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Monday, March 25, 2013

My ABCs & My abc's: Complete Pattern Set!

Pattern #3 for today's big release! (Along with My First Alphabet: Numbers & Punctuations, and My abc's Lowercase pattern.)

And to end with a big bang...

My ABCs & My abc's Complete Set
UPPER and lower case letters
on Craftsy, on Etsy

 Upper AND lowercase letters. This pattern has 4 different sets of alphabets, 2 of each upper and lowercase. It has 41 pages!!! You are really getting a bang for your buck with this pattern. Here is a photo showing the different sets:

Basically how it works, depending on which lowercase letters you are using, you use the specific patterns. This makes it easier for you to fit all the letters together, as well as get the cleanest, smoothest finished product! 

Let me put it another way: the difference from the Upper and Lowercase stand alone patterns, is the E section on the bottom of the patterns. 
 - The Uppercase only pattern does not have the E section underneath each letter. If you are combining this pattern with the lowercase pattern, and using the letters g, j, p, q, or y (see how they all have those tales that extend below the base line of the letters??) it's going to be a little more tricky lining those up. You will need to add more fabric to the bottom of the letters. Even if you aren't using those letters, you will need to adjust one of the patterns to get them to fit together.
 - The lowercase pattern does have the E section. So of course all the lowercase letters will work perfectly together. But if you are combining the lowercase with the uppercase letters (and not using the lowercase letters I mentioned before) you will need to either still add a section to the uppercase letters, or go through each letter and take the E section off (I do include instructions in the lowercase pattern on how to do this). 

So it's definitely not impossible to combine the two different patterns, it's just more work. I decided to make this complete set, to make using these patterns together as smooth as possible for you! :) You may ask, why not add the other options to the individual patterns??? Because if all you want is one of the other, you don't really need those options.

*** If you already bought the UPPERCASE pattern, and want to upgrade to the complete set without having to purchase it on top of what you already paid, forward me your receipt of purchase from when you purchased the pattern (either from Etsy or Craftsy), along with the email address you used, and I will send you a Paypal invoice for the difference, and email you the complete pattern (to the same email address that you bought the first pattern from). I will only be offering this deal for a limited time, but definitely want to put this out there since all the patterns didn't come out at the same time. I don't want anyone to feel ripped off for not waiting for this complete set to come out. :)

Kelie of Craft Nurse Quilt tested this pattern out for me. I absolutely LOVE her finished mini!!!

 SO CUTE!! :)

Here is what Kelie said,

I loved your pattern!!!!!!! Absolutely L-O-V-E!!!!!! I love the size of the letters especially! So versatile to use in MANY projects! The size also helps with not using TOO much fabric! I found I could use tiny bits I had previously cut off for another part in the same letter! Sooo, very fabric friendly?!?!? I guess that’s what I’m trying to say?... I found this pattern (if you know what you’re doing in paper piecing) very easy to follow, I didn’t really need to read the directions to piece them, but since its always a good idea to read the directions I did!!!! ... I would recommend adding in the directions to keep the paper on each letter while joining them. Like with the “s” how it comes in sections…I didn’t keep the paper on one of them and it didn’t line up right but when I kept the paper on  it lined up PERFECTLY! (just a suggestion!)

I really do love this pattern and can see myself using it time and time again. There’s not much I’d change at all (if anything) about it! I love the end result! I’m already planning a few more things with it!

I LOVE her suggestion to keep the paper on. I always leave the paper on until I am completely finished. Especially with paper piecing, you are often working with fabric on the bias, which means it can stretch. Keeping the paper on keeps everything in place. And especially with piecing segments together, everything lines up so much better with the paper on, and with minimal fuss. This is something I added to the directions.

Thanks Kelie!!

Wow! Ok, that is a lot of patterns, and a lot of feedback. But I am SOOOO excited to have these finished and out. :) If you try any of the patterns out, I would LOVE to see what you make! I'll even link it to my side bar so others can see it too. :)

I hope you are having a very happy Monday!! :)

p.s. I'm hoping to finish up my projects using this pattern soon! 
I can't wait to share it with you! :)


My abc's: Lowercase Alphabet Pattern!

Here is Pattern #2 that I released today! (In addition to My First Alphabet: Numbers & Punctuation, and My ABC's & My abc's: Complete Set!)

My abc's Lowercase Pattern

Letters a - z in lowercase form.
on Craftsy, on Etsy

This pattern is ready to jump right in and start piecing away! Contains 3 pages of instructions and tips, and 8 pages of alphabet patterns, a-z, in lowercase form.

I had two people test this pattern for me! Lisa and Lee. I'll share Lisa's photos later, but here is what Lee made!

 I seriously love her choice of fabrics! The architectures print for the background is amazing!! :)

Here's what Lee said,

First off, I LOVE it! Very fun:)

- Overall thoughts and impressions of the pattern: does it seem too complicated?
It's not too complicated, but it's not really a beginner friendly pattern. I'm not sure any letter type patterns are though. I didn't feel like there were any unnecessary pieces at all. 

 - are the directions clear? 
The directions are very clear. I followed along easily and had no trouble. 

- are there any parts that are confusing that either need to be improved or better explained?
This is random, but I made two "L's" and I kept getting confused that they were " I's". I think you should consider making your letter labels uppercase. This might be confusing though since you have uppercase patterns. Maybe label it "lowercase l" or something. I got confused more than once which could mean I'm an idiot or could mean others will too!

(I didn't change this, just because I do have upper and lowercase letters. Also, the lowercase L and uppercase I really aren't that much different between the patterns. If you do get them mixed up, no big deal. You won't even be able to tell really.)

- Any inconsistencies that you feel should be changed throughout the pattern?
The lines are really thick when you enlarge it. Maybe make them .5 pt at 100%. It was okay at 200%, but they were thicker than usual. But if you went bigger, it could be a problem.
This is another thing I didn't change. I LOVE this suggestion, but I'm afraid if I make the lines thinner, and people decide to shrink the letters, they might be too thin. I feel this is a good setting for most general use. If you do enlarge your pattern and find it a problem, let me know and I can help you out! :)
 - Is this a pattern you would come back to and use again? 
Absolutely! I'd love to make an alphabet quilt!!

- General thoughts about piecing your letters, etc.
My letters went together great!! Very easy to follow and love the built in spacing. This is definitely a pattern I'll use again and again! Diane, it's really just a great set of letters!!

Thanks again Lee for all the great feedback!!


My First Alphabet: Numbers & Punctuation

Ok, my blog is probably getting so boring with all my pattern posts. They're just so much fun!!! lol. Ok, really, life is just busy, and I really should make more exceptions to stop and blog about it. But until then, I want to let you know that I just finished adding three patterns to my Etsy shop and my Craftsy store. I'll add some to Threadbias too. (are you on there?? It's pretty cool! It takes a minute to figure it out, but I've been having some fun on there recently.)

I was going to put them all in the same post, but it was really long... so I'm doing three posts. Sorry for the blogging overload today! :)

First off, to go with My First Alphabet Pattern, I finished up the Numbers & Punctuation pattern!

It has the numbers 0-9, as well as 14 common punctuation marks.
on Craftsy, on Etsy

To be honest, this is probably the most complicated pattern of all the alphabet patterns. But only because more of the patterns have multiple segments. They really aren't any harder than the others, just maybe a little more intimidating. ;)  (oh, and just to be clear, the punctuation marks (&, $, *) are the ones that are more complicated. the numbers aren't too bad.)

Sarah of crinklelove tested this for me.  I love her fabrics!

