Monday, April 9, 2018

We're Traveling

Did you ever have one of those days when you just didn't feel like doing much of anything? Well, today was that day for me. My house is totally quiet - which is kind of strange because last week we had a houseful! Son, daughters, spouses, grandchildren and dogs - 10 people and 2 dogs - and now they are all gone! That's probably why I'm feeling a little out of sorts, but the mail just came and it has all changed and it's thanks to a box from Country Sampler of Spring Green, WI.  What's in the box you ask?  Why fabric, of course!

Let me take the story back a little bit and also explain the title of today's post - We're Traveling! Paula is teaching at Country Sampler's Grand Olde Flag event in May and I'm going with her!  Teaching assistant, quilt holder, needle threader, you name it, I'm it. There is no way I'm missing out on a trip to Jeanne's place! (Look out UPS - you're going to have some big boxes to ship in May!)

First some details on the event: click on the link and it will take you to the Coming Events section on Country Sampler's website.  Page down until you come to the section on Grand Olde Flag for more info. Call to sign up.  We'd love to have you join us!
May 7-11, 2018
Country Sampler, Spring Green, WI
Teachers: Paula Barnes and Carol Hopkins
608 588-2510

The color theme for this year is Indigo and Gray and that's why I'm so excited now.  Paula will be teaching two of her newest designs: Indigo Star and Irish Chain (RCQ Favs #5) and we are redoing them in indigo and gray fabrics that Jeanne has selected and I get to make the new samples!! These are the fabrics that you will receive in your kits, if you sign up.

How about some details on the quilts:
  Indigo Stars is 24"x24" and originally featured fabrics from Paula's Indigo Blue collection.

These are the fabrics that will be used in Indigo Stars for the Grand Olde Flag event

 Irish Chain is 35"x35" and it is one of three patterns on RCQ Favs #5 and it was originally pieced in fabrics from Paula's Bristle Creek Farmhouse collection.

These are the fabrics for the new version of Irish Chain

It's been a busy month or so around here.  In addition to having a houseful of company last week, I just got back from 5 weeks in Australia and New Zealand! Absolutely fabulous trip and I'll probably need to go back some time and visit all the places we didn't get too! I'm looking forward to spending some time with my old friends, my Bernina 440 and my TV (I have a lot of DVR'd shows I need to catch up on)!  These two new quilts fit that bill perfectly and can we say yummy fabrics!!

If you can't come to Wisconsin, but would love to make these quilts, we have kits available in the original fabrics.  Click on these links for patterns and kits for both quilts:

Hope we get to see some of you in Wisconsin.  If you've never been to Country Sampler, it's time you checked it out.  It's like being in Quilter Paradise! I'm still working my way through the kits I purchased the last time we were there!  Definitely boosted the Wisconsin economy on that trip!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Paula's on the Road

Happy New Year!!!  It's certainly been a long time since I last posted and so much has happened since then.  We've been through International Quilt Market and Festival (both a huge success), one case of the flu, Thanksgiving, one move (Paula), Christmas, New Year's, cold weather for warm places (Mary Ellen and Paula), the introduction of our Bristle Creek Farmhouse BOM program (another huge success), and the writing of a new book - whew, I'm exhausted reading all of that!! We're looking forward to a great 2018!

We have so many things planned for this year and I will try to keep you better informed about them, but first up, Paula is on the road and you can find her in Jefferson, TX at the Jefferson Quilt Show, "Quilts on the Bayou". This is the 15th anniversary of this wonderful quilt show and Paula is the guest lecturer. The show is Friday - Sunday, January 26-28 at the Jefferson Institute in Jefferson, TX. Paula's lecture and trunk show will be Saturday, January 27th at noon and her topic is: "History from the 1800"s".  You'll have the chance to see some of our favorite quilts up close and personal.

Jefferson, TX sits on the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou and is known as the Belle of the Bayou. Offering a look back into 19th century Texas, Jefferson's brick paved streets and antebellum homes carry guests back to a time past. It's numerous attractions, beautiful overnight accommodations and great restaurants have earned it a new nickname, the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Texas. We were vendors at the quilt show for a number of years and always enjoyed what Jefferson has to offer - great restaurants, beautiful B and B's and fun things to do.  If you go, be sure to check out the great antique shops and the Gone With the Wind Museum.

We traveled all over the US for quilt shows and have eaten in many great and unique restaurants, but probably one at the top of our list is right there in Jefferson, Kitt's Kornbread Sandwich and Pie Bar! Sandwiches served on cornbread! Can we just say yummy?? My favorite is the ham and cheese on broccoli cornbread.  We liked this place so much that if we were going to be passing through the area, we would make sure it was lunch time! 
My favorite - ham and cheese on broccoli cornbread
So, if you're in the area, check out Jefferson and the Quilts on the Bayou Quilt Show. Stop by and see Paula's trunk show and here the history of some of our quilts, check out an antique shop or two, visit a museum and grab a cornbread sandwich.  It will be well worth your time!

If you haven't had a chance, visit our website and check out our newest patterns and quilts.  Red Crinoline Quilts. Now, while Paula is dazzling them in Jefferson, I'll be hanging with my peeps at our retreat at Camp Blanding in Starke, FL. Time to plan my projects and start packing!

Until next time, happy quilting, 
Mary Ellen

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Big Sale Time

Did you know that there is a website that lists all of the "special" days for each month - National Cookie Day, National Shoe Day, Columbus Day, etc? Paula found it and would you believe that October 15th is "I Love Lucy Day"? So in honor of I Love Lucy Day, we are going to have a BIG SALE!!
Monday, October 9th - Sunday, October 15th, 
 20% off your entire order
  Enter the code: I Love Lucy
Planning this sale got us thinking about that show and some of Lucy's greatest adventures: the chocolate on the conveyor belt and the grape stomping to name just a couple.  She certainly had a knack for getting herself in some trouble. There were times when we were on the road traveling to and from quilt shows that we were channeling our inner Lucy and Ethel.  

Paula has no problem backing up the trailer into just about any space and I usually just act as a guide - someone to aim for! (Some day I am going to get the vest and those flashlights that they use at airports!) On one trip we decided to do a little sightseeing up this nice country road.  Well needless to say, we realized halfway up this hill that this probably wasn't a very good idea. We had no clue where this road was going to lead us - someone's driveway -  so we decided to turn around and get back on the main road.  You don't just turn around a truck and trailer on a narrow country road with ditches on each side; instead you back down the road and turn your tail end to the right so you can pull forward and go in the opposite direction, to that main road you decided to leave!  For some reason the trailer was not cooperating and all my "Paula you need to go to the right" screams weren't helping, in fact they were just making Paula more upset. I had visions of the trailer ending up in one of those ditches.  Finally Paula decided she just had to let the trailer go the left and we would go down this road in the opposite direction of where we planned.  We had no clue what was at the end of the road and if we would finally be able to turn the trailer around. Well as luck would have it, the road dead ended in someone's farm!!  We pulled in, smiled our sweetest smiles to the whole family that had come out to see who had come for a visit (remember Paula is a Southern gal, so she has some real skills in this department) and graciously asked them if we could turn around in their front yard!! The gentlemen assisted in directing us and we were out of there and back on the road in a matter of minutes. Lucy and Ethel for sure!!  After that we decided to just stick with the Garmin - no more adventures! I swear sometimes we are doing a standup comedy routine!

Remember, it's 20% off your entire order!!  That includes Patterns, Notions and Kits. Check out some of the kits you'll find there.
Hampton Ridge BOM complete kit
Hampton kit
Hampton close up

Hampton Close up

Banks Retreat - featuring Paula's Heritage Reds collection

Kennesaw Mountain
Kennesaw Mountain close up
Kennesaw Mountain close up
If it's on the website, it's 20 % off. Shop early, shop often!! Some quantities are limited.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Harvey Update and Other News


First up - We want to thank all of you for your concern about Paula and Hurricane Harvey. As many of you know, Red Crinoline Quilts is based in Houston and both Paula and I lived in Katy, TX at one point, but now I'm in St.Petersburg, FL and Paula is outside of Houston in Richmond. I don't know about you, but I've spent the last 5 days glued to the TV as I watched Harvey destroy Houston and its surrounding towns.  I felt totally helpless. I had so many friends over there and all I could do was watch and worry.  I've been in constant contact with Paula and our friends and fortunately the majority of them made it through the storm unscathed. Next up is to see how our warehouse survived!!  Keep your fingers crossed on that one for us. -UPDATE: Paula checked the warehouse and it is dry!!!! You can uncross your fingers now!

Houston was hit with a crushing blow and it will take a long time for it to recover from this, but Houstonians are strong and they will bring it back - bigger and better - it's a Texas thing!! If you are wondering what you can do, may I suggest making a donation to one of the numerous charities that are there to help them. 

Next up - have you seen Martingale Publishing's newest book - The Big Book of Civil War Quilts?  It was just released and features 58 patterns for reproduction fabric lovers; patterns that have been in previously published books. I quickly browsed through when my copy arrived and there are some great quilts in here!! We are very lucky to have 2 of our quilts from Tributes and Treasures in this book. Wheatland is on page 36 and Plantation Road is on page 144. It's always so exciting to see our quilts in print.  Guess I'll have to visit my local JoAnn's and have my silent moment of celebrity.  Maybe I'll take my niece with me; she's very good with the whole: "Aunt ME are you in this book?  Is this one of your quilts?"  You just have to train them right!!

Plantation Road

Reminder - Paula is teaching 3 classes at Stitchin' Heaven in Mineola, TX.  Space is still available, so sign you!  I guarantee you'll have a great time AND make a beautiful quilt or three!

Last up - Our newest BOM - Bristle Creek Farmhouse!  This will be coming to your local and online quilt stores very soon.  The quilt is done and now I'm preparing the shop kits for shipment next week.  Quilt stores will be sharing pictures and starting signups.  The program will begin in January 2018. Hope you will join us for this beauty!
Bristle Creek Farmhouse BOM - 95"x95"

Time to head to my sewing machine!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Thursday, July 13, 2017

We've Been Busy

So, I just sat down to write a new blog post and thought I should probably go back and reread my last post and I was just a little shocked that it was from March 7, 2017!  Wow, where has the time gone and just what have I accomplished in the past 4 months.  Honestly, quite a lot - visits with family, a new BOM, book quilts, business quilts, 3 weeks in Paris and London, quilt retreats with friends, AND a new grandson!!! I'll share details on all of this in just a moment, but I want to share an upcoming event for you to add to your calendar.

Paula will be teaching at Stitchin' Heaven Quilt Shop in Mineola, TX in September, 2017. Many of you have joined us on Deb's quilt cruises, but this time Paula will be teaching on land!! September 21-23, 2017 and for all you Texans, it's right in your backyard! Each day will be a different quilt and kits are available from Stitchin' Heaven.  What more could you want!! Check out these dates and the quilts. To sign up for classes and order a kit, click on the highlighted quilt name for a link to the Stitchin' Heaven website page.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Class space is limited, so sign up quickly!  Take one class, or sign up for all three!!

So just what have we been doing since March, apparently a whole lot.  Business-wise, Paula has designed a new fabric collection that will be featured in our new BOM program that will begin in January, 2018.  The collection and BOM are both called Bristle Creek Farmhouse and the Marcus Fabrics' sales reps are already introducing them to your local quilt shop owners.  So far the response has been fantastic.  Shops that are participating in the BOM program will receive their shop kits in September, so you will start seeing posters and sample blocks very soon after that. The first quilt is done, so here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite!

Fortunately Paula was able to come to Florida in April so we could work on the BOM quilt. My bin of business quilts was slightly depleted before this visit, but it's back up to full capacity again. There are quilts for book #2 in there and some inventory quilts as well. Also in the design stage are some additional quilts featuring the Bristle Creek Farmhouse collection.  Watch for these at Fall Festival in Houston.

