Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Denyse Schmidt Charm Swap, round 4

It's time for the next round of the Denyse Schmidt charm swap! I am hosting this time, and can't wait for all that happy fabric mail.

If you've never joined in on one of our swaps, now is the time! Head over to the flickr group to grab a spot. The swap is open for 56 spots, but you can sign up for more than one, if you'd like.

Each spot requires you to choose 1 yard each of two DS fabrics, cut them into 5" charms (56 from each fabric), and mail them to me. I will then sort them all out, and you will receive 112 different charms in return. Make sense? If you are ordering fabric online, you are welcome to have it shipped direct to me and I will cut them for you. It would save you some shipping costs.

We do not allow duplicates within each round, so be sure to post a photo of your fabrics in the group pool so no one else buys it. Fabrics from both her FreeSpirit lines and her DS Quilts for JoAnn's are fine for this swap.

The deadline to mail charms to me is November 14th. Hope you'll join us in trading charms!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Around the World

Hi everyone! Today is my stop on the Blog Around the World tour, and I was invited to it by my friend Heather Kojan. (hi Heather!)

If you're a new visitor, welcome! I'm Tammie Schaffer, and I live in rural Kansas, about an hour from KC. My husband Troy and I have four kids, preK-4th grade. I also blog over at My Stars, the Kansas City Star Quilt's modern quilt blog. I work a few hours a week at a local fabric shop called Country Fabrics. I'm a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and also the Pieces and Patches Guild in Garnett, KS. (Although I am a terrible member and rarely make it to meetings!)

So here we go, four questions, my answers. Read on, my friend.

What am I working on?

It would be easier to tell you what I'm NOT working on! I have a bunch of UFOs and WIPs.

Top priority will be given to my Modern Maple quilt from last fall, when I ran out of the background and couldn't recall the name to buy more. (I finally matched it in a quilt shop in Humboldt KS!) I have 17 more blocks to make and then I need to piece them all together. I can't wait to have a few hours to sit down and crank this out. It will be sent out for quilting, so I need to get it done before winter comes! I challenged myself to make it only with fabrics from the shop. I needed an excuse to use all the fat quarters I'm always buying from there!

I'm also making a flannel tie for a friend's son who has to dress up on Fridays for football, but doesn't care much for it. Hence the flannel, which she is hoping will ease the sting of grown up clothes. I've never made a tie before, it's going to be interesting to say the least.

I have a birthday cake to make for our son Zach's 7th birthday on Wednesday. I'm thinking I'll make this monster cake, unless he decides on something else soon. We're having a birthday party in a week or so for both Zach & Emma, who will be 10 later this month.

My House/DIY list is endless. I am in the middle of painting trim and doors in all three sons' bedrooms. Emma wants to change the color of her room from a pale aqua to a dark aqua and fuchsia. I told her we would tackle that project next weekend, so it's done before the party. I spent the weekend painting the trim on the outside of the house and working on my flowerbeds.

OK, I really could use a nap now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have been wondering that myself! I feel sometimes, just like in regular life, that I don't really fit in anywhere. I am not modern enough to be a modern quilter, arty enough to be an art quilter, traditional enough... you get the point. I just say, I am a Quilter. I love handmade quilts, whether they are calico log cabins or improv solids. I don't spend a lot of time trying to fit into a certain niche.

I would say my "style" is based on simple, easy to piece designs, that make the most of your fabric and time. I don't get more than a few minutes at a time most days to play with my fabric. So although there are lots of designs I'd like to try, for now I stick with easily attainable ones. No Dear Jane or Mariner's Compass in my 5 year future! I usually make block based designs, but I'm challenging myself to play around with alternative layouts. And I love me some charm squares.

Why do I write/create what I do?

It makes me a happier person. I just love being able to make things. I always knew I wanted a sewing room and I collected fabric years before I made my first quilt block. It took becoming a stay at home mom to "find" the time I needed to sit down and create on a regular basis. The irony of that, of course, is that I have no free time, and my husband gets very frustrated if I've spent the afternoon sewing instead of, oh, making dinner!

I have found, though, that if I don't spend at least a few minutes a day stitching something, planning something, even just mending something - if I don't get those minutes, I feel grouchy and unfulfilled. I carry an embroidery or crochet project with me, so if I'm sitting at football practice, I can stitch myself into a good mood.

How does my writing/creating process work?

It's very messy, and unorganized. I never measure first. Math and I aren't friends. I just start playing with pieces and adding in until I like the way it's going. I make the backing work out of whatever I have to use - I don't think I've ever bought material with a specific pattern in mind. I start with a general idea, and it grows from there. Even when I do have a pattern, I end up changing it so much that it's irrelevant by the end anyways! It's been a challenge working in the fabric shop, where people want me to tell them exactly how much fabric they will need!

For me the rewarding part is the process, not the product. I love playing with fabric on the design wall. I can zone out to some marathon chain piecing, and when I'm in the right mood, paper piecing is very satisfying. But pushing through to the finish, well, not so much. I need a deadline to make me complete something. Otherwise, there's always tomorrow, and HEY LOOK A SQUIRREL lol.

So that's me in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed this peek and if so, come back and visit soon!  Thanks to Heather for tagging me! I haven't had a chance to ask anyone else to be next, so how about I tag any of you who haven't been asked yet! If you write up a post, come back and tell me in the comments so I can come read it!

Have a great week, GO ROYALS!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

that face you make when someone regrams

So, there's been a lot of discussion of late about "regramming". If you're not on instagram, it means that you repost a photo from someone else's feed onto your own. One reason you might do this is to enter a giveaway. A LOT of people were complaining that their instagram feed was clogged up with the same posts over and over because of this trend. (You can read more about it at sew, mama, sew).

that face you make when...

I appear to be in the minority, because this doesn't bother me! I actually enjoy it when someone tags me to enter one of these, because I usually haven't heard of that shop or blogger, and I like to check them out. A lot of people use these regramming contests as a way to promote a new business, or celebrate a milestone.  I really love entering contests, and have won my fair share. So yes, I regram. In fact, I realized I never shared one of my regram wins with you!

I reposted a photo on instagram last March for a chance to win a fabric camera strap from August Blossoms. And I actually won! I got to pick any strap from her etsy shop, and I chose this lovely one made with older Amy Butler fabrics. It's a wonderful strap, I've been using it for many months now and I get compliments on it all the time. It has a little pocket for my lens cap.

Denise's straps are very well made. She's got some super cute listings available in her shop right now. I love this one made with April Showers! So if you're in the market for a strap (or a gift for a photographer), be sure to check out her etsy shop, August Blossoms.

I had never considered that regramming might be annoying to anyone else. I guess I thought of my instagram/twitter/facebook feed as MINE, and not just something I put out there for others.

But then again, isn't that exactly what I'm doing, putting my photos out there for everyone else? So it has made me reconsider what I post. Sometimes I post something to instagram just so I can share it easily with facebook or flickr. If I've ever offended you by regramming or tagging your in a giveaway, and made you make that face above, I apologize. I didn't mean to bother anyone! I just love free goodies :) 

Another subject that came up in one of these discussions, was asking people to jump through hoops to enter giveaways. Well, I used to just ask that you comment to enter. But then Rafflecopter came along, and made it so much easier for me to run a giveaway. And it gives you options like "like my facebook" or "follow on pinterest".

When I host giveaways and I offer extra entries for following me on facebook, etc. - it's simply a way to reward my followers with an extra chance to win. They are already doing those things, and they can easily get another entry with one click. I also offer a simple "click here to enter" option for everyone. No one has to follow anything if they don't want to. To be honest, it's rare that I get new followers from a giveaway, so I'm just happy to be able to share a prize with someone who takes the time to read what I write.

Anyways, I just wanted to publicly admit my regramming habits. Admission is the first step, right?! lol and psst - don't forget to enter the Time To Make book giveaway here ;)

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend! It's gorgeous here, and the Chiefs are playing today! Get them donkeys!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Time To Make - Throw Yourself At Your Creative Life. Don't Wait.

I have a fantastic new book to share with you today!

Time To Make, by Ginger Hendrix, is like having a crafting cheerleader, best friend, and personal trainer all rolled up into one little paperback package. This book's goal is to give you that little bump you might need, a sweet little nudge towards a more creative life.

Remember when Ginger stopped in here on the blog, with this awesome post about free motion quilting? (No? Go ahead, take a minute, and read it. I'll wait.) It's still one of my favorite posts. And she took her writing skills and coaching ability and made a real live book. It's full of ideas and discussions and tips for getting your crafting mojo on. No actual projects - it's not that kind of craft book. This is a book to address all of the reasons you aren't as crafty as you could be. 

A little about her:

Ginger Hendrix lives and writes and makes things in Morro Bay, CA. She once made a couch cover out of old polyester, once wrote and recorded a CD for kids, once learned to cook by hacking at low-fat magazine recipes (and then just doubling the cheese), once sewed at least 30 aprons out of strange scraps, salvaged old quilts into new ones, and even tried making a lamp out of an old coffee pot. She has been known to teach writing and sewing. She writes the blog Wienerdog Tricks at gingerhendrix.com.

She's got a deep love of re-purposing, and was the first person I thought of when I had a big box of Granny's polyester that needed a worthy home. Her passion for sharing the joys of crafting have led her to sit on a couch in the middle of a festival and teach people to rip up old sheets and crochet. So, Time To Make, like her, is fabulous. And I have a giveaway today to share a copy with one of you!

I bought a copy as soon as it came out, and sat right down and read it all. I love her hilarious and quirky and honest style. Here, I'll let her tell you about it herself in her book commercial!

So enter to win a copy. Or even better, don't wait, go buy this book at amazon! She's giving one book away to a reader - just enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Open to everyone, worldwide! You can get another entry for answering this question - what's your biggest crafty hang-up? Is it that you can't make any money doing it? Is it a fear of wobbly seams? Let us know what yours is in the comments (but you still need to enter using rafflecopter, thanks!) Giveaway will run through Monday the 22nd, and winner will be contacted through email. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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