Saturday, March 31, 2012

Independence Trail - The Winner of the Scraps!

It's been good to hear of every one's plans. It sounds like the scraps will get used - and that's great. I have 5 boxes packed and 2 will go to our winners and the other 3 will go to folks making charity quilts. Thank you for that - you give all of us quilters a good reputation when you do nice stuff like this!

Helen from Seattle

Sandra Henderson

Email me here, ladies and I will get your Independence Trail scraps right out to you.

No quilting for me today. Other things were a priority. It's pretty unusual for a day to go by and not one stitch gets done. I'll try to make up for that tomorrow. We're closing in on the home stretch for Spring 2012 International Quilt Market and I have nothing planned for this week except stitching and a little bit of baseball. In a few short days the boys of summer will arrive from spring training. It's that magical time of year when anything is possible. The long baseball season is a metaphor for life and passion. Here's hoping your team will live up to all your expectations.
photo from

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Box of What?

I received an email a few days ago that I was being sent a shipment from the Mother Ship (United Notions & Moda Fabrics). It said the expected delivery date and that it weighed 42lbs. What?! What did I order that amounted to 42lbs? Just 2 days before I placed an order for my yearly supply of sewing notions. Minick and Simpson have an account with United Notions and Moda Fabrics just like a regular quilt shop. We have it because we need to order fabric occasionally if we offer kits for workshops or on our website. Unlike a regular quilt shop, I don't have a lot of retail space or "merchandising" room here. "Here" is my home. Basically, my order was for some needles, some mechanical pencil refills, batting, and these.
I use these like they are going out of style. I use them for my index finger, not my thimble finger (which has an actual metal thimble on it.) When I appliqué this index finger takes some abuse from the needle and I find that these little stickers work great. Because I have been working on appliqué quite a bit the last couple of years, I go through a sticker or two a day. Sometimes laundry, or cooking, or God forbid - cleaning, gets in the way of appliqué and I need to replace one.

How many did I order to get to 42lbs? Did I mistakenly order 6 gross instead of 6 packages?? A quick check of my order calmed me down. That package only weighed about 4-5 lbs. What could this be? This turned out to be 42lbs of Independence Trail scraps. Literally, scraps. It's what is left over after they make the salesman samples swatches. In a box big enough to hold a couple toddlers is this.....
Some of these are quite generous - 8-10" x WOF. Some are only an inch or so wide. Still quite usable, especially for strippy quilts.

So, you know the drill..... comment below and an USPS Priority box crammed with scraps can be yours. Comment before midnight Saturday the 31st and tell us what quilting plans you have this spring and summer, or what you will use these scraps for, or your predictions for the 2012 World Series, or absolutely anything at all. 2 winners will get scraps and an Independence Trail pre-cut.
As for the rest of the scraps (Oh yes, there will be lots leftover), they will go to some groups who do charity quilts. I have given scraps several times to some ladies who are close by for this cause - you know who you are. Email me HERE and I'll get this box to you pronto.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life In The 21st Century

It's a strange and wonderful world we live in. Even though my art is an old craft - I use modern technology to work in it every day. The best cutting and measuring tools made, the finest needles and scissors, a wonderful sewing machine (although it is over 75 years old) and the most contemporary of communication devices.

Here are a few pictures taken on my camera/phone/wi-fi device in the last few days.
Strawberry and Asparagus salad that Bill and I ate several times this week.
A magnolia tree on Gibby's and my daily walk.

The roast chickens from last night's dinner. *
(* these juicy, delectable chickens will be the ingredients for several meals this week. What you don't see in the picture is the house filled with smoke. My roasting technique of choice is to roast in a 500 degree oven for 50 minutes. Really. In my old oven it wasn't a big deal. In my new oven - let's just say we're glad the neighbors didn't call the fire department. That is how much smoke was billowing out the windows. So-long to my favorite roasting technique. If your oven can handle it - it makes for an extremely juicy bird)
This is my wagon/coffee table/work table that moves around to where I'm working. On it you can see several works in progress. No "cleaning up for photos" here, people. This is how I live.
This is a new pattern I am working on. This, and several other patterns featuring Independence Trail will be revealed in a week or so.

While the technology wonders of the 21st century are, well, wonderful....... they can also be a pain. Let me tell you about my old email address.......

I set up an email account when I got my first computer over 12 years ago. It worked fine for quite a long time. It was set up with the Internet carrier I had at the time - AT&T. Well, it's not so great now. We haven't been AT&T customers for awhile. Not that we had a problem with them at the time - it's just that we bundled our technology accounts for a better deal - you know, cable-Internet-phone. Well, then my old computer was hacked. They, whoever they are are spewing out spam from that email account. Oh, how I wish I could stop it. The password that I set up the account with doesn't work. I have contacted AT&T several times and it seems their hands are tied. Since I am no longer a customer - they cannot help me. Corporate policy or something like that. I asked if I sign up again as a customer could they help. No. They cannot give me access to an old account. So....... on a regular basis that account sends out spam from my old account. I don't use this account anymore and have had a new email address for some time. Geesh.

If you are getting this spam, I am truly, truly sorry. All I can tell you is to block that email address from your account. You would know it if you are getting it as it has spammed several times this week. You can still reach me at the new email address and by clicking on "contact us" on our website.

I am embarrassed and sorry.

Now, back to work.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Is Going On?

Are things a bit topsy-turvy where you're at? They sure are here. If you scroll down a couple of posts you will see a picture of March 10 here in Michigan - with snow on the porch. Not unusual. We used to say that right around St. Patrick's Day we were due for a snow storm. Not this year. We did have that pesky tornado last week. It's 85 degrees here and has been in the 80's for about a week. We got out the fans yesterday. All the trees are in bloom.
Magnolia's are usually at their peak around Mother's Day or the beginning of June. Opening day at Comerica Park is 2 weeks from today. I have spent many an opening day covered in goose down. We'll see what lays in store for us then.

Salads have been the diet of choice here and on my next trip to the store I'm looking for my summer pair of flip-flops. Strange days indeed.

There was even this little item in the news today...there is a cougar loose here in town.

What else? It seems there are 4 teams from Ohio still in the NCAA Basketball tournament (I kid, I only someone from Ann Arbor can kid about the citizens of Ohio.) What does any of this have to do with quilts or rugs. Nothing, except I'm caught up on my to-do list. Weird indeed. I think I'll buy a lottery ticket. Stranger things have happened.


p.s. Seriously, Good Luck Ohio Basketballers.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Buried Treasure

We hope you are all having a lovely St. Paddy's day and finding your own pot 'o gold at the end of the rainbow.

We did, kind of....... buried underneath all sorts of sundry things was a very rainbow-like treasure. Yes, a few long forgotten kits of this were unearthed.
For those of you so inclined, we have this Mexican Flowers kit. It includes all the fabrics needed for the top and binding and the instructions. Click HERE for more info. If that isn't enough to give you spring fever, nothing will.

As for other St. Paddy's Day celebrations, let's just say those days are long past. We are 100% Irish (if we can believe everything our ancestors tell us - and let's just say they have been known to tell tales). We have a brother who has the Luck Of The Irish. He has long been the fortunate one. He had a few close calls, particularly some health issues the last couple of years, but he keeps bouncing back. He did it again 2 days ago. You might have seen the news coverage of the tornado that went through Dexter Michigan. The newer sub division has been more prominent in the news, but the other area is where our brother lives, was ravaged also. 150 year old trees were tossed about like pick-up-sticks. Most of the houses on his street had severe damage. Jeff's house lost part of a roof, a chunk of siding, some fencing, and a shed. That's it. Again, he is the lucky one. When I visited him yesterday the views were surreal. The landscape along the Huron River is completely changed. But, already the work was started and chain saws could be heard everywhere. His plans last night was to get power back on so he could watch a little bit of March Madness. Luck was shining down on everyone it seems. Despite the incredible damage, no one was hurt. That's enough of a celebration for all of us.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Independence Trail Winner

Thanks everyone for saying such nice things about Independence Trail. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has a mental lapse when it comes to laundry. I especially loved Bev's story about the Green Stamps. THAT was a funny story! But, the lucky winner was number 89 - Michelle. Michelle, email me here and this almost 3 lbs of scraps will be coming your way.
We are hard at work here getting our quilts and patterns ready for International Quilt Market in Kansas City in a few weeks. We have a few other things that we will be showing at Market. As someone mentioned in the last post - we have wool too! Yes, 100% wool, in lovely colors and textures for all your rug hooking and wool stitchery needs. Here are the samples.
Lush, rich reds, blues, and neutrals in 24 different wools. We are very excited, and Polly is particularly pumped up about it. She is hard at work designing lots of rugs to showcase these wonderful wools. They should be in your quilt and rug hooking shops this summer.


Saturday, March 10, 2012


preview |ˈprēˌvyo͞o|
nounan inspection or viewing of something before it is bought or becomes generally known and available: you can get a sneak preview of the pictures on sale.a showing of a movie, play, exhibition, etc., before its official opening.a short extract shown in a movie theater as publicity for a forthcoming film.a commentary on or appraisal of a forthcoming film, play, book, etc., based on an advanceviewing.Computing a facility for inspecting the appearance of a document before it is printed.This was dropped off on the porch yesterday.
This is our next fabric collection that will ship this summer. It's called Independence Trail.

But first..... a little about my day. I was so amped at the prospect of digging through these boxes and cutting into fabric that I became a little scatterbrained. You might have done the same thing at one time or another. I forgot to empty my pants pockets before they went through the wash. It wasn't a pocket full of change. Thankfully, it wasn't my iPhone. When Bill went down to the basement this afternoon to empty the dryer he found the carnage. He wasn't happy with me. It seems I left one of these in my pocket.

Besides some kitchen and bathroom towels, one of his shirts is ruined. Again, it could have been worse. It could have been a Cadbury Caramel Egg.

So now, on to the PREVIEW!

This is Independence Trail.....
Independence Trail is our usual Red, White, and Blue - but with some added Taupe! I think it's the perfect neutral. We hope you like it as much as we do. What else?? It has what might be our favorite polka-dot. We love polka-dots and try to use them and variations of them as much as we can. This is a polka-dot on top of polka-dots!
If you comment on this blog post before midnight Tuesday, March 13th you could get a box of freshly cut scraps of Independence Trail. I've cut out one quilt and am starting to cut out the 2nd. You can mention anything at all - or you can tell us what the stupidest thing you ever ran through the washing machine.

To answer a few questions about MLB At Bat 2012..... the one I bought has all the radio stations. ALL. You can listen to any major league game - anywhere. It also has a computer generated view of the pitch by pitch (much like a video game). They post videos after the game and lots of other stuff. You can get the t.v. coverage of every game too - but it costs more - and since it's my 2" iPhone screen, I just got the audio.

Now, back to work.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Batting Clean-Up

Patent: US4,608,697 Date 1986

Last week I had a "to-do" list that was 2 pages long. Today it is wiped clean. If I could pat myself on the back, I would. All those pesky chores are done, baby! This is all in anticipation of fabric being delivered to my front porch tomorrow. 2 boxes, weighing 75lbs (according to the tracking document) will land about noon. The morning will be spent paying bills and the afternoon will be spent, unpacking, cutting, and fondling fabric. I'll try to remember to snap a few pictures. As I told the Halton Quilt Guild last week, "UPS Fabric Delivery Day is the best day of the year". Better than Christmas and sometimes even better than opening Day.

Speaking of Opening Day, which if you follow a particular team native to my state, is HIGHLY ANTICIPATED this year. I bought myself an APP. It's MLB At Bat 2012. With it, I can watch every pitch and listen to every inning this year on my iPhone. Crystal clear reception no matter what state, hotel room, or quilting workshop I am attending.
No more will I shake my fist in frustration at the lack of radio reception. No more cursing at the hotel t.v. because the only sport on the dial is NASCAR. I'll be there every pitch of the year. Even if it kills me.

My rotary cutter is sharp and I'm ready. I'll keep you posted. There will be scraps needing a new home - no doubt.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Mystery Solved!

You can't put anything over on you folks. It was practically unanimous! The 2012 Designer Mystery Blog Hop mystery photo was of an antique Navajo Squash Blossom necklace.
It was indeed handed down to me from our Aunt Rita. She had an exquisite collection of Native American turquoise jewelry. Rita never married, but she was far from the typical spinster. She could out drink, out smoke, and out swear all of us. She was the family story teller and some of her tales were even true. Her colorful, long-lived life was supplemented at the end by selling off some of her pieces; yet there was still enough that the daughters of her siblings all got a heirloom. Aunt Rita never learned how to drive and pretty much walked everywhere she went (or bus or train for those very long trips). A life long bookkeeper, no one could stretch a dollar more. She adored Native Americans and wore her beloved jewelry everywhere she went. Most people assumed she was Native American, but she was just an Irish lass.

The winner (one of many of correct answers) was Robin - “It's a squash blossom necklace. My husband is from the area of the country where Navajos make these. My father-in-law made me some out of silver that I LOVE.”

Robin wins a Prairie Paisley II Layer Cake™ from the Fat Quarter Shop. Email us here, Robin and we'll get you that Layer Cake™

We would also like to send a Prairie Paisley II Charm Pack™ to Tracey Rampling - you can email us here also.

I'm back from a short trip from Burlington Ontario Canada. I did a little quilt Show and Tell at the Halton Quilters Guild. A good time was had by all. My uneventful border crossing was the cherry on top. I enjoyed myself immensely and the audience was gracious as I narrated my quilting adventures. Coincidentally - I speak fluent Canadian. I evened stopped for a break at the town of Ingersoll Ontario - which is the hometown of our dad.

Yep, that's the great photo I got as I drove by. Want to see the other great picture I got a little farther down the road. This one is for Bill......
What do you mean you can't see it? It's the infamous Wayne Gretzky Parkway outside of Brantford Ontario. Hey, I didn't want to slow down and mess up the great mileage I was getting. What is the Wayne Gretzky Parkway? Uh, just a road named after a hockey player. There really wasn't a lot to see on this stretch of highway unless you have a love affair with doughnuts . I defy you to drive down any road in Canada and not find one of these.
It's enough to make you crave a road trip.


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