Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sewing Summit 2012 Recap

I was thrilled to attend the second Sewing Summit conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. I'd never even been to Utah before, and it was a big trip getting there from Texas. I was excited to travel with two Austin Modern Quilt Guild members, and I was pumped my Mom, Karen, made it to Utah from Louisiana to attend Sewing Summit as well.

I was exhausted on the way up, because I stayed up too late two nights in a row working on my Everything Bag from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones book. Oops. It turned out cute, and it came in handy, but being tired was no fun. I wish I had made it sooner. Look forward to a long post about this bag on Friday!

In addition to my Mom, I was lucky to have a great roomie in Cori from Let's Eat Grandpa. In what crazy awesome world do you reach out for a roommate on a Google group forum and find someone as fun, smart, and talented as amazing Cori? That's just the magic of the quilting community, it seems. Man, we had some goods laughs amidst our sleep-deprived delirium.

Shop hopping with Mom on the bus was a blast. It was kind of like the Magical Mystery Tour with Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations instead of Ringo and fabric instead of spaghetti. We learned how to make fabric flowers at Yellow Bird Fabrics, I won a charm pack at Pine Needles for having a thimble in my purse, and I scored yards of beautiful fabric at Material Girls.

Salt Lake City was charmingly walkable, and the free Trax train came in handy. We did a significant amount of walking between the sprawling lodge room hallways in the Little America hotel and wandering around downtown. There were emergency shoe and bandaid purchases to cope with blisters and lots of barefoot action hoping toes would heal quickly!

It was so. much. fun. meeting people in person! I bumped into Karen Linton, and Bianca from Sweet Diesel Designs spotted me the morning of the shop hop when I was still soooooo tired. I ran into Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter in the hall, and I gushed that I had been following her blog for-EV-err. Ya know, Sandlot style. Ok, forever in quilt blog world for me is summer 2011, but still. I was pumped to meet Michelle from magical Michelle Patterns. Jeni Baker sweetly complemented me on my Everything Bag during the Craftsy happy hour. She's so nice :-) Doesn't that make the late nights of sewing worth it? Super awesome Katie Blakesley from Swim Bike Quilt and her sister sat down next to me to work in one of the sewing rooms on Saturday night, another time when I was completely exhausted. I also met Laura Lochore from Quokka Quilts that night, and we shared our love of Kate Spain's Terrain fabric. You see where I'm going with this. Non-stop greatness seeing the super talented folks whose work you admire and whose words you love to read.

Socializing on zero sleep isn't all you do at Sewing Summit. I also went to awesome classes and lectures in my foggy state. I took a class on the Baby Lock Imagine Sergers and was blown away. I didn't drop $1,500 on one, but I sure wanted to. I battled the Baby Lock Grace machine in Alexia Abegg's super fun Ship Shape Tote class, but the Elizabeth machines were more manageable in Curves Class with Christina from The Sometimes Crafter. The lectures were rocking. I learned so much about how to get better blog photos from Vanessa Hewell, and Melissa Esplin gave me some great pointers on my blog in the website design class, after which I met Emily Herrick from Crazy Old Ladies

I enjoyed hearing Joel Dewberry speaking and chatting with Erin Singleton and other gals in the bar at the Little America. Kudos to her for having any energy at all. 

I definitely confirmed I need to practice my traveling skills. I packed more than I needed, broke out in a rash, woke up with a puffy eye one morning, got a headache from altitude sickness, forgot to cut some fabric before class and ran back to my room to slice and iron. That actually worked out ok since there were only a couple of irons in the sewing room ;-) In any case, please hit me with your sewing trip traveling tips! I need to improve.

If you have any specific questions about Sewing Summit, feel free to ask me! It was such a blur of awesomeness. I will definitely try to go again. Like I tweeted, it was fun turning the Little America Hotel into a giant, crafty dorm. I wish I'd felt better so I could have done some more late night sewing, but I was lacking the endurance at altitude ;-) Anybody want to organize a Sewing Summit closer to sea level? I'll be there!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop

Hooray! It's my day on the blog hop :-D I still haven't fully recovered (or unpacked) after getting back from Sewing Summit on the 14th. I know. It's pathetic.

