sweetwater expansion

good afternoon! hopefully you are staying safe, healthy, and occupied. we have been getting ready for Quilt Minnesota, cutting up bundles and kits, working on new projects, and trying to enjoy a little bit of summer before autumn hits.

i’m sure you’ve heard, but if you haven’t…we’ve expanded. the bookstore is permanently closed and we were offered the room next to us. so we cleaned it out, painted it and took out the wall. we even made ourselves a “porch”. inspired by the long ago porch from our old location…you can see the gingerbread and the half posts…(interestingly enough…we used those at each end of the porch rail)

so here are the progress shots…starting with the bookstore space cleaned out and continuing from there.

if when you walk in the door you go to the right…

if at the door you go to the left

lastly…our porch decorated for the 4th of july. we still have a few trim boards to put up and to do a serious organization behind the picket fence where we work to get everything in order.

once we get our Quilt Minnesota kits cut…we’ll doing another rearrange…i’m thinking Quilt Minnesota will take up residence in the window and Rue 1800 will be moved to the porch. it just seems so appropriate to fill the porch with soft, romantic florals.

looks like i only have a little bit of time left to get done the 30 things i planned to do today (now 29 since i’m hitting publish on this post in a hot minute!)

i’ll be back with new qm projects, a fun super quick Rue 1800 project, and hopefully kits and patterns for my Stormy hexies.

until next week…have a wonderful afternoon!

stay safe…wear your face covering…and treat other how you wish to be treated…

a little gabby-goo throwback to when we were mid-expansion…apparently she wanted a little quiet (and dark) time.

happy stitching!


happy 2020~

good morning!

mom and i would like to wish you a merry christmas, a happy new year, and a 2020 filled with stitching, laughter, friendship, pretty fabric, conversation, and at least one finished project.

we have big plans for 2020…lots of quilt shows, a couple shop hops, lots of new fabrics and bundles and precuts, a list of great new projects we want to get started on…spring (new year’s) cleaning, rearranging, adding in some Yarn, and lots of other great new things!

after a year full of ups and downs…

Kandii passed away in May…Milissa and Nick (my cousin) married just a couple weeks before Braxton arrived in June…Mom and Dad were in a fender bender in Yellowstone which resulted in Mom and I taking a trip out in July to pick up the car…Gabby picked Mom in August

Dad getting back to work after the accident and getting back in the swing of things.

Kittens coming and going…

Max and Brutus getting sick right at the end of the year…with Max having to hit up the vet yesterday…THANK GOD we started 2020 with a win…just old dog stuff which can be taken care of with a little Prednisone. He is on the mend. Brutus doesn’t let much faze him…he was back at it within a couple days.

Then Mel and Ty had a gas leak on New Year’s Eve Eve so they spent the night.

New Year’s Eve was spent at home…watching Netflix…excited for a new year to start.

our Inventory Reduction sale runs through midnight tonight…so if there is anything you’d like…be sure to pop over to the website and check it out.

sale includes brand new yarn, brand new fabric, books, yardage, precuts, notions, thread, and kits. there are some exclusions…

happy 2020!


Lucy Tuesdays week 65 & 66

good afternoon!  i’ve finished up my Primrose Garden

primrose garden finished

the background it a Bella unbleached muslin (this is a bella solid but it has flecks in it so it looks like a muslin).

the quilt has a total of 504 little primroses and features some new prints i picked at the Madison Quilt Expo and some of my favorite prints from my stash…

so now that this project is done…i’ve decided to work on a few other smaller projects…i have some hexie flowers to make for a new Hexie Stones featuring Guest Room, a new Candy and Hexies that will feature Petitie Maisons de Noel and Brazilian Embroidery for a couple demos i’m doing in Bismark, and i’m going to tidy up my civil war stash to get it ready for…

Mrs. Billings Coverlet…yes…i will be tackling this project this winter…the goal is to be done by the Minnesota Quilters quilt show in June…fingers crossed!

i will track my progress here…i’m thinking on Mondays…after the weekend…or maybe Fridays…we’ll see.

if you are thinking you’d like to give it a try…pop over to our shop and check out the pattern and paper pack…(yes…it is expensive…however…you will not have to reuse any papers…which is always a plus…then you can baste the entire round and figure placement then stitch).

mrs billings papers templates pattern blog


As for the Lucy Boston update…i haven’t worked on her…however, now i can start basting some honeycombs and squares since i now have a box full of empty papers waiting for some fabric…

happy autumn!  –april & mickey


Lucy Tuesdays week 64…progress report

good afternoon!  September is flying by…projects are piling up and we have 1 MORE SHOW.

we were just in Faribault (if you haven’t seen the video i took from our hotel room…it doesn’t show any damage but the wind is sure howling and rain is coming down)…the show went off without a hitch so it was nice to have a something calming after the crazy night.


this weekend we’ll be down in Chaska, so we’ve barely unpacked then we’ll be packing up again!


Progress report on Lucy Boston POTC…i’ve put the 8 squares around a 4-patch.  i know it doesn’t seem like much…but i’ve been working like crazy to get new stuff online, quilt tops quilted (speaking of quilt tops…i nabbed a vintage flower garden top in Faribault that i have to quilt up), Primrose Garden is in the home stretch…just 2 more rows of 9-patch primroses to do then i am DONE! and i only have 1 9-patch primrose to piece…

anyways…a 4-patch has been finished with the 8–1 inch bunny hill pink squares…and i LOVE it!  i can hardly wait to get back to working on this…the colors are so summery.

summer cottage 4-patch



autumn has arrived…we’ve been getting in some autumn toned fabrics…bundles of Heritage 10th Anniversary, Spice It Up, and Maple Street 101 are all available over in the precuts section of the shop…along with not so autumn-y Guest Room and Portsmouth!  i have precuts online with yardage being listed next week and more yardage on the way!


happy autumn!  –april & mickey

Lucy Tuesdays week 63…glitter

no change in the lucy boston patchwork of the crosses progress department… so i’m just going to move on and hopefully at some point i’ll have progressed and at least whipped up that last block.


I’ve added another project to my “Must Make” list.

Glitter by Jen Kingwell…(i saw a version out of pinks and it was luscious!)


if you’d like to add it to your list…i have it available online!

happy stitching lovelies!


Lucy Tuesdays week 62…when the cold wind blows

no change in the lucy boston patchwork of the crosses progress department… so i’m just going to move on and hopefully at some point i’ll have progressed and at least whipped up that last block.


we got back from madison late saturday night and unloaded…then put everything back on monday–still a few odds and ends to put in place.

some lovely new fabric arrived…French General’s newest collection La Vie En Rouge and some bella solids. New paper piece packs for Glitter by Jen Kingwell is now in stock and i am on the hunt for some Hexagon a Day and Star a Day patterns and acrylics…right now though i really have to get to work on a quilt that i just put on.

i did get a chance to place an order for some books and couldn’t believe that they still had When the Cold Wind Blows by Blackbird Designs…i love Blackbird and the quilts in this books are amazing and have me thinking of autumn, cozy quilts, snuggly sweaters, and cool windy evenings! (i’ve added that darling basket quilt (picture 4) to my list!)


(photos pulled from C&T publishing)

i haven’t listed them yet, but if you’d like one as soon as they arrive…drop me an email and i’ll set up a listing…

happy stitching!


Lucy Tuesdays week 61

no change in the lucy boston patchwork of the crosses progress department… so i’m just going to move on to what i did do!

i found more of the paisley print from Civil War block 14…so they have been relisted!  YAY!  so if you missed on on this wonderful kit last time…i found enough fabric for 4 kits and one of them (or all 4) can be yours!

lucy civil block 14c

lucy civil block 14b

lucy civil block 14a

we are packing for madison this afternoon…but we will be open tomorrow morning in case you can’t make it in today!  We will be closed Wednesday AFTERNOON and Thursday ALL DAY…normal hours will resume on Friday (Mel will be in charge on Friday and Saturday).  Madison is Thursday-Saturday…so we’ll be back in the shoppe on Monday getting it all decked for Autumn!

101 Maple Street arrived last week…it is just cute and sweet and scrumptious!  our curated bundle is available now!

101 maple street

happy stitching!


Lucy Tuesdays week 59 & 60

no change in the lucy boston patchwork of the crosses progress department…  i still have 1 block left to piece, but i am determined to have it done for next week…at least i will be progressing then…i’m still trying to get the Primrose Garden finished up (so i can use all those honeys to start the sashing pieces).  i’ve cut some bunny hill pink 1 1/2 inch squares and have 2 bolts of bella bleach…just have to have more than 5 honeycombs ready to baste…i’m still thinking it will be a wintertime project.  i am, however, still going to try and pop in here on tuesdays with an update…


instead i’ve finished up my Suffolk Puffs/yoyo quilt i talked about last time…it is small but mighty…cute, sweet, and perfect at the shoppe on the child’s shell back chair…LOVE it!


then after the shop hop…i decreed that i would get ALL the quilt tops done before the end of the year (i make this decree every january, but never actually follow through)…well, i’ve been quilting up a storm over here…

including these 3 lovelies that have been on the pile for years!

Dresden Plate…the vintage plates were pieced but not appliqued down…i appliqued them, added the centers, and then the small plates…(i found a pic on instagram of this quilt all finished dated march 5, 2015…it was overdue to be finished up)


This jeweled star (i’ve also seen it called a daisy flower) was a vintage top i picked up in Sioux Falls at the quilt show (almost 3 years ago)…it is throw sized, and has some of the most amazing fabrics in it.


Blue Flower Garden…yummy wintery blues…i picked up these flowers at an occasional sale, then stitched them up adding in the floral diamond cornerstone…i’m sad it took me years to get it stitched up…but super happy that i finally did just in time for …winter!


(i’ve finished a total of 7 quilts…almost halfway through the pile of tops…)

now onto number 8 (a yellow bordered grandmother’s flower garden)

**no blog post is complete without a cotton candy pic**

new in the shoppe…civil war color bundles…available now!

packs are Cucumbers and Tomatoes, Bubblegum, Peanut Brittle, Burnt Brownie, Salsa, Blueberry Grits, and Grapes.  Perfect for adding into a current project or starting a new one…

civil war fat 8ths

happy stitching!


Lucy Tuesdays week 58 suffolk puffs/yoyo quilt

thought i’d pop in today…give you an update on my Lucy progress…well there is none.  i still have 1 block left to piece.  then i’m going to try and get the Primrose Garden finished up (so i can use all those honeys to start the sashing pieces).  i’ve cut some bunny hill pink 1 1/2 inch squares and have 2 bolts of bella bleach…just have to have more than 5 honeycombs ready to baste…i’m thinking it will be a wintertime project.


in between all these projects that i am eager to get started or get finished i ran across some Libery yoyos/suffolk puffs on instgram in @the_strawberry_thief feed.  gorgeous…but then you can’t go wrong with Liberty…then i saw a layout for the yoyo flowers that i have (@lindajanewhite) and knew that was the layout i wanted for mine.  then it was all about the fabric…white or cream…muslin maybe bleached or unbleached…then mom suggested the black on white essential dot from moda.  we had a winner…


this little project started as almost 63 yoyo flowers that i had no problem talking myself into (and they happened to be in the possession of a dear quilter friend and in her online shop and i knew i needed to have them!)  Mind you they were still in the box they came in which had a ship date of july 31, 2015…so i set to work finding 2 fabrics that fit the flavor of the yoyo flowers…a center for the centerless yoyo flower and the flower i would make and the petals for flower 64.  ( i knew that orange would be perfect centers and you can’t go wrong with another blue.)


i’ve started putting the rows together…i’ve stitched 2 rows so far and have a start on rows 3 and 4.



flowers will be 8 x 8 leaving it square…i’m not sure on size.

cutting 4-ish inch circles (using the end of a spool of ribbon to trace my circles) each yoyo measures 2 inches when finished

the original quilter who stitched the yoyos/puffs wasn’t consistent (maybe she’s a long lost relative) so my yoyos are a little smaller than some of hers but it has made it easier to fit them in in between the flowers.

fabrics…a variety of florals…mostly cottons…yellow, pink, blue, with a few pops of red, lavender, low volume, and an orange or brown center…i LOVE the little Easter egg prints…they remind me of when i was little.

if you’d like to get started we have yoyo makers in the online shop (none of which are the size i need, but definitely come in handy).

i’m looking forward to this finish…party because i had no idea how to put them together and when i saw that layout knew it was the one and partly because i love finishing up vintage quilt tops…

time to wrap it up!  i finally get a day off after working 22 days in a row!

have a wonderful wednesday!  i’m gonna sleep in and maybe stitch up together some Suffolk Puffs/yoyos.


on the mend

good afternoon!  May the 4th be with you!

hopefully you’ve have a had wonderful first week of May!  Mom and i came down with a nasty cold/flu thing after the Forest Lake Quilt Show 2 weekends ago…which we are now just getting over.  (we had a wonderful time at the Forest Lake Memorial Quilters Quilt Show…we’ll see you in 2020 if not sooner!)

so now that we are on the mend…we’ve been starting to brainstorm for our Christmas (yes, Christmas) collections that will start arriving in the next week or so.  on the agenda is Swell Christmas which is very our style, kind 50’s style apple green, cherry red, and creamy white…we have the entire collection on order…and even an idea or 2.  plus we nabbed some of the circle tins that coordinate with the collection.  more on those when the collection arrives.  Holly Taylor’s Christmas collection, Once Upon a Memory is set to ship in May as well…we cherry-picked 4 gorgeous prints and the panel…just enough to make a gorgeous throw!


Until the new collections arrive, we’ve been busy playing catch up with some lines that arrived that we just didn’t know what to do with…mom has just finished up a couple over-sized throws that i have to quilt.  so i’ll be showing those sometime next week.


EPP projects

My must-do list is forever growing…i’m continuously dreaming of projects that i see and am slightly addicted to Somerset Designs…I love Karen Styles’ designs, her work, her color choices…are all magnificent!

Mrs. Billings…this is on my Summer to-do list.  i’m gathering right now and hoping to finish up all my Lucy Boston block kits, so i can work on the Primrose Garden Quilt (see further down) and Mrs. Billings…

mrs billings papers templates pattern blog

Ring of Roses…This quilt is just lovely!  I love the soft tones of pink, red, tan, and brown with a little splash of green.  I already have my background picked out (French General Favorites pearl) and the big floral for the hexagons (Atelier de France pearl background large floral), and then an assortment of pinks, reds, browns, tans, and a maybe a green or 2 from French General and civil war.

ring of roses

Circle of Sisters…this pattern, acrylic, and paper pack arrived today…and i’m already on the hunt for a yellow!  It looks so OLD, i LOVE IT!  based on a quilt from the 1940-50’s it is just lovely…perfect if you want to try your hand at applique.  look at those 7 stars in each circle…breathtaking!!!

circle of sisters


Primrose Garden Quilt…this is my current endeavor…instead of making yet another Lucy Boston using the civil war basted honeycombs.  (that would make 3 Lucy Boston POTC…i think a girl only really needs 2…1 for each hand:)

Instead, i’ve decided to whip up some little primroses and stitch up this little lovely!  i’m aiming for 399 primroses…a setting of 19 x 21…finishing at around 75 x 85ish…

primrose garden

I’ve even whipped up starter kits if you’d like to give it a go.  it is tons of fun and them little primroses take like literally 15 minutes to stitch up…you’ll be done in no time!

primrose garden

primrose garden and honeys

box of honeycombs prior to organizing…(yes, i organized them so i won’t have dig through to find 4 matching honeys).

box of honeys

organized…look at those rows of basted honeys…

organized box

almost time to run…i’m picking up Chinese for supper…today is Dad’s birthday…yes…he was born on Star Wars day!

if you are down by Owatonna tomorrow…be sure to stop in at the Rustic Mama’s Market and check out the Plume junk a la mode booth…lots of fun stuff…if you like our style…Plume has it!

have a wonderful weekend!  hopefully you can get in some stitching!

—————april   {sweetwater}