Friday, March 29, 2013

FMQ Friday: Catching up With LIfe


I forgot what it was like to work there for a second.

It feels great to be back in the real world, but my quilts and my blog have been suffering because of it!

This is where I am so far on Express Your Love. 
I'm not really happy with how the body looks, I'm not sure what happened with the shape. Luckily I used the cat hairball stitch so I can just build on it to change the shape! 
I am, however, happy with how the face has turned out. It looks great!

Q: Who has two thumbs and the coolest grandmother in the world?     

A: This girl. 
Check out all that awesome stuff. An entire container of buttons, some hoops, thread, thread, and more thread! 
Shout out to Nonnie for being awesome! She visits me... correction Madison... almost every Saturday and lately, she's been bringing me goodies too! It took her 2 hours to clean out her sewing room and put together these goody bags for me... 2 hours!
She said it was fun... how adorable is she. Seriously.                                                  

Nonnie, Madison, and my mother's terribly ugly pink couch. 

So as usual, I'm linking up with Leah Day's FMQ Friday.

Quilt on,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Now on Bloglovin

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I haven't posted in quite a while because I've been doing an overnight pet sitting job!
Don't you worry, I'll be back with my progress on Express Your Love and some other fun projects I'm working on!
Until then, have a wonderful day!

Quilt on,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lube to the rescue!

Jack hammer be gone!!!!

My machine is lubed up and ready for some action!

Take it however you want to. Today I got a job and celebrated by stopping at Joann's for some machine oil...
... I knew I should have just grabbed a basket.
I couldn't be happier to have a job that I will love, and be good at! I will be working for a pet sitting company called No Worries Petsitting! I'll be walking, jogging, and sitting pets as well as doing marketing and networking for the company, huzzah!
The oil giving a thumbs up because it's awesome!

So after Joann's I quickly raced home (going about 20 miles an hour because of the blizzard. In March. What? Isn't it spring next week. Snow. Grrr.) and lubed up the Singer! She's in tip top shape and sounds brand new! I wanted to quilt a bit before bed so I decided to work on my goddess's face.

I'm using the cat hairball stitch, but on an extremely small scale.  I must say, when I first saw this design I hated it. I thought to myself what would anyone use this for, it's hideous. Then Leah Day did it on a smaller, denser scale. I actually like it for the face and body.
I will be using the same thread for the face and body.
My goddess will be naked because I want to show my love for my body, of which I have little.
As for now I'm off to doodle some feathers thanks to the great idea from Maddie, the most Bad Ass Quilter. She's currently working on a beautiful feather quilted piece and I'm in love with it. Like a lot. Check her out on facebook, she always has photos of her work up!
I am now also linking up to Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting Blog. She has a linkup for blogs with under 50 followers, if you fall in this category, you should too! Not to mention, her blog is totally awesome. Great tutorials and some super cool up-cycle stuff!!!!
My next project is to take on the 401a and make her shine like new!
Quilt on,


Saturday, March 16, 2013

FMQ Saturday: Happy International Quilting Day!

Yesterday was date day with D. We had a great time! Spent the late morning at Barnes and Noble, went to a local bar for clams, wings, and beer, then spent the afternoon at the dog park with Madison! It was so relaxing and wonderful to have a day off together!

More importantly, happy international quilting day!!! How are you all celebrating!?

Today is the perfect day to quilt, it's cold and snowing here in eastern Pennsylvania, absolutely beautiful outside! I started my day with coffee, a bagel, and Quilting Arts Magazine. Now I'm working on my jackhammer, er, I mean sewing machine. My grandmother came over today and said she will give me a can of oil because it sounds horrible! Ooops, sorry sewing machine, and thanks to Nonnie for the oil!

I'm working on Express Your Love.
Here is my progress thus far:

While browsing pinterest the other day the next words to go on my quilt came to me. I saw a pin that said "be good to yourself." Lately, I've been very good to myself. I've been indulging in bubble baths and good wine, painting my nails, and even doing my makeup just to make myself feel good. It's been great. Something I have struggled with throughout my life is being kind to myself. This kind of goes along with the words "I am enough." I also must be kind to myself! I love that I chose these words. They're empowering and moving to me. To any quilters eye this quilt is not 100% perfect, but to me it is. It's a learning experience as well as a therapeutic experience for me. I often find myself smiling while quilting, especially while thread painting. Sewing and quilting makes me happy, ecstatic even. I couldn't be happier to have found an online community of amazing quilters as well. I never knew that I'd get so much support from strangers just by starting a hobby and a blog!

I want to take this time to say thank you. Thank you to those who read, thank you to those who comment, and a BIG thank you to those who have helped me troubleshoot my issues and taught me along the way.

Today I'm linking up with Leah Day's FMQ Friday... even though it's Saturday.

