2012 in Photos

Hello There! I have missed this space over the last few weeks! The Christmas time was amazing, seeing all sorts of family and friends put a spirited mood to my Holidays. I am really seeing how the excitement of presents under the tree gives way to the presence of those around the tree. That was the true gift of for me - the people I saw and spent my time with; but pretty pearl earrings also sweetens the deal ;-)

I sewed a lot. This is such a tip of the iceberg of what I have sewn, but these photos are of projects I remember making, that stuck with me through 2012.

So getting back to here, to now to Blue Bird Sews throughout 2012. I had a rainbow streak, finished lots of quilts and small sewn goods, put together a few tutorials and had a good time! I love keeping this space up to date with what is going on in the craft cave at the moment.

And I am really happy about the prospect for the new year. I have to look forward to a stack of new fabrics, a rearranging of my studio space and a renewed purpose for this blog & the direction for Blue Bird Sews Etsy. A revamp of this entire space is going to be getting underway so please bear with the shuffles, they will be worth it!

Thanks so much for joining me on this creative journey. I appreciate each comment and each read and especially when you get inspired!
Cheers to the New Year and Hello if you are stopping by from Lily's Quilt Fresh Sewing Day! Nice to have you!


Lily's Quilts

Holiday Booth Show Off + a tip for more business!

Holiday Bazaars are F-U-N and also a lot of work! Schlepping all your stuff inside and then setting up and meeting the public is all apart of the 'circuit' as I like to call it! I have completed two markets so far - both super close to my house to get a feel for what it's all about.
And so far I am really enjoying it! Can you tell by my smile? I got to take home cash that night! Woo-who! For a stay at home mom with a student loan payment each month - this makes me very happy!
Here's a look at my booth set up for a holiday sale at a local elementary school. (My super cute booth neighbor took these pictures for me.) Which is another perk for me - meeting lots and lots of wonderful people. Again being with Baby J all day doesn't give me much adult chit chat time but I more than make up for it with the people shopping and the other vendors. 

And that is what my little business tip is about - market yourself to the other vendors at the show. At the end of set-up time before the crowds came I went around to a bunch of the vendors and gave each one a business card and the offer of 10% if they came to shop with me. And it worked! I had one very nice lady buy a couple of items  - we were both happy :)
These pictures aren't the best, I'm sorry! But it gives you an idea of all the things I had for sale! To much variety if you ask me...but like I said I'm still getting a feel for the market experience and I think I am making progress on what my future both is going to be stocked with.
Since I wrote this post there was one more sale I participated in at the Jack London Bar in beautiful, but very rainy down town Portland. For this show I was able to give the table a bit more pulled together look. The handmade goods got organized at bit differently into sections and pared down.

The new layout makes more sense to my customer. They can now see all crayon/drawing related goods all in a row and my house wares section off to the side in the trunk where I used to put my larger quilts.  Shows off the items better and people enjoyed looking through the colorful fabrics. I still brought quilts but only baby and lap size and hung them on a rack with the purses and baby onesies.

The scene was quite different than the elementary schools and I was able to relax more and just let people browse and chit chat leisurely.  The other vendors had fun indie crafts all around. The most memorable was Aurora with her hand sewn, individualized, mis-understood monster ties. So awesome, so original I didn't even want to take a picture of the them and put them up on the blog!

The holiday market season was kind to me this year! I did well in my sales and I know where to focus my energies for next year. I think the time is sooner rather than later to start sewing crayon rolls and pot holders! That was one thing that about broke me this month -- all the sewing to keep up the inventory! Not a bad problem to have though!

Have you done a bazaar this season? Are you thinking about it for next year? Do you have a tip to share too? Leave us a comment, would ya? 



Fabric Christmas Tags: How-To

Hello wonderful readers - I've got a holiday how-to for you today. This little idea came to me one day while brainstorming about what to do about tagging my own handmade merchandise.  I wanted something that was simple, inexpensive, fast & added value to my brand and products.

This tag delivers! They will kick up your present wrapping and give each person a little memento from you. And I am pretty sure I struck upon an idea that can be applied to all types of gift giving. These Christmas themed gifts tags could be used at any time of the year by mixing up the fabrics and graphics. Easter would be cute, birthday's too the list is endless! What would you put them on?

So to start you'll need a few supplies:
Fabric Scraps:
1 piece 3" x 4"
1 piece 2" x 3"
1 eyelet
1 piece of ribbon/thread/cotton perle 10" long
eyelet crimp-er
pinking shears
print out of Christmas graphics (download a file here)

1.) Begin by cutting out fabric with a pair of pinking shears or a pinking rotary cutter. Also cut out the Christmas graphics from the downloaded page. You can always find or create your own through sites like Google images or Pinterest. (I made sure to use graphics that were free to use) When cutting the graphics out from the downloadable page cut close to the bottom of the graphic and then leave a long white space above for folding over and securing to the fabric scraps.

2.) Next layer the fabric and paper pieces. Fold over the top ~1/2" of the paper to the back side of the fabric.

3.) Then take the crimping tool and punch a hole through all four layers. Do not try to attach the eyelet yet. I found that making the hole first, then putting in the eyelet is the best way to go.

4.) Once the hole is made place the eyelet on the male side of the tool and ease the fabric over the hole so that you can see the edge of the eyelet.

5.) Press crimpers together really hard! Mine are from like 1968 so I have to really squeeze to crimp it down.

6.)  To finish take the 10" string of choice and fold in half, slip the folded side into the eyelet and weave through the loose ends and pull. Hooray! You've made a little tag.

I made these tags from my traditional vintage fabric in different prints. I like the scrappy look of them. Enjoy this little tutorial and have fun with friends and family for the holiday season.


PMQG Swap-e-de-swap

What a fun night at quilt guild! Lots of yummy treats, ladies to talk with, prizes to be won, quilts to share & lovely sewn items to swap. Last month when fabric was being swapped out I pulled Susan Beal, the president this year and noted author! It was a joy to sew with her fabric picks of Flea Market Fancy and DS and those lovely pearl rings in yellows mixed with Kona grey.
I made her a patchwork half apron from a mix up of a few patterns I found here and here.  Using the pocket detail from one and the ties and general shape from another. I backed it in white linen and it gave such a pretty drape to the apron! I could see myself making another one.
The next little item I sewed is a needle book. I scoured pinterest for a good tutorial and found one at Nana and Co.. What an adorable website, so happy I stumbled here. I incorporated little vintages touches throughout the book and used that FMF again for the main fabric. So in love with needle books! Must make at least 100 more. Again I mixed up the pattern a bit and added a pocket to the inside flap.

Susan is super sweet and liked the little needle book and half apron I stitched up for her :-). Sewing with someone else's fabric picks was super easy because I loved everything she stuffed into that little sandwich bag.

My swap gift was just as wonderful! My partner sewed up the cutest hexagon pouch & fabric bucket! I love them both! Super cute yellow dandelion fabric she added and I've never had hexagon's before! Hooray!! - thank you thank you! Oh and an amazing hexagon hand made card, you can see it poking out there...it matches the pouch! So wonderful!

The talent in our guild is amazing! Here are some other made goods (I apologize for not giving credit, I didn't write down who made what)

The guild is a place to share with like minded people, women mostly - although we do have 2 to 3 guys too! And I so appreciate that instant foundation for community and friendship. It is only my first year of guild and I only go about once a month but it has enriched my life so much this year that I re-up the membership; hello 2013 PMQG!

Are you involved with the MQG? Share your guild love in the comments!


New York Beauty Mini Quilt

Is it really Friday? I'm wondering because it doesn't feel like a Friday. So many things on my to-do list. Holiday shopping to start, lots of sewing to do for gifts and for sales and I am juggling it all in-between a whole lot of family time this week.
 But I am ever the optimist and there are lots of bright spots in my week as well. Like doing a bit of PMQG swap sewing, making a big huge cookie with Baby J today and starting to receive Christmas cards and packages from friends and family across the country.

I have finished a few projects in the past weeks and I wanted to share my New York Beauty Mini Quilt as it has the best quilting (if I do say so myself!). (Look here for my earlier post on these blocks) These blocks were really easy to sew, I do enjoy paper piecing on the sewing machine. But what to do with NY blocks is another question. I was just wanting to play around with fabrics and not make an entire quilt so I decided upon the mini quilt. 

I am really happy with how it turned out, the gingham is so bright and sunny but also tempered with the black and purple. For quilting I did free motion quilting in a swirl pattern in the middle and then alternated circles with wavy lines to finish out the 'sun' medallion  For the black corner boarders I made cute popcorn flowers with vines connecting the four corners. The simple mitered purple boarder was straight line quilted with small to larger lines. 

The back of this quilt really shines, the details pop out of the yellow gingham just like I wanted them too. It feels really good to have this little project finished up. It was a goal of mine to finish my WIP for 2012 in 2012. That won't happen but this is a sweet little victory. 

Everyone have a wonderful weekend and don't let the holidays stress you out too much...it's far to soon for that my dears!


**This is now listed in the Etsy Shop! Thanks**
**This will be going into the Etsy shop soon - once some things get checked off that list :-)

PMQG Swap Sewing Vignette

I'm making my swap partner something little and just for her. Such fun to play with someone else's fabric picks. I'll share the finished project and tutorial link when it's complete.

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