Saturday, July 18, 2015

My 8-month Aloha Girl journey

My quilting friends all know that I have a particular weakness for anything designed by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co.  Yeah, it might be more than a weakness. It might border on a sickness.  I should probably seek medical attention.  Perhaps there are fabricinitis injections I should be taking!

My ailment was never more apparent than with the latest Fig Tree & Co. fabric release: Aloha Girl.  I have documented my journey here, in hopes that it might help me find a cure.

October 2014
1.         On October 23, 2014, the Fig Tree & Co. blog features a photo of their newest line of fabric, Aloha Girl.  Aptly named, the fabric has a subtly tropical feel, with several soft and citrusy pastels, punctuated by a few designs in a royal blue.  The new line includes both pinks and peaches, both aquas and sky blues, yummy greens and yellows, and of course several creamy background prints. I immediately contract the illness.

2.         My first action that night is to show the husband and the kids. They’ve seen me in this condition before.  They know what to do.  Nod.  Smile.  “Yes, very pretty mom.” Nod and smile some more.

3.         Next up, I text a picture and giddy message to my friend Ibby and my mom.  They both respond with an appropriately high level of genuine enthusiasm, and I love them for it.

4.         Sometime that week, I email the owner of my local quilt shop, Quilts on Broadway. Barb, the owner, is also excited, and wonder of wonders, she invites me to sit in on her next meeting with her Moda Representative so I can see the fabric samples in person.  I may have fainted at that moment. That part is still a bit hazy due to the induced delirium.

November 2014
5.         After work on November 13, I zip up to Quilts on Broadway and sit in on the end of the Moda Rep’s presentation.  What a thrill to see samples of so many beautiful lines yet to be released.  Barb chooses the lines she will order and even encourages me give my two cents. She orders SEVERAL bolts of Aloha Girl and then sends me home with her Moda Piece Fall Market 2014 catalog so I can peruse it in the evenings all winter long.  Anticipated release of Aloha Girl:  March 2015.

6.         I wait.

December 2014
7.         I wait some more.

8.         The Christmas holiday draws closer and I receive some relief for my Fig Tree & Co. ailment by participating in their 12 Days of Christmas sale online.  This provides a temporary respite, but I am still longing for the arrival of Aloha Girl.

9.         On Christmas Eve morning, our little family of four exchanges presents before we gather with our extended families.  My gift from the husband is one of the best I’ve ever received . . . a really awesome gonzo gift certificate to Quilts on Broadway.  YES!!!  Husband of the year award has been secured.

January 2015
10.     I wait.

February 2015
11.     I wait.

March 2015
12.     I wait some more.

13.     On March 19, I receive an email from Barb.  ALOHA GIRL IS IN!! During my work lunch break I head to the quilt shop for a little oohing and ahhhing. I purchase only one charm pack.  There are many decisions to be made, and they must not be taken lightly!

14.     That evening, when the cherubs are away at their activities, I pour a glass of wine and lay out each 5 inch square on the kitchen counter.  I nibble my favorite pepperoni pizza and contemplate . . . Which pattern?  Which project?  Whatever shall I do? I spend at least an hour in this happy circumstance, flipping through patterns and books, auditioning each of them for the Aloha Girl fabric.

 


15.     I text several pictures to Ibby.  She helps me to narrow down my choices.  I have a plan.  I have several plans in fact!  I am in the throws of a full-blown Aloha Girl fever now.

16.     On the weekend I carry my precious gift certificate to the quilt shop and purchase another charm pack, a couple mini charms (they are so cute after all), a jelly roll, two apron panels, several fat quarters, and several yards of what Barb now calls “Taunja cream.”  Merry Christmas to me.  Thank you dear husband.




17.     The following weekend I quickly whip together a sweet table runner made from three Fig Tree Mini Charms (my new Aloha Girl and two I have been hoarding:  Avalon and Strawberry Fields).  I used the Mini Charm Mix free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop and I love the results of these three lines together.  With some darling dragonfly quilting done by Barb, the runner cheerfully graces my kitchen table. 



18.     That weekend I also break into the jelly roll to begin work on a large Aloha Girl quilt using the County Fair pattern by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life. This pattern will be a great way to show off the fabric.

April 2015
19.     On April 11-12, I happily attend the same semiannual quilting and scrapbooking retreat I’ve been enjoying for over a decade now, with some of my favorite ladies.   I devote this two-day quilting holiday to working on three mini quilts featuring (naturally) my Aloha Girl stash.  “Stems” is a Fig Tree & Co. pattern.  The other two patterns, “dwell” and “round&round” are Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley. I finish these at retreat and send them off to a fabulous custom quilter who will work her magic on these tiny quilts.
In progress at retreat: round&round mini by thimble blossoms

20.     During free evenings in April, I take my time and continue to work on the “County Fair” quilt. I also begin work on two Aloha Girl aprons which will be Mother’s Day gifts for my mom and mother-in-law.



May 2015
21.     By May 9 the County Fair top is finished and ready to give to Barb at Quilts on Broadway.  As a bonus, I now have several scraps I can use during the Farm Girl Fridays sew along!

22.     Mother's Day arrives and both of the moms receive their Fig Tree aprons.  They are too cute . . .both the moms and the aprons!  I thought this was a fitting gift for both of these lovely women.  My mother-in-law is well known as a fabulous cook, and she just happens to make the best cheesecake . . . the kind where you want to close your eyes when you are eating it, just so you can concentrate on how awesome it is!  And my mom makes the gooiest brownies with the best homemade chocolate frosting.  In fact, we’ve been known to make a pan of the frosting just to eat as a snack.
 
Linda, my mother-in-law
Brenda, my mom, with my daughter Haley

June 2015
23.     On June 1 Barb calls to tell me she has finished the machine quilting on my County Fair quilt.  I think it turned out fabulous--happy fabric, terrific pattern, beautiful quilting!  My daughter steals it away to the family room before I can even work on the binding! 




24.     On June 27 I receive a small, special package in the mail.  Nancy Gorres of Nancy Jolene Quilting has completed the custom quilting on my three mini quilts, the smallest of which is 11 inches square, and they are OVER THE TOP lovely!  There is so much detail, I just sit and admire them quietly, taking it all in.  I quickly bind them that weekend, and my daughter helps me hang them in the hallway leading to our guest bedroom.  Welcome home guests . . . come and stay a while . . . but you better like quilts! 

 

 






Wow . . . that was quite a journey.  We are now well into July, and obviously I am not cured.  I still have the fat quarters, tucked away in a special drawer, awaiting another special project for a special someone.  So apparently, my Aloha Girl affliction will continue.

And then of course, there is the new Fig Tree & Co. fabric, “Farmhouse” being released in a couple of months.  I see a new ailment coming my way.

Friends, it would really help me to accept my predicament if I knew there were others fighting the same battle.  Please share your stories so that we can all take comfort! 

Thanks for reading.  Here’s hoping you get carried away quilting often!

~Taunja

4 comments:

  1. OMG Taunja, I can so relate. Joanne has such fun fabric it just brightens your day! I knew I had to have Aloha girl as well. I only have Honeysweet and Somerset. I was not lucky enough to find earlier fabrics. I love Farmhouse too! I am also a huge Bonnie & Camille fan and we have the same taste. I really enjoyed reading this. Our kids just nod and are polite, and are like another quilt? Where are we going to put it. I just bought the pears, cherry and another mini pattern...This could be another obsession. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. You just made me smile at my desk. Too funny! Yes, we have a shared experience through quilting! Have a great day!

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  2. I just now read this blog post and was laughing out loud! I can so feel your anticipation of the fabrics as I am awaiting my LSS to open tomorrow to go purchase the new Lori Holt line! You really keep me inspired and entertained :)

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    1. I'm so glad you get me! I will think of you in the a.m. . . . with spring in your step as you get your Calico Days! :)

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