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Monday, January 28, 2013

Sew Sew Modern Swap Goodies - Complete!

It's all finished and will be going out in the mail today! Yesterday was technically the last day to ship for me, but it was Sunday. I wonder if I'm still considered a late sender?? I don't know. Oh well. I had a hard time with this swap... my partners mosaic was amazing, but way outside any style that I've ever made. With not a lot of feedback I kept changing my mind, not knowing what she'd be most happy with. I know a LOT of people in this swap, so it was a lot of fun. I love seeing the amazing projects that everyone makes, but can I be honest? If I don't know my partner, and they are so, ok 90-99% silent, it is not fun. And it's not as fun to throw in a bunch of extra goodies to make their day - because by the end of the swap they still feel like a complete stranger! The fun of swaps is getting to know new people. I've been in a lot of good swaps, and I've decided that your partner can really make or break the experience. The more chatty they are, the more feedback they give, the more active they are in the swap and on Flickr (even if they don't comment on my particular photos, it's helpful if they comment on someone's photos... it still can tell me a lot as to which direction I should go) the better the swap is. The more fun it is to keep it a secret, and the more excited I get about throwing in lots of goodies. I don't want to make my partner feel bad, and I don't mean to be rude. I wasn't the most chatty, but I did try and comment on all the discussion posts, and hit as many photos as I could! I know I missed some, but hopefully my partner was able to gain some insights from the comments I did leave. It's also fun to see everyone's progress shots! Anyway, if I can give any suggestion when participating in a swap it would be: Participate! Even semi-quiet partners are better than non-existent partners. I think I'm going to hold off on swaps for a while again... kind of bummed, but I'm still glad I participated. I just hope my partner is pleased! (But she can't really complain if it wasn't worth the effort to her to comment, so whatever.)

Ok, anyway, now onto the fun stuff. Pictures!!

I spent the most time on this fab knitting roll. I've been storing my knitting needles in it while I finished my second project, you know, just to test it out. :)


I used this tutorial found here:
The only difference I made was do patchwork on the front. It was a great and easy to follow tutorial. I recommend it if you've been wanting to make one of these. My patchwork strip is about 9" wide with three inch linen strip on the bottom, and whatever that leaves for the top. I figure about 15" will show when the top is folded over.


It's hard to tell, but there are reds and oranges, they kind of just blend here.

The inside with my needles:


The is the first time I really did a lot with linen. I like it, but it's kind of hard... it feels more flimsy and I'm not used to that. I'll have to find more projects to use it in so I can get used to it. ;) I do love how it looks!

I was going to use linen for the tote, but found these two kona colors that I think went better together. It's simple, reversible, has two pockets, and I really like how it turned out. Nothing fancy, but sometimes less is more. At least I hope so! I lined it with a heavy weight interfacing, so it's stiff, which I like. It won't just bow to a point if there's not a lot in it. :)

One side front. 

a close up, kind of.

I continued the stitches around to the back, which I really like. A quick way to spruce up a plain piece of fabric.

Reverse option front. It's a blueish-grey fabric.

I continued the stitches around to the back on this one too. They are a little bit higher than on the black.

There you go partner!! I hope you love it!! And I hope I did job making something that you'll use and love! :)


p.s. Go check out Freshly Pieced today! 
Lee has a great line up of patterns she's found recently.
I feel so honored! ;)

Hope you are having a great day!
We are all lucky to have everyone home today!
Do to the ice storm, the schools and university are closed.
I love having my family home with me!
What are you up to today??


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday {1/23/13} Swaps - IG Style

It's been a while since I've done a WIP Wednesday. I'll be linking up over at Freshly Pieced today! :)

My biggest WIPs right now that I need to get done pronto are for my swaps! Last fall when I was sick and on the couch bored out of my mind I signed up for a few swaps that didn't end until the end of this month and the middle of next month. I love them. :)

The first one is Sew Sew Modern! I've said this before, but I love swaps! They always seem to push my creativity and it always blows me away to see all the amazing talent out there! I really would be happy with anything that is being made, and this group is definitely no exception to that! I know what I'm making, but I'm having a hard time with the style and fabrics. I keep changing my mind! I think partially because my partners style, which I love, is not what I normally do. So trying to do something me with a style that isn't me, has been a stretch... I'm crossing my fingers it all turns out perfectly for her! (I think it would be hard to have a guy as your partner, because usually there aren't many in swaps, and man, you say one thing and it's a dead giveaway who it is! ha! I think about that sometimes.) :)

