Saturday, June 27, 2015

Things I Want to Make

I am writing this list now to get it out of my head and for a reference to come back to later. There are so many things I want to make and my mind is always swirling.

First, I've already made my son a monogram wall hanging... so I have to make three more for my three daughters.

Second, my father asked for a quilt. I am thinking lap quilt with some kind of golf theme to it. Not sure where to even look for golf themed fabric but I will find some! ** edited to add: Just kidding. I have decided to go with a Megaman quilt since I searched online and could not find golf themed fabric that I like.

Third, my little brother asked for a quilt. Blue and black he said. Twin size or lap size is my plan, no pattern idea yet.

I bought fabric for the back of the Vortex Quilt, so I can finally finish that. Picture is of a single block, there are four in my quilt. Pattern is from Elizabeth Dackson's Craftsy Class.

These are the only things that are constantly on my mind. So these are the things I need to be working on after I finish my secret quilt.

** edited to add: First things first, I found a pattern for a backpack and have been dying to make one to see if I can do it, so I will be making my daughter a school backpack... one of a kind, of course!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Working on... a mini quilt.

That's about all I can tell you. And this is about all I can show you.

I have about a month to finish this. Or just under a month before it has to be mailed out. I've never had a deadline before and it's a little stressful. I need a total of 24 blocks but I've only managed to complete 11 blocks in the last week. I was busy with the markets and summer vacation just started for the kids, but now I really need to focus on this.

It only takes me about a half an hour to complete one block. I should definitely be able to finish it in time even with the sporadic sewing time. We will see.

I think you'll see the full and finished quilt in September. Make sure you stick around because I will also be giving away some fabric at that time!!

That's about all I have to say so I will leave you with this, the reason why I love living in Northern New Hampshire :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What a disaster.

I wasn't going to talk about this because I was so very upset, angry, disappointed, embarassed and humiliated. But after some Googling this morning I realized I am not the only person this has happened to, and they all shared what happened, so I guess I will share too.

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the local Farmer's Market. Or it seemed like a beautiful day. I got there early to set up which was important because my 15 year old daughter was at work and not there to help me, my only help was my short and clumsy 11 year old son. He was such a champ though, I love him so much and appreciate all his help yesterday.

So at the North Fryeburg Community Market there was some wind and I had a gallon of water tied to each corner of the tent, and except for my cardstock price cards nothing blew away and the wind wasn't a problem really, even while it was lifting tents around me, mine stayed put. I fixed my price cards knowing what had happened and not wanting it to happen again. But I guess that wasn't enough.

Yesterday was crazy windy. I mean... I didn't even really notice the wind all day until we got there. Let me start by saying: I left before the Market even started, it was that windy and I was that frustrated and anxious.

Setting up the tent took much longer than I thought without my daughter's help. My son was very helpful but he's short so he could only do so much and we had not done a test set up together. I just thought I could direct him as we were setting it up. It was hard because the canopy kept trying to blow away before we even had it secured to the frame. But eventually we did get it up... only to have it lift off the ground. My water was still in the car so he ran to get it, but he can only carry two gallons at a time. Tent stakes? Yeah... comfy in their stake bag at home on my dining room table. Ugh. Even with the water the wind was still too much for the tent. So instead of just leaving the water sitting on the ground (tied to the canopy using the strings that came with it) I wrapped and wrapped around the legs so that the water was up off the ground. So that kind of worked.

But then we set up the tables... you know... quilts, especially small quilts, candle mats, etc, they are very light weight, which yes meant every time I put anything on the table it quickly blew away. My dress form blew over four times before I left her laying on the ground. One wind gust was so strong it lifted this plastic basket I had off the table and across the lawn. It's not even really a light weight basket, I don't understand how that happened.

Anyway, so I have anxiety. I have had anxiety for years and I can only take so much before I start to full on panic. Which is what I did. I started to panic. I took down the tent but only after I called my husband completely freaking out because my brain quit working and I just kept saying "I don't know what to do, I don't even know what to do right now, I don't think I can take down the tent by myself." Ha. I did though, take it down by myself.

