Art Gallery Fabric's Fat Quarter Gang!
Fer-shizzle! This has to be the best gang evah! I can't wait to see what they do with LillyBelle!
Check out the details about Art Gallery Fabric's Fat Quarter Gang and get involoved here.
Art Gallery Fabric's Fat Quarter Gang!
Fer-shizzle! This has to be the best gang evah! I can't wait to see what they do with LillyBelle!
Check out the details about Art Gallery Fabric's Fat Quarter Gang and get involoved here.
Bari J. + Suzy-Homemaker = Kid Pattern Yumminess!
About a year ago I mentioned to my friend Suzy of Suzy-Homemaker if she'd like to do a project with me. I adore Suzy. She's not only an incredible designer, she's also one of the best friends a girl could ask for.
It's been a long time coming... please welcome Suzy as the first licensed pattern designer for Bari J.! I love what she's done with the first two girls clothing patterns. Both are available this June. Retailers, please contact me for ordering information at Bari at BariJonline dot com.
Also coming in June... two bag patterns by yours truly...
All of the fabrics featured are from my LillyBelle line for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Good heavens, I think I just gave birth to an 15 pound baby!
(A fabric line reveal!)
For whatever reason, this line was incredibly difficult to bring to life. It was in my head, but I couldn't get it out. I kept telling Pat, "I'm stuck. I'm stuck.". And then suddenly, I was unstuck... and out she came! It was like giving birth, no kidding. And, dang the kid had a big head.
Here is just a little sneak peek ... She's inspired by my latest obsession, Downton Abbey. I have my sister-in-law, Mary (my brother's wife... we have a couple Marys), to thank for getting me hooked. Thank you, Mary!
Making projects look professional... pillow details and a zipper how-to.
Today was the start of pillow making for my quilt market booth. If there's anything I've come to really understand in the past few years, it's the details that really count in making projects look professional. For pillows in particular there are a couple details that I think make things really have polish.
On this pillow, you'll note several things. First, the corners are rounded. After I cut, I always take a bowl from the kitchen and draw rounded lines at the corners. This way, I don't have those dog-eared corners where there's no fluff.
Second, I always cut my fabric an inch shorter than the pillow size. If I have a 24" pillow, I cut at 23". When I pop the pillow form in the cover, it really fills it up nice and fluffy. Love that.
Another thing that I'm really loving these days in the way of detail is adding things like piping and ruffles... and fringe. And pom poms. Here, there's piping outlining the mid-section of this pillow. I think adding a detail like this gives added punch and definition. For the ruffle I used a solid from Art Gallery Pure Elements to frame the pillow very nicely. The Pure Elements colors are uber-rich. If you are interested in an easy way to do piping, I love using Nancy's Zieman's Wrap and Fuse piping which made by Clover. It makes piping super easy. It is cording covered with fusible web, so you simply cut your fabric, wrap it around and fuse it together, saving you a sewing step... and pins. I adore it. Also, it comes in several sizes.
I additionally think that a pillow should be fluffy. I always use fusible fleece as interfacing to give it some added oompf.
One last thing... it's easy to make a pillow back where you overlap two pieces, insert the pillow between and use ribbon or trim to tie it, but I think a zipper makes it have a professional polish you really can't get with the overlapping method. A couple years ago, I learned an extra easy way to do this... here's how...
I hope that helps, and if you want, on the next pillow I'll videotape as I go along... I have at least two more to go before market!
Details on the fabric here: The maing fabrics are LillyBelle, of course... the center is Lily Bouquet and the sides are Flower Pop. The piping is Art Gallery's lace elements, and like I said before, the ruffle is an Art Gallery Pure Elements.
i love zippers, why you must buy this pattern, and please don't sew your fingers.
Sometimes we suffer for our art. But we probably shouldn't sew our fingers for it. However, that's exactly what I did in the making of this pattern. I should say before I start that the actual injury didn't turn out nearly as bad as it looked and is healing well. It just hurt like hell at the time.
Earlier this week, I was installing a very simple zipper for this new pattern. However, I made the hole for the zipper just a tiny bit too short. The metal part of the zipper was in the way. So... I decided to cheat. I made the stitch slightly longer and was going to push past the metal part. Which is something you shouldn't do. I should have made the hole slightly bigger and avoided the metal. And if I really didn't want to do that I could have made the stitch slightly longer and manually turned the needle past the metal. And if I really HAD to use the petal to sew through, I could have used a "Purple Thang" to push the fabric through instead of my hands.
But no. Never you mind that I knew all the various ways to cheat without sewing my hand, I went ahead and did it anyways.
The noise of the machine hitting my finger was ... unusual. I didn't know what had happened for a second. Except that there was searing pain for some reason. I must have looked away. And then I looked down. The needle had broken. It was in my finger nail and I could see a tiny bit of it sticking out the other fleshy side of my finger.
Very quickly, I pulled the needle out. This happened in a matter of seconds after the collision.
And then, my brain apparently started to digest what just happened. I wandered into the bathroom to wash my hand (hub came in after me), when suddenly I thought I was going to vomit. My head started spinning, I started sweating, the blood rushed out of my face and blammo. I passed out.
Talk about a drama queen. Jeezy pa-leesy! I'm telling you. While the nail is cracked, what this injury looks like is that I had a tiny shot in my nail. It feels at the most, bruised. But in my defense, I swear, there was really a tip of a sewing machine needle in my nail.
All this said. I believe this may have happened for a reason. You see, the good news its, you will benefit greatly for my suffering. I now know that if the zipper is 7" I should write the pattern to say the hole should be 7 1/4" which will put the metal pieces out of the way of any cantankorous needles. Go ahead. Thank me for saving your fingers.
The other good news: I totally adore this bag. (Warning: Here comes the sales pitch sounding stuff... but really I'm just excited! Ok. I also believe that this pattern better darn well sell to make the finger sewing episode worth it. You know what I'm sayin'.)
I think it feels part sporty and part sweet. It has pockets out the ying yang for convenience and ruffles for the girly me. The vertical zipper pocket is a great spot for my phone. Plus, inside there are two other pockets: A divided patch pocket and another (horizontal) zippered pocket. This kind of zipper, while it looks complicated is shockingly easy to install. I would say, even easier than a little zipper pouch. Really. I'm not kidding. I've been a fan of zippers for a long time, but I've fallen in love with this installation, and I'm putting them everywhere. Love love.
The other feature I'm crazy over is the strap. It actually can be used as both a hand strap, and be worn longer to go cross body or over the shoulder. You'll see in the photo at the top the strap is doubled. Below is the long strap. I think the hardware makes it look super professional too. And it's all hardware and zippers that you can get at the big box store... you know the one.
Below you can see how the strap hooks onto itself to make a shorter handle.
