THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!

Ten days until Quiltcon! That's nine sleeps! It seems like it's coming up fast. Maybe that's because I decided in December to go. I don't have any workshops or lectures booked. I don't even have tickets to get in. I'm just going to wing it! I'll figure it out when I get there. At least I have a place to stay... phew! And because I'm off to Quiltcon I also decided that I needed a new bag (perhaps for some fabric purchases? Maybe, just maybe).  It was also the perfect excuse to go for an idea I've been sitting on for a while, a Boombox bag! I bought a Metallic Fat Quarter Bundle from the Fat Quarter shop. It has ALL the sparkly fabric I could ever need. The bottom half of the Boombox is done, now I'm on to the top... and making the bag part. That too.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS: For just winging it, one thing I have locked and loaded are cards for Quiltcon. I picked them up this week and I'm pretty tickled with them! I'm teaching some workshops this year so I thought I should have some to hand out. That and MOO Cards had a 25% off sale, wink! I also decided to get some greeting cards printed up. I missed sending out Christmas cards by a country mile so my new plan is to send out a few cards every month throughout the year instead of trying to do it all in the month of December. I was very pleased with Social Print Studio's speed and quality. I had never tried them before but I will be ordering from them again. They've got some really unique services and a killer sense of humour! 

RECOMMENDED PATTERNS: One of my favourite designers is Berene Campbell @happysewlucky. Have you been following her tattoo quilt? It's amazing! It's full of love, wisdom and hope. Literately! She's mostly active on Instagram but she also blogs HERE. And if you love her work as much as I do you'll want to check out her Etsy shop HERE. I highly recommend her patterns! I've got big plans for mine but I'm still in the hoarding fabric phase. Keep an eye on this lady, she's amaze-balls.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here. My youngest son has introduced me to Kendrick Lamar and I'm absolutely in love with this SONG, "i".  Turn it up loud and have a wonderful Valentines Day this week, much love to you! xo

OH WAIT! I almost forgot! This past week I discovered my Roller-skate surface pattern designed was posted on Print & Pattern's website, for Make it in Design's graduation round up. The discovery was well worth an all out happy dance! 

IMPROV (NOPE NOT THEATER) WITH BARB MORTELL

I met Barb Mortell in the early 2000's through a mutual friend. In fact she was working at the fabric shop where I saw Amy Butler's first line of fabric! (You know the day everything changed!) Last Sunday I took my third workshop with Barb through the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild @vancouvermqg. You might know Barb or you might know her and not even know it. She was in Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guild to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously. Barb's quilt is on page 38. 

The workshop was appropriately titled Door Jam, based off a quilt of Barb's with the same name. Her inspiration for the quilt came when she was walking her dog around her neighborhood and noticed some beautiful yellow doors on grey houses. Volia, a quilt and a workshop was born. I brought ALL my fabric (when it comes to bringing fabric somewhere, dare I say, I'm never under prepared)... to only use three colours: black, white and pink. I was blown away by people's projects! @kristenandrews tiny green lines on a navy background made me swoon. @sherrichalke also made sun shiny doors and @dinkydoo, aka Alicia, got the most done. I just loved her doors! I, however, sewed, changed my mind, ripped apart my block, sewed it together again, ripped it apart, cut it and I'm still playing with the layout. I did end up with one block I liked but it's only 3"x 5"! And people say paper piecing is hard!!! Improv is the ultimate puzzle! While I haven't finished my block, Barb has a way of saying the right thing at the right time. She's very wise and I'll continue to take as many classes as I can from her. 

And guess what?! You can too. Barb has started on a new adventure called ARTLEAP! She has classes that go even beyond quilting! But if quilting is your jam and I'm guessing it is if you're here please have a peek at what she's up to by clicking HERE.

RECOMMEND PATTERN: Valentine's DAY!!! I'm completely jazzed about Kam's @needleplusthread new cross-stitch pattern. Oh my gosh, she's crazy talented. AND if you head over pronto you still have time to enter and win it! Click HERE to enter. 

RECOMMENDED NEWSLETTER: Abby Hersey! Check out her candy heart FREE pattern and her Galentine's Day FREE Downloadable cards. Find them HERE. I subscribe to her newsletter and I love it. She's my kind of gal!

Okay and it's that time... RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: I love you by SAID THE WHALE... sing it with me!... "you know, you know, you know, love you!"

DILBERT'S SYSTEM (NOT A GOAL)...AND POUTINE!

A couple of years ago I read Scott Adam's book (the creator of Dilbert), "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life". I bought the book on a whim before my flight as I was flying home from Edmonton. I'm not even sure what made me pick it up... Dilbert was never my thing. Out of all the books I've read this one has really stuck with me. The biggest take away from the book was to create a system - not a goal. 

The funny thing about creative work is the only way to get better is to make A LOT of it... and there are A LOT of things I'd like to get better at. Since the beginning of January I've taken a hard look at my routine and have decided that each week I need to build a system and make room for certain projects, like:

  • make one surface pattern design every week.
  • sew one 12"-ish free-motion block (there might be a lot of pot holders given out next Christmas, if any are worth saving). 
  • AND to draw/paint/experiment everyday. I've been taking Lisa Congdon's Creative Bug Daily Painting Challenge: 31 Painted Patterns class and I'm LOVING IT! It's been a long time since I've painted. I bought some very yummy gouache paints but honestly I hadn't touched them because they scared me... you know the way beautiful pristine white blank paper can. It's such a relief to finally be using them and to let go as I follow along each day. 

