I’ve Got the Fabric Design Itch!

Anybody else completely mesmerized by the idea of not just making things with fabric, but actually designing fabric to make things with???  I just designed some cute quilt labels to give away at Quilt Market next week, and had them printed on Spoonflower – they make printing your own designs onto fabric as easy as pie, and I can’t lie- I’m SO jonesing to give it a whirl with more than just quilt labels.  I usually have a sketch book tucked in my “mom bag” (right next to the sippy cups and hairbows)…never know when you’re going to see something totally inspiring!  Recently I’ve been playing with some folk-inspired shapes and am really having fun just dreaming up designs.

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Just playing around, but the trouble is, it’s hard to play when you don’t have the technical knowledge of what it takes to get designs from your sketchbook (or head) into the computer where you can actually have them printed and use them.  Ya know?  Anyway, I’ve signed up for veteran designer, Bari J’s new class ‘Pattern Play – Create your own Professional Patterns in Photoshop with Ease’.


I’m hoping this class will “unlock” some of the technicals that are holding back from getting my designs into digital form, so I can really let loose and play.  Itching to give it a try with me?  Here’s a little video preview of the class on YouTube.

You  do have to create a profile and sign into the Jeanne Oliver Network to have access to Bari J’s class.  One great thing about Jeanne Oliver’s classes is that you have lifetime access to the material.

COME TO THINK OF IT…today is the last day to sign up for the discounted rate!  Dang!  If you’re interested, head over and sign up!

The class starts on June 1st.  There will be about an hour of video each day for five days.  And – as a BONUS – Bari J herself will be available those first five days to answer our questions!!!!  How cool is that!?  I love Bari.  Met her at the Sewing Summit 4 years ago (where I totally got starstruck and mispronounced her name of course!  She was so sweet and we both laughed about it.)

Thankfully I do have Adobe Photoshop already (I use it every day!), but if you don’t, no worries- there’s a free trial you can test drive for 30 days — more than enough time to get your feet wet in the class and then decide if you want to take the plunge and buy the software.

Well, that’s what I’m dreaming about at the moment!  What are you up to?

PS!!!!  To those of you sweeties who have popped me a comment or email in the past week or two and haven’t heard back- don’t worry, I love ya and you’ll hear from me soon!!!  BIG exciting project going on this month that took me away from the computer for about a week and I’m trying to get caught up….can’t wait to share more about that soon!


Back from Sew South!

FRIENDS!  Oh how I’ve missed you!  A couple of you sweeties have emailed me this week to make sure all is ok because it’s so, well, exciting, here on the blog (ah! crickets, crickets).  I’m still here!  April is insane.  I’m getting ready for book launch (yesssss), prepping for quilt market, filming some fun new classes, wrapping up the school year with the kiddos, and trying to squeeze in a bit of sleep here and there…you know, priorities. :)

And what a treat this past weekend- 3 fabulous days in North Carolina with 60 of the most amazing women at the Sew South Retreat– an utter delight!!!  EXACTLY what this Mamma needed (except for sleep!  no sleep when open sew involves wine, music, and goes til midnight!).

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Friends, friends, friends!  Can you ever have too many sewing buddies?  Most definitely not!  These ladies were the real deal…sweet, smart, talented, oh so genuine and fun.  I could have stayed and chatted all month!

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Every time I leave Sew South (this was my 3rd year attending), I always come home feeling the same way- completely inspired by an amazing community of women, old friends and new.  I wish I could have packed them all in my bag and taken them home with me, so they’re close at hand for impromptu sewing parties.  Can we make that happen?

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I had a blast sharing a bit about my quilting journey, and then teaching a fun curves a la applique technique as part of my Apple Blossom mini quilt workshop.  So many yummy versions!!!!  I was so impressed with how many folks finished their minis (or turned them into pillows).  Ooh, I almost forgot- and a mini sneak peek trunk show with a few of my favorite projects from For Keeps (ships May 12…eeeeek!).

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Ok, and can we talk about charity quilts for a sec?  What a BRILLIANT little project we did.  FreeSpirit Fabrics donated a slew of fabulous jelly rolls and the 60 of us ladies had a serious speed sewing competition to see which table could complete a strip quilt first.  15 minutes later and we had 15 gorgeous, colorful quilt tops ready to finish and send over to Quilt Lemonade- a project benefiting the community of La Limonada in Guatemala City, which is considered to be the largest urban slum area in Central America.  In less time than it would have taken us to go grab a Starbucks, we stitched a special quilt for nearly every child in one of the community’s safe houses.

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And the community building didn’t stop there!  Oh no!  Mr. James…our adorable bellhop.  What a charmer.  The first night, he was sweet enough to drive me to pick up meds for what felt like a developing sinus infection (my nemesis), and on the way we chatted.  He wanted to know what we were all up to back in that noisy ballroom and I told him, why, sewing of course!!!  His eyes lit up….he explained that he’s interested in fashion and would love to be able to create garments when the mood strikes him, as well as sew things for his kiddos.  Well, his time had come- by the second night, our own Miss Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft invited him on in, and sat him right down at her machine.  Minutes later, amidst cheering and clapping, he’d sewn his very first pocket- proud to go show his wife.  What a fun moment to witness!

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So many great moments!  Dear Miss Nancy finished her 2014 Sugar Block sampler right there at open sew!  I was absolutely honored that she’d brought it to work on, and think she did an incredible job!  Love ya Nanc!

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Oh my goodness- the bags!  Everyone had such amazing BAGS!  And I was so pumped to come home with several.  The ridiculously awesome organizer zip bag is the Sew Together Bag by Michelle of Sew Demented (best bag ever!)- made for me by my dear sweet friend Valerie.  I adore it!

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The little coin purse was a darling gift from sweet Jennifer for my bday…AHHHH!  The bee knitting!  My daughters are SO jealous.  And lastly….that wallet- THE PERFECT WALLET- a fantastic design by Lindsey Rhodes.  We all made these wallets and I never could quite pick a favorite- all so stinking cute!  I was super pleased with how mine turned out (especially since I picked out my fabrics at 11pm, in the dark, the night before my flight!  Yeah, I roll like that).

Well, thanks for stopping by to check out my Sew South highlights!  Definitely a weekend to remember.  But it’s good to be home.  Ahhh, Legos, dog hair, and a carpools.  Yup, it’s a good life.


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