Thursday, May 28, 2009

Birds on the Barbie

After we returned from Quilt Market last week we wanted to have a little cookout with my folks before they returned home to sunny Florida. Jon picked up some awesome steaks and fixings. As mom and I prepared the food for grilling Jon went out to light the grill and what did he find?

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Let's take a closer look, shall we?

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Now... all together "AWWWWWW"

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Needless to say, we put the food in the freezer and went out to dinner instead that night.

In the next week we saw the birds more than double in size and change from fuzzy to feathery. What a great experience for the kids that was! The mama bird was a hardworking one... bringing food & water for her babies 24-7. My girls even set out a little bucket filled with water so she wouldn't have to fly too far for it. :)

Here's a brave little one almost ready to fly the coop...

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On Memorial Day (almost a week after we first discovered the nest) we went out to check on the birdies and they had all left. Well, all except for one who quickly took off as soon as we opened the grill lid. We couldn't believe how well he flew! He landed on a tall tree branch and was quickly joined by the mama bird so we knew he would be alright.

With an empty nest on our hands, and a house full of hungry guests, Jon and grandpa set out to clean the grill right away. Here is grandpa scrubbing hard as Jon sprays it from a distance with the pressure washer. They both got soaked! The rest of us watched and laughed from inside the house.

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The girls and Auntie Alicia prepared a scrumptious side of veggie skewers...

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Getting ready to grill... YUM!

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We kicked off the Summer season with a super yummy grilled feast of steaks, potatoes, corn & veggies on our bird-free grill. Boy, that pressure washer sure did a job on the grill... I don't think that thing has been this clean since it was brand new!

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Oh and we even grilled a hot dog for Uncle Sean and Auntie Alicia's dog, Scooter.

How was your Memorial Day?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Market Report (Spring 2009)

PHEW! What a whirlwind these past few days have been. In the past 7 days, we've driven all the way to Pittsburgh & back (approx. 10 hrs. each way), assembled & disassembled a trade show booth and attended a 3-day show! I am wiped out, so this posting will be short on words but BIG on visuals. ;)

Pre-Show fun!

Before the show even began, we kicked off the festivities by gathering together at the Omni hotel for what we called the Fabric 2.faux (or Fabric 1.8, as Caroline so affectionately called it when we prank-called her in the midst of the party). At my table, left to right: Susan Day (Michael Miller sales rep), BariJ., Sandi Henderson, me, Paula Prass & Jennifer Storey:

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Across from us sat Mary Beth (from True Up), Scott Hansen (Blue Nickel Studios), Jona & Joey (Fabritopia), Myrinda (Fabric Hound), Jessica Levitt (Juicy Bits) and Mary (Flourishes)

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And a fave picture of two of my fave ladies:

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The show started at 9:30 am on Friday, May 15th (my birthday!!!)

A few shots of our booth. I'm so friggin' proud of this thing it's not even funny!

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I didn't get to walk around much this time (since I was selling my MODKID sewing patterns in addition to showcasing my new fabric collection, Mezzanine), so the pictures I captured were from whoever was nice enough to come by and say hi! ;)

Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics:

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Ronda Opipery (of SundaRose) and her friend, Robin:

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Sandi Henderson:

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Melanie Thornton (Above All Fabrics) & friend:

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The dynamic duo behind Lanie Jane Fabrics:

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Fabric superstars Laura Gunn, BariJ & Genevieve Gail:

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The sweet faces behind Fat Quarter Shop:

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Another supermodel-tall fabric designer and sweet, sweet girl, Erin McMorris:

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The talented and super sweet Jenean Morrison:

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Ruth Jakiela (of Sew Love Fabrics) and her adorable 13-year old daughter, Chloe, who happens to be an aspiring fabric designer and asked me to autograph her amazing sketchbook... gasp! Watch for her... this girl is going places!!!

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Chelsea Andersen, of Pink Fig fame, and probably the only picture available of me wearing my Mezzanine tunic (yes, I did wear it!!!)

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And of course, it wouldn't be Quilt Market for me without my amazing hubby, Jon, who built (and rebuilt) the gorgeous booth you see behind us:

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A Few Special Moments:

Soaking my feet with Paula and Sandi after a long day on the Quilt Market floor:

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Michael Miller Fabrics dinner party at Sonoma Grill... fun, fun fun!!

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Michael Miller Fabrics won 2nd place in the Multiple Booths category at Quilt Market ... again!

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And last, but certainly NOT least, I had a mini surprise birthday party on Friday (the day I turned 21... again) at the show, masterminded by Jona and Myrinda. They surprised me with a balloon bouquet and a truly star-studded birthday card (even signed by some designers who I am completely sure couldn't possible know who I am! LOL!)

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The crowd gathered by my booth and sang Happy Birthday and then hung around for pictures. It was SO FUN, made me feel so special and I was totally surprised! Thank you all!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm bringing denim back!

Don't know if it was ever gone, but if I start seeing children's boutique clothing all over the place using denim in conjunction with cool designer fabrics I'm taking full credit for it! haha! Just go with it, OK? It'll make me feel better (read to the bottom of this post to find out why I need a little cheering up right now) ;)

It all started when I posted this picture on my Mezzanine reveal. The oodles of oohs and aahhs I received prompted me to go... hmmm.

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Next thing you know I had made another Frida...

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A new Kyoko (which has GOT to be my fave version to date!)...

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Several Sophie 3-Way Pants...

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And a Sydney Euro Hoodie (pattern will debut at Quilt Market and will be available for ordering soon after!)

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I'm just loving this denim thing. It goes so well with pretty much every print in my Mezzanine collection and I love accenting it with contrast top-stitching, appliqués, decorative trims, etc.

Oh, and I did promise you another little Quilt Market booth sneak peek, didn't I? Here ya go...

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These are podiums or cubes or whatever you might want to call them (to me they look like life sized wooden blocks, like the kind kids are enamored with!) to display my dress forms. They are painted in colors taken right out of Mezzanine. :)

Sooooo, if you've read to the bottom of this post to find out why I need cheering up, the quick & dirty version goes something like this: we built the booth up in our garage (like, put the walls & columns up to see how it all went together), then just as we were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the beautiful work of art we had created, we hit the garage door opener and stood there in disbelief, open-mouthed as the edge of the garage door grabbed one corner of the booth and brought the whole thing down with it... crashing to the ground! We all screamed OH NO, OH NO, OH NO! (yes, by "all" I mean my mom and my kids too... eeek!). I held it together for the family but I was sobbing inside. The shelf was ripped clear out of the columns and as the columns came tumbling down the top corner of one ripped a huge crater into one of the walls. Jon and I have the same recollection of it happening in slow motion, like in the movies, when in reality it happened so fast we could've never saved it. And if we had jumped in we probably would've ended up with a concussion.

To all of you who follow me on Twitter and gave me all your warm wishes and good vibes as I spilled my heart out yesterday... THANK YOU! You don't even know how comforted I felt. Witnessing this was so painful, but I'm happy to report that it is coming back together VERY nicely. If you'll be attending Quilt Market in a couple of days, be sure to come by and give Jon a big HIGH FIVE for his hard work and dedication.

Here's the Quilt Market info again...

booth #2531
Schoolhouse Presentation:
12:15 PM - 12:45 PM (room #305)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A week of firsts...

Don't know what came over me but all of a sudden I got the urge to try my hand at two things I had never done before. Check out my very first quilt! I call it LOLLIPOP and I'm just so excited about the way it turned out... exactly how I dreamt it up in my head!

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Here's a closer look. I pieced these "lollipop" shapes out of something sorta like a pinwheel shape that I drew up late one night in Illustrator. These crazy ideas often pop into my head in those wee hours of the night, just as I'm about to doze off... then I have to sketch it up real quick before I forget it all. I thought it would take a while to get it to work, but to my utter delight, the first lollipop I sewed up worked like a dream, so then it was just a matter of reducing and enlarging the pattern to get the other two sizes.

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I pieced a quick background out of four 1/2 yard pieces of assorted Clover Dots that were cut at a diagonal, then appliqued the lollipops on top and Voilá! The quilt uses 11 different prints from my Mezzanine collection so it's a pretty good showcase of the line.

I also made my very first piece of women's apparel. I wish I could say this was as easy-peasy as the quilt, but I'd be lying. Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know I almost threw my seam ripper along with this tunic out the window last Sunday. I actually had to set this project aside for a couple of days and then come back to it because I was about to lose my mind!

On top of that, I think I had gotten so used to only sewing children's clothing that I had my sewing area all set up for working with tiny pieces of fabric. Once I started working with much larger pieces (especially for the quilt) I was knocking stuff off my sewing table left & right! I had to reconfigure the whole space to accommodate my new larger projects.

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Well, I must've just been having "one of those days" because when I came back to it, head cleared and ready to "make it work"... I made it work:

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Phew! It would've been a shame if this sweet little tunic ended up in the gutter just because of a bad sewing day. I truly adore the way it turned out and am still having a hard time deciding if I should actually wear it to Market or just hang it up on my booth...

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And speaking of booths... that's another first! Jon and I are currently building our first trade show booth ever. We did have a booth at the Fall Quilt Market last October, but we didn't actually build anything (except for a couple of cheap IKEA furnishings). This time, though, we are building a full display with hard walls, custom-made shelving, columns and a bunch of other super neat surprises that I simply cannot wait to show you! Here's a little sneak peek as it sits in our garage nearly assembled:

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The quilt I showed above is also sitting on one of the booth walls. Stay tuned as I will reveal more & more of the booth as we get it all finished up...