It’s a sale to celebrate my newest pattern release - Chicken & Stars PDF pattern!, originally uploaded by Happy Zombie.
Just enter soupweather20 in the discount code field when you’re checking out. My entire shop is on sale, so shop big!
Since it’s Christmas-tree season, I thought it might be the perfect time to leave a gentle reminder that not all trees like to wear skirts. I live in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by big, tall majestic trees - so I know this to be true. That’s why I have a tutorial at Sew,Mama,Sew! for “Christmas Tree Pants - because not all trees like to wear skirts“. My tutorial is from 2011 but is of course good year after year. Tree pants never go out of style.
My scrappy version as modeled by Violet Craft.
Blam-O, tree pants!
First things first… QuiltDad is my homeboy. Oh man, I love this guy. I’m telling everyone he wrote Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements just for me. I love making quilts that focus on fabric and that look complicated but are simple in construction. In other words, quilts I can make that don’t require a lot of my concentration or, um, reading. Not that John doesn’t write with lovely words, but I’m a read-by-illustration person. Words are hard. Pictures are easy. So thanks John for writing this book for me, and pretty cool of you to have plenty of copies for others, too. And it gets better - John’s publisher is giving away an e-book copy to one of my readers (more info at the bottom of this post).
I’m so smitten with the cover quilt - Pacific Crest. Crazy smitten. I even love all the fabrics and colors John chose. John writes in his book that Pacific Crest is, “… an asymmetrical repeat to mimic the movement of a flock of birds…”. It totally looks like a flock of birds, but when I saw it I immediately saw sunlit sparkles on water atop darting fish, most specifically Pacific Ocean water which is just a few miles from my front door. And then my mind immeadiatly went to fish tacos.
What I especially love about the quilts in John’s book is that the patterns are what I think are easily adaptable to modify and personalize, which is something I like to do 99.5% of the time when I make someone’s pattern. I set out to make a giant placemat/mugrug (<— just for you, homeboy) for my living room coffee table. With John’s cutting instructions and a stack of yummy fabrics consisting of Anna Maria’s Dowry and Pretty Potent, Robert Kaufman Essex olive and Kona solids, and Moda Bella solids - I went at it.
I got a little giddy when one of my smaller blocks (with the Echinacea print) ended up having some seam-magic with it’s bad self.
I had an s-ton of fun making all these little blocks. So pretty and so fun to make. And the olive Essex goes so beautifully with Anna Maria’s prints. I may be just a tad addicted to Anna Maria’s Dowry and Pretty Potent collections. I’ve bought it 4 times now, and no doubt will be buying more. I did the same thing with Totem from her LouLouThi collection. When I fall in love I fall hard.
Tah-dah… my Fish Tacos table mat! Next I need to quilt it - so I can bind it. I think 80% of the quilts I make are for the sole purpose of having something to hand bind. Up top, fellow hand binding lovers.
I’m not sure yet how I’m going to quilt it. Not that I don’t not have an idea of how - but this pattern screams so many possibilities. Which is another thing I love about John’s quilts is that they are easy for me to come up with quilting ideas. Often I find myself not knowing or seeing how I’m going to quilt something, so I could not be more tickled to have quilting possibilites dancing in my head. Thanks, John!
– Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed in olive
John’s publisher is giving away an e-book copy of Beyond Neutrals. To enter, leave a “QuiltDad is my homeboy” or something like “I’d love to win a copy” comment on my Instagram post here. I’ll draw a winner Friday, Sep. 26, 10am PST. You really need this book so give it a go. Be sure to check the Beyond Neutral Book Tour for more blog posts and more chances to win a copy!
The last time I was at Modern Domestic I picked up some Clover embroidery needles to try out. I’ve been using Peacemaker embroidery needles for over a decade now, but I’ve gotten so tried of their lack of availability. So I gave the Clover Gold Eye needles a try on the binding of my #fancyfoxquilt block potholders. Oh boy, am I glad I did!
The Clover needles poke through the fabric like soft butter. So dreamy. I’m using the No. 9 for binding and it’s perfect! Functions like a straw or milliners needle, but has the muscle of an embroidery needle. Who knew a tiny little needle could bring so my joy!
My clever son MacGyver’d a "painting rig" and it’s mad awesome. My crusty old white bike basket is now Sea Glass green (from Krylon). Everyone needs to make a painting rig.
Auditions for colors happening right now. Madly adorable pattern by Mollie Johanson at wildolive.blogspot.com
While I’m on the subject of the Olympics - also revisited is my Happy Sochi Yum Yum blog post from May 2011 (Wow, really… 2011?! That seems like a lifetime ago.)
In 2011 we first got a glimpse of the patchwork we’d be seeing in Sochi. I loved the previews and even more I love how the patchwork has become so prevalent at the Sochi Olympics. Wow. Just wow. Olympics + Sochi patchwork is pinging my two loves. I hope there’s some fabric company in talks right now with Bosco/Sochi Olympic Committee to license the patchwork design into fabric. I need to say that again… I HOPE THERE’S SOME FABRIC COMPANY IN TALKS RIGHT NOW WITH BOSCO/SOCHI OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TO LICENSE THE PATCHWORK DESIGN INTO FABRIC.
My family and I are huge fans of the Olympics. HUGE fans. Especially the Winter Olympics. The Olympics transcend sports and competition, but through sports the world comes together. In peace. In awesomeness. Global conflicts are set aside (for the most part), and people represent countries - not the politicians, or monarchies, or leaders, or dictators, or rebels, or evil doers… but people like you and me — our kids, our siblings, our parents, and our friends. Global happy. I get really irritated with the Internets dogging the Olympics (I’m talking to you AV Club), and I feel bad when the magnitude of the Olympics is just. not. got. Go, happy, go!
When the last Winter O’s were in Vancouver, BC, we drove up there just to be there. No events. Just to be there. My blog post about our trip Vancouver is here. I heart Canada people. Go, Canada, Go!
One of my favorite things about the Vancouver Olympics was the Norwegian Curling team’s uniforms. Pretty much my MOST FAVORITE THING EVER, Olympics or not. And the Norwegians are at it again (and some other teams, too). My head exploded and little bubbles of joy floated out of my skull’s cracks when I eyed this on google images today:
I got all nostalgic thinking about Vancouver, and I how I want to celebrate with fabric, needle and thread again. So for now, I’m revisiting my Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag project. I heart curling people. Go, curling, go!
In other Olympic awesomeness, this story made my heart swell - and I bet even the anti-olympicite Internets would experience some heart swelling from this, too.
A few months ago our younger Golden, Madison, passed. Both Liberty (our older Golden) and York (our cat who thinks he’s a dog) were inseparable and snugly with Madison. I think they’ve been sad and missing Madison, especially Libby. And then today Libby and York “discovered” each other (previous pic), and tonight they sealed the buddy deal.
This makes me so incredibly happy and comforted, and it’s such a beautiful thing to witness that I just had to share. I’m convinced pets are just really, really hairy miniature people.