Archive for ‘Other / Misc’

December 31st, 2014

DANGER: Long Post! Year End Projects + Thoughts on 2015

by Julie Hirt

Lots of little projects to share and I’ll start with this:

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It’s a birthday mini for SimonSaysSew.

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I love how it turned out and I wanted to keep it for myself!  It’s really the first time I’ve played around with using a variety of low volume scraps for the background.

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The feathers are an awesome paper piecing pattern from Quiet Play.

Next up are the pouches I made for Leona‘s birthday swap.

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I just love that little deer.

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And a smaller velcro pouch:

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This one is a pattern by Michelle Patterns.  I love her patterns. Like, a lot.   It’s available in 3 sizes and the smaller one is perfect for storing tea bags or other miscellaneous things to toss in your bag.

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Next up is my quilt for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap.  Ohmygosh I hope she likes it.

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I know these are fabrics she likes (Alison Glass, Handcrafted) and I just hope the pattern and quilting are her style as well.  It’s surprisingly nerve wrecking making something for someone else.

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Just in case she hates the quilt, I think she will like this.  Etsy never ceases to amaze me.  I sent my image over and a week later, here it was.

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Okay……… now here is where I’ve started with my 2015 plans. I will not use the word resolution, but I do have some ideas.  I’ve cleaned up my sewing space and updated my to do list.

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After organizing my fabrics I realized I need to stop buying it.  Easy to say, hard to do – you all know that.  So my plans are to go light on buying fabrics. Like only if I really, really, really have to have it – and I have to wait a week before buying it so I know I still really, really, really want it.

That list on the wall of To-Make and To-Quilt has to be at least cut in half before I’m allowed to start anything else.

Nothing harsh, just a plan of sorts.  I’m not sharing my to-make and to-quilt lists so you won’t know if I cheat!

The plan is already working – I’ve finished up a few WIP’s:

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I started this earlier in the year (or maybe last year?).  It’s a full size thrifted sheet, ripped into 3/4″ strips and double crocheted, the last round is reverse single crochet.  Can you believe an entire sheet only makes a 2′ round rag rug?

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I decided to stop at this size  because 1) I’s finished.  2) If I make one again, I’ll use skinnier strips and a bigger hook. It was a little tight.  3) It’s a good size to put under the dogs water bowl.

Next up is what I keep calling my Foxy Boxy bag and I don’t know why. They are obviously raccoons.

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I’ve had the fabrics cut, interior fabric laminated, ribbon and zipper pulled since this summer. They’ve just been sitting there mocking me.

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I like that the bag holds it’s shape (I think due to quilting and the laminated interior fabric) and it’s a fairly large size. I’ll either use it or give it away sometime soon.

Next is something I hope will help with my free motion quilting ideas (actually USING that new Long Arm is part of my 2015 plans) and open my mind for new patterns.

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Every time I see people  making pretty doodles or doing this thing called zentagling, I’m jealous. My brain just doesn’t work that way.  So I decided I should do what makes me uncomfortable and give it a try.

After reading about the ‘Zentangle’ process and watching videos, I was pleasantly surprised.  It’s actually a little structured, there are tons of existing patterns to try (with instructions – sweet relief) and eventually you can create your own. Unless you’re a natural doodler and off you go on your own from the beginning.  Just know I’m jealous.

Way back in the dark ages I took design classes, so I pulled out my old Rapidograph set. The pens need serious cleaning but I knew I’ve been keeping them around for something.  They are perfect for this.

Anyway, I purchased a blank book with 100 pages.  My goal is to fill it by the end of the 2015.  That’s only like 2 Zentangles a week, so not a lot of pressure.

