Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wine and Aurifil Thread Pairings: Smooth and Accessible


Quail Series

2008 White Blend
Buy Wine Here: Covey Run
Covey Run: Liquid Goodness since 1982
Covey Run wines are both award winning and affordable. What more can you ask for?  Located in the heart of Washington State. their website boasts that they have provided a perfect introduction to the vivid, delicious flavors of Washington State wines for nearly 30 years.
I happen to have a thing for quails, so really Covey Run had me from the label!
Wine Description
The 2008 White Wine is smooth and accessible, exhibiting floral aromas, zesty citrus and subtle spice flavors.
Read more of about this wine on their website: 2008 White Blend Wine Tasting Notes
I do encourage you to visit the Covey Run website: to learn more about their wine maker, their wine making team, their vineyards and the wonderful things they do for the Seattle's Children's Hospital.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Woolin Rouge Wednesdays - Je me présente

Cabaret of Folk Art Designs so easy anyone
 Can~Can do them!

Bonjour, my name is Mimi~La~Mutton. I am the Grand Dame of Woolin Rouge Designs.  Sylvia and Traci - the masterminds behind this outfit - have asked me to Host Woolin Rouge Wednesdays for them. Are you familiar with Woolin Rouge Designs? 

Woolin Rouge Designs Studio 

The designs above are a work in progress right now.  Traci sketched me and the Woolin Rouge Studio and Sylvia is bringing these designs to life in wool as I type this.  And you know, it is quite hard to typw when you have hooves for fingers.  So please excuse any typo's.

Let's start Woolin Rouge Wednesdays by getting to know Sylvia and Traci a bit more.

Sylvia Gauthier
Blog: Excessive Compulsive Sewing

Meet Sylvia Gauthier
Getting To Know Sylvia Gauthier and Traci Suzanne Marvel
 5 Questions At A Time:
1. How did you and Traci meet?
I had heard about some wonderful new quilt patterns that had been introduced at Quilt Market by a company called Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. After trying to find them on the internet, I finally made a phone call to the company. Guess who answered the phone....Traci! One conversation led to another and I ended up making Trunk Shows for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. Traci and I never actually MET until a few years later when I went to Bigfork for an Art Auction that Traci had organized to raise money for a Cancer Walk she was going to do. We have really only been face to face two other times.
2. It’s a different work relationship for two design partners to live so far apart. How do you design this way?
Thank goodness for telephones, digital cameras, and the internet. We send a lot of pictures over the internet while talking on the phone. Fortunately, we can be very honest with each other and know we aren’t stepping on toes or hurting feelings. As a team, we each have different strengths that we bring to the table and it works so well.
3. What kind of thread do you prefer in your designs?
The Brand I love is Aurifil. I love using the Aurifil Lana Wool for wool applique, the 12 weight for embroidery and stitching, and the 50 weight for piecing my quilts and machine quilting.
4. Who came up with the name Woolin Rouge?
Traci! Remember what I said about different strengths? Well, one of Traci’s strengths is an amazing creative mind. She came up with the name in the Shower. And the saying that “We are a Cabaret of folk art designs so easy anyone Can Can do them.” Don’t you just LOVE it!!! She’s brilliant.
5. Is it true that your design, Holly Birdie, was on the cover of a French Magazine?
It sure is!!! But isn’t that where a French Can Can Design should be? Marianne Byrne-Goarin, owner of a French design company called Cinnamon Patch and I had been facebook friends so I promised to meet her when I was at Quilt Market. While talking, she asked if Woolin Rouge would be interested in doing a design for the magazine Quilt Country. We submitted Holly Birdie and the next thing we knew we received our copies with Holly Birdie right there on the COVER! It was an honor to work with such a great group of women.
Mimi: Thanks Sylvia!  Next Wednesday,  I will have you answer the questions that Traci is answering today.  And Traci will answer the questions you answered today.  That way it keeps everything entertaining.  That is my responsibility as a can~can dancer, to keep things entertaining.  Life is a cabaret you know.


