Monday, August 30, 2010

A Photo Finish

Jill flying toward the finish line. 

Last weekend, I was enthusiastically ready to tackle some new sewing projects and some much needed shop updates.  With the best of intentions, I spent Saturday morning painting my front porch.  On Sunday, I shopped for carpet and moved furniture.    Away from my sewing machine all weekend, I enjoyed my finally finished front porch renovation!

A fancy. yet fishy, panoramic of the front porch.

It started with a leak in the roof…which turned into a new door, floor, floor joists, light fixtures, drywall and lots of insulation.  And did I mention painting??   A race to the finish over a year later…well, not a quick race…but I am so happy with the way it turned out!  I can always sew tomorrow.

New Front Door! Comfy porch seating.
Fancy new fans! New Home Office.

Monday, August 23, 2010

4 Bean’s Clutches


It’s been a busy, yet productive evening!  I finished up four Bean’s Clutches which have been cut and ready for production for at least two months.  Now it’s time to get them into my shop before I’m off to dreamland!

Bean's Clutches

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Watch out Barcelona!

Jill up close. 

Barcelona, Spain

Because I finally finished my Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt!  Naturally, I should take to the streets of Barcelona, and show those Spaniards the glory of my stitches!

Okay, so I’m a little overly excited that I actually finished this project.  My next, not to mention first, trip to Barcelona is not in the forecast-able future, so I’ll just have to show off this sweet summer skirt in the suburbs of Philly for the remaining, and altogether waning, days of summer.

My Barcelona Skirt

This is the first article of clothing I’ve ever made for myself, and I am beaming with pride!  I think it turned out very well, and I don’t want to give all the credit to Amy’s well written pattern; after all, I am the one who sewed it together. 

Hemline of my skirt.

I was really impressed with my seams matching up and the  invisible zipper skills that I didn’t even know I had.  This skirt came out much better than any of my quilts have recently.  I can’t wait to run it through the wash a few times for the unfinished edges to get their frayed texture…then I’ll really be ready to take it to the streets. 

Don’t worry, I’ve since hemmed the bottom.  I’m off now to find my next project…or maybe I should could finish an old one…

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zip Zip

Jill all smiles.

How can too much of a thing be bad, especially when it come to zippers, right?


I’ve finally got a kick start on my Barcelona Skirt!  Yay!  Unfortunately, when I went to put on the zipper, I realized that I purchased one that didn’t match.   Here’s a tip: bring a fabric swatch when you’re picking up the zipper. 

So, I sent MrBeans off to correct my blunder.

While I was out for the evening, I sent him off with a scrap of fabric, the old zipper and instruction to “exchange it for one that matched the fabric, blue or grey.”  Not wanting to make a mistake, MrBeans exchanged one zipper for several in different colors and sizes.  At least one of that had to be right, right?  Jackpot! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to fix a rainy day:

Jill sipping from a straw.

With a Watermelon Margarita!

When Martha gets a hold of my favorite drink, you know it’s going to be good!

From the June 2010 issue of Everyday Food:

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and 3 wide strips of orange zest to a boil over high.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves; three minutes.  Let syrup cool in a bowl.  In a blender, puree 2 cups of watermelon cubes until smooth.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (or coffee filter in a small colander because you don’t have a sieve), pressing on solids, into a pitcher (you should have about 1 cup of juice.)  Stir in syrup, 1/4 fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes…or one large lime) and 3/4 cup white or silver tequila.  Fill glasses with ice, then pour margarita mixture of top.

Watermelon Margarita: The most delicious drink in the world.

I decorated mine with a spring of basil from MrBeans’s garden. 

Another delicious recipe from this month’s Everyday Food, this cardamom crumb cake didn’t make it to the photographer…or past the photographer.

Cardamom Crumb Cake

I’m feeling much better now.  ;)

Embroidery Blues

Is it nap time?

This afternoon, I monogrammed some pillow cases for a friend who’s giving them as a wedding gift.  The cases, although 100% cotton, had a silky sheen that caused them to slide around in the hoop.  They shifted just enough during the embroidery to puckered more than I like…so I’m a little bummed out right now.

Mongrammed Pillow Case

Friday, August 13, 2010

Color My World


I really enjoy making custom embroidered onesies.  Of course there’s a lot of excitement for those with the promise of a “me,” and I love to think that mom and dad’s hearts melt a little when they see their names on baby’s chest. 

Custom Embroidered Baby Onesie

A typical onesie is embroidered in what I like to call “neutral baby colors.”  It’s perfect for a boy or girl; I always envision a baby boy in his little jeans and this onesie, and a baby girl wearing this onesies with a little tu-tu.

Custom Embroidered Baby Boy Onesie

Though, sometimes I to get a little more creative for specific types of babies…this one is for little Jack.    It’s fun to give other colors a chance! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Busy Bee

Jill at the American Art Museum

So far, a typical day for me this week has been 10 hours at work, followed by a concert, meeting or rehearsal, then finally retiring home to embroider some custom onesies.  I’m not really complaining…it’s my husband and cats that always seem to think they got the short end of the Jill-stick.  So before anyone notices that I’ve been gone, here’s what I’ve been working on:

More Custom Embroidered Onesies by SewBeansMore Custom Embroidered Onesies by SewBeans

Thursday, August 5, 2010

St. Thomas

is the Patron Saint of Architects…or it it beaches?  In either case, he’s the guy for me!

Jill at Linquist Beach, St. Thomas

I recently spent a week hiding out from my everyday life on the beautiful islands of St. Thomas and St. John in the US Virgin Islands.  (And yes, I brought my beach bag.)  They are supremely gorgeous.  White sandy beaches, blue-blue water and uber friendly natives - this beach girl’s dreams come true.

Trunk Bay, St. John

If you know anything more about St. Thomas, than you know it’s a shopping haven.  Practically duty-free and no taxes, you can get some great deals.  But I made sure to take some time away from the tourist malls and checked out some shops with items produced by local crafters.   Here’s a couple of items you won’t find on Etsy, yet.

Kallaloo Beach House Magnet

I found this cute magnet outside of Iggies at Bolongo Bay.  Wednesday nights are Carnival Nights at Iggies.  Along with a show and all you can eat feast, they feature local artisans displaying and selling their handicrafts.  Being a residential designer, I loved this beachy cottage.  A must-have since I saw the sunset in the “window” just that evening!  It was created on St. Thomas by Bridgette Julius of Kallaloo Cards & Gifts.

Jans Creations by the Sea earrings

At Jans Creations by the Sea, an adorable little window shop in Coral Bay, St. John, I snatched up these  beautiful wire and crystal earrings.   I had so much fun chatting with Jan about the island, and even wore the earrings the next night!   You’ve got to check out her website to see just how cute her shop is!

So now that I am full speed ahead back into my everyday life, I think I’ll still dream about relocating myself and my sewing machine to a tropical paradise like these “smart” St. Thomas and St. John crafters; I’ll just have to keep telling myself that sand and sewing machines don’t mix.

Jill at Coki Beach, St Thomas USVI

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary SewBeans!

Jill at the cafe.

August marks the 1 Year Anniversary of the opening of my shop and my first sale!  It all started with a dream and this little kite bookmark:

High, Up in the Sky Kite Bookmark

After bookmarks, I added custom embroidered onesies, camera straps, wine totes, Bean’s Clutches, a set of fabric coasters, Burpies & Bunnies burpcloths, and wine bags to that list of sales.  I’ve almost reached my goal of 100 sales this year, which will be such an exciting accomplishment! 

I’m very excited about how much more my little shop will evolve in the next year.  In celebration, I am having a sale and am hopeful about getting some new items up in my shop this month…maybe I’ll even become a little more blog savvy.