Saturday, December 28, 2013

Accordian Bag by Sew Sweetness

I have a customer that I have worked with on custom diaper bags and purses over the years and she contacted me recently to make her another custom purse. I sent her over to my friend Sara Lawson's  Sew Sweetness pattern shop and she picked out the Accordian Bag. I absolutely love the flap and think it's a great way to use up scraps as those pieces are 3x9. It would also be a great bag to showcase a new fabric line as 11 fabrics are used in the flap. Tone on tone and small patterned fabrics work well for the flap because you are folding the fabric. She also gives directions for a single fabric flap if you wanted that style instead. This is my first try at Sara's patterns and I'm happy to say they are easy to follow, downloadable with lots of pictures. I have found that this type of pattern works best for me as I am a visual learner. For this pattern, there are only 2 pieces you have to print out and the rest she gives you the dimensions so you could rotary cut them out. It's really the perfect, medium sized bag. I'm looking forward to making the Aeroplane bag next!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12 Days of Jennifer Paganelli Inspiration

I am excited to be Day 10 of 12 days of inspiration by Jennifer Paganelli! Seriously, we could go on forever on how Jennifer and her fabrics inspire us! Pictured above is my JP stash & I could come up with so many combinations using her fabrics. It's so distracting! I met Jennifer online through Flickr, I think. She had commented on something I made that had bits of her fabrics in it and I was blown away at her kindness. I soon discovered that her style was my style and we were fast friends. I love how she loves to mix color and pattern and everything she does is happy & colorful.
I designed my sewing room around her fabrics. Wait, that picture doesn't look lived in! See below for a true, working sewing room!

Anyway, you can see how much Jennifer inspires me. She is kind and generous to everyone and so supportive to the handmade community, I am truly amazed! For my inspiration piece, I decided I wanted to feature something I've been making lately. Mug rugs are not new items, but I really love finding colorful & artistic mugs and designing mugs rugs to match. They make great gifts as I don't think they have to match a person's home. They are a stand alone gift!  Here are some mugs I purchased from Anthropologie
and one from Cost Plus
And here are the mug rugs I made to match them

I used a West Indies print called Matilda and bordered it with Claudia and then Jane and made a binding out of Sally. All I need to do is pop some Starbucks Via packets or some tea bags and I have a cute gift set.
For this one I used Claudia in the center and then did a log cabin style around it in Dana, Maggie, Danielle, Matt's Tux, Nikki, Matilda and Velentina. The binding is Luca. I love how most of the fabric names are people's names! I still have 2 more mugs to match up, and I'm looking forward to it since there is only 7 days until Christmas! Yikes! The mug rugs take about a half hour if you're using scraps. The center square is approximately 3" & then I add 1 1/2 to 2 1/2" strips until I think it's done, around 8-9" finished size. Here is the list of bloggers and the days that they posted or will post:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Christmas Section in the Shop!

So I decided I'd put some Christmas blankies in my shop this year. I've collected some really cute prints and have always wanted to do this, but put it off until it was too late previous years! They are patchwork on one side, cuddly minky on the other, so they are great snuggling on the couch watching Christmas movies or in the car on the way to Grandma's house! Most are in fun colors, but I made the first one in more traditional ones, although I still think those prints make a lively, fun throw. I used various Moda, Anna Griffin, Riley Blake and Robert Kaufman prints.

I wish I could remember the name of this fabric line, but my chemo brain won't allow that recollection yet! If anyone knows, let me know so I can add it to the listing! I love the soft pinks and minty greens. I combined Jennifer Paganelli, Moda and Michael Miller prints.

This one is from Riley Blake's Alpine Wonderland and it's the girl version with pretty coordinates mostly from Jennifer Paganelli and Sandi Henderson.

This is the boy's version of Alpine Wonderland

And lastly, a gingerbread house print from Michael Miller with coordinates from Jennifer Paganelli, Tanya Whelan and Lizzy House. I love how Lucky Girl prints are right at home with the Christmas theme. Get them in the shop while you can!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quilt from Crib Bedding

I recently had the opportunity to take a patchwork bumper I had made previously for a customer and make a patchwork & minky blanket for her as well as accessories for the new big girl bed! Above is the result. We refreshed the palette by adding some red and used Anna Maria Horner's Ghost Wing as well as a few other new ones. If you look, the top row is bumper at a narrow 8". The next row I did was 12" combining both old and new fabrics and then alternated between the 2. Repurposing the bumper was great in that some fabrics are out of print and I am no longer able to get them, like those from Jennifer Paganelli.

I also made a patchwork gathered skirt, pictured above. It is a lot of labor as all those seams need to be zigzagged to prevent fraying during washing. The result is amazing beauty, don't you think? Since this was going on a toddler bed I also made a fitted sheet and pillowcase using Sandi Henderson's Happy Butterfly in blush. I'm glad she liked the palette so much she wanted it for the big girl bed! It's one of my favorites!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lucky Girl!!!

I was so excited when Jennifer sent me Lucky Girl, her upcoming fabric line that is due out in September. It has a very vintage feel with some gorgeous contrast with navy blue to set of the pinks, light blues and teal greens.

I tried to use a different pattern, but in the end I still love the random patchwork where the fabric can be the star. I did longer pieces this time, cut at 6.5x12.5 in order to get the full visual of some of the prints. I loved making the inital pillow. I did 'P' for Paganelli since I was sending it to Jennifer, but I need to make one for myself now!

Update on my health: I ended up having a double mastectomy to just be rid of everything once and for all and so now I don't feel like I'm wondering what will show up next on my mammogram. I had found a pre cancerous growth in the 'other' side, so now I have a peace of mind about it all. I hope to be 100% back by the end of the year. I still keep my shop open taking custom orders as I see I can fit. It's great therapy! The Lord has blessed me with such wonderful customers! I just celebrated 5 years on Etsy earlier this month. Hope to blog more, if not, follow me on instagram under sewfunbymonique.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Stitch That Stash Bee Block

So, for my Bee block for Stitch That Stash, I would like everyone to make me Scrappy Trip Around the World Blocks, tutorial here . I don't want this quilt to become another UFO as I love how it's coming out, except for the block with the X in it. The darker blue stands out too much, so I will remove it. I would love the purple, lilac, raspberries with orange, a little brown, red, yellow, green. There is just a touch of aqua blue here and there. The finished blocks are 12x12 & then I can finish this quilt for my winter bed quilt. Thanks so much, everyone! I'm so excited to be a part of the group and be the Queen this month!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Happy Quilt

Used Field Study ribbon and pom poms to decorate the lampshades

Pillow made from "Pillow Pop"

I decided when I was starting chemo that I 'deserved' a new quilt for my bed. One that was different than the one I had made before with fall colors. I wanted something that made me happy since I would be spending lots of time there! Starting with scraps I had from Circa, I pulled the colors out~ brighter reds, greens, yellows and a touch of brown. Blue was a new color introduction into my room. I love how it came out!! I used my favorite Jennifer Paganelli prints~ including the now super expensive Loopy Vintage Floral & Elizabeth Rose. I recently bought the brown damask from her Girlfriends line on ebay and I got a whole bolt! The Long Ladies from Marie Madeline had a scrap sale & I was able to get some of the out of print Nicole floral. I have always loved Tanya Whelan's Darla so I included it in there as well as some from her other lines. I like the fun Japanese print with the pastries on it & the text fabric from Moda. I bought some vintage sheets to add to it as well. An eclectic group!
On the back I used large squares of Denyse Schmidt's line from JoAnn fabrics with the intersections accented by more favorite scraps
I will be making more pillows when Circa yardage comes out, but right now I have a Field Study print which isn't in the quilt but looks great all mixed up with the group

Overall, I love the look with the bright pastels and snippets of favorite fabrics to look at every time I'm in bed!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Circa is Coming!

It seems like I've been waiting forever for Circa by Jennifer Paganelli to come out! She had sent me some fabric to make her a quilt in January & I just fell in love with it! I love how it is a softer palette than Crazy Love or Happy Land, but the colors are still vibrant and true to Jennifer's style. I made myself a spring purse with some of the scraps so I can enjoy it until the yardage comes in, some time in May. I am also working on a simple patchwork quilt, pictures to come soon, for my bed!
I am taking preorders in my shop for a 40x56 blanket, as pictured in the first photo. If you want a different size, the prices are listed within the listing. Hawthorne Threads is taking preorders if you want the yardage as soon as it comes out!
A quick update on my chemo: I am halfway done! Yay! My side effects are manageable, I have no complaints! Prayer works. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Circa patchwork, lined with aqua solid
Circa patchwork, 20"
Alchemy reversible full scarf

Baby Bouquet voile self lined

Floral patchwork half scarf
So, you know that if I was going to lose my hair during chemo I'd have to experiment with cute headscarves! An internet search revealed nothing appealing. I think I like the handkerchief look more than those with the band around the bottom and tails hanging down. Maybe I'll think differently when I have NO hair, but for now I like this look better. Here's what I did. My first scarf in Circa I pieced a 20"square, then lined in a coordinating Kona cotton. I folded it in half, like picture #2 and then tied the ends in the back tucking in the flap that would hang in the back. My son said I looked like that war advertisement with the lady in the headscarf. Retro is good! :) Next, I did a 22" pieced square, cut it in half and lined with a solid, like the last pic. There is less bulk & then I had another half with slightly different fabrics. With the pieced ones, pay attention to the fabrics you put in the middle because those will be on your forehead. I was thinking that voile would be super soft and comfy against my head, but I think voile on both sides is too slippery, so I would do voile lined with cotton on the other side next time. Lastly, I did a 22" square with 2 different prints making it reversible with Alchemy cottons. Love the reversible idea! To sum it all up, it seems like a 22-20" square is great for an adult's head. I sewing the right sides together leaving a hole for turning, clipping the corners before turning. Then I ironed & topstiched around the edge. Super fast, super cute!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Some Recent Finishes

 Random Patchwork quilt I will soon be working on

 Circa purse for me!

Flannel quilt for chemo

My new fav combo using golden browns and honey

So, I wanted to post something back to sewing somewhat. All of the above are recent finishes or soon to be. I love the random patchwork quilts and the first photo is a fabric group I'll be working with for a custom order. Love the finished combo Betty & I worked on. Next, my Circa purse, cause I needed a new one. Always patchwork! :) Third pic: during my first chemo I was cold & they had these nice, sterile white blankets to cover me, but I thought Anna's flannels along with the cute coffee & donuts munki munki flannel and a Sandi Henderson would brighten things up. I'm going to try to finish 2 more to hopefully give out to my 'neighbors' during chemo on Tuesday. The last blanket will go in my shop, but I really really love the combo and want to keep it! It's Jennifer, Anna Maria & Tina Givens. It really glows! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Journey This Year

It has been too long since I have blogged! To be honest, I have really been enjoying instagram, flickr and facebook for short updates rather than lengthy blog posts. I have gone back and forth about writing this post as it is personal, not 'fun' & not sewing related! In the end I decided that some things I've learned are worth sharing and possibly helping someone else in the same position. I have breast cancer. I had a mammogram in September, as usual, everything was clear. Come December, I found what I thought was a large lump. I was scared, but reasoned, "Surely this is nothing because it's so big and my mammogram was clear 3 months ago. It would have picked this up at the time." So I waited a few weeks and finally decided to get it checked out. Another mammo showed NOTHING, but an ultrasound showed the growth and it appeared to be 1 cm (seemed too small to me), so they recommended a biopsy. The biopsy revealed cancer & I can't tell you how completely shocked I was!! I am 45 moving along in life and not thinking it could ever happen to me. Of course, in my mind I was already in stage 4, ready to die, but thankfully that wasn't my eventual diagnosis. After a lumpectomy I found out the tumor was actually 3 cm. My surgeon, Dr. Leslie Memsic, said she got good margins and it ended up being in 1 lymph node which meant chemo. She is an awesome, awesome surgeon and person and told me not to worry because I was going to 'live happlily ever after'. After this journey. Ugh!! I had my first chemo this week along with a shot of Neulasta to boost my white blood cells & so I'm not feeling all that great today, but I am grateful for many things already. First of all, I am so grateful that I am saved by Jesus. He is the only one who can help me through this. There are times already that I have been afraid or unsure and there is no human on this planet that can give me comfort or reassurance at that time except for Him. I have no clue how anyone fights cancer without God, without Jesus & the Holy Spirit.  Secondly, I am grateful for the amazing love and support of my family, friends and online friends~ that's you! I've shared here and there and am so touched by so many people. There are blessings every day in my family and friendships that have helped sustain me. Next, I am grateful for my prognosis. It's really good. Like, once I have chemo (6 rounds, administered every 3 weeks) & radiation combined with anti-hormone pills, my reoccurance is less than 10%. Dr. Memsic said my risk of reoccurance is less than her risk & she hasn't had breast cancer!  So, those things will keep me going and I know I just need to keep my eye on the prize of finishing this treatment. Probably the end of summer. The last thing I want to list in my grateful lineup (but it is not the end of this list, just my top 4!) is the gift God has given me to create. The desire to create, the joy of making something beautiful. When I am in my sewing room,  I don't think about anything but what I'm working on. Absence of fear, worry and pain replaced by joy does wonders for my spirit! So I am still sewing, working on orders & just pacing myself with what I'm asked to do. Chances are I won't be blogging much but I will still be posting on instagram, flickr & facebook as I complete projects. I recently finished a quilt for Jennifer Paganelli that I absolutely LOVE using her upcoming Circa fabrics that will be out in May. So, I just want all of you to know that even if you have a clear mammgram & you feel a lump, get it checked out!! 

Thanks for visiting!