Monday, May 28, 2012

WIP: Quilt Blocks

Hi Angel!

So great to see you and catch up for a while yesterday. It's so fun -- and surreal -- to be back in Nashville for a bit. I can't wait to get together again in a few days and get our craft on!

I finished a bunch of projects before heading out of town and wanted to share some sneak peeks and works-in-progress, all things I made with the Quilt Blocks fabric by Ellen Luckett Baker (purchased from our lovely sponsor Fat Quarter Shop). I am hoping to participate in Ellen's Quilt Blocks Shop Challenge. Once I sort through and edit the meeellion photos I took of my finished projects, I will share more!

Jenny: Quilt Blocks Challenge WIP

Jenny: Quilt Blocks Challenge WIP

Jenny: Quilt Blocks Challenge WIP

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Jenny: Your mission, if you choose to accept it

Jenny, I only have a minute b/c Kristina is on her way over, but I wanted to post some photos so you could put your thinking cap on. This baker's rack is old, and it's been outside for about a year next to the chicken coop. Surprisingly the wood is in pretty good shape still, but the finish has flaked off. Do you think you could help me revamp it when you come visit next week? I need it to function as a full service craft storage area, I don't need the wood part to be a full time work surface but I'd like to keep it cleared off so I can use it if I need to. Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recent Custom Projects

Man, I'm so creative with post titles sometimes, ha ha! Sorry I couldn't come up with anything more clever. I did, however, want to show you a few custom projects I recently finished. I posted about them in more detail on my website, but here is a little overview.

For the anniversary of her friend Ann's sister's death, my wonderful and loyal customer Alli asked me to make a custom piece to commemorate that sad event. It was an emotional process, but I love the upcycled burlap art piece that resulted.

Jenny: Artwork for Ann

Jenny: Artwork for Ann

Jenny: Artwork for Ann

[More photos and details here.]

A friend of mine from grad school recently moved back to New York and asked me to make a cloth pad for the antique desk in the studio she's renting. She requested Marimekko fabric and we selected a bold red print. It was such fun (and a bit nerve-wracking) to work with this beautiful fabric.

With each new binding project, I improve my skills and the mitered corners are near perfect on this one. I was really pleased with the result. It's so striking, it could be hung as wall art, don't you think? I kind of want one for the huge white wall in our stairway.

Jenny: Desk Pad for Paavani

Jenny: Desk Pad for Paavani

Jenny: Desk Pad for Paavani

Jenny: Desk Pad for Paavani

[More photos and details here.]

The most recent e-reader cover I made was for a lovely lady named Lindsey who showed extreme patience while I dealt with sewing machine troubles (and an exchange for a brand new one!). To thank her for her graciousness, I made her a matching little zipper pouch.

Jenny: Owl Kindle Cover and Pouch

Jenny: Owl Kindle Cover and Pouch

Jenny: Owl Kindle Cover and Pouch

[More photos and details here.]

I love custom orders! They are challenging and push me to think out of my usual creative box. However, it's time to focus on making things for my shop on Etsy which has been pretty quiet for the last couple of months! I'll share some works in progress very soon!!

If you feel so inclined, please visit my website/blog Jenny Bartoy ~ Handmade Designs or "like" me on Facebook. I'd love to make some new friends!

And if you haven't yet, go enter our giveaway for the Stash Happy book trio along with some fabric and felt here, part of the wonderful Giveaway Day on Sew Mama Sew!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway Day: Stash Happy Trio and more!

Happy Monday!

It's Giveaway Day on Sew Mama Sew! and Stumbles & Stitches is participating by giving away books, fabric and felt to one very lucky winner!!

Giveaway Day!

First, our friends at Lark Crafts are being super generous and giving away the whole Stash Happy collection! That is a trio of lovely books, perfect for using up your stash and creating super fun projects.

Giveaway Day!

The winner will receive the following 3 books courtesy of Lark Crafts:

And to sweeten the pot (and your stash!), we're throwing in some fabric and felt!

The winner will receive an assortment of large fabric scraps, ranging from roughly 5 x 10 inches to a few full fat quarters, lovingly cut from our stash! They are perfect to make many of the Stash Happy projects and include prints from the Echo collection by Lotta Landsdotter, Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker, some Botanika, some Denyse Schmidt and more (also 2 small scraps of Kokka linen robots -- too cute not to include!).

Giveaway Day!

Giveaway Day!

The winner will also receive 7 pieces of wool-blend felt (30% wool, 70% rayon) in a range of colors.

Giveaway Day!

See the details below for a chance to win this fabulous Stash Happy package!

Giveaway Day!

* * *

How to enter

For a chance to win this prize, simply write us a comment. If you'd like, tell us about a successful project you made with scraps or your favorite way(s) to use up your stash.

This giveaway is open to everyone. If you're a no-reply blogger, please make sure and leave an email address in your comment so we can contact you if you win.

We'll keep comments open until Friday, May 25 at 5 p.m. PST. We'll choose a random winner, will announce the name here, and will email this lucky person by Sunday, May 27. (Total value $75. Void where prohibited.)

Comments are now closed, thank you to everyone who participated!

Our lucky winner is Jeannette. Congratulations! We'll be emailing you shortly.

Stash Happy random winner

Stash Happy winner comment

* * *

A huge thank you to Lark Crafts for this awesome giveaway, and to Sew Mama Sew for organizing Giveaway Day! Make sure and go check out all the lovely people giving away supplies and handmade goodness all over the blogosphere.

* * * 

If you're new to Stumbles & Stitches, a very warm welcome to you! We are so glad you're here! We hope you'll stick around, subscribe and connect with us:

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Flickr  ~  Pinterest [Angel/Jenny~  Etsy [Angel/Jenny]

Good luck to everyone entering the giveaway!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fun and Lots of Piles

Hi Angel!

It's Friday and I can hardly believe it. Where did this week go? It flew by in a blink and I find myself overwhelmed with too much to do, not enough time, and no clue where to start. It's a familiar feeling, really. But life is good and things are going pretty well around here. I took my camera around the house over the last few days and thought I would share a few glimpses of what we're up to lately.

- I won my first giveaway EVER: this charm pack of Kona solids from the lovely blog Pile o' Fabric. It just arrived today with a super cute handmade card.

Jenny: Friday Fun

- Speaking of piles... This stack of book has been sitting near my desk, and growing with every new (and fabulous!) book shared by Lark Crafts for review. A bunch of these were purchased with a birthday gift card, but I have yet to really dive into them. I'm itching for some quiet reading time!

Jenny: Friday Fun

- With all the sunshine we've been enjoying, our potted garden is doing great. I trellised our peas, planted our tomato starts and harvested the first batch of kale! Can't wait to taste it, yum!

Jenny: Friday Fun

Jenny: Friday Fun

- Ben had his TV privilege taken away for bad behavior (4.5 years old has been quite the challenge...). Instead of watching morning cartoons, he's been drawing like crazy, writing books (thanks to these awesome blank books my mom sent him), and has been on an all-around super creative kick. Yay for no TV!

Jenny: Friday Fun

Jenny: Friday Fun

Jenny: Friday Fun
He added a carrot to this embroidery project yesterday.

Jenny: Friday Fun
Turning a cardboard box into an airplane

Jenny: Friday Fun

I LOVE how creative he is, and that he takes initiative in his crafty and artistic endeavors. I often find him deeply absorbed into some project when I get up with Henry in the morning, or when I return from starting a load of laundry in the basement. However, he doesn't know how to put things away and we need to tackle the monster that has become his craft area (a.k.a. the disaster corner of our dining room).

Jenny: Friday Fun

- Meanwhile, his little brother is usually found doing things like....

Jenny: Friday Fun
Rolling around on the couch and giving Mommy heart attacks by almost falling face first on the floor

Jenny: Friday Fun
Finding something to climb on to watch the trucks and backhoes working on the house remodel across the street

- I have so many works-in-progress, most of which I need to finish before the end of May: custom orders, Craft Hope aprons, Quilt Blocks shop challenge, wedding quilt, and more. Here's one of my piles -- see if you can spot a quilt top, a custom Kindle cover awaiting a button, and some Quilt Blocks quilt blocks.

Jenny: Friday Fun

LOTS of piles around here, it seems. Here's wishing for those to all get tackled and weeded down this weekend!

I hope you've had a great week. What are you working on this weekend? What kind of piles do you have around your house?

By the way: Happy Mother's Day almost a week late! I hope you had a wonderful day. Here's a little pic of me with my two distracted boys last Sunday at a nearby park. It was a beautiful day!

Jenny: Friday Fun

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Angel!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to YOU!
Happy birthday, dear Angel,
Happy birthday to yooooouuu!

I hope you are having a wonderful day and that your three dudes are spoiling you rotten. I am wishing you some delightfully uninterrupted craft time.

I am so thankful for your friendship, support and encouragement. You inspire me daily with your kindness, connection to the nature and world around you, and out-of-the-box thinking -- among many other things. I couldn't ask for a better mama buddy and blog-mate. Here's to many more years of connecting, creating and growing our friendship.

Pssst, I am working on your birthday gift:

Jenny: Working on Angel's birthday gift

And I can't wait to see you VERY SOON so we can do some of this:

a.k.a. get completely absorbed in stitching and chatting, while the husbands watch the kids (I hope they're reading this).

Much love to you, dear friend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Link Love: Feather Your Nest Edition!

Hi Angel!

I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day. I have been mostly off-line for nearly a week and it feels so good! The weather here has been spectacular and after all the crazy busy-ness of Feather Your Nest, it's been so nice to unplug -- both the computer and the sewing machine -- and spend time outdoors with my family! It is in the mid-70s today, with a bright beautiful sun up high in the sky. Just wonderful.

I do have some projects to share with you and will be back on a regular posting schedule very soon. Today, I want to take a minute to focus on some of our Feather Your Nest participants. It's such fun to organize these series and "meet" the amazing people who participate. Last year, I discovered several blogs through our Spring Runner Sew-Along, including the inspiring Heartbreak Homestead written by our winner Hannah. This year with Feather Your Nest, I was amazed by the fabulous blogs and shops of our participants.

