Saturday, November 30, 2013

Home from festival

If you have never been to Quilt Festival in Houston, be sure and put it on your list of things to do. What a treat! This was my first year to go to festival and it was amazing. The people we met and the quilts we saw is something I will never forget. Teresa posted lots of pictures on Facebook, be sure and check them out.

We are all settled into our routines and getting on with projects at the shop. There is so much we want to do and so little time. (Sound familiar?)

During market I had the pleasure of meeting Janice Vaine. We were directly across the hall from Landaur and for three days we were looking at Janice's latest quilt from her new book, EMBROIDERY AND PATCHWORK REVISITED, due out in February. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. We would like to introduce a project out of the book to our Running Stitchers Club this spring. The project is Grandmothers fan that is embellished with fancy stitches. I am really looking forward to sharing it with the gang.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful.
 My best to you all....Nancy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gadgets found

Teresa and I finally got a few minutes to look around a bit on the last day of market, and look what we found!  A magnifying lighted seam ripper. (A lady next to me assured me you could rip out black thread on black fabric in the dark under your covers...if needed. ;))  and.... wait for it....a Bohin 3 in 1 mechanical pencil. How cool is that? Remember those pens that had multiple colors of ink? Well this is basically the same. Pink, black and white are the three colors and we can't wait to get them in the store.
We are off for a couple of days now and are preparing for festival. I love coming to market. We always leave with so many new ideas to bring back to the shop. I can't wait to share. Until later... Nancy

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Teresa in action

Houston market

Yahoo!!! Teresa and I made it to Houston and market.  This is the second day and we still haven't had a chance to get around and see much, but what we have seen has given us lots of ideas for the shop. We're looking forward to sharing when we get back. Ill be checking in again later.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hi Everyone! 

I'm sure you all have been as busy as I have!  Crazy.  I did want to share with you what I've gotten done so far with my Posies.  I do have three of these done.  Just one more and I can put them together.  I must say I really like it. 

Our Robin had a wonderful birthday bash at the cottage.  We all had such a good time.  I always love going to those things.  I laugh so hard my sides hurt for days.  I'll have to share with you what I worked on at the cottage.  It's really cool. I'll share that with you next time.  I won't wait so long before checking in with you. 

Take care everyone.  I would love to hear all about your progress and what you've been up to!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Barn Salvage at Quilter's Cottage

My hubby and I picked the second hottest day of the summer to finish our work on the barn at Quilter's Cottage.
This is how the barn looked when we started our final day of salvage.  My son, Ryan, had removed these boards and laid them in piles, by size, waiting for me to remove the nails.  Now that's a fun job!
 Randy went up on the roof to remove the tin.  We're still not in agreement about it's use in the new space.  I want to use it on the ceilings.  He thinks it belongs at the recycling center.  But, guess who won this argument?  He'd drop the sheets to the ground, and I piled them in the garage.
After I removed the nails, I stacked the boards into piles by size.  We ended up with two types of boards:  really old with a little paint, and even older with even less paint.  Won't they look great on the walls of the retail space?  That way when customers lament about the loss of our 1898 barn, I can simply point to the walls/ceiling and say, "here it is..."
Time for a commercial break.  We had to drink plenty of water.  How do you like my advertising for the Iowa State Cyclones and Shelby County State Bank?
The barn tin will look great on the ceiling some day, don't you think?  I particularly like the sheets that have bullet holes in them.
Here's the view of the north side of the barn after the boards and tin were removed.  Look how bad the roof was below the tin sheets?  Gosh, that was pretty dangerous for Randy to be working on.  Good thing he didn't fall through. 

See the board ladder up the steep side of the roof?  That's the ladder that Randy made to go up and take down the cupola for me.  What a honey!
As if the day was not hot enough, Randy cut down two dead pines and started a bonfire on Highway 30.  No one stopped to roast marshmallows though...
Sadly, the beautiful trees that once lined the property had been overgrown with wild cucumber vine.  It's amazing how one little plant can choke the life out of a full grown tree.  We had to cut down 2 more cedar trees that didn't bounce back.  I'm going to have to plant lots of new trees. 

This is a shot looking at the north side of the house.  That is where the retail addition will be constructed.
As you drive down the highway, the first thing you notice about Quilter's Cottage is the half-salvaged barn.  The second thing you notice is the lovely perennials near the house.  I love to plant flowers, and can't wait to landscape the place after the addition is constructed. 

Of course, many hands make for faster work, so if you want to help with planting next spring, give me a shout!

So what's the plan for Quilter's Cottage?  Well, we plan to add a 25'x28' structure on the north side that connects to the 17'x18' porch.  The entire area will be used as a retail/quilting area.  I plan to bring my quilting machine to the cottage, where I can quilt/design/sew to my heart's content.  The retail area will be open four days each week (Thursday-Sunday).  Because we are on US Highway 30 (the Lincoln Highway), we see a LOT of traffic each day, and we hope that the shop will be a nice attraction.  We plan to feature fabric designers from the Midwest, and quilt-related products and merchandise.  When quilters are staying at the cottage, they will have the added benefit of having a full retail/notion store at their convenience. Currently, the Cottage has 3 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths. Through the winter, we also plan to add a 4th bedroom and full bath in the basement (garden level).

In addition to the barn wood and tin, I've been able to locate salvaged barn lights and salvaged double hung windows to let in lots of natural light.  The rustic interior will provide a unique and enjoyable visit for our guests.  My goal is to get the structure built and closed in before the snow flies.  Throughout the winter, I hope to finish the intererior, and shoot for a grand opening in the late spring (after I have planted loads of flowers), just in time for the next All-Iowa Shop Hop.
It's all coming together, and I enjoy having the opportunity to get my hands on each piece of salvage that will go into the new space.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Robin!

 Look who had her 50th birthday at Quilter's Cottage!

Happy Birthday Robin!
 Robin invited 6 of her friends to spend a long holiday quilting weekend at Quilter's Cottage.  We started with a home-cooked spaghetti dinner (birthday girl's favorite meal), then cleared the table for a rowdy game of Trader's Dice (R).
Robin asked everyone to bring (30) 5" primitive squares.  Nancy C was naughty and kept sneaking in UGLY fabric...  At the end of the game, we did some friendly swapping, and everyone had enough fabric to make a table topper or wall hanging.  Add a little fabric from home, and we can make the throw or bed quilt.  I designed a new quilt for Robin's party -- Shoo Be Do!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hello Everyone!  Nancy here at Stitchin Tree holding down the fort.  I just got Teresa and Robin out the door and on their way to Grand Rapids to the quilt show there.  Whew!  Now maybe I can have some time to myself to get working on the Posies. How's everyone coming along on fabric selection?
That always seems to be a bit of a challenge to me, making up my mind on which way I want to go.
Looking forward to hearing from y'all!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pockets of Posies Pattern

Nancy is making her blocks in assorted Christmas fabrics.

Here's the link to the pattern for the blocks that Nancy blogged about:

Pockets of Posies Block Pattern


Monday, August 5, 2013

Nancy's Pockets of Posies

Hello everyone!  How's it coming?  I just finished my sixteen blocks and can't wait for the next step.....putting them together. ( I have to be honest and admit I did have to unsew a little bit on the last step. :(  But they do look better.)  Can't wait to see your blocks.  You'll have to post a picture if you can't stop by. 

Robin tells me we got more fabric in today.  I can't wait to see it.  I'll be in tomorrow meeting with The Running Stitchers Club.  We have such a good time.  I love seeing what everyone is doing.  Everyone seems to be having a good time, whether it's getting hand projects finished or working with an ARCO template. It's fun to see what everyone is working on and it's such great inspiration!

Hope you are all enjoying the "Posies".  I know I am.

