January 31, 2013

I {Heart} February

February is here, and it's my turn again to introduce
a new theme for the

Because of St. Valentine's Day,
February is the month for celebrating Love.

{Did you know my maiden name was Love?  
True story...that's how I chose my eamylove name,
meaning "electronic Amy Love", for my email address and shop on Etsy.}

It seems an obvious choice, but I've chosen the theme of 
for this month's sew along project.

{I embroidered this pillow a few years ago, from a Crabapple Hill pattern. I believe it's been discontinued, as it's not listed on the website.}

If you'd like to join the sew along this month,
all you need to do is make something featuring a HEART...
or two...
or lots of HEARTS!

{What is this thing I made?  Stay tuned for more information on a later post!}

Here's something I really want to make THIS year...

Count on The Patchsmith to provide LOTS more 
creative patterns with hearts! 

 {I think I love this one best!}

And my sister from Susie's Sunroom
has been busy crafting her own pattern for
a Heart Snowglobe Mug Rug!

{Visit her blog to find the link for a free pattern!}

Here are a few more pictures for inspiration...
follow me on Pinterest for more ideas!

For starters...I can't stop thinking about this new quilt
pattern from V and Company,

These little envelopes were made to hold letters to Santa,
but I think they would make
charming valentines...

Oh, and you don't HAVE to sew something from fabric...
look at this sweet stitching made with paper!
Christina Williams has a great tutorial for this lovely valentine.

You know how much I love me a pretty pillow,
and here's a great one with a tutorial 
by Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter.

and then I'll stop...
this pillow has lots and lots of hearts...
and that turquoise one in the corner wins mine over!

I'll be back soon to show you what I'm making!

{Here's another sneaky peeky!}

{Hopefully I'll have more than one HEART project made by the end of the month!}

If YOU know of a great tutorial for February,
 please feel free to share the link in a comment!

Don't forget to join our Flickr group, to post your photos.

{We would "heart" to have you sew along with us!}

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January 16, 2013

Christmas Once A Month - January

Here we are in the MIDDLE of January already.
Christmas will be here again before I know it!

{My little snow friend here...created by my sweet friend Janet...
reminds me there is plenty of wintertime left.}

But THIS time, I'm going to be ready.
I'm joining Julie at The Crafty Quilter,
 who is celebrating Christmas Once A Month!

Internally I had already made the decision to try
to sew something Christmas-y
each month this year.

My plan is to keep Christmas fun
and not overwhelming, yet to make lots of handmade
projects for myself and for others.

Last year, I felt a smidge too much pressure to finish
my Winter Dresden quilt in time for Christmas.

{Truthfully December is the hardest month for me to keep 
my dining room studio available for sewing.}

The Crafty Quilter is making it easy...
and Julie is starting off the year 
with a super-fantabulous Poinsettia Pillow!

{Is this not the most incredibly pretty flower there is?}

Photo from The Crafty Quilter
I definitely love that I have almost a whole year
to get one or two of these finished!

As I read the tutorial,
I was flabbergasted and flattered to learn
that Julie had used my free tutorial

Photo from The Crafty Quilter

This isn't the first time Julie has made my heart palpitate
with her interpretation of one of my tutorials.
Have you seen her Paper Snowflake Pillow?

{Sigh...notice that beautiful quilting, the charming button detail and the soft colors.}

Photo from The Crafty Quilter

Coincidentally, another snowflake pillow has just entered my life!
A friend of mine from work approached me about
making something special from a quilt that had seen better days.
Since there were areas with bleach stains,
we decided some pillows would be a great idea.

The quilt was made by her husband's grandmother,
but that's all the detail I have.
I would have loved to have known this woman...
her quilt would qualify as Modern by today's standards.

The colors, now faded, are very "in" for today's decor...
the blue has become almost a steel gray.
The blanket stitches are made by hand, 
and it looks like she used a raw edge technique that is popular now.

The wavy quilting lines must have been so unusual
for its time.

To make this quilt into a pillow, I simply cut two large squares,
centering a snowflake in each.
I stitched the blocks together,
right sides facing, and left an opening for turning.
After inserting a pillow form, I handstitched the opening shut.

