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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Civil War Quilt Story.....

When I was thinking about today's story, I gotta tell you...it reminded me of one of the things I miss most about having the shop....the customers...the stories....the show-n-tell.

Today's story is equally sad, as was the last one.  At least it is not an enraging kind of sad.  We were adjacent to a grocery store.  One of the ladies in the deli department sent her husband in with a quilt when he lost his job.  They were unable to pay their bills and needed some quick cash.  He opens this stunning quilt and hands me an appraisal sheet he had done on it.  The documentation reported that this quilt did, in fact, date back to the civil war.  I won't even tell you what this quilt was worth!  I was stunned.  I called a quilt designer, whom I knew collected these kinds of quilts.  She wanted us to ship it to her so she could look at it and then she would ship it back if we couldn't come to an agreement on a price.  He didn't want to ship it.  I felt horrible for them.  So, as any good quilt shop owner would do....I bought it!  We exchanged e-mails and he asked that if I ever wanted to see it, I would e-mail him first.  I told him likewise, if they got back on their feet, they could buy the quilt back for what I gave them for it, just so it would stay in his family.  (Did I fail to mention that quilt has been handed down in his family since the war????)



These little star blocks are only 4".  There is so much quilting on this quilt, pictures just cannot do it justice.  I started to replicate this quilt "Scrappy Style", but I don't like how it is turning out.  So.....I'm going to have to start over and just do it in the three colors.  Funny thing is...this quilter must have ran out of the red...because there are a few blocks that are made with a different print--same color.

I am proud to own her, and have thought about selling her....but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.  I e-mailed him a few times and got no response...so, until we move and I know whether I am going to have the perfect farmhouse for this one, it will go back to it's happy place.

Blessings...

Monday, September 26, 2011

New from the Blacksmith Shop!

I just had to make a quick post to show you what hubs made me from his little blacksmith shop!


I told him I wanted a dozen, and he told me it would take him the rest of his life!  LOL  He is going to do one that is a rose-bud, too.  I do NOT want it painted, but I am so very proud to have such a talented family!

Enjoy your day!

Every quilt has a story.....

Have you ever wandered around an antique mall or flea market and seen quilts that were just unloved and waiting for someone to 'save' them?  You know the quilts I am referring to....they are a little ratty, have a few sugar stains, but have been hand-quilted and probably hand-pieced.  They are hanging there with ridiculously low price tags on them because someone felt like they just weren't "perfect" anymore.  That is my worst fear...that when I die, our six kids will deem my quilts unworthy and they will be in some flea market or garage sale for $25 a piece.  :(

Well, there was a day in the shop.....picture HER...she is a size 0 and is wearing capris with heels.  Her blonde ponytail dances off the side of her head.  Her make-up is perfect.  She seems perfect.  Then, she opens her mouth...  She has a quilt in tow that was HAND-PIECED by her GREAT GRANDMOTHER as a wedding gift to HER MOTHER.  Now, this little trisket is maybe a few years younger than me, but boy, she had enough attitude for the both of us.

Trisket:  I have this ratty, pink quilt that my great-grandmother made.  Do you think I could get $25 for it at a yard sale?

Me:  Sweetie, what you are holding there is a family heirloom.  Don't you have a daughter or someone else in the family you can hand it down to?

Trisket:  I decorate modern and so does my daughter.  It doesn't go with anything we have.  Frankly, it is a little too country for us.

She proceeds to go into the story how they already gave a couple others away at church, but that didn't want anyone to see how ratty this one was....

I explain how much work has gone into the quilt.  It is hand-pieced and hand-quilted...two generations ago.  What a momento for her family that her great-grandmother actually did all the work.

She proceeds to tell me all of the history of the quilt, yet she still isn't getting it.

By this time, *G*, one of my employees is keeping me from climbing over the counter and slapping Ms. Trisket around and knocking some sense into her.  I end up paying the trisket for the quilt and sending on her way.  We talked around the shop for days about how some sweet great-grandmother in heaven is smiling down on me for saving her quilt from Ms. Trisket.

Before I go on, this is the quilt:


No, it doesn't "go" with any room in my house.  Yes, some places are a little ratty.  Yes, there are some sugar spots.  No, it will never be seen in a garage sale.  She mostly stays folded up with a few friends that I have made.  I get her out and fondle her.  I think about the love and work that went into her.  Then, I lovingly fold her up and put her away.

I tell our kids this story.  My youngest son (Prodigal) lectures me when I am feeling low.  He has said to me more than once...Mom, your quilts will not end up in yard sales.  I will make sure we divide them all up and your grandchildren will pass them down.

Today's blessing.....no Trisket in MY family!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blogging and Training....

Lately, there have been a lot of disgruntled bloggers out there who have been upset or hurt because of other bloggers.  Seems like there are more and more using blogger as a way to publicly demonstrate their frustrations with one another.  Bloggers are making their blogs *private*, so that only invited readers can read, which I completely understand.  But....when I get a referral from another blog or want to thank someone for their post and I am not one of their 'invited' readers, I can't thank them for their e-mails.  So, for all of you out there, here is your blanket 'thank you'.  LOL

Here is a pic of the people who went through training with me at the new job: 

So, here is the background story for this pic.  The ENTIRE Sales/Marketing Team for the entire country is in Chicago.  They all left Friday and will be home Sunday.....except for us.  Yup, just the 9 of us.  We started at the company 2 weeks too late to have been booked on the trip.  At the last few sales meetings and in our district meetings, everyone was warned that there should be no public intoxication or any other form of misbehavior that could get our Division in trouble with Corporate.  So, as a little *gag*, we were all at our last lunch together on Friday and decided to have the bartender make us fake drinks and put the bottles on the table.  The pic was taken and texted to our Corporate Trainer and District Managers with the caption "Who needs Chicago?"  Our little pic has gone 'viral' within the company and has been forwarded to so many different Managers and Personnel that is absolutely hilarious.  We've been receiving text messages back telling us what a motley crew we looked like.  (Hope our gag doesn't get us all fired!  ROFL)

...and I just have to say about the hair....it has been pouring rain for days.  My hair would have looked like Roseann Roseanna Danna if I had try to do anything with it, so I left it curly and just pulled it partially back.  Usually, I would not be seen like this in a professional environment, but I knew no one would be around to see it.....how would I have known it would have just been texted to them all!  LOL

So, cheers to a good weekend!  Even if it is a fake drink...

In case you are wondering, I DID make the mistake of tasting it and it tasted like Tang.  Very fake orange juice.  It was wretched!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Sewing......

Our online Primitive group had a challenge for the week to make just one block.  I was going to do mine after work yesterday.  Things got a little crazy and I didn't get home from work until 8 pm and I logged over 350 miles for the day yesterday!  Whoa!  So.....I have made a daily challenge for the group to get a block made today!  This should be interesting for me.......I have an appt to get my hair done this morning (Gotta wash that grey right outta my hair....remember those commercials??)  I have 2 customers dropping off quilts and 1 picking up (Hometown Christmas), then...maybe...I can head off to the sewing studio.  I will also be putting in a few hours longarming between the hair appt and the ladies coming to/from with quilts.

I see a challenge coming for the group soon to make pincushions.  I love these patterns.....

IJ863CCQ159IJ845PMPA18RQC63RQC432

How's a girl to choose which one???  Well, we all know my affinity for chickens...so, I will be making the chicken one!  There are just so many adoreable pincushions to choose from.  Tuffets are great for orphan blocks...

With us listing our house in January (or early Spring), there is a lot I need to get done.  Do you think that is what I am focusing on?  Nope!  I'm picking out even more quilts to make to decorate the new house and I don't even know what it is going to look like!  What is wrong with this picture???  In a perfect world, I end up in an older farmhouse (that doesn't need too much work).  I want wood plank flooring, a big farm sink, shaker cabinets....ah, the horror of it all.  I'm not in the mood for finishing the remodeling here, house showings and looking for something new.  Hubs and I are worlds apart in what we need.  I want small...he says he does, but he doesn't mean it!  :)

Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Want some inspiration?

Check out this blog this morning!  This lady's home is beautiful and full of quilty inspiration!

http://annemariesanecdotes.blogspot.com/2011/09/house-tour-quilted-spaces.html



I nabbed this pic off the front.  All I can say is WOW!

Blessings

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alas, the Hometown Christmas quilt!

After loads of laundry, ironing, cleaning and cooking, I finally have time to update you on the Hometown Christmas Quilt!  She is all done and ready to go home with her Momma!


