Selvedge Wallets & Accordion Wallet Pattern Review

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quilt Con is less than a month away and I keep thinking of projects I need to make for the big weekend! Most recently I've been revisiting my bag situation. I decided the best bag to carry would be my Edelweiss backpack, but I starting worrying about having to take the bag off and on to access my wallet, business cards, phone, etc. Some kind of wristlet wallet seemed like a good solution.

I can be really picky about my bag choices and wallets seem to be the worst. After several weeks of pattern hunting (and a few less than stellar improv attempts), I finally stumbled across NapKittenPattern's Accordion Wallet

After lots of waffling over fabric choices (you can read more about that in my previous post), I got the idea to use my hoarded selvedges to make the wallet exterior. You can read my tutorial on how to make a selvedge panel here. For the interior, I used some of my new love, Essex yarn dyed linen in flax which I had leftover from my Patchwork City Quilt (still need to blog about that). After the selvedge panel was complete, I selected Cotton + Steel Neotorious in mint/metallic gold for the accordion folds, Free Spirit Designer Essentials in Teal Rhinestones for the binding, Michael Miller's Glitz for the card slots, and some of Kim Kight's Cookie Book for the wrist strap.

Picking my favorite selvedges to use was a blast and I love seeing all the names of my favorite designers in one place. I did my best to flip the orientation of the selvedges so they'd all be right side up, but I had difficulty determining exactly where the folds would be some parts are a little off. 

NapKittenPattern's pattern was one of the best bag patterns I've ever used. She provides photos for every single step of the project. Even with Noodle Head and Sew Sweetness patterns which have lots of photos and diagrams, I inevitably come to a point where something doesn't have a photo and I just can't make sense of what they're trying to say. After a lot of examination, I eventually figure it out, but having photos for everything is priceless.

Another thing that I personally appreciated is that her pattern doesn't have you cut everything out at the beginning (although she does give material requirements) because it will be easy to confuse a bunch of rectangles. So true. 

While the pattern is in English, I get the feeling that English may not be her native language. There are a few places where her wording is a can be a little odd but it doesn't interfere with the pattern's integrity. For example, she tells you to "rub the corners" of the cover panel which what she's try to say is finger press the fold. When I first read that I just pictured myself tickling the corner of the rectangle and was seriously confused what that would accomplish. She also says to "clip" certain pieces, which I would usually think means to cut it. However, her photos show that she's literally clipping the layers together with binder clips. 

I was nervous about sewing the accordion folds, but her approach makes it a breeze. Even the final construction steps were not bad at all despite so many layers. 

The only things I didn't like about the pattern was the lack of a complete lining. The instructions only tell you to line the inside of the flap and the back (in the form of the card slots), but the front half of the wallet has no lining. She just says, "you may line the cover with interior fabric if you don’t want to see the stabilizer when you take out stuff from the wallet." I used fusible web to attach a complete lining. 

Her instructions also say you need 1.5" - 2" wide binding tape. You need it at least 2" wide, trust me. She makes double fold bias tape, but I just attached mine like regular quilt binding. 

All in all, I'm super happy with this pattern and the finished project. I'll definitely be checking out more of NapKittenPattern's patterns.

How to Make a Selvedge Panel

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To me, attending Quilt Market this past October was a lot like getting backstage passes to a rock concert. It can be difficult to "act cool" while you're meeting your favorite fabric and pattern designers and bloggers.

One thing that helped me feel more confident was wearing handmade garments and accessories. It's an silently obvious way to convey my admiration for the designers. One of my favorite moments was when meeting Rashida Coleman-Hale, she noticed my handbag and shouted "WASHI!" as she recognized her fabric. 

As I'm prepping for Quilt Con, I've been having an unusually tough time selecting fabrics for various garments and accessories. I can't help but feel my choices are making some kind of statement, like a Pokemon trainer cry of "I CHOSE YOU!" The problem is, I want to show my support and admiration for so many designers that I hit a wall with my fabric stash.

Luckily, I found the perfect solution: selvedges! What better way could there be to show support than to have all their names spelled out on my project? 

Making selvedge panels for bags and pouches is a simple, resourceful way to use up those skinny scraps.

You will need:
  • A nice pile of selvedges (if possible, cut them at least .25" above the top edge of the selvedge)
  • A piece of muslin or white cotton (cut to the desired shape/size of your panel) or batting (add 1 inch to each side of your panel in case of warping)
  • Neutral color thread that will blend well with your selvedges
  • Optional: Interfacing of your choice (cut to the desired size of your panel)
1. Fuse your interfacing. You can fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of your muslin either before or after you make your panel. Fusing it beforehand will help minimize warping, but if you are using a thick interfacing like Peltex Ultra Firm, you'll want to leave that for last. It's up to you.

2. Sort through your selvedges. Select selvedges that are at least as wide as your panel. Separate ones you really want to feature from ones that can act as "fillers."

3. Study the pattern of your bag. Are there going to be any snaps, buttons, pockets, or zippers? If so, mark their placement lightly with a pencil on your muslin so you can be sure not to put a prized selvedge somewhere it'll be marred. 

Also take note of the fabric's orientation on the bag. My bag was an envelope style, meaning the direction of the selvedges would need to flip if I wanted them all to be right side up. Mark approximate locations of any folds that will change the orientation of the fabric. I also drew arrows to indicate the orientation of my selvedges.

Make a mental note where each part of the panel will lie on the finished bag. You don't want your favorite selvedges on the bottom of your bag, so use the "filler" pieces in less prominent areas. 

4. Position & sew your selvedges. When sewing your selvedges, you want to start from the bottom and work your way up as to cover the raw edge of the fabric. The selvedge itself will not fray, but the side you cut will. 

Lay your first selvedge on top of your muslin, letting the bottom of your selvedge overhang your muslin a little. Remember to take your seam allowances into account (the first and last couple selvedges may be hidden in the seam allowance so use the "filler" pieces here). I also try to keep the desired text on the selvedge about an inch from either edge of the muslin.

Place a second selvedge on top of the first, overlapping the top of the first one by about .25". Now, stitch them down by sewing just above the edge of the second selvedge. 

5. Add more selvedges. Continue adding selvedges in this way, overlapping the top of the previous one by .25" and stitching along the bottom of the current selvedge. 

I don't pin anything when I sew selvedges. I prefer to get the seam started and pull the selvedge into the desired position as I sew.

After I've added a selvedge, I like to trim off the excess with my scissors about .5" from the edge of my muslin so I don't have a bunch of loose pieces swinging around and getting in the way.

If the bottom of your selvedge has a little frayed "goatee" (a lot of linen blends do) you can can give it a haircut with your rotary cutter. Just dont cut into the actual selvedge.

6. Changing directions. When you get to a fold that requires your selvedges to flip upside down, you'll need to change your approach. Lay the selvedge that will be start of the "flip" (I'll call this your "Flipped Selvedge" or FS) on to of the previous selvedge with the right sides together. Align their raw edges and sew them both down with a .25" seam allowance. Fold your FS so the right side is now facing up and press with a hot iron.

Previously when we added selvedges, we put the current selvedge on top of the previous one before stitching them down. Now we're going to do the opposite. Take your next selvedge and slide it underneath the FS, letting the bottom of the FS overlap the top of your current selvedge by about .25" Now, stitch them both down by sewing along the bottom of the FS. Give this part of your panel a press with your iron, then topstitch along the top of your FS. 

Continue to add selvedges by sliding them under the previous one and stitching along the bottom of the previous selvedge. 

7. Changing directions again. If you need to flip the direction of your selvedges again, it's a little simpler. Make a "Flip Selvedge" like you did in step 6 by placing your selvedge on top of the previous one with right sides together, sewing, and folding the selvedge down. Now, instead of slipping your next selvedge, under the FS, place it on top of it so that the bottom of your current selvedge overlaps the bottom of your FS. Stitch them both down and then topstitch along the top edge of your FS.

Continue adding selvedges as you originally did in step 5.

8. Finishing the panel. When you've covered your entire panel with selvedges, press the entire panel with a hot iron, starching if desired. Place the panel right side down on your cutting mat and trim away the overhanging selvedges with your rotary cutter and ruler. If you like, you can stitch around the entire panel with a straight stitch & small seam allowance or a zigzag stitch to keep things neat and clean when you assemble your bag.

Your panel is now finished! Continue sewing your bag as you normally would.

I turned this panel into a little business card wallet!

Toucha Toucha Touch Me Fabrics

Monday, January 26, 2015

I have a shamefully shamelessly confession to make: I'm 24 years old and I still sleep with my baby quilt. It's far from display worthy, but even after all the lovely quilts I've cranked out, I can't go to sleep without it for one simple reason: it's the softest thing I've ever felt. Woven from the hairs of a unicorn and moonbeams. It's probably the years of wear that made it that way, but it's fueled my obsession with finding fabric with a super soft hand. It's totally my fetish.

When I first began purchasing designer fabrics, the higher price (comparable to Jo-Ann's stuff) was instantly explained once I touched the stuff. All the fabric I've purchased from the big box craft stores just can't compete. Not all designer fabrics are created equal though, and I have some strong opinions on my favorites and not so favorites.

All ratings are based on my personal opinions of the manufacturer's quilting cottons. Ratings range from ★ (meaning I wouldn't want to snuggle this fabric) to ★★★★★ (meaning I want this fabric all over me). Also be aware, these ratings are based on fabrics I have in my stash which may be older or newer. Manufacturers may have changed mills or materials which could result in different product quality.

Art Gallery Fabric: ★★★★★

Art Gallery Fabric's slogan is "Feel the Difference" for a good reason. The first time I purchased AGF, I had never heard of the company. I just remember picking up a fat quarter and going, "damn that's some softy goodness." I've noticed a lot of quilters regard it as the holy grail of softness in the industry, and I can't argue with them. Right off the bolt, they are soft as can be.

Michael Miller Fabrics ★★★★★

Michael Miller's fabrics are totally underrated in my opinion. Right off the bolt, AGF feels slightly softer, but after a wash, they come out ahead. The blouse I made for Patty Sloniger's blog tour is buttery soft. For clothing and things that are going to be washed a lot, MM's cottons are dreamy.

Clothworks Organics ★★★★★

Clothworks only has a few lines of organic quilting cottons (mostly those by Penguin & Fish), but they are super soft off the bolt and even softer after washing.  For organic fabrics, they're also very affordable (only $10.95 per yard on Hawthorne Threads). My crazy cat lady dress was made from this cotton and it's probably the softest garment I've made from quilting cotton.

Windham Fabrics ★★★★½

Windham is another unsung hero in the softness arena. It has a nice fine weave and feels comparable to MM off the bolt. However, it doesn't dramatically improve with washing like MM's cottons. 

Cotton + Steel ★★ 

Cotton + Steel is taking over my stash. I've used it for quilts, dresses, accessories, etc. and it falls in the middle of the pack with a lot of other manufacturers. It's a little thicker than my top three, but average thickness for quilting cotton. It softens up nicely after washing and I like that it does have a little more weight to it for some garments. Besides, C+S has amazing cotton lawn and double gauze so they bring out the big guns for snuggling with those substrates! 

Cloud 9 Fabrics ★★★ ½

Cloud 9's quilting cotton is a little quirky. Off the bolt, it feels a little unusual. It's smooth like Windham but has less drape. It's more pronounced on darker prints which makes me think it's the result of the sizing or some part of the printing process. Whatever it is, it disappears in the wash and is comparable to C+S post-washing.

Free Spirit Fabric ★★★

Free Spirit's cottons are tricksy. They feel smooth and silky off the bolt (I'd put them on par with Windham), but post-wash, they fall behind C+S. They're by no means poor though. They're solidly average in terms of softness.

Alexander Henry, Andover, Blend, Moda & Riley Blake ★★★

These manufacturers are solid average in softness with no surprises after washing.

Robert Kaufman ★★½ to ★★★

I'm not sure if it's my imagination, but I feel a difference between the Kona cotton solids and printed designer fabric from RK. The Kona feels a little stiff off the bolt, but feels fine after a trip through the washing machine. The designer prints on the other hand feel somewhat coarser both pre and post-wash. 

Dear Stella ★★½

Dear Stella's quilting cotton doesn't feel that much nicer than Jo-Ann's Fabrics in my opinion. It has a finer weave, but the overall quality doesn't match up to the rest of the above brands.

Birch Fabrics ½

Birch is definitely my least favorite of the designer pack. After I got my Acorn Trail bundle, I noticed the fabric felt completely different from Fort Firefly, which had a great hand. I send an email to ask about it and this is the response I got:
"The quality of the woven cotton itself I can assure you is the same quality that we always used. Except for the first Teagan White collection Fort Firefly which was printed in China instead of India on greige goods from Pakistan. That is the only time we ever used a different quality from our original quality."
It turns out my baseline comparison was a complete exception to the rule. Welp, that sucks. Their standard quilting cotton feels more like a cheap poly-cotton blend to be honest. It's strangely stiff despite its thinness, meaning it has poor drape. It also has a odd texture to it that's altogether hard to describe. Like a humid, sticky feel? I used mine for one bag so far because I refused to make a quilt with something so un-snuggley. I'm not sure how it feels post-wash so I'm not sure if that would change my opinions. To add insult to injury, it's the most expensive at $16/yard.

What about you? Do you have a favorite brand of quilting cotton?

Available for Licensing! Four Fabric Collections by Felice Regina

Sunday, January 18, 2015

When I posted my Sewing Bucket List a few months ago, I wrote that I hoped to be a licensed fabric designer within the next five years. It's something I think about every single day, yet I've felt like it's something I can't talk about freely on my blog. For some reason I've felt compelled to play things close to the vest, and I'm honestly a little tired of keeping my art in the closet.

I want to share my work more freely in hopes that maybe the right people will see it. Here are the collections I've completed thus far, but be sure to check out my portfolio site and see more one-off prints and new collections as they are completed.

Click any image to enlarge it. Collections are listed newest >> oldest.


I had to take three art history courses in college, and medieval art unexpectedly captured my heart, specifically Anglo-Saxon and Viking art. I could never get enough of it. I dream of going to Norway someday to see the stave churches, Viking Ship Museum, and the fantastical landscapes for myself. When the TV Show Vikings aired, I got hooked. I love being immersed in the visuals of that time and place.

The prints in Northmen are inspired by pieces from Sutton Hoo (like these shoulder clasps), the Oseberg Ship, illuminated manuscripts, runestones, and other artifacts.

 My favorite print in the collection is called Voyager, and was inspired by Viking longships. The waves that carry the ships form horizontal stripes that I think would make a really fun novelty dress. I'm all about dresses with quirky prints a la Ms. Frizzle and ModCloth.

The collection contains two colorways: Spiced and Pickled.


One of my favorite traditional illustration tools is the dip pen. I think it speaks to my inner Romantic. Mightier is a celebration of traditional mark making and a more organic aesthetic. Unlike my other collections, which I usually illustrate digitally, Mightier started out with its traditional roots. All the prints in the collection were created with pen and ink on paper, and later digitized to preserve to their natural, imperfect look.

The two colorways, Lapis and Carbon were inspired by traditional ink colors. The collection is a small departure from my usual cute subjects, but still reflects my personal style. I think the limited color palette makes the collection ideal blender prints for quilts. I think many prints would also make mature yet whimsical garments and bags. I'd really love to see these on a cotton/linen canvas!

Backyard Swamp

Backyard Swamp is pure nostalgia. Behind my childhood home is a swamp-like man-made "lake" that runs through the neighborhood. A lot of newer master planned communities in Houston have "lakes" that are chemically treated to look pristine and blue, but my neighborhood is a product of the 1970s. The lake was man-made, but nature reclaimed it a long time ago. 

As children, my brother and I loved playing by the lake. We put on rubber boots and waded through the shallow parts. We caught lots of turtles. We hopped across the knees of cypress trees. My brother loved to scare me by telling me if he said "Allie-allie-alligator" three times, an alligator would come get us. There were alligators in the lake (one decided to sun itself on the grass, trapping me on the trampoline for an entire afternoon once) so I totally believed it.
Backyard swamp was envisioned as a collection for little boys, but I think the dragonfly print would be sweet for girls' dresses. The two colorways, Breeze and Golden Hour reflect the change in atmosphere as the sun set in the evening. 

Country Fair

Country Fair is another nostalgic collection inspired by my own childhood and that of my grandfather. Every year, my dad took my brother and I to the Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo. Despite living in Texas, my brother and I were pretty much "city kids" while our grandfather had grown up on a farm in Pennsylvania during the 1920s. When he passed away in 2013, I found myself wondering more about what his life had been as a self-proclaimed "farm boy." Country Fair is a hybrid of my childhood memories and the simple rural life my grandfather knew.

The two colorways, Picnic and Candied were envisioned as palettes for little boys and girls. What's more suited for children than a good old fashioned carnival?  These prints would make adorable quilts and clothing for children.

What is a Crafty Swap?

Monday, January 12, 2015

*Dramatic newscaster voice* It's the trend that's sweeping the nation. It's going on right under our noses, a secret society of crafty ladies. It's crafty swaps! You may have heard whispers of these circles on Instagram, but do you know what a crafty swap is? Well hold on to your butts, I'm about to give you the 411.

I got a surprisingly number of comments during sign ups for the #StudioGhibliSwap from people who had never participated in a swap. "How does it work?" they wrote. Cut to me staring at my screen, nervously wondering how the hell I'm supposed to answer that. I figured a blog post would be best as there can be a lot of points to go over.

The Technical Details

In a nutshell, a crafty swap is like a Secret Santa exchange. A host organizes the swap by setting up the rules. For starters, some swaps revolve around a theme like the #StudioGhibliSwap or #KittyMiniQuiltSwap. Participants in a themed swap make items relating to that theme. Some swaps are non-themed like the #SchnitzelAndBooMiniQuiltSwap.

Other basic rules include what kind of item are you making. Some involve a variety of project types. The #StudioGhibliSwap is open to quilters, general sewists, embroiderers, knitters, and crocheters. The #KittyMiniQuiltSwap was a mini quilt swap, as the name implies. Some swaps involve a specific pattern, like the #DumplingSwap, in which all participants make a dumpling pouch.

The host sets up a hashtag for the swap so participants can share their progress on Instagram.

Participants join the swap via a sign up, conducted via a sign up form or through email. You fill out a questionnaire that includes your mailing address, contact info, likes, dislikes, etc. This info is given to your partner who will use it to make you something you'll enjoy!

Swap partners can be secret or non-secret. Secret swaps are usually indirect (Person A makes for person B. B makes for C. C makes for A) to keep things exciting. Secret swaps seem to be far more popular in modern IG-based swaps. I've only participated in one non-secret swap in which it was a direct trade (A makes for B. B makes for A).

Swaps can be a lot of work to organize, which is why hosts usually call on the help of swap mamas or moderators. Hosts may divide participants up into teams that are supervised by a swap mama to keep things running smoothly. Swap mamas may preform a variety of duties. They may help assign partners, act as liaisons between secret partners, and monitor their swappers to make sure participants don't flake out.

Swap mamas help enforce the swap timeline established by the host. At the minimum, the timeline will consist of a shipping deadline. Participants are expected to mail their packages to their partners by that date. Swaps with international participants may have an earlier deadline for participants that are sending their package across borders. That gives their packages a little more time to get to their destination.

It is common for swaps to have a do-not-ship-before date. For example, the shipping deadline may be May 10, but the host will ask that you do not ship before May 1. This measure is meant to discourage flaking. The worry is that a naughty participant will receive a package way early, and decide they got their package already, so why bother sending anything out?

Some swaps may include progress checkpoints like the #StudioGhibliSwap to make sure people stay on track.

Swap Culture & Etiquette

Extra Goodies 

Swaps are commonly organized around the exchange of a main project like a mini quilt, but most participants generously include other goodies with their packages. Questionnaires may include a place for you to list a few suggestions for extras you may like. Popular extras include fabric scraps, washi tape, lip balm, candy, and small sewing notions.

Extras aren't always mandatory, but are almost always encouraged. Some people spend lots of money and time on extra swag to make their package like pinata of loot. Some may pick out a few cute goodies at the dollar store. Others may include another small handmade item like a needlebook or pincushion. I don't see many photos of packages with no extras. Even if money is tight, people seem to do their best to share the joy within their means.

Sharing Photos

All of the swaps I participate in are Instagram-based, which means sharing pictures along the way. In addition to the info you provide in your sign up questionnaire, lots of swappers share inspiration collages to help their partner get a feel for what they like. (See Stalking below for more on this.)

Sharing and viewing WIP photos of your projects is half the fun of swaps. Browsing the swap hashtag helps keep people excited and motivated. Sometimes you may even find something that sparks a creative idea for your own project.

Most importantly, you will definitely want to share a photo of the package you receive. Some swaps include this as a mandatory rule. It's an opportunity to say thank you to your partner (and you should!) for their hard work and let them know you received the package.

Partner "Stalking" & the Public/Private Debate

For secret swaps, "stalking" is a way of life. Abandon all fears of being a creeper and start creepin' on your partner's social media accounts to see what they like and don't like.

Stalking efforts are sometimes hampered by participants with private IG accounts. Some people feel that private users take the fun out of swaps. Private users argue that they shouldn't have to compromise their privacy to participate. I did a blog post about this debate a while back. There isn't a right answer, but it's something to consider.

Bad Partners and Swap Angels

The downside of swaps is the occasional bad apple. The majority of swappers are wonderful, but jerks do exist. I've organized them into rings of swap hell.

The worst, deepest ring of swap hell includes the thieving buttheads that feel no shame in accepting packages of goodies and never sending anything out. That's just plain stealing and those people should be called out for their crap. My friend Karri (unofficial swap goddess) keeps a black list of these jerks.

The next ring of hell is home to the inconsiderate swappers. Swap questionnaires are provided so you can get a clear picture of what your partner likes and dislikes. Some people, who I call Honey Badger Swappers (they don't give a shit!), don't care what you want. They do as they please. You say you hate 30s repro fabric? Too bad, because Honey Badger loves 30s repro, so you're getting 30s repro.

I think most of these cases are the result of laziness or financial constraints rather than maliciousness. You may love modern fabric but your partner might have a 100% traditional fabric stash. Most people would make the effort to purchase materials you would like, but some don't. This also includes effort and craftsmanship. Some people take no pride in their work and send out poorly made projects.

Next level of hell is for the late swappers. Yes, emergencies happen, but some people just don't respect shipping deadlines. Some are minor oopsies and go out within a few days of the deadline. Those people are okay in my book as long as it isn't a trend.

Then there are the super late or chronically late participants. I'm taking about the people who start their project on the shipping deadline. The people who for whatever reason take weeks past the deadline to get their dang package in the mail. The people who are a week late for every swap they join. Just because you eventually send your package does not a good swapper make.

