Sunday, February 27, 2011

SSF Round-up, A few snaps and some Charity

Okay guys, it went by very fast, but Sewing Spaces Focus has officially come to an end. It has been fun to have all these wonderful women be my guests and say little something on my blog. You have been wonderful ladies!

So here's the masterlist for you all

Thank you all. It would have been impossible for me to carry off something without your help!

And most of all, a big thank you to all my wonderful readers. You really cheered me up. I have had my hands full for a while and so some of you might not have got replies to your comments. But I assure you, before the end of March, I'll personally reply to all your comments. 


Today I finally managed to borrow DH's wonderful camera and clicked a few snaps.

First off, a few arrivals... I received this wonderful package from Rosa Munda for the Mug Rug Swap. Aren't the mug rugs beautiful?

Mug Rug Swap received from Rosa Munda

Next, I also received a mini quilt from Sandi. It is absolutely beautiful. Aadi loves it and let me borrow it for a while to click snaps.

January mini quilt received from Sandy

I also recived tow of the five books I ordered from amazon. They told me the other package has got delayed and I wont be getting it till April! :(... But they did refund me the shipping charges as compensation... :D


So here's my quilting / sewing books library at the moment.


I also received some of the gorgeous fabric that I ordered.


Some Echino


A few rockets & planets


Some bikes


Here's the whole bunch along with the slippers and wardrobe fabric...

I also managed to photograph my Soul Blossoms Quilt...


The pattern will be released on 1st March. You can buy it from my Etsy shop.

Next, I also managed to finish the mini Bob I had started a few days back for my UHGS partner. 

I loved the quilting. I was a wild idea. I started off with the wish to quilt it with random straight lines. But after making two perpendicular lines, I decided to change my plan! I'm glad that I did. It looks fab. Its going to be a little bit of trouble letting go this one.

UHGS Mini Bob!

I also liked the way the binding went with the entire effect of the quilt. What do you think?

You all know what happened in Christchurch NZ. If you want to donate something handmade for auction please go to Handmade for Christchurch.

I'm donating 3 of my Esha Dolls for auction.

Ballerina Eshas

Visit their trademe page to bid.

On another note, you still have another 24 hours to win


So hurry up and drop in your comments.

Have a blast this weekend!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

SSF Post # 23 : Michele's Virtual Space

Today's guest requires no introduction! She is the woman behind one of the most popular quilting websites The Quilting Gallery! I bet most of you have your blog listed there... No... The head on over and get listed! Dont you ever want to know how these ladies do it??? I mean, a sewing space is not just the physical space that you actually use, it could also mean the virtual space that we all bloggers use to share our work... And if managing your blog, replying to comments, writing new posts etc. seems too intimidating to you, take a notepad and a pen... You might just find a way to organize that aspect of your sewing space!

Please welcome, Michele aka Mishika...



Thanks so much Shruti for inviting me to be a guest blogger on your site. I have really enjoyed your Sewing Spaces feature. I've been following along with all the posts and have been inspired to make some changes to my own sewing space. In fact, that's what I'm in the middle of doing these days. Cleaning up my home, de-cluttering, organizing and taking bags of stuff for donation. Spring cleaning has sprung early here. I hope to tackle my sewing space this weekend.

Instead of talking about my sewing space in the physical world, I'm going to share a few of my favourite digital tools that make my quilting and blogging life easier.

I own and manage the web site, Quilting Gallery []. My site is dedicated to bringing quilters together from around the world and inspiring quilters' creativity. I love to host guest bloggers and run several swaps throughout the year. Additionally, I have created the quilting bloggers directory, quilt shop locator, quilter's market and the soon-to-be-released section, the quilt guilds directory. I've also organized and published two quilters cookbooks with recipes and stories from quilters throughout the world.

I'll be honest, it's a tonne of work, and requires that I be super organized. For that, I use Evernote! []

Simply put, Evernote allows me to keep track of everything and anything in one safe place. I have folders for guest bloggers, weekly features, reminders for advertisers, requests for information, contract information, and the never-ending list of updates and tasks to be completed.

I also use it for more personal stuff like my fabric dyeing experiments, saving quilt-along blog posts, research for a book I want to write and quilts I want to make. I even have a folder for inspiration that I look through when I need a motivational boost.

I tried other systems, and even developed a database of my own, but for some reason, nothing else ever worked for me as well as Evernote has. It's such an important part of my workflow that I even wrote an article about it recently for The Quilt Life magazine. You can read it here: No more sticky notes: How Evernote organized my quilting life [].

