Look What Else I Did!

Do you get the impression that small projects factor big on my list of things to do these days? I think it’s because they’re cute, quick, easy, use up scraps, and let me move on to the next small project that keeps calling my name.

This Key Fob Pockets pattern has called my name for a very long time until I just couldn’t stand it any longer. The first one I made Victoria ran off with because it was mainly orange. The whole inside and back, which you can’t see, are orange. She has no fear of wearing her colours while walking around a campus that’s predominately blue.

The second one I made is on the left in this photo and I made it for a shop sample to go with the pattern. The third one I made, the purple one, was for one of Victoria’s friends. These are almost as addictive to make as those mug rugs I told you about in the last post. They use even smaller scraps and can be made in so many color combinations. The flower on the purple one was fussy cut, and I could see a monogram going there as well, not to mention a special button or brightly coloured snap. Then there’s piecing really small bits together for a crazy quilt look, or I could use up some of those extra half-square triangles that we tend to make to keep from wasting fabric. See what I mean?

What are these little pockets good for? Well, Victoria keeps her Avon lip balm in hers. It’s attached to the lanyard, aka The Lifeline, she wears around her neck. That lanyard must weigh two or three pounds given all she has attached to it. You’d think hauling a 70+ pound harp around would be enough of a workout without having weights around your neck all day long.

If you’re not a fan of lip balm, or lipstick, you can also use these little pockets to safely carry the memory stick for your computer. I’ve thought about making one for the Janome 350E which we sell. It has a port for those little memory sticks as do many of the newer embroidery machines. You could make a pocket, place your memory stick in it, and attach it to your key ring. That way you’ll always know where your stick is when you go to stitch out a design. I’ve not tried it, but I think you could actually get two sticks in one pocket.

Victoria loves her little orange pocket but wants me to alter the pattern just a bit so that she can carry both her lip balm and her memory stick in one case. She wants one that is divided down the middle with a space for each item. I think it would be easier and less time consuming to just make another one myself. That way, I could use up more scraps and be more creative. I feel a discussion coming on…

You could probably even carry a bit of change in one of these little pockets should you need it for the drink or snack machine. Then there’s the occasional need for change for a parking meter. What else do you think these little pockets would be good for?

Moving right along…I wanted to let you know that we have ten new flannel prints from Moda. This is the Peachy Keen Flannels group by Chloe’s Closet. The group was originally scheduled to have 29 prints, but only about 17 of them made the cut. That means that 12 of the prints, eight of which I was expecting to arrive, were cut because there wasn’t enough yardage ordered by shops for those prints. That’s really a shame too because these are some really cute prints, and I had planned on making rag quilt kits with the cutting already done for you using our GO! cutter. All you would have had to do is stitch across the squares and then sew them together. I think I can still do that, but we won’t have quite the variety that we would have had originally. If we get it together and make the kits I’ll be sure to let you know.

Why was there not enough yardage ordered on those prints? I have no clue really since they were all adorable. I’m sure it has something to do with the economy, which we’re told has no significant inflation, and the fact that seasoned quilters are not buying as much fabric as they once did. That means shops are buying less which gives you less of a selection the next time you visit. Elaine was in just yesterday and mentioned seeing a print at a show that she liked for using as a border but not buying it when she saw it. When she went back for it there wasn’t enough for a border so she thought she’d just order it off the internet. She said she couldn’t find that piece of fabric anywhere! She could find other pieces in the group but not that one.

Vendors used to print much more fabric and would even reprint skus that sold well…not any more. Where the shelf life of a group used to be six months I’m thinking it’s much less than that now, maybe two or three. I couldn’t even get a second bolt of the Dragonfly Summer purple last year, and I reordered it almost immediately after the group arrived. Yep, vendors are cutting back on the amount of fabric they’re printing so you’d better grab it and growl when you see something you like and make sure you get enough for any and all possible projects because there’s a great chance that the shop won’t be able to order more.

