Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What was I thinking?

Sometime last year, in a fragile mental state obviously, I started work on a Lone Star quilt. I have always wanted to do one. I had put it off when I was exclusively a hand-piecer as it's many bias edges were a little scary. In the last couple of years I had tentatively started to machine piece some tops. It was starting to become necessary as I was getting deadlines for quilts that would not allow hand piecing. I still love to hand piece and hand quilt, but I just needed to add machine piecing to my repertoire. After a few nine patches and log cabins I decided to jump in and attempt this. What was I thinking, indeed. Actually it came together easily. It was the size that was challenging. All I will say is that the 11 foot dining room table was out of commission for over a month (for dining, that is). Oh, it has some issues. It had some peaks and valleys and the edges are a bit less than square, but machine quilter extraordinaire Kari Smith-Ruedisale made them go away. It is now featured in the current American Patchwork & Quilting magazine - October 2008. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Even with it's issues - I'm glad I attempted it.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today's Mail...

The mailman cannot get near our house without Tucker going on full alert. I always know when the mail comes. Tucker will man (dog??) his post by the bay window and bark and bellow like he missed his rabies vaccination. Six days a week, the ritual never wavers. Tucker, I'm sure, thinks "Hey, it works. The mailman approaches the house and then quickly leaves." Tucker wins every time. This week I am hearing it in stereo as we have a house guest. His name is Otto. This is Otto playing keep-way with Tucker's football. Otto is a delight, but he is cut of the same cloth as Tucker. No mailman will ever approach this house unannounced. It was a big commotion today. Such a big uproar. I hoped the mail could compete with all the excitement. It did. The new issue of McCall's Quilting was here. A new magazine always gets top billing here. I scan them as soon as they are in my hands. A more thorough and leisurely reading will follow in a day or so. Nice issue. A lovely cover with a quilt by our friend Sandy Klop of American Jane. Polly and I love American Jane! Our friend Sandee Wachal is written about in the letter from the editor as she is retiring from McCall's. Have fun Sandee and keep quilting! A great quilt is featured made with our "Vintage Reserve" fabric. Cool. And..... our upcoming fabric group with Moda - "American Primer" is written about in the Product Review column. Very Cool. Wow - a very good mail delivery. We are flattered.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ann Arbor Art Fair! - part II

Thanks for posting photos from the Ann Arbor Art Fair, I have attended more of those than I care to count right now - have not been in our hometown for the show in quite awhile, so was fun seeing the photos and remembering all the good times. Kind of fun pretending you are at the fair, or stopping by Afternoon Delight - but my question is "Where are all the crowds???" I don't think you could ever see the steps of Hill Auditorium in the past as it was packed with people resting, having lunch or just people watching! Hope it is good for all the artists that are set up there. Hope the crowds are there for the remainder of the week!

Ann Arbor Art Fair

Good Morning from Ann Arbor, home of the infamous Ann Arbor Art Fair! We Ann Arborites love it, but we do like to complain about it. Not the Art Fair itself, but what it does to our daily existence here. It screws it up plenty, that's what it does - but it's worth it. I spent this morning walking around and thought I could show you a couple of pictures. Driving anywhere downtown is practically impossible for the duration of the show. I hopped on the bus outside my front door and was dropped off not far from South University where most of these photos were taken. Enjoy! The first one is the Ann Arbor Potter's Guild set up on the steps of Hill Auditorium. Here is something particularly quilty...those are tiny little quilts from fiber artist Marcia Derse.

Next is some wonderful paintings from an artist from Illinois. I loved her booth. I could almost feel like I was in Chicago!

This wonderful baseball and mitt was beaded by Plains Indian artist Gwen Fedor. Americana Indeed. After a lovely stroll I stopped at Afternoon Delight and had a Berry Patch for Brunch. It is even better than it looks! If you are in the area - make sure to see it for yourself and remember to patronize your local artists. Make sure to click on the photos to enlarge to REALLY see the details.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More about Studios.....

Polly blogged a couple of weeks ago about her lack of a "real" studio. It certainly is a hot topic among all the fiber artists I know. I don't have a studio either, but I do have a house. Our house. My husband's and my house is essentially my studio. In other words, my stuff is all over. I had taken over a spare bedroom and that initially was the studio. Fine and dandy until I outgrew it. It is still in use, but mostly as storage. Lots and lots of fabric and tools are neatly (and sometimes not so neatly) stored. My books quickly outgrew the shelf space assigned to it in the spare bedroom and now all of my quilt and art books are in the larger bookcase in the living room. The dining room table gets a workout also. It is 11' by 3' of great "lay out and see how all this fabric works together" space. Occasionally we eat there too. A couple of months ago I stumbled upon my latest studio treasure. A drafting table! Not just any drafting table, but a huge, industrial, "fiesta red" drafting table. It was love at first sight. It happily sits by the window in, yes, the living room. Doesn't everyone want a huge, industrial, "fiesta red" drafting table in their living room? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Oh, it is a wonderful thing! The table top slants from laying flat to almost 90 degrees and the whole thing can be raised and lowered with a foot pedal. It is at a slant when I am drawing, and the when I want to cut fabric I lay it flat and raise it up to an "ergonomically correct" height. It makes me happy. Almost as much as polka-dots and plaid makes me happy.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

At The Beach!

Well there is nothing like being by the ocean - as the grandkids will gather. I spent the last week really away from the many tasks I should have been doing - but had a wonderful week with the grandkids and families. You really do not have to worry about getting the family all together - just add ocean and bingo - they appear. You can see that Annie our Airdale really enjoyed the week - nothing like lots of happy children and lots of food to make your pup happy.
This is our brood - Shelby, Rachel, Allison, Michael, Thomas, Grant and Emily Kate and of course Annie. It was a wonderful time had by all - but that week is behind us and it is back to the studio to get busy. Laurie is busy designing quilts for our next collection and I am doing another rug hooking pattern. So that means samples need to be made - trips to printer and the list goes on. No complaints from us, this is a "dream job" and we enjoy it all, but there are times when you have a few more deadlines than at other times of the year - we are into deadline time as we want to be fully prepared for Houston Market.
I will just enjoy the memories of all the fun we had with the family and the water, it was a great time. And I suggested a little Rug Hooking Camp next year for the girls, they are excited - they would be even more excited if Aunt Laurie attended - she is known as the real "chef" in the family. How happy I will be to see any of these gals hooking!
Back to work.

P.S. I will be happy to pencil in the rug hooking camp for next summer. I'll pack the pots and pans!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


One of the great perks of designing fabric is that anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before your fabric debuts in quilt shops - you get a special delivery. A LARGE box from Moda is dropped off on the porch and it contains a few yards of every fabric in the new collection. It is better than Christmas morning - and it comes about 3 times a year! After much fondling of fabric, it is then down to business. There is a flurry of activity as quilts are designed, cut and sewn. They are pattern prototypes or special projects made for publication in quilt magazines. All of these quilts are on a deadline; either a publication date or to be shown at Quilt Market. You want your new fabric to be shown in the best possible light, so you try your best to make the quilts just right. Late last year I designed a quilt to highlight the current fabric - The Hamptons. It was then sent to McCall's Quilting and was published this spring. Once the magazine is sent to print the projects are sent back. Also about the time I designed that quilt our niece and her husband had a special delivery of their own. Katie said once she found out she was expecting a boy, she wanted the nursery decorated in red, white and blue. Hmmmmmm...... maybe Polly and I could be of some help in that department. Below are the results of both of those special deliveries. Mason is just Baby Perfection, isn't he! We are delighted that we could make his baby quilt.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lazy Weekend

Hi! This is Tucker. He has many talents. At the top of the list is his ability to relax. He also has the most expressive face not belonging to a human. Don't tell him he's not a human. One of his favorite tricks is his knowledge of couch etiquette. Tucker knows he cannot lay on "his" couch without one of "his" quilts covering it. Yes, he has more than one. If by chance one of them is not in it's place on the couch - he will nudge you and look longingly at his perch on the upholstery. My talent is to jump up and provide him with a clean quilt to lay on. Thankfully, I know this is one of my purposes in life - providing the dog and cats a loving home and a comfy place to sleep. Not a bad thing, really. Too bad my weekend isn't quite as lazy as his. Among my usual chores is starting a new quilt that has been on the back burner way too long - and designing another quilt for our next fabric line. Some chores are better than others. How are you spending the long weekend?


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy July 4th!!

We wish you a happy, safe July 4th weekend - enjoy. I guess nothing says July 4th more for us than baseball, flags, picnics and spending free time with your family. That is what we are planning to do, and hope you can do the same. Our family is a baseball family - the game has been played by our family members for many generations (more than we want to really admit, but true). So we thought we would put up a quilt and rug that we did to commemorate baseball and to honor our family members who have played the game. All three of our grandsons are playing, so the game goes on! Now, a little quiz for you - one of my sons played the game at University of Michigan and for a professional team - the first one to write in and tell us the professional team Jeff played for - will win six yards of our red/white and blue twill tape! If you have that book--- - did you retain the info, we shall see.
Happy 4th!! Polly

Well..... That didn't take long. Congratulations Alice! Yes, Jeff played for the Detroit Tigers in the farm system. Alice, send us an email (go to and click on "contact us") with the mailing address. Polly will send you enough so you can bind a rug or a quilt.


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