Pottery Barn Trunk Show Weekend

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

What a weekend! Between the two Pottery Barn quilting trunk shows on Saturday, my son’s 5th birthday party on Sunday (at Chuck E Cheese’s no less), and daylight savings time, I’m pretty much running on fumes. But oh, what a great time we had on Saturday. I thought I’d share some photos from the trunk shows. I didn’t bring my “real” camera, just my iPhone. I thought it’d just be too hard to manage keeping track of the good camera – and that was the right call because we were busy – but I do wish I had brought someone with me to take nice photos. Live and learn!

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

When we arrived at Pottery Barn in Naperville, this sign was out front with balloons! Really exciting! We met the store manager who was just exceptionally nice and welcoming, it really put my nerves at ease! We decided that we’d have more room to set up on the second floor and brought all our things up.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

There were these awesome railings that overlooked to the first floor. We were able to drape all our quilts on them – you could see them from below as soon as you walked into the store.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

We treated the event as a meet and greet. It was so much fun to talk to everyone one on one, answer questions, let people come and touch the quilts. Lots of quilters visited, some planned and some just happened to be in the store without knowing about the event. We met people from all experience levels – from expert long armers to women who sewed but were looking to learn to quilt. The hour flew by – it was just such a great time!

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

We packed up the quilts, loaded up the car, and drove to the Oakbrook Pottery Barn to set up for round two. This store was one floor (so no railing) and really long with different nooks and sectioned off areas. We were placed in a side bedding area, so deciding how to display the quilts was harder. But luckily they had a Visual Stylist (fancy!) who came over to help us. He was an expert quilt hanger.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

If anyone is looking to display quilts like this at home, it was really a great set up. They had installed a nice, solid curtain rod. The stylist took the quilt by the corner and folded that over the back of the curtain rod. Then he used super heavy duty clamps to clamp the corner to the back of the draped quilt.

I am guessing you could get the clamps at a hardware store. Lee had a hard time even opening them when we took stuff down, so they were pretty strong. We also hung some quilts on a coat rack!

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

We met even more quilters at this stop, and again we were able to talk to everyone one on one. I know I’ve gushed this entire post, but I really can’t stress enough how fun it was to get to share our quilts with a new audience and in this setting. And look, they let us each take home a sign! You better believe that’s now hanging up in my sewing room.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I just want to thank everyone who came out to visit as well as Pottery Barn for inviting us to share our quilts at their shops. We have 2 more trunk shows planned – Lee and I in the Milwaukee area and Katie in Arlington, VA on March 22nd. If you happen to live around those cities, I hope you will come!

A New Design Wall

Fresh Lemons Quilts studio

Raise your hand if you are completely over winter. I know some of you are in the southern hemisphere and I am officially jealous of your Summer weather right now. We are going through another set of extreme cold days (-35F wind chills, and we aren’t even the coldest!). We can’t really leave the house. The kids and I are so stir crazy! So over the weekend I thought I would take advantage of the cold weather and organize my sewing space.

Fresh Lemons Quilts studio

I’ve wanted to build a large design wall for quite some time. Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson has a great, affordable tutorial. Somehow on Saturday I talked my husband into taking a family trip to the hardware store to get the supplies.

Fresh Lemons Quilts studio

I will admit right from the start maybe I didn’t entirely think through how we were going to get home two 48″ x 96″ sheets of foam insulation board on an extremely windy day – with the backseat full of kids and carseats. I would have gotten a picture of the mayhem – foam strapped to the roof of my car, with a 2″ x 4″ on top to help hold it down, with TONS of duct tape all over, taping it to the car to keep the wind from snapping it in half – but I thought my husband was going to kill me and wouldn’t find the humor in the situation. :)

Fresh Lemons Quilts studio

We did make it home, barely. We went all backroads at 25 mph. And I spent the rest of the day rearranging the furniture so the design wall would have the natural light facing it. I love how it turned out. I just need to hang them on the wall somehow. I’m hoping it’s big enough for me to stop using my “design floor”. If you have the space (even for a smaller one), I highly recommend building one! Maybe just on a less windy day.

A Busy Week

Safari Moon by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabrics : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s been a pretty busy (shortened) week here. The kids were off school on Monday so we went to Michigan last weekend for a bit of winter fun. My daughter took a picture of my husband and I snowshoeing (that’s Lake Michigan behind us).

Snowshoeing Lake Michigan : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When we arrived home, I had a great package in the mailbox from Art Gallery fabric designer Frances Newcombe – a bundle of fabrics from her new Safari Moon line. I am taking part of a blog hop in a month or so, and have my quilt all planned out. I was so excited in fact, that I started cutting that night. I have the quilt top about halfway pieced now and I can’t wait to show it to you soon.

Safari Moon by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabrics : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also finished my aunt’s quilt top (pattern is the Stardust quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival). I decided I want to match the quilting thread to the individual fabrics, so I ordered a few small spools of Aurifil thread (#2132, #4182, #2835 and #1148) and will finish it up once those arrive.

Stardust quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And to round out my week, yesterday I spent the entire day cleaning my sewing room and the attached guest room – closet, storage cabinets and all. I was really feeling smothered by the mess and clutter and I’m starting to feel better about the state of affairs. It’s really hard for me to be creative when I’m surrounded by chaos. I still have more to do, but it’s loads better than it was before I started. More sewing on tap today, and my little girl is home from school with what I hope is just a nasty cold. For those that live in the US, stay warm this weekend!

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Happy New Year! Every January I spend a little time reflecting on the previous 12 months. What I accomplished…what I didn’t finish up…and my goals for the upcoming year. Last January, my biggest goal was to take it a bit easier. By the end of 2012 I had just submitted the projects and manuscript for the book and I was exhausted. I think I did a pretty good job this year of slowing down. I thought it’d be fun to do a little summary here. (Fun for me anyway! lol)

The biggest accomplishment of 2013 was the release of my first book – Vintage Quilt Revival. We’ve had an awesome response to it so far, and I thank you (THANK YOU!) so much!

I made a lot of quilts this year – some shown above. Probably not as many as previous years, but I’m really happy with what I finished. I have several additional tops that need wrapping up as well. That should probably be one of my first goals for 2014.

I hosted the Lighthouse Quilt Along and was excited to see several of your finished quilts and hear success stories from first time paper piecers.

I visited several quilt guilds to speak and teach, and was lucky enough to attend Quilt Con and Fall Quilt Market. Unfortunately, all the traveling and time away (even just evenings and weekends) got to be a bit too hard for our family, so this year I’m wrapping up my calendar and only attending a few events. I’m sure there will be more time for additional traveling once my kids are a bit older and don’t think I’m cool to hang out with anymore. ;)

I added a new page to my blog, Community Giving, to highlight current ways to help those in need. (Details on the page if you’d like your organization listed.)

And I hosted monthly Great Big Giveaway Days from my awesome sponsors! They were so popular that I’m going to host those again throughout 2014 (yay)!

For 2014, I have a few quilting and blogging related goals:

1 ~ Create more charity quilts
2 ~ Create more gift quilts
3 ~ Spend more time teaching my daughter to sew (and be more patient in the process)
3 ~ Finish some of my quilt tops (at least my Arkansas Traveler one!)
4 ~ Sew with fabric lines less and scrappy prints more
5 ~ Continue to write patterns
6 ~ Work more on improving my photography
7 ~ Destash all the fabric that’s been sitting in a destash pile here for 4 months!

Here’s to a wonderful and creative year for everyone out there!