Friday, 6 December 2013

This and that and really freaking cold!!

So the holiday season is fast approaching and I am behind! As usual! My grandchildren are expecting to decorate cookies tomorrow evening and the cookies have yet to be made!! I have enough sprinkles to decorate all the cookies in and around Moose Jaw...and no cookies! Heck, they are young enough - they probably can't tell the difference between a boughten cookie and a baked cookie just yet!

What I imagine my cookies will look like.....

What my cookies are really going to look like!

For those of you haven never experienced the weather are having today here on the prairies, just imagine an icepick to the forehead, or breathing ice cubes into your lungs. How about permanently chilled to the bone? It was -43 C with the wind chill this morning here in Moose Jaw, SK!
Its plus 29C in Playa Del Carmen today.......just saying.....

It just so happens that i will be laying on this exact beach in....ohh.....22 days....not that I'm counting or anything!! (oh goodness yes i am!!)

Our annual Christmas Open House is happening here tomorrow and I had planned on wearing a cute dress that would show off my delicious blue shoes! However, with the weather the way it is - Im thinking long johns and pants are more the way to go! So instead, please enjoy this fabulous picture of my feet!

But do come in and enjoy some hot cider and goodies! As well, its the only day of the year to get your coupon book for 2014! Its sure to be a fun day - but do dress warm!!
Until next time!!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A peek at our next book!!!

So I just want you to know that I have taken a lot of flack for my hiatus from the blogashere!
Yes and I do feel suitably guilty!
So I thought today I would put together something really exciting for my grand entrance back into the blog world!!! A SNEEK PEEK!!! Cause who doesn't love to be in the know!??

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

where have I been?!

Soooooo.....where have I been?! Well not far that's for sure!!

Just when Jeanne and I thought we were done writing book number 4, and working ONLY 40 hours a week was feeling like a holiday.....alas, it wasn't to be! Along came Martingale asking us to submit more projects so this next book can be a larger book size. Apparently that's a big deal! Like maybe on par with Kim Diehl big deal! They gave us a lovely due date, but Jeanne had some holiday plans and we really needed to get them done before she left....which!
And we did! Scrambled to whip up 6 more projects for this next book! I can't show you the projects, but I can give you a hint!!! Think mittens and snowmen and holly leaves!!

And then theres the unfortunate fiasco of our Outdoor Quilt Festival. Darn that was hard to make the call to call it off! We've never had to deal with rain before! We had the rope up - the quilts sorted, our gazebo up, tables delivered, and everything hauled to the park!!
We stood in the rain waiting for it to let up for quite a while before finally deciding, that A - we had lost a few of our volunteers to the lightening (no, no, they are fine - just didn't want to join us standing under the trees while there was lightening!)
and B - even if it stopped raining and we hung the quilts - it's still damp outside, and it takes us at least 4 hours to hang the quilts. And wouldn't you know it - this year we had the most quilts to hang EVER!! It would have really made my heart sing if it had rained some more that day - but wouldn't you darn well know it!!! It didn't!! Ah well. If it was only our quilts, we may have gone ahead with it - but because we are in charge of taking care if so many other peoples quilts....we just couldn't take the chance! Thank you for understanding!!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Men Quilters!

As most of you know, women dominate the quilting world, however, there are men out there, quietly quilting away, making and finishing quilts!
And guess what.....lots of them aren't gay! I know....right away everyone assumes that these men are GAY! Some are, some aren't. Kinda like women quilters. And besides....sexual orientation has nothing to do with whether or not you can make a fabulous quilt! (ok, now I'm going to get off my soap box!)

So in our shop we do have a handful....ok...maybe less then that, of men who frequent our shop looking for supplies to makes a quilt. Some have been military, so we see them for a bit and then they move on. Others come in not too often, but being a man in a woman's domain, it's easy to remember them!
One day we had TWO of our men quilters in the store at the very same time, and we introduced them to one another...and do you know what the one guy said to the other? I just want you to know that Im not gay!! And the other said - oh goodness, me neither, and I'm scared I'm going to get beat up walking outta here one day!! (he was joking of course!)
Both of these men make quilts for their children and grandchildren. And do an amazing job I might add!

So today when I saw Desi (our token man quilter!) arrive at the shop, complete with his biker gear....I had to take his picture for all of you too....see what a MAN QUILTER looks like!!!

Didn't expect that did you? Desi is a leather wearing, Harley riding, full fledged quilter dude.
And that quilt is his most current project! It's a hand stitched Block of the Month quilt that he's absolutely loving! Desi started quilting when he decided to make a memory quilt for his granddaughter from his son's tshirts. He thought he would make that one quilt and be finished. (Hahahah! Surprise Desi!) Now he's a regular face at our Friday, Sew with Flo classes. The ladies love having him up there, and he's loving the help as he delves a little further into the world of quilt making!
Desi won't be giving up quilting anytime soon,  he has two sisters who quilt themselves and encourage and support his newfound hobby!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Shelley adventures!

Ok, so let me just start this blog by recapping the adventures of Shelley from the last day or two!
First, just so anyone who has done anything remotely weird, this is going to make you feel really good about yourself.....I flushed my glasses down the toilet. Yes. I. Did. My prescription, wear everyday glasses.

So, here's the story. I was in the bathroom, the one in our shop behind the quilt that is only for staff (cause it's so small, and well...behind a quilt!) I was in a hurry and trying to multitask, so as I flushed I took my glasses off so I could use hairspray (didn't want to get any on my glasses!) I set them on the little stand we have on the back of the toilet and as I reached for the can of hairspray, I could see the glasses slip down and as I screamed they hit the flushing toilet and disappeared out of sight!! Literally, gone! (remember this all happened very fast!) I plunged my hand into that swirling flushing toilet so fast it would've made your head spin! Down and around the corner, where most hands don't reach, not even to clean...and OH MY GOODNESS, I could feel them!! I grabbed those suckers out almost as fast as they went in! Yes I scrubbed them with soap.

Adventure number 2. In my office down here in the basement of this shop, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye...shit. A wee baby mouse. Just sort of hobbling along. Not moving too fast. I screamed. I know, silliness. I wasn't screaming because it was a mouse. I was screaming because damn, it was so small and kinda cute and helpless, and I knew I had to deal with it, and I really didn't want to have to. I grabbed a fabric cardboard and smacked it a few times. Did the job. I marched straight upstairs to inform Jeanne that we had mice. Or we did have! Well, Yvonne being the farmgirl on our staff, offered to pick up the remains. So off we go downstairs armed with a brown and a bag. And there was the wee mouse, picking itself up and dusting itself off! Apparently I had only stunned it. Yvonne didn't have a problem, picked that little thing up squealing and squirming and plopped it in the bag and took it straight outside. Bleck!

So for those of you who don't know.......we just wrapped up yet another manuscript!!! I feel like doing a little happy dance! Like only working 40 hours a week is going to be a cake walk! Ya hoo!!
We worked on Tis the Autumn Season and this next book back to back, and I gotta tell was hard!! If writing books was the only thing Jeanne and I did....not a problem! But when you factor in the store, shows, pattern designing, fabric, Quilt's a lot on our plates!

So what will this next book be about and when does it release? Well, while I can't tell you or show what's in the book just yet, I can give you a few hints.....did you like Tis the Season, our first book? Then you will LOVE this next book! Do you enjoy winter? Snowmen, snowflakes, and maybe a mitten or two? You will love this book! It will release in the spring of 2014!

Until next time....close the lid (learned that important lesson) and keep the trap line set!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

More Market stuff!

Ok the answer to the last blog post was........12!!! Thats right! I brought home 12 new pairs of shoes!
I know, it's ridiculous, but I can't help myself!

So Market is always fun, exhilarating, exhausting, energizing....all at the same time!

We set up our booth on the Wednesday. We decided to go bare bones this Market! Not a whole lot of extras as we didn't ship our stuff this time, we mailed it!! It was't terrible - we did manage to scrounge some extra carpet from the Clothworks booth!

We did two schoolhouses on Thursday. Schoolhouses are opportunities for us to teach other shop owners ways in which they can promote our book or fabric. Both went very well, and we have lots of fresh ideas for next year! The show starts on Friday, and there is SO MUCH to see!!
The show is very's hard to explain to someone exactly how large it is unless you've actually seen it!! It's not just a bunch of little old grannies setting up their wares on a table, it's an industry! and it's large!

