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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Saturday, June 30, 2012

R & R time.....

Okay....you're sew right....I haven't posted anything for almost a week now.  Well, we took a few days to put the shop back in order after the Hop and then I took two days of R & R.  Thanks to Harriet, Jan, and Emily who kept things running smoothly.  The retired guy picked me up after work Wednesday with the camping trailer hooked up and loaded.  We pulled it up to Birch Bay State Park and spent two nights there.  This is a picture of the glorious day we had Friday!  Those are our bikes hooked on the back of the trailer.  The weather wasn't *perfect* but it was okay most of the time.  It did rain as we finished our bike ride on Thursday.  This picture was taken after we checked out of our campsite and went down to the beach for the afternoon Friday.  Considering the weather we've had so far on our outings, I am thinking of embroidering a little hanging to put in the trailer that says "At least it isn't raining!" on one side and then, "At least it isn't raining hard!" on the other  =)

Of course, new fabric came in while I was gone.  A group called "Splendor" from Northcott came and it is a gorgeous peach-y/coral-y floral.  I think you'll like it a lot.  There's also a fabulous kitty cat flannel in brights.  And there were 5 new 108" flannels in solids....perfect for *guy* quilts.  Three new soft corduroys came as well....something for Miss Ellie?  Perhaps!

Hope your week has been a good one.  I'm doing my end of/beginning of the month *stuff* this weekend and maybe a quick bike ride too.  There's also binding to be sewn onto a Stonehenge panel that Jan finished for us.  More pics of more interesting fabric stuff to follow!  Night all......

Monday, June 25, 2012

Post Shop Hop Monday, Monday.....

Well, another Shop Hop has come and gone.  What a fun time!  The Tri-County Quilt Merchants' Association had a Scavenger Hunt.  This little guy and his brother were the answer to our clue: "They say that “slow and steady wins the race”.  That’s good ‘cuz it fits our pace.  We know what we’re here for…..To watch over the cash drawer.  And if you need a place for a needle or pin,  Don’t worry, it doesn't hurt us to poke it in!  What are we?  (We have a pattern for these turtle pincushions that live over each of our cash registers!)  So many of you seemed to enjoy doing the scavenger hunt.  Can't wait to see on Friday who wins one of those three fantastic treasure chests!!

But....the reason I thought I should put this picture up this morning is 'cuz that's how I feel....pretty slow.  Hope I win the race to make it through today!  Diane and I will be putting the shop back in some semblance of order, hopefully.  I'll be seeing what things I need to get coming our way that we've sold out of.  And why I thought a haircut appointment before work this morning was a good idea is beyond me!!

Thanks to everyone who came by and saw us.....we gave out 1850 block kits and there were probably 2,000+ folks through the shop in the five days.  We appreciate you *playing* with us!!

On a personal note, Shop Hop has been bittersweet the last couple of years.  My Mom lost a battle with Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer almost two years ago, right before her 92nd birthday.  She LOVED to come and man the stamp station every evening and all day Sunday.  The last really big thing she did was to come and sit one evening for a couple of hours.  I miss her a lot and miss closing out the Hop on Sunday with her.  I know she would have enjoyed seeing all of you and giving you the *spiel* on our block.  Take some time today to tell those close to you how much you love them ~ okay?  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One more day......

Well, just one more day before Shop Hop 2012 is *in the books*.  It's been a lot of fun, as it is every year.  We get to see some of the folks who just get this far north for Shop Hop every year; and some of our customers that may have moved away, but still come to see us during Shop Hop.....you know who you are and we soooo appreciate the visit and hugs and *catch up* time. But I noticed today that we didn't get the usual visit from the motorcycle group that always seems to come on Saturday....we missed you guys!!  Yesterday, we did get the limousine, and that's always fun to watch as the driver parks and holds the door open for the Hoppers!  There have been two buses that have visited, and they are always enthusiastic.  FYI, we sold out of the *bird* fabric late Friday night and just sold the last of the *pine cones* late today.  We do have some of all of the rest of the coordinates, though.  And this is a picture of our last few posters.  We've marked them down to just $4 (includes tax).  There have been nearly 1800 Hoppers through our doors, but we still have a couple hundred block kits left for you Sunday people!  

Tomorrow, Alicia and I will be there to greet all of you and hand out block kits.  This is the only Sunday all year that we are open.  Our hours tomorrow will be 10-5, so pop in if you are in the neighborhood and need something!  Monday, Diane and I will be trying to put things back where they belong....might take more than just a day to do that!

Okay....my pillow is calling and my feet are ready to be put up.  Hope your weekend is a good one!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shop Hop 2012 Day Two....

Okay....before I put my feet up for the evening, here's one quick picture I snapped today of the Hop festivities!  People have been having lots of fun this year.  As I mentioned earlier, the Tri-County Quilt Merchants Association has been having a scavenger hunt in conjunction with the Hop.  You get a clue at each shop and if you answer it correctly, we stamp your map.  After you have all eleven stamps, you can enter to win the Treasure ~ three (tri....get it?) fantastic treasure chests full of goodies.  Folks really seem to be enjoying themselves with this.  We tried not to make the clue too hard, because we know you are all on a mission during the Hop.  Tomorrow should be another great day on the Hop trail.  We've had nearly 900 people through the shop in just 48 hours.....I need to get there early and run a vacuum tomorrow  =)

Sew...my eyes are starting to blur, my feet are tired and I still need to do the book work for today.  I'm going to post this and finish my *chores* and hit the hay.  Night all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shop Hop 2012 Day One.....

Okay.....I had every intention of snapping a few pictures of *happy Hoppers* today, but it just didn't happen!  We were REALLY busy and I started the day out behind on what I had wanted to accomplish before I opened the doors at 9:00.  (I should know by now that the things I think I HAVE TO get done aren't usually the important things when the day unfolds.)  All in all, it was just a super day with so many fun folks coming to see us.  We had about 500 people that picked up block kits today.  And the sun was shining and everybody was having such a good time.  And of course all of my employees like to tease me 'cuz I always say that nobody can get fired this week  =)  Truthfully, I don't know what I would have done the last few weeks preparing for this event without the Fabettes!  And Sandy and Verna were just super again this year helping to man the stamp station.  Plus, the retired guy has outdone himself in helping me get the graphics and website *stuff* done....it "takes a village" you know!

The members of Moonlight Quilt Guild had their raffle quilt ~ "Bellingham Meets Baltimore" ~ there today.  It will be here again tomorrow and if you haven't seen it, it's worth a trip just to take this in.  They'll be selling raffle tickets until their show in August.  Hope you get a chance to experience the workmanship in this beauty.

Well, I'm off to bed pretty soon.  Tomorrow is going to be another fun-filled day.  I hope your week is equally as exciting as ours is shaping up to be!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ta da.....

Ta da.....this is our 2012 Shop Hop block.  We brainstormed and decided to make a little bookcase with some *interesting* titles!  Saturday, I took the 8" block and put these borders around it so it would look all pretty for the Hoppers this week (that's my floor around the outside edge.)  As I said a post or two ago, in our creative exuberance, I got a little carried away with too many fabrics.  And then....how to get the titles on the books?  Thank goodness the retired guy is EXCELLENT at lettering.  If I can print it on a computer I'm okay, but I have a hard time drawing a straight line with a ruler!  Sew, I came up with the book titles and he got them on the fabric for me.  Didn't he do a super job?  The block kits (containing all eleven fabrics) are all ready for you....hope you can make it to the party!

How was your weekend?  Hope you have been having a good one.  I've been printing and sewing most of the day.  I managed to quilt the chevron baby project I've been working on and now just need to write my Dollar Menu pattern....maybe a kit or two for the Hop?  Watered my plants (as wet as it was yesterday, some of my pots were still dry as a bone.)  Had a nice Father's Day dinner for the retired guy complete with strawberry shortcake ~ he said, "Yum!"  There's a pile of mail that needs to be opened and sorted.....all that freight means all those bills  =)

Tomorrow?  Harriet and Diane and I will be clearing the decks to start making room for Shop Hoppers.  I need to find homes for some of the new stuff that's come in and find the stamp station *stuff*.  Hope your Monday is a good one!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let us clue you in......

Are you going to participate in the Shop Hop next week?  Are you going to visit the three northern counties ~ Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish?  Well....the Tri-County Quilt Merchants' Association would like to clue you in to a Scavenger Hunt we're having in conjunction with the Hop this year.  First, pick up a map at one of the shops on this map.  Then, each of the eleven participating shops will have a *clue* for you to search for in their store (don't worry, we won't make it hard or too time consuming!)  If you answer it correctly, we'll mark off your map.  If you get ALL eleven marked off, you can enter to win The Treasure.  There are three FABULOUS treasure chests!!  Carrol's husband (from Aunt Mary's in Smokey Point) even made us some wonderful treasure chests!  We have one at the shop.  It's absolutely overflowing with great goodies.  Some of the staff is really sorry they aren't eligible to *play*!  Sew, think about playing with us ~ okay?

Well, the week is whizzing by here @ Fab-Etc.  We've made some headway, but yesterday, we got slammed with LOTS of new fabrics.  That's not a bad thing, you know, but I wish I had more time to play around with them.  There are some fun brights, new laminates, flip flops, Asian prints, kitty cats, wide backings, fall prints, Star Wars and probably more I am forgetting.  We got most of it checked in and kind of put away.  Tomorrow, during Applique Society I'll be trying to find more room for things.  All of the block kits are ready and the pre-orders are packed up for you.  (You can still pre-order if you want until 6:00 Tuesday the 19th and they'll be ready for pick up any time after (9:00 am on the 20th!)

Okay.....I have laundry that was on hold after a plumbing problem arose (pun intended) last night, so I had best go finish that up.  Hope you have a lovely weekend, whatever you've got planned!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shuffle the deck.....

