Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop

Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Giving Thanks

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone already.  I hope you all had as pleasant a day as we did.  As most of you know, I am totally spoiled.  Tony does all the cooking, and even the pies - which used to be my department - are now delivered from a friend of Katie's who bakes amazingly!  I do still have the clean-up duty, but truthfully, Tony is pretty good about cleaning as he goes, so there is not a lot of the most nasty stuff - just plates and serving bowls. 

This year's feast was better than ever.  We say that every year, but there is nothing better than waking up in the morning to the smell of roasting turkey (yes, I sleep in, too - hate me if you wish). We were a little earlier than usual this year, since John had to get to work at Target.  It has been an hour or two earlier every year since he started there.  Sheesh!  Once the little ones arrived, it started to seem like the holidays were really here.  I don't know what we laughed about before, but it is amazing how a couple of little girls can keep a room full of adults enthralled.  Such fun!  I even managed to get a couple of hours in on my Lucy Boston Quilt.  I am working hard to get a corner finished before the Open House next week.  I would love to have some more of you join my English Paper Piecing Club - but I digress....

The real reason for the day was not forgotten.  Tony said a wonderful Grace before our meal, as always thanking for family, and of course for the troops that ensure the freedom that we have, and lastly a prayer for those that couldn't be with us.  These are the important things in life, but I have to add my own thanks - for you

Whenever I count my blessings, I thank God for leading me into this wonderful business.  I joke about every day being a slice of joy here at Pieceful Gathering, but in my mind, that is really true.  Where else can you go to work every day and expect smiling and happy people to show up - not only am I blessed with wonderful friends that come in and shop, but I have been especially blessed to have my daughter join me in this craziness, and the most amazing group of women that work with me.  It took me awhile to find my way here, but in looking back, I realize that everything I did up to now was preparing me for this.  God does have a plan, and sometimes you just have to wait to find out what it is.

Yesterday as so much fun -  I would rather slit my throat than venture out to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving, but here, it was like an all-day happy-fest.  New friends and old came by to shop our sale, or just to hang out and pet the fabric.  Our Black Friday Sale continues today - and for those of you that are far away, we will be happy to honor the sale to anyone that calls in an order and mentions the sale. 

Thank you all for making my life what it is today!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I do love Lucy!

Lucy Boston, that is!  It is hard to believe that I have been at this for over a year and I have not started to lose interest!  This is way longer than my ADD usually lets me stay focused on one thing.  It is just so cool when the pieces come  together and create such awesome patterns.  I made a few blocks before I was convinced to start kitting them, so I have quite a few done, or at least planned.  The blocks I have done for kits are below.  To make the kits, I merely glue the fabric on the papers and take a picture, so a good number of these are not really done.  I am really working at catching up right now, though, since I have started Karen Styles, "Mrs. Billings Coverlet."  An English Paper Pieced Medallion Quilt.  Coincidentally, Block 33 is made from Karen's new fabric line, "Victoria Park."

If you are interested in joining me in this obsession, you can sign up to receive 2 block kits every 3-4 weeks.  Kits are usually $5.99 each, but occasionally $6.99 if I use a fabric with a large repeat that requires more fabric to make the block.  In the kits you will receive enough fabric to make the block, and some extra which you should be able to complete some of the setting blocks out of.  If you decide to do the whole quilt, you will need to make 56 blocks.  I will keep kitting blocks as long as there is interest.  You will be responsible for purchasing your own background fabric and a contrast fabric that is used in the setting.  Other items you will need are listed on our website.  Feel free to call the shop if you have questions - (847) 516-7911.

Here is a picture of the original quilt which was made by Lucy Boston in the 1950's. 
Lucy Boston was also a well-know writer who is know for her children's series about the Children of the Green Knowe.  I loved these books when  I was young, so it seems like fate that I would one day be in love with her quilt! 

