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My Week With Rob Appell

As a sales rep for Michael Miller Fabrics I must occasionally meet with my sales manager. In my case, my manager is Rob Appell, also the spokesperson for the company and a well known face. Rob decided to shadow me for a week in Utah. His goal was to listen to any concerns/ideas from shops, …

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Civilized Eatin’

I have just released my latest pattern, Civilized Eatin’. You can create a custom travel kit (mess kit if you’re a former scout) for all the fisherman, boaters, hunters or anyone who travels. It truly is the eco-friendly eat-on-the-go solution. The best part? You can whip these up in no time! So, how did this …

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Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long – Block 1

Have you been waiting to start the Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long? Well, wait no more! I’m happy to say that I am the designer for block #1, Winter Selfie, and here it is: Meet Snowball Adams, second cousin twice removed on his father’s side to the well known photographer, Ansel Adams. Unlike his famous cousin, …

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Quilt Pro Retreat

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Purple Moose Retreats

Our first Quilt Pro Retreat was last weekend and I’m calling it a success!

Purple Moose Retreats

Purple Moose Retreat - Quilt Pro June 2018

We had a great mix of quilt shop owners (brick & mortar and online), pattern designers, long armers, fabric reps, furniture designers, retreat organizers, product manufacturer…all aspects of our business. This was a great plus when we had our business discussions as we each got the perspective of another arm of our industry. We held several formal round-table discussions and tackled Social Media, Marketing and Time Management. That’s a lot of heavy stuff to tackle! Of course we left lots of time to sew on either personal projects or store samples. There was plenty of informal discussions during sewing time as well. Once you let all that info marinate for a bit then you think of a new solution/idea/option for whatever was discussed.

Purple Moose Retreats - Waterville Valley NH Purple Moose Retreats - shopping! Game Loser!

The weather was absolutely perfect in Waterville Valley NH. We did get out several times to enjoy the views and do a little shopping in the town square. I spied these super cute ski poles for quilters! We also played some games. I lost a round of Giant Jenga and had to take an awful selfie and post it…it wasn’t pretty…

Purple Moose Retreats - Discussion Table

We all made new friends or were able to touch base with friends we hadn’t seen in awhile. The comments from the guests were mostly positive. Just a few minor bumps that we can work on for next time. Ya can’t expect me to be perfect right out of the gate!! Some of the comments…

Favorite Parts: “collaborating with other business owners”, “Time dedicated to our business/craft”, “Feedback & ideas from participants”, “Contacts! Meeting professionals and learning from and with them”

Least Favorite Parts: “Not enough exercise (my own fault)”, “broken foot” (she came with it, no excitement during the weekend), “Sometimes the discussions focused too long on one issue”

We are going to be doing our Quilt Pro Retreat again this fall, September 27-30, 2018. It is open to anyone who is in the business (shop owners, long armers, designers, retreat organizers…) If you’re interested, just holler! Space is limited…

Special thank you to all the participants for joining in the fun and to the Snowy Owl Inn for providing an inviting place to be for the weekend!

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Moose Musings – Jeans Shopping

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Have I mentioned that I really don’t like shopping for jeans? There comes a time though when I must…like now. All my jeans are no longer fit for public display, only yard work and home maintenance. So off I go to the mall…

I’m a Mom, I just want a pair of Mom Jeans. I don’t think it’s a difficult request. My legs are too long for petite sizes and way too short for normal sizes so I have issues.

All those zippers on the abdomen (I’m looking at you J-Lo!) and the pizzazz on the behind? No thanks, I have enough going on in those areas and don’t need to call attention there.

Rips should happen after heavy usage, not at the time of purchase. And the acid wash on the thighs? Really? It looks like I have used my pants for napkins. Sheesh.

