Wednesday, January 16, 2019

It's Here! It's Here!

We are so excited to announce that our new book is out and available for purchase! Step Back in Time is our second book with Martingale Publishing and we are so pleased with the way it came out. Thank you so much to all the wonderful people at Martingale and the effort they made for our book. They truly work miracles!! And without further ado, here it is!

There are 13 projects in the book and 12 new patterns. The projects range in size from Itty Bitty Leftovers at 26 1/2"x 26 1/2" to Kentucky Baskets at 87 1/2" x 96". There's something here for everyone! Our focus was on scrappy quilts. We hear everyone talking about decreasing their stash and using up some of their scraps and hopefully the quilts in this book will help you with that. Click on this link to order your signed copy!

If you want to hear more about the book, our thoughts behind it and how we got started in this business, check out "Stitch This! The Martingale Blog" and see our videos - yes, we're trying that video thing again! I think you'll find we're a lot more relaxed in these. There's also a great story about the cover quilt - Potato Chip Stars. Here's the link:

Paula and I got to spend some time together this past week. 7 boxes of fabric arrived at the warehouse, so I flew to Houston and we cut fabric and our dear friend Jackie folded and assembled the kits.(Thank you Jackie!) We've been anxiously waiting for this fabric - it's fabric for the Baltimore Baskets and Anna Ella kits! We ran out of these kits at Festival and still had a number of people interested in ordering them, so they are back on the website. Don't forget to look at the other great kits we added after Festival: Basket of Stars, Remembering Sue, Hopkins Way, Fav's 6 (these all feature Paula's Baltimore House collection), Mini Lincoln's Watch, Bonnie Blue and Lydia.

Baltimore Baskets features the panel - applique without actually having to do applique!

Anna Ella uses the beautiful border stripe, but in a unique way - as the setting and corner triangles!

To order any of these kits, click on this link to take you to the Kits section of our website.

My suitcase was quite a bit heavier on the return trip - Paula planned at least 3 new quilts while we worked in the warehouse.

It's a short blog today, just sharing great things and now I have to go pack for my upcoming cruise - South America and Antarctica! Yes, winter clothes and summer clothes! A true challenge!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

It's Time!

My bags are all packed and sitting at the front door.  My ride to the airport will be here in about 30 mins - yes, quick post. The quilts are finished, the photographs are done and the last pattern has to be edited. What does this mean?  It's time to head to Houston for International Quilt Market and Festival! I'm heading to Paula's a week early so we can work on kit assembly.  Lots of cutting and folding in my future!

Here are the dates and links to the Quilts Inc website for each of these events:

Saturday, November 2 - Monday, November 5
Booth 1802

Wednesday, November 7 - Preview Night
Thursday, November 8- Sunday, November 11 
Booth 1802

When Festival is over, we will be heading to Menasha, Wisconsin for our retreat! We are so excited and we just found out that we had a couple of cancellations, so there are some openings. If you were thinking about it and thought you couldn't get in, don't worry, we have a spot for you!  You can't guarantee much in life anymore, but I am confident in promising that you will have a great time - quilting, old friends, new friends, shopping, eating, and of course laughing. What more could you ask for!! The retreat house is a fantastic location for teaching, plus you will have the opportunity to shop at some of the finest quilt shops around - Primitive Gatherings, JJ Stitches and Country Sampler. We will also be setting up a shop at the retreat house and will have kits available for all of the new quilts that will be featured at Market and Festival. Watch for a future post with photos of our new quilts and re-do's. For details, cost and registration form, go to:
Here's the dates again: Tuesday, November 13 - Monday, November 19, 2019

Paula will be teaching 2 quilts that feature her new collection, Baltimore House, from Marcus Fabrics. Kits for each of the quilts include backing and are included in your fee.

We hope you can join us at our retreat or stop by and see us at Market and Festival.  You're going to love all of the new things we have to share.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, September 14, 2018

Richmond BOW Video 6

Thank you for your patience as we struggle through the technical issues involved in producing a video! Steven Spielberg we're not! Just when you think you have it right, it goes and does something crazy, like running in slow motion for no apparent reason!! But without further ado, here it is, Video 6! This is the last video for the Richmond BOW program and it focuses on the steps for finishing your quilt top. Here's the link and you know the drill!