The blocks shown below can be seen in a larger format on my Pinterest page:
Lucy Boston on Pinterest

 Block 1
 Block 2
 Block 3
 Block 4
 Block 5
 Block 6
Block 7 
 Block 8
 Block 9
 Block 10
 Block 11
Block 12
 Block 13
Block 14 
Block 15 
 Block 16a
 Block 16b
 Block 17
 Block 18
 Block 19
Block 20a 
 Block 20b
 Block 21
 Block 22
 Block 23
 Block 24
 Block 25
 Block 26
 Block 27
 Block 28
 Block 29 Bonus
Block 29
 Block 30
 Block 31
Block 32
 Block 33
Block 34
Block 35
Block 36
 Block 37
Block 38
 Block 39
 Block 40
Block 41
Block 42
Block 43
Block 44

Thought for the day - 15 minutes a day will eventually get  you a quilt!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect?

I am not a Quilter!

I know - you are thinking I have finally flipped out, but what is a quilter, really?  Someone who quilts.  Vonnie, Cathy, Demi, Teresa and Brenda are the Gammie Girls.  They are our shop quilters.  I am a piecer.  I am fairly skilled at piecing, but when it comes to quilting, it would seem that I am missing whatever gene it is that controls that ability,

"The right tools will make the job easier."  My sweet husband says that all the time, and based on that premise, I bought a wonderful brand new huge Bernina last year.  It has everything I need to make, and quilt, perfect quilts, including the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR).  For the uninformed, this is a nifty gadget that you put on the machine.  It stitches evenly as you move the fabric under it.  Accordingly, you should make perfectly even stitches while you effortlessly glide the quilt under the magic needle while it dances across your quilt making wonderful smooth loops and curves. 

What Bernina doesn't tell you is that the operator of the machine (that would be me) is the one that has to be smooth.  Oh yeah, the stitches are perfectly spaced, but they are perfectly spaced in a manner that would make you think the operator might have been having seizures while moving the fabric. 

I have done several quilts now - ok, not a lot of practice, but I really only do little quilts on my own machine.  At least I am smart enough to have figured out that my "People" are worth their weight in gold.  There is no way that I am going to spend all the time to piece a large quilt and then ruin it with my horrible quilting.

No, I will keep quilting my small quilts, but for awhile I will just stick to my usual ditch quilting.  I am sure that at some point I will get the urge to prove to myself just how bad I am, and try it again.  This should make my quilters happy, though, because it makes me really appreciate their talent. 

If you think I am making this up - stop by the shop and see my latest debacle.  If you think your quilting is bad.....

Do you quilt your own quilts most of the time?  How much practice should it take to do this? 

Thought for the Day:  Practice doesn't always make perfect!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Losing your Mojo...

If you come to the shop often, you have probably heard all of my "interesting" theories.  You also probably know, that I am not a finisher.  Not that I don't ever finish anything, but I have learned to stop letting those unfinished projects block my mojo.  You know what I mean - you go into your sewing room, and right smack-dab in the middle of your peaceful spot is that project that you started last week, or last month, or maybe even farther in the past.  Guilt overtakes you - you know you should finish it before you start anything else, but you really aren't interested in it anymore.  Whatever it is that attracted you to it in the first place is over.  You probably got something out of it - maybe you learned a new method of piecing, or you tried a new ruler.  Maybe you just went outside of your box when it came to choosing the fabric, and in the long run, wished that you hadn't.  In any case, you are not physically finished, but in your heart and mind you are DONE! 

SO - you need to get over it!  It is blocking your mojo and stopping you from learning something new or starting a project that you might actually want to finish because you love it so much.  Think about it - you are clearly not alone.  Have you ever gone on eBay and seen all the quilt tops and blocks for sale?  My friend, Sandy Schweitzer - local quilt historian and AQS Certified Appraiser - says that we shouldn't worry about our UFO's.  We are just creating historic quilt tops and parts for future generations!

If you aren't really interested in going down in history as the largest producer of UFO's ever, you can do what I do - donate your UFO's to our Pieceful Auction!  This has been a wonderful way for me to relieve my guilt.  And people actually take them home, and quite often bring them back finished!  This makes me happy on so many levels. 

What is the auction you ask?  This is an event that we sponsor every year in February or March.  It is our way of rewarding our customers with a fun afternoon, and a chance to get a lot of cool Pieceful Junk.  Ok - not all junk, but some.  One woman's trash.....

We auction off lots of scrap bags, unsold kits and things that are maybe missing a pattern or fabric.  Some of the stuff is donated by our suppliers, and some is from our own collection  of UFO's.  In addition to our stuff, our customers (like you) can donate (purge) their UFO's, excess fabric, kits they will never finish, books they bought twice (yes, we all do that), and anything you can think of that is sewing related and quilt shop quality (please, give your Joanne fabric to charity). 

You are probably wondering how you can participate in this awesome sounding event.  All the bids are made with Pieceful Bucks.  This is Play Money that you start collecting at the beginning of the New Year.  You can get Pieceful Bucks in a number of ways.  The main way is by spending money at the shop.  You receive Bucks for every dollar you spend, including sale stuff and tax!  Be sure to watch the weekly email, because there are usually double and triple buck days and items that you can purchase. 

You can also get Bucks for bringing Pieceful Show & Tell to classes and clubs.  You can also just stop by and show us anything that you have made in a Pieceful Class, or using our fabric or that has been quilted by one of our Gammie Girls.   

The final way, which brings us back to the theme of this post, is to purge from your sewing room.  We will guestimate what your item is worth (retail) and give you Pieceful Bucks that equal that cost (or more - we like to round up).  What a great way to move those UFO's along and free yourself up to start something new!

Keep in mind that the finishers of the world, while being good and noble people, do not keep your favorite quilt shops in business!  I am not just talking about Pieceful Gathering, either!

Thought for the day - Get Over It!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Starting all over again.....

Wow - I knew it had been awhile since I posted, but I didn't realize it had been that long!  When we attend Quilt Market, they say you are supposed to do all kinds of Social Media all the time.  Some of my fellow shop owners seem to be pretty good at posting things all over the place and still running a decent shop and keeping up with on line orders.  I am pretty sure that these super women are really not human at all - perhaps they are aliens that require no sleep, and they have little alien sweat shops that keep things running. 

I don't require a lot of sleep, and I often go for weeks at a time without getting more that 5-6 hours (or a lot less) every night.  People tell me that is not good, but truthfully, I usually get the most work done between 10 and 2 a.m.  What is wrong with that?  So, my clock is backwards.  Maybe I was born at 10 at night, so that is my morning.  Who knows.  Are any of you like me?  Do you wonder why the morning people get to set all the rules about when things are supposed to be open or closed. 

Oh well - I guess I will just keep going along and trying to fit into this backwards world. 

Last week my sister sent me a link to a blog that is written by a girl I went to High School with, Barbara Mahaney.  She used to be Barbie then - and always will be in my mind (sorry Barbie).  I have followed her career with interest, as she has been a writer for the Tribune for quite awhile.  She writes those great lifestyle articles that make you think, and often bring tears and smiles.  She is a really wonderful writer, and her blog, "Pull Up a Chair," http://pullupachair.org/  is really a nice way to start your day (no matter what time you start).  It might be a little bit spiritual for some of you, but sometimes it is nice to just read something peaceful. 

Anyway, I have always liked to write - although I do know that I tend to babble on a bit - so I thought maybe I will give this blog thing another go around.  I might not write every day, but I will try to be regular, at least.  I will share what is going on in my quilting world, and a little about the rest of my life - if I find it humorous or uplifting.  I am pretty sure nobody wants to know a blow by blow about all the insanity of my normal days!

So - keep watching my Pieceful Blog - and I will try to bring a little piece and peace to your days!

Thought for the Day - DIE SNOW DIE!