Flip Flops

Quilting Possibilities

Quilting Possibilities
one of NJ's finest quilt shops

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Handmade For The Holiday 2 - French Bread Christmas

Looking for a quickie hostess gift and you did the wine bag last year?  How about a simple table runner?  Wrap up homemade cookies or a bread in this table runner, wrap with a pretty bow and you have a wonderful gift that any hostess would love!  Written by Susan Fuquay, she writes that this project will take you about an hour. I did a little bit one morning and then finished up then next morning so I'm not sure how long it took me but it was a QUICK project. We have a kit with pre-cut strips, so it's entirely possible to finish in an hour.  I used the Christmas Stonehenge fabrics from Northcott and this will give any room a bit of glitz and pizazz for Christmas!  Click here for the kit.

I free motioned holly and berries down the center but this would be a good project to practice your straight machine quilting too.

Want to add a bit more to the gift?  Riley Blake has a great video on how to make quick hot pads.  Make a coordinating hot pad to go with the table runner!  Click here for the video.   and here for a kit.

I'll be back in a few days with some other projects you still have time to make for this holiday season!

And don't forget to email me to be put on our "Stuff Your Stocking" email list!  Starting December 6th, I'll be sending an email at midnight for with a link to that day's special.  You can shop online, send me an email, call the shop to order or stop in and tell us to "STUFF YOUR STOCKING!" with that day's deal.  We'll keep a bag for you of the days you decide to purchase and at the end, we'll have it ready for you to pick up or we'll mail it to you on our way home on the 18th.  Specials are only good from midnight to midnight, so don't miss out!  These will make great gifts for sewing/quilting friends or for you!  Email me by clicking here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Almost Time!

Are you sewing like crazy for Christmas?  Or are you done already?  (HA! That will NEVER be me!) Or are you like most of us, still trying to dream up things that you can make up quickly that look like you took forever to make?  (That would be me!)  I'm sewing some secret things for Christmas this year which I can't post about because certain people read this blog and my secrets won't be secrets anymore.

Next Saturday I'll be hosting two HANDMADE FOR THE HOLIDAYS events at the shop (click here for details) that will give the locals some good ideas of things there is still time to make and impress your gift recipients but for all of you out in blogland who can't make it, I thought I'd give you some ideas too.  So check back over the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting different ideas that maybe you could use.  I'll include links to our website under the pictures so you can quickly get started because after all, it's getting down to the wire even if we don't want to think so!

Cash & Carry
Teenagers are probably one of the hardest groups to buy a gift for.  Who knows what they really want and if you do know, how the heck do you afford it?  So we end up going with gift cards which just don't seem personal.  The card itself isn't but what you're giving them is time, time to wander the shop or the mall or an opportunity to go out to eat and not have to beg for money to do it.  So, wrap that gift card in something they can use.  Girls are easy, can they ever have enough little purses?  Here's a really cute little purse that's quick and easy, and hey, you'll have enough time to make one for yourself too!

Boys - ummm harder but everyone can use a pillowcase.  We have great kits for pillowcases and the pattern is free when you buy the kit.  Younger teenage boys you can use a sports or car motif, we have quite a few of those, just pick something out from the novelty or boys section of our website, tell us to make it into a pillowcase kit in the nots section of our web site.  Pillowcase kits are $14.99.  Older teenage boys - black, anything black, or fiind out the color of their room or their favorite color.

I'll post every couple of days with more ideas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shop Small

Have you heard of Shop Small Saturday?  You've probably seen the ads on TV where they say if everyone buys just one gift at their local down town, it would make a huge difference in the community's economy.  And that saying - Think globally, act locally?  It's appropriate for your holiday shopping too.

Shop Small is coming up this Saturday and is a movement gaining popularity to shop locally first.  There are stores around where you live run by people who live in your community and most of the dollars you spend there, stay in your community and help the local economy.

