Flip Flops

Quilting Possibilities

Quilting Possibilities
one of NJ's finest quilt shops

Sunday, December 14, 2014


A comment by a friend on Facebook this morning about copper cookie cutters sent me sliding down the time warp hole of Pinterest this morning.  I've been thinking about how to display my cookie cutters for a couple of years but have never come up with anything so they stay in the big tin on top of the china closet and in the drawer of the hutch.  Two pictures on Pinterest caught my eye - one display them artfully in an old mixing bowl and the other on an antique scale.  I liked both and thought I have both those things!

Down to the basement to dig out the Fairbanks #1 scale that my grandmother let me have out of her basement when I was 12.  She could not imagine why I wanted it and neither could I, I just knew I did.  Grammy Lint told me it was from her father's general store in Nova Scotia so I hauled it home and my father promptly claimed it, or tried to anyway.  He thought it would be great for down the wharf to weigh lobsters and my mom said no, it would rust.  So it sat under her china closet until I cleaned out the house three summers ago and took it home.  Then it went into my basement!

This morning it came up, was cleaned up a bit and put on the vintage school desk in my kitchen.  I happily dug out my Christmas cookie cutters and after seeing them all in one place, I have more than I thought . . . can you say addiction????   I brought out a vintage mixing bowl and put special cookie cutters into it with red, glass Christmas balls.   I put my two blooming Christmas cactus back on the table and had my cookie cutter display.  Not as artful as the pinterest ones, but I like it.

I remember making butter cookies with my mom and her letting us decorate them, the table, ourselves and some of the kitchen floor.  I did it with my kids, my kids did it with my Mom and now I'm doing it with the grandbabies.  Traditions - love them.  

Looking at the scale reminds me of Grammy Lint.  And Grampy Lint as he wrapped everything in newspaper and there is still newspaper stuck to the bottom of the scale (and I'm leaving it there).  The cookie cutters remind me of mom and the bowl has memories in it too.  Biscuit cutters from Nana Sawyer.  Two cookie cutters - a lobster and a lobster boat - I had made to make my brother Sooky cookies for Christmas.  And if he sees this, he'll probably call and ask why he hasn't gotten any in years . . . .  A loon one from Minnesota.

Traditions - love them.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Past Time For A Christmas Projects Display

Yesterday I decided that I needed to be realistic and move our display of Christmas projects if I wanted anyone to have time to make them.  So I did my usual wandering around my house, garage and attic wishing I had time to go antiquing for all the neat stuff that I'd like to use in this display, and finally decided the display needed to be put together with what I had already and to just get on with it.

Into my car went a round table my grandmother had started to strip to put her usual white paint on but felt "faint of heart" (this coming from a nurse who worked until she was 70 something delivering babies in Salem, Mass) and it sat in her cellar until I claimed it for my first apartment.  It's still unfinished . . .
Anyway, I love the height and shape of the table for displays so I grabbed a rectangular green table cloth to throw over it, a mason, jar, some silverware and set off for the shop.  The inspiration for this display is all Terry Atkinson - she posted that picture of the napkins and silverware in a Mason jar last week.

I unloaded my goodies and proceeded to make a mess of the front of the store shifting Fall out of the way and combining the two current Christmas displays into one.

I put the table out, covered it with the green tablecloth - ugh - and thought to myself, this is a fabric store with beautiful fabrics, sewing machines and sergers - just make one!  Ok, I remember something a fabric rep had said to me - use wide backings for home dec.  So I wander over to our extra wide backing section and find a perfect green.  (Now if I were planning this blog ahead of time, I'd have taken a picture of our selection of wide backings!)

I impress and confuse Fern and Ellen as I measure the table, figure out the simple math and rip (oh the horrors!) the wide backing to get it on grain.  The only way square fabric that wide without a HUGE table to lay it out, is to rip it - plus its easier!  I cut my circle, gather up my supplies, decide it will be faster with a serger and a gathering foot, and head to the classroom.  

Thirty minutes later - with a few mishaps - out comes this:

The bolt of fabric is to the right.

I added the ruffle at the bottom to give it a little flair.  Easy, simple to serge or sew and the display looks pretty good too.

Fern wants a class - anyone else?

Till next time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I collect vintage mason jars.  I love them and I have no idea why.  I've been looking for the green ones that came out this year but haven't managed to snag any yet.  And this is the first year that I canned in a long time, so I hauled out my trusty, newer mason jars out of the garage and canned tomatoes and made butter pickles.  The old ones, I just love to look at and have a pinterest 

I started collecting mason jars in my grandmother's cellar when I was about 12 - the same time I asked her if I could have the Hoosier cabinet and Elias Howe treadle sewing machine!  Cheeky little thing but she remembered and when I moved into my first apartment - that Hoosier cabinet and treadle came out of her cellar and into my kitchen, along with all the mason jars!  

I have more but with the grands, not all are out.  The grands know this is a NO TOUCH zone.  (I told them I'd cry if they broke anything and that seems to be working!)

Terry Atkinson posted this on her Facebook page this morning - this is just too danged cute!  The napkins were a project from her Groovy Girls Sewing Club we ran about four years ago, so if you belonged to that, you have the pattern already.  If you didn't belong, Terry has turned it into a pattern and I just put in an order for some!  We'll be using this as part of our Christmas display that will go up in the next week or so and we'll have the patterns for you.

Do you collect vintage mason jars?  I'll bet you do!

Till next time.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I'm back from Quilt Market and since today it's cold and rainy at the Jersey Shore, I'll just say Houston was 86 and sunny last Saturday.  I spent most of that day indoors working but the walk to and from the convention center was lovely.  

Today I thought I'd share pictures of part of the quilt show at market for an indoor rainy day quilt show!

This was the Ruby Jubilee of Quilt Market and they celebrated by have a red and white quilt show.  Here are just a few of the quilts that were displayed.  ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  Congratulations to all the quilt makers and to Quilts Inc for a show stopping, stunning display.  I enjoyed it immensely and didn't even get to see it all as market closed before I'd finished.
A jaw dropping display.  Notice the people on the side and that gives you an idea of how big the center display was.
Just part of the inner ring display.

Minatures- paper to the left is 8 x 10"
More minatures

Quilting Detail of the frond quilt
Intricate piecing!

This looked like a round robin quilt to me - gorgeous!

I don't think this was a vintage quilt but it could have been.

This was just amazing!


Look at the quilting!

I hope you enjoyed a little slice of this show.  I love red and white quilts and this show certainly set market abuzz!

Till next time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


For some reason it's been a very long time since I blogged.  Life is crazy here at the shore and I seem to have let the blog fall by the wayside.  My friend Kelly Ann, (aka KA) from Kelly Ann's Quilt Shop in VA, sortof, kindof made me realize that I hadn't updated this blog in quite awhile by admitting how long it's been since she updated hers.  That made me wonder when the last time I'd written . . . . whoa baby, it's been awhile!

I've been sewing - not a big surprise - watching grandbabies - not a big surprise either and traveling.  According to my staff, I'm rarely in the shop but I feel like I'm there all the time.  Someone is exaggerating and I think it's probably all of us!

Alaska was WONDERFUL.  If you get the chance to go, don't hesitate.

Our latest trip was to Gloucester last weekend.  A quick in and out trip - we arrived at lunch time on Saturday, crammed as much as we could into what remained of Saturday and all of Sunday, and then headed home on Monday.  I realized in August I hadn't been home since Mom's funeral, so I blocked out Columbus Day weekend then and there and Jim and I headed home.

My brother and sister-in-law are as crazy as we are so we get along really well - although my older brother is more of a curmudgeon than I am (I'm sure he says the same about me), we do enjoy hanging out.  

Fried dough like Nana used to make
I got to eat my favorite foods - linguicia at the Azorean Restaurant Sat night and fried dough at the Topsfield Fair on Sunday afternoon.  I closed my eyes, took my first bite and it was after church at Nana's any Sunday morning of my childhood.  She made the best fried dough and her Sunday kitchen was always full of cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles with at least 10 people talking at once.

But first on Sunday, Laurel, Jim and I (the curmudgeon stayed home) spent three hours at an antique flea market enjoying ourselves immensely.  Laurel has a thing for glassware - seriously, her glassware addiction is about level with my fabric addiction! - so I had a wonderful time trying to tempt her with anything and everything glass.  

My bag was as full of hers as I found sewing treasures!  The box of thread is from the Marvel Thread company in Worcester, MA, a total guess at age is from the 30s or 40s.  The big wooden spool has been updated with new dowels for spools to stand on - I just thought it was cool.  The sewing basket is filled with vintage sewing notions and it's a cool shape to add to my collection!  How is it you look around and realize that you've acquired a pretty big collection of something????

I also bought two handfuls of wooden thread spools to put in my vintage store spool displays.  I have two and they're pretty cool but they need more thread to fill them.  Why I only bought two handfuls and not the whole box is a good question!

What have you started to collect without realizing it?  I'm thinking Jim needs to put up shelves around my sewing room so I can put all this stuff in one place.  But then again, do I really want to know how much I have??????

Until next time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Too Many Things Going On & Most of them Secret!

Do you all work on one project at a time?  More than one, say two of them at the same time?  More?  Three? Four? FIVE?  I have to admit, I have more than three going on right now but less than five.  I think. Ok, maybe six.  They all tend to blend together after awhile!

I'm working on a lap sized quilt for the next Stash Attack, a secret until April 1st, and I've said it before, but this is my favorite!  Lots of pieces so I'm using it as a leader and ender project while working on the shop hop quilt, a secret until the end of March.  What's Leaders and Enders you ask?  Leaders and enders (L&Es) - not my term there is a book about it - are pieces that you put together and sew after the pieces you really want to sew are stitched.  That way you don't have to cut threads in between the pieces.  A lot of sewers use a scrap to sew off onto but that seems to be a waste to my "thrifty" New England soul - if I'm going to stitch on something, it's going to be used for something instead of just thrown away!

So I used the Stash Attack pieces as Leaders and Enders for doing the Shop Hop Quilt, now I'm using the next Strip Club quilt as L&Es for the Stash Attack project ( and I slipped three baby quilt tops into the rotation on my "Snew Day" Monday and used them for L&Es) and when the Stash Attack top is done, I'll slip another one into the rotation that's patiently waiting for a pieced border.  I won't admit to how many are in line to be worked on . . .

I know there are sewers out there who can only work on one thing at a time but I must have some type of ADD because I can't for some reason.  I like seeing all the different colors of the current projects on the sewing table, cutting table and ironing board.  I just wish my design wall was big enough to put two projects up on it at a time.

So what about you?  One project at a time or mulitples?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sew Days!

What is up with this weather?  Snow, rain, sleet, snow again, oh wait it's raining, now it's freezing, etc, etc, etc!  All I can say it's made perfect SEW DAYS!  

What have you been working on?

As usual, I'm still plugging away on cleaning, organizing and changing around my sewing room but in between doing that, I've been sewing like crazy.

I whipped up a sample of the Barnegat Light pattern that Debra at Zebra Patterns designed just for us!  Very cool!  A class is happening with this sample in March but we will have kits available this coming week too.

I'm working on the shop hop quilt  too- kindof designing on the fly.  I know what I want it to look like, just having a hard time getting what's in my head to come out and down to my fingers to cut and sew.  I'm a little further along with it than this picture shows and it's getting there but I think there is more ripping in my future!  I started out with my squares too big and now have this long skinny thing.  Not good.  I need to rip and finagle.

I'm also working on the next Stash Attack Quilt, this will be number 6!  No pictures yet.  And I know I say this every time but I think this one just might be my favorite.  It's smaller blocks but they're so danged cute!  I'm using the pieces of these cutie blocks as leaders and enders while doing the shop hop quilt.  

Do you do that?  Work on more than one thing at a time?  I do.  I tend to get bored with something pretty easily and my mind wanders, then I make mistakes and I'm ripping out.  By having a couple of things going at the same time, I don't get bored, it keeps me "sharp".  I'm usually designing something in my head while stitching something else, or working out a problem with one project while working on another.  The shop hop quilt sat on the design wall for about a week until I figured out what was bothering me about it.  And I figured it out while machine quilting the Barnegat Light project.

I'm also working on two projects I started at Kaye's College last month.  Both are now sitting while I try to figure out what to do about borders.  One I know what I have to do, dang that Karen Montgomery for putting the idea of a pieced border in my head!, I just need time to sit down and do it.  It's on the list.  The other also needs borders and I need to hurry up with that one since we've cut the kits already!  Yikes.

Good thing I work best under pressure - how about you?

Till next time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That . . .

As I get ready for the big move in the sewing room, most of it is trashed enough to make working in there impossible even for me.  While I admit, I am totally comfortable in a good amount of clutter and chaos, my sewing space has surpassed even my comfort zone.  And now with two grand babies sniffling and sick, the arrival of said strapping sons and son-in-law to move the furniture around is in jeopardy.  I'm not sure how much longer I can deal with the mess, so I've been staying out of the sewing room except to pack for my retreat.

Which all leads to me doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  

Austin Lights
We cut kits this past summer for this project and they, and the fully quilted sample, languished while waiting for me to update the pattern.  I orginially wrote the pattern in 2008.  It needed to be updated to my new format, so I did that.  Then we found a mistake in the test print for the sample.  So it came back to me to correct and went on the to do pile. For months. Whats really silly is the changes took me less than 15 minutes when I finally sat down & did them. 

What finally made me do it?  When I took down the Christmas samples in the shop, I ended up with a HUGE blank wall behind the cutting table.  While looking around for something to hang in that space, I saw the finished Austin Lights quilt folded on top of the kits.  I hung it, knowing it would force me to go home and actually finish the pattern.  It worked.

Big plans!

I'm lucky enough to be going to Kaye England's College for Shop Owners next week (in warm & sunny Florida baby!) and I've been busily cutting out projects to do while I'm there.  Kaye is coming to do an event for us in September and I want to have kits available.  So I've lined up six samples that need to be made.  I've pawned one off on Fern, err, Fern volunteered  to make one of them.  Three are projects I started at previous Kaye retreats and never finished - there's that procrastination again!  And I pre-cut  two so I could take them with me to work on, along with the three UFOs.  

I'm crazy enough to think I will finish at least three of the planned projects . . . .hmmm, might be time for a reality check here!  But the planning is so much fun!

Aubrey's Quilt Pattern
When I buy fabric for the shop, it could be 6-8 months before it actually arrives.  I write notes to myself on my order sheets of what plans I have for the fabric so I don't look at it blankly when it arrives & the staff asks me where to put it in the shop and does it need anything cut off it?  A pretty line arrived this week and Barb said to me, it says make a girly baby quilt with this.  What pattern are we using?  I think I need to write better notes because I looked that fabric and thought - huh?

So when one can't quilt in her messy sewing space, she moves to the computer and designs something.  This is one of my favorite blocks and what I used to design granddaughter Aubrey's quilt.  But of course that would have been too easy to just use that pattern as it was . . . . oh no, I wanted scrappy which means more blocks and less open space so the blocks needed to be bigger - back to the computer drawing board.

This is a computerized version of the latest version of my Aubrey's Quilt pattern.  Scrappy, more blocks, larger blocks and a new color palette.  I really like it.

Now to find someone to make it . . . 

Sewing room is still messy and if grand babies are still under the weather, it's going to be that way for a while longer.  Until then, it'll be me doing a little of this, and a little of that.  

Until next time.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside!

BRRRRRRR!  It's a balmy 14 degrees here this morning with about 8" of newly fallen snow.  That deserves another BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!  The best part about all this?  We can't go out!  Jim will be out doing his favorite thing - shoveling snow (the man is crazy but I guess shoveling as a sport is from growing up in Minnesnowta) or playing with his snowblower and clearing out the neighbors when he's done with our place.  Meanwhile back at the ranch, I'll be putzing around in my sewing room - my favorite snow day activity!

After what seems like forever, I'm finally getting ready to move my sewing space around.  In the planning stages for years, I'm FINALLY ready for the strapping sons and son-in-law to help move everything out and then bring just the furniture back in.  I'm sure there will be hoarding comments mumbled many times during this adventure but I will rise above it all and ignore them - they just don't understand a fabric stash.

The big day is the 12th, kids are coming home to have the annual family picture done and they've been given instructions to come with junky clothes and at least an hour to spare.  With five of us helping, it's entirely possible to empty the space and then just bring the furniture back in & put it in it's new configuration.  Right?  I'm going to move all the stuff I can before they arrive to move the project along and most importantly, cut down on the hoarder mumbling.

I just want everything out and all the big stuff Jim and I can't move ourselves back in.  Then I want everyone to go away and so I can putz and arrange everything else myself.  Of course I leave for the Kaye England retreat on the 16th so I will only have a few days of putzing.  Nope, not going to get that all done before I leave!  

I wonder if Jim has realized that all this stuff is going to be moved into his workshop?  I doubt it and I know he hasn't figured out that it won't be all out before I leave for a week either!

Till next time.