Happy 4th!

What a beautiful day to be celebrating! The sun is shining, there’s a slight breeze to help keep you cool in the shady spots, and you have the whole day to pretty much do as you please. I always plan way more projects for a day off than is actually possible to get done. There are the things for the shop that need doing and then there are the things that I want to do just because I want to do them. There are also a couple of things that I need to do for others for which time has to be calculated in the mix. Before I know it, the day if over, it’s time for bed, and I’ve not gotten anywhere near enough done. Does that ever happen to you, or am I the only one who bites off more than can realistically be chewed?

Speaking of biting off more than one can chew…Miss Martha has a new kit to offer you for a project that turned out to be much bigger than expected. The America the Beautiful banner is from the book Seasons & Reasons to Celebrate by Leisure Arts. It didn’t look all that big in the book, but the measurements are approximately 24-1/2″x50″. Of course, we had to do our own thing and didn’t follow the directions completely. For instance, the top section with the sun is paper-pieced in the book. We changed it into applique so Miss Martha didn’t have to fool with the machine. The verse on the flag says, “This land shall be a land of liberty…from sea to shining sea!” While our sample was stitched you could always use a Pigma Pen to write the words and skip the stitching. We’ve not yet added the gold star buttons to the blue field on the flag but hope to do that soon. While it’s easier to do before quilting, you have to pay attention when quilting to keep from running over them. This hanging could be left out year-round or put out for special holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Flag Day, and Veteran’s Day. Cost of kit: $49.95

Get Hive FREE!

In addition to the fabrics needed to make this banner, the kit also includes fabrics for three squares in a second project called bee industrious. The second project is one that covers all twelve months of the year. The three blocks you will be doing first are for June, July, and August. Soon, we will have a second big project from the same book ready for you. Along with the fabrics to do the second project you will get fabric for three more small blocks. There are a total of four large projects from this book that we will be doing. Along with each project you will get three small blocks for the year-long quilt which measures 44″x44″. If you purchase the book and all four kits you will get the center of the year-long quilt at no extra charge.

Call or e-mail us if you want to participate so we will reserve a kit and book for you. The price of the kits will vary depending on the size of the project. No, you don’t have to do all the projects if you don’t want to, but I think you will want to because they’re all cute and would look great hanging in your home or in the home of someone special. Plus, each project is small enough that it would make a great gift item when the need arises…and you know it will.

Quilting has become more than a necessity to keep your family warm. It has become an art form in its own right. That’s not to say that the quilts you make won’t be used for keeping your loved ones warm, but they are often times made just for the sheer joy of being able to do so. Sharing that joy with others is something that we do instinctively.

I love it when someone brings in a young person who wants to learn to quilt or stitch. As with any discipline, if we do not reproduce ourselves our art will eventually die down and even possibly die away. “It’ll never happen!” I hear you say. Well, don’t count on it. Stranger things have happened, and with the cost of fabric going up along with those necessary items like food and electricity it could happen if we aren’t careful. Independent quilt shops are closing right and left. Yes, a new one might pop up from time to time but how long they are able to survive will depend on not only their hard work and creativity but also on their community. It is not uncommon for folks who visit this shop to have driven an hour or two in order to do so. How much longer will they be willing to make that long drive if gas goes up (fortunately, it’s coming down at present) in addition to food, etc.? I wonder.

In case you haven’t looked at the “About” page lately, I have added a new way to save a little extra on your next purchase. Cutting overhead is one thing a business can do to keep the doors open. Since our shop is in the first floor of our home our overhead, as far as rent is concerned, is lower than that of most quilt shops. Still, we are always looking for ways of shaving off just a little more on the expenses when possible. To that end, we are going to try something for the month of July. If you pay by cash or check rather than a credit card we will take 2% off of your total, after any other discounts have been applied and before tax. If you are a guild member this means that when you show us your valid guild card so you can save 10% you will save another 2% after that discount has been applied. If you are not a guild member you too can save the 2% if you pay with cash or check. While I know debit cards are considered the same as cash these days we will not give the 2% discount if a debit card is used. So be sure to bring your checkbook or go by the bank before heading to the shop if you want to save just a little bit more on your shopping spree.

You’ll also want to check out our Coupon Corner as there is a new coupon there for you to take advantage of. It goes back the what I was saying earlier about bringing in new blood. When you share your love of quilting with someone and they express a sincere desire to learn how to quilt just bring them and the coupon when you visit next. This will earn you and your pupil-to-be free fabric. We hope it will encourage the new person to follow through on their desire. We also hope it will encourage you to share your wealth of knowledge with someone else and add to our ranks. As they say, the more the merrier!

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