Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free Pattern up on web site

Our free March pattern is already up on our web site. We were able to have it put up earlier than planned. Please check it out and get started on your quick Easter gift right away!

Starting to think about Spring!

Jeanne and I have held hands and made the commitment--START THINKING ABOUT SPRING! We can't take winter anymore. Here in Oshkosh, WI we have 74 inches of snow-more expected in a day or so-and it is 11 degrees at noon. We are SICK of it.

Ok-now on to SPRING! With Easter so early this year, we have been scratching our heads about what free design to post on March 1st on our web site. Obviously, it had to have an Easter/Spring theme. Take a look to your right and you'll see what we came up with-our little chick and Easter eggs. If these don't get you thinking about Spring, keep your eye on our blog. We'll have some more ideas in a day or so.

When I stopped at Jeanne's this morning for coffee, she had a pale blue lacey, floppy hat on a mannequin head and was trying to figure out what to add for a Spring look. Well, of course, I had to start thinking too and immediately we were off in a conversation about lace gloves, a tea party to celebrate Spring's arrival, and what could we stitch that would fit in that theme??? Well, we're here to tell you SPRING IS COMING SOON!

P. S. download our chick and Easter Eggs throughout the month of March for your start on Spring! The free pattern will be available this weekend on our site.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wizard of Oz fabric!

Well-we have been muttering about Dorothy, the Wizard, and Toto since last Friday. I got home from the office and there, waiting for me, was a box of fabric from Quilting Treasures. The folks there have kindly shared with us their newest Wizard of Oz fabric and we are hard at work designing with it. I will share a photo of some of it later this week. For now-I am stitching TOTO as fast as my little fingers can stitch! This fabric is wonderful-the quality of fabric and color is marvelous and it just makes you smile-from the pictures from the Judy Garland movie to the simple gingham prints and co-ordinating fabrics. Right now, our TOTO is waiting for an applique basket to be added along with 3 ruffles to the pillow that will grace our web site later this week. What fun!

Jeanne is hard at work completing all the paperwork on several patterns that are going out this week to 2 of our distributors. Plus, she is finishing up a new design using wonderful wool felts from National Non-Wovens-a fun company that makes fantastic wool felts. They also have great "wool whisps" for needle-punching. Such fun people to work with and we LOVE their stuff!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tracing embroidery designs

I just spent 2 hours organizing and tracing and re-tracing all the embroidery designs for Fall Harvest. Right now my right hand is about to cramp up but I am even more in love with the designs for this Fall quilt. I'm not sure what I like better-the big pumpkin or the beehive with little bees buzzing around. I feel like I have been "up close and personal" with these guys since I helped Jeanne dream them up, stitched them on 2 versions of the quilt wall-hanging and THEN traced and re-traced the final choices for the pattern instructions!

After you've spent so much time with the individual parts of a pattern it is great to look at the completed piece. This wall-hanging was really fun to design. It was a stretch for me to use mostly dark fabrics (remember, I'm the pastel girl!) and the concept of hiding the blocks by designing blocks that kind of drift side to side was interesting. AND THEN to use embroidery to connect the blocks was even more fun.

All in all, one of my favorite designs from 2007!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Home and MORE Snow

Since I got home Friday from my travels it has done nothing but snow. No, really-I'm not kidding. Bruce went to the airport Friday morning and dug out my car so I was able to just drive home with no worries. Saturday evening it began to snow and it snowed ALL SUNDAY. By the time it was finished (we thought) we had 7 inches. Bruce had to go out and blow snow 3 times!

So we spent Sunday snowed in. Jeanne and I went back and forth all day with phone calls and emails talking about what we were working on. I spent time going back and forth to my studio splitting time between paper-pieced airplane blocks for a birthday quilt for my grandson, Winston, and working on completing the instructions for Fall Harvest. Jeanne spent the day working on 2 new patterns and getting computer work done so she could ship an order this week.

Fall Harvest was introduced at Houston in October and was well received. It's a new type of quilt for us in that each block is different. The idea is to scatter your fabrics throughout each block and blend stitchery designs across the block so you really can't see a distinct block. I have fallen in love with this concept after seeing quilts designed by Leanne Beasley-a wonderful Australian quilter. Take a look at it and let me know what you think!

P. S. It snowed all day today!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yo Yo's Across America!

Ok-not all the way across America but half way! Today I flew from Wisconsin to New York City and spent some time working on more yo yo's. Did you know that you can make 12 small yo yo's in one hour without dropping your spool of thread, stabbing your neighbor with your needle, or sewing a yo yo to your pants leg? Well, that is all true. I proved it myself!

My hotel room has a nice coffee table and it is heaped with stitchery projects and yo yo's as well as fabric. Although the day will be busy tomorrow with "real" work, I should have time to work on finishing another proto-type design when the day is done. Jeanne and I have exchanged a few emails tonight and it sounds like she has had a very productive day too. Ain't life grand???

When I fly home Friday afternoon I will try to break my yo yo record! You'll hear about it here first... Hmmm....could there be a future for yo yo making in the Olympics????

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Red, White and Blue

Jeanne just sent me the marketing picture page for our new project-Red, White, and Blue. This is a great project that can be put together as simply as you want. Jeanne had the idea first to NOT use a sewing machine and see what she could make. We loved the candle holder-that came first. From that we just kept talking about more stars and more stripes and NO machine stitching. This would be a great project to get a new stitcher going because it can be done as simply as you want.

But-the beauty of this project is that it can also be made using your favorite parts of quilting-hand or machine applique, wool pieces on fabric, machine or hand stitching. It is all in this project set.

And, with the election so much on every one's mind, we need as many patriotic themed items in our houses. It's really easy to get caught up in the hype and forget what an election is-a chance to be counted as a citizen and speak up for what you want America to be. Whether it's Democrat or Republican, it's still a great opportunity for each of us to be heard.

What is better than a patriotic project to work on while trying to figure out what all the speeches are really about???? Join us in stitching and thinking during this election year. Check our web site for this pattern. It's fun to make!

Sunday in the Sewing Studio

Time to go downstairs to my sewing studio and get working. The temperature is -10 with wind chills of -30 and I can't think of a better reason to stay tucked into the house today and out of the cold. Jeanne just went to church and will call when she gets back so we can plan the week.

Today I hope to get 2 prototypes of new designs completed or at least ready for the quilting. Lois is anxious to do some quilting for us and I told her that I should have 2 projects for her tomorrow. So now I am committed! Last night I finished the embroidery on our "Long May She Wave" design. I really enjoyed making this project. It combined everything I love right now-simple piecing, embroidery and YO YO's!

My favorite Yo Yo size is the Small Clover Yo Yo maker. I like how quickly they can be made and how consistent the size is. For designing, they are perfect. This design uses the Small Clover size and I think they really make the project! Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

February doldrums and Going Green!

I don't know what the problem is-I'm just in a bad mood. Seems like it could be all this cold and snow but I was just in Florida so that doesn't seem fair. It's not the design work. Jeanne and I are working together really well on some of the new designs. We seem to have a flag theme going. I'm actually pretty excited about the combination of pieced/appliqued designs with the addition of embroidery and yo yo's-everything we have put together in the last 4 weeks really looks great and the projects are going together really well. We should have 3 new pattern sets up on our web site this month-how sweet is that??? But I'm still kind of in a bad mood!!

The other thing we are doing a lot of thinking about is recycling and going GREEN. Since we come from a family of 5 and grew up in the midwest, it should be no surprise that we didn't always have brand new things. We shared a lot and sometimes couldn't agree on who should wear what first-especially with 3 girls in the family. Our mom was an expert at making food stretch to fill us all up and is still great at looking into her cupboard and pulling together a wonderful meal. With world conversations so focused on global warming and going green, it is not surprising that we are thinking about how to take items and re-use them. Right now we are throwing around ideas for making aprons and I'm trying to sketch out how to sew the simplest fabric grocery bag. That apron book has inspired us and who needs another paper or plastic grocery bag in their house???

Keep an eye on our blog and web site-we will be announcing a contest at the end of February. We are sure you will want to be in on the fun!!!