Monday, August 29, 2011

Sublime Summer

Ahhhhh... it has been perfect summer weather and there is anticipation in the atmosphere. I am awaiting delivery of my new line of FreeSpirit fabrics which will kick off a new burst of activities in preparation for Houston Market. It is the quiet before the storm. A bit like sitting on an egg!

Meanwhile, as I cleaned up the studio getting ready for this new phase, I got a wonderful email from Jean-Sophie Wood. She had her two salvaged wing-chairs reupholstered in the Sweet Potato Vine and Rose Hips fabric from the Prairie Gothic line.

Don't they look striking? If you visit her blog, Sophie Junction, she will tell you all about them. I love their symmetry, especially the arms which are perfectly matched with the leaves and rose hips landing in the same place on both chairs.

This just tickles me! Needless to say, I am delighted to see my designs put to such perfect use. And I am honored to contribute a little color and style to someones life. They also seem appropriate sitting among these gems from the garden.

The garden produce is ripening and the fresh vegetables are a sublime treat. This is the first watermelon that Greg has grown. It is always amazing to watch melons and gourds grow. I love the shape of the leaf on this plant.

Look at the breathtaking network of stems and vines on this zucchini! 

The peppers are very HOT and happy this year.

This is our second season to grow okra. It looks so lovely that we hate to pick it, but found that the pods dry beautifully for autumn floral arrangements.

And finally the tomatoes are coming online. What a treat it is to eat these days! This is the inspiration that carries me through the winter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Communication Breakdown

I feel like I have just returned from the Twilight Zone. After the big power outage we have been hit with storm after storm. I love storms, but it seems that it can't just "rain" anymore. Lightning hit our Internet tower and we were without a connection for over two weeks... not amusing when you are getting ready for a teaching trip. I really felt disconnected and discombobulated. Boo hoo! This is my apology for being absence for so long. The Internet was down again yesterday, too! So I rushed to get this posted today before something else happens.

It was also 100 degrees and humid during the communication breakdown and we had to begin taking photographs for the new book (more on that later). At this point, I have at least 50 quilts made with my fabrics that need recording and more on their way. So we soldiered on and prepared the studio for a photo shoot.

Greg set up a clever rigging for the lights and I was his assistant. Technology has changed since our last big shoot, so it was a bit nerve racking, especially since I couldn't go on line to get any tips. All went well, however, and we have another batch to do this week. But the weather is cool and lovely, so the studio will be more comfortable and the routine is established.

Here is a stack of quilts awaiting their turn in the limelight. It has really been fun to dig through all these past projects and revisit some of my favorite fabric designs. The book will be a nice record of the past eleven years of designing for FreeSpirit.

I am also making some new pieces for this venture and this is the latest. I am a minimalist at heart, even though some of my quilts are over-the-top with pattern. I quite like the simplicity and starkness of this design. The quilting should be just as clean and clear as the top.

I appliqued the quarter circles to 12" whole blocks and attached then with topstitching. The Willow Wands fabric is from the current Garden Divas collection and the rest of the fabrics are from various previous lines. This is a good design for mixing and matching from your stash. In this case, I used blues, green and pinks for a comforting and cool feeling. It also has huge graphic impact but is easy to put together... perfect for a dorm or baby quilt.

Here are some pillow cases that would be welcome in the dorm room, too. School started here this week and there were scrubbed and bright little kids and their parents on almost every corner waiting for the school bus... such memories.

Next week I'll take you on a tour of the vegetable garden, beware of mosquitoes!