Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Best Sewing/Craft Room Organizing Tips: Just a Click Away!

Sewing Room Mosaic

I had such a fun time the other day posting pics of my sewing room.  I have designs to continue to tweak it to better organize all my supplies, and I'll post an update when I do (update: Here's how it's looking after some major reorganization).  Until then, enjoy this little list of organizing solutions for all your crafty needs.  Got a great tip or link that I missed?  Leave me a comment or email me at skooksplayground[at]gmail[dot]com.
How to Store:

  • Fabric
    1. Stacked Saris, 2. fabrics, 3. Stacked Saris
    • Confessions of a Fabric Addict via Stash Manicure: (Use your sewing ruler to achieve stash folding nirvana.)
    • Happy Zombie: (Pretty much the same as above, but she posted it first.)
    • Crafty Girls Workshop: (same as the first 2, but a video if you are having a hard time getting the concept.)
    • The Fabric Organizer: (Pricey, yes.  But if you want your sewing room to look like a fabric store, this would probably be your most direct route.)
    • The Little Green Bean: (Or you could DIY the idea above and still get the fabric store look without the hefty price tag.)
    • I used the tute I found on Cut To Pieces (below) to wrangle my fabric stash.
    • Cut To Pieces: (Ingenious idea, similar to the above idea, using comic book boards with a little note about folding fat quarters!) [This is the route I went in my own sewing room.  You can check it out here.]
    • Just Something I Made: (Sweet idea for storing your fabric remnants.  Reminds me of what fabric stores do with their remnants when they clearance them out.  Only cuter.) 
    • Tallgrass Prairie Studio via Stash Manicure: (Once it's all folded, try this wire shelving system with lots of labels and bins!)  
    • Stash Manicure: (A great way to house works in progress as well as all those little bitty pieces using salvaged food containers!  Especially awesome for quilters.) 
    • Cut Out and Keep: (This is if you want to get REALLY anal about documenting your stash for reference purposes.  Seems like it would take a long time, but might be worth it for true fabric hoarders who really have no idea what they have anymore and need to take inventory.)  
    • Knock Off Wood: (DIY build it yourself cubby organizer to hold your delicious fabric stash - scroll down to check out the after pic!)  
    • Just Enough Style: (Low on space, maybe something over the door would work best for you.) 
    • Kootoyoo:  (Brilliant little video on how to fold a fat quarter so it doesn't fall apart.)  I used this technique in my own sewing room with my vintage sheet fat quarters:  
    • TrueUp: (For when your fabric organization hasn't been the best and you ran out of something and don't remember what it's called.  Great links on this page.)
  • Patterns/Books
    Me-maw's sewing patterns
    Image by AForestFrolic via Flickr
    • The Domestic Diva: (Boat load of ideas here.  If you've got a serious stash you will find a solution here, I can pretty much guarantee it.)
    • Badskirt: (Amy's finally found a solution that works for her, could get pricey if you are a person who has LOTS of patterns, but might be great for a smaller stash.)
  •  Buttons 
    • Design Sponge: (This won't store LOTS of buttons, but it's cute and would make a nice little wall display for your faves.)
    • Skooks' Playground: (Ok, this is my own post, but I still love this idea for stashing buttons in a most delectable way.)
  •  Inspiration
  • my inspiration wall
    • Decor8: (Adorable in a grouping, now those little hoops of your fave fabrics can hold your little treasures of inspiration as well.)
    • Creating by Cami: (Keep them in a book . . . a cute one.  And it's easier than you think.)
  •  The Time
    • Lunique via Craftster: (Why use a premade clock when you can make one yourself?  Not a pattern, but definitely inspirational!  Ok, so this isn't exactly an organizing link, but I LOVE it and want to make one for my sewing room so I couldn't resist throwing it in there.)
  •  General Crafty Supplies/Notions
  • my new sewing basket
    Image by shimelle via Flickr
    • Clean Mama: (DIY lazy susan idea for holding all kinds of pens, pencils, markers, brushes, scissors, anything!)
    • In My Own Style: (About halfway down the page there is a picture of the inside of an armoire that has been tricked out to organize all the little things.  Definitely worth checking out if you're wondering how to organize a cupboard to hold as much as it can while still keeping stuff accessible.)
    • Skooks' Playground: (Here's how I keep all my sewing needles straight.  Great product and easy to DIY if you really wanted to!)
    • Make It and Love It: (Cute bins actually made using recycled cardboard.  Who'd be the wiser?  And you can customize them to your preferred color palette.)
    • Vanilla Joy: (Make some cute labels and store all your notions in separate wide mouth mason jars.  Such a cute idea!) 
    • Just Between Friends: (Sweet DIY Ikea shelving hack for ribbon and thread storage.)
    • Crafty Storage: (A blog dedicated to . . . well . . . crafty storage.)
  •  Scissors
    • DMC Threads: (Make a scissors "picture" and always know where they are.  LOVE this idea.)
    • Skooks' Playground: (Reclaiming Hobby Lobby Home Decor clearance - this is what I ended up doing in my sewing room.)
  •  Embroidery Floss
  • Image by Claudia Marchan via Flickr
  •  Gift Wrap
    • Givers Log: (Pare down and it's less overwhelming . . . and then keep it all together like this.) 
  • General Studio Inspiration
    • Hello, My Name is Heather: (Heather Bailey was probably my biggest inspiration as I went into the process of making my sewing room.  Her studio reminded me that I could repaint my childhood bedroom furniture and reuse them in a super functional and chic way.)
    • Allsorts: (Jenny B has a completely HUGE and enviable studio.  Lots of great ideas in here.)
    • Skooks' Playground: (I curated a little gallery over on a Flickr of beautiful creative spaces awhile back.  I still refer to it when I'm brainstorming ideas on how to switch things up in there.)
Side View
Here's how things are looking these days around the Playground.


Monday, October 25, 2010

My Sewing Room aka The Mom Cave

UPDATE:  I've kept on keeping on in this room and did a bit of an overhaul on it.  Check out the update post with lots of pics HERE.  :)

I have been itching to do this post for a long time now, but I've held back because the room is not "done" yet.

What does "done" even mean?  Especially when referring to a creative space?  This room has evolved quite a bit already in the short time that it has existed, and I'm sure will continue to as my tastes and projects change.

I have been living in our new home since May and this is the first time that I have ever had a room all to myself since I've been married.  It is downright heavenly.  There are days when I'm stressed out, tired, crabby, feeling completely blah about everything . . . you have them, you know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes I just tell Mr. Skooks, "I need to go sew."  (He can usually tell without the words needing to be said.)

It's like having my own personal retreat center in my house.

Sometimes I sew, other times I clean up and organize my supplies in there (I find it much easier to let the creativity flow in a clean space), and sometimes I just take out a notebook and jot down some ideas for things I might try to make someday.

Let's face it.  Sometimes I just go in there and savor the solitude.  Even if it's only for a half hour.

It is easily my most favorite place in my house (and I really love my house so that's saying a lot!)  Someday I'd love to paint the walls and put up curtains and get a few more storage solutions in place, but for now I'm just glad to have my little Mom Cave.

Bonus: It's a whole room I don't have to worry about baby-proofing.  When I'm done doing my thing in there I can just SHUT THE DOOR.  No one's allowed in without Mom.  Hooray! 

Cutting Table
Mr. Skooks gave my old bedroom furniture a face-lift by painting it antique white and giving the brass hardware a new coat of "brushed nickel" spray paint.  One of the dressers and the desk are the same size so I put them back to back and threw my cutting mat on top.  I love my "cutting table" and all the storage it provides!

Inspiration Wall
I got these little rails and clips from Ikea.  I LOVE how versatile they are for being able to accommodate any size picture I throw at them.  I also like how many pictures I can hang up at one time without having to buy frames or use tape.

Billy Shelf Over My Sewing Desk
Somehow I don't have a picture of my actual sewing table with my machines on it, but here's a pic of the shelving unit Mr. Skooks put up for me above that table.  Eventually the cubbies will display things in a cute way . . . at the moment it's a bit haphazard in there.

Ironing Board Storage
Most of the time my ironing board is set up underneath my inspiration wall, but when I need to get it out of the way I hang it on the back of the door.  You can see the corner of my sewing table to the left of the door.  I used to be WAY into knitting but have scaled back a ton since I started sewing a few years ago.  Still good to have some on hand though.  ;)
Ruler Organizer
To the left of my sewing table (and to the right of my cutting table) I hung this ruler organizer.  It is dandy for keeping all my measuring stuffs in one place so I can find whatever I need when I need it.

