Monday, February 28, 2011 has spoken

When I typed the title I couldn't help but here the imperious, commanding voice of the "wizard" in the original Wizard of Oz when he boomed, " The great Oz has spoken." Just thinking about it makes me quake a little.
Today's announcement of winners shouldn't make you quake, though. It should make you smile if you happen to be one of the 3 winners or sigh and exclaim, " I'll outfox the random number generator next time." And you know that there will definitely be a next time.
So, without further delay, here are our giveaway winners.
The fat eighths bundle, courtesy of The Fabric Quarter goes to:
She said:
Who can resist fabric folded so beautifully!!!!

And a  copy of my new pattern, Color Wheel Coasters and Pot Holders, goes to:
Susan in Seattle!
She commented:

Your ideas are a constant inspiration! Just love the color combos you use. I wouldn't turn down anything you're giving away...everything is so exciting!I'm also giving away a second copy of the pattern to:
Calamity Jane/Bonnie who commented:
Love all your projects and would (dye) for a chance for this pattern and fabric.
If you, Andi, will please email me at with your address and you, Susan and Bonnie, will send me your email addresses, I will get your prizes to you faster than Dorothy can click her ruby slippers and say(all together now), " There's no place like home."

Before I sign off I did want to encourage y'all to pop on over to Modern Day Quilts and check out the nice post Heather put together about my new version of the Strips and Bricks quilt.

Hey, I just realized that the giveaway post had a Wizard of Oz reference in its title. Hmm...what could that mean?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pot holders, coasters, giveaway...oh my

Finally. I'm back in this space. I had originally planned on posting mid-day, but this has just been one of those days. I won't bore you with the details, but as an example, I dropped off middle daughter to work out, then dropped off littlest at a babysitting job, finally got home, sat down, and then got a call from middle that she was ready to be picked up. I had just barely touched behind to chair when the call came.
Anyway, I'm here and I'm ready to show off my newest pattern and giveaway fabric. So, put your behinds in chairs(not a requirement, just a suggestion) and we'll get started.
First off, check out the cute, little promo image I made for the pattern.
I made each letter a different color and I'm not computer savy enough to do that in one fell swoop, so I had to do it
Did I mention that this pattern actually teaches you how to make the template piece yourself, using your very own plate that is probably sitting in you cupboard anxiously awaiting some purpose other than holding your strudel? 
Did I also mention that this pattern includes information about exactly which Moda Cross Weave cottons I used to make the sample color wheels?
Did I mention that I'm giving away 2 copies of this pattern to one of you lucky and potentially seated people?
And...and... did I mention that Wendy over at The Fabric Quarter is giving this away?
So, if you'd like a chance to win, sit right down and leave a comment.
I have to go. I'm betting I need to drive/pick-up somebody.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Current and Coming

A couple new colorways for a pair of existing designs. I added these to my shop today.

A new pattern. I"m releasing my newest sewing pattern, Color Wheel Coasters and Pot Holders, next Thursday. Since I'm always up for a celebration, the pattern release is in conjunction with a giveaway sponsored by the lovely Wendy over at The Fabric Quarter. She sent me these amazing Moda Cross Weaves to play with and this is what I came up with. You have got to touch these fabrics. They are extraordinarily soft and they seem to shimmer. The colors are so rich that I knew the minute I opened the package I was going to do something based on the color wheel. Though, and don't judge us because we're Mac people, when my youngest daughter saw the coasters she didn't see the color wheel, but that holding pattern icon that spins around when the Mac is processing a new command.
No matter, icon or wheel, I'm super psyched about sharing this pattern with you, so check back here on Thursday, February 24, for a chance to win fabric, a copy or two of the pattern, and even a recipe. Because, what's the point of crafting kitchen items to adorn your pots and pans if you're not going to make something to eat?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beck's Quilt

