Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why Citizens of Textile you ask??...

Okay, Okay... let's talk Citizens of Textile. I've been asked lots of good questions surrounding the concept, theory and business model.  It's really not as salacious as I'm sure people might think.  It happened like this...

"Michele, let's open a pop-up once a month with collaborative products in it." said me. 

Honestly, having a child with autism doesn't allow for the traditional commitments of... well, just about everything actually!  I've learned that lesson through a LOT of trial and error over the years.  So, when COT was being created it was REALLY important to give ourselves plenty of time to create quality products for our clients.  Plus, Michele has this "whole-sucssesful-yarn-company-thingy."  Republic of Wool.


Now, if you know my crafting history then you were, no doubt, NOT shocked that COT came with contributors!  I mean... I even wrote a book full of collaborative projects.  Crafting with people... is just my thing.  It always has been.  I have always said, "That a person liking someone else's creations, doesn't lesson their liking of mine."  There is room for all of us!


Now, Why in the world is it only open for the first weekend of every month???...  because, it's simply less stressful that way.  We can take our time creating, listing and then hand-wrapping those items for shipment without the panic of time pushing down on us to produce.

Listen... I want to wake up and make beautiful things and I "personally" feel that after all this time in the crafting/ sewing/ yarn industry that putting a deadline on your creativity is a sure way to kill it.  Yes, I still have a deadline, but it's more roomy and giving incase kids get sick, or pets, or me! Hahaha


Let's chatty chat about my dyeing of all the yarn, shall we..?  I'm sure that all my quilting community supporters are probably wondering if I jumped ship???... No, I haven't.  I just bought my Bernina 750B for peats sake! LOL  However, when I invest in a new trade, I usually jump in head first and don't come up for air.  I tend to suffocate myself in it before my interest dies down.  This is exactly how I learned to sew 7 years ago.  It's just my nature.

Why I dye??... Because I'm lost to the Color's.  It's why I started quilting too.  Bringing colorful, interesting, beauty in the form of functional art... well, I'm just too weak not to play.  And, it goes back to what I mentioned earlier... It's okay to not to like my yarn, or love my yarn, or myself liking everyone's yarn and buying their's.  There's room for all of us.  We are different artists, and we see the world in different filters AND... that's how it should be.

XX, Heather

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Update. On me. That's legit.

My lord, it's been a long time since I wrote here.  Why?  Because, like most I found Instagram and FaceBook and someone killed Flickr and who the hell has time for Twitter?  Mostly, I quit writing here because, I got lost in the game.  The game of the crafting community and what the rules were.  I'm pretty sure I would have lost regardless. I'm not really great at listening to authority or even the norm truth be told.

Fact: I grew up... just under the scope of middle class.  This meant, I was taught to be happy with what was given, grateful for any opportunity, and be respectful of others above you. You stay quiet and keep hidden.

Honestly, what in the world does someone like myself do after you have achieved standardize success in this crafting community so quickly after beginning? You've been interviewed in local papers, radio programs, own a successful blog, have sponsors, written about in magazines, contributed to multiple quilting books and even had your own compilation book written and currently still being reprinted by your publishing company for the 6 -7 time???...

Fact: I learned then and still make every choice I choose to (in my control) made on an ethical and moral scale.  I believe the right decision is typically the hardest road to travel.  My feet are callused!  This gave my family a grueling young life.

Well... if you're me, you leave it.  Yes, I still have relationships with certain fabric houses and many "true" friendships (not industry niceties, I let those go), however... I just couldn't find it in me to jump through the hoops.  Do you know these hoops?  Hoops so damn big you lips better be the size of Texas to kiss the ass of the person hoping through them first...  that one you're following??.... Nah...

Fact: I owned my first home, was married and 23 when my second son was diagnosed with autism.  I left nursing school to fight that monster, proudly. It was the scariest thing I've ever done.  The rest of this shit (life) is chopped liver to that.  I'm human so eventually, I taught myself how to sew as a stress outlet as to not loose my mind.  I needed something and I had a certain "dream killer" who said, "You can't make one of those."

So, after a whirl wind affair with quilting.  I took a long break.  I liked it.  I learned how to feed my body and how to exercise out all my additional anxiety that my particular lifestyle brought to the table.  It was brilliant. Then... I got bored.

Fact: You know where you place in my life if I've said, "I'll go to war for you." and I was by your side in your fight, because I never leave. I'm a stalwart solider to those I love.  In the moment, the current, in the future, I remain quietly in their arsenal, always.  It's my thing.

