Thursday, April 24, 2008

AQS Show Winners, Paducah, KY

What a gorgeous day in Denver, CO! While some of us are here holding down the fort, so to say, several of our employees are either working at the AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky, or just enjoying it. It is one of my favorite shows to attend! The whole city joins in to welcome over 35,000 quilt makers to their town. Quilts are hung just about everywhere.

We sponsor the Judges’ Recognition Award and we also have a vendor booth. The judges this year were Libby Lehman, Gabrielle Swain, and Donna Wilder. They awarded our own Sandi Fruehling’s Rocky Mountain Floral Bouquet first place in the Traditional Small Wall Quilt category, sponsored by Free Spirit/Westminster. Way-to-go Sandi! To see Sandi’s prize winning quilt as well as the quilts the judges chose for their Judges’ Recognition Award, go to and click on “View 2008 Paducah Quilt Winners”. You might also want to see the big prize winners.

Another honor goes to Ann Petersen. She was a winner in the AQS contest “Sawtooth: New Quilts from an Old Favorite” The winning quilts are now on display in the AQS Museum in Paducah and are published in the book Sawtooth: New Quilts from an Old Favorite. The quilts had to be original interpretations of a classic block. The winners also share a little about their inspiration and design process. Ann’s quilt is absolutely stunning. Kudos to Ann!

Judy, Katie, and Karol Ann, are working in the booth and scouting out new quilting treasures on their breaks. They said one of the top-sellers in our booth was our slap bracelet pincushions. They make a great little present to take home to someone who was not able to attend the show. Hmmm—I wonder what they might bring home for me…….
Happy Day,

Teaching in Fairfax, Virginia

We returned on Saturday, April 19th from Fairfax, Virginia, where we taught two classes and gave a lecture to the Quilter’s Unlimited Guild of Fairfax. We had a great time! It was a delightful group and they gave us such a warm reception. We told them that they would be the first ones to be featured in pictures, on our blog. Now, I can’t say that picture taking is one of my best skills, but I sure do have fun giving it a try. The Fairfax group enjoyed our lecture, and they were amazed when we told them that we had written over 65 books. During the second day of our program many members brought in some of our really old books to be autographed. When we looked at pictures from Deck the Halls (1989) we had to mention that the kids in the pictures are now almost 20 years older, and one of them even has 2 kids of her own! It was so much fun to share, and great to travel down memory lane.

We had beautiful, warm weather and two fantastic hostesses to chauffeur us around. Wendy McQuown and Elaine Stemetzki did an incredible job of getting us where we needed to be on time, and then entertained us with fun and delicious dinners. No wonder teaching can be so much fun!

During our lecture we were able to share quilts from our new books, Simple to Sensational Batiks and Time for a Chain II. People loved to know that they were getting a sneak preview from our new books, which will be in our warehouse during the first week of May. It did make me a little nervous to send those quilts through the baggage system of the airlines, as you just never know what can happen. However, all turned out well and there were no glitches!

It was nice to have part of the weekend to get caught up on home life and have an hour or two just to play. I have seen so many great projects in the last couple of weeks that I just had to have some “me” time to sew (and in a week or two I’ll share some of the exciting things I’m working on!) However, with a family, a grandson’s baseball game, and walking the dog, it’s tough to get a lot of time in my sewing studio. It’s always there, and I jump into the studio as often as I can!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nancy's trip to Chicago Quilt Festival

I always thought that the excitement of quilting would die down for me after 20 some years, but that just hasn’t seemed to happen. I decided to make a quick trip to the Chicago Quilt Festival. We were not vending or teaching and I was just there to check everything out at my own leisurely pace. It was a bit of a challenge to get to Chicago, as Denver had a fairly large spring snow storm along with cold. Arriving in Chicago I found more weather issues with horizontal wind and rain! I left my house at 7:00 am to end up in Chicago at 5:00 pm, remembering that it is a 2 hour and 15 minute flight! Can you tell that I really wanted to go?

The show was great and I found so many fun things. Unfortunately I am pretty aware of what is out in the industry and thus didn’t find a whole lot of brand new things. However I certainly found some things that I couldn’t live without.

Two ladies from Colorado, Terry Taylor and Michele Cushman, have started a new company EYEmbellishments. They have produced dishware for the last umpteen years and are now branching out into fired clay embellishments. Their new products are wonderful and I found my share of “need to have” treasures. Be sure to check out their web site, These new trinkets are definitely “one of a kind” gems!

I also had my share of fun at Wendy Richardson’s booth. She used to be under the name of Quilt Studio but has changed back to just Wendy Richardson, as no one could remember Quilt Studio. She dyes and overdyes printed fabric including lace, doilies, clothing, velvets, seam binding, etc. What fun--I absolutely love her things. (You can see her amazing creations at

I had time to look at all of the quilts and did not feel like I was in a hurry, (which is often the case). It was a gift! I had a great dinner on Friday night with the two wonderful ladies from Artgirlz, Lisa Englebrecht, Terry, Michele, Wendy, Rosemary and myself. Lots of good laughs and stories went around. I was ready to come home on Saturday morning, but felt so pleased to have taken the time to smell the roses (in my case look at the quilts) and just plain have fun. Lucky me!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Books for Spring!

While Nancy was in Chicago discovering what is new for quilters at Quilt Festival, I have been working on our Quilt Market Schoolhouse presentation. For those of you unfamiliar with Quilt Market, it is the quilt industry's bi-annual trade show. In the fall, it is always in Houston, Texas. The spring market travels each year, and will be held in Portland, Oregon this May. Schoolhouse is a chance for vendors to educate customers (shop owners) as to what is new and how to market it to the quilting public.

In our case, we have two new books to present. The first book is Time for a Chain II, an incredible technique book on making single, double, and triple Irish Chain quilts. The second book is Simple to Sensational Batiks. I have been involved with the production of both of these books from the beginning and know what our premise was in writing them. But, holy cow! When I start to tell others about them, I truly realize how wonderful and inspirational these books are.

The sewing and pressing techniques we have developed in our first Time for a Chain book make Irish Chain quilts piece together like magic. For those of you who teach quilting, you will want to review and teach from our new book, Time for a Chain II. We've included all new quilts in wonderful fabric combinations for single, double, and triple chains.

The quilts in Simple to Sensational Batiks repeat five basic elements from straight seams to paper piecing to curves. Jump in anywhere depending on your quilting experience. The quilts range from simple to sensational (just as the title says!).

I can't wait for you to see these new books, so we've included a little sneak peak of my favorite quilt from each book.
"Holland Treasure" from Time for a Chain II

"Velvet Nights" from Simple to Sensational Batiks

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coming Soon!

We've entered the 21st century and we're ready to start blogging! Nancy is in Chicago this weekend at the Quilt Festival and will return full of good stories to share and new products to tell you about.

Bookmark this page as we are going to be blogging away very soon!