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April 22, 2011

Scottie Watch

Scottie Watch

I'm going to be taking a short break from blogging. We close on our house a week from today, and we haven't packed a single thing! Hopefully everything will go smoothly with the closing and frantic move (we'll only have 2 days to vacate our apartment before the lease expires - yikes!) I'll be back on June 1st with some things I've been working on and photos of our new house. Your prayers would be much appreciated :)

1. I've always wanted to make a coin purse with one of those fancy snap-closure metal frames, but it's always seemed so scary! I was paired with a really awesome partner for the Pretty Little Pouch swap, so I decided to go for it. I found a couple of really good tutorials here and here, so I think you all should try it with me! Here's the frame I ordered from Purl Soho - SO excited! I'm going to pair it with a navy blue stripe and line it with the yellow apple fabric. I also ordered a couple of cheap $2 frames on Etsy so I can practice before I attempt anything with my nice, expensive frame, lol! I'm really terrifyied of screwing that one up!

Pretty {little} Pouch Swap Mockup

2. If you don't live near a Joann's and would like to participate in the DS Quilt frenzy, they now have online ordering available. The easiest way to pull the collection up is to do a Search using "Denyse Schmidt" or "DS Quilt" as your keywords. Either one will work :)

I will warn you that there are a couple cons to online ordering, because you can only purchase the prints in full yard increments, and you can only use one coupon per purchase. I ordered a few prints online, but there really aren't many prints from the line that I'll need more than 1/4 or 1/2 yard of, and our local Joann's only received 5 of the 21 prints (and that's all they're getting). To make things more cost effective, you might consider pairing up with a couple local/online quilting friends and splitting the yards into FQ bundles :)

Angela and I had a meeting of the minds last week, and what we decided to do is special order the prints we really wanted. We sat down, chose the prints from the collection that we really wanted, and this past Wed. we met up and special ordered 3 bolts and split the cost. If you have a Joann's within driving distance, that's what I'd recommend, because you can use your 50% off coupons! We ended up paying $65 each for 24 yards of fabric (we're splitting 3 bolts with 8 yards to each bolt). You can't beat $5/yard for premium quilting cotton! At first 4 yards of each print seemed like a lot, but it will be perfect for quilt backs, curtains and other large projects. And honestly, I always find myself trying to buy up yardage of Denyse's more basic prints months/years after the lines come out, which is difficult to do (and more expensive!). This time I'm biting the bullet and buying up yards of the tiles and dots.

3. Jessica Jones' newest fabric line Outside Oslo is now available! I love her past lines and ribbons, but feel they're underrated. She's really talented, so you should check out her website if you get a chance - I've found a TON of adorable free patterns and crafts on there. (...and I promise she didn't tell me to say that, because I've never spoken with her and she has no idea who I am!)

4. Suzie Q Quilts has a ton of older lines like Chocolate Lollipop, Garden Party, Bijoux, Fresh Cut, Pop Garden and Nicey Jane for $4-$5 per yard!

5. I've found a new obsession for collecting all of my quilting ideas! Instead of using Big Huge Labs mosaics or Flickr Galleries, I just signed up on Pinterest (thanks Sheila!) and I'm incredibly excited.You can create all kinds of different "pin boards" and easily add photos as you're browsing around on the internet. If you just go and sign up, I think there's a waitlist, but if you know someone that already has an account, they can send you a link to sign up immediately.

6. Cutest gift wrapping idea ever. I'm going to wrap my next swap package like this! Here are some easy instructions on how to make the yarn pom poms.

7. This quilt is seriously awesome. Here is the page for all the quilt-along posts.

Mod Mood Quilt ~ Get Your Curve On
photo by daintytime on Flickr

April 20, 2011

That's How We Roll

Angela and I are pretty much huge nerds. She's a math nerd, and I was a Psych major/Latin minor kinda nerd. Example: When I attended mass with my Catholic friend at Easter one year (we were roomies my semester in Philadelphia and I'd never been to a Roman Catholic service before), I sat there translating the Latin carved onto the walls before the service. So yeah....unprecedented levels of nerdery there.

So anywho...while we were at Joann's today special ordering some bolts of fabric (from the DS Quilts line - woot woot!), we decided to look for the magazine with our patterns while standing in line to pay. The magazine rack is the dividing partition between the line and the registers, so that made things pretty easy. And guess what?! It was there! A magazine with our patterns is being sold in our local Joann Fabrics! How stinking cool is that? Well, we thought it was exciting enough to take cheesy pictures :)

Here's Angela mugging for my camera phone...

Angela with Magazine!


And here's me...

Me with Magazine!

Unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of Favorite Baby sitting in the shopping cart. "Favorite Baby" is my name for Angela's little girl...well...because she's my favorite baby! Pretty self explanatory :) That's how I always greet her when I walk in their door...."hello favorite baby!"...and then she'll give me that million dollar smile that makes me wanna become a crazed baby snatcher and run out the door! So stinking cute...I'm really going to miss them when they move back up to Indiana :(  *deep sigh, slow rolling tear*

April 19, 2011

Catching Up

I don't think I ever posted photos of these blocks for you! They were part of the giant pile of things I had to frantically sew the past two weeks. Gotta love deadlines :)

The first one is my block for Project Special Delivery. I signed up for a green block and it had to go out by Apr. 7th....so naturally, I finished at 11 pm on the 6th...good times, noodle salad :)

I used up some 2" scrap blocks I had lying around my sewing room, and the sashing fabric was from one of my Solids of the Month bundles - how fun is that?


Block for Project Special Delivery


Block for Project Special Delivery


And this was my final (and wretchedly late) block for the Quilting Divas Mini Bee. This is the first time I've ever been late for one of my bees/swaps :( ...it was due to a combination of factors really. When I signed up, I assumed it ran like the 3x6 Bee and I'd have 3 months to complete them. Wrong-o. After committing to hexie blocks, I realized I only had 2-3 weeks - yikes! I didn't want to back out because I rounded out the group and they'd have to find another person at the last minute, so I convinced myself I'd be able to finish my blocks within a few weeks if I hustled. Well...needless to say, I grossly underestimated how long it would take me to hand sew 6 blocks. So yeah...that's why I was 2 months late with my final block. Sorry 'bout that Jamie :(

Block for Mariposafabrics (she requested a black solid paired with jewel tones)
Quilting Divas block for Maricopafabrics


Quilting Divas block for Maricopafabrics


And here's a lil' mosaic of all my finished blocks for the Quilting Divas bee..

All Blocks for Quilting Divas Mini Bee

April 15, 2011

Scottie Watch

Scottie Watch

1.  Here's a fun little tip. Whenever you go into a chain fabric store like Joann's or Hancock Fabrics, make a sweep by the fat quarter bundles and individually rolled fat quarters. I've found all kinds of designer fabrics from lines like like Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin, Red Letter Day by Lizzy House, and West Hill by Heather Ross mixed in there.

2. The online quilting world has been abuzz with this news all week, but Denyse Schmidt released a new fabric line this week through Fabric Traditions. Instead of being sold in independent quilt shops, it's being carried by JoAnn's! My local store only carried 5 of the 21 prints in the collection, but if you click here you can see swatches of all the prints and grab the item numbers in case you want to call and pay to have certain prints shipped to your local store :)

3. I know this isn't nearly as exciting to you as it is to me, but Ann Kelle's newest incarnation of the Urban Zoologie line will have SCOTTIE PRINTS!!! GAHHH!!!!! Sir Whiskers shall have such a lovely new red, white and black Scottie-themed bed to lounge on come Fall!

Photo by Ann Kelle

Photo by Ann Kelle


4. Did you know you can fill out customs forms for international shipping online? I hate filling out the ones at the post office and having to mash my pen on the carbon copies like the Hulk, so I complete the form online, print it on a full page-size label, cut, and stick it directly to my package. Easy as pie :) But make sure you bring in the other part of the form that prints out (the part you don't stick to your package), because the post office needs it for their "records".

