Shop Hop – Day 7!

Just one more day, that’s all you have left, just one more day to hop from shop to shop. I’ve been hearing some good things by those who have hopped thusfar. More positive votes for having a shop hop again next year have been heard, so I think it would be safe to say you have something to look forward to.

A few of those who visited today had either been to the quilt show in Huntsville or were heading that way. It sounds like they’re going to have a great turn out this year. If you need to check on times and the cost of admission you’ll need to visit the Heritage Quilters website. Keep in mind that parking will more than likely cost you an extra $5.00.

Since Victoria got to draw a name from the basket last night, Nathanael drew the name tonight. What’s the prize for today? Two patterns! The first is Whirl-A-Jig by QuiltWoman.com which comes in two sizes and can be made from just two or three fabrics or better yet, scrappy. The second is Chunky Halves by Joan Ford. All you need to make this no-fuss lap sized quilt is eight half-yard cuts. It’s great for using up those fabrics that you just can’t cut up because one of the blocks is 8-1/2″ square. The lucky person who has won these two patterns visited with us last Saturday. Who is it? It’s Debbie Baswell! Congratulations Debbie! Debbie is a take-charge, get-it-done quilter who tends to get things done quickly so I bet she’ll have one, probaby both, of these done to show us during the shop hop next year. You hate to wish your life away but… These patterns are courtesy of Checker Distributors.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Miss Martha will be here with bells on and I will do my best to keep up with her.

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Shop Hop – Day 6!

Today was a fairly quiet day with only a few hoppers paying us a visit. If you haven’t had a chance to drop in yet, do keep in mind that there are only two days left of the shop hop. That is for all the shops except Quilter’s Combo. Kat will be extending her hop savings until October 8 so those who are working on the Huntsville quilt show during the hop will have a chance to participate.

Speaking of the quilt show, it will begin tomorrow at 10:00 and run through Sunday afernoon when it will end at 4:00. Make sure you go and enjoy all the wonderful quilts that will be on display. I’m hoping to go on Sunday myself. I can’t wait to see who won what.

While you’re in Huntsville you really ought to visit the Museum of Art located at 300 Church Street. They have a quilt exhibit entitled Blood, Thread & Tears: World War II Quilts. For more information you can visit their website. If you can’t make it this weekend you have until November 13 to see this special exhibit.

OK…I bet you’ve been waiting with baited breath to find out who won the door prize for today. Victoria pulled out the winning ticket after she got home from Huntsville. She’s enjoyed doing that ever since we bought the shop seven years ago. When she was younger she’d pull name after name after name out of the basket because she didn’t realize that there were only so many prizes to give out. Besides, she wanted everyone to win! We finally worked out a system where she drew a ticket and taped the slip of paper to each prize. That helped a lot, but once she ran out of “presents” she’d ask if we could fine just one because Miss So-and-so hadn’t won anything. She had her favorites and always wanted them to win.

The winner for today is Arlinda Vess from right here in Fayetteville. The prize for today was donated by one of our great vendors, Checker Distributors. It’s the book Out of the Box by Melanie McFarland and Mary Lou Weidman. The title of the book says it all. Visit Martingale Publishing’s website, browse through the gallery for this book, and you’ll see what I mean. While some of the techniques used to make these super quilts might be traditional, the quilts themselves certainly are not. I love this book! If it doesn’t bring a smile to your face you’re in serious need of counseling. There’s even free wallpaper from this book that you can put on your computer. Slick!

We hope to see you tomorrow, but if you can’t make it then do please hop in on Saturday. I know you don’t want to miss out on the savings and the prizes. We have one more small door prize to give away and then the biggie will be drawn for on Saturday. Actually, I think we’re giving two on Saturday. Who knows, Victoria might keep looking until she finds enough goodies for three or four. Oh wait, she has a wedding to play for Saturday afternoon. Maybe I can draw before she gets back and save myself the energy of digging for more prizes. Ya think?

Shop Hop – Day 5!

More new faces hopped through our door today…YEAH!!! Since we had several hoppers Miss Martha was finally able to figure out how to work the tulip punch that we’ve been using on the flyers. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks. She’s so happy to have new folks to entertain. I’m not sure what we’ll do with her once the hop is over and we have fewer visitors again. You’ll have to come visit just so she’ll have someone to entertain besides me. It very hard for me to get my work done when she has no one but me to entertain.

