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Archive for 2011

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

Happy Marketlandia

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I could easily title this post, “Mo Bedell & Traci Butler - my Quilt Market Super Models”.  I didn’t take many photos - I was too busy living in the moment being ooh’d and ahh’d by friends, new friends, events and dazzling new fabrics & products!  I know so many others have market covered so beautifully - but here’s a little snapshot of Happy Marketlandia through my eyes.

Mo and I head to the airport to meet Traci, along with Parka and Bag (our companions who go with us everywhere, though their pal Wallet who sadly stayed behind with Gibby).  At the airport gift-shop, we’re clearly still in Portland.  When we got to SLC, Paige tweeted me that SLC doesn’t put birds on things.  Allrighty then,  just for you Utah:  Put A Tator-tot On It.
1 2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

After we checked into our hotel, we went strait to the convention center and were able to catch a few Schoolhouses. Here Kristin (left) and Traci (right) model Patty’s (center) new adult size patterns (Kyoko). Patty’s beautiful booth featuring her savory and delicious new line called Grand Bazaar.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Me at the Lecien booth OMG’ing over my name and fabric on the the fabric-sample-card-hanger-thingies.
3 2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Sarah Jane’s booth featuring her first line of fabric called Children at Play.  Just like her fabric, Sarah is as just sweet and wonderful as I expected her to be!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

At the Birch booth and spotting a new and exciting quilt pattern from Elizabeth - and I can’t wait to find out more about this quilt pattern!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

My friend Lori Holt and her beautiful first line of fabric called Sew Cherry. It’s yummy, sweet and happy - JUST LIKE LORI!
6 2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Just like in Houston, Amanda’s booth, newest fabric line and patterns knocked my sock off (dying over her little “fascinator” hats that double as pincushions).
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Traci at Micheal Miller placing an order for our dear friend Violet’s first line called Peacock Lane. Violet’s line is so beautiful, happy, fun and hip - JUST LIKE HER!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Feast your eyes on PamKittyWorld! For years, years, years I’ve been saying Pam needs her own line of fabric - and now she does collaborating with the amazing Holly Holderman of Lakehouse Drygoods with the new PamKittyMorning collection! Since I’ve known Pam (and it could be a very, very long time because we were neighbors as kids in a then tiny Bay Area east bay neighborhood - but didn’t know until we both started blogging), she’s had a way with fabric. Pam’s a fabric whisperer and can pull the most amazing combinations together that has a clear “PKM” look. Mix in 1930’s, florals, cool moderns, kitchenishy kitchies, dots, checks, a little bit ric, a little bit of rack, solids… stir… marinate… kiss it with love… top with a dash of witty humor and a touch of salt… and VOILA… there you have the new Pam Kitty Morning collection!  To say I’m thrilled and proud of her is an understatement.  And to say I’m kissing Holly’s butt and schmoozing her so I can get my hands on some PKM… is a complete truth. Note: Not a schmooze and true… I have a “Lakehouse” cupboard in my sewing room because I love Holly’s fabrics so much - and there just so happens to be a spot available for PKM to put in it. Ok, kind of a schmooze. But still true.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah
PamKittyMorning World

Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew - and JUST like her blog and patterns, she is so sweet and happy.   Allison’s both was like being in a 3D version of her blog, and I didn’t want to leave. In fact, I wanted to set up a sewing machine and start making one her fun and stunning quilt patterns that I love so much!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

