Shows and Workshops

Shows we do and Workshops we teach

Can you choose just one?

Part of the fun of going to a quilt show – like the one in Sterling, CO, that I enjoyed with my sister this spring – is voting for Viewers Choice. You look and examine (without touching) and decide which one (and only one) you would take home if you could.

There are patriotic quilts  …

and seasonal quilts …

There are traditional quilts with a twist  …

There are big quilts with lots of pieces

and little quilts with applique.

There are quilts for special days


and quilts for special new family members.

There are quilts with embellishments

and quilts with lots of cross stitched embroidery.

And there are quilts that seem to be dimensional

and quilts that took LOTS of time to make!

But most of all, there are quilts that you love to share with your sister!


PS – Just in case you are wondering, the Colorado sister voted for the Maze quilt and my first choice was the embroidered Block of the Month.

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Show Stoppers!

CO Sister id tag FL Sister id tag                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A rare opportunity indeed! Both sisters are in the same place at the same time and stitching on the same project!  All this fun (work) leads to a brand new pattern — just in time for the Colorado Quilt Show.   (Guess which sister had to fly in? ) So here it is for your viewing pleasure, the next project in the Linens and Old Lace Collection…..(drum roll) Legacy of Lace! It is a show stopper!

Just in case you want the whole back story,  or not, I’ll give it to you.  We thought it would be fun to do a round robin quilt together that incorporated our love of old linens and lace.  The post office was kept busy with our shipping back and forth until the end result of Sister 1’s quilt was transported to Colorado via airplane.  No, she didn’t put it in her checked bag.  She carried it as her “personal item”.   It arrived safely in Colorado just in time for the show!  Now that’s special delivery.


That blank space is where it will hang.


A blended booth space with the Colorado antique shop.


Mother’s Medallion Quilt & all 12 projects

Sister 1 has a presentation on the Mother’s Medallion e-book and extra projects on day one.  Sister 2 has a talk on the old linens using the new quilt (and taking full credit for it) on the second day of the show.

We see old friends and get new ideas at the quilt shows we do.  We would love to see you there as well.  Stay tuned as Sister 2’s round robin quilt will be ready before the next show.  Spoiler alert–sneak peek is below.


Legacy of Lace


Legacy of Linen

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Singer Featherweight Class

Tutorial Tuesdays header


Learn to fix a featherweight? Well ….


Featherweights have an interesting history and have not diminished in popularity.

I freely confess that I am not the mechanically inclined sister. Matter of fact I’m not sure either of us would be classified as a master mechanic. But we both do have a very robust “Can Do!” gene that sits alongside a hearty “Why Not Try It!” gene. So, when I heard that Nancy Troyer of Long Arm Machine Quilting was coming to Pensacola to teach a class on maintaining your Singer featherweight machine, I thought that even if I didn’t master the process I would at least be better off than if I didn’t even go. (low expectations for myself)


Nancy is a wonderful teacher – she goes step by step and gives clear instructions so that everyone in the class feels like conquering  the challenge is possible. Even her class supply list is eye opening:

  • A towel – spreading it under the machine while you work means that if you drop a screw or other small piece it won’t go bouncing along the floor.
  • A magnetic pin holder – a great place to stash screws or bolts or other small pieces so they don’t get misplaced.
  • Paper towels – these are a must have since the gunk that accumulates inside a machine is surprising.
  • Old toothbrush – for cleaning gears with kerosene
  • Tweezers – for reaching small pieces of lint and grime
  • Screwdriver – for removing various plates and covers
  • etc.
lint brush - straw and pipecleaner sm

Hot tip for making a lint brush: straw and pipe cleaner

We started the cleaning and rejuvenating process by removing the bottom panel, cleaning the inside and replacing the pad. Then we opened every nook and cranny, cleaning and lubricating as we went. Nancy stressed the difference between oils and lubricants – lubricate gears and put oil in the oil ports.

hook assembly

The hook assembly – especially the tiny, minute screw – is to be treated with care. Expensive to replace and absolutely vital!

Next we took off the throat plate to clean by the hook assembly. Special care has to be given to the hook assembly which houses the bobbin case. It’s better to use a wooden cuticle stick instead of a screwdriver if you need to remove it. Even the smallest scratch can cause the thread to snag and break when the machine begins to stitch. The vital piece of information about cleaning this part of the machine is that the positioning finger must be in place before you replace and tighten the throat plate. The timing of the machine will be fine as long as the hook assembly and positioning finger is placed correctly.

And here’s a hot tip about vintage bobbin cases: they are stamped with SIMANCO. New replacement bobbin cases often do not fit well so guard your vintage case as if it were gold.

When we got to the place that the motor needed to be cared for, we learned that carbon brushes are what makes the motor run. There needs to be at least ¼” of carbon on the brush or the machine motor will not work.

checking motor carbon2 sm

In fact running it without adequate carbon can ruin the motor. Checking the carbon brushes should be done with great caution and care. Success depends on the pressure you use to remove the screw as the carbon brush is on a spring. And the screw is brittle, aged plastic which can break easily.

checking motor carbon3 sm

Remove the screw carefully as it is under pressure from the attached screw.

We did not open the housing around the motor but we did lubricate it using the techniques she taught us.

motor lub sm


A belt in good condition makes a difference in the efficiency of the machine. We learned some great tricks including the use of vinyl tubing over screwdrivers when changing the belt to allow for leverage without scratching the machine. The motor can be raised a bit if the belt needs to be loosened.

checking belt3 sm

Note the vinyl around the screwdriver!


Last but not least, the front panel needs to be removed so that the parts there can be cleaned and oiled.

front panel sm

Singer machine manuals are a great resource.


The five hour class was filled with valuable information and expertise. So, this is just a summary to let you know that it can be done. Remember Singer originally advertised that the machine was constructed so that “the average housewife” would be capable of caring for it and maintaining it.

If a class is offered close to where you are, I recommend that you take advantage of it. Or contact Nancy and see if she is available to travel to your area to give the class. It is worth every penny!


Nancy Troyer sm

For class information, you can get in touch with Nancy HERE.

PS – Just a couple of weeks after the class Dietz and I were on a vacation/business trip in Tennessee and we stopped at Pickers Paradise where I saw a small black case stashed under a table behind some other things. I knew without looking inside that it was going home with me when I saw the price tag. When I opened the lid the first thing I saw was a tray holding a box of attachments! And the 1934 featherweight will give me a great chance to practice all I’ve learned.  

new case sm

Now I need to apply what I learned from Nancy to this little prize!

Come on, Sister, we can do this!

(NOTE: This is not a comprehensive guide to maintaining your machine, but rather a summary. Contact Nancy for expert advice or research the process via YouTube videos.)

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Quilt Show: a Mixed Bag

FL Sister id tag

“Quilt Show”

I’m confessing that hearing those wonderful, exhausting words brings a smile and a grimace at the same time. No way around it – it’s a mixed bag.


We do have to face boxes and check lists and printing deadlines [insert loud groaning] and this


“staging” props and quilted projects


in order to get to friendly faces, inspiring projects and [insert deep sigh of satisfaction] this.


Just Ducky and Mother’s Medallion



Seasons and Wedding Wishes

There is indeed the painful mix of tired feet and concrete floors. BUT there is also …..


Heroic help from Dietz – There is something about a guy who will get on his knees to help me!!!

In every mixed bag there are hidden happy benefits if we are watching for them.  The Pensacola Quilters Guild Show this past weekend has one benefit that other shows do not offer: the Florida Sister gets to soak in her own tub and sleep in her own bed every night. And an additional benefit is that as I see the beautiful creations I know the quilters behind them.

For instance – every month at guild meetings I get to enjoy the friendship of spunky, bubbly little Lenny Cable who exhibited 5 quilts at the show and took home 5 ribbons.


Happy hospitable Lenni with her Log Cabin


And there is wonderfully creative Cena who has literally quilted her way from Alaska to Florida. She creates original designs like this circular piece.

cena quilt

Do you see the cats in this circle of friends?


mice quilting

It only makes sense that where there are cats there will be mice!


And because this is the show where Sisters introduced our new Linens and Old Lace collection my eyes spotted the hankies, dresser scarves and lace that adorned the quilters that walked by.

mom and daughter

Mother and daughter in their Old Linen vests.


mom and daughter back

Beautiful stitching is found on the back too.

tatting and yoyos

See the folded yo-yos, tatting and embroidery?


Old buttons add just the right touch


The French knots are beautifully done!

vest back

Combining denim and lace produced this amazing piece.

Our little treasure trove of hankies even prompted a tutorial on making a special little gift when a new friend stopped by to sort through them. But, I think we will wait to post that next week.


In the meantime, I’m suggesting that most of life is a mixed bag and we will find treasures and joy if we learn to sort through it to hang on to the parts that bring us joy.

bloomin wool pot

The Bloomin Wool Runner and the Display Scarf patterns will be in our store very soon.



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My Favorite Things

Broken water lines, flooded floors and forced dislocation from home – these are NOT my favorite things.

But sometimes in the middle of UNfavorite things we encounter the BEST of our favorite things. And that has been the case this last month while this sister navigates through insurance forms and deconstruction deadlines to get to reconstruction. A business trip took us to South Florida where we arrived at just the right time to help Middle Daughter move.


It was time to take a brief break from boxes and enjoy brunch on the beach.

brunch sm

A Favorite Thing with a Favorite Person! Double goodness!

While the final packing was finished, this Nana’s job included Foosball contests (including a “trash talk” competition where “I’m going to sit on your pancake” won over “I’m going to eat your lunch.”), swimming pool duty, many Minion games, and Art Class.

art sm

Sister wanted to draw “me and Momma and Nana packing boxes” while Big Brother wanted to learn how to draw the Really Big Hat Santa from the Holly Jolly collection!

We also had Music class where we listened to “My Favorite Things” 25,000 times in a row and then wrote our own version.  “Sushi and haircuts and ice cream on toesies” has a nice ring to it.

ice cream

Licking ice cream can make the tongue REALLY cold!

Leaving that spot of sunshine is never easy but at least we didn’t have to face the unfinished floors right away. We headed north to the Georgia mountains.


Fall in the mountains !!! Definitely on the Favorite Things list!

Sisters at Heart presented an Orphan Block Trunk Show at Fabrics Galore & Quilting Store in Blairsville on one Saturday morning followed by the Misty Mountain Quilt show on the next weekend. And our booth was right next to our friends from Fabrics Galore!

patricia fabrics galore sm

Patricia showed me these great expandable rulers! And their double binding demo was great.

The high school gym was filled with creativity.

gym 2

What a variety of quilts were hung – and then there was a boutique, too!


gym sm

Challenge Quilts hung around the edge of the mezzanine.


black quilt sm

The vivid colors of this dazzling quilt made it my favorite.


vintage sm

Vintage quilts and linens have long been a Favorite Thing for both Sisters. Watch for more to come this year.


pink work sm

Pink work featuring adorable nursery rhyme figures.


round butterfly sm

This beautiful butterfly captured “Viewers Choice” and the round setting was drafted the old fashioned way – pencil and paper.

I had the joy of meeting Cathi Gainey, owner of Shakerwood Woolens who we will be partnering with on some future wool projects. Her skills with dying wool produce amazing colors! It was definitely a “right time, right place” meeting and we Sisters are excited about working with Cathi – and her wool.

Cathi Gainey Shakerwood Woolens sm

Cathi Gainey – Shakerwood Woolens

And to make the time even more Favorite, we got to have time with life-long friends (at least since college days) at their cabin where the hospitality is warm, the card games loud and the laughter goes on waaay too late.

friends sm

All of these Favorites should keep us humming as we re-enter the hard work of water disaster recovery. As we work hard to finish, I’ve added another verse to the song …..

floors that are finished

walls that are painted

a room where I stitch on my favorite things …..

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It’s Show Time! Quilt-A-Fair 2015

CO Sister id tagHave you ever wondered about what it is like to be the vendor at the local quilt show?

  • The doors burst open with quilting fans from near and far.
  • The oohs and ahhs are clearly heard.
  • Raffle tickets are sold.
  • Lunch is served.
  • Demos are shared.
  • Inspiration abounds.
  • The shoppers leave with bags of “happiness”.

    Shop til you drop.

     Shop til you drop.

So what happens to the vendor during all this excitement?  How did they get from set-up to tear down?  Well, it is a very similar routine for most of us.  Maybe a little backward since we are on the other side of the worktable.

  • We arrive with bags (and boxes and totes and crates) of happiness to share.
  • We’re inspired to set up our booths in the most attractive way possible for a 10′ x 20′ space.

    Where is the diagram for set up?

                    Where is the diagram for set up?

  • We have our demos prepared for the new tools and patterns.
  • We hope we get lunch (but might work right through).
  • We might even get to buy a raffle ticket before the doors open.
  • The grunts and groans of “hired help” are plainly heard.
"Hired Help"

                                  “Hired Help”

  • The doors, trailers, trunks and tailgates are finely empty and it is SHOWTIME!
New Pattern: Just Ducky

                   New Pattern: Just Ducky

New Pattern: Holly Jolly

                          New Pattern: Holly Jolly

The only thing about shows (and life) is what do you do about the pesky neighbors?  Just kidding, even sisters get to be neighbors at the best of shows!

Sisters' Neighboring Booth

                    Sister 2’s Neighboring Booth

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Purse Pals

FL Sister id tagNot long ago a few of my stitching sisters from the Pensacola Quilters Guild came to spend a Sunday afternoon working on an orphan block project. We were making Purse Pals.

Neville and Leni

It’s a Quick and Easy Project; we were finished in a couple of hours. And that included time for some show and tell, a few stories, and some treats.


All you need is an orphan block – one that is all alone in the world – a square of batting, a square of backing and some zip lock plastic bags.


You make a quilt sandwich and sew the plastic bags into the middle and … see the Resource tab for PDF instructions to print out.



alice inside2

Purse Pals are really handy; you can fill the pockets with:

  • bandaids
  • toothpicks
  • safety pins
  • headache tablets
  • antacids
  • gum
  • lip balm
  • wet wipes
  • finger nail clippers
  • [insert your idea here]

These are great as a “man gift” for a pickup truck glove compartment.

