Saturday, September 12, 2015

Oh you know, projects and stuff

It's been awhile since I've posted anything "personal" so I thought I'd come by and show you all what I've been doing lately. I know I've been quieter than usual over on Instagram, but I have been busy working on lots of little things or just spending time with The Roo. Time well wasted, either way, right?

I don't even remember where I was when I took this picture, I just remember that I thought it was hilarious how they all seem to be running for the nearest bathroom to change that baby. I mean, look at the stick figure dad, that baby STINKS! Ha!

We rescued Nelson the Wonderhound from the Charleston Animal Society in July.

I went to Cincinnati to teach a class on my Betsy Travel Bag.

I got to hug my friend Kara in person while I was there.

I started retreading the Outlander series for the fifth time. Man, I love those books!

Made blueberry jam...
Candied jalapeƱos...
And a loaf of Cinnamon Brown Sugar Banana Bread all on the same day.

Took this girl to get her back-to-school haircut done.

Sent her back-to-school (first grade!) looking like the sweet princess that she is.

I celebrated by making a new dress for her:

I made a block for my friend Kristin's Love Wins quilt project (and lost a few Facebook friends and/or IG followers by participating in the celebration of equality. But I'm fine with that!)

Then I whooped and hollered when
79 year old Vince showed off his first quilt top and sewing machine tote bag that he made completely by himself. He's seriously very, very cool. He wanted to learn how to sew, so he started taking private lessons...just look at that proud face!

I made a bunny block from Elizabeth Hartman's new quilt pattern using my most favorite Liberty of London print.

I showed Roo how to sketch...

I tested a new bag pattern, the Hexy Bottom Bag. I had enough for two, so I sent one to my friend in England and kept one for myself.

We said goodbye to one of our pets...
That's always a hard thing to understand, even if it was just a little frog. (Ignore the oogies of the bathroom, please.)

I stitched up a Lumberjack quilt top for the fabric shop where I work:

I designed, then made, a heart block to sew for my friend Penny, whose husband unexpectedly passed away recently.

I made an apron (tutorial coming soon):

I made some shelves:

We started our Friday afternoon cooking class:

The next day I pieced together this Strip N Flip quilt top:

And a few days later, I started a very simple Halloween quilt:

I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail at Fox Theater. (It was the first time I've seen it.)

And that's pretty much it. I have a huge to do list: dolls, a few quilts, Sew Caroline's Out and About Dress, and more. Maybe it's good that my little one is back in school, either way I will miss her all day!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Giveaway and Review: Artfully Embroidered - Motifs and Patterns forBags and More

It's been awhile since I've posted a book review, hasn't it? Well, today I have one to review AND give away!

By Naoko Shimoda
Interweave/F+W; $24.99

This is an unusual book in that it's not your typical, cutesy, whimsy-filled book on embroidery. Rather, this book focuses on quite the opposite: elegant, unusual, artistic and specific. 

There are 17 projects in this book, mostly bags, totes or purses, but that doesn't mean you have to be limited to that specifically. These designs would be beautiful on a handbag or an evening gown. You could even add them to a table runner and choose a few elements from the pattern to a set of dinner napkins for a sophisticated dinner at home. I love the goldfish in particular:
{isn't that beautiful?}

I love that the artist/author has stayed consistent with her style throughout the book. 

All the projects have a clean, simple look to them. What I mean by that is, she hasn't overdone anything. The bags start off with the basics, they're not terribly fussy:

The instructions to assemble the bag are quite clear. It's only when you add the embroidery do they look like they're complicated.

Thankfully, she also makes the embroidery process easy to follow with clearly illustrated and written instructions.
{suggested tools and supplied info}

Embroidery is an art form to me, and one that I especially enjoy doing. I have loved looking through this book and seeing a completely different way of practicing this art. 

I'm giving away my copy of the book. Please leave a comment below, telling me who inspires you the most. I will choose a winner on September 16, 2015. Check back on September 17 to see if I drew your name! 

Happy reading!