and happy beginning to the holiday season!
Recently I was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to teach. While I was there, I was very lucky to have been able to sneak in a trip to Spoonflower. Wow. That place was amazing.
You are greeted with goodness right away.
Did you know they do wallpaper? It’s pretty awesome.
On to where the magic happens…
The set up is pretty impressive. I think there are 30 printers in this one room, plus a new custom printer in from Israel (not pictured, but it is big). The new beast is something they hope to shift most of their production over to sometime in the future. I think they said it is the only one of its kind in the world.
Exciting stuff is happening.
Their current printers print 2 yards of fabric an hour.
Then they have to go through another machine to set the inks.
Most everything gets cut down by hand. I think this guy was cutting down decals or wrapping paper.
Order storage and fulfillment. Pets seemed to be a popular theme.
Rashida Coleman-Hale sighting on one of the many beautifully upholstered areas.
Lots of other designs. Everywhere and on everything.
I learned that they print on even more cool stuff than I realized. New swatches include silky faille, performance knit, wallpaper, gift wrap (both satin and matte finishes), and wall decals. You’ve got options.
Thanks Spoonflower for being so awesome!
Thing have been a bit nuts lately, but here’s something I managed to slip in last week thanks to some late-night, extra-curricular sewing. There were a couple colliding factors at play that resulted in this mix.
Number 1, let’s just say that the cargo duffle (free pattern!) has been on my mind ever since I first saw images of it. Anna Graham is so talented, and she generously designed the pattern to go along with the Botanics release. (I’ve been in the Noodlehead fan club for some time, see clutch, supertote and social tote.)
Number 2, I just got an accu-cutter last week. Clamshells are great, but they are also something I’d probably never have gotten around to if I had to cut them out by hand, so I’m really glad to be able to roll them through the cutter. Now, I can get real about all the clams that Latifah (Clam Queen) has been inspiring me with. (Btw, for anyone else wanting to make clams, her video is a must-watch.)
But, I also don’t have a lot of time for off-topic sewing…
So I merged the two things, and my clammy cargo was born.
Plus, I was hitting the road last week to teach in North Carolina, and I knew my trunk show would not be complete without a new Botanics-filled bag. (Sewing justification is too easy sometimes.)
I tried out some 30-wt Aurifil with this bag. It’s a tad thicker than the 50-wt that I normally use, but this was a perfect application. The stitches show up quite nicely. I also threw some Railroad denim on the bottom and in the handles. I love that stuff.
The only unfortunate thing about this version was that I had to leave off the front pockets. While I love the way they work in the pattern, I hated to cover up my clams. Those will just have to make it onto the next one.
This was just recently announced.
I’m so excited.
What a weekend.
Registration opens Monday (November 11).
See the Modern Quilt Guild for more info.
Finally, some pics from Market.
But first, I’ve got some new stuff.
+ Also in my booth was a new way of seeing all of my stuff. In every other booth that I’ve had, I’ve displayed my pattern line in basically the same way. I’ll hang each pattern on the wall somehow, usually in a row and usually with clothespins. The system is easy, simple and effective, but personally, I was getting a little bored with it. Plus each new pattern ends up taking more and more space. So I got the idea to do one block from each of my patterns using Botanics and their coordinating Kona solids. (An excuse for more sewing…) And then I also got the bright idea to create a color gradient to unite what could otherwise potentially become visual vomit.
No big deal, right?
Well, easy was maybe not the best word to describe the process. It was fun for sure, but also a bit of a challenge to get all of the fabrics, blocks, colors and placement to work out. I started with a colored pencil drawing to map out generally what needed to happen. Then over the course of at least a week, I laid out each block and used scraps to carefully mark how each block should shape up. And now that it’s done, I’ve got grand plans to make a big quilt with it. Ah. I can enjoy it forever.
And last, I thought it’d be fun to throw up some pics of the booth coming together. Set-up is always a bit chaotic with all the boxes everywhere, freight filling up the aisles and then the wild fork-lift drivers…I’m surprised no one gets hurt. Then there are sometimes surprises, too. This year I was right next to a wall, which made building a wall next to it an impetus for creative thinking. But we managed and nothing fell down before the end of the show.
Walls are up. (Let’s hope they stay that way.)
Botanics and Focal starting to find their places.
These last few weeks have been nuts, but I’m back from Quilt Market and trying to catch up on all that I missed while away. Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll share pics from my trip and fill you in on all my new stuff.
For now, I’m happy to be home even though my to-do list could very well be longer than it was when I left…
All good stuff.
And Happy Halloween!
In case you missed it and are interested, you can find the recording from yesterday’s radio show with Pat Sloan here. It was definitely an honor to be invited on there to chat! Hope you enjoy it.
Now it’s back to some block building with my mom. It’s officially all hands on deck, as we’re about 2 weeks out from the show. We should be able to get this guy all pieced before the end of the day–that’s the goal anyway.
I always like to cram in as many samples as possible, and I am grateful for any extra help. Hence the makeshift Botanics cheat sheet for reference.
I’m feeling mostly visual today and thought I’d share some quick peeks at my new fabric line, Botanics.
More to come soon.
Thank you so much to everyone who placed bids on my charity auction. You are all awesome and very generous! I’ll be sending you each a personal thank you for getting involved.
Michelle, you win! I know that your donation will go on to support a great cause. In the meantime, I will work on getting your goodies together and in the mail very soon.
Just wanted to add some updates on some recently added and upcoming events.
+ Coming up Monday (Oct 7) at 4PM EST, I’ll be a guest on Pat Sloan’s radio show for American Patchwork & Quilting. You can tune in and find out more info here.
Alright, back to my Quilt Market booth planning…
A couple of weeks ago, I was digging around for some stuff in this huge pile of quilts. It’s sometimes a surprise to see what’s in there. One of the things was this stack of blocks from my Local quilt in various stages of completion. These blocks date back to the very early planning stages of the project. I was still working out the construction details and which fabrics I wanted to use where. All of which is quite evident if you flip any of them over.
I posted a pic of my findings on Instagram and received a suggestion to auction the blocks for charity. I LOVED this idea. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to sew them together into a quilt top myself, but the truth is that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get around to it, and I love the idea of putting them to use now, especially if it’s for a good cause.
There are so many deserving charities out there to support, but one in particular came to mind right away. Several, several years ago back when I used to sit behind a desk more than I do now, I was a pretty devoted runner. I still love to run, but I keep it really casual these days. Back then, I was rather goal-oriented with my running and ended up running a few marathons. One of them, I ran with the organization Team in Training. It’s a group that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. They do wonderful work, and I had a fantastic experience.
Now, a really good friend of mine, Lindsay, is training to run the Chicago marathon (her first marathon, by the way!) with Team in Training. I’m so proud and excited for her for committing to such a huge undertaking. I know that it’s not easy. Training for and running a marathon is no small task, and then adding in some serious fund-raising in support of a great cause makes it a pretty big endeavor. There’s nothing easy about any of it. Back when I was training and fundraising, Lindsay was a huge support for me. We were both living in St Louis at the time, and one of the ways they suggest that you fundraise is to stand outside the stadium of whatever game season it is (Busch Stadium and baseball in my case) with beads to support the team and jars to collect donations. Let me say that that is a tough thing to do–especially for someone like me who is generally somewhat shy. But Lindsay volunteered to work the stadium streets of St. Louis with me to raise money for cancer research, and I really appreciated every minute of it.
Unfortunately these days we don’t live in the same place, so I can’t return the favor and go work the jar-holding with her, but I realized that I can see if I can use what I have to help support her cause. I loved the idea of donating my blocks as a way to raise funds for charity, and I’m very happy to let her and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society be the recipients.
Here’s what I’ve got–and I’m sure I’ll throw in some other goodies when the time comes to mail it off.
+ Local grab bag of blocks (4 houses, 1 partial house and a tree)
+ a full Local pattern (so you can either finish what I started or start your own)
+ a charm pack from my upcoming fabric line, Botanics (this is totally not out yet, hitting stores late November!)
+ a mini-charm pack from Architextures
+ pick a pattern, and I’ll be happy to throw it in there too
If anyone is interested, I’m hoping this could work silent auction-style. Just leave a comment for how much you’d like to donate, and the highest donation will win the goods. To read more about the organization or about my friend Lindsay, you can visit (or donate to) her page directly here. The auction ends noon (EST) this Friday, October 4.
Sincere thanks for your support in any way.