Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Madness...

Hello blog world,

It's already nearly the end of July - where is the time going???

We finally posted photos of the completed "Phish" T-shirt quilt. This quilt is fabulous & HUGE!!! I have put more photos on my facebook page & our website, but here's a sneak peek:




The hubby & I just got back from our only beach vacation of the year, where we celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday with her entire group of 7 kids & over a dozen grandkids. I worked my hiney off to create a Shutterfly photobook with photos of her over the years with my Grandpa who passed away 13 years ago. And the majority of the family submitted their favorite photos & personal letters to Grandma. I also contacted her nieces & nephews, with whom she has always kept close contact. 2 of them showed up to the beach weekend as a surprise for her, which was my favorite part of the weekend. She chastized me for planning so many surprises for an 80 year old woman. I told her that I know how strong she is & that I knew she could handle it :)


I am so proud of the photo book, and so thankful for the contribution from my family! Here's a link to the photo book:

Click here to view this photo book.




And here are a few photos of the weekend:

Now that I'm back home, I'm working on vinyl orders non-stop. I don't know how these vinyl orders have kept rolling in, except that the Lord is taking care of me! I've had 10-12 orders in the past couple of days and several more on the way - Thank you Lord!!

Mom & I are finishing a t-shirt quilt this week (crossing fingers...) for a friend's daughter. It is made with her high school, college, camps, etc. shirts. We love the story about a couple of the T-shirts that her mom told us. Apparently Natalie was a HUGE Chipper Jones (of the Atlanta Braves) fan back in her elementary/middle-school years, and one of her teachers even called her "Mrs. Jones." So there are a couple of Chipper's shirts on the quilt to commemorate her celebrity crush.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to pass along a blog giveaway that is absolutely worth checking out!!! Here's the link to Abbey Lane's Quilts' blog. Enjoy! :)

Thanks for reading my long update!

Julie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

I'm kind of obsessed with this dress... please let me win...... :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Surprise!

I have such great intentions when it comes to blogging... but LIFE happens... Why is it that I push so hard to accomplish my goals, and I am too busy to enjoy the success??? I guess that's what comes with my 'Type A' personality. I keep reminding myself that this is just temporary. When our debt snowball is complete, I will be able to pursue Fishtail Designs full time, as well as fitting in my love for coaching baton, spending time with friends, volunteering at church, etc...


Anyway, we recently finished this quilt for a girl that I've known since she was a little tiny majorette. She recently made the UT Majorette line, and her mom asked us to make a T-shirt quilt for her surprise graduation gift... It turned out really cute, and we've gotten so many comments on the way the sports bra is highlighted in the quilt. We also incorporated the orange backing fabric since she'll be a freshman at UT this Fall!

Enjoy!



 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Knot on Call

UPDATE - thie treasury is no longer active, so the link won't work anymore...

Treasury Wests are WIDE Open! It's not much of a challenge to get a "Treasury West" on Etsy anymore, but I snagged one for fun this morning.

We're headed to the lake tomorrow - to spend the day on a family friend's massive house boat called "Knot on Call." It's the ultimate in luxury, and I am just dying to have a relaxing day on the boat!

So, in honor of "Knot on Call," I have posted a Treasury West with some boat loving goodness :)



Thursday, May 27, 2010

When my hubby told me that he was being sent out of state to work for 3 months, I cried a little, thinking of the lonliness, but then reality set in...
  • "I have to sleep in our house alone 5 nights a week?!?"
  • "I'm going to clean out EVERY closet in our house!"
  • "I get to watch old movies without Kevin complaining!"
  • "Kevin can watch the Braves every night without me complaining!"
  • etc...
Well, thanks to Netflix, I have watched probably a dozen classic movies the past 3 weeks. I have this list of movies that I feel like I'm supposed to see in order to call myself a classic movie fan... So I've watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, The Three Faces of Eve, A Streetcar Named Desire, All About Eve, & Summer Magic. I snuck in my favorite Doris Day movie called Move Over Darling. She is such a fun actress!

And I worked in some of the other films that aren't as old, but I've always wanted to see... Kramer vs Kramer, It Could Happen to You, & Peggy Sue Got Married.

I'm totally not watching these movies out of laziness. They're my "craft time" entertainment - when I'm sewing or cutting vinyl art jobs. My ultimate "me" time!

I'm nearly done with my first "mini-quilt." Its such a fun pattern & I'm excited about the fabrics that I put in it, but nervous about sending it to my partner for the mini-swap. I've seen her work & its fabulous! Little does she know that I'm making my very first traditional style quilt... Yikes! It is a lot of fun though, and I want to make another with the same pattern - it's called "windmill," but its not the traditional windmill pattern.

Here's what it's supposed to look like when its done: Windmill Mini Quilt... So I'll post photos soon :) 

On the T-shirt quilt end, we are kind of panicking because our top-quilter promised the top stitched & bound quilt YESTERDAY. It wouldn't be a huge deal, except we promised that the quilt would be sent to the gift recipient in time for the graduation party on SUNDAY. Today is Thursday... I just wish that we could afford a long-arm machine so that we wouldn't have to rely on others for the quilts that are under deadlines!

On a positive note we're starting one of our largest quilts right now. It's a compilation of concert T-shirts, including Dave Matthews Band, String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, & festivals such as Bonaroo. The best part about this quilt is that the owner plans to use it for sitting outside at concerts, so we're going to get a lot of publicity from those crowds!

My mom & I also have a connection to Yee-Haw Industries through our day job, and they take their fabulous products to Bonaroo every year. We're hoping to get a chance to show them this quilt & maybe get some networking going through them...

We're also setting up a table at the Miss Majorette of Tennessee pageant on June 5th. I'm launching a new line of Baton Twirler decals, so I'm hoping that we'll get some good exposure there. I have posted the first installment of the line on my Etsy page here: Baton Twirler Decal. I grew up looking for decals like this - and only finding cheerleaders or dancers. Baton twirlers have always been left out of the accessory market! ha!

By the way... I have cleaned out a single drawer in the house... haven't made it to the closets yet...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My first quilt swap - yikes!!

Ok, I'm nervous about this, but with Kevin working out of town the next few months, I think it'll be a great opportunity to stretch myself...

So the first assignment was to post quilts that I love so that my swap partner will have a good idea of who I am, what I like, etc.

Because I'm hopelessly addicted to Etsy, I made a Treasury East here with my ideas to get the ball rolling.

But basically, I have a newfound passion for quilts. In the past 2 years, my mom & I have started a t-shirt quilt business, where our goal is to create quilts that defy the cheesiness of t-shirt quilts. So far we've had great success... I was in the opinion before this venture that all quilts were granny-esque, and I didn't want a part of the grandma quilts. Well I've since discovered Amy Butler, the Modern Quilt Guild, and endless resources for modern quilting. I'm hooked...

So THANK YOU Modify Tradition for issuing this challenge to do my first quilt swap. I've already checked out my secret partner that I'll be quilting for, and I am intimidated by her beautiful quilting, but want to use this as a growth experience.

Anyway, to my secret partner who is quilting for me, I am so excited to see what you'll create! The link to my Etsy treasury above will help you see what colors draw me in, and there's a paragraph at the bottom of the treasury that explains colors & etc.

Good night!

Shadowfeet

I've had the song "Shadowfeet" by Brooke Fraser in my head the past few days, and the lyrics inspired my latest treasury title.

"Shadowfeet" - Brooke Fraser

Walking, stumbling
On these shadow feet
Toward home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing
Less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began

And I have sensed it all along
Now fast approaching is the day

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction
Buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
But I've heard rumours of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way

You make all things new

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

I became interested in the artist's inspiration for this song, as it fills me with such a longing to be found in the Lord. So I found her blog here, which answers my question about Shadow Feet.

"The song ‘Shadowfeet’ was inspired by his (C.S. Lewis) wonderful book ‘The Great Divorce’
and in particular the following passage:
'Will you come with me to the mountains?
It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened.
Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?'  "

Amazing...

So, that's a roundabout way of saying

Monday, May 3, 2010

Little Lindsay Lulu

My friend Lindsay... She is such a light in my life! Lindsay is never afraid to tell you the truth, and her loyalty is such a rare gift!

Lindsay walked away from her role as a manager at a bank to be a stay-at-home mom to her precious baby Elijah. She & her husband are living on one income, and the Lord is so faithful to meet their needs! Brent & Lindsay have been supplementing that income by shopping local garage sales & estate sales on weekends. You would not believe the treasures that they've found!
Check out Lindsay's Etsy store to see some beautiful vintage items, not to mention her eye for photography :)

Please pass her shop around to anyone who has a weakness for vintage items!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/littlelindsaylulu




Sunday, May 2, 2010

Etsy Treasury

I waited several hours on Friday to snatch a great treasury spot, and I was inspired by the lyrics from Stairway to Heaven to post about spring cleaning...

Here it is!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=129192

It expires on Monday @ 10 am ET.

Thanks for looking!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sneak Peek of our latest quilt!

Ok, I can only show you a couple of photos..... because the quilt will be a surprise gift in the next week or so for an upcoming graduate!! So, I'm just showing the back of the quilt, which will not disappoint!


The fabric is designed Amy Butler in her Lotus Collection. Its "Wall Flower" print in "Sky."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Well. I knew that my blogging would be sporadic, but I've gone 5 weeks!

But in these 5 weeks, we have made a FABULOUS quilt (photos to come very soon) & received 2 more quilt orders. So, there are no complaints here...

On another note, my sweet hubby is going to be working out of town the next three months. I'm sad to not have him at home every night, but so excited to get caught up on all of the projects that I have neglected. I probably have way too many plans for the time that he'll be gone, but it will give me something to do instead of wallowing in loneliness. Thankfully Mr. French, my precious cat, will surely keep me company.

Back to this fabulous quilt... So, did I mention that we are now offering designer fabric to back our T-shirt quilts?!?! The fabulous quilt is our first with the designer fabric on the back, and the difference is stunning. Not only is this girl receiving a quilt full of memories ( for graduation), but the other side is a fabric that would make anyone fall in love with sewing.
Check out these palettes by Amy Butler:


I'm seriously thinking about making myself a duvet with Amy Butler fabric... My hubby will love to hear that. Have I shared that Kevin & I are on a journey toward debt freedom?? So the duvet will have to wait...
Am I the only one who has 100 projects started in my mind, yet left untouched in my craft room?? That trip I took in March with my girlfriends - you know the one with the amazing fabric? I've made 1 pillow, and the rest of the fabric is in a pretty pile on the floor. I even bought a pattern for valences to hang in the living room. Hmm... It would be so nice if I could have 3 months to myself... oh wait...
I really will miss him.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flea Market Chic...

Hello to my loyal followers!

I have so much to post, but so little time :) So I'll start with the most recent fun:

4 of my girlfriends & I took a girl's trip to Atlanta last weekend, and left behind the husbands to fend for themselves.
Our trip was titled "shopping trip on a budget," and we sure got our money's worth! Since my hubby & I are adhering to Dave Ramsey's 7 steps to Financial Peace, I brought just enough money to cover the hotel, gas, meals, & a teeny bit of shopping...

We hit the Dawsonville Outlets, where we spent a LOT of time in the Pottery Barn outlet - YUMM!! We also went to AmericasMart Atlanta, where we drooled over the fabulous products that will be out on the market in the next year. And Sunday morning we spent many hours & many dollars in IKEA, but came out of there with enough accessories to fill a house!

But the highlight of the trip, and the shopping that made the most impact, was to a place called Lakewood 400 Antiques Market ... It was typical when it comes to finding junk & knock-offs, but we fell in love with booth after booth of vintage/faux vintage/garden/cottage/etc. items. I'm so frustrated with myself, because I only took ONE photo at this market, and it's not even a great booth by any stretch of the imagination...

So, when I got home, I decided to pay homage to the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market by making a treasury of items that reminded me of this beautiful place! Since it only lasts a few days, I snagged a screenshot of it so that I can remember how beautiful it is!


