Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Food Drive Is Going Great!!!

Check it out!!!  I am so proud of all of you that have made this a really great year with our food drive.  We have been able to take all this and more down to our local food bank.  They tell me there that this has been a VERY hard year to take care of all those in need.  They are sooooo grateful for any help. So THANK YOU ALL!!!  We will continue to take in donations till the first of the year.  Watch for special events that will take a % off your purchases.  Hint - If you are not on my e-mail list, call or e-mail your address into me and you will get special notices.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let's Talk About Fabric Prices

I know! I know!  You must not have been into a quilt shop in the last six months if you haven't noticed the price of fabric.  I have to agree with you,  it's terrible!!!  Believe me I have been quite concerned by it.  Many of you know the reason for it ... the price of cotton has skyrocketed in the past two years. Not only were there huge problems with crops (flooding, cold weather, etc) around the world, now China, the worlds highest consumer of cotton, ran out!  So for now, we are paying the price.  It's simple supply and demand, along with the price of shipping to get the fabric into our shops. 
As a quilt shop owner....... this is scary!  I read blogs that encourage us to shop on line where prices are lower.  Ok! Let's just tackle the reason the "On-line Shops" are less expensive.  It is really very simple: they don't have the overhead that the "Brick and Mortar" shops have.  Yep! these shops pay BIG RENT! 
If we don't support these shops, we WILL lose them.  Where would we be then? I don't think we would have the quilting culture we have now if we did not have those cute little shops for classes and stitching help.  We not only sell fabric, but Ideas, Inspiration and Instruction.  We are the place you come to relax, feel the fabric, and enjoy some camaraderie with fellow quilters.  On-line shops do not provide that.  I have had people go so far as to come in, look at all the books, write down all the numbers from the bolts of fabric and go home to order it on line.  Hmmm.  Kind of feel used there. 
Well,  I didn't mean to get on a soap box, but I get a little discouraged when I read some of the blogs.  Aunt Mary's has been here now for twelve years, and as far as I know, Aunt Mary's will be here to serve you, my friends, for many years to come.  Happy Quilting!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Aunt Mary's Christmas Mystery Is Solved!

Yesterday was our Christmas Mystery class.  Whew! What a day!  We started at 10 in the morning and got to sew and have fun solving our mystery clear till 10pm.  I hope the girls had fun.  I had fun designing the mystery.  It was a TRUE scrap quilt.  The biggest piece we needed was 4 1/2" square of Christmas fabric. I think these kinds of quilts are fantastic! So much fun to look at. Every time you look at it there is something new to see.

 The instructions for the girls was "Don't bring fabric that you don't want to share"  So we sewed and traded fabrics all day long.  You would have thought we would use up lots of scraps.  I think my pile that I brought to share is BIGGER now!  How does that happen? Well, now the party is over and here I am, the day after.  The classroom looks like a thread bomb went off.  I think it could have been worse though.  My friend Cher was wearing fuzzy black socks and she wasn't wearing her shoes.  She started to put on her shoes and discovered she was taller with all the thread and bits of fabric stuck to her socks!  Thank you, Cher for helping out!  All in all, I think it was a great way to kick off the Christmas Season. HO, Ho, Ho!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Today is small business Saturday.  I'm hoping is will be a big day at Aunt Mary's. Many people don't know it, but The holidays are really the SLOWEST time of the year at the quilt shop.  By the end of the year it gets kind of tight around here.  Over the years I think we have all learned, and budget for it.  But it would be nice if we did a little better.  Boy oh Boy was the parking lot at Costco and target full this morning!  Maybe this "ShopSmall" will help. Happy Shopping everyone!!! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here we are! The day before Thanksgiving.  One of my very favorite holidays. (My favorite is the 4th of July)  Maybe it's my favorite because I get to cook a big feast for people I love and get to enjoy their company all day long.  What could be better?  I  am very thankful for so many things this year.  I am very fortunate to have a great family and so many dear friends, a job I love to go to every day and even though I  can't see as well as I used to, I am quite healthy. I am also grateful to all of you that dropped off food for our local food bank.  Today we are delivering three BIG boxes of food.  I am sending it off with a prayer that whoever receives it, knows there are people that care.  We will continue to take donations till the first of the year. Hopefully we can send them a big gift for Christmas too.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Time to Make Pillowcases and Christmas Tree Napkins

 This week I have been a busy little bee.  Getting ready for the big "Black Friday" sale.  Among other projects, I put together lots and lots of the two kits that always please everyone for the holidays.  First - pillowcase kits!  I don't know anyone that doesn't love to get a new "Custom" pillowcase.  One year, I didn't make them for my family and you would have thought I didn't love them any more!  I think they like that the fabric is picked out to fit their personalities and interests.  My husband is going to love this Rocky and Bullwinkle one.  I love the fact that they take about twenty minutes to make.  Zip! Zip! Zip!  they are done!!! I have lots of kits for all kinds of personalities, but if we can't find one that fits.  We can make a kit just for you.
Then there is the time honored Christmas Tree Napkins.  You will impress everyone at the table.  One of my customers told me she used up all her Christmas scraps and made all of hers different, then, everyone got to take theirs home with them.  (Way to get out of laundry detail!)
Again.  These are VERY QUICK projects.  One afternoon will get you well on your way to feeling all Martha Stewarty.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jane Shares Her Bali Wedding Star. All Done!!!

Jane stopped by yesterday to share her "Bali Wedding Star" quilt.  It's all pieced!  Woo Hooo!!  It's sooo pretty!
she is planning on giving this beautiful quilt to her son.  She said, "I sure hope he likes it"  Isn't that always our big worry?  What if they don't like it........  I think we all go through this.  I don't care who it is.  Even the big star quilters in the world.  We put sooo much thought and love into these treasures.  But what if they don't like it?  Well....  I always say, if they love you..... they will love what you did.  Seriously, though,  who would not love this beautiful gift?  

Jane also told me that she loved the class, and would highly recomend it. It's a great way to stay on track and get a big project like this done.  We have a new session starting in January, so if you would like to join us, call us for information. I would love for you to join us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Floor Mats Galore!

Today was the Floor Mats class here at Aunt Mary's.  FUN!  Everyone got to design their own masterpieces.  We got them all Mod Podged down and they are ready to take home and have more coats of Mod Podge put on them.  I think everyone was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to do.  I'm kind of thinking there will be many floor mats under the Christmas tree this year.     
Here is Maralee's work of art.  It's almost done. She is working on her borders.  Don't you just love the colors?   It's always fun to see how everyone's projects turn out.  We even had two wonderful girls from our neighboring country in the north come take this class today.  It was fun having them. 
Here's Jayanne.  She's trying to be the teachers pet.  Using all that Kaffe Fasset fabric.  I wish I had taken a picture of this one when it was all done.  She really did some fun things.  She appliqued a beautiful big flower in the corner.  Just Yummy!  If she can't find a place for this mat at home. She can always bring it back.  I love it!!!

This class was sold out.  So I scheduled another session in early December. So if your interested.  Give me a call.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miss Mouse Comes to Aunt Mary's

 Yesterday (Monday) was my day off.  I had such an enjoyable afternoon making Miss Mouse!  Every once in a while it's nice to do a project that you can get done in an afternoon.  This is one of them.  I started the day off with the grocery store,and cleaning the house. (yuck!) Then I put a pot of  pasta sauce on to simmer. It  made the house smell all yummy, and I set out to make miss mouse.  (FUN!)  She really didn't take very long to make and it made my day!  I really enjoyed her. Now she lives here at Aunt Mary's. Currently She is residing on the fabric line from Moda that she is made out of.
There is this new book that just came in last week.  It's just full of fun little friends like Miss Mouse.  I think I may have to make the cute little froggy called Finnigan on page 90 next!   I wish I had tomorrow off! (Blaw)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bali Wedding Star Class A Huge Sucsess!

Yesterday (Saturday) was such a nice cozy day to quilt!  Here at the shop we were finishing up our threes sessions of Bali Wedding Star.  What a really beautiful quilt!  I think the class was a huge success!  The girls really did well, and had lots of fun. Many of the quilts got up on the design wall.  I was so inpressed! Of course every time one of the girls had their quilt on the design wall, I was busy up front or I didn't have my camera with me and didn't get a picture.  So here are a few blocks, all ready to go together.  Jane has promised to bring hers in, all done this week so I can get a picture.  
Here are some blocks in progress.  Everyone loved Linda Tellesbo.  She is a really good instructor.  She has worked with Judy Niemeyer extensively to become a "Certified Instructor"  for her patterns.  I sell lots of Judy's patterns here at the shop.  The customers that have taken a class with either Judy or Linda tell me it's really the way to go.  The patterns can be kind of intimidating. But after being shown how they are done, they really are wonderful patterns and really stunning quilts! 
Here's Judy and Rose.  Judy is making a KING size!  Wow!  Rose already has plans to make TWO more.  What super quilters!!!

We have a new session for this class coming up at the first of the year.  There are just a few spaces left.  Maybe one of those spaces should be yours.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A View From My Window and Let's Go Play Trucks!

 I just can't say enough about how beautiful our trees have been this year.  This is a picture of what I get to enjoy each day.  When the sun shines through them they look like they are on fire.  Such an inspiration from mother nature!  I think this year they have been truly spectacular! Some years by this time in November, there is hardly any leaves left.  It must be an extra little bonus we get for not such a hot summer. 

Then......... check this fabric out!  It's so fun!!  Really! All anyone would have to do is put a border around it, and quilt it, and some little guy (Or girl) would be in heaven all naptime long.  Get your trucks and cars out and let's have some fun!  This line of fabric also has a soft book to make that goes with it.  I made one yesterday.  It took me about a half hour to make.  It's sooo cute. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Silent Cinema, Free Spirit Fabric

 This fabric from Free Spirit, came in not too long ago, and I fell in love with it.  I love the colors, the prints, everything about it.  Some of each of them went home with me.  My friend Kathy also loved it.  We looked at it and played with it for sometime thinking about just the right project for it. 
Here's what we came up with.  We just added a few solids and did this fun easy pattern.  After all, there is only so much time in our lives to make all the quilts we want to make. So, fast and easy is GOOD!  Then, we can move on the the next coolest fabric that will be coming in.
  Anyway, this pattern uses the 60 degree ruler,  It cuts out in no time at all and gos together fast.  The pattern is called "Simply 60s" and gives several versions of the same quilt.  They all look great.  We had a hard time picking which one to make.  This ones the winner!  I love it!  Kathy did a great job!!! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Calendula Pederdrip's Cottage! Done and Hanging!

Ta Da!!!  Don't you just love the feeling of a finished project?  This is the project I worked on all through summer.  I started it at our big shop hop in June.  The patterns had just barely arrived in the shop and I knew I had to make it.  The Pattern is one of Meg Hawkey's. It's called Calendula Pederdrip's Cottage.  I think Meg is a genius!  Her patterns are so filled with details and fun imaginative little elements.  
I have this quilt hanging right above my desk. So as I'm trying to get my book work done, I keep finding myself looking at the quilt.  I know I have said how much I enjoy hand work.  One of the benefits is that when I look at a block, I remember what I was doing the day I was working on that part.  My son plays baseball on a senior league team, so many hours of  embroidery was done this summer while enjoying the sun and watching ball games.  I also worked on the books and feather block while sitting out under my apple trees on the Fourth Of July.  So, you see there is sooo much more in a quilt than the finished project.  It has so many great memories in it too.
Ok! Now!  Here's a big problem!!! After finishing a quilt that you really enjoyed working on.  The big problem is.........  finding a new project that you will enjoy just as much.  Well,  I think I have it worked out.  Next, I will be starting a new Kim McLean applique pattern, called Princess Feather.  I uses lots and lots of Kaffe Fasset fabric, another obbsession of mine.  You can't have too much of that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Good Book to Cozy Up With?

One of my favorite things to do on a cold rainy day, is to get a cozy quilt out, make a nice cup of something warm to sip, and read a good book.  I think most quilters are readers too.  Just ask our book club that meets here.  We have sooo much fun! 

One section of the shop that lots of customers overlook is our  non fiction book section.  Then again, I have several faithful customers that are picking up the books regularly and love it when new ones come out. 
Earlene Fowler is always a good seller.  For the life of me I can't figure out how one person comes upon so many dead people wrapped in quilts though.  Then there are the Jennifer Chiveriani books.  Always a good read.  But then there are the fun little mystery books that one of my customers tells me are like eating potato chips.  Fast, addicting and you don't have to think too much.  Sew Deadly and Death Threads to name a few.  So next time your here maybe you want to pick up a book and cuddle up for a while.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Need a Fast, Easy Project?

That time of year is coming up VERY fast.  Yesterday, I thought I should start getting some fast, easy projects ready for you.  Here are two of the projects that I came up with. First - Panels are always popular.  With this one, all we did was put two borders around it, quilt it and Voila La! It's done!!!  this one is very cute with cute animals, and it also has a book that is easy to make.  The shop has a few panels that would work just as good.  One of them has vintage cars and trucks.  (Easy gift for a guy) 
Second - The table runner is THE FASTEST table runner project you will ever find! This one uses a 60 degree ruler and any pretty border fabric.  It took me about 30 minutes to make this one.  So you see, being Santa's little elf doesn't mean you have to spend all your time slaving away. As our time gets shorter to that big holiday.  I will be showing more quick projects that make great gifts.  Stay tuned!