Tuesday, December 28, 2010

nine thousand and counting.

My scarf pattern has been downloaded 9000+ times since posting it last week. i am thrilled. my sister asked for a blue version so i need to get started on hers really soon.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day...

was a quiet one at Casa Rico. I had planned to go to North Dakota, but snow curtailed that (along with a foul mood).  I did manage to get my Accuquilt cutter up and going, and made this  little lap quilt for Carolyn (a co-worker struck by a spinal virus which rendered her paraplegic, she is not expected to walk again).She is such a sweet and caring person, that  needed to do something special for her.

Last year I bought a rag quilt for Sue for her birthday, and she uses it all the time, so I thought this might be the perfect gift for Carolyn. I started it about 1:00, by 10 pm it was in the washer to shrink and fluff up.  of course i stopped within the time to have dinner, a few decadent snacks and walk the pups.

My sister convince me that I needed the  rag quilt die to make this and I am so grateful. I never would have made it through the quarter inch slashes on every join and around the perimeter.  The one use of the cutter paid for itself... all blocks were cut within 40 minutes and the  flannel filler took less that additional 20  minutes. I chain quilted a diagonal across each square, then the other diagonal for the X, and began piecing. The layout was a fun exercise in getting things the way I wanted them, and  required some seam ripping and replacing.  My estimates for  fabric requirements for 49 squares (7x7 block set) was a little generous so I have leftover fabric for the beginnings of another one.

Back at work, relaxed and stressed at the same time, deadlines and packages of commissioned garments arriving each day. have to style them and get ready for the photo shoot in South Beach and TNNA in Long Beach, 2 coasts in two weeks.

Off to Carolyn's, the best part of giving a late present is that no reciprocation is allowed!  My story, I am sticking with it!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Today, I get the unwelcome task and responsibility of visiting the tire store, to have a flat fixed. My poor 1994 Cougar had it's first flat in over 8 years.....aaarrgggh

Took me 7 minutes to change the flat....thank you God, for letting it happen on a suburban street, near a parking lot rather than the freeway (they call it the interstate in SD) so that getting on my knees in public was not a traffic hazard.

I have a feeling that rather than the new wheels I asked Santa to bring,I will be getting tires. DAMN! All I can say is that I am glad to be a 2-car household, because I bet the tire guys aren't looking to sell, replace, balance a set of four tires Christmas Eve. Plus I wouldn't expect it to be there best effort either.

Merry Christmas,or happy days off to those of you who do not celebrate this lovely reason to purchase stuff!!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So I innocently ask.....

the helpful hardware man, "Will these tin snips cut through the tape of this Stanley tape measure."poor man goes totally white, pauses momentarily then grunts "U-huh". Not sure what was going through his head....probably thinks I am an idiot, or ...????

Just wait till I return it saying it is missing a few feet.....lol

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do you knit?

Tomorrow my Holiday letter goes out to our e-mail list--that is if all the Legal is covered-- and in it, there is a simple pattern I designed for a special event. You too, can knit it with 350 yards of  light weight yarn and size 7 needles. I cannot say much else right now, but I will post the link as soon as it is sent.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Modern swappers results are in.....

Ok Krista,
You just blew my socks off....from the perfect enclosure card, and Anthropologie box that held the spools of threads and rickrack ribbons and trims to the incredible selection of gifts.

I love my handmade gifts
The convergence quilt with it's 5-cross trims, and pincushion chair are perfect. The small touch of the scissor charm and felted acorn are ever so special. You really touched my spirit with these. I love chairs, have made a couple convergence quilts, love the cross motif in art, and have a special acorn story from college. So your hands assembled a gift worthy of my total admiration.

The Ricky Tims collection is going to become something for ME? Thanks for the book, the hand-dyed fabrics from his line, and signature threads. HOW did you know that glitz is my neutral???

The large spools will surely become a part of many more projects.

And the added tufted tweets, and AH skeleton, and face fabrics are items I would have bought without second thoughts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Guess who???

Color Fans?

I am in the process of re-merchandising  a book. Not always a fun  task, but since it involves a lot of color, i am having a great time.

from gold east or west?
After picking out yarn samples, I thought it might be cool to use the pantone color swatches to see where this is going.  The yarn colors are limited by the palette of the yarn line that I choose. of course, it isn't always a personal decision but a business one.  i have come up with two options of 6 colors.
Each color bar represents  the colors  i like for the project.  The golden yellow is in both options: the left side composes the " federal spectrum, and the e right  the "sophisticate combo."

this is a kid project so we might even suggest a pastel version of the colors at the tip of the cards....hmmmm.

now it's time to get the yarn and start the knitting, AAARRRGGGHHH!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Busy week

Can't believe I let the week get away from me.....worked on a couple of
Knitting patterns for Jean's book. Does anyone know how difficult it is to explain and execute custom knit sizing??? Then started arranging the ones for the Magazine.

