Sunday, December 9, 2012

Has It Been So Long?

That's a line from Ron Howard's fantasy movie, "Willow".  Did you ever watch it?  Nothing to do with quilts except it is one of the DVDs I like to have playing when I machine quilt because I don't really have to watch anymore, just listen.  But, I haven't written on the blog since September; that has been a long time.

Mainly, I wanted to put together a slide show of the new pre-cut kits.  I think Kate and John are really doing some beautiful things and Kate's latest addition is a selection of "big" quilts; queen size and larger.  She says that quilters in Houston were interested in making bed size quilts now that they had tried the wall hanging and lap size quilts that we do, so she got busy and has three batik laser pre-cut Storm at Sea kits ready to go!  WEBSITE
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John is downstairs hand quilting and watching football.  When I finish posting on the blog, I will be knitting away on a Christmas present out of the prettiest and softest baby alpaca yarn.  It is a perfect day to be inside and doing handwork!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Rewards Program and Retreat, 2013

Well, summer is gone and John is behind, I am behind, and Kate is caught up with her custom cutting but working hard on a new quilt sample.  So really, everything is normal!

John and I just got back from a small local quilt show in Cody, Wyoming.  It was a lot of fun and well done; such a nice group of quilters!  What a treat for us to be able to drive home after work and stay in our own house.  Cody has changed a lot since I lived in the area; but the beautiful canyon and lake outside of town look almost the same.

I volunteered John to make a quilt for the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary's fundraiser in a few weeks.  The top is done and he is busy quilting; wow, I think it is really going to be nice!
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I am working on a slide show/video for the same event; I have decided if I can still figure out new software like this video editing program, my mind hasn't completely given out.  Click here for more on the Wildlife Sanctuary 

WHEN:  AUGUST 20 – 22, 2013
Six hours instruction of each day with John Flynn.  Classes have not been chosen yet. The fee for the three days of instruction, lunches for students and an evening BBQ is $325: a $50 non refundable deposit holds a place in class.  Class size is limited to 20.

Call 800 745-3596 to reserve a spot or to be placed on the mailing list for more information as classes are chosen.

A big thank you to every one who helped John raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Ride.  It was quite an accomplishment and he survived in very good shape, I'm glad to say.
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 It is getting kind of cool for biking now besides the fact that the Highway Department has the road torn up. Gravel and those thin, skinny tires are not a good combination!

The really important news is that we are starting a Rewards Program.  Sign up on the website and accumulate a discount you can use whenever you shop our website.  It's easy, just go to the button that says Join Mailing List, and follow the instructions!

Have a lovely fall!  Brooke

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bean Recipe

We are on the third and final day of John's quilt retreat at the Rock Creek Resort.  Things are going swimmingly, I think, and Kate and John are enjoying themselves.  The students are doing well and are making progress.  The star of the show, however, is the blond squirrel cruising the patio outside the classroom windows.Who ever heard of such a thing?

We had a barbecue dinner here last night and I promised to post the recipe for the beans we had along with our roast pork.

It was fun to meet the friends and spouses of the retreat quilters.  A very interesting bunch of folks!  I'm just getting the last of the serving dishes etc. washed up and put away.  It was fun!

More pictures will follow, have a great weekend.  Brooke

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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Early Summer and the Garden


Hello, Summer!  We seem to be keeping busy; John and Kate are busy designing and piecing new kits; they are really getting a lot done. John is piecing a pretty batik basket version right now.  I have been assigned a piecing project; maybe it will be cooler in the sewing room later this evening, if you know what I mean.

Peas, onions, beans
Tall Deer Fence and Watering Tank

Here are some pictures of my garden; I am pretty new to gardening but I have a good source of water and most importantly, a 7' tall deer fence, so I'm hoping things keep growing and growing and growing!  The beans, peas, radishes, and spinach are up.  The lettuce and carrots are a little shy.  Watch out for the zucchini!  We also planted the last surviving tomato plants in the fenced garden last night as their special bed was destroyed by the wind storm we had earlier this week.  We are already talking about next year...silly gardeners!  

This is such a fun time in Red Lodge; it's not that there is nothing to do here in the winter but summer is really busy!  There are lots of visitors in town and the Home of Champions Rodeo starts Monday, yep, our rodeo lasts three days.  There is a bicycle race through the Beartooth mountains John is considering; he thinks he might be the only rider in his age group so there might be a prize for him there.  Age has its benefits?

One event we just enjoyed was Founder's Day at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary.  (It is a place where injured animals that cannot be returned to the wild can live safely.)  Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary  This is a link to their Facebook page; you might want to sign up for their photo list; such cute critters! 

We thought we would have a Fourth of July SALE, featuring our red, white and blue pre-cut kits.  But then we decided to have everything on sale, so if you have had your eye on something, now is the time!  The code is RWB , merchandise orders over $25 and the discount is 15%.  We also have gotten set up with PayPal now in case you like to use that method.  Website

Of course our retreat at Rock Creek Resort is only a month away!  We are really looking forward to it and John has been getting some of his sewing machine collection ready for students to use. 

Have a great Fourth!  Enjoy yourselves and stay safe! Brooke

Friday, May 25, 2012

Montana in May

Well, this is really not is pretty normal for Montana, especially near the mountains.  But, I'll bet it doesn't look like this today where you are (unless you are in one of Arctic regions)  I was really trying to get John to agree that it was time to transplant my tomatoes and especially, the cucumbers, outside because they are so ready but he said "wait until after Memorial Day".  Okay, good idea.  We have another couple of days of cold and snow and then 70.  They Promise!

I just spent a couple of days putting all the laser pre-cut kits Kate and John designed for the spring shows on the website.  You should take a look; they are a perfect summer vacation project (those of you who actually have summer weather)  Catalog

Okay, enough whining - John is reading and it looks like a good time to curl up under a lap robe and enjoy the last of the daylight and our unusual view out the window.  Enjoy the long weekend and, a sincere thank you to everyone who made our freedom possible and who protects it now.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Kit and New Techie Skill(?)

Mother's Day at our house; a great breakfast, surprising and thoughtful gifts for Mom, garden talk, then off to the sewing loft to quilt.

My project for the last three weeks, it seems, has been to conquer our Sony Handycam so I can take videos for the blog and website and for my volunteer project at the Beartooth Nature Center as Facebook photographer. (Please go to either the Beartooth Nature Center's website or Facebook page and take a look.  I did not take most of the pictures but you will love the photos of these cute animals; talk about personality!)  

Anyway, back to the video cam self education project; oh, it is best to have the lens cover open.  And then the battery has to be charged.  And the DVD has to have enough room for all your recording.  And yes, if you are over 50, you better have your reading glasses with you to see the little bitty icons and other such.  So after much trial and error, I finally have a small finished video of the project John is quilting today, an Ohio Star laser cut kit.  It is a very cute addition to the red and white collection.  Don't laugh, I will get better at this     .Brooke's First Video and John's Red and White Quilt

Let's see, the quilt shows are over for a while, John has a teaching engagement in Idaho in about a week.  Kate is busy with her custom laser cut kits.  In addition to my immersion into video taking, I am thinking about joining the Tuesday afternoon quilting group.  That may be a good way to get some of those UFOs out of the way.  Then there are the dozens of little seedlings I started, waiting to be transplanted outside.  Do I dare do that in May in Montana, I wonder?


Friday, April 20, 2012

Headed for Kentucky

Well, the time came for the kit making and quilting and last bit of binding to stop and the packing and traveling to begin.  There are lots of new kits going to Paducah along with templates, frames and books.  Kate and Kevin fly out tomorrow and John leaves too, in the trusty Ford van.  

I thought it was fun to take pictures of the quilt packing.  I'm not sure Kate and John were that entertained.  John uses hard sided suitcases for his quilts and two of the suitcases have names.  Doesn't everyone name their luggage?  Mustard and Ketchup.  Yes, we do have a checklist so that we don't forget anything.  It works about  90% of the time.  I took a picture of the van with the back doors closed just to prove that all that stuff really did fit in the van.  There is even room for John and his clothes in front.  

So I hope they have safe travels and a good show and I hope everyone headed for Paducah travels safe.  The dogs and I are keeping an eye on the home place.  Brooke

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April News

First, I have a little photo of Montana daffodils.  I know the rest of the country (and hemisphere!) has already had their spring fix of beautiful daffodils, but spring comes late here.  These little guys are only about 3" tall and have already survived two snow storms.  So the snow is gone for now.  The bigger daffodils will open soon; these are tough flowers aren't they!

It is almost time for that great quilt show, the American Quilters Society Show in Paducah, Kentucky.  I will tell you, Kate and John have been busy as bees getting ready - of course there will be an ongoing demonstration of the Flynn Multi-Frame but there are lots of new pre-cut kits; some elegant, some whimsical, all really accurate and a joy to sew.  A little slide show of some of the new kits follows.  I will work hard at getting these in to the web catalog; I'm not kidding there are really a lot of the new kits. 

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Everyone leaves for the Paducah show this weekend.  Kate and Kevin will have a day or two sightseeing while John drives down - I have the fun job of dog sitting; I predict many walks and some sessions of catch.  I will wear out before Maggie, and that's okay.  Enjoy early spring, wherever you are!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Four New Pre-cut Kits

Kate and John have been busy cutting and piecing these four new variations of the Floating Log Cabin.  This is such a cute quilt and goes together fast.  I love the optical illusion you get of kind of wonky blocks even though they are all straight lines and symetrical and so forth.  I can't decide which one is my favorite although the plaid one is looking pretty good!  Catalog
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The next shows are in Puyallup, Washington SewExpo and in Hampton, Virginia Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.  This is the three week period when everyone is spread out literally from coast to coast, Kate in Washington state and John in Virginia.  So I hope you will get to take in one of these shows; the AQS Show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is next, then Paducah!

I see that it is finally snowing again; we have had a real dry spell. Two weeks ago, I put up some of that bright orange snow fence south of our long driveway; about 100' of it.  I did the best I could, but is a pretty ugly job, since the snow was already at least 2' deep where I wired it to the existing barb wire fence. Well, if the wind comes up this week, we'll see if it stops the drifting ...or makes it worse!

Happy Valentine's Day; I am taking my sweetheart to dinner at Bridge Creek, how about you?  Brooke

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back from California and New Kits

John and Kate are back from Ontario, California and the great Road to California Show.  There were lots of quilters and they got to visit some with our vendor friends, but it was BUSY in the booth; that is a good thing.  The bad thing(s) were that the cash register died an untimely death somewhere on the long trip down and so did the radio credit card swipe machine.  Poor Kate had to use one of the old fashioned card imprint machines while a new radio swipe machine Fed Exed its way to the hotel.  But things calmed down after that.

The kits that sold well at Road were the Woodsy colorway of "Carnival" and the plaid "Floating Cabin".  You can see both of them hanging in the booth in these photos Kate took one morning before the crowds arrived.And, just in case you are interested, here are links to the kits in our catalog.
"Woodsy" Carnival Pre-cut Kit, 48" x 60""
Closeup of "Woodsy" Carnival Pre-cut Kit

Plaid colorway, "Floating Cabin" Pre-cut Kit, 39" x 46"

John's quilt "Piano Rag" was included in an exhibit at Road, "All That Jazz", curated by Ricky Tims; very appropriate for the theme.  Here are all the exhibited quilts from Ricky Tims' website  All That Jazz

Friday, while Kate and John were vending and I was happily doing bookwork in the Billings office, the furnace repair guy came to replace a motor (I believe) on the elderly forced air furnace.  After a few clanky minutes, he reappeared to tell me that he needed another part which had to be ordered and that he had disabled the furnace as it wasn't safe now.  Well, that would have been tolerable if it had been in the 40s or even the 30s but it was TEN BELOW ZERO and we had 8 inches of snow.  I had to buy three quartz heaters to keep the pipes from freezing in the office and shop over the weekend.  The new part has come in and has been installed and Kate says it is now toasty in the office.  Toasty is better.

Kate has just finished piecing a cute and clever pre-cut quilt kit for Valentine's Day.  Watch for our newsletter in the next few days for a look at it; there are limited quantities and you have time to get a good start on it before Valentine's Day flutters in.

Take care