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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012

It's all about the journey!

Since last Summer, we've had the brochure for the Unique Boutique & Antiques Tour sitting on our kitchen table ... and finally! September 27th arrived so we could go!! We went to almost every place on their map and found all kinds of interesting things. Going to the boutiques at people's homes was so nostalgic ... all the ones I used to take part in back in the day were so much fun ... and filled with one of a kind items. I don't think other parts of the country do this ... letting people come to where we live to sell things ... but that's what this tour is all about. You were going right to the home of the crafter or antique dealer to find buckets of treasures.




I love the sewy stuff! But then ... who doesn't?






I love how some of the spots really arranged their space for the most visual impact. For a person who loves a good photo it was total overload! I don't have space to show you even half of those I took.





To me, there's something just perfect about room setting inside the rustic interior of a barn. I'd move here!



And who knew that tobaggans are the new shelf?



The best part was just being outside. The colors in the Cambridge area were so beautiful ... a little bit ahead of us in the Twin Cities so it's like we'll be able to enjoy it again when they creep down our way. One thing ... there are no bathrooms! Plan accordingly. Although we did stumble upon a two seater in my place. Ah. No!



We found a blacksmith at one place ... and Dala Horses! Can hardly wait to show you what I'm doing with them ... you'll have to wait.



But we really weren't expecting this sign at the bakery. Yikes! The place smelled delicious, though ... had that old time bake shop smell and prices to match. Everyone is happy at our house today!

This tour runs this weekend and next but some places aren't open on Sunday. They have places to eat listed on their site ... and don't forget ... no bathrooms! But it was still fun in spite of that. I just love Autumn in Minnesota!!




Are you taking part in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge? I am!

I was so excited to get a call from American Patchwork & Quilting last Summer ... asking me to take part in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge Blog Hop! Through the entire month of September, designers, fabric companies, manufacturers, and the APQ staff have been blogging about their pillowcase events. The list of the bloggers is here or you can follow along on APQ's Facebook page or on the Quilts & More page.

If you've been looking for something charitable that you or a group can do easily, the One Million Pillowcase Challenge is for you! Basically, you gather a group of friends together and do what we love to do ... you sew! Or you can make some by yourself and drop them off at your local quilt store ... like the Cottage. We have collected and given over 600 pillowcases! What I love about this program is that it stays in your neighborhood. You give them to organizations who you feel need them most ... hospitals, women's shelters, senior care centers ... places that matter to you. Listen to what Jennifer Keltner has to say about why the challenge matters!

The blog hop came with a few easy rules ... one of them was to make a pillowcase from their free pillowcase patterns. I'm never good with too many choices so I asked the readers on my Rosebud's Cottage Facebook page to pick from a few that I had selected. They made great choices!

Pattern #5 was the favorite ...who doesn't like prairie points? We had this adorable Halloween fabric so I had to use it! If you decide to make this pillowcase, I've got some tips for you.

Blog hop 1
The prairie points are squares that are folded diagonally, pressed, and then folded diagonally again. I like to have them spaced equally so I slid a 24" ruler inside the pillowcase cuff, and pinned them so that I could baste them in place first. Not only did it help me get my placement equal, I was able to pin without accidently going through to the next layer. I had to fudge a bit so that they all fit. You can tuck one point into the other by at least a half inch.

Blog hop 2
I like to pin just through the point so that my pins stay out of the way. Keep a small scissors handy to help guide the fabric under the presser foot and to keep the points tucked inside each other.

Blog hop 3
I know the directions said to top stitch 1/8" from the edge but I'm not good at eyeing that. I like to use the inside edge of my presser foot and just run it along the seam. And yes ... I left on my 1/4" foot ... I'm too lazy to keep switching back and forth!

Blog hop 4
Ugh. In spite of my best efforts, a few of those prairie points slipped and didn't come out even. I should have paid more attention to that when I was sewing. Too late now but learn from my mistake!

Another pattern my fans chose for me was #10 ... the pillowcase with the flying geese band. We just got in a shipment from Studio E called Belle's Dream. Seemed appropriate for a pillow case!

Blog hop 5
I rely on traditional quilting methods and don't use a lot of tools ... but we got in the Folded Corner Clipper from Susan Nelson recently and I knew this would be the perfect time to try it out. Works like a charm! You line up the template according to the size of your corner square ... slice ... and sew!

Blog hop 6

Blog hop 7
I liked how the template trimmed the dog ears at the same time. And ya ... I saved the little triangles I cut off and sewed them together right away. You'd be surprised how many cute things you can make with them!

Blog hop 8

Blog hop 9
I like to press my seams in opposite directions so that the block lies flat.

Blog hop 10
Ugh! I didn't pay attention. I hate ripping ...

I had an extra hour so thought I'd see how long it would take to make the basic pattern. Forty minutes for two! I made them from a flannel line by Deb Strain for Moda. Some little kids will love them! One thing about this pattern ... and some of the others ... the seam allowance is 1/2" so I taped my machine to make things easier.

Blog hop 12

I've made pattern #15 before so understood how it worked ... it didn't take me too long to whip up a few more pillowcases! This pattern has a strip of piping along the cuff to add some interest. Truly ... it takes more time to choose the fabric than to sew them!

Blog hop 13
To make sure all of the components are the same size, I fold the body in half then lay the cuff and the piping on top ... making sure all of the edges and folds are even. I use my 60mm cutter to trim the pieces to the correct size. When I get ready to sew, it all fits together perfectly!

It took me four days ... working about an hour each day ... to make six pillowcases. Imagine how you can fit this into your time ... or how many pillowcases a group of your friends could make! I'm going to leave mine in the store for a little bit but then they'll be going to the East Metro Women's Council ... I know they'll put them to good use! When you donate, don't forget to go to the web site and add your totals so that we can reach that million mark!

Leave me a comment and when the blog hop is over, I'll pick two winners who will get Folded Corner Cutters. I know you'll love them

Pillowcase blog hop


The trick for perfectly flat intersecting seams

When customers come into the Cottage and see our Around the Square pattern, the first thing they say is that there are so many seams in that checkerboard! And then the next thing they say is that they can never get their seams flat. But you CAN and here's a trick we show in our technique classes ... it works anytime you have two seams that intersect and is a great help for pinwheels. No one likes the bump and I really don't advocate pounding seams flat with a mallet. Not my style.


Intersecting seams
Imagine a four-patch block. Sew your two squares together and press to the dark. Place those units together ... nest the seams ... then sew them together. Ok ... now see those stitches above the intersecting seam from where you originally joined the two squares? There's just a few ... use a pin or your seam ripper to pull them out on both sides ... just to the seam line.

When you go to press the seam you should be able to press one seam one way and the other in the opposite direction ... the intersection will look like a tiny four-patch. If the seam doesn't open up completely, carefully pull out one or two stitches ... but only up to the seam line. Sometimes it takes a tiny bit of fussing to get it right.

Ta-da! No bumpy seams! You can use this trick all the time ... takes just a few extra minutes but is so worth it. If you bought our Right on Point kits at the Minnesota State Fair ... we used the same technique to get those seams just right. It doesn't matter if you're entering your quilts in a competition or just sewing a project as a gift ... it's so nice to have them look just right!


Almelund and Amador Township's Apple Festival

On Sunday we got in the car and headed to Marine on the St Croix for their art festival ... and after we left we had to make the choice ... go left or right. So glad we chose right because we ended up in Almelund for their Apple Festival! And even though I don't remember seeing many apples ... we saw plenty of other fun things!

There were a lot of interesting vendor tents ... we bought gigantic jugs of local honey and maple syrup and some great smelling hand made soaps ... but the real prize for me was seeing a village of log cabins ... and spying a quilt framed in the window of one! I knew there was lots of visual fun ahead.



The Amador Heritage Center and Swedish Immigrant Log Farm has been bringing in buildings and accruing items to put into them. I loved how pieces of the walls in this home were papered with newsprint ... in Swedish! There were so many other charming touches.






Whoever is collecting for this village is in love with textiles. There were pretty linens ... children's clothing ... dolls and toys ... scattered around. Love it!!

Two of the buildings were set up as homes ... another was a granary ... and one building that we didn't see was closer to the St Croix River and was another house. They're working with a restoration company in Lino Lakes ... the money to collect and rehab the buildings comes from donations to the Amador Heritage Museum and the proceeds from selling pie slices during the apple festival.




I love redwork and was delighted to see this coverlet on one of the beds.

Scenes like this make me so happy someone invented indoor plumbing ... as charming as this is and all. And kitchens. Refrigeration is delightful. And so is a washer and dryer. I'm squeamish about certain things ... kind of princessy.




No Swedish home would be complete without a Dala Horse! I have a special place in my heart for them ... stay tuned to see what I do with one next month!


I can't wait to go to this event again ... in fact I've added it to my calendar for next year! Its the third Sunday in September from 11 to 4. Music and vendors and history and apple pie all in a perfect Autumn setting. I can't wait to go again!