That was when... knitting came up. Once, easily shot down as a ridiculous notion, twice as a frustration of impotent nature and finally as a challenge of ability. I was not one to back down to battles of health difficulties and/ or moral principles, let alone and especially to "string." So, again I taught myself. Yet, this outlet felt different from my first. It was a "want" and not a "need."  That was new.

Fact: What I create comes from my spirit, my soul. I don't "make" for money, I "make" for creation.  For the art of beauty.  I decided a long ago past moment, that I'm only truly interested in fostering the idea of making the world more beautiful, by relationship and/ or Art. I mean... isn't it truly ugly enough on it's own?

Then came the dyeing of fiber. What happens when you mix a quilter with blank fiber... you get an Indie-dyer.  It's only a matter of time if you look around.  I'm certainly no pioneer in this ideology. Although, I do hope (narcissistically) that mine... do actually bring something else beautiful to the table.  Could be wishful thinking though.

Fact: I wrote this as an introduction to who I am today (if you're familiar with me), or who you might  just be meeting to explain what and who I am.  Whatever I "make",  I made it that moment while I was feeling.  And not only did I not take advantage of that time, I revealed in it.  Did I mention... I'm a bit saucy?

XX, Heather

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Whole30.

The Whole30 is finished.  And here are my thoughts on it.

I decided to try this particular "diet/ challenge - (if you will)", because I heard that it could reduce inflammation in joints.  Not the diet per say, but the removal of an unknown food source that I was consuming, that could/ might be adding to my discomfort.  This year I was diagnosed with a couple loose vertebrate, that resulted in having Spinal Instability.  And since my body doesn't care for pain medication (nor am I a fan of band-aiding the real issues), I'm now willing to try most anything to help this situation with my health and certainly for only 30 days.  I'm totally worth that!  Everyone is, whatever their personal issues might be.  SO, here's how it went.

Week 1 - PANIC
This week was filled with an unbelievable amount of panic.  Panic from my body, because I wasn't feeding it all the bad shit it was craving and wanting, even though it was hurting me.  Panic that I wasn't going to have enough to eat and I might die from starvation.  Panic that I might eat the wrong thing accidentally and screw up this commitment.  Panic that I didn't prep well enough for this journey and I could fail over that and Panic that I might kill some one from being Hangry.  This was a long ass week.

OOhh… the pity party had rolled in by now.  And it was celebrating all the lousy things I could possibly think about.  I felt flu-ish from the detoxing of ALL my regular diet components.  I was super ticked off that I had to even restrict myself to "possibly" relieve my lower back discomfort, "Why me??" I was totally over black coffee.  I hated everything.  I think at one point, I was even catching myself giving chickens the stank-eye when seeing images of them.  Stupid chicken and their stupid eggs.  Stupid, shitty chicken faces, don't even exist already!  My life was obscenely angry.

However… I was sleeping like a baby.

I'm not sure exactly what and when it shifted.  However, I subtly started realizing that I was laughing more this week.  My shitty/ hateful looks had fallen away and in place was this weird "calm" face.  Like you'd think I was listening to Enya, or some crap.  I even liked chickens again and contemplated buying a coop.  It was super wild.  And on top of ALL that, I wasn't as lethargic and sickly feeling anymore.  In fact, I'd goes as far as to say I was restless with energy.  And not the kind that comes from a "high" of carbs or caffeine and then later "the crash" but, a steady/ consistent/ flow of it that never seemed to end.  I sewed a LOT this week.

I think the title of this week, pretty much sums up my thoughts on how I felt during this time, damn accurately.  It completely unnerved me that I could feel SO good and the only thing I changed in my life was what I was eating (or NOT eating, depending on how you look at it).  My energy was off the charts, sleeping like an infant, my mood was so steady and happy, and my back… NO PAIN.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I even did a test by going to the one place I could NEVER get through without bending over or having to squat to relieve the pressure in my spine, IKEA.  I could have stayed all day!  It was truly, bizarre!  I bought a lot of shit that day.  Clearly, being able to spend all day really looking through Ikea… leads to baskets of Christmas decoration loot.

SO… here's my ending thoughts…
I'm staying on the Whole30.  I don't see any reason to stop living this lifestyle.  Will I "cheat" every once in awhile… yep, I totally will.  But, it will be on date nights… so, we don't break our home habits that we've spent this moth creating and ultimately… enjoying!  I like eating clean and my body… DEFINITELY likes me eating clean.  So, yeah… I would encourage anyone who feels yucky for one reason or another to try it fo sho!

