Red-Eyed Studio

Crafted with love... and caffeine.

Kittens Quilt

Heather BouwhuizenComment

My youngest daughter is 5, and she just moved into her very first "all by myself" big girl room.  As the youngest of six kids, having your own bed room is a BIG deal!!  

 

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We let her decorate.  It started with pink walls.  This was a must.  Followed by cat curtains.  Thank you Amazon for having the perfect gray curtains with cute pink cats!  

Then came my idea:  

 

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A great pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.  I'll clear out my gray and pink fabric stashes, and make a cute little quilt to match her room.  

 

So, the kitten making began.   

 

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So cute!  And they are fun to make.  I'm still planning one of these for my king size bed (sshhhhh... I'm going to try and sneak it on my bed when my husband isn't paying attention!  Think he'll notice?!)  

 

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And, finally, the end result. I put the quilt in her bed, and then sent her up to get PJ's on.  She screams, and giggles and says "I'm keeping it forever!"   Gotta love age 5!   

 

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Glamping

Heather BouwhuizenComment

At the beginning of June, a friend and I traveled to Ann Arbor, MI for a weekend of sewing.   

 

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We had fun.  Good food. Good teachers.  We met new friends.  And I learned to sew curves (yeah Violet Craft!)  

 

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I ended up just making a sampler memory quilt that I am hanging on my sewing room wall.  It's all sewn together already.   

 

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I really enjoyed meeting all of the teachers and learning a few new tricks of the trade!  

Playing with EQ 7

Heather BouwhuizenComment

Along with no time for my blog, I haven't has time to play in EQ 7 either.  Such a shame, because I love to design my own quilts.  Really, it's sew much fun!

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So, yesterday, as I was sitting with the kids during home school, I pulled out my old friend and has some great fun.  Some of these might one day end up as quilts.  But many of them, will just be some fun I had on a beautiful Wednesday morning. 

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Do you see any that you like? 

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Here is another one that I designed this morning.  I don't usually like a repetitive pattern in my quilts (I prefer random), but I like this.  This is one of the quilts that I plan to make!

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I like this one too.  BUT, when this quilt is finished, it's only like 20" square.  So maybe a mini for my wall?  Or I need to make it MUCH bigger.

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Homeschooling update

Heather BouwhuizenComment

Dare I say it?  We've had a great homeschooling year this year.  We are nearing the end of year 4, and it has been a smooth one.  Busy, but smooth.  

Next year, we will add Delilah to the mix.  She will officially be in kindergarten.   Oh, and I will have a high schooler too.  I'm pretty nervous about high school, but I have all summer to fret about that. 

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Discovery K12 has been awesome.  Billie at Discovery K12 has been awesome answering all of my questions.  We have supplemented a little.  They kids are doing Easy Grammar (hands down the best grammar program I have found).  And we have a workbook for the older two for test prep.  That is just to make sure that they know what they need to know for their standardized CAT test that they will take in May.  They are about 1/2 way through the book, and so far, so good.  Only a few topics they needed additional instruction on.

We've been on some great field trips this year: The Apple Store, Snow Tubing, an Art Museum.  And we have a few more planned before the year is through. 

My oldest two home schoolers got to spend time learning how to operate a sewing machine (you have to know that was going to be in there!!).  They spent the weekend sewing together some 2.5" squares together.  We learned about 1/4" seams, and why they are important.

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We've kept up with our home school gym program.  It is at our local YMCA, and my kids enjoy it very much.  This is our fourth year attending.

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We've also kept up with all our extra activities too: horseback riding and soccer seem to be the ones that dominate our time the most.  There has also been some tutoring in writing for the older two.  This is an area that I do not feel comfortable teaching, so I've found an expert to give them proper lessons.

Anyway, it's been a good year.  But, we are very much looking forward to summer break!

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Customer Quilts

Heather BouwhuizenComment

It has been a busy year for my shop.  Really busy.  Right now, I am working on 3 quilts for customers, and I just finished two. 

 

I've been getting lots of great feed back from my customers, and I love it!   If you have a picture of a quilt that I have made that you would like to share, please send it over!  I will post it here, on Facebook and Instagram.  Pictures of quilts that I have made in their new homes are wonderful.  I love to see them being used and loved. 

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Here are some pictures of customer quilts.  Enjoy!

