Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday

Because our fabric collections came out in a slightly altered schedule this year, I have had some time to work on a personal quilt.  I'm still waiting on a couple quilts to come back from Kari that I will bind for Quilt Market, but this is what I have been spending the last few evenings on…..

I congratulate myself that I'm almost done with the 5th border, but then I quickly realize that there are 10 more borders and they get exponentially larger.  Mrs. Billings Coverlet is being quilted in a traditional manner with small stitches using a size 12 quilting needle.  She is much too prim and proper for big stitch quilting.  I am really enjoying the process.

What else??…. I really hesitate to say this, but some people have asked me to.  There will be a garage sale here at Casa Simpson Friday and Saturday 9am to 3pm  

Will there be new fabric and patterns and such? No.  This is everything that has been stored in the basement.  There is lots of stuff. Mostly stuff from furnishing our booths at International Quilt Market.  There are some props, and lots of Moda yardage in the form of curtain panels.  Lots of those (which are great for the backs of quilts).  Some quilt books that have been culled from the shelves here (too many books, not enough shelves).  You know how it goes.  Everything comes with a fine coating of authentic Ann Arbor dust.  You're welcome!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Zip Code

Zip Code is finished, washed, and just about dry……..  It was fun.  I used straight lines marked with a hera marker on the house blocks and then quilted a large cable in all the sashings.  If I've never said this before - marking a quilt that is mostly solid fabric is a dream.  Just a very light touch of the Sewline marking pencil shows up beautifully.  Now it's on the Mrs. Billings.  I have no idea how I will quilt it.  I will just wing it as I go.

What else? Well, Polly has been talking about this movie all week.  She couldn't wait to see it. Yesterday she did, and she loved it.  Today I went and I loved it too.  What's not to like? Beautiful French countrysides….Helen Mirren…..lots of gorgeous food….Lasse Hallstrom direction….and there's some romance too.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

At one point in the movie the young man above, Hassan, reads aloud a recipe from a classic french cookbook. He never says what it is, but as he recites the ingredients I knew what it was - a Cherry Clafouti (a baked cherry custard).  Oooh, the cherries here this summer have been wonderful.  I came home and made one.  Thanks for the inspiration!
Have a great weekend.  And eat some cherries!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Lexington Has Landed!

For all of you who have held on to pre-cuts and patterns - the yardage for Lexington should all be in your favorite shops by today.  It started landing last week and it should all be in it's final destination by now.

We had a question on the last blog post about "where is the red??"  Well, it isn't here in Lexington, but it will all be reds and creams soon enough.  Look for that in a month or two with Crazy For Red.

I have been very busy.  Unfortunately too busy to take advantage of all the garden bounty I'm seeing at the markets.  Hopefully soon I can make my tomato sauce and freeze it and bake lots of blueberry buckles and zucchini bread.

I was in southern Ohio last week at the Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe Ohio.  Have you been there? You should go! It's one of those "destination" shops.  You will be glad you did.  It's 12000 square feet of shop and class rooms.
 A little rack of Minick and Simpson to greet me…….
 Lots of goodies displayed nicely….
 Lots and lots of bolts displayed so it's very easy to shop…..
 Racks and racks of Kaffe Fassett….
 A place for your significant other to rest their weary bones…..
 Quilts displayed on walls and antique beds…….
 It's also a full service Bernina dealership…..
 The new arrivals were neatly stacked just as you enter the door…..

Lots of blues and creams by Minick and Simpson (and others). Lexington was being delivered just as I was leaving.  It will fit in quite nicely here.

If you plan to go and need a place to stay, I highly recommend the Atwood Bed & Breakfast - just a quick couple of blocks from the shop.  You will never find a more gracious inn and comfortable bed. Really. The bed alone is worth the trip.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Basics Of Rug Hooking

Look at what finally is here….. Polly's new book…

We have it in our Etsy store.  Polly's book is 126 pages (in both English and French) of lessons on how to start rug hooking.  There are 11 projects, lots of great photos, and a DVD with demonstrations by Polly.  

If that isn't exciting enough, we have the Tulip Hiroshima needles back in stock.  We also added a few more varieties….
Quilting needles in the unbelievable size of 13

We had a special request for these tapestry needles for cross stitch.

Piecing needles. Can't wait to try these

Slender, sharp patchwork pins with a glass head.  There are 60 in a test tube.

Those are in addition to the quilting size 10, milliners, appliqué 10 & 11 that we already have stocked.  I also heard that the long awaited hoops should be here tomorrow.  I'll be sending out those orders tomorrow afternoon - all of you who have waited patiently.  I will also be stocking the Etsy store with more of them tomorrow.  Thanks everyone.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday in Ann Arbor

It started this morning at the Ann Arbor's Farmer's Market - which by coincidence is celebrating it's 95th birthday today….

August at the Farmer's Market is an embarrassment of riches. There is no way to take advantage of it all. I could have taken a ton more pictures, (and maybe even some of them could have been in focus) but my arms were full.

Next I wandered across the street to Zingerman's to get an iced coffee.  The camera slipped and I took a picture of the street.
I wonder each time I cross it - it has lasted over 120 years and they have repaved the the pavement streets in town dozens and dozens of times.  Hmmmmmm.  It's a bit bumpy, but it sure is lovely.

It was extra crowded this morning - even for an August Market morning.  There is a little event going on in town.  Seriously, Ann Arbor might be the most cosmopolitan of mid-size Midwestern cities.

The hubbub started yesterday and it will go on for ….. who knows…..

I wish I could have gotten you a picture of the "tent/bar" they put up.  It's larger than some universities.
The rest of these photos come via our local online newspaper.  The roads are blocked off to the stadium and into downtown.  Great for pedestrians - but not so great for lazy, would-be photographers.

Main street? No - it's something called a football pitch I think.
This is another pitch I believe.  There have been some snarky comments about it.  Honestly, I have no idea what any of this is about.  
This was the band that played downtown last night.  In 21 years of living in this house through a multitude of Michigan football games and Art Fairs - we have never "heard" the bands before.  Our house is exactly 1 mile away from this stage. We heard it last night.  Thank you Flint Eastwood for the bedtime serenade. 

Are we going? No. Will we watch on tv? I have no idea, but I sure hope all the local businesses are appreciative.  What will I be doing?  Some baking first of all.  I scored cherries, blackberries, and blueberries at the market.  Then I'll be working on Zip Code.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Thursday Update

I can't believe it's been a whole week since I checked in.  Mea Culpa.

A lot has happened for you to catch up on.  The vending at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild went splendidly.  It was fun seeing a lot of you - especially the ones who crashed the booth at 9am on the dot for Minick and Simpson yardage - you know who you are :)

I heard from the folks down Dallas way that Lexington is starting to ship out to quilt shops tomorrow!!!!  Look for it very, very soon.
Morning Walk

I've finished 2 of the 4 borders for my Love Letters quilt - but it now goes back into the storage.  I have 2 quilts returned from Kari - she basted them for me and I'm going to start hand quilting TODAY!  Mrs. Billings is looking particularly good I think.  Here she is draped over my drafting table.  (As I read that last sentence, it doesn't sound very respectful to Mrs. Billings. My apologies)

I have to pin the edges before I start - but even before that…. I'm quilting Zip Code.  I'll post pictures of that in process this weekend.  


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Announcements

Pay Attention! There is lots of info here.  :)

First of all, let's post a better picture of Polly, her family, and her lovely rug from last week's celebration.

From left to right - they are John Minick, Jim Minick, Polly, Tom Minick and Jeff Minick.

This is what I have been working on.  I'm ANXIOUSLY waiting for 2 quilts to get back from Kari, my long-armer.  She is basting them and I can't wait to hand quilt them.  In the meantime, I picked up this old chestnut that has been hanging around.  It is for no purpose other than my pleasure in making it.  The pattern is Love Letters from Blackbird Designs book - When the Cold Wind Blows.  I believe the book is out of print.  You have been warned (but they sold a ton of them - maybe you have it in your stash).

I'm piecing the border right now.  It should be done shortly.  I wanted a border - something kind of dramatic to work with this energetic quilt.  BUT - the quilt is already 84" square without the border - so a small, dramatic border was called for.  You'll see, very soon.

The fabric I used is ancient in the quilt fabric world.  I think it was from over 7 years ago.  It was Folklore by Whistler Studios for Windham fabrics.  It's long gone. Believe me, I've looked. I used every inch of the blue I had.  I have no idea how I'm going to quilt it. Any thoughts??

What else? I'm vending this weekend at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Show.  You can find all the info HERE.

I'll have books, patterns, what-nots, and lots and lots of Minick and Simpson fabric.  Yes - yardage! I have lots of bolts from cutting kits.  2 yards here - 10 yards there….. lots and lots from Grant Park, Midwinter Reds, Indigo Crossing, Independence Trail, and many more.  The yardage is priced to sell as the bolts are taking over a corner of the dining room.  There is enough on many bolts for the backs of quilts.  Here's your chance to stock up.  Prints will be $6.00 per yard and wovens - at a  CRAZY price of $4.00 per yard.

See you there!


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