254: sugar scrap

Oh, you guys.

Thank you for being so wonderful, as you always are.

Your comments make me smile and laugh, feel comforted and valued.

Thank you. You are awesome.

One person commented that they feel like they are a part of my life by reading my blog and I really love that. I feel like you are, too. I know it's just a blog and everything, but it feels more like I have a bunch of pen pals that I write to all at once. And it's the interaction with you - the comments, emails back and forth - that makes this so much fun. You are my community and I thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say, whether I am being silly and lighthearted or introspective and heavy-hearted.

Oh, also,  thank you for not pissing me off. 

:o)

(On the blog anyways.)

Remember how I was all freaking out about my project fore the tv thing? Well then along came Yummy Goods: The Shop and , uh, I kinda blew it off  put it on the back burner.

Yesterday I set up an impromptu sewing studio in the back of the shop and worked on some stuff all day.

Today, thank god, I have the fabulous Jess (that crafty starlet) from Juicy Bits coming over to help.  The actual project part isn't that much work, it just makes me nervous about the show so I keep putting it off.  Yeah, I kinda just want someone to come over and hold my hand. Know what I mean?

I have been working on a Sugar Snap Scrappy Quilt to decorate the set with. And that I can show you because it's not the project itself, yay!

It got much scrappier after I took this shot. I'll take more today for you, ok?

Oh, look at this:

My pal Karen from Tumbleweeds (my local quilt shop) made me one of her awesome pincushions out of Sugar Snap!

It is just the coolest thing ever to see someone else make something with my fabric! I can't wait for it to be out in stores so I can see what you do with it. You are going to blow my mind!

Oh, hey, are you extra-special-coo-coo like me? I can't throw any of this stuff away:

xo, m

245: cloud squeezing and sugar snapping

Oh, you guys.

Thank you so much for the Sugar Snap love! My heart moonwalks reading your comments.

I have taken a couple of half-days off from my job-job to  hang out with Sugar Snap. We had some catching up to do. We sewed a bit and and sat quietly together a bit. When we weren't doing that we were making out. 

Yes, I actually did walk around all afternoon with these scraps tied around my wrist. 

I was setting up a photo shoot for Sugar Snap! Who wants to see?

Well, ok. If you insist.

You do insist, right? Are you going to get sick of this? You better not. 

First, some silliness. I know, shocking.

Me, draped in Kimono:

Wow, the lawn actually looks good in that picture. It doesn't look that good in real life, trust me!

It has been so much fun getting to know the prints in fabric form. Last night, I sewed a pillow and an apron.

My first apron!

I totally made it up.

The main body of it is Kimono with a pocket made of Tendril in Jade and pocket  detail in Candy Dots.

The front waist part is in the pink Wiggle(not shown), with the ties in the plum Wiggle. The ties are long enough to wrap around and tie in front, or to make a wicked cute big bow in the back! All edged in thin pink bias tape.

I love it.

I have to tell you, I am not an amazing seamstress. I love to sew and have been sewing on and off since high school, but I am more creative than I am precise about these things. I do hope plan to become amazing, though. One of the cool things about sewing with my own line is that I want it to be perfect. I mean, my version of perfect, anyways! Perfect for me. Like, when I was making that apron, I used my seamripper. For maybe the first time ever. Honestly.  

As I was sewing the pillow I was chuckling to myself about how I was actually making the effort to center and line up prints and everything. 

Once I finished, I bounded down the stairs, pillow in hand.

"Hey honey, look at the pillow I made! I even lined up the prints and everything!"

He said, "Wow, you never do that!"

"I know!"

How about a few more shots of the prints themselves?

Kimono in shortbread (I think that's what we're calling it!):

Lace and Tendril in plum (with a side of Kimono):

All caught up in mint, Candy Dots ( I forget the color name!) :

On the right, Lace in cocoa:

A few details about Sugar Snap: The complete line is made from 7 designs in a total of 15 prints. The collection is available for stores to purchase now, and ships in early October.

From left to right, Candy Dots, Wallpaper (in plum?) and Tendril in sky:

Seriously, you better not be bored. You will make me cry if you are. I am all stressed out, too, so it's even easier than usual to make me cry . It's all Good Stuff, but I am not the most composed under pressure. Well, let's be honest: I'm not the most composed, ever!

And yes, I couldn't take it anymore. I cut my hair.

Actually, for the last couple of years, I have been wearing it even shorter than this! For the last few months, I was trying to grow it out. But then I remembered that I  hate it when it is any longer than an inch or so.

Do you like my hat?

xo, m

244: tendril in sky

I learned on the Today show that 8/08/08 is a very lucky day in the Chinese culture.

Turns out the number eight is the luckiest of numbers so a date that has three eights in it is pretty rockin' . Plus, it only happens once a century. On August 8th. You following me?

Today is an auspicious day to give you a better look at Sugar Snap, don't you think?

I was just notified of a new (and very short!) deadline, so I don't have it all planned out fancy-pants style like I wanted to. But I thought it would be cruel to keep you waiting any longer. You have been such dreamboats, giving me so much support and encouragement. Thank you.

Remember, this isn't fancy. I mean, I didn't even have a sunny day to photograph, but I am still showing you. And it isn't even really a full introduction, but I wanted to show you something! Ok?  Enough disclaimer?

(deep breath!)

Aw, Mercury. And in the front there, that's Jellyfruit. With two Tendrils behind it.

Wouldn't it be mean if I stopped there? Don't worry. I won't.

Here's something sweet for you to chew on!

From left to right: Kimono, Tendril in sky, Candy Dots, Wallpaper, Jellyfruit, and a little peak of Tendril in jade.

Wiggle and Kimono.

Kimono and Tendril:

Lace and Kimono (with mint):

Approximately 48 million more photos to come. Once I take them.

xo, m

238: patience is a virtue

I have been itching to do a giveaway.

I finally put together the bundles for my 200th post winners, so I could justify doing another.

I mentioned that I am a wicked procrastinator, right? Well, that works to your advantage sometimes because when I make you wait that long for a present, I go a little overboard:

Next time I am going to put the bundles together first like a normal person. That way you'll only have to wait for me to get around to sending it.

xo, m

222: sampling the sampler

Mornin', loves!

I really like blogging, can you tell?  I look forward to it. I am short on time again today, though, so it'll be a quick one.

Ok, Boston. Craft Magazine Party.
My killer goodie bag from The Sampler.

Some crafty supplies:

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Yeah, baby! Sparkley gluey stuff, pink crystals! Unicorn embroidery patterns from  Sublime Stitching!

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Be still, my eighties-lovin' heart! (Do a girl a favor and pretend that you don't notice  how bad the lawn looks, mmkay?)

Super clean-and-fresh-smelling powder laundry soap:

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From Botanical Earth. Oh, bummer. I just looked them up to link, but their site is down and it says they are  closed. They hope to reopen in July, so I am linking anyway, in hopes that they do.

From Paloma's Nest:

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Ooooh, a  stamped brown box-I  love it already.

And inside: 

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A sweet (stamped!) little  ceramic dish. Wait a minute, what's that on there?

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That's right, a bee! Yay!

There were a few other items, too, but this was the bulk of it. Isn't it awesome? Makes me  want to get a Sampler every  month!

I hate to tell you this, but I didn't take any pictures at the actual event.
I was too busy making yoyos: 

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I like to pretend that Alison (the new boss of The Sampler) insisted that I take these buttons and circles of fabric home. But it was more like she allowed me to, since I wanted them so bad. Tee hee.

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I had been wanting to learn how to make these for ages- it is so easy! I want to make a million of them. Perfect little  craft for the couch.

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It occurred to me as I was sitting there in Greenward making these: Someday soon, I will be making yoyos with my own fabric!

If you are in the Boston area,  I hope you will stop by the Boston  Handmade Marketplace in  Somerville tomorrow! I'll bethere at Madelyn Macedo's booth. (I am talking to you, Tracey.)

Off to  work   now,  friends. I'll be back   soon.

xo, m 

220: super scrappy lemon waffle with mint

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I finished my Lemony Snippet quilt top the other day.

I love it.

Monday night I whipped together a less complicated (but still superscrappy) back. But then I thought, hmm, should I have this be two tops and do plain backs? I'm still waffling. (sorry no pics of the back yet)

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The last couple of nights, I have been working on a greenie one.  I am not loving it as much as this one - I think I need more mid-range green. I have equal parts yellowy-green, medium green and darker green. I think what makes Lemony Snippet so harmonious is the prevalence of light-medium yellow, even though I hardly notice it when I look at it. It allows the other colors to pop and shine and makes the whole thing work. I've been taking pictures as I sew, so I'll show you what I mean about the green one soon. I am going to get some more medium greens and see if I can make it sing.

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Lemony Snippet in the mint patch with old rake. 

xo

219: faux crazy nine

Good morning!

I just wanted to peek in and say hi.
I have some pictures to show you of Lemony Snippet and my killer goodie bag (from The Sampler, yes!) from the Craft Magazine party at Greenward, but I haven't uploaded them yet. I'll show you tomorrow, ok? 

I love my sunny quilt top so much that I am going to make a bunch in different colors. I think the next one will be greeny-bluey since I already have these:

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They are kind of crazy-nine-patch looking, but they are faux. I really don't like following directions, so I just make everything up.  

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Oooh! If I do a green one, I can incorporate some of these Jennifer Paganelli fabrics:

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I would like to make a whole rainbow of these monochromatic (really, analogous, but whatever) quilts.
Pinky orange might trump greeny bluey, though. I do so love pink.

And a pinky quilt would allow me to use these new Park Slope fabrics by Erin McMorris:

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Aren't they awesome? I just love these. Don't fret, I will be doing a giveaway soon. You know, just after I send out those packages from a couple of weeks ago. Eek! forgive me, I'm awful  about that!

You know, I really hope it rains today because the plants need watering and, well, I'm awful about that, too. 

I hope  you have a lovely day, free from struggle and sprinkled with laughter.  I really do.

xo, m

217: Good, Friday!

Aw, you guys! You are so sweet.

I totally didn't mean to guilt trip you! I was feeling  embarrassed for  being so needy but I'm over it now. I try not to beat myself up for that kind of stuff anymore. It always changes. Everything does.

I have been having ice cream after dinner instead of for dinner, so that's progress, right? And no chips. When I want to start eating better, I begin by adding in good stuff, rather than taking away the junk. So, I am still eating candy (atomic fireballs, yum) but I have a protein smoothie for breakfast, add in fruit during the day and make sure to have a big salad in addition to whaever else I eat. As I start to feel better, the junk food will fall away for the most part. Water, though. Still need to work on the water.

I've been sewing each night. My workroom is essentially a storage room at this point, so I have been sewing at the dinner table.  I  love how the fabric looks piled up on the radiator:

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The walls are so bare because we still haven't put on the second coat of paint! We are slow at that kind of stuff. 

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Watching:  So You Think You Can Dance.

Listening to:  Gillian Welch

What are you listening to?  I am always on the prowl for new music!

xo, m 

216: meetmeatthespacebar

I like it  better when I post everyday.

Where have  I been?
Um, you  know, in the bathroom crying  a  bit. Followed by  Haagen Daz and potato chips for dinner.

You know I like to keep it real,but I think it  would be mind-numbingly boring for you if I really  kept you  up to date on all that happens up in here! I know I'm bored with it!

And another thing that has been keeping me away: thedamnspacebaron thelaptopisn'tworking! Ihave to gobackovereachsentence and poundon the space bartogetittowork.Letme tellyouthatisapain intheass.

New  laptop on order anyways (t0 accommodate the new version of my design program), but in the meantime, ugh. I need to get some canned air to blow out this keyboard. See? See how boring it is around here?

Bah. How about some pretty fabric photos? 

Some Joel Dewberry, his new home dec weight Ginseng line:  

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I think we are going to use that pink orchid print to recover the seats on the dining room chairs. (The 'dining room' is just part of the living room, just so you know.)

I'm lovin' my Lemony Snippet quilt top so  much, that it inspired me to start a tote:

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And the other side: 

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Not sure what the lining will be yet. 

Maybe one of these prints from Tina Givens's Annabella collection:

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I am behind on emails and sending out gifties. Please forgive me. And if you are a person who comments regularly, you know I usually like to respond to each comment and I am behind on that, too.

