Monthly Archives: November 2013

I think it’s safe to say that I LOVE Koi.

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And I don’t mean the fish. Or do I?

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This collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale is my current favorite line of fabric. I found it around the same time that we moved into our new apartment. Needless to say, Koi can be found pretty much everywhere right now – so here’s a little tour…

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2 Sided Table Runner

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Mini Buckets (for all your sewing needs 🙂

And of course the pillows I featured in please pass the piping. I still have more plans for Koi… perhaps some potholders, or tea towels, a set of placemats or a small blanket… The skies (pond?) the limit with Koi (#dadjoke)

Rashida Coleman Hale has some amazing fabric collections (and books!). She recently announced that Koi would be her last line with Cloud9 Fabrics and that she would be moving on to something new – Cotton and Steel. I am so excited to see their first fabric line come out this spring. Check out their stellar video if you get a chance.

Any other Koi fabric fans out there? Made anything cool with your stash?

Feliz Friday


Mom and Dad

I am so excited that I get to see these two people next week. And guess what, next week it’s also their 30th wedding anniversary. Crazy, right?

In honor of anniversaries and weddings, here’s a little throwback with the Zombies. We played this at ours and I LOVE the video that this youtuber made for it.

Happy Thursday.

Pillows have been an easy place to start as far as sewing. So if you’re looking for an idea or just a place to begin – they’re square, easy to measure, easy to sew – Go for pillows. I have pillowed up my house…

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And my parents house…

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And it’s been great 🙂 Nice splashes of color, reusing old pillows that I’m tired of. So I decided it was time to try something different. Like piping… Needless to say I was a bit intimidated, so of course – I checked out youtube and found this awesome video.

There is some name dropping as far as the company/fabric/etc. but all in all it was SUPER helpful in figuring out the world of piping. I love watching expert seamstresses, especially when they inspire confidence and don’t overwhelm – and this video did that really well.

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A couple of my big takeaways from this project –

  • It’s ok to use a zipper foot if you don’t have a cording foot (though it’s hard to get super close to the cord/pipe.
  • Making snips on the corners is super important for a nice fit, but don’t snip too much or you’ll see it when you put the pillow together.
  • Pick a piping that has a nice contrast. I attempted to do another set of pillows with my own home-made piping. My piping looked great, but the two fabrics I chose did not have enough of a contrast and the pillow turned out kind of bleah. Sad day.
  • Pressing is slowly becoming more important to me. When I first started sewing I would avoid the iron like the plague. I’m realizing more and more how pressing can make a project look more professional. With this project, I pressed the front piece of the pillow that has the cotton and the print on it. I was really happy with how these fabrics looked together, and pressing them ahead of time made the pillow look really nice at the end.

And I was pretty proud of how these turned out!

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Have you ever tried piping before?  Any advice?

I was a weird kid. Born in the 80s,  believe it or not – my first concert was just south of Pittsburgh to see… the Monkees.

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Yes. Those Monkees.

One day, must have been first grade, I was going through my Aunt and Uncle’s video collection and I stumbled across a few Monkees episodes and I fell in love. My Dad was super big into music. At one point he probably had over 500 albums – so 60s and 70s music was what I grew up listening to. Not missing an opportunity, he got out all of his old Monkees records – taped up the sides to keep them together they had been played so much. So we played them some more.

One Saturday in fifth grade, Dad and I were listening to Oldies 93 WBBG and they were running a radio contest… to see the Monkees. (You may be unaware that the Monkees had their 30 year reunion in 1996 and released an album with all four monkees – JUSTUS. A Monkees tv special also aired that year…)

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We called. And called again. We were caller number 10 – 2 tickets to see the Monkees.

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They were great. I remember wiping the tears from my eyes as I looked through the binoculars (we were a ways back, but it didn’t matter). Dad asked me what was wrong. I remember thinking – this is amazing – but I’m pretty sure what came out was “Dad! They’re SO old.”

Since then I’ve gone through my phases. Davy to Mike Nesmith to Mickey. Sorry, Peter. I felt bad that they treated you so poorly, but I never really liked any of your songs. (Though Auntie Griselda and Peter Percival were both quite humorous.) Interestingly enough, I did end up marrying a Davey, but I think he looks more like Mickey <3…

What was your favorite band growing up? Any other Monkees fans out there?

I am currently in LOVE with this fabric line – Fanfare flannel by Cloud9’s Rae Hoekstra.

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Rae has a wonderful blog –  Made by Rae – which is full of awesome patterns, projects and pictures to get you creating too :).

What am I going to make with this AMAZING fabric? Definitely some Christmas-y plans with these. To be honest, my family doesn’t keep secrets very well. We also have this ‘bad’ habit of giving Christmas gifts super early. Here’s the back story…

When I was kid, we would travel every Thanksgiving and Christmas to visit each set of Grandparents. One set lived 8 hours away, the other 10. In opposite directions. We would leave around December 21st, so of course we would open presents before we left. Now you might be asking – Why did your parents not just pack your gifts and open them at the gparents? Because we didn’t have the space in our little dodge shadow. And secretly, I think my Dad couldn’t wait. Seriously. Dad always puts on a firm face about things, demanding we wait until Christmas. But every year I’m home, we still totally open presents up on the 22nd or 23rd… Love you, Dad.

So this year, in October, I got an email from my Mom. She had found a deal on a new sewing machine and wanted to see if it was what I was looking for. It was. SO – a new early for my family – but a wonderful surprise for me – was this fantastic Christmas in October (You might be thinking – this family is crazy. Not only can we not wait for Christmas nor keep a secret – we can NOT resist a good deal ;))

Merry Christmas!

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I LOVE this machine. It’s amazing and I have been using it like a fiend since I got it (cough) four weeks ago…

All that to say – I am going to use this Fanfare fabric to make some pjs for my Mom and Sister for Christmas (which they both knew before I posted this… again – bad with secrets). This will be my first adventure with pj pants, which I’m pretty excited about. I’m also thinking about making a nice wintery scarf – since it is flannel and all.

Making anything fun for Christmas? Have you ever made pjs before? Any advice?

🙂 K

PS. Looking for a place to pick up a bit of Fanfare for yourself? Check out PinkCastleFabrics or

Welcome to my new blog. As many of you know, I’ve been caught up in the new world of sewing, quilting, fabric and thread over the last year. As I begin to spend more time on this venture, I thought I would start blogging more of the journey. But before we jump in to sewing projects, crazy cat stories and such… Let me tell you about my Grandma.

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Growing up, I could always count on Grandma to make cool things, whether it was piggy banks, dolls or mittens, dresses or pj pants. Her basement was filled with wonders – bolts of fabric, multiple sewing machines, a kiln, a ping pong table… (the list of wonders would continue for days). Gram would have the quilting ladies over on Mondays and make blankets for new moms. She would do craft fairs and make costumes.

She even made my 11th grade prom dress.

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Blue is my favorite color, so of course – a blue quilt for graduation.

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Another blue themed quilt for my wedding (Kitters not included…)

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This summer, my Mom and I road tripped up to see family and I had the special opportunity to actually work with my Grandma. We spent some time going through boxes of old fabric, deciding what was good and what wasn’t. We worked on a blanket, pinning and sewing it together.

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I took along pictures for her to see all of the little things I’d started and even brought along one of my quilted placemats to show her (she really liked the fabric ❤ tsuru).

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As I sew and start to create my own costumes, pj pants, quilts… I think about her and how much she has made and given throughout the last 80+ years. Gram is a pretty amazing lady.

So thanks, Gram. ❤

What about you? Who inspires you? How did you get started sewing?