Surprise Times 5!!!

Belle’s done it again! This time she surprised us with five little kittens that are adorable, just like all kittens are supposed to be. As Victoria was heading out the door Sunday afternoon around 4:00 to play at Bridge Street I heard her yell, “Belle has kittens!” She had five little kittens right outside and to the right (as you’re coming in) of the front door. At least she was laying down this time and didn’t have that shell shocked look on her face like she did back in the spring when she had her first batch.

As is par for the course, Victoria had to go on to her gig and Nathanael was left to find a box to put the kittens in and get Belle situated. He’s a good big brother so Belle was fortunate there. They stayed there yesterday, but the door tends to slam shut sometimes so I had the kids move the new family around the corner where they will have a little more peace and quiet. There are two gray kittens, one white and gray spotted one, one black and white, and one that appears to be solid black. I’ve not picked them up yet to check them out completely but at three days old they are so tiny and so cute.

Some of these babies will have to find a new home, Rick has already given the decree. I don’t think there is any amount of eyelash batting that Victoria can do to change his mind this time. She’s going to have to play a lot of gigs to make enough money to have all of her “children” operated on so this will be the last of the kittens…at least for a while anyhow.

The kittens aren’t the only new attraction at the shop, they’re just the sweetest one. Last week we received the latest issue of The Quilt Life, Mary Janes Farm, and the 2012 Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar which includes patterns for each of the quilts featured. Today we received the fall issue of the ever-popular Quilt Sampler magazine. Descriptions of these magazines will be added to the magazine page. If you need me to hold a copy for you just let me know.


We also received the remainder of Kaufman’s Urban Zoologie group as well as more of the Fizz group in Lemon, Ice, Chocolate, Raspberry, and Lime. These luscious colors compliment so many of your projects that you’ll want them all. And since I’ve not bought much of late in the black and red category I had to include a couple of selections from their Dress Up group. These would be great additions to your sewing room as curtains, pillows, chair covers, machine covers, you name it. Or, make a great purse and let everyone know that you love to sew, be it quilting or not.

Now, since you’ve been so good at sharing your opinion about the two blocks done in ’30s prints I have another task for you. I would like to know which of the two methods you prefer when it comes to keeping informed about the goings on at the shop between newsletters/updates. Would you prefer this blog, or would you prefer Facebook? I have never played on Facebook so learning how to do so would take a little time, but I have been reading reports that say it is a better method of reaching customers than regular blogs. Do you agree or disagree? If you have an alternative method(s) to these of keeping in the know, what would it be?

Based on the statistics that I’m given regarding this blog, I can see that it has gained readers but nowhere near as many as are on my e-mail listings. Of course, readership goes up after I send out an e-mail update but then falls back down again until the next update goes out. Do you think that’s because I do not post here daily? Would you prefer daily posts to this blog or do you think once a week or so would be sufficient? I ask because I have learned over the years not to assume anything. For example, just because I know what’s in the shop doesn’t mean my customers know what’s in the shop. It’s a rare week when someone doesn’t come in and say, “Oh, I didn’t know you had this!” I’ve had it happen even with items that have been included in the shop newsletters, and by folks who are on our e-mail list no less! I know my newsletters can get long, but are they so long sometimes that folks ignore them or don’t read through them completely? Do you think I need to send them more often so they don’t get so long. What do you think? Yes, I really want to know. I wouldn’t ask otherwise. I’m here to serve you and I will do a much better job of that if I know what your likes and dislikes are. Don’t you agree?

All Tied Up!

Well…I thought I knew which block everyone would like, but boy have I been surprised. The vote for Block A and Block B (see previous post) is all tied up. To untie us, I would have to cast the deciding vote which is counterproductive to the reason why I asked for your opinion in the first place. I don’t want to have to decide between the two blocks because I like them both for different reasons! That means I’m still interested in opinions…lots of them! So, if you’ve already voted then ask your friends and neighbors to throw in their two cents too.

While you’re pondering the blocks here are some new books from
Martingale to occupy your time as well. Make Your Bed by Leslee Evans gives you a great variety of coverings for your bed. They range from traditional to quite modern. Plus, several of the designs are reversible which is a definite plus in my book. Along with the bed runners you can make pillows and shams to match. You can even add pizzazz to your sheets! Best of all, there are styles that will work for the males in your life. Go to and view the gallery of projects. Then drop in and pick up a copy all your very own.

Then there’s Patchwork-Play Quilts by Lynn Roddy Brown. Those of us who hang on to all those “bonus” half-square triangles, among other parts, need this one. There are 17 designs to work with as well as a bonus design at the back of the book which was actually my favorite. There are no instructions to this one but you could figure it out with a little effort, or use it to come up with something similar but different based on what parts you have leftover from past projects. The more variety you have to work with the better your finished project will be.

Don’t forget that now through the end of September you can get two stamps for every Martingale book you purchase. Be sure to bring your Super Stitcher card with you because after nine stamps you can mail it in for a FREE book of your choice. If you don’t have a card we’ll gladly give you one to get you started on your way to earning that free book. As a hint for which book to choose, the one that I used for Block A and B is a Martingale book. If you want to follow along then you could order it as your freebie. The title is 501 Rotary Cut Blocks but you actually get over 3,000 blocks because each one has multiple sizes. Talk about value!

In addition to the new books we also received three new magazines today and one last Friday. Those have been listed, or will soon be listed, on the magazine page. Quantities are limited so if you see something you want give me a call and I’ll hold a copy for you.

Tomorrow is a big day for the Anderson household. Victoria and Nathanael will be going to UAH for their first day in college. I wish I could say they were excited, but I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I did. Neither of them seem to be looking forward to this new adventure at all. At least Victoria had a little guy who’s older and already been through three years send her an encouraging note. Still, I’m not sure she’s convinced. Times they are a changin’.

Opinion Please

I warned you this was coming. Remember? I said that I had enjoyed making the blocks for Farmer’s Wife so much that I was thinking about doing something similar with my all-time favorite ’30s prints. Since it was slow today, I mean really slow today, I took advantage of that and made these two blocks. I made two because I wasn’t sure just how I wanted my blocks to look, and since I do not have a color photo of my new project idea to go by I needed to see how the blocks would look done two different ways.

So without further ado I invite you to look at these two blocks and tell me which one you like best. I think this may be a moot point because I bet I know which one will be preferred, but I did tell you a while back that I wanted you to help me decide, and I do. Making decisions is not my forte.

Block A

Do you prefer Block A with the plain antique white background?

Block B

Or do you prefer Block B with the tiny circle in the background?

Maybe it would help to see them both together. I mean, they look great as individual blocks, but when you put them side by side you realize that the change of background fabric does change the look of the block.

Now, before you cast your vote let me give you a little exercise in visualization. This step is very important because we only have one block as a reference point and one block by itself doesn’t give us much to go on where the overall design is concerned. Feel free to close your eyes if you think it will help. Visualize a sampler quilt with possibly as many as 123 six inch blocks (those who did the Farmer’s Wife Sampler quilt with us should have no trouble doing this part). There will probably be small sashing strips between these blocks which will be set on point (my personal preferred method). If you like Block A then visualize all the blocks being done with the same background and maybe screamin’ yellow sashing (yes, I am leaning in that direction). How interesting do you think the quilt would be if all the blocks had the same background and different fabrics for all the other specific parts. Does that picture look calm, pleasing, or boring?

Next, visualize the same quilt, still with screamin’ yellow sashing, but with each block made from different printed backgrounds. Some may have a white base while others have a cream base. Others still might have a tan or tea dyed base. Some may have red designs, some blue, some brown, some black, some pink, some purple, etc. Because I don’t have that many different backgrounds in my collection I would have to reuse the prints more than once. Of course, as I went along I would be seeking out and purchasing new backgrounds so maybe I wouldn’t have to use each of them too many times. How does this quilt look to you? Is it pleasing, interesting, or too chaotic?

Since the quilt will probably only be made once, it’s very important that I get it right the first time because between you, me, and the fence post I have a confession to make. I think I have Quilter’s ADD. I noticed having problems several years ago. I seem to have trouble doing the same thing, i.e. the same block design, repeatedly. Using different fabrics to make the same block helps my QADD somewhat, but making the same block over and over again has never appealed to me. It seems that once I make it my brain says, “OK, you can do that now move on.” To keep my sanity I have to listen to my brain and do something different the next time. That’s probably why I have such an eclectic collection of “stuff” (there’s that word again!) and want to do more than I’ll ever have time or energy to do. I know I’m not alone though and there is comfort somewhat in knowing that others truly understand what one deals with on a daily basis.

So…will it be the plain Block A or the more daring Block B? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

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