Friday, September 30

Buckle your seat belts!

I hope that you all have found yourselves a nice comfy chair as we have

lots of catching up to do!! So sit back, relax and buckle your seats belts. . .

Last weekend Phyllis & Lacey strapped into Darci's magic school bus for a girls weekend up north. Our destination was the Funky Junk Market in Bemidji with side stops at various quilt shop and antique stores along our route.

Our first stop of the day (after lunch, of course) was Bay Window Quilt Shop in Perham.

This was the first time any of us had been there and upon leaving decided those girls set the bar high for the remainder of our day!!

Of course we couldn't leave without finding goodies!
Some of those goodies you'll be seeing in future projects here in the shop

Upon walking back to our magic school bus we noticed the cute little trailer.

We wondered if we would see them later at the Funky Junk Market. (nope-bummer)

Our second quilt shop stop was Back Porch Quilts in Detroit Lakes.
I forgot to take a picture of this quilt shop (I know-one of my many missed moments)
This too was a cute little place offering fun inspirations.

Then off to Park Rapids--now this town was FUN.

When we first turned the corner we stopped in a long line of cars, wondering what was going on. It took the driver a moment to realize she was waiting for a parked car with nobody in it to move. (thankfully she didn't honk the horn--that woulda been embarrassing and a sure sign that were tourists) Who knew people angle parked on curb AND parked in the center median and still had enough room to drive cars up and down the streets? (yes--those of you who are looking at the photo see it right. The cars in the center are actually parked there.)

After safely crossing the street we arrived at Monique's Quilt Shop and Yarn Shop.

The Busy Binder loves visiting this shop when she is up at the lake.

(good thing cars can park in the center median so I could get a shot of the shop front!)

The yarn shop stands out to us probably more than the quilt shop.

All 3 of us can crochet, and Phyllis can knit, however, after Lacey seen this

knitted sampler quilt the bug may have bit hard enough to urge her to learn.

We had many, many laughs while visiting the cute little gift shops.

Many of our laughs came from reading wonderful wooden signs in one of the shops.

Park Rapids was truly a main street you could spend a day looking around.

(excuse the poor photography. After we left the town I realized I had shifted my camera setting so between taking them in a moving car & the setting they leave a bit to be desired)

Dorset Minnesota

"The Restaurant Capital of the World"

Folks. Honestly--if you have never been there you MUST GO.

Add it to your bucket list.

It is WELL worth the drive to eat, and when you do I suggest you plan to eat at lunch, dinner and come back the next day to do the same so you get to all the places.

We ate at the Dorset Cafe (make it your first stop)

Darci had the BEST steak ever which was served in a super cute little cast iron skillet right at the table with all of the "good stuff" left in the pot!

Phyllis had some wonderful fish and Lacey a Taco Salad (in the deep fried edible bowl)


(best of all) we had the most fabulous deep fried pickles.

I would have loved to have taken a photo with all of our food, but I didn't want the "regulars" to notice that we were crazy tourists. So, take our word for it, the food is so good we'd drive up there today just to eat there.

If you like noodles (or Olive Garden) the smell alone would bring your into La Pasta, a Italian restaurant that makes homemade noodles! There was a super busy Mexican restaurant, which too makes their own food right there. There is also a place that makes wonderful homemade pies (unfortunately closed for the season) that we'll stop at on our next trip there. It was actually featured on Jason Davis' show not too long ago.

The church.

Darci was struck by the church, more or less the neat cross embedded into the stones.

New pattern? Probably so! You just never know where the inspiration bug will bite.

I'll quit with Dorset now--promise--but do if you are near make an effort to stop!

We all stayed for the first time ever, at a bed and breakfast right across from

Lake Bel Taine in Nevis.

Our area had two rooms, a cute little cottage-style room in the enclosed deck over the front of the house, and the main bedroom.

There was even a cute little birdcage over the bed.

