Thursday, March 29

Quilt Show

We're back and unpacked from a fabulous weekend in New Ulm at the Prairie Piecemaker's quilt show. It was a very well attended quilt show with over 900 people coming to look at the more than 350 gorgeous quilts that were on display! We've got some wonderful "favorites" from the show as well as a couple pictures from our time spent with the one and only Karen McTavish.
On Wednesday afternoon Mr. Brown delivered a highly anticipated package plump full of
Collections for a Cause: Friendship (by Howard Marcus of Moda fabrics)
This fabric is wonderful. It's absolutely beautiful in color and design and we can't wait to start sewing up projects with it!!
We also received the new Gear Up Tote pattern by Sweetwater. Lacey has been in love with the shape and size of this bag since seeing it on the girls' blog and finally had some time to get one cut out and sewn up out of Salt Air fabric by moda's Cosmo Cricket. It's been a while since we've made a new bag and this was definitely worth the wait!! Quick to sew, great shape, good directions and an adorable ruffled pocket and flower! (If you like Sweetwater fabric make sure you check out their new line due out late this summer called Mama Said Sew! You can get to their blog by visiting the makelifesweet tab on our blog favorites!)
Before we left for New Ulm we had a few projects we put the finishing touches on.
Cinnamon Sticks by This & That patterns was a really quick and easy pattern to sew up out of a charm pack. We used Meadow by Blackbird Designs for ours. This is a great pattern for those charm squares that are left over from other projects!!
We also had to do a little bit of re-arranging after we got home and when you enter the shop you'll be graced by our Block of the Month quilts. We've still been having interest in them so if you are one of those interested we are still taking names and mail orders are available!
In our door greeting Kansas Troubles themed area we have these great new patterns released by This & That patterns called Blooms in the Springtime. This is such a sweet and quick little table topper to whip up. We've got a few more designs by her of this same octagonal themed topper that we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of!
We've also had a blast sewing up items from Honey Buns. We have two quick and easy runners we've made out of the Kansas Troubles Sandhill Plums honey buns. The item above was a popular item of conversation at the show. This pattern is set designed by Lynne Hagmeier is called Changing Seasons and set up to have you create a table runner, pillow and 7 toppers out of a honey bun, some small yardage and scraps! You create a scrappy, versatile table runner in a flash with those honey bun strips and can change it up each season with a decorative buttoned-on center square that can also be used as a cute pillow cover!
We also have been having lots of fun with this wonderful Microwave Bowl hugger. This is set up for you to place your bowl into to heat up leftovers in your microwave. When your food is done you can safely grab the bowl from the microwave and pull it out using the hugger without getting burnt fingers! Our kits are pre-cut with the pattern included and are quick to sew up as a gift.
We also had many comments on our "Baker's Dozen" bundle of Believe Batiks which our Southwest sector will be giving away to the first 800 finishers during Quilt MN. Each shop in our section (10 of us) have designed up a quilt using our batik bundle that will be featured in our sector cookbook. The pattern above is the one for Shades of the Past. To see more of our sector quilts check out our sector blog. (Quilt Mn southwest sector on our blog fav's)
Our booth at the Prairie Piecemaker's Quilt Show in New Ulm
We were set up in New Ulm on Friday & Saturday for the show which was held in a beautiful new building called the Hope & Healing center.
The eating area was showcased with this lovely stone wall, cozy lighting and fireplace! The whole place had this kind of feel--it was wonderful! Something also quite wonderful was . . .
