My first Squam

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

One of the things they tell you at Squam is that you’ll have a hard time explaining it afterward to other people. I’ve been thinking for over a week about how to communicate to you what a wonderful experience Squam was for me, and though I’m pretty sure I’ll come up short, I’m going to try.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop is a retreat for creatives (think ALL kinds of creatives: this fall’s workshop topics included printmaking, knitting, spoon carving, sewing, writing, and diorama-building). The setting is the Rockywold-Deephaven camps on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. The lake is huge, and rocky, and deep, and beautiful. Loons call at night while you’re falling asleep. One morning: beautiful fog. Another morning: a gorgeous blanket of mist. The camp itself is full of history and beauty; the old buildings date back to the 1800’s, and the iceboxes in each cabin are filled each day with ice that was harvested from the lake in winter and then stored in sawdust during the year in a beautiful old ice house, which we passed each day on the way to meals and classes. The camp offers a gorgeous and peaceful environment.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam begins with dinner on Wednesday and ends with breakfast on Sunday, and the schedule includes two full day workshops (I took photography with Tori Williams, and sewing the Matcha Top with Meg McElwee), meals, free time, yoga, evening presentations, and the Squam Art Fair on the last night. The fact that there is even a schedule seems to be more just an excuse to bring everyone together, as so much seems to happen outside of the schedule, but the workshops were wonderful and I learned a ton.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(photography with Tori Williams)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(Kate and Jenny sewing their Matcha Tops)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

I had never been to Squam before, and I really had no idea what to expect going into the weekend, but it’s safe to say that I knew I really needed, and wanted, a break. Elizabeth, Squam’s founder, sent out an email the week before we arrived with instructions to “clear your mind of all expectation of what the weekend might be for you,” and I tried my best to do that. Back in January, I had chosen “BREAK” as my word for 2017, and had invited myself to be open to all of the possible ways that this word might manifest itself to me throughout the year. Big break, more little breaks, break with the way I had been doing things, break open…there were a lot of ways I could think of that “break” could translate. The most obvious seemed to be to go on a retreat, so I signed up for Squam early in the year after doing a little research into creative retreats (there are others besides Squam, including The Craft Sessions, Camp Workroom Social, and Craftcation, all of which are still on my list, but Squam was the one that worked out this year).

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Post-Squam, I’m happy to report that I sincerely feel renewed. On the plane ride home (which in itself is like a spa vacation when you don’t have three kids with you), I wrote down so many things I wanted to remember. Two pages were just about the people I met and what they had taught me. The many conversations I had with the other creatives were so helpful to me. One conversation with an artist who is no longer making art sticks out to me. Another lesson: that being “present” — something I often feel like I’m not — is really just as simple as thinking about what you are doing while you are doing it. Whoa. I’m happy that I really did have the ability and the space to relax (the loose schedule with plenty of free time helps) and just be. Such a wonderful feeling. And I’m happy to have made so many new and wonderful friends.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(dinner on the dock with Meg and Carol)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

It was nice that most of the people at Squam didn’t “know who I was,” which I truly hope doesn’t sound half as self-centered as it feels to write. When I’m around people who are familiar with Made by Rae, I often end up having long conversations about myself or my business, and while those interactions are always lovely and encouraging, they can also be a bit intense. I love to talk, and I very much want to be helpful to others, but it can leave me feeling drained and overwhelmed rather than relaxed or inspired after I return home, not to mention then having to deal with my stupid inflated ego. Feeling largely unrecognized at Squam allowed me to have an experience that felt more authentic, if that makes any sense?

