Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whimsicals: What’s inside the books?

Online shopping is great when you know what you’re looking for.  But, nothing replaces the experience of standing in a quilt shop, touching the fabrics, admiring the sample quilts, and leafing through new pattern books.  We try to include as much information as we can in our online product descriptions, but sometimes it helps to have a secondary photo. 

Thanks to Terri Degenkolb, talented quilt designer, and author of the “Whimsicals” books and patterns, I’m able to show you these beautiful medley photos, detailing the projects featured in each of her books.

Note: we are currently able to cut kits for the projects from “If Quilts Could Talk”, as these feature her newest fabrics.

If you fall in love with a project from one of her previous books, please e-mail us and ask if we can provide a custom kit.  Because all of Terri’s designs feature her signature style, we can often use current fabrics for any of her patterns, within reason.  However, custom kits from previous books will be made with the current fabric group, rather than the prints shown in the photos.

ifquiltscouldtalkwhimsicals whimsicalsifquiltscouldtalkbook


cabinfeverwhimsicals cabinfeverbook

companionswhimsicals companions

pumpkinsandspicewhimsicals  pumpkinsandspicebook

serendipityprojects serendipity

Click here to see our current selection of Terri’s patterns, books, and her new fabric collection “Heart & Soul”.

Click here to visit her awesome website.

The Traveler’s Tote

Rose recently completed this handy traveler’s tote using a trio of batiks from Island Batiks.  She made hers in the “Laguna” colorway, a beautiful combination of blue & green.


The Island Batik website also shows the bag in three alternate colors:

Malibu2  Sedona2 Waikiki2

Click here for the pattern, here to purchase a kit in the “Laguna” colorway, or here to purchase the accessories (pattern, fusible interfacing/fleece, magnetic snap) needed for the bag.

The beauty of this pattern is that it’s simple design allows exquisite batik fabrics to blossom.  I’m certain that many of you have a stack of lovely batiks in your “stash” (1 yard outer fabric, 1 yard lining fabric, 1/2 yard of accent fabric for handles & closure).  If you’d like to use your own fabrics, the accessory packet is a perfect choice for you.

Or I invite you to check out our current selection of exquisite batik prints & marbled solids.  Click here.  My choice:


SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase the batiks for your “Traveler’s Tote”, along with the accessory pack, and we’ll send you the pattern for free. Simply add 1 yard of outer fabric, 1 yard of lining fabric, and 1/2 yard of accent fabric for handles & closure) to your cart, plus the accessory pack (found here). 

Then,  enter the coupon code freepattern at the time of checkout.  An $8.00 discount will result… your pattern will be free. 

Note: the coupon code is all little letters, no spaces, and must be entered exactly as shown.

We can’t wait to see the combinations you come up with!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Market Bag/Tote Pattern: Which One’s Your Favorite?

Please vote in our newest survey (posted upper left).

I'm planning to make a market bag/tote using the new "Freebird" prints designed by Momo for Moda.  I hope to use the "Laminated" fabric for a durable, water resistant cover, and the durable "Twill" for the lining.  I'll use the pattern that is voted as the most popular.

Click here for the “Freebird” fabric collection.  The “Twills” and “Coated/Laminated” prints appear at the bottom of the category.


Please note, we currently only have one of these in stock, the “Eco Market Tote” by Favorite Things.  But, we’ll add the top four vote getters to our ever expanding choice of bag patterns.  Click here for our current selection of bag patterns, kits, accessories & supplies.

Here’s the bag/tote patterns I think would work well (shown in the order they appear on the survey):

The Go To Market Bag (Black Cat Creations) ~ Easy Market Bag (Calico Printworks)

gotomarketbagbc easymarketbagcp

Market Bags (Portabello Pixie) ~ Saturday Market Bag (Heather Bailey)

marketbagspbp  saturdaymarketbaghb

Be Green Market Bag (Paradiso Designs) ~ Eco Market Tote (Favorite Things)

begreenmarketbagpd ecomarkettotefavoritethings

Mary Ann’s Market Tote (Purse Strings) ~ Market Tote (Sweetwater)

maryannsmarkettote markettotesweetwater


Thanks in advance for your help.  I’m really looking forward to your opinions.

~ Laura

Cabin Award Winner: April 18, 2010

Congratulations to judyCinNC!

You are the lucky winner of this week’s cabin award, a Moda Layer cake from the new “Martinique” collection.  Retail value$35.00.

martiniquelogo martiniquelc

Layer cakes are exclusive to Moda, and include (40) 10” squares, cut with micro-pinked edges, to avoid fraying.

Click here to view Martinique, click here to view our current selection of layer cakes.

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

The next cabin award winners will be announced in two weeks: May 2nd, 2010.  We’ll have two winners that day.  Each recipient will receive the eagerly anticipated new book from Miss Rosie: Schnibbles Times Two. Recommended price: $27.00.  DCQ everyday low price 10% off MRSP: $24.30.  Click here to purchase the book.


Why “eagerly anticipated?”  Two reasons:

1.)  We love Miss Rosie! ‘Nuf Said.

2.)  The new book includes complimentary pattern instructions for making each quilt in two sizes: small (charm square friendly), and large (layer cake friendly).  Simply perfect.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about the new book:

“What's a schnibble? A little bit or leftover--as in those fabric bits you're ready to use up!

What could be more fun than a small quilt from 5" charm squares? A large one just like it from 10" Layer Cake squares! Enjoy 12 pairs of beautiful quilts, with a large and small quilt in each design, from the creative mind behind Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company. Each quilt includes a materials and cutting list, and the assembly directions are the same for both quilts in each set. Learn from Moda's go-to gal for quilt designs. This author knows her stuff!”

~ That Patchwork Place

Click here to view  the Martingale photo gallery prepared for the book.  Twenty-five beautiful quilts, each one prettier than the last.

The arrival of the book prompted me to update our “Miss Rosie” will all of her newest patterns.  She never makes anything that I don’t fall in love with. The newest Schnibbles (charm pack friendly) designs include:


And, she just released a stunning large quilt pattern, “Three Barns”.  Looks like a perfect way to use up your favorite scraps.  


Click here to check out the Miss Rosie pattern page, and shop for the patterns shown above.

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.

Ready for some color?


Good morning.

Across our region, signs of spring are gradually emerging. The snow is pretty much gone, and the ice on the lake is melted. Farmers are anxiously awaiting the day when the fields dry up enough to plant, and cattle ranchers are calving out their herds. The grass is coming up, and trees are emerging from dormancy.

Every day, Matthew checks the apple and pear saplings in our front yard for buds. "Nothing yet, Mom", he reports with discouragement.

"Someday soon, buddy," I promise. "It just has to get a little warmer."

Yesterday, people in town were busy working on their yards, cleaning up old grass and winter debris. The local farm & home supply store has their outdoor greenhouses up, ready for the first shipment of trees and plants. After a long winter, everyone is energized to move ahead and make the most of the growing season.

Just like the gardeners, quilters are energized by spring. The store has been especially busy with walk in traffic, as shoppers from near and far arrive in need of supplies. I can't count the number of times this week a customer has started a sentence with the words, "Well, I was cleaning out my sewing room, and..."

Usually, the shopper goes on to describe a "UFO", and just needs a little batting, some backing, or the perfect binding to bring their project to completion. Everybody feels good when we can find something that perfectly complements their creation. Occasionally, we just can't come up with anything. Fortunately, the website usually has what we're looking for: "Quilt Search Engine - 224 Shops with 386384 Items." Amazing!

Local quilters whom have spent the winter cooped up inside, or have worked outside in the miserable weather conditions are ready for color! Colorful fabrics are food for their creative souls. Shoppers reach for the brightest batiks, over-saturated ombres, and vibrant florals. We nearly sold out of the colorful "Country Quilts" collection in a single weekend after the last newsletter! (No worries... it's been reordered.)

As a result, the arrival of the new "Freebird" collection by Momo was met with considerable excitement. In colors named "Geranium", "Melon", "Nest", "Grass", "Sky", "Vanilla", "Grape", and "Daffodil", these fun prints make me smile, and bring creative inspiration to my heart. I'm especially excited to combine the specialty fabrics and make a fun bag. I plan to use the "coated/laminated" for a water resistance outer layer, and the heavier weight "twill" for a durable lining. Click here to view the Freebird collection.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Among The Flowers

New this week, a small contemporary floral group designed by Laura Berringer, the new design director at Marcus Fabrics.  The prints feature a “neutral palette of modern, home décor-inspired motifs.”

I was attracted to the charcoal and grey tones, and the large scale filigree.  I can visualize making great bags, accent pillows, neutral throws, and beautiful gifts. 


I visited one of my favorite online shops, Crate & Barrel, to see what I could find to go with these new fabrics.  Here’s some inspiration:

 CameaLiddedStorBsktsS2S10  MidoriPlw20inNeutralS10 OleanderBowlSmS8 MarinCabinet3QS10

PennyMirrorS4S9 PottedSucculentF5 RiverStones5p5lb06 ZumiRugIvoryAVS10

Within minutes, I had a pretty impressive online wish list.  But, first things first.  I need to get busy in my sewing room.

Click here to visit “Among The Flowers”  fabrics. 

Cabin Award Winner: April 11, 2010


Congratulations to Quilter Bridget!

You are the lucky winner of a“My Jungle Friends” flannel quilt top kit in the color-way of your choice (Primary or Pink ‘N’ Purple).  Retail value: $45.00. 

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

Click here for more information about this quilt kit, and to view the complete “Jungle Friends Flannel” fabric collection.

The next Cabin Award winner will be announced on April 18th, 2010. 

The prize that day will be a Moda Layer cake from the new “Martinique” collection.  Click here to view these pretty new fabrics.

martiniquelogo martiniquelc

Layer cakes are exclusive to Moda, and include (40) 10” squares, cut with micro-pinked edges, to avoid fraying.

Click here to view Martinique, click here to view our current selection of layer cakes.

My favorite new Layer Cake pattern is by Fig Tree, and is called “Parasols”. Click here.


I’ve always loved the “Snail’s Trail” block, but have never made one.  I’m pretty sure this quilt uses a layer cake from Fig Tree’s newest collection, “Fresh Cottons, but I don’t have the pattern in front of me, so I can’t be sure.  The quilt would be equally pretty in “Martinique”, “Whimsy”, or any other pastel group.  The block construction would also be a good project for the blog, as I’m certain it is easier than it looks!

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.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Good morning.

Sorry for the late newsletter today, but things aren't quite going according to plan. The phrase "The good, the bad, and the ugly" sums it up nicely.

Easter Sunday morning, I broke my hand opening a heavy metal door. Needless to say, the bulky splint does nothing for my sewing ability. The good news... it was my left hand, I'm right-handed, my pain is now minimal, and my friendly occupational therapist made me a nice custom splint that can be removed so I can wash my hand. And type. (Okay, okay, she didn't recommend typing, but I think it's good exercise for my fingers).

Last night, as I was working on updating the website, I accidentally deleted a large portion of the online menu. The merchandise was still there, you just couldn't see it...
I said a few bad words, shed a few tears, and then got to work fixing my mistake. The good news... I worked most of the night restoring the data, and in the process cleaned up a lot of unnecessary and redundant categories. It was a painful process, and is not yet complete, but with a little polish I think it will be better than before.

That said, please e-mail me if you locate obvious errors as you browse the catalog (categories where they clearly don't belong... thread in the rulers, etc.)

Wesley is in Huron, SD, for the bi-annual SDQG retreat, and reports that things are going really well. He'll be home late tonight, and Matthew & I both looking forward to seeing him. Matthew is convinced that there are many things that Daddy does better than Mommy can, and to be honest, he is right.

In addition to our own shop samples, Wesley is traveling with a stack of beautiful quilts from Holly Taylor, including the "Season of Migration" throw shown in this image. We can't Eileen & Sherri Falls (This & That) enough for sending us so many pretty quilts to use during this busy month of quilt shows. Click here to view the Migration fabrics & quilt kits.

Next weekend, Wesley & Laurie-Ann will be at the Swiftel Center in Brookings for the "April Showers bring Quilted Flowers" spring show. Wesley has entered some of his quilts in the show, and we'll have a vending booth full of beautiful merchandise. The show is open 9-5 on Saturday, and 10-4 on Sunday. Click here to visit their website.

Before the website crisis, I accomplished a lot in the online catalog. I spent Thursday & Friday at the shop, doing computer work, as our helpful staff measured & organized dozens of new "All or Nones", and rearranged the displays to make room for bolts & bolts of new spring arrivals. Essentially, we worked with a "Spring Cleaning" approach... tidy up the remnants, scrap piles, & orphan bolts, so the new arrivals can blossom & inspire.

Moving forward with spring in my step, a smile on my face, and my hand carefully protected to avoid any more freak accidents...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whimsicals: Folk Art/Traditional with Warmth & Style


Hand dyed wool.  Perle cotton & embroidery floss.  Mixed textures.  Traditional piecing, occasionally adorned with a touch of  appliqué.  Beautiful fabrics in soft, warm colors.   Hardwood floors polished to a beautiful patina.  Fresh baked bread with apple butter.  When I think of  “Whimsicals”, my quilter’s heart feels happy.

We welcomed the arrival of the new “Heart & Soul” collection by “Whimsicals” this week.  This is our third collection from this amazing designer, Terri Degenkolb.  Many shoppers enjoyed her previous “Choco-latte” and “Snow Wonderland” groups.

“Heart & Soul” is a delightful continuation of her design style, self described as “somewhere between Folk Art & Traditional”.  I find her fabrics, books, and patterns beautifully cohesive and warm.  Single bolts don’t “jump off the shelf & grab you”.  But, when scrappy pieces are mixed, something magical happens.  Whimsical projects appear gently aged or weathered.  I cannot think of a better way to make a house look like a home.

We’ll be offering at least two quilt kits using the new fabric collection:

whimsicalsflutterby quiltstalkwhimsicals

Flutterby: available as an individual pattern, click here. For kit, click here.

Quilts Talk: found in the new book “If Quilts Could Talk”, click here.  For kit, click here.

We were excited to add the new book to our “Whimsicals Book Shelf”, and also ordered Terri’s new“Best of” book, “Reminiscing”, published by Kansas City Star Quilts.

“Popular quilt designer and author Terri Degenkolb offers “a mix of primitive and folk art, with a healthy dose of tradition thrown in” in this collection of Whimsical quilt projects. Terri shares personal observations of what inspired her imaginative quilts and projects. Her variety of styles, rich textures and unique touch will add a welcoming feel to your home.” ~ Kansas City Star Quilts

whimsicalsifquiltscouldtalkbook reminiscingwhimsicals

The “Whimsicals” page has been updated…  click here to check it out.

To learn more about Terri & her design company, visit her website by clicking here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Think I’m in Love…



 We’ve had our shop for about six and a half years now.  During that time,  I’ve fallen in love with a lot of fabrics.  Sometimes, my infatuation is short-lived, as I can be a little fickle.  Something new comes along, and my affection is re-directed.

But, the new Martinique fabrics are different.  It was “Love at First Sight” when Eileen, our Moda rep,  first pulled these exquisite prints out of her briefcase, and carefully arranged them on the table in front of me.

I fell hard & fast, and without hesitation.  I ordered everything.  All the prints, all the textured specialty pieces, all the chenille, the coated (laminates), and the pre-made market tote. All the cut goods. Everything.

If I didn’t think “people would talk”, I’d wrap myself up in these fabrics.  I’d hang them from every window, drape them upon every wall… layer upon exquisite layer.

Martinique… A Caribbean Island… an overseas region of France… and one of the most beautiful places on earth.


martiniquesaintpierre  martiniquelessalinesbeach

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.


Click here and here for the pre-made bags.


Coming next week: “Vintage Memories”… our newest Block of the Month by This & That.

Featuring “Martinique” fabrics… designed by Sherri K. Falls

 1202016 1202028400116c

Available now: “Martinique” designed by Three Sisters for Moda.  Click here.