Sunday, December 29, 2013


It was one of the things bothering me in the kitchen.  Our kitchen linens were old, overused, and had seen a better day.  Most of them were 19 years old (wedding gifts).  It was time to get some new ones.  The last few days after Christmas have found me taking care of that little detail.

The dish towels (pre-stamped from Moda Home) were easily embroidered.

The hot pads were made with this tutorial from The Purl Bee.  I ordered the thermal batting and had everything else on hand.  They made up quite quickly.

Something new for the New Year.


P.S.  I've been cutting some kits for an upcoming quilt featured in the next issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.  I also had enough fabric to cut a few more kits of the Nantucket quilt, the Holiday quilt, and the Nightingale quilt.  Also - a couple of bundles of Midwinter Red fabrics.  These are very limited. Once they are gone - they're gone.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones!  We hope all your trees are trimmed and your stockings are ready to be filled.

May Santa, or Kris Kringle, or Father Christmas, or Papa Noel find your house easily.

We hope your roast turkeys, turduckens, or plum puddings are perfectly cooked and your family is well fed.

After all the Jingle Bells quiet down and the shredded wrapping paper is neatly recycled - may you all relax with your family - and may your stitches be neat and your loops be even.

Merry Christmas Polly and Laurie

p.s. Thanks Polly for sending this picture today.  We couldn't get the Ravens game on here - but this is Polly's 2 oldest sons Jeff and John and Jeff's son Michael at the game this weekend.  We won't talk about the score…...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Joy of Giving

This is Mark Dunn, the president of United Notions and Moda Fabrics with the quilt we designed for  Semper Fi.  We were honored to do our part and so proud when Mr. Dunn backed us 100% in this endeavor.  Thank you Mr. Dunn for everything you do.

You can read more about Mark Dunn here, over at the Cutting Table Blog…….

Happy Holidays to everyone at Moda Fabrics!  We love working for the best darned fabric company in the business.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Last Minute

It was a quiet, snowy weekend.  Errands were all accomplished by Friday evening and then I hunkered in for the snowy weather.  All is well here and I hope all is well with you.  I did finish one project last week.  The Hawaiian quilt is done (how's that for being seasonally inappropriate?).
 The weather being what it was….. it was hard to get a good picture.  This was my best attempt - I draped it over my drafting table and put on all the lights in the house.  It's still not very bright.

Here is a close up of the quilting.  This one is scheduled to be delivered to the recipient today via UPS. Happy Holidays Mary - and I'm sorry it took so long.

Now that the roads are clear, I'm off to run some more errands - then I'm back home to finish up some Christmas Present making.

To help you all in your final holiday errands - we have a sale in our Etsy store.  Make sure to use the phrase LASTMINUTE in the coupon code box when you place your order.  Starting now and until Thursday December 19th at midnight - everything is 20% off.  We are really low on kits right now, but we will be adding another kit in a few weeks.

On Thursday, Bill and I will attend a local production of White Christmas! We are really looking forward to it.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Holiday Windows

Polly is on a plane to take her back to Florida, but she sent these last photos of more windows.


Oscar de la Renta

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Season's Greetings from New York City

Polly is spending the weekend in New York.  It's a great time to be there.  Christmas time in New York is enchanting.  Today she and her husband were at Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the ice skaters.  Another holiday must-see is the windows at Anthropologie.  The past few years they have had a forest or woodland theme and it looks like that theme is still there - but it's even more magical….

This hibernating bear is made with wool yarn wrapped wooden spools.  Thousands and thousands of them.

A wolf emerging from his den….

A fantasy flower with more spools…

A day spent looking at holiday windows in New York is a day well spent.

Let's hope we get more pictures tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1868 Quilt Kit Winner

The silver icicle tree is up.  We live in a small house and I am constantly fighting the "too much stuff - too much clutter" syndrome.  I think this will be the extent of the Christmas decorating.

I am down to 2 gifts I have to purchase and I know what they are and where I am getting them - so basically the shopping dragon has been slain.  Whee!

So……. RUTHTHEQUILTER!!!!!!! -  You are the winner of the 1868 quilt kit and Quilts and Rug book.

Email me HERE and I'll get it out to you before the holidays.

We got a photo of most of our strike-offs for our next collection yesterday.  They are still waiting on the last set of strike-offs at Moda.  Once the final collection has been decided on, then it's 6 weeks before I get the fabric in my hot little hands.  I have 4 patterns drawn up on graph paper waiting for it's arrival.  6 weeks!  I may design another dozen quilts in the meantime.

That's okay. I'm getting caught up on other things.

I organized my fabric scraps yesterday.  I'm so pleased with it I am thinking about doing a major reorganization of my stash.  I know. That way madness lies……..


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Old Dog, New Trick, and a Milestone

When I was logging into Blogger to do this bloggy thing….. I noticed we passed a milestone.  We have had over 1 million visitors to this - whatever this thing is.  Thank you, and welcome, and have a cup of coffee and stay awhile.

Hope all of you enjoyed the holiday and survived the cooking and cleaning up.  We did.  I even had time to do some online shopping.  (If you think I went out to shop on Black Friday - you really don't know me very well.)  I shopped online earlier in the week too and this arrived yesterday.  Several spools of Aurifil 28 wt. cotton thread.
Let me preface this by saying that at one time - long before we could shop and compare online - I used a quilting weight cotton thread to hand piece (the brand shall remain nameless).  I liked the heft of it and it did a great job joining the patches, but it twisted and knotted and did it's best job to slow me down.  When I discovered better made threads I used DMC Embroider cotton thread (on the spool for machine embroidery) and 50 wt Aurifil for my appliqué and hand piecing.  Wonderful stuff - both of them.  Perfect for appliqué and quite serviceable for hand piecing - but it was a bit thin for hand piecing and I made teeny tiny stitches with it to fill up the seam.  50 wt. Aurifil is still my hands down favorite for appliqué, but I was persuaded by a friend to try the 28 wt for hand piecing.  This is also the weight I use for hand quilting.  It's fabulous for that…..but now I can tell you it's also WONDERFUL for hand piecing.  No twisting, no knots, and it fills up the seam beautifully.  Yes, I can still learn stuff. 

What else did I buy online?  Well, I did some Christmas shopping and I am proud to tell you that I have whittled my list down to 3 more gifts to buy.  I hope to be done shopping by next week and I might not even set foot inside a store.  In honor of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday - I even bought myself a gift.  It was NOT something I needed. It was something I wanted.  I saw this on Pinterest this week and I had to have it.

I found the pattern, the linen, and the floss for this fabulous stocking here.  

Yes, I really needed to get something to stitch.  I am in danger of finishing projects //laughs hysterically and wipes tears from eyes//

Besides designing patterns and fabrics for Minick and Simpson and then making those quilts that I design ….. I have the following projects in progress.

I have 2 more blocks to make in my Love Letters quilt (designed by the brilliant Blackbird Designs) Don't even ask me how I will put the blocks together. I haven't gotten there yet.

There is also the Hawaiian quilt I am making.  It is in the homestretch and about 75% hand quilted. It will be a gift. It's supposed to be a surprise gift, but they may or may not read this blog.

There is also Mrs. Billings.  She got another border added on this week.  12 borders done and 3 to go.  I tell myself that I am almost done - but as you can see - the borders do get bigger as you go along.

As it is, I needed to get on a ladder to photograph it.   (It's not pressed yet - hence the ugly masking tape to keep the edges from curling)

So, I really didn't need to get the stocking pattern.  I do have enough to do, but I tell myself that anything I can do to make Small Business Saturday a success is worth it.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, and about that milestone! To thank you all for being there, for reading this prose on a regular basis, and supporting our small business - we would like to send out a gift to someone who comments on this post.

Comment before midnight December 3rd and you could win the kit for the 1868 quilt and our book Quilts and Rugs - which has the instructions for it.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Grant Park Layer Cake Lemonade Winner!

It's going to be a quiet evening here.  The weather is the type that you want to stay home and make a pot of tea.  I finished cutting out my next border of Mrs. Billings and I will spend the evening marking the seams.  TCM has a marathon of Screwball Comedies from the 30's and 40's on.  I am really looking forward to it.  Only a quilter would think all of the above is a good idea.  The rest of the world thinks my Friday night plans are sad.

Well, it seems that the Grant Park Layer Cake Lemonade Quilt has found a good home.

Tina C. is the winner!

Tina - email me here and I'll get it right out to you.

Have a great weekend everyone

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Layer Cake Lemonade

This is a quilt I recently made using a Grant Park Layer Cake™.  The Fat Quarter Shop designed this pattern and made it available to you HERE.

With one Layer Cake™, backing, batting, binding, and a free afternoon - you can make this large lap size quilt.  Kim from the Fat Quarter shop shows you how - HERE.  It's even easier than you can imagine.

Gift giving season is upon us and this is exactly what you might need to fill out your gift list.  I can even help you out a bit in that department.  Just comment here before November 22nd and you can have this Layer Cake Lemonade quilt (made by ME!) sent to you.  I'm here to make your holidays easier. You're welcome!

This post is supposed to go up on Monday, November 18th.  It's just an hour before that date here - but I'm posting this right now.  We are having quite the windstorm now and I'm predicting we probably won't have power tomorrow.  If you are anywhere around Ann Arbor, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland - you know what I'm talking about.

We have a tree trimmer scheduled to come on Tuesday morning to take down a dead tree in the backyard.  Uh, if it is still standing by Tuesday.  I sure hope it is, because I don't see any possibility of it  NOT hitting the house if it gets taken down by wind beforehand.  Keep your fingers crossed.

So…. watch Kim's great video and plan your Layer Cake Lemonade quilt.  Also - the Fat Quarter Shop will have a 20% off sale on Layer Cakes!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too - that you have power to run your sewing machine.


P.S.  It's Monday morning and power is on and tree is still standing. You can all uncross your fingers now. Thanks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Armistice Day - London - November 11, 1918

Armistice Day Parade - Chicago - 1952
Thank a veteran today.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quilt Market Prize Winner and a Mrs. Billings Update

Good Morning All.  It's good to hear that some of you still make Holiday gifts. It's been an inspiration reading what you are all doing.

Well, let's cut to the chase and see who won the prize package!

Thank You Monty Hall for announcing the Winner!
The winner is MARY! (The specific Mary has already been emailed - my apologies to the other Mary runner-ups)

Mary - you will take home the spectacular Grant Park Fat 1/8 Bundle, The Bella Solid Slice, several packages of Spinning Star papers and much, much more!!!!! (Taxes and fees apply.  Kidding!)

2nd on today's agenda…. The Midwinter Reds ikats FLEW out of our ETSY store this weekend.  We'll keep you posted if and when we can get our hands on some more bolts of the stuff.

Last, but not least…. the latest update on my Mrs. Billings Coverlet.  As you know, all of you who follow this blog, the Mrs. Billings Coverlet is a reproduction of an antique quilt from the United Kingdom.  Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork in Australia developed the modern pattern and made it available to all of us obsessive compulsive patch workers.  I visited with Karen and Paul at Quilt Market in Houston and restocked our supply of Mrs. Billings patterns in our Etsy Store.

Here is a photo of my quilt in progress. I taped down the edges for the photograph because since it isn't pressed yet - the edges curl up a bit.

Eleven borders finished and four more to go!

My friend Glenn Dragone got bit by the Mrs. Billings bug too. Glenn took his version in a whole other direction.  First he started with every bit of colorful scrap he could find…..
Then he added a chocolate brown background.  He starting adding his borders and it takes on a different look at every stage.

When I look at his quilt I think of the song Bohemian Rhapsody.  I can't wait to see what the next border looks like.  Thanks Glenn, for letting us show your quilt.


