Friday, January 29, 2010

And we have a(nother) winner

Well, Baskets of Quilts, you were the one who left this comment: "Please please please pick me! I've been drooling over this pattern!"

Guess what? Random Number Generator listened to your plea(se) and picked you!!

I'm leaving you this weekend with a little organizational color to brighten up gray skies. It comes with all these one-in-every-color recycled cards and it's so cheery, even if you don't put a single business card in it.

However you spend your time this weekend, relaxing, organizing, sewing, have a great time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And speaking of Amy another giveaway

First of all, the winners of Amy's Temple Flowers 1/2-yard cuts are:

That Girl, who said: Oh how pretty! I would incorporate this fabric into the pieced backing for my daughter's new bed quilt!

and I Love Baby Quilts, who said: Is it too late? I'd love to win! Love AB.

If you each send me your address, I'll get that fabric on its way.

So, speaking of Amy Butler, in the midst of organizing patterns, I realized that I loved this pattern.

Yes, I loved it so much that I bought it twice. I know. Seriously. Patterns are expensive! So. You know the drill. Leave a comment by Friday noon Pacific time. What else will I find in all this organization? Only time will tell...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Amy Butler giveaway

Although I love gray and rainy weather, it has been raining pretty much for a whole week and today even I am feeling a bit "under the weather." So I have been taking some time to de-stash (more on that later) and reorganize my fabric. Actually it just needs to get off the floor in my sewing room and office and into a space of its own.

In the midst of all this reorganization, guess what I found? Some Amy Butler fabric from a couple of her early lines, now out of print: Temple Flowers and Gypsy Caravan. This fabulous fabric is in all different sizes. I got it so long ago that it is entirely possible it was part of a kit that I decided against making. Who knows? Anyway, I got this pattern last week from Craft Hope, designed by Kate Conklin. Just perfect for showcasing these gems of Amy Butler greatness, don't you think?

I have some Kona cotton in "ash" on its way, a very light gray, and I'm thinking that might be the perfect background for these cheery florals.

What about you? Do you need some flowers to give you a little feeling of spring? I found a little over a yard of this piece of Temple Flowers, so guess what? I'm giving it away! A half-yard cut each to two people.

Leave a comment for one chance to win a half yard and tell me what ideas you have. If you want to increase your chances, become a follower, or let me know that you already follow this blog. I'll pick a winner on Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, I'm off to see what other forgotten fabric treasures may be buried around here...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another chance to help

In fall I was part of an online scrappy Christmas quilt block exchange. I made thirteen quilt blocks, twelve to exchange and the extra one as a donation to a charity quilt. At that time, no one knew where the donation blocks would be going. And then the earthquake happened in Haiti. You can find out more about the auction here. The proceeds from this auction will go to either Partners in Health or Doctors Without Borders.
Here are the items up for auction starting today.

(My block is on the bottom row, second one in from the left.)

I haven't yet put my quilt blocks together. Many thanks to the quilters who pieced the charity blocks together and did the quilting for these amazing quilts and tree skirts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Craft Hope

There have already been a lot of posts on this amazing etsy shop that is raising money for Haitian Relief, with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. The initial goal was to raise $5,000, but then things just took off and at last count over $10,000 has been raised.

I had planned to donate an item, but I was too slow (another hard lesson on the price of procrasination). There has been such a tremendous response and the shop is closed to donations of items for sale at this point. compensate, I tried to do my part by doing a little shopping.

Three quilt patterns by a great designer, Kate Conklin.

A PDF for this super calendar, especially great if you hang out at the public library (with places to write in the name of the books you checked out and the due dates--you can also get a version without the "date due").

And this T-shirt because it was too cutely irresistible.
Craft Hope is being run by a mom with three kids under the age of 5 and another mom who is seven months pregnant and homeschooling two kids. This undertaking was such an act of generosity on their part. The shop will remain open until everything has sold. Etsy shop owners have been extremely generous and there are LOTS of great items still remaining. This is a tremendous opportunity to multi-task--buy handmade and receive something great, and above all, help those who are in such need of help.