Haven't gotten a chance to do any sewing but did some swatch verifications. We are going to have a couple of incredible strip based knits in K101!

The Modern Swappers deadline has arrived and I did get my package together and each piece has a little label. Hoping it works out for my partner, who has been quieter than I would have liked, but I did give my creative mind a workout creating fun stuff so I hope she likes them.


I am off to the post office to mail them....priority of course and from what I see on the website it should take a couple days, probably a bit more since it is the Holiday Season...
we shall see.

So off to work....we have an afternoon of Glee planned for Sue, and few other friends.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So,  this morning I was thinking of what I normally do this time of year. Back in the NM days there was floral design. I would be gearing up for Christmas  orders for parties, decorate a ton of wreaths, and corporate office decorating to complete. These days it  usually is finishing  sweaters for the magazine and photo shoot deadlines. i usually spend the Thanksgiving weekend, christmas  time off, and New Year break  knitting like an idiot to finish Knitter's projects

This year is different, I have no sweater designs scheduled for the next issue...thank heaven. I still have ideas I need to get started for my book, but otherwise I am at a loss of what to do, knitwise. So I have the quilting to play with....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My goodness I get tomorrow off as well.

I cannot wait for this looooonnnng weekend. I plan to get the house in order, then stitch my heart out. Planning to get packers ready for the Sewn Together bee, and maybe finish a few halfway done projects.

If I forget to say it later, " Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!" hope your riches outweigh your worries, and that you can keep it all in perspective throughout the holiday season and that your dearest wishes come true.

Friday, November 19, 2010

another friday!

Wow! this week flew by fast!
i got a lot done at work. i worked all week on the jacket book, playing with numbers for all the different sizes, now all we need is to plug them into the templates.

At home, I have finished all my bee blocks for November, just completed my swap piece which goes out the beginning of December. When i went shopping for the final little needs for the swap i came across a great table top trinket that seems to have been created especially for my swap partner. i bought it along with a few other things that i think she might like for decoration...seasonal or 24/7.

 Weekend plans are to develop and execute the details for my December blocks since my month in Sewn Together.  i was going to give  I may be giving my month to someone else,  but she never and she just responded   and i think she may have just gone missing after falling behind in the process. i do not fault her as she had one of those "life happens" incidents and has just  may have not yet recouped.it seems she has had a difficult 2 months, and hjopefully things will improves for her and her family.

i also plan to work on an idea for the Joann's Quilt Your Colors contest. i had a blast picking fabrics for it. many pieces are already cut out, and  now i have to create blocks and setting  for the piece. i love a challenge.

Friday, November 12, 2010

it's FRIday!

and i am so fried.....i am hoping to take the rest of the day off. i just need some Me time to preserve my mental health. have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

busy hands....empty mind

here are 4 garments i designed and knit for the Fall issue of Knitter's 
i always find it a joy to create even though sometimes it means way too many extra  hours working on stuff. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What are you going to do?

Had a restless night. Today, I have to finish merchandising the winter issue which means calls to yarn companies and  designers, a bunch of orders that must be sent fed ex overnight,  and contracts. That is easy compared to what my 3 friends and their families are going through,

I am frustrated for them..When I lost Luke 10 years ago, I wanted to wallow in pity for a few days, but  life doesn't let it happen...there was too much to do. My family did not know how to treat me...my mother was worried about me, so all I could do was be strong and ease her fears. i bucked up, got back in the saddle and moved on.  Everything went back to normal.

At least everyone thinks it did.

I just spoke with someone on Friday evening who lost her father last year. She asked if the pain of loss ever goes away, and I told her I would let her know as soon as it happens...

i could spit fire

I finally got the block for  Antique Roses done.... Baby Norbert is complete. ( Ihe bat  block was done a few days ago.) And pretty cute if i say so myself...

It is for a Harry Potter Quilt for  the Scrap Happy bee. Not being a  Harry Potter fan, I made sure that the block I had to make would be challenging and something i would like to own myself.  It had to fit into my sewing sensibilities as well. Yeah, with all the  pieces, cuts, seams, and tails there was no sensibility to any of it... other than I was not lazy and I made a block I would love to keep ...I HOPE Kristen loves it.

While the Dragon choice was obvious, considering  my last name, I had ulterior motives. I thought success through this block would breed a series of dragons for family members...ummm...5-hour blocks...ummm... Baby Norbert will be an only child at Casa Rico, but he flies off to his new mommy today. Adios HOT STUFF.

This Block wasn't difficult, just tedious. YET, it was  perfect for keeping me from breaking down and crying from all the crap happening round me. I know I am lucky to have friends that I care about....even if i feel helpless in being able to comfort or help them. This is just one of life's lessons... I am only a bystander, who can pitch in when asked or needed.

Anyway, do not take this as wallowing, there is no room for ":poor me" in life. I  recall MY favorite M*A*S*H episode...( the details are a little vague but)  BJ is wallowing about his kid meeting Radar upon his discharge and way back home to Iowa. In meeting BJ's family at the San Fran Airport, the kid calls Radar "Daddy", BJ is crushed, pissed, helpless, and lets rage get the best of him. Eventually Hot Lips smacks him back to reality reminding him that he has so much to lose because he has so much.

I got the message....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life is not fair

I just checked facebook to find a long-time knitting friend has just died of cancer...she still lived back in NM so I will not be able to make the memorial service on Thursday. She had been battling cancer for quite a while...so of course this was expected but still it sucks. She was my age and leaves behind a loving husband and two kids. ....sad time in Casa Rico,

My dearest friend, Sue, is also fighting cancer, and she is in a lot of pain plus really feeling down. She is making plans for the eventual reality of death, and it is just so hard to be so helpless and fear that you cannot say anything comforting enough.

Plus one of our coworkers is suffering from a viral infection that invaded her spinal column..meaning she cannot feel any of her extremities. She most likely will not make it back to work...she has had a hard couple of years and this on top of it just makes me wonder how some people can struggle through it all.

Please keep these people in your thoughts, positive energy never hurt anyone.

Peace to everyone, and remember to be kind to everyone, and do not take life and your dear ones for granted.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can you hear me now?

So this weekend was somewhat productive....I planned to sew on Friday night but got waylaid when I realized my cell phones were missing. Back to work, scoured the editorial suite to no avail, even went to the dumpster to sort through the trash...see Friday is trash day and the cleaning people emptied my garbage, maybe they fell off my desk and into the trash can. But it was way too dark and was having no luck...plus because we share the building with a doctors office, I didn't want to be sorting through medical refuse. Who knows what I might encounter in the dark. I gave up, thinking I would check in the morning.

Of course, when I got back home I couldn't concentrate so I just vegged out and worried until bed. i tried to relive my steps and see where the phones could be. Went to bed and had a restless night...morning couldn't come fast enough.

I got up at 6:30, and headed to the office, I wanted to make sure that the garbage company did not take the trash away. went to the office and as day broke I looked out my Est facing window, as I pulled the drapes aside....guess what I found....my phones on the window sill!

I have no idea how they got there....next up....super glueing one to each ear!

So Saturday afternoon and today I made blocks for 3 different bees.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A mother's love

from a co-worker:
Hi Rick,

One of my facebook friends posted this. I think that this mother is very insightful and thought you might like to read her blog post.


I got this note this morning and read the post, you all should too.
This mother is much like mine. I am thrilled that this 5-year-old was given an opportunity to enjoy Halloween in the spirit that is intended.

I will not bore you with small details on what a great MOM I have; other than, she is one of my best friends, and biggest supporters. I probably did not live up to her dreams or expectations, but I will never know...she would never impose that on any of her 7 children. I would give my life for her as I know she would for me as well.   And just for the record, my DAD is just as wonderful.

I have a truly blessed life!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Opportunities missed.....

At stitches I am offered a job, with a construction company.....
The husband of one of my biggest fans says,

"...you probably can't even cut a 2X4, but you'd make my wife happy."
Ummm...geee... i think i am flattered "Of course i can cut a board and I swing a mean hammer, but only till I break a nail then it is back to domestics for me ."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Home again

I am back from Hartford. What a great time, Stitches was a huge success. My talk went over really well as did the Fashion Show and Student Banquet.

While there we visited Sew Inspired fabric store
We bought some great stuff.....my sister bought her fabric for the Ravishing in Red bee, as well as a couple of Bali Pops in the HARD CANDY color way, and two jelly rolls as well.
I got some Rowan fabrics that are ever so wild... a black and gold mosaic type fabric, and red black and gold combo.

Also bought 3 new books...
Rule Breaking Quilts by Kathryn Schmidt,
Super Strata Quilts by Pamela Mostek and Susan Nelsen,
and Bias Curves by Wendy Hill.
They are pretty amazing free-form style quilts.

