Thursday, February 21

Snow Dayz Progress

So we kind of got stuck at home again this week!
This is unfortunately beginning to become an all to common occurrence these days as winter found high gear. 

For the first time in our ten years at the shop we had people stop and ask if they could stay here with us Monday afternoon!
We feel quite lucky to have a few cozy places in town that open their doors to take travelers in when the roads do close. . .again an unfortunate common occurrence this month.  We hope that anyone who had stopped were well taken care of during your stay in town and hope you had safe travels once you could head home. 
We began to panic a bit as we didn't have "stuff" packed to take home. (not like we don't have a personal stash or anything...)  When we got the call that the lead car was taking off in 10 minutes we kicked 'er in high gear and were amazed at what we scrounged up in a short period of time!
This was our driveway at home.  We realized again why everyone in our family owns a 4-wheel drive vehicle as once the snow blower got a car width path cleared it was about hood deep drifts in spots.  Needless to say we weren't blown out until late in the day and missed work. Again.  Hopefully that was it this year!

At any rate we decided we are ready for some spring sun!

The Easter Bunny delivered a couple new wool samples yesterday afternoon for us.  This great little guy combines a whole bunch of different methods as it involves wool applique (done on the sewing machine!) cross stitch (alphabet & numbers) and hand sewing of the paper tongues.  The pattern is called "Bunny Tales" by Brenda Gervais. 
This little pincushion is also part of the same pattern as the rabbit above.  It too requires some wool applique (cute dimensional bird) and cross-stitch.  We just love this adorable little guy!!


"Lacey Heart Pin Cushion"

This is a cute little pattern by BirdBrain Designs.  We love their stuff and think they have a fun pattern company name!!  This wool mat ended up fitting perfect on our "Penny Around" wool mat, which was a surprise bonus.  The pattern gives you the option of making this a pincushion. . which also would be quite cute. 

"Easter Wraps & Mats"

This is a new little pattern just in time for Easter by Bareroots.  The pattern features two little candle wraps (or fabric wraps) one of which is above...the other is of eggs and also gives directions to create the cute little egg candle mat as well.  We think these little guys would make a cute little hostess gift!
"Spice Cupboard"

This is another fun little This & That pattern that uses up almost a whole charm pack.  We chose to sew with "La Belle Fluer" by French General.  This great little table topper measures about 24" square and is a fun pattern to sew up.  (Note: We finally got a "snow day" project from a few weeks ago finished!!!!)

The Prayer Shall

This has changed a bit since the last time you saw it at our house as "snow day progress" from a couple weeks ago.  We are both absolutely in love with this quilt and cannot wait to have it quilted.  Of course, I can't take a photo to do justice to this lovely lap size quilt that ended up measuring around 47" x 70"

We don't mean to push stuff on you here but if it's something you are interested in and like what you see in the photo we are not sure if we'll be able to get more of these "Audra's Iris Garden" charms into the if you are interested we suggest you act quickly.

We have also been thinking spring with magazines!
The Quilts & More is packed with fun spring ideas to break us out of the winter funk and Mary Jane's is getting us ready for canning and inspire us for Mother's Day.  (Of course my favorite part of MaryJane's is the end column by Rebekah Teal whose article once again doesn't disappoint!!)

Just a reminder that we are doing our President's Day sale tomorrow so stop in and draw a cherry to see what kind of savings you will have.  Luckily this snow system tracked further south and we'll get it done this time!!!

Until next time

May every sunrise hold more promise
and may every sunset hold more peace.

Monday, February 18

Under His Wings

We really enjoy feeding the birds at our house. . .not that we are always there to enjoy them!
As of lately they have really been hitting the food supply quite hard-and today we understand why!  It's too cold & windy to think about little birds trying to fly to a feeder to eat today.

Early every morning, and a bit later once the initial morning rush has ended if you look out our kitchen window you will find a big bird.  We have had the joy of watching the pheasant come to eat food from under the tree.  If you look closely you will see that the small song birds are not scared of his size and continue to eat right along with him.  It's amazing and so much fun to just stand and admire!

