Friday, November 9, 2012

It's looking like Christmas

Well I don't have a lot of quilting to show you as I've been at the store for the last two days putting up Christmas!  It is looking so cute in there.  Want a peek?
This is just one of the few trees we have decorated ... that garland in the tree is actually metal ... you twist it and bend it and it is really slick!  We have red, white and a creamy color -- the garlands are only $2.50 and there are three on this big tree, so you can see they really go a long way.  See the cupboard to the left?  It doesn't look anything like that now ... I'll take pictures tomorrow before everyone comes in and share them with you.  It was looking so lovely when I left this afternoon.
More garland and a few trees ... speaking of trees.  Yesterday we sat and fluffed trees ... what is tree fluffing you ask?  Well, we take all these flat and bent trees and deflatten them ... turning them into ...

Aren't they beautiful?  There were trees on the tables,
Trees on the floor,
And trees up above ... not to mention the huge trees!  Tree fluffing is not something that many of us at the store like to do.  In fact, we have in the past had two very special people that fluffed trees for us ... Donna's husband, George, and Kathy and JoAnn's mom, Gert.  Well, both have retired from tree fluffing duties.  We were lucky that we got the small trees ... Joe (the owner's husband who is also an owner), had the job of the large tree fluffer ... he even has a shirt that says "tree fluffer!"  It is serious business around our store!

But the award for most excellent tree fluffer goes to our friend, Maureen.  She just came in yesterday to say hello and do a little shopping, and we quickly put her to work.  Little did we know she is a stupendous fluffer ... every little branch was unfolded and every little brown strand in between the branches arranged just so!  Don't tell her, but she will definitely be used next year for fluffing!!  =:)

So I'll just leave you with a few more pictures and remind you to come on in and see us tomorrow from 10 to 5 ... we'll have loads of wonderful things to buy, lots of kits to ease your sewing, yummy food to eat, and lots of friends to visit with!
Still some fall left, and Halloween is 50% off!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Oh to be a young woman again and have all the right amount of hormones and be able to sleep!  Every night lately is an adventure ... I don't know why on the weekends when it doesn't matter whether I can't sleep, I always sleep, but during the week, I have issues.  This morning I was up at 4:30 a.m.  Great ... tried to get back to sleep and that was just not happening.  I did finally close my eyes for about a half hour at 6:15, but sometimes I wonder if that makes it worse!

It's been stinking hot here the last couple days  ... my son's sweetie is visiting for a few days and we have just enjoyed having her around and being able to spoil her ... I can't wait until this baby is born and she moves out here.  It will really be nice to have everyone together!  I did manage to do another quilt this last week ... this quilt was my customer's first quilt she ever did.  She said she had it for years before she finished it ... I can tell why
All those little pieces are appliqued on ... and there are twelve blocks ... if that had been my first quilt, it may have been my last!
I used a variegated King Tut on top and Glide in the bobbin.  She wanted a small-ish stipple in the sashing, and I did a large stipple in the outer border ... you can't even see it anyway because of the fabric.

My favorite part is the design I did in the sunflower centers ... I really like the way it looks with the thread color.  I echoed inside the petals and outside as well.  I am always a little nervous about doing this freehand, but I have decided that it shouldn't be perfect and it is easy to just run the machine along and if I go off the line a little (or the line that I have in mind) .... that's okay too!  Nature is not perfect.
Now she'll be able to get it bound and say "I finished my first quilt!"  I did two baby quilts for her in the last couple of months, and when I called her today, she said she is finishing up two more quilts ... wow, she has been busy!

One of my sweetest customers, Judy, told us the other day that in two years since she has been quilting she has made 24 quilts!  That is awesome ... I think I have quilted almost every one of those ... she is amazing because every quilt she starts, she finishes!

Now on a side note, I want to let you know that the Country Loft is having it's grand Christmas opening on Saturday from 10-5.  There will be trees galore, decorations, gifts, Christmas cards, and if it is like any Christmas opening, full of wonderful things to see and smell ... and of course great friends!  Come visit us all there ... it's always a big day ...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Eve musings

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday of the year.  I love Christmas ... for what it represents and for the joy that everyone feels, but halloween is special because of the colors, the fun, and it doesn't carry any of the pressure that Christmas does.  Especially now that I don't have costumes to create for my kids.  I must admit that that was loads of fun, but I was always behind the eight ball when it came to the costumes.

I quickly threw up some decorations today ... since we were gone most of October, and since I've been trying to get my act in gear since we got back a week ago, I finally got some stuff up today ... some of my favorites.  This is as good as it's going to get ... no halloween quilts, but we'll save those for next year!  Oh heck, I might pull them all out tomorrow and throw them on my bench in the hallway!
This is a needle punch that a friend made me ... isn't it cute?  And a pin cushion that a friend made last year ... adorable!
No halloween is complete without a scary skeleton ... he will be flipped over onto the front of the door tomorrow evening.
The creepy picture frame that talks!!!