But don't fret about these people because there is hope: swap angels! These are amazing, kind, generous people who volunteer to make sure everyone has a good swap experience. Swap angels will make a package for people who had a shitty partner and did not receive a package. Those people are the real MVPs!

Further Reading...

If you want to know more about swaps, check out Karri's blog for lots of great posts about being a good swapper, what NOT to do, and just plain sassy truth.

Intentionally Ambiguous Resolutions for 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A new year means lots of resolutions, goals, and ambitions...which so many of us always seem to end up disappointed with. It's that sad truth that has stopped me from making a single New Year's resolution, ever. EVER. Even as an elementary school kid I saw it for what it was: setting myself up for disappointment.

However, this year is a little different. On January 1st, I didn't just celebrate (and I use that word in the loosest sense possible because I don't think watching Netflix in my PJs counts as celebrating) 2015, I celebrated my 1st Quilt-a-versary!

I made my very first quilt in two furious days: January 1st and 2nd. That convenient start date has made it easy for me to track my growth and progress in my love of quilting. One year later, I couldn't be prouder about how much I've accomplished. It's'd think four years of college would have given me that feeling but nope, quilting did. Sorry, parents. Your tuition payments were appreciated though.

So does that mean I'm making resolutions? Not quite. I have some goals with intentionally ambiguous parameters. That way it will be harder to deem something a disappointment. (Set the bar low, people. You'll never be disappointed. Or if you are, you'll at least have some conviction when you call yourself a piece of shit failure.)

In no particular order, here they are:

1. Be less shitty at foundation paper piecing. This is my shame. I suck at. It's doubly insulting because I'm a self-admitted Hermione Granger wannabe prodigy and FPP is meant to be like a tricycle: idiot proof. Just follow the printed lines and durrr your derpy self will have a pretty quilt block with no head-thinkin' required. Well...stupid is as stupid does and I are FPP stupid.

Pretty much every FPP project I've done requires equal parts sewing and seam ripping. Seeing how I'm working on designing some FPP patterns, it would be nice if I could, you know, follow them. So yeah, be less shitty.

2. Develop some better quilting judgement. When I work on projects, I turn into a cyclone of progress. As my project develops, I get increasingly excited and start working more aggressively. I live for the high of a finished project! That means I also start to make bad decisions like a back-alley junkie trying to trade her baby for crystal meth.

Okay, maybe that's a bit hyperbolic. But there have been too many instances where I eagerly jump into the next stage of a project without stopping to think about the implications. There was the time I quilted about a square foot of pebbles only to realize that a spiral would look better. I spent like 15 minutes quilting followed by 5 hours of ripping out stitches. Most recently, I've taken my Passacaglia quilt in a direction that makes me burn in shame because I just wanted to start quilting NOW.

I just need a good stash of chill pills.

3. Take more social and professional plunges. One of the reasons I joined the Modern Quilt Guild was to force myself to leave the house and go somewhere besides the grocery store. I'm an introverted homebody. Thankfully, I seem to magically transform into a social butterfly like Sailor Moon when surrounded by other quilters. Once I'm there, I'm good, but I need to psych myself up to participate in more things.

Along the same lines, I want to try and throw more crap at the wall in a professional setting and see what sticks. And by crap, I mean submitting patterns to magazines, more aggressively pursuing the whole licensed designer thing, and being less afraid to put myself out there. Now that I feel like less of a newbie, I'm hoping it will come more naturally.

Studio Ghibli Swap Sign Up!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's sign up time! Be sure to read all the rules and information

The sign up form will not accept submissions until 10am on Jan 5th. They'll close at 3pm on Jan 9th or when we reach 60 swappers, whichever comes first. At that time, the form will no longer accept entries.

Click Here to Sign Up!

If you don't get a spot, don't sweat it. Use the hashtag #StudioGhibliSwapAlong to find your own partner for a direct (non-secret) swap. Think BYOB, but with partners. BYOP? Set your own rules and timeline and have fun with each other!

Happy swapping!