Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hand Quilting, French Movies, And Why Aren't I Getting Farther Along?

There isn't a lot of stuff written on my calendar for this week. I planned it that way. I thought that this week and the next were my best chances this summer of getting quite a bit of hand quilting done. It was a good theory. Oh, I'm sitting with a quilt in my lap and a needle in my hand, but I'm not nearly as far along as I would have liked. I blame the French.

French movies, to be exact. I have taken my own advice and stocked up on a pile of romantic French movies. First there was Cyrano de Bergerac. Fabulous. Second was Amelie. A favorite of mine (and in the permanent collection) Lastly, this one that has been on my list for a long, long time - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Filmed in 1963, this classic is the first film for Catherine Deneuve. She is luminous. Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a romantic musical. Do not think this is a romantic comedy. This is French, so it is romantic, beautiful, and slightly tragic. All the dialogue is sung. The music is by Michel Legrand. The movie is surreal, yet lovely. The sets and costumes are what you will remember. They are quite frankly, the most amazing movie sets I have ever seen. Think of an everyday interior swathed in surprisingly color. You won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. Oh yeah, that's another thing about French movies - subtitles. You don't get a lot of hand quilting done when your eyes are glued to the t.v. reading the text. (Note to self - best hand quilting shows are American t.v. fare where your eyes and mind can wander a bit)

It was kind of quilty though. Not much stitching was done, but I sure did get inspired by it. It made me think of this quilt in progress.This is Pookie's Nicey Jane quilt. You can read more about it here.
(photo snagged from ipbeats.wordpress.com)

It was almost as if the entire movie was channeled by some fellow quilt fabric designers. Heather Bailey and her Nicey Jane look was unmistakable. I also saw quite a bit of Red Rose Farm by Elizabeth Scott. (these pics were shamelessly snagged from The Late Bloomer blog)

Rent it, or buy it and see for yourself.

Don't even get me started on the Amelie and Happy Zombie connection.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Melting

Good News/Bad News........ The good news is that I have a good start on my quilt. The bad news is that quite a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into it. Actually, no blood or tears. Just sweat. Too much information??? Okay, you didn't come here to read about that. Here is the really interesting info - the winner of the Ship Ahoy kit. The Wicked Witch, may she rest in peace, did a little conjuring and came up with julia as the winner. Julia, email me here and I will get the kit out to you pronto.

The Wizard himself picked two more winners and they will receive a Minick and Simpson pattern of their choice. BRUSH CREEK CREATIONS AND MARY ON LAKE PULASKI - you can email me here and your patterns will be winging their way to you faster than flying monkeys.

Stay Cool


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Not The Heat - It's The Stupidity

http://casualhardcore.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/stupid.jpg It's hot here today. Hot and humid. Last night I finished appliqueing my long talked about but little photographed quilt. The one with all those berries I was making. Bill and I basted it last night and I started the hand quilting. Yes, I am spending the summer with a quilt in my lap. Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done - but what to do? The quilt has a deadline. (Note: I went to google to find a stock photo to post of "humidity". None available. So I typed in "hot". Another idea that wasn't so good. I didn't get the kind of photos I anticipated. Sigh.)

I expect a long, hot, cranky summer. I really shouldn't be cranky at all since I will be spending it doing what I love to do, but I am getting hot flashes just thinking about it. The central air is on and I have 3 fans pointing towards the couch where I will be quilting. Think of me when you are out in the surf and sand with the wind in your hair.

So, how are you keeping cool this summer? Post a comment below about your easy, breezy solutions before midnight June 24th and you could win this - our very, very, last kit of Ship Ahoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Polly's Travels

Polly is getting ready for her trip next month to Nantucket. Her annual jaunt to that beautiful island in the Atlantic for her rug show at Nantucket Country. Each year she packs up her newest Americana rugs - most with a watery theme. Isn't this one grand?

The show is in a fabulous antique gallery - Nantucket Country, and if you find yourself on the island next month you can view them there. Nantucket Country is located at 38 Centre Street and the phone number is 508-228-8868. Polly will be there in person on July 23rd, 24th, and 25th.

Lots of travel plans are taking place for us and for you too probably. There are rumors of a visit to the Pacific coast next year for both Polly and I (more later, when things are finalized) and even an unbelievable trip to France. Oooh La La and Oui Oui!!! Things are far from being finalized there - so for right now it is just imaginary and fantastic all at once.

Where am I going you ask? Well, there is a family cook-out planned over the July 4th weekend and I am busy, busy here finishing up an epic applique quilt that will be published next year. Yeah, sorry about being vague on that one. No pictures until we are closer to publication time. What else? Well I did just schedule a Quilt Guild talk. Yep, in Michigan. In January. Not quite as refreshing as Nantucket in July, but still pretty great. Oh, I think I will rent some romantic French movies to watch while I applique my brains out here.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Second In The Series Debuts

We have Polly's second rug in her special series ready to ship to you. This is Star Spangled Swim Suit - Polly's interpretation of a vintage wool bathing suit. Here is the description in Polly's own words:

First of all - a special thanks to all who participate in our efforts
to earn for our troops. This is #2 in the series of three kits. Some
of you are anxious for #3 and that will be offered in late August.
This kit measures the same as #1 the Sailboat, which is 17 x 24. You
will remember the stars in sailboat were white, the stars in #2 are
red and the last - the stars in border will be blue. These can be
used in a grouping, or they can be use alone. The kit is complete and
comes packed in our fabulous Stars and Stripes - a red, white, and blue
sand pail. The pattern is beautifully drawn on linen and is serged -
there is enough 100% dyed wool to complete the piece and ticking for
binding is included. Please feel free to write if any questions.

