Samples and Fabric…

First of all, I think most of you know I do my own samples. I typically test the 5×7 design in PES format. This is to make sure all of the steps are right, in the right order, the design is laid out efficiently (can I cut out any unnecessary steps?), etc. I have, in the past, subbed out my sampling. Now that I’m not so busy with customer work, I usually just do them myself so I can guarantee the steps are right and that I get the fabrics I want and a good web photo.

Every now & then I get an email from a customer saying they are sewing a design and the stitches aren’t lining up. I had a girl ask me this week if the design she was sewing had been tested. They are, of course, and they are also sold to hundreds of people! I usually resend the design and that fixes the problem. Since these are digital files which are emailed and downloaded and sent here & there, anything can go wrong! Any little thing can corrupt your file or make it not sew correctly. It doesn’t happen often, but if it happens to you (my design or anyone else’s), simply request that the design be resent and try that! 99.9% of the time that works.

Anyway, I usually sample mine on 2 layers of cutaway stabilizer if I don’t have a blank t-shirt. I try to take my web photos outside on a sunny day. When the designs are listed these usually go in the trash! I thought I’d take a picture of these today before I dumped them. These 5 designs were listed yesterday BTW!

 Every now & then I get a surprise UPS package from TJ’s Fabric in Opp, AL. Today was one of those lucky days!! Is this not a picture of beauty?? By next blog post I will try to photograph and share some of my favorites! P.S. If you go to LINKS on my blog, you’ll see a list of fabric websites ~ TJ’s is #1. I hope to get by there again this year when we go to the beach! I assure you it is fabric heaven! You can see more photos of TJ’s in this post!

 I know you are SOOOO SICKKKKKK of hearing about my stinkin’ sewing room. I am sick of it too! I wish I could just snap my fingers and it be Pinterest-picture-perfect!! I keep going back to Pinterest, and back to Pinterest, and back to Pinterest. Just trying to figure out what I can do to this sewing room/office to make me walk in it and SMILE!! 😉 I’m happy with the green desks, matching bulletin boards, new black chairs ~ basically 1/2 of the room. What I am buggin’ about is the white Expedit on the white walls (I think?). I keep wondering if I should paint the walls. I think that might be cheaper than buying a black/brown Expedit?? Below is the fabric that I ordered. I’m not sure if it is too busy to recover the chairs in. Or find something that compliments this and recover the chairs?

 Do I chose a color and paint my walls?? A pretty yellow?? The room is not that big. I like the blue too but that might be too much. If I don’t use this fabric on the chairs, then what do I do with it? There are 2 windows, both with plantation shudders. Simple valances? Ironing board cover?

 Anyone have any suggestions? Or just send Candice Olsen my way!! Please!! Someone!! Help!! :</ While I LOVE Pinterest, I get so frustrated with myself because I see what I like but don’t know how to achieve it! Arghhhhhh!!!! I won’t get started on the rest of the house! While the kitchen was completely renovated and I love it, we have done NOTHING since it was completed. It’s 2012 and time to get to work!!

Any ideas are appreciated! Here are a few pics of the rest of the sewing room…

To the right of my desk – the 2 windows. I have since hung a shelf, peg boards and my “Take Chances…” sign in between these 2 windows.

 The wall-o-desks. The left wall with the golf ball display is totally blank.

 The wall-o-Expedit. My thread is to the left of the Expedit, and the door is to the left of my thread.


Green, black, white??


 This weekend was home improvement weekend! We are in the process of replacing air vents upstairs, we got a couple of new ceiling fans and Jeff put together our new office furniture! While he built stuff, I made Chicken Tetrazzini (for 30). This was no easy task, as most of our kitchen supplies are boxed up because we’re eventually going to redo our kitchen (sometime in the near future hopefully). I had to triple the recipe and cook it in shifts. We happened to have this huge-mongous crab boil pot so this was my makeshift mixing bowl. This is a YUMMY recipe by the way, and even 1 recipe will feed a few families. If you’d like it, comment and I’ll post it!

This was how much 3 recipes made ~ I add cheese the last 5 minutes of baking! It’s really good and freezes well. This is my friend Karen’s recipe and I’ve made it many many many times!!

And here is our office/sewing room tonight (below)! We’re missing a drawer on the left desk ~ awaiting a replacement part from Home Decorators. This is from the Martha Stewart Craft Collection and it’s very heavy and sturdy and I’m really excited about where this is going! You’ll see our old dining room chairs which we will eventually replace with maybe this? We need to go do a test sit and see….

This is my corner. I couldn’t part with the tool chest just yet as the drawers are full of hoops, stabilizer and other supplies (my fast frames, etc). Jeff was looking forward to wheeling it out to the garage but for now it’s staying! Notice the nice office-y plastic mats under our chairs from Costco. A) I wore a hole in the rug at our old house with my chair, and B) this carpet is new, hence the mats.

This is a sign we bought while at the beach last month! We definitely took a chance with starting Applique Cafe!

Sissy & I went to Winn Dixie Saturday morning to buy all the stuff for the Tetrazzini, and I passed by these on the “jar aisle”. They sell jars in all shapes & sizes! Right ~ some crochet appliques I always forget that I have from They are really cute when sewn on a gingham patch, or, just sewn on a little onesie or layette gown! I have 2 more jars, as it came as a set of 4.

I’m thinking PEGBOARD in between the windows? This one is from THIS BLOG!


Or the above is from THIS BLOG! I have been searching for sewing room ideas on Pinterest and keep coming across pegboard! I’d like to hang my thread on it and maybe some other things!? I plan to paint it too.

Above my computer I think a bulletin board is in order. Maybe this one from Hobby Lobby? Jeff also had cable installed so a TV will eventually go up in the corner, which is kind of exciting!

Anyway, it’s a START! I’m seeing a color pattern ~ white, black & green. My fabric is still in the other corner in the stacked plastic bins/drawers. I’d like to find a cuter solution to that and have had my eye on several things including cubbies, or some type of something (furniture) with drawers on the bottom and shelves. This was a moving in photo ~ I got rid of the plastic drawers on the right, the printer and the other stuff on the floor.

 Not bad for a couple of days work! Some day it’ll be Pinterest-worthy! Just a reminder: 30% off all designs at Applique Cafe til Tuesday, July 12th! Have a great week! Please share your sewing room photos on our Facebook Page ~ I’d love to see them and be inspired! You can also follow me on Pinterest.

Martha Stewart to the Rescue!

We survived a week at the beach (pictures down below) and MOVING! We got back from the beach last Saturday and moved this past Wednesday in to our permanent new home! It was an exhausting week full of cleaning, 457 trips with my car looking like this (below) and more cleaning, and then actually moving on Wednesday. We’re still unpacking but for the most part we are “IN” and loving it! We did have movers move us, but also took many many trips with our cars full of whatever we could fit in to them! Don’t you love how the ironing board is just thrown on top? Did I mention we moved the last week of June in close-to-100 degree heat?

Here is my NON-dining room NEW SEWING ROOM (and the offices of Applique Cafe, i.e. Jeff, too). This was before:

This was after a little organization:

Better? I say BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have dreams of a fantastic colorful sewing room as seen on my Pinterest Sewing Room Board. I’m trying to gather ideas so that eventually the above can be something that you’d see on Pinterest and “re-pin”!!

One of my “wants” is a big bulletin board, so Sissy & I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and I found a couple that I liked (white and black frame). My room is white (all white), so I’m not sure if one of these would work, or if I should paint one, or make one?

THEN… the other day someone posted a link on Facebook to Home Decorators Connection and more importantly, Martha Stewart’s Craft Space Collection. It comes in all sorts of neat pieces suitable for a sewing room and also comes in 3 colors (white-ish, gray and this green). PLUS, this weekend they have $50 off your order of $150 or more. SO…. Jeff liked it so we ordered 3 pieces (separately so as to get $50 off each order). I am SO excited! All of the reviews I read were great so I will be sure to report when we get them (and put them together). Here are some of the pieces and how they’ve been put together for this craft room.

On one wall of our SEWING ROOM, we will have 1 of these in the middle:

And 2 of these ~ one for Jeff and one for me. There are other pieces I’d like, but we’re starting with these to make sure they will work in our room. I’m so excited! I can then work off of these and start making this room a place I want to come work in! p.s. I love green! I’ll keep you posted!

One evening at the beach I literally threw these clothes on my children and said “we’re going to take a few pictures”. I think we also bribed G with something. Had I planned ahead, forewarned them earlier that day, etc. they would have never turned out! I got several great ones and also took some of my nephews! I’m no photographer but I did take a digital class once in 2009 so I think these turned out pretty good for FREE!

This beautiful white sand is Seagrove Beach (FL) sand! Love it!

This was our 6th annual family trip to Seagrove and our 6th annual Shrimp Boil. We go every year with my whole family and we always have a wonderful time!

This pic makes me want to go back to the beach!!

I sampled 4 new designs today (zig zag squirrel, zig zag paw print, lion face & pumpkin trio) and we will get them posted ASAP. Designs are still 30% off through July 10th, and Patriotic are still 50% off. Check them all out at Applique Cafe. BTW, so far we’ve sold 106 Virginia’s Cross designs and 183 total Awareness Ribbon designs (50 since we sent our first check). Thanks for adding those to your collection!