Friday, May 25, 2012

Color Inspiration

Valli told me once she goes to certain stores to get color inspiration. Some people I've met in the store have very particular colors in their heads and it can be an adventure trying to find the just the right color and pattern they need. I'm off to see Shakespeare in the park and it'll be "Bollywood" themed. I'm excited to see the color and pattern they put together. I hope I can get inspired and have a good time. I'll be sure to update you when I get back!!!

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Skills Yo!

Front of the new book covered in fabulous fabric!

I've been thinking about how great it is to know how to sew. It is such a useful skill! Think of all the shirts you've saved because you know how to patch a hole or sew on a button! You can create beauty from bits of fabric. I know a gal who makes specialty dog collars from our fabrics. Another gal used some Kaffe fabric to make draperies for her husband's home office. If she didn't have the sewing skills, she'd be stuck with those drab excuses for curtains they sell at Walmart! 

Another skill I learned is book binding. It is similar to hand sewing in a lot of ways. I thread the pages together and I cover the boards with fabric. It can be tedious, but definitely worth the work. This book is for my grocery shopping. 

I drew lines one page then ran the rest through my copier.
I know this is a little off topic for fabric... but I thought I'd share anyway. I did cover the book in fabric! Does that count? 

Once a month, I sit down for 30-45min and
 plan all the exciting things we will get to eat . 

I'm a planner... if you couldn't tell with my crazy monthly menu. I don't always stick to it perfectly, but it does help me plan my weekly shopping trip better. 

This is what my old book looks like. I bring it with me to the store and I roughly calculate what it will  cost me before I get to the register.... which helps me resist impulse purchasing those double stuff oreos that call my name oh so sweetly.  

This system has helped me dramatically change my food choices and spending habits for the better. And I just wanted to share it all with you. Hope you don't mind!

How do you use your AWESOME SKILLS to help you and your family?

By Cassie Grace

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Embroidery 101

If you're anything like me you practically drool over Valli's embroidered Pillows at the store. Well, lucky for us, there is an Embroidery Basic's Class this Thursday (May 24th). It is taught by Linda Myers who designs and sells her own patterns on Etsy. After this class, you can make anything super shnazzy!

The other class you should be aware of is our beginning skirt class. This is a great one for teenagers and its on Saturday(May 26) . With all these warm days, skirts sound like a really good idea.

Hope we see  you soon!

By Cassie Grace

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Awesome Gift Idea

I think you can find this book on

My twin sister is annoyingly good at giving gifts. This year for our birthday she gave me the coolest book, but it wasn't just the book. She drew diagrams, cartoons are wrote commentaries on each page!

How could I compete with this? Sheesh! BUT I thought it was a pretty genius idea. You could totally do a commentary like this in a quilt or craft book for a friend or loved one. You know, the people that get your humor.

Do you have anyone who inspires you on a regular basis?

She even recommended NOT making a few projects. 

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Currently Avoiding....

Do you ever avoid a sewing project? I do. In fact I am right now. I've just finished baking some banana bread in order to avoid a particular baby's quilt I'm not quite in love with at the moment. This is nothing new for me. Hahaha! I avoid art projects with bookbinding and I avoid sewing projects by painting. I avoid quilting with baking... so at least I'm productively procrastinating... right?

In the meantime please enjoy this little fire monster I made the other night!

How do you avoid your sewing projects?

By Cassie Grace

Ps The Banana Bread recipe is from America's Test Kitchen "1000 Best Recipes"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Did'ja know?

You can find these near the register!

Have you ever gone to the store for some new hot pads to replace your ripped up/ burned/ stained old ones? Have you ever been completely disappointed by the selection at the store? Well, I have. There is this cool hot pad insulation that you can buy. It's often called heat resistant batting and you put it in between the adorable fabrics you pick out at Valli & Kim's (of course). You can make totally cute and functional owls, like you see above. I've made some that were extra big for my big pots and pans. It has come in especially handy when I need to transport big hot pots to a dinner or potluck. You can make them any size or shape to suit your needs! How cool is that!!!???

 I like the idea of being able to custom make my kitchen stuff, don't you?

By Cassie Grace

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quilting Calculations

Have I mentioned I love working in Valli & Kim's? Because I do! I got to work in there on Saturday and I loved every minute of it. I did notice that a couple gals trying to do fabric calculations in their head to figure out how much yardage they needed. Since I'm such a visual person, I tend to hand those folks a pen and some paper, but it got me thinking: Is there a better way?

Just a small corner of Grayson's totally sweet "stash"

One of my good friends, Grayson, buys 2 yards of every fabric she likes. That way she knows she always has enough. I can't really do that right now on my budget, but I would REALLY like to! One woman I met in the store uses a quilters calculator on her i-phone called QuiltCalc by Robert Kaufman. I've used it and it's pretty handy! I used it to figure out yardage for my cushion. Generally, I tend to just draw stuff out in scribbles and random equations written in the margins.

These are some of my calculations for that Celtic Quilt.
The pattern originally came from a Cross Stitch Design.
I ended up having to figure out my own yardage!

I asked my math-wiz-sister (she thinks calculus is fun) if she just kept the math in her head or did she write it down. She said she could do it in her head, but even she would "forget to carry the one."

Most patterns tell you how much you need, but some are vague or you plan to tweak the pattern a bit or even design your own stuff. How do you keep your calculations straight?

By Cassie Grace

Friday, May 4, 2012

Celtic Puzzle

3660 Squares Total

Last you heard of this celtic project was January, I had 1/ 4 of the sucker done. I finished the whole knot a month ago, but I was so burnt out and sick of it, that I folded it up and put it away for a while. (The project took over my life for six months.) Now I'm wondering how to finish it.

1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch Unfinished

I used to give my twin sister a hard time for not finishing her quilts, but that was before I got into quilting. Now I'm starting to understand..... sorry Sam! 

Do you ever get burnt out on projects? How do you overcome it?

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trying Something a Little New

#1 and #2 Done!!
I attend a quilt group at my church called "Sisters in Stiches." It's a great place for getting to know each other and learn from one another. Lately, we've started a block of the month based on the bible block designs from way back when. I have to admit, I've been very reluctant to start because I just HATED the designs!! They seemed frumpy and old fashioned to me.

Block #3 in progress

I've put it off and put it off. Today, I decided I really ought to participate. The kicker was I didn't want to spend much money on the project. So, I got some cheap plain black, white, and grey. To my surprise, I'm liking the designs more. I feel like I'm doing a "minimalists/ modern" spin on very traditional designs. Now that I've started, I'm excited to try more of these blocks and make them my own!

Have you ever been reluctant to start a project only to find you liked it?

By Cassie Grace