GUESS WHOSE CASSETTE TAPES ARE ON THE COVER OF MOLLIE MAKES!(tee hee mine!)

You guys, it has been crazy surreal! And having to keep this under wraps for so long has almost made me want to burst! But it's true, I've found myself on the cover of Mollie Makes, issue #94!

Dream. Come. True!

I was given my very first Mollie Makes as a birthday present, six years ago. It was love at first sight. The dreamy projects, the snazzy make and takes, the styled photography, the colour palette. I honestly could never get enough... and I have the back issues to prove it! I never dreamed one day my work would be on the cover!

Out of the blue I was approached by Lindsey, of Mollie Makes... and then the secret sewing, photo taking and pattern writing began... and now it's here. In fact I just received my copy in the mail today! 

I picked up issue #92 when I was in LA last week. North American copies seem to take a while to hit stands here. I'm guessing #94 will be in another month or two, depending on your store. If you're subscriber you may have gotten your copy already. Or, if you live in Europe, they hit the stands yesterday, June 21st!

I hadn't realize this but if you subscribe for the paper version of the magazine, you'll received a Liberty "The Cottage Gardens" fabric bundle plus a BONUS Mollie Makes project book! BUT they also have digital versions that can be found on APPLE, itunes and Google Play. Even their newsletter is dreamy!

In the meantime, here's a teaser on ISSUU... and recommended for your listening pleasure, as you stroll through pages: The GO GO's, WE GOT THE BEAT! Happy summer everyone! And remember, "We're not old. We're Retro!"

 

SO WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?

Our oldest son just turned 18 ...which is really weird because half the time I still feel 18. His birthday lines up with Canada's Victoria Day long weekend AND Quilt Market, e v e r y single year. Which meant no Quilt Market for me, even if it was in Portland this year (only five hours away). I had resigned the fact that he was only going to turn 18 once and I'd feel a whole lot better not missing his birthday. Funny enough a few days before his birthday we asked him "so what do you want to for your birthday?". His answer, "Why don't we go to Portland." What the?!? It was one of those, "Start the car!" moments, before anyone changes their minds. And so we did, which allowed me to pop into Quilt Market and blast through the show for a few quick hours on Sunday!

The show was significantly different than the one last year in St Louis. I suspect being that is was Sunday, the low key vibe was from everyone being pooped. Or maybe I was projecting my sadness about Cotton + Steel changing. I thought Kim Kight's wilted vase of roses by her Steno collection summed it up best. I'm heart broken for them BUT I'm also super JAZZED to see what these five ground breaking designers will do next. I am I'm prepared for them to bust out and blow our minds!

Oh! Hello Bob Ross! Or should I say, "Happy Painter".  A booth that caught my attention right away was by a company called Quiltoni Superpowered Quilts. Ooh! Look they have a Wonder Woman too! ...I mean an Amazon Warrior.

I had a great chat with Daryl and Giuseppe (AKA Giucy Giuce) from Andover Fabrics. I'm super excited about Guiseppe's new (and first) collection, Quantum! I love the colour palette and I'm intrigued about the panels. Side note: isn't Guiseppe, a great name. We're done having kids but if we ever get another cat...!

Oh and I bumped in to Sandi, Craftyplanner in Alison Glass's booth (thanks for the churros Sandi xo!). You know what else if awesome about Sandi? She remembers to take photos. I get visiting, start oogling and then I forget-d'ohh!

I snuck in a visit with Suzanne from Camelot Fabrics and saw Elizabeth Silvers's Mod Blocks Collection. It looks super cute (and of course I forgot to take photos, see what I mean?). Speaking of these ladies, remember last Fall Quilt Market when I made the Game On quilt for Elizabeth's Game on Collection? I'm gearing up to release that pattern, called "WERD". It's an English paper piecing pattern. I'll be putting a call out for pattern testers on Instagram shortly. 

Sticking with the "ADULT" theme... wait. That didn't sound quite right. Um, you know what I mean, right?! Since my son is now technically an adult (although he'll always be my BABY!). Recommended for your playlist: I'm An Adult Now, by the Pursuit of Happiness. I secretly want to learn the dance the guy in the red coat does!

P.S. We stayed in Seaside after the show, in a place called Grandma's House. It had a lime green salon dryer! How random is that?! With an authentic cigarette tray built in! I kind of fell in love with it!

BE KIND AND PLEASE "REWIND"

Secret designing revealed-Yay! I had been sitting on this idea for a while now. I'd even started buying fabric for it but was never satisfied. It was so clear in my head how it should be. The idea was to invent the ultimate, snuggling on the couch, watching shows quilt, based off a North American test screen... Then I got another one of those emails I love! It was from Daryl of Andover Fabrics reaching out and inquiring if I'd be interested in working with Libs Elliott's latest collection called Mix Tape. Boy would I! And Mix Tape was a perfect fit! So perfectly, perfect! I'm thrilled to bring you "REWIND" a FREE pattern ready for download HERE.

I can't wait to get my hands on this new collection and sew it up!!! Until then I'll be pining away for Libs' Mix Tape collections of tiny lips, hearts, stars and skulls. Not to mention those selvages!!! Have you seen the selvages? Each print has THE BEST titles like: Tainted Love (Lysa Flower fun fact, it's my very favorite song!), Heart of Glass (YES!), Lick it up (my husband was a HUGE Kiss fan back in the day. I even did an embarrassing painting of Paul Stanley for him in high school. Maybe I'll show it to you some day... er maybe not, cringe, ha, ha!), Satisfaction (if you had to choose, Beatles or the Stones?), You Shook me (Hello AC/DC!), and more! OOh! My Cassette patterns are SCREAMING for these selvages!

Until we get the fabric in our hands to sew REWIND up, here are some RECOMMENDED TV shows for curling up on the couch with: Amazon Prime's The Marvelous Miss Maisel, The Night Manager and The Man in the High Castle. A show I watched on my own, on the nights when everyone was away, Good Girls Revolt (fingers tightly crossed they do another season!). Oh and we just started watching Sneaky Pete (totally binge worthy)!

RECOMMENDED for your play list (how could I not, this quilt is screaming for this song): The BUGGLES, 1979's Video Killed the Radio Star and here's their 2004 version. I think Prince Charles quite enjoyed it, don't you!

PART 2: ANDREA TSANG JACKSON : : 3RD STORY WORKSHOP

I hope everyone has had a chance to recuperate from heavy sugar consumption this past Easter weekend... because I have something pretty sweet for you! The second part of Andrea Tsang Jackson's (3rd Story Workshop's) interview series! Sit back, relax: we're going to start at the beginning...

1. What is the very first thing you remember making as a kid that you were really proud of?

In Grade 3, my friend and I made this picture of a butterfly and a flower out of tissue paper. It was outlined in pencil a big sheet of stiff paper (she probably drew it; I wasn't that great at drawing). We then "coloured it in" with little squares of tissue paper that we moulded on the end of pencil and glue onto the paper. The tissue paper stood up and the final look could be likened to a high-pile hand-hooked rug. It was in the end probably a couple hundred pieces of tissue paper. We got to stay in during a few recesses to finish it, because our teacher knew it was going to be an impressive piece!

2. You came to quilting when you were expecting your first child in 2011. What did you make? (Do you have a photo of it you'd like to share?)

I made a fairly traditional looking quilt with a gridded layout, sashing and borders. It was a block that I designed that depicted a crane, but one of the 12 cranes flew the opposite way to all the others. I had no idea what I was doing and I only visited one quilt shop and a chain store to gather my supplies. I hadn't a clue about the modern quilting movement. The back was sort of improvised with the leftover fabric and more "modern."

3. Are you self taught? For starting quilting in 2011 your work is very impressive, what has your quilting journey been like?

I am a self-taught quilter, but I have had extensive training and experience in the design fields. I think that this background has given me a relatively fearless approach to quilting. Anything can be made, it's a matter of whether it's worth making and how it should be made.

It's been two years since I started quilting seriously and I have learned so much in that time. There is a glut of information online to learn from, which is wonderful. I've learned so much from my guild mates, as well. The trickier part is determining what should be taken into my practice and what information or techniques are not for me.

Surrounding myself with community has been integral in pushing me forward; an encouraging word goes a long way and it's very motivating. I certainly would not have pursued quilting with such gusto had there not been people to back me. My journey has been entwined with people, both quilters and non, and that makes it worthwhile and enriching.

4. When did you start making patterns? Do you do wholesale?

I started designing patterns in early 2017, a year after I joined the MMQG. There were some people that had asked for patterns for the Gemology Collection I had launched and I thought this would be a way to add a different revenue stream to my work. The first patterns I designed were a set of four gemstones. Funny enough, the day after I release the last of the series, Princess Cut, Kat Jones' Bling won Best in Show at Quilt Con. I have since released three more paper-pieced patterns, which were spurred from commissioned works and wonderful clients. Later this month, I will release my first traditionally pieced pattern, Banner Year.

I am doing wholesale right now, mostly to shops in Canada.

5. What's next for you? Any exciting projects you can tell us about?

Currently, I am working on an exciting collaboration with award-winning singer-songwriter Meaghan Smith. I have gotten so much out of the local, Canadian and international community of quilters that I wanted to honour these people in a special way. Quilters are special people with such generous spirits, both with their work and their encouragement of each other. Meaghan, whose mother is an avid quilter, is writing a song about the quilting community and I am designing a quilt pattern to accompany the song. It will being crowdfunded through an IndieGoGo campaign. The project will be launched in late spring and to keep tabs on it, you can sign up for my newsletter HERE

6. What would you recommend for our playlists. Songs or podcasts. 

1) My favourite podcast is 99% Invisible. I think everyone should listen to it so they can understand how design influences every aspect of their lives. I have often said that design is only noticeable when it is extremely good or extremely bad. The vision for my professional life is that people will understand design and how it makes the world better, not prettier.

2) Wow in the World is an entertaining science podcast for kids with loveable characters Mindy and Guy Raz.

3) Since I am working with Meaghan Smith, I listen to a lot of her music. Well, to be honest, I listened to a lot of her music before I started working with her! Her current songs are all commissioned works through her "Our Song" project. They are very meaningful songs that honour, commemorate, and celebrate real people and relationships. Get your Kleenex out.

 

ANDREA TSANG JACKSON :: 3RD STORY WORKSHOP

Perhaps you've seen her work in the pages of UPPERCASE magazine or in an issue of Curated Quilts for her "Log Cabin A". Or was it in Quiltcon 2018 issue for her "Everyone's Got an X"? Wait, maybe you heard her on Modern Sewciety's (episode 124) podcast. But then again maybe you first found @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram. That's how Andrea landed on my radar. Her feed is pretty darn dreamy.

3rd Story Workshop named after her attic studio, Andrea embarked on an incredible project that won 1st place in the Group or Bee Quilt category at Quiltcon 2018. I saw it in person and it was jaw dropping so I think we need to start with that...

1. In 2017 you completed The Here and Elsewhere Bee (compiling nearly 1,200 immigration stories) as an Artist in Residence at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

      A) How did this project come about?

For a few months, I had the idea in my head that everyone should know what quilting looks like today. When I saw Libs Elliott's Unity quilt from New York Design Week in 2016, I thought that a public, collaborative quilt would be a great vehicle for that. In early 2017, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 put out a call for proposals to engage their visitors in an art project that would respond to an exhibit they had on display. The project was selected through the proposal process and I had the opportunity to make the idea become a reality.

      B) The project was inspired by the children's story book "Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt".  How did you come across this book and can you describe your "ah ha!" moment, when you knew you had to do this project?

I had a friend introduce me to the book in 2016, which I had never encountered before. It was such meaningful story and I thought it would be a great way to do a modern spin on a traditional quilt block. When the call for proposals came out for the artist residency at Pier 21, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity. I thought that this would be an excellent way to build a collaborative quilt and to relate visitors' experiences at the museum to their own personal story.

      C) I would imagine the project and stories were quite emotional. How did that affect the work. And you?

It's amazing to think of what is behind a single little 5" or 2.5" block -- the people whose lives were turned upside down because of war, in search of opportunities, in the quest for a more peaceful life. People come to the Canadian Museum of Immigration often on pilgrimages to honour their family members that risked a lot to make a better life. When they came to my little studio in the museum, they had just absorbed an intense amount of information about Canadian immigration. But here was where they made it personal; they paused to think about what brought their families to Canada whether it was 300 years ago or 2 years ago. And yes, it was emotional: "My grandmother raised me; she came to this port when she was a little girl. And the life I lead now is a result of that moment."... "My father was 15 when he had a gun put to his head, and asked, 'Are you with us or against us?' My choices are along the lines of, 'Should I get this car or that one?' What he went through was all so that I could have freedom." The weight of what's behind the quilt is tremendous.

The emotional impact of the piece really hit home that what I'm doing as an artist isn't only for my own self-fulfillment. The project really forced me to turn outward and see how the work and the process could affect people's experiences. This project made me realize that for me, interacting with the public is an important part of what I will do from here on in.

2. When did you move to Halifax in Eastern Canada? Where did you move from? How has that move affected your work?

I was born and raised in Ottawa, which is also where I made my first quilt and had my first baby in 2011. We moved to Halifax a year later for my husband to pursue a graduate degree. It was not until early 2016 that I joined the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild and that's how I started quilting seriously. I had no idea about the modern quilting movement before that, nor had I encountered other quilters. The community of people that I have met here and that I have since encountered online has been a huge motivator for my work. To understand the range of voices represented and how I fit in the quilting world has been informed by jumping into the MQG world.

(Check out Andrea's ETSY Halifax Map/Darthmouth 12" x 12" quilted map and post cards!)

3. Do you do all your own quilting? 

Mostly I do, but The Here & Elsewhere Bee was the first that was too big for me to accomplish myself, so I had Sheri Lund of Violet Quilts to do it for me on her long-arm. Moving forward, I will most likely do my own if it is a one-off artistic work, but if it is a pattern sample or something of the sort, I'll have it long-armed by someone else.

4. What makers tool could you not live without?

I wish I could tell you that it was more of a physical tool or notion, but I'm pretty reliant on Adobe Illustrator to make my designs come to life. It allows me to design and test ideas quickly without the commitment of cutting into fabric. I can work out how to cut the fabric and how much I need so I that I can execute a design relatively smoothly. Using Illustrator allows me to design with very few limitations -- which gets me into trouble sometimes when I'm actually sewing and creating, but I'd rather feel freedom first and then deal with the tricky bits later.

5. What's your favourite colour? What's your least favourite colour? And why for both.

I have a lot of favourite colours and they are all neutral! Black, white, grey, navy, metallic gold. I like that they go with so many other colours and in the way that I imagine them, they are decidedly modern. Moreover, when colour isn't central to the visual impact, the forms and shapes come through more clearly. These also never go out of style.

My least favourite colour is brown, but I love it when it's from a natural source like wood, leather or cork. Again, form can show through when it's a natural hue. Another one that I dislike is purple. I just don't know how to go about it. With it being this year's Pantone Colour of the Year though, I'm coming around to it by seeing its applications. I am just not sure how it will have lasting power.

6. What book are you reading right now? 

Confession: I actually... dislike reading. For someone who went to school until they were 26, I am extremely slow at it and it frustrates me. I've taken to podcasts and that way I can keep my hands busy while taking in information. I will likely be getting into audio books soon.

AND A LITTLE SNIPPET FROM NEXT TUESDAYS NEWSLETTER, PART TWO WITH ANDREA ...1) My favourite podcast is 99% Invisible.

*All photos are by Andrea Tsang Jackson or Deborah from @debisthinking

 

YOU GUYS ARE KILLING IT!

This past weekend was KER-jammed packed with all kinds of GOODNESS. First off my Instagram blew up with all kinds of Lysa Flower Pattern finishes! Kim from @iadorepattern posted her finished embroidered and bias tape LOVE cassette block. You may remember me posting about her block this past summer. LOOK at all that pinning?! Now that's a good friend. Recently Kim gifted this block to Darci @darcialexis who moved away and had a baby. Darci quilted it all up and the results are stunning! I get all, "awe", when I see babies on quilts. 

Next up Stephanie from @simplesewendipity belted out a whole BOOMBOX and a whack of CASSETTE TAPES during her #bostonmqgretreat2018. Seriously my mind was blown... I know how long those take. I can't wait to see it finished. 

Then Ashely of @amueller recently gifted a Control Freak project she made and posted about it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what she did with the cord! I always hoped my patterns would be a jumping off point and I'd one day see people putting their own twists on it. AND it's happening AND it's even better than I imagined! High fives all around!

This past weekend was the Creativ Festival show. It was LOVELY to see everyone who stopped by at our the FVMQG booth. Sherri Chalke and I were the featured Makers and we loved meeting and visiting with everyone!

The FVMQG also had a group show. I swear the show gets better and better every year. Here's a few highlights: 

Barbara Macleod's (quilt pattern Tula Pink and long-arm quilted by Kathryn Davies) "Ghost Blossoms".

Cathy Erickson's (pattern by Nydia Kehnle) "Dimensions". The FVMQG had clips on the quilts so you could look at the back. It's always so fun to look at them. I feel like it's learning someone's middle name. 

Sonja Oblak's (a block study from the MQG) "Vintage Modern". I LOVE that Sonja used a vintage table cloth and look at that hand sewing!

Kathryn Davies's (pattern Celery Sticks by Jeff Gully & Marny Buck, in Quilts du Jour) Crossroads. Look at that quilting! I love the puffy squares

I didn't post all of the quilts because we'd be here FORever... but be sure I LOVED them all.

And of course there was A LOT of shopping at the show. I stocked up on all my goodies from The Steam Trunk Craftworks! Rainbow jars of rick rack! Be still my beating heart!

RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: I might be bending the rules here (but isn't that what rules are for?! wink-wink)... check out the Foo Fighters mash up of Imagine/Jump!

 

 

SECRET SEWING, LORENA URIARTE, CREATIV FESTIVAL AND A REBEL GIRL

Secret sewing projects/designing is tricky because well... it's secret. I can't show anything yet even though my week was jam packed with secret sewing! The good news is the wait won't be that long, just to the end of the month... or worst case scenario, the first week of April. I can't wait to show you! I'm pretty tickled with who I was asked to collaborate with! Eep!

So if I can't talk about this week I'd love to tell you about March 4th. I drove up to Lions Bay and took a workshop with Lorena Uriarte. She was visiting from Australia and did a couple workshops while she was here. My only regret is I didn't take BOTH of her classes! I took her Ring Cycles class and we joyfully took on "Y" seams! Yes "Y" seams! They're really not that scary, which I can say now after taking her class. AND I realize I say this about every workshop I take. If you get a chance to take a class with Lorena, please do! You won't regret it. Hand on heart I promise.

Now on to next weekend... Creativ Festival is on March 16 & 17th! I've dropped off my quilts to the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild to hang in their booth along with Sherri Chalke's colourful, gorgeous quilts. I'll be there both day, Friday and Saturday at the booth. I've been attending the Creativ Festival show since the first FVMQG booth in 2011. It's where I stock up on all my cutting blades, needles, 505 spray, pretty pins/trims (for sending in swap packages) and the odd must haves for the year. There are deals to be had! And the FVMQG is also having another show of their quilts. If you're in town pop on by and say hi! I'd love to meet you and chat about all things sewing. 

Also if you're heading into Abbotsford for the Creativ Festival show I highly recommend making a pit stop to the coffee shop Old Hand. I just discovered it myself and seriously, I could live there... and I don't even drink coffee! Two words Cinnamon brioche. BAM best I've ever, EVER had! Then after you've had your fill walk a few doors down to Confetti Floral and prepare to be blown away. When I first walked into her store my friend kept laughing at me because every time I turned around I'd gasp at something I thought was more beautiful than the last. I can't help it. I'm a sucker for colour.

Since last Thursday was international women's day My RECOMMENDED for your play list is REBEL GIRL By Bikini Kill. One of my (of all time) favourite songs. Ooh! and you know what else?! I'd highly recommend a documentary about Kathleen Hanna (co-founder of Bikini Kill) called THE PUNK SINGER. Check it out!

I'VE BEEN MEANING TO MENTION...

A few weeks ago The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild posted about the class that I'll be teaching. The workshop is called, "How to Design a Paper Pieced Block." Here's the write up and the details: 

When I learned to paper piece (from VMQG’s very own Sonja Callaghan) my brain exploded with possibilities. There were a ton of great blocks out there already but the challenge to design my own blocks was too irresistible to not give it a whirl. I didn’t jump in right away though, it was intimidating… all those pieces!

People seem to LOVE or really not love paper piecing but I’ve never met anyone who feels indifferent about it. If you love the process and the graphic nature of it then I bet you’re ready to design your own block. All you need is a basic understanding of paper piecing and you can join me on April 22 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, as we walk through the process of designing your own individual paper pieced blocks.

Registration is open! email workshops@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca to register or to be added to the waiting list.

When: Sunday, April 22nd

Where: Croatian Cultural Center

Cost: $50 members; $65 non-members (fees are non-refundable)

Also on May 26th, I will be teaching a workshop for The Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild. The location, times and price are all still to be announced BUT we will be making Cassette Tape Zippy pouches! Small, medium and large. Yay! And if we have any left over time, maybe we can squeak in a Match Book Needle Book too! Fingers crossed. I'll keep you posted closer to the date.

Speaking of the FVMQGSherri Chalke and I have been invited to be the featured quilters at their Creative Stitches booth on March 16 and 17th at the Abbotsford Tradex. It's coming up quick AND it was a HUGE honour to be asked.

So there you go, hopefully we'll bump into each other at at least one of those venues!

Okay now for HAVE YOU SEEN: Sarah Watts' Craftedmoon enamel pins? BACK THE TRUCK UP! They're the BEST! I may have bought a few at Quiltcon...or three...but who's counting: wink, wink! And for the record, I hope they get to open that mini golf course one day!

And Last but not least RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: When deep down a Youtube rabbit hole I discovered this band called the FRIGHTS. The song is called "You are going to hate this" BUT I don't! I HEART IT!

 

#HELLOQUILTCON

I finished my Boombox bag! It's so sparkly!!! I wanted to make a subtle version of the Boombox. Question: if it's sparkly is it still subtle? I'm going to go with YES! For the inside I used all my favourite printed linens: Enchino's Deer with glasses and flowers, plus Cotton + Steel's Tiger Stripes. I'm smitten. I even made two bottle holders... why do I need two? I have no idea but it seemed like a good idea at the time! 

I'm off to Quiltcon eek! I'm SO excited (I've got butterflies in my tummy). I put it off long enough but I finally took some photos for my #helloquiltcon Instagram post.  Honestly, I'd really rather be behind the camera than in front (note to self try to look adorable). I quite enjoyed the bloopers - do you like my Rocky Balboa impression, "YO Adrian!"?!.  So, if you see someone with Tin Tin (blonde) hair, Red Sally Jessy Raphael glasses wearing a Boombox bag, it's probably me! Please grab me and say hi! I'd love to meet you!

I had some more "I'LL STOP THE WORLD AND SEW WITH YOU" patches made up for Quiltcon trade-zees. In the one card photos you can see how sparkly the Boombox bag is. Tinkerbell eat your heart out!

Okay, RECOMMENDED BOOK of the week. I slipped into Opus last week and accidentally (on purpose, hee, hee!) found Andy J Millar's new book, Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists. I recommended his podcast a few weeks ago. P.S. I think Erin Jang's, Make Work Play, illustrations needs to be a quilt don't you?

RECOMMENDED for your playlist: I have more than one song for you this time! Have you heard of Jam in the Van? Yep, it's a YouTube rabbit hole. So many possibilities!

 

 

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!"

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.

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!

 

 

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! 

 

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.