Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 - Happy New Year!

On this New Year's Eve as I pack away the last of Christmas 2010 and plan my first day of 2011, the upcoming year looks much more promising than the last few.  As always, hopes are high, but the path ahead appears far more solid and secure than it was this time last year.  Of course, that security is always linked to my business success, and, if nothing changes for a while, things are looking good. 

I pray everyday for the Lord to hold steady, please, and allow me to rest in a firm schedule and not be madly seeking out new accounts.  The stress of marketing myself and striving for security had driven out all the room in my mind and schedule for the other important things in life.  Recently, I've begun to long for quiet days working at home and doing laundry and making dinner.  I miss my local friends and visiting and running around.  I had all the time in the world it seemed in 2008 and 2009, but that free time was not welcome and was filled with worry because business was nearly nil and I was searching, searching, searching.  2010 opened with the return of all my accounts, but it totally took the whole year to make up for the two past years and settle into a routine that works for our current needs and pushes me forward. 

On the other hand, to be in charge of your own work success is quite exhilarating.  Perseverance is everything.  Follow your dreams.  Be flexible but keep your eyes on the goal.  And, remember, most successful folks you can point to often failed several times before the big time.  Hopefully, I'm in good company! 

So, a new blog banner for the winter season has been found and embellished.  I like sticking to a white background but love to find a new blog header every few months.  I found this vintage bird banner design at The Background Fairy.  There are matching buttons, too. 
Do you have a new e-reader in the house?  I've sewn up several e-reader cozies (manly ones, too) and have them listed in the calicodaisy etsy shop

This was really a banner year and holiday season for calicodaisy handmade.  I don't think I could have handled one more order, and that's a very good thing.  Every year, I blog and talk about getting my studio organized, but it is so hard to stop the moving vehicle.  So, I've taken things on one bite at a time instead of focusing on the whole job and getting weary, and the results are beginning to show.  You know, my little fantasy is to be featured in Where Women Create, and that isn't going to happen unless I have something wonderful -- studio and designs -- to share with others.  It could happen! 

Sometime soon that little photo of One Yard Wonders up there on my sidebar is going to change -- to One Yard Wonders 2!  The authors wrote to me earlier this year and asked if I had another pattern to offer using a specific type of fabric.  I sent in two ideas, and one was chosen.  Obviously, I am thrilled.  All thanks to blogging, I tell you.  So many opportunities have presented themselves through the blogs.  

Well, I leave you to watch the ball drop!  My son has already rung in 2011 over in Germany.  Due to the snowy, cold weather, travel was backed up pretty bad in Europe this year, so he and his friends didn't attempt to visit Venice for the New Year as planned.  Though I'm sorry he missed out, I was glad to know he was nice and cozy and safe in his university town.  They made a good decision to stay "home."  

Wishing you a Happy 2011. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peppermint Bark And All Things Christmas-y

Merry Christmas!  This month went by so quick!  Lots of work, lots of orders, and finally lots of holiday preparation for the family worked in amongst all the work on the list.  

I tried my hand at Peppermint Bark last year and got it just right this year.  The pretty box above was put out for a holiday brunch last week and is nearly gone.  I meant to make another batch, but that may be late tonight.  
For my holiday brunch last week, I planned to make my favorite Farm Chicks chocolate cake frosted in layers of chocolate and happened to be reading the Farm Chicks blog, and look how she decorated her wintery version of the cake, so I had to as well.  The little woodsy candies are at World Market.  The logs taste like very luscious KitKat bars. 
Early this month, I had a request for a pillow with heirloom applique embroidery.  I have always loved the look and had to search for a timeless font created for the embroidery machine.  It looks beautiful!  This is definitely a new design option for 2011! 

Well, I'm off to work a short shift at the hospital today.  As always planned, our good friends will come over after Christmas Eve services to spend the evening with us.  My husband and dad will put out a spread while I'm gone today. 
This is the first Christmas without one of our children, as my son is in Germany for the whole school year.  Thanks to Facebook, Skyping, and affordable VOIP lines, the separation has been a lot easier on me than it might have been.  We are putting up the webcam tonight, so the family and good friends can see and talk with him.  I don't feel too bad for him, though.  He's been to Nurnberg Christmas Market twice and has been eating handcrafted chocolate champagne truffles!  

Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, a new customer found me while looking for a Bonne Nuit pillow cover.  She then directed me to a catalog link online and asked if I could embroider out a cheers! pillow cover similar to the one shown.  Of course!  Here is my version, however, the design can be done up to match any decor. 

Custom Orders turn out to be some of the best ideas for my shops! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monogrammed Holiday Door Ornaments - Fan Page Info & Giveaway!

This monogrammed holiday door ornament was the most popular calicodaisy handmade holiday item to go out last year. 

In an effort to make good use of my calicodaisy handmade fanpage on FB and reach new readers, I'm offering free shipping for those who "LIKE" the fanpage and then make an order for a monogrammed door hanger by posting the request on the fanpage through November 30, 2010. 

Please consider being a fan and posting on one of your social networks sharing the calicodaisy blog and fanpage with your friends.  Sharing like this really is such a great way to get the word out, and friends telling friends equals a ton more folks than I could ever reach myself. 

To "share the wealth" with you, I'll have a giveaway for one pesonalized door ornament.   In order to be part of the giveaway drawing, please, do the following: 

1.  Be a Fan of the calicodaisy handmade fanpage

2.  Post a blurb to your blog, FB page, or Twitter about the fan page and personalized ornament and copy your post as a new post on the calicodaisy handmade fanpage, so I can see read it, too.   

3.  Comment here on the blog that you did the above, so I can enter your name into the fishbowl.  I'll put your name into the bowl for each post you make above - up to three chances for a blog, FB, and/or Twitter blurb. 

     If you don't blog and/or are unable to comment here, let me know through my e-mail link listed in my profile. 

That effort is worth a chance for one of my pretty monogrammed ornaments, isn't it?  The drawing will be held on December 1, 2010.  Thank you! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Buona Notte

I'm working on a good night, well literally working and working on having one.  You know, I've said before that my best products come from the ideas and suggestions of clients.  I spotted the "bonne nuit" stamped - not embroidered - pillow cover in the Pottery Barn catalog a couple of months ago, and embroidered out my own version of the pillow cover for my shop.  Shortly after, I received a request from a new customer with an Italian flair for a pillow messaging "Buona Notte."  Nice!  So, I created a listing for her without a photo, as the pillow cover was not sewn yet, but a description with photos of other completed pillow projects.  Just hours later, another gal e-mailed me and asked if I would "make a Buona Notte pillow for her like the one described in the current listing."  A custom order just from the description!  Awesome. 

I have been practicing on the big machine in the last week.  Nothing real to show yet.  Trying to get the threading down and keep my fingers intact!  

Bonne Nuit, Buona Notte, Good Night, Sweet Dreams ... back to work. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

today IS the day!

At the end of 2008, this lovely machine arrived in my studio.  However, in the 21.5 months since it has lived here, I have NEVER learned how to use it.  It's been such a burden on my shoulders; I just haven't had the time and have been afraid of the effort.  You know, though, how one is forced into action every so often?  Well, today is the day. 

A couple of weeks ago, I designed some lovely, monogrammed, linen pillow covers with a new customer.  Please, click the green link and see the inspiration photo.  However, the pillow covers are 20" and require an 8" center monogram.  No problem, I say, and purchase the embroidery font.  Well, there is a problem:  The largest hoop for my one-needle embroidery machine isn't wide enough for the font.  Ha!  I've never experienced that.  Immediately, I think, hmmmm, well, see what Miss 6-Needle has to offer.  Thankfully, I have the proper hoop for the big machine, and finally the time has come to dust the poor thing off, oil her, stick the how-to video in (as well as visit the store for my lessons), and start using the 6-needle and 6-threads-at-one-time machine!  Of course, I have begged patience from my customer and offered a little thank-you-for-waiting gift, but I'm pretty excited.  My dad will be, too, as he sponsored the purchase way back.  
You know what this means, though, and I've been a little afraid of the idea.  When I am able to use this machine to its full potential, I can have "inventory" like a real shop because I can multitask and embroider leather bags and get inside the pocket of a diaper bag and easily embroider socks and, and, and -- just like a brick and mortar embroidery shop.  I think a lot of my resistance to learning to use this machine is wrapped up in being responsible for the possibilities it holds.  I'm weird like that.  Today is the day!  Well, this week is the week anyway.  It's already 3:00 PM, and it does have to be dusted and oiled, but the monogrammed pillow covers are due, and I'm hoping she doesn't want a refund!!!    

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Destashing Begins

For nearly a year, I've been loading up a box full of planned scraps from the ends of my fabrics while cutting out my projects.  Reading about a new Scrapalong going on in the bloggy world right now was the impetus I needed to start packaging the pieces into Fabric Stash Packs
The Priority Flat Rate envelopes are stuffed full.  I've got the packs priced at $10.00 and listed in my devoted college savings shop:  the handmade fair.  There are just these two right now, but there are loads more where these came from.   Please consider forwarding the listings -- or sharing with the facebook link on the etsy listing -- to any interested sewists you know. 

And since I mentioned FB, I have an FB account for calicodaisy.  I only chat about crafting there and meet up with blog friends.  Nothing personal going on there.  There is also a calicodaisy handmade fan page, which I don't use to its best potential yet.  Please be a friend on the FB page and/or "like" the fan page -- and, again, "share" with your friends who might be interested in my work.  That would be such a nice compliment to me and gives me a lovely opportunity of marketing to those I may never meet.  Thanks! 

Off to work the Sunday evening shift!  Hope the rest of your day is lovely. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Missing You & The Handmade Fair

Really, I am missing hanging out in all my favorite blog spots and having comment conversations with my blog friends.  However, I have LOADS of work right now, and I must tend to that.  This time last year, I was just devastated with barely any work available for me, and now I can't clean house, I'm gaining weight because I'm eating on the run, and I'm passing on lots of the social events of this season because I have to keep on schedule.  All good, though.    

Quilt Bee friends -- if you call me a friend anymore :( -- I will catch up.  We just need to paint the downstairs apartment this weekend in anticipation of a big Fall show I have here with some other friends in sales in early November, and I have to prepare the area.  Then I'm free.   

Recently, a number of new customers have come to my etsy shops - calicodaisy and the handmade fair - and have worked with me on custom orders.  I've been so pleased to be "found" through googling and etsy searches and then chosen to create the design desired.  I can't wait to show you the final products. 

You know, I have the two shops set up in etsy for a purpose.  The calicodaisy shop is to market my new ideas and build my label.  The Handmade Fair is all about saving college funds for the kids in my family (mine and the cousins).  One of the cousins is a freshman and needs a little big tuition pump.  My kids are used to me marketing my designs over the years and they don't really think of this as big income driver, but I know it is.  I've never gone out on a limb and really campaigned for a big sale at one time, but this is very important and needs a good go. So, here goes:   

At The Handmade Fair, there are already a number of items ready to ship, like the Roundabout Cowl / Scarf shown above. 

I have "The All Boy Charm Packs" ready to go and can put together more.  I have a boxful of our favorite quilting fabrics cut into charms ready to be packaged.  The fabric is washed and the charms cut; just let me know what flavor you are looking for.  The "charm" of these packages is that the fabric is prewashed and ironed and then sliced, so no shrinkage or running colors to worry about. 
There is a new scrapalong going on in blogland (just google it to find), and I have my first fabric destash package ready to ship. 

