Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From PA to Syracuse

We were able to pack everything in the car without resorting to strapping stuff to the roof. And there was even room for my favorite diet soda. Syracuse, here we come!
It took about 4 hours of traffic free driving.  This was my first look at my booth, #620. 
A bit daunting, but after moving stuff here no there and back again, this was my final arrangement. 
Curvalicious nudged out most of my dupioni silk. 
Ready to begin demoing. 
Trying to sell a few copies of my book, Sew Embellished with a small display. 
And a delicious dinner with enough leftovers maybe for an exhausted dine in evening. 
AQS has done an amazing job. It looks like it is going to be a great show. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I Love These Skirts

I went with a couple of friends to the quilt show in Hershey this past week, Quilt Odyssey.  My take on the show is that it's 1/3 quilt exhibit, and of that, there is a large exhibit of antique quilts, and 2/3 vendors.  The quilts that are on exhibit are amazing. No photos allowed.

I found this adorable fabric in the vending area, and I knew I had to buy it to make another Curvalicious skirt to add to my collection. I love the jacks and remember playing it on the playground as a child. The fabric is from a relatively new fabric company called Cotton + Steel.

There has been so much buzz about these skirts, that I decided to share a tutorial. Depending on your sewing skill, it will take between one and two hours to make one.  Easy Peasy!
 First you will need two measurements - waist (W) and length (L).
Add 1-3/4" to the length of the skirt to cut the fabric (L + 1-3/4")
Double the waist in inches to arrive at the width of the fabric - rounding it to be divisible by 6.  This will ensure that the scallop matches when joined  the seam. (2W)
Use this same measurement for the length of the Curvalicious hem.  If adding circles to the hem,cut it 4" wide(2W x 4")  If not using circles, cut it 2-3/4" wide (2W x 2-3/4").  
Cut a piece of Fusible web that is the same as the hem minus 1/4". (2W x 3-3/4" or 2W x 2 -1/2").

Sew the right side of the border to the wrong side of the body of the skirt, matching raw edges.

 Press the seam towards the body of the  skirt.

Iron fusible web to the border matching the raw edge.
Remove the paper, fold the skirt in half widthwise, right sides together.  Use Curvalicious to cut the scallop, aligning the fold of the fabric with one edge of the tool.

If adding circles, fuse them to the border, making sure you place a piece of parchment paper or an applique pressing sheet underneath the hem to prevent it from sticking to the ironing board.

 Stitch the circles in place.  Fold the hem up and fuse in place.

 Stitch the side seam with 1/4" seam allowance, matching the scallop.  Press open and top stitch  it down, matching the bobbin thread to the skirt body fabric.
Press the top edge of the skirt 1/2" to the wrong side, fold over 1 " and press again.
Top stitch along the folded edge to create the casing for the elastic,  leaving a 1" opening.
Cut 3/4" non-roll elastic 1/2" shorter than the waist measurement.  Feed it through the casing.  Overlap it 1" and stitch across the  elastic.
Tuck into the casing.  Stitch the opening closed and you're done with the cutest, quickest skirt, ever.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What A Surprise!

In my last post, I shared a Curvalicious quilt called "Fun Stuff".  I mentioned that I was working on another project using Curvalicious  for the Syracuse show, and it would be surprising, at least to people who know me.  I have 2 sons and a grandson.  I have never been motivated to create anything for little girls, because there has never been a little girl in my life (except for Bailey!).

But I thought I could use Curvalicious to make the cutest little skirts.  What do you think?

Now I just need a couple of models!

Speaking of surprises, it is my DIL's 30th birthday.  She is hard to surprise, but my son flew in her sister and kids from Florida and you should have seen the look on her face at the restaurant dinner.  It was a joy to be a part of the celebration and you can see how happy my son was to have pulled this off. This isn't the greatest photo, but you can feel the love.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gettin' Ready

Since returning from MAQ, I have been getting ready to go to the AQS show in Syracuse.  It's amazing all the little details that need attention.  Making labels, printing patterns, stuffing patterns, counting patterns, making signs,  checking reservations,  and making new samples.
 I just finished quilting and binding "Hot Stuff".  I made the top in Key West using flamingo fabric. It's the quickest quilt ever and it only needed 1 yd of the polka dot background, 1 yd of the flamingo applique and 1/2 yd of the hot pink fabric.  I stitched it in an afternoon.  If you have made anything with Curvalicious, you don't need any directions.
I am working on a really cute project that will surprise you.  I'll share it as soon as I have it done.  Maybe Wednesday.
In the meantime, I have been contemplating my suburban Philadelphia wildlife sanctuary!
In the Spring. a misguided robin made a nest on the railing of our deck underneath some lilac leaves. There were 3 beautiful blue eggs, that hatched into 3 baby birds. 
(Photo credit: Olivia L.)
Unfortunately, they were easy prey for some animal  One morning, the nest was empty and there was blood  and feathers on our deck.  I will spare you from the photo.

