Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Day

Yes, today is Valentine's Day and therefore a Happy Day, but I have another reason to be happy. It's a sewing day for me, but a package I received in the mail yesterday will make it an even happier day!! First let me go back just a few days: I flew to Houston for the first weekend in February so that Paula and I could spend a few days planning and doing inventory (ugh part of the whole weekend).  We accomplished so much and you will be seeing that over the next few weeks as I piece together all the great quilts we planned! Just before I arrived, Paula's fabric samples for her new collection, Claret, arrived, so we cut the fabric we need for a new quilt.  I am so in love with this collection.  The wine-colored tones paired with grays, blacks and lights are just yummy. Check out the full collection on Marcus Fabrics' website: Claret.  Paula had already planned a re-do of Harpers Ferry, so it was a matter of just getting it cut.

And here's why today is a Happy Day! 

Yes, those are individual baggies for each of the blocks in the quilt. Be still my heart!  Paula not only cut the fabric, she bagged them by block!!!!  I have been grinning ear to ear since the box arrived!  This quilt will take absolutely no time to piece and put together - which means we can have the kits on the website and available for purchase as soon as the quilt is finished!!! 

We finished the inventory in record time and spent the rest of the weekend pulling fabrics for new quilts and kits.  Watch for re-do's of Bordeaux, Simple Star, Pinwheel Triangles, and A Quilt for Alice. I also got to dine at some of my favorite places: Lupe's and Bagel Cafe!!

Cruise update: We had a fabulous time and met some awesome ladies (and some gentlemen too). Apparently we were one of the topics in the comedy show one night - "have you seen the sweatshop they're running down in the Conference Center?" There were 82 quilters and they were divided into 3 classrooms in the Conference Center. The 3 teachers were Paula, Denice Libscomb of Common Threads Quilting, and Connie Tesene of Country Threads.  Deb Luttrell of Stitchin' Heaven and the organizer of these fabulous cruises also shared the schedule of cruises for 2017 and 2018.  Be sure to check out Stitchin' Heaven Travel and book your cruise of a lifetime.

We sailed on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, the first of the biggest cruise ships.  It is divided into areas/zones and has so much to offer everyone. Paula and I decided we both like the Central Park area the best.  You're outside, but because of the trees and greenery you would never know you were in the middle of the ocean. The ship even has an outdoor aqua theater for a high diving performances!

Central Park area from the pool deck. Interior balcony rooms overlook the park area.

Aqua Theater. This was taken as we were waiting for our muster drill, so the pool area is closed.
Oh, is that the sound of the baggies calling my name? It must be time to close and head to the sewing machine!

Until next time, happy quilting.
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WOW Wednesday I - 2017

I'm sure many of you thought we had totally dropped off the face of the earth, but actually we've been hard at work!  Ok, really just getting through the holidays and trying to get back on course! Fall Market, Fall Festival, WI Retreat, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's - whoa baby, that was rough! We've traveled, spent time with family and friends, and actually did some business stuff - kind of a miracle. But now it's 2017 and we're ready for a great year. We've got all sorts of things we're working on: new BOWs, new fabric collections, new quilts, new BOM, new quilts for a new book.  New BOM and new book will both appear in 2018, but we'll be working on getting them ready this year. Oh and I'm going to be a grandma again!!! Our first grandson will be making his appearance in mid-June!!  We're so excited!

We introduced WOW Wednesday last year and it seemed to get a good response from all of you, so we will be doing that again.  We're hoping that the up, close and personal pictures we are taking for these blogs are giving you a better look at the details in these quilts - fabrics, prints, colors and quilting.

Today's WOW Wednesday guest is Charlotte! Indigo was a new collection that Paula designed for Marcus Fabrics this Fall and we had a great time playing with it. Charlotte, James River, Creekside and Little Bear Paw were all designed using Indigo and they were all quite popular at Market and Festival.  Charlotte is actually a re-do quilt and we love it as much in Indigo as we did in it's original collection. Re-doing a quilt pattern allows  us to show you it's versatility.  Charlotte measures 83"x91", so it is a great bed quilt. It also features all of the fabrics in the collection - navy, blue, light shirtings and beige - and of course a pretty stripe. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see that Charlotte has an overall quilting pattern and it was quilted by Sharon Dixon of Katy T-Shirt Quilts.  Thank you Sharon.

Charlotte kits and patterns are available on our website:
     Charlotte kit                                                     Charlotte pattern

Paula sent me a surprise goodie package yesterday (I just love when she finds fun things that we both "need") and inside was the winter issue of Simply Vintage magazine from Quiltmania and low and behold our Vicksburg quilt is on page 84. I was home and not in my local Jo-Ann's when I found the picture, so I had to have my "celebrity" moment by myself. LOL! If I'm in Jo-Ann's, I get this stupid grin on my face and look around, hoping someone will ask me why I'm smiling like that.  Even better, I try to make sure I have my niece with me and she'll ask: "Aunt ME are you in any of these magazines?"

Vicksburg kits and patterns are available on our website:
      Vicksburg kit                                                  Vicksburg pattern

Vicksburg features Paula's Tavern Red collection and unfortunately the fabric is no longer available.  This is also a quilt that we have made a few re-do's and it has grown bigger over time - it now measures 80"x80". Sorry, no up, close and personal pictures on this one right now - it's still in France! Lucky quilt! Meanwhile I am totally in love with the red and white quilt on the front cover - Coronado by Shawn York for Rusty Crow Quilt Shop.  I think I need to add that to my to do list!

Don't go looking for a WOW Wednesday post next week - Paula and I will be in the middle of the Caribbean on the Stitchin' Heaven Civil War Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. Paula is teaching (I'm teaching assistant, gofer, and all-round fun person), along with Denise Lipscomb of Common Threads and Connie Tesene of Country Threads. I think this is the 3rd or 4th cruise we've done with Deb Luttrell and Stitchin' Heaven and we are looking forward to another fun week! I'll be taking pictures and posting on FB as we travel along, but I will blog about our trip when we get back home. I'll be working on a quilt for our new book on this trip.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Thursday, December 15, 2016

We're Back!!

Yes, it's been a long time since our last post, but man have we been busy!  We finished Market and Festival, spent a week in Wisconsin, celebrated Thanksgiving, went to another quilt retreat, did some Christmas shopping, and relaxed - well maybe, but not really! Personally, I feel like I've been going 90 to nothing since mid-October when we were getting ready for Market and Festival and I think I can say the same for Paula and she didn't get to go to the second quilt retreat!! And now we're all in pre-Christmas mode! Paula is having her family home for Christmas and Peter and I will be traveling to Louisville and upstate NY.  Why, you ask, am I leaving beautiful, sunny, warm Florida and heading to the frozen tundra?  Family!  It's all about family!!

Today I want to share some information with you about our upcoming retreat in Texas. Paula and I are sponsoring a retreat at "And Sew It Began" Retreat house in LaPorte, TX in February 2017. We're hoping 14 of you will join us for 4 fun-filled days of quilting.

Here are the details and some pictures to get you started on thinking about this wonderful experience. 
A printable brochure with all the information is available on our website: click on this link:
The registration form is available at this link:
For additional information or questions, please call:
 281 232-2583 

Red Crinoline Quilts Texas Retreat
February 7-12, 2017
And Sew It Began
211 South First Street
LaPorte, TX 77571

Retreat Cost: $875 - all inclusive
Class Fee
Meals and Lodging
Guaranteed laughs 

Your four days at the retreat include: 3 days of class instruction and sewing time, a day of retail therapy at Painted Pony 'n Quilts and antiquing, a trunk show, demos, and tips and techniques. RCQ will also have kits and patterns available for sale.

Paula will be teaching 2 new mini-quilts. Complete kits (fabrics for the top, backing and binding are exactly as featured in the sample) will be provided for both quilts.
Little Bear Paw measures 34"x34" and is one of the new quilts in the RCQ Favorites #4 pattern and features fabric from Paula's new Indigo collection.

Star Formation measures 24"x24" and was originally designed for the Marcus Makers booth at Market. It features fabrics from Paula's Heritage Reds collection.

And Sew It Began is owned by our dear friend, Ronda Stockton.  Ronda and her husband David remodeled this 1900's Sears craft house and it is just beautiful. Each bedroom sleeps 3 or 4 people and has it's own bathroom.  The new spacious classroom building provides each student with a comfortable chair and ample table space (we know how you like to spread out).
This is the 1930's room.  Look at those adorable vintage crocheted dresses!

Ronda made the beautiful quilt hanging on the wall.

The RCQ room - that's our Carolina hanging on the wall and Long Road Home on the bed.

This is the spacious classroom.

If you're like me and didn't have much of a Christmas list for the family, this is something you can tell them about!  Deposit of $100 is due with the registration form and the remainder of the payment will be due by January 9, 2017.

We hope you'll be able to join us!

Today's laugh: I currently have a rather large bin of projects sitting in my sewing room - personal quilts, exchanges, future book quilts and 1 uncompleted business quilt. Paula knows about my bin, but doesn't know how much is in it any given time.  The other day she asked if I was done with sewing for the year.  I quickly listed what's in the bin and she responded - "Phew, I don't have to feed the beast!"  She was worried I was going to tell her I needed something to sew and she just doesn't have time right now to design a quilt and pick fabric for it! The beast is full -  at this time!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


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: 
                     info@redcrinolinequilts.com 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