For the magnet, I did something extra special. I have long had a battle with magnetic closures because after much use on fabric they wear and eventually tear your bag. Here I've created a reinforcement that adds detail and a punch of color. I've noticed this on some of my store bought bags, and I love the feature.
This pattern and LillyBelle will be available in early June.
Home and a Quilt.
We finally got word from the bank. They accepted our bid on the short sale. Which means we got an exceptional deal on a really awesome house! With a pool. This has been a seriously long road and I realize it could have been far far longer and more difficult. And for that, I am grateful.
We won't be moving in until after quilt market which is mid-may though we close on the house May 4... I just can't imagine finishing up quilt market prep and moving at the same time. So, we will wait until I get back which is really a blessing because the kids finish school for the year two days after I get home. The furniture will arrive the day after Em's graduation.
In other news, I finished the next fabric line for Art Gallery, and it will be available to see at quilt market in may at Art Gallery's booth. I need to think up a name, stat. Meanwhile, my booth will be filled to the rim with LillyBelle which ships in June. The sewing with LillyBelle has begun in earnest. I need loads and loads of aprons for part of my booth, so if you're interested in sewing a full length apron with the pattern of your choice, let me know. There's free fabric involved in that deal, you know... and of course, after market, the apron is yours to keep.
Above: first blog of starlight quilt... which will be a free download.
Sewing Pattern Sneak Peek
I'm super happy about this new pattern. I had been working on a prototype for nearly a year or more on and off knowing I needed a cover myself. I finally perfected it with a zipper, an adorable pocket with piping for your headphones and contrasting fabrics. Super thrilled to see it in my new LillyBelle collection.
Coming, May 2012
(not final cover)
"Quilts Take You Home" ...
Between sewing samples and designing patterns for quilt market from my limited LillyBelle strike-off stash, designing a new line which will debut at market, and house hunting (we are still waiting on the short sale) just one of the many things I've worked on in the past couple weeks is this fun pattern cover for Road Home Quilting.
Now I'll be immersed in the new line plus a special little project for Miss Kay at Serendipity Studio until at least Friday... I've promised myself I'll finish two prints a day. Then it's sewing sewing sewing sewing sewing sewing... If I don't surface before May 14, please send reinforcements.
Graphic Design If You Please...
In the lull before the storm, (i.e. Quilt Market) I've decided to take on a small number of new graphic design clients for just the next several weeks. Let me know if you are interested and I can send you info. And, if you'd like to take a gander, click here for a small portion of my design work.
Here's an oldy, but goodie... from a catalog piece I did for my handbag business back in the day. Sigh. I miss the handbags.
We are starting to smell like dead fish...
you know the saying.
I'll start this post with a photo... it's the view as we drive into my parent's neighborhood. It's gorgeous. We are very happy living here... and will be happier when we buy a house so we aren't stinking up the joint at my parent's house. I know they'll be appreciative. (We put a bid in today, btw... but it's a short sale, so...).
It has been decided that a reality TV show needs to be made not only about this particular living situation. In all likelyhood, my parents all on their own would make for a classic reality comedy... Why you ask? Ohhhhhhhhh... maybe some of the things on this list will give you a hint.
1. In January Dad (not so impulsively... ha!) bought a ping pong table sans the legs. He did this so he could put said ping pong table on top of the formal pool table in my mom's formal living room next to her gorgeous buffet filled with glass and collectibles so he could play ping pong with his grandchildren (two of whom are living here and are teen girls with expertise in eye rolling). I'll just say, the ping pong table did not make it's way into the Living Room (yet). Cue Mrs. Costanza a la Seinfeld: "Allllllllennnnnn!!!!! Over my dead body! You are not putting that ping pong table in the Living Room!!!" Hence: Dad bought legs for said ping pong table and has been building something in the garage for it... we don't know what. But make a mental note of it and read number 2.
2. My dad is not handy. I repeat: My dad is not handy. This is much of the reason I made a conscious decision to marry a man who is handy. For example, there are a few deferred maintenance issues that Super Hub has been fixing around here. One of the items on his list was to replace the back door handle and lock as it stuck and was very difficult to get open if you weren't using two hands. While Super Hub and I were back in CA packing and closing on our house in late January, Dad decided he'd change the handle and lock himself. He was very proud he'd done this. We were proud of him. And everyone was amazed he'd taken the initiative. Two days after we got back, late at night after letting the dogs in, I confidently turned the lock and quickly turned to go to bed. Immediately: "Clink! Clank! Klunk!". Me: "What the heck?". I turned on the light to look. No lock on the door. Lock is now on the floor. So... ummm... ok. Super Husband will continue working on "the list".
3. Mom watches Judge Judy at 4PM. Every. Day. And if you have the pleasure of sitting next to her, you'll find that she will smack you in the thigh and tell you, "I told you! Didn't I? That Judge Judy! She doesn't take any guff!". And anytime a defendent starts with "Ummmm...", you'll hear mom in unison with JJ, "Um is not an answer!". The girls told her they were going to get her a Judge Judy t-shirt... Mom said she'd prefer a Judge Judy lunch box. Because Emily "got a Hello Kitty lunch box, so it's only fair".
(Now read the first sentence in number 2 again. Ok? Go ahead and read number 4.)
4. Dad just spent the past week creating "something" in the garage. No one would tell mom and I what he was making, but we were certain he was up to no good. Until we came home from somewhere or another Sunday afternoon to find...
And there was one for me too. Who knew? The man has a sense of humor. And, with just a bunch of pieces from Home Depot? Very clever.
5. My mom leaves sticky notes everywhere. Usually it's things like, "Do not leave the bread basket on top of the toaster when you use it!!!". She may or may not be a slightly anxious person (I don't know where I get it.) But this has won the prize as my all time favorite sticky note from mom...
Yes, that is gefilte fish. It is "For Passover". The question is, which is more concerning, the fact that (a): Mom put the note on there because she was afraid someone (Dad) might eat the (shudder) gefilte fish before Passover or (b): She was worried Costco would run out of gefilte fish before Passover which is in April or (c): She didn't just hide the gefilte fish in the pantry because she was afraid it would "get lost" or she would "forget she had it" and buy another.
I don't know. You decide.
5. We counted. Dad has 6 musical instruments, including a ukelele...none of which he can play... We forgive this because he didn't have a good childhood. Which also explains the remote controlled helicopters and airplanes, telescope and not just one gaming system that he, "bought for his grandchildren".
6. Mom shuffles down the hallway in the morning. Her slipper steps are recognizable all on their own, but she shuffles with her iPad blaring talk radio. She carries it all over the house for that matter. And PS... she leaves it on when she leaves the house. I am convinced it's an evil plot to brain wash me... which ain't happenin'. I'm just saying.
