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November 2012





Six baby girls joined our family yesterday! Four Ameraucanas and two Barred Plymouth Rocks - names for which are being thought up by me and the surreptitiously planted in the mind of Finn. If it were up to him, I do believe our chicks would have names like "tree" or "car" or whatever else he sees at any given moment. If it were up to Lachlan, we'd call them all "chicken coop," his new favorite phrase.

It feels like I've mentally had chickens for a long time - since we lived in Mexico and had neighbors' chickens free-ranging in our yard. I've owned chicken books for years. I always knew we'd eventually get a backyard flock, but it wasn't until now that everything fell into its proper place. The boys don't self-destruct if I do something else for a little while. They get along and entertain each other. We have enough money to buy wood and a circular saw to build a coop, and we get enough sleep so that using the circular saw is no longer just plain foolishness! We're going to be "cooped up" for the next few weekends in order to focus on building a home for our little ladies. Here's to mastering power tools!

autumn snapshots

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Autumn started out with baby nakedness, though we seem to be in full-clad balaclava season now. (I love these hoods, and so do the boys - they keep their necks so cozy! I think some mama made knitted versions are called for.) In between quilt market preparations, we had a month full of apples, leaves crunching under foot, and seasonal art projects.

We made a weekend camping trip to the mountains to visit Sky Top Orchard and came back with baskets overflowing with ripe, red apples. We poured over The Artful Year: Autumn Crafts and Recipes, and loved our pumpkin waffles, pumpkin play dough, and other leaf-related art projects. We had friends over for a campfire and Lachlan tasted his first s'more (which he didn't finish - apparently he prefers spicy thai peanut and vegetable soup, the leftovers of which he gobbled up for breakfast the other day!)

My knitting needles are clicking away. All the winter clothes have been dug out from their summer hiding spots. Rays of golden light angle low and fall onto my typing fingers, through the bright windows in my studio, quiet for one more day before six little chicks make it their temporary home. 

Things are feeling just right.

back in the saddle

First things first - I can't start writing before I send out a heartfelt thank-you to my dear friend Charlotte, who kept my blog filled with beautiful pictures and thoughtful words while I was getting ready for Quilt Market. The Beatles were right - you can get by with a little (or a lot - in my case!) help from your friends.

And thank you to you, dear readers, for understanding my need to be absent from this space in order to spend any "extra" time I had focused on my boys. It's all a juggling act, and, for me at least, I just have to cross things off of my list and not look back. These boys are only little once.

Quilt Market Fall 2012

But the sewing gig? Not too bad. My Quilt Market right-of-passage complete, I can now reflect on the logistical nightmare of it with a touch of comedic hindsight. Oh my, I do hate logistics and  event planning. This I now know about myself. The late shipment of my booth? The "missing" 1x4 studs on one section of my booth wall? Golly, man. Once again, though, my "at-least-we're-not-in-the-hospital" mantra got me through just fine. Lack of logistical finesse in type B personalities is always made up for by a "whatever, it will all work out" attitude to snags in the road.

Enough of the getting there and back part, though. You probably want to know about what happened once the Sew Liberated booth was set up, right? Here it is!

Quilt Market Fall 2012

This was the fun part - the decorating! You can also see four of my five new patterns on display - the blue dress, the colorful quilt, the white apron, and the yellow top. I assure you that they do have more creative names than color descriptions! They're due out by January 1st. I'll certainly let you know more once we're closer to the release date. And check out my logo poster, c/o my neighbors at Spoonflower - did you know they now do custom printed wallpaper? This stuff is great, let me tell you. It worked superbly for my "kraft paper" logo, although I'll likely choose another design for a wall in my house ...

Quilt Market Fall 2012

Yep! It's true! Sew Liberated is taking sewing patterns into the next generation with free video tutorials for our newest garment patterns. You'll get to watch my amazing intern, Danica, sew up everthing from the first to the last step!

Quilt Market Fall 2012

Just after the booth prize committe showed up an awarded us with a 1st prize in the single booth category, I posed with the giganticus ribbon and the nifty plaque (that would find a home next to my trophy for the free throw tournament I won in 6th grade, if I still had it ...) But wow, I totally wasn't expecting this! There were so many other booths there that were utterly beautiful and I'm sure they deserve this prize more than I do.

Quilt Market Fall 2012

I can't go on, though, without mentioning Kim. Kim Ventura has been working at Sew Liberated for several years now, and I can most certainly say that, without her help, Quilt Market wouldn't have been possible. (And a lot of other things wouldn't have been possible either - see that quilt there? She's the genius behind the quilt.) Kim stepped up and, though we'd worked together for years, we'd never met in person. (She's in Ohio and has helped out with sample sewing and techical writing since she tested the Schoolhouse Tunic back in the day!) She got on a plane and flew to Houston, helped set up the booth, introduce Sew Liberated to fabric shop owners who we hadn't met before, and just kept me in such good spirits throughout the five days we were in Houston. Such a kind, thoughtful, creative person! (I'm bummed this picture didn't turn out great, but it makes me happy just looking at it - thank you, Kim!)

Quilt Market Fall 2012

Here I am with Christine Haynes, the easy going and fun sewing teacher, fellow Craftsy instructor and pattern designer! Christine works at Sew L.A. - a great sewing studio in Los Angeles.

Quilt Market Fall 2012

I met lots of very lovely people at Market, including mother-and-daughter team April and Anita, who own Sew To Speak in Columbus, OH. We had dinner with Rae, hobnobbed with fabric companies, and got to know many other amazing designers. I only with I had had more time to take more pictures of other booths! It's a real visual explosion, this Quilt Market thing. You leave with way more things on your "to-make" list than you had when you arrived.

I'm pleased to say that everything is now unpacked, my studio has been spiffed up for some actual sewing, and things are back to normal once again.

Well, if you count bringing home six baby chicks on Thursday as normal, that is!