Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A teeny bit of holiday help

If anyone out there has a friend to find a Christmas gift for...who might like
"A Little Purse", I'm giving one away.
This one, in fact.

It was designed by Pam which means it's super fun, and it was made by me, which means 2 things:
1. It was made with love
2. The buttons are likely to fall off

I'll be having a drawing on Friday, so if you wish to be included, you know what to do!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

You know you've been doing too much quilting...

When you come across a quilt top you do not remember actually making.

But based on some of the fabrics (yikes!) it was a looong time ago.

Yes, it's time for my biannual Organize All My Stuff Fest. Which could possibly take the entire weekend. But it's necessary so that I'll feel all fresh and ready to get busy on whatever quilts will be coming next.

Of course it's important to not work too hard...so this morning Compton and I took a break to read an awesome article written by none other than Holly Holderman on quilt blogs! Hopefully you won't have to scour the entire northern half of the state of California to find the magazine like Pam did...but definitely keep your eyes peeled for the Feb. issue of McCall's Quilting!

And when you've finished checking out all the blogs mentioned, also hop on over to Jackie Clark's NEW blog and say "hi". I can guarantee it's gonna be filled with loveliness.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours...

It's OK! Really...there will be some less than beautiful photos coming up on this post, but nothing you should have to shield your eyes from.

As an applique person, I'm regularly hearing from people who would just love to try applique, but they can't. Too hard. Can't do it. Tried it once and hated it. And so on.

I feel the same way about crochet. Was raised by Knitters--yup, my dad is an amazing knitter, as was my mom. For some reason, crochet was simply not done in our house. Never knew why. I can remember asking if someone could teach me how--the answer was "no" and it was clear the subject was taboo. Right up there with sex and politics.

When I was around 12 I snuck one of those little Coats and Clark Learn to Crochet booklets into my room...you know the one, with the smiling, poncho-clad girl on the cover...never could get beyond the chain stitch so figured it was impossible. And it's highly likely I threw the book across the room. That was a signature move for me for more years than I'd like to admit. But ANYWAY...

Fast forward to Quilt Market. Specifically Jackie Clark's amazing booth--and part of what makes it so amazing is the crochet artistry of her sister Tamara. Jackie gave me a copy of her new book

--and just look at the darling crochet edge on that receiving blanket! I can't remember the last time I've wanted to make something so much. Pam and Tamara made plans to get together so Pam could learn how to crochet little trimmings around old button cards--something Tamara does and they're so adorable you could cry. I WAS BEYOND JEALOUS. But Pam promised she'd teach me once we got home.

Fast forward a little more. I was in a hurry the morning Pam was coming over so when my scan of a vintage button card turned out all wonky I figured that was fine. Not knowing what I was doing, I punched huge, crooked holes all around my card. Again, figured that would be fine. And it was. So here's the beginning of my very first beyond-chain-stitch crochet. I know. Overwhelming, isn't it. But it really does kinda sorta look scallopy! And it was loads of fun.

I decided to try some more! Picked up this pretty yarn figuring perhaps "Grace" was what I was lacking.

Pam pointed out this spiffy light-up crochet hook--sort of the Fisher-Price of crochet hooks. Time for a granny square!! Well, not quite yet, apparently, but may I present my very first Granny-Blob.

Not much like a square, I know, but it's a blast to do. And the yarn is almost as much fun to play with as pretty fabric.
I'll probably always be better at applique than I'll ever be at crochet, but seriously--this has been much more fun than I ever would have imagined. So try something you just know you can't do, and let me know how great it turns out, ok?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back to "Normal"

Quilt Market was wonderful, but it was good to get home...I missed my guys...and my grandpigs...and I do believe they missed me.

I got to help Jeff get ready for school on Halloween. (BTW...according to Jeff, being a 15 year old male Princess is the BEST way to get real positive girl attention in high school. Food for thought.)
But seeing Jeff in all his royal splendor got me thinking. And I realized I'm still not over my pink and aqua thing.

