Sew Saturday ~ Crazy Cat Complete

Our local quilt guild, South Sound Modern Quilt Guild, put out a challenge last month for its members.  We were each given a square or two of this crazy cat fabric and asked to make a modern block using some of the cat fabric.

The fabric is sooooooooo NOT modern, but I suppose a challenge has to be a bit challenging, right? Here is what I came up with.

Kitty in the Window
This block was just what I pictured it would be when we got the challenge.  I saw the fabric and thought the cat should be in a window, so I designed this block around one of the kitties.  Our cat, Sasha had recently discovered that she could get from the couch to the end table to the window, so I had that in mind when I made this block.

Inspired Balance

My second block was definitely inspired by a couple of guild members who shared their beautiful work at the last two meetings.  Did you know we have "sew and share" every month?  It's a great source of inspiration!  Check out these two blogs to see what inspired me.  The original block from Eagle's Nest Designs Balance and from Sew I'm Pressed comes Balance Block.

I suppose this is proof that anything can be turned into something modern if you use small doses and add solid fabric.  :)  Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  If you are local and want to attend the next guild meeting to see how everyone else used this fabric we will be meeting on September 4th at Ruby Street Quiltworks.

Now it's time to decide what to work on next.  Do I start a new project with all the fun fabric I got this summer or do I go back to working on Star Shadow?  Decisions, decisions.   Perhaps I should just practice my Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) today before I dive into something else.  It's nice to see the cutting mat cleared off and know I only have one UFO at the moment.  :)

Creative Blessings,
Heather North


Washi Tape Goes Back To School

It's back to school time for many of us and I found a new use for my washi tape... decorating book covers and binders.  My son needed a book cover for his extra large books, so we went old school and pulled out the paper bags.

Covering these books with my son brought back memories.  He will probably add camo duct tape and draw jets or something else on the front, but I got to them first and introduced him to Washi Tape.  The WA is for his Washington History class, the other one just has a few strips in the corner.  He thought it would be cool to run the strips of Washi Tape on an angle across the entire cover of his book.  It would, but I don't have enough Washi Tape for that.  ;)

Epic Day This And That Designer Washi Tape
Epic Day Washi Tape
I thought I had the new Witches Brew Washi Tape, but apparently I didn't order it.  He would have liked that one too.  He will probably need a new cover before Halloween rolls around, so perhaps I should order him his own set.  :)

Witches' Brew Designer Washi Tape
Add caption

Have you used any of your craft supplies as back to school embellishments?  I think it would be great to stamp the front of these paper bag covers.  What do you think?  It could also dress up a Binder.   The Gingham Garden Washi Tape would be great for girls who love flowers or like pink.  We shall see what my son ends up doing.  I've learned that teenage boys have a mind of their own and I like to see what he comes up with when he gets creative.

Today I loaded up the 148 pictures I have taken this week.  Holy smokes, it's been a busy week. I won't bore you with all of them, but I will likely do a Sunday Share to show you a few highlights.    The picture above is in the hallway at the local Middle School.  Come back tomorrow to see my Crazy Cat blocks for the SSMQG challenge.

Creative Blessings,
Heather North


Fly High Birthday Boy

Today is my son's birthday.  His dream is to be a Naval Aviator.  When I make cards for people I usually try to make a card that fits their style.  I choose colors and images I think they will like.  Even though he is a teenager, I think he's going to love this one.

Today is also Thursday, so it's time for another StampNation Challenge card. It just so happens that I used the photo below as inspiration for my son's birthday card.  At first glance you may wonder how I went from that photo to this card, but if you look closely you might see the inspiration I drew from it.

First off, the color Red.   My son's favorite color is red, so I knew I could use this photo to make his card.  You might also notice the crisp white background with touches of blue/green.  I took that too for my "sky".  And then there is the texture of the burlap.  I didn't have the burlap ribbon when I made this card last month, so I made my own texture using Off the Grid stamp set in Crumb Cake ink.

The airplane comes from the Need for Speed stamp set.  (retired)  I colored it in with Real Red ink and a blender pen, one of my favorite ways to color.  The plane was cut out leaving a small white border all around it and then popped up on dimensionals.  The clouds were from the Cloudy Day embossing folder.  I just cut a few of those out and adhered it to my Soft Sky Deco Label.

Happy Birthday, my son!  May you always reach for your dreams, wherever they may take you.  I'm proud to be your mom and I love you to the moon and back again times infinity.  <3

Creative Blessings,
Heather North

P.S.  I think the Cloudy Day embossing folder might be retired.   :(  You can make your own clouds with the icing from the cupcake punch or freehand them, then use your paper piercing tool to add the texture around the edges. 

Stampin' UP! Supplies Used
Stamps: Need for Speed (retired), Off the Grid, Label Love
Ink: Crumb Cake, Black Staz-On, Real Red, Pool Party
Paper: Crumb Cake, Soft Sky, Whisper White
Misc.: Blender Pen, Cloudy Day EF (retired???), Deco Labels Framelits

Off the Grid
Off the Grid

Label Love
Label Love

Deco Labels Collection Framelits Dies
Deco Label Framelits


Just Because Hexagons

Yesterday's hexagons would work great for any guy to send or receive.  Today I put a more feminine touch on the card simply by changing the colors and the font on the sentiment.  Isn't it cool how versatile some stamp sets can be? 

Originally I had planned on wrapping Baker's Twine around the left hand side of the card, but I didn't have a color that went well with the colors I had stamped, so I cut the white panel a bit shorter and embossed the edge of the Smoky Slate cardstock.  It still felt like I was missing something so I tried adding a piece of Washi Tape. 

It works and it added a bit of playfulness to the card.  I do think that I need a pink and white Baker's Twine though.  :)  Actually it would be fun to have Baker's Twine in every color.

We're off for our annual "last day of summer vacation field trip".  It's one of the kid's favorite traditions.  Hope you have a fun day and have time to get a little creative.

Creative Blessings,
Heather North

Six-Sided Sampler
Six Sided Sampler

Gingham Garden Designer Washi Tape
Gingham Garden Tape


Masculine Monday with Hexagons

My son is working on his senior project for school and needed some thank you cards to send out.  Mom to the rescue.  :)

I pulled out my Six-Sided Sampler set along with the matching hexagon punch and baker's twine. 

To layer the hexagons, I cut out the stamped hexagon with "thanks much" stamped in the center.  It was pretty easy cut along those lines. 

Above is the second card I made.  It was even easier than the first one.  I used some retired nautical paper and then used my new Four You stamp set to stamp the Thank You sentiment.  Next I layered it all on a piece of navy cardstock to anchor the card front.

Four You
Four You

Even though I am calling this "Masculine Monday", these cards can be sent to/from anyone.  I need to whip up a few more to send to OWH.  :)

Creative Blessings,
Heather North

Six-Sided Sampler Clear Bundle
Six-Sided Sampler Bundle


Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty ~ Sunday Share

Do all cats like fabric or is it just our Sasha?  In yesterday's post I showed you her guarding the door to my sewing room while I was working on my quilt, but I forgot to show you the pictures of her loving on it earlier in the day.

Here it looks like she is hugging the quilt.  So cute.  Every time I try to lay fabric out on my bed she seems to jump on there to check it out herself.  It cracks me up.   She also gets on my sewing table and pulls scraps out of the trash. 

For some reason I have been capturing lots of pictures of Sasha lately.  She's in a "mischief" phase.  Here I caught her playing with a roll of toilet paper.  She's looking at the mess as if disgusted.  :)

Bella wanted to get in on the TP fun. 

Ever wonder what your animals are doing when you're not home?  Apparently Sasha plays on the Xbox.

Here she is sitting at the table wondering why we keep putting her food in a bowl on the floor.  Cats just crack me up.  They are in a class all by themselves.  Good thing she is soft and cute because she certainly isn't sweet. 

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and don't mind me sharing one of my fur babies with you.

Creative Blessings,
Heather North


Sew Saturday ~ ALYOF

My sewing goal for August on A Lovely Year of Finishes has been to quilt my practice quilt.  This is my first Free Motion Quilt (FMQ) and I hope it won't be my last.   It's something I want to master or at least try half a dozen quilts before deciding whether to pay somebody else to quilt for more or invest in a bigger machine.

My Button

I have a long way to go before I will be able to say I can FMQ.  It feels good to have this project done and under my belt with time left in the month.  One thing is sure, I enjoy making the quilt top more than quilting it together.  :)  At least for now.

It's not perfect, and that has been the hardest thing for me, but I kept reminding myself that this was practice.  There is no way to jump from beginner to perfect in one quilt.  It's just not possible.  I need to keep trying and work out the kinks.   I've been following Leah Day's motto not to rip anything out.  It would really be a waste of time on this particular quilt. 

Some of the quilt is "stitch in the ditch".  This helped to stabilize it for the rest of the quilting process.  It's something I will probably do again in other quilts, because it was nice to be able to pull the pins out after I was done and not worry about the quilt shifting too much.  I chose two different templates for my FMQing within the squares.

There is something very satisfying about having this project finished.  I still don't think it is good enough to give away to someone.   It's good enough to give to an animal shelter though, or let my kitty have it.   She was guarding the door to my sewing room last night as I was quilting.  Isn't she cute?  Do all cats love fabric as much as Sasha does? 

The binding on this quilt was actually the easiest part.  Can you believe that?  The fabric I used to piece the top was mostly cheap (old) fabric, and the 2 completed blocks were terribly "wonky" and not in a good "modern" way.  The quilting was challenging as I mentioned above, but the binding went together fairly easily.  Thanks in part to the great tutorial my new friend, Melissa, had on her blog Sew Bitter Sweet.  

Clicky to go to the tutorial

I followed her tutorial to use my backing as my binding.  The only difference is I used a straight stitch instead of a decorative one.  The one she used is super cute, but I was having "difficulties" with my machine and just wanted to get this project done!  (I broke 2 needles trying to do a decorative stitch before I realized I had the wrong foot on my machine.  DOH!)

It was a lovely day today, so I asked my son, Michael, if he would step outside and hold my quilt up so I could photograph it.  The wind made it difficult as did the shadows from the porch swing, but I love the big fluffy clouds in the sky behind him.  Thanks Michael!

Creative Blessings,
Heather North

P.S.  Now that I have finished this I plan on working on my Crazy Cat blocks for our SSMQG challenge.  Let's see if I can finish those too before August is done. 


Friday Fun Day

On Tuesday I gave you a little glimpse of this card and promised to show you the rest.   The star of this card is the Soho Subway DSP (Designer Series Paper or Double Sided Paper) and the Postage Collection Stamp Set.

I used the paper as my backdrop.  Then I stamped the image and punched them out with my Postage Stamp Punch, then layered it with a slightly larger Crisp Canteloupe square. 

I also used my Tiny Tags (retired) and Gorgeous Grunge stamp sets on these postage squares.  The Happy Birthday square is layered with a bit of the Tea Lace Doily that I sponged with Crisp Cantaloupe ink before sticking it behind the square.

The inside carries over from the outside.  I again used Gorgeous Grunge stamp set, but added in the sentiment from Blooming with Kindness.  I used another small strip of DSP as well.  Many cardmakers leave the inside of their cards blank.  If I know who the card is going to and the occasion I will usually decorate, or at least stamp a sentiment, on the inside.

I wonder if it is too late to send this 3rd birthday card to my Mother-in-Law????  Her birthday was at the beginning of August, and I already sent her two cards.  I could save it for next year, but I would probably lose it again.  :)  What would you do?

Creative Blessings,
Heather North

P.S.  Did you know you can Hostess Credit for a personal order of $150 or more?  You can spend your Hostess $$$ on the exclusive hostess items or any other item SU carries in their current catalogs.  :)

Postage Collection
Postage Collection

Soho Subway Designer Series Paper
Soho Subway DSP

Postage Stamp Punch
Postage Stamp Punch


Flowing Copics

Today's StampNation Inspiration Nation picture was one of my favorites for the month.  I had an immediate visual of what I wanted to make.  Sadly, the end result fell short of what I wanted.  That's ok though.  It happens.  It's still an interesting card, even if it didn't turn out the way I envisioned it.

Here is the inspiration photo.  I knew I wanted to make a card with gradient shades of purple.   

At first I really wanted to use ribbon, but I didn't have shades of the same color, and SU doesn't have a good purple selection.  I thought about buying some, but I wasn't pleased with what I found at the stores either.  My next thought was to color tissue paper.  I tried using my SU markers, but they didn't look right, so I took the plunge and invested in my first set of Copic Markers.  :)

The good news is I found a website that has a GREAT price on Copics. (CarpeDiem)  The bad news is that I couldn't try them out online, and when I got them in person they were more grey than lavender and purple.   Thankfully  I do like the colors though and want to get more so I have a better range to play with.

The focal piece was made by coloring layers of Copic onto tissue paper and then folding the tissue paper where the layers overlap.  Then I glued it down to a piece of Whisper White cardstock and layered that on Concord Crush (retired) cardstock with the bottom scalloped. 

The inside has a darling little touch.  I stamped another flower, like the one you see on the front of the card, and punched out my stamped image with the bitty butterfly punch.  Then I layered that on top of the Elegant Butterfly punch in Concord Crush.  I love making the inside with a touch of the front on it.

Part of creativity is trying new things.  Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.  There are even times where the end result turns out better than you imagined.  This wasn't one of those times for me, but it's still an interesting card and one I will be proud to send. 

Creative Blessings,
Heather North

Card Recipe: (Mostly SU unless otherwise mentioned)

Stamps: Flower Shop, Tiny Tags (Retired)
Paper: Concord Crush (Retired), Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White, Tissue Paper
Inks: Wisteria Wonder, Concord Crush
Copics: FV2, BV20, BV23, BV25, BV29
Misc: Fancy Fan Embossing Folder, Pansy Punch, Jewelry Tag Punch (Retired), Bitty Butterfly Punch, Elegant Butterfly Punch, Scallop Trim Border Punch, Sparkly Jewel (LSS)

Flower Shop Clear Bundle
Flower Shop Clear Mount Bundle
Get Punch & Stamp Set Together to Save $$$  :)

Elegant Butterfly Punch
Various Punches

Fancy Fan Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
Fancy Fan Embossing Folder