Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

My friend Pattie told me I should participate in the Amy's Creative Side Blogger Quilt Festival, (formerly known as Park City Girl) and I thought, why not, I'll do it!
I think Amy and Jennie thought this idea up of having a blogger quilt show about a year ago, but I missed that one. I tried to get the little button thingy to post, but I couldn't figure out how to get the code for it. Lame, I know. Jennie figured it out for me!

We both agreed that my Lantern Bloom quilt had to be the one to showcase. It's my current favorite, although I've pretty much loved all of the quilts I've made.

I made this quilt for my most fabulous and wonderful boss's birthday. She makes going to my day job extremely enjoyable and is a very generous and fun person, so I decided she deserved a quilt for her birthday.
lantern festival whole 2
It was love at first site for me with this fabric. I resisted it for quite sometime, but then it was getting scarce, so I bought an eighth yard bundle from Quilt Home. I decided that the Slide Show pattern by Terry Atkinson would showcase the fabric perfectly. Of course by buying the fabric prior to deciding on a pattern, I didn't have a wide enough cut for the big squares, so I decided to border them.
lantern festival branch
My favorite quilt saying is "it's not a mistake, it's a design opportunity" and this was definitely one of those. I L.O.V.E. how it came out, so much so that I may need to make one for me. 
I quilted it with vertical wavy lines to achieve a more organic look. Jennie suggested it to Michelle for her table runner at our retreat and I thought it was a great idea for this quilt as well.
I put Curly Minkee on the back because my boss absolutely adores Minkee. I'll tell you, if you haven't felt Curly Minkee, your life is not complete! People can't help themselves when they see it. Their eyes go all unfocused and their hand starts to reach for it as though they have not control over it. Then they pet the Minkee and say 'oooo....it's soooo soft....' in a dreamy voice.
lantern festival minky back 1
The quilting looks great on Minkee too.
These are a few of my favorite blocks:
lantern festival vase

lantern festival bird
lantern block violet
There are currently over 500 quilts listed in the show and a slew of them are in the group pool on Flickr as well. Check them out for inspiration.
I've noticed several bloggers are doing giveaways and sales at their online stores in conjunction with the festival, so you should check out the festival page as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I started planting seriously this week.
I was able to plant 4 different blueberry bushes (2 early producers, 2 late producers), a raspberry bush, 3 tomato plants, 1 orange pepper and many, many seeds before the rain two nights ago.
I bought all of the seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds out of Missouri. It's an interesting store. The man who started it began it out of his parent's house when he was just 17 years old! It's grown exponentially every year and now they have a whole pioneer village thing where they have festivals, an apothocary, a mercantile and a natural food restaurant.  I'd like to take a road trip there sometime.
I love the names on my carrots:
That's right, I have Obtuse, Cosmic and Atomic carrots!

I still have my lettuce and a multitude of radishes yet to plant, but the weather got all rainy, so that will have to wait until after the Husky Hike on Saturday. I don't mind the rain, but the Husky Hike is a ton more fun in nice weather. And it will be especially fun this year because my cousins Ashley and Chris just moved into the area at the beginning of the month and will be joining us for the hike! Yeah!!!
I usually take Robbie with to the hike, even though he's not a Husky, but I don't know, his privilages may be revoked after what happened the last time he went to a Husky hike.  Of course, this time he will be under my supervision, so that would make all the difference in the world. Still, I'm not sure that I'm willing to risk it just yet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Shop Hopping

Another shop that I totally loved on the Bus Shop Hop was Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee, MN.  This store is in a renovated train Depot. They had an amazing amount of oilcloth and laminate. Everything from Moda to Paula Prass oilcloth! It was fabulous.  You can see some of the Nicey Jane laminates at the cutting counter there in the middle.
Pardon the over-correction of brightness in the photo below. I was trying to show the great details of the building and the back lighting from the windows just would not let me do it.
Some Nicey Jane fabulouslness.I wasn't sure if I liked the green floral fabric in this line until I saw this quilt. Now I'm sure I love it.
My favorite part of Eagle Creek was the batik room in the back portion. It makes me want to live in a place with brick walls just so I can hang batik quilts on it and have them look that fantastic.
It looks like I followed Gale, the lady in pink, everywhere in the store!
And I think this about sums it up for quilters everywhere:
It's a little fuzzy, but what do you expect when taking a photo in the bathroom. Yup, that was painted in the bathroom. Back on the bus several ladies mentioned that they took photos of it too. Is it wrong to take photos in a bathroom?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shop Hopping

