Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Almost" Happy New Year!!!

I know I'm a little early with my "Happy New Year!" We've been closed this week and I find that I just can't stay out of the studio! I'm in that.......... Christmas is over...... time to take down the decorations, organize and do the spring cleaning mood. Out with the old and in with the new just in time for the new year!!

There are going to be so many changes this year. New house (can't wait till they're done & I can start decorating and moving in furniture...sigh!) new layout in the studio, new designs (of course, and by the way the new quilt pattern shown above is called Susan's Dresden Garden and will be available next month some time. The fabric line used is by April Cornell for MODA and is called Nature's Notebook. It should be new in stores right now! ), new floss to play with ( OH! JUST WAIT TILL YOU SEE THE NEW FLOSS!!!!!!!) What new floss you say????'ll just have to wait & see! New gardens to plant, a new market booth design (I already have it all worked out, it's going to be SO COOL!!) New products to carry (looks like we're going to be able to make scissor charms again! Yahoo!!) New ideas (OH, I love having new ideas! It's so exciting!) A full schedule of workshops planned for the year (hint.... purses!) and our first Crabapple Hill Retreat this fall! (I'm having so much fun making plans!)

So... I know I'm a little early, but I just couldn't wait.... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

xoxoxoxoxoxox! Meg

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blue Christmas

"I-I'll...ha-have...a-a...BLUE (ooo-ooo-EEE-ooo-ooo) CHRISTMAS (ooo-ooo-EEE-ooo-ooo) without you! (ooo-ooo-EEE-ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo-EEE-ooo-ooo)

Aren't these Martha Stewart glitters and tinsel glitters yummy???? I loaded up on them... don't quite know what to DO with them yet! Maybe just hang them on the tree???
As you can see, I'm going through a "blue" phase. If it's aqua I actually go into spasms of delight!! Really embarrassing if I'm out in public when it happens! LOL!!!!
It snowed a little bit.... looks like someone dusted everything with powdered sugar doesn't it? We woke up to freezing rain this morning. It doesn't show up in the picture, but everything is coated with about 1/4" of glass! Sheila stayed home today (school closures) and Geri, our bookeeper called in and told me she's a "weenie" (her words, not mine!) and didn't want to drive out to the studio from town. I don't blame her, I'm very grateful that my commute is just a treacherous walk over from the house. I tried to walk in the snow wherever possible and not on the walkways (temporary ice skating rink!) Cindy braved the ice and drove out to do the shipping... she's such a sweetie!
This photo shows my new trees! None of that was there a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing how quickly they can put all that stuff in! In years past, Phil and I would have done it all ourselves.... many, many months and backbreaking work! If you look really closely you can see that all the stickers are still in the windows of the new house.......I'm trying to be REALLY calm about this...... we won't be able to move until late next month (well, at least that's the latest story they're giving me.... first it was September, then October, then after Christmas....see, it's getting more & more vague as time goes by!) Oh well, all the furniture hasn't arrived anyway so this was destined to happen.... that's my story & I'm sticking to it for my own peace of mind! I had really looked forward to decorating the house for Christmas. Now I'll have almost a whole year to plan for next year!!..........................was that too "Pollyanna"?

Speaking of "blue"... I just finished stitching Windflowers and sewed the borders on and sent it to Jill to quilt. When it gets home I'll stitch the mother of pearl buttons and beads to it. I found blue, aqua, aquamarine and purple saworski, sworski, sajworski..... (aw, the heck with it!)....crystals, to sew on it too.
I'm sewing together Susan's Dresden Garden. That's it above. Gracie did all the appliqued dresdens (they're so perfect and lay so flat, they look like they're printed on the fabric!) Jan, Judy, Cyndy, Sheila and I split up the stitched dresdens and then I did the center block and the mini dresdens. I'm going to sew it all together this week and then hand sew the little dresdens and the yo-yo plate centers on before we hand it over to Jill for quilting........ and yes, see! It's mostly blue!

Time to turn on the Christmas lights outside while it's still light enough to find the plug-ins!
Merry Christmas!! xox Meg

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Want to whip up a flurry of snowflakes????? I've been making these since I was a little girl... they're SO EASY to make and so, so pretty! Make a blizzard for your windows.... decorate packages.... decorate the tree (did that one year! The colored lights glow through the paper!)...cut them and don't even open them but just put them in your Christmas cards as a surprise gift! All you need is regular, old copy paper and a sharp pair of scissors! Snip, snip away and you'll have a snowstorm! If you click on the images below, they'll be bigger and easier to read... or you can right click and print!