Sometimes, this feels a bit like dealing cards.....what are we doing?  We're finishing up packing the last of our 1600+ block kits for Shop Hop next week!  Don't they look pretty on the table there?  I've been having a *what was I thinking* week or two.  Each year, we like to put all of the fabric in the kits necessary to make our block.  Well, in my exuberance to *be creative* I managed to need 11 different fabrics in the block this year.  Just what was I thinking?  Answer: I wasn't!!  Oh well, they're almost all done and packed away for next week's extravaganza.  But next year......

It's obviously been a fun week @ Fab-Etc.  We tend to get very tunnel visioned/focused when we are in "let's get these block kits packed up" mode.  Translation....things are a bit neglected in other parts of the shop.  But tomorrow, we'll finish the last few hundred and get back to the other things at hand!  Jan did take a break today and make another cute 60 degree runner from a new Christmas print.  (She's teaching her 60 degree runner class in July again!)  I'll get a pic in the next day or two.  Some new fabrics arrived today ~ the rest of an Asian group from Robert Kaufman; some tulips and cranberries; one lone bolt of batik; and a 108" backing fabric.

Hope your week is going well so far.  I've got a couple of things to catch up on and then it's off to bed for me!  I am in *training* for next week's festivities and long hours!  Night all.....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Do you have travel plans this summer?  Ready to hit the road?  As the old American Express commercial used to say, "Don't leave home without it."  Well, I don't have an American Express card, but I DO have a Quilters' Travel Companion!  And I wouldn't think of leaving home for any length of time or distance without it.  This is a picture of the 2012-2014 edition hot off the press.  The list of shops is not exhaustive, but pretty comprehensive of most of the quilt shops across the United States and Canada.  We have quite a few in stock for your upcoming travels!

Wasn't it a gorgeous day today?  The retired guy and I took the camping trailer to Bayview State Park Sunday and spent the night.  When we woke up this morning there wasn't a cloud in the sky!  We fixed our morning hot drinks (coffee for me and tea for him) and set out on a lovely walk through the woods. Then, since we had to be out of our campsite by around 1:00, we spent the afternoon down by the water.  Only thing....with the wind and everything, I didn't notice that I was getting a little *red* shall we say.  But it was another fun adventure for us!

Saturday, I finished cutting the last of the Shop Hop fabrics for our kits.  So, today Harriet and Diane started packing them up.  Looks like they got about 1/4 of the way there in between getting freight and waiting on customers.  Jan and I will pick up where they left off and see how much we can get done before Just Takes 2 meets tomorrow afternoon.  I also finally got the binding done last night on the quilt Nikki quilted for us.  Sew....I can hang that tomorrow and maybe make a couple of kits for Shop Hop week.

Okay...better finish cleaning things up.... early morning tomorrow.  We're getting a new credit card processor before I open the shop!  More fabric fun from us soon!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Star gazing.....

Today was Diane's class on using the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Ruler.  Can you see the first three blocks in the middle of the design wall?  This ruler is sew cool ~ there are no "Y" seams involved.  And, as usual, everyone's blocks came out looking fabulous.  We may offer the class again, if anyone is still interested.

While the class was going on, Harriet and I made some progress on cutting for the Shop Hop block kits, plus I finished sending the e-mail update.....did you get yours?  We are down to the last couple of things to be cut for the kits, so that's a good thing.  Got some darling Riley Blake gingham buttons today....you'll have to take a look at them.  We parked them on top of our equally darling pincushions that Sandy makes in the cabinet on the cutting counter.

New fabric came yesterday.  A great group called "Necessities" was my favorite!  The others were mostly *basics* like Moda Marbles, etc.  Tomorrow, Emily will be working with me and we'll be *chopping* up more fabric, including making another jelly roll.  Hope your week has been good....hey, they say the sun may make another appearance this weekend ~ YAY!!   

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

S.H. minus two weeks and counting......

Okay....I am trying not to have to find a paper bag to breathe into.  We are at two weeks and counting until the 2012 Western Washington Shop Hop.  Am I ready?  Close to being ready?  NOT!  For some reason, I just cannot seem to be able to *get with the program* this year.  I sent our block in by the deadline, but have I made one for the shop?  Nope.  Do I have my directions written/printed?  Nope.  Is all of the fabric cut and ready to go into the bags?  Nope.  Am I starting to get a little panicky?  YES!  Well, I feel better now that I made a full public confession to my slothfulness =)   We are getting close to having all of the fabric cut and all of the 1600 bags are stamped.  That's a start, right?  Anyway....the posters arrived  a week or so ago and we have the laminated smaller ones for sale too.  After we get through with the Tea Party tomorrow, we'll get back to cutting the rest of the fabrics and even making the block again!
Hope your week has been a good one so far.  Harriet and Diane held things together yesterday while the retired guy and I took the camping trailer out overnight Sunday again.  At least it was drier this time!!  Jan and I had fun today playing with gold-y batiks.  I brought them home and am hoping to get some Dresden blades sewn so the folks at the Tea Party tomorrow can help us arrange them to look like a sunflower!  Won't that be fun?!?  Okay....I need to get working on an e-mail update to send out in the next day or so.  Night all!!