Tuesday, September 29, 2015

:: nine months, three weeks, five days... (or so)...


How sad... that I've not done a blog post for that long! 

So how are you?!!! So much has happened, & even though in my mind, I think that I could spread things out over several posts... I know that I've failed on that one before, so I think I'll try & do a 'catch-up' post this time.

So let's see... I know that Bailey caught you up a wee bit about what it was like just before Spring Quilt Market, including introducing my new line for Moda, called Windermere. You can see the upcoming line by clicking 'here'. You can also see all the new patterns that are up on the website...

I guess to pick up right after the happenings of my last post, (& something I didn't write about because at the time, I wasn't sure what the outcome would be... & I'm not a fan of speculation)... about two weeks after I got home from last Fall Quilt Market (around mid-November), I fell & broke my left wrist. (& I'm a lefty!). That put the brakes on a lot that I had planned to do right after Fall Market, like some house projects (painting, room sorting...) At first they thought I either broke two bones, &/or I might have some ligament damage, but thankfully it appears it was just the bigger bone & the break was clean. Unfortunately, I didn't get any physical therapy until the end of March, & so any detailed hand work was out of the question. (I did though, get a lot better at being ambidextrous!) With all that happening, I missed the deadline for my next fabric line to debut at Fall Market, but it has been sent to Moda & will hopefully be not too far behind. I'll let you know when it will be shown to shops (hopefully soon after the new year)... (I promise!)

My second line with Moda, Windermere, did debut at Spring Quilt Market, & I'm excited about it arriving in shops in November. (you can see the entire line by clicking on the 'Windermere' graphic on the sidebar.)  One of the fun things about Market this past Spring is that it was in Minneapolis & my brother, Scott & his family lives there, & he got to stop by the convention center & got a peek at what this is all about. He said he was surprised at how big it was (& this was Spiring Market - which isn't quite as big as Fall Market), & I was just so pleased to have him stop by. (That's Scott & me in my space in Moda's Designer Studio in the photo above.) 

After Spring Market, I was off to Norway! I had been looking forward to this trip ever since Fall Market when two lovely quilt shop owners invited my to come to Norway & do some workshops & trunk-shows. (Hi Åsne & Siw!!!) I had such a wonderful time... & that is something that needs its own post! So I’ll be gathering all my photos & will be back with those soon! (The first of the two photos of Norway in this post was taken at a bit after 10 pm!... gotta love the 'midnight sun'! The second was the lovely view I had of the Oslo Fjord that I had from my kitchen window.)

Until then, the new patterns are up on the website, both printed & PDF versions, & coming soon - some Ambleside (just in case you missed some) & Windermere pre-cuts. I just finished putting the finishing touches on my line for next Spring Market, & now that it’s sent in, I'm hoping to do some updating to the website... with some new items & a new look! I hope you check back to see!

Before I sign off, I want to thank everyone for all you enthusiasm about Ambleside. I have had so much fun seeing all the beautiful things you are making on Instagram  (including all the cute YouTube tutorials that Jennifer at Shabby Fabrics did using Ambleside!). It has touched my heart, & I thank you so much. Also, if you are following this blog, I want to thank you for hanging in there & waiting patiently for me to get my 'ducks-in-a-row' & start blogging again. It is one of my big goals to get much better at it! 

I will be back with a few more special things from this past Spring Market... & Norway!!!

❤️ Bren

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

:: "I'm taking over!… (somebody's gotta do it!)

Hi folks! It's me, Bailey... otherwise know as 'fluffybump'... (How embarrassing... but fitting I'm afraid. I am fluffy, & a cuddly kind of boy... so I just make the most of it! (I'm cool that way)

Anyway, I'm taking over my Mom's blog today, as she is up to her ears in getting ready for what she calls "Quilt Market". Also, I thought it was about time that she post something on her blog! She keeps talking to me (& herself too folks...) about how no one probably even looks at the blog anymore because it's been so long since she posted anything... (So, just so you know, she is at least thinking of you!...) She also tells me that she sometimes wishes she could clone herself so that she could get twice as much done... Now, I don't have any clue what any of that means, so I just tilt my head to one side while she tells me all the stuff she needs to do, & she thinks I'm really cute when I do that & so I get to make her smile (I'm cool like that...) & then I get lots of 'rubs 'n loves' & snuggles. (I'm good like that.)

So as a see it, Mom's getting a two-fer! I do the blog post for the Moda blog takeover & she can stay in the studio & keep making those pretty quilts we all like so much! ... & yep, I love quilts too! I even have a couple of my own, & I'm known as the official quilt tester around here! (I'm really good at it too!)

