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Monday, September 29, 2008

Can you guess...

what the theme of this WIP is? Think fairy tale.

Looking at this stack makes me wonder about other people's stashes. I feel like my pieces of stash look bulky and not neatly stored compared to everyone else. Are y'all just buying little fat quarters? Two-yard lengths just don't display like those tidy piles I see around the craftosphere. I'd like to have tidy piles, too, but I definitley can't make my self a shirt out of a fat quarter.

First correct guess about the fabric wins a little surprise something.

Speaking of winning — Joanna never claimed her sweater apron prize. Joanna, if you are out there, please drop me an email, so I can send it off. I'll wait a couple more days, until Friday, Oct. 3, then I'll draw another name.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

If I Could Design Our Flag

It might look something like this:

During the few hours of free time I had up in Seattle, thanks to my sister's online scouting for me, I got to find the cool fabric store -- and, shop without children, I might add. You know it'll be interesting when a fabric store is fronted by faux fur and Japanese prints. Although it's not a large shop, Stitches has so many fun and exciting things to look at, touch. I finally got my hands on the Naomi Ito linen that I've been eying online, but was too afraid to bite into without seeing it first. Then, by the counter, I spied rolls of the lightest Italian wool jersey in two stripe-y colorways. These were the two fabrics I came home with. They are both things I can't get in my own town. I *love* both of them. And, Amy, the owner was very pleasant, turning me onto the good independent coffee right up the street.

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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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Friday, January 25, 2008

Sneak Peek: New Heather Ross Fabrics

***Update #2***
You can see pics of this line over at Heather's website.

Sneak Peek is over while we anxiously await the finalized designs.

I'm excited to reveal a preview of some new, almost-finished fabric designs by Heather Ross. The line comes out in May from Westminster. See the collection together over here. I can't wait to make something out of the mermaids or the seahorses or the seaweed — perhaps a shirt for me, something similar to Meg's cutest evah Western.

***Coming up soon***
My namedropping post, wherein I will explain: how Tony Bennett called me, "Baby;" why Heather Ross is my new best friend; who I have in common with Britney Spears; and more!

P.S. Heather also has a new website in the works, so we'll be able to keep up to date on what that crafty gal is up to. Have you seen this project she did for Home Companion?

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Thursday, November 15, 2007


I thought I'd put in a little plug for my local independent yarn and fabric shops. I love my online shopping, but the in-person experience has much to offer, too: like the time I brought in a quilt top to Round Robin looking for a sashing fabric and a customer started to help me before we'd even spoken; or, the time Khristine let me in The Swift Stitch to shop when she was closed; or, the wonderful events at Luminous Threads, like the meet-n-greet with Heather Ross.

These are the stores I keep coming back to. If you are ever in the area be sure to say hi to these kind, hard-working folk.

The Swift Stitch
Luminous Threads
Hart's Fabrics
Round Robin Fabrics
The Yarn Place

Who are your locals? If you post about your local yarn and/or fabric shops let me know in the comments so we can all visit.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Sprinkle of Scraps


Here is a sprinkling of the scraps that I received from the kindly Emily in Linda's Patchwork and Scrap swap. The top three are vintage Japanese kimono fabric. The bottom three are Norwegian, I think. I'm all confused because, for a long time, I was thinking Emily lived in Finland. Ah, mamabrain — it took my vocabulary and my short-term memory. Emily has recently unveiled her wonderful blog, Ravenhill. Go check it out. She has lovely photos.


Thanks for waiting, Emily. My package to you is still sitting in a box by my front door. Bad swapper, no donut. :(

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Craft Guilt: A Tale of Giveaways, Swaps, and Two Emilys

Vintage Fabric Rainbow
Ah, the craft guilt. Know what I'm talking about? Bitter Betty wrote about it and did something about it, too — she became pro-craftive and has been checking off craft chores left and right. Me? I'm just sitting around wondering when the hell I'm going to make good on my blogiversary gift for Emily. That was back in January for crying out loud. I'm stuck. I can't seem to hatch another chicken pincushion.

While I haven't been making Emily's gift (she's been so patient) I've signed up for swaps and worked on lots of personal projects, each time feeling at least a twinge of guilt, knowing I should be working on her project. Recently, I signed up for a patchwork & scrap swap set up by the lovely Linda P. I chose to swap with someone in Finland. Guess what her name is — Emily. I can't live with the guilt anymore — two Emilys overdue is too many. It's double or triple craft guilt at this point. Not only am I seeing another Emily, I'm late with my swap to her, too. ¡Ay, caramba! And, this, just before the big handmade holiday craft push. It must be resolved I tell you.

This sounds like I don't enjoy swaps and giveaways. I do, I do, but they torture me. I like to have deadlines, they usually kick my procrastinator butt into at least low gear — but, they do add an element of discomfort. Can you say craft masochist? Why put myself through this rigmarole when I could live in deadline-free luxury? It's the people. I love this silly craft community. Hi, my name is Michelle, and I have online friends. I enjoy sending a little handmade love into the world. It just takes me for friggin' ever!

So, Emily #1: is your heart set on a chicken pincushion? Can I make something else? Another style of pincushion? A mini quilt? A stack of vintage scraps, like the one in this photo — the one I'm sending to Emily #2? Oh, the guilt.


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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fabric Swap Contribution: Sew-Your-Own Dolls

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Finally, I'm back online — our network was down — feels like forever, but I think it was only a week. Isn't it amazing how much you can get done when that happens?

These are a few of the fat quarters that I hand-printed for Bethany's swap. They're supposed to be sew-your-own dolls. I was inspired by a batik doll that I saw in a 70s kid craft book. I'll try to find it and scan it, but you know how that goes.

First, I needed a crash course in batik. Thanks, Sara. I think I called her twenty times that first day, when she loaned me her supplies. Then, I needed my own supplies. Thanks, Dharma Trading Co. Their stuff only took one day to get to me UPS Ground.

Several 1 a.m. nights and a week later I had eight sew-your-own dolls. They definitely have a bit of a creepiness that I'm digging. Finally, I got my dreary element I've been searching for in my craft. Who knew I'd find it with batik. I used some fabric pens to draw details and felt like I was cheating.

The top photo is Little Red Riding Hood. The second one I made specifically for Beth because she's got a collection of show-your-guts dolls. The third is a Franken-alice of sorts. She was born with a black eye. And, lastly, a gnome. Could have seen that one coming. I'm keeping him and have already sewn him up. I'll try to get photos of that, too, as well as the prototype. More photos over at Flickr.

I forgot to mention that I was a bit creeped out by the warnings on all the dyes, chemicals, and soaps that I used for this project and will be soon following in the footsteps of two inspirational natural dyers, Simmy and Siri. In addition to plant matter I think I'll delve into the world of mushroom dyeing, which I've been itching to do ever since I found some dyers polypore. I love it when craft interests collide — mushrooms and dyeing, sigh.

So much to do, so little time.

P.S. Even though I always turn up as Snape when I do those online quiz things, I really want to be Mrs. Weasley when I grow up. Sorry, Frick.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mushroom Madness: Cuppa

Mushroom Madness: Cuppa
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
This mushroom mug was made by a local artist. Unfortunately, I've lost her card and don't remember her name.

The sun was too bright for a photo so I hung up this fabric that I got in the mail yesterday. D liked it so much we might end up with it as curtains in this unfinished room of our little house.

The muffin is an old favorite, oat bran with apples and prunes, from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. Here's the recipe with my small modifications.


1 cup chopped peeled apples
1 cup chopped pitted prunes
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup yogurt (I used vanilla, but it calls for plain)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites or 1 egg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel (I only do this sometimes)
2 cups oat bran (I substite half white flour, which helps hold the muffin together)
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or butter muffin tins.

Cut apples and prunes into chunks. They recommend peeling, but it's ok with the peel. Set aside.

Whisk together maple syrup, yogurt, oil and egg. Combine the dry ingredients. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just wet. Stir in the chopped apples and prunes.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. The cups should be filled almost to the top because they don't rise much.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Fungus and Fabric

After two weeks of flu my son and I escaped the black hole that is our home and had great adventures in town and outdoors. We foraged for fabric and fungus and were successful with both--thrift store solids and small prints ($6US); and a couple handfuls of perfect chanterelles (free)! Exercise, dinner, and future crafts/clothing all for under ten bucks.

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