Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WOW Wednesday!

WOW Wednesday you ask. It's a new feature on our blog!  Each Wednesday we will highlight one of our quilts and it's kit. Since so many of you don't usually get to see our quilts up close and personal and honestly, they are just WOW when you can see and touch them; we decided to start WOW Wednesday. We're hoping that some up, close pictures of the quilts will give you a better feel for them. First up on our first WOW Wednesday, is Cumberland Valley! This is a square quilt(another favorite of Paula's - she loves square quilts) and it measures 82" x 82".

Let's start with colors: reds, browns and cheddar - YUM!! Red is probably one of Paula's favorite colors and then she went and threw in a little brown and topped it off with cheddar.  What could possibly go wrong with this combination??? Oh and it has a beautiful stripe border too! Yes, it's lots of HST's, but don't feel intimidated because we use Spinning Stars half square triangle paper.  These papers will guarantee that your HST's will be perfect and of course we include them our kit! 

I mentioned the stripe border, but this quilt has 4 beautiful borders and each one works perfectly in the total quilt package.  The stripe border is mitered and our pattern has easy to understand directions for you. Cumberland Valley features beautiful custom quilting by Marcella of Crooked Creek Quilts.

Check out our website for kits and patterns for this beauty. Click on the links below:
     Cumberland Valley pattern                       Cumberland Valley kit

I hope you've enjoyed our first WOW Wednesday.  Stop by next Wednesday and see which quilt is up next for it's glamour shots and moment in the sun!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

PS - Fall Mystery Block of the Week starts on Monday. Be sure you stop by for your week 1/block 1 pattern. Kits are running low, so order yours today!
     Fall Mystery Block of the Week kit


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ohio Star and Hourglass Blocks

Ask Paula what her favorite quilt block is and the immediate response will be - Ohio Star.  This is her all-time favorite quilt block, with 4" Star blocks coming in a quick second.  Now I love the Ohio Star block too, but I immediately realize that the Ohio Star block has hourglass blocks in it and those are going to be a bit of a challenge to make them perfectly. Do you feel the same way about them?  I can sense that some of you are nodding your heads in agreement.  Let's see what we can do about that.

Yesterday on the Martingale's "Stitch This" blog, Jenny addressed hourglass blocks and shared our tip from our Tributes and Treasures book.  Check out Jenny's post here:  Stitch This: The Hourglass Block: a trimming trick.  Yes, the trick is making the blocks a little larger and then trim them down. I love when you get to make something bigger and then trim it down (ah, if only we could do that in real life, but again a topic for a future blog). If I'm not making a lot of HST's and using Spinning Stars Half Square Triangle paper, then I will also you the same technique of making them larger and trimming to the size I need.  This way I know they are perfect.  I don't know about you, but that 1/4" seam can be such a challenge sometimes.  I can sense those heads nodding again! For trimming hourglass blocks and HST's I recommend the 4" and 8" Bias Square Ruler from That Patchwork Place.  I'm sure you can find them at your local quilt shop.

Also in the post is the story about Martingale's CFO who was celebrating his 10th anniversary with the company and selected our Antique Star quilt as the quilt he wanted to celebrate his 10 years.  Meanwhile, I would love to work for a company that gives you a handmade quilt after 10 years!!  I sure hope there are some company bosses reading this blog!! ( I know, wishful thinking on my part).  It's a great story and congratulations Keith on your 10 years as CFO. Paula and I were so proud to hear that he had chosen Antique Star.

The hourglass block trimming technique is just one of the tips and techniques that you will find in Tributes and Treasures.  Haven't bought your copy yet, click here and it will take you right to our website where you can purchase your very own autographed copy:Tributes and Treasures  Antique Star is right there on the cover!

Thank you Jenny and Martingale for such a great blog post. And in case you are wondering, there will be a new Ohio Star block quilt in our 2nd book. It's sitting in the "To Do" bin waiting for it's turn at the sewing machine.  Definitely post-Market and Festival!

I've been busy this week remaking the blocks for our Fall Mystery Block of the Week.  I'm testing our pattern for accuracy and making the block that we will share with each week's pattern.  If you've ordered your kit, you should already have it in your hands, anxiously awaiting your first set of instructions.  Remember to head to our blog on Monday, September 5th for Block 1 instructions. If you haven't ordered yet, kits are still available and can be ordered through our website: Fall Mystery Block of the Week

The "To Do" bin is calling my name.  My next decision - what do I want to watch on TV?  Should I start a new series?  Maybe a movie - classic, disaster, comedy?  So many choices!!

Until next time, happy quilting!
Mary Ellen


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It's Shipping Time

It's been a busy few days.  On Saturday I finished the James River Blues re-do using the indigos from Paula's new collection, Indigos and Claret. This collection will be available around the beginning of September, so watch for it at your local quilt shop. Also check here for some other new quilts and mini-quilts featuring this collection over the next few weeks.

I spent Sunday folding the fabric and assembling the Fall Mystery Block of the Week kits.  Thank you Outlander, Season 1 - Part 1, specifically Sam Heughan, the fine, handsome Scot that plays Jamie Fraser, for getting me through this project! There's something to be said for a man in a kilt, but that's another blog post! (Fact: my grandfather fought WWI in a kilt, as a Sergeant in the Fifth Battalion: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Fifty First Highland Division). Sorry no picture of him or Sam, but here's a picture of the pretty fabric (Latimer Farms) that you will find in the kit.

Monday was organize the orders.  This involved Paula having to open every order that came in for a BOW kit and then emailing me the order, the packing slip and the shipping label.  These are the things that running a business and keeping inventory in 2 different states involve!

Tuesday was shipping day.  Rumor has it, I have a kitchen table somewhere under all of these boxes! My wonderful postal woman, Hope, picked them all up on Tuesday afternoon and they should be in your hands by the end of the week.

Now, if you haven't ordered your kit yet, there's still time and I still have some kits left. We won't be starting with the directions until Monday, September 5th.  Remember, you will need to come to the blog at the beginning of each week for 10 weeks starting on Sept. 5th for your weekly directions - 9 blocks and 1 week for finishing. Click here if you would like to order a Fall Mystery Block of the Week kit:  BOW kit

It was too hard to watch/concentrate on Sam/Outlander Season 1 - Part 2 while I was doing the shipping, so I finished it while working on a re-do of Regimental Stars.  We have wanted to remake this quilt for a while, but didn't have the right gold and blue for the set-in triangles and sashing and finally we found them with fabrics from Paula's Companions collection and Latimer Farms!!  YAY!!! The blocks themselves weren't a problem because it's basically what we call an "inventory" quilt - Paula shops the warehouse!!  It's a perfect pattern for using up some of your stash. This quilt will go to Market and Festival and we will have kits available on our website around that time also. The pattern is currently available on our website:  Regimental Stars
Here's a sneak peek of the quilt!

The beginning of August was also a big shipping time.  That time it was patterns to participating shops for the Latimer Farms BOM program.  It's hard to believe that it is already half over.  Working with the Latimer Farms fabric for the Mystery BOW kit reminded me that we have complete kits and 108" wide backing fabric available for the Latimer Farms quilt.  Check our website for details.  Latimer Farms BOM kit

We would like to thank everyone for the compliments and kind remarks about our Latimer Farms quilt. Paula is already designing and planning our next one!!

Peter and I are heading to Louisville tomorrow to visit the newlyweds - daughter #1 and son-in-law, so sewing will be put on hold for the weekend. Come Monday afternoon, I will be back at work on Regimental Stars so I can get it off to the quilters.  Then it time to dive into the bin for the next quilt project! You'll have to check back and see what's up next.

Until then, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rio Olympics 2016

It's Olympic time again and I am so psyched!!! Tonight is the Opening Ceremony and I'm ready - I have my sewing and cutting all planned!

Paula came to Florida last week so we could both attend the retreat at Camp Blanding.  We worked really hard, planned a lot, sewed a bunch and laughed with good friends.  Before we left for the retreat, Paula's sample yardage for her newest collection - Indigo and Claret - arrived at my house.  This collection will ship in two parts, so we actually received the indigoes first.  We've planned two quilt re-do's from the blues - James River Blues and Charlotte - so we spent some time at the retreat getting ready to piece both of them.  AND that is what I will be working on tonight - all of the half square triangles that we need for James River Blues and the 4-patch strips!  Perfect Opening Ceremony projects!
And because you really can't see much of the fabric, I thought I should at least share the actual fabrics! I love this new collection and I can't wait to see the Claret part - clarets, grays, blacks and some backgrounds. I think they will be in your lqs around September.

Next up for the weekend will be cutting the kits for our Fall Mystery Block of the Week program.  The response has been great and I see a lot of cutting in my future!  Remember there is a limited number of kits available, so if you are still interested in participating, order your kit now.  Fall Mystery Block of the Week.  The price is $59.00 plus shipping. Here are the details again and a look at the fabrics we will be using.
                                      Fall Mystery Block of the Week
    featuring Latimer Farms by Paula Barnes
    10 weeks - September 5, 2016 - November 7, 2016
    Kits available

Enjoy your evening and weekend, whatever your plans! Personally, I don't think there's anything you would want do tonight besides watch the Opening Ceremony!!  I'm looking forward to 21 days of Olympic fun and then it's time for the Closing Ceremony.

Happy quilting,
Mary Ellen