Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Got a jelly roll?


Grab your morning coffee, a jelly roll and your sewing machine and you can make a quilt top in just a few hours.

Tina Rainer taught this class last week (quilt on the wall) and it was a really fun day!

Everyone in class had a finished quilt top at the end of the day.  

We had to fold them to get them all in the picture, but they were all lap size quilts . . .  so quick and unique.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tonee White's Vintage Club

I'm sure many of you recognize the name Tonee White.  Tonee (on the right) is famous in the quilt industry and has many books on quilting published by That Patchwork Place.

We are so fortunate. . . Tonee travels three times a year from Phoenix to teach classes at our store.  You can find her classes under Vintage Club on our class schedule.

Tonee has a wealth of experience and is excellent at instructing her students in her tried and true techniques.

This was the quilt she designed and taught especially for her Vintage Club on Saturday.  Tonee will be back again on August 20th for another Vintage Club class.  Students in this class got a sneak peek at what might be the August quilt in progress!

Check your schedules . . . .we still have room in the August Vintage Club and we would love to have you join us!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brown Bag Friday

Brown Bag Friday is an original JoAnn Mullaly creation which has been held at The Country Loft on the third Friday of most months for the last 12 years! For a $10 fee, each student receives a cute decorated brown bag with all the ingredients inside for an original JAM designed project. 
The fun thing is, the project is a secret until you get to class! Sometimes there are two projects! The projects are easily completed in the 2 hour class time and all you need to bring are some basic sewing supplies. 
Ummmm yummy pound cake and strawberries were also a treat this day.

Kathy, JoAnn's sister is facilitating her classes while JoAnn is in Portland helping her daughter. JoAnn's loyal Brown Bag followers continue to come and support her from a distance. I'm sure she feels our thoughts and prayers especially on the third Friday of each month! This week the projects were a cute salt shaker full of fabric flowers with a matching sachet .

We have three sessions on Brown Bag Fridays and they are usually all full!  We do put people on waiting lists and occasionally we will call people with cancellations.

The best part of what you make on Brown Bag Friday is everlasting friendships with  fun and friendly people!

Summer is a great time to get in on a Brown Bag class because with vacations, we often will have a few vacancies.

We do have openings on June 17th, July15th and August 19th so call early to get on the list!

The times are 9-11, 11:30-1:30 and 2-4.

We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More To Blog About . . .

Hi Everyone!

The Country Loft Antique Blog was so much fun that we decided to continue on with a blog for the store in general. We are starting with our trip to the International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City this past weekend. After this post we are going to try and post a couple of times a week so that you will always be up to date on all the fun things going on at the Loft. I also found out from the antique blog that we have many out of town followers so hopefully this will keep you all a little closer to us on a weekly basis. Plus, we will ship any fabric, kits, patterns or notions that we show you on the blog!!! 

The Salt Lake City convention center is amazing.  The windmills along the front generate electricity that makes chimes play in the cylindrical entrance.  It was pretty windy when we were there so the chimes were really chiming!

One of the most exciting and crazy events at Quilt Market happens the first night we are there before the market even opens.  It is called Sample Spree and this is where shops can buy samples, fabric bundles, patterns and all sorts of fun stuff.  Of course there is limited supply so you have to wait in long lines for hours to get in!  Between the five of us we scored a few things to bring home!

Mindy kept busy taking pictures for us!  It was a long wait!

The first morning we headed right away to what we knew would be our favorite booth. I bet you can't guess which one that was!  Kathy had an overwhelming response to all her designs . . .we aren't the only store that loves her stuff!  Wait until you see her new patterns, you won't want to be without them! 


So here we all are,ready to depart from Kathy's booth and eager to start shopping! It was so great to have JoAnn join us from Portland. I value her expert opinion on so many things and really miss her too! This was Colleen and Mindy's first market. . . we'll see if they can keep up with Kathy, it is really hard to do!

  And, right next door to Kathy was another one of our very favorite people, Renee Plains.  Isn't her booth cute.  Renee actually painted her potting bench and chairs green right on the convention center floor. Besides being so creative, she is really industrious too!  We ordered all her new patterns and are looking forward to her book by Kansas City Star which will be debuting in the fall.

