30 March 2014

Sunday Stash and Giveaway

How do you order your fabrics?  I order mine with a purpose in mind and sometimes I get a little disappointed when the fabric comes in and it is not what I was expecting.  I do my homework on a lot of the fabrics I buy, I look at many different websites try to find the cheapest price but also any help in discovering the true color like going to the designers websites to see what they say about their collections.

One recent disappointment came in the form of Indian Summer by Sarah Watson.
Top fabrics: Menagerie in Timberwolf and Menagerie in Onyx
Bottom: Black and White Crosswords Puzzle from Timeless Treasures
I put it there to show you that the Indian Summer prints are not true white, the print on the left is a cream color with a light tan animal print (not grey like "advertised") and the onyx print is a dirty white with a blue black animal print, both are hard to pair with other fabrics and they don't even pair with each other very well.  I don't understand what the designer was doing, I like the print I just am not in love with the color choices she used.

Now onto an awesome win and I see that the other winner also posted her pictures and is also having a giveaway, we both won a half yard bundle of 4 prints from Kate Quilts of AOI has 2 Sisters by Alexander Henry.
The crazy thing is that I had seen this print in January and really debated buying it for a bag and now that I won the fabrics I just might do it,
What do you think would it look cute or what as a Sound Check bag like my Collage one.
Plus just look at these little girls holding butterfly balloons,
Multiple colors in these prints and they are all so pretty and bright, sorry for the dark photos it has been rainy and foggy here the last couple of days.

Join me over at Sunday Stash to see what other people are stashing and also check out my giveaway and new sewing space on yesterday's blog post.

29 March 2014

I've been sewing for me, now I want to sew for YOU! GIVEAWAY!

This is Week 4 30/30 Sewing Challenge Update, the final week of a month long challenge all about sewing for yourself.
Last week I told you how excited I was that I got a table for my sewing machine, this week was mostly spent cleaning up the downstairs area, re-arranging furniture and a whole lot of cleaning up to do.  So I only completed one project this week, the Meringue clutch from the "Big City Bags" Book.  I really dislike this bag, so even though I had originally created it for me, I will not be keeping it.
Sewed it all up on my new table
Wednesday- I cut the fabrics
Thursday - Ironed the Interfacings and some other fabric ironing
Friday - I sewed up the St. Patrick's Meringue Clutch
The little glass bead is from my trip to Ireland, this clutch is really stiff and I don't like it at all, will not be making this EVER again, if you really, really like it, I will send it to you :) Someone liked it and it will be flying to it's new home soon, good!
Linking this finish up to

March Finishes
Old Sewing Space, upstairs at the dining room table off of the kitchen, yes there have been a few oil splatters on my fabrics, oops.
I sew barefoot and always need a blanket under my feet, cold tile.
 Pictures of my new sewing space and then a giveaway at the bottom at the post.
Do you remember this picture from last week, this is the front of the house and the 2 windows and balcony doors to my sewing space.
Standing at the balcony door, you see my cutting table.
To the left is a bookcase and door to the upstairs.
The low (old coffee table) I will be re-purposing and making it into a large ironing board.
 All IKEA crap, awesome stuff!
This little side table is with my first color love, Stained glass, I made both pieces you see, the cabinet in a wood working class and the fish stained glass when I was living in Sacramento, CA.  We need to paint the cabinet, especially since the kids have drawn all over it, and I need to screw the doors on as soon as I find the little screws, I have had this upstairs for the past 7 years and I had the doors off since it was in the kids room as a book case and I didn't want them to break the glass, but now it is in MY SPACE!
 I made up some fabric bolts with guess what, canvas boards for painting!  I can find these cheap, 10 for $1 versus the comic boards which I can not find here.  I won't do all of my fabric but a few pieces for "show".

The rest of the room holds a bed and a sofa that can turn into a bed, we sleep down here during the summer.  I need to paint the walls, not sure what color yet.

