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Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Exciting Announcement!

I am SO excited! I finally conquered one of my fears and wrote a quilt pattern! I have quite a few patterns that are scattered through my art journals, but I've been too intimidated to actually turn them into real patterns. Now that I've finished this one, I am gearing up and ready to finish them all! (as soon as I can find the time, of course.) Some of them I have started the actually quilt for, others not. But either way, I'm hoping that you'll see more from me in the future! (like the Giant Granny Square Quilt someone asked me about over a year ago. Nope, I haven't forgotten.) :)

Anyway, to celebrate my first full quilt pattern (because trying something new, and busting through intimidation is definitely worth celebrating) I have put together a blog hop! There are some amazing people joining me and I'm so excited! (and grateful!) Some were kind enough to test my pattern for me, and bear with me with all of my delays and updates. After my pattern was finished, I asked a few more people to join in. So be sure to stop by and visit all the stops! :) It begins on Monday September 9th, right here with me.

Grandma's Lawn Chair Blog Hop

Here's the line up:

Mon 9th - Diane @ from blank pages...
Tues 10th - Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
 Wed 11th - Ginny @ Fishcreek Studio
Thurs 12th - Kelleigh - guest blogging at from blank pages...
Fri 13th - Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Mon 16th , Diane @ from blank pages...
Tues 17th - Hilary @ Young Texan Mama
Wed 18th - Mike @ The Amateur Quilter
Thurs 19th - Rachael @ imagine gnats
Fri 20th - Courtney @ Mon Petite Lyons 

Mon 23rd - Jamie @ Sunflower Seeds
Tues 24th - Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts
Wed 25th - Krista @ Spotted Stones
Thurs 26th - Cristy @ Sew Much Like Mom
Fri 27th - Diane @ from blank pages...

The best news about this, everyone will be offering up a free PDF copy of the quilt pattern to one of their readers, on their stop of the blog hop! That is 13 chances for you win a free copy of your own. :)

Plus, you will want to see what everyone has made! The quilts I've seen so far look fabulous! This is a fun pattern, that sews up super quickly! (I made the baby size in two days all while packing and getting ready to go to Utah for a week! Trust me, it's fast!) :)

Feel free to grab a button and help spread the word!

Grandma's Lawn Chair Blog Hop @ from blank pages... 

Come find out the story behind the name, and all about the pattern, starting September 9th!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kindergarten Rug

My little guy is growing up! He had his first day of school last week.

First day of school!

I had brought my dSLR with me, but... I left the SD card in the computer at home. Camera phone pictures are not my favorite, oh well.

They all had to get in the photo as well. :)

Group shot. :)

Hunter started Begindergarten, which is preschool in the morning, and kindergarten in the afternoon. His birthday is in May, and I had heard that boys do better when they are older in the class, so I figured this would be a good option. He would then do Kindergarten next year. So far he has only started the kindergarten part. Preschool starts at the beginning of September. But he LOVES it!!! He is so happy to go to school, and is actually really impatient waiting for me when it's time to go. :) Last year he had a really hard time making friends, and getting to know the other kids. This year he walks in the door and is already talking to other kids. I'm really impressed with him and how much he has grown over the summer!

With his level of excitement and his confidence, I had the thought yesterday that maybe I should have put him in full time kindergarten. Maybe he is ready, emotionally/socially. Yesterday afternoon the preschool teachers came over for a home visit, and I mentioned my passing thought to one of them. She kind of seemed excited about it, and let me know who I would need to talk to. I still didn't really think we would make the change. While I was putting the kids down for naps I googled, "boys being older vs younger in school". I found an article in the New York Times that disputed the benefits of holding your children back a year/starting them later. It said that the issue of being younger tends to level out at the end of first grade, and the learning curve of older vs younger children equals out by the end of elementary school. It also stated that younger students tend to go farther in school and have good careers (I don't know that it said better, but led to the idea that they are better off). The biggest motivator I got from the article was about keeping your children engaged and not holding off on that year. That was my biggest red flag when the preschool teachers came over, was "what is he going to learn this year?" I know some children do need to wait a year, and I'm not comparing or saying one is bad or good. But for him, I became so aware and worried that it would be a wasted year for him. I really feel like he needs to learn and be pushed and have this experience.

He's a smart boy, and he's starting to get easily bored. He could either, go to school three days a week, and roam around the house the other two days (sometimes playing with, sometimes fighting with his siblings), basically only getting a recap of what he learned in preschool last year with some extra play time. OR he could go to kindergarten 5 days a week, learning new things, being challenged, and having fun. I think the later sounds better. He is also ecstatic with the idea! Of course, I wouldn't switch him if I really didn't think he was ready, but I really do! The principal was so great to talk to, and helped me make sure that he is ready for this. Um, yep! He starts full time kindergarten tomorrow!! :) I'm excited and nervous! I know he'll do great!

It's all happening so fast!!

And all of this has made life a little busy and crazy!

As part of the school prep I made Hunter this rug for kindergarten. I guess they take naps/rest two days a week in the afternoon. Rather than buy one, I made one. Of course. :)

Hunter picked out most of the fabrics, and I threw a few more in. His favorite color is blue.

I quilted his name on one end.

I cut the strips 2.5" x 22" and sewed them all together.

For the back I made his name in Illustrator and made a bunch of PDFs with each section of the name. I printed it out on freezer paper and cut out the letters and negative spaces. Sewing it together was a little tricky, but it turned out pretty well, considering I've never done this before. :)

I used three different blue sketch prints for the letters, and a darker blue for the negative space.

I appliqued a star for the hole in the R.

Jacskson was kind of willing to model it for me, for a size comparison. :)

him sleeping



"Mom! Stop taking my picture."

I figure a bajillion photos doesn't hurt, since I never seem to blog much anymore. ;)

Hunter was so sweet when he came home from school today and saw it. He ran up to me, gave me a big hug, and said, 'Thanks!" Melts my heart. ;) 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And the winners are...

I want to say a HUGE Congrats and Thank you!! to everyone who entered the recent giveaways over here on my blog. :) Thanks joining me! It definitely makes it a fun experience!

I picked two winners for the 70's Geese Patterns:


It's really interesting seeing what everyone's favorite color combinations are! Thanks for sharing. There were a lot of aqua/teal and orange, and I do really like pink and orange, which a few people said as well. (if you were wondering)

The winner of the book, Sewing Accessories at Home and on the Go, is:

Congrats Julie! :)

I've already contacted the winners.

I have some really exciting, to me, stuff going on behind the scene's. I'm DIEING to get it finished and be able to share with you, but as it gets closer to school time, it is getting harder to find the time to work on it. Which is ok. The oldest starts kindergarten on Friday! I can't believe it! WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO??? I'm trying to hurry and get back into a schedule, and get our routine's set up so things can go smoothly as we all adjust. The second boy starts preschool in September, and he's having some school jitters. I'm sure he'll get over them quickly, but for now it's one of those where-is-the-parenting-manual moments. So I just sigh, and shrug my shoulders, and we all do the best we can. :)

Do you have any tips or tricks that help your children get ready for the new school year?


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Can I Tell You About It?

Forgive me if the post makes me sound like a salesperson. There are just a few cool things I want to share with you, and I totally wouldn't if I didn't totally love them and use them myself. :)

First of all, did you know you can by fabric and supplies from Craftsy to go along withe the classes you take?

Daily Quilting Deals at Craftsy.com
You can sign up to get the daily deal right in your inbox for Quilting, Crafting, or Knitting (yarn).

I finally used my free class coupon from Sewing Summit last year, and bought Tara Rebman- Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags class. I just haven't had a moment to watch it yet. Hopefully soon!!!

