Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Week of Contrasts

Wednesday I returned from a wonderful teaching trip to Florida. I had workshops in Sarasota, Naples and Lakeland. As always, the hospitality and camaraderie was amazing. One afternoon I got to visit the Naples Botanical Garden and this little display of Air Plants was fascinating!

They were simply suspended on weighted fish lines. Each one had a personality of its own. They looked like weird and wonderful pieces of jewelry.

Needless to say, I was drawn to all the curlicues and spirals... some of my favorite shapes.

Look at the movement in this one! It looks like a wild green whirlwind.

I just wanted to wear them all. There are definitely some quilt ideas brewing from this dramatic display. The sun was shining everyday in Florida, but when I got back home the skies were leaden and grey. What a contrast! But I like contrast, so it was fine with me. It's always nice to be home.

So back in the studio there is lots to do, as the book deadline is coming soon. Plenty of writing and finishing of quilts will occupy my time this month. Here is a new Early Birds top that needs quilting. But look as this great view from my studio window. What a better place to work and play?

You may enjoy the special Valentines blog at Quilt Inspiration featuring hearts "Sassaman Style". Guess I'd better start thinking about some new Valentine ideas for 2012.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Early Bird Napkin Project

This has been a wild weather week! Wednesday it was 50 degrees and sunny. Thursday it was 15 degrees and we had the first snow storm of the season! But it's all fine with me.

I promised a little project this week, so let's get to it! We are going to make some Early Bird napkins to spice up your dining settings. I had collected some nice colored cloth napkins at an outlet shop with the intent of ornamenting them. I pulled them out the other day, because they were just the right colors to go with the new Early Birds fabric.

To make these pretty napkins with a front pocket, we started by cutting a 9" square from some coordinating Early Birds fabric. Above is Leaf Dance in Lime and below is the Primrose Posy in the Blueberry colorway.

Then we folded it in half, with right sides together and stitched a quarter inch seam, but leaving a hole so we could turn it right side out. Clip the corners.

When it is right side, whip stitch the opening. Then stitch along the long side of the triangle before pinning it to one corner of the napkin and stitch down the two short sides to make a pocket.

So here are a few others that we whipped up...

Very cheerful colors for a cold winter day! These would be lovely for a Valentine's place setting.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Early Birds Pattern Give Away This Week!

Aren't these the cutest aprons? They are being featured on the FreeSpirit Blog this week. So to read all the details visit their site. This week they will be sharing a free pattern for the new Early Bird fabrics. Also check out the Fat Quarter Shop's blog, the Jolly Jabber, to see some studio shots and read a short interview.

Lots to do in the studio this week. Next week we will post a little home decorating project, so stay tuned.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! After a busy week of socializing I am exhausted. Having fun has made me tired! I have washed LOTS of dishes and made up quite a few beds. But today is New Year's Day, the wind is whipping through the trees and it is dark and snowing now and then. A good moody day to ease into the long list of projects that need attention. A quiet day for reflection and resolutions.

I have managed to escape to the studio everyday for a little "quiet time" and some quilting. In fact, I have been going in circles... lots of circles. I will show you the rest when it is all finished.

And today we begin to get organized for a new year of positive possibilities. These wonderful file satchels were designed by my friend, Melissa Peda. They are quilted and lined and perfect for the serious fashion follower. They would be perfect laptop or iPad covers, too. You can buy the pattern  or purchase them ready made at Melissa's Etsy shop, 100 Billion Stars. These were made with fabrics from the new Early Birds collection. Left, Primrose Posies in the Plum colorway, right, Leaf Dance in Lime and Primrose Posies in Blueberry.

Our new life begins tomorrow. But those leftovers in the fridge still remain!