Sewn Hats Giveaway

As cool as it is to have a book of my own, I have to admit that I probably squealed even louder when my contributor copy of Sewn Hats arrived on my doorstep. There’s just something incredibly fun about seeing your name alongside those of some of your favorite sewing friends. It’s kind of like those old Mickey Rooney movies when all the kids got together to put on a show.

Carla Crim aka The Scientific Seamstress may just be the Kevin Bacon of the sewing world. Flip through the contributor list and I think you’ll be inclined to agree: Alexia Abegg, Bari J., Melissa Averinos, Lisa Carroccio, Joanna Figueroa, Shelly Figueroa, Linda & Scott Hansen, Karen LePage, Kathy Mack, Kaari Meng, Heather Niziolek, Jennifer Paganelli, Betz White,  Patty Young and many more.

But what’s really impressive are the hats.

A little closer look at p. 100:

My own Miss L was clearly the inspiration for this darling cloche, but I also have to tip my hat to the amazing Diva, my friend Lisa, who was the impetus for this project. (Those gorgeous spiderweb roses on the samples in the book are her creations — and the book includes instructions for making them yourself.)

Want a copy of your own? Just comment on this post and you’re entered to win! I’ll close comments and use Random.org to choose a winner on Thursday, Oct. 4. In the meantime, be sure to check out the other stops (and more chances to win a copy of the book) on the Sewn Hats blog tour:

9/4 –  Scientific Seamstress

9/5 –  ModKid Boutique

9/6 – French General

9/10 – Pink Chalk Studio

9/11 -  Lulu Bliss

9/12 – The Domestic Diva’s Disasters

9/13 – Green Bee Patterns

9/14 – Goosie Girl Boutique

9/17 – Melissa Lilac Lane

9/19 – One Girl Circus

9/20 – Tie Dyed Diva Designs

9/21 – Figgy’s Patterns

9/25 – Craftiness is not Optional

9/26 – Bari J.

9/27 – Confessions of a Craft Addict

9/28 – Sis Boom

10/1 – Sew Mama Sew

10/2 – Aesthetic Nest

10/3 – Blue Nickel Studios

10/4 – Betz White

10/8 – Yummy Goods

10/10-  Wiley Craft


Modern Mix Blog Tour

One of the hardest things about writing a book was not being able to tell anyone what I was doing. Luckily for me, the fabulous Jessica Levitt was also hard at work on her first title for Stash Books, so we did the secret handshake and got to do a little private cheering for each other.

Of course, that just made it all the more painful to have to wait for her book to come out. I have been a Jessica fan since meeting her at a pre-Market party in Pittsburgh in 2009, where I got a sneak peek of what was to be her first line of fabric for Windham. I dream of throwing the kinds of parties she gives her family and her blog post about “glamping” made me want to run right out and buy a camper. So, yes, the anticipation level at Casa Craft Addict for Modern Mix was sky high.

Let me tell you, it was definitely worth the wait. Better yet, why don’t I show you?

Gradations Bag

Twin String Quilt

Pebble Road Quilt

Modern Mix combines solid fabrics with amazing designer prints and Jessica has designed 16 projects to show off those fabrics to their best advantage. Paging through the book had me nodding my head, visualizing my family living with this quilt (Pebble Road, you will be mine) or seeing that bag on my arm (check out that Gradations Bag). I am itching to get started on a few of these projects!

I had the opportunity to ask Jessica a few questions as part of this stop on the Modern Mix blog tour. Read on for a little insight into her creative life and inspiration:

You wear so many hats — fabric designer, mom, wife, work, author — and yet still manage to pull off everything you do with such style and grace. How do you make time to be so creative?

