Life happens


Sorry to have been away for so very long.

My father has been very sick and so I’ve been away from home for quite some time. I was able to take a few days to run home (From Texas to Alabama and back) to get some things so I could still do some work. Unfortunately, my parents home just isn’t set up to accommodate a sewing studio. lol Mom is finally getting use to my things being out in the computer room so I’m getting some things done.

My first order of business was to finish a quilt for my Dad. It was started before his hospitalization with the intent of being a Christmas gift; however, since we spent Christmas in the critical care unit, it didn’t get done. It’s finally finished now and he loves it. I’ll have to post some pictures later. The picture here is of the second quilt I’ve finished, this time for my online store. I call it “A Simple Love”… it just seemed like it needed a name. I wanted to try my hand at a whole cloth quilt but couldn’t resist a punch of red in honor of the upcoming holiday. I really like the way it turned out. I think it looks sweet. 🙂

More importantly, I’m super happy that Dad is doing much better and gives me his input on my design ideas when I’m not beating him at Scrabble. 😀

Crafter’s A.D.D.

Poinsettia Applique Cover

Basket 2 Basket1

sparkle balls sparkle balls2

Well, I finally finished the holiday pattern I was working on and got it in my shop.

In the meantime, I’ve been distracted by everything little neat project that I see! I feel like the creative bug is driving me a little nuts.

Here are just some of the things I’ve been working on from the time I started t the time I finishes this pattern:

1. I started a quilt for my Dad, which for some reason I’ve redesigned seven times since starting.

2. I took a Craftsy class on knitting toe-up socks. I should have started simpler. Flight school may have been easier. Holy cow! lol

3. I started weaving a basket out of some of the paper I needed to shred because I saw instructions in Spanish on You Tube and became obsessed. (Mind you, my Spanish is muy feo!) My first basket is a long and narrow vase like basket ‘m making to hold the paper tubes I’ll need to make more baskets. :-/

4. I made five sparkle balls for Christmas out of plastic cups and Christmas lights (also courtesy of YouTube) and bought a ridiculous amount of other outdoor decorations including a 6 foot wreath I already feel guilty about buying and so it remains in the trunk of my car. I may be afraid that once I bring it into the house, I won’t take it back. It is possible that I am channeling Clark Griswald this year.

5. I decided to tear out another wall in my quest for more sunlight my 40 year old house. Have I mentioned I already have part of my bedroom wall torn out and the subfloor exposed?

My problem is that I want to do all of these things as soon as I get the idea in my head and so I start them on a whim. Then I remember that I really should be trying to get more items in my store before Christmas and so I stop in the middle of my latest obsession and make something for the store. As soon as I finish one or two items, something else shiny catches my attention. SQUIRREL!

Cat chasing a laser spot. That’s me right now. 🙂

P. S. Sorry, no pictures of the quilt in progress. It’s a surprise for Dad. 🙂

Added a New University to my College Pillow Line


I have a couple of friends who went to TCU so I thought I would do up a couple of pillows in honor of the Horned Frogs. It doesn’t hurt that I love purple and wanted to make something with my purple fleece. 🙂

I like to explore juxtapositions so the contrast of the rough texture of burlap combined with the cozy softness of fleece appeals to me. Sure the pillows are sporty and cute but more than that they are a tactile delight. I guess you might call me a sensualist in that I love to experience things  through as many senses as possible simultaneously. The things I make often reflect that. I want people to enjoy the look of a pillow or quilt as much as they love snuggling up to it. If I could make them scratch and sniff and play the sound of babies giggling I would just to involve more senses!

This picture isn’t the best. I just took a quick on with my phone but I’ll get some better ones during daylight tomorrow to update the listing in my little ship.

Lesson Learned

I decided I need to take this venture into business more seriously by putting it first… starting next year. This year is my time to catch up with family after multiple deployments now that I’m out of the Army. Still, I have to acknowledge that when an opportunity for a large sale comes around, I shouldn’t automatically send an “On vacation” reply to a custom order. It’s not just about the money but about the exposure. So, when I got a query about making 23 custom pillows I was super excited. That hard part was that I was in Texas visiting my parents and planned to head to Seattle the next day. I drive almost everywhere nowadays. We truly have a beautiful country, might as well enjoy it right? Anyway, I get this request with a relatively short suspense considering I’m a one woman show. Over the course of several emails, a couple of valuable days and assurances of purchase, I purchased a ton of fleece and burlap and ordered all of the other materials I needed in bulk. Then I hit the road to get back to Alabama and do the work.

The final decision to be made was on the font for the requested embroidery, which took another day to receive. I worked out the shipping costs for the final invoice to adjust for shipping several pillows together, which saved the customer a couple of hundred dollars off of shipping twenty-three individual packages and sent a coupon code for an additional 5% off the purchase price in gratitude for the large purchase.

This time I got an immediate response of “Whoa”. The client hadn’t actually looked at the price for each pillow with is $45. She only saw the price for the addition of custom embroidery with is $5 so she thought that each pillow was $5 when in fact it was $50. I sent her an email explaining the pricing and asking if she would like to modify or cancel her order and have yet to receive a reply. I don’t want to be pushy but I’m pretty irritated. I could have gone out with my nieces for Halloween and not had to look at this stockpile of fleece, burlap and pillow stuffing.

But, the glass is half full. I didn’t et too far on her pillows so I should be able to sell the few I started and I probably won’t have to buy any more fleece until next fall. The worst part is jerking around my family on our plans. They are so understanding, but I hate that I did that. So, here’s are the lessons learned.

1.  When dealing with custom orders, reiterate the important things in the listing up front, even if you think the client actually read it.

2. If there’s a short suspense to complete the order, the clock doesn’t start until the customer has paid, period… make that clear as well, If they need it by a certain date, subtract the amount of time it will take to mail their items to them, then the time to make the item(s), then the time to receive your supplies and explain that you will not be able to complete their order in time if payment isn’t received by that date. Sometimes, you just can’t do it. (But offer options.)

3. Do not order supplies in advance that you won’t be able to use in other projects if the sale falls though. Thankfully, I did well on this one but I might have to try to make the short suspense since shipping time might delayed me.

As soon as the rest f these supplies arrive, I’ll hit the road again across country. Gotta get in that family time!

I’ll just close shop this time like it’s a brick and mortar store.

Anyway, this is a snap shot of some the steps just to make the front of these burlap pillows sequenced from bottom to top. If you’re interested in how to make some of your own, just leave me a note and I’ll be happy to explain my process. 🙂


What I’m working on now.

ImageI thought I might do a Christmas pattern for my store for the holidays. I made a sunflower quilt using my improvised wonky Dresden blocks which gave me an idea for a poinsettia block. I only made a couple of pillows with the design so far but I think they went from an idea to fruition pretty successfully.

I’ll post a picture of those pillows once I’ve finished editing the pattern instructions, but here is are my sunflower Dresden blocks that inspired me on a quilt I made. I’m kind of proud of my quilting in the negative space. 🙂