April 29, 2015

Designing Fabric and Spring Market Preview by Franny

Hi, I'm Franny.
You might not know this, but I pretty much run everything that goes on around here. Lou and I just turned 4 this year and since I finally learned to type, I thought I'd take over Kate's blog to show you what really happens around here before Quilt Market. Lou and I have been training Roscoe to perform all of our responsibilities, so we'll have more time for napping. Pretty clever, huh?

So, before any fabric is even designed, I pick the color palette.
Lou usually supervises the whole drawing/designing process. Sometimes from above (seen here with Roscoe showing off the best vantage point):
And sometimes he needs a closer view to critique the details: 
Oh, it might look fun, but I assure you, Lou has quite a discerning eye and is pretty tough about which designs get his paw of approval. But if Kate works really hard, we let her take a break so she can give us treats. 
But not for long! Back to work...
Once the designs are completed and the strike offs come back to us, I select my favorite prints. Here are the ones I picked for Canyon..."Kate's" collection that will be showing in Minneapolis in May and will ship to stores in October.
These get sent back to Moda and then the long wait for printed yardage begins.
Lou and I told Roscoe he would have to stay on lookout 24/7 to make sure we didn't miss the UPS truck.
We didn't know how seriously he would take this part of his job! All throughout the winter, he kept watch. From the living room:
From the bedroom:
And even from the top of the staircase:
Then one day, the boxes finally arrive!
It's one of our favorite days, because we LOVE boxes! But that's a whole other story.
Whoops, got a little side-tracked there! Where was I...? Oh yes! The UPS delivery of fabric yardage finally arrives, then gets photographed. Here's Lou showing Roscoe how to work the ladder so they can stack all the fabric in a nice pile arranged by color.
Here's the photo I took of Canyon. Oh, I forgot to mention that I also take all the photos around here too.
Once the fabric arrives, it's time to sew quilts for Market! The studio is spotless when we start.
 And before anything gets underway, we inspect the equipment to make sure everything is in working order.
Ironing board, check.
Iron is plugged in, check.
Triangle papers, check.
Sewing machine is threaded properly, check.
And then the sewing begins! Flying geese are a my favorites. They're featured in one of the quilts Kate designed that goes with Canyon. She'll show that to you soon.
I love Lou's bird pattern. He's been studying them for some time and I think he helped Kate get it just right.
Kate helped with the pinning, because I kept getting my claws stuck.
And after a few hours of sewing, the studio looks like this:
And the floor looks like this:
But that's ok, because after empty boxes, our next favorite things are messes! Lou prefers scraps:
And I prefer piles:
It takes a while, but we eventually finish the quilt top/back and Lou gives them a complete overview and inspection. 
Then he figures out where we will need to ship the quilt.
We like to make sure the quilt is packed well. Here's Lou going over the finer points of bubble mailers with Roscoe.
And here's Lou teaching Roscoe about the various box sizes and shipping options available.
Finally our job is done! We're pretty tired from all that activity and need to rest up...
... because ... what's that??
The UPS guy is at the door with strike offs for our next collection!

Happy times to all of you heading to the Spring Market in Minneapolis! Wish we could be there, but please say hello to everyone at Moda and be sure to check out Canyon!

Be sure to visit these Moda designers today to see who has taken over their blogs!
Franny, Lou, Roscoe and Kate

April 2, 2015

Happy Spring!

It's been pretty chilly around here still, so i wasn't sure what i'd find when i took a stroll around our yard this morning. But you know what? It's finally happening! Here are the very first (and few) signs of spring that caught my eye. Look at the vitality in these greens!
And these complementary purples and yellows are dazzling our garden (and hearts) with their simple, graceful beauty.
Even though spring happens everywhere in some form or other, the signs of its return are different depending on where you live. What are you noticing around you that makes you happy at this time of year? Please hop over to my Facebook page and post a photo of spring in your corner of the world. I'd love to see and share in the excitement at this time of year! Southern Hemisphere friends, your pictures of early autumn are welcome too!

With sunlight extending the active hours of the day, Tolstoy got it right when he wrote:
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

We are not short of either around here! How about you? Some of you may follow along with me on Instagram and already know about my first “winter sowing” milk-jug experiment. For those of you who don't, here's the lo-down. In late February, Pete and i planted seeds for our summer vegetable garden (and a few perennials) in plastic milk jugs:
They went outside onto our deck the day after we planted them. Then they got snowed on:
But, it appears to be working – with lettuces, spinach, and now peas and zinnia babies peeping to life (okay so you have to squint to find that pea shoot in the lower right)! I took these photos through the hole in the top of each container:
Thanks to my friend Joelle of Purl Soho for letting me know about this process and for her encouragement — especially after the snow! Disbelief has given way to delight.

I'll leave you with another of my favorite quotes for this time of year:
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
~ Margaret Atwood

And i have to admit, we usually do!
Enjoy your day!