Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Happy Etsyversary!! PamelaQuilts is 9 years old tomorrow!

Which means this blog of mine is also 9 years old as I started both around the same time!  How about we celebrate with some cupcakes:


Want to see an overload of awesome looking cupcakes?  Just try searching on Pinterest!  Too many to choose from :)

Since I can't actually give you any cupcakes, I will give you a 9% discount in my Etsy shop today and tomorrow with the coupon code CUPCAKE!  That seems like a nice little party favor for all my friends!

In addition to that, I will give an additional 9% to the Calliope Joy Foundation because I am the featured quilter on the Quiltsy Team blog today.  We are celebrating Worldwide Quilting day by featuring team members and their charities all month long!  Check out our Facebook Page to see the new feature each day, or follow our blog.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Pamela



Sunday, March 01, 2015

Do What You Love...

and you will never work a day in your life.  Really?  I don't agree, work is work.  Maybe you might enjoy it more than digging ditches, but it is still work.  And what about all those people who do not want to turn their hobby into a job?  They have a very valid point that once you start doing it for pay, it's not as much fun anymore.

I know this is somewhat true for me.  My work involves sewing, so I enjoy that.  But it is still work.  I have to do it.  I have deadlines and people counting on me to finish the job, so I can't slack off or start a new project just because I feel frustrated by the one I am working on.  I actually have two jobs (at least!)  so I can really see different sides of the issue.

The job I earn an actual (small) paycheck for is my position at my LQS (local Quilt Shop).  I started out as just helping customers, making kits, cutting fat quarters - really basic work that ended when I left the shop.  At this point I am in charge of the website, newsletter and scheduling classes.  I also am relied on to provide designs for blocks and create custom patterns and kits for the shop.  My work comes home with me more often than not and I sometimes feel stressed about deadlines and things that need to be done.  It is just a half day a week, but I find it takes up much more than four or five hours a week in my brain!

Another job I do is custom sewing and alterations.  I have been working with an interior designer, creating custom drapes and home furnishings.  This can be quite fun and creative, but also requires sewing to deadlines and being very precise with cutting and sewing.  Plus I have my own clients that I have worked with for many years that bring me their projects - so I can have a lot on my plate at any one time and I really try to make everything work as best as I can, but sometimes I feel like I am chained to my sewing machine!

At the start of this year I decided that I needed to create some more space in my life for playing on my own projects, which keep getting pushed to the back of the line because of work.  So, weekends and early mornings I have set aside for doing what I love - quilting!  During the month of January I spent most of that time working on Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery.  I loved every minute of all that piecing!  The quilt top makes me so happy and I am excited to start quilting it soon!  (Playing is so much fun, and this quilt was definitely play - not work at all)



In February I decided to complete sewing a top that was about halfway done.  This is going to be a pattern - my inspiration was to create a sampler quilt that I could use to teach beginnners with.  This quilt features a huge variety of techniques and is great for helping students to learn the basics.  This is the third top I have made, and I think it is my favorite!  I finished the center last night, after quite a long inner debate about the cornerstones.  They look all right to me, and I think once the borders are on it will be perfect.  I plan on using this as my hand quilting for the spring and summer and will be using it as my fall quilt later this year.  I have been wanting a fall quilt for years, but could never find a design I liked - guess I just needed to come up with my own thing!

I have another large top I want to work on for March.  I think this is going to be the year of queen size quilts for me - but I love it.  I am so happy with my decision to set some time aside to play at completing some lanquishing projects.  I can't call my progress on these work, because it really is play and it makes my sewing work so much less stressfull.

Is sewing work for you, or is it play?  For me it is both - and I hope to keep the balance and spend enough time playing to make the work feel like it is worth it!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

I've got all my rows together, so now I need to make a decision about the cornerstones....
I have an idea - I'm thinking cute little snowball blocks would look like buttons!  I'll make one and see if I like it.  

First it's time to get dressed and out for a walk before I head out for a walk with my hubby.  We are going earlier than usual because I have a Women's Ministry meeting out at the church at 10:00.  Hopefully lots of time to sew this afternoon and I can get this top together as planned!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EQ7 Block Design Challenge

Here is a great opportunity for those of you who do not already have EQ7!  They are having two winners, and if you don't already have the program, you can win a copy!

I'm going to get working on my block design now!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Taming My Quilt Stash

I finally found a source for all the plastic baskets I needed so I could work on organizing my fabric closet!  I've wanted to do this for some time, but didn't really want to have stacking baskets.  Once I got used to the idea, the next problem was finding enough of them!  I had to make a couple trips, but I finally gathered enough to get most of my closet done.  I still need a few more to do the Christmas fabric, but the rest is sorted, culled and basketed!

Here is the before picture:


This little closet is really great for storing my fabric, but storing it in piles just was not working.  The piles were always falling over and getting disorganized, resulting in a huge mess.  Now I have the colors sorted into baskets.  I allowed two baskets for my favorite blue fabrics, and everything else has one.  (Orange and Yellow share a basket)  Any fabric I had in excess of the basket allotted had to go into the donate bin.  I sorted out one banker's box of fabric to get rid of.  Most of which was fabric that I always pass over anyway!  I had to keep telling myself that it was silly to be emotionally attached to fabric and I could let someone else have it that will USE it and not just pet it!

Here is the after:



Much nicer, right!

We drove up to see our daughter in Eugene today and give her some encouragement.  It was a lovely day for a drive and I got the rest of my Dresden Plate blocks appliqued on the way home - I'll add the centers soon and give you a peek.  I'm excited to get this top done by the end of the week!  This one will be hand quilted with the queen size wool batt I bought this summer, I think.  I might give my husband the choice - I have three quilts in the same pattern and plan to keep one for myself.

 I hope to finish the pattern up this week as well.  It's a great beginners sampler quilt that teaches a variety of techniques...I just have to come up with a name.  Sometimes that is the hardest part!  Maybe I'll put a picture up on Instagram and Facebook and see if I get any good ideas.

In fact, here is the EQ7 version of the quilt design in brights.  What do you think would be a good name for this pattern?


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Announcement!

I got an e-mail that made me very happy yesterday!  I was accepted as an Embassador for Island Batiks!  Yay!  That will mean some very fun stuff here on my blog as I get to work with their beautiful fabrics.  I can't wait!  My Quiltsy friend MaryEllen was part of the group last year and I was a bit envious to tell you the truth, so when I saw they were accepting applicants for 2015 I decided to apply.  I've been snooping on the other Embassador's blogs, and will be sharing them with you as well - good stuff!  I think it is so awesome that even though I live pretty much out in the middle of nowhere I get to be involved with something so incredible - I just can't stop smiling!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What I Do on Stormy Days?

Sew my heart out of course!  I had a couple project I've been wanting to do, so I spent Monday working on them.  The first project was a cover for my serger.  It's been a real pain to get it in and out of the soft case I bought for it and I seem to be using it at least twice a week, so I decided that it needs to have a cover and stay out on my table.  I had seen a tutorial on the Sew4Home blog earlier, so looked it up and got started.  The first decision I had to make was fabric.  I had thought of using some of my Paris fabric stash, but at the last minute remembered the pretty blue and yellow toille I've been saving for something fun! Perfect!

After going through the instructions and measuring my machine I realized that I needed to make a few adjustments.  It still ended up being a little bigger than it really needs to be, but it isn't too bad!
I had almost 4 yards of that blue and white check piping made from another project - it was about 1 inch short of being enough to go all the way around the bottom, so I had to improvise!
I used a strip of the accent strip fabric to cover the last little bit!  It came out really nicely and as a bonus I didn't have to join my piping anywhere.  Here is the tutorial for the Serger Cover  if you would like to make one of your own!  I used fusible batting in mine and it came out great!

The second project I worked on was a laundry bag for my husband.  When we go on trips he always ends up using mine!  Now he has a nice blue one to match his bag.  No pictures of this one, it wasn't that exciting.

The third project was a quilted journal cover with a monogram on it.  Bright and fun, the perfect project for a rainy afternoon. It is now on it's way to Florida!

It'll be back to sewing a big order of Roman Blinds for the rest of the week, so I was really glad to have a play day in my sewing room!  What do you do when you have a day to play?