Tuesday, August 18, 2009

That's better.....

I really didn't like the way the flash faded the fabrics out

so I carried them out to the bench on the deck

and took their pictures in the real light.

Much better!
Back to designing. I get to play with these some more shortly.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lazy, Hazy days of summer - My Eye!

I've been a bad blogger lately. Well, I have grabbed time to stop and read the blogs I follow but otherwise have been pretty focused on design.
When I got back from Knoxville, the scans for our new line were waiting. That's always so exciting. The line is called "Looking Back" and will start showing to shops September 1st and then at Market. When I get the scans, ideas form and evolve and pretty well take over my life. It's almost obsessive - I just have to see what things will look like. (My husband would probably say I could take out the word "almost"). He becomes a fabric widower during the time I design. It's what I do when I get up - I stop at the computer on the way to the coffeepot half of the time - and it's what I do while he's getting ready for work and I'm getting ready for bed. And most of the time in between. I do try to take an hour or so to stop and sit with him around dinnertime BUT of course, I'm stitching if I'm not eating.

Then back to the design process. (And for those of you who are not familiar with the process, anything that ends up in a quilt has to first be drawn, then scanned into the computer, then drawn into the computer with my mouse.)
The fabrics here are our "Blessings" line. (It shows here a little lighter than it really is because of the flash.) Blessings is due in your shops in September. I'm sewing with Blessings" and designing with "Looking Back". It sometimes feels somewhat schizophrenic.

I sent the patterns from the Blessings line to Shannon today to put up on the website so you can look for them there and at your local quilt shop.

And then there's the garden. Tomatoes are ready for eating and canning, peppers for pickling & freezing, squash for shredding and freezing - to say nothing of okra, green beans, yada, yada, yada.

My favorite recipe for muffins for the grandkids. We shred the summer squash and freeze it in 2 cup packages and make muffins all winter long. Eat your veggies, kids. I took the muffins and the recipe to my Girl Gang last Saturday and took them all enough Summer Squash to make the recipe. And we still had some left over.


3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups shredded summer squash

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. in a large bowl, use mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy. Beat in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in the squash. Scoop into prepared muffin tins.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

I should be finished with the initial part of the design/pattern process by the end of August. Talk to you then.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Knoxville Expo

Max (my youngest son) and I had a really nice time in Knoxville at the AQS Expo - after we got things set up, that is. When we arrived late the first set-up day, we found that somehow we had been cancelled out and our booth had been given to someone else.

But - they did have another double booth we could have because someone had cancelled.
There was only one problem with it - it had a huge pillar in the center. If you look, you can see it, at the top of the picture above my name sign. And, of course, it came into the booth, not just behind it. So, instead of having two 10' x 10' booths, I had one that was about 10' x 14' and one that about 10' x 6' with a walkway in front of the pillar in between. They were very helpful, though and said they would do anything we needed in the way of steel, drapes and tables.

Since the configuration of the booth was different than anything I had had before, set up the 2nd day was interesting to say the least. Max was awesome as we moved things and moved things until we got it just right. And the people at the convention center were very helpful as we exhanged table to get different sizes to aid the trafficflow through the booth. Actually, it worked out pretty well, as I usually set up a closet at one end to keep all of the totes with kits in. I set it up to one side of the pillar and put the table where I do the Needleturn Demonstrations at the front of that end. Then we had the other end and in front of the pillar for tables and baskets with kits.

I only go to one Festival or Expo a year. With Wholesale Markets, fabric and pattern designing and overseeing the business part, to say nothing of the farm, I'm pretty pressed for time. But I do really enjoy getting out once a year and showing people how simple and relaxing needleturn can be with just a few simple tips. I give 2 demonstrations each day and can usually handle about 6 people at a time - with lots of onlookers. And I always have people say "This really is fun and pretty easy." I never have figured out how to tell people in a book - it's a real hands-on thing. And that's also why I don't like the bigger classes either. I need to sit down with people, show them how to do inside and outside points on a star, curves on a bird, etc. and then watch what they do and fix it if it's wrong. And most people - even if they have never done applique before, leave with a newfound skill. And that makes me feel warm inside.

It takes me about a week after I get home before things are in place again and I'm ready to work on any scale. And this last week has also been spent proofing my next KC Star book. "Flags of the American Revolution" . I should say, our book. You will not believe the amount of research and writing my editor Edie McGinnis has done on the history part. Where I had a paragraph on most of the flags, she has researched and written a page of history on each one. I tried to get her to have her name on the cover too but she wouldn't, said she was happy with her name on the writing pages. And I have learned not to argue with Edie. Anyway - her work has made an awesome addition to the book and I really think it's one you will want for the history alone. Of course, I do like the quilts too.
I'd better get back to proofing - it's what I'm supposed to be doing today. Just thought I'd take a break and say "hi". "Hi!"