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November 2007
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January 2008

December 2007

After Christmas Sale

Merry-the-day-after-Christmas- Some years I have braved the stores on this day, looking for the perfect deals on the cute items that I couldn't justifying buying for myself or for the house on the days leading up to Christmas. But this year, I had child care for the younger two and the oldest in the first day of football camp [Oh Lord help me!!....] and just couldn't bring myself to spend my day shopping when there was so much cleaning, organizing and project planning to do in the studio and office. And so today found me busy as a bee, trying to squeeze 5 days worth of work into 6 hours... its amazing what a mom can do when she knows that all of her "vacationing" children are well taken care of! As a result of my organizing, I am offering our first ever AFTER CHRISTMAS 25% OFF SALE. FROM DEC. 26- JANUARY 2, 2008 All of our Christmas, Thanksgiving or red & green & white patterns: Ftq610 Mistletoe Hollow A Yuletide Snowflake Peppermint Swirls Strawberry Lilies Boughs of Pomegranates Harvest Fruit & Winterberries Poinsetta Baskets Harvest Cornucopia Red & Cream Stars To see all of these patterns go here and see if you might have to have any of them! During checkout enter promotional code : FIG and you will automatically receive 25% off. I also happen to have a few Urban Indigo Jelly Rolls,Modaurbanjelly Allspice Tapestry Jelly Rolls & a small overstock of those wonderful leather handles that we stock for our Easiest Handbags Ever patterns .Handleslg. The Jelly Rolls & Handles will be 15% off until January 2nd or while they last. Email me if you wish to buy either the jelly rolls or the handles. First come, first serve on those since there are just a few. Talk to you soon.

Merry Christmas

Ftq503image I just want to wish all of you the Merriest of Christmases!! For me tomorrow, the 24th is the day our family celebrates the most. It is considered Christmas in Poland and therefore Christmas at our house as well. There are many special traditions and foods that only come this one day a year for us but I won't regale you with all of those right now.... lets just say that there is a lot of cabbage and potatoes! Mostly I just wanted to sit down for a moment and thank you for being a part of the creative process for me these months, for being such a gracious and willing audience to my musings and thoughts. I have really enjoyed blogging and am looking forward to another year full of blog fun and festivities. For now, I am sincerely hoping that all of you spend your holidays with family and friends enjoying one another and all of the gifts in your life. But first I thought I'd throw up a pic of one of our best selling Christmas quilts... Mistletoe Hollow. I think there is just something about this little quilt that captures people's imagination... can't you just picture yourself inside that little church on Christmas Eve? And those other images.... just a few favorite vintage Christmas images. Stay tuned until right after Christmas for more Paris pictures if you can handle any more.... Merry Christms to all of you! Talk to you soon, Joanna. 0486275175_04_carol20belanger20graf0486275175_03_carol20belanger20graf 0486262650_22_gabriella20oldham_wis 048699967x_07_dover_santa20making20

Patchwork in Paris

Well, surprise, surprise, here's another post from my trip to Paris... This time I am taking you on a little voyage through the craft & patchwork show that I attended while in Paris, in fact this show, named Cree Attitude, was the reason for the timing of my Parisienne adventure! Quiltmania, my favorite French patchwork magazine asked me to show one of my Christmas quilts, Mistletoe Hollow, in their booth at the show which meant that I got a backstage pass, so to speak, to see the show itself. This was a general craft show, or a hobby show as they referred to it, and the exhibitors ranged from patchwork shops [quilting is generally referred to as patchwork in Europe], to embroidery & all types of needlework, to knitting, to decoupage & scrapbooking to ceramics & food crafts, to weaving & woodworking... It was wonderful to see the wide variety of handicrafts that are all enjoying such an enchanting comeback in France in the recent years. Dsc_00741085 Here is just the first batch of photos from that show, showing you mostly some patchwork & needleworks done in the very traditional French country color of linen & red, mixed with toiles and embroidery, etc. It is such a wonderful combination of textures and feels... don't be surprised if you catch glimpses of some of this inspiration in some upcoming fabric lines... I'm just saying, don't be surprised... Dsc_01031112 It was very nice to be so well received in a country where I really don't speak but a few trite phrases. I found that I did speak the international language of fabric and design... all the gracious patchwork shops knew who I was! I found that both an honor and somewhat intimidating as well... so far away from home, before being introduced I felt somewhat anonymous and more of an "onlooker" into another world... in a good observer kind of way. But now I was known, by people with whom I could not communicate... it was a very interesting sensation for me, especially after my stay in Madrid where I could communicate fluently. They enjoyed showing me projects from their stores that they had created from some of my past lines, as a few of these photos will show. Their projects and their booths were lovely. Dsc_01211128 One of the things that I am enamored with in French patchwork, is the proliferous use of taupe, natural and grey linen in their projects. Not only in needlework, but in patchwork and all types of fabric projects as well. Most of the patchwork booths showed some projects of that flavor and I found myself coming back to them again and again.... Dsc_01161124 I have more Cree Attitude vignettes to share but for now I just leave you with these photos and the realization once again that the French know something special about presentation, don't they? Dsc_01071115 Dsc_01101118 Dsc_01261132 Dsc_01251131 Dsc_01281134 Dsc_01241130 Talk to you soon.

Joyeux Noel & a Snowflake

Have you all had enough of Paris? You know I've just barely scratched the surface of the 353 photos I took while there.... I thought I'd interject a little quilt shot of one of our best selling Christmas quilts, Yuletide Snowflake. It is a traditional Bethlehem or Lone Star made in warm Christmas colors and with the added applique you can turn it into a grandiose snowflake! Now let me just tell you something about this quilt... ready for it.... ready for it.... this quilt has no templates, no special rulers, no insets seams and basically anyone can make this type of star! How this is possible is that if you use a jelly roll and cut your strips on the angles indicated in the pattern, you can make super easy diamond strips. When you position the same colors in the same spots, you make that fabulous lone star pattern. To top it all off, I figured out a way to add in all of the background pieces without making a single inset or "y" seam.... can you believe it? Now there is absolutely no reason why everyone can't make a bethlehem star pattern such as this one even in time for Christmas. Although you might want to make a bit smaller than this giant one, but any size is beautiful! Dsc_01621356 Dsc_01681362 Hope your holiday preparations are going well. Talk to you soon.

Rue de Rivoli

Another early evening walk that I wished I had time to do more than once, I began on the Rue de Rivoli and wandered down quite a few streets in the very center of Paris. To orient you just a bit, the Rue de Rivoli is the street that runs behind the infamous Louvre museum and the Tuilleries Gardens and it is towards the beginning of one of the great shopping areas in Paris. It might not be quite as well known as the Champs de Elysees or quite as fancy as the Galleries Lafayette & the Boulevard Hausmann but Rue de Rivoli & the streets surrounding it like the Rue Saint Honore, Rue des Capucines and Rue Paix, have countless high fashion neighbors with some of the most charming & beautiful holiday window displays I have ever seen. The closer you walk toward the Opera and the Galleries Lafayette, the greater the names of the stores become, names like Tiffany, Cartier, Versace, Chanel and the names go on... all ending in the Plac de Vendome which you can see here lit up at night. Dsc_01751177 Now the flavor of this area is quite different than the areas I have shared about on the previous two posts. This is definitely an area of chic and high fashion, upscale stores with glitzy windows. Intermixed here and there are beautiful little boutiques, like the one you see me in browsing through handmade and painted utensils [ don't even ask me how many of those cute little utensils came home with me... let's just say that I could almost start a small restaurant.. and no 2 match.... playing them was just like playing with fabric swatches... oh, the patterns & the colors....]. Dsc_01911190 One of the most upscale fabric stores in all of Paris, Henri Maupiou, just stepping inside for a few minutes felt like being in a different world... and the fabrics... well, lets just say that I wasn't even sure that I dare touch them... but to look ... Dsc_01931191 Some of these other shots are just beautiful window displays that caught my eye. Some so simple, yet so elegant, others like the chocolate store, I could just stare at... the pattern arrangements of chocolates, who would have thought that would be inspiring, but it was LOL! Dsc_01881188 Dsc_01871187_3 Dsc_01861186 Dsc_01841185 Dsc_01771179 Dsc_01821184_4 Dsc_01801182 Hope your Holiday preparations are going well & that you are finding peace in this sometimes stresful season. Talk to you soon.

Market Street

There is something really wonderful about arriving in a new place with the feeling and sensation that you have been there before, that you feel at home. That is the feeling I got when I walked out of the metro stop on St. Michel and walked the few blocks to what would be my home for the following 3 days. Granted, I have been in Paris before, but it feels like more than that. One of the most enticing charcteristics of this city is that it is so "out there" for you to experience. It is truly a walking city and every part of life happens right before you on the "rues" and the "boulevards" of the city. One of my favorite aspects of Parisienne city life is the marketplace. Markets come in many different forms in Paris and believe me when I tell you that you will be well acquainted with all of them by the time I am done posting all of my pictures. Hope you do not tire of photos of baskets of vegetables becuase I was inspired by dozens of them! Dsc_01501154 One of the main types of markets in Paris, is the Market Street. It is a permanent, non-seasonal shopping experience where dozens of specialty food shops are clustered on one street. All of the shops have open doors, with most displays coming out onto the cobblestone streets. These market streets have everything that you would need to make a meal, from beginning to end. Dsc_01661170 No French meal would be complete without some pungent cheese, a good bottle of wine and ofcourse some beautiful flowers as an accompaniment. All of these are available on any Market Street worth visiting. Somehow, all of the produce and products look so scrumptious, simply becuase they are presented literally overflowing the shops, on stands outside on the streets, organized by type and color of food. I find myself at a loss for words as to why this food looks so enticing. For example, I'm not sure how it is that they can make a butcher look photo worthy but somehow they do. Dsc_01451149 I was and still am truly in awe of how simple produce can look so artistic, simply presented, fresh and ready to be taken to the kitchen. There is something about the way the store owners and the store displays interact with the customers, that makes you want to cook. And for those of you who know me, this is quite an accomplishment! No wonder the French are such wonderful chefs... Dsc_01441148 The photos here are all from one of the quintessential Parisienne Market Streets, Rue Mouffetard. The street itself begins with the small fountain shown in the photo above, surrounded by several very well known cafes, including Cafe Delmas where I stopped in for lunch and watched the shoppers go by with their bulging bags of fruits, vegetables, seafood and wine. I sat there only imagining what these things would end up being at the hands of their creative chefs. Dsc_01541158_2 You might be asking yourself, how any of this related to fabric.... It all does! Didn't you know that everything we experience as creative related to the craft that we do, the work that we produce? Its true. I don't know how many countless fabric lines and quilt patterns were whirling around in my imagination as I strolled down Rue Mouffetard. The colors alone are enough to stop you in your tracks.... Dsc_01511345 I really hope that these photos inspire you in their simpicity, their color and their life! I know I feel a growing desire to cook as I write this post. After I cook, I will design! Who knows where we will end up! Dsc_01521156 Talk to you soon. Dsc_01551159 Dsc_01421146 Dsc_01611165

Ile St. Louis

Greetings friends.... or should I say Bonjour or BonSoir- Well Bon Soir it is as the photos I am going to share first where all taken at night in what I have decide to call my favorite little street in Paris. Now, there are a thousand different choices and maybe next time I have a chance to wander the nooks and crannies of Paris, I will find and fall in love with a new favorite. But for this visit, this is the one. For a little geography lesson Paris is divided more or less down the middle by the river Seine, crisscrossed by a number of beautiful little and not so little bridges. More or less in the middle of the city are 2 little islands. Iledecity2 The bigger of the two, Ile de la Cite, is home to the Notre Dame, my favorite church and tourist attraction in Paris [pictures of that coming another day] as well as a number of little residential streets, the flower market and several brasseries, just to name a few attractions. Ile5_3 Right behind this island, is another smaller, less travelled one, the Ile St. Louis. It is primarily a residential island with many old, tall, stone buildings looking over the waters of the Seine lapping against the stone walls on either side of the river. Down the middle of this quaint little island is the main street, Rue St Louis en L'ile. Ile6 A small cobblestoned street lined with the most charming little shops, boutique hotels, brasseries, bistros and cafes, this street has all of the charm of Paris with very little of the crowds. Leisurely shoppers stroll down the street whereas through the windows you see diners enjoying some of that wonderful French cuisine, sipping their cafe au laits or enjoying a glass of wine. Ilede8_2 The whole picture as an entirety is wonderfully etched in my mind as a quintessential Parisienne experience. I came back to this street several times, always at the end of my day and strolled down those cobblestones, enjoying watching the life going on around me. Ile7 I also discovered a few of my favorite little goodies on this street- enchanting little french stuffed animals at La Arche de Noe for Ella, infused olive oils for some friends from Oliviers & Co. as well as a wonderful little scarf. The shots you see here are just a few of the shops as I experienced them in the evenings.Doesn't it just feel like Paris? Iledeciti_5 p.s. please excuse the slight bluriness of some of the images. I was playing at figuring out how to use the night time setting on my new fancy schmany camera and technically I should have shot these using a tripod, which I didn't have. I thought you might still enjoy them as much as I do. Ilede3_3

Back at Home & Sleepy

I am back from my travels & living like some kind of a nocturnal creature for the last two days. Somehow transitioning to a new time zone was no problem when I had to get up and work & teach all day every day but has been MUCH harder when back in the luxury of my own home, napping when I want [& the munchkins let me] and waking up in the middle of the night, ready for a tasty dinner snack :-)! To finish off my travels, my bags decided to do another little tour of Paris while I landed in San Francisco and when they finally did arrive 48 hrs later, it looked like they had walked around in the rain for a few days... rain on the inside of the bags! I don't know how & what but its been quite an adventure, more for my luggage than me I guess! Today I am down loading photos so bear with me while I post back with my first in what I am sure is a series of "travel posts". On the home front, Fresh Vintage #6Fv2255 is finally in the mail. So for those of you who have been patiently waiting, its on the way and for those of you who are still waiting to order it, now is the time. We still have some left from our first printing so don't delay. More importantly our website,, now has a secure shopping cart for quick and easy pattern & Fresh Vintage ordering. We always recommend that you shop at your local quilt or fabric shop first and foremost but for those of you who don't have a local quilt shop that carries our patterns,purse handles or books you need, our website is your best bet. For the month of December, if you place the initial F in between your first & last name when ordering online from our website, we will include a free pattern with your order! This will be your special Fresh Figs secret code! Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with the first pics from Europe.... talk to you soon.