Your comments keep me company.
I must admit, I get a little pouty when  I don't hear from you! That might be a little pathetic, I  know. Oh, well. Maybe someday I'll be one of those bloggers who can post a photo of their cat's ass and have hundreds of comments. But for now I know I have to work for it and  I treasure each and every one! Has someone made a tee shirt yet that says "Will Blog For Comments" ? Because if they haven't, they should.

So  there. I am showing you my needy side.  It's not pretty! I am tempted to erase all of  that, but I won't. Just promise not to think less of me. I try so hard not to be a comment-whore.

And now I will attempt to bribe you into liking me by showing fabric that is destined for your hands.

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That's right, future giveaway booty: 

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Anna Maria's Garden Party, baby.

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I missed you.

xo,m

215: mama's got a brand new bag

 I finally cut into my precious Kokka fabric and made myself a tote.

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I incorporated both of the prints, along with that grape-juice-colored  linen/rayon blend that I found wicked cheap at  Joanne's. 

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Some freestyle stitching with the machine  gives the plain fabric panel and handles some interest.

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I  love the handles:

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I didn't want both sides to be the same, so I mixed it up a little: 

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xo, m

214: cat fur lemon squares

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I got some new fabrics that I wanted to incorporate into my Lemony Snippet quilt top. Been cutting and sewing. 

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I started by laying down what I had so far.

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Then, I gathered up pieces from my cut up pile of fabric, paired them up and sewed them together. Once pressed, I placed them next to the main quilt piece and arranged them in a way that kept a good balance and flow of  color  and print, adding more cut fabric and sewing as I found  sets that I liked together.

Of course, there were some visitors. 

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I don't mind  the cats, it's the dogs walking on it that bother me. You'll notice I didn't take pictures of the dogs.  I try not to encourage them. 

A few larger areas shaping up: 

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This way of quilting takes a long time (for me!), but it's  fun and satisfying.  It feels  more like working on a painting than a quilt,which I tend to think of as needing geometric precision. Geometrically precise I am not. I just like to play with color and texture.

Guess who else does? 

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They just can't resist, can they? 

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Aw,who am I kidding. I wouldn't want them to. 

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xo,m 

211: lemony

oh, hey! I forgot to tell you that I announced  the winner(s) of the  200th post giveaway! Yep, follow that link if you wanna know!

That yellowy quilt top I started has grown:

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Mmmm, buttery, sunny, golden, lemony.

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On Saturday, after gardening all day, I took a nap in a quilt-draped hammock. Ahhh...Have you noticed how patchwork is even more magical when spread on  grass or a hammock?

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Listening to: Jolie Holland 

Just finished devouring and am about to go  back for seconds: What It Is by Lynda Barry 

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Lynda Barry friggin' rocks. Brilliant, hilarious, heartbreaking.  

About to watch: Paris, Je t'aime 

xo, m

207: product of integrity, endorsed

Hey!

Won't you join me as  I continue the show and tell of the Memorial Day weekend  yard sale haul?

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I love these old-timey prints. Reproductions, but still.

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Smooth inside.

Some bits: 

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Coats and Clark  is the parent company of Westminster Fibers (which produces the Free Spirit line that I design for.)

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One of my favorite things, faux patchwork: 

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And check this out, faux puffy quilting!:

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The colors didn't come out accurately, but this one really makes my heart flip flop:

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The orange is much more brilliant in real life, and the chocolate is dark, not milk.

Prepare to be jealous:

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I know!

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This week, I sent off my second strike offs of Sugar Snap! We are now in production, baby!

I just ordered the newest version of the design program I use, Adobe Illustrator. Yay! Now I can work on the laptop!  I am psyched to get started on my next fabric lines. I tend to work on a bunch of stuff at once, then let it shake down into something cohesive. That's a fancy way of saying that I never have a plan.

Ok, kids.
Time for me to hop in the shower and get ready for my day job.  I love starting my day with you like this!

I hope you have an awesome day.

xo, m


206: the fabric of my life, lately

I think it's gonna be a while before I can cut into these precious pieces of Kokka

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Remember, these are the ones I got at Bolt that night in Portland?

Oh, how I love this one:

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A-Line skirt? Jumper? Definitely some small bag in addition to whatever else I make.

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Oh, Yum.

