Monthly Archives: October 2013

THE SUCCESS OF PASSION

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I  had the great privilege to take two classes at Quilt Market–The Success of Passion and How to Let People Know Who You Are. Both classes were led by Jo Packham, hosting a panel of exceptionally talented and creative ladies who shared how their passion led to successful businesses and how they stay ahead of the game in this media driven world.  Jo Packham created the fabulous magazine, Where Women Create–Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women. www.wherewomencreate.com.  This led to Where Women Create-Business and Where Women Cook.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of perusing these publications, you are in for a treat.  Get a cup of coffee, ease into a cozy chair, and prepare to be inspired.

Speaking of inspiration, the classes were followed by the actual Quilt Market where companies like Westminster Fabrics, Moda, Anna Griffin and countless booths offer patterns, fabric, notions, books, machines, and all the latest items available for quilting, sewing, bag making, and embroidery.  Here is just a sample of booths at the Market.  Pure eye candy!

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Marcia of Abbey Lane Quilts displays a pillow that I bought the pattern and fabric for last year, and a new bag pattern that I can’t wait to sew!

ABBEY LANE QUILTS BOOTH

ABBEY LANE QUILTS BOOTH

If you quilt, I know you’ll recognize this sweet lady–Eleanor Burns!  Check out her new book, Quilts from El’s Kitchen.  www.quiltinaday.com.  Savor fresh new quilt blocks along with recipes for tasty treats.

ELEANOR BURNS

ELEANOR BURNS

I had a great time shopping as a “business owner” and chose new patterns for my bags, along with handles, and yes, FRAMES!  No, I’m not really a masochist.  I’m just determined to conquer those challenging glueing and stitching frames.  Checking out those tutorials on frames, I discovered that it’s not just me.  Usually in tutorials, the instructor seems to breeze through, finishing with “And there you have your beautiful project!  Wasn’t that easy?”  However, I noticed that the frame tutorials used words like “Now here’s the tricky part…” and, “You may have to practice and redo a few times…”  I didn’t hear any actual curse words but you know you can edit those videos. 🙂

So between classes on Friday and Sunday, friends joined Rick and I in partaking of German beer and scrumptious homemade apple, cherry, and cheese strudel at the local Octoberfest.  Perfectly gorgeous weather as well! 

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OKTOBERFEST TUNES

Yes, I did manage to sew one bag this weekend.  A Victorian drawstring bag that’s appropriate for evening, or festivals like our upcoming Dickens on the Strand here in Galveston.

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And now I must go pack, for my sister and I will be checking into the Hilton tomorrow that connects to the convention center for the International Quilt Festival, the largest quilt festival in the world, and the largest convention annually for the City of Houston.  This year, as well as continual shopping and viewing the lovely quilts, we’re taking a class–something along the lines of “How to Make Time to Sew.” 🙂   So what am I looking for that I couldn’t find at Quilt Market?  Well…fabric.  The fabric companies that I mentioned above sell to shop owners who buy wholesale bolts at a time.  But Festival is for the individual quilter (at retail prices.)  So now I’ll have the opportunity to buy just enough fabric for my purses.  I’m looking for spring/summer fabrics like cotton, laminates, vintage fabrics, and hopefully, colored denim.  Each year Nannette and I treasure this time together where we shop, eat, giggle, and gab until the wee hours.  We’ll be there until Saturday, in the room that we had to reserve at this same time last year, since rooms sell out immediately.  Go Quilters!  Support the Economy, right?

Next week I’ll share our pics and bargains scored at the International Quilt Festival.  Join us!

 

FRIGHTENED OF FRAMES!

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Whew!  Having finished Artwalk, I have been concentrating on donation commitments made some time ago.  The first was a fashion show benefitting women’s scholarships, the challenge being that the donations were to be refashioned from a thrift store.  Let me just say that I now have infinite admiration for those of you who do this regularly and well, especially those ladies at Refashion Runway.  If you haven’t checked out this blog, Renegade Seamstress, it is similar to Project Runway with weekly challenges, the difference being the projects start with a thrift store or cast off item.

