Thursday, March 28

Thinking Spring

"Breath in inspiration and trust yourself
that the answer is yes you can!"

I saw that this morning on Pinterest and thought it was a fun thing to share with you all.  The whole month of March has been filled with boxes of inspiration that has shipped into the building.  We have had a lot of fun "oooing" and "aaahing" over the assortments and have spent a lot of time dreaming of projects to sew with them.

Much like you, we find that there is never enough time in the day to get near the stuff accomplished as we hope to.  I am afraid that even if we could add a few extra hours in it would never be enough!! 

But the second part to that little quote states to "trust yourself that the answer is yes you can"  We both have found a lot of joy in plowing down a different path with some pre-cuts and have been quite happy with how things turn out.  Every once in a while it's good to seek out inspiration in fabrics, food, or whatever your heart desires and trust yourself that things will work out just fine.  Sometimes that spark of inspiration creates a wonderful little masterpiece.

So below is some new "inspiration" that has arrived in the shop this week.  We are, like always, anxious to start sewing on something with the new stuff, but one sample at a time!

Glamping by MaryJane for Moda

Bit of a story behind this fabric collection.  The group that was in the shop on Monday got in our little story.  When this was ordered, one of us thought that it was a bit too far out for the shop and the other had visions of having lots of fun with the campers and funky prints.  Can you guess which persons were which??

Needless to say when the box was opened and the fabrics put in the goat cart. . .she who was thinking the other had fallen off her rocker had to agree that it was quite cute, and was more excited to sew with some than she wanted to admit.

This stuff is just plain 'ol fun.  We love the crazy camper print with the funny words and we love the colors and print that came for coordinates.  There are lots of possibilities with this little grouping and it will be fun to see where the sewing machine and designing ideas take us.

Mostly, we hear that people are just ready for spring and ready to take their campers out to use.  Although we don't go camping as a family we can agree that we are ready for spring.   And for those of you wondering about the "MaryJane" part of things you would be correct with your thinking about the MaryJane Farm Magazine.  She is the same lady :)

Dyed Flannels by Marcus Bros.

This stuff has caused quite a stir in the a good way!  We as well as everyone who has seen these fat quarters has been in true love with them.

No picture can do justice to these, they truly are something that can only be fully appreciated in person as they are quite soft to the touch and the coloring is amazing.

These fat quarters are flannel, yes, but look exactly like the pieces of hand dyed wools that we use all the time in our shop.  Both of us gals were totally amazed when the rep showed them to us and are incredibly excited to see the vast potential of these played out in the shop.

They would be amazing to use for wool projects as well as give you some stunning pieced projects as well.  Hopefully soon, (very soon) we can pull some out to play with ourselves!

Above is the box of solids...which of course have the hand-dyed color variations in them.

These are the textured pieces.  They too have wonderful coloring and look exactly like pieces of wool. 

The fat quarters sell for $3.50 a piece.

The rest of our new inspiration as far as samples go are currently sitting at the Busy Binder's house.  She had a nice little stack to bind away on this you'll have to pop back on here next week to see the finished show and tell!! 

We wish you all a very blessed Easter and hope that you all have safe travels to and from any get-together this weekend.

~Until Next Time~

Tuesday, March 19


Another Monday come and gone and another one that was spent at home.  This is some sort of record for us here at the shop.  Old man winter definitely has not held much favor for our Monday group gatherings, and we hope that someday soon we'll see you all again!!
We made the most of our snow day by working on some new projects. . .of which were a bit more labor intensive than expected.  Ever have those projects??  Hopefully it won't take another snowstorm to get them completed to show and share!!
Last night a friend of ours, who is sick of winter, sent this little guy to us.  We got a good chuckle from it and hope you do as well. . .

So much for thinking March was coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb....we are trying to be optimistic, but are leaning towards a lion both coming in, and going out!!

The lucky Irish lady in our family celebrated a milestone birthday on Sunday!!  One of the early risers got up and painted green shamrocks randomly along our driveway.  So before the fresh snow fell to cover the birthday art up we spent our day driving up and down Shamrock Lane.

We hope she had a wonderful day, as she truly is a wonderful lady and we wish her many, many more birthday celebrations to come!!

Our Busy Binder traded in her binding needles for an embroidery one and brought in a newly stitched sample.  Isn't this little guy too darn cute?  Hard to imagine that eventually the season of fall will be here, and probably sooner than we think, or care to think.
This pattern is a new one by one of our favorite's- Bird Brain.
I know March Madness is surrounded by basketball, for the most part, but here in the shop we are thinking more along the lines of baseball.  After all in just a couple of weeks the regular season will start here. . .hard to believe with all the cold & snow! Brrr...

But this quilt is a great one for any person in your life that likes, plays or enjoys the game of baseball.  The pattern we used is the ever popular "Yellow Brick Road" pattern by Terri Atkinson.

This pattern is a great one as it utilizes so much of the fabric cuts, shows off the prints well, is non-directional and is not only fast to cut out, but fast to assemble as well.  The quilt shown above is just a tad larger than her lap size given and measures in at around 60" x 75". . .perfect for a nice throw or for a single bed.

Saturday, March 16

Weekend Winning

Thank Goodness It's The Weekend!!!

A couple of our family members, a man and his dog, had an interesting start to their Friday morning.  The house did as well as it was quite evident that something or somebody had made the skunk angry and good golly did it smell.

If you follow the blog you'll know that Lacey had a great experience with the very same dog and skunk last July one evening!!  She was a sport and went to the house and hunted for stuff to wash the dog so she could sleep inside.  Fortunately this time Lacey didn't have to deal it. . .the job was passed on to a new lucky winner. . .who won quite a prize.

That prize was that he thought his dog was spared from the lovely fragrance that skunks are known for. . .and that he put her in the truck while he went to eliminate the problem.  (You know where this is going don't you?!)  Yes, well upon hunting the stinker down and getting rid of it he opened up the door of his truck and was hit with the stench of skunk.  Yep-same dog got skunked again. . .obviously the memory had left her curious little head.

They road into town with the windows down until she could get a bath and be welcomed home once again tonight.  Just when you think you had a poor start to the morning, you always seem to learn that it could have been much worse!! haha

At any rate, we are hoping that old mister skunk is onto the fact that spring has sprung and winter is done.  We can only hope, right?

We sill are having winter and decided to work a little with the Snowman Gatherings candy packs.  (These are the kind of snowman we like to build with on days like today!!)  This little project used up two little candy packs and was very quickly and simply quilted on the machine.  This was a great project to work on for an afternoon as it goes quite quickly and was fun and easy to put together.
Days of Togetherness

We have had this lovely little panel in the shop for a while and were waiting for the perfect event and fabrics to speak to us. 

We finally found a winning combination!!  The panel features an inner border, composed of one candy pack (Kansas Troubles new Pheasant Hill) and a bit of coordinating yardage.

If you have weddings to attend this spring, summer, fall or winter or maybe an anniversary celebration, this is a very quick and fun project to piece together!!

Panels are $8.00, the candy pack is $4.00 and the coordinating yardage needed is about 3/4 yard for borders & binding. 

Oink a Doodle Moo by Jenn Ski

This was such a fun fabric shipment to open up the other day.  What perfect pieces to create a fun quilt for a special little kid.  (We think that it would make an adorable boys quilt!!)

Lots of colors in both the large farm/animal scene as well as the tractors print give you all sorts of options for adding in colors to play with.  We also think the large farm scene would be a perfect backing. . .and would make the quilt reversible!!

Our wheels are spinning and we can't wait to dig in to a little quilt using them

Well the winds of March blew in more pre-cuts. 
We really have gotten in quite a collection of new cuts, so if you are pre-cut lover we encourage you to stop in and check out the various array of new arrivals.

The latest to our collection include. . .

Lario charm packs & candy packs
(sweet new 3 sisters grouping)

boho by Urban Chicks charms
(fun and funky retro/mod grouping)

Paint Box Batiks charms & mini-jelly rolls by Laundry Basket
(beautiful grouping of wonderful batik prints)
And of course. . .the weekend wouldn't be complete without a little giveaway either.

This is the last giveaway of candy packs before we announce our fun little challenge that we will have in the shop.  Details will be posted next week. 

Winners will be announced on Monday afternoon.
To be eligible, simply answer the following question

"If you could be a candy bar. . .what kind would you be?"

Good Luck :)

Tuesday, March 12

Hints of Spring

What a weekend!! 
We are happy to report that the flood that we had in front of our shop is taken care of (for now!!) and we actually do have a nice clean parking pad to show for it!  Anybody who drove by over the weekend would truly be amazed :)

Both of us gals have been busy creating...with more spring colors than the darker earth tones.  To say that we are ready for a weather change is quite an understatement.  I think we are both anxious to whip out those flip flops!  And now that basketball is over, one of us is counting the day until her summer evening events start. . .yes, spring must be near.
But until we have our quilting projects done to show, we'll share some new wool projects. . .


Darci's newest wool creation features some crazy quilted Easter eggs and a rabbit.  Perfect for spring and for Easter.  We have really had a lot of fun working on various crazy quilted projects in the shop. . .that is truly a perfect way to use up some of the smaller wool pieces that none of us can part with!

This mat fits quite nicely on the 'Penny Around' mat that was started last year, or can stand alone as shown quite just fine as well.


This is one of the monthly mats that Stacey at Buttermilk Basin designed.  It features some cute little chicks and sweet tulips.  This one stitches up quite quickly, and is perfect for spring!

Enchanted Pond Batiks

We have to admit that when we saw this order had shipped, we wondered what it was we ordered, and if we would still like it. . .

Needless to say, upon opening up the box we were both pleasantly surprised by what we found.  We just love the coloring that the bolts shown have.  The picture really doesn't do the yardage justice.  We are both eager to work a quilt with the stack and incorporate the lovely charms as well.  The sweet color tones and fun prints in the fabrics will be a treat to sew with!

We are still trying to put some final touches on a March Madness sale so stay posted for details.  Hopefully we'll have them all set around Friday. . .

~Until Next Time~

"Around here we don't look backwards very for very long. . .
we keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things because we are curious. . .and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."  ~Walt Disney 

Friday, March 8

Winter Winning

Comment to Win

Beings we are yet again facing some "fun" winter weather this weekend we have decided to give you a chance to win a little bit of sunshine.

Avalon by Fig Tree & Co. just arrived in the shop today!

So leave us a comment to be eligible to win a cute little candy pack of these fun refreshing fabrics!!

Winner will be announced Monday.

Want to double your chances?? 
Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there as well!!!

Comments for the giveaway is now closed.  Thank you all for leaving such nice comments!

 All names, along with those on our Facebook page were entered into a random winning generator and Marie W. was our lucky winner!
(Marie please send us your info (
 and we'll send your candy off ot you!!!!

Wednesday, March 6

The march of the new stuff


Seems like this month we are going to get the coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb!!  Which considering Easter is at the end of the month is sort of fitting.  

In-between snowstorms we decided to freshen up the shop to reflect the season we are anxiously awaiting. . .spring.

We love most everything about spring.  Seeing color come back into the landscape, seeing the snow melt and turn the hard ground to muck, seeing farm equipment scattered in the field and smell of dirt as it is turned over, the smell of fresh falling rain, and seeing some of our feathered friends return.  Ah yes-we've got you thinking happy thoughts now, don't we?

So welcome to a fresh greeting at Shades of the Past.

You'll be greeted by two of our most popular samples,
"The Prayer Shall" and "Peace Prayer of St. Francis"
both of which are created using the lovely Audra's Iris Garden fabrics.
The peace prayer quilt is a nice wall hanging quilt that uses one of those cute little candy packs that are new by moda.  It also requires the peace prayer panel, and bit of coordinating yardage for the borders and binding.  It is a very quick quilt to sew together and is a perfect companion to the Prayer Shall quilt.
Something else that spring brings is butterflies, dragonflies and herons.  This is the first quilt we've created using the new Enchanted Pond fabric by Holly Taylor.

Although we enjoy the quilt as it is, we are hoping to do a scallop edge on it. . .giving it a different effect for a wall quilt in the shop.

This too, is a quick project to sew together and showcases the beautiful panel squares and coordinating yardage perfectly.

For the longest time neither of us gals could figure out why this pattern was so popular...then we sewed one together.  Wow.  It is a very quick quilt to whip up as it's all strip pieced and showcases a nice focal print very well.  Although Lacey was tempted to "go big" and do a bed quilt, we held the reins back and went with a lap quilt, that would look perfect over a couch.

When our fabric rep braved the winter storm a Monday or so ago he showed us this fabric line by P&B Textiles called Silvia's Garden.  Lacey loved it immediately and was beyond thrilled when it arrived at the end of the week.  It is probably one of the fastest samples she's put together, out of pure excitement over the fabrics and one of the quickest that Darci has quilted and our Busy Binder bound. Needless to say it's currently one of our new fav's!!

With the left over focal fabric Lacey decided to dig out an old pattern from Darci's archives and revamp it.  We still have not decided upon a the original doesn't cut the mustard!

This is a very quick table runner that is also perfect for showing off a fun focal center piece.  We stuck to very simple quilting to make the project stay quick and easy from start to finish.  It will be a perfect coordinate to go with the Arcadia quilt when it makes its journey home!!
We often times find that it is very hard to find fabrics that are geared towards men.  Who knew men aren't excited about having flowers all over their lap??

If you know a man (or woman) that enjoys duck hunting we have a few pieces that we think will work perfect for them.  They got our stamp of approval in "real" appearances and are sure that the men we know would approve of them as well.

We also have baseball fabric. . .the great American pastthyme.
We are anxious to step into the batter's box and take a swing at a quilt using this fun fabric.

Also in this week was the fun arrival of. . .PB & J
by BasicGrey of moda.  If you are hungry we suggest taking a bite out of these great new pieces.  We are ready to whip up something with these fun charms and cannot wait for the yardage to ship.

We invite you to slide on in before the next snowy event this weekend and pick up a fresh and fun new project to work on while it snows!!  Also make sure you check back next week as we will post some details on a little giveaway!!

~Until next time~

"Use what talents you possess.  The woods would be very silent if no birds sang, except for those that sing best."
Henry VanDyke

Monday, March 4

Quilting up a Storm

It's been a couple of weeks again since I've found a brief moment to sit down and share happenings with you all.  We have been busy adjusting to the new changes that have happened here in the shop and think that each week, things continue to get a bit smoother.
We've had a lot of progress made as far as new samples go and as this is being written the quilting machine is busy singing!!  Not only will our Busy Binder be excited to have a job again, but we are as well to share a stack of finished quilt tops with you all!!

Last week we went to Cottonwood to watch the boys play their last regular season basketball game of the season.  This game happened to coincide with an annual benefit that was being held at the school in honor of those who tragically died in a bus/car accident a few years ago. 

On hand that evening was Crunch, the Minnesota Timberwolves mascot.  He was absolutely amazing.  This was one of the many super dunks that he preformed that evening.  It was easily one of the funnest games that we have attended all season!!  We even have to say kudos to the refs of the game as they were great sports about playing along with the fun shenanigans that Crunch pulled on them :)

We have had some good laughs here in the shop the past month as it seems that every Monday it is either snowy or foggy.  Enough so that one of our group of gals who are at the final stage of the project they are working have not met for over a month...needless to say we are all getting anxious for spring!!

But, beings we live in Minnesota and it's March and snow is still possible we will not only embrace the snow but celebrate with a new fabric arrival...Snowman Gatherings. 

We have been anxiously awaiting the arrivals of this fabric as we are hoping to get a new Wool/Cotton Block of the Month quilt started before the fabrics actually arrive sometime in April.

Story Strips

When our brave fabric rep drove out to us a couple weeks ago during the last snow storm this was one of the interesting things he showed us.  We are eager to create a story (pattern) with these new strips.  Each box contains 20 strips of coordinating batik fabrics...there is even a little pattern included in each box. 

Of course with the snow we needed a little "sunshine" to brighten our day.  Two things to take note of in the picture. . .

First is the bag. 
Lacey is in love with this bag pattern, not only because of it's cute little shape, ruffle & flower, but because it is really quick to assemble.  We chose to revamp our shop sample using Ticklish by Me & My Sister for our fabrics.

Second is the fabric.
We are excited to have some new batik charms to play with!  This new collection is called Island Sun Batiks and is a perfect punch of summer on a chilly winter day :)
Also, keeping in the mind set of spring is the new Holly Taylor fabrics.  This beautiful new collection is called Enchanted Pond.  We have been busy working with this beautiful collection, particularly the lovely panel squares.

As I mentioned before, our quilting machine is singing.  Hopefully by the end of the week you will be able to see our stack of quilts which include a finish lap quilt out of the Noteworthy fabrics, a brand new gorgeous Arcadia quilt and coordinating table runner, plus a quilt & scallop wall hanging from the Enchanted Pond collection and Prayer of St. Francis wall hanging.

~Until next time~