Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Filling the Jane Austen Void

We haven't blogged much about Downton Abbey. It seems that everyone else has - and we'll leave it at that. Big fan. Love it all, expect for the cringe worthy duet last week. But hey, you can't be perfect all the time. This anglophilia has reminded me of the master - Ms. Austen and her masterpiece.
I have read it once. I have listened to it on audiobook more times than I can count. I have seen both of the most recent films - the one with Kiera Knightly as Lizzie and the 5 1/2 hour long epic with Colin Firth. We have stated our feelings before on this blog about Mr. Firth.I won't gush on about him. We loved both versions.

But what to do when you have read the original countless times and the Pride and Prejudice dvd's are wearing a bit thin. Literally. Well, there are countless prequels, sequels, and re-imaginings out there. Have you indulged in any of them? Here are some I have watched or read.

There's the Bollywood version of it called Bride and Prejudice.
This version takes place in contemporary New Delhi. Not bad. If you like the Bollywood way of putting every story known to man with singing and dancing. I enjoyed it. Another good film is Lost in Austen.

It's both a book and a movie. The movie, I believe, is better than the book. Funny, but with real respect for Austen. Think of it as if Bridget Jones time travels back to Netherfield and Longbourn.

There are countless sequels and prequels and even murder mysteries. Some are pretty good. I liked Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife by Linda Berdoll I did not. Ugh. It's a sequel to Pride and Prejudice with all the intimate details of Lizzie's and Mr. Darcy's sex life revealed. Oh, how I wish I could erase some of the images out of my mind. I never finished it. My least favorite is The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCollough. It's Mary Bennet's story during the time of Pride and Prejudice and long after. Remember Mary, the prudish sister who lectures all on morality? Well, in this story, while she is lecturing on morality, she is wickedly deceiving all around her and well, just behaving badly. No character comes out of this unscathed. I wasn't the only one who hated it . Read the reviews.

My current read and surprising alternative take on the classic story??!! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.Really. Who doesn't like Zombies? I had seen this advertised and avoided for quite awhile. I succumbed the last time I went to the library and I'm glad I did. Believe it or not - it is the most true to the original, yet it is completely ridiculous and fun. Imagine Lizzie and Jane trained by Shaolin Monks for the killing of Zombies? Lizzie and Jane are not the first heroines trained by Shaolin Monks in the violent arts.
Remember her?

So, if you need a bit of entertainment while stitching, try a few of the above.

Oh, and thanks to all who sent a kind note about the radio interview yesterday. You can listen to it here if you missed it.


Sunday, January 22, 2012


Have you ever made the same quilt twice? A slightly different quilt the second time around. I have. Many times, and no, I don't get bored. I guess it would if all I did was the same quilt over and over, but I don't. I enjoy the process of stitching, it usually doesn't matter what, so I guess that's way it doesn't bother me much. A few years ago I made this quilt and it appeared in our first book, Folk Art Friends.
Unfortunately, Folk Art Friends is out of print. You still might be able to find it on Amazon and EBay as used. I'm doing this quilt again, as a commission, with several changes. First, it's going to be blue and gold, not red and gold and second, it's going to be a golden retriever quilt, not an Airedale. Here is a finished block.
It's good to have a project to stitch on while I am designing new quilts for our next fabric collection. Sometimes the designing process is easy and fast and I can't believe I can get all bunched up about it. Then sometimes, well it's like procrastination and dread all wrapped up in an inferiority complex. This designing binge is sort of in between.

Hope you all have something nice to stitch on.

Remember to listen to us tomorrow at 4pm EST on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio - hosted by Pat Sloan - the hardest working woman in the quilt industry.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monday! Monday! Monday!

If you happen to be around a computer or a smart phone on Monday afternoon (or later - since you can listen after the fact) - Polly and I are going to be on Pat Sloan's radio show - American Patchwork & Quilting Radio. Just click on the icon on the left and it will take you there. We are going on at 4pm.

We're excited! We love the medium! We were born with faces that are made for radio!

We'll chat about Victory Girls, Spirit of Sacagawea, and American Summer, the new book with lots of rugs and some quilts too.
Sampler Rug from American Summer
People, you have to know..... we saw the strike-offs of our new fabric collection that will be shown to quilt shop owners in 2 months. Just know that we are very, very excited. We love it and we think you will too. When I get my hot little hands on actual, real fabric - you people will be the first to know.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

American Summer!

The wind chill here is in single digits. What better time to talk of summer!

Polly has a new book coming out in a week or so..... it's called American Summer
"Take a trip seaside with Polly Minick. This book has 12 gorgeous rug patterns that will bring back memories of her home state of Michigan, the shores of Florida and Nantucket - showing good times, family times, and lazy days. The book has extensive instructions and tips about her beloved rug hooking. It also has several quilts from her most talented sister Laurie Simpson and the "coolest beach bag" ever. It is well known that Americans most often head to the shore for their family times - be it a lake, river, canal, Great Lake, or oceans - We love the shore! This book will bring back your family memories."

The book is here, on our website for pre-order right now. They should ship in about a week or so. It's a lovely book, you'll want this in your library. Thanks!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Victory Girl Book Winner!

Thanks for all your news of quilting and rug hooking adventures. I know we all like to hear about them. Polly and I have more than the usual amount of travel planned this year. It's good to know that we'll be seeing some of you. The one bad thing about travel...... is being away from our loved ones.
Gibby is not amused. He doesn't like it when the suitcases come out. Thankfully, we have people waiting in line to take care of him. It must be his sparkling personality. But, it won't be for awhile yet. Mr. Gibbs is happy about that.

Oh, the winner of the Victory Girls book is..... Laurie in Iowa

Laurie, email me here and we'll get the book out to you.

What do we have to tell you? I just finished a little project and used this stuff.
The neat handle is from Superbuzzy. Yeah, you know the drill..... I can't show you the finished project yet. Sorry about that. Frustrating, isn't it? Can I bribe you with more goodies? Come back tomorrow and Polly will have something great to show you. Thanks for your patience.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is It Winter Where You're At?

It isn't here. It's rainy, muddy, and a dark, dreary day. (Muddy Winters, what a great name for a blues singer) There are rumors that we will get a small blizzard soon, but I don't think it will amount to much, as it will be in the 40's next week. My chores for the day have been done and I'm going to start a pot of soup. Hopefully tonight will find me cozily stitching on the sofa. It's it's going to snow (and it is January after all) I would love to have a real snow storm. You know, snowy and brisk, like this.

Brrrrr Park by Minick and Simpson

As you can see, when this picture was taken, it was a dreary, overcast, warm winter day also. Bah!

Enough of that. We have some more dates firmed up for the upcoming year. We will be in Iowa at Hen and Chicks June 5th, 6th and 7th.

We will be going back to Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe at the end of April - the 27th and 28th. They should be posting information on that soon.

This unseasonably temperate winter has Polly and I thinking of summer........ which brings us to this...... we will have a summertime announcement very soon! To get ready for that, let's hear about everyone's rug hooking and/or quilting plans for the summer. We have a full calendar and are wondering if any of you folks are going to travel with hooking or quilting in mind? Will you go to a show? A retreat? Maybe just a long weekend? Let us know. Comment here before midnight Saturday the 14th and you could win a copy of Victory Girls.

Good luck.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Color Of The Year!


Have you heard?  The color of the year, as picked by the color gurus at Pantone © is Tangerine Tango.  Just so you know, we love this!  Except maybe for the name.  Tangerine Tango sounds more orange than it really is.  It's orange/red, or red on the orange side, or tomato soup red as I call it.  Okay, so it's orange.  We still love it.  It's the color of vintage Fiestaware.
 It's also the color of the reds that Polly and I use in our rugs and quilts.
What is not to like?  Sometimes, it's the reason I "pin" things on Pinterest.
Have a Tangerine Tango weekend!!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year - New Projects

It's a new year and I find I'm itching for a new project.  A little appliqué.  A quick peruse through the scrap bin and the palette quickly emerges.  The inspiration is all those many monochromatic sewing baskets, bags, boxes, made in the Japanese style.  You know, kind of like these, but not nearly so well done I will wager to say.

The above picture is from the book Daily Quilt 101 (all the rest of the wording on the cover is in Japanese - so it could say a lot more - your guess is as good as mine).

Did you happen to get a new calendar as a holiday gift?  Below are the appearances Polly and I will make this year.....mark on your calendar and try to stop by.

February:  Polly will be in Sarasota Florida at a hook-in on February 22.  Unfortunately, this is sold out, but try to make reservations for next February.  This is quite the popular event.

March:  Polly will be in Sebring Florida the 23rd, 24th, and the 25th.   There are still openings here.  Click on "Sebring" above to email the coordinator of the event.  Polly raves about the accommodations!

April:  On the 12th, 13th, and 14th I will be in Petoskey Michigan at the Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild.  I  will do a lecture and trunk show at the guild and teach.  Also in April, both Polly and I will go back to West Linn Oregon and teach at HollyHill Quilt Shoppe.  Those dates have not yet been nailed down yet - but I expect within a week or so - we will have it.

May:  All you shop owners and employees can find us in Moda Land at the 2012 Spring International Quilt Market.    Immediately following that both Polly and I have special things planned - but they have to remain a secret for just awhile longer.

June:  In June, Polly and I will travel to Iowa and join Heidi Kaisand at her shop Hen and Chicks for a retreat.  Again the dates haven't been nailed down - but we should have them very soon.

July:  July takes Polly back to Nantucket for her show and some classes at the Nantucket Historical Association 1800 House.  It will be the last week in July.  The NHA doesn't have it's 2012 classes up yet - but keep checking their website.

August:  August 12th through 18th will find both Polly and I are at Sauder Village for their rug hooking week.  This is a must for all you rug hookers - great show, lots of classes, and mega vending!  I will even teach a class!

The rest of 2012 is still in flux.   We'll post more when we know.  Hope to see you all.



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