. . .the bathroom. It was something many of us were talking about as vendors and heard as we were out and about looking at quilt. Really-it was that good! The highlight of the whole bathroom was this wonderful sink. Wouldn't you just LOVE to take it home? The first time at this was a bit intimidating as we didn't have a clue how to operate it, but you crossed your fingers that somebody would be using it and you could follow their lead. See that "joy-stick" looking thing in the bottom right had of the photo...that controlled the water. Push up for a fast stream, down for a slow trickle, left for hot, right for cold--just like playing a video game!
Note: This photo was taken after quilt show hours when nobody else (expect the company of a couple other people who wanted a sink photo opt) was in or using the bathroom.
Karen McTavish.
There are LOTS of things I would love to share with all of you but you may never see the end of my post! If you ever have the chance to see her or listen to her talk I'd encourage you to take up the opportunity. We both agree, however, that if you get easily offended by people who can be "raw" she may be a bit of a turn off for you. Her quilts were stunning (if I could find a better word I would) and her stories were quite humorous and interesting and she is oh so very humble about what she does, which she seemed to make quite evident when talking about here quilting.
Wholecloth quilt that she has trapunto and quilted on
Notice the light pink trapunto area in the center?
I believe if I would have taken better notes (note: I didn't take notes) I think this was called Shadow Trapunto. She had kind of a large scale step-by-step as to how to get to this point but a good camera shot wasn't possible. She also had many other quilts she showed but again, between being in "aww" of the quilt and quilting I missed bringing my camera up to snap a shot for you all. Guess you'll have to go see them in person someday--they really are much better that way!!
Some of our favorites from the show and some we found interesting
Well as you can see Betty Trebesh made this wonderful mat on her sewing machine!
I apologize for a poor picture of it--again much prettier in person.
The idea of how it was done was kind of intriguing.
One of those quilts done up from the Blackbird Design books.
All done needle turn applique method. Hand quilted. Amazing job done by Theresa Westrup.
This little sampler was also machine pieced and quilted.
Buggy Barn tree skirt.
Sweet Sixteen quilt pattern by Laundry Basket Quilts.
Quilted and sewn by Mary Waibel.
This was Lacey's favorite quilt of the show and quilt that has her looking into starting a needle turn applique project and she was lucky enough to get to listen in on Mary's demo on her method to doing nice needle turn applique--now that that seed is planted we'll see where it grows. . .
Mary Waibel also did this quilt. It is a Dear Jane quilt. It has all been pieced. Yes-this is NOT a cheater quilt!! It was really quite a site to be seen with all of those tiny little pieces!! We can't imagine. . .can you??
Speaking of Tiny Pieces--check out these fun quilts by Susan Beck! Again, I can't imagine sewing those little pinwheels together--and if you look close they are not solid pinwheels either!! The prairie pointed border also really finishes this off quite nice.
The gals setting up the show also had some really cute little display pieces, including this one!
Prairie Vine by Debbie Roberts
Sewn and Hand Quilted by Susan Beck.
We found the block design to be fun in this quilt and like the border with the vines.
Presiden'ts quilt done by Val Besser from Spinning Spools in New Ulm.
It was really fun getting to see this quilt finished as she was working on it when we took a road trip through our southwest sector with some friends this fall. Using a wonky block setting really made this quilt fun!
This quilt was designed by Mickey Zimmer from the Sweetwater Cotton Shop in Paynesville. Ruth Tauer did the piecing of this lovely quilt top and Lisa Schwartz the quilting. Very pretty and elegant quilt!!
Well. . .now that I've reached the bottom of the post I realize I am missing a couple of pictures--guess the wind is messing with our Internet connection. You'll have something to look forward to for next week: Darci's favorite "Spider Web" quilt and "Granny Squares" quilt.
Our bus is filling up fast! If you are interested in joining us make sure you contact us soon to reserve you spot!
Friday April 27th

