Monday, September 29, 2008

Our latest trip....Regina SK
(I chose green for the title in honor of the Roughrider fans!)

Yes, we were on the road again and we went out to Regina to their quilt show. This was the 3rd time that we had been to Regina and it did not disappoint. We drove 6 hours there and a 6 hours home...what do we do during our car rides? plan, discuss, create, giggle, eat & contribute to the amount of road kill on the road. It was my turn to drive this time, so we packed the car (jam packed) and hit the road on Friday morning. We want to thank the Regina quilt guild for their invitation as well as their support, compliments, kind words and encouragement! It was fun talking to our supporters. Where next...back to Moosiman SK on Thursday for Shirley's customer appreciation evening. See you there.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

About last weekend....

Is it really Thursday night already?? I guess it is, because I am re-packing my bags for this this weekend. And then I realized that I haven't even filled you in on our last weekend. I know that I won't remember to mention all of the great stories, but here is a brief overview of our time away.

Last Friday, we drove 6 hours east, into Northern Ontario. We went up to see an old friend who has a quilt shop in Sioux Lookout. It's called Serenity Quilts, and when you are there, you might experience the same conflict I did. I was torn between going into the shop and being surrounded by fabric, or going down to the lake that is right beside it.

I took a small detour to the lake. What a great view! I hope all of the locals still appreciate this beautiful sight that they get to see every day.

Hazel has a lot of great quilters in her area, and we got to spend three days with them. Our first night we got to share a lot of our quilts with them when we gave a trunk show presentation. During the next two days, we helped to lead them through two different projects. Many of the students chose to do our Love Joy Peace sampler (which was Day 1 of our 100 Days.) Cori has just finished formatting the sampler into a real pattern, and it will be released to our distributors very shortly. The other students in the class chose to make our curved patch baby quilt. And somewhere along the way, the curved piecing was mistakenly called 'cursed piecing'. But everyone persevered, and by the end of the weekend, there were many great quilts taking shape. It is always interesting to see the same project, done by so many different women, who all choose their own colors, and add there own touches.
And here was the first clue that we were going to have a great time. When we checked into our hotel, Kathy sneaked up behind us, and surprised us. If you want to have a great quilting weekend, simply gather a bunch of quilters together in a room, and invite Kathy. By the end of the weekend you will have enough stories to keep you laughing through the longest Canadian winter.

Thank you Hazel for the great time. We came away inspired, energized, and well feed. (Thank your grand-daughter for the recipes. My kids loved the breakfast I made them, with a dish that we now call 'Danica's French Toast'.)

So, we are off again, with more to share with you soon.
Next stop - Regina, Saskatchewan.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


I wish I had a picture to post - but I will have to do that when we come back. Tonight I am packing my bags, and packing a car full of quilts, for our trip to Sioux Lookout, Ontario. We will be teaching and talking to quilters all weekend! And I hope to remember the camera this time, or I will be drawing more stick figure cartoons to describe the weekend.

This week we have also been busy sending things. We have 6 quilts at quilters right now, and catalogs and info. of our new patterns out to the distributors. You will be able to see many of these new project in the upcoming days, and we will interested to know your opinions.

So watch out Sioux Lookout - we are on our way.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do you see what I see?

We checked our mail last week, and were happily surprised to find the latest issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting. We had made 2 baby quilts for them in spring, and I was very curious to see how they would be photographed. Of course - as always - they did a great job.

The quilts are called Hopscotch, and they are made from our last fabric line, Completely Kids. And, the magazine will also give you information on how to order kits of these two quilts directly from Fons & Porter.

We hope that you will be able to find a copy on newsstands near you, and enjoy all of the projects found in this issue. I know that there are a few more quilts in there that I would really like to try this fall. I might have to try to schedule that in somewhere.....I know that I have a few days free in December....
See you again soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hiding out at Home.
Where have we been? Well, we are getting ready for next weekend, when we will be in Sioux Lookout (northern Ontario) and for the following weekend when we will be in Regina. So while we have to get ready for a lot of travelling, I have also been making frequent visits to my new local hide-out. I took these pictures a few months ago, (but lost them!) because I wanted to let all the locals know about my friends new shop. It's right here in Winkler, on Navigator road. (between Days Inn and Janzen's Pontiac)

Anne and her husband Wolfgang, opened the doors to their sewing center this spring, and since that time, they have continued to bring in really cool things. I don't have room for all of the pictures, so you will have to stop in and see for yourself.

Annie's Sewing Center is place where you can get service for your machines, or up-grade to the fancy-schmancy models that are on hand.

I had to put in a picture of this book. At first 'someone' didn't know that the title referred to sewing machine feet. So if you think of it in another context, it sounds like a very intriguing book.

But I was thankful that I could finally, buy Blendable thread at home! I use to stock up on thread when I was travelling out of town, but now, it is just down the road.

Do you know how men feel when they walk into a car dealership? Well, I think I get that feeling when I walk into a sewing machine dealership, and see the new and bright models just waiting to be touched. But so far, I have been really good, and have kept my hands in my pockets.

But I did find my a Wacom writing tablet! I have waited a long time to find one, and I know that it will help me with my design work in EQ. And if you hurry, I think there is one more left.

And really soon, we hope to have a teaching schedule out, listing all of the classes that we will be giving at Annie's this fall. So for all of you who live close by, drop us a line, and we will make sure that you get all of the info.

If you want to keep up with what is happening at the shop, you can also visit the blog at

And what else has been popping up at Annie's??
A lot of really nice fabrics. I won't mention names (like Irene) but a few of my friends really should take the time to poke their noses into the store. I think they may be surprised at what they see. I only took a picture of a few of my favorites, but there are a lot more to choose from.

Anne has started to carry some of the new and modern fabrics that I love to work with , and I think that you will enjoy them too. In our area we have a good selection of traditional fabrics, but Annie's style is a lot more contemporary, and I really enjoy that. You will also be seeing a lot of these fabrics in some of our new fall projects.

Also, let Anne know what you are looking for. There is a lot of fabrics out there in the market place, so if you are wanting to see anything specific, just let her know.
You also might find one or two of our quilts hanging around the shop. We have a large collection, and people often contact us wanting to know where they can go to see our quilts. Well, until we can afford our own museum (which is a long way off) you will be able to spot them around the store from time to time. And since I don't like to keep up the same quilt for too long, I will keep popping in and changing them around.
But I do admit, I think Lemon Slice goes nicely with their wall color.
And I had to include this picture. You can't actually see my name on it - but it is going to be mine someday soon. I have been secretly wanting this board for a long time, but thankfully no one locally carried it. Now, it is just down the road from my house, and sometime at night it calls out to me. OK, that might be a little dramatic, but I do think about it. You know you are middle aged when your dreams are about an ironing board.
I will see you soon. Because there is a lot more to talk about before the weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Isn't this cool?

Today I get to share with you a great photo that got sent to us. It was made by a quilter named Debra, and I am grateful that she sent us a picture of her project.

The design she used was one that we created, and was published in American Patchwork & Quilting in June, 2006. The name of the project was 'B is for Baby', and we were asked by the magazine to do the quilt in two different colorways - for a girl, and a boy. So naturally we used the pink/ivory and blue/green fabrics from our first fabric collection. In our quilts, the center monogram is a scripted B, which is stands for baby.

What I LOVE about this picture, is that Debra did what we hope all quilters will do with our designs. She made it her own. She looked past the colors of our quilts, and was able to see this quilt in black & white. Doesn't it look sophisticated? I think this baby must have a very chic baby room. And Debra also put the baby's initial in the center, instead of the generic B.

This quilt made me smile today, and I hope it did for you too.

See you soon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Running at full speed

OUR KIDS ARE ALL IN SCHOOL!!!! Did you hear the cries of joy from where you live? Where we live, our kids went back to school, with a staggered entry, right after the September long weekend. We LOVE our kids, and we have had 9 years of being stay-at-home (and working) mom's. But this year, our two youngest kids are in school full time. Cori and I have always said "imagine what we will be able to do when we have the whole day to ourselves." And so far, we are getting a lot done with this new found freedom.

There is so much to talk about, that I think it will take several entries for me to accomplish it all. But here is a start.

Cori is finishing up work on our fall catalogs for our distributors. We have added at least 8 new patterns, which are all very unique, and very different from each other. We will love to see what you think of them.

And if Mr. Schaefer is wondering what I was so frantically writing out math equations for during my daughters Tae Kwon Do class, it was for this quilt.

I have been back at the sewing machine, and running through spools of thread. Cori and I have had a collection of Joel Dewberry fabric on hand for a few months, and we were unsure what we wanted to create with it. I was thinking of new intricate blocks, and very modern layouts, when suddenly, it was clear, we were going to go back to the basics. Sometimes as designers we are so concerned about creating 'new - never seen before' blocks, that we forget about some of our old favorites. This is a basic log cabin, created to use the new large prints that are now on the market. I fussy-cut out the center block, which is 4", and then added the chunky 2" logs all around...and so we have named it our 'Chunky Log Cabin' . And if I keep on the pressure, and get it finished, it will be one of our new fall releases.

Talk to you soon,

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Congratulations JILL PESTI of Fort Wayne, Indiana!

After pouring over all of the submissions that came in, something kept us going back to Jill's project. When we look at her quilt, we have a lot of ideas of what we can do with it. And we hope that she will be OK with the fact that her finished quilt is going to look way different than her original....because this one is going to be cut up, and really changed.

We struggled with almost every entry, because we wanted to help everyone fix their 'road-block' so that they could finish their quilt. Some projects have had small things go wrong, and some projects took a wrong turn without anyone knowing it was wrong until it was too late. We do hope that now that you have pulled these projects out of the closet, that you will take another look at them, and maybe ask a quilting friend to help you find a new direction to take with it. When we worked in a quilt shop for 11 years, we would often find quilters bringing in quilts that needed fixing, and I would suggest this for many of you. And good quilt shop should be able to offer you help and assistance in finishing your project into a spectacular quilt.

And from the entries, we have made a few observations.

1. Free download patterns are not always accurate. These patterns are put out there fast and easy, so that you will buy the fabric to make them, but usually no one has been paid to 'test' them.

2. Large blocks of fabric on point, can get wavy. This was the case in several entries. Sometimes if the 'waves' are not too severe, they can be quilted out. But we have noticed that the larger the area is that is 'on point' the easier it is for it to wave out. This is often because of the long stretch of bias in the blocks is being 'pulled' rather than 'fitting in'. So be cautious of these types of projects, because they can really stretch on you.

3. There is always a Plan b. But you might have to totally let go of what the quilt was 'suppose to look like' in order to finish it. And I totally understand how hard this can be. I have had projects that I have had to walk away from for YEARS before I could see them in another light. But it is a very gratifying experience to go back and finish that project.

So keep watching here as we reveal Jill's quilt, and we keep you up to date on what is going to happen to it.

-Cori & Myra