We have kind of went on a kick this week with birds. 
(Must be the inspiration found under and on our feeders!)

"Under His Wings"

This is an inspired wool design by those cute little song birds and a verse taken from the book of Psalms that we really like.

"He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge."  ~Psalm 91:4

This little guy is finished just in time for our wool group which due to Ash Wednesday will meet this Wednesday night.

If you are interested in this little guy you can come start stitchin' on him at one of our group times of 1:30pm- 4:30pm
and 5:30pm - 7:45pm Wednesday night.  Or come Wednesday we will have patterns and kits available for sale.

Important Notes. . .

Due to the poor travel conditions and numerous accidents in and around our area we have decided to acknowledge the President's Day sale this Friday as well.  Come in and pick a cherry that has a special savings on it--and hope the weather cooperates!!!

(We laughed yesterday wishing we would have had a camera to have taken a picture of the idiot who thought that it was "okay" to be out on a bicycle on a heavily traveled Highway 23 last night when the roads were not only icy, but drifting and we had drove upon three accidents. . .i guess it takes all kinds!!!!)

We are out the door to hopefully make it home before the conditions worsen and hope that anyone of you out and about make it to and from your destinations safely!!  We have been working on finishing up lots of projects so check back towards the end of the week to see what we've got, or stop in on Friday's sale to see them in person!!!

Friday, February 15

President's Day Sale

Since our long snow weekend we have spun our wheels on the ice as far as accomplishing something is concerned.
We continued the week starting projects, working on some of the ones we started over the weekend, and really not getting anything finished. . .except for the quilt below which was just lacking the outer pieced border!!

Paul Bunyan

This is such a fun lap size quilt that is super quick to piece together.  It got the name Paul Bunyan because it's a long lap quilt...perfect to tuck those feet under on a chilly night!!  We chose to use the Noteworthy fabric by Sweetwater and it uses up one charm pack as well as some additional yardage.

So fun to see some of the "bucket list" items that are found on this fabric!  This was a fun piece to have as a focal point in the quilt.

President's Day Sale

Monday February 18th  from 10am - 5pm

Stop into the shop and draw a "cherry" savings! 

Cherries will offer a variety of specials ranging from 10% off your purchase, 20% off your purchase, 25% off your purchase, $2.00 of a yard of fabric, free fat quarter or free pattern.


Tuesday, February 12

Sample Blizzard

Well, we all successfully made it through "Orka"  I think that is what they ended up calling the snow storm that blew across the Midwest over the weekend?  Thankfully our storm was not as power packed as "Nemo" was, but at any rate we ended up with enough to give us a loong we used to our advantage!

We love the look of the yard after the storm is gone.
It is so pretty, calm and serene.  As much as we are looking forward to spring coming, we'll miss the peaceful look that we find outside during the winter season.
We decided on Sunday to work on some quilting related projects.  We get asked all the time if the house is filled with quilts.  The answer is yes, to an extent, and the rest of what we think we absolutely have to keep gets folded and stuffed in the sewing room.  So above is the proof that yes, we do indeed really keep some of our projects and below is proof that they do get used in decorating. . .and used in the chair.  As you can see, we don't invest much time in organizing our stack...this looks pretty good compared to the pre-New Year's look!!
One of our "make-do" projects from Prairie Women's found its way home and out to be seen on display.  We often have just as much fun reminiscing over the projects as we do using them.
Another Prairie Women's table runner found its way onto a wall at home to be enjoyed more than it was piled up in our store room at the shop.
Many of you may remember this popular version of Arcadia.
We decided it was time to move on from snowflakes in the living room and freshen things up for spring.  This was a perfect fit.
Some of you may also remember the Sunkissed fabrics that were created by Sweetwater a few years ago.  This little lap quilt also found its way into the living room for an added spring punch.
Try as I may, camera lighting in this window just never work!
This was a special quilt that has become part of the family from a dear friend.  
(A friend I hope may check this post out so she can see it is being enjoyed!!)  It is a yo-yo quilt...done entirely by hand in the days before the clever clover yo-yo maker.  It is truly a treasure!
I am not sure how many of you know this little factoid but before Darci began the quilt shop she designed and created dolls under the name of Darci's Dolls.  She was pretty well known in the area for her Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls and Sugarbeet dolls.  She did, however do a few seasonal creations, one of which is this rabbit.

Now, onto our sewing journey. . .
We must admit that we are very spoiled.  We always get reminded of this when we sew at home.  We really can't complain about our sewing space there either, but we haven't exactly got all the modern convinces there simply because we never sew there.  We felt like we were quilting in the stone age, and this idea became quite evident after starting our first project.
"Frost" is a raw-edge applique table topper by Kansas Troubles.
All the fabrics were picked before heading home and we fortunately still liked what was picked when the time came to start sewing.

After spending a large chunk of time creating a nifty way of tracing a circle (i.e: we tied a rope on a pen and drew it...clever, huh?) it came time to cut.  Ever have a household that doesn't always distinguish the difference between a fabric scissors and a paper scissors?  Well, our fabric chompers bit the big one years ago.  We weren't smart enough to grab any good ones from the shop.  Darci sawed through the fabric until she got  two circles cut.  She wasn't looking forward to cutting out a bunch of wedges with those scissors, but ya do what ya gotta do.

Thinking the quilting would go easier we realized that we not only did not have any basting spray to hold our layers together but we also don't have walking feet for our machines at home.  Neither one of those made a real great combination.  She decided the progress made above was good enough with the tools we had at home and would wait for modernization to finish the rest.

So we moved on. . .

Spice Cupboard was a pattern we found at our little market meeting in the cities.  This is a sweet little pattern by This & That. We decided to change things up and use the new charm pack by French General called "La Belle Fleur" for this creation.

Every once in a while we struggle creating the project with the charm pack we pick.  (Yes, we too are human)  We really like the fabrics, patterns and tones in this fabric line!  We finally got it to this point and decided that we needed a piece of fabric that we didn't think to take home. . and so another one got set aside for later.
This is our new Prayer Shall quilt using one of Block Party Sudio's prayer shall panels and two charm packs.  We chose to use the lovely fabrics of Audra's Iris Garden.  We are absolutely in love with this quilt!!  We of course need to add borders, which again we didn't have fabric for at home.  We hope to have the finished quilt to show you real soon as we are beyond excited to get it done!
This batik quilt was started a couple years ago as a shop sample but never got done as we sold out of the fabric. If you follow us on here you would have saw that it was Lacey's project to get done last year.  It got moved to the back burner as she temporarily lost the fabric for the last two borders.  She decided she wanted to see it done. . .and there it is.  We both LOVE it and cannot wait to have it quilted to use.  It was a fitting quilt to finish this weekend, with it being snowy and all, and we capped it off by bringing it outside to photograph in the freshly fallen snow.  For those of you wondering this was Laundry Basket's "Let It Snow" batik line for moda fabrics.
Lacey also decided to start a new project using the itty bitty twister template and a couple of candy packs.  This is just a little teaser of a block, we aren't sure what direction this sample will end up spinning but can't wait to get it done to share!!

Of course the weekend wouldn't be complete without having handwork to do in the chair. . .
With Easter coming it was time to gear up for some festive projects.  The rabbit (which is now about stitched) is a great little hostess gift or cute decoration to be wrapped around a candle.

The heart can either be a cute little pincushion or simply a fun little decoration to keep out this time of year.

Both will be shown again once they are finished and on display in the shop.

For anyone who was planning to join us for wool group in February please note the change in date.  Due to Ash Wednesday services we will meet on Wednesday Feb. 20.

We also started on a new embroidery project.  This is one block in a four-block embroidery quilt by This & That patterns.  
Lacey also continued to knit on her infinity scarf.  She is hoping that she'll have it finished before the scarf trend hits the road!

And of course fresh baking is a must when it snows!
Oatmeal Crispies
by: The Pioneer Woman
  • 1 cup Shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3 cups Quick Oats
  • 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening with both sugars until well combined.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs together. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Add to the shortening/sugar mixture and mix well.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix carefully into the egg/shortening mixture until well combined. Now add the quick oats and mix well again. Finally add the finely chopped pecans and mix well to combine.
Divide the dough in half and place each half of the dough onto a sheet of waxed paper. Roll the dough into a log and then wrap it tightly in the waxed paper. Now you can either chill or freeze the dough until later or you can go ahead and slice the dough evenly into cookie rounds.
When you are ready to bake them place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until they are golden brown.

 We hope that you all had a safe weekend if you were out traveling and were maybe able to sneak in some sewing for yourself!!

Saturday, February 9

Stocking Up

We successfully made it through our first week of
the new changes here at the shop.  What a fast week!!

As we work today, we sit and look out the window and wonder when the "big snow" is going to start to fall. . .
We have had some fun with this particular cartoon on our Facebook page.  We got a good chuckle when we saw it.

I think the showing of hands would be mixed in the shop.
One of us (bet you can't guess which one) is not liking the idea of getting dumped on...she is ready for spring to be here in full force.

The other one of us, although isn't excited about the idea of shoveling likes and enjoys the snow.  (and thinks the thought of fresh "white" snow will look better than the "snirt" we have now!)
We have this tradition here in the shop of deciding to load the car up with projects and all of the "essentials" that we don't have in our home sewing location.

We will have to share a photo on Tuesday of what the car looked like packed up.  There are three main reasons we do this:

1.) When we do it rarely snows/storms like is predicted

2.) It would be a shame to waste a weekend without any projects to work on
(not that we don't both have personal stashes that call our names)

3.) Sewing or cleaning/cooking?  (what a silly question!)

So.  We have bagged up enough stuff to create. . .
a prayer shall quilt, mini-twister mat, new embroidery creation, new wool creation, lap size quilt, scalloped candy quilt, raw edge circle pillow, two wool candle wraps, Easter candle mat, spring wool wall hanging and new pincushion.'ll have to check back on Tuesday (because of course we are planning to be snowed in on Monday according to our weatherman)  to see just how much of that list we get done!


Monday, February 4

A little bit of show & tell

Well, we may not have a large quantity of things to show as far as new samples go but we decided we couldn't wait to show the one we have done, tell about the ones we have going on, and share what we've been up to and what just arrived!!


We had a blast looking at this quilt last week when we went into the freezer for what we hope was the last arctic plunge of the season.  The cold, snowy, winter Thursday got a bit warmer with this cute little kids quilt.

We made the quilt using two charm packs from Me & My Sister called Ticklish.  We started this and did show a sneak peek a while back but decided to make some changes and are glad we did!

We chose to put 5/8" Chenille-It around the outer edge instead of putting down a binding like we usually do.  This turned out to be such a fun effect on the quilt and we are thrilled with it's different feel and appearance.  It totally fits the quilt!

We were excited to see Mr. Brown pull into the lot today and are excited to put aside what we are working on to play with the new Kansas Troubles fabrics that, as you can see, are called Pheasant Hill.  She always does fabric we are excited about!

Speaking of fabric excitement. . .if you have not checked out our website you may want to.  We've added a "Coming Soon" page that is filled all of the fabrics that we ordered for this fall & holiday season with our rep last week.  We were hoping to have taken a picture of the large stack of swatches we look at with her, but didn't give it a thought until we were down to just one. . .maybe next time.
Those of you who know Lacey knows that she loves to fish.
She talked the last time she got home about how she should have taken a picture to share as the scene above is not the norm of the locations many of our followers are located at.

