Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's in the bag!

I'm embarrassed to say this, but I didn't give my twin sister a birthday present this year.  Bad twin, I know.  My intentions were good, but we all know about that road.  Here's what happened:

Back in September in the after school program at my shop, we were making small drawstring tote bags from denim and scrap fabric based on this Lunch Tote tutorial.  I really liked the one I made as a class sample, and was thinking that I'd give it to my sister as a project bag for her knitting for her birthday.  But then I noticed that one seam wasn't quite perfect, and it wasn't one that would be easy to just re-do.  In disgust with myself, I banished the bag to the armoire in my shop.  Every time I opened the cabinet door, though, I saw the bag - a constant reminder of my failure, a project that defeated me.

That just won't do.  Aren't you supposed to start the new year fresh?  I couldn't start the new year with that project hanging over my head. (ahem, ignore the 4,327 other UFOs I have going at present...)  So today, I pulled it out, made a fabric yo-yo, covered the yo-yo with a button I'd been holding onto for just the right occasion, and VOILA!

I love the bag all over again!  There is a drawstring top to keep her projects in,

but also to allow her to use the bag like a yarn bowl. (For those of you who don't knit or crochet, when you pull on your yarn, the ball of yarn likes to roll around, escape, if you will.  Think of that song, "On top of spaghetti" - but substitute the yarn ball for the meatball.  A yarn bowl keeps the yarn in one place, allowing you to pull the yarn as needed without having to chase the ball.)

I bought her a skein of hand-dyed yarn, a set of handmade stitch markers and two hat patterns to go in the bag, all from my shop.  I hope she likes it!  (yeah, I know Christmas is over, but she's spending the holidays in Puerto Rico, so she doesn't know that her gift hasn't arrived yet)

I hope your holidays have been merry and bright!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday sewing

Ack!  Nearly another month has passed between posts!  When people say you work harder when you have your own business than when you work for someone else, they aren't lying!  But it is so rewarding, it is worth the extra time and effort.  What that means, however, is that I haven't had many opportunities to sew for me.  Most of what I've made these days are samples for classes at the shop.  But Christmas is coming, and while the business is doing well, money is tight, so I am extra motivated to make as many gifts as possible this year.  I know the holidays are right around the corner, but I'm doing pretty well so far.

I knit a face cloth/dish cloth for a friend.  I'm pairing it with some wonderful handmade Herbal Oatmeal Goat's Milk Soap from my shop.
I now know that a solid is a better choice when incorporating a design (can you see the Christmas Tree?) but this is all that I had on hand.  I don't have a yarn stash.  Yet.
I made some double potholders for a family member.
These were actually a sample for a class, but I love them so much, I'm giving them as a gift.
I made a set of two single potholders with hand pockets on the back for another family member.  The third one (without the hanging loop) is a gift for a sewing friend.  These three blocks were orphans that have been hanging out on my design wall for years now.  I'm glad they now have a purpose.
The loops came out kind of wonky, but I don't care.  I wish you could see how the machine quilting I did makes the stars pop!
I'm almost done knitting a hat for another family member.
Oops!  Left the double points at the shop, so I'll have to hold off on finishing this.
I've made a Union Jack block for a family member who asked for "anything British" for Christmas.  Now, I'm trying to decide what to make with it.  I was thinking another potholder since she likes to cook, but I'm thinking now maybe a bag or a composition book cover.  Right now it is just 9" square, so that's a bit small for a pillow, although I could frame it with some of the red and blue, I guess.  Any ideas out there?
Paper pieced, of course
I've got a couple more projects to knock out in the next couple of days.  What about you guys?  What are you making as gifts for the holidays?

Monday, November 18, 2013

SEW Cool Playdates!

Bad blogger!  How can I have let so much time go by between posts?  I think about you guys, my blogging friends, quite often, much more often than I post.  But I tell ya, this "starting a business" business will wear a body out!

So, quick recap of the last month and a half -

Business has been great - classes are almost all at capacity, I now have over 50 local artisans selling in my shop, I am able to pay all my bills, and I am having FUN!

Plus, I've had surprise company - Doreen from Treadlemusic stopped in around mid-October

And then Becky from Quilting Meme stopped in a few weeks later.  (Oops!  Forgot to take a photo!)  Meeting blogging friends in real life is so fun!

I continue to keep my shop closed on Sundays and Mondays - a gal needs a rest, you know.  Yesterday's rest, however, was prepping lesson plans and samples for my newest addition to the services at the shop - SEW Cool Playdates for kids.

For the 5 and up crowd who are just starting to lose their teeth, a 90 minute Tooth Fairy Pillow Workshop.  This has to be one of the easiest yet cutest things I've done in a while.

For the 8 and up crowd, a 3-hour Patchwork Doll Quilts Workshop.  I used gridded fusible to align the squares, so instead of sewing twosies, then four patches, and so on, there are just 17 total seams to make this quilt top.  Add some fusible fleece and backing, birth the quilt, add a bit of simple, straight line machine quilting and voila!

Today I want to time out a Rag Doll lesson plan as another option, plus tweak my t-shirt backpack design.  Winter is coming, and I want to give parents something fun for their kids to do outside the house, but also out of the cold.

What have you all been up to?  One goal for today is for me to find out - I haven't read any blogs for eons!  Be well!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Planning Ahead

The beginning of this week presented a couple of milestones to celebrate. One month of my shop being open - woot, woot! This week, it was downright busy in there! I have not spent more than 15 minutes alone in the shop all week. Twice this week, there were people waiting outside for me to open! The word is spreading! This harebrained idea of mine might actually work out!

Tuesday was my 42nd birthday. Well, mine and my twin sister's. We are at a stage where I don't think we look that much alike - our hair is different lengths right now. But can you tell, am I "Thing 1" or "Thing 2"?

Having a birthday in the shop was FABULOUS! It was Knit Together day, so there were knitters there from the time I opened (yep, someone was waiting outside for me when I arrived), until almost 6 PM. They brought flowers and cookies and chocolates and a doll made just for me. And when I opened my email, what did I find? I had won the Hawthorn Threads weekly giveaway! On my birthday! What are the chances?

They mailed it right away, and my goodies arrived already - I wanted to share photos of the Amy Butler goodness, but Blogger is fighting me about adding more photos and I just don't have any fight left in me today.

I haven't been doing too much sewing for myself lately. I taught one 3-session Quiltmaking 101 class, and started teaching the second 3-session class today. I taught rag rug making to an oversized class of 10 (my classes are supposed to be 3-6 students so everyone gets individual attention). I'm teaching that series again starting this Saturday. I can't believe how popular that has been.

I took a Learn to Knit class here at my own shop and made a hat. Now I'm working on a matching scarf.  I took a Beginning Crochet class here at my own shop, and have had fun learning the different stitches. We've only met once so far, so I only know 3 stitches. Crocheting seems really easy to me.

And my after school program kids have made 3 projects so far - aprons upcycled from pillowcases, snap shut coin purses and fabric composition book covers.

Now I am turning my thoughts to October and Breast Cancer Awareness and what I can do in my shop to support the cause. Any ideas out there? Right now I am thinking of having the following:

1) Knit Sessions to make Chemo Caps.
2) Drop in sessions to make paper pieced Pink Ribbon Pins to wear.
3) Drop in sessions to make quilt blocks for a quilt to raise money for cancer research - but what pattern? And how to raise the money - by raffling the final quilt or by having folks make a donation to make a block or some other way?
4) Pink Ribbon fabric for sale either as Fat Quarters or yardage with the proceeds being donated for Breast Cancer Research.

What do you think? Do any or all sound viable? Do you have other ideas? I'm going to deck out the display windows with pink ribbon stuff, and might ask the vendors if they might agree to having part or all of their sales for a particular day to be donated. I welcome any suggestions from any of you!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Disappearing Act

I dropped off the face of the earth for a while, I know.  At first, it was because there was so much going on in my life that I couldn't seem to make the time.  But then, recently, I made the time, but couldn't access my account.  I was so frustrated, after having put years into this blog, to not be able to get back to it!  But for any who might not already know this, librarians are the most wonderful, generous, helpful, resourceful people on the planet, even when off-duty, and The Caffeinated and Quilted Librarian, Becki, got me back on track.  I've never even met Becki - we connected back after Superstorm Sandy during the relief quilt project (she was a HUGE help back then, too!).  She's just started blogging herself - go check her out!

So...I'm BAAACCCKKKK!!  Man, how I have missed all of you.  I haven't even managed to READ anyone else's blogs in months.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  Now, for the Cliff Notes version of my last few months.

I left my job of 10 years on June 23.  That very evening, we started driving north to spend two weeks with family and friends in New England.  We made wonderful memories while I finished up the shirt made from my MILs shirts.

See how I tied it with the buttons off her shirts? I never knew sewing buttons on by machine was so easy!

For three weeks in July, I taught quiltmaking and rag rug making at a summer arts camp here in town. The kids did a fabulous job!
My next rug will be multi-colored like hers - what fun!
We only had time to make quilt tops, not complete quilts
She didn't yet have her borders sewn on, but how I loved all the color in her quilt!  You can tell we used pizza boxes as project boxes to keep our stuff together.  Put a bit of batting in the bottom, and it serves as a portable design wall.
See that precision!  I hired her later in the summer to help me with Quilt Camp.  Great girl!
I also volunteered at another summer camp a couple times, teaching them all how to make yo-yos and sew buttons as we made rings for ourselves.
yo-yo + button + hair elastic = ring bling!
Somewhere in there, my brother got married in a beautiful little ceremony at his home, and I got to spend another magical three days with my family.
We were a bit fidgety while we waited.
Here they come!
My beautiful niece and my beautiful aunt
There are many "kids on tractors" photos in my family

Did you think that was me in the pink top?  I did, but then, how did I take the photo?  That's my twin sister with my hubby, my boys and my step-father, with her hubby and son kicking the ball in the background.
Once camp ended, we packed up and headed to the Outer Banks for a week in the sun and sand.
We went crabbing for the first time ever.  Fun!

 And the day I returned, I picked up the key to my new shop, The Stitchin' Post! I scrambled to get it painted and cleaned up in 8 days, and then I had a week of Quilt Camp with 12 kids from 8:15-4:45 each day. Fun, but exhausting! But look at some of the beauties they made!
Oops!  Upside down, but I'm short on time.  The half day campers made pillows using 4 embroidery stitches that I taught them and fusible.  I love this night landscape in the mountains with the firefly going to join his firefly friends in the distance.
Oops!  Upside down again!  We're not supposed to have favorites, but this turtle was mine!

I guess it is just going to be an upside down day.  You can see here some of the projects the all day quilters did - a QAYG strip pieced quilt, a pillow, a fabric tissue cover, fabric bookmarks and patchwork bingo cards.  They also did the yo-yo rings.

Everyone got a ribbon for something on the last day when I had a judge (ie woman from my quilt guild) come in for the quilt show.  And yes, I stayed up WAY too late one night making those out of denim, ribbon, and yo-yos.  Would you believe I never made a yo-yo before July?
Once camp was over, I had 6 days to get the shop ready for opening. The day before opening, I arrived to discover I had been YARNBOMBED!!! What a great feeling!

I've been open 2 weeks now, and things are going great!  Lots of company all day.  Sales.  Classes that have filled to capacity.  I am having so much fun!  I want to do better about chronicling my adventures here, but I encourage you to check out the shop's website, (which will eventually have a blog) and follow on Facebook if you want to know what's going on.  And by all means, if you are ever passing through SW Virginia on I-81 or I-64, some sit and visit with me for a while!

OK, gotta go!  I'm supposed to open in 39 minutes and I haven't even taken a shower yet!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My colleagues, my friends - Part Two

Do you ever make assumptions about people based on their appearance?  C'mon now, be honest.  As much as I hate to admit it, I do.  Luckily, however, I am always open to changing my opinions based on actual knowledge, rather than impressions.

