Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Orchid Blooms!

I'm working on some finishes, so I hope to have some quilty stuff to show soon. But in the mean time I thought I'd document that the Orchid is blooming! It was actually given to Heather as a gift a while back, but she has left it in the kitchen so I think I've inherited it. I used to be really into raising African Violets, and had a bunch of them but after some time I let that go, so I've enjoyed having the Orchid around lately. So far the cat has not gnawed on the leaves at all, so that's a good sign.

It may not ever bloom again for me, so this could be quite an event! I'm actually taking more delight in this than I thought I would, so maybe that means I need to get a couple of African Violets again :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, September 28, 2009

National Day of the Book

Saturday was the National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington DC. Heather and I found it kind of by accident three years ago, and now it's a little tradition of ours. Started by Laura Bush and the Library of Congress in 2001, it is now a yearly event ~ and I think more popular than ever as the crowd seemed bigger to me even in spite of the threat of rain.

The day was overcast this year, but we were still anxious to get up and go early. Each one of those tents has an author speaking, book sales, or sponsors like PBS or the Library of Congress doing activities and give aways.

The clouds over the Monument and the spitting of rain didn't dampen anyone's spirits. The crowd at this festival is so friendly. Standing in line waiting for something, you just strike up conversations with people from all over, of all ages who are just there because they love to read.

There are celebrities around every corner, along with some very famous authors.
And of course, book signings!

Heather and I got our books signed by Sue Monk Kidd. Heather took Secret Life of Bees (which we delighted Sue with her British version of the book which we somehow acquired ~ probably from our favorite used book store), and I took Mermaid Chair. Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor were very gracious. Later in the day we also got to listen to them talk and read from their newest book written together called Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story.
George Pelecanos writes crime novels set in the Washington DC area. He as spoken at Heather's writer's group before, so we had to stop by his table.

Mary Brigid Barrett (author of many children's books) and Steven Kellogg (illustrator/author of almost 90 children's books) were signing at the same table. Heather has an author book (a blank book where she is collecting author signatures) that she got both of them to sign.

Steven Kellog did a little illustration with each signature ~ a different illustration with each one! We also got signatures from Katherine Neville (author of The Eight, and others) and Liz Kessler (fantasy writer of middle school level books, her latest is Philippa Fisher and the Dreammaker's Daughter).

While we were standing in someone else's line, we found ourselves right next to Nicholas Sparks (author of The Notebook, and others). There were many other big names there like John Grisham, David Baldacci, Ken Burns, Jodi Picoult, Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, Paula Deen, and James Patterson.
We had lunch here under the trees and the real rain held off until afternoon when we had to leave anyway (I had to work the shop that evening). So it was a great day hanging out together and celebrating books. It doesn't get much better than that :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, September 25, 2009

Playing With Circles

Yesterday for my baby blanket project I played with circles. I played with the Accuquilt Go cutter that we got in the shop, and I made circles!

A bunch of circles! I used two charm packs from Moda called Eva designed by BasicGrey. One pack I cut into circles, and one pack I left as 5" squares.

Those, plus 3/4 yard of white background fabric cut into 5" squares, plus inner and outer borders equals this little quilt :)

Caution: The Accuquilt Go is really easy to use and very addictive! It was quick to whip this up with charm packs, but I know I could keep a Go well fed with my tons of little fabric pieces. I think one of these puppies will have to come home to live at my house.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We're Having a Jo Morton Charm Swap!

Do you think I have enough Jo Morton fabrics to cut out some charms to swap? Last week I had mentioned that we were wanting to hold a 5" charm swap in our shop's Jo Morton Club, and figured I'd open it up to any Jo fans that read my blog too. We have had a really nice response of people who are interested in participating, so here are the details of the swap:

• Block size to swap is 5” Charm Squares. Please remove selvages before cutting your squares.
• Only fabrics designed by Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics are to be included.
• Send in as many sets of (8) blocks as you wish, with no more than (8) squares of the same
fabric. (One 5” strip of fabric 42” wide will yield 8 charms). They can be all different with no
duplicates – that’s ok too.
• You will receive back as many squares as you send ~ hopefully all different (as long as we
don’t all send in the same few fabric prints). I will try to have as few duplicates as possible.
This is where the More the Merrier comes in to play!
• Place your squares in a plastic bag with your name on it and the number of sets included.
For example:
Dawn Stewart
5 Sets
(5 sets would be 40 squares)

Squares are due to me by October 15th. (You can bring them to our shop’s Jo Morton
meetings or participate through the mail.)
• I will turn them around and return the swapped blocks to you by November 1st ~ as long as
everyone meets the October 15th deadline.
• Swapped blocks that are turned in at a Jo Club meeting can be picked up at the shop anytime
after November 1st, or at our November Jo Club meetings.
• If participating by mail, email me so I know you plan on participating and I can give you my
mailing address, along with special instructions for receiving your blocks back through the
mail. springwaterdesigns@gmail.com

Let me know if you have any questions. I’ve had enough people express an interest in the swap that it should be a lot fun!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ahh, Simple Pleasures

This morning I made toast! Actually I made it all weekend. Not just any toast, but perfect toast! I know that sounds like a small feat, but you have no idea the song and dance that I've been going through to make toast lately. You see, about a year ago I needed a new toaster after the simple one that I had for years had worn out (mostly it just looked really bad and I was embarrassed for it). So after much shopping and comparing I purchased a new modern toaster. It was pretty, and we had upgraded (paid more) to a nicer model that had several special settings and bells and whistles. It even had a little blue light that back lit the number settings. It looked sharp!

Well I hated it, and it's little blue light right from the beginning. It annoyed me. Every time I would walk into the kitchen, I'd see that little light with a number lit up, and I'd immediately think I had phone messages! On top of that, if you toasted bread on number 3 it would burn. If you toasted on number 2 it wasn't enough. So after much experimentation I devised a sequence of toasting on 2, then 1, then 1 again that seemed to work...for a while. Then after a time, it started playing with me ~ it would pop up right after I pushed the bread down. Then other times it wouldn't stay down at all, and I had to hold it down and try to estimate the time to doneness.

Some mornings got pretty ugly. Toast should not be this hard.

Well on Friday I came home from my quilt show trip, and my wonderful hubby had bought me this new toaster! It's cute, has no little blue lights, and did I mention it makes perfect toast! Even more important than all of that, I didn't have to shop for it at all. Did I mention that I have the perfect hubby too :)

"Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures." ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr., American author

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Junk

We did a little Junkin' on Saturday. There is an annual Flea Market held in the parking lot of the Bowie Baysox Minor League Baseball Stadium. My best friend Carolyn, Heather and I have gone to the last two.
It was a beautiful day on Saturday to take in the sights, listen to the music, and see what bargains we could find.

Sweet little finds around every corner!

I came home with a few treasures. Heather's cat Maddie was so intrigued with my little pile of goodies, I thought I'd share them here :)

Heather found a couple of things to add to her collections as well. After the Flea Market, we went out to lunch, and then it was on to more shopping ~ it was a good day!

If you like Junkin' and are in the area, there is another Flea Market like this coming up on Saturday, October 17th at Cal Ripkin's Ironbirds Stadium in Aberdeen MD.

After our big day out on Saturday, Sunday I spent most of the day on the computer getting some patterns ready for my new publisher (more details on that real soon)!! That's mostly what today is all about too :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Meandering Through the Quilts

Some sights from the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza going on this weekend near Valley Forge, PA. The show quilts were of the best quality as a whole that I've seen in a while!

Beautiful reproduction fabrics

Creativity galore. This is Sunbonnet Sue does Hollywood. Even if you're not a fan of Sunbonnet Sue quilts, this was just too much. You couldn't look at it and not have a good chuckle :)

Every block was a scene from a different movie :)

There were antiques.

I had to take a shot of a Baltimore Applique quilt.

Hoffman challenge garments. One was more fascinating than the next.

What more can be said. Just awe inspiring.

Enjoy the day,
~ Dawn

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little Things?

Some days are just meant to be filled with lots of little tasks, instead of grand ones. Today is one of those days. Even my current projects are little and not very glamorous. The Baltimore Album block that I'm working on is made up of 32 little hearts, currently in the works.

I just finished this little dishrag that I took along on our weekend trip (I'm taking the beginning knitting class being held at our shop that started last Thursday evening). I'm pretty happy with it, but...

this little burp happened in the middle and I'm not really sure what exactly it was that I did to cause it. I also had some issues around the edges. So...

I'm making another one for more practice :) I think I'm finally getting the hang of it (I pulled apart several that I didn't photograph). Good thing too because this week we go beyond knit a row, purl a row, and we're jumping onto circular needles!

My agenda for the day also includes:
- weekly grocery shopping with my Dad
- cleaning toilets
- editing a paper for my son
- paying bills
- lots of filing
- regular daily tasks like keeping family and pets fed and happy

This puts me in mind of a quote that a good friend gave me years ago on a little plaque that I keep on my desk:

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. ~Helen Keller

Little things...maybe not so much.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Quick Weekend Get Away

The weather was beautiful (just look at that sky), so we took a little weekend get-away to Colonial Williamsburg, VA ~ one of my favorite places! I just love the history stories that you hear all day long, and seeing first hand how people lived during colonial times.

Our home is a Colonial style and I love to just walk the streets and see the buildings. It's all my style.

Sometimes the visitors are as interesting as the people who work there. I saw this little guy waiting for the fife and drum parade. His dad had just bought the drum for him in a little store we had just been in. He was on a mission to get the drum before the parade started, and the little guy just loved it. He was drumming so seriously.

I saw the parade, but I think I watched the delight on the little boy's face just as much.

There are sights to see everywhere, even when you are taking a little rest on a bench in the corner (I thought this horse was such an interesting color).

And of course my favorite shops were the milliners and the weaver (I think the guys liked the blacksmith and the wheelwrights, but they're pretty tolerant of me and my fabric shops).

I had to take a picture of some of the shelves of fabric. I took many more pictures, but I won't bore you with them all.

...but I did have to show you their scrap baskets. 234 years later, and mine look just the same :)

We just went for a quick weekend, so only spent the one night. But we did get to fit in eating dinner at a Tavern and going on a great lantern tour at night ~ where we saw Pirates! If you get the chance to go and have never been to Colonial Williamsburg, try to give yourself several days to be able to see it all. Part of the fun is just finding and exploring all of the little nooks and gardens. It's a great trip!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My First Schnibbles

I got my little Schnibbles quilt top for September finished. This month's pattern is Winter White, but since I've been in such an Autumn frame of mind lately I felt like doing mine in deep fall colors. (If you don't know about the Year of Schnibbles challenge you can read an earlier post about it here).

I used a couple of charm packs from the Gobble, Gobble line by Sandy Gervais. (With some left over to maybe do a little table runner.)

The flying geese background and inner border is a Jo Morton fabric, and the outer border is from Meadow Waltz from Kansas Troubles that I had in my stash. There were a lot of flying geese, but all in all it made up pretty quick. Now I just have to get it quilted to use for this Autumn :)
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn