Thursday, October 20, 2011

{amylouwho} an introduction and a giveaway

*****THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*****

Sara of Sew Sweetness is going to be a regular contributor to our sew & tell Fridays!
Isn't she adorable? That's her naughty secretary bag and amazing dress she made!
I love getting to know people, especially their sewing/crafting history.  I thought it would be fun for you to get to know Sara a little better! We met through a mutual sewing friend and I finally begged enough that she started blogging last year!  I'm constantly amazed at the beautiful and professional looking items she creates!  And she has something to giveaway today!

*****
When did you start sewing and how did you start?
I first learned to sew in the 3rd grade. My mom had little sewing lessons for my friend and I, once a week. We made a drawstring bag and a dress. My mom let me wear my dress to school (although hers didn't, lol). I didn't take up sewing again until about 8 years ago; I thought it would be a great idea to mass-produce purses and sell them online. I made them assembly-line style. They were pretty awful actually!! I still have the parts in a big garbage bag, and my husband is constantly asking when I am going to finish them. My skills 8 years ago are not the same as they are today; he just doesn't understand why I'm not going to finish them. :-)
Her skills today.  WOW.
What is your favorite thing to sew and why?
I really love to sew all kinds of things...quilts, bags, clothing for my kids, clothing for myself, accessories...I will try anything. It is such a challenge to me to try new patterns, and I love it! I love the idea that there are so many free tutorials out there on the internet, it makes sewing so accessible for everyone.
photo courtesy Sew Sweetness

Is there something you are afraid to try?
I am actually nervous about trying to hand-sew hexagons. I always say I'll try it, but something is holding me back. That's probably the only thing I'm afraid to sew, everything else...let me at it!!


What is the best thing you ever made? Was it your favorite?  Did you keep it?
Usually, I'll say that my currently completed project is my favorite! However, there is a bag that I keep coming back to every few months (whereas my other bags, I'll use for one stretch and then don't go back to); it was a bag that I made from a Jenna Lou Designs sewing pattern called the Mabel Bag, and I made it with an Echino fabric. I love it so much!! It's a simple, beautiful design.
photo courtesy Sew Sweetness


Do you sew more for yourself/family or other people?
Obviously I like sewing things for myself, and I like making gifts, but I have an extreme phobia of making items to sell online, or getting custom requests. In that instance, sewing becomes like homework or a chore for me, and I'm always concerned about taking the fun out of sewing. Mainly, I just want to work on what I want to work on! I do like testing patterns or tutorials for other people, though!
photo courtesy Sew Sweetness

How long have you been blogging? What are your favorite things about it?
I've been blogging for one year and a month. It's gone by really fast! When I look at some of my blog posts from the beginning, I can't believe that anyone actually followed me in those days! I've learned that there really is a science to it all...taking the right photos, assembling your postings so that they grab attention right from the beginning, and keeping things fresh and exciting. Networking also plays a roll (commenting on other blogs, putting images up in Flickr, hosting giveaways, sew alongs, etc.). My favorite parts of my blog are the sewing pattern reviews and the tutorials...I am big into reading reviews for anything (products I buy, sewing projects, etc.), and so I feel the pattern reviews especially are one of my major focuses. It's funny because when I was younger, I was always trying to get into journaling. I could never keep up with the entries, and when I did read back over what I had written, it was really boring. I don't feel that way at all with my blog. Growing up, my parents always thought that I would be a writer, and in some tiny way, I sort of have. I enjoy the writing process and having well-thought-out blog posts. The hands-down best part about blogging are all the friends that I have made...I never would have gotten into blogging if it weren't for Amylouwho, and I never would have met Amy if it wasn't for my great friend, Kim (My Go-Go Life).

I know you were a GoBaby Accuquilt blogger - do you like your machine?  Are you able to use it a lot?
I love it!! I have the Accuquilt Baby, but am hoping that Santa brings me the regular Accuquilt machine for Christmas! I did use it a lot for several of the tutorials on my website (although, even if you don't have a machine, I've attached templates to use for those projects instead). It makes cutting so much quicker, and very precise. That is the problem I have when cutting out many pieces from a paper template...they are not exact, and it seems the more I cut, the less precise I am. Some projects it is not so vital to have exact fabric cuts, whereas others (such as a Double Wedding Ring Quilt), it is extremely important that your fabric cuts are exact, or your quilt won't turn out. I like the dies the best that have more difficult shapes; for instance, I would probably not buy a die for strips (just because I'm on an extreme budget), as I'd just use my ruler and rotary cutter.

made with the accuquilt diamond  die.

How do you manage sewing, blogging, and taking care of your family?
Family always comes first. But once the kids are asleep, I'm usually sewing from 9:30pm until around midnight. I like having that big chunk of uninterrupted time to sew, because especially if I'm making some clothing, I need to be really focused on my project. The blogging time usually fits in around then, too. Over time, I've learned that it's a big no-no to be taking photos at night, so I will squeeze in photographing projects during the day (and usually have my kids help in some way).

What is your favorite sewing memory?
My favorite sewing memory is taking my kids to Joann Fabrics (we're there at least once a week). I let them pick out fabrics for things I'm making for them, and I also let them help me pick out my Kona solids. Often, I'll take a small swatch of fabric in with me, and I have them match up the swatch to the correct bolt. They also like taking the bolts (I'm often only getting 1 or 2 things, so I can use coupons on everything I buy, lol) up to the cutting counter, each of them takes an end.

Anything else you want to share?
If you're interested in sewing, never be afraid to try something!! It might not come out exactly right, but each project will teach you something new about sewing. I mess up all the time, but there's always the seam ripper, and if worse comes to worst, you can always use the fabric for another project. You also don't have to spend a lot of money on sewing supplies...I am constantly buying large chunks of fabric in the form of bed sheets, old dresses, or curtains, usually for a dollar or two, at the thrift store. Get free sewing patterns online or take a sewing book out from the library. Just get sewing!! :-)

Thanks so much for having me, Amy!!!
*****

Sara, thank you for being so inspiring!

For all of you Sara is giving away one of her amazing bags that she's made!


You can have up to 2 entries (1 comment for each entry)!
To enter all you have to do is:
1. Leave a comment telling us your favorite WIP (work in progress)
and/or
2. Visit Accuquilts page through THIS LINK to sign up for free patterns and newsletter. Come back here and leave another comment telling me you did so.

Easy~peasy!  I'll leave the giveaway open until early next week! (Be sure you leave an email if you are a no-reply blogger!!)

And don't forget to come back tomorrow for sew & tell  to link up your finish for the week!

110 crafty mcCrafters commented:

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

My favorite WIP is a king size Single Girl that is completely pieced (for our bed) that just needs to be quilted. I signed with AccuQuilt for their newsletter and got their free patterns.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh my I have so many WIP's!! But I think my favorite is a quilt that I am making from an Australian magazine. It's a little bit of a stretch for me, but I love it so much. Thanks for introducing us to Sara. I'm popping over to her blog :-)

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Although I do not have an AccuQuilt GO, I signed up for their newsletter.

Rebecca said...

I have a drunkard's path Picnic Quilt in my WIP pile, I'm still having a hard time deciding what to back it with. Good thing we won't be needing it until next Spring!
ourbusylittlebunch(at)hotmail(dot)com

notes of sincerity said...

I am in the process of crocheting a granny square scarf for a blogging friend. I just love granny squares and am so excited that she loves them too!
Sew Sweetness is a favorite blog of mine, it is on my side bar and I read it constantly. :o) She is so talented!
See you tomorrow (well on Sew and Tell that is ... smile!).

Kelly said...

I am working on Oh Fransson!'s New Wave quilt that I am hoping turns out well. :)

Mindy said...

My favorite WIP is a baby tumbler quilt. Its for my friend's soon to be here baby girl. Used the accuquilt go to cut out the pieces.....so easy!

Mindy said...

I signed up for the newsletter :)

Candied Fabrics said...

Oh my goodness, look at all that cute stuff she's made - AWESOME!

Malisa said...

I have a Christmas pennant in progress. I loved Sara's advice about trying new projects & not being afraid of messing up!

Di~ said...

I love working on embroidery, right now I have 3 quilts with embroidery that are WIPs. Thanks for the chance to win!

Shelly said...

My Favorite WIP's are two quilts Im trying to finish, that I made with my Accuquilt Go machine. I cant wait to get them done. Thank you for interviewing Sara. I get so excited to see her on. Great Job ladies.

Patchwork and Play said...

My favourite WIPs is my Farmer's Wife blocks! Thanks for the giveaway!

Patchwork and Play said...

Have been signed up for the Acuquilt Newsletter for some time now! Love it!

♥Duff said...

my favorite WIP is a quilt top I picked up at an estate sale--it needs tender loving handwork in more than a few places! someday I'll finish!!

Heather D. said...

My favorite WIP is my swoon quilt!

Heather D. said...

I signed up for the accuquilt newsletter!

Sallie said...

My favorite WIP is my warm/cool quilt. Thanks for the giveaway!

KristyLou said...

This is exciting. Two of my favorite bloggers together :) My fav WIP right now is a baby girl quilt that I cannot wait to finish. It has already been on hold for a while and is back to WIP status as of yesterday!!

KristyLou said...

I am all signed up for the AccuQuilt newsletter!! Now if I could just get a GO!

Jessica said...

My favorite WIP is my wedding quilt - but it's got to be mostly finished by next year for our wedding!

Jessica said...

I have already signed up with Accuquilt :)

Beth said...

Like Sara, my favorite project is usually the one I'm working on right now. Today, my favorite WIP is a batik wall-hanging I'm making for our living room. It's my first log cabin, and I love how beautifully it came together, how starchy the batiks are, and that my sweetheart is crazy about the colors.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Beth said...

I visited the Accuquilt site today and am signed up for their newsletter. Now all that's missing is the Go!

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

poppyinpink said...

I am working simultaneously on several things at present but my primary focus has been renovating my fabrics into a more useful flexible format and this involves washing (to circumvent colour bleeding and shrinkage issues) everything, and wrapping onto small boards to be stashed vertically for larger portions and in pullout trays for fatquarters. I have found this to be really helpful in the auditioning process, without reducing my fabrics into messy piles that in the past have required a great deal of effort to restore after consideration. I feel this time has been well spent and I hope it will help me to focus on the making rather than the preparation, though both are important.

poppyinpink said...

I've previously enrolled with accuquilt having fallen in love with the Baby through the lovely examples shown through people like Jess, I enjoyed this interview as well. Thanks for sharing today and her creations including this pretty bag are a real treat for the eyes.

Liesbeth Wessels said...

I have two WIP's. The Pocket of Posies and de SBS. I hope the tops are finished this year. greetings from Liesbeth

Liesbeth Wessels said...

I have asked for the Accu-quilt newsletter. greetings from liesbeth

Fran said...

I have quite a few WIPs but my favourite is a queen sized bed quilt with my favourite Amy Butler Lotus fabrics, it is the first quilt that I have made for me! Thanks for a great interview & a lovely giveaway.

Kathy said...

My favorite WIP is the We Can Do It Skill Builder Sampler. I am lovin' the new skills I learn each week.

I love the Naughty Secretary bag that is on Sara's blog. Thanks for the giveaway of one of her other bags!

Kathy said...

I already receive the Accuquilt newsletter. Thanks for the 2nd chance in the draw!

Quilter in the Gap said...

My favorite WIP is a table runner I am doing for a swap. It is going to be super cute (I only hope my partner likes it)

Quilter in the Gap said...

Forgot to say in my first comment - Sara is great!! Love her blog. OK ... I signed up for Accuquilt.

Deb said...

My favorite WIP is my postage stamp quilt because my son picked out the jelly roll that I used for it.

Deb said...

I'm already signed up for the newsletters.

suemac said...

I have been a follower of Sara for quite a while. I also have a Go Baby and get their newsletters. I am trying to get my son's Asian influenced quilt quilted this weekend. The back is pieced and that took some math to figure out. I am really happy how it turned out.

gill said...

I'm making my first Keykalou pattern - the bucket bag
I hope to finish it this weekend and I'll probably start another!

gill said...

I've already signed up for the accuquilt newsletter!

Michele said...

That bag is really cute! My favorite WIP is the firetruck quilt for my son....mostly because he "says" that he will sleep in his own room in his own bed every night once it is done. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it will actually work.

Carla said...

I actually just finished my favorite WIP last night! It's a fall quilt that's been in the works for a year.

Carla said...

Already signed up with Accuquilts :o)

christhequilter said...

I am (STILL!!) slogging away on my queen sized "Insanity II" quilt

2/3 pieced, about 3400 half inch hexagons to go!!

christhequilter said...

...and I've registered for the Accuquilt GO! news letters!!

Missy said...

My favorite WIP is a quilt for my nephew. It needs quilted and bound, so I'm kind of procrastinating. :-)

Crystal said...

My favorite wip is a quilt for my 7 year old with a vintage school theme.. I'm trying to decide on backing now. Thanks!

Crystal said...

I have subscribed to Accuquilt's newsletter. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Great bags!! My one and only WIP is my first quilt...King size, yes I'm crazy. Waiting to get a new machine so I can finish it.
oshnpashn at gmail dot com

Kelly said...

Subscribe to Accuquilt newsletter!

Mary Jo said...

My WIP is a Christmas quilt which I've only bought the fabric for and haven't started cutting yet...better start soon, I think.

Anita said...

I love this bag! My favorite WIP is a dresden plate quilt I'm working on using summer sault fabric.

Mom who loves to sew said...

Whenever I am using my machine - that makes me the happiest and sewing is my favorite go to craft. But, right now when I'm not sewing at night, I like to work on a counted cross that I recently started. I know C.C. is sorta old school right now, but this C.C. is just so adoraable....a really detailed Christmas wall hanging. I like working on that at night so I can relax and watch TV with my husband. Your bags are just beautiful Sara and thanks for the opportunity to win one.

Jenny said...

my favorite WIP is reusable snack bags for Christmas presents and a craft bazaar...problem is, I keep finding cute fabrics...so I have a squillion cut out now i really need to focus on sewing them up!

great interview!!!

Jessica Christensen said...

I get the Accuquilts newsletter.

b78ayers said...

My favorite WIP is a wonderful quilt from a tutorial of Red Pepper Quilts - fun yet very intensive. And I loved this interview - she sounds like a kindred spirit ("...I like to do what I want to do...."). Great bag!

Jessica Christensen said...

My current favorite WIP I guess would be my Farmer's Wife Quilt that I'm using Momo's It's a Hoot on.

b78ayers said...

OH, and I subscribe to Accuquilt - love their cuts but don't own one, yet!

JLG said...

I subscribe to accuquilt!

JLG said...

And my WIP in a queen/king sized quilt from Amy Butlers Love collection! I just can't decide on the size!

Colby said...

My favorite WIP is star flowers from the link to the 30's book!

Colby said...

Just signed up.. Now I just need a Go Baby. :)

Melinda said...

I have a red and white hexie quilt that I hope to eventually finish. I have all the medallion type pieces done. I just need to finish the filler part. Well, and of course, make the back, and quilt it!

Melinda said...

I'm already signed up through Accuquilt.

covering said...

I'm signed up :)
-annabelle

covering said...

I have a few wip but my fav is the quilt for my little girl. I'm enjoying taking my time and getting her input, which is always very frank and funny. Thanks for sharing such a fabulous bag with one of us.
-annabelle

Carla G said...

My favorite wip would be my coin quilt. It is cut out but still need to get sewn... It keeps getting put on hold for other projects like pj's for my kids. :)

Carla G said...

I'm already signed up to Accuquilt! :)

hollymade said...

My favorite WIP is a fall table runner I'm making-must get that finished quickly before it's winter!

Domestic Moose said...

My favorite WIP is a fantastic stack and whack quilt in blue, yellow and green. I made it at a class in my hometown YEARS ago and through a few moves, lost the quilt top - for awhile, I thought for good. It was found a couple of weeks ago in our latest move and I'm so excited to get it finished - IF I can find the varigated thread I picked up for it... And I need new backing since I used the backing I bought for it in another quilt.

pinsandneedles said...

Right now my favorite WIP is a quilt I designed, hopefully to be finished and introduced soon. Although I have several at any time, they keep changing as I try to keep my WIP's to a minimum.
Thanks for the cute giveaway!

pinsandneedles said...

I already subscribe to Accuquilt newsletter.

quilary said...

My favourite WIP is a hand stitched double wedding ring quilt I am making. I pick it up whenever I get some spare time and I'm not in a huge rush to finish it. I love the way it is slowly taking shape - it's a relaxing way to make something. Thanks for the chance :)

Lisa Marie said...

I've just finished the piecing on a lap quilt that uses black and white with bright pinks and oranges. The colors really pop! Now I just have to choose backing fabrics and I'm on to the next step. I think it will to make a good Christmas gift. I love the bag you're giving away -- looks like it would be hard to part with.

Heather A said...

My favourite WIP is a baby quilt using Farm Fresh fabrics. It's my first solo quilt and I'm almost finished hand quilting it with perle cotton. The back is some cuddly minky fabric meaning it's pretty thick but very cozy.

Heather A said...

I'm already registered with Accuquilt.

Katy Cameron said...

Sara, repurposing is all the range dontcha know, repurpose all those purse bits into something funkier, I know you can do it!

As for the giveaway, thanks for the chance to win :o) My favourite WIP is a skirt from a gorgeous Liberty pincord that my mum bought me the fabric for (2m at £16/m, which is about $50!)

Katy Cameron said...

I'm already registered with Accuquilt :o)

LJ said...

I signed up for the AccuQuilt newsletter. I would love to have the AccuQuilt Baby. Maybe...someday...

JuneBug said...

That was a wonderful interview. I've been a fan since I first saw her heather ross quilt on quiltstory (i think?)...

I only do one WIP at a time! Well... usually only one or two at a time, and right now I'm working on a truly inspired bag for my friend Emily. She requested a knitting bag, and this is my first from my own pattern.

Nancy D. said...

I'm working on a Terrain quilt Stepping Stones - for me! I've never made one a quilt for me!

Nancy D. said...

I'm already signed up for the newsletter.

Debra said...

My favorite wip is my leaves quilt!

Debra said...

I am signed up for the newsletter!

Lee said...

My favorite WIP is an embroidery I am doing on my college daugthers messenger bag! She will love it! thanks!

Lee said...

I have signed up for the free patterns! wonderful! thanks again!

Karen M said...

My favorite WIP is my current. I am making a Strawberry Marmelade quilt (as posted on Moda Bakeshop) with Together fabric. Love it!

babiesdoc said...

I regularly visit accuquilt and get all of their patterns. I am asking santa for a go baby

babiesdoc said...

my work in progress is a skull quilt from hip to be square. It is for my 6 y/o nephew who picked out the pattern. both it and I are cool.

Crafty Newbie said...

My favorite work in progress is a bag/purse I am making for my mother for her birthday, which is coming in November. It's made with Moda's Louisa by Terry Clothier Thompson.

Thanks you!

Crafty Newbie said...

I'm all signed up for Accuquilt's newsletter! Yay! :) Thank you!

Lisa said...

My favorite WIP is a simple stacked coins baby quilt using a rainbow of batiks. It's all done but the binding, but I've been trying forever to find the right binding. I want bright orange with small white polkadots. I thought I finally had it, and bought it from a UK Etsy shop - but when it got here it wasn't polkadots...it was crosshatched! Sigh. Still waiting for the seller to reply :/ But someday!!!

Lisa said...

I signed up...26 patterns, wow!

Deborah in Atlanta said...

My favorite WIP is the only WIP I have going on right now. It's a charity quilt and has sweet, adorable barnyard animals. I hav several UFOs, but only one WIP. Each addition to the WIP just makes it that much more adorable. Can't wait until I finish it.

Deborah in Atlanta said...

I've already visited Accuquilt and receive theri free patterns and newsletter.

mtnquiltr said...

I'm already signed with Accuquilt

mtnquiltr said...

My favourite WIP is my I Spy quilt. It makes me smile, who can resist looking at all the novelty prints!

Renee G said...

My favorite work in progress is a bag that I'm making and put down because I need to rip out a seam to get the pockets even. I love it because I bought a riveter for it, and I love adding rivets. It's a lot of fun. As soon as I get inspired to rip out the seam, this should be fun to finish.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

Renee G said...

I signed up for the newsletter and patterns.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Vicki said...

It is not my favorite WIP but a changeling one for me. I made the pattern from a carseat cover already made, and I don't have the carseat to look at or try as I go. I put an extra layer of an old wool blanket, washed and dried, picked up at estate sale and it has made it very thick. The cover will be going to UT, and I wanted it really warm. But a more fun WIP is an Amy Butler bag I am making out of material that was used for a wedding. Hopefully it will be a Christmas suprise. Back to the carseat cover!

hueisei said...

I'm working on a GFG quilt :)

hueisei said...

Already have their newsletter and downloaded the pattern.

Paula said...

I'm a subscriber to Accuquilts newsletter
ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

Paula said...

My current favorite WIP is not related to sewing; I'm writing a book that I'll publish at Blurb and I'm really enjoying the process.
Thanks for the giveaway!
ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

Tamie said...

My favorite WIP is the one I started this weekend. Nothing like a new project to stir up some incentive.

Tamie said...

I signed up at Accuquilt. What a great giveaway.

Mom C said...

I have a lavender/black/white twin quilt top that I thought I would hate but the more I look at it, the more I like it. Top and back are done, I just need to quilt it and give it away. Thanks.

Mom C said...

I'm signed up for Accuquilts newsletter. Nice to read about Sara.

Candy Mak said...

I have signed up for Accuquilts newsletter

Candy Mak said...

I have just unrolled a jelly roll started to piece it together into 1 long strip. I am going to be timing myself on how long it will take me to sew up the Jelly Roll Race quilt.

Marcia W. said...

I have already signed up for the Accuquilt newsletter and downloaded the patterns.
My favorite WIP is my lifetime project - a grandmother's flower garden queen sized bed quilt. Sewing hexies in between other projects is fun. Right now I'm handquilting a sampler quilt made from two different blog quilt-alongs. Thanks for the lovely giveaway - the bag is gorgeous.

Shelly said...

Ohhhh am I too late? I have been signed up for Accuquilt's newsletter and visit often too.

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