Monday, July 8, 2019

NY State of Mind

After 2 1/2 days of driving, Peter and I arrived in upstate NY on Tuesday afternoon. I thought I would fill the days with binding, but the roads were just a little too bumpy and I couldn't psych myself up to work on them. They are a Christmas quilt and a St. Patrick's Day tabletop, so I've got plenty of time! Totally not looking forward to the return trip!

We're staying in a great house that is just up the road from Oneida Lake. As I'm writing I can look out the window and actually see the lake. It was 65 with no humidity this morning, so I even enjoyed a nice walk. It's a perfect spot for sunsets too. By Wednesday morning I had my sewing "area" all set up and ready for some sewing. Only downside, no cable! Knowing I need TV while I sew, my brother-in-law graciously set up a TV, indoor antenna and blu-ray player for me! I am good to go for some intense sewing time. And by Wednesday afternoon I had already made my first mistake! I bought along seasons 2,3, and 4 of Outlander and apparently I was concentrating just a little too hard on Jamie Frasier and pieced 4 blocks incorrectly!
My cute little home away from home for the next 2 weeks.

The duck family that visited the other night during sunset.

Oneida Lake - very calm this morning.

Sunset.
As good as home!

Yes, that is Outlander on the TV! You can even see the blocks set out incorrectly!

Oops - guess I should have looked a little more closely at the pattern.

Peter has been safely delivered to Buffalo for the Erie Canal Bike Ride. I dropped him off on Saturday and he's already finished the first 2 days! I spent yesterday on our re-do of Jubilee Celebration using Paula's new Chatham Row collection with Marcus Fabrics. I fixed those wayward blocks and pieced half the quilt!! I should be able to finish this up tomorrow. It will need a border, but I'll add that when I get home. This is the 2nd quilt that we are making with the Chatham Row collection. Ancient Stars is a new quilt and both the pattern and quilt kit will be available on our website soon. If you've looked carefully at the fabric, you may recognize the prints and especially the border print. Chatham Row is a recolored version of Paula's Baltimore House collection and I think you are going to love it!

Ready to ride!

One half of the new Jubilee Celebration

Ancient Stars - check out that beautiful quilting in the alternate blocks!




Jubilee Celebration has a lot of 9-patch blocks (cornerstones) and I was doing some intense chain piecing, but I did get up at some point and when I came back I saw this neat ring on the floor. Isn't it amazing how that happens and you don't even plan it!

Well, the sewing machine is calling - and the rest of season 2 of Outlander!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen














Monday, July 1, 2019

We're Back!

Ok, so I didn't realize that it's been 6 months since our last blog post! I imagine that many of you thought we had just disappeared, but rest assured we've been here the whole time! I could give you lots of excuses, but basically I've been busy with travel, business, family, etc and that means the blog gets left off the list. I am seriously going to try to be better, but you know how that goes. I decided this morning that today would be a great day to restart. Peter and I are driving from Florida to NY to see family and for the Erie Canal Bike Ride. I planned the blog while he drove. Tomorrow I will work on binding a couple of quilts.

So without further ado, let's get busy. I won't try to fill in the past 6 months, but instead start with the most recent activity. Paula and I spent a fabulous retreat week at the end of June with bunch of our good friends at Ronda Stockton's retreat house, And Sew It Began in LaPorte, TX. Some of us came from Florida and some were almost locals. Most of us arrived on Tuesday and were gone by Sunday, but during that time we created so many beautiful things. This is an incredible group of talented ladies. I have lots of pictures to share and I still didn't get something from everyone.

If you've never been to And Sew It Began, you need to check it out. Ronda has beautifully remodeled a Sears Craftsman house - yes, the one that you ordered out of the Sears Catalog and it was delivered to you to be assembled - into a great retreat center. It sleeps 14-16 people and if you are lucky enough, you can even stay in the RCQ room - it is decorated with some of our quilts! She built a great classroom behind the house and then recently tore down an old garage and built a store. Yes, we spent a lot of time (and money) in there. Check this place out. I believe her husband David is responsible for a lot of the gorgeous landscaping.
 
And Sew It Began


Classroom

Shop

Let me share some of the projects we worked on: 
 Pat Meeks probably wins the award for the most completed projects - flag table topper (kit from JJ Stitches), flag table runner (kit from Country Sampler- Spring Green), baby quilt and the piece de resistance Laura Heine's Sea Turtle. I believe Ronda was making kits for the table topper and table runner.
Table topper

Table runner - I made one of these too! Pat took it back home with her. It is quilted, bound and on my table!
 

Moda Bake Shop Stacked Coins Baby quilt - uses 2 charm packs

Laura Heine's Sea Turtle

 Cynthia Regone was quite prolific too. She began some new projects and shared some new quilts that she will be using in upcoming lectures. These sparked many of us to step out of our comfort zones and plan to try some new things. I know I decided on 2 new quilts I want to make in the near future! Look for some future posts sharing quilts in Kaffe Fassett! She pieced a top using star blocks from an exchange with her stitch group. We exchanged 4-patch blocks at this retreat and Cynthia was able to put them together with Shoo-Fly blocks from another exchange. How's that for luck!
 
Star block exchange. The stripe sashing set this off perfectly!


Mini floating stars for a quilt from American Jane

Our 4-patch exchange blocks and her Shoo-Fly blocks from a previous exchange!

 Jackie Smith was busy finishing up blocks that she and Cynthia had been working on. They were inspired by fabrics they purchased at Festival last year and then set them with a solid in a fabulous new color - curry! That's on the list for purchasing! Cynthia shared her completed quilt, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture.
 
Chic Picnic by Sew Kind of Wonderful - great prints and yummy curry fabric

 Ronda was working on sample quilts for the shop. Paula spent a day at the shop earlier in June and they planned quilts that Ronda is kitting. She completed a new Pinwheel Triangle (sorry no picture) and a new Bordeaux. Jamie, who works at the shop, finished our Market Square in Kaffe fabrics. Another quilt added to my personal to do list when I saw this one.
Bordeaux in gorgeous grays - kits are available from Ronda


Market Square in Kaffe fabrics. Love it!

 I don't have pictures from everyone, but trust me, they all worked hard. Wynette was putting the final borders on her Wild Goose Chase from Kim Diehl, Michele was working on a new Halloween quilt, Gloria was working on wool projects for her new program and Vicky was whipping through some quilt tops! Paula was working on patterns and a baby quilt and helping Pat with her turtle. Paula is our Laura Heine kit expert - she's made 3 of them now! I made the flag table runner after Ronda made kits and worked on a re-do of Jubilee Celebration in Paula's new Chatham Row collection. I will share that sometime this week, when I have more put together. It's the project I will be working on while Peter does the bike ride.
 
This was a really long post, but I hope you enjoyed seeing all these beautiful quilts. I got to hang out with some really talented ladies AND I got to enjoy some queso - always a win for me.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellem

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