Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Social Media Swap Meet

There's a lot of fun things about different social media outlets. I have a fondness for Instagram and it's just gotten a lot much fonder.
A couple of months ago at a SLMQG meeting, Brooke from PitterPutterStitch showed this fabulous quilt. The design is awesome but the colors and fabric she used stood out to me the most. I had to have them!
She told me they were Castle Peeps by Lizzy House. As soon as I got home I started my Internet search. I was able to find a few pieces here and there but nothing to build a collection on. So I turned to Instagram.
I posted this picture and asked if anyone any they would be willing to part with. Of course I would pay. I started getting comments like crazy from many people willing to share their fabric wealth. I offered to pay or trade for some Technicolor and they all wanted to trade.

I managed to walk away with all of this glorious fabric and help a few others trade up in their stash-building. (I still have a few blue prints on the way) Thanks all who contributed to my fabric binging. now, if I could just figure out what to make with it. :o)

But my story doesn't end there.
A few days later a fellow IG-er sent out a plea for some coveted Heather Ross fabric.
I'll admit, I had my own obsession with the cute little fishy fabrics a while back and it's been sitting in a drawer ever since.
I was saving it for the "perfect" project but that project never came. Every time I brought it out I talked myself out of cutting into it- it was too precious. I was touched by the kindness of others and decided to Pay it Forward. I sent the bundle above to my fellow fabric hoarder for her project. (I've decided to leave her name off of this post to keep any of you crazed fabric lunatics from tracking her down :o)

Some may think I'm crazy. After all, prized HR fabrics go for around $70/yd online and all I asked of the recipient was to pay it forward when she saw a need. And that's the best part about it! It's like when the "Grinch's heart grew three sizes"- The feeling of helping someone out gave me much more satisfaction than the bundle of fabric did stuffed in a drawer.
I decided to share this story because every time I look at that Castle Peeps fabric I am reminded that there is still good in this world. I know it sounds sappy (I meant it that way) but it's also true.
So give a little. Share that stash. And when you're in need may you look to social media for a little help.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School

I don't know what it was but this summer was HARD!
When I think about it and try to pinpoint what it was I can't come up with anything specific.
We took some fun family trips, saw a few new movies, and conquered two weeks of swimming lessons. Whatever the case, I survived, and last thursday sent my kids off for another school year.
This guy is in 8th grade! My nerves are still intact because he's at a charter school that goes from K-8th grade. We haven't had to do all that scary middle school/ junior high stuff. Next year will be a different story. Preston is such a good kid. He has a soft heart and a strong sense of who he is. He knows that others might not agree with his high standards but he doesn't care. He wants to do what is right- ALWAYS. He's been an axample to me on many occasion.
He's in the process of negotiating a laptop for Christmas and can always be found playing computer/video games.

This guy is starting 6th grade. Seriously!?  He's the king of the school in the emelentry school he attends. Logan still has a passion for basketball and we're going broke keeping him in shoes. He reminds me so much of two of my brothers lately. His silly sense of humor keeps us laughing always. We're hoping he gets their height, too. He's come a long way with his anxiety- first day of school was nothin' for him. I love his kind heart and the way he watches out for his little sister. He never wants anyone to feel left out or excluded, and always tries to follow the rules.

This girl started 3rd grade! She still lets us call her "Baby" but is anything but. Paris has a sense of style that reminds me of myself at her age. It's a bit embarssing to think I was like that :o) but I'm trying to help her embrace who she is. She's such a little mother/teacher. Plays school and babysits stuffed animals daily. She still LOVES to play 'quilt shop'. She knows how to push he brothers' buttons and tries to play the 'baby sister' card to get her way. We're working on that. ;o) But she'll still climb up on the couch and nestle between The hubs and I and say "It's better with three" Gotta love her.
To reward myself from all the hard work over summer vacation it was only fitting that I hit up Cafe Rio.

The hubs and I had a nice lunch outside enjoying the freedom that school allows and a little bit of peace and quiet.
I sure love my kiddos and am so proud of them!
Now it's time for me to get to work. :o)

Monday, August 19, 2013

1 Million Pillowcase blog-hop

A couple months ago I was asked by the awesome people at American Patchwork & Quilting if I would participate in their blog hop to promote the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. I was ecstatic and happy to oblige.
It started with a contest on Pinterest to choose a winning pattern. If you don't know, American Patchwork & Quilting has several fun patterns to use when making the pillowcases. Or you can make up your own. The winning pattern in pinterest was the TRAIN pattern.

I chose to use my newest fabric collection TECHNICOLOR for my pillowcase. The colors are bright and fun and perfect for a little kid. We were given creative freedom with this pattern so let me tell you what I did with it to make my pillowcase original.
First, I shrunk the pattern down to 75%. I wanted it a little bit smaller so that it would all fit into the cuff and not get lost in the main print. Since I was using these bright, fun fabrics I wanted the cuff to be white so you could see each fabric.
I traced my train cars using Steam A Seam and after deciding on a fabric for each car, fused them in place. I wanted the train cars to connect along the cuff and chose this direction so they wouldn't be driving straight into the bed. o)
Instead of fusing a separate square for the windows I simply cut them out instead. The white cuff fabric shows through the windows.
Lastly, I mahcine blanket stitched around each train car and wheel. I did this before the cuff was finished so that the thread on the back is sandwiched in the fold of the cuff and won't be seen on the inside of the pillow.

This pillowcase was so quick and easy to put together and the result it fun and fabulous! I plan on making at least 2 more to donate. I'm hoping to donate my pillowcases to a local women's shelter. For the children of women escaping dangerous situations, these pillowcases will bring a bit of happiness into what could be a strange and uncertain time.

If you would like to learn more about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge and find out how you can participate visit HERE.

To see what the other designers have done with their pillowcases check out the blog HERE.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To Cali and Back

Whew! We just got back from a week long trip to northern California to visit my parents and various other family members. We had so much fun while we were there.
We visited the amusement park Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Back when the park was Marine World Africa USA I had my very first job.

The weather was actually very nice while we were there. Mid 70's I would guess. Perfect for us who were escaping the 100+ temps back in Utah.

The park has several coasters now. I believe Kong was the first so I wanted ride it before the other BIG rides.

Can you see my feet? We're actually on this car! My Dad just wanted a few pics of the ride and had no clue we were on this one. After seeing the other not-so-exciting pictures we realized we were there. Pretty fun!

There's a few water rides, too. Monsoon Falls and White Water Safari. Any cooler and we would've froze to death. It wasn't too bad but I was soaked!

I love this pic of my oldest. The others look almost bored. :o)
We also snuck in a few shows. The Sea Lion show had a pirate theme and was pretty cute. We sat in the front row and had a great view. One of the harbor seals didn't feel like playing along so we had a good time watching the trainers try to convince him to go back to his pen.

The other show as the Dolphin Splashtacular. Along with the dolphins splashing people in the first few rows there were Cirque Du Soleil acrobatic performers. Amazing!
 The town I grew up in, Vallejo, runs a ferry to San Francisco several times a day. We took a day trip into SF one day in order to catch another boat for a cruise around the Bay.

Don't these kids look excited!?
I've still never made it to Alcatraz Island. Tickets sell out weeks in advance. Next time I'll have to think ahead. :o)  Luckily our boat cruise went right up close to the island for lots of picture opportunities as well learning some great history about the former prison.

It gets pretty windy out there on the Bay but this guy let me snuggle to keep warm.

The Bay Cruise took us right under the Golden Gate bridge. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather!
We shared the water with some amazing boats. The America's Cup is going on so we got to see some pretty cool sailing vessels. Who knew Prada made boats, too!?  ;o)

My favorite boat in the bay sits at the end of Hyde Street Pier. The Balclutha is a ship that I had the privilege of staying over night on when I was in grade school. We were hoping to make it down to the museum so my kids could take a look but we ran out of time. Maybe next year.
(That's the Bay bridge in the background)

After the bay cruise we made a quick jaunt to Pier 39. that place is BUSY!
We walked around peeking into shops here and there. At one point we descended a staircase. Once at the bottom we realized we'd all been thinking the same thing: There was some horrible piano music coming from somewhere. 
At that moment my dad looked back and pointed to the stairs. They were painted to look like a piano keys and had sensors on the side. The horrible music was actually coming from the seven of us as we trampled down the stairs! It was really cool! Difficult to play a tune on though as you're on stairs and hopping from one to the other is a little tricky if the notes you want are far apart.

We had a really nice week and aside from traveling in the car 12 hours each way to Grandma and Grandpa's house, these three kids did pretty good.
Now if the first day of school could just get here soon then maybe I could get some sewing done!



Friday, August 2, 2013

oh my STARS!

A couple of weeks ago I saw the newest issue of Quilty at an LQS. I flipped through and was surprised to see a fun and colorful ad on the back cover for Michael Miller Fabrics new Batik collection.
The exciting part for me is that it features pictures of the quilt I made for them- STARS!
You may remember the quilt from when I posted about it here.

I've gotten a few emails concerning this quilt since the ad hit newsstands so I thought I would share it here. It's super exciting for me but it's exciting for you too! The pattern is available as a
Not only do they have this fabulous quilt (and others I designed) but they have dozens of free quilt patterns.
If you're interested in a quilt kit- Hancock's of Paducah has them available.
For other fun goings on with Michael Miller Fabrics, visit their blog