Various & Sundry #12 2013

Free PR
One of my blog posts was featured in Alex Veronelli’s newsletter. I am not sure featured is the right word, but the post was in the newsletter and I was thrilled. I’ll have to mention that I use Aurifil almost exclusively and am using up my Mettler basting fabric to paper in my EPP Stars project.

I am also going to be part of Purse Palooza. Sara Lawson of the Petrillo Bag fame and Sew Sweetness invited me. Now I have to go pick a pattern and make a bag and review the directions. Yikes! Check out last year’s event.

On the Web
The Getty Museum now has over 4,500 high-resolution images of its collection available for free use, modification, and publication. Thanks to ResearchBuzz. Go forth and be inspired!

Aylin-Nilya has written a bag love-fest post on her blog circling around the new book (due out in November), Big City Bags, by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. One of the things I like about her blog is that she writes in English and German, so I get to practice.

Remember the bags I am working on perfecting that will be the basis for my gifts when I am Queen Poobah? Well, here is another tutorial that shows, with great pictures, how I make straps for as many bags as possible. The author also has a photo of the kind of interfacing I tried as well. It makes the bags stiff, which is a good idea. As an update, I haven’t gone any farther in my explorations than the previous post. I was thinking about the project yesterday, though and will need to get back to it.

Also, I saw this ‘sleeping bag’ pouch on the Aylin-Nilya blog as well and wondered what you thought about making it part of the gift bags? I would have to put in 12 zippers, but I bet I would be really good at zippers once the project was over.

Those Eff block girls were talking about ticker tape blocks recently. I asked what they were, but didn’t understand the answer, so I went surfing to see if I could figure it out. Stitched in Color has a reasonable description (raw edge applique’ teeny tiny scraps on a background). She also points to a Flickr group that shows a lot of different examples. I think I am officially out of the loop. This concept didn’t even get near my radar.

I am guarding what is on my iPod until I get iTunes on my computer back in order. Some of what I am listening to has been on my to-listen list for awhile. The other day I listened to an interview with Pat Bravo on the Jackie’s Quilting Chronicles episode 32 podcast. It is from December 2011. What a GREAT interview! I don’t think I have ever heard Pat Bravo speak and her enthusiasm was fantastic. Just listening to her made me feel better about my life. Don’t worry she is not so gushy that she makes everything seem perfect in her life; it is her attitude that was a good reminder for me. Take a listen!

Katie talked about practicing an invisible ladder stitch, which is the preferred way of closing stuffed animals, bag linings, etc. She talked about it in a recent podcast (you are listening, right?) I didn’t know what this was, so I checked out some web tutorials. Taffy has some nice photos in her tutorial. I don’t understand the first couple of pictures from the Sewing for Beginners tutorial, but it turned out pretty well, so I’ll probably go back and look at it more carefully. There is also a video from another blog, which I didn’t watch, but may.

I listened to an older podcast of Daisy‘s about Quilt Mythbusting. I loved it! She doesn’t give dissertation quality references, but she does give references to her information as well as practical advice and tips surrounding the alleged myth. Good job, Daisy!

I listened to a  really interesting podcast about creativity from a radio show called On Being with Krista Tippett. Worth a listen. For you quilt/science geeks (Pam!), there is a lot about the brain and other science-y stuff.

Speaking of science geeks, Pam saved me some time by trying out the iron-on vinyl. This a product that makes any fabric (probably not upholstery fabric, but certainly quilting fabric) into a laminate. She used a different brand that the link above, but I wanted to give you some idea of what we were talking about. The idea is to make part of the bag waterproof. For example, you might want to put some on the bottom of a bag in case you set it in something wet or icky. Jennifer Paganelli mentioned using leather on the bottom of a bag to reduce wear (Jackie’s Quilting Chronicles, April 15, 2011). Same idea. I talked about it when I mentioned the changes I want to make to the Petrillo Bag pattern. That updated bag is still on my radar, in case you think I forgot.

Another article on how to find free eBooks and free audiobooks, in case you need some entertainment when you are not sewing.

Stuff to Think About
Tanesha over at CraftyGardenMom podcast and blog posted an essay about the low cost of Anthropologie ‘handmade’ quilts. People made some good comments about the post on Reddit as well. This has been on my mind as well, but from the Garnet Hill quilt perspective. The prices are outrageously low. All I can think about when I look through the Garnet Hill catalog is an ugly room full of desperate women who can’t feed their families without making these quilts. I think about the garment workers in Bangladesh who were injured and killed when the building they were working in collapsed. I could never make a quilt for the price they quote and I couldn’t buy one of Garnet Hill’s or Anthropologie’s quilts, because that is all I would think about.

I think we have a problem with value vs. cost in this country. We will drive for miles for a ‘deal’ and not worry much, or say “oh well” when it breaks next year and can’t be fixed. Some of this is why I stopped listening to one of the podcasts that others love.

Someone will be reading this and thinking “well, I wouldn’t be able to make a quilt and I couldn’t afford a quilt if the cost reflected its true value.” Handmade craft – any kind of craft – has value. The beauty of the hand labor has value. It is hard to put a dollar value on it. I make quilts for myself – to keep myself sane, to have something different from my job work to do, to work with beautiful fabrics, to feel soft texture in my hands. I don’t make quilts to sell, partially because it isn’t worth it. When people inquire I say that my quilts start at $1000 and that usually stops the conversation right there. If a person doesn’t make anything, they can’t conceive of the time and effort it takes. Go make something, even a toothpick house and see how long it takes you. There is effort involved in handmade and we should all be glad to pay for it.

Richard's Templates for Russian Rubix
Richard’s Templates for Russian Rubix

Cool Tools, Thread and Fabric

Susan talked about the Russian Rubix pattern on her podcast recently. I mentioned it also, in a recent post. I looked around the web for version of the quilt and came across the Tiffany is Sew Busy blog where she talks about the pattern and her friend, Richard. Richard is my new hero because he offers to make templates for the Russian Rubix pattern. I ordered two sets, one for me (ruler junkie) and one for Susan. I received them, but I haven’t tried them. They look great, though. Very professional! He even offered to make templates for other patterns as well. I want to take him up on that! He followed up to ask if I had received them and told me he is working on getting them up on Etsy and on his website. I don’t see anything yet, but you can email him by going to Tiffany’s blog and getting the information there.

Why didn’t you tell me Camille Roskelly hooked up with Aurifil and created a Simplify thread pack? I want it. I want it now and I want YOU to buy it for me.  Thank you. 😉

Challenges and Group Projects
EBHQ’s Voices in Cloth Show will be held at Craneway Pavilion on March 22 & 23, 2014. The show will include the WWII Home Front Quilt Challenge, which has recently been launched!  Please visit the Home Front Challenge website for information and to view the Call for Entries. You can print the call for entries from the site.  To request a copy be mailed to you, email your request with your mailing address to:

Quilts selected from the entries will be exhibited online and in a special exhibit at Voices in Cloth 2014. EBHQ is working on other venues and hope to show the quilts throughout 2014.

There is additional information on the website, including a list of partner organizations. you probably need to be a member of the group to participate, but the membership fee is very reasonable and the Voices in Cloth show is one of the best guild shows around. Email if you have any questions, or if you need information in a different form. Please help us get the word out and thanks.

Cat Bed Delivery Van
Cat Bed Delivery Van

The cat beds were delivered to the Homeless Cat Network this past week. Look at this van! Amanda took the photo to show us how much work we had done ‘for the kitties’ as she likes to say. She had to fill the beds with her stash of schnibbles, so she had plenty of work to do after I (we) sewed the beds. You can see some of the cat beds I made in the photo.

We are up to 39 email subscribers! Yay! I know it is silly and so far below some of the way more popular blogs, but I don’t care. Thanks, chicklets!