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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Trade Show Report...

Well, I got up very early (for me, anyway) at 5:00 am on Friday! Fixed some coffee, John's lunch and headed over to the shop to turn the heat on and get the place ready for Harriet to open up. Then, I headed out on the freeway to go to the trade show at the Seattle Center. Wow...I had no idea there were that many folks on the freeway at 6:15 in the morning headed out of Bellingham! Anyway, the traffic wasn't as horrible as I had anticipated, so I made it in good time, found a parking garage and a cup of coffee.

So...here's the report from the show. They had lots of fabric! What a surprise! (Lots of you ask - I don't get to actually buy the fabric there and take it, just order for future delivery.) What fabrics did I find? Well, here's a picture of some knit prints I ordered from S. Rimmon out of California. Aren't they nice? They told me it would be at least a month before they hit the store, so get out those t-shirt patterns! I got to see Andy from Jake Andrews Sales. He represents the Dill Button Company, along with many other notion and fabric companies. I re-ordered some buttons from him and also ordered some of the Laurel Burch Fanciful Feline buttons! Watch for them in a few weeks. Loralie Designs had a new Christmas Kitty print that I ordered. There were many other fun things to see, including a Corvette fabric due to arrive later (even though many of you know, I am a Mustang girl at heart!)

I must admit that toward the end of the day, my head starts to spin a bit from making decisions and looking at more and more fantastic fabrics! That's why I am glad that I also have so many wonderful reps that will come by the store and show me things as well. This is a picture of Erin in the Andover/Hoffman/Kona Bay/P&B/Checker booth - yes, he really represents those lines and more! They stay pretty busy in their booth that he was manning with his wife Stephanie, brother-in-law, Mike and, and John, who came out from the East coast from Andover/Makower. And since I had limited time, he will be coming to see me soon with those lines of fabrics and notions.

All in all, it was a great show. I managed to get out of there ahead of rush hour and over to Kenmore to see my daughter, Lydia and my grandsons, Lukas and Benson. I even got a chance to see my youngest son, Dave and his wife Nikki!

So....it was a great day all around, but I was happy to see Bellingham later Friday night. A fruitful, but long day. Now, all we have to do is wait for those UPS and Fed/Ex trucks to start pulling up with more fun fabrics for new projects. Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Around here we say....

We have a Fab-Etc saying around here, "Why would we want to do something once, when we could do it, oh, two, three or even four times until we get it right?!?" Well, we are having fun with the Tri-County quilt shop blocks for March 26-29. We start it one way, and then get this great idea to do it another way. They are looking great, but only a few made it intact in one try!

This is a picture of one in progress up on our design wall(can't show you any of the other pretty well done ones in cyberspace). Obviously, there's more to come on this block. Well, our Tracey was here to take a lunch break away from playing with trucks, and thought it looked like a good target. Do you like what she wrote? I told her, at least it was a padded surface!!

In between all of our fun, we did receive some fabric today. A beautiful floral group came in from Northcott - Tapestry Rose. The colors are rich! And from Moda, we got a fresh supply of toweling. Lots of you are enjoying making towels and embellishing them.

Okay, back to some flower fun....making jonquils, or daffodils, or something that resembles either one of those! Have a great evening!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flower Power!

Well....I still don't have all of my Fab-Etc blocks done for the Tri-County event, A Garden Stroll. But I am getting closer, as you can see from the picture. Since we are using four of our blocks in the Fab-Etc quilt, that meant I had to make 16 parts (four/block), plus the middles. I have all of the 16 parts done, except that I goofed up on the middle part. So, I need to take 16 seams apart a little bit and put my folded yellow triangles in and then make the four blocks and do some curved back piecing. Then, I will have them done!!

The quilt is coming together pretty well, thanks to the best staff in the world! We've been collaborating and starting over and redoing lots, but it's going to be a fun quilt. Hope you'll like looking at it, as well as the other twelve that are being made throughout the three counties. I've had a chance to try some things that take me out of my comfort zone, so that is a good thing!

