Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wildlife at the Shop

We have lots of wild animals in Red Lodge, but here is a cute raccoon baby at the shop in Billings.  On Friday, Kate swept up the cutting floor area and left the garbage bin open for the next load. When she went back with more, she noticed this raccoon in exploring the fabric scraps (okay, there was a bag of real garbage in there too).  She yelled and came back in the shop but then went right back out with a board for it to climb out on.  That didn't work so she offered it a ride on a broom (ala Harry Potter) and that was the ticket, off into the bushes!

It was a little tense because the garbage pickup is on Friday.  Whew, just in time.  

This is Kate's newest Pre-cut Kit "Spinning Pinwheel".  It is 48" x 60".  It's a beauty!  You can find it in the  CATALOG  It is only $65, all cut out and ready to sew!  Brooke

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Piecing and the Olympics

Most of you know that our August quilt retreat here in Montana is just a week or so away.  John pieced a new class sample for the "Reinvented" Wheel of Mystery class in black, white and red.  He and Kate are hoping that the blue fabric they ordered weeks ago will show up in time so they can cut red, white and blue kits for class.  Always something.  Rectangular Wheel of Mystery

The other day, I was wondering how many "fund raising" quilts John has made over the years, let's see, for our school's PTA, our church, the International Quilt Association, for the American Quilter's Society, lots for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, on and on.  

But one of the first was a "Log Cabin in the Woods" he designed for the Red Lodge Petting Zoo.  The Zoo has transformed itself over the years in to a regional wildlife sanctuary for animals that can not be returned to the wild.  And he is making a quilt now for the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary to auction off at their fundraiser this fall.  I think I'm going to like it.  It is a variation of "Feathered Sun" and no, it is not paper pieced.  (the burgundy background is our pool table, it seems to make a dandy design "wall").  He is piecing and watching the Olympics, although sometimes it is too exciting and he has to stop piecing and really pay attention.

And, finally, a look at this year's Silent Auction fundraiser miniature quilt for the International Quilt Association.  Little and bright!

Here comes an afternoon thunderstorm, Rain, Rain, Rain!!


Saturday, July 28, 2012


We are lucky to have 10 acres or so near Red Lodge.  Most of it has been undisturbed for years; no livestock etc.  and we don't mow. But here in Montana, we have a troublesome weed called Spotted Knapweed that can really take over.  We have had it sprayed several times over the years.  That works for a while, but the spray is really not very environmentally friendly and it kills the wildflowers.

Bees like knapweed, but most animals won't eat it - except GOATS and their innards also kill the weed seeds during digestion.  So our young friends put us on the list to have the goats come eat our knapweed when it was ready and when they were in the neighborhood.  The goats are kept in place by a portable solar electrical fence and a lovely sheepdog named Shua.  They moved across our ten acres in two days, was it fun to watch!
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Well, this is probably a lot more about goats and knapweed than you wanted to know, but they did such a good job and the entertainment value was priceless.

Next post will be back to quilting and about the projects for John's retreat in August.  He is sewing right now  and watching the Olympics.  I better clean house.  Brooke

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Laser Cut Kit, Quilted and Bound!

This is Brooke, the would be photographer, writing this.  I have been trying to get better at still photos and at  using our deceptively simple little video camera.  I took some photos and a little video while John was working away on the newest laser cut kits, "Blanket".

What John is doing is kind of interesting; he has the feed dogs down on this old and trusty Singer 201 and he is just quilting back and forth.  So when he gets all the way to the right, he puts the machine in reverse and backstitches all the way to the left edge.  This kind of pulls the quilt top and it ends up almost looking herringbone which we love for this handwoven inspired "Blanket" design.  The kit is all batiks that Kate had saved away somewhere.  I think it looks great!

Well it is early morning here and I need to go water my little garden and far flung plants.

Enjoy your beautiful summer day and stay cool!

Oh, important, the 15% off sale is still in effect - go to the website for the code and details   WEBSITE


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Read All About It!

A few weeks ago, John took part, kind of informally, in a bicycling tradition; riding up the Beartooth Highway before it was open to motorized traffic.  The Highway Department usually has the road plowed by Memorial Day but we had SNOW on Memorial Day this year so opening was a little late. Of course, the bicyclers love this as they don't have to contend with cars, although John says he rarely has a problem.

Anyway, the Billings newspaper had sent a reporter to cover the ride and he was nice enough to be interested in John; he does have an interesting profession and was probably the oldest bicycler on the ride.  So reporter came out to our shop in Billings to talk to John and Kate about the Quilt Frame Company last week and here is the article!  (I do not think Kate wanted her picture taken.)

Happy Fourth of July!  We are under fire restrictions, so no fireworks.  Maybe we will just yell BANG,  WHIZ, POP POP POP instead.  Brooke