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"I Heart Oregon" Archive

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day

Friday, January 18th, 2013

This coming Thursday (Jan 24, 2013) is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day. Which means that every day is Visit Your LQS Day, but on Thursday we get to have cake (right?) (right!).  I am a huge supporter of LQS’s (as I am of independent online shops, too), and sometimes I get a little carried away when I step into my LQS.  But in my defense, the fabrics I’m in love with might be gone tomorrow.  When the FabShopNet asked me if I’d be interested in being on the VYLQSDAY blog tour I jumped at the chance.  Not only do I love to talk about my favorite LQS - I knew I had to go there so I can take some freshie pics.  Yes.  Fact finding.  Gathering up-to-date, current info.  Research.

Just a quick 35 minute drive south of my home in Astoria, and just off the scenic 101… lies my fabric nirvana (also known as Center Diamond) in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Because one pic is not enough
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Julie, the proprietress of Center Diamond, stocks her store just for me. And maybe a few other things for other people with other tastes.  It never fails that when I walk in I want pretty much everything I see. Center Diamond is almost two decades old, but is always fresh like it just opened last month. Much of that is due to Julie being so knowledgeable about the textile industry and what’s new, hot and fresh - and stocking her store with all that’s new, hot and fresh.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

It was in Center Diamond that I first discovered Echino, and Julie’s shop was the only one I knew of that had it. This was back in 2005 maybe? I remember discovering “Encino” (you can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the girl) and thinking, “what is this magical Japanese, Swedish-ish looking fabric and can I please buy it all?!”. Center Diamond is always way ahead of the fabric crushes and trends.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Everyone is always warmly greeted by friendly staff, and then greeted with a hearty stock and assortment of sewing awesomeness.  Center Diamond’s warm and cozy space is filled will all thing must-have, like:
Samples and patterns.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

More samples and more patterns.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Books, books, and more books. Lots of yummie publications from Japan, too!
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Notions (especially my favorite things like Aurifil thread and Creative Grids rulers)
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Aneela sighting!
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

And of course fabric. Glorious, glorious fabric.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Aisles of colors
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

A yard please. Yes, I already have some of this Echino at home. But it might be gone tomorrow. It’s for the greater good.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Until next time, Center Diamond. I love you. (blowing kisses)
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Taking the long way home. Because The Goonies is my favorite movie in the whole, wide world.
Center Diamond - Cannon Beach, Oregon

Be sure to check out the VYLQSDAY blog tour and see all the tours.

Sublime Floss!

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Never ever in the history of nevereverness has there been such a cool, new embroidery floss!  The super cool and brilliant genius (coolest girl in the whole damn school), Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching unveils her new Sublime Floss embroidery floss today. I was lucky (lucky is an understatement) to be able to take Sublime Floss out for a test spin before today’s big unveiling.
Sublime Floss!

After I parked from the test spin, I confess to wanting to make out with the floss.  That or eat it. Sublime Floss is like candy without the nasty repercussions. Sweet little 7-packs of crazy, sick yumminess.
Sublime Floss!

Organized in perfect little color group packs. I love picking out fabrics for a quilting or sewing project so much, that I think I actually get a buzz.  But with floss, I don’t have brain juju to put colors together.  In my hand a gathered bundle looks amazing and well put together - but once I’ve stitched with it and see it on my fabric… I wonder what the spork I was thinking. Blerg ferg, I suck at auditioning floss. With Sublime Floss I no longer have to think or audition floss, it’s all been done for me. GAH, love it so much. <Arnold Schwarzenegger> Stitchery super powers are now mine! </Arnold Schwarzenegger>
Sublime Floss!

It took everything I had to open the sweet little packages o joy and take out the floss, but thank goodness I did - there were even more sweet surprises inside! OHMYUNIVERSE, the color names are so fun and clever!
Sublime Floss!

And then I saw the little messages at the end of each skein - too cute, too clever, too funny and TOO COOL!!
Sublime Floss!

For my test spin I thought it would be fitting to sample a pattern I had recently bought at Sublime Stitching - a pattern by Carson Ellis on Sublime Stitching’s artist series. I had no idea how much I loved Carson’s work until Sublime Stitching unwittingly feed me nuggets of enlightenment… HEY, that’s the same Carson Ellis who’s illustrations grace the Wildwood books (with her writer husband Colin Meloy of The Decemberists!)  - THE reason I bought the books was because of the cover artwork (and because I got great feedback when I Instagram’d Colin & Carson’s books while I was at Costco, and because the books take place right here in Oregon). AND OH HEY, Carson Ellis is the same artist who’s benefit poster I’ve loved so much for so long.  I was initially drawn to the mention of my little town of Astoria and the Liberty Theater on the poster, and then fell in love with the artwork.   Talk about sublime serendipity!
Sublime Floss + Carson Ellis

Besides loving the colors of Sublime Floss, I love the tightness of the floss (all while retaining it’s soft, buttery feel). I’m a 2-strand stitcher, but often find I have to go to one strand for detailed embroidery work. With this floss I can still use two strands and not loose my detailed stitches in a fat, blubber of floss.  I stitch with long threads because I’m lazy, and this floss really holds up to prolonged stitching time without getting separated, thin, or fuzzy. I love you, floss.
Sublime Floss + Carson Ellis

I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with this любовь (Love) stitchery once I’m done, but I’m just happy to be stitching with my new floss boyfriend.


DGM: Damn Gingerbread Man

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I recently posted this story on my instagram for a #YoungatArt event ModCloth was doing.  Thought I’d share it here, too (and show my mom that I’m not always so bad when I “do the internet”).
#YoungatArt  - ModCloth
When I was in Brownies we all made felt ornaments at one of our after-school meetings. We had some hands-on embroidery instruction and could make anything we want. I chose to make a gingerbread man. Or what I thought was a gingerbread man. We had no patterns, and we all made things from our imagination. No patterns, no inspirations… just our creative minds. I was not happy at all with my results. I brought it home in tears, and my mom assured me she loved it.

Every year my mom put that fugly damn gingerbread man on our Christmas tree, and every year I quietly snuck that damn gingerbread man to the back of the Christmas tree out of sight, and every year my mom told me how much she loved it and that one day I would love it too. She assured me - year after year.

And now gizillion and twenty-something years later I love that damn gingerbread man! My life is now filled with sewing, stitching, fabric and quilting, and that damn gingerbread man is my link to the moment when someone gifted me with the challenge to create and to make. And most of all - that making things makes happiness not just for myself but for others too.

A few years ago my mom gave me that damn gingerbread man, and he now graces my design-wall with my creative and treasured joys. The damn gingerbread man is my daily reminder that nothing creative is ugly. Though some things take time before they show their beauty. I’ve also added a mouth on him (no wonder all these years he’s been so quiet). And one day I may even stitch up his bum so his bits don’t fall out. If there’s a contest for the longest time it took to complete a project - I’m throwing my hat into the race.
[Damn Gingerbread Man, circa late 60’s/early 70’s, Orinda, Calif.]

It finally feels like Summer…

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

… well, at least in the produce aisle.
Pacific Northwest summer - achieving through produce.
It has been a wet, dark, mucky and gloomy Winter Summer so far here in the Pacific Northwest.   The good side of that, is that little things like berries and the occasional sunny days are all the more magnificent. Reminding myself that our Summer is not ¾ empty, but it’s ¼ full.  And that ¾ is the perfect time to go quilt something.  Reminding myself.  Reminding myself.  Reminding my… SQUIRREL!!!

(squirrel = UPS truck with a fabric purchase)

The Anatomy of Lemonade

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I bought some great London fabric by The Henley Studio (from Makower UK/Andover) from both Pink Chalk Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop.  My big plan was to sew with it on the weekend of the Diamond Jubilee, as well as simultaneously with Fat Quarterly’s London retreat.  Transporting myself to London from my little spot at our Portland MQG All Day Sew.  I had it all planned out - I would make another Lunch bag from Ayumi’s pattern (I think this makes 9 bags, now).  I was so careful, too.  Making sure I had my directions running in all the right ways.

