Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day #53 - About organizing

Good morning!

Maybe it's because spring is finally here?  Maybe I just NEED to tidy?  It was about my thread, yesterday.

This time of year is pretty busy in Whitt World: my youngest DD plays softball on the high school team (which hubby and older DD coach for) AND on a travel team on the weekends; older DD plays on a woman's adult league and hubby and DS play together on a men's team.  MANY of our nights are now spent at or getting to ball games, so I'm going to need to either have something I can bring with me to create, or change my direction to something I can take advantage of the time outside, like photography!  You might be seeing a bit more of that!  Watching our grandson discover a huge playground stucture was loads of fun!

So, back to the tidying... my time was limited yesterday, you know, because of life, so I took some time to BEGIN to organize my spools and my bobbins.  I like color: I like to SEE what I have, so I took my hidden bobbins and arranged them on the bottom of the thread holder, of which I either need a larger one or more of them!! 

Like Goldilocks, I have basic sizes of threads: the regular ones, (above), baby ones (below) and large cones.

These baby ones have proved perfect for lots of smaller projects.  They came from a very LARGE box of spools my mom had given me that my dad had used for some such thing and there are thousands!  I've sorted a wee bit, above, but have loads more!

How about those of you with cones of thread - how do YOU organize them?  Do you have them out?  If so, do you have something they fit on, like the regular spools or are they out on a shelf?  I wonder if I just need more shelving?  I THINK I see a project in the works for Mr Whitt, what do you think? Muahahaha!

OH...DON'T FORGET: stop over to Cranky Cat Studios and register to win anyone of over 120 prizes on her Facebook page!  There are a couple of steps, but it's worth it!  (Don't you WANT the headers I have up??)  Lol!

Off to get things done this morning before the softball and field hockey start for the weekend!
Quilty hugs,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fresh Friday Link Party!

Just came upon a fun page with a "Link Party" and I posted my bluework blocks!  Woot woot!

Come on over to

Day #52 - Quilting Standstill, Etsy Treasury & 3,000 Fan Giveaway Sponsor!

Good morning, all!

It's Friday and I believe that odd orb in the sky is the SUN!  YEA!!

I spent a wee bit of time on the quilt that needs finishing, but came to a standstill: I've LOST my seam ripper (perhaps it was something Freudian?) and I NEED to rip out some stitching Ooopsies on it ... EERRKKK... (that's the sound of a speeding Carrie coming to a screeching halt!)

Did the boring work of catching up my sales from eBay and Etsy in Quickbooks.  I tend to put that off and then spend hours doing data entry when I'd much rather be sewing! 

I created a fun Etsy Treasury I called Tutorial Time.  I found oodles of wonderful tutorials for sale on Etsy for all sorts of projects.  One of my goals is to work up some of the projects I've created, PDF file them and post them, as well.  Just not enough hours in a day!

I've also joined in a fellow crafter, Deborah of Cranky Cat Studio, in celebrating her 3,000th Fan on Facebook.  She's got a GREAT contest that begins at noon today!  There are 124 prizes!!!  HOLY COW!!  I put in a set of fabric headers:

 All you need to do is:
  1. Click on this link to take you to her page.
  2. Read the rules and the instructions (the #2 and #3 boxes on the page).
  3. After noontime today, begin entering for the prizes!!
  4. They are drawing them throughout the month, 10 a day!
Personally, I can't WAIT!! 

I am off to either FIND my dang seam ripper or attack the Ooopsie with a sharp pair of scissors!  Have a GREAT day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day #51 - Too nice to be inside, so, some photography!

Good morning, friends!
It was soooo warm and NOT raining yesterday when I got home from work that I went outside for a walk with my camera.  The bad news is, there were BLACK FLIES!!  What is up with that?  We FINALLY warm up and stop raining and then we get attacked?  Grrrrr....

Anyway, thought I'd just post some pix of the rural area I live in and a poem to enjoy them with!


The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day #50 - Hearts & Stripes

Good morning, all!

Another dreary weather day here in New Hampshire.  We've had some pretty heavy rains the last few nights, couple rumbles of thunder, but at least the temperatures haven't been cold.  :o)  I think we'd ALL like to see a bit of sunshine... puhleeze?

I worked on digitizing a saying I like and accenting it.  The saying part is easy-peasy, really.  Adding motifs and designs takes a bit more time.  You have to enlarge the design to be big enough that you can "connect the dots" and keep it smooth when it stitches out.  Here's it is so far:

I am playing with the program a bit each day, attempting NOT to obsess with it ... which is a bit of a challenge!!  As I get them to work out, I'll be loading them into the Yahoo Group files, so join us there, if you are interested in trying them.

So the stripes part of my day... I am working on a quilt for someone very special.  Can't say and can't show it all, as he/she might see it...muahahaha!  For now, I'll show a couple pieces.

I saw one on a blog that was perfect: a lap quilt made with strips of fabric.  I went into my fabric room and collected coordinating pieces, in a overall sense and then laid them side-by-side.  I stitched them together, added a sampler block and began machine quilting the layers together.  My goal is to get it done SOON!  Lol!!  Preferably on time, as that would SHOCK this person to no end!  HA!

I also received a wonderful swap yesterday ~ from an embroidery group I am in! Isn't is sweet?  If you do machine embroidery, you should definitely take a peek at the group: Julia's Needle Designs!

Well, time to wrap this up, work on that quilt for a wee bit and then head over to work!  Here's to some SUNSHINE for the day!

Have a great one, friends!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day #49 - Bluework blocks, Green Rainbows & a contest

Good morning, friends!

Bit of a drippy, drizzly day here in Whitt World.  Sigh...we're going to be turning into mushrooms soon!

For starters yesterday, I trimmed the bluework farm & country blocks to 7" x 8" and went through my blues to find coordinating fabrics.  I ended up being one block short with the layout I wanted, so I MADE up one and digitized it, baby!!  Teeny steps! 

Just need to trim those tiny threads between the letters....
Next, I ticker-taped the three green blocks.  I am not the hugest fan of the color, in-and-of-itself, but I am looking forward to seeing how things come together in the end. 

I also started on a lap quilt, but no info or photos for a wee bit, JUST IN CASE the person for whom it's intended gets wind of it!  Muahaahaaa... later on that one!  Leave it to say that is a series of strips with a sampler on it!

Finally, I jumped on board to help sponsor a fan celebration of a page I follow on Facebook, Cranky Cat Studio.  She's having a 3,000 Fan Giveaway and I am putting up a set of 7 fabric headers!  They FILL a flat rate envelope.

I hope everyone has a lovely day,

Monday, April 25, 2011

#48 - Easter Dinner, Digitizing Baby and Green Rainbows

Good morning, friends!

It would appear that conceivably, spring may be here!  I say this as we've let the pellet stoves go out and I'm not cold!!  The whole "April Showers bring..." thing?  Guess we are not quite done with that, though.  The sun is peeking out through the clouds, but not for long, or so the Weather Channel says.  But, the good news is that it's in the 50's and tomorrow is supposed to be even better, so, all good!

Yesterday was about creativity in the kitchen.  My youngest daughter and I whipped up Easter Dinner while Mr. W was the cleaning genie before our family arrived.  We had a lovely time with my mom, brother, son & his family and the 4 of us.  Mom LOVED her framed gift (from Day #30) and the boys had fun with their goodies.  Little Man used his bag to hold the eggs he hunted for and his mom said it would be perfect for toys in the car!

The design on grandson's Easter Bag
I spent most of my "free time" during the day playing around with the Stitch Era software I downloaded for digitizing.  I'm making progress, as I mentioned last night, and have digitized a couple of things.  I am truely a baby where this is concerned, but having produced something usable, I'm feeling a bit better!  I posted a couple of things I've done over the weekend: nothing earth shattering (not quite the Mona Lisa) but I'm not feeling quite as mentally challenged as I did earlier!!  YEA!!! 

One of the things I found is that the Stitch Era software seems to have over-ridden other programs on my computer, ie: My Editor, which was how I viewed designs before.  That program also allowed me to convert to whatever format I wanted - it just doesn't seem to work now, because of the Stitch Era.  The Stitch Era will only create in my PES format.  My solution, or what I am going to try first, is to put My Editor on another computer, put the designs on a flash drive and transfer them to that.  Then, hopefully I can convert them so other people WITHOUT My Editor can use them.  Bit complicated, but so be it.

Got my green rainbows laid out and ready to sew together, woot woot!  The rainbow is coming together!

Have a wonderfully creative day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This week's Giveaway & Free Label for Yahoo group

Good evening everyone!

Hope you had a safe and fun Easter weekend.  Lovely dinner here in WhittWorld with my mom & brother coming down and my son & his family coming up!

So, I thought this week would be all about labels! 

The Giveaway for the blog this week is a set of RJR's Spring Special Occasion Quilt Labels.  It is 2/3 of a yard of all sorts of sizes of labels!  There are 23 different ones ~ loads for all your projects! 

To be entered for this week's drawing all you need to do is one of the following:

1. Comment below.  Please leave an email so I can contact you.  Just use your name and "dot" "at" like this: carrie dot whittemore at gmail dot com.  OR message me, so I have it!  Otherwise, I may not be able to let you know!

2. Mention this on Facebook or Twitter and let me know here.

3. Send a friend over to visit ~ have them leave your name in the comment (you BOTH enter that way!)

4. Become a follower!  Just mention it!

Viola!  YOU may have a panel of labels headed your way!  The more ways you enter, the more chances to win!!

Secondly, I worked on a digitized design for a label.  You remember the "banging my head" post?  Well, I've made progress!  I was able to create a label that you can download and use.  Just join our Yahoo group and go to files!  It's in PES format...long story about the Stitch Era software... so you'll need the abilility to convert.

Here is a picture:

Click on this: Here is the link!

Off to hide eggs for the Ry-myster!
Quilty hugs,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

#47 - Happy Easter, lot 'O bobbins and OMG!! I digitized a design!!!

Good evening, everyone!

I decided since I'd be pretty busy cooking and getting ready for Easter Dinner with family coming up and down (we all live on the same street/hill...yup!!) tomorrow morning, it would be a good idea to come in and do the morning's blog tonight.  Less stress and I'm all for less stress.

I was stitched out a series of blue on white designs, Embroidery Libraries Farm & Country Quick Stitch, rather like "redwork" of farm scenes for my brother in law's birthday (shhhhhhhhh...don't tell, girls!!). My plan is to put them with a variety of blue blocks for a lap quilt. I have a couple of weeks, so, all good! The other pleasing thing was that the thread didn't bind and snap needles today! Yeah!!! Phew!!

Farm Scenes in "bluework" - quilt blocks "to be"
While doing that, I thought it would be good to replenish my bobbin supply as my creativity of late completely depleted my rainbow of bobbins supply.  I like to be able to to just get to work!  So, I had fun filling lots and lots of bobbins with lovely colors of thread and was able to empty out quite a few spools, great for my organizational plans.

In between the above, getting groceries, roasting hot dogs and GIANT marshmallows for smores and watching our grandsons for a bit, I went BACK to the embroidery software I downloaded and tried AGAIN!  Believe it or not (I was incredibly surprised, in all honesty) I was able to produce a design!!  Yes folks, for practical purposes it would appear I have a wee bit of an idea how to do it!!  OMG!! It's nothing special, a rocket, but as I was not doing too well with it up till now, it's nothing short of amazing!  If anyone wants it, let me know ~ if you need a rocket!!  I have it in PES format - I would have to see if I can change it up if you need another format.

My first digitizing attempt!!
Well, early night as I've got lots of baking and cleaning to do before all the family comes tomorrow.  Fingers crossed for us that the stomach bug DOESN'T go any further, like say to ME!!!

Quilty hugs and a crafty night to you all!

#-46 - SNOW and how I got to where I am

Good morning, everyone!

First off, I have to say: SNOW????  Excuse me, Mother Nature, BUT it's softball season!! that I got that out of my system...

Someone recently asked me about how I got to where I am with my business.  "Morfing," I told, them, "by morfing."  If that has negative connotations for you, let's call it growth, shall we?

I stepped out of the classroom in 2000, seemingly a lifetime ago, when my youngest was entering 1st grade (she got her driver's license yesterday...).  I thought I might like to write - I liked it, publishers didn't.  Have lots of lovely rejection letters.

I considered what I was good and knew something about: teaching.  I'd been working on my master's and writing A LOT about teaching, so how could I share that with others?  I decided to write about the thematic units I loved.  I self-published copies and sold them.  One day my best bud at the library gave me an idea for focusing on books, literature and literacy and my company was born.  I called myself Whitt's Kits and have kept that name ever since then. 

In the spring of 2002 I created and produced a series of Literacy Kits (Whitt's Kits) that went out to schools and libraries around New Hampshire.  I came up with activites and selected book titles for a theme and then packaged them in a special zipped, vinyl-faced bag my mom made.  They had a grommet to hang them from.  They are STILL in out there ~ funny as I'll meet a librarian just last week who said "We still have those in the kids room" almost 10 years later!

(*side note: I got my job at the Historical Society BECAUSE of the kits!  I went there to try and sell my New Hampshire History Kit, instead, she sold me on teaching again!)

(*anothe side note: I had a website for awhile...not particularly successful, but fun!)

So, about the morfing ... the kits required cut materials for the hands-on activities.  I discovered a die cut machine used by scrapbookers and began collecting the dies.  That took me directly into scrapbooking, a WHOLE 'NUTHER story...

One day, while creating a scrapbooking page that used paper in a quilt-like fashion, I thought about how much I missed sewing.  I dusted off my sewing machine and started quilting again.  At some point in there, I realized I needed fabric at a lower cost.  I started researching wholesale options and found they were limited for a small potato like me.  THEN, I found New England Quilt Supply.  They allowed me to purchase from them at a discount with no requirements on quantities.  I have been driving down to Pembroke, Mass. since then!

As I mentioned, I had a website for awhile to sell the kits and then fabric.  Not too successful as it's all about traffic.  I discovered eBay early on and have been selling there for a long time.  Etsy was a more recent discovery and I enjoy listing there ~ you get soooo many ideas!!

So there it is!  I am a wife/mom/grandmother, I work at the Historical Society, I coach field hockey and I have my own business!  NOW I blog!  Lol...not much going on here...

That's my story.  How about YOU?
Quilty hugs and hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

Friday, April 22, 2011

#45 – The bad news is my camera is in a bad way, the good news is, I have lovely daughter who will share!

Good morning, all!
I’ve had a wonderful Canon Digital Rebel for over 5 years. It has literally taken 10’s of thousands of pictures. It’s tired. Very tired. The button won’t push when I want it to – which is a problem when taking either action shots at softball games (“wait, can you do that slide AGAIN???”) or special shots of your grandchildren (“Ry, smile AGAIN for Memere…again? Again?”) What to do, what to do?

The last time I had it serviced by Canon, it was $250 just to take a peek. Which they did and they did a lovely job. Not an option right now. Replacing it? Not an option right now. What is a blogger to do? NO pictures makes for a pretty B-O-R-I-N-G blog and let’s not even get me going about not being able to take photos of Shauna’s team OR my little boys!!

So, in steps my wonderful oldest daughter and her camera ~ it’s not my big baby, but it’s what I used to take the pictures for yesterday’s blog…so…at least THAT is covered! Not to fear, readers! The pix will continue! The ones of the boys? All good – hers will do that as well. The question lies with the sports ones…we’ll find out the answer to that this afternoon when the Cougars of ConVal take on Pelham! (Fingers are CROSSED for both the camera and a win!!)

I spent a good deal of time today picking out designs from my fav site: Embroidery Library!! They are having a sale right now (it’s one of those that gets me…) where if you spend $10, you get it for $5. If you spend $20, it’s $10 and if you spend $50, it’s $25. Do it 3 times and you get 5 designs for FREE!! Yup, I’m all over it! Lol!!

I got the Sashiko Leaves as one of my sets

And the Quilting Tweet as one of my freebies!

Do machine embroidery? Take a peek !  The sale is this week!
Off to package up an order, perhaps list a bit on eBay and then heading to work!  It's Friday, baby! 
Enjoy the day,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#44 – “Bang” the sound of my head hitting the desk and a BEAUTIFUL gift!

Good morning, everyone!

THE SUN IS SHINING!!! (finally!!!)
Let’s start with the “BANG!” That would be the sound of MY head, hitting the desk, computer screen, my palm, the wall…whatever is near! It is the sound I make when I hit the “proverbial brick wall” of I DON’T GET IT! Both hubby and I are the type of learners that have to figure things out. I, unlike him, LIKE to use things like directions … it can make things less painful… sometimes…

I downloaded and am ATTEMPTING (and I use that word loosely) to figure out Stitch Era, a machine embroidery software program used to digitize. It LOOKS marvelous on my screen:

I feel like I am trying to fly an airplane … blind, with no lessons, and the print is backwards!! FRUSTRATION! It looks like it would be just lovely, if I could only figure out HOW TO USE IT!! The manual and links are for an earlier version … or I am just a complete … well, I don’t know, but something not good!

I was able to finally do SOMETHING tonight and trace an object I’d found. Whoo hooo…but I traced it in red, instead of black…rats! But hey, tracing is definite progress in my book! This will be an adventure, I am sure! I will keep you updated! (IF, by the way, YOU are familiar with this and would be willing to help a girl out, I would be GRATEFUL!!!)

That would have been MY creative piece for the day … not my idea of ideal creativity, but, it’s part of the learning curve for that craft.

What was a truly wonderful part of my day was meeting one of my blog fans, Elaine! She is a kind person and a true artist! She has been following my blog and joined the Yahoo group. Elaine encourages us all to try things and is one of the first to jump in!

She didn’t win the reading embroidered block, but wanted one, so I made one for her and told her it wasn’t perfect, but she was welcome to it. In turn, yesterday we met and she brought me the most beautiful, wonderful doll she’d made. I think I made out the best on this one!! She is beautiful ~ something I’ve never had and I am so thankful to Elaine! **NOTE: You didn’t have to, but I am sooooooooo glad you did! She is beautiful, whimsical and will have a place of honor in my studio space.

I hope YOU all enjoy the pictures of this marvelous creation!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#43 - Stitching out rainbows

Good morning, friends!

Yesterday I decided I would create the rest of the "bases" for the Bottled Rainbow blocks.  It was rather pretty when I was done!
Original stack of colors to create the quilt.

Colors ready to begin

The first two show my rainbow selections.  First in the sequence/order they will go together when the blocks are done.  You can compare my choices to the button over on the right.  Remember: I am trying NOT to buy any, so I got as close as I could.

The second is getting ready to sew the borders on. 

The last one was yesterday's results for sewing all the borders!  Now, I am ready to hit the scraps!  Wooot woot!

Have a great day,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#42 - Tutorial: Pillowcases and "Funny Bunny" creation!

Good morning, everyone!

I thought I would share how to make pillowcases with you this morning.

You need:
3/4 yard of fabric for the body of the pillowcase
2" strip of coordinating fabric for the trim
10" of coordinating fabric for the accent

1. Begin by ironing your 2" trim strip in half, wrong sides together.

2. Lay the accent fabric on your work surface, right side up. 
3. Lay the 2" trim strip on top, matching the raw edges.
4. Lay the body fabric right side down, on top of the other two, matching the edges.  Pin across the raw edges.

5. Roll the body fabric UP towards the pins, until it's about 3" wide.

6. The accent fabric will now be "longer".  Bring it up over the body fabric, matching the raw edges and pin securely.

7. Sew along that edge with a 1/4" seam.

8. Pull the fabric out through one of the ends, hence the name "sausage."

9. Press the fabric.

Now, to create the French Seam to keep the raw edges encased.

10. Pin the WRONG sides together and sew a 1/4" seam down the side.  Stop and do another seam across the bottom.

11. Carefully trim off a wee bit, to take off any excess threads.

12. Turn the pillowcase INSIDE OUT and press the seams again. Then sew along the edge, creating your French Seam.  I use a 3/8" seam, to be sure my 1/4" seam is tucked inside.

13. Turn right side out and you are done!

If you don't have coordinating fabric, would prefer someone to put colors together for you to sew, stop by my eBay store... I have OODLES!  There is one in my Etsy store with a pink Awareness rose on it, ready to go out! (That's what's in the picture at the top!)

I had a bit of time for creating yesterday and make what I am terming a "funny bunny" for my youngest grandson for Easter. I took a pattern by Sara at The Split Stitch, enlarged it and cut it from rainbow fleecey fabric. I embroidered on some eyes, as it's for a wee one who puts EVERYTHING in his mouth, so no buttons eyes for that little bugger... and sewed it together. I have to admit, the heads a bit wonky,'s still snuggly!

My funny bunny!!

Hope everyone has a GREAT day!