5. Aren't these sewing pins the cutest? I'm a sucker for anything strawberry related :)

6. Wondrous Woven Fabrics has all their Innocent Crush fabrics 30% off through April 18th. Enter the code 8great2 to receive the discount (and even better, they cut by the fat quarter!).

April 14, 2011

A pox on the phony king of England...I mean the flu...


Thanks for all your well wishes as I waged a legendary battle with the flu. I still sound like I'm chain smoking 20 packs a day, but I'm feeling much better. Hopefully I'll be back on my A-game by the weekend :)

The Make Mine Modern swap deadline is tomorrow, and even though I was stricken down by the plague this week, I would have felt terrible using that as an excuse when I had 3 whole months to get everything done. So as a matter of principal, I couldn't let the flu beat me! And you'll be happy to know that I prevailed!

Kaelin: 1, Flu: 0.

Aside from getting awesome stuff in the mail, one of the perks of being in all these swaps is that it's made me notice something about myself...that I work best under pressure. I've yet to miss a swap deadline, even though I'm always chasing down the final mailing date like Seabiscuit. And I know some of you are probably thinking my habits are going to bite me in the butt one day...and they might...but I'm not worried :) I think I always manage to pull it off because I don't really wait until the last minute...I honestly carry around my project ideas in my brain (or my sketchbook) for several weeks. I'll get an idea, think about it, search my partner's photostream some more, and then let my revisions/new ideas marinate for a bit longer. Sometimes I delay because I'm still in that stage, and sometimes I delay (truth be told) because I'd rather sit on my keister and watch Man v. Food/Pawn Stars/random documentaries on Netflix with the hubby. Hey, I'm only human :)

Here are some a lot of photos of my partner's freshly completed package :)

You'll recognized this one...



I used a variegated thread for the first time! It's a yellow one from Sulky.


You won't recognize these...

Notice anything new? There's a coffee coozie, some Greenfield Hill fat quarters, and a yummy linen tote just begging to be filled with delicious fruits and veggies at a farmer's market :)


Look at the wee shoppers buying flowers! How could this not tempt you to visit your local farmers market?!


It's lined with a cute dot print from Amy Butler's Love collection, and includes a small linen-lined zipper pocket.

I also made an insulated coozie for my partner to wrap around her beloved coffee. I used one of the Parisville Fan prints for the letters (which read "FUEL", hehe!), and it also lines the back.

None of my nice, staged pictures turned out very well, so I wrapped this around my Chai Tea this afternoon. It was on there for all of 30 seconds, so no worries partner, you're still receiving one clean, unused item :)


I'm really excited about this package, and hopefully my partner feels the same way when she opens it! Since I made her wait so patiently, I'll be sending it Priority tomorrow to speed its arrival up a bit :)

April 13, 2011

Good News & Bad News

The bad news is that I'm pretty sure the Bubonic Plague has resurrected itself from Medieval times and infected me, so today's post will be short and sweet because after I finish typing this, I'm going to pop in the Sound of Music, wallow on the sofa in a tissue-covered mass of self pity, and then slip slowly into madness a coma.

The good news is that I received my Make Mine Modern package yesterday, and it was GLORIOUS!!! I seriously can't believe all the cool little goodies she sent me. I'm super excited because it all revolved around the Parisville line, and even though I stinking love that line, before this I really didn't have much fabric from it. But now that has been remedied, thanks to my awesome partner MyFabricObsession (aka Rebecca)! You can't see the title in the photo below, and I forgot to snap a photo by itself, but the book she got me is "I Love Patchwork", which had been on my "to buy" list for far too long :)


The hoop is my favorite, so I'll show that part first :) You won't believe how tiny and intricate some of her stitches are.



Even the back is adorable!


A pincushion/storage pockets/hanging scrap basket all rolled into one...


A precious wee bundle of Parisville fat quarters (and what's that pink piece of felt on the top?)


Why it's a wee baby needle book!



But that's not all folks! In one of our discussion forums, I mentioned wanting some kind of organizer for the 1.2 million remotes and game controllers floating about in our living room, so she made me this remote holder to drape over the arm of the sofa. I'm so excited...you don't even know.



...and there's even a big pocket behind the remote section for a magazine, tv guide, etc. She's so awesome! I love all the little details she worked into all my items :)

April 12, 2011

101 Patchwork Projects

Remember this post? Well guess what?! Today is April 12th, so that means the 101 Patchwork Projects publication with my patterns officially hits your local magazine rack! I'm so excited I feel like jumping up & down and flapping my hands like a pre-teen at a Justin Bieber concert :)






You should check it out, because there are some really good patterns in it! I was leafing through my copies all weekend, and there's a cute faux-vase pattern by Penny @ sewtakeahike that I'm definitely making. It's the same size and shape as a regular vase (except made of fabric), and you slip a skinny little bud vase through the opening so that you can actually put water and real flowers inside. Such a cool, innovative idea, don't you think? :)

Oh, and if you end using either of my patterns, I'd love to see photos! You can post them here in my Flickr group.

April 11, 2011

My insanity + finished Doll Quilt Swap 10 photos :)


Saturday morning was pure madness. I got my dates mixed up and thought the DQS10 mailing deadline was the 15th instead of the 10th, so I was up until 1:30 the night before watching TRON Legacy/hand sewing the final parts of my doll quilt. I kinda love hand quilting for that reason...because I can be semi-normal person (instead of a crazed lunatic behind a loud sewing machine) and watch movies with friends and fam while simultaneously sewing and gettin' stuff done. But as I was saying...I was up until 1:30 a.m. the night before, and we had a MQG Weekend Sew at Angela's house at 10 a.m., so when I overslept that morning until 9...it didn't help my situation at all. It takes me 20-30 minutes to drive through New Orleans traffic and get to Angela's, and I had to mail out my doll quilt before I went over there, plus pack up all my sewing accouterments and load them into the car for the sew...ugh...it makes me tired and frazzled just thinking about it again!

I managed to throw on some clothes (sans shower), run around the apartment grabbing all my stuff while trying not to trip over Whiskers (he was juking around at my feet the entire time because he thought we were playing a fun "running around" game), get on the internet and write down my partner's address, and head out the door carrying enough crap to qualify as a crazy bag lady. All I needed was a trash bag of empty Coke cans and the image would have been complete. So I get to the post office, realize that I forgot to take pictures, so there I was at 9:30 a.m. at the post office, snapping photos like a lunatic in the grassy median in between parking spaces. I finish the photos, call Angela to let her know I'm running 30 minutes late, walk into the post office, when I realize I left my partner's address and all the "extras" for her swap package in the car. I had to dig out my keys (with one hand since I'm on the phone), unlock the car, grab her stuff, and then literally turn and run back into the post office in order to beat out the 4 other people walking toward the door who would have gotten ahead of me in line. I scrawled a message to my partner and stuffed everything into the box while standing in line, and mailed it away (almost forgetting to get Delivery Confirmation).

I finally get to my car and start driving to Angela's, when I realize I kinda smell like hot garbage since I didn't have time to shower and had been running around in the sticky, blazing 89 degree weather (yes, it was the early a.m. on an April morning and almost 90 degrees...welcome to New Orleans). Since deodorant isn't exactly something you can borrow from someone..."hey, can I rub the deodorant you'll use every day hereafter on my smelly, sweaty pits?"...I had to make yet another stop at Walgreens. But at least I found a new scent I liked...Lemongrass & Mint...and I picked up a Coke Zero because some stress Coke was in order. Sometimes, when I'm tempted to think I'm normal and everyone else is crazy, I need to remember what I probably look like to other people whenever I stand in front of the deodorant section at Walgreens for a full 5 minutes taking the caps off of deodorants and whiffing back and forth between 3 different scents. They're probably thinking something like "is she trying to get high?" or "for the love of God lady, pick one because I need to get in there and grab something!"

So anyway, you didn't need to know that at all. I just thought I'd share some of my general madness with you so you could feel more normal and "together" than me, lol! I have so many irons in the fire at any given time, that I'm usually running around like a chicken with it's head off.

Here are the post office median photos that I took :) The pictures don't do it justice because the colors of the thread are much brighter in person and show up more. I feel it's kinda hard to make out the scene I stitched from these photos.


Mr. Bunny's Treehouse

Mr. Bunny and son hopping out of their hole

The treetop. I used two different colors of green thread.


The sunset.

The back.

My swap package. I threw in a couple KJR fat quarters and some of my favorite straight pins. It's funny, because my partner emedoodle put some of these yellow pins in my swap package, and I'd already bought some of these muti-colored ones to put in my partner's package a few weeks back. Great minds think alike :)

April 8, 2011

The Return of Scottie Watch!


Sorry I've been MIA the past couple days, but Ray and I have had a long series of fantastic news this week, so we've been out celebrating with the family! And no, I'm not pregnant (I say that because it seems everyone I know is preggers right now!) We've had a bit of a roller coaster ride with the house, but all the paperwork has been settled (finally!), no one is asking us for more money (finally!), and we're going to close two weeks early on April 15th (next Friday!!!). We also both found out that we got promotions yesterday (one expected, one completely unexpected!). So all in all, it's pretty much been the best week ever! I have a bunch of projects right at the cusp of being finished though, so I'll post them sometime this weekend or early next week :)

Now on to Scottie Watch!!

1.  Penguin Books is coming out with a deluxe line of Classics to be released this Fall. They asked artist Jillian Tamaki to design embroidered covers for a few beloved classics. I'm amazed by the work she did! Obviously the copies being sold in stores won't be hand-embroidered, but to quote her website, they will be "printed with a sculptural-embossing technique that will emphasize the stitches. They will be tactile objects." Sweet! Needless to say, I'll be purchasing several of them!

2. I’ve been thinking a lot about coordinates lately. While I love polka dots, sometimes I feel like I’m being lazy creatively when I use them. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying crafters who use polka dot prints are lazy or less creative. I myself love them and use them all the time! What I’m saying is that there are times when I know I could go for something outside the box, but I don’t because polka dots are my crutch and 99.9% of the time they’ll work with whatever it is I’m making. And instead of being safe like that, I need to start regularly choosing prints a little more funky and a little less conventional and take that gamble of “this could turn out really terrible…or really awesome!” My favorite projects are the ones where I took the ultimate “this could be so hideous when I’m done risk”, lol!
So in that spirit, I’ve dug up some coordinates that are not polka dots. They’re by no means bohemian, but slightly off center of “safe”. They’re dots or stripes with an intesting twist. Think of them as the slightly cooler older siblings of polk dots, stripes and gingham :)

Manzanita Basket in Red, Hope Valley Pie Basket in Fiesta, Modern Meadow Honeycomb in Sunglow, Modern Meadow Herringbone in Grass, Hope Valley Diamond Dandy in New Day, Aviary 2 Lodge Lattice in Lilac, Nicey Jane Welcome Road in Pink, Manzanita Basket in Brown, Monaluna Mingle in Black

3. If you're looking for storage solutions, you should take a peek at this storage table from IKEA. I saw some people talking about it in a Flickr forum and it's a perfect storage system for Fat Quarters or other small cuts, plus the counter surface on top is the ideal size for a big cutting mat/pressing board. *drools* I love that it has the potential to be 3 things in 1 to help save space.


 4. If you're a Henna Garden fan, I spotted these at my local Joann's. All their sewing baskets are 40% off this week, plus you can get an additional 10% off if you have a VIP card. Apparently there have also been sightings of zippered Henna Garden storage boxes in the Kids/Baby section of TJMaxx.

 Sorry the photo is grainy, but I took it with my camera phone!


5.  My friend Angela just posted a fantastic tutorial on how to set a circle into another piece of fabric (instead of appliqueing). She is probably the most meticulous seamstress I know, so you can't go wrong learning from her techniques :)
 
6. If you use the code "QHAJDF25" at checkout, you can get 25% off ALL Joel Dewberry fabrics at QuiltHome (including Aviary 2!!!)
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