Friday, December 31, 2010

What a Year!

To Auld Lang Syne, for days past....   These last 365 days of 2010 have been so great, from the little things I take for granted like having a warm roof over my head and food on my table, to watching my grandson Vince two days a week and seeing him grow into this little boy who goes to preschool, seeing my granddaughter Kenzie once a week or so, and especially the big event of being Blessed with another granddaughter Aleena, just days ago.

It feels so good to look back on this year and see so many gifts I have been given, like Woolin Rouge coming out with our very first patterns, visiting with family in Michigan, having my grandchildren so close I can hug when ever I want, having a healthy loving family, and having the greatest working relationship with Traci Marvel and Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. I could go on for days because I am so Blessed. I have friends who I can tell my secrets to and a husband who loves me even though I'm sure I drive him crazy at times. Well, lots of times. He not only puts up with my Compulsive Sewing, he supports it. What more could I ask for.

So what will 2011 have in store for me? I know I will watch my grandchildren grow, sew with friends, create new Woolin Rouge patterns, love my family and friends, oh...and learn to hook rugs. (Got to love that wool!)

For you? I pray that God protects you and gives you what you need. I pray for health and happiness for you all. 
Happy New Year to all my friends and family and anyone reading my blog. I love you all! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holly Birdie is Ready

Holly Birdie pattern by Woolin Rouge (Traci Suzanne Marvel and myself), for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company is NOW READY!!!!

The bird and holly leaves is done in felted wool but as a quilter, I'm sure you know you can take artistic freedom and do it with batiks, cottons, or anything you want! What I really like about this pattern is that it is so easy for a quilt shop to use any of their Holiday fabric without feeling like they have to make it exactly like the pattern. Speaking of which, the fabric used in this set is Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas by Moda.

It goes without saying that I used Aurifil thread. The wool was appliqued with Aurifil Lana Wool Thread and the rest was sewn and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt cottonBigfork Bay Cotton Company is a Distributor for Aurifil so quilt shop owners, give them a ring.

I hope you enjoy this new pattern from Woolin Rouge. We had so much fun designing it. This is the pattern that was in Magic Patch, a French Magazine.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New GrandBaby Aleena

I would like to introduce my new Granddaughter Aleena Michelle Diaz. She came to meet us at 4:03PM on 12/11/10.  These pictures are within a couple hours of when she was born. 

My daughter Shelly had been experiencing labor pains for an entire week. I can't even imagine going to work with labor pains, but she did! 

Grandpa Alan was at Aleena's birth. He said that he is 67 years old and he had experienced a lot of death because of war and experiences in his life, but never life. He was so excited when Shelly told him he could be there to see his granddaughter come into the world. I'm not sure if he ever realized before that it was an option for him. When my Grandson Vince was born I was there and talked about how it was the most amazing experience of my life. I think Alan realized that he had missed the most beautiful gift on Earth.

Alan is a hunter and Shelly loves elk meat so Alan felt it was so important to make sure she had an elk before the baby was born. Strange, I know. He and a friend, Ron Meyer went out hunting, shot elk, and still made it in time for the birth of Aleena.

Shelly did an amazing job giving birth and her husband Anthony is so great. I have always felt so Blessed with the family I have and life continues to show me how truly Blessed I really am. No matter what I get for Christmas this year, nothing will compare to the gift I received on Saturday and the feeling of having all my family around to enjoy this experience.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Addiction of Wool

Time moves so quickly. I always think in the summer months that once winter gets here things will slow down but it never does. If anything, there is more going on. I take my Grandson Vince to school once a week, then there are birthdays, and of course the Holidays! This year we have a special gift coming for Christmas. My daughter Shelly is having a baby girl in December so that will certainly add to the excitement.

Even though I feel like my life is so full and absolutely Blessed, and on top of having a design company with Traci, I have decided to take up Rug Hooking. Wool is so addictive. It is the most luxurious fabric to work with I have ever used. Rug hooking is something I have always wanted to do so it is just a natural progression that I move on to another dimension in wool.

I ordered this wonderful book from Pat Cross. It talks about everything I need to know and has the patterns to get me started.  I have now have the wool, fabric stripper, hook, book, and  ambition. All I need now is a frame and fabric and I'm ready to go.  Oh, and did I mention time.......

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holly Birdie by Woolin Rouge for Bigfork Bay Cotton Co

We all know I can't take a photograph to same my soul but I give it a try anyway. Hard to believe my nephew is a professional photographer and my kids take better pictures with their cell phones, but it's true.

Anyway, I did a remake of Holly Birdie. The original was done for the French Magazine Magic Patch. It was in Moda fabrics and I just loved it, however, by the time Bigfork Bay tried ordering the fabric we needed it was sold out. So Traci Suzanne Marvel and Jane Anderson picked out new fabric at the shop and I remade the set for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.  We all have that fabulous piece of Christmas or winter fabric that we fell in love with but never knew how to use. Now you can see how easy it is to use it for a table set for the Holidays!

The wool I used is from Weeks Dye Works. I just loved how it looks. Of course, if I was a decent photographer you could see the fabric better. The thread I used was, of course, Aurifil.  I used the Aurifil Lana Wool thread for the wool applique and the Aurifil 50 wt cotton for the quilting.  One of these days I'm going to use the Lana Wool to quilt it too. Humm. Maybe the next one.

The pattern is available for preorder right now at International Quilt Market. If you get to Market or Festival be sure to look up Bigfork Bay Cotton Company and say Hi to my peeps.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Woolin Rouge Designs, Snow in Love

One of the newest patterns from Woolin Rouge, to be presented at Quilt Market by Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. will be Snow in Love.  This is a design taken from a drawing by Traci Suzanne Marvel.  The background is Maywood Studio Flannel and Batik Textile Batiks

I had so much fun to create these adorable snow people out of wool from Mary Flanagan. The thread, which is Aurifil Lana Wool Thread, is such a pleasure to work with.  It never shreds or tangles. Kits and Patterns will be available from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company very soon.

I am always so amazed when a design is finished that it is exactly like Traci and I had both envisioned. Traci and I both live in different states so designing could be a challenge for some but Traci and I both seem to make it work.

Don't you just love the expressions on these faces. They are truly Snow in Love.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Woolin Rouge Hippie Birdie Cover by Bigfork Bay Cotton Co.

It is finally ready for print!
Hippie Birdie will be ready for orders at International Quilt Market in Houston this month. This design means so much to me. I took a painting of Traci Suzanne Marvel, my business partner, and turned it into usable fiber art.
Traci jokes around saying she can't sew, and I say I can't draw, so together we make a whole idea. We really do make a great team because even though we joke about not sewing or drawing it  isn't too far from the truth. While I could draw something if I had to, I don't envision original ideas. And while Traci can sew, it isn't her passion like drawing and painting is. (If you think Traci's art is good, you should see her photography.) Fortunately, we each bring a lot to the table.
But our design team doesn't stop there. Lynn Stalowy, owner of Bigfork Bay Cotton Company gets to have her input too. No pattern would be complete without the graphic design of David Boggs. John Stalowy, owner with wife Lynn, does all the photography for the covers of the patterns. David Boggs designed the cover graphic design with ideas form Traci and Lynn, and everyone else in the office gets an opinion about liking the designs too.  I do a lot of the writing of our patterns but it is proofed several times and the overall design of the directions is the creation of Katie Bramante.  Katie writes all the other directions for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.
 Traci Suzanne Marvel is the best Marketing Director I have ever seen. She puts all the designs from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company on the map.
There are so many other amazing people at Bigfork Bay Cotton Company involved in bringing you these designs. I am just so grateful to be a part of such an amazing company with so many wonderful people. I could have never lived my dream without all of them.  
I also want to thank Patricia and Walter Bravo at Art Gallery Fabric for the fabrics out of the Girly Girl line and Susan Sylvia at Ram in the Thicket for the beautiful colors of wool.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Woolin Rouge Holly Birdie Goes to France

When I was at Quilt Market in Minneapolis this Spring I had the honor of meeting Marianne Byrne-Goarin of The Cinnamon Patch. I have been a huge fan of hers since the first time I saw her book Cinnamon Inspirations.  While we were chatting she mentioned she would like Woolin Rouge to do a design for a French Magazine called Quilt Country. Traci Suzanne Marvel and I were honored and thrilled to have this opportunity.

Traci came up with the idea of the Cardinal and holly and I went looking for fabrics.  We both agreed on the 12 Days of Christmas line by Kate Spain which was graciously donated by Moda. Thank you Moda!

For this project I used wool felt instead of felted wool. The wool felt is more available in France. The thread was, of course, Aurifil. I used the Aurifil Lana wool thread for the applique stitches and Aurifil 50wt cotton for the quilting. 

