Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Time to end 2007 and say hello to 2008. 2007 was a great year for Lasting Treasure-we saw our first pattern in Keepsake Quilting Catalog, watched our Yo Yo Clown be presented by Alex Anderson on her new internet quilt show-The Quilt Show-and enjoyed a good time at Houston Market. I think Jeanne and I worked a lot smarter and more efficiently. We added my brother-in-law, Terry, to our staff to help assemble patterns and had our web site re-designed and hosted by In A Pickle Design. We also began our blog.

Now on to 2008! We hope you continue to keep an eye on our blog. We are happy to have you spend some of your time with us. Don't forget to let us know what you would like us to design for you. What you'd like to stitch is what we'd like to be designing.

We hope you and your family have a wonderful 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Four days off

It is wonderful to have 4 days off at the end of the year. We had some great snow on Friday so everything looks nicely white. Once we got home from work it felt good to know we didn't have to really go anywhere for 4 days! I spent some time with Jeanne looking to the New Year. We are working on a quarterly calendar and trying to make our creative designing fit into a marketing schedule that will allow us to hit the bit Quilting Market dates. But, at the same time, try to figure out how to keep the creative juices flowing AND have fun with our stitching. Not an easy task I think!

As we don't really know what we SHOULD be working on yet, I decided to go through my unfinished projects and work on one of them. I chose a wallhanging called "Sprikng Flowers: from the book All Things Spring by Anne Cosgrove. The fabric is hand-dyed batiks by Starr Fabrics. I decided to quilt a simple grid on it using tan quilting thread. I hand appliqued the flowers on and button-hole stitched them with a variegated tan/brown thread. It will hang in my husband's studio when done. The colors are strong but the primitive flowers add a touch of whimsy. If the football playoff games are not too exciting, I should get it quilted in a week or so!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Came and Went!

Christmas was wonderful. The presents were opened with abandon and the food was devoured. Everyone was healthy and safe-that's what really matters most. Jeanne and I were able to share Tuesday when our combined families got together to exchange presents. It was fun to see everyone and listen to the grandkids talk about what Santa brought them.

I am back at work on yo yo's and postage stamp blocks. The Christmas table runner is finished and sitting on the table under the gingerbread house-I think the pattern will be very nice with two hot pads to stitch to complete the set. With 4 days off from the 29th-January 1st, I think Jeanne and I will put our heads together and start back on track with new patterns. Keep watching for more posts!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Almost Christmas!

We are having a blizzard outside and the 2 oldest grandkids slept over last night. What can be better than that? Oh wait, I forgot that we decorated the gingerbread house AND frosted cookies with the help of my youngest grandchild. Winston, 3 yrs old, also shared a wonderful rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" at full volume last night. What fun!

I have been thinking about how to hand quilt the Christmas table runner I quickly stitched last year. It was put away amidst all the end of the year hustle and bustle when I didn't get it finished. I love the simple embroidery designs and the Roman Stripe is great to use up all those left overs from your Christmas quilt. Be sure to take a peak at the photos of the embroidery. This will be a new pattern for Christmas 2008!

Tomorrow Santa comes to Grandma's house! Maybe there will be a fat quarter or two under the tree-or at least some scraps to make more Yo YO's!

Happy Holidays to you all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Found the missing Yo Yo's

How could I forget to say that I found the missing Yo Yo's??? They were sitting in hiding near my stitching chair. Of course, I have 2 stitching chairs so that was the problem!! Why would I possibly look in the obvious spots? I did clear three drawers out while looking for them so that was a good thing. The missing yo yo's were needed for the Easter egg design but we still aren't totally satisfied with the way they look. Back to the drawing board!!!

Tuesday in CT

I am in CT for a business meeting and have my stitching here with me as well as my notebook to jot down ideas. Jeanne is back in WI working on getting patterns ready to send out to one of our distributors. She always gets more of the actual business work and I get the glamour of traveling! Oh well-I AM older. That has to count for something!

We tried to lay out the yo yo Easter Egg design on Sunday but neither of us is really happy with it. I did small yo yo's in as many bright colors as I could find in my stash-even some batiks. Using the Clover extra small yo yo maker it was fun to make them. But, unfortunately, we aren't really satisfied with the lay out yet.

Jeanne, her son Adam, and her daughter-in-law Tania are going shopping today at one of our favorite quilt shops in the area: Primitive Gatherings. The shop is owned by Lisa Bongean and she creates the most wonderful wool pieces and quilts. We have added her site to our favorites for you to check out. The site is Jeanne is trying to get deep reds and blues to work on a flag pattern. More to come on that!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I spent an hour last night away from my yo yo making trying to stamp some Christmas cards. What a bad experience! I had a friend work with me (coach, actually) on some ideas for a card and wanted to stamp a white snowman on a dark blue paper and layer that on another blue snowflake paper. Well, the new white stamp pad I got at Hobby Lobby STAMPS THEN DRIES TO CLEAR! After getting all the things I needed laid out for the first 6 cards, I couldn't get the darn white ink to stay white. It doesn't say anything about drying clear-this morning I emailed my stamping coach, Jane, and asked for advice. Hopefully I can try again tonight.

And-beyond that-somewhere in my house is a baggie with bright small yo yo's all finished that I need for my new Easter Egg design. Can I find that darn baggie??? Of course not! My living room is a total disaster of Christmas chaos because we can't find a string of lights for our Christmas village. Bruce picked up the living room before he started laying out the village and my YO YO'S are missing. Rats, mumble, mumble, rats. Where is that baggie?

I wanted to lay out the Easter Egg this morning at Jeanne's house when I stopped for coffee but NO!

Jeanne has company from Spain for 2 weeks. Her son, Adam, and dil, Tania, are visiting from Valencia Spain. We are so happy to see them! Besides the warm feeling their visit brings us all-they are very talented graphic artists so Jeanne and I plan to pick their brains til they have nothing but mush left and then ship them back to Spain!! No-I didn't really mean that, did I???? Adam is going to review our web site and Tania is a talented artist and has worked with Jeanne before on our red and white postage stamp quilt with adorable animals she drew. I posted a photo of the quilt called "Chicken Scratch" so you can see the great animals she created.

Wish me luck as I search for the missing yo yo's!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas ARRIVES!

Finally have gotten all the Christmas decorations out of hiding and that includes the Redwork pillows and wall-hangings. I have added some of my favorite patterns for quick redwork stitching to this blog. Between Jeanne's and my house, we have been able to squeeze room to decorate with some of these favorites. I have a few more photos but not til tomorrow. My embroidery hoop is calling me!!

Be sure to check out our web site for these great Christmas patterns.

We'd like to thank Joan Hawley, the original Lazy Girl!, for her mention of our Pie Mat pattern on her weekly blog featuring yo yo designs. Joan has been our mentor and great girl-friend for about 4 years now-if Joan is your friend, you are super lucky!

There is nothing better than a cup of hot chocolate (or a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks), a good Christmas movie, snow falling quietly outside, and stitching in my lap. Throw in a good girl friend (ok, maybe my husband!) on the couch beside me, and life doesn't get much better.

I hope your Tuesday is full of quiet madness as you get ready for Christmas and your Holiday Season. Remember-you're supposed to be having some fun along the way!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Getting back on track!

Back to the blog after some technical training and I should be able to keep things updated better now. Later today I hope to update some photos of what we are working on now. Currently we are making yo yo's for 3 new projects and have gotten caught up in Needle punching. What a treat it was to have Jeanne try to teach me how to do it. Finally, it just came seemed to work itself out. Of course, it's not quite exactly the way I want, but it's coming along.

This afternoon we will start to decorate the house for Christmas. Getting the Dept. 56 village out will get the excitement building.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

I hope everyone is having a great day. There is a light dusting of snow on the ground but it is definitely not winter yet. I spent the morning trying to clean my sewing room. I'll post some photos later this weekend I think. So far, I have found the top of my table and located some fabric that I think Jeanne will be able to use for needle punching. I have made some little yo yo's out of some 1930's reproduction fabrics and am trying to lay them out to be an Easter Egg. I think it will be a good new design!!

Tomorrow Jeanne and our little sister Jo will be going out for breakfast and then to at least 3 stores. I think we are going to run around a bit and then will come home to do more organizing in the sewing room. Be Back Later-

I am Thankful for my family, friends, and our health. Hope your Day is a great one!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New designs

We are still throwing around ideas for new yo yo patterns. We came up with 3 great (we think!) ideas but now need to start thinking about how to mock up the designs and see if htye will truly look like we thought. That means tonight I will go through my bags of yo yo's and try to sort them by color and size and see what I have to play with. Sometimes the hardest part of working on a new design is trying to decide how to get the look without actually doing the whole thing!

I have a business trip tomorrow so will have time to sit at an airport and on a plane ride to New York and make yo yo's if we can decide what color to do. And I am riding from Oshkosh WI to Des Moines IA Friday to visit a dear quilting buddy who emigrated to Iowa so I will have plenty of time in the car to stitch. Let's see--8 hrs to Des Moines and 8 hrs back and a flight from WI to La Guardia and back....just how many yo yo's can I make in that time??? Anyone care to guess??? I'll be sure to let you all know when I get back.

In the meantime, I may let Jeanne try her hand at blogging in my absence. Hmmmm....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday night

Time to get ready for the week. Jeanne and I met yesterday and got our list of tasks reconciled. All orders from Market have been mailed and we have begun the talking process on the new projects. We have 4 ideas-the Valentine quilt will take sometime and a joint trip to the fabric stores in the area to get things rolling. I have taken the 12 vintage Valentines we will use and reduced them to work as 6 1/2" squares. I stitched one in red/white for a first look and the detail came through great.

We are also working on some new Yo Yo designs-I won't be able to share those with you until we get started but will hint that one needs red/white/and blue yo yo's and we are considering using Civil War reproduction fabrics. Jeanne is going visit a quilt shop tomorrow in Menasha-Primitive Gatherings-because we know they have some of the reproduction fabric lines.

I will be travelling to CT on business Wednesday and Thursday and to Iowa for a quilt retreat at the home of a transplanted Wisconsin quilting buddy. I need to have some idea of what I will work on by Thursday night because 3 other friends and I will start the 8 hr. drive at 8 am sharp and I have to be ready with all my stuff by then! More tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sarting new stitchery quilt with vintage Valentines

Jeanne and I have begun the process of designing a new quilt. We are planning to use 12 vintage valentine's and combine them with stitched blocks for a full size quilt that screams romance. But now the hard part begins-what do we start with? Is it the fabric or the valentines that will drive the design? We have a great set of 6 pillow patterns on our web site called Young Love 1-6 that were done in traditional red and white. We love those patterns! But should this quilt be in red and white or in colored embroidery? That is the first decision we have to make because that will dictate the fabric selection.

I have a grid in my mind already started that needs to be filled in with different blocks that are arranged around the stitchery. The concept is to make the blocks flow into each other so you can make them in units but when you look at them the quilt does not have distinct block breaks to stop your eye. Kind of like our Fall Harvest Stitchery wall-hanging that was introduced at Houston Market.

You'll hear a lot more about this-we are meeting for lunch and will try to talk it through again. We didn't get far over coffee this morning at 7:30 a.m.! Maybe it was too early for quilt designing???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Winners of Pie Contest!

Since we introduced our new Pie Mat pattern at Houston Market, it only seemed fitting to give away a pie. We collected names every day and drew out 3 winners. The winners are:

Karen Snyder of Anna Lena's in Long Beach, WA
Kirsta Meadows of All About Quilting in Jacksonville NC
Janet Lutz of Calico Gals in Fayetteville, NY

We will be sending each lucky winner a gift certificate for the pie of their choice.
We hope they share but won't tell if we hear they ate the whole pie themselves!

Please check out their great looking quilt shops and internet sites to see what is happening across the country.

And don't forget that you can order our Pie Mat pattern, using the great Clover Yo Yo makers, on our web site !

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Reality checks in

Jeanne and I are back hard at work already and Market seems long ago. We did a good job this week (since we got back on Tuesday) of getting all our follow-up work done. Jeanne got all the orders ready to go that we took at Market-including a new catalog order that was waiting for us when we got back. And the orders are ready to ship out on Monday, thanks to Jeanne and, our brother-in-law, Terry, who puts patterns together for us.

We had fun at market visiting with friends like Joan Hawley, the original Lazy Girl, and seeing what she was designing. Her new Miranda bag is awesome and I plan to make one this month using some great new fabrics from Moda. We also visited with Deb Warren and Cindy Paris of Material Girls Quilt Shop. They have a great on-line shop as well as a fun shop. Deb hosted a workshop with Kaffe Fasset on color design a month ago and it sounds like it was a lot of fun. You can check out both of these great sites via our links.

