Friday, July 30, 2010

WIP: Munki Munki Rainbow Nine Patch Sneak Peek

It's Friday night and party animal me couldn't think of anything more fun to do than try and finish up my long overdue Munki Munki quilt top. Mark is gone for the evening, Lucy finally went to bed (after sleep-striking for the last few days as punishment for us going out of town!), I poured myself a glass of very good wine and turned on some old Liz Phair, Ray Charles and David Bowie and set to work. Only to run out of Kona Coal sashing!!!! Arrrgh! I always think I buy enough solid but never do.

But it's almost done, and the rest will have to wait until tomorrow. I guess I'll take my wine to the couch and do some hexagon hand piecing. Have a great night friends!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Design Class Weekend with Heather Ross

What an absolute ball of a weekend! Road trip and fancy hotel with Mark, fabric shopping galore, eating  delicious food in Portland, drinking champagne and getting to take an all-weekend long workshop on fabric design taught by none other than Heather Ross!!
Yes my head still hurts a bit -from all the thinking too hard and staring at a computer, not the champagne! -but I think I have walked away with a good basis to maybe actually be able to do some of my own fabric designs someday. For those of you who weren't aware, the Portland Northwest College of the Arts invited Heather to teach her method of designing in photoshop to a small class. When I heard about this opportunity there was no way I wasn't going to make this work. I'm so glad I did! Photoshop is a mammoth of a program that I wasn't at all familiar with, and I still have a looooooong way to go before feeling comfortable with it, but it is an incredible tool and really thrilling to get to see your own sketch come to life in a way that can be translated to fabric.

And look, not only did I get to meet so many wonderful talented and crafty women, but I got to hang out with John (quiltdad) too! Heather, by the way, is everything you would expect - stylish, witty, funny and brimming with creative ideas. I loved meeting and working with her and Heather, if you're reading this, I'm really sorry for being such a complete nit-wit to teach photoshop to!

So the design I came up with for the weekend was requested by Mark. He really wanted me to do a print of little bacon and pork chops. And because I wasn't feeling any of my other ideas I had I decided to humor him. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Here is a blurry eyed me at the very end of class with a print out of my creation. Yep, a cheater print of pork chops, bacon, dots and little piggies. I'm going to get a smaller scale of it printed on linen to make some dish towels and potholders for our kitchen.

And of course I had to hit up Sisters and Ruby Street Quilters on the way down to P-town. There are many hidden gems at these out-of-the-way quilt shops. I scored some Uptown, Summer in the City, lots of old Amy Butler and more. We also stopped by Bolt fabric boutique in Portland, where I made some additions to my Liberty collection and picked up some pretty new organic prints too.

Look at all the $5 a yard Amy Butler Ginger Bliss, Charm and Temple Flowers!

All in all, a wonderful trip. But the very best part was getting to come home to this funny little lady. She thinks she's pretty hot in sunglasses.

In my haste to pack and leave for Portland last week I forgot to thank all of you for your kind words, both posted and private, regarding this blog post. It was so incredibly heartwarming to feel all the love out there from all of you whom I've never even met. It just shows you that life can be tough sometimes and no matter how separate we are or how similar or different our lives, I think we all just want the best for one another. Thank you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm getting excited!

For Heather Ross's fabric design class! I feel so lucky, albeit a bit unprepared, to be able to attend this workshop next week. There were only 20 seats in the class and I am over the moon to be able to sit in on this with one of my most revered design idols. I really wish I had been working on some more designs of my own lately to bring to the table, but hopefully this class will be a skill-builder that will help to inspire me to get going on the creative side of things. So I'm very much looking forward for a break from daily life, especially after the events of the last month, and getting to go to one of my favorite cities, Portland, to take the class. Mark is coming down with me too, and will be able to go visit some vineyards he's sourcing some grapes from this harvest and I'm sure go eat some fabulous lunches while I'm in class. In the evening we plan on having some nice baby-free dinners out at a couple of our favorite Portland restaurants, Le Pigeon and Pok Pok. And you know I'll be making him pull off the I-5 in Chehalis to visit one of Washington's best quilt shops, Sisters

Thinking about all this prompted me to bust out my Munki Munki stash (this is really only just part of it!) and start working on this quilt again, which I haven't touched since November. It's a really simple nine patch and I'm not quite sure yet how I'll be sashing and finishing it - maybe some Kona charcoal and a border - but most of the blocks are done and I'm hoping to finish the top this month.

I've been feeling very weighed down by my Spiderweb quilt blocks and finally just had to take it all down off the design wall and pick it back up when I return. I'm more than halfway done (33 blocks- whew!) and just really need a break from that one!

But I did have a lot of fun making this block for Heather's Matryoshka Spiderweb, for her Bee-autiful Bee month (mine is next month - more on that later!) I hope you like it Heather, this quilt is going to be so stunning!

We are having Lucy's great grandmother over for dinner tonight so I must sign off now to attend to my domestic diva duties, something like mopping, toilet cleaning and a grandmother-impressive peach pie. See you all when I get back with a full report on Heather's class!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fabric Therapy

Just wanted to pop in and say hello. I hadn't meant to be away for so long but I really don't have much to show you in the way of craftiness, so here are some pretty pictures of new fabric. These have been a definite day brightener in an otherwise downright awful last week and a half.

I haven't been feeling too inspired or motivated lately but today I am finally feeling much better and hope all these new little gems and our belated Seattle sunshine will help to drag me out of my funk. It all began a couple of weeks ago and then we learned that we wouldn't be adding to our little family as soon as we had hoped:( Under usual circumstances I wouldn't share such personal information but I feel that this is such a common occurrence which has affected many of you and your families too. It seems people really like to sweep this one under the rug but I think it always helps to know you aren't alone and that we all face difficulties in our daily lives.

The icing on the cake was due to my dental negligence and culminated in full on three hour root canal. I had seen those Ambesol commercials where the actress equates her tooth pain with labor pains, and believe me I wanted to throw my shoe through the television screen at her, but I am here to tell you I have now lived to be able to see the comparison! Or at least feel what it's like to have someone jab a hot poker into your gums. So I guess the Vicoden induced haze I had been walking around in the last week 
hasn't really helped my mood either.

Enough wound licking for today! I'm off the drugs and feeling great. And doesn't this new City Weekend from Moda just make you happy? I'm pretty sure this is going to be a big hit once it hits shops. I think a lot of quilters may be afraid it is too kid-oriented since it's designed by Liesl Gibson of Oliver & S, but I am in love with the vibrant colors and small scale designs I think will make lovely patchwork. They almost have a sort of Flea Market Fancy feel and I'm going to go ahead and predict these will someday create a big frenzy. I'll be saving these until inspiration for the right project strikes, and buying yardage when it's available in the fall.

And my other reason for happiness, Miss Lu. She is so on the run these days it's hard to catch a good shot of her, but I love this one of her at her Auntie's birthday party and that little silhouette shadow. And just like her mama, you can find her picking out her next beverage of choice at the ice bucket.

Happy Sunday everyone. And thanks for listening:)