I have been very kind to the deer this summer.  We ripped out some old shrubs around my house's foundation and I decided I wanted to grow some Brandywine tomatoes.  They are my favorite.  I really thought deer were not fans of tomatoes, but I guess I was wrong.

3 tomato plants and a cucumber plant look just like this.  I did discover that deer do not  like basil and eggplant. I just fenced in the "garden", if you could call it that at this point, with netting.  I don't know if it's too late or not, but I thought it was worth a shot.

We did have some wildlife success.  Check out this window well.
For those of you that don't have basements, it's meant to keep water from entering the  basement though the window.  I saw a toad one morning in the mulch and thought it jumped in there by accident and couldn't get out.  I was busy tending my "garden" and forgot about taking the toad out.
When I went back the next morning, I saw a couple of toads, partially buried,  peering at me.
There were baby toads too.  I did a bit of research and learned that toads multiply by laying eggs.  I don't know how many babies there are.  I just hope they escape anything that may jump in the window well and eat them.

I look forward to summer so that I can have my favorite meal of the  entire year.  I call it "summer on a plate". Brandywine tomato, mozzarella cheese from Trader Joe's and fresh basil plus an ear of delicious summer corn and a few slices of toasted french bread brushed with oil and garlic is a meal that I could eat very single night.
 (But some nights there's no lovely bread and an english muffin will do.)
I'm drooling.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Party Is Over

The quilting party is over. I'm exhausted and so inspired at the same time. 275 students eager to learn and 23 instructors eager to share made for 3 days filled with creativity and friendship. 

Show and Tell on Saturday night shares what the students created during the first two days. I was surprised to see that my Lone Star students sewed into the night after class on Friday. 

Saturday was my Perfect Pillow Curvalucious class. As a designer, it was so exciting to see all the different fabric color combinations that were chosen. 

Kathy pranked her friends. She is a brand new quilter and flew up from Mississippi to be with her friends. She sent this photo of "her finished pillow" to her friends. Although they were surprised that she had completely different fabric, they came running ....... To see my class demo!
My last class was to teach Beachalicious.  One of my students brought this great fabric. She cut out a bunch of the motifs to place in the sand. Clever. 

Just 3 of the 15 beach scenes in progress. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mt St Mary's University & Quilting

Mt St Mary's is located in the bucolic hills of MD not far from the Gettysburg battlefields. It's not too bad a drive for me from home. My first class was yesterday, the unsilk Lone Star. But to my surprise, one of my students brought her own dupioni silk. Yay! I had just 5 students, but that was the perfect size for this type of project. 
Janet with the dupioni silk got half of her quilt done in class. I think two other students kept sewing after class into the night, so I can't wait until the Show & Tell program tonight. 

This morning my walk took me to the Grotto and the golden Jesus. I am intrigued by religious art. Sometimes I can feel the adoration of the artist. As many of you know I'm a Jew, but I admire it all. 
I would say that I am more spiritual than religious and as a Jew, I am more into religious traditions that have been passed down through the years and are practiced all over the world. Saying that, I was moved by some of the art and the quotations that I saw as I walked down the path to the Grotto. Here are some of my impressions from my walk. 

And I now have a favorite new saint, St Francis. This quote is pertinent no matter what religion you call your own, and he's an animal lover!

Off to class with a 
Intended heart. Curvalicious pillows today.  15 students! Oy!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jumping for Joy

I am dancing with joy! This beautiful watercolor of my girlfriend just arrived. 
It was done by my favorite Key West artist, Sean Callahan. He owns Dog Tired Studios. I took a watercolor class with him several years ago, as some of you might remember, and I was a total failure. We kept bumping into each other at various artsy events.  Then one day last winter, I was on one of my walks about town with Bailey, and I happened on his newly opened gallery. He was well known years ago on Martha's Vineyard for his dog portraits, but he had stepped away from doing them and had explored other topics, but had stuck with watercolor. With the opening of his gallery he decided to go back to what he loved, painting dogs, which also would pay his bills. 

To help support my friend and to have a meaningful portrait of Bailey, I commissioned a painting. We used a photo of her in my bicycle basket, a common place during our stay in Key West. I left KW in February and have been patiently waiting for its arrival. Woo Hoo!

Bailey approves.