Anyway, here's my little work in progress from start to current, in some mostly bad Instagram photos. (the pictures usually look better on my phone, and then I see them on computer and am like, ug. Maybe one day I'll get a better phone.) :)

Sew Sew Modern Swap Progress Mosaic
Design layout, picking fabric, practice runs, cutting, 160 - 1" hst's, putting it together, changing my mind on fabric, adding more fabrics, changing my mind on design, going back to my original design... I don't think I've ever been so indecisive. But now I'm done with that and am ready to just finish it all up! :) Hooray! I am really excited about these. :) I think I'll have one of the goodies made with the HST's, and the other part made using the Weave (which hopefully I can take some pictures along the way to share a tutorial with you!)

The other swap is DQS 13. I LOVE this group! I made the 70's Geese for Whitney last year. I still miss it. ;) and here's a little peak of what I want to do this year:

First I came up with the Starburst pattern:
(found on Craftsy or Etsy)

Last one for the night. I think this one is my favorite.

But decided to change it up a bit for my partner:
DQS 13 pattern idea

Here is my final idea. I ordered fabrics to match, but I can't remember what colors I picked for where. lol. Maybe I'll change to prints... :)

DQS13 - new layout and colors

I'm pretty excited to get started on this one! I scaled down the blocks so each 1/4 block is only 3" I think. :) I think it will look awesome! (ok, crossing my fingers.)

I think the HARDEST thing about swaps is when your partner is really quiet. I don't ever know if that means they hate my ideas, or if they just aren't at all active. I'm guessing it's the later since I haven't noticed posts on anyone's photos... I'm not saying which swap I'm talking about. (I don't want to give anything away). But in the end I just figure that if it's not important for them to comment, than I can just do whatever in the world I want to! :D lol. :)

Anyway, now I'm off to be finish up projects, be mom, probably play with some Legos, clean, pay bills, do laundry, oh.... I wish life could be full of only the good stuff! ;)

What are you working on lately?? :)
Hope you have a great Wednesday!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My First Alphabet!

Well, my pattern making and finishing continues. I started this pattern back before September and just now polished it off and have it listed! Hooray! :) I wanted to be sure to share with you the lovely creations my awesome pattern testers shared with me!

My First Alphabet
found on Craftsy and Etsy
Limited use licenses also available in both places


This is the pattern I used for my PEACE word, as well as HUNTER that I showed you last time. Ready for a repeat overload?! I'm good at those lately. ;)


This was made with the very original letters. I have since simplified them, so the smallest of pieces in the corners are no longer so small, or so many. In case you were worried. :)

Last fall I had some amazing people test the pattern for me! As well as look over the final draft for me yesterday. I LOVE their projects!!!

Heidi of Fabric Mutt made this super cute notion's bag. Yep, I want one!

Amanda of Material Girl Quilts made a Hot Stuff hot pad! clever. ;) I love it!!

Isn't that the cutest hot pad?! I love it! :)

If you're wondering about the letter U's, they really do have curved bottoms. Just check the picture of the whole alphabet! Amanda pointed out to me that she forgot those last pieces, and then when I made HUNTER, I did the EXACT same thing! lol. It makes me laugh so hard!

Anyway, I just want to give a HUGE shout out to these talented ladies and say Thank you for your help!! :) Make sure to stop by their blogs and check out all the other great things they are always making! :)

and be sure to stop my Craftsy Store or Etsy Shop and check out the pattern! ;) heehee. 
and let me know if you use it!!! It would make my year to see it in action!! :)
I hope you are having an excellent week!!
I'll have some swap projects and new curtains to share with you soon! 

p.s. If you share projects made with my patterns on Instagram, you can tag them with #fromblankpagespatterns! :)


Friday, January 18, 2013

My Words for 2013

Peace. Love.
As I read the words that others picked as their motto words for 2013, I thought a lot about what my word should be. Peace and Love are going to be my words for this year. In the last two years or so I've been overcome with feelings of anxiety, stress, worry, depression, anger... So many negative emotions. I've been sick with this or that. I don't know where it's all come from, but I want my health back. I want to feel good again, and I want to feel like I can go through my day and not worry about what I will have the stamina or feel-goodness (yes, I made up that word) to do ten minutes from now. (some days I just don't feel good and I don't know how else to explain it.)


