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Tuesday
Jan292013

QuiltCon Charity Quilt

First off, thanks for the feedback on my honesty post! You guys are the best! ;) 

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Throughout January, I've been sewing up a storm! This charity quilt top is just one of the projects I finished.  Quilt Con is less than a month away, but months ago, people from all over the world submitted blocks as part of the QuiltCon challenge. With the leftover blocks, guilds were given blocks to then make quilts for Austin Children's Shelter. There are enough quilts being made for each child to receive their own! I volunteered to piece together the blocks into a twin size quilt. Other friends from PMQG, pieced the back, quilted it, and bound it.

Above are the blocks that I recieved. I had a hard time at first deciding on how to piece all of these blocks together. At first I thought that gray would be the best to use as the background. But as I thought about a little girl or boy receiving this, gray didn't seem like the right fit. Not too cheerful! Also, there were two blocks that didn't seem to go as well with the rest. I decided that each block should have a gray border, once I added this to the two "outsider" blocks, it really made a big difference in making the whole quilt cohesive.

Next decision, what to use to piece the blocks. Honestly, I was trying to use what I had on hand rather than make another trip to the fabric store. After taking inventory of my solids, I had quite a bit of blue. All of a sudden it clicked, Starry Night! That would be the name and concept for this quilt.  

I laid out the arrangement of the blocks that I liked and started to improvisational piece together the blues. However, I choose too dark of a blue and it was starting to stand out too much. When looking at it, your eye is drawn too much to the dark blue. I posted a few pics on Instagram and got advice from my quilting pals and they all agreed. Sometimes your seam ripper can be your friend. :)

I really enjoyed improv piecing this top together. It was also amazing that this came out to just the right size, and I had just the right amount of fabric! 

Here's a finished pic of the final quilt, I really hope that this quilt makes some little guy feel extra special and loved! Don't you just love the back that Susan and Anne made?!

This quilt has inspired me to do lots more improv piecing...I love how you don't know exactly what it will look like in the end, but it often is better than you imagined. What do you like about improv piecing?

Monday
Jan282013

Honestly,

Wow, where to being? This is officially the longest break I've taken from this blog, and it wasn't intentional. However, lots of change has been happening and I've been mulling for the past three months what to do about this blog.

Let me explain: 

Back in Dec. 2010 when I started Joy of all Crafts, I was looking for a creative outlet from being a school teacher and enjoyed reading many design and craft blogs. The more I read blogs, the more I thought, "I can do this!" When starting, I knew it wouldn't take off (popularity/traffic wise) at least right away, I had so much to learn: writing, has never been my strong suit, so much technology to learn, domains, website hosting, blogging platforms, photography, Photoshop and much more. Slowly, I began hacking away at these, I took classes, read lots of tutorials, read books, I learned lots of skills that I value.

Once my husband and I moved to Portland in July 2011, I knew that I wanted to try and blog professionally. At least enough to make some kind of income. I tried really hard to post five days a week, be on all social media platforms, to really grow my readership. I created many DIY projects specifically for this blog and because it was lots of fun creating projects and sharing them here. It really led to me becoming so involved with quilting and PMQG. But spending many, many hours, creating the project, gathering supplies, taking pictures, writing, and editing the post and pictures, could never pay the rent. The blog grew, but never enough to feel like I could really reach out to companies. I went to Alt, learned lots, make lots of connections, but as the year went on (2012), I realized I didn't want to be yet another craft blog and have to blog about some product to get any sort of payment (I do know there are other ways to earn income, but this is the majority of how bloggers make money though sponsored posts. Read this transparent article by Nicole from Making It Lovely, if your interest is peaked). At this point, I've had the opportunity to work with many sponsors through Clever Girls (an ad agency I was accepted into), but nothing clicked enough with what I feel my "brand" is to make it worth it. 

Meanwhile, my husband, Chris, and I have been really focusing on growing our business, Remnant. Over the past year, I've taught myself how to upholster furniture and we are now both able to work full-time as vendors in this vintage city of Portland. We are still in the beginning growing pains of launching our small business, but every month things become more clear for how we are to make a living doing what we love. Over the past three months, it became clear to Chris and I that I needed to use the skills I learned from Joy of all Crafts and apply them to Remnant. At the time, Chris had his PDX Picker blog, and I had this blog, but it made more sense to merge his blog to Remnant and for myself to contribute to this and manage our Remnant blog. 

All of a sudden, it felt like all of the work I did for this blog was worth it. I have never wanted to be a quitter, however, I honestly felt like I had quit on making this blog my priority and my income. But now, I can take everything that I've learned and apply it to our business. It's such a blessing to use the skills I learned in blogging. It's also been a different and good process working together on our blog, rather than it being a solo venture.

If you've gotten this far, you're probably prepared for me to say that I will no longer blogging here. However, that isn't my plan or how I feel. Instead, there will be more of shift in how and what I blog about. First and foremost, I will continue to share all of my crafty endeavors, which currently seems to consist of a lot of quilting, sewing and knitting. But the shift is instead of doing something just to create content and have something to blog about, I will only be posting about projects that I would do whether or not I had a blog. However, there many be an occasional tutorial or pattern. Secondly, I've long been wanting this space to truly be a place where I can share my thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams, and simply life! Before, I felt hesitant to, that people wouldn't want to read about my life (even though I had lots of wise people tell me this wasn't true, it's still how I felt). These are the top two criteria that will shape the content of this blog. 

To sum up, I'm so thankful for the many, many people who stop by here and spend some of their precious time here. I've loved all of the relationships that have developed though and because of this blog. I hope that this continues and that in response I may continue to inspire you to create, as I find there is so much joy in making things yourself! But most of all, I want to be honest and share and be myself here. :) 

It makes me think, ... Why do you read blogs? What keeps you going back to the same blog or stop visiting? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

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PS - I know there are many of you who have encouraged me with upholstery and our business. I'd love it if you checked out our blog! We post weekly bios on Mid Century designers, we are hosting a Mid-Century link up party every Monday, lots of before and afters of our projects and new arrivals to the shop. 

Mid Century Mondays

Mid Century Designers

 

Monday
Dec312012

2012 in Review

Here are some of my personal highlights and a few of my favorite blog posts from 2012! 
January: Attending Alt Summit really helped me understand so much more about blogging, even though I realized that blogging as a career probably isn't in my path, but I learned so much even as a future business owner and ultimately helps to grow our business. Also, I got to meet and interview Emily Henderson! Definitely a big highlight of 2012! 
 
February: I started working at Collage and was constantly inspired by the amazing selection of supplies and ephemera 
In March, I was thrilled to contribute a diy project to Design Sponge, celebrated my 28th birthday, and began collecting CathrineHolm dishware. 
In April, I was able to visit back home and a few guest bloggers dropped in! 
In May we finalized our plans and named our business, Remnant. We kicked off this year's Portland Flea season and have been vending each month since! Also, I finished my first big upholstery project, that really kicked off all of my future upholstery projects. 
Favorite Crewel embroidery find! 
Inspired mid-century design, I made this quilt, Retro Modern Shapes, for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. 
In June, I was featured on HGTV.com illustrating neon trend in home decor. A lovely friend, Kate, allowed me to use her gorgeous home as a set. 
My mom came and visited Portland, and I started teaching quilting classes at Modern Domestic. 
In July, I visited Sisters, OR for the Outdoor Quilt Show, and enjoyed seeing my quilt along with many others hung all around town. I stayed in an amazing home with great friends and woke up to this view! 
Throughout the summer months, August especially, I went to as many garage sales as possible, here are a few of my favorite finds:
Being featured in the Oregonian daily newspaper was especially exciting! 
Visiting Seattle with all of my PMQG quilting friends and enjoying some amazing weather was a trip I won't easily forget! Here's Susan and I traveling across the weather from Vashon Island to West Seattle. 
In September, PMQG was contacted to do a super early morning TV interview! It was fun to be a part of it and experience a little behind the scenes action. 
I made this block for the QuiltCon Block Challenge, over 500 blocks were received and mine was chosen to be the quilt that they will be raffling off at QuiltCon. I'm still very honored! 
Here it is in the quilt: 
In October, I embarked on a new adventure: sewing clothes! 

Made these leather necklaces with a little tutorial: 
In November, we were thrilled to the max to be renting space in the new vintage shop in town, Vintage Design Collective.
I finished quilting this baby quilt for a special friend:  
In December, we also started renting space in a second vintage shop in Portland, Hawthorne Vintage! And I finished this Eames-inspired quilt for our bed and to enter into QuiltCon (which got accepted! As well as my retro modern shapes quilt!) 
It's truly been an amazing year. Thanks so much for following me on this journey. In the next year, I will use this blog to share my life and creative processes. If you're interested in our business, Remnant, Chris and I will be blogging together and sharing our before and afters, new projects and products, vintage finds (and a link party), mid-century designers, and tips on how to restore your own furniture. I hope to see you there, too! 
 
Monday
Dec312012

December Recap of Projects

Not wanting to sound redundant, I'll not say that December leaped by too quickly. In fact, the reason I didn't blog, wasn't because it flew by, but that there were so so so many projects to work on, I choose to use all my time I focus on those. I finished most, but I still have a few more time-sensitive ones that I must finish asap! But before I share about those, I'd love to share what I have been working on, here's a glimpse at December's finished projects. 

1) I decided to make my cute nephew, Myles, a Star Wars backpack that he can take with him to "school" (daycare). I followed this tutorial from Hart & Sew, I altered a few minor things, I'm pleased with the result! (Sorry for the dark photo, Portland has been so dark lately, it's very difficult to get a good photo!)

2) I made my mom two pot holders using a charm pack of 1930s reproduced fabric and an organic canvas. For my dad, he keeps many, many journals, so I made him this journal cover. I used this tutorial from Stitched in Color. 

3) I've also been working on new samples for Modern Domestic, it involves these yummy colors and fabrics, more info coming soon! 

4) December Portland Flea! This became our 2012 Christmas card, perfect to show what we've been working on all year long, developing our business, Remnant! In December, I finished reupholstering this Mid-Century sofa, and it sold quickly! I also made the vintage wool quilt you see draped over the sofa, that is still for sale in our booth at Hawthorne Vintage.  

5) For this month's Portland Flea, I made lots of handmade vintage goods. The week before, I made three quilts (granted they required little or no patchwork)! One wool vintage patchwork quilt, two vintage sheet and fabric whole cloth quilts, five pillows, handmade tags, and fabric bags using In Color Order's wonderful pattern (that does allow you to sell them!). Unfortunately much of this didn't sell at Portland Flea (wrong venue for this type, but it was worth a shot, I'm posting the rest now on etsy). 

Here's a process photo of one of the whole-cloth quilts. I couldn't cut into this vintage sheet, it was the inspiration for the whole-cloth quilt idea. 

6) At the December Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting, we exchanged gifts with our secret swap partners. First we swapped fabric in November, then we were to make something using their fabric. I pulled out my favorite Lotta Jansdotter fabric, and I was inspired to make Deb a sewing machine cover, pincushion, and thread bin. I used Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial for the pincushion, and made up as I went for the sewing machine cover. Deb loves it! Hooray! I'd love to make myself one of these someday too. ;) 

7) My brother, Stuart, and sis-in-law, Cindy, went on a trip to Seattle, so as gifts I made them both their own travel toiletries zipper bag. I used Noodlehead's tutorial for open wide zipper pouches. For Cindy's bag, I had been wanting to play around with this neon thread. So I used some decorative stitches over a natural canvas, backed it with Essux hot pink linen! For Stuart's bag, I used the leftover Star Wars fabric and pieced together a good force side versus the dark side of the force for his bag. He loved it of course! As it got closer to Christmas, I took less and less photos :( 

8) For Chris, I made him some pajama pants out of a soft green and black flannel. I used this super easy pattern and was able to start and finish the project in one night. I'd recommend this pattern for anyone looking for a quick pattern! 

9) I helped throw a baby shower for a friend, Courtney having her third baby boy. I planned the craft activity, decorating onesies with fabric. It turned out really cute! It was uber simple: iron heat n bond on the back of the fabric, cut out shapes and/or words, then iron it on to the onesies. 

December was a month were I sewed literally for hours everyday, and I enjoyed almost every minute! ;) Were you busy with making gifts? I'm happy to be back sharing my craft process and projects here on the blog, thanks for sticking around! 

Sunday
Dec022012

Geometric Eames Quilt

November has ended and I can't believe it's already December 2nd. I have so much that I want to share from the past few weeks: knitting projects finished, hosting a baby shower for a friend, cooking lots of yummy Thanksgiving food, and Christmas sewing projects I'm working on. But first, I'm so excited to share this quilt that I made specifically for our bed and also for Quilt Con's quilt show. Quilt Con is the first modern quilter's conference and strictly modern quilt show happening in Texas in February. I'm planning on attending with lots of my PMQG friends. Friday was the deadline for submitting quilts to be considered for the show. I'll find out by December 30, if it's accepted. Back to the quilt! 

I've been wanting to make a new quilt for our bed for the past few months. I have one quilt for our bed, but it's mostly white and pastel colors, much better suited for the Spring and Summer seasons. 

Since we live and breathe mid-century design, I really wanted to make something that reflected this passion. I've been looking for inspiration and thinking about ideas for awhile. A few months ago, Chris found this print ad designed by Charles Eames for Herman Miller. We both knew this would make an amazing quilt, but I thought that it would be nearly impossible to make this into a quilt. 

Fast forward a few months, and as I was looking for something to make for Quilt Con, I pasted by this photo again and I knew I had to somehow make this happen. Thankfully, after careful studying of the photo, I figured out that this could be pieced in rows made up of only two shapes, an 60 degree triangle and a parallelogram.  I used kona solids, white, four grays, and black, made a diagram, do lots and lots and lots of math! ;) Then got to sewing! Once I finished the top, I hadn't given much thought to quilting it, but after realizing how much bigger this quilt was than any other quilt I've made, I soon realized that it would be impossible to try and quilt this on my small machine. 

Thank goodness for Modern Domestic! They have the most amazing mid-arm quilting machine, in which you load the quilt on (it's stationary) and move the sewing machine around as you quilt the design. It's so much fun and makes quilting so much more enjoyable! They were nice enough to let me try it out and play on this incredible piece of Bernina magic. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go back to quilting on my small machine. ;) 

I decided to quilt densely. I really wanted to add lots of texture to this quilt, so within each color I quilted a specific geometric or mod quilting design. Here are some close-ups of the quilting: 

And here's the quilt! 

I love how the shapes seem to pop out and become three dimensional. No matter what happens with this Geometric Eames quilt at Quilt Con, it will be much loved here at our home! In fact, I haven't taken it down from this wall yet, I'm enjoying it as wall art! ;) Thanks everyone for the encouragement with this quilt along the way, it's been such a fun process! 

I'm pondering about srinking the design, editing a few rows and choosing a new color way, but making a smaller lap quilt. I'm considering making a pattern for this, and I'm wondering if there would be any interest? If so, let me know!