Friday, January 29, 2010


One of the most asked about fabric lines is Michael Miller's Flower Fairies. The way the beautiful artwork translates to fabric always amazes me.
Yesterday, 3 boxes of Michael Miller Fabric arrived in the shop. It included all 3 of the newest Flower Fairy collections. Magical Flower Fairies are the purple color way, Sweet Flower Fairies are pink with Roses and Morning Flower Fairies are green. We have the panels, the small prints, there is a tossed fairy with large polka dots, and we have Fairy Frost to match. They never last long, so if you are looking for them, come visit us soon.
Most people think that Michael Miller is the person behind the fun fabric that comes from the New York design studio. But actually it is the brain child of 2 talented, smart business people. Michael Steiner and Kathy Miller. Between them, they have brought us amazing designs. Fun, funky, retro, dots, lots and lots of dots and sophisticated florals. Right now they have focused on the 50's, camping, yard art, BBQ and Gnomes. So much fun, I can't believe how lucky I am!
I need to sew! J

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Setting Tile

For the last 10 days I have had Tileman John setting tile in my house. He is a nice guy, with the 'gift of gab'. I know a lot about him, his wife Chrissy, his son, their 10 rabbits, the cat, his brothers Danny and Donny. I know that he likes to make things out of his leftover grout-alligators and a Llama. He saves stuff that he can use for another project. He makes things out of stone. He prefers Kit Kat Bars to other candy. He is a hard worker.

One of the things that I have learned is that setting tile is like making a quilt, without a pattern. Depending on where you start, you may not like the layout at the other end of the room. How are you going to finish the corners? How wide do you want the grout? Italian tile is not 12". If you add an extra 1/4" often enough it makes a big difference in the finished size. Grout is like thread, it holds the tile together, and it will either enhance the look, or can be distracting if you use the wrong color. And like quilters, only a tileman knows how much work goes into a floor.

Thanks John, for the beautiful job you are doing. I know how hard you have worked, and I love the 'almost' finished project!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I love starting a new project! I thought I would share this one with you. Last summer I saw the art work for this fabric collection and new Block of the Month project. I thought it was pretty, and that it would have a lot of appeal. Traditional pieced blocks in warm colors. As with so many fabric lines I order them, and then they slip away until months later when they are delivered by Rob, my UPS guy. A kit for this quilt has been sitting in my office since before Christmas. It was packaged nicely, in a canvas tote bag. It wasn't until I pulled the fabric out of the tote, that I remembered how much I loved it.
That was on Tuesday, now I have completed the 1st 2 blocks of this quilt, and I am excited to continue on. I will hang each block in the shop until I am ready to put the whole top together. We will start the BOM program in February, sign up soon, I think this one will sell out fast.
Go to to see the completed quilt, Back to Nature. J

Monday, January 18, 2010


Are you an iPhone user? C & T Publishing now has a new Quick & Easy Quilt Block Tool app. You can download it on your iPhone or your iPod touch. There are over 100 quilt blocks built in with fingertip access to patterns and yardage calculations! Way Cool!

I don't use the iPhone, but my BFF does, and she downloaded it on Friday, and we played with it at dinner Friday night. If your local Quilt Shop can't help you with yardage (they should all be skilled with a calculator and 'public math'), you can help yourself!

Didn't you love a Pink Princess phone? My dad was a phone company man, and I had a little pink princess key chain. Loved that thing! J

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There is something magical about teaching a girl to sew. Their amazement when things come together is so rewarding. I had the pleasure of helping a dear friends daughter finish her 1st quilt a couple of weeks ago, and thought you might like to see her results!

I met Erinn 11 years ago, she was 5 at the time. A beautiful, curious, smart, funny little girl. She has always had a special place in my heart. To see the beautiful 16 year old she has turned into really takes my breath away. What happened to that little girl that thought there were Lemur's in our back yard? She now drives a VW bug (new style), had a boyfriend who wants to be a fireman, is still playing soccer and is still determined to do things her way.

A couple of months ago Erinn decided she wanted to make a quilt for her boyfriend, she had already picked out the fabric with a fireman related theme. She knew she wanted to include photo's. One day after school, her dad brought her in and I showed them how to use a sewing machine. Brian was a great student, learned how to thread the machine and how to wind the bobbin. Erinn was very good with the "gas pedal". I recommended a charm pack and Pat Sloan's book, "I Can't Believe I'm Sewing". I couple of weeks later Brian called and wanted to know if he could come and use our rotary equipment to cut 8 1/2" squares. Then, I heard they had been in to get the borders and backing. On the Saturday after Christmas, Erinn called and asked how to put it all together. I had her come in, she had her top all finished (it was very flat!), and her backing was pieced together. I called a local quilter, Dizzy Stitches, and we went right over. A week later we picked up the finished quilt, and worked all day in my office on the binding.

As you can imagine she was thrilled with her achievement. Her boyfriend and his family were totally impressed with her work. And for me, my heart is swollen with pride. I love this girl and her sister Shannon. I am so proud that I have been a part of their lives. I hope there are many more sewing days ahead.

Isn't this amazing!!! Nice Job Erinn!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I am enjoying a wonderful weekend with friends. We are on a retreat weekend in Kingston,WA. I have been thinking about scrap quilts for many months, and have spent time cutting out red and white fabrics.
All of my parts are put together and I am ready to sew the rows together. How fun is this!!

Have you treated yourself to a quilters retreat? It really is a wonderful experience, time with your girlfriends, sewing, eating, laughing and playing with fabric. It doesn't get any better than this. J

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Drum roll please, the lovely hand model (Noel) has selected "Liz" as our winner! Congratulations Liz, you have won a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Keepsake Cottage. Please email me your address so I can pop it in the mail to you. ( . Thanks to all of you for your heart warming comments. This job is a labor of love, it's nice to get the "love" back. Fills up my cup.

Today as most of our country is covered in snow and ice, it is a partially sunny day here in the Pacific NW. I feel so alive and ready to start new projects. The last 2 days I spent in Portland visiting with my father and his wife. They are planning new adventures, including a tour of Historic Jacksonville, OR on Segways! Yep, that's my Daddy! Always trying something new, always wanting to learn and explore. I believe we could all learn a lesson from him. Have fun, learn something new every day, discover and teach others. He will be 79 this year. He met his wife 7 years ago, snowshoeing. They are a darling couple. I hope I am starting new projects and discovering new things when I am their ages.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

6 More Hours

Just a quick reminder, you have until Midnight tonight, Pacific Time, to post a comment. There is a chance you will be the winner of a $25 Gift Certificate to Keepsake Cottage. Good Luck!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Ann Sutton, of Bunnie Hill Designs has done it again. Last year she posted a new block of the month pattern for the quilt A Tisket A Tasket, this year the quilt is called SnowBound. Check her web site on the 5th of each month for your copy of her mystery BOM! She is a very talented and generous quilt designer. Thanks Ann!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Here is the quilt I wrote about last week. I found this project all cut and ready to piece, with no memory of having done it! I am really happy to have found it and to have found time in the last week to put it together. Time was probably the best part of the whole deal! Since it was cut and just sitting there, it begged me to slow down and stitch it together. Yes, it is an easy pattern and big easy piecing, but there was something very satisfying about sewing this project. It's soft and romantic, a little like me. My boys won't be fighting over it. I can put it in the family room and it will be waiting for me to curl up under it. It's a long lost friend. One of the things I really love about it, is the fact that these are fabrics from many different manufacturers. Moda, Northcott, P&B, Peter Pan and Maywood. This is the way I learned to quilt. There were very few "lines" of fabric in the late 70's early 80's. We would look, collect and trade to get the "right" look for a quilt. I liked that process then, and I like it now! Try it, step out of your box, trust your instincts. It feels good!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I posted, and you came! The New Year's Day Sale was a wild event. I want to thank all of you for coming, and for being so patient! There were 4 cutting stations, 5 of us working, and one cash register. Yep, that was the glitch. I put the second one out there, stocked it changed the paper and when the doors opened it just gave me an error message. Have I whined about technology lately? When the shop closed I was able to drill down, and realized that the backup batteries needed to be changed...So, during the day, we just used plan B. The fact that all of you were willing to wait a little longer to be rung up was key. Thank you so much!
I also want to thank you for reading. This is my 100th post! It has been fun for me to share a little of what goes on at the shop, and in my life. I love looking at my little map and seeing that people from all over the world are stopping by. Leave me a comment by Wednesday at midnight, and I will draw for a $25 gift certificate to be used in the shop. Yes, we do mail order.
Today, I will put the final border on that "surprise" quilt I found in my sewing room. Picture tomorrow. J