Saturday, July 27

Rainwater Harvesting

We've had an unusual amount of rain this July here in North Texas.  One of the seminar topics I host several times a year for work is Rainwater Harvesting.  Over the last four years I have become an somewhat of an avid "harvester" (that is a word). 

This is my most recent addition to my rain barrel collection.  I am so happy with this barrel because our HOA isn't sending me letters about it since it's pretty.  I had a painted plastic barrel and got a "get rid of it" letter, but with this one... not a word or a letter.  LOL.

The hobby has become very fun and somewhat addictive, I would have more barrels if I had more space.   I try use to rain water for all our flowerbeds, flower pots and trees, that helps us conserve the treated water we purchase from the city.  This  barrel is located at the front of the house and collects the water from a major roof valley, as the barrel fills, I use a pump and a 75 foot hose that is hidden in our flower bed and along the side of the house to transport the water to less fancy barrels behind our fence in the back yard.  (One of these days I am going to film of video of the process).  I actually have a total of 9 barrels and collect approximately 500 gallons of water per rain event. 

I have a Pinterest board dedicated to rainwater harvesting ideas, if you are interested in learning more.  And, if your local you can register for my next Build a Rain Barrel workshop on September 19.  More information at Green McKinney web page.  . 

Hope you are having a great weekend. 

Sunday, July 21

Chevron Zipper Pouch

First time to use chevron fabric, one hundredth time to use this pattern.  Yes, another zipper pouch.  Amazing all the looks you get with different fabrics.  This was a special order from a friend for a bride and these are her new initials.  What a thoughtful gift. 
I finally do something in chevron, I am behind the curve.  Everyone has been using chevron fabrics for more than a year and I finally got some.  I wasn't a fan of the large prints because I make small items but when I came across this at Applique Getaway, I had to purchase a fat quarter.
Love this fabric, I think it would be cute in my office!  Hope the bride likes her gift.  And, hope you've had a great weekend. 

Thursday, July 18

Monogram Bloomers

I have not embroidered bloomers in quite a while.  I was surprised to get a custom request for these.

I think they turned out cute.  They are shipping to North Carolina today.  I wish I had had my embroidery machine when Micaela was little, I would have embroidered every single pair she had.  

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, July 16

Patriotic Pennant Banner

This is the banner that Angie my partner in the Patriotic Swap sent me.  Isn't it darling!  I had it hung on my mantle but I could not get a good picture, so I hung it on the bannister of the front patio to take a picture.  I just love all the fabrics she used! 
You can see all the other great items that were sent and received from all of the other girls on Instagram by searching #spiritsewingswap.  Hope you are having a great Tuesday!

Monday, July 15

Hula Girl Zipper Pouch

Micaela was upset when not a single gift shop in Kauai had her name on a souvenir item-- you know the little license plates, key rings and gadgets.  We could not find "Micaela" on anything, anywhere!  I promised to make her something when we got back with some of the fabric I bought at one of the fabric stores.

So here is her very own Hula Girl Zipper Pouch with her name on it! (Poor girl doesn't have very many personalized items-- not). I told her no one in the world has one like it-- that sorta helped.
This print is so darn cute, I got a yard of it and plan to make several things.  Hope you are having a great Monday, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 14

Day 1 Appliqué Getaway

Day 1 of Applique Getaway was great.  The event was held at the Westin Hotel in Frisco just down the road from our house.  The organizers said there was more than 700 ladies registered. 
All the big digitizers I buy designs from were there.  My favorites are Embroidery Boutique, Digistitches and Lynnie Pinnie.    Here is the sponsor area with many samples from all the digitizers. 

There was several fabric vendors there, two had pretty big assortments and selections.  The Fabric Cobbler and All Stitched Up by Angela, both had great displays and lots to buy.  I really had to use a lot of self control!  Here is one shelf display of the many there--- 
At the beginning of the day, the lines were long to buy fabric but after the classes started, the lines were reasonable. 
There was quite a few classes.  One of my favorites was from Sew Michelle on making bags out of mesh.  I can't wait to try this.  Aren't these bags adorable!
All in all it was a great day.  I am looking forward to going back for part of the Sunday sessions.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 13

Applique Getaway

Today I am attending the Applique Getaway in Frisco Texas.   I am so lucky this conference is only 10 miles or so from our house.  Usually all the fun sewing get togethers are in other states.

One of the cool thing the organizers did was create an applique logo for the event.  The digital file was available for all attendees and we were challenged to make a tote, water bottle, shirt or whatever with the applique.  Here is my tote. 

I literally just finished this at 2am!  Yes, I procrastinated but my excuse is that I just got back into town.  It will be cool to see everyone's bags tomorrow!  
This is the inside lining with pockets for cell phone, pen, etc. The lining fabric is SEW by Sweetwater, it's my first time to use a "low volume" print. The print is actually like a dictionary of sewing terms. Yes, I am a sewing nerd!

The floral fabric is Round the Garden by Mary Engelbreit by Andover Fabrics.  I am a HUGE fan of Mary Engelbreit (ME), I used to work in her store at the Dallas Galleria many years ago when I was first out of college.  This is the backside of the bag... Had to add a green M to make it a little more versatile and personalized.  It's 2am and I better head to bed, long day tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 12

Fun Mail- Patriotic Swap

Came home from our glorious trip to Kauai.  We had a wonderful time with 30+ family members.  It's been a few days and I am still adjusting to the time change.  I think my body liked it when I got up at 6am Hawaii time...but somehow 12 noon doesn't really work in Texas.

When we arrived at our house, I had a wonderful package from my partner in the Patriotic Sewing Swap waiting for me.  The package contained four hand made items and this mini quilt is my favorite.

Isn't this lovely!  Angie my partner, did a fabulous job.  I love setting a patriotic table and this goes perfect with my Stars & Stripes Hartstone dinnerware I purchased in the 90's during Desert Storm (back when my love for tabletop began).

I'll show the other items in the next few days.  Thanks for stopping by!

Kauai Photos

We visited alot of wonderful places in Kauai.  One of the things we did on the first day was take a one hour airplane tour.  This was actually my Dad's idea and to be honest, I was not exactly convinced it was something we needed to do.  All I could think of was a plane crash.

A couple weeks before the trip, I booked the airplane tour and tried to keep a positive attitude.  Here we are right before we took off!

Somehow- by luck... I ended up sitting next to the pilot (we were assigned seats based on weight)... lucky me!  Not!  My husband glared at me when the Pilot told me to sit in the seat next to him.  I must say I had the best view but I was a nervous wreck the whole time because all of the controls and pedals in front of me and at my feet where live.

Here are some of the photos I took with my phone... the window glare shows but you get the gist of how gorgeous it was. 
Touring the island by air on the first day helped us formulate a list of the places we wanted to visit during the week.

Later on during the week,, we went to a many of the places we saw from the air.  Here are a few of the favorite spots.

The Kikauea Point Lighthouse
 Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
 Opaekaa Falls
Kalihiwai Beach
It really was a wonderful trip. 

Micaela could not get enough of the beach, she especially loved writing in the sand.  Thanks for scrolling down this far. 

Sunday, July 7

Last full day in Kauai

We spent the majority of the day at the beach today.  We leave late tomorrow. 

That's my feet and Troy & Micaela in the water.  It has been a great week. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabric Bowl Cover

One of the items I made for the Patriotic Swap was a fabric bowl cover.  I had been wanting to make some fabric bowl covers for a while.  The other day when I was at my grocery store I spotted some red, white and blue melamine bowls and right away I knew they would be perfect for the bowl covers and the patriotic swap.  The bowls are 6 inches in diameter, perfect for a side dish or a small amount of chips.

I looked at several tutorials, in the end I followed this one at Green Lifestyle in Australia.   I love the idea of reusable bowl covers and NOT using plastic wrap.

The tutorial was easy to follow.  I liked that it used two different fabrics so the cover is reversible.
I used some fun Texas fabric I've had in my stash for a while and fussy cut it so a big Texas was in the center.  My partner for the swap is also in Texas.  The other fabric I used was white with red and blue stars.   I didn't think about photographing the other side until the bowl was in the sealed box ready to ship. 

I am planning on making more of these.  I think using fun seasonal fabrics would be really cute for holidays too.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, July 5

Fabric Basket Swap MMQG

A Modern Quilt Guild just started in McKinney.  When we met in June, we exchanged bags of fabric for a fabric basket swap. 

This is what I received....

Holy cow was that ALOT of different fabric strips and one half yard of pink solid.  Gulp!

I decided I would use as many of the strips as I could and make the basket itself pink.  I tried piecing the strips together several different ways until I decided 2" strips diagonally worked best.  Here are the strips pieced together. 

I trimmed the strip to 1.5" and top stitched it all around the bag.  There are 16 different fabrics all the way around.  I was originally going to have the top edge fold down but decided to embroider the recipient's name on it and just top stitch a decorative stitch around the top. 

This is how the basket turned out.
I decided to make a few things to fill the basket.  First a wonky pieced pin cushion.  Instead of leaving the seams plain, I top stitched a decorative stitch that looked like beads and added a big B to the center panel.  I think this turned out pretty cute.

The next thing I made was a crisscross tissue holder.  I didn't have enough of all of the fabrics so I pieced strips together to make it work... the inside is "lined" with different fabrics. 

The last item I made was a zipper pouch.  If you follow my blog you know I have made many of these.  This is actually the first one I make in a solid color. 

This is a college of everything I made for BettePat. 

I was not at the meeting because I was in Kauai but here's a picture of BettePat when she received it. 

This swap was so much fun, I look forward to more of these opportunities.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 4

Greetings from Kauai

We've been in Kauai since Sunday...

We're here with 30+ other family members for a reunion celebrating anniversaries, birthdays and graduations.  We are having a great time.  It's technically still the 3rd of July here but already the 4th in Texas.  Hope you are having a great day!