Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Enjoying all the Island had to offer...

Connie and I flew into Seattle Thursday morning, then headed north to Anacortes to meet the ferry the next day. Our first stop was a delightful deli in Marysville, WA for the most spectacular California Turkey Sandwich I've ever had. Fresh avacado and a special salsa dressing made it perfect. They even throw in one of their homemade cookies for the road! Can't beat that.

In LaConnor, we love to explore the rows of little boutiques and shops with clothing and accessories unlike anything we see in the midwest. After dumping our purchases in the car, we headed up the hill to Nell Thorn for dinner on the patio. We shared an outdoor feast of crab cakes, tender assorted green & yellow beans in a light viniagrette sauce and a lusciously creamy berry dessert. We started the day off right with brunch at Calico's in Anacortes then headed to the ferry. Usually arriving an hour or so before boarding is plenty of time - except during the summer on a Friday - duh! We waited more than 4 hours in line to drive on the ferry, but it was worth it to know we had a spot. We made the best of it with cookies and Diet Coke while Connie stitched and we caught up visiting. Before we even set foot on the island, we encountered enterprising ferry-goers grilling a feast on their tailgate grill, making the most of their wait time. Connie made herself at home as the grillmaster - check out her smooth technique with the tongs.

Once on Orcas Island, we headed for our cozy secluded cottage ( to unpack, then straight back to town for dinner at Luna's. Tender, homemade ravioli stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and cheese was the perfect end to the day.

Saturday morning, we made a beeline for the downtown market to check out everything from fresh fruits & veggies & gorgeous bouquets of flowers to homemade art and crafts of all kinds. After shopping for jewelry and pottery, we took a break and had these two handsome fellows make us fresh fruit smoothies in a rather unique way. Delicious!

The wafting aromas from the unique food vendors, including fried oysters (Connie's husband's absolute favs!) called to us by late morning. So far in my life, I've never had to eat more than one oyster - memorably awful. But we dared to try them, they weren't too bad, now we're done.

After more shopping, we stopped to indulge in a relatively new island offering - Kathryn Taylor Chocolates. A cup of frozen chocolate drink topped with chocolate whipped cream to savor with a delectable chocolate almond torte was the perfect mid-day mood booster (like we needed it). We were thoroughly enjoying our chocolates, making yummy noises, when a table full of ladies beside us leaned over and asked, "What are you having?" Right out of When Harry Met Sally....
Our perfect day continued with more shopping, then dinner at Chilada's Mexican restaraunt with fish tacos that were to die for (no dessert). Sunday morning started with brunch at the Olga Gallery with omelets, cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate and homemade granola we bought to eat with yogurt and fresh berries the next morning. Supper was simply the best with a piece of berry pie from Passionate for Pies with locally made ice cream as we sat by the water and savored the cool evening breezes.
I can't say enough good things about Orcas and the people who live there and so generously share their little piece of heaven with the tourists. Maybe it's the weather, or the food, or the wonderful company. It was a girlfriend's weekend to remember.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Charming Thursday. Then watch for highlights of my shopping trips over the weekend - just as soon as I get unpacked!

And don't forget about the Moda Blog Hop beginning Sept. 6th. I'll have more info tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Bit of Heather

Connie (The Little Wool Shoppe in Windsor CO) and I are waiting on the ferry this morning, heading back to the realities of life and work after reveling in 4 glorious days of chatting, shopping, eating and relaxing in the beautiful southwest. We stayed at a property owned by Jennifer Fralick at Cabins on the Point on Orcas, nestled in the Heather cabin on the water's edge in a setting as close to paradise as you can get. I love waking to the sound of the ocean and the clean, crisp smell of the air - and no flies or mosquitoes!!!! After weeks of 100+ temps in KS, this was such a fabulous respite for body and spirit. We're already planning a return trip with the hubbies for next year.

I awoke in my bed perched among the tree tops with an amazing ocean view each morning. A little bird tweeted outside my window as a kinder, gentler nature's alarm clock. So sublime.

The artisans and foliage on the island are so inspiring. Watch over the next couple weeks for pics of food and finds - just as soon as UPS delivers it!

Now to the business of the day - the winner of the WSII charm pack is Barb, the first to comment this week. Congrats!

I've so enjoyed reading all your comments each week. Stay tuned for the Moda Blog Hop beginning Sept. 1st. I'll have a list of designers here as soon as I get home on Wed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Orcas Island, WA


A poor WiFi connection here on the island is limiting my blogging - no pics until I'm back in civilization. So, the winner of the WSII charm pack is Barb with her #1 comment. Watch tonight for a first look at vacation pics.

Much more as I return to the real world once more.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Orcas Island, WA

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wildflower Serenade II Charming Thursday

Wildflower Serenade II- #26 in the KT fabric collection - is our featured charm pack this week. Lighter tans and blues were inspired by a wonderfully detailed French print. The addition of these colors provided a bit of "pop" to the KT classic navy, red, green and black. One of my personal favorites was the small bird print with a dotted background.
A couple of the projects created using this line are below.

Petit Fours - Lap quilt features a Honey Bun & Charm Pack; Queen Quilt features a Jelly Roll & Layer Cake. Pattern $3.00

                         Flower Shoppe Quartet - 1 Jelly Roll, 2 lights, 2 darks, 2 easy! Pattern $3.00

Email Robert directly now thru Sept. 1st at for a deep discount on these project sheets - just $3.00 each. Help us clean out the storeroom to make way for all the new patterns coming this fall.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day #1 - Buggy Barn

A delightful group of WA ladies (and one all the way from Houston, TX) spent the day with me playing with Layer Cakes to create Skipping Stones quilts. Lori and her 3 friends were the envy of all with die-cut triangles.

A wonderful lunch of Curried Chicken Salad & a yummy chocolatey-mint dessert was enjoyed and savored. A visit to the famous Buggy Barn quilt shop scored a couple of quilt books, some beautiful wools, the new 2012 Buggy Barn Calendar and a messenger bag with this year's logo. Reardon's own Bubba's Bar served up cheeseburgers, awesome onion rings and a local brew. Very tasty!

Out the door for Day #2!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today's winner...

Congrats to Marcia W. You're the winner of this week's Wildflower Serenade charm pack. Be sure to keep watching for the grand giveaway at the end of the year for a charm pack of each of the 36 KT fabric lines to date. That's over 1200 different 5" squares!!

Stay in touch thru September for another Moda Country Fair Blog Hop. More than twenty different designers will offer prizes and free patterns galore for those persistent quilters who follow along each day. KT day is September 16th, so be sure to check in then.

I'll send pics from the Buggy Barn!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wildflower Serenade Charming Thursday

Featured this week is KT fabric collection #25 - Wildflower Serenade. Some lighter, brighter colors joined the KT classics for a fresh look in this line. An antique quilt inspired the crewelwork prints.

A friend of mine with a keen eye, Connie Huddleson (designer for Starry Pines and proprietor of The Little Wool Shoppe in Windsor, CO) found the quilt (see Wednesday's post pic) at Houston Market several years ago. The center appears to be a remnant from crewel-work drapery panels with assorted star and hexagon blocks arranged around the perimeter, some just whacked off to fit. She knew immediately I'd love it - and she was right. Don't you wish we could be that free with our quilts? Just piece and chop as needed. How freeing!

crewelwork center of antique quilt

Wildflower Star Duet features a centerpiece of the reproduction crewelwork fabric surrounded by 2 sizes of stars. Pattern $3.00.

 Flower Basket Trio - rich reds, browns and tans pieced into beautiful baskets for your bed. Pattern $3.00.

Email Robert directly ( today thru Sept. 2nd for either of these patterns at clearance prices and actual shipping costs.  Watch for more patterns next week.

Check in Monday for the winner of the Wildflower Serenade charm pack. I'll be on my way to the Buggy Barn in Reardon, WA for their annual outdoor quilt show/classes. Hoping for cooler weather. I'll check in via my iPad (if it cooperates!).

Monday, August 15, 2011


The winner of the Cranberry Wishes Charm Pack is....Nancy E. Enjoy a little bit of KT Christmas for your holidays this year. Check the website for our Christmas Specials - quantities limited on some items. All of our Christmas-themed patterns are 33% off retail, so don't wait until Dec. 1st!

While retreating with Pam last week, I made a quilt in a day - eat your heart out Eleanor Burns, I really got in done in 1 day! Of course, it's soooooo simple to piece.  I wanted to make a fun lap quilt with big chunks to showcase the Flannel Days fabric - cutting it into little pieces and fighting bulky seams wasn't my idea of fun. Because of the connectors between strips in the border, it looked like puzzle pieces to me, hence the name Puzzled. The pattern will be on our website later this week - FREE! Kits will be available for $50 for the top/binding - 1 1/2 yds for the center + (8) 1/2 yards for the borders & binding. You'll have a choice of several colorways but only a couple of each - so don't wait!

