Sunday, November 15, 2009


I did a lot of photo journalism in college.  In fact, scrapbooking, blogging, journaling are all forms of photo journalism, so I thought i would share with you a typical day of shooting pattern covers.  To be exact shooting MATCH BOX.  This is the final product.

I had been waiting to get this quilt back from Janice so I could get the cover shot.  I had spotted this great red barn from one of the highways down the street and new it would be perfect for the quilt.

There were only two obstacles to my getting the picture.  First, the weather.  I had one afternoon, before the snow was coming, and, while I could see the barn from the road, I couldn't find an access road to get to the barn.  So, I grabbed the camera, and off I went.  After several unsuccessful tries, I finally found a very long, skinny dirt road that I knew would take me to the barn.  What I didn't realize was everyone I was going to meet along the way.

First, I came up on these two.  This one was a month old.

This one was only a day and a half old.  The guys working in this barn thought I was crazy.  I just kept shooting picture after picture.

They called me a "City Girl."  The nerve of them.  Next on the long road was this guy.  I don't think the road gets a lot of traffic, because everyone I met gave me one of those looks like, "What are you doing here?"

Next on my path were these two little guys.  Never quite new the purpose of a shetland pony.

I reached the barn next where I met the owner.  A lovely lady with a thick German accent who was picking up walnuts off the ground.  She had 20 of the biggest chickens I had ever seen.  She was so excited that I was going to take pictures of her barn.  She said it was the prettiest in all of Northern Utah.  As I started back to the highway, I heard some running water.  I found a little creek and this guy.

Biggest rat I ever saw, until my husband told me it was a muskrat.  He was so cute.  We don't have these in Florida waters, just gators and snakes.  He was sharing the water with this beautiful guy.  I thought ducks went south for the winter.  He better be on his way.

Just when I thought I there was no more to see, after all, I was nearly to the highway, I spotted a bunch of Llamas.  They were a little camera shy.

I want you to know that no animals or quilters were harmed in shooting these pictures.

Shooting the cover shots is always fun and challenging.  MATCH BOX was no different.  This is a great quilt.  Simple to make using a Charm Square Pack,  a Layer Cake, a Jelly Roll and some background fabric.  As all quilters do, we tried to use all the fabric, so this quilt has a great back.  We took all the leftover Layer Cake pieces and formed a stripe down the center.

The pattern will be available this week on our website,

Hope ya'll have a great week. 
Janice and Marcea

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I drove my father to the dentist today and we saw a sign that said "Free Ice Cream For Veterans Today."  I asked him if he wanted some and he said, "How will they know I am a veteran?"  It was kind of sad.  My father was in the army when he was 18 years old.  He was sent to the Philipines and was assigned to the tank command.  He tells us stories all the time of what happened. 

The scariest one to me was he and his company had been deployed on a ship heading to Japan.  When you are in the army, on a ship, and you are 18 years old, it means you will be the first one of the boat as it rolls on the beach.  We have all seen those movies.  Three days before they were to land in Japan, the United States dropped "The Bomb."  Fortunately my father never had to get off that ship.

As I drove around town today, I noticed all the flags.  It is a small gesture, but a poignant one.  Janice and I wanted to honor our fathers, who both are veterans, and send a thank you to all those veterans and current military who serve us.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We recieved an email from a sweet lady named Cindy Manchester from Amarillo, Texas. This is Cindy with her husband of 28 years.

She sent us several pictures of quilts she had made with our patterns, and then a lovely story of quilting and giving. I am going to do my best to cut and paste the pictures and stories together. We were very touched and we hope you will read to the end. We know you will be touched and inspired also. So in Cindy's words:

Funny story about me, actually! My Granny May, my original quilting partner, and I spent good time together, quilting, sewing, I watched her piece many quilts for others, she taught me how. We both ended up with the same "disease" some would say....we give all our quilts away, spread the love to others. I would make quilts for her, so she would have some. My dear quilting partner died at the age of 97, 14yrs ago, and I gave up quilting. Was very hard, it made me miss her so much. Then about a year ago, a friend from church asked me if I knew how to sew, and that she and her mom were joining a 5.00 block of the month quilt, and asked me to join, I thought, HOW FUN!, so I joined. The funny part is....I went to the quilt shop, signed up, got my first block, and the lady asked me if I wanted to go ahead and get my supplies? Well, I calmly asked her "I have scissors, thread and needle, what else could I possibly need?" haha! Well, needless to say, the lady at the quilt shop still tells that story on me, because even after spending $125.00 on supplies with her that day...I'm still buying "supplies". haha. Quilting has definitely changed, and at first i was almost ashamed to be doing everything by machine, but you know....I'm able to get so much more done, and I actually think Granny May would be proud of me. I still miss her but these quilts bring me a nice warm feeling about her all over again.

This is your JUST LET IT BE pattern, we re-named to Madi's "day at the beach", with the sand color tans, blue and cream for the sky.

Madi's "day at the beach" was my first quilt in 14 yrs., and of course for my daughter. She spent days, and numerous trips to different quilt shops selecting this fabric, and actually, the photo does not do it justice. It is absolutely beautiful. It is quilted with stipple, and has now been washed and dried and is so warm and comforting.

Both of the LADY MADONNA'S are beautful. The one that is exactly like your pattern is a huge surprise for a lifelong friend, she has no idea it is for her, and she has only seen it on facebook, and commented on how much she loves it. I will rename it for her, "Connie's Sunrise". She lives on a lake and the sunrises are beautiful, bright, and happy.

The other Lady Madonna is for my son's long time girlfriend. I love how the jewel tone batiks turned out. My daughter picked out the flower fabric, I thought the bright center was good. I am thinking about a name for it, quite the opposite of Connie's, as this darker quilt actually looks like alot of the Texas sunsets we get the purples and darker hues, so it may end up "Shanda's Sunset" or something like that, who knows?

This is A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND. At first I was disappointed in my color selection, but I added the darker border, and now I LOVE it, I love how it pulls out the darker diamonds. This quilt is for a very close friend, here local, and she also has no idea this is hers, I will just mail it to her :-) !! Her favorite thing in the world is to snuggle up with her black weiner dog named Lucy, and I know Lucy will have free reign of this quilt, which I want her to, sooo, I have named this quilt "Lucy's Diamonds", a familiar catch, Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

I have three kids and one husband! They all have their own quilts by mom. My boys aged 20 and 24 have been exceptionally excited about getting a quilt from mom. That makes me happy. I made my oldest son a quilt called "Ryan's Flags", predominantly green with triangle flags. He was also funny about it, when I made it he lived in Hawaii, and I only wanted to know his favorite color, which was green. When he moved to New York City he stopped by here in Texas, and I gave him his quilt. He was amazed, as he thought I was going to make him something for guys, like ducks!! haha! He was quite happy there were no ducks! My youngest son chose his colors and he and I designed it, and it is being quilted right now. Very colorful Asian touch, and I call it "Cameron's Kaleidoscope" and he is very anxious to get it back, and ready to use it.

I made my husband one, very plain, blue and green blocks with sashing, and he loves it as well. I think I have found something that everyone does love to have, a homemade quilt from someone that loves them. I have found much satisfaction with quilting again, and Im so happy I'm back at it.

Thank you so much Cindy for sharing your beautiful stories. You have touched our hearts and remind us what quilting is all about, LOVE.

To see the patterns Cindy used, go to

Have a great week, Janice and Marcea

Sunday, November 1, 2009


It is the first day of November and a great month to remind us to be thankful.  One of the best parts of Abbey Lane Quilts is all the friends we have made. Market was a great time to catch up with old friends and make some new ones as well.  Let's start with the new ones.  Between Market and this blog and our website, we have made friends all over the world.  I think we have been seen in more than fourty countries.  These two ladies were at market.  They had come all the way from Russia.  They didn't speak a word of english.

It is really amazing to know that we have patterns in Russia.

We were so excited at our first market to find all the pattern companies we loved.  I think our very favorite would have to be Buggy Barn.  We have made plenty of their quilts and we describe making several of ours as "Using the Buggy Barn Method.  Janet and Pam are two of the greatest ladies you will ever meet.

We never miss one of their new books.  Check them out at 

These two ladies have become fast friends.  Check out their booth. 

Liz and Beth from are the two most creative ladies we know.

We met this next friend in Portland several years ago.  She was kind enough to give us the opportunity to design with her fabric.

This is Lila Tueller, , and her sister standing in front of our quilt, HONEY PIE.  Lila was so excited about the quilt, in fact, her nickname is "Pie".

Another new friend, we love her designs and her fabric is Barbara of Quilt Soup.

She is standing in front of one of our favorite quilts from market.  Check out all her designs at

These two ladies make the sun shine where ever they are.  We caught Barbara and Mary inbetween photo shoots.

To join the fun, check out

Always a great booth from these ladies.  Barb and Alma are amazing.  Quilts, fabric, you name it.

Check out the halloween quilt in the corner.  We both purchased this pattern.  Find out about Blackbird designs at

This last booth photo is not a person, it is a fabric company.  Alexander Henry fabrics to be exact.  They won best booth and rightly deserved.

We hope to make friends with their fabric very soon.

To finish up our new friends, we ran across this wonderful lady.  My inspiration in quilting came from both my grandma's.  This little grandma is inspiring many new quilters.

She has some amazing video, please take a moment to watch.

Thank you to all our friends, new and old.  Have a great week.
Janice and Marcea