When did your love affair with quilting begin?
 Truth be known, I don't actually quilt. Well I take that back, I don't machine quilt -yet.  But I do hand sew. I enjoy English Paper Piecing.  I also enjoy making art quilts using the fusible web technique and creating designs with wool using the freezer paper method. The first time I threaded a needle I was hooked! I think that was back in 3rd or 4th grade. And textiles ~ LOVE, LOVE, LOVE textiles! I love, love, love the colors, the textures, the designs, the smells, the everything!                                                                                                             
What do you like to when you are not quilting?
I am the Sales/Marketing Director for the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. I travel extensively to shops all over the coutry lecturing on how to bring BBCC's beautiful patterns to life, as well as, exhibit at retail quilt shows and wholesale trade and folk art painting are also passions of mine.
Name 3 Textile Artists that inspire you?
 In the world of quilting there are inspirations around every corner!
Narrowing it down to 3 is difficult, but if I have to I would say Brenda Yirsa, Debi Hubbs and Pat Sloan.
What is your favorite experience with Woolin Rouge to date?
I think my favorite Woolin Rouge experience to date was when I opened up the package that Sylvia sent that contained the final installment of the Birdie For All Seasons Table Ensemble Series. We had Hippie Birdie, Holly Birdie and Acorn~O~Copia Birdie and now I had Humming Birdie in my hands.  As soon as I opened the package and held it in my hands, all seemed well with the world.  Oh and it  just gorgeous. Sylvia out did herself on this one!
If you were a super hero what powers would you possess?
In context to this interview, I would have to say I would be a super hero at machine motion quilting like Sylvia is. And of peace:) I would want to arrange that somehow.

MIMI: Merci' girls!  Looking forward to meeting again with you next Wednesday.  For those of you who are interested in purchasing Woolin Rouge's patterns and kits visit Bigfork Bay Cotton Company's website. Aurifil wool and cotton thread can be found there as well.

~ Au Revoir ~

Monday, June 18, 2012

.~Mini Memory Art Quilt Monday.~ Week 1

The lesson's I am learning from Marilu Henner's new book Total Memory Makeover inspired me to create mini memory art quilts.  I have finished my first one.  This design was conceived after I did a memory retrieval exercise that she gave us to do during her Memory Makeover Class.
In Marilu's book, she talks about different categories of memory retrieval: Horizontal, Vertical, Mushrooming and Sporadic. I tend to go straight for the sporadic for some reason.  Maybe it is because I grew up in the San Fran Bay Area in the 70's!
Sporadic memories, according to Marilu, are "sparked in your mind for no apparent reason, random images that pop into your head seemingly disconnected from what. is going on in the present time."
Basically, you start remembering one thing, which leads to another which leads to another.  Once you get going it is very hard to stop!  I find it quite exhilarating! 
Here is my first design that spawned from a sporadic memory session.

Marcel MarSnow
Scout & Harlequinn Hulabaloo
The starting memory was this:
First grade in art class making a snowman out of cotton balls.
Feeling pretty proud of my artwork.
The teacher told me to sign my name at the right hand corner of the pink construction paper, I remember this huge adrenaline rush go through my entire body.  I think it was at that time I decided that I wanted to be an artist.
Thinking of the snowman artwork led me to think about coming home from school. I looked so forward to seeing, Coa~Coa, our family dog who I loved (and still do) more than life itself. I started thinking how I would put biscuits on Coa~Coa's nose and have her hold them there for a minute and then I say go and she would fling the bisuit up in the air and catch it in her mouth.  She loved that game.  I changed out the biscuit from my memory to a red ball.
This is me and Coa~Coa
Now that memory led me to one of the happiest teenage memories. My mom took me to see Marcel Marceau at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA.  He was magnificent.  Through his entire performance, I felt that same adrenaline rush that I felt in first grade when I signed my artwork.
( I've learned from Marilu that memories that evoke the release of adrenaline are some of the easier memories to retrieve.) My mom managed a way for us to get back stage after the performance. I met  Mr. Marceau. He held my hand and it was so warm. That moment created yet another adreninline rush.  I will never for get that moment or that feeling.

Marcel Marceau
The  memory of feeling the warmth of Marcel Marceau's hands made me think of my bird  Harlequin Hullabaloo. He was a birthday gift that my mom got me when I was 12-year-old. I taught him how to talk.  And in the morning while getting ready for school, he would fly up on my shoulder and cuddle up under my hair on the nape of my neck. He always started my day that way.

That memory led me to think about my father, because I remember when my Harlequin Hullaboo passed away and my father helped me with the funeral arrangements.  I remember how sad I was and how comforting he was to me.  I can hear his voice right now and feel his hugs.

This is me and my dad
And thinking of my dad reminded me of the time he took me to the circus for the first time. It was my birthday.  I think I might have been nine or ten.  A three ring circus to boot!  It was loads of fun and one of my most fondest birthdays I can remember. My most favorite part was the clowns.  They made me laugh so hard.

And then I had to stop thinking because it was time to get ready for work. Otherwise I could have gone on a "sporadic" memory adventure for hours and hours!"
It was enough info to help design this little quilt block.

All the key elements from my memory session are there:
1. The snowman
2. The dog (which I named Scout because that was another memory I have of loving the movie to Kill A Mocking Bird)
3. Marcel Marceau: As Bip, he always wore a sailor suit and had a red flower coming out of his top hat. However I changed the top hat this this plaid hat because it reminded me of the hat my godfather, Jack Haley wore when he came to visit us. Jack by the way was the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.
4. There is the little bird.
5. And the little pennants that represent the circus.
That was super fun to make and I used wool from my stash and Aurifil thread both wool (white) and 12 wt cotton.(black) By the way, you can buy Aurifil thread at The Bigfork Bay Cotton Company
I hope this encourages you to make a memory quilt too!
If you do, be sure to share it with me!
Onto the next memory session!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wine & Aurifil Thread Pairings Great Length, Good Weight and Crisp Finish

Oregeon based A to Z Wineworks offers Aristrocratic Wines at Democratic Prices.  Love that tag line!

Also love exploring their website.  They  have downloadable tasting sheets about each of their wines which is so helpful in finding just the wine you need for each occasion.

Wine Description
The 2011 A to Z Pinot Gris is bright with tropical aromas of limekiwiorange blossom, and tangerine as well as complex aromas of rosemelon and talc. The attack is lively, juicy and pure with wonderful lush fruit and mineral notes. Tangy citrus flavors combine with ripe peach, pear and quince notes to produce a very pretty and seamless mid-palate. The wine has good weight and great length that ultimately ends with a clean, crisp finish.

2011 A to Z Pinot Gris
Buy Wine  Here: Wine Transit

Aurifil Cotton Threads  are perfectly suited for every quilt project.
Choose between 4 different wts: 50, 40, 28 and 12

Buy Aurifil Threads Here: Bigfork Bay Cotton Company

Great Length, Good Weight and Crisp Finish!
~ Divertirsi!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wine And Aurifil Thread Pairings: Balance and Strength

Some people pair wine with food as for me...

It is a known fact that I love wine.  And I love Aurifil thread equally as well.  So I took my love of wine and my love of Aurifil thread and brought the two together.  Each week I will spotlight a bottle of wine that I have discovered and pair it with the insatiating colors of Aurifil thread.

Today's pick is a wine from Banrock Station.  I love Banrock's tag line: Fine Australian wines, making an impact around the world. This particular bottle definitly made an impact at my house.
The other wonderful thing about Banrock Station wines is that they support global enviromental projects.  Visit Banrock's website to read more about there more than 95 projects in 13 different countries.
Wine Description
A red wine with rich berry fruit flavors.
Soft Vanillan oak and a fine tanin structure
create balance and strength.
Banrock Station 2010 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
Buy Wine Here: Wine Transit
I paired this wine with the following Aurifil thread colors
Buy Thread Here: Bigfork Bay Cotton Company

~ Divertirsi!

Aurifil Thread comes in 4 different wts.
50, 40, 28 and 12.
To learn more about Aurifil the different wts and what they are used for visit
BUY AURIFIL THREADS HERE: Bigfork Bay Cotton Company

I found the balance and the strength in both Banrock Station 2010 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon and these 4 smooth Aurifil Cotton threads

Saturday, June 9, 2012

At this stage in my life, memories are taking on a whole new meaning for me.  I have been participating in a wonderful class with Marilu Henner on her fabulous website  I am learning so much and truly enjoying walking (and sometimes running!) down memory lane.

I am keeping a journal, but I thought I would take it one step further and create a memory quilt. Take all these amazing memories and bring them to life with needle, thread and wool.  So far, I am almost done with my first block. I will share it with you perhaps later today.  We will se what the day brings.  In the meantime, I encourage you purchase Marilu's new book.  It could change the way you live your life.  I know it has already changed mine.

About Me

My photo

Oh give me just one day to free my mind,to create to listen, to walk, to quiet my soul,to cool down,to carry on~ My photographs and other artworks are inspired by the wonder, simplicity and quietude of every day life. In every photograph,sketch, painting or textile piece, I hope to capture the spirit, the mood, the song of my subjects. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. My creative spirit awakened when I moved to Northwest Montana where there was plenty of room to roam with my camera and places to be alone with nature and its inhabitants. All my photographs are professionally printed by acclaimed Bozeman, MT artist/ photographer Rob Outlaw on archival quality fine art paper. My frames are custom built by artist Richard Moore of Wind and Snow Art Gallery in Polson, MT.