I won’t even start in on the disparity of sizes between brands, or the prices! I did manage to find two pairs. They are the same brand but two different sizes. The larger size is snug and the smaller size if roomy. I don’t understand. I thought a trip to the “unmentionables” department might lift my spirits. Oh Boy! Big mistake. My favorite skivvies were $10 each…ON SALE!! I might just have to go commando until I can save up…

So we’re having a fabric sale. 25% off all in stock fabric. Use the coupon code spring25 at checkout for your discount. It’s good until 5/11/18. Please buy fabric…Mama needs some skivvies…

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What should I pack for my quilting retreat?

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One of the more enjoyable hats I wear for my job is Retreat Hostess. One question I get a lot is “What should I bring?”. Since I’m in the midst of final preparations for an upcoming retreat I thought it was a good time to share some tips for packing. Over the years I have seen people load up the luggage cart at the Inn like they just binge watched all the Beverly Hillbillies episodes…and then go back to the car for more…sometimes they even bring their own chair! Other people come with their machine, an extra pair of unmentionables and little else. Usually the correct answer is somewhere in the middle.

First you should consult any documentation you receive from your retreat hostess. If there is a class involved then there should be a supply list. If there are any special amenities at the venue they should tell you about those too (I always remind guests to bring a swimsuit for the pool and walking shoes for a stroll through the woods). It’s usually a good idea to bring a sweater in case you get the “cool spot” in the room. My retreats are all about relaxation (no cooking, no chores!) but others are pot-luck style when it comes to meals. Your hostess should have it spelled out what you are expected to bring for food. Don’t get all fancy though…you’re there to quilt not spend hours in the kitchen. Think up a good crock-pot dish or a make-ahead dish you can bring to heat up.

Sewing supplies should be pretty basic (machine, scissors, seam ripper, thread…) Grab whatever is within one foot of your machine at home and you should be good. Some venues have a pressing and cutting area for everyone to use. I provide those but a lot of people also like to have a small mat and travel iron at their station and use my stuff for the larger pressing and cutting jobs. A small portable light is good too. If you have a class, consult the supply list for any unusual items and tools you may need. Make sure you have everything you need for your machine. It’s not uncommon for folks to grab their machine and leave the cord or pedal at home! That’s a big bummer…

Don’t forget me!!

Think about what projects you want to work on. I see this one all the time…do you really think you’ll finish all 27 projects you brought? Really? In one weekend? Be realistic about what you can accomplish during your stay…then bring only one more…just in case…

The most important tip I can pass along is…if you’re not sure about something…ASK! Preferably before you leave home. Some retreats are run by volunteers (such as a guild retreat) but there should still be someone in charge to ask questions of. If your event is run by a coordinator like me (not a volunteer) then please don’t hesitate to ask questions, that’s why we get paid the big bucks. If the coordinator is worth their salt then they should be giving you the information before you think about it! Of course we can’t cover EVERYTHING in our handouts so ask away. Don’t forget your medications! Also let your coordinator know of any special requirements you have regarding food issues, allergies or anything that may impact your fun weekend.

It says on page 42 of the Official Quilter’s Handbook that every quilter should attend a retreat at least once every couple of years. What…you don’t have the handbook? Trust me, that’s what it says… If it’s been a while for you or (gasp…) you’ve never been, please check out what we have to offer. We would love to meet you and it will be loads of fun! I don’t want to brag but I’ve been told I’m pretty good at creating fun retreats! We usually sell out about a year ahead and have to start a waiting list. You can see what we have coming up here on our website.

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Blue Moon Blog Hop – Day 5

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It’s the final day of the Blue Moon blog hop. Simply visit the following two blogs to see what Colourwerx and Marie have done with Jackies’s new fabric line.

Here is the full schedule. Feel free to go back and see the previous posts.

