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Posts Tagged ‘Fabric’

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Ahem. If I can draw your attention away from that beautiful photo for a minute, I’d like to take a minute to express my gratitude. On February 16, my little blog turned one year old. Time indeed flies. A year ago, I really knew nothing of blogging. Oftentimes, I suspect I still don’t…

In typical fashion, I threw myself into my new interest in a — dare I say? — obsessive manner. I spent the grand majority of the past year learning as much as I could about blogging, bloggers, social media, online networking and the like. I currently follow 128 blogs, of which about 90 are sewing related, 20 food, 10 wedding, and the rest philosophy/art. I’ve learned quite a bit with this daily reading (and yes, I read each post!), but as you can imagine it takes up a good chunk of time. At the same time that I was stashing away information, collecting recipes, tutorials, and inspiration, I also began working on building my own little fabric stash. Point being, I have been preparing. For a year. I think I can quite safely move out of “data collection” mode and into action, yes? My goal for the upcoming year, then, is to read less, do more.

Before I can turn the page on last year, however, I have two orders of business to take care of. First, back to that beautiful box of fabrics…do you know what that is? Those are, quite literally, the spoils of reading 128 blogs! As any of you who follow craft blogs regularly are well aware, a perk of reading craft blogs is the phenomenon of the giveaway. Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways. They’re everywhere! And I’m grateful to report that everything in that picture was won on various blog giveaways over the course of the past year. I wasn’t able to bring myself to cut into them until I had them properly documented, thanks were given, and I spent enough time just sitting around looking at them. So let’s do that so I can use them! Wanna look at them too?

The first giveaway I ever won was this charm pack of Punctuation by Sandy Klop for American Jane. Many thanks to Heather from Mountain Home Quilts.

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Shortly thereafter, I won the following fat quarter by my favorite fabric designer ever, Anna Maria Horner, in home deco weight from her Drawing Room collection. Thanks to Jenny from Stumbles & Stitches. Jenny, I may need your expertise, as I’ve been commissioned to make a Dad Bag myself for my brother-in-law!

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In a fun giveaway from Sarah at Stash Resolution, I got to pick my own selection of 6 fat quarters from Sarah’s new Etsy shop, Swell Cloth. It was hard to narrow down the choice, but I ended up with the following gorgeous mix of fabrics, including some Joel Dewberry, Heather Bailey, and Bliss by Bonnie & Camille. Thanks, Sarah!

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Back before the holidays, Kelly at Stitch-n-Lounge gave away this great collection of green and pink fabrics from the Sweet Broderie collection — perfect for a mod holiday project. Now that the holidays are a distant memory, I’m starting to reconsider, and am thinking of how cute these would be in a project for my baby niece due in June, thanks to Kelly.

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Food blogs do in fact do giveaways as well, if a little less frequently. The way I look at it, most food blogs are doing giveaways in the form of a recipe on a daily basis! I won a whole collection of recipes from Lara over at Good Cook Doris, another local Boston blog. Now, the intent is for Mr. Manly to use this to book to cook food for me, but… well, I think we’ll both be happier if I hoard the cookbooks and he sticks to eating all the leftovers. Many thanks, Lara!

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During the December Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I was super excited to find out I had won a bundle of fat quarters from Mo Bedell’s Party Dress line…from Mo Bedell herself! My goodness. I’m still slightly awed by my run in with fabric celebrity. Thank goodness my sister is having a girl, because these are gonna make some darling baby things. Much gratitude to Mo.

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Most recently, during Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitch Along hosted by Lark Books, I won a copy of Aimee’s latest book, Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, along with a pair of embroidered napkins that were photographed for one of the projects in the book. Those will most definitely be staying on display for a while! Scroll down a couple of posts to see some of the pieces I embroidered using her patterns — there’s an entire woodland motif section, so I can’t wait to do more! Thanks to Aimee, and be sure to check out her gorgeous blog, little dear tracks, for more embroidery fun.

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(As an aside, please feel free to compliment me on my artistic use of the blur feature on Piknik to fade out the massive cat hair that was ruining my otherwise nice picture of those oh-so-white napkins. Jo: 1, Zoe: 0)

Finally, I won a $5 credit to the Yummi Designs store on Etsy, which I’m putting towards this awesome little clutch. Thanks Alycia, and thanks to Kirsten and Jordan at kojodesigns for hosting the giveaway!

And in the spirit of giveaways, just wanted to say hello to Kim of Pokeytown Kim, the winner of the apron, fabric, and buttons giveaway I did back in December. A former South Shore gal like myself, Kim is now in snowy New York and is a very talented quilter and sweet lady.

Wasn’t that fun? On a related note, I really enjoy sharing fun finds, blogs, tutorials and the like with people who will appreciate them. Translation: I annoyingly spam my friends’ and family’s inboxes with hyperlinks on a regular basis. I recently got an invite to join Pinterest, and am totally hooked! Basically, Pinterest works like a virtual pinboard, where you can store all your bookmarks, but see them as photos. For a visual person like myself (who generally operates under the “out of sight, out of mind” principle), this thing is genius. I already have my recipes covered with Recipe Nut, and will stick with that for food, but Pinterest is already fantastic for tutorials and wedding inspiration. You can find me on Pinterest here; joining is by invite only, so if you’d like to join, just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to send you an invite. Here’s a sample of what one of my pinboards looks like:

Now for that second and last order of business before I can move into my second year of blogging. You didn’t think I’d just gloat about all the giveaways I’ve won without giving a little something back to the universe, did you? See, I’ve had the hankering to make cookies. Like many a soon-to-be-bride, however, I’ve unfortunately found myself on a diet for the past few months (SHHHH! The Hungry Crafter on a diet? Say it ain’t so!?!?) So, my question is: is there anyone out there who might like to help me eat cookies? In celebration of one year of blogging?

