Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Much to Be Thankful For

A year ago just now, we were in a car accident. While the car was totaled, we were ultimately just fine. A few months before that I required surgery. And I was ultimately just fine. Though last year was challenging, I was one grateful gal on Thanksgiving 2010.

There have been some low points this year—funny how you just can't squeak by without a downturn or two—but I continue to be grateful for all that I have: Smart, funny, loving daughters and a husband who is my best bud; extended family who cares; friends who support me when I need it and accept support when they do and who also play with me; work that fulfills me; an exhilarating new sport—the list goes on and I am so lucky it does!

Whether you're enjoying some much needed solitude or thrilled to be surrounded by a crush of revelers, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Feeding My Obsession

Can you believe that one on top of the box? Totally wild!
Since last April, when I attended the feed sack show in Ainsworth, I've been under the spell of feed sacks. In every antique and thrift store, at any quilt show, wherever vintage textiles are found, I poke through stacks of fabric in search of them. Typically they're very, very pricey, and given that I'm not sure what I'd do with them, I've never splurged.

Sweet little floral
Earlier this summer, no doubt when I should have been doing some work, I was noodling about online and decided to check Craigslist. Lo and behold, there was an ad for feed sacks, nearly vintage itself at several months old. I figured they'd be long gone, but wrote for more information. Amazingly, they were still to be had, but for a price that was a bit rich for my blood. Turns out here were about 23 (including several duplicates) of them, plus some scraps. I offered to buy them all for a lower price and the owner countered. I told her that I would pass, but if she'd ever consider my offer to let me know. Sure enough, she did and they arrived today!

So graphic! I've got two
It turns out that the feed sacks belonged to a octogenarian quilter from a small Iowa town. Her daughter was selling them for her. I felt a bit guilty having bargained for them, although the ad had been placed months before, so I guess she was glad for the sale. My real worry is that her daughter said that her mom wanted to know what I would do with them and asked that I send a photo of anything I made. Yikes! That feels like such responsibility...I can barely imaging cutting into them. But I promised when I did use them, I'd share the results. And she obviously used them, as there are many small bits in addition to the complete sacks.

A bold take on florals—flower in a flower
With feed sacks, I expect the sweet little florals, but am always amazed by how contemporary many of the designs are. In my Etsy story I mentioned that it took three feed sacks to make a dress, but the only bag I have three of would make anyone look (as my mother used to say) like the broad side of a barn.

Apparently owl imagery isn't new
For now, I'll just be folding and re-folding and admiring my feed sack stack. Heaven!

My favorites!
Yup, I've got three of these...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quilt Market Update: Links, Photos, and a Bit of Commentary

--> The most charming Lucie Summers with her fresh, fantastic Summersville collection [Photos fixed and a few added..thanks for your patience!]

I'm far behind my other bloggy friends when it comes to sharing Market photos. Since you may have seen it all (or most of it) on other blogs, I'll just share some highlights. Market, as always, was awe-inspiring—the fabrics, the colors, new bells and whistles on sewing machines, the clever patterns, the booths that look like living rooms from Elle Decor. It's always sensory overload.

Maggie, Anna Maria Horner, and Pierette
While the goods were fantastic, catching up with people was really a pleasure. Yes, it's tough to have a heart-to-heart with a designer or editor when people right behind you are taking her photo. But I think there's such pleasure in talking with others who love the same things you do. Because so many of us work at home and because of blogs, we've learned about each others home lives and that makes these business relationships a little more personal, too—how are your kids? Is your mom feeling better? Are you really on an ice hockey team?

Finally, I had the extreme pleasure of sharing Market with my Texas daughter, Maggie. The Home Ec team decided they just couldn't make it to Market and so Maggie came in their stead. She gathered lots of goodies for the shop, some that Codi specifically requested and some we thought she and Alisa would like. There was one crazy moment when Sample Spree was about to end and Codi and I were calling back and forth so I could find out if I should purchase fantastic Japanese zippers and we kept losing our phone connection. The announcers were saying Sample Spree was over, I was frantically trying to describe the zippers, and the guys were starting to pack up—mania! In the end, victory (and zippers) were ours.

Apologies for the funky layout...I decided it was better to finally get it posted than to make it perfect!

Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric and perfect quilting

Marny and Jill of Modern Quilt Relish--Iowa gals!
Modern Quilt Relish booth-they also one made for Daisy Janie
Seven Islands booth-lunch bags
Malka Dubrowsky and her new fabric for Moda, A Stitch in Color--Wow!
Cloud 9 has a new line based on Grandmother's drawings
--> Alexander Henry's booth is always a knock-out
The lovely Alyssa's work in her Penguin and Fish booth
Maggie with Amy Butler's clothing in the softest-ever voile
Deploy that Fabric camouflage quilt
Love this concept and the cover quilt (above)
Weeks and Bill Ringle have launched Modern Quilts Illustrated and it's gorgeous!
A cow quilt from Mary Lou and Mel's new book
American Jane (Sandy Klopp) knocks my socks off every time
Ty Pennington's booth with (get it?) ties
Making the most of down time: Kaffe knits and Liza binds
Tina Givens knows how to make the best of chocolate brown paint