There are crocheted baby hats, scarves, throw pillows, camera strap covers (padded and non), and you can go through my sold section and ask for a design that has sold before. 
Custom embroidered / monogrammed piped pillow covers have been my big sellers lately and are the easiest items for me to put together -- they are squares and easy to get out.  The pillow covers are listed for $25.00 for one, however, if you read through the listing you'll find a discount when ordering two identical covers and a SPECIAL of "buy four get one free."  Think of graphic holiday designs or phrases, sports themes, favorite sayings like above or anything else that is popular.  Have you fallen for pillow covers in the PB and Anthropology catalogs but can't take the price?  Let's design one together.  Check the calicodaisy gallery for a number of fonts and designs I already have -- look at the sets on the sidebar. 

It would be so amazing if I could meet this tuition need through my own hands in my own little shop.  Thanks for bearing with me and, in advance, for any early Christmas or birthday or personal shopping you might do at The Handmade Fair

Okay, I'm off to work again!  -- michele

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Sorority Rush season is in full swing right now.  Greek gals are looking for fun Big and Little Sister gifts, and I love it when they find my shop!  Florida State University AXO sisters came by the shop last week for a second year of embroidered pillow cover orders.  Fun! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beauty In The Bowl

I have no words.  Really.  Patty Hallman, a South Carolina, award-winning photographer, had a photo session with this sweetheart cozied up in my crocheted baby bowl photo prop.  Must show in extra-large fashion!  more later ...

Thank you, Patty!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday: It's What's for Dinner

Yesterday, doubling casseroles for a friend's family and ours was on my list.  I made two different recipes, one old and one new.  The new one I tried was Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice.  It is so wonderful -- and quick! -- that I wanted to share with you, just in case you haven't decided what's for dinner.  It's such a cozy dish; the rice is creamy without a "cream of" involved, and there is not much fat in it at all. 

Greek Chicken and Rice 

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil  

2 pounds of chicken breast cut into bite size pieces  

1 yellow onion diced  

1 green pepper diced  

2 cups long grain rice 

4 cups chicken stock  

Juice of 1 lemon  

1 can Progresso cannelloni beans (optional, my contribution to the recipe) 

1/2 cup of kalamata olives, pitted (optional)  

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

salt and pepper to taste (I added a good amount as I like things savory) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add half the chicken and brown, about 5 minutes stirring around every so often.  Remove to to a plate.  Add a little more oil and brown the rest of the chicken.  Remove to a plate. 

Add a little more olive oil, if needed, and saute onion and green pepper until tender, about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Add in chicken broth, rice, and the rest of the ingrediants.  Add chicken back into the pot and stir to mix. 

Cover the pot and bake until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes. 

Let me know if you try it!  Enjoy! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh From The Pumpkin Patch

Hello!  Are you ready for something sweet?  A precious little one in a Pumpkin Patch Cocoon Set.  The lovely mama of this little man is friends with a local photographer, Leigh, and I totally lucked out in the baby model department. 

When planning what new scarf design to crochet this fall for my shop and holiday shows, I came across these cocoon sets and had to make them.  Look at his little toes poking through!  And the twirly stem on top! 
The Pumpkin Patch Cocoon Set is just in time, not only for Fall and Thanksgiving photo sessions but just for new babies to have a sweet little stroller set and comfortable Pumpkin Halloween costume. 

Just need a Pumpkin Hat?  That's an option, too.  Custom orders are welcome.   
And with The Holidays right around the corner....  This set not listed yet, but you know where to find me! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Un Bonne Nuit For Me Please!

My boy is winging his way over to Germany right this minute for his junior year of college.  The online plane tracker tells me he has crossed over Nova Scotia and is over the open sea!  So, I'm settling in to blog work until I hear that his feet have landed on solid ground.  Then he has all sorts of details to take care of:  money exchange, train ticket, luggage, and a trip by train to his university's town.  

The university provides the students studio flats, and there are university cafes here and there where the they can eat at a discount.  Two girls at his US college just returned from the spring semester in the same program - which ends in July, actually, and one has sold him her bike she left in a locker there, so he will have some manual transportation anyway. 

