Eff Blocks

Some of you may need to put on your pearls to clutch, but I thought I'd share what I've been working on the last few days anyways...

Katie and Daisy asked if anyone was interested in doing a F*ck Block swap, similar to the one that resulted in this awesome quilt.

 Origin of this quilt is from the Completely Cauchy blog - 
she is fabulous, I highly recommend you check her work out.

I said, why the eff not? Yes, it's a crude, ugly word. Yes I use it. Often in my head. Particularly while driving or sewing difficult parts of a quilt. Never around my kids, although I have thought it in relation to this book. 

 If you haven't read this book, run don't walk, to your local bookstore, 
and take the 2 minutes it takes to do so. Get ready to die laughing. 
It is fabulous - especially if you've "been there!"

And I really like how it's used in this way:

Yes please.

So there are 5 of us doing this round, making 1 F*ck block to send to each. I thought about various ways to make my block, and in the end decided to do a little scrappy paper piecing of the letters. Not sure which way I should lay the word out though....what do you think?

This way:


 Or this way:




Every Girl Should Read: E.L. Konigsburg

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg, two-time Newbery Medalist--in 1968 for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; and again in 1997 for The View from Saturday--died on Friday, April 19, at the age of 83. 

In honor of her memory, and in recognition of a wonderful writer of timeless classics, she is this month's pick as the author "every girl should read."

I think this quote from her sums up her writing style and why she touched so many, particularly in the tween years, “The essential problems remain the same. … The kids I write about are asking for the same things I wanted. They want two contradictory things. They want to be the same as everyone else, and they want to be different from everyone else. They want acceptance for both.” 

One of the things that is not as well-known about E.L. Konigsburg (and probably why I like her so much) is that she was an accomplished artist as well. Considering her most famous book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, takes place almost entirely in the Met, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Her work hangs in galleries all over the country, and she drew most of the covers for her books, as well as other children's authors.
“Art comes from a visceral need and is usually generated by something I have seen; writing comes from something that happens in my head and my heart,” Mrs. Konigsburg told the Times-Union during an interview published in October 2000, when she was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
One of my favorite books by her, The Outcasts, is about a preteen girl named Margaret who, after being "rescued" by her uncle from a horrible summer camp, becomes embroiled in a fight to rescue his outdoor artwork from neighbors worried about property values. Margaret is a smart and determined girl to the end, and Konigsburg masterfully weaves together a story that leaves your sense of justice satisfied through sensitivity, caring, and a win-win ending.
We have lost one of the "great" children's books authors, and I am just so thankful that in her writing and art, she left behind an amazing legacy for many to enjoy for years to come. She is definitely one you don't want to miss!


CGM Podcast Episode #47: Breathing in Spring

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • Yay! Spring has arrived here!
  • Sam is the "caring kid of the week" at school
  • Texas Trip and quilt shops visited
 WIPs and FOs:
  • King Spiderweb quilt - uh oh....anyone have some Good Fortune by Kate Spain fabric?
  • Color Affection shawl
  • I finished my Shana bell sleeve tunic! (see prior post for pics and a recap)
  • I do talk more about SisBoom Patterns in general
  • Working on a QAYG table runner from batik scraps and strips
Discussion of Las Colchas and Sears Modern Homes (kit homes from the early 20th century)

Classic Movie Review:

Book Reviews:


Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Thanks for listening!



Spring Top: The Shana Bell Sleeved Tunic

I finished my Shana Bell Sleeved Tunic by SisBoom Patterns earlier this week! As I mentioned before, this fabric (Crazy Love by Jennifer Paganelli) is a little out of my comfort zone, but it's growing on me.

The pattern itself was very simple to put together, as all of the SisBoom patterns are. I made my top in a size 2x (thank you thank you Jennifer for making almost all of your patterns in 1-3x along with regular women's sizes!!), but would probably make it in a 1x if I did it again as it's a little looser fitting than I wanted - there's a fair amount of fabric in the back.

I chose to use a different fabric in the Crazy Love line for the collar, and this was the "trickiest" part of the pattern in that since you know it's going to be framing your face, you want your stitches to come out as near-perfecr as possible, and the collar to lie flat and puckerless. I took my time sewing this part, and it paid off as I'm so happy how it turned out!

Look at that cute bell sleeve! This came together so easily - the pattern does everything except hold your hand as you work through it. SisBoom patterns are also awesome in that they give multiple sleeve and hem lengths for their garments so you choose to make it anything from a long-sleeve top to a short-sleeve dress if you want.

I've linked up in the Made by Rae Spring Top Sew-Along 2013. Go check out all of the great tops women are making for themselves!




WIP Wednesday

Lots going on around here, and I don't just mean these boxes of advance books for Summer and Fall to get through:

It's out of control...and this is not all of it! 
There are at least 15 more boxes in another area.

Or now that Spring has arrived, there is lots more outdoor time for bike riding and other outdoor fun:

Sam is so much better on her bike this year, thank goodness! 
Maddy is great at looking the part of a cute tricyclist, but girlfriend is highly unmotivated 
in the pedaling department - she thinks I have unlimited pushing abilities, no water breaks allowed.

Or the fact that I'm hosting my book club this weekend and the house looks like...

well, I'm too embarrassed to say, much less show you!

So let's move on to what's keeping me busy in my studio right now:

I started a simple QAYG (quilt-as-you-go) table runner, using up some batik scraps and strips. Here is block 1 of 3:


I am also making good headway on my Color Affection shawl:

Other WIPs:
  • King Spiderweb quilt: 47/100 blocks done
  • F*ck Block Bee: need to make 5 blocks for this
  • Sketches into quilts - ongoing

I also have a finished sewn garment, which I'll share soon!


I've linked up in these crafty places this week:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Congratulations to Debby (crowefan0517) for being the winner of the advance copy of Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick!! I have sent you an email, so please reply and I'll get your book off to you right away.

I've read the first three and A thread of Truth is my favorite so far. I would love to win this book!


 Thank you to all who listened to the interview with Marie and entered the giveaway! I hope you will still go out and get a copy of her new book when it releases on the 30th - it is SUCH a good read.


What the Girls Are Reading This Month

Samantha (age 6):

We're starting 2 new series this month...

Madeline (age 2): at this age, most kids have 1 or 2 "favorite" books they want you to read to them over and over again. I still introduce at least 1-2 new books each week...especially when I get to the point where I can turn the pages and say the words out loud without even looking!

 Maddy LOVES this book, and Sam did too when she was about 2-4 yrs old. 
I recommend it to everyone looking for a fun, interactive book for little ones! 

What are your kids reading this month?



Las Colchas

Last week I had a business trip to several cities in Texas, including San Antonio. I've been there several times before, but never had the opportunity to visit a quilt or yarn shop....until now!

I visited several places, which I'll talk about more in my next podcast episode, but my favorite by far was Las Colchas. Translated from Spanish to English, it means "The Quilts."

This little yellow house is nestled among several large office buildings, as well as a few other residences. As you walk in, you instantly feel a sense of history among all of the fabric, antiques, and quilt samples that fill the store.

Francine is the owner, and has been for over 25 years! She was so friendly and welcoming, and I chatted with her a few minutes about the history of the house. Turns out, Las Colchas, is an original Sears Roebuck Kit House. (More on that to come in the next podcast episode!)

 She has filled her shop with a very wide variety of fabrics, and what I truly loved was the presentation. Using a mixture of antiques, bookshelves, and tables, the fabric, patterns, books, and samples are displayed all through the house for you to discover as you journey from room to room. Here are several rooms in the house:

 For such a small little bungalow of a house, those windows let in a LOT of light!

 Great mix of traditional and modern fabrics! 
I saw Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Bonnie & Camille, and many other designer lines.

I absolutely loved the touches of old and new throughout the house.

There were also several classic "San Antonio" touches in the house that reminded one of the wonderful Mexican hertitage this city enjoys. I loved these sample pillows made up using the Dia de Los Muertos print.

And as I mentioned, there were a lot of samples of a wide mix of projects: quilts, bags, dresses, felted wool applique, table runners, pillows, etc... 

All in all I was SO pleased to have had the chance to make a few stops during my Texas trip! And I will definitely be stopping in to Las Colchas the next time I'm in San Antonio - you should do the same!



WIP Wednesday: Hmmm..

If you are looking for the recent podcast shownotes to enter the giveaway, click HERE.

Now that I finished the Easy Street blocks, and subsequently decided to put that project on hold, I am back to working on my King Spiderweb quilt.

It's slow-going, but I am trying to finish 1-2 blocks a day this month.

I also decided to join in on the Spring Top Sewalong over at the Made by Rae blog. I've had several sewing projects in my queue for awhile now, and had already bought the fabric for a Shana Tunic when I made my Devon Peasant top last summer.

The color and print of the fabric (Crazy Love by J. Paganelli) is a bit out of my comfort zone, although I don't mind wearing "color" in general, and have a lot of it in my everyday wardrobe. 

I finished the collar and am about to move on to the sleeves, which are 3/4 length.

Right now I am at the "hmmmmm" stage with this sewing project. Hmmm, is it going to fit right? Hmmm, will this look handmade or homemade (yes, there is a difference when it comes to clothes sewing IMO!) Hmmm, what shoes will I wear with this? Hmmm, does this mean I get to go shoe shopping?!?! See, all very important decisions to hmmm over.

So what are you "hmmming" about this week?


I've linked up in these crafty places!

  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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