 

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A quilt for my bed

Heather BouwhuizenComment

So, each of my 6 kids has at least one quilt for their bed.  Several of them have more than one quilt.  

This is the top of quilt one.

This is the top of quilt one.

My bed?  No quilt.  There are quilts all over the US and on Australia, that I've made, adorning beds.  My bed- not a quilt to be found!  

This is the back of quilt 1

This is the back of quilt 1

I'm working on fixing that.  I actually just finished the tops to two (TWO!) king size quilts, and they will be for me!  

I just sent both of them to the quilters to be long arm quilted.  I expect they will be back in about 2 months.  So in two months, I will have not one, but two!!, quilts for my bed.  

I'm quite proud of these two quilts too.  They were challenging projects, and they turned out better than expected! 

 

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This is the top of quilt 2.  I actually didn't take a picture of this quilt all put together, but you get the idea here, I think.

Yep. I'm still here.

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I've been quiet. Life is going and it's busy, and something had to be put on the back burner.  This time, it was the blog. 

 

We've been chugging along with homeschooling.  Most of the kids are doing awesome.   Ava is still difficult.  Not sure what I'm going to do about her.  But that's another post. 

 

We are looking forward to summer!  Only 57 days of school left.  But who's counting?! 😀 

 

 

All the kids together.   

All the kids together.   

Scraps are outta control!

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I should go back and read my blog post on scrap management.  My shop got busy, and I was rushed for time, and I started pushing the scraps aside to handle "later".   

Then, they were not far aside enough, so then, I put them in a bag.  Then, they were over flowing the bag, so I got a bigger bag, and then a bigger bag... Yep, they ended up in a garbage bag-- and that was over flowing too!  Ugh.  

 

The beginning of getting my scraps back under control.   

The beginning of getting my scraps back under control.   

So, I have a couple of quilts planned, and today, I began the tedious task of sorting, cutting and taking control of my scraps again.   

Wish me luck!  I need it.   

Memory Jean Quilt

Heather BouwhuizenComment

Recently, I had a repeat customer approach me with a project using jeans.  I've worked with jean material in the past, on a project for my husband, and it was a bit of a pain.  You must use special needles and thread.   The project for my husband turned out great, so I was excited to work with jeans again.

This is the practice quilt I made.

This is the practice quilt I made.

 

This was a special project for my customer.  The jeans belonged to a friend of hers that passed away recently.  Her friend was a quilter too, so I set out to make her proud!

I did a practice version of the quilt before diving in with the jeans.  In the end, we decided to use the pockets of the jeans as the centers of the stars on the quilt.  I used other pieces of the jeans to make up some of the squares and the points of the stars.  The fabric palette was limited (only 2 other fabrics!) which really allowed the jeans to shine as the center piece of the quilt. 

I'm happy with the quilt.  My customer says she's happy with the quilt too.

My advice to those thinking of making a similar project with jeans:  Change your needle often.  Make sure you are using jean thread.  And cut the fabric carefully.  But have fun!  It's not hard and the end product is awesome! 

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Handmade Gifts

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I wonder when I give a handmade gift to a someone, if they are just like "Um...great.  Nice.  You MADE something for me.  Awesome."  (insert sarcastic tone here)


Or if they genuinely like what I give them? 

 

 

It takes so many hours to make a handmade gift for someone.  Really.  If it's a quilt, turn hours into days or even weeks, depending on how complicated it is and it's size. I know handmade isn't the latest electronic gadget (don't worry, as soon as the new iPhone 6s is out, they'll start advertising the iPhone 7.  There will always be a new gadget to buy!), and it's not the latest home fashion item from the newest Pottery Barn catalog. 

 

What it is, is a person, whom you know, cares enough about you, to plan, select fabric, purchase fabric (which can run into hundreds of dollars for a large quilt--trust me, even small projects using fabric can be expensive!), cut the fabric, and then sew it into something for you.  Not for anyone else.  Just for you.  Something completely unique and wonderful, made just for you. 

 

There is something special about receiving a handmade gift.  Whether the person made it themselves, asked their wife to make it for them, or purchased it on ETSY, or other handmade sites.  They bought or made a handmade item,  something truly unique, for you.  It's like an awesome, warm, handmade hug.

 


A work in progress

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I started to quilt because I love making something for the ones I love to wrap themselves in. Sort of a gentle reminder that they are loved by me.    

