I got my Fabric Designs, Now What?

Wow!  I have finally made it to that moment when I feel like I actually have finished a few of my fabric design collections.  Finished! Done!  I think you come to a point when you feel like you just can’t play with them any longer.  You could still finesse this or change the color of that, you could manipulate everything until…

The Cows Come Home!

At some point though, you just need to stop.  As you have probably heard from writers, they feel like their book is never done.  I feel a little like this as well, but I also don’t want to become victim to an “overworked collection”.

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So my next step is putting these “lovelies” into some kind of a portfolio.  I have uploaded my designs to an online portfolio website called Carbonmade.  All of which at this point only I can see.  It is a nice place to put those designs, to peruse them and get an idea of how they “play” together.  It’s pretty cool to see them uploaded, looking all professional, but it lacks personality, my personality.

So now I am in the throes of figuring out what I want to do for a paper portfolio.  The Creativelive class with Bonnie Christine “Design surface patterns from Scratch” not only takes you through the whole process of surface pattern design, but Bonnie also takes you through her process of how she put her portfolio together.  This really is so helpful.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 8.25.52 AM  My intention is to take a portfolio with me to Quiltcon.  I am trying to line up a few very casual appointments with art directors from various Fabric Manufacturer/suppliers.  I have one such appointment set up.  Yay!  I have been making some cold calls.  Oh, those chilly calls! Not an easy thing to do, and I haven’t gotten very far with them either, but I am not giving up!

So this now brings me to the Binding of my portfolio.  How?  My brain is a jumbled up keeper of all things binding.  Bonnie Christine did her portfolio in a drum binding.  She took a class dedicated to just that, drum binding.  No time for this.  So I am going to do a spiral binding.  I know it’s not terribly impressive, but I only have 19 days until Quiltcon (YAY), and I need to get this process going.

I have purchased book board,  special matte epson paper,

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a new color printer, The Epson 1430 wide format printer (when this animal arrived, I realized that he is probably going to need his own room)

and

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The Cinch, for the spiral book binding.

I have a lot of tools to learn to use, and this makes me very anxious.  Mr. Swellsewing tells me to not worry about the packaging- but to be more focused on my designs.  I don’t want to be worried or focused about any of it. I am though,  I am worried about it all- and that’s not going to stop!!

Oh, HEY!! Look at that!

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 The “Cows Came Home!”

This is a picture of me and my sister on the farm in Michigan where we grew-up!

 Have A Great Weekend!  You all know what I will be doing!

The one….

Do you remember what it was like when you knew you found that special one?  Were you drawn to the handsome good looks, the ruggedness or was it perhaps the size and shape of the object of your desire?  Well for me, it was the tree in the front yard…..

 No!  I am not talking about a man, but about the home that my man and I chose to buy and live in (from 1995 until present time).

We chose a house at the end of a street, after browsing many others and even placing a bid on one (that I secretly didn’t want so I convinced my husband to bid way too low).  The house we ultimately chose was in the neighborhood we already lived in, and had beautiful mature trees.  It felt like a real neighborhood, unlike those subdivisions that somehow seem to be erected overnight with absolutely no trees in sight.

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This is the day we brought our new baby (Kenny) home from the hospital. That is our big beautiful tree.

This is a very old picture, so please excuse the quality.

Maybe I have become a true “Marin Tree Hugger”, but I don’t care. A tree is always a true friend.  It’s a  sturdy friend to lean on when you need one.  It can protect you from harsh elements and it can guide friends to your house, by being a marker- “We are the house at the end of the street with that huge tree in the front yard”.

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                                        Our beautiful tree with Kenny (2).

As time went on, it was time for a remodel.  Our family was growing and so must our house.  Our tree was the perfect shade tree.  It protected us from the harsh California afternoon sun.  It kept our house cooler and created privacy.

photo 2-78Time wasn’t our tree’s friend, though.  The years wreaked havoc on him and he started to show wear, losing his bark.  Summers didn’t seem to be his best time of year as it had been in the past.  The foliage was less and what leaves did come about seemed to be dry and unhealthy.