Of course you all probably know Kathi Campbell from Heart To Hand.  We are currently doing her block of the month, Autumn.  Well, we really love her new block of the month, Home Sweet Home and will be starting it at The Loft in January.  It is done in beautiful wools and gorgeous Daiwabos.  The colors are taupe, cream, green, blue and brown.  So new, calm and refreshing for us.


Kathy's quilt is so beautiful that we wanted to come as close as possible to matching the fabrics.  So, we went to the Daiwabo booth and Maria and her husband Hilo were so gracious to meet with us at Kathy's booth with all their fabric swatches.

"I want that one!!!"  I said that way too many times!

 18 bolts later I'm sure we were able to come up with the perfect fabrics for this quilt.  It will cost a little more for this block of the month because of the Daiwabo, but we looked at other fabrics and they just did not do justice to this quilt.  I'm sure you will all agree when you see it.  It will be in the $25 to $30 range, so if you would like to do it, please call the store and get your name on a list.  At some point we will have to cut off sign-ups because we ordered only enough fabric for so many kits and will not be able to get more.

We ordered Kathy's other new patterns too. These cute pincushions are her very newest.  She just whipped them up two days before market and didn't even have a chance to get the patterns printed.  She promised we would have them soon!
And of course we had to order wools to go along with all that Daiwabo.  Here is Mary Flanagan in her booth.  Wow, it is so hard to be selective . . . .I really wanted to say "I'll take one of everything!"  But, since we had already purchased a whole lot of wool from Blackberry Primitives that we were bringing home with us, I had to restrain myself a little.  I can always order more later, right?

Next we went on to our MODA appointment and this was the booth of one of our favorite lines that is coming in August.  The line is called Hometown and one of the patterns is the names of hometowns all across the United States. The designers are a mom and her two daughters . . .three of our new favorite people!  Kathy is wearing an apron we won from their booth with the signatures of all their customers and their hometowns signed on it.  

That evening we were all treated to a fabulous sit down dinner by MODA.  The food was delicious, the company was fabulous and the entertainment, well . . .

 Here is a picture of Colleen with the star, Michael Jackson, who else!  It was a really fun evening.  It refreshed us and gave us more energy to continue shopping the next day.
This is Kathy and Mindy with Bonnie Sullivan from All Through The Night.  They took a class from her and her sister, Kathy Schmitz, that morning so we had to get this picture in her booth.  All of these gorgeous quilts and projects will be in her new book from Quiltmania coming soon to The Loft.

Here is Kathy Schmitz in her booth.  We have the fabric she designed for MODA, Full Circle, in the store now.

This is Debbie and her husband Jeff of Wooden Spool Designs.  They are the nicest people!  We were able to bring home a couple of samples of Debbie's patterns that you will see at our market party.  She does a lot of patterns using wool and we ordered some of her stitchery patterns as well.  You will love them!!!

I know many of you will recognize the quilts in this booth.  They are all the items in the new Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine.  It was so fun to see them in real life, they are so gorgeous!  I can hardly wait for the next issue.  There will be lots of surprises in store for all of you!!!


And here we are at Bareroots making decisions about our last order at market. I know you all will recognize Bari's wonderful designs and what a cute booth!

And you can see that we (Colleen) were getting just a little crazy toward the end!

I was so tired of making decisions that I took over the role of photogragher.  Kathy once again outlasted us all and was still coherent enough to make excellent selections!

We all found a little energy left to help Kathy and Renee tear down their booths at the end of the market.  I'm sure it was much quicker tearing down than setting up!

Mindy discovered she has a new talent and a new favorite tool.  As a first timer with an electric screwdriver, she became efficient real fast at unscrewing Renee's props!


 Well, even though this is a really long post, it is only a very small portion of all the booths we visited and only shows you a very small sampling of the orders we placed.  I know there is a picture of Bits and Pieces by Joan's booth on one of our camera's, but I can't find it right now.  Joan has some really cute new framed wool projects that you will absolutely love.  Plus she is always so generous to lend us samples for the store, so I'm sure they will be in soon to tempt you!

We also selected another block of the month for next year from Bonnie Blue Designs. It is going to be done in all Civil War fabrics and I think you will really love the pattern.  Of course we will let you know as soon as we know about the block of the month by our favorite designer, none other than the famous JoAnn Mullay from Jam!!!  I'm sure it will be fabulous as usual.  And if you were wondering why JoAnn was in so few of these pictures, she was off so generously helping Kathy and Renee in their booths.  There were times when Kathy was really overwhelmed and there was one day when Renee had food poisoning and was out the entire day!  We are letting Kathy Cardiff off the hook for a block of the month next year.  We figure with all this notoriety as well as a new grandbaby on the horizon that she might be a little busy.

So, please stay tuned for more happenings at the Loft.  Trust me, they won't be nearly as long or as wordy as this one.  Writing is not my favorite thing to do . . . .it takes me way too long!  Happy Quilting, Sharon

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adventures are so fun!

Today was a great day! We finally got to meet the very talented man, John Arford, whose boxes, carriers and benches we have carried for years. I know many of you have them in your homes because we have purchased a lot of them! This was the lead I told you about yesterday. Previously we have only purchased his items through other dealers but finally we were given information on his whereabouts and his personal phone number.

John and his wife Ada live on a farm outside a very small town in northern Kansas. They retired from farming several years ago and thought they were retiring! However, fans of John's woodworking and refinishing are not really willing to let that happen, us included!

This is the entrance to their one block town. A grain elevator is the prominent feature so you know it really is a farming community. . . . . . .it is so wonderful!

And here is downtown! One block is just about it! John has his stuff in the first little storefront on the left and then he has another space in one of the brick buildings on the right.

Now, we were warned and I must tell you that this is not John's fabulous stuff. This is where he stores all the stuff that will eventually become his wonderful pieces once he works his magic on them!

It was so fun to search through all his wonderful finds and imagine what they would become once he refinishes them.

We did however find a few things that were in pretty good shape and when he promised to share his refinishing secret with Joe, we grabbed that wonderful red circus stand and that great old red mirror! And Ada, his wife just happens to be a quilter and quilt collector so we were able to pick up a couple of cutter quilts from her stash!

That was just two of John's storage buildings. We are now all packed up and about to head out of this nice little town to a couple more places where there is more wonderful stuff for us to rummage through!

Wow! This was so much fun! That's John's truck in the lead and we are just following along. Wonder what we will find down this dirt road!

This was our first stop. It was John's parents' little old farm house and the place he was raised. Now he just uses it for storage for his treasures.

Oh my gosh, the possibilities I see here for some of John's workmanship.

Can you believe the stuff he has collected!

I seriously think he is planning to come back for several more lifetimes to refinish all this!

Once again we found a few things and with the promise of that refinishing secret, Joe agreed to a few more boxes!

Moving on to yet another location!

This old shed is on another property and is one of those overwhelming situations that we encounter occasionally!

We only had to move a few things to find some isle ways through!

I kept thinking, I wish we had of come here first when our trailer wasn't quite so full!

John gave us some great ideas for things to make so we decided to relieve him of some of his pending projects. I have a feeling our garage at home is going to start looking like some of his places!

Oh no, our trailer is full so we had to start piling stuff in John's truck. . . . . .I hope my expert packer has a plan!

On to the next stop, just enjoying the scenery as we go!

Across this field is John and Ada's home. Remember when we said how warm and welcoming midwest people are? Well, proven so true again today. Ada had a wonderful lunch prepared for us. A fabulous hot chicken casserole, hand picked morel mushrooms, yummy muffins and veggies! And best of all, great company and conversation!

Of course, after lunch we had to hit the basement for more stuff! Ada used to be a partner in an antique shop in a neighboring town so she has also gathered a fair amount of treasures!

And then on to basement number two where John has his workshop and keeps all his secret formulas! Joe was standing off to the side with a pencil and paper taking notes as John was so kindly sharing information. In front of him are a couple of works in progress.

Here is Ada with a few of the treasures we accumulated while we were at there house!

And here is a parting shot of two of the nicest people we have met in our travels. We can't thank them enough for their hospitality and we look forward to many more visits on future trips!
And as we head back down the road on our way home . . .one final picture of my favorite farm friends.
This will be our last post for this trip. We will be home by Friday and hopefully have most of our treasures in the store by next Wednesday. We will send out another e-mail to let you know when we will be making another trip so that you can start checking the blog again. I hope you all enjoyed traveling along with us. We will have put on over 3000 miles by the time we get home! WOW!