I’m Official!

I am official at many things in life.  Many that know me, know that I officially love Pie.  Not all Pie, if it’s apple pie, it is only my moms pie, and other pies should be tart, with just a little sweetness, and it must have REALLY good crust.  Some that know me, know that I am the official Gold Medal Holder for the best napper- in both length of time and style.  If you don’t know, there really is an art to napping.  Still there are others that probably think  I am officially crazy, and yes, I am certain at times, I am.  All that do know me, know that I officially identify myself as a Doris Day fan.  I may not be her number 1 fan, but I am a FAN nonetheless!

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This OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT is about the Agency that has made me into an official artist with official representation.  See?  I am official.  Sue from Vivid Art Agency says so. Sue is my most valuable agent, ( Let’s call her Agent 99) hahaha, but all kidding aside, there really isn’t any secret covert operation happening here, but I do feel like there is a whole lot of magic.  I cannot even tell you how great it is to have someone in your corner, helping you with the ins and outs of art licensing.  Sue (who is also the owner of Vivid Art Agency) supports me and looks at the bright side of things, even when I may be looking at the half-empty glass.

Having an agent, frees me up to do more of my artwork and less researching for art director contacts.  In the past I would spend days researching for valuable contacts, googling and using LinkedIn. I must say though, it does makes you feel a little like a detective, which is a kind-of enjoyable, but very time-consuming.   All that time should be used to generate new art, because let’s face it, without new work there wouldn’t be anything to submit to art directors, right?

It would be wonderful if all of you who read this would hop on over to instagram and follow Vivid Art Agency.  I think it would be fun for you to ride along on this adventure with me!

Have a Great Weekend!

AND

STAY CRAFTY!

The Garden Wall Quilt

As my earlier post stated, I was super busy with SURTEX preparations for the last several months.  In February my sister-in-law Debbie approached me. You may remember I gave Debbie a quilt I made for her Christmas gift.  She asked me if I would help her make a quilt for her daughter (my niece) Taylor’s graduation gift.

It’s funny, she said help- and of course I would help- but I knew she hadn’t sewn before, and even though we meant to do a few lessons over a year ago in preparation for this very moment, those lessons never happened, and I knew that helping meant more like making. Help=Make

“Not a problem” I told her.  And I really meant it.  Somehow I would get all these sewing projects done for SURTEX, I had no idea how and if it were even possible, but I told her I would have it done for Taylor’s graduation.

You know it always seems impossible, until it’s done.  

Since the word HELP was thrown into the mix of our conversation, I thought I would have her hold up her end of the deal.  So I first asked Debbie to pick a pattern from Pinterest.  She was looking for something that was saturated with color, beautiful, young and sort of bohemian.  She said she couldn’t decide, there were too many to choose from and she didn’t know where to start.  So I did some assisting by choosing a handful of designs that seemed to lean toward the aesthetic she was looking for.

She chose that one I thought she would.  It is the prettiest and most saturated, AND also the one that had the most cutting and piecing! So I had her come over one afternoon to help me cut, and cut and cut and cut.  And then cut some more!

The quilt pattern she chose was the Garden Wall Quilt, by Anna Maria Horner.  This quilt has 5 different sizes of rectangles and squares.  There were 9 blocks in the quilt, with each one consisting of  51 cut pieces!!  I can safely say that the cutting was the most labor intensive part of making this quilt.

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I used all Anna Maria Horner fabrics, from many of her different collections and they were mostly purchased from Etsy.  It was pretty impossible for me to find any of Anna’s Garden Party collection anywhere, so I had to wing it and I used her other fabrics.

I did follow Anna’s pattern as closely as I could, with fabric substitutes and the results were fairly similar. After all the cutting was done, the quilt went together easily- and it was great that Debbie came and spent an afternoon cutting fabric.I really enjoyed our time  chatting it up AND the extra set of hands were hugely helpful!

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Anna Maria Horner’s Garden Wall Quilt

 

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MY QUILT (TAYLOR’S QUILT)

Taylor’s quilt was made larger than Anna’s pattern called for.  My niece has legs for days and I really wanted the quilt to cover her from head to toe.

