Once Upon a Time Sampler: March is for Three Little Pigs!

 
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Hello March!

And Hello Little Pigs!

One pig was smart and built his home out of bricks. The other two guys? Not so much. They made it out with just the hand knit sweaters on their backs! That wolf, eek! He's a real grouch. He's the first of two wolves in this pattern.

I just finished reading Siege and Storm this morning. I have mixed feelings about it! I really enjoyed the story but I felt so annoyed by the two main characters! But then the last 15% sucked me back into the story. People usually ask me if I'm a quilter or a knitter or a cross stitcher but by far, my favorite past time is reading. I'm totally a reader. I'm looking forward to starting The Undead Pool tonight!

I cast on last month for a new Brandywine shawl. I switched from keeping track of which row I was on from paper to adobe reader...well I updated the app and lost my row! So I picked up where I thought I left off and I am WAY wrong. Now I have 3-4 rows of mistakes but I'm not sure I have it in me to pull it completely apart! I've done 10 or 11 repeats of the second chart, oi! Sometimes I wish I had a knitting fairy god mother who I could mail project when I get stuck! haha!

We went and saw the Lego movie today...everythingggg is awesomeeeee!!!

;)

Sugar is Sweet Sampler: Sneak Peek

 
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Helllllo Sneak Peek!

Tonight is a super fun night for Pumpkin Fans. We have our March Once Upon a Time Sampler PDF mass email scheduled and ready to go at midnight PST. The subscribers will be the first people to see the full version of Sugar is Sweet Sampler!!!!

These photos were taken last month and are *not* the complete sampler! They are just a sneak peek! :):) There is one more special element on the top that we want to keep a surprise! Over the course of the next year, we'll be releasing a total 5 of these alphabet samplers. They range in subject matter, some are symmetrical like this one, others aren't. All of the projects are approximately the same size and stitched on hand dyed fabric using solid floss (ie- not overdyed threads)!

In addition to Once Upon a Time subscribers receiving the first look at the brand new pattern, they'll also receive a promo code for the Sugar is Sweet Sampler! Woohoo!

If you aren't a subscriber, don't worry! The pattern will go live tonight at midnight in our shop!

This project is *really* beginner friendly. It's small- just 6.1 x 6.1 inches. For ease of stitching, start in the middle of your fabric with the middle of the chart- it's the alphabet. Then you can work outwards. It's very instant gratification, the desserts stitch up very fast! You'll have generous borders and it could be framed, turned into a wall hanging or even a little pillow! I had mine framed  but I almost turned it into a zip pouch.We are stitching it on hand dyed opalescent fabric, it's a silver-y gray with subtle brown smudges. It's really unique and beautiful.

The palette for this project is sophisticated and sweet! It's an assortment of pink, dark brown, pale yellow, mauve, beige and peach. It was a joy to stitch it because it's so different than anything we've done in the past! I literally had to force myself not to share photos of the WIP every five seconds on instagram! I think it's one of those projects that you could hang in a nursery and it could stay hung up all through childhood and into teen years. I plan on hanging mine in our kitchen!

We've teamed up with our three favorite shops for supplies for this project making supply purchasing super easy!

Picture This Plus

The Cottage Needle

The Workroom

All three shops also carry an amazing assortment of supplies and notions! If you can, try and support independent shops before heading to Michaels/JoAnns!

I'll be posting some photos of the March edition of Once Upon a Time Sampler tomorrow :):)

Have a good weekend :):):)

Day Four at The Stitchers' Village

Christmas on Gingerbread Lane - Cover Christmas on Gingerbread Lane - Final Cover

 

Patty invited Ashleigh & I to take part in The Stitchers' Village 12 Days of Christmas!

Stitchers' Village is a neat online needlework community with activities and chats! You can click on each building and visit different designers. To keep up to date with cross stitching info in the community, you can sign up to be a member.

If you click the tree in the middle of the village, you'll be brought to a click-able room that has free ornament designs! We have a little gingerbread theme pattern for you!

Since I didn't get a chance to blog this weekend with the holiday promo code, I'm going to give my blog friends a special chance for 25% off your total pattern purchase! From now until 12/06/2013 at 12:00am PST you can use  promo code PORKCHOP in our shop! Woo hoo!

CONTEST HAS ENDED AND COMMENTS ARE CLOSED!

Noodlehead's Super Tote

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I'm not quite sure how I managed to complete one September goal so quickly but I'm not going to question it!

I made a Noodlehead Super Tote yesterday with Ashleigh!

We went to JoAnn's in the morning, she had to pick out a lining for her bag and I wanted some elastic. We both found these super cute microfiber handles for $5.99 a pair...and then they rang up as $2! I think they are phasing out their bag making supplies at my local shop because they had practically nothing left and everything was on clearance! Woowoo! I love using Clover leather handles on handmade bags but I can't always find them locally and I wanted to work on this bag with Ash!