We are very excited for him, but a bit sad to have him so far away!  We'll miss a 21st birthday and the Christmas holidays, but he will come home on his spring break for a bit and then go back to finish up the year.   
So, I am hoping for a Bonne Nuit and good sleep tonight after I hear from him.  That's my segue into:  Look at the embroidered pillow cover I made after seeing a similar one in the Pottery Barn catalog.  This font is my favorite; it's so pretty and modernly classic.  I'm putting it the college-savings and Germany student spending account shop at "the handmade fair."   

My calicodaisy handmade design work is coming along very nicely with a lot of local and custom orders, and I'm getting ready for the fall/holiday bazaar time right now.  I don't love all the craziness leading up to shows, but it's the time of year I meet new customers and catch up with returning ones. 

pottery barn embroidered pillow cover

Monday, September 13, 2010

In With Prim

The other day I received a lovely convo from Donna of Folk Art by Donna who let me know she included my Prim Pumpkin Pile Pillow in her Prim and Proper Halloween Treasury set.  I am so pleased!  You'll have to go by her place and the treasury to check out wonderful Prim Art. 

Right now, everything is about sending my son off to Germany for his junior year!  I haven't really faced it much until RIGHT NOW.  I am so happy for him, but this will be the first time he is away for a lllooonnnggg time, and so far away!  We'll miss his 21st birthday and Christmas, but he will come home on his February break and then go back again.  We hope to travel as a family to visit him in June, but that will be quite a savings project! 

To my Bee Friends:  If you're still checking in with me ... A bee sewing day is coming up.  After sending my son off to Germany this week and now that the summer is over, everything will settle back into place, including my sewing time. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

west elm

While visiting friends and family in Atlanta a few weeks ago, I came across a West Elm shop and popped in for a look around.  I love all the textiles available for ordering furniture.  That wasn't going to happen, so I strolled over to the kitchen area and found napkin sets on sale. 

This "Hourglass Novelty" pattern caught my attention, and in my studio yesterday, it was matched up with some cozy wool suiting for pillow covers and added them to my shop.   
SMALL Elephants in red
Have you been by Spoonflower today for your free 8" swatch?  It took a while to find a small pattern to make the swatch useful, and I decided upon these elephants in red.  I can see it as a pocket on something or the front side of a zip pouch.  Stop over there and get yours.  Spoonflower is also participating in a fundraiser for Heifer International, so you can put your swatch money there if you like. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

calicodaisy slip scarf

A keyhole scarf design was weedling its way through my creative mind over the weekend.  I wanted to get to it all day on Saturday but put it off until housework and computer work was complete -- or at least attempted.  Finally, I made it to the studio late Saturday evening and started with the prototypes.  This is the third scarf finished last evening while watching our family favorite, The Closer.  
I'm naming it "The Slip Scarf," as one end of the scarf slips through the other.  It's reversible and is self-bound with the main fabric.  This scarf is sewn up with an amazingly gorgeous paisley and backed with a brushed cotton plaid.  If you stop by the shop, you'll see more views. 
I made another for my friend's birthday gift.  She lives in South Florida, so she doesn't get the chance to dress "warm" too often there.  Thus, I made hers with two cottons in shades of brown for a fall look but a Florida weight.  
Another set of All Boy charm packs at The Handmade Fair, too.  These packs featuring a Ride Em Cowboy print from the Happy Trails line.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

All Boy Charm Packs

Over the last year I've been collecting manly and boy cotton prints to use in my projects and to create my "All Boy" Charm Packs.  The packs today include 60 - 5 x 5 charms, six each of ten prints. 

The fabrics are prewashed before cutting, so you know that your projects will turn out true to size, and the worry of colors bleeding is taken care of.  Add some great solids to the charms, and you'll be all set for a great design.  Just remember, prewash any fabrics you use, so you won't get any sizing surprises. 

Two are listed in my - The Handmade Fair - shop today.  Some David Walker "Oh Boy!" dinosaurs are in these sets.  I have lots more to put together, however, I'm already stressing over color and theme combinations.  Geez!  I wish I could just go freestyle and zip, zip, zip, but, no, I think of what the blocks will look like together.    

