Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Project (and Post!) of 2010

Ahhh, where do I begin?

2010 has been a great year.

There were the usual time-markers for me (The arrival of the Alewives and the Fish Ladder Festival, Sales, Craft Swaps, Quilt Shows, Giant Pumpkins, Soulemama Giveaways and the like)...

As with all years, there were some low-times (a three day power-outage, and the biggest loss of all was the passing of my Step-Grandmother, Margie)...

And like all years, there were some high-times (Meeting Heather Ross and Liesl Gibson, and of course there was that whole "getting-married" thing)...

And there has been a lot of sewing this year (Simplicity 3835's, Museum Tunics, Sandlewood Jackets, Winslow Market Totes and La La Log Cabins)...

Which leads me to my last sewing project of 2010: my very own Schoolhouse Tunic!

I finished this tunic on Wednesday night and have pretty much been wearing it ever since.

I made the tunic length from one of Anna Maria Horner's "Innocent Crush" voiles, in the Mixed-Signals print, Cornfield colorway.

Like most projects with me, I can't wait to make more.

This pattern was really fun to make: I love that there are no buttonholes, no zippers, no darts, barely any markings to make, something you can just cut out and then sink your teeth into and sew.

I love the way the voile washes up: I can't recommend it enough. And the prints are gorgeous.

I always use a size 70/10 needle with the voiles and with the new lawns, too: a nice, new, sharp one that will slice right through the tight, fine weave of the fabric.

I cut the pattern pieces out one night, and then over the next two days worked on the Schoolhouse Tunic here and there.

Before I knew it, I was all done!

I was anxious (and optimistic) to see how the School House Tunic would look on me.

The split bodice is not always a busty-gal's best friend.

But I was so pleased with the finished results and I was very careful to take my measurements and check them against the sizing on the pattern.

According to the pattern, I am a couple sizes larger than I normally admit to being, but my measurements matched up with this sizing perfectly, so I cut out that size and in the end found that the garment fit me perfectly.

Which reminds me of a story I have been meaning to share with you all. Here goes.

A few years ago, I taught a couple of teenage girls a private lesson on dressmaking.

The girls were using a Vogue pattern, and the first thing I made them do was tell me what size of jeans they normally bought.

These teenage girls were both a size 2 jean, I believe. Or possibly a size 4. I can't remember. The point was, they were teeny, tiny little things, these teenage girls.

(I have never been a size 2, except when I was 2. I have vague memories of being a size 8, but that was a looong, looong time ago).

"Okay," I said.

Next, I taught the girls how to take their measurements: holding the tape-measure tight, but not too tight, measuring across the fullest part of the hips and bust, measuring at the waist where you naturally bend, etc., etc., etc...

Then I had them write down their measurements and compare them to the measurements on the back of the Vogue pattern.

Then I sat back and waited for the hollering to begin.

As if on cue, these size 2 teenage girls started shreaking and eventually one of them screamed something that sounded like "O.M.G...This says I'm, like, a Size 10!!!," but what she was really saying was "O.M.G. I'm so fat and no guy is ever going to like me and my life is over!"

I shared a look of duplicity with the girl's mother (it was then, I think, that I realized I had officially become old).

Next, I asked the girls to take deep breaths and reminded them that some people wished they were size 10's and that size 10 was in fact pretty small, and that just because the back of the Vogue pattern said they were size 10's didn't mean anything at all.

It just meant that they had to follow the size 10 pattern pieces while they cut out their dresses in order to get a good fit.

The girls asked me why their sizes on the Vogue pattern were so different from their jeans sizes.

I told them I wasn't officially sure, but I imagined that standard off-the-rack clothing sizes have changed quite a bit over the years, but Vogue pattern sizing had not changed so much over the years, and that virtually anytime you are cutting out a "traditional" (Vogue, Simplicity, McCall's, etc.) pattern, or any pattern for that matter, you had to take your measurements, check them against the pattern's sizing and unfortunately it will probably be a blow to your ego every time.

My size has always been larger when cutting out a traditional pattern than my off-the-rack size is.

I made peace with that little bit of information a long time ago.

And where I am going with this whole story is to tell you that I had a similar experience with the sizing of the Schoolhouse Tunic.

Once I got over the initial shock of "You say I'm a size what?" and cut out my pattern pieces and made the whole garment I was so pleased with the fit.

I think this is one of the comfiest, most versatile patterns out there and flattering, too!

(Even on an insecure, curvy, busty, slightly neurotic gal like myself!).

What a success for my last 201o stitches!

If you want to make a Schoolhouse Tunic with me, I am teaching this class at the shop starting Sunday, January 9th.

This class is geared towards the absolute beginning garment sewer: someone who knows how to use their machine, but who wants to learn how to take their measurements, cut out a pattern, mark pattern pieces, set-in sleeves, hem and construct the garment, all of the above.

There won't be any homework in this workshop: the class spans three Sundays in a row so there will be plenty of time to do the work in-house.

Students will need to select their fabric and have it washed and dried before class, so if you would like to join me that is the only thing you will need to do ahead of time.

We are closed today, Saturday and Sunday for the holidays, but will be back in the saddle again on Monday morning.

Enjoy these last few moments of 2010 and have a Happy New Year!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So Long To Ya 2010

I like to keep things light here and not touch on anything political, but I saw this on CBS Sunday Morning last week and I figured if they showed it on CBS Sunday Morning (Which, for the record, I watch with my Grandmother), it couldn't be too bad for my readers!

Click here to see "So Long to Ya 2010!!!"



Monday, December 27, 2010

Well Timed Blizzard

If you're gonna have a snowstorm, it might as well be tacked-on to the Monday after Christmas Weekend, don't you think?

Ollie has the day off today: we've already ventured out in his big 'ol truck (which has excellent snow-tires and 4 wheel drive) and kicked around town and nabbed some breakfast.

Everything looks really beautiful and the snow should still be falling for a few more hours, then we'll have to forage out again.

Now I'm off to find something good to watch on the computer and I'm going to spend my day SEWING (hooray!) and watching the snow.

I hope wherever you are that you got something nice for the Holidays and that you're snug as a bug in a rug.

Enjoy the day!



PS: Don't forget that December 31st is the last day for online customers (or local customers!) to use their soulemama or madebyrae promotional codes for 10% off your entire order (excluding shipping). Get those last-minute orders in!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We wish you a Merry Christmas!!!

From all of us at Alewives Fabrics: Merry Christmas!

Alewives Fabrics will be closed starting at 1:00 pm Christmas Eve and will re-open at 10:00 am Tuesday, December 28th.

Have a relaxing Holiday!

(That's my plan.)



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Funny Poem (AKA What happens when Rhea is left at the shop alone)

I'm sitting in the shop and it's getting real late,

But I'm not to be leaving the shop until Eight.

Tonight is Alewive's local Men's Shopping Night,

But the weather outside is a terrible fright.

All the men, they came early, going home to their wives-es,

And I'm here at the shop left to my own devices.

I'm looking at all of the work I should do,

Like uploading fabrics for people to view.

I uploaded some, could not get in the mood,

So instead I've been sitting here eating all of our food.

I have called husband Ollie to bug him from next door

And I've cranked up the music and danced on the floor.

Perhaps I have played a wee bit of tetris,

I forgot just how nice having time to myself is!

But to tell you the truth I think it will be great,

When I get to go home and the clock says it's Eight!

I'll be back again before Christmas with something more "professional," I promise!



Monday, December 20, 2010

Virtual Christmas Open House winners announced!!!

Hello hello and thank you so much to EVERYONE who attended our very first Virtual Christmas Open House!!!

Without further delay and with the help of the random number generator, here are the big winners (I hope you see YOUR name in there!!!)

• The winner of the $50 gift certificate to the shop is:

MG said...

Following your blog now--officially, that is.

• The winner of the free space in my next Virtual Turning Twenty Class is:

Anonymous said...

please throw my name in Santa's hat for a a new quilter, this would be the best pressie ever!

blrohloff at aol dot com

(Rhea says: Looks like this is going to the perfect recipient!!!)

• The winner of the Indigo Icicles fat quarter set is:

jenifers said...

I also subscribe to your blog!

Aaaannnndddd, I have two surprise gifts to hand out!!!

Moda-rep was here this past week and he loves me sooooo much that he gave me two charm-packs of Liesl Gibson's newest line "Modern Workshop" to give away!!!

These fabrics won't be available until next spring, so the lucky winners are extra lucky indeed!

• The two winners of the "Modern Workshop" charm packs are:

Tina @ Squirrel Acorns said...

Just tweeted about the open house (@tinasquirrel). I think that was the first time I actually did one of the tinyurl things. It worked! (I am not a very avid tweeter.)

(I am so pleased that this charm-pack is going home with Tina: not only is she a great quilter and a very good friend of mine, she was also in Liesl's workshop this past November!!!)


katie devenish said...

I'm keen - Just tweeted you

Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

I have contacted everyone who won by e-mail, so if you see your name up there but haven't gotten an e-mail from me yet, check your in-box and/or send me an e-mail and I will hook you up with your goodies!

Now remember, even if you didn't win one of the bigger prizes in the giveaway, you still win a free fat quarter with your next purchase. Keep an eye on your in-box, all of you Virtual Open House attendees, and you'll soon be receiving an e-mail from me ( with your super-secret-free-fat-quarter-code.

If you "attended" the Open-House 4 times, you can use the code 4 separate times, but only one free fat quarter per order. In other words, you will have to spread the free fat quarter love over your next four orders, which is a great excuse to buy fabric all year long, I say!

I will see you again soon with another post!



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Virtual Christmas Open House is Today!!!

Comments now closed: Thanks everyone for attending our first ever Virtual Christmas Open House!!!

I will be back in a little bit to announce the winners!!!



Welcome to our first ever Virtual Christmas Open House!

Come on in, let me take your coat and get you something to drink... please make yourself at home!

To thank our wonderful customers for a fantastic year at, we are giving some goodies away!

Everyone who "attends" this open house will win something great, but a lucky few are going to win some especially great items.

How do you "attend" a Virtual Open House?

It's easy: just leave me a comment on this post!

But, you can leave a comment more than once and increase your chance of winning one of our special prizes.

You can leave a comment once just for visiting the post, but you may also leave additional comments if you link to my blog, subscribe to my blog, follow me on twitter, tweet about this post or link to this post on your facebook page. For each of these things you do, leave one comment, and each comment will earn you an entry for some fabulous giveaway items.

Everyone who leaves a comment will receive an e-mail from me in the next couple of days with a top-secret code for a free fat quarter ($2.50 value) with your next order, so be sure to leave your e-mail address in your comment! You can use the code for as many times as you comment here on the post, but can only use the code only once per order (In other words, no more than one free fat quarter per order!).

But, you may win something even better than a secret code for a free fat quarter with your next order: you may win a free fat quarter bundle, a spot in my next Virtual Turning Twenty class, or a $50 gift certificate to the shop. If you win one of our big prizes, shipping is on me and I will send out the giveaway winner's prize right away!

Comments close at Midnight EST on December 19th.

Thanks very much for reading this blog and spreading the Alewives Fabrics Word and thanks for attending my Virtual Christmas Open House!!!

Happy Holidays and I will be back soon to announce the giveaway winners.



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Giveaway on Made by Rae!!!

Edited to add: I would be in BIG trouble with my customers if I didn't mention that we got our order of Soul Blossoms today... the wait is over! The rest of the Home-Decs and the Laminates will be shipping before Christmas, and tomorrow Jessica and I will be uploading bundles from the collection. Thanks for your patience!

I was so pleased when Rae Hoekstra (of Made by Rae fame) contacted me and asked if Alewives Fabrics would like to be part of her Fa La La La Fabric giveaway series... Rae is a doll and I do believe we are members of the Mutual Admiration Society.

I first met Rae this summer when I went to Weekend Sewing in Vermont with Ollie. We had a great time talking it up at dinner together... geeking out, I guess you might call it. The way only fabricophiles can!

She later contacted me via e-mail to say that she was very sorry she pronounced my name "Ray" (like her name is pronounced) all evening long.

I thought "Honey, you can call me whatever you want!"

To summarize, I have been a long time reader of Rae's blog, and being part of this giveaway is quite exciting to me. So, if you like free Alewives Fabrics you should get your virtual butt over to Rae's website and enter the giveaway. Then get your virtual butt back here on Sunday for our Virtual Christmas Open House (or your real butt if you are local) and you can win some free fabric (and other goodies!) there, too.

The "Indigo Icicles" fat quarter set: I pulled it together just for Rae's readers!!!

In other news, one of the best parts about Christmas this year has been the use of Vampire Weekend's song "Holiday" on the Honda (?) commercials.

The worst part has also been commercial related: the frequency of those ASPCA commercials with the abused animals and Sarah McLachlan singing in the background is killing me.

Now they have one with Willie Nelson singing "You Were Always On My Mind," too.

I'm not sure which one is wors-er.

It's not that I am pro-abusing animals (quite the opposite, I assure you).

It's just that if you know me AT ALL, even a little bit, you know that I am a crier.

I am a crier and it's getting worse as I get older, so naturally every time I see those commercials I lose it.

But then again, I can't even watch coffee commercials at this time of year without crying.

Or "Home Alone."

So, by all means please enter one - or both - of these giveaways, because if you don't, that will probably set me off, too!



PS... for the record, it's pronounced "Ree," but I'm not picky: I'll answer to anything!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Virtual Open House Details

Before I talk about the details for the Virtual Open House, I want to remind all of our internet customers that Virtual Men's Shopping Day is coming right up on Wednesday December 15th... Make sure the men in your life know about it and are prepared to do some online shopping on your behalf! Tell him REAL MEN buy fabric (or gift certificates for fabric) and that you find a well-executed gift to be super-attractive!

Hello one and all!

It's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas if you are slammed with invitations and trying to fit in last minute crafting and wrapping and shopping and shipping and the like...

Since that is the situation I (happily) find myself in, and suspect I may not be alone on that, I thought I'd better get going with details for the "Virtual Christmas Open House."

Here's how the Virtual Open House will work:

On Sunday, December 19th I will type a new "Virtual Christmas Open House" post here on the blog... It's gonna be great!

Everyone who "attends" the Virtual Open House will in the following days receive an e-mail from me ( with a top-secret promotional code for a free fat quarter with your next order (you can use the coupon code as many times as you "attend" the Virtual Open House... we will be keeping track with a virtual honor system!).

BUT that's not all! A few lucky attendees will also receive bonus gifts that will be sent to them on the house... no purchase necessary, as they say!

Bonus prizes will be:

• A fat quarter bundle (I'm thinking this Indigo Icicles bundle would be most appropriate!).

• A space in my next Virtual Turning Twenty class (That's right! I'm doing it again! Details on that juicy tidbit to come after the holidays, so stay tuned!).

• A $50 gift certificate to the shop.

So, if you like freebies and fabric (and who doesn't like those two things?), it would most definitely behoove you to attend the Virtual Christmas Open House!

But how does one go about attending a Virtual Christmas Open House?

Well, I am glad you brought that up!

To "attend" the Virtual Open House, you will have to leave a comment here on the blog.

Each of you can "attend" the Virtual Open House in three different ways...

• Attend by leaving a comment here on the blog (something "Happy Holidays-y" and fun would be great... maybe let me know what you are crafting for the holidays this year, what new items in the fabric world you are looking forward to... and be sure to include your e-mail address as well!).

• Attend by linking to my blog on your blog, facebook page, or twitter account, then come back to leave a comment telling me you have done so (again, please include your e-mail address in your comment!)

• Attend by following me on twitter, or by subscribing to my blog, then come back and leave me a comment that you have done so (and one more time, for the cheap seats in the back, please include your e-mail address in your comment!)

Only comments left on the blog during the day of the Virtual Open House (Sunday, December 19th) will count towards your attendance and your chance to win a freebie, but please feel free to start linking to my blog, or subscribing to my blog/twitterfeed NOW to spread the word... just keep track of your links and follows, then come back and enter them as comments on the 19th.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will answer in the comments for all to see.

On a more personal note, I really want to take this opportunity before things get too Holidays-crazy around here, to THANK YOU for being a part of my life and for supporting my blog and my business.

I have had a particularly excellent past 12 months, both on the personal and the business fronts, and I feel very blessed to live where I live and do what I do and to have such wonderful people in my life. You all mean a lot to me!

Alright *wipes tear away from corner of eyes*, that's it for now.

See you back here on the 15th with an update for Virtual Men's Shopping Day for our online customers!



Christmas Open House and Men's Shopping Day & Night

You are invited! And so is your Man!

