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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nature's beauties and giveaway winners

Hi everyone,

first - sorry to be late and not post the giveaway winners yesterday! :(
This blog post was half-written last night before I just fell asleep - together with the laptop on my lap! Sheeesh....
Figured it was better not to stumble through it half-asleep, so here I am on this beautiful sunny (but cold) Tuesday morning - hope yours is great too!

So the random number generator was at work again and it said:

1. First winner is comment - number 1!!!
Congratulations!! Hey Marjorie - you said you hate being first but it was lucky this time!
And the second winner is - comment number 9!!
Congratulations Karen O!!

Both of you ladies have a choice of ANY of the two patterns and also a choice of having it sent as a paper pattern or as an E-pattern (instant download on your computer) - just let me know which one you want!
Thank you again to ALL of you leaving me such lovely comments, I appreciate it very much!

Now that was fun! However, fun will not end there - I spy, I spy....another Blog Hop Party with giveaways coming real soon!! - yes Michelle from the Quilter's Gallery is doing it again, so stay tuned! :)

I have to share with you my lovely Sunday outing. My husband and I both love plants and our recent mild passion is orchids. Fortunately for us, here in Buffalo we have a real gem - Buffalo Botanical Garden, that has an Orchid Show every winter. So we went this passed Sunday and...oh my! Is it enough if I say that I took over 480 photos? I DID!! Crazy, I know....but I simply couldn't resist.
Just look at this:

Or some of these:

Or the really tiny and unusual ones:

But what is really great is that Botanical Garden has so much more nature's beauty to share:
Koi pond!

Spectacular bonsai collection

Spectacular waterfall !

Oh and there is so much more...I might have to post few at the time! :)

And just one more thing I have to share with you - found another great site, where you can so easily translate your favorite photos into a palette of colors! Palette Builder lets you do it with just one click! Look at some of mine:

How amazing is that?! I can see some great quilt colors here...:)

Have a great Tuesday everyone,

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Stars of the Season" - new quilt pattern (and a giveaway too!)

Hello everyone,

how is your winter going?
Over here in Northeast it is still frozen and snowy, but for us "Buffalonians" not really a big deal. Actually, they say this winter is quite "under-snowed" - we did not get as much as we are used to, ha, ha!
With a risk of so many of you yelling at me and questioning my sanity - I have to say that I do love winter! Anything from beautiful fresh snow falling, walking with my show-loving dogs to even staying tucked-in inside by the fireplace...

Even if you don't want to be outside - isn't this a beautiful sight?

However - if this sweet face begs you to go out and play - you just have to! :)

So we did of course - road-trip!
Well, it is really just to our nearby trail, called Ellicott Creek, but Marley is as happy as he can be - look at that grin:

Fun was had by all - dogs happy to run around and sniff all the new stuff, humans watching them and enjoying too.
Me - camera is also always there, for shots of whatever colors and inspiration Mother Nature may provide...and there is always some!

There might not be bright colors of summer blooms, but there are some beautiful colors  and textures of winter too...

And one can always count on sky to provide some brilliant colors, even in the middle of winter:

How beautiful is this:

But this post is titled "Stars of the Season" - new quilt pattern, so lets get to that now, right? :) OK, I just wanted to say how I LOVE all seasons and they all provide so much inspiration - one just have to look around! (hey that is really where fun is anyway). I even tend to see different seasons, or colors of seasons in fabrics! So when fabulous fabric designer Ro Gregg sent me a preview of her new fabric collection called "Star in Born", bright colors in it were so inspiring! Beautiful stars in main print and four different colorways looked like four seasons to me:

Do you agree?
And here are beautiful accompanying prints - I also sorted them in seasons:

So my inspirations was going something like this...stars...seasons...simple but showy...big squares to show off main, Star is Born collection inspired Stars of the Season - a new pattern!! YAY!
Here are the stars:

What I love about this block? - it is made from ONE SINGLE UNIT!! And it is even easy to make - honest! It is this one:
Can you see it ion the blocks?
So, here is what I came up with:

Make just 4 blocks and combined with this spectacular print - a beautiful quilt!! This is my WINTER season.

Make few more blocks, arrange them a bit differently again with a spectacular focus print - and a SPRING stars born! :)

SUMMER colorway in yet another layout of stars and main print squares...

And finally AUTUMN stars are glowing too...

Hey, you can even make a spectacular looking quilt just by cutting into this great fabric collection and piecing it back together! Quilt bellow is just that - squares of beautiful fabric:
Or the other way:
Intrigued yet? :) 

You can see the entire, beautiful collection of Ro Gregg's fabrics, "Star is Born", for Paintbrush Studios by Fabri-Quilt here on their web site as well as where locally you can buy it, since it is in the stores now!!
You can get my new pattern, Stars of the Season as a paper pattern or an instant download on the web site HERE . Of course, while you are on the site - browse around, there so many amazing, beautiful, creative patterns!!

 I talked a while ago (you can see it here) about playing with another beautiful fabric line by Ro Gregg, called Marblehead and realized I never showed you the finished quilt! Woven Whispers is easy to make, with or without applique and in several different sizes (from wall to bed size!):

I had lots of fun quilting this one too.

And yes, pattern is available again on marvelous web site

You could do this quilt without applique, with dark background and some marvelous bright colors:

Or in gradation of just one color:
Or in more traditional look - just few colors and a focus print:
Lots of fun possibilities! :)
Play with "weaving" some colors or express your seasonal inspirations with different colors - either way your creative Star will be born again! :)

I have to say that apart from enjoying my family - I am the happiest when I play with colors, patterns, fabrics....I am sure you know the feeling!! :)
Now, lets finish this with some fun for all of you! It is giveaway time of course!
Leave me a comment about what inspires you or which one of the patterns/quilts above you like the best and TWO lucky, randomly selected comments will get one of my above patterns! You have a whole weekend, 'till Sunday midnight, to do it - winners announced on Monday!

Thank you again for spending some time with me and please, please share your thoughts and inspirations too in comments - I love to hear them!
Have a wonderful, happy weekend,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tribute to Marko the Cat

Hi everyone,

first I have to apologize for not following up on my intentions of having that fun and giveaway on the Local Quilt Shop Day, but life came in the way...
Unfortunately we had to say goodby to our beloved cat, Marko after almost 19 wonderful years of love, laughs and cuddles. I know lots of you know exactly  how hard it is to say goodby to a beloved pet - I have to admit I somehow forgot how hard it is. After all, I was fortunate to avoid that in last almost 19 years. :)
We brought Marko home as a small kitten, from a co-worker's litter of 5 - he was the only one with silver tabby color...We picked him because he look like most cats did back in old home country (former Yugoslavia), only to find out that here in US this color is really not that common - who knew! We were fresh immigrants, kids were small and they wanted a pet so much - so as soon as we moved to apartment that allowed pets, Marko came into our lives. He was a spunky kitten - slept wherever he liked (no cat beds for him!), loved to roll pencils off the table and under the rug or to tip over glasses on the table, to make a little puddle and play in it. :)
At first, we were going to have him as an indoor cat, mostly out of fear that something would happen to him, but Marko wouldn't have that - ran out every chance he had, until we realized he simply is NOT an indoor cat! Oh but  he was smart - at first encounter with snow (the whole 1/2 inch of it!) he decided it is NOT for him and from that point on he would simply be an indoor cat during the winter - how smart was that! Even the plenitude of birds on the bird-feeder would not be enough to entice him to go out - he would ask me to open the door but then - one paw in the snow and - oh NO, back inside!

Oh and did he rule the neighborhood... In summertime he would spend entire night out, hunting and who knows what else and occasionally we would hear those awful cat fight type screams...Marko was always home in the early morning without a scratch! So he was either the smartest or the fastest! :)

He would even bring us presents - half eaten mouse or whatever...right in front of the door! Love this photo of him, with the tongue out.

He was my sewing "helper" occasionally - if I piled up some fabric on the cutting table, he would find it perfect to snuggle on. Or, maybe a quilt on the bed to sprawl on, like bellow:

Or to tuck his nose in...

Once the dogs came into our life, he very quickly established who is the boss - regardless of the fact that Marley, the Alaskan Malamute grew to be about 10 times bigger! Mr. Marko would not have anything to do with those...dogs! Marley tried....

Doesn't this picture say - "stay away from me!" Ha, ha!

Then, once, and only once - this happened! It lasted for about 5 minutes and I think Rocky was stunned.

When Marko got older, he was much more into some routines. As I would come downstairs in the morning, dogs would be there asking to go out of course and as soon as that back door would close behind them, there was my Marko with a big MEOW that meant - it is MY time! Good long back massages with some under chin petting followed until he was happy to continue with his day.

Once the dogs returned inside, got their morning treat and my coffee was done, this was my favorite way to start the day - Marko on my lap, dogs in the bay window - all of us watching the neighborhood wake up.
How I miss my Marko these mornings.

This is one of my favorite photos from those mornings, taken just this passed summer.

Another favorite spot - right in front of the computer screen! Too bad if you actually want to see it or work - Marko comes first! :)

He was the best, savvy, most handsome cat that gave us so much love. We sort of grew up together here in America, he was a big part of our "this is home now" feelings once we settled in our new home country. He will forever have special place in our hearts. Love you my Marko.
Wishing you all the blessings of animal love and affection,