I'm going to spend the rest of the day trying to get some more photos posted here and finish up writing a pattern. Then it's on to new designs. Stay tuned here for our design journey! We'd love to have you make the trip with us...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We're BACK-

We got back this afternoon and have unpacked and started laundry and other boring stuff. It's hard to come back although I missed home and Bruce. I will be trying to upload some photos later tonight-we met some great people, reconnected with old friends and saw some wonderful quilts. We have orders to fill and lots of emails to sent and read. I'll be back-Jan

Friday, October 26, 2007

Off to Market!

Jeanne is going to pick me up in about an hour. I think I have everything packed that I am supposed to have-including shampoo, make up to share, and a spare pair of panty hose. There are benefits to travelling with a little sister-we can share if we have to!!! We get to Houston around 5 p.m. and will go right to the George A. Brown convention center to set up our booth. The booths and exhibits open tomorrow at 9 a.m. so we have much to do. Best of all is that we are going to string hundreds of yo yo's on fishing line, put a heavy button on the end of each strand, and hang them as curtains!!! I will be sure to take a pic and try to get it posted. Wish us luck-we have some appointments to meet with some Cranston, Moda, and Benartex folks and talk about using fabric in our designs and will meet with the distributors that carry our patterns. I'll try to post tomorrow-Janell

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane!

Tomorrow is the last day before we take off. Suitcases are out and "stuff" is in piles around them. The last design project has done a complete reversal-Jeanne wanted to make a purse big enough to hold folders and put yo yo flowers on the front. Well, when she showed it to me last night it became an adorable wall-hanging! It only takes a charm pack to make and is so cute. I'll post a photo later today-I dropped it back at her house this morning so she could take a photo for our Market flyer. We still want a new purse design but not today!!

More later.... Jeanne is off to run to the printers and I have a few hours of "real" work to put in at the office before I focus on final packing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One day closer to Market!

Last night was spent stitching some embroidery motifs on a second version of our Fall Harvest wall-hanging. It's fun doing a second version of this because I can change the embroidery colors and have some of the designs in different corners of the wall-hanging. Jeanne reminded me that tonight I need to finish assembling the new purse she designed with yo yo flowers on the front! We used Kansas Troubles fabric by Moda and I love the way the purse goes together. Should be a quick night-good thing because I have to pull out the suitcases and start packing for Market!

Also uploaded is a photo of a skirt that Mary, a crafty buddy who works in the the office next to mine, added yo yo's to! She fell in love with the Clover yo yo makers a couple of weeks ago and she and her daughter, Catherine, have been making yo yo's ever since. She just tacked a big and a medium yo yo as flowers along the swirls of her denim skirt! It looks adorable. I'm not sure who can make a yo yo faster. My guess would be Catherine!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday before Market

I stopped at Jeanne's house this morning and drank 2 cups of coffee while we talked about our final list of stuff to do before we leave on Friday for Houston. I think we are in good shape although if you ask her you might hear a different story! She is busy working on all the paperwork "stuff" that needs to be done yet while I just sit and stitch. Sometimes I think I have the easier part of this partnership-until I can't get a block to turn out the way I want or she makes me do something I don't like to do. Sisters can be aggravating!

I think we have almost everyone in the family helping us get ready. Mom stitched designs for the Fall Harvest wall-hanging, little sister Jo made yo yo's for Caterpillars, my best friend Jenny made yo yo's and my brother in law is helping with our flyer and labels for demo items. Even Jeanne's husband got in on the act by helping her figure out how to make strings of yo yo's to hang as curtains. And Bruce, my husband, has been staying out of my way as I run back and forth from the living room to my sewing room trying to finish the last of our projects.

And on top of it all, I am itching to get started on a new Christmas stitchery idea!!!! I want to lay out all our Christmas fabric and start designing a new block. Stay tuned-more to come on that idea.....hmmmm-just how many weeks is it til Christmas????

Monday, October 22, 2007

We are just getting started with this blog and hope you enjoy reading about our journey to design new quilt patterns. Lasting Treasure is the brainchild of my sister, Jeanne, and myself and we have been creating embroidery and quilt designs for 8 years now. Our patterns are available at quilt shops across the country and on our web site,

We are working madly to get ready to leave this Friday, October 26th, for the International Quilt Market in Houston. This week I will try to update a blog or two and add some photos of our new "stuff"! Also, I will try to get my profile posted and some more information about us.