I tried to take the pics of the sashing and outer borders at an angle with the light so you could see the quilting.  Sashing has an edge to edge holly design.

This is the design of the outer border.  It has holly and berries, looped together.


This is the whole quilt.  If you want to see the quilting in the individual blocks, you will have to look at previous posts.

And, last, but not least, this is the back.  This puppy was huge, so I couldn't get the whole thing in the pic. 

Now, I am off to get some work done in preparation of my upcoming work week.  Got a little wrench thrown in, so I have to combine 5 days work into 4.  I now have a meeting out of town on Friday.  It will be a busy week for sure!

The step-daughters came over last night to watch the game.  We only ended up with 2 of the 3 because 2 of them started fussing.  Oh, the drama of it all.  We watched out team lose...and I really mean lose....but, we had some great food.  I made Italian Wedding Soup, Italian Crusty Bread with Pesto, Buckeye Fudge & Homemade Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  I also bought some tortilla chips and we had the best green salsa imported from Mexico.  Mmmmmmm......

Have a great evening!  I will chat with you all tomorrow!  (I did catch up on some blogs this morning.  Wow, was it inspirational!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Saturday!

I'm off to get my massage this morning, then I will be finishing up the Hometown Christmas quilt.  I'll post pics of the finished project some time tomorrow.

What are you all working on this weekend?  This fall weather has me excited to finish up another of those fall projects and another of those bazillion UFOs I've been trying to catch up on.  I've fallen a little behind and have some serious catching up to do.  I don't know at this point if I will make my goal, but I am going to work hard at it.

Back to the move....well, it's looking imminent.  We still don't know for sure, but it looks like this Spring could hold lots of change around here.  I just want hubs to decide....get with his company....and get it figured out!  I HATE being in limbo!

Hubs:  How do you feel this morning?

Me:  Ummmm....fine....why?  (I know this is a LOADED question)

Hubs:  Well, I got you some flour if you want to make pancakes.

Me:   Ugh!  (Didn't vocalize, but just knew it was a loaded question!)

The step-daughters are coming to watch the football game tonight, so I will have to make a vat of my wedding soup to feed everyone.  Should be an interesting evening.  I won't go into the details, but I'm not looking forward to it.  shhhhhhhh.......

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hubs took one for the team....

So, last Friday night I convinced Hubs to go to an Irish Pub for dinner.  I had stopped in to try to sell them food earlier in the day, and it looked like a really cool place.  They had the ornate wood bar, wood-planked walls and you could just feel the history inside.  I was just dieing to try them out.  We went over and, much to hubs' delight, they had 20 different beers on tap!  Dinner was I N C R E D I B L E ! ! !  We had their Fish N Chips.  They make their own beer batter, and we were not disappointed.  This is something, because we are usually pretty picky....being in the food business for so long.

Fast forward to last night...another account....I won't tell you where it was or the name because......there was another pub/bar-like eatery that I am also working on.  Hubs wanted something quick and asked if we could go back to the place we went on Friday.  "Nope, but I have another I am working on....are you game?"  Sure, he says.....    Oh heavens, where to start!  It was the absolute worse food I have had in a looooooooong time!  Some accounts are for selling, some are for eating!  We both were nauseous by the time we got home.  The french fries didn't even taste like potatoes (and it wasn't because the oil was dirty or needed changed).  The ketchup didn't even remotely taste like tomatoes.....the iced tea/lemonade drink I got was so watered down and the tea was instant....words just cannot describe how bad it was.  I didn't even eat my fries, green beans, salad or roll after the first few bites.  Bluck!  He gets a gold star for letting me put him through it....and he got a promise that I would take him back to the other place this weekend.  This is from the couple that doesn't eat out much!  ROFL

I did get a little more done on the Hometown Christmas quilt.  I basically have some more stitch-in-the-ditch to do in the bottom borders, then I have to quilt all of the borders and sashing, and it will be D O N E ! ! !  Whippee!!!!!







This block will make you crazy...making sure you got everything all stitched in the ditch......

Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hometown Christmas Cont'd.....

I feel like I got so much done this weekend!  I love that feeling!  Not only did I get the house all clean, had a great bonfire with the kids, got all the laundry caught up, but I also made a HUGE dent in the Hometown Christmas quilt.  With any luck, this baby will be finished up later this week!  :)





Still doing a lot of stitch-in-the-ditch and custom "traditional" quilting, but my efforts will pay off!  This quilt just screams for traditional quilting!  Hopefully, Ms. Customer will love it as much as I do.

Well, I'm off to work on it a little more.  Enjoy the rest of your day!  :)

Blessings

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Bonfire and A little quilting.....

We had some of the kids over last night to enjoy the fire pit Prodigal Son surprised me with.  While I was in training out of town, he dug my long-awaited fire pit.  He lined it with rocks and flanked the outside with flagstones.  It turned out very nice.  What a sweetie for doing it for me!  The weather was perfect and the fellowship was awesome.  I just love spending time with the kids and grandpuppies!  :)

Today, I will be longarming on the Hometown Christmas Quilt.  I'll show you some more pics in the morning.  This evening, I'm sneaking off to the sewing studio for a little 'me' time.  Hubs is playing in his blacksmith shop, so we are both enjoying our hobbies.  Very thankful that hubs has a hobby and a way to release and unwind.

On a sad note, I found out another quilt shop is closing.  She participated with us in one of our shop hops.  I feel bad for her, but I am also happy for her.  She is looking forward to spending time with her family and is recognizing that life is short.....too short to be working all the time.  While closing my shop was sad for me, I must confess that I am enjoying not working so many hours and scheduling so much family time.  It is also fun to actually be making things for "me" rather than "the shop".  Sometimes the things we made for "the shop" weren't necessarily things that would go with my tastes.  Loved them, but the just weren't "me". 

Well, I'm not getting anything done on this computer, so I need to head off to longarm.

Don't forget the sale over at the website:  All 45" fabric $1 off per yard with a minimum 1 yard purchase.  Books/Patterns 30% off manufacturer's suggested retail price.  (I'll change prices on sale items before hitting your credit card.)

Enjoy your Sunday and this beautiful weather!  :)

Blessings

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A little touch of Spring

When I look at this quilt, it reminds me of Spring!  This is another customer quilt, and I just love the pantograph she chose. 


Close-up of the quilting....

She pieced the back.  There is not a pleat in it, it's just waving a little in the wind....  I love pieced backs.  She used some coordinating fabrics with one of the fabrics from the front.  It will look beautiful turned down.

I'm finally getting the house back in shape from being out of town those few weeks.  Who knew the fellas could mess up so much and it would take so long to get it cleaned back up!??!

Enjoy!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Army Son...

I can't call him Army Son anymore.  He is now out of the Army and the Guard, so I will have to come up with a new name for him on my posts.  I can't tell you his nickname, or he would KILL me!  We had a BBQ to celebrate....


Hubs is "schooling" Army Son on the process of grilling.  First, you start with a beer in hand....

Formerly known as Army Son......

This is my grandpuppy, Dora.  She poses for Nana....her sister Sofie...notsomuch.....


This is Army Son's girlfriend.  Many of you will recognize her from the shop.  She used to work with us....

This is the view from their back deck.  As long as this farmer doesn't sell out, they have an awesome view.  When you are standing there, it is just like the scene from a movie.

I took pics of some of his friends that attended as well, but I didn't have their permission to put the pics on the blog, so Army Son will just get those in an e-mail.  :)

Have a blessed day!

Hometown Christmas

I'm steadily working on this Hometown Christmas quilt.  I'm happy to report I'm about halfway done.  Here's a sneak peak of what I have done so far.....




Since Thimbleberries quilts are very traditional, I've done very traditional quilting.  The rail fence blocks are one of the borders, and I have stitched them in the ditch.  I tried to take the pics at an angle so you could see the quilting.  The piecing on this quilt has been done well, which makes it soooo much easier to quilt!

Working on this one is getting my hyped to work on MY holiday quilts.  Of course, this crisp, cool weather is enjoyable as well!!!!

Enjoy your day!  If you are in the states, enjoy your holiday!

Blessings...

Don't forget the 30% off the manufacturer's suggested retail price on all books/patterns over on the website.....just mention the blog! 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A Little About My New Job....because I know you are just DIEING to hear all about it!

OK, so maybe you aren't.  But, you are a captive audience and I just have to tell you how much fun I am having....

TRAINING:  This is where you sit in a test kitchen and various food manufacturers come in, cook tons of food, make you sample and explain why their food is the right one for your clients.
----->This is also where you start to put back on the 10 pounds you lost after you closed your shop.

Sure, there are other things you do in training....learn company policies, how to use the laptop, etc.  but this is the one that stands out the most.  Before you go judging me for not appreciating all of this free food, I will give you an example of just ONE afternoon...from 10am to 4pm (yes, count them--6 hours of non-stop food frenzy) we had 5 different kinds of ham, 5 different kids of bacon, 4 different hot dogs, 8 different sausages/brats, capicola, hamcola, 3 different salamis, mortadella, 3 kinds of bologna....all from the same knife-wielding "Insert Major Manufacturer Brand Here".  Then, we got to move on to appetizers...breaded and battered vegetables of every species, coupled with 4-5 different mozzarella sticks, deep-fried macaroni and cheese, jalapenos, pickles and of course a million kinds of onion rings and onion petals.  Not full yet, well, that's good, because we've only chipped the top off of the iceburg....we had about 4 different kinds of soups, chicken salad, tuna salad, ham salad and seafood salad.  But, wait--there's more.....time to move on to 4-5 different cakes/desserts....muffins....coffee....tea.....flavored waters.....and then, we started learning about spices, crackers, cereals, hot sauces and other condiments.  Now, I am feeling like a bloated toad just re-living all of this for you.  The company brings in 4-5 manufacturers a day....at least 2-3 days a week...just to teach you about all of their goodies.  Surely, we won't have to eat them all because there are 10s of thousands products....but the weight was thinking about coming back.  AND last Friday was PASTA and PRODUCE day!  So, we got to try a million kinds of Pasta, melons, salads, avocados, tomatos, berries, the list just goes on and on.....

So, I actually got to start my job this Thursday/Friday and get out of the Shark Tank full of chum in the Test Kitchen!  Thank goodness!  I have now written a new diet book called "How to lose all of the weight you gain in Food Sales/Marketing Training".  This is how my plan works.  You put on high heels and run around downtown on FOOT in temps that register as a Head Advisory of over 100 degrees!!!!!  Yup....all of my gained weight is GONE!  I'm as serious as a heart attack!  It really happened.  I figure another week of this and I will be a size 6!!!!  Curse you Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkly, you have NOTHING on MY weight loss plan!

Later, you will have to remind me to tell you all about my new Sales Buddy, JP.  I LOVE him.....here's why....he is from South America.  He does OK with the English language, as he went to college here.  We were going to lunch one day (he wanted to ride in my hot rod), and he asked if he could be so forward as to ask how old I was.  He said if I thought he was being rude, I didn't need to answer.  JP is very much a gentleman and quite the snazzy dresser--I figured him for about 40....this is the part where I swear you to silence, because he is only 36!  I told him how old I was and he thought I was fibbing.  He thought I was only about 36!!!!!!!  This is why I love him!  He said I dress nice and keep myself up nice...."for someone my age".  Bless his heart!  If it wasn't such a compliment, I would probably have stuck him in the trunk for the "someone my age" part!

Have a great day!

Blessings

Home again, home again....jiggity jig!

We should be getting back to regular posts now, thank goodness.  Tested out of the training process at the new job, another thank goodness.  Longarming today (heaven knows it is way too hot to go outside).

Have you been doing any quilting or sewing?  Not moi!  But....hopefully, that will change.  One evening this weekend, I'm going to hide in the sewing studio and see what kind of trouble I can get into....even if it is cleaning!  Jennie (my Janome) misses me, and I miss her!

This time last two years ago, I got my second longarm.  It came up on my FB reminder/calendar.  Lots has changed since then.  Truly grateful for all those things that life has given me.  I'll give her a little attention today, so she can see how much I have missed her!

I was looking at pics of a friend's Christmas Tree quilt and am thinking I need to switch the quilts all out around the house today....but I've also been wondering if I should start a Christmas project or two.  I need to make myself finish something first, but I would like to make a little something new for fall or Christmas or both.  Our primitive Yahoo group is talking about our next challenge.  We are thinking something with a winter theme.  I see snowmen and snowflakes.....now to see the cutting table in my sewing studio so I could potentially make some!

Whatever your plans for this holiday weekend, happy stitching!  :)

Blessings.....

Don't forget the 30% off the manufacturer's suggested retail price on all books/patterns over on the website.....just mention the blog!