Friday, September 25, 2009

Cool Cake!

Earlier today, I stopped by Patchwork Plus in Marcellus, NY, where final preparations were underway for a visit from Libby Lehman. It sure looked like a lot of fun!

This cool cake was made by Colleen Head to welcome Libby to the store. Colleen is the niece of one of the associates at Patchwork Plus. I just had to take a picture! Kinda gives new meaning to the question, "Wanna piece?"

Wish I could have stayed for the lecture. The shop was hopping with activity when I left!


Monday, September 21, 2009

To Market, To Market

So, if you are a quilter reading the subject line, maybe you were thinking this post might be about 'Quilt Market,' the big trade show in Houston. . . . no, not quite yet. Although I'm sure I'll have a detail or two about Quilt Market to post here before too long.

With the end of summer in central New York the Farmers' Market is the place to be!

The sights, the colors, the smells, and the gurgling tummy at the thought of all the tasty concoctions that will come from local farmers' fields. Doncha just love it?!

My sister and I grab our quilted Scrap Sack bags and come home with them full, arms weak from carrying all the veggies and goodies they can hold!

A couple of my favorite stops at the regional market in Syracuse, early on a Saturday morning, include the Pappardelle's Pasta stand and the Mu Mu Muesli stand. The flavored pastas make the most interesting taste combinations. And the muesli - it's pure breakfast yum! Note to self: Must try the  'Famous Amy's' muesli cookie recipe soon!

Enjoy the tastes of the changing seasons!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Pizza! Pizza!

Yesterday, I participated in a "Sewing Expo" at the Eden Creative Sewing Center in Eden, NY, just south of Buffalo.

About 50 enthusiastic women were in attendance and learned about Jenny Haskins machine embroidery products during a lecture/trunk show. Afterwards, participants visited several make-and-take and demonstration areas in the large room to sample various quilting and sewing techniques and test-drive new sewing machines. The event was topped off with a delicious dinner!

My part of the event included a demo of the ScrapTherapy pattern, Pick-A-Pair Pot Holders. I love to work on this project in the fall. Like it or not, the holidays are just around the corner, and who doesn't need a 'little extra' stocking stuffer or hostess thank-you gift.

The pot holder set is made with a fat quarter and scrap fabrics. There's some Insul-Brite inside to ensure they're heat-resistant. The pizza fabric I used for this set of pot holders is from the new Timeless Treasures munchies line. So cute! Almost don't want to give them away!

The super-easy pattern includes three scrappy block variations all using half-square triangle units made with Star Singles papers. With the papers, make eight half-square triangle units from two 5" squares, very fun!

Both the pattern and the Star Singles papers are available from participating ScrapTherapy shops. Bon Apetit!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet the staff!

Maintaining a small office takes a competent staff with very special talents, educational background, and experience. Thought you might like to meet those behind the scenes at the Hummingbird Highway.

First, let me introduce the receptionist. Peaches, second from the right, the amazon parrot, says 'hello' and 'goodbye' but not much in between, unless she's squawking. Her favorite part of the day is lunch time and break time. The rest of the day is reserved for important business like naps.

Loepsie, the sun conure, is in charge of security. Loeps produces a loud scream when the FedEx dude is making deliveries anywhere in the area. Loepsie alerts me (and everyone nearby) to any imminent danger to the facility. Like spotting cats, people walking by, or hawks. Mostly Loepsie is a good bird, it says so on the magazine cover on the screen.

And the staff wouldn't be complete without making mention of my husband, Dave. He's a part-time consultant to the business and chips in with opinions, pattern-bag stuffing, and picking up Chinese take-out when deadlines near. I'd post a picture but his 'other' job is in the military, and I probably need three levels of security clearance to do so.

And then there's me. Speaking of that, I'd better get back to work!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Good deed

Like so many, eight years ago I was taken in by the events of September 11, 2001 as  each unthinkable detail unraveled everything. Yesterday, I received information about  the National Day of Service from a fellow quilt guild member. The website inspired me to do something. I shared my plan and started thinking. And digging in my fabric stash.

Leftover flannel, soft and cozy. Not enough for a big quilt. Just enough for a quilt block. Perfect for a tiny life, having a rough start.

So this is how I started my day today. I finished up one of the small quilts - just a quilt block. Added a border and some backing. Turned. So simple. Only about 18" square. Little bit of quilting to hold it all together. Just enough. Blue for a baby boy. Didn't take long. Another in pink. Why not? For a tiny girl.
These will go to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the local hospital. The small quilts brighten up the nursery and offer some cheer to mom and dad. And something soft for baby. Hope.

This is a favorite project of mine. A lift to wrap up a hectic week. A great way to practice a new stitch or play with color combinations for a bigger quilt project. The babies never complain, nor do the parents, if a stitch is out of place. I save up a stack and every so oftern, I take the whole bunch of small quilts to the hospital. Unfortunately, the need for quilts is on-going.

It's a nice thing to do, especially today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Headed South

Some very good friends are leaving town. They go south for the winter months. But they'll be back; they return every year in early May, as predictable as the seasons. I look forward to their visits each year. They stay about four or five months, then move on again as the cycle repeats.

I'm talking about the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds that frequent our feeders all summer long. The picture is fuzzy, taken from across the room, while the male hummingbird rested on the hanger.

I just adore these little birds, and my heart sings at the first sighting each spring. The name of my company, Hummingbird Highway, LLC, is inspired by these amazing creatures. The Hummingbird Highway is the name of a road in central Belize.

The activity at the feeders is steady during the summer, but the pace increases during the month of August. In early September, the tiny birds migrate to Central America, traveling alone, rather than in flocks. They fly by day and rest by night. Until they get to the Gulf of Mexico, which they cross in one clip. Can you imagine?

I'm sad to see the hummingbirds leave our yard, but know they'll return in the spring. In their place, the chickadees, juncos, and blue jays compete for food at the feeders. It's their turn. Until May, I keep this link handy so I can get a hummingbird fix through the videos, as the chill of fall and winter settle into upstate New York.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Here we go!

I'm giving this 'blog' thing a try. Hope your Labor Day holiday weekend included some sewing! Mine did!

For a change, central New York has had a stretch of nice weather, so I've spent some time on the front porch with some sewing and cross stitch.

The quilt in the title box above is a close-up of one of several 'Sew Lovely' samples I made. My inspiration for the quilting comes from watching Patsy Thompson DVDs and reading Sue Nichels' books. When you're tired of plain ole meandering, it's fun to expand your quilting repertoire with some playful 'fill' techniques.