Thursday, 15 June 2017

2017 Finish-A-Long ~ Meet the Global Host Team ~ Marci

Hello!  My name is Marci Debetaz and I blog over at Marci Girl Designs and this month it is my turn to share all about myself as one of the 2017 Global Finish-A-Long hosts.  So here it goes...

Here I am, 4' 11.5" tall, so yeah I'm short and this photo was taken a little over a year ago but I mostly look the same, or at least I like to think so.  I am currently 36 years old in case any of you were wondering because I know I have somewhat of a baby face.  I was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA but have lived most of my life now in Louisiana.  My family moved a lot when I was growing up, back and forth between Florida and Louisiana to finally settle in Louisiana much to my disliking, because honestly who wants to leave the beach for swampland?  Not me.  Anyways I went to Middle and High School in New Iberia, Louisiana and then attended College in Lafayette, Louisiana (about a 40 minute drive.)  I met my husband in my second year of College, we both were majoring in Industrial Design and we fell in love.  (Oh so sweet!)  So we dated a few years, got engaged and then married all before we finished College.  We graduated College together a semester after the wedding, both with degrees in Industrial Design.  We found jobs, worked, you know, regular married life and then a few years later we bought our first house.

Here is our MAJOR fixer upper 13 years ago when we bought it (though this photo was taken after some serious cleaning up of the yard.)

Here is our home today, and what you can't see on the back corner of this house is the major addition we are adding and have been working on since February of this year, doing ALL of the work ourselves.  We are hoping to be finished by Christmas, but who knows,  fingers crossed.  I had to mention our house because it has been a major focus of all my free time this year, which stinks because I miss sewing and quilting but will totally be worth it when we are done.

Ok, I got off track.  So after we bought our house we had three kids, two boys, 9 and 5 and our little girl who just turned 2.  I don't post about them directly on social media for their privacy but I promise they are super cute.  It was after my first child was born that I really picked up the sewing/quilting bug again.  I say "again" because I grew up sewing and quilting.  My mom did both and taught me.  I started by making Barbie doll clothing, then that turned into small quilts and sewing my own clothes through High School.  Then when I was in College (and falling in love) I didn't have much time for those hobbies and they fell by the wayside.  After my first was born I became a stay at home mom and discovered I had lots of free time during naps.  Thus my hobbies began anew!

I started up my hobby again making handbags and pouches which I quickly realized I had way too many handbags and pouches, so I opened up an Etsy shop.  I had my shop open for a few years until I closed it at the end of 2011 right before my second son was born.  I always had intentions of opening again after his birth but alas it never happened.  I do hope to one day open up my shop but for now I am enjoying sewing for my family and friends.

It wasn't long after I started sewing again that I discovered the world of blogs and designer fabric.  Let's just say that was a total game changer for me and the true obsession began.  I decided to start my own blog in February of 2010 and have been doing so on and off ever since.  I use my blog as a form of diary or portfolio of things I have made through the years and though I find the writing difficult I am glad that I push myself to do so because it is so nice to go back and read about my own projects, many of which I have already forgotten about.

I love participating in Quilt and Sew Alongs and the occasional competition (for fun, I don't want to stress about it.)  The above quilt was created for the Emerald Pantone Quilt Challenge (I can't remember the year.)  It currently hangs in my bedroom.  This quilt is my original design and entitled, "Emerald Cut."

I will still occasionally make handbags and pouches, I design my own patterns plus make them from independent pattern designers.  The pouch above is one of my designs.

I make way more quilt tops than finished quilts, sadly I have a huge WIP pile.  The photos above and below are examples of two of these quilt tops awaiting quilting.  The top is a One Block Wonder quilt created from just one large scaled print fabric. The quilt below is another Pantone Quilt Challenge, the color that year was Radiant Orchid, this quilt is also my own design.  It is one of my personal favorites.

In 2014 I was chosen to be a contestant in an online sewing challenge called "Sewvivor."  The bag below was my entry for the very first round, which was nautically themed.  Though I didn't make it past the first round, I made a great new set of online sewing friends and had a ton of fun in the process.

Within the first year or so of blogging I also found Flickr and through Flickr I found out about online Quilting Bee's.  I quickly joined several and have never looked back.  I made friends in those first groups, that I still have today and we are still sewing bee blocks for each other.  Though Flickr isn't as predominant these days, things have shifted over to Instagram and the fun continues.  A few years ago most of my quilting bees were coming to a finish and two of my fellow bee mates decided to create a new hand picked group that they named Bee Sewcial.  The concept of the group is that we stay connected and in touch, use only solids and work in improv.  This is our third year together and honestly one of my favorite things to do every month.  The creativity involved and the friendship is just so fantastic.  At the end of our first year together we opened up the sewing prompts to everyone interested and anyone can now sew along with us using the hashtag #inspiredbybeesewcial.

 I guess that about sums of my life.  Stay at home mom to three, in between running the kids to school and nap times I sew and quilt.  I have tried crochet, knitting, tatting, beading and about every other craft you can think of but in the end I always return to sewing and quilting.  I love improv but I also love traditional quilt blocks.  I love to sew clothes, handbags and pouches.  Don't ask me to alter your clothes or to iron like normal people.  It isn't going to happen.  I have a huge pile of WIP's and have been participating in the Finish-A-Long since its inception.  I was thrilled to be asked to host this year and I have been slowly working through that pile.  I do so hope you join us this year!

I'll end my post reminding everyone that in 10 days the second quarter finishes link up opens, you still have time to finish those projects so get to work!

Thank you for joining me today
, Marci

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Fat Quarter Blog Tour ~ books giveaway! 📚

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for Fat Quarter: Home and Fat Quarter: Quick Makes by Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden. Two new books full of beautiful modern makes and a chance for you to win them both!

The books present ways to use those fat quarters of fabric we have in our stash to create something useful, practical and pretty. All the makes are suitable for beginners and cover a range of sewing techniques, with clear instructions. Each project has a step by step guide with corresponding photographs, which clearly demonstrate every direction, and there are plenty of tips and tricks peppered throughout. 

They are, as you would expect, reasonably simple makes and patterns, which is just what you want when you need a gift or a satisfying quick make between bigger projects! The photographs are beautifully styled and inspiring. Amanda and Juliet chose lovely fabric combinations and it's worth looking at the way they use prints and colours because it works so well.

Each book has 25 projects and here are the categories:

Fat Quarter Quick Makes - Fashion & Accessories, Baby & Child, Out & About, Workroom, Presents

Fat Quarter Home - Kitchen/Diner, Utility Room, Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room

If you want to have fun creating useful and decorative items be sure to check out Fat Quarter: Home and Fat Quarter: Quick Makes by Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden, published by GMC (£12.99 each, available from

GMC are kindly offering a copy of each book to one lucky winner!

To enter the giveaway: please leave a comment below - if you're stuck for something to say you could tell me how many fat quarters of fabric you have.

UK entries only please, a winner will be chosen by and the winner will be announced here on 12th June. 
Good Luck!

Visit the other stops on the blog tour too:

Sunday, 4 June 2017

one love + an overdue sunday stash

I'm writing about a day spent with my family... scroll down to fabric pictures if that interests you more :)

It has been an emotional day. Before the London attack last night we had already planned to go in to the city centre of Manchester today, it was made more poignant after another tragedy. I wanted to attend Quaker meeting, the girls decided they wanted to come too (for the first time). It was something I really needed and the testimony people spoke was moving. The children gave a short performance at the end and I was so proud that my girls got involved and they did brilliantly. 

We met up with my husband and son outside the town hall. We walked through town (that's what we call the city centre!) and made our way to the tributes at St. Ann's Square. To be honest I wasn't really prepared for how I would feel.

The scale of it was beautiful. So much love, sadness, grief and so many heartfelt notes and tributes. I stood and cried. 

We went and spoke to some armed police officers, they had come up from Wales, the children thanked them. There were people having their pictures taken with them, I suppose because it's so unusual. Then we went into St. Ann's Church to light some candles. It's a beautiful church. St. Ann's has long been one of my favourites areas in the city, I would often go and sit outside the back of the church when I was in town. It's incredibly peaceful.

Joan high fived a police officer then she continued giving high fives to every officer she saw! Their reactions were awesome, one had never been given a high five and was very happy about it! We took the kids to buy a book each and walked back past the tributes to sit in Exchange Square to have some lunch. It so happened that a Pipe Band began playing (my husband is Scottish and we all love the sound):

I did a bit of shopping alone then met back up with the family to go to Manchester Cathedral. My husband and I had never been inside it before. There was a service taking place so we stayed for a prayer and lit more candles.

As a family we don't go to church, today I went to three (well three places of worship). The girls want to go back to meeting and I would like to start attending again. Faith isn't something I talk about much, and I don't really plan to, but it is important to me. Tonight we watched the One Love Manchester concert on tv and it was brilliant. Not all my usual musical taste but I enjoyed every minute. You could really feel the love, compassion and unity.

Earlier in the week I made these hexie blocks for the Manchester Quilting Bee, they are collecting blocks to make quilts for the families affected by the attack. To get the details click here.

Recently I have had some lovely new fabric additions {I will be including the info about each print when I have time, please check back!}

Lovely Chris kindly offered to send me a Wefty needle, I really can't wait to try it because all the projects I've seen made using one look stunning. Anyone tried it? Any tips?

And she also sent all these amazing goodies!! She totally spoilt me. Thank you so much Chris! ❤

Also this past week my wonderful Nan turned 99! We had a lovely lunch together and our youngest loves borrowing her bling, she strikes an adorable pose:

Wishing you all a wonderful week full of love xx


Saturday, 3 June 2017

tula pink rainbow leaves runner

Sometimes a pattern and a fabric collection seem made for each other, and this bed runner is one of those! I used two charm packs of Tula Pink's Eden (with plenty left over) to create the Rainbow Leaves Runner from Quick and Easy Quilts by Lynne Goldsworthy for the Sewing Quarter.

I adore all the projects in the book, I've already made the Gypsy Cushion, and this runner is a great way to add some modern brightness to a room.

The appliqué is relatively quick and easy to do, I used pinking shears to cut the leaf shapes and used Aurifil 50 wt #2021 to stitch them in place. I spent the longest time arranging the leaves and am super pleased with the graduation of the colours.

I used my walking foot to echo the shapes of the leafs, working from edge to edge along the rows.

It created beautiful patterns on the back of the quilt too!

It was hard to get a decent picture of the whole runner, I have put a little video clip on my instagram if you want to check that out!

But you can get an idea of how it looks on a bed because Sewing Quarter presenter John Scott, the cheeky rascal, 'borrowed' it for an evening and took these pictures (don't panic he returned it to the studio the next day!)

Friday, 2 June 2017

folding rolling quilting

It seems I have been too busy sewing to properly document my finishes and I am determined to remedy that! Here are some projects made for the Sewing Quarter, all from different craft books and incorporating fun techniques. I enjoyed using the decorative stitches on my Elna 680EX, which definitely made quick work for a couple of these makes!

First is the Starburst Pillow Cover from Fat Quarters by Amanda Carestio. This design is by Ruth Singer, it is really tactile and a joy to create. Making the folded stars was quite meditative and I love the effect.

The instructions are for hand sewing the stars but with a deadline I couldn't spend the time doing that, instead I used a cross stitch on my machine to hold the folds in place.

I used another stitch (one that looked like a star) to hold the centres in place. The cover came together quickly and all that texture looks so lovely!

I used some pretty Amy Butler fabrics to make this jewellery roll, pattern by Valerie Shrader from 100 Pretty Little Projects by Lark Crafts. 

It has two pockets, one zip pocket and a ring holder. I adapted the pattern slightly and used toy stuffing for the ring holder. The flat piping, which creates the decorative edging, was a new technique for me and adds detail - I really like the striped effect of the print too.

My Little Pony ring courtesy of my youngest.

It rolls up really neatly and can also be folded like a book. A practical and pretty gift!

I made a mini quilt, using my Butterfly block tutorial and I enjoyed quilting this one with simple quilting using a curved stitch (Mode 2 #19 on the Elna - because I will forget if I don't make a note of it!).

The cute cloud cushions were made by the talented Samantha Claridge of Live It. Love It. Make It.

And I made a quilt! This is the Baby Life Quilt by Vanessa Christenson from Modern Baby Quilts by Fons & Porter. A simple and sweet pattern.

I used a neutral palette, which is lovely and soothing.

Again I used a decorative machine stitch and quilted rows of wavy lines. I made the lines closer together to stitch over the raw edge appliqué and gradually widened them towards the edges of the quilt.

This is easily my new favourite quick machine quilting stitch! (Mode 2 #1 on the Elna - again for my reference!)

Thanks for making it this far! I have one more project to share tomorrow and then I should be caught up :)  Hopefully I can get my sewing - blogging back in to balance and stay tuned because I have some fun giveaways coming up!

linking up: finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts