Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Silly me

Mary, thanks for asking where you can find the new bamboo blend felt by National Nonwovens. I meant to link to it in the first post, but alas, it was late and my brain was already sleeping. I checked their site earlier and the new XoticFelt wasn't posted yet. It is being introduced at Spring Quilt Market (May 15th) so I'm sure they'll have it up soon. Click on the link to go there and sorry for the goof up.

Loving the green

I know, I know, it's been a week since you heard from me. Believe me I haven't been sitting around eating bonbons (sounds like fun though) I have been working on models to send off to Quilt Market. Here's a glimpse of the projects I made with the bamboo/rayon felt.....

I am so loving working with this new felt, and I love, love, love, this green. Actually I think I have at least 3 tee-shirts this color. LOL
The bamboo felt has a much softer drape to it than the WoolFelt which I also use. The bamboo blend is a very nice alternative for when you want to use something a bit softer. It is also very nice to stitch through. I will definitely be using this again.
Speaking of green, a friend of ours has this super cool VW camper. Don't you love the awning stripe?

Oops ~ a momentary distraction here, there's a bunny hopping outside my office window, he (or she) just jumped up on the window ledge (it's low) . Naturally the camera was out of reach, sorry.

Well, now it's off to make dinner, on the menu tonight are.... chicken & mushroom kabobs on the grill, summer squash, rice and a nice fresh fruit salad for desert, with kiwis....oh that green!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Hmmm, how shall I spend Earth Day? I am going to begin celebrating by sleeping past 7:30am. I wish I could tell you I was doing something really extraordinary but alas I have work (play) to do in the studio. Naturally, I will tend my little Earth Box gardens in the morning and then we have guests coming for dinner later this evening, (oh gosh - I guess I have to add dusting to my list) but in the studio today I am going to have the pleasure of playing with some luscious new felt that arrived from National Nonwovens (the makers of WoolFelt™) the other day. It's a new eco-friendly felt named XoticFelt™ and is made with Bamboo and rayon fibers! Bamboo is a very earth friendly resource. It is very fast growing, requires no pesticides, and has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is a highly renewable and sustainable grass. I wish you could feel it. It is so silky and soft I can't wait to get playing with it tomorrow. They've asked me to make something for their booth for Spring Quilt Market and they sent such fabulous colors to work with. This is going to be fun, I'll let you know how it goes.
So what do you have planned for Earth Day?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The new BFF pattern for spring

Yes, I've finished the latest in the BFF series the "BFF Celebrate Spring" quilt. As in the first BFF quilt (Dresses & do's) the best friends are permanent appliqués but their outfits, hairdos, pets and even their shoes are Swap-pliqués™, changeable, mix & match appliqués.
The BFF Celebrate Spring pattern features 5 playful spring outfits, 3 new hairdo's, new pets plus numerous fun accessories to mix & match. There's a ballerina outfit, a delightful gardening outfit (go figure) , an Easter bunny costume, an Easter dress and a rainy day outfit. The pattern includes the instructions for the quilt as well as the outfits. All of the outfits, hairdo's etc. mix & match between both BFF patterns so your Best Friends wardrobe can keep growing. You don't want them wearing the same old thing all the time do you?
The new pattern should be up on my site early next week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15th

Gosh April 15th has come and gone and I popped my tax return in the mail with hours to spare!
Actually I got to the post office around lunch time and beat the crowds LOL
Such is the life of a procrastinator and also why you haven't heard anything from me the last few days. I have also been finishing up yet another in the series of BFF (best friends forever) quilts.
I'll post the update Thursday or Friday for you to see. In the meantime here's a pic of the yellow tabby tree blooming outside the studio. The rain we had the other day has dislodged some of the blooms, but there's still plenty to enjoy. Thanks to everyone that stopped by during the studio tour. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed taking the tour myself. It was nice to see other studios and to get new ideas for organizing. I will post my progress in trying to organize the rest of my studio from time to time so feel free to pop in again any time. Thanks again and many thanks to our studio tour hostess Marguerita at QuiltNews and her adorable bunny - Bunny.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to Thistledown studio

Good Morning ! If you were actually here in person I would pour you a cup of fresh coffee or tea and we would sit and chat. However, seeing as you're not,go ahead and pour yourself a cup and come on in for a visit. I did at least put out a "virtual" welcome mat for you, but don't take your shoes off, there may be a few stray pins around!
Welcome to my studio, actually my new studio. This tour was very timely in that we just did some major space shifting in our house to make way for my new space, a.k.a. Thistledown studio as my friends like to call it.
It is still a work in progress but I am just loving it! I hope you enjoy your visit here and then have fun visiting all the other studios in the tour. To get there, simply click "next"on the studio tour graphic over in the right sidebar.

First I'll give you a look at my former work space(s). I was spread all over the house. I had this table given to me by my friend Marti and I plunked it down in an open area. This is where I put my sewing machine. Then to cut I would take over the dining room table, and my fabric stash and other supplies were upstairs in my original sewing room. The original room was cute but small, only about 7' x 11' and was way to far removed from the goings on of the rest of the house.
Which is why I didn't work up there. Even though this table was not a good decorating decision
it had a nice view out the windows and I didn't feel so isolated.

Then enough was enough and the question was put forth....did we really need a living room and family room?
Well, not really but we ended up with both and my new studio besides!

Here is the "living room" which was mostly used when my stitching friends would visit, which still allowed my hubby his giggle free sanctuary in the family room. Not that he doesn't like a good laugh but you know what I mean. Anyway the living room ended up where the work table was and we like it better there after all.

Here's the former living room, getting ready to become studio. I should have painted the wall around the large window (left side of photo) maybe you can suggest some paint colors for a future rainy day paint party.
Okay, before you see the new "studio" I want you to know I didn't "stage" or even vacuum the studio beforehand. I want you to see it like it is everyday. Well, some days are better than others, but honestly, wouldn't you rather see the real studio with fabric snips on the floor and the shelves in disarray? Well, here in my studio tour, real is what you're going to get. I'm up against a couple of deadlines and when I'm designing the fabric flies about (along with pins, thread, etc.) so pardon my mess. It's gotten worse as the day went on.
Ta-da.... my spacious new space! It is also right next to my office so I can pop in and out to check e-mail, do printing etc.
My original work table fits nicely by the window with fabulous north light and my machine now sits on the work counter I had upstairs. It's simply a laminate countertop piece we got at a home improvement store and I have it sitting on 2 two drawer file cabinets. To hide the back (and all the clutter underneath) I made a "drape" of canvas and we nailed it with a furring strip to the
back of the countertop.

In fact here is a picture of my fabric shelves after a few days of designing. Not quite as neat and tidy as the picture below? Oh well, nothing a day of folding and sorting won't fix.
I would also like to get some more storage bins. I really like these fabric covered ones I found. I want to put my organized scraps in them.
I also have goals for my shelves. I would love to reorganize my fabrics enough so I might have room for some favorite books and do-dads on the shelves. I think I may have enough fabric on hand. OMG! And we had to carry that all down from upstairs.
I also want to find a space for my pincushions.


I also have to find a good spot to hang my inspiration wall, and I still have to mount my multi-plug power strip. But given it's only been about 3 weeks since the transformation I think it's coming together pretty good so far.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by for this visit. If you have any questions about my studio or my dis-organization, just ask. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear from you.
My studio may not make the pages of a glossy magazine, but it's real, it's mine, and it works for me. It is, and probably always will be, a work in progress but aren't we all?

Studio blog tour

Have you heard about the studio blog tour? Starting tomorrow (Friday the 8th) I and about 20 other designers will be opening our studios to you via our blogs. The tour is hosted by Quiltnews and you can just click on the studio tour graphic to the right to start the tour. Should be lots of fun. I know I am looking forward to visiting the studios on the tour and hoping mine isn't the only one in disarray.
See you tomorrow, I hope you'll enjoy your visit.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The next giveaway?

Heavens! With all the tomatoes on my vine I may be including tomatoes in my next giveaway!
My grape tomatoes are exploding with the little buggers and my regular (Sebring) tomatoes are keeping right up. Seriously, I may have to take up canning now. Yikes!
Yesterday some of the grape tomatoes started turning red. I'm so excited. I think I'm going to make a nice pasta, tomato, and basil toss for dinner one night this week if enough of them are ripe. Hopefully some of the big tomatoes will ripen soon too.

Then I need to think about what to make with my RED peppers. I've been harvesting my green bell peppers right along and have had some wonderful stuffed peppers with them. This being my
first time growing bell peppers I left some on the plants to ripen into red peppers and here they are. This was taken a couple of days ago and they have now all turned a deep beautiful red.....Yummy!

Sorry I haven't been posting very regularly but I have been in a design frenzy, facing some deadlines and trying to get our taxes done too, arghhh I need a 27 hour day, with the extra hours devoted to sleep.
I'll post again soon....really