Happy Kitty Sewing: August 2013   

Saturday, August 24, 2013

HELP!!! I never know when I get comments on my blog!

I stupidly switched to the G+ version of BLogger, when it was announced that Google Reader was going to be killed. I thought that was the next logical step in the process. Ever since, I do not receive my comments by my email. I've spent hours in the settings trying to set it up right. I hated Captcha and that is one benefit of changing from Blogger. However, most blogs I read, have not made the move, and still have the old Blogger Captcha comments. I'm frustrated because Real People are leaving nice comments, and I was feeling SO lonely, because I thought I have not received a comment in months. G+ will notify me at the bell at the top, when someone follows, but it doesn't notify me when people leave comments, although it's set up that way. i have G+ app on my iPhone. Besides +checking Blogger multiple times a day, there MUST be a better solution! +Allison Kennedy ?

Sweet Fabric/Sewing/Quilting Giveaways

This one is a bit late, but Heather Bailey (HELLOmynameisHeather) is having a month full of giveaways! It started on August 1st, but there is some time left to enter! She is having a big prize on the blog daily, and giving away a $15 GC to the heatherbaileystore.com everyday on Instagram (@heatherbailey) I actually won Day 21 on the instagram contest! Her store is so awesome, and she brings a little piece of heaven to my life!

The second awesome contest is a month full of giveaways by Alison Glass Designs blog. There are multiple awesome people hosting giveaways this month for her new awesome collection that has JUST hit stores. The first blog to host her giveaway was at Olivia Jane Handcrafted, and she is so cute! She made the sweetest skirt featuring Feathers from the Sun Print collection in Flame. I actually won this giveaway!! I was allowed to choose a color from Feathers. I chose teal, and was allowed to choose an embroidery pattern. I chose the Flowers because I could see myself actually using these on something. I don't know how to embroider, but it's literally NEXT on my Must Do List! I feel blessed to be so lucky! Besides the bunch of blogs featuring her new collections and giving away prizes, Alison is have a HUGE giveaway on her blog that will last all month. The grand prize is the total collection of all her fabrics! That's 74 fat quarters of beautiful colorful fabric!!  That's over 16 yards of fabric if my math is right. On October 15th she will pick the lucky winner. Check out her blog and the listings of some awesome bloggers that will be giving away some of her new collections!

Make sure you follow them on Instagram! @heatherbailey @alisonglass and ME: @Karries3
 I have been on IG a lot lately. I've added so many quilters/sewists to check out their work. I love it!

Also there a few more here:

Maureen's Weekly Friday Giveaway: http://www.maureencracknellhandmade.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-fabric-giveaway_23.html. A 40 Fat Quarter Bundle of Sunnyside by Kate Spain from the fat quarter shop. Ends Sunday.

Take 5 Mad Mod bundle and Take 5 book: http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/2013/08/21/a-take-5-giveaway/. Ends Sunday midnight Mountain Time.

Quilt Trends. Books. http://www.quilttrendsmag.com/giveaways/index.shtml

Angela Walter interview at The Intrepid Thread: http://intrepidthread.blogspot.com/2013/08/friday-fun-day-interview-with-angela.html

AND more Alison Glass at The Fabric Worm http://fabricworm.blogspot.com/2013/08/announcing-fabricworm-giveaway-allison.html

Of course I found more giveaways checking my mail.

Fashionable Fabric giveaway at A Quilting Life: http://www.aquiltinglife.com/2013/08/fashionable-fabrics-giveaway.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AQuiltingLife+%28A+Quilting+Life%29

Big fabric friday at sew Mama sew: http://www.sewmamasew.com/2013/08/free-fabric-friday-73/

Plus a Lily Ashbury giveawy: http://www.sewmamasew.com/2013/08/lily-ashbury-fabric-pattern-giveaway/

Still Without Laptop...

Does anyone else have trouble coming up with what to post on your blog? I'm a sloooww quilter, so what else do I want to post about during the week where I accomplish nothing? Most of the time, I have ideas, but I'm too busy or lazy to write up a post. I don't use my schedule button like I should, I know. I bet it's a God-send to millions of bloggers our there...

Of course the week without my personal laptop, is the week where I could have posted about a million (10) posts. It's how it goes, I guess.

Even though I'm a day late, there was an awesome link up at Ellison Lane Quilts, where everyone linked up their studio/sewing rooms! Some are SO great, with mountains of rainbow fabric calling my name! I'm so jealous. I've actually been meaning to post my sewing area for a few months, but I was so tired yesterday that I forgot to link up and win some awesome prizes. GRrr.

So that will be up on the blog one of these days.

I'm exactly half-way done piecing (sewing together the different fabrics to make a design) a quilt top from a fabric bundle that came with a pattern called "Flutter", that I bought over a year ago from a quilt shop about 30 miles away. It's a spin on the log cabin block. But I am SO OCD. I know that with quilting there are minimal rules...basically you need a 1/4" seam allowance, but there are no rules to creating a quilt. My fabric bundle came with 8 fabrics: 4 solids and 4 prints. I figured out what color/pattern was used in the pattern, and I followed the instructions EXACTLY. I have always been a green grass/blue sky kind of girl. I'm awesome at paint-by-numbers! When I see a pattern of a copy of something, I want to make it Exactly As. I'm so weird! I guess I'm scared of being creative. I really don't know what it is. I know what I like, and I know what I don't like, and i feel that not many things fall in the middle. Of course, this only is reflective of material things. I would like to think I'm a very open-minded person that tolerates almost everyone/everything. For example, I don't like red, orange or yellow very much. I'm a natural redhead, and I know these colors don't look good on me, at all. I tend to stick to blues and gray. I guess this could be a positive thing, because it gives me a chance to *really* grow in the future?

I'm making a surprise for my blog friend, Allison +Allison Kennedy  (Okay, Allison!). She has been kinda down lately, and when I saw the 2 surprise objects back-to-back, I had an awesome idea.  Unfortunately, my car is also being fixed at the SAME time as my laptop, and I have to get materials for my present tomorrow. I want to ship this out by Monday. She loves to show off her awesome fashionably finds from homemade artists and independent designers, and she looks so cute doing it! I think the accessory I'm making for her will be perfect for her. I hope she thinks so too!

September GOALS 
1. Finish up my Staple Dress #theStapleDress by April Rhodes;

*** if I run into trouble, I can join up at the next Southeast Michigan Crafty Meetup (SEMI) at Pink Castle Fabrics, on the 1st Thurs of the month. My teacher Karen (One Girl Circus) will be there to help any problems I have. Which in all honestly, I probably will. I think I should just go to meet new people. I'm at a weird stage in life where all my friends either live too far away, are partying, or starting families. I'm done with partying and my "family" will be all adults next year. Plus I love sewing, and everything seems so nice!

My Staple Dress, so far
1a. Make it to SEMI in September (see #1)

2. Finish Flutter AND quilt it!

3. Check out an Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild meeting; (either this Wednesday or Sept 25). I haven't even made an entire quilt yet, and I'm super nervous around new people-especially when I feel incompetent-so this one might wait a few months. This meets the last Wednesday of the month.

5. Sign up for the skirt class or Washi dress class (again at Pink Castle Fabrics) with Rae Hoekstra (Made by Rae)! She's the one who PUBLISHED this pattern. It's super popular! Plus she is super good friends with Karen, my teacher for #theStapleDress!!

Washi Dress. Made by Rae

6. Send out Allison's surprise
7.Try to blog at least twice a week

8. Look for a new NURSING job (this will take some time)

9. Get my hair chopped AND donate to somewhere
HAH! If it only looked like this, then I wouldn't have to do this one:
*I wish I had the original source to this pic*

9. Find something to do with #nordika. I wanted to do my version from Maureen Cracknell's zig-zag pattern she used to do her nordika quilt! A tutorial was supposed to be on Bernina's (i think) website, but so far I haven't seen it. There is another idea I have to make this, but I basically have to make a pattern with math. That is complicated! (i think)

Sweet, beautiful Norkida, Oh how I love thee!!
 By Jeni Baker (In Color Order)
designs for Art Gallery Fabrics
This is my first fabric obsession!

 ***10: Fix my blog buttons. Apparently the code is wrong, and goes to my Photobucket page. WTH. Sometimes these tedious blog things are a pain in the ass. This one I'm working on as soon as I hit Publish!

11. Figure out how to make a Watermark and use it.
12. Clean up my Pinterest page
13. Clean up my blog and make sure everything WORKS.

I really hope to accomplish all of these. Maybe the Modern Quilt Guild can wait awhile though.

The Staple Dress class I took was SO AWESOME. First, it was at my favorite fabric store. I got to take the first class they offered (I think). Learning new skills is so awesome. (sorry, awesome is my go-to exclamation)  I learned how to make a pattern, copy it, cut it out, and make a dress from the pieces.  It's very different from quilting, but at the same time, I'm pressing fabric and using my sewing machine, so some of the basic concepts are the same. I'm just adding to my knowledge base! I love it!

Now I can do basic adjustments to my clothes, such as fitting my measurements and hemming! And I'm talking basic. The Staple Dress pattern is so versatile. You can make a dress with or without pockets, with a straight or dropped hem. From there you can add a collar, change the neckline, or even make it into a tunic. You need to check out the hashtag link #TheStapleDress to Flickr that shows all the awesome dresses that people made!

My teacher was so inspiring! Karen is SO NICE. I was a nervous wreck with my rotary cutter, and I knew at some point there was going to be blood shed, and I was right. I'm just glad I got it out of the way. I was the one who gave Brenda (the owner) to get a first aid kit, haha. Brenda is awesome too. She was super funny when we were the only ones in the store. I can tell she has a really great sense of humor. What's really funny, is the day before my class I found her website from a blog hop that was featuring a kid pattern. I immediately book marked it "READ NOW" because I saw so much info that would be useful for sewing. I didn't realize it was her, until about a week later. If you ever have a chance to take a class from her, DO IT. She is so calm, positive, and caring. She nurtures you through the process. I'm a visual learner, and she adapted her skills to show me, then would watch me do it. I'm lucky because there was only another girl in the class, and I know when word gets out, that there will be a ton of UM girls coming to learn to sew. Karen was able to spend a lot of individual time with me. While we were all working, we would talk and get to know each other. Women that sew, are generally super nice, caring, funny people. So far, I haven't came into drama that I know probably exists, so it's shiny and new to me.  I hope it stays that way forever!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Today's News

So there is something wrong with my laptop.  it was shutting off by itself, so I did some sleuthing on Google, and it's probably some feature built-in that makes it shut off to prevent over-heating.  And I already knew I was having some heating problems with it. I used half a can of air on that bad boy the week before.  It helped for a quick minute. I even unscrewed the case to see if I could look at the fan to see if it worked.  Apparently, I have a model where the fan is built in the back? Anyway, it's behind a bunch of stuff.  On every website that I read, it said that I could only do this (remove the case and look at the junk in the fan) if I felt confident to do so. *I strongly recommend that you feel confident to do this*=was repeating on each and every page...and I was like, Why the hell not? I've removed dozens of staples from some skin graphs off of a junkie's leg before. I've digitally decompacted a few people in my lifetime.  I've even given birth via Caesar's way.  How could I be lacking confidence when all I was going to do was open my computer's shell and have a looksy around and attempt to evaluate my air-can skills?

After I started opening up the shell super carefully, and making an identical mini-diagram/schematic for the loose hardware, I started checking with a few more websites.  Um. It said not to touch any of the sensors or spray air too close/crooked because the liquid would damage the insides.  Damn. Why wasn't this talked about during the confidence warning?  Then I looked up my laptop's model and was very dismayed to see that my fan was hidden in the back, and not visible-just like my old Mercury Cougar's engine block-and that's the time where I started to lose confidence that was quickly being replaced with unsurety and major remorse. So I decided to Abort Mission!! and put my laptop back together so I could turn it on to see if it was worse off than before I started...

...and luckily it was not! That was a big fat sigh of relief because I can't afford a new laptop/computer/iPad right now.  Even though all 3 are on my Wanted List.

TOMORROW IS MY DRESS CLASS. I am so stoked for it!!! However, I have yet to buy then wash any fabric for it! And I have SO MUCH to do before I go tomorrow. I have to be up early for a 9:30 appt, then to JoAnns or Hobby Lobby to pick up some cheapo fabric, then go hang with my Uncle for a bit, then take Ash to her first consultation with a Physical Therapist (her hip hurts her constantly and she might have slight scoliosis! <sad>, then a 5 minute Ortho appt for Ash, then home to wash cheapo fabric, then the SOS to replace her learner's permit that we failed to find after the FIRST time we got it, then to Pink Castle Fabrics by 6!!! I am so excited!!! I also have to pack up my sewing equipment *and I totally just remembered that I forgot to make a cute sewing machine cover! d'oh*, verify receipts before my first appointment, and find some time to wash my cheapo fabric.  If I didn't have so much crap to do today, I would should have went today. BUT, with the world's greatest invention (yes, the internet) I can virtually shop at Joann's and Walmart to compare prices on some needles/notions and pick out some fabric at Joann's! I love the internet.

 I *really* wished that I knew that I was going to have an extra $80 this week last Saturday so I could get some pretty Nordika instead of some cheapo fabric.

Ok, so I wish I could have picked up some Nordika in time for this class. I still might try to sneak and get some tomorrow in between appointments.  That means another 20min trip (each way) to Ann Arbor and back, so it depends on this Chase check if I actually get to do that or not. Otherwise my first staple dress with be cute cheapo fabric, followed by dozens and dozens of glorious dresses made with Art Gallery fabric. I love dreaming about it!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pink Castle Fabrics and My First Dress!

A few months ago, Pink Castle Fabrics expanded their online store into a REAL store!!! They opened their store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is about a 20 minute drive for me from my home.  I was SO excited when I found out about it, because I have been visiting fabric stores in this area, and I haven't found one where I'm overwhelmed with happiness. Now I have a Local Shop where I can visit and check out the fabric in person. There is another big fabric store in Ann Arbor, but it was a giant batik store, and I was super disappointed when I found that out. Instead of bright solids, the fabric looks waterpainted. Not my look at all. I desperately wanted a store where I can learn how to quilt and sew and improve my skills.  You can only get so far by teaching yourself!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE their fabrics.  They have a huge shop of bolts, precuts, and what's really cool is they have Blogger's pick out bundles to sell.  I love going in and checking out all the new bundles that they have just put together!  What I love the most, are the boxes of stray fat quarters and fat eights that haven't made it into a bundle of their own. It's SO awesome to pick through the boxes and find some gems that I otherwise wouldn't have gotten my hands on! (And they are super cheap which is a bonus for me!)  Last week I was able to pick out a FQ (fat quarter) of a newly released line called Briar Rose (by Heather Ross) that everyone is going nuts for.  I only wanted a little piece of the collection to put in my stash and hoard away.  

This is my favorite print: 
Isn't the Mom Bee awesome?!

It is a really good line, but I have a hard enough time deciding what I'm going to do with the collections of fabric I have! My first quilt top I have made has similar colors to Briar Rose, and Nordika (Art Gallery Fabrics) (by Jeni Baker/In Color Order) came out at the same time and I would choose that fabric over ANY fabric every made. Art Gallery Fabrics makes the best fabric I've ever seen and touched. It's so soft!

I actually bought the whole Nordika FQ collection with the coordinating solids and 2 yard of my favorite print, in hopes that will be a dress or a skirt!

Tulip Vines in Licorice
 Isn't this the best?!! It will look great as a dress or skirt all year round in the the summer or winter depending on what I match with it!
Whimsicol Tide Panel

Whimsicol  Mist Panel
I LOVE these Whimsicol Panels!!!! When i learn how to make the Staple Dress, I am definitely going to try to make both of these in the pattern. I have so many plans for this dress!

So this is what I'm going to learn in ten days:

It's going to be a really basic dress pattern so I will be able to learn how to fit a dress to my size, and make the proper adjustments, and I haven't been this excited in a long time!  Plus there are SO many different kind of wonderful dresses that have been popping up everywhere.  You must look at them!