And I’ll end by sharing this nightmare:

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If you follow me on Instagram you know I hated this process. I am SO glad I didn’t pre-cut a bunch of fabrics before attempting Cathedral Windows.  Pain.In.The.Ass.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Here I come 2015 with my plan to tackle you.  I will…

Grow Creatively by:

  • Using the Long Arm more – even just to practice on whole cloth
  • Won’t be afraid to try different FMQ patterns, even if I don’t think I’ll like them
  • Finish the To-Quilt list
  • Work on the To-Make list
  • Don’t add to these lists
  • No new projects until the above lists are halfway done
  • Fabric Diet – to use more of what I have
  • Keeping my space clean, I work better this way
  • Stay minimal on swaps this year
  • More selfish sewing so I can explore without being nervous
  • Weekly Zentangle
  • Trying what makes me uncomfortable (cathedral windows, zentangle, sewing curves, etc.)

So…  that’s about it.   Writing this post is another thing I can scratch off my to-do list!  I’m looking forward to 2015 and making it a year of finishes.

Happy New Year to you!

 

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August 13th, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

by Julie Hirt

What is Around the World Blog Hop?

I was invited by Paula at The Sassy Quilter to join in.  I’ll be answering some questions and then tagging 3 people who I think you should check out.  As Paula said, it’s kind of a like a blog chain letter.

Recently Paula had a great post for organizing scraps.  I’ll be taking it to heart!

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Now, I’m supposed to introduce myself and answer some questions about my quilting process and the like.  I thought it was a great idea since I have a few new followers, but I didn’t realize talking about myself would be so difficult!

Who am I?

Well… I’m in my mid 30’s (ack!) and just starting quilting and sewing in 2010.  No one in my family was into this addicting hobby, so I taught myself by watching YouTube videos, reading tons of blogs and visiting forums.The web is a wonderful resource and I was surprised by how quickly I picked up the lingo. Simple terms like ‘use a scant seam allowance’, ‘right sides together’ and even ‘quilt batting’ were baffling when I started.

I’ve been working full time for a real estate company the past 15 years and I really do enjoy it.  My husband and I have been together for 7 years and I have two teenage stepdaughters (who are very entertaining), and three completely spoiled dogs.

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Two of them even went on our last vacation with us.

What am I working on?

Right now I’m in the middle of Hexagon Park.  I loved the pattern when I first started sewing and I’m finally around to tackling it.  The fabrics are the Opal Owl collection by Tina Givens.

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Currently I’m trying to carve out some space for a long arm.  (the thought makes me giddy)  I’m doing my best to make it happen but the frames are so big!

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I honestly don’t think it differs too much.  It seems to me every quilter has their own style and that’s one of the things I love about the community.   I do like to design paper piecing projects and it’s so much fun to see others bring those to life. If you make any of my patterns, PLEASE send me pictures!

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Here is a link to free paper piecing patterns from my Block Rock’n series.

Why do I write / create what I do?

I create because I love doing it!  The fabrics, patterns and inspiration can almost be overwhelming. I think my to-do list could keep me busy for two lifetimes.

Sharing what I do on my blog was originally my way to kind of keep track of what I make. I can go back and reference patterns and fabrics.  When I’m feeling like I haven’t really been doing much it’s nice to look back at my completed quilts and smile.

One thing I’m proud of is having tutorials available on Moda Bake Shop.  That was one of my favorite sites when I first started quilting and I was amazed at all of the options out there.  When I come up with new ideas I love sharing them and the Bake Shop has a large following that I can share with.  Search the site for “627handworks” to view my patterns.

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How does my creative process work?

I’ve been sitting here thinking about it and that’s a tough question. When I’m laying in bed I get all kinds of ideas. I try not to have too many ongoing projects, so I write down things I’d like to make in the future.  Whatever speaks to me when I’m ready, is what I start next.  I mostly buy fabric on impulse without a project in mind.

I’m a computer person.  So if I need to draw out my ideas I usually do it in Illustrator and lots of math!

My biggest inspiration really is the quilting community – I love seeing images on Flickr, Instagram and blogs.

Bloggers!

Now I’d like to introduce you to some other blogs.  Due to busy schedules you may not see Around the World Blog Hop posts from them, but check out their sites. You’ll see why I love to follow them.  Yes – I’m sharing more than my ‘three’!

Renee from Quilts of a Feather – I just love her freemotion quilting style.

Susan from The Bored Zombie – Her character quilts always make me smile, they are so much fun.

Sandy from Upstairs Hobby Room – She always has something great in the works.

