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"Quilty n Crafty" Archive

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Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Twitter is so harmless… if you don’t go on it! A few days ago I saw John tweeting about a quilt-a-long he was in… interesting, interesting… my curiosity piqued. Then I notice the QAL is based on a book I already had.  And then I saw Katy was tweeting about it.  And then I saw Amanda’s tweets.  Before I knew it,  it was as if John, Katy and Amanda each poured the Kool-aid right through my USB cables.  Bathing in the Farmer’s Wife QAL Kool-aid. So now I’ve made a fresh pitcher and am ready to pour it back… to pass it on. I get a toaster-oven when I get someone to join in the FWQAL fun. That may or may not be true.

The FWQAL is hosted by Amanda and Angela, and there you will find all the nuts, bolts and Kool-aid of the QAL. Oh, and they have a FWQAL flickr group, too.  If that doesn’t get me a new toaster-oven - I don’t know what will.  My first four:

Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long - Block 1 Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long - Block 2
Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long - Block 3 Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long - Block 4

C’mon. You know you want to.  Jana said/tweeted it best, “Do it! All of the cool people are… you’ll be popular… one time won’t hurt!”  (sounds like I have some toaster-oven competition - game on, Jana.)

Happy Sochi Yum Yum

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Last winter I was stalking Russian athletes on my whirlwind Mo’lympic trip to Vancouver, BC during the Winter Olympics. I fell crazy madly in love with their swirly-que Russian team attire.   Crazy.  Mad.  Love!  The Norwegian’s got me excited in a quilty way too, but nothing like Team Russia’s attire from BOSCO Sports.

I suspected with Russia being the host country for the next Winter Olympics in 2014 - that the red and white swirly-que motif was just Sochi’s flirtatious design fore-play.  Oh Sochi, you tease!  I really should put a parental warning rating on this blog post for what the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee recently released…
Prepare yourself.
Towel up.

IMAGE SOURCE: Roustem Adagamov (where you can see more of his beautiful photos)

If you’re a quilter, probably right around now you’re OMG’ing.

IMAGE SOURCE: Roustem Adagamov

I wonder if Sochi rhymes with Mochi?

IMAGE SOURCE: Roustem Adagamov

Happy Mochi Sochi Yum Yum!

IMAGE SOURCE: Roustem Adagamov

Dear Today Show/Bob Costas - just in case you need a woman-on-the-street for quilt reporting… my passport is current, I travel light, I do a kick ass Jan Brady impersonation and I love cabbage & beets.

Stripped Down Patchwork book tour & give-away!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I’m so excited to be stop #10 on Erin Gilday’s blog tour for her new book, Stripped Down Patchwork!  Erin is a fellow Oregonian and is the author of one of my favorite blogs - Patchwork Underground, and last December we got to meet in-real-life, and needless to say I’m her super-fan!

When I first opened Erin’s book I was like a kid in a Lego store… I wanna make that… I wanna make this… I wanna make that… I wanna, I wanna, I wanna. Then I saw what my friend Gail made and showed on her day of the Stripped Down Patchwork tour - and I’m hoping she’ll let me copy her use her idea!  Strip quilting + Timbers = Awesomepancake.

Erin and I had a little Q and A for my day of the tour, so here we go!

What inspired you to write Stripped Down Patchwork?
Before I got into writing sewing patterns, I was selling patchwork clothing at street fairs. It was fun but it was a lot of work so I was always looking for a magic “trick” to make my work go faster. Seminole patchwork turned out to be the answer to my prayers. I found it in an old issue of Workbasket. In just a fraction of the time you’d think it should take, you have a finished patchwork band that looks like it took forever to make. Nobody needs to know that it only took you an hour.

What’s the trick?
The trick is, you don’ have to sew every little piece together one-by-one, you sew strips together and then cut across those strips to form strip sets. Then you re-arrange the strip sets and sew them back together. Voila! Magic patchwork.

Which project from the book is your favorite?
It’s a tie between the Toe Zone slippers and the PDX Tank dress. I have a special, inexplainable affinity for wearable patchwork.

What was your process for writing the book?
Well, it started with an idea. I got a really solid proposal together and started shopping it to publishers. I read a lot of books from the library about how to do it and just followed the advice in those books to the letter. When the “no thank yous” started rolling in – as they always do – I just kept on. When people looked at me cross-eyed about my ambition to write a book, I just kept on. That’s really the key. Just keep on with your intention. Once I got a publisher to sign on, the actual writing of the book was fun! I already knew how to write sewing patterns from my work with different sewing magazines and I already knew what projects I wanted to make so it was just a matter of getting it done. I kept all the information for each project in it’s own little folder to keep everything organized and took lots of notes so that I didn’t forget a step along the way in the instructions. You never know what your book is going to like because, as an author, you aren’t responsible for the layout and design of the book itself so that is always a fun surprise. In this case, I really loved what Leisure Arts ended up doing with it!

What are you working on now/next?
Promoting this book has been a huge task, so I’ve dedicated most of my time to that recently. I’ve been doing some small projects here and there for myself – I crocheted a top and made some palazzo pants from an old 70’s Vogue pattern – but mostly I’ve just been managing my blog tour for the book. I’m working on another book proposal right now (shh!) and I’m also considering doing my own little self-published line of specialty sewing patterns (double shh!) so we’ll see what happens. I’ve been trying to figure out how to use the Twitter, too. Of course, I’m always writing ditties on my banjo and blogging about what inspires me, so that keeps me busy too. Oh yeah, somewhere in there I also adopted a chihuahua. Oops. That happened last week.

I have a copy to give-away, and I’ll throw in a charm pack of my new fabric to go along with it.  Leave a comment by noon (PST) this Saturday and I’ll have random.org draw a name.

Stripped Down Patchwork

Take the entire tour (and maybe even increase your odds of winning a copy of Stripped Down Patchwork):

Leisure Arts Blog - Monday, May 16
Sew Daily - Tuesday, May 17
Craftzine - Wednesday, May 18
Craftypod - Thursday, May 19
Whipup.net - Friday, May 20
Burdastyle - Saturday, May 21
Pink Pinguin - Sunday, May 22
A Green Banana - Monday, May 23
I Think Sew - Tuesday, May 24
Happy Zombie - Wednesday, May 25
A Mountain Hearth - Thursday, May 26
Sew News - Friday, May 27
Pat Sloan’s Blog - Saturday, May 28

May 28, 2011 Edited in:
Winner, winner, Seminole dinner!  Give-away has now ended.  Thank you all for joining in on the give-away! Using random.org for comments 1-135, the winner is:

Comment #25 - Alicia of Crash Worthy

Pink Lemonade

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Some people leave for a trip or outing and worry they’ve left the iron or coffee maker on.  I worry I’ll leave the house and forget to bring some kind of handwork to take along.  I once had a lunchbox filled with fabric scraps, English paper-pieces, needles & thread… the who schebang.  My little handwork travel kit.  My big fat plans: I was going to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  As it turns out… I made placemat.

Time to rethink just how much handwork I want to do - balancing the doing with the finishing.  Enter “Fast & Easy Granny”. Still handwork… just a lot faster. Bigger = faster.
Pink Lemonade

Time to rethink the name - sounds like Granny’s a wee but saucy.  Luckily Quiltmaker found just the perfect name for it: Pink Lemonade.  I’m so excited for my block to be in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 3, and once I read the cover - my excitement escalated and I pee’d all over myself.
Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Volume 3

I made my block in Rosalie Quinlan’s beautiful Sweet Broderie fabric by Lecien.  I did a mock-up quilt in Photoshop - wish I could sandwich and baste a real quilt as fast as I can in Photoshop.  Are you listening The Great Gazoo?
Pink Lemonade

Another mock-job, this time in Happy Mochi Yum Yum and white.  I hope my block is given a try and the process is enjoyed as much as it is for me.
Pink Lemonade

I’m told Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks will be out on May 10th, so be sure to look for it. Visit the entire blog tour and see a heaping spoonful of blocky goodness.  Two copies will be given away on my blog - one from me and one from Quiltmaker. Leave a comment by this Saturday morning (PST) and I’ll have random.org pick two winners.

Edited in:
The give-away is now over and random.org has picked two winners!
1st winner: Comment #165 - Eileen
2nd winner: Comment #59 - kathy harris

Lost & Profound

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

One night at our guild meeting, Elizabeth generously shared some beautiful scraps from one of her projects.   I dove into the delicious pile of Echino and picked out a treasure trove of little lovelies.  Pet.  Fondle.  Pet.  The next day when when I went to re-pet my bounty of riches… I couldn’t find them.  PANIC.  I must have lost them at guild.  I even checked all the nooks and crannies in my car (well hello there, french fries).  Tears.  Tears.  Tears.  They weren’t just any scraps… they were Elizabeth’s scraps!

A few days later I was sewing with my girlfriends, and I mentioned if anyone had seen some rogue Echino scraps that I had somehow lost at guild.  Because I’m surround by the best friends ever, everyone volunteered to share some of their “E-scraps” with me.  I said no thank you, but man… I was so touched.
A few days after the sewing day, I get a package from my friend Jen.  Holy schmokes - Jen had sent me her treasured Echino booty, along with a sweet, sweet note.  I was soooo touched.  What was once lost is now found - ten fold.  When fabric is infused with the kindness and generosity of friends like Elizabeth and Jen… all the more beautiful fabric becomes.  Pieces of friendship. Joined.  Loved.  Cherished.
No pattern.  No plan.  Just pure enjoyment of the process of piecing the fabric.  Trimming the fabric.  Arranging the fabric by size and color. Plus I love the slicing sound my rotary cutter makes when it’s kissing the ruler as I trim.
I had to add some additional fabrics, and I do believe those scraps came from Mo, Violet and Irene - my little quilt just gets better and better!
I had a profound moment that no matter what my finished guilt looks like, no matter what fabric, colors or techniques I used… it’s all about what you love, who you love, what you love doing, what or who you’re making it for and what makes you happy.  And THAT is what makes a beautiful quilt. And when life gives you scraps… make scrapanade.

Seeing Red (and white)

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Never ever have I wanted to go so badly to an exhibit more than I’ve wanted to go to the “Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts” exhibit (the Quilts of Gee’s Bend at the de Young came a super, super, super close second). I heart red & white quilts. There’s something so magical about something in only one color on white, and making solid fabric dance to where it takes on the life of a printed fabric.  Thank goodness there’s been a lot of media and blogging about the show and I could travel to the exhibit via Internetlandia Airlines.   Here are a few great starting points if you haven’t heard about it:

- The American Folk Art Museum’s Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts exhibit
- NY Times article about Joanna S. Rose, her quilts and the exhibit
- Martha Stewart’s visit and video
- Kate Spain’s beautiful blog post
- Cherri House’s wonderful surprise (ask her about The Video!)
- Pat Sloan’s exhibit visit and a motherload of links of other exhibit goers

I don’t have 651 red and white quilts like Joanna Rose has… but I love mine just the same.  And mine aren’t in some amazing exhibit in NYC - but I am in talks with dear hubbs and negotiating some ceiling hanging quilt rods.

My beloved Roly Poly Circus quilt.  I loved making it, I love how it looks, and I love the story behind the woman (Ruby Short McKim) who designed the drawings.
Roly Poly Circus

My embroidery and hand quilting - this took me months to do, and I loved every second of every stitch.Roly Poly Circus

A blown up version I did of Wee Wonderful’s Elf Stitchette. I hung it up one Christmas - and I’ve yet to take it down.
Elf Stitchette

One year we got invited to be guests on a cruise up the Columbia River on the US Coast Guard Cutter Steadfest to Rose Festival in Portland. Not only did I commemorate the trip with making an embroidery… I stitched it while on board.  Take that search & rescue.  I didn’t make it in solids, but it’s still red & white.
Rose Festival 2003 in Redwork

My schoolhouse quilt. One of my favorite quilts. Another quilt I hung up one Christmas and never took down. At least I’ve taken my Christmas lights down.
My dining/living room

A peek inside my hutch - I love seeing people’s goodies, so here’s mine (love my zombie gum from Joan!). My other love besides red & white is salt & pepper. Black, gray, white… from one end of the value to the other.
My dining/living room - goodies in my hutch

Because I can’t make a post without going off topic… my horrid panel wall that we inherited from the original owner of our house. As soon as it warms up, it’s getting painted. I’m still trying to decide what gray. Who knew there would be so many to choose from!  And to make matters worse - these pins make it all harder to choose from!
My dining/living room - paint color auditions

Obsessions - The Walking Quilted

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Reason #883 why I love modern quilting - it’s the way many modern quilters are photographing their quilts in fun, new ways. Quilts being photographed out in the wild and hung by human hangers.  And I LOVE how they look like zombies… not a I’m coming for you to snack on your brains the walking dead, but a kinder, happier, beautiful I’m coming for you to make you warm and cozy The Walking Quilted.
Obsessions - The Walking Quilted
To all the quilters who give me my walking quilted jollies… I thank you!

