Monday, April 30, 2012

Love Being Lazy!

Joan Hawley from Lazy Girl Designs is the Queen of Totes, the Boss of Bags, and the Princess of Purses.  All rolled into one!

A friend of mine located one of Joan's freebie patterns online, and I gotta tell ya -- I am HOOKED!  Check it out!

How did I miss this???  This pattern was published on the Lazy Girl blog in 2007.  Apparently, I have been under a rock for five years!  (Or, you know, raising a boy, taking care of a family, working...)  Joan "gave away" this free pattern to her readers and fans as a Christmas gift.  So nice!
This is the "With Love Tote Bag."  One yard of fabric plus one hour of your time and voila!  A lovely, eco-friendly tote bag!  I will so be toting this bag tomorrow!  I chose Ruby Swoon fabric from Moda.  
I just love the colors, very spring-time.  I did not time myself while sewing.  I know it took me a little longer than an hour because I was gabbing on the phone between seams.  ;)  It truly is simple to put together, and if I keep myself from talking, I'm sure the next one will go even quicker.

I had only an hour to spare today, so this one bag is what I have to share -- for now.  Joan explains in the blog post that this same technique can be used with fat quarters for small bags!  Ooooohhhh....I see a sea of adorable bags in my future.

And, I must admit, that when I cook and when I sew I follow the directions -- the first time.  After that, I take the liberty of creative license.  I would love to try Joan's method with wider, longer handles...perhaps some adorable buttons to embellish...maybe even get wild and crazy and try a different lining fabric!  The sample she shows uses grosgrain ribbon for handles.  Too cute!

You see, when you take the Lazy way out, you have room to be creative!  ;)

I will have quilt show pictures to share soon!  Our next show is May 4-5 in Xenia, Ohio.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012


This week, I've not spent any time with this.
I have bonded a great deal with this.
Checking in a lot of new these.
To create lovely little bundles of these.
And these.
Oh, and these!
Taking great care in preparation for this.
Will you be there?  :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Feature - Ruby Blue Quilting Studio

We all have those famous one-liners stuck in our heads.  Those quotes from our favorite movies that stay with us and just pop out when we need them.  

Last week I received a package in the mail.  And the line that went through my head was, "The phone books are here!  The phone books are here!"  Can you guess?  That's right!  It was Steve Martin in The Jerk way back when.

Now, where am I going with this, you ask?

As I opened that package, I found myself saying, "The quilts are here!  The quilts are here!"  Jumping up and down like a marionette, just like Steve.

The Little Shop of Stitches has partnered with Ruby Blue Quilting Studio for a traveling trunk show!!!!  (Cue the exciting music!)
Rebecca Silbaugh and her lovely mother, Beth Safick, were the first quilt-y people I met as The Little Shop was getting started.  (It was just A Wee Shop back then.)  Rebecca is an all-around AWESOME quilter!  She is a pattern-designing, blogging, long-arming and hand-stitching QUILT GODDESS! 

Think I've gone over the top?  Just look...

Over the top?  I don't think so!  And, I can say that confidently because I have held these lovely quilts in my hands!  What's better?  You can see them in person!!!

These quilts will be traveling with The Little Shop of Stitches to these quilt shows in the coming weeks:

Click on any of the shows above to get more details, such as where and when.  You simply have to see Rebecca's quilts in person.  Gor-geous! 

And, just when you thought it couldn't get any better...

The Little Shop has Ruby Blue patterns and kits online NOW!  With more on the way--as soon as the FedEx man brings me more fabric!  You can never have too much fabric!

So, what do you think?  I have to admit, there is a special place in my heart for Rebecca's From Grammy With Love quilt.  My grandma is 98 years old, and this quilt reminds me of her.  What about you?  Can you pick one favorite?

Happy Stitching, everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Amy Butler Patchy Pillow

I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by people who are willing to lend a helping hand.  I have an amazing support system...those willing to listen to me, those who can brainstorm ideas, and those who roll up their sleeves and sew with me.

