Sunday, July 25, 2010

It’s Coffee Time!

Start with a stack of beautiful batiks, for inspiration.

Create a stunning watercolor painting. Designed by Sonja Taylor, well-known South Dakota watercolor artist.


Adapt the painting, make a quilt.  Write a pattern.  Melinda Snell, accomplished quilter from Bismarck, ND, makes it seem easy. 


Make a second version of the quilt, using new Hoffman batiks (not yet available).  This version of the quilt was featured in the Hoffman booth at Spring Quilt Market, 2010.




And, make a third quilt, alternate colorway:


As you can see, the talented duo of Sonja Taylor & Melinda Snell have been keeping busy.  A third quilt is well on it’s way to completion.  Hint: we’ve seen it, it’s stunningly beautiful, and if you go to the Hill City quilt show this fall , you can see it too!

“Coffee Time” follows the success of their first collaborative project, “Sunflower.”

sunflowerpaintingcopywrited sunflowerquilt350

Melinda writes,

"I don't know about you; but coffee gets my "motor" running in the morning-come to think of it, I've never been a good morning person and coffee is the fuel that starts my day! If you feel the same way-this quilt needs to be yours.

South Dakota artist Sonja Taylor created the original watercolor painting of "Coffee Time" as tribute to this early morning ritual which stretches into mid-morning, lunchtime, afternoon breaks.... well you get the idea-there's always time to enjoy a good cup of coffee! After completing her watercolor Sonja knew "Coffee Time" had to become a quilt-that's where I come in...

I'm Melinda Snell... the quilter who converts Sonja's beautiful watercolors into quilts and quilting patterns- lucky me! "Coffee Time" is our second pattern which features fusible applique and threadwork. If you like what you see, check out our first pattern called "Sunflower Patterns." It was the inspiration for the promotional art at the 2009 Hill City Quilt Show in South Dakota!

We hope you enjoy creating "Coffee Time" and by the way- isn't it time for COFFEE?!" 


Our job is the easy one.  We have plenty of “Sunflower” & “Coffee Time” patterns & kits for sale.  Click here.  Wholesale inquiries welcome.

Quilt Classes by Prairie Strippers

Saturday, August 28, 2010, 9:00 AM
Dupree, SD. 

Moreau River Sanctuary.  Website includes map & travel directions.

Classes: Cut & Shuffle, Knot by the Sea by Wendy Martin , Twister, Tree Table Runner, Zippers Are No Big Deal by Laura, and Sew on Your Own Project

Class Fee: $25.00 Adults, $10.00 Youth- plus pattern or book- delicious homemade lunch included.

Quilt Display at 2:30 PM- $3.00 if not attending classes- refreshments provided.

For more information, call Virginia Till, Eldora Fischbach, or Amy Linn.  Dakota Cabin Quilts (701-567-4772) can provide you with their phone numbers, if needed.   We also have a class supply list for all classes.

Here’s Laura’s Class Information:

Zippers Are No Big Deal!

~~~~~~~Cash & Carry ~~~~ ~~~~~~~Zippy Strippy ~~~~~ Atkinson Design Zippers~


Class Description:

Zippers are no big deal! Using an easy technique developed by Terry Atkinson, stitchers will make at least one small “Cash & Carry” pouch and one larger “Zippy Strippy” bag. It’s a fun & easy class for sewers of all levels. Express your creativity!

Supply List:

  • Each student will need to purchase a copy of both patterns: “Cash & Carry”, and “Zippy Strippy”. We’ll bring plenty of patterns with us to class. Cost $8.00 per pattern.
  • If you have scraps of fusible fleece, bring them along. Otherwise, we’ll bring plenty of Pellon 987F, a lighter weight fusible fleece. Cost $7.50 per yard.
  • Flexible plastic/polyester zippers in a color to compliment your chosen fabrics. We’ll bring a rainbow of colors (see photo right). Cost $1.00 per zipper. Or, buy a complete set of zippers (36 colors in all) for $31.50.
  • Assorted cotton fabrics, fat quarters, fat eighths, 2 1/2” strips, 1 ½” strips, 5” charm squares…. Pretty much anything goes! You’ll want to have a few larger pieces (example: 2 fat quarters), for lining the little bags. Otherwise, we can make most any “scrap pile” work. Bring pairs of fat quarters that complement each other nicely, or your scrap bag of remnants from a finished project. You don’t need a lot of fabric to make each bag, but once you get started you won’t want to quit!
  • Optional: bring funky buttons, coordinating ric-rack or trim. Also, if you’d like to bring any special items (i-Pod, Bible or paperback book, address book/day planner, sunglasses, etc.) bring it along and we’ll make a custom bag or case.
  • Standard quilting supplies: rotary cutter, all-purpose acrylic ruler, cutting mat. No special tools or rulers are necessary.
  • Thread: regular cotton thread is okay. But, it’s a little better to use Aurifil 28 weight (a heavier weight thread) because it is thicker/stronger. We’ll bring a variety of spools in neutral colors.

~ These are great patterns, the technique is fun, and it’s a great way to use up scraps or fabrics from your stash. We look forward to another fun day together!

Laura, Wesley, and the staff at Dakota Cabin Quilts

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vintage Memories: Blocks 1 & 2

“Vintage Memories”, our newest Block of the Month, is now accepting members. 


The quilt is designed by Sherri K. Falls, This & That Pattern Company, and features a variety of beautiful prints from the Martinique collection by Three Sisters for Moda

As we cut the kit for the first 2 blocks, I couldn’t resist bringing one home to get started.  I plan to piece this quilt along with the club members, as a little treat to myself.

Here’s what I found in the first packet.

(2) individually wrapped patterns, Block 1 & Block 2

vmbblock1  vmbblock2

Generous fabric cuts for the first (2) blocks.  All fabrics are either fat quarters or fat eighths, a joy to work with.

Fabrics for Block 1:



Cutting directions are organized, and neatly presented.  You’ll make (2) of each block.

As I cut my fabrics, I loosely pin the stack of block elements:



Piecing directions are straightforward & well written.  The blocks come together nicely.  I do find that as I join complex elements, the block looks nicer & lays more flat if seams are pressed open.


Within a couple of hours, all four blocks are done.

12 1/2”.  Visually interesting, with nice contrast and a crisp, pretty result.

Block 1.  Block 2.

vmb5 vmb4

And, the group of four.


These blocks look so elegant, a lovely combination of  color and contrast.  The coral red, grey, blue, and cream look very nice together.

I can’t wait to get started on the next packet.

Blocks (3) and (4) look like fun!

vmb3 vmb4

Click here to learn more about “Vintage Memories”.  Individual & group memberships still available, and we do have a few all-over kits available for immediate shipment.

Happy Quilting!

~ Laura

Summertime Grill

Wesley & Matthew gave me a new gas grill for my birthday, and we’ve been experimenting with some new recipes.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables (Recipe from the Food Network)


  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced on bias
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced on bias
  • 1 medium eggplant sliced into 1/2-inch thick circles (I omitted this… don’t like eggplant)
  • 1 red onion, sliced in 1/2-inch thick circles
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise (I used large cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps, gilled and peeled
  • 3 green onions
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • I added about a teaspoon of herbs from the McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder, i think a sprinkle of Italian seasoning would also work.

Directions (modified by Laura)

Cut up all vegetables, and place in a one-gallon zip lock.  Pour marinade over, and refrigerate until ready for grilling.  Our vegetables actually filled two bags (one for today, one for tomorrow…. of course the veggies that soaked an extra day were best, but the bag prepared after about an hour was tasty too). 

Pre-heat grill to high.

Place vegetables in a grilling wok or basket (example shown in these photos):

grillingwok vegetablebasket

Grill for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, but not soft, and are evenly marked with grill marks.  Enjoy!


Rock’s T-Bone Steaks (Courtesy of All, link here)

  • 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, or to taste
  • 4 (16 ounce) t-bone steaks, at room temperature.  We actually used this rub on both beef t-bone steak, and buffalo ribeye.
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Stir the salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, coriander, and turmeric together in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Rub the steaks on all sides with the seasoning mixture. Cook on the preheated grill to your desired degree of doneness, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F (54 degrees C).


Grilled Corn

1.) Select nice sweet corn for grilling.  It’s okay to peel away a little of the husk to peek at the rows.

2.) Trim the messy tip of husk/silk away with kitchen scissors, but do not remove the husks or try to open and peel away the corn silk.   Some recipes said you had to do that, and others said you didn’t.  I didn’t, and it worked out perfectly.

3.) Gently wash the husk-covered cobs in the kitchen sink, and then fill the sink with cool water.  Soak the cobs for at least 2-3 hours, with some sort of a weight on top of them to keep them from floating.  I used my grill basket… it was the right size in the sink, and heavy enough to keep the cobs under water.

4.) Drain the excess water out the tops and put them on a hot grill for approximately 30 minutes.  Turn them every 5 minutes or so, using tongs.

5.)  Expect that the husks will burn and some may catch on fire.  Move the scorched pieces away. The corn will not burn, as long as it is moved/rotated, and  it steams from the inside.  Do not put directly on hot coals.  Once the husks are mostly all blackened,  and just a few layers remain, remove from grill, and husk.  Careful, the cobs are hot!  Most of the silk will easily come off with the husks.  Just pick off the last few strands, cover with butter, salt, and pepper (if desired), and enjoy!