Monday, July 21, 2014

Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Missouri Star Quilt Company

Written by Linda Chaney, Mother

I was driving to Paducah this year (for the 2014 Paducah Quilt Show by the American Quilter's Society) via St. Louis and realized that I could go through Hamilton, Missouri, home of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Mural in Hamilton, Missouri

It was truly an amazing experience. There are several stores along the main street, all with quilt fabrics! The thought was that by dividing up the fabrics into categories and setting them into their own space, the shopping experience would not be so overwhelming.

Missouri Star Quilt Company Sew Seasonable

Missouri Star Quilt Company

Missouri Star Quilt Company

Missouri Star Quilt Company

Missouri Star Quilt Company

I think they have succeeded with this type of presentation. Although Jenny Doan, whose YouTube presentations I always watch for her different ideas, was not in town, I was able to see where the taping was done and also noted her collection of irons around the perimeter of the room.

Jenny Doan studio, Missouri Star Quilt Company

If the other goal was to revitalize the town of Hamilton, Missouri, I think this store has definitely hit the mark!  Of course, I bought fabric - tough to resist with the number of mouth watering choices. And the small restaurant serving salads and scrumptious pies was also irrisistable.

Hamilton, Missouri

This town was also to be dear to my heart since it was the location of my first sales of Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Style Accessories that I had just received from our editor at the American Quilter's Society 12 hours earlier.  But more about that in another post.

Missouri Star Quilt Company, JC Penny Sign

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Festive for Friday-Summer Lovin'

Written by Laura Chaney Gerth

We're in the full swing of summer now, and coming up on my one year anniversary of living in San Francisco. Summer in San Francisco is...interesting. It's VERY unlike the "traditional" summer that I grew up with in the midwest. Where Mom (in Omaha, Nebraska) is fighting the regular heat, humidity and bugs that come along with Summer, I'm breaking out my sweaters and drinking hot chocolate to try and beat the damp, foggy weather we're having here in San Francisco. 

One of the quotes we like to use out here is the one oft attributed to Mark Twain. 

Although this might not really be something Mark Twain ever said, it definitely has a ring of truth to it. My solution-visit the midwest a few times over the summer to enjoy the "true" feeling of summer! 
 "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
On my way to Minneapolis to visit my good college friend, Brandon, when I discover the wonder that is internet on airplanes! I spend the four hour flight working on blog posts (and checking Facebook, of course).

In-flight internet on Delta

If you follow me on Instagram (prairiesewn) you've seen this picture. As we sat outside to grill cheeseburgers I worked on a cube container from our book.

Sewing a cube container outside in Summer

And nothing says "summer" more in America than drinking a cold beer at a baseball game. 

Twins baseball game

We also got out on Brandon's motorcycle a few times. It was fun to ride around the countryside and see all the cornfields, something I don't get to see anymore in the city. I didn't actually get to drive the motorcycle, but it's still lots of fun to ride along behind. 

Laura Chaney Gerth on a motorcycle

And just in case you think I'm not being completely fair to California in the summer, here's a another instagram picture from earlier this summer when I went to Lake Tahoe for a weekend. This picture doesn't do it justice; it's absolutely gorgeous there.

Lake Tahoe in the Summer

What's made YOUR summer festive? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meeting Up with Marie Bostwick.

Written by Laura Chaney Gerth, Daughter

One the highlights (other than seeing Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Style Accessories on the shelves, of course) of the 2014 Paducah Quilt Show was the opportunity for me to  spend a few minutes talking with one of my all time favorite authors, Marie Bostwick.

Marie Bostwick
Photo from

I first met Marie  six years ago at the very first American Quilter's Society Paducah Show that Mom and I ever attended. We signed up for her lecture and were even more excited to find out upon arrival at the show that she was also selling and signing books in the expo hall!

If you haven't read any of Marie's books, you should drop what you're doing and go buy one immediately. As a quilter, I first found her through the first book in her Cobbled Court Quilt Series,  A Single Thread.

A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick
Photo from

This book, as all her Cobbled Court books do, features a strong woman who turns to fabric, quilting and friends when dealing with a challenging time in her life. For me, this first quilt show was at the end of a tumultuous year due to a family medical emergency. I'd found and devoured all of the Cobbled Court Quilt books out during this period, as I strongly identified with Marie's characters and found comfort in her words.

When we first walked up to Marie in the expo hall, clutching my bag of books that I'd brought with me, plus her latest one that I'd just purchased for her to sign, I was a nervous mess. This was a celebrity! And then when I got to the front of the line I promptly burst into tears. Marie gave me a big hug and listened as I explained how much her books meant to me. She was so kind and full of grace, and made me feel like I was't completely crazy for having been impacted by her work.

Marie Bostwick and Laura Chaney Gerth
AQS 2010 Paducah Show
At the lecture the next day, Marie remembered me (and Mom!) and asked us to stay after the lecture for a few minutes where she introduced me to her daughter-in-law who is about my age. It was so nice to meet another quilter my age (this is also the year at the show where I was interviewed by the local newspaper for being one of the younger quilt show attendees), and again wonderful to have a few minutes to speak with Marie.

Marie Bostwick Paducah AQS Lecture

Over the last five years I've stayed in touch with Marie through social media (she posts hilarious anecdotes on her Facebook page) and have had the opportunity to see her again in person each time she's been able to make it to the Paducah show.

Marie Bostwick and Laura Chaney Gerth
AQS 2012 Paducah Quilt Show
It's been another tumultuous year for my family and we're all juggling lots of things. And so what have I done? I read the Cobbled Court series again. I actually have both the paperback copy and a Kindle copy of A Single Thread, so that even when I'm traveling and away from my bookshelves I always have something to read that comforts me and makes me feel like I'll get through the hard times.

We were lucky enough to meet up with Marie at the 2014 Paducah Quilt Show and spend a few minutes catching up and eating strawberry shortcake. I was so proud to talk to her about our book and about what a positive role her books have continued to play in my life.

Laura Chaney Gerth and Marie Bostwick
AQS 2014 Paducah Quilt Show
I'm planning a series of posts sharing some of my favorite quilting, sewing and crafting fiction books, so keep an eye out for more detailed reviews of all of Marie's books!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads.

Alex Vernonelli of Aurifil Threads at Country Traditions, Fremont, NE

Written by Linda Chaney, Mother.

One of my goals has been to learn more about threads used in quilting, embroidery and sewing.  An Evening with Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads at Country Traditions in Fremont, Nebraska, certainly enhanced my knowledge of thread production and tips on the best uses for each weight.

The evening started with a sip of champagne and a delightful selection of pastries and fruit smoothies.  This set the tone for a wonderful presentation by Italian born Alex Veronelli.

Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads, Country Traditions, Fremont, NE

He started with a video, taken at the production center for Aurifil threads in Saronno, Italy (about 20 kilometers north of Milano). The video was enhanced by Alex's comments.  It was amazing to see:  the number of steps required to produce that final spool of thread; the use of trained employees to carry out every step (automation is definitely limited); and the length of time - no speeding in this process - required to carry out the production.

Following the video presentation, Alex showed several quilts using Aurifil threads.  These samples provided the visual cues needed to see how each weight (50, 40, 28, and 12) contributed to the final quilt.

Aurifil Threads

For me, seeing the quilt with the four different threads repeating the same design in four quadrants really showed how these different weights contribute to the design.

Aurifil Threads

Best of all was the take home gift of spools of thread in the same color but all the different weights as well as wool thread and floss.  I can't wait to make my own sampler!  Be sure to check out their site to learn more about Aurifil thread.

Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads and Linda Chaney of Prairie Sewn Studios

Linda Chaney, Contain It! English Paper Pieced Style Accessories
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Quilt Stores-Golden Quilt Company.

On Wednesday Mom shared a snippet of her visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum,  and today she brings you a quilt store in the same town.

Written by Linda Chaney, Mother

Not only is The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum found on the main street of Golden, so is the Golden Quilt Company. Of course, I had to check out this quilt store!

Golden Quilt Company

Nancy Swanton, the proprietor, and her staff were busy selling yards of brightly colored fabrics. Hopefully, they may also be interested in carrying our book, Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Style Accessories!

Golden Quilt Company

Golden Quilt Company

Golden Quilt Company

At the back of the store is one entrance to Make It In Golden! The space was currently being renovated. Although separate from the quilt shop, the two owners appear to interact with each other. Perhaps I'll be able to return one day to teach a class on our containers.

Check out all of the quilt stores that we love!