(if you're a bit new to paper piecing, these will look a little different once joined. All the sides will be 1/4" shorter, so for example, the top of the 7 won't be that large. They will all be more proportionate.) :)

Here's what Sarah said,
It doesn't seem too complicated to me. I wouldn't suggest it for a beginner necessarily, because some of them are more intricate. The directions were great! I didn't feel like additional info was needed.

- After testing some letters: what did you think of the process? Is this a pattern you would come back to and use again? General thoughts about piecing your letters, etc.
I would definitely use this pattern for numbers again. The piecing was smooth, even when I joined each number together, they lined up great.
- Additional thoughts
So, it went really well. I do like how you code things with b - background, c - color/print, etc. That was really helpful, since I normal have to color it or label it myself. From what I tried, I think it's a great pattern and will be a great addition to a paper piecer's pattern collection. 

Thanks Sarah!! :)


Thursday, March 21, 2013

I {heart} Crochet

I really do. I learned to crochet so long ago, and it has always been something that I go back to through whatever projects I'm working on. It's my mindless, I don't want to think about a single thing, activity. (For some reason I tend to crotchet more when I'm feeling depressed, or exhausted from life, than anything else. but not always.) Anyway, I love it. It's so relaxing.

Anyway, I received my email from Purl Soho and saw this beautiful afghan, and I love it! I totally want to make one!

Doesn't it look lovely?! 

Anyway, they sell kits so you can make your own. I thought, "Oh, Im totally going to call my hubby and see if I can get this." Yep, we talk about things before we buy. It keeps us happy. As I was reading the description I saw how much it cost. Are you ready??



Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised since this is Purl Soho we're talking about, but still. Would I even dare use a blanket, let a lone give it to my child, knowing it cost $780?! I don't know. If you would then I love and admire you. But for now... no way. I think I'll still ask my hubby, as a joke. I don't think he'll be very amused. He doesn't enjoy my sense of humor. :)

Mentioning sense of humor, I heard a new joke yesterday:

Q: What do you call a fake noodle?

A: an Impasta! 

bwahaha!! ;)

Well, off to face the day... that started at 5:30. :( For some reason my little M has been waking up crying at 5:30 every morning, waking everyone up. She can get in and out of her crib now, which isn't too bad since she goes down for bed and naps so good still, but she must fall out in the morning, or something. I don't know... it's starting to wear on me though. Crazy girl.

Happy Thursday! :)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bloom Your Blog with Jessica Sprauge

Have you heard of Jessica Sprague? She has an awesome site with some great digital scrapbooking supplies. But even more than that, she offers SO many great classes for photoshop, illustrator, and more. Whether you just want to learn the programs, or you want to start scrapbooking, or how to take better photos, there is something there for everyone. Ok, I don't mean to sound like a sales pitch, but I really like her site. She has some free classes you can try so you can see what they are like.

Anyway, I decided to sign up for one of her classes, Bloom Your Blog. (It was on sale, and I had a coupon. You can't say no to that, right?!) In we are learning some good food for thought on setting up a good blog design, and will learn how to make headers and buttons, etc in Photoshop. I don't know how to do very much in Photoshop (I mostly use Illustrator for everything.) so this should be good. Hopefully I can spiffy up my blog some more! :)

Some of the things I've been thinking about for my blog, are the style I want to portray, and the color scheme (which is always a tough one).  (Don't hold me to this if this doesn't actually materialize into an amazing blog! lol. Trying to stay on top of the class is hard enough right now... I'm already a day behind.) ;)

The style words I picked are: fresh, clean, calm, fluid, and sunny. I also like classy.

and my thoughts about this: What I've struggled with is coming up with a distinct style to match my blog name and idea. from blank pages... where it all begins. I really like the idea of it, that everything we do is a creative journey and starts as we begin to fill up our blank pages (add in everyday is a new beginning and everyday we start over with a blank page to make that day our own. Which I don't think I really portray this idea constantly on my blog, but I would like to more.) I want a look to portray that, but don't want just a blank blog.

I checked out some colors, and here are a few of my favorite color schemes from Pinterest:

LOVE love this one!

I love the teal and green, with a pop of yellow.

Ok, so that's all for now... I just wanted to share this with you, in case anyone is interested in any of the classes. Plus I just love color. :) And if I don't write any of this down I'll never remember it. ;)

UPDATE: Here is my Mood Board on Pinterest. This has been a lot of fun! :)

Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, March 18, 2013

A Busy Week and a Busy Day

Well, I am a bit behind on a few bloggy stuff that I want to share with you... First, I want to let you know about a HUGE Destash Bash that The Sewing Loft is putting on Facebook. I have added a few things that should be up later today, and really need to add WAY more to my Etsy shop as well. You can find all my Destash stuff here, but don't just look in my shop. Everything that is a part of the Bash can be found HERE. There is a LOT of great stuff!! (I'm dying that I can't buy anything. lol.)

I also didn't pick a winner for the giveaway last week... so here they are! The winners for the My ABCs Giveaway are: (Such a tough choice!!)

I'll send you both an email right now. :)


Be sure to come back here April 19th to check out their projects! :) (Unless I have my baby then... I might need to reschedule a little depending on this new baby's arrival.) ;)

Let's see... it seems like there was something else going on... Today's my Birthday! :) I'm getting old. Mostly I'm just pregnant and hormonal. I cried when my hubby left for work today. lol. I blame it on my little boys who decided to wake up at 5:30 and try to wake everyone else up! Luckily everyone fell back asleep. ;) I still want to go back to bed though.

I have a few things I've been working on, I'm hoping to do another Week of Finishes, maybe next week, so I can share them with you! :) A few of the projects I've been starting on I'm not loving, so I need a little motivation to help me push through them.

Pattern updates: I am still waiting from a few testers for the lowercase and numbers patterns. I have a few minor adjustments to make, and then I think I can get them up this week! (crossing my fingers!) Can I ask you a question? What do you look at/consider when purchasing a pattern - compared to price? Do you tend to not buy patterns in general? Or if you do, do you have a certain amount that you are willing to pay, and an amount that is always too much no matter how detailed the pattern is? I've been going back and forth on where to price some of my patterns, and I can't decide what is best. I'd love to know what you think, generally speaking. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful lovely day!! :)
Happy Monday!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

100 Sales!! and a Sale!

Today I hit 100 sales in my Etsy shop!! Wahoo! :) (It only took 4+ years, but I don't mind.) I am so excited! :) Thank you to everyone who has supported my little efforts over the years. To celebrate, I think it's time for a little sale tomorrow! Last month I had a sale for My First Alphabet on Craftsy, and totally forgot that some people do not love Craftsy, and didn't even think to have a sale on Etsy. So tomorrow (starting tonight) I will reduce the price of My First Alphabet on Etsy, as well as My ABC's UPPERCASE on Etsy, for 24 hours! :)



Happy Tuesday everyone! :)

and don't forget to enter the giveaway going on here.


Monday, March 11, 2013

My ABC's - A Different kind of Giveaway!

The weather has been warming up, which is awesome! I am a bit excited for a change in the weather. Minus the fact that my fybromyalgia must also be excited too, as it won't let this change of seasons go unnoticed. (Have you ever heard people with arthritis say, "a storm is coming! I can feel it in my joints." Well, that is basically the same thing for me in the spring... that stuck between winter and spring, wet soggy weather, is like a car alarm going off in every joint and muscle in my body. blah.) Anyway, it luckily is not as bad as it used to be and mostly I forget that I even have it, but this weekend has been killer = i am a lazy cranky bum. My solution? Ignore the world and sit at the computer! lol. :) I've spent a lot of time finishing up some patterns and I am SO excited to have these almost completely finished!! :)

Last week I released the new alphabet pattern, My ABCs (not to be confused with My First Alphabet), in uppercase form, and this weekend, well, I finished the lowercase letters, as well as the additional pattern pieces for the Complete Set! :) (I really thought it would be months before I would be done with this.)

