Tag Archives: beach

Five Things to Love About the Spark Box

July 15th 2016

Have you seen the latest from Love Bug Studios?

Spark box june

It’s a Spark Quilt Box full of goodies to ignite your creative energy.  I am going to tell you five things I love about this box and why you should consider reserving one. Yes “reserving” one because once they’re gone, they’re gone!

spark box june label

The first reason is I love surprises! So happy mail arriving at my house, especially when I’ve likely forgotten about it, is certainly a perk and there is only more goodness inside! Ebony, Love Bug Studios owner and idea extraordinaire has an eye for detail.

Spark box june inside

Reason number two is I love details! I love wrapping details, a sticker, a satin ribbon and the prettiest tissue paper ever, it’s so nice to look at I don’t need to open it right away. And look, all the goodies have more cute wrapping in the way of paper sacs. I appreciate the time and effort she takes to make this package so pretty for her customers to receive.

Let’s open them up!

spark box june theme

In this bag are goodies revolving around the theme “JUST BEACHY” which also happens to be one of my and Ebony’s favorite places so everything in this bag reflects that. There is sand colored thread, beach ball candies, beach buttons, beach ribbon and a real Sand Dollar. I know where mine is going. Are you loving it yet? Reason three to love this box, is that these goodies are perfect for crafting and gifting or crafting a gift!

spark box june idea

Ready for more fun? How about this pattern? It’s my Sea Horse Mini Pattern. Ebony included fabric (different in every box) for images, buttons for the eyes and a Fish cut out (complete with fusible) to use for this or another creative idea swimming around in your head. (My pattern is strictly piecing but there is no rule about personalizing it with this cut out.) Reason number four? What’s not to love about fabric

spark box June charm

These were especially cute, the charm is a tiny flip flop and the whistle that sounds like a “Zzzzzzzzzing” and the festive confetti pouring out of the sac was definitely a reason to giggle!

spark box june giggle

Lastly, I know when I am in the zone, making and creating, a sweet snackerel is just what I need to keep me going so reason five does not disappoint: SNACKS! In the Snack sac is a chocolate shark fin you get to take a bite of. And if you’ve ever met Ebony, you know she loves her snacks. We’ve already got 2 in this yummy box.

spark box june snack

I know, I know, so how can you get your own?

spark box june open

Go to Spark Quilt Box to read all about it. You can also sign up to get notified for when the next set of boxes are ready. Upon notification you go here and order yours! (June boxes still available) Leave me a comment telling me what you love about this box and I’ll randomly select one person and send them the “idea” bag complete with pattern, fabric, buttons and cut out to inspire your creativity.

And don’t forget to sign up for Ebony’s spark box to receive yours in the months to come!

Beach Bound Mini Quilt Swap

September 2nd 2015

Have you ever been in a swap? I don’t mean a wife swap, or a kid swap or a swap meet. I mean a crafty, quilty, creative swap. You make something for a total stranger (based on the swap theme) and a total stranger makes something for you.  Sometimes there are extra goodies involved. I have to say that I am completely hooked! I found these swaps on Instagram. Follow me @elaine.summercrafter

insta vacation

So here is how it goes. Someone on IG posts about a new swap. Harry Potter, Downtown Abbey, Princess Bride, Pirates, Bonnie and Camille, Beach Bound, the themes are endless. Then you click on the original post, go to the link in the profile and sign up. Shortly thereafter you get emails with dates, rules and finally partner information. Sometimes it’s secret, sometimes it’s open.

beachbound mqs Collage

Now you make a mosaic of things you like related to the theme and post it on IG with whatever hashtag the host suggests. This way others in the swap, and your partner, see what your tastes and preferences are when you share. I had two beach mosaics. The one above and the one below.

beach bound mosaic

The first swap I did was a Rainbow Mini Swap, see that post here. The next one, shipped out August 31st, 2015 was this Beach Bound Mini Quilt Swap #beachboundmqs.

