Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway

And here’s the giveaway – a wristlet made of batiks and linen.


(For the record, the wristlet was made from an Oh, Fransson! pattern and the pieced squares section was made using the 13-Square foundation from Miniatures in Minutes.  The Quilt Layout Diagram for the pieced section and a few notes on adapting the foundation for use with the wristlet pattern  will be posted on the Projects page of my website on June 1.)

So, what’s this all about?  Color.

To be entered in a drawing for the giveaway, name a color that you love and explain why.  Notice I don’t ask you to name your favorite color.  I hate when people ask me to name a favorite.  An atavistic fear left over from childhood worries that if I offer one as a favorite, all the others will be taken away.  So, no fears here and no competition.  Just one of the colors you love and why.

I love green.  I love the sudden explosion of green in Spring, soothing both eye and spirit after the bleached straw and bare brown of winter.  When the sun comes out, the light shines on and through the still forming leaves and everything positively shimmers with new life.  Every time I walk into my living room and look out the window to the honey locust coming into leaf and the lilacs in bloom, I feel a small rush of happiness and well being. 

I remember when I was a little girl there was a bush in our back yard with long branches that arched to the ground.  I would crawl underneath and huddle there, arms clasped around my ankles and knees to chin. Perfect sanctuary.  Nostalgia for the peace of that small green world and it’s purified light remains. 

How about you?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Merry Monster

A Merry Monster Mixing Magic for a Mindful Mouse has come to live with me! 

Poor guy, he must think his cute little green self isn’t enough because look at all the goodies he packed in his carry on:

Someone must have whispered in his ear that  milk chocolate is a guaranteed (green) foot in the door.  Perhaps he’s worried about missing old friends because he brought along a great little pop up album of his best buds!  I’m not sure if the moisturizer is for me or him (slaving away all day over a hot cauldron is hard on a monster’s skin, you know).  The McCall’s bag pattern is incredibly cute.  The magnet frame would be in the photo except it is already stuck to the refrigerator!  And, as if all this weren’t enough to make me feel all too lucky, look at the mushroom fabric!  It is so darling and wonderful it makes me downright giddy.  

Thank you Kimmie for such a wonderful package!  I just love the Merry Monster!  He’s so incredibly cute.  I love the purple, green, orange color combination.  The prairie triangles along the top are wonderful.  (Did you know I’m a  Buffy the Vampire fan and have read a goodly amount of fantasy fiction over the years?) 

Here’s a close-up of the latest guardian to watch over me while I work in the sewing room (lots of sharp and hot objects in there – I really do need watching over). 

Meanwhile, I was able to see this guy arriving because I was down in my sewing room working on the letter R.  I must sadly admit that my ability to think R alliteration has gone right down the tubes.  In fact, my ability to think R at all has been pretty pathetic.  I’m blaming this on the fact that my brain was (is) still in a state of frizzle and sizzle due to the madness of the end of the semester and Quilt Market all coming together in one week!  My husband, bless his honest (but dark) heart, looked at my quilt in progress and helpfully shared with me that my interpretation of R was “weak.” In the same generous spirit of helpful hubbydom, he added, “You’ve got an MFA in Creative Writing for God’s sake.  Shouldn’t this be a shoe-in for you?”  Well, yes, honey.  Thanks for that.  Don’t you need to go hammer something or . . . something?

Not that he wasn’t right.  I don’t think anyone is going to look at this quilt and immediately think, “R – I’ve got it!”  On the other hand, it’s a very cute quilt (even my dearly beloved agrees) in colors that Kimmie likes.  So, I think she’s going to like it anyway.  Meanwhile, here’s a little bit of it – a  sweet kitty with a red ball because, you got it, red begins with R.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quilt Market and the Kindness of Strangers

Tons of fun, so many beautiful fabrics and quilts my head spun, a new friend.  What an adventure! 

First off, I managed to navigate the airport, both to and fro!  I know this doesn’t sound like much, but I haven’t been on an airplane in a lo-o-o-o-ng time, way before 9/11, so I was really nervous.  Worst case, would I get lost?  Not so worst case, make a complete fool of myself?  But, hey, I did okay.  Honestly, once I got past security, my nerves went poof! all gone, and I just felt like a little kid on a grand adventure. 

Loved take off, loved looking down on the fields surrounding Denver as we whisked away (made me think of quilt patterns, of course) and flew through the clouds.  I thought, hey, little old nobody me gets to do this amazing thing.  Just think what Leonardo de Vinci would have given to experience this.  (Though, speaking of old, I have clearly reached the age where just sitting in the same tight spot for hours is enough to make me really, really stiff.  Yup, it is SO time to get back to yoga).

I live in Colorado now but I grew up in New Jersey.  Driving from the airport to the hotel made me so nostalgic!   Avoiding highway backups, the shuttle driver took us through neighborhoods and so many memories came rushing back: the old houses, for one, but mostly, the trees.  Lots and lots and lots of deciduous trees and bushes.  I love the Rocky Mountains (really, who doesn’t) but I miss the trees from back East and it was just heaven to be so surrounded once again. 

Here is the view from my hotel room:

I shared a room with another C&T Publishing author, Elin Waterston.  Now you never know what to expect when you share a room with a stranger.  I hit the jackpot and found a  friend.

Someone who likes to talk as much as I do!  And, boy, did we talk.  The good news is that we (pretty efficiently, I’d say) solved the world’s problems during our late night gab fests.  The bad news is that no one is going to listen to us anyway.  (Umm, you might also find that good news, all depends . . . )   Meeting Elin was the surprise joy of this trip.  Thinking of our long and rambling talks just makes me smile.

Quilt Market itself is overwhelming.  Sensory overload.  All I can say is, save your pennies, because there is lots and lots of cool stuff headed to a quilt store near you!  I saw Kaffe Fasset’s new fabric line.  I actually stood in the same room as him.  Me, Kaffe, together.  (If you count him standing at the front of the room, me at the back, and a  hundred plus other people in between as together – me, I don’t have a problem with that).  It was a moment.

I gave my Schoolhouse presentation and I don’t  have much to say about that because it was pretty much an out of body experience.  But people came and even oohed a little (I do remember that).  Gailen Runge (C&T Publishing’s Creative Director) was happy with how I did, and if Gailen is happy, then I’m happy.  Here’s Gailen:  I love her hair and that great, great smile.


I’ve been so lucky working with C&T Publishing.  Everyone is incredibly generous and positive.  Such wonderful people.

About that kindness of strangers.  I was a little wound up before giving the Schoolhouse and had gone to the restroom to brush my hair and refresh my makeup.  As my mother, with understandable exasperation, used to say, “Terrie, you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached!”   So, it wasn’t until after the presentation that I realized I had lost my purse.  A few minutes of panic there, phone, credit cards, iPod, ID (airport security?).  Yikes.  But some lovely woman found my purse in the restroom and passed it onto the security guard who passed it onto Gailen who passed it on to me.  To whoever the nice lady who picked up my purse is, my deepest thanks!

And then, because my sense of direction is every bit as bad as my memory, of course I got disoriented on the walk back from the conference center to the hotel.  I asked a young man sitting on a wall  just how well he knew Pittsburgh.  Bless him, he didn’t even blink.  He whipped out his phone and got the GPS thingamagimmy to give directions: turn right, go two blocks, then one block left.  Amazing!  So, between kind hearted people and the wonders of technology, I got by.

The next day I spend some time in C&T's booth and explained the Fold and Sew technique to passer bys (who looked gratifyingly impressed).  Isn’t this woman’s top just gorgeous?

Then, it was time to run again.  I grabbed a couple photos of the wonderful views from the conference center.

I hurried off to the hotel (made it without getting lost!), packed up, and once again conquered the airport challenge.  Yup, Terrie Sandelin, seasoned traveler. 

And finally, journey’s end: stepping into the Denver terminal to see the wonderfully familiar face of my husband smiling in welcome.  And isn’t that just best of all?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

But what do you do with them? 1 of a Series

It’s the question I’m asked most often.  Someone considers a miniature, perhaps takes it in hand and pets it a little, and then,  after some soul gratifying ooh-ing and ahh-ing, there’s a bit of throat clearing and a delicately asked, “But what do you do with them?”

Funny you should ask.  Because one of the things I absolutely love  about miniature quilts is just how many things I can do with them.  So many more things, really, than a larger sized quilt.  A larger quilt goes on a bed or over a couch or on a wall.  Don’t get me wrong – I have larger quilts performing all of those exact functions and as every quilter knows, there is nothing like snuggling under a quilt – particularly if you get to do said snuggle with your honey.

But, with miniature quilts the array of display options is downright dizzying.  On a wall, of course.  They’re absolutely wonderful to display on a wall.  But then, tote bags, note pads, pillows, journal covers, and so much more.  I’ve got a list of ideas yet to come and can’t wait for summer vacation because it’s going to be a sewing frenzy around here!  (Still hoping to get ahead on Christmas.)

This is Oh, Fransson!’s wristlet pattern again, the flat variation this time.  I used the 13-Square foundation from Miniatures in Minutes for the rainbow squares.  When I want something super fast and super easy that has a lot of punch, the 13-Square foundation is the one I turn to first.  One foundation gave me two strip sets so I have another pieced rainbow all set to go – for the next one, I think I’ll try a cream linen for the bag body instead of black. 

Meanwhile, this one is going to be casually (and, I hope, somewhat elegantly) dangling from my wrist at Quilt Market.  This is me aiming to look like someone other than . . .  well . . . me.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


There’s nothing like choosing to play when you have other things you should be doing.  Have to admit, it’s always a little extra fun being in the sewing room when it feels like playing hooky!

A good sew day today: played around with making miniature sampler blocks using the Fold and Sew technique.  These  will finish at 2 inches square. 

miniature quilt sampler blocks 1

The fussy cut nine patch makes me happy – love the vase effect.  Wasn’t happy with the blue cross which I made first so tried it in brown as well.  Like them both now, so I’ll decide later which I’ll use.   Overall:  I’m thinking perhaps just a simple sashed 3 by 4 grid, or perhaps a collection of sampler blocks in a border  surrounding a center medallion.  I have a pile of Civil War reproduction charm packs – a miniature sampler is a great excuse to start using them.

Meanwhile, still thinking Quilt Market (and how to be a little more respectable).  This morning, I made up a business card holder.  The pattern/tutorial comes from Green Bee’s blog.  Very simple, but sweet.

business card holder 

I love how I got to use a bit of lace and buttons from the button box.  I wanted mine with a little less poof, so instead of using flannel as a batting (as suggested in the directions), I just used fusible interfacing on the linen exterior to give it a bit more body.  Linen is one of my latest loves.  It makes anything look good!

Next up: a new wallet.  I’ve got plans.