Peter and I traveled in May and June this year with a 3 week trip to London and Paris - 1 week in London, 1 week in Paris and 1 week on an Avalon River cruise on the Seine. I honestly think we walked all over London and Paris!!  My Fitbit was in overdrive.  We had a fantastic time, but were eager to get home for the arrival of our 3rd grandchild, but 1st grandson.  Adam Christopher arrived on June 16.  All 8 lbs, 2 oz and 21 1/2" of him.  This boy is long and has some big feet and definitely takes after his daddy.  Mommy, Daddy and Adam are all doing well.  I arrived in Louisville in time for his arrival and was able to spend 10 days with them.  Boy, do I miss my little man!! 

Well, it's time to hit the sewing machine!!

Until next time, happy quilting!
Mary Ellen


Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Paula is heading out tomorrow for Dallas and the 2017 Dallas Quilt Show. She'll load the trailer and drive to Dallas on Wednesday, and then set up for the show on Thursday. The show opens at 10AM on Friday and runs through Sunday.  Be sure to stop by and say hello. We always love to meet our loyal customers!

Dallas Quilt Show 2017 
   "It's A Charmed Life"
   Dallas Market Hall
   Dallas, TX
   March 10-12, 2017
Getting into the warehouse and touching the fabrics to do the inventory, sparked Paula's creativity! She has created all sorts of re-do quilts (and still has more planned)! I've spent the last couple of weeks getting some of these new quilts ready for this show, so be sure to be on the lookout for these newbies.  The pictures I'm sharing are pre-quilted and just pressed and hung on my design wall, so use your imagination!!  They have all been quilted and bound now and look absolutely beautiful!
Bordeaux - one of my favorite quilts and originally done in Paula's Bordeaux and Sienna collection, is now re-done in reds and browns.  I'm also sharing a picture of the yummy fabric we used in the border.

Pinwheel Triangles - one of the new RCQ Favs #4 patterns.  Originally pieced in fabrics from Paula's Davenport Gardens collection, is now available in burgundys and greens.  The beautiful border was the driving force behind the quilt. The original kit sold out at Festival in the Fall.  It is super easy, but looks so beautiful.

I've also completed a new version of A Quilt for Alice and Simple Star, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of them.  Paula will have kits for all of the new quilts, as well as many of the quilts we showed at Festival in Houston in November - Old City Gate, James River, Charlotte and Creekside. Kits for the Festival quilts are available on our website, but unfortunately we haven't added the new re-do's yet.  If you are interested in any of the kits, please email me at: and I can take your order.  We certainly don't want you to miss out on anything!

I'm crossing things off my To Do list and slowing emptying my 2 bins of kits (personal and business), but things keep arriving in the mail that need to be added to the business bin. (It might be time to keep Paula out of the warehouse for a little while). Look for a new version of Harriet's Baskets to be appearing soon. The new Claret quilt is done and it is ready for it's moment at the quilters.  As soon as it is available, I will post pictures too. It will probably make it's debut at Market in St. Louis this May.

The sewing machine and To Do list are calling my name, so I had better get busy!! I think today I'm working on some personal sewing - our Pinwheel Exchange. The blocks are due in September, so I'm trying to do a little each day.  I hate the total last minute rush to get things done. I did have a "shiny" moment though today when I was ready a friend's blog and she shared her Magic of Christmas quilt.  Hers is almost done and mine is in my personal To Do bin and I think it's calling my name too.  All these voices are killing me!!! LOL

Until next time, happy quilting.
Mary Ellen

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Events

Red Crinoline Quilts is hitting the road again.  Well, actually Paula is doing the traveling.  I will stay right by my sewing machine, working through the 2 bins of business and personal quilts!  Paula is attending 2 quilts shows this month:
     West Houston Quilt Guild Show
    "Quilting: A World of Color"
     Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center
    8877 Barker-Cypress 
    Cypress, TX
    March 3-4, 2017
    Dallas Quilt Show 2017 
   "It's A Charmed Life"
   Dallas Market Hall
   Dallas, TX
   March 10-12, 2017 

Paula will have kits for our newest quilts and other great things for you to fawn over!

Paula is the featured artist at the West Houston Quilt Guild Show, so in addition to our booth, there will be 6 of our quilts hanging in a separate booth. 

If you are in the Houston and Dallas areas, please stop by and visit Paula.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen