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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday #9

I can't believe how fast the time is flying by! Wednesday again already! :)

I did finally finish my picnic blanket!! Yippy! You can read more about it here. I need to take some better pics though... Besides the ones taken outside with my phone, I took them at night, so they're not the best.  But we are enjoying the quilt!

& In Progress:
I also finally finished one mug rug. I started it forever ago, and now it's done, and in my shop. :) I have two more on the way... almost there.

I used Riley Blake's Happier collection and some Kona Cottons.


My step-sister got married last Friday. She was Beautiful!! I made her a gift... which I still need to give to her (as well as finish up the finishing touches). I'll blog about it later.

I'm getting so close with the Lola's Coin Quilt!! I am super excited about this cute little quilt. I finally got around to making the applique for it. I think it will turn out superb. I just might have to do more things like this. Fun times.

also made with Riley Blake's Happier Collection and some Konas'

Another in progress project: to blank walls.  I've been thinking a lot about it lately, and have come up with a few different ideas. It is still definitely in progress but you can read more about it here and here. I also have started scribbling a few ideas for some wall hangings. I think I want to try paper piecing them, though I don't know how so we'll see how they turn out. Lol. You'll never learn if you don't try right?!
mostly with sun rays. What could be better to brighten someone's day than the sun?!

I am also working on the kaleidoscope quilt along. Though I still haven't finished cutting all the fabric out. I guess I still have until tomorrow. :)

I also decided to be a little crafty and started making up some Thank You cards. A lot of family and friends have given us girl clothes for our Little Lady, and I need to send out some cards. :) I think they're turning out kind of fun. Card making definitely is an art form that I am not very good at. But it's still fun none the less.
these are all made with My Minds Eye patterned paper

This week's stats:
New projects - 2 (cards and wedding gift)
Completed projects - 1 (picnic blanket)
Currently in progress -  6


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

...to blank walls

Rossie, over at her blog,  posted this quote and I REALLY love it!

"My father’s an artist and I remember talking to him about wanting to be an artist and saying to him if I can do art that changes people over time, shows them something for a second or a minute, changes their mind about something, that would be really worthwhile."  --Phil Toledano  via The 99 Percent.

She continues by saying, "I don't like the distinction that craft produces "useful" objects and art produces "not useful"and I love this sentiment about the use of art...to change people, to show them something, to open them up and get them thinking."

I REALLY love the idea of creating something that can change people, that can show them something, and ultimately be influential in their lives for good. 

I just finished filling out a form to join do.Good Stitches, started by Rachel at Stitched in Color. I suggested a new charity, Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Aid, as I want to start making quilts and wall hangings to donate anyway. (Remember this blog I started... last week?) Well, I thought if I could join up with her, maybe I could get some people to join me and help out. (Do you want to join me? We can still start without being a member of do.Good Stitches. ... I'm just not sure what the best way to get started with it is.)

Anyway, going back to the quote,  I can't help thinking of all the "art" that is being created every day, especially as I see more and more quilting and sewing blogs. What a fun way to create art: Quilts. A great way to make "art" and a "craft". As I was filling out the form, I went back to the general guidelines sheet for the quilts and read this statement that really jumped out at me, 

"Quilted and Tied quilts are intended to warm not only the body but the spirit as well.

(I have to throw in this quote as well that is from the wall hanging guidelines sheet:
"Some orphanages around the world have bare walls. The wall hanging is intended to provide a colorful decoration that will stimulate the child and promote development. ...Let's give these children our very best.") = art that will change them. show them.

Quilts as Art and Craft. What could be better than creating something that can benefit people in the physical manner as well as the spiritual/emotional. "to change people". A lot of my desire for doing this is to help change people for good, show them something for a second: show them the love of God, that people care about them, that despite the poverty or disasters, or trials of life, we can be happy, there is beauty and kindness and love in the world.

As I think about this cause and all the "projects" I try and start all the time, I keep thinking that out of all of my ambitious endeavors, this is one thing that I really want to do and have happen. Especially in the last year or so, as I work on projects, and especially as I have made things for my Etsy shop or myself, I can't help thinking that I should be putting my efforts towards making things for people in need. When the earthquake hit Haiti last year I decided to donate 10% of all purchases from my shop to the Humanitarian Aid Organization to help people all around the world, and have been doing that since. (And I really appreciate the support that others give by purchasing by items from my shop. Thank You!!) But I can't help wanting to do more. 

Art that influences, that changes people, that "changes their minds about something, that would be really worthwhile." and I can't agree more. To be able to do that for people around the world, to lift their spirits, would be even more so. Anyway, I'm not sure what my whole point is, perhaps just some rambling, but I guess in the end I'm just solidifying my thoughts and feelings on this. and I can't help but be more motivated and dedicated, and excited, by this quote.  To have a purpose and a motivation to create. 

If you think about this quote at all, I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)
and if you're interested, stop on by ...to blank walls.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Made It: Quilted Picnic Blanket

It's finally finished!! And I love it! :) 


I finished the binding Tuesday morning and we went out for a picnic that afternoon. It was great! :)




(these are all taken with my phone, but the quality isn't too bad I guess.)

We even had a show while we ate and got to watch some people cut down trees across the street.

...cool and sad at the same time. I miss them.

Here are a few of my favorite last blocks that I FMQ (free motion quilted).





You can see the rest of my FMQ blocks here.

All in all it ended up going a lot faster than I thought it would. And just in time for the weather to warm up! Now on with the picnics!! :)

Fabric: Woodsy by Moda, some white sashing, and the back is Amy Butler, but I don't remember what color. :)


Friday, June 24, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking and Photography

A while ago Neil and I started talking about what we are going to do with all of our pictures. Mostly we take a bunch of photos, load them on the computer and forget about them - going back occasionally to look at them and reminisce. That's when the debate started: print out all the good ones and put them in books, or do some digital "scrapbooking" and then print them out and put them in books. The former is probably cheaper, but the later is probably faster... as well as safer (if something happens to the pages I'll always have a backup). I am NOT a scrapbooker, so either way I'm not planning on being all cutesy or anything, but I do want them to look good.

I pretty much decided that I want to do something with our pics digitally, so now the question is software. I love Photoshop. No doubt about it, but I only have it on our pc, and we load all of our pics on our mac. :( bummer. (I think it would be too much work to go back and forth all the time.) BUT then today I needed to make up a blessing announcement for Mabel and remembered this software that I bought a long time ago. It's by My Memories. Well, after playing with it all day today, I actually really really like it! It comes with a huge library of backgrounds, embellishments, etc, it's all very well organized and easy to use. There are also endless downloads online that can be added to it and used with it. So over all, it's great! :)

Mabel Blessing Announcement-001
here's what I put together

Guess what?!?! Today I also received an email with a code to give YOU a discount on it! $10 off! Just use this codeSTMMMS96392   and save. (clicking on the link doesn't give you the discount. You'll still need to enter the code).   Anyway, if your looking for something, check it out! It's pretty good. And I'll be honest, I didn't think it was too hot at first, but after playing around with it a lot more today, and learning more about it, I do like it now. :)

The other thing that is so great about this: it gave me an excuse to have a little photo shoot with Mabel! Isn't she adorable!! :)

DSC_0209 copy


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sewing Basics with Diane!

I was going to call this "Sewing 101" but I am pretty sure this won't even qualify for that! ;)

I've been thinking a lot lately about little tricks and tips to sewing that I have learned from random places along my sewing "career". Some are specific to general sewing, some are quilting "secrets", some have to deal with making patterns or figuring out measurements, some don't even have anything to do with sewing. But either way, I think some of them are things that you might not ever learn unless someone teaches it to you, or you find that one post on that one blog that is hidden like a needle in a haystack out in blog land.


I know I learn a lot of things from the internet (like learning how to knit - to which I made my hubby a golf sock for his clubs, which he sadly lost {the only thing I've ever knit}. Or how to paper piece, or bind books, or whatever else.) But I'm sure there are a lot of tips and tricks that I am missing out on because I'm just learning it from here or there. If you are a beginner, or advanced sewer, I'm sure there are things you may not know either - like so and so's grandmas' trade secret for patchwork. So I have decided that I will start sharing these tricks with you one by one. And HOPEFULLY there will be something that you can learn from them. They are going to be random, with no specific day or time that they will come out, seeing as how I am a random blogger I know a schedule would not last very long. :) Mostly just as I think of them, or use them, or decide to interrupt my sewing to procrastinate finishing a project just a little bit longer. ;) (like right now.)

IMG_1684 copy

I know I don't know everything... ok, I probably don't know very much, but as I've seen other people start out with a new hobby, I notice little things that they haven't learned yet and I would love to help them/you out. So bare with me if you already know some of it (there are going to be some very basic things!) But good things none the less.