Supplies are limited of course. Thank you so much for your support.

Laurie and Polly

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Family Scandals

Today I started putting some quilt designs (that have been rattling around in my head) down onto graph paper. This is a view of my drafting table.Doesn't look like much does it. Oh, it will, eventually.

While I was pulling my hair out and spending the whole day getting this far, I also made dinner. I chopped, measured and cooked and Bill did the clean-up. We had one of our favorites - No Knife Pasta. (More on No Knife Pasta in a bit.....) While cleaning the kitchen and packaging up the left-overs, Bill found that we had more leftovers than we had clean Tupperware. (I say "Tupperware" for all seal-able plastic containers, like I say "Kleenex" for all facial tissues. You know what I mean.) Anyway, I could see his puzzlement about the left-over pasta problem. I left him and went back to my problems at the drafting table. A few minutes later I walked back into the kitchen to get a soda. Bill had solved his food storage problem by eating a portion of the left-overs. American Ingenuity. I guess it was less scandalous than throwing the left-overs away. Not as virtuous as just getting another Tupperware bowl. Hey, as long as it wasn't me cleaning the kitchen, I have bigger fish to fry.

No Knife Pasta you ask? It is a recipe I have been cooking since I saw it on Martha Stewart Living about 10 years ago. It looked delicious and it is. Martha was making it and telling the story about how it got it's name. It seems that it is a recipe from her daughter Alexis. Alexis must have some issues. Not to tell tales, but since Martha talked about it on t.v. - I guess I can tell you. Alexis doesn't use silverware. Not just the element silver - she doesn't use eating utensils. This particular recipe is something that Alexis cooks and eat with her hands. Martha looked a little sad as she told of a recent lunch with Alexis at the 4 Seasons restaurant in NYC and not a piece of silverware was soiled. Poor Martha. That is a story I will never forget. One can only imagine all the mother/daughter issues there. We choose to use utensils when we cook and eat it, despite it's origin, and say what you will about Martha - the woman can cook. Interesting that the link to the recipe and video is much more recent and the story of how it got it's name is now omitted. Some of us, fortunately have long memories.

Remember when I posted about the Memorial Day Parade? Well, there was a surprise waiting for me at that parade. The Dexter Michigan Rotary Club float. Every year the Rotary Club builds a play house to raffle for charity. They choose an "historic" building every year to model their play house after. Imagine my surprise when a familiar house went by.Yep, the house that Polly, myself, and our brothers grew up in. This is a stylized version of the house. Why it was chosen is a mystery. Since it was chosen, we must now find out how to purchase these raffle tickets. Polly and I have racked out brains to think of how this house could possibly be historic. My only guess is that fateful day in 1964, when an outraged 6 year-old took her older brothers prized 45 rpm record collection and sailed them out the upstairs window onto the yard, sidewalk and street. What she was outraged about is now long forgotten, but some people still tell the tale of how they dodged the flying discs as they flew across town. Patrick and I got a lot of mileage out of that story over the years. Yeah, that must be the reason.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Dust is Settling

It's been a little while since the last post. There has been lots and lots of activity, just not very much excitement. Patterns were delivered from the printer, stuffed into bags and shipped out again to distributors and quilt shops. Hundreds of cardboard boxes were either put together and taped or taken down and recycled. All the of La Playa kits were shipped. (you are noticing that none of this exciting stuff was captured by a camera) It actually took two trips to the post office to ship the kits - 2 overflowing SUV trips to the post office.

What has it been like here the last few days? Lots of activity and everything looking just about the same when it is done. Like herding cats.

Hope you are having a productive day.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh, We Are Not Perfect

No, we are not perfect. We usually are adequate, so-so, or occasionally superior, but not perfect. If we were perfect we wouldn't have thought up this ridiculous contest about guessing how many polka-dots are on Gibby's tongue.

Strategies were discussed. Equipment was stockpiled and photos were attempted. Two days went into the procedure. A half jar of peanut butter was consumed and smeared. Gardening gloves (for gripping ability) were ruined and a exhausted puppy tongue was finally, tallied and recorded for posterity. The number of polka-dots is 34.

We had two correct guesses: Sewprimitive Karen and Joyce from MI

Karen and Joyce - email me here and each of you will receive a Hamptons tote bag filled with a little something.Since we couldn't be absolutely, positively certain that our counting could stand up in court, (Hey, we did our best) we decided to pick two more winners out of all the entries. The random number generator picked .......

Audrey and HollyC

Audrey and Holly, you can email me here also and you each will get a kit to make the flag apron.I wish we could have had photos for you, but it took both of us to count and the cats won't or can't work the camera.

Despite the drama, some other things got done here. Quilt blocks were appliqued, kits were packaged, and another kit was put up on the website.
This is Polly's newest rug kit - the 2nd in a series of three small patriotic rugs. It is packaged in our sand pail and includes everything you need to make this rug.

Well, that's about it. It's been a long couple of days. Two days I will never get back. I will try to remember that next time I have an idea about a contest.


Blog Archive