Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall Mystery Block of the Week 4/Block 4

Our title Fall Mystery Block of the Week is now official!!  Fall is here!! Are you seeing any signs?  I live in Florida, so trust me, there's no signs of Fall here.  According to weather statistics, we are having a hotter summer than previous years!  Who knows when cooler weather will ever get here!  I'll stop my whining now and without further adieu, here is Week 4/Block 4 and check it out - no pinwheels!!

I usually write the post for the Fall BOW on Sunday and schedule it to post on Monday morning, but this one required a lot of pre-planning between Paula and I. Paula has to provide me with the link and then post it on the website. I will be at our retreat in Camp Blanding this weekend and I didn't want to have to worry about WiFi service and time away from friends and sewing.  Paula is going to be at the Ole Miss/Georgia football game in Oxford and didn't want to have to worry about bringing her computer and of course, missing any of the game or other festivities. It's all a matter of priorities! You should all be very impressed that this all came together before we headed out for our respective trips.  Sometimes things actually work the way you plan them! 

Thank you for all of your kind comments about this BOW.  Have you enjoyed this?  Would you like us to do it again? We would appreciate hearing from you.

Well, time to finish packing and get ready for the retreat.  Phyllis is on her way and then we will pack the car, get some lunch and get on the road.  Sonny's for dinner tonight!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, September 23, 2016

Paula's Pets

This week's topic for the Marcus Designers is Pets and Paula has some adorable ones. When Paula's daughter Amy decided she wanted a dog, she did her research and convinced her parents that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were the dogs for them and they were a perfect match for the Barnes' family.

Personally I love their coloring and their beautiful eyes!  Lucy was the first Cavalier to make her home with Paula.

Lucy had 2 litters while at Paula's house. Teddy, the only other male in the Barnes's household besides JR, was first.  JR always said that Teddy upped the "manliness" factor. Teddy was also the only Cavalier that wasn't black and white.  This picture was taken in Paula's sewing room.  Teddy would sit in that chair while she sewed and if she got up to get something, he would have to get up and follow her.

Katie was from litter #2 and earned the title of "Paula's favorite".  She was the sweetest dog and at times thought she was human.

Claire is the last of the Cavaliers and she came to Paula as a mature dog.  This picture with Paula's granddaughter Sophie is very accurate because according to Paula, Claire thinks she is a princess!

It was our daughter Megan that led us to owning a dog.  She was deathly afraid of dogs, so we thought owning a dog would help with that and it worked.  Our breed was Keeshonds and we owned 4 of them, but it's my daughter Caitlin's dog that I'm going to share.  Each of my kids have adopted rescue dogs, but Copper wins for handsomest. His reddish color is a true show stopper.  Caitlin has even had women stop and ask for a snippet of his fur to take to their hair colorist!  We joke because he is also a perfect Florida dog because he likes to sun himself!

If you've seen any of our quilts in person, you would have noticed that they come with some dog fur! That's just the way it is when you have pets! I'm sure many of you understand!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WOW Wednesday IV

Today's featured quilt on WOW Wednesday is Hampton.  Paula designed it using her collection North Hampton from Marcus Fabrics.  Our BOM Hampton Ridge was such a success with the fabric collection of the same name, that Paula decided to design a second collection with similar colors and that was North Hampton. The quilt measures 86" x 100", so it is a very good size for most beds.

The colorful blocks remind me of sunflowers and the beautiful red and blue stripe is perfect for a mitered border. I apologize that the only picture of the quilt is actually from when the quilt top was finished and ready to head off to the quilter!  The beautiful custom quilting on this quilt was done by Cathy and Lynn of Palm Tree Quilting.

You may recognize this picture - I used it by mistake when I shared Kennesaw Mtn.

The Hampton pattern and kit are both available on our website:
                Hampton pattern                        Hampton kit
Did you know that all of our patterns feature a story on the back of the pattern?  All of our pattern names are historical and based on people, places or events from the 1800's.  The story for Hampton tells of the USS Monitor, one of three ironclad ships commissioned by the Union Navy and the Virginia, a Confederate ironclad and their battle at Hampton Roads.  When Paula lectures at quilt guilds, she shares the quilts and their stories.

Today I have been very busy - I'm packing for our retreat this weekend at Camp Blanding.  I've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks.  I don't think there's anything better than time spent with friends, doing what you love to do!!  I think all of my projects are packed (I always bring more than there's hope of actually getting done, but you have to be prepared).  Next up are my sewing supplies and clothes!  Food is a very important item for us, so we have our meals planned.  We each take turns providing a meal for our group.  I've also packed my snacks!  I hit Walmart today with the intention of just picking up a few things, but somehow all sorts of goodies jumped into my cart!  I love candy corn (and it has to be Brach's) and thought maybe I could pick up a bag that I could share.  Well, let's just say all they had was a 3lb bag - yes, that is a lot of candy corn, but I really do intend to share!

Phyllis and I are traveling together and should head out with a very full car - chairs, sewing machines, sewing tables, tables, projects, supplies and 1 large bag of candy corn! I'll take some pictures while I'm there and share when I get back home.

While I've been preparing for the retreat, Paula has been getting ready for her trip to Oxford, Mississippi - home of Ole Miss.  She's going with Amy and Alex to see Ole Miss play Georgia.  Who's she rooting for you ask?  Why Georgia, of course!  She has been planning for this weekend for at least a year and she couldn't be happier!  Paula loves college football, particularly the SEC.  I just hope that the Dawgs can bring in a win for her - the icing on a perfect dream weekend! Hopefully I'll have some pictures of this event to share too.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fall MysteryBOW Week 3/Block 3

Welcome back to our Fall Mystery Block of the Week. Next up is Week 3/Block 3.  Are you keeping up with us?  Are you saving all of your patterns to piece at one time, maybe on a retreat?  Are you using our kit or fabrics of your own?  So many questions, but most importantly - are you having fun???? Here's Block 3 and yes Lynn that is another pinwheel:

If you are just joining us and are wondering where to find directions for the previous blocks, just go to our website.  Paula is leaving all of the links to the blocks on our Homepage, so you can get them whenever you need them.  Feel free to print them out and use them when you are ready to sew.

It's been a busy weekend here, but I haven't touched my sewing machine.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are in town, so we've been doing "family" things.  Today we hosted everyone for a little get together and birthday celebration.  I'm in dessert heaven right about  now - Carvel ice cream cake was the birthday cake - and I know there's still a little piece in the freezer!!  Midnight snack??

I'll be back at the machine tomorrow and then it's time to start thinking about our retreat next weekend.  What projects will I bring to work on? What snacks will I bring? You know, all the important things!

Speaking of our retreats, our Cotton 'N Wool Gathering at Primitive Gatherings in Wisconsin has some openings again. There are currently 9 openings and Gloria will take reservations on a first come/first serve basis.  If you are interested, please check out Olde Green Cupboard's website for more information. We would love to have you join us!!
                           Cotton 'N Wool Gathering

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen 

Friday, September 16, 2016


As many of you know (I've only mentioned it about thousand times recently), we are in Market prep or pre-Market crazies as I call it. There are so many exciting things going on at this time - new fabric collections are coming together, new quilts are being designed and pieced, new BOM programs are being launched and so much more.  Over the next few weeks, the talented designers from Marcus Fabrics will be sharing some of this and also some other fun stuff. This week each of the Marcus Designers are sharing about their favorite color.  You may have seen Facebook posts, Instagram posts and blog posts from the other designers and today Paula is sharing her favorite color.  Hmm - can you guess what it is?  Take it away Paula:

When I moved to my new house 3 years ago, I was ready for a change.  You see, my last house was decorated in my 2 favorite colors: red and green.  This was great around Christmas time because all I had to do was put up a tree and it looked like I had decorated the whole house! The red and green combo made me happy all the time, but I wanted a new favorite color!

Thinking of the move and the possibility of using any color I wanted was so exciting to me, but for some reason I had a hard time picking my new favorite color.  For years I carried a little book of swatches in my purse in case I saw something for my home, like a pillow, a new vase or a new rug.  There is nothing worse than buying something only to get it home and find that it is the wrong shade of green... too blue...too yellow.  UGH, what  a head ache.  So what color do you think I finally settled on???

My kids thought I was nuts.  Ok, some would say that black is not a real color, like white is void of color, but I don't agree.  Now you ask, why did I pick black?  Well, remember that little swatch book?  I hated that thing and I wanted to be able to buy something and know it would be the right color. I knew I couldn't go wrong with anything I purchased if it was black.  I also realized that I had always put something black in every room of my house - a lamp shade, set of candlesticks, or a piece of furniture (I love painted furniture).

I have never been unhappy with my choice.  I've always like to wear black because any color looks good with it, so why not for my home.

The first thing I did was paint a large cabinet that my husband had made years ago.  It has always been a sage green.  When I finished the last coat, I knew I had made the right choice.
Cabinet that was originally sage green

As with all of our quilts, eventually the colors that I decorate with end up creeping into Red Crinoline's quilts.  Here are a few of my favorites and they look amazing in my home.

Blue and Grey - usually folded on the foot of the bed
River Road Baskets

Oh, and guess what, both red and green look good with black also! 


ME back again - Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about Paula's favorite color and getting a quick look into her home.  Patterns for all of the quilts shown here are available on our website:
   River Road Baskets       Arlington        Sophie       Blue and Grey

Don't forget to stop by on Monday for Week 3, Block 3 of the Fall Mystery Block of the Week.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WOW Wednesday III

I can't believe that another week has gone by and it's WOW Wednesday again!  Time flies when you are having fun.  Today's feature quilt is Union Tents and it is one of our smaller, non-square quilts.  It measures 40"x46" and is pieced using 10"x10" squares, 1 background fabric and a border fabric.  There are enough squares in the one packet you need for piecing the top to also piece the backing.  The Union Tents quilt is made using a template that is included in the Union Tents pattern.

Union Tents features Paula's Historical Stripes collection from Marcus Fabrics. We are often asked how to use stripes in a quilt and this quilt is a perfect example.  Stripes work well in blocks, as backgrounds and always as a beautiful border (that screams miter me!). The collection features both bold and muted stripes. I will admit that I had to force myself to not fussy cut the stripes.  I desperately wanted to center the stripes in that template every time I made a cut with my rotary cutter, Paula requested they I leave behind my need to fussy cut and I did, but it was tough!

This quilt was also custom quilted by Marcella from Crooked Creek Quilts in Greenwood, Arkansas. It's often hard to see the quilting, so I've included a picture of the quilting from the back of the quilt.

A diagram for piecing the backing is also included in the pattern. This picture will also give you a good picture of some of the stripe fabrics that are included in the packet of 10"x10" squares. Kits are still available for this beautiful quilt.  Click here:   

We love this pattern so much that we decided to re-do it for Festival and use the Latimer Farms collection. The quilt is done - pieced, quilted, bound and ready to be photographed.  It even got to go on a road trip to TN with Pat, our dear friend that quilted it for us.  We've fallen in love with the tight stipple quilting and Pat will do that on our smaller quilts. She even washes them for us when she's done and they come back to us all soft!  We will have kits for this new version of Union Tents on our website in November.

Pre-Market craziness update - we are crossing all sorts of things off of our "To Do" lists. Tonight I have a beautiful little quilt to finish up and the next one up is in my bin and ready to go!  Be sure to stop by our booth at Market and Festival to see all of our newest quilts.  

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Mystery Block of the Week 2/Block 2

Welcome back to our Fall Mystery Block of the Week.  Hopefully you've completed Week 1/Block 1 and are ready to move on because here's Week 2/Block 2.

You can find the directions for this block by clicking on this link:

We've chosen to use the same format for these patterns that we use for all of our patterns, so if you've used our patterns before you should be all set.  As with any pattern, we highly recommend that you read through your pattern first before you begin any cutting.  This will give you a feel for the pattern and the designer's writing style (they are all unique).  If you have any problems or questions, please feel free to email us at: or call us at 281 232-2583.  We strive for an accurate pattern, but that doesn't always happen, no matter how many times we read, reread and reread!

It's nice to see that so many of you are choosing to use your own fabrics.  The blocks you've shared are beautiful. We would love to share your completed quilts when the program is done - don't panic, I'll give you a couple of days to get them finished. Ok - at least a couple of weeks!

In addition to this program, we are in the midst of our pre-Market crazies.  We're planning kits, cutting kits, writing patterns, editing patterns, piecing quilts, and sending quilts off for quilting, binding and photography. Paula and I each have our own "To Do" lists and we chat daily about what we've managed to cross off of our lists (always such a good feeling). Last week I finished piecing a re-do of Charlotte and a table runner version of James River Blues. They are both heading to the quilter this week. 

Today I took a break from RCQ business and worked on our Belle Meade exchange. 672 2" finished HST's and 42 6" finished HST's!  Everything was sewn and just needed to be cut and pressed.  The exchange will be at our retreat at the end of September and all I can say is thanks heavens I started today! I planned to do all of this the night before we left for retreat and there is no way I would have finished! I forgot how long these things take, but now I'll be ready. Here's what I've managed to get done so far.  This is on tap for tomorrow and I'm not starting anything else until it is done!

Movie review time: "Sully" premiered on Friday, so I was in the theater on Saturday afternoon with my Diet Coke and movie popcorn.  I have been waiting for this movie to get here and it was definitely worth the wait.  I loved it and Tom Hanks was excellent as Sully - he even looked like him! Family is coming into town next weekend, so I won't be hitting the theater.  I did see previews for some movies to add to my viewing list.

Until next time, happy piecing,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WOW Wednesday II

Up today on WOW Wednesday II is one of my favorite quilts, Kennesaw Mountain. We've actually made this quilt twice.  The newest version featured Paula's Hampton Ridge collection and is in our book Tributes and Treasures. Kennesaw Mountain measures 92 1/2" x 921/2"  - yup, square quilt, a Paula favorite.

I always joke that I have a special program, "Quilts Without Borders" and that I would prefer to have Paula design quilts without borders - face it, they go together faster!  If I didn't have to add borders, I could finish a quilt faster and be ready to start another quilt sooner!  Paula does love a pretty border, though, so most of our quilts have at least 1 border.  I do get quilts without borders, but I know that at some point I'm going to get a quilt with multiple borders to make up for those no border quilts and Kennesaw Mountain is one of the quilts.  4 borders - 2 plain, 1 pieced and 1 stripe that screams "miter me." And they are all needed to make this quilt beautiful!

Kennesaw Mountain features custom quilting by Marcella of Crooked Creek Quilts in Greenwood, Arkansas. Here's some up close pictures of this beautiful quilt.

The pattern for Kennesaw Mountain is available in our book, Tributes and Treasures, which is available on our website. Check it out - 12 patterns featuring 1800's reproduction fabrics. We also still have kits available for this quilt on the website. Kennesaw Mountain

I don't think I talked about our kits last time. Each of our kits features this Exclusive Kit label and it insures that the kit includes the same fabrics that we used in the actual quilt. You won't find substitutions in the fabric.  In a total scrappy quilt, we will substitute color, but that's it.  We understand that if our customers have selected a kit, it's because they want it to look like the actual quilt. Other shops may kit our patterns, but we are they only ones that use the Exclusive Kit label! 

Has everyone made their 1st block for the Fall Mystery Block of the Week? I love reading your positive comments. Don't forget next Monday will be block 2.  At this point I am still making kits on an as needed basis, so if you are still thinking about ordering a kit, please place your order.  Fall Mystery Block of the Week kit

If you're making your blocks using your own fabric, please share pictures with us.  We would especially love to see your finished projects. Here are Dottie's and Lynn's blocks.  Aren't they beautiful!! Great job ladies!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


Monday, September 5, 2016

Fall Mystery BOW Week 1/Block 1

Welcome to the first week of our Fall Mystery Block of the Week.  We are so excited that so many of you have decided to join us for this program.  Each week for nine weeks, we will share one block of the quilt top.  In week 10, we will share the completed quilt, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. As one of my favorite songs says: "let's start at the very beginning...".  Here is block 1:

Now grab your kit and let's make a block.  The directions for block 1 can be found by clicking on this link:

You will find printable directions, as well as a color picture of the block. These instructions will be remain on the site for at least the duration of the program, so if you can't get to your block this week, or you want to wait and do them all at once, they will still be there. 

Now for those of you that didn't order a kit and are wishing you had, don't panic there are still some kits available.  Order today and you'll have it by the weekend - a perfect time for piecing!  Fall Mystery Block of the Week kit

I took a break from sewing today to go to the movies - I was in need of movie popcorn and Diet Coke - and saw "The Light Between Oceans."  Ladies, grab some friends (and your tissues) and go check out this movie.  It didn't get the highest reviews, but then I tend not to be influenced by reviews.  It is a chick flick and after a summer of so-so movies, this one was wonderful.

On a personal note: I would like to thank everyone who worried about the safety of those in the path of Hermine. As many of you know, I live in St. Petersburg, FL and was quite fortunate to only have to deal with heavy rain (12") and wind. My family is safe, but unfortunately not everyone impacted by Hermine can say that, so please keep these people in your thoughts as they recover from this storm.  Safekeeping to everyone on the East Coast.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen