Store Front Meet Up: Come link up your Business side

Store Front Meet Up at Blue Bird Sews

Hello! And thanks for coming by the Meet Up! I really want this is be a space for sharing the true nuts and bolts of having and shop and selling handmade goods. I find the making of my 'products' to be the easy part. Setting up an online shop or bringing goods to market is where the hard work comes in, right. But the effort we put in is so worth it and I'm sure we've all learned a few tricks along the way. So let this be a place to share our tips, the goals we have, the creations we are selling and everything in between. So welcome to you; entrepreneur! Come on in and let's talk!

You will find the link-ups below but fist I'll start with a little introduction about my sales. You can find me on Etsy anytime but I've had the most success selling to friends, family, small local shops & holiday bazaars. Living in Portland, Oregon has benefits as there is a large crafty community established here. Selling handmade goods is a hip thing and there are plenty of opportunities to sell that way.

What sells well depends on where I'm at and targeting that market. My baby things have done well at the baby boutique (duh!) but not so well for the holiday sales. The bazaar table does well for crayon rolls and recycled crayons as well as the note cards I've made. I bring my quilts to the bazaar because you never can tell who will be there and I don't want to miss the exposure for the big ticket items but I make sure to have my smaller items stocked up.

My plan for next month:

  • Have a bazaar table this Friday during an art walk at a friends salon. I have most my product ready for that I only need to make a bunch of button bobby pins, after all it is at a salon!
  • Finish the Galaxy Quilt which is a commission from one of my good friends
  • Continue stocking Etsy shop with a few more already made goods I've got hanging around as well as a few vintage random items for fun
  • Make a couple of fabric collages for a art installation at the end of the month & then hang them at Katie O'Brien's Pub

The motivation I have for this shop comes from two places: first of all my desire to create & secondly is my mountain of student loan debt. I would create no matter what; it's what I've always done. But now that I am a college-educated-stay-at-home-mom I have this insatiable urge to make a bit of money to help pay for my 4 years of state college -- and at the very least pay for the quilting habit I have!

Next month let's talk about motivation. Where does your come from? 

To Link up with the party and share the love:

  • Please link up your individual post for Store Front Meet Up with a link back here so that we can easily find you and others can easily find us!
  • Link up your shop site as well, we want to oh & ah over your things! 
  • This is a great opportunity for networking like adding an Etsy stores and products to your favorites or your circle which updates into your activity feed for everyone to see
  • 'Like' shops or items on face book and Pinterest; let's get a buzz going! 
I can't wait to get hopping around and see what everyone is up too! I'll be creating treasury lists throughout the week from my favorites so keep a look out for that on Etsy. I will leave this link party open until Friday so spread the love and spread the word about the meet up. Let's get some hype going on around the shops! Till next month!


Eat, Grow, Sew: You're Featured

Good Day! We are having a lazy Sunday since the rain decided to come back to Portland. Lucky for us we stopped to play at the park yesterday when the sun was out. I am still a little in awe that January is just about over and all the opportunities of a new month are around the corner. 
You may have noticed I operate on a monthly routine. Eat, Grow, Sew is all month, the new Store Front Meet Up is gonna be once at the end of each month and I've got a new tutorial series in my mind that will be about once a month! Stay tuned for some scrappy rainbow goodness coming up soon with little projects to use up the scrap pile and put colors all around the house. The little project I'm working on now is a morph of strings, paper piecing and total improv; can't wait to share! 
But today is about you and your projects!  Here are a few of the super cute projects you ladies have been working on - lots of sewing going on!

Esther at Happy in Red writes from the Netherlands. She has beautiful photos and projects on her blog. Recently she's made this pleated tote bag and the pattern link is on her site too. I really want to make one of these! I even have my fabrics picked out!

Teje writes over at Nero's Post and Patch. She lives in beautiful Greece on an island and I just love her projects, such a unique style - and her animals always make an appearance! This is a little wall hanging she made for her shop. The little flower in the middle makes me smile! And I was the winner from her birthday drawing! My first win of the year : )! 

Angie writes at Stitching by Starlight and she's made a beautiful quilt for her niece's sweet 16. The pattern is called Alice by Red Pepper Quilts. Her niece picked the colors...I think she's got a good eye for it! But what  a sweet gift for a special occasion. 

Thanks to everyone for linking up! I find such great projects through the party, I hope you do to! If you were featured and don't have a button grab one! 

Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird

I hope you have a lazy Sunday before the week begins again; but sure to come back on Tuesday for Store Front Meet Up, I can't wait to see what you all bring!


Store Front Meet-Up: All About It

Store Front Meet Up at Blue Bird Sews

Store-front Meet-up: a once a month link party with posts centered around the behind the scenes of your internet/home based shop. A place for advice, to share goals, store news, products your thinking about, motivation, encouragement and of course inspiration.

Do you have an Etsy shop? Or maybe a Folksy, a Big Cartel site, a domain of your own or maybe just local craft fairs and specialty shops? Well then let's talk. We could all use ideas, inspiration, advice and networking - right? But what I need most of all is a check-in. A place to list out all my thoughts and ideas about selling my creations with the bonus of getting feed back from people who are doing the exact same thing. Does any of this resonate with you? If so here's what we'll do:
  • Introduce yourself! Write about you & the places you set up shop. 
  • What's coming next?
  • What are you working now?
  • How are the preparations going?
  • What's selling and what's not working.
  • Share with the rest of us and comment when you've got a good response. 
Of course this is just a starting point, write about what matters to you and your shop! 

We should set ground rules, every good game has them!
  • Be respectful when critical. It's good to give constructive advice.
  • Be respectful when taking constructive advice. You don't have to agree with everything.
  • Be respectful of other ideas; copying is not cool.
Come back next week on the last day of the month January 31st and link up with your post & link up your shop. I love a little window shopping and networking! Let me know if you've got any questions or suggestions before next Tuesday.
See you then! 


** and that amazing photo for the button is being generously being allowed by 'anyjazz65' on Flickr, you can find it and others here.

WIP: Galaxy

Another week of work on the Galaxy. That's the phrase I lovingly gave to this quilt of enormity and stars.
I added two more blocks to make up for a lack of HST's (how do I get some math wrong each time I make quilt?!) and it pulls the eye up from the bursting center going on the other end. I still got a scrappy boarder to sew and a back to piece.
The colors in the HST's work, giving the sharp but scrappy look I was going for. Hubby says the blue triangles look like a drops of water. The recipient of the quilt got to see a sneak peak before I was this far along. He was speechless. Gotta love that!
In two weeks I go in to long-arm the quilt and I am still undecided on what to do. The thoughts I've had so far include:
intersecting circles along light bands
half circles along edges of dark bands
Whatever grabs me at the time for each of the 14 star blocks

What would you do??? I could really use some perspective and ideas; thanks!
I'm almost ready to start my list back up for 2012. I am scrapping my 2011 WIP list and starting over - not to say there won't be a few UFO's in there!

Hey; do you sell? Are you interested in a link party with other virtual shop owners? Come back on Jan 31st for Store Front Meet Up a link party focusing behind the scences of your on-line shop or other ways you sell. I do Etsy but also do craft fairs, bazaars and markets and will be talking about what I have going on. Kinda like a WIP for your Shop. I'll have a post all about it coming up soon (check out the button on the side).

Thanks for stopping by my WIP, the Galaxy quilt, and if you haven't seen the link party that is WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced you're missing out big time!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Chicken Pasta Creamy Goodness

Wow, I made this up as I went a long...but it turned out yummy. Add a teaspoon of spices to the sauce and give it a zing with your favorite flavors. In the end it's gonna be good.

1 lb cooked chicken chopped (I use the legs/thighs from a whole roasted chicken)
2 cups uncooked penne pasta whole grain
1 head of broccoli chopped up
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 can creme of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheese, parmesean or mozzarella or chedder
1 tsp spice (optional;  but try garlic or red pepper flakes)
salt/pepper to taste
bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Boil pasta according to directions when there are 5 minutes left on the timer add the broccoli to the boiling water and continue cooking until timer beeps.

In medium sauce pan melt butter and add flour; mix. Add can of soup and heat to almost boiling. Pour in milk, stir well and add any spices now. Heat sauce till low boil and then add cheese and stir in well. Salt/pepper to taste. Mix together the cooked pasta, cooked chicken and warm sauce. Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes.
Don't eat the whole pan.

Since every picture of food I take looks like a pile of something mysterious I'll share a beautiful place setting and invite you in!


Friday Inspiration


I went, I joined, I shared! Hooray for other ladies who quilt! Not since my pregnant yoga class have I been in a room with so many women! Looking forward to a year of inspiration from a bunch of amazing quilters.
Are you in a guild? Have you always wanted to? New year, new experiences!
Happy Friday everyone, have a wonderful weekend!


WIP Wednesday

Hello and welcome to another work's in progress Wednesday hosted by Lee of Freshly Pieced. 95% of my time has been devoted to one project, one quilt: Musical Galaxy.

It is looking really good. I'm all done with the summer sampler blocks. I can't say enough good things about these blocks. Simple instructions and amazing results. I just might have to make another set for me. The rest of the quilt is being pieced one square at a time. Laying out sections and sewing them together like a puzzle.

The final design

What have I been doing the other 5% you might be wondering...
Making more little 9-patches out of these and sorting my scraps in anticipation of the library emailing me Scrap Republic is ready to pick-up. Can't wait.
There is lots for the WIP list but I'm not gonna go there until this beauty is complete. Not even gonna tempt myelf!

Head on over to Lee's and check out what a bunch of great quilters are up to.

Sewing for Men.

There are some great guys in my life. My husband first and Dad of course but also my hubby's friends who I like to have a beer with too. One of those is the Hunter. He fishes, makes sausage from scratch and kills for his meat. Plus he's a good friend. Well one night after drinking and talking about sewing, which they indulge me with, we some how made a deal that I would sew him a fleece shirt.

The Hunter is a big guy at 6'3" and he needs big clothes, good thing Grandma had a roll of green fleece in the basement! So I made him a big fleecey zipped shirt to wear hunting. He was kind enough to take some pictures in it. These are his hunting moves.

I used Simplicity pattern 4975 for husky boys and big and tall men. That joke won't get old, husky boy Hunter. It was a new experience working with fleece. I found it to be forgiving on one hand but also hard to fix mistakes too. Picking out a section just didn't seem possible with the layers of tiny fibers. Then again the 'bad' stitches get sucked into the fabric so you can't really see them any how.

Sewing for men has a different feel than quilting or even pouch making. It won't be used by me and it's too big to even try on! One nice detail on this is the vintage cuff buttons. Next I will be finishing a button down shirt for Hubby as a belated Christmas gift. Having the experience of this one will help out for next time; like not sewing two left handed sleeves! Ha!

Have you done any man sewing lately?


Friday Insipired

1. nautical quilt, 2. Supernova quilt, 3. Prism, 4. Modern Halves: The wind was so not cooperating
These quilters inspire the heck outta makes me crave my sewing machine and rainbow colors of fabric. I bet they have the same effect on you!

Film in the Fridge
Freshly Pieced
Fresh Lemons
Don't Call Me Besty


My WIP - Summer Sampler turns to Winter

Hello all! Summer Sampler Series is finally on my table. But the colors and feel of summer just don't match with the project I am working on. So Summer Sampler is getting a little tweak and it has become the Winter Sampler. The colors are darker and the fabrics are reproductions from the late 1800's to early 1900's. This is a quilt for my guy friend, the Musician.
Greek Cross
I am impressed with the instructions so far. Lee, Kate and Faith do a wonderful job explaining with pictures just what to do.
I've tackled the cutting out fabric and printing out paper foundations for all the blocks.
Lucky Pieces
Then started sewing the blocs that did not need paper piecing.
Star of Virginia
I need a good chunk of time to sit down and read over the paper piecing instructions and get a feel for it before I tackle that part.
Star of Virginia 2

Once all 12 blocks are complete I will start assembling the 'body' of the quilt, the background value squares made of HST's. Then the sampler blocks get 'swirled' around the offset center.
Design Layout

The colors are so striking, very manly I think. Reds, blues, browns, black and cream in dark saturated colors and not a flower in sight. Here's a pile for the background HST's; prints include stripe, polka dot, paisley and geometric. For the boarder I will use the left over 4" squares and strips to create a scrappy frame for this quilt.

The more I work on it this the more I like it. Knowing that it is going to a good home and I'll be able to visit helps my separation anxiety!

I'm linking up this post with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. My first link up of the new year!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Well more when I get it further along!

Christmas Sewing...wheeeeeeeeeeeee because I got carried away! I just had to keep making things for Christmas time!

