Friday, September 28, 2012

New Pattern and Winners!!!

 

   Our newest pattern, Feast of Friendship goes to the printer today. I love this piece designed by Barb. There is something about the bowl of fruit that just calls my name. I know everyone around the world doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving like we do in the states, but it's really a great holiday. It's all about everyone sitting around a table enjoying a good meal together. The laughter, stories and time spent with our kids make it really fun. Each of them has a special dish they prepare or task they do to help things go smoothly. Although I might make a couple of new dishes we haven't tried before, we pretty much stick to the same menu each year. Andy, my oldest always helps with the dishes, Jeff peels potatoes with his brother Greg. Laura makes her corn casserole. Greg also makes a wonderful sweet potato dish. Dave grills the turkey. Usually we have dear friends that show up to help celebrate too. They always bring something wonderful!

   This sampler symbolizes our feelings of Thanksgiving. The home represents family, the acorn border and pumpkin celebrates the harvest and the bowl of fruit symbolizes the bounty of the meal. 


Without delay here are our winners!

1.  Melanie said...
I grew up on Cinnamon toast and chocolate milk.... These fabrics are beautiful. There needs to be a Snickerdoodle quilt.. you know those cookies you made with your mom when you were little rolling cookie dough balls in cinnamon and sugar?!?!?
September 24, 2012 5:29 PM

2.  Cari said...
The colors in your new line of fabrics are beautiful. Who wouldn't love some Cinnamon Spice and a cookie magazine? Thanks for the opportunity.
September 24, 2012 4:17 PM
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3.  Sandy said...
back in KY i have cookie cutters that are being passed down to the 4th generation of bakers. They belonged to my Grandma, who made cookie with my Dad and Aunt, I got them when no one else wanted them - imagine that??? And now my girls have them. They are kept in an old orange little kid tool box - that was my Dad's as a child. I also have several of the receipts that my grandmother and mother used for their christmas cookies.

The fabric is wonderful too, but the "Christmas Cookies" brought back old memories.

Sandra
September 24, 2012 9:54 PM

I like the cookiebook (and the fabric). In our country it's not so common to bake cookies for Christmas. So maybe I can have a new Christmas tradition.
September 25, 2012 12:22 AM


5.  The melted snowmen cookies look like fun...perfect to make with my grandchildren! And your beautiful fabric would give me something to sew after I am exhausted from baking:)

Jackie M
September 25, 2012 10:06 AM

Please e-mail your address to alma@blackbird-designs.com and I will send out your package.
  

Until later!

Alma
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Christmas Cookies




 It seems a bit early to think about Christmas cookies, but I saw this at my local grocery store on Friday. I always purchase the Land O'Lakes cookie booklet each year and any other that catches my eye. Last year I began to think maybe I shouldn't purchase any more of these publications. Surely by now I have just about every cookie recipe on earth. But this one I had to purchase.


The layout of the magazine was well designed. The cookie recipes are organized according to shapes and types. The use of fonts, color and the photography was very appealing. Even the feel of the paper is nice.


The cookies look yummy and their instructions are clear and some are illustrated with extra "how to" photos.


The magazine is available now. I'm thinking about making some of these for Thanksgiving. Love the melted snowmen cookies shown above.

I know I promised a contest the last time I blogged and didn't follow through. So, finally....here it is.



 Cinnamon Spice will be in the shops soon....so here is your chance to get your fabric before anyone else. I have two charm packs, a fat quarter bundle and a layer cake....so there will be 4 winners. Each winner will also get a copy of the Christmas Cookies publication by Better Homes and Gardens. (Just because I think you will really like this one. Barb and I had nothing to do with the cookie magazine. Better Homes and Gardens didn't call us for any advice or recipes. We do love cookies though and that should count for something!!!)


Leave a comment and I will name the winners on Thursday.

Until later,

Alma

Thursday, September 13, 2012

  Each of the 10 winners below will get 4 of the candy packs. Please send your address to alma@blackbird-designs.com and I will get your prize in the mail.

#34   Guusje, said...
What a beautiful loose feathers pattern is coming to us I hope this one will come soon to me so I can stitch it. The new fabric is also beautiful. I hope it is soon in the stores.
September 11, 2012 4:18 PM

#35  Linda K said...
Thanks for the chance to sew with some of your beautiful " Meadow". Your Christmas sampler is tempting me to get out my X-stitch supplies again!
September 11, 2012 4:19 PM

#51  Blogger Karen said...
Alma,

I love the new designs - and Meadow is so beautiful ! I was fortunate enough to purchase a Fat Quarter Bundle at an extremely great price -- so good I bought two and shared with my BFF Debbie !

Also, the book arrived last week as well -- Birds here we come !

Hugs,
Karen
September 11, 2012 5:01 PM

#72  JOLENE said...
I love everything you both design....always! Looking forward to getting my hands on the Merry Christmas sampler, so cheery. Thanks for letting me join in on your fabulous giveaway! Smiles....
September 11, 2012 5:52 PM

Blogger#79   Dianne said...
Wonderful Wonderful designs! I will keep the Christmas sampler out all year to!!! A good way to live the spirit of Christmas all year long.

Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Dianne
September 11, 2012 5:57 PM 

Love the Meadow collection as it is featured in the IN The Meadow book. Thank you for the contest.
September 11, 2012 8:37 PM

Your new patterns are great. Wonderful fabrics.

Greetings
Anja
September 12, 2012 8:25 AM

I would love to win some of your fabric. Thanks.
September 12, 2012 7:54 PM

Just love you're books! Good luck and just like they others I hope to win too...Greetings
September 13, 2012 3:50 AM

saltandpepper said...
I love the Merry Christmas sampler!
Thank you for a chance to win the Moda fabric giveaway.
Chris
September 13, 2012 6:44 PM


The two Grand Prizes go to:

Kyle said...
Your fabrics and patterns have always been a favorite of mine. I'd love to be a prize winner!
September 11, 2012 3:48 PM

Love the new charts. Especially the one with the house. I'll cross my fingers that I may be the lucky one.
September 12, 2012 8:22 AM

Congratulations to all of the winners!

The designers below will have a special post tomorrow.


Visit back here tomorrow for one more contest!

Until later!

Alma 



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer's Last Rose and Merry Christmas




Summer's Last Rose is the third Loose Feathers pattern for the year 2012. It went to the printer yesterday which means it should be in our warehouse next Monday or Tuesday. The distributors should have it by Thursday. This all means it will be in your local shop in three weeks.  The medium sized book box shown above right was covered with fabric. All instructions are in the pattern. The box is the medium size from Hobby Lobby. sku# 379727 - Medium - 5” x 2” x 7 1/2". 

The basket pictured along the bottom of the pattern is also from Hobby Lobby. (Dark brown small rectangular basket, sku#177733 - 9 1/2” x 3” x 3 5/8”.) 


Barb loves to hang her Christmas samplers year round in her home. She enjoys holiday cheer all through the year. Even though this piece expresses a sentiment we love to share with our family and friends, the message is subtle. The colors are so joyful that no one will notice that this holiday decoration has not been packed away! 

Merry Christmas will be in your local shop in three weeks also.

We have some prizes to give away!


 Ten people will win 4 each of the Moda Candy packs. The ones above are from our Meadow line of fabric.These are just the right size to make some of the patterns given by each designer during the blog hop.Our pattern can be found here. Although these fabrics are not the Cinnamon Spice fabric line shown on the pattern...these would be very cute too! (We will have another contest soon for some of our Cinnamon Spice so not to worry.)

 Two grand prize winners will each win a Meadow layer cake.  

Leave a comment and we will pick a winner on Thursday! 

Don't forget to visit the designers listed below: Today is their day to share in the Moda "Oh So Sweet" blog hop.









Sept. 10Primitive Gatherings
Lily Ashbury
French General





Until later!

Alma

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Columbus Park


Welcome to the Columbus Park Community Garden! I discovered this garden quite by accident on my way to meet Edie for lunch one day. Edie McGinnis, my editor/friend from the Kansas City Star and I have been having lunch together in a different cafe/restaurant each week. We decided to "rediscover" different communities in our Kansas City area.What a grand time we are having too! (I'd say about 10 extra pounds worth.)


One of the members of the garden built this fabulous gate from some scrap pieces of metal. I love the way the gate opens into the garden.


I have visited this garden about 6 times since my first discovery of it. I love the simplicity. Nothing too fancy but it still shows a love of gardening and time spent together for a common cause. One of the gardeners has lived in the area for about 15 years and another 20. (I'm not sure about the other members...I know there are more than just two.) She told me that sometimes on a Friday afternoon the members of the community will meet here, grill dinner and share the evening together. 


 Quirky objects are added to the raised beds. This pink flamingo seems surprised at the rapid growth of the vegetables considering our lack of water all summer.



This blue headboard makes the perfect plant support. Looks like someone forgot their scissors!





A broken shard of a pot shelters new lettuce seedlings.


Together the broken shards make a sweet fence. Nothing is wasted here!


A small wind chime adorns this tomato cage.


An old shutter shades and supports these blooms.


Have a plant whose roots are invasive? Just put the entire pot into the ground.


 And lastly my favorite. A huge garbage can is in the alley. To hide the eyesore they surrounded it with wire fencing and then attached some colorful shutters and doors.

I love this idea!!!

Columbus Park is a neighborhood just east of our city market area. "From 1890 to 1920, many European immigrants – especially Italians – came to Kansas City to find work in the railroad and packing industries. Most of these Italian immigrants settled in the area that was once known as the North End or Little Italy, but today is known as Columbus Park." (Quote from this site.) If you visit Kansas City make sure you stop to enjoy this area.

Cafes Edie and I have tried and highly recommend in this area:

Vietnam Cafe
Gillis Cafe

Next stop the Kansas Ctiy Community Garden and a contest!

Until later,

Alma

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oh So Sweet


Welcome to our site on the "Oh so Sweet" Moda Blog Hop!
 We are celebrating National Sewing Month.
 Barb and I are from the Kansas City area. I have lots to show you but am going to begin in my own backyard.  (I know it's a strange place to begin....but it does a lot to explain my absence from our blog site.)

 While Barb and I visited Walnut, Iowa this summer, during their annual father's day antique sale, I purchased these four columns. I could visualize them in my back garden. The architecture would be the focal point in my vegetable garden. I also thought it would be a great place to host dinners. I've seen lots of pictures of lovely farm to table meals served outside. I thought we could begin our own tradition of outside parties. I imagined serving fabulous dishes from all the produce we would grow. (Sometimes I think I've lost my mind! With the drought we've had here this summer no one has wanted to be outside for long.)

 Most of my summer mornings have been spent with this gal. Lots of water was needed to get these plants going and to keep them alive. (I found her in Walnut, Iowa also. I just couldn't pass her up.)


The vegetable garden began with this plastic raised bed we found at Sam's outlet. I planted several varieties oregano and thyme and turnips. I have never really planted many vegetables...just the typical tomatoes and peppers. So this was a real learning experience for me.

There was a secondary reason for planting the different varieties of oregano and thyme.  I'm always thinking of nectar sources for our honeybees. This morning I found a baby praying mantis surveying the world.


Actually our summer was so hot and dry I hadn't seen many insects pollinating anything in our garden until recently. We've had to feed our honeybees sugar water for most of this summer. We go through about 60 - 80 pounds of sugar each week.


I ordered and planted 70 strawberry plants in the spring. They've been sending runners out, expanding the bed to at least 300 plants. As much as I've had to care for these babies I better get at least a million strawberries next summer. Well.....at least enough for a jar of jelly. 


Dave built 4 raised beds for me. Each is 4" x 8". It took lots of dirt to fill them but the raised beds seem more manageable to weed and plant. My plans are for him to build 5 more. (Don't tell Dave! I break the news to him one raised bed at a time.)


 I've learned quite a bit this summer. I've learned how delicious sweet potato leaves must be.


 I've observed the great beauty of carrot leaves in the sunlight.


I've seen how bean seedlings leap from the ground in their great fury to grow.

 

I've discovered I break out with a "hello sweetheart" when I see new seedlings.


To celebrate National Sewing Month we have a project for you.  Click on the link for the pattern. I love my Message Board. It's the perfect place for my earring collection. I can now locate each pair easily and I no longer find them in a tangled mess.


Be sure to visit the designers listed below tomorrow.

Sept. 7
BRANNOCK & PATEK
Eric & Julie Comstock 
and
Thimbleblossoms


Look for a visit to some local community gardens here in K.C. and a contest soon!

Until tomorrow,

Alma



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

National Sewing Month

 
 
We are celebrating National Sewing Month with our fellow Moda Fabric designers.
For 10 days, there will be 1 post from 3 different designers showcasing different styles, projects and what is going on in their life. Join us as we hop all over the globe to visit each designer. 
Barb and I will be posting Sept. 6. Below is the schedule. Be sure to visit each designer and don't forget to sign up for prizes!


Sept. 5
BARBARA BRACKMAN      
ANEELA HOEY 
and
ME & MY SISTER

Sept. 6
BLACKBIRD DESIGNS
BASICGREY
and
Pat Sloan

Sept. 7
BRANNOCK & PATEK
Eric & Julie Comstock 
and
Thimbleblossoms

Sept. 8
BUNNY HILL
KATE SPAIN
and
DEB STRAIN 

Sept. 9
PIECES FROM MY HEART
LAUREN & JESSE Jung 
and
FIG TREE & CO

 

Sept. 10
PRIMITIVE GATHERINGS
LILY ASHBURY
and
FRENCH GENERAL

Sept. 11
LUCIE SUMMERS
and
COTTON WAY 

 

Sept. 12
KANSAS TROUBLES
MALKA DUBRAWSKY
and
LAUNDRY BASKET QUILTS

Sept. 13
KATHY SCHMITZ
SWEETWATER 
and
V AND CO.

Sept. 14
MINICK & SIMPSON
Jenn Ski 
and
ZEN CHIC