Have fun making it snow!!!

xox Meg

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Holiday Hours

Here it is, all finished. I didn't like the frame I'd embellished tho... the buttons are too pink-y a taupe. I'll have to look for something else!

We're trying to look ahead to the holidays, kids out of school and planned vacations and traveling out of town. Because of this, we're going to be closed November 25, 26, & 27. and we'll be closed for Christmas and New Years from December 23 through New Year's Day. We'll be back on the 4th. If you need to order for Christmas plan a little bit beyond the usual 3 to 4 days because the postal service tends to slow down with the rush!!

Talk to you later! xox Meg

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This House Was Built...

Well, didn't get much done on this today...actually had to do "weekend" stuff instead. But... I got all the stitching done and I'll add the leaves and frame tomorrow (that's a piece of the wool I'm using at the left edge. I also have to do the lettering, attach the needle/floss, and sketch my house & add that too. So far, so good! I'm liking it!!!
OH!!! I forgot to put the dresden plates on it... made them last night, they're VERY cool!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What did you do today?

I've had a lovely, quiet day today with nothing to do but sew. It's been SO NICE!!! Sheila took Windflowers home this weekend to stitch on it (we're going to "tag team" it!) and I was left with nothing to do but make something for myself!!!! Heaven forbid!!! I decided to make a stitchery for the new house... kind of my version of a "champagne bottle" christening! I got a readymade frame and glued mother of pearl buttons all over it. I added silver lined beads in all the glue-y voids between the buttons. They'll tarnish quickly and will turn kind of gray...pretty! The picture shows them above but the glue isn't dry yet so I wasn't able to turn it upside down & knock off excess beads. I'll do it tomorrow.

The bottom is randomly pieced and the band above the piecing is going to have a saying made with letters/words cut from old books (don't worry... they'll be color copies!) that will say "This house was built with a needle and thread" (Because it WAS! But that's a story for another day!)I'm going to thread an old needle with floss and sew it to the band somewhere. I haven't sewn on the rickrack and old lace pieces yet. I'm going to wait until the top portion has been embroidered so that I don't scrunch it up with my hoop. I'm thinking of attaching the wide lace though and stitching right over it. I'm going to do branches coming up around the square in the center and sew wool leaves to them & maybe a few buttons.

The square in the center will have a frame appliqued around it.... think I'll applique something in the two full squares in the bottom pieced area too.... we'll see. I'm going to draw a little pen & ink sketch of my house to stick in the center of the square at the top of the lace. I scanned in the inside cover of an old piece of sheet music & I think I'll do the drawing on a copy of it... it's all water spotted and aged.... COOL!! I think I'll do a couple of little dresden plates to put up in the top outer area too, kind of layered with the embroidery & lace. I'm going to try to do the handwork tonight... I'll show you what I've come up with tomorrow!
Oh! Brenda wanted to know what to hang with painted clothespins! Well.... just about anything that you can get them around! I hang ornaments, copies of old postcards, old linens for curtains, use them as paper clips, clip cards, letters & photos to an old gate here in the studio...... the ends of garlands........tags to presents.........OH!!!! I should show you how to make little candle holders for the tree!!!! (not lit of course! HA!!) A couple of years ago I scanned in tons of old family photos & used my photo program to make them black & white (they were mostly in color) and then printed them off in sepia tones. I used scalloped scissors to cut edges around them like old photos and clipped them to the tree.... TONS of them... tried to find every old Christmas or snow picture I could. It turned out really, well... I'd get teary eyed every time I looked at it! Of course..... that's coming from someone who gets all choked up when they start running those coffee commercials where the son comes home & surprises his mom... or those new crescent roll ads where all they do is click their heels together and you just know it means "there's no place like home"..... Ooooooooh..... here I go! Can't see the screen because that's all it takes to get me going!!!! See you tomorrow! xox Meg

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blog Tour Winners!!!

Well, our portion of the blog tour is over and we've chosen our winners! Thanks to everybody who stopped by to visit and took the time to enter. We had such a fun day yesterday, reading all of your messages and comments!!!

Our three winners of the 100 Blocks magazine are:

Nancy Alderman
Sharon Szekely
Edith Soper

Our winner whose name will be sent to Quiltmaker's for the big drawing is:

Robin Brown

Our winner of the gift from Crabapple Hill is:

Scarlett Hobbs

We'll be contacting everyone for addresses so that we can send out your prizes! See Ya!!
And.....yes, I'm decorating the studio for Christmas so I thought I'd share a little picture!
"Ho-Ho-Ho, who wouldn't go?.....HO-HO-HO, who wouldn't go-o-o-oooooo? Up on the housetop, click, click, click?? Down through the chimney with good St. Nick!!!"
Feel free to hum along! xox Meg

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour

Thanks June, for sending me a picture of the block.... you're so sweet!

"Windflowers" first corner is almost completely stitched!!! YAHOO!! only 3 more to go! Then I can get started on the beading and mother of pearl buttons. That will REALLY be the fun part! I got the border fabric from MODA this morning so I should be able to have this stitched, bordered, embellished and the pattern written by the end of the month (barring any difficulties! knock on wood & all that!) I'm planning on releasing it in January or February. I know that this seems a little out of the ordinary for me, but really it's not. I dearly love so many different styles and color palettes.... I just haven't dragged them out for everyone to see yet!!! This fabric just sang to me when I was shown it be my very sweet MODA rep, Bonnie Tyro. It has another fabric that will be used as the outer border..... it looks like a band of gorgeous, ...."gasp"....watercolor-y lace laid over the blue background! It's SO beautiful!!! I used that same band of lace but cut it up and pieced it for the inner border. There are two other colorways in this line too... I want to use the beige one too because it will come out looking snow-ish!... It's called "French Lace Batik". There are so many types of fabric that would look good with this. Everything from soft florals to Kaffe Fassett or Amy Butler. All that would have to be changed would be the floss colors used. I'm using 1 yard lengths of 10 or 12 different flosses randomly. It's been so much fun doing something a little bit different than the norm! I hope that everybody likes it!

Several months ago I was asked to design a block for a book called "Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers". I designed a simple to stitch urn full of buttonhole stitch daisies with an old fashioned cross stitch type border done all in rich golds and chocolate browns (Though you could use any colors you'd like, of course!). I wish I'd taken a photo of it before I sent it off to them but I just never thought I'd need one! Joke's on me!!!... because I really could use it right now! LOL!!

Anyway... They're doing all kinds of fun stuff to kick off the book's release. One thing is a "blog tour". You can follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily November 9th through 13th at for inspiration, ideas and giveaways galore! Look for 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at They will be posting new links and prizes each day and all of the designers in the book have donated items that have been put together into a "Big Bundle Giveaway" that will be given to one lucky reader at the end of the blog tour.

We will also be choosing a winner within the next 24 hours who will receive a copy of the book and another winner who will receive a little gift from Crabapple Hill! All you have to do is contact us by email through the website or directly at and we'll put your name in the hat! If you enter by commenting on the blog we may not be able to access your email address to contact you. Sounds like fun on a cold November day, doesn't it????

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Less than one month left!!


It's hard to believe that it's already November! That means that the "Forget Me Not" quilt winner will be drawn on December 1st !!! You would not only win the quilt but also a pillow made with the block made by Judith Baker Montano! If you haven't purchased your raffle ticket yet, just follow the link on my website ( and it will take you to the Susan G Komen website where they are being sold. HURRY, HURRY, HURRY!!!!

I'm sorry about huge lapses of time between posts. Between working on new patterns and our new house, time just seems to disappear! Our house looks like it's about 2 months LATE and we may be moving around Christmas time..... I'm going to take the "Pollyanna" high road and look at it as a great big Christmas present and not freak out!!!!! But.....really...... I want to say "#$%^!@*, get it DONE already!!!" In the meantime, I've almost totally packed our old house, & since I'm not going to decorate IT for the holidays, I'm going "all out" in the studio! The tree is up...lights decorations yet... village houses, lights, vintage ornaments, and greenery is arranged... music is on (I'm actually kind of embarrassed by the number of Christmas CD's I've found I have... I have two copies of several of them (must have REALLY liked them! LOL!!) so I'm telling myself that I just thought ahead... how CLEVER of me!.... and got one for the player in the car too!)

I'm going to have to paint clothespins to clip things to the tree and it dawned on me that you may like to know how to make them! So... here goes.... easy, easy, easy!

You will need:

wood clothespins (the cheap ones in the grocery or hardware store, not the craft store expensive ones)

a large zip lock bag or a good, thick garbage bag.

a bottle of acrylic craft paint (I'm doing white this time.... the black ones for Halloween turned out great too... I've also done pink, green, orange, and white.....wonder where those disappeared to?)

an old towel or large rag (absorbent and nothing you'll care about ruining)

paper towels

Pour some of the paint into the bag and mix water with it until it's about the consistancy of whipping cream (before it's whipped....duh!) Just squish & rub it around in your hands to mix it.

Put the clothespins in the bag of paint. Seal it up and roll them around until they look like they're thoroughly covered.

Take the clothespins out of the bag (I use rubber gloves) and spread them out on the towel. You can dab them with paper towels if they seem really..... paint-y.

Let them dry in a warm, dry place. If there's plenty of air movement they'll dry faster.

Every hour or so, turn them over & roll them around as they dry.

That's all there is to it!!!! Have Fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Who "helps" you stitch?

I have to admit it... I like dogs. In fact, I like them alot. But I LOVE cats! They're funny and cuddly and clean and.... well, I don't think they get the good PR that dogs do! So, when we got this email from Doris Marie Gerard of Cincinnati, OH, I decided that now's the time to toot the horn for kitty "helpers" everywhere! This is Doris' email:

... You left out one requirement in (Rules for Knot-y Girls Membership) Rule #4, but I don't know how to phrase it.... here's what happened: I did, on one occasion, stitch my cat's paw into my needlepoint! Biscuit was laying in my lab bathing when the loop of yarn caught her paw and pulled it up to the back of the canvas. She didn't scream or jump and run, she just laid there purring until I realized that I had a cat paw caught in my stitching. Then she gave me "The Look" as I picked out a half dozen or so stitches to free her dainty little grey paw! Years later, the same thing happened with my Siamese, Princess Oscar, aka The Kitten From Hell (shown below in the window) She wasn't so forgiving. Still have the scars! Fortunately, one of the skills Grandma taught me was how to reweave holes in embroidery fabric! LOL!

The next three pictures are our friend Shellee "Hiccup Girl's" helpers. I love the first one's hanging over the edge of the table/acrobatics act....

Somebody needs to keep the ironing board warm.....right?? Besides, what project would be complete without a little bit of cat hair sewn into it? Maybe if you move your board out of the sunshine... it's just TOO tempting!
The last one is a clear cut case of "Pay attention to ME, not your pattern!" I get this one all the time from my helper, Honeybunny. "If you like it, mom, I must need to be right in the middle of it!"
We got this picture from Terri Woodford from Fall Creek, WI. She says that she makes samples for a local quilt shop called The Quilt Yard. This is her "spin" on Halloween Journey. I wish the image was larger! She did her pumpkins in wool and it's SO STINKIN' CUTE!!! Thanks Terri!
This is Winter Wonderland made by Jan Thompson of McVille, ND. It was one of the first place winning quilts at the Indian Summer Quilt Show in Fargo, ND. (Congratulations! Great Job!) If that's not enough, her quilt will also be shown in a special show held by the North Dakota Quilters Showcase and will be photographed and documented as a quilt from the 21st century. Holy Moly Jan! How cool are you????!!! We're really excited for you!
These stitcheries were done by Robin Diessner (hope I got that right?) She made Halloween Journey and then decided that she wanted two stitcheries that could be hung together.... SO... she got really creative and flipped the border of Halloween Journey, designed her own title (Trick or Treat) in the same style of writing as mine, wrote her own verse in the same style as mine (LOVE her verse!!!) and added images from Vintage Trick or Treat that she shrank down to size to fit the stitchery. It is SO, SO COOL!!!!!! I want one.................really, I mean it Robin... get to stitching!!!! Really not kidding here Robin.... Get to work.

This Over the River and Through the Woods was made by Doris Jablonski from Georgetown, TX. She won a ribbon for it in the Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild Show this fall. (Once again, wish the picture was WAY bigger. AAarrrgghhh!!!) She also wrote that the judge's critique read, "Original hand quilting design showcases lovely embroidery"...blush, blush You SHOULD be proud of yourself!!, so stop blushing! You did a great job. (send us a larger photo next time please so that we can really see the detail.... I know, some emails automatically resize photos, what a pain!)
Well, that's it for today. Send in your photos of your projects (leave them as large as your email will allow) and photos and stories about your kitty helpers. They're so much company! There's just something very calming about stitching with a warm, purring (and vibrating!) cat leaning on my arm. The occasional floss covered in kitty spit is OK too! LOL!!!
By the way! Pieces of the Past (that's the center block at the top of the post) is almost ready and will be put up on the website next week! That pattern is HUGE!!!! Hope you like it!
xox Meg

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back From the Quilter!!

Pieces of the Past is home again! Jill Therriault from Wenatchee, WA quilted it & got it back to us in record time!!! I'm THRILLED with the way it turned out! Great imagination Jill...LOVE the wallpaper design she did on the wall "behind" the shelf and plates! This is a preliminary photo just to give you an idea how it looks!!!! I worked all afternoon today binding it... Tomorrow I'll try to hang it a little bit straighter & get some pictures in better lighting (it's very dreary out today & they've recently dug potatoes nearby...lots of wind & lots of dust storm!!) The quilt is leaving for Houston tomorrow. It will be visiting Nireko Ohira in the Lecien booth at International Quilt Market... Thank you Nireko!! I'm going to try to finish writing the pattern this week while it's all still clear in my memory. WHEW!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finally... It's Time For Pumpkins!

Autumn is my very favorite time of year! The extreme heat of summer is over and leaves are promising to turn very soon! YAHOO!!! We've picked the pumpkins & gourds that we grew this year. Kind of a meager harvest... but every one's a winner!!! I couldn't wait to clean out the summer flowers & replace them with mums. I got plants that are covered with buds... can't wait till they start blooming! I also got a Japanese Lantern plant while I was at the nursery. They're SO COOL!!! I'm going to have to plant some of these in the gardens next year!
See those little faces?? They don't just grow that way!! LOL ! My son dropped by the studio yesterday afternoon & by the time he'd left we had Jack 'o Lantern faces on our little lanterns!! He's a whiz with a Sharpie & always "game" for a quick project. Aren't they cute??

He also suggested that a Japanese Lantern vine with Jack 'o Lantern faces would make a really cute stitchery.... maybe with a harvest moon?? (Hmmmm..... I'd hire him if he'd just agree to learn to embroider!! ... dream on!) I think I need to start drawing that one!
Think I'll make some pumpkin bread.... or pumpkin muffins.... or pumpkin pie!
Happy Autumn!!! xox Meg

Monday, September 14, 2009

We Have A Name!

One stage of designing a pattern is always daunting. At some point you absolutely HAVE to come up with a name for it! I thought we'd do something a little bit different this time... I asked YOU to name it.

We received hundreds of ideas from you. Most had something to do with "Grandma's China" or Grandmother's China Cabinet". Great names and also the first thing that I had thought of for a name too! There were many, many fine names that ranged from pretty..."Memories Stitched in Porcelain", to whimsical..."China Palooza", lyrical... "If Dishes Were Wishes", literary... "Marmee's Best Dishes", and literal... "Flea Market Finds". Several entries came with stories about mothers, grandmas and favorite aunts whose pretty china brings back memories of Sunday dinners and tea parties lovingly given for little girls with clumsy hands.

I have to admit that my china collection doesn't come with memories attached (with the exception of one bowl and two Havilland covered tureens" It's mostly the product of my china....problem?? "Hello, my name is Meg & I'm a china addict." If it's round or oval, pastel or floral... it's going home with me!!! I don't care if it's a little bit chipped or crazed or if it's remotely valuable, it's MINE, MINE, MINE!!!! HA-HA-HA...(that's an evil, "I'm taking over the world one bowl at a time" kind of laugh by the way!)

Anyway, thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute. I've taken words or entire phrases from each of the entries & added them to the pattern. You'll be able to choose any you'd like and trace them onto the crazy quilt blocks on the quilt's borders!

Thank you again and..... hmmmm..... almost forgot!!!! The winning quilt name was "Pieces of the Past" sent in by Diane Stone. I chose it because the border's crazy quilt blocks contain sections of the plates as if they were pieces of broken china... it fits like a glove!!

The photos above are of the (almost) finished quilt center... I still have to applique the "frame" down to the quilt top.... and one of the crazy quilt blocks that Sheila is stitching on. To get the blocks done quickly, Jan & Cyndy drove down this weekend & sewed the blocks while I traced & colored them. The four of us have split the blocks up so that we can get them done ASAP!!!

Thanks again for all of your help!

xox Meg

Friday, August 28, 2009

"China" Quilt Late Summer Contest

Here are some of the stitched blocks & the Lecien fabric that I'm going to use.... thought they might help you come up with names! At the moment it seems that everybody wants it to be called "Grandma's China/Dishes" !! Remember to email us by September 12th with your entry at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Questions & Answers!

We get a lot of questions... these seem to pop up over & over again. OH!!! Somewhere in here is the information about our "Late Summer Contest" so read carefully!!

Q - Why do you prefer a spring tension hoop? And why so small???
A - I like to be able to re-hoop quickly. The spring tension hoops allow quick "re-loads", have very thin sides and no screw to tear my fingers up. It's also easy to loosen or re-tighten as I work... looser for that sewing motion with the backstitch.... tighter for crossing over or making long stitches such as feather, fly, lazy daisy. The size is good for women's hands. It's easy to reach to the center of the hoop.

Q - Why do you use Weeks Dye Works floss if it's not colorfast?
A - We use this floss because it's absolutely gorgeous! That, and we use it on designs that we feel would never be washed. You'll never see it used on a dish towel pattern.... YIKES!!

Q - Why do you call for a backstitch in your patterns & not a stem stitch?
A - Sheer laziness!! LOL! Really, for the most part the backstitch is much easier and faster. It doesn't roll over...... hmmm.... what else? If you do a stem stitch it needs to be very small and very precise & even to look good. A backstitch is much more forgiving. However, it's YOUR stitchery & you can use the stem stitch if that's what your fingers want to do! It's not going to hurt MY feeling!!

Q - Who is this man, and why is he smiling????
A - That's Bob, our UPS dude! He's probably smiling because we didn't have anything for him to pick up last night.... WHEW, those boxes of patterns are heavy!

Q - Why do you call for such a large piece of stitchery fabric (such as a 12"x12" square when the stitchery is only 6"x6") ?
A - I leave extra room for hooping around the edges of the stitchery. If you don't think you'll need the extra room you can always use your own judgement and use less fabric. It's up to you!

Q - My lazy daisy stitches are tight and don't look like the ones drawn on the patterns. How do you make them look like loops?
A - Easy! I find that they're often pulled too tight. Also, if the floss is pulled straight UP from the surface of the fabric to tighten the stitch, it's much easier to get out of control and over-tighten. Instead, pull the floss out right down along the edge of your hoop. Pull slowly until the loop is the size and shape you want.
Q - How do I keep my French knots from tangling and having loops on them? (Someone once told me in a class that her French knots "waved" LOL!!!)
A - The key to good French knots is to keep proper tension on the wraps and to work SLOWLY!!! If you pull the floss through the wraps slowly enough, you can even have a chance to un-tangle your floss if it gets knotted, before the stitch is ruined.

Q - What is the muslin for that you call for on the back of the pattern? How do you baste the muslin to the stitchery fabric?
A - I like to baste muslin to the back of my traced stitchery to stabilize the fabric and to cover up all the ugly thread ends and cross-overs on the back. The muslin will keep the ugly stuff from shadowing through to the front of the fabric. I like to hand baste about 1/2" to 1/4" outside the edges of the design and around here and there inside the design to hold the two pieces of fabric together. I like to hand baste quite a bit... it keeps the fabric from shifting when it's hooped and cuts down on puckering. The basting stitches don't need to be little... just big stitches & lots of them! The basting will be removed after the stitchery is completed however, you can also remove portions of the basting as you stitch.

Psssst............. this is one of the pitchers on the bottom panel of a new quilt! Right now we're calling it "the china quilt" but I need a new name & I need it NOW!!!!! Here's the new "Late Summer Contest".... will you help me name this quilt??? I'll describe it & you can email us your name ideas. The winner will get a gift from Crabapple Hill!! OK.... the quilt is designed to look like a framed picture (flowers in an urn) hanging on a wall above a shelf. Vintage china plates, platters, saucers are arranged on the wall around the picture and a bowl, pitchers, sugar bowl, etc... are clustered on the lacy tablecloth covered shelf beneath. There will be crazy quilt borders on the left & right sides of the quilt with little floral images etc... and china-type words to choose from. Any ideas???? Send them in! We'll need your entries by September 12th so there's not much time!!

Our Flight of Fancy is back from the quilter!! Susan Johnson of Signature Quilting did a great job on it. I'll sew the binding on this week & Sheila will do the hand sewing (she's SO fast at it!!) I'll start writing the pattern later this week - it shouldn't take long.... easy piecing & easy redwork.... YAHOO!!!
The flowers in front of the studio are blooming their little hearts out! They're also full of bumblebees (they're so cute!). It's about time to switch some of the flowers that are pretty much done for the year with marigolds and mums. I'm SO ready for autumn! The first weekend of September I'm going to re-plant my pots with autumn flowers and pick the pumpkins to arrange on the porch.

I've had many questions from you about the progress on our new house. Here's the "latest"!!! They're just finishing up with the drywall (finally!) and will get started on the trim next. There's a lot of woodwork in the house so that should take a few weeks I'm told! The porch's pillars & railings aren't in yet either & that will come soon. We're going to paint it a pale yellow with white trim. I just love the back side of the house... it reminds me of an old schoolhouse that sits in the wheat fields in the Palouse region east of here. It's all those windows! With that evening sun, we're going to have to plant TONS of trees! The front of the house sits face to face with the front of the studio. It'll be an easy commute to work in the morning! Oh.... there's so much landscaping work to do! I'm itching to get started!!!

xox Meg

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Toweling Has Arrived!!

Hi Everybody!

Our Moda Home toweling arrived this morning! We got the multi-color stripe and the multi-width green stripe (my personal favorite!! - I'm thinking of making curtains or something for my kitchen & pantry using it.) Anyway... it's here and it's back on the website!

Last weekend we tried to beat the heat & headed for the hills! It wasn't much cooler as the whole state is having a heat wave, but it DID include a trip to my favorite antique store, APPLE ANNIES!!!! YAHOO!!! Always good for about 2 or 3 hours of wandering.... and buying! LOL!!! I found a green vintage tin box, some china bowls (I'm addicted!.... do they have rehab for china & diet coke addictions???) an aqua tablecloth that I'm thinking of slipcovering a chair with for the new house.......... and enough other stuff to make myself the tiniest bit ashamed of myself..... ashamed???? NO, never!!! I NEED all that stuff, right??? Just like I need all this fabric & every kind of floss on earth.........................right?
On the way home over Blewett Pass, we came around a corner & had to slam on the brakes. Cars were stopped in the middle of the road to let a herd of sheep cross! You don't understand..... this DOES NOT HAPPEN on Washington state's highways! This isn't the norm! There wasn't anyone "herding" the herd, just one very hot, tired, bored, big white dog. He pretty much seemed to be saying "Hey, I'm supposed to protect them from coyotes & maybe a bear or two....... big cars & trucks????.... they're on their own!!!" I got a couple pictures before people started realizing that the sheep were in no big hurry to cross the road & finally pulled through very slowly one by one. Kind of a fun way to end our day!

In the last two weeks we've had a few visits from people who either thought the shop hop was still going on, or who just thought that we were now open to the public because we'd been open during the shop hop.... anyway........ this is just a reminder that even though we'd all love to meet you & show you the studio... it's not always in "spotless, let's have visitors!" form! We work here & make messes & have shipments coming and going. We're on the phone and working on the computers and printing and sewing & designing. We can't stop working to talk & stuff and we're just NO FUN!! LOL!!! : )

One of these days I'll open the studio up again for a special event... we'll get it all dolled up again like a girl in a pretty party dress......we'll bring in some of the girls who don't usually work in the studio to help to welcome you and show you around! Until then though, we're not open.... I'm so sorry! xox Meg