Friday, February 26

Don't these flowers just make you think of spring?! A good friend of ours dropped these off at the shop yesterday as a "thanks for being you" and we've smiled at them ever since. It was also wonderful timing as we had our "Preview Party" last night. For those who joined us, we hope that you all had as good of a time as we did last night. It was so nice to see soo many smiling faces and we were so happy with the turnout. This was the first event like this where we showed our class samples that are in our newest newsletter. I would have loved to share pictures, but neither of us gals got a chance to grab the camera during the night.
We were also excited to have gotten in fabrics from Moda that won't be in stores until June/July. If you have seen and liked "Northwoods Botanical" by Holly Taylor we have charm packs available yet, if you have seen "Fresh Cotton" by Fig Tree we have fat quarter mini-bundles of those. We have "Wrapped in Paisley" by Kansas Troubles, fat quarter mini-bundles and charm packs, and Park Avenue by the 3 sisters available yet in charm squares, and a few mini-bundles of 9 x 22" strips. Once they are gone, they are gone until July. We also got in our bolts of "Looking Back" by Brannock and Patek last week.
Wrapped in Paisley by Kansas Troubles Charm Packs
Park Avenue by 3 Sisters charm packs.

The nice thing about the charms above is that they are considered "Christmas" fabric lines but are definitely not Christmas to us. Of course there are a few pieces that scream "holly leaves" and "pine boughs" but they are certainly something that can be used year-round!!

Monday, February 22

Have any of you been watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver?

We sure have enjoyed watching this at our it watching Lindsey Vonn ski, Shaun White snowboard, Apollo Ono speed skate, or couples ice-dance. It's fun and entertaining to watch. It is also nice to be able to flip the T.V. on, maybe do some stitching, or house "stuff" and sit down and know exactly what's going on!! Can't say that multi-tasking is always an easy thing to do when watching certain shows!!

With that, in our last post we thought our Busy Binder would win gold in Olympic sewing and she is still leading our race in the store!!

This is project #2 using the fabrics from Holly Taylor's Lakeside.
Very different look and feel from the green one in our last post.

The Busy binder also put the binding down on this quilt for us on the weekend.
This was the quilt PastThyme Gal Darci had on the long-arm on the last post.
The fabrics are Blush by BasicGray.
The pattern is called "Just Can't Cut It" by All Washed Up

Well . . . creative juices were flowing with Whimsey. Our original plan of the
strips that were shown in our last posted sort of went on the back burner, and
Plan B went into effect. This is a super quick and easy stripped baby quilt.
This is the front.

This is the back.

On the whole Olympic kick, Jackson (in the green coat) took his
"snowmobile" (purple sled) down grandpa's big hill yesterday and was
"the fastest person out there"
This was his first year to go sledding by himself, he's 3, and absolutely loved it!!
He also figured out real quick that throwing snowballs at people is really fun,
especially when you get 'em and that it's important to watch the road
because you crash if you don't!!

Thursday, February 18

Has anyone seen my camera?

Lost: (adjective) unable to find, no longer visible.
Hmm...this seems to be the definition of the quilt shop camera today. Apparently our genius idea of where to put it wasn't so genius after all. . .
I begin searching for the old camera.
To my great excitement find it within a few minutes.
Yes! Turn it on . . .battery has died.
Probably wasn't shut off the last time it got used. Shoot.
Maybe if I take the batteries out and put them back in it will work . . .or not.
I finally figure out that if I quickly take the 2 batteries out, I have exactly 10 seconds to focus the camera and click the button or it will shut off. I can manage this I think.

My first quick attempt to snap a picture wasn't too bad I didn't think.
We justgot this fabric in today!!
If you've been waiting for Whimsey by Fig Tree & Co. youare in luck.

I feel I have improved on my second shot, being able to zoom in and click before it shuts off!
These are the last couple of bolts in we ordered. Very fun and fresh fabrics.

Remember the definition of lost up above? Well . . .we can't forget that when talking about our project using the fabrics we just got in. These were ordered specifically for a baby-ish quilting project. The trouble is we, nor our rep can remember what the quilt looked like, who it was by, or why we ended up picking what we did. . .
Creativity: (noun) The ability to create works of inventions, or works of art
Yep, time to put the designing caps on and create something different. Maybe under a bit of pressure in wanting to have a sample finished by next Thursday for our Preview Party (check our "events page" on the website) we'll have a new pattern and sample done. By the looks of my 2 strips above I'd better get crackin'.

Remember the Holly Taylor fabric shown a few posts back called
Lakeside Resort
Our "busy binder" temporarily put binding on hold and started speed sewing. I think if the Olympics ever start a quilting portion, she would do quite well . . . this is the first of two samples she finished last night. For an 82 year old lady she sure seems to run circles around us PastThyme Gals. Hope we are just like her when we are 82. Think of things we'll accomplish!

PastThyme Gal Darci has been busy trying to quilt our sample out of
Blush by BasicGray.
I will post a better picture when it comes off the quilt frame and our
busy binder has the binding placed on it.

Wednesday, February 17

Block of the Month: A Quilter's Trio

Well . . .we have finally reached the end of the journey to see our new Block of the Month program that is composed of 15 different quilt blocks. There are 15 large blocks and 30 of them small blocks. "A Quilter's Trio" will begin in March. The pattern was designed by PastThyme Gal Darci here in the shop and is the first B.O.M quilt that has been totally finished!!(quilted & bound) The size of the quilt is a nice throw size, or a descent start for making it into something larger. All of the fabrics used in the sample above were from Moda's Kansas Troubles 'Vine Creek' fabric line, and had sentimental value as they were Darci's fabric bundle from the journey to Quilt Market in Pittsburgh last spring.
Hope you've enjoyed our finished project!!

Tuesday, February 16

Final Block

Block #15: Flock of Geese

This is another quilt block that I have seen many different versions of, none quite like the layout shown above. I have been truly amazed at how many blocks have the same name, I mean I always knew there were "duplicates" just not this many!
I was quite frustrated with my searching start as it seems the word "geese" pertains to more than just quilting~who knew!
I wish the birds around here would have informed me of this before they headed south last fall as I learned of many places & phone numbers to call if you want to go on a hunt!
But eventually I found some "gold" and what I was really looking for. . .
On a timeline of quilt block history, the Flock of Geese block was used a lot in 1934. The original name of the block was called "Crosses and Losses" and at that time was one of the most prolific four patch combination blocks used in sewing.

Monday, February 15

Block #14: Paradox

We hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We spent most ours in the chair watching the Daytona 500, which lasted almost 6 1/2 hours come to a fantastic and very entertaining finish. For the length of time we sat you'd think we'd have a lot to show for it today . . . but we don't! Just good times with our family.

We are have very much enjoyed our block a day journey on there and are amazed at how quick the 15 days have done by. Wednesday we will post our finished quilt which is going to be picked up this morning from our "Busy Binder"

Saturday, February 13

After numerous attempts to get another block on here yesterday I had to hold up my white surrender flag and declare technology the winner. To my delight today was a new day and things worked wonderful! Below are 3 quilt blocks- one for yesterday, one for today and one for tomorrow!

Block #11: Mosaic

I was unable, once again to find some information on this particular block, mostly in part to the name. As you'll see further down, if you look at the tiny blocks next to the large block it is quite crazy how changing up colors can really change the look of the quilt block!!

Block #12: The North Star
This quilt block also has ties to the Underground Railroad quilts. This particular block was used to relay two messages: prepare to escape and the other to follow the North Star to freedom. I also learned that the song "The Drinking Gourd" could have been used with this block as both are telling slaves to keep traveling North to freedom by using the stars.
Block # 13: Ohio Star
The name of this block is one that is probably well known by most people. Yes the blocks next to it are of the same pattern! It is quite deceiving as the pieces of tan fabric used in both of the tiny blocks are very close to the same print giving the look a totally different feel.
The Ohio Star block has origins that can be traced back to the first use in 1815! It is hard to find a lot of exact information for this particular block because the era this block started to be used was the era in which star blocks were the "in thing" and each one took a slight variation from the next.
We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to show you the finished quilt next week!!!

Thursday, February 11

Block #10: New Album

Happy Thursday! We are oh so close to the end of our block a day journey to the finished quilt block with only 5 more days left. I have decided that after today's history hunt I must have chosen all of the "good" blocks to start out with. The most I could find on this is that it is a easy block to assemble, and was often used in autograph quilts, which taking into consideration the name of the block makes sense. Maybe tomorrow's featured block will have more info.

Also, look for pics of the new charm packs that came into the shop today by Chez Moi called Boutique. If you are ready for spring...these fabrics will make you smile :)

Wednesday, February 10

This sample is out of the Blush fabric designed by BasicGrey of Moda fabrics. (For some of you who enjoy scrap booking, you may recognize the name or possibly the design as BasicGrey designs scrap booking paper!) This sample is a quick and easy table topper by New Leaf Stitches. Our lap size quilt is still in progress . . .

Ah yes!! New fabric arrived in the snowstorm Monday!!

What fun and refreshing fabric on that cold and awful day. This is Holly Taylor's newest fabric collection called Lakeside Resort. For those of you familiar with Holly Taylor designs you know that they are Minnesota designers. The fabric was inspired by, yes you guessed it, the lake. We are very well known for lakes around here, and although this is not lake specific it truly reminds us of "home"

The outhouse has been the favorite block of many people who have come in the shop.

The fence with wheat is very reminiscent of the area of the state that we are located in!! The sign above can be a common sight around many lake campgrounds in the summer and if you see the fabric in person can find the names of the 2 designers, the lake name and lake lodge.

The last squares . . .the tree swing brings back fun memories doesn't it? And that and the calm serene look of the wooden dock leading to the lake with lush green grass would be quite nice about right now!!

On a side note with the talk and thinking about the lakes, I want to take an quick moment to tell you that if you go fishing, have loved ones that go fishing, want to go ice fishing, or live in a place (such as Minnesota) where people go ice fishing, take a few moments to check out the Pieces from my Heart blog by Sandy Gervais this week!

Block 9: Split Nine Patch
This block is a fun layout using a half-square triangle and solid square. I guess again today history will have to wait as I was unable to find information on this to share. I believe that this again may be due to the fact that there are just so many names for each block and I would believe this to be no different.

Tuesday, February 9

Catching up

Block number Five: Broken Dishes
Today is Saturday and we are off to our first 7th grade boys basketball tourney for the traveling team. The boys are very excited to finally get to play a game after mother nature cancelled the first few. The boys played a bit like the name of our block above, and like picking up the pieces from a broken dish, the scores of the day were a bit painful. That aside it was a good learning experience for the team who lost only 1 game during regular season.
We also watched the Bud Shootout race in Daytona, wishing we were there joining our racing friends from back at home who journeyed there to watch.
Broken Dishes.
Believe it or not this block was also used on the Underground Railroad.
This symbol represented a signal to travelers that broken crockery waited at a future landmark. Aside from the Underground Railroad, I also learned that often times when pioneers were traveling their dishes would often break during the trip. This block reminded them of the broken dishes that occurred on their journey west.

Block 6: Churn Dash
Today is Sunday and it's off to church to listen to Darci play. Afterwards we head to gear up for the Superbowl game. . .with half of the house cheering for the Saints and the other 2 the Colts.
The advertisements are also fun to watch, and although somewhat disappointed overall would all give our tip of the hat to the Doritos, and the Budweiser Clydesdale horse & his friend the cow commercials.
We also watched the movie "Love Happens" with Jennifer Aniston. Both Darci & Lacey would definitely recommend this movie for anyone who is out looking for something to watch!!
Churn Dash.
This block posed an interesting search for history. Did you know that this block has about 20 different names???? This block was also used in the Underground Railroad to tell travelers to gather all their tools both mentally, spiritually, & physically for the trip to freedom. I also found evidence of this block being used in the Temperance Movement.

Block 7: Doves in the Window or Bear Paw?
Today is Monday. Today it is snowing...A LOT. Whoever said January gives us the most snow was wrong this year. All area schools & colleges are closed, and state patrol says many cars have went in the ditch so we decide to stay home. Can't update our blog because we get no Internet out in the "sticks". Darci enjoys decorating the house, Joe enjoys playing outside, and Lacey does schoolwork.
Doves in the window...Bear Paw...this is a toughie!!
My block book tells me it's called Doves in the Window, however if you do a search their block looks nothing like the mine above. Bear paw kinda fits, but still does not fit the typical picture of a bear paw block. I guess this really goes to show the variety of names that can be given to the same quilt block.
Block 8: Paradox
Today is Tuesday and life has returned back to normal. . .maybe.
Apparently most quilt block books don't use this name for this block as I have been battling to find any information on it! Guess history will have to wait until tomorrow.
Notice...we are now over half way to the post that will unveil the quilt top... which is now put together!!
Not only will tomorrow bring another quilt block...or 2 depending on how well the computer cooperates but also a finished project from the Blush fabric (pictured earlier this month) and photos from new fabric arrival from Holly Taylor!!!

Friday, February 5

Block Number Four

Block Number 4: CARD TRICK

This is a fun block to put together using triangles. Unlike the previous days I don't have any fun information to share with any of you about this block. . .but if any of you do we'd love to here about it!!

Thursday, February 4

Block of the Month....Day 3

Block number 3: The Rolling Stone
Bet you weren't suspecting this were you??? Haha!! This quilt block definitely required
a LOT of tiny peaces and careful attention to the details...and of course a radio playing appropriate music to keep the quilting mood festive....
...Just Kidding....

THIS is our Rolling Stone Block

Well...after multiple attempts yesterday to add 2 blocks, and attempts to add 3 today it appears the blog wants to stick to the original plan as 1. Ever fight with your technology? We do!!

Anyhow, the Rolling Stone. This block can also be called Farmer's Daughter, Jack's Blocks, Corner Posts, Two Crosses or Flying Birds.

According to my trusty Quilt Block History website, this block may have started being used around 1910 in the state of Kansas. Hence the farming references in "Farmer's Daughter" and "Corner Posts"

Guess unannounced to me this was quite fitting for my block of the month as I live an an area of the state that many people would call "Corn & Beans Minnesota" we do of course have more than just corn and beans planted in our fields, but the idea stays the same.

Wednesday, February 3

Block of the Month....Day 2

Block #2: Shoofly

Do you ever wonder how a quilt block was created or if it served a special meaning? Might just be my curious mind, but I decided to do a little research into the blocks to see if I find anything.

I discovered this block was not accidentally created by a person trying to "shoo a fly" but according to a Quilt Codes website used on the Underground Railroad. Apparently this block was used to show travelers of a person who can guide and help, a person who would help slaves escape along the way, and a person who could help decipher codes of those traveling.

Truly amazing is it not that something we all consider a hobby, passion, or simply fun had such a huge impact and played such an important role to slaves who were traveling on the Underground Railroad?

Tuesday, February 2

HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY!!! I found much delight in the news report today about our dear friend the groundhog....yes for those of you who didn't know one of the ground hog's seen his shadow and the other did not. Guess this means that we get to decide how much more winter we get!!

Well...starting today you can check the blog daily and watch our 2010 Block of the Month quilt come to life. The quilt will consist of 15 large blocks (as seen in the red & black square) and 30 smaller blocks (blue & red, gold & brown blocks) The quilt will offer a lot of freedom in construction as you can assemble just the large blocks, just the small blocks, or do as we are and use all of the blocks. Today's block is called Mosaic. Check back tomorrow for another featured block! AND in a couple weeks all of the individual blocks you've seen will show the completed quilt!!

Last weekend Owen, Lacey and Joe headed to Twinsfest. As you recall from an older post the PastThyme Gals enjoy watching the Twins. The gang has attended the event the past 3 years and has watched it grow each year. They have been fortunate enough to collect many autographs and meet many players while being there. Truly a fun filled day. The photo above was taken around 11:00 a.m. of the people on the floor of the dome. Over the 3-day weekend there were over 34,000 fans in attendance!!!

Of course Joe Mauer is one of Lacey's favorite players. The case above has the 3 bats that were used in his 3 (yes-three!!!) Batting Titles. Pretty sweet :)

Speaking of Mr. Mauer.....I would love to know what those 2 little kids are chatting about!! What a respectable guy Joe Mauer is, and a truly great example for such young kids like the 2 next to him to look up to. Before this photo he spent a few minutes chatting and high-fiving them; definitely memories they won't forget!!

A side look at the close fan interaction the guys get to have with the people who come and pay to cheer them on. For those who watch baseball you are looking at Matt Guerrier (white shirt) Jason Kubel (blue shirt) and Alexi Casilla (black shirt)

Lastly we ended out day driving by the new field. Such a beautiful site to see and I cannot wait until the season starts. Might I point out that I brought with my most excellent photograph skills...don't you just my camera?!? haha...

Back to quilting...or embroidery I should say. When we were in Pittsburgh last May we were told embroidery was going to be big and slowly but surly more patterns are being added to the market to back that up. This is a new one by This & That (Minnesota designer Sherri Falls).