This and That

I caught a cold (or the flu) on my flight home from Florida last Sunday. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Two little kids were coughing and sneezing 2 rows in front of me and I could almost see the germs. I am not really mad at them or their parents. Who among us would cancel travel plans for a kid’s cold? If you would, you are a saint and I salute you. I figure my number just came up.

There are those who swear by Airborne, vitamins, or some other thing. My doctors tell me that I can take them, but if a germ gets into my nose/eyes/mouth I am pretty much screwed. So I eat healthy and try to never touch my face. I should have had my mask nearby, but I didn’t. And I wasn’t wearing a scarf. Deep sigh.

So what new thing do I have today? Not much. It’s taken me 3 days to get a new pattern online. You heard it here first: Daisy Patch (1st published in 1998) is now a downloadable ePattern! It is 35″ x 35″, finished size perfect for a child or your wall. Make more blocks (in multiples of 4) to make a bigger quilt. It’s fast and it’s cute. What’s not to love?

Click here to find Daisy Patch online.

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Shopping for wedding dresses…

I went to San Francisco last weekend to visit my friend, Amy. One of the things we did was to go shopping for ‘the dress’ with the daughter, Laura, of one of Amy’s long-time friends. I took my camera and shot nearly 300 photos. I didn’t really know any of the wedding party so I did my best (with limited success) to be quiet and just take photos.

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This place is full of one-of-a- kind runway dresses. It’s first come first served and Laura was the first bride of the day. She was given a little bag with 8 clips to mark the dresses she wanted to try on. It’s a good system.

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She let others in the party make some choices as well.

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(I took lots of photos with peoples faces but I’m not posting them because that is a choice to leave up to the bride.)

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The dressing room began to fill, with a well-used dress form standing guard.

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I did my best to stay out of the shots but there were so very many mirrors! I didn’t exactly dress to fade into the background (what was I thinking?!)

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All 8 dresses were lovely, but Laura did not find ‘the dress’. However, if she has as much fun looking for it as I did taking pictures, she is sure to enjoy the hunt!

FYI: Laura is an actress, stand-up comic, and she has some hilarious videos on youtube. Click here to find GinBlo Productions on youtube.

Tell me what you think…

You shop online. (Maybe not every one of you shops online, but most of you.) When you shop, do you read the reviews? I do which is why I feel a little stupid for taking so long to make it possible for you to leave reviews on the products at pieceocake.com.

I know why it took so long, but that is a long and involved story that you are not interested in. The point is that now you can leave reviews on all of our books, patterns ,and all of the stuff that you might have purchased at pieceocake.com.

I’d love it if, when you have time, you would click away and let me and others know what you think about the individual books and patterns you care about. I hope that it’s all good, but even if it isn’t, that’s OK. Reviews need to be honest to be helpful.

To write a review, start at pieceocake.com and click to find the items you’d like to review. Scroll to the bottom and look for the link to write a review.

Thank you very much!

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A shopping adventure with Elanor…

I made a promise to Elanor last year that I would take her on an overnight shopping trip to Dallas to celebrate her 13th birthday and the big day came last week. I booked a room at a NYLO (New York Lofts) hotel because it’s hip and trendy! Lots of concrete and exposed pipes and ducts, cool furniture, nice art—definitely not the usual hotel look.

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Elanor thought the all-black elevators were creepy, but I liked them. Industrial, functional, clean lines, fun textures… what’s  not to love?

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The rooms had tubular ‘mood lighting’. I was surprised that the light actually was good once it got dark outside. I thought it might be very orange, but it wasn’t.

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The bathroom, however, was the most fun. I can’t remember ever seeing a corner commode.

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The spare toilet paper had this fun cover. I am still pondering what sort of emergency use it could be put to :-).

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We shopped at Northpark Center both on Thursday afternoon and Friday. We found everything on her list (jeans, shoes, and boots). Some for her birthday, some for Christmas (because CHRISTMAS IS COMING!).

Besides the excitement of shopping, we had fire alarms in the night. They went off at 12:30am for a few seconds and then they stopped. After looking in the hallway and listening, it appeared to be an alarm problem. When they went off an hour later we went to the front desk to be sure. This was not a new problem and they were very sorry, etc.

Elanor, who was freaked out by the first alarm, was beginning to get over it. Good thing because they went off 4 more times, about every hour or so. To help us get over our lack of sleep, the hotel gave us complimentary breakfasts, which is better than nothing.

Instead of looking at the negative, we decided to embrace this as a positive experience. Elanor learned what an alarm in a place like a hotel sounds like—and what false alarms are like. She learned to always be aware of where the exits are (we had looked when we first got to our room). She learned to react swiftly and remain calm.

So, all in all, we had a really nice time eating out, shopping, and having a hipster hotel experience!

I came home with fabric!

Now, isn’t that a sentence that makes a quilter smile? The Northern Star Quilters put on a very nice show. The quilts were impressive—and so were the vendors :-). I bought fabric that I don’t usually find—but not too much because space in my suitcase was limited.

I stopped at Quilters’ Express to Japan where I bought the print on the right. The print on the left was a gift from students in my class at Empty Spools that I’ve been meaning to post for weeks. Both were designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji for Yuwa.

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I love her fabric and was sad to learn that she may not be designing any more. So, if you like her fabric, I suggest you hunt it down and buy it now. I also bought this kimono fabric—some vintage, some not. And a really cool Japanese panel print not pictured.

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I stopped at Handloom Batik. The owner, Oosha (whose name I may be misspelling) remembered me from years back—and she remembered that I bought a mustard-colored gauze scarf. I admit to being seriously impressed.

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These fabrics are all hand stamped (or woven in the case of that central blue fabric). They have an attitude that is both casual and stately. I love them. (FYI: all of the fabrics pictured in this post have been washed in the washer and dried in the dryer.)

I bought another gauzy scarf. It is big, more like a sari. In fact, it could be a sari. I admit to not knowing. My new scarf is blue with accents of red and white. The fabric is light but also warm. Oosha says she uses one at home as a light cover when she’s chilly in her chair.

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As Oosha was (carefully) folding my scarf, she realized that she had not ‘cleaned’ it. Women tie the fabric with fine thread to make that dotted pattern, before it is dyed. There are hundreds of thread wraps on each scarf. Oosha said that the women do this work while gossiping, thus making it both a productive and fun time.

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She was going to take the time to pull the threads off for me but I said, no, I’d be happy to do that myself. In fact, I did enjoy it! It was sort of like peeling a sunburn, except that I wear sunscreen so haven’t had that sensation in years. (Funny to imagine that the day may come when people have no idea what that phrase means.)

You have to find Oosha at a quilt show and I hope you do find her. Handloom Batiks is not currently online.

None of these were bargain fabrics. I’m as happy as the next quilter to find a bargain but I’m also willing to pay the price for unusual, interesting fabric. I don’t want to encourage crazy spending, but it is true that I have never regretted this sort of purchase.

My own personal shopper…

My friend, Amanda, had on the cutest top the last time I saw her. She then told me about Stitch Fix (I’ve added a link in the column at right, under Fashion). This is an online personal shopping site. You fill out your info, indicate what sorts of things you like, etc., and eventually you get a box!

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The box opens to reveal a box that is thoughtfully printed on the inside, with instructions about what to do next, and your items enclosed in tissue paper. There is also a return envelope, ready to use.

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I took a quick peek, and a photo, from the side before tearing the tissue paper…

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I told them I like greens and blues. I got greens and blues, but not exactly the shades of green and blue that I normally buy. They couldn’t read my mind-amazing!

I did as instructed and tried on everything. Three of the five items fit well and are very much worth keeping. Lorna was here and chimed in so I feel pretty good about what is staying in my closet…

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These are not garments that go together, but I have other garments in my closet that go with all of them. I would never have found these on my own, nor would I have chosen them for myself. How about that! You are never too old to learn more about how to dress yourself :-).

So, if you are shopping challenged, check out Stitch Fix.