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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tisket, a tasket...

Here's a picture of the little basket quilt Jan made a month or so ago. It's awfully cute, isn't it? Here's a secret.... shhhhh.....the baskets are a pre-printed panel, and she used a pattern to "plant" the flower embellishments on them! Pretty clever ~ huh? We had it up on the design wall a couple of Tea Party's ago and the party goers were all giving us ideas about the borders. This ended up with the red as the border and the black ric rac as an embellishment. Her quilting is just super on this, not to mention that it's pretty darn cute!

Well....this has been a week!! Actually it started on Saturday. Diane and I didn't have a chance to even catch our breath. And it has stayed that way every day. LOTS of you getting ready for holidays. Thought we'd get more accomplished, but we're doing good to have most of the fabric put back in the racks. Don't get me wrong....we are most definitely not complaining! You see, they have the nerve to send me bills for all of this gorgeous fabric and "stuff" that we have here at Fab-Etc...pretty cheeky, huh? =)

What we have been doing in our "spare time" is getting some fun new (and old) projects ready for our Demo Day coming up Saturday (December 3). Harriet and Alicia will be working with me on Friday helping to "set the table" with lots of project stations. It's going to be a fun day with almost the entire staff here to help you. We're going to try and scare up some refreshments to go with the projects too!

Well, I best get back to my end of/first of month tasks. Getting payroll ready; paying those pesky bills; finishing newsletters and getting an e-mail update ready to send tonight and tomorrow. Have a wonderful evening!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Long weekend reading.....

Do you have a long weekend? Maybe you're thinking about just kicking back now that the turkey's been cooked and the dishes are done. So, if you're looking for something to read while you feast on leftovers, here are some of the latest magazines we have for you. The newest is the one at the top left ~ Quiltmania. It actually arrived shortly before I closed on Wednesday, so I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Quilts and More came at the end of last week, and as usual, there are lots of great ideas in it. Sew....pop in and grab one of these to peruse if you're interested.

Hope all of you in the States enjoyed your Turkey Day yesterday. We had most of our family here and a grand time was had by all! And there are just enough leftovers for dinner tonight, so that's a good thing. And turkey soup to make later ~ yummy. I'm just getting ready to head over to the shop. I expect a rather quiet day. Jan's going to come in and "play" with me today. We have a few things we'd like to sew up and I left a little bit to tidy from Wednesday.

Hope your day is a super one!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tie one on....

Okay....did that get your attention? No....I am not advocating drinking your Thanksgiving dinner! But, if you are cooking your Thanksgiving dinner (or anything, for that matter) you might be interested in our newest Dollar Menu pattern ~ Tie One On Apron. We made this one from a double border print, but any prints will work for this. It's a lined half-apron with a super long tie that wraps around with enough for a cute bow. You can make it in just a few hours, so it might work for a gift for a budding or experienced chef in your life!

Wow, it was windy last night. Jan came to work and they had no power and it wasn't restored until late this afternoon. Another customer lost part of their new chimney which did some significant damage when it fell. Hope all of you fared okay.

Another busy day here at Fab-Etc. I thought for sure Jan and I would get to sew, but not to be! Lots of notions and customers came in, sew, no sewing. I'm there by myself tomorrow, so don't think I'll get a chance to stitch something then either. But, Friday Jan and I are working and it's usually a pretty quiet day the Friday after Thanksgiving....maybe sewing then?

Okay, got to finish the clean up thing. You see, the only room big enough for us to really have the family sit comfortably at the table is down in my sewing area. Works out great 'cause I can set the whole table the night before and the little boys don't get too antsy when they see us preparing the table. But, I am sure you can relate to what it may mean to get your sewing area presentable for company ~ right? =) Good thing I have a couple of big quilts to hang over my somewhat tidy shelves!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Harriet's Helpful Hints....

Sew...Harriet called me today. She wanted to know if I had my box of cheesecloth on the counter. Why? Well, she had another of her ideas for Turkey Day. We like to call these "Harriet's Helpful Hints". You can't really read the sign in the picture, but this is what it says:

Just another one of……
Harriet’s Helpful Hints…
Cooking a turkey this week?
Put the cheesecloth in the cavity of the bird. Add stuffing and when you are ready to serve, the
stuffing just pops right out in the cheesecloth!
Thanks, Harriet!

So, here's the proof Harriet, that I have the box on the counter as instructed =) Hope I remember to take some home for my bird!