Together we cut and sewed and watched The Suburban Stitcher podcast (that accent! that sweetness!). And drank absurdly giant RT44 iced teas. I stopped eating sugar (real & artificial) a few months ago and a mango diet green tea was an amazing treat! So good!

Let's talk about this pattern k?

  • Super clear directions, illustrations and prints beautifully. That last one is important to me, if it's a pdf and the pattern has you line up pieces and tape them together, nothing is more frustrating than something that doesn't line up. Printing & taping the few pieces in this pattern is a breeze.
  • Clever design! As I was making the pleats I kept saying "oh, I LOVE this. LOVE." The pleats allow the top of the bag that sits under your arm to have a slim profile but the bottom remains big so you can cram it full of stuff.
  • Sturdy construction!
  • Anna offered to help! This is HUGE. While I didn't think I'd need help, I *love* when a designer goes the extra mile and stands by their pattern. Ashleigh & I do this with our patterns and seeing Anna have such a good approach to being available for help with her patterns made my day.

Here are a few of my personal changes and they reflect what I personally like in a handbag!

  • I used Pellon fusible fleece as my interfacing and I used it on the lining ONLY. Why? Because the body of my bag is a sturdy 100% wool tweed. It didn't need anything but adding the fleece to the lining gives it a little bit more shape.
  • I lined all my pockets rather than just facing them.
  • I didn't add the extra gusset pieces for the same reason, thick wool is thick!
  • I used commercial handles instead of making my own.
  • I did my zipper and pulls slightly differently because I made this on my featherweight with a jacket separating zipper.

Fabrics I used:

  • 100% Wool Tweed I had in my stash!
  • Fort Firefly for the outer pocket and the top of the recessed zipper!
  • Juliana Horner from JoAnn's for the lining, I'm not sure why but this reminds me of my grandmother in a very good way.
  • A random orange lace printed fabric also from JoAnn's for the pocket.
  • Pellon fusible fleece
  • JoAnn's microfiber straps & a Dritz magnetic snap

Can we talk about Fort Firefly for a second? O M G. Ashleigh and I both love Teagan White. She has such an amazing style, some things are so painfully sweet, like this fabric, then she has this completely heart-wrenching macabre side that kills me. Seriously. She's amazing. But the fabric is organic cotton, therefore, expensive. I have mixed feelings about organic cotton, sometimes it's incredible, other times it's quite thin and practically sheer. So we picked out the above fabrics, bought a yard of each and then split the yards in half. I love sharing fabric. ANYWAYS. When I opened the box I almost died, this cotton feels AMAZING! dreamy! perfect! It's absolutely worth the price and the print quality is also phenom! So so so so happy! We spent the day daydreaming of dresses made from these prints too. I couldn't bear to cut any more than I already did, that's saying something. I'm not a fabric hoarder at all but this stuff feels like it should be something special.

One thing I personally am rotten at is knowing the size of things. I just struggle with envisioning numbers. Is it Nordstrom where their purses online have a little key that says "fits water bottle, magazine, etc", I can't remember, BUT I LOVE THAT. SO! Here we go!

What does a Super Tote fit?

  • An iPad in a case!
  • A knitting bag with a sock (um, also a tutorial by Anna, it's her open wide pouch that I made giant! Did you know I like Anna? Yeah, Lizzy too a ton!)
  • A wallet! 
  • A cat pouch crammed with girl essentials, a present from my bff.
  • Part of a Single Girl Quilt top.
  • My camera (not pictured because...you know! I'm using it!)

That is pretty super. Sadly, the pattern doesn't come with a cape. Or a super hero power. But you'll feel pretty pleased with yourself when you finish so that's kind of like a super power, the power to conquer sewing a new cute bag!

Anyways, I had fun and I wholeheartedly suggest this pattern! Now to find my Single Girl pattern so I can finish this top...I was hoping if I pulled it out and took some photos on it, I'd be extra motivated to finish it. ;) success!

FO: Tardis Dish Cloth, Lady Rainicorn Socks and WIPs

A little knitting has been happening lately! Woo hoo! Clearly...pink love is continuing!

I knit my first dish cloth! That's sort of exciting I think?! I used Cascade Pima cotton in a pretty hot pink, the pattern used to be available on Ravelry & I'd downloaded it ages ago but the designer took it down. It was a fast and fun knit! Tardis = LOVE!

This is the first pair of socks I've finished since my Pheasants! Sock knitting hasn't agreed with me lately which is a bummer because I made a grand goal of knitting 12 pairs of socks this year, I think it'll be more like...6 pairs. And that's fine! Even just ONE pair of hand knit socks is special and an accomplishment! There is no greater pleasure than a pair of cute socks!

Details:

I cast on yesterday for some new socks. These are called...nothing yet! Haha! I can't decide on a pattern! I LOVE these ribbed ones, I haven't knit a pair of plain ribbed socks yet and they just look so squishy and soft!

  • Yarn- Becoming Art Agave Fingering in Hummingbird...it reminds me of zombies & halloween! IDK why!
  • Needles- Quite possibly my new favorites! The *new* Kollage Squares! They are pointy...like SHARP. And I looooove them. I'm using a size 1 with a 40 inch cord...two at a time. Dreamy!