Amanda from What the Bobbin – She just released a new “clippity clip” paper piecing pattern and her fussy cut swap is so much fun to be a part of.

And a non-quilty blog from my friend Chelsea from Whatcha Makin Now.  Amazing recipes and pictures to make you drool!

 

If you read all of this – kudos to you!  :)

 

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Thanks Paula for inviting me to join in.  If you aren’t familiar with the Sassy Quilter, you must check out her site!  She hosts fun quilt alongs, quilting tips, great giveaways and is a wonderful source of information.

July 2nd, 2014

The Giving Bunny & Vacation Pics

by Julie Hirt

It’s been a while since I’ve posted!  I’ve been enjoying my summer and we just got back from vacation.  I wanted to share a cool project I just heard about, even though it’s been around for a while.

The Giving Bunny Project:

The Giving Bunny Project

It’s hosted through Urban Threads.  You make a little fleece bunny (pattern is in the link), attach a card stock name tag (printable is also in the link), then spread them around for people to find.   It’s a fun way to brighten someone’s day.  You can also add your bunnies to the shared Google map.

I had every intention of hiding these little guys along our road trip to Florida.  After putting them in the glove box I kind of forgot until we were almost heading back. I was able to hide Patches in a newspaper stand in front of a Dock & Dive shop in Port St Joe.  I still have Nellie & Bing.

These bunnies only take a few minutes to make and they are really cute.  You can personalize them and don’t forget the pom-pon tail!

 

Ready for an overload of vacation pics?  This is the first year we’ve taken the dogs on vacation. We were driving and going to a dog friendly beach, so we figured why not.  Penny, our not-so-friendly chihuahua, was left at home with her uncle.

 

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We went to Cape San Blas, Florida and it was Bojangles & Huey’s first time on a beach.

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Bojangles LOVED running down the boardwalk from the house and onto the sand.

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The beach was nice because there are no hotels, just rentals homes and an uncrowded beach.

Everyone left their tents and chairs on the beach overnight. It was nice not having to pack it all up every day.

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I didn’t get any pictures, but there was a large pod of dolphins that swam down the shore several times a day. They were only like 30 feet out and it was really fun.  One day they were jumping all over the place, it was like they were performing.

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We were lucky and every day was warm with sunny skies.

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We went fishing with Captain Charles  in Apalachicola Bay and it was awesome!  We caught dozens of trout, lots of catfish, a dozen or so baby sharks and even a baby stingray.  We took a few of the trout with us and grilled them that night for dinner.

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Here is Tori with one of her sharks.

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We did a sunset sail with Captain Gena at Windward Sailing Charters.  Highly recommend them!

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Quick story about Bojangles:

He LOVED racing down the boardwalk to the beach. On the second to last day there he ripped his little toenail and we had to drive an hour and a half to Panama City to a 24 hour vet. It was bleeding and you can see it was just kind of hanging there.  They ended up removing his toenail and bandaged him up.  Luckily he didn’t seem bothered by any of it or I would have been a total mess!  We’ve removed the bandage now that we are home and all is well.

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We really did have a great time and will go back to the same area again. There isn’t any nightlife and very few restaurants – I think it’s a great place for families and couples that want something low key.

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Hope you’re having a great summer. I have quite a few sewing projects I really need to catch up on!

 

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March 4th, 2014

Fun Find

by Julie Hirt

The app is called Penultimate by Evernote.   You create different notebooks with fun background papers.

Know what it’s perfect for? Storing Free Motion Quilting ideas for at a glance reference.

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How awesome is that? And it’s FREE.  Although I did purchase a couple of fun paper bundles for a dollar.

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You can insert pictures and draw over them.

Know what’s even better than that?

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Make your quilt or quilt block the background.  This will dim the image, then just finger quilt over it.

(The image background option is the + sign under the papers)

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Heck, yeah. You can also change colors, pen size, erase and undo.

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Cross stitch play!

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Choose grid or dot paper to play with block layout.  You can also zoom in.

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Quick post, but it was something I wanted to share.

I may create a little notebook for each quilt I’m working on to jot down ideas.

 

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March 2nd, 2014

How ‘Bouts a Little Tour?

by Julie Hirt

I don’t have any big finishes to share and it’s a boring, snowy day.  Since my room is fairly clean I figured  now may be a good time to take a little tour.

After learning to sew on the kitchen table a few years ago, I know how lucky I am to have a room dedicated to crafty things.  Even though I stole converted the game/guest room, I don’t feel bad – it sees a lot more action now.

Here is a picture I stitched together so you can see most of the room.

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I’m proof that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a functional sewing/craft room.  I have several great Craigslist’s buys and ‘hubby-builts’.

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Starting with this awesome down stuffed chair.  Craigslist!  The dogs and I sure love it. (that’s Huey wearing a diaper – he’s a rescue and we can’t seem to fully potty train him)

That little side door opens up to attic storage. I have bins in there that store odd fabrics like vinyl that I don’t use often.  The red stool was a $1 garage sale buy. A little paint and some oilcloth fixed it up.

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The serger desk is only a few months old and is another Craigslist buy (along with the chair I refinished).  This summer my husband is going to paint it for me. I’m thinking color instead of white. Thoughts?

White box on the wall is a mini-split air conditioner.  Since this is a dormer room it gets miserably HOT in the summer.  This was a great investment and makes it possible for me to stand sewing in the summer.

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A hubby-built design wall made from some kind of foam and white flannel.   Only two more blocks left to go on the stars quilt top!

Blue dress is from a Retro Butterick pattern and it’s almost finished.  Just need to hem the skirt and make a belt.

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This is the first dress I’ve made and I love that it’s fully lined.

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Craigslist buy!  Stores my precuts and couple amigurimi.

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I. Love. My. Desk.   The ends are two Ikea Alex units and the top is a 6′ piece of some kind of wood. My husband just recently flush mounted my sewing machine and it’s amazing.  Seriously.

The little owl is my garbage bowl for cut threads and paper pieced trimmings.

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My hope chest, thread shelf (hubby-built) and a folding ironing table that I use a lot when paper piecing. Saves me from getting up/sitting down a thousand times per block.

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This end of my cutting table has vintage sheets and 3 bins of scrap batting for FMQ practice.

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I’m not sure if I could live without this table, which is another hubby-built.  The table is made with an inexpensive cube shelf on each side and topped with a large painted board. To make it pretty Paul added some trim.  The skirt hides two foot lockers that are stuffed with miscellaneous quilter crap.

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Scrap bins behind my cutting mat – when I’m cutting I can toss scraps and sort later.

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Jug o’ selvedges.

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Other side of cutting table holds books, chenille blankets and scrap bins. I sort by size, do you sort by size or color?  How do you store scraps?

My room is still messy but in better shape than normal.

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My fabric stash is pretty modest but it’s ALL MINE.  I’m sure some analogy about not sharing as a child fits in here somewhere.

The armoire is another Craigslist buy. It’s solid wood and so heavy that my husband says it stays when we move.

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My closet is a total catch-all.  Batting roll, weaving loom, raskog cart, scrapbook paper, embroidery junk, jewelry making supplies, some paints, kite paper, wax, inks… everything.

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My husband built the side shelves for me.  They are like 2′ deep and hold a lot.  When I just had the clothing bar it was a total clusterf*ck.

Well, that’s it.  I’d love to hear any of your organization ideas or thoughts on making my space more functional.  Hope you had a great weekend.

 

happystitching

 

February 9th, 2014

Winner of The Brooksider Duffel pattern

by Julie Hirt

On Friday I released a pattern called The Brooksider: A Duffel Bag, with a pattern giveaway to celebrate.

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The winner is Judy Tucker!   Thanks everyone for playing.   Judy, you’ll be receiving an email from me with the copy of the pattern.

If you didn’t win and would like to make the pattern, you can purchase it HERE or HERE.  You *can* sell items made from this pattern. I notice some patterns don’t allow that.

In other news, I have few baby quilts I’ll be working on.  I hope to share progress pictures of those soon.

 

happystitching

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