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.

 

I'VE GOT MY POM-POMS READY TO CHEER THEM ON!

Have you heard of Make it in Design? They're an online design school that teaches surface pattern design and I HEART surface pattern design! Right now I'm in their Ultimate Portfolio Builder course. I'm having a BLAST! The first two photos in this line up are my first work from the class. But don't worry there'll still be lots of sewing happening!

One of the HUGE benefits of taking MIID (Make it in Design) courses are meeting some exceptional designers. I'd like to introduce you to three designers I think we need to keep our eyes on. I'm pretty sure big things are around the corner for these ladies.

First, I'd like to introduce you to Abby Hersey. I met Abby on Instagram last summer and have enjoyed watching her grow. Her her first collection with Robert Kaufman is called Let's play house. It's adorable and if I had a little girl... we'd be playing with it A LOT!

In 2015 I met Jill O'Conner through MIID. She's been inspiring to watch. Recently she's joined forces with Jackie Hurd. Together they have started a collective called Jack & Jillo. They've been busy working on their portfolio and will be showing at PrintSource next summer 2018! 

Teresa Chan, I met this past January. She's been incredible to watch as her Instagram following has spiked to 33.1k! Yep. 33.1k. That wasn't a typo. Have a look at her feed and you'll understand why. Amazing work! Her first fabric line will be at Quilt Market this fall. I can't wait to see it! The fabric line will be available in the Spring of 2018. I'll keep you posted!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: keeping in theme with being a cheerleader, from the ultimate cheerleader Gwen Stefani, HOLLABACK GIRL ... it's bananas B! A! NAN! A! S!

SNAP TO GRID

I'm beyond thrilled to see SNAP TO GRID finally hitting the shelves! Honestly, I've never had so much fun sewing with a collection before! When Kim Kight asked me to sew for her 80's inspired Spring 2017 collection I happily through myself into the design challenge. I had planned to make a SEWING MACHINE BOOMBOX at some point BUT when I saw this collection it just HAD TO HAPPEN! And with many cheers of, "I want to make one too!!"... I'm pleased to release the official BOOMBOX SEWING MACHINE COVER TUTORIAL today! You to can get it HERE.

As soon as I saw the Big Pill Dot in Black I knew the CASSINGLE also had to happen. This 60" lap quilt (brilliantly named by Kim), tickled every Memphis Group bone in my body. It's the largest, simplest and fastest to make of all my patterns. (It's only 14 weeks to Christmas... WHAT! Did I really just say that?!)

Cotton + Steel have the BEST selvages, am I right?! Which lends themselves so well to the The CASSETTE TAPE mini quilt cassette labels AND it allowed me to showcase ALL of the collection! FUN FACT: Jonna came up from Washington to sew this quilt with me! There were many giggles, squeals and most importantly much dill pickle dip! 

Second FUN FACT: The CASSETTE TAPE pattern is needed to make the zippy cassette pouch. Make it to fit inside the Boom Box Sewing Machine Cover or just to have all by it's self. (More about that next week-wink, wink!) 

Speaking of endless possibilities with this collection, you saw Kerry Goulder's Hot Skates Quilt right? SO GOOD!

When I went to Spring Market this past May, I wanted to take some bags with me sewn in the Snap to Grid collection BUT I had run out time. Instead of scrapping the idea I commissioned Reece Montgomery (www.happyokapie.ca) and Sherri Chalke to make some.

Reece modified Sara Lawson's Polaris Bag along with my CASSETTE TAPE pattern piece "D". The result was this stunning bag! I HEART IT SO MUCH! It makes me SO happy just to look at it!

Sherri and I went to Quiltcon 2016 together. For the trip she had made a bag using Sonja Callaghan's, Bag PDF Pattern AND CASSETTE TAPE pattern pieces (I posted about it HERE). I've always loved Sherri's bag, so you know what I asked her to do right. The bag was PERFECT for the trip. I was always getting stopped in the isles with people asking about it.

