Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sneaky Peeks and Jazzy Jewels

Hi there! Just had to show you that I got my quilt finished! YAY! Great stitching...huh? My friend Lareesa does all my quilts. She's quite the talent! She's a busy mom, has 9 (count 'em) with special needs. WOW. I mean really, WOW!! I'm amazed by her.

Isn't it great when you finally get the quilt back and you can't wait to sit in front of the TV with a spool of thread and a needle to stitch the binding on?
Am I the only person that loves that? Then there's the first washing and drying that sort of plumps the whole thing up and makes it softer and more pliable, and gives it that great "crumpley" look that quilts have. Can't wait to curl up in it for a nap. I could use one right now.

So anyway...
It seems that every single day the last few weeks before market for me is full of work and stress...interspersed with moments of sheer exuberance and adrenaline. There is very little sleep that goes on, and everything sort of melts together into this big mass of pre-market frenziness. I don't cook. I forget to water my plants. I miss hair appointments, I forget to take the garbage cans to the street. I become OBSESSED.

I know that many others who prepare for this bi-annual event experience the same thing, and if we could compare notes, I think we would find ourselves amazed at how similar the process is for all of us.
It's a lot like getting ready for Christmas (as an adult), times 50. There's this expectation that needs to be fulfilled, fueled by excitement, mixed with dread, tangled up with energy, emotion, creativity, and sweat.

Anyway, that's where I'm at these days.

Thought you might like to see what I've been doing, among other things.
This, below is the first attempt at one of my new bag pattern designs, called: "The Cambridge Cargo Bag"

It's a pretty good size. It's even large enough for my jumbo laptop! I made it using some of my "Spirit" fabric in twill. It has a big Flap with a belt that has a magnetic snap to keep things under control. Those are "Cargo" pockets. Kinda military inspired. They each have a magnetic snap as well.

This above is a shot of the interior...roomy with lots of pockets. That's how I like it:) and below, is the "Key Fob". It's for adding little charms, like you see on some of the high-end bags at the mall. you know, just for fun...
That flower charm is one I painted on ceramic. I've actually been painting a lot of those lately.

These little jewels are going to be the gifts that I will give away to the folks who come to my "schoolhouse" at quilt market, which is a 30 minute class I will be doing, along with lots of other people in the industry I'm in.
If there are any left over I will probably sell them on my blog when I get back. Or maybe throw in a couple in a blog giveaway. They are all hand-painted and signed on the back by yours truly, and each one is unique. I love these:)

Here is the prototype of another bag design I am doing, in some fabulous Amy Butler "Love" fabric. I call it the "Metro Slouch Bag".

It's smaller than the Cambridge Bag, but super sleek and modern.

Here's a sideways shot of the inside. (Don't know why I can't turn it. But I can't.) This bag also has the key fob option for charms. And I have decided to add a cell phone pocket to one of the sides. I know I need one...makes it so handy when there's an outer pocket for that ever-present and oh-so-necessary item.

NOW...the hardware on these bags could be a problem to find. BUT...never fear!! I have decided to create Hardware Kits for these bags that will be for sale alongside the patterns. (Truly an inspiration!) That way you can purchase all of the hardware you need to make either one of these bags all at once, and at a great price! Gotta love that.
These patterns will be available for sale soon...I will put them up on my blog when they are ready. They are ALMOST DONE! I also have a women's version of the London Top/Dress
in the works, as well as a new skirt pattern, and a new quilt pattern for my Isabella fabric that will be showing at Quilt Market in October. So keep a close eye out for those new additions to my lineup.

Well folks, that's it for now. Whew!

Have a great day!!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sewing Days

I see I have been a slacker again...we are well into September, and I last posted about school starting. Where did the time go?
I have been busy, though. As usual. My husband gets so mad at me because I won't ever sit down and watch TV or just shoot the breeze with him...unless I'm stuffing patterns or sewing while I watch...or doing some other sort of productive activity while I'm doing it. Any of you have that problem??

Well the other day I got a wild hair and decided to make a quilt from some of my Spirit fabric. I knew which pattern I wanted to was one of Abbey Lane's patterns they designed for my "Santorini" collection. It's called "Sweet Caroline".

Here is the one they made for me below in "Santorini".

They let me put it up in my booth that spring at market, and it was so pretty there hanging up on the wall... poor Janice had to practically tackle me and rip it out of my hands when market was over and it was time to give it back to them. I really wanted to keep it:(

There it is on the right. Kind of hard to see.

Look at these other great quilts they designed using my fabric collections:
Honey Pie using my "Eden" collection. Love this. It was in my booth in Houston last fall.

Long Tall Sally using my "Santorini" collection, was also in my booth in Portland with the first quilt.

There is Stella...sporting her pink funky hairdo:) But anyway, the quilt.

I always love Abbey Lane's designs...and especially the 3-D nature of many of the quilts.

So anyway...I decided I wanted to make one for my bedroom...since it would match perfectly in the orange, green, blue, brown and yellow colorways. It was a brave move...because I was really supposed to be working on writing up my new bag patterns, and drawing up illustrations, all of which takes me hours and hours to do for each pattern. (More hours than I care to admit!)
AND then, as I began cutting, my husband gave me one of those
looks. (DREADFUL) It's the look he gives me when he can see I am getting totally and completely engrossed in a creative project which clearly does not involve him, or sitting on the sofa with him to watch a show and snuggle.

So here is the top. It is done. I need to go get it quilted, of course, which involves the boring part of piecing the back and cutting the batting. That's the part I hate. BUT it is necessary to have that awesome cuddly cozy end result.

What do you think?

Big, Bold, graphic. Definitely NOT for the faint of heart:)

I absolutely love the use of white to make the colors pop. I also like the use of the jellyroll strips, which helps it work up fast, and I really love the curves in the petals.
I have since designed something of my own using curves...but in a different way. I'll keep you posted on that.

There is also another little JEWEL I have been working on...that I will save and show you when I have more to show.

So that's one of the reasons why I haven't posted for a while. BUSY BUSY BUSY. I do love being busy. But I will indeed have to follow through on that promise to cuddle I made to my husband. Guess I'll have to pencil it in my schedule for now:) JK