Leave me a comment below, and I’ll figure out some random way of fairly picking a winner to get cookies made by me. In fact, the winner can even take their pick of any cookie/bar in my recipe box over on Recipe Nut. Or roll the dice on “chef’s choice.” It’s up to you. You deserve cookies. And I deserve to eat one or two before packing them all away and shipping them off to you to ensure no further cookie temptation remains in my house. Sound like a plan? Oh, let’s put an end date on this — I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, March 6th. Happy new blog year, y’all. I’m looking forward to it.

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Summer time thieves #2

As promised, part two of “Where has the summer gone?”:  the always fun (and dangerous) fabric shopping. Now, I should preface all this by saying that I truly do not NEED any more fabric. I have plenty. P-L-E-N-T-Y. But, there’s been what I like to call extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstance #1: a trip to NYC!

I don’t think I have words to say what a fabulous time I had. Dear old friends from childhood, friends from college, new friends, and of course the best boyfriend in the world, not to mention more booze than you can shake a stick at. Plus some amazing food as well, of course, but more on that (with photos) in a later post.

Work’s been extremely busy, so we ended up rolling into Penn Station around 10:30 Friday night without a plan for the weekend, other than one: I would finally get to visit what I imagined to be the mecca of all fabric lovers, Purl Soho. The pilgrimage took place the next day in the midst of a sweltering New York afternoon. After filling our bellies in the Lower East Side, we took a long, lazy walk over to Purl Soho, where my non-sewing friends kindly browsed the store with me for a few minutes before excusing themselves to congregate at a bar around the corner to watch the US get knocked out of the World Cup.

I was left in peace. Too overcome by the bolts of fabric surrounding me to notice the coolness of the air conditioner, I made my way through the store in a trance-like state: eyes darting, fingers touching. One lap around the store, then two, slowly converging on my prey. My credit card said no, but my fingers felt the soft drape of the Liberty cotton lawn — begging to become a beautiful summer shirt to accompany me through the rest of these hot summer days — and my heart said yes. I would do it. The fabric would be mine.

Now, I of course don’t have a *pattern* yet, but…details, details. Part of me thinks I’ll just do a simple tank top, using the pink for straps and edging; the other part thinks I should hold out for something a bit more substantial, with flirty cap sleeves, and the pink used for a waistband insert.

What I loved about Purl Soho was the simplicity. It was smaller than I expected (as were most of the places I visited in New York–I underestimate the limited real estate there), but it was absolutely a store of quality over quantity. (I feel compelled to add that they’ve recently redone their online store as well, and the quantity matches quality there. Yowsa.) The store has a stunning layout, and is a true feast for the eyes. I also picked up a couple of packs of high-quality wool felt in an assortment of colors, plus some shot cotton solids and a couple of beautiful prints to make handbags that have been designing themselves in my head:

I took a deep breath, hid the receipt in the far reaches of my bag, never to be looked at again, and rejoined my friends at the Broome St. Bar for a couple of good English pints. Ahhh. What an afternoon.

Extenuating circumstance #2:  fabric.com sale

I believe I’ve mentioned previously that my favorite fabric designer is Anna Maria Horner. She creates gorgeous fabrics in bright bold colors and modern designs that I just adore. SO, of course when I read on the Brown Paper Packages blog that fabric.com was having a major sale that included some of Anna’s fabrics, well… Justification is such an ugly word, so let’s say that I took advantage of an excellent opportunity:

Cool colors

Warm colors

And finally, for good measure, I’d like to introduce you to Owlie, who just felt the need to pop in and play with the fabrics along with me. I made him over the winter from a kit I purchased from Fancy Tiger. I had intentions of eventually posting some sort of step-by-step post on how I made him, but he just didn’t want to wait any longer for an introduction. Hello, Owlie.

And last but not least, a collection of fabrics for a pair of new pillowcases:

Oh. I’m sorry. When I said “last but not least,” did that sound like that was the end of my fabric shopping adventures? Oh, no, my friends. Oh no.

Extenuating circumstance #3: link to new fabric store + coupon + glass of wine = forgetful spending

So I finally banned myself from buying any more fabric once I discovered that I forgot that I had placed a particular order of fabric. Bad, bad, bad. But did I mention cute, cute, cute? Check out these lovely Japanese fabrics from Crybaby’s Boutique:

Too cute!

And there we have it (OK, well not completely, I actually got a couple of not-pictured knits while I was at it). Phew. Now that I’m officially banned from buying more fabric, perhaps I’ll get some sewing done? Or are there MORE summer time thieves lurking around the corner? Perhaps something to do with my ultimate distraction? We ARE in the middle of farm share season after all… Once again, to be continued…

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