Hi for the first time in awhile! I’m very excited to be back over here, reviewing my dear friend Nicole Vasbinder‘s brand-new book, Sewing Solutions. Her publisher, Interweave, generously sent us a copy to give away to a lucky member at our PMQG holiday party this Thursday.
Nicole is a fabulous seamstress herself – she owned a handbag and accessory business called Queen Puff Puff for many years,
and now owns and teaches at Stitch Craft in Petaluma, California.
Nicole shares a wealth of insightful tips and details about the art and science of sewing in this super-handy book. From understanding your sewing machine and serger to making perfect buttonholes, and everything in between, Nicole has you covered.
Her special sections on types of fabric and notions are especially helpful. I snapped photos of pages that I thought modern quilters would especially appreciate, but there are tons of other sections that demystify every element of garment sewing, patterns and alterations, and design. She explains sewing techniques clearly, adds tips and suggestions throughout, and shares great resources for shops, books, and magazines to explore.
You can win a copy of this fabulous book at our holiday party this Thursday! And if you want to pick up an extra copy, I spotted it at the downtown Powell’s this afternoon (aisle 510 in the Orange Room!).
Good luck, and see you Thursday!
I’ve been looking forward to our trip to California for months (and all that nice car time to work on my Oregon Trail cross-stitch) and it’s finally here… I’m very excited for my first out-of-town book event for MLCQ at The Bobbin’s Nest in Santa Clara, this Thursday, May 19 from 5-8 pm!
They’ve also sewn some gorgeous versions of my projects from the book, which I can’t wait to see in person. This is Amy’s baby quilt-sized Modern Crosses!
They’re all in the MLCQ flickr pool but here are a few I wanted to spotlight…
After everyone sews a quilt block, I’ll be signing books for anyone who wants one – and the Bobbin’s Nest is offering the book on a special sale, 20% off, until Wednesday. And I’ll be showing the log cabin quilting presentation I did for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild last month, too!
(love the button fabric! I’m definitely snapping some up when I get to the shop!)
Thank you so much to Erin, Amy, and everyone at the Bobbin’s Nest!
Modern Log Cabin Quilting book signing and sewing party!
Bobbin’s Nest Studio
1171 Homestead Road, Suite 130
Santa Clara, California 95050
Sewing, shopping and book signing, Thursday, May 19, from 5-8 pm
Then, on Saturday, I’ll be at Maker Faire with World of Geekcraft! I haven’t been to Maker Faire since 2007 so I’m beyond thrilled to finally make it back, especially with my little Yoda and my littler Harry Potter in tow.
I’m doing a panel moderated by Diane Gilleland at noon, Crafting Your Online Presence, which should be really cool – I’m very interested to hear what everyone else has to say.
And then you can make a POW! ZAP! Magnet from World of Geekcraft with me at 2:00 – both events are in the CRAFT: Magazine area and totally free! I’ll be signing books afterwards if anyone wants their own copy!
You can browse or buy our first six fundraiser quilts, pick up a Surprise Bag to piece your own log cabin quilt top, or buy a $5 raffle ticket to win the Hello Gorgeous quilt in the Modern Domestic shop, online or in person in Portland at the shop! Each individual listing has lots of information on the quilt’s donors, makers, and details, and tons more photos are in the QfQ flickr pool too.
Huge thank-you to everyone who’s helped so much for the relief effort!
I’m super happy to be on my dear friend Cathy Callahan‘s blog book tour for her lovely new Vintage Craft Workshop. I am an equally huge fan of both Cathy and vintage crafts, and her book is a total delight – two dozen projects from the ’60s and ’70s, reinterpreted in very modern ways by Cathy and her contributors, plus fascinating essays on some of the leading craft designers of that golden era.
I first met Cathy in 2005 at the very first Felt Club sale in Los Angeles. I was selling my crafts, and we chatted when she bought one of my skirt kits. At the second Felt Club, I stopped by her table and snapped up one of her burlap-covered wastebaskets (now a project in the book!). I am also the proud owner of a brown-and-pink ribbon-straw flower pin (now a project in the book), a mushroom pincushion (ditto), and a pink-and-orange Enid Collins-style papier-mache brooch (more on that in a minute…).
She contributed awesome projects to both Bead Simple and Button It Up, and when she asked me to do a project for Vintage Craft Workshop, I couldn’t say yes fast enough! She asked me to reinterpret one of my favorite vintage projects, Hazel Pearson’s mushroom pincushion from Burlap Bounty (1967). I love the pink one I bought from Cathy, so making my own in two tones of yellow and orange was super fun.
A few of my other favorite projects (it’s very hard to pick just a couple!) are…
Cathy’s Loomed Flower Wall Hanging – amazing. If you’re in Los Angeles, she’s doing a fantastic book event teaching this craft at my favorite store ever, ReForm School, tomorrow (5/14) from 2-4! Don’t miss that. I wish I could be there…
Nicole Vasbinder‘s Citrus Slice Bulletin Board is so cool (you can see the project instructions here on CRAFT: too!). It’s on my craft wish list – as soon as I get that magical, elusive free afternoon, it’s going to be all about cutting circles and hand-embroidery.
And my favorite-favorite has to be Lara Bobo’s Antiqued Jewelry Box. One of the big things Cathy and I bonded over was our mutual love of Enid Collins. I collect her handbags (these two are my favorites – I’m a Capricorn and my husband is a Cancer so I think it was kind of meant for me to find these ones). I love her work and love the painted details, the jewels, the papier-mache, the typography, just all of it is so good.
Cathy loves all things ec too, and found this treasure, a 1973 photo catalog of the current handbag designs – don’t miss her lovely post on it. Here’s just one of the photos, I just love it.
So while Cathy was researching Enid Collins for her book, she met Enid’s granddaughter, Lara Bobo, and asked her to do a project too… and the gorgeous Antiqued Jewelry Box was born. Lara’s father made the wooden box she embellished, so three generations of Collinsania combined in this lovely piece. I got chills reading Cathy’s introduction about it all.
So, that’s my dream project – not sure when I’ll pull it off but I hope it’s in 2011!
Now, the fun part – Cathy and Chronicle Books have kindly offered up a copy of the book for me to give away to a reader! Please comment on this post by Thursday, May 19 mentioning your favorite vintage craft, and I’ll ask Cathy to choose her favorite from all of them. I can’t wait to hear them myself too! Cathy’s blog tour has lots of great vintage craft posts and some other fun giveaways so be sure to follow along the way. Yesterday’s post was by Jenny at Exit Through the Thrift Shop (with bonus Felt Club pics!!) and Monday’s post will be at whipup and I know that one will be awesome!
And if you’re going to Maker Faire, Cathy and I are doing free book events, back to back – at 2:00 on Saturday, I’m doing a POW! ZAP! Magnets demo from World of Geekcraft (make one to take home!) and at 3:00 Cathy’s giving a new “Crafty Lady” slideshow all about vintage crafts and their pioneers. Both are in the CRAFT: Magazine area and we’ll be signing books afterwards – please come say hi!
I’m so happy that my partner Daniela and I got to ship 30 beautiful quilts to the Patchwork Tsushin drive yesterday – all made by dozens of awesome people here in Portland from generous donations of fabric, blocks, and quilt tops, locally and from all over the US and Canada!
THANK YOU to everyone who helped so much donating or making for this project – we are so appreciative!
Three big boxes packed full are on the way to Seven Islands, who is graciously sending them on to Japan to be distributed to those in need as gifts of comfort and friendship – and here they are…
It’s been a crazy busy spring for me so far, but this project has been so dear to my heart and worth every second.
I got one last quilt (above!) bound yesterday afternoon during Everett’s nap, too late for the big collage, and it felt so good to finish one more beautiful piece – one that so many people contributed star blocks to, that I sashed at Cool Cottons and Cherri and Rachel quilted at Sew On, and I bound in one of my favorite polka-dot fabrics, to go to comfort someone who needs it. Daniela finished this one (below!) in about the same timeframe!
An hour later they were both photographed, packed and shipped to California to start their long journey to Japan, joined by this gorgeous baby quilt Teresa made and delivered just in time to complete our set of 30 quilts.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who did so much.
We’re hoping to launch our Etsy shop with a beautiful collection of quilts for sale (plus some raffles at lovely local shops) very soon – those will all be a 100% fundraiser for Mercy Corps/Peace Winds Japan!
