Friday, October 16, 2015


I just took a moment to cruise through and read the comments that were left on Marcus Mentions (Marcus Fabrics blog) and Stitch This (Martingale Publishing blog) about our new book, Tributes and Treasures, and all I can say is THANK YOU!!!  If it was up to me, everyone would win a book and a fabric bundle.  Your comments were all so kind and complimentary.  If you are looking for us at Festival, we'll be the ones with the swelled heads!! I often have to stop and pinch myself because I can't believe that we reached a point in this business where we were asked to write a book AND that people want to own it!!! Thank you again and if you are attending International Quilt Market or Festival, we are booth #1033 - stop by and say hello.

My plan for this post was to share pictures from our Camp Blanding retreat in September.  Paula and I had a great time - 5 days of good friends, good food and good fabric!!  There are usually 100+ ladies in attendance and they are grouped by friendship - bees, guilds, neighbors, family, etc - and it's great to walk around and see what everyone is creating and eating!  We have a great group that we sit with and they were very productive this time.  This is also the same group that we do our yearly exchanges with and some of the girls have even finished some of the exchange quilts (personally that's a topic I don't care to discuss, but some day I will join this group!!)

Diane and Wynette are both on a roll with the exchange quilts (we're just exchanged our 3rd set of blocks).  Diane shared her Snowball quilt that she worked on between our August and September retreats.  AND then she went ahead and put together her Churn Dash quilt at this retreat.  There are a lot of the Churn Dash quilts completed, so I went ahead and added that to my post-Market list of personal sewing items!
Diane's Snowball quilt

Diane's Churn Dash - just needs borders now!
Wynette had already completed her Snowball quilt and may even be part of the group with a Churn Dash quilt, but this time she has outdone herself.  We exchanged our Star Blocks on Saturday night and she had her top put together by the next weekend!! Way to go Wynette!! This weekend she finished up her Glory Bound quilt from our cruise.  Wynette loves a big quilt, so she added 3 borders to hers - LOVE IT!!
Wynette's Star Block exchange quilt. Love it on point!!

Wynette's Glory Bound with borders

Ronda drove over with Paula from Texas and she was a busy girl.  She brings lots of projects and gets a lot done on them.  The only picture I was able to get was of her 1930's Arkansas Crossroads.  This was an exchange group from Texas.  

You get to see a lot just sitting in your spot and I watched as Diane F. finished up these great Fall houses and campers. A lot of work went into these blocks!

Gloria's daughter Heather creates these beautiful mohair and painted fabric animals. I could sit and watch her for hours.  She designs the animals herself and then cuts, sew, stuffs, and accessorizes each one. She was making owls, foxes, baby chicks and corn this weekend and I just had to have one of her owls.  She names all of the animals, but I knew this little guy had to be called Hootie.  I'm still looking for the Blowfish!!

Can you find Hootie watching over me on my return trip?

It seems September is a good time for retreats.  Debbie from Texas finished her version of Bonnie Blue at a retreat. She started the quilt at a workshop Paula taught for the West Houston Quilt Guild.  It's always so nice to see someone else's  interpretation of our patterns.  Great job, Debbie.  If you look carefully in the bottom left hand corner of the picture, I think you can see another Bonnie Blue in the works.

The Latimer Farms shop kits have been shipped to local quilt stores and hopefully you should start seeing blocks and/or the actual quilt appearing in a shop near you soon.  Marcus Fabrics had a great ad for Latimer Farms in the Dec 2015 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.  It's always a little shocking to turn the pages of a magazine and all of a sudden see a picture of yourself!  I remember when this one was taken  - I made sure my hair was looking good, I had on makeup and nice clothes!!!

We're wrapping up the last few things for Market.  The quilts are all done and currently enjoying their glamour shots.  These will be used on our pattern covers and in our brochure. I fly to Houston on Tuesday and help with any last minute kit preparation and then it's off to downtown Houston and set up in the George R Brown Convention Center on Thursday!!  I will post one last time before Market and Festival with pictures of our new quilts and kits.  They will all be added to our website after Festival.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, October 9, 2015

Tributes and Treasures

It's been a crazy couple of weeks since retreat.  I'm finally on the last quilt for Market and it will be in the mail to the quilter by tomorrow morning (that's my plan and I'm sticking to it!)!!  All sorts of quilts, quilt tops and other handmade items were finished and shared at retreat and I fully intend to share them, but it's going to have to be in a couple of days.  Right now it's finish this last quilt!!!

Ok, so why am I taking the time to write this post?  Remember in my last post I mentioned that we were going to be the guest bloggers on the Martingale Publishing Co blog?  Well, today is the day!!!  Click on this link and it will take you directly to the blog post: Stitch This!  If you would like to win a bundle of Paula's fabrics (you know you want too!!), leave a comment on the post in Marcus Mentions (Marcus Fabrics blog). We're everywhere today!!!

And just to complete the excitement, Tributes and Treasures is now available on our website!!! (Because we knew we would not be in the same state to sign these books, we signed book plates that Martingale designed for us while we were at retreat and an autographed book plate will be sent with each copy.) The books will be arriving today (thank you UPS) and Paula will begin shipping them out next week.  Why not Saturday?  It's Game Day Kit Cutting again!!  In addition to the books arriving, rumor has it that the fabric for 3 of the new patterns/kits that we will be introducing at Market and Festival will also be arriving - Bank's Retreat (Heritage Reds collection), Laura's Quilt (Carolina Blues collection) and Gettysburg (Latimer Farms collection).  It's going to be a busy day at the Barnes' house.  I just hope that the Georgia Bulldogs can win this weekend - I'm a little uncomfortable with Paula and a rotary cutter if they are losing - just saying!!  Go Dawgs!!! 

We will have autographed copies of Treasures and Tributes available in our booth (#1033) at International Quilt Festival-Houston (October 28-Preview Night and October 29-November 2). Stop by to pick up your copy and check out the new patterns and kits we will have available.

Paula and I would like to thank everyone for all the congratulations and kind words you've given us on our first go as authors.  Talk about a self-esteem booster. Thank you! And from me - a special thank you to my daughter Megan and her fiance Brian for the beautiful flowers they sent on Book Release Day.  You earned "favorite daughter status" on this one, Megan!! LOL!!

And now back to my regularly scheduled program - piecing!! I think I'll stop at JoAnn's on my way home from the Post Office and make sure Tributes and Treasures is at the front of the book rack!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen