Friday, July 29, 2011

Groovy Nametag Holder

Have you heard about the Groovy Girls Clubs springing up everywhere? They were created by Terry Atkinson of Atkinson designs. Many quilt stores are starting clubs, using her curriculum. Lucky for me, The Quilt Asylum is one! Actually, they had a club last year but I wasn't able to fit it into my schedule. When they announced it was starting again, I jumped right on the bandwagon and signed up for all six months.

Monday night was our first meeting. What fun! The room was filled with returning Groovys and newbies like me. We got pattern tips, recipes, and a free pattern. The pattern was for this name tag holder..... I've been seeing the selvage trend growing & it was fun to try it out on a little project like this. At the bottom is a clear plastic pocket where you slide your name tag. Guess what I did? I slid the blank paper in to see if it fit. Then.... I stitched the binding on and STITCHED THE PAPER INTO THE POCKET! Geez. I could tear it out, but it would be messy. So I have cut another and will just slide it in front.

Here's the back of this sweet little holder...

If you look closely, you will see that there is a zipper pocket on each side (our instructions included an easy squeezy method to put in the zippers). There is also an open pocket on the back. Plenty of space for a drivers license, cash & credit card & even a cell phone & car key. What else could I possibly need?

I only changed up one thing from the pattern. It had you tie the ends of the "strap" (which is an extension of the binding) to hang it around your neck. I made mine a little longer and stitched the ends together. This way I can wear it as a sling bag.

If you have the chance to join a Groovy Girls club I say Go For It! Great fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


a little sneak peek of a project I'm working on..... and a suggestion! Create....

Monday, July 25, 2011

catching up

It's been a busy week here at ellyn's place. First of all, last week, Marie Bostwick paid a visit to The Quilt Asylum. Have you read Marie's books? You really should. We had a little sit-n-sew and Marie read us part of the prologue to her latest book, Threading the Needle. It's the fourth book in her Cobbled Courts series, a wonderful series about women, friendship, and life. Oh, and a quilt store.... of course! After she read, we had some time to visit, throw questions out, munch cookies, you know, the usual things we quilters do! I have met Marie several times now and she is just as sweet as can be. Thanks for coming, Marie, and thanks to the gals at The Quilt Asylum for always throwing a fun party!

While we were there, I was cranking on my July Birdie Stitches block. I'm so proud of myself for keeping up with these blocks! Block 7 done, and it makes me happy!

Ally has been sick with a sinus infection and Lexi is always by her side. Even sharing her special minky blanket with her....

So I have had time at home to make some special little presents for friends. A couple of pin cushions....

and my first mug rug, finished this morning....

And some other treasures that I will share with you soon! Back to the sewing room I go....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giveaway winner

Wow it's Friday already! How did that happen? This week has flown by. I've been busy in the sewing room & promise to show you some finishes soon. I've also been cleaning out my kitchen cabinets (don't know what got into me!)

So today is the day I promised to draw a winner for the "Trim Explosion Giveaway" As always I turned to the random number generator and the winner is:

True Random Number Generator Result: #2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

And #2 is my friend Melissa! Melissa said: "How did you know about that closet in my front hallway? LOL What a fun giveaway - count me in the draw! I know, I know, I don't sew but I use a lot of ribbon and lace on my layouts and I've been wanting to try some ric rac for a while (just haven't bought any)!Hope you're staying cool in your sewing room!" Well, Melissa, I am happy to help you out with some trim for your layouts. Speaking of which... you all need to go check out Melissa's awesome blog, she does amazing work!

Off I go to email Melissa & fill a box with treasures for her. Have a great day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Have you entered my 300th post giveaway? You have until Friday. You can do that by leaving a comment on this post.

Meanwhile, I've been zipping through projects lately. I made these place mats for Leigh Anne's friend Jordan, back in AZ: I really enjoy making place mats like this. I just stitch and flip the strips, using a quilt as you go method. I've made several sets, but none for me. Hmmm... I need to fix that soon!

Leigh Anne saw pictures of my new top and asked if I would make one for her. She liked the fabric too, and asked me to make it in the cobalt colorway. I ordered it from Fat Quarter Shop on Wednesday and it was here on Friday.... I love how prompt they are! It stitched up quickly, especially since I had made one before.

It's hanging in my nice clean sewing room, which will transform into a bedroom for Leigh Anne two weeks from today! It will be great to have her home for a little while.

So that's what I've been up to. What are you making?

Friday, July 15, 2011

300th post. I have a problem...

I haven't blogged in almost 2 weeks! There are several reasons for this. First of all, I've been very busy sewing, several different projects in various stages of completion. Second, I knew that the next post was going to be number 300 (this is it!), I wanted to do a giveaway but I wasn't sure what I wanted that to be. Third.... oh never mind. You get the picture. I'm full of excuses.

So this morning I went into my sewing room ready to tackle my growing list of projects and it was such a mess I couldn't even think straight. I started by cleaning up my work space. Then I sorted my projects, prioritized them, even finished one up that only took a few minutes! One upcoming project required some bias tape. Had not noticed that when I bought the pattern. Surely I have some bias tape somewhere in this room, right????

