Friday, May 27, 2011

Now I'm under construction...

My husband had an amazing stretch of 3 days off.  Something he hasn't had in weeks.  Instead of letting him rest, we are reorganizing my sewing area.  I need some shelves built, some things hung, and an eventual peg board added.  All of these will allow for me to work more efficiently, be able to fold and store all of my fabric.  (Here is my fabric folding tutorial.)  I actually have only stopped for a minute because Rick had to head out to get a part for his drill, so I'm doing some other chores.

I am working on lots of quilts.  Well I was until this morning, when we gutted out my area.  I will have pictures soon.  Once I find the camera....

Yeah, that's what it has been like around here lately.  :)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Galleries added and updates!

The galleries aren't finished but they are there!  Up above you should see three tabs: Clutches, Blankets and Home Decor.  Clicking one of those, will lead you to a page of pictures.  You can see an up close view by clicking on the individual photo.  I'm excited that visitors to the blog don't have to leave the site to find pictures of my creations.  I will still list what I can on Facebook, when Facebook actually allows me to upload photos.

I'm currently working on my 4th of July, Americana, Texas, patriotic pride items.  I have an American Flag in Motion wall hanging on the design table.  After that will be a Lone Star table runner.

Mark your calendars!  The next Lone Star 1st Saturday in Montgomery will be June 4th.  And we will be in the shade for the next few months!  A lot of great vendors were there last time and the show is continually growing.  Make plans to stop by and see us.

I still have a quilt shop to review and a binding tutorial to put up.  I will try to pull myself away from my machine and get those done.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Going back under construction....

I am going to be adding a quilt gallery directly to the blog.  That way, people can see what I've made without having to go through Facebook. 

So, things may appear wonky, there may be broken links, etc, for a day or two.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

All Around the Block in Giddings, Tx

Google maps is as much a joy in my life as a source of frustration. When we decided to drive through Giddings, I grabbed my iPhone and started searching for shops in town. I found two in Giddings and, according to Google maps, one was very much along our route. Just off the main road.

As we followed the path bestowed upon us by the great Google, we though it had once again led us astray. We were headed down a residential street and we knew how it always turned out, when Google leads us down a residential street. A few years ago, Google took us to a TCBY, squarely in the middle of a subdivision. I had never been more disappointed in my life and briefly considered knocking on the door, to see if maybe it was a TCBY in disguise.

We thought we were amidst another TCBY incident. I happen to notice at the end of the street, that quite a few cars were parked. Enough cars to make me think that there might be a business at the end. And sure enough, there was a quilt shop. 

All Around the Block (AAB) is the epitome of big things in small packages. I admitted to the owner and I will admit here, that my husband and I both were a bit disappointed by what appeared to be the size of the shop. It looked tiny. We were on a schedule and wanted to hit a shop in Brenham before they closed. Wishing we would have gone to the other shop in Giddings, I realized that I just didn't have time to go back. So, I sent my husband and kids to a nearby gas station. I knew they would take longer getting gas than I would browsing this shop.

Boy was I wrong!

When you walk through the front door of AAB, you are mesmerized by the sheer number of bolts in the front room.

One of the owners (a mom and daughter team) will encourage you to keep going back.

Then you head to the left...

Then down the hallway...

The back corner, behind the pattern sets, is the clearance section!!!
Then you realize you have entered what might be the clown car of quilt shops.  :)  I literally called my husband and told him he had to come into the store, after getting gas.  That he would not believe his eyes. 

AAB has the fabric you need.  I can almost guarantee it.  And if it isn't the exact one you need, they will have something similar.  They will also have at least 10 fabrics that you didn't realize you need but will end up buying.  The largest collection of batiks that I have ever seen.  Loads of panels.  Despite the large number of bolts (I arrived on stocking day), the store is well organized.  Sports with sports.  Solids with solids.  Texas themed.  Flowers.  Baby/nursery.  And on and on...

