Saturday, November 23, 2013

Botanics Desk Mat

There are some fabric lines that have your heart from the moment you meet. Both of Carolyn Friedlander's collections -- Architextures and now Botanics -- have affected me that way.

These prints are so incredibly elegant in their simplicity. The sketched illustrations, the uniquely modern designs, the carefully curated colors all grab my attention and simply will not let go. A charm pack of Botanics arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon, and I couldn't wait. As soon as I finished dinner, I pulled out my Architexture scraps and some Kona solids, opened up the Botanics stack, and made myself a new desk mat using the simplest of patchwork layouts. The mat is backed in a Lily Belle print by Bari J, and I quilted it in a dark gold Aurifil thread which I absolutely love. It's a nice compliment to the little touches of gold that show up in a few of the prints.

There's nothing fancy about this little mat, but I just can't stop looking at it. These fabrics mesmerize me, and I'm so looking forward to sewing with them again. Did I mention that I have another bundle of Botanics arriving in the mail on Monday? I can hardly wait...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Comedy of Errors

Fort Firefly Activity Pouches by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I can sew, bake, sing, play the guitar, even draw a little. Sports, however, have never been one of my strong points. This should have occurred to me on Saturday night when I saw the dog's ball sitting on the kitchen floor and traipsed over to kick it back to her. Two seconds later my feet were flying up in the air, and my back and head hit the floor -- hard. A few hours in the emergency room and some personal time with an IV and a head scan yielded the diagnosis of a mild concussion, and I firmed up my new resolution to leave any dreams of athleticism behind me for good. So many thanks to all of you who left such sweet comments on Instagram over the weekend. I haven't felt so achingly sore since my last c-section, but I'm getting a little better each day. It's hard to say, though, if I'll ever be able to wear socks on laminate flooring again without fear and trembling...

With that comedy of errors behind us, let's talk about sewing. I don't think I've ever gotten so much out of a fat quarter bundle as I did out of my stack of Fort Firefly: a baby quilt, an organizer, and now a set of activity pouches which I made for our church. Our Director of Christian Education plans to stuff these with all kinds of goodies that little ones can play with during the service.

Fort Firefly Activity Pouches by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Again, I love that this fabric is pretty gender neutral. Though there are definitely a few girly prints, most of the colors and designs work well for both boys and girls. Cotton webbing has become my new best friend. It cuts down on sewing time since I don't have to make my own straps, and it makes a project look just a little more finished at the same time. Believe it or not, I still have some Fort Firefly scraps left, but I'm setting them aside for some quiet hand sewing over the next few days while my body recuperates.

Fort Firefly Activity Pouches by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Of course, the real lesson here is to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at my sewing machine...right?

Friday, November 8, 2013

True Confessions

So here's the thing...I've been walking the most painful of lines lately with some big news that I wasn't able to share with you yet. However, after a little conversation and some great clarification from my editor, I am thrilled to tell you that I'm in the process of writing a book for Stash Books! I debated long and hard over when to share this news with you. Writing and publishing a book is a really long process (we're looking at a publication date of spring 2015 for my title), and not only am I not allowed to share any of the juicy details with you for quite a while but I also don't want you to be sick to death of the whole thing by the time the book actually hits the shelves. On the other hand, it kills me that I've been writing and sewing like mad from morning till night each day and yet can share almost none of it with you here at Fabric Mutt. I didn't want you to think that I'd lost interest in sewing or was letting the blog slowly waste away to nothing. So please know that though I won't be posting more often than once or twice a week and though I can't spend nearly as much time as I'd like reading all of your blogs and leaving comments as I go, it isn't because I don't want to. I'll be back to my regular routine in a few months, promise!

Can I also just take a moment to say that the people at C&T Publishing and Stash Books are fabulous? They have a fantastic introductory pack for new authors which is so helpful, and just look at the incredible box of goodies they sent me above. For someone who's walking into the great unknown here, it's so wonderful to be surrounded by encouraging people who know exactly what they're doing.

Bunny raced off to her desk and wrote this note for me on the day I found out that my book proposal was accepted.

And my dear sweet one is giving up more than these people to make this project happen. They are so proud of my amazing opportunity and so patient with me as I constantly swing between excited and absentminded and completely overwhelmed. I absolutely could not do this without them.

So that's the scoop, my friends. I can hardly wait to share this book with you when it's done, but for now I promise not to bore you to pieces with constant chatter about it. Just know that I'm still here and still honored to have the chance to be a tiny part of your lives.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Constance Organizer Tutorial

Constance Organizer Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

It's been an exhausting week here at our home. My daughters have been fighting a nasty bug that comes with endless high fevers, and it's been a constant battle to keep their temperatures below 101 degrees. Blogging and blog reading naturally fell by the wayside for the past few days, so I missed the posting of my latest piece for The Glamorous Housewife blog. I promised you all a tutorial for that organizer I showed you last week. Here it is: the Constance Organizer.

Constance Organizer Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

This version is slightly different from last week's. It has an extra pocket on the left side of the interior, a flap closure, and a much simpler exterior. The basic pattern is no problem to customize, though, so you can easily change this to make it whatever you want. That's the beauty of patterns for me -- I love to play with the details and make something new.

Constance Organizer Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

These make great last minute gifts for those of you who are already casting an eye toward Christmas presents. If you make one of these, please do send me pictures or mark a photo with #fabricmutt on instagram. I'd love to see what you're making!

Constance Organizer Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

And now I'd better head back to the couch to sit with my sick little Bear as we watch the never ending Handy Manny marathon that's been parading through my living room all week. Remember this old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon? Once in a while I share the same feeling for those who write children's programming. Not that I'm bitter or anything...
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