Maybe my all time favorite decoration ... you can't have halloween without a ghost.
Love my mantel ... can you tell I spend most of my time in the living room?  Now I just have to find some super cute stuff for Thanksgiving ... always harder to do.  Any suggestions?  Where do people find those beautiful wreaths that I see hanging on everyone's door for fall?

I decided to get on the ball today and get a quilt quilted.  My VISA bill came in from my vacation, and I need to get busy to help pay for all the fun I had ... ha, ha!  Really, I haven't done a quilt since I got back, and since I want to be done with my quilting by Thanksgiving, it's time to get back on track!

This is a baby quilt that a friend did and I just love the fabric.

Can you believe my friend doesn't like it very much ... well this is before it's quilted. 
Now look at it ... beautiful texture and wait until it is washed!
I love the colors in it and decided to use a turquoise thread ... did a tight swirl pattern.
I always love this part of the process ... pulling the quilt off the frame and unpinning it.  I used Glide thread in top and bobbin.
Look at the back ...
Isn't this a cute fabric?  Oh, so much cute fabric, so little time!  Doesn't the turquoise thread look good on the back?
While I was on my trip, I stopped at my dealer in Utah and I was asking her about thread and tension.  We had a conversation about Glide and while she was talking, it occurred to me that occasionally I do have a bit of an issue with the bobbin thread slipping and catching.  Instead of using the little dealy thing that goes in the bobbin case (can't remember the name of it), I bought these bobbin washers that Teryl recommended.
Turn your head upside down to read ... sorry, I don't know how that happened!  They're really nice and thick and just sit in the bottom of your bobbin case.  They changed the tension and I will say seemed to work really well.  They're a little pricey, but hey, any amount is worth not having to rip out your stitching!

Now one more thing ... my friend that I did the above quilt for does something different when she's binding ....
I trimmed her quilt for her and left 1/2" extra all around; when she binds her quilt, she sews the binding on as normal, then trims it 1/4" beyond the edge of the binding.  She likes the extra bulk that folding the binding over the extra 1/4" gives her.  I don't know why she doesn't just trim it 1/4" extra, but I'm sure there's a reason.  I'll have to ask her when I see her again.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday news

Well the fun is officially over ... on Friday I had a dermatologist appointment to remove the other basal cell they found a month and a half ago ... he told me the cut was about an inch long:
I do believe he needs to get his ruler out and remeasure!  Yikes!  I can only hope that it looks as good as the last time I had this done.  That scar you can't even see any more it's on the same side towards the middle of my nose.  You can't see it at all!  The problem is that no bandaid will cover so ...
I look a bit beat up!  That's okay ... it's only for a week ... I'm getting used to this.  Besides, the other day in Starbuck's I met a friend, and whenever I think of him, he makes me smile ...
Meet Hank, a miniature dachsund puppy who almost came home with me!  I got to hold him while his mom was in line ordering a coffee.  He was so tiny and very, very sweet!  How can you not be happy looking at Hank?

The last quilt I did before I left on vacation was a Christmas quilt.  It was a little busy, but I have a holly pantograph that I thought would work really well with it ... it's a little abstract, and I wasn't sure whether the customer would like it, but she loved it!
Glide thread in top and bobbin.
I got all turned around towards the end of the quilt and somehow got off of the line I was stitching on.  I had to rip out about 20 minutes worth of work which amounted to about 3 hours of ripping.  I just HATE that!  Someone should hire themselves out to rip out people's quilting ... they could make a lot of money.  I would hire them.
Teaching a class tomorrow ... going to go and finish watching game 4 of the World Series.  My son's sweetie's family are Tiger fans ... go Tigers!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Home at last

Well I actually slept in my bed last night for the first time in two and a half weeks.  It felt great ... so great, that I didn't get up until 10:00 a.m.!  Wow ... yesterday we left St. George, Utah in the a.m.  Before we left I had to visit my friends at Let's Quilt ... it was fun to talk to Teryl and I bought a few bobbins, a bobbin case, some bobbin washers and a ruler so I can try more ruler work.  I love Teryl ... she is just the best!

Before I visited Teryl I found a new quilt store to me ... Clover Patch ... they boasted 4,000 bolts of fabric.  There was quite a lot ... the lady there was very nice, and I think about 1/2 the fabric was something I would be interested in looking at.  Everything was only $7.99 a yard.  Wow!  Here's what I came home with ...
I think that makes about 10 stores I hit across the country.  Boy have I had a great time.  It's a good thing I came home though because my pocket book couldn't take much more of it! 

Our last stop before home was to see our sweet daughter at college.  We had dinner with her and it was so nice to spend some time with our sweetie.  We went to one of our favorites ... P.F. Changs and just sat and chatted and loved on her ... she is doing so well and doesn't realize how much she has grown.  What an amazing daughter we have!  Then it was off to home.