Ok... so this is all for now... more later. Seriously. I could write a book.
ohhhhhhh wait... PS there are 6 animals in this house. 2 Labradors, 2 Pugs, and 2 cats. Think about it.
PPS My parents are aware that we make a very goofy bunch.
Welcome to the World of...
LillyBelle. For me, a whole world came to life in a fabric line. It's LillyBelle's world. I imagine her gathering flowers in her gorgeous garden estate on a quiet morning. She peacefully reads in a cozy library while she waits for the noon chime of mora clocks. The chateau is gracefully decorated in moire silks and beautiful lace. Here and there there we find pieces collected from trips to far away lands. Sweet and smart LillyBelle drinks her afternoon tea on the lawn sitting in a beautifully worn rocking chair. She gazes at fields of bright wild flowers. It's a whimsical fantasy, this land of LillyBelle. For if you are going to dream, dream it all, take liberties. Dream bright and lush. Dream soft and airy. Let worlds collide. In my imagination, colors of the past are transformed as evening falls into modern brights that pop like joyful rockets creating a "warm sunset". By morning colors languidly fade back to the soft hues of yesteryear soothing and relaxing for a "cool sunrise".
LillyBelle. She's strong and fierce, bright and clever, sentimental and soft. LillyBelle goes where I dare to dream she can go.
Pull up a chair. Rev up your sewing machines. Create a bit of LillyBelle's world for yourself.
Coming to stores June 2012. Retailers and manufacturers can order now through Art Gallery Fabrics.
Your Local Quilt Shop (Referral Rewards) + New Pattern of the Month Program
I have several people tell me, "I've been looking for your patterns, but my local quilt store doesn't carry them.". I know that there are many online stores that carry them (including my own). But sometimes people just want to take a good look inside the pattern booklet before they buy. This makes sense to me.
So I had a thought. Maybe my friends can pass the good word about "Keeping it Real Sewing Patterns by Bari J." on for me... and I can give them free stuff for doing it.
So here's the dealio... If you'd like Bari J. patterns in your LQS, send me an email at bari at barijonline dot com with the name of the shop and your address (so I can mail you your rewards). I'll email you a PDF brochure that you can print out and bring on over there. If the shop orders, I'll send you two free patterns for every ten they buy. You can pick from any patterns in my line including the PDFs.
What do you think? Let's get Bari J. patterns in shops around the world! You in? I'd love your wisdom and thoughts on this too... is this a good incentive? Do you have any other ideas? I'd love to hear.
On another note... I've decided to offer 20% off a pattern every month. This month's pattern is the la Boulangerie Apron pattern.
It features a free-motion quilted edge (find out how easy it is here!), deep pockets and an adorable styled waist band.
Just use code "febpattern" to receive the discount at check out. The offer is good until Feb 28, 2012.
LillyBelle Tweetchat Recap
If you missed our tweetchat earlier today, here is a recap. This is just part of the conversation. To view it in entirety, search #LillyBelle on Twitter.
@crowzandroses: Where did you start in the design process: design, color or shape?
@BariJ: I almost always start with color.
@crowzandroses: How do you choose? Favorite color or an item?
@BariJ: Partially I choose color based on trends and partially just what mood strikes me.
@artgalleryfabrics: FB Question...will you have sewing patterns released using your new fabrics?
@BariJ: I will definitely have new sewing patterns featuring LillyBelle. Can't wait!
@crowzandroses: Was it hard to eliminate or did it all come together easily?
@BariJ: It was hard to eliminate certain designs, plus this line went through a huge metamorphosis from beginning to end.
@ellieannapurses: How many designs in this collection?
@BariJ: There are ten designs in 2 different colorways each. It's very diverse and super fun!
@MelissaStramel: Where did the name come from?
@BariJ: Was simply after a beautiful woman's name… imagining her grand estate and gardens. This is the home of LillyBelle.
@MelissaStramel: Will you have a booth at Spring Quilt Market.
@BariJ: Yes. I will be right next to the Art Gallery Fabrics Showroom booth.
@crowzandroses: Do you see it more for smalls or home dec or will it work for larger quilts?
@BariJ: We were very careful to make sure that pieces fit into charm pack sizes, and kept some larger.
@BariJ: I'd say it's a large array of sizes. Some very small (the zig zag) and some large (the lilies). But even the large prints we were careful to make sure that good bits would be visible in a charm pack size.
@BariJ: I can see it being used for home dec, clothing, purses, quilts and more!
@Caraquilts: Will the larger print be good for collaging? like from your book Inspired to Sew?
@BariJ: Yes! Most definitely!!! Collage is always in my mind when designing fabrics.
@ArtGalleryFab: LillyBelle will be great for collaging... the style is funky vintage and works well with the collage style.
@BariJ: I think it's the color palette that makes for a funky style plus the the mixture of scale.
@CaraQuilts: Will LillyBelle be able to be combined with any past collections? or planning for future?
@BariJ: I think that I tend to keep with palettes that combine well together. I'd say it could be mixed.
@CaraQuilts: What is your dream project to see LillyBelle in?
@BariJ: I'd love to see it in home decor. And as I started with purses, I am usually picturing them as I design.
@SzyHomemaker: Will @artgalleryfab ever consider other fabrics such as knits for @BariJ or their other prints?
@Artgalleryfab: We have started printed Voile for some collections, but the possibility of knits still up in the air.
@3kitchenfairies: Tell us about your creative process, what inspired you to create LillyBelle?
@BariJ: I imagine places a lot. I dream of traveling. I tend to look at photos and start with just doodles. An element gets mixed with another. Drawings get put on shelve and then taken back out. Eventually it all comes together.
@fiberosity: What is your favorite color incorporated into the line?
@BariJ: Mustard yellow + raspberry! It's like a great big crazy surprise when u look at it. I LOVE it.
@BdAnderson: What is something different about LillyBelle compared to your other fabrics?
@BariJ: I think that this line has a bit more sophistication than the others. It is definitely a step beyond.
@artgalleryfab: Bari J. offers a more vintage feel to our company but the fabrics are still the same high quality, hand that you love.
@steynhandmade: the background looks quite ikat inspired, is that true?
@BariJ: Silk Moire inspired. It is very textural and meant to be an interpretation.
@3kitchenfairies: please tell?? How did you get to work together??
@BariJ: Pat and I had chatted years ago about working together. The stars really aligned.
@artgalleryfab: Great minds think alike and the pairing was just inevitable ;)
@BariJ: And here's the thing about Pat Bravo :When she says something,she means it. A true good person!
@artgalleryfab: I always wanted 2 work w/ Bari J. and timing was just right this time. We love her style & r super excited she joined our team
@Bdanderson: I love the combo of geometrical and florals - Keep them coming!
