Made with Moxie: March 2012

March 27, 2012

One year Etsy-versary

Today is the one year anniversary of the opening of my Etsy shop.

Shop stats*:(I can't help it. I love stats.)
14,000 people have visited my shop
1,000 people marked my shop or an item as a favorite :)
210 sales
165 nightlights sold
22% revenue donated to charities
100% profitable
* Shop stats have been rounded so as to not get bogged down in the details, but are an accurate reflection.

My expectations have been far exceeded, though I truthfully did not set any goals for my first year. Heck, I didn't even know I would keep going for a full year. I'm giving myself a shiny star because in addition to running my shop I am raising a way too smart 2 year old, grew and birthed a strapping 10 1/2 pound baby boy, packed and moved our family into our new house (while pregnant), and oversee all my duties as Chief Operating Officer of Dorsey Family Enterprises.

Most of all, I have fun. I get to make every single day and I love it. And people like what I make enough to give me money for it. How awesome is that? I am super thankful to my husband who has been nothing but supportive of my venture. He always encourages me to keep making. He has never once suggested that I spend less time making and more time cleaning, cooking, etc. When I am hesitant to buy fabrics or other investments, he asks me what I am waiting for. Thank you, Danny!

I'll have to get to work setting some goals for my second year. My fellow Nordy friends know my near obsession with setting and achieving goals. I'm thinking 50% increases, at least! Also, this morning during our bathroom board meeting, our CFO (Danny)green lighted the Fenton Street Market proposal! I'm super psyched, and super nervous, to be doing my first physical, real, in person market. Woo hoo!

This past week I finished my first FMQ(free motion quilting) project. I need to get a hoop large enough to put it in so it can be hung.
Yesterday I decided to learn how make cathedral windows for my partner in the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap I still have to make it into a pouch, but I hope she likes it!

And on that note, I have to get going. There is a two year old spinning her brother in his doorway jumper and, as my mother used to always say, someone is going to end up hurt.

March 23, 2012

Reversible Adjustable Sun Hat

I get a lot of requests for special orders. It is my goal to make a post for each item available for special order.

The Reversible Adjustable Sun Hat $24
Perfect sun protection for your little ones; in the garden, at the beach, camping, hiking, playing by the pool.Currently available in three sizes: Size One, Two and Three.

Size One: measures 19 inches at the top circumference, should fit from 6 months through 2 years+
Size Two: measures 20 1/2 inches at the top circumference, should fit 2 years through 8 years+
Size Three: measures 22 inches at the top circumference, should fit teen through adult women. (It is adjustable, so it will fit smaller heads as well as large ones.)

The back of this hat is adjustable with the sewn in Velcro tabs and is very forgiving. In these pictures Jimmy is 7 months old and has an 18 inch head. Jane is 2 years and 3 months and has a 22 1/2 inch head. Jimmy is wearing a Size One and has lots of room to grow. I would put his hat on a bit tighter with the Velcro tabs on a windy day. Jane is wearing Size Two in these pictures, she can still also easily fit into a Size One. Each size will keep on fitting your kiddo for years not just one season, which is so nice. I don't know any other article of kids clothing that fits that long.
Custom made just for you. The sky is the limit with colors and fabric designs. These are fabrics I have on hand. I can also order fabrics quickly from The Intrepid Thread. Just shoot me an email to start the design process.

I just have to include what may be my all-time favorite picture of my kids (so far.)

Sigh. Kids....(shakes head)

March 21, 2012

Special Day

Today is my husband's birthday! Happy birthday, Daniel Lee.

You are the love of my life. You make your children's eyes light up in delight. You are everything I wanted in a partner but would never have imagined it could all be in one man. You make me laugh and want to dance and holler out loud. I still can't believe you are all mine, but I intend to keep you for all my days.

Happy birthday, my love.

March 20, 2012

Sketching with thread

I've never free motion quilted before. Or FMQ as the kids call it these days. I've had the foot for months. And had it prefectly 'broken' per Leah Day's instruction too. Is just scares me because I hate to destroy fabric. But since my current project is a)mostly scraps and b) something for myself I put on my big girl pants and gave it a whirl.

As you can see, I am no pro....yet. I think I may need a drink or two before the next session to relax and loosen up a bit. Which could either greatly improve my stitching or totally eff up my hand/eye/foot coordination.

In other news, I am returning my Singer 160. It just isn't five hundred dollars of wow. I mean, you can't even switch the needle from always ending up to always ending down. I can get a sweet Hello Kitty Bernina that does that and more for $299.