Yep, so that's my plan: make little adjustments each week that nudge me in the direction I want to go. 

This week I also have not one, but TWO recommendations! The first one being DARK POUTINE, a podcast by our friend Mike Browne (who, along with his wife Carol, are extraordinary photographers!). If you're into  Canadian True Crime & Creepy Tales, Dark Poutine will be right up your alley. Personally I'm a fraidy-cat but my husband LOVES it! So put on your toque, grab a double-double and a Nanaimo bar... then scarf down some Dark Poutine! 

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST- Kiwi by Harry Styles. I love the song but seriously have you seen his floral suits? I'd watch the video for just that... and the food fight. That too.

 

 

 

A CASSETTE TAPE BOOK COVER TUTORIAL!

My husband and I recently went to Mexico for a wedding. There were excursions, ruins, snorkeling, salsa, laughter and sand... lots of sand. But I have to admit my happy place (and not just when in Mexico) is when I'm tucked in somewhere with a book. It can be a journal, a magazine, even a great kids picture book. You name it, I'm pretty much in love with anything that has two covers with pages in between. So it's probably no shock that I created a Cassette Tape Book Cover PDF Tutorial just for you! It can be downloaded from HERE. I've also archived it under my "SEWING DESIGNS", for whenever you need it.

The first book cover I ever made (the yellow one) was for a swap at the Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild Meetup back in 2015 that the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild had put on. It was so much fun and I got the chance to meet my partner in crime Jonna (my pattern tester extraordinaire)! Check out her floral version of the book covers. The centers of the cassettes are brilliant! 

In writing the tutorial Jonna (@bespokeoutlaw) and I discovered if you enlarge the medium Cassette Tapes pattern by 15% on your printer it makes a perfect cover for a 5" x 7" notebook. If you increase the small pattern by 39% on your printer it perfectly covers a small moleskin! Just remember to increase or decrease the same percentage for the spines (cassette bottoms). 

P.S. I don't know about you but I'm still basking in Jenny Haynes (@pappersaxsten) work. Have you seen what she's been working on lately? O M G!

P.S.S. One of the benefits of being away on a trip is MAIL! Happy mail! I received my copy of Modern Quilts! Yay! And my packet from THRIVE MASTERMIND, a new group I joined. I'm super duper looking forward to it!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Elvis Costello & The Attractions- Everyday I write the Book (the Lady Di and Charles look a likes are not too shabby!) ALTHOUGH my very favourite Elvis Costello moment was on Saturday Night Live, when he changed mid song and broke into Radio Radio (getting himself banned from the show for over a decade). AND then in 1989 he jumped into the Beastie Boys set on SNL and started playing... you guessed it... Radio Radio! Genius!

JENNY HAYNES PART 2: BE BRAVE, BE FIERCE

Last week we established Jenny Haynes is the creator of some amazing quilts. This week I think you'll find she's facing an exciting year. I especially loved her 2018 New Year post on Instagram encouraging us all to be brave and fierce, like her! Again many thanks to Jenny for sharing her stories and work with us...

1. What's one or two things about you that might surprise people?
I'm very messy and I've got a terrible memory for names and faces. Some of the mum's at my boys' school have had me introduce myself to them 3-4 times.

2. I'm crazy about your Curved Log Cabin quilt. Where did the inspiration for that come from? Now that I mention it where does most of your inspirations come from (ginormous question I know!)?
I work from restricted and minimal going outwards if that makes sense. I start with a shape (say the Drunkard's Path) and play with it, either in paper or in Touchdraw. I change the shape or size and play with it, see what comes out of one simple shape.

In the case of the Curved Log Cabin Quilt (I sometimes call it #sisteroftheotherone as there is now more than one) it started a few years back. I wanted to try to make a Log Cabin Drunkard's Path block for a Sunflower Block. I then made an oval version. A year ago Thames & Hudson publishing asked if I could make a quilt for a book for the Victoria & Albert Museum. The brief was to make my own version of a traditional quilt in their collection so I changed my Oval Log Cabin and made it with 50 different solids. The scrappy look and the big stitch hand quilting were references to the quilts historically made from re-purposed fabrics by hand. There was a suggestion in the book on how to make the quilt in a different way by using monochrome fabrics. As I wanted a quilt to promote the book and classes with and the original quilt was being kept in the shop for the book display, I made the monochrome version as well.

3. Who do you look up to? Who's your hero, quilting or otherwise?
Artists I follow with excitement on IG are: Robert MoyaPaolo Arao, Kels O'Sullivan and Chris Manton. I also go to architecture, ceramics (Lubna Chowdhary), furniture and print for inspiration. The IG community and makers like Hillary Goodwin and Sam Hunter have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and inspirational. I hope that I can give some of that back somehow to new makers through my teaching or support. We're in this together.

4. You design, quilt, sell templates, teach and you're a mama. How do you balance all those amazing things?
I think being busy feeds our creativity. I work best with deadlines and I've got plenty of them this year. I've got my first exhibition at the end of March (at Artyfact Gallery in Sweden), teaching at the V&A, also in March. #whatshadeareyou in Feb, a few pattern releases and I'm doing a BOM for a new UK Quilting website, on top of my normal teaching and two MQG talks. An exciting year ahead. I try to only work when the boys are st school but, as I love what I do, school holidays can be hard and I get a bit grumpy when I don't get to sew.

5. What's your best suggestion/pep talk for when a slump or a creative block gets in the way. How do you get back to being productive?
Just keep making. The  group of quilts in working on for the exhibition have sent me through the (not yet complete) cycle of feelings, excitement close to euphoria, self doubt and disbelief in my own stupidity to agree on something like this to acceptance and persistence. I'm hoping I finish on pride and a sense of achievement but only time will tell.

6. Going back to the show your in this spring at the Aryfactgallery, can you tell us more about that, what the show is called and more about the gallery itself? It sounds very exciting!

I will be exhibiting a series of quilts at Artyfactgallery in Sweden March-April 2018. These exhibits are the result of a collaboration with one half of the colourful Artyfactygallery duo, Cecilia Bjork, and will be not only my first  gallery showing but also my first time working in a series. This step forward, and the restrictions I've set myself in terms of colours and shapes used, are proving an excellent way for me to expand my creativity.

The show name: 'Art Quilt: Jenny Haynes and Cecilia Björk

The write up: 'Art Quilt is a colourful geometric exhibition and collaboration. Craft was historically the only creative outlet for many women and Artist was a title reserved for men up to the 19th century. If these textile pieces had been made by men, and in another materials, the art form would have received a much higher acclaim. In this exhibition Cecilia will be translating Jenny's quilts into a harder form, using wood. Piecing wood instead of fabric to create wall-hangings.'

About the Gallery: Just a few minutes away from the summertime location for ’Swedish Open’. The gallery is directed by artist couple Cecilia Björk and Patrick Agler and exhibits distinctive works influenced by illustration, photography, graphic design, graffiti, comic books, pop culture, and street art.

 

FEELING CURVY WURVY? THEN YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE JENNY HAYNES!

Have you ever been roaming around Instagram and then BAM! You come across someone and their work just grabs you by the eyeballs?! That's what happened when I came across Jenny Haynes account @pappersaxsten. Curves are her thing and in my humble opinion curves (along with piping, bathing suits and bras) are the pinnacle of sewing. So when I come across someone who can do them and do them really well... I go into a Wayne's World spin of I'm not worthy gushing. I just had to share her work with you and Jenny was kind of enough to chat with me and share about her world and her work in this two part interview (join us next week for the second part). Okay let's get started shall we!

1. How would you describe yourself? What do you want people to know about you?
I'm enthusiastic, loud, creative and empathetic. I dislike rudeness and like equality and inclusiveness.

2. When and how did you begin sewing?
As a young girl. I made my own clothes (weird, 80's contraptions) in my teens and (more normal outfits) in adulthood. I made quilts for gifts and soft furnishings for my first flat.

3. You studied Pattern Cutting and Tailoring plus Fashion and Textiles... how did you end up quilting? How long have you been quilting for?
I've always made quilts. Every family member has one. After studying pattern cutting and fashion I got disheartened about the fashion industry and had a break from making. When I got back into sewing, when my children where born I made quilts for my husbands family and loved it so I decided to try making quilts for a living.

4. Curves. When did you realize that was your thing?
I thought it was when I made my first Drunkard's Path block but looking back at my portfolio from my fashion studies, I realized it was always a favourite.

5. By looking at your Instagram account you do a lot of planning for your quilting. It also looks like you do mostly straight line machine quilting or hand quilting. Can you tell us a bit about your process?
The planing was mainly because I only had two hours a day and only during term time so I had to be really efficient with time. I realized I really enjoyed the planing and the quilt design in Touchdraw. I'm looking forward to get time for more play and experimenting now that the youngest is at school. I've been asked to join the Improv Bee Kathryn Upitis @kupitus has arranged. It's called #beeinspired2018 and includes some of my absolute favourite makers. They will push me out of my comfort zone I'm sure.
When it comes to quilting it's mainly down to lack of skills (I'm terrified of FMQ) that I stick to straight lines. I'm hoping to try out some templates for quilting in my domestic and maybe one day I can get a longarm.

6. Is there a sewing/creative tool or book that you just can't live without?
When I got hooked on curved piecing I did not know the block was called Drunkard's Path or that there were templates out there so I had my own made. I use them for most of my designs and if I need a different shape I have them made. There is now a Double, Triple and Oval Drunkard's Path template. I had some requests for custom templates and I've got some new shapes in mind.

To check out Jenny's Templates or some of her quilts for purchase you can check them out HERE.

7. What three songs would you recommend for everyone's playlist.
This is the hardest question of all for me. Being married to a musician and walking music encyclopaedia makes me analyse my music taste too much.

I'm a bit old school (Bruce, Van, Grateful Dead) and also a bit scatty with my music taste (lots of 80's like Eurythmics and Prince) so it could be anything from Old Crow Medicine Show- Wagon Wheel, The Smiths-This Charming Man to Depeche Mode-John The Revelator.

I DECLARE 2018 THE YEAR OF ZINNIA: WARRIOR PRINCESS

I'm back from my winter hibernation and I couldn't wait to check in with you before next Tuesday. I hope you had a cozy winter break. Happy New Year! 

Over the break I snuck in some time to experiment with Adobe Illustrator. As inspiration I used some photos of zinnias I took last September at Krauss Berry Farms in Langley. I know it's a loose comparison but zinnia reminds me of Xena: the Warrior Princess. Do remember that from TV show from the 90's? I never watched it a ton but gosh I LOVED her battle cry. Zinnia's have strong stems, they don't apology for their bold colour and they're not delicate and frou-frou, like some flowers. Hello roses, such diva's needing to be pruned with all those testy thorns. See what I mean, zinnia's, they're Warrior Princesses! Like Lucy Lawless... and I bet they'd have the same battle cry. 

Now I couldn't decide if I liked the black or the cream background best so I made both into PDF's for you. Click HERE for black and click HERE for white. Also when I was playing around I  made a January calendar page for you! Click HERE.

Keeping with tradition of my RECOMMENDATIONS: I recently discovered Andy J Pizza's podcast "Creative Pep Talk" via the Jealous Curator. He's entertaining to listen to while working in the studio and he's always recommending other podcasts and books. Oh and he just published a book under the same title! Which reminds me, yesterday I picked up Lisa Congdon's new book, A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives. I'm excited about digging into it!

And finally RECOMMENDED for your playlist: Check out Kim Kight's Snap to Grid PLAYLIST. It's well worth subscribing to Spotify for, although I miss the videos... I'm such an 80's kid. 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY I HEART THE MQG AND THEIR NEW BOOK! : : PLUS A BLOG HOP : :

Where to begin? In art school I so badly longed to be part of a movement. Like impressionism or cubism but all those ships had sailed. I have always LOVED fabric but it was a well kept secret through my art education. It was well... girly, not big (as in scale) and too colourful (another big no, no). Fast forward to the year 2000. One of the gifts of having my first son other than intense nesting fever, I made several baby quilts (including one where I hand painted the fabric). He didn't sleep much (err, I know that doesn't sound like a perk) so my life whittled down to what I had time for. If I was going to use my precious time it had to be doing something I really, REALLY loved to do. So long horror films! My husband loves you but I've been faking it this whole time! I started to really embrace things I loved/needed to do. I still wasn't quilting yet but I had started buying fabric, making kick ass Halloween costumes and taking the odd printing workshop here and there.

Fast forward to 2010. New to Twitter I had seen this little tweet about the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild starting up. This tweet changed my life and put me on a trajectory that landed me here. I had very little knowledge of what The Modern Quilt Guild was. All I knew was that I wanted to be part of it so bad I could taste it! I couldn't even put into words what modern quilting was but I knew it when I saw it. And I LOVED everything I saw. E V E R Y T H I N G. It was a movement. YES! Fist Pump!

I went to that first VMQG meeting and then quickly co-founded the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild. With very little experience I started sewing every challenge, sewing in quilt bees and took every workshop I could. That first year I made 12 quilts! I was so in love with the movement that this shy girl went to a LAMQG meeting... by herself! I'm not sure where the courage came from but a big perk was meeting Latifah Saafir. I remember her telling me about this idea they had, which became Quiltcon! (Side note: are you going in 2018? ME TOO! I just decided. High five!)

Fast forward to November 2016. After my Cassette Tape quilt had been accepted the year before I thought I'd like to expand on that idea with another design. I research A LOT before I start a project and when I came across the old movie poster of John Cusack from Say Anything holding his Boombox over his head... everything kind of fell into place. I posted on Instagram as I made the Say Anything quilt. It was an intense month but people were so generous in cheering me on. Gosh I love that November 30th deadline. (Shout out to @mscattergood for mocking up my boombox over John Cusacks head!)

I was thrilled when Say Anything was accepted into Quiltcon! And I was doubly thrilled when I received an email invitation for it to be a part of a book by the MQG, Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century. M I N D B L O W N .

I've seen the list of quilters included and, understanding this is totally cliche, I'm humbled. There's just no other good way to say it. I mean, my heroes are in there. And then! My quilt will be joining the Museum tour! The location details can be found HERE.

It's been an incredible year but the party doesn't stop here! We're celebrating with a blog hop! So many great blogs, quilts and people Have a look-see HERE

While you're checking that out, stay cozy over this winter holiday break okay! Again thank you for a wonderful 2017. I swear every time I saw a boombox being sewn I gasped with delight! Hugs all around. I'll see you in the new year. Until then I'll leave you with my favourite holiday song: FATHER CHRISTMAS by the KINKS! Warning once you listen to it you'll be singing it all day. My gift to you, wink! Wink!

 

OH KERMY!

Nope it's not Tuesday. It's Friday! This weeks newsletter is on a different day beacuse I wanted to share with you KERMY! And today was my day to share. Back in July Kerry Goulder of Kid Giddy and her twin sister Sue of Moss and Lotus asked if I'd like to be a part of their Mug Club Sew Along on Instagram. Everyone was invited to sew one of their 12 mug patterns. Have a peak at these hashtags #TheMugClub and #TheMugClubSAL. These are all projects people have already sewn. Super cute right!

I chose the bonus pattern Kermy that came with Kerry's pattern, The Mug Club Part 1. It truly was a no brainer. I have quite the soft spot for him and all things Sesame Street or Muppets. The pattern was a quick and easy sew, not to mention how tickled I felt as he came together. The longest part was the embroidery. offt! Doggie! But, totally worth it! I'm thrilled with my tea towel! ... and I got to use pom-poms so yay! And I even cleaned my oven for the photo shoot so double win!

The second photo is of Kerry and Sue's mug patterns The Mug Club Part 1 pattern can be found HERE and The Mug Club Part 2 pattern can be found HERE! Aren't they adorable! People have put them on zippy pouches, made mug rugs... ooh! Wouldn't a pillow be fantastic! Really if you're in a pinch for a quick Christmas gift they're perfect!

Sticking with the Kermy theme. RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: OKAY GO doing the MUPPET THEME SONG! Yayyy! OKAY GO does the BEST videos and this one is no exception. BUT WAIT! While I was down the rabbit hole that is YouTube I found this OKAY GO TED TALK, "How to find a Wonderful Idea". So good! (I love TED TALKS).

P.S. Did you see the Quiltcon show announcements went out yesterday? My Fangirl and Cause you can't, you won't, and you don't stop quilts made it in! 

CAUSE YOU CAN'T, YOU WON'T AND YOU DON'T STOP

This 60" wide quilt text that quotes the Beastie Boys, from their song Sure Shot, is a great BIG note to self.

Cause you can't, you won't, and you don't stop;

making

sewing

drawing

designing

creating

Creative work can seem romantic but it's hard, gritty (hello Y seams!) and vulnerable work. After hours of work, you can put yourself out there and sometimes tumble weeds roll on by but in the end you still have to make it. You have to keep going and sometimes you have to wade through making crap to get to the good stuff. The slog... I hate the slog. That's when I put on really loud music. I know it's loud enough if my kids complain... and then I start working. You put in the hours and make the work, no matter what the results. It just has to be made. 

In doing so for this quilt, I finally cut into my Uppercase Volume One fabric. I was nervous but I plunged in and did it! Did I mention how brave we sometimes have to be?

As for quilting this, when Craftsy was a new thing I bought Ann Peterson's class, "Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine".  Each section of text was quilted and then sewn together. Quilt as you go, I think it's called. It was a cool process but it was A LOT of hand sewing on the back of the quilt to cover up the seams... which was okay, cause, you can't, you won't and you don't stop, right? Wink, wink! See what I did there!

 

 

SO WHAT'CHA, WHAT'CHA, WHAT'CHA WANT?

It's been quite a year! To top it off I've been flooded with requests for teaching. Yay! I'm super excited about that since I've been dying to get back at it. I need your help though. The requests coming in are very generous and are open to teach pretty much whatever I want! This is where I need your help... I have loads of ideas but "What'Cha" want? Do you want one day workshops on:

  • Paper Piecing? (specifically the Cassettes?)
  • Cassette Tape Zippy Pouches/ Book Cover?
  • The Control Freak pattern?
  • The Cassingle?
  • The Boombox? Or the sewing machine cover? (these would be a two or three day workshop)
  • How to create you own Paper Piecing pattern?
  • Repeat Lino Cut printing on fabric?
  • Letters in the Third Dimension? English paper pieced and machine sewn (embracing the Y-seam! Not as scary as one would assume. I can't wait to show you the new one I'm working on! Eep!)

*All my classes include colour theory.  

Which would you choose, or do you have any other suggestions? I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and for your time, one commenter will receive a free Lysa Flower Pattern of their choice! Easy Peasy just like that. 

Speaking of giveaways! Did you see these ones? Stephanie from Patch & Dot is giving away some fat quarters plus other goodies (ooo! I really want those pencils!) AND that ray of sunshine, Natalie (HungryHippie Sews) is giving away NINE of her favourites (products, patterns, and books)! Can't beat that!

Now you're never going to guess what I'm recommending for your playlist this week! While I was down the YouTube rabbit hole I found a Muppets version of the Beastie Boys doing SO What'Cha Want! Perfection.

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE!

It took me by complete surprise! A week ago I threw up a picture of this quilt on Instagram. Honestly I rushed it a bit because I wanted to get to Natalie's pattern give away. Um... it kind of exploded. Melody Miller (the designer of fabric I used) posted it on her Instagram feed, as did Latifah Saafir (the designer of the Glam Clam pattern I used). I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who liked and commented on it. These two ladies, Melody Miller and Latifah Saafir, I totally have designer crushes on. For them to repost the photo was very generous. Again, thank you for all the love. I really appreciated it. xo

Now on to announce the winner of the Hungryhippie Sew's pattern giveaway! Congratulations... We have TWO winners picked randomly by Natalie's daughters, @nikistorr and @ohsobrooke!!!! Yay!!!! ...ALSO! Natalie is doing a HUGENORMOUS giveaway this week on her blog: a bundle of brand new sewing and quilting patterns, sewing notions, fabric fat quarters, and possibly a vintage Magnum PI poster! But she's not promising the poster, because she loves him. To enter just leave a comment. There might also be an interview *blush* with moi. 

Guess what else we have to celebrate! Snap to Grid is in stores!!! Yay!!! It was in Hawthorne Threads newsletter last week! And check out The Cloth Pocket store's mood-board! So RAD right ?!

And as tradition would have it, RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: selected by Natalie's daughters Awolnations - Sail (Unlimted Gravity Dubstep Remix)

 

PART TWO :: NATALIE SANTINI FROM HUNGRYHIPPIE SEWS :: PLUS A GIVEAWAY!

Part two with Natalie. She's a speed demon of a sewist, maker of bags, garments, quilts and patterns... and if that's not impressive enough she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro this past summer.  She blogged about the experience HERE. Yeah, she's kind of my hero. I wish you could hear her laugh in person... it's contagious and she has a wicked sense of humour (one she's passed on to her kids, check out their photobomb in the third photo)! Okay here we go...

Less of a question and more of an instructions: You are my hero when it comes to being prolific. Go to your closet right now and count how many handmade clothing items you've made. It's okay, we'll wait... OMG I just don't know... I've given a lot away, sold a few, and lost some. My goal is to wear nothing but hand made, every day. I have SERIOUS issues with the apparel industry- morally and from a sustainability standpoint. I know fabric probably isn't loads better---but at least I won't be throwing anything out quickly. At least I'm "doing" and learning, appreciating the work involved. Plus it makes me feel a little medieval. 

I highly recommend watching the documentary on Netflix titled The True Cost. It made me really rethink my consuming.

If you had to pick one piece of fabric that defines who you are, what would that be? This is too difficult! I have to say, Jennifer Paganelli's fabrics ALWAYS make me happy. I am drawn to bright, happy, fun pieces. I like so many though! Everything Cotton and Steel, I mean Beauty Shop is blowing my mind right now I love it so hard. I love Rashida's ships and lemurs and --well, everything.... Can I say "I PLEAD THE FIFTH?" 

 If I were describing my soul, I'd pick ballet slipper pink satin-- I'm a Pisces and super sensitive, though I try not to show it and probably overcompensate with faux toughness at times. I'm keeping it real here, because I think a lot of people do this. I can't be the only one. 

What's your favourite sewing tool? My Simplicity Bobbin winder. I go through bobbins like 'Yur Mom.... it's redic.

What are three books that have made a HUGE impact on your life? Ok so you know I'm like the crazy book lady, right? Do you know how many people tell me I have "too many books"?! So this question is impossible. I will say the top 3 from my mind: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, (changed how I think about Africa completely, a 180 degree turn around)--- 

One Yard Wonders by Yaker and Hoskins, (taught myself to sew with that book!)-- and BIG Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Also anything by Brene Brown. Yesss. Those two women are Goddesses.

Honorable Mention: Little Girls Big Style by Mary Abreu--that's how I learned to garment sew, along with Rae's blog (Rae Hokestra of Made by Rae).

What are three songs everyone needs on their playlist? I'm a music nerd, I like a bit of everything from big band tunes, Ella FItzgerald to Ja Rule to Paula Abdul -I mean Straight UP! BUT--my playlist always has these artists:

1. Sarah Mclauchlan EVERYTHING but especially "Do what you have to do". Oh em gee. The lyrics on her songs are pure poetry. The piano playing, the strings, it's just absolute magic... "What ravages of spirit, have conjured this tempestuous rage..."

2. A Momentary Lapse of Reason by Pink Floyd changed my world, I'll name Learning to Fly here. --- I remember the moment I put that album on and everything happening that day, (I was 14)-- the lyrics are so clever in every song. "Fatal attraction ...is holding me fast...how can I escape, the irresistible grasp?...That's how I feel about sewing YO!!!!!! Sung in a British accent. HELLO! You can't top that.

3. Weezer- Say it Ain't So. (It IS so.)

Now join us over at Instagram (starting November 14 at 9am PST) and enter to win one of Natalie's PDF patterns - your choice! See, what did I tell you, Natalie Santini = amaze-balls!

HUNGRYHIPPIE SEWS UNPLUGGED part one

I'd like to you to meet Natalie Santini. She's an amazing lady. I adore her and her work. She bought my very first pattern on Etsy... er, ever really. She sent me a direct message and we've been each others biggest cheerleaders since then. She's prolific, talented, generous and hilarious. If you don't know her already she blogs at Hungryhippie Sews and is @sewhungryhippie on Instagram. This is part one of her interview because I asked her SO MANY questions! Enjoy!

Were you a maker as a kid? I was a do-er: dance lessons, piano, violin, camps, sports, etc... I never felt like I was good enough at art or design, but I did love to color and make weird things. I didn't sew though!

What was the very first thing you remember sewing or designing? I didn't sew until I was 31 LOL! I made a HORRIBLE top that made me look like a grown up cabbage patch kid. It was NOT cute. Instead of feeling defeated, I felt an intense motivation to keep going. I must have made 25-30 garments before I started to actually like them. Kinda crazy right? I also made a TON of bags, a ton of home items, and then eventually quilts. I think I've done 40 Union Jack patchwork quilts--which I sold because I couldn't work as a nurse in Britain. It was totally wild and fun. 

Tell us about your experience with Love Patchwork and Quilting? Which issue(s) and what did you have in it? I have so much love for LP&Q! They are really SO kind and supportive. I was crushed when my skull quilt was rejected by an American magazine which shall remain un-named --- so I sent it directly to the Editor at the time, Jenny Fox-Proverbs in a personal email. I mean, the audacity! It was so bold and unlike me, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I didn't even expect a response, I promptly forgot about the whole thing because I was too busy creating my new American life (we had just returned from living in Britain for nearly 7 years)... Then one day I had an email response from Jenny herself, and there you go. The Skull was very "me"---for a long time I've loved Mexican culture. I lived in San Antonio when I left the Army for quite a few years and really fell in love with all of it, like you do... That was issue 26. I have a quilt in Issue 34- "Colour Splash", "Good Karma" in Issue 36, and in Issue 38- "Modern Aztec". Just this month my HST quilt is in Modern Patchwork here in the US. I think being published is stressful but lovely, if that makes any sense. I do not think it validates anything-- I see so many amazing quilts that nobody knows about, from local people. I'm talking MIND blowing work! It keeps a person humble, to say the least. And also sometimes being published is simply luck.

AND you have some new patterns out! Tell us every sorted detail! The inspiration behind them, anything juicy about the making them? And where can we get our hands on them? YES! I'm so excited about my patterns! I have learned Adobe Illustrator and InDesign in order to be able to publish them, and it's been a very L O N G road. Ha! I am not a tech person, did I tell you? I print the patterns that I feel are most successful, which so far are: The Essential Oils cases, Modern Aztec quilt, and The Essentials Tote. I think next will be The Santorini Tote, a "no-fail" multi sized Zipper Case pattern for shops, and a bag I'm collaborating on with Stitch Supply Co that is the shizzle (not my design but I'm writing it)... More soon on that! I only make what I WOULD WANT myself, into patterns. It's a TON of work and time involved-- at least for me. It does not come naturally for me, like most things. I test and re-test, send it out to multiple testers, then write again. Proofs come in, I change things again, etc.. I happen to really adore my Printer Guy- he is totally OCD and it works! (He is ok with me saying that FYI.) 

All my patterns are available in my Etsy shop: And I'm slowly getting them out to local shops, including Blue Bar Quilts and Stitch Supply Co. My main obstacle is time, since I have a "real job" as an RN too---like everyone else, life is BUSY.

BUT Natalie still had time to whip up a very clever Halloween costume for herself. She's such a good egg! In the best devilish way... more to come next week!

 

FINALLY!

Happy Halloween!!! Did you spend your weekend sewing your guts out over costumes this weekend like me? Or did you binge watching Stranger Things Season 2? How about watching Quilt Market unfold on Instagram? These are busy times!

I'm relieved Halloween is here and the costumes ALL have been sewn. AND finally I can show you my secret sewing! I've been sitting on these projects since August and I'm so relieved I can finally show them to you. PHEW! 

Mid August Camelot Fabrics approached me commissioning a quilt for this Fall's Quilt Market. They had a video game collection called GAME ON by Elizabeth Silver and thought we might be a good fit ( I especially love her panels that I used for the backing!). I sent off of some drafts and was able to sneak in a new design I was working on. The GAME ON quilt. I'm thinking I'll developing this as an entire alphabet. Oh and did I mention it was English paper pieced? Yep! Every letter. Oh big, BIG thanks to Bev Funk who quilted these for me!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: From the Stranger Things 2 soundtrack DEVO! WHIP IT... grab that whip! 

Have the BEST time making HAPPY, safe and SPOOK-tack-U-lar HALLOWEEN memories today! 

 

USE YOUR SCRAPS!

NO SCRAP LEFT BEHIND. Have you seen Amanda Jean Nyberg's latest book? I love scrappy quilts, especially her quilt called JUNE. However, I have discovered I am not a scrappy quilter. I once, by a misunderstanding, thought I had been asked to iron all my scraps for a demonstration. I think perhaps that's when my brain went "Nope"! I do find MUCH happiness in giving away my scraps to new quilters... you know, to really get them hooked. When Amanda Jean was signing my book she asked if I was a scrappy quilter. I told her everything I just told you. She thought that was very ninja of me... but she also inscribed my book with instructions: Lysa! Use your scraps!

Hey do you remember my last week's recommended designer, Gail Myerscough? She just released her new Christmas card collection. Ooo and it has those cats I love! 

Speaking of Christmas; The Steam Trunk Craftworks has plenty of Christmas-y goodies up on their site; trims, buttons, felt and the cutest bakers twine! Can you ever have too much bakers twine? Um... I'm pretty sure you can't, which is why I just bought the one called Christmas Candy. Last year we discovered recycling centers won't take wrapping paper anymore. I know, we were shocked too! It's because of the finish on the paper. We decided we'd switch to kraft paper, ribbons or strings that could be recycled (I may even sneak in a piece of holly or cedar for some extra holiday cheer).

Switching gears - Have you noticed a strong cat theme in fabric lately? Check out Felice Regina's Caturday (for Windham Fabrics) on Hawthorne Threads. Look closely at Asterisks in Gold, Orange and Red Violet. Guess what those "Asterisk's" are? Look closer... closer... yep! It's what you thought, cat butts! Hilarious right?! Ooo and she has the BEST enamel pins! Check out her Merry Cats-mas enamel pins HERE

RECOMMENDED DESIGNER TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR: Anette Heiberg! She makes THE happiest, cutest patterns! They make me giggle every time I see them. She's from Norway and just had a sweet little baby! You can see teeny little glimpses of toe-zees and little fingers tucked under some of Anette's own fabrics on her Instagram account @anetteheiberg. Oh and she also illustrates children's books!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Let's see if I can get through this with out crying. This past week our collective Canadian hearts broke when we lost Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Tragically Hip. We were lucky enough to see them play a handful of times including their farewell tour in 2016. It was an emotional roller coaster and the complete definition of bitter sweet. With much love

 

I MIGHT BE A TEENY BIT OBSESSED...

Er... okay. Or a lot! I don't remember exactly how I came across The Jealous Curator's website a couple of years ago. I loved it immediately but it freaked me out. I'd check it out now and again, get freaked out then... rinse and repeat. That was until this past May when I was quilting on my Cassingle quilt. I had watched (or mostly listened to) the entire run of The Wire (which might just be the best show ever made! Hello season 4, I think you're perfect!). Post the Wire, longing for something to listen to, on a whim I thought, "Ah, I'll listen to a few Jealous Curator Podcasts". It was on my, someday I'll do that list anyways. It wasn't long until I was completely hooked. I started with the first podcast and worked my way up to the present. In hindsight I wish I had done it the other way because I missed some opportunities in regards to book signings and talks. Anyhoo! This summer I bulldozed my way through pretty much all of them. In listening to Danielle Krysa's own journey (the Jealous Curator, she's no longer anonymous) I fell in love with not only the work she curates but HER work, her bravery and... well her. She has two Instagram accounts that are always worth daily peeks at; @thejealouscurator and @daniellekrysaart. When looking at her work make sure you read the titles, they are just as spectacular as the work! 

She recently had a show at the Back Gallery Project, with Aimee Henny Brown and Janice Wu, called Uncommon place. I took my boys there early in October. I haven't been able to find my favourite piece online but it was of two boys and their mom looking at a big splotch of gold paint that said, LOO KUP! We had a moment of, "OH! We're life imitating art... or is the the other way around?"

Oh, and I have I mentioned the books she's written: You can check them out here. I'd recommend all of them! I'm currently working my way through You're Inner Critic is a Big Jerk.

And speaking of recommendations... here's a surface pattern designer to be on the look out for: Gail Myserscough! She a UK designer that has a groovy 60's feel to her work. Gosh I love her vacuum cleaners... and cats... and swimmers, don't even get me started on her flowers. Yeah, I'm a fan! Be on the look out for her!

And lastly, RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, a Bob Dylan Cover by Walk Off the Earth. Stay cosy!

IS IT MY TURN YET?... HOW ABOUT NOW?

Remember about a month ago when I posted about the #makerclubswap, the birthday swap club? This week was finally my turn to spoil someone! That someone being the lovely Catherine @catherinemadeit! From getting to know Catherine (and looking over her cheat sheet) I knew she was an avid knitter, that her favourite colour was green and she appreciates local made products. I started with making her this reversible Box Tote, a free pattern from Very Shannon... and while your checking out that link, check out their videos. It'll make you feel all warm, cozy and West Coasty! 

I also knew Catherine loves Bonnie Christine's fabric, which is what I used for the inside of the tote ( "Swanlings Bevy in Nightfall" ). I used black linen for the outside, Essex Sparkle Linen for the needles and solids for the knitting needles tops and ball of yarn. Darlene, from my Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild, taught me how to do bobbin work, which is how I got the effect on the ball of yarn.

I stuffed the bag full of all kinds of goodies! Everything from vintage needles to tea (from our local favourite, Karl's Tea). Yarn from our local shop Trendy and What Knot, where I purchased yarn made in Alberta. I made an apron, pot holders, a tush cush (a cushion made for sew-ins but in Catherine's case probably for knit-in's), AND a hot and cold pack all from all my Just Bee fabric. I also packed in some Soak soaps, more Bonnie Christine, plus a bit of Heather Ross and polka dot fabric... honestly I could have gone on forever... patches, a Bonnie Christine Poster, pretty pins, a pin cushion necklace made by Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild member, Michelle @pastryquilts... it was hard to stop! But I had to... because I when I showed my husband and asked him what I should add next he told me I needed to stop. Yeah. He's a pretty good stop sign. 

RECOMMENDED READING: This week I signed up for Audible. For my first book I listened to Brene Brown's new book Braving the Wilderness. SO GOOD!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Hey guess who I met last weekend?! Rick Nielson! Who? You know who the guitarist from Cheap Trick! After ping ponging guitar picks off his phone at my family. He came to me and said, "Hey, I like you." and handed me a pic. Umm... okay, thanks Rick! We all saw the band play last weekend, the last time my husband and I saw them play was back in 1990. They were excellent then and they still are today! Their new album is called We're All Alright. Have a listen and in the meantime put on your checkered pants, put on your ball cap, remember to turn up the beak, grab your air guitar, push play, turn the volume to 11 while singing along at the top of your lungs along to I WANT YOU TO WANT ME! 

 

ANNABEL WRIGLEY'S DAISY CHAIN GIVEAWAY!

Have you ever come across fabric that made you gasp? Where instantly you fell in love?

I don't have a HUGE fabric stash. Having too much fabric stresses me out. I like to buy per project when I have a plan. It keeps my stash lean. BUT, I do allow for pieces that make me gasp and leave me with that "I HAVE TO HAVE IT!" feeling. Remember that IKEA "Start the CAR!!!" commercial? Yeah, that feeling.

Well, that's what Annabel Wrigley's fabric collection, Daisy Chain, did to me! It just might be the prettiest thing I've ever seen. And then I met her! She's just like her fabric; beautiful, warm, light, smart and a whole lot of fun! Within seconds of seeing it I bought her fat quarter bundle at Windham's booth this past Spring Quilt Market. I have a few idea's of what I'm going to do with it but I haven't quite decided. I was content just having it in the studio, to Ooo and Ahh over. Then I got a little itch one day. I decided if I did a zippy cassette pouch I wouldn't be using too much right?! Ooo, and if I made a mini needlebook to go in the cassette tape pouch that wouldn't be using up too much fabric either! I still have oodles left. I realize I'm being pretty precious with it. I can't help it, it's SOooo PRETTY! 

Definitely be sure to check out Annabel Wrigley's Instagram feed this week (@littlepincushiostudio). Each day this week she's giving away a fat quarter bundle of Daisy Chain... Go! Go! Go!!!

Oh wait before you go... I'm also pleased to announce the CASSETTE TAPE ZIPPY POUCH TUTORIAL is ALL done! Yep! It's ready and waiting for you, anytime you need it. It's also posted on my website under SEWING DESIGNS. Big, BIG thanks to my pattern editor Jonna (once again, love ya girl!)

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Just as pretty as the Annabel's collection, Shakey Graves, DAISY CHAINS.