Rather than fill today's post with lots of words about this quilt, I thought I'd show y'all the finished product and then chat briefly about one particularly interesting aspect of this quilt.
First the quilt.
One of the challenges of this quilt was incorporating a request made by the mom who commissioned the quilt for her 13 year old boy. She wanted the quilt to not only feature this design, but to include 24 photos of the boy from infancy to about age 8. Add to that, she wanted me to make a legend that explained the photos.
I have to say, as a parent of teenagers, albeit girls so I could be way off base, I think it might be a few years before the quilt's intended recipient fully appreciates or even wants to display his quilt. Call me cynical, but I don't imagine there are a lot of teenage boys who want their buddies hanging out in their room, admiring a quilt that includes pictures of them as babies and toddlers. Then again, maybe these adorable photos will be a real chick magnet, so who knows? Maybe this quilt will peak out from underneath dirty socks and discarded Cliff bar wrappers.
As I mentioned, my customer provided the photos already transferred onto fabric as well as a description of each picture detailing when it was taken and who or what is included in the photo. She asked that I make a legend, transfer that legend to fabric, and applique that onto the back of the quilt. This all made a lot of sense. With a legend, anyone and everyone would know the vital statistics of the photos featured in what is essentially a memory quilt. This seemed like a reasonable request.
The difficulty lay in how to keep track of the information relating to each picture once the photo was separated from its accompanying explanation and how to actually make the legend. My first stab at solving the issue of keeping the information with its specific photo involved tearing out the part of the paper specific to the photo and pinning that to the back of the photo. The problem with that was the pins were cumbersome to work, piece and iron around. I eventually settled on affixing the torn information scrap to the back of the photo by sewing it into the 1/4" seam allowance. Then, when the top was finished I tore out the pieces, one by one, and made a note where necessary about the picture so that I could match the information to the photo once I was ready to make the legend.
To make the legend I simply crafted a chart with 9 columns and 12 rows to mimic the quilt's columns and rows and numbered the spaces that contained photographs. I then labeled the numbered space with the matching information and voila, the quilt has a legend.
 I printed the legend on to a piece of paper-backed fabric, peeled the paper off, turned under 1/4" on all four sides and appliqued the legend to the back of the quilt.
It was all so much easier than I thought it would be.
Tomorrow the quilt goes to its new home. I'm glad the legend is there to add a little more clarity about the little boy, who's not so little anymore, and his story.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stanley and Me

Do you know what terrifies me?
 He may look like Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live (remember Mr. Bill?), but this is Flat Stanley, a much loved and venerated children's book character and when he and his letter arrive in my mailbox I begin to shake. The letter is always addressed to my youngest daughter and asks that she take the very planar Stanley on an adventure, write about and photograph said adventure, and then return Stanley from whence he came.
That's the fantasy conjured up by some first grade teacher to coax her students into integrating their study of Flat Stanley and his two-dimensional activities into some tangible project. The reality is that my 13-year old is not going to walk around the house, let alone town, toting a 9" tall paper doll. Nor is she going to photograph him as she pursues the adventure that is a day in the life of an 8th grader. You know who's going to have to take ole Stanley on adventure? That's right, me.
This is the second time I've "entertained" a Stanley as both my nieces go to the same school and apparently have had the same first grade teacher. The first time, I had to be nagged quite a bit to complete my "homework". This time the nagging hasn't quite started, so I decided to nip it in the bud, by taking Stanley with me to quilt this, seen here as a work in progress.
Imagine yourself grasping Stanley's wafer-thin hand, crafted out of the finest papel de copier, as we spend a day quilting.
Here's Stanley getting acquainted with another inanimate object as he meets the very three-dimensional long arm quilting machine.
And here's Flat Stanley cavorting with the lovely Bernell, proprietress of Seams Like Dixie: Finish-it-Yourself Longarm Quilting.
Finally, here's Flat Stanley, "helping" me to quilt.
There. My assignment is done. Now, all I have left is to write about our adventure, print the pictures, stamp, and send the envelope.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Let's Step Inside

