Lately, I’ve had some completely unrealistic ideas about what I’m going to accomplish in any given day. Etsy shop items are not finished, neither are Christmas gifts, blog posts are unwritten, nothing in the house has been remodeled or painted or heck, even dusted, and even giving my son a quick haircut turned into a complete fiasco that involved hair being blown all over my bedroom with a blow dryer, Thing 2 coating herself and the shower in a thick, greasy cream, a bath where a potty chair was added to the tub and the floor soaked, and ending with Thing 2 painting her legs and window sill with purple glitter polish. Let’s just say we didn’t make it to the park that morning. These guys are just so much WORK. I thought as they got older they would be a wee bit more self sufficient? Well, I’m still waiting for that day but in the meantime we do have a good deal of fun around here in the midst of all the chaos.
I have been sneaking away a bit as well for some fun Quilt Guild activities. A few weeks ago we have an all day sewing retreat and I blazed through a stack of unfinished projects. Not really, but I did have fun and was able to photograph my newest quilt finish. (Stay tuned). Then, this past Sunday was an amazing product photography workshop with Lauren, and I am feeling really inspired to re-photograph all the items for my Etsy shop. (See unrealistic goals, above.) I’ve also become convinced to shoot in RAW format instead of j-pegs, just don’t tell my brother because he tried to convince me of this a few months ago and I totally blew him off. I will share a few images from the day, this is one of the projects I completed at the sewing retreat- which is going to end up under someone’s tree and don’t you wish it were yours? I wish it were for me!
And we didn’t talk about this at the workshop, but I just feel compelled to throw this out there on behalf of all of my photographer friends and beginning amateurs like myself… camera’s DON’T take good photos, people do. Sure, good equipment is a benefit but you are doing the photographer a great disservice with comments like “Your camera takes good photos.” Most camera are capable of crappy photos too, no matter how nice they are. You have to learn to use what you’ve got, whether it be your i-phone or point and shoot, or $5000 DSLR. Anyways, just needed to get that off my chest.
Pictures of the latest quilt to come soon! (Again, see unrealistic ideas, above.)
I love, love, love this quilt. I made it to sell, and now I’m not sure I can. I finished it up mid-September and it has been sitting around, waiting for me to decide its fate. This quilt doesn’t go with anything in our home, clashes with our decor, not to mention the fact that I already have stacks of homemade quilts sitting around so I really don’t need it. But I still kind of want it. Not that it WOULD sell, but I just don’t know if I even want to try. But then again, leaving it folded up in a corner for years doesn’t make much sense. What to do, what to do.
I tried out some swirly quilting for the first time, inspired by Angela Walter’s fabulous modern quilting book.
I did it, I opened the shop. I’m still waiting (and waiting) for my custom quilt labels to arrive so in the meantime I just listed everything else I’ve made and dove right in. I’ve heard from many a fellow Etsy seller that things can be painfully slow at first so I’ve tried to keep my expectations in check, but I can’t deny it was exciting to watch the Shop View climb the first day. Looks like most Etsy shoppers are finding me through fabric destash searches, so it may turn out that unloading a bit of my excess fabric stash is my most profitable venture. We shall see. I certainly have no shortage of fabric, and am going to make a concerted effort to edit my purchasing more carefully in the future!
Back to the shop- Liz Ellen Handmade. The name came about for two reasons- it wasn’t already taken on Etsy, and Elizabeth Ellen Handmade was way too long for my quilt labels. And as I said on Facebook, this doesn’t mean that you can call me Liz.
As I also shared on Facebook, you can receive a HUGE DISCOUNT (ha ha) of 10% for the next two weeks just by typing “GOODKARMA” into the discount code box when you check out. I’m pretty sure my blog readership are mostly the types to make things yourselves, but for the rest of you I hope you’ll at least stop in and poke around. And you have a rich friend who loves quilts and mug rugs, send them my way, okay?
Liz Ellen Handmade
I have been sewing like crazy over here, trying to finish projects in time for the August 1st deadline I set for myself to open my Etsy shop. It’s been fun, but there is a big stack of unfinished projects piling up and that drives me crazy. So I had to take a break from the production work and finish a few things just to have a little peace of mind. Unfortunately, I still haven’t found the motivation to finish tackling the Swoon quilt, which means I will surely be the very last person in the quilt along by the time I finally get ‘er done.
Any-who, I did finish one that I can actually share, since I’ve already shared it. The Crosshatch quilt from the sewing class Mom and I took together. I love this little quilt, it was so fun to make. I highly recommend Empty Bobbin sewing patterns, the directions and illustrations are fantastic!
I started quilting this quilt with light grey thread, but quickly realized it was going to look extremely busy. I didn’t realize it quickly enough, as it took Craig and I both about 4+ hours to rip out two minutes of quilting. But once that was done I was back on track with Navy thread and light grey in the bobbin. I’m pretty happy with the result. I used various Denyse Schmidt fabrics from the DS Quilts line at Joann’s and the quilt washed up really nicely. They are a good quality of fabric, which is good as I saw recently they are now charging $12/yard for her new lines! Ouch.
Not sure what I am doing with this one, though the kids seem to have claimed it. Maybe I will just fold it up and throw it on a chair, there are still a few spots in the house that are bare. I’m not sure I can part with this one, so long as Mom has the twin quilt in her possession. Speaking of, sounds like I am adding her quilt to the to-do list. Quilting another persons quilt gives me nauseous butterflies, even if it is my Mom who has to love me no matter what. Let’s hope I don’t screw it up too badly!
We had a good Independence Day, we all enjoy blowing things up which is why we travel down to the folks where such activities are legal. Leah wasn’t phased one bit by the noise and seemed to enjoy the show. Devan was really into it, right up until a mortar exploded over where half of us were sitting. Literally, 2 feet above everyone’s heads. It was amazing that no one was burned and after that, he wanted to watch from inside the house and I can’t say I blame him. The poor kid attracts accidents.
And then yesterday, for the second time in my short little life, I experienced a total system shut-down and found myself laying on the floor of the bathroom in grossly inadequate clothing while a bunch of firemen stood over me and did my vitals. Let’s just say if Devan ever wants to tour a fire station, we will be traveling out of the county just to be safe. Who wants to talk about that though? Not me. Sigh.
How about something fun? I talked Mom into taking a quilt class with me in hopes of converting her to my craft. I can’t say I met with any success there, but it was neat to work on this pattern together and her finished quilt top is super pretty. I dislike sharing my WIP’s until they are completely complete, but I have no plans to gift this quilt (yet) so I suppose it can’t hurt to give a little sneak peek!
The pattern is Crosshatch by Empty Bobbin Studios. Mom thought it was challenging for a first quilt and I agree but her points match up so well! I’ll share more pictures when they are quilted but that might be a ways in the future and I was eager to share.
I am so hopelessly behind on sharing projects, I’ve had the placemats finished for months and months and just haven’t gotten around to photographing them. Time to get caught up a bit! So instead of a nice write-up, I am going to do a photo dump of four little projects and call it good! So here they are, in no particular order…
Leah’s doll quilt, made with a Fandago mini I picked up for $4, it’s already wrinkled form heavy use!
It’s hard to see, but I quilted small mums.
Birthday Dress!! But it was too long, so I made a skirt instead.
Leah modeling her Birthday skirt, made with Children at Play balloons. I LOVE Sarah Jane fabrics!!!
Placemats using Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi fabric.
Everyone gets their own color.
Another quilt, and guess what? We are keeping this one! It’s a simple patchwork, three charm packs of ‘Reunion’ by Sweetwater, along with three prints that I added for some visual punch. It just needed some turquoise! I decided to try something new and tied this one with red yard, and I just love the way it looks. I intend for this to be the quilt we picnic on, we throw in the car and drag out for this and that, the one we cuddle under on the deck. Basically, I picture this quilt getting used and loved and worn out until it is threadbare. Simple, but I love it.
Of course, trying to get a picture of the quilt without tiny people in it was a challenging matter. As soon as the camera came out they both start saying ‘cheese’! and inserting themselves into the picture. So, this would be why the quilt is so wrinkled. You win some, you lose some!
But really, who could be annoyed with these sweet faces?
The backing is a print I found at FM and I bought 5 yards of it. Turns out 3 would have been just fine, but I’m never one to measure and at the time I didn’t know how big I would end up making the quilt. The are worse problems to have than extra fabric!