I spent last weekend as the "bus mom" on a bus shop hop tour of Wisconsin and Minnesota for Tammy Tadd Designs. I hope all of my bus ladies had as great a time as I did, since I had a blast! I made some new friends, got to spend time with long term friends (see how I avoided the term 'old friends' I didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea there. See how p.c. I am), learned some fabulous new quilting things and was uber inspired. The ladies were so much fun on the trip.

While all the stores offered great ideas and projects, there were two that really struck my fancy, and not just becuase of the great fabric. To me, atmosphere makes the store, and these two had it in spades. I love architectural detail. Today I'll feature Fourth and Main in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. I'm told that a website is currently under development, so in the meantime, check out the photos below to see just how wonderful this place is.

I want to live in Fourth and Main, yes, in the store. With or without the fabric. Either would be just fine for me! I couldn't help myself, I took a ton of pictures at this store. The building was originally two that they combined into one during their "extensive" renovation. I really enjoyed talking with Carol, who is one of the owners. She told me that one part of the building was once a bank, I think, or was it a post office. I can't remember now. Either way, Carol and Julie (and Steve the carpenter) did an absolutely amazing and fabulous job on the place.
The front window, not a great photo, but it was sooo cute!
Kind of straight-right-ish when you walk in the door.
Look at that ceiling!!
In the second building area....Some lovely quilts, including a gorgeous Ava Rose quilt. Don't you just love the molding on the shelves?
Looking down the second building room. Love that offset log cabin! And those shelves. Fab.U. Lous! They call them "Alberts". Carol explained to me that they name everything, so these are called "Albert." They have "fat Alberts" and "skinny Alberts"
That's Carol on the right. She's with two sisters that came on the trip. They were sooooo sweet! They put together a game and gave away fabulous prizes all on their own! So sweet and generous!
The window on the right of the log cabin quilt. I can only imagine how gorgeous it will be all decked out in flowers
A shelf full of happiness, Nicey Jane by the lovely and extremely nice Heather Bailey.
Back to the front door. This is the building to the leftish when you enter. I mean really, can it get any more fantastic? I think not
To the left of the cutting/check out is a bathroom and the staircase to the upstairs. 
There's another bathroom at the top of the stairs. It had a shower area too. It looked like Restoration Hardware decorated the bathroom! The color in the photos is deceptive. All of the walls are really more of a Restoration Hardware Silver Sage green, which happens to be my all time favorite paint color. The tile floor was the original hexagon tiles. So wonderful!
Continuing on past the bathroom hallway you enter the kitchen / eating area. Do you see those cabinets?!?! Excuse me while I wipe up the drool on my keyboard.
There's a fabulous chandelier and office area behind the French doors.
And the best part is....
It's a little cluttered up w/the goodies for our group, but I think you can see how amazing the kitchen is! Seriously, I could live here!
Back downstairs for some sewing inspiration....

Check out those darling pleats on the Oliver + S skirt!
The corner in the second building had great clothing and bag samples. It really makes me think that I need to learn how to make some wearables.
This is the 'Classic Shirt' pattern, also by Favorite Things. Carol altered it to make it sleeveless. The fabric is Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley stripe fabric. She told me that she made it for her daughter. I think it's perfect for her and she will look gorgeous in it. She was working that day, so I had the pleasure of meeting her as well.
Carol let me into the courtyard out back to see the fountain, planters and most importantly, her fabulous lavendar bicycle!!!

 I think you can see now why I was so smitten with this store. Don't you want to live there too?

In case I don't get back to the blog before Sunday, I'd like to wish a  
Happy Mothers Day
to all of you mom's out there!