This was a very difficult task for me because, in dismantling the canvas bag purchased from Salvation Army, I had a hard time deciding what to keep.  With an armoire full of beautiful fabrics and trims, it is a challenge to use any of the old item.  On this particular purse I managed to reclaim the animal print fabric for use on the interior.  Knowing that the bag was to be used in a Holiday Fashion Show, I chose to take the fancy route.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

I know, I know…nothing like the original except inside.  This is not my strong suit.  Maybe it just takes practice and willpower not to use all new materials.  Of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,” I guess I “reduced” more than I “reused!) 🙂

The next project was for a Breast Cancer Auction.  A CraftApple pattern was chosen to create this handy little bag:

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Anxious to try some new patterns, (the clutches are Ali Foster designs) I’ve ventured into small purses this week.  Here are a few:

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This floral bag was attached to the frame with E6000.  The fabric (both interior and exterior) was quilted from a beautiful Hoffman fabric from my stash.  It felt good to get the old walking shoe back on Betsy again!  IMG_4268 IMG_4309

This last bag “gave me fits!” as they used to say in Indiana.  I need to watch a tutorial (OH NO!) on using purse frames, both glueing and stitching.  The quilted floral bag above was glued and turned out well.  But with this last bag, I redid the stitching two or three times and it’s just okay, in my opinion.  (Notice you’re not viewing the interior.) 🙂  The reason I didn’t give up on this bag is because  the flower, fashioned from that vintage ruched ribbon, actually looked like I intended and I learned to make upholstery leaves!  Yea!  AND, they had already been sewn down (sturdily) before arriving at the last step–THE FRAME–yikes!

Yes, I am now Frightened of Frames!  (A Halloween movie?)  So, I’m off to find a Frame Tutorial! 🙂  (I’m not kidding…)  Any recommendations?

 

COMING UP FOR AIR!

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Well, it’s true I have been sewing like a maniac the past few months to build an inventory of bags for the Artwalk Show.  I am now officially Coming Up for Air!  Last Saturday night Artwalk was amazing!   I sold four of my favorite bags to lovely ladies–one shopping for Christmas, one shopping for her own bag, one shopping for an evening bag, and a pair of ladies who decided to buy a bag and share it–each one keeping it for six months!  So cool! 🙂  A huge thank you to all my friends and family who supported me in this venture!  I had a chance to visit with my daughter, granddaughters, sister, niece, and several friends!  Here are the four bags that sold:

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MIDNIGHT ROSE

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RENDEZVOUS

THE WESTERN ANNY

THE WESTERN ANNY

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LONDON FLAT

And now my focus falls to bags I have previously committed to sewing for charity events.  Next blog–charity and beyond…

This week “Coming Up for Air” consisted of:

Two Lunch/Shopping Dates with Friends–Cafe Express, The Hotel Galvez, & The Strand

Two movies–Gravity, and Rush.  We gave both an “A.”

One Dinner and Play–Downtown Houston with our good friends.  The funny thing is my  iPhone calendar read, “Dinner and Theatre with Bruce and Gayle.”  But “Location” said, “Burlap Pretties.”  Completely puzzled, I’m thinking, “Did I sign up for a craft class I forgot about??”  But apparently my iPhone had auto-corrected the name of the restaurant I had typed, Birraporetti’s, to “Burlap Pretties.” 🙂

Dinner, a play, and some Burlap Pretties.

DINNER, A PLAY, AND SOME BURLAP PRETTIES!

One BBQ Party – with Galveston neighbors

Catching up on TV – Castle, Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Nashville, Scandal, Grays Anatomy, Good Wife, DIY shows like Restoration Rehab, and I’ll admit it–Days of Our Lives.

Catching up on Reading – Dan Brown’s Inferno, Haute Handbags, Studios, Where Women Create

Surfing the Net – Pinterest, Blogs, NYC travel sites, Trip Advisor, and yes, those YouTube tutorials!

Baking – Monkey Bread, plus that Pinterest recipe for putting brownie mix and cookie mix in a muffin tin.  SO yummy!  Good thing I took it to the party or I would have eaten more than two!

Yep, I work hard and play hard–never a dull moment!  What do you read, bake,  watch, and attend when you’re not sewing?  What do you do when you “COME UP FOR AIR?” 🙂

 

 

Sleep? What sleep?

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Imagine my surprise to find I’d been nominated for the Good Neighbor Blog Award!  Katherine from Pillows A-La-Mode (an awesome site) requested nominations for someone in the blogging world that you would most want to live next door to!  The winner was a fabulous blogger, Crafty Staci, that you will certainly enjoy reading.  And to the person(s) who nominated me, I send my deepest gratitude!  I consider myself fairly new to blogging and as they say in Hollywood, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”  Amen to that!  Just for being nominated, I get to display a Good Neighbor Award button on my blog, and you will be seeing that just as soon as I learn how to display it. 🙂  Yep, I still have lots to learn about blogging, my friend. So in this world of widgets, buttons, and stats, please just bear with me!

This is Wednesday night and Saturday is my trunk show at Tina’s for Artwalk Galveston.  As noted in my last blog, I thought my fall collection was finished. 🙂  Oh, silly me!  They had requested 15 bags and I had 16 bags.  But when I mentioned that there was not an Anny Bag in the collection, I could read the disappointment in their faces.  While I consider the Anny Bag as something more suited to a Spring/Summer collection, apparently the customers have been requesting the Anny Bag, so… In the last four days, I have designed four Anny Bags!  Sleep?  What sleep?  I needed to find fall/winter type fabric that would also be able to drape for those ruffles.  I am pleased to say that without shopping, I managed to come up with the fabrics and trims I needed.  (That should tell you something about my stash.  Shh! )  Anyway, today I planned to make the tags (see previous blog) but after lunch, Tina’s called.  The newspaper needed a photo preview of my presentation by day’s end.  Whaaaat??  I know NOTHING about photo shoots.  So you should have seen me schlepping bags and lamps all over the house trying to figure out what to do next.  Too much light!  Too little light!  Too many bags!  Too few bags!  Too much background distraction!   I was mainly working with two coat racks.  After taking about 30 pics, I decided less is more, and since they just wanted a sneak preview, here is the photo that will be published:

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Bag #16 is a pattern I designed called the Jenny Bag.  (Publishing it is on my “to do” list.)  🙂  Here it is, fashioned from that sumptuous copper velvety fabric from Cowgirls and Lace, and the Roma Deco upholstery fabric I picked up in L.A. in silver and gold tones.  Embellished with four glass beaded tassels, and a beaded golden applique, I’m not sure what to name it.  Any suggestions?

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So…the four Anny Bags.  The first is created mostly from velvet and a leopard faux fur.  (Can you tell I relish that copper fabric?)  I had purchased the leopard flower but added a brooch from my stash from Trims on Wheels for the center.  This whole bag is so velvety smooth I could just eat it up!

The Fancy Anny

THE FANCY ANNY

The Western Anny was fashioned from faux leathers and a furry leopard print.  Yes, I had these western looking leather straps in my stash from Cindy’s Button Company.  The fringe completes the western look.  Would you believe the beautiful dangle on the front was from a broken necklace?  Don’t you just  love repurposing!!  Yeehaw!

THE WESTERN ANNY

THE WESTERN ANNY

The Autumn Anny (sorry about the pic lighting) is actually made of gold, tan, deep red, and rich chocolate brown floral linens.  The linens were purchased from various sources but worked well together.  The trim features alternating glass gold beads and silky tassels.  The tan leather strap was another past purchase from Cindy’s Button Company.  There is a gold brooch flower pendant that I’m making into a removable pin that has the same beads as the trim but it isn’t in this picture because I haven’t quite finished it.  Last minute idea.  Yikes!

THE AUTUMN ANNY

THE AUTUMN ANNY

I had fun choosing fabric for the Denim Anny.  After pairing two shades of denim with a blue leopard, I spotted a feathery trim from Mood Fabrics.  Perfect!  But, I’ve also been saving this sequined/beaded applique in shades of blue that I discovered last summer at the Pasadena Flea Market in L.A. where a lady was selling vintage fabric items.  It made the perfect focal point!  I wanted to leave the edges on the denim ruffles raw.  If I tried to hem them, they wouldn’t drape,  plus I just think it works as a fun denim look.  After washing, they came out nicely frayed, so I sewed an invisible row of stitching just above the fraying to lock it in.  I honestly don’t remember where I scored the handle fabric.  It was funky and totally matched the style of the denim look but the back was a little wonky looking.  The fix?  Take a navy webbing from my stash and sew the two strips back to back.  Voila!  Handles!  Dang!  My Job Is Fun!!!

THE DENIM ANNY

THE DENIM ANNY

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So, I now have one day left to make five tags, which normally I can finish two per day. Okay then…  It’s all a learning experience right?  Everything needs to be turned in Friday for readying the display and pricing.  Think I’m going to have to shift some priorities tomorrow…

But Hallelujah!  On Friday morning,  Jen, Madison and Gracie arrive and I will be basking in goodness and laughter and fun!  They are my good luck charms for a Successful Artwalk Show!  Hope to see you there!