We just had our second meeting on Saturday…1 person came.  It was pretty disappointing.  We had 7 ladies at the first meeting who all seemed very enthusiastic about getting together to sew – and quilt a few new people sign up on the website, so I’m not really sure what happened.  I’ve never organized a group before so I am unsure what I am really doing wrong or if this is to be expected.  I don’t know what I need to do to keep people interested and active in the group.  I am not an entertainer.  I cannot sustain interest in this group on my own.   When I started this thing, I figured having the forum would be enough to maintain some sort of connection between the group members and a running dialog going with an active message board…I mean, from what I’ve seen in other cities’ guilds that is what is happening.  It’s been frustrating.

I found an awesome space in downtown Indianapolis to hold our meetings at the Harrison Center for the Arts – the Harrison Center was very exciting about having us as a group.  They are interested in displaying our work in one of their galleries for a First Friday.  I was super pumped about this!  But at this point I don’t know if we can keep meeting there.  It’s 25/hr to rent the space and I can’t keep paying out of pocket hoping people will show up.   I didn’t force dues on anyone since it was a new group – I agreed on a pay as you go type of membership so if you come to the meeting, you pay 5 dollars, and your first meeting is free.  So our second meeting – one person showed up besides me!  We had a good time talking and sewing together, but its a waste to reserve that space every month when no one shows up.

So for April, I am not sure what I am going to do for the next meeting.  I’m not doing the Harrison Center.  Anyone who runs a group or knows how to get this project back on track please share your ideas with me.  I want this group to succeed!

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Craft Talk

January 11, 2010

I don’t know if you are familiar with Leslie Hall and her magical gem sweaters, but she’s awesome.  This song definitely helps crafter’s block!  Enjoy!

Well, I moved.

December 11, 2009

The entire moving process has been a lot more draining than I thought it would be.  I finally have gotten most things put away and the house is pretty much done, except for hanging pictures/art on the walls.  Right now they are just leaning up against the walls where I want them to hang.  I love my new place, it’s very cute.

So Christmas time is here.  I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I really have been working on things!  Just not sewing.  Which is bad, since I still need to do last month’s quilting bee block, and this month’s block as well!  I also need to finish a reversible tote.  I started this tote at a class I took…after 6 hours the most anyone in the class got done was about half.  Which wouldn’t be a problem except that the project wasn’t in the book they made us buy, and they didn’t give us a handout.  So I had to get this other book but I just haven’t had the motivation to finish it.  I need to get it done because I am intending on giving it as a gift!  Unfortunately I have had zero desire to sew since I have moved.

I have done some things since I have moved.  I made a few terrariums and now I am addicted! I will do a post on them soon.  They are so beautiful and vintage-y.  I really love them.  I’ve been working on a Christmas gift for my parents.  I bought a 1TB hard drive and enclosure.  I am in the process of downloading as many HD movies as I can fit on the drive and converting them for playback on a PS3.  That way, they can just plug the external harddrive into the PS3 and watch them.  It is much easier than burning 100 DVDs.  Besides, I don’t have a blu ray burner, and the blank bluray disks are like 10 bucks a piece anyway. Ridiculous!  And using a DVD would degrade the quality and it wouldn’t be HD any longer.  In case you didn’t know, in addition to my love of sewing and crafts, I am a huge tech geek.  I especially love networking all the devices in my house so I can stream back and forth.  TV to computer, Computer to TV.  I didn’t even unpack my DVD player when I moved because I never use it.  I have all the movies I want on hard drives and when I want to watch them I just send it to the TV via the Tivo, or watch them on my HD monitor.  I use a Slingbox to play TV on the computer or laptop. That way, I don’t need to have a TV in every room I want to watch TV in!  Saves space, and TVs are expensive!  I still dont have an HDTV.  I am waiting on one particular TV to come down in price.  Its almost low enough where I can afford it!  Its a really cool Samsung tv.  It has onboard networking so the TV can connect itself directly to my wireless network, and I’ll be able to stream movies straight to the tv without having to download them first to the Tivo.  Awesome!

Sorry about my nerdy ranting!