Now I can use that money in our new community garden plot. That's a lot of garden gnomes!

March 15, 2012

It is Thursday. Again.

I seriously thought yesterday was Thursday. My mother informed me it was only Wednesday during a mid-afternoon Skype call. I like Thursdays, but it is a tease to have two in a week.

It has been my mission to make an adjustable, reversible sun hat for the little man. My husband informed me that no matter hot much I "manned" it up I could not put his son in a bonnet. Test #1 produced a hat that, although was adjustable and reversible, was much too big for Jimmy's head. Despite the rather large-ness of his head. Jane plopped it on her head and proclaimed it Jane's Hat.

I am pleased to say that Test #2 was a success today. Since I now have a toddler and infant sized pattern, you know I have to make an adult one. (My hat will NOT be alphabets.)

The mail was super exciting today: my vintage thread spool rack from Etsy, ISpy charm swaps and a block from my Modern 99 quilting bee. I can't wait to get the rest of my blocks mailed back to me. I think they may become a quilt for Jane's Big Girl Bed. Here are the four I have so far. I could just look at them all day.

And you know that as soon as I opened the ISpy charms I went ahead and laid them out, stacked them up and started stitching away. They will just be a plain old patchwork picnic quilt.

The last thing I am working on. Well, the last thing for this post. You know I'm not on the last thing on my To Do list. That list never ends. In any case. I had this Awesome Idea the other day. This is just an In Progress shot. I'll show more later one. Maybe even do a tutorial. But needless to say, I am really excited about it. I get too excited about fabric and projects and ideas. If only I got this excited about laundry. Or cleaning.

Yesterday, Jane and I went out into the woods to clear and rake out a spot for a garden since we had not yet heard back on our wait list status for the community gardens. Don't you know that after an hour of work I came back in to find an email from them asking which plots we would be interested in! So now we will have an awesome flower garden in the back yard woods and probably an equally awesome organic garden in the community plots!

Time to go. The littlest one is stirring.

March 13, 2012

Noodlehead clutches

Here they are! The newest bags! Who doesn't love new bags? Don't ask my husband. He'll tell you I have too many already. Pssht! Like there is such a thing as too many bags.
Each bag is 7 inches tall and 11 inches wide. Fully lined with a zippered pocket, 2 slip pockets for cellphones or chapsticks, and 4 slip pockets for credit cards and IDs.

The exterior flaps of the bags are embellished with fun embroidered accents.
The sewing pattern is the newest one offered by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. I'm in love! How about you? Send me an email ( if you'd me to design a Noodlehead Clutch for you. ;)

March 10, 2012

Good intentions

I keep writing blog posts in my head but my assistant never seems to type them out, edit my pictures and post them. Ha! Wouldn't you just love a personal assistant?

I have been quite productive lately. Two custom flannel blankets for a friend's twins, a custom necktie, and a handful of nightlight orders too. The necktie is a copy of the one I made my FIL for Christmas. I love this fabric, especially the sugar skull I made myself a nightlight with a scrap of her. Can you imagine; I'd made hundreds of nightlights and this it the first one just for me? It is also a one of a kind as I am officially out of this fabric.

I also packed up my Modern Mini quilt along with other handmade goodies for Abby's Perfect Broken Heart auction. It made me a little sad to send it away after working so hard on it, but I hope it makes a good amount of money for Abby. I held my own little girl a bit tighter tonight and can't imagine what it feels like to be Abby's mom.

Two new clutches are in the works too! I can't wait to show them off once they are done. Also, this week two squares arrived from my Modern 99 quilting bee.

Earlier this week I was worried because my middle and index finger were dry and peeling. Totally weird. Truth be told I was thinking I had some weird fungus or something. As I was working on stitching some details on the new clutches today I figured out what it was. Turns out I have been doing so much hand quilting and sewing that I have made calluses! I feel like a real quilter now. :) And will need to order a proper sized thumble asap.

I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I'm painting Jane's big girl bed!

March 6, 2012

I'm a finalist!

I am so psyched that my quilt is a finalist in the Ellison Lane Modern Mini Quilt competition! Crazy talk, I know!

You can check out the other finalists and vote on your favorite ones HERE. I'm not saying you have to vote for me, but if you don't think mine is the best I am okay with sympathy votes.

