Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nap mat

This all in one nap mat cover was a really fun project!  

The Kinder mats from Walmart are what this cover is designed to fit.  The cover includes a sham like enclosure and separate compartment for the mat, a pillowcase that will fit a travel size pillow, and a blanket.

All parts are one sewn piece.  This allows for easy storage, easy up keep and easy carrying.  It is also machine washable.  Which is essential for nap mats!

I'm making these mats available for purchase as a custom item on Etsy.  You can see the listing here.  This was made for a customer of mine but I had my daughter try it out and model it for me!  She said it was quite delightful.  


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Store update!

Can I say that the absolute charm of Lockhart lies in the town's ample supply of superior BBQ?

Dude brought his helicopter to the restaurant!  My husband and kids were able to get a closer look, I had to run to the bathroom, after a very long drive.  He asked the pilot and friend what they were up to and I guess they were just flying in the area.  Found themselves hungry and decided to drop in.  Who does that?!?!

Awesome people, that's who!

My kids not only got to eat great but got to watch a helicopter fly off, half way through our meal.

I finally made it back to Simple Sewing Solutions!  The store definitely has a larger supply of fabric than before.  I believe they now have over 1000 bolts!

Almost as much fabric, as what's in my personal stash...

Can someone say "addiction"?

The employees I dealt with were extremely nice and helpful.  The counter top is gone but the same charm still exists.  Lots of samples, notions, and books.  If you haven't noticed yet, I'm big on samples.  I love inspiration. SSS still has some of the best prices I've seen at any LQS.

They've also updated their website with location, hours of operation and their calendar of classes and social times.  The store may have changed hands recently but beyond the missing counter, as a customer, I can't tell the difference.

Now rumor has it, and by rumor I mean Facebook, that Lockhart has added on another quilt shop called Calico Crossing.  And on their Facebook page is that coveted countertop.  I'm probably going to be the first person explaining to the police, "No, officer.  I wasn't going for the register.  I was just moving it, so I could steal the countertop."

I think Lockhart is trying to give Giddings a run for their money.  Nothing makes me happier than multiple LQSs in small towns that I pass through often.  I think my husband may have to start dining alone and bring me the leftovers.  The next time we happen through Lockhart, which unfortunately won't be for a while, I'm hoping to stop by Calico Crossing and share that new store with y'all.

I have two other stores to review, one in Shiner (the place with the BEER) and one in Corpus Christi.  I'm passed the crazy part that is the beginning of school, so I should be able to get those to y'all shortly.  And in one of those, I'll share a new iPhone app that will make finding LQSs much easier for you, in your travels.  

Much love, peace and happy quilting!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

One hour tote bag!

I don't usually like to call things "one hour...".  I find that title to always be false.  Like Rachel Ray and her 30 minute meals.  After 3 of them taking me, a relatively skilled cook, at least a hour, I realized Rachel Ray had one thing I didn't.  A band of prep cooks and dishwashers.

Not that I'm bitter or anything...


I have a friend who found herself in a position of sitting in a lot of doctor office waiting rooms.  We had previously had a brief conversation about how much she liked to knit but just couldn't find the time.  I wanted to do something for her, especially as a way to fill those long waits.  I decided to make her a knitting kit.  A few things that I love for knitting and (my original plan) a cute bag to carry it all in.  I gathered the knitting supplies but couldn't find a cute, small and easy to carry bag.  I decided to make one myself.

I found the tutorial at Snappy Stitches and Patchwork Notes.  I made a few changes but nothing major.  I didn't do the patchwork look and I changed the placing of the drawstring.  If you do the patchwork look, this will definitely take longer than a hour.  This is a really good basic pattern.  Easily changed to fit your exact needs.  

The inside is quite spacious!  I have a set of size 5 bamboo needles, 3 skeins of Sugar 'n Cream yarn, a small dishcloth pattern book and a set of scissors.  I should have included a measuring tape too but completely forgot.  This bag is the right size to throw into trendy large purses.  If you are like me and not trendy, this bag is easy to carry on it's own.  And really, has uses far beyond knitting.  It would be a great outing bag for kids' toys, makeup/toiletry bag, non perishable snack bag, etc.  I like that it is toss in the wash, machine washable.  If you don't prewash your fabrics, this may shrink some with the first washing.  If size isn't a big deal, then I wouldn't worry.  If it is, then wash your fabric first before cutting.

