I made this simple coin quilt (actually a reversible duvet cover) for my mom’s 60th birthday in April. I sewed the whole thing in a week in LA, right before we moved back to Portland, so it was kind of a whirlwind — and then I flew with it hidden in an extra suitcase in time for her surprise birthday party in North Carolina. On her actual birthday morning, I sneaked it into her room and made up the bed with it while she was downstairs… and then when she walked in, there it was!
Anyway, in all the busy-ness I never actually got a photo of it, if you can believe that. So this week I was pleased to get a few pictures from our friend Pam — and here they are.
I based the design on Hillary Lang‘s gorgeous blog birthday coin quilt, which I absolutely love. I cut 99 “coins” (4 by 7-inch rectangles) in each of two cotton fabrics: a pale green and lavender floral. I joined them into long strips of 22, alternating between solid and print, and then joined those with 4-inch wide strips in the same solid green fabric. Like Hillary’s design, I offset the coins so they alternate between solid and print side to side.
Then I added 4-inch panels of the two fabrics on each side to widen it to a more substantial queen size. I stitched in the ditch all around the coins and down the panels (breaking many needles in the process… this stage was not super fun). I made the reverse side out of two pieces of the same floral fabric and left an opening at the bottom to slip the comforter in, and then added two sets of green ribbons to tie it closed. Here is Honey making herself at home, though she’s usually not allowed on the bed!
I’m happy with how it came out, though I made a lot of amateur mistakes. I was at least 3/4 of the way through it before I had ever even heard of a walking foot — I quilted the whole thing with my regular presser foot and broke a lot of needles trying to keep the three-layer sandwich nice and even and my seams nice and straight, all the while wondering why I was so incredibly bad at this. The layout and quilting took over my entire living room and all my waking hours, and it was a race against the clock to finish it before my cab arrived to take me to the airport (though I did get it all done except the hand-sewing the ribbons part, which I did at leisure after the big presentation).
Next up is a quilt for my brother’s 30th, which we celebrated while I was in New York last week! I gave him a card with a heartfelt IOU (I have learned my lesson about flight-deadline quilting to say the least!) and he gave me some colors and pattern ideas. I recently got a new sewing machine with some special pro-quilting features that stitches like a dream (yay!) so that is definitely going to cut down on the disasters, I hope. And here’s what I’m about to start cutting, after a fun trip to Purl Patchwork for some Katie Jump Rope:
Speaking of birthdays — Andrew’s is today! We’re going up to Mt. Hood for four days — we rented a cabin for our mini-summer vacation getaway. It’s right on the river and it has hiking trails, a hot tub, a grill, and a nice big porch for relaxing… but the it doesn’t have wireless internet, a blessing in disguise maybe? I’ll see you on Monday after we get back!
My write-up of the amazing Renegade Craft Fair (Brooklyn 2007 edition) has just gone up at Venuszine.com if you’d like to check it out! I loved the fair, there was so much incredible handmade stuff to look at… I sold there last year and that was great too, but it was really cool to walk around all day instead of running a booth this time.
I’m so pleased that my review of Amy Karol‘s new book, Bend-the-Rules Sewing, is up at the Adorn blog! Amy did a little interview with me on a few of her favorite pieces to make, plus some tips and tricks for happy sewing.
I love the projects she designed and I am especially longing to sew a Pleated Beauty Handbag — I just need to find a few blissful sewing hours sometime soon. Which print to use for the cute peeking-out part, though, that’s tough… but when I do make it, I’ll be sure to add it to the flickr group Amy set up!
Photos reprinted from Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. Copyright © 2007. Potter Craft, a division of Random House, Inc.
I meant to post this yesterday before things got super busy and Friday rapidly disappeared into the rear-view mirror, but if you are in LA, please check out the lovely “Everything Must Go” opening at Glu Gallery tonight! The details: 7424 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, from 7-10 pm.
My dear friend Stacy Elaine Dacheux has two paintings in the show, it should be amazing. Congratulations, Stacy!
Here on the Portland end of the spectrum, I just walked over to an estate sale two blocks from my place and found a few cool things. If anyone is looking for a nice house, you can snap this one up for a mere $669,000. Is it crazy that I still feel shock at my first glance at house prices in the Portland 2.0 real estate market? Shouldn’t I have gotten used to it by now, along with the pancetta and sweetbreads on virtually every nice restaurant’s menu, and the artisanal liquors at hipster bars next to the PBR? I guess I haven’t, despite the fact that I myself am living in a brand-new loft apartment and regularly ordering zinfandel and pinot grigio by winery name instead of the cheapy house whatever. Anyway! Back to the estate sale…
I spotted a page-long list of people’s names crossed off by the door, so I’m sure the dealers had their way with this one before I was even awake this morning. But I still found some little treasures. These people collected things that nicely tie in with my obsessions so I was really pleased to find some of these bits and pieces. Thanks, people!
I got this pretty little collection of handmade rosettes and flowers plus this colorful thread for $1:
vintage craft supplies (including this amazingly packaged construction paper, still bright and pretty) and buttons for $3.50:
vintage sheets, tablecloths, and tea towels (this one is a souvenir of London), $6 total:
Mt. St. Helens-icana, $2 (the whole day-after-the-first-mini-eruption Oregon Journal pullout was saved intact!):
and this Jantzen sweater box. Love Jantzen! I remember when they closed the factory… that was a sad day.
I love the word “sunclothes.” Don’t you?
Now, to find somewhere to put all this stuff…
Etsy has teamed up with Instructables for a new crafty contest: Sew Useful. It’s also a fundraiser for the One Laptop Per Child organization (Etsy is donating all fees plus $1 per entry). And the deadline has just been extended to July 16 so you have plenty of time to dream up something good! I’ll let Etsy explain the general idea:
“Entrants will bring their skills to practical projects that make life easier, then share the how-tos. Because Etsy is a community marketplace for independent artists and craftspeople and Instructables is a web community of makers who share homebrew how-tos, we figured this contest would be an excellent endeavor. Etsy is all about bringing your ingenious creation into the world. When you add the Instructable tutorial, you further help out humankind by passing on the know-how. What better way to live the handmade lifestyle and sharpen your competitive edge?”
All the info is here, and winners in each of three categories will get fabulous prizes: Singer QUANTUM(r) 9940 computerized sewing machines, Leatherman knives, and Etsy gift boxes. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!
My friend Megan tipped me off to the big news that after a long and uncertain drought, Gocco printers and supplies will be available at Paper Source here in the US as of June 22! You can also pre-order any Gocco item by calling 888.727.3711. I’m not sure which printer model they’re selling, but since it costs $395 I’m assuming it’s a fancier/larger-print model. I have a plain B6 that I love to pieces but it doesn’t have any bells and whistles (like mechanisms to set the paper exactly the same way every time you print, which would be nice). They also have tons of ink colors, plus bulbs and screens, so you can restock all your supplies, too.
Anyway, to celebrate I thought I’d link the ever-wonderful Gocco flickr group and post a photo of my very first Gocco screens from last year: skeletons and scissors!
I liked the designs so much that I turned them into the sugar-scrub jar labels for my CRAFT: 03 how-to article, “Balms and Bubbles”:
So if you’ve been hoping to get your very own Gocco printer, looks like now is the time!
I adore Martha Stewart and I think her new crafts line is amazing. If you’re interested in checking it out, now is the perfect time: you can get a special Friends and Family discount for 10% off any order, good through Friday, June 22. Just shop on the Martha Stewart Crafts website and enter the code MSCFF107 when you check out.
Speaking of Martha, Cathy of California and I had a pretty cool sighting at Renegade this weekend:
This portrait was hand-embroidered and hand-painted by Erika of My Imaginary Boyfriend. It’s unbelievable in person, the details are absolutely beautiful. By the way, she takes commissions, too — and you can see more of her work here.
Did you know that Etsy is turning two this month?
