Monday, June 14, 2010

New Look!

You're not in the wrong place!  I'm playing with the blog a bit... just messing with background and colors.  What do you think?  I want a little more color--- I'll keep playing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Busy in the field!

My goodness!  What a slacker I've been about blogging!  I have a good excuse though.  Have you ever weeded around 300 lavender plants?  Yes... I have weed cloth out there.  But the little buggers still grow right at the base of the plants.  I don't know how I could keep up with it without the landscape fabric (weed cloth).  It's important that there are no weeds in the bundles when I harvest so I'm going through and cleaning things up one last time before they show their little purple faces.  :-)

Here's how the field looked yesterday.  I have 2 main varieties- half Grosso and half Gros Bleu.  The Grosso is a little earlier than the Gros Blue and it's looking a little bigger right now.  These photos are of the Grosso.

Compare this to the field a month ago!  (below)

Here are a few more from this weekend:

The spikes are shooting up and the buds are setting- but nothing is open yet. This is the first time the plants have actually touched. 

I asked DH to stand in back so you could get a perspective on the size.  That's his muddy knee in the back to the left.

The field is almost 3 years old.  This is our third harvest.  We planted 300 little 4-inch plants in the fall of 2007.  I expect to harvest somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200 bundles next month.  I now know the meaning of the phrase, "Be careful what you ask for.... you might get it!"

If you're interested in reading more lavender posts, look over to the right for the list of labels (topics) and click on Lavender.  That will take you to the posts I wrote about lavender last July.

Keep watching- I'll be posting updated photos.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles


 Carrie Nelson is another great designer I met at Quilt Market. She is the creative woman behind the very popular Schnibbles patterns.  Above is a photo of Carrie autographing a copy of her new book to me.  She's a delightful lady and it was a pleasure to chat with her later in her booth.


Let's see how well I can do at describing what "Schnibbles" are.

"Schnibbles" are "little bits".  Carrie explained to me that they are little pieces.... little leftovers or little samplings.  Her Schnibbles patters are to make little quilts.  Most of these gems measure about 30 inches square.  They are not to be confused with miniature quilts.  They aren't miniatures with the teensie weensie seams and tiny blocks.  The blocks aren't big, but they're "normal" small blocks.  There's just aren't very many of them.  

Her new book, "Schnibbles Times Two", features a small Schnibbles and a little bit "less small" quilt.  She gives instructions for quilts that are about 30 inches square and then the same quilt measuring about 70 inches square (give or take).

I've had requests from several friends and customers to carry Schnibbles patterns and kits, and even a few requests for a "Schnibbles of the month" kit.  Waddaya think?  Carrie says you can make a 30 inch top in about a day.  There's a pretty darned good chance that you're going to see them on my website soon.  I'm trying to decide if I should just carry the book and patterns or if you would like kits.  I'd love to hear your feedback.

I'm thinking that a new little quilt would look great on my dining room table- instead of the traditional table runner- a new one each month.  I don't know where I would hang all these little quilts, but I could have one dedicated spot for them and rotate them- hanging different ones when the mood strikes.  Have any of you made any Schnibbles, and how do you display them?

As if I needed another reason to like Carrie, her helper is a Golden Retriever named, Rosie.  (see below).  This old girl has seen a lot of quilts in her day!  What a lucky furry friend to have Carrie for a mom.  We're a family of pet-lovers.  If you'd like to see a picture of my Golden or of all my grandpuppies and grandkitties, I have them all in my gallery. Speaking of the gallery- I'm pathetically behind on adding photos to it.  So many thoughtful customers have sent me photos of their quilts and I have been delinquent in getting them loaded onto the gallery.  That's on my short list of things to do.... I'll let you know when I get it updated.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

StoneGable Giveaway

I found a pretty "foodie" blog.  Pretty pictures, pretty decor ideas and table settings, and what looks like some nice recipes.  This nice giveaway ends soon.... I'm entering.... hoping to be the lucky one!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Edyta Sitar and Laundry Basket Quilts

More from Quilt Market.....
 I think my new favorite pattern designer/ book author is Edyta Sitar. She does amazing piecing and applique.  And when I heard her speak at Quilt Market, I was captivated.  She is very personable and it's a pleasure to listen to her speak.  Her accent is charming and she speaks comfortably to her audience, as if she were conversing with a few friends. 

Behind her is the quilt from the cover of "Hop To It".  She learned during this class that the book is now an award winner.  Her publisher surprised her with the honor just moments after this photo was taken.

Here's a closeup of the breath taking quilt.  It's even better in person than on the cover of the book.

And the bunny block.  :-)  The applique on this quilt is all fused/ raw edge.  Her stitching is so clean-- right on the edge of the pieces.  It's hard to tell that it's raw edge without getting very close to it.

The rest of these photos were taken in her booth.  It was hard to photograph them because the booth was so crowded.  She was VERY popular.

These patterns are so amazing.  I think they will be showing up on my website!

This was very pretty in blue and white.  She generally uses more color and I was surprised to see this one.  Very nice!

 A VERY pretty pineapple.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spring 2011 Quilt Market

The caption here should read, "Ready to SHOP!".  My friend took this photo of me at the entrance of the Spring 2011 Quilt Market in the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Quilt Market is held twice each year.  It's in Houston in the fall, and it's held in different cities each Spring.  Attendees are wholesale customers in the quilting industry.  The majority of the shoppers are quilt shop owners- or those who support the industry such as long arm quilters.  Vendors include mostly distributors, fabric manufacturers, pattern designers, book authors, and suppliers of specialty notions.  For the most part, a shopper such as myself doesn't come home with anything, but places orders for product to be shipped in the near future.  That, of course, doesn't explain why I had to go to Target and buy a new duffel bag so I could get things home that I somehow "accumulated" while I was there.  I have no idea how a "few" catalogs and samples filled another whole bag to check on the airplane.
I really enjoyed Minneapolis.  I had never spent any time there before- other than layovers at the airport which really doesn't count.  This photo was taken right outside the convention center.  The whole area has these overhead enclosed walkways connecting the convention center, hotels, parking garages and shopping.  Once you figure out where you are, it's pretty cool.  I was impressed by how clean the city is... at least where I was.

I had dinner with my friend, Sandy Pennington (Quilted Roses) at Britt's Pub.  What a fun place!  We sat outside and did some people watching with a glass of wine and some yummy burgers.  It was a very pleasant evening with a good friend.

Here's a random item that caught my eye. Buttons are attached to the ends of floral stems and they are placed in a vase.  I'm not sure I'll ever take the time to make this, but it just tickled me for some reason.

I met a lot of designers.  This is me with Marilyn Foreman.  Marilyn is the designer for Quilt Moments.  I carry most of her patterns and have Celebration as a kit.  I love the way she writes patterns.  She has you make blocks from the inside out, and square them up as you go.  I find that I do very accurate work when I follow her patterns.  Marilyn is a very nice lady and it was fun to meet her.  It was also fun to see the quilts in person that I had only seen on patter covers before.  They ALWAYS look better in person!

I have more pictures of quilts and designers...... I'll post more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2010 Giveaway- Alex Anderson & Ricky Tims autographs!

When I was at Quilt Market in Minneapolis a few weeks ago, I stopped by The Quilt Life Magazine booth.  The Quilt Life is a new magazine with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  They offered to autograph a magazine for me to give away on my blog.  They both autographed a premier issue of the magazine (Alex is holding it in the above photo). If you aren't familiar with Alex and Ricky, they are accomplished quilters and quilt educators.  In addition to the magazine, they have both designed fabric and patterns, written books, produced DVD's and they have an internet show.  The Quilt Show is an invaluable internet resource for all quilters.  It's free to log on, but a nominal subscription gives you access to the weekly show as well as patterns, a huge gallery and more.
Silly me!  I didn't think fast enough to ask them for a second one for me!  I briefly thought of keeping it, but I love you guys so much that I couldn't do it.  So here it is!  The June Giveaway is an autographed copy of the premier issue of The Quilt Life Magazine!  The magazine is really great.  I have read this copy, and the second one that is on news stands now.  It's entertaining and educational and full of inspiration.  But what else would you expect from these two!?!?
I'll draw a winner at random on July 1st. Previous winners and international entries are welcome.

To enter- all you have to do is reply to THIS POST and let me know you'd like a chance to win.  You receive a second entry if you let me know that you are a follower of this blog.  For a third entry, if you have your own blog, tell your readers about the giveaway and link back to it.

It may be worth a bazillion dollars to a collector someday... who knows?  But I do know for sure that it will be worth every minute of your time to read this wonderful new magazine.

May Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Mary Englebreit chair pincushion is Debra from  Missouri.  Her blog is Deb's Place.  She's a brand new blogger with just a few followers.  Check out her beautiful quilts and sign up to follow if you like them- let's get her going on her blogging! 

I'm sorry I didn't get the winner drawn yesterday- it was a crazy day for me!  Does anyone else wish there were just a few more hours in the day???  I'm super behind on blogging.  I have some great things to share with you.

I have to get some orders out and return a few calls.  Later today I'll post the June Giveaway.  You are NOT going to believe this one..... I'll give you a little hint..... it was given to me by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims at Quilt Market just for you!

Happy June, Everyone!  And CONGRATS to Deb!