Sunday, March 27, 2011

Synergy

According to wikipedia, synergy may be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently. 


In my world, synergy is the coming together of two seemingly opposite interests to form a more perfect union. (Wait, is that the preamble to the constitution?  Oh well.)


Recently, I checked my Google Reader to find that fatquarterly.com was running a March Madness tournament.  No not the NCAA men's basketball championship, but a bracket of designer fabrics lined up head to head in a competitive, winner take all tournament! I apologize for not letting you in on this earlier if you are excited as I am, but you can still play along.  The madness started out with 64 of the best modern fabrics of the past year and is now in the Regional section.  If you want to vote, click here.


You may see some of my favorites like this one - Bliss by Bonnie & Camille.



I'm pulling for Central Park by Kate Spain, it's my new favorite and at the top of my birthday wish list this year (wink, wink).




Check back for the next regional competition where you'll see It's a Hoot (above) and Meadowsweet 2 (below).



And where is the judges save when you need it?  Can you believe Fandango (below) was beat out last round?  The margin of defeat was a mere 11 votes, so you know your vote counts.  Why not take a minute and have a little fun?  I'm bound to be more successful at this bracket than my (eh, hmm) NCAA bracket.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Will you Quilt-along?


I'm getting ready for my first quilt-along.  I found this fun spring project at aboveallfabric.com for a quilt and matching bag.  The quilt-along starts on April 11 and is being hosted by Chris at http://frecklemama.com/.   I'm almost ready with my supplies, thanks to a stop by the Sacramento Sew Quilt & Craft fair this afternoon.

The patterns for the quilt and bag are free for download

Here are the supplies you'll need:

Quilt Supplies:
1
Charm Pack (or cut your own 5 inch squares….you’ll need 36 total)
½ yd Sashing (fabric in between the blocks)
¾ yd Border (fabric along outside)
½ yd Binding (fabric that covers up raw edges when done)
1 1/3 yd Backing
46×46 or larger batting


Bag Supplies:
1 1/8 yd Bag Front fabric
1 1/8 yd Bag Lining, Straps & Tie
¾ yd
Fusible Fleece
4 yd of 1” wide Cotton Belting
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hooray!


Happy Baby Lucca!
Spring is here, however, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature.  That's quite okay with me because you can sew and quilt in any weather, in fact, it's quite nice sitting in front of the sewing machine or shopping for fabric online with the sound of the rain outside. 


During one such rainy day, I stumbled upon a new online fabric source called rufflefabric.com.  I instantly fell in love with all of the color options and started dreaming of projects using this new fabric.  With all of the dark clouds outside, it's no wonder I ended up choosing this gray ruffle.  I'm thinking about making a skirt.  The website also sells decorative elastic and links to several different patterns.  I think I might also try to make a pillow case. 


Another favorite fabric source of mine is fabricworm.com.  I could spend hours (okay, I do spend hours) browsing their amazing selection of Japanese fabrics including this double cotton gauze.




Inspired by the baby snuggles and burpy bibs by aden + anais, I purchased some of this fabric to make to try to make some of my own.  In person, the colors are very cool and calming.



This is another 100% cotton double cloth.  You can find this and so much more at the super cool superbuzzy.com.

And just because you can never have too many fabrics or crafty tools, this weekend is the Sacramento Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival.  Very exciting!
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

More baby blues

As promised, here are the rest of the photos from the last baby shower gift.


This is the quilt (with Mickey Bear hanging out in the background).  Side note - I purchased Mickey Bear several years ago, however, at my recent trip to Disneyland, I learned that he is now named Duffy.  I'm not sure how I feel about that name...but, back to the quilt.



Nice pajama pants!
This quilt started with a little rubber ducky print that you can barely see above. From there, I added a yellow dot, blue dot, white with blue dot and green with little booties.  Each row is broken up with a blue gingham.  Putting the rows together was a bit of a sudoku puzzle, I love puzzles.


This is the first quilt that I have quilted by hand.  I quilted about a quarter inch inside each of the squares.  You can kind of make out the scrunchy bunching in the photo above.  (Yes, that is an official quilting term :)  In person, it had a nice homey feel to it.  I'm convinced now that hand quilting is the way to go and I actually really enjoyed doing it.

Here's a little peek at the back.  I pieced together a row of each of the prints.  The top was a cute little baby bottle print and the bottom was more blue gingham.  The binding was also blue gingham.

Another first on this quilt, after a bit of encouragement from a few people, I added a tag to the back.  I found a tutorial online for this tag.  Originally I planned on printing directly onto some fabric, but found that most of those labels can't be washed with detergent.  I didn't find that too practical for a baby blanket, so this was done with a permanent marker.  After writing on the white square, I added the dot border.  Then I sewed another square on top of the label (right sides together).  The next step is the cut an "x" in the square you just added and then turn the block right side out.  Press flat the block and sew it to your quilt.  If that didn't make any sense, let me know and I'll try to find the original tutorial.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Madness Begins

 
14 the correct number of picks in my ncaa bracket so far
1903 the year St. Patrick's Day became an official holiday in Ireland
22 the number of seasons of Survivor since the original aired in 2000
2000 the year of the famous Pepperdine win over Indiana in the first round of the ncaa tourney and Bob Knight's last game as head coach of the Hoosiers
6 the combined number of seasons of Survivor & Amazing Race with Rob Mariano aka Boston Rob competing
0 the number of St Patrick's Day celebrations at Devere's Irish pub hosted by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership
1 the number of St. Patrick's Day celebrations held at Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sac
10 the consecutive number of days in the forecast predicting rain
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cheers for the week

A cousin of mine welcomed a beautiful baby girl in to the world this week.  Jordan Ann was born on March 14.  I can't wait to meet her.


On Saturday I learned that my good friend from college who lives in Japan was not only safe (along with his wife and family) but that he is also expecting a little one. 


Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the new little ones and our dear friends in Japan.


In keeping with the thankfulness for all of our lovely friends and families and the joyous moments in our lives that we get to share, here are some photos from a baby shower (correction, pre-arrival party) that MDH and I attended this weekend.  Our two friends are expecting a baby boy around Easter and he is destined to be a source of pride and joy for his family.


The theme for this gift set was classic baby boy.  It's something I haven't done before, and I was surprisingly pleased with how much I liked the color combos.  Guess that's why they're considered a classic.




Much like my Sugar & Spice frame, I wanted something to put in the frame before any photos were available.  This little one's father proposed to his mama at the halftime of a football game when he was a football coach and she was the cheerleading coach, so "stud" was an easy tag for him.


And what else does every son of a football coach need?  A onesie with Dad's number on it of course.


More 3.0 version burp cloths, much like the girl version here.


And here's a sneak peek at the quilt that completed the gift set.

More to follow...
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fun Easy Project

Hola!  I'm back this morning with a fun little project to share.  This one is super easy and cheap and really hard to mess up.  What could be better?




Start with a Cover Button Kit like this one.  They are available in all different sizes.  I bought my kit from Joann.  They are only a buck or two and come with everything you'll need if you're making buttons.


The first thing you'll need to do is gather your favorite fabric scraps.  The back of the button kit has a circle template so you'll cut out your fabric into small circles using the provided template.  


Then, using the plastic mold that also comes in the kit, place your round fabric scrap into the mold and press the button on top of that.  Add the button back and use the little pusher to press down and voila - fabric covered button in 60 seconds or less!  It's easy, I promise.




Now here's your fair warning - making covered buttons can be very addicting.  Make sure you have something else planned with your day or you'll find yourself with hundreds of buttons, scrounging for more.


I started out by making these fancy little flowery buttons and then realized that I don't actually sew things that require buttons.  Hmmm...


Light bulb!
Okay, so what's a more useful purpose for a fabric covered button?  A fabric covered push pin!  To do this, you'll start by removing the button loop from the back of the button to make a flat back side.  (I used some pliers or wire cutter thingamajigs.)


After that, all you have to do is glue some tacks like these to the back of your button and you've got nearly instant, custom made, beautiful push pins!


I used mine to hold up my new design wall in the office.  Have fun!

*One small note - Elmer's glue is not actually the most reliable adhesive for this project.  After one failed attempt, I went back with the real deal - the super glue.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Another Season Ending Pick

I've been on a reality TV roll for the past couple of posts, so I couldn't let this season of The Bachelor end without making my final prediction.  No big surprise here, my money is on Emily.  Brad and Emily seem to be the easy pick this season.  Every time he's around her he's smitten and acts like he's the one trying to gain her attention.  I hope it works out for them :)


And for those of you who didn't catch The Women Tell All tonight, the second season of The Bachelor Pad will be returning this summer.  Hooray!


And for my most loyal readers, remember this post?  I did end up purchasing the Wii version of The Bachelor video game and I did actually play it.  Yes, it was as bad as the guy at GameStop warned me it was but yes, it was worth the $10 I spent to have it in my game collection.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Updated picks

My early AI pick list took a huge hit tonight.  Bummer dude.

So after the top 13 were revealed my new favorites...

Scott McCreery
Casey Abrams
Paul McDonald

It's a tie between Hailey & Lauren if I had to pick a girl, with a slight advantage going to Lauren after her performance this week.

Does anybody else still watch Survivor?  It was THE most satisfying episode in a very long time last night watching Russell get the boot.  Thank you tribe.  He has seen entirely too much time in front of the camera for my liking.  Go Rob!
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Still sewing...

and watching American Idol tonight.  My guy Casey Abrams stepped up and Paul McDonald was a nice surprise.  I'm afraid my buddy Tim Halperin was panned by the judges, but I'm not sure why.  I thought he sounded good.  And would someone please tell the guys the success rate of the song "I'll be"?  It's got to be one of the worst songs to sing, especially in these early weeks.

Meanwhile, as I multi-tasked this evening, as I always do, I was browsing fabrics for my next project when I stumbled up this beauty.

Birch Fabrics - Storyboek line
It's not available for purchase until July, but I'm willing to wait.  Birch Fabrics are 100% organic and there are more fun fabrics where that came from, so check it out.

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