Sunday, November 28, 2010

Darn It!

I suppose you got the new American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in the mail recently too. It has our friend Sandy's beautiful Row By Row quilt on the cover. There is lots of neat stuff in it. Make sure to check out page 22 with a photo of Polly's rug hooking studio.

I really loved the Think Big quilt on page 76 made by Lorraine Hofmann. It just so happens I was thinking about hand quilting a top with a big stitch quilting stitch when I saw this article. In the past I have used regular quilting thread, linen thread, or pearl cotton to do this. Lorraine recommends crochet cotton. It is even sturdier than those others. This was definitely worth a try. Friday morning I ran out and got the crochet cotton. When the top was basted later in the afternoon, I tried to find a needle in my vast sewing box to accommodate this crochet cotton. I wasn't having much luck. A few emails later to some trusty needle workers - and they recommended a large chenille needle. My chenille needle wasn't cutting it so I made another trip out. I picked up 8 different packages of needles in varying shapes and styles and I can say, after 2 days of hand quilting - the winner is this.The John James Cotton Darner in size 7. I'm sure you have lots of darning needles laying around, don't you?? Well, me neither, but I will now. It is long, skinny and the eye is big enough to accommodate the crochet cotton. The skinny profile slips through all the layers without resistance. Big stitchers - stock up now.

So what else is happening?? Just now I was in the kitchen for an hour chopping vegetables and stirring a pot of soup. While I worked, I had on the t.v. When Harry Met Sally was on. A Simpson Family Classic. I can repeat the dialogue almost verbatim. Often, when out shopping, Bill will point out something he finds particularly nice and I find particularly heinous...... this is my reply... "Garage sale, Roy Rogers wagon wheel!!"
Oy! A lot of t.v. classics will be watched and listened to as I hand quilt this quilt.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you are having a wonderful day with your family and friends. We are. The holiday started last night when Bill and I went to see The Drowsy Chaperone. If you are local, make sure to see this! What a lovely night at the theater.

I am finally done posting pictures of our whirlwind trip to New York. Thanks for indulging us. Polly wants to go back in March. This is why.

A quilt show sponsored by the American Folk Art Museum. But.... because of the epic size of the show (650 red and white quilts!!!!) it will be held in the Park Avenue Armory instead of the museum. Save the date, indeed.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Else? Shopping, of Course!

After fitting in museum visits, eating, sight seeing and sleeping into the 36 hours - what was left? Shopping. Duh. I am a sucker for museum gift shops. New York City does not disappoint. The MOMA Design shop is someplace where you could lose yourself for several days. Unfortunately, I was discouraged from taking pictures there. Not to worry. Here was the LEGO shop at Rockefeller Center. No, I didn't buy lego's, but I wanted to. This dragon wound himself through all the rooms of the shop, and yes, he is completely made of legos.
Across the street was the Anthropoligie store. Well, they have those all over, you say. Yes, but did you know the best part of Anthropologie is the merchandising? Each store is different and believe me, the best designers go to the high traffic stores, like the one by Rockefeller Center.This huge pine cone was in the front window. It is made from recycled burlap bags. It is over 6 feet tall. The theme of the store was nature. Rivers and trees made from found items moved through the store.
This huge sun on one wall was made up of hundreds of mittens. New York City IS the place to be for "window shopping".

Polly and I also had lots of fun window shopping at all the home stores in SOHO. Each little shop has a specific theme. One of our stops was Purl. Purl is a little gem of a place chock full of colorful yarn, thread, and fabric. Whoo-hoo. Down the street was another shop - everything in the store was white. Everything. Except for this.As you probably know, everything in Polly's home is either blue or white (with a smattering of red). We did stop and ponder, but no one at her home plays pool and she is in a condo, and wow, this was just massive. It is pretty eye-catching, though.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Location, Location, Location

We stayed at a new hotel when we were in New York. We had to. They are tearing down our old one. This new one was picked because of the location. The Warwick is a lovely old hotel and we will definitely go back there. It was one block away from this.
This iconic piece of New York art! I have seen it in film many times, but had not seen it in person.

