Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hadn't posted pictures of these lovelies yet, so today seemed a good a day as any. That and the weather today is practically the same as the day I took these photos in October. What's the deal with that? Where's my winter in Texas?

Thursday, November 29, 2012


It's pretty grey here today. Usually that would bother me because I'm definitely a light-sensitive person. By that I mean I could never live in a place where the sun shone rarely or for a few brief hours for months at a time. The light in Texas is perfect for me. It's intense and sharp and almost ever-present.
Today though, it doesn't seem to be bothering me. Maybe because it's also cold outside so the grey sky feels like the right accompaniment to the temperature. It feels like soup weather and that, like days without sunshine, is pretty rare here, definitely worth savoring.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Sometimes when I'm really thirsty I'll grab a drink of water and, because I like making silly statements, say, " I'm sure glad somebody thought to invent water." The same goes for walking into an air conditioned room on a hot day. I just feel compelled to declare, " I'm so happy someone thought to invent air conditioning."
Well, today, I'm thrilled somebody invented stitching.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Recent Images

All done with my new line for Moda, Simple Marks Summer. Look for it in your LQS in April.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Week of Extreme Finishing

Raise your hand if you've read Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project. Well, if you haven't, then I strongly recommend you do and, if yo have then you are familiar with The Week of Extreme Nice. Not that this is a spoiler, but the Week of Extreme Nice is a gift that the author gives to her husband, a week of no nagging, complaining, etc. In the book it's done without him knowing, both during and after. Lots of stuff to cogitate about there, but I'm just riffing on the title and declaring this a Week of Extreme Finishing.
First off, it won't be a full week as I'm leaving for Quilt Market in Houston on Friday and, secondly, my week is not exactly a secret. Not if you just read this post. But, it is a week of finishing, so I get some credit for a bit of accuracy.
Finished item #1:
Oops, we bit of disclaimer needed.
I'm about to post a picture of a finished quilt. The picture isn't of the quilt in it's finished state, but, take my word for it, the quilt is done, finito, complete. It's been a bit cloudy here the past couple days and every time I've had a moment to take a picture, the light hasn't been conducive to photography. What I am showing is the finished top. I hope to post a picture of the finished quilt along with tomorrow's image for The Week of Extreme Finishing.
This is another in my Super Size series. It's basically this design just with the template pieces blown up really big.
The fabrics are all part of my newest collection for Moda, Simple Marks Summer, and the quilt will be on display at the Moda booth during market.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, an image of the finished quilt and another finished item.

Friday, October 5, 2012

So close I can almost taste it

That's how close I am to releasing a new pattern. In fact, this morning I went to a local park and took some "romance" shots.
The design was inspired by a paint chip garland, yes, a paint chip garland, I saw on Pinterest. I tried linking to the original page, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore, so this is the best I can do.
The pattern will include information on making this generously sized lap quilt as well as scaling the templates down to make a pillow-top-appropriate version.
I'll save pictures of that for another post. This is a teaser after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Craftsy Project

Before I get into the meat of today's topic, I have to apologize for my own silliness. I mentioned at the beginning of yesterday's post that I hadn't let you all in on the fall version of Simple Marks. Well, if I'd just scrolled down the page a couple of posts I would have seen that, in fact, I did back when I participated in the Moda Blog Hop. So, never mind, I won't be posting preview shots of Simple Marks Fall. Been there, done that.
What I haven't posted about is the bonus project I created for my online class at Craftsy.com. My class, Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist, walks you through all the steps that I use in my home studio (read: my garage) to create my hand dyed and patterned fabrics. When I was preparing the lessons for the class, I thought it would be fun to include a simple project to showcase the various techniques taught.
And this project is definitely simple. It's really just 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" squares of fabrics that have been dyed and discharged using some of the methods discussed. I intentionally limited the color palette to hopefully unify the differently patterned fabrics. I then machine quilted it to highlight the images in the fabrics and bound it in orange. I wanted the binding to accent but not blend into the fabrics featured in the top. The nine-patch sampler measures about 30" x 30" and could be a functional baby quilt or a wall hanging. Either way, it's a great way to show off all your newly acquired dyeing expertise.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cheater Cloth Demystified

