Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Local Love

Hi and bye.

I will be gone on vacation to Vermont with Ollie for the next few days (we leave on Friday) and in the meantime I have been busying myself with making Denyse-y blocks and filling out our wedding registry and watching Project Runway.

I wanted to leave you with a list of the local places that I "heart."

Darling and Delisle
: Of COURSE. Chris and Bernie are a super-sweet, super talented husband and wife team and they are keeping the Midcoast presentable and chic. Love, love, LOVE this place.

Cabin Pottery
: Another husband and wife team. Andrea is a customer and friend of mine and her man Joe is a local character. Together they make amazing pottery. If you had told me that it was possible to make a Fish and Fly mug (normally Ollie's thing) that I would actually LIKE I would have said "Hush your mouth!" But, it's true. Check out their vessel sinks, too.

Susan Bartlett Rice Oil Paintings: Susan is one of my Mom's old art students. Again, if you had told me that there could be a painting of a Lobsterman or IceFisherman that I would actually LIKE... but I LOVE Susan's stuff.

Kindred Gifts
: Owned by my home-girl Liza and full of the nicest, handmade goodness. Like Etsy only in real life and better.

Long Winters Farm:
My friend Mandy makes the most amazing body products and has a super-successful Etsy shop. I highly recommend the Brown Sugar and Fig hand cream (which she custom blended for me one time) and the lip-gloss (which she made and specially labeled as goodies at our Denyse Schmidt workshop) but her real claim to fame is the Goat's Milk Soap. This girl has got it goin' on. How can you not love flavors like "Hippie Stink" and "Bloody Lumberjack?"

That's it for now.

I'm SURE there are more, but it's late and I'm tired.

Enjoy perusing and I will see you in September!!!



PS Sewing Lounge is ON for Friday night... Mom will be hosting so go easy on her. A Mojito, perhaps, is in order (Nadine????)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Craft Swap Pix (Finally!)

Sorry these are a bit late but it's AUGUST y'all!

It was a great night with over 30 ladies bringing their finest...

I made a Denyse-Schmidt style quilt (of course!)
completely from scraps and it was the second craft to be unwrapped and it got passed around a LOT...

And at the end of the night, Rebecca T. went home with my quilt and I am glad she got it, because earlier that week she told me that I had the "best scraps in town."

I told her that was the sweetest thing anybody ever told me.

And I got Meredith's craft (again!), and I am sooo glad I did: she knit a beautiful shawl, packed it into a beautiful tote bag and threw in a beautiful knitting needle case.

That's a lot of beautiful!

I made out like a... 'ow do you say... bandit?

I don't have a picture because it was way to hot to sport the shawl, but let's just say I am ready for the Fall and can't wait to kick through the leaves with this shawl wrapped around me.

Thanks, Meredith and thanks EVERYBODY who came out!

(I'm sorry if I put your pic in here without your permission... I hope none of you are in witness relocation and I hope nobody sues me!!!)

If you want to join us, the next Craft Swap will be in December...

Don't miss it!



Sunday, August 16, 2009

This is what you get!


You leave the internet for two seconds and this is what happens:

2 New Oliver+S Patterns...

How cute is that dress?

And you can make the coat as a rain coat, a jacket, or a winter coat with an option for a removable, quilted lining... (must be a 4 scissors pattern!)

The Jump Rope Dress and the School Days Jacket will be available in early September.

I can't WAIT to get my hands on that coat pattern and make a sample!

There is a new fabric line from Denyse Schmidt...


Denyse's new collection is called "Hope Valley" and will be available later this year...


Amy Butler has a new line of finished bags available...

I don't care how much these bags are... I want one!

(Go to amy's site and click on the "new" icon for a slide show of more bags)

These are available in early Fall (I'm WORKING on it!!!)

And this has nothing to do with the internet, but has anybody else heard of "Lost in Austen?"

It's Pride&Prejudice meets Back to the Future meets Inkheart...

Parlez-vous addicted?

I'm not usually a fan of Jane Austen knock-offs, but this one came endorsed by Mom and it truly is great.

Fall and Winter, you are looking better and better and betterer all the time!

See you again soon with Craft Swap pix and deets!!!



We have a winner!

... And she's local!!!

(I'm 2 for 2!!!)

Ollie picked lucky number 17, and that is Miss Liz Stebbins...