Can you say WINDY? After COLD! I guess we should expect that this time of year. Diane and I had a wonderful, busy day at the shop today. Everybody wants to have a project for the "down time" they're hoping to have over the long weekend here in the States. A box of notions arrived this afternoon and a wonderful box of five bolts of fabric arrived this morning from Kona Bay. There's a darling blue/white kitty duo. I'm thinking maybe pillowcase? Hmmmm.....

Tonight, I am ordering some more notions and then will get back to my "let's clean this place up before Thursday" chores. I'm also sneaking a bit of sewing in between cleaning...working more on my houses quilt. I'll have to put a picture up when I get the top section all laid out on the design wall at the shop.

Tomorrow, Jan and I will do some tidying and put away notions after my sales rep appointment. We want to make at least one more of the 10 minute runners! And we're getting some ideas together for you for quick, fun projects. We're having a "Demo Day" on December 3rd (Saturday) where we'll just have some stations set up that you can "visit" on your time schedule. Maybe a few refreshments?

Okay....it's true, I am stalling. got to get some cleaning done. Have a super evening....batten down the hatches ~ okay?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quick runner ideas....

For your dining pleasure tonight, we have your choice of three runners! We've been hearing rumblings about a 10 Minute Runner pattern out there. Sounded very intriguing. When Martha came last Saturday to teach the EQ7 class, she told me she had just demo'd it at The Attic Window Quilt Shoppe in Wenatchee where she works. She graciously sent me the pdf file for it. In the meantime, I found a variation to it on line. Sew....Wednesday, Jan and I decided to take it out for a test drive. We searched for the perfect fabric and came up with that first red/green Christmas combo you see here. And all in 10 minutes time! Hmmmmm.....sew....what if we married the 10 Minute Runner with our One Hour Runner? The second one you see in the brown/black/red/tan Christmas fabric is our "tweaked" version of the 10 Minute runner. What do you think? Ours probably took more like 15 minutes (that is if you don't count the time we spent dragging bolts out to find the perfect combination =) The third runner here is another one you could easily have done in time to put on your Thanksgiving table! It's made using the 60 degree ruler ~ 5 seams and you've got a top. We have lots of great stripes you could use for runners using the 60 degree ruler, plus, Jan has had fun making her own stripes and then cutting the runner. FYI...We have the directions at the shop for the 10 Minute Runner and our "tweaked" version as well.

How's your weekend looking? Harriet and I had a busy day today. I confess I was waaaay behind on getting my scans of the new fabric, so she helped me do that. I scanned over 60 pieces of fabric. Yikes! Have we really gotten over 60 bolts of fabric this month already? Guess so! Tomorrow should be a super day. Applique Society in the morning and the very popular Beginning Hand Quilting with Sharon in the afternoon.

Rest of my weekend? I can pretty well sum it up in a sentence. Let's get this place cleaned up since we're having Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Thursday. Hope your weekend is a fun one!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hunter's Star class.....

Yesterday was Diane's Hunter's Star Runner class. I meant to put these up last night, but I must confess that my new iPhone 4S came yesterday too, and I was getting it up and running last night instead of blogging! Sew....the five gals that took this class were so thrilled with their blocks. They worked really hard most of the day on getting all of the "parts" ready. Then, right before the class was over, they assembled their first blocks. You should have heard them! This first picture is of Janice and her blue/blue block. The others didn't get their smiley faces in the pictures, but Lynn, Elaine, Margie and Kim did a super job with these. I can't wait to see the finished runners with borders. The brown tone one is Lynn's and she's going to be using that fabulous leaf print by the counter for the border ~ won't that be stunning? And Kim's is laying across the batik she has picked out for her border. A couple of the gals remarked that before the class they were thinking about these to give away, but now they weren't so sure =) Diane may teach this again, since a couple of folks couldn't make the class. Let us know if you're interested.

Today, Jan and I had a fun day. We were busy "tweaking" a free pattern that a few of our customers had mentioned. We married it to one of our old Fab-Etc's patterns with good results. I'll take a picture and show you soon. Working on getting the directions tweaked to match the finished project now. FYI, we are planning a Demo Day for the first Saturday in December. We'll do it all day and just have some stations set up with "gifty" ideas for you. Maybe a cookie or something to munch on while you contemplate some last minute projects?

Laundry is calling. Sorry about these pictures....Blogger and I don't always get a long when I try to put up multiple pictures. but I had to share ALL of them with you! Have a great evening!