Phyllis said the bird was quiet and didn't even leave her a "surprise" in the morning

This was the main part of the bedroom.

Lots of neat antiques surrounding the bed was a nice little touch.

The nice dresser with the hat boxes.

Wall paper that looks like we rolled it off the fabric bolts!

The jacuzzi.

This is a fun story.

When the house was originally built, the bed the couple slept in was housed in that little inlet.

Their heads were up against the back wall. It housed a bed with one of them canopies around it.

When the in keepers seen it, they decided to change it to what you see above.

The woodwork around the opening came from inside an old church.

It was an absolute perfect fit for the size and shape they needed to frame!!

The funnies part about the jacuzzi--it would run it's course for 20 minutes and shut off.

The last person to use it, shut if off early and for the next hour it would randomly kick in and we'd shut if off. Thankfully, around 11pm we got it to quit so we'd wouldn't wake up to the loud noise or wake our other house guests up! Live and learn, let it run it's course.

All of the posts in the entry of the house had this fabulous design in them.

More ideas for Darci to play with? I'm thinking so!

The quaint little sitting room with a cozy fireplace, and pretty stained glass windows.

Doesn't the the whole decor and wall paper show the era the house was lived in?

We just loved it!

(a little blurry--think I was startled by the in keeper coming out the door you can't see)

The neat dining room with the wonderful old antique chairs and table.

We had wonderful stuffed blueberry french toast, cinnamon bread, fresh fruit and delicious sausage from the local meat locker. We ate with a young couple that was up north on to do a bike (as in the bikes you saw on the trailer in Perham. . .only in riding condition) trip to Itasca State Park. (We decided it was good we didn't know how rude some of those people on bikes can be to those of us in cars or we may have said something we would have regretted)

The entry into the house. Seeing more fun antiques?

The woodworking in this place was equally fabulous!

While driving to see if the little meat locker was open so we could get some good meat (which was closed for the season) we came upon the world's largest Tiger Muskie. Of course Lacey claimed the trip would not be complete without pulling over to get a candid moment.

Then onto the Funky Junk Market in Bemidji.

We have to say that the trees were just starting to turn and were fabulous.

We really enjoyed seeing all of the heavily wooded area as we don't have that back here at home.

Don't you sometimes wonder what people think when they come to see us after being up there?

CORN FIELDS!!! whoo-hoo!! Guess we take those for granted as we often get told during the state hop seeing the beauty of the open area and the green of the fields in truly wonderful.

The grass is always greener isn't it?

But anyway. . .

The Funky Junk Market was more than just about junk. Bonnie (who designs Willow Wood Market patterns) puts this on at her studio. It houses "funky junk" (antiques, furniture, hand made quilts, etc) and a quilt show that this year had over 100 quilts!!!

The quilts get hung behind the studio on clothes line wire in the trees. It is so neat and unlike what we've ever seen! Doesn't that just look pretty?

Lacey enjoyed the colors and pattern of this quilt.

The quilting on this was absolutely awesome and super tiny in nature!

The woman who did the quilting on this did some others there and truly has a eye for it!!

Similar in pattern nature, but yet quite different.

Check out the outer border design in the quilt--isn't that different?

If any of you have spent time on certain blogs you'll see there is a large group doing the

Farmer's Wife quilt-along.

This was very neat.

The picture doesn't do justice to it. I'm thinking this needs to be put on a "to-do" list sometime after getting to see this one in person. The quilting (wait for it--you get to see it!!) was also great. The same gal who did the quilting in the blue one talked about above did this one as well.

See? You could almost turn it over and show that off too.

They actually had a sign telling you to step behind it to admire the back!!

Yep--it's a peacock.

Yep--there are actual peacock feathers attached at the bottom.

This gal (whom Darci & Lacey met in South Dakota a few years back) took a cross stitch pattern, and made it into a quilt. Simply cut out 1" squares the in the colors given, keep them in separate containers and follow the colored diagram given.