I really want to Thank Sarah for hosting the 30/30 Challenge because I think it was all of my sewing that I was doing that finally pushed my husband into buying a table just for the sewing machine, Thanks Sarah.

Now I promised a giveaway, I have been dying to make fabric post cards and I need someone to send them to, would you like one?  I will send it to you for your birthday, or if your birthday was in January, February or March I will pick another holiday to send the card for.  Use the rafflecopter below for an easy entry just enter your birthday, mine is June 5th, you don't have to put the year if you don't want to ;)  I will be having another really big giveaway then and also another giveaway on April 14th, so if you want to keep updated make sure you hit the bloglovin' button.

Follow on Bloglovina Rafflecopter giveaway

28 March 2014

4F- All about Batting!

Where do you get your batting from, do you buy a special brand?
Recently I went out looking for batting to go with a quilt I would like to finish up.
But where to start, I asked Elita store owner of Busy Needle Quilting in Switzerland, she sells Quilter's Dream Batting and Aurifil Threads to all EU countries.  Here is what she said about the ones she sell's in her shop.  
You have to decide what kind of feeling you want to provoke with the final quilt. Do you want it to look like an antique grandmother's quilt, all crinkly & sweet? Do you want it to be a more modern that will likely be on the the sofa or the wall? Sometimes people who use poly are after a puffy look, like a comforter for the bed. So for all three of these, I'd recommend a different batting (of course-ha!):

Old-fashioned look - Select Cotton
Modern - Select Poly

The major difference between the Select Cotton & the Select Poly is that the cotton will shrink a good bit & become crinkly. The poly will not shrink much (if at all). If you're doing embroidery, you might want that to stand out a bit more so poly would be a good choice. Out of the package, they are essentially the same thickness. If it's a baby quilt, those get washed a lot so poly is good for that too. Either one of these can be hand or machine quilted without a problem.

For the puffy look, the Dream puff is perfect. It will need to be machine quilted or tied because it's just too puffy to hand-quilt. I think it shows good texture with quilting too because it puffs up between the lines.

The Green (this one is made out of recycled plastic bottles it is green in color) one is a nice alternative to the Select poly but the slight colour of the batting can sort of show through your quilt if you use a lot of quite pale fabrics.

Wool, which I love because it's puffy but a natural fibre. It's cool in the summer, warm in the winter, lightweight & fluffy.  It can be washed & dried with no problem.
The bamboo, frankly, I reserve for special quilts. It is wonderful to hand quilt, lovely machine quilted too, but as it's a bit more expensive, I'm picky about who's quilt I put it in.
Thanks Elita for all of the helpful information, I also read a great article here, from Fort Worth Fabric Studio, did you know Warm and Natural was not ALL NATURAL, gasp, I didn't and that is what I had purchased in the States.
Green double I saved 17 plastic bottles from going in the trash :)
Pictured above is the Quilter's Dream Green (purchased previously from Elita), Quilter's Select Poly (I won from AGF), Bamboo and Warm and Natural (I bought both in the States at JoAnn's with a coupon)
They are all about the same thickness, the warm and natural is the one on the bottom, can you see the bumps in it, this makes it very hard to do hand quilting on, I found it a dream to do hand quilting on the polyester one though.  The green one I am saving for my organic quilt that has been a WIP/UFO for a few months.
Batting is one thing you probably want to order from your own country, I just found a girl from Greece Myrto and she told me about a shop in Athens, ARGYROPOULOS, next time I am in Athens I will have to go there.  But for now I shop with Elita and she is really great at helping you, she even offered to audition fabrics against the different battings so I could figure out which one I wanted :) so sweet.

23 March 2014

Sunday Stash

I got a HUGE package on Friday from my good friend Shirley of Simple Sew she was my fabric hoarder/sender, a job that requires you to hold fabric and then find the cheapest way to mail it to me.  A very hard job, but you get to pet fabric and if you like something I am willing to share :)
I needed a few things from companies that don't ship Internationally like Fabric.com
It was a very big box so I will share it's contents in little burst of surprises.

First I needed some fabric to make 3 suitcases for little kids, my first commission.
I didn't want to use regular weight cotton so I bought 9oz Canvas, oh my gosh is this stuff bright in color, it will be perfect for little boys, I picked out their favorite colors, hopefully they will stay their favorite colors for a while.
From the bottom to the top, Canvas Orange, Canvas Yellow, Canvas Turquoise, the inside fabric will be the Michael Miller Motorama Primary, all 3 boys are into motor cross and the colors match perfectly!  And since I would be sewing through some pretty thick layers I also got special topstitching thread, should be interesting to use this.
Also in case you missed it I talked yesterday about buying my first IKEA fabric
written numbers for the back of my Pantone quilt
You can vote for the quilt above under "Just the Quilt tops" it's #18
I will be washing everything today, so lots of laundry.
Linking to Sunday Stash at Work In Progress Girl Today

22 March 2014

30/30 Week 3 Update

My husband doesn't generally do any type of gift giving it's just not in the Greek nature to give gifts, they don't even celebrate birthdays here, instead your name day is celebrated so if you are named Timothy then all the Timothy's have their day, but a name day celebration is well if you really want me to get into Greek details then say so in the comments and I will be happy to explain the oh so wonderful Greek customs.  
On to my Awesome Wonderful News!  My husband finally broke down and bought a "table" just for a my sewing machine, don't worry we didn't tell his mother, omg, we would never hear the end of that one "jes fer the masine that uh sew en"  hehe like my Greek accent.
We went to IKEA
This is the downstairs part of our house this is the front, the other 3 sides are surrounded by rock and it is very cold there in the winter, but in summer we sleep downstairs, this is going to be my "sewing room".
To get the backing for my Pantone Challenge Quilt Top You Can vote for it here, #18, under "Just Quilt Tops" Category click the little heart in the right hand corner, you can see more photos of it here.  Do you like the IKEA written numbers print, they are awfully large numbers, but I think it will work, I am going to use a purple binding also, I think.  The Quilt top is what I was sewing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Tuesday was spent our 30 minutes doing a photo shoot, that resulted in my children playing in the stream, so we had to hurry home.
Wednesday I cut fabric for my Pantone Challenge bag, You can vote for this one under the "minis" category, #50, Thank you so much if you vote, there are a lot of beautiful items to look at.
Thursday I Thankfully received the package of interfacing and did some sewing
Friday I quilted the interior of the bag and put the bag together, you can view more pictures here.
My daughter doesn't realize that when I say I want to see the back side of the bag I don't mean I want to see the back side of her also.
LOL, not only does she crack me up, she cracks herself up too!
We took the bag shopping with us today to IKEA, it is about an hour away in Larisa just south of Mount Olympus where the Greek Gods reside.
You can see their snow peaked tops in the distance.
So today's Saturday 30 minutes time was spent fabric and desk shopping, by the way have you seen the new "board/wood plank" fabric that IKEA has, I saw it on someone else's blog and now I don't know who, but I saw it in person and it is nice but it is a heavier canvas type material and not a quilting cotton material, just FYI.
As soon as I clean the downstairs and do some re-arranging we have a double bed, a sofa and a wall bookcase down there, so I will need to find out where to put my new table!  And then I will share pictures.
Linking up to 30/30 Sewing Challenge Week 3
Oh in case you were wondering yesterday March 21st marks 7 years I have been married to my husband Arthur the Greek.
Next week I am going to start a suitcase out of old jeans, so fun!  What are you going to do?

