Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shirley Wingert Joins Our Staff

Shirley Wingert, Avoca, has joined the Stitchin' Tree team!  Shirley is an accomplished quilter and one of our sample sewists.  Most recently, Shirley was employed by Sew Viking in Council Bluffs.  Shirley has a long arm machine at home, so she picked up our process easily.   Shirley is an artist, so I will be fun to see how Shirley leaves her artist's touch throughout the store.

Nancy Cook took Shirley under her wing today to show her the ropes.  Welcome Shirley!

Look What's Quilting -- Brooke Grabill 6/28/11

It's her first pieced quilt, and Brooke Grabill, Harlan, did a fine job with this memory quilt with scrappy brights and photos of her family.  Brooke will have plenty of time to bind her quilt before getting ready for fair.  Brooke chose to quilt it with the Hearts & Loops pattern in YLI Monofilament and White threads.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming Soon, My Stitching Peace

 I have been looking for the designer of My Stitching Peace patterns for over a year.  I saw a pattern in another quilt shop, but couldn't remember anything more than the company name.  I wasn't able to find contact information ont he internet, and I learned that the designer had moved from Iowa City over a year ago.  Dead end, right?

WRONG!  Through divine intervention, Jean Devereux (pronounced Dever-ex; it's Irish) stopped by the shop today to purchase some fabric.  Nancy Cook introduced me to her as the "button lady", and it didn't take long to figure out that my mystery had been solved.  My Stitching Peace found ME!

Jean has moved to Denison, and she has agreed to bring samples to our store to go along with the patterns that we will be stocking soon.

See her beautiful Noah's Ark?  Jean makes her own buttons, and the buttons make the print!  What an extraordinary artist.  We are so lucky to have her in the neighborhood.

Look What's Quilting -- Michelle Freeman 6/25/11

Michelle Freeman knows a luck Harley rider.  She asked us to stitch this t-shirt quilt for her and chose to have it quilted in the Motorcycles pattern with YLI monofilament thread.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Local Quilter Earns FOUR Ribbons with Three Quilts

 At the Omaha Quilt Guild Show, Sandi Petsche, Harlan, submitted three quilts for judging and earned four ribbons.  Sandi's work is always impressive, and if you ever have the opportunity to see her quilts, you will understand why she wins.  Last year, Sandi's quilt wone BEST OF SHOW at the Omaha Quilt Guild Show.

 This year Sandi won a blue ribbon for her "Birds of a Feather" in Category 12 Wallhanging, Kit or BOM, Machine or Hand Quilted.  Her award was sponsored by Seams to Be Quilt Shoppe.

By the way, I talked to Terri from Seams to Be.  The flooding hasn't impacted her shop -- so you can still plan the day trip to Plattsmouth, Nebraska.
 Check out this closeup of "Wacky Bird."
Sandi took second place with her "Wacky Bird" in Category 16 Miniature.
And here's the quilt that won TWO ribbons.  Sandi's "Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy" took second place in Category 13 Art/Innovative quilts.  Sandi appliqued and embellished the tiniest details on each block.  Her work was recognized by quilt show attendees -- they voted Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy the Viewer's Choice!

Congratulations Sandi!
Here's a closeup of Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy.
And what was Sandi's pick in the show?  She wasn't sure which quilt was her favorite, but when Sandi spotted Lollipop Trees in a vendor booth, she knew she HAD to have the pattern!

I'm sorry I can't remember which booth this was in, but I'll ask Sandi and update the blog for those of you who would like more information about this block-of-the-month and pattern.

Setting up for the Omaha Quilt Show

 It takes a village to get ready for the Omaha Quilt Guild show, and I'm truly thankful for the village that supports Stitchin' Tree Quilts.  At 7:30 in the morning, the Quilting Nancy's beat me to the shop.  Nancy Cook was whacking away at fabric and Nancy Watts (with son, Andrew) was packing up boxes when I arrived with my sleepy daughter Tara.  We worked together to finish up kits, pack up tubs and load a pickup and van.  Nancy Watts & I headed for Omaha at 9:30, while Nancy Cook stayed behind to mind the store (literally).  Once we arrived at the Papillion-LaVista Conference center, we had some help (from Omaha Quilt Guild volunteers) unloading our stash and locating our booth. 
 One of the most difficult jobs each year is deciding what goes where -- Nancy and I played around with booth design until we were satisfied with the display of quilts.  Tara was great at snapping pics and stashing kits.  It takes about 4 hours to set up the booth and have it ready for the show.  We have a double booth for the Omaha show, so people have room to step inside and move around. 
Once the setup is complete, we plug in the cash register and remind ourselves how to run the darned thing.  It's a smaller machine that we only use for quilt shows, and we have to retrain each year because between the two of us, we can never remember which buttons to hit...

We had several new quilts and kits on display this year, and I want to thank all of our sample sewists for their help:  Linda Kreifels (Crossroads & Whacky Stack 4), Marlene Gaffigan (Charming Stars), Nancy Cook (On The Square, Brick & Mortar, Schlep Bag Pink), Nancy Watts (Farmers Market, Schlep Bag Brown), Gloria Kenkel (I Love You, Jelly On the Fence), Jill Conry (Sip & Savor, Hoo-Rah, Floating Star), LeAnn Keenan (Hop Scotch, FaLaLa, Schlep Bag Radiance), and Shirley Wingert (Veranda Tote).  See?  It does take a village.  Out of the entire booth, I only stitched one of the samples (Cozy Cabins).  We wouldn't have had a booth if it weren't for the Stitchin' Tree Village.

Oh yeah, I should also thank my hubby for letting me drive his brand new pick-em-up truck (it's a hemi).  He was worried that I would get a scratch on it...  Never fear, the pickup returned home in great shape, but unfortunately, the garage door wasn't tall enough for our full load when we returned on Saturday evening.  Oh well, I learned that the electronic warning system includes all sides of the truck, just not the roof :-).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Carol Wegner 6-24-11

Carol Wegner pieced this scrappy rail fence quilt.  What a wonderful way to use up your scraps.  The finished quilt is full of visual interest.  Carol chose to quilt it with Vickies Meander in Baguette thread by Signature.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Barb Schultz 6-21-11

This was the first quilt that we put on the frame after we spent a week getting store samples quilted for the Omaha Quilt Show.  Barb Schultz, Persia, pieced this Kansas Troubles Milky Way quilt, and it's a beauty.  We sold the kits in our store, and it's been fun to see the finished quilts, each uniquely pieced through fabric choice and selection.  Barb chose to quilt it with Falling Leaves pattern in Latte thread by Signature. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sneak peak at a new kit -- Fruit Ladies

The Fruit Ladies are having some summer fun, and you'll have fun with this summer throw kit!  Simple whirlygig blocks surround fruit-shaped ladies (I think I resemble the mango-mama)...

If you want this kit, you'll have to come to the Omaha quilt show, Quilt Safari, June 23-24-25 at the LaVista Conference center.  If we have any kits left after the show, we'll bring them back to the store, but they will NOT be available in the shop before the show.

For more information regarding the show, click on this link:  Quilt Safari.

Gloria Schmitz, winner of the Relay for Life Raffle Quilt

Gloria Schmitz dropped in today to have her picture taken with the English Garden queen size quilt that she won in the Relay for Life raffle.  Gloria and her husband will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in October.  She says she loves the quilt and was quite surprised when she won (her daughter, Debbie Davis, purchased the ticket for her).  English Garden was created May 3 when several teams of quilters met to exchange floral fabrics and participate in a quilting bee. If you like the pattern, you can download it for free on our website http://stitchintree.com/.


Enjoy extraordinary pizza in Downtown Harlan! Tom Zacconne and Tim Sullivan set up their oven in front of the Coffee Plant next door.  Tim tells me he plans to be there from 11:30-1:30 Tuesday through Friday throughout the summer.  Today, I had a veggie pizza for $5.  YUM!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Lisa Ulmer 6/14/11

Harley fans will love this one!  Lisa Ulmer pieced this extraordinary t-shirt quilt, combining t-shirts in a variety of ways.  She chose to quilt it with Motorcycles pattern in YLI monofilament thread.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Kim Scott 6/11/11

Do you remember the Canadian Rock group, Rush?  Did you know that they have the 3rd highest sales (only the Beattles and Rolling Stones boast higher sales)?

Well Kim Scott, Council Bluffs, knows.  And she has 25 Rush concert t-shirts to prove it!  Kim created this t-shirt quilt tribute to Rush.  She chose to quilt it with Vickie's Meander in YLI monofilament thread.

Look What's Quilting -- Mary Neppl 6/11/11

Mary loves her cats...  Do a search of our blogs and you'll see many cat quilts that Mary has constructed.  They are extraordinary and this one is no exception.  Mary is an artist as well.  She paints on the applique to embellish the quilts.  Wow.  Check out the details of Mary's latest quilt.  She chose to quilt it with Vickie's Meander pattern in YLI monofilament thread.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet the Accu-Cut Team!

The Quilting Nancy's & LeeAnn have all agreed to become members of our newest adventure, the AccuCut team!  They are pictured here with the quilt block design that won 1st place in AccuCut's contest.  The 17' block While I was at quilt market in Salt Lake City, I plunged and purchased an AccuCut machine for the shop.  The AccuCut will allow us to pre-cut kits to make life easier for our quilters.  Once we get trained, we'll be ready to show off our new equipment.

We met Eleanor Burns!

Eleanor Burns is one of the most easy going people I have ever met.  She is comfortable in a crowd and has never met a stranger.  Eleanor was the featured presenter at Accu-Cut's Open House on Friday, June 10.  We battled the flood waters to drive down highway 30 to Fremont, home of AccuCut's manufacturing plant and corporate office.   Eleanor brought many quilts featured in her Barn Quilts book.  She showed pictures of the many barn quilts that motivated her to design her unique quilt.  One of the barns is from Sac County Iowa. 

You're never too old to be goofy and have fun.  Eleanor led us in many songs while quilters paraded across the stage in goofy costumes.  My favorite was the flying pig!

While Eleanor was signing my book, I showed off my "Save the Barn" tshirt.  She loved it and asked for one of her own.  I happily agreed.  Let's hope she sends a picture back :-)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let the rearranging begin!

Usually, each July, I go through a spell where I want to entirely rearrange the shop.  This spring, we've already moved the quilter into the back room to make more space.  I was planning to move my office to the store room, and switch the office over to a notion nook, when we received the bad news that the back of the building was falling in...  That's a problem.  Well, this week, the construction crew finished shoring up the back room, leaving only space for storage on the shelve and no spot for my office.  Oh well, we will come up with a new plan, because the notion nook is going to happen!  Check out Tara here, arranging our batting inventory on the recently vacated storage shelves.  Doesn't she look thrilled to be helping out???

Look What's Quilting -- Barb Schultz 06/09/11

Barb Schultz, Persia, is a big Nebraska fan, but we won't hold it against her!  Barb finished her t-shirt quilt with coordinating Husker fabric.  She chose to quilt it with Vickie's Meander pattern in YLI monofilament thread.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Gloria Kenkel 6/08/11

Gloria Kenkel was the first to finish her block of the month, On Point, featuring Portobello Market fabrics by Moda.  She added a couple of extra borders to finish her quilt in a king size.  Gloria chose to quilt it with Aspen Leaves pattern in YLI monofilament thread.

Look What's Quilting -- Barb Onnen 6/08/11

Barb Onnen, Harlan, brought this quilt top in during our super sale in April.  It is a simple log cabin block with some fussy cut off-setting squares.  Barb came in looking for backing fabric and found the perfect match with a dusty plum backing.  Barb chose to quilt her quilt with Rosebuds pattern in YLI monofilament thread.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Skinny Bolts on Sale -- BAG LADIES ONLY!

 Bag Ladies:  Here's your chance to save!!!

Our clearance sale was very successful!  We cleared the shelves of may bolts to make room for new fabric.  But now we have a new problem...  Too many skinny bolts are hanging around!  Skinny bolts are the short pieces of fabric that are left on the bolt.  Skinny bolts typically range from 3/4 yard to 2 yards.  Our regular clearance price for skinny bolts is 20% off when you buy the remainder of the bolt.  Now through the end of June, BAG LADIES CAN TAKE AND EXTRA 10% OFF THE SKINNY BOLT PRICE!

Look What's Quilting -- Diane Ehlers 6/7/2011

This quilt is wrapping up as I post.  Diane Ehlers completed her Milky Way kit featuring Kansas Troubles fabric.  She plans to take the finished quilt to fair this year.  Diane chose to have it quilted with Falling Leaves pattern in Latte thread by Signature.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Jo Mathiasen 6/4/2011

Jo Mathiasen is the master of the scrappy windmill quilts.  We have quilted several for her.  This beauty features a purple border from one of our new blender collections.  Jo chose to have it quilted with Double Wave pattern in Mother Goose thread by Signature.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Beth Mills 6/3/2011

Beth Mills made this lovely log cabin using fabrics from a variety of fabric lines in our shop that really blend well together.  Beth chose to quilt it with Celtic Vines pattern in Baguette thread by Signature.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Look What's Quilting -- Fa La La 6-1-11

Just in time for the Omaha Quilt Show:  Fa La La.  This wall hanging is really quick to piece, featuring a 12 Days of Christmas panel and two borders.  We chose to quilt it with Noodle Soup pattern in Ivory thread by Signature.  The finished wall hanging, complete with applique and flannel backing is on display now.

Look What's Quilting -- Mary Jo Bonsall 6-1-11

This is the last of Mary Jo Bonsall's (Dunlap) gift quilts.  The simple half-squares and modified 4x4 make a quick and easy quilt.  Mary Jo chose to quilt it with Falling Leaves pattern in Victorian Rose thread by Signature.