Congratulations, Girly-Girl!

(I see you practically on a daily basis, so no need for your e-mail, I will hand over the loot when I see you next).

Thanks to everyone who entered and especially to our cute, cute MODA man Michael for hooking me up with extra fab-ric!

See you again soon with the Craft Swap post...



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beaucoup Buttercups and a Giveaway

Well, my hat is off to miss Iris who was so great at the Summer Sew Along.

We all have some gorgeous Buttercup Bags to show for it.

(Aaand, she made some super-delish cheddar & dill scones, the likes of which I have never tasted!)

I thought the Buttercup Bag was a great pattern: very well written directions and just the right amount of sewing for a summer's night.

In a couple of hours I turned this...

Into this!

I have the day off today and tomorrow...


I am (almost) all done with my project for the Craft Swap this Friday night.

I can't tell you what it is yet, but I AM very excited about it and I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about my project... later.

That means I have some free time for other sewing projects, like the Friendship Bag Swap.

This looks like so much fun... go check it out and I would love it if you signed up...

Maybe you will be partnered with me!

Alright, I will get to the part you are all waiting for... the Giveaway.

I find myself with an embarrassment of riches.

I told you about buying the same magazine twice, remember?

The magazine is one of my favorites: American Patchwork & Quilting, with some guh-reat patterns and ideas in there.

I loved it so much I bought it twice (whoops!).

I thought it might be nice to pass it along.

Well, I also have some fabric that was given to me recently.

I have said it before that when I (of all people) get free fabric it is not dissimilar to when celebrities get free clothes.

It's really not fair at all, but them's the breaks.

So I am spreading the wealth...

I have two caps of fabric, both from MODA.

A "cap" is what the sales people show us when a new fabric collection is introduced.

Each cap has quite a little bit of fabric on it, with samples from every design and colorway from the collection, so you know they are going to look nice together.

Our cutie-patootie MODA man Michael gave these ones to me.

(And he really is cute, too... he looks like George Clooney with perhaps a smattering of Mandy Patinkin)

They are from two different collections:

"Simplicity" by Three Sisters

and "Birdie" by Me & My Sister Designs.

What's up with the sisters-y names?

Must be the hot thang.


If you are still with me, the giveaway will be for the whole she-bang:

The magazine and the 2 collections of fabric samples (and that is a LOT of fabric, let me warn you!)

To be entered for the Giveaway, just leave me a nice little comment and I will have my own personal random number generator (Ollie) pick a number on Saturday night.

Alrighty, I am off to take a shower and then let the loafing/sewing-fest begin!

Have a nice couple of days, sign up for the giveaway, don't forget about the craft swap and good luck to everyone in all three of these endeavors!

See you again soon,



Monday, August 3, 2009

Great news!

2 things:

A) I was feeling reeeaaallly lazy and have no ambition to clean out the sale room so we are extending our Midsummer's Clearance Sale by a few more days. I would get some good deals while you can because who knows when the mood will strike to pack it all up again. Probably by Friday, because...

B) Our fourth Summer Sew-Along is this Friday night!

I have successfully cajoled Iris into helping us with the Buttercup Bag which I am so jazzed to make. Iris is my go-to gal for the Buttercup Bag as I know she has more than a few under her belt.

The Buttercup Bag is a free download on the MadebyRae website. I just printed mine out this morning and I am soooo impressed with the directions and the pictures of the finished bag. Thank you, Rae, for sharing the goodness!

Here are a few things for everyone to keep in mind:

• Iris recommends Home-Dec weight Fat Quarters for the exterior of the bag and quilting weight for the lining. We have lots of home dec FQ's to choose from at the store and even MORE quilting weight FQ's.

• Everyone will need (in addition to their 2 Fat Quarters) a magnetic snap (of which we have plenty) and two buttons (optional).

• Alewives will provide everyone with a small scrap of heavyweight interfacing.

Sew-Along is super-informal, with no "teacher" and no set time as to when you need to arrive. Sewing Lounge starts at 4 and goes until 8:30 and you can show up and jump in at anytime. Lots of gals bring food to share, but it is certainly not required, and we always have a really good time.

Thanks again, Rae - and congratulations on your new darling Clementine! - for designing such a great pattern (check out her Buttercup Bag Flickr group) and a BIG thanks to Iris for letting me bribe you into coming over and being our Grand Dame of Buttercup Bags.

Now I am dreaming of which combinations of Fat Quarters I am going to use..

I know one of these coats is in my near future (long or short, what do you think?)

And I KNOW I am going to make it out of this fabric:

So I think it would be really snazzy if I made myself a little Buttercup Bag out of this fabric:

Armed with a coat and a bag like that, I can (almost) bear the thought of colder weather.

See you on Friday night!



Saturday, August 1, 2009

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

I wanted to tell everyone about a special exhibit that was at Maine Quilts this year.

It was the most powerful art exhibit I have ever seen in my life, and tackles a subject that effects everyone in one way or another but has a special significance for me.

And the way they tackle this subject has special significance for me, too...

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is a grouping of art quilts made by different individuals based on their experiences with Alzheimer's patients. Each quilt was accompanied by a story from the quilt's creator and some sobering facts about the disease.

Here are some words from the AAQI's website:

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is an Internet-driven, grassroots, totally volunteer effort to raise awareness and fund research through art.... All profit is used to fund Alzheimer's research. Since the AAQI began we have raised more than $285,000 for Alzheimer's research. The AAQI currently administer two major programs. The first is a nationwide traveling quilt exhibit called "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece By Piece." It contains 52 quilts each interpreting Alzheimer's in some way. So far, more than 200,000 people have had the opportunity to see this exhibit.

The second is the "
Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts" project, so named for the urgent need for research dollars and the requirement that these quilts must fit into a cardboard USPS priority mailer without folding. They are small works of art no larger than 9 inches by 12 inches, auctioned on the first day of each month... or sold outright on the Internet or at selected venues across the United States.

The art quilts from the "Alheimer's: Forgetting Piece By Piece" exhibition were on display at Maine Quilts this year.

I was only able to look at one of these quilts.

Then I had to leave the exhibition and I'm sorry I had to leave because I truly wanted to look at all of them, but it was just too raw for me.

The one quilt I looked at was a portrait of a ballerina ( a picture of the author's Grandmother when she was young) that was made up entirely of tiny little squares. From far away, you could see the ballerina clearly but when you approached the quilt and looked at it up close, you lost focus.

It was very easy to see how this concept related to Alzheimer's.

Later on that weekend I met Ami Simms, who is the AAQI's show coordinator.

I wanted to thank her for putting together the show and tell her how much I believed in what she was doing and tell her how powerful those quilts were.

I only got as far as saying Thank You.

Then I started crying in the middle of the civic center and I had to leave and walk laps around the building to calm down.

I know I've mentioned before how when I start crying I generally need a couple of hours to stop, but I didn't have a couple of hours this time.

My Grandfather has Alzheimer's disease, and as confusing and difficult as I know that must be for him, the person I feel even worse for is my Grandmother Florence, because she takes care of my Grandfather.

She never compromises his care or his dignity, and I know it is a frustrating, thankless job for her, but I see every day how much she loves my Grandfather.

Every time he asks a question she answers him honestly, even if that question is

"When are we going home?" when they are in the house they've lived in for 60 years.

"Where are my parents?" when his parents passed away decades ago.

Or "Where is Florence?" when she is right there beside him.

I don't know how she does it.

These are the things I thought about as I was circling the Augusta Civic Center, trying to compose myself.

And I thought, if I could channel those thoughts into a quilt, I would do it.

But I don't want to channel those thoughts into a quilt.

I wanted to deal with things in my own way and write about them here, to make my peace with my Grandparent's situation and just put it out there for everyone to read...

I wanted to say that I am sad for my Grandfather and sad for my Grandmother and sad for myself.

But proud, too.

I'm proud of how my Grandmother faces the hand she has been dealt.

If I am ever in her position I can only hope that I would act with half the grace that she does.

And if I am ever in my Grandfather's position... I would want to be treated the way she has treated him.

So, this is my way of saying Thank You to Ami and to everyone who poured their hearts and souls into the AAQI.

To say that I was touched would be a huge understatement.

I was moved, and I was comforted.

I encourage each and every one of you to visit the AAQI site and learn about the project for yourself.

And if you are ever able to see the quilts in person, be prepared for some powerful art.

Thanks for listening, and I will be back soon with some lighter fare, I promise.