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Spring Market, Michael Miller PUL and the Green Beginnings Cloth Diaper

Those of you who sew cloth diapers are going to love this news! Michael Miller Fabrics is releasing PUL! Excellent quality PUL in adorable Michael Miller prints! How cool is that?! I think those of you who don’t sew cloth diapers are going to love this PUL, too, though. It’s the perfect fabric for anything that needs to be waterproof, it has a great soft drape and feel to it, and it’s so easy to work with.

Michael Miller Fabrics had the cutest booth at Spring Market. My booth was right across from them.

The circus theme was so much fun, and there were elephants! No, not real elephants, but huge, adorably dressed almost-lifelike elephants.

And inside their booth, there was a really cute brochure that looked something like this:

I told you, didn’t I? Such cute prints. Can you already see these on your little one’s bum? Oh, the patterns? Why, yes, they are Fishsticks Designs patterns. The Mama & Baby Bag and the Which Way Out Jacket, and one of my brand new patterns: The Green Beginnings Cloth Diaper!

I was so excited by how many people at Quilt Market wanted to hear all about cloth diapering! I am sure that I talked cloth diapering as much as I chatted about my patterns. (I’m a huge advocate of cloth-diapering, in case you didn’t already know that, and I’m thrilled to see it becoming so much more mainstream!)

My goal in creating this diaper pattern was a little out of the ordinary for me. Usually, when I create a pattern, I try to give you lots of options. This pattern, though, I geared towards moms who are sewing their first cloth diapers, and I kept it really simple. The instructions include a whole page of diaper sewing tips–many are things that I’ve learned through my years of experience sewing cloth diapers, and the rest are suggestions from my amazing team of testers.

The Green Beginnings Cloth Diaper is a pocket diaper in sizes newborn to large. It has a trim fit through the crotch and bum, and a slightly raised back with a scooped front. The uncased leg elastic coupled with an absorbent soaker that is slightly narrower than the width of the diaper also creates a faux gusset at the legs to make this diaper a star when it comes to leak protection. My testers have given me great feedback, and Morgan and I both love it on Katie and Charlie. I can’t wait to hear how you and your little ones like it, too!

A quick note: All of the new patterns that I’m going to be introducing over the next week or so will be released at the same time. I mentioned before that I have a few things to finish up, and I want to make sure that my retailers all have the patterns on hand (or on their sites, in the case of pdf patterns). I’m shooting for Tuesday, June 5th, but I’ll keep you updated through my blog and my Facebook page!

2012 Spring Quilt Market Booth Start to Finish

Now that I’m home and have had a day to recover a bit, I can’t wait to share details of my second Quilt Market! I took way more pictures this time than last, so I have a few posts that I’ll share over the next week or so. I’ll mix some new pattern reveals in, too! Ray and I drove up from North Dallas on Wednesday and arrived in the early evening. The first step for booth set-up was putting down the floor and hanging the drapes (after a quick pressing in our hotel room!). We used a laminate floor from IKEA which added just the right touch for our vintage kitchen theme. I must add a huge “Thank-you!” to my amazing husband here for all the work that he did–most of the first few hours of set-up, I just stood by and watched while he made sure the floor looked perfect!

On Thursday morning, my wonderful friends, Andrea of 3girlday and Ginny of GingerLuvs arrived to help get the rest of the booth assembled. (Andrea, by the way, was an huge part of planning the booth ahead of time, too. She took my basic ideas and turned them into an absolutely beautiful booth!)

We worked all morning, took a break for a late lunch (at The Bluebird Bistro-yum!) and stepped back to look at our finished creation well before dinner time.

What do you think? (You can click on the above picture for a larger one.)

Here are a few closeup images of everything in my booth. Can you pick out a few new patterns? More details are coming! (I actually have a few patterns that aren’t quite finished yet . . . I just ran out of time!)

Drum Roll Please . . .

Oh my goodness! We have giggled all day at your guesses as to what our little project might be! The truth is, no one even came close! So . . . I did a random drawing of the 18 of you who were brave enough to venture a guess, and the winner is #17 DebbieKL! (I’ll be in touch with you for your information as soon as I’m home next week, Debbie.)

Now, I suppose you actually want to see what we did create with all those seemingly random parts. I can’t believe that no one guessed that it’s an old-fashioned potbelly stove!

Isn’t it cute? We had someone stop by as we were finishing up our setup this afternoon and ask if it was real! I think that means it looks pretty authenticate in real life. (More pictures in our finished booth are coming in a day or two! I love how the booth came out!)

Quilt Market Time and a Fun Little Giveaway!

The last few weeks (months, really) at my house have been full of a whole lot of this:

a little of this:

and perhaps a bit too much of this:

All of that was in preparation for Quilt Market this weekend! Ray and I arrived in Kansas City late in the afternoon yesterday. Booth setup has started and will continue (with the help of a few wonderful local friends–more about them later) through today.

We have a fun little theme going on with the booth, and it fits my personality very nicely. The centerpiece of the whole thing started out this way:

Have any idea what we might have turned those random pieces into? Why don’t we have a little contest? I have seven new patterns that I’ve been working furiously to finish for Market. I’ll be revealing them over the next couple of weeks. Would you like to get a set of them for free? Just leave a comment on this post telling me what your guess is to the very cool project we created with this set of pieces. I’ll check back in before bedtime tonight and pick a random winner from those who guess correctly, and I’ll reveal the answer with a picture (as long as things go as planned).

Oh, and for the record, yes, I do eat chocolate chips out of the bag for a chocolate fix whenever necessary.

Still Alive & Kickin’

I’m still here! See! Here’s a picture to prove it. Although, I swear I don’t have that many chins in real life! I think I have some kind of rare (or maybe not-so-rare) blog/email-induced attention disorder. It seems that whenever I sit down to type a blog post or answer emails, I’m quickly distracted by Facebook, Pinterest, other blogs . . . , and before I’ve blinked an eye my computer time is up with nothing constructive to show for my time. Hmmmm . . . that doesn’t happen to other people, does it?

So, I think it’s time to challenge myself to blog regularly. I’m doing great on the 365 Photo Challenge! In case you haven’t seen, I’ve posted a new photo everyday for 60 days! 60 DAYS! And, each photo was taken the day that I posted it. I don’t think I’m going to challenge myself to blog everyday, though, I do have work and family to take care of. I think this challenge will be to blog something at least once a week, on Wednesday, if I haven’t posted before. You may hold me to it!

As far as what’s been going on here: We’ve had multiple colds run through our whole family and start over again. (Bleh! I’m so thankful that, at least for today, no one has a runny nose or nasty cough.) My spring pattern line is coming along. (I have some exciting new things in store, along with big kid sizes of a couple of your favorites.) I’ll have my second Quilt Market booth at Spring Market in Kansas City in May. (Whew! Lots of work to do in the next couple of months.) And, I have some more exciting news to share with you soon!

For now, though, I’d love to hear any advice you have for staying focused! Especially, staying focused when you sit down at the computer. Surely, I’m not really the only one with that weird attention disorder.

American Quilt Retailer: January 2012

Squeee! A copy of the latest issue of American Quilt Retailer arrived at my door just a few hours ago and guess what I found inside?

Did you guess yet?

Fishsticks Designs patterns!

Want to see?

It’s in the center spread . . . in a really exciting article that editor, Susan Fuquay, wrote all about the trend towards sewing for the guys in our lives. Of course, that’s exciting because my patterns were featured, but it’s also exciting because it means that designers and manufacturers are designing for little (and big) boys!

Wait! I have more for you! Becky at AQR was so sweet to send me pdf versions of the full article so you can see the whole thing and read for yourself! How cool is that? Here’s Page 1, and here’s Page 2.

Quilt Market . . . the rest of the story

I swear I have not dropped off the face of the earth! These last few weeks have been packed full with filling and shipping orders, following up with people I talked with at Market, finishing up my pattern cover updates, working on a new pattern, and, of course, all my regular mom and homeschooling responsibilities. The new pattern is one that I previewed at Market, and my amazing group of testers is helping me finish a few last minute tweaks as we speak (er, I mean “type”). Want a little peek?

So, I promised to share a little more about Quilt Market. I really wish I’d taken more pictures, but I was so busy. Ray and I drove down on Thursday and started the set-up. Ray left me in the early evening to drive back to Dallas, and I hung out in the hotel room, finishing up stuffed apples until it was time to head to the airport to pick up my dear friend, Jamie, who flew down (all the way from Canada) to help me out for the weekend. Jamie’s flight was late leaving Toronto, so it was very late when she made it in and we headed back to the hotel. It was even later when we finally made it to the hotel after driving around in circles on the one-way streets of downtown Houston for . . . um . . . we’ll just say a while.

We spent the day Friday setting up our booth and enjoying some U. S. shopping. (I think Jamie took back half her body weight in fabric. It’s a good thing she brought an expandable suitcase.) Friday evening we dropped in for a bit at Fabric 2.0 where I managed to maintain a fairly professional appearance among people that I had never before met in person. Professional, that is, until I happened to see Rashida Coleman-Hale across the room, at which point, I might have sprinted across the room in an “Oh-My-Gosh-There’s-A-Celebrity-Who-I-Have-To-Meet!” moment. Rashida, by the way, is the sweetest! She very kindly acted like I was a perfectly normal person. (Even after I told her that I’ve been “stalking” her for years! Really, who admits to being a stalker the very first time they meet someone?) Not only did she encourage me and wish me the best, but during Market the next day, she stopped by to say, “Hello”. I was busy with a shop owner, though, and only got to wave.

From Fabric 2.0, Jamie and I walked over to check out Sample Spree. It was crazy and loud and loads of fun! At Sample Spree, designers offer sample packages of their latest fabric or patterns, and attendees purchase them at a discount to take back to their stores. Some designers even sew up their patterns or their fabric and sell those finished items for display in fabric and quilt shops. I’m thinking that I might have to join in and offer pattern samples at Spring Market.

Saturday, Sunday and early Monday were busy with actual work! (Should you really call it work, when you enjoy what you do so much?) Ray drove back down Monday morning and with his help on Monday afternoon we tore down in about 20 minutes what had taken us two days to put up.

Jamie’s flight was due to leave Tuesday morning, and she thought she needed to eat a real Texas dinner on Monday evening. After a bit of searching, we found a BBQ place not too far from us and Mapquested directions that kept us off of the busy rush-hour highways. However, the fourth time we arrived at this intersection, from a different direction each time, we just drove up the entrance ramp to the highway and followed the GPS!

The BBQ was amazing! It was almost worth driving over one of those crazy-high, I-have-no-idea-how-they-don’t-come-crashing-down ramps. I hate those things, for those of you who don’t know that already. Jamie, on the other hand, thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was busy looking straight forward, praying that we’d soon be on the ground safely and begging Ray to please drive slowly while Jamie’s camera snapped away and she excitedly pointed out how very high we were above the multiple bridges circling beneath us.

Tuesday morning, we packed everything up, dropped Jamie at the airport and hung out in Houston until she’d cleared customs before we headed north to Dallas and home. (Actually, that last part is not really the truth. We got lost leaving the airport, and it took us until Jamie cleared customs until we figured out where we were–but we don’t have to tell her that!)

Building My First Market Booth

I’m home from my first Quilt Market! I had a great time, met some wonderful people and heard some incredibly positive things about my patterns! I couldn’t possibly have asked for a better first Market experience! I have a few things that I’d like to share over the next couple of days, but since putting together my booth is where I spent the majority of my waking hours over the last few months, we’ll start with that.

When I arrived at the Convention Center in Houston on Thursday afternoon, this is what the booth looked like:

We happen to have quite the collection of vintage apple crates around our house. (We use them in almost every room for storage and display.) Those crates inspired the apple orchard theme of my booth. They were perfect for displaying my dress forms, hiding boxes and adding some character!

I went back and forth for a bit between using real apples or handmade apples. In the end, though, I loved using the handmade apples that were sewn for my booth by a few of my wonderful online and local friends. My 13-year-old daughter, Samantha, is quite the accomplished knitter (Have I mentioned that before?), and she did a beautiful job on the dozen and a half apples that decorated the two apple trees that Ray built for me.

A custom-built mini-picnic table from One Plank at A Time here in Dallas and a few pictures for the “walls” featuring my favorite little models rounded out the theme.

A few hours of putting it all together (and a little running around in Houston to gather a few things that I had overlooked), and it was all done!

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