Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Michigan Row By Row Experience

What a fantastic summer we have had so far!  Thanks to the Michigan Row By Row Experience we have met so many new quilting friends from all over Michigan and the whole country!  Our sign in sheet includes quilters from Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and more!   
Our row is Summertime Dresdens. It's a bright and happy row.  Others across the state include beach scenes, winter scenes, the Mackinaw Bridge, barns and windmills.  So much creativity in our state! Hopefully you will have a chance to take a road trip this summer that includes stopping in a few shops and joining in the fun!
Find out more information on the Row By Row Experience here !

Until next time, grab a friend and sit and sew.  It's good for the soul!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Every quilter I know has a group of friends that share the love of quilting.  And most of them get together at least one time a year for a couple of days to quilt.  Patty and I have a group of friends that have been getting together for many years now.  We recently had our little retreat and it was great fun!  As usual!  For 4 days we sewed from sun up until very late in the evening.  We shared good meals, great conversation, a beverage or two and completed some very cool projects!  Each year we have a challenge project as well.

This year our retreat was during the Olympics and so our challenge was centered around that.  We each had to choose a country participating in the Olympics and design a project around the colors of that countries flag.  It was FUN!  Here are some of the projects from that challenge:
Estonia, China, Kazakhstan and even a take on the Olympic rings!  The projects were a big secret until reveal night.  The second part of the challenge was to prepare a dish from that country so we enjoyed a culinary treat too.  It was so fun to see all of the quilts that were started and or completed.  Although some of sewing Patty and I did was for the store it was great to work on personal projects.  

It was a great time and I can't wait until next year.  Time to get thinking about my project for next years challenge!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Talent in the Arts abounds in our little town.  The Midland Center For The Arts hosts amazing talent each week through music, art, acting and more.  Creative 360 Stage, Studio and Gallery is dedicated to the creative process in each of us.  Downtown Midland has Imagine That!  A co-op of local artist offering traditional and contemporary handcrafts.  And our quilting community shows endless talent with book authors, pattern designers and quilt makers.  Today I would like to give a shout out to Lenore Crawford. Next time you see her be sure and congratulate her on her win in the Road to California Quilter's Showcase and Conference that took place in January.  Her piece called Capturing Brittany won 1st Place in the Outstanding Art Quilt category!  Lenore is extremely talented and the prize is well deserved!  I hope she doesn't mind that I am picturing her quilt on this blog!
Wow!  Something I could never do but admire greatly!  If you are interest you can find out more about this show here www.road2ca.com

Here are a couple more blocks from the Ruby Red Dot quilt I am working on.  This has been too much fun!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I love taking an older pattern with good "bones" and making it more now.  Take this book:  Ruby Red Dots by Sheri Howard.
It is a great book with fantastic applique designs.  Originally done in small prints and plaids with wool accents, I decided to shake it up a bit.  Enter big, bold Kaffe fabrics!  Pictured is one block in progress.

Kinda sweet, don't you think?  I will keep you updated on my progress and post more pics.  Wait until you see the sashing and border fabric!  We are offering this as a Block Of The Month in 2014.  Yummy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Can Always Sew Tomorrow!

The weather is turning a cooler now.  Perfect for days spent in the sewing room!  Yesturday, however,  I felt like doing some baking.  (Those of you who know me well can stop laughing!)  I know baking is not my "thing" but I still like to give it a go now and then.  Blueberries were calling my name so here is my Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread.  Yummy!  Find the recipe I used here: http://bit.ly/14Ued75
I can always sew tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

So let's talk about Pinterest.  Love it?  Hate it?  Never heard of it?  If you have never heard of it then you need to get out of your sewing room for a minute and discover it.  I love it!  Yes, it can be a time waster, but I sure can get inspired about quilting, cooking, home dec and more.  The other day a customer showed us a great quilt see saw on Pinterest.  "Can you help with this?" she said.  "Yes, we can!" was our response.  Patty drafted a quick pattern, helped the customer with fabric selection and off she went.

It was so cute that we decided to replicate it for the store.  So, Patty gets started on a pattern, picks new fabric and gets to sewing!  I think it is going to be adorable.  Thanks Pinterest!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Well, it is that time of the year when we are enjoying nice evenings outside on our deck, admiring the flowers at their peak and thinking about sending our kids back to school.  For us at Park Bench we also have to wrap our heads around Halloween and Christmas.  Time for our Holiday Open House!  Now we show off what we have been working on for the last few weeks.  When you get in the holiday mood and start making the great projects we have put together, Patty and I will be kicking back enjoying some hot cocoa!

Just kidding.  No cocoa for us!  We will be on to the next great project.
Enjoy the last days of summer!