I wrote up two fun pieces this week that I wanted to share over here! First, I was so thrilled to spotlight four West Coast-crafted handmade holiday gifts for the brand-new issue of Venus. I picked a mix of my favorites – a striking Polaroid print from Yellow Owl Workshop (San Francisco), a leaf-embellished glasses case from Queen Bee Creations (Portland), lush and pretty flower brooches from Piper Ewan (Portland), and a rad coffee mug (made from corn!) by Sarah Utter (Olympia) for my round-up, and in what feels like a mostly digital world lately, it was a special treat to see all these cool things on an actual paper page.
Along with my regional picks for out here, Julie Schneider handled the East Coast, Amanda Mauer Taflinger covered the Midwest, and The Wondercraft spotlighted the Southwest – there is some awesome crafty stuff around these days, to say the least!
I’m also very happy to be posting weekly at Geekcrafts.com again, and I just fell in love with this sweet little amigurumi R2D2 pattern by Janama on Etsy. I need to get a refresher course from the super-talented Linda and start crocheting again…
Thank you, Venus! Thank you, geekcrafts! I have one more writing-related announcement tomorrow that I am super excited about as well, more on that whenever Pearl lets me have a little more laptop time.
I hear there will be heart-shaped vanilla sandwich cookies and double chocolate brownies and all kinds of delicious treats. Stop by and pick out some favorites if you’re in the neighborhood!
Update: Jenny raised $1, 140 for DWB! Awesome!
Our vegan bake sale here in Portland is coming up next Sunday… I’ll be there. I don’t bake vegan too often but I’m excited to make something new for that!
Like everyone else, I was devastated to hear the terrible news of the earthquake in Haiti this week. My thoughts are with everyone there and I hope that relief efforts will be swift and sure. I have an empty Etsy shop and no time to fill it with crafts or books to benefit those who need it most, but I wanted to share some really wonderful and generous fundraisers others in our crafty community are doing this week. Please let me know if you have more links I can add, I would love to!
Ryan and Lucy of Berkley Illustration write:
Please help us do our small part to help victims of the tragedy in Haiti. From now until midnight tomorrow (Thursday, January 14th), we are offering a “buy two, get one free” sale on all prints in our Etsy shop. 10% of all sales will go directly to the Red Cross in support of Haitian relief. In addition, we’ve released the above print, “Biggest Heart” as an open edition 8×10 and 100% of the proceeds from that print will go to the Red Cross as well. Find that print here.
To take advantage of the sale, simply buy two prints and leave us a note at checkout with the third print you would like (obviously of same or lesser value).
Leslie Yang of Feisty Elle writes: for every item purchased till 1/31, Feisty Elle will donate $15 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. Let’s do this!
Midnight and Lulu is offering 50% of this week’s sales of handspun yarn to relief efforts in Haiti.
Sublime Stitching is offering 10% of today’s sales (1/13) to the American Red Cross.
Stephanie Congdon Barnes will be doing a shop update tomorrow, with 10% of all sales going to the Red Cross as well. update: her inventory is sold out, with the donation going to Mercy Corps!
And Portland’s own Super Phoebe dedicated all proceeds from the sale of one of her fantastic vintage-slide lamps to our local heroes Mercy Corps. I’m so grateful for her generosity and proud to say that I’m the new owner of this beautiful piece — thank you, Phoebe!
UPDATE (4:00 pm, 1/13/10):
Here’s an ever-changing list of the Etsy sellers currently offering their handmade work for the relief effort in Haiti.
And if you’re in the Bay Area, Chronicle Books is hosting a bake sale to benefit the Red Cross this Friday. Guinevere de la Mare writes:
San Francisco, we need your help! Please visit our lobby this Friday, January 15th, for a bake sale to benefit the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
Chronicle staffers will be whipping up cookies, muffins, cupcakes, bonbons, and an assortment of sweet treats to raise funds for the Red Cross. Pop in for dessert on your lunch break, pick up a snack with your coffee, or just drop a donation in the jar if you have New Year’s Resolutions to keep in check. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.
Haiti Earthquake Relief Bake Sale
Friday, January 15
680 2nd St (at Townsend)
UPDATE (1:00 pm, 1/14/10):
Bird and Little Bird is donating all sales made today and tomorrow (1/14 + 1/15) to Partners in Health — check out the sweet patterns and handmade toys.
Etsy and Indie Fixx are organizing several handmade fundraisers to benefit the Red Cross and Partners in Health. Go here to see a list of links to the shops participating — and Etsy is matching what the company’s employees raise! Meanwhile, Indie Fixx is hosting a silent auction with new handmade items daily.
For Portland folks:
Faryn Davis of Fernworks (in addition to her direct fundraiser mentioned above!) is donating 40% of the sales from her art show at Redux.
Xtabay vintage boutique is offering 10% of today’s sales to relief efforts.
The entire inventory will be sold with all the proceeds going to Mercy Corps. All articles will be sold at 20%-40% off retail price. All garments are made out of a Soy/organic Cotton/Elastan blend. I worked with local pattern makers and seamstresses and production was placed out of Los Angeles. Click here to go to the website to have a look at all the available garments.
UPDATE (8:00 pm 1/14/10)
Thank you to these generous crafters for supporting the organizations doing this much-needed work, and to those of you spreading the word about it all too! We appreciate your generosity so much!
If you’re in the Bay Area or around here, be sure to mark your calendars! (And if you’re in San Francisco, head over for cocktail hour at the craft museum tonight — sounds heavenly.)
November 20th, 6pm-8pm
Museum of Craft & Folk Art
51 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA
(@ Mission between Third & Fourth)
BOOK SIGNING AND COCKTAIL HOUR
November 21st, 2pm-5pm
855 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA (between 19th & 20th)
November 23rd, 7:30pm-9pm
1005 W. Burnside St.
Kayte mentioned that we’ll get to make these sweet little felt ornaments with her athe Powell’s event, and she’s bringing along some of the other book projects to show as well!
When I lived in Los Feliz, one of my favorite things to do was visit other neighborhoods in Los Angeles and take pictures of cool things I’d never seen before.
This tile mosiac mural at the Federal Building downtown totally captivated me — so beautiful and so well preserved.
Speaking of tile mosiacs, Clifton’s has some of the best ones I’ve ever seen out front.
I loved these two — the Observatory and the saber-toothed tigers at the La Brea tar pits.
Griffith Park is probably the place I miss most in the whole city… and speaking of the Observatory, it’s hard to take a bad photo up there.
Union Station is such a majestic place — I love train stations, and it is one of the most beautiful ones in the world.
And one day when I was in Chinatown with Jessica on our Day of the Dead tour, I took some pictures of the Cathay Bank. I didn’t know anything about it, except that I loved the way it looked. Then last month, the Los Angeles Conservancy contacted me about using one of them in a photo archive they created to celebrate 60s architecture in LA. The site just went up and it’s fascinating — there are tons of great photos from all over the city. The interactive timeline is really cool, and I was so honored to see my photo in it… and find out more about the bank, I had no idea it was so significant!
Visit the site here and add your own photos of 60s architecture in Los Angeles to their flickr pool, too. And if you are in LA, take some pictures for me, please! I never did get a good one of the Capitol Records building.
Christine gave me some advice on grading the pattern up slightly. (I’m about a size 12 in ready-to-wear sizes, so I just added a little width on each side of the front and back pieces following the cutting lines, but used the L collar piece provided in the book’s patterns as-is.) I made a simple sash to give it some shaping, but I really like the way it fits without it.
I added a layered set of vintage buttons and some tucks to my neckline too. When I have time to sew for fun again, I’m definitely making another one, but this time I think I’ll make the Back-to-School version, which has sleeves and (optional) patch pockets.
What I love about Christine’s designs is how utterly adaptable they are. I was able to change the size of my dress pretty easily, and the simplicity of the lines on many of the pattern pieces give you an idea of how to adjust them to fit you in either direction. Even more, I love the custom bits and pieces you can add to her basic shapes — they make the clothes totally yours.
Diane sewed herself the Back-to-School dress and it’s gorgeous!
She made it as an anniversary dress, and added some very cool modifications, like custom pockets and contrast fabric, which you can read more about here.
Meanwhile, Christine has some fantastic sewing classes lined up at Jenny Ryan’s beautiful new Home Ec. store in Los Angeles!
She has some amazing classes for fall: Sewing 101, Baby Doll Top, Reversible Wrap Skirt, and a couple of others.
And Jenny is throwing a party tonight to celebrate her beautiful new space — I wish I could go!
Lots more details are here, and Jenny says:
Our Grand Opening Celebration is Friday, September 4 from 7-10pm. We’ll have snacks and drinks, and there will be fun crafty surprise giveaways to boot. Be there!
Home Ec. Silver Lake
3815 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90026