The 4of us dropped over 700 dollars in about 2 hours, but bought some great stuff.
I really like what all  I bought and have some great plans.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

special moments

So here at STITCHES EAST...my sister and I are having a great time.
This is her first stitches, but of course I am a veteran.

Last night was the fashion show and all went well... 8 females and 1 male...120 garments and full commentary. We finished in 90 minutes thanks to my stellar back stage crew...Debbi, Gwen, Beth, Cindy, Sarah, Betsy, Fiona, Fiona, Edie, Myra, Kelli,  Jeannie and Ginger.

Today I start with an interview with Debbie MacComber, and a small photo shoot. Then onto a noon-time presentation on issue
100. Tonight is the student banquet...then drinks (champaign) with Debbie.
You see,i did a knit scarf for her latest movie in her new yarn. It was a promo for both off us, and now we need to celebrate.
instead we went dancing in the hotel bar, had a great time too. I hadn't danced like that in over 10 years and Julie (my coworker of the same vintage) was familiar to dancing like we did in the 70's and 80's.

Ended the night with a frank but passionate business discussion...then off to bed at 3:30.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A milestone

So today knitter's went virtual....our fall issue is free on zinio.com. You can see my designs on pages 54, 84, 122, 126,176, 196. We have had a great time getting it all together.
You cannot imagine how much work it has involved from so many people, as we redesigned the whole thing....more later as I am posting from my droid


Monday, October 25, 2010


When I was in college I took an art class. It taught me very little other than I didn't have a vision as my professor thought I should. And formal training was not for me.

The one thing he did instill in me was to practice in small doses
I had to create and work out compositions in little 1-inch squares. A page full of squares, and each inch was a composition.

We had to fill at least a page a week, which was about 100 squares a week, we were monitored each week, then graded at the end of every 3 or 4weeks. It taught me to look around and force myself to look for compositions.

Quite a few people do the picture a day, or something similar...I am now trying to do that with my quilting...I want to create original pieces.

busy weekend

It was a busy, but somewhat relaxing weekend  here at CASA RICO. I am preparing to go to Stitches, tomorrow, but had to sew instead of pack.. I took a small bag of scraps from Sue's Crazy Curve quilt and started piecing them together. I  followed very little  logic or plan for the beginning of the piecing, just wanted to create pieces that had enough  area to work into something.I made some strip blocks and then slashed and reassembled them, played with skinny piecing, and just had fun. The result was a real shocker, after probably 6 hours of work/play, I arrived at a bunch of mini blocks ( less than 15 inches square). I  really like them. I am thinking I may combine some of them together. Others will  stand alone to become a mug rug, small framed piece, or maybe a focus spot in a larger design. Who knows??

The second picture is a black and white fabric that I colored with marvy fabric markers. I am in a swap where we make something for our target partner's sewing area. this is like a Secret Santa swap where you do not know who is making your gift until it arrives. I am making something special for my partner, and think that I will start with the sewing machine version of this fabric, i may over-dye some of it for the  background, then
color in some of the machines. stay tuned, this all will happen after I return from Stitches.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Purple today

Many of us are wearing purple today to mourn the recent suicides of 6 young men who could no longer deal with bullying for being gay. My heart goes out to the families who are feeling the loss, but even more to those still suffering through the ignorance of others. 

I wonder why each of those youngsters did not feel that there was someone to help them; they just needed someone to talk them off their ledge. They needed to know that everyone has awkward moments and feelings of inadequacy, and bullies resort to torment and ridicule to mask theirs.  

We failed these boys.

I find it a true shame that we still allow it in our society. Why don't we teach compassion? Why can't we all figure out that hate is a waste of energy and emotion? Sadly, bullying is something we do not outgrow, and the Internet has made it easy to be a bully behind a mask. 

I am sure you each could tell a story of not fitting in. Anyone who has never felt awkward or different; I congratulate you, even though I doubt you exist. The rest of us still have the opportunity struggle, overcome.... or give up. 

Whatever the case...
                              NEVER GIVE UP! 
                                                         Tomorrow might be better or worse, but at least you will know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Beginnings

After a hectic weekend getting the magazine finished, it is gone to the printer....and a new week of insanity begins.
 We are so proud of this endeavor. it is a double size issue with over 50 garments in it. I have a few designs in there...seems having to knit like a mad-man for 3 weeks burns one out. I haven't touched knitting for more than a month other than testing a stitch, pattern, or swatch. Personal knitting time has been non existent. Sad but true.

I am now working on a million other projects, and most demanding will be commentary for  Stitches East Fashion Show in Hartford in 9 days. ARRRGGGHH!  I have to pick models today. It is a huge job but quite rewarding. Building 120 outfits to go with knits from our market show takes an assistant  2 days to complete with my help and nagging. 

I am especially excited to go this year as my sister, Lynette, is joining me. She is a quilter and not a knitter, but might become one when surrounded with over 1200 other crazy students. [[ We still  plan to have a little time to go to a quilt store.]]

My sister is coming to Hartford also because she wants to meet Debbie MacComber, who will be our guest at Stitches East...my sister is a big fan of hers...
need i say more... 
it will be fun to let my sister and her have a few personal moments together, [[I remember meeting Robert Redford back in 1977, I was so starstruck]]...am sure my sister will do fine. 

I met Debbie over 2 years ago and we clicked, I admire her and her work, and she seems to be a fan of mine as well. 

While in  Hartford we plan to a quilt store or two joining me will be  my friend Ginger, Sue, Lynette....anyone know where we should go for a great quilty experience?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday at the fabric store

My best pal, Sue, and I spent the day at Heirloom Creations working on a new quilt. We took a class from the Layer 'em Up book. We are doing the cover quilt.  I chose black and whites and she of course picked rusts and greens for her son and daughter-in-law...I love her corduroy looking fabrics.

As I was picking fabrics I saw the new arrival of  Fresh Mixers fabrics from Jan Mullen from Stargazey Quilts....so, I bought a fat quarter of each. Love her wacky wonky approach to quilting.

We also met a couple of cool people in class, and we tried to see what class we all wanted to get together in next. I have a feeling HC is going to be a regular Saturday stop for us.
My evening should be full of stitching...I do have 2 quilts for my new great niece born last month, and the one due next month...the tops are done, i just need to sandwich them and start the quilting process.

Friday, October 15, 2010

i am having FUN

Here is one of my latest experiments, maybe too many patterns but i do like the result. once i get to the craft store it will become a pillow, to join its companion piece.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the whole quilting thing

I have sewn for many years, but am known in the knitting world.

I have been sewing clothing for years, when I worked at a nightclub; my days were spent creating clothes to wear at work that night. I loved those days. Then after the club days, I had a professional foray in designing and piecework for fiber artists (weavers and silk painters) for about 7 years.  Sewing is not foreign to me. I have made over 500 garments in my career (for myself and for pay); so I know sewing, but when it comes to quilting…

My Grandma Emma was a quilter. She would piece on the machine, and then quilt by hand. She taught me how to hand quilt. 

Being a lefty, I always was going the wrong direction, until she figured out that I could sit across from her or around the corned of the quilt frame and we could cover common ground.

I recall helping her with a quilt to celebrate the Bicentennial (which happened to also be Colorado's Centennial). We made an Irish Chain quilt in Red, White, and Blue and gave it to the Church for their Bazaar. It was a beautiful piece and I have no idea who won it in the raffle. 

I hadn’t really done much else in quilting but maybe a couple of Seminole jackets, but they weren’t really quilted.

I caught the bug a few years back…
I discovered the Stargazey patterns by Australian designer,
Jan Mullen, while purchasing fabric for a skirt for a photo shoot. The pattern was on clearance and just too cool and “wonky” to pass up. I knew I woulfd enjoy making a wonky quilt. I actually bought 4 of those patterns. Came home and made blocks for a wall quilt that weekend. It still is unfinished but very beautiful in pieces.

I know what I like and I like the freedom of playing with fabric with very few parameters. This worked. I went on and created a block of my own and made a wall quilt for my office.

When working on editing a book a year ago, after lo…oo…ong days at the office I would go home and need to decompress. Knitting was not the vehicle for that. I would sit at the machine and sew for an hour and forget all the k, p yo, dec, inc that had me stressed at work.

I began piecing quilts.

I joked with the author that I became a quilter thanks to her knitting book…and it kind of is the truth. Now I find myself interested in fabrics, with the yarn and needles waiting for work inspiration and responsibilities. 

And now I have discovered the whole Flickr quilting bee community!
I am in trouble, in 7 months I have joined 4 bees and one swap and am having the time of my life, making new pals.
Do not get me wrong…
I will always be a knitter, and plan to finally get my book published, but quilting is a new challenge and diversion, and I want to share.

wouldja believe...

I have decided to enter this virtual world and share a bit more of the happenings in my life.  It will be focused round my hobbies and work environment...sometimes dull and other times exciting.

Just for the sake of everyone involved.... comments are welcome.  Be nice; otherwise off it comes.