Well, I pretty much live to create. I’m sure the crafters out there understand that NEED to be creative. I just have to. So it’s what I make time for. What suffers? Oh the laundry. The sweeping of the kitchen floor. The endless cluttered corners of my house that need to be sorted out. I do hope all of my projects really reflect my style and I spend countless hours making things “just so” but you’re not seeing the mess (and stress) that goes on behind the scenes. It’s all a balancing act and you have to have priorities. Mine are my family and creating, in that order. It’s great when I can overlap the two, like throwing elaborate parties for my kids…
When I see your work, I can really see “you” in it. There’s such a clear style to everything you do, whether it’s fabric, quilts or other art. What do you think is the strongest influence in your creative life?
Wow, I consider that one of the best compliments there is, so thanks! It’s all about staying true to your own vision. Naming a strong influence is difficult for me. Certainly my husband’s encouragement has helped me to take risks and grow creatively more than I ever imagined I would. Growing up my father help set me on the path of the “next big project”. But currently I’m influenced but nearly everything. I’m a very visual person and I think my mind just catalogs all the awesome inspiration on the web and in the world and then I put my spin on it. The periods of history that I look to the most are definitely the Mission Style or Arts and Crafts Movement or Art Nuveau. I love a modern adaptation of those.
How have the milestones you’ve hit in your career in the past couple of years (licensing your fabric, writing a book) affected your goals or plans for the coming years (or have they)?
Accomplishing those things that I didn’t even know were goals a few years ago has definitely opened up a lot of possibilities to me. There’s a (somewhat tenuous) confidence that comes with career milestones that makes me believe that I can really do what I put my mind to. So now it’s about choices. I know I want to continue in these areas because I’ve found it so rewarding and fun, but I’ve also seen how much work they are so I have to be sure to take on projects when the timing is right for me and my family. And certainly now I have Quilt Market twice a year that factors into my planning. :)
* * * *
Guess what? You get the chance to win your very own copy of Modern Mix! Comment on this post and tell me some of the fabrics you’d love to mix. I’ll randomly choose a winner on Wednesday, Oct. 19. (If you reside outside the United States, you will receive an electronic version of Modern Mix.)
And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Modern Mix blog tour; those fabulous bloggers also are giving away copies of the book!

10/6/11 – Sew Mama Sew

10/7/11 – Jaybird Quilts

10/8/11 – Blue Nickel Studios

10/9/11 – Handmade by Alissa

10/10/11- Stop Staring and… Start Sewing

10/11/11 – Quilting is My Therapy

10/12/11 – Stitch Magazine Blog

10/13/11 – Oh Fransson

10/14/11 – Gen Q Magazine

10/15/11 – Quilt Dad

10/16/11 – Confessions of a Craft Addict

10/17/11 - Amy’s Creative Side

10/18/11 – Pink Chalk Studio

10/19/11 – Connecting Threads Blog

10/20/11 – Keepsake Quilting Blog

10/21/11 – Juicy Bits

UPDATED
Congratulations, Ali Hughes!


She+Me (and a giveaway)

I’ve been trying to stretch myself a bit creatively this year, tackling new and different projects in an effort to broaden my horizons. I came across Christy Tomlinson‘s She Art Workshop and decided it was just the thing I was looking for.

I started working on Week 1 this week (I had time on my hands with contractors upstairs, repairing our roof and water-damaged kitchen ceiling) and I am loving it! I’ve long admired collage/mixed media art but the actual process of creating a piece never really clicked for me. Christy’s videos are a real eye opener and I can’t wait to do more with the techniques I’m learning.

The workshop has also given me the chance to play with the new Design Memory Craft Mix & Match products from Faber Castell. The kind folks there sent me the Mixed Media Sampler and Color Gelato & Clear Stamp and I’m seriously in love. The gelatos are so creamy and look especially great on textured paper. I’ve got the blue and can already tell I’m going to need all the other colors — they are just that awesome.

But don’t take my word for it: Two lucky readers are going to win their own Mix & Match Mixed Media Sampler and Color Gelatos & Clear Stamp kit! Just comment on this post and you’re entered to win. Deadline to enter is noon (EDT) on Monday, May 9. I’ll use the random number generator to choose the winners. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with a Mix & Match Media Sampler and Color Gelator & Clear Stamp kit at no charge. My opinion of these products is my own and is given honestly and without compensation.


Get Inspired

inspired to sew

I’m honored to kick off Bari J.‘s Inspired to Sew blog tour today. Her new book is a beautiful work filled with her signature style and projects I can’t wait to make (and I think you’ll want to sew them, too). Bari’s asked each blog tour host to share what inspires us to sew. Here’s my story:

My mother and daughter share a dimpled chin, a love of crafting and a huge part of my heart — and credit for inspiring me to sew. They have never met — can never meet — but I like to think my sewing brings them a little closer together.

I remember growing up and thinking my mom could make anything. Time and again she’d prove it by turning piles of fabric into my favorite outfits. I’ve combed through family photos again and again, trying to find ones that showed the skirts, the tees, the dresses, the Halloween costumes she made but it seems my memories are really all I have.

After I became a mom, my mother turned her talents to sewing for her grandsons, happily creating blankets and costumes for the boys who stole her heart. She satisfied her desire for a granddaughter by sewing for my much-younger female cousins, whipping up doll clothes and dresses.

And then she was gone.

Which led to me convincing Honey our family might not be complete after all. And three years later we brought home the sweetest, silliest, most amazing baby girl, who fills our home and our lives with so much joy. How could I not give her the same kind of love my own mother showed me? I bought a new sewing machine and began to sew for the first time in years — and the first time ever that I could not call my mom and have her talk me through a problem.