Have you made a pair of ribbed socks? Which pattern did you use? I'm working with 64 stitches! :):)

March Means...Marchy McMushroom!

March 1st equals...NEW ADDITION TO THE WOODLAND SAMPLERRRRR!!!

Soooo many people were like OMG SO MUCH STITCHING IN FEBRUARY! I'm super glad when we designed the pattern that we put this little mushroom in for March! I think it'll help people not become too discouraged. April is going to be super fun, it has a lot of details but not so many that it'll be overwhelming.

Can you guess who named this guy? I did. ;) Haha! Each time we come up with a pattern, I send Ashleigh these goofy little emails with a story about the character. Because I think I'm actually a daydreaming 8 year old, doodling in a notebook and laying in the grass.

Here is this guys story in email form.

"hi mushroom, what's your name?"

"my name is marchy mcmushroom! I live in a little glass terrarium in the study of a girl who loves kit kats!"::
Can you guess who recently discovered the joy of kit kats? ;) I told Porkchop yesterday my dream milkshake would involve kit kats and potato chips. Clearly I'm craving salty & sweet. But don't worry, I didn't actually make that milkshake.
Actually, speaking of strange food, one last thing before I go...have you guys seen the Lay's new flavor chips? I got a bag of chicken & waffles and a bag of sriracha. I've had a few of the chicken & waffles, I've never actually had the pleasure of eating chicken & waffles together but I'm sort of obsessed with the idea. I love...salty & sweet (I know, I'm repetitive and predictable!). One of my favorite things is breakfast sausage with maple, when I make sausage from scratch I tend to go a teeny bit overboard on the maple extract. And I lust after making this recipe ALL THE TIME but you know...clearly not a health food. ANYWAYS, the chicken & waffle chips aren't too shabby. I can't eat more than a 4-5 at once because they are a little much but a good rare treat!
And, you can sign up for Woodland Sampler year round! There's no deadline, you can join whenever you want! The workroom has floss in stock for it too! We do have another club coming up, SPRINGTIME SAMPLER! I've been sneaking in photos on instagram but I'll take some photos today for the blog so you guys can see it too!
It's supposed to be 72 degrees here today and I have spring fever xten.

Long Weekend Projects

I started a little embroidery yesterday for a friend who's having a baby. I'm super slow at embroidering so I figured I'd get a head start! I'm using this pattern, because mama-to-be is a Kurt Hasley fan. I don't know if it's going to be a boy or girl yet so I picked some constellation scraps for the background. Stars are gender neutral right?! ;) I super love iron on patterns, I'm the absolute worst at tracing and for some reason the whole "iron it and it's magically on your fabric" is really magical to me. I'm a nerd. ;)

Porkchop made me a little scrap thread holder! It's a piece of 4" x 6" wood that he wrapped fabric around and stapled down. Then he hammered a few nails in it and we sprayed it with a bit of glitter spray. I love it so much, I tend to just leave little piles of floss everywhere and now I have them all together with me!

I finished my Donut Quilt on Sunday night, it was the best weekend of sewing, relaxing and watching t.v. Those are the best kinds of weekends to me.

Also! Voting ended in our poll for the next patterns! We'll be doing Japan, Australia and Ireland! Ashleigh is already designing and I've ordered new linen/evenweave for us this morning. I can't wait to start stitching them and sharing sneak peeks! I was begging everyone I knew to vote for Japan, Ireland and Russia, but sadly Russia didn't win! But once these patterns are done, we'll have another round of voting! :):)

I hope you had a nice long weekend :)

Weekend Plans: Frosted Pumpkin Shop Update & Donut Quilt

TGIF! TGIF!!!

Today was the best mail day, all the fabrics I needed to complete my donut quilt arrived! Woo! That never happens! Usually one or two will meander in at a time but today, BAM! all at once! Although sadly the fabric I'd planned to bind the quilt with I bought in the wrong color! oops!

I spent the afternoon listening to Driving Mr. Dead & cutting this quilt out. I never listened to audiobooks until last year when Amber got me into them. Now I can't imagine an afternoon without them! Molly Harper's books are read by Amanda Ronconi and she takes the book up a notch. Truly *hilarious*.

This quilt is the most sweet and girly thing I've ever sewn. I used Lizzy's little constellation stars for the background, a bunch of favorite pinks (and two rebel black fabrics) for the donuts and then the border I went with pearl bracelets in cotton candy. And then! I found donut fabric for the backing. That totally cracks me up!

Ashleigh & I are asking for your help! We are having a poll to decide the next countries in our Around the World Series! You can vote between now and Sunday! Full confession: I voted for Japan with my other hopes being Ireland & Russia!

We've also updated our shop with all the new Valentine's Day patterns, included one we kept secret, Elements of Love! ooOOOooo!

What are you going to do this weekend? I'm cross stitching and working on this quilt. I heard a rumor someone is going to take me out for yogurt tonight. ;)

DIY Glitter Linen

Raise your hand if you love glitter!