It's time for peace. Peace on the outside, but even more so on the inside. My OBGYN told me thre other day how research shows that if during pregnancy the mom is stressed, the baby will more likely have anxiety and other emotional issues. I don't doubt at all that my feelings and emotions influence my baby as it grows. The first three months of this pregnancy were the worst for stress. I was so stressed out to the point that I was constantly physically ill. I don't think I would have been as sick as I was had my circumstances, or attitude, been different. After the first day at Sewing Summit I felt amazing!! The day after I got home I was so sick again. Looking back I can totally see how much the stress at home had affected me. I'm so grateful for that amazing weekend I had to get away and enjoy with amazing friends!!

After Mabel was born I had an incident that left me with some post traumatic stress disorder = panic attacks and high anxiety. Then I dealt with thyroid problems for a few months that were tightly connected with my anxiety, if not the cause of it. It was rough to say the least. If you were reading my blog at that point you might remember me talking about it a little bit. It was impossible some days to be alone. I was glad my mom was just a few doors away, despite her not always being available. I didn't drive for months. I really felt helpless and scared.

Though the worst of that is over, and my anxiety has subsided almost completely, I have a worry in the back of my mind of what is going to happen after this baby is born. Now there is a great distance that divides me and the world (we are in isolation Iowa. lol). I have three little, love to run around and cause mischief, kids instead of two. I'm prego with number 4. If my body doesn't want to adjust smoothly from being prego, I don't even want to imagine what it's going to be like trying to deal with it out here. I really want to send good vibes to this baby. I want him to be happy and at peace. I want to be happy and at peace. With myself and with my world.

Thus my word  for this year. Peace. I was going to pick quality as my word. Focus on quality projects, spend time on quality activities. Focus on quality relationships and family life. Quality not quantity. etc. but I decided to simplify even more. Everything I do and focus on will be something that brings me peace, instills peace in my soul and those around me. I don't want to be stressed. I don't want to take on too much. I don't want to be overwhelmed by my to do list. I just want peace. I also don't want to be haunted by the anger and hurt and disappointment from my past. That's another story, but I really want to find peace with myself and who I was and who I am now, as well as my feelings towards others.


"Perfect love casteth out all fear."


I think Love plays such a huge part of peace, healing, and letting go. Anxiety is fear, if I can be filled with love, then hopefully that would eliminate my anxiety. I have been praying everyday that I can be filled with God's love. I want to be more patient. I want to stop yelling and being frustrated. I want peace. Peace and love within my family. We do love each other very much! And we are very happy, but it can be better. and I want to be better.

I really like all the words I've seen people come up with. Create, Finish, Simplify, ...  there are so many good ones out there. But I think no matter what I do or focus on this year, I want with it the peace of enjoying it, and peace in doing it. I feel like I've been in a race with myself to get to point A or point B or Z, and I need to do it now. But it's kind of just made me crazy. Instead of focusing on my destination so much, I want to focus and enjoy the journey. I don't want to worry about if I reach this goal or be that person. I just want to be at peace with how things are, and how they will be. Have peace knowing that I am living the way that God wants me to live and that I'm doing what He needs me to do. That is another thing I have not had peace with in the last few months. But things are looking up, and I know that His hand is in my life and I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for the peace He does give me despite my own worries and craziness. ;)

and just one more note, of course I am hopeful that peace and love will also bring with it taking better care of myself, eating better, getting back in shape, and all that good stuff. I know those things play a part in our overall health as well. :)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

A LOVE Story

Here's what I've been working on for the last two days. I get on these kicks where I start something and just go. go. go. until I'm done. It's nice to finish it! But life gets kind of crazy in the mean time. I am pretty excited about his one though, and I think you will be too. Here's my story in pictures:

LOVE process mosaic

Do you want some LOVE too? 
Hop on over to my Craftsy store and download your FREE pattern today!! :)

Pattern comes with uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as simple instructions on how to combine them.

Here's my tip if you are doing lowercase ONLY. Cut out the letters, then...


Cut the top off 1/4 inch from the *b line. This is your new 1/4 inch seam allowance.



Then color it in just to make it look the same as the other SA's. (at least for me this helps me not be confused about what this space is for.) :)



DON'T do this if you are using a large letter L. *b is what makes them all the same height. :)


(the patterns actually don't add have the last background piece after the e's. just so you aren't confused.)

