Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Guide You Need To Get

Before I get into why you really need to buy this book, I wanted to give you  my personal history in relation to die cutting fabric and my friendship with Ebony.

Two years ago I really wanted a die cutting machine. I searched, I read, I analyzed. I worried about investing too much into a tool that I wouldn't use a lot and I also worried that if I bought too small a machine, that I would be upgrading within the year. The information I had to go on was supplied by the different manufactures and blog reviews. I finally purchased the AccuQuilt Studio; a couple months later I also purchased the Sizzix Big Shot.

It would seem that die cutting is intuitive, right? You place the fabric on your machine, roll it through and end up with perfectly cut shapes for quilting. However fabric is not like paper. You can have issues with the grain, with the bias, and with how you place it on the die. To be honest, die cutting can be fast and effective, but you need much more instruction than what comes with any of the machines.

After a few bouts of frustration and ruined fabric, I joined the AccuQuilt Yahoo group to learn more tips. At that time I met Ebony Love. Oh my goodness, what a wealth of knowledge! I learned so much from her experiences. Then I learned about her YouTube videos and was awe struck! Honestly, whenever I use a new die, I first go to Ebony to see if she has already created a video about it.

This past year I learned that Ebony was creating a book with all that amazing knowledge on die cutting. Her book, "The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips", is the book I wish I had a little over two years ago. It will help you determine which machine is best for you, how to use the machine and more. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy later this month and I'm planning on keeping it with my dies for quick access.

Why should you buy this book?
1.) It will help you determine which machine will rock your world.
2.) It will help you to understand how to use different dies in different machines.
3.) You will learn tips on how to correctly cut fabric without costly mishaps.
4.) Lots of amazing quilting tips and tricks.
5.) Tips on all the consumables used with die cutting machines.

I want you to have this book so much that I'm giving one away! The book is scheduled to ship in early November.

How to enter?
Leave a comment about the first project you would like to make with a die cutting machine.
You have until midnight (MST) on October 31st. Please be sure to leave your email so that I can contact you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby

I don't know how my baby turned two. It has been the fastest two years of my life; I could probably sit and shed many tears over how fast it went. This picture from today perfectly embodies her sweet spirit. Love her gentle, silly ways more than I can say.

Her ultra sweet big sister desperately wanted to decorate the princess birthday cake. I squashed my type A desire to have it "perfect" and let her shine. She was extremely proud to make this for her sister and I'm not sure I've seen a sweeter cake. (Though it's been affectionately nicknamed "Hot Mess Barbie Cake")

Happy birthday sweet baby girl..

Thursday, October 4, 2012

WIPS this week

Near the end of last month it dawned on me that in the space of two weeks I had Baby's 2nd birthday, Sewing Summit, and a big Disney trip. All wonderful! Except I'm that crazy loon that thinks each event needs all kinds of handcrafted items. Gah!

So here are my WIPS for the week, note I have not even started on the Disney stuff ( don't mind me hyperventilating over here..)

For Sewing Summit.. I made my Weekender bag..

My zipped pouch for the swap and my nametag..

What's left? Well I have two days to finish a camera strap and some fun clothes. We'll see what is accomplished..

I've been slowly working on this quilt for a bit. Playing with string blocks and the idea of a deconstructed chevron. In the interest of time though this may end up being a runner or a quilt with *lots* of negative space..

Working on my next collage, which will actually be a series of sugar skulls. P.S. If the skull theme is not your taste, have no fears.. I'll be moving on to my next series in November ;o) I know it's not for everyone, but it is something I've wanted to play with for awhile now..

And lastly, working on completing my second table runner for the holidays made with circle appliques. The ornaments were fun and I love their whimsy.

Starting to wonder how many seasonal runners I will be able to design with just the circles!

What are you working on?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beauty & the Beast - Part One (The Fun, Artsy Part)

Well if you are friends with me on Instagram, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Yup, I drank THE kool-aid, I made an Amy Butler Weekender bag. Let me preface that I did not originally intend to.. Okay, here's what happened..

I used to live in Arizona and that's where I was first introduced to the mega fabulous Crafty Chica. I fell in love with her style, her confidence, and her desire to inspire. She is such an amazing artist and inspirational, positive Latina role model for my two ankle biters. I have followed her success and am so happy to watch her make it national and with a craft line of her own.

This past month I had the opportunity to work with one of her craft products - flocked decals. Not boring ol' traditional puppies and teddy bears, but really awesome designs that you will want to go crazy with. And I went crazy all right!

I ironed on the flocked decals to white linen - I knew I wanted a canvas-ish base to work off of. For the sacred heart, I used watered down acrylic paints to bring it to life. You could of course use fabric paints or even the Crafty Chica's fabric pens!

For the muertos couple, I really wanted to enjoy some mixed media flavor.. lots of paint with lots of hand embroidery.

There is SO much embroidery that is hard to highlight in the pictures. If you are going to Sewing Summit in a few weeks, come get a closer look! The flocked decal was perfect for this mixed media project. It provided yummy texture and a fabulous base for painting.

Needless to say, quite a few hours went into working on the decals. I didn't want to just frame it, I wanted to enjoy this all the time. With Sewing Summit around the corner, I thought it would be fabulous to create The Weekender bag and include this as the highlight.

And I do have lots to say about the actual construction of the bag.. which I will give you later this week in Part Two.. Until then Click here to see if a Michaels store in your area is carrying the Crafty Chica line.

I received this complimentary product from as part of the Crafty Chica Design Team, 
 and was asked to share an original DIY project.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What's Orange and Black and Comfy??

What's orange and black and comfy??
My first Halloween lap size quilt and throw cushion!

This was originally destined for my Etsy shop..but these Halloween fabrics are my most very favorite EVER. I couldn't part with it..

I did not plan making this matching pillow.. what happened? Well... this was my first large quilt on the midarm and I underestimated how large the back fabric needs to be.. So while the top and batting were all quilted.. one whole row did not have adequate backing. What to do? I was pretty annoyed.. I adore this fabric and I didn't want to toss it. So I had my first try at improv piecing and I love it! It has a fleece back just like the quilt, so I'm pretty confident it is the comfiest throw pillow ever.

Fleece back you say? Yup! This is the back of the quilt. While fleece may not be modern or the hippest back to a quilt, it is comfy and durable with two little ones that like to curl up in it with juice boxes. Do you like the traveling star? My first time with took awhile to grasp the motion, but it ended being a lot of fun.

Are you making some Halloween quilty goodness??


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