On the fabric front, some new batiks came in the other day, and I'm not sure if I mentioned before that we got some wonderful seersuckers. And, we've been switching some of the fabrics around again - Tracey loves that! She only works a few days a month, so she figures just about the time she knows where things are, it must be time to move them again! Except, this time, all of us are a bit confused after the big rearrange.

I've also had visits from a few of my reps and have ordered some great new fabrics - including some organic cottons from Michael Miller. I know I get requests from time to time for those. Plus, I am going to a trade show in Seattle this Friday to see lots more fabrics and great stuff! I'll try and report back this weekend. And, since my daughter and two grandsons live in the area, I'll get to see them - hooray! Plus, my youngest son and his wife might also be around - even better!

We've also scheduled a few more classes into April - take a look at the Classes section on the website http://www.fabric-etc.com/

Okay....I didn't bring home the Fab-Etc blocks, but I did bring parts to others, so I best get a bit done this evening. Thanks for tuning in to my ramblings!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More flowers?

Remember how I told you that we were going to have a "Staff Sew Day" for a few hours on Sunday? Well, we were working on the blocks for the Tri-County Quilt Merchants Association event "A Garden Stroll". There are 13 shops participating. You can see the list at www.quilttour.com

Each of the 13 shops designed a 12" block with a "floral" theme. All of the shops get to make a quilt using all 13 block patterns - a unique quilt from each one of us! Those are the blocks we were working on. I can't show you the other shops' blocks just yet, but this is the start of our block.

On March 26-29 from 9 am to 7 pm, you can grab some of your quilting/sewing buddies and visit the stores to take a look at each of our creations. Every one of us will be giving away the pattern for our own block, plus having other fun stuff. I'll put the rest of our block up when it's done - actually, the plan is to have four of our blocks in the quilt we are making, so stay tuned for the rest of them. I'll try and add them as I finish (that was my assignment from the staff!) So far, so good on the "master plan" for our quilt...hope it all comes together as planned!

In between working on these blocks, we did unpack some fabric today. We re-ordered more of the fun"Spill the Beans" coffee fabric from Clothworks - the one our Tie One On apron is made from, plus the squares that we made the coasters out of. And, from Alexander Henry, we received a bolt of the "hunky" firefighters, and they really are!

Did you see the sun and blue sky for a bit today? It was wonderful, wasn't it? The fabulous people who wash the outside of my windows at the shop came this morning, so it was even more glorious!

Guess that's about all the latest from Fab-Etc. More news soon!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Flowers anyone?

I am a born and raised northwestern Washington girl, but gee it's been wet and "gray" lately, hasn't it? Thought you might like to take a look at some flowers to brighten up your day. Jan made this smaller hanging called "Flowers in My Cabin". It's very warm and inviting, isn't it? I know I like to walk over and look at it up on the wall once in a while, just to make me smile. And not one bit of gray either!

The design incorporates the log cabin block along with a great "canvas" for some applique. Even though Jan LOVES needleturn applique, this particular piece was done using a machine applique technique. She'd also like to make it again using some Spring-type prints. She'll be teaching a 3 part class for "Flowers in My Cabin" beginning Thursday, February 21st. There's still some room, so if you're interested, give us a call or stop in!

Another week at Fab-Etc draws to a close....we survived Fat Tuesday with only 2 boxes of leftovers. We all decided, more total boxes next year...not enough selection left for the afternoon people! Tomorrow the staff is meeting a couple of hours for a "sew day" to work on our Tri-County Quilt Shop Festival, "A Garden Stroll" blocks. Each shop makes a quilt using the other shops' "flower-themed" patterns. We hope the idea we have for ours will work out okay! Guess we'll know after tomorrow. We'll be updating you more on the event in the next few weeks.

Have a great Sunday....I get to sew - hooray!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

6 pm....


6 pm....remember the pictures I put up yesterday, of what was going to be available at 6 am this morning? Well, this is a picture of just about what was left at 6 pm tonight! You know what that means - a whole new selection of fat quarters again for next year!

Here are a couple of pictures we took at about 6:15 this morning. There were quite a few people in the parking lot waiting for the doors to open, and it was pretty much "wall to wall" shoppers and fat quarters by this time. Everyone had a great time looking through the fat quarters, helping one another find "just one more of these", and listening to 60's "Party Rock" music - several people said they weren't sure whether to dance or pick out fat quarters!

Fat Tuesday was a lot of fun for everyone. We even have a few doughnut holes left for our first Wednesday of the month Tea Party tomorrow. Mark your calendars - our next Fat Tuesday Sale is February 24, 2009.

Monday, February 4, 2008

6:00 am....

6:00 in the morning!?! WOW, that sounds early....but I'll be getting up at zero early thirty to make John's lunch, some coffee for me and head over to the shop to make some coffee for those of you coming between 6:00 and 9:00. We've got some great donut holes, hot spiced cider and some mini donuts too and Tracey's even bringing some more in the morning. Oh, and thousands of fat quarters for you to choose from!

In fact, here are a couple of pictures from this afternoon's set-up. We had a good time bringing all of those boxes out from the back and setting them up - like seeing old friends! So, we're ready for you to come and adopt them to good homes!

Hope to see you on Fat Tuesday.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super week...

This seems to be the "super" week - Super Tuesday, Super Bowl, Super Fat Tuesday Sale! And it has been a "super" time to do the rearranging of the shop. As I said last night, I will post a few pictures of what we have been doing. (Remember, you can click on a picture and "super-size" it.)


First of all, my "super husband", who is our webmaster, computer guru, security expert, and all around great guy, took the old shelving that was next to the counter and created this fabulous book rack! The books and magazines show up so much better here, and it's right next to the counter now, so you can take advantage of the stools that are usually comfortably positioned and really take a good look at the "super" books/mags we have available!

And this is a picture of the expanded class/sew area. See the extra table at the end? There is so much more elbow room now! It is a "super" place to have classes, for the staff to work on projects, or for you to come and work on something, or invite a few friends to spend the afternoon playing together with fabrics!


Okay...this is the picture of the "super leftovers" that haven't quite found homes yet. But they definitely will. In fact, they need to go somewhere by Monday afternoon, because that's when we will be setting up for our Fat Tuesday Sale - 20 fat quarters for $20. We need all the room we can get, because we have LOTS of fat quarters. And we need a spot that we can set aside for our refreshments we're serving from 6 -9 am on Tuesday. It's always such a "super day"!

And...sorry to say that I didn't get a chance to sew today, so no picture of my project. Somehow, the laundry basket and especially the empty refrigerator seemed "super" pressing. But after Fat Tuesday, I have something in mind involving the new book, "Charmed and Dangerous", an Urban Indigo charm pack and my rotary cutter and machine!

If I remember to take the picture, tomorrow a sneak peek at the "super" Fat Tuesday set-up!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

New look...

Sorry I haven't posted since last Saturday....we've been rearranging the store this week! I'll post a couple of pictures tomorrow. We've been wanting to make some more room for our class/sew area. So, this week did some "creative" moving of fabrics, books and notions to make that area larger. Now our students will have a little elbow room, and our classes can be a bit larger!

Needless to say, with the Anniversary Sale last week, the rearrange this week, Fat Tuesday on the 5th, year end tax stuff, and 4th quarter tax stuff, I'm just a bit tired by tonight! But, you know, I realized that the thing that has been the most difficult about the last couple of weeks, is that I have had NO time to sew!

I don't know about you, but sewing is my therapy. I have a theory that when my kids were little, sewing was that one creative outlet/activity that started with a flat piece of fabric and ended with a finished product - a shirt, overalls for the kids, PJ's for one of the boys, etc. And the beauty of it was many-fold. There was creativity involved, but at that stage of life especially, it was indeed a finished product, unlike diapers, laundry, groceries, dishes - I got to finish something. And it felt really good!!

So....I need to sew something! The store will need to be rearranged again, the taxes will be due again, and yes, we'll have yet another sale. But I can make something and it's going to get finished and it will feel sooooo great!! Hope you get a chance to experience the joy of creating and finishing soon, too!

New pictures of the rearrange tomorrow...and maybe the start of my new project too?