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I’m still getting the hang of this year-round gardening thing. I just can’t give up the tomatoes and peppers until they’re really done, which this year was the end of October, so none of the winter plants got in until November. According to my Bay Area Produce Calendar, that’s a little late for our area. The plants pretty much just sat there… until a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had some really warm weather, and the days are noticeably longer, and suddenly everything is thriving! Our lettuce heads are taking over, the spinach is getting big and dark, peas are blooming, the onions have grown from wispy sprouts to muscular stalks… and we’ve had some amazing salads! Last night’s was mixed lettuces and spinach with beets and blue cheese. A fine reward for months of waiting on our pokey plants.

I discovered a great new DIY toy today, perfect for distracting the little helper while I’m working in my office. I came across some old felt appliquéd farm animals that I had left over from a previous job, and remembering the old Feltkids toys, I realized I could make a little farm playboard for Anabelle. I cut out a piece of felt large enough to stretch across the bottom portion of the office door, pinned it in place, and added a simple barn and the appliqué animals. She eventually became fascinated with unpinning it (I might have to figure out a sturdier attachment), but it was super easy and bought me at least a half hour of focused work time!

The talented and generous Marny and Jill from Modern Quilt Relish sent me the most beautiful quilt last week! They used some of the Taali fabrics to sew up their new Supperclub quilt pattern, and it looks fabulous! It’s almost like an abstract landscape – hills, forest and grazing sheep against a polkadot ground and backed by… chevrony waves, maybe? Okay, I might be stretching it there. In any case, I just love their work. Their quilt patterns are graphic, a little playful and just really stylish. You can see (and buy!) a full range of their patterns here. Thanks, Jill and Marny!

the Supperclub quilt pattern

It’s an absolutely gorgeous spring day here, and I took a little break from the craziness to snap a few photos of some of the blooming trees in our yard. I have so much floral inspiration now I just might have to start some new flowery designs… Enjoy!

Anabelle’s still too young to get the whole Valentines Day thing, and Dave would probably prefer a nice dinner out to crafty cards, but I had so much fun making their sewn Valentines last year that I decided to try to carve out some time this weekend to do a little project. I got totally inspired by this quilt on Maureen Cracknell Handmade a couple of weeks ago:

Maureen Cracknell Handmade

It’s probably a bit too elaborate for what’s likely to be about 45 minutes I get to spend making Valentines, so I thought I’d browse around for some additional inspiration. There are so many great projects out there! Here are a few that I found with links to the complete posts. I don’t know what I’ll end up with yet, but if they turn out cute I’ll post ‘em next week.

Foxy Valentine from Savvy Housekeeping

Gorgeous silkscreened Valentine by Lena Corwin from The Craft Dept.

Origami hearts from Mollie Makes

Appliqued Valentines Aprons (with a tutorial!) from Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Butterfly Valentines from Wren Handmade

3-D papercut Valentines from The Crafts Dept.

The new strike-offs are here! I got the first samples of our new collection, Fox Hollow, yesterday, and I’m really happy with them. There are a couple small color tweaks to make, and then it’s off to the printers, Foxy and all! I really can’t wait to get my hands on these fabrics, as I have all kinds of ideas for projects. But then, I’ve still got lots of Taali sewing to do in the meantime…

Ashley from Film in the Fridge posted the most adorable baby quilt yesterday, made with Taali! She’s calling it baby plusses, and they look like little flags to me. I love all the white, and the way she’s worked in the gray and teal.

As I was scrolling down, I noticed that the next post features a quilt made with the Circa 52 collection I designed for Birch Fabrics, and that one’s adorable too!

Thanks, Ashley, for your great designs and for being such an inspiration!

Happy Monday

01/30

Happy Monday, everyone! Wow, this weekend went by fast. I’ve been sitting here wondering where it went, but a quick look at my iphoto gives me a good idea – we packed a lot in! Anabelle got her first (real) haircut on Saturday (I decided against giving her another home haircut after stumbling across this hilarious blog post), we pruned the roses and cleaned up the yard, we cleaned the house (though I swear you’d never know it now), I sewed a new dress for Anabelle, and we took a lot of photos. We made soup, went to the gym, I met with some other creative women for our monthly creativity/business gab fest, and I packed up a bunch of orders. Whew! I promised Dave that we’d have some quiet weekends in January, but that hasn’t really happened. Maybe in February…

Here are some photos of Belle in her new dress. It’s Kwik Sew #3775, sewn with Taali Mixed Apples and Dotty.

I love the weeks after we release a new collection, because I often will get emails from customers sharing what they’ve made with the fabric. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten some amazingly cute photos of Taali items, and I thought I’d share some with you. First up are some adorable short sets from Owl and Hedgehog, of Tauranga, New Zealand:

Jo from Monkeys in my Pocket emailed me with photos of her Taali quilt, and I just love it. I’m amazed at how many crafty Australians I’ve met in this business! Must be something in the water there – I’ll have to visit.

My first real design job was as a toy designer for Manhattan Toy in Minneapolis, so I always think that someday I’ll make some cute soft toys with Monaluna fabrics. Well, I got an email from teddy bear artist Jenny Smith, and she’s been doing just that! She sent me this photo of her new creation Lowry, using Taali trees:

Finally, I got a really nice New Year’s message from Katerina of Modern Patchwork in Slovakia, the winner of our Taali fat quarter giveaway in December. In (what I consider to be) record time, she used the fat quarter bundle to whip up this baby quilt for her son:

Thanks, guys, for sharing the photos with me, and for your creativity and inspiration!

There’s a Taali fat quarter bundle giveaway going on at favequilts.com! Check out their post here to enter to win one fat quarter of each of the 9 Taali quilts. Good luck!