Collage Sound Check Bag

Another entry here for the Pantone Challenge, this time for the Mini's Category.  Now I wasn't sure if a bag applies as a mini and if it doesn't then you can cross me out.  But I did "Quilt" the interior, so does that count :)
This is the 12th pattern inside of the Big City Bags Book by Sara Lawson "Sound Check Bag".  I used Collage Fabrics from Carrie Bloomston, Border Birds in Purple and Newsprint in Purple, the interior and accents are in Brussels Washer in Silver.
The bag can stand on it's own.
I added an interior zippered pocket cause I like zippered pockets in my bags.
with a pop of that blue that you can see a little bit of in the fabric
My quilted interior is loosely based off of the Tutorial by Don't Call Me Betsy: FMQ Baptist Fans
(SMWACK, ohh.. did you hear that)  Actually it really was an awesome time to practice my FMQ skills (or lack of)  I will be doing it with all of my bags for now on.
The Interior measures 15"x27.5", a mini quilt, right?
The variegated Metallic Thread was a gift from Mary of Mary Moon Designs and Jeifner helped me out in understanding how to use it,  I used a 90/14 needle and increased my stitch size to 3.5, it was great for all of the topstitching and edgestitching (like shown above) but didn't do such a great job in the FMQ, but that could be because I am a little jerky in my movements.

I didn't have any cool ruler's so I used a stack of circle lids to mark the circles, I tried one as a freehand you can see it's the one that looks really crazy.
This bag is a present to me for my 7 year Anniversary, yep! married 7 years today, A-Mazing!
You can see my other Pantone entry here.  And I am having a small handmade postcard giveaway going on here.
As you can see it's a pretty big bag.

Note Added: I have been carrying this bag around for over 5 months now, and it is by far my most favorite bag, I love it and plan on making a few more, it is a great pattern.

Linking up to:
March Finishes
Craft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.

21 March 2014

Fabulous Fabric Find Fridays

A New Fun Thing to Look at on Fridays!
Fabulous Fabric Find Fridays
I love finding good deals on fabric, but there is only so much I can buy :)  Although I would love to buy it all!  SO I would like to share some of the good deals I come across with you and when I figure out how to do a linky, you can share good deals that you find too.  Each Friday I will post 4 shops that meet 1 or all 4 criteria to fit into the 4F Club,
  • Fantastic Prices, $4-$8 a yard, or $1 FQ's
  • Fabulous Discounts, giving you those discount codes you might not know about
  • Free Shipping, or discounted, or maybe larger amounts of fabric allowed
  • Fantastic Fabulous Service, I love it when shop owners go above and beyond!
  1.  This weeks first shop hits all Four:  Whimsy Quilts and Fabrics 

$8 Sale - Old New 30s Lecien

  •    She has some fabrics in the Sale Section,
  •     Use discount code: RAIN15, for 15% off until the end of March
  •     She can fit 13 yards into a Flat Rate Envelope, the most I have ever seen.
              Plus she has a layaway program, in case you need a few paychecks to pay it off
              or like in my case, I didn't want to many packages coming to soon to the house
              in one month and this is where her Fantastic Fabulous Service came in.
  •    I wanted to use both the discount code above and the layaway option together, but you can't do that, only 1 or the other, well I told Cristi the reason I wanted to use the layaway option is because I was already expecting a fabric package this month, and if my husband saw 2 big fabric packages in the same month he would freak out!  She kindly offered to hold the fabric until I was ready for it to be sent and I could use the discount code, AWESOME!
2.   Emmaline Sewing Patterns & Purse Supplies  gets 4 Stars and an Entry in the 4F Club because of Awesome Service!  She had a flash sale (sorry it was only 1 day, but if you want to be ready for the next one follow her on Facebook)  I wanted to place an order, have you seen the cool hardware she has for sale?
I have been dying to get some of those fun Handcrafted zipper pulls and she also sells Annie's Soft and Stable for bags.  But as I was checking out the shipping charges were just CRAZY, so I emailed her to see what I could do, she told me to play around with the cart and I did that but it still wasn't allowing me more than 1 purchase of the Annie's, well I made my purchase but told her that if she could fit any more of the Annie's in I would buy it and she did, 2 more pieces!  Thank you so much Janelle, YOU ROCK!
3.    How about a Really Sweet Deal on Fabric!  Fabric By The Yard has bundles of 5 yards for $20.
Plus if you order 10 yards you get a free yard of fabric, your choice, I found this shop because I was looking for fabrics from the Flora and Fauna line, because I saw them during Sunday Stash, looks like a pretty fabric.

