Monday, July 27, 2009

The Process of Fabric Designing

Okay, all of you have probably given up on me ever updating my blog. Well I have been very busy. First off I have been to France and back. (A very spur of the moment trip) I filled in for someone who cancelled out on a retreat hosted by Kaari from French General. I had a wonderful time. I am now in love with the French countryside. I would highly recommend attending one of Kaari’s retreats. More about my trip later. As soon as I arrived home from France it was right to the drawing board to do my Christmas 2010 line of fabric.

I have had many people ask me what the process of designing fabric is. Well it varies from person to person.

I start by eating a whole bunch of this. (It gets the creative juices flowing.)

After a couple bags of chocolate I have an idea of the direction that I will be going.
I usually start with the name.

Christmas 2010 will be called Adoring.

I then mix the colors. I visualize the colors in my head. Unfortunately the colors I have visualized usually cannot be found on the paint chart at the paint store.

So I mix and mix - in plastic cups, until I get just the color that is in my head.

I then take a painted out sample of each of those colors to the paint store to get quarts of paint mixed. Everyone at the paint store runs when they see me coming - except Johnna - she is a quilter - she understands. Sometimes I just call ahead to see if Johnna is working - if she is not working, I don’t get paint mixed that day.

Next step is drawing out all of the prints - just with pencil on drawing paper. I really cannot draw. I have to draw everything very tiny and then enlarge it on the computer. I admire people like Deb Strain and Kathy Schmitz who can in an instant draw something really fabulous. But anyone can draw - you just keep drawing and erasing and moving the lines until it is right.

I can only draw with a mechanical pencil - no number 2’s for me. Since I have to erase so much the tiny little erasers on these pencils only last a millisecond.

Therefore I use these wonderful erasers. Just keep clicking and it keeps feeding eraser.

When it comes to me and erasers - size does matter

Once every thing is drawn out I slip on my paint smock. One of my seamstresses made this for me. You can no longer see how great it once was. (The pockets are log cabin blocks.)

Now on to the painting. This is the fun, relaxing part. Nothing is more relaxing for me than painting. At this time my mind can wonder onto designing the quilts that I will make using this fabric or maybe how I will design my market booth to showcase this fabric.

A sneak peek at the part of the panel.

People always ask me how I can possibly do Christmas in the summer time. Not a problem - by the time I had everything painted out I was singing We Three Kings.
After everything is painted out I paste all of the prints onto a presentation board.

I then send the portfolio off to Cheryl at Moda.

No matter what, I always seem to be racing to get the box ready in time for the UPS man. (Our UPS man is Al- his wife is a quilter.)
We (by now I am at the office and my office manager Sandy K. is helping) put the portfolio in the box - Al is right around the corner.
We start taping the box shut -
@*##! the tape gun always picks the most untimely time to run out of tape.

We hear Al rumbling into the parking lot.
We reload the tape gun and get the box taped shut just as Al is walking in the door.

@*##! we forgot to put in the paint swatches!

Al waits - we rip the box open - Al waits - we insert the swatches - Al waits - we attempt to tape the box shut but @*##! the tape gun gets tangled up - Al waits - we untangle the tape gun - Al waits - Finally the box is ready for

Al puts the box in the UPS truck and it is finally on it way to Dallas.

Sandy K. and I close early, go to the coffee shop, order a large iced tea and a very large scotcharoo.

Whew - another line done!

Now on to the next line - Fall.

From my heart,

P.S. I apologize if We Three Kings is singing in your head all day long.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The evolution of my hair

Since my dear husband's "vintage" picture was splashed all over the web world, I thought it would only be fair to even things up a bit.
I had received many comments on my 6th grade hair-do, so I thought I would do the evolution of my hair. After you read this and look at the pictures I am sure you will all agree - he now owes me. :-)

Mom discovers Toni home perms.

Is that hair on top of my head - or is it part of the wallpaper? And did we not own a comb??? (glasses are blue plastic)

Mom gives up on Toni and takes us to a professional - Irene's Beauty Shop, just one mile down the road. (They were never called salons then like they are now.) It was in the basement of her farm home and it always smelled squeaky clean.

Irene's Beauty Shop pixie cut. Every little girl in the neighborhood had this same hair cut.

Mom cut our bangs between Irene's haircuts.

Mom is good at a lot of things - cutting bangs is not one of them. (And this is after they had grown out!) The glasses are blue metallic metal with rhinestones.

I used these ….

to achieve this stylish look.

I seem pretty happy with the results. :-) (I'm the one in the middle) I couldn't wear my glasses with the headband… hurt too bad.

Foam rollers and something new at Irene's Beauty Shop called a "body" perm...

to get this fabulous ? flip.

Then along came this groovy product.
I would lather this on my hair.

Then set only the back with these

Then each side of my hair was put in a huge pin curl held in place by this innovative product. If we did not have hair tape we used plain old scotch tape. Ouch - stuck to the hair and made red tape marks on your face - but your hair was cool.???

End result was this do. Luckily we must have had hair tape that day. No marks on the face.

I would use the biggest rollers that would work in my hair. My friend could used juice cans - sadly my hair was never long enough for juice cans. :-(

I either slept (not well) with the rollers in my hair or I sat under one of these to dry my hair. You put the plastic bonnet over your wet hair that was set in rollers and the dryer blew hot air into the plastic bonnet causing nothing but humidity.
After FOREVER your neck was red from the hot hose and your hair was dry.

The end result was this do.

Then along came the shag...

simply wash and go.

This all the farther down hair memory lane that I am going to go. It just gets too painfully close to real time.

Irene Eggimann's other claim to fame was her delicious oatmeal bars, known only as Irene Eggimann bars - which she always brought to all the neighborhood potlucks.
Whenever she attended a bridal shower she would give the bride a baking pan, a spatula , potholders and the recipe for "Irene Eggimann Bars" as a gift. I was the lucky recipient of one of those gifts. I must admit, my bars are never as good as hers.

Irene Eggimann Bars

2/3 cup margarine
1 Cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white syrup

Melt together in a pan.
Add 4 Cups Quick Oats
Spoon and press into a 9" X 9" pan.
Bake 10 minutes at 350°


2/3 cup chunky peanut butter
6 oz. chocolate chips.
Melt in microwave
Frost Bars
Enjoy the bars.
Have a good hair day