Oh....one other thing I keep meaning to mention. I created a Facebook page for Fab-Etc. I'm not the best at that sort of thing, but my oldest son, Pete, helped me get a link at the top of the blog page to our Facebook page. I think if you "like" us, you can get the status updates I put on there on your Facebook page. I'm not very Facebook savvy, so that could be all wrong! Anyway, we're there if you're interested! Laundry......

Monday, November 14, 2011


Schnibbles ~ means tiny bits of paper or cloth. Or at least that was what my Google search just led me to. Evidently, it's a word of German origin used in the Midwest. Anyway, you may be familiar with the Schnibbles patterns. Last month Martingale (That Patchwork Place) released this book. The book takes the Schnibbles patterns and shows them made in two sizes ~ one using 5" squares (charm packs) and the other using 10" squares (layer cakes). It's a really cool book. And since our Tracey likes making small things, she made this from one of the patterns that's in the book. Isn't it great? I think after the sale, we may only have one copy left, but we'll get more!

How's your week going so far? It surely feels like Fall going into Winter, doesn't it? I'm sitting here at my desk with the little heater going on under it to keep my feet and legs warm! And I wanted to sew later, so I went down and cranked up the heat in my basement sewing room. But, you do have to admit, this is great sewing weather! I've got a couple of bindings to sew on, so later I'll cozy up and work on those. They're only tablerunners, though, so might need a quilt on my lap first, and then the binding project =)

Looking forward to a super week! Tomorrow, Diane is teaching the Hunter Star Runner class. Then, on Thursday, Jan has another session of Beginning Needleturn Applique. And on Saturday, there's Applique Society and Beginning Handquilting. What a lineup!

Today, Alicia started some rearranging of the displays. It's looking great! Knowing us, we'll be fine tuning for the next few weeks.....that's just the way we roll around here. Have a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Corduroy Appreciation Day......

Sew....this Friday, 11-11-11 is Corduroy Appreciation Day. I just recently discovered that every year 11-11 is not only Veteran's Day in the U.S., but is also Corduroy Appreciation Day. Who knew?!? The 11-11 replicates the ribs (wale) in the corduroy. Sew....here's the deal. If you come into the shop on Friday wearing corduroy, you can take 11% off of your ENTIRE regular priced purchase of anything we have in stock! We also have a nice selection of corduroy fabric, if you're interested ~ see the picture? I have one in pink picked out to make our granddaughter, Ellie, a little six month old person jumper! (FYI....as the wife of a former Marine, I appreciate greatly the sacrifices made by our service men and women and in no way want our "celebration" to diminish that. Also, Happy Birthday, Marine Corps ~ formed on November 10, 1775!)

Jan and I had a super day today. The store looked so nice and tidy out front.....it took us two days, but we got things looking pretty good! We had lots of customers with fun projects. And then, I brought out my "houses" quilt that I've been stalled on for two months. (Remember my post about the pressing matter?) We started to put it up on the wall ~ it's going to look so great! I'll get a picture soon. Once I have the parts arranged I can start pressing and sewing what I've gotten done.

Hope your day was also a good one. Tomorrow Linda and Harriet will be at the shop and we'll be doing some more clean up work behind the scenes and then I am going to take the afternoon off! WOW!! I heard the sun might be shining, so maybe I can get the rest of those leaves raked up? Or, maybe just go play? I'll let you know ~ okay?

Monday, November 7, 2011

New record.....

WOW....you guys are so awesome!! The retired guy took 516 lbs. of food to the local Bellingham Food Bank from our Fab-Etc food drive. 516 pounds in just three days....thank you so much for your generosity. And 516 lbs. is a new record for us. I know it's probably a small amount in relation to what is needed, but every bit helps. We are once again humbled by your giving spirits.

Today was the start of "let's get this placed whipped into shape" week! Alicia and I managed to get a few rows straightened and the Clearance section moved back to its regular home. A new group of flannels came in that we put out ~ baby panel with some darling jungle animals. Tomorrow Jan and I will continue in the clean-up mode. There are a few areas that are "Uh oh, what happened here!"

I'm catching up at home and you regular readers know what that means ~ yup, laundry going in the basement! Got to run throw it in the dryer....have a great evening.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Autumn leaves....