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

pile of pillows

Some new pillow covers were finished for the shop this week.  I'm very drawn to the numbered designs for linens popular at the moment.   I spotted a printed design like this some time ago and combined embroidery software files for my own version of the look.  This one is ready to go, but the design can be custom ordered in any color combination and embroidered out on a totebag or dish towel. 
This 14" pillow cover is sewn up in a blue and brown home dec fabric that has a flocked design.  The chocolate brown piping creates a great frame for the floral scribbles.  Find this pillow cover here
My favorite is this one, though.  I bought the whole length of this home-dec toile off the remnant table at Hancocks last year intending to do something big with the fabric in a room but haven't decided what that is yet.  While searching about my stash for just the right look for a friend's monogrammed pillow for, I couldn't resist using some of it for her.  Hope she loves it as much as I do.  I have just a bit more set aside to sew up one more monogrammed pillow cover in this style if you'd like one.   

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Have you heard about the "Next" button yet?  Michelle at greetingarts posted about a new Google Reader feature she found through the blog grapevine that led back to directions from Oops

Essentially, you put the "Next" button up on your favorites bar, and when you hit it, you automatically go to the next blog post in your reader line up -- onto the actual blog!   So, the blogger gets her "hits" for google analytics (if that's important to her/me), and the reader actually lands on the blog and can get back to experiencing the blog site and all the little pretties, the sidebar, and the other features the author designs on her site.  I mean, we don't decorate just for our own pleasure!  Anyway, it's easy, you should add it! 

Quick edit:  I've been strolling through my next button for the last little bit since I posted.  Rather than just scrolling down your reader list and only catching the words and a thumbnail shot of the blogs you like to keep up with, the next button is like turning the pages of a magazine.  Someone should figure out how to connect the next button with the right arrow key, so the hand isn't always on the mouse. 

My next studio completions this week were the camera strap cozies / covers yesterday, the Manly patchwork cover posted previously and the blue medallion one above. 
Towel Set Monogram
My previous next (get that?) was the monogrammed towel set for my friend's son who is off to his freshman year in a couple of weeks.  We moms must keep them stylish and clean! 

Putting A Little Man In the Mix

Generally when buying fabrics and thinking up new items to create in the sewing room, it's all about what the girls want.  In the last year, though, I've been concentrating on picking up fabrics suitable for the men / guys / boys in my customers' lives.  It's getting easier, as a number of designers are putting out really up to date prints for men.  However, I've taken my college-aged son with me several times to the fabric store and had him take a gander through the quilting cottons to see what he likes.  All I see first are the flowers and pinks and trendy looks that I like for myself.  He sees the darker colors and geometrics I rarely notice.  My eyes are getting keener for suitable fabrics, though, and I've rounded up quite a few great prints over the last year for my man-stash, as I call it. 

Over the holidays last year, I nearly put together two quilt tops for my husband and son.  Alas, not finished yet, but the fabrics are great.  I've been slicing and dicing the leftovers, too, to put together manly charm packs for my shop.  All fabrics are prewashed, so no worries about shrinkage or colors running. 

You can see several of the fabrics in my Manly Camera Strap Cover I've listed today in my "college savings" shop, the handmade fair.  I've got to get on with all that saving!! 

The manly and boy charm packs should be in there soon! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just Getting By ...

Do you ever feel like you're running and crawling at the same time?  That's my mode at the moment.  At the beginning of the day with the promise of about 17 hours before me, anything seems possible.  Lying back in the bed at night, I can't remember if I did anything important. 

I'm just chugging along in the sewing room.  A One Block Over Bee block was completed last night; uh, that's the June one.  Now for a paper-piecing July block, and I haven't opened the envelope for the August one, though I know it's a strip block, and I'm familiar with that pattern.  
Baby gifts and going-to-college items such as embroidered pillow covers and towels are going out as well.  Isn't the little firefly darling?  Another custom bridal garter to make and send out this week.  Then, as has been planned for some time, 5-inch charm packs for boys quilts (prewashed fabrics) are getting organized for a photo shoot and listings in my shop this week or next. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Girl ...

... is EIGHTEEN today!  We love and adore her and are so proud of her!  She's a stunner, too, isn't she? My best and dearest friends tell me she looks like me, but I don't believe it!  
Adults and Camille's friends often remark to me how lovely and kind she is.  I'm always saying, "Everyone loves Camille.  Everyone doesn't love me (I can promise you that), but everyone loves Camille."  She is such a sweetheart and, though we used to worry about her gullibility, has quite the head on her shoulders and is a straight-shooter.  Not too much drama at all. 
A couple of months ago at a special dinner honoring Camille's class at church, the youth leaders shared a few thoughts about each person.  After commenting on her loveliness and kindness, one of the leaders said that the most surprising thing about Camille is the girl is bold.  She stands up for what is right and doesn't let wrong happen around her without lovingly but directly pointing it out and attempting to deal with it.  My heart just about swelled out of my chest.  I have to say, she inherited that directness and quick discernment of folks and situations from my mother and me.  However, the Lord has blessed her with the grace and kindness and beauty and love of others that softens her boldness and draws people to her.  Magnificent! 
That said, card shopping is not my favorite thing to do.  Often, the verses are too sappy, too stark, too ridiculous.  However, my people do like to get their cards.  Upon walking into Hallmark and straight to the 18-year-old section, this verse appeared before my eyes: 


You've been so beautiful since the day you were born. 

No one could have imagined then how lovely and how loved you'd be now. 

Everywhere you go, happiness simply happens.  You just shine

From the inside out, you are so beautiful ... and so loved

Never a truer birthday tribute for my girl. 

(and her father loves her, too! -- but this is MY blog!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Daisy Wedding

My dear friend, Leslie, has a daughter getting married next month.  An outdoor, daisy-strewn event has been planned, and I offered to create the ring bearer pillow and garter.  Simple white linen, a bright pink gerbera daisy, and silky ribbons create a sweet pillow for a little man to walk down the aisle.  There is a wide satin ribbon across the back that he can slip his little hand through and hang on to the diamonds! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Whirlwind of Summer Block Piecing

Toward the end of 2009, I joined a second quilting bee, the 2010 Round Robin Quilt Bee.  At the time, I didn't have so much "real" work on my calender, so it sounded like a great opportunity to learn more quilting skills with the pieced block designs that were coming my way. 
However, have things changed!  My work calendar has filled up since the late spring, and my bee work fell a bit behind.  There was a bit of a glitch with the round robin schedule, and I ended up with five blocks to piece in May and June.  I'm new at this traditional piecing, and the prospect of sewing each block -- five! -- with the members waiting on me was quite worrisome. 
Along with figuring out each bee member's instructions, I must coordinate fabrics, and you know how I worry over getting fabrics just right.  So, all my free creative time the last six weeks has been spent bee block piecing.  The one at the top of the post was my May block for the One Block Over bee.  Carol's batik block above turned out stunning!  I don't think I could do that again. 

You might notice a common theme among several of these blocks -- half quarter squares -- triangles!  I've got my game on now, though, especially since noticing a lovely little stitch option on my machine called "1/4-inch." 
My goodness, I've been tediously marking out 1/4" lines to guide me for the last six months and not quite getting a perfect block.  How long have I had my machine??  Well, things are looking up on that seam requirement now, as it's an automatic function for me.  The snail's trail block came out exactly right. 
This Christmas star block finished up the backlog but had me in fits, even with the new found stitch option.  Two of the corner blocks were cut and sewn three times!  Things were so bad, I nearly ran out of the neutral color and had only small strips.  I sewed a couple pieces together to create a 3" block just so I could have new triangles for the "bear claw (?)" corners.  Please see the lovely closeup below for a sweet ending to my mad summer of piecing!  Next up:  A paper pieced block for Doris.  The skills building continues!