Blog Archive for May, 2009

I’ve been staying at my mother’s house in Minneapolis for almost a week now. She’s put me to work in the yard, turning the vegetable garden, digging out chokecherry stumps and planting tomatoes and herbs, and begonias in the tree-shaded front yard.

It’s an amazing feeling being back in this place where I was for so long. My life is completely different now, but when I’m back here, looking out at the same geography of irises, hostas and blue willows, surrounded by the smell of lilacs carried on air that threatens rain, well. Time takes on a different shape.

Of course, it also means an internet connection so slow and tenuous that I haven’t had patience for blogging, or even email. By now, the photos from the quilt market seem like old news, but they’re so beautiful and inspiring that I’d like to share them with you anyway. I’m unfortunately missing some of the quilt credits, but I’ll try to repost with the missing credits when I get home.

Cinda’s Circles by Karen Pharr

Butterfly wing detail

detail of Del Hi by Valori Wells

Paisley Peacock by Faith Wescom

Neutral Territory by Terry Atkinson and Liz Lois

Clever creatures at Indygo Junction

Seminole pieced skirt by Carrie Washington

Showing off with the embroidery machine…

Amy Butler’s booth – SUCH gorgeous colors!

Styling at Moda

Marcus Fabrics’ booth. I love the blues and browns…

quilt love


What a weekend this has been! Okay, I know it’s Tuesday so I guess it’s a loooong weekend. I was in Pittsburgh for the International Quilt Market on Friday and Saturday, and I was totally blown away by all the beautiful quilts and fabric and the creativity there. Not to mention all the cool gadgets. Next time I have an extra 10 grand lying around I’m going to get me one of those free-arm quilting machines. I took a TON of photos, so I hope you like quilts! Now I’m in New York, and while I didn’t take many photos at the Stationery Show, I have been finding a ton of inspiration here, as well as a lot of small designers to keep an eye out for when I’m buying cards – beautiful stuff. More on that later in the week.

I haven’t had a chance to upload nearly all of my photos yet, but here’s a start…

Red Poppies by Emily Parson

Red Owls by Karin Peirce

Year at a Glance by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish (notice the monaluna fabric! 🙂

The two above: most colorful booth award goes to Blue Underground. Gorgeous colors!

more Mingle fabrics sewn into little aprons at the Kwik Sew booth.

Just a quick post today, as I have a mountain of work to finish up before I head off to the quilt market tomorrow (yay!). I’m hoping to be able to post from the road, so maybe I’ll be able to share a little east coast design inspiration by Monday. For now, here’s the first of the baby quilts…

It’s going to be another busy week here. On Friday I’m heading to Pittsburgh for the International Quilt Market, and then on to New York for the National Stationery Show (and to visit our friends’ new baby Ellison), and finally finishing up with a belated Mother’s Day visit to my mom in Minneapolis. Whew! I’m really looking forward to the trips, but there’s a LOT to get done here before I go! One of my big projects will be mocking up a line of paper products for a couple of meetings at the stationery show. I’ve been playing around with one of my new print groups to see how it would look, and here’s a little sample:
Too crazy? Would any of you use print and color combinations like these for stationery?

I hope your week is starting well!

oh, baby!


I don’t know what’s in the water these days, but I have three close friends who will be having babies in the next couple of months, plus one who just had a baby (welcome to the world, Ellison!). So, in celebration of the coming little people, I’m making baby quilts. My mother still has a quilt that her good friend made for me when I was a baby, and I’ve always felt a special bond with that woman, in part, I think, because she made something for me when I was so small.

These will be pretty simple – probably just basic patchwork squares – but they’re really fun to do, and easier to work with than a regular-sized quilt. I’ll post the finished products when I’m done with them.

I had some time to paint this weekend, and I played around a bit with the images I took on my May Day walk. Here’s what I came up with so far, in two colorways. Not really much, but a start…

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to gather little bouquets of flowers – usually a collection of dandilions and the violets that grew like weeds, plus a stem or two from our mom’s garden – and put them on our neighbors’ doorsteps as May Day presents. We’d ring the bell and hide behind the nearest tree, waiting to see if they got them. Usually no one was home, and I imagine a lot of our neighbors were curious about the wilted bundle of weeds waiting on their doorsteps when they got home. Still, it was great fun for us, until the time we decided to make a special bunch for Mr. Dougherty across the street. We made it extra-fancy with a few of our mom’s favorite tulips for good measure. We tied it to the front door handle, rang the doorbell and scurried behind a largish bush in the front yard. Well, Mr. Dougherty was a huge, gruff man with rather poor eyesight, and somehow he managed to overlook the little bundle clinging to the outside of the handle. In three long steps he had made it to our hiding place and was giving us a good scolding for playing ding-dong-ditch at his door. That was the end of the May Day bouquets.

May first was traditionally celebrated as the beginning of summer, also known as Beltane. In pre-Christian Europe, it was the start of the Floralia, honoring the Roman goddess of flowers, Flora. So, in the spirit of Flora, I took photos of all the gorgeous, blooming flowers on my neighborhood walk. I was so inspired, I think I might use some of them for a new floral print collection. I could call it the May Queen… or something.

Okay, I know that last one isn’t a flower, but I love old cars, and I thought that one was so nice… kinda messes up my palette, though.

May Queen palette… stay tuned – if I design the collection I’ll post it here.