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March 2009

February 2009

Quilt guild night!


Don't you just love belonging to quilt guilds?  I belong to two of them and tonight went to Lakeshore Quilters in Shoreview. Closer to my house so easy to get there. They meet at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church on Victoria just north of 694. They meet the fourth Tuesday at 7pm.

So I scooted in with Kathryn ... both of us a couple minutes late. Turns out she lives just a few exits past mine so was probably hot on my tail on the interstate. They had a quick game ... match up the quilt blocks with the name ... before we could pull our pencils out the next table had them matched! But that was ok because there were prizes for everyone ... and we matched ours perfectly.


Over at a different table, Nancy was showing her blocks that she made during Pat Sloan's online retreat this weekend. The theme was all about orange ... that seems to be a popular one lately! Nancy's blocks looked great! 

This guild is pretty busy. They have a web site for members to keep up with the group ... sew ins ... retreats ... fabulous show and tell. Man, they've got talent!

Pam Hanson from Emmaline Design was the speaker. She had some great patterns! I loved the one she made with little tiny pinwheels in the center ... maybe 2" blocks? Sew cool. Check out her machine quilting on her blog. Really beautiful.

Oh ... but the best part ... as a fund raiser, members bring in quilting things they want to pass on to someone else. They line them all up on a table and you can take a chance for fifty cents each. I saw two things that I wanted ... these two books. I used to have a copy of The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt but when my car was broken into a few years back, that's one of the things they grabbed. It was an original version and had belonged to my mom ... I had it tucked into a tote bag with my sketch books. I've been looking for a copy ever since with no luck ... until tonight. I was the winner!!  I feel like I have an old friend back now and am anxious to crack the book open and enjoy it all over again.


Luv being a cover girl!


As much as I love seeing my projects in magazines, it's even more fun when they make it to the cover! A quilt I made last Summer is now on the cover of the Spring 2009 edition of Quilts and More.  How cool is that?


The inside shot on the white bed looks fabulous. I want a white bed now! Jill Mead, the editor of Quilts and More chose it for the magazine because it's a beginner quilt that looks harder than it is. The entire quilt is constructed from half-square triangles. The way they're pieced together makes them look like diamonds ... but without the hassle of set in seams.

The fabric is Pretty Paisley designed by Terry Atkinson and Liz Lois for Red Rooster Fabrics. Red Rooster has done a third printing of this fabric and I'm able to get more because of that. Want a kit? Call and reserve yours because there will be a limited supply of them available. Of course, we have the magazines at the Cottage and you can visit the quilt in person if you wish, too!


Jill asked me to do a color option for the magazine, too. For this she chose Butterfly Fling by Me and My Sister for Moda. It's a smaller version ... great snuggle quilt for a toddler ... and those cute cute colors make it totally adorable. I think this one  will be tucked away for maybe a little granddaughter some day! (You boys listening???)


But ... if one covers good ... two are better, right? My little muffin top pincushion made it to the cover of Bags, Pillows and Pincushions by American Patchwork, too! How fun is that? I haven't had any covers since the late 1900's, when I enjoyed a run of projects on the cover of a variety of Better Homes and Gardens magazines. Two in a month is pretty wild in my book!


Both pincushions are under the title of Wool and Whimsy in this bookazine.  It'll be out in a few weeks ... my wool dyers are firing up the kettles so I'll have more handdyed wool to make kits for these two. And remember my stacked pincushions from last year ... they're inside the pages as well. Oh ... and if you missed the free Shop Hopper pattern we gave away at the Minnesota State Fair last year ... the one from Sherri Falls of This and That pattern company ... you'll find that in this publication, too! I love that bag.

After a long and dismal Winter, it sure is great having something new and fresh to look at. Makes it seem like Spring isn't too far away!


Time for another Girls' Nite Out!


So what are you doing this Thursday? February 19 in another girls' nite in downtown White Bear Lake ... from 4-8pm many of the stores will be having special events. The weather's supposed to be decent making it enjoyable to walk around downtown. Meet for dinner and then paint the town!

At the Cottage workshop, we'll be showing you how to take a boring compostion book and turn it into a notebook that everyone will envy. I've been covering my books for several years already and its so cool to jazz them up. I love goofing around with all the components ... finding the perfect paper and then deciding which piece will go where.