Phew! So much to chat about this week. And I haven't even mentioned the SNAP TO GRID thread pack. Gah!!! How do Cotton + Steel always get it so right?!

RECOMMEMDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Just like the Snap to Grid collection, the possibilities are endless... so I've settled on, THE CURE: Friday I'm in Love. Happy week everyone!

AS MY FRIEND CAROL BROWNE ALWAYS SAYS "HIPPO BIRDIES TWO EWES!"

Between my last newsletter and this one, I had a birthday! What made it really special were a few packages that arrived on my door step. Last year I joined a Maker's Club, a secret birthday swap. And really, as a maker, is there ANYTHING better than receiving something handmade? We know the time, effort and care that goes into such things. Plus these Maker Club ladies really take it to a new level. They're very attentive to their partners likes, not to mention they take wrapping to a whole new level... check out #themakersclubswap on Instagram. You'll see.

As I picked up one of the parcels from my step I discovered Lindsey from @lostandfawned was my secret partner! What you need to know about Lindsey is she has twins, two adorable little boys. She gets an incredible amount of creative work done while raising them. Plus, she does it with such elegance. I was shocked and delighted at everything she made and sent!

PHOTO 1) I opened the package to discover a one hour basket made from essex metallic linen hugging a bunch of presents!

PHOTO 2) After taking out all the presents I discovered it had been also filled with pom-poms! And you know I LOVE pom-poms!

PHOTO 3) See the bird on the knit cloth?! It matches perfectly with the fabric inside the basket and the shopping bag. Ooo and the local handmade bath bombs smell SOOO good.

PHOTO 4) SOCKS! I've never had hand knit socks before. Ooo they feel like soft pillowy clouds on my feet. They are heaven. Check out Lindsey's sock project on Raverly HERE. She used her vanilla sock recipe with a true afterthought heel and a twisted rib for the cuff. The sock yarn is Felici (Saltwater Taffy colourway). The contrast colour is Stroll (Ash), both are from Knit Picks. I don't knit so I have no idea what any of that means but if you do and you want to make someone feel really loved, please knit them these socks. They will LOVE you forever!

PHOTO 4) Lindsey sent every present with the cutest little tags. This ones says, let's get organized *set some priorities*. I cannot tell you how much I adore Washi tape, note books, sticky notes, and sticky note book markers. Oh and the buttons. Swoon!

PHOTO 5) Meet Jimmy! This is what I have named this sweet little bear cup holder. I named him after Jim Croce. Get it?! His last name sounds like Crochet. Ba-ha,ha! Isn't Jimmy just the loveliest fellow? Lindsey mentioned he was made from vintage wool yarn, which makes me love him even more. If you're so inclined (Christmas is just around the corner) watch this video on how to make him from Flying Mio.

... AND if that wasn't enough Catherine @kittingcatherine from the Makers Club send me hand knit socks too!!! (I love how they don't match each other!) A makers pin (which I will wear with pride!) and the most beautiful mason jar cookie. Yes, it was as yummy as it looked!

... AND THEN there's Jonna @bespokeoutlaw. Remember... she's the one who made me that makers tote last year. She's so clever. You have to be careful what you say around her tho, she's listening. We were chatting a while back and I was saying how I need to make one of those iron holder totes... yep and that's what I unwrapped. And it matches my makers tote! Of course! And because she's insane in the membrane (in the best possible way) she didn't stop there! There was a chocolate poop emoji, Uppercase fabric charm pack, Wonder Woman paraphernalia, Cotton + Steel fabric and Sulky thread! Plus cassette socks!!! MIND BLOWN. And they were all in a Cassette basket! The cherry on top was a book called "Care Packages" by Michelle Makintosh. Total eye candy. 

Seriously makers are the best!

Lastly, (because it's tradition now!) RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: I was thinking Ooo, I should recommend a Jim Crochet song but I can't. I love him because my Dad loved him but... (my dad also loved Sade, remember her?). I just didn't get those easy listening genes. I got these ones. Turn your volume to 11, sit back, put on your hand knit socks on and prepare for THE WAY YOU USED TO DO by Queens of the Stone Age. 

 

 

 

SAFETY FIRST!

I remember grade one vividly. One of the brightest memories I have is our teacher explaining in great detail how to hold scissors if you're going to walk across the room OR hand them to someone. Nowadays I'm skeptical that those grade one scissors could in fact inflict an injury but I suppose, you never know. At the time I was riveted at the danger we were being entrusted with. 

Perhaps that's when I began to fall in love with scissors. (P.S. Dinky Doo has some super cute scissors. I love the little ones... they're just perfect for adding to present. Ooo and they have some Eiffel Tower ones too! See what I mean?! Scissors = excitement). Which is probably I loved sneaking my mom's pinking sheers for crafting when I was a kid. When I started working full time, after high school, I saved up for a good pair of sewing scissors. I still use them (and love them). 

I'm thinking my scissor are probably in need of a good sharpening. Back in June at the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild meeting they invited Andrew from The Focused Edge to talk about sharpening scissors. If you're near Vancouver or in the Fraser Valley and are in need of a good sharpening, like me, you can contact Andrew through his FACEBOOK page... HERE. It lists all his rates and info. 

Have you seen Rashida Coleman Hale's SNIP, SNIP! Print? It's so beautiful! I may have just bought it for a certain someone who loves scissors WAY, WAY, WAY more than me. And I like scissors Aaaa lot BUT this person takes it to a WHOLE new level.

Ooo! AND have you seen Lindsey Neill's @penandpaperpatterns new block of the month, SEWOLOGY? Have a look at those scissors!!! You can find it on Craftsy, HERE, among her other A-maze-ZING patterns. Gah! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Now this is a bit of a twist. I was trying to think of a song about scissors and I discovered SCISSOR SISTERS. They're a bit disco-y but modern. Check out one of their performances on the Graham Norton Show, HERE. Stay for the the chat after, the bird impression is well worth it!

 

I THINK FRIDA WOULD APPROVE OF A DOUBLE SCOOP. DON'T YOU?

This picnic quilt was ONE SCOOP, created from a Katie Peterson workshop. It was put on by the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild this past February. Katie was warm, knowledgeable and loves pom-poms (you gotta love that!). If you're a guild looking to book some workshops I highly recommend Katie's. Fun fact, the morning of the workshop Kim Kight :: Cotton + Steel had contacted me on Instagram asking if I'd be int interested in sewing with her spring line for quilt market! My brain was all over the place that day. It was lucky this quilt became a thing! It was quilted by Christine Johannink @christinejohannink

The SECOND SCOOP that created this quilt was the inspiration. See that Makers Tote?! It was sewn by my lovely friend, pattern editor and partner in crime, Jonna @bespokeoutlaw. She surprised me with it last summer. She's very attentive to detail and knew I love Frida Kahlo. I'm still floored by it. Someone on Instagram asked me if I knew the names of the colors I used in the quilt. Sadly, I don't (note to self, write names of solid colors in selvages). I did, however, use the Alexander Henry's Esperanza Frida fabric as my inspiration. 

Speaking of ice cream. Have you seen:

My last, but not least, ice cream themed RECOMMENDED TUNES: Spoiler alert songs called Ice Cream Man are not summer-y or very happy, in fact after listening to Tom Wait's ICE CREAM MAN, if he ever tried to sell ice cream I think he'd be arrested. Blur also has a song called ICE CREAM MAN, and again, not very sunshiny BUT check out ONG ONG. It's not about ice cream but they have someone dressed up in an ice cream costume! That counts right?! While the Ong Ong video is cute I realized what I really wanted to listen to was PARKLIFE which I re-discovered has an ice cream truck in it! Bonus!

The two ultimate summer songs, in my humble opinion, are Florence + The Machine's DOG DAYS ARE OVER and alt-J's LEFT HAND FREE. There aren't any references to ice cream or ice cream imagery, however, you could eat one while listening to both. Ooo, a double scoop. And remember Frida would approve {wink, wink}!

P.S. Do you remember Chelsea's Boombox pillow from last week? Guess what? She won FIRST at the state fair! Let's all give her a great BIG high five!

 

LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

I've said it before, I'll say it again... by far my favourite part about writing patterns are when you guys sew them and make them completely your own. My intention has always been for my patterns to be a jumping off point... and boy you guys sure know how to nail it! 

  • Kim (@iadorepattern) slayed me with her crisp monotone cassette tape block. I'm eagerly awaiting her embroidered label. Remember the collection Good Hair Day? That super cute collection for Windham Fabrics was hers! 
  • Chelsey (@chelseylanefeilds) recently made a Boombox pillow. With piping!
  • Angelini (@suchastitch) has finished the front of her boombox. Gah! I'm loving the prints she's used.
  • Saru (@sewaftersix) has just begun her Boombox sewing machine cover journey. I'm LOVING her fabric pulls! Even though technically the sew-a-long is over, the instructions are still up on the newsletters. This fall I'll be compiling the instructions into two tutorials: one for the sewing machine cover and one for the zippy pouch.

At the beginning of the summer I made myself a nice hefty list... and now that we're down to our final weeks I'm getting them done! It feels SOOO good! Gosh, I love deadlines! Top of my list was to catch up on my ABOUT page and get the PRESS/TEACHING/SHOW section up to date. It's been a busy year... I hadn't realized how busy until it was all laid out. A few highlights that I haven't posted about yet were:

In both cases I am so honoured and tickled to be included with such talented makers. It's all been pretty surreal!

HAVE YOU SEEN: Felice Regina's (@lamlunasol) Quilting & Sewing Enamel Pins on Kickstarter? They are SO snazzy!!! I WANT ALL OF THEM!

Which leads me to...RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR 80's PLAYLIST this week: A good old Canadian band. Loverboy! TURN ME LOOSE and LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Which is how we all feel when we go fabric shopping right?! 

PS. I met Loverboys' front man, Mike Reno in the late 90's. Sadly he wasn't wearing his red pants!

 

 

A DRY HOT SUMMER, IS NO TIME TO PLAY WITH MATCHES!

Unless... they're made out of fabric and felt, right?! The very first pattern I ever wrote was for my Match Book Needle Books. That was back in 2014. In 2015 I was invited by the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, who was hosting the Pacific Northwest Quilt Guild Meetup, to do a make and take for their sew-in. Circa 15 Fabric Studio supplied the materials and we made the cutest little match book kits for the Match Book Needle books (perhaps I'm bias, wink, wink!). Since then the pattern has been free and on my site. I've just recently added it to Craftsy as a free pattern now too.

These recent Match Books are mini's. I had scraps of felt and somehow thought they'd be faster if they were smaller. Nope! I would have been better sticking with the regular sized ones. Lesson learned!

Now, I'm going to come out and just say it. I'm ready for fall. I've started longing for it. I've been missing our regular routine. I've grown tired of everyone going in different directions. I'm also looking forward to cooler, sock wearing weather... you see, I really love socks! My lovey friend Reece @reecemontgomery recently gifted me these cassette tape socks. Gah! I'm dying to wear them! The bottom of them say "MIX TAPE"! Check out Woven Pear's nifty site HERE!

And in the theme of longing for fall, I came across these ribbon ABC blocks by Stephanie from @Patchanddot. They're so dreamy and they're free!!! Free I tell you, free! You can download them from HERE.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR BACK TO SCHOOL PLAYLIST: One of my all favorite time songs (it almost makes me cry every time I hear it), WE'RE GOING TO BE FRIENDS. SIDE NOTE: I found this interesting video called, HOW JACK WHITE USES COLOR. Perhaps that's why I've always been a HUGE Jack White fan. I'm such a sucker for colour and design!

What would be your best ROAD TRIP song?

It was an epic week, we covered a lot of ground on our road trip to Alberta. Less hand sewing happened than I had hoped but lots of reading. I brought along the latest issue of Uppercase magazine (appropriately titled). I also brought along my Uppercase Feed Sacks book. It's part of an Encyclopedia set that Uppercase is publishing. Which reminded me of the feed sack blocks I bought from a lovely couple when I was at Quilt Markets this past spring, Carolyn and Don Springer. Gosh they were sweet (notice the book on their counter). 

Speaking of shopping, I picked up a copy of Kathleen Riggens, Diary of a Swirl when I was at the Sewing Center in Camrose. I also had this plan, if I only bought fat quarters, I wouldn't buy/spend as much. WRONG. Oh my god so wrong. <hand smack to forehead>. 

I also stopped in to Chapters at West Edmonton Mall and found a Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine! They can be so hard to find since they carry only two copies at a time. I was very tickled to see Kerry Goulder's spread! Plus Felice Regina's AND Lindsey Neil's projects! I'm such a fan girl! These ladies have it GOIN' on!

BUT definitely a highlight of my trip was meeting up with my high school textiles teacher (I'm not going to lie, it was so weird calling her by her first name). I adore this lady, Karen (yep, still weird!). Her class was my happy place and her encouragement went a long, long way! Teachers out there... you do amazing work and it stays with us for the rest of our lives! Don't get me wrong, stay in school kids but I'd argue, for me Textiles (and art class) were the most important classes. My husband is in the photo too he went to the same school! Our own little reunion!

So there you have it, all wrapped up in a nutshell. The whole trip. And of course we listened to A lot of music. I found this 50 best road trip article. I don't think I'd say their number one track would be my choice. Mine would be a tie between Johnny Cash's I've Been Everywhere, Cyndi Lauper's I Drove All Night (does she age?), Cake's The Distance and Ray Charles's Hit the Road Jack. Which I oddly associate with Shake your Booty... I'm not sure why. As a kid I thought they said boobie which to me was was HI-larry-ous! And if I was really honest, I still do! 

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Well that was fun! Thank you to everyone who entered the Cassingle pattern giveaway. All the 80's song suggestions were so RAD! To quote Hot Chocolate, "Every 1's a Winner!"  Together we created a pretty darn snazzy playlist! You can listen and see it HERE.

And the randomly selected winners are...from Instagram: @gardenvarietycookie and @villageboundquilts. From the Facebook page: Farah Rhoads and Sue Augusto Mariotti . From the website: Zenna Nixon. Winners please send me your email address and I'll send the pattern off to you pronto!

So what's next? This week I'm off on a road trip back to the prairies to visit family. You know what that means? Lots of hand sewing! Yay! I've come to discover I really enjoying being trapped in a car and limited to what I can work on. 

I recently found this video from when my dad was a kid. His family was at the lake and my grandfather had built the boat they're in. He had been known to mount a jet engines to the back of a boats! This one is his little boat. I believe he built it for my dad. He was quite the inventor! I'd like to think that's where my drive to invent and create patterns came from. Kind of the same, right?! Ha, ha! I'm not sure which I loved more, seeing my grandma as a hottie or the the tiny boat! Either way, Yowza!

I'm looking forward to visiting my home town... and their fabric store! My first job out of high school was working there. It's since been purchased by Kathleen Riggins family and is now called The Sewing Center.  Did you know she just came out with a book?! It's called Diary of a Young Swirl. There may be some shopping happening there... who's to say?

And speaking of shopping... Have you heard of Massdrop? It's community driven commerce. They have Quilting, Knitting, Beauty, Writing and Photography products, plus way more. The idea is if you get enough people to agree to buy something, you all get a heavily reduced price! I just bought a whack of sewing machine needles and I have seen Oliso irons on there! Ooo, I really want a pink one. They only had blue tho. There that should be enough to get you in trouble right?! You can check it out HERE. They have new drops all the time.

 

 

BOOMBOX SEW-A-LONG WEEK 8 - the cassette tape zippy pouch instructions AND!

Lots of exciting things this week! First: the final week of the BOOMBOX sewing machine cover sew-a-long! This last week was my favorite: the cassette tape zippy pouch (that fits inside the sewing machine cover). You can get the instructions HERE. You'll also need this PDF page for the cassette tape bottom.

If you didn't get a chance to do the sew-a-long, fear not! This fall, I'll be compiling all the instructions into a permanent tutorial that will live on my site. It will be here for you whenever you need it! Don't worry, I got your back. 

Second: You know what else is exciting? Cotton + Steel came out with their 2017 Spring Collections Look Book. I've always loved their Look Books AND now I'm IN one of them. SEE!

Third: My CASSINGLE pattern has been released on ETSY and Craftsy! YAY! To celebrate all this excitement, we're going to have ourselves a give away! To enter, leave a comment here telling me your favourite 80's song. I'll add it to my 80's playlist and I'll post the winners name (and favourite song) on the newsletter next week. BUT wait! You have three chances to win. Leave a comment here, on the Lysa Flower Facebook Page or on Instagram (contest and rules will be posted on Facebook and Instagram by noon tomorrow PST). Good luck!

BOOMBOX-SEW-A-LONG: WEEK 7 (don't you love it when it ALL comes together!)

Have you seen what Angelini @suchastitch has been up to? I've LOVED seeing her progress on Instagram (#boomboxsewalong #lysaflowerpatterns). She's posted photos, starting with an inspirational BOOMBOX art wall, to her colouring sheet including her fabric selection and ALL her sewing (especially those teeny tiny pieces). Have a look at what a smarty pants she was! On the tiny pieces on the back of the pattern I noticed she coloured them! BRILLIANT! She also made two cassettes. She wasn't happy with the first one (which I loved) so she made a new one (which I also LOVED). I could never choose between them. Please done ever make me!

This week the sew-a-long is quite exciting! The boombox gets sewn ALL together. Next week is even more exciting because we're going to be making the cassette zippy pouch! Yay! All right. I need to settle down, I'm getting a head of myself. This weeks instructions you can get HERE.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT: I like spray starch. There I said it. BUT did you know starch is made out of potatoes? You know who likes potatoes? Bugs. The last thing I want are bugs to be interested in my quilts. Or my anything! Here's a solution. Soak! Have you heard of it? This spring I came across their booth at Quilt Market. I also like smelly things. There I said that too. I prefer scents that are fresh and not to flower-y. They have dreamy scents! Their solution to spray starch is called FLATTER. It gives me that extra crispness I'm looking for when I'm paper piecing my heart out. Oh and they also have (soy based) labels designed by Carolyn Friedlander and Deynse Schmidt. Pretty, nice smelling and useful. I'm sold.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR 80's PLAYLIST: Styx-Too Much Time On My Hands. Check out this Jimmy Fallon Split screen - Hilarious! 

PS. Speaking of time, this week I came across this quote: Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes everyday. Rich people can't buy more hours. Scientist can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend it on another day. Even so. time is amazingly fair and forgiving. Not matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. - Denis Waitely - Serious!

 

BOOMBOX-SEW-A-LONG WEEK 6: FEAR NOT THE SUMMER SLUMP

Early June: Woo Hoo! Summer is almost here! As soon as the kids are out of school, I'm going to have SO much extra time. I'm going to finish this and this and...

<insert outrageous, unattainable list here> 

Reality. Present day: Oofft! It's HOT, I feel melt-y. Hey look at this new shiny thing over here! Where do you need to be driven? Sure so and so can come over. Crap, I better clean up! Unfinished projects score: 52 and 3/4. Finished projects score: 1/4. Ah, the summer slump. Oh yeah! I remember now, didn't this happen last year? 

I was chatting with @bespokeoutlaw and @sewhungryhippie on Instagram who've been feeling the summer slump too, which I was INCREDIBLY relieved to hear. Until then I was convinced I was the only one. Phew! This led me to thinking about and digging for solutions to a summer slump.

RECOMMENDED TO BEAT THE SUMMER SLUMP: Marie Forleo and her 3 Steps to Retrain Your Brain So You Can Be More Productive Than Ever episode helped to quenched my thirst! I can do that!

THE JEALOUS CURATORART for your ear SUMMER CAMP. I LOVE, love, loved what she assigned for week 5. How liberating. I've got my guild sew-in's on the calendar and I CAN NOT wait.

But you know what helped me the most? Being trapped in a car for hours. Yes! A good old fashioned road trip. It's like an isolation tank but you end up somewhere! HA! Perfection. Our little family did a quick-y trip down to Portland. Not only did I finally get my binding done on my Katie Peterson Psychedelic Baby workshop quilt (big reveal still to come), I had a chance to visit Fabric Depot (first time) and Modern Domestic (they moved)! I bought my first Row by Row there. Uh-oh! Finished projects score: 1- 1/4. Unfinished projects score: 52 and 3/4 (aw, the number didn't go down). Hence my new mantra, "It will all get done". 

Oh right Week 6 instructions! You can get them HERE. This week we're sewing the Boombox back pockets! Yay! Check out @emsteratx progress on her sewing machine cover! Gah! LOVE! Now don't worry if the summer slump gets a hold of you, all is okay. The sew-a-long instructions will become a tutorial that'll permanently be a part of my site. It'll be here waiting for you when you need it. Say it with me, "It will all get done". And while it all gets done...

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR 80's PLAYLIST: Jenny 867-5309 by Tommy Tutone, My Sharona by the Knack and Kim Wilde's Kids in America (which I thought the Go Go's did-whoops!)

 

 

BOOMBOX-SEW-A-LONG WEEK 5: GET OUT THOSE GLUE GUNS!

Get those glue guns out! It's go time! Week 5 Boombox sew-a-long instructions are HERE! Oh and before I forget, Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!

Recently I've been asked if I could point people in the direction of paper piecing tutorials or tips. Ask and so you shall receive!

RECOMMENDED PAPER PIECING TIPS: As much as I try to be zen about seam ripping it's always more fun not having to do it. Which is why I really liked Bernina's We All Sew article by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced, called Never Tear Out Stitches Again! How to make Make Paper Piecing Easy.

Another good article is Tips and Tricks Tuesday-Paper Piecing by The Tilted Quilt.

Sound. Practical. Advice. 

Finally, I found this Youtube channel by Man Sewing. Check out How to: Paper Piecing with Violet Craft. I've never used one of those rollers but it's on my list! The advice is similar to the first article I have listed but it's video! Also Violet Craft! Eep! A paper piecing guru!

RECOMMENDED PAPER PIECING PATTERNS: And now that you know all the ins and outs of paper piecing, have you seen Berene Campbell's (@happysewlucky) Tattoo series of patterns on ESTY?!!! MIND BLOWN! Collect them all! She's working on the next one, TRUTH and there's still more to come. Need, need, need, want, want, want! I've got big plans for these babies!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR 80's PLAYLIST: This week I started in the direction of A Flock of Seagulls with I RAN and Rick Springfield's JESSIE'S GIRL, but then I ended up on Pat Benetar. She's so bad ass! I've always had a sweet spot for her! I remember in grade 2 asking my mom for some spandex pants like Pat Benetar's. She declined. Instead I had to resign myself to lip syncing HEART-BREAKER, LOVE IS A BATTLE FIELD, SHADOWS OF THE NIGHTTREAT ME RIGHT, YOU BETTER RUN and my favourite hair brush mic song to sing: HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT!