Friday, June 26, 2009

If You Ever Get Tired of Quilting...

Yeah, right! Like that might happen. But, if it does, there may be a place in Peachtree City, GA to inspire you to pick up a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook!

Yummy, yummy, is all I can say about the photo of beautifully colored yarns. I know that it is 90 degrees outside, but it will get colder, I promise! And when it does, you will definitely need a cozy afghan or sweater to cuddle up in.
Karen recently spoke to the owner of Sugarfoot Yarns, Cheryl, and here is a little of what she had to say about her new shop:
" We are all about bringing beautiful fibers to the Southern Crescent of Atlanta! I love color, so we have gobs of it (more than 100 colors of one type of yarn alone), and we try to have a wide variety of fibers so that you can satisfy whatever yen you have. One of the special things to me about the yarn is that every inch of it runs through your fingers as you knit or is very tactile and incredibly personal. So, to me, to get to be part of that process by providing the yarn, that is such an honor! I mean, some of these objects are meant to be cherished, and others are "just" going to a stranger as part of a charity knitting project, but each one has been handled and considered, thought about and in many cases prayed over. I love, love, love it when a customer brings in a finished object, from a baby blanket to a felted bag."
What fun!Doesn't she sound like a doll!Visit Sugarfoot Yarns on-line or the next time you are in Peachtree City...and tell them you're a friend of AST!
Also at A Scarlet Thread, from now until June 30, if you bring in a donation for the Helping In His Name Food Pantry, you will receive a sweet gift in return, other than that good feeling that comes with giving!
You'd be surprised at how many families have been helped in our community by this ministry, and now they need our help. The food bank is running low and needs many items to continue it's mission...and it's mission is doing what the Lord commands us all to others.
The rest of this month AST is offering an incentive to your giving... Bring your non-perishable food or toiletry items in and receive 10% off your fabric purchases. To maximize your giving, here is a list of things needed on a regular basis:
Canned Goods - tuna, vegetables, flour, salt, sugar. Dried beans, rice, noodles
Toiletries - shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.
Misc. Supplies - zip lock bags, magic markers, copy paper, school supplies, etc.
Thank you so much for your support!
So, there you go- something for you and something for someone else. I love the generosity of the women at A Scarlet Thread and appreciate their efforts in making themselves a contributing part of their community. Just one more reason it's my favorite quilt store!
Now, for those of you who want to see quilts, well I will have one finished the beginning of next week. It will be going to my sister for her birthday (late, I'm afraid) and it is adorable if I do say so myself.
Have a great weekend everyone and I hope to be coming to you from my own computer next week. That will make me very happy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From Small Hands

In my parent's garage, tucked in between two pieces of cardboard, lay a treasure waiting to be rescued. I did just that yesterday. A little "Happy Birthday to me!" gift, I went into the garage to claim this little quilt. My dad does not know it's missing. I'll just leave that bit quiet for now.

For years this quilt hung on the wall in my parent's living room in Florida. At least until the fore that roared through their house in 1981. The quilt survived, but the glass that protected it did not.

After the fire, it leaned against the wall, a reminder of the things that were lost or damaged. It never hung on the wall again. Until yesterday.

The tiny quilt was made by a brother and sister, ages eight and five, somewhere between the years of 1835 and 1840. Someone mounted it onto a board and then in the frame. It had been in that state ever since we received it. I know it is not the best way to keep a quilt, but I am sure that the person who did so was ignorant of the damage that could be done in their attempts at preservation. Live and learn.

There are moth holes and tears and even pieces that are missing altogether. But, it is still beautiful. The workmanship of those two children done, I am sure, in the meager light of an oil lamp or maybe just the sunlight that came through a window, is unbelievably well-done.
I can imagine their mother saving scraps of cloth from sewing projects or Dad's shirts to give to her children to practice with. I can see her guiding them as they took small, tentative stitches to bring those small pieces together, piecing together when needed to make sure they had just the right size, watching as the pieces became a whole.
This quilt is now hanging in my living room. I will, one day, have it looked at by a conservator to see if it can be rescued. If not, it will remain as it is, a testament to the tiny hands that made it, the talent they developed and the mother who inspired them.
I am going to make this quilt, a modern version of this family heirloom. I am taking careful measurements, and I will be making the same mistakes found in the original. No surprise there, making mistakes must be a family trait.
I think I need to have birthdays more often, it's the only way I can get away with digging for treasure in the garage!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who We Are.

Once a month, I will be highlighting one of the Scarlet Divas, the girls who work at A Scarlet Thread. I have grown very fond of these women, who are fast becoming my new friends. So, I want you to get to know them, and to see why they make AST one of my favorite places to be.
When you walk through the door at A Scarlet Thread, you will most likely be met by a smiling face and a gracious, "Hello!" If you come in the front door (or is it the back door?) you will definitely be met by this little ray of sunshine, Wendy.

Wemdy made this beautiful quilt using Sandy Gervais' Objects of desire line.
Don't you love those shoes?

Wendy's spot is at the cutting table just around the corner from the entrance. You'll know her by the little joy bubble that floats over her head.
I asked Wendy if she would like to answer a few questions so that you can get to know her better. How sweet of her to accommodate me. :)

And so, here's Wendy!

Tell us a bit about you:
1.I have been married to my wonderful husband Darryl for 20 years. I have two great daughters Meagan, 19 and Madison, 14. I love to sew and quilt. And I love the Lord my God with all of my heart.

What is your favorite thing about working at A Scarlet Thread?
2. The favorite thing about working at AST is that we pray every morning before working
we are always their for each other. I love the customers, I have made a lot of friends. It's great!

How long have you been sewing?
3. I have been sewing for 18 years . I taught myself by just buying a pattern and some fabric
and staying up all night. I was making Meagan 1 outfit a night.

How long have you been a quilter?
4. I have been quilting for about 2 years .

What is the best part of a quilt project?
5. It is fun to see the outcome of your project . It brings joy to you and also the person who receives the quilt.

You have such a wonderful eye for color and pattern. I think some people are just born with that talent. Are you a natural?
6. I wouldn't say natural a lot of times I just lay it out and ask others for their opinion.

Do you have any advice for novice quilters, like myself?
7. Advice would be practice , practice, practice the more you do, the better you will become .
It will always be a learning process with every new quilt . Have fun, enjoy, and laugh often.

Laugh often must be Wendy's motto because you cannot help but end up laughing with her while you are at AST. And when you get Wendy and Karen together? Well, just don't drink anything before you get there. Which may have something to do with Karen's nickname for Wendy- WeeWee. No, it isn't really for that reason, but I can just imagine the look on some one's face when they hear, "Where's WeeWee?!" The answer is not what they would expect at all!
You can tell that the women at AST love each other. Praying together for a purpose gives them closer, more intimate, friendships. That spirit resounds throughout the store and you feel it the minute you walk in. It's a great big, "Ah!" of calm.
Wendy recently sold her car. Now, that would not normally be newsworthy here, but the reason she sold it is- she bought a Handi Quilter!! Now that is dedication to the craft!
The next time you go to A Scarlet Thread, be sure to take a minute to talk with Wendy. It will make your day, I promise.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Tidy Tip Just For You!

One of the things I liked best about going to Shop Hop last March was the little displays each shop had at their registers. You can always find something cute and useful tucked up by the cash register. It's a quilt shop version of the candy display in a grocery store.
One of the shops had little cards with what they called Bobbin Bikinis attached to them. I thought to myself, "Why, how clever!" They are small stretchy bands that wrap around a bobbin and keep the thread in check. At 5 for $2.75, they were a bit pricey. Enter the dollar store!
After our shock and awe visit to IHop on Saturday, Cilla and I went shopping. Cilla needed some supplies for a class and me, well I never turn down a trip to the dollar store!

Strolling down the aisles to see if there was anything I could use, I spied these little hair bands. Cute, colorful and looking very much like the things I saw at the quilt shop! For a dollar! You would have thought it was Christmas! Cilla and I each bought a package.

As you can see, they fit perfectly on my bobbins. I knew they would. Now my bobbin drawer will never have another spider-web-tangle of thread. Ever! I am so happy. The package comes with sixty little bands. It makes me want to wind bobbins just so I can dress them up!
The next time you're in the dollar store, head to the hair aisle. You never know what useful thing you will find!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!

Congratulations to you, Blue Ridge Boomer!! Send me your mailing address and I will get this mailed to you asap. :) (madrekarin1 at yahoo dot com)

Flora was feeling a bit peckish today and did not want to cooperate with the drawing. I found her looking a bit disgruntled in her nesting box and this might be why:

Not too sure if she laid the small or the big one, but whichever it was, it made her pretty unhappy. Hopefully she will have cheered up by the next giveaway!!

Saturday Morning Strip Club

As last Saturday was the first Saturday in June, it must have been strip club! This month's quilt was fun, fun to make. Quite a few of the strippers had theirs done by the next week!
The variety was, as always, amazing to see. So, without further ado, the May strip club quilts:

This clever gal made her kit into two baby quilts, one bright, one more subdued.

While this was not the pattern for May, it is this the first quilt made by this lovely lass' hands. Her very first one ever! She did just a fabulous job.

The following quilts show just how different we all are:

I love the orange in this quilt.

The pattern pops against the more subtle background on this stripper's quilt.

I must make one of these jelly roll bags! How cute is that?

This is the Stars Aligned quilt from a few months ago. It is made using Bali Pops and this picture does it no justice whatsoever. It is just beautiful!

Believe it or not, this is a first-time stripper as well! Really, there is an amazing amount of talent in this group.

Another small quilt. Did you notice a difference here?
This clever girl has turned her blocks to create a different pattern.
She does this every month and it is always a treat to see what she does.

And how about this? Great minds think alike! Christie had the same idea, to turn the blocks and create an entirely different pattern.
The unveiling of the new quilt was met with "Yays!" from the group. It is a departure from our other fabric lines we have used, much more dark. It is right up my alley, though.

The perfect quilt for a fun Fourth of July picnic, don't you think?
After strip club, my friend Cilla and I went to IHop for breakfast. We were both starving- neither of us had eaten breakfast! When out waitress came to take our very empty plates, she remarked, "Wow! You two must have been very hungry!" We replied that, yes, we were as we had been at strip club since 8:15 AM. The look on her face was priceless, the chatter from the table of men behind us increased and we left with the knowledge that we might not want to bandy about the phrase "Strip club." while out in public.
You are now forewarned.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Off Kilter

Remember the WIP I showed you last week? Well, I decided that it was just too busy. Not that I didn't finish the top, it's just that I have set it aside. That darn jury is still out. However the jury has decided that Off Kilter should be its name. (Thanks, LindaMay for your input!)
I did have a stroke of genius, or a stroke of something, the other day. What if I made the top with a solid strip instead of a patterned one? It was a 100 watt light bulb moment. So off I went with my friend, Cilla, to AST and picked up a very lovely white Moda cotton. It is not too white and not quite off-white. It's a perfect compliment to the Basket of Flowers charm squares that I had set aside for this project.
Saturday morning, after completing my chores, I escaped to the sewing room and began making the top. It's a simple pattern really. What more can you expect from a simple mind? Nonetheless, it is bright and cheery and makes me happy.

Copyright Karin Kimball Smith 2009

Once I had my pieces cut I began arranging them on the design wall. And arranging, and arranging, and arranging. I arranged right through Mall Cop.
Do you know how many combinations are possible with 36 charm squares? Or 72 halves cut from them? A bajillion, that's how many. I finally decided that I could arrange forever and told myself to just start sewing. Don't look too closely.
It isn't perfect, but I love it. I'm going to back it and bind it in white to allow the pattern to really show off.
What will it be? Oh, I don't know. Maybe a baby quilt, or a wall quilt. I haven't quite decided. But I do know this, it will be finished soon.
Two ideas down, a million to go!
Don't forget to sign up for the Sewn launch party giveaway!