Thursday, June 23, 2011

My "house" in France - La Maison de Jan Patek

I was so excited today to get an email from Mathilde at Quiltmania. They had posted the videos of the show in Nantes this spring.

Here's my House. It was such an awesome experience. And this week if you preorder (we're expecting more books any day now) a copy of Country Quilts for your Soul you can get a Monkey Wrench kit for 15% off - It's the large quilt behind the bed. You'll need to email Byron at to order the book and the kit together. We still haven't figured out coupons :).
The only quilt in my "House" not in the book is the one on the bed. It's Jubilee which was on the cover of Quiltmania awhile ago. They had made one for the magazine cover and brought it to put on the bed. Here's Jubilee.

I take that back, the other quilt that is pictured in the book and video that doesn't have patterns in the book is The Bible Quilt. If you want to make it, you can order it here.

They also posted the interview with me but it's overdone in French so I can't really hear me much.

If you can put up with not really being able to hear what I say while looking into the sun -(I'm saying that I developed a style of needleturn applique that allows me to do the designing and prep work during the day and then applique at night while I watch TV and then in the morning while I drink my coffee). If you can wade your way through that, I'm starting to teach a star. Then Valerie translates to the class and it was great to see and hear her again.

If you want to see the other "Houses" and interviews go to

All in all, an awesome experience - fond, fond, memories. I can't thank them enough.

And many thanks to Laurie Simpson who told me how to put the videos in my blog - while teaching a workshop, even.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thread - lots of yummy thread & a Lilac Hill Correction!

For quite awhile I've been looking for thread that I could start carrying to workshops when I teach. It's really pretty important that the thread color match the applique piece in order to hide your stitches and, especially if I'm teaching people who have never appliqued before, they don't have a wide variety of colors. But I didn't need or want one of those megaholders of thread that quilt shops use.
I'm also pretty picky about the thread I use for applique. Even if the colors are awesome, if it knots a lot, I won't use it. Applique is one of the ways I relax and it's not relaxing if you have to be coping with knots in your thread all of the time.

When I was at Salt Lake, we were doing our usual socializing and lo and behold, my good friend Sue Spargo is a distributor for an Italian cotton thread that she uses for applique. It took no time at all before I was back at her booth with my trusty sewing kit. We got our heads together and picked out threads to match the ones I had been using.
Sue swears by this thread for cotton, wool and velvet. I've used it since I got back from Salt Lake and absolutely love it for cotton - sure the same will apply to wool and velvet. I use wool occasionally, velvet very rarely and cotton is my first love. The thread is great! It sews up beautifully and there is very little knotting.
We have a limited selection - 24 colors - but so far they've been enough for me. If you need anything I don't have, go to her website she carries a lot more of the brighter, etc colors. You can buy it from us individually or in color packs for a discount. Just have us throw in a spool or 2 or 4 when you order a pattern or a kit. Or buy it all on it's own - it's worth it.

On a totally different note, we found a left brain error in the instructions & diagram for our Lilac Hill quilt. We're emailing the corrections to our Club people so watch for them if you got a kit. For those of you who bought a pattern or got a kit elsewhere go to the corrections page in our store or email Byron at and we'll email or send the correction diagram & instructions.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The fabric is back in the store!

This just seems to be the year for messes in my business structure. First Tara got married and decided not to come back - boy, what a mess with no one knowing where she kept files or lists - who got what, who had cancelled, yada, yada, yada.
Then the same shipping structures I have used for years seem to have collapsed and we're having to restructure the way we mail things.
And then my store people decided to upgrade things while I was in France & Salt Lake City. It was a good idea and I like most of the changes now that I know about them BUT

in the process they seem to have lost

all of the fabric in my store. You could see the cuts you could get (1/4 yd, 1/2 yd, etc) but the fabric itself disappeared.

I didn't even know it wasn't there until a customer told me she couldn't find it any more. Sure enough - no fabric.
Well, it's back. I just put it all back in and it better not disappear again. So there :)
I'm going to go sit on the deck and stitch for awhile. Whew!
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mayhem, Mischief, Destruction & Puddles - My Day's Work is done!

The other day while cleaning, we found Spike's cache under Pep's chair

We took all of his "toys" and put them in a bowl on a chair -

in front of his favorite puppy.

He soon made short shrift of emptying the bowl - he just loves this chore - but

all of this playing and growing too is hard work!

He does keep me occupied. The bowl and toys go with us when we head back for the computer. The toys are properly scattered again and he's asleep at my feet.

We've received our first shipment of my books and another is on the way. I really can't thank the ladies at Quiltmania enough for the stupendous job they did (and Guy for his photography - can't forget him). It is just loaded with patterns for 20 of my favorite quilts. The cost for a signed copy is only $52.50 (that's just $2.63 a pattern for each of the 20 quilts)

Right now we're having a sale of some of the kits of quilts that are in the book.
This is Blessings Baskets - regularly $149.95. It's on sale for $129.95 if you buy a signed copy of Country Quilts at the regular price . Email Byron at or call him at 816-632-7632. We still haven't figured out coupons for the store :( but we will someday.

Lastly but definitely not leastly - here is our latest Mini-Quilt - "Liberty Star" 28" x 28". If you belong to the Mini Quilt Club yours will be on the way at the end of the week. I will post a notice under the picture on the sidebar when it ships. If you don't get it within a week, please let us know.

Someday when I have 2 or 3 hours I will tell you all about all of the trouble we have been having with the mail since March. One good customer finally got an order yesterday that we shipped May 2oth. We're in Missouri - she's in Michigan. I got a call from a woman today who still hasn't gotten her Bible Quilt Block we shipped the same day. She lives in Massachusetts. One lady in Pennsylvania never got 3 orders we shipped in March & April. Yada, yada, yada! We have tried shipping through because they have tracking #'s. I found out yesterday from the hatchery where we get baby chickens that it doesn't do any good to use them because the post offices don't scan things in. She said the tracking # would show that the chicks were still in Lebanon, Mo. where the hatchery was. It did.
We have been mailing through our local post office for years and I know it's not them but there is a hitch in the get-along somewhere.
Here's what we're doing.
All orders over $75.00 are going UPS - they cost a little more but we don't have to keep replacing the kits.
We will still send the BOM's & Mini-Quilt, etc 1st class but we'll take them to another post office to mail them. It's not our post office, I know that, but it is probably the route they follow when they leave here. When we first started looking into the problem we were told things could hold for 2 - 3 days at each post office. It feels more like 6 or 7 days to us. We will continue to post under the picture on the side bar the date that we mail them so you can know.
Never let it be said that owning your own business isn't interesting. :)

To end on a less stressed note - here are our new soft and fuzzy baby chicks - 15 Buff Orpingtons and 20 Cornish Cross. I just love new baby things.
And I can't end the blog post without saying a big thank you to everyone who so kindly commented or sent me emails about Bully. They do ease the pain. I will probably always miss him - he was part of our family and a big part of my life for 11 years. Spike helps - new baby things do. So do friends.
Thank you again.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bully's at Peace

We lost our beloved Bully yesterday. Besides his heart problems he developed diabetes and a tumor in his abdomen. When he awakened yesterday his breathing was labored. He's at peace now - behind the barn with our other pets from over the years. He's with Waylon and Bilbo and Fuggles and Sylvester and they're all probably having a good romp in the pasture.

I ran Jake into town late in the morning and when I came back, I cried and cried. For the 1st time in 11 years, Bully wasn't there to bounce up and down and be excited because I came home.
I really miss him. Wherever I was, he was.

Spike's a comfort even though he's not Bully. He senses when we're sad and comes and wants to be cuddled. Or tries to chew on us. Here is his playpen - he made it himself. He drags all of his toys behind my chair and muddles them. He doesn't really tear them up, just mouths them.

