Tag Archives: Embroidery

PICTORAL REVIEW: INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL 2015

Standard
PICTORAL REVIEW:  INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL 2015

My favorite time of year–International Quilt Festival!  Come along with me as I give you the whirlwind tour.  It is an annual tradition that my sister and I spend four days and three nights at the Hilton that is literally attached to the Quilt Festival by a walkway to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.  Here are views from our room:

View from our Room

View from our Room

IMG_0600

IMG_0700

Nannette, and I love to fuel our excitement by viewing the entire show first from the fishbowl window on the second floor.  Several quilters taking selfies inspired us. 🙂

IMG_0533

Okay, now for the show…

IMG_0581

As you enter Preview Night, Winners Row is front and foremost.

$10,000 Best of Show

$10,000 Best of Show

IMG_0693

The winner of the Founders Award gets $7,500, and airfare to, and accommodations for, the International Quilt Festival!

IMG_0527

IMG_0524IMG_0523

IMG_0515IMG_0514

Peter Hayward from Spain wanted to take op art to a new level with graduated color and concentric lines.  I wish you could see this quilt in person.  Your eyes play tricks on you as the fabric appears to be in motion!

IMG_0513

IMG_0515

Ben's Midnight Garden

Ben’s Midnight Garden

Ben’s Midnight Garden is traditional applique inspired by a mid-nineteenth century wool rug.

In the Valley of Xingu

In the Valley of Xingu

Reborn

Reborn

One of my personal favorites among the winners was an original design by Joanne Baeth inspired by old fishing boats in a boatyard in Oregon where she was salmon fishing.

The End of the Line

The End of the Line

This amazing quilt, “Tagged,” was dedicated to the nearly 30,000 Japanese internees who were children during the internment camps on the Pacific Coast after Pearl Harbor.

Tagged

Tagged

Of course, equally fun as viewing the quilts is shopping in the row upon rows of booths selling fabric, trims, patterns and quilts, sometimes antique.  Here are some of our favorites:

Gypsy South from Atlanta, Georgia.

IMG_0745

Cat, owner of Gypsy South. Very talented lady! I bought gifts for myself and others. 🙂

IMG_0744

IMG_0743

There were booths playing games for prizes like thread and fabric!

IMG_0734

At Pineapple Fabrics you could “spin to win” fabric. My sister and I each won a miniature charm pack!

IMG_0741

Miss Rose Sister Violet always has exquisite items such as trims, patterns and clothing.

Miss Rose Sister Violet

Miss Rose Sister Violet

I always visit, and stock up, at Trims on Wheels presented by a lovely couple, Edie and Luc Roelens, from Hillsdale, Wyoming.

Trims on Wheels

Trims on Wheels

Quilts by the Bay had a beautiful booth as usual.

Quilts by the Bay, Friendswood, Texas

Quilts by the Bay, Friendswood, Texas

The Sampler (the-sampler.com) always has tons of luscious Kaffe Fassett fabric.

IMG_0738

the-Sampler.com

the-Sampler.com

I don’t know if you’ve been introduced to Adult Coloring yet (very soothing activity) but the craze is cheerfully spreading, with me on board!  Appearing in various booths, including this one:

IMG_0732

Here is a booth featuring authors who were autographing their books for customers:

IMG_0731

And now for some rapid fire eye candy quilt pictures that I just snapped every time I saw a quilt that dazzled me:

The Floral Arrangement

The Floral Arrangement

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

Close up of the tridimensional petals...

Close-up of the tridimensional petals…

IMG_0618

IMG_0512

IMG_0511

Tutti Frutti City Street

Tutti Frutti City Street

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Sprocket to Me

Sprocket to Me

Triptych The City: Past, Present, Utopia?

Triptych
The City: Past, Present, Utopia?

Close up of the triptych. Hand embroidered, hand embellished.

Close-up of the triptych.
Hand embroidered, hand embellished.

Persian Excursion

Persian Excursion

New York Lights

New York Lights

Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration close-up

Harvest Celebration close-up

Hip Hip Hooray

Hip Hip Hooray

Yes, those are tiny little pieces.  Here is the story from Bernadette Houghton, Columbia, South Carolina:

“I was going to try making a miniature quilt at a quilt camp, but ten days before I was to attend, I fell and broke my hip.  After I got out of rehab, I decided to make a full-size quilt for my bed instead of the miniature, beginning with the half-square triangles I prepared for the camp.  The quilt was completed one month after my hip was pronounced fully healed.”

And here is a close-up just to give you perspective:

IMG_0647

Pennsylvanian Star of Bethlehem

Pennsylvanian Star of Bethlehem

Tropical Punch

Tropical Punch

Crazy Elegance

Crazy Elegance

Parrotise

Parrotise

I didn’t get the name of the next quilt, but in the close-up you’ll notice hidden kitties…there were several.

IMG_0666

IMG_0667

 

At the Window

At the Window

A Coastal Town

A Coastal Town

The Orange (near Rome)

The Orange (near Rome)

Savanna by Yoshiko Miyamoto

Savanna by Yoshiko Miyamoto

If They Were in P.E.I. Original Precision Applique

If They Were in P.E.I.
Original Precision Applique

Judy Technique: Photograph printed on fabric, thread-painted, free-motion quilted.

Judy
Technique: Photograph printed on fabric, thread-painted, free-motion quilted.

Laughing Now

Who’s Laughing Now

Polka Dodo

Polka Dodo

Sunflower Serenade

Sunflower Serenade

Flowers and Stars

Flowers and Stars

In addition to quilts, some displays featured costumes:

Celebration in the Night Garden

Celebration in the Night Garden

Three more fashions:

Fashion Flashback

Fashion Flashback

And some displays featured dolls:

IMG_0626

IMG_0627

This is a display of food made of fabric:

High Tea at Rosings Estate

Sunday Night Means Breakfast for Dinner

High Tea at Rosings Estate

High Tea at Rosings Estate

And then there were dioramas:

Feed the Birds

Feed the Birds

Dioramas from a display called “In the Yarn Barn.” Animal lovers across the country knitted or stitched creatures to “live” within this fun exhibit.  Each animal is quilted, knitted, crocheted, or stitched.

IMG_0720

IMG_0721

IMG_0722

Of course, there are a variety of classes offered at Quilt Festival, some lasting a whole day and some hour-long lectures.  This year, my sister and I chose a lecture by Kaffe Fassett featuring a color theme with comments and slides of his glorious quilts.  His latest book depicts quilts presented at the show this year called Ancestral Gifts.  The collection displayed the actual antique quilts that inspired him, side by side with his interpretation–a modern colorful quilt!  P.S. He’s also back to creating knitting designs!

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

I also attended a lecture by Cheryl Kuczek, titled “Master Designer Handbag Making Techniques.”  One of the featured bags was Xine Basket Bag for which I purchased the pattern.  IMG_0765

Cheryl Kuczek

Cheryl Kuczek

As usual, I peeked into other classrooms to snap a few pics for an idea of what else was cookin’.  So inspiring!

IMG_0593

IMG_0592

The Craftsy Studio was there:

IMG_0726

IMG_0727

Stitch Studio

Did I mention that Quilt Festival usually falls during Halloween?  I captured a few characters that showed up:

IMG_0754

IMG_0753

IMG_0751

IMG_0730

Now look closely at the next picture and you’ll notice that the gentleman on the left has a plunger through his head, and the lady to the right is sporting scissors through the head! 🙂  Yep–a howling good time at Quilt Festival on Oct. 31!

IMG_0596

And what, may you ask, will become of the educational four days of fun?  Behold the patterns and kits I purchased and plan to execute!

IMG_0789 (1)

I loved the real life sample of this five layers of petals pillow offered in the Material Girl booth.  Can’t wait to make it in my own colors and fabrics!

IMG_0607

I chose this Mini Messenger pattern (with kit) to learn to make a bag with a twist lock. 🙂

IMG_0606

Two other bag patterns I now own are made from wool, a clutch and a larger bag.  Purchased from Heart to Hand.  Awesome booth with excellent samples of their patterns.

Clutch with built in coin purse pocket. Appliqued boiled wool detailing.

Clutch with built in coin purse pocket. Appliqued boiled wool detailing.  Title:  Nest Egg

Larger bag featuring a cheesecloth white rose!

Larger bag featuring a cheesecloth white rose!

Not only is the Miss Rose Sister Violet booth  beautiful, they now offer patterns of the following bags that are right up my alley!

Sunday Rose Shoulder Bag and The Weekender Travel Bag

Sunday Rose Shoulder Bag and The Weekender Travel Bag

One more bag pattern caught my eye at one of my favorite booths, Abbey Lane.  Here is the Maxwell Bag:

IMG_0766

For some reason, I have the urge to sew an item of clothing and bought three yards of batik to make a jacket.  And now I also own the kits to make the following:

Faux Fur Infinity Scarves

Faux Fur Infinity Scarves

And…

Faux Fur Cape

Faux Fur Wrap

So…tremendously inspired by blogging this review, I am ready to work on my projects!  Until next time…Love, Anny

Advertisements

Trips = Happy Blood Pressure

Standard

Hmm, just noticed that my last two posts have been mostly travel related.  When I started this blog I imagined most all my posts would be about purses/bags or at least sewing.  But travel is a big part of my life, especially since retirement.  I once told my doctor that one of the ways I’ve managed to keep my blood pressure in check is to always have a trip in the works.  As long as I know that eventually I can escape and be forced to unwind for a bit, I’m happy.  And usually, to some degree, that travel includes some fabric or embellishment shopping. 🙂 Sometimes, the whole trip is about sewing, such as the International Quilt Festival coming up this month!  Very excited about that and will report back.  But in the meantime, here are a few projects completed recently.

Last fall, I found a pattern on-line for fabric pumpkins.  Since fall fabric is plentiful in my stash, I was excited, but as with a lot of projects, I ran out of time and it was beyond fall before I knew it!  But, this year, I started early and here they are.  This pattern is called Patchwork Pumpkins by Kim Kruzieh at RetroMama.Etsy.com.  You can download this pattern which has clear instructions, pattern pieces to cut out, and pictures.  The stem and leaves are made from felt.  The leaves have some handwork stitching, which you probably could leaf (lol) off, but I found very relaxing.  In case you’re not familiar with or have forgotten some of the embroidery  stitches, they are illustrated as well.  All in all, a very fun project–maybe for a gift!

FABRIC PUMPKINS

FABRIC PUMPKINS

You may recall my problem with purse frames.  I haven’t practiced like I intended, but here is one that’s always a sure-fire hit with me.  It’s an arched metal frame with a kiss-lock closure and an added chain that can be removed or tucked inside.  The purse is simply sewn with a sleeve at the top.  Then you unscrew one side of the frame bottom, slip the sleeve on, and there’s your purse!  No messy glue or stitching!  You can order it on-line from Mica’s Room.  I embellished it with an antique brooch, designed by yours truly, from Victorian lace and a vintage button.  Binge watching Project Runway while I sewed, of course, called for fabric from MOOD!  These are silky pin-dot velvets, inside and out.  I named this purse Victoria.

IMG_7771

IMG_7770

 

Cowgirls and Lace, one of my favorite places to gather fabric, is near my granddaughter’s house, so Gracie and her mom accompanied me to their Semi-Annual Sale.  I think Gracie scored even more than I did!  She had store personnel joining in her hunt for sample treasures.  She designs sets for her LPS videos.  It was like, “Oh, Gracie, this would make good wallpaper!” or “How about this fabric for a rug?”  They even gifted her with a sample book!  That’s my girl!

IMG_7824

 

As a matter of fact, my most recent bag is almost completely fashioned from items from Cowgirls and Lace.  Finding two very beautiful and unique tassels, plus gorgeous fabric, inspired the bag I titled Serengeti.  The fabric is from American Folk and Fabric’s antique collection called Kings Muir.  If you look closely, you will see that one of the tassels is an elephant.  And the other is just plain elegant!  The lining is a sage green silk Dupioni with three pockets from the exterior fabric.  In some bags, this one included, I now add a swivel hook to the pocket to attach keys.  The hook is attached to the pocket with a piece of leather from one of the sample collections I found recently at Cowgirls and Lace.  I bought about six rings of leather samples, assuming I could put them to good use since each sample is 5″ x 5″ and they were only a few dollars per set!

SERENGETI

SERENGETI

IMG_7906

To create Fields of Gold, a fabulous and fun gypsy bag, I chose a golden brown embroidered floral fabric for the exterior and a silky red interior.  A textured leopard print handle was added, along with teardrop tassels, thickly braided fringe, and a flower centered with a piece of upcycled jewelry.  This bag truly has it all!

FIELDS OF GOLD

FIELDS OF GOLD

Oh, and my good neighbor, Jeff, stopped by to bring me a beautiful rose and gold brocade fabric from his generous upholsterer friend!  I’m sure you’ll be seeing that in the future, maybe as an elegant clutch!  So many patterns, so much fabric, so little time!  I love it all!!

Happy Sewing To You!

Anny

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

THE SUCCESS OF PASSION

Standard

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!

IMG_4381

IMG_4384

IMG_4398

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! 

Oktoberfest

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.

IMG_4406

IMG_4408

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!

 

Dramamine, anyone?

Standard

The Madison Visit–We began with sewing and ended with sewing but mucho entertainment in between!  Our first mission was to purchase fabric for the cute McCall’s vintage romper pattern we recently ordered.  Madison chose a lovely red stripe seersucker.  Luckily, we borrowed a tape measure and discovered that the size was wrong.  But, after visiting two stores we located an almost identical pattern (also McCall’s) and promptly had it cut out and ready to roll!  We woke up to crashing thunder and lightning the following morning which, as you know, is perfect for sewing up a storm. 🙂  That sewing room had never seen so much cutting and stitching!  Maddie is a very quick learner, cutting and sewing with minimal guidance from Granny, and soon delighted with her new summery creation.  Encouraged by this awesome success, she proceeded to sew with me throughout the evening, fashioning matching hair accessories, belts, and bracelets!  Here is the new outfit…

IMG_3426      IMG_3418

On Sunday we visited with Nannette and Laura, then back to Galveston for evening sewing.  This time Madison was itching to try her hand at stitching a bag pattern (with a zipper!) for small travel items.  She selected a laminated chevron fabric from my laminated scraps bin and again, with minimal guidance, created a lovely bag.  With even less guidance, she produced yet a second bag for pencils etc. to coordinate with her backpack.  As I sewed my latest bag, she continued at the Bernina, trying her hand at fabric flowers.  Yay!  A beautiful turquoise polka dot laminate rose was generated, along with a fabulous shabby chic satiny silver peony.

IMG_3439

No, we didn’t spend four days just sewing. 🙂  We experienced the Duck Tour, visited Moody Gardens Aquarium and The Texas Seaport Museum, learned to Segway along the Seawall, took a carriage ride in the historic district, and rode the Ferris Wheel (Galaxy Wheel) and Log Ride (Pirate’s Plunge) at the new Pleasure Pier over the water.  Wow!  I am a little lacking in sleep but happy as a clam that we had such fun together!  Except for the sewing, Grandpa was a great sport at escorting us and being the bank. 🙂  We dined at our favorite places and sampled some new ones.  If you’re in Galveston, we highly recommend the following:  Mosquito Cafe, Farley Girls Cafe, Hey Mikey!’s Ice Cream, Mario’s, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Olympia Grill (umm, the blue lump crab cakes are divine), and Galvez Bar and Grille (try the bacon wrapped shrimp.)  We also sneaked in a little shopping here and there at Tina’s on the Strand, Colonel Bubbies, Flea by the Sea (Maddie picked up a cute nautical bag), and Modern Vintage on Post Office Street, where I snapped up a beautifully embroidered silk pillow and an antique bird feeder for Grandpa’s wildlife preserve on the Hill Country property!

I mentioned we also ended our visit with sewing.  Last night I helped Madison start some embroidery and she took to it like a duck to water, stitching a tea towel with a pear design–a foray into hand stitching.

You must be thinking, “But I thought Madison just arrived Thursday evening?”  Yes, she did, and sadly bid us farewell today.  But anyone who has traveled with me knows that I do like to pack in the fun until you drop.  Grandpa told Madison the story of our honeymoon and how I planned a fantastic agenda but forgot to include little things like travel time and sleep.  On the fifth day, he fell asleep in his plate at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco!  I stayed up that night reading magazines and viewed more action out the window of our downtown hotel.  When I traveled with the teachers, they learned a little secret–I get sleepy if I’m taking Dramamine.  Now they threaten to sprinkle it in my food! 🙂  Well, Warren Zevon had a song in the 70’s called, “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.”  Anyone remember that?  Somehow it resonates with me…

Just need to restore a tiny bit of shut-eye to prepare for our upcoming trip to L.A., followed by a Gracie visit!  Hmm, Dramamine anyone? Zzzzzz

So What’s the Drink of the Day?

Standard

Our first day back on shore I turn to Rick and ask, “So what’s the Drink of the Day?”  Oh yeah, back to REALITY!!  No more Mango Mungo Madness!  Back to selling the house, readying house for Homes Tour, Rick starting on Hill Country land, putting Spring items on Etsy, sewing for Tina’s, having the flu…  Yep, the first week back from the cruise I think I’m dizzy just getting used to land again but no!  Very sick, but just for a few days.  Now I’m good as new!

So, about the cruise…  If you know Flat Stanley, you know that since Gracie is in second grade, Rick and I were in charge of photographing  this nicely dressed flat boy doing various activities in settings that prove he has visited countries outside the U.S. so Gracie could share with her class.  Duly noted!  As the pics portray, Stanley went to the On Deck Sailaway Party, Belize zip lining, marketing in Cozumel, enjoying the Atrium, and even getting his hair styled (his hair always did look nice…) in the ship salon.  He’s a dandy!

Docked in Cozumel.

Docked in Cozumel.

Sail Away Party.  See those deck chairs?  Drink of the Day setting.  Non-alcoholic for Stanley. :)

Sail Away Party setting. See those deck chairs? Drink of the Day setting. Non-alcoholic for Stanley. 🙂

My Cabana Boy

My Cabana Boy

Waving to Roatan, Honduras.  Too choppy for ship to dock.  :(
Waving to Roatan, Honduras. Too choppy for ship to dock. 😦
Stan dances the night away.

Stan dances the night away.

Zip lining in Belize.
Zip lining in Belize.
Market visit in Cozumel.

Market visit in Cozumel.

Salon visit for Formal Night.

Salon visit for Formal Night.

Although Stanley zip lined in Belize, he passed on the Cave Tubing expedition, and on the Helmet Diving in Cozumel.  He prefers dry activities.  A great time was had by all and it was amazing how many people recognized Stanley.  When taking that Market pic, a policeman says, “So…how many countries has he been to?”  🙂   The one place I planned to buy fabric was Roatan since we had friends there who actually knew where to take us.  So no new fabric.  (Although I did place an order today from QuiltHome.com. 🙂  And I plan to order soon from another fav, Laminates.)

So…still keeping the sewing room tidy for house showings (an open house yesterday) but before we vacationed I took time to finish a few items for Its Sew Anny on Etsy and a few evening bags for the cruise.  (P.S.  If you visit my store on Etsy, please don’t place an apostrophe in the “Its” or you will visit someone else’s shop. Yes, I’m a teacher and this just drives me crazy…)

IMG_2634

These bags are a wonderful design by CraftApple.  I can’t say enough about their patterns.  Very clear, attractive, easy to follow instructions.  I carry a fall upholstery version of this bag and love it because it’s just the right size.  It’s shoulder style, holds more than you realize, and I’ve added three pockets inside.  They offer two versions.  The magenta and gold bag is the gathered style and while pulling the fabrics I found this embroidered ribbon in my stash that matched perfectly and was a nice little embellishment.  When the straps seemed too lightweight (even with interfacing) I decided to add lines of stitching which gave a quilted effect and a much sturdier strap.  I opted to use the non-gathered pattern on the blue bag since I didn’t want to interrupt the beautiful floral design.  Blue beads called to me from my embellishment stash, so voila!  I don’t remember where I purchased these fabrics–it’s been a while–but I have been waiting for a project worthy of these beautiful colors and designs.  I do know that the magenta fabric is from Timeless Treasures called “Darling Clementine.”  The lining is Garden Pindot.  The blue lining is from Moda, and probably the floral also.  The polka dot is from Marcus Fabrics, “Authentic 1930’s from the collection by Judie Rothermel.”

IMG_2605

This evening bag is a Studio Mio design with the clever slide magnetic clasp.  Fashioned from the most opulent copper plush fabric I own, and embellished with a feathery accent.  The strap was enhanced by a rhinestone buckle found in my trimmings drawer.

IMG_2745

Recuperating from the flu I decided to try this Katie’s Draw-string Bag pattern from Amelie Scott Designs.  This is a gem of a pattern that I plan to use again.  I had some Michael Miller laminated cotton that begged to be used and I was able to whip this drawstring/backpack style bag up in no time.  The pattern comes with flower embellishment instructions which I plan to create from a coordinating fabric.  Next time I would add pockets.  What was I thinking?  Hmm, coming off the flu I guess.  But you know how I love pockets!!

In other news:

My hubby retired right before the cruise and is anxious to get started clearing property in the Texas Hill Country where he wants to build a vacation home for us.  He is there today which means that I will probably sew until late tonight. 🙂

We have been asked to participate in the Galveston Historical Homes Tour 2013 which happens the first and second weekend in May.  Very honored, we are, and very excited to be sharing our home built in 1886.  Wednesday the docents arrive for the orientation meeting.  On those two weekends, we will stay at the Marriott Hotel Galvez on the Seawall–an historical landmark as well and host to classic celebrities as Frank Sinatra and past presidents.  During the day, we will probably spend half our time touring the other homes and half the time on our own deck answering any questions from tourists.  We are blessed.

So happy to be home and back with Buddy and Kate!  Our teacher friend, Amy, did a terrific job of house/pet sitting for us!  She did say that if she gets to return to earth as an animal, she wants to come back as a Heiberg dog!  🙂

With that I bid you farewell and I’m taking those Heiberg dogs up to sew!

Love,

Anny

Celebrate with Bags!

Standard

Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration is the third largest in the country averaging more than 300,000 people each year.  Lavish parades are held in the historic downtown and beachfront.  What does this have to do with my bags?  Since the boutique that sells the bags is right in the heart of all the merry-making and parading downtown, I try to add a little purple, green and gold to the bags I offer.

Three of the four bags completed this month have had just that color scheme.  The most Mardi Gras of them all I call “French Quarter.”

French Quarter

French Quarter

This is a laminated Jenny  style bag with velvety black straps, sparkling feather trim, and a black rose with tassels dangling.

Next is Beaded Bliss created in the original Anny Bag fashion.  Of course it sports multiple pockets and a beautiful purple floral Kaffe Fassett lining.  Don’t know if you can tell by the picture but the print on the laminate consists of a variety of strands of colorful beads.  Mardi Gras–hello!  I purchased a large lilac polka dot flower to which I added a big purple jewel in the middle and backed it with layers of lavender netting.  It was fun doing the Anny Bag pattern again which had been on the back burner since warmer weather late last summer because  I like to use it with laminates and softer cotton fabrics that drape well.

Beaded Bliss

Beaded Bliss

Purpleicious was aptly named by my granddaughter, Gracie, who was visiting as I finished this bag.  (She told me her sister said she was “really good at naming” and she was!)  This elegant little clutch (pattern by Abbey Lane) has a feathery purchased purple flower centered on the Tencel pleats.  I believe this was the first bag that I lined with the same fabric as the exterior.  This time it just seemed perfect–not plain since I spiffed it up with three Kaffe Fassett floral pockets.  Another neat item, new to me, that was very appropriate for this interior was a purple magnetic snap.  I was surprised and happy to find these snaps in many colors at Joanne Fabrics.  You’ll notice that the interior also has a hand-sewn black floral embroidered trim which I found at Trims on Wheels at the Quilt Show this year.  I’d like to give a shout out to these folks.  They have every trim you could imagine, including jewels, buckles, etc.  Three visits to their booth at the show served me well in the embellishing department!   Great booth for my sister, as well, since she’ll be sewing some crazy quilts this year, right Nannette?

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious

Purpleicious

The latest addition to the inventory of  bags at Tina’s is called Midnight Rose!  It is fashioned from a fabulously chic textured floral on black.  What fun it was to embellish this shoulder bag from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.  Scarlet beading adorns the exterior pocket, a golden and black fringe trim outlines the entire body, and a hand-made zebra fabric button adds to the fun!  The handle consists of two pieces tied together (hence adjustable) and they’re made of sumptuous black velvet on one side and a very soft, thick golden textured fabric on the other.  I actually have a bag very similar to this and kept getting requests for it.  I have used it for over a year now and it has certainly served me well–from New York, to Indiana, to L.A.– that bag has been through many airport security checks, wild open jeep rides, pedicabs, carriage rides, crowded subways, you name it, and that baby has held up so well.  My favorite comment was from a Very Stylish gentleman rushing through the fashion district in SOHO who looked back and called, “Your Bag Rocks!”  Ahhh, the supreme compliment!!  I finally broke down and made one for Tina’s after I was paying for an item at their checkout counter and a customer really wanted my bag.  I took her over to show her some of my other bags there and she said, “No, I want one black with flowers, just like yours.” And so it is.  Midnight Rose.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Rockin’ the Leather

Standard

Well it seems Ann Romney wasn’t the only one rockin’ leather this week.  The most beautiful leather (okay, faux leather) fabric has been rolled up in my sewing space just beckoning to me for months.  I’ll admit I was intimidated , not having sewn with that thickness before but my Bernina (Betsy) was up to the challenge, especially when I put her Teflon shoe on.  She felt so special.  She and I gained enough confidence to not only sew with the leather but installed a zipper!  Amy Barickman has a sensational book called Bag Boutique with several awesome patterns.  The one I used for my “leather” bag is called the Rachel Bag.  I decided to use both “leathers,”  the front being a red and gold floral design richly embroidered on a deep chocolate brown, and the back is a crackled deep red.  Needless to say, texture had quite an impact on this bag.  (See  photos)     The lining is a silky golden with more red floral embroidery.  The zipper was a WHOLE lot easier to install than I thought it would be and I had a pretty textured ceramic heart for a zipper pull that I believe I found at Anthropologie in NYC.  The narrow top is guided through a closed loop handle and I was able to stitch the tassel by hand all the way through the layers.  So today it was all ready to turn in except for a tag and I had an idea.  I printed out the text on rustic scrapbook paper then machine sewed it to leftover leather that I cut into the same shape as the bag.  Voila!  

AUTUMN

Zippered Back

Front Detail

Elegantly embroidered lining

I’m SOMEBODY!

Standard

Remember in The Jerk when Steve Martin found his name in the new phonebook and went running down the street calling, “I’m Somebody!  I’m Somebody!”  Well, that’s just how I feel!  The Anny Bag is in the new issue of Haute Handbags.  (I’ve included a photo.) They sent me a complimentary copy and copies will be on the newsstand momentarily.   Share with your friends!  

As for my feet, I’m almost there.  At one point I developed an infection in one toe and the doctor prescribed two antibiotics to stop it from spreading.  I shouldn’t read the medical articles on the Internet because one outcome would have been amputation.  If you know anything about astrology you’ll appreciate this.  I was poking fun at my daughter, the Cautious Capricorn, recently and she asked what Sagittarius (me) traits are.  So when I told her the outcome could be amputation, I also said, “Being a Sagittarian, I’m definitely counting on meds to do the job.”  I asked her what the Capricorn would do (wink, wink.)  She said, “Start researching the best orthopaedic doctors for amputation!  We plan for the worst and hope it doesn’t happen.”  And right there, folks, you have the difference between Sagittarius and Capricorn. 🙂  I must say, though, that girl knows her medical!  She knew the doctor would prescribe that second antibiotic, knew he would give me a Beta-something cream, etc.  Anyway, except for swelling, I’m great!  (And Dr. G., if you’re reading this, I think you’re super!)

Oh, but speaking of medical, I think I’ve discovered a pain technique.  Sitting about four stairs up recently,  I went to stand up and fell down the other steps to the floor.  My new pain relief technique is to focus on the part of the body that’s in pain and force myself to RELAX that area–really focus on relaxing those muscles.  I find the less I tighten up, the better it feels.  Well, I’m lying there thinking, “Oh, I better get up.  Someone will see me.  No,  I said, you will not be rushed.  Lie here and relax that shoulder.”  And about that time I glance up and the UPS man is peering through our all-glass front door asking if I’m okay.  AGHH!  Can you not relax in private??!!   Walking Buddy this winter I tripped, fell, and prayed no one would drive or walk by as I lay on the sidewalk practicing my relaxing technique.  I guess there are some kinks to work out.  Like creating an invisible shield…?

Sewing-wise there is progress.  The orange work pumpkin embroidery, which I plan to make into a pillow, is finished, and I completed all seven red work hats.  I started some blue work that could become embellishment for a bag.

My current project is a bag for Tina’s with a really colorful, contemporary design on laminated fabric.  After I picked up a check from Tina’s I spent it all on online fabric buying.  I am VERY happy with the site, http://www.quilthome.com for fabric and patterns.  Over $50 means no shipping fee and, of course, no tax.  They have an enormous selection of the best designers out there.  http://quilthome.com/index.php

So those are my tips for today:

  • Relax when you get injured
  • Visit quilthome.com for fabric
Until next time,
Love,
Anny

Update & Embroidery Tip

Standard

Post-Surgical news:  Well, it’s been 10 days since my surgery and I’m doing fine.  Probably get stitches out Monday and maybe the long pin (which I almost pulled out, thinking I had a paper clip stuck in my foot!  Aaahh!)  The rest of the pins and screws will stay forever.  (I’m officially screwy  lol)  I sent my daughter a pic of my feet and she said it looked like something Kathy Bates would do in “Misery.”  The drugs did a great job though!  As if the feet issue weren’t enough, we have a new member in our family.  She’s a 6 year old  bird dog–Springer Spaniel? .  Long story short–she needed a good home and she’s adorable!  Kate is very calm and getting along well with our Golden Retriever, Buddy, but has some potty issues that I could work on if I had normal feet. (Hm…that doesn’t sound right.)  🙂

Thank goodness I made that fortress of projects around the sofa.  Night before last was my first time back in our bed.  (Ha…that doesn’t sound right either; must be that prescription I’m on.)  I finished two red work projects and now working on an “orange work” autumn scene.  In case you aren’t familiar with red work, the embroidery scene/project is completed using only red thread.  (I made up “orange work.”  Maybe it’s a real term?)  And my sister bought me some fancy red work hats to start.  I’ve included a picture of my “orange work” because I found a new use for binder clips.  In previous entries about working with laminated fabric, I suggested using tiny clothespins or the smallest binder clips to replace pins.  Well now I’ve found that when embroidering a larger scene, I can roll the excess fabric up in clips, which makes it so much easier to maneuver around the hoop.

I’m still catching up on the magazines, especially ones by Stampington and ClothPaperScissors which I devour cover to cover.  I’m so very excited to see the Spring Edition of Stampington’s Haute Handbags publication.  My bag should be debuted there–fingers crossed. Tomorrow I’ll peruse my stack of bag making books.  Happy Sewing Everyone!