Fabric Extravaganza

January 31st, 2017

As this show quickly approaches I thought I would take a few minutes to tell you a little about it. If you’ve never been before then it’s high time you came. It’s unlike any other quilt show. There are no fancy displays of quilts, you’re more likely to find post-it note signs instead of nice ones, workers are dressed in their finest denim while standing for hours cutting fabric and ringing sales.

Nothing is full price, everything is discounted. Oh, I hear ya…it must be all junk stuff, right? WRONG! Every shop (brick/mortar & online) ends up with a collection of fabrics where too many of the “stars” have sold out and the “bit players” are languishing on the shelf. Or those last couple of yards on a bolt always seem to take forever to disappear (kind of like the last cinnamon roll, no one wants to take it!) or perhaps a notions packaging is looking a little tired from being hauled around. I will also admit to bringing items simply because I’m tired of looking at them! And we can’t forget that sure-to-be-a-hit that we bought way too much of or the supplies for that class that got cancelled because of a big snow storm. And most sad of all…the last few years (this year included) we have had vendors who had recently closed their shop and are looking to get rid of the last of their inventory. Whatever the reason, there are bargains to be had.

The show is held at the Holiday Inn, 9 Northeastern Blvd. in Nashua NH, exit 4 off route 3

February 16-18, 2017 – Thursday & Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-3

As of this moment the vendors will be: Vintage & Vogue, Purple Moose Designs, Fabritique, A Notion To Quilt, Bittersweet Fabrics, Dragonfly, Bits & Pieces and Heart In Hand

Over the years (this is my 4th or 5th year, I’ve lost count) I have discovered the secret strategies of the power shoppers…

*Come early on Thursday for best selection,

*Come on Saturday just after lunch for best prices. We don’t want to haul it back home…

*Bring a friend or three and enjoy a great lunch at the on-site cafe.

*Please bring a shopping bag or tote. You can bring several and put the filled ones in the car before lunch!

*Wear comfy shoes, skip the perfume (lots of people, close quarters) but put on deodorant (lots of people, close quarters!)

*Elbow and knee pads are not generally needed, quilters are typically polite. If you wear the pads, we’ll know you mean business.

*Work out a plan with your friends to tag-team the line. One person stands in line for cutting/paying while the other flits around looking for more bargains, then switch places.

*Come with a list of backings needed, charity quilts requirements, guild raffle quilt requirements, 2017 Christmas present list (it will come, be prepared!)

 

Hope to see ya there!

Last Minute Gifts For Quilters

December 14th, 2016

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The holidays are almost here…how ya doing on your gift list??? If there are still some holes in it we may have just the thing. Feel free to forward this to your secret Santa too! Or you can just skip the middleman and buy yourself what you really want. You know the old saying “If you want it done right, do it yourself!”

 

You have until the 20th of December to ensure delivery by Christmas if you choose Priority Mail. If you live in New England…we can probably go until the 21st…hopefully…

 

Lighting!

LED lightLED lamp

I have sold hundreds of the little portable lights in the first photo. They’re a great light. Now they have a big brother! They both have 3 levels of brightness and are both powered by either 4 AA batteries (not included) or a USB cord (included) with just the touch of a finger. Now you can take your light where you need it most…in the living room while watching tv…while traveling, in dark hotel rooms…during class or retreat…at your sewing area at home…or all of them since they move easily with no cord!

 

Both lights can be maneuvered around to get the light exactly where you need it. The little one folds/unfolds to point light where you need it. The larger one has a flexible neck to get the light in just the right spot.

 

The little one can be found here. It sells for $14.95

 

The larger one can be found here. It sells for $19.95

 

Quick To Finish Projects!

Have you ever looked at your gift list and thought…oh crap, I forgot Penelope and we’re going to her house tomorrow! Perhaps you need a quick gift to give or you need a little something for a secret sister…Mini Projects may be just the answer. It’s always good to keep one or two on hand for emergencies! You can whip one of these out in an afternoon (no really, you can!) or just give them the pattern and let them have all the fun. We have LOTS to choose from! Check ’em out here.

Bloomin' Poinsettia My Love Bad Hare Day A Spot Of Tea

 

Tea Towels Are NOT Just For Tea!

Is your honey like mine and forgets to tell you things? “Oh, did I forget to tell you that we’re going to the Smith’s for dinner tonight?”…sigh…it’s a good thing I love him…

 

I don’t like to go to someone’s home empty handed but I don’t have a lot of time or money either so don’t expect any fine china or expensive wine if you have me over! A tea towel made for the host/hostess is just perfect. If I want to do a little more then I’ll put the towel as a liner in a basket or other container and add some homemade goodies. Oh heck, buy the homemade looking ones from the store and transfer them to the basket. No one will ever know. Just remember…it’s an old family recipe and Great Aunt Hilda would never allow you to divulge the family secret…

 

You really can make these in a blink of an eye. If you hurry you can get one done in about an hour…really…yes, even you! If I can do it, so can you. These are also good to keep on hand for emergencies. Especially if you have a forgetful honey like I do!

 

You can find the tea towels here and the tea towel patterns here.

Cuppa The Six'Teas

Good luck with those gift lists!

 

 

Want to name a quilt pattern?

November 3rd, 2016

Naming patterns is not always an easy task. Sometimes I know the name before the pattern has fully become clear. Other times (like now…) I struggle with it.

I have two new pre-cut, pre-fused kits that will be making their debut next week at Pinwheels & Friends quilt show in Sturbridge MA. All the cutting is done, fusing is done, instructions are almost done…all they need are names! Leave a comment with your name suggestions. If I end up using the one you suggest then you will receive a complete kit of that runner.

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First up is this table runner with a rooster and hen and all their eggs on a barn red background. I don’t want to use the word basket in the name since there is no basket on the runner. One of the ladies in my guild suggested Laying Around which is growing on me…

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Second we have this table runner with a couple of clusters of grapes. I’m drawing a complete blank on this one… I don’t really want to have a “wine” name since they’re just grapes, not wine. Unless it could somehow be a “pre-wine” name…sigh…still nothing comes to me…

 

Can ya help a gal out? Leave a comment with your thoughts and suggestions.

 

How Did You Become A Quilter?

October 3rd, 2016

I’m doing a business challenge and today’s question is “What drew you to your art?” I did not have a mother or grandmother that quilted, it’s something I found on my own. I was always crafty growing up and took the obligatory Home Ec classes in middle school. Thankfully there is no photographic evidence of the hideous bright blue plaid shorts I made and wore until they fell apart! There was never money for “extra” things so crafting was a way to get those little luxuries for little to no money. I dabbled in all manner of crafts. In the early 80’s when I was a newlywed with our first house to decorate I started making curtains, tablecloths, pillows…anything to make our home nice without spending a lot of money. One day I saw a magazine with a quilt on the cover. I looked at it and thought…it was just squares, I could totally do that! I would later learn that it was a Trip Around The World pattern. I stuck to my middle school Home Ec training and made all the seams 5/16″ and back stitched at the beginning and end of each square. I then proceeded to press all the seams open. I used the tried and true cardboard template method to make my squares. Each one was traced with an ink pen and cut out with my trusty scissors. Since I started in the middle…that square is much bigger than the outer ring of squares because the cardboard got mushy edges as I went!

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Here we are over 30 years later…is the quilt finished? Nope. We had a full sized bed when I started. I was nearly done with the top and we got a queen size bed so borders had to be added. They’re all cut out and ready to apply…still! During this mid-80’s era the popular colors were Country Blue and Mauve so my quilt is mauve. The more I worked on it the more I realized that I don’t like pink in large quantities…and it’s really pink! Hubby was also not too keen on having this large amount of pink in HIS bedroom. So, my first quilting project is my lifetime UFO. While it may not be finished it did spark a passion that I hope will last until my dying breath. I am also thankful for having the opportunity to create a job that lets me enjoy all the aspects of quilting every day. I’ve toyed a time or two with finishing the quilt but I kind of like having it the way it is. It reminds me of how far I’ve grown in my quilting.

How about you, how did you start quilting?

How I cover eastern New England in one weekend!

August 16th, 2016

I put a fair amount of miles on Mabel The Moose Mobile this past weekend. First up was Comic-con in Boston. Moosette didn’t dress up this year because time got away from us and we couldn’t get her costume finished. She did invite 3 friends along who were Comic-con virgins and weren’t dressing up so she also didn’t want to be the only one. Guess we have a head start on next years costume! In past years I would look around a bit then park my hiney in the food court and people watch as everyone passes by. The food court was right in the middle of the main floor so it was a great time for me. This year the Capitalist Show Organizers decided to add several more vendors where the food court used to be and moved it to a remote location. There were about 20 chairs there…for the thousands of people attending. I discovered that I’m too old to sit for long periods on the floor and it’s not a pretty site when I finally try to get up. I did get to answer one of those age-old questions…where’s Waldo? He was in line at the food court!

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I really enjoyed the collection of cars they had.

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I even spotted a quilt hanging in one of the vendor booths!

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Next up was a trip to Bangor Maine for the annual gathering of my treadle friends. I missed the Friday evening festivities due to Comic-con and arrived late on Saturday due to a business meeting. Why do all the fun activities all happen on the same weekend? Anyhoo, it was great to see everyone (if only briefly) and catch up on everyone’s lives. We were at the Cotton Cupboard quilt shop in Bangor. If only this shop was much, much closer. I would be in there all the time. Super friendly staff, great selection and you get a warm welcome everytime you walk through the door from Gracie the shop dog. She hears the bell on the door and goes running to greet whoever just came in. She takes her job seriously and does it very well. Yes, a picture would be nice…

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At our annual gathering we have a block exchange. This years seemed to involve a very complex mathematical equation to spread the blocks around. Here’s some of the folks looking over their stacks. We were challenged to use the weird attachments on our machines (underbraiders, tuckers, rufflers, etc). Yes, pictures would have been nice…

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I did score some teal fabrics for my upcoming Two For Teal exchange. Cotton Cupboard had a great variety to choose some. I also had a great fat quarter of Singer fabric in my goodie bag! Next year I hope these two events aren’t on the same weekend so I can enjoy them more fully.  And I should take more/better pictures…

Ladies Of The Lake 2016

August 13th, 2016

Last weekend I was vending at the Ladies Of The Lake show in Wolfeboro NH. This was a whole 7 miles from home. Quite a treat considering how far and wide I usually travel! It was also a very tiny booth…what was I thinking? Remind me never to do that again. It was like putting 10 gallons of stuff in a 5 gallon bucket!

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Sunflower by Winifred O’Shaughnessy. A very bright and happy quilt!IMG_2870

Hunter’s Star by Marilyn Ray, quilted by Kim Pilote. This pattern is on my to-do list. Love the colors and LOVE the outer border!IMG_2872

Hidden Butterflies by Debbie Sheldon quilted by Linda Bevins. Beautiful workmanship by both ladies!IMG_2874

Night Sky by Maria Wentworth quilted by The Attic Cat. I love this color palette.

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Lapis and Jade by Barbara Nelson quilted by Footprints Quilt Shop. Two of my favorite gems together in one quilt!IMG_2880

Spring Flower Heart by Dawn Thurston quilted by Dick Castrucci. Dawn is a fellow guild member for me…she makes stuff like this all the time…we still love her… All kidding aside, she does fab-fab work.IMG_2883

One of the highlights of the show was when they announced the winner for Viewer’s Choice. The quilt happened to be hanging right in front of my booth so I had a front row seat. Intro To Retirement by Sandy Onsanger quilted by Michelle Plourde. Sandy was our vendor liason and a very pleasant person. She was so surprised that she won. By a stroke of luck the quilter Michelle happened to be right there at the same time shopping. They make a great team. And yes they are normal sized people…that is one very gi-normous quilt. I think it was king plus!IMG_2886

Maine Quilts 2016

August 12th, 2016

I thought I would share a little of what we saw at Maine Quilts this year. This is one of my two favorite shows (the other is MQX) and I hope to do it for many more years. I’m still waiting for the moose theme year though…

 

This was our booth. We started something new this year, a selfie spot! We were visited by the Tacky Tiara group. What a hoot they were.

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Circle of Stars by Linda Garvin quilted by Patti Trygg. I loved the color combo.
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Cabin Nines by Audrey Briggs quilted by Carolyn Bernier. Oh the tiny little pieces! Below is Homage To The Amish by Sue Mason quilted by Patti Trygg. Just a plain old-fashioned block in modern colors with one fancy square in the center. Awesome!IMG_2833 IMG_2835

Influence by Pat LaPierre. What an interesting take on a modern quilt.

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One Fish, Two Fish…Tweaked by Denise Sullivan. What a fun colorful quilt.
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Day At The Lake by jean Savalchak quilted by Ramune Dailide. Fish of a different variety. Below is Coastal Sunset by Carol MacDougall. I think this was my favorite at the show. Stunning.

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Treadle by Kate Albert. A little something for my people power friends!

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A Bear Essential Bra – a Female Necessity! by Kate Albert. Who says quilting is boring?

Teal Mini Swap

August 11th, 2016

Want to help stamp out Ovarian Cancer? Of course you do! My friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs is running her annual swap to do just that. It only costs $15, $10 of which goes directly to Ovarian Cancer Research, the remaining money covers postage and mailing/office supplies. You are matched up with a partner and you make them either a mini quilt or a mug rug. You receive one in return. I have participated and/or sponsored prizes since the first year. You get to meet a great bunch of ladies online, hear some heart warming stories, see all manner of mini quilts and get a nifty mini quilt of your very own too. What’s not to love? Go here to get all the details and sign up. Who knows…maybe you’ll be my partner!

 

Here is the fabric we get to use in our project!

 

Here are a few of the mug rugs I received in past years. I’m gonna try my hand at the mini quilt this year!

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Moose Musings – Grace & Frankie

July 4th, 2016

Last week I spent most of my time sick on the couch. I don’t get sick very often but when I do it’s usually a doosy. I discovered that there is really nothing to watch on tv. Even zoned out on decongestants, nothing was very interesting. I ended up going to Netflix and watching old movies, one of which was 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Then Netflix recommended I watch their own series Grace & Frankie. I didn’t know Netflix made recommendations based on what I already watched. Very big brother-ish and I’m now terrified to fall asleep with the tv on for fear that I may accidentally “watch” something that will spawn some really weird recommendations. Anyhoo, I watched Grace & Frankie and was instantly won over. It stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two polar opposites who get thrown together in a life crisis. They discover themselves and also talk about the trials and tribulations of aging. What a hoot. There was also Sam Elliot and Ernie Hudson for some eye candy. Although I must admit that Ernie looked much better than Sam! If you need some entertainment I highly recommend it. I binge watched both seasons and now have to wait until 2017 for more…

Blast Off – the results

June 17th, 2016

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The blog hop is over and I cannot adequately thank all the bloggers for their time and effort. All of you hoppers are equally to thank. I always like asking odd questions – your answers are a fun way to run a blog hop! I know a couple of the bloggers are still waiting for responses from their winners but here are the remaining verified winners.

Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design – Kathy Pfaltzgraff

Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis – still waiting

Elaine Perez, Summercrafter – Kathy Harris

Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs – Joyce Jackowski

Sandi Blackwell, Stitched Buy – Lois Bates (game) and Cheryl Parker (book)

Sue & Elizabeth, PG Fiber2Art – Mary G

Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilter – still waiting

Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy – still waiting

Purple Moose Grand Prize – Ann but still waiting for confirmation

I also know that one of the “still waiting” is actually Lori Morton but I failed miserably and jotted the name down but forgot to also jot down who she went with…50 lashes with a wet selvege for me!

Thank you everyone for playing along. Purple hugs and moose kisses for you all!