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Broken Glass

I shared a sneak peek earlier of this yummy fabric. I can finally reveal what I did with it! We’ll have a free pattern for everyone and one lucky person will be able to win my project. Details are below. Broken Glass from Island Batik, designed for Kathy Engle for Swan Amity Sheridan of Swan …

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Lunch with Larry

Larry is our purple moose mascot. Actually, I have several Larrys! I purchased the original and all the others have been gifted to me over the years by friends and customers. They are all precious to me. Can you guess which is the original? I figured it was high time for all these Larrys to …

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My Week With Rob Appell

As a sales rep for Michael Miller Fabrics I must occasionally meet with my sales manager. In my case, my manager is Rob Appell, also the spokesperson for the company and a well known face. Rob decided to shadow me for a week in Utah. His goal was to listen to any concerns/ideas from shops, …

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Hurricane Sandy Stinks!


We had a little snow last week which was a wake-up call that the yard needed to be readied for winter. Since it was a lovely day today in the mid 60’s I decided to knock that off the to-do list. While pulling spent flowers in the front bed I was rudely reminded of my Hurricane Sandy story. I’m sure you’ve heard all manner of stories about how long the electricity was out and how much damage was done. I’m also sure you haven’t heard a story quite like mine…

We were all ready for the storm and it was fast approaching. The governor had issued a “no driving after 3pm unless you’re a first responder” edict. Hubby (a firefighter) was at the station waiting for the onslaught of calls. Moosette, the dog and I were at home and ready. About 2:30 it started getting very blustery outside so I decided it was time to take the dog out for one last potty trip. I decided to go with him and check to make sure we hadn’t missed any potential missiles in the yard. While he was milling around trying to find the perfect spot I saw movement out of the corner of my eye…a skunk was running across the lawn headed for the house. Oh crap, where’s the dog? He saw the skunk and decided to go and introduce himself. He loves to play with the neighborhood cats and probably figured this was one he hadn’t met yet. He is a retired police dog and is very well trained to obey his partner’s commands above and beyond anything he really wants to do. I am not that partner – he never listens to me unless he feels like it. He clearly did not feel like it. He went in for a closer look while I am yelling all manner of commands (some not fit to print and probably not part of his training…) trying to be heard above the howl of the storm. I was not successful and now had a very stinky dog and a hurricane that was just about here…what to do…

I made a frantic call to hubby to run to town and buy up all the tomato juice he could find. Someone at the firehouse told him to go to the pet store in town and see if he could get some Skunk-Off. He arrived at the pet store just as the owner was leaving then came home with the container of (hopefully) miracle medicine. By the time hubby arrived home the dog and I were both pretty stinky. The dog from the skunk and me from waiting in the garage with the dog. The garage was very odorous as well. By now the hurricane was getting very very close and it was REALLY windy. I’m sure the neighbors were wondering why we chose such a time to give the dog a bath in the driveway! One upside to the whole fiasco was being able to air out the garage in about 2 minutes flat by simply opening the doors.

All in all I must say, Skunk Off is a wonderful product. It’s easy to apply even in a hurricane and it works wonders. It didn’t take all the smell away. I don’t think there is any product that will completely remove that awful smell. At least the dog and I were allowed back into the house before the trees started coming down.

So today I was pulling up spent flowers and got a major whiff of what the skunk left behind last week. Yuck! Thankfully we have not seen the skunk since.

I would like to thank all of our customers who patiently waited for days after the storm until power returned so I could send their packages. My heart also goes out to all the folks in New York and New Jersey who have so much more to deal with than stinky skunks.

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I need needle help!


I am updating my handout on sewing machine needles and need your help. What information about needles have you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask? Burning questions keeping you awake at night? Nagging rumors you want to know if they’re true or not? Now is your chance to find the answers! If you’re too shy to respond here, feel free to email me directly. I won’t tell…

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Bennington Quiltfest


I’m so excited. I (along with my New England Quilt Designers compatriats) will be vending at the Bennington Quiltfest in Bennington VT this weekend. I was lucky to spend a little time in Bennington while on vacation this summer and, I must say, Ben

Grape Moose

They even have moose prints on the sidewalk!

