First day of Spring and a BIG celebration week ahead!! For you!!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up...it's my birthday this week...you still have a few days to get me something if you really want to, I mean you don't have to but if you insist!  I love books, iTunes, fabric of course...thread, ric rac and notions and starbucks.  Oh and anything handmade...I just adore handmade trinkets (and pretty little aqua blue and pink table runners...Barb!  Hint!  hint!  Just kidding.  Not.)

...but for realz...for my birthday I'm going to be giving YOU all a little something.  Ok, a lot of something.

I have several giveaways planned.  Some tutorials.  A couple of delicious recipes.  It's gonna be a good week so you'll want to check back everyday to see what's going on and get in on the celebration.  Every day this next week I'll have a new post with something yummy or cute or inspiring...I hope you'll enjoy my birthday as much as me!  (And if you must know...I'm turning 37, again.  For the 3rd time.  What?  You don't have repeat birthdays?)

Truth is, if you remember back here where I wasn't feeling too hot, hormones and all...and you may have noticed I've backed way down on blogging lately - so this week will be a BIG jump into trying to get back into the swing of things.

I've been slowly working on feeling better.  I went to see my doctor and they ran all kinds of tests - most specifically for lupus and looking for early markers for cancer...I was feeling really bad.  Headaches everyday, GI symptoms, crying, fatigue that was off the charts, slurred speech because I was just that freaking tired...anyway, all of those tests came back good.  They did find that I was super low in Vitamin D, and few other things that go along with that plus a few oddities with a liver enzyme.  They are doing some more testing but in the short term...I've started taking over 2000mg of Vitamin D a day and maybe it's all in my head but, I am feeling better.  My headaches are down - instead of 7 days a week last week I only had headaches 4 days.  My tummy is off and on a bit better.  My fatigue feels more like normal overworked Mom tired.  Today was a rough day but most days I feel like I'm improving.  Thanks so much for all your well wishes - comments and emails and tweets.  That was really nice and I really appreciated the concern and support from everyone.  I'm blessed with a lot of wonderful friends in real life and here on the blog - thank you.

SO I'm just saying...this is gonna be a fun week on the Life is SEW nice with my Two Peas blog!  My friends over at Where Women Create have offered up a little something for my birthday celebration giveaway, Britt of Britt Lakin Photography has a super offer for everyone this week, I have a little something that Patty Young cooked up that I'll be giving away plus a few of my own goodies from the Two Peas shop.

Happy Birthday to me - and Happy Spring to you!  See you all this week!

xoxo,

Trish

...and the crowd goes wild!

Relaxing after our family festivities over the weekend - I was blog hopping and stopped over to visit Patty Young in her MODKID Boutique. ...and my kids went wild!

Patty apparently has a new licensed designer working for her and she will be putting out these to die for outfits for American Girl dolls.  My girls instantly said, "Mom - I want one but I want YOU to make it - I don't want to buy it".  Well, hello?  Beyond making little pillowcase dresses for dolls - I've not ventured into this so we'll have to see about that...those tiny little arm holes and all, looks a little challenging to me.

After drooling all over these new things to come from Patty Young...I hopped over to visit with Etsy Team Columbus. You know, all the talented folks from the local area.  I found lots of things to drool over and add to my Christmas list - here are just a few - there is SO much more to browse over there!

Many of these etsy sellers are having sales - so you'll have to browse their shops if you are looking for that special something this holiday.  Each photo is hyperlinked to their shop so go take a peek!

I'm excited about this coming week - because there will be loads of giveaways......over at Sew, Mama, Sew.  Get ready because this is such a fun event!  You'll want to stop by and visit their blog to get the full list of who is participating and by all means, hop back here because I'll have a little something wonderful to giveaway myself.

Well, I'm still so full of turkey, turkey sandwiches, potato soup that I can barely fit my lap top on my lap...so I think I'll go take a nap.  That should help!  :>)

See you all back here on December 2nd for the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway!

xoxo,

Trish

Quilt Market

The quilts on exhibit were jaw dropping!  {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009} I know, quit complaining, right? I mean seriously, how much can you possibly stand to hear me moan and groan about my nervous stomach and anxiety over this whole process of trying to become a textile designer. This has been a long and trying journey so far. OK…so here’s the “story” of my experience and interviews at Quilt Market.

The night before day one, I could not get to sleep. If you were following me on Twitter, you know, I was up way late, up way early and was losing my mind. Not to mention the fact that I’m still nursing my baby, who I left at home, and who I have never been away from for more than a few hours. Heart wrenching. A few tears were shed.

Once I got to market the next morning, within minutes I had my first appointment. And it went well. I got great feedback and was asked to resubmit in a different format and add some things to show my line in finished product within the next 10 days. I had two other companies who liked me and we had a really great connection. Crossing my fingers. I had two complete rejections which was ok. They said, and it’s true, that the market is getting saturated with designers. Scrapbookers and graphic designers – everybody is designing for fabrics and it’s just very competitive right now. They both told me that before they even looked at my designs and then looked and gave me advice and feedback. That was very nice.

Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studios - sweetest girl ever! {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009}

In the midst of the interviews, I got to visit with some people who have been mentoring me through this process as well as some new friends. I had the best time meeting Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studios. She is just without a doubt the sweetest thing ever! We had talked before market about intellectual attorneys via email. She was wearing this super stylish coat! I love it! I bought the pattern to try making one for myself. I told Kay it will be cold weather again before I get it done! I think Kay and I could have talked all day about dust bunnies in our machines, top stitching, button holes and dishonest people. Super wonderful person!

Amy Butler has organic cotton bedding coming out soon!  {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009}

Amy Butler is a “neighbor” of mine. She lives a few towns over from me. I have met her once before and I was absolutely shocked that when I walked over to her booth she greeted me with, “Hi Trish! You made it here! So good to see you!”. One time I met her and she remembered my name, remembered the thank you card I had sent her for helping me out, wow! I hope I can have a memory like that! I mean, she is one busy person so that’s pretty impressive. No doubt, one of the reasons why she is so well liked. Not only does she make amazing things but she is one heck of wonderful people person. So very warm and just nice, nice, nice. One of the things I’m trying to push with my line is for it to be green. And Amy and I had a nice conversation about organic cottons and dyes, and recycled materials and where the demand currently is. SO, listen up…if you are someone who thinks it’s important for us to support farming in the US, support organics, support sustainable business practices – you need to let the textile companies know that you want and will pay for organic cottons. It would be great to see there be a cry for green products in this industry!

She's bringing "denim" back!  Cute jeans coupled with her fabrics. {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009}

(Are you sick of seeing photos of me yet? Sorry, my first market - playing major tourist!) Patty Young had a colorful little booth and her handy husband was with her over in the Michael Miller area. You gotta check out her blog and read about what happened before she got to market. Holy moly! But as you can see, her booth looked fabulous. And her new sewing patterns – they are really cute.

Lila Tueller - top notch lady!  So wonderfully sweet! {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009}

Lila Tueller, she started all of this! Oh, she may not remember BUT Lila was kind enough to browse my portfolio last fall and sent me the nicest, longest e-mail about how I needed to take my work to the next level and that I had really great quality work. She gave me all kinds of tidbits of advice that got me started on my portfolio. So when I met Lila finally in person, she could not have been nicer. She made my day because she was just gushing over my portfolio and made me feel so good on a day when I was feeling incredibly nervous and doubtful.

And her niece Chelsea,

Pink fig patterns - I love 'em!  {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009}

you’ve heard me say before, amazingly easy patterns! Looking for something cute to make, easy – I mean I made my girls Easter dresses from her Lily pattern in about 3 hours.

All in all, a great trip. I took that first leap. I made all the connections. I networked. And now I have 3 great leads I’m working on. Within a month, I should either know if I’m getting my own line now or if I have to try again later. I’ll keep ya posted!

Aren't these beautiful?  Wouldn't they be great for an outdoor evening party?  These were at the Baby Lock booth.  I would LOVE a new serger from them. hint! hint! wink! nudge! hip shimmey!  I know my husband reads my blog so excuse me while I drop a HUGE hint here.  {Spring Quilt Market - Pittsburgh - 2009}

I can say, my stomach feels much better now. I got so many emails and voicemails from family and friends who said they were praying for me while I was at market and I have no words to tell you how much I appreciate that.

I was asked to provide a giveaway for a website called TryHandmade – way cool! Hop over and give them a peek and subscribe to their newsletter. This country is packed with fantastically talented women!

I may be slow to post for the next few weeks…drawings to complete, orders to go out, shows to prep for, kids to take care of, and oh yeah, I actually have a “real job” too! So what’s new with you? Drop me a line and let me know what you have going on in your sewing room!

Xoxo, Trish

{Homemade is best...and a little easy Mother's Day tutorial}

I painted this a VERY long time ago and it now hangs in my sisters sunroom

OK, so last week when I was visiting family for Easter, I started to notice that everywhere I looked - um, there was stuff I made hanging around. Little paintings, a fabric covered journal, quilts, stockings made from my great grandmothers old raggedy quilt, napkin rings, placemats and of course, purses. I'm really all about this handmade thing - it truly is a wonderful gift when you can give someone something you made by hand (or something someone else made - something unique - you get the idea!)

SO...here's a cool idea for you crafty types for a Mother's Day gift for YOUR Mother - a set of placemats and napkin rings! Seriously, easy project. Here we go:

Materials needed - the obvious, sewing machine, thread, etc you'll need fabric (see below), fusible interfacing and prequilted fabric.

Pick 4 different fabrics (I picked some Amy Butler dots to coordinate with some vintage kitchen prints I found). For each placemat, CUT four 5" x 14.5" panels.

Using 1/4" seams, piece your panels together. Press your seams open. Next, cut a piece of fusible fleece interfacing to fit on the rear of your front panel. Cut it 1/4" smaller all the way around than your front panel. Following the instructions with your interfacing, fuse it to the wrong side of your front panel. This will give your placemat some extra oomph and keep your cotton panel looking crisp - in my opinion.

Once you have your front panel complete, use it as your pattern to cut a solid rear piece from your prequilted cotton fabric. I used a cream color - the same I often use in my purses - sound familiar?

With right sides together, pin and sew with 1/2" seams. Leave an opening for turning. Turn right side out. Top stitch. I also typically add some "steam a seam" to my opening just to make sure it stays shut. That's it kids! Done! Now repeat for the rest of your set of placemats you want to make.

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Napkin rings are loads of fun when you use old buttons. My parents had given me an old tin that belonged to my grandmother full of buttons. I glued some of the pretty and larger ones to magnets and gave those to my family. For the rest, I cut a piece of wide elastic just big enough to fit around my napkins. Then I stitched buttons galore until the elastic was fully covered. I warn you - it takes a lot of buttons to cover one and it actually took me several, several hours to stitch all of these on for 6 rings.

What a great gift set. My Mom still loves hers and I loved seeing them adorn her table last week at Easter. Even my kids were impressed. "Did you make these Momma?" Ah, yeah. Hope that gave you a good handmade gift idea.

The little tie-tote in Patty Youngs Andalucia pattern

A few more dresses and embellished jeans went out this week and a cute little tie tote that my girls gave to their girlfriend for her 8th birthday. These will be finding their way to my etsy site pretty soon.

Embellished recycled jeans

Dress, embellished jeans and matching ponytail holder

Lots of orders being mailed out this week - thanks to my neighbor Barb for helping me cut everything! We need to do that more often because we never did get to our banana split desserts!

Don't forget - just a week or so left on this month and our April giveaway will be done. The two peas will be picking a comment out of a hat and we'll be sending you, the lucky winner, a way cool, patchwork accessory bag with an awesome buckle...I'll share that photo with you later next week.

Keep Spring coming - I'm begging for the sun and warm breezes to start coming every day instead of snow, rain, sun, snow, rain, rain, rain, sun...we just need some SUNNNNN to stay in O-H-I-O for awhile!

xo - Trish

Bib Mania!

My hubby and I went on a little frenzy today with bibs for our baby! We chatted last night at bedtime about the designs and then this morning everybody chimed in on just how the different appliques should look.Andalucia fabric by Patty Young for Michael Miller I cut about 5 different designs and pieced it all together. Then we tried to put on the snaps. Shhheeezz! I think we busted about 10 of them before we gave up. SO...we dropped our older daughters at an afternoon birthday party and took a trip over to the local fabric shop for a pair of pliers designed to put on snaps. Hoping to catch a bite out to eat, we headed to the local wine bistro...not open. Then over to our old favorite, Village Wines, also closed due to renovations! And...we don't actually drink alcohol but our favorites happen to be wine bars, both these places serve amazing food! Next try, a local mexican eatery and it was open. We gobbled down a ton of chips, salsa and some mighty big burritos. Yummy! Hit the spot...oh, yeah, back to the snaps!

We get home with our new mighty pliers and my husband goes to work on the bibs. SUCCESS! We got the snaps on all of them and tried them on our little cookie monster! Too cute!

This gorgeous fabric with the heart I appliqued is a line called Andalucia by Patty Young. I love this designer...she has a fun blog and I love the surprise of colors from this line. I'm totally going to swipe her latest birthday party idea she posted for her daughter. She did a super fun cooking party and made the guests aprons, chefs hats and oven mitts. With my twins birthday next month, I'm thinking I may do the cooking thing and the aprons. Chefs hats and mitts...a bit too complicated for me :>) But, follow this designer. She's got fun ideas!

Anyway, the whole family enjFat little birdieoyed this process and my twins want to be sure that we bring their favorite, a brood of fat little birdies on orange dots, to church tomorrow. They think she should wear it all day, not just at meal time! I listed several on ebay and eventually, I'll get some up on my etsy site and my dot.com, whenever I get time to finish setting it up! I"m still working on finishing up some orders from Mary's party - kind of wierd because I lot of the fabrics are on backorder so I'm stuck waiting for them to come in to finish up.

So, what do you think of the fat little birdie? Cute isn't he? You should have seen my husbands idea for this applique...whew! He's a good artist but...I'm a better designer I think!

Ciao, TRP