Shopping Time

As much fun as it is to hang out with my friends at Market, I’m really there with Sarah to work. And that means picking out fabrics and patterns for the shop. It sounds pretty simple but it’s not. There’s a lot that goes into it and it can be really pretty exhausting. But it’s a fun, too, and being at Market is kind of the ground zero of seeing anything and everything available for retailers.

Genevieve and Bari had a corner at the Windham booth to show off their new fabric lines and some wares made with it. Gen makes jewelry and used some of her designs on necklaces, which I thought was a really cool way to show some alternatives for working with it. She also modeled that awesome apron on Friday. Bari mixed her fabric with corduroy for the cutest little baby top. And I hate that I didn’t get a better picture of her quilt but hopefully someone else did because it’s not to be missed.

The Lizzie B booth was just amazing, an absolute visual delight and I could have spent forever there exploring all the goodies whipped up for Market.

I really have got to get better about taking pics because I’m home and now realize the only pic from the Michael Miller Fabrics booth that I have is of Laura Gunn and her new line, Lantern Bloom. It’s an absolutely lovely line, very organic and earthy in feel. Laura showcased some of the fabric on the most beautiful clothing, which was included on some promotional postcards for Poppy Patterns. The site is not yet up but keep an eye out for it because the patterns are going to be available soon. Laura says there may even be some freebie pattern downloads! Woot!

Paula and Patty have been showing little sneak peeks of their new lines on their respective blogs and I have to tell you, the pictures just don’t do them justice. *swoon* (And Sarah told me she ordered both in full before we left for Market, so you can be darned sure I’ll be playing with Mezzanine and Summer Soiree as soon as it hits the shop.)

Oh and one of the coolest surprises at the Michael Miller booths was the fabric used for the tablecloths: red and aqua stripes and polka dots! I’ll take a bolt of each, please.

Over at the Freespirit/Westminster row, I drooled over Erin McMorris’s new line, Wildwood. Holy cow, is it pretty! I actually interviewed Erin for my blog last fall and she was working on the line then. And she told me at Market that it really had changed from when we spoke then, which I found interesting.

Jenean Morrison showed off a purse made with her fabric, Picnic Parade, at Thursday night’s Faux 2.0, and I just could not stop complimenting it. Tiny prints in orange, pink, brown and turquoise. They’re going to be lots of fun to play with, for sure. Maybe like a modern calico, even.

One of the high points of this trip to Market was meeting Jennifer Paganelli. Her fabrics are always so lovely and she’s such a sweet bloggy friend. Plus, I sewed for her and she had my jacket in her booth and the kind words she had to say about it totally made my day! There’s something so fun and feminine about her fabric and I came home with two fat quarters of her newest line to play with. And I told her she needs to come down here to visit her sister so we can hang out. ‘Cuz we’re likethis, you know. LOL!

Of course, there’s a lot more than fabric at Market and I had a blast checking out new and upcoming books and patterns. First up is Kaffe Fasset (and Brandon Mabley), whose next book is so amazing that I’m truly at a loss for words. You can see one of the quilts in it behind them (Hi, Sarah!). Like I said, I’m not smart enough to get good booth pictures. Next time!

Barb and Mary at Me and My Sister Designs have a new book, Four Patch Folic. Love! Plus, they are an absolute riot and totally complimented me on my cute dress-top, so they can be my friends, too. LOL! I’m going to have to make time to do one of the quilts from their book (I have an autographed copy, even) but I don’t know how I’ll pick one because they all look cool.

I really want to spend the day just watching Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studio working. Her patterns and samples are just beautiful and I had the best time talking to her about sewing with laminate (her Sofia Trench Coat in Paula’s laminated fabric is just gorgeous).

Liesl of Oliver + S was so warm and friendly, and happily chatted with me about my own Liesl’s naming before we got on the subject of sewing with Heather Ross’s Far, Far Away line of fabrics for Kokka. Liesl had some samples of her patterns sewn with them and I’m even more enamored of both than before. BTW, I also chatted with Heather a bit and she is just … I don’t have words. I find a similar problem with describing her newest fabrics. Sarah and I petted them quite a bit and I’ll be keeping busy sewing up samples with it after she placed an order for some for the shop (and I’m not going to admit how much I plan to buy for my own personal use, too).

Favorite Things, one of my fave pattern companies, has two new patterns that I can’t wait to play with: the Uptown Coat, a full-length women’s coat, and The Classic Shirt, a gorgeous button-down shirt. I’m kind of bummed that it’s summer because I probably should wait until cooler weather is closer so I can sew them and then immediately wear them.

Tomorrow: More thoughts on Market and a fabulous giveaway!

Gone Fishin’

I’m back after a whirlwind trip to PIttsburgh for the International Quilt Market, spring edition. My friend Sarah let me tag along with her to shop for Intown Quilters and I had the best time! It was kind of a quick-n-dirty trip because both of us had a lot of stuff going on with our families right now, but I think we made every moment count.