I snap of shot of Traci and Katy being photographed by Mo. What’s so funny is how Mo takes the photo.  Later, Traci provides a reenactment of Mo taking their photo.  I heart my friends.
11 2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Ever notice how much talent and creativity emanates from Portland and Oregon??!!  Valori shows that besides being uber talented (and sweet)… she knows how to make a bird. And most of all… how to put a bird on it.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Mo clearly got a fashion memo from Timeless Treasures - look how cute she looks with the TT peeps! Mo with TT’s newest superstar, Rashida (longtime superstar to us)!  Also on the far left is Mary, another superstar (clearly my camera only takes photos of stars!) and the maker of the chocolate mustache lolly-pops that swept Marketlandia.  Rashida was debuting her first line called I Heart, and boy do I heart it!  In the last photo, Traci demonstrates how market-goers gobbled up Amanda’s darling CuteBot cross-stitch patterns at Rashida’s booth.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Jennifer Paganelli’s business card should read: Creator of beautiful things, teacher of beautiful things, funny girl, cheerleader, mentor, designer, author, fashionista, superstar, glam-girl, nicest person in the world, super X & O notemaker - and making making the world a better place person.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Traci, me, Jennifer and Jenean Morrison.  I first met Jenean in Houston and liked her oh so much.  I got to spend even more time with Jenean in SLC… and now I full on love her.  I think Jenean is a Portlander trapped inside a Memphisite’s (Memphisonian?) body, and her newest line is Silent Cinema, and is one of the fabrics I’m gushing over this season.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Joel Dewberry… adorable. That goes for his booth and fabrics, too.
15 2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

My favorite booth! I wanted to move into this booth! I loved the fabrics, patterns and look of Zen Chic. AND I got to speak German!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Izzy in the hizzy! Sometimes I just can’t help myself. The latest offerings from Izzy and Ivy are so freaking cute I came close to stealing their displays! Also so fun to see Jana and girls - I love, love, love them!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

A funny thing happened to Traci on her way out of Moda booth… she won $500!!!  Moda gave a ticket to every shop (that placed an order)  to spin the  Spin-A-Prize wheel for a prize.  We found out the day prior that someone had won an iPad… and today was Traci’s lucky day!  HOLY SCHMOKES! On the far right is super-awesome Holly of Urban Chicks. Love. Her.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Holly and Aneela manning the booth. Meeting Aneela was one of my big thrills this market. I love her fabric, her art, her hearty conversions/conversing with her, her cuteness, kindness, wit and smartness… I just love her to pieces. And seeing her newest line Little Apples… so cute I could squeeze it! Her and Holly together… my head almost exploded. And when Aneela and Kristin fulfilled my wish for the little Moda booth to be a “kisses” booth. My head finally exploded.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

I’ve been wanting to meet Pat Bravo, and lucky me that Traci is good friends with her and intorduced me.  Pat’s an A M A Z I N G pattern and fabric designer, and I love her Art Gallery Fabrics.  I think Pat is an awesome role model for women in business as well as running a family business.  Pat’s booth won an award… no surprise!  Traci let me tag along on her shop appointments, and supposedly I was helping Traci… but when we got to Pat’s booth I just kept saying, “order it” over and over and over and over.  I can’t wait to see Traci’s shop when all her orders come in!
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Mo Looking suspicious in Lizzy’s booth… Lizzy (and her beautiful 1001 Peeps) keeping a sharp on her.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Another highlight of Market was getting to have some party time, and the mother of all highlights forever in the history of man - was a night with Paula Prass and her daughter Jennifer Storey (aka #storytimewithPaula) .  Bari, Jona, Traci, Jenean and myself will never forget our night with Paula and Jen - and we’re forever bonded because of it.  And if that wasn’t enough… I’m deeply madly in love with Paula’s new line called Botanika.  If you ever get to meet Paula, ask for a story.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Sunrise over SLC from our hotel room across from the Salt Palace (convention center). The only reason I show this photo is to prove that I’ve gotten up at the same time as the sun. At least once.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Farewell beautiful Salt Lake City, with your sparkly blue skies, your city hugging snow-capped mountains, your kind and friendly people and your crazy cool orange flags for crossing the street. I’m coming back, with family in tow next time. Too much to see and do, and your small taste was delicious.
2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Flying home, Traci and I flip through our photos and we both landed on Robert Kaufman Kona booth at the same time. And when everyone got home… we all napped happily ever after.
25 2011 Spring Quilt Market - Salt Lake City, Utah