Friday, November 1, 2013

The Ikats are Here!

The Midwinter Reds woven ikats have landed! You remember these lovelies….. we made our scarves with them.  We got in a few bolts of the Dots…..

And the Zigzag…...
Both of these are the exact same color and the photo on the top with the scarf on the mannequin is the better photo.  It's the same red that's in the Midwinter Reds prints that are now in your favorite quilt shop.  Anyway….. there are here, but won't be for long.  I have kits for the polka dot scarf HERE and the zigzag scarf HERE.

These will make a big dent in your "make it for Christmas" list.  Each kit has enough fabric to make 2 scarves - one to keep and one to give as a gift. The instruction sheet is included in the kit.

We all have grand ambitions to make Holiday gifts every year.  This fast and easy kit will let you actually do it.

Do you make gifts? Have you started? Have you just given up? Tell us….. Comment here before Midnight Monday November 4th and you could win a bundle of stuff that we brought home from International Quilt Market in Houston.  First is a Fat 1/8th Bundle of Grant Park.

Then there is THE NEW pre-cut from Moda - the Slice™! 

The Slice™is a diagonal cut of a Layer Cake™. Nifty, huh!  This Slice™ is many shades of Bella Solids in blues, aquas, yellows, and greens and there is a pattern to make the zigzag quilt on the label.  You will need more of one of the Bella Solids for background - or you can just play around with the newest pre-cut on the block and see what you come up with.

Also in the give-away are some packages of Spinning Star piecing papers.  We love these.  They make half square triangles in a jiffy and they are super easy to work with. We met Liz, the designer at Quilt Market and she sent us home with a bundle.

There is lots more people, but I'm just going to let you be surprised.  


Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Houston was grand!  Most of the usual suspects showed up.  There were a few missing - you know who you are. When we weren't conducting quilt business we were laughing. A lot.

This was our little spot on Moda Row......
Let me introduce you to some of our neighbors..... (if you are not included it meant the photo was so bad, it was unrecognizable)
 Deb Strain was our neighbor and this was her booth. She is a good neighbor. Deb is kind of like the female version of Mr. Rogers.  Deb is kind to everyone and everyone loves Deb. It's good to be in Deb Strain's neighborhood.
 On the other side of Deb was Basic Grey.  They are busy, busy ladies. (You have to take my word for it since I don't have any picture of the actual lovely ladies - just the Little Black Dress II collection).  Yum.
 This is Mr. Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts. You would think from the photo that Mr. Figueroa doesn't do much. You would be wrong - He and Joanna are quite the team. (Sorry about this photo, Eric)
 This was my view from our booth - one of Edyta's new quilts from Laundry Basket Quilts. It used her new collection - Jelly Beans. It is another one of Edyta's amazing quilts.  I knew there was a reason I was saving a box full of 1/2" squares - now I know what to do with them!!!!!
 This was Polly's and my favorite quilt from market - Sandy Klop's new quilt for American Jane.  We loved it.  It uses her Ducks In A Row fabric collection.
 There was a whole nautical type theme going on there in Houston.  As you can see, a rogue crab came up to our dinner table and absconded with a new designer.
 Then the scary pirate Captain Outlaw threatened to make us walk the plank.
 Oh good! The new designer escaped the clutches of the giant rogue crab and had a booth next to us. Whew! This is Janet Clare from the UK.  She was showing her new collection - Hearty Good Wishes. We loved her. We talked about tea, British TV crime serials, driving with spouses, and the new Royal baby.
 This is Mr. Roskelley. He is helping out the talented and charming Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms.
 This here is Doug Leko of Antler Quilt Designs. Doug is a long time veteran of Quilt Market. Really! (I bet you have noticed I took more pictures of men then women. Sue me.)  He is also one of the best neighbors there.  We love Doug. We are not alone. Doug has a way of charming all the quilt ladies.

Oh, that's about enough for today isn't it?  We had fun. We did business! We lived to tell about it.  Thanks everyone at Moda and United Notions for making it so easy.


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