Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank you!

Thank you to all of the men and women that have served in our Armed Forces.
We are the Land of the Free because of the Brave. 

Paula and I are heading out tomorrow to our Cotton 'n Wool Gathering at Primitive Gatherings in Menasha, Wisconsin. We'll be teaching Harmony Mills, a new quilt that Paula designed and Lisa will be teaching a wool project.  We have shopping trips planned and all sorts of fun things to keep us busy. We're looking forward to meeting all of the ladies that will be joining us on Sunday. Be sure to watch for pictures!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Mystery BOW Week 10/Finishing

Today is a big day!! Not only have we come to the end of our Fall Mystery Block of the Week 2016, but International Quilt Market and Festival are now over! Never has a bed felt so good!! It's been a long 10 days, but they were good days!

And now what you have all been waiting for: THE QUILT!! We hope you love it as much as we do!

This is going to be a very short post today.  Peter is heading back to St. Pete this morning and we need to get just a little more physical labor out of him!  He flew over yesterday to help us take down and load the trailer and this morning he will help us unload the trailer and get all the stuff back into the warehouse. Plus I have to pack up the empty suitcase he brought with him - need to get all the stuff I found at Market and Festival back home! You know, stash building!!

I didn't get a chance to get many pictures during Festival, but here are a couple I thought you might like. The booth set up for Festival is the same as it was for Market; we just added about 7 more quilts, kits and fabric bundles! Picture #2 - yes that is Paula and I with a Texas Longhorn, Gus to be exact! He was Stitchin' Heaven's booth mascot and no he won't be traveling with us on our Stitchin' Heaven cruise in January, but if you look very closely to the left of Paula you will see Little Gus and he'll be on the ship!

Paula and I would like to thank everyone who stopped by our booth to shop and visit.  It was so nice to get a chance to meet some of you and you were all so complimentary!  We were the ones leaving the show every day with a swelled head!! Thank you!
The suitcase is calling!! Enjoy piecing your tops and remember to send pictures as you finish your quilts. We've enjoyed seeing your blocks, so we can't wait to see your quilts.

Next up on our travel agenda is Wisconsin and our Wool 'n Cotton Retreat with Lisa Bongean! We head out on Saturday.  We're looking forward to meeting all of you and spending the week stitching and having fun and of course for us southern climate people, the cooler weather!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall Mystery BOW Week 9/Block 9

Well folks, we've made it to to Week 9 - the last week for blocks.  Next week will be the finishing instructions. I would say those weeks went by pretty quickly. We hope you've enjoyed our little Fall Mystery Block of the Week and that you will join us if we decide to do it again. Here's block 9:

Paula and I are finishing up International Quilt Market today.  We set-up on Thursday and Friday and the show began on Saturday.  We've been busy, but I think that probably the best part has been seeing old friends and making new ones.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we set-up for International Quilt Festival and that show opens on Wednesday night and runs through next Sunday.  By then I will be totally exhausted!! This getting up every morning at 6 AM is about to kill me.  I am all about no alarm clocks and relaxing in bed with my iPad for as long as I like in the morning.  I have not had my iPad bonding time and I miss it!! We are in booth 1419, so stop by and say hello, check out the new patterns and see what we have available in kits.

Luckily we don't have to change much in our booth to go from Market to Festival.  The biggest challenge will be adding about 8 more quilts, but I have the utmost confidence in Paula - I know she can do it!!  Here are some pictures of our booth for Market: 
Old City Gates

Charlotte (Indigo collection) and Regimental Stars

Hanging quilts: Regimental Stars, James River, Wilderness Road, Gettysburg

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WOW Wednesday - News

As I mentioned last week, today's WOW Wednesday is going to be a little different.  Instead of sharing one of our quilts, I'm going to tell you about some upcoming events that you may be interested in attending.  WOW Wednesday will get back to quilts after Festival and then I'll share all of our new quilts!

We've decided to hit the road again - not quilt shows, but retreats! Paula has taught on quilt cruises and we just love doing that, but we've decided to try some retreats on land! We have two different retreats booked and we hope you'll be able to join us at one of them!

First up: 
    February 7-12, 2017 at And Sew It Began in LaPorte, TX. This is the retreat house that our good friend Ronda Stockton owns.  She remodeled a Sears kit house, built a separate building as the classroom and now it is a perfect place for a retreat. We have openings for only 14 people, so sign up now because it will fill up quickly. The cost is $875/person and includes food and lodging for 5 nights, 3 days of instruction, kits for your classes, RCQ trunk show, demos, and a visit to Painted Pony 'n Quilts and local antique stores for some retail therapy. Transportation to and from the retreat house will be on your own. Click on the link below for the registration form.  Once you have registered, you will receive a schedule for the retreat. For more information, please contact me at: 
            or 281 232-2583.

Paula will be teaching both mini quilts at the retreat:

For a complete look at the retreat house,click here:
Up next:
   Our "Sun and Sew Get Away", September 18-24, 2017 on the Outer Banks in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  Our good friends from Olde Green Cupboard have organized this six-day quilting and sewing retreat and they are the contact people. For information and registration, go to:    

The flyer provides most of the information you need, but here are the highlights:
  - location: Atlantis - a beautiful house with 22 master suites, situated right on the beach
  - original quilt designed by Paula Barnes - kit included in fee
  - trunk show and shopping area for students
  - demos by Paula and Mary Ellen
  - Make and Take It Projects with the gals from Olde Green Cupboard
  - lodging, meals, project kits, door prizes, etc all included. 
Prices $1300-$1600, depending upon room type

We hope you will be able to join us on one of these adventures. We look forward to hearing from you.
Just a reminder - we are at International Quilt Market and Festival for the next two weeks, so if you call us and we don't answer, please leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Mystery BOW Week 8/Block 8

Week 8/block 8 is coming to you today from Houston!! I flew over last Wednesday to help Paula with the final preparations for Market and Festival - pattern editing, pattern stuffing, kit making, and other assorted fun activities - but more about that later.   Without further adieu, here is Block 8.

We've been doing most of the cutting, folding and assembling at Paula's house and all I can say is we have made a mess! Bins, bolts of fabric, scraps, plastic bags, paper and lint are everywhere! We load the trailer on Wednesday afternoon/Thursday morning, so Wednesday morning is clean up and restore Paula's house to it's usual splendor! We can do this!!

Thursday is set up day for Market and it officially opens on Saturday, October 29th.   Market is for shop owners and wholesale purchasing. Festival begins with Preview Night on Wednesday, November 3rd and runs through Sunday, November 6th and is for retail sales.  I'll be heading back home on Wednesday and then on Saturday, Paula and I head to Wisconsin for our Cotton 'n Wool Gathering with Lisa Bongean at Primitive Gatherings.  We have a couple of last minute openings, so if you're looking for a fun retreat, check out Olde Green Cupboard's website for more information.
Be sure you stop by later this week for our WOW Wednesday post.  I'm going to be sharing some exciting upcoming events with Red Crinoline Quilts.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WOW Wednesday VI

It's Wednesday again! Where did the week go? The days are just flying by, but at least I'm getting done the things that need to get done.  My "to do" list for today looks pretty good; good as in almost finished! YAY! The biggest item on my list is: go to airport.  Yup, today I head over to Houston.  I'm going over early so Paula and I can finish kits, patterns, etc and be ready for next Wednesday when Peter flies over and we load the trailer.  Thursday is move in and set up day for Fall Market and if it isn't done by Thursday, then it just doesn't get done!  

I will tell you now that there is a very good chance that there won't be a WOW Wednesday post for next Wednesday.  Once I get to Paula's we will get really focused on Market and Festival prep and writing a blog post doesn't always make the "to do" list.  I will post pictures once we are set up for Market and share some highlights. The same will go for the week of Festival.  Festival days go until 7 PM and by the time we eat dinner and drive back to Paula's I'm lucky I can walk in the house and get to bed!! We really do look forward to these two events though because we finally get to see all of our people - shop owners, customers, friends - it's like a big family reunion!!

For today's WOW Wednesday, I'm going to share a new quilt! It's actually a re-do of our original Union Tents, but done in Latimer Farms.  This is officially a Market/Festival quilt, but we thought you might like a nice up close and personal look at this quilt now.  We will probably do this with the other new quilts once Festival is done and we add them to the website.

Union Tents is pieced using 1 pack of 10"x10" squares, 1 background fabric and 1 border fabric.  The fabric packet provides enough fabric for a pieced backing also. If you remember, the original Union Tents featured Paula's Historical Stripes collection and the new version is made from Latimer Farms and we didn't use the stripe in the quilt top at all. Using just small prints makes the quilt look so different from the stripe version. I am in love with the colors and fabrics in Latimer Farms. 

Union Tents - Historical Stripes version

The original quilt had custom quilting and the Latimer Farms version was quilted by Pat Meeks and has the tight stipple that we love so much.  Pat even washes them for us when she's done and they are so soft.  Thank you Jeanne Horton of Country Sampler (Spring Green, WI) for sharing this beautiful quilting technique.

Kits for both versions are available on our website:
As with all of our kits, the pattern is included. The pattern is also available if you want to use your own fabrics - remember to share a picture if you do that.  We love to see someone else's interpretation of our pattern.

Time to finish the packing and get ready to head to the airport.  I hope we'll get to see/meet some of you at Market and Festival.  We are in booth 1419 for both events.  Please stop by and say hello!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Mystery BOW Week 7/Block 7

Well folks, we are flying right through this program.  Block 7, already?? And Lynn, here is my online, public apology - sorry and yes, there are 5 pinwheels in this block!  Just think how good you are going to be at making perfect pinwheels after this block! Pinwheel exchange, maybe??

Many of you have commented on how much you are enjoying using our patterns.  If this is the first time you've worked with them, then you should be pleased to know that we use the same format for all of our patterns. Check them out on our website. Our goal is to provide accurate and easy to follow instructions.  That doesn't always happen, so please let us know if you find an error.

Today I thought I would share Patricia H's blocks.  Aren't they just yummy!  I just love the colors in these blocks. I can't wait to see Patricia's finished quilt! Thank you for sharing them with us and for you nice comments. 

Busy weekend here after an equally busy week.  We returned home from NY on Thursday and I've been going ninety to nothing since then.  Fortunately all of the Market/Festival quilts are done, so I've moved on to quilts for our 2nd book.  I did manage to get the Fall decorations out on Sunday.  I used my "decorating by number" method.  I pull up the pictures of how I decorated previously and basically just re-do it.  Paula laughs at this, but guess what - it's DONE!! We also went to see "Deepwater Horizon" on Saturday night - very good movie and it helped to see it with someone who worked in the oil industry!  Next up is "The Girl on the Train".  I read the book and loved it, but I understand there are some changes.  I'll have to let you know.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen