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3 posts from August 2013


A Book Break

So . . . . while our fingers & machines are stitching unendingly, I thought I'd try to distract you with some entertainment.  No, No, not that!  Not even a movie - enough of those!  Nothing on a screen.  How about a BOOK!?  I've got one that will make you drift away day-dreaming.  

This is the kind of book you'll want to read right next to the fireplace in your recliner, so throw your legs over an arm - get comfy now - and be sure your cream soda & popcorn are right there, and you'll probably need a down-filled pillow for something later (a shoulder or an elbow) . . . . (OK, go get your phone, but only because it's so terrible to have to move when everything's this perfect).  Now then, got everything?   Oh, yes, THE BOOK!

It's Susan Branch's year-long+ awaited "A Fine Romance" !!!!!!  It's finally here, and I ordered a copy.  You can see it below:


What a delight to see, read . . . did I say read?!   It is written in her own special hand - yes, as usual, the whole thing - and is FULL of photos of England and her totally delightful watercolors!   If you've read her blog (or follow it, as I do) you'll understand what I mean by saying you feel like you're right there and haven't missed a thing by being in your recliner!  Written like a journal, it takes you on a journey through the English countryside in search of insight into the lives of our most loved authors & artists, stopping at pubs, antique shops, gardens, homes and much more along the way.  It's a look at a part of England that happened centuries earlier, yet you see those very places in her pictures & watercolors.  She captures the feeling of a time long past, much of which is amazingly still in the present to enjoy.  But then that IS England!


A couple pages with pictures, her handwriting & touches of watercolor.  She provides a wonderful, interactive Appendix on her website, you won't want to miss it.  You can read it as you go (there are painted stars in the text where the Appendix contains further information, pictures, videos, etc.), or read through first in order not to interrupt the prose, then be sure to look at the Appendix later.


See her beautiful watercolor?  You can get her book on her website right here.  You can read her blog to find the closest place to you for her book signings & so many other things.  On her blog yesterday, she & Joe - the book is about their meeting & romance (charming) and their common desire to travel to England by ship - arrived at a small town for a book signing.  They parked at the town hall where she was scheduled to speak, but they noticed there was hardly anyone in sight; the streets were empty!  Now they began to wonder if anyone had come.  When they stepped inside, they realized Everyone had come - and emptied the streets!

The book is full of quotes and endearing comments, just like her blog . . . . just like her!  You won't want to miss it.  I am treating myself to a series of 'reads' where I find a quiet moment and plop into my chair for another installment.  Not too fast, I want to have something to look forward to for the next plop.  I'm already sorry it will be over, but thoroughly enjoying the now!  Part of that for me is having lived in England for a couple years.  We lived in a little village called Patrington in the north of England in Yorkshire.  I had the blessed opportunity to see village after village, take picture after picture (not as digital as today), and meet person after person.  I have not gotten over it.  If I had lots of $, I'd buy a cottage (or larger) around Thirsk or in the Dales and spend the summer there and the winter here in Texas!  That would be a dream come true!

So much for day-dreaming - see I told you it would happen!  So I'll leave you with this last picture - of Susan's book and one of the antique clocks we purchased in England.  It's now 124 years old!  


Don't they look perfect together?

Yours Always!



Something New!

Such a beautiful day here!  We ate breakfast outside in downtown Houston and didn't want to leave! 

Always, right in the middle of August, there is this subtle change that takes place. Have you noticed it, too?  It's still hot, dry, but we just b-e-g-I-n to see some mild fronts find their way al-l-l-l the way down here again.  As gradually as they leave in the spring, they return in the fall. Even though I talk about it coming (as if talking about its' coming might relieve some of the heat of July) and expect it to happen, I'm always surprised when it arrives!

Last week when Wilma was cutting fabric and I was writing patterns, trying to keep ahead of her, I remembered something I'd been wanting to try.  So later that afternoon I had the studio to myself and a cutting table all my own and thought I'd give it a try. This is an idea that Mary Jo Yackley showed me one time when I took a quilt top for her to quilt (she quilts all my models & personal quilts - not that I have many personal ones any more what with Daisy & Dell - and she's Te-e-e-e-riffic!).  Anyway, she said she wouldn't mind if I shared it with you.  So that afternoon I gave it a try - see what you think . . . . .

Bag finished
A Bag for Your Quilt!

OK.  I won't make you guess - it's a bag for your quilt! :)  You can make one for every quilt!      And the fabric on the bag is one of the fabrics used in the quilt!  Isn't her idea great!?  Now I'll never have to look to know what's in there, AND it is protected from light, dust & contact with acidy surfaces by perfect, breathable, cotton fabric. 

I'll have a new pattern out in the fall for the quilt rolled up inside this one! 

Here's how the bottom end looks . . . .

  Bag end

It's just a big yoyo!  And really easy to do. This took me about 2 minutes by hand. I'll show you how a little later!

Here's the top end  . . . . .

Bag top

Just a simple casing with a ribbon to gather it over the top of the quilt.  Since the casing is wider than the ribbon, you don't even have to run it through at the end. Just lay it in the fold as you're stitching the casing and when it's done, just tie a bow!  I loved that because I can never seem to find a safety pin when I need one!

This is just a prototype, and I'll want to improve a couple details. But it only took me 30 minutes to finish from the time I had the idea!  A little measuring . . . a little cutting . . . a little stitching.

Bag empty

After I folded the quilt in half lengthwise & rolled it up, I was able to use the wof (width of fabric) for its length, so it only took about 5/8 yd. Though it fit just fine (pins and all because the binding was pinned on) I would want a little more "wiggle" room on others, so maybe 3/4 yd would have been better.

Yes, it's NEW, but as soon as it's "New & IMPROVED", I'll show you how to measure and finish one for any quilt you may have.

It's good talking with you again, and remember I'm . . .

Always Yours,



Coming Soon! Fabric Kits!

Hello to everyone!  It's Friday!  And though I work in some way or another all the time (including doodling, thinking up a new design while loading the dishwasher, taking notes about things that inspire me, . . .), I'm declaring a 'lite' day today!  Lite Frid'y!  How about you?

As you can see below we have been working at some fun things - cutting up fabric for kits!  It's so exciting to design, plan, order, receive, unpack, cut, fold & package all this beautiful fabric.  We have several kits planned, so I'll show you as we go along (Hint:  they will not all be from our own designs).  Some will be up on the website fairly soon and others a little later.

All of us agree that packaging makes all the difference, so we're avoiding the usual kit in a plastic bag.  We're betting you'll enjoy something different - in most cases reusable - and that it'll make you smile, oooh & aaah!  So keep checking back!

We started with this . . . . .



And after a bunch of others like it, we began to have this . . . . .



And some more like this . . . . .


We have all this to work with for 2 NEW patterns . . . . .



And this, too . . . .


How darling it that little lamb?!  With that in mind, you won't be surprised when I say that we will have both boys' and girls' baby quilt kits from our Lullaby Lamb pattern.  This is Anne Sutton's Celebration fabric line from Moda.  Just as soon as we can get it cut, it will be online!

For now that's it - but much more for later!



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Glad you've stopped by to see what's happening at Daisy & Dell! Make yourself at home! As often as we can, we'll show and tell you about the studio, fabric lines, blocks of the month, kits, free projects, plans for future designs, projects in progress, booth photos, everyday happenings… just anything we think will strike your fancy! We love hearing from you, so feel free to comment, ask a question, send us your photos, or tell me, Pat Bruce, what's going on with YOU! .

— Pat