Sew Sunday ~ ALYOF

A Lovely Year of Finishes
March Link-Up

I'm so glad I made this my goal for ALYOF.  It's been sitting in my UFO pile for over a year.

My March goal was to complete my quilted name tag for the South Sound Modern Quilt Guild meetings.  This "name tag" is rather large, but it is finished.  Perhaps I will make a smaller, more manageable nametag in the future, but for now I have one finished.  :)

The small block comes from my shooting star quilt.  It was great practicing the quilting for this block.  I was playing around with idea of having lines coming out from the main star, but I wasn't sure I would like it.  Practicing on this small piece gives me an idea of how I want to quilt the entire quilt, if I ever finish that one.  One day it will end up as a goal for ALYOF.

Here are my finished blocks for the Holiday Chic quilt along.  I decided to lay them all out on my quilt wall and I'm pleased with the progress.

In other quilting news for March, I finished my Broken Herringbone top and my Arts Walk top.  No pictures though, sorry.  I'm hoping to get some pictures at our next guild meeting and share them with you next week.


My Son's Birthday

My baby boy is no longer a baby, but as any mother can tell you, he will always be my baby.  :)  Until he gives me grandchildren, but we have several years before that happens.  His 15th birthday was last month and all he wanted was a quiet weekend at home, money and a cake.  :)  You just have to love teenagers.

He loves music, so I pulled out some paper with sheet music on it, and distressed/tore/folded the edges to give it a worn look.  I layered it on a dark piece of cardstock and then used a Very Vanilla base.  Michael loved the little bronze paper clips.   To add even more texture to the card I stamped my sentiment onto a piece of Linen Ribbon, then inked it to age it.

Stamps: Boy Basics Game On (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Tea Die, Antique Linen (Distress); Chocolate Chip (SU)
Paper: Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Epic Day DSP, Modern Medley DSP (SU); Black Sparkly Paper (???)
Accessories: Banners Framelits, Distress Tool, Mini Library Clips, Natural Cotton Ribbon (SU); Flourish Die Cut (Cricut)


Sweet Paisley Cookies

There is a new challenge at StampNation this week based on a sweet paisley cookies photo.  Check out this sneak peek of how the design team was inspired.

Challenge #164


Happy Mail

When I was a little girl I had a pen-pal.  Her grandma lived next door to us, in California, but she lived in Florida.  We would write to each other and include stickers with each letter.  My love for "Happy Mail" came way back then.  I remember checking the mailbox each day after I sent me letter on to see if she had sent one back.

Nowadays my mailbox is more likely to be filled with bills, flyers, ads or political propaganda.   I don't race to the mailbox everyday, instead I force myself to stop at the mailbox before pulling in our driveway.  Some days though there is a great surprise and I rip into some happy mail.  It fills me with just as much, if not more, joy today as it did when I was 9 or 10 years old.

I thought I would share some of my recent happy mail with you and encourage you to send a card to a friend this week.

First up is my dear friend, Debbie.  She sent me this lovely quitled heart card for Valentine's Day.  <3  Isn't she the sweetest?  Those are really stitches and thread my friends.  She put  a lot of time and love into this card and it made me tear up a little as well smile.  It matches my home decor so it sits on a shelf in my entryway, when it is not in the window having its picture taken, even though it is now March.

Debbie Tester
aka Inky Fingers

The next card amazes me.  When I joined Stampin' UP! as a demonstrator there were so many options of who to sign up with. I chose Joan Robertson because I had learned so much through her online card clubs and also because her upline was Dawn Griffith.  I'll admit to being a little starry eyed.  I never imagined that I would one day get a card from The Glitter Queen herself.  Thanks to my customers and the customers that have come to me through Catherine Pooler, I have reached the top 5 in sales on her team several times and received happy mail from her.  The card below is one of them, and it inspired my card for the 100th Stampin' Celebration Challenge.

Dawn Griffith
Allison's card was extreme happy mail.  She blew me away when I opened my mailbox and I literally cried.  Ally is on the dream team at StampNation and she is crazy talented with Copic markers.  At first glance I thought she had used patterned paper, but she didn't.  Each flower and dot and shade of color on the front panel was put there with her talented hands.  It's like having a little work of art to greet me on my desk each morning.  What blew me away though was the thoughtful message inside.  She blessed my socks off with just a few words of kindness and appreciation.  <3


Have A Happy Day

This is one of the cards I made in January for the StampNation birthday bash, but I don't think I ever posted it.  Honestly, I'm not sure I like it.  Sometimes I look at it and think I love it.  Other times it catches my eye and I say to myself, "what was I thinking?".

As winter moves into Spring I am liking it more.  Anyway, here it is for you.  Not all my cards sing to me, but I imagine getting this in the mail would make someone happy.

Stamps: Be Blessed (Verve)
Ink: Doll Pink, Lavender (Simon Says Stamp); Pink Pirouette (SU); Bubble Gum (Hero Arts Shadow Ink); Berry Blaze (Kaleidacolor); Versamark
Paper: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi (SU); Doll Pink (SSS)
Accessories: Flourish Trim Die (Verve); Wild Wasabi Embossing Powder (SU)


Technique Challenge

Happy Friday!  The weekend is almost here!!!!

A new challenge is up on StampNation and it is a technique challenge.  This is one of the easiest inking techniques out there.  You almost can't mess it up.  :)  Can you guess what the technique is based on the Design Team sneak peeks?

If you saw my card last Friday from the Whimsy Stamps March 2015 New Release blog hop and wanted a look at my full pink & green card, you can find it in this week's challenge over at StampNation.   Clicky 

Hint 1: I used a different technique on this tag than I did on last week's tag.
Hint 2:  You can find this technique in the Technique Toolbox: Creative Uses for Dye Inks class.


Stampin' Celebration Challenge 100

It's time to celebrate the 100th challenge at Stampin' Celebration with a class photo inspiration collage.


The butterflies floating off the left side of the mask really caught my eye.  I wanted to see if I could make them do the same thing on my card.

There is just a touch of gold ink mixed into the other inks for my purple butterflies to bring in the touches of gold in the pictures.  At first it looked like a muddy mess, but as the gold dried it shimmered  in a very pretty way.

Be sure to head on over to the Stampin' Celebration Challenge blog to see what the rest of the design team has created.  It's a whole lot of lovely.  Plus, I have heard there may be a prize up for grabs for our 100 challenge.  ;) 

Stamps: Butterfly Basics (Stampin' UP!)
Ink: Blackberry Bliss, Perfect Plum, Wisteria Wonder (SU); Versamark; Golden Glitz Delicata Ink (Tsukineko)
Paper: Basic Black, Painted Blooms DSP, Whisper White (SU); White (Bazzill)
Accessories: Beautiful Wings Embosslits, Butterfly Punches, White Embossing Powder (SU)


Sew Sunday with Violet Craft

Last weekend I took the Violet Craft Broken Herringbone class along with over a dozen other members of the South Sound Modern Quilt Guild.  It was sew much fun!  Every one of the ladies chose different fabrics, yet each quilt turned out amazing.  I'm inspired to make several more quilts using this pattern along with the UnBroken Herringbone pattern.

Violet Craft with her Unbroken Herringbone quilt.
Violet Craft is a fabric designer for Michael Miller.  She designs quilt patterns using inspiration from her very own fabric designs.

Violet Craft with her Broken Herringbone quilt.
Plus, she is cute as a button!   The pattern is not extremely difficult, but the tips and tricks Violet gave us made the process so much easier.  Plus, she gave us hands-on design help with each stage of our quilt making.  That was worth more than the price of the class!

Here I am getting started.  The fabric you see here was the inspiration for all the fabrics I chose.  This is the wrong side, of course, but what I love is the pale aqua print in the background and the pops of pink, red and lavender in the flowers.  We came to class prepared with all our strips cut and each patterned piece sewn to a 1.5" strip.

 The next step was to sew sets of 2 together, then we laid them out on the floor and checked for design.  See those ruby slippers in the picture below?  Yep, those are Violets shoes as she helped me move strips around for the best possible flow.
From there I started sewing all my strips together and a pattern emerged.  Below is my quilt on one of the tables ready for its trim.  I could have left it like this for the unbroken herringbone, but I didn't.  ;)

Now came the truly hard part.  Cutting off those sides and flipping them, then lining them up again for the most eye-pleasing arrangement.  This is where I left class.
Most of the participants in the class finished their quilt top that day.  Those of us who didn't got at least this far, I think.  I had to leave about an hour before class was finished.  We had one member who was working on a double herringbone quilt.  I can't wait to see her finish.

It was so much fun to see the deer head trend with touches of gold in fabric.  I've seen it all over the place on cards.  It had me tempted to take this paper piecing class from her.
At the end of class Violet did a show and share.  It was wonderful to see some of her creations up close and personal.  We also learned the back story behind her new fabric line being released later this year.

If you would like to see more pictures from the class, including what the otehr guild members were working on, be sure to follow the South Sound Modern Quilt Guild blog.  I'll be working on that post next and hopefully have it up on the blog for you tomorrow.


Whimsy Stamps March Release Blog Hop

I'm so excited to be sharing my card with you today.  Denise, from Whimsy Stamps, has invited the StampNation design team to join along with her design team for a blog hop celebrating their new release!

Isn't this one of the cutest new releases ever?!  If you think the stamps are cute on your computer screen, just wait until you get them home and ink them up.

>>>If you are viewing this post in an email or reader you may need to go to my blog to view the video above. <<<

I made 2 cards, one for the blog hop and one going up on the StampNation forum in next week's challenge.  ;)  Here's a sneak peek for you.  This time the deer is a girl and I used the direct 2 paper technique.

Whimsy Stamps is adding even more fun to this blog hop by giving away prizes to some lucky commenters each day of the 3 day blog hop.

Now it's time to hop along to Maureen.  If you want to start at the beginning I have a list below.  Be sure to leave some love on each of the blogs for the best chance to win.  ;)

Friday, March 13th  
Heather >---->you are here

Stamps: Circles Circles Circles, Into the Woods (Whimsy Stamps)
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Coastal Cabana, Garden Green, Pool Party, Tempting Turquoise (SU), Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Paper: Whisper White (SU)
Accesories: Stitched Tag Dies (Whimsy Stamps); 1/8" Silver Taffeta Ribbon (SU)


Spring Green

It's Wednesday and that means there is a new challenge up at StampNation.  This week it's all about the green.  Green for St. Patrick's Day, and the promise of Spring.  Use any amount of green on your project this week and load it up to the challenge for all your sistahs and brothas to see.

Can you guess which one is mine?  Here's a huge hint.  I took the leftovers from my card to create a second card.  Both cards came together super quickly thanks to my dies.

Stamps: Quite Like You (Wplus9)
Ink: Golden Glitz Delicata (Tsukineko); Black (Staz-On)
Paper: Cherish 6x6 Bundle (Authentique)
Accessories: Butterfly Thinlits, Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits (Stampin' UP!), Stritches & Stripes Cover Plate (Lil' Inker Designs)


Thinking of You

When the Flora & Fauna stamp set from Wplus9 first came out I HAD TO HAVE it, so I bought it.  And I love it.  Unfortunately I only used a couple of times and then put it away.  Today, I remedied that and gave some love to a few more stamps in the set.

To create my little scene I colored my stamps with distress markers and then spritzed them with a little water before stamping.  My aquapainter and distress markers were also used to color in the sky, butterfly and banners.   Black cardstock and ink helped create resting spots for the eyes and pull the card together.

My second card was done in a similar way, but with a softer touch.  I layered this card on a soft yellow cardstock instead of using the stark black.

The sun was almost set on this cloudy day when I took the picture, so I didn't have the best lighting, but I wanted to get a picture of these card in on time to enter the Throwback Thursday challenge at Wplus9.  It ends in two days, so hurry up and pull out on of their stamps you haven't used in awhile to give it some love.

I'm also entering my first card in the CAS(E) this sketch challenge.  The little banners coming off the focal image were 100% inspired by this sketch.  To make the banners really shine, I staggered them with a black banner.  Another fabulous sketch that I'm sure to be using again.

Stamps: Flora & Fauna 2, Lucky Stars (Wplus9); Eloquence (Penny Black)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Seedless Preserves, Picked Raspberry, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Worn Lipstick, Wild Honey, Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters (Distress Markers)
Paper: Distress Watercolor Paper (Ranger); Basic Black, So Saffron, Whisper White (Stampin' UP!)
Accessories: Stitched Rectangles Dies, Rounded Stitched Rectangle Dies (Lil' Inker Designs); Banner Punch, Corner Rounder (Stampin' UP!)


Sew Sunday

This weekend I had a BLAST at the Violet Craft Broken Herringbone class with my fellow South Sound Modern Quilt Guild sisters.  Violet Craft was a wonderful teacher and designer.  She designed all the fabrics in this quilt and also designed the quilt itself.  I'll post more photos soon, but I want to share this one with you.

Isn't she darling?   I'm now on the hunt for all her fabric.  :)   If I could have found her fabric line before the class I would have used it.  Instead I had to hunt out something different.    All my fabric ready to be pressed and cut.

All my fabric ready to be pressed and cut.

I had a slight mishap with my iron and my refill cup.  The cup tipped over while I was taking these pictures and I didn't notice it had fallen under my iron.  OOPS!

I used a small iron while my husband tried to get most of the plastic out of the holes.  It took a lot longer, but I managed to get everything pressed, cut, pieced and pressed again for pre-class prep.

This is the wrong side of my favorite pattern.  It is the fabric that inspired all the other fabrics I chose for this quilt.  I'll share more pictures with you next weekend.  Just wait until you see what everyone else is doing.

Update: My art's walk challenge quilt is getting a couple borders added to it.  It's starting to look much more balanced now.

Here is my last picture for you today.  It's almost midnight, so I really need to get to bed. But, my sewing machine has been so busy last week that I just have to share it with you.  Above are my 2 charity blocks for March.  These birch tree blocks were very fun to make.  I'm tempted to make an entire quilt out of them.  hmmm... I better finish up some of my UFO's first.  ;)

In case you are following my ALYOF, and I bet you aren't, I did make a little progress on my namebadge.  I squared up the star block and sewed it to my name block, then squared it up again.  It's now ready to be quilted.  There is hope I will make finish it by the end of this month.  Sorry I don't have any pictures to share with you.


Papa's Birthday

Papa Marty had a birthday earlier last month, so I had to make him a special masculine card.   It can be fun playing with nuetrals, metal, brads and sponges.  I pulled out my distress tool and added texture to the plain tag.  The patterned paper is from an old stack that I love for masculine cards.  I save it for my special people.  :)   (My husband would say I hoard it, but he just doesn't understand)

If you are having trouble making masculine cards try these tips:
1. Use a neutral color palette.  (Grays, blacks, browns, whites and creams)
2. Distress pieces with sandpaper, torn edges, sponging or splattering ink.
3. Add texture with embossing folders or dimensional adhesive.
4. Keep it clean and simple  (Obviously I skipped this step on the card above)

I'm entering my card into this month's Virginia's View Challenge: Embossing.  I embossed the metal piece with an embossing folder, then sanded some of the black off so the silver foil would shine through.
March 2015

Stamps: RAD (CAS*ual Fridays Stamps)
Ink: Smoky Slate, Basic Gray (SU)
Paper: Basic Grey, Well Worn DSP, Smoky Slate (SU)
Accessories: Banners Framelits, Distress Tool, Argyle Embossing Folder, Candy Dots Neutral, Candy Dots Brad Bases (SU); Black Foil Sheet


Critter Cuteness

The new challenge is up on StampNation and we are on cuteness overload with all the adorable critters coming out to play.  Here's a sneak peek of what the design team has created for the challenge.

Can you guess which card is mine?  StampNation members clicky to see the full cards and play along with our cute critter challenge.


Sketchy Stampin' Celebration

Y'all know I love me some sketches, so I may be a bit biased, but I LOVE the new sketch up at Stampin' Celebration today!  Check this out.  I feel another "3 card inspiration from one sketch" coming on.

I started with the striped paper I've been hoarding from the High Tide DSP.  It's so silly not to use paper I love, isn't it?  This layout is great because I only needed a little.  ;)  As if I really needed to save paper.

Isn't that a great sketch?!  Be sure to hop on over to the Stampin' Celebration blog to see how the rest of the design team was inspired and link up your own creation.  :)

Stampin' UP! Supplies
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink: Pacific Point
Paper: High Tide DSP, Whisper White
Accessories: Banners Framelits


Sew Sunday

New month, new goals on A Lovely Year of Finishes.  My goal this month is to finally make my name tag for our South Sound Modern Quilt Guild meetings.  I started this one over a year ago and never finished it.  I might scrap it completely and create something new, but it is high time I made a name tag to wear each month.  (It would also be nice if I could find my member pin, but I digress.)

Here is what I have so far.  The star is an orphan from my shooting star quilt.  I didn't do a stellar job with my 1/4" seems on this block (pun intended).  Instead of just throwing it out or ripping and re-sewing I decided to use it for my "name tag". For my name I signed with frixion pen and and hand-stitched the lines with sparkly purple thread.  All I need to do is sew the pieces together, square them up, then quilt and bind it.  Obviously I need to make this 2 hour "chore" a finish because it's been over a year sitting in my sewing room not being finished.

March Goals

In addition to the name tag I also need to decide what I am going to do with my arts walk quilt.  See yesterday's post for deets on that one.  I have a plan for how I'm going to quilt it, I just need to decide if I am going to add borders to the top first and how to do that and keep it looking "modern".  What are your March sewing goals?  Be sure to link up with Melissa and Shanna at ALYOF to be entered for prizes and awesome motivation.

Other sewing projects:
2 Birch Tree blocks for SSMQG
Applique NOEL blocks for my Holiday Chic quilt
Start Broken Herringbone Quilt (Class is next weekend)