Friday, August 31, 2012

My turn for Stash Bee

Hey all!

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am that it is my turn to have blocks made! I wanted to share this post with you, my readers, just in case you wanted to make me some blocks too. I'm not ashamed. Maybe some of you are looking for something fun and nice to do on your Labor Day weekend. :)

Here is the post from Stash Bee Blog:

But first, let me tell you a little about myself:

1. Name? Danny Heyen


2. Where do you live? Sunny old Gilbert, Arizona, USA


Mercy Gilbert Hospital


San Tan Mountain

3. Family status (married, single, kids, grand kids)? I am married to the most awesome man in the world and we have one daughter who reeks of our combined awesomeness. Her name is Miss Maze (Clara Mae).

Clara Mae's First Birthday

4. Hardest quilt thing you have ever made? Would you make it again? There was this block I made for another bee I was in. It was made of dozens of itty bitty, too tiny HSTs. It just gave me a headache. Then, to add salt to my wounds, none of the freaking corners lined up and I had to stare at my mistakes in the face. I would NEVER make that block again. Curses to that block! Curses!!!

5. Favorite dessert food? Oh so hard. I've been losing weight, so ALL sweets sound delicious to me as I have been starving my body of them for some time. I like tiramisu. I like peach pie. I like Moose Track Ice Cream with milk in it. I like Mango Fro-yo. All so good.

6. Last time you laughed REALLY hard (and what was so funny)? That would be this afternoon. Let me tell you a little story:

My daughter is one and she is the most independent, strong-willed, "I-don't-care-if-it-will-burn-I'm-gunna-touch-it" child. So today we were visiting our friends Robin and Addy (mother and daughter) and Maze was "reading" some of Addy's books. Now, I should preface this by telling those of you who don't know me that I am a book lover. We are nice to our books. We are gentle with our books. We do not throw, chew, or tear our books or butts get busted. Feel me? Maze got a little silly with one of the books, so we had a chat and I put the book away, handing her a board book instead. Robin and I carried on our conversation while the girls played, though out of the corner of my eye, I watched Miss Maze turn the pages of the board book, just to be sure she was being nice to it. Eventually, the book crawled its way up into Maze's mouth, and I being the watchful mother I am, scolded her for chewing on her friend's books and shamed her by telling her Addy wouldn't invite her over anymore if she ate all the books. I realize my child is one, but trust me: she understood what I was saying. I placed her back down on the ground and waited to see her next move.

Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Close the book. Hold up the book. Look around to see if anyone is watching. S-L-O-W-L-Y pull book to closed lips. Hold book there. Look around again. Slip tongue over top of book. Lick book binding. Open mouth for little nibble.

You see where I'm going with this.

"Clara. Do not chew your friend's books."

Startled. Jump. Put book down. Look at mom. "What mom? I don't know what you are talking about. I was just sitting here. Reading the book. Being a good girl."

Turn around. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Close the book. Hold up the book. Look around to see if anyone is watching. Again, slowly place book on closed lips. No one's watching. Take a little lick. Give a little nibble.

Bah! What have I done to deserve such a sneaky little monster??? I had to laugh, silently (not out loud), to myself for a second before I got up to scold her. I won't go into the details of all that, but let's just say there was some crying after.

Robin and I were practically giggling! You know that giggling you felt when your sibling got in trouble as a child and you knew you shouldn't think it was funny but you just did?! Well, that's what I was feeling in that moment.

You may think I am a terrible mother, but mark my words: librarians will love me.

7. What is your day job? I am a SAHM. That just doesn't seem like an apt title with all the other things going on in my life that I juggle (as I'm sure many SAHMs would agree), but alas, that's my title.

8. When did you learn to sew? Who taught you? My Grammar-rock taught me to sew. I've already written out this story. You can read it here if you are feeling so inclined. She was lovely. It really is worth a read.

9. Do you remember the first thing you ever sewed? I made a little Annie costume with my Grammar-rock.

10. Life philosophy? Carpe diem. Seize the day. Live life to the fullest. John 10:10.

And now, on to my block!

I hope you don't mind, but I totally disregarded the whole Kona Charcoal thing. I thought I knew which block I wanted, but when it came down to it, I decided to go with something easier. I'm crazy busy with commission work and TRAC and bees and church and my daughter's health and I think I just need some simplicity in my life right now. Instead, I am asking for Starburst blocks because they are pretty.

starburst quilt

starburst quilt

starburst quilt

All of these images have been hijacked from Film in the Fridge's blogpost you can find here. If you don't follow this blog, you really should.

I saw this quilt when it was first posted in 2010 and it was immediate love. Infatuation. Amore. I know it's been done, but I don't care. I want one of my very own!

Want to know what's more awesome?? She made a tutorial too! Bonus! You can get that here.

I would like you each to make at least 2 blocks. I say "at least" because if you have time, I would LOVE more. I did the math and if each of you makes two, it only gives me enough to make a crib size quilt, hence the whole "the more the merrier" attitude. Trust me: this is a lot easier than the paper pieced butterflies I was going to have you make!!

I'm a little obsessed with color. I adore the colors in the original quilt.

starburst quilt

And, if you need more inspiration for colors, you can hit up my pin board full of beautiful, "pinspiring" images.

If you are having any issues with this block, feel free to email me directly.


Thanks so much!! I can't wait to see the finish products!!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Anguished in Alaska

Guru Katy took this one:

I received a plaintive plea from a reader this week, following the dreaded question that appeared on the SS google group, namely 'what projects are you bringing to work on between times, and what skills are you going to share?'.  Personally, I'm intending to try and teach Scottish and Irish colloquialisms and swear words to the assembled masses, but apparently there will be some that want to 'make things', so here goes.

Dear ASS Guru, 

Over on the google group they've just asked what projects I'm going to bring to work on, and what skills I'm going to be sharing.  The thing is I only know how to make king sized polar fleece backed quilts and I just don't think that will be practical to share there, especially as there will be weight restrictions flying in from up here in North Pole, Alaska. 


Anguished in Alaska

As the woman with the habit of working on hundreds of different skills at once, I had to take this one.

Dear Anguished, 

The good news is that you have 6 1/2 weeks to master a few new skills that you can teach to people.  Now while most people will be leaping on the old 'how to insert a zipper' bandwagon, or 'how to crochet a granny square' settee, you need to investigate a few things that will make you stand out from the crowd (well, more than your bikini will, as you bask in the warmth of Utah). 

Firstly, what's the local reindeer population like at this time of year?  Anyone need their horns trimmed?  Maybe you've got a few spare sets lying around?  I think you could really explore the whole carving horn buttons thing, you know, make some coat sized ones at the smaller end, and then at the larger end you could really go to town on feature ones for bags.  You could probably make a fortune from your fellow attendees which would enable you to pile your dog-sled high with new fabric on the journey home. 

Picture from Thomas Firth Ltd
If you don't fancy the button idea, maybe you could learn to carve a few 'rustic' birds and animals (and by rustic I mean pretty much generic creatures with no distinguishing features because, well, you have only 6 1/2 weeks to learn, let's not go overboard), and share that? 

Photo from Shane Wilson Sculpture
Of course if the reindeer won't give up their horns you might be a bit stuck there, so perhaps you could work out how to make a fake bear skin rug - use that bear that wanders past your window each morning as a model, and use the leftover polar fleece from your quilts to create the effect.  The head's a bit of a challenge, but papier mache on a balloon would sort that if your model isn't patient enough to stand still and let you pattern drape on him, then cover on up with the fleece and stuff with plenty of toy stuffing.  I'm sure many attendees will want to make one for their kids. 

Photo from Fraser's Fur
Speaking of that polar fleece, here's a way you could appeal to all the southerners - make up a pattern for some fleece ponchos which you can share with the little ladies shivering in their Ugg boots. 

Photo from Sewing Innovation
Finally, maybe you can round up the huskies and give them all a good brush, then you could spin some yarn from the excess fur to help out all the knitters and crocheters. 

Photo from ClickPets
I promise you, with these skills, no-one will ever forget you. 


Ass Gurus 

Don't forget, if you have any questions about Sewing Summit that you want a truly ridiculous answer to, we're always here to help ;o)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Quilter's Oasis

I came across a new store serendipitously. I was meeting a long-arm quilter who has taken on the task of quilting one of my many WIPs for me. I had never met her nor seen her work. I'm a bit of a risk-taker.

Anyway, she asked that we meet up at A Quilter's Oasis, a quilt shop not too terribly far from my house that I had never heard of before. The second I walked in I was shocked. I have NEVER found an LQS with ANY modern designers, and for those of you who know me well, know I have an unnatural obsession with knowing everything about designer fabric.

Quilter's Oasis

To the left, there is a GREAT collection of modern quilting books and notions, including a selection of Aurifil thread.

Quilter's Oasis

Quilter's Oasis

I spotted this delicious quilt in the front of the store. I just bought this line and have been pondering what to do with it! What a great example!

Quilter's Oasis

Bonnie and Camille (I can audibly hear Jennie sighing right now.)

Quilter's Oasis

If you're local to the East Valley, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, this shop is worth the visit.

A Quilter's Oasis
9963 E. Baseline Rd. Ste 105
Mesa, AZ 85209


Monday, August 20, 2012

Father's Day Photo Shoot and a {giveaway}

For Brent's first Father's Day, I decided to hit up Etsy to buy a music inspired T-shirt and onesie (for the baby, of course!) and set up a photo shoot with some of his equipment. My friend Dermur (Michael Tindle Photography) shot the pictures for me and all I had to do was take him to Chino Bandito's!!

In case you're wondering, Chino Bandito's is a Mexican-Chinese-Cajun fusion restaurant that is sure to burn your mouth and rumble your tummy. It's worth it though. It tastes delicious!

Father's Day Photoshoot

Father's Day Photoshoot

Father's Day Photoshoot

Father's Day Photoshoot

Father's Day Photoshoot

Father's Day Photoshoot

Father's Day Photoshoot

And now you know how pale I am.

I contacted Little Treetops to let them know I would be showing off some of their merch on my blog and they offered to give a $20 credit to their shop to one of my followers! How cool, right??

