Friday, January 28, 2011

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother "What will I be?"

Today was like stepping back in time for me.  I was honored to be invited by The Willows Academy (my Alma Mater AND the location of my first 'real' job) to speak at their career day.  I gave a presentation to two groups of students about what it's like to own a business designing quilts and work at home.  Both presentations were in room 206, where I taught both honors and AP US history to juniors for many years. Being in the classroom and talking to students felt so normal to me.  It was like I never left!  At any rate, in preparing this presentation, I really got to thinking about the path I took that landed me right in my basement, quilting my little heart out.  And I realized, that it is thanks to the Willows, and my dear parents, that I had the confidence and courage to leave my teaching career and take an entirely different path.  One that would open up opportunities that I could not even imagine when I started out.  So thank you, thank you to Mrs. Huntington, Mrs. Paulson, Miss Keenely, Mrs. Keenely, Mrs. Bradley, Mrs. Jacobucci, Miss Wilberg and all of the other teachers who believed in us and kept pushing us to be better!

Here are the highschool girls.  Many of them expressed an interest in sewing--one of them even plans to go into fashion design.

And here are the middle school girls.  Many of them have grandmothers who sew or quilt :-).

Maggie joined me at career day.  She is already practicing to be a member of The Willows Poms team...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Keepsake Exclusive!

A few months ago, I opened my front door to find a box of Timeless Treasures headers sitting on my porch.  Aside from getting actual fabric yardage, getting a box full of batik headers is the next best thing!  I knew before they came that we were going to pull together a couple of palettes for some exclusive patterns with Keepsake Quilting.  So, without wasting any time, I dumped them out on my living room floor and got to work.

The first palette was a no brainer for me.  I always enjoy working with a rainbow palette.  There is something really fun about working with all of the colors on the color wheel--it gives a lot of opportunity for contrast which allows the pattern design to really speak.  A batik rainbow palette is especially fun because of the availability of clear, saturated colors, which are my favorite.

The second palette started with an awesome grey/taupe batik and kind of took off from there.  I added the blacks and dark browns for contrast, and then the blues for interest.  The result was somewhat subtle and sophisticated.

Janine used both of these palettes to make her latest patterns:  Pandora's Box and the Plaza.  Both patterns/kits are available exclusively from Keepsake Quilting!

Pandora's Box

The Plaza

Our friend Ann Davidson of Providence quilting did the longarming on both of these quilts.  Thank you, Ann!

Want to make one of these quilts for yourself?  Here is the link to the keepsake site:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Finished Quilt of 2011

Janine came over for a working lunch earlier this week and brought with her our first completed quilt for the year!  We had each worked on this In and Out top at the end of 2010 (I can't believe that year is over already) and had sent it to be quilted and bound.  We love the In and Out pattern...and we love these fabrics by Marcia Derse.  This quilt was a welcome sight for both of us.  Since the end of October, my quilting studio has been in a continuous state of flux.  It currently looks like this (YIKES!):

The above picture is my forlorn longarm cord.  My poor Millennium is in a box in our upstairs hallway.  I am looking forward to putting her all back together!

My dear husband is such a good sport about all of this...the noise (this past week they have been replacing water pipes...between the banging and sawing I was pretty sure we were all going to end up in the basement permanently!), the fact that I have now taken over the ENTIRE basement and there is no room for the neon Bears sign or framed picture of the White Sox World Series win or his modest collection of baseballs in small lucite boxes..., the fact that the entire rest of the house is now my sewing room now that Christmas is over (Maggie loves my pincushion--not exactly the toy of choice for a two year old), and let's not forget the various states of panic I may or may not be in depending on the level of stress I am feeling about being out of the studio for three months straight.

Until the completion of said studio, I am trying to make the best use of my time and still be creative.  Sometimes that means playing with Maggie and her newly acquired set of 'Bug's Life' toys from our friend Linnea.  Other times it means cutting out future quilts at the kitchen island or commandeering the dining room for a project in progress.  At any rate, I am excited as the noise from below continues to promise a finished studio in the not-so-distant future!