Don't let the pattern size stop you.  I see visions of wine bottle gift bags.  You will just need to elongate and thin out the pattern width a bit.  Next time, I want to change up the drawstring.  In this case, I used what I had on hand.  I see endless possibilities with ribbon, leather cord, adding on beads, etc.  

The fabric is Buddha Party by Terrie Mangat for FreeSpirit Quilting.  It is an older collection and a piece I've had for quite some time.  I adore this fabric but have been waiting for the right piece and person.  It is definitely a love/hate fabric for most people.  It is such a happy fabric.  The spirit of the fabric was an exact match for my friend.

I hate when people who ooze good, have to go through bad.  It isn't fair, much like the rest of life.  I hope that my tiny token of affection helps pass those lengthy waits a little more quickly.  

And maybe I'll get a dishcloth or two out of it!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I've been shopping...

We are back from vacation!  I hit two shops while we were out.  One was a new store, for me.  The other was a sweet repeat.  Can't wait to share what I bought with you all.

We had a great time at the beach.  It was a wonderfully relaxing 3 days.  The weather was great.  The room was perfect.  The food was good.  And the time together unforgettable.  I've feeling quite sentimental at the moment.  Hug your loved ones tight, as life is precious and all to often too short.

In the famous words of my almost 3 year old son, "Good bye beach!"

Time to get on to the new school year and fall.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What is on your machine?

As summer comes to a close and my husband out of school, we are going to jam pack the next two weeks with as much family stuff as we can.  I will be scarce but will try to share pictures as much as I can.  Remember to like my Facebook page for more frequent updates!

I am currently quilting this darling sampler table runner.  I have SITD outlining the blocks, petals in the blocks and I drew and echoed flowers that look similar to the ones in the border on the border fabric.  This is so girly, I love it!

See you soon...


Monday, August 6, 2012

Blog update!

I updated the areas that have pictures of various projects. Now they show on a nice neat slideshow instead of the crazy layout I had before.

 Visit the updated sections:

I'm excited because this is an update that has been a long time coming.  Expect to see additional visual changes.  

I'm knocking out that summer list.  Who cares if I'm doing it all in the last 3 weeks of the summer.  

Procrastinators unite!!  



Friday, August 3, 2012

When I grow up....

I've always kind of known where I wanted to end up.  Not the exact details and I definitely had no clue on how I wanted to get there.  I have always known that I wanted to end up in the country, on a lot of land, quilting as much as possible.  If I'm lucky, I will be sharing quilting with others whether it be through lessons, fabric or some other avenue.

When we were coming home from vacation, we went through Giddings, Tx and stopped at a quilt shop I have not previously visited.  It is just a bit off the main road by a few minutes.  Definitely worth the extra few minutes.  

Visiting this shop was like peering into my future.  A tangible, life size vision board for me.  Gerline's Quilt Shoppe is warm and inviting.  The staff, all family the day I visited, were friendly and helpful.  The fabric selection was impressive and neatly displayed.  My husband and kids loved that that there was room to stretch their legs and maybe a tricycle or two to try out while they waited on me to buy the whole store.  And there might be jeans drying on a clothesline too.  I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming!

When you walk in you are greeted by the register on the left, along with the cutting counter.  During my visit, there was a very sweet young lady behind the counter who was attentive and ready to help.  To the right is an array of fabrics.  If you head straight back, the shop keeps going with additional fabrics.  There is a little clearance room in the back too!

Something unique to this store is the notion selection.  She has notions that I can find at JoAnn's.  Things that are everyday use and well priced.  When you live somewhere that running to JoAnn's isn't an option, having a fabric shop that provides those tools is invaluable.  She also has a selection of non traditional fabrics, panels, etc.

Gerline also supports a charity quilting group that makes quilts for a variety of organizations including local nursing homes, the Bastrop Crisis Center and more.  They meet in a building just off of the shop every Monday.  All are welcomed to join.  Visit Gerline's Quilting Angels website for more information.

These are the fabrics I grabbed while there.  The top fabric will be part of the Around Texas quilt.  I've gathered all the fabrics I need for that quilt.  Now it is time to plan and start cutting.  The bottom blue fabric is going to end up as bluebonnets on an art quilt.  The middle fabric was just too pretty to pass up.  

I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking to Gerline during my visit.  She was in the back quilting on a long arm.  I'm told she can be found there often.  She took some time to talk quilting with me and really, I could have stayed there all day.  I wanted to soak up every bit of information on how she ended up living my dream.  Maybe she can make me an instruction booklet or a map of the right path to take.  I can't wait to see her and her family again.

The nitty gritty on Gerline's:  Established in 2000, they offer longarm quitling services with a one month turn around time.  You will find their collection of over 3000 bolts of fabric and the most amazing dried noodles at 1383 County Road 205, Giddings, Tx 78942.  Check out their extensive website for hours and additional contact information at

A little birdie told me that a THIRD quilt shop has opened in Giddings called Meme's Quilts and Fabric.  The shop wasn't open the day I was in Giddings.  So, I'm going to have to head back out to Giddings soon.  We lost Quakertown Quilts here in The Woodlands, so I now have only one local shop to my disposal.  This means I'm going to have to move to Giddings.  Don't tell my husband.

And as always, Gerline did not compensate me for this review.  It is my goal to get as many people into their local quilt shops as possible.  I'm sadden at the number of shops around me that I see closing.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tree Quilt

It is rare when I can get a quilt done from start to finish in less than a week.  I was actually able to accomplish that that week and I love the results.

I had seen a similar tree applique on a few different pieces.  I just hadn't found the perfect quilt to use it on.

This Super 9 block was cut a while back (talking years ago) when I wasn't quite as educated on the quilting process.  The center block is directional and going the wrong direction.  LOL!  It worked out perfect for this tree because I needed a short but wide area.

The tree is on a cream fabric that has a gold shimmer.  I quilted detail on the leaves and tree trunk.

In the open areas I did a couple of varieties of meandering.  In the corner squares, I included one large leaf.

Back of quilted leaf.  

I adore this backing.  I got it at Ikea of all places.  

I'm going to cry after it is all gone.

This piece was originally designed to be a lap quilt but given it's horizontal nature, it would make a wonderful wall hanging.  You could also drape it over the back of a couch.  Don't forget to visit Etsy to see more pictures of this listing and many others!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ummm.... What??

Have you heard of this?  I have not.  But this seems to be the thing I've been longing for.  Modern quilting.  People who have similar quilting tastes and styles.  People with similar visions.  The misfit quilters!!  


Too far?

Hopefully, I will be able to connect with other quilters who see things the way I do.  I would love to find other quilters who are my age and at my stage in life.  I'm unbelievably excited about this!  I've got some research to do but I foresee a visit to Austin in February.  And I know just the BBQ lovin', loves an excuse to go to Austin husband that will want to join me for a weekend away.

If you have any information about this, I would love for you to share it with me.


Monday, July 23, 2012

My summer in pictures...

I wanted to share so much of my summer with you all but time is running out.  So, I'm going to show you in pictures, what we have been doing.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Store updates!

We recently took our family vacation for the summer and decided to meander through some quilt shops on the way home.  We visited a few familiar shops and one new shop.  I wanted to follow up on two stores I have previously reviewed.  Simple Sewing Solutions in Lockhart, Tx and All Around the Block (AATB) in Giddings, Tx.