• First up, for YOU, if you are a local and able to visit the shop in person, please do so on Sunday, December 19th between the hours of 12 and 5 for an Open House!

We had our first Open House last year and it was a big success: loads of fun, and a great way to unwind during the Holiday Season.

We will be having in-store specials, yummy treats, and everyone who attends will get to pick a free present!

Your present might be a free fat quarter, but it might be a free class, a gift certificate to Moonsong Creations Long Arm Quilting Services, or a $50 gift certificate to Alewives Fabrics... the only way to find out is to stop by and pick a ticket.

We would love to see you there to share some holiday cheer!

• Second up, for YOU, that same day (Sunday, December 19th), for those of you who are NOT local and able to attend the Open House in person, I will be holding a Virtual Open House right here on my blog! The Virtual Open House is a bit trickier than the "local" Open House, so I am saving the details on that for my next post. Let's just say that if you like free fabric and giveaways, you will be very pleased indeed!

• Third up, on Wednesday, December 22nd (for locals), for any and all of the SPECIAL MEN in your life, we will be holding our annual Men's Shopping Day and Night. From 10am til 8pm, any men who make a purchase in our shop, will receive free gift-wrapping, snacks to munch-on while they shop AND 20% off their entire purchase. This includes gift certificates, classes, and of course our lovely fabrics, books, patterns and notions.

And because our INTERNET CUSTOMERS need a bit more time to ensure timely arrival of their packages, Men's Shopping Day will happen for our online customers on Wednesday, December 15th.

Remember, the purchases have to be made by a man: it can be your brother, your son, your husband, whomever you would like, as long as they are of the male persuasion. It will be quite obvious which purchases are made by men at the brick-and-mortar shop, but online we will be looking for men's names on those order forms. He won't need a promotional code, just a masculine name.

The idea here is that the men in our lives may need a little help in the gift-giving department, and 20% off (which applies to gift certificates as well, of course!), plus free gift-wrapping may be just the nudge he needs. Of course, it's your job to plant the seed in his mind: just subtle-ly coax and cajole (I know you can do it!), and I'm sure he will get the point.

I think that is it for one night... let me know if you have any questions... it's 10:30 on Sunday night and I might be a little bit (okay, a lot) punchy!



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Playing the waiting game...

Waiting for Soul Blossoms to arrive...

Should be any day now...




Monday, November 29, 2010

Sandlewood Jacket

I told you I would post about the Sandlewood Jacket once I had finished mine, did I not?

Well, a couple of weeks ago... I finished it!

Did I mention how much I love this pattern?

Well, I do.

I really can't wait to make more.

Lots and lots more.

I am sorry if these photos don't do the Sandlewood Jacket any justice, but it is hard to photograph yourself after dark and here in Maine it gets dark this time of year at about 3:30.

(I know, yuck.)

I made the jacket with a brown and pink floral for the exterior, and for the interior I used the Sandlewood print by Amy Butler (this is the same print that they used for the coat on the cover of the pattern), which means I did the fancy-schmancy cutting.

Can I just take this moment to explain that fancy-schmancy cutting is not hard?

At all?

You just need to enjoy the process of laying out your pattern pieces is all.

Normally I am not one to enjoy the process of cutting ANYTHING, so if I can find the joy in this then so can you.

I love that the jacket is reversible and I love how flattering it is.

Not sure that a loooong jacket in the Sandlewood print is for you?

The pattern has lots of options for different hem-lengths and sleeve lengths.

Here is my friend Hannah; she was in my recent Sandlewood Jacket class.

(Warning: anyone who takes one of my classes is fair game for modeling their creations on the blog. You wave your right to anonymity as soon as you hit the front steps!)

As you can see, Hannah's Sandlewood Jacket looks completely different from mine, for a bunch of reasons:

• Different hem and sleeve length from mine (Hannah made the short jacket with the long sleeve option).

• Different fabrics from mine (she made this lovely specimen out of an espresso-colored cotton/linen blend and a graphic, flowery Amy Butler print for the lining).

• Different body from mine... (although I am suspicious of how someone who seems to love baked goods as much as I do and has had two children to boot can maintain such an amazing figure).

Regardless of my suspicions/insecurities, I think Hannah's jacket looks amazing!

Very "Japanese-y" don't you think?

Hannah, you did a great job, girl!

