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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Monday, November 29, 2010

December....really....

Tomorrow is the last day of November....so, it's December on Wednesday....really? Can someone explain to me how that happened when I wasn't looking? Well, I guess I better put on some Christmas music and try and get in the spirit of the season! I tried to plug the lights in for the windows at the shop today - not happening. I remember Harriet and I decided this was the year I should buy new lights. Guess we were right. So, no lights for a day or two yet. Anyway...this is a picture of a fun little project I played with last week. I don't know about your house, but at mine, we don't have lots of space for BIG quilts and hangings. So, I saw a picture in an old magazine of a quilt and thought it would look pretty good for Christmas or Valentines, only "shrunk" and "tweaked" a bit. I fired up the EQ7 program and plugged some blocks in and voila...a fun 44" square red and white topper to throw on a table or across a chair or even on the wall! Tracey's going to pick it up on Wednesday at the Tea Party and quilt it for me. Thinking of the red stripe bias cut for binding.

Today we were busy at Fab-Etc! Guess it's not just me that realizes December is Wednesday =) Diane and I tried to clean a bit. We got some freight - 3 bolts of fun knit prints and some black and whites 'cause you know I never want to run out of those! And Diane used the new Hunter Star ruler we have and we designed a great Christmas runner that Betsy picked up to quilt today. It has a wonderful spot for a quilting design, so we're anxious to see what creative thing she does there! Pictures soon.

Tomorrow, Jan will be working. Between her cold and the weather, it's been way too long since we've been able to play fabric store together! She's going to sew the star topper together and then there are a few other things to do before we set the table for tea Wednesday.

Hope your week is off to a great start. "They" say very windy tonight, so stay warm and sleep tight!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post "Black Friday"....

One of my sales reps was here this week and commented on "Black Friday". We couldn't remember why they called it Black Friday. then John reminded me that it was because that's when the big box stores go into the black for the year. Yikes - that sounds pretty scary! So, I heard that today was to be Small Business Saturday. I didn't know about it before a day or so ago, but it sounds like a nice idea. We appreciate your support and so many of you are kind enough to tell us that you try to find what you need from your local shops before you go "cyber" or "national"!

Anyway, here's a picture of an idea we came up with for gift giving. We get a number of requests this time of year for something "small" that you can give your sewing buddies. Remember those cute button tins we showed you a few weeks back? Well, we've designed a Fabric-Etc $5 gift card that fits in the tin! For $6.95 you can get the tin and gift card (you can purchase more $5 cards if you need a bigger gift, or of course, our regular Christmas gift certificates). And, we still have a box of just the button tins for $2.75. This is just one of the many ideas we'll be featuring in the next few weeks for you!

So, today, Alicia and I are going to "play" with fabric. Yesterday, I moved a few things around in between customers. We got a new group from Moda called "Java" and guess what? It's a coffee themed fabric! I got it put out and cut some pieces off to scan for our "Virtual Fabric" flash drives. So, I'll be scanning and working on finding a border for a fun red/white number I've been fooling around with.

Hope your Saturday is terrific....got to run.....breakfast and a lunch to pack for John. Surprise - he gets a turkey sandwich!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Thanksgiving.....

Another Thanksgiving is history at the Stewart home. This is a picture of the cousins and their snowperson (with a little help from Uncle Dave, Jim and Uncle Pete!) What do you think of the spiked hair? And then this morning, it was hard to believe that this was just a couple of blobs on the lawn!

To say that this has not been one of my favorite years would be an understatement. A trip to ER, major surgery, Lukas' fourth round of chemo in an experimental study and losing my Mom just a few months ago has made life challenging this year. But a week or so ago, I decided that instead of focusing on those things, I would start to think of all of the people in my life that I am thankful for. It made for a much better perspective for Thanksgiving. We all missed Mom/Grandma/Great Grandma yesterday. I had to carve the turkey (but with the knife I inherited that had been a wedding gift from my Dad's UW college roommate over 60 years ago!) And no one had to try and get to the kitchen before she did so we could keep her from trying to wash all the dishes with the inevitable ensuing aching back. I am thankful that all of my children and grandsons came for the day. Thankful for the ability to cook the Thanksgiving dinner, and for the means to purchase the Thanksgiving dinner. Thankful for the wonderful people who work for me at Fab-Etc - I could not have made it through this year without them. Thankful for the special customers we have at Fab-Etc that have been so supportive, kind and understanding. There are many more I have thought of in the last few weeks....more than there is room for here.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. And please consider yourselves thanked from the bottom of my heart. And thanks for helping me put things in the proper perspective for the season.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Like sand through the hourglass.....

"Like sand through the hourglass....so are the Days of Our Lives". Okay, I never watched too many soaps, but everybody my age remembers that intro - right? Has absolutely nothing to do with this little project, other than the fact it's made using scrappy hourglass blocks! I found this free little pattern (turns out just about 32" square) and it uses charm squares and a super simple way to make hourglass blocks. We have this interestingly colored Christmas charm pack from Moda (Sandy Gervais) called Adoring. So....even though I am on a "Finish It Mission" (possibly Mission Impossible?) I did these up in an evening. They are still on the design wall waiting for the final sew together - you know the arranging and rearranging will take me way longer than it did to make the blocks! Maybe tomorrow I'll get them arranged and sewn together?
Yesterday was a great day....I am sorry I didn't get pictures of the class Heather taught on the Spicy Spiral Runner. There were six gorgeous runners at the end of the class! Harriet came in the afternoon and we rearranged a few things. I was surprised at how many of you ventured out to get the essentials - food and fabric - right?!?
And what's this monkey doing here? Well, during our last sale, a family came in on Saturday, and he got left behind. He's patiently waiting to be picked up and loved by his owner....recognize him anyone? He'd love to be home for Christmas!
Well, today at our house we are in the pre-Thanksgiving mode. Tidying up and trying to stay warm....it's cold out there! I'm going to do a few more bookwork things and then start some spaghetti sauce, do a little laundry and play with some fabric. Hope your Sunday is delightful!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snowman.....

Let's hope this is the only snowman I see this week!! Can you believe that the weather folks are using the "S" word? Anyway....this is the snowman hanging I finished last week. (Please don't ask when I started it - I am just glad to finish it!) It's made from a "patternlet" from the Wooden Bear pattern company. The pattern shows it used on a towel, but you could put it on a sweatshirt, a bag, or make a little hanging like I did. It was a lot of fun to make. And I used the SoftFuse as the fusible web so you could see how flexible and soft it stays in a project.

This has been a great week so far, except that our Jan is still feeling under the weather =( She went to the doc, though, and got some antibiotics, so we're hoping she'll be on the mend very soon! Diane and I cleaned up yesterday in between customers. Bonnie from Moda showed me some fabrics to order. Today Linda and I got a few things done and even got some new batiks - our batik row overfloweth again! Alicia is taking the Spicy Spiral Runner class Saturday and she stopped by to "tweak" her choices of fabric.

Tonight I am doing a bit of laundry and sewing the last of my Jacob's Ladder blocks together. I ended up making 120 of them. So, 10 rows across by 12 rows down. I don't think I'll have a border, unless something comes in with the newest KT group due in a week or so. All right - time to toss wet stuff in the dryer!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday reading....dreaming....

How's your Sunday so far? Read the Sunday paper yet? I haven't. But I'm planning on taking a look at this new Quilts and More magazine we got in a week or so ago. I know there's at least one project that we REALLY wanted to try with a new Riley Blake group that came in about the same time as the magazine. But....I am trying so hard to be good and finish "stuff". Right now I have the laundry going downstairs next to my sewing area and the last of my Jacob's Ladder KT blocks laid out waiting to be arranged in a "planned scrappy" manner and then sewn together. I have 90 blocks completely done and another 20+ ready to go. But, I keep trying to come up with a number or blocks/rows that works and doesn't leave too many unused blocks or make a quilt that's kind of an odd configuration. I swear I can overthink the simplest of things. And of course, then there will be the laying out of the rows and rearranging ad nauseam!! Oh well, I could be doing a lot worse things with my time - right?

Yesterday was kind of quiet at Fab-Etc. And our Jan was still sick with the crud. I know she's getting awfully tired of it and we miss her terribly around here! Alicia came and played a little bit with me for a while. She's working on a Christmas version of the Atkinson Design topper - going to be stunning! I've been working on a fabric scanning mission and did a bit of tidying, but more is needed, so that will have to be at the top of my To Do Monday list for Diane and I.

So....laundry, a couple of errands, a little bookwork, some tidying up, pork chops in the oven, and I've resurrected another project partly done to play at while I relax in my green rocker/recliner. (Haven't figured out how to stitch and recline at the same time yet!) That's the lay of the land for my Sunday....how about yours?

Friday, November 12, 2010

And our stockings were hung....

These are the latest two projects to be finished at Fab-Etc! They both come on the same panel, along with some gift tags and postcards. Tracey beautifully quilted these for us and then I managed to actually get them done - hooray! So, we are getting in "Ho, Ho, Ho" mood around here a few projects at a time. I also need to get a picture of my snowman to show you. It started out as a simple thing to show all of you how SoftFuse feels after it is in a project. Of course, I cannot seem to do anything the simple way and it took me way longer to finish than it should of. BUT, it's done and hanging on the wall at the shop with more patterns on the way!

This has been a great week here! We finished some projects and I've resisted the urge to start one more thing until I finish a few more. KT Klub had their final meeting of the year Tuesday at Tracey's house. We had a taco bar and got to see where she creates and quilts. Was loads of fun! Next year we're going to work from a book with some great small projects. I can't wait! And the newest KT group will be headed our way in the next few weeks.

Today, Alicia and Harriet had a pillowcase kit factory going! Harriet was cutting as fast as Alicia could come up with combinations. At the end of the day they were stuffing as many as they could into bags with directions. We were wondering what the first one to go would be. One of the 4-H leaders bought the hairdresser one! We'll finish up more bagging next week.

Well, it's off to clean up the rest of my dishes. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Jan and I will be seeing what kind of trouble we can get into tomorrow...think she'll sew the 120 degree topper together that's on the design wall - I keep telling her it's going to look great on my round table!! We'll be at the shop tomorrow from 10-6 if you need anything!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One "extra" hour....

Okay, I know it's not really an extra hour....we're just getting it back from the Spring ahead thing - right? Well, after looking at the yard (in the sunshine, no less), I decided that after the wind and rain last night I would go rake some leaves. We have a humongous chestnut tree in our front yard that deposits many, many leaves. And I'm still working on cleaning out pots that were next to the garage. It's so hard to dump them when there are still flowers blooming! This is a survivor of my latest round of pruning and dumping the dirt into my compost barrel. This little pot originally had a marigold in it, but this fall, two of my pots decided to sprout these purple petunia volunteers. I just couldn't send it to flower heaven yet.....so I put it next to the garage door so I can see it every morning on my way to the shop. That's my rake next to the pot. I'll probably pay a price for doing all that raking after a mile or so on the treadmill, but it was just wonderful outside in the sunshine!

Later, when the sun goes down (too early) I'm going to get to work on finishing a couple of things down in the sewing room. Tracey quilted the fronts of two stockings for us on Friday and I brought home the backing and lining, so maybe I can get that done? And I've been slowly getting a little snowman hanging ready. I am in the mood to FINISH something, so wish me luck!

What did you do with your "extra" hour today?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Button, button....

Look at what came yesterday. Aren't these cute as a button? (I know, very funny!) These are some fun little tins we that are now gracing our cutting counter. No, they don't have buttons in them, but you could put some in there. Or put some pins, or needles or floss or...... I confess that I ordered them mostly because my grandson, Lukas, loves buttons. He knows his Grandma has a button bin and many times when we see him he asks if I have brought him any buttons. So, next time I see him, or maybe for his Christmas stocking, I will be putting some buttons from the bulk button bin into that black tin up at the front right. He will be happy! These would be great to put "treats" in for your sewing buddies, or for organizing your sewing area, or taking on your travels. Anyway, thought I'd share them with you. Oh, I just heard someone ask....$2.75 each! =)

Today was such a great day at Fab-Etc. We had loads of folks stop at the Tea Party today. Jan said we should have recorded all of the happy sounds and laughter coming from the table! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and shared a scone and a spot of tea with us today!

We have been cleaning up after the sale and rearranging things. And then just when I have a "plan" the UPS or FedEx truck pulls up and brings more fabric that we need to find a home for. Plan B or C or D is hatched! New? Latest from Riley Blake "Quite Contrary" in bright, clear pinks and greens. We already have a plan for that one! And a new Asian group from RJR fabrics. And a pink/brown group from Windham.

Guess that's all for now. Since we got everything cleaned up after the party, I set my machine back up and my "extra" laptop and scanner so I can sew some and scan some new fabrics for next month's flash drives! Have a wonderful evening.....