We tried cutting him back, hoping that we could salvage half of our dear friend, but it was no use.

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                 This is a photo from the inside of our 2nd floor bathroom.

 So, it was time to say good-bye.

As you can see, the men are working to remove our tree.  It was always such a nice view to peer out this window and feel like you were in a tree house.

As you can see, the men are working to remove our tree. It was always such a nice view to peer out this window and feel like you were in a tree house.

I don’t handle good-byes well.  I just like to pull that band-aid off fast.  Losing him wasn’t a fast process though….I must admit, I did shed a few tears over our tree, (I cried when our old washer and dryer left too).  I am very sentimental to say the least.

When we realized that we had to cut our tree down, we initially thought about selling our house and moving somewhere new, with a big healthy tree.  Sanity sunk in though and we realized it would be silly to” throw the baby out with the bath water”, so a day did arrive when we finally decided to put in a new tree.  There will never be a replacement for our original friend- but we felt as though our house wasn’t going to be a home again until there was a tree, a substantial tree, in the front yard.

On a cold morning our new tree arrived.   She was all snuggled up under a blanket.

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Before being planted an enormously deep hole was dug for the tree’s roots. This hole took many hours to dig!

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finally she was placed into her new home.

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The landscaping was replaced, so she had a few friends to hang with.

 

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Here she is world!

Welcome to your new home little one!

No pressure, but Grow, Grow Big and  Grow Wide!

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You have big shoes a big hole to fill.

I wonder, what do you get sentimental about?

My Real Journey For 2015

My intention for todays post is to give you a peek into some of my designs.  These are my earlier ones.  I have since then taken advice given to me by both Heather Ross and Anne Sullivan on tweaking these so that I use more of my drawing skills.

I certainly don’t think that any of you would ever copy my designs, (I don’t even want to assume that they are copy worthy) but I still have to ask you-

Please do not replicate or copy any of my original designs…

Thank you-

Now that I got that out of the way, let me show you what I have here.  :)

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I did these designs before doing the Creativelive online class “Design Surface Patterns From Scratch” with Bonnie Christine.  One thing that Bonnie teaches is to create a collection from a story.

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There isn’t a story here.  I was just messing around with color and designs I felt went together to create a collection.

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Are these cohesive?  At the time I felt as though these designs did work together.  Do they bring the best out in each other?  I am not sure.  That’s why this is a process.

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Now, after taking some time away from these designs, and also learning some new techniques, from both Bonnie Christine and Rachael Taylor (The Art and Business of Surface and Pattern Design) I can totally see areas for improvements.

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I did hop on over to Spoonflower and print these designs so I could construct something out of them.

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I wanted to see if my designs would play well together.  I could see some issues, but I was relatively happy for my very first try.

I created a mini-quilt using the economy patch block.  The quilt measures 36″ x 36″ in size.  Not enough for any normal sized human to cuddle under, but big enough for a pug!

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I highly recommend this, because it really does give you an idea of what your collection will look like in real life.  I used Kona Snow White to break-up the color.

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Thanks for taking a look at what I have been up to.  It is really hard for me to put myself out there.  I am determined to make my dream a reality.  What is it that you are dreaming about that you would like to be a reality?  Need a little push?

Ya feel that?  That’s me pushing you!!

First Finish of The New Year

My first finish of the new year! Yay!   To top it off it is also a UFO (unfinished object).  This UFO has been hanging around my sewing room since May of 2013!!! Wow, I didn’t realize that it had been THAT LONG! I did a Natalie Chanin Workshop, where I purchased a swing skirt kit.  I can now say I am the owner of a pretty unique skirt-a completed skirt, that can actually be worn.  No longer is that UFO taking up space in my sewing room, staring at me from its plastic bag- mocking me, making me feel as though I haven’t any follow-through.  POW!  I  suddenly feel like a super hero.  I am the “FINISHER”… YEAH, YEAH….That’s it!  THE FINISHER!

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I do finish projects.   Most of the projects that I finish are those that are for other people.  What does that say about me?  Do I not value myself enough?  I wonder how many of us out there do the exact same thing?  Are most of the UFO’s you have in your sewing room projects that are to be finished for yourself?  Or are these projects for others?

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Something for me to ponder anyway.  Maybe you should ponder this as well?

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So as you look through these pictures of my new skirt with its  many stitches and threads, maybe you too can think about what you could finish for yourself.

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This is the year I intend to start tackle some of these personal projects.

I think this is a pretty good start.

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Take care of yourselves.

Take some time for yourselves..

And

Think about what you could do if you weren’t afraid of failing!  I am.  I am diving in head first and I may fail, but I will never know what could be if I don’t!

Happy New Year and Closing Out the Old Year!

I am trying to start the New Year off right.  I am not one to make New Years Resolutions, because I usually end up disappointing myself.  I am much better at setting a daily goal for myself.  Like for example… “Eat Breakfast”- now there is a goal I can achieve!  I am really not that bad :)

I had a couple of goals to achieve before Christmas. One was to finish the baby quilt, that Will’s former tutor wanted for her new baby boy, Jasper.  I got that done about a week before Christmas.  Missy was thrilled and I was as well, it was a challenge.  The challenge presented to me started with these pieces of stenciled fabric that made up this bunting that was used at Missy’s Baby Shower.

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Each attendee at Missy’s Baby Shower stenciled a square for the bunting as a keepsake. Missy had the idea that these special pieces of artwork could be incorporated into Jaspers quilt for them to  enjoy for many years to come.  Wow, where to start?

While in the Catskills for Heather Ross’ Weekend Workshop- I was admiring the quilt that was on my bed.

photo 1-57Apparently this  quilt was from a series of quilts that Denyse Schmidt’s company produced for a short while.  This quilt inspired the design for Jasper’s quilt.  I wanted Jasper’s quilt to look like an heirloom, created from what scraps would be around the house and at hand.  I think I did in fact achieve this look.

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And now the back of Jasper’s quilt.  I paper pieced his name and did a few cutouts with some of Heather Ross’ fine designs.

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Then the quilt was all tied up in a ribbon, ready for its new home.

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The second  goal I had to complete was a gift for my sister-in-law.  I drew my sister-in-law Jane’s name for Christmas, and of course I decided to make her a quilt.  How could I not after making one for my sister-in-law Heather last year?

I decided on a pattern from Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting’s book “Modern One -Block Quilt”

This is The Wacky Flowers Pattern from the book.

photo 1-67I went with charcoal gray, mustard yellow and white fabric.  These are all from Hawthorne threads, their solids collection.  I threw in a little black to give it a little twist.  I wanted this to look good in Jane’s house.  She is an interior designer, so the pressure was on!

photo 2-69The piecing did go fast.  The most time-consuming part of the entire quilt was all the cutting. Templates are included in the book, but they are paper- so I had to trace them and cut several at a time.

photo 3-67This picture makes the quilt look like it isn’t squared off, but it is…. My quilt model (Mr. Swellsewing) wasn’t having a good day :)

photo 2-70photo 1-68A close-up of the back of the quilt.  I did circles and a leaf pattern over the gray sections of the quilt.  This was all done free-motion.  I am starting to loosen up a little with every quilt I do.

Jane was thrilled with her quilt!  I was happy with my results and I was happy that she was happy!

The last gift I made for Christmas was a doll for my niece Emily, from the Retro-Mama Greta Doll pattern.  

photo 2-48I purchased this pattern while attending the Sewing Summit in Utah, 2 years ago and was missing a pattern piece.  I contacted Kim through her etsy shop and she sent me the entire pattern!  I highly recommend her patterns, they are easy to follow, and how can you not support folks like her?  I had so much fun picking out the fabrics from my huge selection of scraps!  This is an easy, fun project that seemed to thrill Emily!  Kim, from Retro-Mama also has a new book out this year! I haven’t checked it out in person, but it does look very intriguing!

So today I say good-bye to a most wonderful 2014 and hello to 2015.  My goals for this year are to get my fabric designs out there and to blog at least once a week.

Believe it or not, it’s the blogging goal that I am worried about :)

Happy New Year everyone!

Inspiration

Wowee, the last few months have flown by, but they also seemed to drag on.  I know, this doesn’t make sense, but this is how time has felt for me lately.  Time drags, when you are uninterested in anything, feel depressed and just not motivated.  Am I speaking anybody’s language here?  Time flies by when you head into a department store all decked out in holiday decorations in the middle of September. I forget what season I am in sometimes- (California weather can do that to a person) especially when retail messes with your head and you have to question if you slept months away in a Rip Van Winkle kind of way.   Today I was in a bookstore and they were playing holiday music it was disguised in a jazzy elevator tune, but it was definitely Christmas music!  Ugh!  Can we please do Halloween first?

I have been working on my fabric designs, and they are actually coming along.  It is exciting for me to be doing this, I wish I could share with you, but for now I need to keep these under wraps.  I can share with you however,  a class I discovered on Creativelive.  Taught by Bonnie Christine, a successful fabric designer.  The class is called Design Surface Patterns From Scratch.  It was/is so helpful.  I bought the class, and now I own it…So I can review it at anytime.  I highly recommend both Creativelive and this course.  Creativelive offers many other courses for artists…of all kinds.  Check it out!

The other course I am taking is The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, which I found on the website Do What You Love for Life.

So this is where I have been.  Working on designs, sketching a lot and taking some on-line courses. I have been battling my depression along the way and trying to stay inspired even when I have pretty much given up on myself.  It’s hard to look at the future, when you aren’t feeling like you want one.  So..

A few weeks ago I went to the Catskills for a weekend workshop with my friend Heather Ross.  Also in attendance was the very talented Denyse Schmidt.  The dynamic duo welcomed 11 of us to a 1850’s Victorian Farmhouse, situated on 20 acres!

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Most of us brought projects to work on, I was to work on my design work with Heather.  She has been sort of mentoring me along the way.  I have to say though, there were two highlights to this weekend.  First was having the opportunity to spend more time with Anne Sullivan from Play-Crafts… I have met her before, but never really got to know her.

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Heather Ross and Anne Sullivan talk fabric design

Now I can say she is my friend.  We flew together both ways.. It made the whole traveling process for me so much easier!  The second highlight of the weekend, was searching for a dead animal in the basement with both Anne and Denyse Schmidt.

When I say basement, what I really mean is dungeon it was dark, smelly and scary.  There was a dead animal stench emanating from the bowels of the house.

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photo 1-58 Some of the gals that were sewing in the dining room could get whiffs of it every now and then.  So Denyse, Anne and I decided to take the matter into our own hands, and take care of the little bugger.  We found nothing.

I am sure there aren’t too many people who can say they went dead vermin hunting with Denyse Schmidt. :) I can now take that off my bucket list!

Now to give you some inspiration for those of you that still have little ones and would like to do something special for them.  I painted two toy boxes that my mother in-law gifted the boys for their 1 year old birthdays.

Here is Kenny’s toy box.

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Included on Kenny’s toy box were our pets at the time, Chloe, our yellow lab and Wooley and Poly-ester our cats.  Now, sadly they are all gone.  They did get boxes of their own, with ashes in them.  Sad face.

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Now here is William’s… His has more detail, since I thing I was a little more confident about painting on a toy box at this point.

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That’s all for now folks.  Have a lovely inspirational weekend!

Letting Go-It’s So Hard To Do…

I have been absent from blogging for about 2 months now.  Seems to be an epidemic with me lately.  I have been distracted from many things lately.  Mostly life.  I might be there in body, but the soul?  Well…. it’s thinking about other things, and wondering where all the time went.

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Kenny after his bath 1996

You see, my oldest of 2 children is headed off to college.  This is truly something to be celebrated, as there were other paths he could have taken and this by far was the one that all parents hope for.  Not only is Kenny going to college, but he is headed to the college that both Jim and I graduated from.  A really nice nod for a kid to give his parents.  It does make you proud.  The one thing that is hard to swallow is that he is 2300 miles away from home.  Far away from Marin County, really really far away.  Three time zones and a whole other climate away.  It’s good though, it’s all good (I say this over and over again while rocking back and forth).  Only kidding, I’m not that bad…… yet.  I have been known to spontaneously burst out into tears, though.  I know there are other moms out there just like me, feeling the same way I do.  Right?!

I guess you could say I am somewhat in mourning.  I call it “mourning” because it is a type of  loss.  Please, stay with me here and let me explain.  I do tend to over-exaggerate.  I think anytime your child hits a benchmark, you are both proud and sad.  Think of the first day your child goes to Kindergarten, you are so proud, but you are crying, right?  Life is changing, he is on his way to his grade school years…. your family dynamic is changing.  Right?!  It’s exciting- but that little baby that needed you for everything doesn’t need you as much.

Well, with Kenny leaving for this new chapter of his life, our family that was once a family of 4 is now 3.  I know Kenny is still our child, but the next time he comes home (Christmas Vacation) he will be his own person (he will think he can do whatever he wants under our roof, which is not how it will work), and it will be very different for us to parent him.

photo 4-41On our way to the airport to take Kenny to MSU 

Fast forward to a few weeks later.  Kenny was dropped off to Michigan State University.  We (Jim, Will and I) took him there on Sunday the 24th of August.  We spent the day moving him into his 12′ x 12′ room, unloading all of his belongings and searching for a futon at any shop nearby that happened to have one left, for any price.  The difference between boys and girls, is more pronounced and evident with this experience.  In my opinion anyway….. The girls decorate their rooms and make their beds, adding throw pillows that in the end are pretty and inspiring, while the boys (especially my son) throw their beds together and call it a day.  I went to great lengths, to make sure that his bedding and hamper matched the huge brown carpet that I spent hours searching for on the internet.  Choosing just the right one, that wasn’t feminine at all.

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Kenny “making” his bed with his roommate Matt

I spent weeks, crafting a quilt, a one of a kind quilt, that in the end was tossed up on his bunk like a bunch of dirty laundry. And, although these things came together, and made me feel sad, the hardest moment was that last hug….. the last embrace.  My son, now a young man doesn’t need me in the way he used to and was ready to let me go.  We spent the last 17 years preparing for this very moment.  It’s not like we didn’t see it coming or even that it wasn’t something we fully supported. That’s what good parenting is, I guess.  If your kid is able to leave the nest and feel confident, safe and equipped to handle what life throws his way…. then you have done pretty well. He has his “tools” now it’s time for him to “build” something.

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I free motioned part of the MSU fight song around the border.  

Here is Kenny’s one of a kind quilt.  The quilt pattern  (referred to as the water waves quilt) was a pattern that I got from Must Love Quilts.  It’s a fast and easy quilt.  And for Kenny, it was more on the masculine side.   Green and white fabrics were a great choice for Kenny since these are MSU colors.  photo 5-28

 Here, Kenny is telling me to “hurry up and take the picture”.

I did a stippling free-motion for the quilting on this quilt. Super fun to do!

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There is  camo binding around the entire quilt.  

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My favorite part.  The back with a Spartan, surrounded by MSU fabrics.

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These are wonky cut 1/2 square triangles.  I was going to do the whole quilt out of these, so glad that I didn’t.  I had a very hard time finding the licensed MSU fabric on-line.  I stocked up when I visited Michigan!  I am all set for the next Michigan State University project.

So, as for now it has been a week since Kenny started his new adventure, and us, ours.   Today has been hard, but like so many mother’s before me, I will get through it and it will all be okay.  Perhaps a cupcake would make me feel better.   It couldn’t hurt, right?

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time, keep creating!

