Saturday, September 28, 2013


It started simply enough. We needed a new refrigerator.  Ours was getting on in years and the switch in the door for ICE had been broken for awhile.  We could have just replaced the door, but for a few hundred dollars more we could get a whole new refrigerator.  So, we waited until the old girl started to  fail and we went out and bought a new ice box.  That was last night.  Today we got a call at 6:55 am (on a Saturday) that the delivery truck was on it's way.  And I thought the only hassle would be to get it in the front door and into the kitchen.  Hah.  A path was cleared and the door came off.
That was too easy.  Way too easy.  At the appliance store last night we were given measurements and they matched our refrigerator size hole in the kitchen.  Good so far.   Alas, when the new one showed up, one of the measurements was off about 1 1/2".  The height.  Many options were discussed.  One included me leaving and finding someplace else to spend the day.  That one was veto-ed.  Damn.  Unfortunately the best option seemed to be to keep the refrigerator and make it work.  That meant the cabinet over the thing had to be raised.  Unfortunately, as it is a whole wall unit - the entire wall of cabinets had to be raised 1 1/2" from the floor.  The CHAOS commenced.  All the cabinets were emptied and the power tools came out.  

Honestly, this kitchen and dining room was clean a couple hours ago

My easy going Saturday of stitching and cooking and watching baseball has screeched to a halt.  Meanwhile, all our once refrigerated food is sitting out on the counter waiting for the new, tall, sleek, ice box to be plugged in.  Oh well, the freezer needed purging anyway.

So how do we commemorate this event?  How about a CHAOS sale on our Etsy site?  If you order any KIT on our Etsy site - use the word CHAOS in the coupon code box and get 20% off the kit!!!  We only have a few kits left of any one thing.  1 or 2 of most of the kits.  It would be nice to make some more room here - if you know what I mean - so let's sell out the kits section of our Minick and Simpson Etsy store!

You'll know where to find me for the rest of the day.....


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Report

It's been kind of a quiet weekend here (if you don't count the screaming at televised sporting events).
I have 3 of the 4 quilts hand quilted for 2013 Houston Quilt Market.  I started quilting the last one yesterday.

This is a close up of of Montmorency Medallion.  I am quilting with a Big Stitch and I hope to get quite a bit done today while watching the Tigers play/clinch the American Central Division.  Of course, to be able to clinch today - it all depends on what the Houston Astros do.  Astro' yeah, so it's kind of a long shot for today.  Probably will happen in a day or so.

I just washed Hurrah! and hung it on the line in the back yard.
(It's sideways so it doesn't drag on the ground..... tilt head a little to the left...)

There a lots of clothes pins to handle the weight of a wet quilt.  There was also a dog to stand guard.

Gibby the quilt guard dog

Starburst is in the washer now and will join Hurrah! on the line soon.  (Told you it wasn't very exciting here).

Have a happy Sunday


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Midwinter Reds Kits

Remember when I said that Midwinter Reds had starting shipping?  Well, I'm proof of that.  It just dropped on our doorstep this morning and I'm cutting up some kits.



A is For Apple

Click on the names of the quilts and it will take you to our Etsy store.  

If anyone wants me, I'll be at the cutting table with all the red and white fabric.  Kits are limited and they won't be around for long.  Enjoy.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Size Matters Blog Hop Winners!

Thank you everyone for following along on the Moda Blog Hop - Size Matters!

There were winners from all different blogs here (and they have already been contacted)

Teresa S. from Kent, WA., Sharon S. from Camano Island, Brynwood Needleworks, Karen W. from Brooklyn Park, Trillium from West Virginia, and Carol of Napa, CA., Kris from Greenbay

For some more good news...... Midwinter Reds has started to ship out to your favorite quilt shops.  It's just appearing in some and will finish shipping by the end of the week.  Yippee!

We also have a winner from just our blog comments!!  The winner of a Midwinter Reds Woven Fat Quarter Bundle is.....


Email us here and we'll get the bundle right out to you.

Make sure to go over the Moda's The Cutting Table for a pattern to put together all the different blocks from the hop.  It's grand!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are starting a productive week.  We had a great time. Food, family, and a little of this...


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Size Matters Blog Hop

Yeah, it's our day on the Moda Fabric Size Matters Blog Hop!  I bet you have been up all night wondering what we could possibly talk about on our day.  You are not the only one.  What can we say that hasn't been said before, or more specifically, inferred before?  As everyone has stated - bigger is better.  Big Hair,  Big Diamonds, and Big Macs.  What we have learned is that the only thing you want small is your dress size or your tax bill.

Here is our block.... and my version of it.

We really like this spool block. What are we going to do with it? Well, I'm saving these blocks and eventually all of them will be made into a one of a kind sampler quilt, but it looks like I might have to be invited along on a few more blog hops to get some more blocks.

You know where else size matters?  It matters in the size of your quilting stitch.  When I started to make quilts back when dinosaurs roamed the earth - the be all and end all was a teeny quilting stitch.  EVERYONE extolled the virtues of a small stitch.  They are beautiful, for sure. When I hand quilt with a traditional size stitch using a quilting needle (a teeny size 12) I love my small stitches, but even they are not THAT small.  I guess, if I had to measure, and depending on the fabric and batting used, they would measure anywhere from 8-12 stitches to the inch.  After quite a few years doing this I have found that the teeniest stitches are necessarily the best - but the most EVEN stitches are.  Whether in this traditional 8-12 per inch or in my new found passion - Big Stitch quilting.

I just love how I can hand quilt a quilt in a reasonably short period of time.  How long you ask?  Well, everyone is different of course, but I have found that for me, I can hand quilt a quilt using the Big Stitch technique in less than half the time.  Probably closer to 1/4 the amount of time.  If time is an issue, but you still want to hand quilt - I urge you to explore this option.  It's not for every quilt of course, but it works for a large amount.

I have posted a couple of videos on YouTube showing you how I do it.  I hope it inspires you.

Remember the blog continues today with Kathy Schmitz and Primitive Gatherings.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Grant Park Patterns

Here are the much anticipated (by me) new patterns that use our Grant Park fabric collection.....

Let us introduce to you....


This is our adaption of an antique quilt.  We think it looks contemporary.  It also looks like us.
You can find the download HERE on our Etsy site.

This is Montmorency Medallion.....

This little guy is an homage to our recent trip to France and at the same time, an homage to our home state of Michigan.  You can find the download HERE.

Last, but not least is Starburst....

Starburst is our first foray into paper pieced quilts and it also is an adaptation of an antique quilt we found online.  Yep, ANTIQUE and yet thoroughly modern.  The download is HERE.

Remember.... today is the 2nd day of the Size Matters Moda Blog Hop.  Here are today's stops.

Bunny Hill

Basic Grey


Hope you have a great day.  I'm going to go to my Pinterest page and try to figure out if there is some way I can filter out pins that feature anything pumpkin flavored.  Oy.


Sunday, September 1, 2013


Hello all.  Hope you are having a nice holiday weekend filled with family, football, baseball, tennis, cookouts, the beach, and getting ready for back to school.  Phew, that's a lot.  It's even better if you can fit in some stitching.  I am.  This one is all quilted except for the binding.
I've started hand quilting a second quilt and am moving right along on it.  I'm kind of in love with Big Stitch hand quilting for a number of reasons.  I like the look, and for me - it's very fast.  If that's a motivator for you, I can emphasize whole heartedly that it is fast.  I almost didn't want to tell you that.  The time issue has become a pet peeve with me.  Speed.  Fast.  Easy. These are buzz words in just about everything in American life and I don't necessarily think it's for the best.  It is really starting to bother me.  Sometimes it feels like I have to defend the decision to hand quilt anything (or do any sewing by hand).  It's always what I get the most questions about and the most stunned looks from.  It's as if people think I am forced to do it by hand - against my will. It's not true.  I actually like it and I prefer it.  Believe me, if I didn't like it I wouldn't do it.  

I guess what I want to say is if you enjoy handwork, don't put it off.  Do it!  Guess what, time passes anyway whether you are making something with your hands or not.  If you enjoy it - it makes the passage of time that much the better.

This is the second quilt I am hand quilting for Quilt Market in Houston.  
I'll be showing you this whole quilt in a few days when we unveil the Grant Park quilts.

This subject has been bothering me for awhile.  So much so, that I wanted to bring all hand quilted quilts to Market next month.  There are very few there, especially quilts that are used to showcase a new fabric collection.  The time frame that we are given to make the quilts almost guarantees that.  Almost.  Okay, you say..... "but I have other things to do besides just make quilts".  Well, me too.  Granted I get to use quite a bit of my time, but I do other things too.  Mostly I just quilt in the evening.  Once the kitchen is cleaned after dinner, and before I go to bed - that's my hand quilting time.  Because I made this goal of 4 hand quilted quilts at Market I have squeezed in other times too, but basically it's evenings.  No, I don't have the social life I used to have, but who does?  Evenings out are infrequent.  Here is my quilting spot with Gibby keeping me company.  My chair, the ottoman (with dog or without dog), my wagon of sewing tools, and my quilt.

I guess what I want to say is that it isn't a sacrifice on my time or my life.  I am not a slave to it.  

Earlier this year on the first episode of Project Runway (one of my faves), designer Bradon McDonald showed his work to the judges to see if he was accepted for the show.
Bradon McDonald of Season 12 of Project Runway

Bradon, bless him, uses lots of handwork on his clothing.  One of the pieces he showed the judges was hand embroidered.  He said "I put 15,000 stitches into this." I cringed. Ugh.  No Bradon! Please don't tell me you counted your stitches?!?  Sigh.  Who DOES that? And why?  The judges did all the things I am used to seeing people do when you tell them you hand stitched something.  They gasped, they exclaimed surprise, and more than a bit of pity.  "Poor Braden, slaving away" I imagined them thinking.  No, not poor Braden.  Good for Braden for doing handwork and for obviously enjoying it. (except for the counting part - lose that part Braden).

So, I am taking hand quilted quilts to Market not to show off, or to get pity, but to show that it can be done.  And it can be done joyfully.  //steps down off soapbox//

Ok, where were we......  besides showing our new quilt patterns soon - there is a Moda Blog Hop starting this week.

Here is the Blog Hop Schedule...

September 4, 2013

Laundry Basket Quilts
French General
Zen Chic

September 5, 2013

Bunny Hill
Basic Grey

September 6, 2013

September 9, 2013

September 10, 2013

September 11, 2013

Minick and Simpson

September 12, 2013

September 13, 2013

September 14, 2013

Be there or be square!


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