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to approach my Market round-up and I think I’ll hit up the people today, the goodies tomorrow and do a Market-related giveaway on Thursday. Yes, a giveaway! And I think it’s especially cool and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’m even toying with doing a second giveaway just for the blog fans on Facebook.

Now, on with the show!

We arrived in Pittsburgh Thursday evening, dropped off our stuff at the hotel and then headed over to the Omni for a casual get-together with some bloggy peeps. Lots of fun was had, even though I manage to spill half my drink on myself and Patty (sorry, Patty!). Among the folks hanging out were Jona (Fabritopia), who organized the shindig, with her hubby; Myrinda (Fabric Hound) ; Jamie (Maricopa Fabrics) and her mom; Jessica of Juicy Bits; Mary Beth (stringer for True Up); Jen (Tula Pink) and her mom; Paula Prass and her daughter Jennifer; Patty and her husband; Sandi Henderson; new Windham fabric designers Genevieve Gail and Bari J.; Jenean Morrison; Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios; and even a brief fly-by of Laura Gunn and Heather Bailey.

At Houston in the fall, I was so intimidated by all the amazingly talented people I kept meeting. I struggled to even say “hello” to some of them, much less talk to them or ask if I could get a picture. I’m happy to say that I’m over it! LOL! It was great to be able to be myself and be comfortable enough to chat with people and even ask favors of them. *grin* And I got a lot more pictures this time than I did in October:

Clockwise from top left: Me with Chelsea and Lucy at the Pink Fig Patterns booth; with the amazingly wonderful and sweet Jennifer Paganelli (who let me sew for her for Market!); at the Windham booth with their new designers Genevieve (who lives just up the road from me!) and Bari; finally meeting my sweet friend Kristen of Gock’s Frocks — that girl gives awesome hugs!

April Cornell organized a Tweetup at Market Saturday and it was an absolute blast. That’s actually where I ran into Kristen, who I did not know had made it down.

I’m not 100 percent sure how I managed to form words when meeting April Cornell, but I did and she was so, so nice. (And when I get the pic she had taken of our entire group, I’ll post it, too.) Also there were (at left) Gen, Bari, Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts, Paula and Sandi. Plus pretty much all of the people I’ve mentioned previously. Somewhere out there is a pic of a bunch of folks Twittering while at the Tweetup — too funny!

Sarah and I went to lunch with Phoebe and Joyce from Quilting Adventures on Saturday (later joined by Myrinda, Kristen, Eileen and Renee), but I somehow managed to not get a photo with them. Don’t ask me how that happened. So, fair warning, y’all: the camera is coming out in Houston!

And last but not least … I kept seeing this woman on the floor and thought, “She looks really familiar. Where do I know her from? Am I being outrageously rude because I’m not talking to her?” I even asked Sarah if she recognized her, since she’s the Market guru and has been eleventy-billion times. Nope.

Finally, I walked up to her and just said, “I feel like I should know you but I just can’t place where.” Turns out that her sister Rachel, who lives maybe two miles from me, had won a giveaway on my blog (they look a lot alike)! And she and their mom read my blog and happened to be at Market at the same time. So I made them take pictures with me! They are just super sweet and I’m so glad we bumped into each other.

Tomorrow: Fabric, patterns and just plain coolness in Pittsburgh.

Pots for Teacher

After you’ve outed yourself as the crafty mom at the preschool, you’ve got no choice but to try to come up with something equally as cool and crafty for the next year’s teacher gifts.

No pressure. Nope. None at all.

I found some great ideas by searching Flickr and ultimately was inspired by this cool pitcher. Neat, right?

The vases came from Michaels, as did the paint. I used a Marvy Uchida paint marker that’s made for painting on finished ceramic surfaces and also is permanent. The biggest part of doing it actually was being in a place with all 14 kids at the same time — and keeping the teachers from getting a good look at what I was doing. LOL! But I lucked out and took everything to our class picnic last week.

The paint is toxic but I worked quickly and washed their thumbs as fast as possible. Funny aside: I asked each child before painting his or her thumb whether they sucked it so I could use the other thumb, just in case any paint remained. Nearly every child answered “yes” — one even popped her thumb in her mouth — but only two actually do (including mine).

I did only the thumbprints and names at the park; the remainder I painted at home, embellishing each thumbprint so it would become a flower, butterfly, bee or dragonfly (their class nickname is Doodlebugs). I wish I’d just an extra-fine point pen for the names and dragonfly wings. Oh well.

I passed off the vases to our room mom today because I will be in Pittsburgh for the International Quilt Market on Friday, which is the last day of preschool for the year. But I think they’ll be a hit and I’m sure Honey will report back to me, if he’s not too overwhelmed with being Mr. Mom for a couple of days.

Summer Whites

It’s taken me a while to get around to sewing the Portabello Pixie Analise but I finally got to it this week and whipped up a sweet summery dress for Miss L.

I picked up the fabric from Joann’s after fondling it over the course of several trips to thte store. (Don’t act like you don’t do the same thing.) I bought it even though I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it, although I had an inkling that it would make a lovely dress. It’s a little tough to see here but the fabric is criss-crossing pintucks with criss-crossing pieces of white lace. (Here’s a close up.) Just a very sweet and feminine fabric.

I lucked out in buying yardage for this dress. Seriously. I had just enough to make it. Although I did use a plain white Egyptian cotton for the straps (also for the bodice lining). I just thought that would be more comfortable than the lace right against her skin. (See the back of the dress here.)

One thing I didn’t realize about the fabric until it was too late: the lace is polyester. Which meant my very hot iron melted it when I was pressing one piece. Fortunately, it was a very small area that’s pretty much hidden, but definitely something I paid attention to during the rest of the garment construction process.

I skipped adding a binding to the hem and just did a minimal turned hem for it. If I weren’t so lazy, I probably would have done a hem facing (and French seams) because the fabric really seems to call for more of an heirloom-sewing approach. But I really wanted to get it done so I took the easy way out.

The finished dress will be perfect to wear to her brother’s high school graduation in a couple of weeks, and then maybe for some other special days this summer (don’t ask me what; I have no clue). And maybe for her very late 4-year portraits …

Around the Block

I’d never heard of selvedge quilting before my buddy Katie made the most amazing pillow I’d ever seen. Love at first sight, I’m telling you.

I’ve recently joined a quilt guild* and our May challenge was to reinvent the classic log cabin block. My mind went back to that cool pillow and I knew what direction I wanted to take for my piece.

I used a 100 percent cotton babywale corduroy for the center. The rest of the block is made up with selvedges from various fabrics I’ve used.

Although I own the book Quilts From the Selvedge Edge, I didn’t look in it to see if there was a log cabin re-do until I was most of the way through my block. Come to think of it, I didn’t even look at the basic selvedge sewing directions before I started, which probably would have helped me a great deal. Live and learn, baby.

This was the first “free form” quilting I’ve done on anything, although I use that term lightly — mostly because I have no idea what I’m talking about. I thought the wavy lines would be cool and used my disappearing fabric ink pen to draw them on the block before sewing.

It may not be perfect but it was a good introduction to piecing with selvedges. I’m definitely hooked! You know, because I don’t have enough crafty addictions already.

*The Fearless Friday Guild meets at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of the month at Intown Quilters.

My Very Own Magazine

I have my very own magazine! Burda made it just for me. No, really. They did. Of course they never said anything about it and have neglected to mention me anywhere within, but the proof is irrefutable:

1. For the Creative and Curious Multi-Crafter Hello? Craft addict here. They may as well have stuck my name over the title.

2. Anna My mother’s name and the reason I’m a crafter. It’s an homage, obviously. Plus my mom was German. Burda? Also German.

3. Peonies Love peonies! One of my favorite flowers. (See also: tulips, hydrangeas, irises, azaleas.)

4. Butterfly Love butterflies! Love cross stitch!

5. Lace doilies to crochet My mom was into crochet, big time. It’s only natural they’d want to include one of her go-to projects.

I picked it up at Borders the other day, based solely on the name. The tagline is what sold me. Plus I thought some of the projects looked kind of fun. OK, and I am something of a magazine junkie, so it was pretty much an easy sell. Although you’d think Burda would just send me a comp sub since they made it for me and all …

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has become a fan of my blog on Facebook. Y’all make me smile! Funny non sequitur: If you try to set up a page on Facebook with the word “addict” in it, you can’t — at least not without having a member of the FB team review it and deem it OK for public consumption. LOL!

Twirl, Baby, Twirl

I love when inspiration strikes. I’ve been mulling over a modified version of the That*Darn*Kat Round Neck Dress. When my Wonderland by Momo (Moda) fabric arrived from Fabric Hound, I suspected it would be a great match for my idea — and I was right.

Miss L’s very twirly dress is a huge hit with both of us. The modification was very easy: I cut the bodice about three inches below the armscythe. The lower part is essentially a twirl skirt cut with three 6.5″ tiers (I used a 1/2″ seam allowance). The middle tier is four pieces of two alternating fabrics (the same ones used on the bodice and neckline).  (Note: I used the size 4/5 as the basis for this dress, intending for it to last throughout the summer and maybe into the fall.)

I used only one button on each side of the neckline, a pretty red flower button from a past Chez Ami sale that reminded me of the flowers on one of the fabrics.

A certain little miss is really into twirling and said she was quite satisfied with the twirl factor of this dress. And repeatedly demanded that I photograph her in action. (Definitely a good idea to take pics before she ate dinner; that could have been gross.)

It was definitely a lot of gathering — even with the use of my serger — but the results made it totally worthwhile. Especially when I saw all those happy smiles.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Something made me think about this picture a little while ago, so I had to hunt it down. Taken at Easter 2006, so Miss L would have been around 18 months old. She’s changed so much in just three short years. But she’s still my little sweetheart.