Also, I'm sure we all have little tricks and secrets that we've picked up along the way. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT if you would share your tips and tricks too! Let me know if you have something you want to share, and I would love for you to come blog over here for a day and share with us what you've got!  (which of course comes with TONS of free advertising for you! I love spreading the blog-hop love.)  So let me know, and stay tuned for some Sewing Basics with Diane! :)

p.s. OR if you have something that you know you don't know, but want to know it, let me know and I will share it with you if I know it, or I will find someone who does know it and they can share it with us! (ya know what I mean?!) (Is there an acronym for dumb jokes?! like LOL, except more like TAKS = that's a knee slapper.) Anyway, remember, no question is a dumb question! So don't be afraid to ASK! (ok, it's late and I'm tired, but I did come up with a good acronym for A.S.K. = Always Seek Knowledge. So there you go!) :)


If you have a tip (basic how-to, tutorials on certain quilt block styles or quilt assembly, sewing machine tips, embroidery, etc) that you would like to share, please let me know! You can email me at dbByDesign{at}gmail{.}com, or leave a comment on this or any post. Thanks for sharing! :) 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Made It: Hand Puppets for Humanitarian Aid

Last week at my church we started making these super cute puppets!! We didn't have time to finish them there so I brought them home and finished sewing them together. They were so super quick and turned out so cute! :) I want to keep them. ;) ... or just make more.


I love all the different animals, and they have such cute faces!

IMG_2202 IMG_2203

These are for a humanitarian aid project and will be going somewhere to some lucky children! How fun! I'm sure they will be loved and enjoyed! :)

Working on these made me wonder what else people need, and what other fun projects are needed and welcomed. I looked at the church's Humanitarian Aid site and found all sorts of things that they are looking for. Like bags, quilts, wall hangings, toys, etc. Then I had a great idea... I could make a bunch of small quilts and wall hangings and that would be such a fun way to use up my huge stash of fabric! It would also be a great way to try new things and techniques, but not have a huge commitment (as in doing wall hangings which don't have to be as large as a quilt). In my excitement I started this blog: from blank pages... to blank walls.
 The wall hangings will go to orphanages around the world to help brighten the bare walls. How neat would that be to have your works of art hanging on a child's wall. I love the idea! So the invitation is OPEN! I haven't started on anything yet (I want to finish up a couple projects that are almost finished first) but then I want to get started! Does anyone want to join me?! Hop on over to the blog to learn more about what is needed, what the guidelines are, and follow along! I would love to have some company, even if you don't want to contribute. I will keep you updated on this blog as to when I really get started with it, but will definitely update that blog as I go. :)

I already have my first wall hanging idea planned. I'll post a preview soon. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful Monday!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finish It Up! Challenge with Meg

Over at Fashioned by Meg, Meg's got a Finish It Up! Challenge, and I think this is exactly what I need! I have really been aching to get a lot of my projects finished, especially with so many projects I want to start. :) After I heard about the challenge I started thinking about ALL of the projects I've started and haven't finished, and boy is this going to be a long list! lol.

Well, here it goes!
  1. Picnic Blanket: I am already working on this one, and it's ALMOST done! What I thought would take me all summer is going way faster than I thought. I only have 7 more blocks left, and I'm debating on doing some straight line quilting in between all of the blocks (be lazy and get it done? or do the finishing touches so I don't look at it as unfinished for the rest of its life?) :)
  2. Mabel's Quilt: this thing is so off and on. Top is finished, just need to baste, quilt and bind it.
  3. Lola's Coin Quilt: The top is mostly finished, I just want to applique a tree on it, then baste, quilt and bind.
  4. Bottle Rainbows quilt: I have the center pieces cut and sewed, but still need to cut out the batting and do everything else after that.
  5. Car Mat: I have the roads on it, the lake and a few other things cut out. For the back I have the alphabet and numbers cut out to sew around the edges.
  6. Alphabet Letters: I started making these to go along with the felt numbers I made for Hunter. I just need to finish sewing them up.
  7.  Gathered Clutch: I cut out the fabric to make another clutch when I made my first one. I like it so much, that I never finished the second one up. 
  8. Matchbook notebooks: I started making these for the girls when they go to girls camp. I have a bunch of the paper cut up and ready to fold, but wasn't able to finish them when I started and haven't worked on them since. (I think that is the story of most of my projects. It's hard to have enough time to finish things with three little kiddos running around.)
  9. I do have some curtains that need to be finished, but now I don't know if I really like them that much, or if I ever want to hang them up in our living room. I think I'll probably end up using the fabric for something else instead. Guess I'll have to figure it out.
  10. Christmas Advent Calendar: I wanted to make this last December but didn't get to it. I finished cutting it out and knew it would be a while before I actually sewed it together, but this would be a good one to finish this summer so it's for sure ready by December. :)
  11.  Erasable Activity Books: I cut out all the fabric and everything last year some time, just haven't gotten around to making them. I wanted to work on them this week, but that didn't happen either. Once their finished I'll add them to my shop. (if you want to request one let me know and I'll get it done first thing!)
  12. Fabric Match Game    I have some more fabric and shapes cut out to make some more Fabric Matching Games for my shop as well. These ones will have cute patterned fabric instead of the brown herringbone or pink wool that I used on my other ones. I think I've finally used up all of that fabric. Just need to get them sewn up and listed. These ones are a little larger. I think originally I was going to make bean bags with the fabric.
(I might come back and add more pictures, or just post pictures as I work on them.)

The Challenge goes from now until August! It will be nice to see what I can get done in that time - I'm sure not everything, but hopefully more than I would otherwise.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Made It: Favorite Block

Today is one of those days, ok, more like this week was one of those weeks. It's been a good week and we've had fun, but I definitely am going through some baby blues. Ug. And what makes it worse?! I haven't had any time to sew! (lol. I think that's what's kept me sane so far. ;) ) Anyway, today Neil was so kind to go grocery shopping without me and left me home with two sleeping babies. He told me to take a nap before he left... but no way! I jumped right on my sewing machine and finished up two more blocks of my quilt! :) I really want to finish that thing up like today! (probably won't happen).

I didn't even think of taking a picture of the first block, but the second one made me so happy! I like my other ones, but until this one I didn't have a favorite. It just makes me happy.


I didn't have a plan for it at all, just kind of went with it as I sewed. The quality isn't super, but I like it. Mountains, rainbows, clouds and the sun and sun rays. This would be fun to quilt on a nice bright colorful block! I think it could brighten up anyone's day! :)

Here's the back:


I really love all of the creative freedom that comes with FMQ. I also love this picnic blanket and that it's totally been something I've been able to be totally free with and just do whatever with no expectations. I can't WAIT to use it!!! The minute it's done we are having a picnic. :)


Friday, June 17, 2011

QAL: Bottled Rainbows

Well, it's almost time for this QAL to be over. And guess what?! I'm finally getting started! LOL. But It's not my fault. ;) I had ordered the fat quarter pack from Whipstitch Fabrics about a week or two into the QAL (is it QAL? or QA? I've seen it both and I can't decide which I should use. :) oh well. maybe I'll use both.) Anyway, so after about a month I finally received 9 of them (they were waiting for the rest to come in, which I didn't know they didn't have at the time, otherwise I wouldn't have ordered it. probably.) but just ended up sending the ones they did have. Then I didn't hear anything and thought they forgot and I had just lost my money, but after a lot of emails and waiting I found out they were still waiting and had no idea when it would come it. ( I later found out I wasn't the only one with this happening.) Anyway, I decided to just cancel the rest of the order and find my konas somewhere else. It took forever to do that, and finally I noticed that Fabric.com is selling practically ALL of the colors. They were also on sale, and I love that you can always find a coupon = I got the rest of my konas at 1/2 yard for cheaper than I had paid for a fat quarter! SWEET!

Anyway, I was kind of bugged by the situation, but it's understandable so I'm not. I was more bugged by the lack of communication. Anyway, I'm done. And now you all know why it took so long to get started... which I'm sure you were dying to know. lol. :)

I guess I'm glad it happened like that, because now I get to see everyone's finished products before I begin, and although I absolutely LOVE the blocks, I don't really love them all together. First I considered rearranging them differently - like in just some random color arrangement, but I don't think that would fix it, so I decided that... well, first I decided that instead of all the random scraps I want to do stripes across each block. I think it will look kind of cool! Then I thought of not putting the side boarders on each block and just kind of fading the colors together, but no. Finally I got out my lovely graph paper and started experimenting.

I originally tried different patterns, as well as doing the center colors a different color than the boarder color, but it was a little too chaotic.

