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Archive for 2011

I’m having a caption-fart

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The other day when I was criss-crossing the aisles at my local Safeway, I kept seeing these cute old gals - and they never moved, not once. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is how I’ll be tweeting with my pals when we reach our golden years.

I was tempted to bring them each some coffee - but instead… I snuck a pic of them! I think this photo is worth a thousands captions… but I can’t think of a one.
Safeway hook-up.
Because right now we could all use a good laugh or two.

Just One Star

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Opportunities to serve my country comes in many ways, and last week I discovered that my friends Lissa Alexander, Polly Minick & Laurie Simpson and the good folks at Moda have started the Just One Star program.  An opertunity just perfect for quilters!  I’m a veteran and a quilter, so Just One Star touched me all the more deeply.  And because I love Polly, Laurie and Lissa so much… well that was gravy on top of gravy on top of a pot of gravy.  You can read all about Just One Star on Polly and Laurie’s blog here and here, and on Lissa’s blog here.

I am sooooooo crushing on Just One Star.  But like a potato chip, one is just impossible.
Just One Star
So I thought I’d make two… one in red and one in blue.
Just One Star
And it just snowballed from there.
Just One Star
I don’t even know how many I’m still working on at this point… but I’m loving every second of it.
Just One Star

I’m thinking of making the entire Minick and Simpson Flag of Valor quilt…

maybe two… and maybe one of them in a Happy Zombiesque red, white and aqua-blue twist (I figure I’m a veteran… I love red, white and aqua - surely I can’t be the only one), and then donating it to the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

For even MORE inspiration, visit Pam and Sherri - they’re Just One Star’n it too.  How ’bout you?!

Kiss me Kate - a William and Kate embroidery

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Somewhere between the Baby Boomers and the Gen X’rs is my group - the Diana Generation.  We cut our hair like Diana (a complete failure for my friz-fro hair), we bought “Sloan Ranger” jackets, we traded in our Levi cords/Ditto jeans, biker shades and Wallaby shoes for preppy pleated pants, wild sweaters and sophisticated loafers.  We coveted any magazine that highlighted our Diana, watched every TV show and news report that featured Diana.   We stayed up into the wee hours of the night to watch her wedding, and recorded the event on VHS tapes - the cherished VHS tape… even though we not longer have VCR’s.   We even had our children around the same time Diana had hers. Diana, our Queen Bee.

As the People’s Princess, Diana was not bound by the United Kingdom’s boarders… Diana was everyone’s princess.  Diana didn’t just bestow us with her style and fashion - she taught us about humanitarianism, benevolence and charity - to take action, to think globally and to be good and active citizens of the world.  She taught us by example and her goodness will live forever. We morn her death so deeply - as if Diana was a close, personal friend.  And as mothers, in our hearts we feel like we became guardians of her children.  And now it’s as if one of our children is getting married.  What a fine young man Prince William is, and what a fine young woman Kate is.   That William is marrying the love of his life… that is just gravy.  William and Kate - our little love birds.

I LOVE royal kitsch. Love it. Put something royal or British on a plate or a dishtowel, add some swirly-ques and exaggerated cursive script… and I’m in. I thought I’d try my hand at making my own William and Kate wedding memorabilia, (because it’s much more fun than a saved VHS tape). I thought I’d share my embroidery with the rest us who didn’t get an invite to the weeding.  We’ll be going to Westminster Abbey via our TV’s and our stitcheries.
Kiss me Kate - a William and Kate embroidery
I don’t know if anyone will even care to make it, but I feel like sharing it. I ironed freezer paper to the back to make it easier to trace with a Micron pen and coloring in the shapes (with everyday Crayola crayons) while atop something tactile to give the tinting some texture.
Kiss me Kate - a William and Kate embroidery
Before stitching (2 strands of floss for entire project, 1 strand for the lettering in the talk bubbles) - I heat-set the coloring with an iron on high and using some cotton muslin to absorb some of the wax (and protect my iron).  I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with my stitchery, but I decided Camille and Bonnie’s Bliss would be the perfect fabric on so many levels to do it in. Though I still don’t know what “it” exactly is yet.
Kiss me Kate - a William and Kate embroidery
If you’d like to make the embroidery, you can download the Kiss me Kate PDF here.  Be sure to set your printer to print at “scale to fit” to print the entire image.
Kiss me Kate - a William and Kate embroidery
If you make the the Kiss me Kate embroidery and/or make something with it, please post your pics to the HZHQ flickr pool.   “Please” as in please-don’t-make-me-beg-you-please post your pics.

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.

Block-a-Palooza - Block 6: You Are Here

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Welcome to Day 6 of the Bloggers Block-a-Palooza!  This is such a treat for me to be involved in the Block-a-Palooza, and I’ve been having so much fun checking the Block-a-Palooza Flickr pool each day - I love seeing what everyone’s been making - the fabrics, versions and variations.  If you’re not in the pool… dive in!

I made a PDF to download - and am also posting it here in chopped up chunks so you can have two viewing options. I have a preference to quilting instructions - light on the words, heavy on the illustrations… less talky more showy - so that’s what I did.

Thank you to everyone who pointed out I had A piece marked as a D (that was a huge copy/paste/ooops of mine). It’s all fixed and I hope it didn’t cause anyone any inconvenience.  I sooo appreciated all those eagle eyes - thank you!

Block-a-Palooza: You Are Here

Block-a-Palooza: You Are Here

Block-a-Palooza: You Are Here

Block-a-Palooza: You Are HereDownload the easier-to-read You Are Here PDF pattern here.  Your eyesight will thank you.  Your printer not so much.

Join and/or view the flickr pool here.  Loads of fun and inspiration in the pool… and not one single Baby Ruth.

Missed the beginning of the Block-a-Palooza?  You can travel back in time to Day 1 / Block 1 by starting here.

Fabric used are from Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda.

inspired ideas - it’s so freaking cute you’ll squeeze your internet!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Once upon a time there was this girl. This girl loved to play with fabric, floss and felt. La la dee, la la daaa… just stitching way while playing with her friends in Internetlandia. Then one day, a prince showed up on a white horse and sporting a trumpet and some parchment. Tooot too taa toooo… his trumpet blared, and he then announced - “Here ye, here ye, The Queen of All Things Cute and Inspiring requests your presence at her table…”

So it really went more like this:
Amy Powers: Would you like to be in the next issue of inspired ideas?
Me: Thump (me falling out of my chair).  Splat (me falling into my puddle of pee).

Fast forward and a freshly mopped floor - here’s the project I made for the issue: A little purse that’s actually a needlebook/sewing kit. The inside opens up to reveal little places to store your little scissors, floss, thread, emergency chocolate, punch-cards… perfect to grab for some sewing on the go.
Purse needlebook / sewing kit
To celebrate the release of issue, I’m throwing myself an OMG-I-can’t-believe-I’m-in-inspired ideas party and I’m going to give-away one of these needlebooks.  Winner can pick either the Flower Sugar or the Flea Market Fancy one.  Leave me a comment (with your choice if you’d like) by midnight (PST) Feb 14th and I’ll draw a winner.
Pocketbook needlebook

Here’s all the OMG about the issue:
- More than 170 pages of over 20 projects!
- Beautiful, beautiful inspiring pages!
- Amazing artists!
- Fabulous content!
- A sneak peek here and here!
- No ads!
- It’s so freaking cute you’ll squeeze your internet!
There’s a small charge of $3.30 for this issue and you can get a copy here.

O M G… I still can’t believe I’m in inspired ideas!  And O-M-freaking-G… the who’s who of artists I’m sharing pages with.  Me… with all those SUPER-DUPER-SUPERSTARS.  Gonna need that mop again.

Edited in:
The give-away is now over and I have a winner. TWO WINNERS, actually! Winner, winner - Colin the chicken dinner!!! I decided to give both purses away - twice as much fun for me! Plus I love surprises and I get to feel like Oprah for a split nano second.
1st winner: Comment #210 - Grace from Katmom4 (she picked Flea Market Fancy)
2nd winner: Comment #49 - Megan from Monkey Beans (she picked Flower Sugar)

A bari wonderful give-away!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I’m so honored to be caboose’n the last day of Bari’s Inspired to Sew Book Blog Tour! I’m just honored to be a part of it, period!  Bari is giving a copy of her beautiful book to one lucky person on my blog - and all you have to do is leave me a comment.  If you’d like to mention what INSPIRES you TO SEW in your comment… please do!

I’m inspired to sew when I see something, and think how much more I’d love it if I made it myself.  I also feel empowered if I make something myself.  I think people who cook feel the same way - there’s a very nurturing quality about making stuff, especially if it’s for someone else. Reason #126 why I love Bari’s new book… it’s not just drop dead gorgeous… but all the projects in her book are something I want to make - to make for others.  Like Bari’s tea-cozy… it’s something I might be able to buy ready-made - but not even close to as pretty as Bari’s projects.  Plus after I make them they’re infused with love - that’s something that can’t be bought.

I love this tea set… cozy, pad and teabag.  It just screams to me to make it - and then have friends over for tea.   Not just sewing projects… but little projects that make doing something all the more fun, and with friends.  The little tea projects are sew-cial treats!

There’s lots, lots, lots more inside the beautiful pages of Inspired to Sew - and a copy could be yours!  Leave me a comment by midnight PST Thursday, February 10, 2011 and one lucky name will be drawn.  If you haven’t already, be sure to travel back in time to stop by and visit the other blogs on the tour.  WOW… look at this list-o-greatness I’m with!

January 31: Mary Abreu - Confessions of a Craft Addict

February 1: Jennifer Paganelli - Sis Boom

February 2: Jona Giammalava - Stop Staring and Start Sewing

February 3: Rashida Coleman Hale - i heart linen

February 4: Sarah Fielke - the last piece

February 5: Jenny Doh - CRESCENDOh

February 6: Cara Wilson - Cara Quilts

February 7: Deborah Moebes - Whipstitch

February 8: Monica Solorio-Snow - Happy Zombie

Give-away has now ended. And the winner is…

… (these are drum-rolls, BTW)

… gotta go to Bari’s blog and find out here!!

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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