Friday, June 24, 2011

Restless


I'm trying to find something good to read but I just can't settle on a book. You know the feeling? I read a couple chapters of something and find I'm just not that interested in the story or the characters. (Of course reading at bedtime doesn't help. Trying to recall what I read the night before isn't easy.) I'm really longing for a great science fiction novel....but can't find one.


My last book was Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.
How did I get through college without learning about Wilkie Collins? I happened to pick up Woman in White by Collins. On the back it mentioned that Collins and Dickens were friends. I've read many of Charles Dickens books and didn't even know he had a lifelong friend and collaborator.

Collins began the mystery and detective genre with his sensational stories. I couldn't put Woman in White down.....and Moonstone is wonderful too.

I'm thinking of reading this one. What kind of adventurous woman is she? I can't even come close to her passion and desire to experience something new. The closest I can come is wanting to kayak about 10 miles down the Platte River in Nebraska. Pretty pathetic right?

This one is in my stack to begin too, especially after my cheese making class.


I'm feeling badly about my neck (my eyes, my legs, my hips.......) Nora and I have a lot in common. Maybe this should be my next read.


I love cookbooks. This one looks great. Nothing better than reading about food!

Maybe you have a good idea.....let me know if you have read a good book lately!

Angela from Italy sent the picture below to me today. You have to visit her blog today and see how she packages all these sweet bookmarks up. Click on her name and be whisked away to some major cuteness! (She writes in Italian and English)


What a lovely way to mark your place in a book.

Until later!

Alma

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Winners! and a sneak peak

Twelve winners are listed below. I've put the comments with the name to help reduce confusion. I wish I could number the responses somehow, it sure would make it easier for you to figure out who won....but not sure how to do that. I end up having to count through all of them.

#27 Mary said...

I love the new line. I am trying to collect the fabrics for a Boston Commons in soft blues, whites and yellows. This may complete the deal.

#130GlammaGirl said...

I bought yardage of this! It is lovely.......Need these minis to make something very petite!!!!

#149Blogger Eva said...

Es una colección preciosa !!!!! Una combinación ideal .... ¡vaya maravilla!
Me encantaría participar en el sorteo.
Besos

#211Minette said...

What a lovely range of fabrics!

Blogger#325 Gayle said...

what a great opportunity - a chance to win some of your wonderful new fabrics! Please count me IN!

#345 Chelsea said...

"Moody Blues"! Too perfect! Love the new line. :)

#426 Dawn said...

The new fabric line is beautiful!! I would so like to win!!

#545 Louise said...

I have wanted to make a blue and white quilt for a long time and your Blueberry Crumb Cake fabrics are perfect! I love your designs and colors and can't wait to get my hands on these!

#556Blogger Marsha said...

I'm a blue person so I'm really excited about your new line - can't wait! Would love to win.

#594Edna said...

Blueberry Crumb Cake is beautiful. Thanks for the chance to win the Wild Rose minis.

and adding the first and last person entering the contest just for fun!

#1Blogger Donna said...

Gorgeous fabric line! Please enter me into your giveaway.

Blogger #616Deb said...

Love love the blue and brown palatte. Enter me in the drawing. Thanks, Deb

Congratulations winners....e-mail me your address at
alma@blackbird-designs.com

The new loose feather pattern is starting to come together. Here's a look at the first cover. It's not finalized just yet, but thought you would like to have the first peak! Barb did this design....I love the large bird and those berries!

Until later!

Alma


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guess What?


Friday the UPS man came with a package from Moda Fabrics. Gotta love those packages from Moda. Our newest line Blueberry Crumb Cake filled the box.

Want to make a two color quilt? This is the line for you.
I can hardly wait to get out my sewing machine and fire it up!


This line is going to be shown to shop owners in July. It will ship out to the shops in November.....in the meantime Barb and I will be working on quilts for our newest book, which will be released in October at fall quilt market.

Does this print look familiar? It's our first sampler print from our Rhubarb and Ginger line. We've updated the colors to fit into our "Moody Blue" phase.


We sprinkled some browns into this fabric line. No blueberry crumb cake is good without the gooey caramel topping!


A dash of small prints and you are ready for a recipe of fun! There are several more but too late for more photography....it's getting pretty dark here.

To celebrate......we are having a contest. There will be 10 winners...


Here's the prize. Each winner will receive 4 packs of Wild Rose mini-precuts. Just enough to sew up something sweet.

Drawing will end Wednesday. Just post in the comment section and I will run the random number generator to obtain the winning numbers.

Good luck to you all!

Fondly,

Alma

Friday, June 17, 2011

Second part of our trip




Jean Lea, from The Attic Needlework, recommended that we stay at the Junipine Resort in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Sedona, Arizona. Jean has a yearly cross stitch retreat at the resort.

Jean writes,
"Our retreat is always the last weekend in February or the first weekend in March, and the weather at that time of year in Sedona is also very variable. Some years we've had lunch out on the cafe patio with temps in the mid '70s, and other years we had 10 inches of snow. Some of the ladies love to hike, and there's a great trail right on the property.

Next door, just south of Junipine, is another resort, Garland's, and they offer rustic cabin accommodations that have no phones or TV's, and the American plan, with breakfast and dinner included in your rate. I only mention it because their dinners are fabulous and one can have dinner there without actually staying there.

I've been doing The Attic retreats there since 1999, I think, and each year almost the same people come back, so there's always a waiting list. Several ladies have been coming each year, some from as far away as Wisconsin, Texas, New York, and Florida. I intentionally limit it to 20-23 ladies because the room in the cafe where we have some of our eat-togethers won't accommodate more, nor do the creek houses."

Barb and I loved the place. We stayed two nights and stitched the time away on the deck. We plan to go again....will let you know the dates so we can all go together.

This was our view from "our" deck. The stream provided a very relaxing view. The sound of the river was a refreshing break from traffic noise. It was the perfect place to work. We parked ourselves on the deck and only left the cabin for dinner. We can see why Jean hosts a retreat at Junipine!

If you go later in the season, there will be plenty of blackberries to pick too. Look out for the thorns though!

Barb and I finalized our next Loose Feathers program while staying at the Junipine Resort. Loose Feathers will be ready to go to the printer in about 1 1/2 weeks. The patterns should be in the distributors' warehouses by July 7th.

Strawberries and birds capture our hearts and are the theme of the first Loose Feather booklet. Each booklet will include a featured pattern and two bonus charts. The featured pattern can be individually framed or be stitched into one long piece of linen. The designs can fit together or stand alone as you wish.

The picture above illustrates one of the bonus charts offered in the first booklet. There will be three Loose Feather booklets in this series. The next booklet will be ready in September and the final one in November. (Is this about as clear as mud?) Not to worry.....it will all become clear in the next two weeks.

The wonderful pictures below were sent to me and they've been sitting in my e-mail file. It's about time to share....really way past time.





Karen Seitz writes,

"I finished the Prairie Home Sewing Box project from the class with Tomorrow's Heirlooms, and I want to share photos with you. I decided to line the inside top of the box too and create a pocket, so I found some of the fabric still available on-line and did 'er up! I have the pincushions stitched, but I have not been up to the precision sewing required to get that great rickrack edge done to perfection.
(BTW, the K would not fit in the area provided for the initial, so I stitched it over one and added an S, then added some of the small diamond motifs in the lower left quadrant of that area. I also stitched all of the lambswool motifs using Smyrna Crosses, used Smyrnas for the roof for texture, and filled in the heart with rice stitches. The larger diamond-shaped motif up and to the right of the house is done in queen stitches.)

Valie sent the above two projects and she writes,
"Here are a couple of finishes - a Birthday "card" and a Congratulations for the New Baby pillow - based on your oh-so-wonderful patterns. Whenever I need to stitch a little present/memento, I go and look at my Blackbird Designs charts: there will always be one that will suit the occasion.


More to come about our trip to see Paul McCartney next time. Sorry to drag this trip out, but I just don't have enough time to post it all at once.
Until later!

Alma

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lunch in Mesa, AZ

Barb and I traveled last week to Mesa, Arizona. Barb wanted to see Paul McCartney and to get me to go, she sweetened the deal. Her plan was a road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas. We'd begin with a visit to Jean Lea's, Attic Needlework first. This was enough to get me to pack my bags and book our flights to Phoenix.

A wonderful surprise was waiting for us when we arrived. Jean had lunch set up adjacent to "The Sampler Wall." Can you imagine our delight? Great company, pizza, salad and samplers too! In my next life, I think I would like to have a small cafe with hundreds of samplers on the walls.

Jean and Maegan (daughter-in-law of Vickie from Needlework Press) playing "What's the name of that sampler?" with Barb and me. We only ask questions......they have to come up with the answers.

Sometimes it can be a pretty hard game! Not to worry though, cheating is always allowed. If they couldn't remember, we let them look it up.

After reviewing my pictures I'm sorry to find that I don't have a good picture of Deb and Sandy who were also working at the shop during our visit. Deb was busy matching up floss colors for Barb and Sandy does the framing for Attic Needlework. Couldn't ask for a nicer group of women!

This rack of patterns kept Barb and I busy for quite a bit of time.


Jean has a display made from our "Remember Me" and "Two Hearts" patterns.


The original Maria Tilley from Needlework Press is on display in Jean's shop.

The Christmas pinkeep above and below is made from a pattern from Bonnie Sullivan.



The box with the poppy and 1860 date was designed by Linda Vinson of Needlemade Designs and also of the Attic's staff. The antique is from the collection of Vickie Jennett and Linda's reproduction appeared on the cover of SANQ. The chart is now available.. The vintage piece is behind the box. Isn't it sweet?

This stocking was stitched by Attic customer Janet Ryzdynski of San Diego, California. Coincident with our stocking publications, The Attic announced a group and called it the Blackbird Stocking Society and each month packaged 3 Lakeside linens in 36ct for that month's 3 stockings.

I love the color changes. The pink linen is wonderful......below is the original stocking model from "Merry December" to give you a comparison. Call Jean for the pattern, linen and floss! I know she would be glad to kit a pink one up for you.

If you want to go to Mesa, Arizona, plan a visit the first part of June. The weather is lovely and the cactus are in bloom.


Well ....back to work. We are expecting our newest fabric line, Blueberry Crumbcake in soon. Barb and I are thinking quilts and getting ready for fall quilt market! Will show you some pictures too!

More about our trip tomorrow!

Until later,
Alma