Wednesday, October 14, 2009

There's only one word to describe Houston this year - soggy! We arrived to 90 degree/88% humidity and were melting as we hauled the parts of our booth into the convention center. By Saturday, the temps were dropping, but so was the wet stuff - and it didn't quit until we left on Tuesday morning. We drove home in rain, mist, downpour alternately all day. Good to be home cuddled under piles of quilts with a high of 45 today. Promises of sunshine for the weekend.

We had a great time visiting with everyone at market - fellow designers, shop owners, new friends and old. In the Moda Village, we were sandwiched between the crazy girls at the boardwalk, Me & My Sister, and all the giggles and fun to be had there and the prizewinners of the Best Single Booth Award, Minnick & Simpson, with their wonderful red, white and blue quilts. With a July 5th birthday, I'm convinced Laurie and Polly make their quilts just for me. Their Cabin on the Shore pattern is perfect for my front porch. Just need to collect a few more fat quarters...

Robert took a few pictures of some of the other Moda designers before his camera died - Sandy Klop of American Jane, Deb Strain & Mom of Saltbox and Edyta's Laundry Basket. Sandy outdid herself with a wonderful quilt made with a gazillion half square triangles the designers traded as a challenge; Deb's new eggs and coordinating prints from Cherish Nature look like you could pluck them from the fabric (but avoid "the new grandma zone" unless you have time to ooh and aah over her new twin grandsons - they're so cute!) and Edyta's new book on Friendship Triangles is as full of energy and enthusiasm as she is (she's been fondly dubbed the Moda Energizer Bunny). Additionally, Barb & Alma of Blackbird Designs had a beautiful booth with twinkly lights and pumpkins at the foot of a bed dressed to the max, Kathy Schmitz made original framed artwork from old paper photo frames, newspaper and bird prints to adorn her space, Sandy Gervais of Pieces of My Heart created adorable wool projects to stitch - but the pattern itself is cute enough to frame! Surrounded by all this talent is both humbling and energizing.

Better get back to work for now but will post more pics in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thanks, Lissa, for spreading the news and for all of you who have replied. It's nice to know I'm not talking in the dark.

We're on our way out the door - taking Gus (Robert's Cairn terrior) to the puppy spa and writing down last minute instructions for the kitty sitter. Having livestock is almost as much trouble as having kids! I'll have pics of the 4 new kitties next week after their eyes are open and they're less attached to their momma. We actually found Gus in Houston last year at market while shopping for plants and such for the booth. Wabash Feed & Seed is a unique experience with indoor/outdoor plants, garden decor, puppies, kitties and chicks and even a few antiques. We'll be headed back there this week for more plants and to visit the owner/breeder/puppy daddy of Gus. If you ever want a really good dog, this is the place to go. Although Gus is definitely Robert's buddy, I couldn't ask for a better behaved animal. He has been easy to train, friendly, great with the grandkids and doesn't shed. If he would stay out of my flower beds, he'd be almost perfect.

Robert's ready to go so I'm out of here for now. Talk at ya next week with lots of pics from market.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello to all you quilters out there in the land of blog. I'm finally taking the techno plunge - with much help and prodding from my kids and grandkids - and starting my own blog page. It hasn't been easy. My daughter, Nicole, had to call to talk me thru my first text message a few months ago; my 8-year-old grandson, Cooper, showed me how to find cool wallpaper for my computer screen a few weeks ago (I still had the Windows logo that came with the computer) and my son/webguy, Brian, set up this blog for me so all I had to do was type. Now maybe I can shed the title of "Most Techno-phobic Gramma on the Planet". Join me here each week and we'll navigate the muddy waters of blogging together. Watch this space for a giveaway each month!

We're packing up the car and headed to Houston next week for International Quilt Market to peddle our new fabric line, Butterfly Garden, and the patterns we created to go with it. The collection is a pretty mix of florals and geometrics in my favorite KTQ colors - barn red, true navy, black, mossy green, eggplant and gold with a few tans for contrast. The featured quilt is called Butterfly Garden with Jelly RollTM piecing and raw edge applique.

For our family, Butterfly Garden has a several meanings. While I was working on the quilt and playing with the possibilites for appliqued flowers, my 3-year-old granddaughter, Delainey, came to visit. She was helping me in the garden when she inquired about a particular tall, purple, fuzzy bloom, "What's this one, Gramma?" I replied, "It's a butterfly plant - the butterflies love to come and smell them." (As a novice gardener, that's the extent of my knowledge.) About this time, her older (and much smarter) brother, Cooper, 8-years-old, piped up with, "Yeah, Lainey, that fuzzy purple stuff is actually a caterpillar and will turn into a butterfly if you sit and watch it long enough." Delainey pondered that bit of information, sat and watched the flowers for a while, then went on her way. Later that afternoon, she spotted a butterfly perched on the purple, fuzzy flowers and exclaimed, "Look, Gramma, we growed a butterfly!" Of course, she had to tell Grampa and her parents that she had helped make a butterfly out of a fuzzy purple flower despite her Daddy's attempts to set her straight. So, of course, purple fuzzy flowers are included in my Butterfly Garden quilt. I will smile and shake my head in wonder every time I look at this quilt and remember my delightful afternoon with the grandkids. Were my own kids ever this entertaining?