Thursday, April 17, 2014

My First Art Quilt!

I am so excited to announce that I've completed my very first art quilt! A very dear friend of mine is riding in Blood, Sweat and Gears, a bike race held in Boone. I wanted to give her some extra motivation :)


I just love how the city scene and trees add to the feel of it. I used raw edge appliqué (with fusible web) and a mixture of straight line and free motion quilting.



Did I mention it was quilt-as-you-go?! Love that concept and can't wait to use it on a colorful scrappy log cabin I'm planning :)





Thanks for visiting!

LB

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Sewing Sabbatical

Hello friends and fellow crafters! I'm very excited to say that I am almost ready to come back from my sewing sabbatical. I realize now that I probably should have let you all know that I'd be MIA for a while, but it was actually unintentional! I'm very close to finishing my big thesis paper, which I will defend next Friday, so that I can finally graduate in May!!! I'm also going full time at work starting May 5th, so there's been a lot of preparation (mentally and emotionally) for that.

My hope is that once I get back from my defense, I will settle in to my new job, and be able to find time to sew again. I'll be one busy girl!!!

I finally got back at the sewing machine for a few hours yesterday and finished these precious aprons! They're similar to the ones from my January post, but are even more bright to welcome in spring!!! I have two of each available in my Etsy shop, so go on over and take a look!

Also, read all the way to the end of this post for a funny story :)



I love the colors in this one. They were inspired by one of my favorite things in nature. Sometimes just before a storm, when there are dark blue/purple clouds in the distance, the wind flips the leaves of the trees over, revealing a more "lime" color. The contrast between the leaves in the sky has always  fascinated me, and this apron captures that perfectly. 


This cutie would be perfect for a little princess!


This one inspired me to plant flowers this year! Can't wait to see what I find :)


I found this fabric on clearance and fell in love. It's VERY soft, and each of the heart frames sheet music, cursive script, postage stamps, and other "love letter" things.


This apron is just the thing for spring!


I'm also working on another large grouping of coordinating aprons which have an interesting story to them. A woman from Australia messaged me on Etsy that she wanted me to make 16 aprons as party favors for 4-yr-old. I worked out a price and said that I would love to do it! After a very frustrating trip to the fabric store, trying to get things on sale and calculate what I needed, I came home and cut everything out. I sent her a message that night to say that I'd started working on them.

The next morning I had a message saying that because I hadn't responded promptly, she'd taken her business elsewhere. As disappointing and frustrating as that was, it taught me a valuable lesson. Message them back immediately or you will lose the sale.

The new plan is to finish all 16 coordinating aprons and try to sell them, either separate or together. So if you need party favors, or you just have a lot of daughters, check out my Etsy shop. Oh, and I'll do a discount for bulk orders ;)

That's all for now!
LB

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's about time!

So far, 2014 has been busy busy busy! You can probably tell since I haven't posted in almost a month! Now that's just sad :(

Here are the highlights. JT and I have worked a lot, I've been trying to get the ball rolling on the last 20 pages of my Capstone (thesis I have to write in order to graduate), my parents and sister have finally moved into their new house in Boone, and I'm now getting ready for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Atlanta where I'll be volunteering this weekend. And also, I just learned today that my blog has been added to the Quilter Blogger list. Woohoo! Now I actually have to post more often ;)

I haven't had much time to finish projects lately but I didn't have to work today and the mood just struck me. So here are some things that I worked on and are now available on Etsy!


I've posted both of these quilt tops before, and now they're finished! I'm so excited about this Happy Accident :)



The fabric that I used on the back is SO CUTE! I love using big, bold prints for backing my quilts.


This Pink Braid quilt was fast, fun, and easy! I've been wanting to make this pattern for a long time, but never knew how simple it actually was. 



Again, I used a fun print on the back, with an extra pink stripe to mix things up!




Check back again soon for some more cute tote bags and don't forget to check out my Etsy shop! Thanks for visiting!

LB

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"LOVE" Tote

In case you haven't caught on yet, I have an affinity for tote bags! I love making them for gifts!


I made this for my mother-in-law's birthday. She loves roses/flowers, pinks and greens. 


I'm trying to gain momentum on some other projects but this is all I've got for now.



Check back in soon for new projects!

LB

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Valentine...for Myself

Sometimes I get so caught up in making things for other people that I forget to make things for myself! I was out buying fabric for some specific projects and came across a print that had caught my eye more than once before.

I decided that it was time for me to finally make a tote bag as a gift...for myself!


I've made a few of these for friends and family. Each time I make one they look better and better! The best so far is probably the one I made for JT's Nana for Christmas :)


I loved this floral print, and the pink lining fabric seemed almost made for it! I used Pellon fusible web on every piece to make it sturdier. The "L" is just raw edge machine appliqué (using Pellon and a straight stitch).


Stop by again soon!

LB

Friday, February 7, 2014

Improving My Domesticity

Earlier this week, I read a post about grocery shopping by Danielle @ Blissful and Domestic. She goes to the store only once a month, and makes fresh produce last by freezing it in portions.

I sat down and made a list of meals we wanted to make in February, and then went to the Coupon Mom website to see what was on sale. I decided to go all out and make a trip to Food Lion, Ingles, and Harris Teeter. It was worth the trips!!! Also, HEAR YE HEAR YE!!! I DID NOT USE A SINGLE COUPON!!!!! All I did was take advantage of the items that were on sale.


My hubby hates when I go through and list everything that I got and what it cost. So I will assume you feel the same way. Let's just cover the highlights.


I spent a total of $200 and saved $100. I went shopping for the whole month of February, but because of some unexpected deals, I have enough food in my freezer for longer. We'll see how long it lasts!


My fridge, freezer, and pantry have never been so full for so little money! Because of our work schedules, it helps SO much to only shop once a month and have meals planned out ahead of time. I don't have an exact menu for every meal of every day, but I do know what I will be making for the next few days.

I know I said that I wouldn't go into detail, but I have to tell the story about my moment of elation at Harris Teeter. I began this adventure thinking that Harris Teeter was an "expensive grocery store". The deals I found online weren't the best but I did need a few of their sale items.


I walked in thinking I'd get in and get out. But when I went to the meat department, what did I see? BOGO!!! I was in shock. Many things that I normally would avoid because I couldn't afford them, suddenly became accessible. My hubby was gonna freak out!


I was proud to leave Harris Teeter having only spent $100. I walked away with the following:

2 racks of baby back ribs
2 large pot roasts
2 six-pack chicken breasts
2 two-pack cube steak
2 bags of starbucks coffee
About a weeks worth of produce
A hot wax kit and refill kit (I hate to shave!!!!!)
Plus a few other things.


I repeat: I DIDN'T USE A SINGLE COUPON!!!!!

I just used the store sales and "MVP cards" from each store to make the most of my budget. I plan on making this last for more than a month, because of the great deals I got on meat. I washed and cut fruit and produce and put it in the freezer. That way I will have produce for the whole month, without having to go back to the grocery store.

This method takes minimal preparation, only one day of shopping, and can save you lots of money! It keeps you from eating out as much, and keeps produce from going bad!

Don't forget to check out Danielle's post :)





Under a Hundred: Storage Solutions and Wall Art

Although it's been forever since I've posted about renovating our rental, but I have been thinking, dreaming, pinteresting NON STOP!!! JT and I have had many conversations so far this year about where we live and I'm so glad that we've decided to stick with our $500/month 2-bedroom apartment! It is perfect for us now, and I'm really enjoying the makeover process. By saving money on rent, we can afford to make our home look nice using things that will go with us when we do decide to move!



One of our biggest struggles is storage. With a large laundry room, two bedrooms, and a single-car garage, there is plenty of SPACE. But space doesn't mean storage. Let's be real...stacks of cardboard boxes and rubber maids is not efficient or appealing. 

Also...a big built-in bookshelf is not great storage. This lovely catch-all was always overflowing with clutter. I solved this storage problem with some cute storage bins from Tuesday Morning ($20), and a curtain ($10) to hide half of the mess. 



Another issue in our house is what to do with pi's and loungewear. It isn't dirty, but we don't feeling like putting it back away. It always ends up on the bed, floor, chair, etc. So I found these two adorable fabric bins at TJ Maxx to hold these problematic items ($25). They work perfectly under our night stands! The tables are painted with a $4 half-gallon of green paint from the Lowe's "oops" table.



We have finally moved most of our things into the back bedroom. I have to try not to cringe sometimes when I see the panelling, but I'm doing everything I can to improve it!!!

I had a few canvas paintings form high school and college that didn't work in any of the rooms, so I pulled of the canvas, leaving plain frames. I bought paint, burlap, pom pons, wood letters, and a neat wood cut frame at Michaels for $25. After a few hours of crafting...VOILA! Gallery wall for the master bedroom! I hope one day to have a really wide dresser to go on this wall, and maybe a small tv. The horizontal layout really makes the room look bigger!




Our yet-to-be hung headboard that I made JT for a wedding gift :)



More artwork I already had, and a cute heart farm that I purchased form Michaels and embellished!




I found this handsome fella at Goodwill. They have been raising their prices on well-known brands and other "nice" items. I turned down an awesome mirrored side table because I knew I could get a new one for a similar price. However, I couldn't turn down this awesome piece that looks like it jumped off the page of a magazine ($13). 



I also found this adorable bowl on the clearance rack at TJMaxx, which is always FULL of goodies! ($6)


So for $100, I was able to clean up some clutter and spruce up our bedroom. Organization and decoration are two things that will make you feel LOADS better about your rental :)

Up next...the laundry/mud room. HELP!!!!!