Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Sister Challenge Part 1

My sister, Carol, has a real eye for color.  Sometimes she mixes fabrics that one might not think would go together.  When the project is done, it is always eye-catching and always looks good.  So when she told me she was sending me 40 2 1/2" strips of mostly oriental fabrics for the Sister Challenge, I was excited.  Carol sent a set to our other sister, Janet, and kept a set for herself.  Here is the roll of fabric:

It looks beautiful, doesn't it.  My challenge is to pick a pattern and make a quilt.  Not too hard, you say?  Here is another view of the fabric:

Aha!  So pretty and so well coordinated!  Well, Carol likes a challenge.  I divided the fabrics into darks and lights.  Look what I found:

Cute Little Owls!
Well, they should blend right in.  But are the light fabrics: 

Now this is getting interesting!  How will these look?  It is a good thing I follow Freddy Moran's advice which is basically, 10 fabrics are not enough, 100 looks just right. 

I have a dilemma.  The pattern I picked out uses 48 2 1/2 inch strips.  Should I add more from my own stash or pick another pattern?  I'm heading down to my craft room (currently a disaster area) to roll in my fabric and see what I can find.  I just got some Kawaii fabrics with dogs.  Should I toss them in?  Why not?  I already have owls and robots.  I'll let you know how the project progresses.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On the Road

I've been traveling for work from one end of the state to the other.  All this traveling has cut into my crafting time.  I've been thinking a lot about quilting and especially fabric.  I love fabric.  There are a couple of great blogs you might want to view.  First is True Up, a blog about fabric.  The True Up folks love fabric as much as anyone on the web.  Another great blog is Material Obsession.  If you haven't read the book by Australians Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke you are missing a treat. 

I've been making towels to sell on Etsy.  The latest is a black on white doxie kitchen towel:

It is so cute! I've made the same design in blue and pink.  You can see them at my Etsy shop, Rhinoceros Rose

For more great embroidery designs, check out Chris's Craft Shop.  Check out her cute Roosters.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Betsie Bay Fiber, Day 2

Hmm, the store of my dreams will have to wait for me to stock the shelves with wonderful fabric. I'm going sailing. Of course, sailing requires some skill.

Ah well, despite a few problems, we have fun. Sailboats often have lovely names that speak of leisurely days or perhaps, a loved one. We named our Sunfish "Irving". Don't ask why; I don't know.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Welcome to Betsie Bay Fiber Arts

What is Betsie Bay Fiber Arts? At this time, it is a thought, a dream, a vision for tomorrow. If it was brick and mortar, it would be located on the shore of Betsie Bay in the beautiful town of Frankfort, Michigan. Frankfort sits nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan way up north. Across the bay is the village of Elberta, sadly worn down in places but on its way to being revitalized.
I’ve been visiting Frankfort and the surrounding areas of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for over twenty years. It is where my family goes for vacations. It is the epitome of small town USA, which is just one more reason to love it.
In my dream, I live in a big house on Forest Avenue. In the summer, I bike to work. My dog, Emme, now white-faced with age, rides in a cart behind the bike. She is happy and barks at the box trucks bringing early morning shipments to the vendors in town.
Emme and I unlock the door to the shop and flip on the lights. The store in on Main Street, across from Betsie Bay. We’re not right downtown as we had to find a location with plenty of parking spaces. You know we are busy with lots of quilters arriving each weekend to delight in the newest fabrics from our favorite designers. I can smell cherry pie being baked at the bakery next door. I sniff appreciatively along with Emme.
Emme waddles slowly over to her dog bed, quilted of course! She stares at her water dish and barks at me to fill it with cool, fresh water. As I fill Emme’s bowl with water and set down another with kibble, my sister, Janet, flies through the door, with Buddy right behind her. They have driven over from their house on Crystal Lake. Cooper has stayed home with Janet’s husband, Al. Both Al and Cooper have too much energy to spend the day playing with fabric. Buddy sticks his head in the bowl of kibble and inhales it. Emme looks at him and shakes her head at his gluttony. She is too comfortable on her bed to get up and bark at him. Buddy turns three times and flops down on the bed next to Emme.
My other sister, Carol, isn’t in town. She owns a piece of Betsie Bay Fiber Arts but, she is still living in Salt Lake City. Soon, she says, she will join us in Michigan. She just has to convince Norman that he wants to move back to the Midwest.
The store won’t open for another hour. Janet starts a pot of coffee and we smile happily at our good fortune.

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