Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday Prep

This winter solstice probably finds you knee deep in Holiday preparations.  Things here have been hectic (you can relate, I know) and decorating is at a minimum this year.  Since I have a collection of Christmas quilts - that is how we are decorating this year.  I have 5 Christmas quilts hung up and the tree and ornaments are taking a break this year.  I posted this above photo for my weekly #handquiltingwednesday posts on Instagram.  Nightengale isn't necessarily a Christmas quilt, but it sure works.  Red and white quilts in abundance have a holiday feel.

This is it right after we hung it and the creases haven't completely fallen out yet.  It's a good reminder to rotate the hanging quilts and refold the quilts in storage so those folds don't become permanent.

This one is hanging on the large brick wall.  It needs a large wall as it is 101" wide.  It's kind of a beast, but it sure is festive.  This large pattern was in McCall's magazine many, many years ago and it is also in our book Quilts and Rugs by Quiltmania.    If you want the look and feel of this quilt - you can get it with this pattern.

This pattern is a smaller version at 58" x 48" and the download pattern is available HERE.

I was planning on doing some baking tomorrow once I finished a quilt top today.  Well, since I spent all morning ripping apart the quilt top (HEY, fun fact - did you know seam rippers can dull and you need to replace them?), I need to  re-design and remake the quilt top.  I think I need some fresh air first. 

If your seam rippers are nice and sharp and you are refreshed - maybe you need a small bundle of Ann Arbor fabrics.  I have a BLUE Fat Quarter Bundle and a YELLOW and RED Fat quarter bundle.  

May you and your family and friends have a great holiday!



Saturday, November 25, 2017

All In A Row Winner and More!

Thank you for following along on our little blog hop!

We had great fun and I'm happy to announce the winner of the All In A Row Again book AND my flower row

The winner is GLENDA MCCARTHY.  Email me here at, Glenda and I will get your gifts right out to you.

In other good news....... my Lake Effect quilt made with Snowfall by Moda Fabrics is in the current
Quiltmania magazine.

I currently have 1 template and papers kit in our Etsy shop. will have them on their website shortly (I assume after this turkey holiday is over).  We are honored again to have a quilt chosen by Quiltmania - our favorite quilty indulgence.

There is even more holiday news........ now until the end of the month - all kits in our Etsy shop are 25% off with the coupon code - SMALLBUSINESS.  Right now our kits are with our Ann's Arbor fabric collection.  Let's all try to our holiday shopping with an emphasis on our hometown - small businesses.  



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

All In A Row Again!

It was such a hit the first time - here it is for an encore!  All your favorite Moda Designers are back with another Row experience.  23 more rows to mix and match with all your favorites from the first book.  Can you guess which one is mine?

(as if my photography skills aren't challenged enough, the long skinny piece fit well against a white door. Photo editing put the door on the side)

I think my favorite rows are right on the front cover - the camper row with the flower rows on the top and bottom.

I know what your favorite is. You think there will be a give-away on these Moda/Martingale blog hops and you would be correct.  Comment here on this blog (and hop on over to the others too!) before midnight November 24th (otherwise known as Black Friday) and you could win a book - and some other quilty things.  You might even win this row - signed by me.

November 13

November 14
Corey Yoder:

November 15

November 16

November 17

November 18

November 19Sandy Klop:

November 20
Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson:
November 21
November 22
Sherri McConnell:

November 24
Lissa Alexander:
Lisa Bongean:

All royalties from this publication will go to ...



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pincushions and Such

There is another week to go in our 12 Contests.  (Each month a Moda Designer holds a contest and this is our month - with pincushions!).

Make a pincushion - any pincushion - out of Minick and Simpson fabric and post on Instagram with the #12contestsminickandsimpson and you could win.  We are getting many fabulous pincushions! You have 1 more week to enter....
Here is one where the maker embroidered over this print from Midwinter Reds.   
This one is made into a little whale.  Ahoy!

I can't wait to see what the last week brings.  

Earlier this week, Bill and I took a little excursion out of the studio.  We traveled to Cranbrook Museum to see a exhibition of the works of Alexander Girard.  Girard was a textile designer, architect, furniture designer, and all encompassing artist. He was once on staff at Cranbook and was a colleague of Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames.  I loved this little sketch on tissue paper that was later reproduced as upholstery fabric for the Herman Miller Corporation.

He was an avid Folk Art collecter and amassed a huge collection of folk art textiles.  Here was some of his stash!
His organization was as visually exciting as the textiles themselves.  All in all, it was very inspiring.

Also this week - we have some quilt kits on sale in our Etsy shop.  Just use the coupon code KITSALE when you check out.  



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

12 Contests!

September 5th is the starting date of the next 12 Contests! from Moda Fabrics and it just so happens to be OUR contest month!

The rules are byzantine and confusing. Kidding!!! They are extremely simple. Extremely simple rules for extremely simple fabric designers.  The only rule is that you make a pincushion out of Minick and Simpson fabric (yes, I have jumped on that runaway bandwagon and have joined the pincushion stampede) Any pincushion - any Minick and Simpson fabric - and post the pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #12contestsminickandsimpson

Got it? Pretty simple. Post those pinnie pictures starting now until October 4th.  We'll pick the winners on October 5th.

Winners? Yes, lots of winners will get Ann's Arbor fabric bundles/pre-cuts.  Whee!!!

 These are a few of the pincushions I have made lately.  All were made from my scrap basket.

 This one was made with an extra block from my Martin's Place quilt.  Notice the machine quilting. This was the first time I have ever used a walking foot.  I lived through it. Thank you for your concern.
These were made from leftover triangles from 2 Chippewa Nine Patch quilts.  The triangles became half square triangles. Then they became quarter square triangles. Then they became pincushions.

 I rescued a tin can before it went into the recycling bin. I love these tins - they are graphic and retro and a perfect shape.  This can quickly became a pincushion.

I fill my pincushions with sand. Terrarium sand I bought at the craft store.  Is is good for pins and needles? I don't know.  I just know I love the heft and weight of these pincushions.  If I dull a few pins in the process - I know they died for my enjoyment.  Because I use sand - I sew a liner for the sand out of tightly woven cotton ticking that I also bought at the craft store.  I have mode dozens of pincushions filled with sand and not one grain has ever leaked out.  Use tightly woven ticking and a small stitch on your sewing machine.
I made these square pincushions just like a small pillow and I just slipped in the sand bag.  

Thats it!  Pincushion. #12contestsminickandsimpson.  We can't wait to see what you make!

Speaking of Ann's Arbor....... we have posted a couple of kits in Etsy shop and some yardage too!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Polly's Rugs and New Ann's Arbor Quilt Kits!


Above are pictures (taken inexpertly from a screenshot on my iphone) of Polly's rugs last week at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum and Nantucket Antiques Depot.  I wish I had better pictures, but this is what I have. It was a grand time and Nantucket in August is absolutely lovely.

We also have Ann's Arbor fabric here!  We are delighted to have the  Lady of Lake Superior quilt kit in our Etsy shop HERE.

And Four Flags too!!!



Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Polly and I are back from a delightful trip to one of the loveliest places on earth. Nantucket.  I have some very meager photos, but it was kind of a working vacation and I missed some great pictures.

This is just an average house on an average street (across from our BnB) that had some spectacular window boxes. Whatever happened to window boxes?

We were hosted by Nantucket Antiques Depot and our quilts and rugs were displayed among the stellar antiques.  I took lots of pictures of rugs, but my phone has swallowed them whole I fear. I even posted them on Instagram and now nowhere to be found.  Believe me when I say, there were great hooked rugs on view.

Speaking of views, this was taken from our dinner table one evening. Sigh.  But here we are back and ready to get to work.  Our next fabric collection is now being shown to shop owners everywhere! It's called Farmhouse Reds and here are the quilts we made with it! (These are the pictures on the pattern covers.  The quilts are being shipped right now from the quilter. I will have REAL pictures of REAL quilts here in the next few days)

 This is Bird Hills Lane and the quilt measures 36" x 40" so it is quite a doable project.  The pattern can be found HERE.
This is Good Morning and is a little quilt easily pieced with old fashioned redwork.  You can find the pattern  HERE
 And this is Mrs. Rose's Best. We saw a very similar quilt at the Red and White show in New York a couple of years ago and we never could get it out of our heads.  Here it is in red and white - just like it was once. We were granted permission to make our version from it from the Rose family.  You can find the pattern HERE.
We showed you this recently, but here it is made with Farmhouse Reds! You can find the pattern  HERE.

This was me last night - listing all the bolt ends we have leftover from kits.  They are now listed in our Etsy shop under YARD SALE YARDAGE.  Why am I cleaning off the fabric shelves? Ann's Arbor is shipping any minute now and I'll have new kits next week! 

All this fabric is $6.00 per yard now until Friday. On Saturday all the fabric will be $5.00 per yard.  If any is left on Sunday it will be $4.00 per yard. Warning, it's only been listed for a few hours and most has sold out.  Good luck.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Travels

The SUV is being packed as I type this.  8 suitcases, 3 storage bins, 1 sewing bag, a new audiobook, and 2 humans will set off tomorrow morning for Delaware.  I am going to teach and lecture at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show.  My friday class is sold out and I'm not sure of the status of the lecture on Saturday.  Go to the link and find out if there is room for you!

Another summer adventure is happening soon!  Can you be in Nantucket in 2 weeks?  We will!  We hope to see you there.  August in Nantucket - sounds like a great idea!



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Happy 4th!

We aren't there yet, but Polly and I will be in mid August.  The weekend of the 11th to be exact. There will be a book signing and show of some quilts and rugs.  We'll have more specific details closer to the event.  If you're in the area, stop by and say hello.  Nantucket in August - there are worse places to be.

Since I last posted (sorry, it's been awhile), I've finished a long gestating project - my Star A Day quilt.

This was my handwork project every evening - when I wasn't working on something else.  Does that make sense?  I think from start to finish it was about 2 1/2 years, but there were dozens of quilts in between.  There are hundreds and hundreds of different scraps in here.  Fabrics from every Minick and Simpson collection, plus a few ringers.

Because my scrap basket (it's really a vintage wagon) was next to my stitching chair the past several years feeding this project - I've started another quilt.  Basically, because I was too lazy to deal with tidying up the scrap wagon.  It's already loaded with red, white, and blue scraps - so this is what was started this week.
The pattern is Glitter by Jen Kingwell.  I'm not sure what will happen next, but it's my fall back project when there is nothing else to work on.  God forbid my hands be idle for a few minutes.

I have been working on a new quilt and pattern too.  The first step was selecting fabrics (scraps!) and prepping them.
These are 2 large IKEA laundry racks with drying red and cream scraps.  This was right after I saturated them with spray starch.

I made some blocks like this........
And it turned into this.  We are in the process right now of writing the pattern.  I expect it to be available in our Etsy shop very soon. I'll keep you posted. The pattern name is On The Plus Side.

Have you sensed a red, white and blue theme for this post?  It's very timely.  In honor of July 4th we will have a month long sale in our Etsy shop.  Just use the coupon code FIREWORKS and receive 20% off of anything in the shop for the month of July.  Have you had your eye something - this is your chance.

Have a wonderful holiday



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