Here is a small selection. If you'd like to see more, please go browse the Feather Your Nest Flickr pool and click on the links shared under the photos! SO MUCH to check out and such inspiration!!


First off, our big winner Jane of Buzzmills has a great blog! Do yourself a favor and pay her a little visit. She shares all kinds of creative projects from kid crafts to upcycled projects and sewing experiments.

Svetlana of s.o.t.a.k. handmade submitted her lovely Happy Corner for Feather Your Nest and her blog is full of beautiful modern quilts and patchwork with bold colors.

Jenelle, the talented gal behind Echinops & Aster, submitted two incredible pillows to our contest: Hello Spring Cushion and "Have a Hoot" Embroidered Owl Cushion. I've really enjoyed browsing through the gorgeous and crisp modern projects on her blog. And, I might get to meet this lovely lady soon (if I ever get around to answering my email... Sorry Jenelle!!) since she lives in Seattle!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pillows, Pillows

Hi Angel!

I am getting SO excited about our upcoming trip to Nashville in a few weeks. Can't wait to see you, Lee and the kids, and meet the chickies!!

Spring finally seems here to stay in Seattle (I always fear I'm going to jinx it by saying this kind of thing...). We've had a lot of sunshine and temps above 60F the last couple of weeks. The forecast for this weekend is all sun and 70s!! I am GIDDY!

The arrival of the nice weather coincided with the tail end of Feather Your Nest and I've been spending a lot of time outside with the kids instead of showing you the last of the projects I worked on in April. Oops! Here are some pillows I knocked off my to-do list.

Jenny: Pillows, Pillows

I made two envelope-back pillow covers to complement the new duvet cover in our bedroom. I purchased this two-tone greyish brown cover from Ikea. After loving our old cover for many years, I was tired of the color scheme and wanted to shift to neutrals and blue. The duvet cover and new pillows work really well with the burlap art on the wall, don't you think? I'm pretty happy with the overall look (and sorry for the wrinkles, I just can't be bothered to iron bedding -- who's with me?).

Jenny: Pillows, Pillows

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Nest has been Feathered: Thank you!

Oh my. When I mentioned something about a "Feather Your Nest" series to Jenny some time last year, I had no idea it would turn out to be such a wonderful collection of original tutorials (from some amazing contributors) AND that we would have over 70 projects submitted for our upcycled home decor project contest.

I have to tip my virtual hat to Jenny for this one, she took the concept and orchestrated almost every post this month, in addition to sharing her super cute French Press cozy tutorial. I do not know what I'd do without her, she is what keeps this website going!

Feathering The Nest
Feathering the nest, photo by gecko47 on Flickr

Part of what makes this blog so important to me is talking with Jenny every day (sometimes, many times a day!) to discuss the behind the scenes workings of Stumbles & Stitches. I am terrible at keeping in touch with friends, and the blog provides an "excuse" to stay connected. 

Jenny and I write the blog to share things we've made with each other, too. But the daily support, inspiration and commiseration from all of you "makers" out there is an integral part that can't be overemphasized. So, while I did literally "Feather My Nest" by dyeing some curtains (yay!), YOU virtually "feathered my nest" with every single comment, project and vote you shared with us.

Speaking of "making"... If you entered our little contest, and your entry did not get chosen for any prize, please know this: I understand all too well that line between sitting in front of the computer looking at Pinterest, and actually sitting down, supplies gathered, putting your two hands to work to create something new. Sometimes that threshold feels impossible to cross, doesn't it?

But each and every one of you DID cross it, and that is no small thing. It's so easy to take making things by hand for granted when you are part of the "crafting world", and easy to forget that the large majority of folks don't make much of ANYTHING by hand. You my friends are special! I hope you remember that each and every time you see what you made for your home during Feather Your Nest.

Thank you to the judges that helped us narrow down the entries and choose a winner, it was so fun working with all of you! (You can see them all listed here).

And, one last huge thanks to all the folks that donated prizes: Fat Quarter Shop, Drygoods Design, Lark Crafts, Imagine Gnats, Sew Mama Sew, Jenny Bartoy ~ Handmade Designs and Demeter Rising Designs.

If you found Stumbles & Stitches through Feather Your Nest this past month, welcome! And to all of you, thanks for visiting and reading our little blog. We have some fun things coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Feather Your Nest: Judges' Choice!

Do you hear the drum roll...? It's time to announce the big winner of our Feather Your Nest competition: the one project selected by our 10 judges in a thoughtful and challenging nominating and rating process.

And the winner is...

Recycled Paper Bird Mobile by Jane of Buzzmills!

Feather your Nest entry, Recycled paper bird mobile

Congratulations Jane!!

Jane made this bird mobile with paper from her recycling bin. Birds were cut from paper and then stitched together with the sewing machine. Fun, whimsy and decoration -- this mobile is an upcycled home run! Jane blogged about it here. (If you don't know her blog, please check out Buzzmills!)

This project is a perfect example of the clever ideas exhibited in this competition, and how stitched and repurposed does not have to include fabric! The shape of the birds, the choices of prints on paper, and the overall flow of the mobile -- making it look as if a flock of birds is flying by the window -- made this project a winner.


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