Patchwork Summer Series: The One-Sided Clutch

Hi there!  If you are new to my blog today, then welcome.  Sit back, put your feet up and stay awhile.  I hope you like what you see and come again for a visit.  If you are my usual fabulous subscriber, then hello again!  I am so glad you stopped by!

PatchworkSummer!

Swell Sewing is part of the Patchwork Summer Series, that Ellison Lane is doing over on her blog.  It is a fabulous series of not only tutorials, but wonderful patchwork displays of what other bloggers have created.  This series will not only inspire you, but will hopefully find you discovering some new uses for patchwork, some you just never thought of.  I know it has for me!

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You can find the tutorial for this fun clutch on Jennifer Mathis’ blog, Ellison Lane.  Really Ellison Lane is more than a blog page.  It is an experience.  She has all sorts of wonderful things happening on there, and you should surely subscribe to her page. Just as I hope you do to mine!  Here are some more pictures to entice you!

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And while you are here visiting, I hope you check out these posts:  My visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the quilt that got me there and the amazing Doris Day Birthday Party and my lifetime wish of meeting her!  Also if you have the time, I would love for you to check out my Finished Quilt Page!

Thanks for stopping in! I would love to see your finished clutches if you are so inclined to create one!  Have fun with it!

Tracey

Sewing and Such…

I have been absent from writing for two months.  I have been creating.  Sometimes I find blogging about it, and also doing it (creating) is too much for me to do.  I also have two boys to somewhat parent, A husband that needs a wife, two pugs to keep alive and then there are those plants that come to my house to die.  That last one is the easy one.

I didn’t get a chance to blog about Sew South- which is totally the “Bee’s Knees”, by the way.  The fact of the matter is, is that many others that attended Sew South did such a fabulous job describing the whole event, that I felt like I would be reinventing the wheel.  Here are a couple blogs you should check out:  The Sewing Chick- she is a pretty cool chicky at that!  I love her!  You could also check out Trina Peterson from Sew Many Possibilities.  Trina is an amazing, wonderful young lady full of all kinds of talent.  I love her too.  In fact I have to say, that everyone I came into contact with was quite wonderful and welcoming.  If you are going to head to a weekend sewing retreat on your own this is the one to travel for.  Everyone made it so easy.  Last but not least is, Jennifer Mathis from Ellison Lane and also the creator of Sew South.  I cannot say enough about her.  She loves to give, give, give- it makes her SO happy.

Here are a few things I have been up to:


LUGGAGE TAGS

I made 50 luggage tags and then gifted them to all my new Sew South friends after Sew South.  I used the pattern by Studio Cherie.

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These are just a portion of the 50 I made after Sew South and sent off to their new homes.


NEW YORK

I flew to New York for a Heather Ross Workshop day which was a lot of fun. I have to say though for me the highlight of New York was the 911 Museum.  It really is something you must see!

photo 4-39The outdoor fountain is breathtaking.  It was so thoughtfully created.

photo 3-42This is part of the indoor museum where many people are laid to rest behind this wall.  I cannot even express how somber this museum is.  It really is something you have to see and experience.


THE STITCH

I purchased a Speak Your Silence Kit to sew #Thestitch onto my gray sneakers.

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My mom was sexually abused by her step-father for many years, that is why I wear The Stitch.

photo 2-44This is a great charity that offers free counseling to adults that have been sexually abused as children.  You should really check them out.


THE  SEW TOGETHER BAG

I sewed up a Sew Together Bag, designed by the not crazy Sew Demented. I would love to see how her brain works!  This bag goes together in a way that I could not even have imagined.  It is ingenious!

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photo 2-46This was gifted to my post Sew South Secret Sister!


PILLOW COVERS

I sewed up 5 pillow covers for my good friend Susie:

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I was pretty happy with the results, each pillow had a zipper and piping.  We found the sailboat fabric on etsy for I think 3.95 a yard, compared to the Calico Corners fabric, which was somewhere around 115.00 a yard!  Crazy huh?


ESTATE SALE 

I found this Doris Day door hanger at an estate sale.

