Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Basketful of Ideas Shop Hop & Pieceful Flower Basket Project

Hello Pieceful Quilters,

I want to give you a sneak preview of the project we have put together for this weekend's Basketful of Ideas Shop Hop. Some of you may have already seen the wool applique tablerunner that Katie designed for Rosemont:


Our assignment for the shop hop was to design a basket block, so we decided to make a wallhanging to match the tablerunner. We put together a few kits using these fabrics, but we were only able to do a few. I think these will probably go fast, so I wanted to let my regular customers know about them first. We made the kits a really good deal for the shop hop - at $19.99, which includes the pattern, backing & binding, they are hard to beat! How cute is this?


Be sure to hop in right away and get your kit while we still have the original colors.

The Shop Hop hours are:

Thursday, April 30 - 10-8
Friday, May 1 - 10-5 (Midnight at Pieceful Gathering)
Saturday, May 2 - 10-5
Sunday, May 3 - Noon-4

Participating Shops are:

Prairie Shop Quilts - Batavia
Basketcases Unlimited - Clare
Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe - Oswego
Sew Unlimited - South Elgin
Pieceful Gathering - Fox River Grove
Tammy Tadd - Sycamore
Judy’s Quilt n Sew - Hampshire
Quilt in Joy - Huntley
Quilter’s Heart - Sandwich

Prizes:

Grand Prize – Pfaff Sewing Machine
1st Place – Basket full of Nine $50 Gift Certificates
2nd Place – (there will be 3 of these) 100 Fat Quarter Baskets
3rd Prize (there will be 9 of these) – Gift Basket from each shop with a retail value of $100 each

Plus...

Each shop will give out a free pattern for a basket block
AND each shop will have pre-cut fat quarters on sale for $2.00!

Happy Hopping!

Carrie & Katie

Monday, April 27, 2009

Paducah is still Amazing!

No matter how many quilt shows you may attend in your life, you will never find one quite like the American Quilt Society Show in Paducah. I was glad we were able to get there for this 25th Anniversary of the show. I had been there a couple of times before, but this was Katie's first experience.

For those of you that have never been, you should know that the quilt show is probably the biggest thing that ever happens in Paducah. The entire town of Paducah is one big Quilt Fest! Everywhere you look there are signs welcoming quilters and people selling quilt stuff. Besides the main show at the Convention Center, there is always a show of antique quilts at the Rotary Club, and several other little shows around town. Of course, there are vendors at every venue, and sprinkled here and there around the town. If you can't find what you are looking for in Paducah, it probably doesn't exist - it just may take a few days and a lot of walking to find it.

As you may recall, Katie and I went down to help out Karen Witt, our friend and the woman behind Reproduction Quilts. Karen was asked to teach in France, and she didn't want to give up her booth at Paducah, for fear of getting pushed back to the sub-basement again. We left early Tuesday morning, and somehow managed to get there without falling asleep. It was easy enough to find Karen's booth - when we came around the corner, we found enough stuff for 2 or 3 booths piled in the middle of the aisle (all the other vendors were nearly finished setting up), and Joe, Karen's husband, standing in the middle of it trying to figure out which pattern went with which quilt. He had managed to get one of the "neighbors" to help him hang two of the quilts, but that was about it. Thank God Katie is young and energetic. Joe and I would have probably been standing in the pile and staring at each other when the show opened at 6:00. Katie whooshed in and started telling us what to do, and somehow it all came together in time. We even had time to squeeze in dinner before preview night started!

We took turns seeing the show while we worked Tuesday night and Wednesday. I think Karen did really well. People seemed to have forgotten all about the recession. Joe showed us how the cash register worked, but I think we made a lot of mistakes. Hopefully Karen or Erin will be able to tie everything out when they get back from France - or they will know who not to ask next time they need help! The Joannes (Parks and Sauter) took over on Thursday, so maybe they screwed up enough to make us look good (I can dream, can't I?) We didn't get away from Karen's booth empty handed, though. I bought a book on the history of Chintz Applique (I am such a sucker for quilt history books), and Kate got some beautiful silk homespun that Karen is using for her wool applique. I am sure we will get some if she likes working with it as much as Karen does.

Thursday, after we showed the Joannes how not to work the booth, we went to the Museum of the American Quilt Society (MAQS) - now known as the International Quilt Museum. They are always having different exhibits in addition to certain quilts that are always there. This time the exhibits were contemporary versions of Burgoyne Surrounded, and an exhibit of Japanese quilts. Both were interesting, and they had quite a few antique Burgoyne Surrounded quilts, as well, which I loved. Kate was amazed at the main exhibit. They had all the show winners from the past 25 years. It was truly incredible to see the advances in design and workmanship over the years. The early ones looked positively amatuerish next to the recent winners. Even the famous Beatles quilt, which I had seen before, didn't look as spectacular as I remembered. It really makes you wonder what the future will yield.

Antique Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt Circa 1870 - for sale online at Stella Rubin Antique Quilts and Decorative Arts. This is a beautiful example of a blue and white Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt. I wish I had an bottomless pocketbook!

After the museum, we made a quick stop at the Rotary Show. It wouldn't seem right to miss that one. We ran into Froncie Quinn, my sister (not really) - her pattern company is Hoopla Antique Quilt Patterns, but some of you may recognize some of the fabric she has designed that we have carried in the shop. She always vends at the Rotary Show - right in the front. I keep meaning to get around to doing one of her quilts. There is one in particular that I just love. I have had the pattern since before I opened - I guess you guys understand. Someday... The antique quilts were somewhat less exciting than usual - maybe I am getting spoiled. I did have a moment of insanity at one of the antique quilt vendors and I bought a quilt. I couldn't pay for it all at once, so I am paying installments, and they will send it in a few months. Hmmm - maybe I will put a jar on the counter - "Carrie's Antique Quilt Fund" - anyone want to contribute? It is a Lemoyne Star quilt - the stars are scrappy (of course), set in double pinks, which form a secondary star pattern. I am planning to reproduce it for the shop using the diamond method I taught using Billie Lauder's method for Tumbling Blocks. Katie took some pictures so that I can get started on it before it arrives. Oh - and if you happen to run into my sweetie, you don't need to mention this to him. He has a hard time understanding why quilts are more important than groceries. Poor dear....

After the Rotary, we had to stop at Hancock's before we left town. I didn't feel that Katie would have gotten the full experience without that. That is one crazy place - but we decided that the deals weren't that spectacular. Their prices in the sale area were about the same as what we do when we have sales in our classroom. Kate did pick up something for a new project she is working on, but I will let her divulge that when she gets farther along.

So - now we are back and it is on to the next event - this week's FREE Seasonal Sampler Demo, and the Basketful of Ideas Shop Hop. Just wait until you see all the things we have in store for you!

See you in the shop!
Carrie

Friday, April 24, 2009

We are FAMOUS!

Who knew? Now that we have done the International Quilt Show and lived to tell about it, we feel pretty darn cool! But don't worry, we remain your favorite ditzy blond shop owners. We did have a couple of personal famous moments, though. Katie was sitting next to her new quilt with the pattern with her name on it pinned to it, when she overheard some ladies say they had heard of her. Never one to bask in the glow of fame, she just had to set them straight and tell them, "No, you haven't heard of her - you are looking at her." We spent the rest of the show proclaiming to all that would listen that we were the booth that had the "Famous Katie Reed."

My own moment came when some unsuspecting customer asked me to sign one of my patterns for her. I was so flustered, I didn't know what to write, so I wrote the first thing that came to my mind, "Good Luck." Now, how dorky is that? I could be famous in the future, though. When the famous Black & White lady, Kay Capps-Cross (or is it the other way around), stopped by to say hi, and look for some Civil War Blacks (you know I don't have white), I embarked on a mission to bring her to the dark side. Now you know, if I succeed in getting Kay to make a dark quilt (as in Black & Tan, instead of white - or bright pink or green), I will have truly made progress against the bright people of the world. Kay promised to put a dark quilt in her next book and name it after me - something like Carrie's Calamity. I will believe it when I see it, but who knows - the dark side is hard to resist!


Speaking of famous people, Kathy Tracy had her book signing at the booth. She is always so nice, and has sworn an oath to never become a Diva. Her new book, Remembering Adelia, was all over the show. I am guessing that this one will be her biggest seller yet! I am really looking forward to hearing her talk about it next week. Don't forget to come - May 9th, 1:00, here - FREE. Bring your books to be signed. We still have plenty of copies of Adelia in stock, and quite a few kits left, too. Hopefully we will get one more done before then, but there are a few other things we need to catch up on!

The show itself was much more traditional than it has been in the past few years, and needless to say, I think that is good news for us. I didn't see as many bright vendors as I have seen in the past, either, so maybe my "Dark Side" crusade has moved beyond the boundaries of Fox River Grove! You can say you knew me when.....


All in all, we had a great experience at Rosemont, and now we can't wait to do the Madison Show in the Fall. We learned a lot, and got some great ideas for better ways to set up our booth. We definitely need a bigger booth at Rosemont next year. The single booth is too small to even turn around in. I hope that we won't lose our great location, though. We were really lucky to get a booth right at the end, not too far from the food. We saw lots of old friends and met lots of new friends. It was great exposure for the shop, and now we can't wait to have some of our new friends come and visit us!


Oh - and Katie and I are always available to sign our patterns for you. If you want, we will even wish you "Good Luck!"

Piecefully Yours,
Carrie

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pieceful Summer Classes

Hello Pieceful Quilters!