When we went out to Utah last month, my mom gave me a huge picnic basket full of cake decorating supplies, so I'll be looking into some cake decorating classes too. :)

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Have you ever signed up for Ebates.com?? I love it for shopping online. Start on their website, find the store you want to shop at (1,000's to choose from, plus they have a list of current coupons you can use), click on their link which takes you to the store of your choice, start shopping and that's it! It usually takes a few days, but they will credit you for the designated percentage of your purchase. Every so often (maybe once a month?) they will deposit that money in your Paypal account. (or maybe a checking account? I haven't looked at the  options for a while.) It's super easy, and always nice when I can tell the hubby that I saved an extra 5% or so.

Plus, right now, for every friend you refer, you get an extra $10! for each referral! Yes, this is partially my motivation for sharing this with you right now. I'll be honest. But think of all the student loans we could pay off with that!! Such a good cause. ;) And it never hurts to ask for a little help right?! So, if you want to sign up and save, and help out a good friend, Click here for my referral link. But besides that, I definitely like to help others save too!!

And so you know, I've been using Ebates for 5+ years now! I always get cash back when I shop at Fabric.com, Joann's, Old Navy, REI, Hancocks (like when the crafty chloe fabric was there), sometimes Amazon, and more. My hubby likes to shop at Zappos, and I think we bought our couch covers at Overstock.com (though that's probably more of a deterrent, seeing as how our couch covers are not that attractive. lol.) Though I don't shop online all the time, I have earned over $200 back. and they always have a list of current coupons you can use to. Anyway, if you're interested, here it is. :)

Anyway, I am getting mauled, so I am off to fee my hungry little bears. :) 
And crossing my fingers I can get some good sewing in during naps today!! wahoo!! :)


Saturday, August 3, 2013

70's Geese Giveaway!

Do you follow Kelly of KelbySews on Instagram? If not, you should. I've been following her closely the last day or two as she was making a mini using my 70's Geese pattern. Let's just say she blew this pattern out of the water! I love how it turned out! and a lot of other people did too. But who can blame them?!

And it's finished! 18" mini for @chrissyccameron Pattern by @fromblankpages Fabric is by @annamariahorner and @tulapink
Photo courtesy of Kelly

She blogged about it here. When she first started making it, she pointed out to me that I had numbered the 18" pattern backwards. Oops. When I went to fix it, I decided to revamp the pattern and add some updates to it. I made this original pattern quite a while ago, and it was kind of fun to see how much I've improved with Illustrator. I did a lot of clean up on the pattern and decided to add cutting templates as well. (a feature I've started adding to all my patterns.)

Cutting templates are nice because they help minimize fabric waste, make it a synch to fussy cut, and save a TON of time. When I am working on a paper piecing project that calls for a lot of the same pieces over and over again, like this pattern (or like my Liberty Pillow), the entire process goes a lot quicker when I have all my fabric precut. If I'm not fussy cutting, it's also quicker to stack up all my fabrics for each piece and cut them all at once. After reading Kelly's blog post, I wish I had updated the pattern before she began, so she could have tried out the templates.

One more edit to note: Kelly commented in her post, how difficult it was to align the pieces together. In a lot of my patterns I have trimmed to corners so when you align them to sew the pieces together, there isn't any guess work for getting the points to meet in the right place. I already had this feature on my 12" pattern, but not the 18" pattern. I have fixed that as well. Hopefully it won't be so difficult now!

This will make more sense when you try it, but see how the corner is clipped? When you fold this pattern over the adjacent pattern, RS together, to join them, this clipped corner will line up perfectly with the adjacent pattern piece. There won't be any guess work as to how far the otherwise pointy corner should hang over. (I love shortcuts for perfect blocks!!)

I also decided to try a new approach with this pattern, and created it in Adobe InDesign. I am starting to get a little more comfortable with the program, as well as using it side-by-side with Adobe Illustrator. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and look forward to how much quicker and easier it will be to make updates to the pattern in the future, if needed. I really want to convert all of my patterns over to this format. One day right?! I'll just say that it took way too long today, and my family had a lazy Saturday of roaming around the house all day. Bless their hearts. I know that it will go faster in the future, now that I have it figured out, thank goodness.

I made all the same updates to the 12" pattern as well. (Which previously was a 1 page pattern. It now also has a coloring page, and template pieces.)

If you previously purchased either of these patterns on Craftsy, you will be able to go to the pattern page and download the new updated pattern. I'm not sure how it works on Etsy though. I just realized I never listed this pattern on Etsy. I will in the next few days.

After all this work, and the fun of trying something new, I think the only thing left to do is have a


70's Geese Paper Piecing Pattern

I am offering a copy of each size, the 12" and the 18" pattern, to two lucky readers.

Do you wonder why you would want both sizes? Why not just change the scale on your printer, right?! Well, because the 18" finished pattern pieces are so much larger, they don't fit on one piece of paper. I have broken them up and added marks to help you align the pieces perfectly, so you can still get that perfect block without all the trouble. The 12" pattern can easily be sized down, and you can easily size up the 18" pattern even more, but I think the gap between the two makes it a bit more difficult. Anyway, that is my take on it anyway. :)

Just enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win! I'll pick a winner in a week!

You can find this pattern on Craftsy (12" size, 18" size).
and Etsy (12" size, 18" size)

Thank you Kelly for the push to get this pattern perfected!! (or at least getting there.) 
Sorry I didn't have it updated before you started.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!! :)


Friday, August 2, 2013

Fabric Destash

I have had this box of fabric playing musical corners in my sewing room for ages. I need to get rid of this fabric!! I don't know what to do with it. I finally put it in bundles and am hoping to sell it. I figure I might as well share it on my blog before I spend all that time listing it on Etsy, in case any of you are interested. If you are, please let me know which bundle you want along with your paypal email address. I'll send you an invoice and ship it once payment is received.

Most cuts are half yards, and generous cuts at that (20" or more). Most are prewashed, though I don't know about all of them. They've been stored safely in Rubbermaid containers in my smoke and pet free home. Some do have cuts taken out of them. There are a few FQ's (noted under each picture), and some are random scraps. I'll do a quick summary of each bundle so you know what it is. (It's all good fabric! I promise. I just have too much fabric and need to unload.) Thank you SO much for taking these off my hands. We all thank you! :)

Oh, and I'm hoping to get around $2 per half yard, though the price listed may or may not be negotiable. It doesn't hurt to ask. I'm in a tug of war between getting rid of the fabric and trying to make back at least some of what I paid for it. :)

Shipping costs will be added onto the asking price. I will ship the least expensive way possible.

Destash fabric bundles
2 yards, asking $8

Destash fabric bundles
9 half yards, 30 oz in weight
asking $17

Destash fabric bundles
Left three are half yards, second from right has a strip cut off one end, right is a large strip that is fairly long. 14 oz by weight
asking $8

Destash fabric bundles
mostly large scraps, 7.5 oz
asking $5

Destash fabric bundles
Oops. the 2nd print from the left is not included.
Starting from the left, prints 6-9 are all half yards. The rest are FQ's or large scraps
16 oz, asking $11

Destash fabric bundles
All scraps. The far right is two VERY long strip.
9 oz. asking $6

Destash fabric bundles
center is a scrap piece, 6 oz total
asking $4

Destash fabric bundles
far left is a scrap piece, second from left is a FQ by Dear Stella
12 oz. asking $8

Destash fabric bundles
two on left not included. sorry.
7 oz. asking $4

Destash fabric bundles
11 oz. asking $6

Destash fabric bundles
Two on left are FQ's, third from right is 1 1/4 yards
20 oz. asking $13

If you would like any of these bundles, leave your paypal address along with which bundle you would like. Or email me at fromblankpages {at} gmail {dot} com, if you don't want to leave your email here. I will add the cost to ship to your invoice when I send the invoices out.

Thank you so much! If these don't sell, I'll add them to my etsy shop soon.