I’m also on a Christmas treat baking frenzy.  It was a huge fiasco in the beginning so I am way behind.  We had a cookie exchange yesterday at work and I was making biscotti.  I decided to do a test batch last weekend to make sure the recipe worked.   The recipe was fine.  The oven in my new place was not.  The biscotti were in there like 7 minutes and I smell burning.  They were ruined!  Long story short, I tried everything I could to fix the burning problem.  Moving the racks as high as they would go, lowering the temperature, cleaning out the oven.  3.5 batches still burned.  So I ended up making 6 batches of biscotti to get 9 dozen cookies.  I was so angry.  My landlord thankfully replaced the oven on Tuesday so hopefully I won’t have these problems with the other cookies I want to make.  I want to pack boxes of cookies to send to some friends.  I need to get them all done this weekend so I can send out the boxes on Monday.  Hopefully I won’t have any more oven problems.

In the meantime, I have started on other things.  I made homemade marshmallows.  They are waiting to be dipped in chocolate.  I also made my brother’s favorite “cookie” – those cornflake wreaths!  I find it hilarious that is his favorite Christmas cookie.

Here’s my list of Christmas treats:

Chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate dipped homemade marshmallows, potato candy (dad’s request), butter cookies, Chocolate Cherry Mice, lemon-poppy seed biscotti, old fashioned sugar cookies, cornflake wreaths.

I can do this!

I have been taking pictures, I just haven’t uploaded them yet.  I love making candy, even though I am not much of a chocolate lover and don’t really have a sweet tooth.  I just like how cute everything is, and it makes me happy to give it to people who love to eat sweets! I’ll update with photos soon!

What are your favorite Christmas treats?  What are you making for Christmas this year?  Gifts, cookies, candy, I’d love to see them!  Post your links in the comments!

SewingMachineMonthWThis month is sewing machine month at the sew mama sew blog, and what better way to jumpstart my return to blogging than with a meme?!

What brand and model do you have? I have a Pfaff Hobby 1132

How long have you had it? I’ve had this machine for a little over a year now, 16 months

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? around 400.00

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I started out making purses and stuffed toys, as my skills improved I  began quilting, which I love.  I also like making handy things for myself, like most recently a padded laptop cover for my netbook.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I sew a lot, I usually go through phases of working daily on a project, finishing, then taking a long break, and coming back to do more projects.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love my machine, its very powerful, I never have problems sewing through layers and layers of fabric.   I’m very happy with my machine, its a good all purpose sewing machine.  I don’t have name for my machine, because I think naming inanimate objects is dumb.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? My favorite feature is the automatic needle threader, so handy!

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? I wish the arm was longer so it would be easier to quilt!

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! I have sewed through my index finger before, making a sock monkey!  I started sewing when I was laid off, with my mom’s old brother sewing machine.  I found that I really liked to sew and I was good at it, so I started making more and more ambitious projects like making quilted purses, and I kept breaking needles.  The machine stopped working, so I took it to get repaired, and found the timing had gotten messed up.  I got it fixed, and seriously less than a week later the same thing happened.  So instead of getting it fixed again, I just bought a new machine.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Yes I would recommend because its a great all purpose sewing machine with a powerful motor to get through tough fabrics or many layers.  It has quite a few different stitches, and you can change the position the needle so it makes it easier sewing zippers or using special feet.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? I think it depends on the individual sewer, everyone has different things they find important.  For me, at the time I bought my sewing machine, I wanted something reliable and powerful, with a good variety of stitches and feet.   I will say that I feel trying the machine out before you buy it is extremely important, so you get a feeling of how it works and if its going to work for you.  I bought my sewing machine at a local sewing shop, not a big box store or online, so I was able to do this.  If I am going to be spending a lot of money, I want to be sure its what I wanted!

Do you have a dream machine? Now that I do more quilting, my dream machine would be a long arm quilting machine with a frame.  I tried one out at the IQF in Chicago, and I fell in love!  Too bad they are huge and cost thousands of dollars.  A girl can dream though!

new fabric!

January 22, 2009

All the fabric I ordered finally came in that I ordered from fabric.com and equilter (neither of which sent me the aformentioned wonky fat quarters).  After new years, they both had really good sales on their designer fabric, so I kindof went crazy.  I got some Michael Miller, Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope – yay!, Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Heather Ross and some other random things.   I haven’t yet really accumulated a stash, so this was my beginning.  I have random fabrics left over from projects, but I wanted to have more of a variety so I can do things more on the fly, giving me more options  and room to experiment.  Until now, I have worked by deciding a project, picking out the fabric specifically for the project, then making it.  But I think I like having the freedom of having options right there when the mood strikes me to start something.

I got quite a lot of “cute” fabrics because I will start making some baby quilts soon.  I’ve been drafting some patterns for some baby quilts I am really excited about and I think will be a good start to my etsy store.  I have so much to do before I can open it, but at least things are moving forward.  I’ve been reading the book Craft, Inc and it has been really inspirational as far as giving a lot of insight and direction on how to organize a hobby business.  So right now I’m in the process of picking out and having made fabric labels, creating a logo and banners with help from my amazingly talented friend Christine, making business cards, tags…and I’m sure there is something I am forgetting.

I guess I am just a perfectionist at heart, and I have been considering opening this shop for a while.  So I am committing to doing it “right” – whatever my definition of that is.  And I want to have all of that ready and done before I open the store, because for me that is the best way to do it.

not dead yet!

January 16, 2009

I promise I will post some content this weekend. Its been a slow start to the year. I think I need one of those indoor natural light lamps to perk me up. I’ve started my ohio sky bed quilt and gotten some great new fabrics to start my baby quilts. You’ll see them soon, promise!

a slow start

January 6, 2009

I have had a hard time getting motivated after Christmas.  The beginning of the year is never a good time for me, I have a really hard time and don’t really feel like celebrating.  This is a craft blog though!  But I guess part of it may be that after all of the joy of the holidays, and stress and excitement, I just hit a valley, emotionally speaking.  So even though I have lots of projects in mind for this year, its been hard to get started.  Plus I got two new games for the Wii and that can always be a huge time sink and easy distraction.  So to start the new year off nice and easy, I thought that I would start with a project  that has been pushed off to the side for a long long time.

pattern and fabrics

pattern and fabrics

The camera distorted the colors of the fabric in all these pictures, mostly because I was photographing at night.  Its not so yellow. I bought this Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric a long time ago to make a quilt for my bed.   Unfortunately with all the babies being born and weddings I had to go to, and Christmas, and birthdays…it got sidetracked.  So I decided to start the year with a project for myself.  I finally started it, and now I am really excited to get it finished.  Sometimes the hardest part is just starting.

the last few fat quarters I needed to cut

the last few fat quarters I needed to cut

I bought fat quarters of all the Ohio Sky colorway fabrics in Midwest Modern.  The blues and greens she uses are some of my favorite colors, very soothing and vintagey.   The quilt itself is fairly simple, 198 4.5″ x 7.5″ blocks, sewn into 18 rows, which are then staggered to create the brick path look.

cutting was fast, nothing complicated here!

cutting was fast, nothing complicated here!

It should come together fairly quickly, but I have had the hardest time finding matching pom poms that the pattern suggests sewing into the corners.  I may leave them out.  But I like pom poms, so I may try searching again or tea dying some white ones to match the creamy colors in the fabric.

ready to start

ready to start

I think getting this done will motivate me for the other projects I have planned for this year.  There are 2, maybe 3 more quilts I have sketched out designs for. This will be the first time trying something without a pattern.  I ordered fabric from equilter.com for one of them which I can’t wait to show you once it arrives.   They were having a huge clearance sale, so I picked up a lot of stuff.

Besides my 2 quilt ideas, my goal is to complete about 4 baby quilts and a bunch of tie dye baby onesies and open up my first etsy shop this year.  I am aiming for a may opening so I think that gives me plenty of time!  There’s a lot to do before that happens, including learning how to take better pictures of my work, and hopefully getting one of my talented friends to help me design a logo and banner for my shop.  I am really excited about doing this so I hope I follow through!