Tuesday, October 22, 2019

I Think We're Ready

Quilt Market is only 4 days away (Quilt Festival is just 8 days away) and I think I can safely say: "we are ready!" The quilts have all returned home after their glamour shots, the kits are cut and assembled, the fat quarter bundles are folded, stacked and tied, and the patterns are written and printed!The only thing left to do is load up the truck and head down to the George R. Brown Convention Center.

I thought you might enjoy seeing pictures of the quilts that will be seen at Festival. For Market, we only bring the newest quilts using Paula's collections, but for Festival we also bring the new versions of quilts that we have remade. So let's start the show.
Ancient Star features Paula's Chatham Row collection
Indigo Baskets of Plenty is a new version of our Baskets of Plenty pattern and features Mood in Blue.

Evangeline is a perfect Fall quilt. Browns, golds and blacks are featured in this re-do.
Crosstown Pavement is a great scrappy quilt using the new Companions collection
This year's Favs #7 features 3 small quilts using the Companions collection also
Jubilee Celebration is a new version and it features the Chatham Row collection
Second Hand Clothes is one of top selling patterns and it was time to bring it back in all of its scrappy glory
A patriotic version of our Simple Star
Woven Heritage offered us the opportunity to feature the elegant border stripe of the Hill Country Heritage collection
Many of you have asked when patterns and kits will be available for those of you not able to attend Festival. Patterns and kits will begin appearing on our website the week of November 11th.

If your coming to Festival, be sure to stop by Booth 1115 and say hello. We love when we get a chance to meet and visit with our loyal customers.

October 30 - November 3, 2019
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, TX

I'll try to post some pictures as we set up and throughout Market and Festival, but it does get a little crazy!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Market and Festival are Getting Closer

Apparently my calendar for the month of October is incorrect! I could have sworn that there was at least two weeks before Market, but I guess not!! I leave for Houston tomorrow afternoon and we set up for Market on October 24th! Where is that extra week??? Oh well, I guess we'll just have to be ready!!

I have good news to share - Blue and White Quilts by Martingale Publishing will be released December 2nd!! We are so excited to be part of the designers that were selected for this book. We had a picture of the cover and now we have a picture of our quilt, Tree of Life, that we can share. Here's the description of the book from the Martingale website:

   Crisp, calm, and captivating--experience the magic of blue & white! From the editors of the best seller Red & White Quilts comes a fresh take on another timeless color combination. Thirteen dreamy quilts from famed designers and collectors include a mix of exciting new designs and sentimental favorites, plus three antique treasures to remake using today's fabrics and techniques. From traditional Nine Patch and Album quilts to the pinnacle of patchwork, Tree of Life, enjoy spectacular blue & white quilts from:
Lissa Alexander . Lisa Bongean . Julie Hendricksen . Sherri McConnell . Camille Roskelley . Laurie Simpson . Helen Stubbings . Debbie Roberts . Jill Shaulis . Nancy Mahoney . Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Robison
You'll be captivated by the creations that come from this humble two-color palette, as quilters have been for generations. It's an eternal classic that never goes out of style.

Love this cover!!

Our Tree of Life quilt

We will have kits for our Tree of Life quilt on our website in mid- November and books as soon as it is released!

We've been super busy over the past 2 months with Market and Festival quilts (my sewing machine is eagerly awaiting its idle time while I am in Houston), but both Paula and I managed to get in some family travel time and a retreat. Paula traveled to Denver, CO to visit her daughter Ashley and son-in-law Robert and trips to Breckenridge for Oktoberfest and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum were some of the highlights. What a surprise it was for Paula to see our Lancaster quilt hanging in the museum shop. It is their donation/raffle quilt. If you are interested in obtaining tickets, please contact the museum: 
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
Paula with Ashley and Robert

Paula and Ashley

Beautiful mountains in Breckenridge

Lancaster quilt at Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

I visited my daughter Megan, son-in-law Brian and adorable grandson Adam on my trip and got to spend the weekend enjoying Louisville. It was supposed to be both Peter and I, but we were in the potential path of a hurricane, so I got out of Dodge and Peter stayed to deal with Dorian. Luckily it skipped us this time. Hurricane season is almost over and looks like we've made it through unscathed!!
Adam, my Louisville cutie!
Watch for emails and future blog posts with all of our quilts for Market and Festival. Paula has four collections that will be featured at Market and we have completed quilts with kits for all of them!! Chatham Row (Ancient Stars and Jubilee Celebration), Hill Country Heritage (BOM and Woven Heritage), Paula's Companions (Pavement and Fav's #7) and Mood in Blue (Indigo Baskets of Plenty), plus re-do versions of Simple Star and Second Hand Clothes.  Wow, when I look at this list I am amazed at how much we've accomplished! It's no wonder my sewing machine is ready for some R&R!!

I shared pictures of Second Hand Clothes as I was working on it and we received some great comments. It is one of our favorite quilts and the pattern is one of our best sellers - 110 different fabrics, what's not to love! One of the comments also came with a picture. Ruth Ann Clark shared her hand-pieced, hand-quilted Second Hand Clothes that is on the full-size bed in their A-frame tent that she and her husband share as Civil War reenacters. Great job Ruth Ann and thank you for letting me share your picture!
Second Hand Clothes

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


Monday, August 12, 2019

Reasons to Celebrate

It's a boy! It's a boy! Please join me in welcoming Paula's new grandson, Walker Alexander Green. Walker was born on July 15th and is Paula's 3rd grandchild (2nd boy). Mama, Daddy and Walker are all doing well. 
Amy, Alex and baby Walker

Mimi (Paula) and Walker

Walker, sleepy like the beautiful baby he is - 3 weeks old

It's a book! It's a book! We are so pleased to be able to share the cover for Martingale's new book, Blue and White Quilts.  We are so excited to be included and can't wait until we have pictures of our quilt, Tree of Life, to share with you. Blue and White Quilts will be released December 2nd.

Paula spent time with Walker and his family after he was born and then she headed to Florida for our July retreat at Camp Blanding. This retreat arrived at a perfect time. We spent a lot of time planning quilts for Fall Market and Festival. Paula has a number of new collections that are just starting to arrive in shops and we planned some new and re-do quilts. Needless to say, my hands have been itching to get sewing on them!
Full van! Probably could be an ad for Thirty-One bags and Tutto!

From the side and looking back. Water and snacks are also important!

No room in the back for my suitcase. Luckily Paula didn't drive over with me.

So, until then, I've been working on our Hill Country Heritage BOM quilt. We always make 3! The first one we make while Paula designs it; number 2 and number 3 are made from the actual pattern and it is how we edit the pattern. I make one quilt and our good friend, Phyllis Anderson, makes a 2nd quilt, then we compare notes on the editing. If you haven't seen the quilt yet, here it is. Shop kits will be shipping to the shops that are participating in the program in September, so you should start seeing posters and maybe even some of the blocks very soon. You hope you will sign up with your local shop or an online store and join us in this program - starting date, January 2020. Hill Country Heritage is made from the collection of the same name - Hill Country Heritage. The fabric will also be available in your local shop in November. Click here to see all the fabrics in the collection: 
   Hill Country Heritage
Hill Country Heritage

It's Florida weather time - thunderstorm in the late afternoon. I'll finish up so I don't lose this if the power goes it!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen


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.

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



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