Thursday, October 16, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hey Everyone! I got invited by my dear friend Rach to join in the Around the World Blog Hop. So today I get to share a little bit about me and my story by answering 4 questions! 

So here goes...

1. What are you working on? 
Hmmm... The question should probably be "What am I not working on?"- because I am working on about 5 projects right now! I usually work on one or two projects and commit myself to finishing one before starting another, but I just couldn't help myself!
-At this moment, I am working on a new tutorial using some gorgeous new Acorn Trail Fabric from Fabricworm
I'm not gonna say what it is just quite yet, but here is a little sneak peek:
Stay tuned for the new tutorial coming soon on the blog... 
-I am also working on (binding one and quilting the other) a couple of mini quilts for the wall in my studio. More to come on these projects soon!
  ....But since I know one person is bound to ask- the pattern I used for the lettering on the quilt above is called My First Alphabet by Diane Bohn. And the pattern for the Swedish Bloom quilt block below is by the very talented Ayumi in her book called Patchwork Please.
-I am ever working on my Grandmother's Garden Quilt... Just hit the two year mark with this project! You can read more about it here
And lastly...
-I just finished up my kids halloween costumes... Hallelujah! One is being Sheriff Callie and the other is being Little Red Riding Hood... Stay tuned for those on the blog soon too!! 

2. How does my work differ from others?
That's a hard one!
I would have to say that one of the biggest compliments that anyone has ever given me, when it comes to sewing, was back when I taught my very first sewing class at Sew to Speak...
One of my students had been scrolling through the collection of Weekender Bags on Flickr for inspiration and she told me "I can always pick out which weekenders are yours before I even click on them because of the way they look."
 That was huge for me! Two of the people that inspire me most when it comes to sewing are  Amy of nanaCompany and Mary of Molly Flanders Makerie. I can pick their projects out a mile away because of their style, fabric choice, and workmanship. Anytime I scroll through Pinterest and see a project by either of them, I know it before I even click to follow the link! 
So when I heard someone say that of me, I was so flattered! 
Though I can't quite pinpoint what makes me different than anyone else, I do know this:
-I am a HUGE perfectionist! If I am going to take the time to create something, I want to do it right. I like to be very neat in my sewing. I love my seams to be straight, my corners to match up, and my points to be pointy- But every once in a blue moon- I toss caution to the wind and let myself get sloppy. ;)   
-I try to stay true to me and only use fabrics that I love (unless I am sewing for someone else with a different taste).  I love stripes, polkadots, nautical, primary colors, and usually work with bright fabrics... But I have a very big scale as far as my taste goes, so sometimes you'll see me using funky, boho prints and other times you'll see me using delicate florals! I'm flexible that way. I definitely know what I like and what I don't like but it seems to be ever evolving! ha ha

3. Why do I create?
I guess that's an easier one for me to answer. I create because it's my passion. From the time I was a little girl, I was always "creating". I loved to cross stitch, tried my hand at crochet, and was constantly transforming junk into "treasure" as a kid. 
As I got older, I focused my creativity on scrapbooking. Once I had kids and motherhood set in, my creative flow had an abrupt halt due to the new found craziness of feeding babies, changing diapers, and lack of sleep that was my life now. It wasn't until 3 years ago that I decided to try out a new hobby: Sewing. 
Holy cow... If someone would have told me, even 5 minutes before I turned that machine on for the first time, where I would be now- I would have laughed in their face! I would have never pegged myself for someone who loved to sew, quilt, and work with fabric! I always rolled my eyes at the people who sewed their own clothes and thought what a waste of time it all was. Well, I am eating crow now, because I have officially turned into my Grandma and you can find me in front of my sewing machine most nights! 

Sewing is my happy place! I feel totally at home with a fresh blade on my rotary cutter and a stack of fabric to cut for a project! And if you ever see me day dreaming- you can bet that I have some crazy project on the brain! I love love love to sew! 

4. How does my creative process work?
I would have to say that the fabric I use is the driving force behind everything I make. Sometimes I have a project in mind for the fabric I buy, and sometimes I just buy things that I love on a whim- knowing it will be put to good use. I just love to shop for fabric! 
I love it when I find a fun pattern to make or quilt along to follow, but a lot of times, I create my own patterns.
Marcelle Medallion Pillow
 Since I myself, learned to sew following tutorials online, I love to create tutorials to help others out.
Quilted Ukelele Case Tutorial
So if I am making my own pattern, I roughly sketch my project (and by roughly, I mean roughly... I am not an artist!) and write down some preliminary measurements. Most of the time, the sketch and measurements change along the way. I am not one to cut all my fabric out in the beginning and then start to sew- I like to cut a little, sew a little, and then cut a little and sew a little more. 

Little House Needle Book Tutorial

I would say 9 times out of 10- in the end, my project works like I hoped it would, but that 1 out of 10 project is a royal disaster, but I just toss it in the scrap pile and live to sew another day!! Such is life, right?;)

Well, I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about me and what makes me tick with this post! Be sure to check out the talented gal that I have tagged to join in on the fun next week: Meredith of Olivia Jane Handcrafted.  She is constantly inspiring me with the things she makes!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S.- I don't say this often enough, but I have to say thank you to anyone that reads my blog- especially those select few of you that read and have been with me from the beginning! Y'all are so sweet with your encouraging comments on my blog or on Facebook or Instagram. Nothing makes my day more than a nice comment from one of you.  So thank you for that! Mwah!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

English Paper Piecing + A Little Giveaway

One of my favorite, if not thee favorite, projects I have ever worked on is my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.
Just this weekend, I hit a milestone... 
I've spent 2 years (so far) working on it. 
I've clocked hundreds and hundreds of hours, thousands of stitches, and so far it is 31 flowers strong.
It's the perfect take along project! I've lost count of the states and countries this little quilt has traveled to.  I'm only halfway finished, but I have enjoyed every moment of it.  For me, there is just something about doing every single inch of a quilt by hand! I love it! 
I shared a little bit last year about my hexie-ing process in this post in case you are interested in seeing my method for English Paper Piecing.

 I am using 1 1/2 inch hexagons and I use pre-cut papers for my piecing. I get my pieces at I also use their acrylic cutting template that allows me to fussy cut fabrics, and adds the seam allowance as well- so every hexagon I cut is exactly the right size. AMAZING! 
I would never attempt to cut my own shapes because:
1- I would be worried that the papers I cut would not be completely uniform.
2- I am making such a large quilt that I would have to cut over a thousand hexagons! AHH!

In case you are wondering, I reuse my pieces a few times before I have to toss them. I ordered the large pack of hexagons when I started this quilt and have added a small pack here or there to replace bent papers- but worth every penny! These papers are a lifesaver, and for me- a must! 

So far I have only done hexagons, but I have some clamshell and diamond papers that are just begging to be made into some mini quilts for my studio wall! Plus- I am dying to jump on the bandwagon and make a La Passacaglia quilt. Ahh!! So many things on my to-do list!!
Now for the fun part... A little giveaway!

Paper Pieces is going to give one lucky reader a $15 gift certificate to their shop!
So whether you are a seasoned English Paper Piecer, or looking to dip your feet into it (and become addicted like I am)- this is the perfect time to see what they offer!  And as an added bonus- they have generously offered 20% off to all MommyByDayCrafterByNight readers! Score!!
Just add the Voucher Code: DayNight20
at checkout (don't forget to hit the 'OK") for 20% off your entire cart!  Expires October 31st, 2014

To enter the giveaway, just stop by, take a look around, and then come back here and leave a comment with what you would choose if you won the giveaway!  (your choice will in no way effect the outcome of the giveaway)

Easy right?! Just be sure to include your email address so that I can notify you if you are the lucky winner! 

One person will be selected at random and announced on my blog next Friday.

And as an added bonus- they have generously offered 20% off to all Mommy By Day Crafter By Night readers for any orders! Score!!
Just add the Voucher Code: DayNight20
at checkout (don't forget to hit the 'OK') for 20% off your entire cart!  Expires October 31st, 2014

P.S. Be sure to stay in up to date with all of the sales, discounts, and free patterns offered throughout the year by signing up for their newlsetter- or you can follow them on Facebook too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Handmade Halloween Costumes

It's finally looking like fall has come to visit in my neck of the woods... Temps dropped from in the 90s to the 60s in a matter of 2 days. A little drastic if you ask me, but I love this time of year so I guess I shouldn't complain! I have pumpkin spice candles filling my home with a yummy, cozy aroma and I've started working on Halloween costumes for my two little girls. 

It's totally crazy to me that it's already time for Halloween costume preparations, but with going the handmade route, it is a lot of work and I don't want to be burning the midnight oil on October 30th to finish them up. Thus, I am being proactive and feeling on top of things (for once in my life!;).

I said I would never do handmade costumes. EVER.

For a couple reasons.... 

1- On a whole, I think they cost A LOT more than buying a costume at the store. 
2- They are so much extra work and time... 

But never say never I guess... I waffled this year and the handmade costumes are in full swing at our house! 

I am going the homemade route mainly because my youngest wanted to be something that I knew I was not going to be able to buy somewhere. She wants to be Sheriff Callie. (If you don't have a toddler in your house, you probably have no idea who that is, but trust me- She's a big deal)

I'm really excited with how the costume is coming along so far... I can't wait to finish all of the other details and  try it all on my daughter. She is loving watching the progress and very excited about the thought of being "Sheriff Callie"- which is making all this extra work totally worth it! :)  

My oldest daughter was kinda wishy washy on what she wanted to be, but leaning toward Elsa- which we already have a costume for, but since I was doing handmade for one I figured I better go all the way crazy and do handmade for the other- right? 

So after brain storming together, we came up with Little Red Riding Hood. 
Luckily, I have the darling book Little Things to Sew, which has a pattern for the cutest Little Red Cape. 

So with my favorite show starting again tonight (NASHVILLE- can I get a Hallelujah?! I dying to see what Rayna is going to say about Deacon's proposal!!) and lots of pattern pieces to cut out, you know where you can find me for the next little bit!

Hope you have a wonderful week!!
xoxo, Ashley

I haven't done a work in progress post in a while...  do y'all like WIP posts?? I post plenty of behind the scenes pictures on Instagram, but I know not everyone is on there, so I thought I would pop over and go the "old fashioned" route with the old bloggety blog... So let me know one way or the other by leaving a comment on whether you like seeing it here, or would rather just see it all on insta and see finished projects on the blog...
Thanks in advance for your input! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pro Guide to Quilting

So I am a little late to the party with sharing this now, but with our big move, I forgot to share it with you all earlier. 
This summer, I had the opportunity to be published in a bookazine called Pro Guide to Quilting. (It's kinda a cross between a book and a magazine- so it is aptly named a Bookazine ;) It's full of lots of quilty projects, tips, and ideas. Perfect for anyone who loves, or is interested in beginning quilting. 
They featured the pattern to my Isosceles Triangle Quilt. (remember the quilt along that I did a couple year ago??) It was cool to see the diagram and pattern template that they designed since they weren't able to show each of my step by step pictures featured in the tutorial on my blog! It looks so official! Love it!
 I feel so honored to be featured in the book along side two of my sewing/quilty idols: Amy of nanaCompany and Amy of Diary of a Quilter, along with a whole other slew of talented quilters! And the title- Pro Guide to Quilting- makes me smile and laugh inside, because as someone who just started quilting, let alone sewing, a few years ago- "pro" is not a word I would associate myself with... but when opportunity comes knocking at your door- you answer it, right?! ;)

The book is a publication based out of the UK and is available for purchase here. Or you may still find a copy at Joann- I saw it there over the summer but haven't checked recently.

Hope you are all having a great start to your week! Be sure to pop by my instagram to see what sewing projects I've been up to lately! 
xoxo, Ashley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DIY Carseat Cover

I love giving handmade gifts at baby showers. Back in the spring, we had a baby shower for one of my besties and I made her this car seat cover. It is thee easiest project ever! It only takes about an hour to make. Here is a link to my tutorial:

This carseat cover was made for a little girl, but I wanted to use different colors than the standard "baby pinks". Since my friends carseat is red, I knew the perfect fabric line to use: Moda Baby Jane. I love the yellow, red, and aqua in this print. 

If you were making this cover for a little boy, you could totally just leave the bows off, or replace the bows with some chunky buttons. 

Hope y'all are having a great week!
Happy sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway: WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway this last week! It was fun reading the comments and seeing which fabrics y'all were interested in!

One winner was chosen at total random tonight and the lucky lady is: 

"Joanna @ Riddle and {Whimsy}August 26, 2014 at 12:56 AM
I'm want some yardage of Zen Chic's Figures line! I love the texty prints so want to grab some!"

I am going to be sending out an email soon so be watching for that Joanna!

Hope everyone is having a great week! 
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Patchwork Messenger Bag

When I find a sewing pattern that I really love, I tend to make it over and over. That is totally the case with the Oliver + S Messenger Bag pattern.
You can find the pattern in the darling book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew. I initially bought the book solely for this pattern, but after looking through the book I have plans to make a few things from it. It's a great book. When it comes to sewing patterns, I am only interested in patterns that are well thought out, easy to follow, and have a clean finish. I have never been disappointed with anything Oliver+S! Love it all. 
Call me crazy, but I have made this pattern 9 times. Yes... I just said NINE. 

Last summer I was on a quest to make all of my nieces and nephews "handmade birthday gifts" and this pattern was something I new would work across the board for everyone. 
I haven't posted all 9 bags yet, but you can find the ones I have posted here:
I thought I would mix things up a little with this version of the bag and used a Posy mini charm pack I had on hand to make a patchwork flap for the bag. It turned out really great and was fun to do something a little different as far as the pattern is concerned. 
There are 3 more versions of the messenger bag that I have made and still need to blog about. It's fun to see how using diverse types and patterns of fabric can make the bag look completely different.  Stay tuned!

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley