Monday, October 27, 2008

The Last Day

Adios Houston! It was grand. We try to fulfill all of your wishes, people - so here they are!!!!
At the top we have the much talked about pillowcase from Blackbird Designs. You will also notice the award. Polly has one in the works - but in blue, of course. Next is Lynn and her Kansas Troubles booth. She had lots of visitors who sat and chatted. Cozy! Following that is our neighbors - the "Hippest Women From Iowa" - the Joined at the Hip ladies. Last, but not least - you asked for a picture of Lynette Anderson and I obliged. You're Welcome. We furnished up our adventure with dinner and a nice chat with Joanna of Fig Tree fame. The other Moda designers have become our friends and we are grateful to meet up and catch up every couple of months. So long for now ladies and have a safe trip home. Laurie

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 2

Congratulations to our colleagues Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs for winning the best booth award here in Houston. As we passed their booth 2 days ago we gave them our endorsement. They just do "beautiful" so well. The pillowcase in their booth - not the red and white one here on the right - is cross-stitched. It's divine. The red one here is our cheater cloth with Moda's spiffy crochet trim attached. Oh, and congrats to Lynn at Kansas Troubles for winning the 2nd place booth. What can we say -our friends and neighbors are the best of the best.
To the left here (assuming the pictures load like I am seeing here.... OY!) is some new Moda home products. Can you tell that we love them? OK, what else can we tell you? We will say our sides hurt from laughing so much. More to follow....
Hi - Well the days are long, but fun and lots of time to chat with fellow designers and to meet our loyal customers. We are happy that they all seem to love the new collection and are buying it with many great projects in mind. They all come to market with lots of ideas about what their customers will like and what they want to make. Gosh you find out lots chatting to shop owners. If you missed this market try to make the next one in PA --if you have never attended a market - put it on your "must do" list.
More tomorrow - write if you want us to check something out - it takes about three days to cover all the market.

Day One and a Half

Polly and I are waiting for room service is very early Sunday morning. I'm sure you are all off doing much more traditional Sunday morning things, but here are a few more pictures on the camera. We are going to wear sensible shoes and have another fun filled day.
The first pic is Sandy Gervais' inspiration for her new collection. Next is Jay McCarroll of Project Runway fame. I was too starstruck to introduce myself. I wanted to tell him that the Chrysler Building dress from season 1 was my favorite and the pennies on his runway collection almost made me cry...... Too stalkerish???? Next is a cute little dog in the cute little Lakehouse booth. Finally we have Serendipity's booth and this terrific trench coat.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Market Day One

Well, first of all I want to thank "Mar" for the photography tip. The flash really helped. I am giving up on trying to figure out how to move the photos in this format so all the pic's are bunched up at the top. I will try to explain them. But first, we had a great day and we are done in. Our feet HURT and our ears are ringing. But we wouldn't miss this for anything.

First of all we have the delicious Fig Tree offerings. Next is Elizabeth and the infamous Pamkittymorning. The photo of the big room is the Moda dinner. I think there must have been close to 2000 people. It was packed! (Really - this was taken right after the doors opened) Next is a wonderful baby basket designed by Tina Givens. Following that is the supurb Blackbird Designs' booth. Polly has her sights on that pillow. The quilt in our booth (with the horses) is called "3 Brother's Farm". Next is a great quilt by Late Bloomer using our American Primer fabric. Lastly is Polly's rug. Thanks to everyone who let us bother them for these pics. More to follow tomorrow. And yes, those are pillowcases on the line.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Houston Market

Well a couple of minor miracles!! First of all our booth is set up and ready to go, and it is only noon on Friday - so we are ready for market opening tomorrow. The second miracle is that I (Polly) am actually writing this blog and not Laurie - however she did take the photos, I would not claim them as most were not in focus. You will get a couple of sneak peeks at our booth and the overall shot tomorrow, and it will be in focus!

The Moda booth is about set up and that is amazing as it is huge - they have so many wonderful collections to show, something for everyone. There must be a test for employment to work at Moda in Dallas, but , they do not speak about it - but I think there must be a test to gain employment. The reason I say this is that they are the nicest, kindest and fun group of people ever assembled, so that must be a requirement to work there. We just feel plain lucky to be part of their group, they are amazing.

Laurie is going to cut down on the coffee tomorrow and try and take a few more photos that are actually in focus. So for those of you who could not attend this year, check back and we will try and give you a nice taste of Houston Market - sorry you could not attend - it looks amazing.
Sorry about the photo computer, you know how it is. The first pic is a chair in the Moda booth upholstered in Wonderland by MoMo. Next is the start of Me and My Sister's booth, then is the construction of the larger Moda booth, and lastly, our booth. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Houston, We're Here

Everyone can take a deep breath now, we made it to Houston. Polly and I managed to land within 15 minutes of each other and the flights were uneventful. Always good news. I went to meet Polly at her carousel and there was a little mix-up. Right carousel, wrong terminal. Too bad, since it was much more exciting at Terminal C. Lyle Lovett was getting his luggage - and me with an uncharged camera. We are now ensconced here at the hotel with lots of luggage and even more boxes.

I got a lovely surprise this morning. Leigh Ann dropped this off before I left for the airport. Isn't it great!! The pattern is called the Long Weekend Bag from Touch My Heart Designs. It is made from the fabric we are debuting here in Houston - Flag Day Farm. This is the French Ticking wovens. It was my carry-on and I felt quite stylish. Talk to you tomorrow with lots more pictures.


Monday, October 20, 2008


This is Lizzie the cat that rules our household. She has nothing to do with this entry. I realized all of the critters have been on this website except for her - so here she is. It is one of the few pictures I have of her. She does not like to cooperate for cameras, or for anything actually. The dog is scared of her and Roscoe the cat just tries to steer clear of her. She isn't mean - just superior. You cat people will understand.
I was going to get a photo of all the chaos that has been going on. Last minute sewing; many deliveries from UPS and Fedex; making lists and packing.... I was going to take a picture of all the boxes that have been delivered from our printer, Moda, the machine quilter, etc., but Bill broke them all down for recycling. I counted 18 boxes delivered in the past week with 7 going out. I am very grateful for the great service we get from UPS and Fedex. Without them, the chaos would have been totally unmanagable. Polly has a Fedex person who has been known to call her for special instructions when it rains so her hooked rugs won't get wet. So let's have a shout out for all those people who help us out.
Keep your fingers crossed. I talked to the "Geek Squad" this weekend to get pointers on how to blog from Market. We'll see. Let's hope I can post lots of pictures. Next post will be from Houston.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Bill's sisters Mary and Margie are coming for dinner tonight. It was requested that I make THE coconut cupcakes. I make them for many special occasions - and some not so special occasions. Polly makes them for her grandkids. This recipe is a keeper. I found it about 10-12 years ago in a magazine. It is Ina Garten's recipe. This was before she became the industry known as "The Barefoot Contessa". At the time I think she had just the one shop in Southampton named "Barefoot Contessa." She was quoted at the time as saying these were the cupcakes that made her shop famous. No doubt. Use real vanilla and almond extract and most importantly use BUTTER. I recommend Plugra butter. It is a "European Style" butter. I am told that this means more milk solids in ratio to water that is found is American style butter. I learned about this butter at chef camp. Whatever. Find it and use it. You won't be sorry. I buy it at several places in town, but it is at Whole Foods which is almost everywhere now.

Coconut Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 7-oz. pkg. shredded coconut

Line 16 2 1/2" muffin cups with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat sugar and butter for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Add the vanilla and almond extract; mix well.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in 1 1/3 cups of the coconut.

Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 23-28 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting (Ina recommends doubling the frosting recipe - so do I!)

2 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating well. Frost generously and top with remaining coconut.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hanging Out

Fall is here in all of it's glory. I tried to get a few pictures on my walk with Tucker this morning, but this is the only one in focus before the rain started. This is actually the view out of our back door. While some of the news here in Michigan is a little dreary, we do have something that is the envy of many - the Fall color change. It really is everything they say it is. This weekend should be wonderful. Bill's sister Mary is up from Miami this week. She tries to get here every year around this time.
Actually, this one could also be in a little bit better focus too. Oh well. You will notice my clothesline right in the middle of the shot. I might be the only one in the city proper that still has a clothesline. Mostly it is used to hang quilts to dry or photograph, but I do like to hang bed linen to dry also. You can't beat it. But.... the clothesline is coming down in a day or so. You see, Polly and I have a vision for our booth in Houston that includes a clothesline and antique clothes pins (yes, there really is such a thing!). No sparkly clean new clothesline will do. Our clothesline must be aged and dingy. We will go to any length to bring you folks the the real deal. Happy Fall everyone! Hey, the sun is out - here is a better view.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

If you follow any other "quilty" type blogs you surely know that Quilt Market is soon upon us. All of us in the biz will be in Houston in 2 weeks either buying or selling what will be in quilt shops for the next year. For Polly and I, it means deciding on the booth decor that will highlight our new fabric collection with Moda and our new patterns. It also means getting everything ready and making stuff. One of the things I have made is this reproduction of an antique laundry hamper. Really. Let's just say our booth theme might encompass vintage laundry, among other things. I showed Bill a picture of an old hamper and he made the frame and I made the bag. It's not brain surgery, but hey, we are pretty proud of ourselves. It has opened a can of worms, in that I would really like a laundry room re-do. I don't have a laundry room, but a laundry corner in the basement. Hmmmmmm..... Whatever changes occur - they will have to wait until after the happening in Houston.


Email me here and I will email you our directions. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mysterious Visitor

Last night while I was piecing a new quilt on my Featherweight and while Bill was watching a ball game, the doorbell rang. Bill answered it and said "Bunny here for you". I said "what?" and he said "Bunny here." Sure enough, no one on the porch except this little guy. There was NOBODY, anywhere that we could see. (Note.... I couldn't get to my camera in time so this guy is "googled". Seriously though, him, or someone just exactly like him was on our porch). He just looked at us and sniffed. Bill has a theory that my Featherweight was plugged into a wall that is on the same circuit as the doorbell, thus the ring. He also has a theory that a neighbor has their garage door opener on the same frequency as our doorbell. I have another theory....... I haven't worked it all out yet, but in involves pamkittymorning and possibly Anne of Bunny Hill designs..... Just saying.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Farmer's Market

Today I went to the local Farmer's Market. It is about a mile and a half away from our house and it is one of my favorite places in Ann Arbor. I found myself, unbelievably, ahead of schedule of quilt work and decided to do some cooking in the next couple of days. Here were some of the peppers and tomatoes that I bought.Bill loves zucchini bread, so that will be baked tomorrow. There are so many things I want to make. If my sewing proceeds well enough the next couple of days, maybe there is some marinara sauce in our future. Roma tomatoes are in and a maybe a bushel can be still available on Saturday. Bill is hoping for some apple pie also, but that is really pushing it.
Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
3 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, egg whites and vanilla into a large bowl. Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cloves. Mix well and then add the apricots. Pour batter into a buttered bread pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy.


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