quilting, ReSew

I went to Quilt Market and all I got was this lousy photo.

Many of you probably know that Quilt Market–the place where sellers and buyers of all things quilt converge–was in Salt Lake City this past weekend. For me, it was just up the street. I was very lucky to attend courtesy of Martingale & Company, my supernaturally-awesome publisher. (And my soon-to-be full-time employer. Again. Long story. Those guys just can't get rid of me.)

Perhaps it was the people I met–both beloved old friends and new quilting buddies. Perhaps it was the unexpected opportunities that fell into my lap. Perhaps it was the sheer excitement that comes with walking a new Market floor. Perhaps it was dancing with abandon at Market parties not one, but two nights in a row. Whatever the reason, my camera stayed in my purse, fully charged, for the entire four days I was at Market. Except for one photo:

Tile
A tile wall at the Blue Lemon, downtown SLC. Taken during
the packed-to-the-hilt Blogger's Quilt Market Meetup. Congratulations to
this
talented young woman for putting on an incredible, standing-room-only party.

Seriously, of all things, Jenny … the one photo you take at Quilt Market is of a tile wall!?! Yep. Sadly, with all the flurry of seeing and doing and meeting and laughing and twisting my right foot into my boot a teeny-tiny bit differently so it didn't hurt THAT bad and I could keep on walking, I neglected the wonders my camera could have captured. And there certainly were wonders to be captured each day.

Day One: I was introduced to some coworkers of mine who I'd never met in person before. They were warm, funny, interesting, and easy to talk to. Plus, I got to spend time with a woman who I have known, loved, and admired for well over a decade, and hadn't seen in a very long time. (Yes, YOU, Chris Wright from M&C.) I was too busy being in the moment. No photos. Crap!

Day Two: By a stroke of chance, I saw a friend I hadn't seen since Charlie was a baby–Annie Smith of Quilter's Stash. She invited me to talk about ReSew for her round of Quilt Market podcasts. What a treat! Annie is such a natural conversationalist; she makes it easy to forget you are being recorded, and that her many fans will be listening in on your casual chat. And sure enough, I forgot. Just like the camera. Why didn't I take our picture together, Annie? WHY? (You can listen to Annie's podcast with me here.) 

Day Three: I was in the M&C booth waiting for an appointment when who should walk by but Carma Wadley, reporter for the Deseret News. She let me know that the article she'd written about ReSew was going to be published on the front page of the "Family" section of the newspaper on Monday. And sure enough, it was! (Here's the online version.) I spent the afternoon thinking about how proud my dad was going to be when he saw it. The article begins, "Thrifty is nifty — especially the way Jenny Wilding Cardon does it." Hee-hee! Thank you, Carma. I think you're nifty, too. Even nifty enough for a photo. But alas, I forgot again. Dang it!

Day Four: I briefly met with Ellen March, Editor-in-Chief of Sew News and host of the PBS series Sew It All. Ellen invited me to be a guest on her show–we're taping this fall in Golden, Colorado! Why no photo? Well, that's simple–too nervous. Then, that night, I was invited to hit the town with THE. COOLEST. BLOGGERS. AROUND. We ate and laughed and talked and danced to '80s music. No time for photos. Too busy having a great time. But now, I would very much like to kick myself.

I've been to Market many times over the years, but never have I had so much fun. And as I think about it, I understand why I had such a wonderful experience. People–talented, kind, energetic, generous people–reached out to me. And I was surprised. Surprised enough to forget a photo opportunity or two. Or twenty.

Too in the moment. Too chatty. Too excited. Too nervous. Too surprised. Too busy with the fun of it all. And now that it's all said, done, packed up, and back home, I've come to a realization.

Yeah, sure, I'm kicking myself, But really, I wouldn't have wanted it to happen any other way.

crafts, crumbs, sewing, thrifted!

hoping for bags and bags of … bags.

I was recently invited to become a committee member for a humanitarian group. Their goal this year? To help people locally. By sewing stuff. Invitation accepted!

Several years ago I spent some time volunteering locally at a domestic violence shelter. So when we were brainstorming at our first committee meeting, the shelter immediately came to mind. We came up with the idea of “welcome bags” for children who enter the shelter. When a family first enters the shelter, Mom has lots of paperwork to fill out and lots of talking to do with the shelter staff. It can take a long time. Kids who enter the shelter will receive a welcome bag as soon as they walk in the door, filled with items to occupy their time while Mom sorts out the details of their stay.

Since this group has no budget to speak of, we came up with an idea for making the bags for free (aside from the cost of time and thread). We are sewing bags out of people’s donated jeans (or other pants made from sturdy fabric, such as canvas or corduroy). I designed two bags—one for girls, one for boys—made entirely out of denim for the project.

Girlbag

The girl bag uses the bottom half of each pant leg, the back pockets, and the waistband from one pair of jeans.

Boybag
The boy bag uses the bottom half of each pant leg, back pockets (or side cargo pockets—the committee chair’s cool idea), and strips of denim for the bag tie and back strap.

Boybagback

Here’s the simple two-layered back strap for the boy bag.

I wanted to make these bags as simple as possible to sew so even beginners could join in. And really, who doesn’t have a pair of jeans that have been hanging unworn in their closet for six, eight, or twelve months (or, for us clothes hoarders, two years)?

The bags will be filled with items that are age and gender specific. We’ll have bags for 2-4 year-old boys, bags for 12-14 year-old girls, and for everyone in between. Still in the planning stage, we’re not quite sure what will go in the bags just yet. Cheap, clever ideas are welcome.

Our goal is to sew and gather contents for the bags over the summer, and then present as many bags as we can to the shelter in the fall. Interested in joining in the fun? If you are, you could participate in a number of ways:

  • Sew bags (instructions available)
  • Donate denim or other sturdy fabric pants
  • Make toys to fill bags (we need toy makers and ideas for making small, inexpensive/free toys)
  • Gather supplies to fill bags (coloring books, crayons, pencils/pens, and journals to start)
  • Donate toward the purchase of items to fill the bags

I am so excited to be a part of this project. When I volunteered at the shelter, I remember the faces of children walking through the front door for the first time. It was heartbreaking. It didn’t matter their age—innocent preschooler or tough teenager—you could see it plain as day. They were scared. I believe these bags will help, even if just a little, with the first few moments of what could become a huge time of transition in their lives.

Really, these bags are just a little something. But to a kid who has just fled his or her home with nothing, for children who just left everything they used to call theirs behind, these bags will be something they can immediately call their own. I hope it helps. Even if just a little.

If you want to help—even if just a little—please let me know.

crafts, ReSew, sewing, thrifted!

Mark Lipinski is all mine. For twelve minutes.

☆☆☆UPDATE☆☆☆

Well, I did it and I survived–I interviewed with Mark Lipinski! You can listen to the interview here. Just play the 03/30/11 show on the right-hand menu bar. My interview starts at the 1:30 mark.

No matter what kind of creativity you're into, Mark will inform and inspire you with his "Creative Mojo" show. (And take you from giggle to laugh to cackle to involuntarily spraying your Diet Coke.) If you want to know why he called his psychic cohost (yes, you heard me right, psychic cohost) "Pocahontas" during the show I was lucky enough to be on, just listen to the first 5 minutes. But take my advice–do NOT drink Diet Coke while listening.

Thank you Mark, for a fantastically fun 12 minutes!

________________________________________________________

I'm thrilled to have been asked to join Mark for his next podcast of Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski! You can listen to the podcast live here on Wednesday, March 30 at 3:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. MST). You can also catch the recorded version on iTunes (search for Creative Mojo in podcasts after the live broadcast).

Mojo
 I love Mark. He's a prolific talent. He's shaken the world of quilting by its roots. He's rebellious. He thinks outside the box. His energy is fierce and infectious. He shares what's on his mind. He is fearless.

(And that's why I'm a teeny bit scared. Go easy on me, Mark.)

MarkTrue American rebel? Right here, baby.

Hope you'll join Mark and me for talk and tweets about ReSew and the refashion revolution. And whatever else comes to Mark's mind.

