Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa Donkeys final sale - Only three half yard sets left

Clearing out the very last few pieces of the Santa Donkeys and Holiday Boots fabric! Priced to go from my shelves to your sewing table. :)

Regularly $34 for the 1/2 yard set, I only have THREE sets left and have marked them down to $20 each. Come and get them because once they're gone, they're gone!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tufted Tweets Giveaway at Form & Fabric

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! I've been thoroughly enjoying the time off and have had such a great little break. My house is filled with family and I have a belly full of delicious holiday treats. I think I may even spend a bit of time doing some sewing this afternoon.

I got a sweet note from my friend Margaret who recently opened up a fabulous online store called Form & Fabric. She has a great selection of hard to find fabrics, $2.99 shipping and does a monthly fabric giveaway. And guess what she's giving away this month? Loads of Tufted Tweets!

Photo by Now and Then Photography

Four fabulous Tufted Tweets bundles are up for grabs. Head on over to Form & Fabric to enter to win before 1/30/11. There will be four winners:
- One Grass bundle with four half yard cuts
- One Orchid bundle with four half yard cuts
- One Sorbet bundle with four half yard cuts
- One lucky person will win a complete set of all colorways!

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Santa: A snake was not on my list...

Over the Thanksgiving break my sweet mom brought me an adorable little patio-sized kumquat tree. (A kumquat is a type of citrus fruit similar to a very small orange that's sour like a lemon). I've always wanted one, so was just giddy when she drove up to my house with it her car as a surprise. What a great holiday gift. Thanks mom!!

It's been chilly at night in Austin, so each day I've been diligently dragging the little kumquat tree (who is maybe 3 feet tall) in and out of the garage so it can have sun during the day and can stay out of the night's chill in the evening.

Last weekend, I grabbed the pot by the top rim and picked it up and eeeeeeeekkkkk there is a snake curled up under where the potted tree had been sitting. A very tiny snake, but's a snake people. It was maybe 5pm and I was cold and didn't want to deal with it. But the snake looked cold (and I am a giant softie) so I went inside and got an old bath towel, tossed it on top of the snake and went inside to enjoy my evening. Didn't give the snake another thought.

The next morning, I went out to move the kumquat back to it's usual sunny spot, and figured the snake would be long gone. I mean, what kind of snake is going to just hang out under a bath towel all night? So I moved the towel and eeeeeeeekkkkk there is the snake. Hmmmm.... Now what?

OK. So this little snake is maybe only 12 inches long and no thicker than a pencil. It's still pretty cold so he's being really still thankfully. Mom (who has been great at catching all icky and scary creatures for my entire life) was in town again, so she grabbed some garden gloves, a box with a lid and just scooped the little snakey into the box. I then came out from behind the pillar on the porch (where I was bravely encouraging my mom) to check out the little guy. And to my surprise, guess what that little guy has on the end of his little tail? Holt cow. It's a baby rattle snake people. Yes, a rattle snake! eeeeeeekkkkk. A rattle snake!!

Yep, that's fluff from the bath towel by his eye in the shot below...

Mom (who is even a bigger softie than I am) knows where the Austin Wildlife Rescue Center is, so we put 1st the snake box into a 2nd box. (I mean I don't want it to pull off some sort of Houdini-like escape while in my car, right?) We drive to the rescue center and drop off the snake and a donation. Easy peasy and they were thrilled to welcome their newest boarder.

Now...On the drive home it starts to occur to me... Does that little snake have brothers and sisters? And where the heck are they?!? After much discussion and several days, we've determined that my yard (which is NOT in the boondocks or anything people) is likely not hiding a rattlesnake nest somewhere among it's leaves. Mom got the kumquat from a little garden center that IS in the middle of nowhere in the Texas hill country and the snake was probably just a stowaway. That's my hope anyway...

But good old Mom is coming back over this weekend to help me re-pot that little tree. I just want to be sure there aren't a bunch of scary little guys waiting for me amongst my kumquats. And if any of you out there know anything about snakes that you think I should know (i.e. my stow away theory seems very unlikely) I'd appreciate your thoughts!

So, don't be surprised if you see a snake appear in some future fabric design. You'll know just where he came from!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Urban Circus Winner

Thanks to everyone for leaving comments for the giveaway. From Cabbage Patch dolls, to Etch a Sketch, to Hungry Hungry Hippos and the good old great outdoors, I had so much fun reading about your favorite childhood games and toys. I used to love to draw and paint and to roller skate. I was convinced I learned to skate faster than any little girl ever and wanted to contact the Guinness Book of records to see if there was a category for that very important accomplishment. Who knew that big green pom poms on a girl's skates could make her feel so special? :) Thanks again for sharing all your great stories!

Randomly selected, the winner of the fat quarters of Urban Circus is Jen B who said:
'My favorite "toy" was my bicycle! I would go everywhere with my bike, to school, visiting friends, through the woods, all sorts of adventures!'

TGIF! Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are. And make sure you set aside a little time to play :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Urban Circus - Giveaway!

It's been a while since I've done a giveaway hasn't it?! Well lets change that right now. How about a full set of FQs of Urban Circus?

I had so much fun designing these prints. I guess they come from that 'I-guess-I'll-always-be-a-little-kid-at-heart' place we all have lurking just beneath the surface. Just leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite toy or game was as a kid. And have fun reminiscing!

I'll randomly select one winner this Friday Dec 10, 2010 around 8am CT.

Have a great week and can't wait to hear a little about your childhood!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Journals atre on ON SALE! Great stocking stuffers!

What a great stocking stuffer these little journals would make! I carry one in my bag everywhere I go and it's just perfect for jotting quick notes (or sketches) they're super durable. They made with special canvas covers that are resilient and water-resistant and are filled with 100 blank pages of partially recycled paper.

And for a week only (through next Sunday 12/12), they're marked down from $12 to $10. They come in 8 different patterns with my designs, so now's a great time to stock up. These are only available in my store so when you're thinking about gifts this year, perhaps one of these would be perfect for someone on your list!

Need more quantity than what's listed in the store, just let me know and I'll check my inventory.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let the holiday decorating begin!

Can you believe that today is the last day of November? This year has completely flown by and I can hardly believe the year is coming to an end soon! It's been a wonderful, wonderful year and I plan to make the very most of every minute of the holiday season this year. Even though I live in Texas (where we're lucky to have 'fall-ish' weather with practically no winter) it really feels like the holiday season around here already!

The day after Thanksgiving, I put up the holiday tree and it looks really lovely. I grew up in a house where there was a menorah next to a tree every year and I've continued the tradition here in my home. :) The tree is looking lovely and I had hoped to put pictures up today but this post ended up being longer than I thought so I'll share more pics and some other cute holiday projects later this week.

I've been busy making holiday gifts and new stockings for the mantle. I had SOOOO much fun with these. Tufted Tweets everywhere in my holiday decor this year!!

As you know, I'm not the greatest free motion sewist (is that the right word?). But these little cuties were the perfect solve for that. And felt. Glorious felt. The most forgivingly wonderful fabric. I love that they look handmade and love all the crazy stitching. I was really inspired by 3 very talented ladies to make the little circles. And then it took off from there. Stockings. Ornaments. Garlands. Oh my!

The fabulous Lucie Summers (check out her Etsy store here) and her mom, made the world's most amazing quilt. Seriously jaw droppingly gorgeous, eh? Take the time to click through her photo stream. You'll be amazed...

And I have been lucky enough to strike up a friendship with the incredibly talented, sweet and funny Sam Cotterill of mummysam fame. Her new book, Fanciful Felties is divine. Beautifully written, super duper fun projects and really just an overall delight to read. I am thoroughly addicted and am working on a small softie village for the guest bedroom. And being the very talented gal that she is, she also has some gorgeous fabrics she's designed for sale in her etsy store.

For months I've had a huge crush on the fabric boxes that Lesley at Smidgebox makes. So super, duper cute! I'm hoping she'll be making me a few early next year!

And finally, the pattern for the stocking itself (free!) is from Amy Butler and can be found here. I of course added the little peek-a-boo circles to the front of the stocking. Her pattern is wonderful and it's fully lined which I love. My stockings are lined with green Birdies on a Wire which it turns out is a great holiday fabric!

I've also sewn up some holiday ornaments and a garland in this same style. I actually made TWO garlands. One for me and one for you! I'll be doing a giveaway in the next few days and someone will be able to hang a Tufted Tweets garland in their house very soon! The only rule will be no making fun of my free motion stitching 'skill'...I'll also share some details on how I made the little peek-a-boo windows (easy-peasy) in my next post. Have a wonderful night everyone and have fun with your holiday decorating!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A blog post from my publisher about the book!

How delighted was I to be pointed in the direction of a lovely and very sweet post by Rotovision about my upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Designing & Printing Fabric. They also included some sneak peeks of a few pages which they've kindly agreed to let me share here! In addition to the 'techie' tutorials for how to digitally set up repeats and all that good stuff, there's loads of information in the book about color, inspiration and tutorials for hand rendered designs too.

It just gives me chills to start to see everything coming together. I have to tell you that writing the book was one of the most challenging and fulfilling things I have been fortunate enough to do. All of the text is now officially complete after 5 months of really, really hard work. (Yahoo!!!) Now I'm working through the editing process and I'm getting to start to see some of the layouts from the art director. It's really amazing how many people are involved and how long the whole process takes. I can hardly believe it will be next fall before I get to hold a copy in my hands!

In addition to getting to interview some amazing designers and collaborate with some really talented people, another one of my favorite parts of the book was getting to work on all the photography. I completely and totally lucked out and was able to get the talented Ryann Ford to do my photography and Robin Finlay to do my styling. What an amazing duo they are! I only wish we had taken more 'behind the scenes' shots. This was from one of our shoots where Robin styled a fake bed to show off this gorgeous Bird in Paradise fabric from Umbrella Prints.

When you see the final shot, you would NEVER in a million years guess that the bed was actually a couch cushion. :) As we get closer to the publication date (next fall is still a long ways off!) I'll have more and more to share with you. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Santa Donkey - Tree Skirt finished!

First, thanks to everyone for making me giggle at myself and my previous tutorial for charred croutons. :)

Over the weekend I finished off my tree skirt! Am really happy with the way it turned out and its going to be so much better than the usual wadded up sheet that usually doubles as a skirt each year.

The only challenge is that every time I put it down on the ground to photograph it, the cats come over to 'help'. So just pretend there aren't kitties lying on it/under it and you'll get the idea. I'm beginning to wonder how these curious little creatures are going to do when the tree actually arrives. I'm beginning to fear for the safety of my ornaments...

In other holiday crafting news, I'm working on some fun holiday garland from Tufted Tweets and I'll post pics of that as soon as I get them done. Hoping to possibly get them finished this week. Maybe I'll even make 2 and do a giveaway!!

What fun holiday sewing projects are you working on?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another reason I would prefer not to have salad for dinner

So I figured I would have a nice quiet night at home and eat a healthy salad for dinner. Here's how my well laid plans literally went up in flames around me this evening...

1. Make salad. Healthy leafy greens. Me: "Gee, this will be a nice healthy dinner. I should do this more often! Hmmm. Fresh croutons...gee that sounds great. Where is that loaf of bread anyway?"
2. Cut croutons from loaf of bread
3. Place croutons in toaster oven under broiler
4. Completely forget about croutons
5. Wander out of kitchen to sort mail
6. Remember croutons
7. Run like a crazy person across house towards kitchen
8. Enter smoke filled kitchen
9. *X&^%*!
10. Grab potholders
11. Throw back door open
12. Remove charred/flaming/smoking used to be croutons from toaster oven and place them outside to continue to smolder
13. Realize that smoke detector is about to go off
14. Close door so cats do not run away forever when smoke detector starts
15. Race towards hall closet for broom (cannot reach smoke detector)
16. Smoke detector goes off
17. Smoke detector then sets off the house alarm
18. Push button on smoke detector to stop screeching sound (i.e. slam broom end into smoke detector)
19. Jump off chair and run to alarm pad to turn off alarm
20. Phone is ringing (alarm company) so run back to kitchen to get phone and tell them all is ok
21. Miss call from alarm company because phone not on charger. Where is phone?!?
22. *X&^%*!
23. Run upstairs and find cell phone instead (pass two terrified cats on the way)
24. Call alarm company
25. Alarm lady: "Hello Ms. Wisbrun, we have dispatched the fire department to your residence."
26. Me: "Ummmm.... You can cancel that call. I just burned some croutons."
27. Alarm lady: "Pardon? So you do not require the fire department?"
28. Me: "No ma'am. So sorry for the trouble. All is well here. Thank you for your help."
29. No longer hungry. Stupid salad.
30. Head to kitchen. Where is the gin and tonic instead? I'll just have that for dinner and enjoy the burned toast smell that has permeated every room in my house.

Hope you are having a wonderful, crouton-less evening where you are! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

New fabric in the shop | Polar Bears!

I am so super excited to announce that I have 4 new patterns in 2 color stories listed in my Etsy store. Wahooo!!! Say a big hello to the Polar Bears :)

I've been working on these polar bear designs since late summer and finally decided they're ready to make their big debut. Every time I look at them, they make me smile so I really hope you like them too.

In terms of the colors, I got so many emails when the 'Sherbet' color story for Urban Circus was retired and it's one of my all time favorite color combos. So I'm thrilled be able to bring it back. And there is a more gender neutral color combo of aqua and red called 'Ice' that I just adore.

Everything is available in the store and I have a few yards of each ready to ship now and can print additional quantity of whatever you need. Have a great weekend everyone!

Multi Bear Dots in Sherbet

Small Bear Dots in Ice

Flowers in Sherbet

Dashed Stripe in Ice

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Progress - Santa Donkey Tree Skirt!

So sorry for disappearing for a while! I was on a much needed vacation (to Santa Fe which was amazing!!) and have just returned and am diving back into my giant pile of projects.

I'm slowly but surely I'm making headway on the Santa Donkey tree skirt! I knew I wanted to do something with big pieces and white sashing so I could really show off some of my favorite holiday fabrics and be able to highlight my Santa Donkeys and Holiday Boots fabrics. I have to say, I'm really loving the simplicity of it all and it sewed together super duper quickly.

I'm very inexperienced with free motion quilting. In the past, I've either hired out that portion of my quilt projects or tried them myself (which translates as: most of my attempts to date with free motion quilting have not ended well...) But because I really, really wanted this tree skirt to turn out well and I am determined to finally get the hang of free motion quilting, I turned to the ever-so-talented blog community for help.

As always the tutorials from Elizabeth at Oh Fransson! saved me from myself. So that's how you make a quilt sandwich without giant creases, lumps and bumps! I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent on previous projects crawling around on the floor only to end up with a lumpy quilt sandwich. Which of course led to a hot mess of a back once I got started on my quilting. But not on this project!! The back is just as smooth as the front. :)

And then there was the actual pattern for the skirt. I found a fantastic tutorial for a square tree skirt from Crazy Mom Quilts and have modified it to fit my design. Her instructions for the hole in the middle are genius.

I hope to finish off the project this weekend so will post pics when I'm done. Hope everyone is doing well!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kitty mind meld

Do you ever have those days where your to-do list just never seems to shrink? I'm having one today. But I took a break a few minutes ago and looked over to see this. Kitty mind meld (oops, I just gave away the secret that I'm a bit of a Star Trek fan, didn't I?)

Just wanted to share the cuteness. Ok, back to work!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Urban Circus Giveaway winner + PJ pants

Thanks to everyone who dropped by over the last week to leave a comment about how you have been (or would!) using Urban Circus! It's always so much fun to hear about all the creative ideas you have in store. And to those of you who shared new pictures of what you've been making with the fabric in my Flickr group, an extra special thank you. What gorgeous and inspiring creations!

And now to announce the winner of the giveaway. Chosen by random, the winner is #89 Jennie who said: I would love to make a quilt for my baby granddaughter's room and a wall hanging for her brother's room with this delightful colorful fabric.

Jennie: Fat quarters from the entire collection are headed your way. I really hope your grandkids love what you make with the fabric and that you have a great time sewing with it.

I also want to share a pair of PJ pants I made for myself from the pink Elephants fabric. But since I couldn't model them and photograph them at the same time, you'll have to imagine what they look like. Here they are in an artfully arranged pile. :) A kid at heart, I just couldn't resist a pair of adult PJ pants from the pink elephants. They have quickly become my favorites. Why should the kiddos be the only ones who get to wear animal prints?!

It's a beautiful day here in Austin so I'm headed out to enjoy the rest of my afternoon outside. I hope everyone has a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Giveaway - Urban Circus FQ set

One of my favorite parts of the day is checking my blog and my Flickr account for new comments and pictures. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to see what you guys are making with my fabric. The quilts, the bags, the clothes... SOOO cute! Lately I've noticed there haven't been as many pictures of creations made with Urban Circus though.

So I'm hoping that perhaps if I entice you with a giveaway, you'll post some more pictures!! Here's how the giveaway will work.

--Only one entry per person regardless of how many pics you post or comments you leave please. I want everyone to have a chance to win!

--The winner will receive a full FQ set of both color stories of Urban Circus. That's 8 FQS!!

--TO ENTER: Leave me a comment here (this will be your entry to win). Tell me either what you have made with Urban Circus (or any of my fabrics!) OR if you haven't made anything yet, tell me what you'd like to make! I will draw a winner after 9am CT on Saturday 10/16/10.

--Then if you have pictures to share, just head over to my Flick group and post your pics! I would really love to see what you've made!!

To get you in the mood, here are a few pictures of some recent creations from some very, very talented folks! (Thanks for sharing these!!)

Baby Kimono PJs

Urban Circus Quilt
by xceler8one

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Getting started on a holiday tree skirt

I've been trying to figure out what to make for the house at the holidays that can be festooned with cute little Santa Donkeys and Holiday Boots. And then I remembered that I don't have a tree skirt. Every year I end up taking a bed sheet and 'draping' it around the base of the tree. Which pretty much always looks like I have a wadded up sheet under my tree. So this year, I think a tree skirt is in order!

I'm just getting started on the skirt and frankly not really clear (yet) on where I'm headed but I know I want to do some squares with Santa Donkeys in the center and some other squares with some Holiday Boot hexies. This Chartreuse Kona Cotton is a perfect match and it happens to be one of my all time favorite colors.

I'll post pics as my tree skirt progresses. And the Santa Donkey and Holiday Boots fabric is posted for sale in the store. And if you've started any projects with the Santa Donkeys, I'd love to see pictures so make sure you post them in my Flickr group.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big news! Rhymes with hook...

For the last few months, I have been keeping a big old secret. And I can finally share the news! :) I am writing a book on Designing and Printing Fabric and it will be published in Fall of next year - 2011. Rotovision is publishing the European edition and Chronicle Books is publishing the US edition.

The book is packed with information on the design process, step-by-step tutorials, interviews and loads of what I hope will be inspirational information and photos!

Here's the official description of the book from the publisher: "The Compete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric is a practical and comprehensive handbook that walks readers through the entire fabric design and printing process. Packed with clear, easy to follow step-by-step tutorials, this book provides inspiration and advice on how to design patterns, and also explores a wide variety of different printing methods such as digital printing, screen-printing, stamping and stencilling. Interviews with established fabric designers also provide valuable information on setting up and developing a fabric collection, and useful advice on how to approach manufacturers. Textile design is a highly competitive industry and the Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric is an indispensable reference for all fabric designers and crafters seeing to expand their knowledge and take their skills to the next level."

Writing the book (which I'm still deep in the midst of) has been the most amazing experience. I can't wait to share updates with you! It's going to be a long year before it finally comes out (next Oct 2011) but I will keep you posted on progress as I go. I've been dying to tell you all about it and now that the cat's out of the bag I can keep you up to speed. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Holiday Fabric - Santa Donkeys and Boots in the shop!

I can't tell you how much fun it was to get your feedback on the holiday santa donkeys and the holiday rainboots. I read through all of your comments and really appreciate all of the great suggestions and ideas. Here's where I landed on revisions to the original design from a few weeks ago.

The donkeys who are wearing Santa Hats are no longer wearing boots. They always say to take off one accessory, right? Can't have the donkeys overdressed can we?

I changed the size of these donkeys so they are roughly a third smaller. The original donkeys are each 5" x 4". These holiday donkeys are roughly 3-1/2" x 3". So now you have MORE donkeys to sew with!

I tried and tried and tried to incorporate your suggestions on antlers and Rudolph noses. Really loved the ideas. But at the end of the day the antlers ended up looking like sticks coming out of the donkeys heads and the red nose looked like a tumor. So, needless to say, I had to step away from those additions. :)

I'm so excited to announce that both fabrics are now available in the shop!! I only have yard of each on hand but I'll be placing an order for more yardage this weekend. So for those of you anxious to get started on holiday sewing projects, place your orders and I'll start shipping fabric as soon as I receive it (should be 2-3 weeks max).

Thanks again for all your great ideas and I hope you love these little sweeties. I'm really happy with how they turned out!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A peek inside where I live

Whew...the last box is unpacked (well...except for those few boxes in that hall closet but I'm pretending like I don't see them)! Getting settled into my new space has taken some time but it's been really fun. I love nesting, don't you? :)

I promised that once I got settled I'd share some pictures. So I'm excited to show you some snapshots of where I work and live. When I decided to move from my last place, I hunted and hunted for someplace new that was flooded with bright light and I'm so lucky to have found this space. For the very first time, I have truly separate spaces for my office and for my sewing studio. And I have to tell you, I feel really, really lucky and I just love it here. So welcome to my space!

The 2nd quilt I ever made. Shirtbox Squares designed by Kaffe Fasset.

New pillows for the couch!

My desk.

The other side of my sewing room. And just in case you weren't paying very close attention...New cats! :) I went to the animal shelter for one and of course came home with two. They've quickly become best buddies and I awake each day with a pile of cats by my feet. So wish a warm welcome to Dexter (the little orange guy) and Fiona (also known as Cow Spot).