Friday, May 24

Greetings once again!
 
As I sit here this evening and type I am watching many campers go by my window.  With this weekend being Memorial weekend it seems like this is the "official" kick-off of summer, which doesn't seem possible!  We hope all you travelers have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
 
Last weekend our family took our annual trip to Target field to watch our beloved Twins play the Boston Red Sox.   We were fortunate to get tickets from a good friend of ours who happens to have his season tickets about 10 rows off the field!!

We were treated to watching the player come and warm up before the game started right in front of us.  AND for the sports nuts in our family, they were also treated to getting to see three of the Minnesota Wild (hockey team) players hit some softballs before the games' start. 
 
The four of us traveled around the field before the start of the game and took in the chance to maybe catch some home run balls from batting practice.  (And for the record-we were close to 3...next time we shall be successful!!)

 
We were thrilled to be sitting about 10 rows off of the field and happened to be right in front of the area where the home team came out to do some warm ups before the game started.  For those of you who don't follow, this still won't mean much, but the above player is Justin Morneau...our great first baseman.
As I mentioned, the players were super close to where we sat...and of course seen the sea of kids lined up with baseballs, and markers and of course had to make a trip over to say hello and sign some autographs. 

One of us "big girls" was thinking she wished she was that small to feel justified in anxiously running down to join that group of kids in hopes of getting a close up picture of Mr. Josh Willingham.  But no such luck, she just admired being that close from her seat. . .maybe next time  :D


Ho Ho Ho...here come the holidays

It's May--who is ready for Santa to come??!!

We have had some good laughs with many of you the past few weeks that have saw our stack of holiday in the works projects.

Yes.  If we are being totally honest it has been harder than usual given that we just rid our snow a month ago...but now that we are working with this bright, cheery, beautiful stuff we have to admit that we are having a ball.
 
Aspen Frost
by BasicGrey of Moda

For those of you who know Lacey, you'll know this is some of her most favorite fabric for the year...just because it's cheery and fun!
 (That and the fact she may have a slight obsession with BasicGrey fabric...but those of you who know her already knew that!!!)

This is our "color pop" more trendy holiday stuff this year as it does feature a more bright color red and some fun greens and the pre-cuts have that fun aqua coloring as well. . . 



Lacey of course dived into the Aspen Frost project that we chose to create using a layer cake.  As you can see, we are just showing you a quick peek at what is in progress, and can tell you that if you are thinking these look like Christmas balls you are correct.

The quilt will be a nice lap size quilt, and she has thought it has not only been a fun one to work on, but has been surprised at how simple the assembly has been!

Look for the finished project real soon!!

On a more traditional colored grouping that we don't think says "Christmas" at all is some stuff by Buggy Barn.  This little assortment has gotten really good feedback from those of you who have saw it in person.  The tones of gold and red are wonderful.

We are eager to find the perfect project to showcase the prints above off...if only we just had more time!!
Beings the shot of the group above wasn't a real success, this is the top print that has a bad glare on it.  We love the music notes that are printed on here.  So cute.  It seems as if music driven fabrics are a bit of a "thing" as not only are they featured above, but also in a couple other holiday prints we have as well!!

Hopping off of our sleigh and back into spring. . .

Paginni
by: Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

We have done this pattern a couple times and love the scallop edge...however we decided to change things up and go with the straight sides this time instead and love how it framed everything off.  This is a great charm pack pattern by Carrie Nelson that we chose to do up out of BoHo by Urban Chicks.

This is a great table topper or would make a funky wall quilt.  It would also be a fun retro baby quilt as well...

Grandma's Chocolate Squares

This is a super quick project to put together using up those fun candy packs.  We chose to use Double Chocolate by 3 sisters for our project and are absolutely in love with the colors of this.
It is a great sized project for a table...or would make a really pretty wall quilt.



With this being Memorial Day Weekend we wish you all a safe and happy weekend with family and friends.  We hope that you all take a moment to stop this weekend and remember all of those who have so bravely fought to protect our freedoms. 
We really truly do have a lot to be thankful for!