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I used some small pieces of my designed fabrics with Anna’s fabrics on the backside.  It was fun to see my designs quilted in circles. I completed this quilt in about 2 weeks.  Whew, I did cut it close!

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I always take a “box shot” with my completed quilt tucked neatly in a box ready for gifting.

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Taylor seemed to really love her quilt.  This should keep her cozy at college, and remind her of all of us who love and miss her when she is away.  I hope she feels all the love that went into every cut and stitch of this quilt.

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Joint Birthday celebration with my son Will, Aunt Heather and my niece Taylor.  I’m not sure how old Will and Taylor are here, but it’s safe to say, this was many years ago!!

Gosh, I really have no idea where time goes!

SURTEX, before and after…

It’s all I had been talking about.  “I’m getting ready for SURTEX”, “I’ll do that after SURTEX”, “When I go to SURTEX, this could happen”.  SURTEX, SURTEX, SURTEX!  MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA! This 6 letter word had consumed my life, by dictating sewing projects, both at home and at out of town workshops, and by creating a stress that until now I had avoided most of my life.  Yep that’s right, I am an AVOIDER!  If you ignore it, it will go away, right?  NOPE!  Don’t even try.

So as this blog’s title states, this is about before and after SURTEX, so let’s talk about before, shall we?  Many, many errands and projects (not sewing or design related) were put on hold until after this event.  You know, like house cleaning, laundry, folding and putting laundry away- let’s just say that my house was in desperate need of some TLC and so was my entire family.  Almost every waking moment was spent on preparation for this event.  Luckily SURTEX had some great webinars. These were key for us first timers that opted for the “telephone booth sized” booth.

They talked about banners, lighting, trash cans, backdrops (heights and widths), podium sizes (which was impossible to actually get the correct measurements) and last, and my favorite, PRESS KITS! These weren’t really my favorite, especially since we came home with over 100 press kits that nobody wanted.  I say my “favorite” because Jim, Will and I put 200 of those little devils together, which we were told to do in one of those informative webinars. I even asked if we were new to the industry and haven’t any clients yet, will we also will need 200 press kits? Yes- we were told.

Well, I am here to tell you now- DON’T DO IT!! 75 would have been a very nice number. WE were told to make and bring way too many.  WE spent countless hours assembling these kits, not too mention, Aaack I hate to even think of it, but the money that was spent on these- I haven’t done the math- and I don’t think I am going to.

This was how the kits were assembled

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200 Kraft paper folders were purchased.   Dum Dum lollipops were used as a closure for each folder. I think this is a genius idea, clever, and if you would like to borrow this idea I would be flattered.  All folders needed to be punched twice (through both front and back of the folder) for the lollipop insertion.

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I created a special coloring booklet just for SURTEX 

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I printed 300 Coloring Booklets and each was packaged in a vellum envelope with a box of 12 colored pencils, (not 8 as it stated in the photo above this photo).  The extra 100 booklets and pencils were to give out at my booth.

It’s The Little Things That Make a Difference

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In the photos above you see a bunch of embroidery hoops and a custom stamp I had made in my logo from Tailormadestamps on etsy.  I highly recommend them, the quality is awesome and they are quick! I used the stamp to put my logo on the embroidery hoop backside and the backside of the swatches.

On to the “Phone Booth Sized” booth.  The Floor space, was a mere 5 feet x 5 feet.  I couldn’t get exact measurements of the shelving that was offered through GES at the Javits Center, so I opted for these shelves…. Actually- they are shoe racks, but they were light weight and they fit the space nicely!

IMG_9575These were purchased from The Container Store, they were cheap, they came flat in a box and they didn’t need any special tools to set up! This photo was taken in the container store- this was not them set up in my booth.

The Booth

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This is my by booth before!  I know! RIGHT?!  It is SO roomy and spaceous!  I wish I would have opted for the next size up- It would have cost more, but this space was so small that I couldn’t even change my mind in it!!! Also, there was no privacy, those on either side of you could get in on your conversations, and dare I say it??? I’m going to- steal your potential client!  Yep- it happens, and did!

That tiny space to the left of my booth is where I put those stackable shoe shelves. They fit perfectly!! You can see them in the photo below.

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Here is the booth during set-up.  My banners were AWESOME.  They were done by Production Resources of Boston.  I put mostly characters on my banners and with the black background they popped!  People came around the corner and saw my pig on a vespa and couldn’t help but laugh!  That made my day!