Thank goodness we all have husbands who love us enough to forgive our shopping weakness!!
Once I reassemble my home with my fun accessories, I'll surely post photos of the results :)
I'll leave you with these photos. We were so thankful to pack a car topper, because we surely needed it! It was quite a crowded 3 hour ride home :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Orders keep rolling in!

I haven't written in a few days because I've been so busy cutting vinyl for new orders!!

We had our first mailbox lettering order this past week, and completed it last night. My Etsy customer picked one of my favorite fonts (#10), and the design will look so cute on the mailbox at her NEW home!


Then I logged in this morning to Etsy & was surprised to find another mailbox lettering order for both sides of a mailbox. Yay! She also picked font #10

Here's my mailbox, which my husband & I applied to our mailbox on the coldest day of the year. We were bored & cooped up, so we had fun with vinyl art!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend Update

Good Monday morning! My hubby & I had a very productive weekend. We cleaned the entire house top to bottom by 11:30 am on Saturday - what a fantastic feeling! While I attacked the ironing mountain, the hubs did the March budget & made our bi-weekly grocery list & dinner menu (my least favorite thing in the world!).

I really enjoyed doing the ironing because I watched a couple of Turner Classic Movies that I've stored up on my DVR. Can you believe that I'd never seen Splendor in the Grass until this weekend?? Wow, what a fabulous movie. Natalie Wood, Warren Beaty... yum! I also watched the Cary Grant/Irene Dunn 1937 film The Awful Truth, which was a really cute romantic comedy, and I enjoyed watching a young Cary Grant.

After our grocery trip, I spent some time on my vinyl art font options, which was something I've been putting off. I increased my "signature" font options to 38 from 25, and I think the photo on my etsy listing is a bit more legible.

Here it is:








Thursday, February 25, 2010

When I design vinyl art pieces, I try to picture what they will look like once my customer applies them to the wall. My imagination is not nearly as beautiful as the finished products turn out. Thank you to my Etsy clients for sending photos of the applied vinyl!!! It is so fun for me to see the big picture!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mother / Daughter Crafting Duo



My mom & I started a T-Shirt Quilt business in June of 2008 after we made my own t-shirt quilt together.

We work side-by-side 40 hours a week in an insurance agency, but we still enjoyed having a creative outlet outside of the office. As we made my t-shirt quilt, we daydreamed about creating custom quilts for others, and eventually turning it into a business.

"Eventually" came along very quickly as people saw our first quilt, which was a patchwork of t-shirts from the past 15 years or so of my life. The quilt included middle school, high school, & college shirts. Even the smallest pieces of my t-shirt logos made it to the quilt, unlike many t-shirt quilts that we'd seen in the past.

Within a year, word of mouth spread quickly, and we made over 15 T-Shirt Quilts for friends, family, & friends of friends. We hired a graphic designer to design our logo after deciding upon a business name. Our business name, Fishtail Designs, comes from baton twirling lingo, as we wanted to market primarily toward baton twirlers (I am a former high school & collegiate majorette and currently coach baton). Our market has since expanded beyond baton twirling into a general market that continues to surprise us.



We joined Etsy in 2009 after so many friends encouraged us to check it out, and have since found a home where we feel so welcome as a creative duo. We have one Etsy shop together where we market the T-shirt Quilts, along with vinyl art & other crafts that we make.

Although we spend many hours a week together in a professional setting, we thoroughly enjoy a couple of evenings a week and some weekends sewing, creating, & spending quality mother/daughter time together. We have a great balance of skills in the business. We both contribute to the design of the quilts, the preparation of the materials, and the process of sewing the shirts together. My mom sews beautifully and has given me many tips so that I feel confident now to sew a straight line. I spend a lot of time marketing our T-shirt quilts on Facebook, Etsy, our Blog, and anywhere I can spread the word.
This business has also encouraged my husband & my dad to spend more one-on-one time together. They've become golfing buddies and can spend hours watch sports or hanging out with a cold drink by the grill!
It is such a joy to work with my mom, and our creativity together gives us hope for a future of full time T-Shirt quilting...