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July 2016

Homespun & Holly Retreat Workshop Designer Feature #1 - Meet Moda Designer, Brenda Riddle of Acorn Quilt & Gift Co.

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Seeew...
 
It's July and you know what that means! You don't? Well...let me spell it out for you the best I can: You have five months until Christmas.
 
Yes it may be 100 degrees where you are, but cue the music!!! The countdown has begun! 
 
 
 
Oh yes, we've officially passed the halfway point. Like....hellloooooo, what have you been doing?
 
Um...quilting? What do you think this is? A quilt store? LOL.
 
Seeew listen up ladies and gents, I know from first-hand experience we put on one heck of a holiday retreat workshop! This year I am excited because not only do we have a brand new workshop space to decorate, but the workshop is actually in December! Can we say...magical??? We also have a handful of new designers joining us who have never presented at "Homespun & Holly" before seeew this year is extra special! New space, new folks, new time! Nowhere else can you get five nationally known designers, supplies to create your projects and a catered lunch for $200. We have seats left for Sunday, December 4 but they are filling up!  I've covered all details here and highly suggest reading it seeew you know what it's all about in case it's your first time! Or...you can call me, I dig talking all things Homespun & Holly! Operators standing by.
 
 
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When we come home for the holidays, we have always felt it's important to know a little something about your hosts and other guests prior to arriving. Therefore I have decided to squeeze into my crazy work schedule extra blog posts about our designer friends who will be joining  us...and today I am featuring Moda designer, Brenda Riddle! We have some of Brenda's patterns for sale on our website here.
 
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Now...here's the scoop on Brenda. The word in Quilt World is she's a "bolt hugger" and get this little bit of juicy gossip...that's her brother in the photo above! I know...talk about the 4-1-1 lowdown! Just call me an extension of TMZ.
 
Prior to creating patterns for quilts and needlework, Brenda worked in architecture and design. She created her company, "Acorn Quilt & Gift Company" with the idea that "from little acorns, mighty oaks grow!" Wow, that's gooooood. Love it. I'm going to guess that I'm probably still a little acorn. Can I be a filbert? My eyes are hazel seeew maybe I might be a hazelnut? LOL. Brenda says that every project is about  "taking those little steps that add up to our "true works of heart."
 
She's 100% correct.
 
I kind of learned this same lesson from Grandmother Willow when she dips her leaves to make ripples in the water for Pochahontas, "so small at first, but someone...has to start them."
 
It's fine...you can shake your head.
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I grabbed the images above from Brenda's Instagram (per her permission of course). As you can see it's full of inspiration and her cute little dog, Bailey. Everyone needs a cute little dog to share life with. Brenda also does a lot of embroidery, applique and needlework which seeew excites me because my "Mothership" is always looking for smaller projects. Look at that cute little wool pattern with the flower basket and chicks! If she makes cute stuff like that I'm betting money she's got something very cute for Homespun & Holly!
 
Brenda recently began designing beautiful vintage style fabric with the fabulous Moda. Her first collection, Ambleside was released in 2015 seeew this makes her one of their newest designers! Her collection for 2016 is called Fleurs (it's the collection at the top of the above image) and will be delivering to your favorite quilt shop in November...this of course means we just may have it in time for her visit! Love it when that happens!
 
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Photo courtesy of Carrie Nelson and Moda.
 
Brenda's color palette often reflects the colors you'd see walking on an English shoreline or through an English village in the spring. There is definitely a vintage cottage "feel" to her collections.
 
"Would you like a sip of tea madam?" 
 
Rosy reds, blush pinks, rain water blues, cobblestone and pebble combined with gentle linen are just some of the hues that she loves to design with. It doesn't surprise me that one of her quilt patterns is of cups which I can only assume are tea cups? I believe this one was released with her first collection, Ambleside.
 
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I did get some time to catch up with Brenda and ask her the important questions. You know...the questions that make the evening news.
 
B.H.: Seeew Brenda, first and most important question of all....are you excited to join us for the 8th Annual Homespun & Holly?
 
B.R: Oh yes, I really am! I've seen some of the photos from past years and it looks magical and so much fun! I'm looking forward to meeting and spending time with others who love to do handwork, needlework and celebrate all that the holiday season brings!
 
B.H.: I seeew love your spirit! You are going to do well here ya know! Can you give us any hints about your exclusive "secret holiday project?"
 
B.R.: Hmmm… my ‘secret holiday project’ is something that embraces my love of stitchery… now & in the future…!
 
B.H.: I see you're following my policy of keeping it under wraps very well! What could it be????? Since we can't break tradition, let's move onto something a bit more memorable...get ready...what is...your favorite Christmas memory? We all have them and I have a feeling you have lots!
 
B.R.: Well, when I was little - we would always get new pajamas on Christmas Eve. The year that I was old enough - instead of footie jammies - I got a ‘Lang’ flannel nightgown, with ruffles & everything. I felt like a little princess!
 
B.H.: Shut the door...I loved my pajamas with the footies! In fact...check this out! This picture is of my brother and I from the 70's! Um...is that brown carpet?
 
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B.H.: I have lots of Christmas traditions that I look on fondly but one of my favorite Christmas traditions from my youth was having a little Christmas tree in my bedroom window. Nothing is better than the glow of Christmas lights in your bedroom when you are little! That tradition seems to have continued with my niece. What are your favorite Christmas traditions in your home, Brenda?
 
B.R.: Well, at home - making something called ‘Cookie Brittle’ (basically shortbread with chocolate chips & walnuts). It is something my mom did each year & I make at least one batch. We also have homemade chili with cornbread on Christmas Eve. We then attend the Christmas concert at church… it really is something I always look forward to! Somehow music is such a wonderful way to celebrate the joy of Christmas!
 
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B.H.: Ohhhh Brenda...you mentioned cookies so I had to look up Cookie Brittle! I linked the above image to a delicious recipe so those reading could make love to their tastebuds this holiday season. I mean, it's from Nestle...how can you go wrong with Nestle?! By the way, I love music...not sure if you could tell....and Christmas music especially puts the jingle in my jolly!What is your all-time favorite Christmas song or Christmas movie?
 
B.R.: There are so many songs I love… but if I had to pick one - it would be Silent Night.  For Christmas movies… A Christmas Carol & A Charlie Brown Christmas.
 
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B.H.: I have one final question for you Brenda and that is if you could have the ultimate Christmas fantasy, what would it be?
 
B.R.: I think it would be to simply be with all my family again! Those were the best Christmas’ ever.
 
B.H.: I'm sure they were! There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with family and friends! We can't wait to see you in December and welcome you into our Homespun & Holly family! You've now got me completely in the spirit! Stay Seeew-cial Brenda and we will see you December 2, 3 & 4!
 
Stay Seeew-cial everyone and I'll be back with more new products and more designers from this year's Homespun & Holly Retreat Workshop in December! ~ Brian

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A Birthday & New Farm Girl Quilt Kits

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Seeew...

We've been busy in the Shoppe so I had to pass on the blogging over the last week but to catch up...we spent the July 4th holiday....relaxing! Not only is it the birth of our nation but it's also the birth of my niece. She turned the big 10 this year and like everyone else I ask myself, "Where does the time go???" It's hard to imagine that the "Mothership" has been doing the "Second Time Around Parenthood-Thing" for seven years! Major props to her. Anyway, in order to have a relaxing day I made a pact that I would not look at Shoppe email and try to avoid Social Media. For as much as society today tries to claim we are all "one" and "connected" with #insertyouragendahere (it's still a telephone pound key to me), I keep asking..."are we really?" Seeew, real-time, in-the-flesh, eye-to-eye-connections is where I'm at these days.

Eye-to-Eye. Grace Adler gets it...don't ya girl? Look out for those lips!

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All in all it was a great day and there's nothing better than spending quality time on July 4 with family and youthful spirits!

Sidenote: I took my niece to the grocery the other day and I asked her, "Can Uncle B get you anything...ya know...special?" and I kid you not she says, "Um how about a sponge?" Uh...what? LOL. She wanted a sponge to clean her bathroom. For once could she ask me for something along the lines of ice cream sandwiches, coco puffs...etc? You know...kid things? LOL. *Sigh*

BTW...I love this picture. "Nana" rocked the birthday cake.

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Meanwhile...I've been dancing and my little niece is taking notice. I think if more people made a conscience effort to dance for 5 minutes a day....there would be some good ole' happiness out there. I know the country has experienced some pretty horrific things lately and at times it becomes overwhelming. Personally, I always feel 100% better when I dance and with this song from J.T.....how could you not feel happy? "Oooooh....there's something magical..."

 

The week that followed was crazy-busy due to the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show. Lots of people visiting from out-of-town, traveling through on their way to the show from the airport along with tour buses. We installed a doorbell in the Shoppe and I don't think it ever stopped ringing the other day. LOL. Oops.

Seeew...if you've read this far I bet you're wondering what's the hot gossip? What's the 4-1-1? Right? Well for starters, our Breakfast Club for July is going to be a "Christmas In July" Breakfast Club. The "Mothership" insists she has an amazing project selected for July and I believe her! Have you been to one of our Breakfast Clubs yet? This month's Breakfast Club is on Saturday, July 30 from 9am-11am. Read the details and register here.

As for our brand new classroom/workshop, our vintage barn doors are scheduled to be added to the entrance in the next few weeks or seeew. I'm very happy! It's been too long! These things take time, money and lots of thinking. My mom and I realized there a few little "extras" that we would like to incorporate. We are very methodical people and hate being rushed. I need time to play before I know exactly how I want them set up for the holidays. I don't have a timeline as I know we have the Sherri McConnell Workshops coming up on August 5 & August 6. If it's before that, super...if not...super too! You know I'll be sharing pictures when it is done!

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Jan (a.k.a. my "mothership"...she does have a name), has been busy coming up with lots of new and super cute quilt kits. Do any of you know how much time it takes to cut all of those kits seeew that we can be prepared when you walk in the door? Let me be the one to verify...A LOT. This is why I always tell you over and over again...get it when you see it because we are continually moving forward with new things and rarely repeat on larger projects. Anyway, love those adorable cherries. Cherries to me are like polka-dots. You can never have too many cherry prints can you?

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We cut kits for these adorable Farm Girl Quilts the other night and even though I'm a guy....I have to say, these are just super sweet! If I had a little girl to spoil, this 51" x 51" sized quilt would be on my list. Such a great pattern for showing off the label print and farm girl print! To order the Pink Farm Girl Quilt (above) click here. For the blue version (below), click here.

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Let's see...how else can I tempt your addictions and quilty desires? I don't want this post to get too long - I've noticed on an iPhone these posts get long! I may have to just post something every day for awhile because we have a TON of new projects coming back and I have little interviews with our 2016 Homespun & Holly Designers to share. Busy, busy, busy! If you haven't registered for our most popular designer workshop of all...you need to give it some serious thought because there are only eight more seats left for Sunday, December 4.

Seeew I think I'm going to leave off here before I show you anything more. I've shown you two new projects and if I don't stop now I'll just keep going and going. It has definitely been fun getting to talk with some of you. I had no idea the blog was being followed throughout the United States! Keep staying seeew-cial and don't be surprised when you see lots of blog posts coming up! I'm thinking I need to bring back the music. No? It's a rough life. LOL.

Below I'm including a little video of the all-new Soarin' Around The World which opened at Epcot and Disney's California Adventure in the last month. SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to see the new footage, um...don't click play. This is an all-new experience for the Soarin' attraction. It looks incredible even if those crowds are insane. Have you ever been caught in one of those masses of people when the parks close trying to make your way up stream???? It's insanity.  I've worked enough Disney celebrations, new theme park openings, etc. to know it can just get...crazy. Stay Seeew-cial ~ Brian

 

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