Actually, I've been getting ready to do some writing for some time now... I think Mom has known about it too. Even when I was a pup, I would try and "help" Mom with some of the writing she needed to do. I think I had it all figured out, & then she went & got a new laptop several years ago, & it just got all kinds of confusing, so mostly I just snuggle next to her when she works on the computer... (Or if she's been too busy for too long, I pretend to ignore her... But really I know what's going on at all times!) 

So... here’s my take on this whole ‘Market’ thing... I know that when the man in the brown truck (that I like to bark at.... a lot...) brings big boxes like these, Mom gets all happy...! The first time, I thought it must be filled with treats (you know - like bones, & biscuits...) but no... it was filled with fabrics! Really Mom?

Then I know that I’d best get used to the fact that she will be sitting at her cutting table & sewing machine (even into the nighttime!) & computer a lot & I just get used to hanging around - getting snuggles when I can. 

I check in on her on a regular basis (I’m loyal like that...), & I even bring her my rope or fox just in case she needs a break & needs to play (I’m thoughtful like that)

The best part?... Even though she’s really busy for weeks on end... & she talks to herself more than usual... wondering why everything seems to take so much longer than she thought... All of this crazy stuff makes her really happy. Crazy.

But she’s my Mom... & I’m her little fluffybump, & I’m the best at the unconditional love stuff... So, I just let her do her thing... & I’m always on the ready for when she needs a snuggle. (I’m sensitive like that...)

Oh!... & because I’m also a great little reporter, I snagged some peeks for you!  (I'm sneaky like that)


Oh… & being the stealthy reported that I am… I thought I'd also let you know that Mom keeps talking about how excited she is about some of her prints on something called "linen"… (I have no idea what that means, but it obviously makes her ridiculously happy…)

So here’s to a great Market... & if you know a someone getting ready for Market - just give them a nod & a snuggle & let them know that everything will be all right... (but whatever you do - don’t remind them that they will be doing this again in 6 months!)


… & if you'd like to check in & see who else has taken over… Be sure to visit  the blogs of some of the other Moda designers!

April 27th –
Amy Ellis – Amy’s Creative Side
Anne Sutton – Bunny Hill
Pat Sloan – Pat Sloan
Joanna Figueroa – Fig Tree Quilts
Lisa Bongean – Primitive Gatherings

April 28th –
Kathy Schmitz – Kathy Schmitz Studios
Brgitte Heitland – Zen Chic
Vanessa Christenson – V & Co.
The Cutting Table – Lissa Alexander… uh oh…
Edyta Sitar – Laundry Basket Quilts
Rachel Brenchley – Basic Grey

April 29th –
April Rosenthal – April Rosenthal
Alma Allen – Blackbird Designs
Barbara Groves – Me & My Sister
Brenda Riddle & me - Bailey! – Brenda Riddle Designs
Kate Spain – Kate Spain

April 30th –
Deb Strain – Deb Strain
Jen Kingwell – Jen Kingwell Designs
Lynne Hagmeier – Kansas Troubles
Vanessa Goertzen – Lella Boutique
Karla Eisenach – Sweetwater
Janet Clare – Janet Clare Designs

May 1st –
Jan Patek – Jan Patek
Sherri McConnell – Sherri & Chelsi A Quilting Life
Betsy Chutchian – Betsy Chutchian
Laurie Simpson – Minick & Simpson
Sandy Gervais – Pieces From My Heart
Corey Yoder – Little Miss Shabby

    Friday, January 2, 2015

    :: fall market & the new designs… (finally!)

    Oh my... Where do I begin?!!! The past several weeks are quite a blur... filled with lots of
    deadlines, travel, getting to see friends I haven't seen for what seems like ages, Quilt Market, meeting many new wonderful folks, more travel, & finally home. Sweet home.

    Okay... so... Quilt Market... I have been doing quilt market for the past 10 years (taking a break for the last two years), & I can say without a doubt, this was the most fun I've ever had at Market. This was my first Market with designing a fabric line with Moda, & wow!... what a wonderful, magical, heartwarming experience it was. Instead of doing a separate booth, I did a space on one of their two Designer Studio rows. My Moda 'neighbors' were Alma Allen (Blackbird Designs) & Deb Strain, & to put it in a nutshell, it was absolutely amazing. The Moda team is incredible & made me, one of the newbie designers, feel so welcome & taken care of. One of the other new designers to Moda was Jen Kingwell, & for how badly I failed at getting photos of folks, I did get one taken with Jen. (Please excuse my puffy eyes! ...not a lot of sleep happened at Market!)

    I did get a few photos of my space, featuring my new fabric line with Moda, Ambleside. The fabrics are scheduled to ship in March 2015, & if you want to see Ambleside at your local quilt shop, be sure to let your local quilt shop wonder know! We will be offering kits for a couple of the quilts, & pre-orders for these kits will be happening soon! I'm so excited about this line & the whole experience of working with Moda/United Notions as a designer. I honestly can't say enough good things about them.

    The last five photos are do the new patterns that are (finally) available. I've posted them to the website, & they are available as printed patterns & also PDF versions. (See previous post about the new way we are 'delivering' the PDF patterns.) I'm also adding something new to the new pattern release, & that is for a limited time, we will package the new patterns together & if you get the new patterns as a package, you will get them at a discount! For this new set of patterns that will basically equal getting one of the new patterns free! (... & yes there is also discounted new pattern package available for PDFs!)

    I will be featuring each of the new designs on the next few posts... I had such fun making them all! And, keep checking back (& on Instagram too!), as I will be posting about the kits we will be making for the new designs... soon!

    I hope you have a sweet start to the beginning of this new year. I sure did, as we welcomed the new year with a blanket of snow! We usually get a dusting of snow each year, but this was a wonderful surprise! It was gone by the end of the day, but we sure enjoyed it while it lasted.


    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    That 'VAT' thing….

    I'm trying to 'dress'  this announcement up to try & make it 'prettier' than it really is - because actually it's quite a bit of a mess….

    I'm talking about the 'about to happen' changes in the EU VAT  (European Union  Value Added Tax) situation as it pertains to my PDF downloadable patterns. On January 1, 2015  a new EU law will go into effect regarding VAT on all electronic supplied services (in this case - PDF downloadable patterns). From January 1 - the VAT would now be determined by the purchaser's/buyer's location. So, if a seller - even in non-EU countries sell a PDF downloadable pattern to someone who lives in one of the EU countries - that seller would be expected to charge the VAT at the buyers country rate (& there are 75 different tax rates within the 28 European member countries) & then send that vat to that countries authorities. (sigh). The administrative requirements are beyond reasonable for small businesses & make the entire process honestly overwhelming.

    (If you would like more info - you can find it here.)

    So, what does that mean for the patterns I have made available as PDF downloads?

    I have researched several options, & because I don't want to block the sales to EU countries & I want to make PDF patterns still available to everyone (& I don't want to break any 'laws' - even though many legal experts state they can't see how the EU could enforce their new VAT ruling on sellers from non-union countries), I will be making a change as to how my PDF patterns will be delivered (so that I will stay within the new VAT changes). As of January 1, 2015 - I will be manually emailing any PDF patterns that are ordered. This doesn't change the product you will receive - it's just that the PDF patterns will no longer be available as an instantly available downloadable e-service. It means there will be a bit of a delay as to how soon you will receive your order - & I will do my best to get all PDF pattern orders sent within 12 - 24 hours from the time they are ordered. (Hopefully sooner!) The plus side is that PDF patterns will still be available & you don't have to pay any shipping in order to get the pattern (what we love about them!), & they will still arrive sooner than when shipped.

    Because there is no way to separate the EU customers from the rest through the shopping cart used on my website - this will apply to all PDF orders - no matter what country you live in.

    Thanks so much for your understanding. If you have any questions - please fell free to email me. (You can find my email - in my profile - under 'about me' on the sidebar.)

    Not the most enjoyable post to have to make - but I want to be sure that everyone can enjoy the ability to have access to PDF patterns!

    I hope you have a wonderful start to the New Year!


    Wednesday, December 24, 2014

    :: the wonder of this season. . .

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!
    May you find the peace & wonder that this season invites us to find.


    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    :: oops. . .

    … Oops for the amount of time since my last post…

    … & oops for my owie that I did last week. I fell at my 'big-girl' job… & what I first thought was just a bad sprain, ended up being a broken arm/wrist. 
    My left arm/wrist.
    … & yes, I'm a lefty.

    I did it on Wednesday, & went to Urgent Care on Friday, when the swelling got a bit worse.
    (… & actually, I was just going - just in case… I really didn't think it was broken… & when the doctor came back into the room after looking at the x-rays … I didn't believe him at first!)

    So for now, it is in a splint (wow are they ever fancy these days!), & I go to see an orthopedic doctor tomorrow to probably get it in a cast, & also find out how long  I will need to live without doing any handwork, cutting, sewing…. (sigh.) It's amazing how many things we take for granted getting to use both hands!… I am doing my best to get creative about how to accomplish the simplest of tasks!

    I'll be back in a few days with some updates  (I still need to share about Fall Quilt Market!) to this poor neglected blog & to make an announcement or  two…

    Until then - take good care!


    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    :: oh my . . .

    edited: (I've noticed that while the photos look fine in my Feedly feed. . . they are h-u-g-e on my blog… Sorry, I posted from my iPad & I thought that the photos were supposed to be resized in the app… apparently not!)

    . . . With my last post titled 'carrying on'. . . & two months (!) since then, & no posts from me, you might be wondering just what kind of  'carrying on' has been happening...? (... & for those of you who have sent emails & notes wondering if everything is okay... thank you. Your sweet concern touched my heart!) So, just to let you know everything is fine with Bailey, & Dad is doing fine. He has battled a cold for several weeks that has somewhat 'taken the stuffing out of him', but he is recovering, & has been pretty good about not trying to do too much - too soon. (His usual practice...)

    I was planning to put together a post tomorrow, but we are being warned to not be surprised if there are power outages starting tomorrow. For the second week in a row, Southern Arizona weather is being affected by, of all things a hurricane. Last week it was Norbert, & this week it is Odile. Last week, the remnants (& only the outer bands) of Norbert dumped a lot of  rain, & did a good soaking of our ground... & starting tonight, the remnants of hurricane Odile are making a direct path towards us, & with our ground already soaked, they are worried about the flash flooding that could occure. While watching the news this evening, I saw that even Jim Cantore for The Wearher Channel is here in Tucson, & we are told that some members of the Today show are arriving tonight to cover the storm. So... needless to say, we are taking it a bit more seriously & wondering just what might happen. They have said that if you don't have to be out tomorrow... don't go out. Hmmmm.

    So, here I am putting together this little post to say "Hi!", & to let you know I'm still here, & to give you a few peeks of my new fabric line with Moda called Ambleside. (& yes, I'm still pinching myself!) My sample fabrics have arrived & I've been crazy busy making the final decisions on new designs & getting projects planned & started. Even though it's exhausting, what fun it's all been!  Bailey isn't quite sure about his mommy being so busy with it all! but I've made sure he gets his share of snuggles & cuddles. In the photo above, he just got his face (eyes) washed & he was waiting to get the curlies brushed out... (He thought he looked too girly...)

    I hope you are enjoying the beginning of this autumn season (spring for the So. Hemisphere!)... This is my favorite time of the year... & I can't wait for the cooler temps, & the pretty colors of fall!

    Take good care! 
    xo, Bren

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    :: carrying on

    Here in Arizona, there are some years when it feels like summer starts somewhere mid-spring. 
    (The temperatures can hit in the 90's as early as March some years!)
    But, this year we had a wonderfully mild spring, & now that it's July... summer has definitely arrived. 
    In the 23 years I've lived here, I now feel like summer is officially here when we get the start of the summer rains... or what is called the 'monsoon' season. When I first moved here, I didn't care for it too much ("but I thought it was supposed to be a 'dry' heat!"), but now I love it when they arrive. 

    And just the other day... they arrived!

    In the top photo, I had opened the front door to check to see if any storms might be building (they often come up from the south during the summer), & although it was still very sunny (& hot!) over us, you can see what was coming! Bailey was just finishing 'watering' one of the bushes...(he's such a helper in with the gardening!)... when a big low rumble came from the direction of the mountains (& the big dark clouds), & within a split-second he was making a bee-line for the front door! So we went inside & put on his storm gear... his Thundershirt. He actually likes having it on & it does really help with the thunder-boomers. He was a happy camper throughout the 1.5 inches of rain we got that afternoon.  

    The photo at the bottom was actually taken only about 15 minutes after the top photo! Within a few minutes we had a nice little lake build up on the side of the house... which my Dad loves (& actually created a dam so that  the rainwater wouldn't run out the side yard to fast) as it then soaks down & deep waters the trees we have on the side yard. You can see by the patchy grass, that we were in such need of rain. Hopefully with one or two more good rains, the grass will become more lush & green & less patchy. (... & all the bunnies that visit our backyard will be so happy!)

    I hope you all (in the States) had a great Independance Day celebration. I watched some fireworks on TV (with the sound turned down as my little pupper doesn't like the booms at all...) & thankfully none of our neighbors set off any fireworks in the neighborhood. I love fireworks... ever since I was little... but having a pup that gets really traumatized by the noise has tempered my appreciation of them being allowed to be set off  within a neighborhood. I know I must sound like a firework 'Scrooge' , but honestly I do love them... in their proper place. 

    I've had my nose to the grindstone with some new projects, & I'll try to snap some photos for you for another post. I'm putting this post together on my iPad, to see if this makes it easier for me to 'find' the time to post a little easier... So we will see if it looks the same. As I'm looking at this post as I'm putting it together, the photos look huge... so we'll see!
     Until then, I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    xo, Bren


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