Hutch o' Sewing Goodies
The piece de resistance.  Here's a closeup view of my other dresser and hutch.  I store all my fabric in the drawers as well as ribbon and trims (except, as you can see, for the adorable fabric I leave out on the shelf because I love it so much and want to look at it every time I'm in there.)

Well . . . there's your mini-tour of my sewing room.  There are a few more nooks and crannies that I have yet to photo-document for you, but we'll save that for another day.  :)

Thanks for checking out my little slice of heaven!  I've curated a MASSIVE LIST of links on sweet ways to organize your crafty bits.  Check it out.  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Want to check out more Mom Caves?  The Centsational Girl is having a Mom Cave party over on her blog that you won't want to miss.  :) 

Linking up with all the other party people RIGHT HERE.  Join in on the fun!

P.S. For those of you without a room to yourself, don't despair!  For the longest time I only had a little rolling cart to myself.  I later upgraded to a corner in my living room which worked great for me in my old house!


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Little Tree Blankie (Tags too!)

I wrote this whole blog post last week about a pattern fail, but I don't think I'm going to publish it. I'm just not really interested in spreading bad karma around. HOWEVER,  I do have a little question that I would love for you to answer in the comments here: what would it take for you to leave negative feedback for someone on Etsy? Like, say they wrote up a pattern and then sent it to you quick and were friendly and such, but the pattern itself wasn't that great? And it had some errors in it (I was able to figure out what was needed, but still) and then omitted how to actually accomplish a step by "leaving it up to the home sewer to decide how to do"? The pattern frustrated me, but I just really don't want to leave negative feedback. I don't know why I'm such a wuss about it . . . I've never even considered not giving excellent feedback before so this is all new territory for me.


So what I'm really trying to post about now is what I ended up giving as a baby shower gift for my cousin because my original plan (the aforementioned less than stellar pattern) turned out to not be so great. This was meant to supplement the gift, but ended up becoming the whole gift. Which, in the end, was fine because I was happy with how it turned out.

I was inspired by a design for a pillow that I found somewhere . . . Sew Mama Sew maybe?  [Thanks Diane for the reminder.  The tute can be found on Cluck Cluck Sew.] Anyway, I've had it in my head for a long time now and been wanting to do something with the idea. I ended up with a bunch of extra material left over from the previously mentioned pattern fail, took some of my 5" squares from my little stash and came up with this:

Tree Applique Taggie Blanket - backing detail
The red backing was the extra fabric I had for my intended project.  I used some corduroy for the trunk to give it a little texture.  The knot in the middle of the tree is made from some soft brown chenille-y type fabric.  I cut 11 or so of my 5" squares in half and then cut those pieces into 2 leaves each.
Tree Applique Taggie Blanket - Detail
I used some Wonder Under on the underside of the leaves to get them in the places I wanted before I sewed them down for stability.  Just a simple line of red thread about 1/4" in from the edges . . . this task was made easier by just lifting the presser foot and moving it over to the next leaf without cutting in between (making sure to give a few stitches forward and back to secure it first).  The whole thing came together pretty seamlessly, then I cut out all the little threads when I was done.
Tree Applique Taggie Blanket

I kinda want to make this again and again . . . this kind of applique is so fun!  (The whole thing is about 18.5" square so it's just a little guy.)

My cousin really liked it . . . she told me later that she wanted to keep it for herself and hang it up on her wall.  :)

I'm linking up again with the party people.  Show off the projects you've been working on and come party with me RIGHT HERE.

Oh, and weigh in on the feedback on Etsy thing in the comments, k?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Dissecting Your Sewing Machine - It's Just as Terrifying as It Sounds

my new sewing machine :D
Image by Arcadiareptiles via Flickr
Feed Dogs.

You've got them on your sewing machine, but do you really understand how they work?

I thought I did.  Yes, I *thought* I did, but apparently I did not.

I *thought* the feed dogs were the things that move your fabric evenly under your presser foot so your stitches look nice and precise.  (For the record, this is true.)  My concept on *why* they work however was not as equally honed.

Anyway, a week or 2 ago, I decided I was going to attempt making a wallet.  It was a fun little project . . . when all was said and done I think it turned out ok.  Part of the design involved attaching bias binding by hand to one side of the wallet and I REALLY don't like doing that (my stitches are all crazy like as I have not really mastered the hand sewing in that area). 

Sorry.  That is totally beside the point.

One of the FIRST instructions for this particular pattern is to "quilt" the top layer.  Any old way you want.  And *here* is where my FEED DOG story begins.

Stay with me, Jimbo.

So even though I have less than zero experience doing such a thing, I decided to drop the ole feed dogs and do some free motion freestyle quilting on top.

Because how hard can that be?

Apparently quite.  Long story short:: I suck at it.

So after ripping all those crazy swirls out, I decided to just pop the feed dogs back up and do some basic outlining of the flowers on my fabric.

Except those dogs stayed down.


I couldn't help it.  I totally flipped out.  This was right after my whole "cleaning out the feed dogs from years of neglected lint build up" episode from a few weeks ago.  I was beside myself.

I beckoned Mr. Skooks.  "I BROKE IT.  AGAIN."

Mr. Skooks, though awesome, is not a small machine repairman.  Nevertheless he started taking Connie apart a bit to see what the problem might be.  I left the room for a moment to tend to Kee-ku and when I came back I saw all of Connie's guts EXPOSED and I FREAKED.

He had actually done nothing more than remove the cover to her motor unit.  But still.  It was a terrifying experience for me.  I wonder if it would be like watching a successful open heart surgery.  The dude is getting better, but in the meantime you're watching his insides which really . . . YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE.

Anyway, I left the room again because it was just too traumatizing.  A few minutes later the following interaction takes place:

  • Mr. Skooks: Sweetie?
  • Me: I broke it.  I KNEW IT.  I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS.  I have never dropped those STUPID FEED DOGS in the ENTIRE TWO YEARS I'VE OWNED THIS THING and then they BREAK the FIRST TIME I DO???  I don't have the MONEY to fix this right now.  It probably costs A MILLION DOLLARS TO FIX.  STUPID STUPID STUPID.  WHY did I have to DROP the feed dogs?  WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???????????!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Mr. Skooks: Um.  You didn't break it.
  • Me: Wha?
  • Mr. Skooks: Did you *try* to sew on this at all after you switched them back?
  • Me: Um.  I dunno.  No.  Because they didn't come back up.
  • Mr. Skooks: Right.  Except do you know how they work?  Watch this.
    • Insert visual of Mr. Skooks turning the hand crank as we both watch the feed dogs go up and down and up and down.
    • Insert me looking like a total dingbat.
  • Me: I'm an idiot.
  • Mr. Skooks: Um.  No you're not.  
  • Me: I can't believe you married such a crazy idiot.
  • Mr. Skooks: (laughing.  A LOT.)
So yeah.  There's your lesson on feed dogs for the day.

The moral: Know thy machine.

The other moral: You don't want to be in the same room as me when I *think* I *may have possibly* broken my sewing machine.  I am a total freakshow.


Monday, October 11, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is a Princess Sword

That's mostly true.  Except change "I" to "my 3-year-old niece" and "Christmas" to "Birthday".

But don't change the part that says "Princess Sword."  Whatever the world a "princess sword" is . . . that's apparently what she wants.

After my COLOSSAL FAIL of a handmade birthday gift for her last year, I really needed another chance to flex my creative muscles and make something she might actually not be terrified of like.

Lately my nieces have been on a superhero kick.  I have been wanting a reason for awhile to make something like this, so I ventured a guess and asked my sister whether she thought the soon to be 3-year-old would like a superhero cape.  She told me that she was sure that would go over well, but also told me about this whole "princess sword" that my niece has been rambling about lately.

Since neither my sister nor I actually knew what a "princess sword" was, I decided to go looking around on eBay for something that might fit the bill.  She's 3, so it had to be kinda kid-friendly (yes, I know we're talking about a sword here).  My first thought honestly was of She-Ra.