If this one doesn't float your boat you could try this one. . .

Yep. Can you imagine?

There was over 6,000 little squares in this one!

This is not something you'll be seeing done at Shades of the Past anytime. . .ever, but it really is a sight to see. It's amazing to see how thousands of 1" squares can create that quilt isn't it?

I was close enough to her to hear that it took her a little less than six months from start to finish!

All three of us seemed to have pointed out the same quilts we liked and this happened to be one of them.

I'm not sure what the problem is with the uploading process on this one.

We all enjoyed this qiult as well.

The overall shot before we left.

They had fabulous food (wild rice soup, home baked bread and fantastic pie!!)

We left Willow Wood Market's Funky Junk Market with plans to visit again next year

and a car so full of antiques and stuff that the rockers on Darci's new mini rocking chair were on either side of her head. (Another missed Kodak moment: our stuffed car-bummer)

On our way home, we made a sharp turned stop at Piecemaker's Quilt Shop in Hackensack.

Yes-literally a super sharp turn was made by our driver Darci, who driving like that could win many features in her Shades of the Past race car into the parking lot. Phyllis & Lacey (once safely parked in the lot) bursted out laughing after the sheer shock that Darci could have such quick turning reflexes. (Good thing the acorns that had fallen off the trees weren't on the road or we may have missed the enterance!) This was a neat shop--lots of fun displays.

We also stopped (once we found a vacant parking space) in Nisswa, which had to be the most hoppin' town we drove by. Again, this was a main street you can spend a good chunk of the day shopping up and down. It's great to see little towns like that so lively with people. We also noticed in all of the towns we vistied little signs made up saying "Made in the U.S.A" "Hand crafted right here in America" It's been a long time since we've seen that type of stuff and are thinking (maybe hoping) that people will start a take pride in what is made right here. . .

Once we got home all of the wheels were a spinning.

Literally for Lacey as they dropped her off at the race track.

Come Monday morning we immediately began to work on new fun stuff we've found.

We are saving it until we get the bindings back from our Busy Binder.

We can't wait to share some fun exciting things next time :)

Come this weekend is the Art Meander.

We always dig out samples from the back room that we can't use any longer and mark them to sell. After much spring cleaning we found LOTS of boxes to go through!

yep--those are more to sort through!

Once the boxes are dug out we grab the bottle of wine and pour us some glasses.

Put on some good tunes (Jason Aldean & Lady Antebellum) and get our ink pens ready!

Part of what makes this so fun is some of the things we find.

Lacey found this beauty in the first box she grabbed.

It was one of her first applique projects. We decided she has come along way since then.

Check out that border in the left corner!! Those edges were finished folks-not folded over.

Hasn't she improved? Needless to say that went into the Shades of the Past archives.

Once we dried the tears from our eyes and quit laughing enough for our stomaches to quit aching Darci dug out Old Saint Nick.

Isn't he a beauty? As you can tell the laughing process started all over agin.

Looks like his box may have been a bit drafty.

And then we found Santa's cute friend Frosty.

Not as many gut-busting laughs as he really was kind of cute.

Darci made an executive decision to mark her artifacts to sell.

God Bless Ewes.

Sometimes. . .we wonder what we may have been thinking?

This is side numero uno.

This is side numero dos. It's was a 2-for-1 special on the sale.

Must have been a good idea at the time--last night we found a lot of humor in it.

(darn-again with the picture!)

This is what we ultimately end up creating that night--a nice big mess!

We are about half way through the marking and sorting process at this time, and

have a very organized system of piling.
At the end of the night we left with the biggest stacks (we think) that we have ever marked to sell. Managed to find things we want to re-introduce from ages ago, and orgainzed what we decided to keep at the shop. Both of us gals took a big box full of samples home to use, and hopefully enjoy there.

Come this morning, we braved the cold (not complaining!) and taped all of the samples up on the building. By the time we were done, it looked like this.

Yep-there was sure a lot of fun stuff that we have accumulated over the years!

It is always a blast reminicing about it and fun to see it go to a good home!

Next week we'll show our newest creations (we've got some fun stuff)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you'll be able to get out and enjoy this fabulous fall weather!

Until next time. . .

Wednesday, September 21

Hoo-Hoo-Hoo is still out there with us in blog land?

After nearly a month we suspect we may hear the sound of crickets about right about now . . .

Although we could give a thousand excuses as to why it's taken so long

(sewing up new projects-sending out pattern orders--spending a week at the racetrack-vending a quilt show-designing new patterns-rearranging the shop--on so on and so forth)

we will share with you our happenings now

A couple weeks ago we both noticed this little walnut in the center of our welcome heart. Thinking it was one of the neighbor guys being clever we ignored it until they asked us why we would put one there? Hmm...I guess the squirrels wanted to leave a hello to us. At any rate that was our first glimpse, falling walnuts, that fall has, and is upon us :)

The berries on this tree had shown that at one point too--before the birds ate them all.

I was ecstatic that I finally got my Kodak moment with the tree before the birds did! I just love seeing this little guy with vibrant orange/red berries in the fall of the year.

The fall of the year also brings the end to the racing season. Lacey spent most of last week sitting out in Huron, SD for the Wissota 100. Her and the rest of the group had, for the most part, a wonderful time out there again as usual. And now that's she is back and focused, blogging and sewing new samples should be done at more regular intervals!!

While Lacey was sitting in the mud, Darci was sitting at the local quilt show in Willmar.

The above project was her little make-it, take-it project there and is something that has been bringing a lot of interest in the shop. If you are looking for a quick little fall hanging this is a perfect project for you!!

For those of you following the monthly wool Penny Around projects, this is the newest creation for it. Simply called Sunflowers, this was inspired by the abundance of these flowers in the road ditches at the end of our driveway and throughout the country side.

Northern Cardinal.

This is simply wonderful winter fabric and the quilt is quite rich in its own little way when you see it in person.

Both of us gals were brave one afternoon before the races & quilt show and spent the extra time mitering our corners. Darci on the Northern Cardinal above, and Lacey on one not shown here. It's amazing how sometimes that little extra time in the border detail can make that quilt. Between the two of us we decided that mitering corners wasn't bad, and what was even better than our approval of them was that of the Busy Binder's!!

Above is one of our newest creations called Spinning in Circles which was created by total accident. The fabulous fabrics used (Lacey's new favorite fabric designers) is Hometown by Sweetwater.

Speaking of Hometown fabrics by Sweetwater. . .

Our front window display devoted to Sweetwater fabrics.

The large quilt is called "Merge Ahead" by Gathering Friends. This is a large lap sized quilt, or as Lacey would like to think, one that would maybe fit part of her bed.
Spinning in Circles is off to the right and the bag on top of the quilt has become the new customer bag favorite! We are out of patterns so I can't share the name of it with you or who it's by (next post will have the details) but his bag is loaded with pockets, both inside and out and is perfect for a fun day out with friends shopping, or to carry your projects around in for the gatherings at your local quilt shop.

This is our newest wool felt sample just in time for Christmas by Bunny Hugs.
This elegant project would look wonderful adorning a classic holiday table.

And lastly. . .

This is a bright stepping WAY out of the Pastthyme box sample.
"Rooftop Garden" is its name.

Us gals spent a majority of the day laughing as this sample was being sewn.

(Just for the record--Lacey did not order this one on her own and we both though it would be a bit more. . .muted?) But at any rate Barney got finished and has been fun conversation piece and breath of fresh air.

Next weeks post shall be a bit more exciting as both of us gals and Phyllis head up to Bemidji for the Willow Wood Market's "Junk Market". We promise pictures of our road trip up there, and of the junk market as well as the new samples are currently working on.

Until next time, remember

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" ~Audrey Hepburn