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How Cute is This!

September 5, 2014

Laura's-Purse

I’m smiling ear to ear! Laura Martell of The Creative Thimble sent me this pic of her As You Like It purse made up using my Cruisin’ bike pattern on the front flap. It doesn’t get much cuter than this! The flap on this purse is interchangeable, it simply buttons on. You can change the look depending on your mood or even the season.

We are heading to Chattanooga, TN next week to vend at the AQS Quiltweek show September 10th-13th at the Chattanooga Convention Center and Laura and I are in booths across from each other, #728 and #729. If you are in or near Chattanooga or if you feel like a road trip, come by our booths and say “Hey!” I know there will be so much inspiration for you there.

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Three Down, Four to Go!

August 31, 2014

Emma and her quilt

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” This is a phrase that is well known around our house when it comes to getting something done that is sewing or quilt related.

As a quilt designer you would think that my children and grandchildren would be unable to move in their beds at night from the weight of all the quilts I have made for them, right?! Ha, unfortunately this isn’t even close to reality. My own children do indeed have quilts or wallhangings which I made for them many years ago, before I even started designing quilts. When my two daughters got married, the plan was to make a quilt for each new grandchild as they came along. This worked pretty well for the first couple. Kate received a quilt designed especially for her, which resulted in my Cutie Patootie pattern. Jackson followed shortly thereafter and so did his quilt, which eventually became the Action Jackson pattern.

However, the grandchildren didn’t end there. Both of my girls continued having babies and now I am WAY behind on the quilts. Kate now has two sisters, Emma is five and Claire is two, and Jackson now has three brothers, four year old Gavin, and two year old twin brothers Ryan and Dylan.

It would certainly be easier to accomplish my goal of supplying quilts to each of these kiddos if I could simply go to my local quilt shop and pick a pattern from the rack. However, my girls seem to think that each of these wonderful children deserves their own original quilt designed by “Honey”, and I must admit that I agree with them.

Poor Emma has been waiting patiently for her quilt for several years now. I had been working on it sporadically but just hadn’t set aside the time to get it finished, until recently. The layout is similar to Cutie Patootie except that it is upside down, I didn’t feel the need to “reinvent the wheel” here. The designs inside the blocks are all different except for the monkeys. I’d originally planned something else for that particular block, but one of Emma’s favorite things is monkeys, so I just used the block from Jackson’s quilt instead.

Emma's-Quilt

This summer we had a great time with the grandgirls as they stayed at our house for two weeks while their parents went to Europe. Before they arrived, I had finished the quilt top and had it layered and pinned for quilting. While they were here, I would find a few free minutes now and then to sit down at my machine for some free-motion quilting. The girls knew that I was working on Emma’s quilt and I had promised her that it would be finished in time for her to take it home with her. One day Emma stood watching me as I was stitching away on the quilt and she said, “Honey, can you just stay up all night until you are finished?” Well, that didn’t happen but I was able to have it ready for her by the time she left.

Emma was pretty excited about her new quilt. Courtney, my daughter, said that she was showing it off to her friends the following week and she overheard her say, “This is the quilt that Honey made for me. She’s old, but she’s not dead.”

Ha ha, aren’t kids great!

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Finally, Fabric!

July 27, 2014

Thai Silks

I knew it was here somewhere, just a matter of hunting it down, but once we found shops with fabric, they were everywhere. In Bangkok there are streets filled with tailor shops willing to make suits, sport coats, and pants out of gorgeous lightweight wool, cashmere and linen. Custom fitted shirts can also be made out of beautiful shirting fabric. Not exactly inexpensive, but certainly less than you would pay in the US.

Tailor Shop

Since Fitz needed a wardrobe update (he is either shrinking or losing weight) he had some things made. It took a few trips for measurements, first fitting, and final fitting but he ended up with some great looking clothes.

Ladies silks were everywhere too, once we knew where to look. There are some pretty fabulous shopping malls here and the silk shops all seem to be located inside. I saw some beautiful handmade silk jackets in one shop but they didn’t allow photos, this shop, however, didn’t seem to mind.

More Thai Silks

We went to Singapore for a few days and found even more fabric there! There is a street called Arab Street, which has rows and rows of Turkish shops carrying more silk, and cotton fabrics. Lots of rug shops available here too, if you need some beautiful floor coverings.

