Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall happenings

All kinds of Fall happenings happening here:

Fall fabrics...

Fall projects...

(Thanks, Jessie, for cutting out the Oliver+S coat pattern for me!!! I owe you one... or two!!!)

Fall flowers...

Fall findings....

(I got three of these gorgeous trays at a local antiques shop for just $4 each. I love them. Wouldn't they make a great fabric? They look like fabric. I got some other great Fall finds yesterday and this morning but I can't tell you about them just yet because someone might be looking!)

Hope you're having some nice Fall happenings where you are, too!


Rhea at Alewives

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Am I lucky or am I lucky?

Here's what I found waiting for me when I came home from work today:

The spelling may not be perfect, but the sentiment is.

Also, Mom just got back from Alaska a few hours ago.

She brought me back this wicked cute little thimble.

Do those two have my number or what???



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The one that got away...

Life is getting away from me at the moment...

All is well, but I wanted to check in and just let you know that I have been swamped with work, taking care of a 90 year-old-Stepgrandmother every Wednesday and Thursday night, trying to keep ahead of the dishes, laundry, dog-hair, and life-in-general.

Mom is in Alaska on vacay (lucky Mom!) so that means Ollie and I are on Stepgrandmother duty on Sunday nights, too. We love staying with her, but did I mention she lives an hour away? And that we have to get up at 5:00 in the morning so Ollie is back in Pemaquid for work by 7:00?

Not a lot of me leftover for blogging but I will be back soon with my Oliver+S coat adventure.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Oliver+S Day!!!

As a big fan of all things "Oliver," let me wish you a happy Oliver+S day!

There are 2 new patterns available today:

The Jumprope Dress...

and the School Days Jacket & Coat.

To celebrate O+S day, we are offering a FREE gift to anyone who orders an Oliver+S pattern!

Also, I am embarking on a "School Days Jacket and Coat" adventure.

Over the next few posts, I will chronicle my sewing as I stitch up a sample coat for the store.

I'll let you know how it goes!

See you again soon!



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Something you don't see every day

Jessica and I were working at the store this past Saturday when the neatest thing happened.

Two gals (I'm guessing mid-twenties) walk into the shop with their mother.

The two gals are twins.

I'm not sure if they were fraternal twins or identical twins, but let's just say there was a strong resemblance.

The two gals are both pregnant with the cutest little baby bumps you have ever seen.

Upon further investigation, Jessica discovers that not only are they both pregnant, they are both due on the exact same day.


I might just be a little bit jealous!

I was reeeaaalllyyy shy to ask them if I could take their picture for the blog, but Jessica encouraged me and I did.

I was reeeaaalllyyy excited when they said yes and that is why this picture is so crumby.

Are they not the cutest girls ever???

Thanks Julia and Emily for letting me take your picture.

And for coming in the shop and buying some of the coolest fabrics ever.

I am sure you will love your baby slings and curtains.

The girls are due at the end of December: one with a boy and the other with a girl.

Don't ask me which is having which,because I forgot.

And don't ask me which one is Julia and which one is Emily because I forgot that, too.

It was just a nice, positive thing to have happen on a Saturday morning.

Something you don't see every day.


Rhea at Alewives

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tastes Change...

Do you find that over the years your tastes have changed?

Me, yes.

I find my tastes have changed in clothes, in men (for the better), in food, etc.

And I most definitely find that my tastes have changed in fabric.

Mom and I do the buying at the shop and I am ashamed to admit that when our Free Spirit rep started coming around I told him I did not want to see ANY Free Spirit fabric because I thought their fabrics were too cartoon-y.

(In my defense, a lot of them were cartoon-y at the time)

But can you imagine Alewives without Free Spirit?

Me, no.

Luckily for me, our rep insisted on showing us the Free Spirit lines.

He said "You have to look at these, because whether you know it or not: they are your store."

(I miss that guy. He has since retired. And I like it when people point out that I don't know everything about everything, which I sometimes - okay all the time - think I do.)

So he showed us the lines, and one of those lines was Freshcut by Heather Bailey.

I KNOW you know the line I am talking about.

Freshcut was so insanely, stupendously, tremendously popular.

I think we went through four bolts of every single fabric in that line.

Some designs even more.

And if it were still available today (which it is not... such is the nature of the fabric industry) I would buy it again.

Now the store is by and large filled with Free Spirit and Westminster fabrics.

Some of the things I turned down I look at today and I say to myself "What was I thinking? How could I let you go?!?"

Every once in a while we will buy a fabric that, by the time it arrives at the store, I scratch my head and say "what was I thinking?" (in a bad way), but more often than not I find myself wishing I had bought from a certain collection or at the very least bought more from that collection. And we usually do!

For example, I did not at first like Heather Ross fabrics.

