Friday, October 22, 2010

Quilts, Quilts!

I completed the "Life is a Stitch" quilt a while ago and sent to my mom for long arm quilting. I love piecing quilt tops, but can't stand the actual quilting together part! The pattern is from Kimberley Enimo's Jelly Roll Quilts and More book. Fun pattern, pretty easy to do. It used Honey Buns to make the quilt. I changed it a little to use up some of my strips and put blocks in the corners instead of solid red. If you look closely the fabric has scissors, little irons, pin cushions, I thought the sign went perfect with it!

This will be Zoe's wall hanging quilt! It was a lot of fun to make, I really enjoy doing applique. I adapted the pattern Annie's Garden from Material Obsessions. I only did the top half of the quilt pattern and then with help from my mom scaled it down 50%. It being a baby quilt/wall hanging, it didn't need to be huge! I used the dark purple as the trim because the upper wall it will be hanging on is pink! It should look great above her crib. I loved the overall look of the original quilt and thought it would go well with the fairy garden theme we have for her nursery. When I originally bought the book I wasn't pregnant yet. But when I saw the pattern I knew it would be above my daughter's crib one day! In the pattern she uses more flowers and hearts. I took out the hearts and a few flowers from the original pattern to add the fairy and mushroom houses. Even better I have lots of left over fabric to make a plush lady bug, mushroom house, and flowers!

I am 31 weeks and can't wait for December to get here! I'm starting on making Christmas presents this weekend for the homemade touch. That and when the time gets closer I will be so big I don't want to do Christmas mall shopping!

For the locals, I will be selling at this year's Atomic Holiday Bazaar! I went as a shopper last year and couldn't believe the indie talent. This year I am a vendor and will be huge! Come out to it if you're around the area, it's our biggest indie craft show!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

This past weekend was the opening of the "Six degrees of Kevin Bacon" show at The Bricks in Ybor. This was another project that took a long time I was keeping secret. I didn't want anyone to know I was making the Great Gonzo! The show contained 18 artists making portraits of famous actors/ characters that can be tracked back to Kevin Bacon. Most actors can be tracked back in three or less moves, but we had to come up with six moves exactly.

If you are interested, The Great Gonzo was in “The Muppet Movie” with Steve Martin who was in “Sgt. Bilko” with Dan Aykroyd who was in “Sneakers” with Robert Redford who was in “The Sting” with Paul Newman who was in “The Color of Money” with Tom Cruise who was in “A Few Good Men” with Kevin Bacon.

While I was making Gonzo, I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted. I was first going to make him in his caper outfit that he gets shot out of the cannon with. But doing some research and Muppet Show watching I realized he actually didn't do that that often. He was usually wearing a suit. I found a photograph of Gonzo in a maroon suit almost in a 'Kramer' pose. I thought this would be perfect! Jason (my husband) had the brilliant idea to add the chicken feathers around himdue to his love of chickens.

When I finished Gonzo, I was happy with him but not 100%. I was afraid he would look 'crafty' compared to the other fine artists that were accepted into the show. Well apparently I had nothing to worry about! Gonzo sold the day of the show, even before the opening, in the the middle of the afternoon! While at the show I sat in an area where I could watch my piece, partly because I was afraid someone would bump his nose, but kept seeing great reactions to him. People smiled, laughed, and kept saying how much they loved it.

Apparently I am doing something right!
Gonzo with his magical red "sold" sticker. My husband and I only stayed to 10 pm, and at that point were the only two that sold! Below is his piece which sold while we were there.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quilts, Dolls, and Baby!

I have been slowly creating more plush items, but a few other projects took priority. Since the wedding has now occured I can finally show off the wedding quilt I made for my husband's cousin! The pattern is called "Fandango" and in the orange borders and backing are little love birds. It turned out amazing but took way too long!Next I received the wonderful order from the Florida Museum of Women Artists! I was able to make 10 cats very quickly, but the quilted dolls took a bit more time. Here are the finished 8 in their color varieties!Since then I have just completed a piece for the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" show at The Bricks in Ybor. The show isn't until September 24th so I'm not revealing it yet! Since I was doin all of these projects I wanted to get back to sewing something for my upcoming little girl. Here is her Christmas bunting, hat, and matching stocking! Let's hope she is here before Christmas! 25 weeks down!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Florida Museum for Women Artists

