Saturday, September 22

Signs of Fall

It's official.  My favorite season is finally here.  Although it looks like it with the amount of crop leaving the fields and the leaves that are steadily falling from my trees it feels more like winter today!!  I sort of wondered if this brave robin wished he would have flown further south than southwestern Minnesota on my chilly walk this morning. . .
There are so many wonderful things about this fall season.  I love watching the trees and weeds and vines change colors.  One part of our whole driveway looks like this. . .I've been told it isn't real great for our evergreen trees but it sure looks pretty this time of the year!  I also have enjoyed digging through my pile of quilts to pick one to use in the evenings and finding my comfy sweatshirts tucked in the back of the closet.

And of course fall means change in our landscape.  For those of you who came into the shop during the state shop hop, all of those fields of corn and beans and beets you saw are now looking like this.  It seems like harvest this year is quite early and it's amazing just how quickly crop leaves the field once it starts.  We often get people's comments about the big elevator bins on their visits to the shop, especially those who aren't around our area and we are hoping to have a picture of the hug pile of corn with the big bins next week.  The pile is big, but probably won't reach it's peak until next week or the week after. . .it's kinda cool so check back!!
Fall also means football.
Yep-the three musketeers have to pack in their racing blankets and dig out the football garb.
We enjoyed a wonderful half-time performance at the homecoming football game last night by the MACCRAY marching band.  These guys did an amazing job marching and performing on the field and ended their performance with the signature "M" formation!!  Between the bands performance and the football game itself it was a very enjoyable evening back at the old football field!

On a side note. . .those of you who live in our area probably saw in the newspaper an article on the football team that was printed last week.  In my last post I made mention to the plaque by the kitchen sink reading  "Today is non-refundable.  Make it unforgettable"
The team and the town has had a couple of tragic events happen in these first few weeks of September.  The best part about living in a small community is that everyone rallies around one another during hard times and although many of you will have no clue what we are talking about it never hurts to ask for a few extra thoughts and prayers for a family in need.  Just a few days after a car accident took the life of a vibrant community member and mom to three kids on labor day, another accident landed a young man, who is a senior in high school, in the hospital fighting for his life. We ask that you keep Jake and his entire family in your thoughts and prayers and that he'll be able to pull through this tough time and be on the road to recovery soon!

Now. . .on to quilting. . .

Fine Dining by Sandy Gervais

These cute little place mats are a perfect complimentary project to make using up the rest of your panel from the "Merry Medley" quilt by Sandy Gervais.  (The panel comes with a large bell focus panel in the middle, shown in the post below, and these fun small panels around it)  These are fun place mats to use during the holiday season and have a fun pocket to put in your napkins and silverware!!

Hot Stuff by Terry Atkinson

Speaking of food related items, this is a new casserole carrier by Terry Atkinson.
This is a really fun carrier (notice how the tabs at the top form a fun flower?!) that would
make a quick and easy gift for your upcoming holiday gift giving season.
Lilies & Lace by Moose on the Porch Quilts

Moose on the Porch Quilts has put together new and fun charm pack books.
The sample above is in the book called Simply Charming Mini's and the other book we have is called Simply Charming Modern.  This mini book has a lot of fun projects, mostly using just one of your favorite charm packs and a small amount of coordinating yardage.  We chose to use the fabrics of Sentiments by 3 sisters of moda for our project.  The finished size is about 16" square.

Simplicity by This & That

We just love this pattern.  It is a great quilt pattern for beginners wanting to dabble with charms or scraps because it goes together quickly and fun for those who have sewn a bunch because, well it's fun to grab something that doesn't require having to overuse the noggin.  We chose to use the new fabrics by Blackbird Designs called Cinnamon Spice, which as you can tell has wonderful hues of tan, red, pink and a green/tan color.

Scaredy Cats by JoAnn Mullaly (JAM)

JoAnn has introduced a new book and handful of patterns using Chunky Embroidery.
(please note we want you to check out the cat & pumpkin and not my cool and warty pumpkins!)
This little guy was fun to do and would make a cute little fall hanging!  We chose to use an 8 wt. Valdani pearl cotton thread (as suggest by JAM herself to us at market) for the project.  This is something we are hoping to do more of so if you like it, you'll want to make sure you keep tabs on our journey into chunky embroidery. . .

We also got in some new wools by a In the Patch designs.  This is a brighter color palate that we typically work with, but it has some fun new and fresh colors.  They also have an awesome orange and green in case anyone is looking. . .

We also felted up some new wool felt colors.  National Non wovens came out with some fun new pinks (Lacey is in love with the very heathered pink/black color) greens, tan/browns, purple, gold, reds, blue and cream.  So we now have new candy bars packaged and ready to use.
(**Special thank you to Miss. Cara who came in with a fun group of ladies today and spent part of her time helping  package these candy bars.  We hope you had fun while you were in the shop--we know that one day you'll be a busy quilter, too!!)

Lastly--we'll leave you with a bit of a teaser.  The "Busy Binder" traded in the binding needle and grabbed the embroidery one instead and has embroidered a fabulous new fall sample!!  It is currently being bound as we speak so next week. . .you can come back and see the finished sample.  It is definitely not something you'll want to miss out on, especially if you like the fall!!

~Until next time~

P.S.  The Art Meander event starts Friday October 5th- Sunday October 7th.  This is the weekend that we have our annual SAMPLE SALE.  Samples will be hung (weather permitting) outside and will be sold starting at 10:00am Friday morning.  Samples are sold on a first come, first serve basis.  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment below, or drop us an e-mail ( or give us a call (320-847-4040) 

For more information on the Art Meander itself you can contact us or visit the website 

Clara City is also home to Hinterland Vineyards. . .which has wonderful wines!! Come visit us a the quilt shop and head the 2 miles out to visit Aric & Karen at the vineyard and Corey the artist set up at the vineyard with his hand-made wine stoppers, knives and calls. 

Tuesday, September 11

Spinning Samples

Although we feel like we have been busy spinning our wheels since the shop hop ends we realized that we have more samples to show than we thought!  Guess a little sewing today here and there does equal some progress in the long run!  So we'll start with our vacation pics in Duluth and finish with that progress!!  Enjoy.

A few weeks ago, we left our shop in the good hands of our busy binder to head up to Duluth on our family vacation.  It has been a hundred years (ok-not really but a really long time) since we've gone and done a whole extended family get together.  We were so blessed to have had gorgeous weather during our stay there--as you can see our view of Duluth from the cruise we took out on Lake Superior.

One of the main reasons for the trip was the fishing excursion that the men in the family booked earlier this year.  There were two boats that left the docks and took all but Darci & Phyllis out fishing.  So while the two of them toured and shopped around town, the rest of the gang headed out to try and catch some fish on the lake.

(Owen, Joe, Lacey, Trisha, Stan)

Lacey was thrilled to have gotten the opportunity to have such an experience with her cousin, dad, brother and grandpa.  It definitely made for memories that will last a lifetime.  Their boat was lucky and landed 11 fish--all of which we were allowed to keep and that the guide cleaned!!

(Steve, Jordan, Ashley, Jackson & Terri)

The second boat also had good luck (and no they didn't out fish the top group)  They also had 11 fish, one of which was the biggest of the day.  (Note: Grandpa Stan had one on that size in the first boat but the"first mate" misnetted it and it got away!!)  At any rate all fishermen had a wonderful time and we grateful to have caught the fish. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Duluth, it is a town where you can spend days looking at the little specialty shops, sitting by the lake, touring the sites and watching barges, like this one, come in.  If anyone is considering taking in the Minnesota State Quilt Show next spring, we both would strongly encourage you to go up or stay an extra day and take in the sites and the lake before you leave. 

Lacey and her little brother. 
She says little but as you can see that isn't so much the case!!
It truly is amazing to see the size of these ships as they cruise under the lift bridge!

Can you imagine living on one of these?  Not being able to see land?
Neither of us gals think we'd be good boatmen. . .

. . .nor drivers of such large ships.  It was quite fascinating to see how quickly and effectively the barge could turn to get itself into the right channel.

And of course the Coast Guard following to make sure things flow smoothly.
It was fun watching them (not this particular group) of Coast Guards in their rubber-looking raft hook onto a large log floating a little ways out from the lift bridge when we were out fishing.  From the stories the captain and first mate told, they were quite busy collecting various items (fuel barrels, desks, chairs, lamps, etc.) after the floods came through the area earlier in the spring.

The Rose Gardens.

We stayed in a condo-style place right along the lake.  It was so handy being able to take the short trek to the board walk and just walk. . .and walk. . .and walk and enjoy the view of the lake.  It was just a ways down from where we first got to the board walk and was well worth the walk to go and see!!

Well. . .on to some quilting related stuff which is really what you are after, right?!

House of Mirrors

This has been a surprisingly popular item here in the shop.  This started as the block that our block of the month girls were sewing this month and morphed into this whimsical looking hanging.  It features some fun applique, and quilting.  The trees (see side of house) have been quilted in, the tops of the pumpkins are solid quilting, the grates on the windows and top of the house quilted in and there are tufts of grass in the green bottom. 
Patterns for this project are $5.00 and kits are $13.99


This is one of Darci's newest little creations just in time for our wool group meeting!
Hoot is perfect for autumn and all owl lovers (like Lacey)

Patterns: $5.00  Kits: $12.99

Black Jack

The second of Darci's newest creations, just in time for fall.  This little mat featuring the ever popular black cat and pumpkins is in time for Halloween and fall nights.

Pattern: $5.00  Kit: $12.99

Christmas Prayer

Block Party Studios featured this new panel at spring market and we were excited to get a sample done using it.  This is a very quick and easy wall hanging to display or gift during the holiday season.

Center Stage

This quilt used two Old Glory Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings and the Center Stage pattern by Miss. Rosie.  It was a very well written pattern for anyone thinking about doing a lone star quilt and seemed to do a good job of utilizing charm packs.
Denim Snippets

This cute little denim quilt is a nice lap size and quite cheery with our brightly colored flower applique and fabric.  Those that know us know the colors don't scream Shades of the Past but the quilt is quite fun!!
This little quilt is done up out of one charm pack (we used Gypsi Girl by Lily Ashbury of moda) and one roll of pink Chenille-It.  It is a very quick quilt to sew together and is fun, bright color scheme!
Merry Medley

This quilt is fun to sew up using the large focal piece of Sandy Gervais' holiday line.
It is amazing-the fun designs you can create using just solid squares and half-square-triangle units!
Star of the North

This quilt is the same pattern as the pattern we did for the state shop hop but out of the Sentiments fabric by 3 Sisters.  This has been one of the most popular holiday quilts we've had this year (doesn't scream holiday though does it?!) 
Peace on Earth

Our Busy Binder was busy embroidering on this over the winter and we are thrilled have had it finished!!  This little guy is perfect for the winter season and for anyone who loves to embroider.


This is a Kansas Troubles pattern that features raw edge applique.
This pinwheel mat would make a wonderful center piece on any table.


This pattern, by Atkinson Designs, is a fun, quick little table runner to sew.
There are fun sizes (small for the toilet tank to large runner) to sew up.
We used the Merry Medley fabric line by Sandy Gervais.

Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheels

This little mat uses one of moda's newest candies (2 1/2" squares), some border fabric and the Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheels tool by Primitive Gatherings.  The fabric used in the sample above is by Barbara Brackman called Metropolotin Fair.

Emmeline Apron

This pattern by Sew Liberated is one of our new favorite apron patterns.
We used Little Black Dress fabrics by BasicGrey (the kind of little black dress both us gals would actually like to wear)  The apron is totally reversible (look at the bottom photo for the better coloring of the apron the right but without the blurriness) One of the main reasons we love this apron is not only the gorgeous colors, but the fit--the pleated skirt and the ruffled bodice.


This quilt uses ONE jelly roll (we did ours out of the newly arrived Coquette by Chez Moi) to make this quilt.  This pattern was our shop's pattern in the Southwest Sector cookbook and was perfect for this quilt.  You have very little scrap left over, which is always nice.  We are hoping to add a border to the quilt to make it a tad bigger.  Quilt is a nice lap size. . .or can be a nice crib size.

Medley Lane

This little quilt top is out of the "Just Around the Corner" book by Kari M. Carr
or the New Leaf Stitches gal.  We are planning to offer this as a class this fall.
The group (we hope to start a couple) will meet once a month and the project will take you
about three-four months to complete.  It is a great quilt to start learning, or doing applique on (see my quilt above--followed the direction) and also teaches the Easy Mitered Scallop Border as you also see in the photo above.
This is also the Medley Lane quilt, but done up out of the Little Black Dress fabrics.  The picture does no justice the sample itself!!  Instead of adding the flower applique I chose to add some old tatting, laces, and buttons instead.  This will get a black picture frame around it, once I find the right fit!  It too has that easy mitered scallop border on it.

The class fee is $30.00 and includes the cost of the book.  The quilt can certainly be put
together using your scrap pile at home, or can be bought as a kit upon request.  We are hoping to have an October start date. 
Anyone interested is encouraged to contact us!
Telephone: (320) 847-4040

Wasn't this a pretty sunrise?  It was just so calming to see out on the lake.
One of the many "good ones" Mother Nature gives us.  There has been a lot of sad happenings around our area these past few weeks to people we know, and people we've never met.  As I washed dishes last night I looked at this plaque I have in my bay window last night and thought I just have to share this, as we just never know what our tomorrows may bring. . .

Today is non-refundable.  Make it unforgettable.

Hope you all have a great rest of the week and we'll share more progress real soon!

P.S.  To anyone who is planning to attend the Threads Across Nebraska quilt show on October 12 & 13 in Kearny, Nebraska stop on in our booth and say hello.  We have decided to pack up and come vend at the show beings Lacey starts school in February!!