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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ssshhhh! Be very quiet and don't move suddenly either

I was in the back of the house straightening things when Pep called me in an urgent voice.  "Jan - come here and be very quiet.

He was standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window.  When I quietly joined him I saw this beautiful deer eating corn and birdseed off of our birdfeeding bench.  

It would look up when a bluejay or cardinal landed on one of the feeders close to the house, then quietly go back to feeding.  I went to get my camera but the flash would go off and reflect off of the window.  Pep's phone camera wasn't strong enough.  Then he thought of his IPad.  The camera on the IPad isn't the greatest so the pictures are a little grainy but we got them.
It was a really nice way to start the morning.

We're getting ready for the 4th - cleaning house for the festivities - cleaning rugs tomorrow after Zoie's puppy was learning what to do and where not to do it.  :)
Then I'll change the quilts this weekend and all of the decorations.

This is "Ring Around the Posie" - one of my favorite summer quilts for my bed.  It's not red, white and blue but it certainly says "summer" to me.  The colors of the quilt on the bed are more of the true colors of the fabrics.  Photography is so interesting.

Anyway, it's regularly $174.95 but the kit is on special until the 4th for $148.70.  And this week we learned to use the coupons on our store.  Yay!  If you type in the promo code "posie"  you'll get free shipping on all orders over $100.00.

Well back to cleaning...... but I have some fun stitching waiting for me tonight.

Friday, June 22, 2012

So far - so good - at least I think so.......

This year for the Mystery Quilt we're doing the Collector Series again.  It was originally an 18 month BOM - the first one Linda and I did.  And it's been a day or two since it came out so it seemed like time to do it again, only I'm changing a couple of blocks and putting some together so now, it's a 12 month BOM.  The original quilt got lost somehow - probably it's in a box somewhere in some shop's back room waiting to be shipped.  Anyway, I thought Linda had it and she thought I had it and, and, and.........

The quilt is just full of the things we love - houses, trees, stars, yada, yada, yada.  Here's January - May blocks on the wall in the loft.

And here's June's block that just shipped.

There has been a problem or two with the quilt.  People would call or email and ask to  be put on or taken off of the list for the Mystery Quilt.  Tori would dutifully add or subtract their names from our list in Quickbooks.  Then every other week or so we would get the flash drive with the current Quickbooks and load it into the computer.  Tori didn't realize that she needed to wait to change the lists until we got the newest version.  So she kept overriding all of the work she'd done.
And boy did we get the calls and emails from people who had gotten blocks they didn't want or hadn't gotten blocks they did want - sometimes one each month.
Finally, one day I was in the office and realized what was happening.  Whew!
So now we have a new updated list but we're really not 100% sure it's complete.  If you don't get a block or do get one when you don't want it, let us know one more time and we promise not to override this version - :)
And if you've just seen it for the 1st time and want to get in on the fun, email Tori at or call her at 816-632-7632.  And now that we know what was happening, it will be fun again.

This is "Spring Has Sprung".  Usually I don't put a quilt on special quite this soon after the club ships but I really like it.  It makes me happy.  So I decided to offer it for 15% off.

I need something cheerful to look at and think about.  We're having quite a battle this year protecting the babies

We solved the hawk problem last year with netting over their yard.  So far this year we have had to relocate 3 racoons and one black snake.
Life around here is never dull.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

And Whether Pigs Have Wings

First, lets go back to last week when I got to impersonate Laurie Simpson - well, teach her class when she got sick.  She came down with Double Pneumonia when she was supposed to teach an applique class at Heidi Keisand's Hen & Chicks Quilt Shop in Conrad, Iowa.  I got a "Help" email from her sister Polly Minick, packed my van, picked up Polly in Des Moines and off we went to Conrad.

Here's her quilt Summer Roses- it's featured in their book American Summer.  I just love it.  Besides this quilt there is an awesome pieced star quilt and loads of Polly's stupendous rugs.  I never have time to make other people's quilts but I still get books just to look at the pictures.  This one is a keeper.

  In class we were concentrating on the center blocks in the quilt.

I always love seeing the variety of fabrics and colors that come with teaching and the ladies here made some great blocks.  They'd better send me jpgs of the finished quilts.


You can see here in the background the set up at Hen and Chicks for sleeping at the retreats.  There were rows of beds with quilts behind the dividers.  And each row had a set of dividers to separate it.  It's really a great set up for classes and retreats and the prices are very reasonable.  Polly and I had it to ourselves - sat and chatted and relaxed at night - I appliqued and she hooked.  It was really almost a vacation.

The night after class we did a trunk show - of my quilts, not Laurie's - the plan was that she bring them with her from Michigan.  But I brought quite a few having been prewarned by Polly.  And we had Polly's awesome rugs.  Here's an example I fell in love with.  It's her interpretation of an antique rug and how could I pass up those kitties.  I can't applique or read in the car.  It makes me sick.  I can however, hook. (Pep says I have hooked my way across America.)  :)   Houston, here I come.

Back at home, a visit from the grandkids was in order.  I had missed their smiling faces with such short visits due to Market and then the workshop.

Here's Cullen at one of his favorite pastimes - climbing.  He is an inveterate Spider Man fan and emulates his hero at every opportunity.  Also note the sandals.  The eyes light up when Cullen walks.  How cool is that?

It was also time for the annual delivery of baby chicks.  Got to keep those fresh eggs coming.  How would the grandkids survive without their morning "Egg in a Cup"?

And now, I'd better stop blogging and start watering the garden.  It's coming along nicely and I got to bring my first zinnias in today.   I just love fresh garden flowers on my kitchen windowsill.
To celebrate we put Flower Patch on sale until June 22nd.  I used the picture from Country Quilts for your Soul  because the color is better.
And then it's off to the loft to make a quilt.  What a nice day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Of Cabbages & Kings

I know I'm a little behind everyone but I've finally had the time and energy to blog about Market  and -----  Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Well, probably not all of that but a bit has happened since we left for Market.
First -- Market.  It was a good one - and in Kansas City, Mo. -  close which was a good thing.  Usually Kelly takes care of the house and animals, etc. when we're at Market but she was out of town this spring so we got to drive home every night and take care of dogs, chickens, etc.  I must say, Spike approved.  :)  

 Here I am in the booth with those awesome Buggy Barn Girls.

And here is the picture Lynne's husband Robert took for me when we all had our picture taken.  Moda's design team - or most of them - including our fearless leaders Cheryl Freydberg and Mark Dunn.

And here we all are after Lissa Alexander passed out our mustaches.  Quite charming, don't you think? Reminds me of Hercule Poirot.  And thanks, Robert for the pictures.


Here's a goody to watch for.  We usually do a Designer's Schoolhouse and this year we were to design a block or little quilt using the new Moda Candy packets.  Each Candy packet is a 2 1/2" square of all the fabrics in our newest line.  This booklet contains all of the patterns for the Candy projects of all the newest lines.  Moda gave us little "Candy" packets to hand out at Market.  I put a bunch of the packets back to trade with other designers and to give out to you all when our line "Fellowship" ships.  So watch my blog in August for giveaways - mostly of Fellowship but of some of the other lines too.  Pretty sure I'll have a little kit of mine and the project book and Candy packets I collected from some of the others.

Here I am after lunch the last day of Market.  I always take a 10-15 minute power nap after lunch and believe me, at Market I need it.  So I always bring my chair, my footstool and, of course, a quilt for my nap.  And, also of course, someone had to take a picture and send it to me.    Which was fine.  :)  I need my nap and I've earned it!

Back at home, laundry done and quilts and kits back in place, it was time to have a dinner to celebrate all of our May birthdays.  Pep's birthday is May 10th, Quinn's is May 11th, Kelly - May 19th, Max - May 28th and Zoie's is June 3rd.  On June 3rd, we had a big dinner at the farm, one big birthday cake and ice cream.  Quinn really liked his blocks.  He's quite the builder - may grow up to be an architect.

Then on June 4th, after the UPS truck delivered our Moda rush order so I could go teach (God bless Moda, every one), I got into a loaded van and headed for Iowa to teach Laurie Simpson's workshop for Heidi Keisand's quilt shop Hen and Chicks.  Polly Minick had sent out a "Help" email Wednesday after Laurie has gotten double pneumonia.  She still has it.  Prayers all around please.  And that's another blog.  I need to get permission before I show one of Polly's rugs.  I'm sure it's ok but it's always best to ask and she's on a plane on her way home.  So come back in the next couple, three days and I'll tell you about lots of nice people and Laurie's awesome quilt in Polly's equally awesome book American Summer.

Meanwhile our "Summer in a Basket" kit is on special for a wseek - until June 14th.  And if you'll look very closely at some of the flowers in Laurie's quilt you'll see the Minick/Simpson fabric that is the border for "Summer in a Basket".  :)

And Laurie, you take care and get better.