Thursday, June 25, 2020

Simple Star

Simple Star is one of our most versatile patterns and I can honestly say that we have probably made about 10 different versions. Most of them are based on a border print that just screams "use me" and then Paula selects lights and darks that coordinate with it. 

Paula called me the other day and suggested I write this post because July 4th is just around the corner and our newest version of Simple Star is done in red, white and blue. What could be more perfect. July 4th is just 9 days away and you know you need it to go along with the other red, white and blue you have in your house right now!

Patriotic Simple Star finishes at 60" and is perfect addition to your home. Added bonus - it is super easy, hence it's name!! One year I made 9 of them as Christmas gifts for the girls that worked for us (and us too). They were in Christmas flannel and I still have family members begging for one. Here's our red, white and blue version and the fabrics that we used in the quilt:

You can also use 4 lights and 4 darks. We choose to use 1 light in this version.

Click here to go directly to our website if you are interested in ordering the kit:
You know you can have this finished by July 4th! 

For those of you with a "stash" or not interested in a patriotic version, here's the link to the Simple Star pattern. The pattern shows another version we did and it's hard to see, but the quilter did some trapunto when she quilted it. Thank you Crooked Creek Quilts for another beauty!

I love to decorate for the seasons and holidays and I have to say I have stepped up my summer/patriotic decorating. It's not up to the level of my Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving or Christmas decorating, but I am working my way towards that level. I've added new table toppers, pillows and even some floral, but I'm on the hunt for some red, white and blue plastic/Melamine dishes and another quilt or two. And now I'm thinking the Patriotic Simple Star would be perfect in my house too, but unfortunately it's over in our warehouse in TX - Paula, quick, send me the quilt!! I thought I would share a little of my decorating. It is certainly not up to the level that I've seen on FB and Instagram, but remember, it's a work in progress.
The pillows are from a kit from Country Sampler and the quilt is "Betsy" from JJ Stitches

Both pillow covers are from Pottery Barn and I got them on sale - YAY!!

Love my red flowers, but I think this needs a flag or two! The mini quilt is from Country Sampler.

Month 2 of our Monthly Mystery Mini Quilts Series is winding down and people are sharing their month 1 quilts. I love what everyone has done. Great color selections in all of these. Keep up the good work and keep sending me pictures! 
Karen McKnight
Diane Williams

Tammy Berry

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Catching Up

I keep thinking I have all the time in the world to do things, but I forget that my days are actually pretty full. I joke with family and tell them that quilters have been training all our lives for this whole self-isolation thing. We may actually use up some of our "stashes". So much of what I've been sewing lately is for a new book that Paula and I are working on, so I really can't share any of that (secret sewing). But today I have some new things to share!

Our fabric order for Paula's new collection with Marcus Fabrics, Madison Square, arrived and our dear friend Jackie spent last weekend cutting and assembling kits and fat quarter bundles. AND they are on our website. So without further ado, here are our new kits:

The Waltz - yummy browns and pinks complement the gorgeous brown and pink border.

Pinwheel Triangles - this pattern is part of RCQ Favs #4. This is our third version of Pinwheel Triangles and each time is just as beautiful as our first. I love the pink toile as the inner border.

Madison Square fat quarter bundles: 18 fat quarters. 

Clicking on the links will take you directly to our website to place orders. 
     The Waltz kit
     The Waltz pattern
     Pinwheel Triangles kit
     Pinwheel Triangles pattern (RCQ Favs #4)
     Madison Square fat quarter bundle 

We've really appreciated all of the positive comments for our Monthly Mystery Mini Series. Thank you so much. Month 2 is underway and Month 3 will be posted July 6. Paula is going to head back to the warehouse and see if she can design another round of 3 minis. Here's a couple of Month 1 minis from friends that used their own fabric. Great jobs ladies!!
Pieced by Karla

Pieced and quilted by Pat

Please send your Mini 1 and Mini 2 versions to us:
We would love to share them on our blog.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Saturday, May 9, 2020


I probably started listening to Paul Harvey and his "The Rest of the Story" in the early 80's. If I remember correctly, they were part of a late afternoon news segment on a local radio station. While I am no Paul Harvey and the story I would like to share is no "The Rest of the Story", I thought you might enjoy the story of Evangeline - the Quilt that Never Made It To the Big Show.

The first version of Evangeline was pieced in 2009 from Paula's French Market collection. It sold well as a kit and still sells well as a pattern. In 2018, we made a Christmas version and sold out at Fall Festival. In the spring of 2019, Paula began pulling fabrics for a Fall/Autumn version for Festival, but when it came time to pack the quilts we couldn't find the quilt anywhere.

We racked our brains, searched Paula's house and looked at pictures for recent sightings. We both remembered unpacking it at Paula's house along with other quilts that we had received from the photographer. We both vividly remembering looking at it and assuring each other that it would sell very well at Festival. All those quilts were taken over to our warehouse where we would load for Market and Festival. When it came time for packing up, we sorted quilts into 2 big bins - one for Market and one for Festival. We checked each quilt off a list we had created. When we were done, we had 2 quilts that hadn't been checked off - Evangeline  and Baltimore Baskets. And the rest of the quilts that we had brought over Paula's house were in one of the bins.

Panic set in! Where could they be? We searched everywhere again, but nothing! Had we loaned them to someone and forgotten about them? For some reason we were less concerned about Baltimore Baskets and we were able to borrow one from a friend, but we were really upset about Evangeline. Hadn't we just seen it at Paula's house and that's why our thoughts ran to it being stolen or most likely thrown away when we tossed some empty boxes. We were sick over it.

We brought the kits to Festival and sold one, but only because the customer had seen it in an email and came to see it. The rest of the kits sat in a bin. Hopefully they would sell online.

And now, the rest of the story. As luck would have it, I found Baltimore House and another quilt Basket of Stars in a guest room closet when I got home and immediately remembered that I was supposed to have sent them to Paula for Market and Festival. Oh well, missed that! But still no Evangeline. Fast forward to decorating for Christmas. I'm moving quilts out of a table for more decorating room and planning to store the quilts in that same guest room closet. This of course means moving around other stuff already in there and lo and behold, there's Evangeline!! It had been with those other quilts I had found earlier, but I didn't recognize the backing! It had been here all along. Man did I feel stupid! And so much for both Paula and I swearing that we had unpacked it at her house! Apparently great minds do think alike and actually see things alike!! The quilt we remember was probably Second Hand Clothes!

So Evangeline missed her big debut at Fall Festival, but she got to go to the Dallas Quilt Show and hang in all her glory for everyone to see AND they cancelled that show because of the coronavirus! So without further ado, here is our Fall/ Autumn version of Evangeline: 

Kits are available online and here is the link: 
Monday is a big day - the free downloadable pattern for Month 1 of the Monthly Mini Mystery Quilt Series will be posted on our website. We will share a picture of the quilt, the yardage requirements if you are using your own fabrics and the pattern itself. Download and print the pattern even if you don't plan to start on it right away. We will only keep the pattern available for about a month. Unfortunately all of the kits for the 3 quilts have sold out and we will not be making any more - no more fabric!!

Until next time, stay safe and happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Announcement! Announcement!

We are pleased to bring you a new quilt-along - Monthly Mystery Mini Quilt Series. Yes, we are known for big quilts, but we do love a good mini quilt and we have 3 adorable ones to offer you. What's the mystery you ask?  Well we're only going to show you the fabrics that are in each of the 3 kits, not the quilts themselves. Quilt size you ask - 1 is approximately 25" sq and 2 are approximately 33" sq. Don't want to purchase a kit, no problem. All 3 patterns will be free downloadable ones, so if you are one of the lucky ones with a "stash" you'll be able to use some of that for these minis. Yardage requirements will be provided when each pattern is released.

We are offering the individual kits at $35 (plus shipping), but we also have a special - all 3 kits in a combo pack for $95 (plus shipping). That's a $10 savings.  Kits include the fabric for the quilt top and binding. Kits will be available throughout the program, but quantities are limited. 

Here's a preview of the yummy fabrics that are included in each kit. Links for purchasing the kits will be provided.

Month 1 - this is a scrap lovers delight. The free downloadable pattern will be available on our website on Monday, May 11th. 

Month 2 - this is an adorable blue and brown quilt. The free downloadable pattern will be available on our website on Monday, June 8th.

Month 3 - this is the cutest little blue and cheddar quilt.  The free downloadable pattern will be available on Monday, July 6th.

Interested in purchasing the combo pack for $95, click here.
                                            Monthly Mystery Mini Quilt Combo Pack

We hope you'll join us in this new program. We look forward to adding more minis to the series.

Are you participating in Marcus Fabrics Heroic Hearts Tote Project? We still have kits available. If you are designing your own, please remember we would love to see pictures of what you've created.

Until next time, stay safe and create!
Mary Ellen


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Still Staying Safe

And it looks like we may be doing this for a few more weeks, depending upon where you live. I keep telling myself that we will get through this and we will. Stay strong, people.

I learned something the other day. Apparently I am on trend in the fashion industry. I told my daughter that I am basically wearing the same 7 short sleeve v-neck shirts and black capri pants every week; she, in turn, told me that I have a capsule wardrobe. Who knew that was a fashion trend??? Honestly, I am quite tired of my capsule wardrobe and look forward to the moment I get to go out and wear a nice blouse and pants! This capsule wardrobe is probably going to be donated to Goodwill as soon as this is over!

I also learned that ear piercing holes don't grow over in 2 weeks! It's been that long since I've worn earrings! 

Paula hit the warehouse the other day and located our fat quarter bundles. We don't usually sell fabric on our website, but we decided to change it up a bit and have added 3 bundles to our website. Here's a picture of each bundle and a link to the website.

Mood in Blue  - 19 fat quarters

18 fat quarters

22 fat quarters

I thought as long as I'm sharing things from the website, I'd share our Tree of Life quilt that is in the Blue & White Quilts book from Martingale Publishing. We were so honored to be part of this book. I'm sure many of you have already purchased the book and are trying to decide which one you want to make for yourself (or as a gift). We can make that happen for you with the Tree of Life quilt. We have a kit and it includes all of the Star Single HST papers that you will need for all of those HST's. (I promise not to tell you how many.) Kits are available with the book or without. We are also selling copies of the book.
Blue & White Quilts book
Tree of Life quilt kit

And finally, watch Facebook and Instagram on Monday for the Marcus Fabrics designers (Marcus Block Stars) new program : Heroic Hearts. We have something planned to help you celebrate the heroes, your heroes, that are fighting to help us all as we weather this pandemic.

Until next time, stay safe and create!
Mary Ellen

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Staying Safe

Stay safe, self-isolate, social distancing - these are all words we've heard frequently in the past few weeks. The coronavirus has arrived and it has changed our world significantly. I pray that none of you are dealing with Covid-19 first hand. We are all trying to find ways to deal with this daily threat - humor, prayer, avoiding the news, etc. I've enjoyed the memes on Facebook and as a retired librarian, particularly the ones about homeschooling. Laughter does help to ease the tension, even if it's only for a few moments.

I congratulate and thank all of the quilters that have stepped in with sew-alongs on Instagram and the tutorials for making face masks. I question the people that are hoarding food and toilet paper (why??). This is a time when we should be coming together as a country and helping each other out. If we work together, we will get through this.

For me, social distancing is a way of life. I spend the majority of my day in my sewing room working on quilts and projects for Red Crinoline Quilts and I love every moment of it. I should probably take some of that time and organize my sewing room or something along those lines, but I'm very happy doing what I do; well until I had issues with the cabinet near my sewing table. Dang wheel broke and I had to unload the whole thing so I can figure out how to fix it. That wouldn't have been too much of a problem, but my husband had to assist with the unloading. Really didn't ever want him to see all those kits that are stored in the bottom drawer!! Now you have to understand that I have a room full of fabric, but somehow having him see me pull all of those kits out of that drawer just gave me a fright. I was just waiting for the comments and there were so many he could make, but fortunately he kept it to - wheel probably broke because that drawer was so heavy. I agreed and moved on quickly!! Time to reorganize that cabinet when I figure out how to fix it!

Aside from the cabinet issue, I've been busy working on quilts from Paula's new collection - Madison Square. This collection should be in stores around May 1st. We decided to make 2 quilts from these yummy pinks and browns - a re-do of Pinwheel Triangles and a new quilt, Madison Waltz. Pinwheel Triangles is one of the quilts in the pattern, Red Crinoline's Favorites Collection #4. There are 3 small quilts in each of our Favs patterns and we now have 7 of them. It's an easy quilt - just HST's and a border. And even easier when someone makes all of the HST's for you - thank you Paula! Here's a picture of our latest version.

Madison Waltz is currently being pieced, but here's a picture of the fabrics we're using. Don't you just love that border??

We will have kits for both quilts when the fabric is available. I've linked both the fabric collection and the pattern for you. 

Up next will be quilts for Paula's next two collections: Indigo and Madder (7-1-20) and Little Companions Shirtings (8-1-20). I fell in love with the large floral for Indigo and Madder and can't wait to start our re-do of Star of the West. I don't think Paula has designed a quilt for Little Companion Shirtings just yet, but it won't be long. I've linked the two collections to the Marcus Fabrics website so you can see all of the fabrics, but here's a little peak at Indigo and Madder and it's quilt. (Sorry about the blurriness in the quilt picture.) 

So many pretty things to look at. I hope it helped to relieve the stress and tension of these crazy times just a little. Please stay safe. Practice social distancing - if not for yourselves, then for the people around you.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, March 13, 2020

Plans change

Unfortunately the coronavirus has struck again. The Dallas Quilt Show has been cancelled. Paula learned that this morning on her way to the show to sell kits to all our wonderful, loyal customers. It is a crazy time we are going through, but this too shall pass and all will be right in the world again. We totally understand the reason for cancelling and credit the Quilter's Guild of Dallas for their valiant attempt at making a go of it. Here's a couple of pictures to share of what you would have seen in the booth. Another beautiful set up and display from Paula.

So as we all settle in for self-isolation, self-quarantine and spatial distancing (what they are doing where my daughter works - separate the employees in the office), check out our website and order the kit you were considering and make yourself happy with a new project. Order a pattern and dive into that stash to make your own version. If I had extra toilet paper, I would even tell you we would throw in a roll of tp with each order, but I can't even offer that!! Pick a good show to binge and relax and take advantage of this time if you can. I realize many of you will be heavily impacted by schools closing and workplaces closing, but we are strong and will get through this.
We are still planning our retreat for next week and I will share the pretty things we will be working on. Post pictures of what you are creating - quilting, knitting, crocheting, painting, etc. - share it all!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen