First of all, thank you for all the well wishes you left on my last post. What a nice bunch of friends! So…after posting about my plan to retire, the orders for my shop went nuts! Truly, it was an incredible response. In the first four or five days, I cut over 400 yards of fabric. This was a lot. Honestly, a lot! Many customers like to order a stack of 1/2 yard cuts so who knows how many cuts that 400 yards really was. Just believe me, so many! Check out all of the empty bolts. Shelves are thinning out quickly.
As the shelves empty out, I keep moving bolts and condensing them. This is freeing up space for me to move my personal stash downstairs. I am moving all of my sewing supplies and machine downstairs so we can have a ‘real’ guest room. I continue to organize and purge through my fabrics which has been really helpful. As I was working on this last week, I found a free motion quilting project I had made a few years ago. It was a quilt along hosted by Lori Kenedy back in 2016. I had a lot of fun stitching along with her but when I finished it, I put it in the closet and forgot about it. Upon finding it, I decided to bind it and hang it. It is so summery with the boats, fish and sunshine.
The quilting is far from perfect but the overall look is cute and worth enjoying during these summer months. I love the bias stripe binding. It is from the shop, just in case you are wondering. (Haha.)
Moving on, I have also been working on a quilt to be shared during a blog hop in July. The flimsy is done and I am trying to decide on a backing. This will be shared soon!!
I have also been cutting a stack of strips in gray and blue. I am making my largest quilt yet. It is a king size for our bed. This is going to be a great project. Assembling the top shouldn’t take terribly long as it is a simple design. Now basting this monster and quilting it is a whole other story!!
This sums up my week! I think the weekend will be focused on the king size quilt. I am so anxious to see it come together. Hopefully I will have some progress photos for you soon. I also need to pull purple scraps for my RSC diamond blocks. So many projects and never enough time!
Don’t forget – all fabric, quilt patterns and notions are on sale, 20% off! I hope you will come by and check it out!
Linking to my favorites – including Brag About Your Beauties. The rest are located at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
I have some news for all of you so we will just cut to the chase! I have decided I do not want to have a fabric shop any longer! There, I said it – to all of you – in public – it is no longer just a plan in my head! Ah, that feels better!
Let’s talk about how all of this evolved. Last year, in 2020, I sold a LOT of fabric. Truly – tons and tons of fabric. I should have added up the yardage for you but I am feeling too lazy, so you will just have to take me at my word. When COVID hit and the quarantine was in place, online shopping went through the roof. My small shop went absolutely nuts. (I can’t even imagine how it was for bigger shops!) It took me by surprise, there was no way to plan for this. I scrambled to keep up with demand, bringing in fabric however I could. Of course the fabric manufacturers felt the same spike in demand and within a month or two, so many fabrics were out of stock. I rarely saw this, pre-COVID. There was always availability.
Keeping up with this was hectic but manageable. Basically my little online shop became a full-time gig. For the first time I got a taste of what this would be like if I were to keep it going on a full-time level. It was exciting and tiring at the same time.
Then fall rolled around and I had a momentous birthday – I turned 60! Yeah, I can’t believe it either. It is hard to wrap my head around that number! But when I turned 60, I soon realized I didn’t want to work anymore. It was almost an over-night decision. Actually my decision to open the fabric shop (at the end of 2016) was also a very quick decision. When something feels right, it just feels right.
By closing the shop, I will have more time for other things (obviously!) One thing I noticed after opening the shop was how little time I had for sewing! Kind of ironic, yes? I had thousands of yards downstairs and not a whole lot of time to use them! Once I decided to close the shop, I stopped the flow of new inventory coming in. I have not brought in new inventory since January. Let me say, cancelling all of the outstanding orders was quite freeing. Selecting fabrics, placing orders, keeping track of money spent, unboxing inventory and listing it online is time consuming. Reading about what companies are bringing in new fabric, which designers are coming out with new lines takes time. I had to be on the computer a lot! Like, a lot, a lot, a lot! So this has been the first change I have noticed. Less time on the computer leaves me more time for other things. I have been out in the garden more with Ray which is a total win!
As you know, I love traveling to see my grand children. Each time I do this, I have a wonderful friend, Sophia, who ships my orders. She says she likes doing it but I don’t feel like I can impose on her forever. I want to be able to go up to WA and stay without feeling a twinge of guilt for taking up Sophia’s time.
I suspect some of you have wondered what was going on. I have some very loyal reader/shoppers and my inventory has decreased with no new pieces being added. Well, now you know why! The existing inventory will be sold off (at great prices) and I will be moving on to new adventures.
I want to spend more time participating in QAL’s (like the upcoming Positivity QAL), more time making Mercyful Quilts, and more time making garments. Blogging is still in the mix and I hope to be more focused on it – both writing posts and reading your posts.
Having the shop was really a great experience. All of you were so supportive and I am so grateful for that. It has been fun to put together bundles, think about which lines you would enjoy, and learn about new kinds of fabric. (For example, I knew next to nothing about repros and nothing at all about the stunning William Morris fabrics.)
OK – this has become a long post and if you are still with me, thank you! To begin clearing out the inventory, I have opened a sale with everything in the shopmarked down by 20%. This will be an open ended sale. If you are interested in yardage (eg a partial bolt of solids or a lot of a particular wide back) send me an email. I will work out a special price for you. Also, there are a couple of you who have a gift certificate that has not yet been used. Please take advantage and use it! I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity!
As I said earlier, without all of you, this whole adventure would not have been nearly as successful. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support over the last 4 1/2 years!
Being the start of the new year, there are all sorts of fun quilting challenges, projects and quilt alongs to take part in. Today is the kick off of a fun quilt along, the Camden Road QAL. Hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and Cindy of Hyacinth Designs, this might be just the project to start your new year right. The pace is a bit quicker than Cheryl’s Mosaic Mystery QAL which I have been sewing along with since late summer. As you can see in the picture above, the Camden Road pattern is gorgeous!
Cheryl, the designer of the Camden Road pattern, curated several kits and asked if I would stock them. She based the kits on a floral print by Pat Bravo called Femme Metale Boho. (This vivid print with berry, teal blue and orange is available in the shop). From there she gathered other Art Gallery prints that look fantastic with the Femme Metale print. These kits are helpful for quilters who don’t enjoy putting their fabrics together.
Each kit creates a different look depending on the background fabrics used. For the purposes of this post, I am showing the kits in the smallest size of Camden Road – finishing out at 45 1/2″ square. The pattern also has options for a lap size and twin size quilt. What do you think of the version above with its mint green and off-white background fabrics?
Here it is with a background in Macadamia and Linen, which are a soft beige with pink tones and a creamy off-white. With these background fabrics, the look is warmer.
This version is lots of fun with two print backgrounds. The teal blue has tiny plus signs and the inner background fabric is a tone on tone white dotted fabric. Using small prints like this adds movement to the overall look of the quilt.
The Camden Road pattern is fat quarter friendly, uses lots of flying geese blocks and is a sure success. Cheryl Brickey is a pro at pattern design and her instructions are very clear. Through the 28th, the Camden Road pattern is 25% off if you use the promo code, CAMDENROAD. Click here to take advantage of the sale. For more details on the quilt along, click here.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Hope your week is off to a creative start! I took Julia back to the university yesterday and she started classes that afternoon. The holiday break went so quickly – now it is time to get back on track.
While I don’t have any work of my own to share this week, I do want to pop in and show you something pretty! As program coordinator for our guild, I have scheduled Cindy Needham to come teach a workshop in February for us. I scheduled this a long while back and felt fortunate even then to be worked into her full teaching/speaking schedule. Luckily for us, Cindy lives only two hours from here which made her very affordable for our guild.
Anyway, on to the good stuff! When I schedule someone to teach, I always request a sample of the project they are going to teach. Guild members love to see the samples, as opposed to a picture, when deciding if they want to take the class. I believe most guilds provide samples for this reason. Cindy will be teaching a workshop on planning quilt motifs and quilting feathers. The sample above is pieced with silk. The mini measures approximately 20″ x 28″ or so (I didn’t actually measure it.) This particular piece is labeled as a Gaudynski sample as it looks to be stitched in the style developed and taught by Diane Gaudynski.
This sample is just incredible. I knew Cindy was an extremely talented quilter. But seeing it up close is such a treat. She free motion quilts and for the life of me, I cannot imagine ever quilting like this. I thought it would be a fun thing to share this beautiful stitching with you.
The motifs are so tiny and so detailed. It is hard to imagine having this sort of control. I tried to watch her lines, where she traveled to and from. Jaw dropping work!
The feathers are beautiful but to me the most impressive are the petals to the right of the feathers. Those tiny spaces between each petal are stitched down with minute stitches causing the petals to pop. Same for the flat space between the feathers. Such teeny tiny stitches!
These look like tulips to me. I love them because they show off the silk beautifully. The whole effect overall is elegant. Pale colors of pink, rose and a really light gold all worked together. Cindy collects vintage linens and textiles and works them into much of her art. I am so looking forward to her trunk show and listening to her lecture. I will post an update in a couple of months after our February guild meeting.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks to so many of you who shopped my Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sales! The last of those shipped out yesterday.
I am still cutting kits for the Push Pull QAL. My customers have been really patient as I ran out of the darker fabrics for both kits and had to re-order. An interesting thing of note – I offered four kits. Two teal blue kits where the quilter could choose a light or dark background and two orange kits with the light or dark background.
Every single kit sold so far has had the dark background. Not sure why this catches my attention but it does.
I am curious what your thoughts are? Maybe the transparency effect is shown better with the dark background? I like them both but clearly that is not the opinion of most! I still have a few kits left if you are interested. Click here to check them out.
It is going to be a rainy weekend so tomorrow I should be able to find some time in the sewing room. I have several holiday gifts I am working on and I need to make some progress with those! Sunday we are driving over to my son and his wife’s house for lunch. We haven’t seen them in a long while so I am excited about that! How about you?
Last fall I wrote a post to explain our family’s thoughts about raising show pigs. I had received a number of questions and comments about how hard it must be for Julia to raise these cute animals and then give them up at auction when fair time rolled around. The post generated a lot of comments and generally reader’s liked it. Janine of Quilts From the Little House, suggested I submit it to be published. (Thank you Janine!) I thought about it for a bit and decided to give it a go.
In November sent it in to Country Extra which is a smaller supplement to the magazine, Country. But I didn’t hear back from them so I assumed it was not something they wanted to use. Then in April I received an email asking to use the story in their June/July issue. Success!
Yesterday I received a print copy. It is a fun experience to see my story in print. There’s my girl and Olive!
I very much appreciated how careful the editors were to retain the feeling of the essay while having to shorten it. They sent me the proof to check for any errors or changes that were needed. The woman I worked with was so friendly. It makes me feel good about the whole process and certainly willing to do it again should any idea come up worth writing about.
As for the sewing room, I have been working on the memory quilt for my friend Susie. Her husband passed away last September and in the spring she asked me to make a quilt using his shirts. It is really coming along nicely. Today I will finish sashing it. She gave me his red plaid robe that I plan to cut up for the outermost border. I think the red is going to look great. She is happy with the progress and I am honored to make this for her.
Today is the last day of the sale on Art Gallery Fabric in my shop. Be sure to come check it out – tons of gorgeous yardage is 20% off. Happy Sewing!
Linking up with my usuals and also with Em’s Scrapbag, Moving It Forward Monday – check out the projects in this link up for some fun inspiration.
I am supposed to be at a class today. I have been really looking forward to it – Mel Beach came up from the South Bay to teach a workshop for our guild. But, as you can probably guess, the past two days were migraine days and I am wiped out today. It seemed ‘too difficult’ to cart the sewing machine and supplies and be in class, listening and comprehending a technique today. The day or two after a migraine are just weary for me. So, I am home.
I thought I would catch up with you. It has been a while since I have shared the Mercyful Quilts I’ve received. They are just gorgeous, I am sure you will agree!
As always, the quilts are stunning. Each one is so unique and more beautiful than the last. Mercy Hospital’s Palliative Care team is so grateful for these. I hope you know how much your work and generosity are appreciated by staff and the families who are given these comforting, loving quilts. If this program is new to you, read this post and this one to see what it is all about!
I have been running out of space in the shop so I ordered a wire shelving rack. It is now filled with Art Gallery Fabric, my favorite of all fabric. Isn’t it a pleasure to look at this and just think of the projects one could make??? I have a box of AGF arriving today and I can’t wait. There will be a couple of new colors from the Pure Elements solid line as well as a few more from Maureen Cracknell’s Sun Kissed line. It’s like Christmas morning every time a box shows up!!
I am out of Mary Ellen’s Best Press and went to order a bottle on-line. Did you have any idea of the number of scents it is made with? I thought there was just the regular Mary Ellen’s – this caught me by surprise. Just what do you suppose “Caribbean Beach” smells like?? Of course I ordered unscented. I am not a fan of fragrance – not in lotion, creams – none of it. This was news to me. (I lead such an exciting life.)
OK – Better get busy. My project for today is to make a couple of simple curtains for the Downieville house. There is a stairwell off the kitchen, leading to the basement and it has a couple of windows. Those windows are single pane and can be quite warm in summer and chilly in winter. I am going to use this vintage sheet and line them with a heavy muslin. I think that will help and they will look cute. The old fashioned floral is perfect for the house. I have an old curtain from the window to use for measurements so this should be a quick project. (if my post-migraine brain cooperates.) Wish me luck!
If you haven’t yet read the fantastic comments and discussion on this post, please do! So many quilters are sharing their mistakes and quilting blunders. So funny to read these and very validating!! There is time to enter a comment sharing your experience as well. ( I am definitely reading all of them and trying to comment on most – it has been a challenge because of my head.) Prizes are offered!! Winners drawn Saturday morning. Go check it out.
It all adds up, right? I have had a lot going on but each is a small-ish project. Somehow this has filled my days over the past week or so. It’s all good though – creativity takes many forms and, for me, it is always quite satisfying.
I am working on a project for an upcoming book review. You’ll see the review and more of the project in a couple of weeks or so. But these little scrappy blocks are a lot of fun. The four patch blocks are 2″ finished. I don’t usually opt for small piecing (and for many, this isn’t very small at all!).
They are fun to make and I think the project is going to look really good. Plus I am using up a few scraps. I have not touched my scrap bins in many months so this makes it extra satisfying!
In our local quilt guild, there are many ways one can help with the community service projects. My usual choice is to bring home quilted pieces and machine bind them. Very quick to do and it enables me to contribute. Since we have a guild meeting a week from today, I thought I should finish this one up. That way I can bring it in and grab another one to take home.
My friend Sandra over at MMM! Quilts is hosting her 3rd annual QAL. She is so much fun – which I am sure you already know. She had curated a blogger bundle for me last year (the November bundle). Some of her readers asked if she would do a QAL using the bundle. She graciously agreed and this Beothuk Star the resulting event. Because there are only five or so of those November bundles left (should anyone else want to make it with those fabrics) she and I decided to create a second bundle for the QAL. Sandra curated this one as well and it is so bright and cheerful.
I really love this bundle! The reason there are two of the teal pieces is because one is used as the binding. If you are curious to see it close up, it is available in the shop now.
Above is the other kit being offered for this QAL. It is based on the November blogger bundle but with two changes.
She needed another fat quarter so the pink and blue triangular print (Mosaic) was added. To have enough for the background, the amount of the sandy off-white piece was increased. This means if you have the bundle already, you might choose to purchase the kit extension for that original bundle. It is available here. Of course it isn’t mandatory. You could certainly use a different background if you have one you prefer. You could also add one complementary fat quarter of your choosing.
I have been adding a few different notions to the shop lately too. Most recent are these bags of crushed walnut shells for filling pin cushions. Yesterday I bagged up a number of them so they are now available too! Each bag holds six ounces and each order will be for two bags (so twelve ounces total).
These are not yet available but I am excited to show them to you. I asked my woodworking spouse to make a point turner for me. I have seen them and thought maybe I could be using something more effective than the chopsticks I currently use. (Chopsticks are a reasonable choice but the ends of mine are more square than round so I can’t obtain as sharp a point as I would like. He asked me what I thought I wanted and I described the one on the far left. He said ok but when he made that one, he also made two more so I would have something to compare. His designs are so much better (why doesn’t that surprise me???) I like using the fully rounded handle of the middle one. The piece on the far right has a nice point to it but the handle is flatter and it isn’t quite as comfortable to use. So, I am going for the one in the middle. I also like the extra bit of length on that one. They are really pretty aren’t they? Do you use a point turner? What works for you?
Last, but certainly not least, I have a fun event coming up next week! I have written before about the issues with a lot of us using social media for inspiration. Sometimes it is great to see all of this amazing work out there. Other times, it is kind of a downer and leaves us feeling ‘less than’. I know we are not ‘less than’ but it can feel that way seeing so much amazing work and then looking at our progress and feeling a little bit defeated. In an effort to show the real side to all of us, let’s share some of the ridiculous. We have all goofed. We have all made a project and thought, ‘nope, I’m not sharing this.’ Here is the chance to get real. What better day to open the event than on April Fool’s Day!! Think about this and write a post sharing a mistake or misunderstanding you might have had about our craft. Mine is quite ridiculous and I am sure it will entertain you. Share it next week and link up with me. Prizes will be awarded – just by a random drawing – no judging here! I think it is a great way to all get on the same level with our art by sharing these imperfections. If you have questions, leave them in the comments. Hope you will join in!!
Linking up with my favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
I have been so excited for this last Blogger Bundle event of 2018! Throughout the year it has been such fun to share specially curated bundles of fabric with you. This has allowed me to work closely with eleven different bloggers as they created a collection and then made something special with it. Many of you have bought them and enjoyed these unique bundles too. As the year progressed, I knew I wanted to do something special to wrap it all up at the end of the year. That is exactly what is going to happen today! Warning, this post is a bit on the long side. Sit back, have some tea and enjoy!
Each blogger’s collection was available for a limited time only so they are no longer listed in the shop. Now it is your turn to take another look good look at each of them. I would love for each of you to review the bundles that were curated and sold each month. Then I want to ask you to vote using the form at the end of this post and tell me which bundle is your favorite. This is only for fun. Although, really, just think of the amazing bragging rights it will provide the winning blogger with!! She will have this new feather in her cap – winning the incredibly prestigious honor of having been voted curator of the favorite Needle & Foot 2018 Blogger Bundle! Yikes, it will be life changing for her. Haha – not really. But it will be fun to see which bundle, of all of these gorgeous collections, is the most well received.
Wait – there is more!!! Each month as these bundles were promoted, I held one back, resulting in this lovely array of amazing fabric!
As a special way to wrap up the year, I will be giving away the full collection of eleven fat quarter bundles to one very lucky reader. There will be a random drawing from all who vote and one person will win the entire set of blogger bundles! What a great way to add some fantastic bundles to your stash. Think of all you could create in 2019 with these!
To vote, you will need to take a look at each bundle. (Please vote only one time!) International readers, I am happy to have you vote but you won’t be eligible for the giveaway. The package will be too heavy, and thus costly, for me to mail out of the country.
So here we go – 2018 Blogger Bundles on parade! You have seen these photos before but it may help you to see them all in one place to jog your memory.
January was the first bundle and it was designed by Sarah Goer of Sarah Goer Quilts. Did you know Sarah is now available to teach at your guild? Check out her info here if you are interested!
The second bundle (February) was created by Kitty of NightQuilter.com. Be sure to check out Kitty’s Craftsy site to see her selection of paper pieced patterns!
In March I worked with Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl for the monthly collection. You might enjoy taking a peek at the collection of modern patterns designed by Yvonne. They are stunning and many use her color transparency methods with excellent results.
Cheryl curated the April bundle. She blogs at Meadow Mist Designs. You may have heard Cheryl co-authored her first book, Modern Pus Sign Quilts, this year. It is a great book and you can take a look at it here.
The whimsical bundle for May was chosen by Jayne of Twiggy & Opal. Jayne is the queen of truly incredible improv and a constant inspiration to me. Check out her shop here. You will be happy you did!
Summer came along with this lovely bundle fo June, curated by Paige of Quilted Blooms. Paige is the other author of Modern Plus Sign Quilts book. It is available here (no affiliate link).
Working on the July Blogger Bundle was a delight and it gave me the opportunity to get to know Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios. She is an amazing artist and her curated bundle did not disappoint! Kim just finished the In Our Own Words quilt which is truly spectacular. Please take a look1
Carole, of From My Carolina Home, did an outstanding job with the bundle for September! She was just a pleasure to work with as well. Have you seen her series of Scrap Dance patterns? I just love each one of them!
September came along and there was a pretty bundle curated by Mari of Academic Quilter. Mari has been such a contributor to our quilting community with her wonderful block of the month events each year. Her tutorials are so well written and all are available other blog!
October brought a unique bundle created by Kim of Persimon Dreams. You probably know of Kim from her popular Project Quilting event that happens annually. Will you be participating this year? I love the event and happily sponsor a prize or two for it.
Last, but certainly not least, is the November bundle. This stunner was created by Sandra of MMM! Quilts. Most of you know Sandra and what a bundle of energy she is. It shows in this great collection. Sandra has been designing patterns for a bit (On the Plus Side is my favorite) and has them available here.
I hope this jogged your memory of the bundles we enjoyed this year. Now it is your turn. Please use the form below to cast just ONE vote for your favorite bundle!! Voting is open all week, through the end of the day on Saturday, December 15th. One vote per person please! I can’t wait to see the results!! Good luck everyone.
As I write this, I am in that post-Thanksgiving dinner blissful state. So much yummy food and lots of family around that I haven’t seen for quite a while made for a wonderful meal. I hope you enjoyed your day too!!
This is just a quick post to let you know that there are lots of fun fabrics on sale in the shop all weekend. Discounts range from 15% to 25% to 30% off on most items in the shop. Whether you have a certain fabric you are looking for or if you are just in the mood to bargain hunt be sure to check out the selection. All sale prices are marked and will continue through Sunday. Enjoy!!!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them and I will get back to you soon. 🙂
Good morning all! I want to thank you for entering the giveaway for the November Blogger Bundle! The winner this month is Gloria C. Hurray for winning Gloria; a package of purple, yellow and blue pretties are in the mail for you (well… they will be as soon as I know your address)! I am sending you an email separate from this post.
Thanks to Sandra for creating the bundle for November. It is just stunning. There are a few more available in the shop if you would like. Next month, be sure to come back on Tuesday, December 11th, for a fun event wrapping up the 2018 series of Blogger Bundles. I am really looking forward to it!
Have a great weekend all!
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