Sewing Summit and a Bag Handle How-to Video
Warning: I'm about to be somewhat corny. The reason is that I'm still feeling all warm and fuzzy inside from Sewing Summit. As the event approached, I have to admit, was nervous. Would people like my presentation? Will I live up to who people think I may be? Will they be disappointed? How am I going to teach a whole handbag in one hour without the use of any sewing machines?
But in the end, all that anxiety was for nothing. Sewing Summit was filled with down to earth people. There was lots of learning and sewing and it was a low key, accepting atmosphere. All of which we have two wonderful, passionate women to thank, Erin and Amy. The most wonderful part of the weekend was truly meeting all of the "friends in my phone" from Twitter.
While there, I taught Handbags 101. Because I knew I only had an hour (and no one would be sewing) I made a ton of how-to videos for my class. And in the spirit of Sewing Summit (which in the end sorta' felt like it was about sharing and sisterhood as much as sewing), I'd like to share one of them with you. This video is about how to make a cute trendy handle. In it I am referring to my Springtime in Paris Pocketbook pattern (there's a kit here) which I taught in it's entirety. But, of course, these handles can be made for any bag. Happy stitching!
Early on Monday morning of last week, my friend Janis and I set out for quilt market. We decided to drive this time because my booth had so much stuff and "what was 11 or so hours in the car?". Nothing. Not after the 18 hour trip we braved to Farm Chicks a couple years ago. And that time we were in separate cars. Nevermind I had it in my head that Spokane was just a bit up and to the right from San Francisco. As it turned out it was up, to the right, and almost to Canada.
This time we had Big Alice, our rented 12 foot trailer. She was Big Alice because apparently it's not nice to say Big Ass Trailer over and over again on Twitter. Whatever. Big Ass Trailer. Big Ass Trailer. My blog. I get to say it. And for whatever reason, I love saying it. Big. Ass. Trailer. I drove a Big. Ass. Trailer.
That explains the title of this post... I am woman hear me roar! Because now that I drove a Big. Ass. Trailer. I am INVINCIBLE. But don't anyone tell Super Husband because I don't want to end up taking out the trash or anything. I've been pretending that I can't do that for about 18 years.
Driving a Big Ass Trailer made me feel like a goddess. Lord knows if you can back up a Big Ass Trailer, you can do anything. And I did. I backed up Big Alice on several occasions. Never mind the Utah men that came to my rescue on those several occasions. I was the driver. So I backed up the big ass trailer. And in the process I amazed (read: amused) everyone around me.
Note: if you are parking a Big Ass Trailer there are a couple thing to be aware of. A: Don't park going straight into a parking spot because you will have to back up the Big Ass Trailer to get out of the parking spot. And B: When parking in an empty parking lot at night be sure that said EMPTY parking lot will not be a FULL parking lot when you go back in the morning to move your Big Ass Trailer. I'm just saying. (Ummmm... thank you to Derreck, branch manager of Zion Bank who has backed up many Big Ass Trailers in his day and was able to direct me away from the BMW 7 series that sat right in my path and who paid for my parking because Utah men apparently rock... more on the awesome men of Utah later.)
I am also invincible for another reason... Although there *might* have been a few tears shed and a couple screams of horror heard throughout the Salt Lake City Convention center during setup when the workers knocked over and broke one of my shelving unit towers (they fixed it... another reason Utah men rock), everything turned out absolutely as I envisioned it. Absolutely perfectly as I envisioned it.
And then when all the work was done, the car and the trailer were packed and we got back in to go home yesterday morning, we found waiting for us 2 bottles of juice, a bag of Chex Mix and a note from Robby who saved me and valeted the Big Ass Trailer right in front of the Marriott all week, that said, "have a safe trip home". He'd spent part of the tip I'd given him the night before on us. Amazing. Yes, Utah men rock. All is well with the world and I had a fabulous quilt market experience.
I am woman hear me roar!
I'm exhausted. I shouldn't be writing this because I should go to sleep, but I felt compelled to tell you that I'm exhausted. I've finally got my patterns about ready to go to print (thank heavens), I've been sewing like a mad woman and everyone in my house is ticked off at me for ignoring them. And that includes the dogs.
People in this house are not used to me throwing frozen lasagna at them and saying "see ya". And heavens to Betsy, they've had leftovers too. People are not happy with me. They're socks don't match, their clothes are not clean and more than once a teenager has called from school to say, "Hey, my lunch account is not full." That's life in this household right now. That's life in this household the month before quilt market.
Ah well, whatever and whatever. I have my patterns almost ready, I've ordered postcards (above), the booth is being built (thanks to one INCREDIBLE Super Husband who has more fabulous ideas than you can imagine), and samples are being made. Oh, and I ordered "I'm Inspired to Sew" pins for 100 lucky people. I'll pass them out at my book signing (Saturday the 14th at quilt market, C&T booth) and then the rest will get given away at my booth. And "oh" again! I have a surprise, non-fabric related product that will most likely debut in my booth. It's pretty stinking cool, if I say so myself.
Maybe someday I'll send my kids to college with $ from this business and they'll thank me for not matching their socks.
Teaching. It is one of the most satisfying things that I get to do. I feel really lucky that I'm getting to do quite a bit of it this year. The past two Wednesdays I taught my Patchwork Rose handbag from Inspired to Sew. There were four students and each left with a finished or almost finished bag which was really exciting.
Each student did their own version of the original in beautiful fabrics. This one is Sheila's bag. I think the mix of fabrics made it really interesting to look at.
There were the original velvet roses...
And then Laura Fraga who is a designer and expert at hand applique decided to do a different kind of rose on her bag. These are her roses made with bias trim and sewn on by hand. She showed us how to make them. They are apparently a traditional flower that is done on Baltimore Album Quilts often. If she gives me permission, I'll do a tutorial. I just love the pristine look of these.
Here are a couple finished bags. This is Connie's. I love her smile. She was super-excited to go show it off at school pick-up after class.
And here is Nancy. I love the Victorian feel of her bag.
Nancy also brought in a tree inspired by the one in my book but smaller that she is working on. It was so exciting to see it take shape!
Next class up is the container garden pillow at Cotton Patch in Lafayette, CA. Can't wait. See my sidebar for details. Psssst. It's the same as the pillow I made for my mom (two posts down).
Have you ever wondered why one of your favorite bloggers was Inspired to Sew in the first place? What got them started? Who taught them to sew? Why do they love it so much? The Inspired to Sew blog tour will include answers to these questions and ...
each will Give Away a copy of Inspired to Sew as well!
Mark your calendars and remember to stop by for a chance to win. And be sure to tell us why YOU are inspired to sew!
January 31 Mary Abrue: Confessions of a Craft Addict
February 1, Jennifer Paganelli: Sis Boom!
February 2, Jona Giammalava: Stop Staring and Start Sewing
Feb 3, Rashida Coleman Hale: I Heart Linen
Feb 4, Sarah Fielke: The Last Piece
Feb 5, Jenny Doh: Crescendoh
Feb 6, Cara Wilson: Cara Quilts
Feb 7, Deborah Moebes: Whipstitch Fabrics
Feb 8, Monica Solorio-Snow: Happy Zombie
And... (edit) Susanne Woods will be giving away a stack of my Full Bloom fabric (which is no longer in print) at the end of the tour on the Stash Books Blog on February 9!
My lovely twitter friend, Cara Wilson, from Cara Quilts came up with this fun idea: Get people from all over the world together all at one time to talk sewing/quilting. We do this on Twitter. Live on Tuesday evenings 9PM EST! And people really do show up and chat with us from all over the globe.
It's Called Talkin' Tuesdays. All you have to do is search #talknt and then follow along in the conversation. Chime in if you'd like.
And, to win prizes, Re-tweet the prize tweets.
a 4-pack of sewing patterns and 10 fat quarters of Country Lane. I'd love to see you there!
From the first stitch I ever took, I was hooked. I was hooked on fabric, on thread, on color, on pattern and especially on the act of creating something out of nothing. It truly brings me happiness unlike anything else. That's why the name of my book is Inspired to Sew. Every project came about from this unending love of creating something sewn. I hope that the projects in it will inspire you to sew as well.
Because I'm hoping you are, I've put an "I'm Inspired to Sew" blog button in my sidebar... feel free to "steal" the code for your blog! And if you are interested in a signed copy, they are now available to pre-order on my website. I expect them to ship next week. Use code, iminspiredtosew, for 10% off, and be sure to choose USPS for the least expensive shipping cost.
