Friday, November 27, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!

twrightgirl wrote:
this is awesome. would love to try this out.

Please email me at with your home address and I'll see that you get your bundle of shapes.

Thanks to everyone for playing along and I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Hits...

...keep getting better. I have got so many deals for you today, I feel like I'm that furniture salesman in the Gallery Furniture ads (fellow current and former Houstonians get this reference, the rest of you, just smile and nod).
At the beginning of the month I introduced you to my lovely, new sponsor, r0ssie and her amazing supplies for all things itajime. Well, r0ssie has a special offer for you today and I've combined that with a dye tutorial and...Dharma Trading Company, home of more dye supplies than you could shake a turkey leg at, is offering my readers, that's you people, a special freebie. It's all so amazing I don't know where to begin.
How about a little encouragement for those of you who might be on the fence about trying this technique.

I finished this quilt earlier this week and like my Twinkle quilts both large and small, all the shapes are dyed not pieced.

And, lest you think I'm the only one whose piecing tops and making quilts using this dye technique, feast your eyes on this:

This is r0ssie's latest itajime venture. She's not only combining a variety of differently sized shapes, but an innovative shape she designed called the reverse twinkle.

The circle is cut out of the square. It's brilliant and practically makes my head swim with possibilities.

If you're still concerned that this craft might be more than you can handle then let me provide you with all the knowledge you'd need to clamp your own fabric sandwich, mix a dyebath and dye your fabric. I've titled this tutorial Clamping and Dyeing Fabric: A Basic Itajime Primer. If you click on the link in the right hand sidebar, it will take you there.

Are you ready to get started? Do you want to gather your supplies and dye like a crazy person? Good.
The first step is to get some of the essential materials you'll need to craft your own amazing fabric. Where should you go? I'm so glad you asked because I have a definite opinion about this. I have been a customer at Dharma Trading Company for at least 15 years. I buy all my dyes and undyed fabric there. I used to dye pre-sewn white garments and I bought those at Dharma as well. I love the place and I'm giving it my stamp of approval. You don't have to buy large quantities to purchase from Dharma. They sell dyes in 2 ounce containers. You could pick up a few colors and some of the auxiliary chemicals(check the tutorial for a materials list) and you'd be ready to go.
Also, because I want you to try this technique and r0ssie wants you to try this technique and the folks at Dharma want you to try this technique, Dharma Trading Company is offering a free 2 ounce jar of dye to anyone who places an order using this link.

The second step is to get some of r0ssie's wonderful shapes. You can do that by following the link on my sidebar directly to her online store or you can leave a comment here and be entered to win what can only be described as a smorgasbord of shapes including her newest offerings, Reverse Twinkles.
The shapes offered in the giveaway are the same ones r0ssie used to create the quilt top pictured. She calls this design her Kalka Quilt because, "it is half inspired by Kaffe Fassett and his lovely way of scaling blocks up and down and half inspired by Malka Dubrawsky and her twinkles."

I am so blushing.

An entire Kalka bundle is up for the taking. That's three pairs of 2" circles, three pairs of 3.5" reverse twinkles, two pairs of 4" circles, two pairs of 6.5" reverse twinkles, one pair of 6" circles,and one guide for cutting a 9.5" block with a 6" circle in the middle.

This is an unbelievable giveaway. There are no excuses left. Leave a comment, stop over at Dharma Trading, and let the fun begin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busier than... ant at a fourth of July picnic. So, I'm just dropping in here for a minute to share a few pictures from the book signing last Sunday.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Book Woman, it's been around Austin for quite a few years. It's also, as far as I know, the only independent feminist bookstore in town. I think it's a terrific store and I was so excited to have my first event there. Even my folks drove in from Houston.

See that bald head there? That's my dad. And do you see what section of the store he's facing toward?

Yep. My mid-seventies dad is staring right at the "women's erotica" section. It made for some interesting questions after the book signing.
I think that despite his bewilderment at exactly what kind of titles constitute women's erotica, he and my mom seemed to enjoy themselves.

I had, for one, had a blast.

