Look at these!

I’ve pre-ordered Heather’s book and the new Indigo Girls cd already…I can’t wait for their arrival!

This weekend is my quilting retreat! I thought it was Thursday for a few minutes this morning and I got so excited that my retreat was tomorrow. Then I realized it’s only Wednesday :( Crushing sadness. But then, I thought, it’s already Wednesday! Only one more day to go! How’s that for glass-half-full?

Speaking of retreat, I need to go purchase my wine contribution today!

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 :)

Does Amy Butler have a say in how we use her patterns?

I have always been confused about pattern designers saying what I can and can’t do with things I make from their patterns. I think this is such a murky area, that like the tags on mattresses, people are afraid to act because they don’t fully understand that ripping the damn tag off is fully within their rights after purchase. I’m intrigued by this site, www.tabberone.com, that outlines case law and what is really covered by copyright law. Here is a particularly interesting part about Amy Butler, who has been listed in their Hall of Shame.

So, does anyone have experience with this? It does seem that if I use her patterns to make stuff, I should be able to sell it. But I’m still afraid. Anyone else? And yet, I wouldn’t hesitate to sell something I made from a Burda or Simplicity pattern, because I almost always alter the pattern in some way.

I’m curious how other crafters feel about this.

More great tutorials!

Seriously, there just isn’t enough time in the day to sew all the things I want to sew. I’ve been admiring these box bags (which my husband calls dopp kits) by splityarn for some time, but couldn’t wrap my mind around the ends. Then I found this AWESOME tutorial by drago[knit]fly. THANK YOU!

In other news, my adorable kid has made up his own language. In the car today, he’d say “what’s red?” and I’d say “roja”…we were working on Spanish. Then he says, “what’s mooshkin?” and then he cracks up. He’s got a whole list of such words. Here are a few: mooshkin, monkshin, bosh, spoosh, bonkshin, maupshin, maups, faumps…I’m guessing on the spelling here. I really think only bosh and spoosh have meanings – which is basically when he does a power ranger move on something. All the rest are purely for silliness sake. I happen to love those words. They make my monkshin faumps!

holiday spirit

I’m working hard on Christmas gifts. I’m trying to avoid the last minute purchasing spree because all the crafts I had planned never got made. So, so far, I’ve completed two quilt tops, one back and binding – ready to be sandwiched, one waiting to be ironed.

I’ve also finished cloth napkins for everyone. These are about 8″ x 10″ – one fat quarter makes two. I’ve got enough here for six different families :) This is one part of my “green” Christmas, where everyone gets a reusable grocery bag and cloth napkins. And maybe something else – but I haven’t decided what yet. Any ideas? Here are my napkins:

cloth napkins

Thanks to Unspeakable Visions for providing this fun naughty and nice list for planning gifts. I love it! Also, thanks to the Handmade Holiday 2008 group on flickr for keeping me honest and inspired. I do still plan to give a few Oxfam gifts this year though – if you haven’t been on Oxfam America Unwrapped, you should check it out. Lots of great gift ideas – especially for people who have everything!

Just a note about those cloth napkins. I instituted them at my own house about six months ago, and I thought they might be a pain, but actually, they’re awesome. First of all, I love to use them – they get softer and softer with each wash because they’re made of good quilting cotton. Second, they make me feel fancy, even when I’m eating ramen. Third, we have been using the same roll of paper towels for about 4 months now – and it’s still over half full! When they’re dirty, I set them on the washing machine, and they just get thrown in with whatever load I’m doing. If they get too stained with spaghetti sauce or whatever, I’ll just make some new ones, but so far, they are perfect. I highly recommend them for everyone! Reduce – Reuse – Recycle!

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 :)

just around the corner

I joined a “handmade holiday” group on flickr, to motivate me to finish all my holiday gifts this year, rather than not finishing any of them, and ending up buying a bunch of gifts right before Christmas. I’m not doing that great this year either. It’s already Sept, basically, and I’m still in the idea phase. I have been buying lots of fabric in preparation for the things I’m GOING to make, but it’s not the same as making them, now is it?

Plus, I need to plan a few Thanksgiving gifts first anyway. I have some patterns for table runners that I think are so adorable, and would be perfect for my step-mom. She changes her table decorations for each holiday, so she’s the one person who could actually use seasonal table runners and place mats. I love making these small projects. Plus, I’d love to make some cute little felt napkin rings with leaves or turkeys or pilgrim shoes. Since everyone is getting cloth napkins for Christmas (which I’ve yet to make), they’re going to need napkin rings, right?

I also have some super cute panel fabric to make trick-or-treat bags for Halloween. My nieces just moved here from Germany, so that panel I bought that makes 3 bags is now perfect for my 2 nieces and my son. I just have to GET SEWING.

Finally, there’s Christmas. I have the 3 quilts kits that I bought for gifts for last year, still neatly tied in their piles in my fabric bins. One is the cutest fleece with hot cocoa cups all over. I’d really like to make that one. Plus, I got special fabric for small quilts for my nieces and nephews.

Basically, I need to get off this macbook and get sewing. Today. See ya.

black hole strikes again.

I’m not supposed to still be on the internet. But here’s what happened. I went back to Flickr to check if I had any comments (I did!) and followed a link to a commenter’s photos. This is how it starts. Then, I followed another commenter…and so it goes.

I found this blog, Crazy Mom Quilts, which is FULL of inspiration. Most inspiring – this Red Cross Quilt. I truly love this quilt. I’ve been searching and searching for the most perfect quilt for my sister, and this is it. I’ve been saving blue and aqua fabrics, and it’s going to be perfect.

I also stumbled onto Johanna Wright’s artwork on etsy. Wow. My craft room will not be complete until I have some of her prints – or even better – some of her original paintings. I LOVE her.

Now, I seriously need to get off of here. Now that I’ve saved those links for myself, I can go do something else. Like sew. Or drink coffee.