Jim Shore’s Angel Coloring Book: 55+ Glorious Folk Art Angel Designs for Inspirational Coloring

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When I saw this title come across my desk, I was immediately reminded of when I first saw Jim Shore’s artwork coming into the quilting scene.  I was thinking that it was the late 1990s, but looking at his bio it was more likely the early 2000s.  My quilting peeps and I were all pretty excited to see the brightly colored sculptures, all clearly indicating a heavy influence from quilting.  Currently some of my favorites are from his Peanuts and Disney lines (I really want Pete’s Dragon), but I remember that when they first came widely available, I was crazy for so many of Jim’s Santa designs.  His Angel designs have also been hugely popular over the years, and this new coloring book gives Jim Shore fans the opportunity to be a part of his design process.

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Jim’s work is known to have multiple themes and intricate designs, so there is plenty and enough on each page to scratch a creative itch.  And in keeping with his style, there are additional elements to color, cut out and add to each angel for a 3D creation.  At 8 1/2″ x 10″, this one is perfect for sliding into your carry-on bag for the plane, or your weekend bag to the cabin.  Grab your favorite pack of colored pencils and a cuppa something yummy to drink, and get ready to relax for a few.

Click any of the links above for more info on Jim Shore, and get your copy of his coloring book at the Interweave Store.

 

 

 

Stuff Your Stocking: Fabric US Map, Fabric Magnets and Button Bookmarks

As one of our daughter’s says on the 4th of July, “Christmas is tomorrow!” Pretty close, anyway. Use the week of July 26-30 to knock out a bit of your Christmas list. Or maybe just a gift list for any time of year. Or maybe just some fun stuff for yourself. Either way, each day is packed with multiple projects, and lots of fun!  Pick which projects you want to do each day, or make one of each- it’s all up to you.  Click here for the full calendar.

On the 4th day of … Friday, July 29- Fabric US Map, Fabric Magnets and Button Bookmarks

I am so obsessed with maps of the US.  I love to travel, and I love to think about all the people that I love that live all over this country.  I’ve been wanting to do a project like this for a while, so let’s do it.  The tutorial is by Flamingo Toes, and is for a map that would be finished in this huge embroidery hoop.  I will probably do mine as a mini.  I might make a couple of them, with an embroidered heart on the state where the receiver is from.  Just an idea.  I wonder about framing it.  Anyway, no sewing on this one, just fabric and fusible web.  As always, I have lots of fusible available for purchase.  15% discount to members.

Now here’s a scrapbuster- fabric covered magnets.  Easy peasy, and a good to have a few on hand for last minute hostess gifts.  Or maybe combine with a metal photo board for a bigger gift.  Check out Andrea’s Notebook for the supply list.  Let me know if you need me to get magnets and cover button kits for you.
 I know, crazy simple, right?  But seriously, a little dedicated time and you’ll have bunches of these to use for anything from dressing up a gifted book to a money clip in a Christmas stocking.  And, you could use scraps and make covered buttons to do the same thing.  I’ll have the glue, as usual, so just bring your paper clips, buttons and whatever else you can find to decorate your bookmarks.  I’m hoping I can find donuts…

Don’t forget all of your goodies- machine, projects, and maybe your favorite snacks and a sack lunch.  (Or we can order out for lunch- no problem!)

Nonmembers- $36, Members- 6 hours (each day) Click here to register for Friday, July 29, 9am- 4pm.

Stuff Your Stocking: Sew Together Bag, Boxy Totes and Zippy Pouches

As one of our daughter’s says on the 4th of July, “Christmas is tomorrow!” Pretty close, anyway. Use the week of July 26-30 to knock out a bit of your Christmas list. Or maybe just a gift list for any time of year. Or maybe just some fun stuff for yourself. Either way, each day is packed with multiple projects, and lots of fun!  Pick which projects you want to do each day, or make one of each- it’s all up to you.  Click here for the full calendar.

And on Day 3? Thursday, July 28- Sew Together Bag, Boxy Totes and Zippy Pouches

The Sew Together bag by Sew Demented is amazing.  Great for sewists, but also for jewelry and other small collections.  It makes a wonderful gift, and is easier to do the first time with a little guidance.  If you choose this project for the day, you are not likely to make any of the others, so just keep that in mind.  It takes a little time to make the first one, but after that you could have a real assembly line goine.  Remember that The Green Apricot has a wide range of zippers to choose from, both 14″ and 22″, which work for this project.

Kelby Sews is my favorite tutorial for the boxy bag, and if you follow my blog you may know that I made a horde of them earlier this year for gifts.  I love making this bag, and it is truly so handy to have.  Perfect for stuffing with fun stuff like shaving kits or manicure sets.  I always have interfacing and zippers available to purchase, so bring your fabrics and thread and let’s get some boxy pouches made!
Another one of my favorite zipper pouches is the Dumpling zip pouch by Michelle Patterns.  It looks a lot harder than it is, and really makes a darling little pouch for keeping things organized in a purse or drawer.  It doesn’t take a lot of fabric, and as I mentioned above, I always have lots of zippers and interfacing available for purchase if you need it.

Don’t forget all of your goodies- machine, projects, and maybe your favorite snacks and a sack lunch.  (Or we can order out for lunch- no problem!)

Nonmembers- $36, Members- 6 hours (each day)  Click here to register for Thursday, July 28, 9am- 4pm. 

 

Stuff Your Stocking: Coasters, Letter Tile Pendants and Etched Glass

As one of our daughter’s says on the 4th of July, “Christmas is tomorrow!” Pretty close, anyway. Use the week of July 26-30 to knock out a bit of your Christmas list. Or maybe just a gift list for any time of year. Or maybe just some fun stuff for yourself. Either way, each day is packed with multiple projects, and lots of fun!  Pick which projects you want to do each day, or make one of each- it’s all up to you.  Click here for the full calendar.  Please note that this day includes a supply fee.

Day 2- Wednesday, July 27- Coasters, Letter Tile Pendants and Etched Glass

The tutorial at The Cottage Mama for this project calls for scrapbook paper, which is awesome, but I’m thinking about fabric.  Or maybe photos.  I’ll have the messy stuff- Modge Podge and the like as part of the supply fee, so you don’t have to bring that.  Just bring tiles, felt and your choice of medium- whether it be paper or fabric.

Such a lovely gift from Make and Take–  Again, I’ll provide the messy stuff as part of the supply fee.  You just bring tiles, paper and the bail.  I think these are perfect for fun friends, and would be great to have several of on hand.  I also wonder if they would make cute scissor fobs…
These etched casserole dishes by Thinking Closet are not the exact ones we are going to make, but pretty close.  The process will be a little more like this video from Sizzix.  Bring your casserole dishes or other glassware (I want to do this to my crock pot lids), and contact paper.  Again, I’ll provide the messy stuff with the supply fee.

Don’t forget all of your goodies- machine, projects, and maybe your favorite snacks and a sack lunch.  (Or we can order out for lunch- no problem!)

Nonmembers- $36, Members- 6 hours (each day)  Supply Fee- $8.  Click here to register for Wednesday, July 27.

 

Stuff Your Stocking: Stockings, Pillow Mattresses and Sunglass Cases

As one of our daughter’s says on the 4th of July, “Christmas is tomorrow!” Pretty close, anyway. Use the week of July 26-30 to knock out a bit of your Christmas list. Or maybe just a gift list for any time of year. Or maybe just some fun stuff for yourself. Either way, each day is packed with multiple projects, and lots of fun!  Pick which projects you want to do each day, or make one of each- it’s all up to you.  Click here for the full calendar.

Up first- Tuesday, July 26- Stockings, Pillow Mattresses and Sunglass Cases

 

I have made lots of Christmas stockings over the years, and have had a lot of fun each time.  I recently found this method onlie, and I’m pretty excited about it.  Check out Sew Like My Mom for details and supplies needed.  I have a plexiglass stocking pattern that you can use if you would like to cut yours out in the studio.

I love the idea of our grandkids being able to use these at our house when they spend the night or are watching television.  You can easily pull the pillows out for washing, and they can be used as chairs as well as sleeping mats.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and while I can find lots of pictures, there are not so many clear instructions.  Bring a twin sheet OR premade pillowcases OR 3 yds of 60″ wide fabric.  Of course, you could make your fabric… just sayin.
How fun are these?!?  I especially love that the tutorial at Thread Riding Hood offers several different finishing options.  If you choose this project, make sure to go to the tutorial page and check the supply list for the case or cases you would like to make.  If you need magnetic closures or button cover kits or the like, just let me know and I can order them for you.  Remember, 15% off for The Green Apricot members.

In order to make the most of your time, I suggest having fabrics chosen and as much cutting as possible done ahead of time.  Think of this time in the studio similarly to a retreat.

Don’t forget all of your goodies- machine, projects, and maybe your favorite snacks and a sack lunch.  (Or we can order out for lunch- no problem!)

Nonmembers- $36, Members- 6 hours (each day) Click here to register for Tuesday, July 26

Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday by Heather Jones

During QuiltCon 2015 I was doing my usual social media thing when a local friend of mine who has nothing to do with quilting sent me a message and wondered if I might run into a friend of hers while I was at QuiltCon.  I said, “Sure, who is it?”, all the while thinking that there was no way in the world I would know her friend.  “Heather Jones.”  Really?  Like really?  How on earth does this friend of mine in Georgia have any connection with a sewlebrity from Ohio?!?  Turns out they were online Mommy buddies back in the day when their kiddos were smaller.  I jokingly told my friend that she ought to get that burp cloth Heather made autographed!  haha!

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I’ve been very fortunate to have brushes with creative greatness over the years, and Heather is no exception.  I follow her work often, and was really excited to see her book Quilt Local come out last year.  Words like fresh, clean and crisp are what come to mind when I see her quilts.  Like early morning before the day is muddled with all of it’s business.  You can see examples of her work at her website, heatherjonesstudio.com.

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Let’s talk about the inspiration in this book first.  I mean really.  It is as much a book that I would have on my coffee table as it is a book I’d have splayed out in my studio.  The book itself is beautifully published, and the photography is fantastic.  From the quilts themselves to the placement of the quilts to the places that inspired the quilts- the colors are crisp, the contrast is right, the composition interesting.

Heather’s background in fine arts is evident with every turn of a page.  I loved the section on color theory, and was reminded once again that I really want to take some classes on color theory.  I honestly don’t really care about a degree at this point in my life, but there are a lot of things I want to learn, and she hit on some of that in this section.

There are 40 projects in Quilt Local, all based on inspiration Heather gained from her immediate, everyday surroundings.  Some from buildings, some from pavement.  She gives amazing, yet simple, tips on how to find inspiration, or maybe better said, allow inspiration to find you.

I wanted to follow Heather’s advice for inspiration, and I will make the quilt that I thought of one day, but it turns out that my inspiration has a tendency to come from busy things.  Like events.  And people.  For this project, I wanted to practice a little self discipline, and try to keep with the feel and vibe of Heather’s book.  So, I looked through the projects.  Then I looked through my fabrics.  Eureka.  Or more appropriately, Lebanon.

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Lebanon is a quilt from Quilt Local inspired by the exterior windows of a bank in Lebanon, Ohio.  I liked the quilt when I first looked through the book, and it was one that I was particularly interested in.  So, when I came across this fabric in my stash, light bulbs flashed and I was onto something.

I’ve had this fabric for a while- several years really.  It’s a line by Basic Grey through Moda, and I remember when I first saw it that it evoked feelings from my gut, but I couldn’t think of why.  Then I remembered.  These colors, this mix of greens and yellows and browns and greys, are what fall looks like in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  Not up in the trees, but down on the ground.  Along the side of the road, and in the occasional open field.  This fabric reminds me so much of riding in the car when I was small, and watching the landscape go by.

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So, while Heather’s version of Lebanon is a street view of windows in a building, but my version is from the inside out.  I planned the quilting when I was planning the quilt- grey walls with paint brush strokes.  White window frames.  A slightly different view in each window, but a consistent palette.

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I really love this quilt, and was glad to have had the inspiration from Quilt Local.  I don’t keep very many quilts for myself, but I am keeping this one.  Makes me feel like I am a skinny little grey-eyed girl in the back seat of the car with the wind in my long, stringy brown hair.  Much happier to be looking out that window than you could ever know.

For tips on an easy accurate way to join binding, click here, but you can also add this tidbit to your toolbox.  Finishing corners off full, flat, and straight can be tricky.  Binding needs to be full to to last longer, and to be correct for competition.  I let my batting and backing extend just a bit past the edge of my quilt top all the way around.  This little bit allows the thickness that batting needs to have when I turn the binding to the back and stitch it down by hand.  When I get to the corners, I trim the extra batting and backing right up to the edge of the quilt, because while bulk is good around the quilt, it is not so good in the corners.  Ask me how I know.  Also, I like to use finger cots or needle pullers to help get a good grip on the needle while I am hand sewing.  It actually helps me to sew a little faster, except that I have a tendency to take them off and text for a few minutes here and there.

 

“Fancy Forest” Intensive at The Green Apricot

 

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The “Fancy Forest” pattern by Elizabeth Hartman is absolutely fabulous. If the creatures aren’t inviting enough, how about that color scheme? Everyone from Hazel Hedgehog to Frances Firefly are here for the party, so come on over!  Remember that there is also a 35″x47″ version of the quilt included in the pattern, so don’t feel that you have to make the larger one.  Also, you can come up with your own color version.  How about something monochromatic?  Or mix the colors up a bit.  It’s all up to you.

We’ll tackle this one as a 4-day intensive.  Can’t come all four days?  No problem, pick which day or days you can come and just jump in.

In order to make the most of your time, I suggest having fabrics chosen and as much cutting as possible done ahead of time.  Think of this time in the studio similarly to a retreat.

Don’t forget all of your goodies- machine, projects, and maybe your favorite snacks and a sack lunch.  (Or we can order out for lunch- no problem!)

Wed- Sat, July 20-23, 2016, 9am- 4pm.  Click here for the calendar and to register.  Nonmembers- $36, Members- 6 hours (each day)