Wednesday, June 23, 2010

postcards from the Corn Belt

About an hour northeast of Bloomington lies Franklin, Indiana.  It is a charming little town of 20,000 that gives you the feeling you are walking through the pages of Robert McCloskey's Lentil.  For the next three days, it is also home to a nice little fabric store.

 Johnson County courthouse

Steven and I made a trip to Clementine's Dry Goods one last time to take advantage of the closing sale.

 broken dishes, anyone?

At 40% off, I got a whole lot of yardage for less than $6/yard!

I guess I'm in a green phase...

Amy Butler solids, to be divided between me and my mama.  We are both hoarding solid fabric right now!

I really, really have to start using my fabric en masse.  No more fat quarter projects; this calls for some serious sewing.  

Here is Franklin's classic theater, which closed in 2000 but still shows older movies to raise funds for its own restoration.  Check out its name! 

On our drive home, I tried to photograph the cornfields.  From a moving vehicle.  Later in the season, the corn stalks tower over the state roads in a very Wizard of Oz way.  I am not an Indiana native, and fields of corn still strike me as a midwestern novelty.

corn at 45 mph

A scenic drive with my sweetheart (who likes to do the driving and doesn't mind fabric shopping!) and yardage on the cheap... all in all, a lovely day in Franklin.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

two camera case wristlets

Look!  I can finish projects!  My dear friend Abbey was in need of a protective case for her new camera.  We found nothing that fit the bill at thrift stores, so I volunteered to make a camera wristlet from Keyka Lou patterns.  While I was at it, I made one for myself too!

(left: Abbey's, right: mine; both featuring Denyse Schmidt fabric)

Each case comfortably holds a slender digital camera with a little extra room.  I love how the bottom loop wraps around the body of the camera--it's so cute!  There's a back pocket also, which is held shut be the other loop.

The pattern is well-written with detailed, logical instructions; it's also illustrated with photos that clear up any potentially confusing parts, like the order of operations for layering and basting.  This is a great pattern overall, and I'd suggest it to someone with confident beginner/intermediate skills because of the fussy nature of tiny projects.

I did tweak the instructions in a few ways.  The pattern didn't suggest an interfacing weight, so I used Decor Bond because I had it on hand.  It's medium-weight, I believe, and I like that it gives a bit of rigidity and body.  I trimmed about 1/4" from the interfacing and batting pieces before adhering them, rather than cutting the excess away after stitching.  That would make for a very bulky seam in such a tiny space!

I also used 505 temporary adhesive spray to adhere the batting to its corresponding pieces rather than basting it in place.  It's repositionable but still sticks without gumming up your needle.  I believe fusible fleece or thin fusible batting would work too, but then you'd definitely want to trim before fusing.

You can buy the PDF for $6 here, which grants you permission to make and sell these camera cases on a cottage industry scale.  Nice, huh?  While you're at it, check out the Keyka Lou blog and share your finished projects with the Keyka Lou Flickr group!  Have any of you used other Keyka Lou patterns?  How did you like them?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

fabric haul: Cool Cottons

And now for another installment of "Fabric I bought in Portland almost two months ago!"  Truly, I did not intend for this to drag on so.  (Click to read about Bolt and Fabric Depot.)

Alright!  Our tour of Portland fabric shops ended at Cool Cottons on SE Hawthorne, with my mother, two aunts and myself all verging on cranky from a long day of fabric shopping.  This is all I ended up with:

Pictured from upper left: 1/4 yd of Botany by Lauren and Jessi Jung; 2 yards of Lecien's 'Old New Fabric Collection: Spaicy [sic] Scrap'; 1/4 yd of  Botany again; 1 yd of Joel Dewberry's glorious Modern Meadow; at center 1/2 yd of a lovely chartreuse from Luella Doss's Jungle Fever; below that, 1/2 yd of cuteness from Sevenberry; another 1/4 yd of Botany; a good chunk of Jay McCarroll's Woodland Wonderland, which I've used before!

I say 'this is all' because Cool Cottons might be my favorite fabric shop ever.  They do not stock a single bolt I don't like, not a one I feel enh about.  The owners, Pam and Marie, have impeccable taste which is hazardous to my pocketbook.  If you visit, be prepared to spend!

Cool Cottons has a full selection of shot cottons and lots of adorable Japanese prints from the likes of Echino, Kokka and Lecien.  They also carry a bit of organic canvas and hard-to-find double gauze, but their main focus is quilting-weight cotton.  All of the fabric at Cool Cottons is organized by color, which I like because it makes thinking outside of fabric lines much easier.  I kind of want to go there now.  Oh no.

For now, I'll have to visit their website and check their blog!  Sadly, Cool Cottons does not have online shopping, though Marie told me she'd ship if I got back to Indiana and discovered I needed anything more.  Umm, yes please?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

tornado time

Sorry for disappearing from Blogland!  I was in Tennessee for the weekend and spent the last two evenings here in Bloomington waiting out the tornado warnings.  We either didn't have power or were confined to the basement of the house Steven is housesitting.  Ah, tornado season!

dinner by flashlight

On Friday I started making 1" hexagons.  Since then, I've made 100.  (To be fair, my mom made some of them.)  No idea how I'm going to set them yet!

But aren't they addictive?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

a clutch for me

Have you made a gathered clutch yet?  Anna from Noodlehead blog generously shared her pattern for free last month, and the call of the bandwagon finally got to me:

If you are interested in making and selling these on a cottage industry scale, she is offering an expanded version of the tutorial for $6.  How nice!  And now, I am off to wrangle a D-ring and clippie-thing to make a detachable wrist strap.  After weeks of new baby sewing, I am a little excited to make something for myself...

[Edit: just found a Noodlehead tutorials Flickr group!  Go here and share.]

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June FQ swap

Like most quilters, I have enough fat quarters to choke a horse.  (Do people say that anymore?  It's kind of a gross figure of speech.)  Anyway!  Recently my mom and I agreed to do a themed monthly fat quarter swap to build our respective stashes.

Mom chose June's theme of yellow.  This is what I sent her:

(Seahorses from Heather Ross's Mendocino collection)

And this is what she sent me:

(top: tile mosaic from Laura Gunn's Poppy line; bottom: an older Kaffe Fassett from his Lille Collection)

I already have a good bit of the Kaffe print in yardage already, and was pretty sure mom knew that.  When I asked her about it, she said she sent two fat quarters because she "wasn't sure if I would like the first fabric, but knew I'd like the other one because I already had it".  Ha!

Note: I have not traded sewing for fabric collecting; rather, all my current sewing projects are gifts and cannot be blogged about until they've been given!