Store Front Meet Up!

Store Front Meet Up at Blue Bird Sews

Hello there! I am super happy to post this Store Front Meet Up; for the first time in a few months I'm a little embarrassed to say! In February I wrote "Prioritizing is key to bringing in cash from creativity. What is working for Blue Bird Sews shop is being there in person to sell my crayons, cards and art."

I should have amended that phrase by saying "What is working right now...." Because earlier this year I had a few Blue Bird Sews sales at friends shops and being there was working. Then I started a mini marketing campaign through Facebook and landed new custom quilt orders! That paired with an Etsy sale & another custom quilt order through Etsy has got me re-prioritizing once again. Gotta be fluid to get where you want to be. 

On the horizon: During the summer months the holiday bazaars are just a distant goal. For now I have fewer in-person sales prospects but that doesn't leave me out altogether. Portland has many neighborhood Farmer's Markets which might allow a little local lady like myself to set up a table for an afternoon. Gotta make things happen, right. 

Right now: Selling on Etsy is interesting...the shop could be idle for weeks, months then all of a sudden things happen and it leaves you wanting more. With the 2 transactions back to back and a booty load of made goods I'm stocking up the shop with all my trinkets for sale. Next will be starting a new shop solely for my photo note cards. Look at me, two shops ;0) !

Link up your shop or your blog post - or both- about what's happening at your place this month. Linky will be open until Sunday Jun 3. For the rules of the link up and to see what happened check out the previous months post:


Eat, Grow, Sew: You're Featured!

Hello Link Party People! It's been a while since I highlighted the projects being linked up at Eat, Grow, Sew. As my days have filled with others things away from the computer I have let this one slide a bit...but no more! Today's a good day for a little project inspiration (and a bit of my own show off from the garden!)

Teje is a regular guest here and I want to share her blog with you again. She's just come back from a stay in her home country of Finland and has an amazing set of pictures and stories to tell. This cute bag is like one she took with her..
make-up bag

Christie at Describe Happy has been busy putting in a beautiful garden. Here she shares with us a way to make cheap plant markers that are super cute!

Anjig is linking up for the first time with a recipe for an interesting salad. Made with ingredients she had on hand and using recipe ideas from all over the internet. Sounds exactly like how I cook! Check out her pomegranate, black bean, feta, mandarin, mint salad. 

Audrey at Het Groene Kamertje is linking up her beautiful felt cuffs. I love these - in such colorful colors and unique needle work.
felt cuff #3

And lastly I'll share my time lapse photography from the garden this month. These pictures are only 9 days apart but I've been working like crazy out there planting seeds, starts and putting down a new layer of chips for my path. I'm using the square foot method of gardening and so all the beds are marked out in sections to make planting really easy. So far I'm digging it!

Grab a button if you were featured and join the party anytime!
Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird

PS>>>Also is anyone else having problems with inlinkz? Most every time when I click through a link from a party or go to link up my own I get an error page asking to reload. Pretty frustrating! I've only got so much time in a day to check everything out and when it's spent waiting for a page to load..well anyway rant over! Just wondering if it's only me.

BQF: Lone Star Dahlia

Hello and welcome to my little slice of heaven, Blue Bird Sews. I'm Kelly and I quilt, sew and garden all the while sharing with you along the way. Thanks for popping over from the amazingly ginormous Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. (and if you're here for voting...a big thanks! I'm number #144 -  it's so hard to keep track!)

Amy's creative side

This is the biggest quilting link party around and it's so fun to visit new places and see inspiring quilts from all over the world. I am so happy to have you here and share one of my quilt finishes of this year: Lone Star Dahlia wall hanging.

I worked on this relatively little quilt for a few weeks; many, many naps times later this is what I ended up with. Little isn't necessarily fast in quilt land is it! 

This quilt started with a Lone Star pattern, but turned into something so much more. I wanted to try out the pattern and audition colors for a quilt for my bed. I am still undecided as if this will be 'the one' but I am sure glad I tried it out on a small scale before attempted 7x7 rows of diamonds! They are tricky to get just right.

The colors I used were from all different fabric lines and it was really fun mixing and matching shades until I had the perfect set for me. I most enjoy the way the sage green and butter yellow play nice with the bold orange and blue. An unexpected outcome to begin with.  
Yellow: Ocher Kona
Green: #102 Moda
Light Grey: Coal Kona
Dark Grey: Charcoal Kona
Orange: #80 Moda
Blue: Mari Michael Miller Cotton Couture
Red: Cran Michael Miller Cotton Couture
Purple: Berry Kona

The quilting pattern came rather organically. I had a plan for straight line quilting the back ground with small lines and then decided to take it to the next level and make it all diamonds. The swirls in the center remind me of the center of a flower with petals on the perimeter. I used coordinating thread for the central flower and a mix of grey, white and black for the background. On my bobbin was a grey the whole time to give me a solid look on the back. 

This whole quilt pushed my comfort zone. First time working with diamonds; which gets easier as you go (just make sure the seam ripper is near by!). First time just winging it from start to finish not really knowing what this quilt was going to look like in the end. Pushing myself was rewarding...I am really happy with it!

The back is the left over scraps, i just love the row of diamonds, that is my favorite! The quilting looks as cool from the back as from the front. I only wished I'd kept the back solid as to really show off the quilting. Oh, well - another lesson learned along the way. 

Thanks again for stopping by feel free to poke around the blog and see what I've been up to! I hope you liked my quilt journey and enjoy the rest of the festival!


This has been a busy week of sewing, gardening and raising a two year old. That said I'll share my works in progress via pictures from the phone. Enjoy! You'll find me linked up to Lee's Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday. Cheers!

Blocks for vintage warm/cool QAL. Loving the scrappiness of these blocks and the combinations created.

A little Rainbow Scrappy. Find the tutorial here.

An ode to Material Obsession; if it were 1986 as told by another set of vintage fabrics and calico 9-patches

Peas in the garden. Seeds sown, circles grown. 

Japanese cottons freshly washed and hung to dry; for a custom quilt order. 

Have a wonderful week! Until next time, enjoy the sun....although I'm finding it really hard to come out of the craft cave!

Rainbow Scrappy: Color Wheel Applique Tutorial

Circles and the rainbow scraps have been colluding together these past weeks. I hadn't gotten them out of my system after making a few crazy blocks with them. But then it became obvious where this was all leading too....where all these scrappy circles wanted to lie. It was a color wheel.

I'm not sure why but raw edge applique has been my favorite method as of late. Probably due to the fact that I lack the patience and skills to make my ideas happen any other way! And that's just fine by me. I'm here to create - not be perfect.
And if you'd like to join me and make a little color wheel of your own well then come on let's go!

Materials Needed:
Small scraps of fabric in all colors
9" x 3" strip of fabric in black/white for connecting lines
13" square piece of white background fabric
Glue stick
Small scissors
Thread in each color of: white (bobbin), yellow, green, blue, purple, red, orange
Seam Ripper
Sewing Machine
(Note: directions correspond with photos from top left to bottom right)

1. Gather up your supplies including small fabric scraps from all colors of the rainbow in varying shades from light to dark. You will need 6 pieces of scraps in each of the colors yellow, green, blue, purple, red, orange. 
2. Here is a detail of the way each color way is put together. Start by separating your scraps into two piles, 3 scraps each of light and dark fabrics.
3. Cut out a rough circle approximately 2" across (a little less than 2" is better than a little more than 2"). This will serve as a template for the rest of the circles you cut. Then place the first cut circle onto another scrap from the same 3 scrap colorway. 
4. Cut around that scrap so that approx. .25" shows all the way around your first circle.
5. Next cut out a circle approx. .25" smaller than the first circle and stack in on top of the previous two cut circles. Now you have a little colorway pyramid. 
(Note: The trick to getting a nice color way pyramid going to is make sure there is contrast between your fabrics so that each has a chance to shine.) 
6. Once your first set of colorways is cut use these 3 as a guide for the rest of the rainbow. This will ensure that the circles are roughly the same size. Go ahead and cut out the rest of the circles before  heading onto the next step. 

7. Horray! All the little circles are cut and you've got 12 little colorway pyramids. 
8. Let's glue them together so they don't fly around the sewing room. Start with the biggest circle and apply a small dot of craft glue. (I use a simple glue stick from the office supply section)
9. Another small dot of glue secures the top circle.

10. Next clear off your 13" square of white background fabric and fold it in half and then in half again.
11. Press firmly and unfold. Can you see the grid creases? These will be the layout guidelines for the color wheel. 
12. Place your pyramids along the four lines in the order of the color wheel. Blue, Purple, Orange and Yellow.
13. Glue each of the four pyramids in place...
14. 1/2" from the edge..
15. And then place the rest of the colorway pyramids in between the original four. 
(Note: you'll have to fuss with them a little bit to get them to all play nice together and line up properly. You could use a pie plate or something similar as a guide - I just eyeballed it) 
16. Next prepare the black/white strips. Cut 6 strips 9"x 0.5" long.
17. Place each strip between two colorway pyramids starting in the center with yellow/purple. (you can add a little glue here if you'd like)
18. Stitch around the perimeter of the b/w strip to secure leaving the threads long so you can tie them later. (shown in a later step)
19. Repeat step 18 on the opposite center between blue/orange.
20. Repeat step 18 until all the colorways are connected.
21. Once all the strips are sewn down carefully turn the block over and tie each loose end securing your stitches. This process is shown in the next set of photos.

If you've never pulled your thread to the back and tied the ends off no worries! It's a really simple thing to do with a little patience and practice. I show the steps here for when it comes time to tie the loose ends after you raw edge applique the pyramids. The steps are the same for both the strips and the circles. 
22. Turn the block over and find your threads. Here you can see the bobbin thread is white and the loose end is hanging down. The top thread is purple which is the color I used to thread the sewing machine.
23. Next pull up on the bobbin thread a bit...see how that top purple thread got pulled out a bit and made a nice loop?
24. Good, now use the seam ripper to tug the top thread (purple) out
25. Pull the top thread all the way out and tie a couple of simple knots and trim excess thread. That's it! You just pulled the top thread through, secured it to the bottom and made it so that there is no evidence of it on the front. 
(Note: You can use this method when quilting as well to give a nice clean finished look!)

26. Now the fun part! Choose thread to match your colorway pyramids. I chose one for each of the colors, not two so that I wouldn't be changing my top thread so often. I also decided to use white for the bobbin thread so that I wouldn't have to keep changing bobbins and winding just a little bit of each color onto each one.
27. Once colors have been chosen start with the outer most circle and stitch around close to the edge. I turned my stitch length down from 2.5 to 2.0 which helps with the tight curves of the circle. Go slow and pivot when needed. I also keep my sewing machine needle in the down position so that when I stop the needle keeps my place. 
28. Continue stitching around the circles; bottom, middle then top until your pyramid is secure. 
29. Repeat steps 27 & 28 until all colorways pyramids and sewn down. Remember to leave the thread long so you can go back and secure the stitches on the back side. Tying each thread is a lengthy process but there is no better way to achieve a flawless front finish. 

Ta-da! Your very own Rainbow Scrappy Color Wheel! 

Now as for what to do with this block? Ah, ha - that's all up to you! I've got a mini wall hanging in the works with a few other blocks I made....but I think this would make a wonderful stand alone reference for your design wall that can be easily finished off and hung. Or another option would be to use it as a center piece for a rainbow quilt. Couldn't you picture scrappy log cabin blocks in all colors of the rainbow surrounding it! Yum. 

I hope you enjoyed this crazy little tutorial! It really was a lot of fun to make this block; use it as you see fit and please tell me about it if you do!

p.s. I'll  be linking this up with parties all week. Find them all on the Link Parties I Love page! Including Sew Modern Monday and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Garden Inspiration

1. Naperville Garden Plots 037, 2. New Herb Garden, 3. garden_2010_002, 4. Small Garden Design., 5. Garden plot, 6. my garden plot, 7. garden plot, 8. Today's harvest from my community garden plot, 9. Rearranged garden bed, 10. Garden plot, 11. garden-plots-02, 12. DSCN1758, 13. Playing Around Note: All Pictures Taken from Flickr
April showers brings May flowers.....and gardens grow. Mine is at the very beginning stages peas are just taking hold of the trellis, lettuce is almost ready to be salad and the little birds are chirping in the house under the eves of the garage.

Over time it will green, it will bloom, it will fruit and flower: it will feed us. Maybe this year is the year I garden all year round. Maybe this will be the year I preserve all the overflow. This will be the year Baby J turns to Little Guy J and eats all the strawberries and raspberries without any help from mom.
How does your garden grow?


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