One of Those Weeks. . .

It’s been one of those weeks. . . you know the kind. . . a whirlwind on events that fill every space of your calendar. I’m not complaining, though, because I find I am always more productive when I have to make every moment count.

The week began with a wonderful invitation from Wooden Gate Quilts. I was asked to share my quilts in a trunk show at their shop. Wow! What a surprise! Wooden Gate is such a lovely quilt shop filled with so much inspiration and creativity. I just love to hang out there, so to have my quilts on display in their shop is definitely an honor.

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So, my week began with gathering up a bunch of quilts to take out to them. I never realized how many of those buggers were hiding in every nook and cranny of my house. There are some that I totally forgot I even made! It’s kind of funny how my house looks now without quilts everywhere. There’s a bit of an echo going on.

If you live in the Northern California area, stop by for a visit next week.

Trunk Show

Next on the to do list was finishing up a project that needed to be mailed off for Quilt Market. Here is a sneak peak –

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It is part of a color story with the Michael Miller Cotton Couture collection. I promise to share more about this project in a week or so. I also shot a fun little video as I was working on it. I will share with you on how I made it.

My next few days were filled with lot’s of little details for some new quilt patterns to come out soon. I have been running around the city looking for the perfect location for photos of the quilts.

Shortcuts by Pati Fried

 

Winter Brrrd Houses by See How We Sew

Shortcuts by Pati Fried

Okay, I probably can’t use this, but it’s definitely my favorite photo. This is in a lovely park near my home. The sculpture is a Benny Bufano. You can see more of his work at Benny Bufano Sculptures of San Francisco.

The rest of the week was filled with meetings, some much needed shopping for my house and prepping for a group swap project. See? I told you it was a crazy week!

I ended my week by gathering with some incredibly, creative women for an opportunity to share ideas and work on hand projects. The home that we met in had the most gorgeous garden and everything was in full bloom. Strolling through the garden paths was such a lovely way to end my action packed week and reflect on how fortunate I am to fill my days being around creative people in such colorful surroundings.

I will share one last photo with you and wish all the mothers out there a very special Happy Mother’s Day!

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Have a fabulous weekend!

Pati

 

My Friendships in Quilting

friendsI have spent a lot of quality time with quilting friends over the past few months. Retreats, outings, quilt shows, planning sessions for quilt events, and sew days have filled my calendar since the beginning of January. I feel quite blessed to have taken part in all of these events.

While driving home from the last gathering, I found myself thinking about how important these friendships have become in my life. They say we choose our friends, but not our relatives. Where do quilting friends fit into this saying? We don’t choose those who have an interest in the quilt craft, but we do choose who we socialize with in our quilting circles. The quilters I gather with are all over the map in terms of ages, styles of quilting and the interests they have outside of quilting. So what is the element of attraction?

The Quilting Party painted y an unknown artist circa 1840-1850.
The Quilting Party – Artist Unknown, circa 1840-1850.

The history of quilting bees may be part of the answer to this question. Women used to gather to help each other complete a quilt for various reasons – but it was a reason that bypassed age and personality. A common goal brought them together, such as helping a neighbor or teaching a young bride to quilt. In the time they spent creating something with their hands, quality moments were shared and friendships developed. The same could be said for a sew day or a quilt class. Quilters from all walks of life gather to create and in the process build friendships. It is a natural opportunity to share life stories, thoughts and ideas in the slow paced moments of stitching.

Looking at my huge circle of quilting friends, I can think of only three friends that I would still know if I hadn’t followed the path of quilting. Wow. My life would be so different if I would not have enrolled in that very first beginning quilting class – with Laura Nownes, by the way!

Perhaps if I golfed, played Mahjong, or belonged to a book club, I would have different circles of friends with just as much to offer as my quilt groups. But quilting found it’s way into my life and I feel blessed to have chosen the path I have, taking time to get to know each quilter individually and build friendships along the way. Would I have thought to strike up a conversation in a coffee shop with one of them? Probably not. But when sitting together, working with your hands and being creative, it is a natural process to share your thoughts and ideas, in to getting to know each other. We are  lucky to be able to do this. I am lucky to have this in my life.

