Friday, October 31, 2008

Come along on Our Market Tour

The actual Market part of Quilt Market only lasts 3 days. But of course there are meetings, dinners, classes that stretch our trip to 6-7 days. During that time you have a chance to chat with the "celebs" of quilting, with vendors and manufacturers of fabric, batting, thread, notions and more. We were delighted to meet Heather Bailey, a very talented young lady. We're posing with her in front of her new fabric line. We loved it and ordered accordingly. You are going to love it too, I"m sure. I learned only today that Heather is the daughter of elinor peace bailey the famous doll maker. Her brother is a famous photographer too. What a family heritage.

The official announcement has been made: My good friend, Karen Snyder is now the spokesperson for Elna sewing machines. Congratulations Karen! Other spokeswomen include Marie Osmond for Janome, Eleanor Burns for Viking and more. I've owned an Elna 6003 for several years and am quite happy with it. Can you believe it, Karen, YOUR face on the posters. And I knew you when.....

Each booth at Quilt Market is unique, portraying the personality of the booth owner. It might be a pattern designer, a fabric may exude a feeling of calm, of electricity...or a trademark design. Sandy Klopp who designs fabric (for Moda) and quilt patterns under the name American Jane. Look at the great black and white striped awning valence! It plays so very well with the bright primary colors of her 30-ish, Dick and Jane-ish, Elementary School-ish fabrics. Sandy's fabrics are happy, evoking good childhood memories for the Baby Boomers and their children and their children's children.
Quilt Market is not all work and no play. Many of the fabric companies host dinners, parties and the like. We usually get more invitations than we can attend. Saturday night we started out at the Moda Party, probably the largest party of Market. It always includes an awesome dinner and fabulous entertainment. We dined with 3 ladies from a shop in Florida and 3 ladies from another fabric company (they'll remain nameless since they were "crashing the party"). Then the Flamico dancers came out. They were beautiful the way the moved. A Salsa dance team performed and then we snuck the Robert Kaufmann Fabrics party! Parties, parties....Sunday night we went to Classic Cotton's party and met up with my "posse," a group of shop owners I meet with on a regular basis. Off to bed too, too late. More next time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Glimpses of Market

We're back from Quilt Market and over the next couple of days I'll try to give you more glimpses of Market. We arrived the first day about 10 minutes before they opened the doors. There was already a crowd of 400-500 waiting. We had a 9:30 am appointment with one of our Sales Reps so when they opened the doors we raced to Aisle 1300 to the EE Schenck booth. We spent 1 1/2 hours with Jan and still didn't finish! We had to come back at the end of the day to finish up.
Then we rushed to Moda. You can see us at the table ordering from Carol. In the background are patten designer booths. L-R: Sandi Klopp (that's her hubby in the snazzy red suspenders) "American Jane," "Me & My Sister" and "Chez Moi."

Here you can see Liz "walking the aisle." We do a LOT of this! We only take 4 appointments at Market, but we order fabric from many companies.

As you walk the aisles you see many familiar faces: Liz is posing with Jay McCarroll. He was the winner of the first season of Project Runway and besides designing clothing he is now designing Quilting Fabric for Westminster. He was outrageously fun. Marie Osmond was going to be at Market on Sunday and he said he'd be first in line to get her autograph!

Next, I am at the United Notions booth ordering new books, patterns and notions. The Saleswomen is down in the bottom center of the picture. Notice she's wearing a blouse made of the same Moda Fabrics as the bag on the ironing board. Many sales people are dressed in clothing to represent their companies.

We all notice different things at Market. Bill took this last picture because he liked the wooden Victorian cut-out trim in the corners. When I saw the picture I recognized Nancy Halvorsen who designs under the name of "Art to Heart." She has two new books out and we have them both at the store. Check out the "So many days till Christmas" countdown table topper we have in the store.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Quilt Market Friday