Otra joya
Image by Reindertot via Flickr
Remember her?  How could you not . . . she was the Princess of Power after all.  When I was a kid I was She-Ra at least 2 years in a row for Halloween.  Maybe 3.  Who can remember these things?  Anyway, I loved her.  She was totally cool and rode on a unicorn . . . and she TOTALLY had a princess sword.

Which ruled.  Definitely my favorite part of the costume.  Well, that and the headdress.

Anyway, I'm sure there are very few 3-year-old's out there today who have ever seen She-Ra, let alone heard of her . . . I'm pretty positive my niece never has.  So it was not necessary to try and achieve the actual She-Ra look.

Instead I just typed in "pink sword" into the eBay search bar and watched the results pop up.  I ended up getting her an inflatable pink sword for about $2.

Then I went on a  little side trip to the fabric store to rustle up some princess superhero worthy fabrics for a proper princess superhero cape.  Good thing I brought Little Miss with me.  She's very keen at spotting such types of fabric.  The fact that she's also 3 made me pretty confident that she would make a wise selection.

She did not disappoint.  Sparkly stars for the front, sparkly pink for the inside, a little sparkly green for the shield, some polka dot pink ribbons for the safety ties and BAM.
Pink Princess SuperHero Cape - Emblem

Pink Princess SuperHero Cape with Pink Princess Blow Up Sword

Whoa.  If this one isn't a hit, I'm going to have to have a talking to with Little Miss.  ;)

***Linking up with some awesome parties this week.  Join in on all the fun RIGHT HERE.***


Thursday, October 7, 2010

My 200th Post - What the Blog?

In honor of my 200th post (WOW . . . I have a lot to say, I guess) I decided it would be fun to do a little looksee back into the archives of Skooks' Playground and do a little Blog In Review.  I came across this idea awhile back via Centsational Girl as part of the 7 Links Challenge at ProBlogger.  I've been wanting to do this post for awhile, and as I saw my 200th post approaching I thought it seemed fitting.

For those of you who have read since the beginning and for those of you who are reading for the first time, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.  It has been so much fun to go off on all these creative tangents with you . . . I hope to continue doing so for a whole lot longer.

Fasten your seatbelts.  Cause here she blows.  :D

1.  Your first post

  • I must start this off with a bit of a confession.  This blog goes back to the year 2007, but I actually only started "Skooks' Playground" as such in November of 2009.  So I guess in that case it's been less than a year.  The reason the archives go so far back is because I have a personal blog that was getting injected with my creative whims more and more over the years and I wanted to keep all that stuff together (as well as "go public").  It took a long time (there may have been an easier way but I redid each of those postings manually - ugh), but now all this creative goodness lives in the same place.  For this reason I am less than impressed with the formation of many of those "first" posts (as my audience was limited to my family and I was a very new blogger), but I like having them here because you can definitely see a progression with my skills and, at least for me, that's encouraging to see.  (Explore the old archives sometime . . . you'll see what I mean.)
  • With all that being said, I'm going to share two "first posts" with you.
    • This first is actually THE first.  I wrote it back in September of 2007 about DIY Babylegs.  I had found a sweet tutorial on how to make babylegs out of knee high socks and, as Little Miss was not even a year old yet, this was a great beginner project.  Though come to think of it, looking back I realize I had really no idea what I was doing.  Sewing on knits when you have very little experience with sewing anything is kinda crazy, but when I get an idea in my mind I just run with it.  So I did.  (And to this day LM still wears some of those pairs of DIY Babylegs on chilly days.  Guess they hold up pretty well!)  
    • The second is my first "I know I'm going public" post.  I wrote it in November of 2009 about The Nimble Thimble.   No one has ever asked  me to do a product review, but I have taken it upon myself over the last while to do some reviews here and there of sewing products/notions that I think are worthwhile.  If you're interested you can check out those "Tools of the Trade" posts right here.  Now that I'm reminded of this post, I think I'll do a few more reviews.  They're fun and I have gotten a lot of new "toys" since I last posted on this topic that I'd like to share with you.  Must write that down . . .
2.  A post you enjoyed writing the most
  •  This is a hard one.  I really do enjoy writing as a rule.  But one of my favorites was one called The Ornament Legacy . . . it was kind of a tribute to my mom and her awesome-ness.  I don't think the writing itself is stellar or anything, but I had a great time documenting all the cool stuff she's made for me in Christmases past.
3.  A post which had great discussion
4.  A post on someone else’s blog you wish you’d written
  • So many awesome posts written by so many awesome bloggers.  I could go with something inspirational, or an awesome tutorial . . . but instead I'm going to go with this bit of hilarity from Hyperbole and a Half called This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult.  SO FUNNY.  AND TRUE.
5.  Your most helpful post
  • Tough call . . . I guess it depends who you ask.  I've done a few that have gotten a bit of attention so I'll highlight those for you. 
    •  I haven't tackled as many tutorials as I was hoping I would by this point, but my most viral post (to this day) has been the tutorial I posted on Recycled Paper Flower Gift Bows.  I remember that the writing and photo-documenting of all the steps was kinda painstaking.  Some people liked it so much they actually ripped the images off my blog and posted them on their own as if they had put this tute together themselves.  I was less excited about that.  But then again, ripping off someone's work and posting it as your own is the sincerest form of flattery, right?  (Yes, I'm being cheeky.)  ;)
    • Another one that has gotten a lot of traffic (a bit surprising because it was written well before I had any readers) was this one about the cloth baby book I made for my cousin's baby.  If you're wondering if making Simplicity 3709 is for you, you'll want to check it out.
6.  A post with a title you are proud of
7.  A post you wish more people had read
  • To be honest, several years worth of posts have probably never been touched by most readers of this blog . . . so it's hard to pick one.  I really wish more people had read the post I wrote about Charitable Crafting.  For those of us who have the talent and the time (almost everyone can make time SOMETIME) there are so many great charities who could use the help.  I hope some of you reading this will go check out the list that's been curated there (and the McLinky at the bottom) of organizations that need your help!  (Which, if you have a couple more you like, please add them to the list.)  While I enjoy writing about and documenting my own craftabilities for their own sake, I hope that my blog exists to also encourage others to reach outward and give back to others.
Thanks for reading (and commenting) everyone.  I really mean that.