Whether I end up bombing or just getting by, I can guarantee that with Mark at the helm it'll be lively–hope you'll drop by for a listen!

crafts, sewing, thrifted!, tutorials

a wildcards tutorial: funky felted basket

FIRST, AN ALERT. (Not an "ALERT: Jackspeak." Although I'm sure he'll be alerting me about something any moment now.)

Today you can head over to the incredibly inspiring sewing site, BurdaStyle, for their "Project of the Week." This week, it's from ReSew!

Burdastyle
Alison Dahl Kelly, Editor/Creative Director at BurdaStyle (and a competitor on season three of Project Runway), chose the "Sugar Stripes Dress" to feature from the book. The sewing community at BurdaStyle is helpful, encouraging, and jaw-drop-on-floor talented. I am so thrilled to be a part of BurdaStyle this week! I hope you'll head on over for a look, plus the chance to win a copy of ReSew.

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Okay, onto today's post!

If you missed it at Crafting a Green World, here's my way of making felted baskets out of thrifted wool sweaters. You can make them in any size, from big and fat to tall and skinny; just change the size of the rectangles and squares. I love the idea of making them for gifts, and then filling them up with little treasures like jewelry, small sewing supplies, gift cards, a stash of pens or pencils… stuff like that. Candy works too. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Lindt Mint Lindor Truffle Balls fit very nicely. Just in case anyone wants to make a basket for me.

The basket requires just a few basic sewing tools, and it's a hand-sew only project. Timid about hand-sewing? Don't be! You can be as beginner-ish as you wish–your stitches will disappear right into that plush felted wool.

C'mon, let me show you how to make it!

funky felted basket tutorial

Basket1
This little basket was made from the leftover scraps of two wool sweaters I just couldn’t throw out. I opted for a solid color on the inside of this basket and a colorful stripe on the outside, but you can choose whatever color combinations you like. You can also make the basket from just one sweater, with the same fabric on the inside and the outside of the basket.

Here are “before” photos of the sweaters I used:

Sweaters
To make the basket, here’s what you’ll need:

Two 100% wool sweaters (or just one); scissors or rotary-cutting equipment; a ruler, measuring tape, or rotary ruler; long pins; thick thread or thin yarn to coordinate with your sweaters (I used perle cotton thread); a large-eye needle; sewing thread to coordinate with your sweaters; a piece of corrugated cardboard, about 9" x 9"; and buttons (optional).

Note: Your wool sweaters need to be “felted” so they won’t fray when cut. To felt a sweater, simply machine wash and dry it, using cycles you would normally use. You may need to wash your sweater more than once for it to fully felt; when you can’t see the stitches in the sweater any longer, you’ll know it’s felted enough to cut into it without any unraveling.

Basket2
From each of the sweaters, cut 1 square, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"; and 4 rectangles, 3 1/2" x 7". Determine which sweater fabric you would like to show on the outside of the basket and which sweater fabric you would like to show on the inside.

Basket3
Lay one of the outside and one of the inside 3 1/2" x 7" rectangles wrong sides together. Lay the two 3 1/2" squares wrong sides together. Place the square layers on top of the rectangle layers, making sure the pieces that show on the outside of the basket are facing out. Align the edges of the squares with the short sides of the rectangles; pin.

Basket4
Knot a long double strand of perle cotton onto the large-eye needle; hide the knot in between the layers. Starting 1/4" from a corner, hand sew the four layers together using a running stitch 1/4" from the edge. Make stitches about 1/4" in length and about 1/4" apart. Leave the needle and thread in place; do not knot or cut.

Basket5
Lift the square layers away from the rectangles. Place another set of two rectangles on the square side adjacent to the side you just sewed; make sure the rectangle you want to show on the outside is facing out.

Basket6
Align the square edges with the short sides of the rectangles; pin. Following the same sewing directions above, sew the four layers together.

Basket7
Repeat the same sewing steps on the other two sides of the square. Your basket should now have four sides (above are photos showing the inside (red) and the outside (stripe) of the basket.)

Basket8-(3)
Using the same sewing technique described above, pin and sew the four sides of the basket, starting at the bottom of the basket and continuing to the top.

