Pennies, Memory-Sparked Singing and a Brave Girl Project

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Tuppence?’ While I’m not entirely sure if it’s a word that’s still used in present day England, tuppence is an old word that means two pence or, Continue reading “Pennies, Memory-Sparked Singing and a Brave Girl Project”

Current Quilt Update and a Little Thing Called Bloglovin

Happy Monday Crafty Friends!

Are you as shocked as I am that I’m actually posting a second CLH blog post in one week?  Throughout the course of the last *almost* year since we opened Serendipity Woods Fabric Shop, it’s taken me some time to get my sea legs about me with respect to the preservation of the origins of my interest in quilt fabric at all – QUILTING! It’s been hard to carve out time, but that’s changing!

Finally, I’m finding a better balance between the shop and sewing; actually creating pretty consistently once again. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means I’ve got more things to post that will hopefully be a bit more inspiring you, to my friends here. What it also means is it’s about time I officially claimed my blog at Bloglovin so it’s easier for people to find. That’s why I have to post this little ditty here:

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14018457/?claim=3w3ju7ua8tr”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Moving on…I got a little inspired by Magpies last week.

Magpies
from the Milk, Sugar and Flower collection by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose fabrics

One of my favorite things about sharing my creative space with our fabric shop is that I’m often pulled by one fabric, then across the room to another fabric, which somehow seem to want to be connected. The Magpies above, have long been a favorite of mine since arriving in our shop.  Of course they belong to a larger collection which, in an of itself, is intended to coordinated in such a way that the fabrics bring out the best in one another. Until, that is, some fabrics within the collection sell out, leaving others to fend for themselves and…well…find NEW friends. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes they have a little help.

Anyway, without getting too wordy since I’m still not finished with my project (plus I’m technically on vacation with Superman for a little something called our 25th wedding anniversary) – I found this scrummy little bundle of bolts on my studio table early one morning last week.

Magpie Quilt Fabrics 2
Of course I’ve no idea how this bundle of bolts wound up on my studio table, all TOGETHER for me to be inspired by (not that I ever do, but it happens fairly frequently, and also how our Happy Little Bundles sometimes come together).

The coolest part is that these fabrics originate from 5 different lines/4 different manufacturers – YET, aren’t they so sweet together? So after doing a bit of design work, I started cutting…Magpie Quilt Fabrics

Then I spent some time whipping up some HST’s and a couple of the 16 blocks I’ll need for what I’ve decided to call my Marvelous Magpies quilt.

SAMSUNG CSC

Truly, I’m so excited to get back to it, but for this moment – I’m just going to celebrate being a really lucky girl.  Stay tuned for more about my little magpie friends, a bit more about the other fabrics above too, and a tutorial so you’ll be able to make your own Marvelous Magpies quilt too. Go ahead – say it with me…SQUEEE!!!

Until next time and as always – Happy Sewing,

Pam

Part 2 – Hopelessly Unenthused October Baby Seeks Joyfully, Non-Creepy Halloween

Hi Quilty Friends,

Okay, remember a few weeks ago when I shared my rather soul-baring story about how Halloween is historically my least favorite holiday?  In the event you need a refresher (or you just plain didn’t read it because maybe creepy, scary, gory Halloween is your chosen bag of chips), you can catch up HERE for Part I of this post.

The update is – I did it! I found something really joyful about Halloween.  In short, it started with seeking. You might remember in my last post that I shared about a really treasured childhood story I loved when I was a kid:

Gus was a Friendly Ghost

I have to mention here that the above book is not actually my copy from childhood.  I didn’t ever have one, just read it whenever I stumbled upon a Weekly Reader copy in a doctor’s office of some kind. This book came from a library book sale I went to in my twenties. Regardless of the fact that it was a crummy copy with a loose binding (a result of all those perforated pages in the beginning which had obviously been torn out for kids to send in for their ‘copy of this book FREE’), I still bought it. It was Gus. I loved Gus and wanted my kids to have a chance to love Gus too.  Even though it was a lousy copy, we read it often.

As also mentioned in my first post – a few years ago, in my quest to find something Halloween happy with which to decorate, I picked up a few more copies of various Gus books. For the last several years, That small stack of books has been my only Halloween decor:

Gus BooksThen…I opened a fabric shop last June.  Everybody knows you have to sell seasonal stuff, right?  Hence, the seeking…

Scary Fabric 1Scary Fabric 2

Scary Fabric 3

Mmm Hmmm…

Sally Ugly Crying

After a while I stopped figuratively blubbering, and kept seeking until finally – I was able to assemble this:

Serendipity 2015 'Happy' Halloween Bundle
Our 2015 Halloween Happy Little Bundle. Fabrics from various Moda lines, and (as you may have noticed) scrumptiously non-creepy, at least from my point of view.

which somehow felt joyful, in part, because it gave me the same warm feeling as this:

Gus was a Friendly Ghost

And what I really wanted to tell you in this Part II post is that as a result, I made this:

My Halloween Joy Quilt, made with fabrics from Moda's Farmhouse, Mixologie, Tiki Tok, Feed Company and Meadowbloom, Kona Snow for the Background and Backing, and topped off with Aurifil 2021 for the machine piecing and quilting.
My Halloween Joy Quilt, made with fabrics from Moda’s Farmhouse, Mixologie, Tiki Tok, Feed Company and Meadowbloom, with Kona Snow for the Background and Backing, and topped off with Aurifil 2021 for the machine piecing and quilting. The pattern is Woven Scrappy Strips, available for digital download at the Fons and Porter website.  With the exception of navigating my blocks to the on-point layout (which is always a little confusing for me, since I don’t do it often), the blocks and quilt went together really fast and both contain only minor imperfections!

…which was triumphant enough in itself, until I stopped to realize that much to the tradition of quilters past and present, I have never – in all the quilts I’ve made – labeled the back of one single quilt I’ve ever made. G’head – gasp, all you wonderfully judicious, never-made-a-quilt-I-didn’t-label quilters out there. I envy the fact that everyone will always know which quilts are yours and which quilts were made by that one gal who never labeled her quilts (thumbs swinging right back this way).

I can’t say there is really a solid reason I haven’t ever labeled any of my quilts, except I guess I’ve just never taken the time; or maybe more that I can’t say that I’ve ever made a quilt for which I wanted to yell from the rooftops – I made this! Even if you see a flaw or a mistake, I don’t care – I made this, it makes me happy, and I’m really proud of it!

Until this quilt.  So I made a label, which began with a sacrifice:

Gus Book Sacrifice 1
Seam rippers are useful for more than just loosening threads from more than just quilt pieces.

And then, go ahead – tell me I’m infringing upon copyright laws – but I think Jane Thayer wouldn’t mind if she knew I’d copied my favorite page (which I know by heart), onto printable fabric for this important something I would never, ever sell…

Gus Quilt Label 1
Toasted. Cheese. Sandwiches. All those pillows, which I envision to be velvet for some odd reason (Aha! Next year’s Halloween craft idea! And I have all year to seek just the right fabrics!)

…especially because I made sure that her name was there too, along with Seymour’s, above mine…

Gus Quilt Label 2

So there it is, friends. My first labeled quilt, and some of the most unbelievable Halloween Joy I have ever felt.

Even if you see a flaw or a mistake, I don’t care – I made this, it makes me happy, and I’m really proud of it:)

P.S. My ‘new’ copy of Gus should arrive within a few days, thanks to the Peach Street Bridge Shop at Etsy, who had a really lovely, gently used copy. In case you didn’t know – I’m a pretty big fan of used books and the shops that so lovingly seek to find new homes for them.  I’ll share more about that another time 🙂

Fireworks, Emma the Schnauzer & Serendipity Woods Shop Progress

Good Morning All,

Happy Monday-after-we’ve-terrified-our-pets-beyond-belief Day! I may have mentioned somewhere here that we’ve had miniature schnauzers for almost 30 years, and all have possessed some degree of apprehension when the 4th of July rolls around every year.  Now, however, we have the queen of Fireworks Terror, Emma:

Emma: Our ordinarily confident, well-adjusted, 1-year-old, who officially becomes a shivering, crying shell of herself during fireworks.
Emma: Our ordinarily confident, well-adjusted 1-year-old, who officially becomes a shivering, crying shell of herself during fireworks.

Not to sound like a completely unpatriotic stick-in-the-mud, but as far as I’m concerned – I can sort of take fireworks or leave them. It’s probably, in part, because I feel like it’s awfully unfair to consciously embark upon an activity that only we humans above age 3 can fully appreciate and understand. It also probably has a bit to do with the fact that for about 13 years straight in the 90s and early 2000s, we had at least one child under 3!  Fireworks are cool; they are. It’s just that they’re so loud. Am I the only one that wonders why exactly most fireworks must also be accompanied by the rapport?

Anyhoo…Aside from fireworks we only actually saw from our yard (whilst attempting to get Emma to potty, to no avail), it’s been a busy, progress filled, shop entrenched weekend for me. It’s been about 2 weeks since we officially launched our Etsy shop, and we’ve had some great success! In the meantime, I’ve been working to build our actual web store on the side, which does take time!

I think I mentioned previously that we’d arrived at the decision to work with a local design firm to create our website, which seemed like a great idea at the time. Unfortunately, the firm we wanted to use was under some construction of their own, and could not really get going on our site until mid-to-late July. Well, I’d have waited, really I would have – but I’m just too excited to wait!

So, I’ve been building it myself and getting a pretty good groove on!  Mostly, these past weeks have been thoughtful ones to determine just how it is we intend to stand apart as a fabric store amongst a whole lot of other fabric stores. Making those determinations has required a good deal of surfing from one end of the web to the other. What’s been most revealing for me is in paying attention to the quilts I’ve seen that really grab me and create an opportunity for the tiny, joyful crafting voice inside me to exclaim out loud: “Oh! I just love that!” The trick, I’ve learned, is to pay attention to ones where that emotion is consistent and long-lasting.

There’s a good deal to be said about fabrics we love not only at the very the moment we first see them, but also for as long as they live amongst our fabric stash, and more still in the quilts we hope will last for generations.

So I think what I’ve learned in all this seeking and searching of how Serendipity Woods will fit into this world of quilt stores without getting lost among them, has a fair bit to do with the styles of fabrics we will ultimately sell, once we get moved over to our permanent site. The three words that come to mind as I think of them are: Refreshing, Cozy, and Timeless.

I’ll leave you to imagine that for a bit, until next time…

Cheers and Happy Quilting,

Pam