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Friday, April 15, 2016

Quick test of the new Blogo app

Good morning and happy Friday!

With my morning coffee today I stumbled upon an offer for new blogging app called Blogo and since right now getting it also donated to the environmental causes, I decided to give it a try.
So guess where I am writing this from? -husband is driving on our way to work and I am blogging!! Kinda cool...
As I walked outside to the car, bright sunshine and birdsong greeted me - I think spring is finally here, for real! Our hyacinths are starting to bloom! 💕

This app lets you edit photos so let's try that... Snapped this one also this morning, if the Heleborus in our garden. This is the original:

And now some play...

Not bad!
OK, we'll drive is almost over and I need to get to work... 😫 I do like my job but on a sunny day like this, I would much rather be outside... Not to mention a pile of quilts and even some biding a to finish for the next weekend's Quilt Show!! More about that later...
Have a sunny-happy Friday,
love,
Marija

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring is here - time to wake up...

...wake up my garden, wake up the body,  wake up my creative work, wake up this blog too!!
Hello again my friends. 
I am NOT going to whine again about how I am MIA here, since that is nothing new, but just the view of my poor little daffodils under the burden of spring snow...


... Made me slap myself and say - hey, we all have a load on our shoulders, but that's no reason to neglect fun, joy and creativity!! If daffies can bloom under all that - so can I! :)

Snow melted and here they are!


And some mini irises too!




However, to be honest, I have been doing a lot of creative work that brings me joy, I just can't seem to find time to blog about it? :(
 Like teaching! Currently two Beginner's Quilting classes going on, one almost done and one just starting, and just look how amazing my students are:






I am soooo proud of them!! 

This truly is my favorite class to teach, because it is so rewarding to give someone few tools and LOTS of encouragement to make something beautiful and have fun. I will never tire of teaching beginners how to quilt...

I also had fun quilting our Guild's Raffle Quilt that will debut at our bi-annual Quilt Show in few weeks. Spending hours in my friend Robi's basement, with her lovely Nolting long-arm, some great conversation, good cup of coffee and few curious kitties, produced this:






I have to admit struggling, at first, to be inspired how to quilt this one, but then once I start, ideas usually come! I think it turned out OK? What do you think? Would you do it differently?

Oh and then there is the best fun of it all - NEW FABRIC to play with!! My friend Katarina did it again folks - her newest fabric collection, LAVISH is now out and it is just so beautiful!!!! It blooms, it shines, it sings and it is, as always, of a superb Art Gallery Fabric quality.
Just look at these beauties...


Here is a combo with one of the main prints (OH. MY. HEAVENS!!) and some others...
And this floral...



Now, I can't show you just yet the amazing quilt Katarina designed and I had a privilege to make, but here is a little sneak-peek. In just few days, when AGF Lavish Lookbook comes out, you will see it, along with so many other amazing projects and even better - this pattern will be a FREE PATTERN on their web site, so you can make one too!!


There is so much more going on in this crazy sewing room of mine, and in my life too. But hey - that is all the fun, right?
I mentioned the Quilt Show - beautiful, big and oh so inspiring Amherst Quilters Guild Quilt Show is happening from April 22-24, and if you are even remotely local to my neck of the woods - please come and visit!! I promise you several hundred beautiful fabric creations, lots of vendors, free demos and all around fun that any quilt show always brings! I will be there, so come and say hi too! Not to mention lots of chances to win stiff - from door prizes, to basket raffle to two big ones - Raffle Quilt and brand new Janome sewing machine!!
Now, on my part- the crazy run to finish just few more projects for that show is ON. Nothing like last minute, right? We will see how much I get done.

In the meantime, family life is just as busy and happy. My little Miss Sunshine, or precious granddaughter Juliana is growing, talking now, playing and dancing...just so much fun!! Oh and yes - loves to get into grammie's sewing room and play - this below happens every time and eventually we will have to make this lovely piece of toddler art that she keeps planning on the design wall! 
Doesn't she look like a pro?? (she is not even two years old yet!!)



Our four-legged family is just as much fun - Charley is now going to doggy daycare on Thursdays too and look just how much fun he is having! Maddie (left) must be a new girlfriend? Look at those tails wagging! :)

He also finished the Basic Obedience and did really well! "Stay" was a hard one, but the promisse of the treat at the end, made his patiently wait...even if I turned my back and walked away. Anyone who has a puppy know how hard that is for them!! :)


Charley is really growing into a good, loving dog and Marley is just the best big brother and teacher too. Speaking of Marley... that is currently one of my heart-aches. Our big, aging boy now has two thorn ACLs and it is so hard to watch him not being able to be as active as he was. I just wanted to cry, just about every minute... (Thorn ACL is a very common thing among large breed, aging dogs and we just had a bad luck of Marley's BOTH knees going within short time.)
But, things WILL get better! We are currently waiting for the inflammation to go away and then there will be surgery #1 and after a few months probably a #2 also. Our hope is that after two repaired ACLs Marley will have two brand new knees and will be completely back to his beautiful self!! Yes, it will be lots of hard work and even more love during the recovery time, but he is so worth it and he gives it all back, and then some.
Just look at this heart-melting smile!! <3



Yeah, coat blowing is happening too (hence the big bag full of undercoat fur).

Leaving you now with this big boy's smile, I am off to the sewing room some more...

Wishing you a lovely spring awakenings,
love,
Marija

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sewing in Grandmaville

Hi everyone,

It's Friday - HOORAYYY !!! 
There will be some sewing tonight...(yes, i am actually writing this quickly while having a coffee break at work!)
...and that reminded me to post a bit of an update about my favorite - sewing for our precious little Miss Sunshine - Juliana. It would take me a long, long time to talk about how cute, smart, silly, playful and just plain amazing this little girl is! She is truly a sunshine of our lives.

So needles to say, this grandma uses every chance to show her love through making things for her.
Sometimes it is things that her parents actually ask for - like this car "catch-all" tote for all her little things. My daughter-in-law found this idea and a simple tutorial on Pinterest and I kinda took it from there...
It is just a simple bag with gusseted corners, but I wanted to give it a bit more body, so I quilted outside layer first and then made the bag. You can find the basic instructions for it HERE


Made it personal of course, for my little miss J :)
My all time favorite, when it comes to baby-girl sewing, pink 50wt Aurifil was used for quilting here and I love it, again.




 Pink one was for mom's car and then for dad's car, made it a not so...girly? Ha ha!
But since this was a second one, I thought I would add some pockets to the inside layer - for that binky or sippy-cup...


And then cam the big adventure in sewing - making stuff from KNIT cotton fabric - eeek!! You know how we quilters are leery of things that stretch!! But hey, once upon a time, before I was a quilter, I actually did a lot of garment sewing, so it was kinda a coming back of sorts...

I picked a cute pattern by Chelsea of GYCT Designs called Tinley Tee and here is my first trial:


I really love that pattern comes with FOUR different options for sleeves and I actually used TWO of them together - Long sleeve combined with a Flutter sleeve! I also added the pocket on my own, albeit I should have moved it a bit more to the side...but hey, it was just the first one!
Second one, I used some really soft, amazing quality knit from my favorite fabric house, Art Galley Fabric - I just can't get enough of this sunshine-y yellow print from Caroline Hulse's collection Gleeful! It just makes me so happy! And my little J looks so cute in yellow too. :)
Stitching the neck band - that made me really nervous...but you know what? - it was just fine with little bit of patience and great instructions in the pattern (thank you Chelsea! :)  )


And - TA-DAH!! The sunshine version got done!


Isn't it just so cute?! I am so hooked on making these and keep thinking of different variations!


Speaking of different variations - here is another one! I am of course now also hooked on searching for cute and great quality knit fabrics and found another great source - Monaluna Organic Fabric ! This is from Anya Knits - they are just sooooo soooftttt.....


This time I ventured into making a pair of leggings to match - that was actually very easy!


Not the best photos above, I apologize...It was really late at night when I finished, I just snapped a few and then I delivered them to my cutie-pie asap, so maybe I will have to get some better ones of her modeling it! :)

Oh how I love, love, love spending time with her. Playing, singing, dancing, going out for a walk... One evening we ventured in grandma's sewing room and as I slid the "door" of my fabric stash (my design wall), and revealed my stash (strategically, the part where all kids prints and fabrics are!), she went "OOOOHHHH" - can you believe it?? And then we grabbed a pile and this happened!!!


I swear - she knew what to do!!
I was so excited, I barely managed to snap few photos!!


Oooh I can see some fun times here in our future!! This grandma is counting her blessings...

Wishing you all the same and happy, happy weekend!

Love,
Marija

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Growing the Avantgarde Garden...

Hey there friends,

How's winter where you are?
Over here in western NY we have it pretty mild and... Almost boring? He he, don't kill me all of you who either have tons of snow or don't like it, but we are used to it and, dare I say, love it? You know that I have a snow dog, so I was trained to love it! 

How can you say no to these snow faces?


Or this?


I just love these pups so much... 

OK, back to quilting now!

I decided to make my Avantgarde Garden a bigger (queen size) quilt! So first of course, played with it in EQ7 first, adding some more flowers around...


Maybe some more of that floral..?


Or more flowers?


I kinda liked this last one, so started making some more flowers




Love making these! 
I think a tutorial is in the making... ;)

Here is where I am so far, what do you think? 


Let me know! And happy winter!! 
Love, 
Marija