Monday, November 30, 2009

… a little sewing

This is what I'll be doing this evening! Tonight is the night that our little sewing group will be coming over to work on 'Aunt Millie's Garden' projects. I have two blocks prepped & will finish another tonight. . . & I promise that I will post picks as soon as I get each block done.

I love this time. One - because we meet at my house & it's so nice to have friends over (especially to stitch!), & I love the time spent together stitching, talking, catching up, & sharing. I had missed that - as I've not been a part of a stitching group in quilt awhile. Also. . . it's so nice to work on a project that is not my own! It's tempting to pull out some of my designs to work on, but I've decided that this is my 'me' time. . . & the time that I get to work on the projects that I've been wanting to - but have just been sitting on the shelf. . . (& I have about 3 more waiting!) So, this time has become very precious to me & I feel encouragement & refreshed to get back to my designs & projects.

Speaking of encouragement. . . there is a special person in my life who, because of her encouragement, got me seriously considering taking my designing to the quilt world. . . ( & completely changed everything, as now designing is all I do!) Her name is Jereé McDade (of Quilted Quickies). Jereé has her own quilt shop & design business - & how she does them both. . . I can't fathom! Jereé started a blog a little over a year ago - but then when things got way too busy. . . (again running a shop & designing too!) - the blog was what had to take a back seat. . . BUT!. . .

She's back! (Yea Jereé !) Like I used to have my blog from my iWeb page - Jereé has been doing her's that way too - but like me - she has come to accept that so many PC's don't seem to 'play nice' with anything "Mac" & often refuse to open up the web pages from a Mac - so Jereé is also doing a PC friendly version. So - please be sure to give her a visit!

Here are the links: Mac friendly version: Life & Times of Quilted Quickies
PC friendly version: Quilted Quickies

Well. . . I'd better get myself out the door. . . I have some wool (that I dyed over the weekend) to deliver to a local shop & then I think for most of the rest of the day I'll be at the computer - working in Photoshop . . . on the graphics for a new design I'm working on. . . (& am very excited about!) . . .

. . . & then, of course, there's the girls coming over for stitching tonight. . . (happy sigh!)

xo, Bren

Friday, November 27, 2009

… the day after

SInce I knew that I would not be shopping (long story - but you will never find me at out in the hub-bub of the-day-after-Thanksgiving-shopping-mania. . .)

I thought about getting down some Christmas decorations from the attic. . . but I started some laundry instead. . .

Then I kept walking past my studio & I couldn't take it any longer. . .

Now, don't get me wrong. . . I really love my studio space. As my business has grown - so has my studio space. Since moving into my house almost 10 years ago - I used a back bedroom - right off the family room for it & my office. . . Then it got a bit crowded & so my office was moved out & took over the guest bedroom & the studio could expand a little. . . then last year after I began to outgrow my bedroom size studio space, I moved it out to where the family room was (as really no one was using the family room any longer. . . except me to walk through to get to my crowded studio room . . .). It was a great move - but also made my studio visible to anyone coming into the kitchen area.

I have some great storage pieces that I've kind of "collected" - but that work for me. One is some tall wire-shelf kitchen storage shelves on wheels. My Dad & I made a top for it from a discarded melamine desk back - that my Dad framed out with some moulding & then I painted it a creamy white. It worked wonderfully for many years as my cutting table as it stands at about 38". These days it is more of the ironing area & the shelves store everything from threads, to unfinished projects, to fabrics I just cant part with.

Then I have my "newer' cutting table that it made from two white trestle pieces that I got from IKEA a few years ago & a solid butcher block for the top. I love this table & it sits in the center of the studio & gets used for so many things. . .

There's also a former oversized coffee table that is now against the wall & is the line-up table for fabrics & upcoming projects. (Which is a nice way to say it's covered in baskets (& has baskets lined up under it) & piles of fabric. . .) :o)

Then - under one of the large windows (which I love for all the light they bring into the studio) is a great big farm table where my sewing machine lives.

There's an armoire angled in a corner - between the two large windows where a TV still lives. There really wasn't anywhere else to put it - & it is nice to have it there & have a movie on when I'm working for long hours in the studio.

BUT . . . because all of this is so visible these days. . . the wire shelves on wheels - with all their contents 'exposed' - has been grating on me. . . & so it was time to do something about it. . .

See this fabric?

Anyone recognize it?

It is the main floral from 'Seaside Rose'. A 3 Sister's line by Moda. . . Vintage-y, soft & beautiful & classic. . . (sigh) - it is - my favorite fabric.

Seriously. I mean. . . lookie . .

I first saw it when I attended my very first Quilt Market. I didn't have a booth yet & was checking out Market & the quilting industry & was too intimidate to even go up to the Moda booths. . . But, I l-o-v-e-d this fabric (& the whole line as well) so much that I went home & opened up an account with Moda & ordered lots & lots of bolts of Seaside Rose. (I still can't bring myself to use up the last of what I have from that order & that was several years ago!) Anyway. . . Moda re-released the fabric as one of the 3 Sisters Favorites. . . as well as producing the print in a wider 54" width for Moda Home.

In the past year - the fabric/print has been slowly phased out (to make room for wonderful new designs!) & when I noticed it. . . I couldn't help myself. . . I still loved it as much as when I first saw it & still had visions of curtains, pillows, slipcovers. . .

(Can you guess where this is going? . . .)

So now I am the proud owner of bolts (& bolts) of both the quilt weight (42") & the home furnishings weight (54") of it. I still have plans for creating my dream living room & bedroom using this fabric. . .

. . . I'm in Seaside Rose heaven.

So, when it came time to 'dress' my storage table in the studio - there was no question. This was the fabric that I would love to be greeted by every day!

I simply made four panels (two for the front - that could be pulled open to access the shelves - & one panel for each side). I attached cafe rods to the underside of the shelving top that we had made with simple screw-in cup hooks & then slid on the panels (with very simple rod-pockets) & that was all there was to it. . .!

. . . & in about one hour, I had this!

Not a bad way to spend "the day after" Thanksgiving!. . . (& you should see the silly grin that I can't keep off my face every time I walk into &/or past my studio!. . . Can you imagine when I get in there to work!?! There may be fits of uncontrollable giggling!)

I hope that you enjoyed your "day after" Thanksgiving. . . (even if you did go shopping!)

Tomorrow. . . I think there will be boughs (& tiny white lights) making their appearance all over the house. . .

. . . Won't that look good with my new table skirt?! (grin!)


xo, Bren

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

. . . thankful hearts

(click to enlarge)

"WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and dissusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best."

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Friday, November 20, 2009

. . . ellie's here !

. . . & she seems to have taken her time getting here. . .! (Well. okay - I admit it. . . it was me who took a bit longer than I thought to get the pattern written & printed.

Ellie uses some of the fabrics in my 'Celebration' line . . . (have a said how much fun it is to play with all the options?!?) . . . & if I could (time-wise) - I'd love to make this design - using lots of different fabric styles. . . brights, plaids, reproductions, batiks. . . you name it - I'd love to see it in this quick-to-make design.

For my quilt, I wanted a design that was simple & airy (& yet vintage)- & yet looked more complicated than it really was. For the blocks - they are actually assembled the same way - just with the colors/values changed.


Here's Ellie - hanging in my booth at Fall Quilt Market. . . (she's the perfect nap size - or as a topper for a twin size bed . . . & the design would be simple to make larger for bigger needs).

. . . & here are the two blocks that are simply alternated. . .

I don't know about you - but sometimes I just love a quilt that doesn't make me think too much. . . but still looks more complicated than it really is.

(Oh. . . & for those of you who have asked - or might be wondering. . . yes, there will be patterns/directions for making the sham & pillows that were in my booth. Thanks you guys. . . for keeping me on my toes!)

Hoping you have a great weekend!

xo, Bren

Sunday, November 15, 2009

. . . cleaning out the studio

It's a bit painful at times. . . but reality has hit. Here in the studio - it's time to clean out the extras & some of the fabrics that I just won't ever find time to make treasures with. . . so I'm making them available to you (& great prices too!)

Simply click on the item name & it will take you to the website - where you can purchase them. (They are all listed in the 'Gifts & Treasures area - in 'Studio Specials'.)All sales will go through Paypal - where you can enter your credit card or debit card of you prefer. (Shipping will be added through the cart process.)

