Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Market 2015 and We are READY!!

It's hard to believe it's actually here - Spring Market 2015 and even better - we are ready.  All of the quilts were finished on time - does Monday at 3 PM count?  Paula was able to get on a plane to Minneapolis on Tuesday morning with all of the quilts she needed.  I have to tell you that is a good feeling.  A special thank you goes out to everyone that was involved in getting us ready - the quilters, the binders, the photographer, the printer.

Paula has finished setting up the booth and I have some great pictures to share with you.  You've seen all of the quilts as I pieced them, but now you can see them in all of their quilted glory.
Our 2 re-do's - Sherman's March and Old Abe
Tanner Legacy and Union tents (on the screen)

Blue and Gray
Davenport and Bonnie Blue on the quilt rack

 Our booth is set up next to Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts.  Both Pam and Paula design fabric for Marcus Fabrics.  Pam drove over from the Chicago area and was kind enough to bring "decor" for Paula to use in our booth.  I think they also did a quick trip to the 2-story Target that is downtown.  I heard someone refer to it as "the mother ship".
Red Crinoline Quilts all ready for customers on Friday
Heartspun Quilts

As Paula worked away in Minneapolis, I strapped myself to the sewing machine at home and finished our next BOM quilt.  Yes, it is DONE and heading to the quilter today.  Then I am heading to Mobile, AL for our goddaughter's graduation from high school.  Should be a great family weekend.

I'll share pictures of Market next week.  Have a great weekend.  Then it will be time to start thinking about Fall Market.  Paula has some great new collections coming out!!  The fun never ends!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pre-Market Craziness

It seems like I've been thinking about Spring Market for months and it's true.  We start planning for the next Market as soon as one ends, so we live in a constant state of Pre-Market craziness!  But it's good to know we're not the only ones that experience this phenomenon. I've enjoyed reading the Moda designer blogs with their "alternate" bloggers.  Strange diets and sleep habits seem to be the "curse" of all Market vendors.

It's been awhile since the last post and so much has happened - I'm not talking just sewing quilts either!  I flew to Houston and Paula and I had a booth at the Dallas Quilt Show; Paula visited me so we could work on the next Block of the Month; family visited for Easter; I traveled to Wisconsin for a retreat; Paula came back so we could finish the Block of the Month; we moved Caitlin into a new apartment, and I had a birthday.  AND I managed to complete 4 quilt tops!!!! (Can I get a round of applause please??)  I even have photographic evidence of some of these events.

Dallas Quilt Show - great show as usual and so nice to see old friends.  Paula demo'ed English Paper Piecing (Lucy Boston, 6 Pointed Star, Hexagons, etc) and I ran the cash register. This is the center of the booth.

New Block of the Month - Latimer Farms.  Paula came for 4 days and we did our "Paula designs and cuts, Mary Ellen sews" thing.  It's a great system and it gets the blocks made.  We only had one "2 am crisis night", but we worked through it.  Paula has the quilt designed in her head, but sometimes the actual quilt doesn't look quite like what she expected and we have to shift gears while she redesigns.  The second trip was to finalize the blocks, decide on the quilt setting and start working on the numbers and math that go along with the program.  Just a couple pictures to share: Latimer Farms all nicely piled up and Latimer Farms on the cutting table.  Notice the BOM snack staples - Trader Joe's Ginger Snaps and Diet Dr. Pepper.  My Diet Coke is next to me at the sewing machine. I think we had finished the Twizzlers when I took that picture.

We had the whole family here for Easter week and it was fabulous.  Little girls in the pool, at the beach, playing with cousins and just having fun. We also crossed a big item off the Wedding To Do list - Megan found her wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, and flower girl dresses.  Sorry no pictures - next April!  We had our own version of "Say Yes to the Dress" with mother of the bride, sister, sister-in-law, and 2 aunts and yes, I did cry! 
Julianne, Sydney and the Easter Bunny at Brunch

As everyone left, I headed to Wisconsin for a ladies' retreat. 16 of us spent 4 fabulous days at The Gathering - Lisa Bonjean's retreat in Menasha, WI.  We visited Primitive Gathering, JJ Stitches, and Country Sampler (Spring Green). There was even some antiquing!!  I did spot our patterns and Paula's fabric in all of the sores - always so exciting.  We drove around in a 15 passenger van and a regular van and probably looked like the clown car at the circus as we unloaded at each stop. Unloading suitcases and boxes at the airport after 4 days of shopping was quite a sight. Can't wait until we can do this again!!
Border Companions at Primitive Gatherings

Completed quilt tops: Sherman's March (re-do), Davenport, Richmond and Union Tents.  I don't have pictures of the completed quilts, but here's a couple as they get ready to head to the quilters. Davenport is from Paula's newest collection, Davenport Gardens and Richmond and Union Tents are from Historical Stripes.  Yes, a collection of all striped fabric.  You are going to love these stripes!!


Birthday - yup, had another one - enough said.  One of my presents was fabric that Peter picked out at the Liberty of London store.  Yes, I did send him there and yes, I did make suggestions, but he made the final selections on his own.  And he did a great job, too!!

I shipped the final quilt top off to the quilter this morning, so my work is done for the current Market.  Now it's time to concentrate on the BOM. Tomorrow I'm heading to Camp Blanding for a mini-retreat (only 16 of us), but it should be fun. Today I worked on getting my projects ready (BOM and Star Block exchange) and getting my sewing room cleaned.  The lint and dust was getting a bit overwhelming!  I also put together my very first IKEA kit - the Raskog.  Everyone I know has one, so of course I needed one too.  It's holding my irons and my hand sewing projects.  Although I do like friend Cindy's idea - one shelf for snacks.  She knows me too well.

Paula heads to Minneapolis for Market next Wednesday and I'll be heading to Mobile for our goddaughter's high school graduation. And then it will be time to start thinking about Fall Market.  Paula has lots of new collections coming up, so that means lots of new quilts.  Peppery is one of those new collections and it was the topic for a Marcus Fabrics blog post:
 It's Official: PEPPERY is "Hot"! 
I can't wait to see what she's designed for us with this great black and white collection.

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen