Friday Inspiration...It was a dark and stormy October

1. It was a dark & stormy night..., 2. a walk in to the woods, 3. Once Upon a Dark and Stormy Night.....,
 4. stormy night, 5. October ,
6. October gave a party; The leaves by hundreds came -
I love welcoming fall and October is that perfect in between point of summer/autumn/winter. These Flickr pics  show the changing mood of the season. One of the photos is titled October and is accompanied by a poem of the same name by Robert Frost, I thought you'd enjoy it too.


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.

~ Robert Frost


ps...I've added a bunch new linky parties on the Link Parties I Love Page! Enjoy!

Eat, Grow, Sew: Make a Feature!

Eat, Grow, Sew is growing! Way back in May the first Eat, Grow, Sew had 24 link-ups fast-forward to September and 41 projects have been shared! What an inspiration! And I'm also happy to say that many of you have been around since the beginning - I am super excited about that! I appreciate each one of you and all the time, love and energy you put into your projects!

Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird Sews

Last months projects were as always amazing - but picked one to make and share with you. It's from Impera Magna at Empress of the Universe (she's got a great story that tells how she came about her blog name). She linked-up a tutorial for fabric covered composition books, which just happened to be on my to-do list.

These were made for some little school bound children in her family. What a great way to let your kids know you care and are thinking about them while at school! Wouldn't they be great with matching pencil or crayon rolls! 
Also at the Empresses' blog you'll find tutorials for a really cute fabric storage bin, a handy needle holder and a fitted crib sheet. You know she's a Grandma! 
And she's doing the Civil War Blocks QAL that I would love to do someday. (I'm a sucker for reproduction fabrics!) And speaking of QAL's she's also hosting a Jacob's Ladder QAL over on flickr.
Jacob’s Ladder QAL

So a big thanks to Impera Magna for linking up with us last month! It defiantly got me going on my fabric covers for a bunch composition books. I used scraps from Stashtacular and my stash...the top book is central park, then traffic and vintage dots and the bottom is vintage flower patchwork. 

I really like this one! Anyone know the designer, all I got was a scrap with Traffic on the selvage. I was first inspired by the ones that Rachel at Stitched in Color made a while back and I started using the tutorial she directed us to over at All People Quilt by Jennifer Paganelli. But that just didn't work exactly the way I wanted to, so then I checked out Impera Magna's and that was what I wanted but I'd already sewn my scraps together to the size of Jennifer's tutorial!
All ready to go, just not sure how to get there!
So then I looked around and found an other tutorial at V and Co. which was kinda what I was looking for too. So I mashed all the info I had and came up with my own version! In the end I was super happy, and by the third one it was a snap to put together. 

There is still a day left on Eat, Grow, Sew for September....then we'll close it up and welcome October in. I'm looking forward to seeing your Halloween projects and costumes (hint I need ideas for me and Baby J!) and of course what ever else you've got going on in your craft space!


Hot Mess Craft Cave

Well hello there! Before I get to today's hot mess I have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who's checked out and left a comment about the Fall Tree Quilt! I have been honored by all your compliments and encouragement! Thank you, thank you!

So I know you've got one of these going on too...a big hot craft mess! My bloggy friend Becky over at Barefoot Seamstress is having a hot mess craft room link-up party (with a giveaway!) and this is mine. Table messed up, scraps on the floor and miscellaneous all about. I've usually got a few projects going on at once and today is no exception.
There's a couple baby onesies getting their final stitching, HST's for pinwheels and a bunch of strips for my warm cool quilt along. There's the bulletin board with ideas, current projects and completed ones. Don't mind the floor; one of the perks about basement space is there's no carpet so I just throw my scraps down until it gets outta hand and swept up.
I really like my sewing room. It reminds me of the basement room I had in high school at my parents house. It's decorated with just my stuff, and I can put my little nick-naks out without fear of Baby J getting into them. One thing I learned while getting ready to take my hot mess pictures is that I can't have a hot mess for very long! A couple of times today I was ready to clear the decks and get myself organized. It's the same when I cook, I've got to have a clean kitchen before I start making dinner.

The craft cave has come a long way, here's a picture from the very start way back in January.
Now you've seen my hot mess why don't you hop over and link up your hot mess? For just a one day let's get a behind the scenes look at your creative space. How do you work? Messy or neat? One project at a time or lots of balls in the air?  I'd love to see your space and hear about it!



Celebrate Fall Tree Quilt

Hello and Welcome! Trees and I go way back. We have a relationship that looks a lot like this.

Autumn leaves, swirling wind, rocks with leaves trapped around tall grass and a trunk with a hole for a critter. I was inspired by the hike I took with the family this weekend and this tree; isn't that a beautiful Oak!

Fall is my favorite time of year because of the trees, the colors changing and the cold breeze that comes in to take the leaves off the branches. Oregon has four distinct seasons and this year we are getting an Indian summer - 80 degree days and cool nights. The absolute perfect weather. 

Fall is harvest; a full basket of tomatoes awaiting salsa and the canner sits by the quilt. This hanging measures 25" x 34" perfect for just about any wall of my house. I used scraps from Stashtacular plus a bit of my stash in reds, browns, greens, yellow and a bit of blue. There are even 3 little blue birds hidden amongst the leaves. 

I was able to free motion quilt like never before! Swirls cover the entire sky back ground and tree bark gets a 3-d effect. This is my first attempt at quilt as art, and I really enjoyed it. The process was so much different than a pieced quilt; much more improvised. 

The quilting in the tree is a loop-de-loop in brown and yellow, it carries out to the edges and loops the canopy together. 

I used a small brown hounds-tooth print for the back and binding, I am in love with it a little bit! 

These swirls are so versatile! I'm totally going to use them on my next quilt just bigger scale. The rest is just for eye candy!

A leaf or two dropping...

I really hope you like this quilt, please let me know what you think! Quilt art was so fun to make..just having an idea and letting it happen was creative bliss. Maybe we can make one together some time with a tutorial...a spring tree perhaps. 
I'm entering this tree quilt into the Celebrate Color contest happening at Stitched in Color. Wish me luck! And I'm also one of the lucky 30 linking up with Amy Lou Who for Sew and Tell Friday! On Monday there is Fresh Lemons Mini Quilt's and Canoe Ridge Creations Sew Modern Monday. As well as all the great linky parties you can find on my Link Parties I Love page. 

Celebrate Color

Fresh Lemons Quilts

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations


Mini Quilt Monday

Hello Monday! Today is a good day as Hubby took a vacation day and we get to have a 3-day weekend! Hooray! Unfortunately it has been raining all weekend which nixed our fence staining and hiking plans but we did manage to get in a date night Friday with James' first ever sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's. For the first time in 16 months we slept in together and it was sweet! We will not be waiting another 16 months to do that again.

In between date night and our lazy rainy Sunday I was able to get in some quilt binding and picture taking for a couple of mini pinwheel quilts to share for Mini Quilt Monday at Fresh Lemons Quilts. (that makes 2 quilts bound, 7 to go!)

These are just fun little baby blankets from left over HST blocks. All the fabric is from the stash and the main purpose was to practice free motion quilting on the new machine. I did a 'jelly bean' on the purple and the infamous pebble quilting on the blue. They both have room for improvement but ya have to start some where, right!

Pebble quilting close up

Love this backing fabric

Purple Jelly Beans

Close up
Fun Froggy Backing Fabric
Thanks for checking out my mini quilts. These were a lot of fun to put together and quick too! Be sure to check out the other lovely quilts over at at Fresh Lemons and all the great projects at the Link Parties I'll be joining in this week. I've put the list together on the Link Parties I Love page.


Friday Photo Inspiration: Home Preserves

1. Canning Garden Tomatos, 2. canning corn, 3. Homegrown dilly beans, 4. Blackberry Jam
It's that time of year again when we preserve the harvest for the winter months. 14 quarts of heirloom tomatoes wait on the pantry shelves for their turn in the pasta sauce and hubby's famous chili. It just tastes better with home grown doesn't it?
How is your harvest being saved?


Work's In Progress Wednesday

Since getting a new sewing machine (Astrid II) I've been a quilting fool! I had a drawer full of quilt top UFO's intimidating me with their stitching needs; but with the ability to free motion quilt at the push of a  button my stack of tops became quilt sandwiches in no time at all.

Before and After

With all these done it's on to new projects and actually starting others that have been on the list way to long. Up next is a pinwheel crib quilt for a custom order. The new mom is having a little girl but mom is not that girly, so it's bright oranges mixed with yellow and pinks...and a little stripey thrown in for the binding. I'm going to make a brand new pinwheel pattern for it too.

My to do list; the place where I organize my thoughts and plan out the next couple of weeks

Projects by the numbers:
Finished!: 0
Needs Binding: Fall Feeling Bento, Purple Pinwheel, Blue Pinwheel, Plaid 9-patch, Sampler, Shrinking Squares Moda, Fall Baby Bento x2, Retro Bento
Needs Quilting: 0
Needs Piecing: Small Nine Patch, Warm/Cool QAL
Needs Cutting: impromptu notebook covers ala Stitched in Color, Vintage Scraps String Quilt, Jason's Quilt, baby pinwheel, Frank's Shirts, Grandma's Pillow Shams
Finished Projects: 0
New Projects: 3
Total Projects: 17

I see a lot of couch time in my future getting these quilts done. What is she going to do with all these quilt you may ask yourself...and it's a valid question! I must be a little mad...but I'll be donating to 100 Quilts for Kids next month and a few more are for Christmas presents, the rest will be up for sale in the Etsy Shop and at a few holiday craft fairs in the coming months. I'm not that crazy, well just a little bit!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with Lee's Freshly Pieced, hop on over to see what all the quilters have been up to for the week.


Friday Inspiration: Kaleidoscope

1. KSQA, 2. kaleidoscope 6, 3. Kaleidosope-Quilt-Nearly-finished, 4. Stained Glass Snowflake - blue, 5. Kaleidoscope top, 6. xspherics design-2, 7. Some quilting thus far, 8. Snowflake Snowflake, 9. Top done, borders next!
I'm happy. A mountain of UFO's have been completed in the last few weeks thanks to the new sewing machine, Astrid II, and my fabulous work ethic. :) Now I get to have some fun and sign myself up for another wonderful flickr quilt along.....Happy sewing and a lovely weekend to you all!


Viking Take II

I got a new sewing machine! *HappyDance* I still can’t believe that a new sewing machine is all mine, just waiting downstairs for my use. She’s simple-fancy. Transitioning between stitching and free motion is as simple as a few buttons. There really is a fabric sensor-ma-jingy that detects what fabric is being sewed on adjusts the tension automatically. To start sewing place the fabric on the plate and put the pedal down and it lowers the foot and you’re off! Just amazing that I started free motion quilting at my first sit down, hardly any adjustment!

It is a Viking Husqvarna Sapphire 830 and I couldn’t be a happier sewer and quilter. The quilting aspect is amazing, so smooth…there will be lots of possibilities for free motion fooling around once I master the simple stipple.
Piecing is speeded up because of the sharp thread cutter and the auto foot lowering. Needle position is changeable to up or down on ending. As is a securing stitch either at the start or end of a line or both! Just amazing the convience of all the settings.

I bought it from Montavilla Sewing here in Portland, the shop I took Astrid to for repair. It was a recent trade-in and had just been put out so when I came in about the Viking’s he directed me this beauty…a sew-steady table and 3-yr warranty later and we were sold for what I consider a bargain price of $900. Not bad for a year old machine.

the quilt that broke Astrid : (
As for Astrid; well she’s stitched her last stitch. While quilting my retro bento I over used the reverse button and broke the mechanism which is now stuck in reverse. I could have saved her by buying a machine for parts and patching her up, but I don’t have the skill for that. But maybe you do.

If you have a Viking Husqvarna Prisma 980 and are needing parts please e-mail me at bluebirdsews I know there are people out there looking for these machines, so if you need parts or have any questions contact me.

Most my life has been on an old sewing machine. A metal sewing machine. Mom’s singer, my various hand-me down machines, and now a new machine for this girl. Big smiles every time I sit down. Well Hello, simple fancy nice to meet you. 

Want to show off your machine too?

Photo Inspiration: Celebrate September Color

1. Mt. Hood/Portland, 2. My Desert Wedding, 3. Sept. 1st veggies, 4. Open Gate

Fall is by far my favorite season. It means the vegetable garden bounty begins, my desert wedding anniversary, crispy mornings and an indian summer if we're lucky. Oregon is a beautiful place in September, Mt. Hood isn't quite covered in snow as she looks over the city. To the south of Portland hay fields are being harvested and the golden yellow fields look magnificent at dusk, like purple and tan fairy tales. For me fall is about the place I live and those I love. What does September mean to you?

Fresh Sewing Day: August Review

August, you sneaky so-and-so....coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb. A lot happened, Stashtacular wrapped up, a 5 year old quilt top UFO was completed and then my sewing machine Astrid sewed her last forward stitch, she's now stuck in reverse.
But those endings have created new beginnings! And isn't that the best part about quilting....starting another new project.  (and buying a new sewing machine! which I really need to blog about!)

Here's my finished UFO from 2005, a buggy barn whack and stack pattern I made with my sis at a quilt class. It was too big to quilt on my sewing machine so I was able to take it to the long arm this month and quilt it up myself. 
My technique on the long arm is getting better, but sadly my tension issues are still there....
I love the curly cues in the black border, it's by far my favorite part of the quilting. I am pleased with how it turned out and even more happy to have it finished! Sometimes a quilt is a stepping stone to another quilt and this one was that for me. More learning on the long arm and another boost of confidence to have a UFO out of the drawer and onto the bed!

I am so excited about my next photo! It is strips for the warm/cool quilt along I joined over at In Color Order. These are all from my Grandma's attic stash and most date from the 1940's-1960's. I've got loads of sewing left to do, but my strips are getting stitched together to make a million hundreds of HST. I prefer the strip method for HST, especially when sewing them en mass. I found a great tutorial at Carole's Quilting Adventure

Stashtacular was a blast to host, I had a great time with the ladies and the fabric! I made this quilt, Shrinking Squares and shared the tutorial too. 
I'd always wanted a quilt in black and brights and now I have it! Maybe you'd like one too!
I made a mug rug and entered it into a contest, I didn't win but had a great first time hand quilting. This little guy is on my design wall, no crumbs yet!

And here's the quilting that broke the sewing machine. Little tiny boxed in quilting. I ended up over using my reverse button and broke the mechanism. It's such an old machine that the part is no longer manufactured. 
I am bummed about losing Astrid, but really happy to have gotten a new Viking out of it. I promise to blog about her soon! I still need to name her : )
But about the quilt, it's another vintage fabric menagerie, bento boxes with a value twist. I am waiting to finish the quilting until I have a better handle on the new machine. But when it's done, wow! It's gonna be nice.
Lastly I'll leave you with a little cheery quilt I'm making for the shop. A little pinwheel fun!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog and sharing in my quilting fun! Can't wait to pop over to your blog and see your fresh sewing day too! 
Fresh Sewing Day
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