Monday, December 24, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP (work in progress) Wednesday~~ Messy=Creative

Sew you know that old saying "it takes a village".  This is my workspace in it's current state.  I'm not ashamed to show you how messy I get.  I think it may have been worse last week.  I have been sewing inventory for my SewHappyDesigns etsy shop and also a few Christmas presents.  More Christmas presents are in the thinking stage, but have not made it to the sewhappy cave.  Yes, running out of time.

Throw having the flu in the mix for the past few days and you can color me stressed. No it's fine, really.  I do what I can do because I know that all of my "handmade" internet craft friends are experiencing some of the same and that gives me comfort.  I call these wonderful artists, my "handmade" friends, very appropriate!

Putting on my big girl panties until Christmas and then McStevie and I have a week off to relax.  Ahhhhh

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving FIRST…and pass the gravy...if you PLEASE…

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  It has been for several years now.  When I was a kid and when my children were little Christmas was right up there at the top.  That was back then….in the “old days” when Thanksgiving and Christmas were their OWN holidays.  It’s not like that now.  As Halloween was approaching the stores were stocking shelves with Christmas decorations.  I was shopping in one of the big box stores a couple of weeks ago and Christmas songs were playing.  Last week my go-to radio station began playing Christmas songs as well.  Please don’t think I am a scrooge.  I love celebrating Christmas, the birth of Christ and all that Christmas stands for, I truly do.  And, I get that the stores want to get a jump on the biggest season of the year for their sales…but honestly, it worked OK “back in the day” when the holidays were separate.   I get that people like to get their decorations ready when the weather is warmer so they are all set for the holidays.  I.Do.Get.That.  But, could you possibly wait until the day after Thanksgiving to turn them on?  

I’d love to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving for the holiday that it is without thinking I need to get up from the table and brave all of those deer in the headlights frantic shoppers and look for the best bargain for that person that is so hard to buy for.  W-H-A-T?  Not this gal.  Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for all of your blessings.  I have many blessings and I am VERY THANKFUL.  I also have a 14 pound turkey that I’m looking forward to cook and warm up the leftovers the days after. 

I will now slide down from my high horse to share a family Thanksgiving story with you. Several years ago after friends and family had enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving meal cooked my moi we decided it was time to move away from the table.  As we were doing so, I asked McStevie if he would give a go at carving the rest of the turkey.  He picked up the turkey and tray to move to more counter space and lost his grip.  The turkey fell to the floor in a plop!  For a few seconds I was transported to my favorite Christmastime movie, A Christmas Story, minus Ralphie, minus his shoot your eye out Red Ryder BB gun, and thankfully, minus the neighbor's 8 or so ravenous dogs.  But Ralphie left my thoughts as fast as he had entered them and I found myself laughing hysterically (I may have peed my pants a bit too) along with everyone else in the room.  McStevie, calm as a cucumber, picked the bird up, set it on the counter and proceeded to finished off the bird.  Said something about a 10 second foul fowl.  That was the day that Thanksgiving became my favorite holiday.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with many blessings.  I’ll wish you all a wonderful Christmas when it’s CHRISTMAS TIME.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday

It's been awhile since a WIP post.  Life got crazy for a bit.  I had a little health hiccup and other "stop you in your tracks" moments. Now back to life in the cave, sewing up a storm.  Fun things.  Something for ME! Can you believe it! Just a little lap size cuddle quilt!

Sew....we got a new leather chair for the living room.  It has no arms and I was sure it was probably too big for the spot, but after having it hang around a day or so -  I. love. it!
Only problem I had was it looked a little naked.  It has this cute back and, well, it needed something.  I made a soft and cuddly rag quilt for it this past weekend.  It was FUN to make, went really fast (9.5 inch squares), is super soft (Robert Kaufman flannel- to die for) and I'm pretty sure the chair said "you complete me" when I laid it over the back! 
I'm on to making a matching pillow, it's half way done- the newest WIP!

PS If you have never made a flannel rag quilt, you really need to do a google and get yourself going on one.  The first one I ever made was a twin size and I put batting in between the layers,as the pattern said.  It was the last one I have made that way...too stiff.  I love just the two layers...much softer and much faster to make.  I've made several.  Baby rag quilts make up really fast if you need one in a hurry - and are quite adorable.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday

 (Click on the pic for closeup)
 I've been working on these quilt blocks for awhile. I've loved this "Road to California" quilt pattern for a long time and eventually it will be a queen size quilt.  Thought I would put it up on my wall to see how it's going.  Now that I have it up and edited the pic, I know I'm going to change it a bit.  I just love this colorway, so I have a vision and will get there with it eventually. 

 And, I made MORE progress on my Loon on the Lake wall hanging this week.  I've quilted the trees, the main water and the clouds.  Still more to quilt. 
        (click on the pic for closeup)
 I took time out to try the 10-minute table runner on youtube.  It was fun, fun!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

WIP (Work In Progress) WEDNESDAY

Loon on the Lake~

So I chose Labor Day to get out a UFO (Unfinished Object) that has been on my design wall 3-4 YEARS.  Oy!  I'm ashamed to admit that.  It's just that it never took up that much room and it always looked nice there.  I always knew exactly how I wanted to quilt my Loon on the Lake project, I just put it behind many other projects.  There was always something just a tad "more important".  I've quilted the Loon and babies, the tree trunks, a little stitch in the ditch around the narrow edge is the water.  I'm "auditioning" some threads...stay tuned!  My Loon on the Lake moves from UFO to!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday

So the good news is... I have made progress with my custom table runner.  I got it "sandwiched" and turned and have the first row of quilting (3/8 inch in from the seam) with some pretty variegated thread. I still have the rest of the quilting to work out in the body.  Click on the pic for a close up.

The bad news is...I put it on the entertainment center for fit and discovered it is not going to cover the entire entertainment center top like I planned.  When I added the two extra rows on the end to accommodate the points and then cut on the 90 degree angle, I created an opening also on the table because of those side points.  (See HERE on my pic for the corner.) So my goal of something pretty that COVERS the entire table fell through.  Color me NOT sewhappy!  The table is cherry wood. Eventually those corners will leave a mark because the wood will change with light. And THAT was the point of covering it completely with something pretty.

Lucky for me I still have enough of those fabrics for a do-over.  This means I WILL have a nice long table runner for my dining room table, which isn't a bad thing...just NOT my intention. Oy, I'm disappointed.  I've made worse calculations, I guess.  I'm going to get this quilted and take a little break with these fabrics before the do over.  I'll show you a pic next week of progress....done...hopefully.  :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday~~

Progress made last week....all but the last two rows of squares on each end.

Progress made Monday, all end squares sewn.

More progress from Monday...the ends shaped and cut, now ready to "sandwich" and quilt.  It will now sit until the weekend, but I'll be back to show progress next Wednesday.  I'm hoping I will have it finished!


This is a table runner quilt for our new entertainment center, my latest WIP.    I have done the math and decided on this fast fly- by- the- seat- of-my- pants custom pattern.  I will be making one with the same fabrics for new coffee table and end table.
Hope it all comes together like I have imagined.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Addressing the Assurance Program coming soon to Artfire:  It isn't the cost of one dollar a month, but the new plan itself.  I already had good return policy and had 0 complaints to "handle" with an exemplary 5 out of 5 rating at Artfire. I did not need AF to step in an overrule my policy.  When I was told I had a fixed rate for life, I thought that was an agreement.  Not so.  How can I trust a site that is so screwed up bold?

The Artfire selling site is not the same.  It's too bad that that sites like facebook and artfire always think that "change is good", we will make it better.  Not always.  Why don't you do a poll to your customers/clients/shop owners BEFORE you initiate the change to get feedback and THEIR reaction?  Are your customers/clients/shop owners not WORTHY of "being in the loop"?  When Artfire first announced their new policies many of my online fellow artisans left.  I decided to opt to a "wait and see".  The wait and see period is over.  RIP Artfire.

Closing was a tough decision.  I have been a member of Artfire since 2009.  My shop is scheduled to close April 30.  All items remaining in the shop are 30% off.  I am still an active seller on Etsy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

2011 was a GREAT year!

Wowza!  This blog has been sew neglected.  If you look at my January 1st post of last year you'll see that I vowed to do a better job of blogging for 2011.  Good intentions, but after my giveaway on my last (October) post, all blogging came to a halt as I concentrated on sewing for the holidays.  That proved to be a good thing! My sales for the holidays were great awesome.

Because it's almost the end of January 2012, I just want to say how wonderful 2011 was and highlight some of the events...

On the family side of life, our grandchidren, Tucker and Tessa were confirmed in the Catholic faith in May.  Parents, Aunt Mandy and gma and gpa enjoyed a little party after the event.

In June, daughter Mandy received her tenure for teaching.  Yay Mandy!!

McStevie turned 60 in April.  We celebrated that in July by taking him to Toronto (on my big winnings from the Preakness horse race)  to a Yankee game.  The whole family went and it was lots of fun.

Also in July, our Godchild Rachel got married and we enjoyed our trip to Connecticut for that wonderful event!

We got our dream kitchen last summer and have been enjoying it's beauty and functionality.

We had our usual August family week in Saratoga renting "the cabin" (our 7th year) and, of course visited the racetrack, having trackside seats this year and getting to meet Smokin Joe Frasier, may he RIP.

We also worked on another room this summer, our office, which is now Steve's "mancave".  We bought a beautiful desk from our favorite furniture shop, Painfull Acres and have a lovely wooden frame futon/sofa that doubles as a bed for extra guests, i.e. grandchildren.  The room still needs just the right wall decorations, so before and after pics still to come.

In September I did a daring thing.  I got my first and only tattoo.  It was on my bucket list for a long time.  Just a little spool of thread on my ankle..actually, it's my icanquilt website logo.  Since I told no one in my family, now that the shock has worn off, I think they think it's pretty neat cool.

On the business side of things, I released 2 new patterns in 2011,  IcanQuilt it Curvy Reversible table runner and IcanQuilt Reversible Spidy Mat.  Sales have been good for both patterns.

Last summer I acquired a new consignment shop in Potsdam, Maplerun Emporium.  I sell mostly kitchen items there and love working with Mary Hilton.  I still have items at Painfull Acres on consignment and love working with Mary Dufresne there.  Both Mary's are just the best!    Both shops are in bad need of new stock from me.  I am working toward that goal as I sold most stock this last holiday season.

Speaking of holiday season, my Artfire online store SewHappyDesigns had wonderful year end sales. This month I re-opened my Etsy SewHappyDesigns shop and have begun stocking it.  I received my first sale since opening last week.  Yay!  Thank you to everyone who has bought my IcanQuilt patterns, items from consignment shops and online shops.  I have filled many custom orders this year and I love the challenge, thank you to those customers who have given me the opportunity to make something special for them.

2011 sure was a great year and I am truly blessed!  Let's hope we all have a wonderful 2012!
Many blessings to you!