Note: All purchases are made directly from the Craft Hope etsy shop. The individual links are to give more info on the generous artists and crafters who donated items to the Craft Hope shop.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

They can read my mind

I went to Target this morning, to buy a bag of coffee (Seattle's Best Cinnabon--yum) for fortification as I dig in to organize my office and sewing room.

Target has the completely uncanny ability to anticipate items I need to purchase but just haven't realized it yet. The people who stock the shelves at Target kindly put them on the shelving end-caps so I will walk by them and then realize, hey, that is exactly what I need!

Case in point: How did Target know that I needed some cool-looking file boxes? And how did they know that this shade of green would be perfect?
Do they have spies that saw the stack of tutorials and patterns I have been printing out incessantly in the last couple of weeks?
And a few aisles further, they set out these oh-so-cute plastic plates and cups that Charlotte and Levi will enjoy. A pink glittery heart plate? Really? Even I would like eating my sandwich off that one.
I know. It's spooky....because all I thought I needed was coffee...

Friday, January 15, 2010


Before Thanksgiving, Mark installed some beautiful cabinets (in the garage!). He had a specific purpose in mind. Of course I tried to make him see the merits of another possibility. Here is how it went down.

The Bachelor:

*Sturdy and reliable
*Spacious and roomy
*Open to sharing the spotlight
*A little dull but definitely willing to hang out with someone much more colorful

Looking for:
*Some color and excitement

Bachelorette No. 1
*Colorful and lots of fun
*A bit disorganized

*Tired of living in piles on the floor

*Needs plenty of room as she likes to live life "large" and spread out

Looking for:
*Someone willing to showcase all the beautiful possibilities
*A temporary home

Bachelorette No. 2
*Good lines, sexy, edgy, flashy
*Quite organized and likes to stay within the boundaries

*Tired of living in plastic bins

Looking for:
*The spotlight
*A temporary home

Of course I think The Bachelor and Bachelorette No. 1 are the PERFECT pair. But instead he went for the sleek and flashy Bachelorette No. 2.

Any ideas where I can find another eligible bachelor who wouldn't mind living in a sewing room?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

3460, Part 2

I know this is going to sound a lot like an acceptance speech for the Academy Awards or something. And trust me: I do realize that neither 3460 nor I are up for any kind of award. However, I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention some things I'm thankful for after spending so many hours with 3460.

First of all, I want to thank God. And I don't say that to sound facetious or joking. I thank Him on a daily basis. For many things. And I surely thank Him for giving me the desire to make things with my hands. Quilting is my therapy in the midst of a busy life.

(And speaking of thanking God and acceptance speeches, a couple of years ago Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith made this suggestion to musicians who won an award and made an acceptance speech: if you don't think you can sing your song in church without feeling uncomfortable, because of language, etc., then don't thank God when you get up there to accept your award. Bravo to them for saying that.)

I would like to thank my "writers," i.e., Pam Bono Designs, for coming up with this amazing quilt pattern. Although I have taken to calling it 3460, it actually has a much better name, "A New Beginning." I can't even imagine all the work that went into designing this pattern, so I won't even try.

(This is the version with a black background. The main blocks are the same, but the center panel and outside border is much different. I like it a lot. Maybe someday I'll tackle making 3460 again, in this version. On second thought, do you see all the flowers in the border? They look like they have a lot of pieces, like a lot more than the ribbon border in 3460. So maybe not...)

I would like to thank Mark for his constant support and encouragement. He has followed me through many different creative phases, without once ever complaining about the time or money ivolved. (And now he even does most of the cooking too, which gives me more time and energy to keep sewing.)

Finally, I would like to thank 3M for inventing Post-It notes. When you have pages of cutting notes and parts of blocks that are identified by capital letters, numbers and small letters (i.e., "Cut thirteen 1 1/4" squares--A4a, A6a, A7a, B4a, B6a, B7a, C5a, C8a, C10a, D10a, D5a, D8a"), well, you get the picture, right?

Without Post-It notes, this quilt could not have been made. Seriously.

