Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Books! How I love my Quilting Books!!

I've had several poignant "AHA" moments of inspiration this week...and it's only Wednesday! How Kewl is that?!?   One of them was a interview I heard on "Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski".  

** Commercial Break ** If you don't have an ipod\iPhone whatever, you can still listen to podcasts by going straight to the Apple Store online.
Here's the link to Mark's podcasts in the Apple Store : Creative Mojo Podcasts
and Here's a link right to the radio show website if you want nothing at all to do with Apple! :
Creative Mojo on
** and Back to me! **

I heard an interview with Cindy Walter about an amazing new book coming out called Fabric Painting • A Beginner’s Guide • 11 Techniques • From Colorwashes to Painted Quilts.  Mark read through the sections and raved at how perfectly she put this book together.   I LOVE technique books, those are my absolute favorites to buy.  I rarely buy strictly "Project Books" unless I've signed up for a class or something and the instructor lists it on the supply list.    I gotta buy it when it comes out in October 2011...

HOWEVER......I do have to admit, as excited as I can get about a book....I have a tendancy to flip through in the store, LOVE the book to death, buy it, flip through it for 15 minutes or so......and then I think I subconsciously assume that it's contents are going to transmit to my brain from the bookshelf by osmosis..   I have to get better about actually READING my books - cover to cover.   When I first started quilting, I read every single book I bought, from beginning to end, and then sometimes read it twice.   With that being said, several MONTHS ago...I acquired a book that I could NOT live without. Getting excited about yet another book made me remember that need to keep the one I already HAVE in the forefront of my mind!

  In May of this year, my local quilting group had a retreat at  Camp Asbury in Silver Lake, NY  We go at least twice a year.  Once in the Spring, once in the fall.   There are lots of other quilting groups that also use this location for their retreats.   In the Spring, we contacted a newly opened quilt shop in Perry Center, NY called "The Quilter's Daughter".   The shop owner arranged for us to have a THREAD PAINTING teacher come during retreat and teach us a class.     The book she worked from for our workshop was a MUST HAVE for me...    Threads - The basics & beyond (By Debbie Bates & Liz Kettle)

I many of my readers have this book as well?!    Is it also on YOUR "TO-DO" list to go through it!?    It is a detailed technique book\project book.   The authors designed it to go page by page learning the techniques and in the end you have in your possession this 3-ring (or bound) thread scrapbook of sorts with all the things you tried and liked (or didn't like).  I love the idea of having my own reference of mistakes in the end!   So I'm giving myself a goal of spending September & October to carry this book with me, whenever I have the chance.   Osmosis isn't helping me learn the techniques......(Geesh...would have been nice if someone had told me that....) I'm going to do it.   Want to do it with me?

My reward?   Is going to be the book I heard Mark Lipinski raving about!! book - Fabric Painting with Cindy Walter

Now isn't this just a FLAWLESS plan to justify shopping??  :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's "MY" content

I was stumbling around through "Blogland" last night.   Not sure why, or for what.   It started because I was listening to a podcast in my car from Quilter in the Gap and was looking for her show notes.  She said in her recent podcast "Episode 8" that she was going to link to some other quilting podcasts that she listens to and I wanted to see if she found any I haven't subscribed to!  And of course offer up MY favs if she didn't know about them.  Through one of the comments posted in her episode, I wandered over to meet "Giles" because he mentioned he was also in Upstate NY.  I'm fascinated by male quilters, so I had to click on over.    You can follow HIS journey here:  Touch and Sew  After that, I headed over to my Google Reader to check out what's going on with all the other blogs I follow.

(**Commercial Break**)  If you don't know what Google Reader is - here's a homework assignment you MUST complete.   It is my favorite way to track all the blogs I've been reading.  You add the blogs you want to follow.  It's one stop shopping for "blogland" without cluttering up your email inbox. 
Go to, click the little "MORE" drop-down and choose READER
(** Back to our regularly scheduled blog post **)  So then, I'm skimming through the posts looking for something interesting....  I saw one with big bold letters:    WHY DO YOU QUILT?!?   Since I was in a self-reflection mood...this landed me here: Money & Joy of Quilting   I found this post to be very honest and genuine.   I'm proud of her for taking a moment to self-reflect.    My followers know that I've had those days.  Especially in my Operation Downsize: Part 1 post.  I do plan on going back to her post, reading it again and responding so that she knows that I find HUGE value to self-reflection in blog land.   Anyway.....from there...I was reading through the responses to her post (I personally find HUGE value to reader's responses just as much as the blog) and ended up here:

Here's where my thoughts took off for the evening.  Now I have to say, I didn't have a clue who Hugh MacLeod was before last night, nor do I know much about him now.  I know that he is a cartoonist and likes to write and self-reflect.  But from reading this particular post, I can tell he's frustrated with how much time Social Networking steals from his life, and essentially he's stealing it back.    I get it.   He might change his mind later, who knows.   What I found MOST fascinating, was the 104 replies to his post, and some of his responses to those replies.    It was so interesting to me to literally feel and hear his thought processes as he reads these responses.   LOVING blogging....have I mentioned?    If any of my posts ever get you thinking...please please PLEASE respond, email me privately if you don't want to post.   But seriously....I think that's WHY we blog!   I didn't know what it was for, or what I was going to do with it when I started, but it is definitely bringing me an inner strength and peace that I had no idea would happen when I started.  Ok...back to my point...

Earlier in the day, I listened to Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski - I just love Mark.  He's the "inner me".  HA!   He's outrageous, enthusiastic, totally LACKS a filter, and very very genuine.   I LOVE genuine people.   You never have to wonder what they are thinking.   You never have to self-reflect on "What do they mean by that".   His thoughts roll so fast from his head to his mouth that it's just a joy to listen to him.   I don't know if it was this weeks show or last weeks that I listened to, but he had a guest on the show that he found just by surfing the net.   He zoomed in on the title of something she wrote.  "Don't be a "me too" artist - be yourself"   Or something along those lines.  I can't find the show notes at the moment.    This statement also reached out to me, so it was already on my mind when I found the Money & Joy of Quilting post and then It's not my content post.  Ok ...back to my point...AGAIN.. HA  Feeling a little ADD at the moment...channels flipping and what not..

My POINT.... is that all of the above were the influences on my internal thoughts today.   I've found myself lately thinking of ways to "drive traffic", and whether or not to start "Art Journaling", and what should I talk about next that others will be interested in, and where is the "Quilting Revolution" really taking me, and where do I want it to take me....blah blah blah.   I didn't even realize, that just like Hugh MacLeod and Mark Lipinski, and Leah - from the Free Motion Quilting Project - that all these thoughts are doing is making "ME" get lost.    It is about "ME" after all right?    We only get one lifetime, and we never know where that lifetime is going to go, or how long it's going to GO for...  So I definitely want to stay in the NOW with my blog, I want to stay in MY head and not divert myself from the things that interest ME the most.   I am a Leo - Leo's are leaders...not followers.   I do solemnly swear to myself that while my life is filled with people that inspire me....I am not them, nor do I want to be them.    I'm excited, and happy and fulfilled with ME....and I need to stay true to that.   This post isn't for's for me.   To remind myself how this feeling today came about in case I need a reminder down the road.   It's not YOUR content....It's MINE!   And that makes me happy!  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Holy Mola!!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Embroidery Library ??  In case I haven't, let me tell you...I LOVE Embroidery Library.   And they have an AMAZING sale this week for you Machine Embroiderers.  They released over 100 new "Mola" designs yesterday and priced them all at a DOLLAR!   I can't get enough of these beauties.  They are GORGEOUS stitched out.   Here's some of my favorites this week:
I love the MOVEMENT you can feel with Mola designs
And the COLORS - omg, you should see them on BLACK
I literally could just post them love love them!

Embroidery Library is without a doubt one of my favorite embroidery websites.   The quality of their designs just get better and better as the years go on.   And their prices stay so reasonable!   Gone are the days that I will pay HUNDREDS of dollars for a design pack when there are amazing companies like EL out there.

Anywho, I just had to post really quick to tell you about this sale.   It's over on Sunday!  Don't miss out!  You've GOT to take a look!  Mola Sale! $1 a design!

Peruse their site while you are there.   Every week they post new designs - different sales, different themes.  There's a monthly series you can get addicted to, a weekly series, and since January of 2011 they have been posting a "Project of the Week" on their sister site.   Sparks those creative juices to figure out what to DO with all those embroidery designs you own!   Embroidery Library PROJECTS

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Embroidery Club in Western NY

In case you haven't been following my blog long, I also teach Embroidery Club in Western NY with my Partner-in-crime - Miss Vicki!   Here's this months mailer that went out today.   Email us at to get on the mailing list if you live in the area!

Hello Ladies!   I can't believe the fall season is coming upon us so fast!   Time to start putting away the shorts and tanks tops and replenishing the wardrobe with long-sleeves and pants.   Don't buy new!  Spruce up the old!  Also an opportunity to save on school shopping this year for the students in your life.  Grab a pair of denim jeans and bring them to Embroidery Club!  Let's work some MAGIC!!  PLUS!   We have TWO Classes now!   Call over to Amelia's Fabric & Yarn Shoppe (585-392-1192) and sign up for either the evening OR DAY class!  You MUST reserve your seat PRIOR to class.   Same project is being done in both sessions.   Tues Daytime Class with Miss Vicki is almost full already.   August 23rd 1pm - 4pm.   Our Regularly scheduled Thurs Evening Class with both Vicki & Jan is on August 25th from 5:30pm-8:30pm  There are lots of spaces left!  So if you haven't had an opportunity to sign up because of space limitations - now's your chance!

This month's project is "Embroider your Jeans" - Look at the GORGEOUS sample Miss Vicki made...

 She purchased a "Corner" design from Embroidery Library to complete this project!   You can use existing designs in your library or purchase ANY corner design!   Watch the stitch count-we only meet for 3 hours or so.    And we want to help you close up any seams we rip out of your garment!

·         “Sticky” stabilizer – such as stable stick - if you don't have any - this can also be done with heavy cutaway & 505 Spray!
·         Seam ripper
·         Regular sewing thread to match the thread used on the hem and outside seams of the jeans
·         Designs of your choice (I chose a corner design)  The designs will be more striking if they are NOT stitch intensive. Be sure to use a design that will fit in your hoop! 
·         Embroidery threads for your design - Check your chart.
·         Machine needles
-         embroidery Scissors for clipping threads
·         Embroidery design(s) preloaded on your machine or USB stick
·         Design printouts – This is a must for design placement! - You also want that color chart to follow along if you choose!
·         Pins
·         Embroidery machine including all attachments and cords
·         A pair of jeans that have been washed at least once (Yours, one of your children, grandchildren...whatever!!)

If you have any trouble - or don't understand, or are new to the club and you need a pep talk......EMAIL BACK with your phone number!!  Vicki or Jan will call you and make you feel alllllll better.  :-)

Jan & Vicki
Quilting Revolution Embroidery Club

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday

So it occurred to me the other day, how much I look forward to having something to post on "Design Wall Monday".   There are days that I daydream that those reading will "ooooh" and "aaah" at my progress as my current hand-applique quilt grows and grows.   Who gets excited about Mondays....really??!  Well I was...I am!  I had been planning to start this quilt for almost 2 years now.  All the gorgeous fabrics have long been purchased.   Three of my "besties" agreed to meet on a Bi-Monday interval and keep each other motivated to keep the hand-work alive!  Myself and two others are all making the same quilt.  Different fabrics, different embroidery stitches, perhaps even different settings in the end.  The fourth friend has taken on a quilt pattern that has SOOOOOOO many pieces, my eyes cross just thinking about preparing for it!  Hers has 4 HUGE blocks with lotsa stuff in it.  The other three of us - 36 blocks, or something crazy like that, but few enough pieces in them that we get to have a feeling of accomplishment a little more often.

Session one....we set out together to get the background cut, pieces traced, vinyl map drawn up and start pinning the pieces.   I think we were lucky to have 10 stitches done by the end of the night.  Now we have an applique "GURU" in our mix mind you....and we are trying to accomplish her 30 some years of experience into a 4 hour session.   Nothing wrong with shooting high right?   One thing I did notice...was that our "GURU"....had a pretty shnazzy pair of glasses she was wearing that clipped perfectly onto her existing glasses, and had absolutely NO shame in how they looked.   I chortled our age differences and she just smiled knowingly.   Didn't think much of it at the time.....

Session two...all but the "GURU" is pretty much behind.   I am the task-master of course....coming up with outrageous goals for homework for people that are so completely new to the technique.   They whined, I pressed on..  failing at keeping up myself.    Well....participant #2 suddenly stands up, goes upstairs and comes back down shortly thereafter.   Flops back into her chair and with a 10 second flush to her cheeks announces...."I don't care how silly this looks, I can't see anything!"...with that, she slips a second pair of glasses on over her existing glasses and starts moving faster with her applique.....  I giggled....made another age reference and went back to work...   My "besties" are used to my teasing about our age difference.

Session three....   I'm the only one behind for the most part.  And I talked them all into this!!   I ponder my excuses.  I decide the best one to reveal is that it has been raining most of the week and I have found that I only enjoy working on this project outside, mid-day, in broad sunlit daylight.   So's mother nature's fault!    Participant #3 joins us again this session.     After cutting and tracing and a bit of ironing, she nestles into her seat.    5 seconds goes by, and she's rummaging through her bag.   Woah!  Those are some glasses!  They look like jewelers peek-holes with a nose bridge.   I decide again the age reference cracks and just snicker.    They all snicker back.    Not more than 15 minutes go by and she blurts "hope this doesn't bother anyone - just let me know"...and a LIGHT is BEAMING out of the jeweler glasses!!!   We all burst out laughing.    This time, I'm pretty certain they are laughing at my vanity.   <grin>'s MY submittance for "DESIGN WALL MONDAY".    Ohh baby!   I've aged 20 years putting these puppies on....but I can SEE the stitches now!!!  (smacking forehead).  +2.0 I'm supposed to tell you all.    I like to think that I got a version upgrade!  Jan + Reading Glasses = Jan 2.0!   HA!

Tune in next week to see if being able to SEE your project.....might have something to with how often you work on it, and how much you enjoy it.    Consider a pair of reading glasses from your local grocery or drugstore and see how it goes.     I'll tell ya what...I'm sure eating crow this week  <wink>

Thursday, August 11, 2011

App Store Tuesday

After listening to this week's "Quilting...for the rest of us" podcast Episode 057 "In Which We De-Clutter" I know EXACTLY which app(s) to feature this week on "App Store Tuesday"!  I know I only usually do one - but the apps I want to feature fall into the same catagory to a degree - and you don't need all of them - choose the ones that will suit YOUR needs.

Some time ago, a woman walked into a local quilt shop where I worked for a short period of time and whipped out her iPod, quickly swiped through a few screens and showed me a picture of a pile of fabric and asked me to help her find a coordinate.    She had the manufacturer and the name of the line as well.  I thought it was so cool that she was that organized (and that techy!) and had this all in her pocket!   I inquired more about what she was using and it was an app to catalog the projects she had going in her sewing room! 

This started me down the path of hunting for any and all apps that would do this and review them!  At the time - I found 3 to speak of.   Each one has similar functionality, downsides and upsides.  I really wanted one that was ALL encompassing - that could track my projects, what I have, give me a shopping list, do the dishes, feed the know...everything!  Be sure to get to the end of my post before you start downloading, for my FEATURED FAVORITE!  Here we go....

First Up:   Project Quilt: Organizer By Koma Kode    Thumbs UP from me!

This app is for exactly what it's named...tracking EVERY little detail (and cost) of each individual project you are working on.   You can take pictures, write notes, record as many attributes as you wish (style, embroideries, threads, fabrics), but most importantly plan and track costs & materials.  MY favorite use for this app goes something like this - You're walking through the park and you see an old iron gate – you're suddenly inspired, you see the quilt in front of your eyes but you have your kids, appointments, work, the dog, and a guild meeting that night. You also have two other projects that must come first, but if you don’t get your inspiration written down you may never think of it again. The solution is this app.  BINGO!  This was exactly what I needed to "track inspiration".   So many times, something will spark my creative juices and a quilt or embroidery project will start bubbling up in my mind.  I'll snap a picture, grab a post-it or corner of an envelope, and chicken scratch some notes so I don't lose the idea!   By the time I find that scrap piece of paper.....or I'm flipping through my digital pictures....I vaguely remember something about the spark...but not enough to make any sense out of what I've got.  So I track my quilting "dreams" in this app.   Pictures get to stay WITH the notes.   The downside?  The "cost" feature is not it's always staring you in the face.  Some people might LOVE this feature - especially if you are doing custom work for others.   Think Long-Armer....tracking their hours and materials!  Viola!  Perfect app!

Next Up: iSewingRoom By      Thumbs DOWN from me!

This app was one of the first ones out there and unfortunately appears to have been abandoned by the developers after release.   It's buggy, hasn't gotten great reviews and I never got it to work the way I wanted.   There's a Lite version and a full, but if you decide to try it out - there's no response from support.  Forewarning.

Next Up: Sewing Kit By Vesta Software, LLC      Thumbs UP\Down from me!

This little beauty is perfect for the "Garment Sewer". Which I am not.  LOL Sewing Kit lets you search through all of your patterns, fabrics, projects, and people to make sure you are not buying something twice, or getting home and finding out you forgot to get something you really needed!  With Sewing Kit you can store and search on all of your:  - patterns - fabrics - projects - measurements for people.   For each pattern from Butterick, Kwik Sew, McCall’s, Neue Mode, Simplicity or Vogue, Sewing Kit will try to auto-download the envelope images (including the back panel) if they are available on the company’s public web site! For fabrics, each entry has: name, color, material, amount, been ironed?, been washed?, where you bought it, where it’s stored, “unlimited” photos, and more! For projects, each entry has: name, who its for, notes, “unlimited” photos, pattern being used, status, type, and more! For people, each entry has: person’s name, “unlimited” photos, and “unlimited” measurements!
My rating for this app (Up\Down) is because of lack of developer interaction.  There hasn't been an update in a long time, and it is a tiny bit buggy.   You have to take pictures outside of the app and then load them in as opposed to taking them within the app like it advertises.   Can be a bit cumbersome, but it has a nice view of everything once it's in there.   I've personally wiped out all the garment sewing settings that I could, and just store pics of the fabrics I have yardage of, and have all my UFO's listed.  There's a place for notes, dates, and I can list the things I still need to buy for a project.  I like it, was worth the purchase.

And now (drum roll please) newest, favoritest, bestest, amazingest app.......

My Inventory Manager (PRO VERSION) - trust me, just buy it!  Forget the limited Free Version

Wow....I can't even begin to describe all the uses for this app.   It's my new best friend.  Without a doubt.   You won't find it in any "quilting" or "sewing" Catagory - it's a productivity app.    The hunt began because of a sale on Accuquilt dies.  People were RUNNING for them, and I wasn't sure which dies I had already!!  Also, Sandy, from Quilting... for the Rest of Us, once again, made me think of hunting for this app.   (I know!!, Lots of mention of Sandy and her podcasts and her blogs huh? - you'd think we were channeling each other!).   In one of Sandy's recent podcasts, she mentioned being in a store, wanting a Creative Grids ruler and wondering if she had it at home or not.  The agonizing call to the NON-Quilter at home (may it be a daughter, husband, son, PICK any family member that wants nothing at all to do with venturing into the sewing CAVE) and trying to identify whatever thing you are trying to describe on the phone as your voice goes up several octaves in frustration because there's a SALE....and you don't have time to go home and check!!    Lo and behold, even with remote assistance from her daughter - she ended up with TWO of the same ruler.   Oh Sandy, I feel for you.   That has happened to me with patterns and books too.    Well NO more!   Now that this handy dandy little app has entered my life!

Organize your possessions fast, simply and comfortably. Always maintain an overview of all your stored objects.  The app was born to catalog boxes in the attic, or bins in the garage.  Which is ALSO a great feature.   But the first thing I added...was my Sewing Room as a location, my Accuquilt as an asset, and all the dies I have as content!   Then...Sandy got me adding "Rulers" as a catagory.  Yep!  I now know EVERY ruler I already my pocket.    Books are next - I have half of them in there.  Then things got REALLY crazy.....I added the rooms in my house....each dresser, each closet, each drawer.  PURGING as I sorted through.... You create REAL storage locations and organize your inventory by defining them. Eg. "locations > house > garage > red box".  Get this - there's a bar code scanner too!   If it has a bar do NOTHING...enter the bar code...badabing!  It's in there!  Serial numbers, model #'s EVERYTHING!  I know, starting to sound a little crazy right?    Let's go back to the sewing room.....the BINS - are getting numbers.....what's in Bin #4...yep....contents are listed, photographed....   Thread boxes....yep.....colors, manufacturer....this is BEYOND crazy right??.........

The BEST feature of this app???   Ready?     It INTEGRATES WITH EBAY!!     ...........(HUGE GASP from the Audience!!!!!!!!!)

Oh yeah baby....we are in FULL SWING for "Operation Downsize!!!''


So it gets better the more I use this thing.  I'm hauling garbage bags to the curb EVERY weekend, dropping off donations at the Salvation Army on the way to work...oh yeah..this feels GOOD! 

I'm a computer field engineer by trade.   On "Install" days, I often have to share space (and tools) with other contractors.   A quick swipe of my iPhone, click "tool bag"..... Front pouch.....sorry buddy, that is DEFINITELY my socket set...see?.....nice try.  Tools won't be disappearing anymore!   I have boatloads of computer tools, cables, AC Adapters, parts, memory modules, hard drives......the list goes on.   This stuff is FINALLY getting inventoried instead of filling closets and drawers!!  And as I go through...if I have 3 or 4 of something, and I'm never going to use that many....*CLICK*....up on Ebay baby....and the description is READY!   Oh yeah....I'm in love with this app....can you tell?!?   Sandy.....I think I love you.  :-)

Now let's get serious for a minute and think of the possibilities.   
* Quilts - their stories, their meanings, how they started, where they came from.....their VALUE... 
* Electronic equipment in the house - their serial numbers...when their warranties expire
* As you're walking through Staples - Printer Ink is on sale.....and you are out of it....and the store closes in 20 minutes.....  The model # that you NEVER in your pocket.
* Do you loan things to friends all the time, and forget where everything went when you need it?   Mark it down in the inventory!!  You know exactly who has it!
*Search and tags (headwords) - With the search function you can quickly and painlessly find what your looking for, without searching for hours in the cellar or in the attic. The search accesses the name of the object and the tags (headwords) which you assign to the object initially.

....As soon as I get my house in order....guess who's next......

(Rrrriiingg......Rrrrriinnngg....)   Hi Mom......guess what we are going to start doing once a week?   <grin>

De-Clutter we come!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Random "Quilt Shop" Reviews..

I've been dying to find a few minutes and tell everyone about two wonderful shops I found in my travels recently!   One of the things I love about my new job is that I get to travel Western & Eastern NY a lot.  It breaks up the monotony of just "going to the office" every day.  The time in my car is my time to reflect on life, chat with some of my girlfriends, listen to inspirational Quilty (and Non-Quilty) podcasts and just BE!   And after a refreshing drive into the wild blue yonder, I get back to the office ready and willing to CONQUER whatever problem is thrown at me.   I am coming to believe that these times make me better at what I do.   It's so easy to get burned out in my field.  Day in, day out - problem after problem.   Sometimes you don't get to go home thinking that everything is right in the world.   Sometimes you go home knowing full well that that the following day is going to be loaded with harder problems or problems that you just couldn't wrap your head around the day before.

Sometimes....heading 80+ miles to the East is a great big TEASE!  LOL   I recently featured some quilt shop locator apps I have on my iphone.  So I'm always thinking about where all the little quilty paradises are, far far away that I don't always have a chance to just pop in my car and go peruse.  Three times now, I've headed up towards Oswego for a client call.   The first time - my schedule was so tight that day - that I couldn't take the 10 minute turn off to the little blue dot on my GPS map to go visit a shop I've longed to visit.   The second time out that way - I got to drive past it, nice and slow and peer into the window.  What a TEASE!! The third time - BINGO!   I was a mile down the road and leaving my client ran perfectly into the time I could break for lunch!

The first shop I hit was Calico Gals in Harborview

There are two locations for this shop.   One in Syracuse and one in Oswego (Harborview).   I got the opportunity to stop in at the one in Oswego.   What a cute little shop!   There was a class going in the back classroom, they had a great book selection - TONS of purse patterns!  I buzzed through the shop quickly just to get a look-see and then buzzed right back out again.   If I get another opportunity, I will definitely stop in again and look around a bit longer.   Believe it or not, I left without a purchase!

One of the kewlest things I learned in my few minutes at this shop is that there is an amazing new TWIST on Shop Hops!

You've got to check out the NYS Row By Row Quilt Shop Hop !!  It’s a summertime shop hop made just for quilters traveling through New York State. It’s the easiest shop hop ever! Just visit any of the participating quilt shops throughout the months of July and August. Each shop is giving away a pattern for one row in a Summertime Row Quilt. Pick up as many as you can, then mix and match your rows to create a fun and unique quilt. No passports and no fees! It’s a freebie!  Be the first person to bring a finished (quilted, bound, labeled) quilt using at least 8 different rows in to your local shop and receive a bundle of 25 beautiful fat quarters.  Limit one prize per quilter or quilt.  You've got to check this out!

The second shop I want to tell you about....was AMAZING....I was awestruck.  This shop was about 10-15 minutes off my route. Which was probably why I rushed out of the first shop so fast...I only have 30 minutes for lunch.  But I think I made good time.  :-)   No "chicken truck" to follow behind this time!  HA HA.  If you ever find yourself out on route 104 in NY between Wolcott & Red Creek...TAKE THE TURN!   :-)  Route 370 to Savannah.  Oooh BABY!  Thank GOODNESS I don't live out there!   I'd go broke!

Take a looksee at Spring Lake Fabrics in Savannah, NY.

What an amazing place!  The store is owned by Amish Mennonite's and their prices reflect it.  I was so excited to find a shop featuring Robert Kaufman, Fusions, P&B, Timeless Treasures, Moda, Michael Miller, Springs. 80 Panels, Precious Moments, Farmall, John Deer, Nascar, Boyds Bears, Superman, Wildlife, Cat, Dog, Car, Farm Animals, Fleece, and Flannel fabrics.  Oh my gosh the list goes on and on!

If you are planning an "I Spy" quilt in your future...this is the place to go. There were so  many fabrics that I've never seen before - fabrics I haven't seen available locally in forever!   Notions, zippers, yarns, rick-rack....I felt like I was in heaven.   There's also an Amish Market attached with jams, jellys, breads and grocery goods too! 
I can't wait to have the opportunity to visit again and stay much MUCH longer
As for my "purchases"....I was a VERY good girl.  Which is REALLY surprising for me.  LOL   But since "Operation Downsize" began - I am VERY conscious of what I have, need, don't need, don't have, etc.    And I've got some amazing projects planned that I intend on starting.   My tastes change every few years - sitting on materials I'm not going to touch for YEARS isn't logical for me at this point.

With that being said.....I was good....but NOT logical.  HAHAH.   I have NO idea what I'm going to do with this fabric, but it JUMPED off the rack, directly into my arms, FLEW to the cutting table and ended up in a bag, with a receipt with my name on it.   (sigh).....

Aren't they GORGEOUS?!?  I think it's the color palette I was drawn to.   The Green leaves I bought just because it was the only other bolt in the line.   Some day, you will see this again in something SUPER fabulous.   Five times in my life have I had a fabric line or single fabric GRAB me like that.   The first one - ended up in an amazing quilt that IS finished...and won first prize in the Machine Applique catagory at a local "People's Choice" Quilt Show. (It's the quilt in my profile picture). Two others are in a bin, waiting patiently for the RIGHT coordinates for another is completely planned, and will go on my next retreat weekend with me and get sliced and diced.   And now these.   I just want to carry them around with me and pet them and stare at them and drown in the colors.  

It's called RAINBOW GARDEN  By Kona Bay. In the "Teal" colorway.  Now I just need to find the border fabric to match at a local shop!   Rain-Teal (Border)  The colors on Kona Bay's website are WAY too Fushia looking compared to how this fabric really looks.   MmmmHmmm....YUMMY!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

App Store Tuesday

One of the things that any of my "Quilty" girlfriends will tell you is that I LOVE to help.   Sew Days, retreats, teaching classes, you name it....I LOVE making that little light bulb go on for a quilter.  I'm a problem-solver, a troubleshooter, an educator and learner.  I love to creep around the room on retreats and peek at what everyone is doing.  Whether it be to spot something I've never seen before and learn it, or find a fellow quilter that doesn't have the "at ease" feeling that the seasoned girls have and help them find it.   This week - my featured app of the week is a "Helper" app.    I've whipped this little baby out at retreats, during classes, and even weekly when I was working behind the counter at a quilt shop!

By Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Quilter's Paradise have joined forces to bring you a collection of eight essential quilting calculators.

You'll be able to quickly convert between yards and inches, meters and centimeters; learn how much fabric you need for backing, batting and borders; and understand how many rectangular pieces can be cut from a larger piece. There are even calculators for square in a square, set-in and corner triangles.

A brief description of each calculator:

Fabric Measurement Conversion: Converts between inches and yards in decimal form, and yards in fractional form. (With metric equivalents.)

Backing and Batting Calculator: Determines how much yardage from a bolt of fabric is needed to make the backing for a quilt.

Piece Count Calculator: Shows the number of fixed-sized pieces of fabric that may be cut from a larger piece.

Pieces to Area Calculator: Indicates how much fabric is needed in order to cut a given number of fixed sized pieces.

Binding Calculator: Tells you the amount of fabric required to bind your quilt based on the quilt’s dimensions and the binding strip width.

Border Calculator: Shows the amount of fabric required to create borders, based on a quilt’s dimensions and the width of the borders.

Square in a Square Calculator: Works out all the key dimensions of a square in a square block.

Set-in and Corner Triangle Calculator: Determines the size of the square piece you’ll need to cut in order to create both unfinished set-in triangles and unfinished corner triangles.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Design Wall Monday..

...well..technically, it's Design "CHAIR" Monday.   My knees are so sore today, I just don't feel like drudging up the stairs to put them on the wall.  <grin>  But if you want to take a peek at other Design Walls, please visit Patchwork Times

I had such good intentions to be caught up on my blocks by today so I could show AMAZING progress. The beauty of this being MY Blog - is I can have good intentions again!   I'm posting BEFORE I start working on Block 2 tonight.  So I'm that much more FABULOUS next week.

I'm continuing to work on my hand applique blocks  - I love the way they are turning out.  I thought I was going to hate this, but by the end of the first block, I'm glad I started it.

I've also made alot of progress on "Operation Downsize"!  I've been bonding with my fabric again, listing stuff I'll never touch on Ebay and unloading lots of goodies on my poor unsuspecting Sister-in-law who home-schools my two fabulous nieces and my nephew! You can read about their fabulous adventures here - Starts At Eight  Last week she happily hauled away 4 totes and a garbage bag full of construction paper, ribbons, craft foam, pom-poms, pipe-cleaners, knitting needles and all kinds of stuff.   From the looks of her recent blog post - it forced her to do some downsizing as well!   It felt really good knowing that they will use EVERYTHING they took away.  I sure wasn't.  WHY on earth was I still storing it all?   I am convinced it was sheer laziness.    Check out some of my progress!

I'm getting there.  And while I'm not accomplishing World Peace - or ending hunger....I am finding small bits of satisfaction that I will conquer this mess and make it a peaceful place again.   Now if my Orthopaedic doctor would just let me have Cortizone shots more often, I'd be a REALLY happy girl.