Monday, May 14

I'll start by saying that I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and were able to take in this awesome Minnesota spring weather that we've been blessed to have these past few days.
Well. . .as I uploaded pictures off of my camera I had a moment where I went from wondering what in the world I was going to share with all of you to "Oh my goodness...I haven't share ANY of this?!? What in the world have I been doing?"  So to speed ya all up on life a the quilt shop we have to begin by starting waaay back on Friday April 27th when we took 50 ladies out and about on our "Spring Fling" bus trip. 
I do really carry a camera with me at all times 'cuz ya just never know when a Kodak moment will crop up, but sadly forgot to dig it out and use it on the trip.  Why is that those thing are always an after-thought on the car trip on the way back home?  This was the biggest bus trip we've ever taken with all the seats full, except for the toilet seat, and one of the most enjoyable trips we've done in a long time.  We also want to give a huge shout out to all of the passengers as it was the first trip we've taken where we actually stayed on schedule! (No small feat for those of you that know us-up until this last trip we always seemed to run late!)
Often we get asked if we buy stuff for ourselves when we have a shop back at home.  The answer, in case you too wonder, is yes.  We always find inspiration when we visit quilt shops and often find things that we would like to sew for ourselves or want to try out.  However, we often don't set aside time for ourselves to sew, we feel guilty when we could be doing something more "shop" productive and often times it gets set in a "someday" pile to do on a snow day.  I'm guessing we have people that can relate to that!!  We aren't super-sewing-woman, we can relate to you!!

However, after this trip, we decided that we would take the Sunday after and turn it into a guilt-free personal sewing day-working on whatever our little hearts desired.  So, we loaded up the car with way more stuff than we needed ('cuz you just never know) and geared up to sew.  Upon entering the sewing room we decided that by the time we cleaned off our heaping cutting table and ironing board, and properly putt samples away that we "just had to keep" last fall our creative juices would be drained. (Those of you that really know us know we can pile up crap really good!)  So we hauled our essentials down stairs and created another temporary mess in the kitchen and dining room.   We turned our dining room table into a sewing table, the kitchen counter into an ironing station, and island into the cutting table and "catch-all" spot for that stuff we had to have home 'cuz you just never know.


After taking some time to go celebrate a successful turkey hunt with the guys we got to work.  We spent lots of time laying out the various things we thought we wanted to accomplish and tyring to pick the one we wanted to start on.  Once that hard decision was done it was time to make some snack mix to eat while we sewed.  The tone of the day got set early with both of us fighting for the "best" seam ripper while we seemed to spend more time ripping than we did keeping the seams we sewed.  When you have those kind of days it is best to pick something new or just walk away, but determined we ripped on.  Eventually we came to the point of things not being fun and quit.  A full afternoon of sewing and we have (2) 3" x 3" paper pieced blocks (Lacey) and (3) mini-Dresden fans (Darci) to show for it.  At the rate we were going our planned projects will end up in an auction box someday waiting for a brave soul to finish what we started.  We decided maybe that's why we don't do that kind of stuff at home. . .when the wheels of the sewing bus are sitting in Clara City,  Renville ain't the place to be. 

A couple of weeks ago, we got a phone call about being shown on Postcards.  No, this isn't like the postcard you send through the mail, but the TV show that is on PBS.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it (and we weren't either at first) it is a "locally produced program featuring the art, history and cultural heritage of western Minnesota and beyond, capturing the lives of many local artists, reliving the history and experiencing the culture of our viewing area." 

Upon much talk we decided this was something that Darci needed to check into as it would be wonderful free advertising.  So we spent a few days cleaning up the inside of the shop and sprucing up the outside of the shop for the filming crew to come.  So Darci braced herself for the cameras to come into the shop (a big deal for someone who is very nervous about crowds & cameras) and spent most of Wednesday morning and early afternoon showing her stuff around the shop. 

We'll have a direct link to it on here after its air date. 
The show is scheduled to air on Sunday June 3 at 7:00 p.m. with rebroadcasts Monday at 1:30pm and Thursdays at 7:00pm. (if it's different we'll let you know)

You can also watch it online at http://video.pioneer.org/program/postcards
or http://www.youtube.com/pioneerpublic and check out the playlist.


 Now. . .for what you all probably checked the blog for the quilting show & tell
Holiday Joy

This was such a fun project that Lacey has worked on!  Yes, it is holiday fabric with fun, bright reds, greens, whites and aqua and of course the red rick-rack!  This has been such a fun conversation piece that everyone seems to really be loving right now.  This fun, bright fabric is by Moda's Kate Spain and is called Joy. (fitting name, isn't it?)

Cheater. Cheater.

If you are looking for a quick project this is a good one (while we still have the fabric left-it's goin fast)  You simply layer the cheater quilt top with your favorite batting and backing and grab a roll of cinnamon (or brown or any color) Chenille-It for the quilting, bind and wash.

Coffee Crazy

This is a great little pattern by This & That for all you coffee lovers or people who want to make up quick gifts for friends who love coffee as well.  The pattern features three quick embroidery patterns dealing with coffee to create quick and cute little "coffee cozee"

Nice & Easy Notes

This is also another fun pattern by This & That patterns.  This, too features a fun little embroidery design on the outside portion of the notebook holder.  Inside has some nice, deep pockets for both the notepad inside, and whatever else you want in the pockets.  There is also a cute and convenient little pen holder on the outside!

This started out as a pillow from a new book that we received in the shop.  But upon reading the pattern directions, decided that a die cutter with a charm pack was a much better way to go instead of free-handing all of them and that you don't really need to follow directions for sewing down circles.  Lacey attached the free-motion foot on the machine and went to town stitching around all of them, quilted a backing, "birthed" the quilt top with the backing and washed it- ragging it up into one of the most popular quilt samples in the shop right now.  I apologize for not getting a better photo of this, but trust me in saying that the circles ragged up quite cutely around the outer edges.  The charm pack featured above is Urban Cowgirl by Urban Chicks of Moda.

We received in a few beautiful bolts of fabric by Marcus Brothers featuring a lovely large scale print in dark tans, light tans and black and coordinating light tan and black piece prints.  The little pattern above, Quilt Trio by G.E. Designs can be done quilt-as-you-go or just sewn normal and quilted like we chose to do.  Finished quilt is about 16" square.
Just Can't Cut It
Isn't this just perfect fabric to see on such a bright, sunny day like today?  This is some new fabric that we ordered in to try by In the Beginning fabrics.  This pattern, Just Can't Cut It by All Washed Up designs is such a quick and fun pattern to sew together and is wonderful for featuring large scale prints like our flowers.  We chose a table cloth/ baby size quilt top for our sample.

As I went to type about the wool pincushion I realized a couple of things.  First, it is hard to tell what it was exactly I was hoping to show you (please note it is the pin cushion in the center of the picture) and secondly we are out of the pattern and will have to try and hunt it down to even tell you the name and who it's by!!  But in case I forget to show it later this is a nice, big sized pin cushion that is two-tiered and features pennies and a cute dimensional flower.  Maybe after market I'll be able to tell you more!


Chocolate & Chili
This is a fun little quilt designed by Liberty Homestead.  The finished quilt top finishes about 24" x 24" and features fabric that just arrived in the shop by Primitive Gatherings called Seasonal Gatherings.  As you can see we don't quite have it finished yet, it still needs its quilting and binding but hopefully after market it will be hanging out in the shop soon.


Bits & Pieces
This is the newest fabric release by Kathy Schmitz of moda.  It is rich fabrics featuring tans, blacks, reds and greens and as you can see, one of the pieces features a printed churn-dash quilt block motif!  Darci is anxiously eyeing the fabric and has started working on something fun to show you soon.

Abundance
The pictures don't do this fabric by P&B fabrics justice.  This is truly gorgeous fabric with a subtle hint of gold fleck around the flowers and some of the leaves.  There is the panel showcasing four different fall focal scenes, a wonderful border (lots of people liking it for the 60 degree table runner pattern) and one large, one small over all print.  All feature that subtle gold flecking in them and are quite beautiful in person!

Quilt Minnesota 2012
It's here!!!!!  Lots of anticipation awaited the arrival of this box that the FedEx man left us early last week.  We, and many of you, have been quite happy with the prints and colors of the fabrics chosen for this year's upcoming hop. The collection features two differently sized panel pieces, one large, one small, beautiful crackles and plaids among the other pieces.  The fabrics will be available for pick up on August 3 but can be pre-ordered today. Fabric sells for $11.49/yard.  Remember that fabrics are limited and when they are gone...they are gone!  For all of your Quilt MN information check out www.quiltminnesota.com.  There is also info about bus trips thru our Southwest sector during the hop.  The bus guarantees that you get one of our Baker's Dozen Believe Batik bundles!

Aside from filming, sewing and dreaming of the projects we want to sew up out of the fabrics above and those that have yet to come into the shop we, or maybe just Lacey, has taken time for ourselves to hit up the area racing openers. She was stoked to get to see her racing friends again after a long break and get caught up on things.

Fishing.  Something else we all did this past weekend.  Lacey and the other two family amigos traded in the racing dirt for lake water on Saturday morning to try their luck on opener fishing. They were fortunate to come home with a northern, two walleyes, and a big crappie, and throw back a few sheep head, and too small to keep northern, walleye and bass.  We both had fun in the shop this past weekend with our fishing sale and hope that all of the anglers who came into the shop enjoy their catches!!


Well. . .thank you for making it to the end of our long over-due post.  We are busy getting ready to head for Kansas City Wednesday morning for International Quilt Market.  We are very excited to see all of the newest fabrics, patterns, books, tools and other gizmo's and gadgets while there and will host our Market Party on Tuesday May 29th.  You'll get more info and see our fabulous trip to the big city after we click our red shoes and come back home!!

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