Comment and win!

How's that for an attention-getting blog post title? I wrote a guest post for the C&T Blog about The Best-Every Applique Sampler. There's a bit of behind-the-scenes info, there are some pretty pictures… and then at the bottom of the post, you are invited to write a comment. I'm going to be interested to see what you write :-)!

One commenter will be chosen on June 10 to win a copy of the book! Click here to read the post and to comment.

I hope you enjoy the post!


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Remodeling, kitchen continued…

Well, I don't know about you but I have been BUSY! I thought today would be a good day to catch you up on the remodeling. This was Monday (Memorial Day) evening – Steve preparing dinner…


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And this is the same space, Tuesday:


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And from where Steve is, looking the other way:


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The new cabinets are built and at Rick's warehouse being painted. He tells me that there are a huge number of them, more than you'd imagine in this small space. 

So where is Steve cooking now? He has set up shop in the garage:


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Many of you know that I don't do the daily cooking. I make cakes, cookies, and candy and that is not a daily occurance. Steve is the one who feeds us and I am so very lucky that he does! He assures me that he has done enough camp cooking that this is not nearly as bad as it would be if I was the one trying to cook in the kitchen. 

The cats are the ones who are most unhappy right now. They are nervous. Emma is staying in our bedroom most of the time because it's back together. Dave (the black cat) is staying outside a lot. 


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Today, Luis and Juan are working on the kitchen – mostly putting up some new sheetrock where the backsplash will be and moving outlets and wires. Juan is mudding the newly exposed ceiling areas. Luis is working on some plumbing. Rick thinks the cabinets will be set in on Monday or Tuesday – yay!


Ugly fabric challenge update…

It's been a while since I gave you an ugly fabri update. My quilt top is done, but I can't show it until the book comes out which is many months off. I can, however, share some snippets. The next photo is a section of the quilt back. Christopher suggested that I use the leftover fabric on the back which was a great idea. I didn't piece it to look good – I wanted to highlight some of the most memorable fabrics.

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That amazingly awful Santa is just stunning, don't you think? I actually grew fond of the monkeys that you see above and below… 


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The 'Chuckie' dolls, however, still give me the creeps. I didn't fussy-cut anything so it was just luck that the doll, below, is looking out of her triangle.


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 I didn't get much fabric with text so I ended up liking 'HOT'.


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All in all I can tell you that I really did learn a lot from working with this fabric, very little of which I liked. I think it really is true that you should work outside of your box every now and then.

 

The news from quilt market…

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This is a corner of the C&T booth showing a big page from our coloring book.

Quilt Market is interesting. There is a lot to lust after. Lovely fabric, great notions, inspiring quilts – so much! But the thing is, most of it you will never have an opportunity to actually buy. That was true many years ago, and it's more true now.

Used to be, there were a few big fabric companies. Shops bought from most of them. An individual shop could never carry all the fabric available but I could usually come home and find most of what I had fallen in love with at market. 

Now there are so many new fabric companies (in addition to the bigger companies) that it's hard to keep them straight. They each have great fabric but I honestly don't know how most shop owners can buy from them all. Each company has its own set of forms and minimum orders and ship dates… I knew when I walked the aisles that it would be sheer luck for me to find specific fabrics in a shop.

I quit looking at the fabric in self defense. You might imagine that I can get any fabric I want. That is not the case. I buy the fabric that is in my stash. Every now and then I request and get fabric from a company but that is not the norm. I prefer to shop in person at quilt shops. I buy some fabric online but colors can look different on screen. 


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I design quilts and try not to be influenced by others' designs so I didn't look at quilts much either. I looked more closely at architectural details (like that above) because I can find inspiration there.

Trust me, if you don't look at fabric or quilts, you can walk market pretty quickly. I came away with the impression that clear colors are more plentiful and that there are still more pieced quilts than appliqued ones. 

I did look for new notions that would excite appliquers. I found a lovely silk needle case and an unusual scissor fob, and new needle nannies (there's a chicken that makes me smile, and I'm not that fond of chickens). I ordered a new sticky thimble that really does protect your underneath finger! I'll send a newsletter when these things come in.

I also found an amazing new lamp, the Stella. I got to try one when I taught at Aunt Mary's and was immediately sold on it. The Stella has an LED light source and is cooler than my Ott light. The LEDs are supposed to last for years without dimming.

You can change the color of the light with a finger touch from a yellowish color, to very white, and then to a bluer white. You can also adjust the brightness of the light.

The lamp itself is sleek. The desk version comes in black or white. The floor lamp is only available in white. They are not inexpensive – $220 for the desk lamp and $389 for the floor lamp but when you think about the hours/years you spend with your lamp, that doesn't seem so bad. I will make a video when mine arrives so you can see for yourself. 

I didn't say before, but Linda was at market too and we had a really nice time together. We don't get to spend time together often enough and when we do, ideas fly. We both left market inspired and ready to start on new quilts!

I will leave you with a color photo, not of fabric or quilts but of the side of a building. The weathered greens against the taupe-y grays are pretty together. I wish that bright blue thing wasn't there, but the black pole adds a nice touch.


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Aunt Mary’s Quilt Shop…

I taught a 2-day class at Aunt Mary's, owned by Carrol McVey – not Mary – before quilt market. I had this post mostly written and then sort of forgot it. The 12 ladies in my class and I had a very good time. You'd think I would have taken pictures but, again, I didn't. I am just too focused on the job when I'm teaching which is probably a good thing. But later I always wish I had a picture! 

I stayed with an old acquaintaince/new better friend, Linda, at her house on the water. To say that her house is amazing does not do it justice. We walked in the morning and I took a few photos. This bicycle is not yet planted for spring – the owner told me to imagine it covered with flowers…


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The lilacs were in bloom, reminding me of how much I love them. Wish I could grow them but they don't like my soil. I especially liked this pair of bushes, with the periwinkle blooms next to the purple.


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Carrol, Tim, Linda and I went to dinner one night at the marina. While we waited for our table we walked on the pier. There was a well-worn research vessel tied up with these numbers painted on the side. I like the look of them; they are gracefully drawn. The brooms below help to paint a nice composition. In my recent post I showed a different boat with lettering. I think if I lived near boats I end up taking lots of this sort of photo.

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There were a series of struts that ran down the pier. The light was wrong so most of the photos didn't turn out well but this detail is nice. Moss really does grow on the north side of things – at least it does in this part of the country. 


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The next post will have more about market.

More from Portland…

I always take photos of my feet and manholes. I love the variety of these circular designs and adding feet to the image is quirky. If you see two extra feet, they belong to Amy, our publisher and my walking partner.


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The pointing hand above feels so Victorian to me. And when I see 'sewer' I think 'a person who sews' rather than the pipes below ground.


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I've seen the next design before and I always love it. It reminds me of an 'alert' symbol. My striped socks are good with it :-). The mix of neutral colors appeals to me a lot.


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The rings of triangles and dots are nice. It could be a good block.


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The more I look at the one above, the more I wonder about it. What sort of information? Is it really information that is under there or is it access to cables? An interface where someone can plug in? I wanted to stand on it, ask a question, and hear the answer as if from an invisible oracle. I didn't do that – there are some unusual folks on the streets of Portland and I decided not to be one of them. Well, people did look at me funny as I took photos of my feet, but still, I'm mostly normal.

Loved the interplay of lines of the trusses on this truck…


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There is something about the color and texture of the green next to the gray on this building that was pleasant. 


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I'll write a bit more about market tomorrow. Until then, happy stitching!

 

Observed in Portland…

You may have noticed that I didn't post last week. I've been in Portland for quilt market which is always an interesting experience. I took a lot of photos and not one of them has fabric or a quilt in it! Sigh.

Here are some of the things that caught my eye:

The lettering on this boat, and I'm exactly sure why…


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I saw these cans in a shop window (H&M I think) and thought they were interesting. It wasn't until I looked at the photo that I saw that the cans spell 'can' which made me grin. On the other hand, I'm not sure that this is an effective use of window real estate for a clothing store.


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I saw Joanne Figueroa in the C&T booth wearing this amazing coat. She said everyone wanted to know if she made it (no, found it at Macy's I think she said). Pretty lady in a pretty coat. I love the little circles that surround the primary design in the coat fabric. I am reminded of Cheerios floating in a cereal bowl which may not be the most romantic interpretation…


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I saw enough of the Voodoo donut boxes to wish they were gluten free. I hear the donuts are both huge and tasty but I was more interested in the boxes. What great marketing! Doesn't the box make you want to try them?


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I found a variety of good floors. What I like is the way simple shapes make a pattern – just the way it does in a pieced quilt. Here's the floor from the lobby of our Hilton. What makes it better than average is that the large squares are sub-divided into 4 squares. That would be a fun idea to play with.


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And the bathroom at the convention center caught my eye. It was funny, I saw several quilts hanging in booths that could have been based on this pattern…


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I have more to share tomorrow…