Do you have a special friend or group that you found through quilting? I would love to hear your stories. I encourage you to share a comment with us.

Have a great week!

Pati

 

Quiltcon Workshops – Filled with Inspiration

The Definition of Stitch by Sarah Fielke

The dust is settling from Quiltcon. Everyone is arriving home and posting lots of wonderful photos of the show, the quilts and the friendships they have nurtured . It was an amazing few days for me and I am so appreciative of all the hard work and talent that went into this event. The quilts were amazing, of course. The lectures were incredibly informative. But, I believe I enjoyed the workshops most of all.

I thought it would be fun to share my experiences with you.

Alison Glass
Alison Glass of BigCartel.com

I had signed up for a workshop with the talented Alison Glass. I thought it might be a good idea to “up my game” at embroidery. It has never been my strong suit and I do love me some hand work with pretty colored thread. Alison is such a warm and friendly person and it reflects  in her colorful and oh- so-whimsical work. I am always inspired to grab a sketchbook and colored pencils after looking at Allison’s designs.

Alison Glass embroidery
Don’t you just want to stroll through Alison’s flower garden?

The project Alison shared with us was a stitched sampler that could be made into a needle book. Sweet, simple images that would allow us the chance to practice stitches that she demonstrated.

Alison Glass embroidery needle book

She also shared samples in which she added bits of wool applique into her work. This is something I will definitely try. It paired so nicely with the texture of the stitches.

Alison Glass embrodery     Alison Glass embroidery

Playing with the beautiful colors of my threads was the best part of the class for me. I kept threading another needle just to try a new stitch in a different color.  I had brought some small samplings of Presentia Perle Cotton #8 to work with on the project. I seem to have an embarrassing amount of the thread that I’ve stockpiled for Big Stitch projects. I am so happy to have another use for it.

Pati's embroidery sample     Pati's embroidery sample

I didn’t get terribly far, but I feel like I now have the “tools” to go home and practice – oh, along with her book, Alison Glass Appliqué.

AGappliquecover
Signed copies available on her website – Click Here 

As I mentioned in the workshop, my French knots tend to be more like french tangles. Hopefully this will improve now. Thank you Alison for all the wonderful tips. I aspire to create stitches as lovely as yours.

Alison Glass embroidery

I also took a Screen Printing with Celina Mancurti. Celina was a wonderful teacher and had everyone messing up their manicures in no time! I had done a lot of screen printing in college, but forgot how messy it could be. It all came back quickly once I put that squeegee in my hand.

Celina Mancurti
Celina Mancurti of CelinaMancurti.com

Celina had a lot of beautiful designs on screens and ready to print. That made it very simple to dive right in and start printing. I chose some lovely images and some muslin and got started. Three little birds, all in a row. Aren’t they lovely?

Pati's Bird Screen Print

The student next to me decided to cut her own stencils and was kind enough to let me photograph her work in progress. She was really quick with the Exacto knife!

Stencil sml     Ink screen sml

She whipped out her own original design in no time, then started printing away. Isn’t this great? Love, love, love the bright green on muslin.

Pirnt screen sml

By now my birds were somewhat dry, so I chose to add a second color. I liked it so much, I made it twice! I think I will add these to the bottom of some toweling that I bought ages ago and never used. Wow, I actually made something useful!

one more time     IMG_7175

And then, I discovered the red poppies. And linen. And a very cool graphic element that I printed in black. Sigh. I am so in love with the final result of my poppies.

Pati's print sml

No idea what I am going to do with it, but would love some suggestions from all of you!

Mancurti's linens more sml   Mancurti's linens sml

Celina also brought a sprinkling of the beautiful pre-printed linens that she has created. You will find a full  line of the pre-printed fabrics, kitchen and table linens available on her website. Be sure to visit her shop at CelinaMancurti.com

As you can see, my workshops were wonderful. It is always great to have the opportunity to be learn a new technique or be inspired by someone else’s creativity. I hope you found a little spark of creativity also.

Pati's print closeup

 

If you have an idea of what to do with my red poppies, be sure to leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Pati

 

 

 

 

 



 

Playing with Wedge Rulers

It’s been a crazy, busy week here but just want to pop in and share an apron design I made using some new and very large wedge rulers from Quint Measuring Systems, Inc. It’s hard to tell in the photo but the skirt is so cute and swishy when worn. Since I’m a huge lover of all dotted fabrics, this black and white became the perfect choice when combined with the beautiful large scale floral print. It’s super simple and sews up fairly quickly.

Apron cropped sml

 

Dots and stripes on the backside make this a reversible design. Two in one . . . not bad.

Apron back sml

 

Ok, just one more shot since I couldn’t resist having the adorable Jamie Hirano of Wooden Gate Quilts model the finished product. Love the look on you, Jamie!

Apron Jamie sml

 

Here’s a sneak peek at another wedge project I am working on. Any guesses on what it will be? It was inspired by our new Making Waves quilt pattern.  It will be something that can be used along with the quilt. If all goes well, I’ll reveal the completed (not going to tell you) in my next post.

Hmmm, wonder what this will be?
Hmmm, wonder what this will be?

It’s been fun making these easy projects but I’m so anxious to design and make a new quilt. Feel like it’s been way too long.  I’ve just not been inspired, until this week when I came across this gorgeous print by M&S Textiles Australia. Yes, it is one piece, NOT pieced. Circles and stripes in jewel tones, oh my! I can hardly wait to get started. I’ll be away teaching at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar next week and hope to find a few minutes in the evening to play and work out some new designs. Fingers crossed.

I love EVERYTHING about this fabric!!
I love EVERYTHING about this fabric!!

That’s it for today. Hope wherever you live, you are staying warm and cozy. It’s such a perfect time to be inside working on projects. Take advantage.

Until next time, keep your eyes open for inspiration, it’s everywhere.

mug

Laura Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Nepenthe, a Story, a Riddle and a Giveaway

I want to start with a riddle. Think of this as you read on, and at the end, I will give you an opportunity to answer the riddle for a giveaway!

What do a cook, a quilter and an ocean view have in common?

I feel like I have opened the door to a whole new world this past few weeks.
My husband gave me a beautiful book for Christmas, My Nepenthe, by Romney Steele.

my-nepenthe
My Nepenthe by Romney Steele

If you live on the West Coast, you may know of the restaurant, Nepenthe. I think of Nepenthe as more of a destination than just a restaurant. For years, my family has been making the drive down the coast to spend a magical day in Big Sur, California. We visit some of the most beautiful coastline available, stroll through majestic redwoods and explore the bohemic lifestyle in this mystical place that inspired artists, writers and creative souls over the years.NepentheView

But at the end of the day, we always, and I do mean always, stop to visit Nepenthe.

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It is the perfect way to end a day in Big Sur.We relax and enjoy the spectacular views, have something to eat, and then search for a special treasure  in the gift shop, The Phoenix.The Phoenix

It was on one of my first visits, I looked up at the vaulted ceilings in The Phoenix and noticed quilts hanging from the rafters in all their glorious colors. That is the day I found out Kaffe Fasset‘s family owned Nepenthe.

You would think that being given a beautiful book called My Nepenthe would be a very meaningful gift for me. But it even gets better.

 

Author Romney Steele is also co-owner of a very special cafe, oyster and wine bar in historic Old Oakland appropriately named The Cook and Her Farmer2015-01-30 14.18.37My husband eats many of his lunches there, noshing on an extraordinary grilled cheese sandwich or a bowl of savory mussels.

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As much as I love the food, I also love simply taking in the atmosphere. Colorful jars of canned goods and bowls of fresh produce line the counters.They convey the spirit of her farm to table principles.

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You can pull up a cheery, red stool to the warm, wooden tables for a casual and communal meal.
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I am in awe of those able to convey their vision so clearly for others to enjoy. Romney’s bio describes herself as a writer, cook and visual artist. I would agree. Whether I am reading her book, sitting in her establishment or peeking at her blog, there is a vision that she is sharing. It is warm, and colorful, and I enjoy being a part of it.

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So all of this leads up to my gift, the book My Nepenthe. A book of stories and tales of Big Sur.  It is a story about food, family, how it all unfolds around the table and why that matters. It celebrates the magic and history of the family who started Nepenthe, Romney Steele’s family and yes, the Fassett family.

Ahhh, it’s all coming together, now isn’t it??? Kaffe Fassett is Romney Steele’s uncle!

 

I am sure many of you have read and loved the autobiography by Kaffe Fassett’s, Dreaming in Colour, which shares his stories of life in Big Sur.

KaffeConsider My Nepenthe as part of a series of books. The book is lovely. The stories are wonderful, the visuals are inspiring and the recipes are fresh and unique.

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Even the design elements are delightful. Romney used Kaffe Fassett’s ever popular Millefiore design for the spine of the book, along with remnants of her grandmother’s smocks which were scanned and shared throughout the pages. It is so amazing to know a family such as the Fassett family could completely embrace the spirit of creativity.

Aren’t we fortunate that they did?2015-02-02 09.43.53

Romney Steele.
Romney Steele

 

 

 

To end my story, I want to share a excerpt from Romney Steele’s blog,

Romney Steele (words + food + visual).

She writes about her love of cooking in words that resonate with the way I feel about quilting:

 

plumgorgeouscover
Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard – Romney Steele’s latest book

“I often turn to cooking when I feel out of sorts, when I feel less than grounded, less than knowing my way. Cooking, like gardening, feels tangible. Whether slicing lemons for a bright marmalade, or turning over the soil to plant spring greens, both feel grounded in my history and in my present–in so much that is healing and gives me joy. Preparing and sharing food creates a feeling of well being, of time well spent and good work done. It’s also deeply meditative, restorative by way of making.” Romney Steele

 

Thank you Romney. Your words inspire me to be true to myself. To do what I do because it is who I am. But for now, I am yearning for the Big Sur Life and I just want to curl up in some quilts and read all about it!

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So, dear readers,

What do a a cook, a quilter and an ocean view have in common?

MakingWavesPatterns-Cover1What do you think they have in common?  Leave your answer and share what inspires you as a comment. One of you will win a copy of our newest pattern, Making Waves.

I hope you enjoyed my story.

Have a great week!

Pati

A Note from Laura and Pati

Laura Nownes
Laura Nownes
Pati Fried
Pati Fried

As we move into 2015 we are reminded of how grateful we are to you, our readers, who take time out of your busy lives to check in with us each week. There have been many changes here at SHWS since our first post went live in January of 2011. With a bit of trepidation and a leap of faith we hit the Publish button, taking our first step into the world of social media. As Jennifer moves on to pursue her dreams of writing her own blog at Chasing Bright Shiny Objects, we wish her all the best and hope you will follow along with her, as we plan to do.

We continue our commitment to share Ideas, Inspiration and Information with you. With those goals in mind, we have many plans for SHWS. We are excited to share some of the upcoming topics we have planned for you.

Kim Andersson
Kim Andersson

New Video Tutorials and Live Interviews

Starting off in a few weeks will be a “how-to” video on curve piecing to partner with our newest pattern, Making Waves.

Also scheduled on the calendar is an interview with the talented designer, Kim Andersson from Windham Fabrics, as she stops by to chat with us at See How We Sew.

 

1st shipment of fat quarters

 

New Fabrics

We will continue to feature new fabrics throughout the year.  Our latest shipment from P & B Textiles and Andover Fabrics is already sliced and pieced and making it’s way into some truly innovative new quilt designs.

And of course, we won’t forget to offer plenty of giveaways along the way!

Bel Air by Lauren Marcella for Andover Fabrics
Bel Air by Lauren Marcella for Andover Fabrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Products

We can’t wait to play with these new wedge rulers by Quint Measuring Systems. The largest one is huge . . . oh, the possibilities!

New Wedge rulers from Quint offers sizes from 9-36 degrees and lengths up to 24".
New Wedge rulers from Quint offers sizes from 9-36 degrees & lengths up to 24″.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a sneak peek at one of our new designs.Ombre wedge

MakingWavesPatterns-Cover1

New Patterns and Projects

Our Pattern Page is getting some current TLC and will soon be filled with creative new projects for you to explore! Check out  our newest pattern, Making Waves. We still have lots of free downloads available so take time to explore the many patterns available to you.

 

 

CarolVanZandt
Carol Van Zandt

New Photo Galleries

We are very pleased to have Carol Van Zandt of The Plaid Portico join us periodically to share her view from the camera lens as she visits upcoming quilt exhibits. Carol does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of quilt shows and we are thrilled she has agreed to share her work with us on our Gallery Page moving forward.

 

Please stay tuned for all of the excitement as we shift gears and move forward into 2015. And remember to stay in touch with us on your favorite social media venue.

fb_icon_325x325      youtube     download     Pinterest-logo1-300x300

Until next time,

Laura & Pati

 

 

Margaret Linderman Shares Her Frida Kahlo Inspired Projects

Here she is, all decked out in her Frida Kahlo inspired vest. With a passion for color and design, quilt artist Margaret Linderman finds inspiration in the works of painter, Frida Kahlo. From quilts, to wearable arts and collage works, it’s evident that this talented woman just oozes creativity. It’s who she is and what she does.

Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.
Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.

 

Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.
Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.

 

This beautiful mola is the lining of the Frida Kahlo vest.
This beautiful mola is the lining of the Frida Kahlo vest.

If you missed my last post about Margaret’s recent surprise birthday party and beautiful Frida Kahlo quilt, simply click here to read about this special day. As promised, here are just a few of the many projects Margaret has made over the years. Enjoy!

Frida Kahlo jacket by Margaret Linderman based on a pattern by Marci Tilton.
Frida Kahlo jacket by Margaret Linderman based on a pattern by Marci Tilton.

 

Folkloric wallhanging. Our Lady of Guadalupe made with Guatemalan and Indian fabrics for All Souls Day.
Folkloric wallhanging. Our Lady of Guadalupe made with Guatemalan and Indian fabrics for All Souls Day.

 

Margaret with her Square in an Square quilt.
Margaret with her Square in an Square quilt.

Margaret joined the hexagons with marigold as she tells me that this color is the custom used on graves for All Souls Day.

Day of the Dead/All Souls Day quilt made for Margaret's granddaughter.
Day of the Dead/All Souls Day quilt made for Margaret’s granddaughter.

 

A beautiful example of Margaret's collage work used to border her silk jacket.
A beautiful example of Margaret’s collage work used to border her silk jacket.

 

A 1960s mola is added to the back of this jacket.
A 1960s mola is added to the back of this jacket.

 

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Couldn’t resist sharing with you some of the beautiful silver bracelets Margaret is known for wearing.

A sampling of Margaret's collection of silver bracelets.
A sampling of Margaret’s collection of silver bracelets.

Here’s the cover of one of Margaret’s favorite books on Frida . . . obviously chock full of inspiration.

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Thanks for stopping in today and wishing  you all a week filled with inspiration. Until next time…

Laura Signature

 

 

A See How We Sew Tradition: Our Top 10 Posts for 2014

Inspiration-J:  Xmas Tree

Hello dear readers! Hope the holiday season is  treating you well. We’re enjoying the closing days of 2014, and looking forward to all sorts of crafting and sewing adventures in 2015. You’ll remember that last year we shared our Top 10 Posts for 2013 and we’re establishing a New Year’s tradition by looking at our results for 2014 and sharing them with you.

Like last year, you favor learning about techniques, notable textile artists, and products:

  1. Patterns
  2. Walk Your Stitches Out of the Ditch
  3. 10 Things I’ve Learned From Hanging Out with Candace Kling
  4. Drafting Part 2:  Making an 8-Pointed or Lemoyne Star
  5. Candace Kling, Masterful Manipulator of Fabric & Ribbon
  6. Prewash or Not? Quilting’s Perennial Question
  7. Feeling Frantic?  Check Out These Last-Minute Goodies
  8. Gallery
  9. Soft & Stable:  An Alternative to Batting
  10. Creating Curved Pieced Blocks and Landscapes with Sue Rasmussen

Enjoy the waning days of our Winter holidays and do check back to see what we have in store for 2015!

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