Library Tote: A Review

When a friend posts on Instagram that she has written her first bag pattern and is looking for pattern testers, I immediately raised my hand and said "Oh me!" 

If you know me, you know I am always looking for a new bag. My friend Bobbi says that whenever I finish a bag my review is always "it's great it fits all of my stuff!" But this one really is great! 

I made the medium sized bag, but the pattern comes in 3 sizes. 

Finished Bag Size: 
Small: 16.5"W x 10.5"H x 3"D
Medium: 18"W x 14"H x 3"D
Large: 20"W x 14"H x 4.5"D

It really does fit all of my stuff and has been my everyday tote bag for about a month now. It's sturdy, has some good pockets. Isn't to big for stuff to get lost, but isn't to small that I can't fit my umbrella in it (and oh how I have needed my umbrella these past weeks) 

This bag is definitely doable for a confident beginner, Dana's instructions are easy to follow and walk you through step by step. 

You can find the pattern over on Craftsy  and you can find more of Dana's great work over on her blog Waterpenny Quilts.  Or you can follow her sewing and adorable family adventures over on Instagram

Hope you enjoy and get to making a Library Tote!!

Cleaning and Organizing

I hate cleaning. I love organizing. So this weekend I made the plunge to start organizing all of my craft supplies.

All of my craft supplies are stored on the landing of our stairs, which then leads to a disorganized mess because I will just throw stuff onto the stairs because it doesn't have a specific space that it belongs.

So this weekend I pulled out all of my fabric and organized it by color and size. It looks so much better! If you would have asked me I would have said that I have the most pink fabric, but I have the most blue! Which some of my friends said "of course you have more blue, because you put blue in everything!"

Next I moved onto my embroidery thread. I don't cross stitch that much, but I do sometimes, and I hand quilt. I'm going to cut all of my cross stitch material into some uniform blocks so they can be easily stored.

After that, I'm going to open up every box I have and pile like things together. I have snaps and zippers in so many places and every time I need one it seems that I'm buying one!

On to more organizing and cleaning!

Craft Show 8 Days!!

I have been thinking about doing craft fairs for a long time. I always gave myself excuses for why I couldn't do them. I didn't have enough time, I didn't want to give up my Saturdays, people wouldn't want to buy what I made. 

Well, a week ago I decided "what the hell just do it!" So I found a reasonably priced Craft Fair and signed up! I had 8 days to prepare....and boy did I work for those 8 days. 

Nick was so sick of hearing my sewing machine constantly going, I've agreed that there will be zero sewing until I go to my quilt retreat this coming weekend. 

I made burp cloths, bandanna bibs, wooden teethers, lovey blankets,  and pacifier clips....and I made SO many of them. 

I displayed quilts as examples of what I would do as a custom order. And I had a great conversation with an 8 or 9 year old about the Philadelphia Map Quilt. She was very interested in how things were laid out and the colors and the fabrics.  

This corner is my favorite of the ones that I've made. The Halloween fabrics on baby items just makes me giggle. 

Now I've got plenty of inventory. Everything will be going onto the Etsy shop in the coming days. And I'm signing up for more craft fairs already!

Thanks to Nick for putting up with my sewing. Thanks to Nicole for letting me borrow her tables (I will now be purchasing my own). Thanks to the old couple next to me who kept me entertained. And thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement over the past week. 

Plus Quilts

The Plus Baby Quilt is my go to for new babies in my life. I think they are super cute and can be done in so many different ways! 

I of course love making it in all of the bright colors! But, it could be made with low volume fabrics with a pop of color, or all done in one color family. Its also a great way to just show off some of your favorite fabrics. 

This second one I did was a custom order. The client wanted to use her bridesmaids dress for her friends wedding for the baby quilt I loved this idea. The solid light pink is the dress. I used fabrics that I thought went well with that pink, but didn't distract from it.   

Overall, I think the plus quilt is a great everyday quilt for anyone. You can dress it up or dress it down and get the end product that you want. 

If you're interested in ordering a Plus Baby Quilt you can head over to The Fussy Cutting Quilt Shop on Etsy and order one! 


So this has been a journey....

This quilt started as just that small circle in the middle. I took a short class from Sarah Bond (@slbphilly on Instagram) at a sewing retreat, she teaches this class called Release the Geese. I had seen what she did with these geese before and loved them. So i made the first round...but I knew I didn't just want to make a quilt that was concentric circles. So off it went to the WIP bin for a few years.

Then, PhillyMQG started round robins up again, I said oh I'll throw my circle in there...someone can add something to it and then I'll see where it goes. Well...Sarah took it! So she added more geese to it and off I went again!

It sat on my design wall for a few days before I decided it needed curvy borders. I started with the green curve because I knew that I could add one row inside of it and rows to the outside if I wanted to.

Off I went making arc after arc after arc. Figuring out the clockwise or counter clockwise as I went. 

Then I decided it needed insides and outsides. So off I went making a million more geese, but I didn't have enough of the original charm packs left, so I just used the fabrics that I had the most of. 

I made pile after pile of arcs...but I think paper piecing is awesome because you can just pick one up when you have a few minutes of sewing time and you know where you started or stopped.

Then I finally had enough! I had to figure out "how the heck do you put this thing together??" So I pieced together all of the arcs. And then I sort of had squares! 

After 3 attempts at putting the whole quilt top together off to Emily it went for quilting!! She is awesome you can find her over at Emerson Quilting. All I told her was something to emphasize the different directions of the geese. It turned out awesome! 

And then it was bound and finished!! All in it was 3 years in the making, in reality I got it back from Sarah in February, I really started making the geese in August/September and it was finished at Thanksgiving. 

It was a massive labor of love. I have been hoarding these Amy Butler fabrics for years to be used on something special. So far I've made 2 quilts with the fabrics. 

T-Shirt Quilts!

Are you like me and hate the throw away anything with sentimental value? Well, I saved all of my campaign t-shirts and turned them into quilts and would love to be able to do the same for you!

I had far to many shirts for just one quilt, so I've separated them into sections. One quilt is just from Ohio 2011, the We Are Ohio Campaign.....our members loved t-shirts so we made them for every event!

Round two is Hillary and Obama 2008. Along with a few College Dems sprinkled in for good measure.

If you want me to make you a great t-shirt quilt, I would love to see who and where you've worked over the years!

Pricing is based on size and layout and you can see that over in my Etsy Shop!


This past month I participated in the #IGQuiltfest hosted by Amy's Creative Side.  I've recently begun digging deeper into the Instagram quilt world. I've often looked to Instagram for inspiration, but haven't for advice. When I decided to participate I was just going to try to do as many days as I could, I only missed a few, but didn't make it everyday!

AND....on day 29 I got featured in the daily round up! I was probably more excited about this than I should have been, but it was a "That's me!" moment!

I'm glad that I jumped in and I'm going to be more active with my quilty fun. So if you want to follow me go ahead!

New Talents: Glassblowing Edition

You know I'm always up for learning new talents, and Nick said he needed a skill to be useful in the Zombie off we went to glassblowing class!

The class was offered through the Crefeld School in Philadelphia, which is the same location and teachers as the awesome stained glass class that I took earlier. If you are interested they usually have classes available through the Mt Airy Learning Tree .

First thing to know about glass blowing, its very hot! We were lucky enough that it was a chilly day for our class so we weren't to hot.

Second thing to know about glass blowing, hot glass is heavy and bright! When you look into the vat of melted glass its like looking into the sun.

In the class we each made 2 items, the first thing was a paperweight. The fun thing about paperweights is that you are trying to make as much interest as possible so you want to pull and poke at it a bunch to make that interest.

The next thing we made was a blown object....and I will say object....Mine turned out to be a cute little container that I'm using as a ring holder, Nick's turned out more like a small bowl. I figured out that you really need a strong breath for glass blowing, which I don't think I have. 

Clean it Up! Clean it Out!

Well...I said keep me here's the update!

I didn't get all of my projects accomplished this weekend, but I did end up doing so much this weekend. I had three goals:

1) Organize the sewing storage: Not accomplished
2) Dining Room Curtains: Not accomplished
3) Cut all of my scraps and organize: FINISHED

I started off with 3 giant Ziploc bags of scraps. I borrowed the AccQuilt from the Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild and cut everything into 2 1/2 inch squares or strips and they each went into a bin....

Who knew that 3 bags, once organized, would be so few actual scraps! I don't feel like I have a giant scrap heap anymore and I can see what I have and use them!

But, as I said I did accomplish a lot! So here's what I did complete:
  • Cleaned the Fridge
  • Cleaned and organized the Garage
  • Organized the Laundry Room
  • Cleared out and organized my tall dresser
  • Cleared out and organized my closet dresser
  • Cleaned up my desk area and threw old papers away
  • Cleaned the buffet
I think that is a lot for one weekend, and it didn't feel super overwhelming since they were small projects at a time.

Missing QuiltCon....

While many of my Quilty friends head to Savannah for QuiltCon East I watch from afar living vicariously through their Instagram posts. I had planned on going to QuiltCon this year, road tripping down to Savannah and taking the week as a vacation. But, that all changed when I started a new job at the start of the year. I couldn't really ask for a week off of work a few weeks after starting. So alas QuiltCon was not for me this year.


That doesn't mean that I can't spend my time working on my many projects instead of ogling all of the fabric (and probably buying to much of it as The Cloth Pocket will be there...)

So my goals for this week while others are at QuiltCon

1. Organize my sewing storage: My sewing storage lives on the landing of our stairway. Right now it looks like this:

2. Cut all of my scraps into usable sizes, either 2 1/2 inch strips or squares

3. Make my dining room curtains.

I think that those are all achievable goals to finish before Sunday! Keep me accountable! 

Library Tote: A Review

When a friend posts on Instagram that she has written her first bag pattern and is looking for pattern testers, I immediately raised m...