I recently got a review copy of Brett Bara‘s fabulous new book, Sewing in a Straight Line, and I’m a huge fan! Brett shares 28 projects to make, from skirts and handbags to quilts and home projects – but the twist is that they’re all made by sewing beginner-friendly straight lines only. She uses very clever techniques to shape those simple seams and hems into stylish finished pieces you’ll love.
For my first SIASL project, I decided to make a set of Brett’s beautiful Folded Flower Bowls in the small and medium sizes. (Update: Brett has a video showing how to make these, too!) I loved the wholecloth versions in the book, but thought it would be really fun to try them with a simple quilt block instead of a plain fabric square. I’ve been saving the jelly roll that Monica Solario-Snow kindly gave me of her lovely, colorful Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric collection for something special… and this turned out to be the perfect (little) project for them.
I stitched a few strips together and pressed and top-stitched them, then paired them with a solid color for the other side of the bowl. Using Brett’s clear, nicely illustrated instructions, I backed the two sides with interfacing, sewed and turned them, and transformed them from flat squares to smoothly shaped three-dimensional rounds with a few well-placed seams!
I used Decor Bond for my heavy-weight interfacing, which gives the bowls a nice body and definition, but I had a hard time keeping the fabric from showing ripples and crinkles once it had been turned and folded a few times. A tiny iron (I borrowed this one from Amy after misplacing the cord of mine!) and steaming the inside of the bowl worked really well for shaping and smoothing the fabrics. I definitely recommend this trick!
I really like the small size (which starts with a 6.5″ square). Here it is in patchwork and plain versions.
These are the two bowls I made to keep – cross-hatches in a small-scale Heath red and a bolder navy print by Lotta Jansdotter.
What about the other two bowls? Well, I’ll be giving them away, along with a copy of Brett’s book, at the February PMQG meeting! Heather, Petra, Nancy, Ale and I are going to be posting new sewing and quilting book reviews on our blogs every month, and then giving away copies of the books at the monthly meetings. I’m up first, so here is mine!
And our own Michelle Freedman will be doing an improvisational patchwork demo for our 10-minute tutorial (these 2 photos are from her super fun improv demo/game at our All Day Sew on Saturday).
Thank you to Potter Craft for the book, and to Monica for the beautiful fabric. I’m excited to share them! Along with the book and patchwork bowls, we have some very special prizes to give away… hope to see you there, Thursday, February 16 from 7-9 at PNCA!
I recently got a review copy of Jessica Strand’s new book, Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids, and I love it. It arrived last Tuesday, and we immediately planned a couple of very fun crafty playdates for Wednesday and Friday with two of Pearl’s best friends!
The first project I saw that was right up her alley was the O Christmas Tree soft felt ornaments. Our Christmas tree desperately needs more cute, unbreakable ornaments – Everett has just started walking and he’s very good at it! This project is not only very 3.5-year-old friendly, it didn’t require a single extra thing from the store (I have a crazy stash of felt colors). Perfect.
We started with the kids (Pearl and her buddy Kirin) choosing the felt color they wanted for backgrounds. I traced a large jar lid and cut the rounds out with pinking shears, then asked what kind of decorations and shapes they wanted to add to their first ornament. The rule that worked well was that they could pick all their preferred colors, shapes, and sizes of felt pieces, but that I did the cutting and pinking. Then, once they’d placed everything just so, I glued the bits down and we cut out new rounds to decorate. It worked super well, and in just an hour or so, they had made six ornaments together! Here are Pearl’s. Two are similar to the ones in the book, but I really love that free-form circle one – she had a great time digging deep into my button jar for favorites to arrange…
Kirin made these three. That giraffe is spectacular (a collaboration between him and his mom!).
Then, a couple days later, Pearl’s friend Rowan came over for ornament-making part two. In the meantime, I’d made it to the craft store for googly eyes – Pearl announced that she wanted to make a Christmas present ornament that was looking at you. So she did.
Rowan made some great ones too – I liked the pipe cleaner hangers!
Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids is an adorable book. Jessica mentioned in her introduction that she worked on it with her ten-year-old son Lucian, which I thought was so cool. They came up with 26 projects total, covering Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s – everything from table decorations, gift wrap and cards to garlands, cookies, and gifts. It’s so nice to see a book that’s meant for younger kids and bigger ones – so many of the kids’ craft books I have are still a ways out from my 3.5-year-old. This one is recommended for 4 and up, but many of the projects are very do-able for the preschooler. We want to try this one next:
Who knows how much Pearl’s snowflakes will look like the ones on the page, but I think they will be awesome – she was really excited to find special sparkly pipe cleaners at the store to bend and twist! The other projects she wants to make are the paper snowflakes, the brownie gift jar, and the happy New Year paper poppers.
I’m today’s stop on Kathreen Ricketson‘s Little Bits Quilting Bee blog tour and very happy to be reviewing this lovely, colorful quilting book. I wanted to share some of my favorite parts from the book, and especially why it resonates so much with me as a quilter and a crafter.
Kathreen has designed 20 quilts that use standard sizes of precut fabric sets (charm squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and fat quarters – though of course, you can use your own stash fabrics instead). She also includes thorough instructions all the way from choosing fabrics to binding; advice on color and design; and paper patterns for many of the blocks. Once you learn these quilt-making basics, any of the quilts she’s designed is within reach. My favorite LBQB quilt is Prismatic, which uses layer cakes.
Here’s a closer look at the piecing, which I love, and the overall layout. Simple and striking.
Another instant favorite is Garnets and Gold, which uses fat quarters. This one is so lush and colorful…
But the one at the top of my list to make is Rhombus.
My PMQG guildmate and friend Monica Solario-Snow gave me and Daniela each a jelly roll set of her Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric line, and I have been saving this amazing gift for a special project. The fabric makes me happy (the name couldn’t be more perfect!) and I’m picturing such a gorgeous HMYY Rhombus, bordered in a bright solid. Lovely.
Which brings me to my favorite part of Little Bits Quilting Bee – the bee. I love craft books that offer more than great projects – that tell a story or share history or resources we can all enjoy. Kathreen includes an engaging section at the front on the history and culture of community quilting, from traditional bees to online swaps and groups – I loved reading this part.
Of course Kathreen’s whip-up site has been a huge pillar of our craft community, and my whole life has been shaped so beautifully, and I have met so many people I treasure, through craft.
From my earliest days of learning to sew and getting a million ideas on getcrafty… to hosting naked lady parties and swapping tons of clothes and craft supplies… to our beloved Portland Church of Craft meetings, led by Sister Diane… to my partners in Portland Super Crafty… to Maker Faire… and now the amazing Portland Modern Quilt Guild I’m proud to be a member of, I am very fortunate to be part of our huge, beautiful craft community.
One of my favorite blog entries I’ve ever written, originally as a column for getcrafty in March 2006, was Start Your Own Craft Circle! – half fun details about a weekly knitting circle in North Carolina, and half tips on starting your own craft group. Except for a few links that could be switched out for their 2011 counterparts, it feels as fresh now as it did when I was interviewing the organizers five years ago! Thank you to my friends, everyone who inspires me with your crafts and projects, and to everyone who reads my books and stops by this little corner of the world, too. Now, I would love to hear about your favorite craft groups and swaps and bees!
Giveaway time! I’m happy to be giving away a copy of Little Bits Quilting Bee today – to enter, please leave a comment with your favorite experience in a quilting bee, craft circle, class, or guild, whether it’s with family, friends, online, a swap in the mail, or any other take on this vibrant community. Comments are open through next Tuesday, November 22, and readers in the US and Canada are eligible. I’ll ask Kathreen to choose a winner from the comments and Chronicle will send a book to him or her right away!
Check out the rest of the blog tour here, with lots more reviews, giveaways, and posts about this lovely book!
I recently got my contributor copy of the fabulous BUST DIY Guide to Life and I love it! Flipping through all 350 pages has been a treat – it’s basically 15 years’ worth of the magazine‘s awesomeness in one gorgeous place.
Debbie Stoller (whose birthday is today – happy birthday Debbie!) and Laurie Henzel have rounded up hundreds of how-tos from contributors and editors alike and organized them into hefty chapters like “BUST-ier Homes and Gardens” and “Your Style, Your Way.” Along with craft projects of just about every kind, there are dozens (hundreds?) of recipes to try, plus tutorials on tuning up a bike, buying a house, polishing a resume, and just about anything else you might want to to figure out how to do. Here are a few of my favorites…
I’m so happy that two of my articles for BUST made it into the book, too! I wrote “Chains of Love” in 2005, I remember making those three necklaces in our apartment in LA. I was so excited to see it on the page!
And I wrote “Get it Together,” a quick organizing guide, within a year or so of that one too. I could do worse than take my own advice when it comes to my craft room these days…
This Saturday afternoon, Debbie and Laurie will be at Powell’s here in downtown Portland for a signing and party – I would love to see you over there! Powell’s has a nice display of the book (sorry, the photo is blurry – Everett was in the carrier and really wanted to help) if you want to flip through and see some of the awesomeness for yourself.
The BUST DIY Guide to Life signing with Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel!
Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside St. in Portland
Saturday, November 5 at 2:00
I’m so happy to be today’s stop on the Sewing for Boys blog tour with a review and giveaway (read on!). Shelly and Karen have created a fun collection of 24 projects to make for the boys – or girls – in your life, from newborn to age 7, from pants and shirts to hats, belts, and Lego bags. There are full-sized paper patterns included for all the clothes projects, and thorough instructions and diagrams throughout. Be sure to check out the Sewing for Boys flickr group for tons of inspiring photos of reader-made projects!
I have my heart set on making the Treasure Pocket Pants for Pearl (as a good hand-me-down for my little boy Everett), but when I saw the To-Go Artist, I knew that would have to be my first SFB project and the one to show over here with my book review. (It didn’t hurt that Daniela designed the airplane fabric for this one – love it.)
My nephew Julian turned 10 (!) this year and though he’s a little too big for the clothes size ranges here, I knew he would love a portable mini-art studio.
I did a few adaptations to make it more him – left off the shorter crayon holder in favor of a larger one just for colored pencils,
kept it to one main solid fabric with a bright peace-sign print instead of using three different ones, and added a 10 applique on the front.
I also did a few things that made it more me – made a quick handmade binding tape to edge the top of the notebook holder instead of top-stitching,
and used a snap (with a button cover) instead of Velcro since I didn’t have any handy. I also added this little tag, which resurfaced from 2000 or so when I moved my craft room. (This photo also shows the truest color of the solid green canvas I used, a home dec fabric from IKEA that I also sewed Pearl a set of curtains with.)
Here’s another look at the inside. The only thing I wanted to do, but didn’t, was top-stitch the whole perimeter to finish as the instructions mentioned – I love top-stitching, but with up to six layers of thick canvas layered in a few places, my universal needle was not happy. So I hand-stitched the opening with invisible thread and it worked very nicely, it’s not quite as defined but it works. It’s plenty sturdy with all that canvas, especially once I pick up a hard-covered sketchbook to add…
So, on to the giveaway! Wiley sent me my review copy and has generously donated another copy of the book for me to give away to a blog reader, and I’m adding a piece of the print I used (Alexander Henry’s “peace” from 2005, which I bought around then at Michael Levine in LA and just cut into for the first time for this project!). To enter to win the book and fabric, please leave a comment on this post by next Thursday, September 22 (midnight PST), mentioning your favorite craft project you’ve ever made for a kid, and I’ll let Shelly and Karen pick the winner then!
Even better, for locals: Shelly will be signing books at Modern Domestic tomorrow night, September 16, from 6-9, and at Powell’s Books on October 22. Don’t miss Wiley’s author blog and tomorrow’s stop on the blog tour, True Up!
I’m fresh off the giant craft-room switch (tons of carrying boxes and card catalogs around, along with an aqua painting session) and we’re getting noisy new ceilings put in upstairs, so my laptop time is a little crazy this week. I just posted about lots of things I’m excited about at my World of Geekcraft site and I hope you don’t mind a cross-post over here… Thanks so much to everyone who has had kind words (or cool projects) to share on the WOGC side of things, I’m so appreciative.
Back to the craft room for a second, here is a “during” photo (I just couldn’t deal with the “before” stage) – my first swatch of Tropicana Cabana over the dingy old-band-aid-colored drywall downstairs! I left the wood as-is and just jumped in for a 1.5-hour painting session. I love the aqua so much.
I hope you’re having a very crafty summer! I have gotten into a couple of picnic-table terrarium sessions, and have been inching along on John‘s fantastic Oregon Trail cross-stitch project and totally enjoying it. I need to snap a new progress pic, but here it is on my Maker Faire trip:
Someday I will proudly be displaying the finished project in our rec room (I have a crazy idea to frame it, which may or may not work, but I’m trying it for sure!).
A few other book updates…
Yay, Etsy has shared Garth Johnson‘s fantastic Planet Commemorative Plates project on their How-Tuesday feature! You can get the full project instructions and details over there. I’d love to see yours if you make them, please add a photo to the WOGC flickr group.
And my awesome publisher, Chronicle Books, is giving away a copy of WOGC to commemorate the end of the epic Harry Potter movie series.
Just leave a comment on their post by 8/11 with your suggestions for coping in a post-HP world, and you could win the book and craft your own tiny HP costume for your favorite baby or toddler. Love the ideas so far – my favorite is “Immediately leave your house, find puppies and kittens (accio them to you if need be), and frolic with them in a field full of flowers and rainbows.”
I’m excited that a feature on the Star Wars Terrariums will go up on CraftFoxes soon too. For now, you can see some lovely preview photos from our terra-crafting session on Katelyn’s Creo Photography blog. There’s some other good terrarium news to share soon too, I’ll keep you posted!
Finally, WOGC has gotten some nice reviews lately! Special thanks to Jane Ritter of the School Library Journal for her post last month. I loved making things in high school, and it is so cool to imagine my book on a school library shelf.
Beal’s introduction declares, “We’ve come a long way since ‘geek’ meant a carnival sideshow freak,” which sets the playful tone of this book. To celebrate the geek in all of us, the author has pulled together 25 projects from a variety of crafters organized by difficulty starting with “Not a Jedi Yet” (easy) to “Warp Speed” (advanced). Each contributor includes a “best geeky memory” that often highlights a video game, Star Wars or Star Trek, or an early computer memory. Each project lists the necessary items and includes clear, detailed instructions. Accompanying photos add to the fun.
According to Charlie McConnell, a geek is made up not only of flesh and blood, but of awesome. I agree with this. Geeks are awesome. So is this book, World of Geekcraft. It has lots of awesome projects. Some are difficult and need time and effort to complete but if you use time and effort, the projects will come out beautifully.
Get this book if you want to be awesome.
“After” craft room photos soon!
Kathie Sever and Bernadette Noll recently sent me a copy of their amazing new book, Make Stuff Together, and I’m today’s co-stop on their blog tour along with the lovely Rachel Hobson! Make Stuff Together has 24 projects to create as a family, with tons of encouraging, helpful advice on crafting with kids of all ages, attention spans, and skill levels.
Each project, as Diane pointed out in her review, is broken into three sections so there are natural stopping points and kids can take a break before diving back in the same afternoon. The emphasis is on recycled and reclaimed materials and meaningful, personalized projects, and Kathie and Bernadette offer some intriguing thoughts on sparking and supporting kids’ creativity without overwhelming them or taking over.
How did you two collaborate on the book? Did each of you create certain projects independently, or did you team up on most things as a pair/with families?