So here is the ONE THING YOU HAVE TO DO:::

Like Little Treetops on Facebook

But, because I'm super nosy nice, I will give you an extra entry if you go to their shop and come back to tell me what you would buy and for whom.

Personally, I'm thinking this needs to come home to me immediately:

Ok. And maybe this too:

I'll also give you an extra entry just for being a follower of my blog.

So that's it. Three chances. Facebook. Shop. Follow. Easy peasy, right?

I'll be closing this giveaway Thursday, August 24th at midnight MST.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

ASS Gurus: The one where my secret comes out!

If you can't read that, it says:
Dear Guru Laura 
I am sorry for writing this anonymously, but I thought you should be aware that according to a certain social media site starting with F, Guru Danny is actually a naturist and an exhibitionist and is planning on attending Sewing Summit in her birthday suit. How are you going to cope with that as you are sharing a room with her? I haven’t met my room mate either and I’m definitely shy. What if I run into the same problem?
Telltale in Toledo

As it was addressed to me, I had to take it.

Dear Telltale,

Thank you kindly for your concern.
First of all, you can’t have been following my blog for very long or you would know that I have appeared in a national magazine (allegedly) clad only in a quilt. So I’m not sure Danny has less to worry about than me. Here's the photo for proof.

Secondly, I’m planning to be an exhibitionist myself and atttend with only an Akubra hat, a highly trained Australian Cattle Dog, a novelty size rotary cutter and with my Aussie accent. I will wave my rotary cutter at people and say “That’s not a rotary cutter, THIS is a rotary CUTTER!”. I will then send the dog leaping over the shoulders of the other attendees to snatch packs of fabric and Kona colour cards (sorry COLOR cards) and run away with them. However, I realise this doesn’t help you with your issue. 
Rusty, the late, great Red Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)
In your situation, I would do several things. Firstly, I would find a really cool pyjama pattern online, make it up in whatever fabric you have available and embroider your roommate’s name on it.

And to cover all, erm, bases, make these vintage undies too.

Pack them in the top of your bag with a well-sealed container of onion slices. Just before meeting your roomie, put the onion slices in your pocket and whip out the pjs. You can then give this as a gift on arrival and mention how hurt you were last time you made clothes for some (imaginery) person, surreptitiously sticking your fingers in your pocket and wiping your eyes with onion juice for actual tears. 

Secondly, do anything you can to get into the lounge pant, skirt, scarf and tshirt making classes. You can try bribery (I personally have tried bribing Erin on Twitter but she seems annoyingly incorruptible), threats (you could threaten nudity yourself seeing as you are anonymous, but this may not work as all the  Ass gurus are planning to turn up to these with their Asses hanging out) or just try general garden variety harassment. (See Katy and Danny’s previous posts for other ways of getting into classes). Again, giving your roomie things you have made yourself could have the effect of ensuring she remains clothed throughout sewing summit. I will be using clear plastic to sew garments with myself in all these classes.

Thirdly - and seriously, you might just want to ignore the first two and go straight to this one as it’s AWESOME - two words: body paint. Forget the opening drinks on Thursday! Hole up in your room with your roomie and paint patchwork designs on one another! I’m thinking improv straight lines for the back, depending on spinal curvature, and dresden plates and drunkards paths for the front. If you don’t see Danny and I at the reception Thursday night, you'll know where we are. This could also help you get into classes unnoticed if you work it like this chick.
Really, if you can’t beat them, join them. 

Guru Laura
PS If you have any serious questions about Sewing Summit you want ridiculous answers to, or ridiculous questions you want ridiculous answers to, or if you have an Australian Cattle Dog you could lend me, please leave a comment below.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Maya's Echo Quilt

I have a little surprise for you.


I had to keep this one hush-hush because it was a birthday present for a little girl who is very important to us: Miss Maya. Maya was born only a dozen days after Miss Maze and they are the very best of friends. I realize Echo is kind of an old line now since it's been out over a year, but guess what... I bought it over a year ago! I know. You're so surprised that I'm just getting around to using it.

Anyway, Jess freaks out when I don't post a billion and a half pictures of my quilts, so in an effort to keep her sane on that little island country of hers, here are more pictures than I really need:

Maya's Echo Quilt

Maya's Echo Quilt

Mazer wanted to help me hold it up. How could I say no?

Maya's Echo Quilt

Maya's Echo Quilt

Like my grape vine? We've had record breaking heat here for a couple weeks now and everything is getting burnt. I'm just glad there was still a little green left in the leaves to show you.

Maya's Echo Quilt

Maya's Echo Quilt

Maya's Echo Quilt

Quilted with double organic lines and squares. Orange 50 wt Aurifil. Holla!! I freaking love that stuff.

Maya's Echo Quilt

And now, my beautiful Maya-girl (whose mommy is a photographer, in case you're wondering.)

Miss Maya!

Ira, Aaron and Maya

Maya and her mommy and daddy.

Ira, Maya, Maze and Me

Her birthday party was great. Not only is her momma an awesome photographer, she also makes the most delicious cake pops EVER! Yes. I had one, but I stopped there. Trust me: It was no small feat!

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