I just had the time of my life. No joke. I will never forget the time I had this last weekend at Sew OK.

I don’t know where to start. I guess at the beginning. Prepare for a very long post.

Forever ago, like back in February or something, Krista of Krista Stitched texted me and asked if I had heard about it. I hadn’t, so I quickly Googled it. Then I Googled how far it was to OKC. Then I told Krista, “Let’s do it.” We both signed up that night.

Then we waited forever. As it got closer and more details came about, I got more and more excited. There was a pattern swap, a charm square swap, and a handmade item swap in the works. There was going to be a bus trip. The teachers and speakers were awesome. The sponsors looked amazing. There was going to be a bunch of open sew time. I was excited and I started planning everything I would need.

 

Luggage

 

 

Here’s what I packed. I had a whole bag full of projects. I took my regular sewing machine and my serger since I planned to work on some clothing. Krista and I left after work on Wednesday evening and got into OKC right at Midnight. We had decided not to stay at the Skirvin hotel where the retreat was being held. It was expensive…like crazy expensive. Krista is having a baby and my budget is already tight, so we wanted to save some money. We chose to stay at the Best Western Plus only 10 minutes from the retreat hotel. Best decision ever! The hotel was great. I was skeptical and so was Krista, but it was clean and perfectly nice. We had no issues. It was in a good part of town. The breakfast was one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I had packed sheets, a towel, and quilt in case it wasn’t and I didn’t need to use them. I ended up using the quilt because I knew I’d be cold, but the sheets and towel and everything were very clean. We saved a TON of money. Plus, we barely spent any time there because we sewed until late and left early to sew some more! I am so happy that decision was justified.

Anyway, we did not need to be anywhere until 11:45 the next day. We got around then drove around OKC. We got familiar with downtown and the areas around it. OKC is a pretty cool city. I wasn’t aware of how cool it was. I’d like to visit again and see some things. We stopped at a local bakery, Brown’s, and grabbed a snack and then we headed to the hotel to meet everyone else. The first item on the agenda was a bus trip. The first stop was B-Sew Inn. They are a Baby Lock dealer and carry a ton of notions. It was a super great shop. I ended up ordering a new manual for my Baby Lock. I wish we had one here because it would really be nice for me since I have a Baby Lock. But…if all else fails, OKC is only like five hours away. :)

After that, we went and had lunch. I won a slice of pie from Pie Junkie! It was SUPER delicious, so I’d definitely recommend it. That was my first win of many throughout the weekend. Our final stop was Oklahoma QuiltWorks. I was super impressed with this store. Their selection was fabulous. I really enjoyed shopping there and I think everybody else did, too. I picked up some Tula Pink fabric that I had been looking for along with a couple of fat quarters and some trim. They had some really cool trim.

 

Pie

 

Then it was time to check in and get open sewing started! Krista and I set up a table near the door. One of the first things I’m pretty sure that everyone noticed was the giveaway tables. Yes, tables. Plural.

 

Giveaways

 

The sponsors were super generous! Susannah Kate and Jemellia went all out getting sponsors. They deserve an award. A very serious award.

 

Giveaways

 

Those were the small and medium prizes.

 

Giveaways

 

These were the large ones. I know, you are like, “HOLY CRAP!” Those were my thoughts exactly.

Then there was the swag bag. I know, now you are like, “Come on. For reals. That’s not right. You’re just making me feel bad that I didn’t go.” Yes, that’s right. You should feel bad and you should go next time. There were charm packs, fabric, patterns, coupons, etc. in the swag bag. Plus, the bag itself was pretty sweet. I didn’t get too much accomplished the first night. My uncle sort of lives in OKC. He drives a semi for the family business and his route always goes through OKC. Plus, his girlfriend (basically, his wife) lives there, too, along with her children and grandchildren. He’s grandpa to them. Anyway, I went to dinner with him since I hardly ever get to see him. It was really nice to get to see some family. :)

The next day, the first thing I did was finish up some sashes that I had almost completed the night before.

 

Sashes

 

My friend is getting married and I am hosting her bachelorette party. FYI – Why is bachelorette not a word? Fellow feminists, why are we not all over this? Bachelor is a word, but I get a little red squiggly line under bachelorette. Word thinks it’s a word, why doesn’t WordPress? Ugh. Anyway, I wanted to make these sashes because you can’t buy nice ones in the store. These are classy. I just printed letters (using Word and it’s fancy Word Art to print out outlined letters. I think I used size 225 font. I don’t remember which font though. Then I glued those to freezer paper. Then I took my fabric and fused Wonder Under to the back and the freezer paper to the top. I cut out the letters, removed the freezer paper and the Wonder Under and ironed them onto the ribbon. I sewed through the ribbon at an angle and voila! Oh, I also cut the ends of the ribbon to be pretty. I’m going to secure them with decorated safety pins. I didn’t even stitch down the letters. They are fused on well because Wonder Under is awesome. Go Pellon! (I’m not paid to say that.) So that was my first finish. You might want to keep track of the finishes…it becomes important later.

Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline was the speaker. She talked about how she got into her business, her patterns, and her new fabric line with Art Gallery. Caroline sat at our table and I’m very glad she did. She’s a very talented and sweet lady. I can’t wait to see what she does next. I also really liked to her about her journey because she doesn’t have an artsy/crafty background. I don’t have an artsy/crafty background. I like to see those people do well. Anyway, she’s super sweet and I’m very excited to make her Sugar Pop Top, which I promptly bought after getting home.

Sew Caroline

 

Moving on. I quickly sewed the waistband of a skirt that was already completed. Pictures of that to come later. Then I took a sewing break and make a pincushion ring.

 

Pincushion Ring

It took all of like five minutes. I used trim I bought at Oklahoma Quiltworks. My mom and I had picked up the bag of ring bases when she last visited. We had both planned to make some. I just used hot glue, which was super easy. I had to buy a bottle of water just to get the cap, but it was worth it. I needed to drink the water anyway. The tutorial I used is from The Cottage Mama.

After that, I started working on block that I had designed but hadn’t yet tested. It’s just 2 1/2″ strips, so it was pretty easy. I still need to do some tweaking, but for the most part, I was pleased. I plan on making more for a full quilt. The block is large so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I just need to decide if I want to buy more fabric like that or use different fabrics. We’ll see.

 

Block

I had to take a break for lunch and then our curves glass with Dana of Old Red Barn Co. We got some sweet stuff here, too. We were given fabric, Best Press, and some tweezers. This kind of changed the game for me with curves. Like totally changed the game. I HATED templates and curves with a passion. The cutting, pinning, everything just sucked. Not anymore! Dana taught us how to pieces the drunkards path block without any pins. I still can’t believe it works. It also works super well. I whipped those blocks out and within a couple of hours, I had a pillow top that I quickly turned into a pillow sleeve.

 

Pillow

 

There it is. I used purple and yellow charm squares that I got through a Flickr charm square swap. I had been saving them for a project. This worked out super well. Pretty cool, huh?

After the curves class, I started to work on a chambray Tova top, but got distracted again by dinner, getting my fingernails painted, and then a Baby Lock Tiara. There was a Baby Lock Tiara set up for us to play on. Krista was doing some serious playing on it and I convinced her to show me. Well, since I had brought a small sandwiched quilt, I just started quilting it. Shortly thereafter, like an hour or so, I had a finished quilt minus the binding.

 

Quilt

 

Are you still keeping track of finishes? Well, add one more because I completed my Tova top that evening and wore it the next day.

 

Tova Top

 

Krista’s mom made her a maternity shirt out of the same Robert Kaufman chambray that I made my Tova out of. I love Tovas. I have three now. I wore one on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Haha. Anyway, that was Friday. Oh, plus I won a Noodlehead bag pattern. I’m pretty excited about it.

If you think Friday was awesome, wait until Saturday. It was AMAZING!

I started off Saturday working on another Tova top, but this one with rayon challis and as a dress. Carolyn Friedlander, who was sitting right behind us, was also wear a Tova. We bonded over our love of Tovas. I had to stop for lunch again (damn meals), but it was worth it because Carolyn took us to a really great burger restaurant called S&B. Krista and I went with Carolyn and Amanda of The Cozy Pumpkin. It was a super great lunch even though the service was sub-par, which I later found out wasn’t the norm. The slow service did affect us a little bit because Carolyn’s class began at 2 pm and we were cutting it close. Carolyn left early to get back and we made it back just in time.

As with the curves class, the Social Tote class with Carolyn was AMAZEBALLS! I will admit that it’s not a beginner pattern, but it’s very cleverly put together and the instructions are well written. I’m glad we had some help on the first part, the interior of the tote, but I was able to figure out the rest pretty much on my own.

 

Social Tote

 

Ta da! It only took about four hours, which I consider to be really good time for a complex project like this. The only change I made was to sew the binding down by hand. I just like that better because I’m TERRIBLE at sewing binding down by machine. TERRIBLE…trust me.

I went back to work on my Tova, took a break for dinner, and finished my Tova before we left for the evening. Other happenings during the day included a TON of giveaways.

 

Fabric

 

I won that FQ bundle and some more fat quarters.

 

Fabric

 

 

 

Then I won this! Can you tell that I was pretty happy about it? I know I look weird, but I swear that I was just really excited!

 

Stuff

 

Ok. Were you keeping count of all of the stuff I finished? Well, if you weren’t, that’s OK. The number doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I won a gift certificate because I was the “most industrious!”

 

Gift Certificate

 

 

Awesome, right? I’ve already spent it. I immediately came home and picked out fabric.

Even with all of the giveaways and stuff, it was kind of a sad evening because it was the last time we would see some people. We packed up our stuff so it would be easy to load up the next day, which is what we did. On Sunday, we loaded up our stuff and had planned to do brunch with some people, but the restaurant was so busy that we ended up meeting up with my uncle for brunch instead. I was OK with that because it was nice to see my uncle again.

We got on the road and stopped in Emporia to see Krista’s family and made it home by dinner time. I was pretty exhausted, but I managed to unpack all of my stuff. I have to admit, I don’t have room for everything we were given, which is pretty awesome. I will find room.

I had the best time. I met so many great people. I can’t even begin to name everybody that made the weekend super special, but a special shout out goes to Jemellia and Susannah Kate because they worked their asses off and it turned out great. They could not have done a better job. It was just fabulous. Obviously, Caroline, Carolyn, and Dana have to be thanked because they did a fabulous job presenting and teaching.  I definitely have to thank Krista for bringing this to my attention forever ago and for going with me. She was a super great roommate, table mate, and road trip partner. I miss everyone, but I made a bunch of new friendships and I plan to stay in touch with people through blogs and instagram. Some I will see at Quilt Con and others I’ll have to see next year. I’m signing up again the minute I can!

 

Stuff

 

 

 

I like to paper piece. I think I’ve said that before. Paper piecing was actually was one of the first things I learned how to do when I started quilting. I know the reason I like it. I like perfection, although I know it’s not always achievable. Paper piecing makes everything so crisp and clean and perfect.

The Modern Quilt Guild hosts fabric challenges a couple of times per year. The KCMQG always signs up for them. This challenge requires us to make a quilted item using Petal Pinwheels fabrics from Michael Miller. The KCMQG added a requirement that the quilt item needs to be a mini quilt. I wanted something a little more complicated for my mini quilt since they are a little easier to tackle than fully quilts.

 

Challenge Quilt

 

 

The inside block is from Susanne Woods’ Modern Blocks book. The block is a Double Flying Geese Circle by Lynne from Lily’s Quilts. The outside border is just flying geese.

 

Challenge Quilt

 

I used almost every single piece of fabric that I was given for this challenge. I only had to add the white background. There are only a few scraps from the paper piecing part left. Some KCMQG members were making jokes about 1/4″ hexies. We turned the joke into a reality. I’m putting 1/4″ hexies on the back of my quilt. It’s a small commitment while still participating in the sub challenge. Ha.

 

Hexies

 

I quilted this using invisible thread. I just kind of went with something I thought would be cool. It ended up working out really well.

 

Challenge Quilt

 

This challenge isn’t due until August, so I’m head of the game!

So I have some exciting things coming up! I’m leaving tonight for Sew OK and I’m so excited that I can barely stand it. I get to take a class from Carolyn Friedlander. Do you remember my gorgeous Local Quilt? She designed it! There’s a lot of other fun things happening, too, like a bus trip and a lot of open sewing time. I’m hoping to be very productive. Oklahoma City is only a five hour drive, so we’re leaving tonight after work! I’m sure I’ll have a recap post next week.

Another exciting thing…I have some upcoming classes that I’m teaching. Check out the Classes page to see more info. I’m also very excited for these because I love watching other people learn to make things that I love. I really love the Date Night Dress. I think I said in a previous post that it makes me feel pretty when I wear it.

Finally, before I left for Sew OK, I wanted to finish up this month’s bee block so I could focus on other things at the retreat. So here it goes…

 

Bee Block

 

 

This is the Overlapping Squares block. The tutorial is from The Modern Quilt Guild. I have a lot of blue and green so this was a good block for me. Technically, I could have picked any color, but I loved the colors in the original block and I have lots of them.

 

Bee Block

 

This is wonky and wavy log cabin block with a plus in the middle. BAM! How about that? This was a lot of fun and we discovered the key to good waves is a small rotary cutter. I love my 28mm Olfa. No, I am not paid to say that.

 

Bee Blocks

 

 

Ok. So I’m kind of an idiot and didn’t read directions appropriately for these. Luckily, Jaime is cool and understands and I offered to help her with more of these during a sewing day. I didn’t tape some pieces together so things came out weird. There are seams where there should’t be seams. Like I said…I’m a idiot. I think they are still pretty and the other ones that I help her make will be even prettier.

 

Bee Blocks

 

 

Finally, these are for a Scrappy Bee member. They were super easy and simple, but I loved picking the colors for them. The pink one is my favorite! I want to use those two prints EVERYWHERE.

And there you go. I’m now caught up on bee block and I can spend my time at Sew OK working on things for me. Well, most of my time. I do have one thing I have to do for something else, but everything else is just for me! :)

I have great sewing mojo. I hardly ever feel uninspired. Between blogs, social media, friends, my imagination, and my quilting/sewing to-do list, I always have something I can work on or start. I also like to finish things. I’m a finisher. So having great mojo and being a finisher means I work on a lot of little things in between or during big projects. I always have a bigger project in the works (or two…or three), but I like seeing little finishes along the way. So here are a few little finishes I’ve done recently.

 

Rags

 

 

 

These crocheted dish rags are for my aunt. They’ll hopefully make it in the mail this weekend. I have a couple other fun things for her. I mostly worked on these in the car on the way to work.

 

Hexie

 

So this is my mini hexie flower. It’s super mini. Those hexies are 1/4″. I know…crazy! I’m not interested in doing them ever again, but I gave it a try and I’m glad I did.

 

Bee Block

 

 

Of course, I made a couple of bee blocks. This one was very interesting and a very different technique. It was fun. I very much enjoyed it.

 

Teacup

 

Isn’t this teacup block adorable? I chose girly fabrics and I really hope they are “bright” enough. I kept wanting to go towards dainty since that’s what I think of when I think of teacups and saucers. This was a fun block with a lot of easy parts, but still very easy.

 

Pouch

 

Finally, I made this easy zippy pouch.

 

Pouch

 

Pouch

 

I got a new purse. It’s a Kate Spade and it’s my first designer purse. Yes, I’m 26 and this is the first time I’ve purchased a designer purse. I sort of feel like a sellout, but then again, it’s very pretty, it was on sale, and it’s classy. See how I justified that? Anyway, I had a crappy old zippy pouch that was super ugly. My new purse deserved better, so I made this one. It’s pretty and makes me very happy.

So there you go. That’s what I’ve been working on. It doesn’t seem like a lot until you put it all together. I guess I’ve been pretty busy. :)

All of my friends have gone out of the country this summer. Tom, Val, and my aunt went to Europe and Jaime went to Japan. Apparently Andrew and I missed the memo. I was almost commissioned to make a kilt for Tom because he wanted one after visiting Scotland, but I think the price of tartan scared him away. Anyway, Jaime brought me back a cute little lunch bag kit.

 

Lunch Bag

 

 

 

I loved how it turned out. Aren’t the fabrics the best? The polka dot is a decorator weight and the black stripe feels like a voile.

 

Lunch Bag

 

 

 

These were the instructions. Yes, they are in Japanese, but there are pictures! Also, everything is in centimeters. The conversation was pretty easy. Since it’s not a super complicated bag, I was able to figure it out based on the pictures, but that wasn’t the easiest. I’m still not sure if seam allowances are included or not. And I’m not 100% confident about what the seam allowances should be.

 

Lunch Bag

 

I made a muslin first and I’m very glad I did. From a construction perspective, I had it figured out. However, the sizing seemed wrong. I had enough fabric in the kit to modify the sizing and I am very pleased with the finished size. I just used a 1/4″ seam allowance and it was fine.

 

Lunch Bag

 

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone. The handles are on wrong. The print should be facing the outside, not the inside. I could easily fix it (and I may someday), but it was 10:30 at night when I finished this and I was not interested in fixing it then. I’m still very very happy with it. I love how cute it is. I love the fabrics. I love the design. I loved the challenge.

So while all of my friends were out of the country, I’ve been working on some hand work.

 

Sashiko

 

 

 

Have you heard of sashiko? It’s Japanese embroidery, but it features only a running stitch with very elaborate designs. Typically, it’s white thread on an indigo background. I mixed mine up a bit. I purchased the pattern and thread from Modern Makers. I’ve been slowly working on this pillow top.

 

Sashiko

 

 

Now my little wooden chair has a fun and matching cushion.

 

Sashiko

 

 

So Japan has been the theme of my week. Also, my coworker’s wife is from Japan and she is currently visiting her family for a month. I brought the lunch bag pattern to work and was showing him. He texted his wife a picture of the instructions and she was able to make out a few things for me. Japan has moved higher up my list of places to go now.

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