October 27, 2010

October 26, 2010

merry (early) christmas

Thank you all so very much for entering this giveaway! Your comments have made me hum holiday tunes all week and i'm excited to get some of these projects underway (after market, that is). Please don't forget to drop me a line to share your projects (or works-in-progress), or post photos in my 12 Days of Christmas flickr group. I always love to see what you're up to!

So...random.org picked the winners. Annnnnnnnd....
Please email me your mailing address and i'll send these prizes off to you! Yayy!

October 19, 2010

Firsts (and a GIVEAWAY!)

It's been quite busy around here and i don't think my sewing machine has had this kind of workout...well...ever. Yep, i'm prepping for Quilt Market and i have to admit, it's not exactly the best time to be learning new stuff. If you'll be at Market, just please don't look too closely, ok?

So, this is the first time i've ever used Heat'N Bond, the first time i've used a walking foot (and second only to my seam ripper, it's my new favorite sewing accessory), the first time i've used organic bamboo batting (another new favorite), the first time i've sewed with laminated fabric...oh, did i tell you? Central Park has 9 laminated prints! Wait til you see them. I think i exercised some new hand-muscles sewing with them, but it was totally worth it. What else? Ah yes, the first time I'll have a booth at Market! #2028 in the Moda neighborhood. If you'll be going to Market, please come by to say hello! I'm so excited and sort of anxious about the whole thing, but will be giving away free stuff with the hope that it'll distract you from looking too closely. With the exception of a certain someone's quilt that is as amazing as she is! Seriously, are you as awed as i am about how much Sherri can accomplish in a week? She's so talented and as nice as can be imagined. I'm so proud and lucky to have one of her creations hanging in my booth. Keep your eyes on her blog because i think she'll be sharing a sneak peek one of these days..

Speaking of inspiring, have you gotten your special holiday issue of
Fat Quarterly eZine yet?
I got mine the other day and you just can't believe how many fun holiday projects ideas they squeezed in there! Hard to pick which one to start with especially with such talents like Monica, John, Natalia, Jennifer, Scott, Ryan, Amanda, Darci, Erin and many other contributors!

Back in.. jeez, when was it? July? I had the pleasure of chatting with Tacha a bit about my fabric collection, "12 Days of Christmas". You can read our interview in this issue, too. Highly recommended especially if you'd like to know more about those skating elves, or what my favorite christmas song is. ;)

As a thank you to everyone at Fat Quarterly, and to get you started on all your holiday sewing and crafty projects I'm giving away a layer cake and charm pack of 12 Days to two lucky winners!

There are a number of things you can do to enter to win:
-Follow FQ's blog
-Follow FQ on twitter
-Like FQ on facebook
-Purchase a copy of Fat Quarterly's special holiday issue (lots of fun for only $5!!) and let us know which project is your favorite
-Follow my blog
-Follow me on twitter
-Let us know what your favorite holiday song is

Enter separately for each thing so you have more chances to win! I'll be picking a winner next Tuesday, a week from today. Good luck!

***this giveaway is now closed. stay tuned for another...soon!***

October 5, 2010

Central Park: An Inspiration Tour

So as i was saying yesterday, there is inspiration in the details...everywhere! Here are just a few of the motifs that caught my eye when i walked through Central Park last January — and the patterns i created from them. Let's take a little stroll, shall we?

The main entrance to Central Park is at Columbus Circle. It's called Merchant's Gate. There are many other ways to enter the park, but none so elaborate and dramatic as this one. There's a colossal fountain/statue called the Maine Monument that you pass by. It commemorates the sailors who died on the battleship Maine in 1898 off the coast of Cuba. Can you see all those trees just beyond the monument inside the park? Those are silver lindens that line the path and in the spring have flowers that smell like honeysuckle.
(I have to confess i didn't take that picture, but there were no leaves on the trees when i was there and it's just not the same without them!) I made a pattern to commemorate the trees. It's called, you guessed it, Linden. You'll know that one when you see it.

Let's keep walking.

Look down. Right underfoot, you'll walk across many sidewalks that look like this:
These became the pattern called, Cobblestone. This was a really tricky one to get to work as a repeat. It was almost like doing a puzzle trying to get every stone to fit just right. I can't imagine what the work crew went through when they made these beautiful sidewalks, but i certainly have a new appreciation for them!Here we are on Pine Bank Arch (which is really a pedestrian bridge). It overlooks one of the many bridle paths that meander throughout the park. I loved the shapes created by the spaces between the wrought iron on this balustrade:
I combined elements from this with a loose interpretation of the center shape from this (from another bridge):
And came up with this pattern called Carousel. Since 1871, there have been 4 carousels (including the one that's there now) built in Central Park — all in the same location.
Walking down the staircase leading to Bethesda Terrace take a look to the left. There is a different and equally amazing medallion for each step down. I loved the bold shapes and layers of this one:That became the pattern called Esplanade.

**Note: Some of you got a peek at this pattern earlier today, but i've had to go ahead and take it down for reasons that i'll explain later. Sorry! **

On this very same staircase...stop about a third of the way down and take a look to your right:
There's so much to look at in this one! Birds (one is carrying a fish in its mouth! see it?), ferns, seed pods, fruits, and a maze of leaves. I couldn't figure out what to focus on, so i decided instead to try to capture the energy of this and created the pattern North Meadow:
And last but not least, i'll leave you at the Zoo. Have fun!
But please don't feed the squirrels :)

October 4, 2010

Central Park: Back Story

I was born in New York City. My parents lived on the Upper West Side at the time. My Mom planted a tree in front of the brownstone we lived in, and actually just a few years ago, we went back together and saw that the tree was still there — so it's older than i am, but not by much! We moved out of the city before either my sister or i started school. After moving around for a few years we settled in a suburb of New York, close enough that we could easily take a train to the city and be in mid-town in a half-hour. One of my favorite places was the Museum of Natural History with its spectacular life-sized model of a Blue Whale hanging from the ceiling of the Hall of Ocean Life. The Museum is on Central Park West, and we'd often head over to the Park to play, or for a picnic lunch, or sometimes a visit to the Zoo. It was always such fun.

Much later, when i lived and worked in New York after college, Central Park became an oasis where i could escape from the non-stop hustle and bustle and enjoy some peace and quiet. Hard to believe it could be quiet there, but it is. I'd walk, and walk, and walk through the park every weekend and hardly take the same route twice — after all, there are 843 acres to explore!

Fast forward to last January: i was killing some time around Columbus Circle and decided to hop into the park for a brisk walk. It was cold and all the leaves were gone from the trees. The afternoon light was low and bright and gave a rich contrast to the shadows everywhere. As i walked along...
...i started to notice the beautiful motifs on the lamp posts, sidewalks, sculptures, statues, fountains and carved relief stonework. It amazed me to know that i had been in this same place a thousand times and probably walked by the very details i was finally noticing. Ding! Inspiration. Tomorrow i can't wait to show you some of the things i spotted and their transformation to prints on fabric (in a much warmer and brighter season)! To be continued...