They had an abundant selection of fat quarters.  A great variety of Best Press scents and sizes.  Patterns.  And a variety of notions, some hard to find ones.  The owners are two of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  Despite their location (and let's face it, once you find this place, you will never forget it), I was really impressed with the amount of traffic that was coming in and out.  There was quite the steady flow.

My single and only regret with this shop is that I only had about 30 minutes to shop.  I probably got through maybe a 1/4 of the stock.  There were corners that I never got close too, beyond walking past.  I am definitely scheduling another trip out to AAB. 

AAB is located about 2 blocks off of Main Street at  979 North Leon Street in Giddings.  You can take US Hwy 290 from the east/west or US Route 77 from the north/south.  The shop is located in a residential area.  It is there, at the corner on the end.  Just keep going.  You will be SO glad that you did.

A few notes:
  • AAB did not in anyway ask me or compensate me for this blog post. These are purely my thoughts and feelings, free from coercion.
  • This is store 4 of 5.  Look for the last store next week.
  • I just finished a purple version of The Giving Tree quilt that is gorgeous.  It is shipping out to the new owner today!
  • My next tutorial will be on continuous bias binding.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today was going to be blogging day...

And quilting day.

And relaxing day.

And enjoying myself day.

Instead, it turned into resetting the router for 3 hours day.  We lost power earlier in the week and it blew the settings on our wireless router.  Luckily, it didn't blow the entire router.  After resetting, fighting, resetting again, adding in 9 million different MAC addresses, I'm back online and out of time.  I have quilts to finish, dinner to make, and kids to bathe.

I'll try again tomorrow.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Simple Sewing Solutions in Lockhart, TX

I have to give full disclosure before telling you about this quilt shop.  Maybe it is because of the excellent BBQ in town.  Maybe because it is the unbelievable prices.  Maybe it is the quaintness of the town.  But Simple Sewing Solutions (SSS) is my absolutely favorite quilt shop.  In.The.World. 

I was fortunate enough to accidentally find SSS in August 2010, while vacationing with my husband in nearby Austin.  We stopped in town to visit Kreuz, home of phenomenal BBQ.  I was in love the moment I set foot in SSS.  When we planned this year's trip to Fredericksburg, it was required that we stop in Lockhart again.
SSS isn't the biggest shop I've ever be too.  And it doesn't have a massive stock of fabrics.  What it does have is the RIGHT fabrics.  There isn't any filler or fluff here.  Every time I visit,  I easily walk away with two quilts worth of fabric.  Everything I need.  I typically find I have to visit at least 3 different shops to complete a quilt.  SSS has such the perfect collection, that I can get everything I need there.

And the prices!  Oh the prices...  There is such a great mix of fabric prices.  And don't worry that lower prices means lower quality of fabric.  There is no skimping on brand names at SSS.  I have gotten Moda, Marcus Fabrics, Free Spirit and so many more.  What I think I love most about the fabric selection is that it isn't one line heavy.  I have walked into so many shops that appear to be receiving versus hand picking fabrics.  I get the sense that SSS hand picks every fabric.  It is that individual attention, that makes this store so unique.

The individual attention doesn't stop with just the fabric.  Look at this register counter:

If I remember correctly, the counter is an original part of the shop.  The owner added parts from her century old home.  I have mentioned before my love of repurposed items.  If I could have loaded this into my minivan, I would have!  Much of the store's architecture is original. The ceiling pipes and tiles. The huge window displays. The sidewalk out front still has horse tie up rings!

The walls of SSS are filled with quilts.  Some finish, some blocks.  All beautiful and inspirational.

Beyond fabrics, SSS has a full wall of notions, ribbons, buttons.  Plentiful stash of fat quarters.  Books, classes and an incredibly knowledgeable staff can help you with any project.  And there is always good conversation.  Always.

Learn more about Simple Sewing Solutions on their Facebook page.

Simple Sewing Solutions is located in the heart of historic downtown Lockhart, less than a hour south of Austin.  Their address is 111 West San Antonio Street.  From the north or south you can take US Hwy 183 into Lockhart.  From the west you can head into town via State Hwy 142.

Lockhart side note:

I'm not one to get involved in conflicts but Lockhart has been the heart of a BBQ war for many years now.  An episode of Food Wars is the only reason we decided to venture down there, back in August 2010.  More information on the episode can be seen here.  We stopped by Kreuz on that fate filled day back in August and our lives have been forever changed.  :)  Smitty's might be good and maybe even better.  We can't bring ourselves to try anything else.  For us, Kreuz is the Alpha and Omega of BBQ.  Don't take my word for it.  Stop by and have your life changed too!

A few notes:
  • SSS did not in anyway ask me or compensate me for this blog post. These are purely my thoughts and feelings, free from coercion.
  • The Farmer's Market in Montgomery was incredible yesterday.  It was a pleasure to get the chance to be a vendor.
  • I have a few things that sold and never made it to my Etsy shop.  Make sure you are checking out my Facebook page.  (There is a link on the right side of the page)  I always put pictures up there of things I've made.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Hug a Mother today.  Even if she isn't your own!

Today is a great day to celebrate your own mother, whoever that may be.  As we all know, mothers can take many forms.  Sometimes it is someone who adopted us.  Sometimes it is someone who gave birth to us.  Sometimes it is a grandmother, aunt, or sister.  In other cases, a mother may be a woman who is absolutely no family relation to you.  The most important thing today is to find that woman who has helped you, nurtured you, loved you and provided you with all the support, that only a mother can provide and tell her you appreciate her for everything she has done.

Today, I also celebrate my children.  As their mother, I have been fortunate enough to learn lessons, that only they could have taught me.

My daughter's perseverance and knowledge that she really can do anything that she wants.  

My son's laid back approach to life and endless giggles.  (This picture doesn't really show that, I just really adore this picture and have been wanting to use it.)

I could never be the mother that I am, without having the children that I do.  I am eternally grateful for that.

(And my husband is pretty darn awesome too!)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Montgomery Farmer's Market

Tomorrow, I will be at the Montgomery Farmer's Market. Come out and see me.

Pick up some locally grown produce. Check out booths filled with handmade goods from a variety of artists. Sit back and enjoy live music and good food!

This picture is property of HMBA.  You can find additional pictures of Montgomery, TX by following this link.

Montgomery is such an enchanting town.  The rustic downtown is filled with a variety of stores and eateries.  If you are looking for antiques, this is the place to be in Montgomery county. 

There is so much history and beauty to consume in this town.  A little known fact: Montgomery is the birth place of the Texas state flag. 

It is the perfect place to spend your Saturday.

Lone Star First Saturday and Farmer's Market is located in historic downtown Montgomery. At the intersection of FM 149 and College Street.

Visit the Lone Star First Saturday and Farmer's Market website for more information.

You can also visit the HMBA website for more information about the town of Montgomery.

I can't wait to see you there!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spruced the place up!

I finally decided that I wanted a blog that didn't look like a Blogger template.

So, this is what I have so far. It is always a work in progress and I will update the background as the season, holiday and my mood seems fit.

Let me know what you think! Especially if the new fonts are difficult to read. I love doing cutsie fonts but they are worthless, if my readers go blind in the process.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Pocketful of Poseys

The whole reason why my family takes this trip every year, is because my husband is a VW junky.  One day, when we have a bit more disposable income and he is done with school AND we have kids that are a bit older, he is going to buy a Bug to restore.  When that times comes, I expect that he will disappear into the garage for about three years, only to re-emerge with a fully restored VW.  Kind of like a butterfly, in a hippie, air cooled sort of way.

Last year, we were unable to visit Pocketful of Posies (PoP).  This year, I made sure we were able to go by and I'm so glad I did.

View from the front door

When you walk in, you are transported to a whole other world.  The outside world no longer exists.  Time stands still.  You really could spend the entire day there.  Maybe two!

