Down with the man!

Have you heard about the little rainbow sunshine plushie tutorial floating around the net? Holly over at Chez Beeper Bebe designed this cute little guy to sell and was told by the Taggies company that it infringed on their patent and she had to take it off etsy. Luckily for us, she made a tutorial for them instead and posted it on her blog.

You have to go read her whole story on her post, it just infuriates me that Taggies thinks they can patent something like the ribbon loop. That is like me saying I am going to patent the french knot for embroidery and no one will ever be able to use it again. As you may know, I work in a toy store and I will not be encouraging anyone to buy Taggies, and what is more I am going to ask my boss to have us stop carrying them altogether. And I am going to make some and send them to everyone I know who has a baby and tell them about what jerks the Taggies people are. Seriously.


Wow, what a day!

Okay, so today it feels like all I did was spend money, but it was so totally worth it. There is a fabric store in San Francisco called Britex Fabrics, and I had never heard of them until I started taking the bus to work and I saw their sign as we drove by every day. My friend Ivy from the stitch & bitch is a fabric sales rep and she told me that today and tomorrow they are having a 30% off sale for the entire store! My co-worker Lydia told me about how cool the place is, and knew I was going to go there today and drop some serious cash. I ended up going to a couple quilting stores and an antique store as well, and here's what I got: (And no, I will not say how much I spent. It was a lot, but the stuff I got was worth a lot more!)

The millinery and trims are for my steampunk stuff, and I do not know what the fabric will be yet. I also found a cute vintage apron and a full set of milk glass espresso cups and saucers for Angela (not pictured as they need washing). All and all a very nice haul. Here's the thing: I was really, really good last year about not buying fabric unless I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and I started said project in a timely manner. I mostly stuck to that plan and it helped me not to stash too much. This year, I am one-upping the old plan. After today, since I went hog-wild, I am not allowed to buy any more craft supplies. I am enlisting the help of Dennis and Angela to keep me away from fabric stores, and if anyone spots me in a fabric store go ahead and tell me to GTFO, the exception being that I can get something I need to finish a project if I run out.
I do not have a craft room in our apartment, so the living room is my craft space. I have shown you pictures of the bookcase filled with all my fabric, and it is entirely full now which means I have to stop or it is going to spill over into places it shouldn't. And with Dennis on the verge of moving in I cannot allow myself to buy a bunch of stuff to fill up our little home. I have a small craft store's worth of notions and bits and bobs, so I am planning to only use what I have on hand to create items with this year. (I just have to go off on a tangent and say that my normally evil cat is being so incredibly cute right now. He is asleep next to me with his face burried between my thigh and the couch and I can hear him snoring slightly. *Melting*) Anywho... That's the plan. And I just have this great urge to make, make, make right now so I am going to go with it for as long as I can. Hopefully after that urge has waned I will get the urge to list, list, list on etsy so it all doesn't sit around the house forever!


My First Quilt...

Well, pretty much. It is not the first quilt I ever started, but it is the first one I have finished. But there's a catch... It's a cheater's quilt. I (thankfully) did not have to piece together all those billions of tiny squares for the quilt top; it came pre-printed like that. I found the adorable fabric (Which I just realized is perfect for Valentine's Day!) for an absolute song years ago and have been meaning to make this quilt as a test run to see if I was even capable of finishing the easiest possible version of such a thing. And I was!

I had the back fabric in my stash as well as the binding, and I had just enough of each to make it work, so it must have been meant to be! It's just a baby quilt, and since none of my friends ended up having girls (I think this is a girlie fabric but a lot of my friends think it is fine for a boy too, but whatever!), I will probably sell it on etsy, though I would secretly like to squirrel it away for the someday down the road when I have a girl of my own. But that's a long time to keep it in mothballs, and I think it deserves to be out in the light of day and well-loved by a cute little girl right away!

So I sandwiched the top and backing around one layer of needle-punch weight organic cotton batting and proceeded to quilt it in black thread (apparently not a very common thing to do, but I wanted the red-black-white-yellow theme to carry on to the back of the quilt), and I did not use a walking foot. I still have no idea why I need a walking foot to quilt. I tried to find one recently and it is proving very difficult. Beverly's doesn't have them, neither does the local fabric store, but the sewing machine and vacuum repair shop by the lake says they will gladly order it for me. I am not quite sure it is worth it at this point because for one, I had no trouble quilting this little baby with my usual sewing foot, and two, the other quilts I have lined up will be impossible for me to quilt on my tiny machine, so I will either have to send them out to be quilted or join the Oakland Quilter's Guild so I can have access to their long-arm machines (Which I think would be super-fun!).

Anywho... So the quilting went pretty well on my little old machine, and then I set to work on the double-fold binding with mitered corners, which I learned how to do from the book "Quilts" by Denise Schmidt. It was daunting at first because I really don't do much hand-sewing and I have never been a very big fan of it, and I had to learn how to do a "blind stitch". But what a revelation! I absolutely adored sewing the binding on by hand, it was the most enjoyable part of the quilt and by far the most enjoyable hand-sewing project I have ever done.

The little quilt only measures 37 1/2 inches by 31 1/2 which was not a ton of binding to sew on, so I took it with me to my stitch & bitch group and finished most of it there, and then finished the rest at home that night while watching a movie with Dennis. I think I just loved how easy it was to get that amazing invisible stitch, and the edge and corners look a million times better than I ever thought I could get them to look!
I intentionally did not pre-wash the fabrics because I love the slightly crinkly look the quilt gets when you wash it after everything is sewn together. So a quick wash with some eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic detergent and softener, then a short tumble dry did the trick! And since it is all cotton it will get softer with use and washing, which is awesome! I hope whoever gets this quilt will use the heck out of it for a very long time. I still have my baby quilt so know that they can be very special keepsakes. I hope mine ends up as someone's cherished blankie!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


omg... OMG... O.M.G!!!!!!

Guess what?? Oh, I am so rediculously excited to show this to everyone. Do you know what this is?

Yes, it's a craft book about repurposing tea towels... Why haven't you seen it in stores yet? Because it doesn't come out until the 2nd of March... How did I get an advance copy of it? Because I wrote TWO patterns included in this book! BOOYA! That's my paintbrush roll in the center!

YAAAY! Seriously, though, I am over the moon that I have patterns in a published book! It still doesn't feel real, like some kind of big joke, but here it is in my hands and soon people will be buying it and hopefully making beautiful things with it! I feel honored to be included amongst all the other amazing projects, most of which I have already picked out tea towels for. Here is a sneak peak at the patterns I wrote:

One is a paintbrush roll and the other, which I am particularly proud of, is how to transform a single tea towel into eight (Yes, eight!) tissue cozies, which is great for craft fairs, stocking stuffers, or any kind of little gift! It is available for pre-order right now on Amazon so go check it out!

Okay, deep breath... Man, I am just so happy. I like the way my name looks in print, lol. All of my friends keep telling me I need to write my own craft book, and I do have some ideas floating around my head so hopefully someday soon... Who knows! Anywho, sorry for the long absence, but I have been crafting during my quiet time. I finished my first little quilting project, and I will post pictures very soon. And I have a bunch of neat stuff to list on etsy, so I will keep everyone posted as to when there will be a shop update. Other than that it has been pretty much same-old-same-old around here; still working, getting home at 8 or so, and having no time for anything.
Oh! One new development is that my lover boy will be moving in with me and Angela shortly, which should make things interesting to say the least. We will see how it goes, keep your fingers crossed that we all remain sane!