Monday, January 31, 2011

It was a Sewing Santuary

Heather Ross's Workshop in Palm Springs was AMAZING!!  Imagine a weekend spent with a room full of fellow crafty sewists from all over AND Heather Ross, Lotta Jansdotter, Gretchen Hirsch (aka Gertie), Kelly Wilkinson and Melanie Falick.  We laughed, we printed, we ate, we lounged and we sewed.  Then we sewed some more.  My little crafty heart is so full it could burst.  Do I look sheepish and deliriously happy in these pictures?  I was!  It was like being at a secret sewing sanctuary nestled poolside, in the desert.

I was one of the first to arrive and while checking in I turned to my left...  The woman standing right next to me at the counter was the Heather Ross!  Before I had a chance to freak out (oh come on, you would have!) I introduced myself.  She was so warm and welcoming and had a sparkle in her eyes.  I was instantly at ease and so happy to be there.  

Lotta... Oh how I loved Lotta.  She was so fun to talk to!  First thing Saturday she taught a printing workshop out on the patio.  It was a lovely sunny morning and she walked us through the steps of creating a stencil and pouncing the paint onto fabric.  She's one super talented lady and a great teacher.  Once I had my stencil cut and my paint mixed I couldn't be stopped.  : )

Gretchen and I got to be roommates.  How lucky am I?  She brought a closet full of gorgeous handmade dresses.  All totally Mad Men worthy.  ; )  We both cursed the teeny tiny table top ironing board.  What is a girl to do?  She was such a big help in the sewing room.  Lots of tips, tricks and garment construction knowledge.  Her book will be released later this year from STC craft.  We all learned a lot from Gertie!!

Sometimes I just sat back and soaked it all in.  There was so much inspiration and creative goodness swirling all around me.  Heather gave a presentation on creating fabric designs and repeats.  I loved seeing her  process and watching her artwork come to life.  Melanie Falick talked to us a bit about the publishing world and what to look forward to from STC craft.  I got to thumb through a copy of the new Oliver and S book and I can't wait for the March 2011 release.  If you haven't see the preview video they did you have to check it out.  It's really cute.

The weekend flew by and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye.  I left with a smile on my face, two *almost* finished projects (to be revealed soon) and a bunch of new friends.  Thank you Heather and Co.,  let's do it again sometime!!  : )

If you want to read even more about the weekend... see these blog posts.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Books, Sewing and Palm Springs!!

This is what my nightstand looks like right now.  I've got three books and two ponies.  The littles decided to decorate.  Haha!  The books are: Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross, Lotta Prints and Simple Sewing for Baby both by Lotta Jansdotter.  Heather is hosting a sewing workshop in Palm Springs this weekend and I get to go!!  Sunshine and sewing?  Sounds good to me!  DH planned all of it when he read how excited I was on the forum.  (ETA: Hmmm I only see a post with the dates listed.  I guess I must have been going on and on about it at home.  Heather Ross!  Sewing!  Palm Springs!!)

This trip is giving me a chance to step outside by comfort zone.  I can strip piece and I sew a 1/4" seam, but I have very little experience garment sewing.  I'm hoping to tackle zippers, buttons and patterns under Heather's watchful eye.  Lotta will be teaching us a printing technique.  My mind is full of thread, elastic, buttons, and pins.  I'm making a supply list and checking it twice.

Please share if you have any advice regarding packing for a sewing class.  What is in your basic sewing kit?  Thread, scissors, snippers, seam ripper, etc...  How to you stow it all?  Tupperware?  Bag?  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and would love to hear what you do.

You can read more about the books here:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Help Australia

January 26th is Australia Day.  Show our Aussie friends some love and support by donating money to help the Queensland Flood Victims.  Toni of Make it Perfect has organized a group of crafters and artists to raffle off their goods in exchange for donations.  The list of raffles can be found here. Hurry, the raffles end Wednesday.  Here are some of my favorites to get you started...

Are you a quilter?  Another way to help is to make a quilt block and send it to retromummy.  She's collecting 12.5" blocks for Queensland.  Read about it here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another quit along??  Ok!  Seriously, I couldn't resist this one.  A postage stamp quilt using two jelly rolls.  Sounds good to me.  ; )  I already had these in my cupboard...

Wonderland by Momo for Moda

There are already so many great starts in the group.  All this gorgeous fabric makes my head spin.  I love peeking in and seeing everyone's progress.

Wanna play too??  Yay!  Here are some links for you...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Finished: Baby Mish Mash

Oh Baby Mish Mash how I love thee.  Your colors are so warm and sunny.  I wanted this quilt to be very soft and squishy so I lightly quilted it in lines around each square.  The binding was hand stitched in the wee hours of Friday night and finished just in time for the baby shower on Saturday.  Washed, dried, and so incredibly soft.  I used the leftover binding for a bow.  Isn't that yellow dot so pretty?  The final quilt measured 35"x40". Mama-to-be laughed when she realized she was carrying it around with her during the shower.  That was the best compliment she could have given me.  ; )  Our family cannot wait for this new baby girl to arrive.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the Design Wall: Baby Mish Mash

It's a cold rainy day here and I'm keeping busy trimming blocks and getting them up on my design wall.  I *love* this part.  It's finally looking like a quilt.   Doubt always creeps in at the block construction stage.  I wonder if I chose the right fabrics and the right design.  It's always a big relief when they go up on the wall and play nice together.

I learned how to makeHSTs from Amy during Round 2 of the ORBC quilt along.  For this quilt, I started with 6" squares and I trimmed them down to 5.5".  Baby Mish Mash is coming along great.

If you're curious, here is a picture of my zig zag quilt from ORBC Round 2.  Round 9 is just starting with a Ticker Tape quilt.  Come on over an play!!  Instructions can be found on DeeRoo's blog and the flickr group is here.

Brrr, my fingers are so cold today.  Time to warm them up with a hot cup of coffee!

Later Peeps  : )

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Stash 11

Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner

Innocent Crush came out of the cupboard yesterday and made itself comfy on my kitchen table.  Aren't those saturated colors gorgeous?!  Anna Maria pushes me to loosen up and I love it!  She brings out my inner Boheme.  I visited and revisited her booth at market trying to soak it all in.  It was like stepping into a whole new world.  I going to let my hair down and let these fabrics shine.  Big bold prints call for big bold quilts.

DH bought this for me when it first came out.  Life got really busy at the end of last year and I tucked it away on a shelf.  Yesterday I started thinking about it some more.  I am sure Anna's post here had something to do with that.  : )  It was an armful of fabric and a lot heavier than I expected.  I went to wash it and... DH bought half yards not fat quarters!!   Oh my gosh!  I cut the stack in two and washed one set for my project.  The rest I set back on the shelf.  I'm thinking there is more than enough to share... and over 500 followers... hmmm... stay tuned *wink wink*.

Happy Sunday Peeps!  : )

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Choosing Fabrics for a Quilt

I had a great comment yesterday asking about choosing fabrics.  It really got me thinking about why and how I put together yesterday's stack.  It all started because I wanted to start a quilt for a new baby due in February.  The Mama-to-be likes green and yellow.  I remembered the daisy print in my stash and thought it was perfect!  Its called Daisy Path from Meadowsweet 2 by Sandi Henderson.  It has the yellow and green and I love the addition of the aqua.  That was my starting point and my color scheme.  I headed to my stash.

These were from my stash.  I was looking for anything that I thought might go with the daisy print.

From there I went to an online quilt shop and started searching for coordinates in my chosen colors.  I use either the "shop by color category" or the search box depending on the website.  For these, I searched for aqua, lime, green, yellow, mustard, taupe, brown, dot, stripe, etc.  I open up a new window or tab for any fabric I have a gut reaction or interest in.  I usually have 20-30 open (it drives my Husband nuts!)  Then I start eliminating them by closing the window.  I'm looking for a variety of scale, shapes and tones.  If I have too many dots, I pick my favorite.  If it starts to look heavy, I look for one with a lighter background.

I wanted a lot of yellow in the quilt.  I looked for the deeper mustardy, orangey yellows.  I loved the bottom two immediately.  Then I looked for more leafy/organic shapes to compliment the original daisies.  Between these four I had a good mix of scale and value.

The bottom green was an easy choice, it's also part of the Meadowsweet 2 collection.  I knew it would coordinate nicely.  I wanted at least one more great green print to add variety to the quilt top.  I looked for something that was a looser pattern and overall much lighter.

The aqua in the daisy print was such a great grounding color for the yellow and greens, I wanted any fabric I chose to have a similar effect to the quilt top.  I purposefully eliminated any lighter aqua prints.  I looked for mid tone and small scale prints.  Online, the quilt shop showed me the bottom check when I picked out the same print in yellow.  Loved it!  Then I went looking for something  leafy and organic shaped.  I was so excited to find the top right one.  

I had the brown/taupe print on the bottom in my stash it's called Henna Garden and it's also from Meadowsweet 2.  I bought it at the same time as the daisy print.  I didn't want it to be the only brown print in the quilt, so I looked for something else to add.  This is not an easy color to find.  It's a warm brownish gray (which I really like btw!) I chose the top fabric because it was a similar color, it was smaller in scale than the Henna Garden, and it had a lighter background to bring some variety.

I rounded out the stack with some complimentary solids.

I don't alway buy this many fabrics for a single project.  But it's for family and it's all colors I love anyway so I know I will use them.  I splurged.  ; )

**This is exactly the kind of discussion I hope to have on the forum.  I'm adding a post over there with some general fabric buying questions.  Come on over and tell us how you buy fabric.  Online?  In person? What size? For a project?  For your stash?**

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Project

A fresh start for the new year.  This whole concept started with Daisy Path from Meadowsweet 2 by Sandi Henderson (the fabric on the bottom) and I built the colors out from there.  That print is so cheery and happy.  I loved it from the moment I saw it.  I'm eyeing that top yellow and white dot for the binding.  Today the fabric is getting a quick wash and press while pondering layouts.  I'm thinking a mish-mash of HSTs (half square trianges).  Something along these lines...

If you're a member of Talk About Fabric, you might recognize this combination.  It started as a mood board I did over there a couple of months ago.

(Pictures from the Fat Quarter Shop)

It's been a fun whirlwind of parties and family around here.  In the span of sixteen days, my daughter turned three, we celebrated Christmas, New Years, and my son turned five!  Phew.  We alway end the year with a bang.  Now, I'm ready for a deep breath and a new project.  Let's get that sewing machine humming!


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