Saturday, April 16, 2016

Big News!!

I've got some big news! 

As many of you know, I have been a fabric designer for Henry Glass for about 8 years now. I've enjoyed my time with them and the people that I got to know while working there, but it was time for a change. I'm happy to announce that I will now be designing fabric for Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake Designs. I am very excited about working with Penny Rose and looking forward to exciting projects in the future! Great things are happening!

My newest fabric line, "Meadow Sweets" will be available in stores this fall. Salesmen have started showing it to your local shops, so be sure to ask for it!

I wanted to thank everyone at Henry Glass for the time I was able to spend there and for the continuing support. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Quilt Retreat 2016 - Colcha Fiesta!!

All of us with the mariachi band!! (Missing a few ladies who came later)
We had our 19th annual family Quilt Retreat last weekend. Every year me and my sisters get together with our daughters and daughter-in-laws for a weekend to quilt. We had a great turnout this year (about 32 quilters) and had such a fun time! The theme this year was Colcha Fiesta (Quilt Party)!

For the registration packet, we had mini piñatas stuffed with candy, mustaches, pencils, and the itinerary. There were festive cookies as they came in, and a special surprise -- a real live mariachi band!! We wanted the band to be playing to greet our family as they arrived, but most people were early (!) so we just had the band come and entertain us while we set up our sewing machines. It was the perfectly way to get the party started!

The Mariachi Band
Since my sister Margaret and I were in charge this year, the project we worked on was my Star Dance quilt pattern. We did an optional block exchange, so anyone who wanted to participate could bring their pre-cut squares to retreat and we cut the white background for them. We spent a few days sewing and then we had our exchange the last day. Everyone did their own thing, so we had table runners, wall hangings, and full-size quilts--all different and unique.  Not everyone participated in the exchange; some just brought their own fabric, some worked on their own projects and some just came to chat.

The first night of our retreat, we always have a trunk show where anyone can show off what they've worked on throughout the year. It's always fun to see what people have to share! We also taught mini classes throughout the retreat; a hexi class, carseat cover, backpack class, and a fun how-to-make-delicious-churros class!

Students in the hexi class
We played a few games throughout retreat, mostly so that everyone could get up and stretch and not be sitting at their machines for 3 days. We had a giant piñata filled with quilt notions and little spools of thread that had a number for the block exchange on it. Everyone had a fun time whacking it and getting their goodies when it broke open!

Before the exchange on Saturday, we were lucky enough to be able to go a quilt shop early before it opened and get focus fabric/inspiration for what colors we wanted to pick up at the exchange.  This was a fun treat! Thanks Thimbles and Threads!

The Block Exchange. So many beautiful colors!!

Because we've been doing this retreat for 19 years now, everyone is good at creating their own unique spin on our focus quilt. These are a few of the quilts that were created during retreat:

The original Star Dance quilt

And every once in a while we'll go out to eat at retreat. It's always fun to get out (to a place that can accommodate us!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I love my BERNINA!

Hello quilters!  I thought I would give you a BERNINA update.  As you know, I am a BERNINA Ambassador and I love singing it's praises.  This is just a shout out to BERNINA to thank them for producing such a great product.
I'm A Bernina Ambassador

I have been sewing on my B 750 Quilter's Edition for a while now, and I just love it.  Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is unless I have to use a different machine, and then I realize just how great it is.

I recently taught at an event where the machines were provided by another manufacturer.  I won't say who, but I will say that I noticed a huge difference in quality and performance.  I actually could not believe the difference the machine made!   I have sewn on lots of different machines over the years as I have been teaching and helping quilters on their machines, and I always notice the difference in the quality and stitch.

I missed so many features-- hover feature, automatic presser foot drop, needle down setting, dual feed, computer memory, ease of stitch change, personalizing the computer screen to my settings, etc, etc.  And of course, the trouble-free stitching.

BERNINA is known for high-quality precision machines.  I have been sewing on a BERNINA for as long as I can remember--over 35 years.  (Ha ha!  I can remember being a youngster. WINK)  I have had 4 machines--and they all still work great.  Over the years as I have upgraded, I kept my old machines to travel with or to have a spare to share, etc.  I can always count on the beautiful stitching, perfect timing, and great results.

Do you have a BERNINA?   What is your favorite feature?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Aurifil Cruise

One of my New Year's resolutions was to write more often on my blog.  So far, so good.  NOT

I guess that is just the way resolutions go.  There has been so much happening around here, I am not sure where to start!  I recently got home from my cruise with the Aurifil quilters.  What a great time we had!  I have to tell you all about it.

First of all, I was so blessed to be joined by by my sweet husband on this trip.  I do a lot of traveling and rarely have him with me, so this was a really fun trip.  While we quilted, he did his own thing, and then we were able to have some time together, too when we were in port.

The ship was amazing!  The largest cruise ship in the world,  Allure of the Seas.  There was plenty to do on board, and lots of wonderful entertainment.

We sailed from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.

While we were at sea, we quilted.

I taught three workshops--Ahoy, Weekender, and Argyle Avenue.  I had lots of quilters and we learned a lot.  Many of the quilters even spent time in our classrooms in the evenings working on their projects after class.  It was so fun to meet new quilters and have a new experience!

There were three other teachers, all of us are Aurifil Master Designers, so it was a good crew.   I was joined by Carolyn Freidlander, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, and Tula Pink.  They are all fabulous teachers, so our group was really in for a treat.

I think I was too busy having a good time, so my photos are not the best.  But here we are all together.  I admire these women so much.  They are great ambassadors for Aurifil and wonderful teachers.  I was honored to be with them and delighted to get to know them better.  I know the quilters who took their classes enjoyed it so much and heard lots of positive comments about them.  If you get a chance to meet them or be in a class taught by one of these ladies, be sure to take it!

When we were in port, we played.

Fun ATV rides, beautiful beaches,

gorgeous forests, and lots of ocean views.

I think I am just now getting back to my normal routine and out of "vacation mode."  What a great experience this was!

Have you been on a quilting cruise?  What did you like about it?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ahoy Again in FabShop News!

Look what was published in the December edition of FabShop News! 
My "Ahoy Again!" quilt, which is a remake of the original "Ahoy!" quilt I made for a grandson years ago. This version has lighter blues and is a bit bigger than the original. I'm actually teaching this class on the World of Quilts Carribbean cruise right now and I'm not missing the snowstorms that we're having in Utah...


You can purchase the pattern or kit on my website. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Now On To Festival

A day and a half after Market closes, Festival opens.  In  between the two shows I expanded my booth from a single to a double.  I laid more of my checkered floor and hung more drapes.
I had to be creative at times.  When we decided to move the lights, the pole needed to be covered.  Good thing I have some Appli-Glue with me!

And, I got reinforcements.  Two of my sisters, Susan and Margaret joined me for Festival.  (sigh of relief)

Festival is a huge show.  Since it is a retail show, there are thousands more shoppers.  Instead of working one on one with shop owners and taking time to set up wholesale accounts and introduce my customers to my new products and my suppliers, I am now selling to the frenzied crowd.  So I needed the help!

OK.  Looks like the booth is ready, bring on the crowd!

 We were very busy the first couple of days.  No time to eat or take a break.  But the weather had different plans.  All night long we were getting tornado warnings and flash flood warnings on our phones.  (Not a very restful night).  Then we traveled into the convention center that morning in a wild rain storm.
I'm from Utah.  We don't get that much rain in a year.  I think there was 9 inches that night, and it continued on for several days.  Needless to say, it was WET.  Many roads were flooded and closed, and there were high wind areas as well.
After parking the car and wading into the convention center, I was completely drenched.  Luckily I had some fabric in my booth.  (Imagine that.)  So I took off my dripping pants and wrapped a length of fabric around my waist.  This was during set up, so after wringing out my slacks and drying them in the rest room, I put them back on before we opened for business.  I did remain bare foot most of that day, as my shoes were soggy.

 Crowds were thinner because of the storm.  I even had time to run upstairs to grab a bite to eat and snap this photo of the show floor.  If you look closely, you can see my booth in the second isle from the right.  Look for my black and white floor.

 If you ever have a chance, you should try to get to Festival.  It is a quilting experience!  Do you see the American flag hanging from the ceiling in the left side of the photo?  Well, that is the center of the show floor.  So you can see that there are a LOT of booths to visit. (understatement)
My dear friend, Janet Platt of Quick Points Rulers had a booth at the show, too.  We live near each other in Utah.  I sent some of my stuff with her in her truck.  She helped me a lot in getting things carried in and set up.  We had hotel rooms next to each other and drove into the convention center together each day.  It was good to have a friend to be with, especially during Market, when I was there alone.

So imagine our surprise when we arrived at the show to find that in all this huge floor space, our booths were next to each other!  Very fun, AND convenient!
 Janet was demo-ing her rulers, and right next door you could buy my "Ahoy Again" pattern or kit that uses the ruler to make the prairie points!

There is also a FABULOUS quilt show hung in the adjacent hall.  We barely had time to run through it.  I wish I could have spent more time there.  The quilts that make it into this show are just amazing!  My niece, Maika had a quilt in the show this year.  I am so proud of her.  Here we are with "Wade's Wave."

Maika hand dyed all of the fabrics in the quilt, and cut it into teeny tiny pieces.  Over 7000 of them.  They are all pieced together, and of course the quilting on this is fabulous.  I wish you could see it in person.

I was delighted with how my booth looked, all bright and cheery and HAPPY!  We had many customers return each day of the show to visit again.  When I got home, I got the nicest note in the mail from a group of ladies.  They said, in part,

"…we all decided that your booth was a highlight.  Bright, cheerful, beautiful quilts, great kits, terrific marketing and nice gals."

What could be better than that?  That is why I do it--I love it!  Thank you so much--Kathy, Laura, Jessie, Suzanne, Kim and Lucille.  I don't know you, but I am glad you enjoyed visiting my booth!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall Market Wrap Up 2015

Well I have been home a week, so I guess I have recovered.  Time to get back to work!  I have been playing catch-up this last week after being gone for 12 days.  It always takes a while to get things back to normal.  Whatever that is.

Quilt Market was great for me.  It was so good to have a booth again after missing that for the last 2 Markets.  I did Market alone so I could save my help for the busy show--Festival.  Because of that I really simplified my booth.  No awning, no walls, no shelving, and all the little things that take so much time to get set up.  But I did do my signature black and white checked floor.  It is a requirement!

So some simple draperies and hang a few quilts, and I'm in business.  I decided at the last minute that I needed a "little something."  I picked up a cute red cabinet at Target and put it together in my booth.  I just took my time a worked slowly getting everything done.  I had plenty of time and it worked out great.

This gave me some extra surface area to display handouts and quilts!

Since I was at Market alone, I don't have a whole lot of photos because it was hard to leave my booth.  I was near the Henry Glass booths, and we had an area where each designer did a demo each day.  That kept us busy and with my new fabric and patterns, things were always hoppin'.

The bicycle tote bag was quite a hit.  I just whipped it together right before leaving for Market.  In fact, I finished it in my hotel room!  It was a way for me to showcase the panel from my new fabric collection--Bicycles and Blooms.

I did not even intend to offer a pattern.  But that changed.  Everyone was so interested in it that I quickly decided to take orders and get a pattern written.  I will also be offering a kit, but I don't have it up on the website just yet.  First I need to re-make the bag, doing it right this time and using the real fabrics from the collection.  I am good at making more work for myself!

One of my favorite things about going to Market is seeing all my quilty friends.  Here are a few:

Pat Sloan and I try a selfie.

Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill

Me and Emily Herrick 

Heidi Kaisand is the new owner of American Quilt Retailer!

Kim Niedzwiecki is an Aurifil star!

Alex Veronelli visits my booth.

Edyta Sitar had a beautiful booth.

Amy McClellan of Under the Garden Moon.

Carolee McMullin of AdornIt

That's all I have about Market for now.  I will post again soon with all the pics from Festival.  So stay tuned. . . . .