Bernadette: For pretty much all of the projects we came up with the list together – we knew we wanted to really stay focused on things that worked towards building family connection. Then Kathie would sew and I was sitting right there writing. Writing up the instructions as she called them out and writing the text as well. It was a really nice process and a good way too for us to make sure we kept from getting too sanctimonious. We’re both good about calling each other on that one!
How old are your kids now?
B: Kathie’s kids are 7 and 10 and mine are 13, 11, 8 and 4.
Wow, that’s a great range for doing all kinds of projects. I’d love to hear your suggestions on the ones that are the most accessible to younger kids – my daughter is 3 and loves to make things, but some of the more advanced projects are obviously further out for us.
B: I’d say the napkin rings would be a good one to do with littles. Or, you could do the flags as a toddler project as well and let your little one do the embellishment on the white fabric. And in some of the others, perhaps have her sit on your lap and do some of the sewing? That’s how my kids all started sewing – by starting first on my lap. And of course, any of the burlap projects are good because you can do the hand sewing on the burlap, which is a really simple fabric for littles.
Do each of you have a favorite project from the collection?
B: I love the appreciation banner. To me this is one tool that can really transform family dynamics. If we are getting too cranky or overwhelmed, the appreciations are a great way to turn that around. Also, if I feel I, or someone else, is getting too “poor me” the appreciations can really bring us to a whole new attitude. AND, I also like the appreciations because it can help me as a parent get more of what I actually do want.
Kathie: My CURRENT favorite project (I’ve had many over the couple years this has been coming to fruition) is the game board and caddy.
I always forget what an amazing tool simple board games and card games are for just being with your family. Summer reminds me of these simple pleasures – and about the evolution of my own parenting skills as I learn to sit with a frustrated child who is losing a game instead of making it a “teachable moment”… plus checkers and backgammon (a game that Bernadette introduced me to) are just damn fun.
My favorite has to be the lunch tote, a hiking-ready bag with lots of compartments and cool bits and pieces. It’s at the top of the dream-project list for when Pearl’s past the burlap and safety scissors stage – I think she would rock out with that one.
Thank you to Kathie and Bernadette for the interview, and be sure to head over to Rachel’s blog for a book giveaway today! Also, they have some cool events coming up, including this one right here in Southeast Portland:
Cafe Au Play Portland, OR July 19th 10:30-noon
Kathie’s heading to Portlandia with a little crafty book signing at Cafe Au Play. Which looks like an amazing family place! Play, craft, eat and childcare all in the same place? Heaven. And even heavenlier with Kathie there signing our book!
See you there! I’ll be the one in the black and white Ramonster dress, which I snapped up the first time I met Kathie (we were booth neighbors at a way-back craft fair in LA… I think 2005?).
I’m very happy to be today’s stop on the fabulous Block Party tour with an interview and giveaway! Block Party is a collaboration between co-authors Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks, along with ten other quilters who did a monthly block swap by mail together, over the course of one beautiful year. The book shows each quilter’s concept, fabrics, and chosen pattern (or improvisational guidelines), from Dresden Plates to stripes, hexagons and confetti. Seeing first the wonderfully varied blocks and then the final quilts unfold is really cool.
I got to ask Alissa a few questions about their gorgeous book and hear a bit more about how it all came together!
How did the Block Party bee get started?
Kristen and I were the original hosts of the Block Party bee that we started after she emailed me asking if I’d like to co-host. We had both seen all of the virtual quilting bees popping up online so we were eager to take part in one ourselves. We figured starting one on our own was a good idea because that way we were able to pick the members and make sure we all had a similar quilting aesthetic.
Did you think it might become a book?
Not at first! We were a couple of months into our bee when Kristen emailed me again saying very casually that she thought there was a good book idea here… structuring the chapters around the months of the bee. I wholeheartedly agreed with her and said “Let’s do it!” We were then off and running with the idea and putting together a proposal.
That’s so cool! Had you met anyone in person, or was it all online?
None of the bee members had met before the bee. We are spread out all over the country. Since the bee and book have happened I’ve met quite a few of the members in person. It’s always so great to feel like a friendship isn’t starting from zero when you meet, but that you already know each other through your quilting, blogs and the fun times had in the bee!
And how did you and Kristen collaborate on the book project together since you live in different places?
Loads and loads of emails and gmail chats!! We also talked on the phone a lot but really, mostly we communicated a ton online. We divided the work up in two and just worked away, consulting with each other when we had questions, ideas or what have you. It really went quite smoothly considering we had never met each other in person! Now we’ve met a couple of times and we’re fast friends!
I really love Alissa’s work – here is one of her photos of a gorgeous baby boy quilt she made for a friend, which she graciously let me include in Modern Log Cabin Quilting as an example of random piecing in a very modern style.
And of course log cabins are dear to my heart (plus my birthday is in January), so her month’s quilt, “Once Around the Block” was an instant favorite!
All 12 quilters’ improvisational log cabin blocks draw the eye so beautifully, and Pearl Bracelet by Lizzy House is one of my favorite prints ever, especially in those gorgeous aqua and orange colorways from Red Letter Day (I’ve used both in a bunch of different projects, and have some precious pieces left in my stash). I love that she also included serene gray and white as elements of the whole lively color story, and the finished 25-block quilt is fantastic.
Her co-author, Kristen, created “Sliding By,” a gorgeous wonky Roman Stripe Quilt in a calm and sophisticated color palette. She included one of my favorite Hope Valley prints by Denyse Schmidt, a botanical pattern in the Piney Woods colorway (Denyse also wrote a lovely introduction for the book on quilting bees and community).
I asked Kristen if her quilt had made it to many picnics so far this summer…
Turns out my quilt was destined for somewhere super special instead – my bed! My husband’s constant complaint is that I have never made us a quilt, yet make quilts for everyone’s else babies. I chose the fabrics for this quilt with him in mind, thinking that I would need the help of fellow bee members to make a quilt large enough to fit a queen bed. I’ve always loved citron and grey together, and aqua seemed to fit right in. Luckily, he loves the final product!
Now – a giveaway! Stash has generously offered up a copy of Block Party to a reader here, so if you’d like to enter to win it, please leave a comment on this post by Friday, July 1 at midnight Pacific time, sharing what your favorite fabric to quilt or sew with lately is. I mentioned my beloved RLD Pearl Bracelet and Hope Valley prints, and I’d love to hear yours…
Thank you to Alissa and Kristen for the mini-interview and to Stash for the book to give away! You can follow along with the whole blog tour right here, and tomorrow’s post will be at Connecting Threads.
I’m today’s stop on the Girl’s World blog tour, following Melissa‘s lovely giveaway post yesterday over at Bolt Neighborhood (look for a post at Everything Etsy tomorrow, too!). Jennifer Paganelli’s colorful, cheerful new sewing book Girl’s World includes 21 projects for girls, sized in a generous range from XS (2-3) to XL (12-14) – all made in her signature Sis Boom fabrics.
I got a review copy from Chronicle about a month ago, and just a few days later, I met Dolin O’Shea, who works at the lovely Bobbin’s Nest Studio in the Bay Area. We were chatting during my Modern Log Cabin Quilting book event at the shop, and she mentioned that she collaborated with Jennifer to create all the graded patterns for Girl’s World! Taking another look at the nuts and bolts of the book after our conversation, I have to say that the patterns are so beautifully done and so professional – I was really impressed. An envelope at the front holds about a dozen sturdy folded sheets printed clearly and ready to cut or trace, with plenty of useful notes and markings.
Melissa made a striking Mary’s Fancy Sash Dress in a gorgeous fabric combination from Bolt (see her post yesterday for all the fabric details) that really shows the pattern itself off. There are plenty of photos of each design in the book, but they’re all in exuberant fabrics, modeled by excited little girls in colorful rooms, so I thought it was refreshing to see an understated take on one of these pretty dresses, too. (Photo by Melissa, thank you!)
