Thursday, December 30, 2010

Embroidery Guild Exhibit

As part of the Christmas holiday, I went to see an exhibit by the Embroiders' Guild of America. The exhibit is on tour and was in Green Bay at the Neville Public Museum. Our little sister, Jo, and a good friend, Jane, went with me for a day of fun and lunch. The word for the exhibit was WOW.

I think I took about 30 pictures. We were able to get up close to the pieces and, as long as we didn't use flash or touch things, we were free to take as many pictures as we wanted. The craft and artistry was amazing. I'll be sharing some of my favorite pieces for the next month or so. Everything from hardanger, to needlepoint, to beads, and metal were on display. Just wonderful and so inspiring.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Treats

I've had a glorious 4 days off getting ready for the holidays. We had a big Christmas decorating party at Jeanne's, complete with appetizers and sparkling punch to sip. I must admit that my cookies won't win any decorating prizes (I belong to the "pile on the frosting and pour on the sprinkles" school) but they sure are good! I think there are only 2 left...out of 2 dozen.

My knitting needles are still clicking away as I have about 3 inches left on the second sock for my grand-daughter. The yarn is delightful-a hot pink, turq, and neon green blend that she will love. (I hope!) Today I made the obligatory trip down the toy aisles at Wal-Mart. Man, I didn't know there were that many pepto-bismol pink toys being manufactured in the world.

But I'm sharing a picture of the Christmas treat that our Mom made. She found old glasses all year at various locations, polished them up, and filled each one with a delightful Cranberry Jello Salad. She'll be handing them out to her neighbors this week with Christmas greetings.

Don't they look great? Wish I could have one delivered this Friday-just in time for Santa.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Spirit

I have been doing my version of Christmas shopping this week and what fun. There are a few cute little specialty shoppes (note the special spelling!) downtown Oshkosh and I hit them all. I love that moment when you first push the door open and see all kinds of sparkly things. The only thing better, I think, is walking into a new quilt store and being amazed at all the pretties.

This year I am looking for little things that can all go into one bag for my girl friends and sisters. So far, I've been having fun and been pretty sucessful. This weekend it is time to focus on the grandkids.

What is your favorite way to attack Christmas shopping? What is the best thing I can find for two sewing buddies??? Anyone, anyone???

Sunday, December 12, 2010


We are officially snowed in here in WI. The snowstorm that is hitting the entire MidWest has covered us with about 8 inches of snow and 25 mph winds. It is a true white out at times but we are all snug in the house. Everyone in my family has been accounted for-lots of folks are decorating trees this weekend, baking cookies, and generally snuggling in while it blows. Luckily, it's the weekend and everyone made it home from work safely or doesn't have to leave the house for a day or so.

I've done some reading, knitting, and spent an hour in my sewing room trying to find something. Sigh-I thought I was pretty organized but not yet. Maybe I should spend a little time down there before FOOTBALL????

The only regret for the weekend is the postponement of a Cookie Decorating Gathering at Jeanne's house this afternoon. She spent yesterday baking 20 dozen cookies-yes, she gets the prize for the most cookies. (I also heard she made a Strawberry Pie for us!) I, on the other hand, accepted the offer of a best friend to pick up a couple dozen pre-made cookies for me. What an offer!

Hope you are safe and sound this weekend, enjoying family and working on something crafty.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Got up this morning and the temperature was 11 degrees F! I was so grateful for the three quilts on my bed. Yes, three! I know I should probably get the electric blanket out but I just can't resist my quilts. And, when I use the electric blanket, I don't need that many quilts. But I love my quilts.

Right now I have a queen size postage stamp quilt on it as the main coverlet. This quilt represents my absolute passion to make postage stamp quilts. I have made 6 of them (yes, I can be a bit addicted). I hve kept 2 of them and gifted the others. They are favorites. This one has a log cabin diamond in the center-also made of postage stamps. Then I hand quilted it in cross-hatching. I love this quilt! Second is my log cabin Christmas quilt in bright reds and greens. (Did I say I also love log cabin blocks???) It is so bright that I just have to smile when I get it out. Very scrappy with a piano key border. Third is a flannel quilt that is 4 1/2" blocks sewn together and hand quilted. (Did I say I love hand quilting, too?) It is an absolute favorite with a cream and blue ticking for a back-very 1930's looking!

The weight of these quilts is what I love and running my hand over the little seams and stitches. Maybe the electric blanket won't come out this year.

What is your favorite quilt to snuggle under???

Also-in answer to Nancy's comment on Christmas gifts. Santa does definitely come to my house. It's just that St. Nick doesn't. I think St. Nick is more of a Catholic thing than a Protestant one-at least that's what Mom always said!!! Stay warm!

Monday, December 6, 2010

St. Nick???

St. Nick doesn't come to our house. He never seemed to make it when we were kids. But I was always curious about what the kids did get when he stopped at their house. I think the perfect St. Nick gifts for a quilter/stitcher would be little pin cases, spools of brightly colored threads, and all kinds of sewing notions. Hmmmm...perhaps I should be St. Nick to my sewing friends next year?

Slowly the Christmas/Holiday decorations are going up around me. Today I hung up a Christmas tree (red and white-of course!) wall-hanging in my office. It has 16 holiday motifs and makes me smile! Check out our web site for some great Christmas designs.

Jeanne has her tree half lit-she needs a longer extension. Our Christmas village is taking over our living room..time for a new neighborhood, perhaps??? How are your decorations this year?

Friday, November 26, 2010


The turkey is only a memory-although there will be a couple of sandwiches made today from leftovers. Everything was great-down to the home made pumpkin pie and real whipped cream. My oh my! What a feast.

But more important were the conversations throughout the day with family and friends. That's what I'm thankful for-most of all.

I was able to do a little knitting on a Christmas present and got my next stitchery project laid out. Three days off should give me plenty of time for some of those tasks that just keep falling to the bottom of my list. I'd really like to get a Christmas quilt-that I made LAST year-ready to take to the machine quilter. Maybe this year I'll have a new red and green quilt to snuggle under.

What's on your list to finish up before the holidays?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Craft shows

It's a week before Thanksgiving and the Christmas decorations and tv ads are bombarding us. We are trying to figure out when to start putting up the Christmas village-seems like it always takes a bit longer than the year before. Maybe that's because we keep buying a new house every year??? Who knew there was a Spam Museum??? who knew it had to be added to our Village?? And with all the road construction going on in Wisconsin, who knew a roundabout was being built in our Village in 2010? Must be all the money to give the economy a boost.

On Thanksgiving I will bring out the Christmas quilts and wall hangings and start decorating. We are doing 2 trees again-artificial and not really huge. We've moved some furniture around in the living room and we aren't really sure where everything will go-but it's time to start. I also have a Christmas quilt top that I should get to our friendly machine quilter. The quilt would be great to get finished this year-since I made the top in 2008!!!

Tomorrow is a big Holiday Craft day in the area. I think there are at least 4 shows that are within 10 miles of our house. So that means an early breakfast, comfortable walking shoes, and a spirit of adventure. I'll share what we see on Sunday.

Are you in the Craft Show spirit? Or do you stay as far away from them as you can?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who says a Christmas Tree design must be green and red?

We love the bright colors that are all around us every time we stop in our neighborhood quilt store. From neon to different shades of teal, salmon and the ever present primary colors. When Jeanne saw this collection she freaked out. And, then, decided to see a whimsical Christmas tree on a pink background. I love her tree topper!

Check out our website to order this great look for the holidays. Available as a download if you want.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It looks like Halloween out my window today. The wind is howling, the trees have no leaves, and the sky is grey and full of low clouds. We've got 4 days yet to see Trick or Treaters walking down the sidewalks with candy bags full.

Unfortunately, with the cold Fall weather that we have been experiencing lately, come bad colds. Jeanne has been suffering for over a week. Now our little sister, Jo, has a cold and Jeanne's husband is the next to succumb. I am trying to stay clear and have all my fingers crossed that I am sucessful.

But, in the meantime, the stitching continues with lots of phone calls and emails flying back and forth. PLUS-my cleaning of the sewing room continues. Jeanne has taken one load of fabric to the sewing ladies at her church to make charity quilts. It felt good to share some of the fabric that was just sitting on our shelves. Yes, it is VERY hard to pass fabric on. (I bet you know what I mean!) But, really. Do I absolutely need fabric that I bought 5-10 years ago and have just let sit on the shelf??? Ok...maybe not.

I have two more shelves to clean this weekend. Then it's on to the yarn!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mid month and a reality check

I'm not sure if it is because we are mid-October and I'm starting to panic about getting Christmas presents finished, or what! But I finally admitted that I need help with projects. Jeanne and I hurried to design a new set of placemates and we have had a riot picking out fabrics, floss, and doing the stitching. They look great! (No-you can't see them quite yet!)

But they need to be machine stitched now and I really don't know what I'm going with that. I am the one that loves hand quilting, remember? I'm the one that can hand quilt a king size Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, after hand piecing all the hexagons for a year. I think my issue is that I have never really sat next to someone who knows what to do and why. I get tense just thinking of it.

So yesterday we met with a good quilting buddy and I asked for help. The response was "Sure". We are leaving the design up to her and she can do what she wants. I'll add the bindings and we'll be ready for sharing then. What a relief. And we'll be trading some fabric for her time-good for everyone.

What part of quilting are you not really comfortable doing??? Time to admit you may need help-it's not a crime!

Monday, October 11, 2010

10-10-10 and Fall Harvest

Funny to think about these numbers. Just think we can only have two more -11/11/11 and 12/12/12 and then it's all over-I think. That kind of higher thinking is sometimes beyond me.

We have been enjoying glorious Fall weather with blue skies and lots of sun. Perfect for walking through leaves and watching the trees turn. But that also means that we're trying to dig through the back of closets and pull out all those long sleeve tops and sweaters that we stuck away in a hurry when Spring hit. And that leads to pulling out the winter quilts and checking things over.

I put a flannel quilt at the bottom of the bed last week when one night the temperature was supposed to be under 40 degrees. It looks great against the lighter colored quilt that I use during summer. It's a simple quilt of 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 squares sewn together with a greyish 3 inch border and it backed with off white and blue ticking also in flannel. It's a mish mash of flannel squares all mixed up and then I hand stitched in the ditch around each one.

I also put one of our Fall Harvest wall hangings over the living room couch. All the burnt oranges, dark greens and muted steel blues look great with my dark green couch. I'll show you later when I can find the card for my digital camera.

How do you make the change of seasons in your home decorating???

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thinking about FALL!

The sky yesterday was that sharp, no clouds at all bright blue color that makes me see all the leaves changing immediately. It was around 62 degrees and not much breeze. Perfect day to be working on a Halloween project.

I usually don't do much with panels. Our Mom (who is doing great, thank you very much!) loves to make pillows and wall-hangings from them. But I sometimes think they are just too cute. However, last fall I found a Halloween panel that is delightful. I bought enough for 4 small wall-hangings and quickly got one quilted and on the wall before the ghosts and witches started knocking at our door.

While cleaning, always a dangerous job, I stumbled (not literally!) across the rest of the panel and decided to make another for a birthday present. I finished the simple hand quilting yesterday and will complete the binding and hanging envelope this week. Ta-da! Birthday present complete.

Tell us your opinion of panels. I finally must agree that they have their perfect use.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Surreal 48 hours!

Well, we are not on our way to Spain today. The trip to visit family and explore EVERYTHING has been postponed. Our Mom arrived Tuesday morning so we could all fly together and within 2 hours of landing, was in the back of an ambulance heading for the hospital. Within 4 hours of landing she was scheduled to have a pacemaker implanted and within 7 hours was in a hospital room starting her recovery! WOW.

We are so very blessed to have this occur here and not over the Atlantic or somewhere along the way. Recovery will be good. Coincidentally, she can't travel the same length of time we would have been abroad. Tickets can still be used and the battery in her pacemaker is good for 15 years. We are grateful.

It was fantastic to see everyone in the family rally around her. Our dad and older brother are still at their home in Virginia but everyone is working together to support our Mom. We are blessed.

(As soon as she gets her arm out of the sling, we'll put her to work stitching!!!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rainy Fall day

It is supposed to be raining today and has been grey all morning. So, instead of moping around and complaining that summer is over, I have been looking at bright 1930 type colors and designs. Take a look next door at the letter F-decked out in all it's glory. Isn't this charming? Now what could it be???

Monday, September 13, 2010

Straight lines

Spent most of Saturday working on the new project. Fun to see all the fabrics and pick between them for the best arrangement. I love projects that only take about an hour to put together. Then about an hour for the embroidery (or a bit longer if I'm watching a Packer Football game!), and you're ready to do the binding and finish it all. How sweet is that?

But, you knew there had to be a but, what is it with me and stitching a straight line? Even though I check before I start and make sure I know what a 1/4 inch seam allowance is and I pin the strips together, sometimes there is still a bowed effect. I know to try to cut consistently but STILL! Of course, Jeanne can spot a line that is not straight from across the room. Sigh...little sisters are a pain sometimes.

Do you have any tricks for me to improve my straight stitching of 1 1/2 inch strips of fabric?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Working on new project

My work area is FULL of new fabrics. Crazy full and that is after I spent two afternoons trying to reorganize things this weekend. The inspiration is the idea for a new pattern that Jeanne and I are getting very excited about. It started with a Moda Jelly Roll that I bought from the Quilter's Daily Deal blog. (click here to check it out! It is my new favorite to check every morning and the folks there ship so fast! I love getting packages and they are feeding my must buy more fat quarters and charm pack additions.)

Anyway, so I got this great new Jelly Roll and that was all it took to make me start digging through every shelf I have in the studio. I found so much good stuff that I had to call Jeanne to come and check it all out. Obviously, I have been doing my part to keep the American economy going!!!

We'll be sharing more pictures and updates on this new, easy to assemble project for the next 2 weeks. Stay tuned for more! You can get a sneak peek at the project so far by checking out the photo next door in teal!

Monday, August 30, 2010

First downloadable pattern!

Take a good at the easy, cute design Jeanne came up with for those great candles and jars we all use for decoration. You can get this pattern starting on September 1st by going to our web site (click here) and ordering it via download. It is easy to put together with several choices of how to make it fit your house. We have given these to friends and family for gifts and have heard nothing but great comments about them.

We'd love to see how your fabric choices are. Send us a photo and we'll add it to our new gallery!

Thursday, August 19, 2010 this a Yo Yo?

I attended a Tall Ship Festival last weekend in Green Bay. The Tall Ships are original or reconstructed versions of late 1700-late 1800 sailing vessels. It was wonderful to see 11 of them lined up at anchor in the bright summer sunshine. Unfortunately, it was 95 degrees with matching humidity so we all roasted while we admired them.

There were a few ladies dressed in period costumes walking along the marina showing off their style. I couldn't resist getting a quick up close photo of this charming hat with a white cockade complete with brooch. Do you think this could be an early version of a Yo Yo? It made me smile.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Christmas Project with brights!

Here is a sneak peak of a new project that Jeanne designed. Simple to put together, delightful to hang on the wall. We have fallen in love with some of the new Moda fabrics this summer. This sweet green with coral is so yummy. Keep your eyes on the the blog and web site. We'll be offering this pattern soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back from Vacation!

We drove out to Mt. Rushmore and Custer State park and had a wonderful photo-adventure. Between us, we took over 700 pictures! Just to prove the point I have uploaded one of our friends from the journey. I found some old quilts in an 1880's western town and will share some of the pictures I took of the individual blocks when Jerry sorts through all the files. I know they are there-somewhere!

I discovered that it is hard to embroider accurately on small designs so spent time at night embroidering and, when I was the passenger, worked on putting together some postage stamp blocks into a log cabin variation. I think I'll add some embroidery in the middle of the 4-blocks I joined. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, don't forget to download Sophie #4. She stitches up quickly!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Sophie Ready to Go!

Our newest Sophie Redwork block will be ready to download from our website over the weekend. Jeanne has out-done herself with this one. What a riot Sophie is doing and enjoying all of her favorite things this year.

We've been busy with Christmas designs, gardening, and playing with our grandkids-sounds like the perfect summer, doesn't it?

Watch for exciting news next week about our Etsy shop. Time to make room for some new patterns and to shift around the project demos. That means there might be some fun hand-stitched items for you to add to your personal collection. (And we can start making MORE!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christmas in July

We've been busy little elves working on a couple of new Christmas patterns. Jeanne is up to her elbows in fabric, batting, wire, and beads. Now doesn't that make you curious? On the other hand, I spent some times last night sitting on the living room floor laying out fabric, batting, quilt top. Hmmmm...sounds like someone is going to be doing some hand quilting pretty soon.

We hope your summer is going well and that you're enjoying the type of fun you love. We're spending time at little grandson softball games, campfires and S'Mores, and gardening. Jeanne has a weekend planned of canning pickles. Don't say we don't know how to rock and roll!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

What a glorious 4th of July here in Wisconsin. Just went out to get the paper and it is awesome-a little cooler than yesterday, sun is shining and there is a slight breeze. Great day to be alive.

We've been out and about the last couple of weeks-sorry the posts have been sparse. But we've gotten all our new patterns off to our distributors to start carrying in their inventory. Don't forget to check out our web site for new ideas for patterns for home, kids, and yourself. We'll be uploading the next segment of our Sophie free block of the month this week. Sophie's been taking a vacation so you haven't seen her in a while, either.

We hope your celebration in America is safe and happy. If you're not celebrating the 4th, have a wonderful Sunday and save a few minutes for stitching along the way!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What Direction do we take?

Sometimes it's important to figure out what direction you should take. When you see an archway or a door leading down a corridor you have to wonder if you should go through or turn back.

Jeanne and I have been trying to figure out what direction our designing should go. We know we love embroidery. No question about that. But then there is traditional quilting. We love that too. And then there is wool, felt, needle punch, applique, yo yo's, papier mache, and all the rest. What direction do we go in?

So the question for the week is "What direction do you want us to go down? Do we keep our new perspective of combining different styles and materials or focus more in one direction?" What do you think?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Perfect Day

We had the most perfect day yesterday. Lots of rain clouds finally cleared away and it was crisp and sunny. Perfect day with a bit of a breeze. I spent some time in my flower beds and am happy to report that my first official Sweet Pea blossoms are out. I've tried to grow those for 3 years and just never was able to get them to take hold. BUT this time it seems to work. I am training them to up a trellis and the first blossoms are pink and white. Gorgeous! I remember them from summers at my Grandpa's house in MN. He had sweet peas growing along a long fence between his house and the neighbor's.

We've been mailing out marketing information on our 4 new patterns. What do you think? We'd love to hear from you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Birthday flowers

Jeanne's husband gave her a beautiful bouquet of gerbera daisies for her birthday. Way to go Dan! This is my favorite of the whole bunch-although there is one more picture of them that I'll save to share on a rainy day. I think she had a good day-plus there just might be a drink and appetizers ahead this week.

We worked hard on a photo shoot Sunday morning and I think we'll be pleased with the results. Funny how every computer screen and printer does a slightly different job with color. I wish there was more consistency around. But we had fun.

The better picture would have been me sitting on a little bitty white stepstool trying to get "up close and personal" with the project. Jeanne was hovering around me poking and prodding the project to get just the look she wanted. Keep your fingers crossed. We'll do the BIG REVEAL later this week when she gets the proof back from the printer.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jeanne's Birthday!

Coffee, warm biscuits fresh from the oven and miniature red roses! I hope Jeanne enjoyed the start to her day. We'll continue the festivities with a night of great appetizers and conversation. Checking schedules is sometimes a bit difficult but it's worth it when the date is set.

We are seeing some great interest in our new Spring patterns. Flip over to our web site and see the new designs. It's been fun to get these out in the marketplace.

I'm looking for new beads and sparkles for a version of Bree's Beads. I think I'll have to hit Hobby Lobby this weekend and see what they have. What's on your weekend schedule???? Maybe a Farmer's Market or browsing an antique store?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1st!

We hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. The weather here in Wisconsin was hot and humid-no really! I think it averaged mid 80's through the whole 3 days. Both Jeanne and I had a couple of chances to spend time with our grandkids and that was fun.

This week we celebrate Jeanne's birthday on Thursday. No, I'll be a good sister and NOT tell you how old she is. We love birthday's in our family. Any reason for cake is a good reason for me. Not sure if we'll head for our favorite watering hole or go to a flea market she wants to visit-but no matter what, it will be full of fun and laughs.

Tell us what's on your schedule for June???

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Snuggle Me!

This wonderful gift is perfect to make for any favorite child--especially a little grandchild! It is made from two washcloths with adorable critters and lots of little silky ribbons to play with. You can put a design on one side or two-it's up to you. We can't decide which critter is our favorite. Today I think I love the monkey best!

Jeanne created it for her newest grandbaby, Roco, and he loved it. It's the type of gift you can make in a weekend. It's totally machine washable and only gets softer with time.

Check out our website for Snuggle Me and our other new patterns. They're ready to order!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ready to post new patterns

Jeanne is working with our great web mistress (Thanks Annie of In a Pickle Design!) to get the four new patterns up on our web site. I think you'll like them. I gave you two sneak peaks with her applique and the rooster that is shown next door to this post. I think everything will be posted on the site by Wednesday. I'll let you all know!

And over coffee this morning Jeanne started wondering if we should make the web site a different shade of red. Barn red and a homespun look is what we were going for when we started the site. But we're thinking about a brighter red and more white. What do you think???

Monday, May 17, 2010

Where do the new ideas come from?

So I've been stitching on the Christmas project. Jeanne is finishing getting printed instructions ready to pack up and mail out mid week. We have written the patterns, drawn the grids that tell where to place things, taken photos, gone to the printer and done all the usual promotional things to let people know we have new patterns. Next will be a mass mailing to previous customers and, hopefully, we will get some orders to fill. That is the life of a small design company.

And we love it. (At least most days!)

But then comes that early morning cup of coffee where we look at each other and ask "So what next?" Usually it's followed by a mad dash for the ideas folders we each have. It requires about two cups of coffee and maybe a bakery delight to get the creative juices flowing. First we talk about what we wanted to make last time but didn't. Then we talk about what we think is the next hottest thing. Then we decide if we love that next hottest thing. And-if the answer is a unanimous YES-we play around with that idea and try to make it ours. Because only then can we put a Lasting Treasure twist on an idea and make it feel just right for you.

What do you think the next "hottest" thing will be???? Anyone, anyone???

Saturday, May 15, 2010

4 new patterns

Jeanne has been working on 4 new patterns. They will be posted on our web site in about 2 weeks. In the meantime we are working with various distributors and quilt shops to get samples out to them. I'm almost finished with the Christmas pattern. I like it more and more but Jeanne needs to try to make some adjustments in font size before we are ready for the last part of it.

Got you wondering about it, don't I?

My task for this week will be to finish Christmas and start on some marketing projects for the new patterns. We hope to have new pictures ready to post mid week. See you then!

What are you working on? We hope it's something cute...maybe our Sophie?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tickets to Spain

Tuesday was spent going back and forth with United as I tried to book the infamous trip to Spain. I finally achieved success at what we think is a good price. But it was hard and took talking to people. The best was when they wanted to charge us an extra $25 a ticket to have a person make the booking when THEIR web site had a problem. No-I don't think so. Thank you very much!

It takes 4 flights to make it to Valencia Spain. But that's ok because there is family, fun and adventure at the other end. Kind of like the pot of gold I think!

Now what project will I take with me on the long plane rides? And, since the adventure included Jeanne and our Mom, it really means 3 projects because there's no way they aren't going to want to stitch too. Hmmmmm...... we leave September 23 so there is plenty of time to plan.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Learning how to do machine applique!

Jeanne is learning the art of applique on a new project. I stopped over for coffee yesterday and she had the sewing machine out, piles of little scraps of brightly colored fabrics sitting around, and more bobbins than I knew she had! She is working on the proto-types of a pattern that is inspired by something that her little grandson brought with him from Spain. It's funny to realize that other countries have different ideas about what makes a great toy for a little baby.

Besides the adorable ideas that Jeanne is developing, it's been fun to watch her discover machine applique. I don't personally like doing it too much. So I told her if she wanted to make what she was describing, she was the one who had to figure out how to make it all work. And so she did!

Pretty amazing for a little sister to take that kind of a challenge and rub her big sister's nose in it! All I've done is feed her fabric and say "I love this one...I like this idea...who knew this guy would be that cute?" It's been fun to watch her creative juices simmer and erupt with 4 adorable patterns! Now she just needs to write the patterns and our 3rd quarter designs are ready to offer to the world! Fun!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New week?

Last week was long. I spent 3 days in Atlanta, finished writing 3 patterns, edited the last 5 chapters of my book, helped video a wedding, brain-stormed with Jeanne on 2 new patterns, and studied my Spanish. Oh yes, must not forget I finished knitting a pair of socks (I have them on tonight), and continued stitching a new Christmas redwork wall-hanging. I am tired. We accomplished a great deal.

Jeanne just sent me a sneak peek at the new pattern she has been working on. There will be 4 parts to it. It is an applique design and really turned out cute. She has been digging into my fabric stash and has made some wonderful fabric choices. I am very excited to see them tomorrow when I stop for coffee.

And, did I mention that 3 of our new 2010 patterns have been picked up by one of the biggest quilt pattern distributors? That was sweet.

I hope you had a good week but are not as pooped out as I am. Time for bed...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Atlanta Stitching

I've been able to continue to get the Christmas wall-hanging stitched while I'm traveling. I am a little over 1/2 done and like the look a lot. Only 4 more designs to stitch and then we need to figure out what embellishment stitches we should use or if we should go with rick rack or ribbon.

I am in love with the new wide rick racks that are available now. Not sure if Jeanne agrees with me on this fascination but, so far, she hasn't ripped them out of my little fingers. I saw a great jacket with wide rick rack used as trim down the front. It was made out of a sweatshirt and looked cozy and warm.

Last night I put the Christmas redwork down and tried out some Valdani thread. I love the muted autumn colors that I ordered. I decided to split the 3 threads down to 2 and see how that looked. I like it a lot but the thread really twisted up on itself. I'm not sure if I should split it or not. Anyone have any experience? Great feel to it...very smooth.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Off to Atlanta

About to drive to the airport for a 3 day visit to Atlanta for some work stuff. Big decision was what stitching to bring along. Jeanne made my mind up by saying 'Work on the new Christmas wall-hanging!" When she says things like that, big sisters just have to follow along. She has been drawing like crazy lately. I love the new designs we're working our way through. She stopped over yesterday afternoon and went through our stash for all the brights she could find. WOW-what a lot of wonderful in your face colors. Can't wait until I see what she puts together.

What is your favorite type of project to work on when sitting in airports or on long car trips? Share...I'll let you know how I do on mine!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Sophie Download Ready

Check out our web site to get the latest free download of Sophie's favorite things. This time it's my personal favorite...a coffee cup for a great coffee concoction. Easy and fast to stitch, this motif only takes about 2 hours-if that! Check back later today or tomorrow-we visited a wonderful quilt quild in our hometown and gave a presentation on Redwork. Jeanne took some pictures so as soon as I get them uploaded, I'll share.

We met some great ladies, shared stories about stitching traditional redwork, and had great goodies to eat. Who could ask for better???

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Redwork Design almost ready!

It's been a great morning. Got up early and put the binding on the new redwork design. So cute and I love the crisp red and white look. Of course, it's always been our favorite. Then, not to be left behind, I added some quick quilting to our other new design and put a binding on that. Tonight I'll finish them both and then Jeanne will turn them into patterns. Fun!

Here is a quick snapshot of part of the redwork design.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flowers are appearing at last!

I went out and inspected the garden beds this afternoon. What fun to start to see some blossoms. There are white daffodils blossoming that I forgot I planted last fall, as well as snowdrops and grape hyacinths. And the forsythia that my mom brought me from Virginia has some pale yellow flowers. I think this is the first time I actually have blossoms on it. Amazing when I think that we just stuck a couple of sticks in the ground and now there is a small bush several years later. What a treat!

Jeanne came over tonight and we tried to finish planning two new patterns. If all goes as planned, we might be posting about them within a few days. Check back...they're sweet!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April Fools' Day Repeat!

Typical April in Wisconsin means that we get one more blast of snow. And, last night was the night. Last week we had wonderful Spring-like low 60's and now the grass is covered with snow. I know, I know, this too shall pass as it always does. But it's still a shock to open the curtains and see snow! Guess I'll wait on the open-toed shoes!

I was going through some old files last night and found a couple of patterns that need to be brushed off and shared. Jeanne and I will talk that over this morning and you may see something new on the site a bit sooner than we had planned.

Yesterday when I stopped for coffee, she had a new Sophie project sitting on the ironing board. Of course, I had to take a peek. That resulted in a good laugh when I undid what she had spent an hour laying out and we both agreed that it's impossible not to touch yo yo's or move them around. We're so BAD!!!

Hope this green frog brings us warmer weather FAST! April Fool's Day was last week.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Fabric

I am pretty excited about the new fabric that I just bought. This is a Michael Miller collection and I can't wait to start designing with it. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Fabric!

When I left for 'work' this morning I had the washing machine full of the fat quarters I bought on my quilt weekend with Amy. Amy, Bonnie, and Sheila awarded me with the prize (a piece of red licorice) for spending the most money this weekend. But really, friends, who could blame me for helping the economy out a bit? Especially when I kept seeing the best, brightest, most fantabulous Spring colors all around me?

We visited 3 quilt shops and I spread the joy in each one. Don't call me a cheapskate...please! I fell in love with two Moda collections but it was the Michael Miller fabrics-which came in their own straw bag that will be perfect for Summer stitching projects-that kept me excited. Take a peek at the lovely selection shown in the picture to your right. Aren't they great??

We hope everyone has a good holiday weekend and that Spring is sharing it's fresh air with you, wherever your stitching takes you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Off to Amy's House!

Ok-my back is killing me and I'm not even in the car yet! Actually I'm packing-or trying to decide what I want to work on-and I must have been bending over a little for too long. And with an 8 hr drive tomorrow to Amy's house, that might be a problem. Bonnie, Sheila and I are heading off for a wonderful quilting visit to Amy's house. It's the annual pilgrimage for fun, visiting, quilting, talking, did I say quilting, etc? In spite of having 3 boys in the house (that includes Tim, Amy's husband) we do get a great deal of girl talk across the long weekend.

Projects I am taking along (just in case): new redwork wall-hanging that Jeanne designed, a bag of yo yo's to make into flowers, a rooster embroidery motif that might turn into a table runner, a table runner that was made about 8 years ago and is basted-I want to learn how to machine stipple if someone will sit by me and help, my laptop for writing, my Nintendo and a new Pokemon game to play with the boys, and did I say a new redwork wall-hanging that Jeanne designed???? I think I'll try to stitch in the car for a bit-last time I got quite a bit done on the ride along with some great car conversations.

What is said in the car stays in the car...right girls????

I hope you are all going to have as much fun as I am planning to have this weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Flowers!

I had such fun stitching the March design. These simple flowers stitch up FAST and picking out colors for them was fun. I added some French knots in the middle just to spice things up a bit. I think I may put some of these on a set of dish towels for each of my daughters-in-law for Easter. They would look cute tucked into an Easter basket-don't you think?

This design is available as part of our Sophie 2010 free block of the month. Check our web-site and go to the tab at the top to download it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Redwork Flowers

The next Sophie design should be posted on our web site by Monday. But here is a sneak peek. The flowers are so sweet and stitch up so quickly that you'll be ready with this in no time at all. Since one of Sophie's favorite things is flowers, we had to expand on that idea. And there are crocuses and tulips just starting to poke their heads through the snow here in Wisconsin. I'm working on the colored version of this trio and will share that next.

Jeanne continues to be buried under a pile of yo yo's. I'm not sure when she'll surface. But what she's working on sure looks cute.

Are you welcoming Spring with a special stitching project? let us know what's keeping you busy as the weather improves.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

I don't know about you but I want Winter to be over. Today is St. Pat's Day (let's all be Irish today, ok?), and I know that here in Wisconsin the reality is that we will probably have at least 3 more snows before it's really done. But the last couple of days have been wonderful. Yesterday we hit 57 degrees and the crocuses and daffodils are starting to come up. I want to tell them "Not yet! go back to sleep or you'll freeze!" But who am I to argue with warm air???? Anyway-I hope you are enjoying some nice weather too for a change before the storms come back...maybe Friday???

Jeanne and I are still up to our ears in yo-yo's. Sunday afternoon was spent with jars of them spread out on the table as we played with flowers. Ok-that's a hint everyone! And I am stitching the next Sophie and she should be posted soon.

I cleaned my sewing room and DID not find a special pattern I need for a girls' quilting retreat that is next weekend. I know I've seen the dang thing but where????

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sophie in colors

I spent the weekend on a getaway in Door County. It was great-did a little shopping/browsing, made a fire in the fireplace both nights, watched some stupid movie (Zombieland-so lame!) and stitched. Also tried to find some floss at the only quilt shop in the county-I kid you not. No luck but did pick up a cute charm pack-what's a girl to do when faced with a shop full of fabric? Take a peek at Sophie in colors-she's almost done!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sophie with Flowers

Here is our girl Sophie all stitched up in red. Isn't she a sweetheart? We're almost ready to make the March download available and will post it soon. We've got a couple of new looks for her and think, like every woman, that it's ok to change your look once in a while. Or maybe that's just me rationalizing the fact that I got my hair colored on Saturday???

We've also been talking about what comes next as we plan out some new designs. Stay tuned for more great least that's what we think! What are you working on now? Redwork or something else????

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yo Yo flowers

These yo yo flowers are our latest project foundation. Jeanne has been going from stack to stack of yo yo's and dreaming up great, easy ways to use them to bring smiles to your desk or table. We have been in love with yo yo's for about 3 years now and it just keeps getting better. I swear we much have about 1,000 yo yo's of various sizes between the two of us. But this pattern has been fun because it's so different from the typical embroidery/quilt project we work on.

We're almost ready to unveil the final result!

P. S. and we have great prices on Clover's Yo Yo Makers on our site.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New pattern in the works

Jeanne has been spending quite of bit of her time (when not holding her wonderful little grandson, Roco, who is visiting from Spain) surrounded by Yo Yo's. It's amazing how many yo yo's the two of us have accumulated over the last couple of years.

Of course, that included the hundreds (I'm NOT kidding) of yo yo's I made two years ago to use in decorating our booth at Houston's International Quilt market. We actually strung yo yo's together with fishing line and hung them from the top of our booth. And I made a "quiet" windchime out of yo yo's that made a lot of people laugh when they figured out what it was!

And then there is the big bag of yo yo's Jeanne bought at a rummage sale! There have to be at least a hundred in that bag-some of the ugliest fabrics I've ever seen in my life were used for those. You know, that's a great idea to use up scraps ugly fabric that wasn't so ugly when you bought it. HMMMM>>>>>

Anyway, we're working on a new pattern. So how many yo yo's would you think it would take to make a bouquet of flowers??? Just asking!!!

P. S. We have a great sale on 4 different sizes of the Clover Yo Yo makers on our web site. Check it out here!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Facebook fanpage started!

I've had some fun this weekend creating a fanpage on Facebook. Please be sure to check us out under Lasting Treasure Vintage Embroidery Designs. I think it will be fun to share some different photos and find out what our stitching friends are doing that spend time on Facebook. I'm not 100% sure how to do everything there but we can learn together!

Jeanne's visitors from Spain arrived last night-safe and sound. Coffee this morning was great holding baby Roco.

Jeanne and I spent some time on the phone last night talking about our next version of Sophie with flowers-we're thinking using yo yo flowers instead of embroidery would be a nice change. Let us know what you think. We're throwing around ideas for doing some different things this year with our Block of the Month-always doing one version in red and white (of course!) but maybe adding in some applique, yo yo's, beading, etc. for a different look too. What's your favorite embellishment???? We'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Perfect Inspiration!

With all the snowing and blowing that is going on across our country, I hope everyone is snug and safe and STITCHING like mad. What a perfect excuse to sit on the couch and work on a new project while the blizzards of 2010 whip around. If you're stuck at home, let us know what you're working on please. The sun is shining this morning here in Wisconsin but it is only 9 degrees-that's a bit cold for me!

Jeanne is just as excited as I am to start on a new version of our Sophie girl. Take a look at the great colors of thread that I received Tuesday. I was very pleased that the mailman delivered them-you know that "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor dark of night" promise does still work as far as mail delivery is concerned. I spent a very pleasurable hour last night going through my Aunt Grace 1930 reproduction fat quarters. I must have 300 all neatly washed, ironed, folded and sorted by color just waiting for the right project to come along. ( Ok-so I get a bit obsessed with my fat quarters. Jeanne just shakes her head but she knows that she shouldn't touch them without permission. I think it could be a big sister/little sister thing!)

These DMC colors are pushing me over the edge-Sophie in 1930's is right around the corner! I can tell what will be the inspiration for my next project!!

What's your favorite color scheme for stitching during winter? I find myself trying to use brights usually-always with a redwork twist, of course!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DMC #8

I've been having a real hard time finding fun colors of DMC #8. In my area of Wisconsin, there don't seem to be many quilt shops that carry much beyond burgundy, black and tan/cream. I've checked Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and Michaels-no luck. So-since I've been looking forward to starting a new project-(HINT-HINT-it's NOT Sophie!)-I ended up going on-line for a fun shopping trip.

I finally bought 8 fantastic colors (they remind me of an Easter Egg Hunt!) from Colonial Crafts-a wonderful on-line store. They are located in Sturbridge, MA and are great to talk to. They have carried our patterns and provide excellent customer service. I received my little spools of thread yesterday-3 days after I ordered! And, needless to say, I'm hard at work on my new project. Just wait-you'll love HER!

Check out Colonial Crafts here...they're nice people!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2010 Sophie Block of the Month begins!

We're pretty excited to finally be able to share the first look at our new Sophie block of the month. Last year Sophie went shopping. That was fun-especially seeing the wonderful ways that some of you put the blocks together. But this year we've decided to share some of Sophie's favorite things. And, while everything will lead up to a completed wall-hanging at the end of the year, we're going to have more fun with smaller projects along the way.

We'd suggest starting off with a one yard piece of muslin or Kona cotton to use for all the embroidery pieces. We'll share more about the finished projects as we go. We're stitching Sophie with her flowers in red because we have to start with redwork-you know US!

Stay tuned for more ways to enjoy your stitching. And download Sophie on our web site-click here.

P. S. We are going to leave our 2009 Sophie on our site so you can download any parts you may have missed. I really get upset when I miss a month of this kind of project. So we'll leave Sophie 2009 available for a while yet.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February already???

So when did January end on me???? I'm looking out my office window and it's snowing-no surprise as it is Wisconsin and it is winter but where did January go? Jeanne and I spent some time this weekend getting our new Sophie ideas pulled together and the first installment should be posted on our website tomorrow. I'll post again about that and tell you the ideas we are going to be pursuing this year with Sophie. We hope you'll find them as charming as last year!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thinking about Valentine's Day

Jeanne and I spent quite a bit of this week talking about Valentines. We're in love with vintage Valentines-you know the kind that you used to get at the dime store and give to every kid in your elementary school classes? We have quite a collection of Valentines from the 1920's-1950's. For a couple of summers we visited a lot of antique stores and seemed to always end up sitting on the floor going through boxes of old Valentines. The cute sayings and adorable art really caught our interest.

You can see some of the pillows that we've designed based on these old Valentines on our web site. I have six of our designs stitched to go into a full Valentine quilt but have a ways to go yet before it will be ready to share. I keep getting distracted by new projects.

Don't forget to look for the February/March Quilt Magazine! Our Valentine Girl is featured for you to make up into a quick pillow. It's a really nice magazine and we're thrilled to be part of it.

Right now I've got a pair of fingerless mitts that I'm knitting for my niece Tania, I'm trying to stitch a new version of our Angel Flowers design to see how it looks in color, and I have a stack of magazines by my chair that I should be peeking at. Oh well, today's a football day so I know I'll get some time to spent on it all. How about you? Are you working on Valentines or other projects???

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Great Finished Sophie Quilt!

We were so thrilled to see the finished Sophie quilt that Patty gave to her daughter for Christmas this year. Take a quick peek here at Patty's blog and see the other delightful projects that she has been busy with. We're always so excited to see how our friends are making our designs their very own. That's one of the best things about designing and quilts and stitching-you meet so many creative people who share our love of all things cute, whimsical, and FUN!

I've taken the liberty of sharing Patty's picture from her blog. Join me in enjoying this great version of Sophie!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Almost time to go HOME!

It's been a long week of business in Atlanta. I can finally say that a big pressure on me is over and I think life will settle down a bit now. How's that for optimism??? I haven't been doing any real stitching for the last week or so-just some fun knitting. We are kind of in between designs right now and I haven't felt like picking up any of my unfinished projects-although that's what I should be occupied with during this lull I suppose.

But I did get a pair of fingerless mittens knit for Jeanne-great to give her some warmth on her forearms but leave the fingers free. If you'd like the pattern, just let me know!

Next week we will be able to start to talk about our 2010 Sophie-just wait! You'll love where are girl is going next!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January progress

Hey-it was so cold when I went out to get the Sunday paper that I think my breath was frozen in clouds. But the sun was already up so that made me notice the glittery snow-just like diamonds. I didn't stand outside and admire it for too long!

We're just about ready to send off a magazine article to see what others think about the story of our Sophie BOM. We think our favorite girlfriend should get a broader fan-club so have decided to let her wings spread. We'll let you know where she ends up.

Jeanne is hard at work on the designs for the 2010 Sophie BOM. Should be ready to share with you soon. We think it will be a year of Sophie and Her Favorite Things...stay posted to see what makes that list.

And here is a sneak peek at one of the new creations that Jeanne has been working on. Don't you just love the choice of fabric for our Santa????