Friday, February 20, 2009

New Experiment

A new experiment for us. We at California QuiltMakers have been separated, first by the loss of our storefront workroom since Pat sold out the machine quilting business, and now by geography. The shop closed out and moved to Pat's home at the end of December. Then this week, Jessica moved to Austin, Texas, to room with Pat's daughter Leann, and to seek fame and fortune and boys with beards. Soon, too, Pat will be leaving the area, when she and her husband move further north to a dream home near Grass Valley California.

In a effort to recreate the energy we had together in the shop, we are trying out this virtual workroom format for our design team, which we like to call the Generations Group. Our members range in age from 22 to 80, but we are of like minds when it comes to working with today's exciting fabrics and fun patterns. We design with the collections of fabric that Pat stocks for Many of our projects are brought to you through our webstore and insta-boutiques at lectures and quilt shows.

So sneak a peak at our works in progress, and let us know what you think....

For starters--

I am loving this project. Pattern--Urban Chic by Artichoke Collection. Some of our gorgeous new Kaffe Fassett and friends fabric in red, orange and pink. Pam just helped me pick the Lake Bloom fabric for the border and Brandon Mably stripe for the binding.
Oh, and the top banner is the last group of 12 fats that Jessica pulled before she left. We are planning to do a Half and Half by Fresh Cut Quilts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Through Rain and Sleet and Snow

Went to visit the new house today--through rain and sleet and snow---and mounds of paperwork. We met with the realtor to go over and sign prelims. Then we met with the builder to go over the finishing touches on the house and to look over the lay of the land.

We love our new place. We keep finding more to love. The latest--and it's an water engineer thing--the NID water is piped and pressurized. It's the water that will feed the pond and irrigate whatever the master of the estate wishes to farm.

The finishes touches the builder has chosen are all great. We still will pick the carpet. His wife has done the rest, and we couldn't agree more on her choices. Dan's a local and has used first rate subs that he knows. This guy has built a wonderful house. And we learned a lot about its history today--the architect was a top local, too.

The rain stopped long enough to walk the property. 6 acres is a good sized piece of ground, and ours is wonderful. It should be good enough to grow just about anything. And the views are still great--even on our dreary wet day.

Ten minutes up the road in town, there was snow on the ground. We looked out at the trees and mountains while we had lunch with Jack--even the mundane is beautiful here. As we were leaving town, snow was coming down in big huge flakes--time to outrun it.

Love to all from Villa Rosa (well, soon, anyway)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Digging Out

Pat is slowly digging out from under the mounds of fabric and UFO's at her home, after moving the machine quilting storefront to her home studio. She no longer has a living room, dining room or garage. Husband Wil likens her work areas to an English bookstore, with shelves and stuff crammed everywhere in a maze. Add to that, she will be moving again in a couple months. Can you say "sort and pitch"? There will be many scrap bags and fabric bundles available at her lectures and quilt shows.

Amongst it all, fabric that was never unpacked last fall, and a new shipment just received, are emerging in organized stacks. Still hard to get to, but all in order.

We're cutting the new fabrics into sample packets of Pam Cakes slices--5"x9". These slices are a great way to taste the new goodies. And they are perfect to make into little quilts when you're done--usually just a dab of fabric and dollop of imagination does it.

And we're designing kits again. Just watch what our generations group is up to.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Look What We Just Bought

A little backtracking for those I may have missed.  Two weeks ago we went up to the Grass Valley area and fell in love.  The following Monday we made an offer on our dream house, and we went into escrow that Friday.   

We were scheduled to head back up yesterday and today for paperwork and walk-throughs and final selections on materials, but it was snowing too hard up in Nevada City.  We've rescheduled for Tuesday.

The house is just being finished.  It's 3bd, 2 1/2 bath and den.  The layout is great and it is very well built, with lots of windows.  The 3 car garage will be our bonus/hobby room, and we are already planning to build a new garage/shed (with Rick's help it will all be properly permitted, as only he can).

The big selling point is the view from the back deck--the view we never thought we could obtain.  From the wonderful back deck, we look out west to the Sutter Buttes, Coast Range, and the Sunset.  While we were making our decision to make an offer post haste, all we could see in our heads was drinking wine on the back deck.  Every  little glitch in the process, we simply chanted our mantra--"Glass of wine on the back deck, glass of wine on the back deck, watching the sunsets with a glass of wine on the back deck"....

At about the 1300 foot elevation, we are below the snow line, in oaks and digger pines--all on 6 very natural acres.  It's low maintenance, should the resident gardner prefer to keep it that way.  We all know what that means.  He is already pulling up and potting some of the heirloom plants from our present yard to take to the new. And did I mention the pond.  We are entertaining all sorts of suggestions for stocking it--you can just imagine.

Craigslist Rocks

We just discovered the magic of Craigslist.  Since our trip to do business for the new home got cancelled due to snow in the Sierras, we are using this time to get a start on divesting of our stuff.  It is sunny, albeit cool and windy here.  

First effort, I posted Wil's canoe.  It's one of the things where we keep saying--"How do we get rid of this?"

Two hours after posting, it is gone and cash is in pocket.

What's next?