Thursday, September 22, 2011
Joel and I were invited to be guest judges for a fashion show at Utah State University Monday night. Aside from the awkward three-hour-long introduction of Joel (really, when the announcer just kept going and going, Joel and I were getting a bit embarrassed), we had a blast acting like we knew what we were doing as judges. The event was put on by the faculty and students of the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Department, and each of the student designers was given the challenge to create an outfit from recyclable materials. Wow! We were so impressed with their level of creativity.
We were invited to sit on the judging panel by Lindsey Shirley, Utah State University FCS Teacher Educator, because she and her students love using Joel's fabrics in their creative projects, but also because she wanted judges who place family as a huge priority in their lives. And, seeing as how Joel and I are expecting our fifth child in about six months, we certainly fit that description!
Here we are pictured with Dr. Shirley and a couple of her students:
We were asked to choose a winner for each of the four seasons of the year, and one "Best of the Year" designer. I didn't think about getting photos of the winners until everyone was on their way out of the ballroom after the show, but I did manage to catch three quickly snapped photos of a few of the winners:
Our favorite for winter was the "Inspired by the Movies" dress, created out of movie posters and film tape.
I couldn't find the winners for the spring and summer seasons, so you won't get to see the creativity that went into designing an outfit with beach towels and stuffed animals, and the other with a cowboy boot bodice and button-up shirt skirt.
I personally had two favorites for fall, but the consensus among the judges was the "Goldmine" dress, made out of paper bags:
And finally, the dress that absolutely stunned me when it was displayed on the catwalk was this "Dollar Store Bride" created out of coffee filters, tulle, fabric and broken up CD's. I wish I had taken just a moment longer to get a better shot. This design won the overall "Best of the Year" award.
I was so hesitant to agree to do this event with Joel because I am not a fashion guru, but I'm so glad I went. It turned out to be one of our favorite date nights!
Monday, August 29, 2011
Today is the first day of school for our kids, and I'm just a little bit thrilled by everything I've been able to accomplish today. I mean, I miss the kiddos, but it was time for us all to have a little separation from each other.
As happy as I am to have everyone on a routine once again (and to have some time to think), I am lamenting the end of summer for one reason: I didn't get nearly the amount of creative projects accomplished that I had envisioned. Granted, I had a rather ambitious list that was pretty unrealistic, but I only managed to cross off one big project. I refinished a cabinet for our daughter's bedroom. Seriously, the thing took me all summer! I just couldn't ever seem to find a big chunk of time to work on it.
Here is what it looked like before:
And this is what it looks like now:
I especially love Joel's Aviary II Damask print in the background and the new knobs from Anthropologie:
Maybe one of these days I'll actually have the entire bedroom decorated, but there is still a lot to cross off on my list.
But really, you probably didn't care to read about my lack of summer productivity and were more concerned with finding out if you were chosen as one of the pattern winners, so here is the list of our lucky winners!:
#18 Angela: Vintage Flutter Dress
#25 Monica: Inflight Hobo Bag
#41 Melissa Ann: Meadow Spirit Skirt
#73 The Rx Quilter: Empire Maxi Dress
#110 Dawnica: Junior Meadow Spirit Skirt
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest, and happy sewing to our winners!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Joel and I have been "missing in action" on this blog for a while. I wish we had some really good excuse, like “we spent the last two months on vacation in Hawaii”, or “we’ve been spending all of our extra time reading classical literature to our children”, or “we’ve been revamping our entire website, printing patterns, and finishing our studio space.”
Actually, that last one is true. We’ve been extremely busy, just not visibly so here on the blog. I’ve also been going through a weird nesting phase during the past month or so. Every room in the house is getting a major deep-cleaning and reorganization makeover. Maybe I’ll post photos in the near future once I’m completely done.
At the time of Quilt Market we promised to post the pattern and instructions for the Heirloom Quilt; it's finally up in the sidebar for download. I think this is my favorite quilt design of Joel’s. In fact, I’m making another one out of the Sapphire collection for our daughter Kirsten’s soon-to-be-made-over room. I’m really excited to get started in there!
With the new studio space almost complete, the website up and going, and patterns shipping we (and when I say “we”, I’m really saying “I”) should hopefully be more consistent in posting here because I have a lot of fun post ideas in store!
And, to celebrate the renewal of our blogging activity and our new sewing patterns, we'd like to give away one of each pattern, like the fabulous Empire Maxi Dress shown below. Leave a comment to be entered for the giveaway, and we'll announce the winners some time next week!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I think I've decompressed enough to be able to write about our experience at Market last week. I've spent the past three days trying to regain some order in what morphed into a disaster of a home over the past month. Never before have I left our house in such a state when we've gone out of town; I mean aside from dumping the garbage and loading the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, I left everything else a complete disaster. Seriously. As glad as I was to walk into our own home Sunday evening, there was a part of me that still wanted to be sitting in the beautifully-decorated, mess-free booth at Market.
Our bedroom/sewing room/my office/kids' video gaming room (this overwhelming mess of a multipurpose room will be remedied as soon as the basement is finished) has yet to be completely dug out, but if I wait to resume my work until then, I'll never post about Market. So, I'm going to do my best to condense what was a very busy four days into a succinct Quilt Market recap. First things first, here is our lovely booth:
Even after having watched as Joel created it from beginning to end over the past couple of months, first on his computer and then in real life, I was still stunned with how amazing it looked at Market. It was definitely worth all the effort after seeing everyone's reactions to the booth. Here is one of the chairs Joel reupholstered for the show. I'm changing the entire decorating scheme in our living room just so I can make it work in there. I've got some work to do:
Here is the other chair he reupholstered TWO DAYS before the show! Yeah, that caused just a bit of stress, especially when Joel almost impaled his finger with the staple gun:
This is the flower arrangement that garnered much attention. We kept getting asked what the draping greenery was called, but had no clue until Amy Butler informed us it was "Heirloom Amaranth". I guess our florist really was paying attention to our booth theme. Cool.
We are thrilled that this collection of fabric includes the laminate substrate. This is the Farmer's Market tote from Joel's book. I can't wait to use it for all of our pool outings this summer:
This is the quilt Joel designed for the Heirloom collection, using the Ruby colorway. The pattern will be available for download very soon:
I loved modeling a new outfit made from Heirloom prints each day. This Empire Maxi dress in the Ruby colorway was my most favorite!
And, the Empire Maxi Dress is just one of the five new patterns we debuted at the show. All of them will ship July 1st!
We loved having Kim and Kris from DIY Dish and Daria from Boutique Cafe stop by to film a segment in our booth.
My very favorite part of those four days was meeting so many incredible people. In the six years that Joel has designed for Freespirit and Westminster Fabrics, this was my first time meeting the people who work there. Joel and I were both flattered when four of the Westminster ladies were wearing outfits made out of his Heirloom prints on the first day of the show; what a fantastic team to be working with!
Our booth neighbor was Mark Cesarik, the newest designer for Freespirit. Mark and his wife Cara were hilarious and kept us entertained during the slow moments of the show. Regrettably, I failed to get a photo with them, so I hope they don't mind me stealing this one from their blog.
In fact, I failed to take very many photos at all. I don't know what happened to my normal photo-happy self. I guess it was too much to think about when we had so many other people snapping photos of the booth and us all day long.
I enjoyed meeting all of the designers under the Westminster umbrella, including Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Tula Pink, Erin McMorris, Jennifer Paganelli, and Valori Wells. I mean WOW! What a talented group of people.
I have to say though, meeting all of the wonderful people who stopped by our booth was the most rewarding part of the show. Watching them react to Joel's designs with such a positive, and sometimes outright melodramatic way, was so entertaining. I especially loved the ladies who were starstruck upon meeting Joel for the first time. I think my favorite reaction was that of Jamie, one of the employees from Material Girls, a local quilt shop. She just stood there gaping for almost a full minute and kind of looked like she was about to cry.
Joel and I also loved spending a few moments talking with John Adams of Quilt Dad, Sandi Henderson, Liesel and Todd from Oliver + S, Amy Callaway from thebelleandthebeau, Chelsea Anderson from Pink Fig Patterns, Charlie and Lindsay Prezzano from Hawthorne Threads, Corinne from Persnickety Clothing and on and on.
The team from the Quilt Barn in Kimberly, Idaho were also a lot of fun. In the end, they even convinced Joel and I to sell the Citrine Empire Maxi dress (pictured in the background below) to their shop owner so she could wear it during her trip to France in two weeks. We tried to convince her that if the dress was going, Joel and I needed to go as well. No such luck though.
Before leaving for the show, I had the erroneous idea that by being away from our children, the weekend would be somewhat relaxing for Joel and I and make up for all the dateless weeks prior to our leaving. I had images of romantic dinners out, maybe a walk around Temple Square, catching a movie together, but we were so exhausted most evenings that we just collapsed from exhaustion after dinner and called it a night.
