Monday, July 23, 2012

an engaging post

...about fishing??? Are you kidding? Well, here's the story. Fishing, or more accurately the activity known as "fishin", is just one of the many things I've tried in the last year or so. It's safer and more relaxing than skiing, but at least I don't actually fall asleep while going down a ski run. And within five minutes of being out on one of the lakes up here, I'm asleep on the bow of the boat. Can't help it. Something about the sound  and the motion just puts me right out. It's a little embarrassing really.  So I haven't gotten much use out of my fishing license or the tackle box full of the cutest, sparkliest, and most pink lures I could find. But the outdoor air can be awfully nice.

 Let me introduce you to Porkchop Rock. That's one of the sights to behold on Spicer Reservoir. Didn't catch any fish there.

Here's one of the lovely views from Wolf Creek. A place we had to hike to get to.  BTW?
I don't hike. Had to hold onto two men for dear life crossing one area. That had no path. And was steeper than any ski slope I'd ever go near. Discovered how strong a current can be when crossing a small bit of river. Again with the man-clutching. Didn't catch any fish there, either.

Now here, this is my favorite lake.  It's Lake Alpine. Didn't catch any fish there, either. But there are nice smooth boulders to sit on while you listen to the birds chattering in the nearby trees and you hear the "plop" sounds of the fish as they leap out of the water mocking you. It's so peaceful there when you wait until everyone has left and you have the whole place to yourselves. And then something happens to make this lake become a Favorite Place.


And you suddenly find yourself willing to use up some of your favorite pieces of fabric. Like this one from the year 2000. Because sewing must be done. And quilting must be done. And planning and decorating and fussing over details must be done. I'm already trying to calculate how many miles
of double wedding ring table runners must be completed.

So unlike some quilters' blogs, this isn't a quilt along. Not exactly. It's more like a wedding journal with a whole lot of fabric thrown in. I do hope you'll come along for the ride--I'm really looking forward to sharing it all with you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

still more catching up

It seems like ages ago that I first blogged about my latest At Home probably was ages ago.
Well, I'm happy to report that it's done now. And adds some much needed color to the room. And gave
me an excuse to go to Pottery Barn for a couple of pillows.

 Speaking of pillows...I finally located my monogrammed embroidered linen pillow top. If you don't remember it--and who could blame you--that's another "from ages ago" project that was discussed and then never came up again. I feel badly because I literally lost the thing...and feel even worse since I asked if anyone wanted it as a pattern and I got pretty positive feedback on that. All I can say is that it'll happen
"someday"--I've got a couple of big events coming up this fall and so embroidery is kinda on the back burner for now.

There's a big quilt show in October here in Murphys at the beautiful Ironstone winery. I'll be vending at that show and have LOTS to get ready for. More information, links, etc to follow once I get
back to being able to use my primary computer. 

There's also another event coming up that I'm pretty excited about and will also be discussing that one soon as well. 

If after my last post you're thinking I've gone nuts with pink and green little girl dresses...not to worry. I've gone nuts on little girl twirly skirts, too. I tell you--if these had been around when I was little? I'd
have been all over them. This is another Little Lizard King pattern and as far as I'm concerned all these skirts cost me was a bit of elastic and a mile or so of thread. Not sure I've complained adequately about all the seam finishing these garments require. And backstitching. Quilting sure spoils a person, you know?

These skirts were chosen because I'm determined  not to hoard fabric anymore and all I had was
a teeny bit of this adorable Japanese cupcake fabric. I think it would be super cool to twirl around
in a skirt with cupcakes on it and hopefully there are a couple of little girls who might just feel the same

If all this girly stuff is boring you silly--don't worry that's the last of it for awhile. Next up will be more quilts. And stuff.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the one about pretty pink ruffles

So where have I been? Here...and really busy. Making stuff even. But it's really hard to blog when your
iMac decides to keep you from getting at any of your photos. And I figure it's tough enough to be interesting without trying to do this without pictures. 

This whole thing started when I moved up here and brought a whole lot of fabric with me. Embarrassingly enough, I had more than an entire car's worth of fabric to donate and still had plenty to spare. Case in point--partial bolts of my favorite "Darla" and "Ava Rose" collections--which I'd been partially hoarding for the last few years. Of course I could make quilts...but to be honest I wanted to do other things. I wanted to get back to the place where I enjoyed sewing. Just for the pleasure of it.

I also decided it could be fun to make things to sell--both from my own patterns (I'm quite fond of them, after all) as well as patterns designed by others. 

As these ideas began to come together, I started looking for patterns. Little girl dresses seemed a logical place to start since I had oodles of pretty fabrics. And a ruffler foot. 

I'm not going to get into copyright issues here...but at the risk of opening a can of worms will address that some one of these days. But...turns out there is a world of patterns out there where the designers not only permit you to make things to sell from their patterns, but they actually encourage it. But more on that later. 

So far these little dresses have been a blast to make. For the most part, anyway. I figure I'll go ahead and praise those patterns I've really enjoyed using--because if you're interested, you might want to check them out for yourself.  I've discovered a couple of really horrific patterns as well...and it's probably best that I just don't talk about those. 

So without further ado...

This first dress is called the "Grace Ruffle Dress" and it's by Funktional Threads. I only made one
of these since it really does eat up the fabric, but I'm totally in love with the tiered back of the dress.
The pattern was effortless to follow and I'd have no problem making more. And just might--the dress is very versatile.

Next up? The "Darla" jumper made out of (duh) "Darla" fabric! This dress is by Kati Cupcake.
This one was really fun to make...but if you don't have a passion for ruffling, it might be a little
tedious. Instructions were fantastic. Took a bit longer to make than the amount of time I figure I should spend...but if I had an actual little girl to sew for? I'd be choosing this dress for sure.

So I got introduced to which is a great site for PDF patterns. And wow did
I ever get into trouble there. Some of the patterns are...ummm...a bit simpler than the first
terms of construction and finishing techniques, etc, but I figure not every dress has to be an heirloom. Some can just be cute dresses, you know?

One of my favorite pattern discoveries is a company called Little Lizard King. The patterns are idiot
simple to follow and I think fall into that category of just cute fun clothes. If you're a stickler for bodice linings being neat and tidy, this might not be the dress for you, but you can't deny it's adorable. And after making the littlest one? I had to make one in each size up to 4T. Just because I couldn't stop.

Another company I've tried is Pink Poodle Bows.  More simple yet really sweet garments. I was
smitten by the way this dress ties in the back. Made 5 of these as well--each slightly different.

 Here's another Little Lizard King design--loved the little apron but plain didn't seem right. The rick rack, which I tend to count on to save the day--well, it wasn't enough either. So I made this patch and love how it turned out.  Just the right little touch.

So here's the end result of all that gathering and ruffling and ohgoodgrief SEAM FINISHING!

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