Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cabin Award Winner: January 31, 2009

Congratulations to Tamera Svanes!

You are the lucky winner of this week’s cabin award: a “Bye-Bye Baby Quilt patchwork quilt kit with backing & pattern. Regular price: $37.00 plus $8.00 pattern.  Currently on sale at for $33.30 plus pattern.

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

The next cabin award winner will be announced Sunday, February 7th.  The lucky winner will receive a “Miranda Day Bag” pattern (Retail Value: $9.00) plus a pair of Clover U-Shape designer bag handles (Retail Value: from $10.50 to $15.50, depending on style).  Also, part of the award, a set of Handy Tabs in the color of your choice, to neatly attach your designer handles to your Miranda Bag.  (Retail Value: $3.00).  

Value of entire award: $24.50- $29.50)

U-Shape Amber,  Bamboo, and Black sell for $10.50

ushapeamber ushapebamboo ushapeblack

U-shape Marble Amber, Ivory, and Marble Brown sell for $15.50


ushapemarbleamber ushapemarbleivory ushapemarbledarkbrown

Handy tabs are available in a rainbow of yummy colors, including:

handytab701 handytab704 handytab702

handytab705 handytab707

And, the “Miranda Day Bag Pattern” is our favorite bag pattern of all time, bar none:


Click here  for our complete collection of all things wonderful for bags!

Can you tell we have been afflicted by the “bagging bug”?  It’s very similar to the “quilting bug”, just a slightly different strain.

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.

Day 11 & Not a Flicker


Good afternoon.

When our power went out on January 21st, I never imagined that we'd be in this situation. It's day eleven without electricity at our home, and we're getting along okay at Colleen's cottage. We are extremely thankful for our "home away from home", and do our best to focus on what we do have rather than what we don't. But, in all honesty, there are times its not so easy.

According to the Slope Electricity website, about 450 members were still without power as of Thursday night. New outages are still occurring. If I could, I'd send a personal thank-you card all of the electric linemen who are working day and night in these conditions to restore power to more families every day. For an idea of the conditions they are working in, and the devastation of the infrastructure, click here.

A couple of things have become apparent to me as the days go by
1.) I'm a homebody. Each evening, after long and sometimes stressful days, my emotional energy is rejuvenated within our home. I'm just not myself when I don't experience that.
2.) I love my gadgets. Laptops, my nook e-reader, my cell phone, and of course a wide range of appliances permeate my existence. Not to mention my sewing machine, Ott lights, and Rowenta iron. Without these modern conveniences, I have a hard time putting one foot in front of the other.
3.) We rely upon our pets for comfort and pleasure. Currently, we're in a bit of upheaval, as Sox the dog lives in town with us, and the "girls" (Aimee, Abbie, and Kitten) remain at the farm. Sox roams around the cottage, sniffing and looking a little lost. He's used to protecting his 60 acre territory and doesn't know much about being a "town dog". The girls are just fine at the house, toasty warm beside the propane fireplace. They greet us at the door when we arrive, anxious for attention.

After dark last night, we drove out to the farm to check on the cats, the heat, and the water pipes. As we left the glowing lights of town behind, and drove past a few homes south of town, I felt my usual "electricity envy" toward the houses with power. We turned onto our gravel road and entered a world of darkness. No yard lights, no house lights. Just a few stars, a sliver of moonlight, and the headlights from the car.

We used flashlights to safely head into our home through the garage, then turned them off and stepped into the cozy warm, inky blackness. Out of habit, I reached for the light switch, in a futile attempt to turn on the kitchen lights. In the living room, the fireplace flickered, the only glimmer of light in the entire house. We snuggled up with the cats, scratching their ears and tummies, reassuring them that everything was alright. Ahhh... it felt so good to be home. We noticed the silence... no furnace running, no appliances humming, no television, computer, or music in the background.

Just the three of us, our three cats, and the comfort of being in our own home.

A little later, we returned to our comfortable cottage, and settled in for another night.

This experience is teaching me about the many things I have to be grateful for and reminding me about what I take for granted. I imagine the elation I will feel when I walk through our front door, reach for the light switch, and "Hooray, the lights work!"

Probably not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But, hopefully, someday soon...

Above photo by Clarice L. Kesler, posted on the Slope Electric Website, showing downed power lines near New England, ND

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cabin Award Winner: January 24, 2009


Congratulations to acmcwill1954!

You are the lucky winner of this week’s cabin award: a hand-picked assortment of 30 skeins of the new Cosmo Embroidery floss.  Retail value $30.00


See last week’s post for more information about your prize.

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

The next cabin award winner will be announced Sunday, January 31th.  The lucky winner will receive a “Bye-Bye Baby Quilt patchwork quilt kit with backing & pattern. Regular price: $37.00 plus $8.00 pattern.  Currently on sale at for $33.30 plus pattern.

byebyebabytop byebyebaby1


We currently have a handful of these kits left, and coordinating diaper bags kits are available in limited quantities too. Click here to check them out.

This category is part of a big winter clearance at the store, as we clean shop in anticipation of new spring arrivals.  Click here to view the entire category.

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.

Exquisite North Dakota Beauty

Early this week, a thick fog blanketed the landscape. Hoar frost and ice accumulated on trees, bushes, fences and buildings. It was breathtaking. On Tuesday, I asked some of my friends for permission to wander through their beautiful yards in search of pretty pictures. Here’s what I found:


Cathy & Todd’s Bell


Hettinger Cemetery


Tree Row by Hettinger Airport


Tree Row by Hettinger Airport


Hettinger Courthouse



Hettinger Post Office Front Door


Joe & Pat’s Front Yard


Brian & Kim’s Front Yard


Brian’s Frozen Fish Weather Vane


Cathy & Todd’s Gazebo


John & Gina’s Collies, Annie & Gracie


Annie? or Gracie? I can’t ever tell who is who


Annie, or Gracie?


Icy Cobwebs on John & Gina’s Barn


Old Barn South of Town


Hancock Point Picnic Area, at the Edge of Mirror Lake

Beauty & The Beast

Good morning.

Well, my cozy kitchen this morning has a distinctively different look this morning than it did last Sunday morning. The reason is simple. It's a different kitchen.

We moved to town Thursday evening, after our house in the country lost power. When we called Slope Electric to report the outage, they kindly told us to prepare for the worst. Thousands of North Dakota residents were already without power, and they expected more lines to fall. They couldn't begin to estimate when service might be restored.
Our friend and fellow quilter Colleen kindly settled us into one of her furnished "hunters cabins" in town. I prefer to call it our cottage... it is a charming little house, neat as a pin, and clean as could be. Most importantly, it has electricity. And, dogs are allowed.

Thursday night, Wesley, Matthew, myself, Laurie-Ann, and the two dogs were here. On Friday morning, our friends and neighbors John and Gina joined us, as they were cold and tired after a spending a long night stoking the fire in their only heat source, a wood burning fireplace. We had a full house.

We were warm, cozy, and contented until the entire town lost electricity yesterday morning. Then, things got a little iffy. We considered relocating back to our county house because it has a propane fireplace and we could stay warm. But, MDU projected repairing the problem in town by 5 pm, so we hoped for the best, snuggled up under quilts, and did the "dance of joy" when the lights & furnace came on just after supper.

Before the town blackout yesterday morning, power flickered on and off for quite some time. We arrived at the grocery store in the midst of the uncertainty, hoping to add to our supplies. The owners were understandably stressed out, worrying about their coolers, freezers, and electronic cash registers, credit card machines, and computers. But, instead of asking shoppers to leave, they handed us flashlights and permanent markers.

"Write the prices on each item as you put them in your cart," Kyle instructed us. "It will be easier to figure out your total because the till doesn't work."

We roamed the well stocked aisles with flashlight in hand, preparing for a few days without electricity. They checked us out with a handheld calculator, and we were set. Small town living at it's best... we all look after each other.

As of this morning, the power remains on in town. But, we have no illusions that it will stay on. The wind is coming up, temperatures are dropping, and the weather forecast doesn't look so good. Power lines are still coated with thick layers of ice, and bounce precariously in the wind. In some areas,rows of power poles have snapped like matchsticks, and the cables lie on the ground in a tangled mess.

We've been driving to the country each day, to check on the cats and the house. So far, so good. The fireplace keeps the temperature in the low 60's, and the cats are lonely but content.

Before the mess with the power lines, I did take time to appreciate the beauty of the hoar frost, thick fog, and ice storm. These photos capture the magnificence. Visit the blog by clicking here for more scenic pictures.

Given the circumstances and the weather forecast, we canceled our vending commitment at the Mandan show. We were pretty sure we could get to the show, but didn't know if we'd be able to make it home when today's forecasted storm hit. It was a hard decision to make, but we realized travel was too risky, and we knew that we had to be here to care for our home, our shop, and our animals. We are very sorry we missed the event.

Despite all of the uncertainty and upheaval, we are extremely grateful for our situation. We are all warm, safe, clean, and well fed. We are blessed to have Colleen's cottage. Our pets are fine, and no damage to our home or business has occurred. We pray for the safety of the electrical linemen working in these conditions, and sincerely appreciate their efforts. We worry about our the ranchers, and pray that they can get water to their herds.
Dakotans are a hearty sort... we'll get through this together.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We’re Cleaning Shop at Dakota Cabin Quilts


Good morning.

