Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sharing the Love--Win this gift basket

You should all know that we love our customers--if it weren't for you we wouldn't be able to offer you great fabrics, books, and other products. So in the spirit of Valentine's Day we're sharing the love by giving you an opportunity to win an amazing gift basket (shown above) full of fantastic quilting goodies! This gift basket includes a brand new Possibilities pattern that isn't even available to the public yet, plus great Possibilities books, fabrics, threads, tools, and sooo much more. How do you enter to win, you ask? Simply leave a comment below and we'll randomly choose and post the winner on February 14th! Make sure to let your quilting friends know about this contest, too!

A few simple rules:
*Please leave only one comment per person.
*Make sure to include your blog or email contact so we can let you know if you've won.
*If you post anonymously we may not be able to contact you, so please check for the winner on February 14, 2009
*Winner will be chosen at random using the random.org integer generator.
*Winner will be posted on the blog on February 14, 2009.

Good Luck!
Lynda and Nancy

Monday, January 26, 2009

Working with Paintstiks

I've just finished another slide show with the help of Susie, Lexie, and Kim. This one goes into working with Shiva Paintstiks. Paintstiks are really fun to work with and not hard to use at all. Add texture to any fabric, or make your own fabric. Paintstiks will be one of the techniques that we will play with in our Embellishment Schoolhouse. Enjoy the slide show!

Friday, January 23, 2009

All over the board.....

I'm teaching some classes on Scrap Therapy. The classes are organized so that you actually start cutting your scraps into usable sizes of squares and then make quilts and other projects from these squares. The ladies in the class came with assorted shapes and sizes of fabric. As I was helping one lady press her scraps in preparation for cutting, I noticed that she had saved many ends of prepared binding. I started pressing these open and then I thought of all of the scrap quilts we have made with scrap pieces of binding. I pulled several pieces from her bag and set them together and suggested that she keep a box where she can collect these binding pieces, join them together, and the next time she finished a scrap quilt, the binding would be ready to go.

My new favorite notion is the Frostings Donut.

The Frostings Donut contains prewound bobbins of 36 colors of Superior's MasterPiece thread, hand picked by Becky and Linda from Piece o' Cake. This thread is perfect for applique and the BobbinSaver keeps it all in one convenient place. I wrote the thread information on the back of the BobbinSaver with a permanent marker. Makes a pretty snazzy bracelet, too!

Two times this winter we are having an Embellishment Schoolhouse. Five of our very accomplished friends are going to teach students wonderful ways to add embellishments to their work. The students will have hands-on experience in paints, making clay buttons, working with angelina, felting, paintstiks, and much more. Nancy and I sat in on a dry run last Saturday and we got sooooo excited that we will probably both sign up! The first schoolhouse is February 14th from 10-3:00--a great Valentine's present. Samples will be posted in the store soon and I will try to get them on the blog.

I can't wait until next week! We are going to have a contest here on the blog with a really great prize. Be sure to check back in.

Have a great weekend and get lots of sewing done.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Block of the Month Kick-Off, January 17

We are so excited to present 3 brand new Block of the Month quilts for 2009. We actually have two of the original quilts in the store and you might want to see them, even if you don't plan on making them--they are stunning and well worth the trip!

The first one is by Sue Garman and is titled 'twas the Night Before Christmas. It is a 12 month BOM. This is displayed in the store and Kelly is hard at work making her own sample.

This next quilt is Back Home Again by Kaye England. The fabric line used to make this quilt is gorgeous. It is a beautiful sampler quilt--all pieced blocks and no applique-- and a great BOM for new as well as accomplished quilters. This BOM continues for 7 months.

Merry Christmas to All is marketed as a 16 month BOM, but we are accelerating it to 8 months so that you can have it finished by Christmas 2009. The design is by Daisy & Dell and Judy is working on her 5th block. This quilt is also on display in the store.

See close-ups of the blocks in the two applique quilts on our website. The Block of the Month kick-off is January 17 at 10:00. We will have lots more info then and will also be posting more info on the website at that time. If you can, please try to get in to see the quilts in person.

Lynda and Nancy

Friday, January 2, 2009

My "Not So Upbeat Playlist"

I married into a very musical family. All play several instruments, build instruments, and collect music in every form--records, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, CD's, MP3's, XYZ's, etc. My claim to fame is that I can play my ipod--but, not very well I found out!

My daughter commented to me before Christmas that I needed to work on my ipod playlists. It seems that my "Holiday Playlist" had several renditions of popular songs--I think maybe 9 versions of White Christmas and 6 of Jingle Bells, and if you don't hit shuffle, it is quite repetitious.

Kim also commented on my "Upbeat Playlist". It starts with Fields of Gold by Sting, advances to If You Leave Me Now by Chicago, goes on to On My Own by Michael McDonald, and I Can't Get No Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, and falls into the depths of despair from there. WOW! I must have been pretty depressed when making this playlist and I am the optimist in this family. (I keep this list because it makes me laugh--which makes me more UPBEAT!!!)

So, I learned that I could have help making my playlists. If you download Genius from itunes you can select any song in your library and Genius will select 24 more songs that supposedly have some sort of connection with the one you chose. It actually is pretty neat. I tend to listen to the same songs or playlists and forget about the other songs I have purchased or downloaded. With Genius I am listening to songs that I forgot I had, and songs that I truly wonder why I downloaded in the first place. But, sometimes I wonder what in the world the songs Genius chooses have in common with the one I chose, but then I only have to think about my "Upbeat Playlist", which Kim now refers to as My Not So Upbeat Playlist.

Today, I started playing games with Genius. I took a remote song in my library to see what Genius would come up with. I chose Orinoco Flow by Enya (this version by Celtic Women) and could not believe what songs it matched--where did these songs come from?--well I now have several songs that I will be deleting from my library. I guess the more songs that you have in your library, the better Genius does.
What are your favorite UPBEAT songs?