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Archive for October, 2009

Rural Jardin

It’s really nice knowing people who go to Market.  For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Market is the place where all the shop owners, fabric and quilt designers, and teachers get to go and see all the new fabrics, patterns, books, and notions that will come out in next six months.  (It’s only open to the trade.) 

It can be a madhouse, especially Sample Spree…which is usually the night before market opens.  It’s an opportunity for designers and shop owners to get a head start by purchasing pre-cut fabrics (fat quarter towers to charm squares) from a number of fabric manufacturers.  This allows folks like me…who want to get a head start in designing a class or pattern…to complete their  finished projects around the time that the fabric comes on the market.

Rural Jardin by Moda (available in stores 4/10)

French General's "Rural Jardin" (available in stores 4/10)

Well, I wasn’t able to go to Market this year…but, someone who went brought me some Moda precuts of Rural Jardin,  the second line of fabric  by Kaari Meng of  French General.    And, I have to confess…these fabrics are really beautiful and have a lot of those pinky reds that I so dearly love.  Since they won’t be out until  Spring 2010, you’ll have a wait a while, but you can certainly begin planning. 

"Rouenneries" by French General

"Rouenneries" by French General

They blend beautifully with Kaari’s first line of fabric, Rouenneries, which I gushed about some months ago when I won the jelly roll pictured on the right  from a giveaway hosted by The Quilt Shoppe (www.thequiltshoppe.net/).  

Rouenneries has been so popular I just have a feeling that it’s going to fly out of the stores.  So far, I’ve probably seen a half dozen new pattern designs featuring the fabric, including a wonderful applique pattern by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs fame.  It is called Le Jardin and Anne was kind enough to allow me to post the photograph below.  You can find out more about Bunny Hill Designs by clicking here  bunnyhilldesigns.com.   And, if you want to see the entire line, including linen/cotton blends and wovens, visit the Moda webpage at www.unitednotions.com/fcc_Rouenneries.pdf.

"Le Jardin" by Bunny Hill Designs

"Le Jardin" by Bunny Hill Designs

Precuts for Rounneries have been in the stores for a couple of weeks, but fabric on the bolt should be arriving in the next week or so.  In fact, if you live in the South Bay Area, I happen to know that the Prairie Queens Quilt Shop in San Jose will be getting the entire line of this fabric in their store.  Keep checking their website at www.prairiequeensquilts.com/ to find out when they arrive.  Don’t forget to support your local shops!

Disclaimer:  I hate to sound like an infomercial….but when I see something I love I gotta share the news.   Just think of me as the applique whisperer…or is that the quilt town crier.

–Penny

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My Applique Beginnings

"In my Garden" by Nadine Thompson

"In my Garden" by Nadine Thompson

I managed to drag myself (yes, I’m just now getting over all my adventures of the past month) to the Pacific International Quilt Festival (www.quiltfest.com) this past weekend.   I promised myself that it would be worth it because I would,  a) run into people I know and haven’t seen in a while; b) would be able to see quilts up front and in person that I’ve wanted to see, and c) that I knew if I put my mind to it I could enter without buying anything!  Really!

And, I am so very glad I went!  One of the treats that I wasn’t expecting was to see the magnificent quilt shown above by Nadine Thompson.   Called In My Garden, it is hand-applique and hand-quilting at it’s finest and most technical perfection.  No surprise that Nadine won a blue ribbon for best hand work.

But what makes this quilt siting of greater significance for me is the fact that Nadine was my first applique instructor several years ago.  The class was at Thimblecreek, and  sitting along side me in that class was another beginner by the name of Verna Mosquera.  You might know Verna by her wonderful applique designs designed under the name The Vintage Spool.  (For more about Verna’s designs, take a peek here — www.thevintagespool.com)  Both Nadine and Verna have gone on to do the most amazing things.  Nadine not only teaches at Elly Sienkiewicz’s Applique Academy (www.ellysienkiewicz.com/), but she is also going to be teaching at a new Baltimore on the Prairie Retreat (www.baltimoreontheprairie.tresajones.com) which will be held September 2010.  It really looks interesting, you might want to take a look

I have much to thank Nadine for in terms of inspiring me to become the dedicated appliquist that I am.   I was extremely fortunate to be able to learn from a master technician; I often refer back to her techniques in my current classes.  And, at the end of that first class I was hooked!  If you want to take a look at Nadine’s blog to see some of her other quilts and designs, go to http://bapplique.blogspot.com.

PIQF also honored Ronda Beyer with another blue ribbon for Best Machine Workmanship for her quilt Gypsy Rosalie.  It was this very same ribbon that Ronda and I won together last year for My Sixth Grade Shoes…so, Ronda is starting her own lucky streak for that prize.  Although, it’s not really luck that got her these ribbons, it’s her talent.  Congratulations to her!  (I don’t have a picture of her fabulous quilt to post, but I’m sure if you check her blog at rondabeyer.wordpress.com you’ll find one.)

So, my adventure to PIQF paid off in many of the ways I expected.  I did run into old friends who I haven’t seen for a while (my old friend Nancy Crosby, the fab Melodee Wade, and Sandy Klop of American Jane fame), I saw some quilts I was dying to look at up close, and I (almost) managed to get out of there with all my money.  I broke down and the pattern Creme Fraiche (http://figtreequilts.com/details.php?prodId=182&category=5) by Fig Tree Quilts.  But, since I found a $5 bill in the street on my way to the car, it’s almost like not spending any money at all.

–Penny

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A Visit to French General

French General

Christine wrapping up my purchases at French General

For the past few years my friend Pam and I (who have birthdays just a couple of weeks apart) plan a little birthday field trip which usually includes a hotel room somewhere and some shopping at a special store.  For our last birthdays we had decided to pay a little visit to French General (www.frenchgeneral.com) …only to find out that they were moving and that the store wouldn’t be open for a while. 

For those of you not in the know, French General is a wonderful shop in the Los Angeles area owned by Kaari Meng.   A francophile to the core, Kaari’s shop focuses on textiles (both old and those that she designs for Moda based on her vast collection of vintage French fabrics), beads (vintage to new…many you cannot find anywhere else), ribbons, and everything else you need to satisfy the cravings of a true crafter.  So, of course, this was high on our list of places to celebrate birthdays at.

Well, it took a few months for the shop to reopen, and then I was tied up with the American Quilt Study Group meeting and preparation, but this last weekend we finally made it!  It was with great anticipation that we sat out in the parking lot waiting for the doors to open…but, as we walked in we realized we were some place very special. 

The Beads

The Beads

To visit French General is to go to a friend’s house for the afternoon and chat about beads, fabrics, and Europe.  It’s not a store you drop in and breeze out of.  It’s a destination where you go an absorb all that is there…while having a cup of tea and one or two wonderful cookies.  I think we were there four hours and I didn’t even make a dent in the one side of the shop that I visited.  (I didn’t even look at what was on the other wall!) 

What I did do was to select a number of findings, charms, and beads with which I can create.  Four hours at French General translates to many hours of creative pleasure at home combining, threading, glueing, and assemblying the vintage beads and cabochons purchased in an array of hues and styles.   I even managed to pick up a holiday bracelet kit which I plan to sport at any holiday event I’m invited to.  Dispite my detailed list of “gotta haves” that I maticulacily checked off, I’ve realized that a few items were overlooked.  Oh darn…guess I have to go back! 

Currently French General is open Mondays from 11 – 4.  It’s a little difficult for us working folk…but, it’s well worth taking the day off and treating yourself to a wonderful afternoon.  And, Kaari has plans to be open the odd weekend day; for example, she’s hosting a book signing of her latest publication on Sunday, November 1st.

Kaari Meng and Christine bidding us bon voyage

Kaari Meng and Christine bidding us bon voyage

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Desperate Romantics DVD (Region 2)

Desperate Romantics DVD (Region 2)

While I was away at the AQSG Seminar last week a little present made it’s way into my mailbox!  All the way from England,  my DVD copy of the BBC’s Desperate Romantics was sitting there begging me to drop into into my player.   (If you’re wondering what this is all about…read down a few posts and all will be revealed.) 

So, on my agenda for the next couple of weeks is to carve out a little time to watch this and a few other DVDs that I’ve been hording for the last few months…but never found the time or attention span to watch.

Just a note of warning to those fellow American Anglophiles … this DVD isn’t (yet) available for Region 1 players.  But, a review of my earlier posts will reveal all about watching UK DVDs here in the states. 

If you have a particular DVD you’ve watched lately that you think is particularly good…please post it here.  I’d love to know what I’ve been missing.  Have a great fall weekend!

–Penny

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Back to Reality

AQSG Seminar 2009

AQSG Seminar held in San Jose, CA

Well, if you’ve been checking my blog you may have wondered what has kept me so occupied that I wasn’t adding any posts.  Well, some time ago I told you all about the American Quilt Study Group meeting that I was co-chairing…and after three years of intensive planning, the meeting was this past Thursday through Sunday. 

What an event it was!  With so many helpful hands it was destined to be a success!  Everything from the keynote speaker (Jean Ray Laury), special presentation speaker (Sandi Fox), a special exhibit organized by Julie Silber highlighting the very best from California quilt collectors, an opening event honoring Joyce Gross at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, 14 different study centers, five research paper presentations, silent and live auctions, and vendors were wonderful!  It was a huge effort that depended on the academic, organizational, and the labor of many individuals.  If you were a participant or helper…my deepest thanks go to you for helping us make this event such a success.  

For more information about AQSG and what we do, check out our website at www.americanquiltstudygroup.org/.

"Frost on the Ferns" by Blackbird Designs

"Frost on the Ferns" by Blackbird Designs

So, now that life is resuming to somewhat normal…I’m looking forward to begin teaching my next class, Frost on the Ferns.  The class, which begins later this month at Prairie Queens Quilt Shop in San Jose, uses the pattern with the same name designed by Blackbird Designs.  It is from their fairly  recent book, When a Cold Wind Blows.  For more about that book, take a look at my earlier post dated May 2, 2009 as linked below. 

And, although it’s not a great picture (I was trying to find a vantage point that didn’t include too many displays)…you might just be able to make out the fabulous quilting that Ronda Beyer (rondabeyer.wordpress.com) did on it.  It is truly magnificent!  Big thanks to Ronda for making my quilt sing.   I appreciate every stitch you take in my quilts. 

For links to the pattern, etc., go to penelopetucker.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/another-top-finished/.

–Penny

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