Thursday, May 31, 2012

Save the Date - July 1 for Red, White & Blue

I'm super excited to be participating in the upcoming Sew We Quilt Red, White & Blue Blog Hop.  You'll get to hop all over the web and visit lots of quilty blogs and see lots of red, white & blue blocks for the first half of July.  The blog hop runs from July 1 to July 16th and there are over 90 participants.  That's alot of awesome red, white & blue quilti-ness.

Stop back here on July 1st to see my block.  I have two ideas in the works and I have a whole month to pick the one I think you'll like best.

Jane's Fabric & Quilts is helping keep us organized - thanks again Jane!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Here and There

Here and there I've been working on a bunch of things, and it always feels like no matter what I get done the list is still long.  I've created new branding graphics for the blog and for my Etsy shop.  I wanted a vintage-looking sewing machine and some pink peonies of course, so this is what I came up with.  I use DrawPlus for graphics, both for work and fun, and it seems like I'm getting faster at completing things.  Hopefully that means I'm getting better too!  (DrawPlus is available at in both a free trial version and a paid version with lots of bells & whistles.)  I couldn't figure out how to get the quilt to look like its draped over the tabletop. 

When I get some time to put my feet up, I've been working on a new embroidery pattern I drew.  I love Celtic knots and I love the well known Irish Blessing, so out of my colored pencils came this pretty knot.  There will be a flower ring around the whole thing too - it will be a great pattern for hoop art or for a pillow cover.   "May the road rise to meet you."

Another item on my to-do list is a new doggie mat for Katie.  A while ago I did a disappearing nine patch with a small charm pack and it finished out at doll quilt size so its just barely big enough for her to lay on.  She's been using that in my bedroom instead of her giant doggie bed.  She seems to like having just a little cushion between her and the floor, so I want to make her a new one that is a bit bigger.  Another nine patch might be just the thing, so I tried a couple ideas on paper before sewing & chopping.  We have the disappearing kind and the not really disappearing kind here. I think she'll end up with the second version below. 

Using colored pencils is just so fun.   Work is keeping me busy these days, so the sewing has fallen by the wayside this week.  Its never far from my thoughts though.  Monday is my day off & I'm looking forward to sewing all day long!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome Gnome Embroidery

It's official! My first embroidery pattern is now available in my Etsy shop.  Its a fairly simple design using mostly back stitch, along with french knots, lazy daisies, chain stitch and a pinch of flat stitch.  Its a simple sketch so there are lots of options with your stitches, and many places to use the pattern.  It would be cute on a pillow, embellished dish towels, frame it or create embroidery hoop art, a quilt block or a tote bag.

Its super cute with red & white polka dots around it, isn't it?  Polka dots, gnomes and mushrooms just go together don't they? 

I included a page with my color choices and the stitches I used, along with some basic information on transfering patterns to your fabric. There are a couple other embroidery patterns in the works here in my studio (also known as my couch), along with a few ideas in my head and I'm really enjoying the thought of sharing these with you! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paper Piecing a Birdhouse Block

Do you have more than one project in the works at a time?  There are several crafts that I enjoy so between sewing and embroidery, knitting, sometimes scrapbooking, and other DIY decor things a girl can stay pretty busy.  I bounce around from craft to craft, and sometimes project to project in the same craft.  After my first encounter with paper piecing the Lone Starburst blocks for my do Good Stitches circle, thoughts of paper piecing have been simmering inside my head while I sew other things.  My thoughts finally landed and I created this birdhouse block.

Those photos were both posted on Instagram - you can follow me there as HotPinkPeonies!

Anywho, I wanted to do something fairly simple, but garden themed.  Since I love birds, I thought a bird house with a little birdie was in order.  A charm pack of Fresh Flowers by Deb Strain for Moda makes for a colorful garden-y pillow, don't you think? 

This was tons of fun, and didn't take too long once I decided what fabrics to use for the block.  Its a 6.5 inch block unfinished so with a little sashing here and a little blue bird there, it makes a cute pillow cover.  I added a strip of leftover squares to the back too for a cheerful pop of color.

There are alot of great tutorials on paper piecing on the internet, and I am by no means an expert yet so I suggest you read this tutorial by Faith of Fresh Lemons, and maybe watch this video by The Crafty Gemini.  I'd been directed to that YouTube video a couple times by fellow quilters and I think she does a great job of explaining things and showing the process.

Click here to download the 6.5 inch unfinished Birdhouse Block.  When you go to print the block, be sure to change Page Scaling to 'None', or it will print in a reduced size.  This is my first time including a pdf link, so please let me know if you have any problems, or any advice on downloads!

I'm linking up!

Creations by Kara

Friday, May 4, 2012

Aprons by Hot Pink Peonies

I'm doing a shameless plug here because I'm just so excited to have these done and online!  My little half aprons that I wear in my store have had several compliments over the past few months and there were even a few requests that I make and sell them.  So I've done just that and listed them in my Etsy shop.

Daisy Dots
The Daisy Dots apron is one I wear all the time at work.  The shop's signature color is teal, so its perfect, plus its so perky and fun.  I love the next two too.

Dolphins and Ocean Waves

Red and Blue Pillow & Maxfield
There are a few more in the works, like cupcakes and pink flamingos!  I find this size apron very useful and I'm really enjoying putting fabrics together to make them fun and eyecatching.  If you click over, let me know what you think - I'm open to feedback!  Its difficult to know if your descriptions are informative enough, since as the maker you already know why its a great thing.

What's up in your crafty world?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wonky Cross Blocks

Just a quick show and tell of my April blocks for the Inspire circle of do. Good Stitches.  I finished them on the last day of the month, but they are done and already winging their way off to this month's quilter.  It always feels good to check one more thing off the list.

Evelyn asked that we do Wonky Cross blocks in primary colors to coordinate with a super cute backing she already had.  The tutorial we used is from That Girl ... That Quilt.  The tutorial is very well written, easy to follow and creates a fun, modern wonky block.  I was a little nervous making that first wonky cut, but it worked out great!  Quilts made from these blocks are super cute, and I think the cheerful primary colors of the quilt Evelyn is putting together will be perfect for a Project Linus quilt.

As usual, I can't wait to see the finished product!  Be sure to check out the rest of That Girl ... That Quilt's blog - she does beautiful work.

This was my first wonky block and I have to say I loved it, once I got past that first cut.  I'm a 'follow the rules' kind of girl, and it makes you feel a little reckless to just go for it.  Is there a wonky star or wonky log cabin in my future?  I think so! 

Have you done wonky blocks?  Do you love 'em or hate 'em?