A big, huge from all sides of my heart THANK YOU for the oh so kind comments left for me about my happy mochi yum yum strike-offs.  EACH and EVERY ONE of you made my heart swell with happiness (and comfort!).  I am at a loss for a word that goes beyond thankful, so I thank you all to infinity.  And beyond.


Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Taking a deep breath as I type this. I feel like I’ve been squeezed into a giant zip-lock bag sharing the space with nervousness, fear and anxiety for what I’m about to show.  It’s one thing to make something - and your mom loves it and then puts it on the fridge.  It’s something else to make something - and you hope others will like it, and bring it into their homes, and make beautiful things with it - for themselves and for others. Hitting the “publish” button on this post is going to feel like I’m ripping off a band-aid.  Two of my Lecien sisters, Bari and Lynette, have already posted their strike-offs for their Spring lines… ok, I’m jumping in too.

My next line will debut in May at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City - and should be available retail by June or July.  I’ll share more info about it as it gets closer to Market-time. Here is my latest round of strike-offs - little tastes of color, scale, saturation, etc before the fabric is milled.  It’s now pretty much good to go, just a few minor tweaks and off to the mill it goes.  My hope is it’s liked, and I hope it’ll be wanted in peoples hands, homes and snuggled around the ones they love.   
Band-aid……………………………………………. OFF!
happy mochi yum yum

Sipping the mug rug kool-aid

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

For THE longest time I’ve hated the word “mug rug” for those cute little quilts everyone is making. Not only would I never put a mug or food on a quilt… just the name alone sounds like something that would be on George Carlin’s word list. I’ve given this gem other names… but they’re far worse than it’s current name. And then something happened… the word was so bad, that I began to like it. Kind like the Real Housewives of [insert your favorite city here] - I H A T E D those shows at first… now they’re my favorites shows on tv.  And I’m now a fan of the Real Housespouses of Mugruglandia.

Tonight at Portland Modern Quilt Guild we’re doing a mug rug swap. I mean… we’re doing a MUG RUG SWAP (I’m sayin’ it loud, I’m saying it proud). I’m not sure if there’s a standard size for a mug rug, but mine measures at 9″ x 11″.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap

I used Amanda Jean’s easy and clever rectangle method from her zig zag tutorial, and married orange 30’s repo fabrics and new aqua fabrics (Sweet Broderie by Rosalie Quinlan).  My little quilt is what my opinion of what modern quilting is - making something old… new again.  Cherishing the past - celebrating the now.  Not to mention nifty new ways of doing things (thanks AJ!).
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap

I added my quilt’s birth certificate and now I’m all ready for guild tonight.  And I’ll have my eyes locked on Elizabeth when she puts her mug rug onto to the swap table.  Something tells me ALL EYES will be on Elizabeth and there’s going to be a mad dash to the table. There could possibly be injuries.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap
Note to self. Bring band-aids, crutches, slings and ice packs to guild tonight.

Cathedral Window practice

Monday, February 7th, 2011

I’m always encouraging people to try something new or something they’ve never done.  Just practice.  Make a small version of something to test-drive it out.  So I’m practicing what I’m preaching.  I’ve always been obsessed with Cathedral Window Quilts - the crazy how-the-f-did-they-do-that with fabric and stitches wonderment and awe, and the tactile feeling of it.  Touch.  Touch.  Touch.  I just want to touch every Cathedral Window quilt I see.
Cathedral Windows

So knowing I could not be entertained by the Super Bowl commercials alone… I knew I had to have a hand project to work on to sustain me during those 3+ long boring hours (and keeping me from snacking).  I found two tutorials I that looked right up my alley - one at Hyena In Petticoats  and the other from Christina at The Sometimes Crafter.  Both different, but both the same result. And both were easy for my brain to grasp!
Cathedral Windows

I used Sandy Klop’s Snippets and Kona Snow, and on the sides I folded a square of Snippets in half diagonally to fill those “windows”.   Each window of Snow I cut at 5″, and each Snippets piece I cut at 1⅜”.  One thing I learned was the importance of good pressing and folding when making the windows.  That is key… and my lack of good pressing and folding is evident in my practice quilt. But hey - I made a Cathedral Window quilt…
Cathedral Windows
even if it’s only 5″ square!

Edited in:
Wow, wow, WOW! Check out:
Heather’s part 1 & part 2
Kristen’s part 1 & part 2

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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