Flip Flops

Quilting Possibilities

Quilting Possibilities
one of NJ's finest quilt shops

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The cleaning and walking down memory lane goes on

The unfortunate part of all this is that one must clean a portion of the space before one can start organizing that space.  And looking at my space, it was almost overwhelming to figure out where to start . . .

I have a tall black plastic shelf that was stuffed with crazy quilting stuff and who knows what else.  It was fun to throw most of it on the floor, what's a little more mess on the floor!  Then I started sorting.

I first tackled the crazy quilt mess.  I love to collect things to crazy quilt with almost as much as I love to crazy quilt! (I'm thinking it's an obsession the more I clean up this space.)  I had a wonderful time sorting through bins of stuff thrown together - fancy fabrics, bits of lace, beads, fancy buttons, charms, crystals, ribbon, trims - a ridiculous amount of stuff jammed all in three big tubs.  Kind of, sort of, semi organized but still a mess.  I had to ruthlessly take myself in hand to sort rather than start stitching . . . 

Beads, crystals & fancy buttons
Beads went into plastic sectioned boxes and baby food jars (I knew I saved those for some reason!)  Charms, fancy buttons and sparkly stuff into other sectioned plastic boxes.  

Trims, bits of lace, ribbons and couching "stuff"
Trims, bits of lace and ribbons into shoe boxes.  I felt victorious until I remembered that a great majority of my crazy quilting stuff is still at the shop . . .


I played with buttons for days and finally decided that just setting up the boxes and having somewhere to put all the stray buttons I come across would be enough for now.  Sorting through my Mom’s, Nana’s, Great Aunts Viola’s and Beatrice’s and my mother-in-law’s button collections was a task that could take weeks and I’d never see the entire top of my sewing table.  

I do love going through all their button boxes.  Being children of the depression, my grandmother and her sisters worked in a sock factory somewhere in Gloucester when they were young and learned to save everything.  They were the original recyclers, not because they were trying to save the environment, they were trying to save every penny they could by reusing everything.  Which is why I find sets of buttons taken off old clothing & strung together on thread or in small plastic boxes or wrapped neatly is a clean tissue in their button boxes.  They make me smile and think of my Nana and her sisters.

I've started a box of vintage sewing tools.  Their sock darning eggs make me laugh.  My Nana was horrified that not only did I not darn socks, I didn't know how.  She could never get me to sit still long enough to teach me and while I still wouldn't darn socks, I do wish I'd let her teach me how.

I feel the same way about knitting pot heads - that sounds interesting doesn't it????  My Dad used to sit on the stairs during the winter and knit (he called it knitting but it was actually kind of like macrame) lobster pot heads - the netting funnel on lobster pots.  I always meant to get him to teach me how to do it.  My brother knows how, I saw the set up on his stairs last time I was home, I'll bug him to teach me.

Until then, I'm still sorting here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tis the Season

So in the middle of all this craziness called holiday preparation, I've decided I can't stand my sewing room one more minute.  It probably could qualify for that hoarders show and while I know this will stun the few people allowed to see it, I am slowly but surely cleaning it up.  Why now?  I have NO IDEA!  Just got to a point where I can't stand it anymore.  So I am busily buying clear containers to organize and put stuff in.  So far I've done the embellishments and that was really fun sorting through it all, then I moved to buttons - whew I have A LOT of buttons, more than I thought I had, and I'm now into the notions.  

I think the problem with all of this is, I've inherited my grandmothers' sewing paraphernalia, two of my great aunts, my mom's and my mother-in-law's along with the assorted vintage sewing baskets I've picked up and customers have given me.  I have quite the collection of vintage sewing stuff plus all the stuff I've brought home . . . . and I can't bring myself to throw any of it out.  My Nana and great aunts cut all the buttons off old clothing and strung them together on string to save them.  How can you throw that history out?????  But this has all lead to a room that doesn't function at all.  My friend Jerry has an expression - it looks like the walls threw up, and yes, that's exactly what my sewing room looks like, except it was a particularly nasty flu.  

Pictures you ask?  Before pictures?  HA!  NEVER!  Not going to happen.  I will show pictures on the blog though - the areas that I've cleaned up but no before pictures exist, no will they ever . . . .  Stay tuned for more of the trials and tribulations of shoveling out my sewing room.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hello again!

It's been awhile since I've blogged, too many other things going on!  Hopefully at some point, my life will slow down to a normal speed.  Let's catch up.

Coming in the door.
The shop is moved and we're settled in.  We keep rearranging things but that's normal for any retail store.  There are a few things we can't find, a few things that need to go to the storage unit and a few things that need to come out of the storage unit but I have a feeling that is always going to be the case!

