March 30, 2010

Quilting for Haiti

Have you seen this button floating around out there?
Well, back in February, Tammy blogged her thoughts about wanting to do a quilt drive to share a small token of comfort and love with some of the people in Haiti. She said, "Quilts, especially those that are handcrafted, are really just a giant hug for anyone who wraps one around herself." I love that idea. So in an effort to help Tammy realize her vision, this lady:
Ms. Sis Boom, Jennifer Paganelli (how cute is she in one of her new aprons?), and this lady:Ms. Dark Horse Designer and Go Make Your Bed seamstress extraordinaire, Nancy Geany, organized a "Quilt Haiti" block-making sew-along at Make & Mingle! Jennifer and Nancy brought piles of colorful Sis Boom scraps that are irresistably cheerful and smile-inducing for us to use to make the blocks. People of all ages and sewing skills came including Cindy and her adorable daughter (who, eh hem, brought her own Hello Kitty sewing machine): "Cute" just doesn't cut it. I mean look at this sweet block she made (the one with the little birdie on it):
Here are two crafty gals thoroughly enjoying themselves and letting their imaginations soar!And here's Charlotte embellishing her block:It was so great to meet Charlotte. Some of you may know her from her amazing craft-a-thons at the Silver Bella Craft Workshops. She's also teaching a workshop at the Mary Engelbreit Home Companion Workshops in St. Louis this May! Ya know who else will teaching be there? No, not me! None other than Kaari Meng (aka: French General and Moda friend)!

So back to M&M, there was a little goofing around (ok a lot). Apparently, Jennifer and i had the same idea at the same time and took simultaneous pictures of each other.But we did manage to get enough blocks made for two quilts in only 4 hours! Here's an action shot of Jennifer adding her block to the design wall: Looks like she was even a little surprised at how nice it turned out!Here are many of the completed blocks. I made one, too, and i think Jennifer has an incriminating picture of me at the sewing machine over at her blog. (At least she didn't take it 5 minutes later when the bobbin thread went haywire!)Nancy will be sewing and quilting all this love together (thank you, Nancy!) and then sending the finished quilts off to Tammy. What a joy it is to know that our community came together on a gray day to bring a little bright warmth (in the form of a big quilty hug) to some people who need it more than we do. A special thanks to you, Tammy, for your contagious inspiration, to you, Jennifer and Nancy for actually making it happen, and to everyone at Make & Mingle for hosting the event. So much fun!

March 28, 2010


Wow, i never expected to get so much helpful advice about organizing my drawer! Thank you so much. I was so impressed and inspired by all of your pointers that i just had to do something. Lookie at my drawer now (like magic, huh?):
You're wondering where it all went, right? Well, i can tell you it didn't go into the garbage can, or into the basement, or into a box, the garage, or another (bigger) drawer. No, no. You see, my sister had given me this cute hook a while back
(she got it at anthropologie):I didn't know where to put it...until now. So, i hung it on the back of the closet door in my studio and made this:A hanging organizer with custom-sized pockets to hold all that stuff from my drawer! Cute, huh!? It's basically a mini-quilt (about 15" x 20") with pockets on one side. For the backing, i used up a bunch of scraps so it's nothing to get too excited about — but i did add batting and do a quick "meander" to quilt it. Before i sewed the lines to divide the pockets into various sizes, i layed out all the items on top of the pocket fabric and marked the appropriate width. Also, i put a dowel across the top of the back for support. It's sewn into a fabric sleeve like this, and then the top straps (that loop around the door hook) are sewn around the dowel. Does that make sense? Would you like a detailed tutorial for this project? (subliminal message: please say "no" because otherwise i'm going to have to figure out how to explain what i did)

The great thing about this organizer is that i now know where everything is and, better yet, what it is. I even got out my colored Sharpies and labeled each cord (thanks for the idea, Mama Spark!)Now to figure out what to put in that empty drawer! But that will have to wait because i'm off to sew with Jennifer and Nancy over at Make & Mingle! Fun!

March 26, 2010


I'm listening, really i am! A number of requests have come in recently asking me to set up a flickr group so people can share projects using Verna. took me a while, but i finally did it. It's called "Verna Fabric Projects" (aka: VFP for all you Very Fabulous People). There's a new little button on the right side column down yonder. See it? It looks like this:
and it's all yours! Can't wait to see what you've made (and thanks for the nudge)!

March 24, 2010


Does anyone else have a drawer that looks like this?
Between digital camera cables and battery chargers, extra batteries, flash card readers, cell phone chargers, iPod cables and what's that? oh, an extra mouse (hey even if there were a real mouse living in here, I'd never know!), well...i just don't quite know what to do about this mess. Suggestions??

March 20, 2010

It's Official!

Hope you get out to celebrate the beginning of the season! Heading out to our garden now to plant some lettuce, beets, spinach and to prepare the potato beds (can never have enough potatoes)! Enjoy!

Wait, am i forgetting something? Now what was it i was supposed to do today? Hmm...OH YEAH! Post the winners of the giveaway! But first, i want to thank you all so very much for helping to spread the word, but mostly for getting better connected on twitter and in blogland. Btw, i'm not really fond of the word "follower" because i think we're all leaders and followers in our own ways : ) I've truly enjoyed visiting many of your blogs and reading about you and seeing the various projects you're working on. So much creativity! Annnd it's extra special for me to see Verna out there being loved.

Speaking of love...i was overwhelmed by so much Burgundy Buttons love! A special thanks to you, Leah, for sending so many people my way. How thoughtful and fun! Good luck to everyone who is entered to win Verna charm packs over at BB!

One last're right. It's way too hard to narrow it down to just one favorite flower. To be fair, mine would have to be lilacs. But tulips and meadow rue are a close second. And magnolia blossoms, peonies and coneflowers and, and, and...orchids! Anyway, thank you for sharing your favorites. It was like getting a springy bouquet in my email each day. Without stretching this out any longer...the winner of the Verna layer cake is....
And the winner of the cherry blossoms takeout containers and gift bags is.....
Please email me your mailing addresses and I'll send the goodies off to you!
Happy Spring to everyone!
hugs all round, kate

March 17, 2010

Verna(l) Equinox

Hey! Remember when i showed you these?
Look at them now!!
"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."~Mark Twain

Despite not knowing whether to wear a sweater or a t-shirt, i really love this time of year. It's clear that we have finally turned a corner from the bleak all-shades-of-grey winter and are beginning to make a colorful transition toward spring. Actually, Spring's "official" arrival is this Saturday, the Vernal Equinox.

Did someone say Verna? No better way to celebrate Spring's arrival than with a giveaway! How would you like one of these to pop-up in your garden?
(it's a rolled layer cake, and don't worry it won't come with dirt)

To win this, all you have to do is balance an egg on-end, take a picture and send it to me. Just kidding! (whew, right? wish i could've seen your expression when you read that though) But did you know you can actually balance an uncooked egg on-end any day of the year, not just on the equinox?? I've tried, unsuccessfully...but this person actually did it. I liked that they cracked the egg open at the end (no trick eggs for them)!

For this giveaway, please let me know what your favorite flower is. Much easier, right? Oh and if you link to my blog, follow me on Twitter (even though i'm a lame tweeter), or blog about this giveaway, let me know and your name will be entered once for each thing you do to spread the word! I'll be saving some trees this time by using's number generator.

For the second name picked, i'll send some of these cutie cute cherry blossom takeout containers i designed for
The Gift Wrap Company
(and a gift bag or two, too)Names will be drawn this Saturday March 20th at 1:32 PM EST. Happy Spring!

March 12, 2010

i Spy...

Notice anything new? *wink, wink*
keep looking, i'm sure you'll find it.

March 10, 2010


Do your fabric deliveries also come wrapped with
(At least they warned me this time!)

March 3, 2010

They're in!

This past year has held an abundance of humbling highlights in my work life and this one is certainly no exception. I had the incredible honor to work alongside the creative team at Crate & Barrel to design some fresh new ceramic and melamine plates that are hitting the stores now! Here's the ceramic set,
called Loire:

The melamine set, called Sorrento, is on their website now, but should be in stores soon. Ooo, and there are matching paper napkins for this group!

I've always loved the products at Crate & Barrel, but to work with the people there is how to know the company best. Above and beyond their unblinking eye for detail and great sense of color and styling, they're such an incredibly nice and dedicated group of people. It was a distinct joy to have a chance to work with them. When I walk into the store I certainly have a new appreciation for all the time and care that went into making so many pieces come together seamlessly! And they do it so well, season after season.

I love opening the mailbox to spot their catalog...which came yesterday. And to my total and complete surprise...