Our First Book

We landed in the book publishing business on a whim. We had a beautiful big print come in and needed a pattern to showcase this big print. I looked but didn’t find exactly what I wanted. I thought, “hum, maybe I will just create a book for a large scale print, in lots of different quilt sizes.” Voila, “Sweet and Simple with a Lime Twist” was created.

Original version published in 2007.

I created the pattern, wrote the directions, took the photos, and created the layout. I received help on getting the quilts made. I took the book to the printer and had printed 100 copies. I was afraid I was going to be stuck with the extras that did not sell. We ended up selling most of the books in 1 weekend during a shop hop. And Designs by Lavender Lime was born.

We later worked with a graphic designer and changed our look up a bit. Sweet and Simple includes different settings, in 5 different size quilts all using 1 block.

Once a customer told me she made 12 Sweet and Simple quilts to give as Christmas presents. She said how much fun it was as each of her family members opened their quilt at the same time. She had taken special care to pick fabrics that would mean something to each of the family.

Bekah and I do almost all the work ourselves. But we could not make it without our editor, Joan Thornbury. She is amazing and catches almost everything that needs to be corrected before going to print. We are so thankful for her.

Years later and thousands of book sales later, Sweet and Simple is still one of our best selling books. Check out our website if interested.


Mark’s Thoughts

Kathy asked me to write a little something for the new blog. I began to think about our leap into the quilting industry. Over the last 15 years, she has put me in a lot of positions and situations in the quilting world in which I had not a clue.

At the Bernina Factory in Steckborn, Switzerland.

Looking back on these times, I probably bluffed my way through a few, excused my self away from the situation on several and maybe even got the job done a few times. However, don’t ask me to cite a “for instance”.

With fellow Moda Sales Reps- but not sure why we are sitting in a tree while wearing masks??

Being a self proclaimed short story writer over the last three decades, I thought to myself, how tough could it be to write an entry in a quilt blog?

So I confidently go to my study, sit down at my desk and officially and unequivocally get a total writer’s block.

She finally did it. She has led me to a place I am totally stumped.

My Valentine

I love real LOVE. I love happy homes with happy endings. My Valentine has been my valentine for more than 25 years. Our life isn’t perfect but it is blessed.

Our Honeymoon in 1996.

He has followed me and led me into many adventures. Including opening a Quilt Shop in 2005.

Our life then revolved around our 3 kids and it still does. And now we have added beautiful grandchildren that have our hearts. (With 1 more coming in 2 weeks.)
We’ve had way more good times than bad, way more happy than sad. He always has my back and my and our kids and their families’ happiness and well being are always front in his mind. We laugh together “almost” every day and still sleep holding hands. And he still brings me a Diet Coke and sits it on my bedside table every morning like he has done for 25 plus years.

Happy Valentines Day 2019.

January Showers Bring February Flowers

I just realized how “old” I am when I began a conversation with “Do you remember back in the day…. Really? I already have lived a back in the day period of life?? Well, I do remember back in the day when January was freezing cold and February was frozen cold. Back when Christmas presents always included heavy jackets, gloves, hats and scarfs in anticipation of the upcoming January and February. But what has happened?? Why are the flowers blooming in February?

My Nanny was a quilter (are you surprised?) In fact have you ever mentioned to anyone that you are a quilter- that you were not replied to with, “Oh funny, my grandmother was a quilter”. Didn’t you want to say, “are you serious? Wow, never heard that one before”.

I so vividly remember as a young girl sleeping in Nanny’s big bedrooms, which often held multiple large beds for family visitors, under layers and layers of quilts. So heavy you were automatically a back sleeper because no rolling over was possible. And can you imagine the myriad of sounds of snores traveling through that air? No Mr. Pillows or adjustable beds in those days. The air was very chilly as the fire in the fireplace often didn’t make it through the night. Thank goodness for those piles of quilts.

Nanny became Big Nanny when the great grands came along and my mom became Little Nanny. So a generational reference and not a size reference. She made lots and lots of quilts. We lost many of those quilts when tragically a tornado destroyed her home. But that will be for another post.

Me and Big Nanny

I am not sure if those were the good old days. Just simple existence was a little tougher and certainly many of our conveniences were not available.
No drive-throughs or beds in a bag that I can remember. The garden we had was huge and the days of canning and quilt making were long.
Wait, yes, I am sure, those were the good old days. Take me back to growing a garden and making utilitarian quilts any day. And January and February were cold and the flowers didn’t bloom. At least as I remember.

The Journey Begins

Our journey actually began almost 7 years ago. I stood almost in a daze at the beautiful old church that had been restored to an event venue. The setting was beautiful. The decorations were stunning. The evening was perfect and many of my close family and friends were there. A wonderfully happy time.

So why did I have such a pit in my stomach? My baby of 25 years, my sweet son, Ryan was about to make legal his decision for whom he would live the rest of his life. And it wasn’t me.

I told myself I was gaining a daughter and not losing a son. And both of those things were partially true. And so our MIL/DIL relationship began.

Why did we decide to do a blog? Lots of MIL’s and DIL’s share with me their stories when they find out that I am a business partner with my DIL. Some are great stories. Some are sad stories. But all have a story. Are we experts in the field of life or relationships or even design (which is the business we share)? Absolutely not! If anyone were to say they were a pro at any of these, I would have to beg to differ. The only thing certain in life, relationships or business, is its uncertainty. But to get better at any of these you need to become a follower. And see what others do. So this will be a sharing blog. One that we hope our readers will contribute to.

We will bounce around and our topics will definitely not be in any kind of chronological order. That would take too much planning. We hope to talk about our relationship, our business partnership, our industry, our design business, our life and what we see out in the world in a light-hearted approach. We will add in lots of quilty info. We hope you will follow along and join in with comments and questions (for us and our other readers). Hopefully, we will find a few “guest contributors” from our community. We are excited to learn.

How adorable are these two??? (Ryan and Bekah)