This picture of a teensy portion of the market floor can't even truly give you the scope of the show.
There are two statistics that I once heard about Market that really stuck with me:

1. Quilt Market/Festival is the largest convention that Houston, TX hosts every single year.

2. If you walk up and down every single market aisle from beginning to end, you will have covered 3 miles!

(And you ask why I needed new shoes???!)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Home again, home again, Jiggitty Jig!

Finally home again!!
Wow! Quilt Market was fabulous as always!! We started our market adventures by taking an extra day and flying into Seattle, WA rather then Portland (where market was being held)

Flying into Seattle,WA

Martingale offices

because that's where the Martingale offices are located. And for those of you who are unfamiliar, Matingale and Company is who publishes our books! It was fabulous to be able to meet some of the people who work on our books, and be able to put faces to names!!
We spent the night at Mary's house - she works at Martingale, and it just happens to be where Tis the Season and Urban Country Quilts were photographed!
Flip to page 14 of Tis the Season....that is Roofis! Mary's dog! So we were able to meet him! I'd have to say that Roofis looks a little older and wiser then he did a few years ago!


Jo, Mary and Jeanne

The next morning we hopping into our rental car and made our way over to the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. We don't usually have time to do touristy things during market time, but this was a fun treat! We wandered antique stores, purchased some fruit for our drive, listened to some amazing singers outside of the original Starbucks store, and had a delicious lunch with an amazing view!

Oh wait! Another really fun thing we got to see at the Martingale offices was their new wholesale catalouge!!! The cover had OUR quilts in the front!!! Quilts from Tis the Autumn Season that releases in just a few days!!

So after the few hours we spent at Pike Place Market we headed down to Portland. What is normally a three hour drive....took us a whole lot longer for some reason........

Heehehehe! What can we say? And by the way.....those shoes.....all mine! Thats right, that totally doesn't include what Jeanne and Jo bought (don't judge me!!)
I have so many great pictures and stories from Market that I think I will spread them out instead of overwhelming you with all our adventures at once!! So keep watching for more in the Market series,  otherwise known as how many shoes did Shelley really bring home??? (here's your was more then what you see here!)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

To Market, to Market!

We are almost at the big day! Leaving for International Quilt Market!! This year it is being held in Portland, Oregon! We've been to this location before, and it's a wonderful city to visit! I love Quilt Market, but I usually come home feeling like I've been run over by a truck!!! It's a very busy week, and we do try to sneak in as much as we possibly can, and sometimes that means late nights, early mornings and no naps!!

So Monday morning we'll be flying into Seattle, renting a car and driving over to the Martingale offices. We're pretty excited to see the offices (I'll take pics for you!!) And put some faces to some of the people who work on our books!! We already many of them from Quilt Market - but some we only speak with via email or phone, so it will be really fun!
We'll be spending the night at Mary's place!  If you open your copy of Tis the Season ( our first book) and have a look at the house and photos in that book .....that's the house we are staying at!!! And we'll be meeting the dog in the book for the very first time!

The next morning we will make our way down to Portland, maybe get a wee little bit of shopping in along the way! I'm hoping to find some really great shoes along the way! I was telling some of the ladies who were doing a class at our shop yesterday the criteria I have for the shoes I want to wear to market....must be flat, but not super flat, cause thats hard on my back. Not heels, cause, thats hard to be in heels on the cement floor for 12 hours a day. They could be a little heel, but they have to be comfortable. And open toed, cause my feet get really hot. And they need to be slip on preferably. and I don't want old lady shoes. and they need to be able to match all the things I brought to wear, and they can't be runners, cause I'm not wearing runners, I don't care how much my feet ache. and they told me...with that much criteria...I am an old lady! Hmmmmm....ok....half way to old lady maybe.....

Once we get to Portland we will have to set up our booth, teach two schoolhouse presentations, one featuring our book that releases June 4th, Tis the Autumn Season and one that features our fabric that is shipping out to stores now!!
We will also have parties and get togethers and sample spree, and dinners, and maybe more shopping. We will have three days working the show, walking the show floor, meeting and greeting, book signings, and seeing familiar faces!

I promise to take pictures for you and blog when we return!
Until then....happy quilting!!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Guess what arrived in the mail the other day???

Oh ya, that's right, the very first taste of our completed Wallflowers fabric collection!!! 

So here's a little bit of trivia for you. Our fabric is printed in a plant in Korea. Once the yardage is all printed and ready, we  (as the designers) are air shipped some fabric directly from the plant. It arrives to us about 6 weeks before the rest of the fabric arrives at the Clothworks warehouse in Seattle. As we speak, the fabric is in a container, on a ship, crossing the ocean.
Once it arrives to to the Clothworks warehouse, it must be folded and rolled onto bolts, labeled and prepared for sale to the quilt shops around the world that have ordered it!!

In the meantime, we get to whip up a few things to take with us to Quilt Market, so other shop owners can be inspired by our collection!

Here is the very first quilt we whipped up using Wallflowers:

This is the FREE pattern that you will be able to download from the Clothworks website just as soon as the fabric is released and available! And if you are a store owner and going to Portland, Oregon for Spring Quilt Market, you will have a chance to WIN this quilt!! Thats right - visit the Clothworks booth, or our booth (1419) for more details!!

As well, we chose two of our very favourite simple patterns and made them up using more of the Wallflowers fabric!

Hopscotch is our best selling, most popular pattern. It uses 12 fat quarters and 1 m of fabric! Easy to make, everything is cut the same and sewn the same! It finishes at that perfect lap sized, 56" x 65". 
It's a great way to showcase a collection or use up fat quarters!

The next quilt we whipped up is called Strip Joint. Again a great way to showcase fabrics!

We are very excited about this collection!! We think it's rich and delicious!! We adore the reds, Love the browns!! Think that the tone on tone fabrics are going to be a great addition to everyone stash (we ordered extra for our store!!) The large prints make amazing borders and backings and the small prints are perfect anywhere! We hope you love it as much as we do!!!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Quilt Patch Party debriefing!

Wow!! Did we have an eventful weekend or what?!!
The Moose Jaw Prairie Hearts Quilters guild put on an amazing show and deserve a huge round of applause!! Their show was amazing, and I think everyone enjoyed the selection that the different merchants had to offer.
But The Quilt Patch Party....not THAT was something!!!! For those of you who braved the event, kudos to you! You ladies know a great deal opportunity when you see it and aren't afraid to use your elbows to get it! For those of you who missed it.....mark it on your calendar for 2015, cause that will be the next time this event will happen.
And thank goodness the weather held out!! Yay!! We started with a Tailgate party that included FREE hotdogs (yummy ones!!) and bottled water available to anyone who chose to wait for the doors to open at 7pm!

 It was so fun to go out and offer the ladies waiting FREE fabric and coupons for them to choose a free Quilt Patch pattern! We handed out mini chocolate bars to wash down those hot dogs with!!

We had most of our staff on, we couldn't work everyone 12 hours or more, we had to give them some time off!! So we actually had to hire some temporary staff for the event!! What good sports these ladies were! And we were soooon grateful to them for pitching in!!! Here's a pic of our team for the Quilt Patch Party:

From left to right, Jo, Jenny (imported staff!) Yvonne, Flo...and thats me with my ass stuck out to Yvonne. but we couldn't see Flo!! Jeanne with her arm around her Mom Edna (who is a real trooper when it comes to us needing extra help!!) behind Jeanne is Charlene (another import) behind Edna is Colleen, then Rebecca. Randi and Jeri on the end. These are the ladies who made sure everything went as smoothly as it could go with so many hot menopausal women in one location elbowing their way to even hotter fabric deals!!

Here are some of the hot deals we had going on.....

We had others, but I wasn't able to get as many pics as I had planned on taking!! I am hoping that in the next few days I can get a few more pics from our staff and show you!! And yes, every single hot deal we had sold out!! And yes, some people missed out on the deals. It's always sad for us that we can't bring in enough for everyone, but, we never know what kind of turnout we will get, and we can't predict how many items people will take, or if we've chosen wisely enough to appeal to our customers! Oh, and one more thing.....if we COULD predict exactly what our customers wanted every time, we'd be rich women and we would be laying on a beach somewhere in Mexico and there would be no Quilt Patch.....sooooo it's good that we don't always know isn't it?!

Thank you to everyone who braved the crowds to participate in our biennial Quilt Patch party! We hope it will be even bigger and better next time!! We hope you had a blast! Keep watching for more pics from that evening!!