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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quilt Market Report (Day 1): Blurry, Happy People

Quilt Market — what a whirlwind! I laughed, I cried, I talked about fabric for three days straight.

Let me introduce you to some of the cast of characters:

Kim from True Up
Kim and I quickly hooked up and palled around almost the entire time. It was so nice to have someone to kick around with while my other gal pals were tied their work. I got to listen in on her interviews with designers and fabric companies about their new lines. We drank overpriced smoothies and ate something they claimed was pizza. We marveled at the lack of vegetarian offerings in the salad section. I'd say we were muy simpático.

Pam from Pam Kitty Morning
Pam and I live close enough to visit on a regular basis, but have never met. It took Quilt Market to get us together, but I'm sure we'll be talking about cats over coffee in the near future. Pam and I were fast friends. She's a generous and invaluable source of trade information from the quilter/quilt store perspective. Need some Celebrity Stunt Sewing? Pam's your gal. Here's Pam with Anna Maria Horner.

Melissa Averinos from Yummy Goods
Melissa was one of the first bloggers that I got to meet up with. Not only is Melissa a part of the blog world, she also just debuted her first fabric line with FreeSpirit/Westminster. We saw a lot of each other because the Westminster row was a great place to be with Kaffe Fassett, Heather Ross, Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Jay McCarroll, Tina Givens and other wonderful designers.

Kaffe Fassett
What's to say? He's a legend. He's the king of color. He's the ultimate fiber artist.

Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics
What an interesting woman! — and, very generous with her time. I loved hearing her talk about the fabric business. In a world that was/is slow to accept fabric online, Kathy is an early adapter and has boosted her blog by having veteran craft blogger, Joanna, from Stardust Shoes, as a guest blogger. She's a stickler for quality and described her process of getting the best and most consistent black inks. Her new Flower Fairies line is sweetly nostalgic with great reproduction quality. And, don't forget Michael Miller is also one of the first companies with an organic line.

Nicole & Phillip of Alexander Henry
If I was in search of a new BFF, Nicole from Alexander Henry would be at the top of the list. I didn't know we were talking with one of the owner/designers when Kim and I approached their booth. We started off with talking about our no-waist having selves, moved on to toddlers in the workplace, and finished with her description of their company's "analog" style of design. All of their work is hand painted in watercolor or inks. It was a refreshing combination of traditional quality with hipster sophistication. Nicole and her brother Phillip, who was by far the best dressed man at market, have taken over their father's company and are doing great things with it. Their company is refreshingly individualistic — no design-by-committee there.

Amy Butler & gang.
My first day at Quilt Market ended with cocktails at Four Seasons with Amy Butler, Heather Ross, Liesl from Oliver & S, Kim from True Up, Brooke from inchmark (graphic designer for Heather and Liesl, as well as former senior art director for Martha Stewart Kids and MSL — geesh!), and Melanie Falick and Mary Wowk from HNA/Stewart, Tabori, Chang/STC Craft: Melanie Falick Books. I drank a long, tall Texan beer and got to be in the company of intelligent, talented, and powerful women.

All of this because Heather let me tag along. Thank you, so much, H.

Stay tuned for Quilt Market, Days 2 & 3.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crafty Crow

My Kids Sweater Pants were featured on Crafty Crow today. Have you checked out all the great stuff over there? Cassi does a great job gathering up all the best kid craft ideas.

I just realized that I don't have a tutorial for the kid pants, yet. [Wonders if she should do the gnome hat or kid pant tutorial next.]

P.S. Bunny was the first correct answer — it's a Three Little Pigs project! She's been a long-time reader and commenter — spread the love, please go give her a little visit.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crafty Community

These are almost all the toys that I have made in the last couple of years. They are all the result of being inspired by the work, swaps, and suggestions of other craft bloggers. Some are my own design, some are online patterns, and some are from books.

Here's the list of my inspirations — I hope you find some, too.

Top row (left to right):

Middle Row (left to right)

Front row (left to right)
Phew! Now that was a lot of links. Enjoy!

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Mama's Got a Brand New Blog To Read

It's been a big week for fabric designer, Heather Ross. Her latest line, Mendocino — with all its mermaid-y goodness — finally hit the shops. And — perhaps even more exciting to geeky, blog addicts like me — she has a brand new blog: Weekend. I already love getting to read about the creative process and history that goes into her designs, as well as, getting a peek into her upcoming book, Weekend Sewing. I'm thinking of the blog as a temporary solution until the day when we can be same-town friends. ;)

Have a look-see and welcome her to the blogosphere with a comment or two.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

An Octopus's Garden on the Tree

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
A special *hello* to all the visitors from Soulemama. I'm so happy you are here. Take a look around and when you're done, if you want more handmade holiday love, head on over to futuregirl's amazing story about one grandmother's handmade tradition.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

If Camilla and Hilda Had a Bunny Child

Bedfellow Bunny
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
This is what happens when you use what you have at my house. Not a bad thing, just different than I had planned. I've been wanting to buy a Camilla Character for some time now, but never seem to catch them when they hatch (damn no RSS feed haver ;). Since I knew Camilla had a pattern published, I went out and bought Happy Hooker thinking I could make one of her creatures—even after reading Hillary's lament. Originally, I wanted it to be some cool, Swedish-inspired color combo, but what came out of my stash was pure Portugal. Seems I'm more naturally inclined toward Hilda's color palette.

Bedfellow Bunny with Art
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
Now, Hillary, don't feel so bad about not conquering this animal—it was a bit of a beastly bunny. The already large amount of respect I had for Camilla's work has now increased at least twofold. The asking price for her Characters is by far an excellent deal. Remember, it takes her about 10 hours to make one of them—it took me a couple days. Not to mention the materials costs, mine were around $30 (red yarn, Noro = $22; pink yarn, thrifted vintage Aunt Lydia's rayon and cotton rug yarn = $1; green yarn, some mystery cotton = $4; half bag of polyfill = $4).

My biggest challenge was probably my own fault since I didn't use the recommended yarns. And, then, I didn't even use the recommended yarn weights. I reversed them, using the heaviest yarn for the face and paws, and the lightest weight for the pants. I had to improvise the pattern to adjust for the different yarn weights (i.e. reducing the amount of stitches and rows for the paws, and increasing the stitches and rows for the pants). My first attempt at a head taught me the basics: how each body part is started, how to increase, and how to decrease.

I compounded my struggle with yarn weight because I couldn't find all my crochet hooks. I only used an H hook for all the weights of yarn. Things got really tight, my wrist and hand strength were tested and still haven't recovered. To get the hook through each stitch I had to improvise an insertion technique. Instead of pushing the top of the hook through the back of the stitch, I turned the hook around to catch the stitch and then rotated the hook back to normal holding position. A bit of crocheting acrobatics, but it worked.

I'm sure with the correct materials this project would have been a lot easier. I know I tend to be a tight knitter, so I'm probably a tight crocheter as well, and I aggravated my retentive ways by using the wrong materials. Ayurvedically speaking you would understand this as classic Pitta Kapha behavior. I wanted the stitches to be perfect. I had high expectations for quality. But, I was too lazy to get up and find the right materials, which would have made things easier. I made my way through to the end of the project by shear force.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mushroom Motif

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
For those of you who are enamored, as I am, with the magical red and white spotted mushroom (a.k.a. Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric), I've put together a list of art and crafts that features this beautiful fugus. This mushroom is the premiere fairy tale mushroom, gnomes and hookah smoking caterpillars often sit on them; I've seen Petite Blythe wearing one. It is said to make Santa's reindeer fly, and some say it is linked to the beginning of Christianity. It definitely has magical properties, as well as excellent design elements—maybe that's why we like it so much. Mushroom toys, Christmas ornaments, and children's book illustrations are lists unto themselves—perhaps a future project.

—Mushroom Art: Art Installation, Roman Graffiti, NYC graffiti, Sand Sculpture
—Mushroom Clothing: Skirts & Aprons by Made With Love by Hannah, and Applique T-shirt by Cupcakesorbet
—Mushroom Fabric: Japanese, Heather Ross, Vintage
—Mushrooms Crocheted by: Angharad, Oh Sew Pretty, Comfits & ElizabethD
—Mushrooms Felted by: Wol&Zo
—Mushroom Cozies by: Ask Anke (you'll have to scroll down for this one) & Axelhoney
—Mushroom Quilt by: 3j0hn
—Mushroom Pincushion by: Wataame
—Mushroom People by: Axel Honey
—Mushroom Softie by: Laureski Kolaure
—Mushroom Handbag by: Laureski Kolaure
—Mushroom Brooches by: My Little Odd Forest
—Mushroom Hat by: Dina Ladina

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

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