BessTop Pattern Release

Last month I did some pattern testing for the amazing Rachael of Imagine Gnats. Over the short period of time I have gotten to know Rachael, I am more and more in awe of her humor, devotion to her family, generosity, and talent!

The first bit of introduction to her talent was when I bought this dress for Callee:

sweet Callee

I have purchased a couple patterns from her before I tested this one – an embroidery pattern:

and a dress pattern for Callee (I am sewing one today for her with a Super Hero twist):

BUT the BessTop!  Oh I love my BessTop Dress!! Here are a few shots of that one during the testing:

besstop 2
sorry about the undergarment problem and the blurry picture – I hate taking selfies!!!!

besstop

Maybe I should leave the picture taking up to the pros:

If you are looking for a comfortable dress/top then this is the one for you! I love my dress and plan on making myself a couple more tops and dresses using this pattern!! I love it!  Watch Rachael’s blog because I am sure there will be much hoopla coming with great ideas! BUT believe you/me……..YOU WANT THIS PATTERN!!!  I am ever so happy I tested it!!!! Thanks Rachael for letting me play with you – Great Job!

I have a ton of sewing to do before Miss Callee gets here FRIDAY!!!  Gotta run!

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Fun Stuff

Today I am going to rattle on about all kinds of “stuff”. The online Urban Dictionary defines stuff as “everything you can think of”. Well, I’m not going that far but I do plan on covering quite a plethora of things.

Let’s start with a party announcement! I have bragged on my online friend, Sarah of Narcoleptic in a Cupboard, before. And for just a minute I am only speaking to those of you that know and/or follow her/her blog. I am planning a baby shower for her. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention she is preggers? YEP!! She is with bean (click and read all about bean). N.E.Way….

In case you missed the announcement on Sarah’s blog, Susan and I planning an Online Baby Shower for her. There is much more detail on Sarah’s blog if you need it. BUT the jest of it is this….until the day of the event (sometime in November) – we will meet & chat in Flickr. The day of the event we will hold a TweetChat!

The FlickrGroup is private but you can request access via Flickr or by emailing me. I hope to see you there!!!

Let’s see, where to now? How about a picture of Callee wearing a shirt I made her? I love this shirt! I blogged about it at the end of July but this is the first I have seen of her in it…..

callee in circus shirt

Her mom likes the shirt and the way it fits so much she has requested more. So I am in search of some fabric for that. Which leads me to some recent fabric shopping. I simply need to brag about a couple shops!

Let me prerequisite this next section by saying all opinions are mine! I have no sponsors – not because I don’t want any but more because I am not sure I understand them. I mean I understand how they work for a blogger who designs quilt patterns or clothing patterns but for someone like me? How would that work? I have my ideas but never known a shop owner (in the US anyway) well enough to make that happen. N.E.Way….

Back to my fabric shopping….let ‘s recall my #swoon2013 quilt I have been working on. It contains all of Lori Holt‘s lines. Since she recently came out with a new line, Gracie Girl, I needed to obtain some of it so that I could ensure all lines are included. Normally I would simply go to Fat Quarter Shop since that is my “go to” shop. BUT lately I have been on a “save money” kick (I’ll explain this in a minute) so instead I went on a search to see what I could come up with.

Low and behold a quick search lead me to Fanciful Fabrics! Let me just say, she has some amazing prices. Seriously, I saved almost $20 on this FQ bundle. While that is substantial I was still hesitant. Hesitant because sometimes when things are cheaper they are (a) not what they appear or (b) slow to arrive. But I decided it was significant enough to take my chances.

Let me just say, I was NOT disappointed!!! I got my package SUPER FAST!! I immediately sent the owner an email praising her prices and her super fast shipping. She was ever so nice!! While not my story to tell, she has a very interesting and honorable day job! When referencing the prices here is what she said:

” I think that fabric is too expensive, so I try to keep prices lower so that people can enjoy this wonderful hobby but not break the bank, like I usually do. I cannot afford every print of every line, but maybe some day. 🙂 I do it because I enjoy it, not to get rich. LOL…..”

I did a quick comparison of some other bundles. I found some that were almost 1/2 the price of other shops online, jelly rolls and fabric by the yard at 25% less than other online shops. And if that’s not enough, she also has vintage items, notions, trims, buttons, handmade items and more. I think I’m in love!!!

I placed another order this past weekend. The wonderful Leanne is queen in our Modern Stitching Bee this month. She has asked for this block:

9630649848_c4577f90eb
Leanne’s example block!

See those low volume QST? Well, she has requested directional fabric of some sort. I didn’t have any – what better reason to shop? So I set out for a coupon code (it was a holiday weekend after all) and a shop with a smallish bundle of text prints (a void in my stash). I found this bundle:

and I found it at WestWood Acres who also had a free shipping coupon code for the weekend. The part I am here to brag about….My bundle arrived today! I placed this order on Saturday (maybe Friday) regardless, she had to ship my order the same day! I love that!! And it was a decent price. Again, into saving money!

My favorite thing about this shop is the created bundles. I love it when shop owners make their own custom bundles. For example Amanda has the following listed: In The Navy, Tarnished Silver, Text the Rainbow, and Solid Bundles to match other lines. I am not linking to each bundle but you can find them all in her shop!! Again, there might be some love involved!!

In summary, this weekend I found 2 new shops I would highly recommend!

and

Now, about that saving money! I desperately want to FQRetreat….DESPERATELY!!!!! I have a plan to make that happen in 2014. Of the many things on that list to make it happen is selective fabric shopping. I also recently started making my own laundry soap, fabric softener, and many other household “chemicals”. When I calculate the amount saved it goes in a special account along with a designated amount each month. I am mixing all this with a bunch of prayer….serious prayer!!!

I will end today with another picture of Callee in the same shirt. I like this picture more because it shows her attitude. One that, dare I say, she comes by honestly:

attitude

This picture is ME in a nutshell!!! And with that I end today’s post! Have a great day!

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Things Not on The List

I have been working on a few things that were not only July’s List. But I figured I have been such a good girl, it was OK.

First, my nephew (the one I took to the zoo) asked for a new lanyard. He said he needed to keep the key to his bike lock on. I found a great tutorial here, let him pick through my scraps, and away we went. This is what we ended up with….

lanyard

He was quite proud….

rj new lanyard

I also decided it had been way too long since I had made Callee anything. I mean just look….

miss priss

The poor thing is about naked…So, I made her a dress and a top….

Remember her love of Minnie Mouse? Well, I started there…

minnie Dress

I love how the polka dots on the ruffle are the same as the polka dots on Minnie’s bows. Here’s a close up of the ruffle…

minnie dress close up

I have been saving this combo for just the right tutorial. I used this tutorial which was well written. It can be quite difficult to sew for Callee when she isn’t here especially when they say “measure your little one” or put the straps where you want them. I am generally guessing at that point. A good example is the elastic on this dress (around the ruffle part) is only pinned right now. When I send it or see her it will have to be cut to fit and sewn. OH and the tie straps….I sure hope those are in the right place…hehehe.

After the dress was done I remember some lovely fabric I wanted to use. You see…not too long ago the lovely Samantha of PatternCrush posted a shirt for her little one made of the same fabric on Instagram. I knew Callee needed one too. The name of the fabric is Vintage Circus and from knowledge is made for Hobby Lobby BUT you can buy it on Etsy. N.E.WAY I digress….

Here is the top I made for Miss Callee using this tutorial….

Circus shirt

And a couple close ups of the front & back bits….

circus shirt back
back

 

circus shirt up close

I have many more things I want to make for her but one must stick to the schedule. LOL

BUT before getting back on schedule my daughter needed a new ID pouch and lanyard. So….

lanyard wallet

UPDATED EDIT: I used this tutorial for daughter’s pouch & adapted this tutorial for the lanyard. The lanyard I made is narrower and one solid piece of fabric.

So there you have my unscheduled sewing. I have finished the Duckie Quilt but I will show you that on Thursday since tomorrow is WhiteBoard Wednesday. I really need to get busy now so I am off to start my day….back soon!

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Not-so-Square Dancing

I am quick in and quick out today – just to share a bit of fun I had not too long ago.

Here in The Gap we have a community event every month. Sometimes I attend, sometimes I don’t. Just depends on my mood (menopause will do that to a woman ya know?!?!). N.E.WAY….

This month I went because I wanted to get out for a short walk, it was a beautiful evening, I heard they were playing some music, the teenager was willing to accompany me, the husband was grumpily suffering from Shingles, oh and the bonus they were going to have dancers….many reasons to attend!!

Little did I know, we, the community dwellers, were the dancers!!! They had hired a square dance caller who taught us to square dance…and I have to admit, we had a great time!

Since hubby couldn’t go and my daughter certainly wasn’t going to dance (she took the pictures) I got to dance with a friend from The Gap. He owns a couple antique shops with his partner but doesn’t live here. Super nice guy – well super nice grumpy guy….LOL

square dancing collage

The guy in the third picture is the mayor of Cumberland Gap who also happens to be one of the nicest men I know. He tells everyone about how he used to change my diapers and what my hair looked like when I was little!! I adore that man but this picture makes me concerned for him! His partner is the lady that lives across the street from me…I adore her too! The Gap really is full of the nicest people….even the grumpy ones. lol

Except for the one who stole my partner (teasing of course)….

square dancing 5

That’s ok though because I ended with a better one…one who actually smiles….

square dancing collage 2

Once we figured out who the man in our relationship partnership was…we did just fine!!

All in all I had a great time! ALTHOUGH, I sure wish I hadn’t changed out of my shorts before I left the house….I was HOT!!! I am almost always cold, especially in the evening so I put on jeans – but then I didn’t know I would be cuttin’ a rug!

There you have a lazy day in The Gap….

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Family Reunion

Well of sorts….I went to the zoo…hehehe

I took my nephew who is visiting from Michigan to the Knoxville Zoo. I am not a huge fan of the Knoxville Zoo but I will say this about it….it is a great zoo for kids!! It doesn’t do much for adults but they certainly cater to kids.

You see,  for the majority of my adult life, I have been taking my kids to the Toledo Zoo which had a nice mix for adults and kids, and I can say Toledo Zoo was GREAT (I hear it isn’t so great anymore).

Knoxville Zoo is great for the kids but leaves a bit to be desired for those of us over the age of say….12. Let me show you….

They have a Lego Room…

lego Collage

You can spend as long as you want in this air conditioned room and play with their legos. They will display your finished project (2 pictures on right) and you can also kit out your item and purchase if you want or you can buy the kits they have there. VERY COOL room!!!

They also have Budgie Landing….

bird  Collage

Here, the kids can feed the birds. They get a stick and if they hold remotely still the birds will land on their stick and eat. Of course if you look at my daughter (lower left corner) you can see she was concerned about birds pooping on her head. My nephew got very bored with feeding the birds and decided to nap in their nest.

Other things they have that I didn’t photograph was carousel, petting zoo, playground, stream to wade in, and I am sure there is something I am forgetting.

Oh and animals….here are a few of my favorites:

animal Collage

I just love the gorilla! He looks like I feel some days….UGH!!!!

Oh and according to my nephew, the best part of the zoo (I told you all about kids….) is the Splash Pad…

splash Collage

But no zoo trip would be complete without a picture of Susan’s quilting…..

susan quilting

Love ya Susan…..hehehe

All in all we had a great time at the zoo and I can’t wait to go back with Callee, speaking of I think y’all are overdue for a picture of her so I will close with some recent trouble she got herself into….she made it snow!

2013-07-17 18.01.09

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I won!!!

It has been such a long time since I have been able to say that! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this!!!

I won a jelly roll of Shades of Black by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda from 1 Choice 4 Quilting (now there’s a mouthful).

1 Choice 4 Quilting carries a great selection of pre-cuts and they carry a large variety of Bella Solids along with many other things. You really should take the time to check out her shop….you won’t be disappointed!!

I hope to get the chance to interview Nicole for the podcast soon. I bet that would be a great interview as she has been sewing since she was about 5 years old….wow! right?

Between yesterday’s goodies from Lisa and today’s giveaway wins…..I am loving my postman!!!

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Graduation

This was a whirl wind of a day! At this point in the craziness there was only four extra adults and two extra kids. Just before the ceremony started the others showed up. CRAZINESS I tell ya!!!

This is going to be a picture heavy post so prepare yourself!!!

Here is a dear friend of ours….Fred…he is a nut!! but he loves Kaylah like she is one of his own! I adore this man!!!! He was so sick the day of graduation but he came anyway!!

fred at graduation

Then there is my bestie…

foo at graduation
Can you tell she was thrilled about the camera being on her?

Of course I had to take a couple snaps of Callee while we were waiting for the ceremony to start…

graduation

graduation 2

Then the music started and it was time to get the shin dig (that’s hillbilly for party) under way…

First, the senior advisers came in. Here are the two that made a major impact on Kaylah:

Ms. Little & Mrs. Graves (who happens to be a relative of my DIL)
Ms. Little & Mrs. Graves (who happens to be a relative of my DIL)

Now it’s time for the students. Here is Kaylah when she first entered the stadium>

entering the stadium

This face is after our crowd made an inordinate amount of noise (just look at those rosey red cheeks – I wonder if that is why her dad has called her Rodeo Rosey for years?):

almost there

Then all the speeches and finally its time for her to cross the stage. Here she is waiting:

steady now
Do these shoes look familiar? We were taking bets whether or not she would fall!!

Well, she didn’t fall and she got her diploma:

mine all mine

diploma received

And shortly after this the ceremony was over and it was time for all of us to pose for pictures with Kaylah. Here are those (for the record I hate having my picture taken!!):

fred dee kay
Fred & Dee
Seriously love these people!!!!
kay foo
Foo (my bestie)
kay michelle
Michelle (a dear friend from Michigan)
perk family kay
Krissty & Jamie (my adopted daughter) and their family
mom dad kay
UGH!!!! I look scared!
surprise smooch
A stolen smooch!!!
kay callee
Look Kay Kay!!
brother sister
Kay Kay’s Big Brother & SIL (Sarah & JP)
Funny thing….he left this shirt at my house!!!

Well, there you have graduation in a picture package! It was sheer CRAZINESS all packed in about 4 hours even though the ceremony only took about an hour.

BUT I couldn’t be more proud of my baby girl. Someone asked how I am handling it and I have to say quite well, but more on that topic in the upcoming podcast this week. I have a theory!!!!

Well, there is one of the many promised posts….just for you Susan!!!! hehehehe

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May Finishes

I cannot believe how much I have gotten done in May, especially considering how busy May was. I have to admit, I am glad May is over. I can’t wait to tell you all about the last few days in my upcoming podcast (there just isn’t room for it on a blog post and I don’t think a post would do it justice).

So, let’s summarize May’s finishes. Here is the list I wanted to finish when the month started:

  1. Quilt Kaylah’s T-Shirt Quilt – DONE
  2. Make my mom an apron for Mother’s Day – DONE
  3. Make myself another skirt – Note Done
  4. Quilt The Revamp Top – Started
  5. Complete all my monthlys
    • Sugar Block Club – DONE
    • MSB (I am queen this month – nothing to do)
    • Toes in the Sand – DONE
    • Christmas BOM – DONE (I was mistaken I have another month left)

So, in summary I finished 3 of the 5 projects and started one of the two I didn’t get finished. I think that is pretty good. Now for the fun stuff, the pictures:

Sugar Block Club - May
Sugar Block Club – May
Christmas BOM
Christmas BOM

 

Block 2A

Toes in the Sand - Block 2
Toes in the Sand – Block 2

 

Kaylah's quilt
Kaylah’s quilt…notice my monkey trying to hold it down?

I am only posting one picture of Kaylah’s quilt for now as I will dedicate an entire post to it with all the deets very soon. I just needed to get it in this post to qualify for the Year of Lovely Finishes monthly entry. Yeah, Yeah, leave it to me to be pushing it to the last mintue. I have so many posts I need to do: the party, graduation, the quilt, the podcast….and the list goes on and on. But since I am just now catching my breath (I slept for 12 hours last night) I think I am doing pretty good. lol

I have some great pictures to share over the next few weeks. We had a photo booth set up at the party and had a great deal of fun. But in order not to bore you to death I will simply sprinkle them in here and there. So as a farewell today, here is one of my darling Callee and her parents:

Before Callee got ahold of the mask...
Before Callee got ahold of the mask…
After Callee got ahold of the mask...hehehehe (maybe she's mad because her daddy stole her crown)
After Callee got ahold of the mask…hehehehe (maybe she’s mad because her daddy stole her crown)

Ok…well, that’s it for now….

Linking up to

image004

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Gold and all that glitters….

My daughter is a lover of all things glittery! Always has been. She is a princess to the core…Seriously! I think she would wear a tiara as part of her daily clothing if it were socially acceptable. LOL

Last Saturday was her prom and she certainly didn’t disappoint in the glittery category. Here are a few pictures from her big event:

The dress!
The dress!
The hair!
The hair!
The corsage before it broke!
The corsage before it broke!
The Shoes!
The Shoes!
The date (a friend)
The date (a friend)
The girl!
The girl!

I am forever amazed that my little girl, the one who refused to wear anything but a blue leotard for 6 months when she was about 3, is this gorgeous young woman! I am so proud of all that she is, but she will always be “punk” in my heart – looking something like this:

Want a bite Kaylah
Want a bite?
Kaylah 231
Still lovin’ a convertible today (drives one daily)

Well, there is my little jaunt down memory lane! I am on the road today….traveling to my step-son’s wedding. I adore him and am looking forward to sharing this special day with him.  He was 16 (and the only one still at home) when my husband and I married and had just lost his mom. While the other two children resented me, Aaron and I gathered an understanding – I didn’t want to replace his mom, I only wanted to be his friend and be respected as his father’s wife. Over the years I can honestly say we have developed an amazing relationship. He has two beautiful girls – as a matter of fact if you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you will have seen pictures of them. They come and spend a week or two with us every summer. So much fun!!!

This will be a fun weekend and I am sure I will return with many pictures to share!

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Life…

 

….is what happens while you are busy making other plans –John Lennon (source)

…if you love it [life], don’t waste time for time is what life is made up of. –Bruce Lee (source)

…is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. –Soren Kierkegaard (source)

…is too short to work so hard. –Vivien Leigh (source)

….sucks sometimes, but generally gets better eventually. –Rhonda aka Quilter in The Gap (me!!)

I used to talk about my job all the time. Way back when….well, back then (when I first started my blog). Over the past 12 months (approximately) things got very difficult on the job front. But all that came to a halt last week. As of last week, I am officially unemployed. Most people would see this as a problem and it may be eventually, but as of right now it is great! I hinted at this announcement during my last post. I probably won’t say much more than this as it is quite personal and involves family members other than myself (not my story to tell). So, there you have it…..I am officially unemployed!

The timing for this is quite perfect. With my daughter graduating high school and going off to college, my husband and I will need to downsize our living quarters a bit (at least the outside bits). We are in the great debate about where to move to….in a different house in the same area or a real move outside the immediate area. Not only will I now have the time to move but I can also focus on getting my daughter ready to go. There is much to do:

  • graduation gift (a quilt in the works)
  • graduation party
  • graduation invitations
  • gather stuff for college
  • pack up what she is leaving behind
  • etc, etc, etc

It can be quite daunting! All those words in bold are major life moments and they are all happening at the same general time! Oh and last week was Kaylah’s senior prom!

BUT now that I have a bit of time I am going to restart my podcast. I will have a new episode posted on May 1st. I would do it sooner but my husband and I are traveling to Michigan this weekend for his son’s wedding. I am very close to this son and his kids so I am quite excited about celebrating with them! Oh and Callee will be there! hehehe

Do the bolds (life moments with big impact) ever stop coming?

I was very busy last week with catching up on household things that had slipped during my “icky” time (this will be how I will forever refer to the last 12 months), yard work (which my husband can’t do since he became disabled), and working on Kaylah’s graduation gift.   Before pictures, let me tell you a bit about this quilt…

It will be two sided – which, for me, means there is no distinct front or back. The design of the chevron side was by request of my daughter – something she seen on Pinterest but in different colors. The T-shirt side is something that is a long time in the works. There are shirts on this quilt that go back to when she was in the 3rd grade – so, 10 years. Because of all the different sizes and such, I just starting chunking until it  worked. LOL

Oh, and one more tidbit – the chevron side isn’t done. I had to order more white. When it arrives, there will be one more row on the top. I have laid it over the T-Shirt side for size comparison (you can see this in the picture). Also, it is long because it is made for a dorm bed which is Twin XL.

Well, here you are:

The T-Shirt side
The T-Shirt side
The white sashing on the T-Shirt side is also Mirror Balls.
The white sashing on the T-Shirt side is also Mirror Balls.
the gray & white are Kona Ash & White but the pink is Mirror Balls.
the gray & white are Kona Ash & White but the pink is Mirror Balls.
The Chevron side
The Chevron side

 

Well, there you have my last week in a nutshell. There was some miscellaneous sewing too but more on that tomorrow (or there abouts).

I have rambled on long enough. In the words of Arnold Schwar?? …. I’ll be back!

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