Our prize for today is a great pattern by Joen Wolfrom called Stepping Out. It’s created with only two simple blocks, but the colors chosen and their placement will turn this project into one fabulous quilt. Two size options are included for this pattern which is rated as one for a confident beginner. Who’s the lucky winner? It’s Lyn Randolph! Way to go Lyn!!!

We have had an interesting sight pop up in the front meadow. I have to wonder if there’s any connection to our Flower Fairies fabric by Michael Miller. You see, what started out as one fairly large cream-colored mushroom has turned into a whole community of mushrooms. In other words, we have a fairy ring in our yard!

I finally decided to take some photos of our ring to share with you. I didn’t step inside the ring though because to do so is said to be bad luck. After all the extra work that’s had to be done to the back room, and now on the roof over said room, I certainly do not need any more bad luck thank you. I wonder if the ring will close up or if the “entrance” into the ring will stay open thereby enticing unknowledgable folks into its midst.

I did a little reading up this evening on fairy rings because it has been a while since I first learned about them. The folklore associated with them is fascinating to say the least. I had always thought that the mushrooms were where the wee folk took cover from the elements, but according to what I read the ring is really more their dancing ground where they dance, and dance, and dance. If you are foolish enough to enter into their domain you too may dance and dance until you dance yourself to death or go mad. On second thought, I don’t think our flower fairies are anything like the fairies and sprites that would lure humans into their ring and to their death. Our flower fairies are far too sweet for that kind of behaviour.

Anhyhow, since I thought the mushrooms were used as houses, I thought this grouping must be the fairy equivalent of condos. These four large mushrooms were clustered together just like our modern condos. Or, it might be one large fairy family who likes to live close by each other. Or, it might be were the queen of the fairies lives and should be looked upon as a castle rather than as condos.

Even fairies aren’t exempt from bad luck it seems. One poor fairy who comes home tonight will find his house toppled over. There must have been a mini-tornado go through the ring that pulled up this one house. It was a nice sized house too so it definitely had some power behind it. Hopefully, one of the neighbors will take this homeless fairy in tonight, especially now that it’s getting cooler in the evenings. I wonder if faires quilt…

If you’d like to learn more about fairy rings start with Wikipedia and branch out fro there. You’ll find information on the various types of mushrooms that can be found in rings as well as references to literature and artwork. Oh how the imagination of a creative mind can soar when sprinkeld with a bit of fairy dust.

Shop Hop – Day 4!

The shop hop is half way over. Have you had a chance to take advantage of the savings yet? If not, you’d better get to hoppin’ on in to the shops before you miss out all together. It might be a good long while before you’ll be able to save like this again.

From what I’ve been told, several who have visited the shops are already looking forward to next year. Kat’s had a great idea that involves food…I thought that might get your attention. I think it’s an excellent idea, and we have almost a whole year to work on making it happen for you. There’s also the possibility of an exclusive quilt pattern designed just for our hop next year. Is that something you’d be interested in? Let us know if it is or isn’t. You can also let us know of any other ideas you might have. We aim to please!

We’ve drawn another name and are giving away another great quilt book. The book this time is Quilts by the Calendar which contains 12 outstanding quilts, one for each month of the year. These are some of the best designs from Fons & Porter’s For the Love of Quilting magazine. There are two basket quilts in here and you know how much I love basket quilts. There’s also a woven heart quilt that uses an interesting weaving technique that would be a lovely gift for someone special come February. Another personal favorite is the maple leaf block. There’s a quilt that uses this block that would be perfect for next fall. These are just a few of the great quilts that our winner, Judy Williams of Rogersville, AL, will be able to make with her new book. Congratulations Judy!

Maybe I need to insist on each winner making one quilt from the book they’ve won. That way we could have a great show-n-tell time during the shop hop next year. Yeah…I like that idea. I like that idea a lot!

Shop Hop – Day 3!

Are we having fun yet?! I think so, at least those who stopped by today seemed to be having lots of fun. Some were on their way to a retreat in Scottsboro, some came back for a second visit, and some brought a friend who was a quilter but who didn’t quilt themselves. Some came looking for specific items or fabrics while others just came for the fun of getting out and about. Regardless of their reasons we enjoyed visiting with each and every one of them. Will we see you here tomorrrow? I sure hope so.

Oh yes, I bet you want to know who won the prize for today. The winner of a great book by Debbie Mumm entitled Memories & Milestones is Judy Levy. This book contains 20 projects that cover everything from dorm life to engagements to newborns to retirement. There are quilts, wallhangings, pillows, a laundry bag, handmade cards, a beaded planter, and so much more. You’ll never again have to wonder what to make in order to mark a meaningful event in your life or that of someone special. Congratulations Judy!

We’ve had lots of questions about what’s going on in the back room. Well, we had a leak in the ceiling that ran alomst the whole width of the room, went down the wall just outside the bathroom, and buckled the floor below badly. As is almost always true when one embarks on repairs, there ended up being more to be done than just a little paint and re-muddin’ of sheetrock. More ceiling had to be torn out because of mold issues and flooring had to be taked up because of a bad dip in the floor. Once the flooring came off evidence of termite damage was found as well as a cracked floor joist that had to be dealt with. We had the bug man come out and spray for termites while the floor was open, and although we thought the damage was old, active termites were found when some baseboards were pulled off. Eeekkk!!!

After explaining about the repairs, and that you can’t go to the bathroom because the workers have taped plastic over the door frame to keep as much dust out as possible, the next question asked is what our intentions are once the room has been redone. Victoria wants us to turn the room back into a den for our family to use when we have our popcorn night. That’s the night when one of us gets to pick the movie and we have popcorn and chocolate. I guess the floor in our bedroom isn’t as soft as she’d like it to be. I on the other hand am hoping to turn it into a classroom space and quilt gallery. We’ve not really had a nice space for classes since moving here four years ago. I’ve not pushed getting classroom space because when we had it in the shops on the square and offered classes those classes oftentimes didn’t make. When we couldn’t get four people to do a class we finally decided that there just wasn’t enough interest in classes to go to the trouble of setting them up, on our part as well as on the teacher’s part.

If we do manage to turn that back room into classroom space, what kind of classes would you be interested in? Finding something new and unusual isn’t always easy because we seem to have a very well traveled and well taught group of quilters in this area. We’ll more than likely have a class for brand new quilters of course, but we need to find something to offer those who are more seasoned as well as those who are adventuresome. Is there something you’re been wanting to try? Feel free to offer suggestions. We’re always listening…

Shop Hop – Day 2!

Our ladies did a great job of keeping Miss Martha hoppin’ today! I was worried that she wouldn’t be able to keep up, especially after having been out last night at her 56th high school reunion, but she was fired up and hit the ground a runnin’ when she got here.

It was fun to hear where everyone had been already and what they’d bought. It was also fun when someone who didn’t know about the hop dropped in and we were able to surprise them with a sale, a freebie, a ticket for a prize, and a flyer to take with them so they could visit the other shops. We were thrilled to meet several new people and see some of those as well who had visited in the past but not recently. The day passed all too quickly and before I knew it the clock struck 4:00 and Miss Martha was chompin’ at the bit to get home.

After she left we had two more ladies visit. One of those two won the drawing for today’s prize. That lady was Mary Coble. Congratulations Miss Mary! She won a copy of Gooseberry Patch’s Country Friends Go Quilting. This is a great book full of projects that cover everything from quilts and wall hangings to table runners and pillows. One of my favorite projects is the needle case and I could use a couple of the mantel scarves that are included. Oh yes, there are also recipes so you can see how this one book has it all.

If you’ve not had a chance to go hoppin’ about yet you will have all of next week so don’t worry. Remember that Quilter’s Combo and Peace by Piece will be closed on Monday. As far as I know the rest of us will be open and waiting on you to pay us a visit.

You’ve Got Us Hoppin’!

The first day of our first ever shop hop had Miss Martha and me hoppin’! But, she didn’t think we hopped enough so you’re going to have to come visit and really put her through her paces. I thought we did pretty good for a weekday but not her. She’s been so excited about the hop that I guess she just expected everyone to be beating down the doors when she got here. I was thrilled though because we saw several new faces and some that we’d not seen in way too long. I can’t wait to see who all shows up tomorrow!

If you get our e-mails you’ll recall that I said we’d draw for a prize every day. After the shop closed I stirred up the names, closed my eyes, and drew out Joyce Kilgore’s name. Miss Joyce is from Jasper, AL and it’s been forever and a day since I’ve seen her. We had a lot of catching up to do to say the least. Her prize is the book Happy Days Quilts by Tammy Tadd. The patterns inside are especially great for children’s quilts but they’re not overly juvenile designs so they’d also be good for older folks like us when done in more subdued colors. The cover quilt is probably my favorite one in the book because I’m a beach bum at heart. But I could see Kick the Can becoming a favorite with little or no trouble because it’s easy and allows you to use all those adorable novelty prints you couldn’t live without but aren’t sure just how to use. It’s a great book and I’m sure Miss Joyce is going to get a lot of mileage from it.

I love Tammy Tadd’s designs but learned not too long ago that she had closed her retail store this past July. If I understood the information that I read correctly she has also ceased designing. This is a great loss to the quilting world. I’m hoping that she will eventually change her mind, it is a woman’s perogative after all, and pick up where she left off. Until then, we’ll just have to enjoy the designs she did do, there are lots of them, and keep our fingers crossed.

What else did I do after the shop closed? Well, we have another new batch of kittens from a stray momma cat who doesn’t seem to be as good at mothering as Belle is. The stray cat had seven kittens and has lost three of them so far. Victoria stepped in and was going to bottle feed the four that remained, but they weren’t too thrilled with that. She had a wedding to play for this evening so guess who was supposed to try and feed those kittens. Yep, I was elected to do the job. Imagine that… I couldn’t get the kittens to eat either so I just took the carrier that they were in back downstairs and set it on the porch. The stray momma was hanging around the porch so once I showed her that her kittens were in there she got in and eventually did what momma cats are supposed to do. I sat there watching her for a good 45 minutes just to make sure that she let them nurse and cleaned them too. We’ll keep an eye on them and hope that she doesn’t move them somewhere where we can’t find them. That’s what happened to the last litter because she wasn’t as tame then as she is now, and even now she can be pretty skittish. If you’d like to have a nice female cat please let us know. We really can’t keep her nor can we afford to have her and all the other cats around here fixed. Victoria doesn’t want to take her to the animal shelter because she just sure they’ll kill her. Help!

After I was sure the kittens would be all right I did a little work in the shop getting ready for tomorrow and then went upstairs to make myself a cup of tea. It was so nice to sit down with a hot cup of my favorite Holiday Tea from Harney & Sons as well as my favorite cookies that Rick picked up for me

Bachelor Buttons

when he was in Kingsport last weekend. I’ve eaten these cookies for at least 30 years (can’t you tell) and just love them. The only place I’ve ever found them is at Food City in Kingsport, TN. For a while they stopped making them and I was not a happy camper. So now I have the phone number for the store in my phone and any time we’re going home I call ahead and order several dozen. They’re kind of like a shortbread cookie but the little dollup of icing on top gives them just enough sweetness to make them habit forming.

Before I sign off I wanted to share some photos of Belle’s kittens. They’ll be four weeks old on Sunday and are the cutest things. They’re fat, furry, and starting to play with each other. You just want to pick them up and cuddle them all day long. I took these photos just as they were waking up and tried to get them while they were stretching and yawning. I swear, they look just like human babies sometimes. There are two gray ones and they have the cutest faces ever. They are spoken for though and will have a new home as soon as they’re old enough. The black and white one has a white tip on its tail so it has been named Sylvester. I don’t know what Victoria is going to do if he turns out to be a she. At present she’s convinced her dad to let her keep him (?) since Looney Tunes is one of Rick’s favorite shows. The one you can’t see very well is the black one that was born last. It is solid black and so far the only white I’ve found on it is a litte triangular patch between its hind legs. It looks like it has a diaper on…seriously!

We can’t leave the proud momma cat out so here’s a current photo of her. If there were awards for best momma cats she would definitely win one. She seemed even willing to take a kitten from the other litter but it was too weak to nurse and didn’t make it through the night. I think Belle could turn into a nursing cat if we could figure out how to keep her milk flowing without having her birth more kittens. Rick has put his foot down and there will be no more kittens…at least not any time soon.

Then there’s the big sister, Nike, who is sometimes just a bit too curious about what’s going on in the box. She perched herself on the side of the box the other day and was reaching her paw in batting at one of the little fuzzy things that moved inside. I was waiting for Belle to jump on her but she didn’t. I guess she was being tolerant of her older kitten who wanted to see what all the fuss was about inside that box.

This post didn’t have too much about quilting in it did it. That’s OK. Sometimes you just have to talk about other important things. This was one of those times.

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