Happy Mochi Yum Yum / Super Zig

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

It seems like it’s been about 2 years of keeping mum, but I can finally open the flood-gates and talk about my baby… Happy Mochi Yum Yum.  And when I say open the flood-gates… that’s cautionary advise to stand back because I’m going hog wild with the photos, yimmering, yammering and more photos.  At the end of this post I have a give-away… but like your mom made you do when it was your birthday - you had to read the card before you could open the prezzie.
Happy Mochi Yum Yum
Happy Mochi Yum Yum (HMYY) was inspired by the little displays of mochi at the supermarkets when we lived in Hawaii.  I’d see the end-cap displays of the mochi and I thought they looked instead like delicious displays of sweet flower bouquets.
The mochi in Happy Mochi Yum Yum
And that’s how Mochi Yum Yum was born. I was discussing my line’s name with Pam, and she came up with the genius idea of putting “Happy” in the name. I instantly loved it and walked around my house for weeks reciting it.  I even came close to ansering my phone, “happy mochi yum yum”.  When my first set of strike-offs came, that very evening I was at Uwajimaya’s and spotted some new mochi in the coldbox. It’s like the Universe was giving me a hug…
The mochi in Happy Mochi Yum Yum
… and somehow knew.
Happy Mochi Yum Yum - Swatchamacallit
Once my yardage came, it was time to get crackin’ on the free pattern for the fabric. After I made my Little Zig, I knew I wanted to make it supersized.  A few years ago I spotted a 30’s quilt at the Pomeroy Quilt Show, and have been smitten with the rail fence method ever since.  It wasn’t until I saw Amanda Jean’s Zig Zag quilt that it all made sense to me.  A rail fence sans a rail.  GENIUS!
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap Pomeroy Quilt Show

So with Amanda Jean’s blessings, I set out to make my version using her 2-rail zigzag method and I wrote up instructions for Super Zig.

Super Zig with Happy Mochi Yum Yum
Hub’s doing The Walking Quilted for me. I will never tire of zombies & quilts. Ever.
Super Zig with Happy Mochi Yum Yum
Super Zig with Happy Mochi Yum Yum
Super Zig with Happy Mochi Yum Yum
Super ZigThe pdf pattern for Super Zig can be found on here.  If anyone should make Super Zig, I’d love for it to be shown-n-told in my HZ flickr group!

In the spirit of the vintage quilt from Pomeroy - maybe I’ll try a black version next.
Super Zig
And now my give away. I’m going to give away one Fat Quarter bundle, one yumyum roll and one charm pack. Leave a comment and I’ll have random.org pick a 1st, 2nd and 3rd winner.
Happy Mochi Yum Yum
There are 29 fabrics in each bundle, and 3 winners will have some fabric that’s not yet in stores (not until late Spring/early Summer). I’ll close the comments on Monday morning when I get back from Salt Lake City. And by morning I’m mean late afternoon.
Happy Mochi Yum Yum
Thank you everyone who left me comments and sent me emails with places see, visit and eat at in SLC! Clearly I’m going to need a second visit! The Salt Lake City welcome mat is definitely it out and I can’t wait to experience all that SLC kindness in person!

May 16, 2011 Edited in:
Winner, winner, mochi dinner!  Give-away has now ended.  Thank you all for the avalanche of excitement and the cavalcade of kindness bestowed me (you all have made me a weepy puddle of joy), and I wish I had a goodie for everyone!  Using random.org for comments 1-1035, the winners are:

1st - Fat Quarter bundle: comment #808 - Kelly Rachel
2nd - Happy Roll bundle: comment #755 - Kristen Hess
3rd - Charm pack bundle: comment #694 - Amy Dame

To market, to market

Friday, May 6th, 2011

I’m getting ready for Quilt Market - and I’m so excited about going. Not just because my second line of fabric is debuting (more on that in my next post)… and not just because I get to see all that is new and wonderful in the quilting and fabric world… or that I get to see a bunch of friends (and meet new ones)… I’m so exited because I’ve always always wanted to go to Salt Lake City.  And it’s not just because I’ve had a crush on Donny Osmond since I was 10 and have fantasized about running into him there.   I’m not LDS, but the temple has been on my I-want-to-visit-list since I was a kid, too.  Maybe because I thought it was a castle, and for sure my Prince Donny was in there waiting for me.
I love you too, Donny

Every Quilt Market Pam hosts an imaginary radio show on her blog.  Like a farm report - but without the farms.  And no reports - more like links.  People going to market and making blog posts about market can leave their permalinks to their posts - and people not going can easily find the posts that talks about market.
KPKM button I made for Pam
KPKM button I made for PamThere have been so many Quilt Markets I’ve attended in my jammies from home via Pam’s KPKM Quilt Market reports. I look so forward to the post whether I’m attending or not. BUT… I’m secretly hoping people will also write market posts who are from SLC and have tips and ideas of things to see and do in SLC:  Shops, restaurants, places Donny can be found, points of interest. Hopefully people will sport the KPKM button I made and lead me to Donny lead us to all the great stuff SLC has to offer!  And of course market reports, too.

Pam’s got a big huge secret she recently revealed. I told Pam when I finally got to blab, that I would shout my happiness and excitement from the rooftops.  I am now atop my roof!  I’ve been waiting for this day forever and am so thrilled and happy! Pam has a gift with fabrics and I’ve been calling her the fabric whisperer since the moment I met her, and have been wanting a line of PKM to have for myself.  And now Pam has partnered with Holly Holderman of Lakehouse Drygoods… it’s finally happening!  Oh happy day!!!!    I love 30’s repos, I love modern fabric, I love cute, I love bright… and now thanks to Pam and Holly… they’ve created a fabric love child for me!
So Sweet!
Image used with permission. SOURCE: Pam’s flickr

I think I just lost my voice from shouting, but I’m so happy to say out loud… CONGRATULATIONS PAM!!!

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

Can’t we all just quilt-a-long?

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Gotta get this off my chest before my bra rips apart at the seams (it’s already a tight squeeze in there). A real shit bomb has been dropped on our beautiful quilting/crafting/sewing community recently. All the negativity and meanness I’ve seen displayed recently has given me the vomits - especially when there are kind, decent and talented people being targeted in a rampage of thoughtless comments. Way too much “keeping it real” being slung.  Making a disparaging remark about someone’s artwork or fabric or pattern or book or style or where they buy their fabric or technique or whatever is not ok just because it’s followed by a “just keeping it real”.  Keeping it polite will make you sleep good at night.

I realize the rampage of mean and ugly comments/posts are the minority - and by speaking up… I hope to increase the love and decrease the hate.  I cringe at the thought of a new blogger or a new sew/quilter being intimidated by mean comments or posts - whether it be to blog, tweet, flickr or join a guild. The overwhelming majority of quilters, sewers and crafters are really, really, really nice people.  It’s so cliche, but the more the merrier.


A few of my own personal “rules of the road” when it comes to blogging (and commenting), and if it encourages just even one person to jump on board and enjoy the ride… I hope I do that.

1. I blog for me and I treat my blog as a journal and a failing memory back-up system. Getting comments and meeting people via comments I get, and most of all - the friendships born of it… that’s gravy.   I could care less about “following” and hit counting.  For me it’s all about the quality of my friendships, not the quantity.  I blog because I like to blog, not because I have to.  Period.

2. I always try to leave comments for others, and also try to read the comments left for others. When I first started blogging, it was easier to visit blogs because  there were only a few dozen crafty blogs at the time.  Now I have hundreds of favorites and it’s hard to keep up, but I try. I found one of my very best friends in the whole world because I read a comment she left on someone’s blog.
Where In The World is PamKittyMorning???

3. I LOVE show and tell! I think anyone who’s in a guild will agree… show and tell is the favorite part of the meeting! I love to see what people are making, what people are doing, where they went, who they saw. One of my all time favorite “field trip” reads was on Lisa Boyer’s blog when she took us to the post office.  Sharing is not bragging.  Bragging is not sharing.  Sharing is sharing.  Period.

3a. I love to see what people are working on - why I show what I’m working on.

3b. I love seeing peeks into people’s homes and where they live - why I show mine.
Measuring Astoria

3c. I love seeing places people go, especially if I can’t go there myself - why I show mine.
Vancouver 2010

3d. I love seeing what’s on the other side of the camera - why I show mine. (aka the good use of “keepin’ it real”)
My garage-o-hell

4. I am me. I want to be positive, inspiring, friendly and polite. Being positive, inspiring, friendly and polite does not make me a phoney. It’s the same way I treat people visiting in my home, or at the grocery store, or the DMV, or that nice kid at Staples who was so friendly and helpful. To that a-hole driver who cut me off on US 101… meh, you not so much.

5. On my blog and in my 3D life… I celebrate all quilting, all fabrics, all resources.  Not everything is my cup of coffee, but I’ll keep that to myself.  Just keepin’ it polite.

6. Tell people that I took notice… and fixed my reader feed to show in-full in Google Reader. Seriously, I had no idea it was so irritating - I guess I needed to check my own blog in my reader sooner!

7. Tell Google that it’d be nice if they’d updated all the blogspot blogs with an email field in the Name/URL option so non-blogspot people like myself can stop being called “no-reply bloggers”.   TIA, Google.

8. Continue apologizing for having an inbox that looks like an episode of Hoarders and sucking at emailing.

9.  Share some damn good reads:
- Katy’s my opinions are mine and mine alone
- Amanda’s Reality Check
- Sarah’s Easter, and a Little Rant
- Krista’s No take-backs

10. Tell people my son and daughter in-law flipped a U-ie and chased down that car in their neighborhood to take a pic of the IQUILT (New South Wales) plate for me.  Best Mom’s Day card ever!

Ok. I’m done. And my girls are happy now that there’s more room in the bra.

Edited in:
I think there might be some confusion with the way I wrote my post - but all this isn’t about me, it’s about what’s going in Internetlandia right now… flickr groups, blog posts, comments on blogs, comments on Amazon, Facebook posts and comments - it’s a whole bunch of stink in a whole bunch of places. I personally haven’t been hit (that I know of, that is!), but I take it personally that our beloved, creative and kind community has. I just can’t sit quiet while good people get crapped on, as well as all the negativity that might potentially discourage any new quilters and/or bloggers from jumping in. This isn’t about me. This is about all of us.

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

Love Pockets for Japan

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Love Pockets for Japan

In a time of need, in a time of happiness, in a time of tragedy - the first response by a quilter is to make a quilt. Loving and nurturing others through bits and pieces of beautiful cotton that have been pieced together with loving hands. Quilts allow us to wrap our arms around others and let them know we care. To warm someone who’s cold.  To reach across the world and be a loving neighbor.

As much as my heart was ready to jump in and make quilts and send them off to Japan, my head knew that what we need to send to Japan right now is money through relief organizations like the Red Cross and MercyCorps. There are a lot of great quilty and crafty fundraisers in Internetlandia right now (Susan and Alicia each have a great list here and here), but I couldn’t put my needles down. I wanted to help raise money as well as I had to make a quilt. I had to do something, and do it now - so Love Pockets for Japan was born. A little 8″ x 12″ quilt with a pocket for collecting money.
Love Pockets for Japan
So I’m thinking… what if we all make two - one for yourself/your family and one for you to sell/fundraise.  If you do make one to sell, please give 100% of your sales to go to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami recovery and relief efforts.  Sell on you blog, your etsy, to your family, neighbors and co-workers. Make four. Make eight. Sell, sell, sell… donate, donate, donate, donate, donate!

I’m treating my Love Pocket like a swear jar, and I should have it consistently filled and refilled. Every time I reach $10.00 - I’ll alternate donating here and here.

I have a PDF template here. To make the pocket I traced a 5″ circle for the stitch line.  I folded my template into quarters to find my center. Love Pockets for Japan

After I traced and stitched on the line, I trimmed my pocket to a ¼” from the seam, snipped my curved edges and cut a small slice in the pocket’s liner (at the bottom of the pocket) for turning.
Love Pockets for Japan

I pressed the pocket and embroidered with a blanket stitch (can be top-stitched, fielder’s choice) to the quilt top from stop and start markings on the PDF.
Love Pockets for Japan

So my hope is that a quilter will get their fix to make something and also to be able to sell something to generate funds for their donation(s). I hope this is a way to be able to encourage your kids to share their allowance, family members and co-workers to skip the latte and drop some cash into the Pocket of Love (that’s strategically pinned at the entrance of your cubicle/office) instead.My ironing center / Love Pockets for Japan
My Love Pocket is made entirely of fabrics from Japan. Another way to support the people of Japan is through purchases of goods that come from Japan. My favorite places to shop for Japanese fabrics is at
Sew, Mama, Sew! and SuperBuzzy - and both shops are currently supporting Japan earthquake and tsunami relief organizations.

Practicing what I preach, I’m going to sell the Love Pocket that I made, and I will donate that entire sale to the Red Cross. Starting at $10.00, who ever leaves me the highest offer for it (mention it in your comment if you’re interested) by 5pm PST on Friday, March 25, 2011 - that’s who I’ll sell it to.

Edited in:
Highest offering has now ended. Congratulations to Diane P! This is such a thrill for me to send her this Love Pocket! Thank you to everyone for your generous offers. I wish I could show what my inbox looks like and show off all the kindness and generosity of others who have privately pledged donations. Look to the left. Look to the right. There’s a really, really, really good chance you’re looking at someone generous, giving and kind. When awful things happen… the stronger that goodness shines!

O’Magically Delicious

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Why is it that every time March 17th rolls around, all I want to do is verbally accost strangers with a: “It’s manly, yes… but I like it too” and “Always after me Lucky Charms - they’re magically delicious!“?  I guess it’s my way of punching people who aren’t wearing green.

This year my good friend Pat Sloan has made it easier for me to expand my verbal répertoire with a copy of her Tour Ireland With Pat Sloan book from Leisure Arts.

It’s more than a quilt book - it’s a beautiful tour of Ireland.  Pat makes you feel like you’re actually there, and gives you a beautiful glimpse of Irish life and scenery (except that how dare she didn’t take you and left you stuck at home vacuuming and cleaning stale Cherrio’s out of cracks in your car’s seats). I’ve never been to Ireland - unless you count the one time when I was 12 and we stopped for refueling at Dublin’s airport… and Pat’s book is like going there without having to take a long flight!

Want a copy for yourself??  Hop on the Tour Ireland blog tour! Leisure Arts is generously going to give TWO lucky commenters each a copy of Tour Ireland With Pat Sloan from each one of the blogs on the tour:

Canton Village Quilt Works - Jackie Kunkel
Crazy Mom Quilts - Amanda Jean Nyberg
Happy Zombie - Monica Solorio-Snow
House of A La Mode - Heather Bostic
Leisure Arts - Cheryl Johnson
Let’s Sew! - Pat Sloan
Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts - Amy Lobsiger
Pam Kitty Morning - Pam Vieira-McGinnis

Please leave a comment by 11:59pm PST this Saturday, March 19th.  I’ll have random.org draw two names and announce the winners from my blog here on Sunday morning.  And by morning I mean around noon.

Edited in:
Apparently one is supposed to pinch - not punch. This is what happens when a post is drafted while watching Sons of Anarchy.

The winners!
Pat will announce all the winners from all the blogs - on to her blog early this week. Keep an eye on Pat’s blog!

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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