So we left before it even started. Nobody else was having problems but they all had heavier items than me. Soaps, vegetables. Heavy enough that the wind wasn't taking it.

It was a huge disappointment. I was very upset. So yeah. Wind. I told my husband I am never doing another outdoor show again. Ever. He said I'm being ridiculous and he's proud of me for even trying, etc. He was very sweet, and very supportive and if it wasn't for that conversation we had, the things that he said, I probably would give up and never try again.

I need to come up with some way to weigh down my things. How do you weigh down candle mats? Or burp cloths? Mug rugs? A dress form?  I really have no idea but I have one week before the next Farmer's Market to figure it out.

And I got invited to a huge show in August which I would love to do, it's not just a market... the kids will have so much fun, there will be live music and a petting zoo among other things. I need to figure this out.

I refuse to quit. I refuse to give up. Okay so I had a bad day. It's not the end of the world, it could have been worse, I read where glass blowers had all of their globes smashed at a show because of the wind, I didn't lose anything. I read where rain storms ruined paper goods, nothing of mine got ruined.

So it could have been worse. I will figure this out.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Community Market.

Today I participated in my first craft fair... which was really called a "community market". It was hosted by a church in a Maine town 30 minutes away. The fee was small ($10) so I decided it would be perfect for my first time.

We used every minute of the one hour set-up time. And there were things I wanted for my booth but didn't have time to make in the weeks prior to the market (for instance, curtains and a back wall panel). And there were things I did last minute that actually came out okay (the table covers were done two days ago). There were also things I did as an afterthought that I wasn't happy with (my sign, for instance).

I bought four gallons of water the yesterday to weigh down the tent. I wasn't sure if I would actually need any extra weight since my tent is pretty heavy on it's own, but I had read online that it was a good idea and last minute gallons of water was all I could come up with. Which, it turned out, was a good thing, the tent next to mine was not weighed down with anything and when a huge wind gust blew through their tent came up off the ground (they staked it down after that). But mine stayed put.

A fabric curtain would have been great here!!!!

I decided to raffle a handmade basket with some handmade stuff in it.

This is one of those closet things we had, which we had bought when we had a tiny closet, you're supposed to hang pants on the bottom and tops on the top. It's a closet rack. But I took some shower curtain rings, ones that are hooks that stay open, and used those to hang some bags and purses. It worked out great.

Clothesline tied to the tent and clothespins worked great too, for hanging quilts and reusable shopping bags.

And of course my mannequin or whatever they're called had to come along with us.

It is a good thing I don't have more stuff because my car was packed. I mean... really packed, and the poor kids were crammed in there with all that stuff. The kids did well though, not a single one of them misbehaved which surprised me since we were out there at 7am to setup and didn't pull out of there until 2:15pm. It was a very long day. I have a horrible sun burn on the left side of my body, but I made way more money than I thought I would, which was great.

One thing I enjoyed was people touching and looking and commenting on my stuff, especially my quilts. Because here on the blog people don't say much. It was nice to get all those compliments.

Four days from now is the local Farmer's Market, which is much shorter (4-7 as opposed to 8-2) plus it's right down the street, and right next to the park, so it should be a lot easier than this one and more fun for the kids. Plus it's during a time when my husband can help out. I am excited to see how we do at this one.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sewn: a lot of little things.

Since I finished the Zoe art quilt I have made:

These five notepad folders to start. They came about because I always keep a notepad in the diaper bag and the pages always get crushed and folded and it really irritates me. Now I can keep one in there and the pages will stay straight and neat. Pattern here.

I made some simple tooth fairy pillows out of scrap felt and fabric. I don't know why, I just wanted to make something quick and easy that I don't normally make.

I also finished another fabric basket. Tutorial here.

Oh! I almost forgot... I also made a bunch of coffee cup cozies and some cardstock cups to hold them. Cozy template here (no instructions) and printable cup template here.

I also made myself a vendor apron with a zipper for money and a few small pockets (pattern coming soon?).

Well... It seemed like all I've been doing is sewing non-stop but now that I've put it out there, it doesn't seem like much for 9 days of work... Hmm.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Finished! Zoe, an art quilt

In case you missed it:   Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five

Here is the face before I was finished with it. I had uploaded a copy of the photo to a Facebook group and asked for a few suggestions :) They were very helpful, quilters are great.

Close up of the leaves:

Close up of the feet on day six, prior to finishing:

Flower close up on day seven, final day (TODAY!):

And here is the finished quilt!! I really hope my cousin likes it. I've never done an art quilt by request before.

Again here is the original photo:

And don't forget, if you're interested in learning how to make a quilt from a picture like this, I learned this technique from a Craftsy class called "Pictorial Techniques with Machine Applique". I can tell you it is definitely worth the money.. #ad

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Zoe, day five.

In case you missed it:   Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four

So first I thought I would share a little video of me doing machine applique in my small sewing machine with a very small throat. So if you haven't done a pictorial quilt like this you can get an idea of the time it takes when you're stitching down your fabrics. It involves a lot of foot lifting and quilt turning.... (forgive the video, this was my first time trying to record myself sewing, next time I think I will use my Nikon camera instead of my old video camera... for better quality, but you get the idea.)

Well after all that I found a solution to what I felt was a problem.. an unbalanced quilt. I added some flowered fabric down on the left corner of the quilt and while it's not perfect I do believe it helps a lot.

Here is the before and after:

 Anyway, after adding that and stitching it down, I just added my batting and backing and starting quilting it. I have a long way to go but here is what I managed to get done yesterday working with black thread on Zoe, I still have to go in with brown thread and do more work....

As I have said before, I learned this technique from a Craftsy class called "Pictorial Techniques with Machine Applique", which is currently 25% off. I can tell you it is definitely worth the money, especially on sale. #ad

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fourth day of work.

I haven't touched this quilt in a week, I was busy with the kids and busy around the house and busy shopping for my daughter's FIFTEENTH birthday!! It is very surreal that I have been a mother for fifteen years, it certainly doesn't seem like it's been that long. And when she asks me sometimes "hey when I move out can I take that table over there?" I realize she is growing up and can't wait for her own place, and that is only three short years from now. It makes me sad.

Anyway, so my fourth day of work on this quilt has me here. I did finish piecing it.

The face was full of small pieces so some of them will end up being raw edge applique. But I know that will be fine, some of the pieces on my Getting Along quilt are also raw edge. You do what you gotta do to make it work!

Since I knew some of them would be raw edged I did the entire face in one color and then added the raw edge layers on top of that, like this:


So here is the pieced top, ready for stitching. I am going to be 100% honest and say: I do not like it. I should have put the flower elsewhere, not directly behind Zoe. I have no clue how to fix this, I think I will add some smaller flowers around her. I don't know. I have a few ideas.

Zoe herself, especially her face, is going to require a lot of detail stitching to make it look right, but I'm not too worried about that. I'm sure that will come out fine, it's really just... I don't know, I feel like with the sunflower directly behind her the quilt isn't really balanced. But I am determined to fix that.

I ironed some stabilizer to the back and then started zig zag stitching all the pieces in place with clear thread. I didn't get everything stitched down, hopefully I get that finished today. This is my least favorite part of the process haha. But it is necessary and worth it in the end.

It really amazes me every time I make a pictorial quilt like this... when you peel back your freezer paper it all looks neat but kind of... flat. And what a difference quilting makes in the end. It is a pretty amazing transformation.

As I have said before, I learned this technique from a Craftsy class called "Pictorial Techniques with Machine Applique", which is currently 25% off. I can tell you it is definitely worth the money, especially on sale. #ad

In case you missed it:   Day One, Day Two, Day Three.