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!