Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trying to be Zakka

There have only been two quilts in blogland that have taken my breath away. One of them is Pinkchalk's baby quilt for Brie, and the other one is the one that inspired this one. The first person to guess the inspirational quilt wins a prize. Haven't figured out what the prize is yet, but it'll be handmade by me. Is that good motivation? I don't know.

p.s. I said inspirational quilt, not wallboard (wink, wink).

ETA: Here I go changing the rules while the game's in session. I've decided the first correct answer gets a prize (way to go Stacy!!!--the inspiration quilt is by 6.5 stitches and can be found here), and then I'm going to draw a random name from all other commenters. So please, stop by and say hello!

**Just to let you know--it's not too late to comment. I'm drawing a name tonight (Feb.1) at 11:00 (pacific time) before I go to bed.

***Oh man. Did I really say 11? It's only 9:30 and I'm fading. Oh well. No new comments have been coming in for hours now. Let's get the drawing over with. According to the random number generator comment #27 gets it. Congrats mama!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

obla di

When I was a student I always had the hardest time coming up with titles for term papers. Now as I blogger, I find myself in the same predicament. I've decided not to care anymore if the title is catchy or not, so from here on out who gives a rip? ok? :) Ok. Now that that's settled, I have a couple of things to share.

First up--

Thanks so much for all the suggestions recently on where to get zippers. I will keep that in mind the next time I need them, which will be in about 10 years from now because look what I got in the mail from Kelli! And the fun part is that a lot of them are still in their original retro packaging from the 40's and 50's. I can't wait to think of some fun ways to put these to use. Thanks Kelli!

Secondly, I mentioned that I'm doing the In-Stitches along. I decided to make the photo holder, but had a really hard time with it because I tried using something other than Timtex. I'd already heard the pitfalls of substituting, but for some reason, I thought those warnings didn't apply to me. Anyway, it took me 2 tries and about 4 hours to make, and the result was a bunched up thing that wouldn't flatten out or fold properly, so I decided to cut my losses and make it out of cardstock instead.

I don't know if it still qualifies for the sew-along, although I did sew in the pocket, so technically it has some stitches, right? But I must say, I loooooove working with paper, and I love the look of grommets and I think the likelihood of making more of these is pretty great since it involves 1) a small time commitment, 2) no interfacing, 3) no ironing, 4) no pinning. And it's flat, so it can be sent easily. And I don't think I need to mention the endless possibilities of fabric/paper/color combinations. You get the point.

Before I sign off, take a look at Blackbird's hilarious post today (at least I think it's hilarious!). Now off to look for some Zakka objects in my house...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Swap Happy

The last time I joined a swap was the blockswap hosted by Jessica of Seedpod Books and Art. I received some gorgeous quilt blocks. The only trouble is that the colors, even though I love, love, love them, don't match any room in my house. I'm being realistic here by saying that I'm probably not going to turn them into a quilt. So instead of having the blocks languish in my fabric pile, I've decided to use them when I get the chance. I turned this one into the pocket of an apron. Isn't it a pretty block? This one was made by Stephanie from Portland, OR. Hi Stephanie! Do you still read my blog? Do you have one yet? Leave me a comment, 'K?
Two other things I'm working on:

We've been paired with Maria's daughter Milly. Maria's website is one hour craft. Funny, because I've gone to visit her website loads of times--and then to be partnered with the mastermind herself is pretty cool. I'm having fun sewing for a little girl!! :)


the In-Stitches sew along hosted by African Kelli and Finny, with a flickr group here. Come join us!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Quick post! We're so excited! We just closed on a piece of property on an island. We're land owners. Wooo hooo!

When hubby was little, his parents owned a piece of property adjacent to a farm. His dad would drive the kids out there and they'd spend an afternoon traipsing around, chasing the dog, making trails, digging ditches, drinking hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows. They'd drive home bone tired and his mom would be waiting with an pizza casserole in the oven. Ever since we've been married, this has been a dream of ours--to have a getaway away from the suburbs. A place for the kids to run free. And now we've got it.

And now the wheels are turning. Now that it's ours, what are we going to do with it? At this point, we're thinking it would be great fun to build a yurt and maybe decorate it like this. Fun stuff to dream about when we're snowed in this week.

We're used to snow. We used to live in Michigan and commuted all winter long with no problems. But Michigan was nice and flat--not hilly like it is here. They plowed and salted there, they don't here. Anyway, here we live on top of a hill, and I'm pretty sure we could drive down it alright, but my concern is whether or not we'd be able to make it back up. So we've been housebound for the past 4 days. Thank goodness we had lots of milk in the fridge and had recently stocked up the pantry. What's especially frustrating about being snowed in is that I have this:

burning a hole in my pocket, and I need to get to JoAnn's so that I can finish this:

BTW, the gift cards? That's what happens when you pay for a roof on your JoAnn's credit card. Heh heh.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hemp Lover

I've been making some pouches using the excellent tutorial from twelve22--a great pattern for beginner zipper people like myself. These pouches are made of hemp fabric, and I absolutely love working with it...the nubbiness, the texture, the smell. And now, like linen, it's one of those things that I am addicted to and must have in my stash. I got it here...it's the hemp summercloth. Tell them Joanna sent you.

Anyway, after having trouble finding zippers that were a perfect match, I decided to go funky and get in-your-face zippers that made more of a statement. It was fun matching the lining of the pouches to the zippers. The letters on the outside are just fabric paint stamped on with those foam letter stamps that scrapbookers use. And sometimes, as I was making these, I'd get all philosophical and think that these pouches, a little plain on the outside, but fancy on the inside, are how we all should be.

Good old Mr. Rogers. Our kids love him and so do we. You know his song, "Some are fancy on the outside. Some are fancy on the inside." We've been stressing to our kids how important it is to focus on being fancy on the inside. So you can imagine my shock, as I decided to print off the words of the song, that that particular one is actually about gender awareness. i.e. boys are fancy on the outside and girls are fancy on the inside. OKAAAY! That will teach me to clean up in the kitchen when the kids are watching TV. By the way, these pouches are going to people who are fancy on the inside...in more ways than one. Ha ha ha. Ahem.

**All the lining fabric is from Moda. The ruler and flowery fabric are from the building block collection, and the other two in the orange and blue colorways (background fabric) are from the peas and carrots collection.

**Zippers are from Joann's. I'd love to know if you have a good zipper supplier!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Not a big commitment--just a few fat quarters that I thought were cute. Small pieces of fabric with huge potential. It'll be fun to see what they end up becoming. Kind of like my hopes for this year. I have some ideas of what I'd like to see happen, but I'm sure there will be dips and turns, the need for a seamripper, and some successes--with a little luck, maybe even on the first try.

I'm not big into resolutions, but I do have some desires/wishes for 2007.

1. You know the old grandma in church who presents new babies with afghans crocheted with red heart acrylic? I've decided that I want to be her. Minus the old, minus the red heart.

2. My mother-in-law, on Sundays, always seems to have a pot roast in the oven. If she or my FIL see someone new in church, they make a point to introduce themselves and invite them over. Hospitality--welcoming people into one's home and showing them love. That's what it's all about. I want to be more like that. I want to care less about whether my home is clean enough and more about whether my heart is open enough to help create a sense of belonging.

3. That's about it. I could write a whole litany of things to do and ways to improve myself. But I'll spare you. Really, you'd be bored. It'd be stuff like: get my teeth cleaned on a regular basis, be more organized, be more patient with the kids...you get the picture.

4. One more: get my oomph back. I used to have oomph. I've lost it somewhere along the way--between potty training, shuttling little ones around in the van, and being sleep deprived. I want to find something this year to be passionate about. I'll let you know if I find it.

Happy New Year. I'm looking forward to seeing how this year unfolds for all of us. :)