Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pattern Covers

So the first three patterns are just about ready. The release date for the ePatterns is 3/1/2010. Print patterns will come out within the next month or so and be available for purchase online and at local quilt shops!

So, What do you think of the covers?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Attitude check in Aisle 9

I love to grocery shop. Scratch that. I love to shop for food. That's better. However, going to the grocery store has been getting more and more unpleasant. Is it me or the overall experience?

Personally, I take a day and make the list of meals we will eat for the week. Then I make a list and write down all the ingredients I need for those meals. I even put them in order of how I shop through my grocery store. (Me? Meticulous? yes. yes I am.) And when I put my groceries on the conveyor belt I put them in sections of how they should be joke.

My ideal shopping trip includes remembering my reusable bags, getting to shop from the right to the left of the store in order of my list, and getting into a line without a bagger, so that I can bag myself. (Ok, maybe I'm overly meticulous. I've accepted it.)

  • I really like when the store has all of the items on my list in stock.(today they did not.)
  • I really like when all of the produce looks fresh and clean. (today most looked waxed over and radiating pesticides).
  • I really like when people shop on their side of the aisle (it's not rocket science. Push your cart like you drive, on the right side. Don't stop in the middle of the aisle to answer your cell phone. If you want to look at an item, then push your cart aside and look at it, don't block ALL of the items for a 7 foot span with your body and your cart.)
  • I really like when I get to bag my items myself.
As I felt myself getting more and more aggravated by the situations occurring around and at me, it seemed like every person I saw around me was rude and incompetent. I actually thought, "Grocery shopping is proof that the theory of natural selection is wrong."

So I stopped in aisle 9, and gave myself a attitude check. I thought,
  1. I can afford my groceries and that is good.
  2. Even with some items out of stock I could still make 4 of the 7 meals I had planned for the week.
  3. That although some people were rude, I could allow it to make me angry and then be rude to other people or I could accept it and not let it ruin my day.

While, nothing magical happened and things did not improve instantly, I felt better. I smiled at the check out clerk and she made a nice conversation with me. And even though she insisted on bagging my items I did not get upset about it, but instead I enjoyed our chatting. She even bagged everything up very nicely.

I like to think that, while the world does not rotate around any one individual, the way we, as one person treat one other person can affect the world. So, when I'm having a grouchy day or moment, I picture the effect that a grouchy look can have on one person and then instead I picture the affect that a genuine smile can have on that same person in that same moment.

In the end, I would rather be remembered as the person that smiled. How about you?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Minky Hot Pack Giveaway!

In celebration of the latest tutorial I posted on making your own hot rice pack for your back with minky. I decided to make up an extra one and do a give away/contest! So now you can win one that's already made!

Featuring one side of the luxuriously soft, Pink Dandy Damask Plush (Minky) by Michael Miller.

And one side is Star Lime Paisley from Amy Butler's Lotus Collection.

There will be a random drawing for the winner on Friday, March 12th and the winner will be announced on this blog.

Here's how to enter. You can get your name entered multiple times by doing more than one of the following:

1. Go back to the tutorial post, then leave a comment about it here.

2. Become a fan on facebook, leave a message on the fanpage and link it back to here in a comment.

3. Become a blog follower. Leave a comment saying you became a follower.

4. Become a follower on twitter and tweet about this give away. Leave a comment with a link to your tweet.

***Sorry, but this give away is open to US residents only.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Minky Muscle Madness! (A Mauby's Tutorial)

Whenever my back aches I'm notorious for pulling out the heating pad and living on it. However, with a toddler running around and exploring EVERYTHING, I've found that trying to use a heating pad does not really work anymore.

So, I use a rice pack. If you've never used one and have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. A rice pack (also made with flax or sometimes certain types of husks), is material with rice in it that you can put in the microwave to heat up and then use it on your body just like a heating pad.

I really like to use flax for my packs because it can be frozen or micro-waved and it has a luxurious soft feel to it when you put it against yourself. It almost melds to your sore spots. However, rice works more effectively for heating purposes because it holds in the heat longer.

Typically you will see these items made up with just cottons. A lot are done in quilters cottons and some are done in knits to give you softer and stretchier qualities.

My FAVORITE pack though is when I do it up with Minky. Minky is sooo soft and wonderful. Everyone likes to make baby and kid stuff out of minky. But I will admit it, for myself (and anyone else who is shier than myself), Minky is AMAZING and I'm truly jealous that I don't have jackets, blankets, and pretty much EVERY piece of my wardrobe made out of Minky.

So here is my back heater. Minky side first! This Minky is a plush by Michael Miller Fabrics. It is luxuriously soft and the back side is a great knit and not slippery like a lot of other minky brands.

The coordinating front on this piece is Lime Star Paisley from Amy Butler's Lotus Collection.

Do you want to make your own Hot/Cold pack for your back? Read on for my step by step tutorial! :)

You will Need:

  • 1 - 17" x 21" Rectangle of Minky
  • 1 - 17" x 21" Rectangle of Cotton (quilters weight)
  • 2 - 17"x 21" Rectangles of Muslin or similar weight cotton material
  • 6 cups of Jasmine or other non-scorching long-grain dry rice. Do NOT use microwaveble or quick rice. (you can use 12 cups of flax seed in place of the rice. substitute whole flax seed where rice is called for in the tutorial.)
  • Measuring Tool
  • Air-erasable marking tool

Step 1. Place your minky rectangle and cotton rectangle directly on top of each other right sides facing:

Step 2. Take your two pieces of muslin.

Place your minky and fabric rectangles on top of one of the muslin pieces and line up all the edges:

Place the second piece of muslin on top of your minky and cotton rectangles. Make sure all 4 pieces of cloth are ligned up.

Step 3. Set Serger to overcast an edge. I like to use the 4-thread safety stitch on mine. I also don't usually pin items while using the serger because the serger keeps everything pressed together tightly.

However, If you are using a regular sewing machine, I recommend using an overcast stitch and pinning all layers together.

Sew/Serge along three edges stopping 1" before your open edge (This will help prevent bulky seams at the edges):

These pictures here are just to show off my new serger's safety stitch. ;) I LOVE my new machine!!!

Step 4. Open up the pieces so that your hand is in between the minky and cotton print piece (your two fabrics that you want to be the exterior when finished). Then turn Rectangle right side out.

Step 5. Using an air erasable marking tool, draw a line down the center along the lengthwise part of the rectangle:

Step 6. Using same air erasable marking tool, mark a parallel line 1.5" from the open edge of the rectangle.

Fold the fabric into the hole at this line and press.

Pin the opening closed at the center line you drew in step 5. This will keep your pieces lined up better.

Step 7. Edge stitch all along the three closed sides of the rectangle. Then starting at the closed side stitch along the center line you drew in step 5 all the way to the opening.

Now you have two semi-closed over flaps on the open end.

Step 8. Draw a line 5.5" from the closed shorter end of the rectangle. Draw a second line 5.5" from that line.
Step 9. Open one of the flaps and carefully pour in 1 cup of rice. Keeping the sac with the opening upright, pour 1 cup of rice down the other side.

Step 10. This gets a little tricky so make sure you are careful. Normally you would sew so that the shorter part of your item is on the inside of the sewing machine. However, you will do just the opposite in this case. Keeping the open side of the rectangle on the inside of your machine (to the right of your presser foot), shake all the rice down so that it sets at the very bottom of the "bag" and then sew along the line closest to the closed side.

This is one filled rectangle.

Step 11. Repeat steps 9 & 10. Sewing along the next line instead of the line closest to the closed end.

Step 12. Repeat step 9 & 10 again. Edge stitching along the open end instead of any lines, making sure to meet up the side seams so all edges are sealed.

And that's it! Microwave for 4 minutes on regular setting and apply as needed. Enjoy.

Want one but don't want to make it yourself? Enter the giveaway contest!

Monday, February 8, 2010

If you were wondering....

Besides for selling fabric online, I do local alterations and custom work. The project here is one of the things I LOVE to do! See,

I was given these two rolls of fabric:

This Pillow:

And this Trim:

And told to make a pillow shaped like this(with Turkish Corners):

And Tada!

Have you read about how much I LOVE zippers? I really do. And here is an example of some of them at work. I was particularly proud of this invisible zipper insertion. It took my husband several minutes to find the zipper! :)

I Love this work, because it feels like I get to create something specific from a bunch of stuff. It's like making an amazing meal when it feels like all you have in the house is ice cubes. What do you love about your work?

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Well, I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last blogged. I've been sick and now I'm swamped with back up work. I don't technically "have time" to do this post but I wanted to get something up so that I could feel less like a slacker! ;)

Now that my sister has her Christmas gift, I can actually share what I did! :)

For my sister's wedding, almost 1.5 years ago, I made her a wall hanging for their new house. I had all the ladies at her shower sign the back with marriage advice and such and then gave it to her and her husband as their wedding gift.
Here are pictures:

Christmas of 2008, her and her husband picked out a pattern and I made a sofa quilt that used some of the same fabric prints from the wall hanging. This was the first quilt I decided to quilt a pattern on myself. With just my regular old sewing machine. I decided to do dragon flies with flight paths behind them. Did I mention that I swore I would NEVER quilt like that on that machine again? I have not. When my husband gives me the, Ok, to replace the dining room with a Gammil (or the new husky quilter & QBot) then I will definitely start quilting my own larger quilts again. ;)

If you click on this picture to zoom it, you can see one of the dragonflies.
Enter Christmas of 2009. My sister requested another wall hanging that used the same prints from the other two pieces, but that pulled in some blue to match the now blue sofa they inherited from my parents. I put on my creative cap and did a pattern of my own. The pictures don't do it justice because I was in a rush to take them and get it packed up with my mom before she left after her visit but here's some for now (my sister is a photographer, so I'll be getting better ones from her, right sis? *wink) :

My little helper sending off Aunt Meg's quilt with some kisses and lovings. ;)

But, hey, check out this mitered corner. I do love to miter my corners, what can I say?

He he, here's the little helper with the 2008 Christmas quilt:
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