If you are local, there will also be a book signing at Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, CA on January 22. I'd love to meet you there! Please check their class schedule as well, I will be teaching the Tea Party Accessories from the book on January 20 from 6 to 9 PM.
Additionally, be on the look out for an upcoming blog tour!
If you missed my interview on Pat Sloan's Creative Talk Radio you can download the podcast here. My interview was the one on December 6, 2010.
Check out Sew4home for the how-to on this project and a bit of the conversation I had with Editor, Liz Johnson.
And for a giveaway of my latest four patterns and my "Holiday Traditions" story, visit Where Women Create... There you'll find a giveaway a day and holiday traditions from many designers for their Twelve days of Christmas! They are already on day 9! Run on over there and sign up!
You've been told that quilt market is all about the fabrics... all about the patterns... the books.
The truth is, it's all about the cute shoes. And this year my friend Mary Abreu, author of Little Girls, Big Style and the designer behind Confessions of a Craft Addict won the cutest shoes at International Quilt Market prize. And the cutest socks prize right along with it. I am the self-named judge of that contest. So what I say goes on that front.
But you wanted to know about another contest, didn't you... so without further delay... the winner of the group of my newest sewing patterns is: #36, Stina.
and the winner of the Little Birds book is Beth, number 13!
Claim your prizes, ladies!
I'm leaving first thing tomorrow morning for Quilt Market, but I thought you might want to know what my next fun secret was. Here's the low down: Making Memories is launching a new product for fabric cutting at Quilt Market in Houston called Slice Fabrique. And I am creating Bari J. co-branded custom shapes for it! Slice Fabrique is a digital fabric cutter. i.e.: No more cutting by hand! And because the designs are stored on a special SD card, you’ll save loads of money (and space) versus the manual die cutters. My designs will be based on my fabric and sewing pattern designs! This is what the little portable machine looks like (I actually have a PINK one):
(photo courtesy of Making Memories)
If you'll be at market don't forget to visit Making Memories at booths 2236-2239.
And I will be in booth 1261! See you soon!
I've been spending tons of time getting ready for quilt market where I'll be showing my newest sewing patterns made up in my latest fabric line, Country Lane (printed by Windham Fabrics). I'll also be promoting my book, Inspired to Sew, which is due out in January. And while I'm really excited about all of that, I've been keeping a couple other things under wraps. One of those, I've just been freed to talk about, the other I received a contract for last week and I believe word will be out next week. It's all pretty cool.
The big exciting news is my next fabric line will be out this Spring printed by a new company! I'll be with Lecien, a Japanese company, and fabric home of Monica Solorio-Snow, Brenda Riddle and Sarah Fielke et al. I'll not be announcing the name of the line or any of the details at this time, or at market in Houston, but I can tell you that I went beyond anything I've done before and I'm immensely proud. It will be released this Spring at market in Salt Lake City.
I do want to make mention of my friends at Windham, who I like and respect very much. Windham is a wonderful company to work with. My most current line, Country Lane, recently arrived in stores. I love it, and I can't wait to show you what I made with it for this market.
I'm so excited about having my very first solo booth. So because I went and dragged you over here with promises of fortune... Here's a little sneaky peek of bits and pieces of booth #1261... See you in HOUSTON!
Postcards sent to me by C&T to promote my book...
Izzy taking a little nap in a bag:
Brochures, and ... ooh, are those new business cards?
Dude, have some bags!
my most favoritest sewing technique ... collage.
And all these bits and pieces? You guessed it. For another collage. Part of a crazy whacked out idea I had last night... Can't wait to see how that turns out.
On Monday evening all of the teachers were invited to Jean Well's home for dinner. It was wonderful meeting all the other teachers, and such a beautiful setting. Jean's home backs to farmland with a clear view of Sisters Mountains. Heavenly.
This is the view to the right in the backyard:
And to the left:
And here are the hostesses, mother and daughter, Jean and Valori:
A good time was had by all! Thank you Jean and Valori!