Arab St. Fabric

We were even able to find a quilt shop in Singapore called Quilts and Friends, a great little shop owned by Brigette Lee. She was in the middle of teaching a class when we arrived but was gracious enough to take a break and show us around her wonderful shop. I was hoping to purchase some local fabric but Brigette explained that there were no fabric designers in Singapore so the majority of her fabrics were from American and Japanese companies.

Quilts and Friends

 

All in all, a pretty good variety of beautiful fabrics!

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White Temples, Black Houses, and Opium?

July 23, 2014

No grass growing under our feet as we have been constantly busy exploring new areas of Thailand. We flew from Bangkok to Chaing Rei, which is in northern Thailand and stayed at the beautiful Meridian Resort for a couple of days.The Meridian

 

The town of Chaing Rei is considerably smaller than Bangkok but in order to get around we hired a driver to take us on a tour of the area. With small children in tow, it’s a little difficult to see more than a couple of places each day but they were troopers as we dragged them around in what felt like 100-degree heat.

The white temple was high on our list and not at all what we expected. We have visited a few Buddhist temples here and just thought it would be another Buddhist temple that was painted white but found instead that is was created by a Thai artist with a different idea in mind. There is a great post here http://www.thailandforchildren.com/chiang-mai-family-travel/chiang-rai/white-temple-wat-rong-khun-thailand to give you a better idea, than I can, about all that is represented there.

White TempleNext, we headed to the Black House, which was also quite different. There were several buildings, all black, which looked a lot like temples but contained long wooden tables and chairs made from animal horns.

Black HouseMany wooden carvings on poles and tables, which displayed crocodile and snake skins. Additional buildings on the property housed an elephant skeleton and large fishing traps hanging from the rafters.Black House Inside

As with everything to visit around here, there was a gift shop just in case you wanted to purchase your own “look alike” crocodile handbag.

Finally, the last stop of the day was at the Golden Triangle where the countries of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand come together.Golden Triangle

This used to be the largest opium producing area and there is now an Opium Museum to visit. It’s pretty much a tourist trap but was filled with all types of pipes, and smoking paraphernalia.Opium Pipes

Pillows

Apparently you could rest your head on one of these marble and ceramic “pillows” as you smoked the pipe and soon it would feel like you were “floating on a cloud”. Ha!

Prisoner

There was even a replica of a prisoner to show you what can happen to you if you decide to go down this path.

I guess I was expecting to see fields of poppies instead and had great visions of making a poppy quilt! Not a poppy in sight!

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Thai-ing One On!

July 14, 2014

DSC00375We’re doing a little traveling, visiting our daughter, son-in-law and four grandsons (all ages 6 and under) in Thailand! After the 32 hour plane ride on three separate flights we finally arrived, although we were pretty exhausted. It has taken a couple of days to adjust to the new time zone, 11 hours ahead of Raleigh time, but we’re not waking up at 3 am and staying awake for a couple of hours anymore.

Since our time here is limited, we aren’t letting any grass grow under our feet, although not much grass is growing anywhere here in Bangkok. It’s a really busy place full of sights and smells not often experienced in North Carolina. Traffic is constant and a little harrowing with pink taxis, tut-tuts, baht buses, and motorcyclists fighting for their piece of the narrow streets here. Kathleen drives their mini van around like a champ, not easy considering it is an American vehicle and they drive on the other side of the road here so she has a double challenge with her steering wheel being on the wrong side of the car! Can’t seem to figure out who has the right of way, pedestrians or drivers, as no one wants to give, but we finally realized that if you are walking you are always on the defensive.

What we take for granted in the US is obvious here, as there are hardly any sidewalks wider than about three feet and they are in a constant state of disrepair with uneven levels to navigate, large holes and cracks, and loose tiles. We’re doing a LOT of walking but have to constantly watch where we step so as not to end up flat on our face in front of a taxi or oncoming bus. Needless to say, walking anywhere with a six year old, a four year old, and a set of two year old twins is a lesson in patience and fearful hysteria. Sidewalks aren’t wide enough for a twin stroller so in order to use the stroller you have to walk along the edge of the street and hope no one is having a bad driving day.

Temperatures around 100 degrees are normal here and we, as Americans, seem to be the only ones with sweat dripping from our “red as beet” faces. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Chatuchak Market.

DSC00373This huge market is apparently very famous here, made up of tiny little vendor shops. They sell everything from new and used clothing, any type of Thai food you can imagine, small animals, birds, and fish and furniture and accessories.

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I found a pair of pants and a shirt that I liked and asked to try them on. The ladies were very accommodating, “Sure, sure” they said, “try them on here!” and they took me into their tiny vending space and stood in front of me as I stood there half naked trying the clothes on while hundreds of people walked by just a few feet away! I bought the pants.

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A Little Virtual Quilt Show

March 17, 2014

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What a great time we had at the Vintage View Quilt Show this past weekend! The Capital Quilt Guild, along with the Carolina Longarm Association banded together to create this wonderful show and it was amazing! Over 450 quilts were entered and the skill and expertise were obvious in all the beautiful quilts. Since I was vending at the show, I arrived early every morning so that I could get a chance to see all the beautiful quilts myself. Here are a few photos in case you missed it.

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Botanikal by Lynne Turner-Lio is an adaptation of Robin Pandolph’s “Botanika” pattern. Lynne added dimension appliqué to make this the Best of Show quilt!

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Wilson, North Carolina by Frances Tillery shows many of the buildings in Wilson where Frances grew up.

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Spring Bouquet by Karen West made from a kit by Laundry Basket Quilts and quilted by Suzan deSerres.

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Dancing Batik by Noi Bland and quilted by Angela Clark.

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Lollipop Trees by Sharyn Cole. This quilt is from a pattern by Kim McLean and was quilted by Suzan deSerres.

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Arboretum by Sheryl Lucas was one of the first quilts Sheryl made. It was quilted by Ann Hull.

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Smokey Mountain Feathered Star by Angela Clark. This quilt was part of a Dee Dalton Mystery Retreat, the pattern is Star Trekks by Dee Dalton and the quilting design is by Dawna Sanders.

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Snails Trails by Gail B. Draney was a Saturday Sampler quilt for 2012 from Bernina World of Sewing. It was quilted by Jan Marie Potter.

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I even managed to garner a ribbon of my own with my Acorns Away quilt which I created from a block I made for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazine. My own design, my own quilting.

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These cute little quiltlets were stitched up by Brenda Keeley for herself and her two sisters using my Tweet pattern. She said she made each of the quilts and gave two of them to her sisters but had to ask for them back so that she could enter them in the show. The next picture is a photo of the works in progress. I love it when customers send me photos of items created from my designs!

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Hope you enjoyed this virtual little quilt show and are working on your own fun creations!

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Vintage View Quilt Show in Raleigh

March 12, 2014

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Getting excited for the upcoming quilt show here in Raleigh this weekend. I’ll be setting up tomorrow and the show starts on Friday. The following press release contains all the info you need to be able to plan your visit to the show. Hope to see you there! There are approximately 450 quilts for you to drool over, I even entered one myself.

Raleigh, NC…Whether you want to take a step back in time to remember the days of your grandmother’s soft comfy quilt or fast forward to today’s cutting edge quilting techniques, you’ll find it all at the Vintage View Quilt Show, March 14-16, 2014 at the Kerr Scott Building at NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh.
“The Capital Quilters Guild (CQG) is partnering with the Carolina Longarm Association (CLA) to present this big show. The group anticipates 400 quilts on display, vendors, demonstrations, Wearable Quilt Art Displays, and special exhibits,” said CQG President Penny Prichard adding that the show is a fundraising event for the two non-profit groups.
The three-day show will include judged quilts (submitted prior to the show), themed exhibits and 40 vendors who will offer every type of quilt tool, patterns, notions, fabric and machines geared to the casual and dedicated quilter and sewer. Hours for the show are: Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-4. Admission to Vintage View Quilt Show is $5.
“Since our grandmothers lovingly stitched every piece by hand, we follow suit but on machines,” said Suzan deSerres, President of the Carolina Longarm Association who added that quilting is a $ 3.58 billion dollar industry that appeals to an estimated 21 million women and men over the age of 18 who shop at approximately 3,500 quilt shops in the United States. (over 50 in North Carolina; 11 in Triangle Region). Traditional quilting abounds and still appeals although art quilting is making its mark in this modern era.

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