Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quilt Shop Horror Stories-The Other Side of The Coin

Now that I've told you about the worst quilt shop I've ever been to, maybe we should visit the other side of the coin. Do you have a favorite quilt shop? I have been to so many wonderful shops, that it would be nearly impossible to pick one favorite, but one that is near and dear to me is one that the rest of the quilting world will be hearing about very soon!

One of my picks for best quilt shop will be getting the recognition it deserves in the next issue of Quilt Sampler. I am so excited for them since it is the shop that introduced me to quilting in the first place. I am so lucky that the first shop I had ever been to, was such a wonderful place to learn and shop! The staff is an amazing group of women and the owner is just about the smartest, classiest woman I have ever met.

Sadly, another of my favorite shops will be closing, but until the "official" announcement is made, I can't say anything else about it.

I can't wait to get the new issue of Quilt Sampler, so I can say, "That's where I shop!".

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quilt Shop Horror Stories

I used to think there was no such thing as a bad quilt shop, but after almost 9 years of quilting, I'm finding that's simply not true. I guess if the owner isn't a good person, then it follows that their shop wouldn't be a very nice place to visit. Quilt shops can be very competitive and some owners go out of their way to hurt their competition.

But even after putting that fact aside, there is one shop that I am surprised is able to stay in business. I have to admit that I didn't witness this behavior on my two visits to the shop, (where, thankfully, I didn't buy anything) but these stories have been related to me on several occasions, by more than a few different people. There is a shop in Pennsylvania, where the owner allows his dogs to roam freely around the shop and building, sleeping on the fabric bolts and sometimes chewing on them, pooping wherever they please and engaging in sexual acts in front of the customers. On top of that, his wife has been known to change a dirty diaper on top of the cutting table. Any one of these things would make me find another way to buy my quilt fabric if this was the only game in town, but combine them and it makes me think about health issues being a problem.

Have any of you ever been in a shop that you vow to never visit again? I would love to hear your quilt shop horror stories!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Free Pattern response

I got a lot of positive responses about the free pattern I offered yesterday, so I have decided to go ahead and produce a printed version of it. But until the pattern is ready and a new sample is sewn, so I can get a better photo of it, I have decided to offer it for free for a little while longer. I am too lazy/busy to figure out how to make it available by download, so if you want it, you will have to email me at Feel free to check out my website to see my other designs available.

I will be adding at least 3 new patterns in the next month or two, so check back soon to see them or send me an email to be added to my mailing list. I only send out an email when I have a new pattern to show or a new design in a magazine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free Pattern

This isn't a very good picture, but this is one of my very first quilt designs. I made this quilt for a friend's daughter and have never produced a pattern for it, but I was asked recently to do so. It is one of a very few of my designs that are not paper pieced. I will offer it as a free pattern for a limited time to see how much interest there is. I am able to email the directions, so if you'd like the directions to make Megen's Quilt, contact me asap. Make sure I have a way to respond to you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time to work

I am sitting here in the Westfield Library again, trying to keep up with emails, and blogging, while waiting for my laundry to dry at the laundromat around the corner. Here is the latest picture of my design, Carson's Star. I have 3 more blocks to finish before I decide whether to sash this or not. Tonight I am doing a trunk show for the Westfield Quilt Guild at one of the local wineries. And my in-laws are driving here from New Hampshire to stay with us at our cottage for a couple of days. I think its a long drive for a 3 day visit, but it will be nice for them to see the kids. It has been a busy week, but lots of fun as well. I will have to leave earlier than planned, since I have a class to teach Saturday morning back in Pittsburgh, but my husband and kids can stay awhile longer. Well, I guess I better go check on my laundry!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Westfield, New York

I am fortunate to have a cottage on Lake Erie at which I get to spend one week a summer. This is that week. Our cottage is in Westfield, New York. It is a quaint, quiet, pretty, little town, with more than its share of antique shops, wineries and art galleries. I was asked by the local quilt guild to do a trunk show for them while I was here and it just so happens that we are meeting at one of the wineries! I have been there twice already and have found my new favorite wine. The winery is Noble Winery and their most popular wine is called Cat Rouge and I can't wait until my presentation is over so I can have more than a taste.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Why is there so much work involved in going on vacation? I still have to finish the laundry so I have clothes to pack for my kids and myself while we are away at our cottage. Along with all of the clothes, I am packing fabric and quilting tools and all of my quilts since I am scheduled to do a trunk show in the area while we are there. My friend, Kourtney, is coming for a couple of days at the beginning of the week and since there is no such thing as nightlife, as far as I can tell, in Westfield, New York, we should be able to get some quilting done. I am not complaining, mind you. The fact that the town is so peaceful was one of the reasons my husband and I were attracted to it in the first place.

Kourtney and I have big plans, which she calls, "Planning our Divahood", so being in the same place for a couple of days will be a good thing. We have several ideas for books we want to publish, retreats we'd like to hold and shows to prepare for. Meeting Kourtney, in the first place, was a stroke of luck. There are people you just click with the moment you meet them and know that you will know them for the rest of your life. Who knows, maybe we can be the next Fons and Porter, or Alex and Ricky! Well, why not?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Great weekend!!!

What a great weekend! My friend, Kourtney Kenzie, fellow quilter/designer, came to stay with me for a couple of days of sewing, laughing, planning, and wining (not a spelling error)! We had our own mini retreat. Although I still had to go to work and still had to deal with my husband and children, it has been very energizing. We made lots of plans for the future and have lots of new projects to work on! I also got my first order from a catalog company this weekend! I'll tell you more about that later, since I'm a little superstitious and don't want to jinx it! I should also have more pictures to post soon of some of the projects I'm working on, so check back soon! Its a good thing their isn't rationing on exclamation points, because I think I would have used mine up in this post!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Kits available!

Another version of my design, Oh Christmas Tree, appeared in QUILT IT FOR CHRISTMAS 2008. Since that publication, I have redesigned the quilt, and in my opinion, improved it! I am now able to offer the pattern and a kit with the pictured fabrics. The fabric line used is, Moda's Glace. The only picture I have right now is a computer drawing, so the scale of the fabrics isn't correct, but I will have a picture of the actual quilt soon. If anyone is interested in getting a head start on a Christmas project, leave a comment here, including an email address so I can reply, or send me an email at and let me know.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

3D Quilts

Here is another new design I came up with. I like designs that look 3 dimensional even though my brain knows they are actually flat. How do others feel about that effect? Is it worth the time to find the right fabric to get that effect? If you choose the right fabric line, it isn't difficult. If you happen to have a friend who hand-dyes fabric, it can be downright simple! I would like to know others opinions on this so I can decide whether its worth it to work on designs like this or not. Are there any pattern testers out there who would like to sew out something like this or one of my other designs? So many questions!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Moving on!

I haven't posted in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working! I've got lots of new projects in the works. I think I've finally gotten all the fabrics for my Carson's Star quilt and need to get that finished. I've gotten my first international order. Ok, so its from Canada, which is only about 4 hours away from me, but it counts! I spent last weekend helping my friend move her inventory out of the quilt shop she shared with her business partner. It was a lot of work, but I think it was a good move for her. She worked so hard at the shop, it didn't leave her any time for herself or her own designing. Now she has a lot more time and we can work on the projects we are planning to do together! This is a new design I am working on that I may sew out at some point. Opinions welcome!