May 31, 2011

Table Talk and Scrap Bag Winners!

Thank you, Gudrun, for such a fun Blog Hop and for sharing your creativity with all of us. I'm heading to the kitchen to make a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake now. Oh yes! But before i do, here are the winners:You are just going to love this fabulous book. Have a wonderful time sewing and cooking your way from cover to cover. I'm also going to help get your sewing off to a colorful start *wink, wink* So please email me your mailing address.

And wow, due to the overwhelming interest in the other part of the giveaway, i decided to pick 10 winners to make (some of) your scrap-happy dreams come true. You will be amazed at how much fabric we were able to smush into our mailing envelopes. No joke. They're so stuffed i couldn't even include a note! But i really have to thank Pete for helping me get all the packages together. He actually dumped out the entire 48 pound box, separated the scraps by pattern, and then gathered 10 assortments that include every print in the entire collection. Are you ever lucky he had the day off yesterday (and that it rained)!

So without further ado,
The comment number is listed in the right column. Please email us with your mailing address so we can get these goodies off to you.
Congrats to everyone!

May 26, 2011

Table Talk Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to Day Four of the Table Talk Blog Tour!

Dont' forget to visit Gudrun, our hostess-with-the-mostest. She's blogging every day along with us. If you've missed the other posts so far, here is the line up:

Monday May 23rd: Kimberly Jolly - The Jolly Jabber
Tuesday May 24th: Sandy Gervais - Pieces From My Heart
Wednesday May 25th: Monique Dillard - Open Gate Quilts
Thursday May 26th: Me!
Friday May 27th: Kansas City Star - Diane McLendon

I was so happy and excited when Gudrun asked me to be a part of this because it's always so fun to see what she's got cooking (pun intended in this case). Just before Market, Gudrun was kind enough to send me a copy of her book to take a peek. I started to flip through it and by the time i reached the back cover, i was so hungry! You see she did quite a tantalizing and subliminally sneaky thing; she combined recipes with sewing projects. Beware!

Gudrun grew up in a small town in Iceland and her book focuses around the dining table where her family would gather to nourish their spirits with lively conversation, laughter and special family treats. Add fabric to the food and fun, and voilĂ ...Table Talk. There are numerous projects for table runners and toppers that span all seasons and the instructions are really simple with well-drawn diagrams accompanying each step. I love diagrams!

One of my favorite projects in the book is the "Jolly Woods" runner.
I've been looking for a small something to make using my fabric collection Flurry and i think this would be perfect! Even though there are lots of triangles (which usually scare me), it's whimsical and too cute not to at least try. Like the buffalo chicken dip! Not that the dip is cute, but i do want to try it.

I almost thought about making the "City Square" topper using Terrain, but then i got to the last few critical assembly steps in the instructions and realized there is NO POSSIBLE WAY i could ever finish this project when the facing page has a recipe for "Hot Fudge Pudding Cake". Nope, no way.

So the project Gudrun made with my fabric is called "Jelly Jar" and it's a sweet and scrappy table runner that uses leftover strips from any jelly roll project — or really almost any project that leaves you with a bunch of 2 1/2" strips. I love projects like this that help to put those scraps to good use. I also love that she used Verna.
Aww, remember her?
The jelly jar theme reminded me of a few things:

1. My grandfather Jack who made homemade jelly and jam from blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries that he grew himself. I remember going out to his garden and getting tangled in the miles of netting he would use to protect the precious berries from sneaky birds. Also, he would put jelly on...well, everything. I was fascinated by this as a child. A dollop would go on his oatmeal in the morning, or in his cereal, or smeared across toast, or on his ice cream or in some yogurt. Pete and i grow blueberries and raspberries in our back yard and i now know what Jack went through to get even a very small jar. We savor the berries too, as much and as often as possible.

2. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Always have. And as if it couldn't have gotten better, you can now buy peanut butter with toasted flax seeds added — sublime.

3. Jars are really useful! Last summer, my Dad gave me a simple recipe for making basil-infused olive oil from the basil plants that were left in our garden at the end of the season. It was a wonderful way to use up the plants, and we froze some of the oil to use throughout the winter. Can you believe we just defrosted the last jar this week? Perfect timing because we also just planted this summer's seeds that will eventually yield a fresh supply of liquid gold..
***I'm afraid that just to be on the safe side, i've removed the recipe for the basil oil. Sorry! I don't want to be responsible for inadvertently poisoning anyone with botulism! Yikes! So if you've already copied the recipe down, please do read up on how to make and store
herb-infused oils.***

Ok, i think i've Table Talked enough for now! The book is great and will keep you busy in the kitchen and at the sewing table. Plus, someone is going to be very lucky because Gudrun has generously offered to let me give away one of her beautiful books! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Nothing specific, just a comment. I'll draw a winner on Tuesday, May 31st. You can also buy the book here and here if you can't wait :) Good luck!

Oohh, woah...waitaminute....don't leave yet...almost forgot...

The fun and zany people at Moda sent me this giant, 48 pound box crammed to the tippy top with totally usable 2" - 5" fabric strips and scraps from my newest line, Terrain. Lookie!
So i was wondering if mayyybe any of you were sorta interested in possibly kinda helping to take some of it off my hands? If so, please include that in your comment. I'll pick a couple winners for some of this as well — good luck times two!

May 24, 2011

Gaffer Tape, Tassels, and Table Talk

Coming up for some air, finally (and mostly thanks to Tylenol). Last week after Surtex ended, i was completely knocked out, down-for-the-count — laryngitis, fever, head cold. All the work, long days and late nights, lack of sleep, planning, preparation etc. really caught up with me. But it was all worth it because we had a really great and productive show. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and spent so much time talking with us, even with wet feet and soaked jackets! Yup, it rained the whole time.

A little recap...

This year we brought enough 3M command strips so Pete didn't have to run all over the city like last year. Uh, except that i decided on some changes and went for a new look for my booth, and "new" always means there's a certain degree of improvisation and a little extra not-sure-if-this-will-actually-work-sweat required to make the leap from a plan on a piece of paper to the actual hard wall space. That being said, it was a shortage of gaffer tape that sent Pete on a mini goose chase this year. All i can say is i did use a calculator and came really really close, but i just plain forgot to measure a couple spots. It was a good thing we were in NY..a city that has everything, if you can find it. And Pete did.

The result:
I really couldn't have been happier with how everything came together when it finally did...14 hours later. Change is good. Change is rewarding. And when you make changes, you can't help but learn something new (like bring more gaffer tape than you think you need)!

Speaking of change, it was fun to see some people from the fabric world with their own booths at Surtex. Like Patty (and her un-photographed, but equally amazing husband Jon):
and Liz who was brave enough to exhibit on her own while her partner-in-crime Beth covered their booth at Quilt Market:
I'm not 100% sure how it happened, but i didn't get pictures of Sandy, Erin, or Melody's booths. Or any pictures of Joanna, Liesl, and Charlotte who walked the show. Or of Kelle who surprised me by hand-delivering a copy of Taffy sent straight from Market by Julie (thank you julie!) So you get the gist, it was like Quilt Market, The Sequel! Such fun to see so many familiar faces there.

This was another fun little surprise. The National Stationery Show runs at the same time as Surtex. This year, they teamed up with Kate's Paperie and held a contest a la Project Runway where students at LIM College were challenged to make dresses out of paper. One morning, Pete and i arrived a little early and took a stroll down the hall where all the dresses were on display.

This one was simple and elegant..
...and this one was sweet and beautiful...
...and this one stopped me in my tracks because that gold allium print on the bodice is gift wrap i designed for the Gift Wrap Company! How funny.
The winner of the contest was one i didn't photograph (boo me!), but it will be on display in the window of Kate's Paperie in NYC during Fashion Week. Pretty cool!

So now the work begins and we're following-up with many of the companies we spoke with at the Show. We met so many new people this year and are excited to explore some new product areas. Hopefully i'll be able to share more as things progress.

Speaking of progress...

I don't know if i've ever mentioned that Pete has been in graduate school for the past two years. Up at dawn, off on his bike, onto the train, through rain, snow and heat waves with a pile of books and a passion for learning. He has been so hard at work earning his Masters of Public Health degree. And just yesterday, he graduated! Hooray! To say that i am proud of all that he has accomplished is quite a giant understatement.
On Sunday we went to the Class Day hooplah at which Tom Hanks addressed the graduating class with a mix of humor and provocative commentaries about the the time we live in. It's uplifting, engaging, and entertaining, but certainly not without its efforts to summon the spirit of the occasion by urging for action from the crowd of future leaders. I don't know about you, but i love graduation addresses. I love the optimistic and hope-filled way they speak to the potential each person possesses to go forward and use the knowledge they've acquired to do something good. Maybe even really good. Here's the video if you have a few minutes (or 22):

Part of the Old Campus:
Statue of Nathan Hale (he lived in the brick dorm shown in this picture):
Pete and me:
Pete is now working at Yale with several of his (former) professors. Back on the bike this morning and off he went!

The last bit of news for now is that i am soo happy to have been asked to be part of a blog hop that features Gudrun Erla's new book called Table Talk!
I'm a little late to the party because it actually started yesterday over on the Jolly Jabber and continues today on Sandy's blog. So hop around to read more about the book and maybe even win one! My day is this Thursday. Gudrun will be posting each day of the hop as well, so don't forget to visit her too!

Here's the line up:
Monday May 23rd: Kimberly Jolly - The Jolly Jabber
Tuesday May 24th: Sandy Gervais - Pieces From My Heart
Wednesday May 25th: Monique Dillard - Open Gate Quilts
Thursday May 26th: Me!
Friday May 27th: Kansas City Star - Diane McLendon

Whew, that's all for now! Nice to be back.

May 13, 2011

Show Time!

We're soo excited to be heading off to NY for Surtex for the next 4 days! Everything was packed up and ready to go this morning, and despite it being Friday the 13th and all, we had a relatively painless set up today. Still lots to do, and i might not have time to blog until we get back home next week. So, while we're away, you can try to imagine what's in all these boxes and how on earth we crammed all this stuff into an 8' x 10' space!
Here's a "before" shot just after we unloaded everything — and before my afternoon hair cut!
As you can see...we have lots of work to do!
While we're away, if you're looking for some good reads, not sure if you saw the latest issue of Delish magazine online? Please check it out if you have a chance! There are some great articles and i was so fortunate to have been featured in their "Woman of the Cloth" article. That's fabric, not clergy :)
See you again...soon!

May 9, 2011

Need A Sweet Treat?

Head over to Julie's blog for a little bite of Taffy. It's yummy, believe me ;) Julie is one amazingly talented quiltdesingerextraordinaire, and she has done it again with her latest quilt pattern. I'm beside-myself-thrilled that Julie chose to use Terrain for her quilt and think it turned out beeeutifully! Here's just one savory morsel:

©Jaybird Quilts

If you'll be going to Quilt Market, you can see Taffy in person. Wish i could be there too so i could snatch this quilt when Julie isn't looking and take it home with me. Julie's booth is #2644 so don't forget to drop by and say hi to her! She'll be so happy to meet you.

May 3, 2011

Surtex Prep-a-thon

Wow, it's been a while since i hit the "new post" button on blogger. Wanna know why? Have a look! (click here to enlarge, but let me warn's not pretty. And this is only half of it.)
But only a week to go! Now where did i put those scissors?