Meee!!! I loooove glitter. Fierce. And I also love cross stitch. Combine the two and you get pure radness!

You can buy commercial glitter linen from sources like dovestitch.com but if you are like me and want the most glitter for your buck, try this!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Krylon Glitter Spray or Krylon Glitter Blast. I can only vouch for these two sprays, different brands may vary. I picked Glitter Blast in Diamond Dust & Glitter Spray in a Multicolor. The multicolor has bits of red, blue, silver, gold and green. I went with Krylon because these are acid free. I purchased these at Michael's with a coupon. The small can is $5.99 and the large is $7.99 without a coupon. You could get a LOT of glitter linen out of each can. And they had a ton of colors, gold, silver, pink, green, etc.
  • Linen Scraps. Please try this project on scraps first, I'd hate for you to buy expensive linen and have it not work out!.
  • Either newspaper or paper bags. Or your front steps. Just a place to spray your fabric outside.

 

You really want to work on this project outside, it's spray paint and it stinks.

I simply laid down my fabric and using even strokes, covered the fabric with the spray paint. Easy right?

Here are a few tips:

  • Let the fabric sit 24-48 hrs before you try to stitch on it. Not because it's wet but because the fumes are crazy.
  • The fabric will be SUPER stiff. I found I liked it, but if you don't want super stiff fabric, you probably don't want to try this project.
  • I completed an entire project with minimal glitter shedding. Occasionally I'd look down and see a piece of glitter or two on my hands but it didn't fall everywhere.
  • The fibers of the linen can be stuck together, meaning it's a little easy to miscount but a few stitches in I figured it out.
  •  It WILL darken your fabric considerably. In the photo of the spray paint cans, the linen on the left has been glittered, the right hasn't.

 

Here in this photo shows the original linen rolled up and then the glittered linens below it! Exact same one, Charles Craft Irish Linen Tea Dyed! See how light it is compared to the glittered ones?! Neat!

Look how awesome glitter floss looks with glitter linen?! This is Cosmo's White (silver!) and it's super dreamy looking. I'm working on a project today with this sparkle floss and I can't wait!

See how nice the stitches pop?! This has been ironed on low with a dish towel between the iron and the linen. It is FLAT. Crisp even! Imagine the cutest bookmark ever and this could be it. Sometimes my regular projects I have to starch in order to get the crinkles out but this fabric is so stiff that the crinkles just fell out. Amazing!

Anyways, I hope you give it a try! Ashleigh & I will be releasing a line of brand new Valentine's Day patterns on Friday, if you haven't had a chance get, come visit us on facebook! We aren't spammy (that's just not our nature!), we share tips & tricks and post photos of things other folks have made from our patterns :)

It's a Kawaii Winter Wonderland!

 

Ashleigh & I have been working on something really special the past few months and I'm excited to finally be able to press "publish" on this blog post.

We are just not ready for Dessert of the Month Club to end so we came up with a fun new secret project: It's a Kawaii Winter Wonderland Club! We seriously love surprising you and watching our designs pop up on flickr, facebook and instagram.

This is a mystery club, meaning it's a surprise what you'll be stitching up but we'll be posting sneak peeks through out the month on our facebook page. 

In November, once a week you'll receive an email from us containing a pdf. In this pdf you'll have 5 little blocks (these are numbered like days!) of stitching. By the time we finish sending the emails, you'll have 25 completed blocks!

This is a countdown to Christmas or Winter. It's completely non-denominational but of course if you wanted it to be an Advent Calendar it most certainly could be!

Some cute things you'll be stitching:

  • nature!
  • food! (a pickle!)
  • drinks!
  • creatures! (Shhh, there is a certain owl that is ADORABLE)

Once you purchase the sign ups, you'll receive a pdf with the complete color list and instructions, along with the stitching schedule! Woo woo!

For a limited time the signups are only $10 but they'll rise to $16.95 on the 10th of November. We are working on a few contests and some little bonus printables for the club! And of course we do gift subscriptions if you want to stitch a long with a friend!

Any other questions, feel free to email us directly at thefrostedpumpkinstitchery AT gmail DOT com. I'm away from my computer this week so I won't be able to answer any comments.

Winter! Winter! Kawaii! Woo! Woo!

Weekender Bag Chat: Part Two: Patchwork Version

 

Hey! Welcome to Part Two of Weekender Chat! Part One can be found HERE.

Let me start this post by saying two things:

  • This is my current WIP and it's not finished yet, so I can only provide thoughts on the project thus far.
  • This is NOT my original idea. I was inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's patchwork weekender bag and then my two friends, Amber & Laura. Watching their bags progress on instagram was RAD.