I got to stop by the Etsy Labs yesterday, which was flat-out amazing — it’s such a cool space and everyone is super nice. It seriously made me want to move here so I can come to their craft nights and hang out with Julian all the time. And I’m excited about their party tonight too… they’re ready to celebrate the big anniversary with everyone!
If you’re in New York, come by this evening for all kinds of fun stuff. Here’s all the info and directions — don’t forget to RSVP by dropping a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!
I can’t believe it’s almost Renegade weekend too… wow. My head is spinning with all the cool crafty stuff going on.
So the fabulous Felt Club XL Summer is a month away (!) and I wanted to mention a few new details I heard about recently.
First — Jenny and Wendy, the Singing Librarian, are doing another free crafty event this Saturday at Whole Foods on Fairfax. Pamper yourself and concoct some handmade bath and body treats while you do your grocery shopping… sounds like fun!
Also, the July Felt Club XL has moved to the site of the mega-Holiday XL event: the Ukranian Cultural Center on Melrose.
And I am so pleased that the incomparable Charles Phoenix will be the FCXL MC! Love him.
Don’t miss it!
I’m finally in Brooklyn after an afternoon surprise yesterday: all the flights into LaGuardia and most of the other New York area airports were delayed or cancelled due to approaching thunderstorms, and I ended up spending the night at a hotel in Chicago instead of crafting a Yoda doll with Julian. Bummer. Oh well, I am very happy to be in New York now — and it only took 27 hours door-to-door, from my apartment to Kayte‘s! I temporarily distracted Ms. Love Forever from her pre-Renegade crafting so we could have lunch and walk around a little bit, and I got a sneak peek at her new stuff — it is beyond cute, you’ll love it. I already snapped up two things that I’m so excited about!
So on my walk over to the next thing, I saw this cool museum-window display-oddity and luckily I had my camera with me. The City Reliquary is a collection of New York ephemera from all five boroughs, including “architectural remnants of city buildings, Statue of Liberty memorabilia, a geological display of New York’s underground composition, and a 1939 World’s Fair exhibit.” The organization has moved its main collection over to a new, bigger space at 370 Metropolitan, but the window at the old space (at the corner of Havemeyer and Grand) remains. I wish I could have snapped the display, but the glare wasn’t having it. So here’s the sign at least!
About the Reliquary, Vice President of Operations George Ferrandi says:
The City Reliquary has the distinction of being a window museum. People in the community pass it daily on their way to and from the subway, the grocery, or the coffee shop, or they stumble across it when they’re walking home from work via a different route. It is either an integrated part of their daily landscape, or a personal discovery. In either case, passersby are offered a kind of ownership that major institutions strive for in their public relations campaigns, but rarely achieve. We aim to be a humble but effective hub, of many sorts – historical, cultural, and social. We offer historical displays of modest ephemera – bits of bridges, old postcards, etc. We organize events – Collector’s Night, Bike Fetish Day, September 11 Memorials, Bike Rides, Writing Contests. We’ve also started a community mini-garden movement in old bathtubs in front of our windows, and we broadcast a monthly radio show through a local internet station. We post neighborhood-related political information, and in general act as “the water cooler” of the neighborhood.
And as a bonus, they’ve painted a neat list of directions and landmarks on the building for anyone passing by.
I’m looking forward to checking out the newer space too, maybe Saturday after Renegade? I love old everyday things, and this looks like such a stellar community mini-museum. On Friday (speaking of museums I’m excited about) I’m going to the Subversive Lace and Radical Knitting show with Cathy and Cathy, and we’ll be doing some fabric, bead and button shopping too… love that Threads guide to shopping for New York sewers. (You can download a free copy at http://taunton.com/threads/pdf/NYCSewersGuide.pdf — I didn’t want to link it directly in case you don’t want a surprise PDF from a casual click!)
Update: that link doesn’t work directly, sorry about that! Try this google results list and click the first listing (“A SEWER’S GUIDE TO”) and it will automatically download the PDF, at that address.
If you go:
The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211