With the weather cooling off a bit at night, I'm dreaming of Flannel Days and soft, cuddly quilts. I have a feeling all of my kids will be adding it to their lists when they snuggle up to this one.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cranberry Wishes Charming Thursday

I had a delightfully relaxing, productive, enjoyable time with Pam the past few days. We talked, stitched, visited, ate, discussed and shopped til we absolutely had to part ways. Pam arrived with a special surprise for my birthday - a little quilt! It's diminutive size and collection of KT prints only make it that much more awesome.It will have a prominent spot in my studio where I can enjoy it daily. It's laying on the "wrapping paper" - a star-spangled towel in matching navy & tan. Very cool. This is one chick who knows me well.

So on to the business at hand today - even tho I am about 12 hours late. No internet here in the outback this morning. Severe storms the other night didn't affect a thing, but a cool breeze last night knocked out the TV and internet - who knew???

This weeks charm pack is Cranberry Wishes. A very busy holly print was simplified and reduced in size to create the featured fabric for this line. Tiny stars, a printed grid plaid and floral motif decked out in holiday colors complete the look.

We used a Jelly Roll to make a simple holiday quilt that could be used all year round.

Question of the week: Do you make/love/decorate with Christmas themed quilts in your home? Let me know by Sunday night and we'll announce a winner on Monday. You'll also get a sneak peek at the project I completed in just one day while petting the new Flannel Days fabrics.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Garden Inspirations Winner

Aleece and I spent the week creating t-shirts, flip-flops and a book bag - no quilting this time. After a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby, her head was turned by all the shiny beads and baubles and bling. I guess that makes her a pretty average 6-yr-old. I was fascinated by her choices and encouraged her to experiment with different techniques. She used stick-on stencils (that stuck to themselves more than the garments), glue on beads and flowers and fabric markers to "paint" with. Here's part of the results:

The little artist posed with some of her creations. Her favorite thing to do right now is to write love notes and draw little cards for me to hang on the 'frig, but with 5 grandkids all vying for space, I found these cool foam-backed frames she can open and change each time she visits. That way, she chooses "the best" stuff to keep and we can rotate the dozens of pictures, notes and pins to display.

All in all, a fun way to spend the week, but now I'm playing catch up - again!

Now to the winner of the Garden Inspirations charm pack - jmniffer. Congrats and thanks for commenting. Email your address and we'll send it right out.

As for my week, I'm taking a few days of creative play with my designer friend, Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts. We met halfway in Des Moines, IA for a couple days of intense girlfriend time. She always challenges me to learn more about this techie world we navigate in and inspires lots of ideas. I am blessed to have her as a colleague and buddy. We all need those girlfriends in our lives that just "get us". How do spend quality time with your inspiring girlfriends?

See you all Later this week for another edition of ChArming Thursday.

Location:Des Moines, IA

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Garden Inspirations Charming Thursday

Our featured charm pack this week is Garden Inspirations. It premiered in 2008 just after we finished the cabin and my mind was on landscaping. When you build in a pasture next to a wheat field, it's pretty much a blank slate.  My studio is on the front of the cabin with full length windows the width of the room with a view of the pond and trees. I knew I wanted a flower garden on both sides of the flagstone walkway to the porch just outside my windows - kinda planned, but more just an assortment of deer resistant wildflowers that would thrive in the Kansas weather with little special care. I love my garden, but I'm not a constant gardener. Coneflowers, shasta daisies and liatris with some day lilies and decorative grasses fill in most of the space. Other purple and yellow flowers (that I cannot name) fill in between. If I'm ever stumped for a theme to a fabric line or quilt, gazing out my window seems to provide inspiration any time of year - but late summer when everything is in bloom is my favorite.

These are a couple of the projects inspired by Garden Inspirations - Springtime Mini Table Treat & Flowers by the Cabin. A couple ladies at the Quilt 'n Kaboodle workshop on Sat. made the Springtime topper with satisfying results. Flowers by the Cabin is a former KT Stash project but will be a single pattern before fall market.

Have I asked if you're a gardener and a quilter? How does your garden grow? With lots of care and fussing - or on it's own?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Monday Winner

The winner of the Autumn Journey charm pack this week is "farmgal". Enjoy!

I love hearing from quilters who have taken my workshops and send pictures of their finished projects. Here's one from Nancy Reed of Wabash, IN. I love that she reconfigured the blocks in Five & Dime, making it a "Nancy original".

That's Nancy, third from the left in blue. The workshop in Wabash, hosted by Quilts 'n Bloom, was held in a wonderfully renovated old gym with a stage - very fun. We're posing on the steps to the stage here. Thanks to all the ladies of Wabash - and shop owner Cheryl - for an entertaining event.

Send your pictures to You just might make the blog!

Aleece and I are off to the building to work this morning, swim this afternoon and wait on the plumber to come fix our water pump. What a time for the well to shut down! No showers, no laundry, no's almost as bad as having no electricity at all!

Stay cool,