(. . . & don't forget that all patterns & books are also 25% off. . . all apart of our "counting our blessings"!)

Swell (by Moda)- fat quarter bundle: $55.95 sold

Swell Wovens (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $20.95 (only 1 left!) sold

Flower Sugar - (by Lecien)- fat quarter bundle: $69.95 sold

Cinnamon Stars flannel (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $51.95 sold

Patisserie (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $69.95 sold

Kashmir 4 (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $54.95 sold

Cafe au Lait flannels (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $12.95 sold

Check flannels (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $32.95 sold

Beach House (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $69.95 sold

Celebrate Spring (by Moda) - fat quarter bundle: $74.95 sold

Celebrate Spring fabrics (by Moda) add up to 5½ yards: $27.95 sold

Celebration . . . yep! some FQ's of my line too! (by Lecien) - fat quarter bundle:  $74.95
(Also. . . please know that online - you can find the Celebration fabrics (all of them!) at Fat Quarter Shop & at Shabby Fabrics!)

Authentic (by Moda) - rolled Layer Cake™: $19.95 sold

Essence (by Moda) - rolled Layer Cake™: $19.95 sold

Frosted Memories (by Moda) - rolled Layer Cake™: $19.95 sold

Legacy (by Moda) - rolled Layer Cake™: $19.95 sold

Nostalgia (by Moda) - rolled Layer Cake™: $19.95 sold

Portobello Market (by Moda) - rolled Layer Cake™: $19.95 sold

Whew!. . . Hope you have fun! (I will try & remove items or mark them as sold - as soon as I get notice of the sale through Paypal.)

Thanks everyone!

xo, Bren

Thursday, November 12, 2009

… some tennies love

Yep. . . I've gone & done it. . . I have to admit. . . I have fallen in love with a pair of tennies. . .


Because these are made with images from my 'Celebration' fabric line!
Now, I know that shoes with flowers & gingham spilled all over them may not be everyone's "cup of tea". . .
. . . but they'll do for me just fine, thank you!
. . . even the backs. . . I'm smitten with that view too! . . .
I'm a Ked's sneaker fan from way back (especially this slip on style. . . love them!!), & I found out about this customizing process just before fall quilt Market - but didn't have enough time to get them made. . . so I treated myself to a little "after-Market - celebrating-my -first-fabric-line" present.

Ked's has paired-up with Zazzle to allow us to customize our tennies any way we would like! You can find out more about it here. . . & it is honestly a whole lot of fun. . . ! (One thing to be careful of though - is that you have the rights to whatever you are uploading for printing).

I'm thinking that each of my new fabric lines will have it's own pair of tennies. . . or. . . even quilt or stitchery?!?! . . . & a pair with Bailey's little mug would be so cute. . . & oh my, . . . of only my pocketbook were as big as my imagination! lol!

But for now. . . I'm tickled as can be over my 'Celebration' tennies. . .

. . . What would you put on your tennies? . . .

xo, Bren

Monday, November 9, 2009

…treats in the post

The postman was very nice to me today! Not only did he bring my packages to my door. . . but what was in both of them proved to be such a treat! Don't you just love it when good things come in the mail?

The first box was from Amazon. . . so I knew what was in it, but I am so excited to get them! I ordered a book I have heard (& read much) about, 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society', & I'm looking forward to reading this one as soon as I finish the book currently on my bedside table.

The second book I ordered is 'A Lineage of Grace'. This one is written by Francine Rivers - whom I have come to respect & love as an author. Her books are challenging, comforting, touching, & so well written. I'm at the point where I really don't have to know too much about the book . . . If it's by Francine - it's pretty much a sure thing that I will love it!

The last "book" I ordered is 'Aunt Millie's Garden'. . . by Piece 'O Cake Designs. . .


I have seen these incredible blocks on other blogs. . . & I credit (read: blame) Megan for really tempting me. (!) Her posts about her 'Aunt Millie's' progress started it all. It's stunning. Then when I was at Nubin's (my quilter) house & I spotted her 'Aunt Millie's' pattern & she told me she was just getting started. . . the in no time we had organized a small group to meet every other week to work on our own 'Aunt Millie's Garden' quilts. . . & tonight we start!