I mean that sincerely, especially today because, holy bovine, it's still so cold outside. I will be none too pleased if we are forced to endure a cold winter and a blazing summer. That will definitely count as not fair.
Weather aside, though I could spend pages and pages discussing it, I really do want you to step inside with me at Stitch Lab in Austin. As some of you might remember, they hosted a terrific launch party for my book and I mentioned that I was scheduled to teach some classes there. Well, tomorrow is today, though not exactly, but my classes are listed and available on their site. Some are even sold out, so in hopes of sounding like I just sprang forth from Tudor England, " do not tarry."
Brief aside to discuss my obsession with that particular historical era. I just finished listening to Margaret George's historical novel, The Autobiography of Henry VIII. 41 hours. That's how long the book was. You can't get better book listening value than that. Margaret George's book came on the heels of Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower. Of course with Henry, it's hard to pin down exactly which lady was in the tower, but, in this case, it was Anne Boleyn. That was preceded by Alison Weir's The Lady Elizabeth which was recommended to me by a fabulous reader/librarian. I'm also currently reading Alison Weir's The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Add to that I recently read that Hilary Mantel who wrote the Booker prize winning Wolf Hall all about Thomas Cromwell, the much maligned councilor to King Henry who she attempts to rehabilitate by pointing out that he liked little dogs, is writing a follow-up novel focusing on the last years of Cromwell's life. Thank goodness there are dye baths to make and quilts to sew because I've got to do something while listening to my stories.
Whew! I'm ready to get back to my point. If you've clicked through to the Stitch Lab link then you already know that I'm teaching a variety of classes, both quilt and project classes. Want to learn how to make this, this, and this?  How about a pair of these or something like this, this, or these?
Or maybe you want to make your own version of this:
This is my newest version of my Strips and Bricks quilt. I posted a sneak peak or two a couple of weeks ago.
Now it's all quilted and bound and ready to be the sample for the class that I'm teaching at Ye Oldde Stitch Lab.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Heart Snow

Before you start grumbling about how it's easy for me to love snow when I don't have to live with it for months on end, I want to reassure you that I have difficult weather to endure. Come visit in August and you'll encounter the real definition to sizzling. But, right now, allow me to give you my naive, fresh perspective on snow.
We don't get snow here very often and, truth be told, it doesn't stick around either, but when it comes we are so grateful to see it.
I was awakened this morning by a phone call. It was a recorded message from the school district letting me know that school was canceled because of the snow. Stop giggling. This is Austin, we do not have the resources to deal with even this amount of snow. I'm not saying this as a criticism. We don't get snow very often, so why would the city have a team of trucks to spread salt? Actually, being the environmentally-friendly town we are, we spread sand instead. It's completely useless, but we feel really good about it.
Anyway, as I staggered over to the phone, I glanced out the window.
This is what I saw.
Like I predicted in Wednesday's post, the town has shut down including the mighty University of Texas which is officially closed today. What that yields is a lot of people in their homes, but not necessarily in their cars and that means the streets are wonderfully silent. Even better, all of us snow novices including the neighborhood children for whom this might be their first encounter with snow are out and about and marveling at the beauty of it all.
Today's high temperature is predicted to be 36 degrees, so it will probably all be gone by this afternoon. No matter. It's fleeting nature only makes me appreciate it all the more.
Now...don't you love snow too?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Brr... it is seriously cold here in Texas. 18 degrees this morning. Which apparently felt like 5 degrees. Add to that the State's sudden mandate of rolling blackouts and a forecast of snow at week's end and I'm telling you, this town will shut down. We can handle 112 degrees and drought, but we are powerless before ice, cold, and snow.
I find the temperature change particularly disconcerting considering that on Sunday, at the start of the half marathon, the temperature was 63 degrees and that was at 6:45 in the morning.
I'm not dyeing any fabric today as my dye studio is in my unheated garage and the heat generated from my melting wax pot and my daughter's swim team parka are not enough to protect me form the bitter cold.
What I am doing is writing to you all and announcing the winners of last Friday's Stitch giveaway. The winners were picked randomly by the all-powerful, all-knowing random number generator.
They are:

Linen and Tulle said...I would like to sew clothes, either for myself or for the children. I've been wanting to buy Stitch but haven't had the funds yet. I can't wait to see it either way!


piece peace said...I aspire to sew alot this year, but on my immediate agenda is a monochromatic quilt, a quilt along at CHQ and some sassy hair bands for myself (and maybe a backpack for myself, too). Thanks for asking!

If you all would email me your addresses at, I'll get you your magazines faster than the city can scatter worthless, non-ice melting sand on the roads.

Also, since I never sign off without a pretty picture because for me it's all about the visuals, I'm including an image of some fabric I made back in the day. That would be last Thursday when it was 70 and sunny.