Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Support your local Quilt Shop - Bunkhouse Quilt Sho

January 24th is Visit your Local Quilt Shop Day, and I'm participating in the fun from brisk southern New Hampshire. This is a day to celebrate the independence of the shop owners who were born to cater to our needs, wants and desires. They should have a whole month at least, not just a day!

I am fortunate enough to have several in my general area (and two that have recently opened up)...for today, I want to pay tribute to Wanda and her crew over at The Bunkhouse Quilt Shop in Lyndeboro, NH. 

Wanda's shop is at the top of a beautiful twisty road  - her website will give you directions to find her. It's a peaceful trip to a beautiful, modern building that was built to be a destination shop. I first met Wanda and heard the story of how she came to be the owner of the shop - you have to love a woman who tried to retire twice before, and flunked it both times.

The shop is always a happy place to drop by, whether it's to match fabric, complete a project or to take a class. I'm always welcomed by her friendly "Hey, Miss Linda" whenever I come up - and truthfully, it's not as often as I'd like.  But there's inspiration galore hanging from the ceiling beams, and whenever you're stuck, there's someone there to help you out. 

Gee, I guess I need to take a ride up there tomorrow - wouldn't seem right not to...what do I need?

Where's your favorite shop?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Road Paved with Good Intentions...

Many quilters start the year with resolutions such as "I will finish my UFOs this year", or  "..I will spend time sewing every day this year..." It's all another variation of the balance  theme, and I am pleased to be able to offer you a an option you may not have considered. Please consider joining me (in my very first official sponsorship...take that, 2013 goals!) for lots of fun - and UFO busting as part of Eva Paige Quilt Designs' second running of Drop and Give Me Twenty.

Beth, who you may remember from her guest blog post in November,  started this project last year as a way of demonstrating to us doubters how much you can get done with just 20 minutes a day. It has nothing to do with exercise, and everything to do with sewing time. The premise is that you work on some quilt related item every day for at least 20 minutes, and you'll have a lot fewer UFOs at the end of the month than you do at the beginning.

Last year's event was so successful that she has prize sponsors for this year's event, including me! This year, I'm not only a sponsor - but heaven help me, I'm also a participant.  I've already begun to collect a pile of stuff (see below)  all set to go for 2/1...

If, by some miracle I am able to get all these done, trust me - there's more where that comes from!

To 'officially' enter the insanity, click  here and add your comments to the bottome to be officially entered into the prize drawings.  There will be a flicker group set up so that we can all encourage each other - I'll post that information once that's all set to go.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Monday, January 7th, 2013

Good morning all.

A new year brings with it all kinds of metaphors (clean slate, fresh get the picture) for the process of making changes in your life. I find it's very complicated business of trying to do that when you're in the holiday mode, but once the return to routine of January comes, it's much easier to bring that into focus.

I'm working on that on several fronts. I find that looking back on 2012 - it was in many ways a successful and satisfying year. There are definite areas to improve on - to me, one of the most important of these is finding balance in my schedule.  I find myself doing a lot more computer work than sewing time, and also I have a schedule that rarely is the same from one week to the other. 

So my watchword for the year will be balance - and in the coming weeks I'll be exploring ways in which I am making adjustments to my daily schedule - and learning to embrace the concept of "No, I'm sorry...I just can't".  Embracing that concept in some areas will allow me to leverage me into a new era for "Yes, I can!".

If you have a strategy for helping achieve balance in your life, let me know in the comments below.  If there's an area that you need some help with, let me know that as well.

Friday, January 4, 2013

An intriguing beginning...

Happy New Year - well, 2013 is 4 days old, and I hope that you are embracing the return to routines that work and the start of new routines that will bring an improvement to your life. I've got several of those new routines at the moment,  as well as some expansion ideas that I am very excited about, but this afternoon I wanted to share my excitement that this weekend is the return of Downton Abbey! 

Downton has such a widespread following amongst women of my age group (over 18 with a pulse, that's all I'm admitting to) that putting together the first quilt challenge was a natural, and we had a lot of interest in that round. Here's my entry (based on the star inlaid in the floor of the Titanic) which I donated to the Channel 11 winter auction for Downton in the fall.
I heard from a lot of quilters that they would have been interested in it had they known about it sooner.  (That right there is a big bullet point on my to do list for 2013, but more about that later.)

Well, here we go...announcing the SECOND Downton Abbey Quilt Challenge.  The 'prompt' for the second Challenge is that I'm asking you to draw your inspiration from the show's costumes...which can be anything from the hats, to the jewelry, to the uniforms - anything you would like to use as inspiration. If you would like to have your item donated to public broadcasting, that's great - but it's not a requirement. You can keep it.  There'll be an online forum (still under construction, more coming later) which will be a place to showcase and talk about all things Downton.

I'm very pleased to be hosting a kickoff event (read that party, and fabric sale) at Quilting Away in Amherst, NH on Sunday, January 6th from 2-4.  I've worked hard with Bette Belanger, the owner of the shop, to put on a great time for you - and there'll be a few surprizes for you as well. The shop website for directions is

I'd love to hear your ideas - do you like the idea about a new version of the Challenge? What is Downton's appeal for you.

I will have pics of the event here next week - in the meantime, "Keep Calm, and act like Cousin Violet"...