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

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