Do you ever bandy about a term, assuming everyone understands what you're referring to? Apparently I do and a prime example of that is the term, "cheater cloth". Pretty much every time I mention here or otherwise somebody or somebodies ask me, "What's a cheater cloth?"
Well, I'm making it my personal mission for today, October 2, 2012, to demystify that term.
A cheater cloth is really just fabric that looks like it's pieced but it's not. They were very popular years ago and have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.  Both my first collection, a stitch in color, and my upcoming collection, Simple Marks, feature cheater cloths.
This is one of the two cheater cloths from Simple Marks. See, it even has some pseudo quilting lines printed on the fabric. It's double deceptive.
Here's the cheater cloth from a stitch in color crafted into a big tote bag.
I was originally inspired to design a cheater cloth after I saw a gal walking down the street in a dress that had obviously been crafted out of a patchwork quilt top. I thought it looked so fun, but couldn't imagine piecing a quilt top only to cut it up and re-sew it into a dress. Though, as I type that, I'm not exactly sure why I can't imagine doing that. I've done way more complicated and convoluted things, both in crafting and in life. Anyway, that experience sparked my interest in cheater cloths and these prints, so far, are the result.
So, to quote Mr. Porticolis, from My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, " There you go."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Simple Marks :: Preview

I think I might have hinted at this and some of you have written assuming this is true, but I do have a second collection coming out with Moda. It's called Simple Marks. Why that title? I love crisp, clean shapes. I think that's what first drew me to the idea of making batiks with a more contemporary feel. And I love the idea of mark making. It seems so basic, like something you would do with the simplest of tools. And that's what I use and used to make the originals that went into this collection, simple, very simple tools.
Simple Marks is actually coming out in two parts. The first round of prints and solids will start appearing at your local independent fabric store and online in November (I'll take some pics of those and feature them in a later post). The second incarnation, also called Simple Marks Summer will be previewing at Quilt Market in October and coming out for the Spring. It features the same prints, but the colors are brighter than the fall version. I just finished a project that uses Simple Marks Summer and I couldn't be more excited about them.
Here's a wee, little peek for you all:
I should add that this collection, both the fall and summer version include not one, but two cheater cloths. The cheater cloth form a stitch in color, my first collection, was probably the single most popular fabric in that group. Take a gander at the newest ones included in Simple Marks Summer:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Winner, winner, Apples and Honey for Dinner

Yes, I realize that the phrase is usually, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner." But, Rosh Hashannah, Jewish New Year, starts tomorrow night and I've got images of apples and honey swirling in my brain. That and the thought of how much fun I'm going to have making lunch for the 20 or so folks I've invited over on Monday.
Better get crackin' on that.
First though I have to announce the winners of the giveaway.
They are:

Phyllis Van said...
Austin in February, not a bad idea.
Love your new fabric.


 robin chapa said...What a great block! Can't wait to try that-- thank you!

Ok, Phyllis and Robin, email me at malka@stitchindye.com with your addresses and I will send you each a little fabric treat.

To all those who celebrate and even if you don't,  I wish you a Shanah Tova V'metukah, a very sweet and happy new year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crafty Me on Craftsy.com

I mentioned a few posts back that I had recently taped a class for Craftsy.com. Well, my class, Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist, is live and actually already has quite a few students enrolled in it.
For those of you who are not familiar with Craftsy, it is an online community that offers a huge variety of craft classes in a wide variety of subjects. Sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, even baking are some of the topics you could find downloadable classes about at Craftsy. All the classes are taught by knowledgeable folks and they include access to the instructor for questions, a forum for discussion, as well as a platform for uploading finished projects. That's why I called it a community because Craftsy is big on the idea of being more than just a resource for classes, but a place where creative folks can gather to learn and exchange ideas. It's super cool and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

When I went out to Denver last August I was honestly a little nervous. Though I'd had some in-front- of-the-camera experience, it wasn't exactly my favorite thing to do. I just didn't feel comfortable in that setting and, though I was excited about the opportunity, I had some trepidation about the actual process. Well, like most things we worry about, all my anxieties were needless. Everything from the old hotel I stayed in to the amazingly cool space the studios were located in (including an onsite vegetable garden) to the friendly, interested, enthusiastic folks I worked with made this a wonderful and memorable experience.
I knew from the moment I pulled up to the Craftsy studio that I wanted to share bits of this experience with you. So, I took some pictures. Imagine how fun it would be to work every day in this space:
And, of course, a creative space is only as great as the people who run it, so I've got to include a picture of the great crew I worked with. They made this the terrific experience it was.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Moda Blog Hop: My Turn

Today is my turn in the Moda blog hop and I'm pretty excited.
As the theme for the blog hop is Hometown Buzz, I get to tell y'all about where I live, Austin, Texas. I really love my town and I do happen to think it is one of the best places to live, certainly in Texas, and probably in the US. So, I won't have any problem extolling its virtues.
I'm also psyched to share a free PDF block pattern and giveaway fabric. Because, who doesn't love that?
Rather than write you an essay about Austin, complete with topic sentence and three supporting paragraphs, as well as a well-stated conclusion (can you tell I have a kid in school?), I thought I would make a list of 5 of my most favorite things about Austin.
Here it is, in descending order:

5. Until his sad and untimely death recently, Leslie Cochran, usually known as just Leslie, ran for mayor of my fine town, always campaigning in outfits that featured his trademark leopard print thong.

4. Having an amazing trail that winds its way around the Colorado River right in the middle of town.
Last Saturday's buzz on the Town Lake trail: Did you see Lance (Armstrong) running on the trail?
3. More Tex-Mex restaurants than Starbucks. That's really what you want on every corner.
2.  Live music, baby! Can you say Austin City Limits music festival AND South by Southwest? And that doesn't even count all the minor music festivals like the Keep Austin Weird Music Fesitval.

And...the number one reason I love Austin:
Hello! QuiltCon is here in February of 2013. How cool is that?

Another reason I'm excited to be a part of the blog hop is that it gives me an opportunity to tell and show you a bit about my new line, Simple Marks.
This shot actually features most, but not all of the colorways and patterns in my new line. My first collection, a stitch in color, included a cheater cloth which was incredibly fun....and popular. This collection has two. The prints are still playful and energetic, but the colors are a bit more fall-like. Perfect because these fabrics will be available in stores and online in November. Who coordinates these things? :)
To celebrate the hop, new fabrics, both mine and by the other talented designers at Moda, and just cause, the terrific folks at Moda are offering up this simple, yet contemporary block pattern for you to make.
Click here to get the PDF of the instructions for the Sew Sweet Sampler. I'm working on a mini quilt with four of these blocks and my  mind is already planning how I'm going to supersize it.

As for the giveaway; check out these goodies:
I've got a charm pack to give away as well as two, 2 1/2" charm packlets(that is what you call teeny charm packs, right?). So, I'm going to pick two winners, one for the 5" charm squares and a second for the pair of 2 1/2" charm squares.
Now, it's your turn, leave a comment and I'll announce the winner in a few days.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

