Sunday, May 28, 2006

We are bowled over. Knocked flat. Amazed and astonished.

Let us explain.

As you will recall, we gave our quilters a challenge. Use this fabric in a block:

Their deadline was May 27 at 5:30. At first, the entries just trickled in. We began to worry. Would anyone make a block? But in the end, we got THIRTY. Thirty spectacular blocks. They are below.

But before you start to look at them, know that now the fate of these hard-working quilters is in your hands. Someone will win a $75 gift basket. (Okay, another person will win a $75 basket at random. But the fate of the first quilter is in your hands.) You need to vote for the quilt block that is your favorite. To do that, send an email to stitch your art out (all one word) AT yahoo DOT com (no spammers please ... we do not need any Viagra or Cialis ... we are females) with the words "block challenge" in the subject. Then in the body of the email, vote for your favorite, using the numbers on the lower-left side of the block.

As an added incentive, anyone who votes via our blog will be entered into a random drawing for a $10 gift certificate to our store. Just for voting. One vote per person please. Vote by Saturday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. We will notify the winner after the end of our Anniversary Open House this week. In the meantime, stop by the shop between Tuesday and Saturday to see the blocks in person, shop for great bargains, and have fun!

Good luck figuring out your favorite. We haven't decided yet. Here they are:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Behind-the-Scenes Tour

It's May. When you walk in our shop right now, it looks as if things are slow. On the surface, they are. The weather has been gorgeous and it is spring. People are out gardening (some of our customers have been saying that they are planting too early, but who can resist?), and we all have cabin fever. We still have customers in and out all day, but it's not the delightful chaos of winter in our shop.

But don't let your eyes fool you. Even though it's serenely quiet on the surface, we're in one of our busiest times: We're planning summer. First, we've been working to get many new samples finished. Come on in and look at all our work! One of our quilting teachers (and a fabulous longarm quilter), Deb Kerr, kindly came in early one Saturday morning with a tall ladder--Cynthia and Kim are both nervous on tall ladders--and hung all the samples.

And second, we were working on the Summer newsletter. Everyone who comes in is asking about it. It's at the printer now. We should get it back in a day or two, and with any luck, you'll have it the week after that!

We have many plans for summer:

* Classes, classes, classes. New quilting, knitting, crocheting, and felting classes to tempt you.

* Our Anniversary Open House right after Memorial Day (it's been 3 years for us!)

* A Christmas-in-July week that includes special Christmas classes plus a one-day quilting shop hop between our store and Postively Heaven in Tyrone

* Our own traveling to the wholesale yarn market. (We're thinking right now about what we might need for fall and winter. In our line of work, summer is in December and fall is in May. Summer is over, baby.)

* Making plans to be a vendor at TKGA at Valley Forge in July.

So get ready for the next newsletter, which is coming your way soon...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

We went to Yarn Mecca (the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival) on Saturday with all the other yarn worshipers, who are shown arriving below. (Someone in our guild talked to a woman who flew here from Europe just to go to this festival.) If you're on a bus with the Centre County Knitting Guild, as we were, you drive right past all those cars, into your own lot, right up front. Easy.

And then when you get in, you see yarn. Lots of yarn.

When we got home, we realized that we did not take any pictures of the hundreds of booths. Apparently, we were photographically distracted by the alpacas....


And little baby goats....We also enjoyed the exhibit of fair entries. This year we saw not only knitting, but also a quite a bit of wet felting:

....combined with freeform crochet (note Fair Isle sweater in the left background):

We bought a little bit of yarn. We love yarn. We're getting yarn from a hand-dyed company, Ellyn Cooper, this summer. We couldn't resist buying just a couple of skeins to play with before the rest gets here. Get ready for some stunning new yarn this summer: