Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A little bit of organization

One of my crafty goals is to make some hair bows for my little girl. She's got a head of hair, this one, and needs the bows to keep it out of her face and the curls under control.

So I bought some cute ribbon, some good clips, and wanted to try them out. Then I decided that I really should get myself organized first. I'm a big organizer. So I went to collect what I thought was a small amount of ribbon...and discovered that I had all this:

messes of ribbon

Agh! What a mess! These ribbons came from at least three different places in my house and that is unacceptable in my world. Now don't worry, I didn't go totally Martha Stewart on this and make ribbon holders across my entire sewing room. But I did think that I needed to consolidate everything into one place. For one thing, I was purchasing ribbon without knowing what I already had. Classic overpurchasing mistake.

So a trip to a store for one more photo box and a couple of hours later I had this instead:

Organized Ribbon

Ahhh...much better. It makes my heart happy to see anything better organized! Type AAA, that's what I am.

Of course the ironic thing is that it took up all my free time that day to organize the ribbons so I never did get around to making her any bows. :( LOL. And the project is still sitting in my sewing room ready for me to try it out. I mean those bows cost a minimum of $4 a piece. I can make them for less than that! And I know that the big bows will cost even more when she gets older. So I'm really saving least that's what I tell my husband when I come home with more ribbon. ;)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

not my giveaway, but someone else's...

Tasha over at a little sweetness is having a giveaway of half a yard of her custom designed fabric. Her stuff is just darling! Go check it out!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another giveaway! And so soon...Anyone want a girl on a swing?

*the giveaway is now closed*

Well to be honest I didn't think that I would be parting with this sweet little quilt so quickly, but the perfect opportunity to give it away is coming up and that happens to be my 31st birthday! It's on Friday! Wow! So soon! Anyway, I think that it is the style of the hobbits if I recall to give away gifts on their own birthday...not that I'm a hobbit. But I think it is a lovely idea and I would love someone to be super excited about my birthday! LOL.

Some practice -  Girl with Swing Quilt

So what do you need to do to get this girl? Well, I'm sorry but it's not going to be random. This took me a bit of work and there is a little piece of my heart in it, so I want to make sure that the person who gets it is the person who really wants it the most. Just so you don't think I'll have personal preference for anyone, I'll get my husband to help me make a decision...he certainly has no idea who anyone is! LOL.

So leave me a comment telling me why you should get this quilt. I love to laugh, so humor is a plus ;), but I appreciate any reason. I just want this to be appreciated where ever it ends up.

I'll end the drawing on my birthday at midnight central time (Friday July 2nd) and make the decision the next day! But it will be a happy birthday to me to read why someone might want something that I've thank you in advance for that!

And the winner of the giveaway is....

From the random generator, out of 85! entries, the winner of the scraps of Katie Jump Fabrics is:

#12 Kelly ! Kelly was already a follower of mine and won with that comment! She regularly checks out my blog and is always so complimentary.

Now if you check out Kelly's blog, you'll find that she's won quite a few giveaways this year! She even has a post entitled "I'm the luckiest person ever!" I think that someone is making sure that she always has little moments of joy throughout this year with her husband away serving our country. So congrats Kelly...yet another win for you. I can't wait to see what you do with the scraps!

I have a couple of other give aways coming up stayed tuned. You might like the next ones even more. Who knows?!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Girl with Swing Quilt

Well I saw a tutorial that I just had to try! Comfortstitching has written up a wonderful tutorial complete with templates for this little quilt. (You can find the link in my tutorials I want to try section!) So the other night I finally decided to break out the scraps and start putting this together. I wanted to try out some of the techniques used to see if I would use them in my doll quilt. So I'm practicing! What a pretty way to practice! Might as well make something pretty while you are learning a technique.

The first step is deciding on your background color and using a bunch of scraps (about 1" square or so). This was one of my favorite parts...cutting up the scraps and using little bits of this and that. It was like a puzzle getting them all laid out just slightly overlapped. And of course finding the right balance of prints and colors.

All the scraps of green all laid out

The next step is good practice for anyone who has not free motion quilted. This is a fun way to start. It's little and really you can't mess it up. Basically the idea here is to outline each block so that all the edges are tacked down. I used a white thread to want the applique thread to pop later, so you don't want anything too distracting yet.

stitched green background

And some detail shots.

more free motion raw edge stitching

detail of raw edge stitching

Then comes the applique and the free motion stitching with dark contrasting thread...this is where it gets a little scary. LOL. But one thing I did learn is that you can rip out the stitching if you are not happy with take comfort!

Girl on Swing from Tutorial by Comfortstitching

Detail of apples on the ground...I did this to practice tiny stitching way before I tackled the girl. I love how these turned out.

detail of apples and shoes!

Detail of tree stitching. I would definitely recommend drawing lightly in pencil where you want those branches to go...unless you're a super artist. I'm not and I needed the guidelines.

detail of tree stitching.

And then came the toughest part...saved her for last. At first I had a different dress, but the fabric blended too much with the tree. I made her a little red head and gave her a blue jumper with a little color done in stitching. I had to rip out some stitches while tackling this part, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

close up of girl

A close up of all the applique work.

Close up of girl on swing

But I couldn't just make her and do nothing with her. I decided to finish her off as a little quilt. It's been a while since I did any straight line quilting. LOL. But I added the white border, quilted it and then added the hand sewn green binding.

All finished!  Girl with Swing Quilt

I used a sweet blue print for the back that reminded me of little branches!

back of girl with swing quilt

So a nice little project. It took me a few days to do, but I didn't work for too many hours on it. So now the question is who does it go to. Could I be possibly thinking of giving this beauty away to one of you? Hmmmm....

Don't forget about the giveaway!

Don't forget about my giveaway! There's just a little bit longer to enter. I'm going to close it off at Midnight Tonight (central time!). I'll announce the lucky winner tomorrow. I'm loving all the Katie Jump Rope love! Glad to know that there are still people out there who need some scraps of this. Just leave a comment on my post from a couple days ago talking about this giveaway to enter!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bees and Swaps oh My!

Well I finally had to make out a schedule for all my bees and swaps because I've gone a little nuts and I'm involved in a bunch of things. Plus it helps me keep track of my goals for the year.
So here it is!

2010-2011 Bees and Swaps Schedule

Busy Bees - June 2010
Pretty in Pink Bee - August 2010
Ravishing in Red Bee - September 2010
Bee Modern Too - April 2011
Bee Liberated - May 2011
Bee {a little bit} Japanese - July 2011

Doll Quilt Swap - earliest send out August 15th, due by Sept 8th
Modern Swappers - due Sept 1st
3 x 6 Bee - 3rd Quarter: July 1st - Sept 15th
4th Quarter: due Dec 15th

Paint Box Quilt Along
Zig Zag 2010 challenge
Quilt as you go quilt
Asterisk Quilt Along

Oh yeah...and there are some projects of my own that I want to do!

But let me tell you, there are some fun perks to all these bees! I meet some great people and they are so sweet and generous! Just in the last couple of weeks I've been blessed with so many people's generosity!

Kaelin from Bee a Little bit japanese gave everyone in the group some of her precious Heather Ross scraps. Considering how many people hoard these, I can't believe how generous she was to share!

My generous bee partners

Gretchen from Bee Modern saw a print that I posted earlier and had some prints that matched. She gave them both to me with the fabric for the Bee Modern swap this month. Sooo sweet!

More generous Bee Partners

Lucinda from Busy Bees was so sweet to send me a large piece of blue ribbons Katie Jump Rope Fabric to help finish my quilt! Now I know you all know how darling that is! And look at the amazing block she made me!

package from Lucinda

A close up of those tiny geese! They are an amazing 1" x 1/2" inch!

block Lucinda made for me

So come one....aren't bees the greatest?! So many sweet and generous people!

Oh yeah...and I almost forgot. I've been doing some blocks of my own for other people too.

For Kate for Busy Bees, she send us a bunch of red scraps and wanted 6.5" 9 nine patch blocks with white in the center. They were easy and quick, so I ended up making 6 for her. Overachievers anonymous is calling for my membership renewal....

Nine Patches for Kate - Busy Bees

she sent some flea market fancy that was so fun to see in person! She was sweet and after I mentioned how much I loved seeing it, she said I could keep it, but I'd already used most of it for her blocks. But I have a couple of tiny scraps that I'm hoarding!

Detail of 9 patch blocks

And there was this sweet print with the little girl that I just had to fussy cut to get her centered on the block!

Another Closeup on 9 patch blocks

And then for Kaelin for Bee {a little bit} Japanese, I made my very first spider web blocks with linen and a bunch of her lovely scraps. Having just made a string quilt, this method wasn't too different from that so they came together fairly easily. Just have to watch out for all those bias edges! And this was the first time that I used my rotating cutting mat and I LOVE IT!!! It has changed the way that I quilt! Go get one, everyone! Joanne's is having quilting and cutting things %50 off over the 4th of July! So no excuses! Trust me on this!

Spider web block 2 for Bee a Little Bit Japanese

Spider web block 1 for Bee a Little Bit Japanese

The two together! This will be gorgeous!!!

Both blocks - Spider web blocks for Bee a Little Bit Japanese

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Giveaway of my very own!

*The giveaway is now closed*

To celebrate my complete love for the redo of my blog, I've decided to have a little giveaway! And seeing as how my name is Cut to Pieces, I thought that it would be fitting to give away fabric that was cut to pieces...What is that you say? Why a bunch of scrap fabric! But not just any scraps....Katie Jump Rope Scraps! I'm working on a Katie Jump Rope Quilt right now with my Busy Bees group so I have lots of scraps floating around and they are starting to pile up. Never fear, I will use them. But in the meantime, I'll share the Katie Jump Rope love with you all!

Katie Jump Rope Scraps - Blog giveaway!

How can you win a delicious set of scraps like this one? Well...

1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite fabric line that I can actually purchase (aka no flea market fancy answers! LOL)

2. Become a follower to the blog and leave a separate comment telling me you did so or tell me that you are already a follower. It's so fun to have followers right?!

3. Post about my giveaway on your blog and leave me a separate comment telling me that you did so.

Hopefully these will go to a happy home where they are made into a beautiful something. I find the nice thing about scraps is that I'm more willing to use them because they are already cut in to. So good luck everyone! I'll pick a winner on Sunday June 27th!

The new house on the block

Gretchen had us make tiny house blocks for our last month of Bee Modern (don't worry...many of us are moving on to Bee Modern Too)...a little bittersweet to be ending my first year long (and then some) commitment to a bee, but it was such a fun type of block to make. She sent us strips of fabric to use for the background and asked us to use our own scraps for the houses. I found the perfect fabric to use for the roof and had to use it on both houses I made. I also have a super cute fabric with little girl characters just dieing to be fussy cut and put in this type of I asked her if she minded if I added them and she said to go ahead. And we couldn't make the houses any taller than 4"!

My first block has a house made with a Katie Jump Rope fabric and I think that it looks a lot like bricks with windows.

Bee Modern July Block - House 1

A close up detail of the house and little girl. I love how her hair color matches the house!

Bee Modern July Block - House 1 Detail

For my second house I used a scrap given to me by someone from another bee. I love the crossover that can happen when you are over involved like I am! LOL. This house ended up feeling very Moroccan to me and I love how the fabric does all the work.

Bee Modern July Block - House 2

Here's a closeup on the house and the sweet girl waiting to play!

Bee Modern July Block - House 2 Detail

The two blocks together! I can't wait to see them with other blocks and see how the neighborhood develops!

Bee Modern July Blocks Together

And I think that Gretchen is going to kick start Bee Modern Too with us making more houses for her! She'll have plenty of blocks that way!

More Bee blocks to show soon...they're pouring in these days. But I'm keeping up! I had to make a big calendar of my bees and my months though so I can remember when I have to send fabric out! I'll show you all that later and you'll see how crazy I am.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Isn't it great to have good friends with skills they're willing to share...or otherwise known as "All Hail Bill"

Yeah! I hit up a friend of mine for some computer advice on the blog and he graciously gave up two hours of his evening to help me figure out some of my blog quirks. It's looking great now and I always learn something new when he helps me. We were able to move the Blog Name to the Clipboard graphic like I wanted and I finally have a font that is literally cut to pieces...get it?! LOL. I've been wanting to do that forever. I'm really happy with it all right now and hopefully will not have any hiccups with the new layout. I should really have a little give away to celebrate the new look...hmmm...I'll have to think about that! It's too late right now to put something together. But maybe tomorrow or so...