There is plenty in town to find gifts for everyone on your list!  Everyone gets their hair cut - gift certificates to a local salon will make both the giftee and the salon happy.  How about a manicure for a new Mom?  Or a pedicure?  Accompany it with a coupon to babysit while she goes.  It might not be something she usually does but just the hour by herself, will be like a mini vacation!

Restaurants - everyone has to eat!  Even teenagers eat and love pizza - give them gift cards to the local pizzaria - House of Pizza in Bayville makes really good pizza, try their Baked Ziti Pizza.  I am sure, yes positive, your grandmother does NOT want another powder gift set.  She would probably be thrilled with a gift card from a restaurant that she loves and who delivers.

I still laugh when I think about the customer who told me that she would absolutely scream if she opened up another nightgown and bathrobe from her son and daughter-in-law.  She told me she's told them straight out, here is QP's numbers, call them and get a gift card - DON'T GET ANYTHING ELSE!  I would have loved to have seen the look of relief on her daughter-in-law's face when she found out she didn't have to spend hours wandering the mall trying to figure out SOMETHING besides a robe and nightgown to give her mother-in-law.

The German Butcher Store in Forked River is a local favorite.  Family run, they have wonderful meats, cheeses and dinners.  I'd like a gift card from their if any of my children are listening . . .

Have someone in a nursing home of assisted living?  Buy them a book of stamps (the PO can use the money!) and a box of notecards, give them a gift card to their favorite hair salon and take them to have their hair done by whoever used to do it.

Blue Moon Books also in Forked River is a great used book store.  Give someone the gift of time and a present, let them browse for their own book.

Craft stores, hobby shops, toy stores, auto repair shops, barber shops, movie houses, restaurants, nail salons, pizza places, spas, beauty parlors, hardware stores - if you have them, count your blessings and support them.  They support your community and you.

Shop small and make a big difference this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Word Wednesday

These pictures won't make any sense without explanations so my Wednesday post won't be wordless this week.

The loot in the shop.
About 10 days ago I put out an email call asking for donations to ship to soldiers from the tri-state area (NJ, NY & PA) who are serving in Afghanistan.  Boxes must be shipped before November 17th to reach the soldiers by Christmas.  This is the second year we've participated in this effort and we had a great response.  A big thank you to everyone!






The back of the truck

Jim and I took the donations dropped off at QP up to the A.R.M.S. group yesterday morning.  It's a little building behind the Armory in Toms River where quite a bit happens.  

They had the doors wide open in the gorgeous weather and were busy sorting donations.  










Behind this drop off point were rows of assembly lines to get the boxes packed and on their way.

While there, I asked about QP being a permanent drop off point for the group.  They don't have one by us, so it seemed like a great fit.  Within minutes, I was talking to the woman in charge, Ronnie Micciulla, who asked - for Operation Open Arms or Project Little Soldier?  Hmmm, was my response, umm both?

I asked her to explain Project Little Soldier.  Between November 1st and December 17th, they will try to collect TWO presents for every child in South Jersey who has a parent serving overseas this Christmas.  Brace yourself, all 2200 of them!  That's 5,000 gifts they will attempt to collect in about a month and half.  I was stunned.  2200 kids, with parents based out of south Jersey armories.  2200.  I still can't believe it.

So, I'm asking you to count your blessings this holiday season and donate a gift to a child from newborn to age 16.  It can be a doll, truck, DVD, movie gift certificate - anything that someone in that age group would love to receive as a gift.  We'll be advertising in the community and through our emails.  We'll have a drop off box in the shop until Dec 17th.  I'm hoping that as you do your holiday shopping this year, you'll pick up something for a child whose parent can't be home for Christmas for they our serving our country. 

No matter what you think of the war, support the soldiers.  And help support their families this year.  You can find out more about this wonderful group by clicking www.supportams.org 

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, this isn't wordless this week but I need to explain what Wordless Wednesdays will be on the blog and then from now on it will be wordless . . .   My friends Kelly Ann from Kelly Ann's Quilting in VI and Melisa from Sweet Home Quilt Compay in GA do a Wordless Wednesday on their blogs and I always enjoy them.   So .  . .  I'm copying them.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sewing Time & The Design Wall

Last time I blogged I said I was going to take some mini sewing vacations and I've actually done it!  I've made quite a few samples for the shop, fooled around in Electric Quilt and designed more quilts than I'll actually make and actually started to pick up the mess I call a sewing studio.  Here is what has been on my design wall - what's on yours?


I made the top about two weeks ago but finally quilted it and took it into the shop this week.  I love these easy stripe table runners and am seriously addicted, I think I've made about 30 of them!
Some really neat faux leather came in so I made this bag.  LOVE it!  It's actually finished and hanging in the shop.















This one is still a work in progress.


I'm still working on this one.  I'm not happy with the borders and have changed them two or three times since I took this picture.  Seeing as where it's being shown at Quilt Market during one of Ro Gregg's Schoolhouses in a little over two weeks, I think I need to get my act together and soon!



Holli cut this wine tote out and I finished it.  It's made out of laminate and has a divider so you can take TWO bottles of wine with you when you picnic!







I'm also starting to become addicted to these Strip Pieced Table Runners - here's one from Nancy Halverson's Bittersweet line - perfect for fall!







I'm working on demos for a show we're doing at the end of this week in Tuckahoe.  I'm demoing the Quick Trim Ruler and showing how to make placemats and napkins with it.  Here are two of my samples that I whipped out today.  Both are quick and easy projects with Karen Montgomery's ruler.


Because I have the attention span of a gnat, I've started sewing the blocks for another quilt that will be shown at market, my QP Twist pattern with another line of Ro's new fabrics.  This one I mis-cut the green and thankfully Ro had three inches more than I needed in her studio!  I love the black, pinks and green.


And actually ON my design wall right now is a new pattern that I'm calling Whirling Flannels.  I've loved this block for a long time but never got around to doing anything with it.  We have so many absolutely luscious flannels come in, I knew I wanted to make something with them and this is the result.  I'm not doing any borders, just the blocks.  I'm loving how it's turning out.  This one I'm going to have QUILTED before the show starts on Friday . . .  Notice I'm not saying anything about binding???

I may have gone overboard with my mini sewing vacations . . . . hmmmmm.  Why is it I can't seem to finish one project before starting another?

Till next time - quilt something!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

STOP! I want to get off!

Ok, not get off permanently but I would like life to give me a breather for a couple of days.  It seems like I've been on a going WAY too fast merry-go-round for the past few years and a couple of days to sit back and relax would be really nice.  Hmmm, that sounds like a vacation . . .  YES a vacation would be really nice but who has time?

This whirling dance I call life has been especially hectic this last month.  I last wrote from St. Louis - no Baby Lock Tech is NOT a vacation! - where Jim and I spent 5 days getting up at 6:30am, attending classes till 5pm and then relaxing at dinners with friends (those lunches and dinners were mini vacations!).  Sewing machine conventions are wonderful things to attend but they are work, so they don't count as vacations.

This is a picture I took of the Quilts of Valor Block display in the vendor area.  I haven't heard how many blocks they ended up with but notice the bags of blocks at the base of the display that weren't even done yet.  I was standing in line to turn our 23 in and the woman in front of me handed Pam Mashe 250!

We came home from Baby Lock Tech and Jim left four days later for Janome Institute in Orlando where he was among the first to see the new Janome 12000!  I'm busy planning our coming out party.  Join us Sat, Oct 1st at 10:30am to see the new machine!  RSVP so we have enough chairs, thanks!




Four days after Jim arrived home, our second grandchild arrived - Colin Robert, 8lbs 8ozs arrived to join big brother Nathan.  Of course much time has been devoted to baby rocking.  Nathan stayed with us while Mom and Dad stayed at the hospital with Colin.  Let me tell you I know now why women in their 50's don't have children . . .when they picked Nathan up so they could all go home, I kissed him good-bye, and then went and took the first of two naps of the day!

Nathan is busy, busy, busy ALL DAY.  He'll sit and read for 5 or 10 minutes but then he's off exploring anything and everything - toilets, electrical plugs (yes, we have those cover things, he can get them off), anything and everything in any drawer or cabinet in the kitchen, laundry room or office.  All the rest of the rooms have the doors shut.  Toys?  HA - the kid  has who knows how many toys - if it doesn't have buttons or lights on it, forget it.  No remote, phone, key fob, etc is safe.  I keep telling him it's a good thing he's cute . . . .


Meanwhile, my boys and the Stef(ph)anies are in and out, I'm over Sara and Brian's cooking (maybe that's the problem, I rarely cook, Jim does all the cooking!) or driving somewhere.  Sara had a C-Section and can't drive, pick up Nathan or do much yet.  I do have to go to the store at least sometimes or those rumors that I'm retiring in two years will gain legs again!  No, I'm not retiring in two years, that's just a rumor - if I was going to retire, I'd do it NOW!

It's the fall season, the store is busy, new samples need to be made and I'm not getting to sew very much.  And I think that's the biggest part of what's making me crazy - no sewing time.  It's hard to sew when you're never home to do it, and if you are home, your little assistant is not allowed anywhere near the sewing room. (I shudder to think about what he could do in there!)

I think I need to shove some paperwork off on Jim and then take that time and sew.  Good plan - as Tim says on Project Runway - "Make It WORK".  I'm going to make more sewing time work and THAT will be my little vacation from this merry-go-round I call life.

What's YOUR mini vacation?  (And don't tell me short trips to some exotic location, I'll be really jealous!)

Till next time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

St Louis & Baby Lock Tech & Quilts of Valor

Jim and I are in St. Louis - he's actually at the arch now, I rolled my ankle at the botanical gardens this morning and decided I should rest it before the convention starts.  We left NJ last night and felt like refugees as they closed the Parkway behind us because Irene is coming to call.  We're keeping in touch with Sara as she, Brian and Nathan wait out the storm at home.

Tomorrow we start with classes but tonight is for the opening session - always a good time! - and a welcoming reception - good food and seeing friends.  I'll post some pictures on Facebook - just type Quilting Possibilities into the FB search engine - keep checking this week as I post pictures of new machines, classes and whatever else catches my eye.

Baby Lock asked all it's dealers attending Tech to make quilt blocks that they will sew into quilts for Quilts Of Valor.  Ten days ago I challenged the staff to make blocks to donate and they donated 21 blocks!  I did one for Jim and one for myself, so we'll be donating 23 blocks to this great cause!  The fabric is from Timeless Treasures' Quilts of Valor line.   Thanks to all the staff who sewed blocks - you ROCK!


Until next time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Bit Of Advice If I May

I'm heading off to Gloucester this afternoon to finish - hopefully! - cleaning out Mom's house.  She's settled into the nursing home now and it's time to do something with the house.  Last time I came home with a truckload of stuff - nothing that I needed but how can you leave ALL the pieces of your childhood behind?

Other than Mom's sewing machine - the one I learned to sew on - there isn't too much that I will be bringing home.  Although my older brother seems to think there is and the message came to bring the truck.  (He's in for a rude awakening!)  Most of what I brought home last time is still in the garage in the boxes they came home in.

Which leads me to the advice - start to sort through your "stuff" now.  Label pictures, put notes in with jewelry of who it belonged to and why you kept it.  I found a baggie with an old Beverly High School pin from the 1920's, a pocket watch and a ring.  If Mom hadn't put a note in that baggie, I wouldn't have known it was my grandfather's things.  I have a Rubbermaid tub, one of the big ones, with photographs that I need to sort through and hopefully I can figure out who is who.  I remember a large box of photographs that my Mom and Aunt took our of my grandmother's house and couldn't figure out who any of the people were.  (I'm hoping that box went home with Aunt Margie and it's Ralph and Stevie's problem now and not coming home with me!)

