Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It's Shipping Time

It's been a busy few days.  On Saturday I finished the James River Blues re-do using the indigos from Paula's new collection, Indigos and Claret. This collection will be available around the beginning of September, so watch for it at your local quilt shop. Also check here for some other new quilts and mini-quilts featuring this collection over the next few weeks.

I spent Sunday folding the fabric and assembling the Fall Mystery Block of the Week kits.  Thank you Outlander, Season 1 - Part 1, specifically Sam Heughan, the fine, handsome Scot that plays Jamie Fraser, for getting me through this project! There's something to be said for a man in a kilt, but that's another blog post! (Fact: my grandfather fought WWI in a kilt, as a Sergeant in the Fifth Battalion: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Fifty First Highland Division). Sorry no picture of him or Sam, but here's a picture of the pretty fabric (Latimer Farms) that you will find in the kit.

Monday was organize the orders.  This involved Paula having to open every order that came in for a BOW kit and then emailing me the order, the packing slip and the shipping label.  These are the things that running a business and keeping inventory in 2 different states involve!

Tuesday was shipping day.  Rumor has it, I have a kitchen table somewhere under all of these boxes! My wonderful postal woman, Hope, picked them all up on Tuesday afternoon and they should be in your hands by the end of the week.

Now, if you haven't ordered your kit yet, there's still time and I still have some kits left. We won't be starting with the directions until Monday, September 5th.  Remember, you will need to come to the blog at the beginning of each week for 10 weeks starting on Sept. 5th for your weekly directions - 9 blocks and 1 week for finishing. Click here if you would like to order a Fall Mystery Block of the Week kit:  BOW kit

It was too hard to watch/concentrate on Sam/Outlander Season 1 - Part 2 while I was doing the shipping, so I finished it while working on a re-do of Regimental Stars.  We have wanted to remake this quilt for a while, but didn't have the right gold and blue for the set-in triangles and sashing and finally we found them with fabrics from Paula's Companions collection and Latimer Farms!!  YAY!!! The blocks themselves weren't a problem because it's basically what we call an "inventory" quilt - Paula shops the warehouse!!  It's a perfect pattern for using up some of your stash. This quilt will go to Market and Festival and we will have kits available on our website around that time also. The pattern is currently available on our website:  Regimental Stars
Here's a sneak peek of the quilt!

The beginning of August was also a big shipping time.  That time it was patterns to participating shops for the Latimer Farms BOM program.  It's hard to believe that it is already half over.  Working with the Latimer Farms fabric for the Mystery BOW kit reminded me that we have complete kits and 108" wide backing fabric available for the Latimer Farms quilt.  Check our website for details.  Latimer Farms BOM kit

We would like to thank everyone for the compliments and kind remarks about our Latimer Farms quilt. Paula is already designing and planning our next one!!

Peter and I are heading to Louisville tomorrow to visit the newlyweds - daughter #1 and son-in-law, so sewing will be put on hold for the weekend. Come Monday afternoon, I will be back at work on Regimental Stars so I can get it off to the quilters.  Then it time to dive into the bin for the next quilt project! You'll have to check back and see what's up next.

Until then, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rio Olympics 2016

It's Olympic time again and I am so psyched!!! Tonight is the Opening Ceremony and I'm ready - I have my sewing and cutting all planned!

Paula came to Florida last week so we could both attend the retreat at Camp Blanding.  We worked really hard, planned a lot, sewed a bunch and laughed with good friends.  Before we left for the retreat, Paula's sample yardage for her newest collection - Indigo and Claret - arrived at my house.  This collection will ship in two parts, so we actually received the indigoes first.  We've planned two quilt re-do's from the blues - James River Blues and Charlotte - so we spent some time at the retreat getting ready to piece both of them.  AND that is what I will be working on tonight - all of the half square triangles that we need for James River Blues and the 4-patch strips!  Perfect Opening Ceremony projects!
And because you really can't see much of the fabric, I thought I should at least share the actual fabrics! I love this new collection and I can't wait to see the Claret part - clarets, grays, blacks and some backgrounds. I think they will be in your lqs around September.

Next up for the weekend will be cutting the kits for our Fall Mystery Block of the Week program.  The response has been great and I see a lot of cutting in my future!  Remember there is a limited number of kits available, so if you are still interested in participating, order your kit now.  Fall Mystery Block of the Week.  The price is $59.00 plus shipping. Here are the details again and a look at the fabrics we will be using.
                                      Fall Mystery Block of the Week
    featuring Latimer Farms by Paula Barnes
    10 weeks - September 5, 2016 - November 7, 2016
    Kits available

Enjoy your evening and weekend, whatever your plans! Personally, I don't think there's anything you would want do tonight besides watch the Opening Ceremony!!  I'm looking forward to 21 days of Olympic fun and then it's time for the Closing Ceremony.

Happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Monday, July 18, 2016

What's new at RCQ

It's been a busy couple of weeks at Red Crinoline Quilts, so I have all sorts of things to share with you, so let's get right to it!

#1 on our list is a new Block of the Week!  We've really enjoyed looking at all of the online Book of the Week programs that quilters can participate in, so we decided to hop on the bandwagon and offer a Fall BOW. We wanted to give you plenty of time to finish all those Summer BOW's you've started before we presented ours (yeah right - always thinking about our customers!).  Here are the details:

    featuring Latimer Farms by Paula Barnes
    10 weeks - September 5, 2016 - November 7, 2016
    Kits available 

We hope you love mysteries as much as we do, but just in case you're uncertain, here's a preview of the fabrics from the Latimer Farms collection that we will be using:

Aren't they just yummy??? I just finished the quilt top and I have to say it is beautiful!!  I think you are going to want to do this one! The Mystery BOW will run for 10 weeks. Yes, in 10 weeks you can have a completed quilt top!! You will piece 1 different block for each of the first 9 weeks and in week 10, you will finish the quilt top. On the Monday of each week, we will post a link in our blog that will take you directly to the directions for that week's block.  You may print your directions or refer back to them at any time.  Directions will only be available through our blog posts. We also have a limited number of kits available for $59.00 each and did I forget to say, backing will be included! I recommend you order your kit now, but they will not ship until the week of August 15th (I need time to get back home and get them assembled). We will not charge the kits until they ship. To order your kit, click here:

Hint: finished size, approximately 32"x32". Watch for more hints (and pictures) in future blog posts!

#2 on the list is the new additions to our website.  Knowing how much we all love fat quarters and how we can't resist adding them to our stash, Paula designed a fat quarter friendly mini quilt - Heritage Stars - and we decided to kit it - 2x! The first mini was designed featuring 13 fabrics from Paula's Heritage Reds collection and after we made that one, she decided we needed to make another one using her Peppery collection.  Both kits are $50 each and available now on our website!

I have to admit that I can't decide which one I like better, so I guess I'll be making 2 more of these.  I think the red one will be perfect for Christmas and Valentine's decorating and the black one will look great on my table for Fall.

We also added 2 new patterns to the website - Heritage Stars (fat quarter friendly) and Old City Gate featuring Paula's newest collection Red Rose and Vine (currently available in you local quilt store).

#3 on the list is a new member to the Future Quilters of America club - Paula's granddaughter Sophie.  Here she is with her first quilt top.  Didn't she do an amazing job!!! Don't you just love that smile too!!!

#4 on the list is a new club we are forming - the Pillowcase Club - and my granddaughters, Sydney and Julianne -  are the founders! Apparently I've made them lots of pillowcases and I didn't realize how many until I saw them neatly folded in the linen closet.  My d-i-l and I had a laugh about it and decided I could put a hold on them for a while and then low and behold they wanted pillowcases, specifically beach-themed pillowcases, for their vacation at the shore. I obliged and with their help we made 6 beach pillowcases! I'm so proud of them! 

So many things to share this time!  I hope you found something that you are interested in doing - Fall Mystery BOW, Heritage Stars Red or Heritage Stars Black. All of those are smaller quilts and will piece together in no time!!

Next time I'll be sharing what Paula and I are working on for Market and Festival - new collections, new quilts and re-do's.  As usual, we are crazy busy, but we wouldn't have it any other way!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cotton-n-Wool Gathering

Just a quick post today. 
Many of you may have heard about our upcoming Cotton-n-Wool Gathering in Appleton, WI, November 13-19, 2016.  We will be teaching with Lisa Bonjean of Primitive Gatherings and the Olde Green Cupboard gals.  There are also all sorts of exciting things planned for you. 

This great retreat filled up with a week of it's announcement, but as sometimes happens, we've learned that some attendees have had to cancel their reservations.  There are now 5 openings.  If you are interested, please click here for more information, the complete schedule and registration form: Cotton-n-Wool Gathering. Classes with Paula and I and Lisa Bonjean.  Make It,Take It with Gloria, Vicky and Heather from Olde Green Cupboard Designs. Primitive Gatherings Holiday Open House. Travel day to two of Wisconsin's award-winning quilt stores - JJ Stitches and The Country Sampler.  Free time/sewing time/shopping time.  What more could a quilter ask for??? If this interests you, then click to find more information. Hope to see you there!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Plethora of Mini-Quilts

My son Brett celebrated #38 yesterday.  Many years ago, when my three children were much younger - 12th grade, 9th grade and Kindergarten - we were traveling to a Winter Guard competition in Salem, MA. The older two each had a friend with them and for some reason my son (the 9th grader) and his friend Tim brought up the word "plethora" (I guess it was part of the vocabulary lesson for the week) and between the four of them, it became their goal to use the word in a sentence as often as they could.  They are all grown up now (41, 38, and 29), but that word has stuck with me and when I hear it, memories of that weekend road trip come flooding back.This post is dedicated to Brett, Tim, Megan and Sang. Thank you for making "plethora" one of my favorite words too!

A plethora of mini-quilts - yes indeed.  I seem to have been bitten by the mini-quilt bug and over the past month or so, I've been piecing mini-quilts.  Paula designed Heritage Stars for Spring Market - a fat quarter friendly quilt using her Heritage Reds collection - and we liked it so much that we decided to re-do it in fabrics from Paula's Peppery collection.  Both collections are from Marcus Fabrics and are available at your LQS. I am hard pressed to decide which one I like better! We are currently working on making up kits for both of these quilts and as soon as the patterns and kits are ready we will add them to our website! I will post here when they are available!

I love everything from Jeanne Horton and the Shop Girls from Country Sampler (Spring Green, WS), so of course I joined her Nickel and Dime Club earlier this year.  Our first project was this adorable heart quilt - Love, Love, Love.  I've now made two - one as a gift and one for me.  Can't wait for Valentine's Day to roll around again so I put this one on my table.

If you receive Jeanne's weekly newsletter, you know that she always has some adorable mini-quilt that one of the girls has pieced.  I fell in love with Kathleen's Doll Quilt (featuring fabrics from Betsy Chutchian's first collection Eliza's Indigos) and Valentine Star designed by Selma Bennett.  With Memorial Day and July 4th coming, I decided my table needed a new patriotic table runner, so I pieced Hometown USA designed by Suzanne Unbehaun.
Hometown US (left), Kathleen's Doll Quilt (top right), Valentine Star (bottom right)

I also seem to have been bitten by the Frivols bug!  It's amazing what happens at retreats - someone brings out their Frivols tin and the next thing you know we're all online and checking to see who has which Frivol and who wants which one - a shopping frenzy has begun.  I now have 7 of these little tins, but did manage to finish No. 5, Atelier, featuring Petite Prints Deux from French General.

My dear friend Pat has joined me as we venture down the mini-quilt rabbit hole and graciously quilts all these little beauties for me! I think it's time to do another quilt redecorating, maybe table tops this time or fill up that big galvanized bucket I bought!

Paula and I have been busy planning, designing and piecing.  She has a number of new collections in the works, so I'll be piecing some beautiful new quilts for Fall Market and Festival.  We're also working on quilts for book #2. Watch for posts with updates as the summer rolls along.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pre-Market Busy-ness

It's always a little crazy right before Spring or Fall Market and this year is no exception. With two weddings to plan for this Spring, we decided that there would be no way we would be able to attend Spring Market and share new quilts. Wedding quilts, yes, new quilts, probably not. The weddings were our priority!! But as luck would have it, Paula did design 1 new line of fabric and she was asked to design a "fat-quarter friendly" quilt featuring a previous collection.

Timing is very important in fabric design. Once Paula designs and decides on the final fabrics for a collection, it has to go into production and that takes place overseas. Then we began the waiting game.  Paula has designed the quilt, but we are waiting for the fabric to arrive so I can start piecing. Luckily Marcus Fabrics was able to send us some yardage of Paula's new collection, Red Rose and Vine (yummy blacks and reds), so that became my focus for our mini-retreat.  And luckily Paula was there as I pieced the blocks.  Designing a quilt without the actual fabric can be a bit of a challenge and in this case Paula decided the design needed to be tweaked. I was able to piece all of the blocks at the retreat and actually pieced the majority of the top when I was back home and that's when we went back into a holding pattern. The large floral print wasn't quite ready, so it couldn't be shipped. The fabric arrived last Monday, the borders were added last Tuesday, it was on the longarm machine by Thursday afternoon and off to be bound by Friday evening.  It will be in Salt Lake City on Wednesday morning and hanging in the Marcus Fabrics booth by Wednesday afternoon.  Whew!! Old City Gates was truly an all-village effort!!!  Special thanks to Lynn Graham and Cathy Peters of Palm Tree Longarm Quilting and Linda Bowman for binding.