I'm really quite excited. . . as usually I am only working on my own designs & this will be a great diversion. . . as well as an incredibly beautiful quilt when it is done! Who knows. . . maybe this will be the start of me getting to actually make some of the dozens of quilt patterns that I have been collecting ever since I started designing. . . (Inside I am doing such a happy dance!)

The other box that came was a treat of a different kind. . . & it truly meant a great deal to me. . .

It may look like some one sent me a gift of a quilt. . . but really it's my own quilt. . . One that I had at Market & a shop (Prairie Queens Quilt Shop) borrowed for a show right after Market.

But look at how beautifully they wrapped it! . . . It's rolled (less folds that way) & it's then tied with a sweet pink ribbon & wrapped in plastic & then tissue paper, & to top it off a sweet note was added. It means so much because several of us designers have had some difficult (& even scary) experiences with lending our quilts out. So thank you to the wonderful folks at Prairie Queens!. . . I'm looking forward to visiting you the next time I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area!

So. . . that's the 'goings on' here. . . I've got a new pattern (using 'Celebration'!) that's going out to the printer tomorrow. . . so I'm off to do yet one more proof reading. . . (can there ever be too many?)

xo, Bren

Sunday, November 8, 2009

… spreading a little hope

I just had to let you in on this wonderful opportunity.

Sweet Camille (Thimble Blossoms) has a wonderful post about an adorable family. . . with adorable children , Benson & Claire, who both are in need of transplants, & are living on hope. . .

. . . & you can help give that hope!

Camille is having an auction for one of her favorite quilts, 'Wild Thing', & all the proceeds will go help the family with the alarming transplant costs. There is also info on a silent auction that is going on to raise funds, as well as info on the non-profit organization that is helping them raise funds so that, even of you can't bid on the quilt, if you you would like to. . . you can donate whatever amount you can. (click here for the blog post.)

After all. . . it's all about hope. . .

. . . & it's all about us doing whatever we can. (& don't forget the 'little acorns' philosophy. . . "from little acorns - mighty oaks grow!") - So no matter how small it might be that we think we can do. . . it can add up to so much more than we could ever imagine!

Thanks Camille for your giving heart - & for giving us the opportunity to share.

xo, Bren

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

… counting my blessings

I am so thankful that I get to design & create. 'Officially' it is what is referred to as what I "do for a living". . . but in reality it is what I love to do. . . & I'm so very thankful for that!

I'm also so very thankful for all of you, & for all the support that I've been blessed with. . . & when I count my blessings. . . I count you!

So - to celebrate this season of 'thanksgiving'. . . we're having a sale over at the website - where all patterns & books are 25% off!

. . . Just my way of saying, 'Thanks!"

xo, Bren

Sunday, November 1, 2009

… a little bit of. . . therapy

At least. . . that's what it feels like for me!

Every year, right after Fall Quilt Market, I treat myself to doing a project that is not one of my own designs. . . & I most admit. . . it feels wonderful!!!

Don't get me wrong - I love what I do! Designing quilts, needlework, & now fabrics is a joy - but there are times I just itch to be working on a project that I didn't have to write the instructions for. It's like therapy for me. Soothing even.

Last year, I made a few stitchery projects. First I made 'Heart of the Home' by Meg Hawkey (Crabapple Hill Studio), & then I stitched 'Summer Reign', by Kathy Schmitz. I loved making them both. . . (I was surprised & how quickly they came together!) . . . so this year - I knew that I would jump in with great anticipation . . . & I did!

Although I've been working on a very special new little quilt this past week (peeks soon), I also spent a lot of my time (as often as I could!) stitching on a wonderful project. This is just as I was finishing (I saved the big acorn for last!) 'Harvest Home' by Kathy Schmitz . . . I just couldn't resist this one. . . (look at all the sweet little acorns!)

. . . And, here it is - a moment after I took the last stitch.

I was almost sad to be done! . . . (although I still have the borders & finishing to do. . .)

. . . but then all I had to do was look through my new pile of patterns that I got from Kathy at Market. . . & sure enough - my smile came right back.

There's just nothing like stitchery . . . to help me think, to sort through all my thoughts & ideas, & just to relax. . .

. . . Yep. . . the best kind of 'therapy' I know of!

xo, Bren