Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feelin' Good!

I love the beginning of a vacation.  I always like the feeling when you realize you have some free time stretching out in front of you, maybe going somewhere, maybe having guests, maybe just a blank slate.  That's what I'm feeling this morning!

This special feeling is made possible by the generosity of the owners of Bear Patch Quilting Co., Debbie and Laurel.  It's actually a Christmas gift to the store employees, about 16 of us.  The gift is 5 days of time.  How rare is that!?  The store is closed for 5 days (February 24-28) while we gather ourselves at a retreat house, Bridge Creek Cottage, in Augusta, WI.  How cool is that!

Closing the doors of the store for that many days and hosting the whole group really means a lot.  It is a real investment of time and money.  The lost revenue, the rental of the house, the time spent in planning, all add up to a significant amount.  We have never done an employee event like this before.  It was never possible, because on any given day, there are  5 or more employees scheduled to work, depending on the day it can be even 8.  We have had employee sew days at the store after hours, but that's pretty limited when the event starts at 4 or 5 PM.

We have a really good group of employees, probably one of the most compatible and enjoyable groups that I have known since starting to work at the store 15 years ago.  We are using this opportunity as another way to build the strengths of our team, plus some learning through sharing ideas.  And doing what we love to do, quilting and sewing!  There will also be some knitting, reading, movie watching, walking, eating, talking, laughing and goofing off!

I know there are going to be some customers who won't get the word that we are closed, in spite of trying to get the information out there in any way possible.  And I know they are not going to be happy about that no matter what.  We feel badly that we can't be in 2 places at one time.  We will be doing our best to become an even better quilt shop for all of you!

We all have our own favorite projects to work on during retreat, and here's one that we are bringing along for "show and tell".  We have been loving the Sweetpea Pod pattern by Lazy Girl.  Here's one I made in January--

And here's another one that I made from some faux leather we had in the store--

Sweetpea Pod by Lazy Girl

I have to say, it turned out pretty cool!  For anyone wanting to experiment with this, I used the leatherish fabric for both the outer and lining layers, plus a layer of SF101 lightweight woven fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the outer layer.  I blinged up the zipper just a little with a beaded pull, and I'm bringing along the supplies to show everyone how to make one of those.

Oh, and don't you just love that old tabletop, too!  It's from probably the 50's, but I'm not sure of the history of this table.  It looks like the surface of the moon, or a muskmelon!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Little House on the Prairie from Andover Fabrics

We have a great new trunk show on display, featuring the beautiful line of fabrics portraying the Little House on the Prairie.  We have these quilts on loan for only 2 weeks, so I sure do hope you are able to come in and see them for yourselves.  They come from various designers around the country, and I have tried to include the name of the pattern and designer in the picture.

We have a nice cabinet holding bolts, jelly rolls, charm squares and fat quarters.  We will continue to carry the fabrics as long as they are available.  I think Ma Ingalls would have loved this cabinet!

Tuscan Tote by Pink Sand Beach

This small quilt makes a good tablecovering.

The Logs and Ladders Quilt is available for free on the Andover website.

An applique border combined with blocks.

Dresden plates with a yo-yo and button center!

Fractions On A Roll by Mountainpeek.

Another good bag by Pink Sand.

This small quilt is called Corn and Beans, and is another free download from Andover.  The sunshine really highlights the quilting on this one, and what a good way to quilt that center square with random wavy lines.

Windmill Quilt-- how many windmills do you see?

A large sampler quilt, we also have a smaller version on display.

 We have a good supply of pre-cuts to choose from, in the 3 different groups included in the fabric line:  Scenics and Icons, Walnut Grove, and Prairie Flowers.  
We have bolts of most of them on hand, and will try to replenish whatever Andover has available.  This is a specialty fabric group and will not be reprinted by Andover.

Please call us at 651-429-1039 if you have any questions!