~Until Next Time~


Monday, May 13

Warming Up

It was just a couple weeks ago that we were all complaining that looking out our windows this was what we saw. . .


. . .and today we are thinking it feels more tropical paradise with a warm 80 degrees. 

We both have laughed numerous times throughout the day about how we had to grab warm coats & blankets to finish out the night at the races last Friday. . .and how we seriously need to whip out the pedicure set and dazzle our toes for the warm weather tomorrow. 

That got us thinking. . .
Who is ready for Christmas??

(I don't hear crickets, do I?)

Haha- in all seriousness neither of us are ready for the snow and cold to come back any time soon, but Christmas really is starting arrive here in the shop.

So in light of our laughs today, Lacey opened up a pack and started to sew.  The preview you saw above shows a sneak peak into the new "In from the Cold" line by Kate Spain.
Aside from Kate Spain's charms we also had the arrivals of:

Wintergreen by 3 sisters
This stuff is some of the most beautiful holiday fabric we've had. 
It definitely can be done where it can be left up year 'round, as there are only a handful that say "we are exclusively holiday prints".  The coloring is fabulous...a certain one to check out!

Icicle Kisses by Kansas Troubles
This stuff, too, doesn't really say "Christmas" It really is a great pack that you can work with any time of the year.  Lynn did a wonderful job with some fresh new designs and signature KT coloring.

Posh Pumpkins by Sandy Gervais
This is fun Sandy Gervais fabric perfect for fall with it's fun color scheme.
It has been a popular one by those who have checked it out here in the shop, and we are anxious to start to dabble with a new design using it.

The Boo Crew by Sweetwater
These little candy packs are just plain fun.  The colors are fun, the designs are fun. 
Cute Halloween fabric that isn't over the top can be hard to find but I think these gals did well!
 

We  also had an exciting arrival with our 2013 Quilt Minnesota fabrics.  We are excited to see the fabrics in person and think this fresh new color palate will be fun to work with this year.

The fabrics can, as always, be pre-ordered but can't leave our shop until August 2nd, when the hop begins. 

If you are in our neck of the woods and are anxious to see it and touch it in person we encourage you to stop in and check it out.

We have ideas spinning out on what we'll do so make sure you keep checking back to see progress and our finished results as the date draws near.


The second segment of our MarcusFabrics package
 
 
Our box sent out to Portland last week and we now sit with our fingers crossed that it arrives to them safe and sound and without incident.  We thank you all for your amazing feedback.  You are all true gems in our book and we thank you for your support and words of encouragement.  

Crazy Fan Filtration's

This pattern works well for charms, and was how we initially set up the pattern.  But the above sample uses the 25th Anniversary fabric by Judie Rothermel. 

Crazy Fan Filtration's

This is the same pattern as you saw above, only we used the
Hand-Dyed Sueded Flannels and kept the borders straight.

Both of these samples feature crazy quilted (by machine) fan blades, and the secret to helping even blades to use coffee filters.

Pumpkin Pie

This was the largest of the samples that was sent off, and probably the one that everyone who came in loved the most.  It too is done entirely of the Hand-dyed Sueded Flannels and is perfect for fall.


Well. . .we are off to finish up some works in progress and hope to have more show and tell at the end of the week.

~Until Next Time~


"Allow yourself to be a beginner. 
No one starts off being excellent."



Monday, May 6

Our fun with new flannels

 May Day! May Day!
 
We bring you this post to show you some hot off the press projects that we have been stitching up a storm to get done.
 
Some of you who have come into the shop have heard about our new little adventure into designing with this new wonderful hand-dyed flannel grouping that Marcus is introducing to the market.
 
For those of you, who like Lacey, are unable to always work with wool due to either dyes used in the dying process, or just the wool fibers themselves, this new hand-dyed flannel is perfect for you. It will allow you to duplicate the wool look without having to work with wool.
 