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

One thing I feel challenged to do after Squam is to write more. I don’t have much confidence in my writing ability, or really even love to write, and writing (especially on this blog) has been hard for me lately. Over the years, I’ve become more intimidated by the idea that so many people are reading (and possibly judging) my writing and work. That’s Fear talking, and I’m trying to look it square in the face and remember that writing can be an act of love. I know how many of you have felt a connection through my writing over the years, and just sharing the experience of being a creative person who is also a mama of three is helpful to many of you. And also, my mom wants to know what I’m up to (hi, Mom!). I’m inspired now not only to write more, but to love the writing process more.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

I can’t end this post without mentioning what a blessing it was to spend time with my dear friend Meg (of Sew Liberated, above). Meg had a slightly different, more intense experience than me, as she was teaching the Matcha Top workshops, which was one of the workshops that I took (so fun!!). Meg and I met five years ago at Quilt Market (a much different environment), and have connected on and off online over the years; she is a true kindred spirit. Meg was one of the very first indie pattern designers slash sewing bloggers, and in addition to designing beautiful patterns, her writing is amazing, and if you haven’t been following her for years like I have, please start. I’m often amazed that despite unschooling three kids of her own and running her own small business like I do, she finds time to write such beautiful things (this is a favorite post). When I asked her how she manages to do this, her answer was that it sometimes takes months, literally months, to write some of her posts. She also — and I love this, because it really takes guts to truly take a “break” — stepped away from her business and sewing for a number of years while she was dealing with her son Lachlan’s heart condition. I’m grateful to her for all of the wonderful conversations we had at Squam, and to Elizabeth for putting us in the same room so we could stay up late and talk and talk and talk into the night.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(photo, above, of me and Annri by Amy of Mindful Art Studio)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

OK. After all this rambling, I hope I’ve managed to communicate something to you about this beautiful experience. Thanks for reading my thoughts here, lovely readers. I hope someday you will have a transformative experience of your own that relaxes and renews you, if you haven’t already.

You can find out more about Squam Art Workshops on their website, follow Squam at @squamlove, or check out the #ultimatesquam or #squamlove hashtags to see photos from Squam.

Posted in travel
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Weekend Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

The weekend before last Mr Rae and I took a quick weekend trip to New York City for our anniversary. It’s always tough finding a good place to go in February for just a couple of days, but we knew even if the weather was awful (it wasn’t), New York would be fun. We’ve both been there a number of times before but it’s usually been for a conference or workshop, so neither of us had ever done much of anything “touristy” on previous visits. We spent one day at MoMA and saw the Lion King for the first time (I know. How late am I to that party?), and the next day at the Met. We went to the top of the Empire State Building, walked through Grand Central, and make a quick stop at Purl (of course!!). We ate some really good meals (we had dinner at the National, Blue Ribbon, and Hudson Clearwater), and of course savoring a long breakfast with coffee and a copy of the Atlantic is nothing short of luxury when you have three kids at home. The first day it was so warm and lovely that we even walked around Central Park. I think my favorite place we visited was the Met. I just couldn’t believe the scope of the collections there. Just ridiculously impressive; we only spent a half day there and I really hope to go back again. You’d need weeks to see everything. Of course we were happy to get back to our three favorite monsters, but it sure was fun to get away!!

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What’s your favorite spot in NYC? Favorite weekend getaway spot? Send me a note or leave a comment; I’d love to hear what you think!

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Weekend in Palm Springs

palm springs : made by rae

palm springs 1: made by rae

I spent this past weekend in Palm Springs, and it was so, so fun!! It’s going to be tricky to try and encapsulate the weekend with a blog post, but I’m going to try. Heather Ross has been hosting sewing workshops at the Ace Hotel for years now, and this year it finally worked out for me to attend. I’ve been a participant in two previous Heather Ross Weekend Sewing workshops, one in Vermont, and one in New York, as well as Heather’s Fabric Design workshop, but this was the first one I’ve attended in Palm Springs, this time my mom joined me, which made it even more fun.

palm springs 2 : made by rae

rae + mom : made by rae

palm trees! : made by rae

What I love about Heather’s workshops as opposed to most of the sewing-related travel I do is that it’s always completely unstressful and relaxed. She does such a great job organizing everything and finding great places to stay and great food, so you just sit back and have fun. This time there weren’t any sewing machines; all of the “crafts” we did were by hand. Anna Joyce taught indigo dye methods:

palm springs indigo : made by rae

palm springs indigo on lawn : made by rae

Mom brought one-sies along for her grandkids. Smart, eh?

palm springs indigo onesies : made by rae

Anna Maria Horner taught hand-painted embroidery (that’s my design, bottom left):

palm springs workshops : made by rae

palm springs amh : made by rae

and Annabel Wrigley taught macrame! Which was harder than I thought it would be, but once I got the hang of it, very fun!

palm springs annabel : made by rae

The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs is pretty great. Outdoor fireplaces, rooms that look like beach houses, pools, bohemian decor, fantastic food. And it was warm…at least warmer than Michigan, so it was a great place to get away this time of year. I guess I didn’t realize that Palm Springs is basically in the middle of the desert (for some reason I had always thought it was on the ocean…not that I ever looked it up), so it was drier than I expected, but really beautiful. We had a gorgeous view of the mountains right from the workshop area where we spent most of the weekend. The sky was all pink at sunset the first night I was there, and turned everything such a lovely warm color. Such a beautiful place.

palm springs mountains : made by rae

palm springs walk way : made by rae

palm springs rope elephant : made by rae

The best thing about these weekends away by far is hanging out with everyone. The crafting is great but I suspect it’s just an excuse to get people together. I am only sorry the weekend was too short to get to know everyone — or even everyone’s name — better. It was really fun that Allie of IndieSew and her sister Whitney (top right) were there, and Erin of SewBon (bottom right), another blogger I follow online. Mari (top left) even brought one of the Charlie Dresses that I had sewn and donated years ago to a charity auction (she had placed the winning bid, and her daughter wears them now!!!); it was so fun to see it again and know that it ended up where it’s worn and loved.

palm springs buddies : made by rae

palm springs window : made by rae

palm springs 4 : made by rae

Needless to say, it was a great time and I would go again in a heartbeat. On my way back home, I had a connection in Phoenix where the mountains and the sky were just amazing. It looked like a painting. Need to go to Phoenix someday, too…

palm springs airport : made by rae

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My week at Creativebug

my week at creativebug
I spent the week before last in San Francisco filming for Creativebug, a video streaming DIY/educational website that features all kinds of amazing artists showing you how to make stuff (it’s subscription-based, but they have a free two-week trial). Which makes me one of those artists, too. Which feels a little crazy.

my week at creativebug

that’s my set! fun, huh? I love these little swatches of my fabrics

my week at creativebug

I should back up a little bit. I’ve been a subscriber on the Creativebug site for years, and I may have even been one of the first users, though I’m not sure. Heather Ross first introduced me to the site when I was in New York for her Fabric Design workshop; over cocktails one evening she mentioned she had been filming for them, and she was clearly very excited about it. “You should do it, Rae!” she said. I remember feeling incredibly flattered that she would say that, but I didn’t think that would EVER happen; the Creativebug artists (Heather, Anna Maria, Natalie Chanin) were definitely in a league above my own (sidenote: ultimately I think it is useless to think this way, but hey, this is my blog, so you get my insecurities along with the rest, which, let’s face it, is mostly shameless self-promotion anyway). I signed up right away. Even from the beginning, the video was super high quality and fun to watch. The videos are really beautiful, the content is great, and the artist intro clips are one of my favorite things about the site (and, incidentally, are free to watch; you can click on any artist on the instructor page to see their intro).

my week at creativebug

So when Creativebug actually contacted me last summer about filming a kids’ clothes class series, I was excited. Still, I wasn’t sure it would really happen. For one thing, I found the whole idea of standing up in front of a camera crew absolutely terrifying, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to go through with it. Another thing: they would realize I was just a self-taught sewing imposter with a blog sooner or later, right? Fast forward to last week: after months of work and discussion, I was in San Francisco, looking at a studio with my name on the door.

my week at creativebug

my week at creativebug

Filming ended up being really fun. I was definitely nervous at first, and it was hard, but I had two camera guys (Matt and Brian) and an artistic coach (Christine) in the room with me the entire time, and they were incredibly positive and encouraging. They’d brainstorm with me first about what to say and how to say it, and then they’d yell “ACTION!” There was no teleprompter (another surprise for me). Everything was filmed completely off the cuff, but it makes sense: it comes off more conversational and less stiff that way. I knew I was messing up and nervous, but they were super patient, total pros.

