Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pretty vs. Practical

When one has the opportunity to live in another culture, it is to be expected that it won't take long to notice all the subtle and the not so subtle differences. It certainly didn't take me five years to figure out that Germans, in general, are very practical. (if you are not included in this generally blanketed statement, please take no offense, as none was intended) This does not mean that Germans do not enjoy beautiful things, quite the contrary. Usually if something is only "pretty" without also being "practical", then it's a sure fire way for a German to overlook it. I do not find such a cultural characteristic to be a negative one, but just a different one.

For example: On some visit to the States a while back, I had to explain to my husband why most American's have a "two-shower-curtain-in-one" system. In case you're not familiar, often this is with one fabric outside curtain (aka "pretty"), and one plastic inside curtain (aka "practical")... the best of both worlds, if you will. It actually developed into qu
ite a lengthy conversation of explaining why two are better than one. My husband just could not understand the concept that while the fabric shower curtain in itself holds no practical uses, the plain plastic single curtain just is not desired because it is not attractive.

I find that for many Americans, decisions to purchase things can often be based on, "I bought it because it was pretty... no other reason." But I guess as they say, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" thinking has influenced a few of my sewing projects these days. Just a little preview for now... more to come later (with additional stories... see, I told you I just couldn't stay away from these fabrics.)

So... it leaves me with just one question for you... when it comes to "pretty vs. practical" which one do you go for?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Falling Leaves

What's on your "round-to-it" list?... I found this pattern a while back on Martha Stewart and have been wanting to make these great oak leaf bowls for fall decorations. Even though felt is not my usual medium of choice, I've got a couple of wool fabrics that would be beautiful for these. You can download the pattern here and there's even a really great video to go with it. I've not managed to get any fall decorations out... and you?

Also on my list are to get a few more "Craft it Forward" gifts out... I guess there's not too much time left in 2011. (there's nothing like a little pressure, right?)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Keiki Fabrics

So now that the fabrics from Spring Quilt Market are piling in, I am starting to notice a theme with a few of my colors... I'm just loving these bright limes and greens mixed with reds, don't you? Well, I guess since they are complementary colors, it makes sense why they go so well together. I've very much been looking forward to Keiki's "Oops a Daisy" collection, which is her follow-up to "Wee Woodland".

So, it just a few more days, fabric designers will be packing up and heading out to Houston again for the Fall Quilt Market... oh, I can hardly wait! I've seen a few previews from various designers and it looks like this year will be a good one. So, do you follow any blogs or look for updates for fabric collections that are introduced at Quilt Market?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Off the Checklist

So, I have a very specific goal in mind with my sewing projects these days (which I hope to share some time soon), and I'm still working with Anna Maria Horner's new fabric collection, LouLouThi. I've been using little snippts and scraps, and it's nice to say that otherwise tiny pieces that would have fallen to the floor and eventually found their way in the trash can are finding a place under the sewing needle... it makes me feel like I'm really "owning" the collection.

In addition to mixing fabrics from Anna's previous collection, Innocent Crush, I have started adding linen to the mix. This fabric was kind of an accident... you know how it is, you go shopping for one thing and bring something else home instead. Do you do that too?

Well, I've fallen in love with the muted, blue-gray linen that almost give the appearance of denim, but with a more refined look. I've always loved linen, especially in the summer, and it's been fun to incorporate in a new element.

So, how is it with you... do you find yourself shifting the colors of your projects as the seasons change or do you work with whatever fabrics move you at the time, regardless if they are a "summer fabric" in the middle of winter?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alexander Henry Fabrics

So now that it is almost time for this year's Fall Quilt Market, I am just now starting to get in some of the collections that were introduced earlier at the Spring Market. Wow, it's hard to think that the last time I saw these samples were that long ago. Alexander Henry, known in the fabric industry for super quality and fantastic designs, added a few new fabrics to their highly popular "In the Kitchen" collection. Doesn't this first fabric look like it could be some kind of learn your ABC's from a vintage cookbook?

Also introduced last spring was this sweet "have fun in your garden" line, "Natura". Oh, I have a sweet little project in mind if I can manage to keep myself focused. I've never had a vegetable garden, but have always thought that it would be fun. (Of course now is not the time to start since my 18 month old finds it entertaining to pinch the flower heads off anything growing in the garden)

I just love these adorable fabrics from "Nicole's Prints"... "Park & Ride" and "Dots & Daisies"... all the things that one might encounter while taking a leisurely afternoon bike ride in the park? Aren't they sweet?

Also from the "Nicole's Prints" collection is "Wonderland"... oh, one's imagine could go wild with fairytale stories to go along with this print. Another fabric I've been itching to get my hands on. I love the animals mixed in with sweet, whimsical motifs.
One thing that I especially love about Alexander Henry fabrics is that they seem like they have their very own story to tell.

Looking for more Alexander Henry Prints? Check out here.
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