At Quilt Market, I bought a darling charm square pack from Bunny's Designs, a distributor of supercute Japanese fabrics. These are a few of my faves:

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Killin me. Killin me with the cuteness! 

I've been sewing a little:

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I am trying to grow out my hair, and it is making me mental. More mental than usual, I mean. So I am making some cute headbands to contain the craziness that is my hairdo these days. I'll take some pics soon. They're just some simple  little patchwork-y headbands. Reversible. I wear them every day now.  

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I had cut a bunch of fabric a few months ago, so that when I feel like sewing I can just dive in. The other day, I grabbed a bunch of the yellow-y pieces and started some patchwork:

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Not sure what I'll do with it yet.

But you know me: I never have a plan. And that's the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it (uh huh, uh huh) . 

 A digression:
I saw KC and the Sunshine band in concert, you know. And no, silly, that wasn't the embarrassing first concert I mentioned before. I saw them maybe ten years ago  at the Melody Tent here on the Cape. ( This was the site of that first concert, though. No one has guessed yet, so there is still a prize waiting if you do.) So, yeah, KC and the Sunshine Band! They were awesome!

Oh my god, am I too silly for you? I am feeling all spazzy. 

Ok, back to , um...  what were we talking about? Fabric, right. Oh, did you notice that all of those pictures are super warmy-colored?

That's what happens when you take pictures in a pink room:

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The whole room has a glow to it. It's great for living in, not so great for accuracy of colors in pictures. Oh well, I love it.
See how the cats have clawed the arm of the chair? Charming, isn't it? Yeah, I don't think so either.

Oh, hey, I wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful comments lately. I had always thought that only the people who commented really enjoyed what I am doing here. I love how a giveaway encourages people  to come out and say something that I might not otherwise hear. Someone telling me they are inspired by what I write or show- well that is just amazing. So, thank you.  

My 200th Post Giveaway is still open, so make sure you leave a comment to have a chance at a yummy bundle of goodness. I will start to gather up the goods this week, but it will probably take me a while to complete the package. I am kind of a perfectionist about these things.

Hey, what are you making these days? Feel free to leave a link to your blog or flickr to show everyone! 

xo, m 

204: certified fresh daily

Hey, how is your weekend going?

I went to bed really early  last night (9 pm!) and then this morning I went to yoga for the first time in 3 weeks.  It felt great. I hate it when I miss class for that long, though. I am going to be a hurtin' puppy tomorrow, that is for sho.

As promised , some of my fabric score from last week's estate sales:

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I am not usually crazy about blue paired with yellow, but I like this:

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The metallic gold which looks great with the blue, don't you think? While we're on the topic,
how do you feel about metallics on quilting fabric? You know, just curious...

I really like the thick outline on this one:

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I absolutely love this:

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>>>>Oh, hey, don't forget to leave a comment on my 200th post- and maybe some of these fabrics will be yours! I will randomly choose the winner of The 200th Post Giveaway on the morning of Friday, June 6th.<<<<

So, can you believe my score from last weekend? All those vintage patterns and the fabric- and this is just the blue fabric! Actually, it is just some of the blue fabric!

Plus, there was other stuff, like this:

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That brief-case-toting (???) running baby is from this:

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Yeah, I don't get it either, but I do love it.

Ceramic rooster, plastic deer, and in the background ---a bacon press:

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I don't eat bacon, but damn, it does smell good.
I may be  overusing this rooster, but I don't care:

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Instructions on how to make a sock elephant:

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And a sock monkey!

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Do you see that in the upper right there? It says "optional hats."
I don't think that fez is optional at all. That fez is necessary.

I haven't told you about our thing for fez-monkeys yet, have I?

Oh, we have a lot to talk  about.

201: size bust hip

Yes, really. Twice in one day.

I couldn't wait  to get started with showing you the awesome stuff I scored  last weekend.
At a church sale, I spied a couple of boxes of sewing patterns and started rifling through them.

I pulled out these first:

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Followed by a couple of others:

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Then one of the ladies who was working the sale excitedly said,"You sew?? Oh, I'll make you a great deal on these! How about 3 dollars for that whole box?"

Sold! And a smaller box for 2 bucks.

And look at what I discovered when I got home and emptied the boxes onto the lawn:

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Vintage kid's clothes patterns!

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Love those illustrations.

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And how about these:

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Oh yes, vintage apron patterns!

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Some little pouches and smocking instructions: 

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And a full shot of this one, wow:

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Hey, if you haven't already, don't forget to leave a comment on the 200th post for a chance to win a Yummy Goods  Prize!
What will it be? Well, I'm still working on that, not sure. So far I'm thinking a bunch of fabric, maybe a little painting, jewelry supplies, cool rusty bits... Perhaps a vintage sewing pattern? You know, if you're into that kind of thing.

xo, m 

180: the cutting room thor and the vegetable pusher

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I haven't been sewing, but I have been cutting. 

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As always, no plan. Just randomly cutting fabric into strips  and squares for when I am ready to sit down at the machine.

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I feel a quilt coming on. 

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Spring! I love spring. It has been pretty much sunny for the last couple of weeks, which has helped my outlook immensely. I spent the afternoon in the garden on Saturday, for the first time this season. This is late for me!
I cleaned up a few of the beds in the vegetable garden, and most of the pathways between the beds. 

Need to get some peas in the ground this weekend. Maybe I'll grab some pansies at the nursery. I pledge to document my gardening this year!

Do you garden?  Vegetables or flowers or both?

If you lived nearby,  you would be so sick of me pushing  cucumbers and green beans on you every summer.

169: of quilts and cuteness

I was changing the sheets on the bed the other day and look who showed up:

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When he hears sheets being shaken out of a folded bundle he comes running. He must romp.

Do all cats do this? Well, I guess not, because Mercury doesn't. Do your cats do it?

It's not just cats who must get in on the bed-making:

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Oh, Zeus. How can I resist your cuteness?

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No, this is not an adorable-animal-photos blog, but when it happens, you gotta go with it.

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He was looking so photogenic, and the bed was actually made, so I took the opportunity to get some shots to show you that quilt I made a while back.
Ok, fine, it's patchwork.

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If you're wondering why the wall behind the bed is so boring, it's because this is a temporary bedroom, still in need of skimming, painting etc.

This is taken from the head of the bed:

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You can see some of the back on the folded over part.  I didn't go to the trouble of washing of the dog and cat fur before showing you. I thought about it, does that count? I mean, at least the bed is made, right?

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I do really want to make an actual quilt. You know, one that's quilted. Maybe I'll do a throw.

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I have been cutting more fabric into strips so that when I am ready to sew I can just jump right in.

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Hey, first strikeoffs should be coming in about 3 weeks!
I can't freaking wait.

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165: stardust and ribbons

Some old-school crafty goodness:

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The tube of glue, of course, is totally dried up but the packaging is just so awesome.

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I love these ladies:

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I got all of the above at an estate sale this weekend.

And these ribbons, too:

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And these ribbons: 

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And this:

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Oh yeah, and some cute fabric, too:

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And a bunch of other stuff that I'll show you later.

We got our new countertop this week! Pics to come. It looks sharp.

We were so excited about the kitchen's transformation that we decided to repaint the living room. We got a coat of primer on it tonight. We hope to have it finished by the end of next weekend.

When we first moved in, we scraped off all of the wallpaper, skimmed the walls and painted  them this wonderful warm brown. But the room just doesn't get enough light so it was always too dark even in the middle of the day.
I'll post before and after shots, of course.

Our painting soundtrack:

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions by Bruce Springsteen
Quintette du Hot Club de France by Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grapelli
Monkey Business by Black Eyed Peas

Oh, hey, I bought my plane ticket to Portland  for Quilt Market! Ahhh! So exciting.

Hey, I'm going to do a Frequently Asked Questions thingy, so if there is anything I can add to the list after "How do you design fabric?" and "How do you get a gig with Free Spirit?" please let me know.

157: feline hijinx

Framing the entryway of my local quilt shop is this gorgeous wisteria vine, dripping with last year's velvety pods. 

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Can't wait for it to come into bloom. 

My haul: 

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Tumbleweed sells bundles of fabric scraps for $4.95- that's what that plastic bag is in the upper right corner.

Here's what was inside this one: 

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Here, you can see it better when I lay it out like this:

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Not bad for 5 bucks! 

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Uh oh, here comes trouble:

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You know what happens next:

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.........purrrr......