Autumn can be such a pretty time of the year. Especially these clear, crisp days we've had of late. But it was cold this morning! And as the retired guy sat and looked out the window, we realized the leaves on our humongous chestnut tree in the front yard had reached the tipping point ~ yup, they were dropping like crazy! So....guess what I did with that extra hour we got this weekend? We wanted to get as many raked up while they were still fairly dry....wet, soggy leaves are not my fav things to rake up! We made some progress and still some to go, but it looks lots better.

The Fall Fabric Frenzy Sale was super! Food drive ~ we have LOTS of food in the back of the class area. The retired guy will be hauling it down to the Food Bank tomorrow morning. I'll be sure to post the grand total. Hoping we will beat our 501 pounds from last year! We also sold LOTS of fabric. Think Christmas fabric was the number one seller this time. It kept looking like a fabric explosion on those racks. Harriet managed to get a lot of it cleaned up Saturday afternoon, and the rest will be up to Alicia and me to tidy tomorrow. We'll be rearranging a bit this week and putting things back where they go. It should be fun. And of course, new stuff will be arriving to fill in any gaps there may be in the racks.

Think I'll rest a few and then fix dinner and maybe play with a little fabric after that. Didn't get much of a chance to sew last week 'cause we were getting ready for the sale. Have a wonderful evening all!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Whew....been a busy couple of days around Fab-Etc! Yesterday started out with lots of customers and ended that way a little after 8:00 last night. And generous customers that we have ~ the retired guy took this 222 lb. load of food to the Bellingham Food Bank this morning. WOW!! We have nearly that much again for him to take, but I think they are closed on Saturdays. Need to find out for sure. There's still one more day to in your bring donations. If you do, we give you a coupon that you can use tomorrow for 30% off one regular priced item of your choice. We've been scurrying around trying to keep all of the fabric back out on the floor so folks can see what we have. Christmas fabrics have been pretty popular along with batiks and flannels. All in all, everyone seems to be having a great time. And you know those racks of books I put in my last post? Well, we have sold LOTS of books at 50% off, but there are still some great titles to choose from!

It's true that UPS and FedEx have been able to get through the door, but actually, not too much "new" stuff has arrived. It's pretty much been just re-orders of notions and basics that have come in. We did get some more of the Cool Tool ~ Cling Ons. they've been a real hit so far! I'm expecting a parade of sales reps in the next month, though. Quilt Market was a week ago, and so they'll all be coming to show us the latest and greatest. Because you just know, we might be in danger of running out of fabric soon! =)

Okay....bookwork and then bed soon. Have an early morning appointment. Have a great evening. Stop and see us tomorrow if you're in the neighborhood ~ okay?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We're ready to have a sale....

And that sale is our Fall Fabric Frenzy Sale, plus our food drive for our local Bellingham Food Bank. Today was a great day! We got everything ready for the Tea Party at 12:00. We knew some of our "regulars" wouldn't be there. Our snow birds had left for warmer climates (we miss you guys!) and a few others had mentioned that they couldn't make it today. Plus, with the sale coming tomorrow, we knew folks might have to conserve their trips. But at the end, we still had a great crowd and lots of laughs and fun! Then...it was time to set up the sale. The dishes had to be done (just like at home!) And then we started arranging furniture; dragging the Clearance area to the back; setting up our food donation drop off; putting up a table for a "still shopping" area; and bringing all of the books over to the class/clearance area. If you didn't know it, ALL of the books will be 50% off for the next three days only (plus 25% off all the fabric). One of my reps used the phrase "over-inventoried" a few weeks ago ~ well, that's our book situation at the moment. Hope you can help out by adopting one to a good home! We've already had folks come in with donations for the Food Bank ~ they couldn't make the sale, but wanted to help out anyway. THANKS! When you do bring in a donation in the next three days, you'll get a coupon good only during the sale for 30% off one regular priced item of your choice. So, now I'm doing the last minute "stuff". Printing some newsletters, cutting the coupons and making a few signs. In the morning, the retired guy will come and help me put up some signs and I'll put the last few things in order for you all. Should be a great day. And we're open until 8:00, in case you want to pop in after dinner.

Yesterday, we got some new colors of Minkee dots ~ those are always popular this time of year. And did I mention the wide backs? Even some 108" batiks!! Jan used one of our new fabrics from the "food aisle" and put a stripe on both ends of a pre-hemmed towel yesterday. Looks super. And Linda made two new sets of placemats....hope the rest of the patterns show up soon!

Well...got to run. Laundry is just finishing its spin cycle ~ can't wash tomorrow night 'cause I'll be playing with fabric until 8:00 with Tracey!! Have a wonderful evening....see you soon?