Thursday, June 28, 2012


We are extremely happy to announce that Minick and Simpson has a new affiliation.  Aurifil Thread!  Yes, that wonderful thread we all love now has a Minick and Simpson collection!  We had a little chat with Mr. Aurifil - Alex Veronelli at Spring Quilt Market and this arrived in the mail a little while ago.

This is a package of 10 spools of 220 yard 50wt thread.  It's perfect for piecing, appliqué and quilting. We chose 10 colors that work with just about all our fabrics.  All.  Really.  Blues, reds, cream, and neutrals.  The first shipment is on it's way here from Italy and we are taking pre-orders!  The package of 10 spools is $42.00.

The thread will be introduced to vendors, distributors and quilt shops at Fall International Quilt Market, but we will have it here.  This will be the only place to get it until November.

We couldn't be more pleased.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Don't Rock The Boat

While many of you are vacationing now and spending time at the shore, on the water, or traipsing through exotic locales, I am at home.  Oh, don't feel sorry for me - there is lots of travel in the future.  Just not right now.  I'll tell you about one of the future trips.  Let me give you a few hints........ water, too much food, Gulf of Mexico, too much food, laughing so much my cheeks will hurt.  Yes - it's a cruise!

A MODA EXTRAVAGANZA cruise!  You don't want to miss all the fun.  It will be me, and some dear friends - Barb and Mary of Me And My Sister fame, and Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  There have been times, when we are together when not much quilting is being done and laughing is all we can do.  Join us, won't you?

It will be organized and run by Stitchin' Heaven Travel.  The cruise is January 27th through February 3rd 2013.  They put on quite the quilting cruise I have heard.  Barb and Mary have done this before and were instrumental in getting Carrie and I on board.  It sounds fabulous.  Read more about it HERE.  We will all be teaching one day.  You will get Barb and Mary one day - then a day off to rest your abdominal muscles from the laughing - then me for a day - then a day off in an exotic locale - then on to Carrie for a day of being taught by a master - then another day off exploring.  Oh, and I hear they feed you pretty well on these things.  There will also be some Moda goodies and Aurifil Thread, Oliso irons, and new Bernina sewing machines!  This is the quilt I will teach on my day.  School Girls Glen made with Independence Trail fabric.

Ever since this trip has been in the works..... all I have running through my head is this song.  It dates me, of course.  I bet there is disco dancing on the ship too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We Have A Winner!

The thermometer got up to 94 today.  We are going to have a couple more days of it - but then it looks like it will be blissfully cooler after that.  Just in time.  I finished the quilt and have started another one.  It will be several weeks of appliqué.  Hooray.

The winner of the English Paper Piecing book and pattern is.....


Debra - email me here and we'll get it in the mail to you!

Are you making a patriotic quilt for the 4th?  Do you have a few that you use to decorate?  Uh, we do.  We have more than a few.  Here are a few more that I found on Pinterest today.  Enjoy.

This was auctioned at Pook & Pook Auction House last month.  

This was in McCall's Quilting a couple years ago.  It was made in 1942 in Arkansas.

This is a Gee's Bend quilt.  Unmistakably, the American flag in brown, green, red, white, and blue corduroy.

Keep Cool and Make Quilts and Rugs.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

June Update

Things are going quite well.  I'm feeling better, although not completely done with the pneumonia yet.  Polly and I have been working like mad on projects for an upcoming deadline.  So, you know what that means..... no photos yet.  Well, we do have one photo.

This is Gibby, keeping me company on the sofa while I quilt.  I've been quilting a queen size quilt for the last few weeks and it CANNOT end soon enough.  It's a bit warm.  I'm hoping to finish quilting today and binding tomorrow.   All the while, quilting on this large quilt, I am thinking about small, portable, cool projects.  Hand piecing, hand applique, English Paper piecing.........  Which brings me to this.

We found these beauties as International Quilt Market last month.  New English Paper Piecing by Sue Daley and the templates needed to make this purse - Shannon's Bag - which is featured in the book.  Just comment on this post before Tuesday, June 19th at midnight and you could be the winner of these great prizes.  Comment about summer heat, portable projects, keeping cool, or about anything at all.

Here's another thing..... we just found out about this new Mystery Block Of The Month which uses our fabric collection - Clermont Farms.  It looks intriguing!

Oh, and the deadline for projects Polly and I are working towards - it's very exciting.  There is lots to tell..... when we can tell.  They will be trips, publications, exotic travel, more fabric and patterns, exotic travel......... Well, you get the idea.  I'll start posting about those in the next few weeks.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Morning At The Market

A beautiful, cool sunny morning at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market.  Lots of flowers to choose from.  IF you are a gardener.

The vegetables and fruits are really starting to pile up.

It's probably the last week for local strawberries.  These were gorgeous.  The weird spring wasn't kind with our local fruits.

More plants and flowers.

It's going to lots of salads for dinner the next

 couple of months.

As a matter of fact - this is what I'm making tonight.  Grilled peach and fresh mozzarella salad.  I hope it turns out a lovely as this picture from Farmhouse Table.  I'll report on the recipe soon.  



Friday, June 8, 2012

Every Quilt Has A Story

One of the better stories from this past International Quilt Market last month came from a little chat I had with Barbara Brackman.  Barbara had the bad luck of being behind us in the Moda Designer School House.  The deal was that after you showed your Moda Candy project, you got to introduce the next Moda Designer.  Barbara was a good sport as I poked a little fun at her legacy of being the Moda Quilt Historian, and her bad luck of following us.  She is of course, quite the historian.  She proved it when she told me a story about a quilt that Leigh Ann and I made - a story I was totally unaware of.

The Ellen's Sewing Basket quilt is a reproduction of this antique quilt made in the first half of the 19th century in Kentucky by Ellen Morton Littlejohn.  It is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It's not an exact copy, as you can see, but it definitely captured the mood.  What this antique has besides great color, symmetry, and design is exceptional needlework.  There is some stunning trapunto work in the corner blocks.  This, and other Kentucky quilts of this era seem to have this same type of trapunto.
Details like this - the trapunto, the time frame, the geographic area are all clues to quilt historians.  Now comes the good part.  A century or more later these clues again will intrigue Barbara and fellow quilt historian Merikay Waldvogel.  

In 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair there was a quilt competition.  It was the granddaddy of quilt compositions.  Sears, one of the sponsors of the World's Fair, and a great retailer of quilt fabric, called all the nations quilters to enter.  Over 24000 of them did.  It was the depression after all, and the prize money was stunning.  $1200.00 was the first prize and at the time $1200.00 could buy a lot. There were many beautiful quilts made, most in the Art Deco style of the time, but one was kind of a throw back.  The grand prize winner was an eight pointed star repeated against a green background with trapunto in the corner squares.

"It was the handsomest piece of needlework imaginable.  Swathed in cellophane, it hung suspended full length in the display room of Sears and Roebuck's exposition along with dozens of other gorgeous specimens, and on it proudly fluttered the prize ribbon....It was really the remarkable padded quilting which made this quilt so exquisite."  Louise Fowler Roote - quilt columnist for Capper's Weekly

You might never guess the relationship of this quilt to the one made by Ellen Morton Littlejohn, until you discovered a few more facts.  Eight pointed star; trapunto, Kentucky made.  There was that Kentucky thing again. It seems if you wanted to make a special quilt and you were from Kentucky - eight pointed stars and trapunto was the way to do it.  What other facts connect the quilts?  Barbara and Merikay aren't sure, but it is interesting, isn't it?

Oh, and do you want to hear the scandal about it? No big quilt get-together happens without a scandal.  You all know what I'm talking about......

The rules for the competition were pretty basic.   Each contestant could enter only one quilt.  Quilts had to be bed size and the work of the entrant.  They could be of original or traditional patterns.  Also, there were no rules against entering a quilt purchased as a kit.   What was the scandal?  Basically, this prize winning quilt entered by Margaret Rogers Caden of Lexington Kentucky - was found to NOT be made by her.  No, Ms. Caden of Lexington Kentucky owned a renowned gift shop that specialized in custom linens and hand made quilts.  Her staff  made this quilt.  **Price Is Right Loser Horns**   You probably know the rest of the story, none of the employees who actually made the quilt shared in the prize money or got credit.  As you might expect - the ladies who did this work for the shop during the depression depended on this employment to feed their families.  So sometimes, in quilts - and in other endeavors  - Life Is Not Fair.  Thankfully, we know the story today.  We know it because of the great work of quilt historians like Barbara Brackman and Merikay Waldvogel.  You can read much more about this and other winning quilts of the 1933 World's Fair in their book - Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Worlds Fair.

Thanks for the good story, Barbara!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hexagon Mania

Thank you for all your nice notes about the hexagon bag in the current issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.  I'm a fan of English Paper piecing.  I'm a bit of an Anglophile in a lot of things - especially on the weekend of the Diamond Jubilee.  But, I digress.....

Remember last year when we saw these pictures?

This hexagon measure 1/4" on each side.                        

Linda, from Gum Valley Patchwork in Simpson Australia made this prize winner.  She sent us these pictures because she made it with our Wiscasset fabric collection.  Impressed??  Wait....

Linda is making another hexagon quilt.  With the same teeny hexagons using Prairie Paisley II fabric.  Linda was in Kansas City at International Quilt Market and stopped by to say HI!  She had her new project with her and she showed it to us and some other Moda folks.  Let's just say it stopped traffic.  It might have been the show stopper at Quilt Market.  Linda, it was lovely to meet you in person after exchanging emails this past year.  And thanks for letting me borrow these pictures from your blog.  We cannot wait to see the second quilt when it is finished.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Need a Travel Project?

Do you have trips and vacations planned for the next couple of months?  Boy, do we.  It's always nice to have a small project to work on in either the car, airport, or hotel room.  How about a hexagon bag!  This bag is featured in the current American Patchwork & Quilting magazine - the August 2012 issue.  And when you are done - it's a great travel bag to carry all your hexagons and English paper piecing work.  Ironic, isn't it?

Have a great weekend you guys.  Make sure to see the quilt made by our friend Glenn in the same issue - he used Prairie Paisley II fabric.  Thanks Glenn.

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting®.  ©2012 Meredith
Corporation. All rights reserved.”

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