I also thought about sewing a dress for Pearl (the Agnes Tunic is at the top of my list – I think she would like it the most of the collection, and it would definitely suit our cool, breezy PNW climate better than the cute strappy sundresses), but time is short around here for glory projects, so I made her a George the Puppy for now. He took me exactly one listening of Radiohead’s Kid A, from opening the book and cutting out the pattern to hand-sewing the last stitches on his little belly. I think he turned out super cute, but he was surprisingly hard to snap a good photo of.
I have my Housetop Quilt on the guest room bed right now, which is also the room where I usually cut fabric… so when I was thinking about what patterns to pair for George, I ended up choosing two favorite cross-hatch prints in shades of brown that also appear in the quilt I made two years ago. What can I say, I guess I like what I like!
You only need a quarter-yard of a main fabric and a remnant of a contrast one, and this project goes together very quickly and easily. Seam allowances are included in the patterns, and this one uses a 1/4″ seam (handy for me, I had a 1/4″ foot on my machine from my last piecing project so I didn’t even have to switch!). My only suggestion on what to watch is that I think clipping curves is a little challenging with such a narrow seam allowance (I’m used to doing it with garments that use a 1/2″ or 5/8″ SA). I think I’m going to be doing a few little hand-stitched repairs here and there where the clipping was more accidental nipping… but next time I’ll be a little more conservative with my Ginghers.
My only variations were top-stitching the ears for a little more sturdiness and definition, and hand-sewing on a grosgrain ribbon collar. I so wanted to add button eyes, but not while the baby is still a baby. Maybe I’ll update this little dude when both kids are decidedly out of the button-in-the-mouth phase.
After snapping some quick photos, I handed George over to Pearl, who immediately renamed him Mic-Mac and spirited him away to her lair of stuffed animals. She has been organizing all her animals into families lately which is super cute, and it looks like he will have a very good home with some other prized buddies. She has already requested “so many more Mic-Macs,” so I think I’ll be revisiting this pattern again soon! So I’ve already picked out two cheerful red and yellow feedsack prints (which happen to be two of the 60 patterns in my Modern Crosses) for the next puppy…
Thank you to Chronicle for the book and the chance to review it on the tour! I’ll be posting as part of Alissa Haight Carlton’s Block Party tour on Sunday, too, another book I totally love. See you then if not before…
Hoping to see lots of Portland folks at the Etsy Craft Party/Quilts for Quake Survivors bee tomorrow! All the details are here and here, and I can’t wait to do some sewing and see our lovely community-made quilts on display at the museum…
Speaking of lovely things: it’s no secret that I am completely crazy about terrariums.
and my Star Wars Terrariums in World of Geekcraft are a true lifetime favorite project.
So I was beyond excited to snap up my own copy of Terrarium Craft after my reading at Powell’s on Sunday. (By the way, all the Timber Press books, including that one, are currently 30% off there – yay!)
It has some beautifully photographed sections on basic techniques, and then a collection of 50 original projects to make in different terra-genres and containers. I haven’t had time to make anything from the book yet, but next time I stop at Artemisia (co-author Amy Bryant Aiello’s lovely shop on SE 28th, where I bought pretty much everything but the jars and the action figures for my three Star Wars Terrariums) I will be choosing a few new favorite things to make these stunning projects…
From the Forest chapter, the Rainforest Raindrop is just gorgeous. I can’t wait to get one of those glossy glass drops and put some cool things inside.
From the Beach chapter, I really love The Lost Beach (which I can’t help but think of as the LOST beach). That tiny bottle!
And from the Desert chapter, I can picture about a dozen of the Test Tube Babies in all different combinations.
If you’re in town or nearby, co-authors Amy and Kate Bryant will be at the Division location of Portland Nursery on Sunday for a book signing and terrarium party! I’m hoping to be there for sure, and I actually just bought two more (giant) vintage Mason jars this afternoon that were calling out to me at Village Merchants.
Plus, twist my arm, an extra trip to Portland Nursery??