Visit the quilt shops of:
Common Threads in Garfield, Country Cottage Quilts in Fergus Falls, Bay Window Quilts in Perham, Monika's in Park Rapids and supper in Dorset!!
Cost: $55.00 (includes bus ticket and snacks)
Supper in Dorset is on your own (choose from Italian, American, Mexican restaurants) and lunch is on your own (fast food joint(s) in Fergus Falls)

Monday, March 19

March Madness

March Madness.
That is the best phrase to sum how things have been going since we've last found a spare moment to sit down and fill you in on what has been going on here in the shop!
Since our last post we spent a few days working at our "water front" property. Sadly, this wasn't the fun up at the lake property, it was here at the shop. Those of you who come here often in the spring know that parking can be a bit of an obstacle once our snow starts to melt and rubber rafts really are the best means to get to us. This year was no different and with the way the water pooled by our door it was good we didn't get any more snow than we had!!
Also, for those of you who don't live in our neck of the woods, it has been a very unusual winter and spring. We have been lucky enough to doll up our toes and sport sandals in the middle of march while enjoying 80 degree weather!!! It was actually humid enough in the shop today that we turned the air conditioner on. . .yes. . . you did just read that correctly. The air conditioner was running at Shades of the Past today. Mark it on the calendars 'cuz it probably won't happen again for a while. . . in any event it's been great and we certainly won't complain!
We, as well as many people in the state and country get excited when March rolls in not because spring is closer but because of the madness with high school (and college) sporting tournaments. There is nothing better than sitting in a maximum capacity gym/arena cheering on the home team. Unfortunately our boys' season was ended short of a trip back to state but we all sure had a lot of fun while it lasted!
In the midst of sitting in the gym we were getting updates from home about the boys state hockey tourney. Most of you know from bigger news media sources about young "Jabs" tragic hockey injury, and for those of you who don't he was paralyzed from a wicked hit during a game in regular season. Three of the four amigos stayed up late to cheer on their "Cinderella" team and all four sat with jaws open wide in the game that sent them to the championship game where it seemed as if special power put everything they shot into the net. And we all celebrated in the car on the way home from our season ending loss after hearing they won. It's stuff like that that makes tournaments fun and we were thrilled that something so good happened to a deserving team after the obstacles they faced during their season!!
Anyways...we'll get to the shop stuff! Between the "Speedy Seamstress" "Quick Quilter" and "Busy Binder" we have made lots of big strides in getting new samples done. Some of which you'll see below, and some, due to a malfunction in the transfer from camera to computer and the stack sitting with the "Busy Binder" you'll just have to wait and see next week!
Is anybody ready for Christmas? Probably a silly question now that you've put your boots and parkas in the way back of the closet! But if you are we have charm packs of "JOY" by Kate Spain. This is some really fun, cheery fabric that is a big step out of the box for us.
"Sentiments" is also new by 3 sisters. It is considered a winter line but there honestly is only a couple of pieces that scream "I am Christmas fabric" This stuff is some of the prettiest fabric that we'll be getting in for the holidays!! Mark your calendars for the July delivery date. I don't think it'll last long once it comes in.
"Petite Odlie" is also an up and coming line by French General. These fabric colors are to die for. There is a wonderful red, gray/blue, blue and gray in the line and some great little prints! Darci is anxious to start creating with the charms so watch for show and tell soon!
Also, we got in "Vintage Modern" by Bonnie and Camille. Their color palate hasn't changed much but the prints are kind of fun. This is one of the first charm packs we've gotten in early that will feature the hounds tooth design. This is just cute, fun make you smile fabric that everyone seems to really be liking a lot.
All of the fabrics above are only in our shop as charm packs (Sentiments also came in as fat eighth bundles) Yardages will ship in June/July.
We also were excited to get in our boltage of Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket!
This fabric is just so much fun and has cute designs and wonderful color.
Hopefully you'll be seeing our bag and jean quilt in a post real soon!
This past Friday we also started our Wool Crazy group. This was added on a last minute whim to our newsletter and was a huge success. We had a plump full room of ladies for the afternoon who were eager to start a new chapter in their sewing books about small wool applique and crazy quilt stitching. With as much fun as Darci has had in designing this and the wool purse (shown in a previous post) you can bet you'll be seeing more "wool crazy" designs from her soon!
Darci designed this pattern the state shop hop last year and we had so many comment on the quilt we decided to do it again. This time out of our dog fabrics. If you have a guy in need of a quilt this is something to check out. . .probably not so much if he isn't into dogs or ducks. We happen to have men in the family who have claimed stake to this quilt and it'll find a home in our family room once it's life is done here. It's also a perfect fit as we have lovely black lab and yellow lab at home--just like those featured on the fabric!
This pattern is very easy to piece together and is perfect if you have a focal piece you want to show case.

We had a blast while Darci designed this up as our busy binder set her needle down to give some advice on its design. This little guy is perfect for a spring mat on our Penny Around background or just to enjoy on the wall or table around Easter time.
Jelly Beans
Yum! Jelly Beans--one of my favorite Easter candies (especially the Star Burst kind)
Remember a few years back how the craze was jell-o Easter eggs? We have a couple of those "Jelly Beans" (mini jell-o egg) molds that we seem to dig out every Easter and have some choice words when we try to make them. Memory always fails that we can only use half of the mini-eggs as the other half has a tear in the side and the jell-o will proceed to run over the cookie sheet, onto the counter and then find those nice *white* socks or if you are really lucky sweatshirt... can anybody relate to that? And on the off chance you get the right side the first try, when making the large 3-D kind of jell-o eggs the mold will inevitably pop open and your jell-o will proceed to run out onto the cookie sheet creating a fun, sticky mess. Anyways, enough with the jell-o horror. THIS is the kind of Jelly Beans to go with. . .minimal mess and no stained clothing! The grass in these little eggs is left dimensional which adds a nice touch to the finished project.
This little rabbit is a perfect little guy to display this spring and Easter season. This is definitely more Darci's style (compared to patels above). As much as we love the finished Harree we had a lot of good laughs trying to come up with a name. We do this quite often and should really have the story behind the names in a book to share with you all.
Sometimes it's important to do a bit of "googling" to see meanings before a quilt gets named. (Ex: Our state quilt pattern for this year was going to be named Truffles. . .bet you are thinking of those oh so delicious chocolate truffles you see at Valentines day like we were, but try googling truffles and seeing the 'gross' reality that it is fungus! Kinda wrecks that mouth watering chocolaty image...)
Anyways, rabbits can really be a nuisance especially if you have flowers and gardens. We laughed at names about that and thought about calling him Fertilizer as we all know bunnies are very fertile creatures but couldn't picture any of you coming into the shop and asking to by Fertilizer kits and patterns... so we spared ourselves and you and went with Harree--the cute bunny that won't eat your flowers, won't poop in your grass and won't leave you with millions of babies to carry the job out after it's gone.

About two weeks ago we had our Good, Bad & Ugly retreat up at the Clara City Community Center. We had a nice sized group of ladies who attended the day to sew up quilt tops from their stashes and use up some of those "good" "bad" and "what was I thinking-ugly" fabric. This quilt was fun to sew together and to see how much the quilt tops evolved as the day went on.

We have had a more interest in doing a class on this again so if it's something you think you might be interested in doing watch our website for more information should a class date be scheduled! It truly is a wonderful way to use up some of that sash that so easily accumulates.
(photo credit:
Want to met Karen McTavish?
Come join us in New Ulm at the Prairie Piecemaker's Quilt show this weekend!

Friday March 23: 9am - 8pm
Saturday March 24: 9am - 4pm
Located at the Hope & Healing Center
320 20th S. Street New Ulm, Minnesota
Admission $5.00
Share a unique fabric experience with over 300 quilts on display. Opportunity Quilt. Vendors. Demonstrations AND Nationally known quilter & author Karen McTavish will have a lecture and book signing each day!
Inquires--contact Joleen Koch (507) 276-2304

Thursday, March 1


This morning we entered names into a random generator it randomly chose our winner as:

Jeanette A

Congrats to her and a big THANK YOU to all of you who commented here on the blog and liked us on Facebook!!