Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Instagram Junkie...and a peek at my travels

I'm ashamed to say...I've become addicted to Instagram and it has been sucking up all my 'computer' time.  I love posting photos to Instagram and getting the immediate joy of having people 'love' my photos right away.  I have pondered the blogging vs. Instagram craze lately and I see the benefit and excitement of both...but, it begs the question, "Is blogging losing it's 'coolness'?  In a time when our society wants everything 'right now', it seems that looking thru Instagram photos is much more appealing than reading a long blog post.  And I have to admit...I LOVE getting the feedback on Instragram from the notes people leave, whereas my blog rarely has any comments left by readers...not sure why...but, in any case, I'm having fun posting my photos over there.   BUT, I say all that to say...I will be better at blogging because I know there are still my dear friends (and mother-in-law) who like to see what I'm up to. ;)  Sorry I've been away for awhile.  My absence can also be blamed for the many out-of-state volleyball tournaments I've gone to lately for my daughter, who is a junior in high school, 6'3", and hoping to play in college.

One of the things I'm currently working on is a Modern Traditional Mini Quilt Challenge thru Timeless Treasure Fabrics and Dear Stella Fabrics.  Quilts are due at the end of the month and the photos below are just a little sneak peak at what I'm working on.  The quilts can only measure 20" x 20", and that is a challenge!

Choosing Fabric for the Challenge
Working on Blocks for Challenge

Blocks are finished!

My travels this last month took me to Spokane and I could not go there without visiting the Buggy Barn - one of the cutest quilt shops around these parts, with great customer service too!

The Buggy Barn, Rearden, Washington


I also got to shop at Mary Jane Butter's Farm store in Coeur d'alene, Idaho.  I have always love Mary's magazine and it was so fun to go see her products in person.  I picked some some recipe issues and her Budget Mix, which I'm excited to use.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Bag!

Log Cabin Fever by JanaƩ King Designs
I'm beginning to think I'm obsessed with Log Cabin blocks and Hourglasses.  You'll see why in a few weeks when I debut my newest quilt pattern.

In the meantime, I created a new bag.  It's more like a tote bag.  It made for an awesome carry-on on my most recent trip.

The sides have pockets, the inside has 6 pockets and it has a zipper closure.  Don't ya just love the handles too?

Is is just me or does it looks like a face?  Maybe it's trying to get a taste of my really yummy coffee, that I stood in line an hour for in Vegas.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow Day #3...and a new Quilt


Sometimes you just know when you have to make a change...


My 'Under the Big Top' pattern just hasn't been selling and I'm thinking it's maybe due to the fact that the quilt on the cover is jusssstttttt....not a colorway that people would be drawn to.

I'm redoing the quilt in reds, whites, and blues...and I'm 'in love' with it so far.

This is intended to be a 'controlled' scrappy quilt.  It uses 30 fat quarters...yay! for using up fat quarters that are just piled in tubs in my stash.


I'm hoping you will love it too!  Can't wait to get the borders on.  To be continued...


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sewing Chair


It can be hard to find the perfect chair for sewing.  
It's important to have one to support your back and one that doesn't put your legs to sleep.

I picked one up at Ikea and assembled it (which was easy to do).  And after using it now for a few weeks I would say it a keeper.

It has a nice straight back, it can be raised and lowered, and it has wheels too!

If my memory serves me correctly, it was only about $25.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to Purchase Postage and Send Packages From Home!


I think I shall SHOUT this from the mountain tops…I’ve discovered the best kept secret ever….I may never have to stand in the long lines at the post office ever again.  

It is quite possible, to do all my mailing from the comfort of my home, in my PJ’s and slippers.

I don't think there is one person out there who has never endured the long post office lines, had the person behind you breathing on your neck and huffing because they are impatient, or got all the way to the counter before you realized you didn’t have your wallet.

 I will show you how easy it is to mail things from home, and hopefully it will help you experience the same 'mailing bliss' I have experienced lately.  When I first started purchasing postage online I was a bit ‘old school’…it just didn’t feel right to not be going to the PO, waiting in line, handing my box to the clerk, paying in person….blah, blah, blah.  But I soon got over it, and discovered that technology is a beautiful thing.  Now if I can only get my mother to agree.

