Posts Tagged ‘Cabin In The Woods Quilters’

Fiesta de Azucar – Block 1, The Painted Lady

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Well, it’s finally here…the start of Fiesta de Azucar. Are you guys ready? Woo Hoo, let’s get this party started!

Dia De Los Muertos is a South American tradition to honor our loved ones who have passed on. As a kid I lived in Mexico for a while and I remember the holiday fondly. We would go to the cemetery for a picnic and tell stories of those that had passed. There would be games to play, brightly colored decorations and lots of sweets. I remember these little cookies with skulls painted on them that were very tasty. The holiday usually falls about the same time as the American Halloween festivities. I think this is why Dia De Los Muertos is so misunderstood in America…skulls around Halloween just seems somewhat sinister to folks who don’t understand. It is anything but sinister. It’s a family affair and couldn’t be more wholesome. Families would decorate skulls in honor of their relatives. The skulls have symbolism that is relevant to that person and they would often have the person’s initials on the forehead.

My skull for this project is to honor my mother-in-law, Marge Sontra, I called her Mom. She was a painter who specialized in line art on porcelain. She would work with brushes that had just a couple of hairs. Way more patience than I have! Here are a few pieces she did that live in my house.

    

She was also an avid (as in DOZENS and DOZENS and DOZENS) collector of tea cups. Tea cups are not really my thing so I don’t have any of hers around. She preferred dainty cups festooned with flowers and greenery. Her favorite colors were lavender, robins egg blue and pink. Being of good English stock she liked her meat cooked to shoe leather and her veggies cooked to a nice uniform gray. She made the best potato salad EVER!

Mom died of breast cancer in 1999.  The doctors said she wouldn’t make it to the birth of my baby but she managed to hang on almost to Moosette’s 1st birthday. In turn Moosette did everything early – walking, talking, potty training…just so Grandma Marge could see her do it. Those two were a treasure to each other. I remember once when we popped in for a visit. Mom was getting ready to go somewhere and had put on a wig for the occasion. Moosette wanted nothing to do with her. Once Mom took the wig off then Moosette was ever so grateful for the rescue from that “stranger” who had tried to hug and kiss her. Her Grandma was bald and that woman was not – therefore she must be an impostor. One can never be too careful around strangers! The picture at the top is this moment. Moosette looks like she’s really nervous. She started bawling right after the photo.

It seemed fitting that Moosette and I would design our skull together. Our Marge skull has palette eyes, paintbrush eyebrows, pretty flowers (the Aster on the forehead was Mom’s birth month flower) and, of course, little tea cups on the chin. There is a heart for love as well as swirls and flowers that were often on her tea cups. And I’m sure you noticed that she’s bald…we wouldn’t have it any other way!

You can find full instructions and templates on my Craftsy page. All this awesomeness for a mere $3…can you even buy coffee for that anymore? Check out the next stops in the blog hop for more blocks. We’ll also have two different border options at the end. Make any project with at least one of our skull blocks, post a photo on our FaceBook group page and you get a shot at some great prizes. It’s really just that simple…

Timeline:

Beginning on July 1st through August 26th 2017 each designer will release their skull design. On September 2nd and September 9th there will be two border designs released. Here’s the schedule along with the participants and their blogs.

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

September 9th – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

 

Spring Quilt Market 2017 – Part 1

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

I just got back from Spring Quilt Market and thought I would share some of what I saw with you guys. I have lots of photos so I’ll do it in two blog posts. For those that don’t know…Market is held twice a year, Houston in the fall and changing cities in the spring. This year was St. Louis and next spring is in Portland OR. This is a trade show for quilting businesses. Quilt shops come to see what is the newest and latest items from fabric companies, notion peddlers and pattern designers. It’s sort of like a large (VERY large!) quilt show but on steroids. This show was held in a convention center that was four blocks long. My hotel was at one end and my booth at the other…I got lots and lots of walking done! There were 32 aisles of vendors. I was in aisle 29 right next to the networking lounge. Here’s what my booth looked like when I arrived and the finished product.

 

My booth was a little skimpy compared to most of the others because everything I needed had to fit into the two suitcases that I flew with and they couldn’t weigh more than 50 lbs. It was an engineering feat.  I had to bring carpet, drapes, quilts, patterns, lots of flyers, table cover, chair cover, decorations, etc. I also had to squeeze some clothes in there somewhere…and deodorant, everyone was glad I could fit the deodorant! It was also a little skimpy because I’m not a large corporation with deep pockets…

 

The first day is set-up of the booth areas. There are dozens of fork-lifts whizzing around, huge crates in the aisles, litter and debris from unpacking everywhere…it’s controlled chaos. Very exciting. This poor lift driver had to maneuver through our aisle. Once all the fork-lift work is complete then they lay the red carpet in the aisles. It’s amazing how everything gets done.

Day two is Schoolhouse all day and Sample Spree at night. Schoolhouse is 15-30 minute classes all day. You get the program in the morning and have to choose your classes. Each time slot has about a dozen classes to choose from. Here are all the shop owners looking over their schedules waiting for the first classes to start. Some of the classes are companies or designers showing off their newest items, others are how-to classes for all the business things we need to know.

I helped out a few friends during their schoolhouse sessions. Here’s Tammy Silvers of Tamarini’s showing off quilts made with her new line Batiks Go Retro from Island Batik. Also a shot of her booth on the Market floor. The purple and orange bag on the floor is one I made in her fabrics!

Here’s Ebony Love showing off her new block of the month program made with her new line Sakura, also by Island Batik. Also a shot of her booth on the Market floor.

 

Here’s my friend Penni Domikis of Cabin In The Woods Quilters showing off her new EPP templates along with her Vanna White Kelly Ann Richardson of Kelly Ann’s Quilting. I’m very excited that Penni will be a special guest celebrity in my booth during Maine Quilts in July! You’ll get to see her in action and check out her really cool new EPP templates.

Sample Spree is two hours of madness. Think day-after-Thanksgiving shopping for quilters but you only get two hours. Some of the tables are piled high with thread, fabric, pattern kits…all kinds of stuff. The shop owners swarm in and start grabbing.

   Tomorrow I’ll share some photos of the Market floor and some sights around the city.

Retreats are…

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Have you ever been on a retreat? Ever wonder what really goes on at one? I have run retreats and/or been entertainment at them for years now but had only been a complete guest once before (no business obligations at all)…and it was a very long time ago. I recently had the pleasure of being a complete guest and it was such a wonderful time. Can’t wait to do it all again!

 

Retreats come in all shapes and sizes. They can have guest teachers or just do-your-own-thing, guests can know each other previously or not, there can be lots of people or just a few, catered food or cook your own…you get the idea. There is bound to be a retreat out there that fits the bill for what you want. If not, make up your own rules and host one! Our retreat was held at Sew-clusion Retreats in Sebago Maine with our Hostess Patty Sawyer. If you need a place to have a retreat I highly recommend Patty’s place. It’s right on a lake, beautiful scenery, shopping nearby (quilty and otherwise), our rooms were well appointed (I had the purple room!) and everything was comfy cozy. The photos above are the views in the summertime and winter. Below is a view looking back from the beach during the summertime.

Why so few pictures from my visit? Well, ya know…ya get to relaxing and forget to take pictures… My fellow retreaters were equally relaxed. They snapped a couple of photos on their way there and then that was that. Here they are picking up some quilting wine at the store.

 

That would be, from left to right, Kris Poor of Poorhouse Quilt Designs, Penni Domikis of Cabin In The Woods Quilters, Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design and Joanne Hillestad of The Fat Quarter Gypsy. Our hostess Patty is from Maine (obviously), Kris and I are both from New Hampshire and the other three flew in from their corners of the country. Kris had chauffeur duty to and from the airport. Ask a group of quilters to pack a car while leaving room for 4 people and they will get it done!

Our retreat was a cook-your-own-meals arrangement and we had all worked out ahead of time what we were going to fix, making sure our fly-ins didn’t have to fill their suitcases with food. So how much food does it take to feed 6 ladies for a long weekend? Apparently a lot!

 And this didn’t include what I brought. We did have a well stocked bar too…not that any of us drank any of it… no really, quilters don’t drink! That’s the rumor at least…I never listen to rumors…

  

So what did we all work on? Well, I can’t give you specifics or show you pictures (whew…’cause I didn’t take any!) but we all worked on new patterns coming out later this year, did some marketing strategy, shared insights and generally had a great time. We stayed up late, got up early, ate meals at odd times…there’s something to be said for spending time with people who understand the ins and outs of your particular business. More so since we all tend to work alone the majority of the time. A sounding board is a wonderful thing.

It wasn’t all business though. I did have the pleasure of escorting Penni out onto the ice. She had never been on a frozen lake before. Penni walked on water! We got a ways out and the lake made a gurgle…then there were lots of gurgles…did I mention we were standing near a fishing hole cut into the ice? That was followed by words not fit for print and some name calling directed towards lil ‘ol me. She still loves me though…I think…

 

I think everyone should have the retreat experience. Look around for one that looks good to you. You can start right here and check out the retreats I offer! Not to brag but I hear that I put on a pretty fun time at my retreats…

 

Blast Off – Last Chance…

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Today is the last chance to get some free stuff. Check back on my previous posts and add a comment to any that you missed. Check out my fellow blog hoppers and leave comments on their posts too. Not all of them have chosen their winners yet! I’ll be choosing the grand prize winner sometime this evening. Why the vague timeframe? We have a new graduate in the house and it’s party time today!

Graduation was yesterday followed by an all night Grad Night. They all went to Massachusetts to a water park, then a roller rink/bowling alley and finally Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and returned in a zombie state to school at 6:30 this morning. Just enough time for a power nap before the afternoon parties start! So, sometime this evening when I get home I’ll be picking a winner.

 

Here is a list with links to the blog hoppers…

Friday 6/3 Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs – Overview
Saturday 6/4 Susan Emory Swirly Girls Design
Sunday 6/5 Tammy Silver, Tamarinis
Monday 6/6 Elaine Perez, Summercrafter
Tuesday 6/7 Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs
Wednesday 6/8 Sandi Blackwell, Stitched Buy
Thursday 6/9 Sue & Elizabeth, PG Fiber2Art
Friday 6/10 Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods
Saturday 6/11 Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy
Sunday 6/12 Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs – Wrap-up, grand prize winner selected

Blast Off – Cabin In The Woods Quilters

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Today’s guest blog hopper is Penni Domikis of Cabin In The Woods Quilters. Penni is a pattern designer, author, longarmer and Terial Magic Queen. Terial Magic is a liquid fabric stabilizer. I have some on order and can’t wait to put it through the paces to learn all about it…and then pass that onto you!

At some point in the past Penni had trouble making the available plastic templates work for her patterns. She then did what any good entrepreneur does…made her own!

about us pic  

Penni has also written several books and does guild presentations around her scappy concept. She promises no pre-cutting and no pre-pressing. Yup, you read that right! Just grab your scraps and get to making something wonderful. That sounds like something I REALLY need to hear more about! Check out her website to learn more about her products. Schedule her to come to your guild to teach you her scrappy methods. Then invite me to come too. I’m a lazy quilter and her method sounds wonderful…

 

You can visit Penni’s blog to see what shes got going on. Be sure and leave a comment for a chance at her giveaway. You can also find her at these social media locations:

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cabininthewoodsquilters/?fref=ts
  • Instagram:  search cabinquilters
  • Website: http://cabininthewoodsquilters.com/

Grand Prize Comment:  Before you head over to Penni’s leave a comment here to be entered for a chance at the grand prize by answering this question…

Yes, Penni lives in a cabin in the woods. Yes, I live in the woods. Two rural quilters who live many states apart and yet we manage to find each other. The internet is a beautiful thing sometimes. What’s your favorite social media site? Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter…some other one I haven’t figured out yet?