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Found This Week

I don’t remember when I found A Lady In France but I love reading her blog. I know I do a bad job at talking about our life here, and if you are interested in that, I am sorry. She has posted her third video and this one shares tips for dining in France. I am happy to realize I know all of these things! I hope you enjoy. I am working on a new format for the blog and look forward to sharing more about our life here.

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I admit that my favorite way to finish a pillow is to do the envelope method, but it’s probably time I learned to like zippers. Well, zippers on pillows anyway. There are a few ways of doing zippers, the most popular seems to be on a seam, but I like this method that puts the zipper in the middle of the back (maybe not the exact middle, but not on a seam either). And the plus is that it stays hidden with a fabric flap.

This is crazy awesome – see if you can help someone or if you have something you would like help with and submit if you do.

A Long Time Coming Hexies

After a quick scroll on instagram, I discovered that I started sewing these hexagons waaaaay back when we lived in San Diego. By my calculations (and thanks to instagram saying how many weeks ago something was posted), I first started sewing them two years ago. Two years! Ah well, at least now they have a purpose.

I pulled out all the hexagons – made with Lucy’s Crab Shack and coordinating solids – and made larger panels. These have evolved in their plans – I started the hexies with no pattern in mind, then I thought placemats would look nice when we were living in San Diego and again farther north in Monterey (the fabric does have a beachy/live by the water feeling). After a bit, and nothing coming of the hexagons, I thought mug rugs would look good, I could give them as gifts! But they stayed sewn together and just waited for what they were to become.

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And the other day I stumbled upon this extra large box bag post! Inspiration! I turned what would have been six placemats (or mug rugs) (or anything else really) and turned them into the beginnings of three box bags.

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These are large panels so they could also be oversized tote bags. I decided to make them for Christmas gifts for JW’s teachers. I don’t want to scramble in December because I forgot, and I like to take advantage of inspiration hitting at the right time. I have three panels, two of the same size and one just a little smaller, and I will probably have to add a little border. I don’t have big enough zippers right now, so I’ll have to also figure the final size after I buy zippers.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Found This Week

This is maybe one of the easiest ways – if not the easiest – to make an ironing board cover. I’ve made two or three covers and this will be the next way I make one.

A podcast about quilting bees – I love bees, sewing with friends or for friends, and only wish I had easier access to the mail so I could participate in an easy manner. Shipping is expensive from here. I have joined one bee and did swaps over the summer and I hope to join at least a few more swaps during the year. I do have this Block Party book and love it, even if it’s a few years old, the stories along with the block instructions are fun.

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My daughter goes through stages of her creativity – she draws, paints, colors, uses colored pencils, etc. I’ve taught her – or attempted to teach her – how to crochet, sew, doing embroidery, and more. The other day she asked again about embroidery and I explained it to her and we looked at some examples around the house. I got a membership to the Alphabet Motif Club and am going to have her work on it.

And what a fitting way to end this week’s finds with something awesome. Turns out I’m a part of the TNRPIMPQ. Sweet.

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Found This Week

One of my favorite features is the “what goes with what” by Pink Chalk Studio. Kathy and the rest of the Pink Chalk team pick solids that go with various lines and every time I see a collection, I want to buy it all. This one is Denise Schmidt’s newest line Hadley.
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I love the idea of reading together as a family. Our routine here is so different compared to when we lived in the US. It’s because the school day is so different. Here the kids go from 8:30-4:30 four days a week, once we get home it’s 5, dinner, homework, a couple of chores and before you know it, it’s 8PM and everyone is tired. We started reading together this week and the first time we did it, we let JW pick the book. He picked the Adventures of Frog and Toad, an old favorite.
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Cotton + Steel made a huge entrance to the quilting/fabric world at Quilt Market and now that the fabric is out, there are a lot of great projects being made. (I can’t even start talking about the amazing women that created this fantastic company! It is too good.) I love squares and straight lines and this pillow shows both perfectly. This is a favorite quilting method for me – straight lines aren’t too hard to mess up and it just looks so good! I have a few pillow forms that need pillows and I just got the Cotton + Steel that I ordered! I’m excited, we get the mail not so often so when I do get mail, it looks like I went crazy with fabric orders. I don’t, it’s just that if you order something here and there, you end up with a huge pile of fabric after a few months. And so here is my Cotton + Steel (on the lower left!) along with other fabrics.
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 Last on my list this week, but not least in any way at all, is The Lively Podcast – a new to me podcast and I downloaded the past few months episodes. I love this one and look forward to listening to more.