Now I have a little secret to tell you that I've been holding for some time now ... I'm going to be a grandmother!  This news was not originally met with excitement ... if you recall my son just graduated from college, and no I never did mention him getting married.  He is in love and his intended and he had talked about getting married and having babies ... they are just doing it out of order.  It seems to be the way things are often these days, and while my husband and I wish they were doing it in order, we are happy that they love each other and intend to marry after the baby is born.  So ... the baby is due on our 25th wedding anniversary, February 20!  That makes her just about 6 months along.  Life has been complicated by the fact that she decided to remain in Michigan (instead of moving back here in July), because she has had morning sickness horribly bad.  Combine that with the fact that she has lupus, and she felt like she needed to be with her family so they could help take care of her.  I understand that.  So we are anxiously awaiting the birth of that baby in February and then baby and mom will move here and they will live in our granny flat next door.  I am excited!  A little scared for my son, but they will do fine, and we're going to have a little one to love.  Life is strange, isn't it.  No matter what, babies are a blessing, and God does not hand out more than you can handle.  It has taken me several months to get to that conclusion and to believe it ... I know it in my heart, but knowing something and living it, are two different things!

So when we went on this trip I had a mission for my fabric shopping ... to make a quilt for our grandbaby ... actually, granddaughter to be specific!  They're wanting the room to have a wall that is purple for the baby, so a purple quilt it is.  I knew the pattern I was going to make ... JoAnn Mullaly's Sophie's Quilt ...
Oh, the picture got blurry when I blew it up ... but you kind of get the idea.  So much cuter in person!  I'll have to take a picture of my pattern to show you.  So you can see that it is a super scrappy pattern.  Embroidery with lots of fabrics!
So with that in mind I started my shopping knowing I wanted purple ...
 So as I was searching I just started adding colors I thought would compliment the purple ... blue ...
And how about some lights ...
Yellows ...
 Oranges ...

 Greens ...

 A few multi that I thought would work in ...

And some pinks . ..
Okay, so I got a little carried away ... I had so much fun!!!  Some stores I only bought a couple of pieces.  But here's what it all comes out to ...
I think I pretty much have everything, don't you??  Ha, ha ... I can't tell you how much fun it was to shop with a project in mind.  Usually when I'm out in a fabric store it's just with the idea that I buy something I like and will use.  But when you actually have a project in mind, it was so much more fun.  I only bought a 1/4 yard of everything.  Some of them were fat quarters.  I know I have entirely too much fabric, but I'm going to have so much fun creating several quilts, and who knows what else out of all this fabric!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Heading home ... Idaho Falls to St. George

What a fantastic trip we have had! Really, we couldn't have asked for a better trip. The dogs were very agreeable, and never complained once about jumping in and out of the car at every stop. They were funny! They had this routine when we were done at the end of the day they tore around the hotel room like wild kids! The only time they could run free without a leash, and they did their best to wear themselves out.

I'm going to go backward in my journey and give you a glimpse into our travels. Today we started in Idaho Falls and our destination was St. George, Utah. I knew we were going to stop in Salt Lake City and hit a couple of quilt stores.

The quilt store I found in Idaho Falls had turned into a dance studio ... What a bummer! Oh well, onto Salt Lake.

The first stop was Piper Quilts. I had been to this store before and remembered it to be really cute. It's in a small house. It also has knitting supplies. The fabrics are really sweet, and I had a good time finding a few that needed to come home with me.

They had some beautiful quilts hanging on the walls and I asked if I could take a picture of the quilting on this particular quilt ... I thought it looked really neat, and hope to try and see if I can use these designs.

Next stop was Rubio's for lunch that was conveniently located next to a pet store. The dogs had been out of cookies for a couple of days and needed their fix. Rubio's is one of our favorite haunts in San Diego and we were delighted several years ago to find out they had them in Salt Lake. Just as yummy!

Last stop on the quilt tour for the day was Elaine's Quilt Block. Oh if I had more time in that store ... What fun! Super nice ladies ... They have everything ... Civil war fabric, in fact a whole roomful. Kaffe Fassett, fun, bright, whimsical, bold, batiks. Several Christmas lines and a load of Halloween fabric. Then there was an entire upstairs full of juvenile fabric ... What fun!! They are one of the only stores I have seen besides the Country Loft that had a ton of homespuns. What a treat! The nice ladies even let me charge my hubby's cell phone while I was shopping. Of course they knew the longer it charged, the more time I had to shop!
I know you are wondering about all these different colors I'm picking ... it's a secret and I'll let you in on it soon!
Tomorrow I'll visit Let's Quilt where I bought my Innova, and say hello to my wonderful dealer and buy a few things. Then I might be able to sneak in one more quilt store before we head home!