And when I get really sad, I sit and stitch. This is a santa I'm working on for a Quiltmania Christmas issue. Chistmas is homey and makes me smile and think of things for my grandkids. Bully had a good, good life and none of us can live forever. He was my friend and I will miss him.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Girl Gang Doin's

This is Show and Tell from our Lee's Summit/Warrensburg Girl Gang. (We had our meeting in my loft yesterday.)

Lisa Boling (on the left) of Warrensburg had finished her top from "Across the Wide Missouri" and brought it to show us. It is just awesome!

The backgrounds are all cotton but the applique pieces are wool. And she added details to each block. Eggs, a flower and a quilt were added to the basket block.

She added a deer, a bird and a squirrel to one of the tree blocks

The "Initials" block got a pioneer woman, a sheep and a lamb while the log cabin block got snow. I'll bet it was in Wyoming or Utah :).

The Dogtrot Cabin block got a tree stump and ax and the beeskep got bees.

The Soddy House block got some grass, clouds and sun while the Churn block for a pitcher and some candles.
What great fun! Good work Lisa and thanks for showing us. If you want to make your own Across the Wide Missouri quilt, click here to get to the book.

Then Toni Peerbolt showed us her Lilac Hill Petit Four quilt and the pillow sham she's making to go with her Favorite Things Quilt. To see the quilt, click on the words.
Besides Show and Tell, we sat and sewed and gabbed, ate lunch and then hit the quilt shop in Cameron, Crossroads Quilting - a really neat shop. Last time we went to Hamilton and shopped at Missouri Star Quilt Shop. It's really great to have two shops so close now. Anyway, it was definitely my idea of a fun day.
On a more sober note, one of our members couldn't be there because she had to fly to Texas. Her daughter-in-law had to have an emergency c-section and the brand new baby granddaughter, only 3 lbs, 15 oz, is having heart problems. Prayer support for baby Emily and her family is needed and appreciated. I've found that most quilters are not only good at quilting but pretty good at praying too.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monday comes on Wednesday this week!

Sorry bout that but Bully isn't feeling well again and all of my energy has gone there. He hasn't eaten anything for 3 days. He just wouldn't eat. The only thing he really wanted was Spike's Baby Dog food. (And we've had Spike for a couple of weeks now so I didn't think that the new puppy was the problem.) I finally called my brother (he's a vet) last night and he confirmed what I thought - the Baby Dog food would not be at all good for Bully. Jim said that dogs with Bully's heart condition can develop liver and kidney problems and it makes them nauseous. The Baby Dog food is really high in protein and not at all what Bully needs - it could make him worse. Pep's been making Bully chicken and rice but he wouldn't even eat that. Pep cooked some fresh today and we gave it to him warm. Huzzah, Huzzah! He ate it! So I'll be heating it up in the microwave twice a day from now on. Good Lord! Anyway, things may be turning around again for awhile. But I do have to face the fact that he's 11 and that is pretty old for a bulldog. Jake looked it up on the internet and the oldest bulldog was 13.

So - back to the quilting part of my life. Zoie drew Janell's name from the entries. Janell, if you'll send your name and shipping address to, we'll send you your Recipe Card/Quilt Blocks and your Together Scrap Bag.
Thanks to all of you for your comments. That was a fun video and of course, I think Spike is awesome.

Memorial Day is over and Summer is Here. I know because Jake is taking Driver's Ed (however did he get that old?), Zoie is in Summer School and Quinn has T-ball games. And I've got to find time to get out to Olathe and see Brian and his family and catch up on their doings. I haven't seen them since before I left for France.
To celebrate summer we're going to have a "special" on a kit each week in June. This week it's Jake's Eagles - Regularly $39.95. June 1st thru the 7th, it's only $32.95. The 4th of July is coming. This awesome little quilt will add to your home not only on the 4th but all year long.

Well, I'd better get off of the computer and take Spike outside for his constitutional. :)