After completing the project and sending it to France for the magazine Quilt Country, Editions de Saxe decided to use it in a Special Holiday Edition of Magic Patch.  I looked through the pages of the Magic Patch by going to the website.   Go ahead and check out the other amazing designs. Marianne Byrne-Goarin and several other artists are featured. I clicked on the Magic Patch picture and then the button on the left took me to the place where I could flip the pages of the magazine.  What an honor it is to be among such talented designers and what a special honor it is to be on the Cover!

This design set will be redone for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company to produce in different fabrics and using wool from Weeks Dye Works.  The pattern set will be available at Fall Quilt Market or if you are already a subscriber to Magic Patch you already have a copy! We love the idea that this particular pattern can use any of your Holiday or Winter fabrics. We all have those beautiful fabrics that we never know how to use once we get it home. Well, now you can make either and entire table setting with table runner, place mats, napkins, and napkin rings, or simply make the table runner. The place mats can be made out of any fabrics for any occasion. It is a very versitle pattern.

I have to thank John and Lynn Stalowy, owners of Bigfork Bay Cotton Company and Traci Suzanne Marvel for making all my dreams come true.  And a special thank you to Marianne Byrne-Goarin for fulfilling another dream for me. I am so Blessed to have these people in my life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aurifil and Stitchery

The most beautiful colors of Aurifil Cotton 12wt. thread arrived at my door the other day. You can't even imagine how excited I was to open the package from Italy and see all the amazingly gorgeous thread inside.

A house guest of ours saw the assortment of thread sitting on my dining table. He was in awe of the colors and asked if they were silk. I told him they were cotton Aurifil thread and he said he had never seen such beautiful colors in his life. I was especially happy when he commented on the quality of the thread, and he isn't even a sewer. He was so right about all the things he said about the thread sitting before him. It did look like silk, it is the best quality on the market, and Aurifil thread does come in the most gorgeous colors I've ever seen.

The arrival of these special threads is the beginning of a new adventure for Woolin Rouge. We are adding Stitchery Designs to our Cabaret of Folk Art Designs. I love to sit and embroidery and Traci's folk art will translate perfectly. Bigfork Bay Cotton Company, the producer of our patterns, is excited about our new direction also. I can't wait to embroider with Aurifil 12wt. thread. It came highly recommended to me by Kelly Ann, owner of Kelly Ann's Quilting. You should check out her blog. It's in my favorites.

All the beautiful colors you see and many many more are available at Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. The Aurifil Cotton thread comes in 12wt, 28wt, 40wt, and 50wt, in 216 mouth watering colors. It is also available in smaller spools and large cones. For all my wool applique I use Aurifil Lana Wool thread.

Feel free to call Bigfork Bay Cotton Company for wholesale prices for your shop, or individual spools for your personal sewing needs at 1-866-245-5718.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cowgirl Needs Our Help

My business partner, and one of my dearest friends, Traci Suzanne Marvel, has the purest heart of anyone I know.  She has always given so much to so many with no expectations in return. Now it's my hope that she gets her turn to get something back for all she has done for others.  Her dog Cowgirl has Cancer. She has taken Cowgirl in for radiation which has helped, but Cowgirl needs more help. 

Some, believe this is only an animal and doing so much is ridiculous. It's okay to believe that way, but there are many others who feel that we are our beloved pets advocates and it is our duty to help them as much as we can. Traci is one of those people.

Cowgirl and Cowboy are brother and sister. They are the sweetest dogs. Cowgirl and Cowboy are not just dogs. They are souls who have found their way deep in the heart of Traci and so many others. They are pets like your pets. They love us, let us cry on their shoulders, wait patiently until we come home, tails always wagging, and doing their dances. They rely on us for food, water, shelter, warmth, and most of all love. We are their caregivers. We are also responsible for their health. Some of us take that farther than others. Traci feels the need to do ALL she can as Cowgirls caregiver and family. However without the funds to do this it makes it hard. Some would just say, "Hey, I can't afford to do any more." but not Traci. She is finding a way to get the money to do what needs done. She is not only planning on helping HER pet but others as well.

With every tragedy, there are lessons to be learned. One of the things we have learned through this process is that sometimes the people who desperately want to do everything possible for their beloved pets can't afford to do so. Because of this we have realized the need to form a way for people to get the money they need. Once Cowgirls needs have been met, the fund raising will continue in different forms to help others.

If you feel in your heart that you want to help you can go to Traci's blog. One of her fund raisers is a coffee and tea company, there is a donate button where you can donate directly using PayPal, and she has an etsy store where she is selling her art. 

Just remember. Everyone makes their own choices. Hers is to help Cowgirl and eventually other pets the best way she knows how. Your choice might be to help too. If so, I thank you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer's End Applique Blocks

When I was in Minneapolis this spring at Quilt Market I was drawn to the Primitive Gatherings booth. When I say "drawn" I don't mean, I liked it and spent some time there. I mean that I was "drawn" there time and time again. I could be clear across the building and think, "I need to go back to Primitive Gatherings. I would look at the wool, or the patterns, or the books, or the kits..... This particular pattern, Summer's End, is one I went back a few times to dwell on. Finally the second day I bought it and I am so glad I did. I have had so much fun making this wool applique quilt.

I am using a wool background, wool applique, and Aurifil Lana Wool thread. So far I have only done 5 of the 12 blocks. When I finish the blocks, there is the applique border and I need to decide on a wool sashing for the blocks. 

Between Summer's End, Applique Affair, and the designs I am doing for my own partnership, Woolin Rouge, I am having the woolly time of my life. There is nothing quite like the feel, colors, and visual beauty of wool.

Bigfork Bay Cotton Company is Producing the patterns for Woolin Rouge so be sure you check out the website. So far the only one finished and selling is Star Light Snow Bright. They will have the kits available real soon too. Mary Flanagan is dyeing wool specifically for that quilt. It will be outstanding when it's done. I can't wait to get my kit and I've already made two!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Applique Affair in Wool and Cotton

At Quilt Market in Minniapolis my husband fell in love with Applique Affair by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Of all the quilts in all the booths, that's the one he wanted, so how could I say no. 

Lynn Stalowy of Bigfork Bay Cotton Company has decided to make this beautiful quilt with me. She is doing hers out of beautiful Daiwabos and I am doing mine on cotton backgrounds with wool.

Here is one of Lynn's fused down out of Daiwabos... and the bottom one is mine out of wool.  Mine isn't out of proportion, I just take lousy pictures and the camera was tilted. You'd think I'd learn.
Lynn's at the top and mine on the bottom. 
Check out some of Lynn's other blocks on her blog along with a lot of other great quilts.
We are both using Aurifil thread. I am using mainly Aurifil Lana Wool for my applique and Lynn will be using Aurifil Cotton 50 wt. I am doing mine by hand and Lynn is doing hers by machine. Both will be Machine Quilted. 
And while you are surfing the internet, be sure you check out the other fantastic books and patterns by the very talented Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. She designs great fabric for Moda and has her thread collection for Aurifil too. 
Lynn and I will keep you updated as we move along on our quilts.  If you are making or have made Applique Affair send me your pictures and I will post them!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hippie Birdie at Quilt Market

Our newest pattern from Woolin Rouge, for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company, called Hippie Birdie, was at the Aurifil Booth at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis, as well as at the Bigfork Bay BoothAurifil was happy to show the table runner because it uses BOTH Aurifil Cotton Mako and Aurifil Lana Wool threads. Both can be purchased Retail AND Wholesale from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.

The pattern, Hippie Birdie, includes the Table Runner, which has the best directions on the Marker for Wool Applique, AND an adorable Place Mat, Napkins, and Napkin Ring! Bigfork Bay will have all the fabric requirements on their website and a great source for the wool and cotton. The resources we found for the wool make it very affordable for shops to kit as well as individuals to purchase. 

The cotton fabric used in the Hippie Birdie set are Girly Girl by Art Gallery Fabrics. They are beautiful fabrics with a wonderful feel. I LOVE their fabric and the owners are as nice as they come.

Hippie Birdie will be available for purchase soon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Off to Quilt Market

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, my dear sweet Husband and I are off to Quilt Market in Minneapolis.
I feel so blessed to have a husband who would so graciously drive me to Market. Of course, we are going on vacation when we leave Minneapolis to his home town of Manistique Michigan and then on to visit the kids and grand kids in Lansing, but he's still on a high pedestal with me right now.

My main goal is representing Woolin Rouge and hanging out with my Peeps from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. The new Woolin Rouge pattern Star Light Snow Bright will be dabeaueing as will the Hippie
Birdie set of Table Runner, Placemat, Napkins, and Napkin Ring.  I have a very long list of my "absolutely have to stop at" booths and I have been in training for Speed Shopping for Sample Spree.

I will be updating with pictures of my favorite "Best of Show" (which is a pattern by Bigfork Bay) and some of the fun and exciting people I run into. I CAN'T WAIT!!!
Stay Tuned!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iris and Rose Pattern by Brenda Yirsa for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company

When it comes to floral quilt designs, Brenda Yirsa is at the top of my list. She knows how to bring fabric to life in her flowers. I love how unique each one of her designs are. Bigfork Bay Cotton Company has just added these two new patterns to her collection. These two quilts have that WOW factor when  finished.
As always, the Patterns, Fabric Kits, and Aurifil Thread Kits are available on the website of 

Bigfork Bay Cotton Company's patterns are very well written and designed. It takes an outstanding team to create something this good. Katie Bramante is one of the best in the industry at writing the pattern directions and no one can touch David Boggs with his graphic design and cover designs. The owners John and Lynn Stalowy run not only the pattern business but also the quilt shop and John is the photographer of Stalowy Productions. He is the photographer for ALL of the quilts done for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company's covers. There are so many more involved behind the scenes. I will write about them in future posts.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hippie Birdie Table Runner by Woolin Rouge

Here is a sneek peek of the newest design by Woolin Rouge for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company called Hippie BirdieTraci Suzanne Marvel had done a painting of the bird and the flowers and I loved it so much that I just had to turn it into a wool applique design.  The hand dyed wool is from Ram in the Thicket and the cotton fabric is from the Girly Girl Line by Art Gallery Fabrics which are designed by Patricia Bravo.
The thread I used for the wool applique is Aurifil Lana Wool Thread. I realized after using it for a long time that I had never had a single problem with it like most wool thread. It didn't shred at the fold through the needle and it never once knotted up.  I have used it by machine with a 100 needle on other preojects and it sews like a dream.  For the rest of the table runner I used Aurifil Cotton 50wt. It is my mainstay of quilting thread.  I can't imagine ever using anything else.
The Hippie Birdie Pattern will include the Table Runner, Placemats, Napkins, and an adorable Napkin Ring.  It is due to come out at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis.
There will be more surprises to come too so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Star Light Snow Bright Cover by Woolin Rouge

Traci Suzanne Marvel, Jane Anderson, and I have joined forces to start a pattern company called Woolin Rouge.  We will be producing a Caberet of Folk Art Designs so easy you Can-Can do them. Our goal it to bring a new and modern approach to wool applique. Even though Star Light Snow Bright is more traditional, we have some new twists we will be adding to the coming designs.

Star Light Snow Bright can easily used as a Redwork Design too just by using the layout guide as your pattern. So, you get two for the price of one!

Traci Suzanne Marvel and her son David Boggs designed the cover and John Staloway Productions did the fantastic photography. Bigfork Bay Cotton Company is producing the patterns for Woolin Rouge so all wholesale and retail orders can be made through them once they are ready.  I want to thank them all for all their hard work. They are all so amazing. I am Blessed to be working with them all.

This design for Star Light Snow Bright was drawn by Traci Suzanne Marvel and I turned it into a wool quilt. We are very proud and excited about the designs that Woolin Rouge is bringing to you so stay tuned because there are 3 more in the making!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Star Light Snow Bright

Traci Suzanne Marvel did this adorable drawing called Star Light Snow Bright. I loved it so much that, with her permission, I just had to create it out of felted wool. I used new and repurposed wool, which I felted myself.  The roof of the cabin is actually my husband's old suit coat.  The green plaid in the trees was old wool yardage given to me by Deb Carroll that she got in one of those boxes with all sorts of stuff in them at an auction, and the trunk of the tree was an old coat bought from a second hand store. The new yardage came from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.

Aurifil Lana Wool Thread was the perfect choice for the applique stitches.  The only quilting I did on this quilt was on both sides of the inner border. I did it on my machine with my walking foot, a size 100 needle and the Aurifil Lana Wool Thread.  The thread worked beautifully in my machine and it melted into the wool so you can't even see it. I am definetly going to play more with the Aurifil Lana Wool Thread using my sewing machine. Bigfork Bay Cotton Company is a distributor for Aurifil which means shops can buy it wholesale or the rest of us can buy it retail. If you would like to know more about the Aurifil Thread call them at 866-245-5718 or click on their name above to go to their website where they also sell outstanding quilting patterns.

Bigfork Bay Cotton Co will be making Star Light Snow Bright into a pattern soon so let them know if you would like to purchase one. They sell Wholesale to Shops too. I am very excited to be working with Traci Suzanne Marvel. There are more surprises to come so stay posted!