Hey, but the celebration's not over. I do have another book event scheduled in early December, but, even as I speak, Erin from House on Hill Road, is showing off a terrific project she made with some of my hand dyes and hosting a book giveaway.Why not head on over there and share in the fun?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In which I redirect you to other places

Oh, but you're going to be so happy I redirected you because you're going to pretty places with lots of bright colors and opportunities to win stuff. I mentioned last week that there was some fun online stuff happening in conjunction with the publication of Color Your Cloth and today I'm sending you off to three amazing sites run by three incredibly talented women.

The first place, Pink Chalk Studio, is Kathy Mack's wonderful blog. If you've picked up a sewing magazine in the past few years, you've seen Kathy's terrific designs. As we speak her work is on the cover of the Quilting Arts Gifts issue. Along with designing, Kathy runs a great online fabric store where you can find the latest from Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, and many of the new designers that are energizing commercial fabrics.
Kathy has crafted a set of lovely coasters from some of my hand dyed fabric and is offering a free book to one lucky commenter. Head on over there and check that out as the comments close on Wednesday.

Next set your cursor for Blair's wonderful spot on the internet, wise craft. I've long admired Blair's blog and, in all honesty, been a lurker there for longer than I've been a regular commenter. I love the projects she makes, her writing style and just the feel of her space. She too has crafted an inspirational project with some hand dyed fabric and offers her take on Color Your Cloth.

Don't head home yet because if you do you'll be so disappointed you didn't stop by Jennifer's blog. Not only does Jennifer write a wonderful blog by she also runs her own online store, JCasa Handmade , where she sells her patterns and creations. I'm a huge fan of Jennifer's and was lucky enough to get to meet her in the non-virtual sense last February.
Her post about the book not only features a giveaway of three items, but a free tutorial for making an adorable set of soft baby blocks. I'm at that stage of my life where none of my friends are having babies anymore, but no one is yet at that grandparent stage, so I am racking my brain trying to think who I can make these for. I'm so in love with them I might just make them for myself.

Finally, if you're interested in doing some real life traveling and you're local, I'm having a book signing at Book Woman this Sunday, November 15, at 3:30. I'll talk a bit about the book, show off some of the projects and offer a giveaway prize to some attendee. Best of all, I'm baking cookies!
If you live in Austin or nearby, I'd love to see you there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Outtakes and Other Stuff


Before I get to the other stuff, I thought I'd post a few of the photographs that didn't make it into the book. I had the opportunity to shoot most of the pictures in the book. A very talented photographer, Gregory Case, shot the images of the actual projects, but I was lucky enough to photograph all the step-by-step and "romance" shots.

I obviously shot lots of pictures of fabric as well as images meant to help the reader find inspiration for their own pattern and color choices.

And just plain process shots.

My youngest was my hand model. Doesn't she have cute fingers?

Other Stuff:

The other stuff is really only one thing. Lark Books is sponsoring a quilting contest and they've asked me to help promote it as well as to function as one of the judges. All the information you need to participate in the contest can be found if you click on the link in the side bar. The contest sounds like a lot of fun and they're giving away some fabulous prizes. Just between you and me, I'm also giving a little something extra to the person who wins in the "Best Use of Hand Dyed/Altered Fabrics" category.
So, take a minute and check that out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Color Your Cloth Today

Today's the day, the official publication date for my book, Color Your Cloth: A Quilter's Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric. Yay!
I've taken some inside views of the book as well as the front and back cover and listed the copies I have for sale in my shop.

I'm planning a giveaway for later this week and I've got a few online helpers to giveaway books as well as present some amazing projects crafted from hand dyed fabric. There might even be a free pattern in there to get your creative juices flowing.
If you're local, I have two book events scheduled in the next few weeks and I'll give more details closer to the dates.
In the meantime, I've got a few inside peaks of the book to share and a big thank you to send out. I can't tell you how much your support and interest have meant to me. Before I discovered the world of blogs and flickr I often felt like I was creating in a vacuum. I couldn't really stop making things because that was so much a part of who I am, but other than the occasional show I didn't really have any one to share my creative ventures with. And that's a two sided activity. I didn't have a venue to display my work and I wasn't fed and excited by seeing other people's work because, like the opportunities to show my work, seeing other people's creations only happened once in a while.
All that's changed and I'm very glad. I hope to inspire, but I am, without a doubt, inspired by all the creativity I see now on a daily basis. So, thanks very much for that.