Registration has started and I am really pleased with our class offerings for the Summer Session (May - August). Our teachers have come up with some really neat quilts and projects that are sure to tempt you into spending some Pieceful time with us. The samples are all up in the classroom so I will give you a little tour.

First, let's take a look at a couple of things that every quilter needs, the thread catcher is being taught by Deb, and the Mat & Ruler Bag is taught by Theresa.

Next we have Stacie's Quilter's Essentials classes. How cute is the Origami bag? It is a perfect size to hold your small hand stitching projects or a beer. :) The Quilter's Journal is done in wool - isn't it pretty? There are several designs for you to choose from in this pattern from Country Threads. Every quilter should have a journal to keep notes and pictures of their projects. The little thing you see is an adorable needle case, which Stacie has made to match the Origami bag, and the big bag is the perfect size to carry a quilt or several project boxes. Sign up for one of these classes, or get a 15% discount if you choose to take all four! Such a deal!

Now we come to some wonderful bags that are being taught by Jean. Many of you know that Jean has been helping us by designing a lot of our Seasonal projects. She has a wealth of knowledge about sewing of all types, and we have finally talked her into teaching and sharing some of that knowledge with you. These two bags are both nice sized totes that are great for all sorts of things. With the "Green" movement, you can always use a larger bag, and wouldn't it be nice to have some pretty ones?

Moving farther down the wall you will find my Tumbling Blocks. The classes were so popular last session that we decided to do them again. Besides, I wanted to put a couple of pictures of the quilt in - they look so cool! The next is another technique class. Deb will teach you various methods to use when making half-square triangles. The quilt pattern is from Jo Morton and uses her Fairfax County line. We have a couple of kits available if you want to make it in these fabrics. Isn't it pretty?
Moving along to the back, we come to the first section of Katie's new wool Block-of-the-Month. I am sorry the picture isn't better. It doesn't photograph very well. I guess you will just have to come in and see it yourselves! The sweatshirt jacket is something I dreamed up. The strips are actually woven and then sewn onto the sweatshirt. It is fun to do, and easy. Demi is teaching the class, since I don't really sew clothes, so she can help you with any adjustments that might be needed. Next in the lineup is Deb's Pineapple Technique Table Runner, and Jolene's Star from Nickel Club. Both of these scrappy projects are perfect Stashbuster projects!

ext we have a couple of our ongoing clubs - Civil War Diary & Love Letters, and Baltimore Applique and Ladies of the Sea. Jump into either of these clubs at any time and create one or more of these beauties!

And - this is Joanne's new project for Beginning Hand Applique. She actually has 4 blocks for you to choose from. Do one, or all four. They are all just as cute and fresh as these ones!



Our Jo Club is planning to wrap up Club 8 this month, so they will be starting a brand new set of projects in the Summer Session. Jo's next club isn't available yet, so we will be doing our own thing using Jo's beautiful fabric. We are planning to choose patterns for several small quilts - probably Lori Smith patterns, or Carol Hopkins. I may even design another Pieceful Gathering Exclusive, since you all liked my Circle of Friends so much. I have a couple of ideas - I just need to find some time to write them up! This is the current Medallion project the club is working on. I love the way it looks with the wool applique in the center. Deb has chosen some great fabrics to do her rounds in, and the quilt is turning out to be quite a stunner!


There are several other classes and clubs, but if I mention them all, you won't get anything done today, and neither will I. Stop by the shop to see everything and register for your favorites. Our classes are filling up fast, so don't wait too long!
Have a Pieceful Day!
Carrie

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Elegant Wool Garden BOM

The spring session flew by and the upcoming summer session has really caught me off guard. I haven't been as prepared for my new Block-of-the-Month, Elegant Wool Garden, as I would have liked to have been. When we sent the newsletter to print, I still wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with these beautiful blocks. My original plan was to put them together with no sashing and have a border with some more wool applique. After making all of the blocks and laying them out, I decided that they really needed sashings. They are all so beautiful that they each need to be framed and seen separately. As I was coming to this realization, the perfect sashing fabric happened to be right in front of my face. Here is a photoshoped picture of what it will look like with the sashings. (Don't look too close because not all of the blocks are done and it's not actually put together yet).




The sashing I used is a Japanese fabric that I think works just perfectly with the blocks. So, I guess if I had done a better job of planning, I would have made it clear in the newsletter that the starting fee of $40 includes all your background wool and this beautiful Japanese fabric to sash the blocks in (you'll get that at the end). Something else I realized a little too late is that this would be really nice done on a white wool background as well. For those of you that don't like things as dark as I do, you can choose to do this on white and then it will be sashed in this lighter version of the sashing fabric.




Either way, I am loving this project and I think it will be a great B.O.M. As it says in the newsletter, we will make two blocks each month and be done with it in five months. Each month, you'll get a kit that includes two block patterns (the patterns are really nice and already reversed for you), and the demos will focus on different embellishment techniques.
Hope to see you all on Saturday!
Katie