Hectic Week with a Good Ending!

Had one of those weeks where I was working, working, working and still I am not close to finishing items for orders.  I hate when I have done so much work and don’t have much to show for it.
I can show you these silk painted pillows that I finished last week for an order.
The silk panel is handpainted, and machine quilted.  Then the batik borders are added, and the piping and the zipper finishes it off.
At least I had a nice surprise to end a weary week……..
It is my Urban Home Goods Swap package from my secret partner!!! eeeeekkkkk…..an apron, a tea towel with an embroidered owl, a bookmark, and frog shaped tea strainer, a sweet card and these precious felt hearts.
It is a secret until you get the package!  These great items came from Jennifer.  Her blog is here.  Go check it out, she does some neat fabric work and also does silversmithing…..we have quite a bit in common!
I will be saving that apron to wear at my next show.  I am too messy when i cook to wear that beauty for cooking!  I love aprons.  They give you extra pockets for little items you may need when working a show.
Above is a close-up of the tea towel, bookmark, felt hearts, notecard and the froggy tea strainer.
Great little surprise to end a hectic week! 

My Weekend of Gardening and Quilting

Spent this weekend in the garden.  I love the weather we have right now….warm but not too hot with a nice breeze.  I was also very excited that my bottle brush tree finally bloomed.
I think this is my favorite tree.  It is so pretty when it is blooming.
Also cleaned out the turtle ponds.  Whenever we do this the dogs are very curious about the turtles.  Trixi got nipped in the nose by one this time, so she’s not so curious anymore!
But Salty here has no fear!
I let some of the turtles have a run in the grass.  Whoever came up with the idea that these creatures are slow….was very wrong!  This one below is my large female.  She is about five times bigger than the little one in the above picture.  I couldn’t hold her in one hand and take a picture with the other!……well I could if I wanted to get nipped myself, but after Trixi yelped and jumped back about four feet, I figured it hurts!
I also finished up my Urban Home Goods Swap this weekend and will be mailing it out tomorrow.
I made a journal cover and a set of coasters.  Hope my partner likes them!
Just a quick post since I just came from the studio trying to finish up some jewelry orders.  I have usually been asleep for an hour by now, so that is why there are a lot of pictures and not much writing in this post!
Good night for now.  Will be back in a few days with some new creations 🙂

A Peek and A Ta-Daaaa!

I am still finishing off swaps goodies this week.  I am not sure how I got involved in so many at one time.  Actually I say that and today I have signed up for MORE!!!  Slight addiction (maybe).  I just love making goodies for people and receiving their goodies 🙂
Here is a sneak peek of one of my placemats for the Placemat Quilt Swap.
I can only show a peek because I know that calamitykim follows my blog!  She and I agreed to do a pair for each other so our husbands could have one to use as well!  She does some pretty cool work, so go check out her blog.
Also, back in January there was a benefit concert, raffle and auction here in Abaco to raise money for Royal Potcake Rescue to do a spay and neuter clinic.  I offered to donate a quilt to the raffle.  At the time I couldn’t sew because of some stitches I had, but the winner was very patient and the organizer of the event is in Abaco now and (I think) the quilt has been delivered to her.  So now I feel okay posting it on my blog.  Since the fundraiser was for the potcakes this is the original idea I had:
Since my drawings are not to scale they don’t turn out exactly alike, but close.
I stitched “potcake” on the side of one of the dogs, and then along the bottom I stitched “the most colorful dog”, which they are in SO MANY ways!
Here is what became of the drawing…….
And as always, when I am doing my little photo shoots, my own potcake helpers must be there to supervise and check things out.  PLUS they think the pool deck was built just for them, so I am not allowed out there alone, and that is where I take most of my pictures.
That is Karma giving it a close inspection and thinking “that dog has crooked ears just like me!”
Trooper is being distracted because Trixi is trying to chew his leg off!….never a dull moment around here…..that’s why I love them so much 🙂

It helps to read the instructions!

I have been very inspired over the last few months with all the curvy pieced quilts, and for a while I have had the book by Jean Wells, “Intuitive Color and Design” which teaches how to do this curvy piecing.
BUT….being the artist that I am, I looked at the pages, the lovely pictures, tried to do it my way, and it failed.  
Then I got my swap quilt from mamacjt last week, and was totally inspired.
So here are my first successful attempts, after I read the instructions!
Then I had to try a piece with fabric other than scraps…….
Not sure what I will do with it, but I am pretty pleased with myself 🙂
Along with that the last few days have been filled with finishing off swap projects that have to be shipped out this week to meet the deadline.
Here are snippets of two of them.
Sneak peek at the coin mini quilt for Terrie.
And here is the Anything Goes Mini quilt for mamacjt……I sure hope she is as happy with this as I was with my goodies from her!
I couldn’t have done all this the past few days without help from my kitty “Sunshine”
OH! and i almost forgot…..I also finished two blocks for an online quilt bee I am in called “Bee Liberated”.  It is based on the book “Collaborative Quilting”.  Each month one person picks a block out of this book, the rest of the group make one or two of the specified block and send them to the person who’s month it is.  Then instantly you have enough blocks for a quilt top made by an online group.
Pretty neat hey?
These are my May blocks:
My month is June so I am trying to decide which block I am going to pick….tough decision because I love everything in that book!
Back into my sewing room for a few more hours to finish up three more swap projects for this month, then the next month it all starts over again for more swaps!