my week at creativebug

my week at creativebug

I was not prepared for how LONG it would take to film something that takes me less than a half hour to sew. Like, all day. Start, stop, freeze (so they can zoom in), OK, go ahead and say that again. I’m glad, because there’s so much footage they should be able to edit it down to something that conveys what I was trying to say with some degree of lucidity, but still, when they said I would need four days to film I thought, oh well, at least I’ll have a bunch of free time to putz around the city! Insert laughing-crying emoji here. Hilarious. I ended up filming right up until about 5:30 on Friday afternoon.

my week at creativebug

One thing I thought was cool was that nearly everyone I met at Creativebug was also an artist in some other way. Many of them were working on artistic projects on the side or on weekends in addition to their full time job at Creativebug. The entire place has a really fun and (at the risk of sounding really cheesy) creative vibe as a result. They are clearly having a good time and enjoy working with each other. You get a sense for this when you look at the Meet the Team page on their website, but seriously, what a fun place to work.

my week at creativebug

I filmed three classes which will be released some time in April as a multi-part class called “Sewing for Little Ones.” The focus is sewing clothes for babies and kids geared toward beginners, so it starts with basic sewing and pattern-reading, and goes from there. The classes are a series, with each class building on the one before so that when you’re finished you have a set of skills and techniques for sewing baby and kids clothes, and there will even be some free pattern templates thrown in there as well. I’ll post some more details when the launch date gets closer. I’m also supposed to get an affiliate link so that if people subscribe from my blog I earn a small commission but I haven’t gotten that yet (so WAIT until I do heeee!!).

my week at creativebug

One thing I really loved about doing this project is how much it pushed me and made me grow. It was such a change of pace for me, so different from Normal Life with three kids, and I don’t even think I realized how much I needed something like that until it was all over. For one thing, it’s been ages since I’ve even been on a plane without my kids. Just the plane ride was like a spa vacation, and going back to my quiet hotel room at the end of the day without having to fix dinner or do dishes was a real treat, I’m not gonna lie. It was hard for me to be away from my family all week, but it was good for me to have a week to remember who I am as a professional, as an individual, and an artist, without the distractions and constant tasks of home or the little hands and voices always at my side. Before I left, I just wanted to get it over with so I could be back home. And now, I’m really happy I did it and if I get a chance to do it again I will snap it up. It was an awesome way to start the new year.

my week at creativebug

My big fat Quilt Market post

It’s been a few weeks since I got back from Fall Quilt Market in Houston, and I thought I’d round up a few of the things I enjoyed this time around. Sadly, I did miss a bunch of great stuff since I only had my phone (this was the first year I left my camera at home), so please don’t be offended if I didn’t include your stuff, awesome designers who I missed!!! I always enjoy seeing the booths and the new fabrics at Quilt Market, at least in the handful of booths that are modern, and it’s always fun to catch up with other designers and fabric shop owners. My new line Small World was also debuting on strike-offs at the Cloud9 booth, so of course I was also shamelessly showing those off. They have their own post right here if you want to see them. Also, please note that I’m not going to link to all the lines/designers in this post, because otherwise I’d never get this post published. You understand.

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Ok, so what did I love? Carolyn Friedlander’s stuff was amazeballs as usual:

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The Kokka booth is always a little overwhelming but I loved the dress on the right:

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Ellen Luckett Baker’s Charms line for Kokka is really great. Metallics and voile and canvas!! Love the persimmon and sheep prints the mostest.

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Cotton+Steel had a fantastic follow-up to their debut lines earlier this year, including my absolute fave, the double gauzes. Which had their own booth, complete with some Made By Rae samples (can you spot them??). The samples I made for Stylo ended up in the booth so that was very fun.

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Dying over this octopus lawn designed by Sarah Watts for Cotton+Steel:

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One of my favorite Melody Miller prints is back (so are the viewmasters!!):

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I wish I had gotten better photos of Alison Glass’ Handprinted collection; I’m dying over the plus prints. Her entire booth was gorgeous.

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Some great organic knits from Monaluna:

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Birch also had some fantastic new organic knits, including another line of Charley Harper (yay!!), but I didn’t get any good photos.

Katy Jones has a new line, Priory Square, with Art Gallery and was autographing books like a boss. Also: fun quilt!

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April Rhode’s new line, Wanderer, is fantastic. I loved the faux camper look she had over in the Art Gallery booth.

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Also from AGF, Leah Duncan’s new line Morning Walk is so great. She makes some of my very favorite designs.

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I really need to make one of these yarn fabric thingys:

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I can’t stop thinking about this new baby layette sewing pattern set from Green Bee Patterns:

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Fun GeoPop canvas prints from Emmie K for Robert Kaufman, one print was even made up in my square floor pillow tutorial!

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I also loved a bunch of lines at Cloud9; I know this is going to sound biased, but they’ve really gotten some amazing designers this year. One is Elizabeth Olwen, and I wish I had managed to get a good photo of her stuff because it is really great. Another fave is Jessica Jones; her line Time Warp is coming out soon on barkcloth, which is perhaps my new favorite substrate:

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This Butterick coat in Time Warp (sewn by my friend Karen LePage woot!) is crazy cool:

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and Biology from Sarah Watson.

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And of course it’s always a thrill to see my own lines still going strong over in the Cloud 9 booth. Yay!!

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OK, now for my thoughts on Quilt Market in general: The first time I attended Quilt Market in Kansas City in the spring of hmmm can’t remember now (2012?), I found it to be immensely fun and exciting; I find that the more I attend, the less this is true. I’m pretty sure the big reason this time was having a baby attached to me at all times — there are no strollers allowed on the QM floor, which is another rant for another time — so I wore him the whole time and got pretty tired, much as I love my little guy. It’s also getting harder for me to justify the cost of flying out and staying in a hotel for a few days. Showing up to see all of the samples we’ve sewn at the studio for various booths is fun; but that alone definitely does not justify the trip.

In the beginning, I attended because I needed a printer for my print patterns, to bring my fabric design portfolio to various manufacturers, and because as a blogger I felt that I had the ability to draw more attention to modern fabric designers with my blog, and I wanted to support those designers as much as I could. The trip had the added benefit of allowing me to meet shop owners who I could connect with.

As time passes, though, the benefit of attending decreases as it becomes less likely that I will make new connections, if that makes sense. I know that may sound blunt, but I want to mention these things because I’m becoming more convinced of how important it is for creatives who are in business to talk about the costs of things, and not just do things for free or for fun, or just because they “love it.” While I do love being a creative business-person, I want to encourage those who are thinking of trying to make a living through design to be realistic about the numbers. Recent blog posts by Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps (“An Inside Look at What Fabric Designers Earn“) and Kristin Link of Sew Mama Sew (“Let’s Talk about this: Do what you love and the money will follow“) about the creative industry are REALLY good reads if you find these topics interesting.

Anyway, I want to outline some of the reasons I go because I think in the past I’ve made it sound like I go just to go — that’s not exactly true; it’s always been a business decision in one way or another. It’s not always the *best* business decision for me, but sometimes you learn that kind of thing the hard way.

Fall Quilt Market Highlights

Just came back last night from a really fun weekend in Houston at Fall Quilt Market!!! Quilt Market is a trade show for shops and fabric designers (and other quilting and sewing related industry), but the best part for me is seeing the new fabric lines. Here were some of the highlights for me:

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The Big Splash Award this year definitely goes to Cotton and Steel, a new division of RJR Fabrics that was founded by Melody Miller. Melody is joined by Kim Kight, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Sarah Watts, and Alexia Abegg in this collaborative design project, and the excitement they’ve drummed up is quite fun.

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No peek at the fabric prints yet (they’ll show at spring Market in Pittsburgh), but they had a set of wonderful solids on display in their booth that are really lovely, the names of the collections by each designer displayed, and you can watch their promo video here and check out the new website . The thing I am most excited about hands-down is the promise of apparel fabrics, and with this dream team designing the prints, it’s sure to be spectacular.

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I always really enjoy Anna Maria Horner’s booth. This year she was showing two new lines, Dowry and True Colors, a line of “not-so-solid solids.” Normally I fall for the larger scale lines but True Colors with its small scale and deep hues is one of my favorites.

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Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics is another line I’m crazy about for its bold and not-so-bold hues and subtle designs. Her two booths were both great. Another hit line after her VERY popular debut line, Architextures.

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Me and Carolyn and Jessica (my cousin who also happens to be my lovely assistant! Don’t you love her Washi + Bow??)

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Leah Duncan’s Meadow line for Art Gallery Fabrics is another favorite of mine this year. You may remember how much I loved Tule, and Leah has really hit it out of the park again with Meadow. Her warm bold yellow, orange, and green hues are really great.

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Sarah Jane is back with another illustrative children’s line that is really sweet. Another fantastic line that evokes the imaginative world of childhood. There are HORSES. Need I say more?

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SJ even made a pair of Big Butt Baby pants for her little baby Anders with her fabric. CUTE!

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More fun stuff, including new lines from Cloud 9 Fabrics:

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Arcadia by Sarah Watson for Cloud 9 Collective (above)

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Enchanted by Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud 9 (above)

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Sew Yummy by Monica Solorio Snow for Cloud 9 Collective (above)

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Shape of Spring by Eloise Renouf (above), and Clementine even made an appearance in the Cloud 9 booth!

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Fun displays at Art Gallery:

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An awesome booth from Green Bee Patterns (that’s Alexia Abegg and her mom Michelle Abegg):

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Charlie Harper from Birch Fabrics:

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Garden from Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka

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Jessica holding up a couple of Geranium and Ruby samples she sewed for Ellen’s booth.

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Urban Patch for Monaluna (also check out these adorable knits)

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Dreamin’ Vintage from Jeni Baker (another Ruby sighting here!):

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And lots of fun people to chat and hang out with! This is Erin Harris from House on Hill Road (who was there for a book signing for her new book, Quilt Essential):

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Lizzy House (fabric designer, wish I had gotten pics of her new line with kitty cats and mice!!):

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and Monaluna designer Jennifer Moore:

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And of course, I had to make sure to include a picture of me with Elli (my sister) and Jess, who kept me company the whole weekend! We bear quite the family resemblance, don’t you think?

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There’s one more line that I seem to have completely forgotten to include…hmmm…oh yes! That would be MY NEW LINE for Cloud9, Lotus Pond! How silly of me! I’ll just have to do a preview post soon so you can see it. Or you can stalk my Instagram and see peeks over there.

Sew to Speak Shop Visit

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I had a fantastic trip down to Ohio last week to visit Sew to Speak, which is an absolutely adorable fabric store in Columbus, about three hours south of Ann Arbor. I’ve been wanting to make the trip ever since my friend April (of Staple Dress fame) invited me last spring. April works at the shop, which her mom, Anita, owns (Anita, pictured in the first photo, is fantastic, too!). April had downplayed the shop a bit and had told me it was pretty small — which is totally April; she is so humble and sweet —  so I was completely unprepared for how much amazingness was contained in this one place!

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While the shop is certainly not HUGE, it’s not tiny either; in fact, I think it’s fair to say that it’s the perfect size. It features a nice little space for classes in the back and enough fabric, patterns, trims, tools, and notions to satisfy both quilters and garment sewists.

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I gave a presentation on Wednesday evening on garment sewing as part of an open house and trunk show, and I took all of my Washi Dresses along. People seemed to really enjoy looking through (and hearing about) all of the variations of the pattern that I brought along. I also brought my Ruby Dress and my Ruby Top and a couple other new designs.

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On Thursday morning I taught a Washi Techniques Workshop, and that was really fun (I’m also offering this class again in Ann Arbor in about a month if you’re interested)! The ladies who signed up were all fantastic, and they all made a ton of progress on their dresses.

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I want to mention something from my talk on Wednesday night that I think is really important. Although I have built a business primarily online, I think it is so important to introduce shops like Sew to Speak to readers so that you can support them, too. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the online sewing community: the people, the patterns, the blogs, the resources, and all of the lovely online shops. I have many great friendships online despite never meeting in real life. But there is simply no replacement for getting together face-to-face, meeting people who love to sew, and making friends who share your interests and passions. Furthermore, shops like Sew to Speak offer REAL places to meet REAL people, learn, and take classes — and allow you to look at and touch fabric before you buy it. It is important to support these shops because they are the pillars of our sewing community. It is worth it to pay MSRP for fabric from these shops rather than searching for the lowest price on Etsy. It is worth it to buy sewing books and patterns full price at these shops, rather than scouring Amazon or discount shops for the lowest price. Keeping these shops in business adds value to our communities, both online and locally. *hopping off the ol’ soapbox now*

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If you ever have a chance to visit Columbus, make sure you add Sew to Speak to your list of stops. By the way, Sew to Speak always takes phone orders (click through to the shop for that number). Thanks so much for having me, Anita and April!!! And thanks to everyone who came out to say “hi!” or take my class. It was a great turnout, and I had a fantastic time!

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Best of Quilt Market: Tule

Yes, I’m posting Quilt Market pics three months after the fact. A little strange? Maybe, but it made more sense to post them now that these fabrics are actually hitting shops. I hope you enjoy my favorites from this fun trade event!

Here’s another one of my favorite booths from Quilt Market this past May, featuring Tule, a new line by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics. The booth and fabrics were all absolutely spectacular. From talking to other people about it, it was clearly a favorite of everyone at Quilt Market!!

Check out the great furniture in this booth. I love the white molded Eames chairs and that awesome couch. There’s Leah!

A lovely low-volume quilt…

Fabric wallpaper??? Can I do this in my house? I need to talk to Leah about how she did this.

I just adore this line — the colors and prints are really spectacular, what a job well done by Leah and Art Gallery! Tule is just arriving in online and local shops as of this week; you can check my sponsor links for Tule if you need a place to start. You can see the entire line over at the Art Gallery Website.

OK, just a couple more pictures from the Art Gallery booth that don’t really fit anywhere but deserve to be posted…check out this amazing dress made completely out of Art Gallery prints!

Isn’t that incredible? I don’t even want to know how long it would take to put that together. So amazing! I wonder if anyone will ever wear it.

And I loved these stacks of colorful books and pillows too. Such a fun way to display new prints.

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for more of my Quilt Market favorites!

Best of Quilt Market: Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud 9

I’ve decided to do my Quilt Market blog posts a little differently this year; instead of posting Quilt Market pics back in May (which is when the most recent Quilt Market was held, in Portland), I figured it might be more fun to see the fabrics and booths WHEN they are available. That way you don’t have to wait three months until you can go out and buy them! Since most of the fabrics that were shown at Quilt Market this year had July and August release dates, it seemed like it might be fun to show them off on the blog now that they’re hitting shops or already available. How does that sound?

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Let’s start with one of my favorite designers (and friend!), Rashida Coleman-Hale. I am a huge fan of Rashida’s designs, and I’ve already sewn with a number of the Tsuru fabrics already, including one of my favorite Washi Dresses to date. Her new line, Koi, is just as amazing and is now arriving in shops (as of this week, I think)! These pics show her amazing booth at Quilt Market Portland, complete with bits of color, the sweetest samples sewn up in Tsuru and Koi, and a vintage newsprint wall. I understand the newsprint concept was completely impromptu, after her initial wall plan fell through. I loved the effect of the yellowed newsprint on the walls!

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This booth showed both her Tsuru and Koi lines, and Rashida had swatches of voile in the booth as well (Koi will be printed in a few prints on canvas AND voile, in addition to the main quilting cotton line…woot!!).

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As you can see, I coordinated well with the Tsuru chair.

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Love this girl!!! And love the new line. Koi is available now in online and local fabric shops — you can check the sponsor links on my blog for Koi and Tsuru (which is still around in certain prints here and there)! You can see the whole line over at Cloud 9 as well.

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