Last week, I shared the beginnings of the Patriotic Twist quilted wall hanging.  It remains started, but not finished.  Still in the WIP/UFO pile.  (If you can interpret that, you are a true quilter!)
I'd like to highlight one of my Mom's projects.  She is in the "roll up her sleeves and sew" category.  Truth be told, she probably belongs in a category all her own!

In gearing up for quilt show season, we've been busy like bees making samples of some of our favorite patterns.  This is Amy Butler's Patchy Pillow made with three fabrics from her Soul Blossom collection.
It is such a nice size at 26x14 inches -- not too big, not too small.  How awesome as a gift for a new graduate moving off to a college dorm or first apartment!  I love that it is reversible!
This pillow received lots of compliments at our first quilt show.  Our next one is coming up soon at the end of April.  This one is extra-special to me because it is in my hometown, and where someday The Little Shop will have a front door.  Click here to see details on the Miamisburg Quilt Show.  If you can make it, we'd love to see you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday's Feature - Patchwork Mountain

I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but it bears repeating.  One of the best parts of this "job" of mine here at The Little Shop of Stitches is meeting such wonderful people.  Equally wonderful is meeting their quilts.

Say hello to Diane Alders.  Diane is the proud owner of Patchwork Mountain in Erie, Colorado.  Let me tell you, that pride comes through loud and clear in her quilts.  In her own words, "Quilting is my true passion. Combining fabrics and seeing the finished creation of a handmade quilt is such an enjoyment."

As I began exploring the world of Patchwork Mountain, I realized I was staring at the computer screen with my mouth hanging wide open.  No, I wasn't drooling!  Simply in awe. It's like having my own quilt show right in my family room.  

Teal and Purple Batiks.  Simple, elegant, beautiful.

Sunshine.  Such an appropriate title for such a cheery quilt.

Delightful Purple, Green and Black.  I have a soft spot for purple.  And, I must point out, that even if you are not a quilt lover (and I don't understand why you wouldn't be), just look at this VIEW!
Spring Beauty.  The quilt and the gorgeous background.  All is right with the world.

Diane also offers smaller quilted items for your home, such as table runners.  This one has a pine theme -- she is in Colorado, after all.

Square table toppers, this one done in springtime batiks.

And pot holders.  "Cups a Plenty" -- love it!  I know I could have used an extra cup today!
Beautiful fabrics, carefully selected, artfully pieced and quilted with pride.  Diane has built herself something wonderful in Colorado.  I hope you take a minute to visit her on top of Patchwork Mountain.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sew, Twist -- LAUNCH!

I was lucky enough over the holiday weekend to sneak in some sewing time.  ;)  Not a lot, mind you, but just enough to get a project started.  Sometimes getting started can be the hardest part.

The twister idea in the world of quilting is not a brand new idea.  However, it was something I'd never done myself before.  They fascinate me, with the twisted colors and squares all askew.  With the summer months rapidly approaching, I decided to try the Patriotic Twist pattern from Simply Twisted Designs.
It uses the Lil' Twister template ruler by Country Schoolhouse.  Simple enough. 
Now...for the fabrics...

That didn't take long.  Moda's Marble Stars came jumping off the shelves!  "Pick me, pick me!" they said.  Who am I to argue with patriotic fabric?
The process really is simple.  Cut and sew squares, then add a border.  Align the lines on the ruler with the seams on your squares, and cut again.  Reassemble like a jigsaw puzzle, and PRESTO!  
Again, this is just the beginning.  Red and white twisted stripes are on the agenda for this week.  I wanted to try my hand at twisting, and I had a good time doing it!  Shoulda been playing Chubby Checker in my sewing room!  ;)

Now, for the "LAUNCH" portion of this post.