I’ve sewn countless yards of fabric in the past six years, enough clothes to fill a closet (or three) and even written a book — all inspired by my mother and daughter. I sew with love, the way my mother taught me, and the way I hope to teach my daughter, too.

Are you Inspired to Sew? I hope so — and I hope you’ll comment on this post so you can win your very own copy of Bari’s book. Tell me why you’re inspired to sew between now and noon Thursday, Feb. 3. I’ll draw a winner from the comments and announce it here on the blog and probably over on my Twitter, too. And be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour, too:

Feb 1, Jennifer Paganelli: Sis Boom!

Feb 2, Jona Giammalava: Stop Staring and Start Sewing

Feb 3, Rashida Coleman Hale: I Heart Linen

Feb 4, Sarah Fielke: The Last Piece

Feb 5, Jenny Doh: Crescendoh

Feb 6, Cara Wilson: Cara Quilts

Feb 7, Deborah Moebes: Whipstitch Fabrics

Feb 8, Monica Solorio-Snow: The Happy Zombie

Feb 9, Susanne Woods: Stash Books (giving away a stack of Bari’s Full Bloom fabric!)

P.S. That cool I’m Inspired to Sew blog badge is available on Bari’s blog. Go get one for yourself!


The Big Giveaway Winner

Well, of course I think *all* of you are winners. All 504 of you. Holy cow! I am so overwhelmed by the number of comments on this giveaway. Seriously. And so many of you had such kind things to say about the book and the giveaway…it really warmed my heart. You have no idea. Thank you. <3

But enough of that mush — y’all want to know who is getting all these goodies!

Congratulations, Madeline!


Little Girls, Big Style: The Giveaway

I have been working on this giveaway forever. Like, since I started working on Little Girls, Big Style. I have always loved hosting giveaways and this one is even more special to me for rather obvious reasons. And I’m especially excited to be taking part in Sew, Mama, Sew’s annual Giveaway Day (be sure to check out the link and see all the amazing blogs/shops taking part).

Here’s what you’ll be winning from me:

• An autographed copy of Little Girls, Big Style.

• Two yards of Pellon Easy Pattern for tracing the patterns in the book.

• Some fun trims from my stash for using with some of the projects.

• A Clover Chaco Liner chalk marking pen.

• Three one-yard cuts of fabric (fun multicolored owls on white 21-wale cord by Robert Kaufman, Euro-style mermaids from JoAnn and the prize from my stash: Little Elfi from Germany).

• ModKid Little Chef pattern, which I tested for the lovely Patty Young.

• Indygo Junction Petal Blossom Bag designed by Violet Craft, which is the most recent thing I’ve sewn.

• A Starbucks Frappuccino cup and gift card. Starbucks was my office-away-from-home while I was working on the book and I spent many an hour there, writing without the distractions of home (or the Internet).

• An autographed copy of Jenn Cristy‘s Hotel Confessions. Not only was this the soundtrack of my book-writing days but I actually did the photography, CD packaging design and merch design while I was writing the book. You say “crazy;” I say “multitasking.”

This giveaway is open until U.S. residents until Dec. 17 at which time I’ll select a winner using Random.org. (Sorry, international friends! I will do a book-only giveaway just for you after the first of the year.) To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post. Yep, it’s just that easy.

And don’t forget you can still enter the giveaways on the Little Girls, Big Style blog tour (continuing through Dec. 15) to win a copy of the book. Check out these blogs for your chance to win there:

What are you waiting for? Get commenting!


The Hostesses with the Mostesses

Me with Bari and Jona at International Quilt Market, Houston, October 2010

Before I wrote a book, I had no idea what it really entailed. The blood, sweat, tears and lack of sleep? No clue. I also didn’t know it would connect me with some amazing people, some I already knew but others I’ve met along the way. When it was time to pull together this little thing they call a blog book tour, I hoped some of those fun sewing friends would say “yes” — and I’m delighted they did. I think you’ll enjoy these introductions and maybe learn a little more about some of the cool folks who are part of my world.

  • Lisa aka The Domestic Diva is one of my favorite friends. I actually had the good fortune to meet her on her turf a couple of years ago and was delighted to find her just as bold, fun and loving in real life as she has been on the phone and Internet. Her blog is an indispensable sewing resource, covering everything from sewing room organization to tutorials for handmade gifts.
  • When Susan introduced herself to me in Houston, I was tickled to bits. And then I came home and looked at her blog and realized the amazing talent she is. She’s an author, a columnist for Quilting Arts magazine and a ridiculously talented fiber artist. Check out her blog post about Snow Squall and you’ll see what I mean (and then go download the free snowflake design and try your hand at it).
  • I met Jessica in Pittsburgh about 18 months ago where she was shopping around the designs for what would become her first fabric line, Timber. I think I must have been the last person who knew her blog and, boy, was I missing out! That girl does it all and makes it look so easy, too. She even makes camping look appealing!
  • It never ceases to amaze me how small this sewing/crafty world is. My dear friend Sheree (who also happens to be friends with Lisa) introduced me to Penny at Fall Market. Well, any friend of Sheree’s is a friend of mine — and she’s a curly girl, too, so I knew I’d just love her. She’s so sweet and down to earth, and I had no idea she was this super awesome quilty/outdoorsy girl. I can’t wait to try my hand at making some of these wonky star blocks.
  • In the boutique sewing world there’s really one source for what’s hot and that’s Boutique Cafe. Founder/host Daria is a tireless promoter of mompreneurs, mom of five (happy birthday, Lola!) and one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. Go to your iTunes and subscribe to the free Boutique Cafe podcast — you won’t be disappointed.
  • I started stalking Rashida soon after I found out she’s also a C&T author. A C&T author who lives near me. Woooo! It’s like finding a cousin you never knew you had. In the real world, she’s too cool to hang out with the likes of me (she’s an author AND a fabric designer). But she’s still pretty new to the area and doesn’t know any better yet, so I’ll continue to drag her to lunch until she catches on.
  • Back in the day when I was still pretty new to this whole blogging thing, Sew, Mama, Sew gave me the opportunity to review a pattern for Children’s Clothing Month. Less than a year later, I was back and writing about sewing a muslin (a post that was picked up by Craft and made my head swell about 100 times!). When this book was still just an idea, I read Susanne’s interview on Sew, Mama, Sew and finally got up the courage to prepare my proposal for C&T. And, well, I think we all know how that ended.
  • Jona was one of the first folks I met at my first Quilt Market in Houston two years ago and I’m so happy to be able to call her my friend. I am perpetually in awe of all she accomplishes. She’s also a genuine, generous person who shares her time and talents with so many. Check out her great skirt mod tutorial and get a taste of what I’m talking about. Also? She has the stinkin’ cutest chiweenie on the planet and is lucky I don’t live closer because I’d have to take him home with me.
  • If you love fabric you have to be reading True Up. Kim’s site is THE resource for everything fabric related and is one of my must reads. Watching her in action at Market is nothing compared to reading her coverage of the event. She’s also a really fun person to hang out with, even when I’m being a total dork!
  • Bari and I brushed shoulders at my first Market. Both of us did some sewing for the then-wounded Paula Prass and happened to be at Paula’s booth at the same time. I recognized Bari right away but was too intimidated to say anything to her because ZOMGIT’SBARIJ! I finally had the chance to meet her in Pittsburgh (where she debuted her first line of fabric) and was still pretty awed because ZOMGSHE’SBARIJ! And then…we both ended up part of the Stash/C&T family, going through the whole process of writing a book at pretty much the same time. Bari was one of the few people I could talk to about the book and it made the experience even better to have her ear. And her friendship.

Be sure to visit each blog during the course of the book tour and enter to win a copy of Little Girls, Big Style. They’re an awesome group of women and I’m so thankful each one is taking part in this!


Imagine This

Imagine you enter a Provocraft giveaway on Twitter.

Then Imagine you win.

Today, I went from imagining to creating and enjoying, courtesy of the lovely folks at ProvoCraft. I don’t think I really believed I won their Cricut Imagine giveaway until the box showed up at my door this afternoon. The kids were off from school today, so I had plenty of helping unpacking it and setting it up.  And help was needed — this sucker is HUGE. Like, “it’s going to need it’s own table” huge. For now, though, the dining room table seems to be working. At least until Honey starts grousing.

It took a little while to unwrap everything and then get the update installed, then the machine calibrated, but once it was? We couldn’t wait to play.

My prize came with three Cricut Imagine cartridges, including the Imagine More cartridge, which was the first one I popped in. Oh my, it was so easy to use! I still have so much to learn but I can definitely tell the learning process is going to be quite fun. Honey admired my handiwork and then ooohed and aaaahhed appropriately as I showed the Imagine at work.

Thanks, ProvoCraft! I can see that the Cricut Imagine is going to be right at home here.

Disclosure: I won the Cricut Imagine from ProvoCraft as part of a contest on Twitter. I was not asked to promote or review my prize. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and freely given.