I opened up the box where I toss all things trimlike. Do you have one of those closets where you put orphan items? You know the closet I mean, the one where you open the door a crack, shove the item in and slam the door shut quickly so everything doesn't come tumbling out? You do have one, don't you? Please tell me I am not alone. Anyways, this is what my trim box is like. It's a rubbermaid container with a snap on lid. Whenever I have scraps of trim leftover from a project, I open the lid just a crack, shove the trim in and quickly close it. Extra ric rac? in it goes. Ribbon? in the bin. Cording? Bias Tape? Piping? Yup.

I have to tell you, when I opened that box this morning my newly cleaned sewing room became a jumble of tangled trims. Yikes! I sorted them all out (yes I did find the bias tape I needed!) Here's a sampling:

Cording, bias tape, piping.... Ribbon, lace, even some beaded trim...

And ric rac. I found MORE after I took this picture. What was I thinking when I bought all of this? Surely I had a purpose for it. If I did, it eludes me.

And then I had an epiphany! I went to the pantry and found an empty shoebox. One lucky blog reader who comments on this post will win as much trim as I can stuff into that box! Be careful when you open it! You might have a trim explosion like I did today! No, really, I promise to put them in there neatly! And who knows what else might wander into the box. Tell me what you see that would be useful to you.... are you a ric rac girl? polka dotty ribbon girl? I will do my best to accommodate you.

I'll leave the giveaway open until next Friday, July 22 then pick a random winner. So tell your friends (or, if you're greedy & want a better shot at it, keep it a secret!).

Now back to sewing I go. Hope to have some fun things to show you soon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

New top for me! Pattern review

I got a new shirt while we were on our trip. Well, no, not exactly. I bought a pattern and fabric at Spool in Philadelphia. And I MADE myself a new shirt when we got home! It's Kwik Sew 3848, a basic tank pattern with 2 views. I made view B, a pullover version. View A has buttons down the front, pockets (which I would probably leave off) and gathers in the back. I think I will make this again in view A. It was very clear & simple to make. I used a Kaffe Fassett fabric, very soft & lighter weight than quilting cotton.

Even though I measured carefully (both me AND the pattern pieces) the shirt ended up way too big. Sigh. Actually it is not terribly big in the side seams, but the armholes are very deep and the neckline is huge. I can't wear it without something underneath (thus the peach tank). Disappointing because the pattern cover did not indicate that the neckline is large. I am thinking it is sized properly for smaller sizes but for some crazy reason they assumed that if you make the size bigger you have to make the neckline & armholes enormous. Beats me. Anyways, I still like it & will wear it with the tank underneath. If I make it again I will add darts to the front before I do the facings. I think that will help!

Oh, I also chose to curve the bottom of the top instead of leaving it straight. It's a pretty long top, below the hip, so this looks nice.

On another note, I received these pictures of little miss Mackie, wearing her fourth of July dress & hairclip that I sent her. I thought I would share them with you on this festive day!

I just realized that this is my 299th blog post! Hmmm may have to dream up something special for the next one! Happy Fourth everyone. Enjoy your families & festivities.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sudoku quilt

It's finished! And I really love it.... The kit was a birthday gift from my pal Joellen. I had so much fun picking out the solid (stone, moda solid), figuring out the puzzle & stitching up the top. The squares are Central Park by Kate Spain. I decided to do a pieced back (loving that craze! Anybody else?) and, as you know, a scrappy binding. I think I like the back as much as the front!

I gave the same kit to my mom for Mothers Day & she says hers is done & hanging in her kitchen nook... but she won't tell me what colors she used! I have to wait until I go see her in August to see it.

This was great fun to do. Sorry it took me so long to get the pictures up. I teased you with the binding tips before our baseball trip. Believe it or not, I left the binding half done & finished it up after the trip! Not like me at all. Now all I need is some cooler weather so I can snuggle under my finished quilt. Not likely any time soon.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

time out for some Baseball!

Sorry if the creative posts have been a little lacking lately. I took some time out to take a trip with my guys! In celebration of Steve's High School graduation, hubby & I took him on a bit of an east coast baseball roadtrip! Here he is at Fenway in his new Red Sox hat.... We did squeeze in some historical sight seeing too. Lots of history on the east coast! We spent time in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia (saw all three city's teams play in their home ballpark). Then, we went up to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of fame

Here are the Red Sox playing at Fenway.

Anyways, not much crafting got done. I did finish these four hexi flowers on the road....

I know, pathetic, right? I have two excuses. 1) I am the navigator. It is difficult to navigate and sew at the same time 2) much of our driving was done at night and I couldn't see!

When we arrived home there was a package waiting from Lisa in Australia. Check out these goodies! I'm a lucky girl.

I had admired the pretty tea mug rug when she posted it on her blog, not knowing she was going to send it to me. Or maybe she sent it to me because I admired it? Geez, now I feel just a tiny bit guilty! Anyways, I love it and the fabric too! Thanks Lisa.

I also snuck into the most adorable little quilt shop in downtown Philadelphia. The girls at Spool were so friendly and their fabric & patterns were lovely! I picked up a shirt pattern & fabric. Hope to finish up my shirt tomorrow, then I will tell you all about it. Oh, and my quilt is finished too! I promise to share that soon.

Hope you all have gotten lots of sewing & crafting done lately! I'm working hard to catch up.