OOHhh… and because I know there will be some curiosity as to weight loss.  I will say only this on that topic.  I personally do NOT use a scale.  I never have.  I don't believe a number should dictate what your level of fitness and overall health truly is.  With that being said, I chose NOT to weigh myself in the beginning of this 30 day challenge or at the end.  That wasn't why I did this.  I have no doubt that there was some loss, because my clothes do fit differently.  But, that was not "my" goal, so I don't see how it would help me gain anything with that certain knowledge. 

XX, Heather

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Scrappy STRIPED Flying Geese TUTORIAL!!

Alrighty, then!  Here's the deal… if you're on IG, then you might know that I started a little QAL (quilt a long) named the #scrappypostagestampqal to use up all my scraps that fit ingot he 2.5" square category.  HOWever, I had all these strange cut strips that had no purpose, but to annoy me.  I had been thinking about what I would like to do with these muthers, when I ran across a pretty great idea!!

Okay, I want to start off by saying that, this was NOT my original idea (most are intact NOT in the quilting world…. new!  :P) and I was totally inspired by this person's post!!  I just wanted a different size and a bit more ease on a quick template to make them, so I came up with this!  

If you do decide to make these with me, I'd love to see them… so, please use the new hashtag on IG
#scrappystripedflyinggeeseQAL !!

So… here we go!  These are easy & fast & 4 at a time!  Let's bust some scraps!!

Taking computer paper, trim down to 8.5" X 8.5".  Then grab a wad of fabric scraps long enough to meet those measurements.

Taking two of the drips of scraps, lay them right sides together and sew 1/4" seam using a shortened stitch length of 1.2 on your machine.

Continue until you have cover your entire computer paper.

Trim down to the original 8.5" X 8.5" size.

Cut your Paper pieced block into 4 segments.

Well… that was easy so far, yeah!  Okay, lets make these current triangles geese.
Cut 4 - 4.5' X 4.5" Squares for the background fabric.

Then cut them each "ONCE" diagonally.

Taking one background Triangle place it right side to right side of your striped triangle.

Here's the trick to these… you want to line up the "bottom" of your triangles with your extra length coming of the top!!  This is SUPER important or you won't get the "Crisp Tips" of flying geese!!  

Sew using 1/4" seam.
(extra photo of the ALL important tip fabric!)

Press with an iron. And then repeat the process on the other side.

Press your second side over, gently remove the paper on the back of your block and WHA-LAH!  An adorable Scrappy Stripped Flying Geese block.
These should trim up to  7.5" X 4"!!

The beginning of mine!!  Don't you just love how the stripes are going different directions!  Talk about adding interest to an already cool design!!  :D

XX, Heather

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fat Eighth Frenzy!! The ShortCut Quilts Series!!!

Well… hello there!  It's been FORever since I have written on my blog... and I can give you every excuse in the world for why is hasn't happened, however… I'll sum it up with one word, life.  It's a crazy time for me and the fam right now!!  I mean my kid are getting SooOOoo old and totally need me in their business ALL the time.  It's their favorite.  Obviously, I need to comply.

Anywho, Kimberly over at the Fat Quarter Shop (one of my longest and dearest fabric shop peeps) has lured me back into the blogging world for this concept of her's.  Get this, she's TOTALLY making YouTube videos!  Like the kind, you'd actually want to watch because she's articulate, knowledgable, and the production doesn't scream "cheese-y/ bleh"!!  Hahaha  Also, this new series is pretty damn clever!

The ShortCut Series.

Basically, it's recipe box full of quick quilts and today I'm sharing her Fat Eighth Frenzy one!!

I decided to make a Christmas quilt and selected Basic Grey's 25th and Pine collection!  I'm a big fan of Basic Grey fabrics by Moda.  I love how gritty they are, yet traditional.  Kinda like me! :P  This quilt is super simple and YouTube video describes it WAY better then I could in 6 minutes.  Watch it.  And then, tell me you wouldn't want to make one!  I think it took me a couple hours and that's because of the ironing needed!!  I swear!  So FAST!!!

Here is the link to the FREE pattern:

Here is the link to the Fat Eighth Frenzy video:

And also the bonus quilt video:

The Fat Quarter Shop is having a 20% OFF Fat Eighth bundles until November 2nd, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST!

I'm actually, hoping to stop by here more often.  Hope to see you all around! 
XX, Heather