Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Borders, Backing, Blogging and Packing

And did you wonder how I arrived at today's title??  Well, those were all of the things I had to get done today.  Borders on Market quilt #3, backing for #3, a blog post and last, but not least, packing for our trip to New York.  It's now 7:30 PM and I am writing my post, so that means I have accomplished #1 and #2, but still have the packing to do.  Not too bad for a day's work. Oh, and I even cleaned up my sewing room a bit!!!

We've been in heavy pre-Market mode since the cruise.  Paula's brain must be on overload!!  For every new collection (4 to be exact), she has come up with a new quilt design and that's not counting the 2 quilts I finished before the cruise.  My poor sewing machine is begging for a break, so it will truly appreciate our weekend in NY.

At the end of the last blog, I shared a picture of one of the new quilts on the floor of the Conference Center on the Navigator of the Seas.  That quilt (as yet to be named) is a Nine Patch featuring the newest fabrics added to Paula's Companions collection.  It is pieced and quilted and waiting for its glamour shot with the photographer.  Here's a picture pre-quilting:

Next on the list was Parker's Crossing featuring another new collection - R & B Tavern.  I worked on some of the blocks for this while we were on the cruise.  If nothing else, at least our quilts are well-traveled!!!  This one is off at the quilters for its custom quilting and then on to the photographer too.  Here's a picture pre-quilting:

And just recently finished is quilt #3 (as yet to be named) with Paula's collection - North Hampton.  It went off in the mail today for it's moment with the quilter!  And again, here's a picture pre-quilting:

I apologize for the pictures, but my design wall is behind my sewing machine and there's all sorts of "stuff" around it, so I can't get a very good picture of just the quilt.  I'll post the pretty pictures, with the quilting, when we have them back from the photographer.

Next on the list is quilt #4. It will be pieced from the newest of the new collections - Old Townhouse - and we doing a re-do of A Quilt for Alice.  I will be spending a lot of time at the sewing machine for this one.  It has to be pieced and quilted before we head to Market on May 14th!! Luckily, no photography needed  - it's a re-do!!

Patterns for all of the new quilts will be on our website after Spring Market (they should all have names by then too).  The fabric collections are arriving in your local quilt stores as we speak.  I'm pretty sure Companions and R & B Taverns have started to ship and North Hampton has a June 1st shipping date, so watch for them in your favorite store or online!

But before I start on quilt #4, Peter and I are heading to upstate NY to spend some much needed time with our son Brett, his wife Meredith and our 2 precious granddaughters Sydney and Julianne.  I've been watching the weather like crazy and it looks like cooler weather, but no chance of snow - thank heavens!!  We're also going to drive up to Vermont and visit with my cousin - she owns Vermont Kitchen Supply - a type of store I really don't have much experience with!!!

Well packing is calling and we have an early flight tomorrow.  Think I'll pack some hand sewing for the trip!!  I can't wait to share our new addiction!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Home again and back to the real world!!!  I thought you might enjoy some photos from our recent quilt cruise with Stitchin' Heaven.  I promise no beautiful sandy beaches or blue Caribbean water pictures because if truth be told, Paula and I never left the ship!!!  Our ports for this cruise (Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel) were all places we've visited many times before, so we decided to just stay on the ship and relax at the sewing machines and that's just what we did!!!  We met sooo many wonderful people in this group - some repeat cruisers and some brand new friends!  I am all about excursions when I travel with my family, but on these quilt cruises it is really all about getting to know our fellow quilters/cruisers!!  This was a small group, but what a great group of ladies.  I laughed so hard sometimes that I couldn't even see to sew!!!
The 4 lovely ladies from the Cherokee Quilt Guild

Paula demo-ing in the first class to 2 of the Cherokee Quilters group and 4 lovely ladies from the Tyler Quilt Guild
Repeat cruisers and Robin from Stitchin' Heaven
This is Elephant by Cliff!  He joined us one night!!  He's wearing Paula's earrings as eyes and the pieces of fabric from Hampton Ridge as his nose and spots!!! 

Our trip started out with a slight delay due to morning fog in Galveston.  The ship didn't get into port on time (7 AM), so boarding and leaving were delayed a bit.  No problem - we still had time to muster before our 1st dinner!!!  Remember, meals on a cruise are a priority and you certainly don't want to miss any!!  Paula and I helped get the classrooms ready for the quilters.  Classes started on the first day at sea - Monday - so everything needed to be ready for 9 AM.  Each quilter gets their own sewing machine and space to use for the entire cruise.  Any kits they ordered are placed at their table with a cool t-shirt, name tag and beach tote.  Stitchin' Heaven provides the irons and also sets up a mini store.

Robin and Lucy (in the green shirts) were with us from Stitchin' Heaven
This year's teachers were Paula, Denice Lipscomb from Common Threads in Waxahatchie, TX and Jerry Stube from Quilter's Quarters in Leavenworth, KS.  Paula taught our Simple Star and as you can see from the pictures, we had quite a few "finishers"!!!  Most of the group went home with 1 or 2 finished quilt tops!!  Congratulations to all of you!!!

This one is Anne from AZ with her finished extended version of Simple Star

I think that is Jane hiding behind her finished top from Jerry's class

Now did I tell you we were on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas?  You may have heard about us on the news on Sunday, March 23rd, because we were one of the two cruise ships that were floating around the Gulf of Mexico all day and not sitting in the Port of Galveston!  We woke up to dense fog and news of the oil spill that closed the Port!!  We finally docked around 6 PM and were on our way home by 9:30!!  I have to applaud the crew of the Navigator.  They were wonderful and made every effort to ensure that we enjoyed our last, but unplanned "day at sea"!!! And to think that as we finally left the port, they were just beginning to board the next group and heading back out to sea - probably around midnight - and I'm sure they greeted them with the same enthusiasm that we received when we boarded on the previous Sunday.  Job well done Navigator of the Seas crew!!!!
We were not alone out there.  Someone counted at least 50 other ships of some sort.

At the curb in Galveston and waiting to go home!!  Yup, that's 8 suitcases (3 big ones are quilts for our trunk show)!!

I was Paula's TA (teaching assistant - remember I'm willing to do just about anything if it means I get to go on a cruise), but I also worked on 2 new quilts from 2 of Paula's newest collections.  I will share them, and some other goodies we worked on, in the next post.  But for now, see if you can find one of the new quilts in this photo.

Until next time, happy quilting!!
Mary Ellen