Monday, November 10, 2014

A Super Tote for me!!

I finally made a Super Tote (by Noodle-head) for me!  This was the 5th one I made and I have to admit I have not tired of making this pattern, and it's true that practice makes perfect because this one came out the BEST of all of them. I also made it in record time (I believe it was less than 7 hours where the first took over 10!) I was so excited also to cross something off my 'to make' list because I purchased this fabric well over a year ago), check!  The main fabric was bought at my LQS The Cotton Cupboard, it's called Katharine's Wheel by FreeSpirit. I also found the lining and orange fabric at the same store but already forgot what they were.  The red gusset fabric was purchased at Hancock fabrics. I truly love this tote!

Here is a dark peek of the inside (sorry!), I chose to make the gathered pocket just on one side and on the other I put a simple divided pocket for my cell phone, pen and sunglasses.  I like having a variety of different pockets inside my bags/purses.

I'm going to enter this in the Sew Sweetness Purse Palooza, I hope you have something to enter too, there are some great prizes up for grabs!  You have until Nov 14 to do so here 

Sharing in the following link parties: Threading Your Way; Sew Can She

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3rd Annual Purse Palooza

I'm excited to be guest posting over at Sew Sweetness today as part of her 3rd Annual Purse Palooza series. A whole month of bag pattern reviews with giveaways every day (which are sadly coming to a close).  

Go check out my review of the Jet Pack pattern by Betz White and be sure to enter today's giveaway. Sew along with us and be sure to link up your creation(s) by November 14th for a chance to win to even more awesome prizes!!

thanks for stopping by!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

New knitted cowl, celebrity sighting and Purse Palooza kicks off!!

I have a new cowl I made to share with you, it was so fun to knit!  I still consider myself a beginning knitter since this is just the 4th scarf I have made.  I found a wonderful local yarn/fabric store just 45 minutes from our house in LaGrange called The Quilted Skein.  We found it about a year ago and have visited quite a few times.  Every time we go, the workers there are so friendly and helpful and the owner is so nice too!  This last visit I found the most dreamy chunky yarn to make the seed stitch cowl here  What is great is that when I found this yarn I liked, the owner helped me translate it to the pattern by how much I needed and how many stitches to add to compensate for the different weight of the yarn and different size needles.  I used Lana Grande 100% Peruvian Wool and it is divine!   I used size 13- 16" circular needles, cast on 85 stitches and used 2 skeins. You can't tell from the photo how pretty the yarn (it was an impromptu ohoto taken at work) but here is a closeup of it.  It's called Oatmeal.  I think this cowl took me about 6 days to make in the evenings (since I messed up a few times and had to fix it)
Lana Grande - Oatmeal

Last night I was able to meet Danielle Walker of Against All Grain at Costco.  Her story is remarkable, you can read it here.  Basically she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, changed her eating lifestyle to exclude dairy, grain and legumes and healed herself.  She is just gorgeous and sweet and her husband is as well, he was with her at the signing.  I have enjoyed making lots of recipes from her blog and first book, Against All Grain.  Just over the last year & a half I have changed my eating habits to a broad spectrum of vegetarian, vegan, paleo and lost about 20+ lbs and have kept it off, eliminating constant diarrhea (sorry too much information) I had suffered with for years (which a doctor had no idea what was the cause without putting together a food diary).  I have also noticed a remarkable difference in the condition of my nails which use to peel and all of a sudden do not.  I have not changed anything else but my eating lifestyle (and do not take vitamins) but I admit I still do occasionally indulge in full sugar sweets but on a rare occasion.  I actually enjoy the healthier alternatives found in Danielle's recipes and on Chocolate Covered Katie's website. I also try to exercise more, get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and have energy to do what I want for the most part. Working overtime at work during the months doesn't help me stay on a healthy regime but I still try.   can't wait to try recipes from this cookbook now!

Lastly, the 3rd Annual Purse Palooza kicked off this week at Sew Sweetness!  It goes all month long with reviews of 2 bags/purses a day and daily giveaways you can try winning!  I am so honored and excited that Sara asked me to participate with a review and it will be on the last day October 29.  So I hope you will come back to see what my review of The Jet Pack pattern by Betz White!   Be sure to check out the post, get on Sew Sweetness email subscription so you don't miss one post - best of all, you have until November 14 to enter a bag YOU make during this time to be eligible for some awesome prizes!  Hope you have fun with it - I know I do EVERY year and look forward to it!

Sharing at the following link parties:  

Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Disney Zip and Go bags & lil' cutie pouch

Hi there!  Sorry long time no post.  Been busy working lots of overtime at work (boo) since it's our busiest time of year and also I've been relaxing and gotten more into knitting lately when I need a little break from sewing *wink*

My oldest sister asked me if I would be able to make some small cross body bags for her and my niece to take with them to Disneyland and I immediately thought of the Zip and Go bags!  I made some for my Godmother and her daughter a few months bag and knew these would go together quickly and be perfect for their frequent Disney trips!  We picked out some fun Disney prints (got the Vintage Comic Strip Mickey & Minnie from Online Fabric store and the pink Minnie from Hancock Fabrics locally.  I think they were so cute and my niece squealed with excitement when she got them, she liked it a lot!!  She is already quite the bag lady at age 8 (I think she has more than me ha!)

Here is a pic of the insides.  Just Kona cotton solids which matched perfectly.  

and since I had some leftover fabric, I made a lil' cutie pouch by Noodlehead for my niece.  I didn't end up having time or a matching zip to make my sister one, but maybe some day since I still have fabric leftover from her bag.  

If you've never tried one of the patterns by Erin from Dog Under My Desk or Anna from Noodle-head, you are missing out.  They are accurate, detailed and very well priced patterns!  

thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment so I can visit your blog back! 
I love knowing if someone is reading!

** I am sharing at the following link parties** 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Divided Basket Sewalong Finish!

Here is my finish for the #dividedbasketsewalong I participated in a few weeks ago.  This was the first finish of the Austin Modern Quilt Guild weekend in Wimberely TX.  It was a great time with some pretty neat ladies.  The quilt ranch was just beautiful!  Sorry about the big background around the basket that is a little distracting, but I took the picture at the retreat.  I almost wasn't able to finish it because I forgot to bring the gold binding for the pocket - gasp!  But one of the gals, Andrea came to my rescue because she bought her recently purchased Cotton+Steel with her (even though she wasn't planning on using it!) so she let me cut my strip - I was SO grateful!!

These are some of the rows I assembled on Sat, which is the next quilt for a Christmas gift. I actually put together all 9 rows in about 12 or so hours!  I loved having a large design wall at my disposal right behind me and I sure put it to use! I used a Kona cotton jelly roll called Merlot I got from The Fat Quarter Shop.  I am very excited about putting this quilt together and even more excited about gifting it! The design is 'ribbons'.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I am not sure if I've shared my love for Instagram enough so I have to tell you one night after work, I stumbled upon 2 new sewers to follow Shequiltsalot and good_starter and discovered they are doing a Noodlehead pattern sewalong for the Divided Basket (the pattern is only $6.50- great value).  This is a pattern I have been eyeing since she released it.  I have a lot of Anna's patterns, they are well written and easy to follow with great features.  I am excited to use this as a sewing tool basket to keep next to my sewing machine.  Right now I use a plastic mini laundry basket from Dollar Tree.  it's cute, but finding something inside always take a long time since everything is just thrown in.  With the divided basket, there's two inside compartments and outside pocket - much more practical.

This weekend 10 local fabric shops were having a shop hop in Austin - and although I didn't have any plans to participate, I ended up convincing bribing my husband to come along with me and I will buy us lunch. Works nearly every time.  Our first stop was Bunnysdesigns  where I know the shop owner.  That was a fun place, I had intentions on getting some Cotton+Steel fabrics because she got a shipment the day before, but little did I know I would fall in love with several of her Japanese cat fabrics!  Well of course - since I love cats!!  I found the cutest cats to make my Road Trip club Duffle Bag (that I can really use for my upcoming quilt retreat with the Austin Modern Quilt Guild ladies) so as soon as I finish this blog post, I am getting cracking on that!!
Here is a pic of all my loot - our next stop was Stitch Lab, that place has such charm.  This is where I finally was able to get some long coveted Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent.  Then, we had a delicious lunch at Bouldin Street Cafe which was a recommendation by my cool tattoo artist.  It was vegan/vegetarian and we look forward to going back there!   Our last stop was in Buda B&B Quilting, which was not on the shop hop but I saw one of the gals who is a guild member (that sat next to me at the last meeting), so it was fun chatting with here there.  I finally got some beeswax for thread conditioning when hand sewing that I've wanted for a while. Then I got the lower right fabric an old line from Amy Butler's Love collection for only $5.00 a yard!  I'm not sure I will go back to that store though, it doesn't carry my style of fabrics.  It was a super fun unexpected day thanks to my awesome husband!!!  

It would be fun if you participate in the #dividedbasketsewalong with us!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Improv Mug Rug and Open Wide Pouch

Today I have to share with you another improv mug rug I made for my sister for her birthday. The fabrics are Basic Grey and Amy Butler. I figured she could use it at her desk at work to brighten up her space.  We all need that for those of us who work in cubicles, right?  I also made an extra small open wide pouch (tutorial by Anna of Noodlehead).  I had the fabric already cut out from a purse I made and gave to my sister last year, otherwise I would have made the pouch bigger. This pouch is my favorite, because the zipper construction allows for the pouch to 'open wide', you don't have to riffle through looking for something in particular because things are in plain sight better.  I love that. It will still fit her stuff in it, since she doesn't wear any makeup.  I added a small lotion and antibacterial gel to the pouch.   I am really enjoying the improv, it's a great way to use up scraps!

Here is the back of the mug rug - the strip of colors was cut off from the front when I squared it up and I had the yellow fabric in my stash, it happened to be the perfect size, serendipitous!  I just did some straight line quilting on this one, I thought it would be just right for it!  

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great week!  

I am linking up to the following link parties: Think Pink Sundays; Threading Your Way; Show off Saturday: Show and Tell Saturday.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bag of the Month Win - yea!!

I just want to share some fun news - I was SO excited to get an email yesterday that MY messenger bag won first place prize out of all the fabulous entries in the Bag of the Month club - how incredible of an honor it is!  Janelle of Emmaline bags just made my day with this response: "Hi Donna! Well of course you did, your bag was gorgeous. I loved your bag and I was so happy to see it selected as a 1st prize winner!"  

I'll have a post up with a creative finish by the end of the weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

City Slicker Bag - final bag of the month

I'm very excited to share my final Sew Sweetness Bag of the month club bag - the City Slicker, designed by Chris W Designs.  This is the advanced version and I admit there were a few times I thought I bit off more than I could chew since it was my first time tackling an advanced pattern.  But, it was very well written and there were lots of pictures to follow. Mainly they were my mistakes and slight tendency for perfection that caused me the most grief.  Luckily, she has an intermediate version for sale as well.  It is aptly made with Sara Lawson's Limited Edition Jungle Ave prints for Art Gallery fabrics (click here to see the Jungle Ave Lookbook).  I have to tell you, if you have NEVER felt these fabrics or even bought them, you are missing out!  I do not understand how they get them so soft, but they are just divine. They make wonderful clothing too!

Here is the back of my City Slicker.  This was my first time making a Welt pocket (it's basically a trimmed slip pocket and I must say, it was pretty cool and easy to do!  

Since I LOVE my Michael Miller Mirror Ball Dots, I had to throw some in the mix with this bag, so I used the orange! I love how the inside of my bag has an unexpected POP now!  

 As you can see, there are LOTS of pockets inside this bag - I love it!

Here is a picture of all 6 bags that started in January; it was so fun getting a new pattern on the first of the month, that I figured when July 1 rolled around I was going to be sad.  I had mixed feelings of course, because I needed to finish June's bag (it took me FOREVER) and there were other projects I wanted and needed to complete!  Overall, this was a great experience - if you missed out on it this time, don't when the opportunity presents itself!  A few weeks ago my friend asked me how many bags/purses I have sewn and I finally counted, I think it was 18 but I gave away some recently.  I think I have a little obsession.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An Improv Mug Rug

I really need to be better about blogging, so here is a mug rug (First Improv piecing EVER) I have to share with you.  I know one thing for sure - IMPROV is fun!  I know that there are folks who need structure and a 'plan' or pattern for when they sew that this definitely is not the technique for them.  But, for using up scraps and having fun it is just the thing to try!  Some scraps were bought from a destash sale (courtesy of Instagram) and some were from my stash.  All are Amy Butler fabrics. I needed a newer mug rug at work and wanted to practice more free-motion quilting and this is a great practical piece to do just that.  Believe it or not, the binding was even part of those scraps - the seller already had it assembled, it just had to be cut down.  Serendipitous!!

Here is the back where you can see my not so perfect free-motion quilting.  Actually, I think it is pretty decent compared to what I did when I first started!  Definitely need more practice!  I took patterns from Angela Walters Free-Motion quilting book, which is great!  

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lark Mini

 Here is my entry for the Jaybird Quilts Sew Along hosted by Sara - Sew Sweetness.   I used Amy Butler Lark fabrics (printed) and RJR fabrics (blue solid) and Kona cotton (green solid) which were all from my stash (score!).  I used a portion of the Raspberry Dessert pattern from Skip the Borders.  I really love that pattern but I was really unsure how it would translate to prints since Julie used all solids in her sample for the book.  Click here if you'd like to see hers
I kept the quilting simple since I used Kona grey on the back, I wanted the diamonds to pop.  I also used hand sewn hexagons also from my stash from YEARS ago I was waiting for the perfect project to feature them in.  It was a no brainer to use them on this mini.  Some of those fabrics are from Soul Blossoms and some kona solids.

I have to tell you I finally used my binding ruler I got from The Fat Quarter Shop a few months ago, and it made doing the binding a breeze!  Check out owner Kimberly's awesome video to see how it works.  I always learn such great tips in her videos!  I highly recommend this if you make quilts, it takes the guesswork and frustration out of making your binding line up!!

thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Poolside Tote - May Bag of the Month

Here is my May Bag of the Month club - the Poolside tote.  This club is hosted by Sara of Sew Sweetness and runs through June.  It's not too late to sign up and get 6 patterns for only $40 by 6 of the top bag pattern designers out there. There will even be prizes available as long as you finish and upload all your bags to the Flickr group by the end of June. May's bag pattern is brought to us by Anna of Noodlehead    She has great patterns, (some are even free on her blog).  I had the hardest time picking out fabrics for this bag.  I was at Joann's for over 2 hours, taking pics and texting them to my husband to get his feedback on them.  Most times we agree on colors and stuff, but this time he didn't care for much of what I was coming up with for a combination.  Finally, I settled on this combination and the pic never even came across to him but when I got home and showed it to him, he really liked it!  I used red canvas for the exterior and loved the little print for the handles so I grabbed coordinating colors I like together for the bag interior (the blue reminds me of the water) and black and white crosshatch for the trim to tie in with the small print flowers.  

This pattern was so easy to follow and came together rather quickly.  I think picking out the fabrics is what took me the longest!!  I decided to include some interior pockets of the small print.  This bag is HUGE, will be perfect to tote along everything you need for a visit to the pool or the beach because your rolled up towel will fit in there for sure, along with your sunscreen, book, keys, sunglasses and more!!  

Sharing in the following link parties: Think Pink Sundays, Sew Darn Crafty

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New portable countertop ironing board - DIY

This is a project I have been wanting to do for a while now and finally had a board to use and made the time!!  Previously, I had a small countertop ironing board but I didn't like that it wasn't flat on the counter.  Since my brother-in-law is building a house right now, and I saw he had boards laying around, I asked him if his contractor had any trash ones he wasn't going to keep.  Well, he didn't at the time but a week or so later, the contractor saved me about 3 pieces to choose from.  How nice was that?  This one actually is a shelf, just the right size but I do have a much larger piece of plywood I am saving just in case I want something bigger in the future.  One thing I've noticed after using this a few days is that my ironing has been crisper and I am happy about that.  My inspiration to make this came from The Crafty Gemini who used a recycled puzzle board. 

Here are my supplies: board, cotton batting, Indie Artgallery fabric, non slip shelf liner (or rug grip) for the bottom and hot glue gun.  The first thing you want to do is cut your batting a few inches bigger than the board.  Then cut your fabric a little bigger than the batting.  Lastly, cut your non slip grip the same size as the board and set that aside. 

Next, you glue the batting down while pulling it taut and miter the corners to reduce bulk. 
The next thing you want to do is add your fabric and glue down and miter the corners, similar to how you would wrap a present in the corners.  
Then fold that triangular part and glue down. 
Here it is on the back with the non slip grip stuff glued on.  

and here it is completed  - action shot!  totally didn't even realize it was going to match my Oliso so well.  Serendipitous!  I just grabbed some fabric from my stash that was pretty enough to look at all the time!  I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial with all the pics and it may inspire you to make an ironing board for yourself.  If you do, I'd love for you to share yours with me!  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Yellow Brick Road quilt top

Here is the current quilt I am working on, I finished the top in a little over a week (not bad in my opinion) and I am mostly satisfied with it. What I am not satisfied with is the big C of blue on the upper left quadrant that we were not able to detect when laying out the blocks on the floor.  I am convinced I need to make a design wall more than ever!  Especially since I love quilting so much, why not invest in something that would make my quilting a little easier?    

She is another reason I need a design wall - this beauty just could not refrain from hanging out on my blocks which she messed up several times!  I finally had to put her in the spare bedroom just so I could finish.  She is a hot mess most of the time!    

The fabric I used was a bundle of fat quarters of Michael Miller Fairy Frost I got from The Fat Quarter Shop more than 2 years ago when they have their daily deals for Christmas.  If you have never checked that out, you need to, I believe it starts on Dec 1 and goes until Christmas Day.  I took it to a LQS The Cotton Cupboard a few months later and the owner helped me find Soul Garden by Carolyn Gavin for P&B Textiles, which was a perfect match for the Fairy Frost!  I originally had plans to make a queen size quilt but then we bought a king size bed and traded our queen for a full size so now it will be full size.  Definitely the biggest I have made.  Still trying to decide how to quilt it or I may just tie it.  I have fabrics picked out for the back I will share soon.  I have SO MANY WIPs (most ever since I have been sewing), but it's so exciting!!!  
thanks for visiting!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Time for a change

I figured it was time for a change.  I created this blog to replace my former Serenity in Stamping {click if you would like to see it} blog because I find serenity not just in stamping anymore but in crafting in general since I have so many interests. It just seemed like it was time to transition away from the specificity of that blog title.  Plus, it seems as if that blog is no longer accessible and I have no idea what's up with that.

I hope that you will find some inspiration along my journey that I share with you.  Thanks for visiting!!