Tuesday Tidbits

Tuesday is one of those “eh” kind of days. It’s not Monday, where you’re trying to get your engine running and back on track from the weekend. It’s not Wednesday, which is historically known as Hump Day because you’re halfway through the week. It’s not Thursday, the day that gets your heart racing because you’re looking forward to the weekend, or it’s your payday. And, it’s not Friday which is the official start of the weekend for most of us once the clock strikes 5:00 p.m. Of course, the feelings assigned to Saturday and Sunday go without saying.

Some folks use Tuesday as their special tea day; myself included. There are tons of ladies, like Sandi from Rose Chintz Cottage, who blog about their Tuesday teas and show off lovely china and beautiful table settings. One of these days soon, we plan on having Tea on Tuesday and hope that many of our ladies will be able to join us. I’ve been working on a table runner just for this occasion. The plan is to have little lessons to learn three different piecing techniques over three sessions, a devotion time as well as tea and light refreshments, not to mention the social interaction for which we quilty types are so well known.

For now, I thought I might share a few things that have come across my desk in the past few days. Some of these you might have already discovered yourself and some may be new to you. If you have any tidbits you would like to share with us today please feel free to leave a comment doing so or e-mail me and I’ll share them with everyone.

Tidbit #1 – Jenny of Elefantz is celebrating her fifth year as a blogger. She is graciously offering her Shabby Roses ‘Bouquet’ quilt pattern to us free of charge. The first block, the chair, went on her Craftsy site yesterday and she will add a new block each day until Saturday the 15th. Today’s block is the bucket. Since Jenny lives in Australia it’s already Wednesday there, so you can get tomorrow’s pattern, the girl, today because it’s already been posted! These patterns will only be free through September 30 so don’t put off snagging them while you can. While you’re at the Craftsy site, be sure to look at all of her other lovely designs, many of which are free. She also has an e-zine that I’ve not yet subscribed to but am told it’s wonderful. I’m going to have to subscribe so I can get that off my bucket list (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Tidbit #2 – Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet has a cute flower tutorial on her blog. She used her Gracie Girl fabrics to make the one shown, but you could use anything you have in your stash. You only need a 2-1/2”x5” strip of something that would make a good flower petal. She gives great step-by-step instructions on how to make her flower so you won’t have any trouble duplicating it.

After reading through her tutorial, I would like to suggest that you use two layers of fabric when making the covered button. That will keep the metal from shinning through the very stretched fabric that is covering it. You might also want to fussy cut a cute little picture out of a novelty piece of fabric with which to cover your button. For example, I’m thinking a bee would look cute on that button as it sits in the middle of the flower.

If wearing it as a pin isn’t your thing, try putting a nice sized piece of magnet on the back and using it on your refrigerator or file cabinet. While it doesn’t look like the petals need it, I’d still be inclined to add a bit of Poly-fil to them just to make sure they don’t go flat over time. You could also use scraps of batting or what I call fabric shavings. You know, those little bits of fabric you shave off the edges of projects that just get thrown away because there’s not much else you can do with them except use them for stuffing inside of something. Just a couple of thoughts…

Tidbit #3 – Moda is having a designer blog hop called Size Matters. It began on the 4th and goes through the 16th. There are two or three designers to visit each day and a free quilt square on each blog to save. Instructions for putting the squares together will be given on the last day. In addition to free quilt block patterns, there’s a giveaway on each of the designer’s blogs. I know I shouldn’t tell you that because it will just decrease my chances of winning, but since I saw over 1,000 comments on Edyta Sitar’s blog I know my chances are just two, slim and none. Besides, hopping from designer to designer is enough of a reward as it is. There’s so much inspiration and energy to be gotten from each of them alone, so imagine how much of each the whole bunch of them together generate. Can you say, “Creativity overload?”

Tidbit #4 – Do you love pincushions as much as I do? If you do, you’ll want to hop on over to the Pin It blog hop headquarters where pincushions take center stage starting today through the 17th. There are over 100 participants and giveaways too. I can foresee a lot of computer time in the near future. It just so happens that the folks mentioned in the next tidbit are sponsors of this hop along with P&B Textiles (love their fabrics!).

