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!

All Hail The Diva

We had kind of a whirlwind weekend, Honey, Miss L and me. Honey’s brother turned 40 on Groundhog Day and our sister in law invited us to fly to their home near New York City to be his birthday surprise.

I was a little on the fence about going — considering the cost and the much colder NY weather — but was sold on the idea once I recalled that one of my favorite people lives just a few miles away from the ILs. After I bought our tickets, I called her up.

“So, guess who’s coming to Staten Island in a couple of weeks?” I teased.

After I convinced her that A) I was not joking and 2) I was not some crazy psycho Internet stalker, we made plans to hook up. I’m so glad we did! The Diva picked me up at the door and whisked me off to a fabulous buffet breakfast at the nearby Hilton, where we sat and gabbed for what felt like 20 minutes but really was closer to 2.5 hours. We even managed to sneak in some business talk and Lisa was kind enough to give me some great feedback on The Project, which was just so helpful and wonderful. She was the first person I told about it and she’s been very encouraging and supportive, as well as delivering a kick in the behind when needed. I am truly fortunate to know her and having met her in person made it even more clear.

And then I snapped a picture with my phone and sent it to a certain mutual friend to rub it in. (Neener, neener!)

More Blog Changes

I love reading Devilish Southern Belle for many reasons (she’s a bit sassy, has teenage boys, has great taste in music and happens to be from my home state) including the fact that she loves techy-geeky things as much as I do. It never fails that she installs some cool plug in or widget on her blog that I then covet.

She’s the reason I’ve installed two new things: a comment highlighter and an email responder. The two more or less work together so I can respond to comments directly on my blog and the design of my responses stands out just a bit so you can see my posts.

I started using it last night and, while I think it needs a little tweaking, it seems to be working pretty nicely. I’m hoping to figure out how to get my comments to appear immediately below the one to which I’m responding.

There’s also a new toy in the sidebar. Yes, I’ve started to Twitter. Blame Lady M and The Diva. It’s quite addictive, which is exactly what I need when I have so much fighting for my attention. We’ll have to see how long I keep up with it — and how long I can keep it actually working in my sidebar since it’s already been a little erratic.

The Magic Box

Earlier this year, I won a giveaway at The Domestic Diva‘s blog, the vintage sewing box shown above. I was thrilled because I thought the box looked super cool and I :heart: Lisa. I could not have known that what would be arriving on my doorstep was nothing short of magical.

Seriously. You are looking at a magic box.

I don’t know how she did it but Lisa filled the box with things I did not know I needed at the time. Every time I realize I need something, I simply open up the box and it’s there. For instance, I know I’ve bored you all to tears with my ongoing thread misadventures. You’d think I’d actually buy it when I buy fabric but I never do so inevitably, I get ready to start sewing something and realize I don’t have any thread.

I kid you not, y’all, the past five times this has happened, I’ve opened The Magic Box and matching thread is in there. Every time!

So far, the magic has all been sewing related. But the day I open it and the winning lottrery ticket is inside, y’all will be the first to know. After Lisa, of course.