Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quilty Cottage Progress

It's shaping up nicely now, isn't it? An island in the kitchen for baking hundreds and hundreds of sugar cookies shaped like the state of Texas or a wedding cake or a flower or a snowman and chocolate covered pretzels and loaves of banana you smell cinnamon?---oh forgive me, I was carried away.

You see my friend is a very talented baker and I'm hoping she'll make herself at home over here and keep me company in my little cottage, perhaps save some batter for me. Although it looks like I'm eyeing up all that workspace for myself...


See, this is why I'm quite content with my side of the room. An industrial-sized cutting table!
Seven yards of that Anna Maria Horner Little Folks you say? No problem! How much oilcloth is on the bolt? I'll just roll it out right here. Quilting projects and sewing? Fully loaded with outlets! And! Okay, now I'm just gloating. I'll stop. I'm done. Enough.

Here's my latest love, no not Boudreaux, he's an old love. It's a half hexagon quilt from magikquilter and aneela's tutorials. It began with a comment to Rosie on the Fabric Shopper Online. I admired the hexi quilt and moaned something about getting enough english paper piecing hexes done to cover a journal after laboring days and weeks and months and seasons. Well, she wasn't used to such pessimism ... must not have known I have the outlook of Eeyore and the attention span of Tigger. But I so want to be Pooh. Anyway, that got me thinking about a half hexagon cheat. More on that as it progresses...I'm finding that I can't get away from my slack ways with meticulous cutting and seam allowances, cheat or no.

And lastly, I'm planning on going to the First Monday Trade Days at Canton, TX this weekend.
I know my way around the place pretty well, but if anybody has some great vintage fabric sellers they'd like to point me to, I'm listening!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Whadja get? Whadja get?

Last week seemed a bit like a bust--all the anticipation and then a lack luster launch at Target for the Liberty line. I found a bit of stationery, some candles and a piggy bank. But that was about it. No clothing, no rain hat or boots or gloves. No housewares, no teapot (!).

After trawling thru the net, I found similar stories. Some folks saw the early birds overloading their carts with all those little casters could bear, surely ebay $$ gleaming in their eyes. And yes, over to the auction site, there was the cushion marked up to three times the Target price. The online store was sold out of about half the inventory as of the following Monday.

So I ordered a bit of the picked over stuff online, and tried to console myself with my stationery.

But I got a little text from my sis in Louisiana yesterday chirping about the Liberty Loot she was finding at her local Target. Seems the folks have just been a little relaxed about putting it all out. Launch - schmaunch, they said to themselves.

On my second trip to scout out the Liberty booty, I scored! I could choose between the Sixty print or the Dunclare. Got some ties, some prep bowls and cereal bowls and a swimsuit, a scarf, a maxidress...forgot the gardening gloves entirely! But maybe since it's snowing here (again) on the first day of spring, those will not have been picked over...forgot entirely, oh my.

So, whadja get?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The British are Coming!

Is that a wolf whistle I hear?

Why the photo of a sassy little nightie?

What kind of a blog is this, anyhow?

Well, since I got your attention, I'll tell you why I'm posting my intimates these days...

it's a bit of the Liberty of London by Target line!

Yes, I went wandering 'round the local Target, wondering if they were slowly filling up the shelves with the lovely florals, or if they were truly going to make us wait til the launch date (march14!).

And I scored! This little nightie, some matching intimates, also in pink, and some swimsuits.
That's all so far as I could tell. I passed on the swimsuits...because that's just my policy. I have one from 1998 that works very well, thanks so much, and I'm not going back into that dressing room for another couple of decades. Maybe when I need that ensemble with the skirt attached, I'll consider it.

But, just a quickie to let you know! Better get there before I do if you want some of those gardening gloves!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And the kit give away is over! Again!

The quilt starter give away is over!
Thanks to the participants. If you are interested in getting involved, be it making a quilt, a quilt top, quilting some one else's top or sponsoring a quilt with a donation, check out this site and this one.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dear Martha and a little give away

I've been composing a letter in my head all week to Martha, the Martha Stewart, maven of all things domestic, Martha of the magazine, the daily show, her own line of hobby know the one.
Last week she had Chandra Wilson on for a chat and to show us how to make a baby quilt for the charity Chandra is promoting, Quilts for Kids. I had seen the promo and my heart had picked up a beat when I noticed the Heather Ross Frog Prince fabrics she was going to use (squeal!). Somehow, I got busy with laundry--or dishes, or the UPS guy getting eaten by my very ferocious dog, or something. And I came in on the last sewing part of the segment. So I did what any fabric enthusiast would do, I rewound back to the beginning where she talks about the lovely double- gauze -japanese -import designed by the ever-so-talented Heather Ross whom she had featured on her show in July for a segment on elastic thread sewing.

Now of course, I already knew this about the fabric before I ever touched that remote. I just needed to hear her say it.
That's not weird, right?
Well, I'll tell you the introduction these remarkable textiles got:
"We'll start with these, er, soft cotton fabrics."
I'm paraphrasing--probably. But you get the point.
I've been trying to let it go all week. That would be a little bizarre to get a letter and maybe some swatches with a short essay on the strides modern quilting fabrics have made in the last few years, wouldn't it?
But doesn't she need to know?
Double gauzes, japanese imports, hedgehogs and gnomes, flannels and voiles...
Has she touched a laminated cotton? Or experienced the rich cotton sateen of the home dec lines? Does she ever visit flickr groups for modern quilters?
It's really just a public service announcement, folks. For the good of all of her followers.

Anyway, I just got some super cute BOY fabrics that I'd like to share with someone inspired to make a boy quilt for Quilts for Kids or Give a Kid a Quilt, your choice. You need to provide batting and backing and binding and be willing to ship it at your expense. The guidelines for each charity are a little different, so check them out!
The fabric is from Kokka's Petite Ecole Train Station in Navy. It is a panel style print and I'm giving away one yard to the first commenter who wants it and is willing to donate their time and talents to a worthy children's quilt charity. Make sure I can contact you when you leave your comment!
Oh, heck, if there is a lot of interest, I'll probably put something together for a few commenters, so don't not comment!

Now back to Dear Martha...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SpoonFlower Update

Spoonflower is a really cool site that allows anyone to design their own custom fabric. Some indy designers work with them and create entire ranges, but anyone can submit their design, choose a base cloth and order up some yardage.

Really neat concept. Me, I just likes to shop there.
Recently Heather Ross worked with them and released some really fun variations of some of her out of print greatest hits. I grabbed a couple of gnome prints and some purple toadstools. See my unscientific experiment below.
Earlier today, I contacted Spoonflower about the fabric fading problem and they got back to me within hours, offering a full refund and apologies. They are working diligently to isolate the problem and remedy it. Seems to be an errant batch of pigment?

And there's also this from a flickr thread from Steven at Spoonflower:
I posted this once in another Flickr thread, but from a technical standpoint it is useful to know that Retayne and similar products are intended to be used with dyed fabric. Spoonflower does not use dyes in printing, but instead uses eco-friendly pigment inks. Pigments do not respond to vinegar or chemicals used to help set dyes. Those treatments may make the problem worse. Using mild, phosphate-free detergent when washing our fabric is recommended. A small amount of fading and what is called 'crocking' (where color may rub off of the fabric) is normal for pigments. A lot of fading and crocking that impacts the quality of the finished product is NOT normal. Bleeding is also not an issue with pigments as it can be with dyes that are not set properly. If anyone has any questions about this, please email us at help [at]

Good to know, it isn't dye, don't use vinegar or Retayne.

I do hope they work out the bugs in the raisin gnomes range. I really need that more than I had realized (before it existed...). But for now, I'm leaving my reimbursed money in their coffers...because I remember seeing about a hundred other things over there that I really need to own.

Case of the Disappearing Gnomes...

Oh no! I can't look! Tell me it isn't happening???

Let me preface this by saying I love me some Heather Ross fabric. When I see it somewhere, be it West Hill, or Mendocino, or pajamas, I just buy a little more because you can't have too much wonderful. So when Heather announced she was designing a few more prints thru Spoonflower, I popped in immediately and bought some gnomes, some toadstools, some deep raisin colors, a neutral version and some plums. It just arrived two days ago and I tore into it, stroked it and put it in the stockpile---I mean cache, um stash, feeling just a little bit smug.

I happened across this in a flickr group yesterday...Mrs.McPorkchop linked to another photo here.

Seems the deepest colors aren't holding up in the wash!
I remember my very clever sister-in-law advising me to add a bit of vinegar in the wash to prevent the colors from bleeding. And don't you use it when dying easter eggs?
Worth a shot. So first I hand washed the swatches in Target's Method detergent and about 1/4 cup of vinegar, I let it dry and snapped these two pictures.

Really no fading on the toadstools and maybe very slightly on that raisin color. I thought I'd throw it in the wash and then dry it the second time to see if the vinegar had helped at all.

Well, as you can see, my results are about the same as the ladies' on flickr (top pic).
Hmmm. This is such pricey fabric, I hated sacrificing even the tiny swatches for this test.

Guess it's time to contact spoonflower. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Helllllloooooo out there

Well, that was fun. Closed down the shop for three weeks. Oops. didn't think I'd be gone that long, and if the sun hadn't come out today, I might have delayed it a bit longer. I think I'm working like the groundhog, only backwards. It's the last dregs of a long, gray, wet winter and I lost my motivation to jump back in. Inertia again. I relapsed.

I have been sewing, though. This is the longest quilt project ever for me. A wonky log cabin in Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley. I am inspired to quilt diagonal wavy lines from a pic I saw here. Laura J did a beautiful job of a grey modern quilt. I visit her quilt every day and just stare at it when I should be finishing mine. I was also very envious of her sunshine, but coping better today as I have my own.

Back on the grid today, moving among the living again. And added a little clearance section to my shop to celebrate the warm rays.

Hope you get some vitamin D today, where ever you are.