Its Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...

As you may have noticed, we have been a bit on the quiet side around these here parts. We have been doing a series of specials and sales through our newsletter these past few weeks and that has kept us just a bit busier than expected [btw, you really ought to sign up if you haven't already]. 

But also, we have been purposefully trying to slow down this holiday season and to not do as much so that we might enjoy the meaning and the wonder of this time of year. 

I have found that its much easier to say that than to do it, by the way! But we're working on it!


So I am happy to share that our home is now finally more or less decorated with some of my favorite little decorations. Plans are made and gifts are being wrapped. The kitchen is seeing more use than normal and the over seems to be on every day.


The tree has been up for a while and we finally put the angel on the top- this year it was Zack's turn and somehow we could never get him in the same room as the tree and at the same time remember that the angel was still sitting on the coffee table!


The kids have made some cookies and some gingerbread houses. There are grand plans to make a lot more tonite!



Each evening after everyone goes to sleep, I sit with a cup of my favorite vanilla and caramel tea [a wonderful Lipton tea blend available at Safeway] on the left side of my couch and I stare at our Christmas Tree. The kids decorated it mostly on their own this year... that's definitely a first around here and I can look at many of the ornaments and remember which one of them put it where it is.





There is something about the Christmas tree for me, glittery and soft and romantic and nostalgic and traditional and a symbol for everything else swirling around during this time of the year. It makes me smile or tear up depending on what it is that I am thinking of.  I know its just a tree with a bunch of stuff on it but it has come to represent so many different things, hasn't it?

I try to sit still and think through the day. Funny things my daughter said. A new quilt pattern completed or swatches decided on. A discussion that my hub and I have had. A project completed for January. A generous thing that one or other of my boys has done. A moment of quiet in the middle of the day.

And my wonder grows. 





My greatest wish for you this season is that you would be able to slow down and to reflect even just a little about what it is that you celebrate this time of the year. The meaning and significance behind it all. And that your wonder would grow. Even just a little.


Talk to you soon. Joanna

Home From Quilt Market

I'm home. Which means that I am officially on couch vacation for at least another day or maybe two. This is my favorite place to be after I return from Quilt Market-- for those of you who have been following me for a long time you might remember that it is specifically the left corner of my couch LOL!!

I don't move from it for a few days and can only accomplish what I can do from there. Which believe it or not, is quite a lot given them my entire life is on my laptop and iphone these days. Let's just say that we eat a lot of takeout the week following Market.

But in case you are just a little bit worried, the office staff are sending out your orders like crazy so even though i look like a bump on a log, they are working overtime to get you what you need quickly! It all just moves forward without me for a while. Thank goodness.

So.... here are a few more photos of our booth in case you are not yet bored of hearing. I am so glad I got to see so many of you at the booth... since I didn't get much of a chance to go much of anywhere else. I didn't even make it over to the other side of the convention hall once this time so I missed many of my fabric friends!! Will have to catch up with you in Salt Lake ladies!

I'll be bringing hub who can handle the booth beautifully without me so I can go and hang out more! In fact we laugh, that he is better at this whole Market thing than me. He sells that stuff like it's going out of style! I tell you, I don't know how he does it. I guess it helps that he loves the product, loves the designer [blush] and loves to sell!

Okay... back to booth pics...


... back to that favorite booth corner again. As for that little pillow... well, we'll have to wait on that story for a little later.


... we had so much fun making these simple oversized daisies. I think I will post a free pattern of them really soon. They would make perfect kid room decorations. In fact that I think that is where our booth props will go once the boxes arrive back from Market.


... our little stack of fruits and yummies. New strawberry pincushion, our fig pincushion from Fresh Vintage #16 and some darling little fabric promos from MODA. Stay tuned for more about those, as we will be giving them all away on a special blog event in January. More on that later.


... and my favorite new dress pattern, Ella's Party Dress, which is at the printer as we speak. You won't believe how simple this is to make and how professional the outcome is! Can't wait to send it out to you all!

Hope you enjoyed the shots. Stay tuned for the next post [in another hour or so] where we will show you the next kit special from our SHOWSPECIALS series.

Talk to you soon.



Market Day #2


Market Day #2 is done and we are watching the World Series in the Lobby Bar. Let me explain.

After a full day of selling, talking, business appointments, schmoozing [such an official term I know] and generally "moving and grooving" [what does that mean exactly anyway?] we have finally taken off our shoes... literally..., put up our hair and are sitting down. Believe me, the term "sitting down" has a whole new meaning when you have been standing up in dress clothes and high heels for 10 hours. I know, I know, life is so hard here at Market. I am not complaining. Much.

Business was great today. We only have a very few catalogs left so if you are a store and haven't come by yet, you might want to in the morning because I can tell that we will run out.

I don't have a lot of energy left in me so all I thought I would do is show you a few shots of the booth. Sorry for the lighting. I was having picture quality difficulties with the convention center lighting today.





talk to you tomorrow.


Quilt Market: Day 1

Hello Everyone!

First day of Market is all done and we have just wrapped up the biannual MODA party!  It was the most fun we have had in a long time. MODA hosted the party at the Minute Maid Ballpark here in Houston and as always they went all out on all accounts.


Great venue change! Its conveniently located 2 blocks from the convention center where Quilt Market is hosted so it couldn't be a more perfect location. Amazing Texas BBQ, good friends including MODA reps, designers, customers and mill reps and a really fun country western/old rock band made for a wonderful evening full of dancing. 


Day 1 of Market was fabulous and the new line, Buttercup, has been wonderfully received by our customers. The brand new patterns are flying off the racks and at this point I couldn't even tell you which ones are the best sellers. I guess I will have to do a count tomorrow.

I thought I would share a few pics of one of the new patterns that people are loving. Cute and simple. These are pincushions that anyone can whip up in an hour or so...

Strawberry Shortcake



And for those of you who are store owners who missed Market, here is what the pattern cover, front and back, looks like.


For those of you interested in getting  your very own, here is the link.

Will post with booth photos tomorrow. Promise.


talk to you soon.

More Market... can you stand it?

I got so excited to "introduce" you to all my new goodies, that I somehow managed to forget my general Market post. Now those of you who know me, know that I don't get out much. At home too :-), but in this case, out of my booth at Market! Often on the last day of the show when things slow a bit down, I get a little reprieve and take some shots at least of the MODA booths and hopefully a few others. This year was even worse. 

First it was really so much busier than we expected... which is really not a problem at all, just a problem if you want to wander around Market at your leisure and take photos of everything that is beautiful. And second, I got to leave a bit early this time around and my dear hub broke down the booth all on his own. I know! How lucky could I be!

All that to say.....

MODA is really an amazing company to work with. Given that I am designing my 19th collection with them, I guess that is kind of a given but still sometimes it needs to be said again. Thank you so much Mark, Cheryl, Lissa, Outlaw, Duckie, John, Bob, Kathy, Doyle, Hassan, Sarah, Erin, Holly, Kelli, Susan and all of the amazing reps [who I am not even going to try to name here because inevitably I will forget someone] and everyone else who makes this whole crazy thing go around twice a year!

As I am sure you have already seen, this year the MODA booth was transformed into a giant dollhouse. Actually several giant dollhouses.


... rooftop windows!




... inset boxes into the booth structure that just had the sweetest details. Love those cutouts!




.. and who could resist actual dollhouses to match.

Breakfastat moda   

... and because so many of you have emailed asking if the applique version of Vanilla & Blooms could be made out of Breakfast at Tiffany's as well, here it is hanging in the MODA booth.


• • • • • • • • • • • •

And all around the main MODA booth, were the rest of us. I didn't get shots of everyone, I am so sorry! But here are the ones I did get [with links if there are blogs]...


... Camille is never far from her camera!


...somehow I missed a shot of Sandy's booth [probably cuz she was too busy] but at least got a pic of her taking a pic of me!


... on the right of us, was the Sweetwater team. As fun as can be!


... love their neutral palette.


... on the left of us was Camille and Bonnie. I am so glad to have gotten a pic of Camille laughing since she was fighting baby nausea and remnants of the flu the entire time she was at market. I think she is such an amazing person & such a trooper for even coming! I would have most likely curled up on my couch and refused to move! 


... next would be Bunny Hill Designs with Ann's first line with MODA, titled Lilly & Will. Sweet pink, brown and baby colors with lots of fun textures for traditional nurseries.

Minicksimpson up, Minick & Simpson with perhaps my favorite fabric sign of all time. You would think I would have managed to get a picture of their actual booth or at least some more of the quilts, but no. Instead I gravitated toward their sign. Love it. Want it. Could design an entire room around that soft, vintage palette! Are you guys sure you couldn't just send it this way?


... Me & My Sister with their cute corner booth full of "HAPPY"! That is such a great description of them and their fabrics as well. You go girls!

... Sandy with American Jane and possibly my favorite quilt that she has ever done! That Noah's Ark quilt is something I might start now for my yet to be unborn grandchildren [my oldest is 12 so that gives me just about the amount of time I would need to finish it]! Wow!    

... and last but certainly not least, Liesl with
Oliver & S has joined the MODA ranks this Spring and we couldn't be happier to have her. Her well known classic children's clothing patterns are the most beautiful and most well written ones on the market and her and her husband are a wonderful "booth" team. Her new fabric collection, City Weekend, has both cottons and wonderfully soft knits.   

One of the things I love about MODA the most is that they really do have something for everyone and every style and yet still manage to maintain their wonderful chic, vintage, fresh and well put together look. Proud to be a part.

Talk to you soon.

A Little Tour

Its always so embarassing for me to watch myself on film or even hear my voice recorded. Isn't it funny how we hear and see ourselves so differently than we actually are?

Anyway, even though I personally have to cringe and look away :-), for those of you who haven't had enough of Market yet, I thought you might like a live view of the booth...

Back to introductions later.

Talk to you soon.

Home again

We're back! We're back! We are tired but very pleased with the response to our newest patterns and fabric collections [more on that later]. Market was quite amazing but I can't even begin to describe how good it feels to sleep in my own bed with my squishy pillow and with the munchkins coming in at odd hours of the night and morning! 

Of course just because we're home doesn't mean that much at the moment. We're still in suitcases. There is no food in the fridge. The booth boxes will start arriving back from Market in the next couple of days just to add a bit to the chaos. We forgot to arrange to have the trash taken out while we were gone so let's just say that we will be finding creative trash solutions this week! 

The gals are working overtime processing both wholesale and retail orders in the office and we will start wading through emails, paperwork and Market follow up tonite! 

However, at this moment, the house is a bit cold, quiet and it is raining. Playing with pictures is as far as I am getting. As always I had great plans to post while at Market but somehow it just didn't happen. It never does. You would think that I would quit hoping that it will. In between the work in the booth, the meetings and appointments and the chance to "let our hair down" and have a good time with all of our favorite customers, fabric reps and fellow designers at MODA, there is just no way it ever does. So here is the beginning of some pics. 



Shots of Clover quilt pattern, Parasols quilt pattern and our brand new Summer 2010 catalog [which you can see in its entirety here].


A partial display of our new Polkadot & Summer dress pattern, Audrey Wrap Skirt, Saltwater Quilt pattern & the Satchel for Two bag pattern.


A little vignette on the bed filled with Cherry Blossoms pincushions and Little Jellies pouches made from leftover Jelly Roll strips! 



My favorite little cafe curtains ever from the new Strawberry Cafe pattern [curtain pattern along with table topper, both embellished with strawberries]. Can't wait to unpack those and put them in the kitchen. Oh wait, they have to go on some show trips first... well, perhaps we'll be making a 2nd set!


A little poster of our newest Fresh Vintage issue coming out this summer. Issue #15 is currently being shipped and this one here will be issue #16. I think it is already one of my favs! Gotta love the easy, no template method of making these dresden plates from a.... yes, you guessed it... a Jelly Roll!


And a rare shot of my hub and I in the booth. Somehow we almost always seem to forget to do this but this time a couple of our great customers reminded us so here we are! And no we did not coordinate... but we might as well have!



Stay tuned for more pics and some fun. Talk to you soon.