Ten years ago, my first impression of Jonathan, the second-in-command here in the Admissions Office, was of a stuffed shirt.  Here I was, motorcycle-driving, mixed-race, archaeology-major, child of activists who grew up in a log cabin in Maine, and on day one at W&L, I met Jonathan, probably wearing a pastel-colored oxford shirt with a bow tie and scholarly glasses, clean cut all-American-looking Tennessee native with formal mannerisms, and I was thinking, "sheesh, we are going to have NOTHING in common."

Shame on me.  Behind the proper speech of this English major who uses words like verklempt in daily conversation and expects people to understand his meaning (verklempt = Yiddish word that means overcome with emotion - yeah, I had to look it up!), is a really nice guy with a killer dry wit and an ability to laugh with me when I am laughing at him (true confession time - laughing at him is one of my favorite pastimes).  Upon getting to know him better, we have much more in common than I originally thought.

And then, there is something to be said for working with someone for a decade.  There is regular turnover in the professional staff of any admissions office.  That is normal.  Most of the people I work with are here for 2-3 years and then move on.  The camaraderie and shared experiences take on new meaning when you are the two left behind as others cycle through. What a blessing he has been to be a sounding board when I wanted to talk with someone who "understood" where I was coming from - we are contemporaries, but let me state for the record that he is a good 4 or 5 months OLDER than I am.  I remind him of that every chance I get.  But that means he understands better than some of my younger colleagues the challenges of parenting, of finding balance between your home life and your work life, of home ownership, of aging parents, of so many shared life experiences, and I have really appreciated his open door and his listening ear.

Something else that Jonathan does well is provide feedback for a job well done.  Sometimes that goes unnoticed or unsaid in the workplace, but Jonathan has consistently boosted my self-esteem by letting me know when a program I have planned or a project I have completed was successful.  I am forever thankful for that.

When I opened my gift box from my colleagues, Jonathan's block was on top, the first one I saw.  It took my breath away.  I was immediately reminded of the fibers and weavings and whatnot from my yearly trips to Latin America - both the colors and the patterns.  Those trips were my favorite every year, so I'm touched that he choose to bring that into his block for me, and I'll be honest, folks - I never figured Jonathan for being all that creative.  He has many strengths and talents, but I never guessed that this would be one.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Thank you, Jonathan!

Friday, June 21, 2013

My colleagues, my friends - Part One

This weekend, I am ending my 10-year career in undergraduate admissions at Washington and Lee University.  I've been packing up my office, creating checklists for my successor, and saying goodbye to friends and colleagues across the University.  There's nothing like saying goodbye to make you realize how much someone means to you.

This morning, my fellow Admissions staff gathered around me to give me a gift.  Now, I've received many gifts in my life, but not many, if any, as meaningful as this.  This gift is so special, so perfect, that I'm not going to try to squeeze it all into one post.  Thus, this is Part One of a series of posts that will follow, highlighting my gift and the wonderful people who gave it to me.

(If you are a new reader to my blog, important context for this gift is that I am leaving this job to pursue a creative dream of mine - I'm opening a creative space for fiber artists here in town.)

It was tough to decide where to start, but I decided to start with Scotty, our receptionist.  I'm fairly certain that this gift was her idea, and it was a brilliant one.  I'm not surprised, though.  Scotty is an incredibly compassionate and insightful person, someone who listens to you with her whole being so that you KNOW that she is not just listening, but actually hearing what you are saying.  Her attention makes you feel like the most important and interesting person in the room.  It is what makes her a phenomenal receptionist, being the first smiling, welcoming face that prospective students see when they arrive at our office, and it is what makes her such a treasured friend.  She recommends books that are perfect for me.  She brings in delicious baked goods from her healthy kitchen.  She pays attention to what is happening in the lives of all of us here in the office, and makes little accommodations, unasked but so appreciated, to make our schedules better fit our frame of mind for that day.  She is one of those people that always seems to put others first.  She has been so wonderful to work with.

So apparently, she coordinated for everyone to receive a square of canvas, blank canvas, and they were each to create a block for me.  Can you think of a better gift for a quilter?  Personal - the personality of each person really comes out in their block; practical - I'm opening a fiber arts shop, so this gift will fit right into my scheme, especially since one of the things I want to offer is opportunities for people to come together to make occasion quilts for friends and family; and above all, creative - it is what I value most about quilting, the ability to express myself creatively.

Scotty made two blocks:

Yo-yos and beads, precisely aligned, and bursting with color.  Orange is my favorite color, what I consider my power color, the color I put on when I'm worried about having the strength to make it through the day.  I love that she used orange as well as the colors that make up orange - the combination makes me feel so happy and energized.  And the precision - folks, that's just Scotty.  She organizes our schedules down to the last detail and is always on top of what is going on.  This block is such a wonderful depiction of her personality.
How fun is this second block??  I love ric rac, and buy it up every chance I get.  And the jingle bells - what a wonderful detail.  She probably didn't know this, but I plan to have a strap of sleigh bells on the front door of my shop to alert me to when people arrive.  But what I love most about this block is how different it is from the first.  Where the first is orderly and precise, this one is so free and exuberant.  The two blocks together tell such a neat story of a woman that I am so honored to call friend.  Thank you, Scotty!

Stay tuned for more about my wonderful colleagues and their beautiful blocks in the coming days.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Last days

I have 5 days left working my current job, including today.  There are a lot of "lasts" taking place.  Last weekend was my last work trip - I presented at a conference at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  It was bittersweet - even though I miss my family when I am gone, I enjoy traveling for work.  I tried to really relish this trip - after lunch the first day, I took a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood.  I was very excited when I saw a shop sign that read "Forget Me Knot".  Doesn't that make you think of thread of yarn or something fiber related?  I rushed over.

OK, a consignment shop of women's clothing, not what I was hoping for, but not a complete loss, either.  They actually had some really neat stuff in there, and I left with a dress and a pair of shoes, but I left behind several things that the me who hadn't just quit her job and decided to start her own business would have snapped up in a heartbeat.  Gotta be more frugal now that my income isn't going to be as stable.  But if you are ever visiting Chicago and like consignment shops, this one was tops, as far as I'm concerned!

On the plane, I got nearly all the hand quilting done in the rainbow chevron baby quilt.  I bet I have less than an hour of quilting left.  I should get it done so I can get it to the baby before she gets too big!  But instead of quilting, I've been painting.  They put a new bathroom floor down in my new shop, and so they pulled out the toilet and sink.  That was the perfect time to paint, right?  So even though I had to do it after work and after karate, I spent the last two evenings first priming and then painting.  Can you say "sore"?  But no more painting until my lease starts on August 1.  At that time, I plan to have lots of help to get the store prettied up in no time.
Here's what I was covering up - I've never painted over wallpaper before, but the landlady encouraged me to try it, rather than take the wallpaper off.  That's why I really had to prime first.  No after photo yet, but I painted the room Sherwood Green, one of the colors that will be on the exterior.
I also stitched up a storm so I could present Adam with his quilt top, made from his mother's shirts, on Father's Day.  It was 11:30 PM when I finished, but it was still Sunday and he was still awake, so that counts, right?  When he realized what the material was, he brought it up to his face to inhale, to see if her scent still lingered there.  The lump that formed in my throat is still there.  I think he likes it.  Now to get it finished!

There's a lot coming down the pipe for me.  As soon as I am finished here on Sunday, we are headed north to spend time with family for 2 weeks.  As soon as I get back, I'll be teaching at the summer art camp.  I have so much prep work to do that it makes my head hurt!  But I'll get it done.  And I'll enjoy doing it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

SO exciting!

It seems like everything in my life is exciting to me these days!

Here I am making my first deposit into my business checking account - my first summer camper's deposit!  I have 2 of 12 spots filled so far, and 2 months left to fill up the rest.
Yes, I gave the teller my phone and asked her to take my photo!
I've been much busier than I'd like, what with finishing up at my current job, planning a new business, a karate test (today!), a new puppy, etc, but I am still making progress on my hubby's quilt made from his mom's shirts, and I haven't given up hope of having the top pieced to present to him on Father's Day this Sunday.  I also think I want this one to be my entry into the County Fair Quilt Show this year.
The bottom left is already sewn together, that row through the middle is sewn together but not sewn to the bottom right section yet.  Playing with border ideas, trying to use up every scrap of the shirt sleeves and fronts for the front of the quilt and piece the shirt backs together for the back of the quilt.  The white is from 3 white oxford style shirts of hers, so it is all up-cycled shirt fabric.
And back to the puppy...we found the puppy's owners :(

But they are willing to let us have her since she's been gone over 2 weeks and they thought she was gone for good and since we've already invested in her by taking her to the vet. :)

Turns out her name is Belle.  I think that goes much more nicely with Biscuit than Jumpy.  Besides, she responds to Belle already.  Biscuit and Belle, my canine buddies!

What's exciting in YOUR life these days?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Too much going on!

I'm making progress on my hubby's quilt, piecing the center together and adding setting triangles, but not as much as I would like.  There's just too much going on!

This Saturday, I made an admissions presentation to my husband's Elite Basketball Camp, went to the quilt guild meeting, then spent several hours at Family Safety Day sponsored by our karate studio.  The smoke house that the firefighters brought was a big hit - I've never been in one before, but it was cool!  I think Donald thought it was his clubhouse - they couldn't even smoke him out of there with the fake smoke!

That evening, I invited my friend's 3 kids over for a sleepover.  They played basketball, and cooled off with popsicles.

They caught firelies, then took a break to bake sugar cookies for their mom/my friend
(her birthday was Sunday - maybe this is a new tradition, I had her kids for a sleepover the night before her birthday last year, too!), and then went back out to play kick the can under cover of darkness.  Luckily, they all slept in until 9 AM the next day after staying outside playing until 10:30.  That's what summer vacation is supposed to be like, right?

The next afternoon, we had a get-together out at her cabin, a combination birthday party for her/graduation party for all the scouts moving up to the middle school next year.  We ate, and the kids played in the creek while the adults talked and I stitched down one edge of binding for a Hurricane Sandy Relief quilt.

When we got home Sunday evening, I though, "OK, I'll prepare dinner, then go sew for a few hours."  Nope.  Donald was out in the woods building a fort, and look what followed him home.
The kids are calling her Jumpy.  I see why, since she is always jumping on people, but I imagine they might come to regret it 8 years from now when they are introducing her to their friends.
I will say, she wasn't nearly this cute when she followed him home - she was FILTHY!  Her hair was matted with burrs and twigs and who knows what else.  We gave her food and water, then after we ate, took her down to the creek at 9 PM to give her a bath with flea and tick shampoo, at which point, I discovered she was COVERED in ticks.  Ugh!  We set up the crate for her with a clean sheet for bedding, and it was after 10 PM before she and the kids were settled - no sewing that night.

Yesterday, I took her to the vet in the morning to find out if someone had reported her missing, what she is, how old she is, if they would do the tick removal for me, and if she's healthy.  When I picked her up in the evening, I learned that:

1) the vet put her photo on their website, and notified the SPCA and other area vets, but so far, no one has claimed her.  I'll be putting flyers in mailboxes in our area this afternoon.
2) She is likely an Australian Shepherd and is somewhere between 3 and 4 months old
3) She appears healthy, but they did remove a ton of ticks, one of which had the telltale bulls-eye mark around it, indicating Lyme exposure.  We started her on antibiotics - at this stage, it can be caught and cured, is my understanding.
4) We also started her on some vaccines, since we don't know if she's had any yet.

They were really good about doing some of the work for free since she isn't really my dog, although if no one claims her, she will be.  She's a sweetie!

And the best ting is, she's a GIRL!  She came right when I needed her, too.  My husband has a basketball camp all this week, and his 27 year old nephew and a college friend who now coaches basketball in Ohio are both here for the week working his camp and staying with us.  I'm surrounded by testosterone!  She is my ally in my male dominated world!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Can you tell?

The shirt stripe box quilt made from my MIL's quilt is getting bigger every day, so I needed to clear my design wall to make room.  An inner border, a pieced border and an outer border later, and this Spiral Log Cabin quilt was ready to come off the wall and into the "to be quilted" pile.

I LOVE IT!  It is 51" square.  Why did it take me so long to finish it, you ask?  Ah, the usual lament of the scrap quilter - I ran out of my background fabric.  I searched locally for more, but to no avail.  But I found another fabric that was close enough for me.  Can you tell that the background in the borders is different than the background in the blocks?  Take a closer look...
But you know what?  I don't care.  I've said it before, but the first quilting book I read, and the one that has had the greatest impact on me, is Roberta Horton's Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do. 
Do you have a book that has helped you to define your approach to quilting?

And back to the shirt stripe box quilt - it wasn't quite speaking to me until I turned the blocks on point.  BINGO!  This, I love!

As if that weren't enough sewing, I also sewed the binding onto the front of the last of the Hurricane Sandy Quilts that I have quilted.  Now to just have some waiting time to sew down the back.

The other thing I did this weekend was set up a website for the Quilt Camp for kids that I'll be running this summer just before my shop opens its doors to the public.  I put the link out on an announcement email at the University today and already got 4 emails from interested parties.  After work today, I printed out my corresponding brochure with the little tear off slips at the bottom and posted them in 8 or 9 places around town.  I am SO EXCITED about all this!  Can you tell?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting it done!

It was one of those days, one of those rare days, when I seemed to just be on the ball, getting done everything I set out to get done.  Some of that was sewing:

I finally finished the pillows for the READY afterschool program students who didn't finish during our classes.  I love that they went scrappy like I did.

I also like the fun fabrics they picked out for the pillow backs.

I'll get these to the students on Monday - just in time, since the last day of school is Tuesday!

I finally made that bifold fabric wallet I wanted to make for myself.  I used this tutorial and here's what I came up with.

Sewing through those thick seams was a challenge, but what I loved about this tutorial is that she had us sew with a 1/2" seam allowance and then trim down to 1/4".  I felt more confident about catching all layers that way.  I can't wait to fill it with my cards and cash and start using it tomorrow.  I've had that brown outside fabric for ages and could never decide what to do with it.  I love brown!

While working on these two things, I managed a couple more blocks for my hubby's quilt from his mother's shirts.

I'm thrilled at how closely these stripes are lining up without me having to work too hard to match them.
I wonder if I can have the top pieced in time to present that to him on Father's Day?  Hmmm.  I might need to make that my goal.  As far as quilting, I saved all the buttons I cut off the shirts, and I hope to tie it with those buttons.  Can you sew buttons on with a sewing machine?  I love the idea of the buttons, but the thought of sewing them all on by hand doesn't excite me.

Some of what I got done was business related.  I got my federal employer ID number and my VA retail sales tax certificate.  I got my local business license and paid my estimated business taxes for the year (strange to pay taxes BEFORE I even open!).  I opened my business bank accounts.  I figure if I just tackle one step at a time, this seemingly huge undertaking will seem less overwhelming.  Oh, and yesterday, I visit a Baby Lock dealer and decided on the Grace for my classroom sewing machines.  They are over 4 lbs lighter than the Janomes, and there was a pricing special going on that saved me over $400 on the set of 6 machines.

Finally, I got our summer pool pass, and visiting the pool with the boys.  While there, I swam 10 lengths (gotta ease my way back into my summer lap swimming) and disassembled two more of my MIL's shirts.  But while there, a woman saw me cutting and said, " Are you the quilt lady?  The one I read about in the newspaper?"

How flattering! (But this is a small town - anyone know that country song that tells how EVERYONE is famous in a small town?  That's us.)

But what was more flattering is that she works for our local newspaper and told me she's been wanting to do a story on me.  Could the timing be any better with me opening my shop later this summer?  The trip to the pool turned out to be even better than I had hoped!