Pictured above: When the going gets tough around here, my daughter and I go into the backyard and "make bouquets".
Now I do have to set the stage for you just a bit... as a family we don't do a lot of work in the garden until after Quilt Market, so whatever is growing or better yet, blooming, back there is either overgrown or has self-seeded from years past. Soooo, our favorite activity includes making bouquets from our overgrown herb plants... a little parsley, mint and oregano accented by the few blooms that we were able to scare up here and there. Those are definitely our version of bouquets.
They smell great and to be honest, I actually really love the "meadowy" green feel of them much more than most traditional flower bouquets from the store. Plus, you can't beat the "picking company". Although she sure does talk a lot.
On the family front: Our weekend was spent at a T-Ball game, a Baseball game, 3 1/2 play dates, 2 trips to the pool, 2 major room clean ups, a mom's craft night at my house, a neighbor's baptism party, church, a dinner out for sushi, eldest son's friend's birthday party, a little barbequing.. gee, I'm sure I am forgetting something. Oh yes, a much needed glass of my favorite white wine.
On the fabric front: a quilt finished and brought over by Diana my quilter [gotta love that girl], waiting for fabric to arrive, 2 quilts bound, waiting for fabric to arrive, a photo shoot for 4 quilts and a magazine feature, waiting for fabric to arrive, the finishing of 3 patterns for Market.. yes, you guessed it, checking the tracking number for fabric to arrive.
As of just a few minutes ago, it looks like its scheduled to arrive tomorrow! If all goes well, it will get here while I have a a studio full of sewers. If all goes well. I have learned to not get my heart set on these things until they actually happen.
So meanwhile I am working on patterns. And waiting for fabric to arrive. :-)
Its that time again, isn't it. If you follow this kind of stuff, you can almost feel it in the air. Its excitement mixed with anxiety with a dollop of sheer terror that there just aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done. It happens twice a year in the lives of so many of us. This year I am ramping up more slowly, living in the moment as much as I can. And so I thought I would catch you up on the personal side of things around here, before well before it all goes to - - - - in a hand basket so to speak and my best laid plans to be ahead of the game will disintegrate.
A LITTLE SPRING BREAK
The week before my MODA Retreat extravaganza was Spring Break around here and although it was a bit of a working vacation for us, we did manage to have company for 4 days and a little mini vacation to our new favorite location, Sonoma. I'm telling you, if not for the logistics of it all, I could move there in an instant. There is just something about the pace of life that feels right there.
Anyway, I don't if you read or remember my anniversary post. Well in less than two weeks time, the trees and vineyards went from barely beginning to full bloom. The sights were amazing.
... trees at the Inn where we stayed.
...one of the vineyards that we stopped at on the way up and the way down.
...middle child getting ready for one of our many bike rides in the area.
... Two adirondacks set up right outside our room, as if calling to us. Could have stayed there all day and done nothing else and still been happy.
... got to wander around Sonoma and do one of my favorite pastimes, look at houses. My favorite kind- the dilapidated kind with overgrown rose bushes and peeling paint. I can almost immediately see the story of that house and the generations it has served. I think I stood and stared at this one for 15 minutes. Can you just imagine what this little house on the edge of a small vineyard has seen over the years?
AROUND OUR HOUSE
... Spring has seriously sprung. Cleaning is happening and my favorite French utensils have come out both to be used and to decorate the table.
... the munchkins got dressed up in their finery to celebrate Easter with their grandparents
... the boys, well its a wonder that the boys kept their white shirts, white for most of the day. That was an accomplishment as far as I was concerned. That and the fact that they are hugging here. Makes you forgot the hundreds of arguments in an instant doesn't it?
...And somewhere in the midst of it all we managed to print and ship out our next issue of the Fresh Vintage magazine. Issue #15 - I can't believe we have already done 15 of these- has shipped out and is now available.
...the cover quilt is shown here, Honey Braids. Made with every strip of leftover honey bun [or any 1 1/2" strips] we had laying around the studio! A little bit of this and a little bit of that. If you have never worked on one of these honey braid quilts before, you will LOVE it. It is a bit foolproof, great for any level, perfect to use with that honeybun you have been hoarding or from any stack of leftover 1 1/2" strips. We really had a lot of fun with this one.
And if you come back later tonite... we will have a tiny sneak peek of the upcoming collection. So stay tuned.
In addition to the Snuggle yummies which we have already told you about, we have started to carry a few of our favorite items. You know those ones that you can't live without out? Or at least the ones that we get requests for on almost a daily basis...
If you didn't already hear, we still have a few bolts left of these yummy SNUGGLES and they really make the most amazing backs for quilts. OMG.... they are soft for snuggling I tell you....
We now carry our creamy dreamy, cream tone on tone fabric. Perfect for any Fig Tree project. We are committed to carrying it as often as we can. The one we have in stock now is the cream from the Whimsy collection. As with most of our fabric lines, there is usually a soft cream involved and although we can't guarantee that it will always be exactly the same from line to line [differences in shade and dye lot], we can promise that it will have an incredible hand, will be creaminess personified and will be a dream to work with!
JAPANESE SILK PINS
We have also added my favoriteJapanese silk pins. These pins are seriously "like butter" and even though I feel like an old Saturday night live skit when I say that, they are. Just perfect pins. I don't use any others. Well worth it I think and they come in a charming little tin that is cute just in and of itself!
This is just the beginning of our A Few of Our Favorite Things Category, so stay tuned.
...Fresh Cottons on a Drying Rack, because where else would they be?
I am just back from a wonderful whirlwind of activity, demos, lectures and fun. The annual MODA Retreat is really one of the best opportunities around and if you are a store that has never participated before.... well, run to the next set of signups when they become available. Really, it is completely worth every minute.
We discussed marketing and sales, precuts and patterns, displays and trends. We hung out and had great fun and shared ideas and insights about fabric and our industry. It was exhilarating. Somehow in all of the 4-days of hub-bub, I barely took a single picture. In fact, i am not sure that my camera even came out of my bag more than once or twice. Can we say that my brain was on overload.... JUST A LITTLE!
Highlight #2.... Project Fig Tree. Lets just say, that you never know which of the company execs have a hidden fashion sense and which ones would rather be making a bikini....
Highlight #3, hours and hours... oh wait, and hours, of time wandering through the warehouses.... SHOPPING, yes, SHOPPING. Why you ask? Just because they pretty much have anything that I might ever need, yeah, anything. It was wonderful. They kept calling us to remind us that we were supposed to be somewhere and both Kaari and I kept getting "LOST" by accident, on purpose. Could have slept in there. A bit afraid of the boxes when they come and the bill attached to them.
...pictures borrowed from other designers since my camera seemed to be napping
Highlight #4... a little bit of down time at the Old Craft Store in downtown Carollton. Quilt Shop in the front. Old time General Store in the Back. A functioning United States Post Office in the middle. Really. Thank you Melba.
Highlight #5 a wonderful dinner and stroll through downtown Plano with Roseanne and Cheryl. Thank you ladies for a really wonderful meal, stroll and conversation. And Roseanne, I am still working on that name so stay tuned....
A beautiful evening,
...it doesn't really look like this. Just had fun playing with the colors.
that has left me with daily cravings for Turkish food!
I could have loaded in about a hundred of these vintage images but I thought that perhaps your fingers might get tired of scrolling. There is just something that makes me smile about these vintage Easter postcards every time. The illustrations, the humor, the creaivity... I wonder why we don't work like this today?
Every single one of them inspires me to go and sew and to design. Not sure I will get a chance to do that in the midst of tomorrow's festivities. But...
I will definitely eat eggs.
Have an egg hunt.
Dress kids in their finest.
Go to church.
Have ham... or rather in our Polish tradition, have a delicious pork loin.
Reflect on why we celebrate Easter & be very grateful for my life.
Sneak chocolate eggs. Even though I am supposed to be "eating healthy"
Make traditional Polish potato salad for hours. What am i saying, we have already been cutting & chopping veggies for that since yesterday.
Take pictures of my kids. Lots and lots of pictures.
Pray for sun instead of the rain that is forecasted.
Start the Easter meal with the small bits of food items that we took to the Polish church today to have blessed. See this post for the description of this long passed down tradition in our family.
Make Easter crafts with Ella. More crafts that is. We have enough to hand out to the whole neighborhood already. I have a feeling we will be making more. Just a guess!
Wishing you all the best of days and happiest of Easters.
We have had lots of fun things going on lately and I keep forgetting to share them. I don't know, sometimes it just feels a little too much about me, me , me. Oh yeah, this is a blog about me :-).... so here goes with a warning: there's a lot about me coming up, read at your own risk!
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Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration
Several of you have already mentioned the early release of this latest wonder by the great Jo Packham [of Where Women Create magazine and book fame] and Jenny Doh [former editor of the Stampington family of magazines and bookazines]. This is a wonderful addition to any creative woman's book library [I just did a book review on it in my latest issue of Fresh Vintage #15 which will be up on our site any day now].
I would be gushing about this book whether or not I was involved in it. It just feels like icing on the cake that I got to be one of the features. Artists featured are of every type and variety from jewelry, to textile to paper to collage to photography, each offering a bit of insight about their own journey, what inspires them and various tips along the way. Available now all over I think, but for sure at Amazon.
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Did a really fun interview with the folks at EQ. I love that program and the more I learn about it, the more I enjoy using it. Many times the deadlines come so fast that being able to electronically create a quilt ahead of time is the only way to go around here. EQ makes that possible. But beware... it can get a little addicting.
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Now there is a title for you, huh? I was happy to be asked to be a part of this compilation book by the wonderful British publishing house, David & Charles. When I saw that I was profiled alongside Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries and Marsha McCloskey, I was even more honored. This is definitely more of a traditional quilting book with 8 chapters based around the work and style of 8 different worldwide quilting personalities. Joining the US designers are several from England, Australia and Europe. There is a little something in it for everyone I think since the styles of artists shown are so very different.
Just a few shots of our project for the book. My favorite thing about this pattern.... the secondary brown stars that are created around the outer borders of the quilt. A great way to make a standard hexagon pattern, something a bit more interesting.
Welcome to the online journal of Joanna Figueroa, textile designer, author & owner of Fig Tree & Co, a quilt & sewing pattern company. Let's talk about fabric, design, color, family, life, pickles and bowls... not necessarily in that order!
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