Or you could make it bigger use gallon bags to carry hand stitching projects with you.

The results were as diverse as the quilters who made them.




What a light hearted time with these warm hearted stitchers who shared the afternoon with me!

anne, marcy, alice

There’s more information (class instructions) on our Resource tab if you want to gather some friends to stitch together. My friend, Neville, suggested that this would be a great project for the Guild Boutique at our Quilt Show next spring.

I think she’s on to something there! What are your favorite boutique projects?

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Very Different, yet the Same

FL Sister id tagTwo weekends this last month showed us once again that the Colorado Sister and I have much in common and yet are very different at the same time.

She and her favorite rancher (ie husband) were in Pueblo, CO for a quilting show. Their booth benefits from combining our quilt patterns with wonders from their antique business. (See D&J Country Antiques)

CO signs

The next weekend I was at a quilt show in Mobile, AL (and very thankful for my favorite driver, problem solver, mover/hauler, The Dietz.) The southern booth utilizes antiques, too – the ones usually found in various corners of our house.

PS – BOTH sisters use old ironing boards!

CO old ironing board

There are some notable differences. Whereas the Colorado sister was trying to sell her antique quilts

CO quiltsand my weekend associate was using his lunch break to go to an estate sale to buy antique quilts and linens.

Mobile old quiltsMobile linens

The Colorado customers came in boots and coats while the Alabama show was opened by belles in hoops. Mobile belle

Mobie belles

And yet, some things are very much the same. Both booths have the same patterns and the same samples and the same demonstrations.

CO patterns

And when we compared notes after the weekends were over, we found that the most requested item at BOTH places was the Happy Trails Saddle Blanket and the Happy Trails Quillow.

mobile happy trails

However, the Colorado show sold more of those patterns than we did down south. The Colorado Sister thinks that the reason may have been the real cowboy hat in her booth …



I wasn’t so sure about that. After all, I had help in my booth, too.

Mobile husband sm

But, then again, she could be right.

It makes me wonder … what can we do to make our booth even more inviting? What makes a quilt show booth appealing to you?


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Springtime in the Rockies

CO Sister id tag


“When it’s Springtime in the Rockies” is a favorite golden oldie song of my dad’s.  But I’m not sure that the Rockies really have a spring season.  About a month ago my Florida sister sent pictures of the daffodils that were blooming in her area.  Now I finally have one lone tulip blooming in ColoradoTulip-web-2
and IT doesn’t seem to really believe that is is spring anywhere, possibly because it is still snowing.  The day after this tulip photo was taken we woke up to snow again.  We were trying to load for the show in Pueblo amidst the weather challenges of spring.snow-webAfter about 2″ of snow that day, we awoke to 70 degrees less than 48 hours later.  DH says that is his favorite kind of storm.  We also had about a dozen calves join our herd in that crazy climate change.

So we are loaded for the show (I’m taking patterns for the Tulip Trio from the Mother’s Medallion Collection) tulip sm for weband I just bought a bouquet of spring flowers to prove it really is springtime in the Rockies. 

I’m setting them right next to my Spring Window (pattern available HERE). SPRING window Bedited(1)

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Mother’s Medallion e-book is ready for you!

FL Sister id tag

We are still reveling in the fun of one of our favorite weeks of the whole year!

Every fall, the last weekend of September means our annual “Company Business Meeting”  (a flight from Florida for so we can work and play together during Quilt A Fair at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.) Key to that is celebrating the patterns that have grown from concept to reality in the past year.

This year we are celebrating the unveiling of our first book: Mother’s Medallion Quilt!

Mother's Medallion Quilt instructions 9 sm

An e-book with instructions, templates and diagrams, we put it in the PDF downloadable pattern format so that we can give you live links to YouTube “how-to” videos and connections to other helpful sites. You can purchase it HERE.

Mother’s Medallion is filled with a variety of techniques and blocks that span a wide range of difficulty.

Cindy's quilt for cover sm

Stained Glass

tulip stamp sm

Paper Piecing

pansh stamp sm

Log Cabin

rose stamp sm

English Paper Piecing

basket stamp sm

Dimensional Flowers

folded flower2 stamp sm

Crazy Quilting and Ribbon Embroidery

bouquet stamp sm

The Mother’s Medallion collection also includes simpler projects drawn from each of the different rows of the quilt. You can find them on our store site HERE.

Now we promise: as soon as we are finished reveling we will be back at work on the new To Do list to get ready for next fall’s “Company Business Meeting”.


PS – We will be making a special effort to connect with shop owners and guild program committees regarding wholesale pricing so that Mother’s Medallion can be used as a teaching quilt.


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