"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

November 29, 2011

Quick Thanksgiving Projects

In the midst of packing away the fall decorations and pulling out all the Christmas goodies, I want to share a couple of quick and easy Thanksgiving/Fall projects for next year.

First is an embroidered dish towel. I found a free download of the pattern here at Bird Brain Designs. I stitched this up on a tea towel while we were driving to Missouri (after finishing the binding on my mom's quilt) and gave it as a hostess gift to our sweet-as-pie Thanksgiving Hostess.

A quick embroidery tip I learned from a friend. When tracing the design onto the fabric use non-bleeding Pigma pens in the color you'll be using to stitch - or a color close to the thread you'll be using.

There are several advantages to using these pens; No need to continually retrace the lines, like when using a pencil, the ink blends with the thread - leaving no dark lines peeking out and unlike washable markers it doesn't disappear in the humidity. Though there is one disadvantage to be aware of and that is the need to trace carefully, but that's easily dealt with  by securing the design to the fabric, going slowly, and simply taking your time.

 The second project was inspired by this fall table runner. We absolutely fell in LOVE with the fabric, its rich colors are just gorgeous. Sadly for us the shop was completely sold out of this fabric, but thankfully they gave us the directions for it. I was hoping to find the directions online somewhere so I could share them with you but, sorry to say so far I haven't found what I'm looking for.

Mom is hiding back there behind the table runner.

After discovering this wonderful piece we headed off to our last quilt shop in the hopes of finding that same beautiful fabric. We were unsuccessful and yet successful in our search. We didn't find the fall fabric, but we did discover a collection of musical themed fabric that had the border fabric required. It was a great alternative!

Our alternative selection.
The next day while mom went to work baking pies for Thanksgiving, she put me to work making a table runner for her. After some serious contemplation of the directions, a quick trip to town to purchase a ruler I needed for the 60 degree angle on the triangles, and then cutting the triangles out upside down, it all came together nicely. Even used mom's machine to add some nice quilting stitches all over it. Mom did the final step of doing the blind hem stitch on the back to finish the binding. 

I really like how this turned out!
All my mistakes make it sound like a difficult project, but in reality it's actually a quick and easy project. Having all the right tools and carefully reading the directions before starting makes a huge difference.  I'll be putting together several more of these in the near future.

Completely by accident the piano on the back is actually centered.

 Put these easy projects in your memory file for next year and enjoy all your Christmas preparations!

The Lord's Grace & Peace to you,
Little Pink Rose

November 27, 2011

My Thanksgiving Shop Hop

This year was one of the best Thanksgiving trips home I've had. I was one of those who totally avoided Black Friday shopping (in part due to driving 10 hours Friday), but I more than made up for it with a pre-Thanksgiving Shop Hop. A good friend who recently moved to Kentucky invited us to stop at their place for the night half-way through our trip back to Missouri and what a wonderful blessing that stop was! It was wonderful to catch up with good friends and rest in a warm and welcoming home after 13 hours of driving. We stayed a little bit longer than we had intended, so that us ladies could take some time to visit "Hancock's of Paducah" (not associated with Hancock Fabrics) the next morning.  The remnant table alone is worth the trip, there were some real treasures to be found there! And I did my part to but a dent in that pile!

My good friend Eve at the Remnant Table
The Remnant Table, full of treasures just waiting to be discovered.
Bolts of Fabric as far as the eye can see.
The treasures I found at Hancock's of Paducah
Yards of potential. I'm already full of ideas for most of these pieces.
 From Paducah we headed to Northwest Missouri to the family farm where I grew up.  Before we left Virginia, while online I had discovered a quilt shop that was within driving distance of the farm and looked like it would be worth the trip.  So, Tuesday morning mom & I headed out for the second leg of my shop hop adventures. Our first stop was Missouri Star Quilt Co.  They are the biggest sellers of pre-cuts (I think worldwide). The story of their beginning and growth is inspirational, you can read it here on their blog. I love that their shop was once a mechanic's repair shop!

Fabric lollipops
I just love the stain glassed quilt block
The shop is filled with samples galore!
Jenny working away at the long arm.
Cute little pincushion.

The Inspiration piece for some of the fabric I purchased.

My treasures from Missouri Star Quilt Co.
After exploring all the fabric it was off to lunch at a local favorite, "Past Times"
It was decorated in a 50's & 60's theme. Mom LOVED it!

From Hamilton it was on to Crossroads Quilting in Cameron, Missouri. A cute little shop where mom and I found inspiration for a beautiful fall table runner, but couldn't find the fabric.

Outside the front door.
The Fall table runner inspiration piece. Sadly the fabric was sold out.

Cupcake Pincushion

Little Rooms with lots of little goodies.

A wall hanging with some cute little yo-yos.

View of a part of the store. Fabric, patterns & inspiration at every turn. 
Treasures found here. Looking forward to starting the Patchwork of the Crosses soon.

Kate in Cameron, MO is raising money by making & selling jewelry to adopt. Here's her etsy site.
 Our final stop of this Shop Hop was our favorite stop of all! The Quilt Shoppe, in Stewartsville, Missouri. It's a good thing this was our last shop, we might not have made it to the other two if this one had been first.  Turns out this is the home of Tula Pink a fabric & quilt designer and her mom (aka Tula Pink's Mom). When we first walked in it was absolutely inviting, the shop beckoned us to slow down and browse, take our time and drink deeply of the beauty in all the fabric.  The shop owner (Tula Pink's mom) was absolutely delightful and full of helpful advice for me as I work toward opening my own shop.

What greeted us from the road.

Store Front
Beautiful quilts & fabric. There's the sweet as pie shop owner herself (on the right).
Looking back at the front entrance. Cookies & Coffee available along with a nice comfy sitting area for the husband.
"Cartwheels" by Tula Pink. My favorite part of this quilt is how it was quilted. Amazing!
Both the Fabric and the Pattern were designed by Tula Pink.
Tula Pink's current fabric & pattern line.
More of Tula Pink's Current lines.
Would love a Christmas tree decorated with fabric & thread as a gift!
An area for the kids to play while mom shops. When I open my shop I will undoubtedly be incorporating this idea!
Close-up of the play area.
More beautiful fabric & quilts. Even the carpet is fun and beautiful.
And more fabric
And more fabric.
Christmas Rag Quilt.
Love the Singer sewing machine with "Grandma's Flower Garden" quilt top.
LOVE how they used old church pews to display inspiration pieces and fabrics.
Classroom & work area
More of the classroom & work area.
View of the classroom & work area from inside of it.
A unique container to use for remnants. I even have one of these in my garage. My mom has another one for me too.
We even got to meet Tula Pink herself.

We found this fabric for the table runner. So excited about it that I jumped right into the project the next day. 

 As I continue to work toward opening a shop here in Northern Virginia this shop hop trip with my mom was perfect timing, it inspired and excited me. It also gave me some things to give serious consideration. Things like........What type of shop do I want? How will I be able to continue sewing and have a shop at the same time? Should it be both a shop & a sewing studio? Would it be better to have a sewing studio at home and have a fabric shop exclusively online? Or would it be better to stick with alterations & custom sewing and not have a fabric shop? So many questions to sort through. Thankfully as I pray over each one, I know the Lord is leading me every step of the way. No matter where the answers lead, I pray that above all else the Lord is glorified!

Grace & Peace to you!
Granny's Little Pink Rose
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