In other news, I decided to make a new cover for my ironing board. I couldn't tell you how old my ironing board is, but let me tell you the inside of the cover and the foam padding were foul looking. Ewe. I traced the shape of the old cover directly onto the fabric then surged the edge all the way around. Instead of sewing a casing for cording to cinch the cover, I used a yarn needle to run embroidery floss through the threads of the surging. It all worked very well except that two longest sides weren't staying as tightly cinched as I would have liked. So I fired up the ole glue gun and glued that baby in place. I sort of upholstered my ironing board. Is it the proper ironing board cover replacement technique? Probably not. But I am quite please with myself. I'm the MacGuyver of adhesives.

Apologies for the poor photo. I took this photo at night. With my phone.

If you haven't already, please go vote for your favorite Modern Mini Quilt. And remember, you can vote for which ever quilt you like the best, so long as that quilt is mine. :p

Good night ya'll!

March 5, 2012

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Congrats to Andrea, comment #24, on being the lucky winner of my embroidered zippy bag!

I would hang around and chat more, but the little man is being a super fuss since I won't let him pound on my keyboard right now. Silly me!

Hope your Monday is going well! :)

March 2, 2012

Modern Mini Challenge!

I'm totally psyched to show you my completed entry for Ellison Lane's Modern Mini Quilt Challenge. The final product is 35" square and will be donated to a silent auction for Abby's Perfect Broken Heart to raise money for her heart transplant.

The idea behind the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge was to try something new, learn a new technique and take a big idea and try it in mini form. I got my Modern Mini inspiration from a bee block Ceri from Inspired by Felix had done last July. I've been following her blog for a while and love her style. Plus, we both have daughters named Felix.

New quilting techniques tried:
*Inspired by Felix Optical block
*making a mini quilt
*quilting with solids (ha! why use solids where there are prints?)
*using fusiable fleece (for batting)
*spray basting (also sprayed my arm hair)(not recommended)
*hand quilting

I can honestly say I have never done a squarer, more even binding than this one. The corners all came out perfect!

Hand quilting? Not as bad as you think. And I looove the look.

You get the best optical illusion from further away.


I'm in love with mini quilts. You get all the creativity with size that doesn't tax my attention span.

Kona cotton solids are nice, but I would only use black for wall quilts. It attracts and shows so much lint. (Maybe this is why everyone uses greys?)

Fusible fleece and spray batting are super duper easy, especially with hand quilting. It allowed me to move my quilt around, fold it up and take it where ever I needed to go in the house with the kiddos and not mess the sandwich up. Some quilters question using it for quilts intended to wash and dry. I'll have to use the fusible fleece on my next wash & dry quilt and let you know how it goes.

I love the look of hand quilting. I will most definitely use this technique again though I need to work on my knot hiding.

Modern Mini Quilt Challenge: Success!

March 1, 2012

Just one of those days

Today was a great day. It was sunny and warm. The kiddos played and laughed with each other all day. I am 95% finished with my Modern Mini quilt. And I must say that I have never put on a binding more perfectly. Nor made a more square quilt. (shines gold star on chest)

Before I continue on into my day, I would like to say a huge Thank you! to all my customers. This month we raised $202 dollars for Mended Little Hearts through sales in my Etsy shop.. Mended Little Hearts is a support program for parents of children with heart defects and heart disease. One in every one hundred babies are born with a congenital heart defect. It is the most common birth defect, and is a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths worldwide.

This week I also finished up a few things to send to Abby. Abby's family is planning a silent auction in order to raise money for her new heart. She was born with Tetrology of Fallot a congenital heart defect (CHD) and has endured two open heart surgeries and has a pacemaker/defribrillator inside her. Her heart is failing her and she will need a transplant. This is her blog.
I also put my Heart Superhero embroideries from Rachel of imagine gnat's in frames for Abby's auction. You can buy the patterns here. I will also be sending my Modern Mini Quilt for Abby's auction, too!

Back to today: During little man's nap today my daughter and I went outside. She asks to go outside all the time. And I love to indulge her when the weather is cooperating. She is an inquisitive little girl, as most two year olds are and I love it.

My daughter is such a ray of sunshine. I love the poop out of her. I hopped her up onto this large stump that is on the edge of the woods in our yard and the wind blew her hair about her face. And she just stood there, feeling her hair dance. She was so beautiful.

Today was good.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't already. Tomorrow I am finishing up the final details of my Modern Mini Quilt. I can't wait to show it off to you!

Smile. Tomorrow is Friday! :)