For girls' nite, we'll be pulling out our Big Shot die cut machine and letting you choose from flower and tag cuts. You'll learn our secret tricks for making the flowers come to life. Plus, your notebook will be personalized so no one can steal it away from you! They'll have to make their own.

Our noteworthy notebook will be $8.75 and includes everything ... you just need to show up. An rsvp would be helpful but not necessary ... we'll try to have plenty of supplies on hand. It's going to be fun to see how different everyone's books look. See you then ...


No matter how you spell it ... it's still o-r-a-n-g-e.


Even though I was searching out the color of orange to take photos of for my orange scavenger hunt, after awhile, I started seeing the word 'orange'! Must be some deep psychological connection there, right? There are so many things that bring me right back to growing up ... Orange Crush is one of them! Pop the top, hear the fizz and taste that refreshing icy cold orange. Obviously, orange pop was a hit no matter which company made it!




We never had loose oranges growing up ... they always came in a bag like this. And my mom ... one of the original recyclers just like every other mom in town found ways to use the bags over and over until they had no more uses left.



We had juice glasses just like this ... I think they came with detergent or sugar ... some item a family of nine used a lot!




It's amazing how when you do one of these scavenger hunts things just jump out at you left and right. Cool things like this pillow ... and really odd things, too. Who knew they made orange painters tape and fire hydrants? Love that orange isn't just for Halloween any more!




Through orange-colored glasses


When I first considered my orange scavenger hunt, I was thinking I'd have to resign myself to Halloween or Autumn to be inspired. But then, as I began to focus on the color, it began to pop up in all kinds of places! I think it's interesting how one focal point ... like the car ... suddenly brings out that same color in the rest of the items around it.


I like how these candles give the illusion of orange.


The economy is being compared to the problems faced during the Depression. When you think about it, a common color in feedsack fabric that was used for those terrific quilts from the 30's and 40's was orange. You might find it as the main color like this quilt but also as a tiny accent in other fabrics from this time frame. Orange is viewed as an optimistic color ... something we need a lot of right now! It's not a color I can wear easily but I sure do like it in small doses. That probably explains while I'm really attracted to the Fossil bags with a lot of bright florals in them!


The more I looked, the more orange I saw! It was everywhere ... in the sign at the hotel, in the restaurant ... almost every where I turned. And I continue to notice it even back here in the white world of Minnesota.





Photo scavenger hunt ... the color 'orange'


Sometimes, I like to put blinders on and look at the world in a very specific way. It might be certain objects ... or in this case, certain colors. When we visited Orange, California, I decided to do an orange photo scavenger hunt. I've done this before in other circumstances but being in this town just forced me to concentrate on this color! 50+ photos later, here I am. It may take me several posts to show the best of them ... come back and visit!

First up ... the signage in Orange. Actually orange and blue ... isn't this an appealing combination?


While orange is usually associated with fruit, the appreciation of the color is intriquing because it brings to mind exotic lands. Oranges can only grow in certain climates and are specialty items everywhere else. It was an aristocratic color and only began to make it's way to the masses during the Renaissance, where it held a symbolic place in paintings from that period.


The popularity of the color took a nose dive when it became associated with fast food restaurants. Before that, it was a respected color in fine dining. Take a drive and see how many signs you can count with orange in them!






In addition to these items being interesting to me on a personal level ... who doesn't love an egg scale ... they also show which colors orange is on a friendly basis with. Something to keep in mind when I'm creating stuff. Lots of blue and orange paired up ... in addition to the usual black and yellow.


When you look at this shelf from the orange standpoint, you can see how it brings out the best in all the other colors. So if you're struggling with making your next quilt pop, look at this photo and see if there's some way to add orange into the mix. This reminds me a lot of Terry Atkinson's Pretty Paisley.

More photos coming up in the next few days ... but take a look at this last one. Totally appropriate that the center of the roundabout in Orange was planted with orange trees ... full of fruit!


A recession-proof economy!


In a world that seems to be spinning out of control, it was great to see this sign at Rudy's Red Eye Grill in White Bear Lake. It made me smile because it's almost like they're thumbing their nose at the bad news that keeps coming at us over and over each day.  Their customers were obviously taking the 'no recession' thought to heart ... the place was packed. The economy makes me as nervous as everyone else but this attitude gives me hope. Maybe what we need now is a little bit of Optimism!