Flora and Fauna- Luna Moth in Raspberry

4.   A lot of peoples favorite shop seems to be the Fat Quarter Shop and right now they have a discount of 20% with code: fatquarterly42
I liked this nice Low Volume print in there sales section.

Flats Sky on White Bias Stripe, with code only $4.30

Grab a button and join the party every Friday, I will generally have these posted earlier but today I wanted to finish my second entry into the Pantone Challenge.  Have fun Shopping!

Secretly Stitching

20 March 2014

Pantone Quilt Top


My Entry for the Pantone Quilt Challenge
This Quilt Top was made using 5" charms from a Purple Charm swap put on by Amanda from What the Bobbin?
It is a pattern from the UK Magazine "Love Patchwork & Quilting", Issue One, called "The Plus Side" by Holly DeGroot, I got this magazine from my wonderful friend Shirley of SimpleSew.
I didn't have enough of the grey and white plaid background fabric, VIP Exclusive "Rod & Reel", so 6 of the blocks are substituted with 3 different greys from Art Gallery Fabrics and 3 different Kona purples.
While taking this picture my kids ran off and started playing in the river, I quickly finished making photos and found them all wet.
For the charm squares inside of the purple squares I used Alison Glass's white on white Sun Prints prints, from another charm swap I was in, I also used her fuchsia corsage and bike path prints as some of the purple plus's.
Thank you for all of the encouragement in helping me make my 3rd Quilt Top, my husband has promised me a shopping trip to IKEA to get enough fabric for the back, the quilt top measure's at 54" x 67".

16 March 2014

Sunday Stash and Awesome Tote Swap Received

I have been harassing my post office for a few weeks, and early Friday morning they called all excited.  A package is here for you!
Oh goody, my package arrived.  I happily went to go pick it up.  But was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not the package that I had been patiently, okay not so patiently waiting for, instead it was my swap tote and the crazy part is she mailed it from Ohio USA on March 7 and arrived March 14th in the middle of Greece, that's what I am talking about folks, only 7 days, WOW!
Mary wrapped each item individually, so fun opening up each one, plus a homemade card (love those), that little present on the bottom left is my ALL TIME FAVORITE CANDY - HOT TAMALES!
She sent this beautiful Yuwa Live Life Collection, Japanese fabric, a half yard to add to my stash, the first Yuwa print for me to own.
Really lovely
If you want to watch a funny video.
Totally cracks me up, Not happy that the wrapped present is something for mommy AGAIN.
Okay she got excited later.
When she realized that Big TukTuk could fit inside.
The pocket is so awesome it has a fuzzy feel, love the texture.
Mary was so awesome she took my suggestions and made it a reality, I love the whole rainbow of colors and I like fussy cut fabrics, check this out.
The red has some japanese girls, the orange ducks and yellow corsage 
And isn't that the cutest little fox!

Everything she sent and made was rainbows,
All the things that were wrapped up.
She sent along 2 spools of Variegated Metallic Thread, is there any special way I should use these?  Do I need a different sized needle of different stitch length?
Also in the mail that day were these 2 books that I won from Sew Mama Sew during the "Little Gifts of Love" Contest.
Now I already own the Sew and Stitch Embroidery book, and a I signed copy one at that, given to me by my friend Shirley so I am going to give away this one during my big birthday bash in June.
The Stitched Blooms book is awesome and you will be seeing several items that I will make from this book, I also love the fact that it has a CD inside so you can easily copy the images from your computer and don't have to go to a print shop to get them enlarged, which is such a pain in my keester, I have to do that for 2 other books, so this will be such a joy to work with this one.  In fact I will only purchase books that have CD's with them for now on, it just makes everything so much easier.

Thank you so much Mary, you are AWESOME!
Linking to Sunday Stash, cause my stash just got bigger!