Monday, Feb 5

Tuesday, Feb 6

Wednesday, Feb 7

Thursday, Feb 8

Friday, Feb 9

#bluemoonfabriccollection. Additional hashtags to consider using (add/edit your own!): #thepromisegirls #islandbatik #aurfil #debtucker #studio180design #jackiekunkel #cantonvillagequiltworks #cvquiltworks #seamslikeadreamquilting #purplemoosedesigns #cabininthewoodsquilters #onpointquilter #colourwerx #mariebostwick #quilting #quiltersofinstagram #quilts #quiltsofinstagram

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Blue Moon Blog Hop – Day 4

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Today is day 4 of the Blue Moon blog hop. Simply visit the following two blogs to see what Penni and Kari have done with Jackies’s new fabric line.

Here is the full schedule. Feel free to go back and see the previous posts. Make sure to visit the other sites in the coming days.

Monday, Feb 5

Tuesday, Feb 6

Wednesday, Feb 7

Thursday, Feb 8

Friday, Feb 9

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Blue Moon Blog Hop – Day 3

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Today is day three of the Blue Moon Blog Hop…and it’s my turn! Before I get into what I did, be sure and visit today’s other hopper – Deb made something cool with Jackie’s new fabric line!

Here is the full schedule. Feel free to go back and see the previous posts. Make sure to visit the other sites in the coming days.

Monday, Feb 5

Tuesday, Feb 6

Wednesday, Feb 7

Thursday, Feb 8

Friday, Feb 9

So…ready to see what I did with Jackie’s new fabric line? Here we go…

Pattern designers will sometimes offer a pattern that has a specific holiday theme. Sometimes these patterns lend themselves to be something other than that specific holiday. Poinsettia Petal Runner by Penni Domikis is such a pattern. I’ve made it once before as a holiday runner. I wish I had a photo but I gave it away as a gift. I’ve been wanting to make it again but in non-holiday colors because it’s such a cute pattern. When I saw Jackie’s new Blue Moon fabrics I just knew it would be perfect. Not only is this fabric line in my favorite colors (purple and blues) but the motifs on the fabrics themselves are birch trees, pine cones, snowflakes…all things that are right up my alley!

This pattern comes with templates to cut out all the orange peel shapes but it’s so much easier if you have the acrylic templates that Penni has created. Once you use the acrylic templates you’ll see how versatile they are for other patterns as well. It’s always a plus when tools can be used for multiple projects!

I did deviate from the pattern a bit for the cutting portion because I was working with chunks of fabrics rather than longer yardage. I also applied Misty Fuse to the petals because…well, I’m lazy…err…I mean, I like fusible! I think it turned out great. I can see this pattern done in fall colors or pastels for spring or maybe a Halloween version! I also deviated from Jackie’s fabric line for the centers of my flowers. This little scrap of yellow with blue and purple dots was sitting on the cutting table (used in another secret project) and it just went perfect.

I did add the stitching to the center section orange peel blocks. I chose a cute snowflake-ish decorative stitch on my machine. Here’s a little tip when topstitching like this. Your machine will jump all over the place as it goes to and fro. Sometimes it can be tough to keep it stitching on the line. Use the little center mark on your foot and do your best to keep the fabric edge on that line. Don’t have one on your foot? Use a fine sharpie (or white-out or nail polish) to make your own mark!

 

So, there’s my project. What do you think? If you would like to try this pattern you can find it on my website here. The acrylic templates can be found here, here and here. I would love to see photos of what you do with this pattern.

Ready for a little give-away? It’s your reward for reading all the way to the end! As I’m writing this it’s snowing outside…again… I think it’s time for a little summer and sunshine. I’m giving away a copy of my pattern Sandy Toes as well as a pre-cut, pre-fused starter kit. The winner will only have to supply some flowers, a background fabric and their own batting and binding. Such a deal! If you don’t win you can find the pattern here. All you have to do is leave a comment below and answer this question…

Do you like holiday themed patterns or do you prefer everyday projects?

Thanks for your time today. I’ll randomly draw the winner on Friday February 9th at 9pm EST. Any comments left on this post by then will be eligible.

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Blue Moon Blog Hop – Day 2

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Today is day two of the Blue Moon Blog Hop. Simply visit the following two blogs to see what Aurifil has up their sleeve and to see what Kate did with Jackie’s new fabric line.

Here is the full schedule. Feel free to go back and see the previous posts. Make sure to visit the other sites in the coming days.

Monday, Feb 5

Tuesday, Feb 6

Wednesday, Feb 7

Thursday, Feb 8

Friday, Feb 9

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Blue Moon Blog Hop – Day 1

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It’s day one of the Blue Moon blog hop. I can’t wait to see what everyone has done with Jackie Kunkel’s new fabric line!

Here is the schedule of blogs to visit:

Monday, Feb 5

Tuesday, Feb 6

Wednesday, Feb 7

Thursday, Feb 8

Friday, Feb 9

Never done a blog hop? No problem, it’s really easy! Simply visit each of these blogs linked above on their appointed day. That’s it! You’ll get to read about what they did with Jackie’s new fabric line and have the chance at winning some great prizes too. It couldn’t be any easier.

Have fun and don’t forget to come back here on Wednesday to see what I did!

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Fabric Extravaganza update!

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For all my New England bargain hunter quilters out there…I know there has been some confusion about this awesome event so I thought I would help clear some of it up. Fabric Extravaganza has been in February for the last several years and the vendors offer bargains galore. Two of the original coordinators have gone their separate ways and now we have two events. It didn’t help that early on they were both using the same name. That issue has been straightened out now. Here’s how it all panned out!

The Not Just Fabric Blowout Sale will be February 8-10, 2018 at the Holiday Inn in Nashua NH

 

Fabric Extravaganza will be March 8-10, 2018 at the Holiday Inn in Nashua NH

 

 

So, what is this event? It’s a bargain hunters paradise! No fancy displays, nothing is full price, everything is a great deal. 

Is it all second rate merchandise? Absolutely not! When I find a great deal on a product I’ll buy lots so I can pass those savings on to you. Sometimes I over-estimate how much of something I’ll need so I now have too much. A few things get scratched or dented (but are otherwise perfectly fine) while I travel to and fro. And, of course, I’m a quilter so I occasionally will over buy when confronted with all the new fabrics and patterns…sigh…

When is the best time to visit either show? I always say come on the first day for the best selection and come on the last day for the best price. We don’t want to take it back home!

How do I choose which show to attend? Don’t! Attend both! Myself and one other vendor will be at both shows. All the other vendors will be different for each show so there will be different offerings. Here is a listing of the vendors and the times of each show:

Fabric Blow Out: Purple Moose Designs, Vintage & Vogue, Bits ‘n Pieces, Bittersweet Fabrics (machines) and TNT Quilt Boards. I believe there are a couple of other vendors but I don’t know who they are. Thursday & Friday 10-5:30 Saturday 10-3

Fabric Extravaganza: Purple Moose Designs, The Christmas Shoppe, Nashua Sew & Vac, Bits ‘n Pieces, Fabritique, Dragonfly’s Quilt Shop, Country Treasures, Maine-ly Sewing and A Notion To Quilt. Thursday & Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-3

Can I bring a friend? Of course! There is a great cafe on site so you can have lunch and make a day of it. Just one word of caution…make sure whoever drives has the biggest trunk!

Admission is free and the bargains are real. Bring your list of backings needed, charity quilt requirements, “holes” in your stash (you know you need more purple fabrics!) and don’t forget your bags! Hope to see you at either event!   

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12 Days Of Christmas – Wrap Up

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I hope you enjoyed our 12 Days Of Christmas promotion. Thank you to everyone that participated. All the items have been tallied and the invoices have been sent out. If you did not receive an invoice (and were expecting to!) please let us know ASAP.

I would also love to hear how this promotion went for you! Feedback is always welcome…constructive critiques as well as positive comments. I’m hoping to do this again next year. The ordering process should be a little smoother because we’ll have our nifty new website in place! Any other suggestions on improvements would be welcomed.

Thanks again for hanging with us these past 12 days. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family!

Terri

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