Now let me share a picture of this gorgeous collection, and part of the finished quilt top (remember, it is not quilted).  I haven't even seen it quilted yet! Red Rose and Vine will be debuting at Spring Market and should be in your local quilt stores in July.
Red Rose and Vine - reds, blacks, lights, stripes and large floral print - what's not to love!

Corner of Old City Gates - can't wait to see it quilted!

I also finished our "fat-quarter friendly" Heritage Stars that features Paula's Heritage Red collection.  Our dear friend and fellow retreater, Pat Meeks, graciously took it home with her for some tight stipple quilting.  I honestly don't know what we would do without these wonderful people!! 
Heritage Stars

Old City Gates and Heritage Stars patterns will be added to our website after Market.  We will also have kits for Heritage Stars in the Heritage Reds fabrics and in fabrics from Paula's Peppery collection.  That's next up on the piecing list!  

It should be a busy summer - Paula's brain seems to be in overdrive.  I talked with her today and she's designing and planning new collections and quilts for Fall Market and new quilts for our second book!  Yup, we're doing another one!!  I've already finished one quilt and another one just needs a border.  Paula is working on two new quilts and there are all sorts of designs floating around for more!

If you are attending Spring Market in Salt Lake City, be sure to visit the Marcus Fabrics booth, #2231.  Old City Gates and Heritage Stars will be displayed there.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen and Paula  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mini-retreat fun

As is always the case with our retreats, we had a fantastic time at our mini-retreat in April. Paula was able to fly-in on Wednesday and we kicked off our long weekend with lunch with our dear friend Phyllis Anderson, author of Diamond Quilts.  We met Phyllis on the quilt show circuit and became fast friends.  Phyllis and her husband Bob live near Sarasota, so I get to see them pretty often.  I have to say that we are all looking pretty good in this picture!!
ME (actually having a good hair day), Phyllis and Paula
We always do a bunch of sewing at the retreat, but I wanted to share the other "fun" things that were going on. On Saturday, Gloria taught a group of six to make a basket.  It was pretty neat to watch and I have plans in my future to make a basket too.  I'm sure you will be wondering why Sara is wearing a large garbage bag while she makes her basket! She was wearing a brand new shirt and using dyed reed to make her basket and when she wet the reed it was starting to run on to her shirt.  Vicky came to rescue and made her a plastic smock! Thank you Vicky!
Gloria and Paula - looking very serious
Gloria, Sara and Tami (Sara's daughter)

Paula and her completed basket.  She stained it when she got back home.
Sunday found Vicky, Paula and I making a last minute run to Rachel's Farmhouse for some much needed items.  Thank you Cindy for staying open for us!!  Paula found 2 great antique quilts, Vicky bought some fabric, but I think I had the most fun - a big galvanized bucket and a beautiful wooden bench found their way home with me.  I've been lamenting the fact that I have run out of places to put quilts and have been forced to store some in a closet.  My new purchases have helped.  Prior to the retreat I asked Gloria if she had a basket to replace the one that I was currently storing quilts in, but was falling apart (bottom falling out!) and she came through for me.  We weren't home an hour and Paula already had the bench decorated and the basket full.  I also had just ordered a collapsible laundry basket, so it was quickly filled up.  Only the bucket remains empty, but it just needs a good cleaning before it is put to work.  The closet should be empty again soon!!
Oh yeah, we had fun!
My "new" old basket from Gloria

My new bench

Collapsible laundry basket filled with quilts
These ladies are all part of our exchanges, so this time we had a couple of completed Star Block exchange quilts.  Congrats to Sara and Anjie for finishing theirs.  I love how the quilts look so different with the different alternate block and sashing colors. Mine is on my bucket list, but I did manage to finish my Churn Dash exchange quilt this Spring.
Sara and Anjie and their quilts
 I worked on quilts for Spring Market, which I will share in the next post in just another day or two!

Until next time,
Happy quilting,
Mary Ellen and Paula