Basket9
When you reach the top of each side, tie off and bury the thread knot in between the sweater-fabric layers.

Basket10
From the cardboard, cut 1 square, 2 3/4" x 2 3/4", and 4 rectangles, 2 3/4" x 5 3/4".

Basket11
Slide a cardboard rectangle in between the sweater layers on one long side of the basket; repeat for the other three sides. (If your cardboard rectangles are too wide to insert, cut a little strip away from one long edge of the cardboard until the piece fits snugly in between the sweater layers.) Push the cardboard down firmly, until it fits tightly in each bottom corner. Place the cardboard square inside the bottom of the basket; push the corners of the cardboard securely into the corners.

Basket12
Using doubled sewing thread and a whipstitch, sew the tops of the sweater rectangles closed, enclosing the cardboard in between the sweater layers.

TIP: Hand-sewing wool with regular thread can be a little tricky; the tiny knot will likely slip right through the wool. Follow these steps for securing your stitches:

1. Thread your needle; then knot the two ends of the thread together to form a loop.

2. To start a line of stitching, guide the needle through the sweater fabric where you want to begin. Hide the knot in between layers or along the inside edge. Before you pull the knot tightly against the sweater (and it pops right out the other side of the sweater fabric!), thread the needle through the loop of the doubled thread. This will hold the thread in place so you can begin your line of stitching.

3. To end a line of stitching, tie a large knot in an inconspicuous place; then take 3-5 tiny stitches over the knot and cut the thread close to the sweater fabric.

Okay, let’s finish this basket!

Basket13
I found these cute vintage buttons at yard sale.

Basket14
You can add buttons wherever you like, or not at all. I liked these buttons off to the side of this basket. When you’ve decided where to place your buttons, tip the basket on its side and sew them onto the basket using your regular sewing thread (see “TIP” above for securing your stitches on wool). You won’t be able to knot your thread on the inside of the basket—your needle will hit the cardboard!—so I hid my thread knots underneath my buttons.

Basket15
I added buttons to the centers of each side on this basket (my trial and error basket).

Basket16
You can vary the sizes of your squares and rectangles to make your basket taller, shorter, wider, or skinnier. Once you’re done, go find something to put in your pretty wool basket and display it for all to see!

Hope you enjoyed it; thanks for stopping by. Cheers, crafties!

ReSew

The ReSew blog tour ends with luv: Luv in the Mommyhood


Welcome to the final day of the

INCREDIBLE

001RESEW1
BLOG TOUR!

Today I'm gonna pile you into my cybercar and cyberdrive you over to the "mommyhood" to meet Shannon, the heart and soul behind Luv in the Mommyhood. Crafty? Check. Inspiring? Check. Addicted to Pyrex? Check! Along with her great tutorials, Shannon has a "weekend wishes" series that will inspire you to live your best weekend, every weekend.

Luvinthemommyhood

Head on over to Shannon's place for a special ReSew Q & A as part of her "Moms in the Mommyhood" feature; then enter for your chance to win a copy of the book!
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I want to thank all the creative women on the tour who helped get the word out about ReSew. My little book has sprouted her own wings because of you. I am grateful.

Here's one more look at all the hosts from the tour–some of their giveaways are still open, and there are a couple of tutorials to grab too.

If you've been following along but your luck hasn't panned out, you can purchase your own copy of ReSew here.

Thanks everyone for following along–I hope you enjoyed the tour. It has been such fun for me to meet all of you!

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SEW, MAMA, SEW!
(where you can grab a pdf of my "Elephant Cuddle Cushion" project from ReSew) 

AMY'S CREATIVE SIDE

CRAFTGOSSIP
(giveaway open through Thursday, March 10)

CRAFTY NEST
(giveaway open through Friday, March 11)

I AM MOMMA … HEAR ME ROAR

RESWEATER

THE LONG THREAD
(giveaway open through Saturday, March 5)

V AND CO.

CRAFTING A GREEN WORLD
(funky felted basket tutorial; giveaway open through Wednesday, March 9)

MAKE IT DO
(giveaway open through March 6)