If my poor little blog was a cottage, the front porch would sag, the paint peel and the weeds would be waist high. It would be mournfully gazing over at me holding hands and skipping through the meadow with my new love. I feel guilty for neglecting my former friend, but there’s so much to be done to get things up to speed that I have no idea where to start.
I blame instagram. It’s so damn convenient. Instant gratification has ruined me for stopping to write, edit and format. Not that I enjoy the writing part or am any good a it. Pictures and I are BFFs. We just get each other better. So you’ll have to pardon us while we make out in the corner. We can’t seem to keep our paws off each other.
If you are feeling voyeuristic, come check out my love affair. Unless you are a cat hater, food hater or crafty/quilty hater, you’ll probably find it fun to watch. @wwwindylou on instagram.
Here’s a fluffy kitty to make things better.
It’s been about a million years since I had anything as cool as this going on. In an awesome moment of boredom I discovered NOBUNNY was looking for a driver/road manager. Being the sometimes go-getter that I am, I immediately volunteered. How can you pass up a chance to go on tour with the best bunny in the business?
So here I am, stepmother extraordinaire, taking off from suburban hell for almost a month. And it’s phenomenal. And I miss everyone at home. And I feel like Windy for the first time in a long time.
It is, however, time for our annual trip to the Philadelphia area. This year we will be in a different area than before, one more suburban. I’m already missing my walks through center city and we haven’t even boarded the plane.
Still, it will be nice to escape MI and get away. It’s hard for me to describe what a change of scenery can do for my winter blahs. In a nutshell, it’s amazing. Knowing that I won’t run into anyone I know is such a liberating feeling for me. Every person is new, every place is new. Something about strange and new perks me right up and draws me in. I will have to rely on my wits and GPS to get around, I will be forced to pay attention. There’s no phoning it in when you are in a new place.
I sleepwalk my way through the winters enough as it is. So long, dreamland. Hello, Pennsylvania.
I’m finally using Flickr. Instagram has me sucked in to quilting swaps, and flickr groups for sewists and quilters. So now I am sucked in to making mosaics too. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. mini quilt, 2. Polaris Star, 3. Typewriter mini quilt, 4. FLiQS2 Received, 5. Foxy zip pouch, 6. clutch3, 7. New York Beauty for the Doll Quilt Swap 13 done!, 8. fab little quilt swap 3 – star spotting !, 9. Circus Tent mini quilt, 10. mug rug_cup, 11. Mini Quilt Swap. Dresden, 12. Wannabe Feathers mini (2), 13. Indian Summer Lonestar, 14. Rough draft quilt, 15. Dresden Mug Rug, 16. warm hearts mini quilt
I’ve been sidetracked with *ahem* a little problem stemming from a wrong turn on a road trip. If you’ve been following along the Instagram saga, you’re all caught up. If not, you probably don’t want to hear all my TMI anyway. SO.
Back to binding! (Original post here if you need a refresher)
The swap is still happening if everyone still wants to play. We didn’t have many sign up, so at this point, I don’t think it matters if we do bias binding or straight binding. Just make whatever is easiest for you. The hashtag on IG is #bindingswap I will make updates using the hashtag, and I hope to see some awesome binding pictures too!
- Mailing deadline is October 20 for International swappers and Nov 1 for domestic swappers. Shoot me an email when you’re ready to mail and I will send my mailing address. windylou at gmail dot com
- 5 yards of print binding. Scrappy is fine. (According to the tutorials I’m reading, you should be able to get that much bias binding out of a half yard)
- You’ll mail the bindings to me and then I will redistribute.
- Make sure to include a SASE and any other information you think is vital for me to know. (Like if you despise pink or something like that) If you really can’t stand bias binding or vice versa, let me know and I will do my best to get everyone what they like.
- If ANYONE has suggestions or requests, please ask! This is the first time I’ve hosted a swap. I have no idea what I’m doing.
Refer back to the original post for links to tutorials or email me if you have any further questions that aren’t addressed there.
Here’s my final list of swappers. I only have a few of you that commented on the last post, but I know there were several more on IG that mentioned interest. If you don’t see your name, let me know! We still have plenty of time until the mailing deadline:
LeeAnn Howard @froggylegs IG
Rhonda Laws @gapquilter IG
Fran @Fcarden IG
Kritta22 @kritta22 IG
If you aren’t on the list and can get something in to me by the postmark deadline, go for it. Our numbers are small, so the more the merrier! Just please let me know if you are joining.
*photo by Maureen Cracknell, from her blog
I have to confess, I’m no fashion designer. It’s sort of intimidating to look at the construction of the clothing in my closet and think I could replicate it. Sewing for myself isn’t something I do often, because I rarely find patterns that I fall for. Enter Skirt -A- Day Sewing by Nicole Smith!
This nifty book takes you step-by-step through making your own patterns. Now, this might be old hat for an expert seamstress. For a relative newby, it’s wonderfully written instruction. Aside from detailed instructions on how to take your own measurements, there are useful refreshers on types of fabric and how fabric is “built.” Once you get past the step of making a slope especially with your own measurements, there are instructions for 28 skirts. I love that there are variations of the basic skirt shapes and encouragement to mix and match the details. For a person who doesn’t like to follow all the rules (me!) having a book with so many possibilities is exciting. Normally when sewing for myself, I don’t use a pattern. I just wing it. Often, that doesn’t turn out so well. Now, I can make my own patterns.
I really enjoyed thinking of all the ways to tweak the skirts to suit my own preferences and body. I think Skirt-A-Day Sewing is a great tool for anyone who wants to add fun pieces to their wardrobe. My 14 year old stepdaughter was also intrigued, so the appeal is quite wide! Undoubtedly this would be a great gift for a budding clothing designer.
I had great fun with this chevron print by V & Co. My skirt was immediately put in to action the same night when my band played a show!
My sewing skills aren’t quite ready for detailed photos, but I am very happy with my first attempt at pattern making. I would never have tried making my own pattern if it hadn’t been for Skirt-A-Day, so I’m calling this a win.
Over the next several days, you can follow along with the blog hop to see all the other awesome skirts:
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions and crappy sewing skills are my own.
I saw a picture on instagram the other day of some really cute binding. In fact, I see lots of pictures of cute binding and having just finished a swap of fabric polaroids, it struck me that someone should do a binding swap. As I tried to think of who to ask I decided that would be a silly idea and that I would just host it myself!
Now, I’ve never hosted a swap before. You make a hashtag for instagram, post all the details, and wait for the packages to start rolling in. How hard can it be, right? (Those 5 little words get me in trouble a lot) If any of y’all experienced swappers notice something I’ve forgotten or missed, please let me know. Here goes nothing.
Welcome to my #bindingswap <<<<< That’s the official hashtag to use on instagram!
Here are the details:
- Open to beginners
- International swappers welcome. (I would love some tips on handling SASE for Int’l)
- Entries must be postmarked Oct 20 for International and Nov 1 for domestic.
- We will swap handmade binding made from prints for quilt-y projects
- Binding should be bias cut and have a final length of 5 yards and left flat for recipients to choose single or double fold.
- Maximum of 5 per person.
- When packaging your swap entries, please secure the binding in some way
- Entry packages should include: swap entries, return SASE, and a note of any favorite colors (if you care).
- When you are ready to mail, shoot me a message windylou at gmail for the mailing address.
Leave a comment on this post to enter! Feel free to message any questions you may have, or tips if you see that I am glaringly leaving out a major step. I think this will be a fun, quick swap and am excited to see what y’all come up with. This will be an IG only swap – meaning I haven’t navigated Flickr enough to jump into hosting a group there. Tag all photos related to the swap with #bindingswap – I’m sure everyone will enjoy seeing the progress. Afterwards, we can all show our happy mail.
Let’s get binding! @wwwindylou on IG
*Photo by Leanne of Make It Perfect
The kids are back in school. I don’t know why the quiet house always surprises me, and each year at the start of school I find myself missing the kids when they aren’t here. I will never miss the talking back or ugly looks when they are in a “mood,” but something about not seeing them during the day is a little sad.
With back to school has come regular hours and meal times. I’m bracing for the hectic flurry surrounding sports and student council, the darkness that starts at what seems like the minute school lets out. And i’m getting back into the swing of meals that don’t take forever to produce.
Enter the rotisserie chicken: 4 meals in one bird!
1) Eat the chicken like animals while it’s still warm. Picking and pulling with fingers is allowed.
2) Scrape off any good size chunks to use in a casserole or in quesadillas
3) On low heat simmer for however long it takes you to remember you left a chicken carcass simmering on the stove. After pulling out all the bones, collect any bits of meat left and add to chicken chili or sandwiches.
4) strain all the leftover chunks and keep the water from the simmered all day chicken. Homemade broth is the BEST. Freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins and use throughout the year in recipes that call for broth or water.
Here’s how the last chicken ended up:
The summer days are long enough without facing the task of entertaining a 12 and 14 year old when it is raining. Since I have been working on a quilt for my husband as an anniversary gift, the kids were naturally curious about what I was doing. To my delight my sweet friend Andria Lisle and her co-author Amie Petronis Plumley released a follow-up to their first book (Sewing School) not long ago and I knew a review project would be just the thing to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day.
Now, if you know me, you know I am the meanest stepmother on the planet. I expect the kids to do daily chores and read for an hour each day in the summer. Sometimes I even make them WRITE! Usually my reminders for the learning part of the day are met with grumbles and discussions. Any educational pursuit that doesn’t elicit a negative response is awesome, and since the kids think Andria is so cool, they didn’t even complain about trying projects from her books!
We were graciously provided a copy of each book. If you aren’t familiar with them, Sewing School came out of a sewing class for kids that Andria and Amie taught in Memphis, TN. Kids were taught hand sewing skills and completed a number of projects utilizing their skills. In Sewing School 2, machine sewing is explored. In combination with the hand sewing skills, kids are prepared with a solid foundation for future projects on their own.
Since Michael has not used a sewing machine before and Emily has some machine time under her belt, Michael chose a project from Sewing School and Emily picked a project from Sewing School 2. Amazingly we only had one meltdown out of frustration (needle threading can be a bear!) Having read both books, I was confident that the kids could manage on their own for the most part. Not only are the instructions easy to follow, the corresponding photos are spot on! I loved that kids are photographed demonstrating each project. Somehow I think that seeing other kids completing each step builds confidence. While Michael became frustrated with certain aspects of getting started, Emily simply slowly but surely worked her way through her own questions and before I realized it, she was just about finished! Once Michael got settled in and focused, he was able to utilize the tips and other helping points of the book to finish with no further issues. The dictionary was a great reference for both kids, but especially for Michael who was able to double check that he really did know what the terms meant. For me, it was valuable to be able to refer the kids to the index or dictionary while still working on my own project. (For parents with younger children, more supervision will be necessary)
Michael chose to save a special t-shirt by turning it into a pillow. (Sewing School, p. 120)
He loves his STAX shirt!
Emily chose to make a zipper pouch. She raided my scraps and chose a gorgeous
Can you believe I got REAL smiles out of a 12 and 14 year old?
Great work Andria and Amie!
Find more info at the Sewing School blog
If you want to alleviate some summer boredom and teach your kids a new skill, you can find Sewing School 2 at booksellers and online at Amazon
For other projects, check out all the stops on the Sewing School 2 blog tour:
July 7 – Our Busy Homeschool
July 8 – scrumdilly-do!
July 9 – Crafty Moms Share
July 10 – Jane of All Trades
July 11 – Windy Lou
July 12 – Adventures of a DIY Mom
July 13 – Improv Diary
July 16 – He Sewed She Sewed
July 17 – Teach Beside Me
July 18 – All Things with Purpose
July 19 – The Crafty Crow
July 20 – Family Style School
July 21 – Such Designs
July 22 – Red Bird Crafts
July 23 – The Long Thread
July 25 - mayamade
Disclosure: I was provided copies of Sewing School and Sewing School 2 for review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions and elicited genuine teenager smiles are my own/property of WindyLou.