OK...is it cheating to say that this is a Christmas project,
even if it could be used all winter?

{That's one great thing about using snow as a Christmas theme.}

I still have time to make some more quick items for next Christmas,
so hopefully I'll be sharing more later on this month.
I think we're off to  a great start!
I hope you'll join us!

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January 14, 2013

Getting Purse-onal

One of the best parts about living in Pennsylvania
is going through the changing seasons.

Now that Christmas is over,
I need a purse for the rest of the winter.
I decided to make a new version of my last bag,
this time using the Granite colorway of
Joel Dewberry's Aviary2 fabric line.

{That's right:  I convinced myself that Anita New Tote Bag.}


Living in the Pittsburgh area,
we are partial to Black and Gold.

I've used these same prints for other projects,
and I've never been disappointed with the results.
I hope you don't mind if I reminisce for a while
about some of my past finishes.

I just love this trio of modified wristlets
I made from  the Sweet Pea Totes

And you know how much I favor the Bow Tucks Bags
These two are especially stunning,
in my humble opinion.

This one features that sparrow I have grown to adore.

This one is more graphic, but just as pretty.

Recently I made this little pouch as a gift.
My niece requested one for Christmas, too,
and I was happy to oblige!

I guess I always knew I wanted a purse of my own
from this fabulous fabric line,
and the time was right for me to go crazy with it!
Here's another view of my new tote bag.

I am so happy with the zippered pocket inside,
with the glamorous gray zipper,
to safeguard my wallet.

Opposite, there is a nifty pocket strip,
to organize my other stuff,
but I couldn't get a great photo.

{So instead I'll show how cute that zippered pocket is...INSIDE.}

Now here's where I get REALLY personal...
look at some of the things I made to put inside my tote.

First off,
I had to make a cover for my brand-spanking-new
ASUS Transformer tablet...
which is nothing short of awesome.
I used my own pattern,
I just added a skinny strap for carrying it separately.

{I didn't use linen this time...but I COULD have.}

That little pocket is so nice for holding 
a bit of money and a small notebook,
plus my cleaning cloth, 
for keeping my screen shiny.

Here's how the ereader cover looks on the back,
displaying MORE accessories...

I made a checkbook cover, a business card holder,
and a tissue holder!

Then I needed a sweet pouch to hold the chargers for my
cell phone and tablet.

in size Small.

There is plenty of room for the chargers and more,
because there's a boxed bottom.

OK, here's one more view of all the things I can carry in this tote bag...
including my umbrella and sunglasses.

{And there's still room for a book and a bottle of water!}

I can't wait until springtime, when I know
Anita Bright New Bag for Spring.

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January 11, 2013

New views from Cathedral Windows

I had just a wee bit of time for sewing
a few nights ago...
so I decided to make something small.

It was about time for a new batch 
of Cathedral Windows pincushions,

from this tutorial,
and I really have fun with this method!

{I made these during the summertime!}

In next-to-no-time
I had my new fabrics selected, and the basic ivory squares
were cut, folded and pressed.

For this new batch I chose a few Moda fabrics from Sweetwater,
featuring a Reunion charm pack...

and a few bits of Mama Said Sew yardage.

I developed a deep and lasting affection for the Sweetwater prints while
I was busy making those two zakka sewing kits...
one incorrectly, and one correctly!

The colors look great with charcoal linen,
but a basic ivory Bella solid cotton sets them off nicely, too.

I made one in cherry red and pewter...

another in scarlet and golden yellow...

and a third in charcoal gray and apple green!

{This color combination is really growing on me.}

And then I started REALLY playing around with colors,
seeing what backgrounds look good for photographs...

I totally copied this idea from the blogging genius Deborah

Their little pudgy bottoms..er, I mean backsides...
are so squeezy and cute.

What fun I had setting them up in different dishes...

and in different arrangements!

I think if I had known about pincushions
when I was a little girl,
I would have spent a lot less time with Barbie dolls!

One of these is going out to a very special person...
but watch for others to be listed in my shop on Etsy,

More new arrivals will be added shortly!

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