Here is what I came up with that I think I like. It might change before I finish completing each block, but I'm going to cut them up in 4ths and then arrange them randomly and piece them back together. Like this:

Looking at the picture now, I can see a ton of different ways it could be arranged. If you look every 4 blocks the boarders meet up in the center - I could do similar colors in each four and kind of do a pinwheel design. Or I could do each row or column in a different color - because each row kind of makes an egyptian line thing. I don't know how else to explain it. Anyway, it will be fun to play around with the blocks when I get to this point. :)

Now to finish my blocks, and find my scraps! :)  I'm crossing my fingers that I have enough scraps in the right colors. I did read that one person found out that you can get "sample" strips from Joann's. They'll cut a 1" strip for free - as long as you don't ask for 50 1" strips. (I just might have to go see if I can get some samples in the colors I need.)

I can't wait! :)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kaleidoscope QAL: Fabric

After drawing my little mock up quilt pattern/color scheme, it was SUPER easy picking out the fabric. I just needed to find anywhere from 4 to 24 prints in each color and value. I definitely didn't go the 24 route... I don't have THAT much fabric. :)  But I did find some good ones.



My collection is super random. I don't even know everything that is in there. I know there are a few Michael Millers, and some Nicey Janes, otherwise it's all from my stash and I don't know. (I guess I could look at the selvage and see, but I know they don't all have it there either.) Anyway, here it is, and it's all sitting on my ironing board. I have no where to put this until the 23rd... when it gets started and hopefully we get our cutting instructions so I can get it cut and put the rest away. :) Sorry hubby. ;)

Oh, I am so excited!!

I also figured out how I want to do the back already:


the picture is a little messy, but here's the jist:
I'm going to do one row of the kaleidoscope blocks, and then each side of it I'll do a long strip of each of the 5 colors in the quilt in a solid - maybe only 1" or 1 1/2" thick. Then I'm thinking I'll use Kona Coal for the rest.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday #8

I feel like this week has been busy... but maybe more so with other things, like taming my children and trying to keep the house clean, and helping the young women get ready for trek. :) It's been a good week. Though I don't think I've finished anything.

In Progress:
I finally got the rest of my picnic blanket pinned and is now ready to finish. I am just waiting for a free minute to sit down and go at it! One thing I've noticed is that with FMQ on a sewing machine the design always seems to be a lot smaller and closer together, whereas FMQ with a long arm (is that what they're called?) is a lot more spaced out and bigger. I want to try to get that larger pattern on my sewing machine,  but it's hard. Any tips?

I also have Lola's Coin Quilt that I still need to cut my tree out for (instead of using berries that Quiltstory has) and piece the backing. I also have Mabel's quilt to finish, but am nervous to FMQ it, I need more practice with the design I was planning on doing. Although I just might pick a different design. I don't know.

I have my fabric picked out for my Kaleidoscope QAL! I'm so excited to get started on this! I can't wait to see how it turns out! :) I'll post more on this later.


I also have finally made some progress with my Bottled Rainbows QAL. I decided to do it a little bit different though... ok, in the end it'll be quite a bit different, but I'm excited for it as well. It will either turn out great, or be a total disaster. :) And I'm ok with that. :) I'll post more on that later as well.


That is mostly what I have lying around.

New Projects:
I have my sewing machine cover planned out. I am super excited about it! I am going to do a bunch of diamonds on the back that wrap around to the front and top, and then on the front I'm going to have a column of hexagons in different sizes. Both things I've never done before. I want to see if I can use my jelly roll of American Jane's Punctuation for it because I love the bold colors.  Although I'm struggling with how big to cut my strips for my diamonds to get them to finish up the right size. It just might turn out to be a total disaster. :)


Last night for church we had dinner with the Relief Society and then helped with some humanitarian projects. The girls cut out some felt pieces and started sewing them together to make hand puppets. They are so stinking adorable!! :) They got way more cut out then they could sew up before everyone was ready to go home, so I snatched them up and told them I'd finish them. Don't you love them?!

I don't know where they'll end up, but I'm sure those kids will love them! :)

A quilt for my sister. I told her she could buy this fabric that I considered for the Kaleidoscope QAL
for me and I'd make her a quilt. :) And it seems that she is on board. I think I'm going to do a version of Mabel's quilt, which I'm really excited for because then I can make it again without all the funky kinks that mine came out with. :)  I think it will look fabulous!


That's it. I'm trying to cut down (yeah right!) ;) so that I can finish up all my projects before we hopefully move this summer. {crossing my fingers for a new job!}

This weeks stats:
New Projects: 3
Completed Projects: 0
In progress: 7