Saturday, April 30, 2011

My thoughts....

(I'm blogging this morning to distract myself from the children. I love those little buggers but the hubs has been working TONS lately and I'm tired. Also, the hubs complained about me not getting to his laundry so he did it himself (FINALLY!) except that he washed and DRIED everything with an ink pen. I just spent the better half of my morning cleaning the inside of my dryer. I have a headache now and the kids, well the kids aren't helping.)

I wanted to post my thoughts on what some people/quilters refer to as 'Dumbing Down' quilting.
Quilting /sewing is a creative process. It comes from deep in our souls. It's personal. It's art. You may not do it like your neighbor or like the other girls in the guild but that's ok. Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso are both famous artists but their works are completely different. People don't say Picasso isn't a real artist because he can't paint a human face symmetrically- that's what makes him famous.

Recently a friend showed me a quilt that she had done. The fabrics were ones that I would never have in my stash. The pattern was completely "not ME" But the quilt was....BEAUTIFUL. I looked at it and could appreciate the time and effort that went into making it. I could tell in the way she talked and how she showed it to me that she was very proud of that quilt. I could see the beauty in the quilt even though it wasn't 'my style'. It IS a beautiful quilt.

I've walked the floor at Quilt Market and looked at the special exhibits. There are some AMAZING quilts out there. But most of them are ones that I would never attempt. Most artists have a particular style. Some are abstract others are realistic. It doesn't matter.

I design patterns with one purpose- to fulfill MY needs as a quilter. I started selling them because others were interested in my designs. But I never claim to be an AMAZING designer. My patterns are on the easy side. They are for the 'instant gratification' quilters (like me). But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the paper piecers, the hand stitchers, the traditional quilters. It just means that I prefer a different genre of quilting. Sometimes I might use a technique or a block that has been in the quilting circle for generations. My intent is not to imply that I made up that design. I'm just sharing it with others. If I could give reference to the original designer behind that block, I would. But can anyone tell me who the very first person to make a 9-patch, or a shoo-fly, or an Ohio star block was?

Quilting has been around for-EVER! Mother's taught their daughters and they taught their daughters. They taught their friends. In the quilting world we're all just one huge family and we're sharing basically the same designs over and over with our friends. Nothing is wrong with that. And as one person learns a new technique they might tweak it a little to their liking and that makes it all the more PERSONAL.

I don't tie quilts because it's not my preference. I don't buy lesser fabric because it's not my preference. But I understand those that do because it's their preference. If someone asks my opinion I will share it- but I'm not going to look down on you if you do something different.

This is getting lengthy. I think I better wrap up.

To all those quilters that think people are 'dumbing down' quilting I want you to ask yourself why you quilt? Your answer should be because it brings you peace, joy, and happiness. Now remember that that's what it brings to all the other quilters out there too! Regardless of what style quilting they do. If we all made the same kind of quilts in the same fabrics using the same patterns, quilting would be BORING and no one would do it.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic- leave a comment.

(p.s.- just got some GREAT news. I'll share next week!)

Friday, April 29, 2011


Have you been following?

I have! I am a BIG fan of one of the prints and it made it to the final 10. Oooooh, you should see the coordinates. LOVE them! I don't think I can tell you my favorite so that all of you would vote for it- even though I want to. But if you think real hard I bet you can figure it out. :o)

Click on the image above to vote and show these budding designers some love!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Staying afloat

My head is above water at this moment- but I feel like I could go down at any time.

Too much to do. Not enough time. You know how it is.

I'll try to be back soon with a real post.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Running in circles

Lately that's what I'm doing. I have so much to get done for market and half of it hinges on the fact that fabric actually gets here in time. It's entirely too much for an OCD control freak like myself.

So I decided to spend my time doing something else. Running in circles. :o)

This is a not-so-great shot of the latest quilting I've been working on. Concentric circles. Not an easy task.

Originally I called a friend with a computerized longarm to see if she had time to do it. After discussing for a while we decided that I would actually have more range for the large circles on my machine than a longarm has. Of course, her circles would've been less "wonky" than mine. But I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Here's a pic of the quilt pre-quilted. It will take the place of the other quilt on the Cheery O's cover. I made it using Michael Miller's Citron and Grey color story plus a few other M&M prints that went along.

I am really LOVING this quilt! I've made it 3 times now in completely different color stories and I LOVE it every time.

And now, since I just can't help myself- the ever exciting slevage shot:

*SQUEEL!* (not like a pig. Ok, maybe like a pig. A very EXCITED pig!) :o)

Monday, April 18, 2011

The final cut!

So here it is- the official strike-off picture. A couple minor changes need to be made, mostly with color tones. I am holding me breath, crossing my fingers (and toes) and saying my prayers that I have some fabric by market. Something. Anything.