Let me explain how this works:

There is an UPPERCASE only alphabet:

Pattern has 3 pages of instructions and tips, 11 pages of pattern pieces (26 uppercase letters)

There is a lowercase only alphabet (pattern currently being tested):

Pattern has 3 pages of instructions and tips, 8 pages of pattern pieces (26 lowercase letters)

And then there is the complete set (also currently being tested):

My ABCs and My abc's
This pattern has 3 pages of instructions and tips, 36 pages of pattern pieces (99 letters - Uppercase and lowercase)

This set has 4 different alphabet sets in it, which makes it much easier to combine the different alphabets. Here is a snippet from the instructions that explains how the different patterns work:

My ABCs and My abc's Complete Set
The lowercase alphabet (not including the E spacer at the bottom) does not include the letters g, j, p, q, or y. Both the Uppercase and lowercase sets are perfect if you are not using the lowercase forms of those 5 letters, as you don't have that extra piece at the bottom, and can fit the letters into whatever project you want, without that extra strip. (of course you can always add the strip, or just use the other alphabet sets. I know I'm excited for that option anyway. :)


The stand alone My ABCs Uppercase pattern is the set that does not have the "E section", so the bottom left pattern = if you combine it with a lowercase letter g, j, p, q, or y, you will need to add extra fabric on the bottom for the letters to match.

The stand alone My abc's lowercase pattern is the upper right pattern. With the "E section", which means if you are NOT using the lowercase letter g, j, p, q, or y, you will need to trim the E section if combining it with the uppercase pattern, or if you just don't want that extra strip at the bottom of your letters.

You definitely can buy the separate patterns and they definitely are combine-able, it just might be a little extra work. This is why I came up with the complete set, with the different alphabet options - to minimize the fussiness for you. :)

Does that all make sense? Any questions?

(before I move on do you want to see the next pattern I'm just finishing up??? I really want to make a fabric growth chart with this one, and then when I measure my kids, embroider the lines and dates on. Plus then I'll be able to take it with us when we move!) :)

My First Alphabet: Numbers and Punctuation Marks
My First Alphabet - Numbers and Punctuaion Marks
The numbers are finished, I just need to finish up the punctuation marks, which are kind of crazy! Anyway, these will be fun! :) Hopefully I'll get it finished in the next day or two and send it out to be tested. :)

These go perfectly with My First Alphabet! (I do want to make a set that matches My ABC's as well, but my hubby might kill me if I don't take a break from the computer for a while. ;) lol.)

Anyway, onto the good stuff!

Have you seen some of Rachel of Stitched in Color's giveaways that she does, where you have to tell her what you would make with the fabric and then she picks some good ideas, and they win the fabric? And then they have to actually make what they say they will, and share it on their blog by the end of the specified time frame. I think that is such a fun idea!!! 

I decided that I want to try that with the My ABCs and My abc's Complete Pattern!

I am offering one complete pattern (40 pages of instructions and pattern pieces) to two different winners! Here's how to win:

  • Tell me what awesome project you would make with it, with as much detail as you want
  • I'll pick two awesome ideas
  • In 1 month? (what is a good time frame???) (By April 18th) Those winners will post and share about their project, and I'll share them here on my blog too, with links to their posts.

but PLEASE! If you can't meet the time frame, or won't be able to make your idea, don't enter, or at least let me know in your comment so I can pick people who will be able to share their projects. (I'd still love to know what your ideas would be.) :)

I'll have this giveaway up until Friday and announce the winners on Saturday, as well as send out the patterns. (I should also have all three patterns up for sale by then, for anyone else who wants them.) :) Then the winners will have until April 18th to complete their project, and I'll share them here on my blog on the 19th. :)

This should be a lot of fun! I'm really excited!! :)

p.s. feel free to share the giveaway with others and help spread the word! Since I'm not adding options of following, or tweeting, etc, I wouldn't say no to a little word of mouth anyway. ;)


Friday, March 8, 2013

My ABCs! A New Paper Piecing Alphabet Pattern

Well, it's finally here! I'm really excited about this pattern! This is the same font as the LOVE letters I put together for Valentines Day (but improved), and hopefully soon, there will be a lowercase set to go with this! :) And maybe some numbers and punctuation marks! (one thing at a time...) You can find this pattern on Craftsy, and Etsy. And did you know that Etsy now has downloadable files??? So when you purchase a PDF pattern you no longer have to wait for it to be emailed to you!! LOVE!!! (I have been secretly waiting for them to get this feature for a looooooooong time!)


I really love this pattern and I LOVE how these letters are so chunky and thick, compared to My First Alphabet, which is rather slim. As soon as the lowercase letters are finished I want to make an alphabet quilt with these, as well as an ABC book, using the letters plus I-spy blocks that have items that start with each letter. I've already started some of the uppercase letters and picked out all my fabric colors, it'll take a while, but I'm REALLY excited for it! :)

D is for daddy's who make the day so delightful. #fromblankpagespatterns #myabcspattern #fieldstudy @annamariahorner I love how the feathers turned out in this!  Final pull! Too bad I need to finish up other commitments before I can start... 
 I have more letters finished, but no pictures.

I did ask Nicke of Kiss Kiss Quilt, to test this for me. She is fantastic!! She gave me a lot of great feedback, which helped me improve the pattern even more, but even before that she had some really nice things to say, and I'm confident that anyone will enjoy this pattern, no matter your skill level. :)

Here are some of the things she said, along with my questions for her:

thank you so much for letting me test this pattern for you. i am really in love with it.  

- Overall thoughts and impressions of the pattern: does it seem too complicated? are the directions clear? are there any parts that are confusing that either need to be improved or better explained?  

i really enjoyed using this pattern.  it was very easy to use.  the directions were very clear and concise.  i tend to be a bit of a glance at the pattern and just figure it out as i go kind of girl, but i really took my time and read through the entire thing before i started...

- After testing some letters: what did you think of the process? Is this a pattern you would come back to and use again? General thoughts about piecing your letters, etc.

i love the simplicity of the pattern.  paper piecing is very relaxing to me and i thought the pattern was very easy to use.  i really liked that you numbered and lettered each section.  having the B and C made it much easier for me.  b for background fabric c for color.  it helped me keep it correct as i was piecing the letters together.  i would and will definitely use this pattern again and again!

:D Thank you Nicke!

And of course, here are some of her photos of what she made...

All photos courtesy of Nicke Cutler

I LOVE the polka dots!! :)

You can find this pattern on Craftsy or on Etsy!

Again, I can't thank you all enough for your support and awesome feedback with my patterns. I have such a blast making them, and am always so tickled when someone buys one. ;) It's been such a fun adventure and I hope that it will continue for a long time.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Week of Finishes: Christmas Table Runner

This  is one of my original 1st Quarter FAL projects. You can find the original post with all the projects here. I'll be linking this up at She Can Quilt here.

from blank pages...
A Week of Finishes is all about blogging and finally sharing the things I have finished. I hope you'll join me! The linky will be open until Monday night, March 4th.

Christmas in March? Ok, sure. Actually this was finished in February. I had a good friend come over in December, or sometimes, and taught her how to quilt, or at least a little bit. She wanted a table runner, so I put this easy pattern together and decided I wanted to make one too. I don't have a long table, so instead of making it two blocks wide, I made mine more square than long. I am definitely excited for November/December to roll around so I can display it! :) 


The Front
Kate Spain's JOY collection. LOVE these Christmas fabrics!

The Back

I REALLY love the quilting on the fabric on the back of this quilt.



And there it is. Simple as that. :) I really need to order some labels to put on my quilts... I always forget to make one.

from blank pages...