Category Archives: Travels Near & Far

Pam2 [Images courtesy of Pam Kitty Morning]

Hi everyone.  Today, I am wrapping up the last of my Quilt Market designer interviews!  Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback on these.  I’m so glad you are enjoying them.

There are a few additional people I contacted after the show and haven’t heard from yet, so I may pop in here from time to time with a few updates.  However, before I close this chapter, I wanted to talk to Pam Vieira-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning.  I think most of you probably already know and love Pam, but for the few who don’t, let me fill you in — Pam is an incredibly talented (and very well liked) quilter/pattern designer/sewing genius who is celebrating her first line of fabric with Lakehouse Dry Goods.

Pam really knows how to keep a secret, because a year ago she was patiently listening to me blab on and on about trying to get a fabric deal while she had this killer line tucked up her sleeve.  Last show was her big reveal, and now she actually has finished, printed fabric in her hands.  Pam was hanging out at the Lakehouse booth and I got to pick her brain a bit.  (There’s cute Pam below on the left.)

Pam3

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered when designing fabric and patterns?

Biggest surprise? ALL OF IT! Holy cow who could have imagined all this? When my friend Sandy started showing me some photos and blogs in 2006 I felt like a whole world opened up to me. Everyday I was sitting down at the computer with coffee and finding out about things I had never heard of. Then she convinced me it would be fun to start a blog and the rest is crazy history! I could never anticipate how wonderful it would be to connect with people all over the world over a cup of internet coffee.

Pam1

What keeps you inspired?

Inspired? The people! The projects. The fabric! Before, magazines and tv and our local quilt shop would tell us what was going on in quilting and crafting, now we have a feast right at our fingertips. And in our pj’s! You can read about creative journeys, browse photos in Flickr and Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook will hook you up with the trend of the day. Of course sometimes it’s a double edged sword. It can be intimidating to see what other people are up to. If I’m feeling inadequate I turn away. Everyone has a place at the internet table, pull up a chair and sit down!

What advice would you give to someone else who wants to pursue their own creative dream?

Have your own creative dream? Pursue it! There’s a ton of info out there just waiting for you to find it.

Favorite Spots: The Museum of Glass

Tacoma_glass1

Earlier this year, we splurged on a second DSLR. Secretly, I think my husband went along with it just so I would not get make-up on his camera anymore. (For more on photography including what lenses we use, see here.)

We both really enjoy photography and for a long time have just done the camera shuffle — passing the camera back and forth and trying to piece together later who took what. Except that his photos are better than mine, and I found myself deferring more and more to him and not getting much time to practice. Anyway, I have no excuses now. Plus the new camera does video and I have big plans for that.

Tacoma_glass2

One of the first places we ventured to was the Museum of Glass. This is a great spot for a photo date. The building and outdoor installations are gorgeous, and you can take advantage of those overcast, gray skies which make everything else pop.

We weren’t the only ones who thought so. There was a wedding party taking photos the day we visited. (Note to brides: Giving all your groomsmen matching umbrellas is really cute. Just make sure you’re cool with the inevitable umbrella jousting matches!)

I was not really familiar with Dale Chihuly before we moved here even though I had seen his work and not realized it.  (Perhaps you too have marveled at his glass flower sculptures in the Bellagio hotel in Vegas?)  Here at the Museum, one of the highlights was the Bridge of Glass.  (That photo up top is the view directly over your head as you walk underneath the installation.)

I also really enjoyed these still-life pieces (below) by Paul Stankard.  Each orb featured tiny bees, roots, and even little people.

Tacoma_glass3

It’s hard to believe this is only one of a handful of spots to see glass art in this area. We still plan to make the trek here.

[Outside photos courtesy of my husband. We may have 2 cameras, but we still share lenses!]

Filed under Gardens & Special Places, Photography, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , , , .

Hoarding: Buried Alive

Moving_boxes
Hi everyone and greetings from Seattle! I am writing to you from my hotel room while we wait for the truck with all of our stuff to arrive. (Hopefully, tomorrow.)

It has been an extremely exhausting couple of weeks, but we got a little breather this weekend where the toughest items on the list were things like “buy new shower curtain” and “pick up keys.” I have to tell you that any day where the list does not include “prime apartment walls” is a good one in my book. (And I’m pretty sure my Dad who almost single-handedly re-painted our living room would second that.)