Beach quilt bbmqs

Finished size 21″ x 25 1/2″

I was in the group #beachboundflipflop adding that little detail of our group was fun.I also like to try something new for each swap. For this one I made my first Dresden to be the sun. dresden

I knew that I wanted to make a beach scene, my partner and I have similar tastes. I wanted the waves to be “wavier” but it was more involved that I had anticipated, so I strip pieced sand and water colors and sewed it to the sky at an angle.

beach bound quilt base

After this part, I started working on some focal points. This beach umbrella was just the thing  to incorporate some of my favorite scraps. I also added some button embellishments.

beach umbrella applique

I added some birds to lighten up the sky

seagulls

and quilted the clouds.

sky quilt

As I pondered how to quilt the rest of it, I immediately thought of walking on the beach

shadow beach

and decided to put footprints right on the edge of the shore. I accented the water with waves and the sand with terrain quilting.

beachy quilting

The perfect finish was to bind it with flip flop fabric

flip flop binding

which also added a pop of color.

footprint quilting

I even embroidered a little message as an extra. Ain’t it the truth?

beach embroidery

Since signing up for the swap, I have been collecting goodies to send with the mini quilt.

beach extras bbmqs

So….when are you signing up for a swap? I have three four more to go!

What I have been up to…

July 31st 2015

I know that I haven’t been blogging much lately and what I have posted has been mostly fleeting thoughts just to say “hey!”  If you have been by at all then you know that I have finally published pattern designs which has kept me quite busy sewing.

Aloha girl

Using Aloha Girl fabric by Fig Tree and Co by Joanna Figueroa for a new pattern.

Mr with fish on the beach

Photographing, which is WAAAY harder than it looks.

patterns sort

Folding and stacking

patterns

and stuffing patterns.

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The good news is Checker Distributors has picked up my patterns, they have been found all the way in Iowa!

insta vacation

And there has been a lot of Instagramming. It seems there is a huge quilting community there which I love! Most of my online sales have been from Insta-peeps and I appreciate that so much. The encouragement, stories, de-stash sales and general support is wonderful! So I have been more active posting over there, you can follow me here. (elaine.summercrafter)

home sweet home Collage2

I have also joined several swaps (crazy I know) there is the Home Sweet Home Mini Swap (#homesweethomemini) where we make something “housy.”

beachbound mqs Collage

The Beach Bound MQS (#beachboundmqs) which was a no brainer, right?

dresden sun

I made my first Dresden as the sun. (More on that in a future post.)

christmas mosaic

And another “no brainer” of course, was the Christmas Swap and there are two. The Most Wonderful time of the Year 2015 (#themostwonderfultimeoftheyear2015) and a Christmas Craft Swap 2015 (#christmascraftswap2015).

Swaps are great because  they are good “down” projects to get your mind off of “work” related items. and sewing for fun. Swaps are also a good opportunity for making “quilty and crafty” friends since I don’t have any in person. On Instagram, I am not a “follower” collector, I prefer meeting and greeting authentic, genuine  people who love to quilt and craft and share their creations via IG. This commonality is important to me for general camaraderie and friendly support and encouragement. It really helps me connect with people who understand me and my love for quilting and vise versa.

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Another recent surprise I had was an invitation from Pat Sloan to be on her American Patchwork and Quilting podcast (click on link to hear some interviews).  Yep, I’m still pinching myself on that one. My interview will be sometime in September so I’ll keep you posted.

With Pat Sloan at Fall Quilt Market 2014

With Pat Sloan at Fall Quilt Market 2014

 I had reached out to her on one of her blogs regarding the quilting business some time last year (?)  and she was so gracious to answer all my questions via email and she gave me some great tips. I also had the pleasure of meeting her at Quilt Market 2014. She is generous and sweet, I have found that to be a common thread among quilters I meet.

Hoping to get back to some tutorials as I finish up some of those swaps and share them right here on the blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Vacation 2015 Part 2

July 10th 2015

In case you missed it, I am just blogging about my vacation and part 1 is right here.

I love taking pictures of the beach, totally unfiltered and un-photoshopped just natural beauty.

my beach 2015

Around noon when it got way too hot, I’d go in for some sewing. Here is a peek at my second Swoon Sixteen block, each one prettier than the one before. Swoon…  I didn’t get as far as I expected on this quilt during the vacation but I can continue working on them a little each day. Isn’t that a pretty thing to look forward to?

swoon block 2

On one day we stopped by the Dunedin Fine Arts Center where they had a small exhibit called Quilt National. The quilts showcased were very artsy with mixed media and other techniques.

fast food quilt

“American Still Life: The Weight of the Nation” by Pixeladies read more about it on their website.

a quilter's prayer

This one depicted a Quilter’s Prayer (find it below courtesy of Quiltville)  I am not sure if the whole prayer was on there. Each block was very well done though.

  • Guide my hands to work as Your hands work, to know the power of Your love in every stitch I make, in every thread I knot. May my hands be guided by the same love and care with every quilt I make, knowing that this love and care was and is and will continue to be a gift of blessing to the one it is intended for.
  • May the works of my hands be pleasing in Your sight, O God.
  • Lord, bless my work today.
  • As I choose materials and patterns, may I be reminded of the uniqueness You blessed us all with.
  • As I cut each length of thread, may I be reminded of the doors that must be closed in our lives so that a new and stronger door may be opened.
  • As I twist each knot, may I be reminded of a bond of love so strong, nothing will break it.
  • As I run the thread between my fingers, may I be reminded of the times You have touched my life, my heart, my soul.
  • As I sew each stitch, may I be reminded of the healing power of Your grace in each of us.
  • As I concentrate on my craft, may I be reminded of the love and care You put into each of our lives.
  • As I add my last stitch, tie my last knot, cut the final cord, may I be reminded of the completeness with which You commanded in each of us before we were ever given to this life.
 
  • “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

There was a quilt called Bitter Pills full picture here by Sara Impey.  It was very entertaining to read. This is the one I liked.

bitter pill

I had to stop by my favorite Christmas Shop which sadly is never fully stocked when I visit but I found this treasure from my favorite artist Mary Engelbreit and picked up a few extra. It’s so me! Except I am not young or blonde or well, you know!

ME beach ornament

It even seemed to be that the beach would call me, very early in the morning before anyone was up.

beach calling

I would really like to try and go back before next year, I just need a couple more days.

Swoon block 3

and a couple more Swoons.

goodbye Sea

Goodbye Sea.

Vacation 2015 Part 1

July 2nd 2015

I look forward to this vacation every year

Sunshine Skyway bridge

and it seems that just like that it was over.   Sigh….

 But it was a productive trip, that’s for sure! Once I arrived, the first thing I did was to set up my sewing corner.

vacation sewing spot

This year I decided to start the Swoon quilt (for me) in three colors (Swoon Sixteen) with my Scrumptious fabric by Bonnie and Camille. It took me the first two days just to select and cut the fabric. I love this part!

scrumptious fabric selection

I got a new hat, I love the beach but the sun is potent, so hats, umbrellas and sunscreen are a must! Not my best picture but you can see how I feel in my HAPPY place!

the red hat

Although I did do a little jig whenever I finished one of these, I didn’t just go to sew.

swoon block 1

I also read and enjoyed the sound of the waves. (Instagram has it’s advantages)

insta vacation

Of course one of my favorite parts is just walking along the beach

shadow beach

and see the sun set.

sunset 2015

I was glad that my printed patterns arrived just before we left for this trip.

patterns sort

I made sure to bring some along to visit some local quilt shops.

Rainbow’s End Quilt Shoppe in Dunedin Florida was a new stop for me. It’s the biggest quilt shop in Florida I hear. It had three cutting tables and a back room filled with Christmas fabric. Go ahead gasp!!!  I grabbed some, of course, as extras for my Instagram Christmas Swaps. They had full lines, lines you can’t find online and tons of Riley Blake and the floor sorted by color. I’ll definitely be back.

christmas fabric

I also visited my usual stop at Country Quilts and Bears which is always buzzing with classes and I came home with a stack of FQs. I also stopped by Happy Apple Quilts and Crafty Threads where I picked up a little something for my #BeachBound Swap.

flip flop fabric

Visiting those shops provided a great opportunity to get some on my designs and it was very encouraging.

patterns

On the next post: Quilt National, souvenirs and two more Swoons.