We spent most of the month of August finding things that we KNEW we had and trying to figure out the best place to put office supplies and stuff.  And since we all have opinions on where the best place would be and everyone has a different idea of what's best . . . . well use your imagination to figure out how organized THAT was!  We finally worked it out and it's only every once in awhile that we think, WHERE IS THAT?


Miss Aubrey Michelle Welch joined our family on September 14th.  She belongs to my oldest son James and his wife, Stefanie and she's a cutie!  She weighed in at a very dainty 5 lbs 11 ozs.  She makes Nathan & Colin look like Amazons!

Classes & clubs started up, shows started happening and we settled into fall.

I headed out to Quilt Market in Houston with hurricane warnings starting to ratchet up and then Sandy was a direct hit on the Jersey Shore. 

I'm sure you've seen all the news reports or lived through it yourself so I won't elaborate but to just say, the stories are horrifying and so sad at the same time.  The store is fine, our family is fine but we know friends and customers who have lost everything or almost everything.  Our local high school is still being used as a shelter, so much of the shore is just gone.

There is a desperate need for blankets and quilts.  Our local Project Linus coordinator is taking donations to filter out through the Red Cross and her contacts.  Here is Hillary's information - you can read more information by clicking here.  

Please follow the following guidelines when sending your quilts:
  • Quilts should be twin to queen sizes.
  • Please include your contact information (name, address, phone and/or email.) Project Linus will try to let you know where your quilt is heading.
  • Quilts should be machine washed and wrapped to keep the quilts fresh in transport.
Ship to:
Hillary Roberts, President
Project Linus NJ, Inc.
79 Jackson Street
Keyport, NJ 07735
If you have questions, you may call Hillary at (732) 335-9033 or email her at director@blankiedepo.org or blankiedepo@aol.com. You may also visit the Project Linus website at www.blankiedepo.org.
Thanks for anything you can do.
Until next time.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Moving Update

No matter what anyone tells you, moving is NOT fun.  Choosing the paint colors, imagining what the new space will look like?  That is fun.  The actual physical work of moving - not fun.

Boxes, boxes, boxes . . . .EVERYWHERE!
Everything is IN the new space.  Things that aren't going to stay, are in the new space.  Let's just say the new space is more than a little overfull.  Today we're renting a storage locker.  Yes, I'm becoming one of those people who has WAY too much stuff and no place to put it.  The house is full.  The oversized two car garage is full.  The store is full and the storeroom is PACKED.  And there are still boxes everywhere in the store.  With stuff in them.  Lots of stuff in them.  1200 square feet of storage space does NOT fit into 400 square feet no matter how hard you try.

The clean half of the shop!
All that said, the new store is shaping up and will look great after a few visits to the storage unit!  I love the paint colors, Jim is building a new checkout/cutting area, the floors are GORGEOUS, all the fabric fits! (YAY!) and notions, patterns and books are starting to be put out.  Samples go up tomorrow.

We've been working really hard to get ready.  The staff thinks I'm crazy, more so than usual, but we will be open at 10am on Wednesday, August 1st! Stop in and see us!

918 Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ 
 Click here for directions.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving Time

Yes, we're doing that thing we said we would never do again - move.  QP is moving about 2 miles away from our current location.  I write this with a mixture of anticipation and dread.  I'm excited for a new place, a new look, new possibilities BUT

Think about moving your sewing room.  Now think about moving your sewing room PLUS everything in it multiplied by 10 or 20 or 30 times!  Every bolt, thread spool, notion, pattern, book, then think about all the fixtures we have . . . ugh HORRORS!

We're not going far, just to 918 Lacey Road.  The space is a bit smaller but more manageable for us - no lawn to mow, no air conditioning to baby, no building upkeep to manage at all.  Yes, I might even get time to sew for me again!  Ok, that's not going to happen any time soon!

So Jim and the boys are moving walls, cutting openings in walls, moving doors, and getting the new space ready for the finishing guys to come.  Lots happening at the new place.

Meanwhile at the current store, we're having a  MOVING SALE!  (I really don't want to pack up and move everything!)  All items (books, notions, patterns, fq packs, fabric, machine accessories, software) marked with a suitcase tag or sticker are 35% off.  All floor model sewing machine and sewing furniture are on sale.  

And we'll be having a Fourth of July Sale from 9-noon only with EXPLOSIVE deals!  Stay tuned to the emails for details (click here to sign up)

Stay tuned - there's always something happening at QP!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sweet Sixteen!

Day one of our sixteenth birthday party in pictures!

A pretty cake - and it was good too!

The shop is decorated.

Cake and punch ready to go.

Sue stitched out a Sweet Sixteen with Hoop Sister's new embroidery CD called B4 Spellcheck.

The brain trust - you could get tickets for solving brain puzzles!
More pictures with our hourly drawing winners tomorrow!  Thanks everyone for a great Day One Sweet Sixteen Celebration - we had FUN!  Tomorrow is the auction!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Gardens

  Some years the gardens are just so so, other years they're ok and some years, well some years they are really nice - IMHO.  This is one of the really nice years.  I took some pictures the other day - I hope you enjoy them.

Roses - love them, dislike having to spray them.  I've tried teas, heirlooms, floribundas, trees, minatures and  knockouts - they all get blackspot and the bugs love them.  But the flowers!  LOVE the flowers and the auroma . . .mmmmm.


I love this color! 

A really old climber that's been moved four times now.

Snap dragons that overwinterd.
And we have perennials, bi-annuals, and things we have no idea where they came from!
Delphinium the third year.  I have to admit, I threw some of these away thinking they were weeds last spring . . . .

Iris in the pond

Snap Dragons from last year.
One of the front borders
Mail box garden.
Side Border

That's my front gardens.  I won't show you the back gardens - let's just say they're having a so/so year.  Can anyone say overgrown?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Where Does Time Go?

It's been absolutely, positively CRAZY around here!  And it looks like the craziness is just going to continue well into the summer.

Jim and I just returned from a quilting cruise to Bermuda with 39 people joining us.  What fun!  It was quite a bit of work and the weather wasn't exactly the best, but we enjoyed cruising, enjoyed Bermuda and enjoyed everyone who went with us - a perfect way to spend 5 days!

Here we are celebrating making it to the ship on time, getting the classroom set up and actually making it to dinner on time!  I've posted more pictures on the shop's Facebook page, just put Quilting Possibilities in the FB search engine and be sure to like us while you are there!

While we were away the 11th annual NJ shop hop was finishing up.  Ten days of extended hours, 400 and some odd shop hoppers - it was fun but I was ready to get on that ship!

Home again and we're gearing up for a visit next weekend from LuAnn, a Janome educator, who is going to host a hands on class and a Horizon 12000 party.  Call the shop for details or click here

The weekend after that is Mother's Day and Colin is being christened that morning.  My annual make my kids do yard work day is being postponed this year.  And it will be a year since I fell and broke my ankle in two places.  That's something I hope I never do again!

Then it's off to Minnesota to celebrate nephew Tony's wedding and see the family for a few days.

And then ladies and gents, it's Memorial Day!  Now how the heck did that happen?  We'll be having our annual Sidewalk/Classroom Sale, more details on that will be coming but save the date.  

Then Joan is coming from Baby Lock to do a Stabilizer Savy Event June 2nd.  If you own an embroidery machine, you NEED this class!  Click here for more info.

June 4th is Nathan's birthday.  He'll be two - what???  Not possible - but it is possible.  That tiny, little baby I held two years ago is growing to be quite the little boy.  

Then it's my birthday - we won't discuss how old I am, ok, Karen Montgomery is the same age as me and forced me to figure out how old we would be this year - double nickles this year 55!

Which brings us to the shop's birthday.  QP turns SIXTEEN this year!  Holy smokes!  Sweet Sixteen and we're having a party.  Plan on joining us June 9th and 10th as we celebrate.  I've floated the idea that the staff dress like they did when they were 16 - do I need to tell you how well that went over???

Till next time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Out Of My Routine Part 2

Love the Border!
Nothing inspires you more than to be surrounded by creative people creating!  Kaye gave us vague supply lists which made perfect sense to her and almost no sense to this Kaye's College newbie.  It was hard to let go, to just bring what appealed to me, in amounts that appealed to me.  I'm not usually an organized person but I've traveled enough to know that if I don't have a detailed list of what needs to go into the suitcase - well you end up in Minnesota in the winter with ONE turtleneck and a bunch of undershirts.  Ask me how I know that . . .

So Kaye's list of just bring 2-3 yard cuts of backgrounds, light and dark FQs, a good variety of FQs had me wailing to Jill and Karen.  I finally sat down one morning and took all Kaye's emails and made a list of what she wanted in some sense of order.  I am sure Jill laughed her head off when she opened her email with her copy but Karen's reply of "Bless you!" made me feel much better that at least someone else was as lost as I was!

Now Karen is more of a control freak than I am, Jill maybe a bit more and I'm willing to go with the flow -IF I have some clue of where the flow is and a somewhat general direction of where it's going.  HA - throwing all the fabric into the suitcase and machine box and HOPING some of it would work for whatever we were going to be doing was a total leap of faith!

The magic of the whole week was Kaye enabled us to design.  To take her projects and go in a new direction with them - combine them, change them, make new from them and it was amazing to watch what was happening around the room.  Of course once I got something in my mind's eye -did I have the fabric to actually do it?  Noooooooo.  Everyone shared - fabric, tools, opinions, suggestions.

I was surrounded by a group of amazing women - creatively and business wise.  If you were stuck on a design, someone could help you.  Didn't know what color to choose for a border, someone offered an opinion - lots of someones.  Kaye was a constant inspiration.  Had a question about staff, classes, fabric companies, you name it - someone in that room had been in that same position and told her story.  Networking, it was wonderful!

Delectable Sunrise

I scribbled furiously in my graph paper notebook, itched to get to the lap top and Electric Quilt and designed on the fly playing with colors and fabrics.

Did I finish anything - not one blessed thing!  I came home with as many UFOs as I thought I would but best of all, I came home with ideas.  Ideas for classes, clubs, events, staff trainings and more.

Summer's Breeze

I have finished one thing since I came home.  Notice the pieced border?  Love it!

 It was an amazing week, one I'm definitely going to do again next year!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Get Out Of Your Routine

Sometimes you just need to get out of your routine - or rut - and do something different to stimulate your creative side.  I think we can all easily slip right into the rut of looking at the same things, doing the same things, making the same things and then wonder why we are bored.  Why wouldn't we be bored?  We never see anything that excites us!  Or in my case, you slip into the rut of never having time to sew and before you know it, you don't have time to sew or design because you don't make the time, there's too many other things you've gotten used to doing.

So, two friends of mine talked me into attending Kaye England's College for shop owners in Fort Meyer's Florida week before last.  Jill Reicks has been attending for years, telling me I should be going for years and of course I never had the time.  Karen Montgomery decided she was running away to Kaye's College this year and I was running with her.  So we did.  Yup, I chucked it all - the store, the grandbabies, you name it, I chucked it and ran away with Karen and Jill.  Should have done it years ago!

First I had to gather up all my supplies and the list was loooooooonnnnnnnngggggg,  Jim neatly packed some of my fabric in with my machine that was shipped.  40-50 YARDS!  What didn't fit in here, went in my suitcase with rulers, needles, threads, rotary cutting mat, scrapbooking supplies (?), journaling supplies (?), and I still had to fit clothes!

This is what was in my suitcase.  I did manage to get clothes in there and have it weigh 48.5 pounds!

All this stuff belongs to Therese Gansen (Jill's daughter) and I .  I could look window and watch the boats go by . . . .

When I turned around, this was the rest of the room. There were 42 lucky people here this time.

Mine and Karen's stash under the table.

I arrived at 10:30 and was sewing by 5.  Kaye had a mystery project & a pizza party for us that first night.

This is all I'm going to show you of the mystery.  If I show you anything else, it won't be a mystery will it? Look for this on the class schedule this spring.  (First I have to finish it or borrow Karen's sample!)

All this and it was just the first night!  Next post I'll share some of the projects and inspirations from the wonderfully inspiring week I spent out of my rut but here's a teaser of the view off our balcony . . . . .

Till next time.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Did you make any resolutions for the new year?  I didn't bother this year, seeing as where I didn't keep even one from last year!  I am hoping that I will do a couple of things this year, but I'm not calling them resolutions, that seems to doom me from the start.

One thing I'd like to do is NOT wait until the absolute last minute to make class samples . . . (ok, so far that one isn't going so well . . .).  This weekend I had FOUR, yes FOUR projects that needed to be finished - three for classes and the fourth is the shop hop quilt due on Monday.  I actually finished one class sample Wed morning, and whipped off the remaining two today.  I'm ready for tomorrow - phew!

The shop hop quilt, well ok, it's not going to be finished by Monday but in my defense the fabric for the center of the blocks only arrived yesterday.  I'll get a couple of blocks done Sunday morning but there is no way the whole quilt will be finished and photographed by Monday.

So why do I do this to myself?  I knew about those class samples for at least a month.  Is it true that I really work best under pressure?  Maybe.  Am I just a procrastinator at heart?  Probably.  Do I just like to torture myself?  Maybe!

I'm heading to Massachusetts to see Mom next weekend so I don't have any class samples due for then.  The week after I'm heading to FL with Karen Montgomery to attend Kaye's College so I won't have any class samples due for then either.  Wanna put a bet I'm sewing frantically the week I get back on a class sample instead of doing it between now and the time I leave for FL?  Although there is that shop hop quilt that needs to be done . . . . .maybe a FIRM resolution would work?????

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Another year gone and a new year begins.  2011 saw our James marry his Stefanie, our Jeremy ask his Stephanie to marry him (she said yes!) and our Sara give our grandson Nathan a little brother, Colin.  We were busy this year . . .

2012 we are looking forward to a nephew's wedding in May and Jeremy and Stephanie's wedding in September.  The outlaws of Jim's family (that's all us in-laws) have decided that we're all going to all the nephew and nieces weddings where ever they are since it's the only way we get to see each other all in one place!  I hope Stephanie warns her family about our crazy one.

From my family to yours - a safe, healthy & happy New Year!