It is true, that the lakes really do freeze enough that you can drive your vehicle on them.  Set up a house and fish.
Some lakes have little "towns" of houses in them.
The one we choose to head to isn't quite like that, although this year there are far more houses than last.  Guess word gets out!

At any rate it's a good way to change up our quilting routine.

We also wanted to share our proud moment with the family dog.
Believe it or not, the feisty little dog gets to come fishing with us and manages to behave herself and not cause any trouble.

After catching a fish that we thought was too small to keep we put it back into the hole to swim away.  The dog loves watching the fish in the hole and so we egged her on a bit to stick her face close to it, thinking she'd jump when it made it's little splash.

She completely shocked us all when she stuck her face, up to her eyes in the water and pulled the fish back out!  It's not very often you render us all speechless, but that truly did!  She can truly add fishing to her resume and became a legend in our house.

Please note that she has a very soft bite on things and although it doesn't look real promising for the fish it wasn't hurt! After she so proudly showed us all her prized catch, it was released back into the hole, where it swam away a bit quicker than it had the first go round.

Aside from the fishing and Ticklish project we have been busy working on a new quilt using the Woolies Flannel fabric, a fun lap quilt out of the fresh Noteworthy fabric, and Darci is scratching an itch to create a quilt that is just pink, cream and brown!  Hopefully by the weekend we'll have some fun stuff to show for the week!

~Until Next Time~

An Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster.
It's the cha-cha.   ~Robert Brault

Friday, February 1

Sale & Letter from Darci

"Here's the Thing" is my favorite page in the Mary Jane Farm Magazine - if you have never ready this magazine I highly recommend it!! It seems there is always something both Lacey and I can relate to in that final article of the magazine which is always on the last page. The Feb/March issue really hit home for me as Lacey read it to me, one of the lines in it asked this question "How did I get to this place to live my dream?" The answer listed the following things: faith, hope, luck, and guts. It took these four things when I decided to open Shades of the Past in 2002. At that time I had no idea what direction the business would take and I also had no idea what a road I would walk the next 10 years with Lacey. I wish everyone could have the experience I have had with her working by my side these past years!! It is now time for her to spread her wings and I cannot tell all of you how happy I am that she is going to be attending college in Watertown, SD beginning the end of August to finish her career path in the Physical Therapy Assistant program. Things are finally coming together for her and Watertown will be an excellent fit for her. As we waited for things to fall into place for her with finishing her education, it continued to be very apparent to me that Shades of the Past will not be the same without her. I also did not like the idea that I would not have weekends free to visit her or enjoy her when she comes home so I began to pray to God for the sign that he lead me in the direction I needed. There was a part-time job opening at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Montevideo so with much thought and prayer, I decided to once again take a leap of faith and pursue this. My thought was that if this is meant to be, it will be. Lacey and I had discussed this extensively and decided if I was offered the position, it would allow me to make sure this is right for me without closing our shop. I applied, interviewed, prayed, and was offered the position. I have taken the leap of faith and accepted the position. Because it is a part time position, I will be able to continue to design, sew, sell, etc. The shop WILL REMAIN OPEN as it always has. Lacey will be here Monday - Saturdays and I will be here Mondays, Friday afternoons, and Saturdays. Shop hours will remain the same as they always are - Monday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm and Saturday 10 - 3 pm. We have a new Block of the Month program beginning in March, we have a applique block program/quilting in sections beginning in March, we have bus trips planned for the spring and summer and a whole new page of spring/summer fabrics posted on our "Coming Soon" page of our website WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE - WE ARE STILL GOING STRONG!!!! I just want you all to know the truth about the changes at the shop and WE WILL BE STAYING OPEN AS WE ALWAYS HAVE before the rumor mill starts to churn!!
February is Women's Health/Heart month, so if you where red on Monday, February 4th, and come into the shop, you will receive 25% off your total purchase (excludes classes/bus trips and no punch cards on this sale day). We hope to see you!!
~Darci :)