Friday, May 24, 2013

... blooming yard


The other day, I was feeling a bit of dread at our temperatures rising from the wonderful spring temps that we've had... to temps rising into the 90's.  Then, as I was leaving the market the other morning, & hearing others at the Starbucks (right inside the market doors) talking about how soon it might hit 100 degrees (what we refer to as the "icebreak" here), I felt a little wave of dread for a brief second.  Then, as I exited the market doors, I looked out to the paring lot that is filled with blossoming trees, & I realized how  really lovely it is here, & how much I love lining here.

Then I went home & as I was putting my groceries away, I turned on the tv, to catch up on what was going on, & getting ready to send the rest of the morning working in the studio. The channel happened to be on CNN, & I was drawn into the stories of the survivors of the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma. Suddenly I was struck at how small & silly my dreading our temperatures getting hotter was. I looked outside & was drawn to all the beauty that as happening just outside my windows & took a good amount of time going outside to my backyard to appreciate what surrounds me & yet so often I take for granted.

I love all these blooms... & each one has some special meaning to me. It's just the start of the blossoms that will be happening in our yard this summer... & I plan to take the time & to look at them in a whole new way. 

It's good to have our eyes opened now & again...
(& my prayers & thought continue to be with all the victims of the tornado...)

xo, Bren

Saturday, May 18, 2013

. . . gatehouse gardens

There have been several quilt designs that I have had requests (over & over) for different sizes. So, every one in a while, I'm going to be re-doing some of my most popular patterns - including the original design & some additional sizes & styles using the same design.

First up, is my design that was called 'Gatehouse'.

The original is the yellow version. It was done, using One of my favorite Moda lines, 'Faded Memories'. It measures 48" x 48" (& embarrassingly enough, when re- writing the pattern. . . I discovered that on the original pattern, the overall size of the quilt was 6" too large, & that there was a boo-boo in the original directions, for the border measurements... (!) We never caught it & were never made aware of it for all the years it's been out there (more than six years!), & even though I saw lots of photos of it made, no-one mentioned the mistake. (... until this past week or so, someone email a question about it & wondered if she had made an error...) I feel so bad!!! Be assured that these directions have been combed over thoroughly at least half a dozen times. (Sigh.) 

Anyway, instead of going larger for the alternate designs, I went a little smaller... & then smaller still. The next option, is a bit smaller than the original 36” x 36”, & is done with wool appliqué. Wool on flannel. (Oh how fun that was!) I used wool from my stash & then I used flannels from the Primitive Gatherings line for the background & for the piecing of the churn-dashes. It is a great size for a wall hanging, or for a table topper, & could be used year round.

The smallest version is the embroidery version... (you knew that I would have to do a stitchery version!) it is 27” x 27”, & if ever you wanted to do a mini size of a quilt... This is a fun one to do! With the stitchery (that goes by so much more quickly than you'd ever think!), the details of this little design have become one of my favorites. I'm currently using mine as a table topper (for spring), & I know that it will go into my office after that. (I don't have big wall space in my office - so I need to use smaller quilts.). 

I love this 'littlest' version so much, I've put together a limited number of kits. It uses one of my (favorite) paisley prints from my first Durham Anew Collection, & the kit also includes the background fabric, floss & a printed pattern. You can find them here if you would like a great spring/summer stitchery project... or even for that 'make it someday' stash!) 

Oh yeah. . . There is also available as a PDF download-able version of 'Gatehouse Gardens' as well. (How could I forget that?!?)

So. . .  there's the latest pattern release... for now at least! (& yes... there are still two new designs that need to be quilted yet, so they will be out sometime this summer.) 
(For you shop owners, please know that it will be about a month before the distributors receive the pattern... So if you would like to get yours sooner... please contact us, & we will be sure to get some to you!)

Hope you have a great week!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

… a finish. . . & a start. . .

A first for me. . .
My first counted thread design.

I took the last stitches in 'By My Hand'. . . & I had to smile at how backwards I worked with this design that had been spinning around in my head for several years.

Based on my love of samplers, I first used my sketches for the design as the inspiration for the (appliqué) quilt pattern, & then for the embroidery version. . .

. . . & now. . . finally. . . I have stitched the actual sampler!
It is the first of several designs that I am working on for the Fall Needlework Market.
(. . . so yes!. . . it will be charted & a pattern will be available later this summer!)

While a was putting in the last section of stitches in this design,
 my mind was spinning with ideas for some new designs. . .
. . . what a fun journey this is!

For those who have been asking. . . yes, I am still designing quilts! In fact, I have two new designs waiting to be quilted, & one pattern due back from the printers at the beginning of next week.
My goal is to have that design ready for PDF download over the weekend as well. . .
. . . so no worries. . . I still love quilts & designing them!!!
What I am taking a little break from - is designing fabric. I do plan to do it again, when the time is right.

Hoping you have a wonderful week, filled with some great finishes. . . & some fun exciting new 'starts'!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

… blessing in disguise

This morning. . . I awoke to hearing a *peck-peck-peck* outside,
. . . then the doorbell started to ring . . . but never finished.
When I got up to see if anyone was at the front door (nope), I realized that the fans were all off, & that there was no electricity.
At first I thought that a woodpecker might have pecked through something it shouldn't have. . . but, it turns out it was the whole north side of town that lost power, so I decided to make the best of it.

We have had some wonderful spring weather, & each morning I have been opening up the windows & sliders, & in the mornings I have enjoyed the fresh air through out the house. (They get closed up in the afternoon when the temps have been getting a little too warm.) 
But, what I hadn't done yet - was to spend much time outside in the mornings. . . & that changed today.
(I usually turn on a morning show while I get started on emails &/or planning the day.)

But, today. . . I decided to pour myself a cup of coffee (thankfully, it came on automatically earlier), & I took it, my stitchery, & my little buddy to the table on back porch, & had such a lovely time! Dad even came out with his bowl of cereal & joined us for a bit.

It was so peaceful & was a wonderful way to start the day.
I do believe that I will be starting many more mornings this way. . . !
. . . & while we were out there the funniest thing happened. . . the doorbell finished it's ring...
... yep, the power came back on.) It was the perfect ending to a wonderful start of the day.

Now. . . (this afternoon) I've been back getting some graphic work done on the computer, & I'm (obviously) able to publish this post. . . but thinking about having to 'do without' has made me rethink the *need* to have access to electronics at all times. . .
I'm thinking that it is a wonderful thing. . . but not to the point that it controls my day (& my attention!).

I've thankful for the wake-up call. . . & for this blessing in disguise.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.