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Our new Raaga collection arrived late last week, and the weekend was a flurry of unpacking and taking inventory. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but every time we get a collection in I’m amazed by the huge number of bolts and seemingly endless stacks of fabric. I love stacking the bolts on our shelves, seeing the patterns repeated over and over. And then I especially love packing them all up in boxes and sending them out across the country and the world. I’m just starting the shipping process now, and I love thinking about those bolts heading off to Japan, the UK, Australia, Spain… all those places I’d like to go but can’t right now. The other day Anabelle was playing in the studio while I packed up a box heading to Hong Kong. She climbed in on top of the bolts and announced that she was going to Hong Kong too! Maybe someday soon…

the raaga collection

 

 

lila lounge pants

 

 

tea blossom tunic

 

Raaga

Whew, what a flurry the last couple of months have been! We exhibited at our 5th Quilt Market two weeks ago, and the dust is just now settling. Every time we start the ramp-up to market it seems like such a huge project – samples to sew, quilts to make, a booth to design and build, props to buy, catalogs to compile order forms to order – but once we get there it’s always so fun, and so worth the work. It’s a great feeling to be among so many like-minded fabric lovers, and get to meet many of my on-line customers in person and see industry friends. Plus, there’s so much creativity and inspiration there! This show was busy, and the down-side of that is that I only had about 25 minutes at the end of the day on Sunday to walk the show (not nearly enough, btw), so this time I don’t have photos of the overall show, but I will share some images of what we introduced there.

 

Here are some photos of our booth from the show…

monaluna quilt market booth

the Monaluna booth at the Spring 2013 Quilt Market

 

monaluna booth detail

The Raaga collection showcase

 

monaluna booth

the Monaluna booth

 

We introduced two new GOTS-certified organic collections at this market, Raaga and Free Range.

The Raaga Collection

The Raaga Collection

 

Free Range Collection

Free Range Collection

 

We also introduced our brand new sewing patterns and more creativity kits!

The On the Go Dress

The On the Go Dress

 

The Tea Blossom Tunic

The Tea Blossom Tunic

 

Lila Lounge Pants

Lila Lounge Pants

 

Raaga Super Simple Skirt Kit

Raaga Super Simple Skirt Kit

 

Free Range Super Simple Skirt Kit

Free Range Super Simple Skirt Kit

 

Free Range Really Super Simple Skirt Kit

Free Range Really Super Simple Skirt Kit

 

Havana Super Simple Skirt Kit

Havana Super Simple Skirt Kit

 

And finally, a little sneak peek of what’s coming for fall: Woodland and Raaga knits!

raaga knits

raaga knits

 

woodland knit series

woodland knit series

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s a gorgeous spring morning here, and I’m putting the finishing touches on a new collection for fall (peeks coming soon!). While I paint, Heidi from Fabric Mutt is back to share a tutorial for her Scooter Bag, using the Havana collection. Hello, Heidi!

 

The Scooter Bag

This soft, floppy bag is the perfect size for the reading mat along with some books, toys, or any other items you want to pack for the trip. The velcro closure is easy for little hands to open and close, and the long padded strap allows for comfortable crossbody wear.

Materials
(2) 22 x 13

Hi Everyone! Our scheduled post got delayed yesterday due to some technical difficulties with the website, so with no further ado, please welcome guest blogger Heidi Staples!

 

My name is Heidi Staples, and I blog at Fabric Mutt (fabricmutt.blogspot.com). I

 

It’s been a busy week here in the Miguelucci Moore/Monaluna household. On Saturday we brought home 6 new family members – baby chicks! I’ve been waiting a loooong time for chickens – I started nagging Dave about getting them almost 8 years ago when we first moved into our apartment in Oakland. The apartment was ruled too small for chickens (I had to agree on that – we only had a little front porch and a bitty little piece of garden), but once we moved into our house it seemed like the perfect time. But then we were landscaping the yard, and busy with quilt markets, and somehow the coop we were planning to build just never got started.