Here's to another 200 posts!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Vintage Sheet Freedom Bee Update

It's been awhile since I finished my Shoofly blocks up for the Vintage Sheet Freedom Bee. I've gotten some lovely blocks back and I wanted to share with you what some of my fellow Bee-mates (Bee Buddies?  Bee Friends?  Bee-nies?) have been up to.

Ok, you caught me.  I was reminded that I've been meaning to do this post for awhile after reading Anissa's update post and then Jessica's update post the other day.  Whatever.  A good idea is a good idea is a great idea.  ;)

I've gotten 4 blocks back so far and I'm adding the one I made for myself in the mix so you can get an idea of what they all look like together.  I'm thinking I'll pick up a white bedsheet and use it to sash in between the blocks so I put a little white space in there for you.  (I'd make wider sashing than that however.)

1. Dresden Plate Block - by Tracey, 2. Wonky Log Cabin Block - by Leslie, 3. Shoofly Block - by me!, 4. Flying Geese Block - by Mel, 5. Tenessee Block - by Brenda
Here they are a little more closeup.  Trust me, they deserve to be seen and appreciated individually.

First up is the Dresden Plate Block by Tracey.  This is one of my all-time favorite quilt blocks . . . I have never attempted one, but I adore the look of them.  Someday I'll try this out myself and make it into a pillow or something.

Dresden Plate Block - by Tracey

Next is a Wonky Log Cabin Block which was made by Leslie.  I really like the wonky look . . . it would be fun to make a wonky sampler sometime . . . wonky log cabins, wonky stars, wonky houses . . . very cute!

Wonky Log Cabin Block - by Leslie

I've shown this one before, but here it is again.  The Shoofly Block I made for my own quilt.

Shoofly Block - by me!

Mel sent in this amazingly done Flying Geese Block.  She mixed it up with some sheets from her own stash which I really love!  I am in awe of her perfect points.

Flying Geese Block - by Mel

And last but certainly not least is the sweet Tenessee Block that Brenda made me.  I love love love the little flowers in the triangles.  Such a sweet feature!

Tenessee Block - by Brenda

The Bee isn't over until Thanksgiving so there's still lots of time left to go before the blocks are "due".  For now, these lovelies are sitting in a little stack in my sewing room waiting for some more playmates.

You ladies are amazing!  And I'm feeling the need for more vintage sheet projects.  ;)

****These blocks were made as part of my first ever Quilting Bee. Want to see more blocks? Track the whole  journey here: Vintage Sheet Freedom Bee.****


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Make Me Laugh - The Blog List

Image by alancleaver via Flickr
With all the inspirational/beautiful/creative/crafty blogs that I peruse on a regular basis, there are some days when I just need a chuckle.  Or a full blown belly laugh.  These links usually deliver a chuckle or two . . . some of them have written posts that are so funny I actually cry while reading them.

They range in levels of . . . um . . . appropriateness, so do read the fine print before you start clicking away.

What My Kid's Art Says: This one is safe.  People submit pictures their kids drew/painted/collaged/etc and this blog writer makes a commentary on what he thinks the artist (or 5 year old) is trying to say through his/her artwork.  I'm waiting for a good piece from Little Miss sometime . . . I'd love to submit it to see if she's making a political statement I don't know about.  LOL.

Craft Fail: This one is safe too.  Ever slave over a craft project and conclude that it turned out like crap?  It's happened to us all, right?  This blog will make you feel less alone in your crafting failures.  Want to share your own craft failure?  You can do that too.

You Suck at Craigslist: Same idea as Regretsy only not nearly as inflammatory.  I'm a big fan of Craigslist and I have seen weird ads sometimes, but they seem to find the cream of the oddball crop.  Bottom line: people are goofy.

Hyperbole and a Half: This one has nothing to do with craftiness or kids or anything in particular at all.  But it's my brand of semi-twisted humor and frequently actually makes me laugh out loud while reading.  The crazy comic cartoon drawings drive the funny blog posts home for me.  Appropriateness levels range.

The Meanest Mom: 1 Mom + 4 Kids = Plenty of laughs.

WendiWinn: I won't put Wendi Winn in a box.   But she's funny.  Ok fine, I'll put her in a funny box.

Ok, your turn.  Whose your favorite funny blogger?


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Glow Happy - A Quest for the Elusive "Fat Eighth"

For awhile now I've been eyeballing a certain fabric line.  Ok . . . actually I've been eyeballing a LOT of fabrics, but one in particular has been on my mind lately.

Ever heard of Happy Zombie aka Monica Solario-Snow?

Image via TrueUp

Of course you have. I mentioned her awhile back when I entered a giveaway in an attempt to win 25 fat quarters of her lovely Holiday Happy line.  (And also, she's pretty well-known.) 

I really dig the non-traditional colors she used for her fabric line . . . so cheerful and fun!
Image via TrueUp

Well, I didn't win. You would have heard me shouting it from the rooftops if I had.

So, it was on to Plan B. Scour the internet looking for some of this delicious fabric and figure out what the heck to make out of it. (I always TRY very hard to buy fabric with a purpose in mind or I get too attached to it, become too scared to cut into it, and I end up sitting on piles of fabric. I know a lot of people just buy and hoard fabric, but I don't have the money for such things so it is what it is.)


So I came across her free Glow Happy pattern and got all geeky-ball excited about the prospect of tackling a special little Christmas quilt. After all, the thing is subtitled "Happy Little Lanterns of Candy Colored Holiday Happiness."

I know . . . now you want to make one too.  ;)

So, I set out to find a place that would actually cut me fat eighths since that's what the pattern calls for and I know for a fact that it is not sold in my local quilt shop.  Etsy turned up plenty of sellers that carry the line, but most stopped at fat quarter size.  I ended up contacting the owner of The Stockroom because they seemed to be one of the only shops who actually carry the full line, and I needed 25 different fat eighths to make the pattern.  They got back to me super quick and let me know that they could fulfill my request.  Hooray!  Only $30 for all those lovely cuts and they shipped them out to me the same day!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love to patronize Etsy sellers?  They're the best!

I just checked back in their shop as I suspected that this might be a product they would restock.  As it turns out, I had a brilliant idea! ;)  So anyway, if you're looking to make this quilt and don't want/have the funds to buy all the extra fabric, check out The Stockroom because they'll totally hook you up.

And no, they didn't give me a discount for mentioning how cool they were on my blog.  Just wanted to pay it forward.  SO excited to see all the lovelies in person and get to quiltin'!  :)

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