The Warwick is also 1 block away from this.
Both the American Folk Art Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. There is a new quilt exhibit going on right now.
Again, I have seen this quilt many times in books, but to see it in person was a treat. Why don't I make a quilt with a plain background like this?? I am a hand quilter, aren't I?? It's going on the "to-do" list. Here are some other quilts that have been in lots of books, but now we can say we saw them in person.
I love the goofy tree in this beauty.The Warwick is also 2 blocks away from Rockefeller Center! Rockefeller Center, that is home to NBC in New York and is a gathering spot for New Yorkers and tourists. (and let's not forget - Rockefeller Center, the meeting place of Polly and Tim Gunn!) Oh, the Art Deco! You know, it's just around the corner from Radio City Music Hall and you know what that means this time of year.... The Christmas Show with the Rockettes. Sadly, we didn't see it this year (but there is always next year). And Christmas at Rockefeller Center means the TREE. It hasn't been lit yet - but this is what it looks like right now as it gets draped with a trillion lights.
Yes, the tree is at least 10 stories tall. It's hard to grasp the size of the thing unless you are underneath it. This is the view across the skating rink. The scaffolding hides the lovely sculpture of Prometheus.
I wish I could ice skate well, for no other reason than to glide along at this famous and lovely place. More later.


Friday, November 19, 2010

New York Part II

Even if you are not a city person, you cannot escape the charm and romance of New York. Yes, it's loud, crowded, expensive, and everyone is in a hurry, (We love that!!) but what a remarkable hubbub it all is. No one can talk about all that New York offers, without mentioning the food. All we can say is, go hungry. We had one dinner together in the city, so choosing a place was important. We went to one of our favorites - Balthazar! Elegant, yet completely casual. Every meal we have had here has been better than the last. This year was wonderful! We had dinner with our dear friends Glenn and Art. Fine dining and great conversation.

Balthazar looks like it has been there forever, but it's less than 20 years old. It is always rated one of the best the city has to offer and yet, it seems like a neighborhood joint. Don't forget the bakery located next door. Yum.

The next morning Polly and I headed over to The Clinton Street Baking Company Go really hungry. We had heard the pancakes were the BEST. They are. It's a little place in the lower east side. You could easily walk by without noticing it. Do not make that mistake. Polly noticed that most everyone in the tiny cafe ordered the pancakes. She also noticed that everyone, once served, took a picture of the pancakes. I did too. But, alas, that photo did not turn out. Sorry. (I snatched this one from their website)That is warm maple butter in the ramekin.

That, just the tip of the iceberg. If you are a Foodie - New York is the place to be.

This time of year everything is getting decorated for the holidays. Store windows at Christmastime in New York can be the whole reason for your trip. One of the holiday highlights is the windows at Barney's. This year the Barney theme was Foodies. You know, chefs, restaurateurs and all of us who love them. One of our favorite windows was one of Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, and Paula Deen all decked out in snuggies. Notice the butter stuffed into Paula Deen's pockets.
For more pictures of the windows at Barney's, check out today's post over at Habitually Chic.

TaTa for now


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Excuse Me!

We are back home from a too short visit to our favorite city - New York. Polly arrived in the Big Apple on Monday, while I didn't get in until early Tuesday morning. (Yes, only 34 jam packed hours for me). That's alright. It just means we can't wait to get back for our next visit. While I was packing Monday evening for the trip, I got a phone call from Polly.......

"Guess who I just ran into?"

"I don't know, who?"


"Where are you?"

"Rockefeller Center"

"Um, I don't know, who?"

"He's a famous New Yorker"

"I give up. Who?"

Literally.... ran into. Or, Mr. Gunn ran into Polly while he was texting. As expected, he was polite.

I miss all the fun.

More tales of glamorous encounters and spine tingling adventures tomorrow.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Making Do

How is everyone? We are all fine here. I am getting ready to get up early tomorrow and go to the airport. I am meeting Polly in New York City for 2 days and I need to make lists and get everything in order. NYC people!!!! Let's hope we have glamorous stories and photos when we get back.

Remember when I posted a photo of my new bathroom sink faucet this summer? Well, it is finally installed. (Don't ask). The whole process was a lesson in "making do". The new sink and faucet was needed because of a plumbing problem. Once we found out that we didn't have to take out a wall (Yeah!!), we tried to solve the problem of the new sink. The old sink is original to the 1952 house. It was tiled into the cabinet in all of it's 1952 tile glory. We thought, if we could chip out the old sink, and not make too big of a hole in the tile - we could just replace the sink and faucet. If chipping out the sink didn't work - then the whole tile counter-top would need to be replaced, and then tile backsplash and then basically all the tile in the bathroom. You know, a whole bathroom re-model. So if we were careful, we could save that 1952 tile.

Why save it you ask?? Well, mostly, we didn't want to live through the re-model. We have lived through other remodels and we don't have the heart for it anymore. And 1952 tile??!! Hey, it's retro, and almost cool. Almost. If I call it "Mid Century Modern" - it definitely sounds cool.

So here is my Mid Century Modern sink and faucet. Notice the original cabinets. They are so retro that they are almost cool too.Just think, all the money we saved on the remodel can be spent on fabric. Priorities!

When I was in my sewing room an hour ago making my lists for the upcoming trip I found this under piles of stuff.
It was my proto-type for the Spooky quilt pattern.I design in a couple of different ways. This time, I just started playing around with fabric and got into my scrap basket. I made triangle blocks until the proportions looked right, then put on a border. The pattern was written looking at the red and cream quilt. We didn't have the Halloween Night fabric yet from the mill. Once the pattern was written, the quilt on the cover was digitally made using fabric scans sent on the computer from the mill.

It is definitely a make-do quilt. It uses scraps beautifully. The red and cream version is one of my favorite scrap quilts yet, and since I rediscovered it this morning - I think I will hand quilt it.
See, nothing going to waste. If you would like the Spooky pattern and order from our website - I will also include the Treats not Tricks pattern for free. 2 patterns for the price of one - and you can use the money you saved for more fabric!!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quilts Of Valor

Besides showing our fabric collection, Charlevoix at 2010 International Quilt Market, we showed our Quilts of Valor collection.

Quilts of Valor is a charity started by Catherine Roberts several years ago when her son was deployed to Iraq. Much like Polly; another mom who had a son deployed, Catherine wanted to do something to help wounded veterans and their families when they came back stateside. Quilts of Valor was born. It is a fine organization staffed by volunteers and their goal is to give each soldier and/or their family, a quilt to comfort them and to commemorate their service.

Quilts of Valor, has another ally now, Marianne Fons of Fons and Porter fame. She has joined with QOV to form Under Our Wings, a cooperative effort of quilters, quilt shop owners, and fabric companies to make quilts, and mentor beginning quilters to make quilts for this cause. Marianne asked Moda to help and Moda responded by asking Polly and I to join in also.

Moda is one of 9 fabric companies printing a limited edition of patriotic quilt fabrics to help in this endeavor. Moda has picked the 15 fabrics in our Bar Harbor collection that make this quilt.
This Quilts Of Valor Collection will be available in April and we are encouraging shops to have Quilt of Valor days in May to get these quilts made. Help us, help these soldiers and their families. Contact your local shop and urge them to participate.

All royalties from this fabric collection will be donated to Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Free project sheets for the quilt will also be made available to groups participating in May.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Are You A Winner?!

Are you Queen for the Day?
Did you hit a home run?

If you are Cheri C. you did - you are the winner of the Charlevoix Jelly Roll™. Mary @ Neat and Tidy wins the Sudoku quilt kit. Molly's Mom gets the autographed hanky and Lisa wins the Charlevoix t-shirt. There were several Lisa's so the Lisa that posted this.....

My fave is the Chippewa Nine Patch in Charlevoix. Carrie's Heartland in Minick and Simpson scraps is wonderful too. I enjoyed seeing Market through the eyes of the attendees...what each person photographed and how it was captured intrigues me. The antique quilts, what can I say? I hold my breath when I see pictures of them. Booth design is interesting too...loved the parasols hung upside down. Thank you for posting all about your trip to Market. ~~Lisa

You all can email me here and I will get these off to you asap. Thanks everyone, it was nice to hear what interests you.


Sunday, November 7, 2010


Bill and I made time today to see the movie Secretariat. We went, of course, because we were tipped by the intrepid readers of this blog (Thank you Logan!) that our Prairie Paisley fabric was used in some of the costumes. Indeedy it was!
The groom's shirt on Derby Day is our blue, medium scale paisley. Logan was right again when she said she thought a plaid shirt earlier in the film could be ours too. Yep, it was. Pinch me. Definitely a thrill to see something you created up on the big screen. A big Minick and Simpson thanks to the costume designers Michael T. Boyd and Julie Weiss for imagining our look works for the early 1970's. It did. Remember the early 70's??? Some of the clothes were less than stellar. Diane Lane looked fantastic, tailored, and very, very 1970's. She might have been the most stylish "housewife" of 1973. (Lane's character was often referred to as "housewife" in the film, and they weren't being gracious about it). What about the movie??? It's terrific. Lovely, inspiring, and very family friendly. We give it a thumbs up.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Houston Finale

Today we are at the end of the 2010 International Quilt Market photos. I hope you like them.

This was the display in Indygo Junction booth. They have a new book that looks really great -Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions. It was chock full of vintage needlework and graphics. Another interesting fabric line you will be seeing next year.... fabric from vintage Hawaiian Shirts.What did we, as Moda designers, see as the coming trend. Several of us commented that both artists and shop owners from Australia were heavy in attendance. I can tell you we get many hits on the blog from down under. This lovely booth was Don't Look Now - an applique design company that has a distinct look.
What made me squeal with delight? Well, I wandered by the Quiltmania booth and looked at their luscious books - many by the master of Japanese quilting - Yoko Saito. I decided on this one. Patchwork Lessons Vol. 3Imagine my delight when Ms. Saito revealed herself standing behind me and autographed my copy!!!!!!. I bowed. A lot. I hope I was polite enough.

Well, what did you see on this blog, and all the other blogs covering Quilt Market that intrigues you? Comment on what peaked your interest and make your comment by midnight Monday November 8th and you could get one of the following. (I'll pick four winners). Thanks
A Charlevoix Jelly Roll™

A Moda Sudoko Quilt Kit
A Moda 35th Anniversary Hanky - autographed by the Moda designers in attendance.
Or, a Charlevoix t-shirt!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More from Houston

Thank you, you eagle-eyed readers. We get to give credit to Jenean Morrison for the lovely bicycle booth.

Things are picking up here in the chilly Midwest. I am completely unpacked and patterns and trunk shows have been shipped. I have some good old housecleaning to do before I go on to the next big project. But, I must leave you with some more Quilt Market pictures.

Another ribbon winning booth was the color saturated booth of Amy Butler. Gorgeous. Never to be outdone in the talent and youth department is Tula Pink.I loved her very modern take on the old standard, the alphabet quilt.If that wasn't enough for the young and talented..... here is Liesl's booth - she is the genius behind Oliver + S patterns. This was the scene in Moda Home - Liesl's upcoming book of patterns - Little Things To Sew.Seriously, what little girl wouldn't want a red riding hood cape??

Oh, it wasn't all contemporary stuff. We had some "old-school" designers showing their stuff too. (No disrespect at all. We consider ourselves a bit old-school too). Here are some of Jan Patek's quilts.When my UPS and Fedex guys deliver the boxes we packed from Houston - get ready for a give-away. Fingers crossed - it will be tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post Market Stupor

So, here I am going through the pictures I took of market. You know the ones I took on my blackberry and titled "DUB". Like "DUB" is supposed to mean something to me now. Here is the photo titled "DUB" No, I don't know what the title means, but this adorable little quilt was in one of the Japanese fabric booths. It is Sunbonnet Sue with a Japanese flavor. I have lots more of these mystery named pictures. More of those later. My apologies to the fiber artist who made this and is now unnamed. Lets start with pictures I took while we ate dinner.These were at Minute Maid park while the Moda party was going on. Beautiful!!!! Some people love pictures of nature, some like pictures of cathedrals, I like ballparks. I was in heaven. The bbq dinner was pretty darn good too. We had bbq the night before also. After we put up our booths and were tired and sweaty, we went to a local spot and ate outside on picnic tables. Again, it was superb and the view was of this.A very large armadillo. BBQ seemed to be the theme in Houston. Go figure. We had this meal with Carrie aka the brains behind Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. This is the only pic of her booth I have.....her fab quilt "Heartland" made with Minick and Simpson scraps. Sorry, Carrie - you didn't seem to make the cut.
We also dined with Barb and Mary (Me and My Sister fame) who are our best buds and often neighbors at market. Here they are across the aisle from us. You would like more mystery photos?? Alright, how about this sweet decoupaged bike that I labeled "TBIK". No, I cannot fathom what TBIK means besides maybe a typo when I texted the word "bike". Again, sorry talented fabric artist - your bike is posted without your name attached. Maybe someone here will recognize the booth.

Oh, there's more, but they will wait for tomorrow's post. I have a little reminder too, we only have 2 more La Playa kits left. Don't miss out. Thanks

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