This stuff really stitches up nice, and truly looks like wool.
We are honored to have the opportunity to stitch up some samples for Marcus Brothers, which we will be sending off to them for quilt market in Portland, Oregon next weekend. (Those of you who have chatted in person with us know we are truly excited and very greatful to have this chance to do something like this!!)
 
But before we ship them off we thought we would give you a quick preview.  So below is preview number one.  We have another grouping being finished as we speak and will show them at the end of the week!!
 
 
Faith

In case you didn't know...we love to crazy quilt in the shop!
It's been so fun to take a simple, solid piece of fabric and shape it into you own little masterpiece by coloring with thread.  And of course we are spoiled in using the lovely Valdani thread while we stitch to get some great coloration.

This little project fits perfect on a 6" Ackfield table stand, but also has the potential to become part of a crazy quilt.  I'm not sure which direction the wind will take this, but for now it will stand alone.

Sunny Delight

This candle mat shows off some of the lovely textures in the flannels.  It was absolutley perfect for these fun summer/fall sunflowers.

Table Blessings

Those of you who frequent the shop have seen the pattern done in a few different color ways. . .and you will also notice that we did some changing on the shape of our original pattern.

This was the table prayer that we grew up with at home, and extended it over to adorn our table at home.  The fabrics shown above are a few pieces out of the collection by Judie Rothermel called Scarlet Evening.

If you like the idea/concept of this, make sure you check back at the end of the week as Lacey finishes up the catholic table prayer and uses the original, square shape for the sample out of the new Pam Buda collection.
 

Mary Go-Round

I wanted to do a different take on my original "Victorian Star" pattern using this great new flannel.  I wanted to show off the good coloration in the solid pieces.  (Isn't that green great?!)

This design idea came out of an evening spent at the St. Mary Catholic Church in Willmar, Minnesota one evening.  I really do assure you I enjoy attending a service over there as the message is usually inspiring and the man who plays piano is simply amazing!  But I did happen to notice the unique ceiling forms and kept thinking that they would make a great wool mat.

Above is my take on that celing tile...only mine is out of pretty colored flannel...and theirs out of grey concrete.  If you ever go to a mass over there you'll have to now check out the ceiling tiles and see what you think (haha)

Circle 5

This is a new take on a sample that I did not too long ago.
Truthfully I think this version out of the flannel is much more appealing than my original out of wool.  The big bonus in this is that the cost of working with this flannel is much less than the cost of working with the hand-dyed wools.  Therefore this kit will be a fraction of what it's current cost is! 

Although this size above doesn't look very big this projet would be a great one to set on a square table, joined together to form a circle around a circle table, or simply used a garland over a door way or mantle piece.  It's very adjustable as it's joined together by buttons.

Diamond Charm

Well. . .not everything that we've been working on revolves around Marcus Fabrics and the hand dyed flannels.

Lacey accomplished a pattern that usually gives her fits in our original creation of Diamon Charm.  She chose to use a PB & J charm pack and some coordinates for this fun table topper.
 
Whirlpool

We have had this done for a while, and many of you who have come in the shop have seen it, but we decided it would be fun to share it on here.

The above quilt will be in our Southwest Sector cookbook which will be on sale during the Quilt Minnesota event in August.

The quilt above uses up the bundle of our (12) Tidepool Batik fat quarters by moda fabrics that you will recive for FREE after visiting all 10 participatin Southwest Section shops during the hop from August 2 - 18.

We also have a bus trip planned to visit all ten shops that will board and depart from St. Cloud, Willmar & from the shop here in Clara City.  For more information on that bus trip with dates/prices please visit the Quilt Minnesota website (www.quiltminnesota.com) or our shop website (www.shadesofpast.com) for more details.  OR you can always give us a call (320-847-4040) or email (shadesofpastquilting@yahoo.com) to obtain more details.


~More later~

P.S.  More later may mean pictures of the new holiday pre-cuts that shipped out to us last week.  We've had SUCH a heat wave this "spring" that we are quite sure everyone is ready to cool down and work with snowflakes, and mittens....right?!?!