Easy, this is the 9th time I’ve made Ayumi’s pattern.
Focused and mindful.
No sweat.
Piece of cake.
I can make Bag9.0 with my eyes closed.
I can sew this bag in my sleep.
I don’t even need to use a machine… I can mind-sew it.
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

Of course… naturally… I am full of $#!+.  Oh yeah (Kool-aid Man voice).
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

Sigh. Not gonna toss it. I sewed the outer and inner units together and trimmed it with some top stitching. I guess I have a too-small iron cover.
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

Or a hat for Traci.  (Meg, Amber and Jen are the happy little sewing bees in the background)
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

With no purse to finish now, I’ll just watch Violet make her beautiful bee block for Sally.
Violet's bee block for Mo

After PMQG All Day Sew we go out for Mexican food (so very London-ish, eh)… I watch Traci and Violet drink something out of giant cereal bowl that tasted like Froot Loops with tequila to me.  One sip and I was glad I was sticking with a Coke.  This has nothing to do with my sewing fail - I’m just so amused by this drink that I’m making it a part of Bag9.0’s story.
Violet, Traci, and a bowl of tequila & Froot Loops

The following day I pick up where I left off, and redo Bag9.0’s main body. So cute is Ayumi’s pattern, and I love it in this London fabric (+ some of Darlene Zimmerman’s long ago Little Darling’s from my stash for the band and handles).
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

I’m so glad I Instagram’d/tweet’d/flickr’d my Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition fail - Sandie left me a comment on my flickr pic with a great tip: “Turn it inside out and then fold a couple inches to the outside.  It’ll still be upside down inside, but once you fill it, who’s gonna notice?“.   And that’s just what I did.
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

Lesson learned: When life gives you lemons… Instagram/tweet/flickr about it. Thank you for the lemonade, Sandie!
Bag9.0 Diamond Jubilee Edition

Gran Flakes

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Last February the Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a very special visitor - Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics.  It was a fun and so very interesting evening, but nothing could top the excitement when Kathy handed out color cards of Michael Miller’s dreamy new Cotton Couture solids to everyone.  It was definitely an Oprah handing-out-keys-to-new-cars moment.  A color card for you, and a color card for you

We also learned that Michale Miller Fabrics chose our guild to participate in a block challenge, and the winning blocks would be made into a quilt and displayed in the Michael Miller booth at Quilt Market (next week!).  Oh boy, I don’t think Kathy knew what she got herself into. I don’t know how she is going to pick winning blocks - when they are ALL winning blocks.  HOLY SQUIRREL NUTS, they’re all so amazing!  Edited in: the selected blocks and quilt.

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

I love how the blocks look against the white brick wall.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Each block could easily be a full size quilt version of itself.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

This is my block. I had no idea what to do or what direction to go in… so I went in all directions. I don’t know how I feel about it, kinda meh, but it was fun to drive to the fork in the road and take all the roads at once.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Michael Miller Cotton Couture Modern Block Challenge

I fell in instant love with the new Cotton Couture.  The colors are super saturated eye candy, and the fabric feels like little heavenly clouds of cotton that angels farted out. Poof.  So much for any hope of me becoming a Michael Miller copywriter. But seriously, Cotton Couture is so dreamy, and now that I’ve sewn with it - it feels like I’ve flown first class, and I can never go back to coach.

I harvested all my leftover scraps, tiny little flakes of cotton happiness just begging me (in a Kool-aid pitcher man voice) to be used.  In a granny kind of way.  Fiber filled Gran Flakes.  Oh yeah.
Gran Flakes

I’m seeing the grannies all over, and just loving seeing them. I know there are different methods being used, but I have a thing about bias edges - so I made my sides with 3″ quarter-squares and 2″ half-squares for the corners.  The center squares were cut at 1½”.  It’s a little over-kill on the sides and corners, but I like having room to square-up and trim.  Kinda like wearing an elastic waist-band skirt when going to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.
Gran Flakes

Simple sashing and auditioning floss. Mmmm, any excuse to use Cosmo.
Gran Flakes

Some hand quilting.
Gran Flakes

Two things I love doing - hand quilting and big stitch embroidery quilting.  Edited in:  I use two stands of Cosmo floss and a Piecemaker embroidery needle. Even though an embroidery needle feels like a quilting needle from Land of The Giants, I do use the same rocking method to quilt as if it’s thread. It just somehow works.
Gran Flakes

Gran Flakes

I love quilting so much, that I get a little sad when I’m just about to finish a quilt.
Gran Flakes

Bam. Snuck in some Happy Mochi Yum Yum, and I love that it does not even come close to matching or go together.
Gran Flakes

Self-Portraits: Potty Shots

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Last week when my friend Mo told our sewing circle about Nina Katchadourian and her Lavatory Self-Portraits blog post, WE KNEW WE HAD TO DO IT TOO.

In a nutshell, Nina’s ridiculously awesome post goes like this, “Seat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style: While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror using my cellphone.” That is THE BEST QUOTE EVER. EVER!

So while Mo was at work at an undisclosed location’s restroom, she sent me a text with her self-potty shot.  I busted a kidney laughing so hard.   Shortly after Mo’s world’s-most-awesome text, I was in Trader Joe’s and went to the restroom to try my hand at a potty shot.  I giggled, and giggled, and giggled, and this is my result:
Potty-protector fun
I don’t know how to pull off the Flemish look, so I just tried to look serious. And it’s damn HARD to look serious when you’re giggling and cracking your S up. But I think I pulled off a rockin’ bunny suit look and look like I just developed the zombie antidote for The Walking Dead cast.

Later that night at sewing circle, I say to Mo, “I need to go to the bathroom [wink, wink], wanna come with me?” - so off we go to the building’s restroom. Heather comes along too, no knowing what Mo and I are up to. Mo heads one stall for “wardrobe”, I to another. And before we know it… we’re freak Heather out into THE ultimate OMG moment!
Potty-protector fun
Mo and I look like we got caught escaping from somewhere that escaping is frowned upon. We had so much fun. Incredible, crazy fun. Like playing a grand prank, but no one gets hurts and nothing gets damaged. When we got back to circle, we showed our friends the potty pics, and gut splitting, side hurting laughing ensued. I won’t name names, but soon there were more potty pics zipping through the internet tunnels.

There’s something so fun about this and I HIGHLY recommend everyone who’s got a camera, a public restroom and a potty-protector sheet to take a potty pic! It will be a very long time before I ever walk into a public restroom and not crack up. It feels SO GOOD to do something some dumb, so childish, so weird, so embarrassing. In a weird way, it’s kind of empowering. I think anytime I’m scared to do something, and then do it - I feel very empowered. And with that said, last night at the grocery store I slipped into the restroom and had some fun. I was giggling like a school-girl all the way out the store. And in my car. And when I got home…
Potty-protector fun
I didn’t know what I was going to get until afterwards.  I’m going with Ninja on one, but unsure what the other one ended up being.  Sigh, I love this game!  I’m really hoping others will play along, too (I’m going to tag my pics with #pottypicfun on flickr, and hope it catches on!).  And I’m hoping my girlfriends will show their potty pics - they are just too good not to be seen!

100 Days of OhMyGoshing!

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Oh. My. Gosh. I love the Modern Quilt Guild’s out of this world 100 Days of Modern Quilting epic event!  I’ve never been so excited about a blog series as I have the 100DoMG.  It’s so good I almost want to print out each day and make a little book out of it.  My life has been full of life recently - but there’s been one constant… I check the MQG’s blog every day for the day’s posting of the 100DoMG.

