Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sassy, Springy Pincushions inspired by thoughts of Springtime.

Hi all! I just noticed my last post talked about cold and snow. Gosh its been such a long winter. We are just not getting some warmer days. Its spring on the calender, but Wisconsin weather kind of does its own thing. I will take each day of warmth and sunshine as a gift to cherish. Like my newest little house, I'm happy to snuggle up in my studio to work.

Its been so crazy this year. In past years, I had a nice long lull to recouperate from a long and busy holiday season of sewing and stitching. This year it just keeps getting busier! I had hoped to take a creative vacation last month but it never slowed down long enough to be able to relax and enjoy any kind of break. So, it looks like that rest will have to wait for later this April or maybe May. All I really wanted was to have some time to work on new projects. Since I can't find the time, I decided to make it! A day of play only adds fuel to the creative fire. When I stop loving what I do, it will be time for a very long break. In the meantime, my fingers are still flying!

Here are 2 pincushions I just finished. I think my brain has been wanting to play for so long, it only needed permission to come up with something fresh to share with you all. I put some new fabrics on my work table, grabbed my little frilly things, vintage flowers and a few tools and before I knew it, I had these pretty pincushions finished!
Here is a feminine little cutie made from a sweet blue rose print I recently found-

I didn't want it to be too "matchy matchy". I wanted to keep the design simple and fresh. I used my classic pincushion pattern as a basis for both of my new designs. You can find a tutorial here- Why not try one of your own! Its really easy peasy!

This next design kind of exploded out of me! I found adorable lacey vintage mini-doilies on Etsy at SimplyStephy. The fabric was the true inspiration. It just sang a song of spring. I decided to put the emery on a mini pincushion which sits on top of the main classic foundation. I used perle cotton to separate each section. I added some fun pins and before I knew it, I had a new pincushion to add to my Etsy shop- Fiberluscious.

I also have been working hard on many orders. I've met some great new people who have injected a dose of enthusiasm in my work. They have so many ideas for future pincushions. I wish I had a second set of hands to keep up with their wonderful ideas. There are so many!
Let me show you a few of the items I've been working on. A few are recreations of past designs. I'd like to think that each project has a unique twist. I think everyone deserves an original!

A little crazy quilt tribute to our favorite feathered friends-

I saw my first robin last week. It just has to be spring now!

Here is a Garden of Delight wool needle case. I have a few more just about ready to ship. I love creating this one!

I am not sure if I ever shared this pincushion with you. It came together using some lovely vintage feedsack fabrics and some cute embroidery designs.

Well, back to work for me! My grand daughter is due tomorrow so I have lots to do on my sewing day.
Hope you are feeling inspired and ready to work on your own creations. There are so many fun things to do and just so little time!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Stuff!

Hello and happy winter. I know its been cold and snowy and icy, but there is an upside to the colder months. There are those long days of studio work. I don't know about you, but some of my happiest days are days I spend creating. In the spring, all I can think of is flowers and plants. I am happy to get out and walk in the warm sun. I'm dreaming of gardens and planning beds and containers. In the winter, its the 4 walls between me and yet another snow storm or this year, the dreaded arctic vortex. What the what is that?

Well, I have had my shop in a no custom order mode for too long. I'm afraid it will be a bit longer. However, I think you will find it worth the wait if you are one of my collectors. My goodness, you can only order so many tomatoes in so many colors. I don't know if I can make another strawberry. I made over 60 in 3 months. I long for new designs and I have lots of fabrics to inspire them.

I am a vintage junkie and one of my new designs uses some of my favorite embroidered designs.

This weekend I picked up some beautiful red and white fabrics. They are inspired by redwork embroidery. In fact, I thought I heard them whisper, "Take me home! You need to create some stitchery for me." Okay, I don't actually hear fabrics talk to me. I think I am more likely to walk into my studio and ask, "Who wants to play today!" Those new red fabrics definitely were ready to go.

Well I hope you like my new things. I am going to digress a bit when I'm finished with my next order. I am dying to get back to my little houses. Aren't they fun? They are so much fun to make. I'd do a tutorial, but I have seen some on-line tutorials which seem to use a much simpler pattern than the one I use. Here are a few of what you will find in my shop soon...

I also have a new idea for little wallets/needlebooks. I think they will be so handy when you are on the go. I have the designs all ready to go. I just have to create a pattern and start to play!

Now I have a question for you. If you have a moment, I'd love to know what you would like to see me try in the upcoming months. If you would like a tutorial on a specific design, I'll see what I can do. I kind of like to hold on to my best designs as my little secret. But there are things I wouldn't mind sharing. I also plan on creating some patterns to add to my shop. For those of you with mad skills, you will now have my plans to try a few of these things on your own. Its all so much fun!

Stay warm and stay creative. Winter is nearly heading into spring. Before you know it, there will be a thousand distractions keeping you from your sewing machine. Take advantage of your cabin. You don't have to see it as a negative when there are so many wonderful things just waiting to come to life and only you can make them!

In Addition....

I wanted to add one more new item. I've had it in the works for a bit and I finally finished it! Watch for a tutorial coming soon on how to create a pattern using your own vintage doily! I'll take you step by step in creating a custom shape that fits any doily you have on hand!

Friday, February 14, 2014

And the Winner is.....

Congratulations Barbara Woods!
You have won the pincushion shown above. The button was designed and created by my new friend and giveaway collaborator, Cynthia Crane. The pincushion is my own design! I hope it gives you many years of great service and joyful sewing!

Barbara has 3 blogs!
Wont-to-be quilter Quilting and Daily Life
A Simply Great A Quilting Blog
Sew We Go

It looks like she is busy cooking, quilting and enjoying her grand daughter! I can relate to all 3 of those fabulous things. I hope you have time to go and check out her blogs and see her beautiful patchwork. she has also shared some wintery pictures from Georgia. We may be used to all that snow and ice here in Wisconsin. It looks like things are pretty chilly in the south these days as well!

I want to thank you all for stopping by to visit my blog. It was an amazing party indeed! I also want to thank Vicki from 2 Bags Full for hosting this great event! I know that some blogs have literally bloomed with new members and so many of us like-minded creative souls have found new friends. Then there are those like Barbara who have won some great goodies! Wow there were so many fun giveaways. Hope I'm lucky as well!

I have been visiting many of your blogs and enjoying all of your posts and pictures. Now that I am getting caught up on my orders I hope to have time to respond to all of your comments. I was simply overwhelmed by your sweet comments and your incredible generosity in sharing your talents and techniques with me and others.

The list of blogs on Vicki's site is long and full of treasures yet to be discovered. I only wish there were more hours in the day to explore them all.

Well, its now on to new designs for me.
I went shopping this week and found loads of new fabrics and even purchased 5 pounds of Fiberfill! Oh my! That should stuff a lot of pincushions!
I hope to see you back soon. I hope to visit you as well.

Now let's go make something amazing!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Additions to my Etsy Shop

Before I begin, I'd like to say that if you are here for the Grow Your Own Blog Party, scroll down a bit or click here to the previous post. There you will find my comment section to enter my giveaway.

I've been so busy getting getting the last of my back log of orders out the door. It was a busy holiday season for Fiberluscious! I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful followers.
Here is a crazy quilt pincushion I just finished for Birdie. She once ordered a pink version but gave it away! How sweet is that. Well, I just had to do something special for her. I love how it turned out.

I just listed some new pincushions. The one pictured above is new, as well as a few new heart designs. Valentine's Day is nearing and I have thoughts of love and yes, spring on my mind. I can't bring spring, but I did stitch up some sweethearts for you to see.

I love red work. I had some pretty bright linen that suited this design to a tee. Instead of red on white, I did the exact opposite. I added a vintage embroidery pattern to the front in white perle cotton. I then added a sweet tassel on the bottom.

Once I made that one, I just had to explore that heart pattern further. I have so many pretty vintage trims, flowers, and linens here in my stash. I've seen so many pretty things lately with layers upon layers of lace, buttons and trims. I wanted to give my hearts that same flavor.
Here are two of those hearts.

These are all sold out as of a few minutes ago. But watch my shop for more to come!

Hope you are all staying warm and dry. I'm hearing from my friends around the country that this has been a brutal winter for all. Its snowing here today after days and days of below zero temperatures. I really can't wait for spring this year! I'll have to think flowers. My next project is embroidery and stumpwork on wool. That should warm me up!

If you haven't signed up for my giveaway, please do. Just scroll down a bit and leave a comment along with your contact information. The last day to sign up is next Friday so don't delay!
See you soon!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fiberluscious & Cynthia Crane Pottery- Grow Your Own Blog Party Giveaway!

hosted by 2 Bags Full

I can't believe that it has been a year since Vicki invited us all to her 1st Grow Your Blog Party. I have met so many great people from that event and I am so happy to be a part of the festivities this year as well! If you have been reading my posts, you have already met Cynthia Crane from CynthiaCranesPottery on Etsy.

She also has a shop where she features her artwork on CynthiaCranesArt. I feel like I met another kindred spirit in Cindy and it gives me great pleasure to team up with her this year in our Blog Party Giveaway Extravaganza! To find her very generous giveaways, yes, plural as in three, click on her blog here. But don't forget to come back here!

I also want to thank Vicki for hosting this fun little get together. Little? Oh my, there are hundreds of us now! Vicki and her beautiful blog Two Bags Full are one of the finest examples of what handmade and blogging handmade are all about. In fact, she represents a unique vision we all embrace, which includes sharing our joy in living a creative life.
Here she is in her coat of many colors. She's lovely inside and out!

Cindy contacted me a few months ago. She was working on her beautiful blog, Cynthia Cranes Art and Gardening. She was hoping to build her visitors and introduce all of her beautiful shop items. I fell in love with her work and ordered an adorable mug. From then on, we were buddies with a common cause. So I asked her if she would send me some buttons for a joint giveaway. I worked on a bunch of ideas and finally I ended up creating this pincushion. Best of all- YOU can Win it!

Here is my Giveaway!

The Rules
So how do you go about winning this pincushion? The rules are easy. Just leave a comment below. Be sure to include a way for me to contact you in case you are the big winner. You don't have to become a member of my blog, but I would love to have you. Its a pretty quiet membership. I'm not a social butterfly when it comes to all things Internet. If you leave a comment I sometimes send replies. I promise not to fill you inbox with stuff, (who needs an over flowing inbox?) If you sign up for my newsletter, I'll try to be better about writing them. I just want you to stop by everyone in a while and enjoy what's new here in fiberluscious land. Better yet, read quickly-then get back to creating!
All entries must be in by midnight on February 12th. The winner will be announced on February 15th!

If you are a part of the Grow Your Own Blog Party, please don't hesitate to leave a short shout out about your blog and invite others to visit. This whole party is really a party after all. Mix, mingle and chat and have a great time lifting someone else up!

This pincushion is exclusive for this giveaway. It is 5 1/2 inches square and 2 1/2 inches thick. It has an emery pocket inside to sharpen your pins and needles. The rest of this pincushion is stuffed to the max with new polyester fiberfill. It comes with two glass flower topped pins. It is made of quilting cottons, vintage and new trims, and a beautiful ceramic button by Cynthia Crane. You won't find this in my shop. I wanted to make something special just for this event. I don't know that I could price it for the amount of work that it involved. In fact, I don't even know if I could even do it again if I wanted to! Just too many things learned for this design. So you will have a true one of a kind! You will see these fabrics again in a few different forms, from patchwork to more flowers.

I was so inspired by Cynthia's work. How about that adorable button in the middle of all that happiness?! Too fun indeed.
I wanted to create something warm, fun and cheery to honor her generosity and kindness. I love how it turned out. I hope it becomes a precious collection to your collection and is used often and with much joy!
I think our work just works together-

Oh how nice it was to do something new! I've been so busy with custom orders I haven't had the time to play with all the new fabrics I've been adding to my stash. I love the bright colors, the pretty trims and the movement created by the new techniques I've learned. Here is the other button she sent. I already have ideas for this little beauty. I can't wait to play again soon.

I love how the button sits on top of that fun fabric flower. I got the pattern from a book called Floral Dimensions by Pauline Ineson. I love applique and want to do much more I have time for. This book features 20 different dimensional applique flowers to add to quilt projects. Well, if its good enough for a quilt, its even better on a pincushion! I used her chrysanthemum and primrose patterns. They are easy to do and so sweet! It just takes some pretty fabric cut on the bias, some machine gathering stitches and a bit of hand work to attach it to your foundation. I would share the pattern, but I am a stickler about copyrights so you'll have to pick up the book or see if it is at your local library. If you want to add something new to your work, I think you should take a look and give her techniques a try. (Click on the highlighted title to see this book and its contents)

I also polished up my patchwork skills. Thank you PBS for sharing Eleanor Burnes with us and Quilt in a Day. Oh I just love her "Mrs. Rogers" approach to teaching. Perhaps you may find her a bit syrupy, but I adore her quick tips for quilting. I created a 36 1" square patchwork block and all my seams matched! There is something to her magic.

I plan on using that block for ideas I found in 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I recommend this book highly if you are looking for new ideas and a way to find your inner creative diva. Nothing sparkly, except for the feeling you will get in your brain when a world of new ideas open up to you. I can't wait to dig in. I do think it might be hard to take a rotary cutter to all that work, but I am looking forward to discovering something amazing. (Click on the highlighted title to see this book and its contents)

A Bit About Me and how I ended up here, doing this-
I have been making things for as long as I can remember. My mom taught craft classes at our home and she was also an artist and mother of 7 kids. Wow! How did she do it? She is my hero and I adore her. My grandma was equally wonderful. She had the softest hands and one of the warmest hearts on the planet. I spent so many days sitting at her knee as she mended our clothing and talked about family and love. She was an angel and a big inspiration in my work.

I've had my Etsy shop since November of 2009. I began with softies, you know, fun plush monsters and such. I really loved them but they weren't as popular as I had hoped. I did have 6 of them published in Stuffed, A Gathering of Softies by Stampinton and Co. It was thrilling.

I was an illustrator and fine artist for many years and my specialty was portraiture.

I painted landscapes, houses, flowers.....

had some fun.....

and I must admit that some of my work was a bit out there. I loved painting and often miss it.

I have health challenges which affect my eyesight. When it just got too darn frustrating to stand at the easel with coke bottle glasses I had to quit. That is when I began to sew pincushions. I love the size. I love that they are little works of art. Each one is a blank canvas for a plethora of materials and techniques. I may start at my sewing machine but eventually I end up on the couch, listening to the TV and embroidering for hours and hours.

To help my shop along, I started to blog about 3 years ago. I wish I had more time because I really love it. Its my way of talking about my passion and much to my surprise, people actually like to read what I say. I still am amazed by that. I think we all have so much in common. When you begin with something as amazing as creativity its so easy to connect on a deeper level with others.

If you are just starting a blog and/or a shop, I would like to give you a bit of advice. Start with something you love and the joy of working will feed the many hours of marketing and blogging required to be successful in this day and age. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, so what you can and do it well.
My next bit of advice is to reach out to kindred spirits. It will feed your soul and help you to grow. Even when I was little, I used to write to my heroes. Most people, no matter how talented are just people in the end. Most will be very helpful and encouraging. Some will become your friends and that is such a wonderful gift. When someone reaches out to you, grab their hand and you both will rise.
My last bit of advice is to be patient and be diligent. Building a blog, a brand and/or a shop all take time. You will get out what you put in. Its not about luck, its about making opportunities to get lucky. Work hard at what you do and always strive to get better. Believe in your work and stand by it. Spoil your customers rotten. Be kind. Be cheerful and be grateful for your success. In the end there is no better way to make a living. Its more like playing everyday with other people who all like the same sandbox.

I want to thank Vicki for her generous spirit in hosting us. I also would like to thank Bev from 44th Street Fabrics. One day she once reached out to pull me up, I grabbed on tight. She hosted my first giveaway and because of that my blog grew fast and I felt like I belonged. I am forever grateful for her lovely, kind and cheerful soul. Stop by her blog and take a look at her work. She is also incredibly talented!
Bev's Tabletop Farmer's Wife Blocks- aren't' they just so amazing!?!

Well, thank you for stopping by! Don't forget to leave a comment and contact information. If you don't want to leave your email on my blog, you can "convo" me via my Etsy shop Fiberluscious.

Good Luck to you all!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vintage Charm

Perhaps it was my grandma's influence on my life, but I love vintage!

How do you like that vintage tomato and those adorable trims, (above) from SimplyStephy on Etsy
From sweet buttons to feed sack cottons I love them all. When I first saw the 1930's reproduction fabrics in my local quilt shop I gathered as many patterns and colors as I could. They were perfect for my work. They bring back so many fond memories. Now I wasn't quite born in the 30's but my grandma and mom were and they gave me a love for all things bright, simple with that certain "home sweet home" feeling.

Here is my 1930's Apple Pincushion which features sweet red and white 1930's fabrics.

Well, reproductions are nice and all, but there is nothing like a true vintage linen.

Hand crocheted doilies are one of my greatest addictions! I want them all. Having crocheted for a very long time, it's easy to appreciate the many hours it must take to create those little beauties. I use vintage linens in my work whenever possible.
Here a pincushion using a vintage doily-
I recently ordered these from SimplyStephy on Etsy. Oh I just can't wait to dig into these! By the way, she is a dear to work with. I contacted her when I missed out on a few items I saw in her shop. When I went to order them they were gone! My loss, or so I thought. We chatted a bit about what I needed and the very next day she listed these beauties. What a sweetheart. This is why Etsy is my first stop when I'm looking for something unique and wonderful.