We initially stopped in Lockhart for BBQ because my husband has an unhealthy obsession with Kreuz Market.  Though I don't blame him, that place has delicious BBQ.  We attempted to stop at Simple Sewing Solutions.  I had heard that there was some change, so I wanted to check in out.  Unfortunately, they were closed for lunch.  I wasn't sure how long they were going to be gone, since the sticky note just stated they would be back in 30 minutes.  I did peek in the windows and the gorgeous counter top is gone.  I admit, I am sad to see it go.  It was definitely a piece that made the shop unique.  However, it appears that their fabric collection has greatly increased and let's face it, more fabric makes everything better.  We'll be back in Lockhart sooner, than later.  My husband will need a BBQ fix in a few months, I'm sure of it.  I'll go back by again.

All Around the Block

Next we headed towards Giddings, Tx., which is quickly becoming my quilting Mecca.  It is quite the typical small Texas town.  Old brick downtown.  There is the required BBQ shop there.  But there is nothing typical about the quilt shops in this town.  I understand that there are now 3 shops.  However, these aren't your usual small town quilt shops.  There are more fabric options in the town of Giddings, than in Houston.  I swear on it.  I've visited All Around the Block previously and talked about it here.  My second trip was as successful as my first.  The place still goes on forever.  The selection is incredible.  If AATB doesn't have it, the fabric doesn't exist.  Definitely a must stop, when you're in town.

I picked up a few yards, while at AATB.  The Yo Gabba Gabba! fabric is flannel and for my son.  He is currently at that age and stage where he is absolutely in love with this show.  He recently received his sister's YGG figurines from when she was at the same age.  I foresee myself doing another Yo Gabba Gabba birthday.  The fish material is for a scrub top for my husband.  Scrub tops were how I justified originally purchasing my first sewing machine 6 years ago.  I would make scrub tops and it would save us all sorts of money.  I've made him probably 5 or 6 tops at this point.  I promise you, not a penny has been saved.

This.  THIS!  I bought it for myself.  It is everything I wish I could be.  I have never seen a more beautiful piece of fabric.  It is delicate but incredibly bright and colorful.  It is part of a collection designed by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller called Garden Wall.  There are some other incredible pieces in the collection that I'm dying to get my hands on.  You can see more here.  I have plans for a table runner, I think.  Or a wall hanging to put up in my studio.  I might just sit and stare at it.

While in Giddings, I also stopped at a new to me store, Gerline's.  The shop isn't new at all but it is the first time I've been able to stop by.  I'll give you that information in a few days...


Saturday, July 7, 2012

New listings!!

It has been a while since I've put new items up on Etsy.  I made a few things last summer, then we packed up and moved.  I never got to post them and they have been at the bottom of my to do list.  It would have been more timely to have them up before the 4th of July, given the nature of the pieces.  I love them both for different reasons.  They will be very hard to part with.

The first piece is a patchwork table runner.  I did 3 reverse applique stars on each end.  To give the stars a little poof, I added additional batting under the stars.  You can view more details about this runner here.

The other piece is a flag wall hanging.  This piece was so much fun to make.  You can make this over and over and never replicate it exactly.  There is a ton of detail on this quilt.  The stars were FMQ individually, by me.  There are clouds in the blue area and spirals in the border.  You can see more detailed pictures here.

Enjoy the pieces!  Feel free to ask any questions.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Like a kid... a candy store. That's me right now. We are on our way home, literally, from a *VERY* impromptu vacation. We stopped at 3 quilt shops. I love small town shops. Though, really, there is nothing small about them. I find more often than not, there is more selection, personality, and passion in these small town stores, than when I'm in the city. I'll share my purchases, experiences and a few patriotic pieces when we get home. And a new store means another review. I love new to me stores! I'll also update you on two stores that I've reviewed previously but haven't revisited in a while.

See you soon!


 P.S. This is my first experience doing a post from my phone. I apologize in advance, if it looks crazy.

P.S.S.  That did look crazy!  Sorry.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

School's Out For Summer!!!!

Finally!  We made it!  I mean, my daughter made it.  This household has survived Kindergarten and our first year with a child in full time education.  I know it sounds silly.  Especially if you have older kids that are facing actual life changes like college.  This past school year has been a growing experience for my entire family.  It hasn't been easy but I love the place we are all at now.

I don't have a lot of quilting to talk about in the post.  This is more a State of SewLovedByYou address.  Where I'm headed, what I'm doing, etc.  I like lists, so...

1.  The teacher LOVED her quilt and photobook.  She teared up.  She made me tear up.  I'm so glad it went well.  I'll write a kinda in depth post about the process.  It will help those who told me the Silhouette quilt how to wasn't in depth enough.

2.  Right now my husband is headed back to school.  He is half way through his Bachelor's program.  Between his work and school schedule and having both kids out of their respective school/MDO program, I have decided to stop pressuring myself to do any shows this year.  I have tried a few times but it hasn't happened.  The scheduling puts too much stress on myself and family.  I can't tell you that I'm super excited about this but it's just another 6 months.  

3.  Just because #2 is occurring, doesn't mean that I'm fading away.  Just the opposite.  I've wanted to do more tutorials, share more of my non quilting sewing and just work on some fun projects.  Not that I don't love my custom orders but there is a certain sense of pressure when you are making something and need it to be perfect for someone else.  I want to share my daughter's room make over.  I did lots of sewing for that.  I want to make a few clothing pieces this summer.  I want to make a few art quilts.  I want to take some time to rediscover, refine and strengthen my creative side.  This makes me a lot less sore about #2.

4.  I want to redo this blog.  Badly.  I need to set up and update my photo galleries.  I'm not sure what route I'll take but I dream of having a redesigned and finished site by the time the next school year starts.

5.  I may over share my awesome summer garden.  I apologize for that right now.

6.  I've forgotten the next thing.

7.  Getting old sucks.

8.  I have a few things that I made last year and STILL haven't put on Etsy.  They are 4th of July/Patriotic home decor items.  My goal next week is to get those up on Etsy and the blog for others to see.  

That's it for now.  I hope to see you more this summer.  If you follow me on Facebook, like a post on SLBY's wall, otherwise Facebook thinks you hate me and my posts will stop coming through on your news feed.  


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The making of a lion...

...well, almost a lion.  It isn't finished yet.

It all started with a very rough drawing.  As do all of my quilts.  I have a whole notebook of quilts made and quilts to be.  I have no clue why but I always have to draw them out first.

Then we traced hands.  22 of them to be exact.  Amazingly, the Kindergartners were all very compliant.  Using the rough drawing, I drew a larger lion onto Wonder Under (WU).  I know, I use that stuff a lot.  I can't help it, it is a quilter's dream.  I traced the hands onto WU too.  This is the head with the hands.

Then, I put it all together.  I made the background from two rectangles.  Then fused the lion one layer at a time.  I ended with the border.  Then it was time to stitch...

I wasn't sure how I was going to add my detail.  What was and wasn't going to get outlined.  Finally, I just went with it.  These things tend to just flow and become more clear, as you go.  I'm really in love with this lion.  He still needs to be bound and washed.  He will soften with a good washing.  

I'll add some pictures, once I'm finished.  The backing is also special but I will share that later.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shabby Chic Pinwheel Quilt

This turned out to be a gorgeous pinwheel quilt.  The colors are so soft and feminine.  I tend to not be a soft and feminine kind of girl.  Creating this quilt helped me find and unleash my soft, girly side.  It is an adult lap size quilt.  Soft pinks and blues were used to create the shabby feel.  Creams helped the pinwheels stand out but kept the colors soft.

I used this method to create the pinwheels.

They came out beautifully.  I decided to FMQ in the white space and leave the colored space untouched.  It really helped the pinwheels to pop.  It created a really nice look on the back.  

I needed to include some eyelet in the quilt and decided to use this flowering eyelet.  It isn't a traditional quilting fabric but that shouldn't ever stop you.  I loved the dimension it added and definitely flowed with the soft, shabby theme.  Always look outside the quilt fabric section for inspiration and never be afraid to try something different.

Having spent most of my life in Texas, there is definitely a slightly country side to me.  The part of me that wants to live far away from others, surrounded by trees and hills, on a sticky warm Texas summer night, quilting away to the sound of chirping crickets and other creatures in the distance.  Some day, I hope.  It is definitely part of our 10 year plan.