Loose ends…

26 Apr The Northcott gals at the Quilt Marathon

 

The Northcott gals at the Quilt Marathon

The Northcott gals at the Quilt Marathon

Fellow Quilters,

As soon as I wrote my last blog post, I thought “Oh, I meant to include…  and I forgot to include…”  It’s kind of like going to the grocery store without a list, because I left it on the kitchen counter.  Does anyone else do that too?

On March 1, I coerced several gals from Northcott to join me in a Quilt Marathon at Quilter’s Cupboard in Uxbridge, ON.  This is the 3rd time that owner Sue Carmichael has organized a marathon to raise money for cancer programs.  The 30-hour hand-quilting marathon is broken down into ten 3-hour shifts, with 8-10 quilters in each shift.  Like any marathon, the participants collect pledges, except we let our stitches do the running instead of our feet.  Hania (Marketing Coordinator), Jennifer (Marketing Specialist), Susanne (piecer extraordinaire and breast cancer survivor), Ghazal (Graphics whiz) and I were joined by Laurie Moynes, our northern/eastern Ontario sales rep and resident hand quilter.  We dressed up in pink for the occasion, and eagerly took our places around the queen-sized quilt frame under the watchful eye of Laurie.  That’s me with the pink hair (from Jennifer’s stash of costume stuff).  Quilter’s Cupboard had 2 quilt frames on the go, and is still collecting pledges, but has raised $38,500 so far.  Woohoo!  We had a lot of fun, judging from the chatter in the car on the way back to the office.
I have been invited to participate in another blog tour for Quiltmakers 100 Blocks.  Volume 7 hits newsstands shortly, and the blog tour starts next week.  In fact, I am posting on Monday April 29, so you may want to visit and post a comment for your chance to win a copy of Volume 7 or one of the fabric prizes that I am throwing in.  I had a lot of fun playing with some of the blocks.

I wanted to share a photo of an awesome quilt from Debbie Kalenty of Quilters Obsession in Flagtown NJ.

Debbie's BOM program made with Stonehenge Woodland

Debbie’s BOM program made with Stonehenge Woodland

She is using Stonehenge Woodland for a Block of the Month program by Wing and a Prayer.  Doesn’t it look great?!?

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak to a group of 175 dedicated quilters in Kirkland Lake, ON at their biennial meeting of the area guilds.  I call them dedicated because all of us drove through a Spring snow and ice storm to get there.

Pat of Pins & Needles

Pat of Pins & Needles

There was a merchant mall, with several vendors selling Northcott, including

Judy of The Hobby Shop

Judy of The Hobby Shop

Judy Gryska of The Hobby Shop in Kirkland Lake, Pat Kraznosen of Pins & Needles in Haileybury, Lori’s Quilt Shop in Timmins, and Christina Doucette of NeedleWorks in Cochrane.  In fact, Christina had my Polar Opposites pattern made up and hanging in her booth!

Christina of NeedleWorks with my Polar Opposites pattern

Christina of NeedleWorks with my Polar Opposites pattern

I was thrilled to see it.  It was great to see some of my quilting “buds” from previous Elk Lake retreats, and to make some new friends.

With the snowfall, I was able to get in one last day of snowboarding before hanging up my board for the season.  I didn’t want the day to end!!  It was tough deciding which run to choose as the last run of the season.  I am already looking forward to next winter – how crazy is that?!?  Now it’s time to clean up the garden and dust off the golf clubs…

Cheers,

Patti

Announcing the Stone Strip Winners

22 Mar

Fellow Quilters,

I was on Lisa Sipes’ blog (www.thatcrazyquiltygirl.blogspot.com) the other day, and had to laugh at one of her posts, where she commented at the start of one particular post that she didn’t intend to leave her readers hanging for 2 months between posts, but that life just seems to get in the way.  I can SO relate!  When I was contemplating entering the blogosphere, Aaron, Northcott’s resident expert on all things web-based, said that most blogs fizzle and die because bloggers run out of things to blog about.  That will NEVER happen with me.  I have so many things I want to share with you that, by the time I get around to writing a blog, the list is so long that it is overwhelming.  Northcott staffer Hania keeps reminding me on days like this that the best way to eat an elephant (my overwhelming list) is one bite at a time, so…here are my bits and bites.

Thanks to all of you who left comments on the new Stonehenge Strip packs.  If your comments reflect the success of these packs, there will be a lot of Stone Strip quilts being made in the next few years.  I tabulated the results of your comments, and determined that many of you need a vacation or are tired of winter, because the most popular pack was Iris (purple/green), followed closely by Sand & Surf, then Singapore Sling.  I found this quite interesting, because the most popular Stonehenge colors are the neutral ones (browns & greys).  A shout-out to Linda Franz’ Ink Lingo blog followers (www.lindafranz.com/blog/). I have randomly chosen 6 winners of the packs, and they are:

Autumn – Becky Weimer

Lakeside –Laura Manning

Singapore –Denise Gross

Festive – Joanne Perry

Spring – Sheila McMillan

Winter – Karen Nussbaum

I used the Stonehenge Woodland winter collection in my Misty Pines quilt featured in the February 2013 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.

Winter Solstice for McCall's

I really wanted to call my quilt Fifty Shades of Grey, because it is, but somehow felt that editor Beth Hayes would not go for it.  This quilt is a real departure from my usual style, in that it has no borders.  In fact, I chose to use a faced binding (all of it is turned to the back, so that none of it shows on the front).  I had a lot of positive comments from McCall’s readers.  This quilt is about as artsy as I get, and I will hang this quilt on a taupe wall at our ski cabin when it is done travelling.

Speaking of skiing, despite the date, it is still wintery here in southern Ontario, and last Sunday I had absolutely the best day of snowboarding ever.  We awoke Sunday morning to about 8” of fresh powder, a snowboarder’s dream.  I was on the hills seeking out untouched patches of powder for 7 euphoric hours until the lifts closed.  Tim, my boarding instructor, describes powder as a bad drug, and I was on a blissful high all day, floating weightlessly from patch to patch, with an ear-to-ear grin plastered on my face.  Days like this in Ontario are rare, and it was such a treat! We likely have only 2 more weekends of skiing before I need to hang up my board, and I plan to take full advantage of them.

I had a delightful taste of summer March 4-8 as I did a whirlwind trip through central Florida, doing presentations at 11 shops and guilds.  I was warmly welcomed by the Manatee Patchworkers guild in Bradenton, the Memory Makers Quilt Guild in Bunnell, the Alachua County day guild in Gainesville, the Coastal Quilters in Jacksonville, and the Rocket Quilt Guild in Cocoa.

Karen Grof and the staff at Happy Apple Quilts in Palm Harbor brought in a room full of quilters for my trunk show on March 4.  Karen’s shop is bright and cheerful.

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Donna and Carol at Quilts on Plum Lane in Dade City squeezed in a packed room of enthusiastic quilters for my trunk show Tuesday morning.  Donna has the largest selection of flannel that I have ever seen in a shop, bar none!  And she’s in Florida!!  Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me.

Next stop was Tomorrow’s Treasures in Crystal River.  Owner Susan Rass has a lovely shop with a large bright classroom.  She even found an extra panel of Northcott’s Stonehenge Christmas Traditions for me to show with my quilt from this collection (see the quilt in my August 2012 post).  Hint:  If this quilt is on your to-do list, call Susan and order the 6 panels required for the quilt.

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My final stop on Tuesday was Kathy Boos’ Sew & Quilt Shop in Bunnell, and another packed room of eager quilters.  Kathy’s shop is a happening place, quite large and very lovely.  She even had a sample of one of my newest patterns from Northcott’s By the Sea collection!  How fun to see it made up!

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On Wednesday I headed over to Stephanie Metts’ Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop in Trenton.  OMG!  This shop is to die for!  It is a destination shop, as there is not much else in Trenton, but I strongly encourage every quilter to put it on their list.  I told Hubby that it’s a good thing we don’t live closer, or I’d be poor.  There are entire rooms for Christmas, Harvest/Halloween, Asian, Children’s, basics, books, etc. all in an old Coca-cola bottling plant.

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My last shop visit was to Theresa Bringardner’s The Quilt Place in Rockledge.  Holy cow!  If you can’t find it here, it doesn’t exist.  Theresa has 12000 bolts of fabric, including entire shelves of Florida-themed fabrics, novelties of all types, and walls of batiks.  The store was hopping!  I even met some quilters from my own quilt guild while I was there.

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Thinking of Florida makes me think of the quilt that Susanne and I are working on for the next issue of Quilt Trends magazine, on newsstands June 11, featuring Stonehenge Undersea Adventures.  It is a fun toddler-size quilt that uses the panel from the collection.  I also did another toddler quilt for this group that will be appearing in the Fall issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts, on newsstands July 2.  Which one is your favorite?  Moms and Grandmas of twin boys could make both!

Under the Sea for Quilt Trends Summer 2013     Undersea Adventures 48x60 for F&P

I am the proud owner of 2 new quilting books.  Northcott pattern designer Linda Hahn’s newest New York Beauty book is hot off the press.  New York Beauty Diversified is full of scrumptious quilts that feature New York Beauty blocks in innovative settings. Normally “do-able” and “New York Beauty” do not belong in the same sentence, but these quilts look do-able.  I think my fave is Hues of the Hudson.

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The other book that I am dying to try is Simply Successful Applique by the incredibly talented Jeanne Sullivan.  Jeanne won first place in the appliqué category each of the 3 years that Northcott ran the Quest for a Cure block challenge.  Her workmanship is beyond words.  Her book (her first!) has spectacular how-to photos that even an amateur appliquer like me can follow successfully.  I am so proud of Jeanne and what she has accomplished with her book.

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That’s all for now – gotta run. Talk to you soon!

Cheers,

Patti

Stone Strips are like quilters’ candy

20 Feb

Fellow Quilters,

A friendly “shout out” to visitors from American Patchwork & Quilting’s Facebook “fan club”.  AP&Q is celebrating its 25,000th fan – woohoo!  What a milestone!  Speaking of Facebook, Northcott’s Marketing Specialist Jennifer Brennan has been working diligently over the past several months developing Northcott’s e-community, including our Facebook page.  I’d like you to visit it, and here’s why…

Last Fall Northcott asked me to develop some new strip packs for the Stonehenge fabrics.  We had 5 existing combinations of Stone Strips, those delicious 2½” strips that are used in so many great quilt projects (each strip pack contains 2 each of 20 fabrics).  Back in the day, when the original 5 were created, there were a handful of Stonehenge fabrics.  The Stonehenge texture category has steadily grown to now include over 200 fabulous textured fabrics in a myriad of colors and values.  My goal was to include each and every one of them in one way or another.  Could I do it?

I covered our sewing table with swatches of each fabric, then started creating groupings of 20 fabrics that played nicely together.  I sorted and shuffled, walked away and reshuffled again, until I had 10 tantalizing groupings that even I couldn’t resist: Everest, Toast, Winter, Spring, Autumn, Sand & Surf, Lakeside, Iris, Festive, and Singapore Sling.  I bet you can already picture them!

Image

Then I asked some talented pattern designers to showcase them, and they did me proud!  These new Stone Strip packs and patterns are shipping to quilt shops shortly, but I have 6 packs to give away now.

How to Enter

  1. Click here to visit the Northcott Facebook page to see all of the new Stonehenge strip packs and coordinating patterns. They are in the latest album called Stone Strips.
  2. Come back to my blog and leave a comment below this post. Tell me which is your favorite Stonehenge strip pack and why. (*Tip- You have to hit view comments and scroll all the way down to the bottom to leave your own comment. Be sure to use the email you check the most often as this will be the only method of contact if you are drawn as a winner.)
  3. You have until Thursday February 28, 2013 to leave a comment.
  4. The comment you post is your entry into the giveaway. The prizes are the 6 Stonehenge strip packs shown here in the photo. I will randomly draw 6 winners on Friday March 1, 2013. Each will we awarded 1 Stonehenge strip pack. Winners will be notified via email.

Cheers,
Patti

100 Blocks Vol. 6 Meets Reptile Rumpus

7 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

The past couple of months at Northcott have been a blur, as we prepared for quilt Market, our semi-annual trade show.  As a result, I have not had much spare time to blog.  I must say I’ve missed you!  Well, today I am back on the blog bandwagon participating in another Quiltmaker’s “100 Blocks” Blog Tour.  Editor June Dudley told me about the tour last week while we chatted at Market, and I got right to work whipping up a few blocks for you to comment on.

Perusing the latest issue of “100 Blocks” (Volume 6 already!), I noticed that there are several blocks that either use Northcott fabric or are designed by some of Northcott’s favorite pattern designers.  It just so happens that Northcott is advertising a new cuddly soft flannel collection called Reptile Rumpus in this issue, so I thought I would recreate the blocks and, by extension, some quilts using Reptile Rumpus.  Of course, if you have participated in this blog tour before, you know that I want your opinion on which block and which quilt is your favorite.  Please leave a comment by 11:59pm today Nov. 7th and I will randomly choose one name to win your very own copy of “100 Blocks Volume 6”.

Block #559 uses Baby Safari, a collection designed by Carina Gardner.

Here is my version using Reptile Rumpus.

While the block looked good, the resulting 3 x 3 block quilt failed to inspire me.

 

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Block #563

Block #563 is designed by Laura Blanchard of Plum Tree Quilts.

In Reptile Rumpus, both the block and the resulting quilt look interesting.

Quilt #563
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Block #577

Block #577 is designed by Chris Hoover of Whirligig Designs.

Chris’ block is a big more detailed, but both the block and the quilt turned out well.

Quilt #577
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Block #589

Block #589 by Scott Murkin is shown as a quilt on page 89 using Stonehenge Ginko ebony.

Here’s how the quilt and block look in Reptile Rumpus.

Quilt #589
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Block #593

Block #593 is designed by Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods.

I was pleased with how the quilt and block turned out.

Quilt #593

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Of course, I also did a bit of mixing and matching.

Here is the Chris/Celine quilt #577/#593.

Quilt #577/593

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I also combined #559 & #589.

Quilt #559/589

Okay, it’s your turn to voice your opinion.  Please send me a comment with your favorite block and quilt, and I’ll post the votes in the next couple of weeks.  Good luck!

I’ll also try to work on another post this week – I am travelling to 8 quilt shops and 3 guilds in Virginia and Maryland from Nov. 6 – 12.  If you are at any of the participating shops or guilds, please come and say hi.  Today I am at Quilters by the Bay Guild (Lexington Park, MD), Quilt & Sewing Center (Fredericksburg, VA) and Bonnie’s Sewing Center (Alexandria, VA).  On Nov. 8th, I am at Sew Refreshing (Mechanicsville, VA), Bernina of Richmond (VA) and Sew EZ (Portsmouth, VA).  Then on Nov. 9th, I’m going to Nancy’s Calico Patch in Newport News, then the Tidewater Quilt Guild on Nov 10th, then Tomorrow’s Treasures (Crofton, MD) and Pax River Guild (Lexington Park, MD) on Monday.  Stay tuned for photos!

Cheers,

Patti

We Are Adding Four Pillowcases to the Count!

6 Sep

Fellow Quilters,

                Today I am participating in a blog tour for the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.  What is the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, you ask?  The creative folks at American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and Quilts & More magazine, through their allpeoplequilt.com website, have challenged you and me to make a million pillowcases.  We register our pillowcases on the website, and donate them to a charity of our choice.  How are we doing?  Well, we’re up to 430,300 – that’s a lot of comforting pillowcases!  Give yourself a pat on the back if you have added any pillowcases to the tally.

Today I shall add 4 pillowcases to the count, because Susanne, my oh-so-talented piecer, and I made 4 pillowcases from a very special fabric collection coming to quilt shops next Spring.  Northcott has designed our first collection in support of Quilts for Kids Inc., a charitable foundation creating quilts for children with life-threatening illnesses or those who have suffered from abuse.  Quilts for Kids is one of the charities listed on allpeoplequilt.com for pillowcase donations, so the pillowcases that Susanne and I made will do double-duty – they will help raise funds for Quilts for Kids, and they will help allpeoplequilt.com reach their goal of one million pillowcases.

I chose 4 of the free patterns on the allpeoplequilt.com website, and matched up colors from Stonehenge Team Spirit to the main print from Old MacDonald.  Let’s take a look at them: I used Pattern 5, with the prairie point band, using red prairie points on a green band.  Prairie points and farm fields are made for each other, don’t you think?  Then I chose orange geese in a dark blue sky (Pattern 10 Flying Geese band) for the second one, pulling out the bright colors in the Old MacDonald print. 

For the third pillowcase, I chose shades of gold and Pattern 16 Piano Key band – it reminds me of rows of hay or wheat ready to be harvested.

And what else but Pattern 27 Churn Dash for the fourth band in pretty pastel shades against a black ground?  For this band, we used 4 Freckles textures on a solid black ColorWorks ground.  You will be able to see the Old MacDonald collection at www.northcott.com next month, and the fun quilt patterns that feature the collection.  Please leave a comment on my blog by 11:59 tonight Thursday September 6th for a chance to win a kit for these 4 pillowcases.

Along with supporting Quilts for Kids, and breast cancer research through our Quest for a Cure program, Northcott is proud to sponsor and support the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.  A colorful pillowcase is really a small investment in time and fabric, but can make a world of difference to someone in need.  Please consider making a pillowcase (or 2 or 3) this month during the One Million Pillowcase Blog Tour, and add yours to the tally.  Let’s see how far we grow!  There are some wonderful stops on the blog tour – see if you can visit all of them!

Schedule:

1. Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/blogs/apqstaff/)
2. Rashida Coleman-Hale (http://www.iheartlinen.typepad.com/)
3. Olivia and Alayna’s Pillowcase Project (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/blogs/apqstaff/)
4. Morgan’s Smile Factory (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/blogs/apqstaff/)
5. Pat Sloan (http://blog.patsloan.com/)
6. Northcott (http://pattispatchwork.com/)
7. Betsy Chutchian (http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/)
8. Vanessa Christenson (http://www.vanessachristenson.com/)
9. Andover Fabrics (http://blog.andoverfabrics.com/)
10. Laurie Simpson (http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/)
11. Oak Hill, Ohio (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/blogs/apqstaff/)
12. Robert Kaufman Fabrics (http://www.swatchandstitch.com/)
13. Pam Buda (http://www.heartspunquilts.blogspot.com/)
14. Indygo Junction (http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/)
15. 4-H (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/blogs/apqstaff/)
16. Katie Hennagir (http://baywindowquiltshop.wordpress.com/)
17. Anni Downs (http://hatchedandpatched.typepad.com/)
18. FreeSpirit Fabrics (http://www.freespiritfabric.blogspot.com/)
19. American Patchwork & Quilting Staff (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/blogs/apqstaff/)
20. Patty Young (http://modkidboutique.blogspot.com/)
21. Moda Fabrics (http://modafabrics.blogspot.com/)
22. Monica Solorio-Snow (http://thehappyzombie.com/blog/)
23. Moda Bake Shop (http://www.modabakeshop.com/)
24. Andover Fabrics (http://blog.andoverfabrics.com/)
25. Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage (http://rosebudscottage.typepad.com/)
26. Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics (http://www.annkelle.com/category/blog/)
27. Therm O Web (http://blog.thermoweb.com/)
28. Edyta Sitar (http://www.laundrybasketquilts.com/blog/)
29. Fabri-Quilt (http://inspiredbyfabric.blogspot.com/)
30. Cherri House (www.cherryhousequilts.com)

Cheers,

Patti

“Golden Gifts” is on newsstands!

24 Aug

ImageFellow Quilters,

                Today I am participating in a blog tour for Quilters Newsletter’s Best Christmas Quilts 2012, so for all visitors from the blog tour, a big Welcome!  I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog, and even choose to subscribe.  I don’t post often, but when I do post, I try to make the posts interesting, giving a glimpse into what I am working on, and what is happening at Northcott.

                Today’s post is about my Golden Gifts quilt featured in Best Christmas Quilts, and it is classic Patti.  What do I mean by this?  Well, for years I have been designing and making quilts that showcase fabrics most quilters shy away from – panels, border stripes, large scenic prints, etc.  I have been with Northcott for 25 years (I started when I was 4 – haha), and have made it a personal goal to use these “interesting” fabrics in projects, to encourage other quilters to use them as well.  After all, if quilters don’t buy them, Northcott will stop designing them.  This would be a shame, as they are so much fun to work with – they allow me to make difficult-looking quilts with very little effort.

Golden Gifts is a perfect example of this.  After I designed this queen-size quilt, Susanne, my talented dynamo of a piecer, sewed the quilt top in one day – it’s that fast!  Imagine – a queen-size quilt in one day!!  You see, this quilt incorporates a panel (or 6 of them, actually) from Northcott’s Stonehenge Christmas Traditions collection.  The panel itself makes a super-quick wall quilt or small lap quilt – simply add a border or 2 to make it a bit bigger (go to http://www.northcott.com – Stonehenge Christmas Traditions to see 2 terrific bed-size quilts that use the complete panel).  Not content to use the panel as-is, I wondered what else I could do with it, so I cut it up into large segments and used them as appliquéd “blocks” in my quilt.  The patchwork-printed border of the panel became my “pieced” sashing.  Add a couple of nice wide borders to frame the center, and you’re done!  The trick to making the printed blocks look like they are appliquéd or pieced is to quilt on the lines separating the motifs or patches.  The Christmas Traditions panel has metallic gold outlines dividing the motifs and patches, so I used Superior Threads’ Metallic gold thread to quilt this gem.  I took this quilt on a whirlwind tour of Massachusetts in June, and it received rave reviews.  Quilters and shop owners alike had to inspect the quilt up-close to see that the blocks weren’t actually appliquéd or pieced.  Numerous shops are kitting this project, including several in Massachusetts, and Fat Quarter Shop is kitting it for Quilters Newsletter readers.

The magazine hit the newsstands Tuesday, and is chock-full of fabulous holiday projects of all sizes.  I am rather partial to Diane Nagle’s Holly & Ivy tree skirt and Tanesha Nurse’s Selvage Christmas Tree mug rugs – how clever!  Christmas quilts are near and dear to my heart – I cover every bed in my home with a holiday/winter quilt December 1st.  Please tell me what your favorite holiday fabric projects are – do you make bed quilts, lap quilts, wall hangings or placemats?  Leave a comment on my blog post before 11:59 p.m. MDT tonight (August 24, 2012) for a chance to win a bundle of Stonehenge Christmas Traditions & White Christmas and a copy of Best Christmas Quilts. I will draw one name at random. One comment per person, please. Open to those who haven’t won something from Quilters Newsletter in the last 90 days.  And stay tuned for a few more holiday quilts that Susanne and I have whipped up using Stonehenge, coming next week!

Thanks for visiting,

Patti

Highlights from Massachusetts

18 Jul

Fellow Quilters,

                I am finally able to share with you some of the pictures I took on my Massachusetts road trip a few weeks ago.   Technology and I don’t always get along, and I needed the assistance of Jennifer, Northcott’s Marketing Specialist, to get the photos to a size that I could use.

The trip was a delightful whirlwind of fabric – a veritable smorgasbord of eye candy!  It’s a good thing that I was the only person on this 5-day shop hop, because my suitcase would be much heavier if I had company encouraging me to buy.   All of the shop-owners were very welcoming, some even encouraging me to pull a few quilts out of my suitcase for impromptu trunk shows.

My first stop on Monday was Quilts & Treasures in East Longmeadow. 

 Valerie, Sue, Taylor and the rest of the staff overhauled the shop on Sunday, displaying as many of their panels as they could, since my trunk show has many quilts that start with panels.  What a variety!  They cleared the back of the shop and set up chairs for the 71 attendees – here is a picture of the group waving.  The ladies were great, and with some encouragement from Valerie, loaded up on panels for upcoming projects.

My next stop was Sew Inspired in Simsbury, CT, where I met shop-owner Viv Lazich. 

Viv showed me around her dee-lightful shop, including the super-sized classrooms and quilting room.  Her wall of batiks made me salivate.

Then I headed east to Appletree Fabrics in Auburn, MA, and shop-owner Lois gave me the cook’s tour.
 
 
 She even had some of the new Stonehenge Ginko in stock.  An evening class was setting up in the shop, and when I showed my favorite Stonehenge Christmas quilt, the customers convinced Lois to offer a class and kits for the quilt.

Tuesday I headed north, stopping at Southhampton Quilts, a charming shop with a wide range of fabrics, including snowboarding fabric that is now in my stash.
 
 I also picked up some hot pepper fabric to make son Chris an apron.

Then I stopped in at Country Treasures in Chester, VT.  Wow!  Shop-owner Susanne Ashe knows each of the 9000 bolts of fabric and where they are in her store. 
 
The shop is in a century home, and every nook and cranny has bolts of fabric peaking out.  I went through room after room of fabric, and added a couple more pieces to my apron list, including cupcakes for my son’s girlfriend.

I came back into MA and headed to Textile Co. in Greenfield.  This shop is housed in an old mill, complete with wooden floors.
 
Shop-owner Nancy was most helpful, and helped me add another apron fabric to my growing stash – stacks of waffles with whipped cream and strawberries for son Alex.  Textile Co. has a huge selection of children’s and novelty fabrics, and I spotted Cheri Strole’s Jungle Buzz on the shelves.

Then it was off to present my trunk show at A Notion to Quilt, Becki Straton’s shop.  Becki and her hubby had just returned from a quilting trip to Ireland!  We put out well over 60 chairs and still ran out of seats for the eager crowd.  My quilting bud Kate Mitchell, a favorite at Becki’s shop, was even there, as was Northcott’s sales rep Mike, who volunteered to hold up the quilts.  Good thing, ‘cause he’s much taller than Kate.  In all of the excitement, I forgot to take pictures.

On Wednesday I headed east to Candlelite Quilts, a charming little shop in Chelmsford, and met shop-owner Cathy Ruggiero.
 
Cathy showed me her line of patterns, most of which use 8 half-yards, and demonstrated her new embroidery technique that will be the basis of her next batch of patterns.

My next stop was Quilters Common in Wakefield, where owners Antoinette and Collette were my hosts for my PowerPoint presentation to a small but enthusiastic audience.  This shop is only 1½years old, but it is chock full of fabulous fabrics, including several Northcott collections.
 
It was a visual delight!  After a quick dinner, we headed over to the North Parish Quilt Guild in N. Reading for my trunk show and an ice cream social – yum!  The guild has roughly 130 members, and the room was full!

My first stop on Thursday was the Button Box in Wellesley.
  
The wall behind the cash register is filled with tubes and boxes of buttons of all shapes and sizes!  There was a fabulous sale starting Thursday, so I added to my stash.  Carole and the staff were most accommodating as I finished up some sewing in the unused classroom.  It was delightful to hear the chitchat and buzz in the shop as I sat working on my sewing.

I popped in to Ann’s Fabrics in Canton, where a sewing day was going on in the back.
 
Manager Cheryl coaxed me into bringing my suitcase in for a quick trunk show to the quilters.  It was great, and they were so appreciative.  So was I, as I sampled some of the homemade cakes brought in for the sewing day.

Then I scooted over to Emma’s Quilt Shop in Franklin and had a visit with shop-owner Cyndi Rich.
 
She focuses on basics, and the rainbows of bolts against the white shelving in her shop looked so enticing.  She also has an extensive range of flannels.

My final stop on Thursday was Quilter’s Stash in North Attleboro, where I presented my trunk show to shop-owner Sue Kassler and her customers, who were celebrating the 20th anniversary of Quilter’s Stash.
 
What a party!  Sue’s shop is fresh and bright, and deceptively large, with comfy chairs up front for spouses.  She has the most extensive display of Stonehenge fabrics that I saw on my trip.

My last excursion was to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH.  It was a delightfully scenic 2-hour drive from Boston, through the Lake District.  Or at least it would have been a 2-hour drive if there hadn’t been a biker convention going on in the small town just before Center Harbor!  There were thousands of bikers on their hogs for miles around.  I eventually got to Keepsake for a quick tour around this iconic shop – aisle after aisle of fabrics.
 
 
The batik section was big enough to be a shop on its own.  There were 2 complete aisles of green fabrics!  Of course they had a fabulous selection of novelties (a.k.a. apron fabrics) and I purchased one with rainbow chip cookies and one with chefs to round out my collection.  I even took a peek at the selection of kits and saw my Freckles Frenzy kit and Oh Christmas Tree kit – how thrilling! 

All in all, it was a great trip – lots of exciting shops, welcoming staff, and fellow quilt-aholics!  I am planning a few more trips for the upcoming months – who knows?  I may be in the neighborhood!

Cheers,

Patti

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