Me-Made-May 2017: Week 2 recap

I’ve survived TWO Weeks of Me-Made-May which is¬†so exciting! So far I’ve identified several holes in my handmade wardrobe (basic t’s, cardigans, work out clothes…). I have patterns already for the missing areas, but have yet to sew them. Finishing a dress for work is about a bajillion times more fabulous than sewing loungewear.

Check out Week 1’s recap here!

Day 8: my Popover Poncho

Plus, a pair of corduroys from Loft that had a gaping waistband until I tacked it – so does that count too? ūüėČ

 

Day 9: Out and About Shirt

This might be my very-first-EVER [wearable] handmade garment. I was working on an Out and About Dress & had butchered a few already {word to the wise: don’t begin your adventures of garment sewing with knit…or maybe that’s the best part about being a beginner: You have no fear or knowledge of what you “should” fear. Whatever, just go for it}. I was feeling defeated until I was able to squeeze a shirt out of the leftover fabric. I’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt afterward.

It took me a few months to recover from the experience, but I LOVED the Out and About Dress I finally [successfully]¬†made {see it in this post}. I loved how it fit. I loved the fabric. I loved how I felt wearing it. I was hooked…

  • Pattern: Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline¬†{affiliate link} –¬†modified by¬†lengthening the bodice (but I’m not sure by how much. This was light years ago. I barely knew how to turn on my sewing machine) & omitting the skirt.
  • Fabric: some kind of knit. I think I found it at my local Hancock Fabrics.
  • Blogged: of course not.

 

Day 10: Peachy Fen Dress

Have you ever tried to take a photo with your dog? Geez, Louise.

Charlotte dog really couldn’t care less that we were wearing matching “outfits” which is really unfortunate because Mother/Daughter outfits are the coolest.

 

Day 11: Upcycled Montlake Tee

May 11th would’ve been my grandpa’s 82nd birthday. It was our first celebrating without him. My grandmother let me browse his closet a few weeks ago and I knew I wanted to refashion a piece of clothing to wear in his honor.

I transformed one of his shirts into my first Montlake tee. This refashion was so fun…and very therapeutic! Ironing clothing really brings out the scent. I love upcycling family member’s clothes because the scent fills my sewing room and brings a flood of special memories. I’ll blog all about this one day, but for now, here ya go:

  • Pattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs
  • Fabric: entirely from my grandfather’s old shirt (it had little stretch like jersey but the feel of a ponte knit).
  • Blogged: not yet!

 

Day 12: my Parkside Skirt

  • Pattern: Parkside Skirt by Sew Caroline¬†{affiliate link}
  • Fabric: mystery fabric that was donated to me from someone’s attic…I think it might have been a tablecloth at one point ūüėČ
  • Blogged: mentioned in this post, but you can find a full review of the shorts from the pattern here!

 

Day 13: my Parkside Shorts

The Hubs & I got to spend Saturday with my sister and nephew which was wonderful! He’s now 2.5 months old and learning to smile which melts my heart {see a little grin in this picture}.

  • Pattern: Parkside Shorts by Sew Caroline¬†{affiliate link}
  • Fabric: it was donated to my stash from someone’s attic, but it’s a lightweight denim & vintage floral scraps for the pocket accents.
  • Blogged: here!

 

Day 14: Tammy’s Tulip Shorts

I’ve been keeping these shorts a secret after testing the pattern a few weeks ago. They are a total favorite!! I wore them walking all around town on Sunday with complete comfort (to all my thigh-touching-sistas: there was no awkward riding up which means these are a total win). I made mine with self-made bias tape, but you can use lace or decorate trim for a little extra flair.

The BEST part about this pattern is that 1) it is one SALE – 25% off through midnight on 5/21¬†{shop here!}, and 2) you can buy the girls pattern too to make a matching set with your mini-me! In Sew Caroline’s collaboration with Simple Life Patterns, they released SIX ladies+girls matching patterns for Mommy-and-Me outfits which included these shorts. Shop the collection.

  • Pattern: Ladies Tammy’s Tulip Shorts by Sew Caroline¬†{affiliate link}
  • Fabric: more donated fabric from someone’s attic + self-made bias tape for trim.
  • Blogged: not yet!

 

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. Repair inspiration

Found a hole in a beloved sweater and not sure how to repair it? Check out how Fiona used tone-on-tone embroidery for mend her sweater! This may motivate me to spruce up my embroidery skills.

2. Pipe-cleaners [yes, those fuzzy wiry things we all played with as kids]

Less of a resource, more of a tip: Keeping a pipe-cleaner in my machine’s “drawer” (is that what the little case under your machine¬†is called?!) is my new favorite thing. A sweet lady gave a wonderful demo at my last quilting guild meeting on how to clean your machine. I took mine apart a few weeks ago {proof here} and was surprised at the dust I pulled off. I’ve been using the pipe-cleaner for dusting each time I’ve used my machine since.

3.¬†Allie J’s me-made wedding dress

It’s PINK!! If I’d had a wedding {read more about that decision here}, I would’ve definitely wanted a pink wedding dress.

I heard Allie talking about her dress on the latest Maker Style podcast episode and had go to searching for a photo. It sounded lovely Рand it is.

4. Wardrobe Edit – this is a great post from¬†Becoming Minimalist with 4 easy-to-follow tips on editing your wardrobe. Not only is this handy in paring down your handmade wardrobe to give you a good idea of styles/fabrics you most enjoy wearing {aka: what patterns & fabrics are worth your¬†time & financial investment}, it’s also useful for non-sewists – anyone who wears clothes & is interested in¬†enjoying what they’re wearing!

#mmmay17 posts I’m¬†lovin’ this week

Week 2 Reflections

While my ready-to-wear [store bought] dresses are banned this month, I have been reflecting on those I miss most. My RTW clothes are very neutral – lots of black. While I love a good floral print or bold design, I really want to incorporate more neutrals into my handmade garments. I have been admiring the look of loose-fitting linen dresses lately. Linen can be quite an investment so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for oversized thrift store dresses that I can cut up and use ūüėČ

I also have a maxi dress that I particularly love. It has an elastic waist, an overlay with¬†full lining and no closures. It’s also the perfect length for me (I can even wear it with flat sandals). It’s one of the most comfortable dresses I own that still¬†looks fancy. Being that I know how to sew which affords me the opportunity to make a dress¬†any length, I should really consider a maxi!

Are you participating in Me-Made-May? What have you learned/discovered about your wardrobe?

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Me-Made-May 2017: Week 1 recap

It’s my first year participating in Me-Made-May and if I’m being completely honest, I started stress sewing¬†on¬†the last day of April¬†because I was already worried I was going to run out of clothes.

THEN I remembered this post from Heidi Parkes (a hand-quilter / creative mender / yoga teacher I discovered through QuiltCon & admire very much). Clothes are meant to be¬†WORN. They’re meant to be loved and repaired. Repeating outfits just means I love my clothes enough to wear them again and again ūüėČ

This reminds me of the quote “all my secrets are hidden in my seam allowances” ūüėČ {source}

All that said, you’ll definitely see some repeats this month…

For those of you not following along on Instagram [and also for those who want to know more about the outfits posted], I’m going to try to share a recap of my Me-Made-May posts each week on the blog so stay tuned!

My #MMMay17 pledge:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2017.

As I warned in my first #mmmay17 post, get ready for an abundance of work-bathroom selfies this month! Somehow the new YMCA does not have any full length mirrors in the women’s locker room [can you even believe it?!] and I’m too awkward to ask fellow gym-goers or coworkers to assist…and I’m too impatient to wait until I get home for the day in hopes the Hubs could assist {because let me be honest, my PJ’s come on ASAP once I’m through the door from work so evening pictures would not be a great plan anyhow}. So, forgive me for these unprofessional documentations ūüėČ

Day 1: My 1st Tank Dress

Day 2: My 1st Fen Dress

Day 3: Refashioned Housedress

  • Pattern: none – This is an altered housedress I found at a thrift store.
  • Fabric: It’s a cotton-almost-seersucker fabric
  • Blogged: here – read all about the alterations I made to this housedress (so easy!). Also on¬†My most worn garments of 2016¬†list!

Day 4: My 2nd Tank Dress

  • Pattern:¬†The Tank Dress with optional elastic casing in the back (moved up a few inches to better match my natural waist) from Sew Caroline¬†{affiliate link}
  • Fabric: quilting cotton from my local JoAnn’s
  • Blogged: On¬†My most worn garments of 2016¬†list

Day 5: My long-sleeved Out and About Dress

Day 6: My London Backpack

I KNOW what you’re thinking. I’m already cheating by posting bags I’ve made instead of outfits. BUT I was totally honest in my pledge ūüėČ – I¬†USE my bags [and accessorize with them] daily! Plus, I LOVE this bag. It’s one of my most used – especially for traveling or walking around town on the weekends.

PS: This photo was taken in front of the new Indah Coffee shop. If you’re local, go visit! Their coffee is great {also served at the Soda City market} & the shop looks like a delightful place to hang out [we were only there briefly before heading to the market but we’ll be back!]

  • Pattern: The London Backpack by LBG Studio
  • Fabric: Mostly scrap upholstery from my stash along with this Cath Kidston fabric I picked up when we went to England in 2014
  • Blogged: I’m embarrassed to admit that I have almost an entire post drafted but for some reason I haven’t shared it. Le sigh. I’ll add that to my list of things to eventually do (so stay tuned ūüėČ )

Day 7: my Day Tripper Top

How cute is this mug?! My sisters-in-law got it for me for Christmas & it’s a definite favorite.

  • Pattern: Day Tripper Top¬†{short sleeved without shoulder tabs & bottom band} by Shwin Designs
  • Fabric: floral knit from my local Hancock Fabric before they closed. I wish I had a thousand yards of it – it’s so soft & beautiful!
  • Blogged: here!

Me-Made-May/Sewing-related resources I’m lovin’ this week:

1. These tips for custom fitting a pattern / handmade garment

Straight Stitch Designs mentioned this post in her recent newsletter about Me-Made-May and highlighted the same quote that jumped out at me:

Ego has no place in a well fitting garment.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on making more advanced fitting alterations to garments I’m making. After viewing¬†most of¬†this Intro to Fitting video from the Blank Slate Patterns team, I realized there are many more fit options out there that may be applicable in helping me love my handmade wardrobe even more.

2. The Reggie wrap dress pattern just released by Seamwork Magazine

I’ve already used a credit to claim it. My¬†Spring/Summer to-sew list¬†just grew by one very cute, loose-fitting wrap dress…those sleeves make the 90’s child in me so happy!

3. The Self-Created Podcast with Jernell & Shanika

One of my favorite things to do while sewing is to listen to podcasts. My favorite right now is the Self-Created Podcast. My creative bestie (Shanika) is a co-host and I could listen to these gals talk forever. They discuss some really interesting topics. Browse their episodes and find one that speaks to you – I think you’ll love it. {PS: I got multiple shout-outs in the last episode so it gets my recommendation ūüėČ }

Week 1 Reflections

I’m really enjoying participating in Me-Made-May. It’s giving me a whole new outlook on my handmade wardrobe¬†and forcing me to take a second look at some of my less-worn handmade garments to think about how I can incorporate them back in or alter them to be a favorite (or cut them up for a new project ūüėČ ).

Posting pictures of myself day-after-day is pretty awkward. I’ve really appreciated all of the positive feedback and encouragement¬†on Instagram. I’ve also¬†loved seeing everyone else’s photos and browsing the #mmmay17 hashtag.

What I’m Lovin’ in April

This month’s list crosses a wide variety of topics – I hope you enjoy ūüėČ

1. Making Facebook more pleasant

Like [probably] everyone else, I try to limit the time I spend aimlessly scrolling {see,¬†I haven’t forgotten my New Moon intentions!}. However, because I run social media accounts for several groups/organizations including my office {where I’m known as the “Twitter Guru”¬†ha!}, it’s important that I stay plugged in¬†most of the time. The best solution for me is to ensure I am using the platforms¬†efficiently.

Earlier this month, I found an article titled¬†How to Customize Your Facebook News Feed to Maximize Your Productivity in the latest Buffer newsletter¬†and put the tips into practice. I’m happy to report I’m¬†loving¬†the results.

I learned how to…

  • set my Facebook News Feed to show posts¬†chronologically¬†rather than just by popularity {I wish I knew how to do this for Instagram…}.
  • ask Facebook to show less posts like one currently in view if I don’t care for the topic.
  • “hide” that obnoxious 3rd cousin whose posts are really annoying without him finding out.

2. Smiling with people who matter to me

becoming minimalist shared this quote on Facebook the day the Hubs and I set off on our way to visit his family {perfect timing!}. I always love roadtrips together Рno matter the distance Рbecause of the time we get to share with just the 2 of us.

