Wednesday, October 28, 2009

. . . an autumn-y day

I woke up really early this morning. . . (around 4:30) . . . & couldn't get back to sleep. . . maybe because of the weather report/forcast that temperatures here in Arizona are going to take a big dip (up to 30 degrees!) today. (Yippee!!!). . . & I'm so excited - I guess I just couldn't wait for this actual fall-weather day to begin!. . . (& then again. . . it could be because I have a to-do list about a mile long. . . just for today!)

I love fall weather & all that comes with autumn. . . & if you've read my blog for any amount of time. . . you know that I tend to lament a bit when autumn comes around & we're still having temps in the 80's. Maybe with age - I'm beginning to mellow into the acceptance of those kind of temperatures here in Arizona. . . & maybe it's because I've 'wised-up' & for the past few years - have been taking many more day trips up to Mt. Lemmon - only 45 minutes from my house. And, at 9,100 feet. . . you feel like your in Colorado & the aspen & maple trees amidst the pine trees really put on a beautiful autumn show.

This past week, my Dad & I were joined by my cousin & his wife & we went up to the top of Mt. Lemmon. (Up to the top means taking the ski lift to the very tippy-top. . . where the views are breathtaking & where it is so blissfully quiet. . . all you hear is the wind in the leaves.

We really hit it at a great time. . . & as usual . . . I went nuts taking photos. (with my iPhone . . . still can't believe I forgot my camera!)

This is on the path to catch the ski lift. . .

These are taken from the lift. . . (the round-y orange tree in the middle is one of my favorites. . .)

Towards the top of this photo you can see a peek of couple aspen trees peeking out through the pines. . . these are scattered all over at the top of the mountain & the contrast of the pines & the jolts of yellow aspen are beautiful. . . like autumn's exclamation points. . .

After we come back down from the ski lift, a new favorite is to go to the pizza/cookie cabin (in the mountaintop village of Summerhaven). . . where they make the best pizza. . . & huge (8") cookies to order. . . so that they come to your table warm - fresh out of the oven. Yum! (I always do some extra walking in the days before going up - just so I can indulge!)

This is the sign that they have hanging - just outside the bathroom. . . (I love it.)

. . . & here's me & Dad. I'm loving that we get to share all these trips up to Mt. Lemmon. . . & he's a pretty wonderful "date"! (. . . I sooo need to practice better posture!!!)

Hope your week is filled with memory making moments!. . . (now. . . I need to go & find my sweaters!. . . ) :o)

Monday, October 26, 2009

… ordinary miracles

I used the word "miracle" today. . . & then I got a tweet from someone (thanks Jody!) with this little You Tube presentation about miracles. . . . . . they are really all around us. . . those "ordinary" miracles. . . it's just whether we take the time to see them. . .

I hope you take the time. . . it's worth it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

… a little promo!

Hi Folks. . . just dropping in to let you know & to give you a link over to the Jolly Jabber blog. . . where they have done a post about 'Celebration'! Thanks guys!

This weekend finds me working on not one. . . but two fabric lines! Yikes!. . . But actually - although I have to keep my ideas straight. . . & my time management skills at their best. . . I'm in a bit of design heaven (!) - (but not enough time to grab a camera. . . I promise peeks for later!.)

The first line that I'm working on will be released at spring Market. . . & I'm working on notes for the last of the painted proofs. . . (& I have to say. . . I LOVE them!!!) The other line that I'm working on is for next fall. For that one, I have the prints all ready & now I'm surrounded by my COSMO embroidery floss samples. . . all divided into color families. . . & I've finally settled on my colors. (That's how I specify colors - as I know the colors - or very close to them - can be attained into cotton . . . not always the case with paints. . .) Anyway, I'm very excited about this line too, & my mind is already spinning with ideas. . . which reminds me. . .

. . . I really need to get my idea pin-board back up. . . so I can start organizing my ideas!

Hope you have a great weekend. . .!

xo, Bren

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

. . . making Market so very special. . .

Sometimes. . . you are blessed with meeting the nicest of people.. . . & that's just what happened to me at Market.

In past Quilt Markets, I have made some wonderful friends. . . & one of the great things about Market for us - it that we get to see each other again. . . (even if it is just briefly sometimes!) But this Market - I was just on the other side of the Lecien booths - from the adorable Rosalie Quinlan (Rosalie Quinlan Designs) & here sister Melanie Hurlston (Melly & Me) & I can say - without a doubt - that they were my absolute favorite part of this Market.

Rosalie & I have been emailing each other - ever since we realized that each other were also designing a fabric line with Lecien - (Rosalie's adorable line is called 'Grandmother's Flower Garden') - & we have discovered that we have so many very special things in common. . . & that made visiting even all the sweeter.

Here's a peek at Molly (a new doll) & a stitchery from Rosalie's wonderful new book, 'A Stitch in Time'. (The bag is one of Pam's new designs (Messenger Bag) & can be found on the Late Bloomer Quilts website.)

Here's Rosalie & Melly. . . in their beautiful booth! (. . . filled to the brim with eye candy! I want to make everything in it!)

. . . & here's Rosalie, me & Melly. . .

. . . & I can't leave out Melly's 'Mrs. Perkins' . . . the cutest giraffes in the world! These are made from fabrics from Rosalie's fabric line. . . (or "fabric range" as Rosalie calls it!. . . I love the Aussie terms for things!)

Thanks so much Rosalie & Melanie. . . I truly consider it a blessing to get to know you better! Next fall. . . we must do dinner! (. . . & I must give a shout out to Neil & Dean!. . . it was great to meet you guys too!. . . I hope you ate all the chocolate Kisses!) :o)

The other bright spot of sunshine at Market was the dear sweet Nireko Ohira (on the left). Nireko is the go to girl at Lecien & I think she is amazing! (She worked all market after having knee surgery. . . She's a wonder woman!) I also was so pleased & honored to meet Atsuko - one of the Lecien designers. . . & who will be working on some of my projects! She is amazingly talented (& sweet!) & I was so happy to meet her.

Quilt Market is an amazing time. . . it's crazy busy, physically exhausting, & can be non-stop for days on end. Bottom line. . . it's a trade show, but what makes it wonderful are the people & the friends we make. . .

. . . & I must say again. . . that in that respect - I have been very, very blessed.

xo, Bren

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

. . . a little bit of a 'Celebration'

This Quilt Market was very special for me. . . in several ways. One of them being that this was the Market where my first fabric line - 'Celebration' was presented. (. . . as if I haven't brought this point up before!. . . lol!)

Lecien did a wonderful booth space for all the new lines & so there was a booth - with just items made from my 'Celebration' fabrics! It was right across from my booth & so we "had the corner" on all things 'Celebration'. . . so to speak! I have had my sample fabrics to make things for Market - but Nireko did an amazing job getting the fabrics to other designers. Wow. I was a bit overwhelmed to see so many things made out of my fabrics. . .! (My one regret is that I didn't get a photo of each & every thing made!. . .)

Here's the Lecien - 'Celebration' booth -

. . . & this is adorable Lynette Anderson in her booth, & the bag that she made with 'Celebration' fabrics. . .

. . . & here's the cute accessories that go with it! TOO cute!!

. . . & here is sweet Barbara Jones - of Quilt Soup, standing in front of one of the quilts she made with 'Celebration' (She also made another one of this design for the 'Celebration' booth! . . . Barbara you amaze me!)

. . . & I am in love with this quilt she made. . . (& I'm so embarrassed - I didn't write down the names of the designs. . . !)

Also in the 'Celebration' booth - is the prettiest table runner & little fabric picture made by Elizabeth Scott. It's called 'Celebrate Spring' . . . (isn't she clever?!)

Then. . . there is this sweet, sweet quilt, 'Promise In Paris' - designed by Keiko Clark. Keiko is a wonderful designer & you can find her designs under her design label - K Cotton Studio. (. . . also, I have found out that Prairie Queens Quilt Shop - in San Jose, CA - where Keiko teaches at - has kits available for this design! You can find it here.)

This quilt. . . 'A New Day' will soon be available as a free pattern on the Lecien website. . . so keep checking!

There were several purses & bags made , & I didn't even get photos of them all . . . or even the name of this adorable purse (so sorry!) (edited to add: I found out that this purse - 'Peony Bouquet Tote' - is also made by Keiko Clark. . . thank you Keiko!) I think it hit me so. . . that others would actually use my fabrics! So - if any of the designs that I was such a dope & didn't get the info about. . . is yours. . . please let me know!. . . (& THANK YOU!) And, a big thank you to Nireko Ohira for working so hard & getting 'Celebration' into the hands of so many people, & Lecien for providing those fabrics. You're wonderful!

(You can also find another beautiful design - by Denise Sheehan of 'A Graceful Stitch' - called Garden Stars. . . here! Thanks Denise! It's beautiful!)

I have one more "Market" post. . . about the other very special treat at Market. . . (soon!)

xo, Bren

Sunday, October 18, 2009

… a bit more of an AMAZING deisgner

As promised. . . here are more of the amazing designer, Yoko Saito's quilts that were in a special display in the Lecien booths. Midway through the second day of Market, they changed the quilts on display. . . so the "ooh-ing & ahh-ing" continued!

Aren't the hearts & the warmth of this quilt just perfect?! If I had this quilt - I would keep it on display - all year through. This is one that I would never tire of. I really, really ♡ this quilt.

I was so impressed & even encouraged by the quilt below. Made of tiny triangles - hand pieced. . . it was simple stunning, & an incredible lesson on how - no matter how small the pieces in a design - when you see the finished work - & don't fret so much about the beginning size of something. . . the results are worth it all!

I wish I would have taken a better close up photo of this next quilt. . . as the quilting was amazing. . .

. . . but also because each of the kernels on the wheat shafts were separate appliqué pieces.

Some more quilts. . . to simply admire & be in awe of. . .

I saved this quilt for last - as it reminds me of the wedding dress that comes at the end of a design show. . .

. . . the details take your breath away. . . like the sheer organdy 'pocket' that holds the stems of the bouquet, the trapunto quilting, the mixture of piecing, appliqué, & embroidery. . .

Once again . . . everyone. . . all together. . . "S i g h !"

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of Yoko Saito's incredible works of art. If ever you hear of a showing of her designs - GO! I can guarantee that you will be amazed.

Several have asked - so I want to be sure that I mention it again . . . Yoko Saito's fabric line (many which are in these designs) is printed by Lecien & is called 'Centenary Collection'. You can bet that I'm going to start collecting these beautifully subtle fabrics!

xo, Bren

Friday, October 16, 2009

… an amazing designer. . .

We all have someone that we admire. . . & for quite awhile Yoko Saito has been a designer that I am, quite honestly, in awe of. So when I was asked to design fabric with Lecien. . . I was incredibly honored (& intimidated!) - as Lecien is the fabric company that Yoko Saito designs with. Her lines are called Centenary Collection & they are some of the most elegant & striking fabrics I have ever seen.

For this past Fall Quilt Market, Lecien reserved four booths - for the sole purpose to display some of the amazing designs that Yoko Saito has created & I had the pleasure of having my booth right across the aisle from the quilts & so I got to gaze at them for three days straight! Some of the most fun was to also watch others as they came across the incredible mini quilt gallery amidst the hundreds of booths. . . First they would stop & point. . . & then . . . without fail. . . they would get up close. . . real close. . . jaws dropped in amazement at the intricate handwork (& yes all hand quilted) & subtle yet stunning beauty of each quilt.

I did my best with my little iPhone & older camera. . . but I just couldn't let the opportunity pass by to share a little of the incredible quilts. . . works of art, really. . . that Yoko Saito has graced us with. And, because there are really no words adequate. . . I will simple let you have a little taste of what was in my Quilt Market "neighborhood". . . (I could not have asked for a better location!)

Okay. . . all together now. . . " s i g h !"

(. . . & yes!. . . I have more photos (!) & I will share them too!)

xo, Bren

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

… a bit of Fall Quilt Market

. . . Here's how it all starts.

First we hang the drapes. . . (& I finally remembered - when packing my boxes - to pack my draping & pole covers on the top - so that it would be the first thing unpacked & easy to find!)

Then - after several hours of unpacking, assembling furniture (a big shout out to IKEA!!! We love them!), & fluffing & fussing. . . we're ready for Quilt Market to begin. Here's the booth for this year. . .

On the table in the front corner is the table cover / quilt that I call 'Garden Windows'. I made it from the ever popular (for good reason!) French General fabrics - Roenneries. I also used the wonderful COSMO 2-strand-on-a-spool floss for the embroidery on it. ( . . . & yes - I will be getting some of the floss up on the website. . . soon!)

. . . here's the left side. . . (the quilt on the left, 'Ellie' will be available by the end of October, & the red / cream quilt & the blue / cream quilt are both from the pattern 'Around the Corner')

. . . here's the right side. . . (the little blue / cream 'Around the Corner' quilt again & the large 'Around the Corner' quilt in the center, & on the right - 'Cottage Sweet Home'.) . . . as well as my treasured pink & white hydrangea that I found at a local Houston nursery. I just love hydrangeas. . . & I try to have them in my booth whenever I can!

. . . & to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month (& to keep us "fueled") our jars of chocolate. (. . . & by the way - Target & Walmart. . . why aren't you carrying any of the brands (Dove, M&M's, Hersheys) that are profiting the Susan B. Koman Foundation with their special pink candies. . . ??? Shame on you!) . . . (sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. . . )

My hands-down favorite part of Market, was getting to meet up & see friends & make new ones. . . (I'll post more about that!). This is Jacquelyn Steves the designer behind The Noble Wife. Jackie is an amazing artist that I know will be a well known name in the quilting world!

. . . & this is Jennifer Bosworth - of Shabby Fabrics. Jennifer is a sweetheart & I always look forward to seeing her at Market. Also . . . big news (!) Jennifer is now blogging! (fanfare & cheering in the background!). . . You can find her blog here at 'Heart to Heart'. (That name so fits you Jennifer!)

I have a few more days worth of photos from Market. . . so I hope you'll be back for some more!

xo, Bren