Ready, Set, Sew!

Now that Farmer’s Wife is over with, for the most part, I have been looking at the fabrics in the shop and pondering just what to do with all of them. On the one hand, I love them all and hate it when they leave me completely. On the other hand, I’m getting a little tired of looking at the same fabrics in some areas and the same samples. Now that we have a little, very little actually, time on our hands we are making up new quilt kits for you so you can quickly and easily make up a new quilt for yourself or someone special in your life.

Dizzy Dino

After having worked with Civil War repros, Thimbleberries, and other relatively dark fabrics for the past thirteen months I decided to go in the opposite direction and start with something bright and fun. Dizzy Dino was the result! What you see here is a small version of the full quilt. Why? Because there is just so much room in any shop for displaying quilt projects. Our quilt is done in a 3×4 arrangement. The actual pattern for the quilt that you can purchase a kit for is done in a 5×7 layout. There is enough fabric in the kit to make the larger quilt, or you can make two smaller quilts like ours and have 11 blocks left over. That means that with just a little more fabric you could make three small quilts from one kit. You might have to buy extra for the border(s) but it won’t be much more out of pocket expense for you. The pattern is included along with our own cheat sheet with instructions for a little variation that will make your quilt stand out in a crowd of other quilts. The cost: $50. This purchase alone will qualify you for your FREE monthly charm. How’s that for a deal?! Check back at the end of next week for our next new offering.

Strip Friendly!

Speaking of new offerings, I am pleased to say that we have the latest releases from Martingale now in the shop. Deciding which book to tell you about first is always a difficult task. I think this time I will start with the smallest book which has the smallest person on your “to sew for” list covered. Jelly Babies contains 14 adorable baby quilts designed by the staff at That Patchwork Place. The quilts are made primarily from 2-1/2″ strips. In addition to the quilts there are sweet photos of babies who grew up to work at Martingale. I bet if they’d known what a great job was in their future they would have grown up quicker. One big plus about this book is that it has a full alphabet, in reverse, that can be used as shown in the quilt project or in any manner you choose. We’re often asked for books with alphabets so here you go. I can see these letters used to put the name of a precious little one, and maybe a little bigger one, in the center of or diagonally across a quilt. That would be one quilt that could be taken off to college without the worry of it growing legs and walking off.

Borders with Pizzazz!

The next book, by Sheila Sinclair Snyder, gives you lots of ideas on pieced borders. And not just any pieced borders mind you, but Perfect-Fit Pieced Borders to be exact. There are 12 projects in this book. Each project is sure to stretch your imagination but not your abilities. In truth, the borders on some of these projects don’t look like borders at all, at least not in the sense that we have learned to add borders to our quilts. These borders become a part of the quilt so that by the time you add the binding it might look as though you don’t have borders on your quilt at all. Slick! As an added bonus, there are close-up photos of some of the quilting designs used which will take the guesswork out of how to quilt your finished product.

Country Never Looked so Good

Last, but definitely not least, is Farm Girl Quilts by Tammy Johnson and Avis Shirer. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this book and wish I had time to make several of the 12 projects contained within. There is a nice variety of projects including a table runner that uses ric-rac and several projects with applique. I think Midnight Goldenrod just might be my first choice of must-dos in this book. Their blocks are 9-1/8″ square, but I’m thinking about doing the design in my favorite 6″ finished squares. Thanks to Farmer’s Wife Sampler I know how to make both the blocks used in the quilt. Can I do it? I’ll let you know when, or if, I do.

If you haven’t already, go over to Bonnie Hunter’s blog,, and see what she has for you today. In addition to her blog you will find links to the blogs of four other talented quilters for your enjoyment. I won’t tell you who they are. Suffice it to say you’ll be pleasantly pleased, and who knows just how much, or what, you might learn. I will give you a hint about Bonnie’s blog. You might want to pull out some floral fabric and some yellow fabric before you go there. It never hurts to be prepared.

7th Anniversary Celebration!

Believe it or not, seven years ago today we signed the papers to buy Hooked on Quilting. Where those seven years have gone I haven’t a clue. There are still projects waiting to be done from seven years ago trying to beat out newer projects that we just have to do. Will they ever get done? Time will tell…

To celebrate our ability to keep the doors open for seven years and to thank you for helping us do so, we are having a sale. YEAH!!! The sale will begin today and run through June 25. You can save 25% on fabrics, half yard minimum, with the usual exclusions (listed on “About” page). No other discounts will apply.

Then there’s our coupon sheet that will give you savings on other items in the store. Each coupon has dates for which it is valid so you will need to pay attention to those dates. The coupon(s) will only be redeemable on the dates noted. Some of the coupons have been duplicated so if you can’t make it one week you can come the next. Plus, you can use multiple coupons on the same visit, and you can come an unlimited number of times during the sale period and enjoy the savings each time. Just print out the coupon sheet and put it in your purse so you’ll be sure to have it when you visit. HOQ-7th Anniv Coupon Sht

We will not be honoring your guild card this go around, but we will be giving out the free monthly charms to those who buy $50 or more after discount and before tax. The charms for June are a purple spool of thread and a Dresden Plate.

While we’re on the subject of our anniversary, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement through these often difficult years. We have been in three different locations in seven years and have experienced so many ups and downs that I’ve often felt like I was on a roller coaster, a very bumpy one at that. I loved those carnival favorites when I was a kid, but as a shop owner I would just as soon be on a much less bumpy ride whenever possible.

Between folks thinking we’d gone out of business after the first move because they didn’t bother to call our number to find out that we’d only moved to the other end of the block, and gas going over $4 a gallon during the summer when we had temps over 100 for what seemed like forever, we’ve wondered numerous times if we would be able to hold on until that magic fifth year anniversary because so many new business do not. Now we’ve made it to number seven which is another milestone in the business world. Whether or not we’ll be able to go any further depends on the economy and our patrons. So many quilters have a stash to rival that of any quilt shop. I know that because I’ve been told over and over again by what I call the seasoned quilter. It is because of this fact that we need to reach out to and encourage others any time they express an interest in learning to sew or quilt. Yes, even older folks can join our ranks.

For example, a couple of years ago Miss Thelma came to the shop wanting to learn to quilt. She is a painter and in her early 80s. She’s since made a lovely quilt and at last report was working on shams to match. That proves that you are never too old to learn to sew. For that matter, you’re never too old to learn to do a lot of things you might not have had the opportunity to do when you were younger. I’m still of a mind to learn to fly one of these days. I might have to wait until we get the kids out of college, but I’ve never lost my desire to pilot a plane. Can I do it? Sure, piece of cake. I’ll probably have to concentrate harder on the instruction part because my brain cells aren’t as young as they used to be, but I have no doubt that were I to put my mind to it I could fly. I bet I could even land the plane in one piece.

So here’s to learning new things, meeting new friends, creating wonderful quilts and other fun things, and surviving the second depression. Long may our creative minds and loving hands create wonderful works of art!

Busy as Bees

The past couple of weeks have been hectic, quite hectic to be exact. Not so much from an over abundance of visitors but from finishing up our Farmer’s Wife Sampler project. Yes, all 111 blocks have now been completed. Some of our ladies are in the process of sewing their last blocks while others have yet to receive theirs. It should be most interesting to see just how each quilt differs since I know some used different fabrics than the ones I gave them. We also offered three different colors for the sashing and border – red, blue, and brown. Then there were a couple of duplicate blocks where the ladies were encouraged to substitute their favorite block(s) instead. So while everyone got the same fabrics not everyone’s quilt will look the same. I’ve still not decided which color I want to use for the sashing and border on mine. Plus, I’ve actually been pondering making two lap quilts instead of one queen. I could easily do this without having to make any more blocks. Here we go with the decisions again…

In the midst of drafting and sewing the blocks as well as cutting the kits, we had a visit from Bonnie Hunter who was in the area doing workshops and lectures for some of the guilds. She and Diane stopped in one afternoon to visit. Miss Bonnie was very much taken with our kittens and even put photos of them on her blog, You’ll have to find the older post of May 26 to see them. I know I said I would put photos of the kittens up but haven’t gotten there yet. It helps to put new batteries in the camera when you want to take photos. Anyhow, if you visit Miss Bonnie’s blog in addition to seeing the kitties you’ll see some very familiar faces from her workshops as you scroll through her posts.

Since my last post (I’m so impressed that Miss Bonnie can post every day. I’m going to have to learn her secret.) we’ve gotten in four new books from Martingale and four new Australian magazines. We’ve also gotten in a few new bolts of fabric including four ’30s Hints of Prints for those who like the repros. I’ve managed to put out a few more of the bolts that have been hiding in the kitchen while I decided whether or not to include them in the Farmer’s Wife blocks. I still have several more bolts to go I’m afraid. It seems like time goes by quicker and quicker these days and the amount of work I get done seems to never be enough. What’s up with that!?

Oh yes, I’ve put Moda’s Dragonfly Summer group and the Lilac Hill group out now for sale. You just want to stand and stroke these fabrics. We only have three spots left in our Basket Bounty BOM so if you’re interested you need to jump on it because in addition to the limitation on kits there’s the sashing and borders to be bought before all the better choices are gone.

We had hoped to redo the room to the right of the hall over Memorial Day so we could offer small classes, but it didn’t happen . Yes, I spent the whole day on finishing up Farmer’s Wife. Do you get a recurring theme here? While I have truly loved doing this project it took over my life for the last two weeks of every month for the last thirteen months. Actually, it took over my life…period. When I wasn’t working on the blocks I was thinking about working on the blocks and looking for fabrics to use in the blocks. I can’t begin to tell you the overwhelming feeling of relief I now have since the last of the kits were packed. Well, not exactly the last because I do have four ladies to catch up from the first couple of months but that just entails cutting kits, not making blocks, writing instructions, etc. In fact, that’s a job I can even deligate. Oh, Kathy…

I’m ready to move on and do some different things, but first I have several things I need to get caught up on. Like the two BOMs that I was doing for a lady out of state that kind of got put on hold, the crazy quilt blocks that are the birthday gift for those in my sewing circle, the swap blocks that are also for my sewing circle, the nine-patch blocks that I initiated for Stitchin’ Camp as a mystery project. Then there are the articles that I need to write, one for a Pulaski paper, one for Irish Quilting, and one for the Country Register. Needless to say, I actually sat down and made myself a list last night because I knew if I didn’t I would forget something. I rarely ever make lists of things to do for myself because I just end up losing the list so it seems more of a waste of time to me than a help. Keep in mind that all those tasks I just mentioned have to be intertwined with everything else that’s going on in the shop including making decisions about how to celebrate our upcoming seventh anniversary. Yes, that does mean that you’ll need to really pay attention to my e-mail(s) and the blog because even I don’t know what all we’ll be doing starting next week.

One thing I definitely do want to try and do is blog more often. There’s just so much going on that I know you’ll want to know about. It runs around in my head all the time but that doesn’t help you any if I don’t stop long enough to put it down in type somewhere somehow. Maybe I need someone to hold me accountable like I did with FWS. Hmmm…I wonder who that could be…hmmmm…

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