And if that’s not enough - they asked ME if they could feature MY quilt on one of days during the 100 Days - Week of Blocks!  ME… Featured Quilt 6!  Did I mention ME?!  Did I mention MY “Make Me Happy” Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long quilt?
my Make Me Happy quilt

The money shot: I love how skinny my quilt makes me look.
Make Me Happy quilt

I’m also thrilled the MQG asked me - because I chop-chopped and got off the pot and quilted my quilt.  I still can’t get over that I’m machine quilting.  Not the best quilting, and I never thought I’d be able to do machine quilting.   Ever.
Make Me Happy quilt

And not that I’ll give up hand quilting - but it sure is liberating to do it by machine, and to know I did it, and to have it done in only a few days.  In a weird way, I’m kinda proud of my crappy quilting… it gives it that home made love look to me.  I feel like when I was a kid, and I’d help my mom stir something on the stove and I got to say “I helped make…”.   My machine quilting feels the same way, but now I actually get to say, “I made that!”.   Of course if my quilting was like a meal… I’d be offering Tums and extra napkins to go with it.
Make Me Happy quilt

Side note - my husband is always, always, always very supportive of my quilting, my friends time, blogging/tweeting/pinteresting, and he even stands in and plays quilt model for me. Though sometimes he just doesn’t get photographing quilts and my whole The Walking Quilted obsession and taking photos in places where photos SHOULD be taken. In this case, dear Hub’s was not thrilled about this farm shot. His words, “we can’t do that… it’s someone’s driveway!”. Poor guy, he’s learning.
Make Me Happy quilt

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Driving Miss Daisy

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

This post has nothing to do with Miss Daisy, or even driving - it just sounded like a good title. And I like saying it. I also like saying Jalalabad (Afghanistan) - but that’s really hard to work into a title. My other title option was Friends with Benefits - but that would give an impression of… hey, not so bad of an impression of me if anyone wants to think that. Truth is, I’m surrounded by kind, fun, amazing and talented friends. Seriously talented.  <name dropping alert>So when Elizabeth asked a bunch of us in our circle-o-friends (aka Sweet Hot Yams) to pattern-test a new pattern of hers (Perfect Zip Bags) - we jumped on it! </name dropping alert>

Elizabeth made us all little kits with fabrics, and zippers, and hardware - all with us in mind.  Elizabeth made my kit with mostly Echino because she knows I love it so.  <name dropping again>I even had some of Mo’s fabric from her Party Dress line (pink and green “pearls”) to add to it!  </name dropping again>
Perfect Zip Bags

I’m not a pattern reader, so this was a new challenge for me. Because I was a Tester - I now HAD to read the instructions.  I was committed. So a funny thing happened on the way to the bar… a priest, a rabbi and a cowboy… all told me to read and I shall learn new things.  And my imagination was right… I learned new things.  An S-load of new things!  Elizabeth’s pattern is so thoughtfully written and her ways of describing techniques are so clear and easy to understand.  I feel so empowered with all that I’ve learned.  And cute bags afterwards - that’s gravy. Now all I can think about doing is adding zippers to everything.
Perfect Zip Bags

Elizabeth has posted photos of all of our bags on her blog.  Not only that - Elizabeth is having a give-away of <more name dropping>Violet’s </more name dropping> Peacock Lane and my Happy Mochi Yum Yum!  Hip, hip, Jalalabad!

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Put a quilt on it…

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

When the Portland Modern Quilt Guild held our meeting slash picnic in Laurelhurst Park (that’s us, in the grove - behind the hula-hoopers), my friend Elizabeth asked me if I’d like to come along while she took photos of her quilt in the park.  Heck, yes!
Adventures in Laurelhurst Park

Fun watching Elizabeth try to keep the falling pine needles off her quilt. Trees vs Elizabeth - final score: 154 to 3.
Adventures in Laurelhurst Park

The fruits of Elizabeth labors can be found here.  And what Elizabeth indulged me in during her shoot and the rest of this story - can be found on my guest post on WhipUp.net today!
Adventures in Laurelhurst Park

(This post is best viewed with Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” playing in the background)

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

This blog's content, photos and original graphics/artwork are copyrighted. Please do not use, copy, reproduce or distribute. All projects are strictly for personal/non-commercial use only. © 2006-2014

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Visit my shop for the BADGE HOLDER
PDF sewing pattern!
Badge Holder - PDF sewing pattern

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PDF quilt top pattern!
Patio - PDF quilt pattern

Visit my shop for the Poochie Bag
PDF sewing pattern!
Poochie Bag - PDF sewing pattern

Visit my shop for the Sprinkle
PDF quilt top pattern!
SPRINKLE - PDF sewing pattern

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