We were fortunate to slip away for a couple of hours though on Thursday evening and watch our son play in a soccer game that just happened to be the only game of the season scheduled in downtown Salt Lake. We had only been gone one day, but when we walked over to the game and saw him, my heart tugged in my chest because I already missed our kids so much. His team won the game, the weather was perfect and Joel and I grabbed take-out from Macaroni Grill for dinner...and then some Olive Garden for dessert. It was a perfect night.
Well, I thought I could keep this succinct, but there was just too much I wanted to include. I loved my first Quilt Market and the fact that Joel and got to be there together this time.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I'm somewhat obsessed with family pictures. I make my family endure this tradition at least twice a year, and I'm pretty sure it drives them crazy. So, I consider it a huge feat when I can manage to pull off a successful photo shoot. I'm so happy with how our photos turned out, thanks to our photographer Jessica, who was extremely patient with our not-so-cooperative three-year-old and super-squinty seven-year-old.
I had a vision for this photo months ago, but am still surprised we actually pulled it off. I have my friend Jill to thank for sewing the girls' skirts (this is the Junior Meadow Spirit Skirt pattern) and Amy at thebelleandthebeau.com for sewing the awesome ties for Joel and the boys. I sewed the Vintage Flutter Dress in the Sapphire colorway for myself. I was pretty pleased with my handiwork until I went to sit down and the zipper split open at the bottom. Oops. It's a good thing Jessica and my family were the only ones around to witness that little embarrassment.
Joel thought it was kind of dorky that I made him and Carson pull their ties out of their sweaters, but I wanted Amy to see how great they looked!
We're making our final preparations for Quilt Market this weekend. I'd like to say we're completely ready and that we'll be able to enjoy a relaxing Mother's Day together tomorrow, but we still have a long list of items to check off. And unfortunately, I woke up with a sore throat and headache today, and our 7-year-old woke up with a fever and stomachache. Pretty awesome. I guess the timing could be worse, but now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Joel's immune system is strong enough to fend off all the germs, at least until Market is over.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I can't believe Quilt Market is in TWO WEEKS! I'm getting really excited, especially after the progress we made this past week and seeing how everything is coming together.
This will be my first experience ever attending and I've been peppering Joel with question after question. My queries have had anything to do with the setup and school house before the show begins to what to expect during the show and whether or not he'll be embarrassed when he introduces my tongue-tied self to Anna Maria Horner or Amy Butler. Just kidding on that last one. I'm sure I'll be completely cool and composed.
As I mentioned, this was a very productive week for us, thanks to the help of a few very talented friends who helped us out with sewing, watching our kids, modeling and editing pattern instructions. We will be introducing 5 sewing patterns at the show and had our friend, Angie model the two dresses for us. She was such a sport to put up with Joel and I as we directed her every movement during two different shoots. We feel fortunate that both shoots worked out so well because the weather was insane! A torrent of sleet and rain would be falling one minute and then it would be sunny and calm ten minutes later.
By the way, I did get my way with the family photo shoot on Easter. I feel kind of badly that I resorted to using Mother's Day as the crowning piece to my convincing argument. As soon as I mentioned that all I wanted for Mother's Day was a beautiful family portrait to hang in our living room, he acquiesced. I can't wait to see how the images turned out, even though our three-year-old was more interested in sticking out his tongue than smiling. As soon as I have them, I will post some images from the shoot so you can see the "Junior Meadow Spirit Skirt" pattern. All of the patterns will be available in June.
I'm off to make some double-welt cording for the GORGEOUS chair Joel has covered in the green Blockprint Blossom from the Sapphire colorway. It has inspired an entirely new design scheme for our living room.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Despite the fact that I'm so ticked off because it's snowing again, my spirit is soaring. Our advance yardage of Heirloom in the voile substrates showed up on the doorstep this morning, and oh-my-goodness, I'm about to thrust myself into a sewing frenzy! This stuff is absolutely gorgeous, and will look so stunning in the two dress patterns we will be releasing next month at Quilt Market. My head is spinning right now with all kinds of ideas for these prints. I've never actually sewn anything with voile, and now that I have 12 3-yard cuts of this luscious fabric, I know it's not enough for everything I want to do. But, if I have my way, there WILL at least be a family photo shoot (yes Joel, just embrace the experience) with us all dressed in our Easter best, which for this year will include ties, dresses and skirts made out of the voile and cotton prints in the Sapphire colorway. Oooohhh, I can't wait!