We will leave these videos on our website for awhile, so if you haven't had a chance to watch them or started and don't have time to catch up, they will be there for your convenience. If you are just getting started and would like to purchase a pattern, complete kit or starter kit, we still have some available.  Click here to place your order:

         BOW Kits and Patterns

Did you notice the change in the backdrop in the last video? Some segments were filmed in Paula's studio. You got to see a little bit of where the design magic happens.  Maybe someday we'll do videos of each of our sewing rooms. First, we would have to make sure they were clean!!
I'm finishing up my 3 weeks of travel with a visit to Louisville, KY. My son-in-law is in Belgium with my husband and two of my brothers-in-law as they tour WWI battlefields where their grandfather fought.  One sister-in-law calls it the "War Tour", but my son-in-law calls it the "Beer, Battlefields and Bikes" tour. Whatever you want to call it, they are having a great time and I'm enjoying my time with Megan and my grandson Adam. Little Man is just adorable and keeps me laughing. He still goes to daycare during the day because I've needed the time to work on a quilt for Fall Market! In addition to my regular suitcase, I hauled a sewing machine and sewing projects with me. Let me just share a couple of pics of this little cutie!

Yes, that is a strainer he is holding! He loves his kitchen utensils, but strainer is his favorite. Great for a quick game of Peek-A-Boo, too

Paula designed a number of quilts using her Baltimore House collection and I'm working my way through them. Baltimore Baskets and Baskets of Stars focused on using all of the fabrics in the collection, but the next two quilts feature 3-4 fabrics each. I brought the Blue and Brown quilt with me and I'm proud to say that the top is done, except for the borders! I'll be home Monday afternoon and should be able to add the borders pretty quickly and then it is off to the quilters! Up next will be the Pink and Green quilt.
Four patch blocks - I made a lot of these for this quilt
All those great four patch blocks in some big blocks

A couple of weeks ago I shared the picture of the Little Debbie's Fall food, but today I have the real Fall food - Pumpkin Spice bread! Now this is what Fall is all about - anything pumpkin.  I know there are many of you that look forward every year to the arrival of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte, but coffee is not my thing.  I need a good carb and Pumpkin Spice bread does it for me! I suggest cream cheese as your topping!

Many of you may have received an email today about our November 2018 retreat at Primitive Gatherings Retreat House in Menasha, WI.  There are only a couple of spaces left and we would love to have you join us - the more the merrier! You can't guarantee much in life anymore, but I am confident in promising that you will have a great time - quilting, old friends, new friends, shopping, eating, and of course laughing. What more could you ask for!! The retreat house is a fantastic location for teaching, plus you will have the opportunity to shop at some of the finest quilt shops around - Primitive Gatherings, JJ Stitches and Country Sampler. For details, cost and registration form, go to:

For all of you in Florence's path, please stay safe! Heed the warnings and follow the evacuation mandates and suggestions. 

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Thursday, September 6, 2018

BOW Video 5

Ok, so it's Thursday and we're just getting around to putting the next video up and sending out a blog, but trust me, we have good excuses!! Labor Day totally threw us off and we thought Wednesday was actually Tuesday, I was traveling home from NY and Paula was in The Woodlands for a lecture and workshop! I have to say, it's been one busy summer, but here you go, Richmond BOW Video 5 is on the website! You know how this works - click on the link that takes you to our Homepage, find the Intro video, find the link that says "Click Here to See More Videos, and find video 5!

We hope you are enjoying our BOW video series and that you are following along with us.  There are still some kits available if you are interested.

Today I have a rather eclectic blog - vacation photos, upcoming quilts, bees, and food. First up, bees. A couple of weeks ago I promised that I would share a picture of the quilt that Paula worked on during our last retreat.  It was a birthday gift for her oldest daughter Alison (who's nickname is Ali B) and I finally have a picture to share! Honey Bee is the second quilt (first one was Abilene Cow) that Paula has done by designer Laura Heine. You can buy complete kits for these collage quilts. I've been looking at the Sea Turtle one myself, but I'm just a little too busy right now. I would really love to make the fox one, but the kits are gone and there's no way I could do this without a kit!!! Beautiful job, Paula!! And to think it was all made and quilted in just 2 days!
Paula and her daughter Alison - Ali B!
 I'll combine vacation and food because we ate one of my favorite foods on our vacation - salt potatoes! These are a Syracuse clambake/summer staple - 4 pounds of small potatoes boiled in 1 pound of salt and eaten with lots of butter! Yes, heart attack on a plate, but OMG they are so good!!! Here's a little history from Wikipedia:
  The Syracuse, New York, area has a long history of salt production. Salt springs located around Onondaga Lake were used to create consumable salt that was distributed throughout the northeast via the Erie Canal. Salinated brine was laid out to dry on large trays. The salt residue was then scraped up, ground, and packaged.
Salt potatoes originated in Syracuse and once comprised the bulk of a salt worker's daily diet. During the 1800s, Irish salt miners would bring a bag of small, unpeeled, substandard potatoes to work each day. Come lunch time, they boiled the potatoes in the "free-flowing" salt brine.
I did manage to bring a bag home with me!!!

Our last day of Grandma/Grandpa Camp was a trip to the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown. In addition to the Living History farm and village, they also have the Empire State Carousel a unique, handcrafted merry-go-round based on the history and culture of NY State that was created over 2 decades by over 1000 volunteer carvers, quilters, painters and woodworkers. The girls loved riding on it and I enjoyed the small quilts that were hanging in the building.
I think this was actually rug hooked.

I loved this one - Rip Van Winkle for the Catskills Region quilters

We're making progress on our journey through Paula's Baltimore House fabrics.  Two quilts are done and fabric for the next 3 has been selected. I started working on the Pink/green quilt, but I'm waiting on more light fabric, so I've switched to the next one - Blue/brown. It's going with me to Louisville tomorrow. There's still a Blue/cream one to go too!
Pink and green with a touch of red    
Brown and blue

September 12th will be our final video - #6 - and it will be all about finishing your quilt - Piecing the Top, Trimming the Sides and Adding the Border. It's to believe that our BOW is almost over! Hopefully we can actually have everything ready on Wednesday!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


Thursday, August 30, 2018

BOW Video 4

Greetings from upstate New York! Peter and I are in Ballston Lake for our annual Grandma/Grandpa camp with Sydney and Julianne. We'll be here until next Wednesday - their 1st Day of School.  Grandson Adam (and his parents) are on their way here now.  Going to be a great weekend for sure.

First off - it's new video time again! We hope your enjoying our Richmond BOW program and hope that you've been able to sew right along with us. Last week we shared and demoed how to make Block 2 and this week we are moving right along and sharing Block 3.  Here's you link to Video 4. Remember the link takes you our Homepage where you will see our intro video and the words - Click Here to View More Videos. Click there and page down to Video 4.

It's a total family week, so I have nothing fabric related to share!! I don't even have a machine with me!! So instead, I will share some vacation pictures. Please bear with the proud Grandma pictures! Our adventure this year was sparked by Sydney's request to see Fort Niagara. 4th grade Social Studies is NY State History and last year we had visited Fort Stanwix and Fort Ticonderoga and they talked about Fort Niagara in class, so we tied that in with a visit to Niagara Falls, a ride on Maid of the Mist, and a stop to see family on Lake Ontario.
First stop on our road trip is Lock 13 rest area on the NY Thruway. Sydney is the "I" and Julianne is the heart.

Playing in the playground at the rest stop.

American Falls at night.

American Falls, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls

Old Fort Niagara

Julianne and Peter kayaking on Lake Ontario

Sydney and Uncle Steve

That's it for this week! Our next video (video 5) will be available on Sept 5th. 

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, August 24, 2018

BOW Video 3

Oops, sorry, but I was so involved in making new quilts that I forgot to get a blog post written about the next video.  Richmond Block of the Week Video 3 is on the website. Click on the link and it will take you to the Home Page of our website. You will see the Introductory video and just beneath that it says: "Click Here to See More Videos", click there and you will see all 3 of the videos we've done. If you're just getting started or life interrupts your sewing time, we will leave all of the videos on the website for a while.  Please don't feel rushed to get this done!

We hope you are enjoying our latest Block of the Week and that the videos are helping you with cutting and piecing.  In video 3, we begin piecing with Block 2. I had to laugh when we were filming the segments with me at the sewing machine - I never wear jewelry when I'm sewing and there I am with one of my nicer watches and a ring on each hand!! I hope you noticed how nice my nails look too!!  I did that just for the videos! 

After Paula headed back home, I continued working on two of the new quilts with Baltimore House. I finished Baltimore Baskets, the one with the panel, and here's a photo - pre-quilting. I love this panel and I think you are going to enjoy making this quilt.  So many of us have fantastic custom longarm quilters or are longarmers, so this quilt will give them/you a chance to shine.

Up next was Basket of Stars and I finished that on Wednesday night (probably why I didn't get the blog done!) and it is off to the quilters.  I was amazed at how quickly this went together and even better, how well it went together.  I'm always a little nervous when blocks have a lot of small pieces; I'm so afraid that they are just not going to finish at the right size, but dang, these basket blocks were spot on!!! Hurray for me!! The pictures will show my 4 piles of little pieces that became 4 baskets and then finally the medallion.  Sorry no picture of the whole top - ran out of time!

A quick call to Paula and I had the directions for the next quilt.  We have so many new quilts to make for Market and Festival, that we can't have any down time.  Peter and I leave for NY tomorrow for our annual Grandma/Grandpa Camp with Sydney and Julianne, so I need to get as much done as I can before I leave.  This year Niagara Falls, Old Fort Niagara and maybe the NY State Fair are on the list. The new quilt has 328 flying geese in it, so that's what I started with - 125 done last night!

Chuckle for today - I live in Florida and it's going to be hot until November and we will probably get Fall weather in January (leaves actually fall off our trees then), but I saw this is Publix yesterday.  At least Little Debbie's thinks it's time for Fall in Florida! 

Personally, I'll know it's Fall when I see the candy corn out in the stores and then I will have to practice restraint because I will want to buy it all!!

Just a reminder that Richmond BOW complete kits, Starter kits, patterns and backing are available on our website.  This link will take you directly to the BOW page with all of the items.

Video 4 will be available on August 29th - Piecing Block 3.  I'll try to be better about getting the blog written on time.  I should even have some vacation pictures to share!!

Until next time, happy quilting!
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Richmond BOW - Video 2

Good morning!!!  It's video time again. If you've just joined us, then let me catch you up. We've just launched our 2nd Block of the Week program.  This year we are doing our pattern Richmond. We began last week with our Introduction video and this week we are featuring video 2. In video 2, we are getting started with the actual quilt and are starting off by cutting all of the fabric for the quilt. Click the link below to view this week's video.

The Block of the Week program runs through September 19th.  Each week we will share a new video on our website. The videos will feature cutting and piecing techniques, quilt top assembly and finally finishing. We chose Richmond as the pattern because of the uniqueness of the pattern and the template it features.  All of the blocks are triangles; either large triangles or triangle blocks made up of smaller triangles. All of the triangles, large and small, are cut using the template that is included in the pattern.

We hope you will join us on this new adventure. We have complete kits, starter kits and patterns available for purchasing.  Complete kits and Starter kits have limited quantities, so don't delay on ordering.  We had a limited number of quilt backings, but have sold out of the brown. Click on the link below to go to our website to purchase your kit, pattern or backing.

Here's a closer look of what is included in each of the two kits:
Richmond Kit - includes 18 fat quarters for the pieced blocks, background fabric for the alternate block, border fabric and the pattern and template. Fabric featured is from Paula's Bristle Creek Farmhouse collection and is exactly what we used in our quilt.

Richmond Starter Kit - includes background fabric for the alternate blocks and the pattern and template.  You choose your own fat quarters for the pieced blocks. Time to use up some of those fabrics in your stash.

Paula finished up her family vacation and came to my house so we could work on the videos and do some sewing. After working on a couple of the videos, I now know not to consider a career change.  There's no hope of me becoming the star of stage and screen. This is definitely outside my comfort zone!! If nothing else, we've had some great laughs. A blooper video was considered, but we've moved on past that!

Now on the sewing side, we've gotten a lot accomplished. Last week I shared a picture of Paula's new collection, Baltimore House, and on Sunday we cut into it and have made all of the star blocks we need for Baltimore Baskets. This is the quilt that will feature the panel of "appliqued" baskets.  If you love applique, but really don't want to actually do the applique, then this quilt will be perfect for you. Up next is the borders and then it is off to the quilter for her magic touch!

We also took a nice break from all this "work" and headed to the beach yesterday morning.  Fortunately, the red tide that has ravaged some of the beaches on Florida's west coast has not reached my favorite beach - Pass-A-Grille Beach in St. Pete Beach.  It was a little cloudy, but that helped keep the temperature down.  We were enjoying ourselves so much, we even took a "selfie".  Trust me, this is a first!!

Video 3 - Piecing Block 2 will be available on August 22nd.

Until then, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen