Fabric Crush: Introducing PAINT!

Welcome to my hop on the blog tour for PAINT, the latest fabric line from Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs!

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To read more about my friendship with Carrie (and one her beautiful “wise-woman” stories) go here.

PAINT continues the conversation begun in Carrie’s first line, Collage. The elements we know and love are there in new shades – the “torn” stripes, and the text prints (psst… Carrie handcrafts the text to be full of positive and inspiring words).

I’m thrilled to see all the solid-reading blenders in this line – they are so needed to bring together a pretty composition – but I’m utterly wowed by the border print! Carrie sent me some to play with, and so I featured it in the flap of a couple Chunky Wee Bags:

PAINT CWBags

 

I made the littlest bag especially for Carrie’s daughter, who is featured in the Lookbook that Windham Fabrics created for the fabric. It’s worth a peruse – it has a bunch of sweet projects in it, showing the versatility of the fabric. And don’t miss the inspiring prayer flags created by a community of Carrie’s readers on the last page!

Carrie and Windham have a charm pack of the fabric for you to win – just leave a comment below, and I’ll choose a winner on Tuesday morning. And look for the fabric at your LQS in July/August (tell them to order it at Spring Quilt Market!)

Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

April 9 April Rhodes
April 10 Sally Keller + Julie Goldin
April 11 Shea Henderson
April 12 Ramona Burke + Jenny Kelly
April 13 Sam Hunter A Vintage Fairytale (Staci Barrett)
April 14 Rachael Gander + Erica Sage
April 15 Karen LePage + Tia Curtis
April 16 Shelly Figueroa + Fabrications2b (Bonnie Bobman)

 

Fabric Crush – new Kona solid colors!

While I was at Spring Quilt Market, I did some more scouting of fabric for Kim Kight of the TrueUp blog. One of my assignments was the Robert Kaufman booth, and the fun folks there (hi Kyle!) showed me a card of new solids that are on their way to us:

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I was thrilled to see a couple more ORANGE selections, and I know that that whole row of grays is going to thrill a bunch of people. I think these colors do a nice job of filling in a hole or two.

Anyhow, in the Post-Market-Clean-My-Studio-And-Put-All-The-New-Stuff-Away-Frenzy of yesterday, I discovered I have two Kona color cards. They are the April 2012 version, so they have last year’s additions, but not the ones above.

Kona Card

I only need one of them, so who wants the other? Leave me a comment… I’ll pick a random winner sometime Sunday night!

And keep your eye on TrueUp for a peek at a bunch of new fabrics!

Aloha Tropicals!

tropicals quilt

I had a sweet surprise in the virtual mailbox this week: the lovely people at Hoffman Fabrics choose my Mousetrap pattern to show off their latest Tropicals and Conversationals prints, and sent me this image of their quilt. Love the aloha spirit! And check out the surfboard print!

And here’s a tidbit of trivia for you… did you know that Hoffman designed fabric for Tom Selleck’s shirts in Magnum PI?

aloha shirt

Alooooooha Tom!

Whew! Now that your 80′s flashback is over (or is it an 80′s hot flash?!)…

The quilt is heading to AQS in Paducah at the end of April to hang at the Hancocks of Paducah fabric store (if you’ve never been in there its well worth a visit). It might also make an appearance at Spring Quilt Market in Portland in May.

If you happen to see the quilt, get someone to snap a shot of you with it and send it to me, OK? Mahalo!

Tom Selleck Image courtesy the Aloha Shirt Museum

Fabric Crush – Sam I Am!

FINALLY!!!!

I plan to buy yards of that ORANGE-on-ORANGE “I am Sam I am” print. And I must have pajamas out of something with the eggs motif. Oh, how I like these, Sam I am!

Kim at TrueUp spotted this at Houston Market (how on earth did I miss it???). Because her pix are prints and not headers, my guess is that we’ll see it sometime next year. I’ll be waiting!

Process – tools!

If you recall, one of the things I pointed out in my original post about process was my desire for efficiency. I like to feel that I waste as little time/fabric/money/regret as possible so as to allow room for more. “More what?” you may ask. More of everything… more time, more groovy things made or designed, more play, more freedom, more future… a little existentialist perhaps, but there you have it! MORE.

In concrete terms, efficiency becomes a big deal in how I choose my tools. So here’s what I use, and why I chose them (and I have no affiliations so this is not an infomercial!). And I would love to hear about your faves in the comments – you might be turning me onto my next big tool crush!

Before I get going – a quick word about labels… if you ever take your sewing kit on the road, be sure to mark your name on EVERYTHING. It makes for saner retreats and workshops, and less misunderstandings about whose ruler is getting passed around. I use Sharpie pens on most things (especially the rulers so that there is no label obscuring the one section of the ruler I’m bound to be looking at). And when I’m not using Sharpie I use ribbons (which will make sense once you see the pix). Mostly ORANGE ribbons. Like you needed to be told that!

So let’s start at the cutting table..

Like many quilters, I grew up with the dark green Olfa mat, but a couple of years ago I was introduced to a mat made by Fiskars that is pale green on one side and pale yellow on the other – easy to reverse depending on the color of fabric you are working with! A bonus with this mat is it lasts twice as long because once you’ve grooved the heck out of one side you just flip it over.

Also – note the dots in the squares on the yellow surface above. This is some additional alignment help that I’ve come to appreciate.

For rulers, I use Omnigrid and its newer sister Omnigrip, which has scrubby/grippy bits on the underside to help mitigate the slipperies. I prefer the grippy texture and green color of the Omingrip (I seldom use that color of green fabric so it shows up well) but I’ve had my Omingrids a long time with few issues (and I’m too frugal to replace them without good cause). And if you take a look, you’ll see that the Omnigrips also have those extra alignment dots I like. The sizes I use most are 6″ x 24″, 6″ x 12″, 3″ x 18″ and 4″ x 14″. Yes, I know that Creative Grids have the same grippy texture on the back, but most of their rulers are something-and-a-half inches, and I’m not used to that dang HALF (having used whole number sized rulers for twenty odd years). I invariably cut wrong with them because I’m not catching that I aligned the wrong side – which makes for a reduction of efficiency and increase in waste, not to mention a rather grumpy Sam.

However – there is a caveat to just about everything. Behold, above, the Creative Grids yardstick. It’s 2.5″ x 36.5″ and I’m utterly in love with it. Definitely a tool crush. I cut mostly 2.5″ bias binding and this is my go-to ruler for that and any fabric that is 60″ wide. Get one. You can thank me later.

And onto the rotary cutters. Again, I grew up with the original Olfa 45mm cutter and haven’t found a reason to abandon it (and I got to test a bunch of them for the team that is now GenQ Mag so I’m not just being an old-school luddite). I do keep a 60mm version too, and use it for cutting batting, fusible fleece, canvas, and any other thick or weird stuff. I also keep a spare cutter designated for paper. Note that it has different identifying ribbons so that when I grab the handle out of the pot I know which 45mm I’m getting.

One thing I will say, nay SHOUT, about rotary cutters is this: if you are not willing to close the blade yourself when you put it down (or you have hand issues that make it difficult to slide the guard closed), you MUST buy one that will close for you. YOU MUST. You may NOT have blades out in the open. Because getting a bad cut is REALLY inefficient. Not to mention terribly inconvenient. And somewhat embarrassing.

This lovely little goody is another tool crush – a magnetic pincushion by Clover that has a lid. No more putting the pincushion into a Tupperware to take it out of the house. And the lid clips to the bottom when you need it open. Swoon! My only complaint is that it doesn’t come in ORANGE. What were they thinking?

Clover also makes the best seam ripper in town – this one consistently wins magazine test drives for its nice fine point and a good sharp blade. I keep a spare new one on hand at all times and toss the one next to the machine as soon as it starts snagging (and then buy another new one to keep spare). I think I had my first seam ripper for a decade, never realizing that they need to be replaced periodically!

Last tool for this post – a small pair of scissors. These are by Fiskars, but I know that they are being made by several companies now. I use them at the machine to trim threads from the surface of a quilt when I am quilting. That little bend keeps me from snicking a cut into the fabric.

Hmmm…. I spy a purple ribbon. Heresy! Must change that!

Not a Fabric Crush, but a crush nonetheless!

My friend Carrie over at SUCH Designs created this little gem of a sewing machine from the family Lego pile, and generously shared a tutorial on how to make it here.

Now there’s a way to ask Lego to make it for real – check it out.

I so want one of these. Alas… The Boy (my son) is grown and gone and there is no Lego left in my house. Which is maybe a good thing considering how much of it I had to pick from between my toes back then. And I know all you parents have had the same “conversation” about keeping the bedroom floor free of the Lego minefield!

And so now I plot and scheme… who still had Lego-loving kids at home, and how much can I bribe them? Hmmmm….

Fabric crush 03.29.12 – Fonts!

After color, my other love in the world of art is typography – I would have gone into font design out of high school had I known such a field existed.

This week I found out about Michael Miller’s Fontastic line – mine is speeding its way to me via mail already!