Toes In The Sand

Whew, a block of the month is both fun and can cause impatience. I work hard to be patient so that second part wasn’t so bad, until I got to the “oh I’m almost done!” part. Then I felt like time slowed to a crawl. And I didn’t want to make the template for the half triangles (seen in the bottom and left side of the picture below) and I luckily have a triangle ruler that helped me get the job done.

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When I first started this project, I did the blocks not too long after I received them in the mail. I saved the scraps and extra pieces along with each block, planning on using them in the backing. I clipped the block numbers to the blocks using the ever so useful clover wonder clips.

I had a moment of panic when I was sorting the blocks. I found fabric that had the block number attached to it, rather than the number attached to a block.

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Considering I am ready (meaning all the stuff is sewn or cut) to lay the blocks out and get to sewing, you can imagine the sigh of relief I breathed once I found the blocks that were missing a number! The next step is to decide on a layout. Well, not really a layout, but just the order of sewing these. My kit came with a suggested layout – the blocks are all numbered and they have a paper that shows where to put which number. But I’m not sure how I feel about that, I like to change up patterns so I’ll probably do the same to this one.  I’m excited to finish this, and even more excited to try new free motion quilting designs.

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Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Hello – Small Blog Meet

Hello to those visiting from Lily’s Small Blog Meet linky! I am Tsoniki and it’s nice to meet you. I’m just getting back into blogging regularly and I’m always looking for new inspiration and people to meet. This looks like a great way to meet new people so let me tell you a little about myself.

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Myself and my youngest, in the airport on the way to Ireland. We had a great summer – a week of hanging out by the pool, relaxing, reading books, sewing, and a few weeks of travel to Ireland, North Ireland, and the UK. It was our first family vacation ever. It was a little stressful planning everything, and we had moments that were stressful, but overall it was a really great experience.

I have two other children and since we are currently living in France, all three are in school. I say currently living because my husband is in the military and we move a lot. A lot. We’ve moved fourteen times in over fourteen years. As I say in my about page, if I’ve packed boxes to move across town, it’s moving. School here doesn’t start until September, and as I write this, the backpacks are packed and kids are in bed reading.

These days I quilt more than any other art or craft, though I also create beadwork. I know how to crochet but it’s been months since I picked up a hook. I recently learned how to do screen printing and can’t wait to try again. I’ve never sewn clothes but I just bought a few patterns so I can learn. I’ve been interested for several years but it just feels intimidating to me.

I am very active on instagram and am working on getting my podcast started back up. We are able to enjoy the adventure overseas for a bit longer and I’m debating taking language classes. Maybe I should have taken them when we showed up, but I’ve managed so far. Unfortunately for me, the people we consider our closest friends here are moving soon and while they speak both English and French, other people we know speak less English. I can get by, but I know I need more.

I am always looking for quilting inspiration and I look forward to sharing more and also checking out what you have to share!

Small Blog Meet

Quilt Labels

I have a stack of quilt tops just waiting for backings and to be finished. I decided I would just get to work on finishing them rather than waiting for the quilt fairy to visit! I already left a stack of quilts in the US with my Mom, she had them quilted and they are all done now. But since I’m overseas, I need to be a little creative with how I am finishing things.

One thing I rarely do is label my quilts. I just make them and give them away. Since I am waiting on making backs (or waiting to get the mail – I’m ordering some wide backing fabric asap!) I thought why not make some quilt labels so I can just easily label things.

I used Julie at Jaybird Quilts label tutorial that she wrote up, part one and part two, which includes a template for photoshop! The hardest part was picking a font. I have a collection of fonts left over from my early days of building websites, so it took a bit of picking and choosing before I liked what I designed.

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I love these. I’ve used only one so far, on a quilt I finished for one of the teacher’s at the end of the school year. I cannot wait until I can use more, I ordered backings for four quilts and have two baby quilts I am also working on finishing. I need to find a better permanent marker/pen to use with the labels. I highly recommend checking out Julie’s tutorial if you need help getting some quilt labels made.