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Last Build Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 09:39:30 -0800

Copyright: Copyright 2011

Oregon vs. Auburn BCS Championship Game is a Family Feud for the Halladays

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 09:39:30 -0800

As if a family doesn’t have enough to argue about, my brother-in-law, Shawn Halladay and his wife Karen have to be super-refs this weekend.  You see Shawn and Karen, who live in Salt Lake City, Utah have two kids in college. And defying all odds those kids attend Oregon and Auburn. The University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon is 800 miles from Salt Lake and 2,600 miles from Auburn, Alabama. The Halladays had no connection to these schools before choosing them to attend college.
I am not sure if any other family will experience as much sibling rivalry as the Halladays tonight as the BCS Championship is played in Glendale, Arizona and Shawn, Karen and their children Anna and Patrick will be there. Anna Halladay is a junior at Oregon and her brother Patrick is a sophomore at Auburn.  Auburn is ranked #1 and Oregon #2 and the two teams will battle it out for college sports supremacy tonight.
The story was covered in the Salt Lake City newspaper, the Deseret News. They'll be in the stands at the game with daughter, Anna, who is a Duck, and son, Patrick, who is a Tiger. While each of the Halladay children will wear the colors of their respective schools, Karen and Shawn received special shirts from another family member for just this occasion.
"My brother got me a yellow shirt with green letters that says 'Go Oregon (daughter) and Go Auburn (son)," said Karen. "My husband's shirt is Navy blue with orange letters and says the same thing. The kids will be in their school colors."
I can relate to family members pitted against family members. The annual BYU-Utah football game makes for an interesting day at our house when school loyalties trump all and I (BYU) and my husband Hal (Utah) find ourselves gridiron rivals for the day. 

Get Brownie Points, Get a Quilt Kit, Give Back, Be Merry!

Wed, 15 Dec 2010 19:18:18 -0800

The packages are wrapped.The turkey is thawed---but, only because we had incredible rain storms which flew a fuse in out Christmas lights, which unbeknownst to me also tripped the breaker which turned off the freezer--which caused the turkey to begin thawing a bit early!  And yes, our electricity when out as well during the storms and the internet was down.Come to find out, our dog, Capone, chewed through the internet and TV cable because he was bored when we were out Christmas shopping!So, when Holly Holderman of Lakehouse DryGoods asked me to post yesterday...I literally had to say electricy went out and the "dog chewed" my connection and I could not do my "blog homework"!.Edison fixed the soggy transformer, and the cable man saved me by reinstalling my internet connection and laughed at my 10- year old router.  So he gave me a new one of those too! And now I can post about the awesome goings on at Lakehouse always Holly has some great things up her hardworking sleeves!In the spirit of giving, Holly has figured out a way to get you quilters a great deal on an adorable quilt kit and to give back to the community. We are partnering with Holly to give you the opportunity to buy a darling quilt kit called "Fast Flowers Quilt" --it is a twin-bed size and is only $108.95--including shipping! Part of the proceeds from the quilt kit will go the the Orange County Humane Society, here in California.The OC Humane Society is where our family rescued Capone--the cable chewing puppy just a year ago.The pattern for this quilt is an exclusive free downloadable pattern from and is featured in their Winter 2010 magazine.At my shop, Fresh Picked Fabrics, we are fans of Lakehouse fabrics and carry Holly's lines.  Here are a couple of quilts we have made using her fun flowers fabrics.And we have re-ordered her Dolly Dresses numerous times and I think we have finally bought out LakeHouse's warehouse of the last two bolts this last week.If you are interested in buying the "Fast Flowers Quilt kit--you also have an an option to buy the backing for an additional $60.  The price includes shipping too!Be sure and check out Holly's tips for "fussy cutting" and other ideas for perfect quilt construction! I am happy to be a part of the "Brownie Points" program, please give us a call at the shop 1-888-82-QUILT and we can order up a kit for you.  Wishing you and yours the Best Holiday Season and a Happy and Quilty New Year!   [...]

Denyse Schmidt Does A Solo Show

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 23:54:15 -0800


Denyse Schmidt's work speaks to me.  I love this quilt and just about everything she creates.  Here is a quick note from Denyse inviting you all to attend the show.  The show starts later this month at University of Bridgeport's Arnold Center Gallery. Congrats my friend.


Dear friends,
I hope you can join me at the opening of my solo exhibition at the University of Bridgeport's Arnold Bernhard Center Gallery, on Thursday October 21, from  5 - 7pm.

The show will include my quilts, fabrics, and other projects – as well as some of the sketches and reference materials that inform my process. A great opportunity to see the "art" of my business!



Creating Time! Making New Patterns and Quilt Market Samples...Plus There Is A New Fabric Company In Town!

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 21:20:54 -0800

Creating Fun!  I get the opportunity to play with --and design with-- new fabric lines...Things get a little crazy the weeks just before Quilt Market, when fabric companies and fabric designers are madly sewing up samples so show off their goods.Every once in a while, I will get a surprise package in the mail of bits and pieces (sometimes a yard or two) of fabric strike offs and I attempt to make a quilt with the goods.  Here's are some things I have been working on for the upcoming International Quilt Market.This is "bonded cuddle" fabric by Shannon Fabrics.  It has a "leather feel" on one side and fur on the other side--the two fabrics have been bonded together and act as one fabric. If you bought a yard of this 60" wide bonded cuddle, all you would have to do is add a binding and you could have a cute snuggly.  We also added some prairie points and some ric rac.In another quilt project, we added borders to the bonded cuddle center, then we racked up up on the quilting machine with a backing and batting.  We only quilted the borders, then cut away the backing and batting from the center, letting the fur side of the bonded cuddle to show on the back.  I know it sounds complicated, but is quite easy. And lets  you take advantage of the double-sided fabric. NEW Fabric Company! Anthology enters the Quilting World market.This project (Threaded Pear Studio's "Modern Day Diamonds" Pattern) is made with fabric from a company --new to the quilting world, "Anthology".  This California based company has been creating beautiful fabrics for the garment industry and last spring introduced its first "quilt shop" fabrics. They are doing both prints and batiks and at this October's Quilt Market in Houston, they will be introducing over 125 new batiks to their collection! That is amazing.  Peter, the owner, is young and excited about creating wonderful fabrics that meets the needs of both the next generation of quilters as well as a seasoned quilter.     [...]

Tina Givens of "Sew Tina!" dishes with QuiltersBuzz! New Book Launches and There's A Giveaway too!

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:24:14 -0800

Here is my interview with Tina Givens for her Blog Book Tour for her book “Sew Tina!”, published by Lark. Read my interview with Tina in this post andread more about the book and the give-away here. Gina: Just got the book. Love, love, love it.  My favorites so far??? Bouncy Beret, Reverisble skirt and Brookies!..  Of course, you need to make a big people version as well!  Tina:I definitely do need to make a big girl version... I sew for myself all the time so it would be a nice part deux... Gina: How does your creativity flow....can you stop designing in your head or do you do it all night?  When you design either fabric or patterns.. .do you think clothing? home decor or quilting?    Tina: I sort of have to turn it off or I'd go nuts.... I create in cycles... I have to apply my art and design to different medium and production specs so for stationery and paper design I craft a collection... (but little motifs of characters and such come to me all the time); creating pattern and surface design for textiles is a whole other creative process and starts with an idea... then it grows from there. And when I am in the 'zone' I can't shut it off. I need my sleep so I sort of shut it off before bedtime by having a quiet read, a cup of tea and just shutting off the mind. When I design clothing or specific home dec pieces... those designs are always there. I seem to pull from a massive inventory of designs in my head.... I do have sketch books and constantly add to them so if I reference these for add-ons, similar themed shapes and such to bring a collection together. For a quilt pattern I have my math hat on and begin with a shape I like that talks to the fabric I am making the quilt from. So Opal Owl focused on a simple bird house block, and then went from there. MY new fabric collection, Haven's Edge has a lovely trellis shape pattern and I am working on using that within the quilt.....   Gina: How do you balance motherhood and work?  Tina: I have help! As women we are amazingly talented at multitasking the kids, the menu, the home and the kid activities... not to mention reading to them, loving them and playing the tickle game... However, for the small bits and pieces like laundry, cleaning the house I make sure someone other than myself is responsible for that! We all pitch in in this house but there are just some things that take my time that I'd rather be with my kids... Very important to my psyche as a mom and as a working mom. They do their homework with me in my home studio, they each have a desk near by. I do spend a lot of time at the gymnastics school and on the soccer field. I also have a Kevin! He's the sweetest and the best dad in the world... he does car pool when I can't. My advice: list the activities and must-dos with your kids including quiet time for reading, and the things that take you away from them and start assigning those tasks to the husband, the mother-in-law, sister without children, cousin, or hire someone one day a week. Even every 2 weeks will make a difference! Gina: Are you messy when you create or have a method and system?  Tina: So messy.... I do have a methodology of sorts but no one would ever get it other than me... I throw things on the floor, fabric gets everywhere, I lose things but find them again... I am a sad mess. When I paint I am sort of tidy but not really. I paint in one place in the studio, and I need quiet to do so... but I jump from one painting to another. When I am on the computer working repeats in the fabric I get tidier even still. Not much to throw around there, but I do have a to-do list prepping files for engraving, or printing.  Gina: How free are you to create and let it flow in another direction--or do you try to keep on track?  Tina: It's never on 'track' and never ever ends up being what I thought it wo[...]

"Sew Tina!" Is SOOOOOO Good, "Says Gina!"--Book Review and Give Away!

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 10:16:54 -0800

I first met Tina Givens at Quilt Market several years back...her style of designing fabrics were like no other--quite out of the box!  Her colors amazing and crazy, the design elements unusual, but spectacular.  The size and scale of the d(image) esign elements larger than life and perhaps not fully understood in the quilting world. That put them all together into a quilt or creative project.

Tina is a multi-talented artist who designs textiles, giftware, ornaments, clothing, quilts and more.

Her quilt and clothing designs and patterns are simple ,yet stunning.  I knew I liked her instantly, because--she is adorable, nice and talented-- and because I felt I had a similar philosophy about the way I design patterns.  Be simple in design, but pick great fabrics...Make the fabric do all the work to make your quilt fantastic.

I got asked to review and help promote her book "Sew Tina!".

See more of the Blog Tour sponsored by Lark Books, the publisher here.  I am thrilled to be a part of the fun.

The book has 30 cute projects and adorable decor items for kids and infants.  A few of my favorites?  "Bouncy Beret"--a dang cute hat; "Brookies"--oversized and comfortable fancy shorts; and the reversible skirt--just for those who love to change their mind and their clothes a ba-zillion times.  And what girl wouldn't love to sleep under the "Sweet Dreams Canopy"?

The full-color book features a pattern pack (full-sized) at the front of the book and great illustrations and directions.  All of the projects are made using Tina's fabric line from Westminster Fibers/FreeSpirit Fabrics.

It is obvious that this mother of three "gets it" when it comes to creating simple designs that make "eveyday glorious". 

Catch Tina's blog at 

 Tina has also offered a giveaway! yippee!

Please make a comment by October 31, 2010 at midnight---the witching hour on Halloween-- and you will be randomly selected to win a book, fabric packs  or stationery from Tina.  I will pick 5 winners and ship out your goodies.

Getting Ready for Fall Quilt Market! Oh My! Wait, Wasn't I Just At Quilt Market???

Tue, 28 Sep 2010 14:12:09 -0800

 Madly creating is what I am doing.  And to be honest, I 


dont think I can do it any other way--madly that is.  It seems like just weeks ago we were in Minneapolis at Spring quilt market setting up this booth.  We featured a new pattern "Eliot" and it was a hit.

 I still need to put the finishing touches on a few other patterns from that Market and here I am with just a few weeks to go to ship stuff off to Houston for Fall Ma



But I am working on it!  And have Fairy Godmother, Kaye, stitching away-


-just about as madly  I am!

 How are you doing out there quilting buddies?

 Who is going to Houston market or festival?  I will be at both---in booth #666---pretty great booth number, since the show will be happening on Halloween.  


A New Blog For My Fabric Shop, Fresh Picked Fabrics...Catch all the shop happenings at

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 20:13:53 -0800