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October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!


I love New Orleans because almost everyone dresses up for Halloween...on the street, in the workplace, and everywhere in between. We have an elaborate costume contest at work every year, and the company pays for catering so our entire office of 70+ people gets to hang out in the break room in our crazy outfits. There's an Individual and Group costume category, and they sweeten the pot with cash prizes for the winners.

My good friend Sherie and I are practically joined at the hip - our coworkers tease us because our personalities are so similar and we're always together - where you see one, you usually see the other. Last year I actually went as Sherie for Halloween - I wore a nametag with her name written on it, and told people "I'm Sherie today. I'm going to talk a lot and not get any work done." (she's actually a really hard worker - I just like to mess with her) So all things considered, we felt it was only appropriate to dress as a pair this year, and we went with Salt & Pepper because it's funny on a number of levels, lol (Sherie's always making fun of my pale legs).

I made our costumes out of some 72" wide felt and elastic (for the shoulder straps). We both wore black leggings, a tshirt to match our "shaker dress", and some chef hats I put together using this tutorial (I narrowed the band to 2") You can't really see, but I spray basted some black felt circles on the top of the hats as our shaker holes.

Oh, and the best part? We made our grand entrance before the entire office and panel of judges to the Salt & Peppa song "Push It"? Sherie might have done the hand-behind-the-head-hip-swirl move, and I may or may not have done a slow-mo sliding entrance followed up by the Running Man.

You gotta have some fun in this life, ya know?

October 27, 2011

The sweet, sweet taste of victory

Me and my redheaded self are doing a merry little Irish jig in the living room right now. I finally found a copy of 318 Patchwork Patterns by Kumiko Fujita yesterday, and Ayumi was kind enough to have it shipped to her house. She's going to forward it to me in the States, and I'm beyond ecstatic.


I love Ayumi's blog and have read it for a few years now, but she doesn't know me from Adam. How incredibly nice is she to help a stranger get a book from half-way around the globe? I love quilters :)

I can't wait to get my claws on this book and get sewing! Tell you what, Ray's gonna have a time dragging me out of my quilting lair once it arrives.

October 25, 2011

Back to the Future

There's a hole-in-the-wall quilt shop in Gulfport I like to visit whenever I can, because it's like hopping in a time machine. Most of their fabric is $5.99 to $6.99 a yard instead of $10 or $11. It's awesome.

Ray and I drove over on Saturday to visit his aunt and uncle while they were staying at their beachfront condo, so I made sure we left early enough for me to make it to the shop before closing time. I picked up several yards, and didn't pay over $7 for any of the prints - oh yeah! oh yeah! *does Elaine from Seinfeld dance*  I even found a couple that were on sale for $3.99!

New Fabric! 


New Fabric!


As per my new fabric-buying policy, here are my outgoing fabrics. I posted them in my Etsy shop earlier today. As always, you can use the coupon code for 10% off - PLAIDSCOTTIE10

October 24, 2011

Sweet Caroline Quilt


Remember the last-minute present I was working on last week? Weeeelllll the thing is, I bit off a little more than I could chew when choosing the pattern (the Stamps version of Elizabeth Hartman's More Simple Modern Baby Quilts), so I didn't finish it until Saturday morning.

I finished basting it late Thursday night, and was fully prepared to pull an all-nighter in order to finish in time for the baby shower on Friday. But the hubby intervened and told me I was being a mad woman...and I chose to listen to the voice of reason for a change. My hubby takes such good care of me :)

I did, however, stick the basted quilt in a baby-themed gift bag and bring it to the shower. And before she "unwrapped it", I stood up and yelled across the room "it's not finished! I just didn't want you to think I didn't get you anything!" And when we were all standing around looking at it at the end of the shower, one of my coworkers said "this is an interesting way to finish it *makes face*...what's this weird flannel stuff sticking out of the ends?" Apparently I'll have to scream a little louder next time (which shouldn't be a problem, because I'm pretty much a megaphone with legs).




The binding is Nicey Jane Welcome Road in Pink, and the backing is from Denyse Schmidt's newest collection for Joann's. I'm totally in love with the back of this quilt! I'm not usually a fan of pastels, but this Sugar Creek print is pretty freaking fantastic...I had my friend Kelly run to her local Joann's and pick up 5 more yards for me because it's the perfect baby quilt fabric. I'm kind of regretting not getting the whole bolt.


Aren't the colors delicious? I named this quilt Sweet Caroline because I kept singing that song while I was making it....the colors make me think of candy and sunshine and fluffy bunnies munchin' on clovers :)



October 19, 2011

Prizes!

I received the prizes I won from Celebrate Color this weekend, and I'm super stoked!!! I used my gift card from Whipstitch to pick up some fabric for Christmas presents...

Don't you just love Rashida's I Heart line?

And when I received my 4 patterns, I noticed they came directly from the Dewberry familia. How awesome is that? He's one of my favorite designers, so I'll admit I'm a little bit of a starstruck nerd, lol!


And just to admit that I do crazy things for the sake of my blog sometimes, I'll tell you a little story. You see that reddish stain by his name? Well when I got the envelope I was all like, "This is so awesome! I've gotta save this and take a picture to show my readers!". But then an hour later when I was tearing through the house on a cleaning rampage, I tossed it in the trash right on top of a glob of marinara sauce. Five seconds later I realized what I'd done, and yanked it out. So yes, I went dumpster diving and cleaned trash-can-marinara off of an envelope for the sake of my blog, LOL!

P.S. As I was flipping through that copy of Stitch you see above, I realized my good friend Michelle has been holding out on me!!! I saw this really awesome felt table runner and paused to read more details, and lo and behold - there's Michelle's friggin name right there! In Stitch! She's a rock star! (and a much better secret keeper than I am, because in my excitement I definitely would have told some of my friends on the sly at the Summit, lol!)


As much as I love Stitch (it's my favorite crafty mag), I'm always a bit hesitant about the $14.99 price tag. But I can say this issue is definitely worth it! There are some really nice patterns in here, and Ayumi submitted an insanely cute (as always) sewing machine cover.

October 17, 2011

The Queen of Last Minute Gifts

Why do I constantly do this to myself? I always decide to make super-complicated presents mere days before the event. I can only conclude it's because I'm 1) insane, or 2) masochistic..(or both - LOL!)

This baby quilt has to be finished by Friday morning (so I can bring it to work with me).

This is where I'm currently at...


...wish me luck!

October 15, 2011

The Sewing Summit Post

The Sewing Summit was awesome - full of friends, shopping, and most importantly, FUN!

From L to R: Me, Cherie, Angela & Karen

I got to hang out with my NOLA MQG ladies, and we were reunited with Angela for the first time since she moved in May! We roomed together, which was pretty much an awesome 3-day slumber party. And bonus, our hotel bill was really cheap once split 4 ways (read: more money for fabric). The rooms at Little America were huge and posh, so we didn't feel crammed at all. I meant to get a picture of our sweet hotel room, but there were so many fun distractions that I hardly took any pictures all weekend - oops!

Angela made these cute little felt spools with our names and alter egos on them...
  
...and a sweet bunting for decorating our room door/alcove.


P.S. Ray and I were laughing at how I look like an Amazon woman in that first photo, lol! I'm a full head taller than everyone else. And then I showed him the pictures below, and we were cracking up over my huge circus feet (I wear a size 11). I'm excited to have kids one day, but not the actual "squeezing the baby out" part. I'm 5'8" and Ray is 6'2" (plus my dad is 6'5" and I have those genes floating around in my pool somewhere), so I'm pretty much going to give birth to a sack of potatoes.  "Congratulations ma'am! You're the proud mom of a sack of Yukon Golds"

 Cara wears a 5. I wear an 11....

...her shoe fit neatly inside of mine, like Godzilla swallowing Tokyo.

There was much additional tomfoolery...

Shutterbugs Michelle and Angela



We were debating over whether my extreme nostril flare or her "dental exam" smile was worse, lol
Kaelin and me


Cara gracefully mounting a bike rack

...and attempting to "ride" it - Tour de France, here she comes!

Twins!

This face is the epitome of Cara-ness! Adorable and mischevious ;)

We wandered around like lost puppies Sunday morning looking for an open restaurant. We accidentally slept through breakfast and I was ready to chew my arm off.


Karen made a new friend there, while Cara asked for him to be substituted into her breakfast "I'll have the french toast, except instead of fresh fruit, can I have bacon?" Love it.


None of us anticipated how dry the air would be in SLC and Angela's skin was cracking, so naturally she used a tampon after none of us could find a band-aid or napkin in our purses, LOL!



We're gonna submit this photo of Kristie to Mom's Gone Wild!
This must be how they do it in Canada  ::wink wink::
(photo swiped from Cara)

And lots of shopping, of course....

Our combined haul, including quilt shop purchases, swag bag goodies, and prize winnings!

My share of the mountain.

...not to mention eating!

We ran out to Material Girls during our 2 1/2 hour lunch break on Saturday, and made a little pit stop at the Rio Grande cafe next door. It was as awesome as everyone said!

Check out those freshly made tortillas! That dude stepped right into my picture. Side note...do you ever wonder what random stranger's vacation photos you're in? Some family in Sheboygan, Wisconsin probably has a photo of me in the background picking my nose in Disneyworld in their coffee table album, lol!




I had a Mexican Coke (yum! my favorite!) and Karen and I split the pork burrito - the sauce on it was mind-blowing!

And what's a shopping trip without dessert? There was a store in the little shopping center that melted candy bar pieces over your cookie of choice - YUM!

Yes please, I'll have one of everything...

But most of all, there were strengthened friendships and new friendships. Do you ever meet people, and instantly feel like you've known them for a lifetime, even though you've just met? I love that sense of immediate comfort and ease that comes with meeting "kindred spirits" like Michelle, Kristie, Cara, Jacey, Elena, Dana, Candice, Ali, and so many others this past weekend! My only regret is that I wasn't able to spend time with more of the people there, but there are only so many hours in a day :(

Our motley crew - Michelle, Me, Karen, Angela, Cherie and Cara - plus Megan, who I met for the first time at the end of the Summit! She seemed really fun and I wish I'd gotten to hang out with her more :(

And here's me headed home :( 

But at least I had an adorable new pouch from Jennifer to store my flight essentials in! It was the perfect fit for my ID, boarding pass and phone.

 


See you all next year!

October 12, 2011

Bag Remix

(pattern here)

My friend at work kept passing by my cube and eyeing my bag, so she finally asked me to make one for her in black and gray. She liked the look of the cheater print I used for mine, so I pieced it using some Echino and Lecien prints I had on hand. The gray pin dot is from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, stefaniexu. I'm fighting the urge to order more because I used the last of what I had...gotta stay strong because I need to be better about using what I have, rather than constantly ordering more fabric! Gah!


I also reinforced the piecing with some topstitching. I wish I'd used a light gray thread instead, because I feel like the black stands out too much! 


She wanted corduroy for the handles and top panel like mine, and I lined it with some gray Michael Miller Ta Dot. I do need to order more of that print though, because it's an awesome basic to have on hand.


I'm gonna try and post the rest of my photos from the retreat tomorrow...I keep getting sidetracked by sewing projects and my Hulu Plus Queue, lol!

October 10, 2011

There's a new sheriff in town.

In keeping with this post (which was inspired by this story), I have a new policy when it comes to fabric purchases. Because I don't want to go back to the "bad place" where fabric is popping out of every corner of my house and hanging from the rafters like monkeys (...in the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...), I've decided that every time I make a new fabric purchase, something else has to go.

And since I bought some new fabric during the Sewing Summit (more to come on that later - I had such an awesome time with my gal pals!), somethin's gotta go!

Out with the old...(now in my Etsy shop)


...and in with the new! I couldn't resist the Riley Blake Halloween prints you see on the left. They were already 25% off, and then Material Girls offered all Summit participants a flat 25% off their purchase, so I ended up getting them for a little over $1/each!!! Can't beat that price with a stick.


And these are some more of my new fabrics, but they don't count because I swapped for them.


Did I tell you all about the Fat Quarter swap I helped organize at the Sewing Summit? I can't remember...

Anywho, a while back I had the idea that it would be fun for a big group of us to swap fabric in person. We've been doing it for so long online, that it only seemed right we should finally get together and swap in person :)

We had over 50 people respond, so unfortunately we had to limit it to fat quarter cuts for the sake of time and ease :( Everyone brought their fat quarters to our hotel room the night before the swap so that my lovely fabric assistants could sort them, and we handed over raffle tickets for each FQ they brought.

(picture swiped from Angela)

The next evening we laid out all the fabric according to color, and everyone showed up to shop and "purchase" fabric with their tickets.


I'd like to give a BIG thanks to my lovely swap volunteers, who really did most of the work...


...and to all the wonderful participants, who put up with my laundry list of rules and made this such a fun event :)


I wanted to thank everyone for being so awesome, so I made arrangements with some great online quilt shops for prizes! We used the ticket stubs our swappers turned in at the "checkout" to draw for some lovely fabric goodies at the end, including a 2 lb. scrap pack from Cynthia at Fabricworm, some Kona and Moda fabric bundles and charm packs from Whipstitch, a lovely custom FQ bundle put together by my friend Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics, and a book of sewing & quilting patterns donated by some of my favorite bloggers :)


Not to mention a sweet $20 gift certificate from Kristin at Sew, Mama, Sew!, plus a FQ bundle from Hawthorne Threads of the entire Lizzie line by Anna Griffin! I was stoked when AnneMarie won the FQ bundle, because she's got a bambino on the way and the Lizzie line is so sweet and perfect for baby projects :)


More to come on the rest of our Sewing Summit shenanigans... ;)
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