Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another busy day

I'm trying to catch up here, after the trip, with everything going on in my life! Unpacking and reorganizing after a two week absence and trying to get out new designs AND getting the studio ready has been quite a challenge.

First stop today will be IKEA (one of my favorite places in the world) for more inspiration and solutions for the studio space. We've got a very ecclectic mix going on with everything from primitive to artsy "whimsical" to contemporary...demonstrating that quilting and crafting is compatible with ALL styles. Something for everyone I hope :)

I'm also finishing up designs this weekend for my new Halloween- themed embroideries that will be available in August or September, new fabrics - including more yarn-dyes (woo-hoo!), and projects for a new book. Honestly...just the tip of the iceberg. head is spinning ;-)

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Party Time in Iowa

If you're not a member of Party with Patrick at your local participating quilt shop, this is the project you'll be missing out on at the May parties. Your local shop isn't a member shop? Let them know that you want to party with us!

Every month, there's a new quilted project for members to make at the parties, held at the shop. Shop owners and their hosts and hostesses have been very creative at coming up with their own monthly themes and offerings including snacks made from the recipes that come with your membership.

It's a lot of fun, at the very least, and I'm in Iowa right now visiting and teaching at four member shops! I'll be at Common Threads, Pine Needles Sewing Center, The Stitch and Quilting Connection and I can't wait to party with everyone there.

We're also spending the next two days getting all of the projects for Quilting Celebrations photographed and, although it's a challenging task, I'm really looking forward to it. I think you're gonna love the magazine.

On another note...what the heck happened to spring? It's stormy and cold here. I hope you're enjoying a more acceptable spring where you are ;-)

Cheers ~

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New pattern!

Here's just one of the new patterns that will be available in June. This one is lots of fun to make and includes patterns and instructions for a 15 x 30" banner and a 12" scalloped edge candle mat. The bats' eyes are white buttons with black thread "pupils" and I designed the banner hanger to coordinate. It will also be available to order!

Keep an eye out here for the other new releases coming soon :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

Do you celebrate May Day or did you as a kid? If so, what was, or is, customary where you live?

I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and kids loved May Day. Each May 1st, we made baskets out of construction paper or "oak tag" (who else remembers the multi-use wonders of oak tag?) or attached pipe cleaner handles to custom-decorated plastic or paper cups and filled them with penny candy and maybe a few violets to deliver to the front doors of "unsuspecting" friends and neighbors.

One of the objects of this funny little custom was to get the task accomplished without being caught. It was fairly impossible. When I was a kid, it seemed the time between Easter Sunday and Independence Day was a barren, uneventful stretch of time on the calendar with no trees to decorate or feasts to celebrate or gifts to receive save for the the simple pleasures of a few baskets of candy bestowed by friends and playmates on May Day. So, we looked forward to the day and we waited by our doors and windows and hid in the shrubs outside hoping to catch the carriers of the candies in the act! Another part of the custom, if I remember it correctly, was that the basket-bringers were to be kissed, if caught. But we didn't partake in that aspect as kids...ick.

There were lots of kids in our small neighborhood. That's mostly because I'm the eldest of eight in my family alone. But what was so wonderful about the block we lived on was that the adults could be just as childlike as we were when it came to the holidays and celebrations throughout the year. I'll never forget catching one of our favorite neighbor ladies, Mattie (Mary), hiding in the bushes across the street from our house with an armload of eight of those green strawberry basket containers filled to the tops with candy as she waited to dart across the street to drop them on our front porch and run back home. What a great memory and what an impression her actions must have made that, 40 years or more later, I remember it like it was yesterday! Even though I don't celebrate May Day anymore, those kinds of childhood memories have become a part of what I think about every May 1st.

If you have memories of May Day or still celebrate it today, we'd love to hear about it. Judging from all of the fun submissions we got on the Halloween question last week, I'll bet you have some interesting thoughts to offer. So, let's have another contest; Answer the questions at the beginning of this blog post, as a comment here or on my personal Facebook fan page or the Party with Patrick fan page. We'll take submissions through Wednesday, May 5th and anyone who submits will be entered into a drawing for a Scribbles fat quarter pack of 11 pieces from the collection. Post as many times as you'd like but each name will only be entered into the drawing once.

And if you'd like to make a cute little construction paper or oak tag basket, there's a pattern offered here:

Fill it with candy or little flowers and sneak off to make someone's day! Have fun :)