Thursday, October 31, 2013

Candy Corn Rocks!


I love Halloween and all the creepy stuff that goes with it. Usually the house is decked out with festive orange and black decor and I have my Halloween quilts and runners out on display. Sadly it’s only for such a short timeframe. I have a few of those really ugly Halloween sweaters, you know the ones.You can really only get away with wearing such absurd outfits at this time of year.

I found this really cute pendant at Michael’s recently and thought it was adorable, so cute for the Halloween season. I’m proud to say my collection of tacky gets larger one piece , one season at a time.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It’s that time again…another beginner class started at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. I love when I have a new group of wanna be’s….it’s wonderful to see them blossom into quilters. They are like sponges in the beginning, then very quickly they come into their own.


This class includes Trish, Marion, Donna and Bev. We’ve learned the very basics, picked out fabric, learned how to sew a 1/4 inch seam properly, learned cutting basics and have cut out the fabric for our blocks.  It’s always such fun to see how quickly they get hooked. The class is 7 weeks and usually by the 5th or 6th class they are asking what class can I teach them next. I love that I can inspire the art of quilting. I have the best job in the world!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Props, Patterns and Paper-piecing

There were some really cute displays at Market, I love the sharks swallowing people whole.


The quilts on display were absolutely awesome. I wanted to buy every pattern!  Some of my favourites were Wiley Way by Sassafras Lane, Catch Me if you Can by Be Colourful, just an amazing New York Beauty style quilt. Shabby Fabrics, Blessings of Autumn, 2nd Harvest was one of my absolute favourites.


I have about 5 McKenna Ryan BOM quilts…not all of them completed by the way, but I fell in love with her newest called Dog Park. Michelle and I thought that Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek’s BOM called Housewarming would be a good program to feature at the shop.


The company A Very Special Selection offers wonderful paper piece patterns called A Little Bit and a Little Bit More. Diamond Log Cabin, Shades of Fall, Snowman and Think Spring are patterns we picked up that we are hoping to run classes with. We may have a quarterly paper piecing class offered which would be a ton of fun.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Market Memories

I do and will have the best memories of Houston Quilt Market going forward. Some of  my favourites were Franklin Quilt Co. where we purchased some of  their fabulous quilt patterns. I really loved their patterns called Scrap Basket Shevron and Scrap Boxes Squares.


Michelle  and I both were really taken with the company Lumenaris. They featured wonderful wool kits that would be a great addition to the store. So many wonderful choices of patterns and colors.


These  young designers had wonderful bags called the Laura Tote and the Kate Tote…how sweet. We certainly want to offer their patterns at the shop in the future.  Here is Iza Pearl of Iza Pearl Designs and Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs.


I really liked this modern quilt called Every Color designed and made by Alissa Haight Carlton. Very stunning and beautifully quilted. Simple fabric, brilliant colors.

One of the best memories was when we left the hotel for the airport today. Our luggage in the trunk, the two of us in the back seat and as the limo travelled over a slight dip from the parking lot to the road, you heard a big thump and scrapping as the back fender hit the pavement. We looked at each other and started laughing as we both knew the cause was Michelle’s overloaded suitcase in the trunk.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy as a clam at high tide

Gosh we are having such fun here. Last night was the Moda Party,  a customer appreciation event to thank customers for their business throughout the year. The theme this year was a beach/nautical one and even included Robin Williams….or a really good impression of him. This fellow was bang on.


The complimentary event is held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Houston and the venue was set up for about 2000 guests. The food was wonderful and they had fabulous entertainment for us to enjoy, Hawaiian themed.


A delicious meal featuring salad plus a chicken, potatoes and vegetable entre plus amazing cheese cake ensued along with complimentary spirits.  Michelle and I had a wonderful time and even had the opportunity to personally meet and thank the Owner of Moda, Mark Dunn.


This has been an amazing couple of days so far and right now I’m happier’n than a dog with a dead skunk.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This little piggy went to market


These are the pics from what we purchased at Sample Spree. The larger pile of goodies is Michelle’s and by all rights it should be as she is the one that owns the shop. My smaller pile consists of goodies I just couldn’t live without, while still trying to stick to my commitment of not buying any new fabric and using up what I already have in my stash. You can see that went for a _ _ _ _.

Michelle focused on what would be interesting for the shop and well, I focused on first impressions…oh I like that and that and that and that. I picked up 10 fat quarters of Maude Asbury by Blend called Spooktacular. I’m a sucker for Halloween themed fabric and couldn’t resist. It has a really vintage look to it….really cute. Michelle talked me into a Grab and Go wool needlework kit from My Quilting Service ….you guessed it….Ghosts…I told you I had a thing for Halloween. She didn’t really talk me into it…it was the power of suggestion as she had 10 in her hand and I didn’t want to be left out. Then my best coup of the night was 2 Bali pops called Sparklers in the Sunset color way. I love these as they are a collection of Hoffman Screen-prints, each fabric shimmering with gold metallic accents. Final purchase was a 25 fat quarter pack of Mending Fences by Lynette Anderson. Cute as all get out…when I saw it I thought of my Dear Eldest Daughter and her fetish love of chickens as the line has a country farm kind of look with little chickens and cows and even tractors. Her fiancĂ© is a tractor nut enthusiast so it will make a nice quilt or table topper for them. Overall I think I handled myself well as far as fabric purchases went, considering the damage I could have done. It’s good to know that my therapy sessions are of benefit, my therapist would be proud.

What a great start to a wonderful weekend here in Houston.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jenny from the Block

Well not from the block, but on my block!  Jenny Doan that is, from Missouri Star Quilt Co.  She is staying at our hotel in Houston. Let me clarify ladies….I am not a stalker…she pulled up outside as we pulled up outside, and it was Michelle’s idea to swarm approach her.


So to bring you up to date….I’m in Houston for Quilt Market with Michelle, my boss, who owns Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. Yep, I’m the luckiest girl on earth, right about now. Four a.m. came really early this morning as we were up and out the door to catch our flight from Buffalo. Changed planes in Chicago and onto Houston, Texas, that is Ya’ll. You know it’s almost winter when they have to de-ice the planes in October….we are sitting on the tarmac in Chicago and the pilot announces we’ll be taking off soon, they are just de-icing prior to take-off. &))(&*^*^)&)  Did I mention I’m not the best flyer.


Michelle and I got settled at the hotel and headed out for lunch at Guadalajara….Yummy with a capital Y. Michelle had a mojito and I had sangria….plus lunch. I opted for Quesadillas and Michelle had Enchilada  abuelita. I am so excited to be here at Market, what an awesome opportunity. Market is the who’s who of the quilting world where everything, literally everything is launched for the upcoming year. So I’m getting the inside scoop as to what will be featured for 2014. Oh I am so excited, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy, all over…..wait a minute, maybe that’s the sangria. Honest I only had one.

Later in the day we headed off to George R. Brown Convention Centre, where market is held, to line up for “Sample Spree”. Sample Spree can only be described as…. the night before market feeding frenzy. Hundreds of women line up hours in advance of the 8pm opening to wait for the doors to open to a smorgasbord of fabric and patterns the size of  New Hampshire. When they say “Everything is Bigger in Texas”….they mean it. We arrived at 6, 2 hours before the event started and tons of people were already lined up. And they kept coming and coming and coming. The lines behind us were huge. Look at Michelle, waving, she was so excited to be nine hundredth in line! That pic is when we arrived and no one was behind us…you should have seen the crowds a few hours later.


I met and chatted with Debbie Maddy who designed one of my favourite patterns, Labyrinth, which I have taught several times. I also had the privilege of meeting the famous Eleanor Burns. She’s one of my favourite quilting legends as I love her It’s Elementary                beginner series, Mini Dresden plate, Log cabin in a day and the fun turkey runner plus her Oriental fan pattern.

What a fabulous first day! If that was the first day and market isn’t really even officially open, can you imagine what tomorrow will bring!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Got to love them smiles!


I think these ladies love their quilts! Leigh and Shelly have taken lots of classes with me and it is always a pleasure to have them in my group….they both truly love quilting and it shows!

They have been working on their quilts called Labyrinth along with Ann, Corrine, Susan and Fran.

Everyone’s looks amazing and it’s wonderful to see how all the choices of fabrics have come together to create such wonderful projects.


Thanks for making the class so entertaining ladies….always so much fun with you all.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You know it’s Fall when…..


They start making pumpkin beer?  I do like pumpkin flavoured things but more along the lines of muffins, lattes, pie, soup and even donuts, but beer? So I had to see for myself and we bought a couple of bottles…

The verdict….

It’s a fail, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe at a Halloween party just to make the theme run through everything, but on it’s own….not.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Spy some fun at dinnertime


I’m really hooked on these “Easy Peasy Stripy Stripey” placemats. I keep making them, and making them. This is the first set of hexagon ones that I’ve made…I think I like the circles more though. I have a ton of “I spy” fabric in my stash and thought that my grandsons could have fun at dinnertime, not that dinnertime should be fun, but maybe it would distract them into eating more…they don’t eat enough to keep pigeons alive.

What prompted this was my grandson Owen. I had made a bib for him with little tiny fire trucks on it and when he saw it, he laid it out flat and spent about 5 minutes just staring and touching the fabric, just mesmerized by the little trucks. Not a peep out of him. Got me to thinking that he would just love all kinds of little prints sewn together.


These are so simple to make….sew strips together, cut triangles out using Creative Grids 60 degree triangle ruler. sew the triangles together, fuse to Craft Tex’s pre-cut fusible placemats forms, stitch in the ditch, bind an you’re done. Frankly, nobody should be allowed to have this much fun.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Beam me up Scottie

Boy have I got jet lag…..went to bed when we got home from the airport at about 10pm. Exhausted, I thought I would get a good nights sleep…my body had other plans and I was wide awake at 2am….which is actually 8am, in Italy. Guess my body can’t tell I’m in my own bed in Canada! I tossed and turned, gave up and got up. I opted to watch 3 episodes of the Good Wife and 3 episodes of Dancing with the Stars, and am on my fourth cup of coffee.

Sorry, no pics today, you’ll have to use your imagination, due to the nature of this post.

This blog post was actually inspired by the movie they showed on the plan on the way home….Star Trek into Darkness. It’s actually the only way of nicely explaining the planetary dysfunction of Uranus and the toilet paper dilemma in Europe.

I could not wait to get back to my Scottie 4 ply! What is it with hotels, even 4 or 5 star…cruise ships and every bathroom toilet paper dispenser across Europe, whereby the only ply you can find is 1 ply. If you can even call it that. In the local villages at public washrooms, you would be hard pressed to even find 1 ply…toilet paper was sometimes non existent. Celebrity and the Hilton chain buy in bulk…I’m sure of it, but why 1 ply, haven’t they figured out that we use 10X  the sheets needed just to try and get the job done.  They’d save a fortune if they’d just get a Costco card and buy the Scottie 4ply in bulk. Plus it would save thousands of Uranus…s  from extinction.

The stuff they have … it would have been softer to use the stones the 10 commandments were etched on.  My you know what… was so uncomfortable by the end of this trip I can see why people waddle on cruise ships. I use to think it was due to the amount of food they consume, when it is fact it’s the result of 1 ply toilet paper and the agony you are suffering from using it.

Mores Uranus facts….

I was in a real dilemma after we visited the ruins in Sicily and used a public washroom. I’m sure everyone has had this happen to them……you visit, do your business and then find the dispenser…EMPTY…*_*$@_)*$*_)!_) At this point I would have given anything for even 1 sheet of 1 ply. SHIT, CRAP…yikes(now I know where those words came from…and it wasn’t Latin)…I’m sitting there contemplating my options, digging thru my purse only to find nothing to use…….except a 5X5 single sheet of paper, that had less than an hour before, neatly wrapped the bottom of my gelato cone. Thank God I could not find a garbage at the time…..I was saved….just.  It was like using 1 single charm square from a charm pack.

Even more Uranus trivia….

I finally figured out where all the 4ply paper went in Italy….you know those commercials for Cottonelle, where they make those extravagant dresses out of sheets and sheets of the stuff…well it was fashion week in Milan and the Italian government asked all citizens to send their stash in so they would have enough for all the runway projects. There was not a sheet of 4 ply to be had anywhere in all of Italy.

And still more Uranus feedback…

Did you wonder why Dear Hubby and I were stopping for beer and wine every few hours…….That’s  because in Italy, they won’t let you use any local rest rooms in restaurants unless you  sit and eat or drink there. It was a catch 22… have a drink because you have to use the facilities, then you have to use the facilities, because you had a drink…..these are not stupid people…they have the monopoly on washroom protocol, the restaurants make a fortune just on bathroom breaks.

Honest to god….local restaurateurs are like Roman Gladiators….they will fight you to the death if you try to use the restrooms without purchasing food or drink. We witnessed it more than once, where someone tried to bypass them, to find they were literally abused verbally or had to perform a dance ritual of two step back and forth while the waiter blocked the way. … was just safer to buy a beer.

Anyway….I will never…you hear me never, ever, again, complain about the price of Scottie 4 ply!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Home at Last

Home at last, Thank God Almighty, we are home at last!

What a hectic and scary last few days……..

On Saturday as we ventured around Rome, we kept seeing an overabundance of police presence. Police on every street corner, paddy wagons and police cars everywhere. All heavily armed with machine guns, even a police helicopter circling over the central part of Rome. At one point Dear Hubby did stop to speak to a couple of  officers and in broken English managed to ascertain that they were moving someone, or something…or that’s what we thought he meant.


Actually what we found out later was that the officer actually meant  “Movement” as in protest. As we came close to the street our hotel was on, we found the street  blocked off and by now the police had riot shields out. You couldn’t get onto our street so we had to take another  little  street and go a back way. Dear Hubby asked a fellow that spoke English very well if he knew what was going on. He proceeded to tell us that for the last two days there had been huge protests by the unions called anti-austerity protests. The day before we arrived, they had shut down the transportation around Rome, even cancelling about 100 flights causing complete chaos. Needless to say, our worst nightmare.  We hurried back to the hotel to see if we could get any updates on the television or the internet. On the Saturday night the protests had started escalating and things got uglier. From out hotel room we could hear the helicopter circling and the police sirens were more pronounced. It makes one feel very, very uncomfortable, especially in a foreign country.

Our flight left today at 3pm and by then, the trouble in the city had calmed down so we had an easy exit. Glad to be heading home, safe and sound.