Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Cottage Mama Sewing Contest

I feel a little silly entering, with my homespun rendition of the Claire Pajama pattern by Lindsey Wilkes of The Cottage Mama.  You should check out all of the other entries, that was my down fall, I was all proud this afternoon finishing "my super cute Pajamas" for sure I will win and then I pop over and saw what everyone else has sewn up AND photographed, were do they get these kids from, my daughter did this most of the time.
She was having fun, as evidence, I present you with a smiling photo
I kept telling her people wanted to see her face too and that she is so pretty and all the other pretty girls show their faces, yeah, that didn't work.
This is the best shot I got and I turned it into a Collage to enter in the Contest.
The purple fabric is a knit that I got in a fabric swap with Amanda of "What the Bobbin?".  It was my first time sewing with a knit, I had a blast, really not hard at all.  I had the correct needle and I made sure to cut the fabric after checking which way it stretched.  I finished all of the raw edges with that wavy rotary cutter you see in the top right photo (love my rotary cutter's can't cut a darn with scissors) and not having to try to figure out how to finish the edges was awesome, this fabric doesn't fray anyways.  The wavy rotary cutter was also used to make the decoration for the front bib.
My other change was putting the interior of the sleeves as the exterior, after making my own bias tape it looked to pretty to be tucked inside so I made it a sleeve embellishment instead.
added a little trim to both sides of the buttons
I changed up the pattern a little bit, couldn't help myself, I cut out 2 "Front Body Pieces" and did the button bib as the back and after checking it's size I made this bib for the front.  I used the gingham fabric for the bottom, put a piece of the purple fabric on top and sewed zigzag lines every inch and then cut it out in the same shape as the finished button bib that is now the back part of these pajamas.
First time working with yokes too, I love them, such a great way to finish a neckline.

Sewed up some quick Fabric Origami Butterflies using this tutorial and I have my Butterfly Claire Pajamas

I have learned now that my daughter requires a size 5 for her height but she needs it to be a size 8 in "width", so some minor pattern adjustments are needed to make her clothes fit.

Well I have been thinking about making this for weeks and finally did it, so Thankful for contest and challenges, highly unlikely I will get into the top 10, but I just have to put it out there.  Finishing it just in time for bed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's Me in September!

Hello, Hello, I have been madly stitching away this summer, so much so that it wasn't so Secretively and today my husband told me I needed to stop sewing for a while.  WHAT? NO WAY?  This is my creative outlet, so what have I been stitching this summer.
  1. I did some Embroidery Projects:
    Bird Bones Mini Quilt, and Printing a Stamp on Fabric.
  2. I participated in a lot of Swaps:
    Strawberry Swap, Need a Needlebook Swap, and the Big Stitch Swap
  3. I experimented in making clothes for my daughter:
    The Butterfly Challenge, Liberty Shorts, and Up-cycled 4th of July Skirt.
Today I want to show you my 3 projects that I did specifically for this blog hop, all 3 have some Gingham in them, because I like the stuff!

  1.  Embroidered Dish Towels, I stitched these towels while on vacation.
A little bit in the Ancient city of Philippi
Some on the beautiful beaches of Greece

Madame Samm herself got me hooked on embroidery.
You can find the Pattern here
 I was going to keep these beautiful Greek inspired dish towels for myself.....
I just got this yellow ribbon in a swap from Karri!
.....But I am so excited my Auntie from Washington State is coming to visit us this weekend, so they will be a gift to her, to remind her of the delicious food we plan on feeding her and my Uncle.
And of the Views we will show her.

We have our own Olive Tree, so yummy.
   2.  An Open Wide Feathered Gingham Pouch for a Swap
Sent this Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch with added Vera of Negliegent Style handle to my swap partner this Monday.  It is a secret swap, but she seemed real keen on this kind of bag and she loved the look of pieced feathers. One of her many favorite colors was red, so I added a dash of fun with Riley Blakes Large Red Gingham to the inside.
  3.  One skirt for my daughter became 2
one sided Circle Skirt
 Originally I wanted to do this Reversible Circle Skirt, but then I realized that the the April Showers Rain Drop fabric would be upside down, lucky for me I had only cut out the gingham part.  So Katerina got 2 dresses, her sweet Red Gingham Circle Skirt and her Umbrella Swirl Skirt.
Umbrella Swirl Skirt

This totally fun hop and gathering is due to Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt.  She's the mastermind behind all these fabulous hops and of course our wonderful Cheerleader Shari at Living With A Purpose and we couldn't forget Riley Blake Designs for the lovely Gingham.