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A shot of my amazing and handsome husband (my BUMBLE) Jim, hanging my banners with care, he also helped many others hang theirs!

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Setting up in progress! I am holding a spring-loaded curtain rod- this was put on the backside of my podium and was where I would hide my handbag and other things that I didn’t want to be seen.

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I had these items I sewed with my fabric printed from Spoonflower represented in my shelving unit. You can see them in the photo above in the shoe rack    shelving unit.

The Sewn Items

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This wallet, pattern is by LR Stitched-THE PERFECT WALLET, fabric by me, Granny’s Rock Garden Collection.  It is the perfect wallet! I love this wallet, and I have made scads of them!

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This little clutch made from Noodleheads Rainbow Clutch-(pattern from her book), The fabric is from my Lily Pond Collection.IMG_9784

This skirt I also sewed from my Lily Pond Collection, the pattern is from Colette Patterns The Ginger Skirt.  It is super easy to sew, but I feel like it never feels right when it is on- like it rides up or something- I wore it to SURTEX anyway.

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This is also a pattern from Noodlehead.  The divided basket, sewn from my Lily Pond Collection

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The blouse above is the Biscayne Pattern from Hey June Patterns – the fabric is from  my Splendor In The Grass Collection and the large pouch and small change purse  were sewing projects from Sew South. The fabric is from my Granny’s Rock Garden Collection.

You all know that I really want a fabric gig, so I really put that medium to the test to show what my collections can do for a plethera of patterns!  I really think they work well with clothing and bags- and quilts of course.

Since my characters were mostly represented on my banners, I put my design repeats into a portfolio I had printed through Shutterfly.  It measures 11″ x 14″.

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Over 100 of my design repeats were represented in this lovely tidy book.  It made for a great display on my podium.  I purchased a book holder to keep it upright to catch peoples eyes.

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Here I am on my second day.  Wow, look at that, I am having a good hair day!

What I learned and what I would/would not do again

  1. If it is your first time doing SURTEX- don’t do the smaller booth. This was only a one time deal for new exhibitors to get their foot in the door, at a lower price which was great, but you give up privacy, space, room for others to help you and I think status.  Attendees just weren’t educated enough on what the Designer District was all about. If you can afford to spend more for your first time- do it.
  2. Advertise in some of the special directories.  There is a SURTEX directory and there are a couple others, and apparently the cost is minimal.
  3. Make sure you have some holiday designs.  People came to my booth asking for Christmas designs.  This was a big “I dropped the ball moment” for me.  I should have had a whole portfolio book dedicated to Holidays! All holidays should be represented.
  4. 75 Press Kits- Tops.  Make them a special representation of you, but downsize and economize.
  5. Listen to the SURTEX webinars but don’t be afraid to reach out to some of your exhibitor friends before the convention.  If you are inexperienced at exhibiting (like me), don’t be shy about asking those who have been before advice on certain things you may be questioning.
  6. Be friendly and chat with everyone you can, you never know where it may lead. DON’T be glued to your phone.  It doesn’t look professional and you are missing so much!
  7. Have FUN

I may do SURTEX again.  Now that I got that all out of my system, I feel like I am ready to start planning for next year.  I did make many contacts, I learned from others and I got some really great feedback from folks.  I am also working on a contract with a company, and this happened because of SURTEX.  Things are moving ahead- I’m pushing forward and it feels great.

Thanks for reading and visiting.

Stay Well and Stay Crafty

I’ve been “Gilmored”!

Around the middle of December, I started watching The Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  I have watched them before. The show was on television from 2001- 2007 and I would catch an episode every now and again, and when channels are running reruns, I am sure to watch as well, even if I have seen the episode a million times.  Gilmore Girls episodes are like fine wine, they get better with time.

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From the very first episode I was hooked!  I binged watched, all 7 seasons.  Yes, I am addicted.  I love all the characters and I love the town “Stars Hollow”.  When I watched the last episode, I cried. NO!  Not because of the way the series ended, it was because it was the LAST EPISODE and it was over, I would be missing all of my fictional townsfolk and my fictional town of Stars Hollow. I am now watching it again, all 7 seasons, and even though I  know how they end- I STILL hope it ends differently… Crazy.. I know…

Stars Hollow may be a fictional town, but there are many of us, (you know who you are) in the world that are in search of this town.  We want to live there.  We also want all those crazy, quirky townies in attendance as well.  Yes, even Kirk. The man that sells everything and has every single job ever!!

