Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pincushions and Such

There is another week to go in our 12 Contests.  (Each month a Moda Designer holds a contest and this is our month - with pincushions!).

Make a pincushion - any pincushion - out of Minick and Simpson fabric and post on Instagram with the #12contestsminickandsimpson and you could win.  We are getting many fabulous pincushions! You have 1 more week to enter....
Here is one where the maker embroidered over this print from Midwinter Reds.   
This one is made into a little whale.  Ahoy!

I can't wait to see what the last week brings.  

Earlier this week, Bill and I took a little excursion out of the studio.  We traveled to Cranbrook Museum to see a exhibition of the works of Alexander Girard.  Girard was a textile designer, architect, furniture designer, and all encompassing artist. He was once on staff at Cranbook and was a colleague of Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames.  I loved this little sketch on tissue paper that was later reproduced as upholstery fabric for the Herman Miller Corporation.

He was an avid Folk Art collecter and amassed a huge collection of folk art textiles.  Here was some of his stash!
His organization was as visually exciting as the textiles themselves.  All in all, it was very inspiring.

Also this week - we have some quilt kits on sale in our Etsy shop.  Just use the coupon code KITSALE when you check out.  



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

12 Contests!

September 5th is the starting date of the next 12 Contests! from Moda Fabrics and it just so happens to be OUR contest month!

The rules are byzantine and confusing. Kidding!!! They are extremely simple. Extremely simple rules for extremely simple fabric designers.  The only rule is that you make a pincushion out of Minick and Simpson fabric (yes, I have jumped on that runaway bandwagon and have joined the pincushion stampede) Any pincushion - any Minick and Simpson fabric - and post the pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #12contestsminickandsimpson

Got it? Pretty simple. Post those pinnie pictures starting now until October 4th.  We'll pick the winners on October 5th.

Winners? Yes, lots of winners will get Ann's Arbor fabric bundles/pre-cuts.  Whee!!!

 These are a few of the pincushions I have made lately.  All were made from my scrap basket.

 This one was made with an extra block from my Martin's Place quilt.  Notice the machine quilting. This was the first time I have ever used a walking foot.  I lived through it. Thank you for your concern.
These were made from leftover triangles from 2 Chippewa Nine Patch quilts.  The triangles became half square triangles. Then they became quarter square triangles. Then they became pincushions.

 I rescued a tin can before it went into the recycling bin. I love these tins - they are graphic and retro and a perfect shape.  This can quickly became a pincushion.

I fill my pincushions with sand. Terrarium sand I bought at the craft store.  Is is good for pins and needles? I don't know.  I just know I love the heft and weight of these pincushions.  If I dull a few pins in the process - I know they died for my enjoyment.  Because I use sand - I sew a liner for the sand out of tightly woven cotton ticking that I also bought at the craft store.  I have mode dozens of pincushions filled with sand and not one grain has ever leaked out.  Use tightly woven ticking and a small stitch on your sewing machine.
I made these square pincushions just like a small pillow and I just slipped in the sand bag.  

Thats it!  Pincushion. #12contestsminickandsimpson.  We can't wait to see what you make!

Speaking of Ann's Arbor....... we have posted a couple of kits in Etsy shop and some yardage too!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Polly's Rugs and New Ann's Arbor Quilt Kits!


Above are pictures (taken inexpertly from a screenshot on my iphone) of Polly's rugs last week at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum and Nantucket Antiques Depot.  I wish I had better pictures, but this is what I have. It was a grand time and Nantucket in August is absolutely lovely.

We also have Ann's Arbor fabric here!  We are delighted to have the  Lady of Lake Superior quilt kit in our Etsy shop HERE.

And Four Flags too!!!



Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Polly and I are back from a delightful trip to one of the loveliest places on earth. Nantucket.  I have some very meager photos, but it was kind of a working vacation and I missed some great pictures.

This is just an average house on an average street (across from our BnB) that had some spectacular window boxes. Whatever happened to window boxes?

We were hosted by Nantucket Antiques Depot and our quilts and rugs were displayed among the stellar antiques.  I took lots of pictures of rugs, but my phone has swallowed them whole I fear. I even posted them on Instagram and now nowhere to be found.  Believe me when I say, there were great hooked rugs on view.

Speaking of views, this was taken from our dinner table one evening. Sigh.  But here we are back and ready to get to work.  Our next fabric collection is now being shown to shop owners everywhere! It's called Farmhouse Reds and here are the quilts we made with it! (These are the pictures on the pattern covers.  The quilts are being shipped right now from the quilter. I will have REAL pictures of REAL quilts here in the next few days)

 This is Bird Hills Lane and the quilt measures 36" x 40" so it is quite a doable project.  The pattern can be found HERE.
This is Good Morning and is a little quilt easily pieced with old fashioned redwork.  You can find the pattern  HERE
 And this is Mrs. Rose's Best. We saw a very similar quilt at the Red and White show in New York a couple of years ago and we never could get it out of our heads.  Here it is in red and white - just like it was once. We were granted permission to make our version from it from the Rose family.  You can find the pattern HERE.
We showed you this recently, but here it is made with Farmhouse Reds! You can find the pattern  HERE.

This was me last night - listing all the bolt ends we have leftover from kits.  They are now listed in our Etsy shop under YARD SALE YARDAGE.  Why am I cleaning off the fabric shelves? Ann's Arbor is shipping any minute now and I'll have new kits next week! 

All this fabric is $6.00 per yard now until Friday. On Saturday all the fabric will be $5.00 per yard.  If any is left on Sunday it will be $4.00 per yard. Warning, it's only been listed for a few hours and most has sold out.  Good luck.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Travels

The SUV is being packed as I type this.  8 suitcases, 3 storage bins, 1 sewing bag, a new audiobook, and 2 humans will set off tomorrow morning for Delaware.  I am going to teach and lecture at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show.  My friday class is sold out and I'm not sure of the status of the lecture on Saturday.  Go to the link and find out if there is room for you!

Another summer adventure is happening soon!  Can you be in Nantucket in 2 weeks?  We will!  We hope to see you there.  August in Nantucket - sounds like a great idea!



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Happy 4th!

We aren't there yet, but Polly and I will be in mid August.  The weekend of the 11th to be exact. There will be a book signing and show of some quilts and rugs.  We'll have more specific details closer to the event.  If you're in the area, stop by and say hello.  Nantucket in August - there are worse places to be.

Since I last posted (sorry, it's been awhile), I've finished a long gestating project - my Star A Day quilt.

This was my handwork project every evening - when I wasn't working on something else.  Does that make sense?  I think from start to finish it was about 2 1/2 years, but there were dozens of quilts in between.  There are hundreds and hundreds of different scraps in here.  Fabrics from every Minick and Simpson collection, plus a few ringers.

Because my scrap basket (it's really a vintage wagon) was next to my stitching chair the past several years feeding this project - I've started another quilt.  Basically, because I was too lazy to deal with tidying up the scrap wagon.  It's already loaded with red, white, and blue scraps - so this is what was started this week.
The pattern is Glitter by Jen Kingwell.  I'm not sure what will happen next, but it's my fall back project when there is nothing else to work on.  God forbid my hands be idle for a few minutes.

I have been working on a new quilt and pattern too.  The first step was selecting fabrics (scraps!) and prepping them.
These are 2 large IKEA laundry racks with drying red and cream scraps.  This was right after I saturated them with spray starch.

I made some blocks like this........
And it turned into this.  We are in the process right now of writing the pattern.  I expect it to be available in our Etsy shop very soon. I'll keep you posted. The pattern name is On The Plus Side.

Have you sensed a red, white and blue theme for this post?  It's very timely.  In honor of July 4th we will have a month long sale in our Etsy shop.  Just use the coupon code FIREWORKS and receive 20% off of anything in the shop for the month of July.  Have you had your eye something - this is your chance.

Have a wonderful holiday



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Update

Good Morning! Summer has started here quickly and we will experience steamy weather this week.  We hope your fridge is stocked with popsicles and you are keeping cool. Our local farmer's market is in full swing and we will be eating lots of salads for the next few months.  This was a big hit this week.
This pepper and mozzarella salad from SmittenKitchen will be repeated frequently.

What else has been happening?

Polly has listed some rug hooking kits in our Etsy shop.  These are kits left over from teaching in Nantes, France.  Once they're gone, they're gone. I think there are 2 left of the patriotic pin cushion and the circle rug.  There are about 8 star rugs left.  You can find them here

I've been plugging along on a new quilt pattern ..... this will give you an idea

In other news.... there will be an exhibition of some quilts and rugs from our new book

From July 5th through September 10th there will be a quilt and rug display of our blue and white work at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (The Beavers Terrace Room) in Lincoln Nebraska.  If you are out and about on a summer road trip - be sure to stop by.



Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day and More

 In honor of Memorial Day I put some of my flag quilts out on the line to photograph.  This isn't all of them, but it's what I could get my hands on today.  This is Victory Girls - a Baltimore Album folk style quilt in honor of American women during World War II.
This is Pieceful Journey and is featured in our Quilts and Rugs book. It is a huge Americana Christmas extravaganza.

This is Liberty Road which is an homage to a similar quilt in the V & A  of Union Jacks made up in Liberty of London florals. Mine has Minick and Simpson florals and a folky American flag.
This quilt is out on a trunk show - but it is my newest flag pattern - Four Flags.  Give a thanks to those who serve and enjoy your holiday.

I have also added some mini fat quarter bundles in our Etsy shop of Snowfall.  (we even have 2 Lake Effect kits left if you need a great summer travel/handwork project).  We had some yardage listed too.

Another one of my favorite flag quilts is going on an adventure.  SpazzyCat is doing a Quilt A-Long to make the Spirit of Sacagawea.  You can get more info on his blog post today.  If you need the Spirit of Sacagawea book - we are offering it at 30% off if you use the coupon code SPIRIT when you place your order.  I can't wait to see what you all will do with this quilt.



Monday, May 8, 2017

New Patterns are Here

 We now have our new patterns featuring the Ann's Arbor fabric collection in our Etsy shop.  This one is Lady of Lake Superior (you know, Lady of the Lake pattern with the added "Superior" because we like to use Michigan names).  It makes a happy quilt.  These Ann's Arbor quilts will be heading to International Quilt Market next week in St. Louis.
This is Four Flags (well, because it's 4 flags....) and it also uses Ann's Arbor.  It could use any red, white or blue M & S fabrics you have on hand.  This is an especially fast and easy quilt and if you make Quilts of Valor or Quilts of Honor.
We have also used Ann's Arbor with great effect in one of our tried and true patterns - Chippewa Nine Patch.  We could go on and on about this favorite pattern (I've made it 6 times in different fabric groups). It always looks great - and it looks different every time.

The key to the Chippewa Nine Patch is 25 fat quarters.  5 groups of 5 fat quarters.  Once you get those picked out - its easy peasy.  The one on the left I used these 5 groups: dark blue, light blue, yellow, blue on cream shirtings, cream on cream shirtings. (The groups are arbitrary, but once you cut your strips - keep your strips in the correct pile - and magic happens) The one on the right used these 5 groupings: medium blue, light blue, red, blue on cream shirtings, cream on cream shirtings.  Different background colors set them off and while they have much the same fabrics - they look complimentary, but completely different.



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