Return to Blogging

wow! it’s been two years since my last blog post?! i can hardly believe that…

since i intend this blog to be more crafty, i will save most of the details for my personal blog. but i will share this: about two years ago, the hubby and i became licensed foster parents. and kids came along! i have stitched and created in those two years, but never quite got to the blogging-about-it stage.

we’re still licensed foster parents, but i think i can make time for blogging again! 😀

let’s do a little catch up with some projects i have in the works.

a couple of years ago, i began a quilt for my sister Annie, from fabrics that she bought me for my birthday. (I can’t remember what the fabric line was called, but i’ll look it up and update the post…) I pulled a few other fabrics to match from my stash and used this pattern to create a gorgeous quilt top. i don’t think i bought a pattern for this (being a poor college student at the time) but i definitely had inspiration from somewhere. (i’ll look for it!) at long last (maybe a year later) i finally was quilting it. long story short, i was almost done with my quilting when i looked on the underside… it was all wrong. the top tension was too loose. so i’m currently unpicking to restart the quilting from scratch. hopefully another year won’t pass before i’m done!


i got back into some cross stitching in the past few years. this design came from an issue of Cross Stitcher magazine. it was on the cover, and i spotted it one day while browsing the online store on my iPad. it was super easy and quick with only 6 colours of floss to use. i stitched mine on some belfast linen.

Deer Tree

i’m nearly done with my Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31) piece. it’s taken a while, simply because there are so many colours, and i’m starting and stopping with each colour really often. i’d love to have this done before we get too far into the autumn.

Proverbs 31

i finished this guy just in the nick of time (no pun intended) for christmas 2014. i had him on the go for about 2-3 years. every time i got it out, the hubby would say “are you actually going to have this done by this christmas??” after that stitching session, i’d put it away, and lament that it would take so long, and i’d have trouble pulling it out again. well, last autumn, i got my crazy stitching frenzy on. i had an idea for this one. i would frame it, with a nice thick matt, and start a new tradition: whomever is in our home on christmas day, as a guest, gets to sign the matt. well, my family (momma, dad, brother from UAE, two sisters & bro-in-law from UK) were over for christmas, and they got to sign it. that was incentive enough for me to finish up!


this next one is my current knitting project. it’s a shawl i found via pinterest, called Campside. i have a few friends and acquaintances around me that knit beautiful shawls, and i had never knitted one before. in fact, i haven’t knitted anything that has segments like this. it’s easier than i thought. the eyelets get closer together as the shawl lengthens, and the stitches keep on increasing! i’m so excited for this one, and hope i can get it done before the cooler weather sets in.


and just a few things from my to-do list… i’ve been wanting these books for ages, and already have a couple of projects picked out to try. the farmer’s wife quilt does look daunting to me (considering my past record with quilting….) so maybe we’ll revisit THAT in 5 years! i also have my eye on Farm Girl Vintage being in my near future.

To Do List

these all seem like a lot for me to be doing right now, but i haven’t shared in a while. i’m finally in a rhythm. in fact, i’m getting so organized, i have plans for listing things in my etsy shop. in fact, there’s a few items in there now. i can’t wait to get started with some of my other listings! keep checking back with me!


a note for my Flickr paper piecing bee…

hi there flickr friends!

thanks for stopping by to take a look at my notes for our September block. I hope it helps some of you understand what i’d really like from you! I promise i’m not high maintenance… 😉

so I’ve decided to go with this block I happened across on Pinterest.

hexagon block

isn’t it cute?! anyway, I had a little tester with the downloadable paper pattern, and it wasn’t exactly impressive. I have two problems:

#1 – I totally clashed fabrics so you can’t see the hexagon, but it’s what I had to work with! I probably should have made the dark fabrics form the hexagon rather than the star. but I learned a lesson!

#2 – the star I made came out kinda elongated.

Photo Aug 28, 9 29 45 PM

so, i’m going to redraw the paper pattern so that it all comes out equal. don’t use the printable one: i’ll have to snail mail it to you all with the fabrics. i don’t have OCD at all…. :S

i’ll slip a little note in with the fabrics, too, but i’ll tell ya now anyway. I’ve stacked the fabrics so that the top 3 squares will be used as the inner star. i had to be strategic with the fabric colors so i wouldn’t get clashes like i did above. I just cut the squares right down the middle to make 2.5″x5″ rectangles to start off with. the next 3 squares in the stack should be used as the triangle pieces that make up the hexagon shape. each 5″ square can be cut into four. I cut it squarely into four 2.5″ squares, but right as I’m typing, I just had an epiphany: I bet it’ll be easier to piece if you cut on the diagonal instead to make four triangles. I might try that and see! i had a little difficulty fitting the whole triangle base in there. sometimes i was a little off and got a notch at the very ends…

Photo Aug 28, 7 00 05 PM

it was small enough to fit inside the seam allowance though, so i didn’t mind. finally there are two long strips – one is 1″ wide to be used for the star outline pieces and the other is about 6″ wide for the outer block background.

now a quick note about switching out fabrics.

i learned my lesson from the last bee block group i was in. i had A LOT of mess ups. 😦 And the fabric i chose to go with was all of the same line and a little pricey. 😦 i still haven’t fixed/replaced all the blocks yet! anyway, although all the fabrics here are of the same collection, ultimately, i’m okay with you switching out fabrics with some from your own stash. in fact, i might really appreciate you doing so to achieve the contrast look i was hoping for. i seemed to have an abundance of lighter background fabrics and not so many black/dark greys/reds. SO… if you have fabrics from this line, or any that are black/dark grey/red – very close to these shades, and you feel the fabrics i sent you might not turn out so contrasty, by all means, feel free to switch em out! also, if you make a horrible mistake somewhere and can’t rescue it, i’m okay with substitutions – as long as they remain in this color scheme.

if you have any questions, please let me know via flickr – i’ll keep a check on it there.

i can’t wait to see how these turn out!

union flag pillow


yesterday, the hubby and I said goodbye to our first couple of foster kids. we had them for about six weeks, and had grown comfortable to them in our home. but we weren’t so attached that we’re traumatized… they were really sweet, cute kids.

anyway, since today was unstructured for me, I decided to bring out the british fabrics i’d been hoarding for a while now and play around with them. of course, they worked themselves into a union flag. and why not form a pillow?


it’s going to be a lovely surprise gift for someone special. I can’t wait til they get it!

I’ve got a bit more of this fabric left and am contemplating making another pillow, or something else entirely.


definitely liking the flag thing though. i’d love to have a flag pillow for each country I’ve been to. then again, they’d be so numerous, there’d be pillows all over my house! maybe a quilt…


another side swap

I just can’t keep it in any longer: I have to show the latest pillow I’ve made. I had another willing side swapper through flickr. and here’s what I made for her.

Rainbow Wheel Pillow

i’m really happy with how this one turned out. I’ve been wanting to do a rainbow project for a while, but I didn’t think I had enough fabrics in my stash to get a full rainbow with multiple prints per color. I was pleasantly surprised! I got to integrate some of my favorite modern fabrics as well as some older treasures. I like that the rainbow brings it all together.

I saw a colorwheel embroidery pin on pinterest, which I found after I had pieced the pillow top. I thought it was the perfect idea to fill the center square, so I pretty much duplicated it, with a few of my own ideas thrown in.

Color Wheel Embroidery


when my family and friends hear that I don’t think i’m particularly creative, they scoff at my remarks and insist that I am. for the most part over the past few years, I’ve been learning how to sew by copying/duplicating someone else’s work. and I think that’s only natural and okay when one starts out. a lot of people may not even be able to copy another’s work, so i’m glad for the skills I’ve learned. what makes this pillow especially special though, is that it came about (the piecing at least) through my own creativity. i feel that i’m finally stretching my brain and creative energies. so i’m determined to continue exercising my creativity by coming up with my own ideas and designs. i might still imitate from time to time, but i feel it’s time to create my own sewing style.

well, i hope my swap partner likes this pillow, and will treasure it for the gem i feel it is. 😀


side swap

i really LOVED taking part in the Pillow Talk Swap on Flickr several months back. I love making things for other people, and I really enjoy the surprises I receive. I was so excited to participate in the next one, and was even the first to post a comment asking when it’d be. I stalked the group for weeks, then the one week I didn’t check, it was sign ups and I totally missed it! gutted, or what!? after posting about my disappointment, I had a few people volunteer to do a side swap with me. yay!!

I saw the spiderweb design amongst the favorite photos of my partner. she really liked beachy colors, too, so I came up with this…


I really loved how it came out. I wasn’t sure for a while if it would turn out cute, but after the quilting and little hand stitched Xs, I fell in love with it.


now on to my next one!


crayon roll for my foster kids

just over a week ago, the hubby and I became first time parents to two little foster boys. one is two years old and the other is four. they are a handful, and this fostering thing is an adventure!

after we took them to church with us last week and them being somewhat noisy with the plastic pencil case filled with crayons, I decided to make this cute little crayon holder: one for each of them.

Photo Jun 29, 1 05 13 PM

I had some inspiration from this flickr photo, but with no tutorial, I just came up with the measurements myself. it wasn’t too difficult to figure this little beauty out.

Photo Jun 29, 1 04 59 PM

and of course I love the rainbow trend! 🙂 thankfully, we had enough crayons to make two rainbows. these are great because I don’t have to bring dozens of shades of crayons to church anymore, and they still have all they need.

I’ve already been commissioned by a few friends and family to make more for their kids, so i’ll be busy for the next couple of weeks…


Traveling sewing pouch

I’ve been wanting to make a portable pouch of sorts to take on the road/airplane so I can continue my embroidery endeavors while I travel. after reading a post over on the clover & violet blog, I was inspired to create a version of my own.

Photo Jun 07, 1 35 13 PM

I used fabric left over from selling Stampin’ Up! products. when I saw that they did fabric, I had to give it a try. I LOVE stuff that’s already color coordinated! The measuring tape fabric was a lucky find when I went home to the UK over winter. I’m not sure of the maker/designer though. I need to get better at remembering to look for that info.

Photo Jun 07, 1 34 27 PM

the inside features a clear zipper pocket on the left side, with another pocket tucked behind. there is another clear pocket on the green flap on the right, and on the reverse of the flap is a little felt ‘needle book’ to keep those needles safe. I didn’t photograph all the features, but there’s also a loop attached to the upper edge to hold an embroidery hoop… I made this ‘kit’ to pass around some friends for a new project.

blank pillow

I’ve moved a lot in my life, and I like to try and remember as many friends & people I meet as possible. this pillow is currently travelling amongst my local friends: they will write their name, like a legible signature, and embroider over it with a simple back stitch. to make it easier for them to do, I had everything they would need inside this sewing kit. I can’t wait to get it back with all the lovely embroidered signatures! also, I need to take pictures of the sewing pouch in use, filled with colorful threads.

I wondered if I should do a tutorial on how to make a pouch like mine… what do you think?