Monday, September 26, 2011


The winner of the Spidy Mat was drawn on Friday, September 23, at 10 AM.  The winner was my online friend Aislinn Marie who has a shop named Serenitygrove on Artfire.  Check it out!  

Congrats to Aislinn Marie! 

The Spidy Mat is on its way to you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Time for a Giveaway!!

OMG it has been FOREVER since I did a give away!  I need to get that straightend out PRONTO.

See this lovely little Spidy Mat?? (It's a shame the picture doesn't show how those little blue and orange crystals AND the clear center one sparkle in the light.)  Those cute eyes light up in the dark and the thread that is top-stitched around the outside is GLOW IN THE DARK thread.  WOWZA this was a fun pattern to create.  Barring catastrophes the IcanQuilt Reversible Spidy Mat pattern should be out shortly.   I have had it in the works since last year at this time and have created a bunch of these in all kinds of spidy fabrics...they aren't hard to find this time of year.  The great part is that you can put something else on the reverse side so that when Halloween is over you can use it through the fall if you want. 

Click on the pic to enlarge
Click on the Pic to enlarge for detail
This one has the (optional) center piece that was fun from another "spidy" fabric and reverses to an orange fall leaf fabric.  I like to put a candy dish on mine through the month of October and then my trick or treat candy basket on it the night the goolies and goblin "littles" come out.

OK sew...this is how you enter to win this little mat:
You get 1 entry for leaving a comment on my blog.
You get 1 entry for following my blog.
You get 1 entry for going to my IcanQuilt website and liking my SewHappyDesigns on FB
You get 1 entry for going to my IcanQuilt website and liking my IcanQuilt Company on FB (my pattern Co.)
You get 1 entry for checking out my SewHappyDesigns Artfire shop and leaving which item is your favorite in your comment. 
You get 1 entry for leaving in your comment a suggestion of an item you would like to see me make and list in my Artfire shop.  (I make many items that I don't list there, so this entry will be very helpful to me.)

Now if you already follow my blog or are a SewHappyDesigns or IcanQuilt Company fan, be sure you let me know so that I will count that entry.

I will be drawing the winner on September 23rd and you will receive it the last week of September.  Plenty of time for your Halloween fun!

Good Luck and Thank You for supporting handmade!!!


Friday, July 29, 2011

IcanQuilt it Curvy

Been having some fun with my latest pattern, IcanQuilt it Curvy Reversible Tablerunner.   This is a nice fast, easy beginner pattern.  You can quilt, add some applique or rick-rack, or just top-stitch for your quilting.  I have several ideas for more tablerunners coming.  It's a great pattern for a large print.  Here are a few that I have made.  Which one do you like best? (click on the pics to enlarge for detail)  Some of these will end up in my consignment shop over at Painfull Acres.

Pretty summer pattern, quilted with flower pattern.

Reverse rose color w/close-up of quilting.

Dark rose fabric with lighter rose pattern...quilted with rick-rack.
Reverses to green.

Pretty red hearts fabric, quilted with rick-rack.

Reverse in red leaves.

Lovely summer print, quilted all over with pink variegated thread.

Reverses to a pretty rose fabric.

A pretty pink paisley quilted with white rick rack.

I love the reverse of this with all the great inspiration!

Love, love this large fall print, this one is quilted with two rows of top-stitching.

A close up of the material.

Reverses to Christmas fabric, cute little gingerbread.

Did I say I love this fabric?  The large flowers are quilted, following the flower pattern on this one.

Close-up of the quilting.
Reverses to a pretty batik.

Note that I often use variegated thread on my projects.  I like the way it blends and adds a little somethin-somethin.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WOOTS! New Kitchen is Fab!

The kitchen makeover is done!

We have had approximately 5 weeks of dust and upheaval, but the kitchen makeover is done and we are VERY happy with it.  Thank you to Lisa (kitchen planner), Scott, Mike and Barry (construction crew).

