Tuesday, July 19

Busy Beavers.

(photo credit: link here)

That's what we've been here in the shop!!

Yesterday our colony (that's a group of beavers) gathered to help us in rolling logs for our expected guests during the state shop hop.

Our busy beaver crew gathered 18 different 12 inch "twigs"

laid each twig into one stack on the table (aligning the edges)

And rolled them all up in a neat little roll.

We found some left over "glue" and ripped sections to tie the twigs together

and then put our label on them so other busy beavers would know where they

gathered their log from.

At the end of our long hot day we had successfully rolled up three boxes full of logs!!

(If you want one of our logs make sure you hop to each of our 10 Southwest Sector shops during the Minnesota State Shop Hop that starts next Friday *July 29* and ends *Aug. 14* Upon your completion of our sector you will get a fabulous "log" (SW Wrap) containing (18) 1/3 yard cuts of Galaxy neutral fabrics.

If beavers aren't your thing maybe Woodchucks are.

We seem to have a nice crop of them this year at our shop.

As innocent looking as he may appear I think they are not.

However (if you are a die hard animal lover you may wish to skip to the skunk please note that this little animal escaped unharmed)

Like I said--we seem to have a crop of these woodchucks this year, and while the Geico commercial with woodchucks chucking the wood is funny, having them live under your deck is not.

A couple years ago our neighbor got one in a cage. Of course he happened to have a nice group of young on-lookers who stopped to chat with them that day and they enjoyed making memories of trying to bug the woodchuck in its cage that they still reminisce about today.

A couple weeks ago we laughed at the scene of this neighbor trying to"sneak" with a B.B gun up on a woodchuck who was just a wee bit quicker/smarter than our dear old hunter.

This scene continued on and off for a week or so. . .until

we saw one of the young on-lookers from a couple years ago running/pointing at the running woodchuck headed the quilt shop with the dear old pellet gun hunter right behind him.

And just when we thought the darn old woodchuck had met his maker he darted between the two hunters and under our quilt shop steps.

The two decided to stomp on the porch--hoping to scare him out.

This--did not work.

The two decided to spray break cleaner through the crack on the porch--hoping to scare him out.

This---did work--eventually. And with one bent over seeing if the woodchuck was coming out and the other with the break cleaner in his hand the woodchuck darted out from under the steps and ran to safety before either one of them could react fast enough to shoot it. . .

leaving us in our back room to sew in break cleaner fumes praying that someone would resist the urge to light a match.

If woodchucks and beavers aren't your thing maybes skunks are?

A few weeks ago Joe reluctantly took Lacey with on a skunk hunting episode where the were unsuccessful on finding its location. A few days ago the other hunter missed his opportunity on eliminating our skunk friend who enjoys hanging on on the driveway.

The same night as the missed attempt on the skunk Lacey was in the orchard picking up sticks when the two family dogs decided to see if this black and white cat wanted to be their friend. Against a desperate attempt to get them both to safety, Lacey hollered and while the older, wiser dog listened, curiosity got the best of little one and she learned the hard way just how terrible tasting skunk spray is and just how smelly you get with it on you.

After tearing apart the house, Lacey found the proper skunk removal ingredients:

1 qt. hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 c. baking soda, 2 tsp. liquid dish soap and warm water

and most importantly: RUBBER GLOVES and old clothes.

The little dog and Lacey successfully managed to remove most of the odor so she could spend the evening in the house. What a true friend.

We also celebrate the big white dogs birthday with pizza last night.

It is her favorite food of all time.

(See--we really do love animals!!)

Aside from rolling up logs, watching men chase woodchucks and washing skunk out from dogs we have made time this past week to play some intense games of scrabble.

Isn't it such a great feeling to have used up ALL of the tiles in the bag and have NONE on your boards?

(Don't look too carefully at our words above--we cheated the last game we played!)

We also finished up some projects that we had started.

The one above combines some applique and embroidery and makes a perfect

thing to frame and hang/stand or even would be a nice pillow.


We fell in love with this little candle mat at the Quilt Show in Mpls.

It's hard to find a cute mat with these fun little birds and seems to be a customer favorite this month!!

This pattern is by Willow Wood Market out of Bemidji, MN and we have both patterns and kits ready to go.

We also have a new sample done out of some of those charm packs that you saw in our last post. The charm pack used above is from the newest Moda designers Cosmo Cricket called

Circa 1934. Kind of a different retro feel in color with some funky design that was fun to work with!

The most popular sample that Darci has sewn up seems to be her design of
Paton's Crossing
featuring fun fall fabric with a great center pieced section.
This is a quick quilt, table topper, wall-hanging to sew up especially if you have a great border fabric to show off!!

She also sewed up another "Pinwheel Twist" out of Jovial (BasicGrey for Moda) holiday fabrics. It has been so much fun to see how much this pattern changes with various charm pack collections!!

This is one of our Quilt MN samples featuring the large focal piece of fabric and what seems to be the most favorite piece people talk about: green pine cone fabrics.

Simple cross quilting designs make this a quick quilt to piece & quilt.

The second quilt for Quilt MN.

This features the block pattern we intend to give to all hoppers, various photo scenes from the focal fabrics and both of the border stripes. This is a great lap size quilt!!

And of course we have a nice pile of works in progress and "yet to do" list before the hop begins in just a little over a week.

We hope that you all have been enjoying the summer sunshine that we seem to be having a nice amount of and that you have had a moment or two to sneak in some sewing!

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, July 5

Back in action. . .

Greetings to you all on this beautiful July day!!

It sure has been a long time since we've sat down to share our shop happenings with you all as we've been preparing for the upcoming state shop hop.

We sure hope that you all had a safe and wonderful 4th of July.

It was nice to finally have such a beautiful day that wasn't super hot & humid. . .
. . .unfortunately the days leading up to the 4th proved to be a bit ugly for many area people.

We felt incredibly blessed to not have any damage done to our home other than being without power for a day or two. Isn't it amazing how much we rely on that power source?! None of us could believe how absolutely quiet a house can be with nothing running, and just how pitch black a house can get! So while the lights were out we decided to head on out, or rather over to our neighbors to the east--Wisconsin--for a racing road trip!

It was a beautiful day for a road trip. We loved the area leading up to Taylors Falls. The lakes were so pretty and peaceful!! And coming into Taylors Falls right along the river is always a great sight to see.

Once we crossed into Wisconsin we began looking for antique shops along our path.
Of course the window photographer didn't remember to continue to take pictures of our destinations much beyond this point. . . however you can find one of Darci's "treasures" in a photo a little ways down!

(photo credit: Rice Lake Speedway)

After two fun antiquing stops, and a quick stop along the side of a gravel road for some "Wisconsin Birch" we arrived at our destination- Rice Lake Speedway- to make a parts delivery.

And thanks to the Manley family we had primo seats in a private box above the track! It was an awesome place to cheer the guys on from and we didn't even get dusty! We were also treated to one of the best fireworks shows we've seen!! Dave and his crew certainly did not disappoint--it was the perfect way to end our visit to the track.

Of course back at home, we began unpackaging some new arrivals!

We hit up Moda's sample spree to bring you all fabric early!! We have pre-cuts of great new Moda arrivals that will finish arriving into the shop this fall

We have charm packs of

Collections for a Cause~Comfort by Howard Marcus ($9.50/charm pack)


Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket (new designer) ($9.50/charm pack)

Late Bloomers by Sandy Gervais ($9.50/charm pack)

Cattails & Clover by Kansas Troubles ($9.50/charm pack)

and. . .

Ruby by Bonnie & Camille ($9.50/charm pack)

We've also got some fat quarter bundles of the above lines as well!! We can't wait to get sewing some new projects up from these great fall lines.

In the mix of all of this we've been re-doing the shop for the state hop.

Once our sector decided upon doing a cooking-type theme Darci decided to run with it and began looking for an old cook stove to use in her display piece. A guy from a near-by town had offered her this stove back when she first opened, and would gladly let her use it over the course of the hop.

Unfortunately we don't have a good picture of what this looked like before it was brought into the shop, but I can tell you that it was quite rusty on both sides, and on the top. After a little T.L.C yesterday Handyman Owen got it looking like brand new.
Well maybe not brand new--but as cosmetically close to it as he could get.

It will grace your presence upon your arrival into the shop and will continue to be surrounded by our Southwest Section cookbook recipe quilts. It is also graced by one of our "Wisconsin treasures" that now sets upon the shelf. (Look for the bright orange creamer & sugar)

Many of our sector patterns have been sewn, quilted & bound.

You'll be able to purchase your copy of the cookbook (containing 10 quilt recipes & many, many delicious recipes to use in your kitchen) on July 29.

And what would cooking be without aprons?

Although neither of us gals use them in our kitchens we sure do enjoy sewing them.

We have a nice collection of assorted aprons that we'll throw on during the hop.

Remember the cute "My Little Apron" from our previous post?

Well--this is Darci's hop apron, using the same pattern, just minus the top.

It happens to be the favorite in the big bunch sewn up last week!

And the state fabric. We finally have the majority of our fabric bolts in the shop.

The fabrics are by James Meager this year and will sell for $9.99 a yard.

Remember that you can purchase your fabrics ahead of time but they can't leave the quilt shop buildings until July 29.

See the blue box? Yep--it's another fun find on our road trip stop!!

AND the birch trees!! That is am quite proud to have home with me. I plan to add a nice big log that the handyman so kindly hack-sawed to fit in the pickup box!

This quilt was inspired by earlier events this year--specifically floor tiles from Abbott hospital in the cities. It is very fitting of my family who are all avid outdoors men!!

And lastly, Phyllis got our newest wool sample sewn up!

This is a beautiful pattern by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings featuring

lovely baskets of pretty flowers.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Until next time,

Happy Quilting :)

Friday, July 1

(Click here to view photo source)

Happy 4th of July!!!!

We want to inform all of you that the shop will be closed:

Saturday July 2 - Monday July 4

Check back next week for a much overdue post containing all of the newest fabric arrivals that have come into the shop, as well as Quilt MN samples, cookbook recipe patterns, and much, much more!! We hope that you all have a very fun and safe holiday!