Back in what sometimes feels like the olden days, when my family was young and growing, I remember feeling like there was always tons of planning and organizing going on. In those days, we went the grocery store once a week with a detailed list. We organized that list by section from back of the store to the front, because that’s the order in which my ducklings and I proceeded throughout the store.
As usual, it’s been a while since I’ve shared here at the blog. Frankly – pesky social media sites – it’s always easy to toss up a quick photo on Instagram or Facebook, which is a bit like posting to the world on January 1st that you’ve resolved to lose twenty pounds. Somehow, proclaiming it diminishes the urgency to actually follow through. I always mean to write a blog post to share completed projects, but if I share it on social media first – the blog post tends not to happen.
So – other than a few ‘in progress’ photos I shared of my newest Sea Holly quilt, I’ve saved my ‘finish’ post for here there I could toss out a few helpful hints I thought you might find useful.
For instance, this quilt required a whole boatload of triangles sewn together. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I invariably sew down the wrong edge and wind up with a whole boatload of seam ripping to do. To avoid this, I lay out all my pieces on a portable something I can carry from my cutting mat to my sewing machine so that the edge that needs to be sewn faces my machine exactly as it will sit beneath my presser foot.
Then I can just pick each piece up, sew all at once in a daisy chain which I can then cut apart and press once I’ve carried it back to my table.
Aside from preparing all my pieces for what I planned on being an ‘assembly over time’ sort of process, I took a much needed step away from quilting to create a new bunny friend.
In all honesty, I expected this quilt to take me a whole lot longer than it did, so I intended to just do bits every day.
But after I got everything organized (with Caroline’s help), I found that everything went together so quickly, I couldn’t stop!
Before I knew it, and coincidentally right before a weekend, I had the entire quilt top assembled.
Since I’ve made up my mind not to shelf a quilt top for any period of time (else it tends to think it now LIVES there forever, unfinished), I sandwiched it on Friday night for a fresh start to machine quilting on Saturday morning.
Yep, I could have and probably should have done some straight line quilting to showcase the lovely pinwheels on this quilt. However, I find Stevie Wonder-style swirly/meandering in an all-over stipple stitch to be relaxing as heck! Also, my new favorite Aurifil thread shade lately has been 2410 – Pale Pink. I used it for my Love Quilt below too (which admittedly, I posted on social media but not here)…
For both quilts, the Pale Pink Aurifil for machine quilting made especially good sense because I used this same gorgeous Art Gallery fabric for the backing…
As you can see above, I couldn’t help but piece the binding since there is quite a bit leftover of the fabrics showcased in the quilt.
Ultimately, my main draw to this quilt design in particular (aside from being completely in love with the Retro colorway of the Sea Holly collection), is that the finished quilt is 58″ square, and I have a frequent need for multiple square quilts…
Above is the ottoman that lives in our living room. Emma and her gal pals, Ruby, Tess and Ivy tend to spend quality time on said ottoman, playing with toys, chewing on tiny tennis balls, eating treats, and occasionally throwing up those treats all over whatever quilt happens to be beneath their sweet little schnauzer bodies at the time. Lest I mention another reeeeally good reason to choose premium quality fabric: it launders beautifully and fades SO MUCH LESS than discount fabrics.
Lastly, I mentioned social media here and there throughout this post. I guess the point is that even though my preference is to blog about the things I make so I can share a bit more detail, it’s not always possible to find the time. With that said, if you are a social media bug, you can find more of my daily goings on at the following locations:
and my ESPECIALLY NEW favorite: Ello
Happy Quilting, Friends 🙂
Good morning, Quilty Friends!
Sans the two ponytails (which have never represented a good look for me, ever), the even-across-the-forehead bangs (which never exist for girls with cowlicks), and the fresh wrinkle-free face (but let’s pretend mid-forties aren’t accompanied by laugh lines and a deep crease between my eyes because I’m inclined to communicate with great expression) – this is what I imagine I look like at 7:22 am on this fresh, new Tuesday morning. The past three months as a new quilt shop owner have been quite a whirlwind of activity, and though I’m exhausted for many reasons, I’m happy to report it’s a good sort of exhaustion, because doggone it – I feel more solid every day that we’re moving in the right direction.
Since my last post (about two weeks ago), there’ve been great things going on, and also not-so-great. Because I pride myself in the eternal wonderment of a glass-have-full attitude, it’s only logical for me to focus on the good since there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to share some of the not-so-good (if the mood ever strikes, that is). For starters, people are really starting to find our little shop, and EUREKA! They’re liking what they find! I can’t help it – the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about that is this image from the 1985 Oscars:
The bottom line for anyone starting a business such as this is that we’re faced with assembling things to sell that we think others will like. At the beginning, there’s this grand imagining that we will know exactly what people will like, because we ourselves like it (right?). But lemme tell ya – the apprehension soon creeps in, and I start thinking, ‘What if I have horrible taste? What if I haven’t the first clue what others will like?’ I must admit, the hardest part has been in reminding myself of the fact that ours is a new store, therefore virtually unknown to shoppers out there. I’ve had to shut out the self-doubt and just go with my gut as I’ve shopped. So far, so good, and I’ve had lots of help. Most of you know that my husband (affectionately known as Superman around these parts) is also my business partner. He’s been extraordinarily supportive (if not slightly hard to keep up with). I have to admit, I can’t remember the last time I made a really well thought-out dinner, but mostly he’s a better cook than I am anyway, and the kids are pretty tolerant about such things.
A few recent shop updates to share…
The above fabulously fallish fabric from the Forest Frolics line (oooh, that was fanstastically fun to say!), was an unbelievably hot item in our shop last week! Because the little hexies are just the right fussy cutting size for 1″ hexies, and I just happened to mention the fabric on an English Paper Piecing page to which I belong on Facebook, we actually sold out of an entire bolt in one day! Fortunately, I was able to secure more the next day, so I now have enough that it’s continuing to sell comfortably with several other fabrics in the line.
Also new in our shop and selling well are something we affectionately call, ‘Happy Little Bundles.’ Essentially, this is a growing new shop section that is comprised of fat quarter collections of fabrics that just look really nice together. What you should know, however, is that these happy little bundles weren’t exactly my idea. Mmm hmm. More helpers.
It all started one day when I began to enter my studio in the mornings to find the bunnies and also other things – let’s just say, askew. For instance – each of the bunnies that lives in my studio (and there are many) has a specific spot in which they generally live. Some of them like it atop the big window because they are able to see all around the studio.
Others live upon another adjacent shelf.
Or by Sophie and her delivery bike (and her mouse friend, Meg), atop my file box.
The weird thing though, is that I’d begun to notice that the friends weren’t always in their usual spots on some mornings. For instance…
The above is Daisy and her friend, Jack. They usually sit together on yet another shelf. Recently though, I have found Jack (more than once)…
…on the floor, nearby my fabric racks. Maybe he just fell, right? Totally conceivable because his usual shelf is right near this as well. But then another day…
Erin and Cecil (whose usual shelf is waaay across the room) were also on the floor right nearby my fabric racks. Then the day after that, the bunnies were all where they were supposed to be, but the fabric wasn’t.
All these fabrics were on pegs the night before, folks. I swear.
A few mornings later, I discovered my always-neatened-the-night-before cutting table was adorned with these:
Fortunately, someone is wise enough to close the blade on my rotary wheel.
Well – I had my theories, but it wasn’t until I walked in one morning to find Poppy, definitely NOT on her usual shelf across the room…
…that my suspicions were validated.
Caught red (rather, Pink) handed.
Now that you all know a little about the curators of the Happy Little Bundles (and this post has obviously taken me all day to finish), I think I’ll just share the link to our Happy Little Bundles Shop Section.
So you see, I have helpers, helpers everywhere, but strangely, not a soul to help me to finish a blog post I started at the crack of dawn this morning (remember the blinky-with-bangs at the start of this post?). Anyone want to know why it took me all day to get through this blog post? Well, it looks like this:
…but more about that tomorrow.
Good night Quilty Friends 🙂
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know that our new Serendipity Woods Shop is up, running and feeling groovy! While not originally intended, my bunnies just sort of eeked their way into this new, otherwise unrelated, world of quilt fabric and notions, and frankly – I couldn’t be more delighted to have them along.
As always, I thank you for the support you’ve given us so far. I promise, now that we are finally really up and running, I’ll be able to stay better in touch!
Pam and Crew