This past week I received an order for 20 dolls from the Florida Museum for Women Artist's gift shop. Check them out, it looks like a wonderful museum I wish I lived closer to go take a peek! Here are the first ten cats!
They have also asked for ten quilted dolls, which two are completed so far!
Everything is going great in Babyland! Baby girl is currently 22 weeks 5 days. Energy comes and goes, and have started the wonderful side effects of pregnancy swelling! This picture was taken at 18 weeks. We had out first baby shower last weekend in NY and received tons of goodies! There are just too many cute baby things that come in pink!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fatty Pennies!

After a few months of hard work, my first pattern booklet has been released! Please check it out!
Fatty Pennies is for sale at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nursery Fun!

Ever since I found out I was pregnant at the end of April, my brain has been on everything baby! Well of course, I know. But I will say my plushies took a little back seat for a while but hopefully will start up again this month. I wanted to share some of the items I have made for little Zoe when she makes he appearance this December!

The first is this giant Z! At our wedding we had giant paper-collage letters at the entrances to the church. An 'E' on my side, 'J' on Jason's side, and an 'A' in the middle. I thought it would be perfect to continue the letters by making one for her nursery.
Next I was on a bib kick. At this point I hadn't bought anything yet but was itching to make something. I found a real easy bib tutorial online and bought the designs from Urban Threads. I know she won't need these for a real long time, but couldn't resist!Making the bibs from scratch took a bit of time. So next I went out and bought a ten pack of terry cloth bibs to embroider on instead. My husband is in gaming so I decided to make one that spoke to him!

Next I have a few onesies to finish and then I really want to work on her baby quilt. Although, I do have a wedding present I need to finish first. Grr, I want to make more baby stuff!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Big News!

So for the past two months I will admit I have done next to nothing on my blog, for my shop, and even very little sewing. And here is why: We found out we were pregnant at the end of April and were beyond thrilled and excited! The past 8 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions, as I'm sure it will be to come! I have had such little energy that I am sad to say I haven't made a plush since the beginning of April! In April I was tired all the time and had no idea why, until we checked this out!

May led to our first ultra sound where we saw our little blob and found out we were due Dec. 23rd. Because of sweet baby this will be our first Florida Christmas! May was very tiring and exhausting, falling asleep by 9 pm. Hey, I would sleep any chance I got.

June has been great. I am finally getting energy back, and even though I haven't sewn any plush yet I made four embroidered baby bibs, couldn't resist! We also had our second ultra sound last week. It was the NT Scan to check for Down's Syndrome which everything turned out fine. And lucky us had such a clear scan that we found out we are having a Baby Girl! Just what I always wanted, our little dream coming true! She was bopping along in there, waving, and I couldn't feel a thing. Very bizarre. We also got bumped up two days, to Dec. 21st, my husband's birthday. He is thrilled.Today marks Week 13 Day 3. Super-Grandma is coming down tomorrow for a week filled of shopping and sewing, it will be a great start to vacation!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In the news & Atomic Happenings!

Last Friday's Art After Dark was a great event, and it even got me into the local TBT - Tampa Bay Times! Thanks TBT! I really appreciate you posting my shop link, let's hope it leads to sales!

More good news, I have been accepted to the Atomic Holiday Bazaar in December! It's a long way away, but so far my first scheduled show. So excited! I went last year to shop and saw amazing artists and a huge turnout. I will only be doing a table to help keep cost down so I must concoct more vertical displays. I think I will work on more wall art too, they are so cheery! Check out Atomic's blog for more info!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Embroidery Pin Holder and Art After Dark

Today I decided to make myself a little pin holder. I have started accumulating sewing pins for events and memberships I have joined. Instead of leaving them lying around, I created this quick rainy afternoon project to hold them! The doll is from Urban Threads, 20,000 stitch count! She turned out adorable!

I want to thank everyone who came out Friday night for the Art After Dark event at the Tampa Museum of Art. It went great and we had lots of fun! Here are some pictures from the event.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wall Art

For the month of April the below two pieces are being shown and are for sale at the Tampa Artist Emporium. I love making plush monsters but had the idea of plush collages of sort. Painting with fabric we could call it. Well, whatever we call it, they turned out fabulous!Each piece is 16" x 20" fabric stretched around canvas. My lollipop one was my first doodle and I still love it!
Big, big show this Friday night at the Tampa Museum of Art! Can't wait!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Heads and Pictures

Hi there! In a few weeks I will be exhibiting at the Tampa Museum of Art, Art After Dark :Cause an Effect show. This is a pillow I made for the event! I will be donating a portion of my proceeds to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

I have never made such a large pillow before! It's 26" x 26". The back is a white fleece.

After I brought the pillow back inside I thought my rocking chair looked funny in the backyard so I started having fun taking pictures for a bit. It's spring! the bird are back, the lizards are back, and I even saw the blasted black snake - eek!
This is my favorite corner of the backyard. The fence is falling over, in the summer their are vines all over it, and it has a good view of the neighbor's tree.
Wiley was helping me take pictures as well. He wanted me to see what was on the other side of the fence. I didn't see anything, but two houses over someone does own some loud birds!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Schmancy Plush You Olympic Challenge!

I completed my submission for the Plush You Olympic Challenge today! I was assigned the 'Made Up Sport' category and at first was a little nervous about it. But after some brainstorming with my husband about winter sports for Floridians, we created the "Snowbirding Biathlon." Read on for the rules!

Welcome to the Snowbirding Biathlon!

To qualify for the Snowbirding Biathlon the participants must:

1. Reside at least six months of the year in the New England Coastal area.

2. Reside in the winter months in the coastal areas of sunny Florida!

3. Wear a penguin suit.

Snowbirding Biathlon Regulations:

Round 1- Carving on the Water

Participants must complete a round of carving on their surfboards, with at least three turns before hitting the beach. The more turns before reaching the beach will reside in higher points. The participant will be wearing the penguin suit to add difficulty for balance and turns on the board. If the participant falls off their board, they are disqualified for the round!

Round 2 – 50 yd Timed Waddle

Once participants reach the beach, they must sand their boards and race in a 50 yd penguin waddle across the beach. The waddle winner will be competing against the time runs of the other participants. Runners will continue to compete in the penguin suit, adding difficulty to the waddle. Deductions will be made for falling over during the waddle.

The participant with the best score of water carves and run time will be the winner!

Bonus points awarded for the following:

1. Squawking like a penguin during the race.

2. Oldest Snowbirding competitor.

3. Dismounting from the surfboard in a penguin dive.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tampa Bay Sewing & Quilting Expo

This past week my mom and I went to the Tampa Bay Sewing & Quilting Expo. It was a blast and I learned a lot of new techniques and made some great projects. Oh, and let me add almost all of these projects are now on my UFO list. Three hours for a class is just not enough!

My first class was with Karen Pharr, entitled "Zany Zinnias." This class opened my eyes to new forms of quilting. I always see quilts with straight lines, blocks, strips, etc. Zany Zinnias let us create more of an artistic quilt. We used applique to create the zinnias. The original format we were following had the zinnias floating in space. I decided to add stems so they appeared to be growing. This piece still has a lot of work to go, including finished the flowers and then quilting and binding. It was a great start to the class weekend!My second class was "Purrfect Fun with Kitty Claudine." I have always wanted to try a "Melly & Me" pattern but never got around to ordering one. This class included the pattern and materials to make the cat. Again three hours is not enough, but she will be finished eventually! Reading through the pattern gave me some ideas on how to complete and finish my pattern. For example in the pattern the designer had you hand stitch on the ears at the end. For me, the less hand stitching I have to do, the better! I added the ears in when we sewed the bodies together. The class was taught by Colleen Casey, who runs the Some Art Fabric internet store. Great person and great fabrics! I shopped at her booth at the expo, but more on that later.

This year my mom and I decided to add night classes to our list. We tried to get in as many classes as possible! My first night class was with Allen Smith from Keep Me In Stitches. He was a great guy, whose store donated the use of Janome sewing, embroidery, and felting machines for the expo and classes. In his class we use three different machines to create this felted purse.

I enjoyed the class so much I got an early birthday present from my mom! A brand new felting machine! But sorry Allen, were Pfaff girls. We are loyal customers of Tess's at Scrap and Sew. The machine is just so pretty, the Janome version doesn't have a butterfly! I foresee felted monsters in the future!
Day 2 - woke up exhausted but so excited for more classes! My first class was with Nelly Vileikis to create her "Small Whirligig" pattern. The pattern we used was a miniature of her larger pattern. The pattern was pretty simple to make, and again without enough class time I wasn't able to add the 'whirligig' part. At each point is a pocket, and imagine these pockets slightly stitched over to create more of a curve. That way the pinwheels will appear to be in motion. While doing this pattern I had a great idea result from its making! Each point triangle is folded over to create a pocket. Monsters can have pockets!
In the afternoon I had my least favorite class of the weekend. The class was well taught and many of the other students enjoyed it, but it wasn't what I expected at all. The class was called "Mixed Media Meets Machine Embroidery." To me I expected playing with different types of fabrics and adding embroidery designs. I didn't expect a pillow out of it. Going back on the site I see an image that looks exactly like what I created, so shame on me I guess! The class was fun and I will more than likely give it to my husband's grandmother for Christmas. I did learn you could curl fleece, how cool is that! And besides, unbeknown to me, my faith in the instructor Pam Damour will be completely fulfilled in a class on Saturday.
For my second night class, mom and I not knowingly, signed up for the same class! That of course made it extra fun. The class was "Mixed Media Journal Quilt" with Kim Montagnese. This class was a lot of fun, we started the quilts with stamping a saying we had brought with us. My mom did a cat saying and I chose a quote from the Cheshire Cat! WE also used iron on transfers from vintage photographs. I found this moon girl and thought she just looked extremely out there! The angry eye on the moon was a pure happy accident occurring after I transferred the image. Next will be quilting, a fun binding and fun holder. Mom plans on adding some cat toys to her holder. What would a mad person have, a mad hat perhaps?
On to the final day, day 3. At this point I can't wait to be able to sleep past 6:30 am (morning classes start at 8:30) but also sad that it's the final day.

The first class was with Debby Kratovil teaching "Coffee Filter Fans." This was a bring your own machine class, and luckily mom had a class with her right after mine where she needed to bring it too. This was my first attempt at paper piecing. Her technique using coffee filters broke down into such easy steps, I found it very easy to accomplish! I was a little sad to add the points to the fans, never have I had such good points before! She gave us a pattern to use with these to create a 'Drunkard's Path' quilt, but I see crazy lollipops instead!
My last class of the expo was by far my favorite, and again as I mentioned, refueled my faith in Pam Damour. This class was called "Thread Painting" and was exactly what I had hoped for. I have always wanted to try thread painting but never experimented with free motion before. The class started a little hectic due to confusing/conflicting schedules, no fault to Pam. But once we got started I was hooked! She gave us options of flours to paint onto fabric. There was an assortment, one of which was daises in a vase. As soon as I saw it, my brain screamed "Vangogh!!" Since I knew I wasn't yet comfortable with free motion, I could make my base painting layer much looser to fit with my thread style. The painting as rather fun, we used Fantastix applicators that I have never used before instead of straight brushes. I used a yellow, blue, and red to create the base fabric print. Then after drying we went to sewing machines and did free motion on top of the painting. I started with the vase first to get in to the motion, since I knew it was the most controlled line I wanted. Then I kept switching thread colors and went to town! I have one layer left of a bright orange to add a bit more highlight. Again this being a class with Pam, her use of the fabric was to then create a pillow. But me, no way! I'm framing this baby. This is too cool to be a pillow I'll never use. I just adored this class and want to do more like this!
So after all the classes, it was time to shop at the vendor's in the expo. What fun! I got a lot of precut fabric from Some Art Fabric's booth, a dog Christmas jelly roll quilt kit from The Gypsy Quilter. I got Amy Butler's Liverpool pattern, fabric to make it, a book on needle felting, and a most surprised find "Quilting with the Muppets!" Who knew!!

All in all it was a fantastic three days and I must thank, thank, thank my mom for helping it happen! After this rough last year, with out her support I would not have been able to go or gasp, shop! Love you mom!