Making this quilt made me so happy! So obviously MORE pink and MORE aqua will make me even happier, right?
So I called my ever so trusty sidekick and driver, Pam and we agreed a trip to Niles was in order!
I'll leave out some of the less pleasant details for Pam herself to cover...
Anyhoo, we ended up hopping on the back road out of town...Just me, and Pam, and apparently James Bond. I'm pretty sure I drooled all over Pam's upholstery when I saw that car--hope it didn't stain...

We didn't have to worry about having 007 beat us to any pink and aqua as he took off toward the North. To Thimble Creek, perhaps?

And I'm pleased to report that my new fav shopping spot, Mary Margaret's did not disappoint. I mean check out the front windows! To the right, my aqua...

To the left, my pink!

And yes, I found goodies. So back to sewing! I'll share when there's stuff to show, but you already know what the colors will be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Creative Sunday

Yesterday was loads of fun at In Between Stitches here in Livermore. It's pretty much always fun to make Christmas stuff, right?
I taught a class based on my Cottage Christmas pattern...some ladies had kits and others were ready to do their own thing.

Sandy had no desire to make Christmas ornaments, she just wanted to learn how to turn her piece of lovely applique into a pillow. But she was getting caught up in the fun and considering a runner and some ornaments by the time the class ended.

Kathleen was finished FIRST. Which is a big deal in a class, you know. What was funny was seeing ladies trying to remember just how to go about cutting something out with scissors...and using their pinking shears for the first time in ages.

I tried to take a picture of Rose working on her Christmas tree, but she didn't like that idea too much...so she created a vignette for me to photograph instead. That's her runner and tree, Karen's star ornament and I'm pretty sure that's my pillow!

It was a fun class and I had a chance to make a couple things myself--for the aqua and pink Christmas kick I'm still on.
But more on that later.

In the meantime, be sure to go see what Holly's got to report. Pam and I are scouring the local shops trying to get our hands on that magazine!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Favorite New Designer!

OK, Pam has hinted around about it a bit, but I'm gonna make it OFFICIAL. Pam is now a designer! Yes indeed, she's got TWO new bag patterns that debuted at Quilt Market. Some of the bags were in the Late Bloomer booth and some were in Holly's booth. Plus one was over at Checker Distributors and still another at Windham Fabrics. That Pam really gets around. They are absolutely darling, both of 'em, and as a non-bag maker (3 dimensional stuff confuses me) I can tell you they are super easy to make. How do I know this? Because in preparation for Market, I made a TON OF THEM. I think I made about 8 of the Market Bag and around 20 of the Little Purse. Did we need that many? Nooo...but it was so much fun to pick fabric combos that I couldn't stop. Yes, I know I have some OCD issues. But this meant that many ladies got to leave Houston with an actual Pam Purse and how cool is that.
The smaller bag Pam has wisely named "A Little Purse" and isn't it cute in the new LakeHouse fabrics?

We also did a couple of Market Bags with the fun new Cherry Baby fabric.

If you are interested in making some for yourselves (and you know you are) the patterns are available on my website.
At some point, more finished bags may be offered for sale as well--since I've got a ton of fabric and these bags are almost as addicting as Jax french fries.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Continuing Market Themes

Here we have Cyndi taking a picture of Pam taking a picture of me! Such cleverness!
And now we'll smoothly transition into Sunday's dinner at the Strip House where I'm taking a pic of Holly taking a pic.

Hey, Brenda's amused!

Then we realized it would be incredibly clever to take a pic of Gregory (photographer to the stars) taking pictures!
Next to Gregory, our intrepid reporter Gina, agrees.

Check out the way the Strip House does chocolate cake!

Hilarity ensues when Brenda's driving us back to the hotel. That's Cyndi again.

You'd think that would have been enough food, right?
Well, Pam and I cannot go to Houston without going to our FAVORITE PLACE EVER. And that would be Jax Grill.

Check out my artery-clogging feast!

That's a bowl of chicken and corn chowder with a giant platter of super good fries covered in cheese, bacon, chives and jalapenos.
Pam's in heaven with her chicken salad.

After reading their sign on the way out, it's awfully tempting to give up quilting and work at Jax--if I can have a discount on food.

Guess we'd better load up the jeep and head to the airport.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Our Neighborhood

I'm sure you've already been over Pam's way...she does an excellent job of explaining our "neighborhood" at market. That's part of what's fun--getting to know your neighbors!
And there is cuteness everywhere you look, as you can well imagine. All the new fabrics, patterns, and booths. But there's more! Being directly across the "street" from Moda Home turned out to be a mixed blessing. Who is gonna be looking my way when there are the most darling room vignettes imaginable over there? I saw the sides of many ladies' heads, let me tell you. And to top it off, they had CUPCAKES. Real CUPCAKES on a big Moda plate. FOR PEOPLE TO EAT.
But don't be feeling too sorry for me. Because while I may have lost some foot traffic, I gained something even better. A daughter.

Pam and I thoroughly enjoyed the moda girls. Whitney reminded us both of Pam's daughter Frankie, and once that connection was made we had to agree that if I had a daughter, she'd look JUST LIKE ALISON. And then one thing led to another...and apparently restraining orders are not that easy to come by in Houston...so I'm pleased to introduce Alison! Isn't she lovely?

And so talented! Yes, Alison is an URBAN CHICK. How cool is that?
So I had to have "our girls" sign my moda catalog...above you see Holly's signature (the other Urban Chick!) as well as darling Whitney. Who plays along with the whims of crazy ladies very well.

So it was great fun (for me, anyway!) to gain a wonderful daughter, and I can't wait to get my hands on some yardage of their new line "Swell" so I can design something TOTALLY Urban Chicks. In a non-stalkerish way, I might add.
And just in case you couldn't see it clearly...

I just couldn't be more proud!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Just thinking about that alfredo sauce turned my brain to mush. Seems Celine DOES have a blog, so go check it out! And yes, I'm well aware that Tammy's wonderful mom is named VELDA. She's not one of Scooby Doo's sidekicks.
Can't take me anyplace.

Saturday Dinner

During Quilt Market time it's difficult to eat 3 normal meals a day. The timing just isn't right and when you don't have a car, the options are limited.
The Thursday mid-afternoon Guadalajara-fest was awesome. I could drink that queso sauce with a freaking straw. Which I'll remember for next year.

I'm really not sure just what Pam and I did on Friday, but I vaguely recall consuming an inappropriate number of desserts.

Saturday was great. We were invited to go to Josephine's with Tammy, her crew, and some of her Market friends. The alfredo sauce came highly recommended and that was good enough for me. I'd eat alfredo sauce on chunks of cardboard, if necessary. And yes, I ate the WHOLE THING.

This was when we started a market long theme of taking pictures of people taking pictures of us. Aren't we clever girls!

We were all sporting Hello Kitty necklaces--you know, with the bubbles inside. Because that's the kind of fun-lovin' gals we are.

Here's Pam with Celine of Perkins Dry Goods fame. Hopefully Celine will have a blog going soon.
Pam and Tammy...

Didn't get pics of the Quilt Branch ladies...Susan and Mary Jane are lots of fun. And good at math. They've got really nifty quilts made from 1/2 yard pieces. The kind of projects I couldn't design with a gun to my head.

Sherry, Velma and ...(geeze I'm terrible with names, but I can just see her smiling face) cracked us up with tales of their experiences on the road. Travelling to quilt shows is not always the life of glamour you'd expect.

Wish I had pics of the trip back to the hotel...Celine graciously agreed to let us pile into her rental car and poor Sherry wound up in the teeny tiny cargo area in the back.

Got back to our room in time to reopen the Late Bloomer sweatshop...had lots of cones and hearts to finish and Pam was working her fingers to the bone cranking out tiny little yo yos. But more on that later.

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