I mentioned that I would talk about my visit with Kathy in another post. Well, this is that post.

What an amazing time I had at the M&M studio in California. Everyone was so wonderful. As soon as I walked in I saw my fabrics on the table and got all giddy all over again. You see, after looking at the same computer images for months I was feeling sort of "over" them. But once I saw them in their threaded goodness I was in love once again.

The process of selecting prints for the final cut went super smooth. It was awesome that Kathy and I have the same vision for this line. Learning about the whole process was something I can't even imagine doing over the phone.

After business, it was time for fun. We met at a lovely local restaurant for dinner. Kathy and her husband, the gals from the studio (sorry, I don't remember names!) and myself and my hubs. It was delightful although I was still super nervous (!?). We had a great time. And I quite possibly had the most fabulous dessert EVER! Yes, EVER!!!

And that's about it.

Oh, what's that? You want to see pictures?

Well, it was just like me in my bundle of nerves to not even take ONE picture. Yes, I'm kicking myself now. But don't worry I'll make up for it with a plethora of pics from market in a few weeks.

btw- my second line is already in the works! :o)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vacation Re-cap

Monday: - Spent lots of time snuggling my little nephew Travis
I love his little cheeks!

- Took the kids to the Jelly Belly factory for a little sweet treat. If you ever have the chance to tour, you should. It's amazing!

- Met up with a friend I haven't seen in 20 years! Yowzah! We had a great time visiting all the old spots we used to frequent in Jr. High. A couple hours of catching up and it's as if we never lost touch.
Tuesday: -Thanks to this crazy dude we got to visit Pixar Studios.

No, not Woody- my brother, Josh!

And even though he was on vacation I let my husband feel like he was right back at work moving tires around.

Of course, we had to bring along the aliens...I mean, children.

(Don't tell anyone, but I kept calling those green guys from the Toy Story movies "Minions" Oops!)

What can I say? The tour was absolutely Incredible!

Ok. So there's not a ton I could NOT take pictures of at Pixar. They have to keep lots of stuff hush-hush, you know!?

-That evening my hubby and I met up with Kathy Miller and crew from Michael Miller. I'm going to leave that for another post. :o)



I LOVE visiting the California coast. The weather was cool and had been raining earlier that morning. But by the time we got there the sun was shining and beautiful. Can you believe I didn't even dipped my toes in!? I guess I was too busy collecting shells, driftwood, etc.

-Spending an afternoon at the beach is a perfect way to wrap up a vacation.



-Driving again

-Driving some more

-Still driving


Back to life, back to reality

I'm back. I want to post again with a recap of the rest of our trip and some pics. But bear with me if it doesn't happen for a couple of days. I am completely overloaded with laundry and errands. Why is it a vacation never really seems like a vacation when you come home and have to do 3 times the amount of work to get caught up!? UGH!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vacation: day-by-day

- Finally got on the road for our 12 hour drive 2 hours late. 10 year old child was bored after 20min. in the car.

- Snow flurries and patches of blue sky with sun shining through the windshield had us turning the air from hot to cold and back again.

-Hit the Sierra's at 11pm. 23 degree temps and melted snow make fro ice-y conditions. They also make for a nervous Emily begging her husband to understand her stress even though he promises to "have it under control"- I remind him that they call accidents accidents for a reason.

- Arrive at Grandma and Grandpa's house around 1am. Lots of hugs, chit-chat, and quick to fall asleep travelers.

- After a nice sleep, wake to visit with my little Sis and her adorable baby Travis. Oh I love that boy- can't hold him enough. Allison even let me hold him while he drank his bottle- if you knew how monumental that is you would understand why I posted it.

- Hubs went fishing with the BIL (Brother-In-Law)- no catches.

- Dinner was chicken tacos from Chicken Express. I. LOVE. THEM! Grandma (my Mom) forgot to say "NO Sour Cream" so I had to scrape it off of all 6 of my tacos. Yes, 6!

- Church starts at 8:30am! Loved visiting the Vallejo 1st ward childhood church. So many faces from the past.

- BBQ at my oldest Bro's house with ALL the grand-kids in attendance. Also there, MY Grandpa who will be 96 next month! We're a loud family- but it was GREAT!

- My sis and I played a game with the rest of the fam. We went into another room and used the baby monitor to say different things while the rest of the fam. listened and tried to guess who was saying what. Hilarious! (We sound a lot alike!) Only after did Allison suggest I should have said EVERYTHING only to see how often the guessed her! :o)

I'm having a wonderful time here in Cali. The weather has been a Utahn's dream! :o)

Can't wait for what's to come in the next few days and already feeling sad and dreading our departure on Thursday.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't be jealous

Yes, this is where I am headed today. Ok, not that place exactly, but close. And you're right, it won't actually look like that when I get there at midnight. But you get the idea. Oh yeah, and we don't even drink wine! :o) I haven't been home in over a year and a half. Can you tell I'm a little excited? With all my health issues last year it just made it impossible to get away. I am mostly looking forward to seeing the babies. Yes, the babies....that aren't really babies anymore. Well, one of them is. My Brother just younger than me has a little (BIG!) 7 mo. old that I have yet to snuggle with. And my one and only sister has a cute little boy that is almost 1! Haven't seen that little guy either. Can't wait to squish him all up. And of course, the sweet little girl niece that is about 16 mo. I have met her once (last month) but I cannot wait to see her cute face again! I'm hoping this trip goes off without a hitch. My kids are a lot older since the last time we traveled and they have DS's now. I'm crossing my fingers that 11 hours in the car doesn't kill any of us!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grand Adventure

I felt like Pooh writing that title. No, not THAT Pooh. Pooh, as in Winnie. I'm pretty sure he always has a Grand Adventure, doesn't he? I often mention how busy I am. Busy as a little Sewing bee and I can't exactly tell you or show you why. It's because of the SECRET. I've wanted to tell you all for months now but I wanted it to be official. I mean, it's official, but I wanted to be "holding-it-in-my-hands" official. Well, as of last night this is as close as it gets. I've been working for months on my VERY FIRST fabric line. I feel so fortunate to be working with some of the greats over at Michael Miller. (It's all clicking now, the posts about M&M, right!?) Way back last October I packed myself up and flew to Houston for Quilt Market where I peddled my goods. An EXTREMELY stressful and vulnerable task. That's where I first met Kathy Miller who, for several minutes, had me so terrified I wanted to crawl under the table. And then she said "Yes" And I almost peed my pants. Really. I had an inner conversation at that very moment that said "Emily, do not jump up and hug this woman- she may change her mind" And so began the journey of taking "Going Coastal" from paper to fabric. (Sorry, had to remove the pic! Don't worry, I'll have another one posted soon) Keep in mind these are the FIRST strikeoffs and haven't been thinned out, corrected, etc. But this is the very first I've even seen of them (sent from Kathy's studio late last night). I won't get to feel them in my grubby little hands until TUESDAY when I have the privledge of visiting Kathy at the M&M studio in California! (squeel!) It just all works out that my kids are on spring break and we're heading to see my folks and they just happen to live less than 30 min. from Kathy! How awesome is that!? So, I hope you will understand my secrecy. It's been killing me not to share with you. I just wanted to make sure that it's REAL. Market is going to be CRAZY this year as I probably won't have official prints back from the mill in time. :o( Hey, it's my first time doing this- I'm learning TONS! But I have some fun things for my booth planned so I'm keep you posted along the way. Sorry to be so lengthy here- just had lots to fill you in on! Hope you don't mind! ;o)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A promise is a promise

I have been very fortunate to have recieved fabric from Michael Miller to makes some samples of my patterns out of. I have had so much playing with this fabric. I was hoping to show you some fun finished projects but my weekend didn't let me get that far. So here's a couple pictures of partially unfinished tops. I am really LOVING this line of Gray, Citron, and Black. Remember this post? After I mentioned I was looking for yellow and gray, Kathy Miller contacted me wondering if I was interested in any of this line.Um, YEAH! Oh, I can't tell you how much fun it is. This is only one of 3 quilts I am making from this line.

I have this thing with Christmas fabric. I have always felt like it should be Red and Green. All this Aqua blue and other colors is really throwing me off. But lately my fabric choices have been a little less than traditional. I've been seeing the fun and out-of-the-box-ness of throwing a few extra colors in and I'm LOVING the results. Which brings me to my next project.

I have always envisioned my Park City pattern in Christmas fabics. The flower applique has a slight snow-flake influence. Anyhow, these prints are FUNKY! In a good way :o) Michael Miller's Funky Christmas was just was I was looking for to go a little less than traditional with Christmas this year. Fun aqua, a splash of pink, lime-y-er green, and of course the regular red and pine green of christmas. If you're looking for some FUN this christmas, you've got to check out this line! :o) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some sewing to do.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I don't really do April Fool's Day, do you? I mean, I usually get fooled once or twice but I don't do any of the fooling. Some people go all out. I think it's fun. I just don't have the brain power for any of it.

Would love to hear some of the fantastic April Fool's jokes you were a part of!

Hope your day is great- I'm spending mine sewing. Don't worry- pictures to come on MONDAY of all my "waiting" projects!