Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Say it ain't so!
This is the same man that couldn't walk down the street in New York without being mobbed by teenage girls? This is the guy that always got the girl. This is the guy that at the age of 8 I wanted to grow up and marry?
To quote Dick and Jane "Change, change change".
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Over the years, as our business has grown, we have stretched and squeezed our building to suit our needs, but the interior walls have remained in place. For this spin on the merchandise roulette wheel, I decided that a section of wall had to go. It would open our main selling space to a nice size room that currently served as my office/wholesale/storage/ junk room. It would improve our traffic flow into the classroom space and give us room for more fabric shelves. That is the good news.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
My time in New York is always fun and frequently eventful. There is always something strange happening in that town. This time the weather was wonderful with only a slight chill in the air - until I left the office and started to walk around SoHo to do a little shopping. I was on the phone with my daughter when I literally ran right into a pile of snow!
This one is of the crew setting up the lights and equipment on the opposite side of the street. Those are normal people walking by and lots of traffic on the street like nothing strange was happening!
What you are looking at in this photo is one of the several Arctic Glacier trucks that were filled with giant blocks of ice. The crew was sliding the blocks of ice down a ramp into a tree chipper and using a hose to spread the "snow" around the sidewalk.
If those crazy Old Navy mannequins show up in a commercial standing outside in the snow, you can say you saw the "before" photos here. Come to think of it, if this is an Old Navy commercial they are filming, isn't it a bit weird that they are using real snow and fake people?And for those of you that were wondering, I got back to the hotel too late, too hungry and much too tired to request a goldfish to keep company!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Next weekend I am flying to Florida for parents weekend at UNF. That will require a stop over in Atlanta. Years ago they sold a t-shirt in the Atlanta airport that read "When I die and go to heaven, I will probably have to change planes in Atlanta". All I know is that it doesn't matter if you are headed north or south, if you are leaving out of Pittsburgh you will have to stop somewhere along the way.
The first week of November I have to travel to New York City. My travel arrangements have been made for me and I will be staying at a very trendy boutique hotel in Tribecca. I am sure that it will be a nice place. The room will be tastefully appointed and the bath will be filled with spa products that will impress my daughters. My hotel will also be more hip than I am.
Checking their website, you will never believe what special, unique amenity they offer. Go ahead, try to guess.....
Goldfish. According to the website I can request that a goldfish be delivered to my room.
You know what they say, "You can take the girl out of the Holiday Inn, but you can't take the Holiday Inn out of the girl".
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The goodies that we purchased are all being shipped home, so I thought that in the mean time I would share a bit of the quilt show with you.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Where did this sudden burst of athletic enthusiasm come from? After we dropped our youngest at college I was pondering all of the changes in our life and decided that I should get serious about a regular exercise routine. The easiest way to get serious about exercise in our house is to tell my husband what you are thinking. He loves the “E” word. My husband is in great shape. I don’t have to add the words “for a man his age” to that statement. Cary is in better shape than most guys that are half his age. When I mentioned walking the park near our house he was all for it. To help me stay motivated he offered to walk with me each day, and he meant EACH and every day. There is no slacking off in Cary’s exercise world.
The walking part is actually quite enjoyable. The route through the park is beautiful, the weather has been perfect and I like getting an early start to my day. The bad part is that it takes about an hour to get ready and make that walk happen. Seven days a week. That is SEVEN hours out of my life. Seven valuable hours of SEWING time! Something had to be done. Convincing my walking partner, who considers a 3 mile walk a great way to “warm-up” his legs for a softball game, to skip a day or two was not an option. It seemed that the only way to speed things up is to start to run.
What the heck was I thinking?
Have you ever noticed that runners never look like they are having a good time? That is because they aren’t having fun. They are just trying to get home faster. It is either that or they are punishing themselves for some inexplicable sin they committed, like eating fries with their burger.
In my own personal, and I admit short, journey I have learned several things. The first of which is that yoga pants are for doing yoga, they are not made for running. Yoga is a gentle form of smooth exercise not at all like the jarring, pounding of feet on pavement. If you attempt to run in yoga pants, you will wish with all of your heart that you were also wearing suspenders. I also learned that I run with all the grace of a Clydesdale. My husbands size 12’s barely make a sound as they hit the pavement and my size 7½’s pound the pavement into submission. Then there is the fact that my face turns bright red when I exert myself. This has happened for as long as I can remember. It actually came in handy once when I attempted to mow our lawn and a neighbor was so concerned that I was going to drop dead that he insisted on finishing the job for me. Unfortunately nobody is offering to finish exercising for me.
Sunday we “ran” the lake at another local park. Once again I use that term lightly, we only jogged the downhill portions of the longer route. It was amusing watching the expressions of the runners that were traveling in the opposite direction. I think we were quite a sight. Cary, peacefully jogging beside me not having broken a sweat and me, beet red and desperately trying to control a pair of yoga pants with a mind of their own. One guy caught my husband’s eye and gave him the thumbs up. I imagine he was thinking “Nice of you to sacrifice your run to hang back with the little woman”. As he passed he probably added “I hope that guy has a cell phone to call the paramedics”.
The exercise hasn’t been all bad. I’ve made three new friends. Maybe you know them, Tylenol, Advil and Motrin.
Time to strap on the running shoes. Wish me luck!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Her name is Karen Montgomery and according to her bio she was featured in a Star Trek episode. I've never met Spock.
I'm not in this photo either,
The caption reads "Queen Karen Montgomery"
Anyone that knows me knows that I never want to be the queen of anything. Princess maybe. Queen never.
I didn't write this book. Karen Montgomery has authored a mystery series.
Not THIS Karen Montgomery, but it might be kind of fun to read them anyway.
We are getting warmer.......
The photo is pretty low res. You may not be able to tell that the flowers at the bottom of the photo are actual flowers in her garden, they aren't part of the quilt. Isn't that beautiful?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We had great booth neighbors. The girls from Quilt Branch were on one side and Nancy Zieman from "Sewing with Nancy" was on the other. In the few moments when we weren't busy demonstrating and answering questions we had the opportunity to exchange ideas and chat with the other vendors.
Then, just after we were packed up and were ready to head home the staff at Checkers surprised me with this delicious birthday cake. Aren't they sweet? Then I returned home last night to a dozen roses from my wonderful husband, phone calls from my kids and an email box full of best wishes from some wonderful people. I call that a very satisfying weekend.
Monday, August 17, 2009
For example, the nine patch quilt on the wall started out as an Ohio Star. It looked great on paper, but I had only cut a few triangles when I realized that it just was not going to work the way I had planned. Scrap the triangles and start plan B, a shaded Trip Around the World variation. Scrap plan B. The fabrics are individually beautiful but without a background to set them off they “mush”. I mean really mush, right into mud. These are beautiful prints in unique colors (we are calling this collection “Desert”) and they deserve to be seen. Simplicity is sometimes best, hence the Nine Patch. I love it again. To make it more interesting I alternated 2 different background fabrics, which I promptly ran out of when I made the quilt larger to accommodate a simpler cutting plan. More fabric is on the way, but I can’t go any further until it arrives. I also don't want to remove it from the design wall because I have already planned the location of each of the 9 patch blocks.
The 2 rows of crazy patch blocks on the left represent the first part of the new Block-of-the-Month program that we will be running this fall. There will be 30 different batiks in that program, including the 10 in the Desert collection. I can’t finish the Crazy Patch blocks until I am sure that I have everything I need for the 9 patch project. Once I chop the fabric up, there will be no more until the shipment arrives from Indonesia hopefully in early October. That accounts for the small piles of fabrics on the floor behind my desk. Each of those piles will eventually be a set of Crazy Patch blocks, unless I run out of fabric and have to make a substitution. That could change everything.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The next year we took the time off and my husband/landlord and I used it to do some messy work inside the shop. Now it is a tradition. This year we had the roof replaced, other than noise it did not disturb the customers. With the entire week scheduled off we decided to run an in-store retreat with a “Locked in the Quilt Shop” theme.
Our nine guests arrived Friday at 1:00. They moved into our classroom space and spread out. The doors are locked to outside customers, but the lucky 9 are free to shop, sew, eat, talk, laugh, sew, press, relax, talk and sew to their hearts content. Debby and I are providing meals, snacks and expert opinions – although they are doing very well on their own!
Debby and I are actually “working”. We are packing and shipping mail orders, taking phone orders and squeezing in a little sewing too. I managed to finish all of the blocks for our new sample of Can You Spare a Dime. Debby had made her daughter a skirt, her son a table topper and is working on a quilt for another member of the family.
Ruth has been diligently working on the last several blocks of an applique project and keeping us entertained at the same time.
Alice is doing her best to duck out of this photo, she has already finished one quilt top and is now working on our French Braid project. The quilt on the design wall behind her is a 3-6-9. It belongs to Mary Ann, who arrived with it all cut out and is already sewing the rows together!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
The other morning my email contained a message from Bernie titled “Where’s Waldo?” It seems she was having trouble sleeping and had been up surfing quilting websites and reading blogs at 4am. Bernie considered this a total waste of time, but as a fellow fabric designer I have convinced her to chalk it up to research. It doesn’t help with the lack of sleep, but it does make you feel better about being awake.