Blog Archive for April, 2011

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind around here, and I’m finally getting to sit down and write for the first time in what seems like ages! In the last 10 days I’ve sent off the final art for the new collection, finished the design for the new website and handed it off to be built, and survived – barely – the worst cold/flu thing I’ve had in recent memory. It hit Anabelle and Dave too, so we’ve been a bit of a sorry bunch. But I think we’re all on the mend, and now I can finally turn my focus to the next challenge: getting ready for the International Quilt Market next month! I’ve never done a trade show before, so I’m a bit nervous, but also really excited about it. I’m completely daunted by the long list of things I’ve planned to sew – samples, signs, curtains, oh my! – but I’m also pleased to finally have a real, solid excuse to spend some quality time with the sewing machine. So far I’ve managed two little aprons, and while they’re simple, it reminded me of how long it’s been since I sewed anything. They’re also the first things I’ve sewn with the new Anika collection, and I’m really enjoying working with it.

If any of you will be at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, come see us at booth 2840!

When my mom found out I was having a daughter last spring, she was all excited to pull out the little outfits she’d saved from when I was a baby. I have to admit I was not too excited about what I was sure would be some moldy, tattered, (very) outdated baby clothes. Well, Anabelle has finally grown into most of those outfits, and I have to say that I just love them. Some of them (like the orange dress, below) were handmade by my grandmother, who passed away about 8 years ago, and I love knowing that my daughter has some things that she made. In a time when everything – especially clothing – seems so disposable, I’ve been enjoying reusing these retro goodies, and I’m hoping to make some new clothes that will be worthy of saving for a next generation.

I really love etsy.com. I think it’s so great that in this age of big box stores and generic merchandise, there’s a simple way to find thousands of unique, beautiful, handmade items. Not only can we find cool stuff easily, but it the process we can support these independent artists and craftspeople. I’ve ordered a number of beautiful things from etsy shops, and I love having the personal connection with the maker – it’s always infinitely more satisfying than buying stuff at another chain store. Here are some cool organic cotton items I found using Monaluna fabrics, and you can see many more wonderful creations at etsy.com.

organic flannel stroller blanket and photo from SewOrganicCreations

organic baby bib and burp cloth and photo from SoMommySew

organic cotton baby blanket and photo from OrganicQuiltCompany

organic blanket and photo from CrzyBagLady

bib, burp cloth and wipe case and photo from BabySparrow2011

baby bibs and wipe case and photo from BabySparrow2011

organic cotton burp cloths and photo from OrganicQuiltCompany

organic napping blanket and photo from MyFrecklesShop

organic cotton patchwork blanket and photo from YellowPlumBlossoms

rag quilt stroller blanket and photo from SewSusie1

organic hooded towel and photo from MyFrecklesShop

organic cotton quilt and photo from SaturdayMarket

I’ve been working on a new collection for a while now, and as usual it’s coming together in bits and pieces. I will do a design that I really like, and then go off on a tangent that doesn’t end up relating quite right. Thankfully, I’ve let go of the idea that this type of creative process should be a straight line from point A to point B, but sometimes I still wish it could fit nicely into my timeline.

I heard an interview with Tom Waits on Fresh Air the other day in which he said (essentially) that much of his songwriting comes from mis-hearing something. I thought it was so funny, because I use that technique a lot in my design process. I’ll find myself flipping through a magazine, or quickly perusing a photo-filled website, and then later some half-remembered image will be stuck in my head and spark a new design. Inevitably, when I go back to look at the original image it’s nothing like I remembered, but somehow it tripped my imagination.

One of the things I’ve been interested in doing lately is gathering those creative techniques and thinking about the creative process and how our imagination plays with the images we see daily. Do any of you have tricks you use when designing or brainstorming, or trying to come up with a new idea? I’d love to hear them!

Speaking of images, here are a few photos I took this morning of the little flowerbed in our front yard. As you can see, it’s sunny and very springy today! A perfect way to start the weekend. Enjoy yours!