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September 2009
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November 2009

October 2009

Who's got Cooties?


We went to the antique show at Har Mar Mall last Friday and look what I stumbled upon ... a perfect Cootie game! Seeing it brings me right back to being six years old ... sitting at the kitchen table and assembling the cooties ... making them march in rows ... and when I was done putting them all back into their exact places in the box.


I've seen parts of Cootie games at shows before but never one that had everything ... the directions ... all the bodies and their parts ... a perfect box. I never knew there were rules for this game ... had no idea you used dice. Playing with the Cooties at our house was kind of a quiet activity for rainy days or when you were home sick from school. Mom kept them up high in a cupboard that needed a chair and counter to get to. I don't know what happened to them after we cleared out the house ... hope they're in good hands.


Look how cute they are all lined up in their box ... legs stuck into their holes ... bodies grouped together in one partition ... those little red eyes looking back at you. Kind of creepy kind of fun. But they look even better assembled and standing on their little green legs! So glad I found this treasure.


It's a whole new look!


Ok ... this is fun! Setting up the new store has been almost painless and it's looking so cool!! None of our furniture looks or feels the same now ... it's hard to imagine how it looked before. It could be because of the white walls ... or maybe the dark carpeting ... or just different spacial relationships. I don't know what it is but I'm loving the general store look we're getting.

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I wish I could say that putting every little thing in the right place was all my doing. It's not.  Chris and Deb have done the majority of the work ... Celine from Perkins Dry Goods and Sherri from This and That came by to help on Monday ... Bob's been there with power tools ... Teddy has been lugging stuff over from North St Paul after his classes end each day. Jeri will be in on Saturday and she's fast at putting things in the right place. I just stand around and point in different directions.

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We've got this terrific Autumn island in the middle of the store. It's nice to have projects and patterns and gifts that compliment each other grouped all together.

I love this redware from a potter in Illinois ... all hand painted and most pieces with black backgrounds. The zig zag around the edge looks like prairie points.

The wool area is beginning to take shape. I have two huge baskets of hand dyed wool in the hide out to be brought over along with bundles of wool roving. Pretty corner!

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The decision to add gifts back into the mix really changes the way the store feels. I love how these Christmas items go perfectly with the spools of antique tinsel. Reproduction milk bottles are begging to be filled with trinkets. Perfect for secret santas at the retreat! A basket of holly wreaths makes me almost wish the holidays were right around the corner!


So long North St Paul ... hello White Bear Lake!


I've packed up my sign and I'm goin' home! Well ... a mile and a half from home, anyway.

Lots of empty bolt cores thanks to all of the quilters who came to the moving sale!

Empty shelves ...

Even the TP and paper towel boxes are empty! Good timing, don't you think?

The light fixture in the hallway gave up the ghost halfway through the sale. Poor thing.

Lots of empty jars waiting for new things to fill them.

Two cute, strong guys showed up to cart everything away. Thanks to Stormy and Jackie for sending them to me after my moving company fell through. They were fast and efficient ... makes me think I want to move again!

It's all really chaotic still at the new store in White Bear Lake but on Monday I have a fun crew coming to help me make sense of it all. We'll be able to open the doors on Tuesday ... not everything will be totally done but that's actually kind of fun to have it be a work in progress.

The only final decision to make now is ... does Little Rosebud hang in the new place ... or should she find a place of honor around the corner at the hideout. What to do what to do.


Buried treasures!


It's amazing how much is rising to the surface since we've begun clearing out in anticipation of moving the store this weekend. I'm finding old friends each time I open a box or look on a shelf. One great re-discovery was the first sewing machine I purchased with my own hard-earned cash!

I've been sewing since I was eight or nine ... using Mom's tan Singer machine and a treadle before that. Sewed constantly and a huge variety of things. So at 19, when I left home in a huff for my first apartment in St Paul, Mom's machine didn't come along with me. I was forced to buy my own. Can you guess what year this happened?

I purchased a Singer Genie for a variety of reasons. First ... it was cute ... and that's what it's all about! Second ... I could afford it if I saved enough from my job working in the kitchen at Ramsey Hospital. Third ... it was a Singer and I'm all about brand loyalty. And fourth ... it was portable because what no one knew is that I was talking to the Army recruiter and I knew I wasn't going to need a machine in a cabinet. I was going to see the world ... donchya know!

I loved that everything fit conveniently in the carrying case. And boy ... did I lug that machine around! It lived in several different states and any number of military barracks, on-base housing and off-base as well. I had lots of 'friends' because everyone seemed to need new rank stitched to their uniforms as we were promoted ... sometimes for $$$ ... sometimes for the price of a night out. 

It really was pretty simple to use ... and the instructions had that delightful Mod Squad look just like the machine. When I moved back home to another apartment in St Paul,  it helped me make curtains and pillows. I sewed a tree skirt for our first home together on it ... that great big wedge pattern with the wide eyelet trim all around the edge. The next year I made quilted stockings for the three of us because by then we were celebrating Rob's first Christmas. The following year I made one for Alex on the same machine. And then, a few years later when my nephews Larry and John were hospitalized for months following a snow mobile accident, I taught myself to make dolls on it so I could take them to the hospital to work on. 

I had a repair man tell me once not to get rid of this machine because it's the last model Singer made that was all metal inside. The weight proves that! I cleaned my old friend up and packed everything up ... but not because I'm going to put it back on the shelf. I love this machine and it fits the look of the hideout perfectly! I'm off to find a good repair man who can tweak it and clean it. Anyone have a suggestion?


Your pillowcase could be one in a million!


At Quilt Market, American Patchwork and Quilting issued a challenge ... they want to see how quickly quilters can make and donate 1,000,000 pillowcases to good causes in their community.

You'll be able to read all about it in their next issue but here's the down and dirty version. They will have a variety of pillowcase patterns on their website or you can use your own. Make a bunch of pillowcases, donate them to a cause that touches your heart ... or bring them to us and we'll find a place for them. On their website, they will be installing a counter where you can enter the number of pillowcases your group has given. We're not sure what will happen once the million mark is hit ... and we know it will be!

During American Patchwork's talk at market, the other editors and staff were in teams sewing pillowcases while Jennifer Keltner told the shop owners all about it. In a half an hour, they made 18 pillowcases! I think the teams were very evenly matched ... each time they finished one they rang a bell and there were a lot of dings. Then they hung them on a clothesline and it didn't take long for that to fill up. Everyone was dressed in the cutest pajamas and slippers that just added to the fun.

So where would you donate pillowcases? Some suggestions are nursing homes, chemotherapy clinics, women's shelters, hospitals ... tell me your cause!

At our retreat, we're going to have a challenge to see how many we can make ... if you're coming to it start pulling some fabrics that you can use ... details will be in the letter I'm sending. If you have some great ideas on how we should do it, let me know. We're planning a few pillowcase events in the store as well.

Sew ... are you up for the challenge? Your pillowcase will be one in a million ... imagine the millions of smiles it'll create!


Sew ... are you up for a challenge? Pull out your Gobble Gobble fabric!


I don't know about you but we have fallen in love with the Gobble Gobble fabric by Moda! It is the perfect Autumn fabric in my book. We sold a lot of charm packs and jelly rolls and fat quarters and yardage during the Quilt Minnesota shop hop and the Minnesota State Fair so I know you've got some sitting in your stash.

So here's where the challenge part comes in. Moda Bakeshop has teamed up with  Pat Sloan to get you sewing on a perfect fall project. Make a pumpkin pie using Pat's terrific pattern at the Bakeshop! You can talk to other challengers at Pat's QuiltMashup and post photos of your finished project on Flickr.  And of course, there are prizes ... Pat's offering some right now on her blog ... there will be a winner chosen at the end of the challenge on November 10th.  IMGP5214

It's cold and rainy today so if you're not going to the Gophers game ... or are looking for a distraction from the Vikings and Packers game on Monday ... or don't have tickets for the Twins last two home games ... pull out some Gobble Gobble and make a pie!

We still have a decent amount of Gobble Gobble available ... a few jelly roll packs, too. We're moving it to our new store in White Bear Lake as we speak but I'll work hard to get you whatever you need for your project. Give me a holler!!

Here are two projects we made recently from the line. The first we used a charm pack and the Twister pinwheel tool ... the second is one of the projects from the Sweet Pickins' Club. (You can still join the club if you want ... even if you live far away.) You can see why we love this line so much! Gobble gobble wall hanging