My next most-used software is for managing and editing photos. I have used FastStone Image Viewer [] for many years. It's free and very easy to use. I'm a Windows gal and love how FastStone integrates within Windows. In addition to being able to resize, rotate, crop and enhance my photos, it has a great Windows Explorer like feature that I really love. I highly recommend it.

In addition to the Quilting Gallery site, I'm also a web developer and often collaborate with others on projects. The need to share files comes up often. For this, we use DropBox. 
[] Once you've installed the software it becomes a folder on your hard drive. You can create sub-folders and share those with others. Super easy and convenient. You can access your files from any computer with Internet access too. It's also an excellent way to share photos with family.

Dropbox even serves as part of the overall backup system I have in place. I'm rather zealous when it comes to my backups and have multiple systems that auto-run every day and other procedures that are done less often for off-site backup. I use SyncBack [] to coordinate my various backups. It allows me to synchronize files from one hard drive to another (including my Dropbox folder) or via FTP to upload/download files from my web server. I sleep better knowing that my web sites and personal files are backed up and safe.

I hope some of these tools will help you improve your productivity and your digital life that we now live in. Drop by the Quilting Gallery [], I'd love to have you visit.

Thanks again Shruti, this Sewing Spaces series has been great fun!
Michele (aka Mishka)

Friday, February 25, 2011

SSF Post # 22 : Sandi's Beautiful Space

Today's guest is again Sandi Holtman. Remember the amazing Quilting Notions wall from the first week??? This time she's showing you her  feature elements... More pictures rather than words!!!



I love far more about my sewing room than just the functionality (although it’s a terrific workspace).  

I picked the crazy color,  squeezed in every bit of storage I could, added an overstuffed chair for quiet time and a tv to keep me company during blissful sewing and crafting marathons. 

It’s simply my space, full of little things that are meaningful to me, and every piece is a reminder of the people and things I love. What could be better than that?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SSF Post # 21 : Julia's Sewing Room

Feature Elements Week featuring: Blue-J Cottage (blogger) / ImSewCrafty (flickr)

I have been sewing for a while and never had a special space to sew in, mainly because our condo is too small to dedicate a whole room to it (unfortunately...)  Because of this I always took over the kitchen table....  As I slowly learned the Soon-To-Be-Mr didn't really like that idea.  So come January I decided my New Year's resolution would be to take time for myself everyday.  Of course some of the things I enjoy doing are sewing, crafting, quilting, etc...  So naturally those would be part of the resolution.  I started my blog: Blue-J Cottage and became fairly active on Flickr as ImSewCrafty and was realizing that I was taking over the table more and more.  I decided it was time for me to create a "Craft Corner".  Now I should tell you, it is truly just a corner.  And I feel cramped in there for sure, but I love it.  It is MY corner where I can escape to do my sewing projects, crafting projects etc.  Finally my personal sewing space!

So as you can see there is A LOT going on in this space.  I have the cubes on the wall that store some of my fabric.  A bulletin board on the far right wall (hardly seen in the picture).  Magazines, books, papers, notes, projects and ideas all organized on the right hand side stacked agains the wall, with a couple bolts of fabric stacked there as well, and my acrylic rulers.  Displayed is a picture that the Soon-To-Be-Mr took for me of the Dancing House in Prague (Perfect for me because I am a dancer/dance teacher), my newst mug rugs made and received for the Mug Rug 3 Swap on flickr, a picture of two of my cutest students, my newst fabric postcards from the Fabric Postcard Swap on flickr and my lovely handmade cat -Ginger- who is sporting her ribbon for winning third place at a local fabric shoppe's holiday Craft a Kitty contest!  Whew!  And there is still may have noticed there are also several storage pieces on the table that I adore and wanted to feature.

I am guilty most of the time of being unorganized;  my closet is a disaster, my bathroom counter is crazy, and my bedroom can be a nightmare at times...  So storage is key to keeping me on track and undercontrol.  I am finding, though, with sewing that I am ALWAYS getting more things and needing to find new homes for them.  So on the table there are 3 Ball jars, 1 Hobnail dish, 1 Longaberger basket and a Large jar, all of which play a major role in the storage department.  

The Large jar contains all of my thread.  The Longaberger basket and the Hobnail dish hold various items: seam rippers, zippers, camera cord, snaps, and so on.  The 3 Ball jars hold buttons:  the large jar: buttons on the sleeve, the medium jar: random loose buttons, the small jar: special loose buttons.  Crazy I know that I have that meany but bought a lot of them at an Estate Sale that was the crafters/sewers dream!  I also have the cutest thimble flower pot turned utensils jar to hold all things Pens and Scissors.

Right next to my desk I keep my sewing box, which is my grandmothers old train case. I love it!  And it is truly the perfect size.  This is where I store everything else...

And one of the coolest thrift store finds ever is my chair.  An old sewing chair!  the seat lifts up and there is a box where I keep all of my scraps....well let's be honest some of my scraps.....  It may not be the most attractive chair ever, but it sure is the handiest.

Lastly my trusty cat  - Bailey -  sits outside the door watching for those who may distract from the creative process to come along (and of course run away from them, rather than scare them away...)

Well that's it for now.  I hope that you enjoyed taking a little peak into my craft corner.  I do love it there and love all the hidden details that a photo doesn't do justice...glad I had the chance to share them with you.  Thanks for stopping by!  Come back anytime! 

PS: Thank you to Shruti for allowing me the honor of guest blogging, what fun it was and how funny to realize all the craziness that is my craft corner!  Oh and Happy Birthday especially to her DS today!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SSF Post # 20 : Kristy's Special Studio

Hey guys, I'm so sorry. I have to make this short. I'm not well and need to take A LOT OF rest. So a quick intro of my fab friends who'll be posting in the next few days. First up is Kristy. I met her on flickr and she sure has a very special studio! Go check it out today... I'll have another post coming up tomm morning. I'm behind schedule as I could not get this post on yesterday... :(


Hello Everyone, I'm Kristy and I blog over at 
When Shruti mentioned on Flickr that she was hosting a Sewing Space Focus, I wanted to jump on board right away.  Yet after looking at the categories, I wasn't too sure about it.  I mean I didn't have any particular space-saving tricks of the trade, or shiny new tools to show everyone.  In fact, my studio was filled with things that are old and salvaged...yet in my 100+ year old home, it fit right in.
So I'm here participating in the Feature Elements Week, because I'd like to show you some of what I've done to make my space uniquely me and to encourage you to find new uses for something that otherwise might have gone in the trash.
Let's start this off with a quick before pic to show you what I started off with...broken floor tiles, bare walls and what could easily be described as a mess.

Yet, two years later and this is what my studio looks like now.

I found some old wood which might have ended up in the dumpster, only to now be a decorative element on the wall and ceiling.  That drafting table by the window, it was left in the basement by the previous owners of the house. 

Above is a closeup of the wall.  Yes, you guessed it...those are old sewing patterns, and while the zebra curtains aren't old, they sure do add a little something extra to the space.

This is an old dressform and antique dresser, both of which help give the space some character.

While this filing cabinet might look like something that belongs in a lawyer's office, certainly not a quilting studio.  Let's take a peek inside shall we...

It's drawers hold my fabric stash, neatly coordinated by color.
I'm proud of my studio and the old stuff in it, okay so maybe there's a few dust bunnies and maybe things are a little wonky with age; but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thanks for letting me share my studio with you !! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week # 7 : Feature Elements

Hi all,
It has been quiet on my blog for a few days... Really sorry... One of the guest bloggers could not write the post for us at the last moment... Sometimes life decides its pace and direction and we have nothing in our hands but follow it...

Something similar also happened to me, and I just could not get myself to write!

Anyways, I am back with our final week!
I cannot believe it that we have come to an end of the 7 week series!!!

But before we head to another week, here are the winners of the last week...

The first winner is quilary. Congratulations! You've won the Oasis Jelly Roll

And the next one is 
gill. Congratulations, you've won the Max & Whiskers Layer Cake
Contact me with your addresses so that your gifts will be on their way to you...

Now on to our next week. This week's topic is Feature Elements... I dont have ANY in my sewing room right now, but I'm looking forward to having something like these... Here's an inspiration from my Flickr favorites...

Sewing Space Feature Elements!

So whats your favorite wall art??? Whats on your sewing room wall??? Hop over and tell me!

This week you could win one of these fabulous prizes!

We have two options for you.
1. Simplify with Camille Roskelley

2. Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner

sponsored by our very own Fat Quarter Shop! The first winner will get to choose which of the books he/she wants. The second winner will get the remaining book.

So what are you waiting for??? Shoot out your comments...
Here's the drill.
1. Leave a comment. Tell me which of the SSF post was your favorite one.
2. Become a follower. Leave a comment. If you already are a follower. Leave a comment.
3. Go to my Facebook Page and leave a comment there. Come back to say you've done that here.
4. Blog about it. Leave a comment with the link.
5. Bonus Entry. You guys know who you are. Just write "Bonus Entry".