October 28, 2011

Furry Friday And Another Peek

It's that time of year again and i'm headed off to Quilt Market today, but wanted to leave you with another lovey, snuggly, warm, and fuzzly picture of Franny and Lou.
Oh! And Lou wanted me to show you a little more Good Fortune before i leave. I had been working on a quilt (that you can see if you're coming to Market!) and had removed just enough fabric so Lou could wedge his cute little self right onto that pile of blue and purple. Irresistible!
If you'll be coming to Houston, please stop by the Moda booth to say hi! It's in the back right corner booth #356. I'll be there all day tomorrow and Sunday morning. Hope to meet you there!
Have a great weekend.

October 21, 2011

Furry Friday

Wow Lou, your design is really coming along! Keep up the good work...i'll be in the other room taking a nap.
(have a great weekend! xok)

October 19, 2011

(Almost) Speechless

This amazingness really speaks for itself. I'm only jumping in to let you know that it was made by Tina of Seaside Stitches. She's planning on finishing it by Christmas (to send to me, right Tina?) so head over to her blog to cheer her on!

October 14, 2011

Furry Friday

With the { i'm not really ready to admit it } winter months coming up, i thought it might be nice to give Franny and Lou an early Christmas present. Or i should say another early present. You know, some kitty-sized, warm and extremely cushie oasis to curl up in for a cozy nap. Well, the more searching i did online for a simple "cat bed", the more i wished they made these things in people sizes!

There is every style imaginable including modern...
designer trendy...
Eames-ish chic...
...and so creative!
yes, that's an old computer monitor

And then there's the one i picked. This style-less, simple, in-our-price-range, super soft, and super blah thing showed up on our door the other day. It's ok, because i have some plans for it *wink*
I ripped open the box, fluffed up the new cat hideaway, put it in my studio and imagined that in any minute Franny or Lou would dart in to discover their dreamy new bed. Annnny minute. Anyminutenow.

Instead (i should have known), they discovered the box it came in and hopped right in!
First Lou...
...then Franny...
But later that evening, it was all too quiet and i wondered what kind of mischief the little furballs were getting into.  So i went to look for them and found them here:
 Melt my heart!!
Have a great weekend.

October 13, 2011

Surprise in the Aisle

Last night, i realized we were out of milk. No milk = no cereal in the morning, which = not a good start to the day, so off to the grocery store i went. No matter what time of day it is, it's always crowded in our local store...so over the years, i've drawn a mental map of the place for just these times when all i want to do is zip in and check out. You too? Even so, it's quite an obstacle course to get to the far back corner where the milk is, and i couldn't find a clear aisle to zip down! Canned goods aisle: full. Baking aisle: not even going to attempt it (plus, i wouldn't get passed the chocolate chips without buying them). Pet food aisle: what? did everyone run out of pet food at the same time? skip.

Then finally, the seasonal aisle (i think that's what they call it) where books, movies, magazines, patio furniture, balloons, wrapping paper, and halloween candy can be found...was empty. Smooth sailing! As i zipped by, I quickly glanced over at the magazines and continued on my way then stopped in my tracks. Did i see what i thought i saw? It was definitely the colors that registered in my mind, delayed by about 8 feet. Back up. Nope, i didn't imagine it! So i grabbed this off the shelf...
...and felt a Flurry of excitement (duh, sorry) to see that beautiful giant snowflake quilt on the cover! I flipped through and found the pattern instructions on p. 36. It's called "Snow-Kissed Star" and is made by none other than Konda Luckau of Moose on the Porch Quilts!
How weird that i just linked to her blog yesterday but didn't even notice her post about it! Anyway, i love this pattern and the instructions look really simple. The center snowflake uses only 1/2 a jelly roll (plus white for the background), so you could actually make two cute n' quilt-ie christmas gifts!

I continued to flip through the issue before plunking it in my basket, when what what to my wondering eyes should appear but...
...these a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. elfen stockings made by Vanessa of Lella Boutique! (btw Vanessa, i still can't wipe the dopey grin off my face either *wink*)

Congratulations, Konda and Vanessa! And thank you for making my trip to the grocery store so memorable. Except i was so excited after finding the magazine that not only did i get milk, i went back for the chocolate chips too.

October 12, 2011

Wowie Wednesday

Some people have "Wordless Wednesdays", but i can't keep quiet about these! So excuse me for a minute while i climb up onto the rooftop and do a little shouting about some amazing Terrain projects that have recently popped up...

Shawn of Dolls from the Loft made this beautiful pinwheel razzle dazzler from only two Terrain charm packs. Two!

And Cindy of Hyacinth Quilt Designs made this color
ka-powie wower: 

This one is from Emma in Australia who blogs over at Sampaguita Quilts. She made this beauty from a bag of Terrain scraps i sent to her. Yes, scraps!

The ever-so-talented Chris of AnA Quilting made this knockout. Her blog is fairly new, so why not pop over and wish her a warm welcome to bloggieland! Chris also has quite a lovely photostream over on flickr if you'd like to have a peek (like i did!).   

Lee of Freshly Pieced made this gorgeous quilt called Cross Terrain that is offered as a free tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop
(lucky us!):

Michelle of Island Life Quilts made this cute and colorful hexie using a Schnibble pattern called Honeycomb:

And i am definitely going to keep my eye on Sara over at My Sewing Room who is participating in the  Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along. If this is how beautiful Sara's first star is, i can't wait to see the rest!

If you're looking for something to make with Terrain, there are lots of patterns out there! A couple of my favorites are this one from Carrie, the Schnibble Queen:
You can purchase it here or here

And Summer Lovin' (or Taffy...i couldn't decide which i love more) by Julie of Jaybird Quilts:
You can purchase this as a kit here or as a pattern from
a bunch of places listed on julie's blog
And you are welcome to download my Stepping Stones free project sheet here or here

If you happen to make anything using Terrain, please don't forget to knock our socks off by posting a photo in my Terrain flickr group. Can't wait to see!

Oh, woah...getting up on the rooftop is a lot easier than getting down (and back to work).

October 11, 2011

Sewing With the Underdogs

There comes a time in my designing life when i have to face the cold hard fact that some things eventually end up in the sale bin. But i learn a lot from digging around in there...like which colors didn't do as well as others, which patterns might not have resonated as i'd hoped, etc. etc. And it's really only because i try to improve what i do that i even go through the pain and agony of wanting to know about the flops and flounderers by taking a peek at what's been marked down, reduced, sniff sniff, or even slashed.

But there's a silver lining. You know how sometimes you're determined that the best things in a sale bin must be at the bottom of the pile, so you have to dig down deep to find them? That's what happened when i discovered the misfits from Fandango and made these...
Yes, i'm a little obsessed with zig zags these days. I can't help it — especially after stumbling across this clever tutorial for how to make a chevron pillow from regular ol' striped fabric. But then i thought...hmmm, why not make my own stripes first? So i did. And followed the rest of the directions as written. Well, amost...except that i made them as envelope-style pillow covers and modified the size to fit my pillow forms. As you can probably see, i made the stripes in varying widths and kinda wish i'd have made some really thick ones and really thin ones for more of a noticeable contrast — something for you to consider if you want to make any. I also pinned every zig and zag so the points lined up, which was a little time consuming but worth it in the end!

The sashing are strips from a Snow Bella Solids jelly roll (9900JR-11) that alternate with these prints:

Castanet 27047-15
Simpatico 27050-15
Canto 27048-15

Seville 27052-22

Portico 27049-22

And here are a few online retailers that still have these prints available:

Hooray for the underdogs!

October 7, 2011

Furry Friday

So a little confession here, i had some help making my zig zag quilt...
Yes, Franny helped to make the quilt sandwich (hmmm, and i wonder what that big lump is under there...?)
 And Lou helped me with the quilting.
Oh i feel so much better getting that off my chest...
Have a great weekend!

October 6, 2011


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs

October 4, 2011

Country Fair Winners!

Thank you to everyone (again and again) for your fantastic suggestions on picking the binding fabric for my quilt! Once i finish it off, i'll be sure to show you how it all turned out. So for Part One of the giveaway, and our random winner of the Terrain fat-eighth bundle...
Hooray to you! We sent out your bundle yesterday and it's already on its way to your front door!

Onto Part Two of our giveaway...

Sunday was a big day here in Fairfield...and i mean BIG! Giant pumpkins were trucked in from all over Connecticut and neighboring Rhode Island for the annual CT Giant Squash and Pumpkin Grower's Association weigh-off. That's the CTGSPGA for short. You've heard of it, right? Me neither. And like me, did you also not know that there's an International Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC)? Yep, we've been missing out! The growers and farmers we met on Sunday were such an enthusiastic bunch and i could have talked pumpkin with them all day long. As it was, Pete and i learned many interesting facts about these...fruits!
Some of you were wondering how the pumpkins are transported. As far as we could understand, they're lifted from their patch using a pulley system and harnesses that are specially configured around a big metal ring to ensure the weight is as evenly distributed as possible. Here's a picture i found that matched the description one of the farmers had given to me:
Then they're lowered into the back of a truck and onto a wooden palette that's been covered with a soft, cushie material like foam insulation panels or blankets. This one is being unloaded here in Fairfield, but you get the idea:
dropping off
All i could think of is what these must have looked like driving down the interstate in the back of a pick up truck!! Over the course of the morning, more pumpkins continued to appear — including Dr. Garrell's — the one you were asked to guess the weight of. Hooray! Well, until the one to the right of his showed up.
We had a chance to talk with Dr. Garrell and found out that he lost his entire patch during hurricane Irene...except this one pumpkin that he found floating in the flood waters. He explained how heartbroken he was after hand-pollinating the pumpkins and nurturing them through what was unanimously a very challenging growing season. Apparently his dreams of record-making-victory were dashed when his contender stopped growing over a month ago. I asked how he knew that it stopped growing? The answer blew me away. He told me that once a pumpkin of the giant variety reaches beach ball size, it will grow somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds a day, A DAY!! Is that crazy or what?! And they do much of their growing at night. Here's a cool time-lapse clip that shows a giant pumpkin growing from 40 to 225 pounds. The photos were taken every 4 hours and only during daylight hours, but it still gives you a sense of the rate at which these things grow:

Back to our escalating competition...after a pumpkin was dropped off, a swat team of contest officials would swoop in and take measurements...
measuring at widest point
...and then they'd go around to each one and perform a "tap test" which would help them determine what kind of density the walls of the pumpkin has. The variety of sounds each one made was remarkable (i tagged along). Some were more hollow, some more thunkie, some more...i don't know...clunkie? As you can tell, my pumpkin vocabulary is limited.
Tap test
Don't they look like someone let the air out?

The pumpkins were then lifted (again with that metal ring and harnesses) and placed on a flat scale — sorry no pictures...camera battery was on-the-blink! But i managed to save just enough battery juice for one last photo of the BIG results:
Wow! As you can see, Dr. Garrell's pumpkin came in 6th place and weighed a whopping 836 pounds! Sooo...aren't you dying to know who guessed closest?! We were too! Won't you please join me in congratulating
We were so surprised that anyone guessed it exactly, but Jodi hit it smack on the bullseye! Way to go, Jodi! Your jelly roll was sent off yesterday so be on the lookout for it any day now.

Several of you were only off by a pound or two — impressive! And so all 15 of our additional winners guessed within a mere 10 pounds of the correct weight (without going over). If your name appears below, congratulations! Please send your mailing address to pete@katespain.com and we'll send your mini charm pack of Terrain off right away!
Thank you all so much for playing along!! GPC weigh-offs are happening all over the country around this time of year, and if you're curious (like me) you can check the standings here. However, the world-record (not listed, but shown here) was broken this year by a pumpkin weighing-in at 1810.5 pounds. That's a lotta pie!

I wanted to leave you with these two pictures because it is beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Halloween around here...
our resident Charlotte (or Charlie?) just outside our garage