Sunday, October 28, 2012

My little fabric stash builder

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After preschool Friday I stopped by Bernina Connection in search of a particular fabric. While we were there Dashiell found some green fabric with little monkeys on it and said he wanted to buy it so I could make a shirt.
I said, "Oh, like the Lightning McQueen shirt you never wear?" (just that morning he had refused to wear the shirt when I suggested it.)
I told him I didn't have a project in mind for it so I wasn't going to buy any.
He said (get this) that we needed to buy it now before someone else buys it. 
WOW!! I have not specifically trained him on stash building/fabric hoarding but he has got this DOWN. He almost had me with that. :)
I still said no, and he continued to whine and complain about it. Kind of threw a mini-fit that sealed the deal on my "no".
As we were checking out he told Lynn (store owner whom we go to church with) all about it, and described what he wanted. He was calm and rational and articulate and charming... rather convincing and totally enchanted all three women working there. I looked at Lynn and said, "I suppose I should embrace this for as long as he's interested, right?" Afterall, he won't always be a three year old who wants to wear mommy-appliqued shirts. So I went back and grabbed the bolt. Well Lynn cut a quarter yard and handed it to him and didn't even charge me. Said she was partly to blame for the situation by continuing to question him about it. :)  The stipulation was that he had to show her what mommy made.
 
While he napped that afternoon (woo-hoo!) I brainstormed what kind of design I could use to show off as many monkeys as possible. You see that was part of his negotiating technique. When I reminded him he already had a monkey shirt, he said, "That only has one monkey on it. I don't have a shirt with LOTS of monkeys." 
I looked through my applique alphabets to see if I had a big chunky D that would maximize fabrics, and then I remembered this cool font!
This is technically the D from East Coast Applique's Baseball Alpha, but instead of using white fabric I used the monkey fabric, and I skipped the step with the red stitching across the ball. (You can see my friend Wendi's sample of the alphabet here)  I added his name with Embird Alphabet #4.
I really like how it turned out. What a neat way to show off cool fabric. And it was a quick design -- one fabric to trim, one thread in the machine!
 
Dashiell was really pleased. As soon as he saw it he gasped, grabbed it and ran to show daddy saying "I love it!" and then came and gave me a big hug. Here he is at St Marks yesterday:
 And acting like a monkey!
 


Monday, October 22, 2012

Christmas Tree Towels

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Hard to believe that we only have about one week left in October. The holidays will be here before you know it! I've done a bit of shopping and, what's more fun, a bit of stitching to start getting ready:
These three towels feature the 4x4 sizes of Lynnie Pinnie's new Christmas trees. I especially love the first two with the vertical piecing, something I haven't seen anywhere!
This is the Two Color Christmas Tree Applique:
This is the Three Color Tree Applique:
And this one has multi-color dots, Polka Dot Christmas Tree.
Honestly I think this would look best with a pink/red/lime/green color scheme, but I was experimenting with making it gender neutral. If I had time I would make Annaliese a skirt or ruffle pants out of this fabric and a matching shirt with this tree applique design.
Wouldn't that be AWESOME?? I have the fabric... just not the patience to improve my lack of sewing skills. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Birthday Shirts for Sisters

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Sisters Kyleigh and Elliana both have October birthdays, and they will be celebrating together! That has got to be convenient for their family, I hope they can run with that for several years to come. :)
Grandma Tammy really liked Riley's first birthday design, so we used that idea, but changed things up a bit:
The color palette was based on these cute hairbows the girls are going to wear. Tammy sent me this picture of them (in progress) so I could do my best to match colors, cute right??
The applique numbers are from 8 Claws and a Paw's Chatty Applique, and the text is done with Candi, also from 8CP. The applique owl on Kyleigh's shirt is the 4x4 Owl on a Branch design from Lynnie Pinnie, minus the branch.
Elliana's design uses the same fonts, but technically the owl is LP's Small Owl applique

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Box Font Applique NUMBERS!