But in the meantime...All Hail Bill for his great computer skills and generosity!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So I'm liking this layout

I looked through hundreds of different blog designs and finally decided on this one. It's sweet, creative and still a bit edgy. Kind of like me ;) The only thing that I want to change that I haven't been able to figure out is the color of the title of the blog "Cut to Pieces". I'm not in love with the red and I think that it gets a little lost. But I'm struggling with the HTML code and finding the exact point to change it. Any techies out there with some advice for me? I think that I'd like to change it to a blue or green...

I need a new look...

I feel like the blog needs a new bear with me while I try to find something that I like and doesn't require too much new work! LOL.

Lily's Quilts is having a Kona Cotton Giveaway!

What a fabulous giveaway! 22 fat quarters of lovely Kona solids. There are lots of comments already, but I'm going to tempt fate and add myself to the list. Somebody needs to win, right? Why not me? Oh and they are doing the drawing on my birthday. What a great present that would be! Go check it out!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap Sketch

Well I did it. I posted my sketch of my initial ideas for my doll quilt on the we'll see what kind of reactions it will get. I'm not much of an artist, but I know what I want to do and vaguely where fabrics will be going. So I was trying to convey that. I feel like I ripped out a piece of my heart and put it on display. This idea means so much to me and I'm not sure that my picture reveals that enough. For some reason I don't doubt as much that I will be able to create it in fabric. I guess I just know my medium. For those in the know, I just want someone to "spart" it.

DQS9 - Initial Sketch and ideas
(it's easier to see in large on flickr)

I'm I'm waiting for the boy I like to call me back or the teacher to say that I did a great job on my test. It's hard to put something out there for everyone to see and comment on...or not.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Modern Swappers

As you can see from the many buttons on the right side of this screen, I'm involved in a lot of different swaps and bees. One that I have been focusing my time on this week has been the Modern Swappers group. It's my first swap I've ever signed up for and I have no idea what to expect from my secret partner. But I'm trying hard not to think about that! LOL. There's just a few of us posting pictures so far, so there's a lot out there potentially being made that could be for any of us. I wanted to get a jump start on this even though we have three months to work on it. I don't think that we need to ship our objects until sometime like Sept 1st. So typical me, I already have two of my three items ready to go and I know and have the supplies for the third.

This swap involves fabric, a handmade object and something for the person's sewing room. I think that most people are making their handmade object their major project, but I'm actually making the sewing room item my major project...that's the one I haven't done yet. LOL.

So far, I've attempted to tease and throw off the group members by posting the following pictures in the group.

First I posted a group of fabrics to give....pretty aren't they?

Modern Swappers

But after stalking my partner a bit more, I changed my mind almost entirely and switched the fabrics to these fabulous ones instead. Personally I'd like to get either collection!

Modern Swappers Fabric

Then, I posted a series of mysterious pictures (well I like to think that they were mysterious) just giving tidbits of progress on my handmade item.

11 pretty pieces of tiny grey, black and white fabrics.

Modern Swappers - Fabric pieces

Those pieces of fabric many hours later (and some other objects) became these.

Now what am I doing?

Then it seemed a bit too obvious, so I wanted to post a crazy picture to throw them off a bit...

Oh what?

But I ended the suspense when today I posted these pictures!

Fabric Covered Necklace

Fabric covered necklace detail of beads

I'm really happy with how this turned out. I used a tutorial (one of my links on the right) to make this and despite it taking a lot longer than I thought it would...doesn't it always...I like how the end product looks. The crazy picture comes from the step where after I covered the wooden beads with fabric ( a much harder and more fiddly process than you might think) I took the advice of someone who had made one of these and covered the beads with modge podge. The idea is to protect the fabric and help preserve the integrity of the necklace. I like that it does that and I like the extra little sparkle that you get from the coating...but it does take away from the softness of the fabric. It's an interesting choice and I don't regret it. I wouldn't want this to fall apart while she's wearing it!

My major project must remain a mystery to you all until I'm able to send it off to her in the fall. That seems like a long way away! But I'm afraid that if anyone knows what I'm making it will be too clear who my partner is. Part of the fun is not knowing what is for whom. So sneak peaks are all anyone will be getting. But I'm excited about it and I think that it's going to be very helpful for her sewing room! Enough said...I've probably already said too much! LOL.

Lots of packages in the mail today, but I'll post about those later. Let's just say that there are some very sweet people out there and I'm feeling the fabric love!


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