As I sit in my cozy kitchen writing this newsletter, Wesley and Laurie-Ann are already hard at work at the shop. They are putting the finishing touches on our online clearance area, updating the website to reflect what we actually have in stock.

As you can probably imagine, it is a lot of fun to receive complete new collections of fabric. We unpack the boxes with a sense of anticipation and excitement, dreaming of the beautiful quilts we'll make with our new treasures.
"That piece would make a perfect outer border... Oh, and there's the perfect background. Ahh... look at that! I want that for my backing!"

Of course, only a small portion of the "quilts in our dreams" ever come to fruition. We simply don't have the time to make everything that we dream about. But, that doesn't stop us from dreaming.

After a relatively slow month for new arrivals (we try very hard to use December as a "catch-up month"... with no major shipments), the next few months will include a flurry of new & irresistible fabric collections.

During her Christmas vacation from college, Lindsey worked hard to anticipate the new arrivals, and many of the collections are already online, but hidden from view. As a result, our online shoppers will be able to see the new merchandise in a timely fashion, rather than waiting for us to get organized.

We also had her work on the clearance area, and she measured over 150 remnants for the "All or None" categories. As many of you know, this is our way of finishing off a bolt of fabric. We carefully measure, fold, and re-price our short bolts at either 30% or 40% off. In exchange for taking the entire piece, customers are rewarded with a low price. We are rewarded with an empty bolt.

Please note: "All or Nones" are sold first come, first serve. We do our best to keep the website up to date, but ask that you check out in a timely fashion, so that we can allot the goods to you. To be specific, if you place a one of a kind item in your shopping cart, and don't check out for a number of hours, there is a good chance that somebody else will have completed their order for the same item in the meantime. I'm not trying to encourage "speed shopping"... but just gently reminding you that putting an item in your cart is not the same thing as buying it :)

In addition to the "All or Nones", we also tidied up the remainder of the clearance area, adding new items and deleting some that were no longer available. Although the task isn't nearly as fun or inspirational as working with the new arrivals, it is refreshing and cleansing. Just like cleaning a pantry or a closet, we procrastinate a bit, finally dive in, then feel a sense of accomplishment when it's done.

I updated the "Cut Goods" category this morning, with the newest fat quarter bundles, charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and honey buns from Moda.

Click Here.


The photo at the top of this newsletter shows the new "Whimsy" collection by Fig Tree Quilts, and this photo shows Holly Taylor's newest group, "Lakeside Retreat". We'll be getting both complete collections in the weeks to come, so the arrival of the charm packs & bundles caused great excitement at the shop.

In fact, Gayla pronounced the "Whimsy" charm pack as "the most appealing collection of fabrics she's seen in quite some time." And, she's seen a lot of fabric collections come and go in the time she has worked at the shop. When I told her that quote might end up in the newsletter, she laughed, and made me promise to tell you that she thinks a lot of our other fabrics are really pretty too

Have fun shopping!

Cabin Award Winner: January 17, 2009

Good morning.

Congratulations to nettiecrain!

You are the lucky winner of a fabric bundle of the new Winter Quilts series from Elizabeth Studios. Retail value $35.00

2309-white 2310-blue

Click here to check out the complete collection series. This collection is designed by Diane Phalen for Elizabeth Studios.  The crisp winter scenery is accented by warm and  colorful quilts… fabric so pretty you won’t want to cut it!

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

The next cabin award winner will be announced Sunday, January 24th.  The lucky winner will receive a hand-picked assortment of 30 skeins of the new Cosmo Embroidery floss.  Retail value $30.00

525-1  525-2 525-3 525-4 525-5 525-6 525-7 525-8 525-9 525-10

As you can see, this floss is available in a rainbow of colors.

The easiest analogy for me to describe this beautiful product is :

Cosmo floss compares to DMC floss,

as Aurifil thread compares to dime store thread. 

Cosmo is made from top quality Egyptian cotton fibres, for a silky, smooth, nearly tangle-free result.  The floss smoothly unrolls from the skeins, the strands neatly separate, and stitching with it is sheer pleasure.

We currently stock the entire collection of the 6 strand skeins (click here).  This past Friday, we placed an order for the full range of the marbled (or variegated) floss, and can’t wait for it to arrive.  There were over 50 beautiful colors.

This morning, I did a quick google search about the floss, and found that in addition to Brenda Riddle (Acorn Quilt & Gift Company),  designers from Crabapple Hill, Bunny Hill Designs, and Moda (Joanna Figueroa and Edyta Sitar) are all recommending the product and using it in their quilt & stitching patterns.   I’m sure there are more, but these names were the easiest for me to identify.

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.