Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Endeavors

I have been up to some new and quite interesting things lately.  For a while now, I felt unchallenged by quilting and was having trouble coming up with new projects to sink my teeth into.  I was talking to a friend about this, and a general lack of interest in other things as well.  She suggested that I look for a way to combine my two loves, quilting and animals.

This was a great idea, so we brainstormed for a while and we came up with doing pet memorial quilts for people.  I started by coming up with designs and doing research on photo transfer products.  I made up samples of the designs and shared them on facebook.  People liked them!  Great!

I forget how we got into the next phase - thread paintings - but I tried to do a thread painting of one of my dogs.  It turned out pretty good, so I did a few more.  I kept sharing them online and people really liked them.  Soon, someone asked me to make for them.  Whoopie!  So, while the photo transfer quilts are great, these thread painted portraits really took off.

I named my new endeavor DogGone Memories - Sue came up with the name, so I need to give her credit. I am currently working on a website with my gracious brother's help. Now that the holidays are over, it is time to focus on that so we can grow into the next phase of this project.

I love new projects and this one promises lots of learning and growth.  Classes in techniques, learning how to market the project, exploring, designing, and creating.

This is just one example of a thread painting I have done.  Isn't this puppy just the cutest?  This is going to be fun!

Monday, July 11, 2016


This is my favorite handbag pattern:  Margo by Lazy Girl Designs.  I have made this so many times.  The zipper can be a little tricky, but if you follow the directions closely and pay attention to the photos you will get it right.  I often have overthought the zipper part, which led to much unsewing.  Just follow the directions, really.

When I find a new birdie fabric, I just have to snap some up and make something.  This bag is perfect!  The green is very calming and zen.  The white just makes me happy.  And the grey with the birdie feet tracks makes me smile!  It has a bright pink interior and blue pockets so you can see well inside.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I have been very busy

 As you can see, I have been rather busy.  I have a rather long Christmas list and I attempt to hand make as many gifts as i can.  That usually leaves me with wondering what to make.  I think I have made everything for every body.  However, I have come up with a few ideas for this year.

Lots of these are gifts, so I will not say who they are intended for.  I have had a lot of fun designing these - choosing which fabrics are appropriate for each person.

This is a decoration for the house - a table topper.  As Christmas and Hanukkah coincide this year, I thought it would be fun to have some  Hanukkah inspired decorations.
 A couple of twin quilts of the same pattern, in differing colorways from a collection of fabrics at the shop where I work.
 This one is a cheater panel, but it is very appropriate for the person I am giving it to.
 This is a scrap quilt that was inspired by a quilt I found online.  I used my scrap stash very effectively - only buying the background fabrics and backing.
Here is a close up of the swirl quilting I did on it.  I backed it with flannel to make it extra cozy.

I think this will be the last quilt I make for the home for a long while.  We have plenty of quilts now and I am running out of room to store them.  There are worse problems, I suppose.

I guess I will have to think harder on things to sew in the future. 

Until next time,
One Little Birdie

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Night Sky

So my niece is having a baby.  Her nursery theme is the night sky.  naturally, I had to make a baby quilt.  Inspired by one I had seen on Pinterest, this is the result.  I rather like it and she seemed to at her baby shower.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Yes, I have been Busy

Yes, I have been busy.  But I thought I had better get blogging.  The two quilts I have been working on are the results of the effects that working in a sewing store has on a creative person.

The fist one here is a very bright an modern quilt for our personal use.  I have turquoise walls in my bedroom, so finding bedding that matches can be interesting.  One of my coworkers was working on a sample quilt for the store and I got the idea from that to make this quilt.  The focus fabric is the black with the leafy print and the rest of the fabrics are essentially blenders.  The blocks are very simple, so this was a quick one to piece.  Which is a really good thing because piecing is my least favorite part of quilting.  My favorite part is the designing, picking out just the right fabrics.  Next is the quilting.  Now that I have access to long arm machine, it is even better.

The quilt is too large for my design wall - it ended up at 106 X 120 - more than big enough for our bed.  Good thing I can use the long arm - no way I could handle a monster this big at home.

This is Genny.  She was helping me in my sewing room and was being a very good girl.  Her favorite job is being an area rug and keeping me company.  She will also offer her opinion once in a while on my progress in her own way with a series of dramatic sighs.  Genny also makes sure that I take frequent snack breaks and lets me know when it is time to make dinner.

This is Chai, Genny's little sister.  She is not one to be upstaged by Genny, so she thought she should also have a photo op and give her opinion.  That opinion consisted of telling me that I was spending too much time sewing and not enough time letting her into the yard or scratching her belly.

This is the result of my boss getting in a new collection of fabrics.  Normally, I would not choose anything like these.  But seeing those bolts on the shelf, I just kept looking at them thinking how great they looked.  I just had to make something with them.  I have to say I am not sure that the block pattern I chose is actually the best one for these fabrics, but I think it is working.  It ended up being a square quilt, 74 X 74.  It will most likely be a holiday gift for someone.  Now to choose a backing for it and get it sandwiched so I can quilt it.  I can do this one at home, if I can get it basted.  Finding basting space is the big challenge.

I have another idea germinating for a holiday gift quilt, so now it is time to choose fabrics for that.  Onto the next project!  Gotta keep busy!

Ciao, for now
One Little Birdie

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Holidays!

It's that time of year!  Holidays to celebrate, baking and cooking.  My favorite time of year.  Here is my Genny, who would like to taste test these espresso chocolate crinkles.  Of course, she cannot, but she likes to try.

I was raised in a Catholic family.  The whole time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a time of preparation, or Advent.  My parents had a few tricks up their sleeves to keep us kids in check and not get crazy with anticipation.

The first was St. Nicholas day.  The evening of December 5th, we would put our shoes out on our steps by the front door.  In the morning, the shoes would be filled with small toys and goodies that St. Nick would leave for us.  It was a nice way to start things off.

Baking goodies would also be going on.  Making pizzelles and biscotti and favorite cookies.  Our parents would also get these absolutely huge apples and oranges from the produce market.  Just one could make a meal.

The next little holiday we would celebrate was St. Lucia Day.  We are Italian, so we celebrated this a little differently than the Swedes.  On December 13th, we would plant in a small pot some rye grass seeds.  Being the youngest, I helped to keep it watered and watched it grow a bit every day.  By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, it would be about 10 inches tall.  My cat used to love this grass, by the way.

Anyway, do you notice something missing from my nativity scene here?  Well, the baby did not appear until Christmas morning in our house.  When I found this nativity, it was just like the one we had when I was little, so I had to have it.

So, back to the grass.  On Christmas Eve, right before we went to bed, we would cut the grass and place it in the empty manger.  This was the coming baby would be comfortable and warm.  The baby Jesus was in the manger on Christmas morning.  This really helped us to remeber the real reason for the holiday.

Well, it is time to get back into the kitchen and continue this year's preparations.  I have a lot of baking to do.  Of course there will be pizzelles, both anise and chocolate.  The afore mentioned espresso crinkles, a couple kinds of biscotti, as well as traditional favorites of peanut blossoms and chocolate chip.  I also make peppermint patties and peanut butter cups.  Lots to do!

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, and lots of goodies.
Buon Natale!

Birdie in Cucina

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I have been busy, really!

That's right.  I have been keeping busy.  That is why I haven't blogged in a while.

I have been doing pretty well at my part-time job, so I rewarded myself with a new machine - a serger!  Meet Sergio.  He is a Babylock Eclipse DX with jet air threading.  So it is easy to thread - just put the end of the thread in a hole and push a button and poof!  The thread shoots through all that it needs to so it is foolproof.  Trust me, this is important.  Threading a serger is a real bear.  I use a lot of HBO words when I have to thread the lesser sergers.

So, the first thing I did was make Sergio a cool cover so he won't get all dusty in between projects.  It needed to be badass because I think that sergers are pretty badass machines.

 One of the first projects I made with Sergio are these really cute gift bags.  Cuz the holidays are coming before we know it and having things to put gifts in is important.  They go together quickly and give your gift an extra special touch.
 Meanwhile, I had been working on this quilt for a long time.  It's called Salsa and Cheddar, designed by Debbie at The Little Shop in Haddonfield, NJ.  It is finished now and I got to put it on a long arm to quilt, which was fun!  I did my best to do a design that had chili peppers in it.  They looked like a three year old drew them, but I did it!  I like the way it turned out.
 This is a bigass bag that I made for my best friend.  She already wore out one version of this bag and it was time for a new one. 
 This is a small portion of my flannel stash.  I decided to put my serger to some good use and make us some flannel pillow cases.  I never seem to have enough pillow cases, so these will come in handy.  I know, it is a hodge podge of colors, but frankly, I don't care about my bed being matchy matchy.  These colors happen to be in the quilts we have, so they will work fine.
This is a bigass load of linen(like) fabric.  Most of it is destined to become a couple of table cloths.  My coworker gave me the idea that having a plain table cloth and putting table runners on the table is a really nice way to change up your table dressing.  I am in the process of also making two different table runners.  Hopefully they will be done by the holidays when we have our big open house.

So, I still have a lot of work to do!

Keep on the good work!
Until next time,
One Little Birdie