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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Garden Stroll" in the Snow?!?

Who ever would have thought that we would have snow to stroll through during the Tri-County Quilt Merchants Association "event"?!? But that's just what happened around here in early Spring this year. Thanks so much to the many folks who came through the shop to see Team Fab-Etc's THE QUILT version of the 13 block patterns from all of the shops involved! As you can see from the not so great picture, Harriet was on hand for part of the time to explain some of the fun things we did to our quilt. She was the flower yo-yo queen for us and was just great at explaining some of the 3-D things we did to THE QUILT!

We had over 500 people come through during the four days and I have to admit that I am pooped! But then what do you expect from someone as "vintage" as I am? (Now really, doesn't "vintage" sound better than my previous "older than dirt" description?) We appreciate the encouraging comments that many of you made. We had so much fun playing with our version, but it's nice to hear that you liked it too!

Hope that the rest of your weekend will be fun. We are headed to Smokey Point tomorrow (weather permitting) to have a late lunch with our son, Dave, his wife, Nikki and possibly our daughter, Lydia, to celebrate Nikki's birthday! I am thinking that after lunch, I might be able to convince my husband to hop over to Aunt Mary's, in hopes that her quilt from the Garden Stroll might still be hanging up. Have a GREAT Sunday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


THE QUILT is finished, hanging and waiting for the excitement of the "Garden Stroll". It was tempting to try and do "just one more thing", but we resisted! Team Fab-Etc really came through with flying colors. Remember that you can "click" on the picture and see it bigger. Not sure if you can clearly see this or not, but take a look at our sashing...do you see what makes it unique to our shop? Don't you just love it! And the black and white piano key border with scallops! I'll tell you, that was a lot of piano keys I played. And that solid black, bias-cut binding just really finishes it off. It's DONE!
Of course, the rest of the shop kind of looks like a small tornado blew through, but not to worry. Harriet, Jan and I will whip that place into shape tomorrow in nothing flat - I hope!
Got some new fabric today - great sunflower group, new "pistachio and chocolate" and some "blenders" from Kona Bay.
Okay...lots still to do before 9 am tomorrow. Hope you get a chance to stop in!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Block 13 of 13!

Here it is...the last of the 13 shops' blocks for the Garden Stroll that starts this Wednesday at 9 am! The shop that is the furthest south in our Tri-County Quilt Merchants' Association is The Needle and I in Everett. We have affectionately referred to this block as "Bud" - but you have to say it kind of like Rudy does in some of the old Bill Cosby Shows! We thought Bud was finished last week, but then Diane said that Bud needed a bee. So, she promptly sat down at my Featherweight and the next thing I knew, she had created a bee body. I gave him a black covered button for a head, Diane brought in some fabric for wings and Harriet put it all together and stitched him down, gave him eyes and antennae that she made.
Sew...that's it. THE QUILT is officially finished and hanging in the sew/class area of the store. We are putting together a few "Starter Kits" and have scheduled a couple of workshops for Flower Fun. Hope you get a chance to stop by or better yet, go on the Garden Stroll. If I can get a good picture, I'll put one up tomorrow of the Team Fab-Etc's version! (I want you to pay particular attention to our sashing - makes the quilt truly unique to us!) We have had a lot of fun creating THE QUILT - seems funny now not to see it "in progress" on the back wall.
Have a great evening!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Block 12 of 13...

Block 12 - you know what that means. I guess we're almost done with the "virtual tour" of the Team Fab-Etc's version of the Garden Stroll quilt. When we last left our journey, we were at The Quiltmaker's Shoppe in Arlington. So, back on I-5 southbound, the next stop would be Aunt Mary's at Smokey Point. (Can you believe how built up that area has become in the last year or so?) Aunt Mary's is just a "hop skip and a jump", as my mother would say, off of the freeway. And this is how we did up their block pattern. Yo-yo's and covered buttons have been fun. We will try and have some demos set up during the Stroll so you can see how easy they really are.

And how about THE QUILT, you ask? Well, we are oh so close to being finished. Linda and I thought maybe today would be the day we could say, "It's done!" But....folks kept coming in all day long and wanting to buy fabric, and of course that meant we had to put it back into their homes. And then, we needed to change a few of their homes around, so THE QUILT still needs the last few stitches around some loose flowers, a bow and a bee! But not to worry, it will be hung and ready to be viewed by everyone on the Garden Stroll by Wednesday the 24th!

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend. My mom is coming over for some ham and scalloped potatoes tomorrow, and she's bringing fruit salad.- yum! I'm making enough for leftovers. Leftovers are our friends - right? Monday will be Block 13 and Tuesday, the unveiling of the entire quilt in cyberspace. See you then!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Block 11 of 13....

On your journey south, the next shop on the list would be The Quiltmaker's Shoppe in Arlington. I have never had the opportunity to visit there. This is our version of their "Garden Stroll" block pattern. We've had fun playing with some ideas for it. And then today, one of our customers, Alicia, had the fantastic idea to add the flowers to our bow. It was the perfect thing to make this block "pop" and fit in with the others. They are all so happy living together now! Thanks, Alicia! We really have the best customers in the world here at Fab-Etc.

What else is going on around here? Well, I have to mail our two 2008 Western Washington Shop Hop blocks for the poster to In the Beginning Fabrics on Seattle by Saturday. We know what the block is and know our pattern works, so I just need to get to the sewing machine tonight and tomorrow and get this done. If you haven't seen the fabric in person, be sure to ask. It is also available for pre-order at $8.49/yard (pre-paid).

Okay, I am going to head for my sewing room in the basement and finish the laundry while I try and get a start on those Shop Hop blocks. When I get one done, I'll put up a picture - okay? Have a great evening!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Block 10 of 13....

Wow! Block 10 of 13...that means the "Garden Stroll" event is just one week away. We better get a move on and get things ready for all of you to visit! Okay, back to our blocks as you travel south. Last time you saw the Team Fab-Etc's version of Calico Creations' block (Mt. Vernon). Traveling south from there, you would likely visit Cotton Pickins next. (Just so you know, they are moving their shop in the next few days! I am not very familiar with Stanwood, but I understand it is moving into town close to the Rite-Aid store. Our newer maps have the correct address.) I took this picture before it was quilted.

We are getting excited for this "event" to happen. I still don't have all the binding done on THE QUILT, but I am really close! I even stitched some this morning before I went to my 7 am dentist appt. Yes, you read that correctly - 7 am. It's kind of strange to sit in the dental chair at that hour of the morning, but kind of nice as well. I can get it done before I have time to think about it and still get my "car pool" ride with my husband to work! I also realized that THE QUILT was going to need a hanging sleeve, so I am working on that too. Then, the final few add-ons that don't travel well back and forth to my green chair from the store every night, and we'll call it DONE!! We wanted to have a Team Fab-Etc celebration, but Harriet is in Arizona and Diane is leaving for Europe, so we may have to celebrate in April.

Attention 30's lovers (that includes me) we have 7 new bolts of 30's prints that arrived today! And due in any time, are about a dozen Kansas Troubles bolts. I have promised Tracey that I will call ASAP when they arrive - I think she may have a phone tree set up to let all of the other KT fans know! Off to binding....more pics on Thursday!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Block 9 of 13....

You probably already know where the next block is going to come from! If you go back on Hwy. 20 from Anacortes, and take the road that jogs to the right, it will take you over the river and almost directly to Calico Creations in downtown Mt. Vernon. When you get there, they will give you the free pattern for this floral block. I imagine you are starting to get the picture as to what the Team Fab-Etc's version of the "Garden Stroll" quilt will look like, but there are still a few surprises. But, I am not putting the picture of THE QUILT up until March 25th! (Partly, because we're still working on binding and a few "add-ons"!)Of, course, if you come into the store, you can see it in person on the back design wall.

Saturday was a fun day at Fab-Etc. The Applique Society gals were there in the a.m. having a good time. They are working on a beautiful appliqued (of course) quilt to raise money and awareness for the local Laurendeau Foundation. And then Jan's first class on "Wildberry Vines" was in the afternoon. Their quilts are going to be gorgeous, when they're done! Four quilts, with four different looks. Lots of folks in working on projects from pants to large fabric hangings to quilts to mending projects. Makes our day fun to see what everyone is doing!

Well, I am stalling...need to buy groceries and throw some clothes in the washer. Hope your Sunday is great. I'm over halfway done on THE QUILT binding - maybe finish today?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Block 8 of 13...

The last block for the "Garden Stroll" was from The Quilt Shop in Anacortes. Right up the street from them is where you'll find the pattern for the Fabrics Plus block. I have to admit that this was the very last block we did. And as you can see from the picture, it isn't completely done now either! Those wonderful flowers (mostly made using the Clover Flower Yo Yo Maker and covered buttons) really weren't compatible with longarm quilting, so we had to wait until it came back! We've just been so busy this week that we haven't gotten them sewn down yet. Anyway...it was the last block. We had the background done, and then the green circle/vine put down, but inspiration wasn't striking! So, we started playing around with the flower yo yos, and made some leaves and stuck pins around and, THEN, Harriet said, "What if we make them into a kind of bouquet, with stems and maybe a bow?!?" It was perfect....and you'll see just how perfect when we get it done!

Today was busy, as I said. Got 3 bolts from Moda and an accompanying charm pack...looks good. One of the fabrics is kind of a "cheater" one. We thought maybe we could put the "cheater" in the middle and then have a tiny stopper and border and make some easy placemats? Maybe we'll get a chance to play tomorrow?

Tomorrow - Applique Society from 10:30-12:30 and then Jan is teaching a class to a fun bunch from 1:30-5, "Wildberry Vines". Should be a wonderful day. Hope you have a great weekend! More pics on Sunday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Block 7 of 13...

Let's go to Anacortes next - okay? This is the block from The Quilt Shop in Anacortes. Both of the shops in Anacortes are really easy to find, as they are right on "the main drag". This picture was taken before THE QUILT came back from being quilted - it looks even better now, but I completely forgot to take the new picture today. (It was kind of busy in there today, which is a good thing!) We had some fun with this block, as you can see. Started out trying to make it look a bit like a Black Eyed Susan flower, but it's kind of a cross between that and a Sunflower. Either way, it looks good, don't you think?

The "Garden Stroll" is just 13 days away! Still have to finish handstitching the binding. But, you know, I find that to be one of the most peaceful parts of the quilting adventure. I love to sit in my green chair with my favorite pincushion and scissors and stitch away!

At the shop today, we got some fun fabric from Michael Miller. There are three coordinating African-type prints, a couple of retro "flower power" bright prints, guitar fabric and black random dots on white. Diane worked today, so we scheduled a few of the classes she's going to teach after her trip to Europe - poor dear! Going to get those up on the web ASAP.

Well, think the washing machine is done, so I'm headed off to put clothes in the dryer, and hopefully, work on the class schedule. Have a great night!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Block 6 of 13...

Okay, logically, if you were just at Lynda's, Fab-Etc would be next. But I got anxious and showed you our block first, so we'll skip it on our trip south. Fourth Corner Quilts would be the next stop on your "Garden Stroll". Their block is a Dogwood blossom....I know, we took a bit of creative license, but don't you think it turned out well? THE QUILT now has binding sewn on, but not completely handstitched to the back. We still need to fix a few things that couldn't go through the rigours of Betsy's longarm quilting machine, so had to wait until that was finished. She did a fabulous job of quilting. Wait until you see the whole thing in its glory.

THE QUILT also went to the EverGreen Quilt Guild's luncheon today (even though it wasn't finished.) I was supposed to go with it, but was unable to attend, so I sent some newsletters along with a picture of me for the MC (Betsy) to hold up and tell a bit about the shop! Think all of the ladies and THE QUILT had a good time! We were glad to get it back again this afternoon, as we've become quite accustomed to seeing it "hanging" around and not completely finished!

Well, tomorrow is the Umbrellas! class that Bonnie Davis is teaching for us...it's a lot of fun. Toward the end of the class, all of a sudden you hear all of these umbrellas pop open and every body going, "WOW! That's so cool!" All right, the tax man cometh on Thursday at 3:30. Think I've had everything in order for a while now, but I need to tie up a few loose ends - nothing like waiting until the last minute - although, there's over a month to go!

Have a great Wednesday. The Calico Creations block in Mt. Vernon will be our next picture on Thursday. Talk to you in cyberspace then!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Block 5 of 13

If you go south from Folktales, your next stop would be at Lynda's on Northwest Rd. This is their block for the "Garden Stroll". Actually, I think this was the block that first gave us a real feel for what we wanted to do with the Fab-Etc version of THE quilt. (We've started to refer to it lately as THE quilt or THE QUILT, depending on our mood!) This picture was taken before we had it quilted....we may be adding something that flies after it comes back. Betsy says she may have it done by tomorrow - binding and a sleeve and this baby is ready!

Hope your Sunday was enjoyable, even if it was one hour shorter. Thought I might get some more sewing done, but the laundry basket overfloweth! My mom, who some of you have met, came over for pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, those petite green beans and applesauce - she brought the homemade applesauce. It was great! Monday comes in a few hours. Can't wait to see what fun things await us this week at Fab-Etc....new fabrics, new projects to work on. Stop in and see what we're up to!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's a whole new world, baby....

I came across this advice from a Singer Sewing Manual from 1949:

Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do. . . never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. . .When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on . . .[If] you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should. . .

WOW...not a picture of how I sew! I always like to say that sewing is supposed to be FUN! There are no real "rules" other than to enjoy the creative process! And my male customers might be a bit offended at the 1949 rules - it's a whole new world, baby!

Pictures of the next Garden Stroll block tomorrow! Don't forget to "spring ahead" tonight. I've already changed my watch, the microwave and a few other clocks in anticipation of losing an hour's sleep tonight!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Block 4 of 13....

Well, continuing the "Garden Stroll" from the north, this is the Folktales block. Folktales is in Lynden, just off of the Guide Meridian at the Kok Rd. Folktales provided the pattern for the basket in the block, and we filled it with the fuchsias. They aren't quite done yet in this picture - we left off the golden beads we are probably going to use for the stamens. because it hadn't been quilted yet in this picture! The fuchsias were a lot of fun to make! I didn't have a basket of fuchsias by my back door last year, but I think this year I need to do that again...they are such beautiful flowers, and a great thing to put in the shade!

The last couple of days have been fun - Diane finished sewing the borders on THE quilt, and then of course, we decided it needed just a few more things before Betsy, from Nautilus Longarm Quilting picked it up Saturday! So we are "tweaking" it a bit and chalking in the wave/scallop border, so she'll know where to quilt in the border. Should be exciting!

The friendly UPS man brought us a gorgeous floral/jacquard group today from Timeless Treasures! Haven't "checked it in" or gotten it out on the floor, so that will be my mission for the morning.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend - I'll put up another picture Sunday night as we work our way south on the "Garden Stroll"!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Block 3 of 13...

As we continue from the north on our "Garden Stroll" this is the Fab-Etc version of Tangled Threads' block pattern. Their pattern was for this cute basket - we thought it looked a bit like a May Day basket that you might hang on a doorknob. Being "vintage" (translation - older than dirt), I can remember putting flowers from our Blossoming Cherry tree in the front yard on the neighbor's doorstep. We would ring the bell and then run away to watch them open the door and see their May Day gift! So, we decided to put this pretty Spring Jonquil in our March basket! Doesn't it look cheery? It was really fun to make. I made some extra leaves, and they came in handy for the finished product. It was another Team Fab-Etc collaboration - Tracey made the basket, I did flowers and Jan and Diane sewed them down while Harriet and Linda cheered us on and helped with the arrangement in the basket.

How's our quilt coming? Well....after our tea party today, we broke out the machine and Jan finished sewing the all of the sashing and first border! We are even more excited now - tomorrow, Diane and I will hopefully put our "decorative lip" on and the final borders! Our goal is to have it ready to be quilted by Friday (Saturday at the absolute latest!)

What else is new? We got some freight today - a few Loralie prints (including the Nurse panel, back by popular demand), and some new Minkee-type fabrics. It looked like a baby rainbow in the box!

Well, I have tub full of china that I brought home from the tea party to run through my dishwasher - much easier than our tiny sink at the shop, plus then we had time for the quilt sashing today! The tea party was so much fun....you should try and join us some first Wednesday of the month. Hope your dishes are done, I'm off to do mine and then cut the decorative lip for tomorrow...borders are already done and ready to go...FUN!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Block 2 of 13....

As promised, here is another one of the blocks we've been working on for the "Garden Stroll" in a few weeks. Thought maybe some of you might start in the north and work south, so I will too! This block is from Calico Country in Lynden. We used a bit of "creative license" with the design, but this is basically the block that they will be giving you the pattern for. It fits in nicely with the layout of our quilt! (Remember, you can "click" on any of the pictures and you should get a larger image!) Our quilt is in the final stages this week and is off to be quilted on Friday - we are excited!

It was a busy day today at the shop. It's been great to hear all of the Sew Expo tidbits from those of you who attended. Sounds like it was lots of people, fabric, notions, patterns, but also, lots of fun!

Here on the home front at Fab-Etc, we got some black lace trim in two widths and some larger ric rac in bright pink, brown and red today. And I keep forgetting to mention that we got the red gingham with the ants back in stock! (That's the one Jan did her Picnic Quilt with and I made it "mini" version.)

Dirty dishes still in the sink, so that's my next stop, but wanted to be sure and keep you all up to date on the Tri-County blocks. Watch for another one from the north on Wednesday! Have a great evening!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"A Garden Stroll" Blocks...

As I mentioned before, we have been very busy making the blocks for the upcoming event "A Garden Stroll" sponsored by the Tri-County Quilt Merchants' Association. The event is scheduled for March 26-29 and we will all be open from 9 am to 7 pm. (I keep wanting to say 7 am to 9 pm....but that's not right!) Each shop designed a 12" floral themed block and then we "traded" blocks around the table. Then, we all designed a quilt unique to each of our shops using all 13 blocks. Anyway, here is a picture of the block that we designed for the event.
So, that's what we have been having fun with the last couple of weeks. Every other day, I'll be putting up a picture of one of the blocks we have been making for our version of the "Garden Stroll". So check back often!
What's new on the fabric front? Well, almost every week, I get a request for organic cotton. Michael Miller Fabrics has a line out of organics, and we received some on Friday. You might come in and take a look, if that's anything you're interested in.
Hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend!