Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pretty Fabrics, Simple Quilts


Good Morning!

This edition of the newsletter comes to you from our pet friendly hotel in Rapid City. My "nesting" plans were set aside when we decided to meet with a fabric salesperson here rather than at the shop. The Houston International Quilt Market was a couple of weeks ago, and the suitcases our reps carry are overflowing with beautiful new fabrics. Our biggest challenge is to carefully think ahead, as we need to have a plan for everything we order. For example, we ordered a Christmas 2010 collection, the newest group by Jason Yenter (In The Beginning). The prints will be accompanied by a great pattern book, with an assortment of exquisite quilts such as the "Ice Queen" design shown in this photo. Click here for a "sneak peek" at Wintergraphixs III prints and note the intended projects at the bottom of the web page.

Seeing this, we had "our plan", and could order with confidence. We haven't even made it through this holiday season and are already shopping for the next!

In addition to working, we've had a nice time shopping, swimming at the hotel pool, and last night we treated Matthew to Chuck E Cheese's. Wow... that place is like heaven for little kids! Matthew won a long plastic drinking straw that loops around his ears and eyes like eyeglasses on the way from the cup to his mouth. As you can imagine, he's been thirsty every time he turns around, trying the straw out on various juices and sodas to see what works the best.

Our dog Sox came along, and it is quite an adjustment for him to transition from his usual days of running free in our yard, chasing rabbits & deer, to the life of a "city dog". He does well on a leash, and has been reasonably well behaved in the hotel room. Lots of activity here this weekend... It is hunting season and the place is full of four-footed companions.

As a result, this edition of the newsletter will be "short & sweet". We promised Matthew one last trip to the pool, and have a couple more stops to make before we head home this afternoon.

Cabin Award Winner: October 25, 2009

Congratulations to Bonnijean Marley!

Your name has been chosen as the winner of either a Sweet Treat Box (Mini Honey Buns for Sweet Treat Bags) or Sweet Roll Christmas Stocking Box.  You Pick!  Retail value $20.00.

Please send an e-mail to Laurie-Ann at with your mailing address, and she'll help you redeem your reward.

The next "Cabin Award" will be posted on Sunday, November 1st.

The lucky winner will receive a nice bundle of fancy Christmas fat eighths in either traditional Red/Green, or Blue/Silver.  You Pick!  These little bundles are nice for smaller holiday projects (jar lid covers, handmade ornaments or gift tags). Retail Value $17.50.

bluesilverfateights redgreenfateights

Click here to shop for these bundles.  Please note:  fabrics may not be exactly as shown, as we continually re-cut these from new Hoffman prints based on availability.

Cabin award winners are randomly chosen from our list of blog followers. To become a follower, click on the colorful “FOLLOW” icon on the left side of this page, and proceed with the instructions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sweet Treat Bags: A perfect choice for Christmas presents

I love these quick and easy bags!  Perfect for gifts, travel, or holding cosmetics, you’ll find them fun to make and useful to have.

Supplies and Pattern Information:

The pattern is a free one, and can be downloaded from the Moda website by clicking here.

Fusible fleece is recommended for the “batting”, and the pattern specifies the lighter weight variety, Pellon 987F.  Click here to purchase from DCQ.  Lightweight fusible batting would probably work okay, but the fleece is nice because it is lightweight, sturdy and doesn’t tear or separate.

Be sure to add a decorative button of some sort to the front of your finished bags.  It is amazing how “naked” the bags look without the button, and how nice they look once it is added.  An easy choice is to use a tiny scrap of your fabric to make a fabric covered button.  Click here for the appropriate packet of Dritz 3/4” fabric covered buttons.  No button-holes needed… just a piece of sew-in velcro under the flap with the button as an accent.

Fabric choices are entirely up to you.  All you need is (10) 1.5” strips cut the width of the fabric. 

Here are some suggestions:


Pre-packaged “Sweet Treat Box” from Moda includes (2) mini-honey buns (enough for 2 bags) and a copy of the pattern.  Click here.


Any Moda honey bun will work great for these bags.  Because each strip includes (40) strips, you can sort the strips into four piles, and you’ll have enough for four bags.  Click here for our current selection of honey buns.

Alternatively, simply pick your favorite print, and make a bag from a single piece of fabric.  Rose made this version using one of her favorite prints from the Urban Couture collection.


This bag was made from a Sultry Honey Bun:

sweettreatbag1 sweettreatbag2

This bag was made from a Glace Honey Bun:


And these two bags were made from the pair of mini sweet rolls in the Sweet Treat Box.  Please note: a variety of fabric collections are used in the Sweet Treat boxes… each box includes two different collections.

sweettreatbagobjectsofdesire sweettreatbagpatisserie

And now… a little challenge… Send us a photo of your sweet treat bags, and we’ll post them below.  Make one this afternoon!  (Or two, if you are feeling ambitious!)

Cabin Award Winner: October 18, 2009

Congratulations to Elizabeth Vogt & kay.marie1!

Your names have been chosen as the winners of the “Sunflowers Pattern” , retail value $14.00


Please send an e-mail to Laurie-Ann at with your mailing address, and she'll help you redeem your reward.

The next "Cabin Award" will be posted on Sunday, October 25th. The lucky winner will receive either a Sweet Treat Box (Mini Honey Buns for Sweet Treat Bags) or Sweet Roll Christmas Stocking Box.  You Pick!  Retail value $20.00


 christmasstockingsweetroll2 csbfinal

Cabin award winners are randomly chosen from our list of blog followers. To become a follower, click on the colorful “FOLLOW” icon on the left side of this page, and proceed with the instructions.

There’s No Place Like Home

Good Morning!

The time we spent in Fort Pierre last weekend was amazing: vending, teaching, and enjoying one of the best retreats we've ever been to. The Stately Stitchers quilt guild really outdid themselves with exceptional organization, fun activities, beautiful decorations, amazing food, and more. We (Cindy, Gayla, Wesley & myself) worked hard at our shop & teaching responsibilities, but the guild was so welcoming and helpful it was a pleasure to be there.

Barb, Rose, Laurie-Ann, and her husband Brian report a similar experience at the Badlands retreat in Medora. Everything went smoothly, and by all reports they did great! We can't thank Brian enough for working for the quilt shop on his weekend off. In fact, every one of our employees went above and beyond their usual responsibilities... working overtime, taking projects home to finish, coming early, staying late, and giving up time with their families to help in one way or another at the store.

As expected, it's taken us a while to get our feet under us at the shop. Ellen & Micaela valiantly "held down the fort" while everyone else was gone. If you happened to visit the shop last weekend, you probably noticed a quite a few bare spots on the walls and shelves. My friend Kathleen describes it as "when the Grinch Stole Christmas at Dakota Cabin Quilts".

So, after six quilt shows in eight weeks, we are home for a bit, and don't vend again until January. We'll do our holiday decorations at the shop, work on the website & blog, stitch new shop samples, and get our desks and workspaces organized.

More importantly, we'll have some time at home. It feels so good to sleep in my own bed, cook in my kitchen, and stitch in my sewing room. There's no question that I am a homebody, and I enjoy nothing more than starting the day with homemade soup in the crock-pot, coffee in my favorite mug, and a new project on the cutting table. Matthew & I sit side by side in the sewing room, and he works on the computer or his new workbook. Our three cats arrange themselves around the room, vying for the best position in front of the window. Every now and then we take a break to fold a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, or go outside for a little bit to play fetch with Sox.

Between now & Christmas, I'm hoping to find a handful of "nesting" days, as I plan to make a bunch of small projects for Christmas presents.

The way the weather has been, we're probably in for some "snow days". It has been unseasonably cold and we've had two snowstorms already. It was pretty discouraging to find out that there was only a four month span from "snowflake to snowflake"... June 5th to October 5th.


With the busy holiday season right around the corner, I encourage everyone to carve out some precious moments to create their own version of "nesting time." It's so easy to overdo/overspend at Christmastime, as we want to treat those we love to something special. But, I can honestly say that most people I know would love to receive simple handmade gift like a "Sweet Treat Bag" or "Sweet Roll Christmas Stocking". Tuck a small box of chocolate, some pretty bath items, or a few note cards inside for a personal touch. In this week's blog entry, I'll show you more about the "Sweet Treat bags"... the supplies cost around $10, and you can make a couple of bags in a morning.

If you start now, you'll enjoy it more, and avoid that last minute craziness that comes when you sew until 2am on Christmas Eve... Of course, I'm speaking from experience ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hot Chili on a Crisp Fall Afternoon

As promised in this morning’s newsletter, a new recipe for a delicious fall dish:

Jerre's Black Bean & Pork Tenderloin Slow Cooker Chili


I found this recipe on my favorite website,, and we had most of the ingredients in our pantry.  Wesley filled the crockpot early this morning, and the house already smells heavenly.  We used mild salsa so that it wouldn’t be too hot for Matthew, but I’m sure it would be even better with the extra spice in a hotter salsa.  The only change Wesley made was adding some fresh garden tomatoes, and a little extra chicken broth.

So Yummy!

Cabin Award Winner: October 4, 2009

Congratulations to Marti Porterfield!


Your name has been chosen as the winner of a Migration Charm Pack and (2) half-yard cuts of fabric from the newest Holly Taylor collection. Retail value: $17.00.

Click here to view the Migration collection.

Please send an e-mail to Laurie-Ann at with your mailing address, and she'll help you redeem your reward.

The next "Cabin Award" will be posted on Sunday, October 18th. Two lucky winners will receive a “Sunflower Pattern” designed by Melinda Snell. Retail value: $14.00 each.


Click here to learn more about Sonja, Melinda, and their exquisite painting & quilt project. DCQ is honored to supply patterns to individuals or retailers, and we also offer a quilt kit to recreate Melinda’s lovely wall quilt.


Cabin award winners are randomly chosen from our list of blog followers. To become a follower, click on the colorful “FOLLOW” icon on the left side of this page, and proceed with the instructions.

DCQ Introduces Sunflowers Pattern By Sonja & Melinda


Good Morning!

Visitors to the Hill City Outdoor Quilt Show a few weeks ago were welcomed by Sonja Taylor, Melinda Snell, and their exquisite artistry. The talented duo collaborated on this unique project, and everything came together perfectly in time to introduce their work at the show. sunflowerposter

Sonja Taylor, a South Dakota watercolor artist, created the original painting of "Sunflowers Pattern" as promotional art for the event. Her painting was featured on the poster for the quilt show, and the Prairie Berry winery created a limited label wine, with an image of the painting on the label.

Sonja then collaborated with her friend Melinda Snell, an accomplished quilter. Melinda designed the quilt pattern using a combination of quilting techniques. The patchwork blocks are simple paper piecing. Fusible applique and threadwork result in graceful sunflowers. Finally, trapunto adds definition to the tone-on-tone sunflowers at the top of the stunning wall quilt.

The quilt finishes at 36" x 56", a perfect size for a wall or balcony.

To re-create the feeling of a watercolor painting, Melinda chose to make “Sunflower Patterns” with Hoffman 1895 batiks.

And that's where Dakota Cabin Quilts enters the story. Melinda knew that we stock the complete selection of the Hoffman 1895 hand-painted batiks, and needed to see the entire palette so she could choose her fabrics. Early one morning, she showed up at our shop, sketches in hand, and carefully chose the fabrics she needed to complete her masterpiece.

Our first look at the final result was at the Hill City Quilt show, September 13, 2009. Although it was a chilly, drizzling day, the warm & welcoming duo, with their harmonious projects proudly on display, greeted visitors in style. It was very interesting to see their artistry side by size, and notice the similarities and variances. I was particularly impressed by the way Sonja's painting captured the glow of warm sunshine, and how Melinda's fabrics achieved the same effect. Also, the natural marbling of the hand-painted batik fabrics in the quilt mirrors the brush strokes seen in Sonya's painting.

Melinda had carefully prepared a pattern for her quilt, and they sold dozens of copies to quilters who attended the show that day. But, they approached us to help them with their endeavor, as they knew that our website could reach quilters worldwide. We enthusiastically agreed.

On Friday, Sonja & Melinda traveled to our shop, and we set the wheels in motion for our partnership. Wesley quickly sent images of their work to our friends at Hoffman fabrics, and within minutes they replied that they would like to exhibit Melinda's quilt in the Hoffman booth at International Quilt Market next week in Houston!
We'll also be offering patterns for sale on our website, and quilt kits are now available.

Whew! We haven't had this much excitement in quite some time... Not to mention that Sonja & Melinda are already planning some accessory items (possibly note cards, bookmarks, or stationary), and their creative minds are already anticipating another painting & quilt for the spring. Accordingly, Sonya and Melinda have a copyright for their images, although they generously allowed us to post them in this newsletter, on our website, & in our blog.

Click here to view the Hoffman 1895 batik category.


Click here to purchase the pattern, or a quilt kit prepared by DCQ according to Melinda's specifications.
Retailers are welcome to contact us at to place orders for the "Sunflower Pattern." Or, if you happen to be a lucky enough to attend Quilt Market, be sure to see the quilt in all it's glory in the Hoffman booth.