Entry way display.  Such a great variety of Easter/Spring ideas

This store is really one I could sit in all day.  Not just because of the selection.  They have the store set up, so that you can sit there all day!  Fabric, books, notions, classroom area, quilts on display, coffee, sitting room, great conversation and on and on.  I was sad to leave.  Idid not get to stay long enough

I love when stores re-purpose items and use them for displays.  It is something I do for my quilt booths.  PoP uses an old mail slot case for their fat quarters.  I *love* this piece.  Really, a perfect use.  The slots fit the fat quarters perfectly.

The shop has a great selection of fabrics.  I love the 1930's Feedsack Reproduction collection.  The shop has such a great selection of florals and whimsicals.  I found a new favorite collection, though unfortunately, PoP was already sold out of it.  Celebration for Clothworks by Masha D'yans

The notions and books were plentiful.  I find that quilt shops with a plentiful library are hard to find.  I wish I lived close because she just had a Hollow Cube quilt class.  The example they had hanging was beautiful.

It really is one of the best quilt shops I have been too.  You are going to want to plan plenty of time in this shop.  Send the kids, husband, family, whomever to Enchanted Rock for the day.  PoP has found the perfect combination of plentiful fabrics, large space and that at-home feeling.  Walking out of the store, I felt like I had just spent time with life long friends.  I didn't feel like I had just gone shopping at a quilt shop. 

And you get the cutest free pincushion with your purchase!  ;)

Visit their website to learn more about the shop: Pocketful of Poseys.

The shop is located off the main strip of Fredericksburg.  From US Route 290/Main St.  Just head south on US Route 87/S. Washington St.  Turn left onto E. Highway Street and the shop will be on your left.

View from the street
There are quite a few ways to get to Frederickburg.  The main route is the US Route 290.  State Hwy 16 and US Route 87, will also take you into town.  Fredericksburg is a fun town to stop in and stay a few days.  Great German food, great beers and so much shopping.


A few notes:
  • PoP did not in anyway ask me or compensate me for this blog post. These are purely my thoughts and feelings, free from coercion.
  • You can click on any pictures on my blog and it will open a larger view.  I keep the pictures small on the site, for a faster load.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vacation buys...

I'm willing to admit that I need a 12 step fabric program.  Think of the fabric swaps I could have with fellow members...

There are many ways to gather memories from a trip.  We always take hundreds of photos, when we are on vacation.  With our cell phones and digital cameras that both hold literally thousands of pictures, I feel like we take pictures but nothing ever really happens with them.  They go onto a computer and eventually on to a disk.  At some point, they end up in the fire box for safe keeping.  This was our first vacation as a family and I wanted to create a special memory.  Something we could have around forever.

I decided I'm going to make a quilt.  I don't have a single quilt for myself and have been looking for a project for me and my family.  And since this was a road trip around the Hill Country, it is only fitting to make a Texas themed quilt.  E-Jay's Fabrics helped me set the tone of my quilt.  After five quilt shops, this is the collection I amassed. 

I haven't decided the exact path this quilt will take.  I have a show this Saturday and then I am going to start this quilt.  I can't wait.  I'm excited to plan and make a quilt for myself.

I also bought some fabrics for fun and other projects.  I have been looking for a wood fabric for a cross wall hanging.  My husband found a fabric for another scrub top.  Then there are random fabrics that I just couldn't pass up.

I got this set to make some type of Log Cabin alternate or Pinwheel strip quilt.  I haven't decided on the exact block yet.

Aren't they cute?  The plaid, flowers and stripes are from Marcus Fabrics by Nancy Thias.  The collection is called Petalicious.  You can see more of the collection here.  I got them for a STEAL!  The circle fabric is from this Moda collection.  I got these four from Simple Sewing Solutions in Lockhart, Tx.  Home of the World's Best BBQ and one of my favorite quilting shops.  I'll talk about them later this week.

Look for a post on my next quilt shop stop tomorrow!