Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Talk Tuesday

Q: Why are you posting a question for Talk Tuesday on Wednesday?
A: Because Cori was sick, and Myra was in charge. Enough said.

But here is the real question that we are going to answer today.

Q: Are there any designers that inspire you?
A: We are going to be very bold, and tell the truth. No. Are all of you shocked and surprised?

There is one part of me (Myra) that is inspired by a quilt designer who was at her prime 100 years ago. Her name is Marie Webster, and she has been the only one who has inspired me by her works. But she represents only one part of the quilts that I like to design.

But if you stand back, and look at the industry, there are actually very few quilt designers. There are a TON of fabric designers, but have you noticed that most of them don't quilt? Most of the big designers create stunning fabrics, but they don't know what to do with them. They may make smaller projects, that only use one or two fabrics, but they honestly don't know how to design a quilt with the collection they have produced. But, this is where Cori and I come in. Fabric companies, and magazines hire us to design quilts using fabrics designed by others. We are often very inspired by fabrics, but we do not have another designer in the industry who we look at and say "now they know how to design a great quilt."

So, that is the post for today, but if you have any other questions you would like to ask us, just drop us an e-mail, and we will answer it here next Tuesday (or Wednesday).


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mystery Monday @ Myra's

Where was Myra last Monday? Well, that's a mystery too! I was trying to recover from our phenomenal retreat weekend. We never went to bed before 1:00 am, and I never felt tired, because I was so excited by the projects that everyone was working on. I came away INSPIRED by the whole THANK YOU for everyone who came out to be with us.

But now it is time to show you another part of our Criss-Cross Apple-Sauce project. And, after a little configuring, I did manage to get proper illustrations for this project. So here are two blocks of our project.

The Nine Patch block.

Horizontally sew together a 2" strip of an accent color (the one that will be more predominant); and a 2" strip of background (mine is yellow); and another 2" strip of the accent color. Cut across this unit vertically every 2" to form a 'strip segment.' Repeat this cut, until you have a total of 18 segments.

Repeat this process, but with the colors in opposite locations. Use the 2" strips of your background (yellow) with an accent color in the middle (purple). Vertically cut across this unit every 2". Repeat this cut until you have a total of 9 segments.

Join two of your first segments to each side of the second segment, to form a nine patch block.

You will need a total of 9 nine-patch blocks. They should measure 5" x 5" at this point, and will have a finished size of 4 1/2" when pieced into the project.

Border Blocks
Sew a 2" strip of the other accent color to the top of the 3 1/2" border fabric. Vertically cut across this every 5" to form the border blocks.

Repeat the step until you have a total of 8 blocks. They should measure 5" x 5" at this point, and will have a finished size of 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" when pieced into the project.

That's it for today's homework. And you might not believe it, but we are almost finished the project! I will show you my finished project at the very end. And please e-mail with any questions that you might have. (sometimes things make more sense in my head, than in print)

See you next Monday...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Inspiration Thursday

Sometimes our quilts are inspired by places not colors or magazine tear outs.
Longwood is a new pattern release and it was inspired by one of Myra's favorite places - Longwood gardens in PA. Really she should be writing this so I will let her ad her thoughts of inspiration to this post....

This is another quilt that had been on our design board for a long time, and it was just waiting for the right fabrics to come along. When we were looking at the project, I asked Cori 'What are we going to name it?' And she said Longwood! It suddenly all clicked together. This design accurately describes Longwood, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I was able to show Cori Longwood Gardens back in 1994, so she understands the beauty of this place, and why I love it so much.

The Longwood Gardens are located about 30 min. west of Philadelphia, PA. The original garden can trace it's history back to the 1700's, but since that time it has grown to about 1000 acres, but it feels very small and intimate. There are towers, and ponds, and trees from around the world that were collected by Pierre Du Pont, and brought to this garden. Christmas at Longwood is one of the most spectacular sights. There are no words to describe it, but if I lived any closer to it, I would be there every year.
Our quilt design characterizes Longwood to me. It is filled with different sizes, and colors of floral prints, but it also structured and formal at the center, just like the garden. So this quilt depicts my 'favorite place in the world' and maybe next week Cori will show you the quilt she designed around her 'favorite place in the world.'

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cooking with Cori (or rather... baking)

This is another childhood recipe.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies

1 cup softened margarine
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Chill dough before baking.
Bake @ 350 for 12 minutes.

(sorry Genny...I told you I would post the brownie's. I didn't have a picture! next time)


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More pictures from retreat.
Brownie points for these ladies. BMD corsages!

and more creating.

Our 2008 retreat group!
We had a hanging with BMD "contest". The pilot got creative with our logo!

I could share so many more photo's from the weekend but this is it for today at least.

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Sharing & Caring!

Karen shared some machine quilting tips.

New color combinations!

Past retreat projects.
Cute gifts for Myra & Cori.
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Talk Tuesday

So Myra's a day behind with Mystery Monday - we had a really busy weekend at retreat so we are both catching up! Maybe she will squeeze it in sometime this week. Anyway...

Q: What do you do at your retreats?"

A: Have lots and lots of FUN! We network, exchange ideas, hopefully try something new (which so many did this year especially) and lots of sewing! We just want our students to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and be inspired.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fun Friday!

And it is going to be just that! We are expecting 30 women to arrive this afternoon to share in our fun. Our 6th annual retreat begins today! Myra and I will be busy preparing our space at the Heartland Inn in our hometown of Winkler Manitoba. We have some fun activities planned for tonight and tomorrow is sew, sew, sew. I hope all of you have a great weekend and consider this your invitation to join us next year. I will hopefully have some time tomorrow or Sunday to post some pictures.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday's inspiration
Picking colors is the hardest thing for most quilters. But, the most fun for Myra and I, infact we often have too many options and have a hard time narrowing it down! Looking through magazines is a really easy way to come up with a color scheme. Can you see the simularities between the ad and the finished project? Notice how that ad has no quilt? Go to inspriations that have not been done in the quilting world - this will give you a unique look.

Sweet Petunia is what came from that ad. It is a new pattern for release in a couple of weeks. I took the color cues from the ad above. I only used the focal fabric (amy butler) in the center and again in the binding. The other fabrics are basics and I simply pulled the colors from the main print. This was one of my first attempts at using the modern fabrics and I love it!

The pattern is a version of the storm at sea block and it is paper pieced. It is a great table quilt!

You know what else is great about today? I am wrapping up things for our 6th Hometown retreat in Winkler tomorrow! We have a large group of ladies coming from Alberta, Ontario & Manitoba, we have so much fun and I can hardly wait!! Of course we post pics of the weekend.

The other thing I will be posting pictures of our new releases next week as well.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cooking with Cori

Fluffy Cheese Biscuits

1 cup Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp shortening (I use margarine)
1/2 cup water

Combine Flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in shortening. Add cheese and water. Drop from a Tablespoon on greased and floured pan. Bake @450 for 10 min. Quick and Easy!

This is my mother in law's recipe. I have always loved biscuits, however I don't like rolling dough. These are so easy but so yummy. This recipe is so quick and easy that they make a great snack or a compliment to a meal. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canada VOTES Today!!

Americans have a few more weeks to decide who will be the next President of the United States - but for us in Canada - Our election day is TODAY!


We live in one of the greatest countries in the world. And we have the freedom to choose who will lead our country... don't take that for granted. There are many people in the world who do not get that opportunity.


Talk Tuesday

Q: "Most designers have one specific look, you don't. Is there a reason you design differently?"

A: Thanks for noticing! If you look back on our 6 books, each one is distinctively different. Then there is our selection of 40 plus patterns, they are different too. Most designers choose a single look, this is for branding purposes. Branding is so the consumer will automatically recognize your work without even seeing your name. So, yes we design differently for a reason! We have many different styles, this is so we as well as you don't get bored with our products. Make sense? Yes, sometimes it would be easier to stick to one look, yet we would be very bored by that. There are too many great ideas not to explore them because they don't fit into our box. As designers we like to push ourselves to come up with new and exciting quilts and patterns. The other reason is to keep our customers guessing..."what will bmd come up with next?"

I love your questions, keep them coming. Let us know what some of your favorites styles are.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mystery Monday @ Myra's

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!
I hope that you all had a chance to find some fabrics for our little mystery project. And I am very impressed that another Myra, even made a little logo for this adventure on her site. You can find it here at

Today, I will give you the instruction on how to cut up the fabric, and next time, I will tell you how to sew it all back together.

Cutting Instructions for
Criss-Cross Apple-Sauce

From your background fabric cut:
4 - 5" x 5" squares
3 - 2" x width of fabric, strip

From your border print fabric cut:
1 - 3 1/2" x width of fabric, strip
4 - 2" x 20" strips
12 - 2" x 2" squares
4 - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares. Cut across each square diagonally once, to yield a total of 8 triangles.

From your tone-on-tone print cut:
3 - 2" x width of fabric, strips
12 - 2" x 2" squares
4 - 2 3/4' x 2 3/4" squares. Cut across each square diagonally once, to yield a total of 8 triangles.

From your second one tone-on-tone print cut:
1 - 2" x width of fabric, strip
8 - 2" x 3 1/2" pieces

I do believe that is everything that we need to cut into pieces. I will see you next Monday, when you learn how to put it back together.

See you then.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fun Friday

Waffles & Sauce
Here is the picture that goes with my recipe.
This would be a really great gift a homemade recipe book.
For all of the recipes that you are known for, type the recipe out and take
a picture of the already made dish then compile them in a little scrap book. What a great bridal shower gift!

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend for all of you Canadians!

I hope you all have your yardage ready for Monday, when Myra will be posting your first instructions for our surprise project!

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Inspiration Thursday

Have you ever thought of looking in a Kitchen design magazine for your quilting inspiration? That is what's so exciting about finding inspiration in unexpected places! We took the design of the tile back splash and used that motif in the center area of our quilt. This "geometric" design gives an architectural detail to a very soft design. However, I think I could hear our quilter scream when we asked her to do this...she did a great job! Sometimes we just have to experiment and stretch ourselves with our design and quilting.

The Songbirds quilt is one of our new releases this fall, so look for the pattern on our website in the next month or so!

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cooking with Cori

I am going to share one of my favorite recipes with you today. It was a childhood favorite, when I would come home from school and the smell of waffles met me at the door...that was a good day. This is my mom's recipe for Waffles and homemade Sauce. I wanted to post a picture but I am making this recipe later toady and will post the photo later on.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp baking powder
2 eggs - whites and yolks separated
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream (35% cream)
8 tsp melted margarine

Whip egg whites until stiff and forms peaks.
Mix dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients and beat together. Fold in the egg whites.
Preheat waffle iron.

1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Cook sugar, milk and cream. Saving a little bit of cold milk, mix the cornstarch in the milk. When the sugar and milk have come to a boil, reduce heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool before serving.

The waffles and sauce can be served with peaches or strawberries! Enjoy.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Four Books, Four years, Four Kids

This is a post in conjuction with my last post of how long it takes to write and publish a book. Each one of our children coinsides with the book we wrote that year. This picture was taken shortly after book four was written. The kids were 4, 3, 2 & 1 years old when this picture was taken. So those of you who think you can't quilt because you have little kids around your heels...hope this inspires you :)
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Talk Tuesday

Today is questions and answer day! In our trunk show presentations we talk about our journey and how we have accomplished all that we have done. Today is the day I answer some questions that we often hear, please post your questions and I will put them on my list.

Q: How long does it take to write a book?

A: We have written a book in 6 weeks, I don't recommend it! Usually it takes 9 months to make the projects and write the instructions and another couple of months to edit and print it. This is why it makes it so hard to use current fabrics, this is why when you buy a book and look for the fabrics used you can't find them. It can take a month or so to get all of the details worked out and sign the contract. When you sign the contract the publisher already knows how many pages the book will be and all your deadlines for about 3 edits. We get to see every edit as well. When the TOC (table of contents) is finalized you begin to make the projects. In our first book Down in the Valley Myra and I made 99% of those projects ourselves and had a little help with quilting them, so the process was quit intense. When the deadline is up you send in your manuscript, hard copy as well as a disc copy with all of the projects. It takes about 1 1/2 years before you see the finish book on shelves in your quilt shop!


Monday, October 06, 2008

Mystery Monday @ Myra's.

Is it really Monday already? It was wonderful spending an entire weekend at home with the kids, and enjoying some of the great fall weather. Yesterday we were out in the hills, driving through the fall leaves, and spending time with family and friends.

And today - I am back at the office. Cori mentioned in the last post, that we now have a new format for the next few months. And today, it starts with a mystery.

We have often been asked if we would ever do a mystery quilt. So far, we never have, and it is because of me..and here is why. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FINISHED PROJECT WILL LOOK LIKE! I am too chicken to cut up precious fabric, and sew it into a project that I do not know what it looks like. However, today, I am leading you down this exact path, and asking you to do what I have never done. You are just going to have too trust me on this. It should be fun, and I would love to see what all of you create. So here is the beginning of our mystery project.

This is a small table square project that Cori designed over 10 years ago, and it is one of my favorites. So while you are all making one, I have decided to make another one right along with you.

Criss-cross Apple-sauce
Finished Size: 24 1/2" x 24 1/2"

1/2 yd border print and binding (small to mid size print)
1/3 yd background print
1/4 yd medium color tone-on-tone print (to compliment the border print)
1/4 yd medium color tone-on-tone (a different color than above, also to compliment the border print.)
26" x 26" of batting
3/4 yd of backing

I do believe this is all we will need to get this project going. So I am heading down to my stash, and finding some of my favorite fabrics.

See you next Monday.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The new Ocotober BLOG schedule will begin October 6th!

– Mystery Monday with Myra (that’s a lot of M’s J)
Myra will walk you through a FREE project.

Tuesday – Talk Tuesday
We will address FAQ’s or you can post a question and we will answer it!

Wednesday – What’s cooking with Cori?
Cori will share a recipe.

Thursday – Inspiration of the week
We will post a little inspiration for you.

Friday – Fun Friday’s

This is a great way for you the reader’s of our blog to get involved. These daily topics are so that you can get interactive with bmd. If you choose not to leave a comment or question on our blog, feel free to email it to me and then I can answer you on the blog. (all questions/comments will be anonymous on the blog)

Just a shout out to Shirley's sewing room for the wonderful welcome and hospitality last night. We shared our trunk show with a packed room of great ladies from the Moosomin area. We had a lot of fun - would have liked to stay longer but the 4 hour car ride home was calling us. A little tired today but really enjoyed sharing our passion with all of the ladies who came out, THANKS!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I talk to Cori about 3 times a day. And yesterday - all day - I knew that I was forgetting something. NOW I remember.


I had to do some serious picture diving to find this one. (unlike Cori, who has all of her pictures neatly scrapbooked)

So I hope you guys had a great anniversary. And maybe I should wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Birthday, before I forget those dates too.


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