We Have a Winner! Three Actually…

Whew!  What a week it has been!   I’ve been so busy I’ve not had a chance to sit down and tell you who the winners of our Christmas in July drawing were.  We’ll start with third place.  Congratulations to Arline Heskett, winner of the book Christmas Traditions by Quilt in a Day.  The second place winner was Stacy Houk, winner of a GO! tote and extras.  The most coveted prize of all, the Janome DC2007 LE with an MSRP of $649 was won by Kristen Vogel.  Needless to say, she was thrilled.  Kristen has her own blog on WordPress.  If you’d like to get to know her better visit www.krisvog.wordpress.com.

While our Christmas in July promotion is over our push to get you sewing your gifts for the upcoming season is not.  Just think, Sunday will be August 1!  When the year began December seemed so far away, but it will be here before you’re ready if you’re not careful and you certainly do not want to be left holding the bag, the empty bag that is.  We have some gorgeous new Christmas fabric to stroke and take to a new home.  Drop in if you can and enjoy the visual stimulation.

Christmas in July – Week 2

Can you believe that half the month of July is gone already!?  If I’m not careful, I’m going to wake up old one of these days.

Tomorrow is the end of week two of our Christmas in July celebration.  Competition for the Janome sewing machine is huge.  Some of our visitors say they need the machine for themself, others say they need it for a child or grandchild.  Still others plan on donating the machine to their church group if they are fortunate enough to win.  Wherever the new home is I am sure the machine will be happy and well loved.

Miss Martha has been busy this month putting together the Critter Christmas quilt and kits.  This is one of the cutest quilts we’ve done in a while.  Miss Martha even did most of the pieceing of the blocks on the machine.  The applique she did by hand but the backgrounds and borders for some of the sections she did herself.  I’m so proud of her!  I think Miss Kathy helped her a little as did I, but for the most part she has tackled her fear of my machine and has come out on top (no pun intended).

Cute, cute, cute!!!

The kits she has put together so far are already spoken for so she’s going to have to get busy and make more.  Extra books are on order and should be here next week.  Let me know if you want me to hold one for you.  Also, let me know if you want Miss Martha to put a kit together for you.  I know you have a wonderful stash from which to pull, but it will save you lots of time if all those little pieces are already chosen for you.  Think about it…Christmas is less than six months away now.

Harvest Collection

Today, Miss Martha finished a new tea towel that you can hang at Thanksgiving.  She did the turkey since our other turkey towel flew the coop several years ago and hasn’t found its way back to us.  I know we’re supposed to be focusing on Christmas this month, but since Thanksgiving is an even closer holiday, we thought it would be nice to get a jump on making new items for your Thanksgiving/Fall decorating.

Many of our quilters have gone to Knoxville, TN this week for the AQS show.  I can’t wait until they start bringing in their “finds” from the show as well as photos of the quilts.  I know I am going to regret not taking the time off to go, but between managing the shop and two teenagers, a mini vacation was not on the schedule for this month.

Knoxville happens to be one of my favorite cities.  Maybe it’s because I lived there for three years and really got to know my way around.  I lived through all the construction for the 1982 World’s Fair which was no small feat.  Then there were the University of Tennessee football games which made that time of my life very exciting.  No doubt both of those had something to do with my lasting impressions of Knoxville.  When we moved from Albuquerque in an effort to get closer to home, I really hoped that we would be able to live in Knoxville, but alas, that was not meant to be.  I have no regrets though.  Fayetteville is a great little town that I hope will stay small.  It really does have a lot going for it.  Maybe not if you are a teenager wanting to stretch your wings and see the world, but if you are an older and wiser person you find that Fayetteville has a quiet charm that can soothe frazzled nerves and calm your spirit. 

The difference between the two cities is obvious where size is concerened, but there is also a definite difference in the pace of ones life in this rural setting.  I have no regrets for having had to put down roots in this small town.  The folks are wonderful and those who visit the shop are the cream of the crop.  Yes, we’re happy here in our small town with our small quilt shop and our abundant blessings.

Christmas in July – Week 1

Week one of our Christmas in July celebration will end tomorrow.  We’ve given out lots of free patterns and have several names already in the drawing for the Janome 2007LE machine.  There are just two more weeks left before we draw for the winner of the machine, and maybe even some more presents.  Be sure to drop in for a visit if you live close by and take advantage of our sale.

It’s been difficult for me to wrap my brain around the fact that half the year is over already.  Where has the time gone!?  Christmas will be here before we know it.  In fact, I think there are only about 176 days left to go.  We quilters enjoy giving gifts from our hearts made by our hands.  To do this we have to start early in the year or we’ll find ourselves scrambling at the last minute to get our projects finished, or worse yet, going out and buying something storebought just so we’ll have a gift to give a special someone.  Don’t let Christmas or any other gift giving occasion sneak up on you.  As one wise person said, “Plan your work, and work your plan.”  That way you will be ready ahead of time and can enjoy the holiday season without the usual stress that tends to be associated with it.

Whatever you do don’t be like me.  During the holidays, or shortly thereafter, I get all gung-ho about finding patterns and starting gifts for the next season.  Before long, I find myself halfway through the year with nothing to show for the time that has gone by.  So  Christmas in July serves as a wake up call for myself and, hopefully, many of our visitors.  That’s why we bring in our new choices of fabric designed with a Christmas or winter theme as well as kits, books, and patterns to ignite your imagination, get your creative juices flowing, and help you to achieve your goal for gift giving this year. 

Even with all the advanced planning I am not sure that I will make it this year.  That’s not pessimism.  Oh, no.  It’s realism.  You see, I know myself very well, and I tend to bite off more than I can chew only to find myself drowning in too many to-dos and too little time in which to do them.

While it helps to know yourself well, you will only benefit from that knowledge if you use it to your advantage.  By that I mean that since I know I am prone to start projects that never get finished I have to make a special effort and force myself to finish what I begin, or I just start another project and history repeats itself over and over again.  It has been a battle and unfortunately I cannot claim victory just yet, but I am getting better.  Those who visit the shop might not believe this, but had they known me 20 years ago they would definitely be impressed by how far I have come over the years.  But, much work on myself has yet to be done.  Yes, I am a work in progress myself, just like all of my UFOs.



Newest Art to Heart Book

 If you’re a Nancy Halvorsen fan you’re going to love her new holiday book entitled, “Tidings”.  It contains a quilt of nine blocks that are easily made using raw-edge applique techniques.  It measures 65″x68″.  Also included in the book are bird ornaments, six tea towels, three sizes of cookie carriers, three stake banners, pillows, stitcheries, two sizes of gift bags, and more.   Can you say, “Best seller!”?

 Miss Martha has put together a kit for the

Wool Felt Table Runner

 “Gathering Snowflakes” pattern.  She used wool felt so your table runner will look a bit different than the one in the photo.  Get this project now and you’ll have it completed before the snowflakes start flying again.  Cost of kit:  $22.50

July Table Runner

The year is marching right along and the July table runner from Cotton Way is one you’ll want to make not just for displaying on the 4th of July but also Flag Day and maybe Memorial Day.  These table runners are really two in one because the back is just as decorative as the front.  In this case the designer, Bonnie Olaveson, uses a feature she calls Picots.  We call them Prairie Points.  Either way they give the design that extra bit of umph it needs to keep from being too plain.

August Runner

We also have the August design available as well.  Again, this is a two for one project.  Make one for yourself and one to give as a gift.  Or, use the front for one table runner and the back design for a second separate runner.  How’s that for getting the most from your pattern?!

The Farmer’s Wife Sampler

We’re having a grand old time making the six inch blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird’s book The Farmer’s Wife Sampler.  Month two begins tomorrow.  Our ladies have been making two squares per week based on a schedule that we’ve worked out for them.  Of course, there are those who got started and just couldn’t quit so they finished their blocks way ahead of schedule.

Miss Janice met the challenge!

A challenge was issued on Block #53 to use four remaining quarter-square triangle units that were left over from making quarter-square triangles using Thangles papers.  Of course, I’m thinking pincushions of various types, but Miss Janice surprised me with a framed miniature quilt.  She used her leftover quarter-square triangles, some scraps, and  glue to create this special gift.  Isn’t it lovely?
Month one the ladies made the following blocks:
Here’s what they’ll be working on this month:
The book comes with a CD that has templates that can be used for making the blocks, but we’ve broken them down into simple units like rectangles and half-square triangles so templates are not needed.  By using Thangles there is little room for error, although it can happen if you’re not careful.  Some of the blocks with odd angles are paper-pieced which also makes it easier to get an accurately sized block. 
Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - Queen Sized

The ladies are learning new techniques while challenging their abilities.  We’re having fun making these little blocks and I can’t help but think that I’ll never go back to larger blocks again.  I can’t wait to see all the blocks pieced and get the quilt together.  It’s going to be great!

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