Saturday, February 28, 2009

Road Trip

Despite St. Christopher being booted from the sainthood, he's still a good guy! Thank you all for fondling your St. Christopher medals in our honor. It must have worked. We are both home safe and sound. I drove, Robin navigated, and although I gave you some foreboding in the "What to do with Bandanna Fabric" post/video - we did not get arrested. Let me explain..... We have no toll roads in Michigan. My only experience with toll roads are the Ohio turnpike and the Pennsylvania turnpike. Very user friendly, those turnpikes. You get on, you get a ticket stub. You get off, you pay. Easy. Well, not so much in Chicago. I still don't quite get it. I THINK you are supposed to pay every time you see a toll sign. Anyhoo.... after driving past three or four of them, Robin and I thought we might be making a mistake. So then, every time we saw one, we drove over and threw in our change. Either we broke the law the first few signs or they are still laughing at the tourists who kept pulling over on the expressway to throw money in buckets. Can you Chicagoans elaborate? All of the other times in the Windy City - we have flown or taken the train. OY! We had a grand time. On our way back this morning we stopped at a fabulous quilt shop - The Quilt Merchant in Winfield Illinois. This is what we saw when we walked in the front door.Fabulous! Polly would have died and gone to heaven here. Isn't that a great Blackbird's Design quilt with the blue vase and flowers? Docia - the owner - told me that almost everything on display is a kit. The whole shop is antique reproductions. Awesome. Here is a photo of Docia and Stella who greeted me this morning. The quilt behind them is the subject of this morning's class - "Applique Affair." Isn't it wonderful! Here is teacher Leanne and her students (or experts!)I took home a couple of treasures from The Quilt Merchant. Here is a bundle of double pinks and background prints in this wonderful stenciled paper tray. How could I not bring this home? Thank you ladies for putting up with me today. I can't wait to get back to your shop.


Thursday, February 26, 2009


Sorry for the lousy photo. It's dark out and it's pouring rain. That meant I had to take this picture inside. We have had questions regarding the construction of "Polly's Quilt." First of all, I will preface this by saying "I didn't make this" but I think I can look at it and describe to you how it was made. Here is a photo of the yardage. Thanks Lake Street Mercantile for the photo.
So, Patty, here goes.....

The stars are 3 wide across the yardage with the zigzag printed on each end of the selvage. The maker of the red quilt above has a section of 3 stars wide by 7 stars down the middle of this quilt. She then cut off the zigzag from both edges and saved it. Then, she took another piece that is 3 stars wide and 7 long and cut it in 3 pieces so that she had 1 star by 7 stars with a zigzag on one side, another 1 star by 7 star with a zigzag on the other side and the middle strip of 1 star by 7 stars. This middle strip of 1 x 7 is NOT used. Save it for another project. Then she sews a 1 star with zigzag strip to EACH side of the 3 x 7 strip. She now has a 5 x 7 section with zigzag on the two long sides. The zigzags she cut off the initial piece is now measured and cut to size and a red square is sewn on each end. It is then sewn on the top and another on the bottom. Got it???? That's it. Wow, I hope that makes sense. You're welcome. We aim to please.


What DO you do with the Bandanna Fabric?

Polly and I were asked at Quilt Market this past Fall about our bandanna fabric in the Flag Day Farm collection. What do you mean, "What do you do with it??" What can't you do with it? I have cut it up into little pieces to make quilts. I have made pillows. I have used it for a back of a quilt - to kind of make a reversible quilt, sort-of. I haven't made a shirt out of it yet. Mainly because most people would need only one bandanna for the main part of the shirt. Me..... it wouldn't work out that way. I think it would also make darling little girls dresses and skirts. Curtains, valances, bedskirts, etc.... What are you planning on using it for? I would love to hear?Polly and I have been working on a new fabric collection this past week. It is always kind of intense. I pace. I wake up in the middle of the night and make notes. I rip up magazines collecting inspirational pictures. I imbibe a whole lot of caffeine. The collection is taking shape. It isn't fine tuned yet - but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Hooray.
Tomorrow I am going on a road trip! My friend Robin and I are going to Chicago for a day. Road trips and Chicago always make me think of THIS. I don't know if it will be that exciting. Neither Robin nor I smoke.


Friday, February 20, 2009

And the Envelope, Please!

And the winner is....... Ann O.

Hey Ann, email me HERE and I will get your prize out pronto. Since Pat tells me that Ann is not in the 48 continental states, it makes the crate of oranges a little complicated. So Ann, I will add something nice to your fat quarters and I will pull a second place winner!!! Yes, for the oranges and something else too..... Our runner up winner and a finalist for Miss Congeniality is.....
Jeannette. Thanks everyone for playing!


OP Blocks

I gave it the old college try. This is my orange and turquoise version. Here is the second block.
The same orange in the center with a red and yellow print on the outside and a stronger red in the sashing. See..... all you red, it's a slippery slope. I will have you all converted to orange people in no time. This is the last block. I used much of the same color scheme as in my Fiesta quilt. The lighting is a little hinky, though. Yes, it's a word!! I couldn't get it quite right. Maybe, tomorrow out in the sunlight I will get a better picture.Happy Blog Hopping Everyone!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Like Orange!

I do! Really, I do! It has been a slow courtship, but I have come to adore orange. A little can do a whole lot. I, like most quilters, at one time have proclaimed to dislike orange. "Can't use it" I said. I have always loved red. LOVE IT. It is a short trip from red to orange and the boundary gets more blurred as I get older. It started innocently enough. I fell for Fiestaware. Vintage Fiestaware red is coveted. I call Fiestaware red my favorite color. But..... isn't it really orange?It's just a matter of perspective, isn't it. I started picking up a few pieces of the red Fiestaware. Doesn't the turquoise look fabulous with it? I started to pick up a few pieces of that too. Pretty soon, this is what I have. The little bits of yellow kind of make a spark too, don't you think? Things seemed to take off from there. My friend Rita made me this purse to honor my obsession. I even made a quilt to go with my Fiestaware. A trend is starting. I am seeing turquoise and orange all over the place. I found this industrial drafting table last year at a garage sale and HAD to have it. I even convinced Bill to paint one wall in the kitchen - orange. Okay, it's more of an apricot.... Looking at this picture - I know I have to do something about that white switch plate. One more thing for the "to-do" list. Oh well. So, yes I think I can take Pat's OP challenge and work with orange. Here is my pile of orange fabrics. I think some turquoise would look nice with this. I have some around here somewhere. And now on to the important part - our prize!!!! The lucky winner will receive 20 fat quarters of Minick and Simpson's Scaredy Cat fabric by Moda. You will also get a box of oranges sent to you personally from Polly from Temple Citrus in sunny Naples, Florida. Good luck everyone.



This is a Michael Kors creation shown on the runway at Fashion Week a few days ago. I do like orange, but.... this fearless, I am not.
Laurie & Polly

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mystery Quilt

Another day, another box from Moda on my porch. I am not complaining! I'm not sure what to make of this one. Did it come to the right address? Is it a class example? Is it a salesman sample? Is it a gift? Whatever it is - it's marvelous. Someone made a quilt out of the cheater cloth we designed for Flag Day Farm. The fabric is named "Polly's Quilt" as it is an exact copy of an antique quilt of Polly's. She had the top for awhile and asked me to hand quilt it a few years ago. This antique quilt appeared in the Christmas Country Home issue a couple of years ago.
Can you tell which one is the antique quilt and which one is the cheater cloth? Can you tell which picture was taken by a professional photographer and which one was taken by me about 10 minutes ago?? My biased opinion??? - this is the best cheater cloth quilt EVER. Bravo, whoever is responsible. Actually, even though I don't know who is responsible, Brava is probably more appropriate. Those Moda elves never sleep.
In the first photo there is another cheater cloth quilt I am working on in the quilting hoop. It is the Bandanna Fabric from Flag Day Farm. My thought this weekend (way before I saw this mystery quilt today) was to hand quilt four bandanna sections, cut them apart and make 4 pillows. Serendipity. Or is it another coincidence? Just sayin........

I am feeling rather light headed today. I can't get over myself. I am "Queen for a Day" over at Pat Sloan's blog.
Make sure you catch it tomorrow as it will be Polly's turn on the throne. Thanks Pat.

Okay, I have had a request as to the yardage needed to make the quilt. The new quilt measures 68" x 90". So you would need two lengths of 90" - 5 yards. But.... that doesn't take into account how the design lies on your 5 yards (does one of the motifs get cut in half?) So - I would get 6 yards to make sure. The zigzag border is on the selvage of the yardage (already there!!!). There is a red square in each corner - so a red solid fat quarter will do it. The Moda elf who made this has the circled star motif 5 stars x 7 stars. Thanks for asking.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Orange Pile Challenge
What are you doing this weekend? Pat has asked us to join her OP Challenge. OP, as in, Orange Pile. You can read it all on Pat Sloan's blog. There will be a block, some orange stuff, some give-aways, and lots of posting and fun. Come back Friday to see what I'll come up with. I'm sure it will be.... well, it will be something. Oh yeah, Pat is doing a little interview at the end of the week with two Fabric Designers who happen to be sisters. Wonder who?


Coincidences - Part II

Thanks for the emails and comments about the Coincidences post. It seems I hit a nerve. They occur in groups, don't they? They sure do! Bill reminded me of the story of his sisters Mary and Margie. They are about 1 year apart and have always been accused of being twins. Their resemblance has gotten stronger as the years go by. A couple of years ago when Margie flew to Florida to visit Mary, they discovered as she disembarked the plane, that she and Mary (who was waiting for her at the gate) had worn the exact same clothes. Shirt, slacks, and jacket. Three pieces. Purchased 1400 miles apart. There is a photo somewhere commemorating the occurrence. I don't have that picture, but they looked like the Doublemint twins :)
Polly and I talk on the phone daily about business, quilts, rugs, and whatever. Saturday, when we were talking I told her about a jacket I purchased the day before. I was shopping for some Valentines Day gifts and I bought something for myself. I described it. She said "I bought it too." Yes, also 1400 miles apart and within two days, we purchased the same jacket. Why are we surprised? We often like the same things. We both LOVE this jacket. This particular jacket is sort of unusual. Anyone who knows us would not think "Minick and Simpson" when they see this jacket. Polly declined to model it for you. Me too (although I do look fabulous in it!!). I will let the model from the Ralph Lauren website model it for you. Here it is.
I guess I just don't know what to say about it, except that maybe we both have a little spring fever.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I found this vintage valentine at one of my favorite local shops last week. The shop is called Found. That's a great name isn't it? This card is so sweet. I usually give Bill a humorous, contemporary valentine and a vintage one, if I have come across one. I snatched this one up. A few years ago I saw this one and I HAD to get it for Bill.I had this one framed and we admire it all year round.

There was a lot of pressure associated with Valentine's day when I was young and single. Would I get the right Valentine from someone special. Would I give the right one?? Now that I am not young or single, Valentines Day is much more enjoyable. It's a sweet day isn't it? I hope you have a sweet day with all of your sweeties.

And speaking of sweet...... this is Bill when he was young and single.Is that hysterical or what?

Oh, and SheilaS asked about the pincushion from the previous post. I made the pincushion from a pattern in this book.

Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted GiftsLast Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. You will love this book. It has many great patterns for easy hand made gifts.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The last couple days have been full of coincidences. Have you had days like that? If I think of someone, I get a phone call or email shortly thereafter. If I hum a song it magically plays on the radio or in a soundtrack of a television show. I must be in the metaphysical groove, so to speak. I have been listening to a favorite book on audio this week and I turn on the t.v. Sunday night and Sense and Sensibility is on Masterpiece Classics.

This movie version is terrific and very, very close to the original. I do love the Emma Thompson movie version too. How can you not love Emma? Good thing I don't have to choose and can watch both till I overdose on Austen.

I have been working on a possible new pattern. I have it in mind for our new fabric collection that will show at Spring Market in Pittsburgh. I, of course, don't have that fabric yet - so this prototype is made with American Primer fabric.
Here is a peek at what I have so far......
So.... I am busy sewing along on this project and getting angry at myself for my for my pathetic supply of straight pins. Where did they all go? I have 5 left and 2 are dull. I keep pinning and unpinning for the entire afternoon and I am cursing under my breath when the doorbell rings. A parcel from Moda is here. It's small so it cannot be fabric. Inside is a little gift from Lissa Alexander, thanking me for posting a project on the new Moda Bakeshop website. Here is the gift.
Yes, an Americana tin stuffed with new, SHARP, straight pins. A coincidence???? I think not!
Don't you love the note? "Random Acts of Moda". The universe is trying to tell me something. Here's hoping the universe is showing you random acts of kindness today.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Polly and I are in the process of writing a blog entry for The Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber for our new fabric collection Flag Day Farm. I think it will be posted within the week - so look for it soon.
Flag Day
Anyhoo.... in discussing the collections and it's inspirational origins (the family farm our Mother grew up on) we were looking through some family photos. It has been our joke between us that there is NOT any good photos of us. None. Double chins and glamour challenged faces aside - most photos catch us with eyes shut or one eye shut or the zipper on our pants undone. I am speaking of myself, primarily. We try to sneak out of most photos if we see someone approaching with a camera. We have a sense of humor about it, but it is just fact. When we came upon this photo of our Mother, our oldest brother Michael (the baby of course), and our Great Grandmother Polly, we feel there must be a genetic tendency to disappoint photographers. Grandma Polly never met a camera she didn't like. (guess who was named after her!) Finally! Proof that the "photogenic" gene runs in the family. How funny is that!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009


What inspires you? What do you feed yourself visually, physically, emotionally that puts you in a mindset to create? Oh how I wish I had an instant formula. It can be many things for me and in a myriad of combinations. I feel I need a "clean slate" and that can be literal or not. Sometimes just a good cleaning off of my desk can be the catalyst. Other times it is a fresh perspective in the form of a trip or an intense research session. All old things inspire Polly and I and a good antique show or a junk shop excursion can do it for us. We are trying to get ourselves in that mindset right now. It is time to put ideas to paper for some rug and quilt designs and a future fabric line. Like all jobs that "seem" impossible, it is procrastinated upon. Stalling techniques are frequent. Last week it was housecleaning and taxes and now that they are done - it seems that creating time is here. It also was that clean slate feeling that I needed. Now it is down to work. The picture above hangs in my home. It is a page from a salesman's catalog for fabric. It is dated 1912. It was all the modern, fashionable calicoes that were shown to shop owners at the time. It is a good reference for me. The fabrics are timeless, simple and that classic category called "Americana." It helps me to get to that point from where we take off from. Does that make sense? How do you create?


Sunday, February 1, 2009

And the Winner is......

The winner of the Superbowl score guessing game and the new owner of the "Welcome Home" banner is Sue. Sue guessed 49. No one guessed the correct score of 50. So, Sue! email me here and I will get the banner to you soon.

And to more important things.... my nieces and nephew thought the best commercial was the Doritos one with the snow globe. Can't say I disagree. Slapstick humor is sometimes still the best.

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