Spring is always a little crazy for us. Lacrosse season picks up in spring and the Hubs is coaching on weekday afternoons…along with his own hockey games sprinkled in, I often only get a few hours during the weekdays to see him. Having his undivided attention [even while stuck in a car] is something I don’t take for granted ūüôā

3. Free Patterns

I found Passion and Pins via Maker Style‘s Monthly Edit¬†newsletter¬†then stumbled across her post:¬†Sewing the Trends with Free Patterns.

Usually I find myself browsing free pattern lists feeling totally uninspired. As Anna Maria Horner said about a free pattern during one of her workshops I took “You get what you pay for” which is often how I feel with those.

BUT not with Katie’s list! The patterns she found for Spring/Summer 2017 are lovely!

4.¬†Maker Style’s¬†Monthly Edit¬†newsletter

I mentioned it above¬†and wanted to circle back so I can tell you how great it is. I have been¬†loving listening to the¬†Maker Style¬†podcast while I sew so it’s no surprise that I love Rachel’s newsletter too. I thought I had signed up for it until I saw her post on IG and realized I hadn’t so I hopped on over immediately and am glad I’m¬†in the know now!

Rachel gives shout-outs in the newsletter to fellow makers. I always love seeing patterns “in action” so finding other sewists making styles I am interested in keeps me inspired and I appreciate Rachel gathering them up to share!

You can read all about the Monthly Edit here and sign up!

5. Visual lines your clothes draw

My gosh! This post from Feathers Flights about why she half-tucks her shirts created a major a-ha! moment. I don’t often wear separates, but when I do I often find myself feeling so frumpy [aka: even-shorter-than-usual]¬†if my shirt is un-tucked. I usually opt for the full-tuck {because I’m 90}, but I’ll definitely be trying the half-tuck out!

If you often take pictures of yourself modeling clothes, you will want to check out Heather’s post!

6. Me Made May {sign up here!}

For a few years now, I’ve been following along and admiring everyone’s Me-Made-May posts on Instagram and contemplating participating. Well, I’m excited to say I’m officially signed up!

Here’s the¬†challenge I’ve made for myself:

I, Jordan Slice-Metcalfe, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear, use, or accessorize with at least one thing I’ve made with my own two hands each day¬†for the duration of May 2017.

My pledge isn’t as creative as some of the ideas Zoe suggested, but I really love seeing the daily posts from everyone else¬†and I wanted to stick with something I knew I could handle ūüėČ

If you want to see my daily posts in May, follow me on Instagram!

‚Äď

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Vegan Breakfast: A protein bar to kick start your day

This is literally the best breakfast bar I’ve ever made!

I’ve been making them weekly since my friend Leesa brought a batch to QuiltCon¬†{her version involved dried cranberries & were probably healthier, but I believe in eating dark chocolate by 9am everyday so mine are slightly more dessert-ish¬†ūüėČ }.

While I’m not entirely vegan, I don’t eat a lot of dairy and I struggle with high protein breakfast options (or breakfast options with much protein at all…). I also start my day at the gym so preparing my breakfast at home isn’t conducive to my morning routine.

Thus, these high protein energy bars [that just-so-happen to be vegan] are amazing!

Warning: This post is going to be short and sweet. I’ve always dreamed of posting really beautiful recipe photos documenting the entire process and all ingredients, but let’s face it – I’m impatient and you need this recipe more than you need pretty photos.¬†

I used the No Meat Athlete’s Ultimate Vegan Energy Bar formula to construct these. I¬†love¬†the options – if you don’t have something I’ve used, try replacing it with one of the other options. BUT if you have all of my ingredients,¬†use those! I’ve tried a few different combinations and the one I’ve landed on below is¬†pure bliss.¬†

Best Ever High-Protein Vegan Energy Bars Recipe

Makes 12.

Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 350 because the prep work doesn’t take too long.

FIRST

Wet Ingredients (combine these in your food processor)

  • 1 can Great Northern Beans (or white beans) – rinse & drain the beans using¬†a sieve
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 mashed banana (you want it to be a few days old so the peel is starting to speckle/turn just-a-bit brown so it’ll be sweeter¬†ūüėČ )
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I’ve had the most success with Trader Joe’s peanut butter which contains the bare basics – peanuts & salt. You can also make your own PB with some peanuts & a Magic Bullet/food processor)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

SECOND

Dry Ingredients (compile these separately and add to the food processor after the wet ingredients are smooth-ish-ly blended)

  • 1.5 cups Oats
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter flavored Protein Powder (I use this kind)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon¬†
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I have been using Pink Himalayan Salt because it’s what I had closest. Sea salt is recommended, but I’m sure you’d survive with table salt)

THIRD

Once the wet ingredients are smooth and you’ve added the dry ingredients to your food processor, add¬†1 cup dark chocolate chips and pulse a few times.¬†Go easy! You do not want to chop your dark chocolate chips, you just want to attempt to evenly-ish distribute them. {If you’re not lazy like me, you could stir them in by hand…but that mix gets sticky and my arms aren’t exactly muscular so I pass on that}

FOURTH

Line a 13×9″ glass pan with parchment paper.

Dump mixture onto the parchment paper in the glass pan.

Flex your arm muscles and spread it as best you can in the pan (have I mentioned it’s really sticky?)

FIFTH

Bake at 350 degrees for about 17 minutes.

SIXTH 

Let it cool then cut into 12 bars.

Store in the fridge.

To make your life easy, go ahead and put the bars into individual zip-lock bags so you can quickly grab-n-go.

I try to keep it healthy as often as I can (and I do like yoga..), but this chihuahua sums up my true feelings…

Enjoy the recipe, y’all!

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Sewing Wish List: 10 Patterns for Spring/Summer

There are so many patterns floating around right now that I’m lusting after! Today I’m sharing a few that are on my sewing “wish list” that I think would be perfect for spring and summer.

1. Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson

I have been dreaming of a v-neck, wrap top dress for a while and haven’t found one that caught my fancy¬†until Allie of Indie Sew released the Highlands Wrap Dress.

A flowy version – perhaps a large-print floral rayon? – is on the short list of dresses I’m considering for a wedding I’ll be attending this summer.

Highlands Wrap Dress inspiration:¬†This long version is pretty sexy and has me wondering if I should try the maxi length. Also totally smitten with Leslie’s nani IRO version!

2. The Orla Dress РFree pattern from French Navy

Y’all know my love of a cinched waist dress so as soon as I saw this pattern I knew it was one I’d want to try!

Orla Dress inspiration:¬†I am completely smitten with Rachel’s plaid version¬†and¬†her floral version.

3. Off-the-Shoulder Dress РFree tutorial from Megan Nielsen

I’m¬†really¬†not one for trendy attire and have been¬†particularly detesting¬†most of the cold-shoulder trends as of late, BUT one iteration of this trend has me swooning: a ruffled off-the-shoulder dress.

I absolutely hate strapless bras + have gotten pretty conservative in my dress-ware as I’ve aged so I’m not totally sure this is a style I’ll embrace…however, Megan Nielsen has what appears to be an incredibly easy tutorial for making this dress that I just might give a try because it looks so stinkin’ easy¬†and I think it might be appropriate for that¬†summer wedding I mentioned earlier¬†ūüėČ

4. Dottie Angel Frock / Simplicity 1080

I picked up this pattern on sale at JoAnn’s quite a while ago. The pattern looks fairly simple and I¬†love a dress with pockets.

5. Darling Ranges by Megan Nielsen

I picked up this pattern from Five Eighth Seams on a trip to Charleston last year. I finally got the nerve up to start the pattern over my holiday break. I got about half way done and hung it in my sewing room closet where it has been gathering dust for a few months. This is such a bad habit of mine. I’m planning to get back to it very soon so I can wear it for summer (it’s made from a beautiful voile – see it here! – that’ll be delightful during those hotter-than-hot summer days that await).

6. Montlake Tee from Straight Stitch Designs

I’m in need of some basic shirts. I purchased the Montlake paper pattern from Straight Stitch Designs a while ago knowing it would be a staple. From the scoop neck to flowy body of the shirt, I love this simple flattering design.

I also have Kimberly’s View Ridge pattern. It’s not a style my closet is in dire need of right now, but it’s definitely on my to-sew-soon list!

7. Watson Bra by Cloth Habit

I don’t have this pattern in my stash¬†yet, but I’ve been admiring it pretty intensely for over a year now. I bought a beautiful bra-making-kit from Mercer’s Fabric¬†while visiting Boston last year¬†that I’m planning to finally use ūüėČ

Watson inspiration: this simple gray version by Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs, this pretty blue lace version by Grainline Studio, basically all version on the #WatsonBra hashtag on IG. Very impressed with how Erin turned it into a Nursing Bra!

Other bralette patterns I’m loving:

Resources:¬†Ohhh Lulu has a great post on how to take your own measurements. Cloth Habit has a sew along for the Watson bra that I will certainly utilize.¬†According to¬†Sarah’s FAQ video, bralettes are totally wearable for almost all bust sizes!

8. Shoreline Boatneck Dress by Blank Slate Patterns

I’ve already made a tunic and I wear it as often as possible because it is so stinkin’ comfortable.

Shoreline Boatneck inspiration:¬†I really love the pattern because of its versatility and I’ve been dreaming of re-creating Melissa’s cinched waist version which reminds me a little of the Fen Dress, but I really prefer the comfort of a set-in sleeve so I’m leaning towards the Shoreline Boatneck for this upcycle plan…

My grandmother gave me a few of my grandpa’s shirts the other week and I have an idea bouncing around in my head that I can’t wait to get started on!

I’m planning to follow this Shoreline hack¬†using his white linen button up shirt for the top of the dress¬†and some army green rayon I found at JoAnn’s when testing the Auberley dress for the bottom.

9. Maxi Circle Skirt РBy Hand London has a calculator!

I’m not¬†huge on maxi dresses because 1) I’m so short, 2) I rarely have enough fabric, 3) the summer humidity where I live is best suited for uncovered legs ūüėČ

BUT I have some Birch Floral rayon from Rifle Paper Company’s Les Fleurs collection that I think would be so lovely as a circle skirt! If I end up not having enough for a maxi, I’ll go with a midi or mini.

Maxi Circle Skirt inspiration: Mac of Harper+Lu made a gorgeous maxi circle skirt¬†and has some tips for using By Hand London’s circle skirt calculator.

10. Sleeveless Auberley Dress by Blank Slate Patterns

I participated in the first round of testing for the Auberley, but unfortunately couldn’t move to round 2 because I was going out of town so I don’t actually have a finished version ūüė¶ It’s been on my list for a while – the construction of the bodice was actually pretty neat and I enjoyed it quite a bit (it was my first time lining a bodice!).

Auberley inspiration: I really¬†love¬†Melissa’s sleeveless version! Plus, you know I’m a sucker for a cinched waist & pockets ūüėČ Also head-over-heels for this embroidered version!!

Limiting myself to 10 patterns was tough! There are loads, loads, loads more on my list. Perhaps this is why I have such a hard time focusing on / finishing a project?! Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed the list!

Tell me what you’re sewing for spring/summer in the comments below {because – let’s face it – I need more patterns on my wish list! ūüėČ }

What I’m Lovin’ in March

Maybe you realized {or you didn’t? #NoHurtFeelings} I’m behind on my¬†What I’m Lovin’¬†monthly posts. So, as a treat (to both of us ūüėČ ) I’ve combined January, February, and March for a big batch of all of the things I’ve been enjoying that I hope you will too!

1. QuiltCon

I bet you know this by now! I had such an amazing time at QuiltCon in February! You can read all about my experience in this post and go on a virtual quilt tour with me here and here.

2. Thug Kitchen Cookbook

My mother-in-law got me this cookbook for Christmas and it has not disappointed! The pages are filled with hilariously written recipes and tips embellished with some very flavorful language {the kind I often use when cooking – because let’s be honest – cooking is not a talent of mine}.

My favorite recipe so far is for the To-Go Breakfast Bars [in progress in the photo below] – they are surprisingly easy to make and quite tasty! For the past few months they have been my “go-to” for sharing {I took a batch to QuiltCon to share with my guild and took a batch to work after my grandfather passed away to thank my colleagues for being so supportive – the bars were a hit with both groups!}

We also made the cauliflower “wings” and root vegetable fries which were also¬†delicious.

For the past few years I’ve been making their Hoppin’ John recipe on New Year’s Day so it was no surprise the recipes in the cookbook have been packed with flavor! If you aren’t sure about the cookbook, browse the recipes on the website and try a few. You won’t turn back!

3.¬†Colette’s post about organizing sewing patterns¬†{here}

I found this post so helpful! My current system involves 3-ring binders & plastic page-protectors to house the pattern & instructions. This works great for PDF patterns whose instructions print on regular size paper (I tuck the folded freezer-paper-traced pattern pieces behind the instructions in the sleeve), but doesn’t hold vintage or printed indie patterns very well (too much space around them causes them to slide out too easily). The comic-book-storage sounds like a much better fit for those!

Once I find the perfect¬†organization solution, I’ll share it with you ūüėČ

4. Shoreline Boatneck

If I could just get away with wearing my Shoreline Boatneck every day, I’d consider it. I hoped to have another one sewn up by now, but I’ve been distracted…

5. Paper Tigers

Earlier this month, the Nickelodeon Theater hosted a free screening of Paper Tigers with a panel discussion that included the Superintendent of the district in which I work. The documentary was enlightening. It is definitely a must-see for anyone working in education, serving youth, raising/loving children, etc. {anyone & everyone}. It has started a really interesting dialogue locally that I hope continues and grows.

You can view the trailer below and find where to watch Paper Tigers here.

Paper Tigers Trailer – KPJR Films from KPJR FILMS LLC on Vimeo.

6. My paper-pieced Bunny

I finally dusted off my homework from QuiltCon {see how the bunny started in this post} and finished my Bunny block! I have big plans for him so stay tuned ūüėČ

The bunny is from Violet Craft‘s Forest Abstractions quilt.

7. New beginnings with the New Moon

This week I went to a New Moon Circle hosted by a dear friend.

It was so refreshing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. We gathered, we meditated, we journaled, we shared, and we laughed. It was beautiful.

I have looked back at my journal from that night and boiled my intentions for the next month into 3 over-simplified mantras.

I have felt very scatterbrained lately. I’ve found myself jumping from project-to-project [at home and at work] – becoming very easily distracted by easier/quicker/shinier¬†projects.

This month I want to SLOW DOWN {less multitasking}, FOCUS on one project at a time {giving whatever it may be all of the effort it deserves}, and BE PRESENT in the moment {less scrolling, less distraction}.

*If you’re local {or not! Penny shares great resources}, follow Earthstar Radiance on Facebook – Penny’s meditation classes are the 2nd Wednesday of every month & the New Moon Circle is around the time of the New Moon ūüėČ

8. Our nephew is here!

L to R: on his birth day! > from his first full #SliceSisters day > that time my sister let me wear him > with the Hubs on the day he was born ūüôā

To say I’m a doting aunt is probably an understatement. I won’t bore you with all the details and I’m trying to restrain myself from flooding Instagram with baby pics {now I understand why parents post so many pictures of their littles} but it sure is tough! He, my sister and her husband are all adjusting to being a family of 3 beautifully. I’m so thrilled to watch that and treasure the moments I get to be part of it.

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{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

QuiltCon 2017: The Quilts, Part 2

In case you missed it, you can read all about my experience at QuiltCon 2017 here and journey through the first half of my favorites from the Quilt Show here.

A note before we begin:¬†I took all of these pictures and you are welcome to use them if you credit me and/or link back to this post (because my iPhone skillz are #OnPoint). For each quilt I’ve included a section called “From the maker” where I’ve linked to his/her Instagram¬†and the story of the quilt if they blogged it {most of them have done so and the stories are fascinating to read} – I hope you’ll take the time to explore the links and follow these mega-talented makers.

“Homespun” by Mary Kerr of Woodbridge, Virginia

This quilt was a part of the “Modern Traditionalism” collection and is the perfect balance. I love the modernization of the pattern (& quilting) design paired with the more traditional¬†fabric chosen. Often with “Modern Traditionalism” we see the opposite: traditional pattern design + modern fabric. This quilt is so unique.

homespun

Story of the quilt from the information plaque:

“This wonky star began its life as a piece of worn vintage top. By individually piecing the star points I was able to cut around the damaged areas and reinforce the fabrics as needed. The star is set with vintage muslin and bound with homespun fabrics from 1900. I did not attempt to remove the areas of discoloration. I feel they add to the Homespun feel of this quilt …the grey hair and wrinkles of our textile world. Donna James’s quilting perfectly compliments this off kilter star!”

From the maker: You can find more information about Mary here.

“Infused Plaid” by Cassandra Beaver of Urbana, Ohio

The quilting on this quilt is amazing! She really used the quilting in such a cool way to draw out the plaid design.

No surprise, this quilt won 1st place in the “Use of Negative Space” category.

infused-plaid-1

About the quilt:

“A simply pieced central design creates the basis for this quilt which allows the quilting to become the star of the show. Linear matchstick quilting is done using the same color of thread as the fabric it passes through. This process extends the colors of the piecing across the surface of the quilt and develops a plaid pattern in the process.”

infused-plaid-2

From the maker: You can follow Cassandra on her blog The (not so) Dramatic Life and on Instagram @cassandra.beaver for inspiration.

“Lincoln” by Kim Soper of Huntington, New York

I read about this quilt {here} prior to QuiltCon and couldn’t wait to see it in person!

