a month. With further ado, the results!


BEHOLD. 

My bobbin started hating me, so there's some goofs on the back, but it's going on a wall, so I'm not too worried.

Over all, I'm proud of this, and the pattern was really simple and easy. It's now proudly hanging on my wall.

02 July 2014

The Weekend Quilt, FINISHED.

I really got bit by the finishing bug. Remember my "Weekend" quilt? Well, it was more like a month quilt. Took me 30 days from start to finish! Not that it actually took a month, but I'm just slow. And have starteritis. Moving along, it's done it's done it's done!

There it is in all it's glory. I'm so happy for it to me done. I think it turned out wonderfully. I had it quilted by the local quilt shop, Sew Much Fun, and once again, she did a great job.


And here's the back. Can you see the stars quilted in there?

I really freakin' love this quilt. I think this is the one I'm most proud of.