Tidbit #5 – Bird Brain Designs, one of our favorite redwork designers, is having a Redwork Challenge. As I understand it, you can take any of their patterns, mix and match them, change their size, change the colors from multi to red only, whatever it takes to make something unique. There are prizes and a chance that your entry will be displayed at a special exhibit in January at the Road to California Quilt Show. Entries must be received before January 10 so don’t procrastinate on this one.

We have lots of Bird Brain patterns in stock, but if we don’t have what you want we’d be happy to order it for you and save you the cost of shipping. I’ve already told Victoria about the challenge and she says she’ll do it. Don’t know what she’ll do just yet, but no one will be surprised if cats figure prominently in the finished project.

Tidbit #6Studioe Fabrics is hosting a Colorful Peppered Cottons Challenge in which you must use at least 75% Peppered Cottons, designed by Pepper Cory, and any other recognizable fabrics from Studioe in the finished project. The challenge runs from September 4 through midnight EST March 31. Prizes are in both cash and fabrics for the first three place winners.

I wish I could say come buy their fabrics here, but we don’t have a single bolt of their Peppered Cottons and have no means to add them to the shop any time soon. You can get on their website and look for a store near you or call them direct and see if they can help you locate a store. I put in the zip for Fayetteville, looked within a 100 mile radius, and found that there was a shop listed in Huntsville, but when I called I was told they no longer carried Studioe fabrics. The shop in Ringgold, GA was also listed but they have gone out of business. So, if you want to take advantage of this challenge the first challenge you’ll have is just finding the fabrics. Given the state of the economy though where quilt shops are concerned, I’d say any shop you contact would be more than happy to ship whatever you want and/or need to participate in this challenge.

Tidbit #7 – Buy a Martingale, That Patchwork Place, book at your local independent quilt shop and get $10 back! That’s right! Martingale will give you a $10 rebate just for buying one of their books. All you have to do is buy a book between now and December 31, fill out the rebate coupon, and mail it to Martingale. If you’ve bought the fall issue of Quilt Sampler magazine there’s a coupon inside, or I have coupons printed out that I can give you when you purchase your book. You have to send a copy of the receipt along with the coupon in order to get the rebate so be sure to hang on to it. Limit one coupon per person. Offer not valid for online purchases.
little projects
Tidbit #8 – A new BOM program came in the e-mail this week and I’d like to get your take on it. Since Thimbleberries is no more we’ve been looking for something to replace it. We have an in-house BOM that we’re working on, slowly but surely, but in the event that we don’t get it put together in time for the new year we need a backup plan, or even an extra as the case may be. There are some particulars that I won’t go into right now, no sense wasting your time in the event that we don’t bring it on board. Just look at these small table mats please, 13″x23″, and tell me what you think. They can be made as seen or into a sampler quilt if preferred. Nothing is set in stone, just taking feedback at the moment.

Tidbit #9 – Our fall Stitchin’ Camp has filled but don’t despair. Victoria Clendenon and Janet Rose have put together a Between the Holidays Quilt Retreat at Petticoat Junction in Normandy, TN from December 5-8. The last word I had was that there are 10 spots available so if you’re interested give one of them a call and secure your spot pronto. It sounds like a lovely place to go and relax after the big turkey day and get yourself in gear for the last big holiday of the year.

Tidbit #10 – Last but not least, starting next Monday Better Homes & Garden will begin their 100 Days of Holidays program which will run through January 1. Can you believe that 100 days is about all that’s left in this year?! If you need some inspiration for the upcoming holidays, this will be one of the best places to go. Be sure to sign up so you don’t miss a day.

OK…ten tidbits should give you plenty to occupy yourself with for a while. Feel free to ask for clarification on anything, and as I said, share other needful tidbits that you might know of that I don’t. I’m sure there’s plenty out there worth sharing.

An Answer to a Question

I get asked lots of questions from those who visit us. One of the most often asked questions, second only to, “How old is this house?” and “Do you live upstairs?” by those who are new to the shop, is “What are you working on?”

More often than not I can’t really show what it is I’m working on because a lot of my work is done in my head. I spend a lot of time looking for ideas, patterns, books, notions, etc. to share with you which takes time away from my time to do actual hands on sewing. However, there are just some days that I have to get away from the computer and away from all the websites that I visit looking for “stuff” for you and do some sewing for myself. Of course, when I do sewing I still have to keep in mind that whatever I make has to be something that you too can make because if I take it downstairs to show it off more than likely someone, and hopefully several someones, will want to make the same thing.

This past Monday was one of those days. I’d been working on the newsletter for our local guild (yes, I’m the secretary and I have to put a newsletter out every month which usually takes at least a weeks worth of my time) when I decided that I needed a break. Since the shop was closed on Monday, and since Victoria had visitors of her own from school that she was entertaining which meant we couldn’t do what we’d planned on doing over the holiday, I decided to make a new pattern by Buttermilk Basin that I’d ordered. This is a monthly project that hangs on the new mini-version of Ackfeld’s table top stand.
Sew Simple - Jan
This little quilt measures 6” square and is a great way to use up little bits and pieces of fabric. The binding on this little quilt isn’t what I’d planned on using but was left over from a past project. Since it was long enough to go around the little quilt, I used it. In addition to making the little quilt you can make a 5-1/2” square pincushion if you’d prefer. Being the pincushion fanatic that I seem to be I’m soooooo very tempted to do just that with this pattern. I’m trying hard to tell myself to wait and do the one for February or one of the other months instead. Can I resist?! Only time will tell. If you see me put up a picture of pincushions in the future and one very much resembles this little quilt you’ll know I caved.

When I bought this pattern I had in mind that we would kit it up, but after having made it, and because it is so small, I really think that most folks will want to use up stash scraps. The strips are only 1-1/2” wide and who’s to say that you couldn’t even piece some of the longer sides if you needed to. I think if you kept the color the same, the print fairly similar, and pieced a strip no one would be any the wiser unless they looked really close, or until you pointed it out as we’re so often prone to do. Why do we do that I wonder…

So, there you have it. A small project that was completed in less than a day, used up several scraps without having to cut into a large solid piece, and one that I quilted as I went because I sandwiched the whole thing before I began. I even didSew Simple - Jan the appliqué on the machine right through all three layers. It saved having to use a stabilizer on the snowman which has a very tight stitch around it. I think I might do all of these little patterns the same way. The only thing I haven’t done yet is a little bit of handwork. The snowman needs two arms and three “X”s down his front, the star needs some lines (maybe), and the scarf is supposed to have some little lines to look like fringe. Will I add these? I’m thinking, I’m thinking… With the snowman positioned on the dark side of the log cabin block you can’t really see his arms. If I just happen to do the pincushion, I think I’ll put the snowman on the lighter side, making sure the lights aren’t so light that he gets lost on them, and then add the arms. They, and the scarf, would show up so much better if they were stitched on the light side of the log cabin block.

Another idea that just struck me is this. Since this is a BOM type offering, you could make each little block and then at the end of the year piece them into a small wall hanging doing three blocks across and four down. How about doing three blocks, one on top of each other, to mark a certain season? This would make a long, narrow hanging that would be perfect in those little places like beside a door facing or between windows. If you did that you could do three blocks for spring and then three blocks for summer and put spring on one side and summer on the other. That way it’s reversible and you only have to keep up with two hangings, one for spring/summer and a second one for fall/winter. I really like that idea!

What do you think? I also think this would be a great little gift idea for a secret sister or best friend who you want to do something special for. What about a new bride? Wouldn’t it be a nice gift to give her the frame and the little quilt that matched the month of her wedding as a wedding gift and then on the same day each month thereafter give her the quilt for the next month? Or, if the wedding was very late in the month you could give her the quilt for the upcoming month on her wedding day and save the one for the month of her wedding to give as a first anniversary gift. Who wouldn’t love getting a little gift like that each month!? I would have loved it had someone done that for me at my wedding. I’d still love it if someone were to do that for me. What treasures those 12 little quilts would be. If you could incorporate fabric from any past projects that had been made for her, or fabric from family member’s clothes it would make these little quilts all the more precious. See what I mean about creating in my head!? It’s a constant, never ending sickness I think.

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