@szyhomemaker: I love the 'untraditional traditional' nature of this line, semi-traditional prints in untraditional colors and vice-versa
@BariJ: I love the 'untraditional traditional' nature of this line, semi-traditional prints in untraditional colors and vice-versa.
@BariJ: I'm thrilled to get to have 10 prints in 2 colors rather than 7 or so in 3. Gives shops more variety!
@Crowzandroses: Makes it easier to work with and for stores to sell.
@BariJ: 10 prints gave me many more options when designing the free quilt pattern for this line. So fun.
@SzyHomemaker: I think they're going to be great for garments and home dec for sure -- not just for quilters anymore ;)
@artgalleryfab: FB Q... fb: Start from palette of colors? Doodle designs first and then fill in the color?
@BariJ: I start with a palette of colors which may or may not change. Then I doodle doodle draw doodle and mix and match. designs from years ago can be taken out of files and suddenly they find a home in a line
@caraquilts: Do your teen daughters influence your art?
@BariJ: they tell me very very honestly when something sucks.
@BariJ: But really, having teen girls means I have to keep up on trends or be punished by them. LOL.
@CaraQuilts: Do you ever come up with a design, and think "where did THAT come from?"
@BariJ: Yes! All the time. And when things come together, it happens all at once as an epiphany.
@CaraQuilts: What is your favorite print/colour in the line?
@BariJ: There is a large scale floral you haven't seen all of yet. I'm crazy about it.
My first line with Art Gallery Fabrics will be released soon... for now I'm so excited to tell you a little about it and share a bit of the world of LillyBelle with you! Please watch the video below. Also, please join Pat Bravo and me for a live twitter chat tomorrow at 1PM EST ... details here.
The Secret is OUT!
Hi Friends. We have both been teasing you all week with some mysterious and some not so subtle "Big News on Thursday" tweets and incessant Facebook posts. Did notice that both of us had big news to announce on Thursday? "Both who? And why are you so excited?", you ask? Please watch the video to find out.
Save the date for another video on Monday + a live twitter chat... details to come!
The Needlepoint that started it all...
My mother is a painter, a stitcher and a general craft-a-holic. She is currently in a threaded beading phase (not to mention crochet and knitting ... she always has something cooking in that arena).
When I was a small child (three to six years old) there was a three year period where she was working on a very large needle point. It is this piece that I have found influenced my asthetic and design style more than anything I can put my finger on. I remember her working on it and watching her, I remember how excited she was when she finally finished it and had it framed. For years it hung in our dining room, and now it hangs over my parent's bed.
Of course my mother has hugely influenced my art and certainly gave me the arty-crafty bug (even though my dad claims for some reason un-known that "she gets it from me"). But it is this project that has become part of my consciousness and sub-consciousness and turns up over and over in my work whether in direct relation, a color combination or in bits and pieces. Just look how it relates to the current background on this blog.
Is it that it was made by mother and therefore warms my heart? Is it that I watched it being made? Or is it simply that it appeals to me? I'll never know why, but my mom's needlepoint is somehow part of who I am.
Aurifil Designer of The Month
I'm very excited and honored to have been included in this fantastic group of stitchers for the 2012 Aurifil Designer of the Month. I'm Miss August.
The fabulous Roseann Kernes of Rosebud's cottage is this month's designer, and her block is just adorable! You can check out the whole interview and get the pattern on the Aurifil blog. Also, don't forget to join the Flickr group.
Home Really is Where the Heart Is.
We've packed it up. Our house is under contract and we are now in Arizona ... staying with my parents (that's an interesting one at 42 years old) and looking for a new home. My mom has generously let me set up shop in her den. My computer and sewing machines are easily accessible as well as my shop goods.
The adventures are many... mostly in arranging schools for the girls. Arizona has open enrollment so we can put our kids in Scottsdale schools even though we are currently staying in Fountain Hills. It hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be, and one girl is still not registered. I'll have to do it on the first day of school because the offices are closed for Winter break. All said, if selling the house didn't kill me, then getting kids in school shouldn't either. Though I acted like the world had ended when I couldn't get one of the girls in school due to a red tape issue. Drama.
It was rough getting here. But we all went out to dinner the other night and I realized I wasn't (per usual) busy envying big families sitting together because we were one big crazy happy family. So though we are currently in cramped quarters, I have no idea where my younger daughter is going to school, and I am generally discombobulated, my heart is content. I grew up in Chicago, and after 14 1/2 years in California, I am finally home.
To Hand Quilt or Not to Hand Quilt, That is the Question.
First the plan was to hand quilt the hexie quilt. Then the plan was to machine quilt it myself. Then the plan was to send it to a long arm quilter. Because I have no time right now. Being that, oh, I'm selling a house (and moving), designing fabric lines and sewing patterns that are due soon, I'm throwing Thanksgiving for 30 and my daughter's bat mitzvah is two days later.
Despite all that... I've chosen to do hardest of the three which will take the longest... you know... because I have time for that that's what this quilt was screaming for. So, my sister will have to wait until 324 hexagons are hand quilted to receive her 40th birthday present... probably right around the time of her 50th birthday.
Now, I've done a little bit of hand quilting before and tons of embroidery so in my pea brain I thought this was going to be a piece of cake.
As you can see from the back of my work, It is not a piece of cake. Until you get your groove. And then, suddenly, you get it. The light bulb goes on, your stitches get more even and you realize that the center of the quilt where you started is going to suck while toward the outside, the quilt will be perfection. You consider tearing out the first stitches until you realize you don't have the stomach for that. And you decide it's not so sucky after-all...
Here's what I've learned so far:
2. Do use a thimble of some sort. I like the ones that stick on your finger (even though I'm allergic to the adhesive... if I leave it on too long I get a blister).
3. Stitch toward yourself.
4. Mark your lines if you expect them to be straight... I did that here with a Frixion pen.
4. Don't expect perfection.
You will get it... This is the latest hexie I'm on. The stitches are getting pretty dang even. By hexie 324 I'm sure I can be renamed Bari J., queen of French Knots AND hand quilting.
That will be in 2022. I'll let you know then.
It still doesn't seem real...
We have lived in Northern California for 14 years. That doesn't seem real. And now we are getting ready to move, and that doesn't feel real either even though we've known for about three months that it was a very real possibility.
Super Husband accepted a job in Arizona about a week ago. And I've been staging the house for sale for a month.
We've loved it here, we've raised our two girls here who are now almost 14 and 16. But all this time, we have desperately missed having famiy here.
When we first moved here, I cried every single day for about a year. I was pregnant with Emily, our second daughter. After being here for four months, I ended up on bed rest for pre-term labor. A bit of a conundrum when you have an 18 month old, no family, are new to an area and your husband is traveling on business all the time. In the end, of course, everything worked out. Somehow or another we made it through, and we are stronger for it.
Today one of my sisters has two little boys aged two and two months. She lives in Arizona near our parents, and I've been pining to live there for years now. My wish has finally come true, and it's bitter sweet.
I love my life here, but I love my family even more. I miss my sisters, my brother and my parents. I wish the girls could have spent their whole lives near Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. So though I will miss Northern California, it's beauty and it's weather... and our friends, the only thing that would make this move better would be if my other sister and brother could live in Arizona too. It seems unfair that we all can't be together.
We have lived in this house for eight years. Longer than we've ever lived in a home our entire married life... nearly 17 years. Getting it ready to sell has been a huge undertaking. And now that it is decluttered and beautified, I sure would like to take it with.
Of course new adventures and a new home await ahead of us. I don't know when this house will sell, or when we will finally make it to our destination. I do know that good time are ahead. I'm looking forward to playing with my nephews, family dinners and holidays, dropping in on my sister and parents without a moment's notice and a new life in a new home.
Good Lord, My Sewing Machine is SMOKING!
This is not the way I planned for her to go.
I bought my sweet and lovely Pfaff about eight years ago used and she worked extremely hard for me for those eight years. And she was well taken care of. She had yearly/bi-yearly spa dates over at the sewing machine shop. She has had her circuit board replaced.
But despite all her tender loving care, when it's time, it's time. And you know it's time to replace your beloved sewing machine when certain things happen. One of them is she starts to smoke.
No. I'm not kidding. There was actual smoke coming from the top of my sewing machine. Now granted, I let her cool off for an hour and then sewed two king size pillowcases with her and she seemed just fine. But the truth was undeniable. She'd been on fire. Somewhere within the mechanisms of her sweet little frame, there had been an actual fire. Or was about to be a fire.
I could no longer be in denial. I needed a new sewing machine. And considering what happened to her sister, Babylock Grace, when I opened the rear gate on my SUV (she may or may not have fallen out), I knew I needed a work horse that would not be in need of a backup for at least a little while. (Have no fear. Grace is currently undergoing a series of treatments at the spa. I will need her and all of her stitches very much.)
I ended up buying the above sewing machine, a Juki T2010. I am totally in love. Of course there are a few things I'm not totally in love with, but let me tell you, this baby is a speed demon work horse.
Made of steel, the Juki T2010, has some incredible industrial like features. She's a straight stitching/quilting machine. No fancy schmancy stitches or functions that can break.
Here are the things I love about her:
• Has a built in cutter in the foot pedal. You just step back with your heel and the thread is cut. Love that!
• Great LED lighting.
• Doesn't make any clicking or crazy sounds when you turn her on.
• Has a handsfree knee-lifter lever for the presser foot. This is key when you are fiddling and fuddling with pieces of fabric trying to keep them straight while putting under the presser foot. In fact, I had no idea what I was missing. This thing is the bomb.
• This sucker is FAST and has three speed settings.
• I haven't witnessed it myself yet, but I hear tell she sews through multiple layers flawlessly.
• Has a needle down and feed dogs down position.
• Came with an extension table that has legs that pop up for easy storage. My last table's legs we stationary or screwed in, which made it very difficult to store.
• The stitches look impeccable.
What I don't love:
• The bobbin case is to the side, and it's a little goofy to reach in that way to put it in.
• You have to screw off the presser feet, which is inconvenient.
Overall, I am crazy about this machine so far.
Now, let's get sewing, right? Last night I finally finished my sister Ilisa's 40th birthday quilt using my down and dirty new sewing machine ... It is *slightly* overdue. Her birthday was in April.
But alas, the top is finished and I'm sending it out for quilting!
This quilt is made from Flower Sugar by Lecien and was started last winter. You might want to check out the post. There are links to videos on how to machine stitch a hexie quilt.
I have to admit to procrastinating on this quilt. Once I got to the white hexies it became quite boring and tedius. I'm thrilled it's finished. And I really can't wait to give it to my sister, who I adore. Happy (um, belated) birthday, Ilisa!
We Are Not "Just" Anything.
I've heard this relatively often enough from my women friends for it to bother me ... "I'm just a Mom." or "I'm just a wife." Sentences that start with "I'm just...".
You may be a mom, a wife, a daughter or whatever you are. But you also are you. You are more than "just."
As my daughters get older, these thoughts go through my head more and more often. I hope my daughters become moms one day (far far far in the future)... and when they do, I want them to say, "I'm a mom". Not I'm "just" a mom. And if they have other ambitions, I want them to know that they can do what they set their minds to.
For so many years of my life I believed in my heart of hearts that "other people have talent" and "other people have the secret to success"... I literally felt like there was some sort of magic that "other people" had, and that I certainly did not hold the key. I thought I was "just".
Then one day it honest to goodness dawned on me... other people had what they wanted because they worked really really hard for it. Yes, people are born with certain talents and pre-dispositions, but they didn't hone their talents without really hard work.
Back then, I didn't even know what my talents were. I thought I was "just."
I've heard that it takes 100 hours of practice to get good at anything. That is probably a bare minimum.
But I believe something else. I believe that if you want to succeed in anything, you have to truly, deeply believe that you can... and that you will.
I also believe that you don't necessarily need a degree in that which you want to succeed in. You know, unless you'd like to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever you want to do requires a certificate. Good grief, my degree is in Social Sciences with a concentration in Psychology and Women's Studies ... yes, that's a true story.
What you need is experience, commitment, a belief in yourself, and quite likely ... someone who strongly believes in you.
I believe that we can do what we set our minds to do. I believe that we are not "just" anything.
I believe that I can succeed. And I believe you can too. And not only that. I want you to. Because I want my daughters to believe the very same thing. They are more than "just".
There once was a very fickle decorator...
Super Husband doesn't really take well to "knocking holes in the wall" because I need to take a photo for a single pattern cover. He also doesn't take well to rearranging furniture and stuff like that ... This is what he says, "If I knock holes in the walls every time you have take a photo there would be thousands of nail holes in every wall of this house.".
To which I say, "But how am I supposed to stage this quilt and get a beautiful pattern cover? I NEED you to hang a curtain rod over the buffet!". Or "I need you to hang this coat rail in the living room!"
The bottom line here is, the rod over the buffet in the kitchen? And the coat rail in the living room? They are "permanant". Super Husband is "Not. Moving. Them. Again.".
Which means there must always be a quilt hanging above the buffet and in the living room. And the problem with this is that not every quilt I need to take a photo of is always going to look fantabulous with my decor at any given moment. Know what I mean?
Especially since I may or may not be prone to changing curtains and pillows every five to ten minutes... Um. I mean months. It *apparently* *seems* as though I change curtains and pillows every five to ten minutes. Apparently I am very fickle with the decor in this house.
When there's new fabric, there's new pillows. And there are new curtains. Duh.
The only obvious solution is I also need to keep making new quilts to go in these places that go with the curtains and pillows and all the other changes I make every five to ten minutes.
Which is a very long story to tell you the reason for my presto-chango-quilt-o-rama this weekend. Here's the latest "over the buffet" quilt rendition... I'm loving this new one. If you are wondering, the fabric is my Paris Apartment mixed with Atsuko Matusuyama's Fruit Flower Garden printed by YUMA (the seed packets and the border prints). I am thrilled with it's off-centered-ness and somewhat planned scrappy look. And you may or may not notice... I was extremely reserved with color/pattern here... Um. For me, that is.
It took every single ounce of will power I had not to add in one more print or one more color. I was like crazy uber disciplined.
Join me today with Pat Sloan on ...
Good morning! Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio with Pat Sloan today!
4PM EST! Please tune in by clicking here.
My Loss of Brain Cells? Your Gain!
I wanted to give-away one of these Springtime in Paris Pocketbook kits during the Sewing Summit, and wouldn't you know it, I totally forgot. I'm 42 years old, and apparently my brain has reached it's capacity, thus anything extraeous spills over. It's problematic, really.
The good news is, because I didn't give away a kit when I meant to, and I love to give stuff away (always better than winning), I'm thinking I'll give the kit to a blog reader. I'm sure you agree this is a good idea.
The kit holds about 3/4 yards of fabric combined, interfacings, a zipper, a magnetic closure, ribbon, plastic canvas and a Springtime in Paris Pocketbook sewing pattern. I'm offering up the kit in the orange Paris Apartment fabric colorway in the 14" size.
(This cover was the alternate that didn't get printed... in case you are wondering.)
What you need to do to win is simply leave a comment here. Your comments are numbered. I'll be picking a winner using random.org on Friday, no later than 8PM PST.
Thanks for entering!
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a silly little video I made for Sewing Summit. This video played prior to class starting as people walked in. I wanted to get the party started, you know. I also plied students with chocolate. That's the secret to a good class. Silly songs and chocolate.
The song on this video is called My Pocketbook ... iTunes. I think they have a bunch of great kid's music.
UPDATE: OCTOBER 14, 2011 8:10PM PST
AND THE WINNER IS...
If this is you, hit contact at the top of this page to send me your address!
COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED. PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON THIS POST.
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!
I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked for a how-to video on fabric collage. This technique, which I use for many of my sewing patterns and in Inspired to Sew, is among my favorites. It involves free motion quilting raw edged fabric motifs to create a lovely shabby design. Here are a couple extra helpful hints: A question I get asked a lot is "do you turn your edges under?". The answer is no. Another question I get is "should I glue the motifs down?". The answer to this is also no. First off, it tends to gunk up the needle. Second, when you use glue or iron on materials such as fusible web the collage doesn't get the frayed edge and scrunchy look we are going for. Enjoy the video and let me know if you have any questions!
For a brand new, FREE, project that uses fabric collage head to today's post on Gen Q. I've created a zipper wristlet pattern that will get you started. For other fun projects, please see my book, Inspired to Sew, as well as my sewing patterns which you can find here. Kitchen Art is among my most popular patterns.
Have you visited SeamedUp yet? It's a new(ish) website to track and share sewing projects, manage your stash and meeet other quilters and crafters. It works somewhat like Ravelry does for knitters. Except SeamedUp is keeping a HUGE data base of fabrics, patterns, books and notions, so adding your stash is super easy. They also have great events coming up like quilt-alongs such as Blue Nickel's (my friend Scott Hansen), Quilt-Uber-Fest.
They have all sorts of wonderful things going on over there. Yesterday I got a chance to talk with one of SeamedUp's co-founder's, Alison, and she recorded our conversation for a podcast. I may have said all sorts of silly things... and we were speaking Yiddish...so you might want to go take a listen.
Also, SeamedUp needs our help... which is really like us helping ourselves really because we are the ones who will benefit. They need a bigger server to make the site do all the wonderful things they intend to do with it. If you get a chance, stop by Indie Go-Go and read about their campaign. You can also read their blog post about "Making the Dream a Reality". I think it's important to support other women owned businesses for so many reasons... not the least of which is my belief that it will be women who bring this economy back to a running pace.
Here's a little video with more about SeamedUp!
Free Project and Kit Giveaway at Sew4Home
I was away when this project made it's appearance on Sew4Home so I'm sorta' late to the party, but if you make your way over there, you can still download it and comment to win a kit. Good luck!
On Holiday: Part I, London
We just got to go on a really terrific trip thanks to my hub winning a sales reward. First, we had all of 48 hours in London.
I ... ahem... made the best of it.
This was the extent of our sightseeing. From the inside of a taxi on the way to Paddington Station.
Like visiting quaint French cafe's
Taking artsy photographs...
Gazing at wonders that await in the Victoria and Albert Museum..
Including the temporary Power of Making exhibit...
And, naturally, going to fabric stores... (or "store" as the case may be)
We also made a stop at Cath Kidston. Unfortunately, I was so anamored, I forgot to take photos. Blurg.
Part II of this little adventure includes hard labor, as witnessed below...
More to come.
#27, Rhonda and #41, Carolyn were picked at random on random.org.
Email me at bari at barijonline dot com and I'll send your PDFs!
To kick off this pattern, I'm giving away two PDF copies.
Comment anytime today or tomorrow before 8PM PST and you can win.
The winners have been picked. Comments are now closed. Please see the next post.
I thought I'd get more done this summer than I did. In the end, I ususally over estimate my get it done prowess. I know some of you've been waiting on the Beachside Holiday pattern... it will be back from the quilter soon, and I promise I will bind it FAST and take photos. The pattern is done. I'm just waiting on a good photo for the cover. So, if I'm not overestimating my binding skills (ahem) it really will be done shortly.
Also, I did say I'd have the Fall Quilts and More in my shop and it is now there. (Wipes sweat off brow. Marks one thing off The List.)
And now I'm wondering... What else have I promised? Seems like I'm working my tushy off here. Although ... just thinking aloud here... the tushy seems rather large for having worked it off... and on the other hand, the juicing has really been helping... if you wondered.
On the sewing front, I made my little 2 year old nephew a t-shirt. The guy is obsessed with clocks for some reason. My sister has a photo of him sleeping with his wall clock. So for his birthday party he will be wearing this hand embroidered T-shirt. I'll post the pattern over on We Love French Knots for any of you who want a cute simple clock pattern. I hear toddlers love them. Apparently it's not just our little man.
I will admit that I did make curtains for our kitchen again this weekend. I say I'm "admitting it" because I might have a small problem with changing curtains in that same spot...this is the fourth curtain rendition for the area. Can you tell that this is one of my favorite prints from Paris Apartment? (hint: the background on this blog)
I blame it on being a fabric designer (and mind you I am not whining ... I am SO lucky). But you want to use your fabric for everything. And you really shouldn't have four million different fabrics in one room. So I'm trying to go more one tone... I didn't get too far on one tone, but this fabric does have a cream background. And I went and made pillows to go with them. I'm thinking I brought it together by mixing white and cream, no? We are getting closer to matching or something of the sort.
I have a couple projects that have got to get done... stuff for other people's blogs and such and then I swear to the heavens above I will finish that hex quilt that was for my sister, Ilisa's 40th birthday which was in April. I am SUCH a slacker bad sister!!!
Ah, well, as I write, The List, it is a-growing. So have a super day, and happy sewing to you!
Last night on Twitter Oprah wrote "Intention defines outcome. Don't believe me? Look at your own life.". She says this a lot. But last night, after a somewhat emotional weekend, it got me looking at my own life more than usual.
What are my intentions? Overall, I intend to be a good person, to contribute to the lives of my kids, family and others in a positive way, to live a happy and meaningful life. But does what I say and do match my larger intentions? What are the intentions of all of the little actions I take and do they match up with my overall intention?
When I was in acting school, we'd dissect a script this way. We'd look at each and every word and ask what the intention of the character was in saying what they were saying. For the truth is, with each word we say, with every action, there is an intended outcome.
For instance, what is my intention in writing about intention?
For myself, I intend to become clearer on what my intentions are. But what do I want you to think, say or feel? I want you to know that my intentions are good. I want to be upfront about my intentions and make them clear to everyone who reads what I write over the internet, whether it be here or on social media. And I want you to know what my intentions are for my business as well.
So in black and white...
My intentions in my business:
1. To create pretty, unique, fun and useful products for the sewing, gift, home and paper (etc) industries.
2. To offer inspiration about creating and sewing and motivate people to create.
3. To make a living doing what I love... and send my kids to college with money made doing what I love.
My intentions on my blog and social media (twitter et al):
1. To let you know about new products at Bari J.
2. To build brand awareness.
3. To let you in on tidbits of my personal life and behind the scenes at Bari J.
4. To build connections and friendships.
5. To be social.
6. To generate business for Bari J. in order to make a living doing what I love.
Ah. There it is. That feels good. Thanks, Oprah.
Lastly, I want to say, I intend to think about what my intentions are with each action and each word.
I intend to be intentional.
I finished several projects this week, not the least of which is the Beachside Holiday quilt top. Hallelujah! Now it just needs quilting and binding and it can become the pattern cover. I'm almost done with the writing and graphics on it... so that's the last task.
Next up is my sister's hexagon quilt. It was for her 40th birthday, and at the rate I'm finishing stuff it may be for her 50th. (Just kidding, Ilisa, it really is next on the list.)
Hey all. I'm working on the Beachside Holiday quillt today. I expect to have this pattern done by the end next week, the latest. Also, I need to know what you think... I'd like to make some videos for this blog... I plan on working on a fabric collage video first... what other tips, techniques etc would you like to see demonstrated?
In the meantime, I've just created a "handbag supplies and KITS" page on my website to kick off my very first magazine kit, Strip Ease.
I hope you'll check it out... Quilts and More Fall '11 hits stands today! And I will have a supply of them on my site by next week as well.
In the way of really cute handbag supplies, I just got these last week... I think they'd be perfect on this bag, don't you? They come in lime green, red and light blue.
I imagine myself on my pretty pink bike ...
That's my day dream about living in the Southern US. I don't know why I imagine this. I grew up decidedly in the North. In Chicago... a place I love. But I have this thing for the South.
When I was in theatre school, I was crazy for Tennessee Williams plays. I was good at the Southern voice. Not meaning the accent (although I can do a lovely Southern drawl)... it seemed to me there was an emotion connected to living there. I could be romanticizing, I know, but I get the distinct feeling that I would like living in say, Savannah, Georgia.
Nevermind the only place in the South I've ever spent a bit of time in is Florida. I love Captiva Island. I still think I would like Memphis. Even if my husband says I wouldn't fit in... he went to school in Arkansas, so he thinks he knows... I think I would fit in just fine.
Of course, we are not moving anywhere anytime soon (and if we do it will be Arizona), so I all I can do is read books set in places that have pretty names like Charlotte and Savannah. I can not wait to go see the movie The Help next weekend when it opens, and it is at the top of my favorite books list... Over the past few years, I've read all of these, and I keep looking for more. I hope you enjoy a few of these titles as much as I did.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flag
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Wistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flag
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flag
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flag
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flag
Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton
The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Bound South by Susan Rebecca White
PS... I know you are going to ask where I got the bike bag. I found it here on Amazon. I can't wait to start using it next week on my UPS/grocery store runs.
I told ya' I'd get it done! For your stitching pleasure, the PDF pattern for "Sister Friend" embroidery is now available in my shop!
We now interrupt our regularly scheduled sewing programming to tell you about my adventures in health and weight loss...
I've struggled since my early twenties with my weight. For a time around the age of 21 I just stopped eating, which is a whole other discussion and thank heavens I came through it. But still, food has always been an issue for me.
Since having children my weight has yo-yo'd up and down. I've never been seriously obese ... just heavy enough to not feel well. I'm a lifetime member at both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers which serves as an example of just how many times I've gained and lost weight.
In the past, weight gain was slow and due to pregnancies for the most part. However, when I hit 40... well, the poop hit the fan. It is nearly impossible to lose weight and Oh. So. Easy. to gain weight. If I'm not working out, it is an absolute given I will be gaining.
A couple weeks ago, Super Husband saw the movie, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He too has steadily gained weight, but has never ever dieted or tried to change his lifestyle. But this movie must have hit him sideways because he was gung ho about it. It's a documentary about a man who goes on a juice diet and loses 80+ pounds. Along the way, he encourages others to join him. A truckdriver he meets changes his life on it. He was truly fat, sick and nearly dead.
At any rate, hub wanted to do this thing.
I, on the other hand, was dead set against it. Number 1, having had issues around eating in the past, it scared the crap out of me. Number 2, over the years I really have learned that "everything in moderation" is the way to go. However, I also liked that he was so excited about getting healthy because, frankly, I've been worried about him. So, begrudgingly, I gave in.
On Sunday we bought our juicer and purchased a boatload of fruits and veggies. I printed out the daily plans (from jointhereboot.com)and we started on Monday. The plan was to stick with it for 15 days. We chose the plan that you do 5 days of eating and drinking your fruits and veggies, 5 days of only juicing, and then another 5 days of eating and drinking them.
Day one was not too tough until dinnertime. We both thought we'd puke if we had to eat another vegetable. And we both had raging headaches. Mine was not from caffeine withdrawal because I only have 1/2 a cup of coffee everyday anyways. His headache was probably exacerbated by lack of caffeine. While I knew he'd had at least a cup that morning, at least it wasn't his usual whole pot of coffee.
Day two was easier, again, until dinnertime. Dinner was baked squash with mushrooms and onions plus the blandest homemade vegetable soup on the planet. Both of us were irritated beyond belief. And I we were both certain that there is something seriously off about not having the slightest bit of protein.
Mind you, I'm not a nutritionist or a doctor, but even I know there's something amiss about that kind of imbalance. So here's my verdict on the plan and our intended course of action:
1. Juicing, for even just a couple days, it's a great way to get you aclamated to eating a ton of fruits and vegetables if you don't already.
2. Juicing is a great way to get in that ton of fruits and vegetables without choking down an entire garden (which is what we've eaten over the last two days).
3. The plan for the longterm lacks balance. I need a damn egg, people. Or beans or chick peas or something!
4. I'm super glad we got the juicer and did this because I feel like I can turn my eating pyramid around (i.e. less bread, more vegies and bits of protein instead of tons of fatty protein). I did not miss bread one bit. And I will continue to use the juicer in this same way. I'm just adding a bit of protein.
This morning I microwaved an egg with a spray of olive oil followed by a juice made from tomatoes, carrots, lemon and ginger which was absolutely delicious (and btw, contained 2 1/2 tomatoes and 4 carrots for each of us). Later, I'll add chick peas to my salad. Bottom line is, we are not going to do the 5 days of just juice, we are going to continue to eat and drink the fruits and vegies and we are adding a small amount of low fat organic protein to the mix. And we hope to just continue on this way indefinitely. I do not miss the refined sugar and processed foods at all.
And the kids have been eating healthier too. They've been making their own dinners. Last night they made pizza on whole wheat tortillas and had salad.
Also, today I am looking for some side pouches to add to my bicycle. Yesterday I rode up to the UPS store and grocery store to drop off packages and pick up more veggies but I could only get as much as my basket would hold. My plan to get in exercise is to ride my daily packages up there instead of driving them. I may also start yoga again. Looking for good options.
And by the by, I lost 2 pounds over the two days we've been doing this. I feel pretty dang good.
As most of you know, I've been a stitching fool this summer. I've finally finished the Sisters embroidery and just have to finish up instructions and it will be a PDF pattern as promised... next week? I hope?
I also have promised you the Beachside Holiday quilt pdf pattern, and that is still forthcoming... I haven't forgotten.
In other news, I've started filling the shop with really great embroidery items. I now have my favorite interfacing, Heat and Bond woven cotton fusible in 45", plus there are great transferring tools such as transfer-eze and sulky pens, my favorite embroidery needles, plus 4 and 5" hoops!
Also, be on the look out for the upcoming Quilts and More Magazine! I have a handbag kit in it that will be available on my website!
That's all for now... be sure to visit We Love French Knots for awesome embroidery inspiration, reviews and more.
This weekend my sewing fun was to get ready for my online class with Rick Rack. (It's time to go sign up or miss out, btw.) Though I just had to finish one, it's more like making 3 bags because I have to make examples of the steps. I finished the sample in Paris Apartment yesterday, and I'm just crazy about the results on this bag.
BTW, I like how online "school" works... Once you download the materials, they are yours to use at your leisure. i.e.: You don't have to do this during "class time" or all at once. I didn't say that in my last post, so I wanted to make that clear. In case you are busy enjoying summer, working, getting ready for school to start again or you know, generally have a life.
I hope you'll sign up for the class... you'll learn how to put in a zipper using a really easy method! I know there's quite a few of you who are still refusing to put in zippers (you know who you are), and frankly you are upsetting me because velcro is not your friend no matter how convenient it is on the shoes of toddlers and the very elderly.
Look! I finally found metal zippers at Joann's! Fer-shizzle! I'm so angry I couldn't find them when I was working on my book. Gah! I stocked up this time. Ok, I bought all the zippers in the 18" natural color that they had out.
Dang, if I couldn't resist the pom-poms again. Just when I thought something I was making would turn out looking sophisticated, those pom-poms call my name again... "Bari... you know you love us... why don't you put us on your bag?". I can't resist their siren call.
PS if you just can't do the class this project is in my book, Inspired to Sew. I'm just saying.
Were you wondering where you could get some Paris Apartment Fabric? Cause I know you want to make a Bari J. Green Living Market Bag in it, yo. (snort. I said, "yo" and it wasn't in a sentence with yo-yo.)
Whoa... sidetracked again. My point was ... I was getting to ... I'm making a list of all who carry Paris Apartment Fabric. Below is who I know has it so far. I know there are more stores that have it cause I hear a whole bunch of it sold, so if you are a store who has it, be sure to let me know and I'll add it to the list that I'm about to put on the sidebar. And thank you, btw, for stocking it in your stores. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you are happy with this line.
In other news, I've started posting embroidery stitch videos on We Love French Knots, so it's time to high tail it over there and get you a look! The big old Grand Launch is about to happen, and you are going to need to know the stitches to win goodies.
Today I'm drawing feet. And sofas. And drinking cups. And whatever is in front of me. And there's a reason for this.
I've never gone to art school. Since I started down the road of designing fabric it's been something I haven't liked to say. But I'm saying it today because despite that, I can finally and profoundly recognize that I do in fact have talent. (And don't write me hate mail about being stuck up, it almost hurts to say I have talent.)
Here's why I can finally say this. This weekend, rooming with Tula, I had an epiphany. I had expressed to her that there are certain elements of drawing I've struggled with due to not being trained. And because of that, when I have a moment of brilliance, it seems like it was magic... Like what I've come up with happened accidentally. There is something innately painful about that feeling. And quite frankly, that makes me feel fraudulent. Almost like it wasn't me who created what I did.
After describing what I had been experiencing in a late night chat, Tula offered an impromptu lesson on a couple skills I might had learned had I gone to art school. After just a couple minutes, bells went off in my head.
I have in fact been doing what she was showing me. Intuitively and without words to describe what I do, I manage to eek out art.
In Tula's words, art school gives you a language to describe what you do. And with that knowledge and tons of practice you are able to pull from that base to create on demand without the struggle and trial and error I sometimes go through. While I know how to do my work and do it well, I want more. I want to know more.
Of course, right now I don't have the time or money to actually go to art school. I've got two girls to send to college shortly after all.
But what I do have is absolute resolve, infinite persistence and books. Lots of books.
And so I have enrolled in the Bari J school of art. It involves tons of reading and lots of drawing. And today I started with a drawing of one of my feet.
No laughing at how chunky it looks allowed. Feet are hard to draw.
View my line of licensed fabric designs at
Art Gallery Fabrics
Ships to stores May 2013...
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In stores now...