I had in mind what to make my Mother-in-Law for weeks, pillow shams like I'd made for my Grandma-in-Law. And then I had the thought to make dish towels for the kitchen. Not the kind you use or anything just the pretty kind that hangs on the stove. But once I thought that then I had to make another set for my Grandma-in-Law....get where this is going. So I made a bunch of small gifts plus 2 quilts; Ha!

I found such great tutorials for my makes, they are mentioned below...

 Shams for my Mom-in-Law, made from squares that match her quilt I made last year.
 Back and quilting detail. My stipple's looking good ;)

 We gifted Mom-in-Law a kindle as well, so she needed a kindle case. This one is simple.
 I did a little special embroidery stitch at the top for fun...
 Towels to look at not to use...which match her kitchen perfectly.

 Another set of towels, these will be going in the shop (if they ever make it!) so cute and easy.

Great tutorials are to be found online!
Pillow Shams here
kindle case here
dishtowels here


Eat, Grow, Sew; New Year's Features

And were back! It was two whole months of no Eat, Grow, Sew; how boring! Boring, but still super busy for this girl! So many Christmas presents to sew...go figure I over extended that a little bit! I will be showing all that I sewed for Christmas next week - I *heart sharing*!

But today is all about you! Yes you; Christie, Rhonda and Pam! What the heck it's the new year....ha!
Christie writes at Describe Happy and she made her sister happy this Christmas with a beautiful add it up quilt. There were thoughts as to keep this one...but after all it was Christmas - this one would be a hard one to part with!

Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap (who is hosting the wonderful Finish-A-Long FAL 2012 - check it out) linked up the ipod case she made for her daughter. It looks so professional and it!

Pam linked up a few goodies with us; cute quick projects that leave you with a satisfied crafter feeling :)
My favorite is the applique for kids...great embroidery around that star!

If you'd like to make it onto the features all you have to do is share your awesome projects with us on the party page! (ha! party page, that makes me laugh!) Grab a button if you were featured ladies!

Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird

I trust the new year is getting off smashingly for you!

Friday Inspiration...Where do you get inspired?

1. inspiration, 2. Inspiration, 3. inspiration, 4. Inspiration Pics
Where do you go for inspiration? A book, a walk? Maybe nature or just finding simple pleasure from the unexpected....No matter where it comes from it gets filtered through you and that is what makes it true for you.

Enjoy this New Year, don't let it get to overwhelming....too many expectations. I am loving Januarary and all the motivation that comes with it. This first month is like a reset button of life.

So what keeps you inspired?


Finish-a-long 2012

2012 Finish-A-Long

I love a good goal. That's why I signed up over with Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap to finish up a couple UFO's in the new year. There are even a bunch of awesome prizes to be won (another goal of 2012, win more!)
So here's my stack of fabric that I've been talking about since August, July...who knows. But this quilt has been in the works for at least 6 months. It's for a dear friend of mine on commission and I have to get it done this month. It's his birthday month. 

Small bits of progress have been made this week. 5" squares to start. 

A pattern to go on...which I've already changed! Here's the new one which I like much better, more movement more modern!

And blocks to fill in the blank spots. Since it's for a guy (who requested no flowers on the fabrics!) I thought the bold, geometric shapes of the summer sampler series would fit. As a bonus I get to make the summer sampler blocks which I'd been drooling over most of 2011.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

The other project that needs to be finished up stat is a shirt I started for Hubby that was going to be a Christmas present. Well go figure I kinda over extended my Christmas sewing and this got pushed to the back. Hoping to get this one done for his birthday month of February. The fabric is some yummy, yummy Pendleton wool from right here in Oregon. 

So that's my list and pretty lofty I'd say..a whole huge quilt this's already the 3rd, I'd best get cracking! Good luck to all the ladies! Let's get motivated! 


Eat Grow Sew Is Back!

Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird Sews

Come on by and link up all your made's:  Christmas presents, your new year's plans or whatever else you want to share! It's been a whole 2 months since we partied together, can't wait to meet-up and start swapping projects again.

I should also tell you that tutorials are on an easy to navigate tutorial library page...find all my how to's there.

And I've got an idea for you. Store-front Meet-up (trademark, ha!) a once a month link party with posts centered around behind the scenes of your internet/home based shop. A place for advice, to share goals, figure out WIP's, store news, products, motivation, encouragement and inspiration.

Hope 2012 finds you with as much inspiration and motivation at it has over here!

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