If you would like to make your very own Sandlewood Jacket (it will get a lot of action, I promise you), then here are some tips you should know that might make things a bit easier:

1) Please don't be scared of the fancy-schmancy cutting: the directions for cutting out the Sandlewood print are fabulously, disgustingly detailed and can be applied to cutting out any large scale print.

2) Far be it from me to suggest a change to an Amy Butler pattern (the gal clearly knows what she is talking about), but when it came time to hem this baby at the bottom and the sleeves, I hemmed the bottom the way Amy suggests, and it was hard.

There was a lot of excess fabric to ease in.

I did it, it was do-able, but this ain't my first rodeo.

When I taught the class and when I hemmed my sleeves, I simply folded the raw edges of both the lining and the exterior in towards their respective wrong edges by 1/2", pinned in place and topstitched.

This not only worked great and was a lot easier than Amy's method for hemming (where you turn the exterior and lining 1/4" towards the lining, then to finish the raw edge you fold the entire shebang in towards the lining again by an inch or so, meaning there are four layers of fabrics -not to mention any interfacings- that need to be hemmed-up by hand), it made the hemming much less bulky and meant that I didn't need to do anything by hand.

What's not to love?

(Forgive me, Amy... I'm your biggest fan!)

In summary: Sandlewood Jacket is a winner.

The pattern is quick and easy to follow, the coat is reverisble and the results are fabulous. Plus any pattern that has less than two pages of directions and only four pattern pieces to cut-out is for me, I tell you.

Just right for some holiday parties, I'd say.

Maybe with one of those twinkly, sparkly, feathery headbands.... hmmm...

I'll see you again soon!



Friday, November 26, 2010

Winter Moon Fat Quarter Set and yarn!!!

Winter Moon fat quarter sets are now up in the shop and are being featured in a giveaway on Soulemama this weekend (translation: they probably won't be around long).

This set includes mostly quilting weight cotton, some double gauze, some cotton sheeting and some cotton/linen blends in colors that are a bit muted: dull lavenders, grays, moss, plums and cocoas.

I pulled this set together as an excuse to use some of our fabulous Nani Iro double gauze, and I was really inspired by my growing collection of Japanese craft books. The photography in those books is always very spare and muted and artsy-fartsy: I just love it.

So when I was shooting pictures of these fat quarters, I tried to be artsy-fartsy, too.

What do you think, do these look Japanese-y to you?

And my next bit of news...

Some of you may have noticed something new on our website and in our shop these past few days: YARN!

Alewives Fabrics is now carrying the entire line of Amy Butler Belle organic yarns.

The yarns come in 2 weights: Aran weight and DK weight. They are 50% cotton and 50% wool and 100% organic and 100% fabulous... the colors are gorgeous!

We also carry Amy Butler's knitting book: Midwest Modern Knits, with all of the projects from these photos featuring her yarns and fabrics (dyed to coordinate perfectly, of course!).

We will be offering knitting and crochet classes this coming winter, so stay tuned.

If you like the Winter Moon fat quarter set or any of our new Amy Butler yarns, I have a hot tip for you: you can get 10% off these products (and anything else you might like to order) now through December 31st by entering the code "Soulemama" into the promotional code field at checkout. We will adjust the price manually after your order has been placed. And if you come and visit our shop in Damariscotta Mills in person, just mention the Soulemama code and you will get 10% off your entire purchase, too!

I will see you all again after the weekend: don't forget to check in with Soulemama for your chance to win the giveaway! Good luck!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of our friends and customers, the girls at Alewives Fabrics would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

We are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, but we'll be open bright and early on Friday morning at 10:00... see you then!



PS... Here's some news that should make you very thankful! The Winslow Market Tote by Kathy Mack (which is the project I made for the most recent Craft Swap) is available as a FREE download here! To get the pattern, you will have to sign up to become a member of Quilting Arts, which took me a total of 30 seconds, and really, who wouldn't want to be a member of Quilting Arts? Enjoy your free pattern and thanks so much to everyone at Quilting Arts and to Kathy Mack for making such a great pattern available!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Craft Swap!

Here are some pictures from the Craft Swap for you to enjoy...

The loot:I don't know what that big jug of water is all about, though...

This doll was made by Linda and it was swapped A LOT... but I think in the end she went home with Meredith.

This bracelet was made by Nadine and was also stolen a lot... I believe it went home with Julie (?)

My business associate (Mom), made this floorcloth and it was stolen a lot, too! I can't remember who this finally went home with...

Sandy opened up this "Pockets-2-Go" by Dawn, which came with a pincushion and some of our gorgeous pins. Sandy told everyone that it was her birthday next week and she really liked her "Pockets-2-Go" so nobody should steal it from her...

That was a nice try, Sandy... a valiant effort at keeping your present.

Too bad she didn't count on me (who has no heart at all... mwa ha ha ha!!!) coming up next because I totally stole these from her, but they didn't stay with me long because Nadine stole them from me!

Anne made this cute kitty purse... I cannot remember who this went home with, though.

Jennifer made this gorgeous wall-hanging, which I believe is a McKenna Ryan pattern. This went home with Barbara M.

(By the way, I ended up with Barbara M.'s gift, which was a string of birds almost identical to the ones she gave me as a wedding gift, so now I have a matching set!)

And here is a picture of Pam wearing Barbara C.'s gift: a gorgeous hand-knitted hat and matching cowl. Good thing I didn't see these earlier, or I totally would have stolen them and had harsh words for anyone who tried to take them from me.

And speaking of me...

I made this bag (The Winslow Market Tote), which is a pattern in International Quilt Festival Scene magazine... The mag was sent to me as a freebie (I know, I know, I am a brat!), but I plan on getting some copies in to the store to sell. I really liked this pattern a lot and I think it is perfect for all those Japanese cotton/linen blends... especially the new Echinos. I made a matching drawstring bag (really simple and easy) and a matching make-up bag (I used the pattern from my trusty copy of "Weekend Sewing" by Heather Ross) to throw in for good measure.

At the end of the evening I was very pleased because Ginny B., who pulled the number 1 (the BEST number to get at the Craft Swap) and who could have anything at all that she wanted from the room chose my bag to take home with her.

She took it away from Anne, and I will admit that I felt a little badly for Anne because I knew she liked the bag a lot, but I think she is recovering nicely. And I think we all made out like bandits.

Thanks so much to EVERYONE who came to the Craft Swap and if you would like to join us the next time, we are planning a Craft Swap for late February and I will keep you posted.

Thanks and I will see you all again soon!



Sale is Over... thanks a bunch!

So far this is my favorite print from the Soul Blossoms line.

The Internet Sale is now officially over... whew!

We have had a great time filling all your orders and there are still some that need to be filled today so I know what I'll be doing.

Thanks a bunch for partaking and making this such a success: I think it is safe to say we will make this an annual event for our internet customers over the weekend before Thanksgiving.

And the timing couldn't be better because I have it on good authority that Amy Butler's newest line, Soul Blossoms, will be arriving in early December. We have ordered the entire collection: all of the quilting weights, all of the home-dec weights and all of the laminates, so we needed the room! Stay tuned to this here blog and to the twitter page to get the news when Soul Blossoms arrives.

Thanks again and I will be back soon with a new post!



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving sale for our internet customers ends tomorrow

Hello one and all...

Just a quick note to let you know that our 20% off sale (for internet customers only!) will end tomorrow night at the stroke of Midnight.

The clock is ticking!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Sale has begun!!!

Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/ AFP-Getty Images

The Thanksgiving Sale for our internet customers is in full swing and the orders have been pouring in, so thanks!

In case you missed it, all internet orders are 20% off now through Sunday.

You don't need a code or a coupon or anything like that: just place your order as you normally would and we will manually adjust the price to reflect the discount once the order has gone through.

Jessica and I worked our tushes off today and got *most* everything done so if you placed your order today there is a good chance that your goodies are on their way.

Now that I am home I am putting my feet up and re-heating some leftovers and treating myself to some Prosecco.

Speaking of such things as Prosecco, did you hear about the 160 year old bottles of champagne found in a shipwreck off the coast of Finland?

They opened some of them up today and sampled them and found that they were still drinkable!

I like my job and all, but I wonder how one would go about becoming a professional taster of champagne, as I think I am a very good candidate and have done most all of the leg-work.

In other news, I am going to see the Harry Potter movie this weekend.

Anyone else going?

And oh yes, we ordered more fabric today...

You should SEE the stuff coming down the pike: it is gorgeous.

That's all for now: see some of you at the Craft Swap tomorrow night (mine is all done!).



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Sale is just HOURS away!!!

A note to all our internet customers: don't forget that starting tomorrow (November 18th), through Sunday (November 21st), all online orders will be 20% off!!! Hooray!!!

To get the discount, you won't need a coupon or a code or anything like that: just place your order as you normally would and we will adjust the price manually after your order comes through.

We've never done a weekend-long sale before, so please be patient with us as we adjust the inventory on our site and fill orders as fast as we can. Orders are filled on a first come, first-served basis and we will do our best to make sure everyone gets what they want.

And a note to all our local customers: the Craft Swap is this Friday night at 6:00 sharp. Is your goodie ready? (Mine is not, but I'm almost there!)

Remember to wrap your project up so it's nice and pretty and we'll all want to steal it and remember not to tell anyone what you've made. If you haven't signed up for the Craft Swap yet, there's still time: just call us at the shop (207 563 5002). You must sign up in advance to participate, though!

In other news, we are experiencing some cuh-razy weather out there now and I am feeling so bad for my husband because he is working in this mess.

Also, I made a roast chicken last night that was to-die for! It was really easy and tasty and fun and made the house smell really good and I'm feeling my second-ever recipe post coming on!

Alright, that'll do it for now...

I'll catch you on the flip flop!



Monday, November 15, 2010

Liesl workshop a success!

This past weekend was phenomenal...

(Perhaps my favorite photo of the day... " Contortionist Liesl" gets up close and personal with Judy's machine)

(Dash's almost finished pair of Nature Walk Pants)

(Above: Trish's version of the Hopscotch Dress with faux sleeve inserts)

We all learned and laughed and finished our projects and hung out with a sewing celebrity: what more could you ask for in a workshop?

I am already scheming and scamming to get Liesl back here again (perhaps this spring?).

Thanks so much to Liesl for flying out here (hope they didn't make you do one of those body-scan things... sheesh!) and thanks so much to everyone who took the class and came to the evening's Q+A... we had a great time!



Updated to add: There is a really great write-up of the day and even more pictures here on Tina's blog, SquirrelAcorns. Thanks, Tina!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New velveteens in the shop and I rave about the Sandlewood Jacket!

We got our Anna Maria Horner "Innocent Crush" velveteens in yesterday and I am completely smitten....

They are so soft and so pretty and a breath of fresh air: I bet they will be super-popular!

We've been cutting fat quarters of these new velveteens and making bundles: whew, what a workout... this stuff is substantial.

Jessica and I were talking about what you could do with the new velveteens and we came up with all kinds of ideas: pillows (of course), bags (natch), skirts (especially at this time of year), quilts (these would make amazing quilts!), but what I really want to make from the velveteen is a jacket.

I have been teaching a class on how to make the Sandlewood Jacket by Amy Butler and it is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite patterns.

It's so easy... as in, no buttonholes, no zippers and just ONE lonely little page of instructions.

There are only 4 pattern pieces to cut out: that is, IF you omit the "hanging loop" and the "tie," like I did, so it cuts out very quickly.

If you use home-dec weight (or perhaps a certain velveteen?) for the outside and quilting weight for the lining, then you don't need to use ANY interfacing (always a nice quality in a pattern, I think).

And it's really 2 jackets in one: the design is completely and utterly reversible, so you're getting a lot of bang for your sewing buck.

I did a bit of searching for other versions of this project on the interweb, but it seems like so far this pattern has been waaaay under the radar, which is strange, because I can't recommend the Sandlewood pattern enough.

The jacket is really flattering (trust me I don't say that lightly!) and totally stylish: I will be wearing mine all fall, winter and spring long.

I did find a great pattern review here, by the way.

When my Sandlewood Jacket is all done (which will be very soon), I will take photos and show you.

These new velveteens that just arrived are BEGGING to be made into a Sandlewood Jacket (Yes, that's where I was going with all of this).

Now that the wedding is over and I am getting used to this new rhythm at the shop I have carved out a little more time to sew (remember when I used to SEW on this blog?) and I think a Sandlewood Jacket in a lovely velveteen is completely possible.

And when people ask me if my jacket is "homemade," this is what I'll tell them!

See you again soon...