Sunday
Nov152009

Project Update: Completed!

 *Give A Little {hope} Project*

Craft Hope for Margaret's Hope Chest

I'm honored to have been a part of the Craft Hope Project for Margaret's Hope Chest!  ~ The deadline is today and I can't wait for all the quilts to be delivered to the children of the Grand Rapids Public Schools Homeless Program!

I was putting some last minute details on the quilt...so mine will be express mailed tomorrow...I know...so close ~ but, it will get there first thing Tuesday morning!

You may recall I was sort of stressed out as to whether I should tie or machine quilt the layers ~ enough...I machine quilted! I have now completed my first quilt ~ start to finish! ...and I must say...I just about had a heart attack during the whole process...but, I'm happy to say...I will try it again, after I tie a few on... Yay! I stuck to a simple grid pattern. I stitched in the ditch {with some off road sewing here and there, and here and there}. I discovered spray basting. How terrific is this? You just spray the batting and you don't have to pin the whole thing! I know when something sounds too good to be true...it usually is...{unless you're buying the Miracle Chopper ~ the best kitchen gadget demo I've every seen ~ of course I had to have one, and yes!...it's true to it's word...chops like a miracle...} so I safety pinned, and pinned, and pinned anyway. I'm glad I did, I needed the extra security.

I lined the back with a candy apple green flannel to keep it deliciously warm and cozy. ~ I put a crisp white binding along the edge. I wasn't sure if these quilts were supposed to be anonymous or if I was supposed to put my name on it... This is were my last minute detail comes in ~

I added a little pocket in the bottom corner ~ just in case they wanted to know who it was from. I found my "Made Especially For You" labels and folded one into a heart locket that I picked up at Michael's. I folded a green index card in half and trimmed it with decorative edge scissors. I attached the locket with some pink thread onto a piece of ric rac that I found in my gift wrapping box. I taped the ric rac to the back of one side, took a glue stick to the other and pressed them together, tucked it into the velcro sealed pocket, and Voila! What do you think?

My project to help Craft Hope would not be complete without the help of some special people and the encouragement I received along the way ~ a heartfelt thank you! ~ *The A {appreciation} List* ~

 *The A-List*

Jade Sims at Craft Hope

Margaret's Hope Chest

Sharon at The Sproutz Store

Rachel of p.s. i quilt

 Eileen ~ xo

 

Sunday
Nov082009

Happy Accidents

Give A Little {hope} Project update ~ ...it's been slow going this week, but it's going, sort of almost done! I can't wait for my quilt to get to Craft Hope! However, life keeps me on my toes ~ a few sewing detours along the way... like this ~

I'm remembering how much I love to sew ~ I love the whole process of getting my supplies together and setting up my dining table studio. I love the way the rotary cutter slides across the fabric like butter. The rev of my old faithful Bernina Sport 802 spinning its wheels as I push the pedal to the metal...well ok, I'm not going that fast, but my little "Nina" is still solid as a rock {rock on Nina!}. What I especially love about sewing is when I don't sew squares together with the wrong side of the fabric... this happened twice ~ not once ~ twice! So out comes my seam ripper to save the day {I love it too, because life would be miserable without it}. With my seam ripper in hand, I'm looking at my blocks and considering reconstructing a few because the seams aren't quite matching up the way I'd like...uhhhgg! I'm now thinking I need to turn Hulu off, because I'm watching Rate My Space with my HGTV designer crush Angelo Surmelis {...swoon} ...and well...a girl can only do so much without being distracted. Just as I'm about to force myself to postpone this date with Angelo turn my computer off, he says {while looking right at me making an art wall} that if you are creating an art wall {in my case a cute quilt} don't be afraid of making mistakes because "mistakes are sometimes happy accidents." ...really, Angelo?...{swoon}! That's all I needed to hear! I'm smiling ear to ear, because now I really don't feel so bad about the seams,...I'm going to square up each block anyway and it is the "Disappearing Nine Patch" pattern ~ I'm hoping all the happy accidents will disappear accordingly. I tried really hard to convince myself that the wrong side of the fabric actually looks pretty swell and nobody will notice...I righted the wrong fabric...I left the blocks as is. I figured when I tie it, it'll be very difficult to see those few teeny tiny little mis-matched seams...

To tie or sew? That is my question for you... If I tie the quilt is that like a quilting cop out? I ask this because I recently went to a local quilt shop and asked if someone could help me with this....and the reaction was "oh, you want to tie it, not sew it?" ~ well...yes, that's what the plan was... to be completely fair, someone at the shop did know how to tie and would be happy to set up a private lesson for me. I was just surprised...that's all. For the last few days, I've been thinking about that, probably more than I should. I got my handy walking foot out to practice {when sewing with layers of fabric, a walking foot helps keeps the tension of the fabrics even}... I would love to sew the quilt together ~ that's what I really want to do ~ but, I can't afford that kind of a happy accident should it end up being a horrible accident. Am I just being afraid? The instruction sheet of the Bernina walking foot says, "Even less experienced sewers can produce perfect results without lengthy preparation or practice." ...really, Bernina?!! ...Of course, I know Angelo's point is if you make a mistake, you might just like the way the project turns out, do it and see what happens...

I want this to be a quilt that any girl would be proud of ~ I want her to feel safe and warm and feel that it was made with love and care with her in mind. I imagine she'll have it with her when she goes to college or gets her own apartment. Big of me to think that my little quilt will be around that long? As I sit here in my home, I mostly hope that she won't be homeless for long! Sewing this quilt has been such a pleasure, and I'm so proud and happy to be a part of it. Oh, how I hope she'll enjoy it with my {teeny tiny little} happy accidents and all!

Eileen ~ xo

 

 

Saturday
Oct312009

*Give A Little {hope} Project*

I'd like to introduce the *Give A Little Project* ~ it's my search for craft projects for a cause! The purpose is to *give a little {time}, {love}, and {kindness}* to creatively {support} those who are in need of a little {lift} ~ first project {hope} ~

*Give A Little {hope} Project* ~ I love quilts ~ I love sewing quilt tops ~ remember, I've yet to finish one...until now! Actually, I still haven't officially finished it, but this will be the one. I am so excited to tell you about the current project I'm working on! Craft Hope's Project 5 ~ a quilt for Margaret's Hope Chest.

Craft Hope, founded by Jade Sims, is a wonderful place that truly combines the best of both worlds ~ a love of crafting and a love of helping others! Jade's first project was pillowcase dresses for the Pan de Vida Shelter in Sandoval, Mexico (27 completed), Project 2 created dolls for Casa Bernabe orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua (405 completed). Project 3 included blankets, booties and beanies for children in the Bhawani, Rourkela, and Sooch Village of India (2,809 completed). In project 4, sock monkeys were delivered to the Firefighters Burn Institute for their Little Heroes Preschool Burn Camp in Sacramento, California (227 completed). And now, Craft Hope's project 5 is making quilts for Margaret's Hope Chest, a quilting non-profit, whose mission "is to bring hope, comfort, and warmth to persons enduring hopeless situations in the Grand Rapids area through the gift of a beautifully crafted quilt." The recipients of this project will be the Grand Rapids Pubic Schools Homeless Program! ~ It's my hope that you visit Craft Hope and Margaret's Hope Chest to read more about these dedicated organizations! ~

photo: Craft HopeThe deadline for sending in the Craft Hope quilt is November 15th! Yes, it's right around the corner, but really it's not too late! You can still sign up and let Jade know you'll be making a quilt. However, should the deadline pass ~ not to worry ~ you can send a quilt directly to Margaret's Hope Chest anytime of the year. Are you a non-quilter, a non-sewer? Great! This is a perfect no-sew project for everyone to participate ~ if you have a stash of fabric that you won't be using {or you know someone who has one} or you had your eye on some lovely fabric in a store or online, you can donate the fabric, thread, and any other sewing goodies and the volunteers at Margaret's Hope Chest will create a comfy quilt with your donation! ~

 This is where I'm at right now ~ I have my pattern, I have my fabric ~

photo: p.s. i quilt

 The pattern ~ The disappearing nine patch ~ here is a super easy couldn't-have-explained-it-better-if-I-tried-so-I-won't tutorial from Rachel Griffith of p.s. i quilt {thank you Rachel} ~ always loved this design ~ I'm going small ~ most likely a lap quilt ~ would love for it to be a twin size ~ but...I better stick to a lap quilt ~ now I'm thinking perhaps a quillow {a quilt that folds into a pillow}...~ I'll let you know what I do... ~

photo: The Sproutz Store

 The fabric ~ Swanky by Chez Moi for Moda ~ very cute, plenty of pink prettiness ~ purchased a layer cake from Sharon at the The Sproutz Store at Etsy {super nice & supersonic delivery!} ~ in love with layer cakes and charm packs ~  why and what are they? ~ Pre-cut fabric! Layer cakes are 10" squares {I'm cutting mine into 5" squares} and charm packs are 5" squares ~ grab your thread, you're ready to sew ~

So, how do I expect to finish this quilt in less than 2 weeks? ~ .... I'm glad I asked myself that question... well, since I will most likely freak out that I'll ruin the quilt top when it comes time to assemble it, I've made a *G.A.L. Project* executive decision to tie the quilt instead of sewing it...unless someone tells me it would be faster, easier, and better to sew it.

Next post ~ update on my *G.A.L. Project*

 

*This little project of mine is inspired by the generous love, caring, and support I get from the beautiful ladies of Pawspice {Dr. Alice Villalobos, Roni, and Carreen ~ I love you all}!!*

 

Saturday
Oct242009

Welcome to bluebirdluxe!

Hello! My name is Eileen ~ thank you for stopping by! ~ here's a little bit about me ~ 

I've always had a love for all things arts and crafts ~  It goes all the way back to a sweet kindergarten memory of decorating a little red ornament with silver glitter and glue. I was hooked. I couldn't get enough ever since. I find I'm the happiest when I'm lost in a creative endeavor. However, lately I've sort of lost touch with my creativity. So here, through these eclectic musings of mine, my mission is to nurture my inner craftswoman, to fly high and expand my artistic horizons ~

I like to dabble in many art forms, yet I'm an expert in none ~ And hey, it's ok! I've always heard dilettantes have more fun! I'm inspired to learn by the talented artisans who create their masterpieces through a captured moment in time, a sound~a scent~a taste that soothes or races my heart, a stroke of color, the hammer and twist of a wire ~ I'm intrigued by the passion of an artist and the stories behind the art. My favorite artist is my mother {xo!}, who truly has a gift and has no desire to share it with the world. I never understood that {maybe she'll let me slip it into this blog for show and tell someday!}. She can draw and paint so effortlessly! If I only had just a slight bit of that talent! I can't draw...but, I can paint my nails, paint a wall, and paint the town when I'm feeling a little crazy ~

I'm crazy in love with...{these are a few of my favorite things in a word association kind of way} ~ ...all things handmade ~ sewing ~ quilts {I've yet to finish one...} ~ luscious fabric and yarn ~ I love my cats ~ my cats love luscious fabric and yarn ~ mixed media and vintage inspired jewelry ~ photography {I've yet to take a picture in focus without a tripod...puts a serious damper on Kodak moments} ~ hooked on Martha and HGTV ~ dancing will always be in my blood! ~ romance ~ I have sweet dreams of visiting Italy ~ cupcakes ~ kitchen gadgets {and I can't even cook...kiss the cook?...I kiss better than I cook, but I cook better than I sing!} ~ I love great music, food and wine, & terrific company {you!} to share it all with ~

These simple things make my life rich and happy ~ it fulfills me ~ I look forward to finding more things to love {with the help of all my favorite places ~ to the left}, sharing my thoughts and projects with you, and hearing about your craft adventures, too!

Eileen ~ xo

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