Sisters is a great place to teach. Not only do the students enjoy learning, but as I mentioned in a previous post, the whole community seems to get in on the action. When you arrive at the high school, where the classes are, you are greeted by a contingency of high school students who help you bring your supplies and machines inside in grocery carts. The kids are around all day helping with various and sundry things. You get the feeling that everyone wants to be a part of Quilter's Affair.
And, I love teaching. There's nothing like sharing what you enjoy most with others. One thing I enjoy most is cutting big old motifs out of the center of a piece of fabric and then creating a collage to make something new. I do this with free-motion quilting. That's exactly what we did with my first project, The Container Garden Pillow. The original is a 24" x 24" pillow which I'm not going to show you because it's in my upcoming book, and I need to leave a little to the imagination, you know what I mean? But here are some pillows in progress and almost finished pillow fronts made by my students. My goal here was to make collage addicts of all of the ladies, get them comfortable with free-motion quilting, and so that, like me, they have big pieces of fabric with holes in the middle because there was a Had-to-be-Had Motif there. I have tons of pieces like this. It's a sign of a true love for fabric.
Here her motifs are all pinned on and she's ready to start her quilting.
I try to give students the freedom to make their projects into what they want them to be, and this next one is a great example of someone who did just that. She based this one on a vase she had in her home.
And this is the back of a finished pillow front... the white is the bobbin thread. Don't you love how you can see what was on the front? Sorry for the blur... but you get the idea. We were all very excited over this one.
In the end most of the ladies (there were 16, I think) got their pillow fronts quilted. I then sent them all home with instructions on how to finish their pillows. I'm dying to see how they all end up! So, if you are reading this... be sure to send me your photos!
There will be an overload of fresh quilter's and sewers at Sisters next year if I have anything at all to do with it. Because even if I'm not teaching there (which I hope to be), I'm going to start a movement to get all of you there! Ladies and gentlemen, Sisters is Mecca for sewing and the needle arts.
Led by Jean Wells-Keenan and her daughter Valori Wells, The Stitchin' Post has been around for 35 years, as has the festival which was founded by Jean. Jean is about to be the 40th person inducted in the Quilter's Hall of Fame. A huge honor for her and her family! The Stitchin' Post itself is a dream of a place with pretty much everything you can imagine you'd ever need to do what we do. Patterns, books, fabric, notions, yarn... and the best of it all.
The Quilter's Affair is a five-day program (M-F) before the start of the festival which is always the second Saturday in July. It was a huge honor for me to teach there. As I quickly found out, the teaching staff is world class. I would gladly take a class from any of them. And the students are so excited to be there, it's just a pure pleasure to teach. I taught two projects from my upcoming book (Inspired to Sew; to be released January 2011), an apron and a pillow, plus I also taught a two day class on my Garden Tea Party Quilt (see sidebar) and a handbag class. That was five days of teaching, and each day I learned something new and felt blessed to be sharing what I love.
I am overflowing with creativity and inspiration from my trip to Sisters. I met so many wonderful, talented people. And words can't describe how Sisters and the spirit of community there filled me with joy. This is going to take like a month to re-cap! I have so many photos, and so much to say. So, I'll begin at the beginning and wind my way through the trip.
Due to lack of direct flights, I arrived in Sister's pretty early in the day on the 4th of July. Kind of a crazy day to land as everyone in Sisters it seems was in Bend for fireworks that night. After checking into the hotel... which has llamas, the first order of business was finding a shoe store where I purchased a seriously Oregonian, but surprisingly cute, pair of Keens... a necessary evil I found out. BTW, llamas spit, did you know this? I did know, but I was reminded the hard way. I know! That guy looks really nice, doesn't he? But truly, he needs to learn some manners!
After recovering from the spitting incident, I was then able to walk around before all became quiet and still. And I found my dream home. It was for sale too! Sigh.
I also stopped at Sisters Bakery. Don't be judgmental again. I was instructed by my brother, a U of O Duck, that I was to stop there and eat a chocolate covered, chocolate donut. I was just being compliant. Ask my brother. I do anything he says... ummm... yeah... and so... where was I?
So I ate my chocolate donut and then walked and walked and walked because I was sure I'd done some serious damage with that donut. By time I was done walking it was time for dinner, of course. But it was the 4th of July, so almost everything was closed by time I remembered that it was a holiday. Therefore, I was forced to eat at a BBQ. And they forced me to eat Danish Babyback ribs. It was all that was left, I swear. And I did have to walk back to the hotel and all. I needed to be nourished for the trip.
Ok. So. Tomorrow I will start in with some sewing photos for you! You are going to love what my students did in their pillow class. They were so cool!
I'm not usually such a pill here, but I guess I won't beat around the bush. I totally lost my mojo after quilt market. It seems so long ago, I've almost forgotten it. It was rough. And unfortunately my mom hasn't been that well lately... she's on the mend, thank goodness, but it's been a trial for her for sure. Market was kind of up and down for me partly because she was back in the hospital in Arizona while I was there. Not just for that reason, but if you saw me there you know I was kinda' sorta' ... to put it mildly ... emotional. Apparently that's my natural reaction to not sleeping for days on end and generally being a complete freak. That and The-Great-Chin-Breakout-of-Spring-Quilt-Market-2010 will go down in history as my worst ever.
To top things off, when I got home I thought I was going to quickly get our house into ship shape for putting on the market (ie: the next morning I painted the front hall), when our "The Ackermans are Moving to Arizona" plans came to a crashing halt. That totally threw me for a loop since I really want to move near family. Had planned on being there before our 14yo starts highschool in the Fall. But alas, it is not in the cards... yet.
Unfortunately, I didn't take very many photos while I was at market due to my disastrous mood, so I hope you'll forgive the lack of detail. I did, however, have the best roommate in the universe... Rebecca Makas from Restitcherator. I can't tell you how she saved me... And we just met! I also managed to interview Amy Butler, Pat Bravo, Kay Whitt and Lizzie House while I was there. So you have that to look forward to through Boutique Cafe. And I did take some limited photos of Country Lane samples before I left. My favorite is this ottoman slip cover. The flounce took some figuring out, so I was really thrilled with the end result.
And a pillow...
I mixed some turned under applique with my always first choice: collage. And then, because I can't leave well enough alone, I also did some hand embroidery on the top. I may be certifiable.
I also made a Lill Street Messenger (see below... it's one of the new sewing patterns):
And, the center of what will be my free quilt pattern... the Bed and Breakfast Quilt.
I actually did quilt and bind this... and it appears I took the photo upside down, but there ya' go...
This is a virtual version of what the quilt will look like when all is said and done...
With what was the cut-away fabric for the flounce there was a circle left over, so I made a little dresden plate table topper... this is it before it was finished (ah hem... taken with my iphone):
and then I quilted it by hand and put on a binding:
Also while I was at market, I introduced two new sewing patterns which are TBD June 30 and are available for pre-order now. They are the Gracie Girl Pincushion and The Lill Street Messenger. They will be available through me and distributors as well.
Since the moving plans were "revised", the whirlwind tour of crazy hasn't stopped. I have the "flow" for my book (which is the unformated/undesigned version) to get through and approve. And I have another project for which I had have photographs taken of myself. Eeew. And do a sewing project for. Which is altogether exciting, but getting photos taken of myself is not really my dream job, ya' know? I'm also getting prepared for a trip to AZ and then to Sister's Oregon where I'm teaching. And somehow I need to keep my website updated (there are some new things on there and a SALE). So... I know I've made most of the crazy all on my own, but I feel generally insane of late. And I'm going to have to figure out how not to do that in the future. Although if you know me, you know there is not much hope for that. I apparently, like my mom says, "Thrive on Chaos".
((Photo from The Creative Connection Blog))If you haven't heard about it already, you most certainly will. Created by Nancy Soriano, former editor in chief of Country Living and Jo Packham, the founder and editor in chief of WHERE WOMEN CREATE, The Creative Connection is a 3-day event that brings together women who are passionate about being creative in their lives as artists, business owners, bloggers and more! There are classes, panels and even a market to enjoy! I'm devising a way to get there myself, but in the meantime, I'm honored to be part of it in any way I can. I was asked to write an article about creativity and inspiration for their blog, and it will appear there tomorrow.
I wrote about my love of mixing fabric in an article called, Fabric Mixology... which is my term for ... you guessed... mixing it up with fabric! I hope you'll stop by The Creative Connection Event Blog tomorrow to read more about it!
((Update: My guest post will be up at 12 MST on 4/22))
...my new pattern, Home Sweet Home. This piece will be displayed at Quilt Market in Houston this week. And the pattern will be available for free download when Art Journal hits stores in April. The piecing and collage was artfully (and expertly) executed by my good friends, Janis Stob and Margaret Linderman (a mother daughter team... aka, December's Child), and beautifully quilted by Deb McPartland.
Hugs and kisses to all three of you! Can't go it alone! Thanks for being there!
The best thing about Farm Chicks is the people. My neighboring booths were friends from Women Take Wing: Heather Bullard, Tammy Gilley, and Deb Kennedy... and also my friend Janis, of course, who I drove up with, roomed with and who I love dearly.
Here's a shot of Deb and one of her booth.
Deb is Wonder Woman with tons of energy and huge talent. She is the Diva of Retail Design, and interviewed Heather, Tammy and myself for the gift and home channel which was a total treat. I loved learning a little bit about that world. See her blog for more info about that.
Heather's booth was a 10x10 wonderland. A full-on store in a tiny space. She and her Super Husband are just the kindest souls too. I was having a
disater little tilting problem with my apron clothes line and SH o'Heather saved the day (cue music... "here I come to save the day!"). He was husband on loan for all of us ladies and we couldn't have been more appreciative. Heather herself is so supportive of all of us and can't be thanked enough for giving me the gift of potty breaks.
On the other side of the show were the lovely women of Peace Within. Recognize the aprons from anywhere??? Those girls were first in line for Bari J. goodies. So nice.
Right beside me on the left side of the aisle were Mary and her husband from ANeMonE. These are handmade paper flowers. Check out their award winning website!
I scored a fabulous corner booth... and this was more of the loveliness I was able to stare at all day... from Tarte...
And last but not least, below, The Vintage Empire's, Empress, Adrienne in her gorgeous booth.
And, despite that grueling drive, it was just wonderful!
Janis (decembers child) and I took off early Wednesday morning and drove up to Portland. I had never been on the Northern Cal drive to OR before so I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty I was about to witness...
This is the stunningly beautiful Mt. Shasta. Our first resting spot. This shot was taken right outside the Subway we ate at. We were pretty stoked that we landed there.
I have so many details to share, but I am finding I'm completely exhausted. So for today, if you'll excuse me, I'll just post a few of my pictures of the event... more details tomorrow.
And this is Janis... Isn't the quilt in the background incredible???
This is the booth of my friend, Tammy Gilley... She's a cutie sweetie, but her pic turned out blurry...
Here, Heather Bullard... she's a Rock Sta'. And, one of the kindest souls around (more on that later):
Alrighty. That's all for now... I'm seriously falling asleep here at the computer at 12:30 in the afternoon. Rather pathetic, but that's the state of affairs as they are.
Tickets are now available for the Annual Michaelangelo Fashion Show and Trunk sale in which I will be participating. If you are going to be or are in the area of Santa Cruz, you might want to attend. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun.
This runway show will display local talent from Santa Cruz and the Bay Area at the Civic Auditorium in beautiful Santa Cruz, California. The event will take place on the weekend before the annual Open Studios Art Tour, bringing together fashion and art enthusiasts. The adjoining art exhibit at Michaelangelo Gallery will feature photographs inspired by each designers collection. In addition to the runway show, a post show Trunk Sale will be held immediately after the show for attendees to purchase the fashion straight off the runway!
Some participating designers include Donna Lou Clothing (that's a Bari J. mag bag on that beautiful model wearing Donna Lou Clothing) and Stacey Cameron Jewels (love her vintage bangles)... be sure to check out both of their websites. You'll love 'em.
Where: For tickets click here. for more information on Michaelangelo Gallery and Studios please visit www.michaelangelogallery.net
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
307 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Friday Sept. 14, 2007
Pre-Reception: 6:00 pm
Fashion Show Time: 7:00 pm Auction Following
Trunk Show Time: 8:00 pm
Adjoining Preview Art Show Opening: Saturday, Sept 7, 2007
or call 831.426.5500
For tickets click here.
for more information on Michaelangelo Gallery and Studios please visit www.michaelangelogallery.net
View my line of licensed fabric designs at
Art Gallery Fabrics
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