I don't know where Joltin' Joe is (let's say heaven, ok?), but I sure know where I've been...and that's not been here. Life has kept me from you. Life and all the changes that have been a part of my life over the past year or so. Many of these changes or opportunities have been amazing blessings. Everything from releasing my first fabric collection to designing a second, being included in numerous books and articles, teaching both near and far, and soon, very soon, you'll see me on Craftsy.com leading you through all the steps that I use to create my hand dyed and patterned fabrics. And that's not even it. That's just the professional stuff. In the past year I've run 8 races that were half marathon distance or above, discovered trail running(which I totally love, love), competed in my first triathlon, and swum from Alcatraz across the San Francisco Bay to the shore at Aquatics Park. I've watched my girls grow and blossom and had the joy of watching my middle one graduate from high school and, even as we speak, register for her first college classes. There have been many sweet moments over the past few moments and, considering that I'm signed up for another race this weekend, hopefully many more to come.
But, and this is the reason behind my spotty presence here over the past months, much of it has been in response to the biggest life change I've ever experienced, divorce.
This space hasn't exactly been confessional in the past, but, I can't guarantee that will be the case in the future. I spent 20 years pretty convinced that I had at least a clue of what tomorrow would bring and have only recently learned the true meaning of the Yiddish saying, " Mann troach, Gott lauch, " (Man plans, God laughs).
But, before you flood me with sympathy, know that this too is a blessing. And, I say that not because I read it as an affirmation on Facebook, though I did, but because it's true. You don't know in which direction you'll grow or what you might try until something, and, sadly, it usually has to be something big, pushes you to rediscover who you are and what you want. By the way, another new discovery for me: I don't have who I am or what I want completely figured out and I may never and that too is a blessing.
So, with that being said, what can you expect from me here over the next few months? Hmm? I'm not absolutely sure, but I think it will have to include more of me than I've let you in on before, more words, but, hopefully, not too many fewer images and, probably, a few surprises. Surprises for both of us.
To celebrate that, I've changed my blog header and will probably change it again and I'm uploading a picture that was taken of me at a recent trail race. It's not a pretty picture. I'm hot and dirty and sweaty, but, when I posted it to my Facebook page, a friend commented that I look like the woman I was always meant to be. So, here it is. Here I am.
For those of you wondering, the picture was taken at a trail race at Reveille Ranch in June. I had just passed one of the aid station and was eating a sandwich. Table manners were not a big consideration at that point.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner. Me. Well, not me exactly, but I feel like a winner with so many great pie suggestions. And the suggestions are very timely because pie is exactly what I want to make for the 4th of July. And not just because it rhymes.

As for the book and fabric giveaway, this commenter is our lucky winner:
OpenID territhegirl said...
Alright if I really have to pick a favorite I guess it will be banana cream pie! Looks like a great book!

To claim your prize, please email me (malka@stitchindye.com) your address and I will pass it on to the lovely folks at Stash Books.

Until next time, eat more pi.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MD in APQ:: that's me in American Patchwork and Quilting

First off, I am so enjoying all your pie comments, both the unusual pies that I've never heard of and am tempted to google and the ones that I know so well that they bring back good and sweet memories. Keep those coming because the drawing is open until June 29 when I'll announce the lucky winner.

As for today's post, well this has been out for a couple of weeks. I know because I have received numerous lovely emails about this. I haven't posted about this myself because I hadn't received my copy until yesterday. What is this? This is my feature in the August 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. It has been a long time in the works, since last October in fact. Way back then, when the local temperature was below 100 degrees (the high was 113 degrees here yesterday), an editor and two photographers arrived on my doorstep to interview me, take pictures of my fabric line as well as my work, and just generally spend a lovely day with me. It was beyond terrific and pretty thrilling. I'm always stunned when folks want to know what I think. I mean, I want to know what I think and I hope that my family and friends want to know what I think, but I don't usually expect it beyond that circle.
Along with the article, I designed and wrote a pattern for a quilt specifically for this issue. You can view and access the pattern here, though I encourage you to buy the magazine and read the entire article.
Maybe through happenstance or not, I was teaching a class at Stitch Lab last Sunday that focused on making just this block. I had previously made a sample to promote the class, but was moved to make another one when I eyed Lucie Summers gorgeous Summersville prints all line up in a neat little row in the shop.
I combined those with a Moda Bella solid in a pale turquoise shade and one of the Flea Market Fancy reprints and in less than three hours I had this top cut and pieced.
I'm planning on backing this quilt with a Micheal Miller polka dot in red and white and quilting it in my, hopefully, trademark concentric spiral. I think I might even round the corners on this one just as a change of pace.
So easy, so fun, so quick and, so contemporary. What's not to love?

Friday, June 22, 2012

We Love Color

By we, I mean all of us, but identifying our mutual love of color is not the reason for my post. This is:
If you're asking what this is, then you're in for a most pleasant surprise. This is the cover to a wonderful, new book put together by the talented people at Stash Books and the equally talented people at Robert Kaufman fabrics, makers of Kona cotton solids.
In the interest of full disclosure here, I should tell you that I am one of the 16 designers lucky enough to have a quilt in this book, but that's not entirely why I love it and am recommending it.
The concept for this book is brilliant because it focuses on a very, simple idea: designing and crafting modern quilts using just solids. That allows for a couple of things: first, the contemporary look so many of us are drawn to is really at it's best when rendered in solids. Solids let the designers and makers focus on shape and line and all those fabulous elements of design rather than get caught up and distracted by prints. Second, Kona encompasses so many color choices that you won't have a problem finding colors that work together and are really not limited by the solids-only approach, but actually liberated by it.
And, if you weren't already blown away by the plethora of colors available to you from this collection, hold on to your quilted hat because Robert Kaufman fabrics is introducing 28 new colors, including this intense, rich blue, Regal. I love this color almost as much as I love pistachio (here,I am referring to a color, but I want the record to show that I love pistachio in all its forms including the ice cream variation).
If you're still grasping your hat then you're ready to receive the next bit of information I'm throwing your way. Stash and Robert Kaufman fabrics are giving away two fabulous prizes: a copy of the book and a bundle of the new Kona colors. I know. I know. Be still my heart.
What do you, lovely reader, have to do to win that prize. Well, I'm going to ask for something a little out of the ordinary prefaced by a brief explanation.
The quilt I designed for the book is called the Sweet as Pi Baby Quilt. It's a simple-to-make round quilt. I like shaped quilts; I think you'll like them too. I also love the play on words of Pi meaning 3.14 and the means to determining the size of a circle and its homonym, pie, which I can eat in copious amounts. So, if you'd like to be entered into the drawing for the book and fabric bundle, tell me what you favorite pie is. If you have a link to an online recipe, all the better, though it won't influence your chances in this totally random drawing.
If you'd like more info and to see the tour schedule, click here of here if you'd like to view and, hopefully, join the flickr group to show off your own We Love Color creations.
I think that's it. Go forth and be colorful, my friends!

Monday, June 18, 2012

...And more

My new little friend came back for more sewing fun and this time crafted a very large and colorful pillow.
She decided to tackle this project because she already had the 25" x 25" pillow form, but the cover had gotten stained. Apparently a ball point pen made its way onto the pillow cover and marred it. Now that she has joined the cult of sewers, she didn't see this as a problem, but an opportunity to craft something even better than a store-bought cover. And, based on the picture above, it's easy to see that she did just that.
She certainly seems very happy with her creation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sewing with a kid...

...just not my own, but maybe that makes it even more fun.
Over the past few days I've had a sweet, little treat come to my house every afternoon to do a wee bit of sewing. And, despite the fact that she's just barely out of second grade, look what she manged to make:
Hey, it's reversible too.
Also, if you think the first side featured is my cheater cloth from my a stitch in color line, you're mistaken. This little gal pieced together a slew of 2 1/2" squares to make the patchwork for the front and back of her tote. She selected the fabrics as well. Fearlessly. A girl after my own heart.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Break free. Go bold.

That's just a taste of the encouragement you'll encounter if you read through Jacquie Gering's and Katie Pedersen's new book, Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts.
If you've ever thought, for even a moment, that you'd like to explore improvisational piecing techniques, then this is a must-have book for you. And, if you haven't thought about exploring improvisation, then this book is still for you. Why? Because it is so crammed full of eye-candy that you"ll wonder why you haven't yet played with this process.
I mean, check out just a few of the projects that Jacquie and Katie created:
Also, if you're looking to try these techniques on smaller scale project, then they've still got you covered because there are 3 home dec projects to fit that bill.
Lest you think that this book is just about projects without giving you the tools to really "discover" improvisation, fear not. There is a super extensive techniques section, advice on strip piecing, curved piecing, crazy piecing, and more, all with an improvisational approach. This book really tackles all the trepidation many folks have about improvisation and walks you gently through this process.
It's unique and, for the modern quilter especially, incredibly timely and useful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Twinkle Coverlet

Designed, crafted, and published several months ago, but it hasn't appeared in this space, so, ladies, and the occasional gentlemen, may I present my humble, little Twinkle Coverlet:
I flipped my bed quilt to the backing and laid the coverlet on top. So pretty.
If you think you'd like to make this project, check out the Spring/Summer edition of Stitch. It's been on the newsstands for a bit and is also available through Interweave Press.