Here is what I'm doing:

  • Scraps xten. I filled a laundry basket with all my neutrals, blues and pinks. Lots of fabrics I swapped for & presents from pals. Best!
  • Two lining fabrics: Tula Pink Nightshade left over from some sleep pants and then Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley.
  • I'm unsure on which fabric to choose for straps, I have two. A glitter tweed wool (uhhh $5 a yard at JoAnns on red tag clearance, it's hard to show the glitter but I promise, it's there!) and then a navy blue star print.
  • My "theme" is Frosty Woodland. Why a theme? IDK but I seem to like sewing projects better when I give them a theme and story!
  • I'm using the method Elizabeth explains, patchwork over a layer of thin batting with a piece of cotton duck but I'm not doing quilt as you go:

So in this photo I have a FINISHED POCKET laid over the MAIN BODY PANEL. I pulled the layers of the POCKET apart to show you how it looks, top layer is PATCHWORK, middle layer is COTTON DUCK and the bottom layer is the POCKET LINING. You can't see the batting because its cut 1/2 inch smaller than the patchwork and duck. The blue trees aren't attached, as that's my main body panel and it hasn't been piped yet.

Thoughts so far:

  • I can't seem to get a good grasp on Quilt As You Go! It's just not my thing I guess. What I've been doing is just patchwork, cutting it down to the shape of the canvas and quilting it all together. Don't forget to cut the batting a 1/2 inch smaller than the patchwork and canvas, it's essentially pretending to the Peltex piece in the original version.
  • I'm not sure I like how it feels! I might add interfacing to the lining. I'm not quilting it a whole bunch which might be why it isn't as stiff. But I also love the feeling of a super sturdy bag so this might just be me! I'll report back on this when I finish the bag!
  • My bag will not look even remotely as posh as the bags I've linked too. I'm very much not precise, instead using up strange odds and ends. It's not professional looking as theirs and as of right now, I'm ok with it. Although part of me wishes I was as nice and neat of a sew-er as those girls! (ok, a very big part! But I'm trying to accept who I am ;))
  • I love tiny patchwork and I added in a little star at 2.5 inches and some ribbon 1.5 inch hsts. It's hard not to fussy cut everything to death and I've noticed a real lack of blenders in my stash in blues!

 

 

I bought feet and metal magnetic snaps for this bag, I'm planning on using the snaps in the body pocket. As I used my other Weekender, I noticed the pocket would gap. Plus, I just like these! I got these at JoAnn's too!

 

 

Here are my strap choices so far! I wish my camera would pick up the glitter in the tweed! SO fun! One thing I'm going to do differently in this bag is make longer straps and most likely wider. I may add either cotton duck or Peltex to them so they are very sturdy, I tend to over pack on trips!

 

 

My biggest tip this far: mark where the pocket will sit on your main panel! How sad would it be to put your favorite scrap at the bottom where it would be covered up by a pocket?! I'd cry. I have that blue line as a reminder that nothing fancy should be pieced below there, unless I want it to be a secret hidden surprise. So far I've used larger scraps in that bottom half.

Ok! Those are my thoughts on both bags so far, once I finish the patchwork version I'll report back if anyone is curious!

 

:):):)

Weekender Bag Chat: Part One

 

This week on instagram folks have been asking questions about my weekender bag, I thought it might be a fun blog post to share my thoughts and experiences. So far I've made two and I'm currently working on a third patchwork version. As soon as I publish this post, I'll post a Part Two which will be about my current WIP, the patchwork version. Sound good??!

 

This is the second Weekender Bag I've made, if you aren't familiar with the pattern, it's by Amy Butler and a pretty neat bag! It's sort of a crowning achievement bag, it says HEY I MADE THIS PROFESSIONAL LOOKING BAG. And it is rumored to be one of the hardest bags to make (it's not. I pinkie swear!)

I wanted to make a second one because I didn't really *love love* my first one, I made lots of mistakes, I substituted a fusible batting for the pellon, inserted the lining by machine, etc. I guess I shouldn't say mistakes, I should say, tried something new that didn't work. ;) So this time I was determined to follow the pattern properly from start to finish. I don't know about you but that is HARD. Sometimes I want to read ahead and ignore things.

But this time I didn't. I used the suggested interfacings. I used the correct zipper. I slip stitched the lining in. And I have a bag I crazy love. Like, love love love!!!

Here are my changes to the pattern:

  • I didn't use the end pockets. I felt like they made an already busy bag way busier looking. This fabric is LOUD and it was super noticeable where I wasn't able to line up the pattern correctly. I added the pockets and felt like the bag looked sloppy, I kind of wanted to cry. I let it marinate overnight and looked again in the morning with fresh eyes. I took them off (I hated doing that!) and voila! Much better. Sometimes less is more.
  • I bought piping! Yup! Two packages at JoAnns. I couldn't find a size cording that I liked, the piping foot for the Bernina I have is $70 (omg! >:() and this way if I didn't like the piping, I wasn't out a ton of time. Sometimes you can luck out and find a perfect match!
  • I was creative with my fabric cutting. Sometimes I think Amy Butler's Bag patterns have a lot of waste, like fabric can be laid differently to save fabric. I can't remember exactly what I had but I know my lining/handles are two 1/2 yard cuts. I had one blue and brown dots and then one the reversal. I shopped in my stash and used what I had. No one would know and I love how it looks.
  • I suggest cutting out the pattern pieces and play around with your fabric, do you have a bit that you want to display? In my case I knew I had to have that deer on the front, so I unfolded, refolded, pinned, unpinned my pattern pieces around until I could cut the required amounts from the fabric I had. I don't have a giant fabric budget so I truly believe in shopping your stash, making do with what you have and triple checking before you cut! You might find you need a lot less fabric. I didn't follow the lay out guide and I'm ok with that. Try other options before cutting.
  • Make friends with your walking foot. Truly. This bag is not HARD but there are layers of fabric and interfacing that make it stiff which creates an AMAZING finished bag but can be tricky to sew. I used a combination of Clover Wonder Clips and binder clips. Don't bother with pins. Seriously. You'll bend them and feel frustrated, especially if you are using the yellow & blue Clover Glass Head pins.
  • Mark on your sewing machine with washi tape (for cuteness!) or regular tape your 1/2 inch mark. My mind is constantly stuck in 1/4 inch zone and I struggle using any other seam. I need the visual reminder and the tape to butt my fabric up against when I sew.
  • Use a heavy duty needle, I used leather because I didn't have any denim. The needle will go through the fabric much smoother.
  • Don't try to do this bag in one day. No seriously. My biggest tip is to break it up into parts. I spent one evening cutting, another evening cutting interfacing, one afternoon making the pieces, an afternoon assembling it and an hour hand stitching the lining on. I know, it seems intimidating and you are thinking "BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME", trust me on this, set your phones alarm for ONE HOUR and just sit down and break it up into chunks. There are a lot of small details in the pattern that deserve your uninterrupted attention. For example one mistake I made was sewing all four sides of the bottom, you only sew 3 in order to place in the Peltex. Dumb move. Why did I do it? Because I was trying to rush before Chop got home. It's so worth it to read the instructions multiple times and just sit and FOCUS.
  • I think some people call this bag HARD because of the steps required and the amount of cutting/time. It's true, some parts are tedious (3 layers of interfacing on the zipper area about did me in. snooze fest 2012!!) BUT it's worth it for the end result. I'd say an intermediate beginner could make this bag, no problem, as long as they broke it up into chunks and took their time!
  • Do you have a 1/4 inch foot with a guide? If so, I suggest using it for the zipper installation. I basted the zipper into place, then put the guide of my foot in the zipper slit, this made my top stitching nice and neat!
  • Shop for interfacing with the JoAnn's app! Use coupons! The cost of interfacing, zipper and piping can add up fast!
  • This is a deluxe bag. In all my photos you can see, it is FIRM. It stands up on it's own. When I brought it to my knitting class & Starbucks, no one could believe it was handmade. I believe 100% that this is because how it's interfaced. I did use Echino fabric for both the outer and lining which is a home decor linen. I do believe it's worth using the suggested Peltex #70.

(contrasting lining! normally the handle fabric is the lining...not here, being thrifty with what I had in the ol' stash!)

Things I found challenging:

  • The number one thing I found challenging was slip stitching the lining in. Not because it's hard but because I had a hard time pushing my needle through the fabric and the zipper. I ended up stitching my lining in right next to the zipper. It's not super glamourous but it's ok!
  • I struggled with one corner when I assembled the bag, I kept being too far away from the piping. In the end I hand sewed that 2 inch spot. You can't tell the difference!
  • Getting the pattern on the fabric to line up perfectly with the pockets. It's not amazing, but I got it to work!

 

Things I'd do differently:

  • My next bag is going to have feet!
  • No outer pockets again!
  • But lots of inner pockets!
  • Adding magnetic snaps to the outer pockets!

I hope this helps! It's seriously not a hard bag & I totally believe you can do it. It's well worth the end result, I've found it's the perfect knitting bag!

Aurifil July BOM

I'm totally bummed out that my blog didn't post this right away because I super love Sarah! And I love this summer-y block. I started stitching it onto a tote bag for my library books, all summer long I've been obsessed with mysteries and visiting the library 3x a week! I guess summer is just a time for sitting outside and reading (and stitching!)

I've had a crush on this quilt for the past year or so, it's seriously dreamy. My grandparents used to take me to a lot of antique stores in New England and I saw these very traditional & primitive eagles on things and I love them. But this! Wowzers. It's so fresh & fantastic. I'm not sure it's something I could ever sew, I *love* hand applique, but mostly because I don't have very much of these colors in my stash. I think it's one that I'd want to just drive to Sarah's and steal. It just appeals to my traditional Yankee soul and my California boldness. Does that make sense?! I think this quilt is in her book Quilting from Little Things?! But I'm not 100% sure. Maybe I can ask for the book as an early birthday gift? *wink wink*

Don't forget, you can post any of your completed blocks to the flickr group and you can win thread! Woo woo!

Wild Olive Pattern of the Month Club!

