Dear Friends,
I hope that you all had wonderful Christmas celebrations! I know I sure did. Every year I try to have all the shopping done before Thanksgiving so that when Christmas comes around, I can just enjoy the holiday. Every year, including this one, I'm wrong. Yes, the shopping was done by my deadline, but for some reason, Christmas time still is incredibly busy and for some reason, it's you...my blog friends...that get neglected. However, I'm back and have some things to share with you!

First: My yearly Christmas card picture
Maybe not this exact shot because you can't see my eyes...
...but same pose.

Second: The tree in the above picture morphed into this:
It looks like the leaning tower, but this girl didn't notice the funny angle when she took the picture...what ever are we going to do with her???
As you can see, Santa was good this year :)
...or Katie REALLY like wrapping presents and wrapped every little thing individually!

Third: Somehow I found time to make this for my Grandma for Christmas:
It's just a little guy but boy was he time consuming!!! Grandpa told me the other day that they're taking it in to be framed....guess the liked it!

Fourth: These were so hot off the press when I took them to Civil War Tribute club last night that there was still steam billowing off ! I didn't think I would have time for them, but....ta da! I pulled it off :)
Once again, there is something seriously wrong with the photographer...another crooked picture...grrr!!! I'm going to have to do something about that!

Finally, my birthday party was a lot of fun and thank you to all who came and stitched away the day with me! I designed a little wool pincushion and gave a kit to everyone who came that day. However, I "accidentally" cut some extra kits so I could share them with some of my blog friends. So, stop back often next week because I'm having a give away one day...can't tell ya when because it's going to be a surprise! You know, like a surprise birthday party :)

Merry Belated Christmas!


Under the tree

Stitcher's Club is a new club starting at the shop this year. We will be using a Glad Creation's pattern and working one step a month till we have an awesome finished quilt in a year!

I took this great picture of the bundle available for the club under my tree...
Don't you want one under yours too???
Yeah...I have a cat so most of the ornaments are a foot off the ground....
she hasn't ever bothered anything yet....YET....just trying to be safe is all :)

And here's the pattern:
Note: No curve pieces :)
I'm excited to get started on this project!!
Enjoy the day!


Winter 2012 Newsletter

Good news quilting friends.....the Winter 2012 newsletter is ready for you!
Just click here to see all the new clubs and classes.

Also, did you notice how different it looks???
Yep...new logo and layout. How fun is that!

Over the next couple weeks I hope to feature some of the new clubs offered
and show you the awesome projects they will be working on.

That's all for now-
Stay warm if you're in S. Minnesota!

ps: Did you read up on the big sale happening soon at the shop??


~*~ You're ALL Invited ~*~

This is an invitation to:
~*~ My Birthday Party ~*~

For my Birthday, I have reserved the classroom at the shop to host an open sewing day and you are all invited to come and sew with me (and my mom)!

Wednesday December 14

Come when you can! Morning, evening or all day!

 All food / meals will be provided
PLEASE NO GIFTS...You're presence is enough...pun intended :)

Please RSVP your approximate sewing hours
so I know how many to count on for meals. You can do this by either:
1) leaving a comment on this post
2) sending me an email katie.zenk@hotmail.com

Hope to see some of you there!



First off, let me just say how stinkin' excited I am that it finally snowed last night. You see, unlike a majority of Minnesotans, I actually LOVE snow and can't wait for it to come each year. We didn't get much, but they say we're getting more on Saturday. It finally feels right to decorate for Christmas.

Now for the sewing stuff. Last night I was about to cut into the pretty Butterscotch and Roses kit from a few posts back so I could start stitching away on the sample. But I decided I better finish an already started project before I start another one. So, I got my finishing kit for my 2011 Calico Hutch BOM all ready to sew. PS...I love that this year we got to choose our own finishing fabrics from anything in the store!

Here's what I came up with:

My blocks...all but the December installment

And my finishing kit
Light: narrow block sashing
Gold: Sashing corner post star points
Red: Corner post star centers
Brown and green: wide sashing.

I had just the brown for shashing, but then wheels started to spin. I did some math and I discovered I had enough for an outer border too (which is why I felt the urge to buy more than I needed....just in case ). Then I figured out that if I put green sashing around the edge and brown in the middle and then add a light narrow border (like my narrow block sashing) around the whole top I can have my brown outer border and hopefully it will turn out as pretty as the mental image I have. However, I think I'll make just a couple green sashing blocks and try them out before I go all hog wild. Sometimes my ideas aren't as awesome as I build them up to be in my over active imagination!

Oh yeah, also by adding the extra narrow inner and wide outer border, It makes better use of my backing fabric...instead of 61" wide, the top should now measure around 75" making perfect use of my backing width!
Hopefully tonight I'll get a chance to turn on my sewing machine and start working!

PS: When did Mc D's stop making cherry pies?....I'm slightly irritated. I don't eat them often but I want them there waiting for me when I have the sudden urge to consume hundreds of empty calories!

In pieces


New Fabric!

The shelves are overflowing with new fabrics of all colors and styles!

Tons of new:

Plus...some beautiful new lines:

Butterscotch and Roses
By: Fig Tree Quilts for Moda

Cattails and Clover
By: Kansas Trouble's for Moda


By: Dena Designs for Free Spirit

So, don't miss out on these beautiful newbies!

Off to work on finishing my BOM!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I came accross this cute little poem to share with you today!

Twas the Night of Thanksgiving
By: Lauren

T’was the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn’t sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned, the dark meat and white.
But I fought the temptation, with all of my might.
Tossing and turning, with anticipation.
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey,  and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling, so plump and so round.
‘til all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky,
With a mouthful of pudding, and a handful of pie.
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees

"Happy eating to all, Pass the cranberries, please!!?"

May your stuffing be tasty, May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy, have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious, May your pies take the prize.
And May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs!

I hope this day is a special one for you and that you're able to take some time to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for!

Enjoy the day and that turkey sandwich that will materialize tonight / tomorrow!



So, I get to make the bird this year and I'm pretty excited...however, I just can't stop thinking about / laughing uncontrollably at this episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Seriously, it drops me to the floor and brings me to tears every time.

I think my favorite part is when Robert asks for the leg and his facial expressions pretty much through the whole scene.

Hope it this brought a smile to your face as you're scurrying around preparing for tomorrow!

Enjoy this day before Thanksgiving!


Monday Night Madness!

Last night I....

1) stared at this beautiful bundle / kit itching to cut it up...but, there are other things that I need to finish up on first...however, this pretty stack is how I will be spending my black Friday!

2) Worked on my Civil War Tribute blocks...made a bazillion HST :)
First ya cut your fabrics slightly larger than the paper...I'm down to only needing 1/4"
Then ya sew on all the sew lines and then trim on all the trim lines
nip the corners off and then peel off all the papers...good thing the garbage man comes today!
and you're left with PERFECT HST that don't need any trimming!

3) And then I worked on some hardanger for Grandma for Christmas....
I started with a pattern for the basic outline and then just kind of made things up...not done yet, still needs a border and inner filling thingers, but you get the idea.

Hope y'all get some good stitchin time in today!


Groovy Girls - Now at the Calico Hutch!

The quilt shop is excited to announce that starting January 2011, we will be hosting a Groovy Girls club!

Groovy Girls Club is designed by Terry Atkinson (creator of the Yellow Brick Road, Lucky Start and tons of other wonderful patterns) and is a chance for a monthly get together where club members can laugh, learn, and be inspired by creative ideas. Come and learn a new technique each month and use it to create a fun little project designed by Terry herself.

Projects will include things like: bags, table toppers, some home things, accessories and pretty much anything you could think of...well maybe not anything, but you get the idea :)

Visit Terry's Website
Check out her Blog

More details coming soon!


If only I lived in a fairytale...

So, last night while I was cleaning up a little bit in my sewing zone, I threw the movie Tangled in. You see, I've always enjoyed a good Disney movie. Anyhow...I watched this portion numerous times because it simply amazed me...

You see...
1) she cleaned her tower top to bottom complete with waxing the floors in 15 min

2) She baked a pie and then later on she made cookies and still wears a dress size -4

3) She read the same books twice (they looked like long ones too!)...if her "mom" is going to keep her locked up in that tower, the least she could do is hook the girl up with an e-reader and a library card!

4) I estimate that in another 3-7 days she's going to run out of walls / ceilings to paint.....then what??

5) How many hours are in her day and why has the girl not yet learned to quilt??

Enjoy the clip! If your're feeling adventurous, watch the whole movie sometime...it's pretty cute :)


~*~ Hummingbird ~*~

I finished it! I worked on the blocks at the retreat in the evenings last week and then this weekend I made more blocks, trimmed, and put the top together. I unplugged my iron, turned the TV off and shut down the sewing machine at 12:30 this morning....but, it's done and I won't have to put it away and drag it back out any more :)

Here's my Hummingbird!

Fabrics: Recess by Sandy Klopp for Moda (few years old)
Pattern: Hummingbird by Darlene Zimmerman.
Rulers:  30 deg angle template and the companion angle.

I'm lovin' the finished top! Puttsy piecing / trimming is so rewarding :)

5" finished block size +sashing
Can't wait to see it quilted!


Snapshots of a retreat in action-

Few words...lots of pictures!
Here's a little of what happened at the retreat :)

Bonnie stitchin' away on her Civil War Tribute blocks

Workin' hard to maximize production!!!

Gotta love a good ol' Banana Split quilt. Designed by Jolyn Olson!


And here's Jolyn....she has a great blog too!
Farm Quilts

And at the end of a great day of sewin' there's a message!

It was lots of fun and I got all the rest of my Hummingbird blocks done! Picture coming soon!


Doodle Stitching

I'm prety excited that it's Monday. You see, I was in a wedding this past weekend and am so thankful that it is finally Monday so I can sit back and relax...kind of. Today through Wed I"m working during the day at my real job and sewin' at the retreat in Austin at night. I've taken to learning hand embroidery and am starting with Doodle Stitching. I have this book...

and a ton of floss....watch out! I'm dangerous and super duper in love with the concept! I've got a little trial run / sample doodle going now...can't wait to share!

Enjoy the Monday!


My very own MacGyver (almost) moment

Happy day after Pumpkin Day!

This weekend I was a prime example of productivity at it's finest....kind of..
Friday evening I worked at the shop as usual and had the pleasure of waiting on the infamous Jo herself ...you know, the writer of one of my favorite blogs, Jo's Country Junction. If you haven't taken the time to parooze her fun stuff, you're missing out! She also (along with the help from her daughter who is also a ton of fun) has written several awesome quilt patterns/tutorials available for free at the Moda Bakeshop. I talked with her for a while and she encouraged me to go out of the box and try something new. I did just that and hope to share more with you about that adventure in weeks and months to come....Thanks Jo!!!!

Saturday I finished my Ruby quilt using a pattern from Little Louise Quilts.

I'm very happy with how it turned out and can't wait to see it quilted as it's headed to the shop today for quilting! When I finished all the Ruby goodness and got the back pieced and the binding sewn together, I also pulled out my Postage Stamp Posies (the Spring Darlene Zimmerman class quilt) blocks and tried to figure out what was next...pretty sure this is another project that got packed up at 80% complete....why do I do this to myself!!! Progress picture coming soon :)

Sunday after church I took a nap...a long one...a glorious one! I now know what being a cat is all about and I must say that it really isn't all that bad. Here is Miss Kitty demonstrating how I spent a bulk of my Sunday afternoon:
(PS: Miss Kitty is not supposed to be in the downstairs bedroom...I evicted her shortly after I took her picture. She looks crabby (like Maxine) because she knew she was in trouble!)

After the nap I put some serious time in on my very first hardanger piece and actually finished all the eyelets and cut it out. I'm pretty proud of this little piece of art and can't wait to start my next little doilie. Here she is in all her glory:
Seriously, I know it's small and not overly elaborate, but I'm so stinkin proud of it! I nailed the doves eyes and all the little eyelets around the edge...I feel like a second grader that just got her license to write cursive.
Then off to play in the community band concert which produced a very interesting / entertaining story that lead me on the path of believing that after all these years of hoping, I was finally going to get to say the dental floss saved my life....yes, a true MacGyver moment. You see, I play the french horn which has rotors...rotors have strings which help them move back and forth so the right sound comes out. Somehow in our quick pre-show run through one string came untied and pieces flew everywhere...screws were missing and my world had ended. For a moment, I thought I could just restring it using dental floss but I never did find one of the screws...but I did have dental floss readily available...thank you Dr. Potache for the little sample floss you gave me which I keep in my Jeep :) Fortunately our concert was in Alden (a suburb of Albert Lea) and across the street from the High School and lucky for me, the HS choir director was there who was able to send her daughter with me along with her keys to borrow a school horn. She was very happy to help me because every year I volunteer my time to play solo horn for the High School choir Christmas Concert. Small school = only one double horn which the beautifully helpful daughter informed me was "..um...really old, really smelly, really dented...and nobody EVER played it". Yes, she was correct, however she didn't know that it was an awesome horn. It didn't look good but like my usual horn, it (labeled FH#7with the good ol' label maker every school uses...I call her 007 for short -James Bond humor- ) was a Conn from the 60's. It looked a lot like this one I found on eBay just now so I could show you a pic...just add a LOT of dents..and LARGE dents at that and you have the instrument du'jour:

I paid an arm and a leg for mine about 7 years ago...yes mine has no dents, is still shiny, has beautiful scrolling on the bell, and doesn't smell...but this one had a very mellow tone quality much like mine and responded just like mine. Also, sweet little choir directors daughter who should remain nameless to protect the innocent, informed me that "just last summer the band director took all the horns down to the car wash and blew them out." I've never heard of taking the "horns" down to the "car wash", but it added an interesting element to my story.So, I played it and it was gorgeous. Moral of the story, I'm trying to buy it from the school for a spare and you also can't judge a book by it's cover. I'm thinkin 50 bucks should get the deal done.

When I got home I washed the horn stink off my hands (seriously, the horn made my hands smelly funky) and started in on the first months blocks for a new club that is going to start at the shop in January that I have committed myself to leading. More on that later...it will be awesome...I promise.

Enjoy the day!


Happy Pumpkin Day!

Confession: I'm not a Halloween fan at all....so today like every other 10/31, I celebrate pumpkin day :)
This year I made this for Pumpkin Day...didn't get it quilted..argg!!!
And I decorated my mantle for the special day...
and even added a little pumpkin goodness to my table!

The pattern for the cute little Pumpkin wall hanging was in the October 2011 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine that looks like this:
If you decide to make it be aware...they did not include the pattern for the tag (I made my own) and I turned the 'U' upside down for the 'N' because I didn't like the one they provided :) Other than that, it was fun to make!

Be sure to pop back tomorrow for a full report of my weekend...let's just say I met someone famous, had a french horn mishap right before a concert, finished a quilt and a HUGE handwork project I've been working on.

Have a fabulous Pumpkin Day!


Month 6: Civial War Tribute

Got the good ol' Civil War Tribute blocks (in 30's fabrics) done just in time this month! I must say, I like the way my fabrics worked together this month best of all....
There is just something magical that happens when you put green and yellow together...

See...green and yellow....just pure bliss...It puts a smile on a girls face :)
(yes...that's me circa 1988)

Who doesn't like what happens when you pair up green and yellow....besides all those red fans...and orange fans....and even blue fans :)

Off to spread the green and yellow goodness!


~*~ RUBY ~*~

Soooo stinkin' excited these days...
I wait all year for Bonnie & Camille's fabric line to come out in October!
They are a mother/daughter team and tend to design some awesome fabrics...
Modern but not too funky...just fresh and playful
This year I'm especially lovin' the gray....ya see, for some reason I'm hooked on gray-

Anywho, over the course of the next few days, this beauteous stack is going to become a lovely quilt!
Can't wait to keep you posted! I PROMISE I'll be better about posting....life was a little crazy there for a while...I'm sure you all understand how that goes!

Can't wait to start cutting, but first I must, must, MUST finish my civil war blocks for Wed. night meeting so I can get my free fat quarter...It amazes me what a quilter will go through for a free fat quarter :)

Enjoy this autumn Monday!


Apples, apples, apples

It's that time of year again...you know when apples are everywhere and all you do is center your life - and your diet -  around apples.

I found this delicious recipe for Upside Down Caramel Apple Pie on the Tasty Kitchen site.
** It was easy-peasy!**

Usually I make my own crust, but I did buy the ready to use kind in the
refrigerator section at the grocery store. (by the canned biscuits)

It looked so delicious I dug right in...
Seriously.....I could have eaten the whole thing!
But, I took half of it to a friend to enjoy.
Think about it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream...or REAL whipped cream...or both!

PS: Just as good room temp the next day as it was hot out of the oven!



Civil War Artists

I had the honor of hosting Civil War club in September and I snapped a picture of some projects to date.
As you can see, you don't have to put them together the way the pattern says :)
Aren't these some gorgeous looking quilts? Hard to believe they're not even half way done yet!

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