Monday, January 11, 2010


3460. My home address? Nope. My PIN number to some bank account? Nope.

3460. The number of pieces in the quilt top I just finished today, which was then shipped off to Mark's cousin, Ione, which she will beautifully machine quilt and we will then donate for auction in April.
I took this picture before I added the "woven ribbon" border, at which point I could no longer take a picture of the quilt top because it was 110" square. And who has unobstructed floor space that big?
Finally completed.
The bow at the bottom. The blue ribbon goes around all four sides.
Other than the panel in the center (above) which has the two bluebirds (560 pieces), this was the block with the most pieces (271).

And this is my favorite block (217 pieces), just in case you were wondering.

3460. Because I thought piecing could give me the look of applique. You know...without all the work.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And in breaking news...

Remember my first post of the year when I said I wanted to expand my creative horizons? think outside the box?

I got an email from Cynthia last week (fabricworm/birch). The sample bolts of her fabulous line of fabric will soon be available, and she asked me to design a quilt using her fabric (and yes, that thud you just heard might have been me falling to the floor from excitement). So we have tossed around a couple of ideas, and even found out we had exactly the same thoughts when it came to a certain design detail.

I'm super excited, completely honored to be asked....and a tiny bit terrified. And I didn't think the desire to expand my creative horizons would come true so quickly! So thanks, Cynthia, for giving me a little push over the edge. I'm ready to do a little flying.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One in every color

Spotted at my hairdresser's:

Arrived in the mail yesterday, because I have a zillion cords under my office desk (not colorful at all, scary looking) that need to be identified (you know, when you call Comcast because you are having trouble with your internet and they say "disconnect the modem." Uh, this jumble of cords. Can I put you on hold, please?)

No explanation needed, right? And even the back of the label is nice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sign me up

I signed up for two things yesterday: The Slow Readers' Book Club thanks to Christina at Down and Out Chic, and A Year of Schnibbles thanks to Sinta at Pink Pincushion. You may be thinking that I have in the past complained about mentioned the lack of time to do all the things I want to do. So why am I adding two new things in this brand new year?

They will actually dovetail together quite nicely. For years, I listened to Books on Tape, books on cassette tape, that is. And then that company went kaput and I signed up for an account at where I could download unabridged books to my iPod, 12 book credits a year. In 2009, I actually chose 11 books and added them to my library, and then, in a whole year I listened to one book. One. It seems I had a self-imposed "year of silence." Don't ask me why. I never could quite figure it out myself. So along comes Christina, and I thought to myself that this is just what I need to get me listening to books again. I checked, and sure enough the chosen book (Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls) was available on audible, I had one credit left, so I added it to my library, fired up my iPod and will start listening to it this afternoon...while I sew.

Which brings me to the second thing I signed up for. One of my favorite quilt designers is Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. Among other great things, she designs smallish quilts called schnibbles, usually about 30" x 30" or so. The members of "A Year of Schnibbles" make a different quilt each month. Small quilt. I think I can handle it. I'm a little late to the party, as the "year" started in September, but I think they will let me party along anyway. And the pattern for January is Madeline. And can you believe it? I already have everything I need, pattern, fabric, and whole nine yards (or rather lots of 5" squares and less than two yards for the border, backing and binding), thanks to a birthday gift certificate from my parents.

So (sew), two new endeavors to start the year off in an inspirational and creative way, and no money out of my pocket, at least not for the month of January!

Monday, January 4, 2010

You're very welcome...and you just made my day

I have been begging for collecting selvages for a while now. And blogging friends have been very generous. To show my appreciation for their kindness, I made them each a pincushion out of some selvages and mailed them off before Christmas.
What I didn't expect was for a couple of them to write a post about it (here and here). Terri and Allisa each have great etsy shops, too, so take a minute and check them out. The bonus of 2009--new friends and constant inspiration--and more to come in 2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Come to the edge

I've been a "color inside the lines" kind of person most of my life. This was one of the first things I read as the new year began:

"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We're afraid."
"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We will fall."
"Come to the edge."
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.
--Guillaume Apollinaire

In 2010, I want to explore--and expand--the boundaries of personal creativity, going to the edge and jumping off myself, or if need be, being pushed by someone else...

...with a few "edge notes" to help me along the way: