Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Project

I guess I have always been one to make presents for holidays and birthdays, and at the last minute I decided that this year should be no exception for my niece's third birthday. This sweet doll dress may look a little familiar to you... but change the fabrics and colors and it looks like a whole new dress.

I chose the fun and bright fabrics from Heather Bailey's "Pop Garden" collection because my mother-in-law just made a "birthday dress" for my niece using the same fabrics. And what better way to say "I'm super special" than to have a matching dress for your favorite doll?

... speaking of Heather Bailey, she will be introducing a new fabric line at this year's International Quilt Market along with a few patterns. Here is just one of the adorable patterns that will be added to her list of other fantastic products. "Henrietta" is made with one of the fabrics from her new collection, Nicey Jane, which is more muted and not as bright as her previous "Pop Garden" collection... can't wait for the "proper introduction" this next month.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Herbstmarkt auf Gut Retzen

It always seems to get pretty quiet around here right before a show. Having other things on my plate the last few months, sewing has taken the back burner, but there is always that one last push before a show and it has felt good to get back into the swing of things. We just finished a small, family style Herbstmarkt (Fall Market) and now that the dust has settled, I have a little time to share.

Among the exhibitors was a retired gentleman that has been making willow baskets for years, and is really something to see an age tradition carried on.

A market in Germany just wouldn't be a market in Gemany unless there is a Crepe stand there. From savory to sweet, the filling choices are endless, and a rich chocolate Nutella crepe is always my husband's biggest temptation.

One could even spot royalty among the crowd... what a sweet and gracious princess!

For the kids entertainment, the local youth fire firefighters did a show exercise as a practice and performance to show what they have learned and trained.

My favorite "Blumenkinder" (flower children) were found among the exhibitors offerings, which is a German craft and tradition that has been passed on for hundreds of years. Angels and Christmas figures are especially popular.

And of course, flower arrangements reflecting the current season's color palette decorated the lawn and tables announcing the time of year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Amy Does it Again!

Even though it is only the middle of September, I am really excited for October to come, but not necessarily because I'm a "fall lover". Actually my anticipation for next month has nothing at all to do with the weather, the changing season, or autumn traditions, but with fabric. So why is October the big month? Because every year the International Quilt Market is held in Houston, Texas where all the fabric designers introduce new fabric collections, products, and ideas. For a fabric lover, I would imagine that it would be safe to describe it as just about the closest thing one can get to "heaven on earth".

It almost makes me feel like a kid at Christmas time, knowing that there will be lots of presents under the tree, but having to wait is just like torture. For those of who cannot wait and must have a "sneaky peak" for fear of exploding with excitement, perhaps I should let you in on a little something that the "queen of all fabric designers" aka Amy Butler is introducing this next month...

But just like Christmas, we will all have to wait until December like good little boys and girls to get our hands on and devour this fabulous "eye candy". Which one speaks to you most, Heart Love or Soul Love?

... Please make sure to wipe the drool from your screen before you log off today.
"Fat Quarter" preview found here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Palette

After sitting in my garden yesterday and enjoying tea on a beautiful fall afternoon, I scanned my garden, or at least what is left of it, and came to a realization... the fall color palette is one of my favorite combinations of color. For some reason I have always been drawn to deep pinks and purples, but especially in combination with warm oranges, yellows, and reds. I know that it might be a little boring to stay on one side of the color wheel, but these colors just speak to me. So much so that these are the inspiration colors in my living room... my favorite room in the house.

Since living in Germany, I have never appreciated a warm summer so much, which makes leaving this one behind especially hard, but I am excited about the array of colors that nature has inspired. Do you have a favorite season color palette?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stacks, Stacks, and More Stacks

Are you a stack person or are you the kind that has to have everything filed away and in it's neat and orderly place? Personally I am a stack girl. One can generally find "organized clutter" all over my house... usually in a stack. For some reason organizing things in stacks just works for me.

I'm working on a new set of "stacks"... more wallets for the show coming up this weekend. I am really excited that purple is the trend color in Germany right now... and I just can't get enough. I have always been a "purple girl"... so much so that it is often mistaken for my favorite color.

I would love to stay and chat a little longer, (as everyone knows that I can) but the stacks are calling.... "sew me, sew me!" Hmmmm... Does your fabric talk to you too?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall Inspirations

I'm really excited about the new fabric collection from Valori Wells with it's warm and earthy range of colors... just the perfect fabric for the start of fall. Finding her inspiration from nature and the Oregon landscape, this talented designer not only designs fabric, paints, writes books, designs patterns, and is a photographer, but she is involved in the family business with her mom which just happens to be... a quilting shop.

I had fun whipping up a few little projects of my own... adding to the stack of wallets with coordinating key chains for an upcoming show.

Still in the mood for using fall colors, I dipped into my "August Christmas stash" for inspiration. I love natural stones and found that the yummy African Brown Rhyolite (related to granite) and Fossil Coral (rich burnt red) complete my fall collection.

I may not be ready for fall weather, but I am ready for it's magnificent color palette.
Valori Wells fabric can be found here or here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fields of Grain

This is the time of year when I see my husband's eyes light up like a kid in a candy store, like a boy with a new dog... all because it is harvest time.

Harvest really is a special time of the year... like no other. I o
ften ride on the combine harvester with my husband and every year he tells me with the same enthusiasm as the year before... "just think, this is our daily bread, our year's work, how we feed our family and feed others." When the mountains of grain are piled up to the ceiling in the storage barns, it is awe-inspiring to catch a glimpse of this small part that his family plays in the big picture.

This year an "Erntefest" (harvest celebration) was held, which is basically just a time of celebrating the work that was done with a nice meal. Everyone who partook in harvest gathered to enjoy "the fruits of their labor". My mother in law made a special "Erntekrone" (harvest crown) with the four common crops that they had on the farm this year... wheat, barley, oats, and rye.

It is this preserving and holding onto traditions that I appreciate and love so much about this country. Do you have any special fall traditions?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September Weekend

Weekend plans are spending time with the family... which means speaking lots of German. I can't help but to be a little sad that summer is fading, cooler breezes are blowing in, days are getting shorter, and long sleeve shirts are being pulled back out. Am I the only one?

Wow... can't beleive it's September already!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ribbon Projects

I just love ribbons. I think that if I were forced to choose between buttons or ribbons, life would just end up being too cruel. I just got a restock of ribbons yesterday, and there were few new colors and designs that are begging me to create something with them. I think my favorite of the bunch is Patty Young's, Kiwi Birdie Damask ribbon with a fresh punch of lime green and pink.

Two new ribbons from the talented Jessica Jones were added to my collection. If you have never stumbled onto Jessica's blog, How About Orange, it is worth your while to stop by. She is always posting all kinds of clever project ideas.

Oh, what you can do with ribbons! Here are a couple of projects ideas found on Patty Young's blog, Modkidboutique. Add a little ribbon trim for a snazzy camera strap, shown here from My Funky Camera.

... or jazz up those boring bath towels.

... add trim as a decorative accent to the legs of girls jeans, or use with paper crafts... oh, the possibilities are endless! Many of Patty Young's Andalucia's ribbon's can be found here or here. What do you like to create with your ribbons?
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