I had hoped to document this whole process better, but pretty quickly I had to lower my expectations to things like “locate and wear shoes today.” I know those of you who have moved understand. Geez, moving is hard! My heart goes out to the people who do this with kids and pets.

Moving_truck

So here are the 2 photos I did take of the move. The top one is of my sewing room/office all packed up. My husband calls this photo “Hoarding: Buried Alive.”

Oh my gosh, I have a problem. That room was ridiculous. The fabric. Paper. Yarn. Thread. Christmas decorations. I tried to get a better shot, but the boxes were blocking the window! (There is no way this stuff is fitting in the new place, but neither of us wants to bring this up yet. I suppose you can ask me about it in a week.)

I told my husband that he needed to accept the fact that this is not going to be a spacious, functional apartment — but more like the end of a Hoarders episode where the hoarder has successfully found and cleared the kitchen table. Everyone is so excited just to have a chair to sit in while they eat dinner that no one mentions the tower of boxes stacked up ominously around them.

I will try to post an update after we’re in, but I think we’re entering the phase where we have moved in, but can’t find anything. I am very much looking forward to phase III in which I plan to “explore my hometown in between naps, quiet mornings sipping coffee, making new friends, and shopping.” All in good time!

Hope you are all doing well.

Filed under Site News, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , .

A Soft Place to Land

lakewashington2

Hi everyone!  Thank you so much for all of the nice comments about the gift tags and the move.  In the midst of this big transition, I have been trying to be very diligent about writing down 5 things I am thankful for each day.  Without fail, each week I find myself writing down a thoughtful email or funny thing that you have said here.  Thanks for that.  It means a lot.

We got home late last night from our trip to Seattle.  It was exhausting, but successful!  We found an apartment and turned in our application.  The new place is in walking distance to (drum roll, please)… the library.  That sort of sealed the deal for me.  I’ll have a nice place to work during the transition while we wait for our stuff to arrive.

We realized on this trip that we have some fairly large furniture, so it’s going to take some creativity to fit everything in the new place.  I am relieved that we decided to go for the sensible option with the most storage.  I am already thinking about how to cozy it up a bit.  We will finally have a use for our hardly-ever-used flannel sheets and all of those soup recipes I have been saving up for the cold weather which never seems to arrive in LA.

lakewashington

We stopped by Lake Washington on our way to the airport yesterday and snapped a few photos.  The water, the trees, they are all calling to me now — making it ever so slightly easier to unwind the cords that are tethering us here.  We are one foot in each location now, doing that funny in-between dance.  Now we gather our strength for our next big number.  January is going to be gone in a flash.  I can tell.

Filed under Site News, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , , .

Designer Interview with Thomas Knauer

thomas-knauer-sews-opposites-attract-quilt

[All images courtesy of Thomas Knauer.  Patterns for these projects are available for purchase from Thomas' shop]

Hi everyone.  I have one more designer interview to share from Quilt Market — and today, it is the incredibly awesome Thomas Knauer.

Thomas is celebrating his debut with Andover Fabrics.  I had the good fortune to be sitting next to him at the Andover sales meeting, and he made me feel instantly at home.  Thomas is one of the most enthusiastic and generous people I’ve met to date.  (Not just in the fabric/quilting industry, but in life — so if you haven’t connected with Thomas yet, I encourage you to head over to his site now.)  Pear Tree, his first line, is in stores now, and Thomas is on a roll with two more lines, Flock and Savanna Bop, coming up next.

I really enjoyed his answers (especially to question #3) and hope that you do as well.

thomas-knauer-sews-birds-eye-quilt

What are you most excited to be showing off at this show?

Phew!  That’s a questions and a half.  Since this is my first Market with anything to actually show off to the world I kinda want to say everything!!!  But I’ll be good and will narrow things down.  While I love Pear Tree (how could I not love my first line) and all the quilts and pillows I’ve made from it, I think I am most excited to be debuting Flock.  I really feel like I am getting close to the fabric I see in my head with this one.  I know, one might think that if I see fabric in my head it should be easy to get it down on paper, but it isn’t for me.  The thing about the way I see things in my head is that it is rarely visual; it is more often a description accompanied by a feeling.  Perhaps I shouldn’t call it seeing things in my head, but calling my designs the things I read or hear in my head just sounds crazy.  Anyway, Flock feel so personal to me for some reason, and I am so happy with how it has turned out.  It really feels like bits of me on cloth.

tweet-full3-500x625

What keeps you inspired?

Oi! Another tough one.  Inspiration is a tough concept for me.  I rarely think of myself as being inspired; I think of myself more as a grinder.  My entire career I’ve had to work at being creative.  It is more a mental effort than a visual one.  Ideas rarely come to me; I feel around in the dark corners of my brain for them and eventually find the kernels of ideas in the mess.  Then I work them over again and again.  If anything I’d say that process is what keeps me inspired.  Oh, and of course my amazing daughter.  So much of what I design is so I can make stuff for her out of it.

thomas-knauer-sews-parenthetical-quilt

What advice would you give to someone else who wants to pursue their own creative dream?

Make more.  Seriously, that’s it.  That was how I taught design back in my professorial days, and that is how I continue my practice now.  I have enough designs in reserve right now to do at least four more lines (if I added a few new ones for continuity within each collection).  When I first sent designs off to Andover I had three complete collections, two of which are thankfully on the trash pile.  I’m pretty sure I could rework those two lines into good collections, but my interests have already shifted.  Pear Tree just shipped and I am already finalizing my fourth and fifth collections.  And working on sketches for numbers six and seven.  Make more; you can always hold them back in reserve for those times when the ideas aren’t clicking, or let them sit for further revision (revision is always good, even if you end up going with the original version).  But the main reason to make more is that it will help you get better.  Between gallery, museum, academic, and now textiles I’ve been doing this for twenty years and I still see myself getting better every month.  So, make more.

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered when designing fabric and patterns?

The fact that people like what I’m doing.  I’m not kidding.

Filed under Fabric & Sewing, Inspiration, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , , , .

Designer Interview: Pam Kitty Morning

Pam2 [Images courtesy of Pam Kitty Morning]

Hi everyone.  Today, I am wrapping up the last of my Quilt Market designer interviews!  Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback on these.  I’m so glad you are enjoying them.

There are a few additional people I contacted after the show and haven’t heard from yet, so I may pop in here from time to time with a few updates.  However, before I close this chapter, I wanted to talk to Pam Vieira-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning.  I think most of you probably already know and love Pam, but for the few who don’t, let me fill you in — Pam is an incredibly talented (and very well liked) quilter/pattern designer/sewing genius who is celebrating her first line of fabric with Lakehouse Dry Goods.

Pam really knows how to keep a secret, because a year ago she was patiently listening to me blab on and on about trying to get a fabric deal while she had this killer line tucked up her sleeve.  Last show was her big reveal, and now she actually has finished, printed fabric in her hands.  Pam was hanging out at the Lakehouse booth and I got to pick her brain a bit.  (There’s cute Pam below on the left.)

Pam3

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered when designing fabric and patterns?

Biggest surprise? ALL OF IT! Holy cow who could have imagined all this? When my friend Sandy started showing me some photos and blogs in 2006 I felt like a whole world opened up to me. Everyday I was sitting down at the computer with coffee and finding out about things I had never heard of. Then she convinced me it would be fun to start a blog and the rest is crazy history! I could never anticipate how wonderful it would be to connect with people all over the world over a cup of internet coffee.

Pam1

What keeps you inspired?

Inspired? The people! The projects. The fabric! Before, magazines and tv and our local quilt shop would tell us what was going on in quilting and crafting, now we have a feast right at our fingertips. And in our pj’s! You can read about creative journeys, browse photos in Flickr and Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook will hook you up with the trend of the day. Of course sometimes it’s a double edged sword. It can be intimidating to see what other people are up to. If I’m feeling inadequate I turn away. Everyone has a place at the internet table, pull up a chair and sit down!

What advice would you give to someone else who wants to pursue their own creative dream?

Have your own creative dream? Pursue it! There’s a ton of info out there just waiting for you to find it.

Filed under Fabric & Sewing, Inspiration, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , , , , .