summer

A Little Trip... Part II

Flags

 

So as much as I love the doors... I love all the rest of it too. The gates. The views. The gorgeous  golden Cotswalds stone that makes all of the villages glow.... literally. The hollyhocks. Those hollyhocks are absolutely everywhere and I have promised myself to plant them in my garden next year. They just define English cottage garden to me!

Here are just a few photos of the villages that we explored... okay maybe more than a few. But a few of my favorites anyway.

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With names likes Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Norton, Moreton-on-the-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Winchcombe, Broadway, Blockley, you kind of want to visit and explore each and every one. Which we kind of did. Again. Since I have done this several times before. It never gets old. Seriously.

 

Up tomorrow: the thatched roof cottages themselves. To die for.


A Little Trip...

This past week I have been on a little excursion with my mom, just the two of us. We spent a few days in the Cotswolds, a charming country and farm area of Britain about 2 hours outside of London, and the last day in London.

It was totally impromptu and a bit at the last minute but full of color and beauty and quitness. I wasn't sure how it would go since we have never travelled together, just the two of us, but it worked out perfectly! I guess we both needed some relaxed travel time.

I am home as of yesterday and wanted to start showing you some of my photos. Lots more to come but today I wanted to start off with doors. Yes, that's right, doors. One of my favorite things to do in the villages of the British countryside, is to look at doors. And cottage names. Each one is different and unique. I love them. Here are just a few.

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More stories from my trip and photos tomorrow!


The Ferry Building

Last week we had some of our favorite out of town guests, a family that we have known forever. In fact we were reminiscing how we used to babysit their oldest son when he was a toddler before we had any of our own. Well, he is off to college this fall. I know this is a total cliche, but I seriously do not know where that time has gone. Poof!

Anyhow, as is our usual, whenever we have friends visiting that share our love of walking and eating.... we go into the city to the Ferry Building. And so we went...

 

We strolled along the Embarcadero....

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With a lot of wind blowing in our hair...

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And then we came to the shrine that is the Ferry Building. What else is there to say really.   #weateourwaythroughtherestoftheday 

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First up, Miette. A charming little French sweet shoppe.

Miette

 

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The General Store and Farm Fresh To You stand....

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Generalstore

 

Anything green is good.

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The gourmet bean store, Rancho Gordo. Where the boys spent a good deal of their time playing with the "touching beans".

Beans

 

The ACME bakery. Just the small alone.

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Tasting at the Olive Oil shop. I have found a new love and I am addicted. But I have found a slightly more affordable way to do it. Go to Trader Joe's and buy a small bottle of your favorite flavored oil - basil, garlic and chili all work well. Find the little tin of Trader Joe's truffle salt. Combine the two in a little dish. Dip your favorite bread. I dare you to tell me you are doing a carb free diet after that. Just. Not. Possible. #totally addicted

Oliveoil

 

Oiltasting

  

As a committed mushroom forager, I love looking at every nook and cranny of this shop.

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Mushrooms

 

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The boys enjoyed themselves here at Boccalone too.

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Cowgirl Creamery. Sigh.

I could have tasted every single cheese here. Pretty sure we ate nothing but bread and cheese for the next 2 days after spending too much time here.

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Cheese

 

As for here at McEvoy Ranch, I could have designed a new collection or two if I had stayed here any longer. Heaven for the eyes. One day I will have a garden that yields this. One day pigs will fly too but you know.

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Unfortunately now all the goodies are gone and I am 5 lbs. heavier. I guess I should get off the computer and take a walk.  :-)


Welcome Summer Quilt!

Hello everyone-

I can't believe that some of my kids have already been out of school for a month and summer is in full swing around here!

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It seems like the kids multiply on a daily basis, the ice cream truck comes to a full stop right outside our house every day and just plays his twinkle tune until someone comes out, its too hot to sleep at night and too then too nice to get up in the morning. The iced tea is flowing by the jugful- in fact we bought one of those huge glass jars with the spigot so that everyone can help themselves al day long- and we are generally enjoying the slower pace.

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At the same time at work we are trying to catch up like crazy- still haven't managed to post about our Spain trip- and are finishing up a few large projects left and right. Our next collection has gone to print- can you even believe it and the one after that is pretty much ready to go as well. Its crazy!

To take a little break, I decided to make a quilt for myself a few weeks ago. Something just for the summer. I pretty much never get to do that but it was a bit after Market and I had a lull in the workload for a couple of days so my mind started spinning. I started with a group of my favorite Fig Tree florals and went from there. I had always wanted to make a Union Jack quilt ever since I saw the very first one sometime last year. Since then I have seen so many different versions- large and small- pieced and appliqued, scrappy and solid. I somehow never found one that worked exactly for me.

I wanted mine to be all florals and simple to contruct with no fabric waste, so of course I sketched out a pattern and thought of a method to put it together without having to do any crazy constructions or waste any fabric.

This is the result.... JUMPING JACKS! I love this quilt right now. It is a perfect picnic blanket or an "eat your ice cream on the lawn" quilt. It is making me really happy....

Jacks

... I just love the way the florals play together. Who knew that all the collections would like each other so much!

 

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Jackwithbacks

... absolutely love the way the navy floral makes all the other fabrics pop. Made more of that block than any of the others.

 

Gabbyjacks

... Gabrielle covered in a "Jumping Jacks" coverall. She actually came up with the name and is very pleased with herself. You know... Union Jack... Jumping Jack... we like to amuse ourselves around here!

 

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For more info, click HERE... because you know that as soon as I started making one for myself, I thought you might want to make one too!

On Friday I am hoping to show you the table runner we also made with some of the leftover blocks from the quilt [the kit has enough florals to make 2 quilts or a quilt and pillows or a table runner or anything else you can come up with!!]

Happy summer afternoon!


Oh Deer!

In the absence of having enough energy to show you all something I'm working on right now, I thought I would share a few photos of an upcoming MODA line that is making me happy today.

OH DEER by MoMo is coming to a store near you in mid-August. Isn't it just yummy? 

Come to think of it... maybe, just maybe, this fabric might inspire me to make something. Just maybe.

 

Bundle

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Makes me think of the ice cream truck. Who, by the way, was just here this afternoon. To be honest, he comes every day in the summer. In fact I think I will admit publicly that he stops in front of our house, leaves his jingle on and waits to see if we might come out. True confessions.

We are, if nothing else, creatures of habit who love ice cream :-).


Christmas in July

Sorry for the silence. I have a post coming up about it but am having a hard time writing it all down so bare with me..... [p.s. I haven't forgotten about the giveaway winners, promise]

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I know that we just barely made it without having to call it CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST... which just doesn't quite have the same ring to it, don't you think?

But it's still July, so maybe you could just go with it with me? 


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... Petite Fours, red & green version

 

For those of you who received our newsletter, this is old hat... but we are having a quick little sale on all of our Christmas related patterns... 15% off.

These include:

Mini Stockings

Snowflake Rose

Petite Fours

Jelly & Jam

Kiss Me

Winter Robin

Vintage Skate

Christmas Rose Stocking 

Strawberry Lilies

Checkerboard Stars

Boughs of Pomegranates

Peppermint Swirls

Mistletoe Hollow

Creme Fraiche

Poinsettia Baskets

Yuletide Snowflake

 

Go to our SHOP, to search for the patterns above you might like.

 

And the icing on the cake, or the star on top of the Christmas tree, is that every CHRISTMAS IN JULY order will receive a FREE RED, GREEN OR CREAM FAT QUARTER!!


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To top it off we have made a few more Christmas in July bundles just in case you haven't already stocked up on your favorite Christmas fabrics this summer [not on sale but definitely going with the theme]....

Bundle #1

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Bundle #2

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Bundle #3 [mostly a mix of the previous 2 bundles]

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Click HERE for more info on those.

 

Hope your summer is turning out to be full of wonder!

 


Prairie Point Towel

Happy 4th of July everyone!! Hope your day is filled with at least some of the following: a whole hecka bunch of good food- at least some of it barbequed, lots of laughter, perhaps a glass of wine, good music, fireworks, pie- eating contests, bike races, twinkling lights and lots of friends and family [this is what we will be doing at our annual neighborhood block party]!