I knew the stories of so many things but there were so many other items that I looked at and thought, where the heck did this come from?  Grandchildren wanted certain things and it's really nice to know that Jennifer has Mom's nativity set, Sara's family is eating off the kitchen set and Arthur has the bowl Mom made cookies in. I can look at ceramic dishes now in my china closet and know that Grammy Lint made it or this was Nana's silver ladle.  I just need to let my children know the stories behind them so they can pass them on.

Cleaning out Mom's lead to a cleaning out of my house with a HUGE amount of stuff - an almost embarrassing amount of stuff - being donated for a Big Brothers/Big Sisters pick up.  Next time they come around, I'll be doing it again.

Sort and label now, especially things that are heirlooms.  How will anyone know if you don't tell them?  Sorting through your childhood home is a gut wrenching experience.  Make it easier on your kids/family and start to sort, label and clear out your "memories" now. Just a bit of advice from someone in the know now.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Texas!

Jim and I climbed on a plane Monday night and headed for San Antonio and Bernina University (the annual dealer convention).  Now I knew it would be hot in TX, it's in the south right?  And everyone kept saying it's a dry heat - HA!  Who cares if it's dry or wet when the heat index is ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN????  We arrived Tues morning about 1:30am, it was NINETY.  Ugh.  (Of course it was just as bad back home where it was hot AND humid!



So we overslept and then walked the Riverwalk - very pretty, very nice - to find breakfast and then headed to the Alamo.  What a sad and solemn place.  I kindof knew the story about the Alamo - unlike some people who shall remain nameless, and it's not Jim who knew more of the story than I did - I knew it was a horrible battle and many lives were lost.  I didn't realize that everyone in the Alamo except women and children were killed.  Reading the story boards was a sad lesson in what man can do to other men.


When I was young, we traveled from Massachusetts to Tennessee to visit a cousin who was living there.  My Dad was a history buff so we went to visit Davy Crockett's birthplace.  I remember it was a small log cabin and I kept thinking, how did people live here?  It was so small.

So now I've visited both Davy's Crockett's birthplace and where he died.

After the Alamo we had to behave ourselves and go to BU, which started that morning while we were sleeping . . . .  I'm sure my rep will read this blog and know we played hooky . . .   It was a nice little, and very needed!,  mini vacation, even if it was only for a few hours.

BU is always made fun by all the people you see - friends, big names, famous people - classes you take, lectures you attend.  It's always interesting to hear about the ways others do thing differently than you do and you always come away with some ideas to try once you get home.

I took a hands on class and made a lace ornament like these for a class we'll have this fall.

I saw a big name and a friendly face in Kaye England, who gave me a huge hug that was MOST appreciated.  Thanks Kaye.  We've had to postpone Kaye's visit this September (it's the weekend Sara is due to have our new grandson) so we'll be rescheduling for next year in the next couple of weeks.

We had dinners and lunches with good friends who we enjoy very much.  Let me just say the Hayes family had us laughing for almost three hours one evening!   Those lunches and dinners were full of family talk, business talk and just a good time.  Sometimes I think I learn just as much at meal times as I do in classes.

I came home with class ideas, marketing ideas, event ideas, display ideas - my brain is hopping!

So what am I doing today?  Working at the shop putting all these ideas into practice?  No, I'm playing hooky and having a Nathan day.  It's very much needed after the brain drain of BU.  It lets all those ideas simmer around and percolate a bit more.  The mind is much more relaxed and open to all kinds of ideas when rocking a baby, ok he's almost a toddler, how did that happen????, to sleep.

Stay tuned for what happens when all those ideas finish percolating!

Till next time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life And The Unexpected

On the Today show yesterday Ann said something that made my head snap up - she was talking about the reality check of realizing your mental age does NOT go with the image you see in the mirror.  Hmpf - yup, that's me.  My age and body image in the mirror do not jive with my mental picture of me.  I look at recent pictures and think - who is that?  And then I realize - it's me.  Holy Old Age Batman - when did that happen????

I turned 54 this month.  Age doesn't really mean much to me, I never can remember how old I am, I have to think of how old Jim is or how old my oldest son is and then figure it out from there.  I can never figure out how old anyone else is either, I'm terrible at guessing.  I have some pretty spry 80 something customers and that's what I want to be, an older woman who no one can figure out how old she is.

If that's going to happen, I need to change some things and get with the program.  More exercise, eat better - all that stuff that most of us put off - till we get older.  It's a heck of a thing to look at a picture and realize that you are older - NOW!

Fracturing my ankle last month was a rude awakening of the helplessness and frustration of not being physically capable of doing what I wanted when I wanted.  It was a look into what life could be like in my later years and I have to tell you, I didn't like it.  I discovered I'm not really a good patient - no patience.  I really can't believe how long it's taking for this ankle to get back to "normal".

Just when you are cruising along in life, things happen that change everything - grandchildren are born, elderly parents need care, something affects your health.  It's all a wake up call.  Eat better, get some exercise and take care of YOU so you don't have to depend on others to take care of you.

Nothing in life is guaranteed, I know that.  I could start running to strengthen my heart and get hit by a car (I'd be really ticked that I'd run for nothing since I HATE running).  I'm just going to hedge my bets and prepare my body for a healthy as possible older age.   Ok, running is definitely not in my future but getting back to yoga is.  Dieting - nope, as soon as someone tells me I can't have something, I CRAVE it, but I will make better choices of what I do eat.

My goal is that next year when I look at recent pictures, I'll see an image that looks a little closer to the one I have in my head.

Till next time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pictures From The Birthday Party!

Delicious Cake!
Cutting the cake.
Lori and Jim
Thanks to everyone for a great party and 15 wonderful years!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy . . . Party, Party, Party!

It's been a whirlwind since before we left for market and it doesn't seem to be slowing down any in the near distant future.  Is crazy REALLY the new norm???


My Mother's Day gardening spree was cut short when I mis-stepped on the deck stairs and rolled my ankle.  Isn't it pretty?  This is what a broken ankle looks like three days after you fracture it in two places.  I was going to keep taking pictures as it grew more and more colorful & my toes resembled sausages, but pretty soon, even looking at it seemed to make it hurt more.  I've graduated to just wearing the boot outside of the house but the ankle is STILL swollen!  You'd think by now it would be back to normal.  Nope, 4-6 weeks the dr tells me.  HA, it's been 4 weeks, enough already.  More X-Rays Thurs, I'm hoping for a miracle cure.


Having a fractured ankle makes everything in life SO much more interesting and slower.  I didn't realize how much more time everything takes when you're gimping around.


We did our annual Memorial Day Sidewalk Sale at the shop over Memorial Day weekend.  That's always fun - good buys and we clean out!






While planning that, I've been working on the shop's 15th birthday party and listening with something close to horror as Sara and Brian planned Nathan's first birthday party at my house.  I stopped listening closely when the talk turned to tents and chairs for 60 some odd people.  Yikes!


Let me tell you, more military precision went into planning a one year old's birthday party than I thought possibile!








And speaking of the shop's birthday - 




Stop by the shop on June 11th from 10-4.  We're having cake, punch, drawings, games and FUN!  We're 15 and we're celebrating!
If you can't make it in person, we'll be doing an online party too.  
  • In-store party guests will be eligible for hourly drawings and three BIG end of the day drawings.  We'll have cake and punch at the shop and games to test your skills and let you win MORE hourly drawing tickets.  Every $20 you spend will get you a ticket for the end of the day drawings!  You must be present to win the hourly drawings but you won't have to be present for the end of the day drawings!
End of the day drawing prizes - must be picked up in the shop

Taylor Compact Cabinet in Teak!


Elna Sew Fun Mechanical machine - great for classes!



Reliable Iron - great steam!
  • Can't Join Us in person?  Online Party Guests - every order placed June 11th will receive a free gift and for every $20 you spend on your online order, you'll get a ticket to win a $100 QP shopping spree!




Join us - let's PARTY!