This was when her Gnomes and Mushrooms were first out.

I thought they were cute and all, but I just could not see myself making a quilt (or anything) out of them.

But man, I thought they were soft.

I still think they are soft, but nowadays I love Heather's designs.

You can tell right away if a fabric was designed by Heather Ross.

And I would kill for those 'shrooms.

I used to hate reproduction fabrics, too.

Now I have a gorgeous stack of twenty pink and brown reproduction fabrics sitting in my sewing room calling to me like a Siren.

They will be a quilt someday and it will go in my house and I will love it. Always. Unless my tastes change.

Pink and browns are still the only repros that I like, but there was a time when even that was not true.

Tastes change.

Where I am going with this is that I have a dirty little fabric secret to share with you.

It's bad.

Reeeaaalllyy bad.

Fabric sacrilege.

Okay, here goes...

"My name is Rhea and I don't like Amy Butler's new collection."


I know, I know, this is not like me at ALL.

And I was SOOO excited to see them, too.

We just got the images of her new "Love" collection in the e-mail a few days ago and I was shocked.

They just don't look very Amy-y to me.

They look a little cartoon-y, or like Philip Jacobs (whom I love!) but in very 80's colors.

HOWEVER, I am reserving COMPLETE judgment for when I see the line on fabric, as opposed to seeing it on a digital file.

That can make a huge difference.

But be warned, I am skeptical.

I may someday have to eat my own words, but to me, this line is such a departure from her signature style that I think Amy's tastes must have changed.

A line that I AM very jazzed about is the new Denyse Schmidt collection called "Hope Valley."

And I know that a few years ago this would not have been my scene.

In fact, we never bought any Denyse fabrics until her Home-Dec collection called "County Fair" came out.

Now I am KICKING myself that we didn't get any Katie Jump Rope or Flea Market Fancy because I would love to have those fabrics in my store and in my stash.

Apparently, I'm not the only one, either.

You may have noticed in my sidebar the link to Flea Market Fancy Freaks, which is a blog started by a Denyse-lover who has begun a petition to Free Spirit to re-print the line.

It is one of the most sought-after out of print fabrics I have ever seen, and one yard cuts are selling for forty dollars on e-bay.

That's forty dollars for one yard of quilting fabric that you could have bought two years ago for nine dollars!

A good return on your investment?

I think yes.

Apparently, lots of people's tastes have changed.

Do you have any quilts that you look at today and thing "uggh?"

The fabrics and blocks just don't reflect your style any more?

Conversely, do you have any quilts that you love MORE today than you did when you first made them?

They just get better and better?

That's how I think Denyse's fabrics are.

For me, when I first saw them, they were a little ahead of my time, but now I love them and I think they are so usable and pretty and timeless, really.

A lot of the older Amy Butler collections I feel that way about, too. (Belle, Lotus, Sunbloom... Coriander print, I will always love you!)

And don't even get me STARTED on all the Kaffes I missed out on.

I see some in his books now and I know they are no longer available (again, such is the fabric industry) and I want them sooo badly but I KNOW I will never be able to have them.

The moral of the story?

I don't know what the moral is.

Buy what you like when you see it, I guess.

When it's gone, it's gone.

Of course, tastes change and you may not like something today that you will LOVE in a few months.

I don't quite know what to do about that.

But for a start, I would love it if you visited the Flea Market Fancy Freaks blog and signed their petition.

I promise to carry the whole line if it comes out again.

In the meantime, I will keep you updated on the Amy Butler thing.

For more images from the new line, just do a google search on the words "Amy Butler Love."

I'm sure I will now pop up, but ignore those links.

I would love to know what everyone else thinks of this new line, too.

And if your tastes have changed over the years.

And if you have a dirty little fabric secret, then by all means, share that, too.

Until next time,



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Norway? No Way!

Good morning,

Here's a nice story with a happy ending for you...

About a year ago, Ollie broke my best vase.

Ollie gets me flowers every now and then, and because my best vase is broken, I have been using my "plan B" vase, which is one of those wussy blue glass ones you get from the florist.

Ollie brought me flowers yesterday ( am I spoiled or what?).

I just couldn't bear the thought of putting said flowers into "plan B" vase.

I headed over to the store to steal one of our vases over there.

While at the store, I just happen to overhear a conversation between Jessie and one of our customers...

They were talking about Norway.

I thought to myself, "Self, there is only ONE gal we know of who lives in Norway and I bet that this is her..."

And it was! It was Emily of Ravenhill!

For anyone who doesn't know Emily, she is a Maine gal who now lives with her husband and children in Norway.

She has a beautiful blog and makes the sweetest little dolls.

She was recently on Heather Bailey's blog and her work has been featured in many magazines.

I found out about her from Iris' blog and I was completely smitten with all the eye candy.

It wasn't long before the perfect little doll came up in Emily's shop (closed for the moment, but check back again soon!).

I bought her and played the "happy mail box waiting game" and then she arrived and I blogged about her here.

It was very fun getting the doll and playing the "happy mailbox waiting game" but it was even MORE fun to get to meet Emily (and her Mom... hi Mom!) in person.

It makes my Fru Herland doll that much more special.

I was glad to see Emily went home with a gorgeous stack of fabrics that will be made into dolls someday and also some fabrics for an outfit for her beautiful little daughter.

It gives me a little thrill to think that some of our "Alewives Fabrics" will be heading to Norway and then who knows where they will go from there...

Ain't the internet grand?

And broken vases?

And flowers, of course!

Thanks, Ollie.

And thanks, Emily... It was so nice to meet you and your mother.

(I really love my doll!)

See you all again soon,


(the flowers in question...)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back in the Saddle(ish)

Hey hey!

Ollie and Reuben and I got back from Vermont yesterday and I am enjoying two more days off before I have to go back to the store. This morning is nippy and I am loving it and loving my cup of tea and loving having the INTERNET again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and I am loving the internet MUCH more after a few days' hiatus.

What did we do in Vermont?

Well, Friday we meandered our way to Quechee Gorge, stopping along the way at Purl Diva (Hi Ellen!) for emergency yarn and at Knight's to check out one of the few quilt shops in Maine I had never been to. I wanted to congratulate Knight's on being chosen as one of the top ten quilt stores in the country by Quilt Sampler magazine. That is quite the honor. However, when I introduced myself I had a little blow to my ego when they told me they had never heard of Alewives Fabrics. Oh well, it's good for me.

Knight's was a very nice store, by the way. I bought a few magazines there and some fat quarters and upon my return home, I realized that one of the fat quarters I had bought was something we carry in the shop. In other words, I have graduated from buying the same magazine twice to buying the same fabric twice. I am nothing if not consistent.

The rest of Friday was spent driving and settling in and cooking over an open flame and konking out.

I didn't realize just how tired we were until we woke up Saturday morning, checked the cell phone and it was already 10:00. Holy moly. And that was after going to bed at, like, 9:00.

Saturday we walked through Woodstock, hiked Quechee Gorge, visited the raptors at Vermont Institute of Natural Science (that was my favorite) and then went off to White River Junction in search of a quilt shop that apparently no longer exists. That was a bummer.

(we saw this little guy at VINS)

Sunday was (self-proclaimed) "Free Sampling Day." We went to the Cabot Creamery (which gets four out of four stars for abundance and quality of free samples). I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Cabot is completely coop owned. You can feel good about buying that product. Some of their milk comes from farms in Maine, too.

Next we went to Ben&Jerry's for some free ice cream. Their factory tour is a hoot. I highly recommend. We got free ice cream at the end (oranges and cream - yum!), but my favorite part was the "Flavor Graveyard" up on the hill. Each retired flavor has a little headstone with a clever epitaph. Maine Wild Blueberry is a dead flavor. Its epitaph read something like:

"We made an ice cream from the land of the puffin, but now when we crave you we turn to the muffin."

Next we rode the gondolas to the top of the mountain in Stowe... it was a great, clear day and you could see for miles. I was more than a little nervous in the gondola, though. They just didn't look very "well attached" to the cable bringing us up the mountain, but obviously I lived to tell the tale. Oh, and the best part was that Reuben could ride on the gondolas with us. It didn't seem to occur to him (or Oliver) to be nervous. Hmmmm...

(picture of the Stowe gondolas taken from the internet... it was four miles round trip!!!)

We drove to see the Von Trapp Family Lodge... the place where the Von Trapp family settled after they escaped Nazi Germany. I am a huge fan of the Sound of Music so this was a big deal for me. Staying at the Lodge is now on my list of things to do before I die. The Lodge looked VERY Sound-of-Music-y and I can see why a family from Austria would settle in the hills of Vermont. They must have felt right at home.... those hills are alive, I tell ya!

And we capped off the day by visiting the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. LOTS of free samples there, and the BEST apple cider doughnut I have ever had in my life. Actually, make that the best doughnut I have ever had PERIOD. And I know from doughnuts.

Yes, we sampled our way through Vermont and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Monday we had a great breakfast at the Farmer's Diner (where everything is local and organic and fresh and consequently dee-lish) and then took the Kancamagus Highway through the White Mountains and back in to Maine.

It was a great trip, but I am soooo glad to be back and to have a couple of days to myself.

I have a feeling that Thursday will be a tough day for me, so if you see me in the shop go easy on me... I am not quite back in the saddle again.

See you again soon!