Hope Valley

I’m sure you mod quilters  and crafters are all over this already, but it’s been a while since I’ve just wandered the internet in search of crafty goodness. Did you know Denyse Schmidt had a new line of fabric coming out? Put me on the waiting list, Free Spirit! This will be worth a trip to the Purl warehouse. Here’s what Denyse has to say about it. I think I’ll need to see it in person…the style is kind of 40s reproduction with a really unique palette. I’m loving the Piney Woods color family – here’s one swatch:

Houston

I haven’t paid much attention to all the talk of the famed Houston trade-show, the International Quilt Market, I’m just patiently waiting for all the great new fabrics and patterns to be available for purchase from my favorite shops. One such shop though, Fat Quarters (awesome selection, reasonable prices, lightening fast shipping), had a ton of great pictures on their Jolly Jabber blog, and I can’t help but wish I was there.

I’m particularly intrigued by Sandy Henderson and Jay McCarroll. Sandy Henderson has some gorgeous fabrics and some fun tutorials on her blog – including one for shirring! Hooray. The picture of her booth on the Jolly Jabber really grabbed my eye – I LOVE those big fabric flowers around the top of the booth.

You may remember Jay McCarroll from Project Runway…well, in the picture on Jolly Jabber, he’s surrounded by really cool applique quilts. Are they his? He’s also wearing a cool 1970’s string-pieced vest. Is he a quilter? Nothing about quilting or quilts on his site, but you never know…I’m going to research it a little more. Looks like there is a line of fabric on the way…from none other than Free Spirit, my fav. These swatches are from the two lines – one line is called Woodland Wonderland, the other is Garden Friends. I love those trippy little deer and bugs.

Anyway, lots of eye-candy out there. I better start saving my pennies :)

some things I want to make

Awesome tutorials from around the web:

Patchwork drawstring bag:
http://ayumills.blogspot.com/2008/09/tutorial-reversible-patchwork-bag.html

Fabric Gift Card envelope
http://www.craftpudding.com/2007/07/fabric-card-holder-tutorial.html

And I haven’t even begun to go through this treasure trove of tutorials listed on Meika’s Little Treasures! Bounty!

Thanksgiving is a little early – I’m very grateful to all these awesome crafters making the holidays more handmade and more full of love!

Owl’s Party!

So there I was, all proud of my own mini quilt, and then I get this in the mail. How lucky am I? I get the super cute chickens in August, and then get this precious Owl having a party for September. I love my mini quilt swap group on Flickr!
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She also sent me some fun owly halloween socks!
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A special thank you to JMBMommy…the fabulous creator of my quilty. I LOVE it!

my mini quilt swap group

I’m in a swap group on flickr for mini quilts. August was the first month I participated, and I made a pretty traditional pattern. By flickr standards, it was a dud. Only one or two comments. This month, with the theme of mushrooms and/or owls, I endeavored to have a much more successful flickr showing. So I decided to try my hand at an art quilt. I drew a little sketch, enlarged it on my scanner, and then cut out templates for raw edge applique. I have a ton of awesome fabrics that I don’t have a plan for, and I decided to cut into my gorgeous collection of Heather Bailey’s Bijoux and Pop Garden…it was actually kind of hard to cut into those pieces. Especially for little things like the snail’s head or the mushroom’s underbelly…it felt very wasteful. But I’m glad I did it! So here’s the result:
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Here’s my sketch and and the back of my quilty – which are both pretty boring:
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Next post – the awesome quilty I received!

Recent projects

Here’s a sneak peak of my free-motion quilting practice quilt. It’s going well so far, I’m getting more and more confident.
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I got my first mini quilt from my swap group on Flickr. It was also my first mail from Canada! Very exciting :) Look how cute. The challenge was for the project to be all hand-made – no machine stitching. I LOVE my new mini quilt! Jill posted a really nice story about it on her blog, which made me love it even more.

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That’s it for the craft update :)

gems on the web

Heather Ross Mendocino from Free Spirit
Heather Ross Mendocino from Free Spirit

Exciting things are happening in my craft world. First of all, I just ordered the whole Mendocino line from PurlSoho.com…I CAN’T WAIT for it to arrive. You both (as in, my 2 faithful readers) know that I don’t need any more fabric, but who cares?! Life is short, and Heather Ross fabric disappears and never returns. I’m still searching for a yard or two of that sweet gnome fabric!

So not only is her new Free Spirit fabric available for purchase, but she has a new blog! So here’s a link: http://heatherross.squarespace.com/

I think she is an amazing artist. Her fabrics include her sweet illustrations, they are witty and fun and super creative. Not to detract from other designers, but her lines seem so much more thoughtful than a lot of what’s available. Anyway, I’ve also added her to my blogroll, so you can always find her from there – under Heather Ross.

Also on the way is new fabric from Heather Bailey – purchased directly from her new web shop. Awesome. I took her up on the early bird offer and got some free trash ties. We’ll see how well I do with those :)

You know what? While I was shopping around at Purl, I found Denyse Schmidt’s upholstry weight line, County Fair. Did you know about that? I almost bought it all up, but then I remembered that I have a whole bin of upholstry weight stuff that I haven’t used and have no real plan for, so I held back. Good for me! I’m proud of me. I also saw Amy Butler’s new upholstry weight line, August Fields. Beautiful. But again, let’s be realistic. How many huge-repeating-image fabrics can you use?

Also, I had already spent $200.

What?!! Good thing my husband doesn’t read this :)

I also found these fun sites:

http://www.trueup.net/

http://alabamastudiostyle.blogspot.com/

http://blog.lenacorwin.com/

http://www.melaniefalickbooks.com/

Insipration abounds! Get crafting!

current projects

I made all these fun iron-ons of superheroes – admittedly, I stole all the images off of the internet – and put them on t-shirts for my kid. Just like his super cool Thomas cape, he cries his face off if I try to put the shirts on him. Here’s an example. I put this shirt on him, he wears it all the time. Then, he looked down and saw Aquaman.

But I’m working on some new stuff. I’ve been making these cool little bags…I may even get around to putting some in the Etsy shop I opened 20 years ago. I also finished a little table topper convergence quilt (from a Ricky Timms book) and I’m over halfway done with the hand quilting on my snake charmer quilt.
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time wasters

As if I didn’t waste enough time on Flickr, iTunes and regular old Google. Now I’ve found this little game on Facebook called Word Challenge. I’m totally addicted. I’ve been playing for about two hours now, and I can’t beat Mike Holland’s score! It’s making me crazy. It’s more fun than riding a bike or swing sets.

Speaking of Flickr – I’ve got a mini-quilt swap to make. Our requirements this month are all hand-made…I’m thinking hexagons, but I think a lot of people will doing that. I finished a small table topper and I’m hand quilting my snake quilt. I tried machine quilting it, but my squares are kind of goofy, and I kept getting wrinkles. Even though hand-quilting takes longer, it’s way more forgiving. Pictures coming soon!