I hope you enjoy this pattern!
I'd love to see what you make with it!!!! Really. I would LOVE it. ;)


Monday, January 14, 2013



I feel like I've been a pattern maniac lately. Yep. I have another one. I created this one in one day start to finish. It was just one of those things. You've probably already seen it and maybe some test blocks if you follow me on Instagram. (Instagram is killed the blogging world - sing it like Video Killed the Radio Star) :)

Anyway, this was a fun one. And I LOVE how the blocks turned out. First a few mock ups. I think I'm going to use this in mini version for my DQS13 quilt. Hoping my partner will love it.

DQS 13 pattern idea

a few more I put together while creating

Last one for the night. I think this one is my favorite.
yes, these are phone pictures of my computer screen. :} 
I am so lazy.

(ignore the line down the center) could be a fun paper piecing pattern! :)

Anyway, I had some SUPER wonderful testers for this! I am so grateful and impressed. Thank you so much!!

Jennifer of Mr. Chicken and the Ninja Kitties, made two blocks.

Lisa of A Day in the Life of Raising Six Munchkins, made this beauty. I have some of this fabric and it really makes me want to use it in this block. :)

Thank you lovely gals!! :)

You can find Starburst in my Craftsy store as well as in my Etsy Shop.

and for this week only, you can bid on it as part of a pattern bundle for the charity auction for Newton! be sure to go check out all the handmade goodies up for grabs!
Find it HERE. (on facebook).

Happy Monday everyone! 
I am enjoying my lovely new curtains this morning! ;) 
oh, I still need to share those on here.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 FAL - 1st Quarter Projects

she can quilt

 Wow, I almost missed this! I've been waiting to take some good pictures of everything, but it doesn't look like that will be happening in time. ;) I have a lot of almost finished projects that I've been trying to get finished for about a year now. Well, now is the time to get them done! It's tiring having a huge to do list all the time. ;)

I was just going to pick a few projects and work on those, but I decided to list all of them that I want to get done and hopefully I'll be able to whittle down the list through the year. My goal: No more repeat projects! Nothing will last through 2013! ha. 

1. Mabel's quilt - need to finish this before I have another baby! I can't start his until hers is finished. Ready to baste and quilt. Have you seen this picture enough times yet? ha.


2. Kaleidoscope quilt - top finished.

3. Giant Granny Square - I still have a bit to do for the top, but this is a fun one. I really want to see it finished. SO excited to keep it in Mabel's room, or keep it for me. ;) (want to make a pattern for this one.)


4. Baby #4 Quilt - I made up this quilt block and decided it would be a fabulous one for baby #4's quilt. So far I've made one for each baby and they just keep getting more and more modern. :) So fun! I was almost going to say that I'm going to have to keep having more babies, but that is not a necessity to make more quilts. haha. ;)


5. Bags - these are so quick... but I get tired of repetition.

6. Another Quick project - a bunch of mug rugs and coasters.

7. Moody Blues 2 Quilt - this really is/should be on the top of my list. Need to get it done asap. I still have a bit to do on it though, so I would really love to finish a few that are closer and get them out of the way so I can feel like I have more room for this one.

8. Mabel's car quilt. I didn't start it until recently, but if I don't finish it it will be in a pile forever. New projects that don't get finished at the same time I start them are already UFO's. ;)
The top half is done. I'm too tired to keep sewing... my pauses keep getting longer and longer. That and I'm running out of white, guess I'll HAVE to but more fabric now. ;)

9. Melinda's quilt - top finished. Need to finish this and donate it.

10. Bee block quilts - I actually have a bunch of bee blocks that I've received from people and need to put them together and finish them. I need more fabric for some of them though. Maybe I'll call out for donations, since they are for donation anyway. ???  My plan post to come.
 hum, I don't have a photo of these. I guess I won't link them up at the end of the quarter if I finish them, but they still count for my list. :)

Some Holiday sewing:

11. Advent Calendar -

12. Christmas Table Runner - that is actually square. Top finished.
A little Christmas sewing! :)

and one just one more...

13. Nest quilt - this is a somewhat quick quilt, just need to get at it. I'm about half way done with the top. Would love to make a pattern of this one too.

is it unlucky to have 13 projects? Maybe it's extra lucky and means I'll get them finished! :)

Ok, this is my list for this quarter! Wish me luck! :) (and add Pay it Forward 2013 projects as well as two swaps. I think I will be plenty busy.) :)

There are still a couple hours left if you want to link up your projects over at she can quilt.