Be sure to visit my other fellow bloggers of the day: 

Wednesday 10, 2014
Secretly Stitching (You Are Here)
Thanks for stopping by, 
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, September 5, 2014

See You In September Blog Hop Schudule

It's already the 3rd day of the blog hop and I am feeling my projects are inadequate, but these other ones are so Inspiring, I am pinning a whole bunch of them.  Check it out yourself. 
                                    Wednesday, September 3
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Bumbleberry Cottage
Thimblemouse and Spouse
Mad Quilter's Disease
In The Boon Docks

Thursday, September 4
Jane's Quilting
Life in the Scrapatch
Sew Many Yarns
Gracie Oliver Arts
Everyone Deserves a Quilt

Friday, September 5
Stitchin' By The Lake
Coeur d'Alene
Words & Stitches
Pig Tales and Quilts
All Thingz Sewn

Monday, September 8
Quilting Quietly
Creatin' in the Sticks
Procrastination Queen
Lovelli Quilts
Cherry Blossoms

Tuesday, September 9
Just Let Me Quilt
Marjorie's Busy Corner
The Quilting Queen Online Blog
Marla's Crafts
K and S Sweets and Stitching

Wednesday, September 10
Secretly Stitching
Buzzing and Bumbling
Quilt n Queen
Quilted Delights

Grandmama's Stories

Thursday, September 11
Susie's World
Needled Mom
Cate's Linens
How ART you?
I Like To QuiltBlog


Friday, September 12
Sew Peace to Peace
More Stars in Comanche
Living With Purpose

Monday, September 15
I Piece 2-Mary
Till We Quilt Again
Vroomans Quilts
Nini and the Sea
Seams To Be Sew

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Butterfly Challenge

I love challenges and dares, you tell me I can't do something and I will go out and do it, I dare you.
The Butterfly Challenge - Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern (from The Tartan Kiwi blog).
I accept the Challenge!
When I first started sewing 2 years ago, there was a Paper Pieced Challenge, and I couldn't understand how people were getting those tiny little pieces of fabric wrapped around the odd shaped small pieces of paper.
5 Pence, the size of a dime, larger than that little triangle of fabric.
So I give you my English Paper Pieced and my Foundation Paper Pieced Butterfly an ode to my fist days sewing and not understanding the difference between the two.  First I made my lovely hexagons the English Paper Pieced way, I love this kind of sewing it allows me to be outside while the kids play and is easy to put down and pick up again.
The flowery hexies are Liberty of London, then I surrounded them with "Indelible" by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics, I didn't want to cut my Liberty hexies to much.  This is for the top two wings, the bottom wings were done the Foundation paper pieced method of sewing through paper, for the bottom wings I used some Kona solids mixed with the "Indelible" collection.
To make the project unique, I turned the butterfly into a dress for my daughter (hoping to get bonus points from Juliet's 5 year old daughter Rascal, maybe she will be like, hey mom make me one of those)
Everyone in the family likes it.
Yes, that is my son wearing the dress, hey, he wanted too :)
Creating this, I had many first.
  1. Mixing EPP with FPP (need help with those terms, write me;)
  2. Designing my own dress pattern
  3. Using French seams to finish the whole dress.
  4. Sewing with Voile (will be buying more of this, it is lovely!)
This project has kept me busy the last weeks, so happy it is finished, P.S. you might notice the bottom is not hemmed, I used the selvage for the hems, to help with that, but also my daughter won't let me turn them up, in fact she doesn't want to take it off.  I had to take it off of her last night so she wouldn't go outside to play in it, at lunch she came back with mud all over her shorts, so there was no way I was letting her out of the house in this brand new made dress.  So then she decided to play inside.
Yes, I was cringing as she rolled around the floor, after she was done twirling.
Linking to the Butterfly Challenge
 and New to Me in August
don't forget to enter my Giveaway.
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Printing On Fabric, A Tutorial and Giveaway!

I recently sent a fabric post card to Nesta of "Ella and Nesta's Little Room", she wrote a whole blog post about it :), and I am so glad she enjoyed it.  She was especially excited about how I made the "stamp" for the card.  Now I didn't tell her, but I was actually doing a little "Purging", you see I made this stamp way back in January 2013 for the "In Your Words" blog hop. You can click on any of my links and they will take you to a new page, so that way you can click away and still continue to read this blog post. you have to get to the end for the giveaway!
This is super easy,
  1. Find your stamp on line, I just looked up Greek Stamps, make sure you aren't breaking any copyright laws.  I found a new one here.
  2. Copy your image and then go to Pic Monkey, (It's a free photo correction site), if you want the faded background, go to the wand Effects, and scroll down to Dark Edges and mess around with it to get the effect you want.
  3. This time around, I went to Collage, picked my picture,
    Layout, Cards, 4x8, the last one with 3 small boxes on top and one long box on the bottom, placed my stamp picture in the right hand corner.
  4. I adjusted the Background (4th icon down), I made the spacing larger (67), and the background transparent.
  5. Save your Postcard Image, then go back to the the beginning of PicMonkey,
  6.  Now you will Edit the Picture. Grab the Layout card you just created, mine looks like this
  7. I'm going to write Greece over the top of the picture, Tt (text), I like Eraser Dust or Downcome for this, this time I used Downcome, faded it by 23% and I also adjusted the color to make it not so black.  While in Text I decided this time to type in my name and address as well (hope you don't mind if I don't show you that, but I put it in the left hand corner, again not so close to the edges).
    Now it looks blank because I have done that "transparent background", I want this so I don't have my printer printing out white ink ;0 on white fabric, lol.
  8. Now to get your fabric ready, you can purchase a Bottle of Bubble Jet Set 2000, I don't have any on hand so I cut my fabric to the size of the paper that will go through the printer, Iron your fabric real nice and tape it to the paper, you can also iron it onto freezer paper (they have sheets that can go through a printer, again I don't have any of these on hand) 
  9. Here is one of the important parts, how to tape the fabric to the paper (if you don't use freezer paper)
    Go out and buy double sided tape if you don't have any.

    Tape all the way across the bottom of the paper page and the top, also place tape like a large X in the middle of the paper, then place your ironed fabric on top.  Stick in the paper tray of your printer and Print. 
     I love how this stamp turned out, it looks so old school
    Now when I get ready to mail my fabric postcard for the birthday girls I will just need to embroider a circle, some wavy lines and write in their birthday.  Like I did for Nesta's birthday present.
    ohh almost forgot, you should iron it, I put a paper towel over the image and give it a good DRY Iron, to kind of set the ink.  
    I also printed this like a million years ago and just sent it to a new home after re-doing the binding, it was one of the first things I did binding on and I didn't know that you fold the binding, so I had an inch of binding in the back, I couldn't understand how people did it.
     The embroidered hand prints are my sons, he has grown so much in the over a year since I made this., the reverse applique says Hope and Love.
     You can see where I previously stitched the binding down,
    But the back looks fantastic!  I did hand stitch the binding down, definitely will not be doing that with a quilt, took forever.  The sentence on the back says, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
    This went to my step mom who is a Professor at William Jessup University.

    Now for the giveaway!!
    It's my first ever SPONSORED Giveaway!  So Excited to Introduce you to my friend Elita, she is an American living in Switzerland (see so much in common already) she is my crack Aurifil and Batting supplier it is so nice to have a European seller and definitely saves on the shipping cost.  She carries all of the colors of Aurifil and at a really good price!  The next time I need to pick up some Aurifil I am also going to get a Bottle of Jet Set 2000, this will make printing on fabric better.  Today she is giving away a Bottle to one of you, my dear readers.  You wash the fabric you want to use for printing in this solution and let it dry and then print as I wrote on my tutorial above.

    Since this is a sponsored giveaway, I thought I would let you check out her shop, tell me your favorite thing that she carries in the Rafflecopter prompt.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elita is on vacation at this time, but she will be back when this giveaway ends and can fill any orders placed when she gets back, just in case you decide to go shopping.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Around The World-In Greece

And Welcome to Around the World Blog Hop, today you will be visiting Greece, with me, Mara at Secretly Stitching!  Thanks to the lovely Sarah of Berry Barn Designs, I am so excited and honored that she picked me!  Her post was last week and she lives in Maine USA, she also invited, Heidi from Fabric Mutt and Heather from QA Creations to chat today, so be sure to head over there too after seeing what I am up too!

First let me tell you about myself, I am an American who on vacation to Greece met my Greek husband who was born in Australia, I have 2 children my son is 6 1/2 and my daughter is 4, yes they are bi-lingual and no I am not :)  I struggle with languages, but I am so happy to see that my children have their father's ears for tongues. (haha, that sounds funny)  We live in Kalampaka Greece, smack dab in the middle of Mainland Greece, check my previous post to this one to see a map of Greece.  You can also see other photos and blog post about Greece on my Travel Thru Greece blog.  
A Secret Monastery built into the rocks in my backyard
 I love to travel, I have been to 30 of the 50 States, I have been to Canada and Mexico and I have been to 16 of the 28 EU Countries, so there are a whole lot more places I need to go and see!

Now lets answer some questions:
     1. What am I working on?
Top secret!  I love swaps and challenges, in fact if you come across one, let me know, I would love it.  I just finished my Strawberry Swap items.
More pictures here.
I would also really love to win a new sewing machine or a serger, so I am in these 2 contest, both are still open if you are addicted to contest and challenges and you want to join me.
     2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well that's a hard one, since I don't really consider my work, work, I just want to have fun and learn, especially learn.  It's not very often you will see me do the same thing twice, unless I do it wrong the first time and want to perfect it.  Like my recent embroidered feather, I will be doing another one of these since I wasn't to happy about how the last one tuned out.
Book Review and more pictures.

     3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Writing on my blog is for verification that I am doing something cool, lol, my husband is not to impressed with my sewing, my MIL baw-humbugs it and my son is fairly disinterested in it now that I haven't created anything for him in a while (so sad, working on that right now, some pants for school).  The only person who ever really loves anything I make is my daughter, but then she doesn't get to keep any of it, so that is very sad also. 
So please leave a message if you love what you see, cause I will love to know!
I do create for others, there is only so much I can think that I need, but I love swaps, cause then I am making something for someone else and in return they make something for me!!!  Like the Big Stitch Swap, I made a mini quilt for a gal who wanted some wall art.  She loved it, and although it is not to my taste.  I really enjoyed creating it, stepping out of my comfort zone and making something fun.
Made BY ME for the Big Stitch Swap
My partner made me an Awesome fabric basket, I don't know how to make those yet (they are on my to do list), so that is SUPER DUPER Awesome, that she made this really lovely RAINBOW basket for me!
Made FOR ME! more pictures here.

     4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Read all of the above, I get excited and I create!  My head is constantly thinking about what I am making what I can do next, what can I learn etc. etc.  So that's me, if you want to hang out and see more, then you can hit the bloglovin' button below or what ever way you like to follow.
Follow on Bloglovin
I am also the swap mama of a Fabric Swap called 8², it is an International Fabric Swap,  We just finished a Text Swap and our Next one will probably be Low Volume.  The price is good, this last one was only $18 dollars for 1 1/4 yards of fabric including all shipping charges to and from Greece with me doing the cutting.  Not too bad.

I have invited 3 Great People (it was so hard just choosing 3 to join the hop next week on August 25th)  First we will start the tour in Texas, I lived the first 5 years of my life living in and out of that State, and Shirley has lived in many places herself, even in Germany (me too), that is Shirley of SimpleSew.  Then a place I learned how to swim and almost broke my ankle we hop on over to Italy to visit Nesta of Ella and Nesta's Little Room.  And 3rd Around the World Blog Hoper is Deborah of Sunshine Through the Rain, she lives in Indonesia, I have never been there, but would love to visit someday.  I think I have heard that it gets rainy there :)

Also be sure to hop on over to New Mexico, USA (I went to High School and College in NM) to visit THE ONLY quilter/blogger I have met in person!!! Isn't that so cool that we share today together and were asked by different people, this blog hop is HUGE, so be sure to go visit Daryl of Patchouli Moon, she was so kind to come and met me and shop with me for fabric in Albuquerque, NM, when we were in the States last November.
I'm the big girl on the left in red, with Daryl!  Hugs Daryl, thanks for Shopping with me!
Visit Daryl today!