Saturday, December 22, 2012

blueEnergy Raffle Winners

blueEnergy beneficiary
I'm happy to announce the winners of the raffle.  I wish everyone who donated and participated could be winners, as it was really sweet of you to help support the work blueEnergy is doing.  But, only three can win the prizes here and they are:

Prize #1 custom clutch or zip pouch:  #7 Ash
Prize #2 custom clutch or zip pouch and charm packs: #9 LethargicLass
Prize #3 custom clutch or zip pouch and fat eight bundle of mirror dots:  #3 Marci Warren-Elmer

I will email the prize winners.  Thank you so very much to everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last Minute Gift Idea

Christmas is in FIVE days!!!  Had plans to make a whole bunch of things for the holidays, but time stuck up on ya?  Well if you need a last minute gift idea, I've got one for you!  Give the gift of light, hope and opportunity to children and families in need in Nicaragua by making a donation to blueEnergy.  Check out my post HERE for all the details about blueEnergy and the raffle where you can win fantastic prizes!  Now you can print out a gift card to give to your friends and family!

Download the printable Gift Card HERE.

You can make a donation by going to the campaign webpage HERE.

Or, you can make a donation via PAYPAL:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Gift of Light & Raffle!

My husband Mathias is the Executive Director of a non-profit he started called blueEnergy.  blueEnergy connects the most isolated poor to the renewable energy, clean water and sanitation services needed to improve their own lives.  They go where others won’t to help some of the hardest to serve.  They create lasting change along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, the poorest region in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Young beneficiaries of life-saving water filter in their one room home.
During the holiday season, blueEnergy runs their Gift of Light campaign.  As a non-profit operating where there is no governmental funding available, blueEnergy relies on individual donors to bring the very basic necessities of life to those desperately in need.  This year, their goal is to raise funds to help bring solar power installations to ten additional families in the community of Rocky Point. 

Young beneficiary admiring the solar panel that will bring him light and greater opportunity
I have personally seen the living conditions for most on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua where blueEnergy operates, and the tremendous impact that they are having.  People's health have improved dramatically with the access to clean water and cleaner energy and people are utilizing the energy to increase their education and financial conditions.  

Children studying in school at night because of new light
So I wanted to do something to help with their fundraising and outreach efforts with a little raffle on my blog. Which is where YOU come in.  Here's how it will work.  Each person that donates a minimum of $10 will be entered into the raffle. There will be 3 prize winners.     

Prize # 1:  Custom zip pouch or metal frame clutch.  Fabrics will be from my large stash, but I will work with you to pick fabrics to your liking.  Samples below.

Prize 2:  Custom zip pouch or metal frame clutch as above.  Plus: 2 Simply Color Charm Packs.

Prize 3:  Custom zip pouch or metal frame clutch as above.  Plus: One Fat Eighth Bundle of Mirror Dots.

Source Westwood Acres on Etsy.
Do you want to help support a great cause, and have a chance at winning great prizes?  Then all you need to do is go HERE to make your donation of at least $10.  Then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did (I will also verify with my husband before picking the winners).  Winners will be selected by  The raffle will end on Friday, December 21st at 6 pm. PST.  I will notify the winners that evening.  Handmade items will be made during the holiday break.  Prizes will be shipped the first week of January.

AND - your donation will be matched, so your contribution to the organization will be double!!!  AND you donation is tax deductible!!

Or, you can make your donation via PAYPAL:

And you can print out a gift card to give to your friends and family!

Download the printable Gift Card HERE.

Thank you.  And please, even if you can't donate, could you please help by spreading the word via facebook, twitter, IG, etc!

Our family in Nicaragua in May, 2012

Note, while the campaign website says it closes today, the donation page will be active through the end of the raffle, and donations will still be matched. I was a little late in putting this together!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hanukah Zip Pouches

This year, I wanted to give my family handmade gifts for the holidays. I have one mother (well really two, I'm adopted), and three sisters. I had made one of my sisters Anna's Open Wide Zip Pouch for her birthday, and she wanted more and everyone else wanted one.  So that was easy.  I made them assembly line style over two separate evenings, well in advance of Hanukah - not a last minute finish - rare, go me!  I love these pouches, I know I will be making many many more!

All lined up!

For my beautiful baby sister Pam, who just started college and joined Sigma Kappa.

For my gorgeous baby sister who loves her phone and is a super hip hairdresser.

For my beautiful crafty baby sister, who also likes to sew.

For my Mother, who likes red.

All in a few nights work, so much fun!  
First time I got to (remembered to) use my labels on bags I made.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend Toddler Quilt

So, on the ONE morning I ask my sweet hubby to watch the little guy so I could sleep in, he went in, said hi, then left for the bathroom, without removing my guy from the crib.  Can you guess what happened?  Yep, the little guy tried to go after his dad, and CRASH.  He fell out.  So that was the end of the crib for this worrisome momma.  So, we converted his crib to a toddler bed.  This called for a new quilt.  AND, I had been meaning to make him a new quilt for a long time so we could leave one at daycare rather than dragging it back and forth (i.e. forgetting it).

So, at  9 p.m. on a Friday night, I decided to use what I had, and try to make a quick quilt.  I knew I wouldn't have much time over the weekend cause hubby was out of town.  I decided to use flannel cause the other one he has is flannel and he loves the soft texture.  I called it quits at 3 a.m. that night, and at that point I had pieced the front and back, basted and started the quilting.

I didn't have time to get back to it until Sunday night, but I then finished the simple straight line quilting, and then sew on the binding by machine.  It was ready for the little guy in the morning.  He loved it!  Success!

 Of course, I had been dreaming/scheming of all the amazing quilts I could make him in my head and on Pinterest for a long time.  But, I just had to "get er done."  And I think it's simple but cute.

And I got to use my new label!  Didn't sew it on perfectly, but I love it.  

And here is the quilt on the bed with my guys special friends.

Monday, November 5, 2012

For the love of Echino

I love Echino.  Alot.  I have been collecting some here and there.  But a few recent sales have left me ordering like mad!  Just wanted to share some Echino news for you fellow lovers out there.

Attempting to organize my stash.
They new NiCo line is out and I love it, such bright and fun colors.  I got these (below) from Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics during her moving sale (that is now over, sorry).  But.... Jennifer from Brave Little Chicken is hosting an Echino layer cake (10 inch squares) swap, (check out flickr group here), if you are interested in getting a piece of the whole line at a great price (and no shipping or cutting on your part!).  This will probably fill up soon.

One of my favorite shops, Intrepid Thread, has some of the Decoro Line at a regular price of $16.95 per yard!  Julie has the best prices.  She also just got her retail space and is currently moving in, yay!  So she's having a sale, MOVE15 to get 15% off your entire cart for this week. Offer is good until Friday 11/9.   This applies to the whole store (website only, not etsy), including Ruby Star Shining!

Source Intrepid Thread

And, I just scored some more bicycles from an older line from Form and Fabric that were on sale for $14 a yard.  They also have $2.99 shipping, and also sell by 1/4 yards.

Source Form and Fabric
If you are looking for some older lines. I got a ton of stuff recently from Del Ray Fabrics.  They have lots of last year's line for only $10 a yard.  Note, they do rip and not cut their fabrics if that is a problem for you.

So, there you have it, lots of options for well priced Echino out there.  If you know of more, please, do tell!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Playing Store

When I was a kid, my sister and I would sometimes play "store."  We'd arrange our toys, make price tags, and have our parents come "shop."  It was fun.  Well, having a blog, and a "brand" is kinda like my grown up version of that game.  I will probably never have a real store, but I can still have blogger business cards and labels!  It's so much fun.  So, after a bad first run, I finally have my sew-in labels to match my blog and business cards.  I really like them (kinda wish they were a little bigger, but I have 300 so I'm stuck with these!).  I got them from World Wide Label on Etsy, after seeing Faith's and Megan's.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Perferred Palette Challenge

So, back at Sewing Summit, my new besties came up with the idea of keeping the fun growing by doing a monthly challenge.  The idea is that we have a partner pick a palette for us that is different from the one we normally use.  We get to make whatever we like, but we have to push ourselves to create with colors we don't normally use.

I get to pick colors for the lovely Shannon of Sew Your Own Way (LOVE her).  Her favorite colors are purple and orange, and she loves halloween fabrics.  She put together a mosaic of her usual/favorite palette:

Preferred Palette Challenge November 2012

So, with this in mind, I hit up the great color inspiration site Design Seeds.  So many amazing palettes to choose from.  But for some reason this grabbed me.


I think maybe because it was totally different from Shannon's usual style and because it reminded me of my trip to Istanbul, and I liked it!  The colors from this palette I chose was coral, cactus, mustard and pink.


And, because I really liked how MaLora did an inspiration collage for my colors on her post here, I searched google images to create one for Shannon.  I really love seeing the palette in action.  It's kinda like spring and fall's offspring!  


Have fun Shannon.  I'm really enjoying this challenge, stay tuned for updates on my fabric pull for the colors MaLora chose for me, this is definitely going to be a challenge!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mendocino Weekender

Well, you've seen it all over blog land folks, the famous Amy Butler Weekender bag pattern.  There have been some AMAZING ones popping up.  Check out my weekender pinterest board, such eye candy!  So, after coming back from Sewing Summit, I was down.  I missed my new friends, I missed the amazing creative, collaborative, energized environment.  I was in a slump.  So, I needed a fix.  A sewing fix.  

So, like any (i)rrational person, I decided to start a weekender bag.  It was just the rush I needed.  I was contemplating using my precious mendocino fabric, but was worried because (1) I only have a little; (2) I paid a fortune for it; and (3) I have only made a few bags.  I went back and forth.  I even texted Jennifer from Knotted Thread at some unreasonable hour (forgetting about the time difference) to get her sage advice.  As you can see I decided to go for it.  I'm kinda a go big or go home kinda gal, all or nothing.  I live at the extremes baby.

So as soon as the weekend after Sewing Summit came, I got to work.  I decided to do the quilt as you go method from Oh, Fransson.  I spent Friday night doing laundry and cutting out all my batting and canvas pieces and pulling out my coordinating stash.  I did a check in on Instagram to see if I should do just pink and plums or add the gold/yellow.  Overwhelming response was add gold/yellow.  Don't you just love this collaborative community!  Then on Saturday I was a piecing, quilting machine (for me).  I shamelessly let my son watch his favorite DVD in the morning, and then he took a 3 hour nap, jackpot!  

Sadly, Sunday was back to family and work duties.  It's been a busy work week.  And the pieces are just sitting on my dining room table taunting me.  I hope to get to spend a lot of quality time with this Weekender in progress this weekend!  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sewing Summit Recap

Wow, so .... Sewing Summit.  One word:  AMAZING.  Really, a dream come true for me.  While I may be new to sewing, blogging about sewing, etc. I am obsessed with it.  I have "met" so many amazing, talented, supportive and funny quilters and sewers on-line through twitter, IG and Flickr.  And thanks to Sewing Summit, I actually got to hang out with all of them ... live person.  It was like summer camp, so much fun!!!  So, what was it like?  Well ....

I got to shop for fabric with other fabric loving friends, which I had NEVER done before.  So much fun.  I also got to see some new fabric from Riley Blake that is coming out soon, that I MUST HAVE!.  I was pretty good and only bought 3 or 4 yards.  I am slow to unpack, so I haven't taken pictures of the loot yet!

I also got to meet the two British beauties Katy and Laura Jane.  They were sooooooooo nice, with adorable accents, and super fun to hang out with.

I also got to meet Kristina and Shannon and MaLora (not pictured), who immediately became my new BFF's.  Seriously a highlight of the trip.  I miss them soooooo much already.

And hang out with Shannon, Kristina and MaLora and drink wine, eat chocolate and talk about fabric, pretty dreamy right?

I also got to meet these uber talented quilting rock stars, Megan, Megan, and Jeni.

And finally meet Amy and Terri, more twitter and IG friends.  Amy gave me a Paul Frank watch and Terri bought me a beer.  Seriously, super sweet girls.  And talented.  I love Terri's Etsy Shop.

And, I got to see Katy's amazing swoon quilt, modelled by the snarky short girls Amy and Audrie (whom I was also super thrilled to meet, as she is even funnier and awesomer in person).  

And go to this fabulous mixer hosted by Amy and her Salt Lake City MQG.  The swag giveaways at that party was unreal.  I was so bummed we showed up late (we were sewing!) but Shannon won an amazing bundle of pinks from Pink Chalk Fabrics that she gave me, cause she's a rock star like that.

And I got to do hand stitching projects in the lobby in my PJ's with tons of other fun women.  Like I said, summer camp.  And I met a ton of other amazing people that I didn't get pictures of, you know who you are!

And, I got to see TONS of amazing handmade items, like this super cute pouch Amy had, and all the gorgeous weekenders that Laura and Amber and many others made.  I ordered the pattern, and it's on my to-do list.

Oh, and classes, let's not forget about classes (although it's really about the people!).   I got to take so many awesome classes.  I made a skirt, a scarf, learned new quilting techniques (like curves!), learned more about zippers and interfacing from the amazing Sara, learned about photography, and blogging.  Phew!  It was an exhausting few days, but worth every tired bone in my body.

I got delayed coming home (which was soo sad as I was dying to see my baby), so I made good use of the time, and made a few hexie flowers.

And then I got to come home to this adorable munchkin who turned 2 the day before (yes, mommy missed his birthday, but threw him a rocking Elmo party the weekend prior).

I can't wait for next year.  This year I was one of the lucky first 50 who registered and received a discount.  I am going to start training for next year's registration now, I can't imagine missing out!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tula Pink QAL: Hushabye Quilt

Tula Pink Sew Along
It's my turn on the fabulous Sew Sweetness Tula Pink Sew along.   Full details here.  I can't believe I was able to participate in something so epic!  I am a new quilter, but have fallen in love with Tula Pink and have tried to snatch up what I could of her existing and past lines (that a few shops luckily still had in stock).  I was assigned the Hushabye Pattern, a great pattern to show of Tula Pink's amazing creatures and designs with a little fussy cutting.  
I knew this pattern would be a perfect way to mix up some of Tula's fabulous lines.  I used Prince Charming frogs for the fussy cut features, and then mixed in some more Prince Charming, Plume, Parisville and some Birds and the Bees.  I just love how all the fabrics came together.

I stuck with the pattern.  The only modifications I made was that I used a different fabric for the large border triangles than the frog fabric and the pattern calls for using the same fabric.  Tula's pattern says this is an intermediate pattern.  I would agree.  There are a ton of bias edges to sew for the borders.  The  center part are just pin wheels made of half square triangles and set on point.  That's easy.  The borders though are all triangles.  I tried to use a ton of starch, and I still had some stretching problems (you can see that in the edges).  The border points also don't line up perfectly, but I'm OK with it, I'm still learning and this was by far the biggest and most ambitious quilt I have done so far.  But the pattern was really clear and easy to follow, so those of you with more experience should have no trouble at all, and those of you still learning like me can take comfort in knowing the pattern walks you through everything and even if you don't sew it perfectly, you'll still end up with a great quilt top.

I love how the quilt top turned out and can't wait to finish it.  I'd love to try it again once I get a little better at bias edges and triangles.  Thanks Sara for including me in this great blog hop.  P.s. please excuse the poor pictures, I finished just in the nick of time, and so had to take pictures in bad light, while windy, with no one to help!  Ooops.  Next time I know to add in a little time in case (when) the photo shoot doesn't go well.
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