Join the sew-cail! 


Celebrating some more with a Weihenstephaner and The Quilt Show!

The Quilt Show is celebrating International Quilt Day with free shows! Check it out!

I hope you all have a fabulous World Wide Quilting Day as well as the rest of your weekend!
Quilt on,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dust bunnies galore

So my machine sounds like a jack hammer... no big deal. Right?


I decided to take the Sewing Machine 911 class offered by Craftsy. Claudia Miller taught me how to thoroughly clean my machine... like, take it apart. 

I was so nervous doing this I was sweating. Under arm sweat, forehead sweat, nasty gross sweat. I did it just as she showed me in the class and, honestly, it wasn't that bad! 

It was nasty. 
So nasty. 

I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more until I didn't see any more dust in there. This is what came out of it.
If you must know, it's Weihenstehaner Hefe Weissbier in that Bob Marley glass... Mmmm
So gross! 
I turned my machine back on and began quilting and it was silent!!!! I was sooo happy!

...for about 10 minutes. 

According to the class now I must oil my machine! Guess I'll be hitting up the fabric store tomorrow!
Until then...
Quilt on,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I built this quilt on Rock and Roll

I've been quilting and jamming out to Cher radio on Pandora... ut oh.

CAUTION: before reading further be warned that this post will be full of corny 80's and 90's lyrics because I think I'm witty.

I've had Hungry Eyes for new free motion designs. So tonight I did this.
I'm pretty excited about it.  It's a very simple flame design I knocked off from  Leah Day's Flame Stitch. By the way, Leah, You're The Inspiration.  

My McTavishing gives (express your) Love A Bad Name. As you can see it's spunkier and happier and funky. Mainly because I'm feeling spunkier and happier and funky! It's still not quite to par but I'm happy with it because I'm getting so much better. I'm sure Karen McTavish would cry if she saw this... then she'd probably teach me how to do it properly. 

Another one (is about to) bites the dust... My machine is making really loud noises and I don't know what to do! Ah! It's probably because I'm quilting an art piece on a Singer Stylist that was designed more for costume making rather than art quilting! I start my new job on Thursday and I'll immediately start saving for a new machine! Hopefully a Janome. 

This is the quilt thus far, I'm loving it! Every time I look at it I can't believe I did that! Even though it doesn't look perfect I can honestly say that I've Had The Time of My Life quilting Express Your Love! 

You may have asked yourself at some point What's Love Got Ta' Do, Got Ta' Do With It? The answer is everything!!! 

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. 

I'm having a very difficult time coming up with more words to add to the quilt. Tonight I can't stop thinking that "Pour Some Sugar On Me" would look great, yet terribly inappropriate for this quilt! 
If you were doing this quilt what would you write on it to express your love of yourself? 

I'm going to leave you with these wise words from the goddess herself "If I could reach the stars, I'd give them all to you, and you'd love me, love me, love me like you used to do." 

Quilt on, 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Anything but FMQ Friday

This is still as far as I've gotten on Express Your Love. Hasn't changed a bit since Tuesday. 

I've been so busy doing anything but quilting this week! Wednesday was my cousins funeral, it was a great closure. It was so hard to say goodbye, but now that I have I feel so much better. I know he is in a better place and reunited with our Grammy and Pappy, even thinking about it brings me peace. 
After the funeral I had all intentions to come home and quilt. I drank so much coffee all day I was ready to stay up all night! Rather than quilting, though, I decided to spring clean and purge a ton of mine and D's stuff from my mom's house! I brought 9 bags to the Salvation Army, 9!!!! Not only did it feel great to donate so much stuff, but it felt great to make room and organize! It will also make packing so much easier when we decide it's the right time to move. 

During my purging I came across this beauty!

It's in working order, just seems to need a little lubricant! I am so excited to use it! I will eventually have to get a table to fit my more modern Singer as I noticed D was a bit upset that I showed any interest in another machine. D got me the Singer Stylist for my birthday, and while I love it for costume making, it's SO difficult to FMQ on! Though I am still linking up with FMQ Friday!

I've been busy doing other things as well, like applying for jobs, and, drum roll please, interviewing! Today I had a phone interview to be a pet sitter/ dog walker/jogger! I have an in person final interview and background check on Tuesday. I am elated! Not only will this be a fun job, it will allow me to quilt and still do cosplay design on the side! 

Monday D and I both have appointments to see if we (both!) need surgery. I know, we're a mess. As I've said before, February was the month from hell. 
Please keep your fingers crossed for us! 

I'm sure next week I will be getting much more FMQ done as I need to make two, count that two, art quilts for friends who have "ordered" them from me. One of my friends, Katie, is an extremely talented artist who will be painting a portrait of Madison for us! The other, Jabir (Tahera's younger brother) offered to pay me for a quilt. 

March is definitely turning out to be a great month!!! 

Happy Optimism Month and International Women's Day!!!

Quilt on (or you know, whatever you want to do),

Thursday, March 7, 2013


401a. As in Singer 401a. I believe it was my great grandmothers. It's been sitting in our billiards (junk) room for probably 10 years. This is what it looked like earlier today.

I am terribly sorry Miss 401a that you had yard sale items, a broken gutter, dog training homework and black dynamite on top of you for all this time.





This is what it currently looks like.

I must have tried to use it in high school, because there's lime green thread up top and dark green in the bobbin.

I wound up attempting to use it and broke thread every time I attempted a stitch. I did download the user manual and the repair manual... just in case.

I can't wait to get working on this beauty!

For now, Express Your Love is taking a break and I'm going to be getting Miss 401a up and running in no time! Imagine I could have my own work space and stop working at the kitchen table!

For now, I will leave you with this... my helper for the day!


Quilt on,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let the sun shine in

I've been wanting to blog so terribly bad for a few days now, but things have been hectic in this household! I wish I could say hectic in a good way, but unfortunately I can't. Soon enough we will be back on track and life will be sunny and beautiful again!

Some great news for today, Tahera, my expecting friend, LOVED her quilt. She was showing it off to everyone at her shower and made me take a picture with her! It made me feel extremely proud of my work, and EXTREMELY excited to meet this little boy! She is due in April, but I have a feeling he'll be here earlier than expected!

Today is Kevin's funeral and it is dreary outside. I have mixed emotions because it still doesn't feel quite real that he is gone, I hope to be able to pour these feelings into my Express Your Love quilt later today.

Speaking of my goddess, here is her progress.

As you can see my McTavishing, though not perfect (no where near, in fact), is getting smoother! ...But... Why is my bobbin thread coming up in little bubbles like that? I haven't changed my tension or technique. Fellow quilters, help! 
I also worked a bit on the earth. As you can see in one panel I "double stitched" the green, almost as if I was threat painting, I'm still not sure which I like better! 

I'm having a difficult time thinking of more positive mantras to add to my quilt. How can I express my love for myself? 

If you were (or are) quilting the Express Your Love quilt what would (or have) you written to express your love? 

I hope you all have a beautiful day!

Quilt on,

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Two days ago D (the boyfriend) informed me that March is National Optimism Month. Sure as sunshine, it is.

I woke up this morning and understood why when I heard the birds chirping outside my window! Spring is coming, flowers are blooming, and babies are being born.

Speaking of babies, Ive been taking a break from Express Your Love for the past two days to work on a baby quilt for my friend Tahera.

It was fun to switch gears from art quilt to baby quilt. it also got me excited for the baby boy to get here so we can all meet him!

Tahera's baby shower is today and I'm very excited for her to receive the quilt!

I'll be back to working on Express Your Love on Monday!

Stay optimistic!

Quily on,

Friday, March 1, 2013

Don't worry, be happy.

Happy March 1st, it's a new month for new beginnings!

February was difficult, to say the least. I sprained my ankle and tore some ligaments, I had to resign from my job due to the injury, I'm still not back at work, D has had some medical issues, and my cousin passed away. I just got news that the elderly woman I help care for is not doing well, and this week may be her last. 

It's been a turbulent month. A month of tears and excessive anxiety. I'm ready to move on, and I'm glad I have Express Your Love here to help me. 

This is my progress so far. It's beautiful and I am so proud of it. I am also proud of myself, that through all of my heart ache I've continued to work on something solely for myself. 
I've really been pouring my heart and feelings into the quilt, and I think it shows. Today, I'm linking up with FMQ Friday, on Leah Day's website. As I've said before, this is where I've gotten the pattern for the Express Your Love quilt.

I worked on the hair of my goddess the day I found out my cousin, Kevin, passed away. Through tears and sorrow my McTavishing turned out quite sad itself. 

Luckily McTavishing is a very forgiving form of FMQ and the finished piece doesn't look all together that bad. I am still proud of my work. I think my feeling and grief show through in the hair of my goddess. 

I also worked on echoing... probably my second favorite part of this quilt! 

It reminds me of graffiti art. It's just so raw and awesome
I love the purple color of it, I love the effect it gives my thread painting, I love everything about it! It's just so fun. I did this after I gave up on McTavishing for the day, and it lifted my spirits. It reminded me how fun my cousin Kevin was. How every little thing to him was made fun. How his favorite song to dance to was the YMCA. How I need to make my life more fun. 
Rest peacefully, Kevin.
Kevin (right) and sister Donna (left) at my parents wedding in '88.

In loving memory of Kevin T. Smith
3/10/81 - 2/25/13