 

Once I started my ETSY shop, much of my sewing time has been spent on projects for my customers. Trust me-- I love making a special quilt for my customers. I've made anniversary quilts, t shirt quilts, military memory quilts, and memorial quilts. I think of it as a great honor to be a part of making these items for you. 

Lately, though, I've  been trying to balance customer quilts with my projects. It was hard to find a balance where I can accomplish both. I did this by giving longer finish times on customer quilts, and sneaking in a few days of "selfish sewing" in every month. For the most part, my customer orders are still done in 40ish days. But now, I can make some things for myself, and my loved ones too! 

A recent work in progress.  This is a king size quilt, that will eventually be for my bed. 

A recent work in progress.  This is a king size quilt, that will eventually be for my bed. 

A memorial Jean quilt I have been working on.  

A memorial Jean quilt I have been working on.  

I took a little time and participated in an Instagram swap!  This was my first and it was fun!! 

I took a little time and participated in an Instagram swap!  This was my first and it was fun!! 

My latest selfish sewing quilt.  Moda modern building blocks.  Sew much fun!  

My latest selfish sewing quilt.  Moda modern building blocks.  Sew much fun!  

Thank you for reading my blog!  You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook or here!  

Some Recent Quilt Finishes

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I often post my finished Quilts on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RedEyedStudio) or even on my Instagram page (https://instagram.com/red_eyed_studio/), but I often neglect to show them here.  So, here goes:

 

 

 

This was for a block on a traveling quilt in my quilt guild.  

This was for a block on a traveling quilt in my quilt guild.  

This was a quilt for a customer  

This was a quilt for a customer  

This is an image that a customer sent me of a quilt I made over the summer.  

This is an image that a customer sent me of a quilt I made over the summer.  

This is a quilt that I am working on now.  It's a memorial quilt.   

This is a quilt that I am working on now.  It's a memorial quilt.   

Farm Girl Vintage

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I've been wanting to work on something fun, for me, and that is skill building.  Thanks to one of my guild mates (Stacy) and Instagram, I found the perfect fit!  

 

 

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This book is filled with 12" and 6" blocks.  There is skill building (like sewing small pieces and accurate seams and cutting).  Plus, it's fun!   

Here are some of the blocks I have completed:  

 

This is my collection so far!  

This is my collection so far!  

Giving Myself Deadlines

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I love making new quilt tops.  Sew much fun.  I can knock out a pretty large quilt top in an afternoon.  Once I get an idea, I'm on fire.  Laser focused until the top is done.  

 

Then.... It goes on my "unfinished  " project shelf (UFO). Are there other quilters with this shelf?  I wish I could be like my friend Sharon.  She starts a project, and sees it through.  Top, quilting, finishing, next project.  I try so hard to to this...

 

But, I love making the tops.  It's my favorite part.  So, inevitably, I end up with a stack of "UFO's".  

This week, I said enough was enough. I had 7 unfinished quilt tops.  I made the commitment to get 5 of them quilted in 5 days.  

 

"Crazy cat lady" quilt.  This one is mine!   Quilt 5 of 5 

"Crazy cat lady" quilt.  This one is mine!   Quilt 5 of 5 

Quilt 4 of 5

Quilt 4 of 5

Quilt 3 of 5  

Quilt 3 of 5  

Quilt 2 of 5

Quilt 2 of 5

Quilt 1 of 5

Quilt 1 of 5

Well, I'm pleased to say I did it!  All of them are quilted.  They just need binding and pictures and they'll be in my shop. (Except for the one I'm keeping!) 

I feel so accomplished.  I love seeing a project through to the end. I can't wait to share them with you! 

 

 

Making time to sew

Heather Bouwhuizen1 Comment

This can be such a challenge. After mommy, wife, teacher, house cleaner, cook, errand running, doctor visits, soccer practice.... You get the idea!  

I've had a pile of unfinished quilts, just waiting for me to finish them up... Well, I've challenged myself to get them done!  

 

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There are five quilt tops.  I basted them all Monday.  I quilted one yesterday, and one today.  I'm trying to get them done by Sunday!  

 

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I think I can, I think I can...  

Some summer projects

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I've been busy in my sewing room too!   

 

A quilt project I finished recently.  I made the quilt, shams, and decorative pillow.  This picture is from my customer.  

A quilt project I finished recently.  I made the quilt, shams, and decorative pillow.  This picture is from my customer.  

I've worked on some projects for my husband.  

 

This is a quilt made from jeans, that he will use in the back of his car to protect the carpet.  

This is a quilt made from jeans, that he will use in the back of his car to protect the carpet.  

R2D2-- this is a pattern my husband made on EQ7.  I tested the pattern for him.  

R2D2-- this is a pattern my husband made on EQ7.  I tested the pattern for him.  

I've worked on a few projects for my quilt guild.  They are blocks that will be gifted to some local organizations and people.  

 

Blocks going into a quilt for a local veteran.  

Blocks going into a quilt for a local veteran.  

This is going onto a travel quilt that I'm adding onto one of my guild member's quilt.  

This is going onto a travel quilt that I'm adding onto one of my guild member's quilt.  

This is going into a quilt that will be donated to a local woman's shelter.  

This is going into a quilt that will be donated to a local woman's shelter.  

I haven't had much time to sew for myself.  I'm getting ready to start the Vintage Farm Girl series.  This will be a project for myself, and it's perfect, because it is just one or two blocks at time, so I'll be able to fit it in my schedule.   

 

A block from Farm Girl Vintage  

A block from Farm Girl Vintage  

This is the farm girl book, if anyone wants to join me.   

This is the farm girl book, if anyone wants to join me.   

Shop Announcement

Heather BouwhuizenComment

At this time, I have taken down my "design your own quilt" listings. You will still find military uniform and T shirt quilts listed under this heading in my shop.

After much consideration, I have found that these quilts are too difficult to set a single price for. Often times, I have to order from many different locations to get the fabric that I need, and this costs me additional shipping costs. If the fabric is out of print, I might have to pay more per yard than I normally would. This cuts into the small profit margin that I make on the quilt, and in some cases, I have broken even on making the quilt, or had a few cases where I've had to pay additional money out of my pocket to make a quilt for someone else. This isn't good for business, and it isn't good for me. I love to make things for other people, but it has to provide a little income for my family. Otherwise, it just creates a financial burden on my family, and I am unwilling to be the cause of that burden.

I'd be happy to help you design a quilt that is uniquely yours, but I would have to price them on a case by case basis. The price of your quilt be effected by the cost of the materials that go into making your quilt. I hope you understand.

Heather

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedEyedStudio?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Links to purchase a quilt pattern

Heather BouwhuizenComment

I have several quilt patterns that are available for purchase.  You can click the links below, if you are interested.

 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/pinwheel-in-a-pinwheel-/146513

 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/modern-heart-quilt-pattern-/145779

 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/dutch-pinwheel-pattern-/145776

 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/plus-quilt-scrap-friendly-pattern/146507

 

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/patriotic-star-pattern-/146058

 

I encourage you to take a look and give quilting a try!  The star pattern is a great beginner pattern.  And you'd be supporting my small business venture! 

 

If you do make one of the patterns, please, please, please post a picture of what you've made!!

 

The Quilting Journey

Heather BouwhuizenComment

Ever look back at those first quilts and think...ugh, that wasn't so good?!   

I love those first quilts though.  They represent the very beginning of something that has become my passion.  Who knew the early fabric cutting mishaps would turn me into the fabric cutting guru I am now? The early, slightly crooked quilts would turn me into the quilting perfectionist I am now?  That the times that I REFUSED to use my iron, who help me understand the quilting and ironing go hand in hand. 

This was one of my first rag quilts ever.  It was cute, but I've learned a lot since this one.

This was one of my first rag quilts ever.  It was cute, but I've learned a lot since this one.

And the first days, where I poo pooed the 1/4 inch seam-- 1/4 ish, is ok, right?!   

Now, I always nail the 1/4 inch seam, or me and the dreaded seam ripper have to spend quality time together (I have a quilt on my board now waiting for time with the seam ripper!)  

This quilt was just finished recently!

This quilt was just finished recently!

Quilting has been such a journey.   One of fun, frustration and learning.  I love the challenges I have overcome, and the challenges yet to be. 

My advice to the new quilter: hang in there.  It does get easier!  And it is so.much.fun.   Just remember---a 1/4" seam is a must, and your seam ripper is just part of the "creative" process.