Friday, December 28, 2007
We can finally let this news out of the bag. The 100 days of quilts are starting January 1st. So tell your neighbours, and tell your friends, we will be posting a quilt everyday for 100 days. We have an enormous quilt collection, that is rarely seen by the public, but through our blog, we will be sharing many of these quilts with you. Besides, when you come to a quilting blog, you don't want to hear about what I'm watching on TV, you want to see quilts!
And you will want to keep watching everyday, because there may be a break or two in between some of the days to give away large piles of fabric!
Cori & Myra
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
...but the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord..."
Luke 2: 10& 11
We wish you all a very merry, and Blessed Christmas season.
-Myra & Cori
Monday, December 24, 2007
The entries came in by the dozens per day, and today is the day - December 24th, as promised!
The patterns are ready to go.
And my little helper was more than willing to pick the winning ticket...
(complete with Santa hat!)
and now the winner is being informed of her good fortune!!
But for those of you who didn't win this time...there will be two more BIG draws happening in February and March. Can you guess what the significance of those months might be? I would love to hear your guesses...
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!
p.s don't forget the 100 days of quilts - coming soon! We can hardly wait.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Inspired by Cori and her creative Christmas gifts, (and because I couldn't find anything in the stores) I decided to make up some cute little girl aprons for my 3 nieces. I thought I could share this since all of my nieces are under the age of 7, and I know they won't be reading my blog.
I went to my huge stash to find the right combination of pink and purple, but as it turnes out, the best choices were found in our Cape Cod line. I also personalized a pocket on each apron with their initial.
This is my little girl, who was getting a little frustrated as I continually ran after her to check for measurments. (Note to mothers: remove all pins before fitting an apron on a little girl)
Friday, December 21, 2007
Oh how I loved my barbie dolls when I was my daughters age! Every Christmas I got a new one. This year my husband and I tag-teamed on making some gifts for the kids. He made this bed to fit in the loft of our daughters barbie house and I just could not resist in making some bedding for it! This was such a quick and FUN project and I used our Cape Cod fabrics to boot - how cute...designer bedding for Barbie!! This is bringing back memories of the things I concocted for my barbies. I can hardly wait to give it to her.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
This is so exciting (for me anyway). I hope that this does not just seem to you like ramblings. I LOVE getting emails, especially from all of you! It started the other day when we sent out our newsletter and began this contest. What a FABULOUS response we have had. The emails with kind words have been enlightening, that's for sure. Just so you know, right now my heart is pumping and I just don't know where to start!!!
Ok...We have received so many warm and kind words and you can't possibly know how VERY MUCH those do mean, they get read and re-read and at times like these (i will explain a little later) they are what keep us going - no kidding. This week I heard from a young lady in OUR OWN community that loves our quilts, she is expecting her first child and wants to make two of our quilts - we are going to customize one of our existing patterns for her and who knew she quilted?? How exciting is that? Then there is this young mom who wants to make our quilts to sell on her website, her email this morning just warmed my heart. (and by the way if any of you are thinking, hay I would like to make their quilts to sell....please ask us for permission, like this lady did) And then another friend (wink, wink - she will know who I am talking about "surprise") had this amazing message for us. She just reminded us that we need to follow of heart and go for it!
In one of my previous posts I talked about the new year and all the things we have to look forward to . This industry is a very difficult one right now. You all have so many choices when it comes to fabrics and patterns and we don't take any of our customers for granted. Every sale we make is very important in more ways than one. We are continuously proposing different ideas to magazines and RJR and every one seems to be stuck in their own box - EXCEPT us we want nothing to do with being put into one particular category. We have been this way from the start of our career. All of our books have different techniques and styles and to us who wants to always see the same thing from a designer - after all we are supposed to be the creative ones - right? Then there is this new group in the fabric industry, well known names which I should not name by name, but is oh so tempting. I know you will know who I am referring to. They are the "young -ones" designing ultra modern fabrics - BUT they are not quilters!! They make crafts and bags and garments and the odd quilt that honestly doesn't make that much sense. I do like those fabrics, don't get me wrong, but they are not doing them justice in the quilting industry.
What do we know.... Myra and I were quilt designers before we did fabric. We design our fabrics for a purpose, they all work together, there are darks, mediums and lights a lead print and then the complimentary prints in different scales. Why do we do this ? So your quilt has dimension, so you have choices. We want you to make our patterns, yes, but we also want you to create your own feeling using our fabrics. This is were the line "inspired by possiblities" comes from. There are so many options! There you have it - inside the minds....
THANKS for all the emails we have been sent this year, they encourage us to go on, to design quilts for you, to be our own and stay true to what we know for sure....we love designing!! Thank you for helping us to be better designers and people too. It means SO MUCH.
with the utmost sincerity,
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Looking ahead into the new year is something that is exciting isn't it? I am not a big resolution maker but I do like to make a list (surprise, surprise) of things that I hope to accomplish in the new year. This picture reminds me of looking ahead and then I realized that there are some things that we would like to share with you. Things that you can look forward to in the new year!
1. We are going to start the "100 days of quilts" (I bet you are wondering what this is...you will have to wait a little longer)
2. Cape Cod fabrics and projects appearing in Fon's and Porter, American Patchwork & Quilting, and Quilts and more.
3. Completly kids fabric collection and Patterns
4. Our first Spring Retreat
5. Completely kids projects appearing in our favorite magazines!
6. A new look for our web site (probably closer to the end of '08)
7. Personal appearances at quilt shows & classes
8. Some cool give a ways on our blog (February & March, I will explain the significance of those
months next time)
9. New pattern releases
10. Continuation of our e-newsletter!
on that note...we recently sent out our December newsletter and we made a few exciting announcements that I wanted to share with our blog audience. We announced our Spring retreat sign up has started it is over half full ALREADY and limited space available, don't delay. If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can email you a package or you can wait until our webmaster gets in up on the web site http://www.bluemeadowdesigns.com/. The other exciting thing was the contest for our e-newletter members. We are making a draw on December 24th (for e-newsletter scribers ONLY!) for our complete pattern collection 14 patterns, totaling a value of $111.86!!!! It's worth signing up for :)
We haven't forgotten about our blog friends...we will have some goodies for you very soon.
When you have young children as Myra and I do December is spent running around from Christmas concert to christmas concert, helping out a school with murals, making gingerbread houses and then there is the family gatherings as well as the decorating, shopping and baking. It is very easy to loose sight of why we celebrate this season. It was so cute when my son's kindergarten class put on a little play, re-telling the Christmas story from the inn keepers perspective. Don't the kids tell it best? And there was my daughters concert filled with music of all kinds.
I hope that you can spend the Christmas season with the people you love AND...I hope you have the chance to attend a christmas concert too!
celebrating our Saviors birth,
Monday, December 17, 2007
But many of you have been asking about this project, and now that I have cleared up the 'technical difficulty' I can show you the progress.
I wasn't able to piece the Ocean Waves quilt with our Cape Cod fabric line, but it was a quilt that I really, really, really wanted to make. So I decided to make it using fabric from my stash, and donate the top to the MCC quilt room in Ephrata, Pa.
And have you ever noticed that when you use up a fabric out of your stash, it releases a little of your pent up guilt, and you are free to go out and buy more fabric? Anyway, on to the instructions.
Here you can see how you layer a 12" piece of print and a 12" piece of background, with the right sides facing each other. You only need to mark the grid on the back of one of the fabrics.
(Yes mother, I do realize that I didn't press my fabric before marking my grid and sewing!)
You simply sew on each side of the diagonal lines. DO NOT sew on each side of the horizontal and vertical lines...trust me...this would be a mistake.
I must admit, years ago I probably would have cut all of the 1152 triangles, and joined them up one at a time, but now that I have gotten over my fear of the grid method, I will never go back.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Me? Well my husband and I had the ultimate 'date-night'! We got a call offering us tickets for the 12th row - center stage for the Bonjovi concert. This concert was sold out in under 10 minutes, and tickets were rare, so when we got the chance to be there - we took it. It was completly unbelievable! How did we get tickets? Well that will always be my little secret. (only my aunt Esther could guess the source) So the whole night rocked - literally. I could rant about it for hours, but I will keep my insights brief and to the point.
The songs obviously took me back to my highschool days, when life was adventurous and carefree. We chose our own path, and didn't expect anyone to follow. For me, the concert physically represented what Cori and I have been talking about lately. We love design, and when we let ourselves go - we come up with amazing, and dynamic concepts that totally rock. The problem is, we have been told for the past decade that these designs don't work. We have been told that they can't be published in traditonal formats (and they really can't) and it has been gently suggested that it is not what quilters want. Cori and I have always listened, and taken this advice to heart. But now, we are really wanting to go in a new direction. I think this is an itch that we just need to scratch. So in the new year, you will be seeing some very different things from us. It means that we won't be doing a book, and we won't be doing as much magazine work, and that is a little scary, but right now I think we want to explore this new path.
So for me, I am going to go dust off my black leather jacket, and head down to the design board. Who know's where last night's inspiration will lead.
I am sorry that I have fallen a little behind in telling you about the last days at the Bernina retreat. Well, they say a picture is worth 1000 words. And for those of you who have been asking, I can now tell you everyone who was there. They hosted designers like Charlotte Warr Anderson, Elinor Peace Bailey, and her daughter-in-law Heather Bailey, Marian Fons, John Flynn, Kaye England (she's a riot), Linda Lee, and Yvonne Porcella. Of course there were many others, but those would be the most recognizable names.
It was a busy weekend, and traveling home through the stormy weather just made the trip feel very long. But now that we are safely tucked back home in our snow covered houses, we will have plenty of time to get back to what we love best. Drawing, designing, and creating.
Talk to ya soon.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
What a wonderful quote. Myra and I were sent matching bookmarks from a friend/customer with a wonderful note. The quote on the bookmark is "follow your bliss". Thanks Marcy for the early christmas gift!
So what is your biss? Are you following it? I had to think about it abit, but I have followed my dream of being a business woman. I worked with my father in our family clothing business from the age of 15yrs until 26 yrs. I loved it! Being a buyer, display maker and putting outfits and wardrobes together for our customers. Who knew that it would lead me into the world of quilting though! Following your bliss is not always blissful though. Over the last 10ish years we have worked very hard pursuing our path in this industry. Our path has taken many turns and probably always will. But CHEERS to "following your bliss".
My other "bliss" is my family! I always wanted to be a wife and mother and now I have the priviledge of doing that "job" too.
Think about it today...your "bliss".
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Sharon & Cori working one of the days projects. And Sharon is hilarious! Even without all the wine! You might not know her name, but Sharon has invented a lot of cool products that you probably use. She has produced all of the EZ rules, and other notions for Wrights. She has also invented a great circle cutting gadget that she has promised to send me to use for an upcoming project.
One more day to go! We will let you know how tomorrow goes.
C & M
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Hello everyone and happy winter. It is beginning to storm here in Grand forks. Myra and I are sitting in the airport waiting on our flight to arrive from MN. It is only delayed 30 min. which is amazing, since it is very WHITE here right now! Our trip in was good and accident free, lets home the rest of the trip goes smoothly too :)
There is a Colorado low coming in this weekend and I hope by the time we come back the roads are in good shape.
Now let me give you a glimpse into GFK. Not the largest airport (hahahahha) There are four employees at the check in counter and about three in securit oh AND not one outlet on the parking lot to plug in your car. I CAN'T believe that in North Dakota, "cold and snow capital" and there is no plug in on the parking lot. Let's hope the car starts!!
Oh well..just thought we would say HELLO as we are on our travels.
C & M
p.s and on our drive to Grand Forks, we had a great idea for our blog in the new year...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am sorry for the delay in blogging..but I am having some technical difficulty with my computer. I think it is time that it went to the doctors. I will have to deal with that next week. And I am disappointed at all the things that I wanted to share - but I can't, because I am unable to download all of my pictures. I have been carefully documenting my progress on the Ocean Waves quilt, and I wanted to share it all with you. But, I guess you will have to wait just a little longer.
Now, to all of you who are concerned that I am starting a career in the meat packing industry, you don't need to worry. As it turns out, all of the volunteer possitions were filled last week, and I wasn't needed after all. I am sorry that I couldn't help, but I am very touched, becasue it ment that so many others were willing to help. So for all of you who have e-mailed me, I will clarify what the 'canning' truck was all about. Yes-it is a portable meat canning truck that goes to various communittes, and cans meat. It is highly inspected by both Canadian and American agencies, and after the cans have been in a 'quarentine' for 3 months, they will be shipped overseas. How do I help? Trust me, the only part that I am qualified to help with is rinsing the packed cans, and applying lables! But I do like to help. And I would encourage everyone - that at this time of year when we freely give donations to worthy charities, why not give some of your time instead? It is just as important.
So I wanted to say THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped us this year. 11,000 can of pork meat will be sent to orphanages in North Korea, and the rest will be sent to Haiti.
So what is up with this picture?
It's my daughter, and everytime I pull out my suitcase, she know's I am going somewhere again...and she always tries to sneek along. By now it is a little joke between us. So where am I going? Well, this weekend Cori and I have been invited to the 'uber-exclusive' Bernina retreat in Chicago. There are two different sessions, and a very small group of deligates are invited to the event. We got the invite through a friend who is 'on the list'. It is hard not telling you who will all be there, because these are THE TOP designers in the industry. I don't want to breach anyone's privicy by revealing that they will be here. However....you might want to check back after the week when I could share who was there. We will be back in the middle of next week, so make sure you check back.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Today is one of those days when I am over tired, but very inspired. Yesterday (Sunday) turned out to be a day full of new friends, old friends, and pizza. I knew it was a great day, when I ran out of hangers for coats in my guest closet.
It started with meeting the 'canners' who are in town. We had lunch with these three young guys who are staying at my parents house this week while they are here with the MCC meat canning truck. They came down to our place for the afternoon...partly so they could all get onto the internet with their own computers. So, Eric is from Pennsylvania (10 miles from where I use to live!) and Josh is from Kansas, and Viktor is from Germany. It was cool watching him and his family speak back and forth through their web cams. A short time later, other friends came down, with the young man who is living with them this year. His name is Mark, and he is from Paraguay. And later that night, Katherine made it down to our house, and she is from Switzerland. So we had a house full of international friends, and I didn't take a picture of any of them! It shows you how involved I was, because I never remember to stop and take a picture when I am having a great time.
As it turned out, everyone who was here had a connection to MCC. What is MCC you ask? It stands for Mennonite Central Committee, and it is a world wide relief organization. My family has been involved in some manor with MCC since I was born. It is a long story, but it is because of MCC that quilting came into my family, and that has lead me this profession.
So, the meat canning truck comes into Winkler once a year, and will process and can about 22,000 cans of pork. The volunteer crew is lead by these three guys, and together we will all work around the clock from Wednesday to Saturday to finish the canning. This is not an environment that is familiar to me, but I am looking forward to working a shift later on this week. Chances are good that I will end up on the night shift again. I hope that I will remember to bring my camera with me this time, and document my time working in a packing plant.
I am also working on a quit top that I hope to finish this week, which will be donated to the MCC quilting room. I will definatly have pictures of that to share with you soon. I decided to make an Ocean Waves quilt this year, and it has turned out to be a really, really fun project.
So, I will talk to you all again soon!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
If you don't know were Grunthal is...it's about 15 min. from Steinbach MB!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I came home on the weekend to find another little parcel on my doorstep. I honestly couldn't rember if I had orderd anything. So what could possibly be inside? I ran inside, ripped open the box, and smiled. I had totally forgotten about this project. That's probably because I didn't make it - Cori did. Cori made a few of these as gifts last year for some editors, and other friends. Well, one thing lead to another, and we were asked to make another one for the December issue of Quilts & More. So, if you check your magazine stands, this is now out there! I will see if Cori can scan in the cover, so you know which magazine to look for. I would scan it in for you....but my copy hasn't shown up yet....
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Thanks ladies for leaving a comment on the blog. I hope you enjoy making your own little lady quilt! For those of you that were too shy or too lazy...there will be more chances to win, very soon. I guess you could say we are feeling generous! Stay tuned and we love to hear from YOU!
Saturday, November 03, 2007
This quilt was made by Jackie from Ignace ON. She is one of our regular "retreater's". At this years retreat a bunch of the ladies worked on various projects as well as our retreat quilt project. I think that jackie basicly got this quilt done at retreat - and just recently finished machine quilting it. She quilted the lady bug outline over the whole quilt, every which direction, in purple verigated thread- so cute. The picture below is of the back of the quilt, where she added a pop of orange! LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing these pics with all of us.
The first 3 people to leave a comment along with a email address will recieve a free little lady pattern! I know your out there...be sure to leave an email, so that I can contact you for your mailing address.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Finding my way to grandma's house
What have Cori and I been up to since the retreat? Not a whole lot - and for us, that's shocking! We had decided that for the first time in 10 years of working together, we were going to take a few weeks off. This is just a little of our own time, to rest, and play, and hang out with all of the really great neighbours who I don't have time to talk too. But don't worry, you will be seeing A LOT of projects and half finished projects in the next little while. I have a huge mound of unfinished projects that I am just waiting to dig into. These are the one's that I really love, but were pushed aside for work deadlines, and other commitments. Well, it's time I dusted them off. So keep watching....
One thing that I had at the top of my list, was to make new Christmas stockings for my children. Why haven't I started this yet? Because the weather out here is phenominal! It is the end of October, and southern Manitoba is starting to have spring all over again. Our grass is green, the neighbours flowers are bright and yellow, and we are wearing T-shirts. The rumor is that the snow is just around the corner, but I'm not going to believe that one.
So instead of making stockings (it will take snow to put me in the right frame of mind to start that project) I grabbed my camera, and started on another item on my list. My goal is to photograph, and document the quilts in our collection. We have over 100 that we need to formally organize. I have started on a lot of the bording data, but today, I wanted to try getting some good pictures. The following picture is NOT one of the good shots, but I chose it for a reason.
I took a handful of quilts, and headed down to our little Thresherman's Museum. I spent the afternoon throwing quilts over different buildings and fences, and when I was there, I suddenly remembered that I have some connection to one of the buildings. When I got home, I called my mom, and sure enough, this house is the one where my Grandma Jessie was born, and lived. There was a total of 16 children born into her family. Can you imagine! Not all of them survived, but it still must have been cramped in their little home.
My Grandma Jessie is a really cool grandma. I hope to get down to her place in the next week to spend an afternoon embroidering with her. She has the most beautiful embroidery stitches. I have very long fingers, and I think I inherited them from her, but I can't stitch as well as she can. Maybe with a lot more practice.
So this humble building was the home to a very sweet little girl, who grew up to be a very kind grandma. And you will be hearing more about my Grandma Jessie soon. Last year someone in the extended family gave her a shoebox of old drawings...and to some of us, it is the family treasure chest. I will see if I can sneak the box away from my mother, and show you what is inside.
So I will talk to you again soon....