Moose Prints

The Quiltfest will be held at the Mt. Anthony Union Middle School, 747 East Road and will run 9-5 on Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday. I will be manning the booth along with Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs, the original Quilting Hottie. We have the extra special treat of having her hubby, Mr. Hottie, joining us. Beth says he’s there for added eye candy. If you’re in the area be sure and stop in to say Howdy!

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Lots of wildlife this week!


Movement caught my eye out the window the other day. Four adorable juvenile raccoons. I snapped this photo but didn’t want to get too much closer because I didn’t know where Mom was. They’ve been hanging around for several days. Aren’t they just the cutest?

Night before last we had one of the largest bears I’ve ever seen come and dine at the compost bin. He plunked his rather sizable tush right down on the last of the peas that I hadn’t picked yet. I’ve had no takers on eating said peas… something about eau-de-bear-butt. It was dark out so we couldn’t get a picture but we did get to watch him (from the safe indoors) for about 20 minutes.

In my travels yesterday I saw two fox and a mink that didn’t win the animal vs. car challenge. If I had any skinning or tanning skills I could have whipped up a cute stole for winter!

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Challenge = Conquered


Oops, my bad…did you feel the earth’s spin brake to an almost screeching halt today? That’s because I finished my challenge quilt and turned it in – A WHOLE DAY EARLY! I must be coming down with something…

One of our local museums is celebrating its 100 year anniversary and they decided to have a quilt challenge as part of their hoopla. We were given a fat quarter that had to be used in a recognizable size, the quilt had to be 30″X30″ and it had to showcase the flora and fauna of New Hampshire and the Lakes region. The quilts will be judged and the top three winners will receive a cash award, artwork by a local artist and a pewter piece.

Here is a photo of the label with the provided fabric used as the frame.

Since it’s a printed fabric I decided to further challenge myself and not use any batiks for my additional fabrics and only use stuff from my stash. For me, batiks readily lend themselves to landscape quilts. I don’t get to do challenges like this too often so might as well go for the brass ring! I did pretty good. I did end up using a hand-dyed piece for the grass because that was the only thing that was the right color. But, shhh, don’t tell anyone. It wasn’t a requirement, only my self-imposed rule and I don’t mind.

The vision in my head was a stylized version of the view in my front yard of several birch trees. Trouble was, no fabric in my stash read “birch bark.” Then I got the idea of using ACTUAL birch bark. The birch trees occasionally shed their bark and I pick up the prettier pieces and save them for….something – I don’t know, they’re just pretty. Anyway, some testing with fused bark turned out pretty good and off I went.

There are hidden tree trunks in the woods, 3D leaves, a camouflaged moose and a couple of other hidden surprises. Here is the final result.

And a close-up of one of the leaf sections.

My only regret is that the smaller birch trees looked a little more like birch trees and a little less like palm trees. I also regret doing the final trimming at O-dark-thirty. If I had been just a smidge more awake I would have thought to double check my mitred border to make sure the miters came out exactly in the corners. Next time, more caffeine!

If you are local to the lakes region, you can check out all the quilts entered at The Libby Museum in Wolfeboro NH. They will be on display the entire month of August.  Here is a link to their website for hours or further info.

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Misty Fuse To The Rescue


So, I’m working on a challenge project for the 100 year anniversary for a local museum (The Libby Museum). It has to be a certain measurement and include a piece of fabric that was provided. The quilt must also pay homage to the local flora and fauna since that’s a big part of the museum’s focus. I wanted to do something with birch trees but was having no luck with any of the fabrics in my stash for the birch bark. The deadline is looming and the thought of driving around looking for that elusive birch bark fabric sounded about as much fun as waiting for the dentist. I was staring at the trees outside hoping that some other idea would come to mind…that darn birch bark…if only I had the perfect fabric because my quilt idea was awesome…what to do…that @*#$(%* birch bark…totally messed up my whole idea…wait a minute…could I use ACTUAL birch bark instead of fabric? I had several pieces of bark that I’ve picked up when the trees shed them. Could I somehow sew that into the quilt? Misty Fuse to the rescue – birch bark can be fused! Now we’re back on track. Woo Hoo!

Here’s a shot of the test piece that I fused. There is a cash prize for the challenge so you’ll just have to wait to see the final results…and I must finish it (minor detail). Don’t want to be giving too much info to my competition. Wonder if I can Misty Fuse some rocks in there too…

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Cocheco Quilters Guild


I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago to spend an evening with the folks from the Cocheco Quilters Guild in Dover NH. I shared a little sewing machine history with them and they shared their hospitality with me. Here are a few of the folks that I could fit into the picture.

Thanks for having me and I look forward to seeing you guys again at either Maine Quilts or The Gathering…or wherever quilters gather!

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Show & Tell


Would you like to really make a quilt pattern designers day? Send along a photo of what you made from their pattern! I know I speak for just about every pattern designer out there – we LOVE to see photos!!! I have been busy doing all the little nit-picky things that need doing before our big Virginia show next week. Not very glamorous or fun but necessary. My day was totally lifted by not one but two photo ops.

First up we have Kresti L. from Scandia MN

Kresti made our Once Upon A Bunny Hill pattern and she’s WAAYYY ahead for Easter 2013! At first I thought it was a chocolate bunny (aaawww) but then found out that it’s a velveteen rabbit. So much more classy and refined. I love what Kresti did with the carrot tops too. Nice details Kresti and good job on making it your own. I love it to pieces!

Next up is Kay A. from the United Kingdom

Kay used the Outside The Grid rulers invented by my friend Barbara Chojnacki of Six Gables Designs to make this top. If you’re not familiar with the rulers, they help you to make nine-patch based blocks in any size (think 7″ nine-patch…eww, icky math.) Kay said using the ruler was “foolproof. As long as you remember to use the correct side it is a doddle.” Since my British slang is a bit rusty I can only assume that’s good! Kay also remarked “You may be interested to know that the quilt was absolutely EXACT when I put the border on and needed no trimming.” The ruler helps Kay, but I’m sure your precise sewing skills were at play as well.

So thank you ladies from the bottom of my purple heart for taking a couple of minutes to brighten my day. I’m going to have some very hectic days ahead – anyone else care to send a photo and make me smile? Anyone?

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Country Living


Last week was vacation week and we had some great family time. I did manage to sneak in some weeding in the flower beds and I found a friend. A baby snapping turtle. It’s pretty harmless at this stage but we still steered clear of the business end.

Here’s a photo of an adult that visited us a couple of years ago. You DEFINITLY want to steer clear of the business end of an adult! Note that he’s almost 2′ from tip to tail.

Now that we’re back to the regular school schedule I thought I would share what our neighborhood bus stop looks like most weekdays. The edge of the woods are littered with bikes and scooters. Patiently waiting for their riders to return home from school. How cool is that? It always makes me smile when I pass by. When we lived in the city, these would have disappeared before the bus left the stop!

Anyhoo…vacation is over and it’s back to the grind. YEAH! I love my job!

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Quilter’s Getaway


I spent some time the last two weekends with the retreaters at Quilter’s Getaway Weekend held in Waterville Valley, NH. They hold retreats each spring and fall. Usually there are different attendees at each retreat, except for the organizers Carrie and Kathleen. At last weeks retreat Kathleen purchased my pattern Fish Frenzy. This week she had all the blocks done and hanging on the design wall. I just love her color choices – very evocative of sand and surf. Great job Kathleen, can’t wait to see it all completed.

The last few miles of the drive to the retreat follows along the Mad River. Normally at this time of year the river is raging with spring runoff. I stopped to take a picture. Where I was standing I should have been very wet and not able to see the rocks. It’s going to be a very dry summer…

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