family

A Quick Do-Over

Last week we had a little crisis after bath time as my daughter's favorite hooded robe, that she has had since she was 2 years old, would no longer fit over her head!  It was time for another one. Perhaps a bit over time. but time nonetheless.

 

And just so you know, sometimes that is the only way anything ever gets done around here. It has to have a deadline or generate a personal crisis LOL otherwise it gets put on the bottom of the list! What is it that they say about the cobbler's children and shoes :-).....

 

But I digress.

 Ellainrobe

The process that followed was so simple and so quick that I thought I'd share it with you.

1. Go to Target. Buy a bath towel and a hand towel in the same color. Total cost about $10.00.

HAND TOWEL

2. Take the hand towel and cut 3" off one of the short sides. Turn the cut edge under 1/2" and then under 1/2" again. Pin it in place and sew it down to create a finished edge.

3. Cut 3" off one long sides of the hand towel. Zigzag the entire edge to prevent it from fraying.

Note: You can of course trim more off of either side. We made our hood fairly large on purpose.

BATH TOWEL

4. Find the center of bath towel on one of the long sides and mark with a pin. Find the center of the uncut/finished long side of the hand towel and mark with a pin. Line up the two centers and pin the hand towel to the bath towel.

5. Sew the hand towel to the bath towel. Be sure to backstitch on both ends very well as this is where it will get most of the pull.

6. Fold the hand towel in half [you are folding the whole robe at this point], "right sides" together- this means you need to make sure that you are folding it in half so that the sides that you want to be the finished side of the robe is placed together. Pin the top together and sew closed along the top [this should be the section that you cut and zigzagged in Step 3].


Robeonhook

 

7.From the corner of the hood, measure over 4 1/2" in both directions - over and down- and mark with a pin. Draw a line from 4 1/2" mark to 4 1/2" mark at a 45 degree angle across the tip of the hood. Sew on that line and then trim off the excess corner fabric. Zigzag that trim line so that it does not fray.

You have just trimmed the top off the hood so that it fits better on your child's head and so it doesn't look quite so much like a gnome!

8. Turn the hood right side out. Applique anything you like to the outside of the robe such as their name, a flower, a sailboat, an animal.... anything they like! We did a little daisy that consisted of a petal and a circle.


 

Robecloseup

That's it. The whole project can be easily done in 2 hrs- and that's including your trip to Target!

Have fun!

Joanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


Saturday.

A perfect Saturday. It comes around once in a while- in between sports schedules and work deadlines and house projects. A day full of family and stillness and loveliness.

 

Miceblog
... one of our most popular little patterns right now. 3 Blind Mice. Get it? Sometimes I crack myself up!


Sleeping in.

Earl Grey Tea and French pastries.

Tulips on the table.

A Walk in the hills with the kids.

A family boardgame.... or two or three.

Simple fresh dinner from our farm box.

The smell of said dinner in the house all evening.

Braiding hair.

Organizing my bedroom desk. Looking through inspiration folders.

Having good "life talks" with the oldest boy.

Holding hands. With several different people in one day.

A perfect Saturday.

Apples

... at some point in the day, I cut up some apples for a snack for the kids. And laughed when they complained that it was taking me too long to get it to them. It was indeed taking a long time. Since somewhere in between cutting them up and delivering them, I felt the need to photo them on the bay window. It was just a perfect way to describe my day. They didn't get it. That made me laugh.

 

Hope you had some loveliness in your weekend too!

 

Joanna


Snow

Well, I am currently in snow. Not the snow pictured below, mind you, but in snow nevertheless. The snow below is  just a little snippet of last weekend for us. The very first snow of the year in California so we had to go and find it!

Currently I am in Utah teaching and lecturing in the most beautiful snow setting you have ever seen. Near Park City at Daniel's Summit Lodge. A girl could get used to this kind of loveliness!

Just thought I would pop in for a hello in between classes. Hope you are having a great time sewing and quilting! Stay tuned for some new yumminess coming up soon.

Snow

 

Snow_10

 ... my little snow bunny and her many faces. I loved that is was snowing on us as we played!

Snow_8

 

Snow_11

 

Snow_1

 ... my eldest and hub in action!

Snow_6

 

Snow_2

 ... my middle one, who decided that sledding was boring and he was going to make a snowboard out of it! Now, just so you know, he has never snowboarded a day in his life. He went up and down that hill all afternoon, standing up the whole time! I guess its time for us to look into snowboarding lessons.

Snow_5

 ... monkey see, monkey do!


Snow_4

It was a really great day!

 

xoxo

Joanna


December....

December has seriously flown by around here at both Fig Tree and at home. Our kids vacations have been staggered this year and we have thoroughly enjoyed some great one on one time, cousin time skating in the city, chocolate covered pretzel making time, cookie eating and even some neighborhood caroling! You gotta love the looks on the neighbor's faces that have never been "caroled" before!

Since we have spent most of our family time off line, I just realized yesterday that I did't even share any pictures of our house decorated for Christmas!  

I don't think I can finish December without sharing some of it even if it is a bit on the tardy side....

 

As a part of slowing down and enjoying each day this month, I have sat with a cup of tea in front of my Christmas tree. Now I know its just a tree and not even close to the real meaning of this season, but there is something so magical about sitting in my living room with the only lights those on the tree, the smell of pine in the house and maybe even a bit of Christmas Carols playing in the background. Preferably Bing or Ella. Cheeseball... I know. 


And so I have spent a part of each evening, in front of my tree, having some quality quiet time. I love this time of the year. And I am officially cheeseball.

 

Here are just a few of my favorites....

 

Christmastree_1

 

 

Christmastree_2

 


Christmastree

 

 

Christmastree_3

 

 

Christmastree_7

 

 

Christmastree_4

 

 

Christmastree_8

 Merry end of December.




Day #10: The 12 Days of Christmas


Welcome to Day #10 of the 12 Days of Christmas: Fig Tree Style! Each day we will have a different kit, a different sale and even a few giveaways along the way. Join us each day so that you don't miss out on a single thing. We are so excited to share all of our goodies with you!

 

Day #10


Day10

Thank you to all of you who shared your own Nutcracker memories with me. It is always such a treat for me to read about your lives and things that you remember. So many wonderful memories and traditions! I love it.

Our nutcracker adventure was wonderful... made that much more lovely by three beautiful girls, in their beautiful dresses with their brand new little scarves. I think it was a magical time. It went something like this.

First we made scarves.

Scarvesonchairback


Morescarves

 

 

Then we twirled around a lot and waited for our friend to arrive, in our scarf.

Ellaandbackofscarf

Ellawaitingblog


Ellatree

 

Then we got bored of waiting...

Funnyfaceblog

 

Then our friend finally arrived and we were on our way!

Ellaandeme

 

Then we joined up with another friend at the nutcracker and we sparkled.

 Ellaemakaia

 

Then we got "snowed" on in the outdoor downtown festivities.

Ellaemesnow

We got home tuckered out but very happy.

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So now for the goodies.

  First up today...

 One of our all time favorite things to make, FIG TREE SCRAP BAGS. Full of pieces leftover from our studio cutting along with fabric bolt leftovers, with a smattering of strikeoffs that never made it into fabric. They are just the most yummy thing ever. Every year at Pacific International we make up a new set of these especially for our loyal customers from that show. And every year, on Thursday morning, we have a stampede of women who come straight to the booth to see what new scrap bags we have. Some get one, some get 5 and hold them to their chests as if they have found gold as they walk around the rest of the booth to check out the kits and other goodies. I have to say that it is one of my all time favorite moments of any show. It has become so much fun to watch that the vendors around us [the same vendors who who have become our friends over the years as we are always in the same spot] just stand around, waiting with cameras to document this fun frenzy! Sometimes they have come to help us ring so that we could clear away the crowd a little. 

Scrapbagblog

For this sale, we made up some scrap bags especially for you. For those of you who love to sew with small bits and challenge  yourself to make your own fun creations, these will be a lovely acquisition. Have fun and good luck!

Click here for more info.

 

Second up today...

You ofcourse bought every possible red and green bundle we could manage to make around here so we thought we would offer up a few Christmas Bundles that we managed to pull together from all of the leftover bolts!


Smaasbundleblog

I'm sure these won't be enough for you either, but its all I've got!

Enjoy and click here for more info.


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12 Days of Christmas Special Day #10: 

Scrap Bags are 15% off! 

Special Christmas Bundles are available.

 



Quilts and More

Been MIA. I still have stuff to show you from Market! And so many new pattern debuts! Been working on a few new things in the works and I am finishing up my book project.

Most of all, I am waiting for November to slow down a little bit so I can catch my breath. Do you think that might ever happen? I really am counting on it. My youngest turns 7 in a few weeks and I can hardly believe its true.

Ellalookingblog

For today, I thought I would pop in and show you a few goodies that we have been working on for our SCRAP LAB feature for the American Patchwork & Quilting partner magazine, Quilts and More. Do you remember when I featured it last Spring and Summer? Well this Winter we have a few new projects.

The most recent one, that just went live on the APQ website and was featured today in their newsletter, is this perfect little fall project.

Pumpkin1

... out of all the ones I made, I think this one might be my favorite.


Pumpkin2

... this one just had a bit of black embellishments.


Bothpumpkins

 

There was a third one too that you might notice in the photography on the APQ website- and it was cream-but let's just say that due to a little mishap, no photographs were taken of that one in the studio. That one was pretty fun too. All cream with green leaves and a few little orange strips.

On second thought, maybe I don't have a favorite. I think you might need all three!

To top it all off, my friend Camille made the cutest chevron tablerunner with the same fabrics. Cuz you know the challenge--- we both get the same exact pieces of fabric and each have to come up with something without adding anything from our stash other than embellishments! Its always fun and its always a "challenge"... hence the name. Just in case you hadn't caught on.

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And there's more. This was just the "extra: Scrap Lab feature above, the main one in the current Winter issue of Quilts and More features our challenge made from Camille's Ruby collection. Its a lovely group!

6325897151_079d999372
... photo shamelessly borrowed from Camille.

 

My project for this issue...

Rubyplacematcloseup


Rubyplacemats


Rubyplacematroll

 

 

Camille's cute project was of course baby related... [many more adorable pictures on her blog at the moment]

6289394845_d5bc82003e_z
... photo shamelessly borrowed from Camille.


And Heather who joined us as the third designer this time around made the sweetest pillow that you really will need to check out on the www.allpeoplequilt.com site as soon as their link is fixed.


Radiospot

And if that wasn't enough American Patchwork & Quilting for you, we did an interview on their new Radio Show a few weeks back that I haven't even told you about yet! Despite a few technical problems, Pat was a pro and such a doll to talk to as always. If you would like to listen to our show, click here and then scroll down on the Radio Show list to October 24th. I am the second half of the show. Hope you have fun listening to it. You'll have to tell me how it was. I can't bear to go and listen to my own voice. Anyone else have that fear? I just can't do it!

 

xoxo

Joanna


Fresh Vintage and a Bit More Dinner!

Ooopps... I forgot to post more winners for the last couple of days. Let's just chalk it up to a VERY long weekend full of pattern writing and photo editing! 

So here are some more winners of a BUTTERSCOTCH & ROSE box of scraps, courtesy of the very generous MODA and the new issue of Fresh Vintage shown below:

On Sep. 18 at 6:45, Annette S. said " How can you choose only one colour, Each time a new fabric range is released they are my new favourite colours. Th e soft blue, the delicate pink, the taste of apricot. A delicate sage. All sigh worthy."

and

On Sep. 16. at 10:53 SummersCamp said "At the risk of sounding completely creepy, I really think we could be the best of friends...  Pretty sure you stole my bucket list!  And I love everything you turn out.  Everything.  Seriously.  But, I'd like to see your take on warm/rich, French-country colors.  Regardless of what colors you choose, though, I'm excited to see what you come up with next.  You have indeed piqued my interest with that sneak peak!  *B

 

Please email me with your info. Congratulations!

 

On the home front:

We drove to a nearby beach for a photo shoot this weekend and managed to get a bit of play time in. A lot of football and sand play was had by all.

Ellainsand

 

On the work front:

Our latest edition of Fresh Vintage has finally shipped! Can I get a hooray?! Wow, this one has taken a while to get out to you guys. Can't even begin to tell you how glad I am that its on its way! If you are on auto ship you should be getting it any day or have it already.

For more info, click here.

Tulipquiltblog

...the original vintage quilt that the pattern was created from. Just love the way it feels French and classic and Americana all at the same time.


Tulipflatblog


The Sewing Project in this issue:

Ironingboardcoverblog

 

The Recipe:

Cornsaladblog
A  yummy corn salad.... super simple. Created by my 6 year old!

 

Hope to hear from all you winners soon!

Joanna 



"Whelmedness"

I have had a full week. A really full week. And I've struggled with its fullness. A lot.

My friend Jana mentioned the other day on twitter that she was having a perfect amount of "whelmedness" that day,not too overwhelmed and not too underwhelmed. What a fabulous idea! It sounded like an absolutely perfect day to me since I seem to have had my fair share of the former kind lately and have been dreaming of the latter.

But really when it comes down to it, what I have been wanting is that perfect balance of "whelmedness" each day. Don't we all? As I descended into one of my internal "balance of life" struggles, I realized however that even though this perfection is a good thing to strive for, achieving a perfect balance of whelmedness each day is a high and lofty goal. Perhaps I should stop thinking that I can do that every day and cut myself at least a little bit of slack. Just maybe.

One of the questions I get asked the most often, which might also be why I think about it so much, is how do I balance a full time, often more than full time design job, and business along with being a "stay at home" mom of my three munchkins. To be fair, I don't really think I am such a good example of either. I have business and production offices next door and a wonderful staff of gals who help me make it all happen on a variety of fronts. They sew, they edit, they process orders and answer emails. They stuff patterns and ship boxes. They do most of the paperwork.

  Creambundle5blog

... Gabrielle made new cream bundles up on the website now.....

I have a hub who runs most of the fulfillment side of the business and all 3 of my kids are in school now so the balance is definitely more doable these days than it was when I started all of this craziness. Mr. Fig and I share all child responsibilities since both of our jobs have the luxury of flexing around the kids and I know that I couldn't do it at all without all of these folks and without all of this help.

And yet I still struggle with what I am not doing on any given day. 

In the end, there isn't any good answer to the balance question, other than I take each day as it comes and often feel like I have let one of the two halves down. As I thought about it al again this morning, what I realized was that what I want to strive for is balance in my week and balance in my month. Balance in  my day would be the icing on my cupcake but can't happen most days!

Their will be days like this Wednesday, the first day of school, when one side is clearly more important than the other.

Ellazackfirstdayschool2011blog

Zackella21stdayschoolblog
... first day of school photos of the two youngest Figs!

There will be days like this Monday, the final deadline for my newest manuscript, when the other side of my pendulum will win.

Shootblog2

Propschickens

Sunflowersprops
... prop shots from the photo shoot, since I can't actually show any of the products just yet....

There will be days like this Tuesday, back to school shopping in the morning/photo shoot in the afternoon, when I will try to do both and feel completely overwhelmed by the end of the day, not sure that I gave either halves of my life all that they needed.

Props-spools
...more props from the other day's shoot.

And there will be days like today when I will sleep in a little, let the hub get the munchkins off to school, let the office gals run the office without me and enjoy a little bit of quiet time with my tea and the homemade zucchini bread that my 13 yr. old boy whipped up this weekend.

There will be evenings like today when our friend will need to take the munchkins out to dinner, while I finish studying the swatches for the next fabric collection I am working on but I will still get to tuck them into bed when the day is done.

Zucchinibread

Who knows what tomorrow will look like.  But as I look back on the week AS A WHOLE, I think I can be happy about what I accomplished, what I chose to do and what I chose to hold off on. All in all, I think my week has had a perfect balance of whelmedness even if each day felt completely different and perhaps not that perfect in and of itself.

Trying to keep myself focused on the big picture instead of the little one that gets me down and makes me crazy. This balance thing is not that easy. I am sure you all know this already. I am wishing each and every one of you the perfect balance of whelmedness this next week!

 

xox

Joanna


Summer's End

I can't even believe that our summer is not so slowly coming to a close. I know its kind of an artificial end and that we could all stay in summer mode for a bit longer but I guess we have to listen to the calendar! And so our SCHEDULED summer is almost over and I don't think I am quite ready.

My tomatoes aren't quite ready yet, either!


In the Kitchen...

Freshfood

This morning our FARM FRESH TO YOU box of goodies arrived as it does every week. Its a wonderful thing and even though we are growing some of our own veggies this summer, the weekly box keeps us stocked with everything we might need. This week the box came at 11:00 and by noon I had sauteed up a few things for a quick staff snack. We all took a break from designing, shipping and cutting to eat some sauteed pattypan squash with onions, garlic and herbs. Yum!

Foodcloseup

Food3plats

 

On vacation...

Last weekend we were also able to squeeze in one more long weekend vaca to Monterey. What a beautiful and restful place!

Vacationing with 3 munchkins ages 6 to 13 in one car and one room is not always what its cracked up to be but with some good "divide and conquer parenting" all the interested parties were able to: go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go window shopping in Carmel, return to the laser and mirror maze place 4 times, eat ALOT of shrimp at Bubba Gump's, do a little back to school shopping for kids and mommy too, eat some yummy French food which included some amazing Sonoma coast wine and a giant bowl of mussels and clams in a garlic and herb wine sauce, watching a couple of in room movies, having French Crepes with strawberries and Nutella, kicking my son's butt at pool, eating Lasagna for the first time in 10 years because we were trying to be like Garfield the cat [that last one will only make sense to you if you read the Garfield comics like my boys do], stopping at the best roadside veggie stand in Castroville, CA [home of the artichoke] I had seen in ages and buying 20 baby artichokes and 10 baby avocados that we are still eating, walking through the Strawberry Festival in Watsonville, CA.... okay I think I will stop for fear of boring you with more food stories. It does sound like we did nothing but eat all day long, doesn't it?

3kidsmontereyblog

Zackmontereyblog

Benmontereyblog

I guess its time for back to school haircuts too, huh? I'm keeping that lazy summer look going as long as I can on them. Unfortunately Ben's school has a haircut code. Bummer.


In the office...

For those of you who have fallen in love with some of our newest bundles, you might want to go take a look here for some new fun ones.

 

Otbundlestackblog

And just because we thought they were irresistible, we added some of these to the site. Isn't that just the cutest twine you have ever seen? 

Twineblog

Twineblog2

Twineblog3

More soon.

xoxoxo Joanna


Summertime...

Well, its officially the beginning of summer vacation around these here Fig parts and although the Mama has lots of deadlines, nobody else seems to! So, we have been doing a whole lot of this....

Zackwtihgameball

and a bit of this...

Eallaonfruitladder

Zackandbenfruitpickin

... how much do you think I paid them to pose for me like that LOL!! I am sure that one of them slugged the other right after this shot.


Zackonfruitladder

 

So we've been eating way more than our fair share of these...

Apricots

Which really just makes me want to sew with that apricoty, orange, melon feeling color! Man, there's just nothing that beats it!!

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A special thank you goes out to all of you who emailed, tweeted etc. about my dad. He is doing much better and we won't really know much more until the fall. But for a guy who just had major surgery, I'd say he looks pretty darn good, wouldn't you say?

Tataaftersurgery

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What I am really supposed to be doing is working on book projects- have 4 projects in the works literally all over my floor as we speak-  and prepping for our upcoming photo shoot! I'll have to get back to you on how that all goes... 

On the storefront, our fabulous summer workers are back from college and we have been getting alot of projects underway. To start off with, we have started our limited series bundles. 

Up first, Cream Prints Bundle #1...

Creamsbundle-blog


Creambundlesstack-blog

... these bundles have (7) 1/2 yd. cuts of various cream prints [3 1/2 yds. total] from Fig Tree lines and another MODA cream print thrown in here and there to complete the set. The prints are from various collections, including Fresh Cottons, Fig & Plum, Allspice Tapestry, Patisserie, etc. We have found that over the years the fabric that most folks, including stores, run out of first are all of the cream prints that can be used as backgrounds, fillers, sashings, stash builders etc.

We have been collecting them for some time and thought we would start sharing them with you in limited edition cream bundles. Each bundle #1, #2...etc. will have a different combination of prints... without any repeats just in case you want to collect them all!

Click here for more info.

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Next, Cream Prints Bundle #2 [ a whole different set of 1/2 yd. cream print cuts including Breakfast at Tiffany's, Buttercup, Dandelion Girl, Fresh Cottons, etc.]

  Creambundle#2

 

  Creambundle#2-stack

Click here for more info. 

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Next up, Fig Tree Coordinating Solids...

These are our favorite MODA Bella Solids in colors that coordinate and blend very well with all of our collections. We have been sitting on these bolts since about January and just haven't had the time to get them cut up and bundled!

Here they finally are in all their  "sherberty" goodness [bundle includes snow, butterscotch, peach, aqua and clover].

Solidbundle-blog

 Solidbundlestack-blog

Click here for more info.

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Also on the kit front, all of our Kiss Me kits sold out almost as soon as they went up for presale a while back. Couldn't believe you guys. As of today, they have all shipped if your card was current. If not, you might wanna give us a call!

A few more goodies are on their way tomorrow so stay tuned. And there is a special coupon in the newsletter coming out on Friday so if you're not already signed up, you just might wanna.

Happy Beginning of Summer,

Joanna