I could not be more proud to announce...
The Little Shop of Stitches' website is live!!!!!
 It's been a work in progress since January, but I invite you all to click above and take a tour of the site.  It is still in its infant stage, but I feel just like a proud Mama!  A HUGE thank you to the awesome folks at Like Sew Websites for doing such a fant-abulous job!

Please take a look around and come back to comment telling me what you think.  I value both positive comments and constructive criticism.  Happy Stitching, everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday's Feature - The Stitchin' Chicken

Shakespeare made these words famous:  "What's in a name?"

Cheryl Trimble of The Stitchin' Chicken proves him right!
Cheryl lives and works in Ridgefield, Washington.  When I first ran across her shop on Etsy, it was her business name that first caught my attention.  The Stitchin' Chicken!  Now that is something I'd like to investigate further!

Little did I know what fantastic discoveries awaited me!  Cheryl is one busy lady!

In her Etsy shop, The Stitchin' Chicken, she offers handmade items that are simply adorable.  This fabric basket is the perfect organizational piece for any room.  (Hmmm...maybe I should organize my desk...)  I just love the colors!
This classic log-cabin pieced pillow is a great springtime accent with the blues, pinks, and lavenders.  It reminds me of a spring flower garden.  In Cheryl's words, "I really do have a problem passing by any fun fabric."  I knew I liked her!  ;)
Cheryl also enjoys hand embroidery.  This primitive piece is so sweet for anyone who is a cat lover.
You remember, I told you Cheryl was one busy lady?  Well, I wasn't kidding!  She has a SECOND Etsy shop!  Welcome to Creative Trims!

Cheryl provides crafters around the globe with ribbons and trims of all colors and sizes -- velvet, grosgrain, pom-pom trim, rick rack, and more!  If you want to trim it, she's got what you need!  I liked this photo of her satin ribbon because it reminds me of Easter eggs!

Cheryl also runs her own website at, and writes an awesome blog about her sewing and quilting adventures.  You can even find The Stitchin' Chicken on Facebook.  Like I said, one busy lady -- with a fabulous business name!

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Cheryl at The Stitchin' Chicken and will visit her soon.  From everyone here at The Little Shop of Stitches, HAPPY EASTER!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Razor Blades, Tires, and Quilt Shows

I am sure you are wondering what that post title means.  What in the world do razor blades, tires and quilt shows have in common?  Well, just read on, My Friend!

I am still coming down from my adrenaline high from our weekend at QuiltFest!  We had the car packed so tightly, we almost didn't have room for our suitcases!  I thought I would take you on a picture tour.

To start off, we encountered a bit of a bump in the road (no pun intended).  

I called it a razor blade, Mom called it a shard.  Either way, it was metal, pointy and did NOT belong in my tire!  Luckily, we found it before it was too late.  As we parked in the lot at the repair shop, we heard a very distinct "ssssshhhhhhhhhhh" sound coming from the tire!  Oh no!  I told the nice man in the shop, "My tire is deflating in your parking lot as we speak.  I am hoping you are able to fix it, otherwise, we will be spending the night in your lobby!"  Thankfully, everything worked out.  (I am not sure he wanted us there all night!) 

After the tire excitement, we were off to the quilt show!  We received many compliments on our display.  What do you think?  Here we have a few Amy Butler samples and our 3-yard mini-bolts.
Here is a close-up of our mini-bolt display.

The front side held our Quilts-in-a-Can and a variety of quilt kits.

Patterns galore!

The precuts and fat quarters were very popular.  Maybe because they are so darn cute!
We had a great three days!  We were definitely tired once we got home, and it was certainly nice to sleep in our own beds.  But, we met some really nice people -- some award-winning quilters, some just beginning -- but all really friendly.  Isn't that the way with quilters?  :)

We'll be taking The Little Shop to the Miamisburg Quilt Show at the end of April.  If you are in the midwest, we'd love to see you!  

Do you have a favorite quilt show?  Is it a show you visit every year?  What makes it special to you?