Sunday, August 29, 2010

I am impressed!

Yesterday morning we very carefully took Chocolate Straw Beary off of "Gonzo" (Libby's long arm machine) and it came out fabulous!  We loaded up quilt #2 and two hours later - voila!  Another quilt top done!  Of course, now I'm behind because they have to be squared up and binding has to be made and put on but that's my plan for this morning.....

After lunch Libby decided to load yet another quilt - this one had already been spray basted awhile back but because I used the Sulky spray baste, most of it had dissipated so we decided to try "floating" the top - wow, is all I can say!  Gonzo is very accommodating.  She is also custom quilting this one - we really want to try as much as possible!  I know I seem to be obsessing about this whole process but you have to understand - Libby had the machine delivered in May - had 2 days of intense instruction and then went out to garden for 3 months!  What we have done in the past few days are her real "first" attempts at getting going and she has done a spectacular job.  She'll tell you it's Gonzo but let me be the one to clarify, he only does what you tell him (oh my, can I marry him!) and if "he" messes up, trust me, it's your fault!

In any event, I am not allowed to leave until we have another quilt "properly" loaded so I'm being held hostage until she completes the custom "floater" that she's working on now!  Could be very late before I get out of here tonight!  Oh well, it's not like I have nothing to do......

It's truly not a hardship staying longer, I love it out here!  Quiet, (except for the passenger train that goes by a few times a day), no major distractions and I tend to focus on my quilting projects.  Weekends at Libby's truly motivate me!  I always come away feeling I could quilt all day!  I think a trip out here once a month is a must - (well maybe not that often)!

Okay, back to business, I have to get another quilt squared off, make up the binding, mark a quilt, cut a "new" project, embellish some blocks and finish piecing it, make some more stems and much more!  ....and I'm going to do that all today!  Yeah right!  Like I said, I always bring too much, but you never know what you will feel like doing when you're on a retreat!  See you all soon!

Happy Quilting!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Breaking the silence!

I know that I constantly repeat myself when I say this - but time flies!  I say it as if you don't know!  It's hard for me to believe that it's been 9 days since my last blog.....but believe me they have been busy days.....

First, as many of you know, the newsletter has hit the internet and with that there has been a flurry of class sign-ups!  We have an amazing line-up of teachers and classes and we can't wait to get started.  Our year end is August 31st which is why absolutely NOTHING has arrived in the past few weeks but things will start moving right along some time next week when I start placing orders again.......

At the moment I am on "holidays" - I have "retreated" to Libby's again for a few days to quilt and play with "Gonzo".  Gonzo is Libby's long-arm machine whom she has named Speedy Gonzales, Gonzo for short.  We are having a great time, learning how to use Gonzo and have managed to finish one quilt top so far (not one of yours Liz, she wants to play?!?! with mine first in case we screw things up - ha, ha!).....with a few stops and starts!  We haven't taken it off the rollers yet - we'll do that this morning so we can get used to the way he loads up but this machine is truly "state of the art" and I know with some practice Libby will be pumping out quilt tops.  This one came out fabulous!

I would send you pictures BUT in my haste to get out of town on Thursday night I left my camera on the kitchen counter at home and Libby sent her camera up to the cottage with Lorenso to show the "boys" all the great pics of the house and all the improvements.....

Suffice it to say we are getting loads done - girls weekend (we miss you Suzie!??!).  I finally got the binding on Ditch Flowers - it should be hanging in the store some time next week!  However, Libby is lusting after Ditch Flowers so I have to make sure to check my bags before I leave!  Of course I brought loads of stuff to work on, way too much but I do have plans to get lots done!

On that note I will go back to quilting!

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, August 19, 2010


I have been pretty good about not neglecting the blog but it seems it's been 12 days!  This was completely unintentional!  Time flies when you're having they say.

I just finished reading Elaine's blog (it's on the right side of our blog page - Quilters Quilting Quilts), and she is finally home from one really spectacualr trip!  She biked the Dempster Highway - that's right I said biked!  You can now pretty much read the whole trip and hopefully she'll get some pictures up soon.

So - you want to know what I'm all excited about?!?!  Well - I've been working on our newsletter (first hint!) and I have some fabulous news!  First, Anita Zobens of Cotton Mill Threadworks will be teaching two classes, on September 25th - Applique Buffet and then on October 13th - Open Thread Bar (if you missed it the first time, here's your chance - it won't be happening again for quite a while)!

That's not it though!  Mark your calendars - October 20th - Melinda Bula is coming!  Don't know who she is - look up Candy Cane Lane (Christmas Club Ladies will know and she is going to do a book signing for all of you in the evening), then look up Cutting Garden Quilts or better yet - go to and check her out!  She has agreed, actually it was her idea, to teach a class on October 20th!  She is developing another book which will be next year - making fabric cards and she is going to teach it here FIRST!  How cool is that!

....and that's not all!  Are you ready for this!  Hillary Rice is coming to teach a 2 day class - Imagine and Create - November 27th and 28th - you asked for a weekend - you got it!  Don't know who she is - check out
and see her gorgeous textile art!  By the time you finish that class you'll be doing it too!

Okay - I'm going back to quilting and the books for a while.  I'll try not to make you wait another 12 days for a post.  I hope I got you all excited about what's coming up!

Happy Quilting!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

I am so excited!

I am so excited and I can't tell you all why yet!  It is so hard to keep quiet but until I have finalized everything I have to keep my lips zipped!  Is that even humanly possible, I could maybe lose a few pounds.....of course, I could leave an opening big enough for a straw and just have milkshakes everyday!  Yeah right!

At any rate - it will all be revealed shortly!

In the meantime - SWEET TEA IS DONE!  Pieced, appliqued, quilted, labeled and bound!  I am so happy!  Tomorrow is the last class and my hard and determined work has paid off, it came out gorgeous, and the girls will get to see the finished project! ...and I remembered to bring over my "button" stash!  So it should be a fun day!

I am currently working on 5 projects!  What, only 5 you say!  There are plenty more where they came from but I think 5 at a time is my current limit!  I am busy designing an awesome quilt for which I am also writing a pattern.  I am finishing off the hand quilting on Ditch Flowers, a job I reserve for the porch, when I can sit and relax and just stitch.  I am piecing a quilt from the book Laps from Fats which is coming out awesome!  I am machine quilting a small wallhanging from Bubblegum Basics which is adorable! ....and last but not at all least, and this one I can blame on Barb!  I have "unearthed" a project I started in 2003 -  a Christmas Quilt with trees and houses and gingerbread men that is absolutely adorable!  

Barb is to blame because she wanted "christmas lights" to put on her Rudolph quilt.  When I started the Christmas Quilt in 2003, after getting a good portion of the piecing done, I got it in my head that I wanted to embellish it!  One Saturday morning near the end of November 2003, I called my girlfriend Sharyn and asked her if she wanted to drive to Buffalo with me for the day?!?  For what? she asked.  I need to buy buttons! said I!  I came back with a bag full of buttons and put them with the quilt having been completely inspired!  As usual, life happens, the quilt was put on hold while I went house hunting and now - seven years later it has resurfaced with all the embellishments ready to go!  I am seriously hoping it will be the focal point of our 2010 Christmas window but we'll just have to wait and see!

I better get back to quilting or nothing will get done!  I promise to keep you posted on my progress as well as what I'm so excited about!

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We're always busy.....

We are all up to something at the store!  Let's see, Kathy is working on a sample for the store on fabric that will soon be in stock, Sharon is working on another great sample on one of our many fabulous patterns, Barb is working on a sample which she is really enjoying - NOT, and Nancy just finished this lovely little gift for me!  I love it - it's an original and she used the homespun as a background's hanging behind the cash and I'm sure she'll tell you how she did it!

On Monday I FINALLY put the binding on SWEET TEA!...and none too soon for me!  I will share some of the label steps here....

First I basted the area where I wanted the label placed on the back of the quilt (then placed it the wrong way....still works though!)

I then turned the quilt over (without checking direction of course - do as I say, not as I do!) and basted the label to the quilt.

It was then that I finished the you see the quilting is the first anchor for the label. 
After sewing on the binding, with a Pigma Pen, I wrote the information that is on the label onto the inside of the binding......I know, you might think it's a bit of overkill but when you take the time to piece, applique and put approximately 40 hours into quilting a quilt, then lovingly hand sew on the label, sleeve and binding - you want to be sure that it's identified as yours!
So I have been sitting on the porch (in this lovely weather!?!?) the last couple of evenings sewing on the's nice, a needed change!  I have also started quilting another UFO - a small wallhanging I did a while ago from the Bubblegum Basics line - it's coming along great!...and since I seem to have hit this amazing period of productivity, I have started piecing another quilt top......I have not as yet checked my temperature or anything (this seems so unlike me!)  I am actually focused on all three projects allowing almost equal time for all.

What was really cool this morning was, I was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing and managed to chain piece about 20 strips of the blocks I am making.....just because it was there and ready to go!  Of course, this only works because I have the Bernina ("Berni" - original name, eh!) set up on the dining room table).  I may just revisit the suggestion that I move my quilting studio upstairs!  Of course that would take time - time away from actual quilting, so for the moment, Berni in the dining room will do - and it's all Libby's fault because when I got back from Libby's about 3 weeks ago I never took Berni back down to her usual spot in the studio!

Speaking of Libby - it is also her fault that I now have a dilemma which I need some help with.  Because she made me go to quilt stores and twisted my arm until I bought a bunch of magazines I really didn't want!  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)  So I happened to mention to Barb and Fiona that I wanted to make a certain quilt, in one of those magazines!  Fiona dared me and Barb "double dog dared me"!  I mean honestly can you believe that - anyway, here's my dilemma!  The magazine is Quiltmania Issue 70, but the quilt is a 3 parter (don't you just hate that) so I need Quiltmania Issue 69, and Quiltmania Issue 71 to complete it!  If anyone has these two issues and is willing to part with them I would be very interested in obtaining them.  The upside is, I can't start the quilt without those two magazines!!!  Hmmmm, that may be a good thing!  But seriously, I really do love this quilt and even without the dare and double dog dare would love to do it!

Now that I've brought you all up to date - I am going home to quilt!

Happy Quilting Everyone!