 1.  First thing to do is to buy yourself a mail scale that will weigh ounces and pounds.  Look for scales at Amazon.com, Fred Meyer, the post office, or office supply stores. Also pick up some packaging tape, and a roll of brown paper, if desired.  Sometimes it's necessary to wrap your package in brown paper to hide stuff on your box or to make the package a little more secure.  I've discovered a brown paper grocery bag works just the same, and it's free.

2.  Decide what kind of packaging you will be using, I have discovered that Priority Mail is usually cheaper than my own envelope depending on the weight.

There are two different ways to package your stuff.

Place your goodies in your own store bought envelope OR go to www.USPS.com and request that your mailman bring you Priority Mail envelopes or boxes to your door, or once in awhile I stop by the post office and pick up a supply of these envelopes and boxes which are free and are usually available upon request, or at a free-standing rack in the post office.


3. Place goodies to be mailed inside packaging and weigh.

4. Go to www.USPS.com and click on “Ship a Package”

Then click on “Print a Shipping Label Now” – here’s where you will have to make yourself an account.  Don’t let this stop you, it’s easy to sign up. 

 5. From here you will follow the simple instructions for buying postage.  Be sure you are purchasing the correct amount for the size and weight of your package.  You will be asked for a credit card to pay, then you will be able to print your shipping label. 

The shipping labels print on regular paper, nothing fancy.  Then you will cut to size and tape to front of package.  Instructions for placing label on package is included when you print the label.  Just remember to not tape over the tracking number.

If you want your mail carrier to pick the package up, then check this box when you are filling out the form online.  Rumor has it that the mail carriers actually get paid more to pick these packages up from our homes.  I think that is cool.  Not only do I get a discount for NOT going to the post office, I’m helping the carrier to get a little bonus.

Note:  If you are not comfortable using your own credit/debit card to purchase online, go to the store and buy a prepaid Visa card…these are a lot safer than giving out your own numbers.  And if you have money on your card leftover you can buy yourself some music off of Itunes. ;)

PS. You can also purchase International postage online too!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Instagram Member

It's official...I'm now on Instagram.

janaekingdesigns

I don't completely know the reason (maybe it was because I had a dumbphone), but I'm now with the program. :)

And it's been so fun.  I absolutely love taking photos and sharing them.

So if you too, are an Instagram junkie...come visit me.

Happy New Year
 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crochet Love!

Not only do I love fabric, I love yarn as well.  It's hard to resist a beautiful skein of colorful fuzzy, soft yarn. But I have to admit, I'm not an avid knitter...I can only knit, can't even purl.  And I don't even crochet, even though I'm dying to make some crocheted washcloths, because they are just the best.

Slowly I am learning the crocheting process and I've come across an awesome blog to help me in my journey.  Her name is Delia and her blog is Delia Creates.  I love her simple style, yet bold statements.  She seems to do everything from crochet to cook...and she takes beautiful photos.

Awhile back she posted a step by step crocheted scarf tutorial and it sparked my interest...hmmm, a scarf of 1,000 chains...I can do that.  You must visit the link above and check out the scarf, even if you don't plan to make it.

I immediately ran to the yarn store and found some super bulky yarn and set to work.  I made 3 scarves while on a road trip to Idaho a few weekends ago.


The scarf is super easy to make and pretty quick too. And the best part is...it only requires ONE chain stitch to make the whole entire scarf.  Instead of counting out 1,000 stitches I measured and did a little math and it comes out to be about 9 yards of chain.  That was much easier than trying to count each stitch. And knowing, that from my nose to the end of my fingers is approximately 1 yard, I didn't even need a tape measure.


 So if you have just the tiny bit of inkling to start crocheting, try this project. Delia gives a step by step tutorial, and, did I mention her photos are amazing.




Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Despite my feelings of anxiety, I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner at my house with family and friends.  I love preparing the meal and getting the house ready, but, naturally, it produces some stress...it's a good stress, though.  It's what made me hop out of bed with an extra bounce this morning as I bounded right for my new Kurig machine and made myself a hot cup of Vanilla coffee.  Oh, I'm loving that machine, and birthday presents.  Soon it will be time to start the turkey pot pies.  Thanks to Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman I have a delicious recipe.

I hope each one of you have a fantastic day no matter what you choose to do...just remember to take some time to 'smell the roses', or turkey, or stuffing, or whatever it is that makes you happy.  Set aside the anxiety of getting to all the Black Friday deals tomorrow and concentrate on today.  Choose to let no one spoil a perfectly lovely day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fickle...I am

I guess change isn't always so good.  I switched back to my old look here on my blog.  I missed my header and I realized my readers couldn't leave a message after a post AND couldn't sign up to receive an email update.


There may still be changes in the future, but for today I will leave it 'as is'...I mean, after all, who wants to sit in front of the computer all day fixing a blog when they could be out 'celebrating' their birthday!...;)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trying a New Look

I love 'changing' things...whether it's my furniture, my clothes (just ask my husband), or a recipe.  But when it comes to my blog I've been a bit scared of making a change.  Blogging has been hard for me...I wrestle with things like:
what do I 'blog' about
what do people want to read...
what can I offer that people care about reading...
what if I'm boring...
what if no one reads my blog...
blah, blah, blah...

So in my quest to make my blog better I took the plunge and decided to change the format a little.  Bear with me as I will probably be making little changes along the way.

Man, I have to say, there's some good bloggers out there.  I could make a list of some of THE best bloggers I've found who always have the best information, best photos, and best ideas.  Sometimes though I find it all a bit overwhelming...I mean, wow!, how do they get so much done in one day when I'm lucky to get one load of laundry done AND make dinner. :)  I've tried to learn from all of them and I still feel I come up short, but we can only do what we can do, right?  I mean, who has time to blog, check email, Facebook, and Twitter.  Phew!...that's a lot of social media to keep track of.  For myself, I've had to back away from some of them and take a breather.  It just can ALL be overwhelming.

Let us not forget ALL the things we can be thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week.  Personally, I've struggled this week with feeling thankful.  Believe me, I AM so thankful and have no reason to complain about anything.  But sometimes it's just easy to fall into a time of sadness.  It's been a trying last couple of months, with my father's horrible fall from a ladder, my sister moving so very far away, fracturing my foot, and just every day life with it's trials.  So I will 'choose' to be happy and remember all that I am thankful for as I prepare for dinner at my house on Thursday.

My hope is you too will have a very merry, happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends too...little do my family and friends know that I'm 'changing' dinner from traditional whole Turkey to Big, Flakey, Turkey Pot Pies!  Hopefully they will still love me.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Heritage Holiday Faire at the Mission Mill Museum



Here's a little shout-out for one of the BEST Holiday Faires in my area.  My dear friend at
Pink Postcard will have her booth full of wonderful items.  I can't wait to go shop there on Saturday.  Needless to say, Mission Mill is a wonderful place to visit, but with the Holiday Faire there it's simply magical.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Under the Big Top PDF

I'm finally getting on the PDF bandwagon...it was a bit of a journey to get there, but I made it, and I will continue to add more PDF's in the future.
 
It's exciting...because now, if you want to make my pattern, all you have to do is purchase and print - hey, that's catchy...
 
Anyway...
 
Under the Big Top is in PDF form on Fat Quarter Shop.com
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Pattern...Snazzy Striped Totes

Have you ever been stuck on something that you just can't seem to finish? 

This pattern has kind of felt like that for me.  I started this quest way back last April and had made six of them to show at Quilt Market.  But then the pattern just sat on my desk while it 'seasoned', as I like to call it, until it got down to the wire and I had to get it done for the class I'm teaching on it next week.

I'm really happy to have it done because I know a lot of you were waiting to make these super fun totes.  I really hope you enjoy making them and using them.


The pattern includes three sizes.







Happy Tote Sewing!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sharp as a Tack


Did you know that finely ground Walnut Shells will sharpen your sewing pins?  Yep, it's true.  I've been using them in my pincushions and I'm loving it.
 
Pair this with my Pincushion "Fit for a Queen" and you'll have 'sharp as a tack' pins forever.
 


Pattern and Walnut Shells available at

Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Sew Quilt Binding VIDEO on YOUTUBE

I've had students ask me to do a video showing how I sew binding on a quilt, and guess what...I've finally done it.  Click on the link below to watch 'yours truly' demonstrate this technique.

Quilt Binding by JanaƩ King

This video is a companion to my Quilt Binding Instructions found as a PDF on the page TAB above.