It's Monday! Monday needs to have an infusion of cute. We have to start the week off right! Do you guys know about Mollie? I'm sure you do! She's pretty much the cutest blogger ever. I love her kawaii aesthetic and her blogs positive & fresh feel. She's always blogging adorable things, like laundry, printable calendars, and she has a ton of patterns.

You know how the Pumpkins have Dessert of the Month? Well Mollie has a Pattern of the Month Club. MMMHMM! That's pretty rad right? If you've ever purchased any of her patterns you know that they are professional and you get a lot of adorable things to stitch. I have Hearts Day & Happy Campers! My goal for January is to embroider some hearts and camp fires on a pillow case for Chop for Valentine's Day!

^ that right there? ^ Adorable right? It's a peek of one of Mollie's projects for her Pattern of the Month Club! You'll get 13 patterns for $38! That is so awesome! That's 12 months of patterns (plus you get a bonus!) for less than $3 a month. In Amanda Language- that's one Starbucks trip! And she even has a Project of the Month Club! how inspiring can one girl be?! eek! So cute!

Pop on over to Mollie's blog and say hi! I'm going to make one of her fabric flag key rings today to stick in my project life. Eep!

PS: if you don't know how to embroider, she has an entire section on embroidery! woo woo!

I'm getting ready to have some breakfast & get to work! :) See you soon!

Dessert of the Month & Project Life

Happy Sunday!!!!

I thought it would be neat if once a week I shared with you my weeks worth of project life cards. Project Life is SO much fun for me. If you've never heard of it, check out some links here, here and here

I've been making 4x6 inch cards to store in this little library drawer. Every day my phones alarm goes off and I set a timer for 10 minutes to reflect on my day and make a card. Super fun & achievable since I take about a zillion cell phone photos a day. I've been using scrapbook paper I've been collecting just because I love paper and my pogo printer. I'm keeping them simple and fun. Sometimes I write a few words that capture the day or glue a receipt to the back of a card. I love things in multiples and already seeing this cute little stack of cards makes me super happy. I bought myself a Martha Stewart Valentine's Day Mat Stack (I think it's called?) with a 40% Michaels coupon so I think the entire month of February is going to be PINK! eek!

Dessert of the Month!!!! My linen from dovestitch arrived yesterday afternoon & I watched some Psych and started stitching. I'm SO excited with how many people are stitching along with us! I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the blog posts/photos/tweets etc! I want to make sure I link to, re-tweet, like photos and I don't want to leave anyone out! So if you've blogged about dessert of the month, could you leave me a comment or if you know of a friend who's blogged about it? I'd love to do a round up this week of links! Truffle PARTY!!!!!

The pattern is on sale for $10 only until TUESDAY! Then it goes up to $16.95!

Also- twitter & instagram friends, let's use the hashtag #dessertofthemonth so we can keep up with each other!!! Fun!!!

I can't wait to share with you February's dessert. Seriously. Each time I look at him I get excited. My mom thinks I should send out dessert recipes for each month...why didn't I think of that? I think next month I'll include a recipe! That would be cute right?!

Yesterday I canned habanero marmalade! It is so amazing but too spicy for me. I'm going to try grapefruit marmalade next weekend, I'm testing recipes for a winter jam class I'm teaching in February. I'm crossing my fingers Chop & I go out for frozen yogurt today, I haven't had any since OCTOBER! What the heck?!?!!!

Have a good Sunday pals!

Exciting Day! Aurifil & Pumpkins!

Today is an exciting day!!!

Roseann has designed a super cute block for Aurifil and I'm kind of dying! I loved reading about her and her inspiration. Plus, seeing where she creates! eek! Super fun! Swing by and check it out. So far I'm *loving* the 12wt cotton, it's really fun to work with! AND! If you make the block and put it in the flickr group, you can win free thread! Who doesn't love free thread?!

The Pumpkins have released the first dessert! A champagne truffle!!! He's bubbly, booze-y and a great way to play with sparkle floss! To sign up for the full year, click here We are working out how to get the first month back to an automatic download but in the meantime after you sign up, I'll be emailing the files manually :) We had a little computer glitch this morning that almost gave me a heart attack but! all is well now in Pumpkin Land. Phew!

Best part? Karyn is selling floss bundles! 12 colors...which means...TWO MONTHS. mmmHMM. That means you'll also have FEBRUARY'S COLORS! eek!

Can I just say that all this talk of embroidering and cross stitch has me so excited? I am the hugest fan ever of hand work and seeing people want to do it makes me smile SO big. Bari has a ton of helpful tips & tricks on welovefrenchknots! I can't WAIT to share with you guys my Aurifil Block for October...but we have a while. Pat really picked some awesome people! I'm in such good company, everyone has a really unique style! I'm hoping to sneak in a little stitching & knitting today..maybe even sit outside at starbucks... ;)

2012 Dessert of the Month Club!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

The Pumpkins are so excited to announce the newest club...DESSERT OF THE MONTH!!! we've been debating what our new club would be, we had a blast with fruit of the month!

You can sign up between now & January 10th for only $10! That's 12 pdfs! After the 10th the price will rise to $16.95! And you don't have to make them into a sampler, they could be tea towels or bookmarks or sewn onto pouches. I heard that Ashleigh may be doing each one separate and framing them. I'll be doing mine traditional sampler style so I can frame it for my kitchen, adorable right?!

The first pdf will be sent to the inboxes on January 5th! eek!

Chop & I are eating french bread pizzas with veggies and brownies. Best way to start a New Year!!!!! Hope yours is GREAT!

ps: best part of dessert of the month? super sweetness that's calorie free! ;)

This Week:

I'm pretty excited for tomorrow. It starts a new week. A new week that involves Chop birthday (the 21st!) and Christmas. This week:

My lemons started to ripen!

I made a giant veggie lasagna!

I had a mega baking day with my mom!

I finished knitting a sock!

I worked on some of my cross stitch!

I daydreamed about creating something rad from this pile of fabric!

I'm ending the week with a date with Chop...scrabble!!!!

Can you tell I'm in love with Instagram? It's a free app for iphones and ipads, if you have it, let's be friends! comment with your name so I can follow you :)

If you are looking for a last minute gift, check out our Hoop Travel Bag, or maybe Snow Globe Cutie, or even Playful Mr. Fox!

I hope your upcoming week is fun & inspiring :) (and filled with candy, chocolate, cookies, pie...really whatever yumminess you are cooking up for the holidays!)

{~*Pumpkin News*~}

 

The Pumpkins are at it again!!!!!

I was telling Ashleigh that Sugarloaf, our mascot, needed a Halloween Costume and she went and zombie-fied him! He sure is creepy AWESOME! I'm going to start working on him at Sewing Summit. You can find him HERE! And then she made our candy corns in costumes too!

In anticipation of Sewing Summit and last minute sewing, we are having a little sale on Hoop Travel Bag! Even if you aren't attending Sewing Summit you can get our best selling pattern for $1 off! Awesome! It'll be perfect for those of you traveling or even just sitting at home relaxing and cross stitching!

I'm putting the finishing touches on my presentation...tomorrow is packing, laundry and last minute stuff day!

I'll see you soon in SLC!

{*~Hi!~*}

Things are very quiet around here at Casa de Porkchop.

I'm having some personal problems and my days are quiet per drs orders. Very quiet. Like didn't check my email for 7 days and have been sleeping more than I think I've ever slept in my life. It's been different but ok!

 

One afternoon on twitter I was talking to Kayanna and she mentioned she was knitting Pogona by West Knits and I thought...hey! I like that! AND! My LYS is carrying a ton of MadelineTosh so I cast on using a color called Rosewood and it's been like knitting with air! Total bliss.

I randomly scored 4 lbs of strawberries so I quartered them and grilled them at 400 degrees with a big splash of pomegranate vinegar. Once they reduced down like CRAZY I brought them inside and made jam with them. I reserved one cup of the chunky berries and blended the rest. I added some white & pink pepper and canned it. It might be my FAVORITE thing I've canned all summer. Very bright tasting with a burst of spice.

I joined a local sewing group, so that's AWESOME! It's been super fun to sit and sew with other people. Although it's crazy humbling, these ladies are so talented, but really welcoming which is the best!

Last week Pam came up! It was so so so fun. I freaking LOVE her. She's hilarious. We had Gobblers and went fabric shopping. I slept the entire next day. She is wayyy too much fun. You can read about our outing here! She says it way better than I could. You know how you just meet someone and you instantly adore them? Yup! That's PKM!

 

I snuck in an hour yesterday and an hour today to Farm. I am still totally a wife! I picked two easy blocks: Economy and End of Day. I needed blocks I could finish quick, have fun with and not feel like I've been abandoning you guys & Angela! I'm hoping once I'm back on my feet I'll do 3 a week until I'm caught up, until then I'll just post one block a week. When PKM & I hung out I got some new 1/4 yards for my blocks & I'm excited to cut into them. I really love End of Day (the bottom block) it looks fancy when it's really incredibly easy.

 

The Pumpkins teamed up with the ultra talented Melody Miller! You can now cross stitch her BEE!!! So awesome right? I'm dying to make it!

Sewing Summit is just around the corner! Literally! I booked my flight this weekend and I'm excited and NERVOUS. I think it's going to be a fantastic time and I've been working my butt off getting ready for my class. (I see that photo & I realize I've lost a LOT of weight! eeee!!!!) If you've wanted to meet your online friends, take classes from some super passionate people and have a sewing filled weekend you should totally come! I'm rooming with Karyn & Katherine.  I have a whole list of people I'm excited to hug and jump up & down with in real life. I'm thinking by Sunday I'll have no voice from all the shouting and talking! If your coming to Sewing Summit, leave me a comment; I'd love to check out some new blogs & put some names with faces!

I'm off to knit and watch the season finale of Torchwood! PKM got me interested in it...and of course we chatted about the greatest tv show on earth...HAVEN! She's one of the only people I know who watches!

:):)