OK…that’s enough for today. I have another little appliqué project that I drew off last night waving at me. I’m trying to work myself up to a bigger project but am finding it hard to get there. I think it’s because I know what I want to do, and it’s a really BIG project, so I get tired before I even get started. It’s another of those projects that would consume about two weeks of my life each month for about 14 months, maybe less if I made it smaller. Will I get around to it? Time will tell…time will tell.

Been Gone Too Long!

I bet you thought I’d flown off the face of the earth again since it’s been forever and a day since I last visited with you here. Lots of things have gone on since I last posted that’s for sure. The biggest of those things were the two week trip to Albuquerque, NM for Christmas and two Stitchin’ Camps, one in January and the other in February. So as you can see life has been quite a whirlwind of activity here. Finally, it looks like I have a little break so I thought I’d take a moment to do some catching up.

We had a nice time visiting Albuquerque again for the first time in about 15 years since we moved from there. I never thought I’d say it, but I found that there were things there that I actually missed in addition to the food. Maybe it was the memories of a simpler time, or the years that Rick and I had together alone to come and go as we pleased before the children came along. Then there were the friends that we made there. We were able to visit with a few of them and found that picking up where we left off in 1995 was seamless. It was like we’d never left. That’s a sign of true friendship I think.

Then there was the land that we discussed buying years ago in Angle Fire, NM. It was still untouched, and the calling to buy and build a little cabin on that knoll overlooking a big valley was still great. There was a goodly amount of snow there which just added to the romantic feel and desire to get away from it all, curl up with a good book and a cup of hot tea under a warm quilt by a roaring fire. There was supposed to be a quilt shop in Angel Fire, but we didn’t find it. Mind you, Rick said we were on vacation which meant from everything, including quilt shops. So, I didn’t visit not one shop on the whole two week trip. The thought that if we did decide to move back I’d have a shop to enjoy and support just added to the pull. Ah, dreamin’…I seem to do a lot of that lately.

OK, back to real life. In case you’ve not noticed the new tabs at the top of the blog allow me to draw your attention to the M&M Club tab as that one has to do with Miss Martha. It’s been a long time since she has offered her Christmas Club projects. This year she wanted to do something along those lines without being confined to doing only projects that pertain to Christmas. In other words, she wanted to broaden her horizons just a bit and offer you projects that would brighten your home for more than just one holiday or season. So far she’s picked a nice variety of projects that will not only bring some color and fun into your home but will also give you the opportunity of making something to give to your favorite folks without spending a lot of time or money to do so. When you see a project you like let her know as soon as possible so she can make sure you will have a kit. We’re not necessarily making up dozens of these due to space limitations so it’s first come, first served.

Also, be sure to visit the Calendar of Events page often. There are some instances, like today, where I will add an event which may or may not be quilt related but that is very time sensitive, so if you’re not on your toes you might miss something. Case in point: In January we had our annual Robert E. Lee birthday sale on Civil War prints. We’ve done this for the past four or five years now and with camp to prepare for I didn’t have time to do a full-fledged newsletter to alert everyone about the sale. Needless to say, no one seemed to know that there was a sale going on.

Last, but not least, there’s the Just In page where I try to give you an idea of the new things that have been added to the shop. If the item happens to be a book or magazine there’s a separate page where you can go and get a full review of the item. My goal is to keep this page as concise as possible, but you know me, it’s sometimes a task that’s too difficult for me to handle. I can rarely be accused of being a person of few words; especially if it’s about something I know and love.

Before this post turns into a novel, I’ll end by showing you one of the very small projects that I’ve just completed. It was one of those projects from a new pattern that just said, “Make me!” I followed the instructions as far as the cutting sizes were concerned but changed the finishing process to one that I find less time consuming. Instead of binding the mug rug I just did the envelope turn technique and topstitched around the edges. It’s not quite as neat as using binding but quicker and in my book, done is good. I’ve already gifted one of these to a very dear friend and have another in mind who is a fellow teaholic. When gifting these you add a spoon to the little pocket on the right side and either a packet of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to the pocket on the left side. The recipient can then use the mug rug under their cup to protect the surface of their table or desk. It will look so much better than the 30+ year old round brown woven coaster I’ve been using. Much better!

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