Salt Lake City was awesome, but I'm glad to be back in Austin, Texas. It seems we'll be having summer here clear through to the holidays, so I thought I'd take inspiration from a spot in this capital city. Among other things, Austin is known for bats which live under the Congress Street bridge in the heart of downtown. For a few months of the year, they emerge by the thousands at dusk to put a dent in the insect population. Thanks bats! There's a beautiful spinning bat statue south of the bridge that brings a smile to my face every time I pass it.

Ok, I'm usually headed home from a fabric store when I pass it, but the point is I'm smiling. I love the brightly colored Pride of Barbados flowers and the various yuccas planted around the base of the statue. I'm a very specific breed of plant and quilt nerd ;-)

You know my EPP Rose Star project is deep into its tenth month with no sign of a plan (or an end) in sight. I figured I would make a block inspired by this photo to add to the pile. I used the gray of the metal bat sculpture, the blue of the sky, the green of the foliage, and the red, orange, and yellow of the Pride of Barbados flowers to inspire this latest Rose Star block.

I don't have a block with so much concentrated red in the mix, yet, so I'm glad to add this one to the pile. If you're interested in learning how to make these blocks, Clare at selfsewn wrote the tutorial that changed my life.

If you've just stumbled into this magical blog hop, take a peek at more Rose Star magic from my pal Lucy at Charm About You. She finished a Rose Star block inspired by her home of Manchester, England. Love it! Tomorrow, the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop will check in with Em at Sewing By Moonlight. If you want to keep following along, Laura's got a list of tour dates on Quokka Quilts.

This post is part of the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop.  From 1st October - 30th November we are hopping all over the world EPP-ing in some fantastic locations.  Check out the full list here and be sure to check out the other participants. On 30th November it's over to you to link up for a chance to win these fabulous prizes! Sponsored by Paperpieces.comFabricwormPink Castle Fabrics  Marmalade Fabrics, the Fat Quarter ShopWantItNeedItQuilt, and Aurifil.
Full details for competition entry can be found here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

September 2012 Recap

Boom goes the dynamite. Apparently it's October.

Well, I guess I better take a break from sewing like a maniac and show you what all I've been up to.

Etsy Shop Open!

Creating an Etsy shop was never my main goal, but everyone was always asking about it. So there ya go: an Etsy shop. The real reason I built up some inventory to open an Etsy shop was to apply for the Renegade Holiday Fair in Austin later this year. They asked for a link to an online shop or portfolio as part of the application process. I don't have a lot of items in the shop, and I may not get selected, but I'm glad I finally have this outlet. 

Pouch Palooza

Taadaa! I'm starting to feel better about zippers. I love making these square-bottomed pouches, but I need to branch out a little bit to some lined flat pouches box pouches and  I'm rather partial to obnoxious colored zippers.

iPad Cases

I made three of these lovelies this month, but somehow one didn't get photographed before it ran away. I found I like closing these better with velcro than with magnetic snaps. Probably better for the iPad anyway. Hand stitching the binding takes a little longer, but it looks so nice on the finished case. It doesn't help for making it a profitable endeavor, but there is one for sale in the Etsy shop.

X Marks the Spot Quilt

I was so happy to finish this first do. Good Stitches quilt for the Cheer circle. I highly recommend this tutorial from SewCraftyJess!

Rose Star Block 15

I'm losing steam on these what with all of the other sewing getting in the way. I have a lot of traveling coming up in the next two months. I need to prepare by cutting out some blocks so I have some hand sewing to take with me :-)

Pink Striped Baby Quilt

I love this Quilt Blocks fabric! This little quilt is up in the Etsy shop.

Gray Striped Baby Quilt

This is the other Quilt Blocks baby quilt up in the Etsy shop. I really love both color ways :-)

Water Everywhere Baby Quilt

Oh, I adored this Salt Air print from the first time I spotted it. I was glad to find it on sale so I could craft up a very affordable quilt to put up in the Etsy shop.

Pressing Board


Phew! Even the recap is wearing me out. I'd love to go into more detail about all of this fun stuff. I look forward to getting some blogging in between now and Sewing Summit. Yay!

Happy October, everyone!