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July 2010

June 2010

A grand old flag for Craft Nite!

Show your true colors with our jazzed up flag for the 4th of July! Wool shapes and some simple stitching will make your flag stand out from the rest. Poke it into a flower arrangement for your holiday table ... add it to your patriotic decorations ... a darling addition! Cost is $4 and we have a limited supply so it's first come. See you this Thursday ... July 1 ... at Market Fest in downtown White Bear Lake!

Discovering old friends at the White Bear Lake Farmer's Market!


You know how some people keep coming and going in and out of your life? It's always fun to find your paths crossing again and to see how things are going. That's how I felt when I found Amy Goetz at the Farmers Market in downtown White Bear Lake on Friday.

When Amy was just starting Bramblewood , I had my store in the little white house on Third Street just past Banning. If you had gone on any of my bus tours then ... or bought treats that we sold at the store ... you've tasted the delicious shortbread products Amy makes. I would buy them for our goodie bags ... they always tasted wonderful and everyone looked forward to which one I'd select next. Personal favorite ... the lavender ginger shortbread ... yum! 

Then I moved and Amy moved and we lost touch a bit ... but I always tried to keep track of her and what see was up to. I LOVE watching people's businesses evolve!

After we caught up on family stuff she began telling me some of her exciting news! She's really expanded her reach in Minnesota ... Kowalski's carries her shortbread as well as a slew of other stores across the Midwest. She has people selling them in way cool places besides, too ... like in Alaska ... and on the west coast in Washington and Oregon ... and New York! In fact, she was very excited about a contact she'd just received from someone in Manhattan. Woo hoo!!

She has such pretty packaging. Each piece tastes fresh.

She has caramels now ... something she didn't have when I first met her over ten years ago. Look at the names ... mouth watering!

I can see you circling Friday on your calendar for WBL's market ... she's at the Mill City Farmer's Market, too. On Facebook and Twitter she's known as Shortbread Lady ... look her up and 'like' and 'follow' her. I'm just so excited about connecting with Amy again ... hope we don't lose touch any time soon!


... if I could take today off ...


This is where I'd go.

Past the birdbath that reminds me of my three 'monkey's.

Down the steps that Bob carved out of the hill.

Around the little meadow of daisies.

I'd stop to inspect the mushrooms the size of your head growing out of an old log.

To the firepit patio Bob made from reclaimed bricks when we built our deck.

To this chair. Where I'd sit.

I'd remember three boys sitting and fighting over marshmallows and hot dogs. Or maybe just fighting in general!

I'd see that the little stick of a tree Ted gave Bob for Father's Day a million years ago is finally finally taking hold.

Then after sitting a little while maybe I'd get up and follow one of the paths into the woods that Bob keeps mowed to see what's there.

But finally I'd have to turn around and head back up the hill to the reality of my day. But not before one last glance at what's out there beyond it.


A way with words.


I had a few minutes alone in the workshop this morning ... not enough time to begin something but too much time NOT to do something ... you know what I mean? And for some reason I just began reading all the phrases and quotes I have tacked up or sewn up ... some on walls some on tables some on things. I'm obviously in love with words!




I picked up this repurposed clipboard from my friend Kathleen ... she sells cool things in Heritage Square at the Minnesota State Fair. Love her tags, too!

Nothing says we're free more than the I Voted stickers I pick up each time I vote.

Sometimes the words are implied.

Often words or phrases will identify who we are!

Or what the day is going to be like. Watch out!!

Is there ever a more perfect friendship verse than this? Who hasn't needed to lean on their pals from time to time.  I love this verse so much that I put it on a wool journal cover I made. And speaking of friends ... look at the cute word Pam Kitty Morning put on the project she did when she came to spend some time hanging out with me! Love being with friends.


I love this quote too because it shows that we are each the captain of our own ships ... get to choose how we live our lives. Ya ... another wool journal ... what can I say? I think they're fun to make.

The other day on Facebook there was an update to The Quilt Show about a discussion on their forum that was totally about quotes ... those were interesting to read! I have books or quotes that I search through for something inspiring every now and then. I know some people subscribe to a quote-of-the-day email, too ... so many wise and profound words out there to get us past all the events in our lives! 

I'll let my bulletin board have the last word(s)!


Quilting was in ... rain was out ... at Target Field!


The Minnesota Twins inaugural season at Target Field was a fabulous setting for our Baseball Bats and Binding event! In spite of a day of torrential rain the clouds broke loose just in time for the first pitch. No one was going to rain on our parade! With 83 quilters in attendance you know there was going to be a lot of laughing, no matter what. And how could they not when they all were receiving quilty goodie bags!!

One of the prizes in the bag was Cracker Jack ... cuz  it wouldn't be the same without it ... and our All Star Stitcher Needlekeeper ... lots of squealing over that!

My son Alex came to the game with me and I'm so happy he did! He pitched in and helped the stadium crew wipe off the seats in our section. The guy who was working that area was more than happy to toss Alex an extra cloth. It can take over two hours to do all of them in the entire place!

In addition to goodie bags we had lots of prizes for lots of different things! When the Twins scored a home run everyone got a prize ... including some of the people sitting around us ... might as well include them in the fun because they were such good sports. Everyone was competing for prizes for how fast they could stitch down binding on a lap size quilt. There was something different for rounding each corner with the prize for the fourth corner being a Rowenta travel iron ... almost as good as hitting a home run!!

I was a little concerned that the contest was getting a bit heated when I noticed two quilters had begun to intensely compete with each other. Cat calling and things like that ... issuing challenges ... yikes! One got around the first corner first ... the other around second and third ... dead heat for the fourth ... their friends were getting involved ... what if they got into a fight? Can you imagine the headlines??? Finally one pulled ahead and put in the last stitch and the race was over. The Pokey Puppy quilt was the winner! So here are Deb and Mary and their quilts that are totally bound and finished ... and who it turns out are also coworkers and regularly try to outdo each other during contests at work ... like who has the best cookie or bar recipe. It was just circumstances that led me to putting them close to each other in our section. Whew. They cleaned up with some nice parting gifts.


In my memory, these quilters in front of me never really pulled out their quilts but were enjoying the game instead. But look how cute that tote bag is. It was made from last Summer's Quilt Minnesota fabric. They looked so happy and relaxed.

The rest of them had their noses to the grindstone just stitching away. It was funny to watch them all stop when there was something exciting on the field or when a refreshment vendor came walking up the aisle. There's Celine Perkins ... one of my celebrity coaches. Hmmm ... she looks more like she's just enjoying the game and not encouraging her area to round those corners!

Come to think of it ... my family doesn't seem to be really engaged in the whole quilting thing either! Are they just watching the game? But look at Diane's hands sitting next to them ... they're a blur she's stitching so fast. Gifts are always a great motivator.

I loved that our tickets had our name on them. And then we were on the Twins-O-Gram, too! Thanks to Janice who saw that one.

  Twins game 15
  Twins game 16
She snapped a photo of me giving out goodie bags too ... I never have pix of me! This was actually one of the lowest stress events I've done in a long long time ... well ... except for all of the rain coming down all day but hey ... that was out of my hands so what could I do? I loved that there was a lot of smiling and laughing.

We were surrounded by pretty colors with the quilts but I couldn't help looking at the M&Ms sign when it came up on the advertising banner. It was just fun!

  Twins game 7
I'm not sure who this quilter was ... heck ... I didn't know half of them cuz they were from all over the place ... even one who came from Alaska! But anyway ... this quilter was so excited about the 7th Inning Stretch door prizes ... that we actually did during the sixth inning ... she wanted to win soooo bad and finally did! Because our group was so big we had to use hand signals to transmit the winning ticket numbers ... pretty soon everyone in our section was shouting out the numbers as we counted out by tens ... that one with #72 took a long time! Just added to the fun ... and hand signals are a big part of baseball, right?  

  Twins game 9
And the stitching went on around all of the rest of things ... including fireworks after the home run ... and food and beverages ... and standing up for the National Anthem and Take Me Out To The Ballgame during the stretch ... oooh! ... and the sweet guy who proposed to his gal on the jumbotron ... soooooo sweet!

There are way too many photos to show ... but I've put more up on our Rosebud's Cottage Facebook Fan Page and will be putting up more soon, too. Janice has some in her photo album too ... and she told me she's making a Heritage Maker's book about the game, too! Can't wait to see it.

Our quilting event was a great way to celebrate the Minnesota Twins first year in their new stadium. Lots of comments in the stands about doing it again next year ... maybe with a charity component? We'll see. But right now I'm content to remember what a fun night we had. And I can't wait to go back to Target Field again ... maybe just to watch the game this time, though. Thanks everyone for coming along!!


A Summer 9-patch project to get you sewing!


I always associate Summer with sewing. Maybe it's because once school ended, it was pedal to the metal in order to get all of our 4-H sewing projects done in time for the fair. So a few weeks ago when I saw that Karen Montgomery was starting the 9-Patch Project as a way to keep on sewing through the Summer months ... well let's just say it's been stuck in my mind! The idea is to make one 9-patch block every day ... use up some of your stash ... have something to show at the end of the Summer. Sounds simple, right? Sort of like what I did last Summer when we did a block a day and were able to make an entire quilt in sixteen days!

Yesterday I got the bug to just do it. I've been doing everything but sew lately and my machine was screaming at me to take part. You can start at any time you want but it was already June 5th and I was five behind! Yike. I had 30 minutes before I had to leave for home ... the fastest way to get five done in a half hour was to cut those strips small. It helps that I have a fascination with itty bitty blocks, too. So here I go ... three strips from each light and dark cut at 1 1/4" wide. Can I do it?

Fast sewing techniques ... first sewing a light and dark together in a chain piecing fashion ... clip one off and add a second dark and then the second light to the remaining piece.

Over to the ironing board pressing toward the dark. And yes I fixed that one seam that had a little bit of a fold ... gotta be careful pressing even when you're playing beat the clock or things just don't turn out right.

Quick cutting ... whenever I can I like to stack up the cutting opportunities. The segments were subcut to 1 1/4" just like the strips were cut.

Look how cute they are!

With creative cutting and then just as creative sewing, I was able to eeek out one more segment getting me five blocks. Bonus! And I was only 15 minutes into things.

I'm a methodical sewer ... do all of one step and then all of the next until I'm done. I've always been that way ... it's my approach to getting to the end ... whether it was for the many craft shows that I took part in ... putting kits together for the store ... quilting or paper crafting ... it's more efficient to do one thing over and over because you get fast at it and you don't waste movement. So I chain sew and clip off each segment from the end of the chain as I need it.

Look how cute they are waiting for their trip to the ironing board!

Even more darling pressed and waiting to be joined by their friends later this Summer! Finished, these will be 2 1/4" blocks ... I can't even get my head around how many blocks one a day is until the middle of August but it's a bunch. Wonder what kind of cute thing I can make! There's a huge group on Facebook doing the 9-Patch Project ... and it's never too late to start. The big thing for me is knowing I can make five of these tiny ones in 30 minutes so that seems doable. Another cool thing about making them small ... besides how quickly I can make them ... is that I didn't have to move anything on my messy ironing board because it didn't take much room to press them. Bonus!!


Moving along with the pincushion round robin!


Just as Quilt Market was beginning, I received the next round robin pincushion in the mail from Jo Ann! Boy-oh-boy she's prompt ... they always arrive right on time. Well this pincushion top belongs to Pat and she wanted some 'garden love' ... her words, not mine! I figured that Jo Ann already had the love part taken care of so I'd provide some of the garden.

I started interviewing flower parts and knowing that Pat isn't a conventional style girl, I figured that if things weren't 'normal' colors, it would be just fine. I love having leaves that are anything but green! And ya ... that stuff off to the side ... that MIGHT be going on Brenda's pincushion ... we'll see if it fits!

Jo Ann's portion had a lot of texture to it so I decided to layer mine up with extra wool circles and a bead in the center. I like things to have some dimension so I did a backstitch down the center of the leaves and then gave the thread a little tug to gather them a smidge. The flower petals were stitched with long strands of floss and I used the bead to anchor the centers. Seeing its a garden, it needed a bee ... right? The bee is held in place with long, gold strands over his back so that his wings can flutter. And do you see the little something special I'm including on each pincushion?

This has been a lot of fun thinking about what the finished pincushions will look like ... wondering how mine will turn out when it's finished. So much fun to think about while I'm stitching! One side bonus ... I've been hugely busy lately and it was so nice to just stop and stitch. My head feels a little clearer ... a bonus of being able to take time to be creative. I'd love to see pix of the cushions you're doing ... are you taking part in a round robin with your friends, too? If you aren't ... you really need to organize them and join in the fun!!