Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blogging Troubles and Updates and Fun

If you're wondering what my Log Cabin Pincushion Caddy looked like from Monday's post, I added new and improved photos. I don't know why my pictures weren't showing up, but they should be now. (vacation is trouble!) Anyway, I'm sorry about that.

Isn't it cute?! I love how it turned out.

Make sure to go check it out and enter the giveaway, for a free copy of Jamie and Jill's book!
(if you haven't already)

I remember a while ago when I was having a giveaway, and people were having problems commenting on my blog. Is that still the case? I'm just wondering if there is still something wrong that I should fix, or change? I'm just wondering. If you have a difficult time leaving a comment, will you let me know? Thanks!

Anyway, we are back home from our awesome vacation!!! I had such a blast! It was hard to leave, but it's always nice to be home.


Now that we are home, it is hitting me hard that summer is almost over! Hunter starts kindergarten in two weeks, Jackson starts preschool the beginning of September. I spent the whole morning making eye appointments, and dentist appointments, filling out registration forms, and...

I finally bought my plane ticket to go to the Sewing Summit in September!!! It is now officially official!! I  am so excited! Now to get my class planning finished and polished off! I'm so nervous, but excited! They posted the class schedule yesterday along with the class descriptions. You can check it out HERE.  I'm excited to see who wants to/will be taking my class. I'd love to know what questions everyone has so I can be sure to cover them. :) Eek!

Hope you are having a great week!!!


Monday, July 29, 2013

My Stop on the Sewing Accessories Book Blog Hop & Giveaway!

I am so excited to share with you today my project for the Sewing Accessories Book Blog Hop. Jamie Muller of Sunflower Seeds and Jill of Constantly Quilting recently published their first book, and it is great! To be honest, I'm not really a book buying gal. I tend to lean more to making up my own patterns. But the more I looked at this book, and the more I look at each pattern, the more I want to make them all! They really put together a great compilation of patterns and projects.

I decided to make the pincushion caddy. Since I've been moving my sewing machine back and forth between my sewing room and living room when the kids play outside, this will be nice to keep all my supplies together and organized.

I'm sure I'll end up with a lot more stuff in there. I wanted to keep it simple for the pictures. ;)


I love how it turned out! I bought a bunch of fat quarters to make it with, which I really did not need that much fabric! Oops. Oh well. ;) (such a bummer right?! Haha.) I think two fat quarters would have been enough, if you are wondering how much total fabric you need for this. It is definitely scrap friendly!

Also, make sure you print the log cabin pattern large enough. It should finish at 6”. I printed mine at 5.5”, and didn't realize it until I had made all my blocks. But I made it work. :)

I think this side is my favorite

I can't wait to start using it!

Next I really want to make the the armchair caddy, and the Sew on the Go Tote bag (you can fit an 18" X 24" rotary cutting mat in there. How nice would that be to carry your stuff around?! Now if only I had a guild to go join in on their sewing days, I'd be set.)


Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop if you haven't already, to see more great projects from the book! (the links go right to the blog hop posts)

July 8th- Steffani
July 15th-Janice
July 22nd-Jamie
July 29th-Diane

Now for your chance to win a copy of the book!
  Just leave a comment on my blog, telling me what project you would make (which means you might have to go check out the other blogs to find out what all the projects are, Jamie and Jill are sharing one each week.) and I'll pick a winner this Saturday!

You can also find Sewing Accessories: At Home and on the Go on their website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Annie's Publishing

Thanks so much for stopping by!
And thank you SO much Jamie and Jill for letting me participate in the blog hop!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Peek into the Design Process

If you follow me on IG (@fromblankpages) you have probably seen some of the designs I've been playing with lately. (I share a lot on IG. WAY more than I blog.) Anyway, I thought I'd change it up a bit and share some of my creative progress here. :)

I recently came up with this little design:

 I like leaves

But they did need something. So I used some of the same basic shapes to make a flower:

 a rough draft

In an attempt to fix it and come up with the perfect flower, I came up with these, in this order:

 This one might be my favorite

 Then there was this. This was what I was initially thinking of.

A simple flower with a stem and leaves.

And there you have it. A peek into how my ideas evolve. I really love designing, and playing. The process itself is so rewarding. Lately I've really been letting the designs guide me, and not forcing anything in particular. It's led to some really fun things that I hope I can make into actual patterns and designs soon.

And on that note, I've been sick this week. (Not that that has anything to do with designing.) But since I've been a bit down and out, instead of sitting all day on the couch, I've been sitting at the computer a little more. Yesterday I finished up my first official quilt pattern! It's a pretty simple design, and one I've actually had in my notebook for well over a year, maybe two. The wait is finally over! I sent it out to a bunch of volunteer testers (all found on IG. Let me know if I should ask for testers over here on the blog, and I'll share the opportunities.) ;) Anyway, I hope that I can have it polished off and ready to publish by the middle of next month. I'm so excited, and nervous! It's taken me a long time to get up the courage to try a quilt pattern. Glad that time finally came! I definitely have other designs I'd love to share as well. :) 

Isn't life just full of surprises?! I love it!
Have you had any fun new adventures lately??
I hope so. It's so rewarding to try something new.
even if it doesn't work out.

p.s. please do not copy any of these designs. Thanks!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Planning a Quilt-A-Long!

I have decided to try hosting a Quilt-A-Long on the good ol' blog.  Hooray. :) I definitely don't have time before we go out to Utah later this month, but if I don't start planning now, I know it won't happen. I think these kinds of things are supposed to be organized in the background, without all of you good readers knowing anything about it until it's all set up and organized and ready to start, but if you haven't noticed, I don't really work like that. :) Not that I can't keep secrets, because I can. It's more, how will I know what you want if I don't ask you?! Communication is key. So I'm going to tell you what I'm planning, and then I'm all ears for your thoughts and opinions, and what questions you'd like me to answer. And then as I put this all together, it'll be just what we all hoped for and more! How does that sound? So, here we go...

If you follow me on IG (instagram @fromblankpages) then you've seen some of my patterns that I've been playing around with. Well, there is one specifically that I can't seem to get enough of. It's the same pattern I used to make my liberty pillow. Playing with the pattern on my computer, there are a load of designs that you could make with it, and I'm sure more than what I've come up with.

Some designs vary only slightly, like this group,

This is what has inspired my QAL idea. It's going to be a one pattern design, this pattern. But it comes with a challenge, which you don't have to accept. If you do want to accept it, I really want to know just how many designs or variations can come from this one pattern! I already have a few that I've come up with and shared, and you can pick any of those, or you can try your hand at something different. I love versatility, and that is one thing that I LOVE about this pattern!

but then I've found some that are really quite drastically different.
Every picture on this blog starts from the same basic pattern.

So to get started, I will be making up a coloring page of the pattern, which will be free, and everyone can download it and print it as many times you want, and color your heart out! I mean, how are you going to know what you want to make if you can't color it first, right?!

Then, when you know you want in, I will be making the pattern in three different sizes. I'm thinking a 12" finished square, a 18" finished square and a 24" finished square. OR should I do something different? What size would you want your pattern in??? Maybe a 6" finished square?

You will need to pay for the pattern, but I'll be hosting some giveaways, and maybe get some help with giveaways on other blogs as well, so there will definitely be some chances of getting your pattern for free. I'll sell the pattern in the different sizes as well as a combined pattern with all the sizes at a bundled price. I'm thinking maybe some flash coupon/sales that are for a limited time only. (The pattern will contain: all the pieces for the block, a coloring page, any special instructions, templates for cutting out your fabric - so helpful!, and anything else that I think of that is useful with the pattern. I don't like to leave you hanging when you purchase a pattern from me.) Please remember to NOT share your patterns. If you or your friend really want to participate and can't afford the few dollars it will cost, just send me an email! We'll figure it out. Just please don't share, or copy, or sell my pattern(s). Thanks!

This is a crazy picture, but the border is also made using the same pattern pieces, just arranged differently. I colored two different options, the very top vs the rest of the border.
Basically this just shows more options in every way.

Then we'll get started! Each week, or however often, we'll have link ups with your progress (the first one could be of your coloring pages!).  I'll also share loads of tips, how to's, etc for paper piecing, cutting fabrics, using fussy cut prints, printing pattern pieces, finishing your block, etc. This is another area where I need your help: What tips and tricks would you like me to share? What questions/problems do you have when you paper piece? If you let me know now, I'll be sure to cover it during the QAL. Maybe I can find some guest bloggers to help out with tips and tricks as well.

Then at the end there will be a final link up with PRIZES! :) I'm thinking maybe I could have my hubby pick the ultimate winner, and perhaps some voting for the top three designs, of course some special prizes for the most unique designs, and then maybe some random drawing winners. (This depends on how many sponsors I get, I guess.) But really, what's a QAL without prizes right?! I'll be sure to have some good ones.

So here's a quick summary:

Name: The One Pattern QAL, aka, One Pattern - How many designs?, or if I ever come up with a name for the pattern, that could be the name of the QAL. :)

Challenge: create a unique design/pattern using my one pattern, or just quilt-a-long with us!

Size: Any size. Make a mini quilt, pillow, etc. with just one block, or make a whole quilt. Finished quilt tops will be totally acceptable to link up as a finish, it doesn't have to be quilted and bound.

Prizes: Yes!

Other: Tips, how to's, Giveaways, fun!

Time frame: I'll be out of town until the end of July, so I'm thinking start in August, then perhaps end at the end of September. I know this is when school starts, so I don't want it to be crunch time. What do you think? Maybe start in September? Should it go for two months?

If you would be interested in helping out (hosting giveaways, being a guest blogger/tip giver, being a sponsor, etc.) shoot me an email (fromblankpages at gmail dot com). I will be more than happy to consider everyone, but don't be upset if I get overwhelmed with offers and can't use everyone. (I can dream, right?! lol.) I will also be sending out emails, inviting people to join in. Yes, I will be putting in a lot of effort for this QAL. ;)

Questions I have for you:
  • What size(s) would you want the pattern to be available in?
  • What is a good name for the pattern? If I use your name I'll give you a free copy!
  • What tips/tricks would you like to learn? What questions/problems do you have with paper piecing? I'll share these in the weekly(?) QAL blog posts.
  • How much time would you want from start to finish, to finish your project? (one month? two months? etc.)
  • What dates/months are best for you? (should it start at the beginning of the month, in the middle, August, September, etc.)

So here is my very backwards way of organizing a Quilt-A-Long. :) I hope you enjoy this!! I really can't wait for this to come together. And I especially can't wait to make another pillow with this pattern... I already have my idea figured out. And even if you have no other feedback, than saying you would like to join, please let me know! If everyone is only silently excited, and I don't get any feedback, I might just drop it and move onto something else. ;)

p.s. When I finish this pattern, you will be allowed to sell items you make with it, on a small scale. In the past almost all of my patterns have been for personal use only, but I'm changing my mind. Just no mass producing, and again, no sharing, copying, or selling the actual pattern itself. Each pattern only allows for one person to sell from it. Multiple makers/users need to purchase their own pattern. :)

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long

This post is for the 2013 Finish-A-Long, 3rd Quarter with Leanne of She Can Quilt. Learn more about it here.

she can quilt

I tried really hard to get more projects finished last quarter, but it didn't happen. (Not surprised since I really only tried the last week of the quarter. lol. oops.) But now I'm determined to get more of these projects finished! And it makes it easier since I did at least make some progress on some of them.

Finishes from last quarter:
  • my Travel Duffel Bag. You can see it here.
Progress from last quarter:
  • Mabel's quilt! Hooray!


I finally basted it and started quilting it. I think I would have/could have finished it, if I hadn't run out of the pink thread. (I am quilting the center with large pink flowers and then vertical lines in green thread.) I did finish the flowers, and only have a few more lines to quilt with the green thread. Then I want to write quilt Mabel's name, birthday, birth place, etc (just like the boys quilts) around the sashing and quilt more flowers around the outside border. I ordered more thread from Joann's and it's supposed to get her tomorrow. I really should have just waited and bought some Saturday when we were actually down there. Oh well.


I really like how it all looks on the back, granted my flowers are no where near perfect. But I'm not so sure about the front. I think the quilting is a little more juvenile, and the quilt/fabric on the front looks more elegant. I think it will be fine for my girl and I think she'll love it no matter what. If I wanted to really show off the quilt though, I think I could have gone with something else. Anyway, just my inner turmoil. ha. The only reason why I've put this quilt off so long is because I was so nervous that my quilting would be less than perfect. Since I sent the boys quilts out to be quilted on a long arm, they look so fantastic, and I know my skills aren't that good. I finally decided that it doesn't even matter, and I'm sure she'll love having a quilt by mom, more than she'll care if it was professionally quilted.

  • coasters and mug rugs

You would THINK I could get these done already. I was going to finish these too, but I had the quilt on the machine. This quarter I got them squared up and cut the binding for them. As soon as I finish up the center of Mabel's quilt and get it off my machine, I'll sew the bindings on so I can stitch them when I'm not at my machine. :)

  • 60's Granny Quilt - I did finally get all my larger blocks sewn together. Except now I want to replace the orange with an aqua or teal or something. (shaking my head. this will never be finished.) lol. I am really getting excited for this, but I am not in a rush to finish it right now.

Here is the rest of my list for the 3rd Quarter:
(I took new pictures so you at least can see new photos even if the projects are the same.) :)

  • This quilt - this is top priority next on my list. I really want to finish it before we leave for Utah later this month. It might be a sewing marathon, but I want to do it. (I'm crossing my fingers that I can get this done along with my projects for my swap I'm in with two good friends of mine.)

  •  This diaper bag - I actually would love to get this made this week, or whenever. But definitely before we leave for Utah. I really need a new diaper bag and I love all the pockets in this one. Plus I really want a green bag, I always have! I love this Amy Butler fabric and can't wait to finish this one up.

and the rest of my projects for the quarter, in no particular order:

  • kaleidoscope quilt - I need to finish the back, baste and quilt.

  • knitting roll - I still have like 3 rows to add to it this section and then finish it.
  • My ABC's Number's Book

  • Starburst mini - I don't actually know what to do with this. My hubby is not a fan of mini quilts. He doesn't understand the whole concept of hanging fabric on your wall. Idk.

  • This block that I want to make into Tommy's quilt, maybe. I'm undecided. But I would love to write up a pattern for it either way. :)

  • Placemats

I think I added only one new project, and actually left off a few that I've had on my list previously. I'm not going to worry about them right now. We'll see how this quarter goes... I'm in the mood to finish things, so hopefully it goes well. What about you?? What do you have on your list? Do you do better with longer lists? or shorter lists? (I like longer because then I can kind of pick and choose.) :)


Sunday, July 7, 2013

And the winners are...

Yep! WinnerS. I have had a super great day today and decided to pick a few extra winners for my giveaway! Because we were celebrating the fourth, I decided to pick four! :) (all picked through the rafflecopter widget.)

Congrats to:

I sent out emails and already heard back from one. If you (the winners) didn't get an email from me, be sure to check your spam or email me so I can send you the pattern of your choice! :) I kind of want to keep picking winners, but I think maybe I'll just have to do another giveaway soon-ish. :)

Thank you everyone who stopped by, said hi, entered the giveaway, and follow along! And of course to all of those who supported my shops over the weekend! You definitely keep me motivated and I love it! :) I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and weekend!! We definitely did, and I couldn't be happier.

Happy Sunday!!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Do you remember...

...when I had a giveaway BEFORE I was pregnant, and I asked what you would make with my My ABC's paper piecing pattern? And I picked two winners, and then I had a baby.... and then I haven't said anything about it since? Well, I want to say something now.

Danielle of Fresh Off The Spool emailed me last month letting me know that she finished her sewing machine cover, and blogged about it HERE. It's amazing!! She gave me the ok to share some pictures with you too.

I love it! I especially love her spool of thread on the back, which is a design she made and uses for her blog. Isn't it beautiful?! You should definitely go to her blog post HERE and read more about it, and see more pictures too. :)

Thanks Danielle!!

I have to add, and I didn't know this until right now when she said I could use her photos, that this was her first time paper piecing! Didn't she do a fantastic job?! She is one talented gal! :)

If you haven't already, be sure to enter the giveaway HERE 
to win your choice of any one of my patterns!
Have a great weekend!!