Last Weekend’s Show and My Surprise Package

A few posts ago I told you I was busy getting ready for a show.  Abaco had its first Agri-Expo and it was a great success!!  That’s me in my tent with my quilts hanging up.  I had little art quilts, jewelry and ceramics on the table, and had great upright stands for them but the wind was brutal and everything kept blowing down.  I did well, sold quite a bit of jewelry, ceramics and got an order for a quilt!
There were lots of vendors with organic produce, farmers brought their goats, pigs, sheep and chickens out, and there were many other arts and crafts tents.  There were also fantastic food vendors including a vendor that had vegan foods for sale……YUMMY!
So this week I have been trying to gather my self together again, work on orders, work on swap quilts, quilt a quilt for a fundraiser this weekend, and stay inspired.  I still feel like my imagination is overflowing and I am enjoying that, just wish I had more time to play with these ideas.
Yesterday I got a nice surprise in the mail…….my “Anything Goes Mini Quilt Swap”
Here is one of the quilts I received:
It is 8″x 8″ square with embroidery stitches and button embellishments!!!  I LOVE it!!!  Looks like the water and bubbles.  It is hanging next to a flower that is painted on my studio wall and matches perfectly.
My sweet swap partner wasn’t sure I would like that quilt.  Thought it may have been too pastel-y, after seeing my work, so she sent me another on!!!!!! Can you believe it?
This one is called “Here Comes Summer” and I am infatuated with this one as well!!!  I can’t believe I was so lucky to receive TWO and from such a great quilter!!!  Her work is perfect and precise and I feel honored to be her partner.  I have been admiring her work for a while now, so I hope we get to be partners again!!!
Check out her blog and look at her awesome work.
I have quite a collection of swap quilts now, and am involved in 4 more right now, so that means I have 4 more on the way to me!!
This is the wall in my studio that I started to hang my collection.
Well, I need to get back to work and finish those swap projects!!!  Today I was making clay buttons to add to one of those projects, so I thought I’d do a post while I was waiting on those to dry.
I’ll be back the end of the week to show you the large quilt I am quilting for the fundraiser.
Have a great week 🙂

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Just like that little quilt top says, thats what I am!
A few months ago I got involved in several swap groups on flickr.  The first one was a Spring Fling Mini Quilt.  Had to be a mini quilt with a spring theme and between 6″-12″….easy enough!!! This is the idea that popped into my head (below) that I sent to my partner.  In this swap we were told who our partners were.  We could find out preferences, get to know each other and have fun!
So yesterday I received my quilt from my partner.  I was totally blown away!  It is the cutest little mini quilt ever made!  And to make it even more awesome, it is backed in vintage fabric!!!  I LOVE vintage fabrics!
Praire points, embroidery, buttons, pieced letters……WOW!!!
A couple weeks ago I was checking out some blogs of other quilters and came across this tutorial for these pieced letters that I had seen on so many quilts.  It is a lot of free cutting and piecing and I am pretty impressed at how small my partner can do these letters!  ALL of her letters are almost as big as one of mine!  I just thought it was pretty neat that I was trying to make these letters and I receive a quilt with them in it!  The piece I made was the “happy” piece at the top.
Here is the link to the tutorial if you would like to give it a try.
I also made that little flower from a tutorial which you can find here on the House of Krom blog.
Not sure how I am going to put the two together but that is for later.
My very first quilt swap from last fall, from the Quilting Gallery website.
This is the fall inspired quilt that I received in that swap.
Love this quilt also, and it hangs in my studio near my sewing machine.  Batiks, cotton solids, half square triangles, beads, fall leaves…..awesome fall quilt!!  This came from Sew It Up Baby.  It will always be so special because it is my very first swap quilt.
This gal does some amazing quilts and quilted projects so check out her blog and be inspired.
So after I opened the quilt swap envelope, which I had to restrain from doing in the car WHILE driving home, I had a few other boxes to open that were online orders.  One was a box with my new running shoes in it.
woohoo!!! Yellow and Lime green!!!!
I see this envelope in that box (sometimes my shipper does that so small packages don’t get lost), and I realized it was probably my potholders from the potholder swap I was in!!!!  In this swap our partners were secret.  We gave a hint of what we liked in our sign up email and from there our partners had to check out our blogs and flickr pages to get a feel for what we liked.
I think my partner did a pretty good job!
How cute are they????  Blue and green – 2 of my favorite colors; a log cabin – love those; and a BIRD!!!!  I think these will be hung as decoration, not used on hot pans that are dripping with food to stain them!!  And my partner sent a cute little fabric card with a sweet note inside.
As if those two swap packages weren’t enough goodness for one day I also got my new mini kiln, so I don’t have to make lots and lots of beads and ceramics before I can actually fire, and my Spring Fling swap partner sent me some quilting tools as extra goodies.
A magnetic pin case, a seam ripper with a hidden compartment and a fancy little sewing box with notions.
The day ended with doggie school with agility and fun with great people and some awesome dogs 🙂
Doesn’t get much better!

Bits and Pieces

This week I received some beads from my friend at Jangles.  I was so excited.  The owl beads are just too cute.  I plan on making some jewelry pieces from these, but just not sure what right now.
My mind has been on this, the last few days……..
It is a sneak peek at a quilt I am working on for a Spring Fling Mini Quilt Swap.
All I have to do is put the binding on, but I can’t show you the whole quilt until my partner has received it……don’t want to spoil the surprise.
As soon as she receives it I will post a picture of the entire (mini) quilt!