This quaint little town is in Connecticut, and instead of giving you all the history of how Stars Hollow came about I am going to refer you to Amy’s blog, Finding Stars Hollow.   Amy does a great job of telling you all the ins and outs of Stars Hollow. She also shows you places that are very similar to Stars Hollow, of course you won’t find all the key components of SH in one town- I guess that’s why it is a fictional town.

Can we talk about the fact that Netflix is going to do a series revival of the Gilmore Girls?!!! To that I say YAY!!!!! 

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Photo from TV.com

The story goes, as I have read, that Netflix is planning on doing 4  one and a half hour episodes, each depicting the 4 seasons of an entire calendar year.  You can read more about it here.  I wonder where Rory will be, will she be working for the Obama administration in some capacity? Who will be her love interest?

Can we talk about Rory’s love interests, for just a moment please?

UGH!

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Dean was great!  I loved him as a boyfriend for Rory, sweet and responsible (except when he slept with Rory while married to his wife). As Lorelai had said, he was the perfect starter boyfriend.

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How about Jess?  When he first showed up he was so disrespectful.  He was okay towards the end of his time on the Gilmore Girls, when he got his crap together and was much nicer.  He wrote a short novel, and seemed to have grown-up a little.

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Rory’s last boyfriend, Logan?   Well he makes me crazy.  I really, really, really dislike him.  He is so condescending, has an air about him and unfortunately reminds me of my first real boyfriend.  Logan’s family dynamic is so similar to that of my unfortunate first real boyfriends’ family.  There was a particular breeding that was optimal, and I didn’t fit the mold. (Thank you God)! That hideous broken heart I suffered from my freshman year at MSU brought me to where I am today.  I landed in a very great place, with Mr. Swellsewing!  He is my Knight and Shining Armour and the love of my life.

So who is your wish? Who would you like Rory to end up with? I know I don’t want it to be Logan.

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Now let’s talk about Luke and Lorelai, shall we? First before I say anything, I want to say spoiler alert!  Just in case there is someone out there, that hasn’t watched the series yet….

They ended the Gilmore Girls series with Luke and Lorelai embracing and kissing in the middle of the street.  At the time they were broken up, AGAIN.  The camera panned away- with an ongoing long kiss.

THE END!

That’s where they left us!  How rude!  Right?!  So, one thing that bugs me about Luke and Lorelai being engaged……they never, ever say to each other “I love you”.  HOW can you get engaged to someone, and not say those 3 words to the person you plan on marrying? It makes absolutely no sense! It’s a mystery to me, I hope when we visit Stars Hollow again, Luke and Lorelai are together and they exchange those 3 little words with one another.

I guess time will tell.

There is still time to catch up before the revival- so get watching!! AND stay away from the “Pickles”!

Building a Quilt- It’s A Journey!

I think I have mentioned in earlier posts that we draw names for Christmas present exchange on my husband’s side of the family.  He has 4 siblings, and they all have significant others, and it just makes life much easier.

This year I had my sister-in-law Debbie’s name.  She is married to Jim’s brother Lou.  In fact, our son Kenny was just 5 weeks old when they got married.  I remember this because Jim and I took Kenny with us to their wedding in Napa, and he slept through the nuptials and reception, and ultimately was up the entire night there after.  Ugh- I use to really dread those kind of nights.  Now I would give my left arm to have just one of those precious nights back!

So that was about 20 years ago!  Anyhow- my deal for the name drawing for Christmas has been, (at least for the last 3 years) to make a quilt for that person.  Part of the fun of this is to really think about what this person means to me, and how this quilt should reflect their personality.

Debbie and I live less than a mile away from each other, but we don’t spend a ton of time together.  Not because we don’t want to, but because we both have kids in different schools, our interests pull us in different directions and well, I just don’t do a lot with anybody.  I guess this is mostly my fault, I like to be home.

Her personality is interesting, you could say she is opposite of me, but I think that would be wrong.  The places I lack confidence and experience- she does not.  She has been in the corporate world, helped build huge businesses, been a boss several times to many people, unafraid of an unfamiliar experiences and has traveled to many foreign places.  Me?  Not so much, unless you want to count- being a night-time manager for Crate and Barrel and traveling to Canada and Mexico as “The Corporate World” and “Foreign Travel” -but hey, it’s all Greek to me!     Nope!  – I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t want that either, I’m a homebody- remember?  You would think the earlier mentioned attributes of Debbie would make her a “stuffed shirt”, but she doesn’t fit that mold either!

She is wicked smart, athletic, likes to run (ugh, I hate it, the only thing I love about running is when I am able to stop!)  She appreciates her children… I do that too- and she seems, to someone looking in from the outside, that maybe she is very stoic and tough- and she IS a strong woman, but she is also a very sensitive and gentle woman-touched by small things that others do, those little things mean a lot and those small moments when she sits back and takes it all in she is full of emotion… happiness and gratefulness for the healthy family she has- and for the close relationships she has with us… I know this about Debbie… I do!

Maybe, in these years going forward I will be fortunate enough to be able to spend more time with Debbie… Maybe.  Next fall her oldest will be off to college, and I know she is going to need support with that. It is a very tough, life changing situation to get used to.  Most of it not fun!!!

So- for Debbie’s quilt I chose Anna Maria Horner fabrics. In fact- I purchased a kit.  I don’t usually do kits- but I wanted to make it easy on myself since I didn’t start this quilt until December 6th!

The Folk Dance Quilt

I downloaded the pattern from Make It Coats.

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I first made templates out of some bookboard.  There were 2 different sized triangles.  So I thought using the bookboard was going to be the best option.

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It worked out wonderfully.  I just pasted the paper templates to the bookboard.  It was awesome.  My rotary cutter didn’t slip once!

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Each row was sewn together in the photo above, but all the rows were not yet sewn together.

Once I had the rows all sewn together, I realized it was smaller than I thought it would be.  So I had some of Anna’s Innocent Crush hanging around my sewing room and I sewed a generous border around the entire quilt.

IMG_9041 IMG_9040This photo was taken on Christmas day before I packed it away into a box for its new home.  I hate giving up my quilts!

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When Debbie found out I had her name. Her response was so touching.  She knew, as everyone does, that if I have your name, you are going to get a quilt… She started to cry because, she said she couldn’t believe that someone would want to make something so nice for her, or spend so much time doing something so nice for her!!!  She hadn’t even pulled the quilt out of the box yet!

When she saw it she melted.  She wrote such a lovely thank you note to me also.  She is pretty convinced that her new quilt has improved her sleeping… Her husband snores like mine does- I wonder if she uses her quilt to put over his face to muffle the sound- that would improve your sleep, right?!

  You’re worth it Debbie.  I enjoyed every minute, It’s conception all the way through to its completion.   I love thinking about that particular person, while I am working and customizing their gift to their personality. It is so much fun.  Building a quilt is a journey.  It is so much more than “just a quilt”!

IT’S A JOURNEY!!!

Where have I been?

Where have I been??  I have been making many things, learning many things, and drawing, lots of drawing!!!   I though I would show you the many things I have made recently (over the last year) to explain my very apparent absence.

I quilted and finished these quilts that we started at Sew South for Valerie from Betweenquilt.blogspot.com.  Valerie collects handmade quilts and then sends them off to children in Guatemala City.  Please go here for a better explanation.

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I sewed a Caravan Bag pattern by Noodlehead for my Secret Post Sew South Sister.  It turned out pretty good, and I used Cotton and Steel fabric. Who doesn’t love that fabric.  I also used some Art Gallery fabric to quickly stitch up an “Everyday Skirt” Skirt, by Liesl Gibson.

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I participated in a Creativelive Class, taught by the very (at the time) pregnant Bonnie Christine.  The class?  Design, Print and Build Your Portfolio with Bonnie Christine.  This was such a great class to be in the studio for.  Bonnie is super nice!

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This is the portfolio I then constructed when I got home, with all that knowledge I acquired from The Creativelive Class!

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My youngest son, Will, graduated from 8th Grade.  His older brother Kenny was home for the summer-yay- and was able to attend also.

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I sewed up a very fun caravan pouch.  I use this everyday and I mean everyday! I love it!

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I sewed up many of these cute wallets over the summer.  This is just 2 of about 6 I made. This is a pattern by the very cute maker…LR Stitched.  I don’t know if she is ever going to have this pattern up for sale, but in the meantime you can check out her website.

IMG_8465 2 I gave this pink and black wallet to my friend Shirley and the one above to my mom. They are so fun to make and put the fabrics together.
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I sewed up this wallet for myself and I use it all the time.  I may need to stitch up a new one for winter.

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So I also had a project published in Modern Patchwork over the summer.  The “Knotty and Nice”  wristlet.  Totally exciting!  So fun, I have another project coming out in the Winter edition of Modern Patchwork, the “Sinchy Sack” backpack.  Look for it this month!

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I have taken some on-line courses to polish up on my surface design skills “The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design” with Rachael  Taylor.  This was a good class, I felt like I was over looked a lot.    I found it frustrating as to who Rachael would highlight…- but then again, there were many of us that were not highlighted.

Below is some of my work I created from the class.

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Then I took another class, this time with Lilla Rogers. She represents a few selective talented artists, but she is also an artist and teacher.  I took her Make Art That Sells part A class.

I found it very challenging and I not only loved it, I hated it too!! Mostly because it was so challenging!!  Some of my artwork below…

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Great class,  and I am signed up for 4 more of her classes.

Plus I will be at Surtex in May with my own booth- I have lots of work to do!

I worked on a quilt over the summer made up of wonky stars.

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This is for our friend Denise.  I gave it to her at the end of Summer. I told her when I can’t be there to give her a hug (she is battling cancer), she should wrap herself in this quilt- and know that it is her West Coast family giving her a HUGE hug!

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I embroidered it with words that I thought of when I thought of Denise.  Beauty, Hope, Inspiration, Friend, Heart, Laughter, Strength and “Giddy Up”- which is something she has always said.

Well, Denise battled with Multiple Myeloma for the last 9 years.  You wouldn’t know it though.  Her smile would light up a room and she was always up for a celebration.  In fact, everyday to Denise, she lived as if it were her last and she lived it to the fullest.

She passed away on Thanksgiving.

Everyone who was ever lucky enough to have known her was a better person for it. She gave me more than I could ever have given her.  I love her and I miss her.  Her family and friends grieve for her.  Jim and I are headed to Boston on Thursday to attend her funeral.

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Stay well and hug all your loved ones a little tighter.

Come back on December 10th for a special blog post.  I am participating in Ellison Lane’s Handmade Holidays.  I am a guest blogger along with many others, so come back and make sure to enter for the giveaway hosted by Ellison Lane!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crate and Barrel Hack!

I was browsing through the mall the other day and as I strolled by Crate and Barrel, the window display caught my eye.  There was a very cute throw pillow that was just calling my name.  photo-7

It would have been silly to buy it, right?  Given all the fabric I have piled up at home, I could very well go home and whip one up.  So that’s just what I did!

I changed it up a little, choosing a few different colors of felt, for waves.  photo 1-98

I quilted it too!  I used a teal thread mimicking a wavy stitch on both the front and backside of the pillow.

photo 2-100AND- I included a zipper, so I can use the pillow insert for something different when the season changes! We will have to see what Crate and Barrel has in their windows when Fall comes around! (wink, wink)

You can do this too!

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It’s a pretty cute addition to the foyer of our home!

Have a great day!

Hellos and Goodbyes

No, I am not shutting down my blog.  Even though I find myself not blogging as much as I would like, I am not saying goodbye.

The hellos and goodbyes I am referring to our those from, Quiltcon, My oldest son and insecurities.

The last couple of months have been a real whirlwind of emotions full of adventures along the way.  Both good and bad.  I am going to start in chronological order.  Makes sense, right?

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A picture of the room where the creativelive class was filmed.

In early February, I had an opportunity to not only sit in on the filming of a creativelive class, but to also participate in the quilting activities of the class, taught by the one and only Cheryl Arkison.  She’s pretty amazing!  The classes  she taught were; “Quilting With Low Volume Fabrics”, “Improv Quilting Basics”, “Translating Inspiration in Quilting” and “Playing With Pinwheels in Quilting” 

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I am not a quilting expert, so when I look back at these classes, I was really trying to just keep up with both Cheryl and the other 3 students ….. It is shot live, (obviously) what I mean is that it is all unedited, every word spoken is picked up by the mics we are wearing.  So I really had to watch my potty mouth!  Creativelive sent us the classes for free for participating.  I watched some of it, but to be honest, I can barely watch myself (half the time my head is cocked to one side like my neck is broken) , and hearing my voice, with my severe Michigan accent is like fingernails on a chalkboard!  I find it humorous, really!! It was an experience!

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Here’s my tweet. Shooting the 4 classes took 2 days.

I got to hang out with some very, very cool younger people… that made me look and feel very old and uncool!!  They probably don’t even use the word cool! They fed us well, and the whole place is just so hip!

photo 4-65Moving on… This poor pup almost died, during the same week that the Creativelive Classes were filmed.  At first we thought that Peek-A-Boo had pneumonia, but when she wasn’t getting any better we took her back to the veterinarian and found out she had a lung lobe torsion!  Basically this means that one of her lobes (apparently dogs have like 6-8 lobes) was twisted and was dying off.  It caused poison in her system, started to make her sick and eventually she would die.  We had that lobe surgically removed, which was super scary because we were told she might not even make it through the surgery.  Luckily she did well, recovered nicely and is getting into her normal mischief.  Thank God!!

I mentioned earlier in January that I was getting my portfolio together to showcase my fabric and surface designs.  I did in fact complete this task.  It was an ongoing process until the day before I left for Quiltcon.  Whew!  Blood, sweat and tears went into crafting that book.  It is the first of many to come.

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You know you have fantasized about riding a giant sewing machine! Thank you Stitch Lab!

Quiltcon was AH-MAZING!  All those that volunteered!  Thank you!  I was able to steam some quilts, and it was great fun!  If you haven’t been… GO!  Now that it is going to take place every year, on different sides of the U.S. there isn’t any excuse to not go!

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This is my portfolio cover. I used bookboard and an original design for 9″ x 12″ cover.

I took my portfolio everywhere I went.  I was like Linus with his blanket! I showed it to as many people as I could and I found it to get easier each time I did.   I took all advice and insight from those who were willing to offer.

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I sent 3 Thank You notes out to some folks that took the time to browse my portfolio.

At this time, I have made some pretty nice connections with some top people at top fabric manufacturers.  I am not going to name any names, but they are some very good ones!  I am always working on new designs, some I’m very excited about, and these will go into my next portfolio!

Here are some designs that were included in my first portfolio. ThIs collection is inspired by my upbringing in Michigan.

This collection is called Rural Respite and is in the colorway Rapture.porfolio for quiltcon-29-02

This main design is called “In The Weeds”.

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These next designs from left to right are: “Posies”,  “Barbed Wire”, “Boxelder Bugs” and “BarK”

Now for colorway “Earth”

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“In The Weeds”

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From left to right” “Posies”, “Barbed Wire”, “Boxelder Bugs” and “Bark”

Unfortunately for me, it became more about my portfolio at Quiltcon, and not about the classes.  I did take some great ones, two were with Anna Maria Horner.  She is a delight and super knowledgeable. I took the Mod Corsage class she taught.

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The “Mod Corsage” class which is similar to needle turned applique w/ Anna Maria Horner.

 It was very fun, and I saw some of my Sew South sisters in that class. I also shared a room with my very good friend Margaret.  I met her at the very first workshop I did with Heather Ross!

Margaret and I at the Moda Party!

Margaret and I at the Moda Party!

Thanks to Heather, I made a really great friend that lives only about 2 hours away from me!

Another hello and goodbye was to our oldest son Kenny.  He came home from Michigan State University for Spring Break.  I am SO grateful he decided to come home and spend time with us, instead of gallivanting off to some crazy unchaperoned teenage bender.  So Kenny came home spent some quality time and then off he went again- back to school.

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That’s me, with Kenny and Will!  Saying goodbye at the airport.  Again!

And now for my last goodbye.. to you!

Have a great week!