Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quilty Indulgence Goes Live!

Happy Friday! I have finally finished the big secret project! I have completed the copyright for my bib pattern, the Quilted Toddler Bib!   I have some more patterns that I am working on and will get them copyrighted and posted soon.
The bib pattern grew out of necessity as I watched my angel of a granddaughter eating her first little bowls of baby food. Her daddy would warn you to watch for what he termed “blow back”. Then there was the “waterfall of food” and a number of other potential actions that were a constant threat to whatever my little darling was wearing. I immediately saw the problem and needed to think of a solution. Thus the Quilted Toddler Bib was born. I chased my granddaughter around the house with an old T-Shirt, snipping and clipping to get it to fit properly in order to make the pattern and then, because she wasn’t the most patient of models, I kept modifying it at home and taking it back for fittings. We finally got it just right and I started making them for her.

That’s when the fun really began because as the parents of my granddaughter’s friends saw these bibs, they wanted some for their own children. I became a bib making machine and then a light came on in my head and I realized that I really had something here. I just had to get it all down on paper, and then get that paper printed!

I wanted the actual bib pattern to be full size (not one you had to tape together), so that required “big girl software” so that when I took the final drawing to the printer, it would print all in one piece. The paper needed to be 24 X 30 inches and my home printer certainly couldn’t handle that task. During this time my granddaughter turned two and outgrew the original bib, so I then I realized I had to make a larger size. So back to the computer drawing board I went, and I overlaid the larger size onto the same paper, like you do with sewing patterns and back to the printer I went. The printer I was using specializes in construction blueprints and such, and talking to him about sewing patterns was quite a lark. He just couldn’t wrap his head around what I was trying to accomplish until I stated, “this is the blueprint to build a bib.” Suddenly we were on the same page! The rest, as they say, is history.
Stop by my etsy shop, if you will, and have a look around. I love company! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Oh, and the inspiration for the bib is the little princess below, Miss Madelyn Mary!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Miraculous Teak Oil

I believe that my thought for the day, though it doesn't involve quilting, should definitely be shared. It is quite simple, actually. Above you see a teak Adirondack chair and stool. It is three years old and was looking terribly grey and nothing like it did when we received it. I was talking to the genius at Home Depot and asked him what stain and varnish I should use to revive my Adirondack chairs and stools and he said, and I quote, "Why don't you just rub in some Teak Oil?" Who knew? Certainly not me? At any rate, the above photo is the before shot, and the one directly below is the after. That stuff is amazing and I danced in circles I was so happy with the end result. A very good thing. Miraculous actually.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Widget on the Right Announcing....

YES!!! I am so blessed! My daughter and her husband are expecting a new baby December 9th! That means I will have TWO grandchildren from the best parents in the whole world. I am so proud of those two, and my granddaughter is very blessed to have "choosen" them for parents. So, Grandma being the nerd that she is, I found what I think to be the coolest baby countdown graphic ever. Scroll down - it is on the right and shows the developement and days left until my new little peanut arrives.

The photo above was taken minutes after my first grandchild, Madelyn Mary, was born -That is me holding her. Big sigh... life is really good...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quilty Friendships Begin Here

It has been said the a true friend knows you better than you know yourself. I can agree completely with that statement, and I have proof hanging on my porch. Little more than a year ago I was blessed enough to have another quilter stumble onto my blog and post a comment. That led to emails back and forth. Literally thousands of emails have been swapped, and there was even a trip to the International Quilt Fest in Chicago where we were able to meet in person and spend one of the best days ever. Words just can't describe just how fun that day was.

All that being said, many months ago I received in the mail a package that contained the print that is shown above and below, hanging on my porch wall. When that box arrived in the mail from my dear friend, the porch didn't even exist. We hadn't built it yet. When I opened that box, I literally gasped. It was a scene that I had seen many times in my mind. For 15 years my husband and I have privately spoken of "the porch" that one day we would sit on, in wicker chairs, watching our grandchildren playing in our back yard while we sipped tea and looked back on our life. One year he even found a greeting card for me that depicted the exact scene we both had seen in our minds, describing our hope for our future. We had never discussed this with anyone else - it was just our quiet wish to one day own our own home in sunny Florida with a porch that we could sit on and reflect. We have been very blessed since moving to Clearwater, and the dream is now the reality, and today I was able to hang the final piece on that porch of my dreams - the print from a friend who knows me well enough to see something tangible and know that it matches me - right down to the exact wicker chairs and the hanging baskets of red impatiens. I am a very lucky girl. Thanks Mare. You're the best.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Copyright Pending....

Yes, I know I have been away for entirely too long. However, as much as I detest excuses, I must say I have very valid ones. I have been extremely busy with family and work, as well as my new pet project which I can only hint at today. I will tell you that it involves quilting though! Oh, and the photo above is a close up of one example of the finished product. Oh, and obviously it isn't a pattern for a Dresden Plate - THAT has already been done. The Dresden Plate is only an example of an embleshment option. This embroidery design from Hoopsisters is outstanding and if you have an embroidery machine, you should check it out.

I created a quilting pattern that is in the process of being copyrighted as I type this, and as a result of the pending copyright my legal counsel asked that I not slap it all over my blog until he has all the legal, yet terribly boring, things in place. He could suck the joy out of the most joyful of events. At any rate, I will tell you that I now have a huge appreciation for anyone that has created a pattern for sale! I created the pattern, after much trial and error, and loved the result. I was so busy making these "things" that it took me awhile to realize that I really had something there. SO, that is when the real work began. First I had to create for a printer, on my own computer, a 24 X 30 inch rendering of the pattern for insertion into the package. This had to be done exactly to scale so that when it printed it was the exact size and dimensions of the well worn pattern I was using already. No easy task. I had to redo that file no less than 15 times before I got it right. Right now I will tell you honestly that I detest curves. They are evil. Simple, yet very evil. I also had to learn new software because Microsoft Publisher and all my other computer programs would insist on breaking it up for 8 x 11 paper no matter what I set the page size at. Craziness - simply craziness. Then I had to create the step by step directions. Might sound easy, but let me tell you, that is no easy feat either. When you can do something in your sleep, and then have to write up how to do it, you keep skipping very important steps that you think, "...goes without saying..." Nope. You have to write it ALL out and back it up with real live photos. Step by step. THAT took me weeks.

OK, so all that being said, it is now in the hands of my amazingly talented "Presidents of Pattern Testing" and I await their response. I feel as though I am waiting for the doctor to tell me, after my children were born, that everything is just fine.........