Friday at Fall Market means School House. This is an entire day of classes. At 9:30 am they pass out a booklet listing all the various classes being offered each session. Note that there are 15 sessions AND a 30 min. introduction and a lunch period. Here is my friend, Sandi Brawner (she owns an awesome shop, Quilt Country in Lewiston, TX. Sandi was explaining how to run a block of the month program and showing off one of their new patterns. Don't you love her lime green tie-dye shirt? Sandi always says that lime green is a neutral! Then in another class about how to use big prints effectively my good friend (and Mexican Cruise cabin-mate) Karen Snyder shows off one of the quilts in her new book: Big Print Quilts.
Each of these classes is only 15 minutes to 30 minutes long and there may be 300 or 30 in a class depending on the subject. I took classes on 8 Essential Things a Shop Owner Should Do, Jo Morton and her new fabric line, How to use Cut Goods (like Jelly rolls, charm packs, etc) and so many more. At lunch we (Bill, Liz & I) found a table and over our bagels shared our class experiences. Liz took a class on publishing. Bill took a class on rulers.
At 6 pm we were done and we were tired! My feet hurt and I was hungry. There weren't any food vendors open in the convention center so we schlepped out stuff out to the car and began to walk through downtown. We needed to find a place we could walk to. Liz asked a street cop if there was anywhere we could get a good, quick meal and he directed us to a Chinese place. It was serene, quiet and cool. Perfect! Sitting down to a table with white tablecloth and glasses of iced water was heaven!
Then it was back to the convention center for Sample Spree. Note the sign: No Rolling Luggage allowed! This event is a madhouse. You have never seen so many people (mostly women)
grabbing, tugging, elbowing their way to the tables to buy Fat Quarter towers, jelly rolls, patterns, sample aprons and more. We didn't plan to buy very much. But we'll be carrying at least a 50 lbs. suitcase full of stuff and probably shipping boxes too!
Here's a picture of the BEGINNING of the line to get in. Behind the glass partition in the back of the picture the line divides and goes on for at least 100 yards in each direction 6 or 8 deep. This line is probably 30 people wide. Well, off to be again. Tomorrow I'll report on Sat.....where we met Heather Bailey and ordered her new fabric and surprise, surprise for those of you who are Project Runway fans.....2nd Season Jay McCarrol now designs fabric for Westminster. Lots more to share and lots and lots of pictures.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quilt Market, Here We Come!

Today was Tuesday. Tomorrow is Wednesday. Early Thursday Mr. Scottie Dog, Liz & I will head to the airport and begin our journey to Houston, TX and Quilt Market. We'll see thousands of quilts, bags, runners and more. We'll see new patterns, books & fabric. Lots of booths will be touting the "next best-selling, you can't live without it" notion. There will be lots of products claiming to be "green" (some with merit and some not). We'll rub shoulders with Jo Morton, Terry Atkinson, Eleanor Burns, Amy Butler, Sandi Gervais, Karen Snyder, Marie Osmond and more. Marie Osmond???? Yes, a few years ago Marie began to design fabric (read, put her name on it) and now she is the spokesperson for a brand of sewing machines. One of the best things is that all these "quilt-famous" people are just people like you and me. They are, by and large, nice people (aren't ALL quilters nice?) who are amazed that we actually like their work.
I don't know if I'll have a chance to blog while I am there....I'll certainly try. I'm excited about seeing what's new and you can be sure I'll be thinking of each of you and what I can bring to YOUR quilting world.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mystery Quilting Retreat

Today is the last day of our Scottie Dog Quilts Fall Mystery Quilting Retreat. Why "Mystery?" Because no one knows what their quilt will look like. We give them instructions on how much of what kind of fabric to bring and they blindly follow our directions. We have quilters from all over ...many repeaters and a few "newbies" or retreat "virgins." We've had an Aloha theme this retreat, including our first dinner catered by a local Hawaiian restaurant The Banana Hut. YumYum, the are "da kine."
Imagine 30 women all with wonderful fabrics, laughing, chocolate, good food. Anne was the first one with her quilt finished. Isn't is luscious? The name of the pattern is "Juicy Fruit." It will be available at the store and on our website next week.
One of the things we do at our retreats is a lotto block. You bring 2 blocks according to our theme (this time 1930's prints) and one block goes to Sunshine (a charity group that send quilts to children) and the other goes into the pot for someone to win.
I've got to get back to retreat....maybe I'll see you here someday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Minnesota Bathroom

One of the reasons we went to Minnesota was to put in a new bathroom in the basement of Beka & Jason's new home. So Mr. Scottie Dog took time off working in OUR new bathroom to work from dawn till past midnight on the Minn. remodel. While still in Eureka, he drew out the plans. Beka and Jason helped out some, learning a bit about sheetrock, electric wiring, painting and the like along the way. First comes the demolition. It's a dirty job and a hard one needing a jackhammer to get through the concrete slab floor. I think the job took longer and cost more than we all had hoped, but it turned out beautiful. A new hallway and corner closet were also constructed. Bill put in a shower/tub unit (that came into the house with scant 1/2" to spare!" They had to put up the walls, put in the plumbing, the wiring, sheetrock, tape & mud & sand the sheetrock before the painting could be done. Then the flooring was laid down. The floor is a vinyl sheet that looks like slate. When you walk on it, it feels like slate since it has concrete under it. The new toilet and pedestal sink were installed. During the process various inspectors had to come check out the work. One took issue with the electrical wiring in the basement room (the bathroom was, of course, perfect!) and so another trip to Home Depot (was the trip #6 or 7?) to get new lights for the ceiling of the basement. I don't have a finished picture of the bathroom yet...when we left it had a mirrored cabinet and light over the sink and Jason has a shelving unit to put up over the toilet. But it was wonderful. Thanks are not enough to Mr. Scottie Dog (who worked like a dog!) on his vacation time. The bathroom, closet & hallway all added many, many thousands of $$$ to the value of their house, not to mention the convenience for their guests not having to run up the stairs to a bathroom!

Apple Harvest

This time of year is Harvest Time. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the pumpkins, apples and such. While in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago we took half a day and drove about 20 minutes to Jordan, MN to a place called "Minnesota Harvest." The pictures don't show it, but so did about a thousand other people! The weather was lovely and warm. We slowly, very slowly wound up the lane (Apple Harvest Lane) through the apple trees...moving up one car space as one car came down the hill. We wondered if we'd ever find a parking place, but Jason pulled it off and found a vacant place just 3 spaces from the entrance!
First we went to the apple tasting room to see which apples we wanted to pick. Honey Gold was the family choice. So we stood in line (6 deep!) for the wagons pulled by old John Deere tractors for about a half hour and went off to the orchards. Jakob loved the tractors, running through the orchards and climbing the ladders. Mercedes was just happy to be along. She is such a happy sprite. At 8 months she cut her first tooth while we were there and went from tentative first crawling to pulling herself up and walking around the furniture. She looks just like her MaMa did at this age.
Last year Beka, Jason & Jakob had their picture taken at the "Family Apple Tree" so we did it again. We asked a couple from Japan to take our picture...they didn't seem to speak any English so it was a bit of a comedy.
I liked this picture of Grandma, Grandpa & Mercedes. As you can see, the day was just wonderful. We came home with an apple pie for dessert! Yum. They had pony rides, a petting zoo, horseback riding, a corn maze, an area that probably held about a thousand pumpkins, but it was nearly empty....a worker said it would be full by the next morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


When we left Eureka on Sept. 26 gasoline was $4.79/gal. When we got to Minnesota it was $3.39. Every day it was a treat to see gas go down, down, down. As we left for the airport we sat it at $2.71/gal. Can't wait to see what it is in Eureka today.

Could there be an election coming up?????

Saturday, October 11, 2008

End of the Visit

Sorry, no pictures today. I'll post those after I get home. Today is our last morning in Minnesota. The kids and grandbabies are out doing their regular Sat. morning job. They'll be back in about an hour and we'll load up the car, stop by a friends' and then to the airport. I've packed, washed our sheets (try to be a good guest!), made sure our breakfast dishes are in the dishwasher. Bill is doing last minute puttering.
While we've been here I've had a chance to hug and kiss on the grandbabies, sew with Beka, gone shopping (yesterday we went to Abdullah's Candy factory to get "imperfect" candies. They make giant peanut butter cups (the size of muffins!) and got some for my CA Son-in-law---ok, Mr. Scottie Dog and my Minn. son-in-law too! We got a 1 lbs. box of assorted imperfects too. We shared that last night and will leave the rest here. Beka and I got a chance to visit "Before You Quilt" her local Savage Quilt Shop. They had moved a few doors down into a larger space. They are now about the same size as Scottie Dog Quilt Shop and have about 1/2 the fabric we have. Nice ladies, nice samples. We'll go again next time I'm in town.
I've also had some time babysitting, doing a craft project with Jakob, reading to him, laughing and taking walks to the mailbox. Jakob has more energy than most 2 1/2 year old boys. If I lay down on the couch he loves to jump on me and say, "BIG hug" and squeeze me really tight. Then he yells, "little hug" and barely a squeeze. Then, "BIG hug" and so on. He knows all his letters. Right smart boy--must take after Grandpa. Mercedes, on the other hand is mostly always smiling, laughing. She loves it when I sing. She was barely crawling when we got here and now she wants to walk! On Thursday she was crawling on the ground and suddenly let out a scream! I went to her and she had a tiny red dot on her lower lip and had a dead wasp in her fist. I guess she'd picked it up and tried to eat it. Beka took her to the doctor as her lip began to swell. Looked like a collagen job gone bad...only bottom lip. They dosed her with Benedryl, she didn't have any other reaction but Beka got an Eppi kit anyway.
Grandpa's legacy from this trip is pretty substantial. A new bathroom, painted and done. New lighting system in the basement, a new hallway with doors & lighting installed and in the laundry room shelves and a hanging rod for hangers!
So in a little bit we'll be flying back to Eureka. It will take nearly 12 hours with a long layover in Chicago. Grandma always cries when it is time to go. But hoping we'll be back soon.
Pictures to follow!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Pears....ripe Bartlett Pears....sweet, juicy, drippy down your chin....nearly perfect fruit. OK...I shamelessly stole this picture from Ami Sims' blog ( She rambles on about bean soup, pears and Rome when she was a child.
What I want to say about pears is that a few weeks ago, Laura Meglemre brought in a couple of bags of pears from her backyard garden....uummmm good! They were a bit beat-up, but so perfectly ripe. Great. I think Liz made some pear sauce, like apple sauce.
The day before yesterday Beka and I took the kids to Target. SUPER Target. In Eureka we just have Target, Little Target, I guess. Super Target, for those who don't know, has a full grocery store attached. A great Deli and a bakery which gives all good little children (or at least that's what Beka told Jakob!) a cookie. He didn't even share his warm peanut butter cookie with grandma! Target had Pears.....beautiful Bartlett Pears. We got a bunch of them. I ate one for lunch yesterday and one for breakfast today. I think they need to be a bit bunged up to really be fabulous. The aroma, ah the aroma. Sniff deeply of the perfume, it's part of the experience. Someone talked about making a pear tart or a pear pie. I think pears are perfect just as they are.....kind of like YOU.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Check Out Our New Website!

For the past several months our daughters, Liz and Beka have been working behind the scenes on our new Scottie Dog Quilts website. Our old site was outdated and difficult for us to add to. We had had such great plans for it.....well, after many, many hours of blood, sweat and tears it is now up and running. You can view it at: It will continue to grow as more things are added to it. I can't wait until all our classes have color pictures to go with patient, that is only around the corner.
You'll be able to read my blog from there too. We've already had some very positive comments about it....some of my employees even found things on the website they didn't know we had in the store! Soon your family and friends can even buy you Scottie Dog Quilts Gift Certificates on-line too! So be sure to tell them when they ask what you might like for Christmas or your Birthday!!

Little House on the Prairie: The Musical!

A couple of months ago I got a phone call from Jason, my son-in-law. He wanted to know if by chance Bill and I would want to go see a play with them when we were here in Minn. Beka's birthday wasn't until November, but the play was happening earlier and he wanted to surprise her. He thought it odd that anyone might want to go--but Beka was a fan of the books. Guess where she got that???? Her mom is a HUGE fan of Laura Ingals Wilder!!!!!
Last night was Beka's early Birthday night. A friend came to babysit and off we went to Red Lobster. Beka didn't know where we were going....until in the middle of dinner. I'm not sure any of us were prepared for what lay ahead. We had a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster.....Those who live in Eureka can understand the excitement of eating at the big chain restaurants....McDonalds, Marie Callendars & Applebees is all we have at home. Beka was excited to learn we were going to Little House on the Prairie at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis as she hadn't heard about it yet. Oh, and one more thing.....guess who starred as Ma? Melissa Gilbert....Laura of the TV series fame! Here's Beka and Jason with their tickets...are they a lovely couple! I think so.
Jason had been trying to get the tickets for 2 months. At first he only had 4 separate tickets. This show has been sold out since it began in July through Oct. 11 the last day. Calling nearly every day he was finally able to get two sets of two tickets. The sets were simple but amazing and the musical told the story according to the books beginning with Little House on the Prairie through These Happy Golden Years. The music was lively and the songs snappy. The character of Nellie was perfect but more lovable that the one on TV. There were quilts---I noticed those of course! The Guthrie Theatre is a fantastic place--two main theatres and one small stage so actually there were three productions going on all at once. There were some children at our performance....including two 7-9 year old girls wearing their prairie costumes complete with sunbonnets. Melissa Gilbert did herself proud. While I know she is not known for her singing ability she was able to make a great showing for the group songs and held her own for her solo about Laura, her wild child. What a great time we had! I certainly hope that other theatre groups put the production on....I loved it and it's great entertainment for the whole family even if you never heard of Laura Ingals Wilder.

A New Bathroom

As you know, Mr. Scottie Dog has been building me a beautiful new bathroom in Eureka. The 13" tiles are slowly making their way up the walls of the new showers (one large room with two showering "stations," one for me and one for him). But now that we are in Minnesota visiting Beka, Jason and the grandbabies he is busy building a new bathroom in their basement. First came the demo work (as in demolition). Beka and Jason helped cut the rug and pull up the rug and padding and scrape off the adhesive. Then the ceiling came down, the sheetrock off one wall and more. Lots of dirt, dust, trash and man/woman power. Here's a picture of me holding Sadie as Jakob hands the broom to Mr. Scottie Dog aka, Gandpa. This was yesterday. Today where I am standing is a bathtub/shower unit and the walls are going up. Bill's been busy with the plumbing and electrical and waiting for the inspector.
Jakob and I made brownies today. He loves to crack the eggs. Oh, and lick the spoon. He's great at that!