The brief story of the quilt from the information plaque:

“This quilt (passion project!) developed out of a desire to create an entirely improv-pieced, recognizable image without use of template, paper-piecing, or applique. Using an iconic image of Lincoln that had been converted to WPAP (vector-based geometric pop art) by Ihsan Ekaputra, it was constructed using 6-inch blocks. The backing fabric is a repeating pattern of the original image of Lincoln. The binding is a nod to the vector-style of art on which the quilt is based. The end result is a quilt that is both identifiable as the intended image, and distinctly my own.”

lincoln

 

From the maker: You can read the real story of this quilt here and follow @lelandavestudios on Instagram for inspiration.

“Reject” pieced by Tula Pink and quilted by Angela Walters

It took me a minute to see the words, but isn’t this just the coolest?!

reject

“Say Anything” by Lysa Flower of Maple Ridge, BC Canada

I have seen this pattern before and was super excited to see it at QuiltCon! The design is so nostalgic and just plain awesome.

While trying to find the “story” of this quilt, I discovered that it’s going to be made into a pattern for purchase soon {#BeStillMyHeart} – details here.

say-anything-1

From the information plaque:

“As though I was struck by lightning. The inspiration and design to make this quilt happened that quickly. I was searching for something new to do with my cassette tape pattern (shown at QuiltCon 2016) then BAM! Memories flooded me with my first boombox…they ended with John Cusack holding a boombox over his head in the 1989 movie,¬†Say Anything.

House rules for my paper pieced quilts:

  1. Three sides are shown of the object.
  2. Same family hues are used to accentuate depth.
  3. All lines are horizontal or vertical. Any diagonal lines are on a 45 degree angle.”

From the maker: Find more photos of this quilt here and follow @lysaflower on Instagram for inspiration.

“Still With Her” by Liz Harvatine of Burbank, California

I¬†love seeing activism quilts {is that a real phrase for those? I’m going with it}. I couldn’t help but see Hillary‘s logo during the election season and think “that would probably be a pretty easy quilt block to make” – and what d’ya know! – several people have already done that {here, here…}.

The story of this quilt is lovely…

“I made the basis for this quilt, a giant Hillary logo, the day before the presidential election. I felt so much hope and excitement and I channeled it into my sewing. The day after the election, all of that energy and feeling of promise was gone, yet it seemed so sad to leave this quilt unfinished. I decided to cut it apart and add to it; put it back together. I want to keep that feeling of hope. I want to build off of what could have been and create something even better in the future.”

Sewing is therapy for many of us. For me it helps me process things/feelings/situations I’m brewing over. I think the final product Liz created truly captures the feelings of so many after last November’s shock.

It won Judge’s Choice.

still-with-her-1

The¬†Design Source was obviously based on Hillary Clinton’s logo, but Liz used a pattern for the logo written by Maritza Soto {found here}.

From the maker: Follow @ladyharvatine on Instagram for inspiration.

 

“Gotham Transit Authority” by Catherine Jarett of Walnut Creek, California

As someone who loves to travel, obviously I thought this quilt was way cool.

The quilt is actually a map of the Gotham City subway – the fictional city where Batman lives {this was noted on the information plaque and not something I knew off the top of my head, ha!}. As noted by Catherine:

“Every line is a different color, planning and piecing were a fun challenge.”

I have found myself seeing quilt patterns in everything I see – road signs, company logos, on the floor (carpet, tiles, rug designs)… I can completely understand staring at a subway map and thinking: “Wouldn’t this make the coolest quilt?!” And it totally did!

A really cool added detail was in the quilting.

Around the edge of the upper right corner of the quilt, “gotham transit authority” is stitched and adds a really neat overlay detail. This quilt and the design were just outstanding!

From the maker:¬†I can’t seem to find Catherine anywhere. For that, I totally admire her! Google is pretty powerful and if you can escape the internet monster, you go girl.

 

Craving more quilty eye-candy?

You can find photos and stories of all of the QuiltCon 2017 Award Winners here.

This recap from Quiltin’ Jenny called “6 Things I Saw at QuiltCon was so lovely. It’s worth reading word-for-word.

And¬†if you still haven’t read my recap, you can find it here!¬†And¬†check out the first part of the quilts I fell in love with at QuiltCon here.

Already looking forward to QuiltCon East 2019! Can’t wait.

quiltcon2019

Nashville!!!