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I wasn’t even going to attend, but “something” made me take a left turn instead of a right and I found this for a dollar!  Thank you “something” for making me take that turn!


GRADUATION FESTIVITIES

I made a Michigan State logo for the back of Kenny’s graduation robe.  The kids decorate the back of their robes with the colleges or universities they are attending in the fall.  I don’t think this is a tradition at all the high schools it seems pretty unique.

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It makes for a fun project.  Kenny and his friend Katie, did their caps themselves.

Kenny also graduated, what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t include a graduation picture?

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I made 8 of these “Survival Kit” jars for Kenny and 7 of his friends.

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Included in the kit?  Chocolate, Candy, altoids, sunscreen, and of course a sewing kit.  You can’t leave home without a sewing kit!


 CAPE COD

We finally made it to the East Coast!

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Yep!  The sign really does change each year!


 ANTIQUING

I found this lovely vintage quilt at an antique store for $100.00!

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There are a few spots, that I didn’t discover until I got home, but it is all hand quilted and hand pieced!

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Pretty AH-Mazing, huh?!  It measures about 7.5 feet x 8.5 feet!  It is huge!  I am going to get it professionally cleaned eventually.


 TUTORIAL

And lastly… Which actually took place first and took almost as long as the luggage tags, I created a tutorial for this bag.

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The link will be on my website on Friday the 27th.  Ellison Lane is doing a patchwork series and this bag is part of that series.  You can check back to Swellsewing.com on Friday or you can check with Ellisonlane.com on Friday for the actual tutorial on how to make this fun versatile bag.  Making this tutorial was quite the learning experience for me.  I hope to do more of these tutorials in the future.  We’ll have to wait and see how well this one does.

So until Friday…. Stay Crafty!

Doris Day Turns 90!

Last year it was announced that there was going to be a big birthday party for Doris Day’s 90th birthday.  I guess I am part of her fan club, so I received the e-mail announcement.  The very next day after discussing it with Jim, he called to reserve “our” spot.  Sadly, it was already “all booked up”.  Ugh!  This was right around the same time when I sent the Ellen quilt off and was waiting to hear something, anything.

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As you can imagine, I was feeling pretty bad.  I had put the whole Doris Day Birthday Party out of my mind and moved on with life, forgetting that Jim put us on a waiting list for the birthday party package.  This included not only a whole weekend stay in Doris Day’s hotel, The Cypress Inn, but also admission into THE EVENT.  The Doris Day 90th Birthday Party!

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Fast forward to late January, we were phoned regarding an opening to attend all the Doris Day festivities.  Yay!  We made our plans!

I think some spots opened up because some people backed out after they learned Doris would not be making an appearance.  As much as I wanted to meet Doris, the next best thing for me would be to surround myself with other DD fans who also enjoy her music and movies, people who would get me.  My other thought was, this is probably as close as I will ever get to meeting Doris.  They were also offering pictures with Doris’ own dog Daisy- so….. that was pretty close, right?   All the proceeds would be going towards Doris Day’s own organization The Doris Day Animal Foundation.  How could you go wrong with that?

Doris resides in Carmel, California.  Her hotel, also in Carmel, is very charming.  It’s not showy or overdone, it’s not huge or impersonal, it’s just right.  The Cypress Inn is a place of comfort.  You are free to bring and stay with your 4 legged best friend.  In fact, I sort of felt funny that both Ruby and Peekaboo were not with us.

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The first night’s activity for Doris Day’s Birthday Party was a live concert that took place across the street from the Cypress Inn.  We listened to the musical stylings of Laura Didier (vocals) and Jim Martinez (piano).

Doris Day has a special sweetness to her voice.  It is very distinctive, and I know if you are a fan you know exactly what I mean.   Laura sang beautifully and nearly had that “sweetness”.    During the performance the piano player played a message from Doris, in which she thanked us for all coming and said that she loved us.  It made me cry.  Just to hear her voice and to know that I was one of the many that she was thanking!

The next evening was the big event.  I had wanted to wear one of my many dresses that I have sewn, but nearly all of them were too big in the bust area.  Figures, you lose a little weight and it all comes off in your chest!  Anyway- I purchased a dress from Nordstrom.  A  navy blue polka dot number, and it was perfect!

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The party was AHHHHH MAZING!  I met so many great people- all of us Doris fans, of course.

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The tables were beautifully decorated and named in honor of Doris’ many dogs.   We sat at “Spottie.”  Peter Marshall was one of our emcee’s.  He was also amazing.  He really does look the same.  His speaking voice sounds the same, and his singing voice- well, it’s beautiful.  He’s as sharp as a tac and he is so kind.  I am so glad, I was able to meet him.

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I was pretty happy with how the evening was going.  I mean what’s not to like? I met Peter Marshall and a lot of other great folks- I would say it was a great evening.  There was that little nagging feeling of, “it would have been so awesome if Doris Day would have showed up”.  All of us were talking about it.  In fact from the deck of the Quail Lodge, you could see the very awning of her house!  Taking turns, we posed for pictures, so that the awning was in the background.  Stalkerish, huh?  We as a whole, figured it was going to be our last and closest chance to meet her.

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You can only imagine how elated everyone was when Doris walked into her own birthday party!  I nearly fell off my chair!  Really!  Jim said that all of us fans looked like the screaming fans at a Beatles concert.  When I say fans, I am talking men and women, so you can imagine the display!  The picture above of my new friend, Chanmony, and I shows you just how excited we were.  Chanmony’s  husband took this picture.   Chanmony looks pretty and all collected, me on the other hand- I look like a crazy lady!

Swarms of people surrounded Doris.  I didn’t want to be one of those people.  I’m short, and I just couldn’t get a good look.  So  Chanmony and I stood on our chairs, we still couldn’t see.

Jim got some great pictures though.  He’s my bumble, and being as tall as he is, he is always able to see above the hoards of people.

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I wish I could put into words how much seeing Doris meant to me.  The evening was AHHHH- MAZING.  The music, the people and the masterly cut video displaying many facets of Doris’ life, her activism, entertainment  and private parts of her life.

I tried, with Jim’s prompting, to weasel my way into meeting Doris.  Both times I was turned away.  Jim thought that if I batted my eyelashes at the security guard, he would allow me a quick hello- but to no avail.  I guess I am too old for those shenanigans to work.  Doggone it!  Who am I fooling?  I have NEVER had those powers!

  Finally after the cake and all the auction items were auctioned off, a big announcement was made.  Doris wanted to meet everyone!  So the large group of Doris Fans, made a line, to spend a short 30 seconds each to say “hello”.

Here are the pictures that were taken by Jim during my 30 seconds of Doris time.  Just so everybody knows, I am a totally understanding fan.  As Doris looked over at me, she reached for a glass of water, and then she took her hand away.  I said, “Oh, no Doris, you go ahead and drink your water”!  So 10 seconds of my time was spend watching her drink her water.  Which was just fine with me!

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I really should have smacked that woman’s arm for reaching in front of me like she did!  How rude!!!

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…and the fish was THIS BIG!

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While I was gazing into her beautiful eyes, the police man standing behind us, holding onto his gun, might I add…. yelled “That’s it young lady, times up”!  It scarred the heck out of me, I jumped up….

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I think I said goodbye…. I don’t know. She did giggle at one point and I do remember saying to her “oh my gosh, your giggle sounds just like it does in the movies!”  To be honest with you all, other than commenting on her giggle, I haven’t any idea what I really said.  I could have been singing “row, row, row your boat”- for all I know.  Maybe that’s why she giggled!

After leaving Doris, Jim stepped in and quickly told Doris that “the woman you just met is my wife and she loves you so much…” I hopped back in and got the officer’s attention and said, “Thank you for calling me young lady” :).

I sobbed like a baby in front of everybody after meeting her.  I am not sure what hit me.  Meeting Doris was a dream come true.  I never thought that day would come (no pun intended), and it did AND it was amazing!

THANK YOU DORIS!