Let me warn you, a kitchen makeover is not for the faint of heart.  Be prepared to:
  • Have dust on every little bit of space in your entire house, even with the doors closed.
  • Wash your dishes in a bathroom sink or tub when your sink goes away.
  • Get inventive with your cooking skills...owning a gas grill with a side burner made us feel very, very smart.  
  • Budget some take out meals.
  • Stock up on lots of paper products...and...plasticware...AND.. be sure you THROW the plasticware away because that is the POINT of plasticware.  (Insert eyeroll here.)
  • Roll out of bed EARLY to let the contractors in and be awake enough to know that they indeed are your contractors.  You all know I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.  This however, was good training to try to make me one.   I'm not there patient.  My vampire-like lifestyle has been with me a long time.  "I love the nightlife" is still my fav disco era song.
  • Hold your breath and count to 10 when something is accidentally damaged or broken, as there are always casualties when undergoing construction. I learned this about 4 construction jobs ago.  I am able to let it some therapy.
  • Designate some kind of old plastic container as your "catch all" for "do-dads" and give it to your contractor to use to avoid curtain rod pieces, nails and picture hooks and other do-dads that will be around on counters, stands, windowsills, etc.  I realized this from other construction jobs in the past so this worked really well for us.  When McStevie went to put the kitchen curtain back up he found all the curtain do-dads in said container....but one.  Lucky for him  me, he has a do-dad drawer at his workbench in the garage and lo and behold he found an exact copy of the missing do-dad.  I dunno, but he may have his baby teeth tucked away out there.  :)
  • Keep your sense of humor.  Some things can be very funny.  Scott and Mike (contractors) are much younger than me and are very attached to their radio station and tunes when they work.  I got a kick out of the times I heard them singing to the old Rolling Stones tunes that I grew up with....getting the words right was optional...LOL.
It is all worth it in the end, don't you agree?  (click on the pics to enlarge and to see the detail in the new kitchen....the new backsplash has some lovely glass tile accents)

(LUV LUV LUV the new island space)

Oh, and we received a surprise thank you gift box in the mail from the Cambria (quartz) countertop people; a cheese cutting board in our countertop pattern.   Really unexpected because when the contractors came with our countertops they left us an oval cutting board in a different material as a gift.  How awesome!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Where does the time go...the Making of a T-shirt Quilt

OMG…..where does the time go? It has been sew long since my last post. I have been busy with life… and….sewing custom orders…and…sewing gifts, and…oh yeah the kitchen makeover. Let's save the kitchen makeover for another post, shall we?

Where does the time go has a double meaning here. One of the projects that I worked on since my last post was a gift for our Godchild, Rachel. Our Godchild is getting married! Holy crap, when did she get old enough to get married? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were all in Vermont and she was being carried in a backpack? OMG…talk about time flying.

McStevie and I met Wayne and Carolyn when we moved into our first house - it was instant bonding. Carolyn was pregnant for her first child, Jordan and we enjoyed being rowdy next door neighbors for about 5 years. Then they moved…and we moved right behind them…only…in different directions. Rachel and her family live in Connecticut now…almost 7 hours away from us. Needless to say we don’t see that much of each other and there was a bit of a gap for several years. No drama, no big fights, just life taking its course in both families. Funny how life is like that, you kinda lose track without wanting or meaning to…it’s just one of those things that happens to many of us at one time or another with friendships.

We got reconnected in 2003 when Rachel and her Mom came to visit us in the summer a few years ago and we did some touristy things like visiting nearby Bolt Castle on the St. Lawrence River. (sidenote: The creation of Bolt Castle is an interesting but tragic love story, you can read about it here.) It was a fun weekend.
Rachel, Carolyn, daughter Mandy and Me "stormin" the castle!
Fast forward a few years and McStevie and I are visiting Rachel and family in Connecticut in July 2009 to celebrate the birthdays of Rachel’s Mom, Carolyn and her brother, Jordan.  Very convenient that their birthdays are only one day apart…and yes he’s the one that was in the oven at the beginning of this story…and yes...that makes me feel old…pffft. Oh, and, BONUS, we get to meet Ed, Rachel’s fiancĂ©, a sweetie, good going Rachel!  During this visit Rachel tells me she has always wanted a T-shirt quilt and has been saving her t-shirts.  She would pay me to make her one. No rush…no pressure. We sort out all the t-shirts and I bring them home in a huge bag and look in the sewing cave for storage for them…until it’s time..say a couple a months from now. Right. From then on at least every other time I entered my sewing “woman cave” I would have the following thoughts:

~No rush, no rush, no pressure.

~You really need to pull out those t-shirts and have a look. Not now…you crazy woman…you are making (insert any pregnant woman’s name here) baby quilt. I believe I made   6-8 baby quilts in that span of time.
~No rush, no rush, no pressure.

~I’m gonna see how many t-shirts I have and get a plan together. No you are not…you ARE gonna get that custom order out for (insert any name here) because you need the money for (insert any fun fabric or quilt tool here).

And so it goes, the guilt mounting with every month that went by.

Several months ago an announcement arrives for Rachel’s bridal shower. I sheepishly walk over to the huge storage container of t-shirts and take off the top, and promptly put it back on again. Yeah, this is a bad idea…for right now. A month passes. I’m in the middle of 5 things and I go to the container and begin to separate the t-shirts and I start to get a plan…a vision. Do I have enough time now? My guilt instincts kick in and I’m off to the races. Cutting and planning, happily seeing an end to a means.

And then it happens.

Somewhere between writhing from the pain of cutting into Rachel’s brownie uniform to searching for her name on her high school senior t-shirt….it hits me.  It's like I am “with her” as she is in grade school, high school and college thru these t-shirts. I get a sense of nostalgia mixed with a big heap of love, that somehow I WAS there…sort of…indirectly….call it KARMA or whatever you want…but it sure felt right…and the timing was right…and it all just fell together…just right.  I was all warm and squishy.

Then…it became a race to try to get it finished so I could send it as her shower gift….a gift from Aunt Cindy to my little...getting married now...Godchild...Rachel. And…I…almost…made it. So close. One day late…or was it two? No matter…she was HAPPY to get it  and told me she was curling up in it when we spoke. (I heart texting and facebook.) Mission accomplished…and again...warm and squishy.
So, in a month she will be a Mrs. and I am very proud of the wonderful woman she has become.  I love you Rachel and I am honored to be your Godmother. We wish you all the happiness in the world.    Can't wait to party!  Smooches.

Click on the pics for a close-up.

T-shirt cuttings
Quilt Front
Quilt Back w/more T-shirts

Monday, March 28, 2011


Went on a quilt shop hop with my quilting peeps!  8 women, 7 shops, 2 days, 2 cars, 445 miles,3 GPS units and one birthday.  This was our own personal shop hop where we picked the shops and route.
DAY 1:
3 shops,1 birthday girl, 1 lunch, dinner and hotel stop.

Our first shop was our local Sew Crazy Fabric Shop.  Bonnie has an awesome shop and is now carrying my IcanQuilt Reversible Candlemat Pattern! Thanks Bonnie!  I guess I was still half asleep because I forgot to take a picture of Bonnie's sign :(   And, thanks for having a beautiful and local shop for our fabric addictions.

Next up was Tiger Lily Quilt Company (Donna Papaleo, owner) in Utica, NY....a really sweet shop, much easier to find now that they have moved their location.  I got some nice threads and a pretty pink and brown batik  there.

NOTE:  Click on any picture for a larger view.
Lunch was Italian at Paolo's & Lilianas little restaurant right next to The Tiger Lily.  We were treated to some great entertainment and wonderful food there.
The owners (back there in the kitchen) want us to come back for dancing next month AND we can bring our own wine and beer!  We may be tempted!

Our last stop of the day was Fieldstone House, in Sidney Center, NY.  A shop CHOCK FULL of fabrics in every inch of the space!  Check out the inside pictures.

This is only a portion of the store, there were more rooms and tons more upstairs.  I think we were there almost 3 hours.

Jodi is smiling "cause she's pretty sure she is in FABRIC HEAVEN.
We checked into The Hampton Inn in Oneonta, NY.  It was awesome!!  I would stay there again in a heartbeat! The staff was the best and they had a wonderful complimentary breakfast in the morning.

Our restaurant of choice was Appleby's and OMG we had the best waiter in the place.  He didn't lack for charm...the manager came over several times to chat and took our picture.  Renee, our birthday girl had a complimentary birthday shooter dessert, complete with candle and round of Happy Birthday song from the staff.

Cindy and Barb

Marion, Jodi and Sue
Mary S., Mary D. and the birthday girl, Renee(oops, closed *eyes)

Birthday girl, what big *eyes you have...LOL!
Back to the hotel for birthday celebrations continued with cheese and wine and popcorn and cookies and...well you get the idea. We all gathered in one room and took turns spreading out our lovely fabric finds!

DAY 2:  4 shops, 1 lunch, 1 dinner stop

Our first stop of the day was Quilted Crow Fabric and Quilt Shop in Sanitaria Springs, NY, and OMG it was just the sweetest shop!  Lots of small quilted projects, mats galore and the fabrics were wonderful!  We were in awe of Peg's shop.  Check out her blog too!  Quilted Crow is now carrying my IcanQuilt Reversible Candlemat Pattern...woots!!!  Thanks, Peg!! :)

Quilted Crow...a cabin full of fabric..a sweet classroom is upstairs.  YES, that IS snow, everyone is anxious for spring there too!

Next we headed west to Binghamton, NY, Creative Threads, a small shop...I bought some nice threads.  A quick lunch at a Subway...then on to close-by Grandmother's Thimble in Vestal, NY.  A really nice selection of fabrics there, I bought some lovely browns and blues.  Oh yeah, and they had sewing machines that cost as much as a car!  McStevie was impressed with that statement....not.

Our last quilt shop stop was Pucky Huddle Delight in Candor, NY (heading back toward home now) and, the delight part was definitely right on!  The mother/daughter team of Jen and Julie were very delightful!  This shop was a winner!  If you are looking for batiks, the whole front of the shop is all batiks and they were beautiful!  See some pics below.  Jen and Julie were a bit shy to have their picture taken, but they delighted us by taking ours.  Yes, snow still on the roof...bleh.

Left side of shop batiks

Right side of shop batiks
Me and the "sister quilting peeps" at Pucky Huddle Delight

There were two huge rooms to the left and right of the cutting station you see in the back. They had a wonderful selection! I'm sure we will be back!

We started north and stopped for dinner...where you say? Of course at our new hangout...another Appleby's...this one in Cortland, NY.  Another great meal.

Next stop, Adams Center, NY home safely, thanks to my trusty, rusty side-kick navigator Mary S, thanks Mary!.  Here is a pic of the trunk of my car with bunches of bags! 

All of my goodies spread out to admire the next morning!
What a great time! Best get in the cave sewing soon!  Woots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I love teachers!

I love teachers!

Many of my family members (daughter, daughter-in-law, nieces, and more) are teachers.

I love to sew things just for teachers and am always on the lookout for “teacher fabrics”.  Here are some of the fabrics I currently have in my stock.  Click on the picture for a larger view.

Below are a few of the items I have made for teachers thus far.  I have other ideas for projects and would love any input you may have, especially if you are a teacher, so don’t hesitate to give me a comment on your idea.  Also, I love to do custom orders, so if there is something I can make for you, please use my contact form!

towel/potholder sets

(plastic bag holder)

You’ll find these in my Sewhappydesigns artfire shop. Link here.