 

Then, on New Year’s day, we happened to see a darling chicken coop kit which matched our house perfectly, and also happened to be on sale. Although I was all excited about the idea of building our own coop, the convenience of the kit won out. And then of course once we had the coop straightened out, we could get the chickens! Picking them out took the better part of Saturday afternoon, but we finally landed on the assortment above. I knew I wanted a couple of Araucanas, because I’m in love with the blue-green color of their eggs, and I’ve had a thing for Silkies ever since seeing the resident Silkie chicken at Wild Rumpus Bookstore in Minneapolis. Emma’s a few days older than the others (just about 5 days old in these photos!), and Anabelle calls her “big sister”. We’ve spent many hours over the last week just sitting and watching them scurry about in their temporary home (a big clear plastic storage box with a heat lamp), pecking and fluffing and nodding off while standing up. They’ll be in the house for about a month before they can move into the coop, and I’ve really been enjoying the chorus of peeping while I work. I have a feeling they’ll be making their way into some new textile designs soon!

 

In other news, I’m excited to announce that I will have a guest blogger visiting next week! The talented Heidi Staples from Fabric Mutt will be sharing tutorials for 3 projects – a reading mat, a scooter bag and a love bird pillow, all using the Havana collection. Look for her first post on Tuesday!

Before I moved to the bay area, I wasn’t really aware of orange seasons. Oranges were always available at the grocery store when I wanted them, and I didn’t think too much more about it. Now that I have an orange tree in my yard (along with two tangerines, a teeny grapefruit, two lemons and several little limes) I think about the season a lot. I watch with anticipation as the blossoms give way to little green nubs, which eventually grow and turn orange. I sample numerous super sour and not-quite-ripe oranges to see if they’re ready, and finally, after what seems like an eternity, they turn sweet. Our oranges have been in season for about 6 weeks now, and I’ve made a little ritual of going out and picking them off the tree for dessert. There’s nothing quite like a cold, sweet orange picked fresh by moonlight.

 

Anyway, as is the case with all of the ridiculously productive little fruit trees in our yard, our orange tree has given us way more fruit than we, our neighbors, and all of the teachers at Anabelle’s school can eat. I’ve put them in salads, I’ve squeezed them for juice, and I’ve made 2 batches of some of the best marmalade I’ve had in recent memory. We’re going to harvest the rest of the tree this weekend and do a run to the local food bank, but I think I’m going to have to make one more batch of marmalade, just to get me through til next year. Since even if you live in snow-laden MN (sorry, I heard about the storm this week, and don’t mean to rub it in…) you can always find oranges at the grocery store, I though I’d share the recipe here.

 

Sweet Citrus Marmalade

8 small-medium oranges

3-4 tangerines if desired

3 lemons

11 cups sugar

2 packages sure jell pectin

1/8 tsp baking soda

3 cups water or orange juice

3-4 Tbsp. whiskey (optional)

12 1/2 pint jam jars

Jar tongs and funnel, optional

 

1. Make sure jars are clean and sterile. An easy way to do this is to wash jars and lids in your dishwasher. Wash the fruit.

2. Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, remove the outer rind (orange part only) from the fruit. Chop the rinds into chunks or strips and set aside

3. Remove the remaining white rind from the fruit and discard. Chop the fruit into chunks, removing any seeds or tough parts. Put fruit and any liquid into a bowl.

4. Measure out the sugar and put into a bowl. Take 1/4 cup of the sugar, mix this together with the pectin powder, and combine this mixture with the chopped fruit.

5. Place the chopped peels in a large saucepan with 2 cups water or juice and 1/8 tsp. baking soda. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 20 minutes. If you want a marmalade that is less bitter, you can use less of the peel, or omit it completely.

6. Meanwhile, fill a large, high-sided pot 1/2 way with water and place on the stove to boil. This will be used to process the jars once filled.

7. Once the peels have softened, add the chopped fruit and the additional cup of water or juice and simmer for 10 minutes.

8. Add the sugar, stir, and bring the mixture to a full boil. Boil hard for 1 minute

9. Remove marmalade from heat and add the whiskey, if desired.

10. Carefully fill the jars within 1/4″ of top, wipe off any drips and secure lids. I use a jam funnel and a ladle for this step.

10. Once all the jars are filled, you will want to process them in boiling water for 20 minutes. To do this, place as many jars as will fit in the pot described in step 6. The jars should be covered by 1″ of water. Return water to boil and boil jars for 20 minutes, in batches if necessary. Jar tongs are really helpful for this step.

11. You’re done! Once the jars cool, they can be stored for about a year. It may take up to 2 weeks for marmalade to set completely.

 

It’s been over a week since I got back from Quilt Con in Austin, and I don’t want to miss the chance to wax poetic about what a great, inspiring show it was! I knew that the quilts would be amazing, and I was excited about many of the lectures I had planned to see. Well, I was just blown away by how informative and entertaining the lectures were, and how inspired I felt by the work and the great community of modern quilters I met (or re-met) there. I heard about the history of “modern” from Thomas Knauer, Learned about photography from David Butler, learned about color from Amy Butler, heard about the paths to design taken by Heather Ross, Anna Maria Horner and the amazing Denyse Schmidt, plus got lots of information on publishing for books and magazines and the role of the quilt guilds. And to top it off, I got to see AUSTIN for the first time, and had a total blast. What a great city! Here is a small and random selection of quilts in the show, as well as a few shots of Austin. Enjoy!

Shattered by Leanne Chahley

Paper Shredder by Pamela Johnson

Glass House Shelves by Denyse Schmidt

Off the B.O.W. by the Anchorage Modern Quilt Guild

Watt Wonder by Alison Robins

A section of Thomas Knauer’s In Defense of Handmade

Radioactive by Kelly Wood

Our new Modern Home collection arrived last week, and we’re now shipping! The studio is stocked full of graphic geometrics and mid-century inspired prints, just waiting to be turned into cool projects. I have plans to make some lounge pants from Living Room, and I’m going to try out a new pattern I’m working on to make a tunic from Pebbles and Little Leaves. What would you make with these prints?

Window To My Heart print used with the Goodship dress pattern by Karen LePage of One Girl Circus

Scrap Quilts

02/17

Hello, blogosphere! I’ve taken a long blog break, and these past few months have been a flurry of designing and growing here at Monaluna. Things are finally calming down a bit, and I’m excited to get back to projects and blogging.

 

I started last week with what turned out to be a pretty ambitious organizing project. I had been carefully ignoring the towering, disorganized scrap pile in my closet for months, and had finally had enough of it. At the same time, Anabelle’s school put out a call for extra blankets and quilts, and I decided it was time to make something from those extra odd pieces. The piecing for three little quilts only took Saturday afternoon, and I hardly had to cut – I just arranged the pieces I had in blocks, and trimmed them to fit where necessary. The backing, binding and quilting took a bit more time, but it felt really good to see them coming together, and I even hand quilted (very quickly and sloppily) 2 of the 3, the first time I’ve done that in years! It was so easy and fun that I decided to organize and bundle all the remaining scraps and make them available on the website. It turned out to be a bit of an undertaking, but in the 5 days since I put them up there they’ve been VERY popular, and the first batch are almost gone! Now that I have the hang of it I’ll be able to add them more frequently, though, and keep my scrap piles at more manageable levels.

Good things come in priority mail packages! I’ve been working with the talented Melissa Lunden, of Lunden Designs, to develop a chevron quilt pattern for Havana, and I just received the sample quilt in the mail. So pretty! She worked two prints into each chevron stripe, and the back is a really nice patchwork using four different prints. I love it, and I hope you do too! The pattern will be available soon.