You can't have these. They are mine. but take a look at these linens and buttons! Your are just going to have to stop by her shop if you love vintage.

I moved this fall and much to my dismay I left behind a great antique mall. 3 floors of affordable wonderful vintage wonders. Hours would pass as I walked from booth to booth, reminiscing, imagining and soaking up oodles and gobs of nostalgia. I always walked out with a shopping bag filled with linens, aprons, vases and other fun things. I once found this amazing baby quilt there. Its completely hand embroidered!
I'll have to make the hour long drive some day soon. Its a wonderful thing to find lovely vintage items at affordable prices. I sold this quilt as is. I wanted to let a quilter have their way with this beautiful textile. I can only imagine what it could become in the right hands.

I have a wish that some day someone will come across one of my handmade items and feel the same love I feel for the things I discover from the past. I hope they see that I loved what I do. Handmade items always tell a story if you take the time to see what the maker was trying to say. I hope that the joy I feel when I finally finish an embroidered pincushion top. When I fill an order for someone special I always feel as if I reached across many miles and touched someone's heart. That is sincerely what I feel.

I just shipped this item to a lovely lady. She shared with me a part of how she was feeling after some significant losses she had survived. Having had similar experiences, I just knew I had to put a bit extra into her piece. So I added her favorite colors and a few images that meant something special for her. Here is what we came up with-
She was thrilled.
This is a bit of what she said about her pincushion- "Oh, I cannot thank you enough......Really ....... It took my breath away! You even put my little precious Chick-a-Dee in there. What a LABOR OF LOVE! I will NEVER let this out of my sight! The colors were perfect. I could never imagined that it would turn out like this! You created what was is in my heart!.....almost as if you had known me ...ALL My Life!..and you REALLY KNEW MY HEART!"
I just have to cry again thinking of how happy I felt that I took the time to create something unique for someone special.

Now, all of my customers are special and I have to tell you that I wish I could invite them all to coffee one day. It would be a very happy day for me as I love that they appreciate my efforts and that they take time to chat with me about what they want and how they feel. What a job I have!

Well, now that I have gotten all mushy, which I often do. I hope that I have inspired you to go out and find something from the past. Bring it into today. With it you will find something amazing as you combine your talent with someone from many days gone by. I'd like to think that they smile down upon us as we breath new life into their hand work. Can you just imagine how amazing the whole thing is when you think of the big picture!

Its a wonderful world indeed.

I received my order from Simply Stephy today. OH MY! Everything was so beautiful and super exceeded my expectations! Where do I start? The feedsack quarters are amazing. They are brilliant and so inspiring. I just can't wait to play with them. I'm going to have to order more, because I know I will have a hard time cutting into them. You know that feeling. I can't imagine letting them sit because they feel "too precious". They just have to be enjoyed!
Stephanie was so sweet from my initial inquiry to filling my order. She even added a few goodies to the package. I was so happy I was giddy as I dove into my package.
I also ordered some beads from Enchanting Beads. They also came so quickly and the quality was excellant. If you are thinking of toying with making your own beaded pins or do jewelry with flower beads. Give this shop a try. I couldn't be happier!
Heck, it was Christmas around here today. I also received new readers. I've been struggling with my vision and finally decided to spoil myself with some snazzy new glasses. They were all totally cute. I'm really styling today!

Well, I hope you decide to try Etsy, especially some of my favorite shops. I think you will feel happy you did!
Here are a few of my favorite shops-

CheswickCompany- Amazing pincushion and primitive craft supplies, patterns and emery
SimplyStephy- vintage linens, doodads, buttons and supplies.
Cynthia Crane Pottery- fun ceramic platters, mugs, buttons and more. She also has a fun art shop.
Enchanted Beads- Pretty jewelry supplies and beads.
CraftyWoolFelt- felt by the yard, roll, felted balls and other fun crafting items
AGardenOfRoses- fabrics with rose prints in so many colors, styles and shades.
EdgewoodGardenStudio- Beautiful hand dyed wool roving and wool yarns. Really, really beautiful.
ChadQuilt- Lovely silk quilts. Check out her Zibbet store for great deals on silk, dupioni and velvet.
BobbiThisNThat- Great selection of beads of every shape and style.
BabyCricket- Sweet monster slippers and fun booties and such for little adventurers

There are more, but I better get to work! Enjoy!