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Last week I was given the opportunity to test stitch a couple of the designs from the new Box Font Applique Numbers Set from The Itch 2 Stitch. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! Just a few days before Katie had asked if I would have time to make Maclain's first birthday shirt to coordinate with some ruffle pants she was going to make. She had already purchased the shirt and had fabric scraps ready, so I was able to whip this out really fast! I rarely have this kind of quick turnaround. :)
This is the 4" size of Box 1, and I added her name with I2S's Quirky font. I'm anxious to see the completed outfit!
My MIL used some pretty star fabric when she tested the #5 design which made me think... could I use the #4 to make an Independence Day towel? Why yes!
This is the 5" size of Box 4, and I added the text with I2S's Barnyard font. I fiddled with the placement of the text for a while, and decided this kind of tumbling/rotating effect worked best. I love this waving flag striped fabric!
I'm excited about this set of numbers! Great for birthday shirts and monthly milestones for babies. 12 days of Christmas? 12 months in a year? 7 days of creation? How else can we use it??
To my stitching friends -- the design set has been listed on I2S's site BUT don't rush over there quite yet -- she will be sending out a newsletter with coupon code later today. But I guess if you aren't on her newsletter... maybe you ought to rush over there and sign up right now! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Someone is going to be a Big Brother!

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No, no, no, not Dashiell. After I typed that subject line I realized it might be misleading.

Friends of ours are expecting baby #2, and asked me to help them announce their news. I love projects like this! The new baby will make Zachary a big brother. Pamela had a specific vision -- plaid applique circle with "Big Bro" embroidered inside and name below -- and I was happy to deliver. Now that they have shared pictures of Zac in his new shirt to announce their news to friends, I can share it on my blog:
It took me a few attempts to pick the perfect font. We wanted something easy to read, definitely for a boy, but not babyish, and bold enough to show up well on top of a print. The Pops font from 8 Claws and a Paw fit the bill! I really like this font, stitched beautifully!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Extending the life of a dress (AKA I am cheap)

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Three years ago (yes THREE!) I embellished this set for my kids -- an A-line for Annaliese and a Jon-Jon for Dashiell. I added the ruffle to the RTW dress to make it a touch longer, and that enabled her to wear it the following year. And probably last year with some tights underneath.
Well it was still hanging in her closet, and even at the age of 8 Annaliese just is not ready to part with it! It's basically a swing top now, so I suggested we crop off some of her jeans that she's outgrown (such long legs!) and add a ruffle.
Except... I only had a small rectangle of that fabric left! But this morning before leaving for a local pumpkin festival, I chopped off some old jeans just above a hole in the knee and added a fabric band. It worked surprisingly well!
I didn't get any good posed pictures amongst the pumpkins, just an in action shot as we walked back to the car.
Woo-hoo! Her fourth year wearing this dress. 2012 outfit didn't cost a dime and I don't have to make a pumpkin shirt this year. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Signs of Fall

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According to the calendar, fall is here! Although honestly, the recent Florida heat is making it hard to believe. I have to rely on requested projects to help me know what season it is. :)
Primary sign of fall? PUMPKINS! I've stitched a variety recently:
This pumpkin is from Applique Cafe. I have admired it for three years I think, and FINALLY used it. I love how it turned out with the chevron. :)  I added Cadence's name with the Dancer font from 8 Claws and a Paw.
Riley is going to be the Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch!
This design is from Planet Applique:
Maggie bought this adorable blank dress that desperately needed an applique design on it:
The pumpkin is from Planet Applique and I added the G using Embird alphabet #17.
Isn't it neat how different each of the pumpkin designs turned out depending on fabric selection and style of design?
Another sign of fall around here for us is spiders -- MAN we have spiderwebs all over the place, a new one forms from my car door to the fence every night!
If I ever saw a cute spider, this is it, Lynnie Pinnie's Cute Girly Spider. The jagged satin stitch is such a clever design element to make the spider look fuzzy. I added Graysie's name with 8CP's Dorthy.
And you know Thanksgiving is coming when you start stitching turkeys!!
The Baby Turkey Girl applique is from Lynnie Pinnie. This is actually Cadence's second Thanksgiving, so I couldn't use the text "My First Gobble". Instead we changed it to Lil Gobble.


Monday, October 8, 2012

8CP Fonts on CD?!? YES!

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One year ago today I blogged about some important 8 Claws and a Paw news, and here I am doing it again today. While that post was sharing the end of their font club, this is announcing a new amazing opportunity for embroiderers!

It's no secret that I love 8 Claws and a Paw fonts; if you've read my blog for 5 minutes you know I use them all the time. It's also no secret that I highly respect Joe and Julie, God-honoring people doing excellent business, and also serving God with their entire lives by responding to the call of international adoption. 8CP was originally started to raise funds for their future adoption, and it continues to be how they support their growing family!

As I hang around their Facebook page one common question I have seen is if they will ever offer their fonts on CD. After about 2 months of diligent work they have announced that YES!! their 615 fonts are now available for purchase on CD!!
At this moment, they are accepting pre-orders for $79.95, CDs will begin being shipped on October 10. Woo-hoo!

615 fonts, many in multiple sizes, UNZIPPED. You have no idea how excited I am about this! I have downloaded every font, but for the most part I keep them zipped, I just haven't made the time to unzip them. Thankfully Embird makes it pretty easy to access and use zipped files, but sometimes it can be clunky or a little glitchy. Having them all unzipped is going to be wonderful!! And already backed up on CD -- what a relief that will be. Because guess who hasn't backed them up on CD...

The CD also includes image files of the full alphabet for each font. This is a big deal people! These images have always been available on their website -- before you purchase one of their fonts you can click on "additional pictures" to see the full alphabet. That feature is important to me. My initials are JT, and it is RARE for me to find a font where I like both the J and the T -- I like to see the full alphabet before I commit to using it.
So early in the spring I started the process of downloading EVERY image off of their site. That was tedious, I think even more so than purchasing and downloading the fonts. Once I was done, I did quite a bit of image editing. Some of the fonts were spread out over 2-3 images, so I merged those into one jpg. Then I added the actual font name to the image. Here's an example:
It was a LOT of work, but I LOVE having this this folder of font images. I scroll through it all the time!
And guess what?? Now YOU can have all of these images, too! I zipped up my folder and sent it to Julie, and it is on the CD. You are welcome. ;)

The CD also includes a brand new feature -- a file showing each letter with its dimensions and stitch count. You can see a sample on their website.

This is an amazing value, and I encourage you to get it. Not only will you have a fantastic resource delivered right to your door, you will be supporting adoption! I'll let you in on a little secret. (Well, really it isn't a secret since they have announced it on their Facebook page...) Joe and Julie are in the adoption process again! Proceeds from this CD sale will fund the cost to bring their new children home! Praise God!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Shower Gift

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Last time I blogged about a baby shower gift it was for an unnamed little boy. Well yesterday I went to a baby shower for a couple that is waiting until birth to find out the gender of their little one! I find gender neutral gifts to be a bit challenging, but I embraced it as an opportunity to use this great design for the first time:
The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made design is from The Itch 2 Stitch.
I picked Mimi Elaine's brain for ideas for the burp cloth. She forwarded me a picture of the crib quilt that the mommy had made from a fabric panel:
So I flew on over to my owl pinboard to see if a design already existed that would be a close match. I decided to merge a couple together: I used Embroidery Boutique's Owl Branch design, but merged the wings and feet from Applique Market's Owl design. I think it will work for a boy or a girl, right?  I love the personal challenge of making something to coordinate!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Promoting some of my favorites....

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Two of my favorite sites are having contests at the moment. And yes, I acknowledge that by promoting them on my blog I am in essence reducing my own chances of winning since maybe some of you will go enter. Oh well, I'll tell you about them anyway!

Designs by JuJu just launched a new blog and to celebrate she is giving away a 21 fat quarter pack of Riley Blake's Santa's Workshop. I really really really want to win this. Go look at the pretty fabric (isn't it pretty?!) but don't enter. :)

Whimsical Fabrics just hit a new milestone of Facebook fans, and to celebrate she is giving away an 11 Fat Quarter Bundle of Riley Blake's Medium Chevrons. Now in all honesty, I have no business winning this set. I have won fabric, shirts, and gift certificates galore from Whimsical Fabrics, I suppose it's someone else's turn... BUT I really want these chevrons. So again, go check it out, but please don't enter. :)

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