Until next step,
Nancy Cook

Happy Sewing!! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nancy's Pockets of Posies getting started

Hello Everyone!

This is great!  I love Teresa's instructions, they are so easy to follow. I'm making the wall hanging at this time and have just finished my first block.  Now I'm ready to start chain piecing the other fifteen. Again, I love Teresa's instructions, they even tell you which way to press. (I'm just finishing a large quilt that the instrctions are not so clear and I'm having to do some unsewing) I hope you all will enjoy this project as much as I am!

See you later,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cutting Instructions for Pockets of Posies

Wall Size 47"x47"
Here are the cutting instructions for Nancy's Pockets of Posies.  We'll publish the pattern on this blog in sections:  As Nancy works on her quilt, we'll publish the section she is working on.  This week, she chose her fabrics and is cutting them.  So here's the link to the cutting instructions:  Pocket of Posies Cutting Instructions.  Just click on the link and you will download a PDF file for the first page of the pattern.  Enjoy!

Outer Petals
W 1/3 yard
K 1-1/2 yards
Cut (W3, K19) 2-1/2” strips into
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x4-1/2”
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x6-1/2”

Cutting Instructions
Outer Petals
W 1/3 yard
K 1-1/2 yards
Cut (W3, K19) 2-1/2” strips into
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x4-1/2”
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x6-1/2”
Inner Petals
W 1/3 yard
K 1-1/2 yards
Cut (W3, K19) 2-1/2” strips into
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x4-1/2”
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x6-1/2”
Contrast Squares
W 1/4 yard
K 1-3/8 yards
Cut (W3, K18) 2-1/2” strips into
     (W48, K300) 2-1/2” squares
Background, Sashing & 1st Border
W 1-1/4 yards
K 5-1/4 yards
Cut (W9, K56) 2-1/2” strips into
     (W16, K100) 2-1/2”x4-1/2”
     (W112, K700) 2-1/2”
Cut (W9, K25) 1-1/2” strips into
     (W24, K180) 1-1/2”x8-1/2”
set aside remaining for border
2nd Border & Cornerstones
W 1/3 yard
K 5/8 yard
Cut (W5 , K12 ) 1-1/2” strips into
     (W9 , K81) 1-1/2” squares
set aside remaining for border
Outer Border
W 3/4 yard
K 1-1/3 yards
Cut (W5, K10) 4-1/2” strips
Allow additional yardage for
mitered border cut WOF
W 3/8 yard
K 1 yard
Cut (W5, K11) 2-1/2” strips
W1-1/2 yards
K 9-3/4 yards

King Size 105"x105"

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things are settling down a bit after our Crazy Days in least I thought.  Teresa is at it again!  She has continued our Crazy Day sale! (what is she thinking!)  FUN

Robin and I thought we would have a nice leisurely day yesterday when Teresa said she was planning on staying home.  Were we in for a surprise!  I could barely get in the back door with all the boxes of new fabric that has arrived and Terese was working overtime from home. While I was running the quilter and working on a new store sample, Robin was busy making new kits from patterns Teresa was sending in from home!  WOW!  We are busy planning our Christmas in August and have some really fun things in store for you. Hope you can make it, you won't be disappointed.

We have two new baby quilt samples in the store and are they cute.  I love baby quilts!

Halloween is just around the corner and we have two new Halloween lines in.  In fact, I just finished piecing a really cute table runner out of Boo Crew!  It's darling.  Stop by and check it out, we'd love to see you.

For those of you who can't stop by, I promise I'll get busy with some pictures so you can see too. 

Nancy signing out....catch you later.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Won't You Be Nancy's Blog Buddy?

Nancy is trying to build our Blog Subscribers.  And what better way than to offer a FREE pattern to Blog Subscribers ONLY? 

Between now and August 1st, Nancy will post parts of our pattern, Pockets of Posies.  You can choose to make a wall quilt or king-sized quilt.  It can be scrappy or not.  You pick.  The pattern will be posted as a progressive pattern -- that means you'll get part of the pattern each time. 

Invite all of your quilting friends to subscribe to our Stitchin' Tree blog -- it will be a lot of fun!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Spring Market Report

Patty, Robin and I had so much fun a Spring Market!  I wish you could have all been there with us.  Robin was our newbie, so Patty and I enjoyed seeing Market through Robin's newbie eyes!  Everything was new to Robin, and her enthusiasm was catchy.  We set up our booth on Thursday morning -- it was pretty easy, with 3 of us helping. 

Later that morning, I taught a schoolhouse session for other shop owners.  It was standing room only!  WOW - that was fun.

Thursday evening was the Sample Spree.  The line for Sample Spree extended from one end of the convention center to the other.  Once the doors opened, it was pretty much a FREE-FOR-ALL.  Shop owners stampede into the ballroom and rush through the tables to see how much they can get as fast as they can.  We took half of our PinPals to Sample Spree and nearly sold out. 

 There are no fancy booths or displays at Sample Spree, everyone just gets a plain table. The table directly behind us was occupied by none other than Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic (MODA) -- Robin couldn't wait to get a pic with Brigitte!  This was just the bginning of our celebrity photos!

One aisle over, Robin was impressed with the Chicken Lady.  Do you like her fabric?  I hope so, because we'll be getting it in August.  The line is called Fowl Play, and the designer is Luella Doss, who designs for Free Spirit.  She's a hoot!

The Sample Spree ended at 10 pm, and we went back to the hotel EXHAUSTED.  We needed a good night's sleep to get ready for the 1st day of Spring Market.

Our booth was in the back of the Moda bus.  Moda's main sales area covered about 12 booth spaces, and the Moda designers surrounded the perimeter.  Somehow, our booth was in the Moda area, and we were the only non-Moda booth in the section.  It worked out great, though, since we were playing Trader's Dice, using 2.5" squares.  Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic (in yellow) dropped by early in the day and brought us several "mini-charms" from her newest line, ________.  The shop owners LOVED taking pics with Brigitte.  We continued to play with her mini-charms after she went back to her own booth.  I love her fun and funky fabric.
Pretty soon, we were visited by Barb ___ (in white) of Me & My Sister designs.  She LOVED the game, and quickly came back with several mini-charms of her new line, Giggles -- fun, bright flowers.

You'll notice in the background, our booth faced severval beautiful quilts by Primitive Gatherings, another Moda designer.

Polly Minnick (in white), of Minnick & Simpson, brought mini-charms of her line Midwinter Reds -- gorgeous reds, tans and creams. 

Kathy Schmitz (in denim jacket) came to play.  We found she is very competitive :-)  Everyone enjoyed her Bits & Pieces primitive collection.

By 6pm on Sunday, we were packed up and ready to head home.  Each day, as we walked to and from our hotel, we kept mentioning that we needed to take a pic outside the convention center with the beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas.  We picked a skateboarder off the street and asked him to take this pic. 

So long Portland, it's been GREAT!



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Mystery -- Chatterbox Quilt

Our Mother's Day Mystery workshop was designed for mother-daughters, sisters or girlfriends.  And we had a little bit of all of those today.

At today's Daytreat at Quilter's Cottage, 9 quilters came together to construct a mystery quilt.  Each quilter was told to bring 12 fats and some coordinating fabric for sashing and border.  Using Ellen Replogle's Chatterbox pattern from her book, Laps From Fats, the quilters began their day cutting fabric, helping each other put colors together and stitching the basic flower leaf block. In the afternoon, we stitched in teams so that each group would work together to build blocks and make the quilt.  It was a lot of fun.  It wasn't until later in the afternoon that the block design and quilt were revealed.

Robin and Renee are BFF's and they had a lot of fun together today.  Traveling from different areas of Iowa, Quilters Cottage was a fine place for them to meet and enjoy each other today.  They both chose bright fabrics to complete their blocks.

Sisters Diane and Verna worked together with similar fabrics.  Diane surpised her sister, Verna, with this Daytreat, and provided fabric for both of their quilts.  This was their first trip to Quilters Cottage.

Mother and step-son, Patty and Dan, chose several brights from their stash at home.  This is Dan & Patty's second retreat at Quilter's Cottage.  Dan puts up with all of us crazy women!

(and thanks Dan for doing the repair work in the RR) :-) 

Julie Coberly (center) planned this Daytreat to share with her mother-in-law Ann (left) and mother Marilyn (right).  This was their first retreat at Quilter's Cottage and I hope they will come back again soon.

One of the goals of the Daytreat is a day of pampering and fun.  For our Mother's Day Mystery, we had a Fancy Nancy lunch.  Everyone dressed in feather boas and hair pretties -- Dan was dressed in black hat and bow tie.  We enjoyed a fussy lunch:

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
Melons in Rum Sauce
Spring Chicken Salad with Veggie Pasta
Raspberry Swirl Dessert

I'm sure the Melons in RUM sauce had nothing to do with misplaced and miscut blocks after lunch.  If you missed our event, but would like to have the recipes, see below.  If you'd like to see more pics of our Daytreat, go to our Facebook page and take a look at all that we did today.

Melon in Blueberry Rum Sauce
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. lime rind
6 tbsp. lime juice (about 3 limes)
½ c. light rum
1 cantaloupe
1 honeydew melon
¼ sm. seedless watermelon
1 c. blueberries, rinsed & drained

Dissolve sugar in 1/3 c water in saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in lime rind.  Cool to room temperature.  Stir in lime juice & rum.  Stir in drained blueberries.  Cut melons into small pieces or balls.  Combine in a large bowl.  Pour sauce over fruit.  Chill overnight.  Mix before serving.  Serves 8-10.


Easy Bruschetta
1 loaf French bread, with butter and garlic
6 Roma tomatoes
1 small sweet onion
2 tbsp. dried basil leaves
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. real parmesan or Italian blend cheese
Dice tomatoes and onions.  Combine in a bowl.  Add basil and olive oil.  Mix well.  Make & bake slices of garlic bread until browned.  Remove from oven.  Add 2 tbsp tomato mix.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Return to oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes.  Serve warm.


Spring Chicken Salad with Vegetable Pasta
6 chicken breasts, baked or grilled, cut into small pieces
(2) 12 oz. package of mixed vegetable pasta

2 med. carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 small red onion, chopped
½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
2 c. honey mustard salad dressing
Cook noodles according to package directions.  Rinse and drain.  Set aside to cool.  Combine chopped carrots, celery, onion and parsley.  Combine with pasta.  Add salad dressing and mix well.  Add chicken and mix well.  Chill for several hours.  Stir before serving.  If pasta seems a little dry, add more salad dressing.  Serves 12-16.


Raspberry Swirl Dessert
1 c. flour
¼ c. packed brown sugar
1 stick margarine, softened
½ c. chopped pecans
(1) 10 oz. package mini marshmallows
1 c. milk
(1) 9 oz. carton Cool Whip
2 sm. boxes raspberry Jello
2 sm. packages frozen raspberries
Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl, mixing well.  Pat into 9x13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Melt marshmallows in milk in saucepan; cool.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Pour over cooled crust.  Dissolve Jello in 2 cups boiling water in bowl.  Add frozen raspberries, stirring until thawed.  Pour over marshmallow layer.  Use a spatula to swirl raspberries through marshmallow layer.  Chill until set.  Serves 12-16.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Good day to quilt

Can you believe it? We had a May Day snow storm last night. 4 inches of snow & 29 degrees. I plan to stay inside and work on a Bon sample today.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Taste of Paducah

AQS Quilt Week in Paducah was AWESOME!!!  The quilts were extraordinary!  I wish you all could have been there with Nancy Watts and I.  We took lots of pics (they are ALL on our Facebook page), but couldn't possibly capture all that is Quilt Week.  If you've never been, you NEED to go.  Paducah is unlike any other AQS show.  The entire town of Paducah is transformed to accomodate 30-40,000 quilters. 

Our booth was in the Pavillion for the second year. 

Question:  How do you hang 20 quilts in a 10ft by 10 ft booth?

Answer:  Very carefully.  It took us 3 hours to set up, and only 1 hour to tear down. 

During the show, we sold out of 4 kits -- woot woot!

I played Trader's Dice with quilters from all over the world.  They won a free pattern (the same Pop Stars pattern that is posted on our Facebook page) and were able to take home the fabric that they won.  Each time we played the game, we drew a pretty big crowd.  We played game after game, and by Friday at noon, we sold out of Trader's Dice and ran out of fabric, so we moved the table to the side and changed the display to feature the PinPals.

The AQS Author Quilts were displayed in the front of the Pavillion.  This is Sumiko Minei's "Memories" featured in her book Foundation-pieced Double Wedding Ring Quilt.  Look at the teeny weeny applique stitching.  The entire quilt is embellished with embroidery stitches.

What a treat!While I was in the main convention center, taking pics of gorgeous quilts, I met Sue McCarty while she was being photographed with her Best of Show quilt.  The photographer was none other than Ricky Tims.

This is Adventure Awaits by Sue McCarty of Roy, UT. It won Best of Show. Wow! The quilt was inspired by Tolkiens' The Hobbit. It's a wholecloth quilt with incredible threadwork in the embroidery and quilting. It was in the Large Wall Quilts, Longarm/Midarm Machine Quilted division.

We met lots of interesting, fun quilters throughout the show. It's fun to see how different groups identified themselves.  We saw lots of matching shirts & hats.  We also saw incredibly creative get-ups, like this group of 4 who had appliqued frogs on their jackets...  RRRIIIPP it -- stands for "unsewing" :-)

There were many family reunions, girlfriend getaways and couple vacations at the show. 
What was my favorite quilt?  Odd as it sounds, it wasn't one of the top award winning quilts.  I was totally impressed with Boy and His Best Friend by Jennifer Day of Santa Fe, NM. It won a red ribbon in the Small Wall Quilts - Pictorial division.  The thread work was so amazing, the fur and hair looked 3-dimensional.  It looked like I could reach out and pet the dog. 

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at AQS Quilt Week in Paducah.  If you'd like to see all of the pics, log into our Facebook page.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today is the first day of the coupon sale and I hate to say ,Robin just reported having 30 more coupons than me!!!! Come on everyone, I would really like to go to Paducah next year!

Robin and I have been really busy in the shop changing things around and planting surprises for Teresa. All I can say, we're having a really good time!
Looking forward to seeing you all in the shop Friday or Saturday! Remember if you live too far away, use those coupons in our on line shop!
I'll post pictures next time
Nancy Cook

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BOGO Coupon for Nancy's Blog Subscribers


Click on this link to download the Buy One Get One Free coupon to be used on Regular-Priced Fabric only, April 25-27.  If you want a similar coupon for Sale-Priced Merchandise, go to our Facebook page.

Or print this page with the coupon on it.

Ready for the REALLY Big Show!

Nancy Watts and I have the booth set up at the AQS Show in Paducah.  We're ready for a crowd of quilters tomorrow.  The show officials estimate that there will be 35,000-40,000 quilters over the next 4 days.  We hope to play Trader's Dice with as many as possible.  I posted pre-show pics on Facebook, but here's a few for you!

There is a sea wall directly behind the show, next to the Ohio River.  After the flood 2 years ago, the city has worked very hard to repair the wall and paint it with beautiful murals.


Downtown Paducah is all dressed up and ready for company!  This is a museum with a huge crocheted afghan stretched across the entrance.  Check out the bull.  He's wearing a scarf and is on casters.

Nancy and I are staying across the river in Metropolis, IL -- home of SUPERMAN!