The Modern Quilt Guild’s now-annual QuiltCon is the biggest modern quilting gathering of its kind, made evident by this year’s showing in Pasadena, Calif. Thousands of attendees strolled the show floor, participated in lectures and workshops, and took in the impressive work of juried quilts on display for four days last month.
I’m a sucker for a craft/DIY/hands-on learning opportunity, so I tend to take workshops and classes A LOT. You can usually find me learning about succulents and flower arranging, making cards at Paper Source, or practicing quilting techniques with teachers I admire. I’m excited to add MADE Studio + Market to my list of workshop destinations.
Founded by Christy Brennan and Katheryn Hansen, MADE offers a space to create alongside a marketplace packed with pieces made primarily from local and regional artists. For the Michigan lover there’s a huge selection of mitten-friendly goods to fall in love with. The storefront covers shopping needs from adorable baby shirts to gorgeous ceramic air plant hangers.
MADE is big on learning opportunities, especially when it brings likeminded folks together from different communities. They offer monthly Sip-and-Shop nights, usually featuring a special collaboration with a local maker or business. There are also many workshops to take at MADE. Last month I stopped by the studio to join them for a seed bomb class. We learned the importance of making our yards as nature friendly as possible. Gathered around the big workshop table in the back we got our hands dirty (literally) and made dozens of small seed bombs to take to our homes.
If you’re excited to try something new or pick up a gift made by someone right down the road from you, MADE Studio + Market is for you.
Heather Givans just happens to be one of the funniest, bubbliest folks I know. She’s also an amazing and talented illustrator, artist, fabric designer, business owner, and quilter. At QuiltCon 2015 Heather was showcasing her Succulents fabric collection for Windham Fabrics and quilters flocked to it. As QuiltCon 2016 she was back with ANOTHER new line, this time with snail mail lovers in mind – meet Paper Obsessed.
Heather’s booth at QuiltCon this year was the first chance many fans had to see her collection. Her designs for this line include lined papers, stamps, typed words, all in a palette of blues, reds, grays, and whites. The paper airplane is a fun icon in the line, with Heather making paper pieced blocks from it during her lecture on the show floor in Pasadena. It’s fun, just like Succulents, and ideal to highlight during National Letter Writing Month and the annual Write_On campaign.
During my visit to QuiltCon I was lucky enough to snag a sample charm pack of Paper Obsessed. I’ve been holding onto it to make something during Write_On. I decided to make a new table runner with the charms to admire as I wait for the official arrival of her fabric in quilt shops.
My dream evening is to work on a craft project with likeminded folks set against a great backdrop. Thanks to the Cranbrook Art Museum, I had a helluva Wednesday night last week.
Our/Detroit was taken over on March 30 for an edition of the museum’s Museum Makery workshop series, Modern Macramé, as a group of craft-loving Michiganders each created a unique plant hanger. Artist Hannah Chalew was our host for the evening, teaching us the way of the crown and square knots. It had been years since I’d made any kind of macramé project, so I couldn’t wait to refresh my knotting knowledge.
The bar tables were transformed into individual crafting workspaces for us. We selected a plant of our choice and a heaping handful of wooden beads to use as support throughout our plant hanger. Hannah walked us through the basics of macramé knots to get us started. Table partners quickly started helping one another out; it was a great feeling seeing everyone come together in the spirit of making.
After a few delicious Our/Detroit vodka-based cocktails, we all emerged victorious with our new plant hangers. I forgot all that goes into making a macramé project, but I feel incredibly confident to make a matching plant hanger for our house after my visit to the Museum Makery.
Cranbrook Art Museum has a busy event schedule coming up this spring with the opening of Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, the inspiration for our macramé evening. Make sure to follow them on Facebook to see the latest events, like the April Museum Makery, Photography!
I spend countless hours loving all of the funny and charming photos of my nephews and nieces that are shared digitally. But when it comes to having some printed copies of those great photos I tend to be at a loss. I don’t print photos at home, and we rarely have prints made with an online printing service, so those photos aren’t shared throughout our home. Recently I decided that needed to change; I wanted a photo display solution that would allow me to swap out photos as new photos become available (kids grow fast, don’t they?!) so I could archive the older photos to enjoy later on.
I found that one of the large, ready-to-craft wooden boards found at Joann Fabric and Craft could make a great photo clip display board. Looking at close-to-home printing solutions, my local Walgreens offered quick photo pick-up as well as a variety of photo print sizes. If I took advantage of their Instagram square size, they’d fit perfectly on an 11 x 14″ wooden plaque. Here’s how I made mine.
- Wooden craft board/plaque, 11 x 14″
- Oversized craft clothespins
- Craft paint and paintbrush
- Screw eye hooks
- Ruler and marker
- Adhesive craft felt sheet
- Wood glue
Start out by painting your wooden plaque. If there are any rough spots, give the piece a quick sand. Let the paint dry completely. Make sure you’ve painted all sides and filled in any trim areas, too.
Along one horizontal side of your piece, measure in 2″ from each end and make a small dot with your marker.
At the marks you made on the top of your plaque, insert your screw eye hooks. I used my drill to start the hole, but don’t drill too much. You don’t want to accidentally crack the piece. Slowly twist the hooks into place. If the wood splinters at all, lightly sand it away and touch up with matching paint.
There are so many different types of clothespins available today to use with general crafting or paper crafting projects. I actually found these jumbo clips for Easter at Joann. I wanted black clips, so I decided to flip over the bunny side and use the plain side as the side I would see. Place your square images onto the front of your plaque and position them where you’d like them. Place your clip above the photos and make a small mark with your marker. Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the back of the clip and adhere to the wood. Apply pressure for several seconds before releasing your hand. Repeat for the other two clips.
Once your clips have dried on the front of the plaque, gently turn it over. With adhesive felt, cut four triangle pieces. Remove the paper backing and adhere to each corner of the plaque. This will help the plaque not bang on a door, if you choose to hang it there. Add your cord, knot, and clip your photos into place.
When I visited Nordstrom the other day looking for shoes, I didn’t have “adorable new succulent holder” on my department store shopping list. Color me very surprised when I found a collection of hanging and table top plant pots from Sunnylife.
I planted a new succulent directly into the hanging planter. My only piece of feedback for these hanging pots is to make the thick rope a bit longer. The material is great, just a bit short for my big bay window.