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These quick flour sack towels really couldn't be more simple....

Step 1: Sew (2) 2 1/2" strips together. Press to one side and cut into 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares. Make them all from one strip set or make them all scrappy from a variety of fabrics or leftovers like we did. Whichever way you go, you will need 7-8 squares depending on the width of your flour sack towel and how much  you want them to overlap one another.

 

Bars

Step 2: Fold the squares into prairie points as shown below. First fold the square in half and then in half again. One side of your prairie point will be all one fabric and one side will be dual fabrics like shown below. As you fold them, be sure that you fold all of them in the same direction to end up with the fabric in the same positions. You will know what I mean if you fold it in the opposite way.

 

Triangles

 

Step 3: Lay the prairie points along the bottom of your towel, overlapping them as needed, all the way across the towel. The dual fabric side should be right sides together with the towel and the single fabric side will be showing on top. Make sure all the raw edges of the prairie points are lined up with the edge of the towel. 

Sew the prairie points to the towel with a large stitch that is a bit smaller than the 1/4" that you will be sewing with so that it does not show when you bind the towel.

 

Firsttowel

Step 4: Bind the towel all the way around. Given that the towel is so light, it will look better [and the towel will be softer to use] if you make single fold binding. But if all you know how to do is double fold binding [the standard quilting kind] then it is fine to do that as well. Be careful around the prairie points as you bind to make sure that the points are still flat against the towel.

Press the prairie points down over the binding and stitch in place with one topstitched line. Note that the prairie point side of the towel will have a tendency to be stiffer than the rest of the towel due to the amount of fabric that is down there and it might not want to lay folded in half like a traditional towel. It will be more agreeable after you wash it and dry it. Also it might work better if you hang it like we did in the pictures instead of trying to get it to fold exactly in half.

Final towel

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Happy embellishing!

 

Oh and BTW, if you stay tuned we will have some pattern news in a few hours. Just need to go eat a little 4th of July breakfast!

Joanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Little Something, Something

By now, you must all know about my love of flour sack dish towels. We have embellished them. Made them into kits. Made patterns out of them. 

So when I was working on one of my top secret QUILTS & MORE SCRAP LAB projects [due out later this fall], and had a whole bunch of really cute little prairie points left over.... what else could I possibly do with them but add them to a flour sack! It makes the cutest dish towel I have ever seen. Really.

So for a little 4th of July post tomorrow, I will add a very simple little tutorial on how to make these. For today... I hope you enjoy the photos.

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FLOUR SACK: available at any home type store like Target, Wal-mart or Kmart.

FABRICS: Camille & Bonnie's MARMALADE. Very yummy and due out in fall '12.

BINDING: MODA Bella Solid Clover.

 

Be back tomorrow with the how to and if the stars align some other good pattern news!

Joanna

 


Strawberries for Sale...

 

STRAWBERRIES FOR SALE!

 

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We thought we would have some fun today and send you some strawberry love. Given our apparent love of all things strawberry around here, we are putting anything strawberry related on sale 20% this weekend.

 

This includes any pattern that has the word strawberry in it or is made out of our STRAWBERRY FIELDS fabric collection.

 

This would include:

 

Strawberriesinglasblog

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Fields

Berry Sweet Bag

Strawberry Lilies

Strawberry Cafe

Sit Upon

Chintz

Kiss Me

Peggy Sue

Twinkle

 

Now you have to go to the website and search for the patterns to see what they are. Some are quilts, some are accessory goodies, some are purses... there is even a box cushion in there. Have fun searching!

 

You can start here.

 

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In addition, we thought we would tie up some strawberry themed bundles for you for the occasion. These are not on sale, but are added into the festivities just for the fun of it. Not a lot of them here so get 'em while you can!


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Click here for more info on the Strawberry Bundles.

 

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With ANY STRAWBERRY SALE PURCHASE [that would include the bundle or any of the above mentioned patterns], we will include a STRAWBERRY CAFE pattern in your order free!

 

Strawberry Cafe has a pattern in it for some fun summer curtains and a matching table topper. How could you possibly resist?

 

Curtains

 

Strawberrytable

 

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Happy Strawberry searching and sewing,

 

Joanna