Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Charm Pack Quilt for a New Prince Charming

A dear friend of mine was expecting her first baby.  So of course, I HAD to make her a quilt!!!  Her and her husband decided to go "old school" (which I love!!!) and not find out the gender of their little miracle.  While I decided to do the same with both of my children, you probably know just how hard it is do find the perfect fabric for a great gender-neutral quilt.  Well, of course I turned to Moda, the greatest fabric manufacturer in my opinion.  And anytime I can use precuts, I am a happy girl.  Even though I have been sewing for awhile, I am still one of the worst cutters of square fabric in the world!!!
Armed with 2 charm packs (which I didn't use completely) and some jelly roll strips, I came up with the simple quilt design.  It is just 6 vertical rows of 9 squares with strips in between.  And my favorite backing for a baby quilt is our 100% Cotton Chenille - it get softer every time you wash it.
Here is the mama-to-be with the classic "tummy shot"... doesn't she look adorable!!!
And just the other day, this adorable little man made his entrance into the world.  I can't wait to get my hands on this little guy and cuddle him up :)  But knowing how life goes after bringing home the baby, I'll give mama a few weeks before I show up :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

The History of Memorial Day!

Have you ever wondered the origin of Memorial Day?  Well I did, so I did some research and this is what I found...
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. 
 Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
(This information was found here)
So, as we go out and celebrate our 3 day (or 4 day in my case) weekend, take a moment to remember those who gave of themselves so we can live in freedom.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My favorite notion

Everyone has their favorites... favorite food, favorite places, favorite people, and of course, their favorite hobby!

One of my favorite hobbies is sewing and quilting (of course).  My wonderful mother-in-law (that most of you know as Karen, the owner of Home a la mode) began my love of quilting.  When I met my husband, she owned a quilt shop in East Texas.  When we would visit them on the weekends, I would go hang out with her in the shop.  She gave me some fabric, a sewing machine, and a little direction - and I learned how to quilt.  She took me through all the steps, including the worst part (in my opinion), pinning your quilt together.  I learned after trying to take short cuts, that you really do need to take your time and use as many pins as possible.  Then one day, I heard about this wonderful product called Basting Spray.  And my life was forever changed!!!  Ok, not that dramatically, but at least the part of life that included pinning quilts :)

Now, I no longer dread that step in quilting.  It now takes me less than 30 minutes to baste my quilt together!!!  Can you believe it!!!  I shared my excitement with Karen, thinking I had discovered this wonderful NEW magic spray :)  She informed me that she already knew about this - how could she have been holding out on me for over 10 years!!!  To which she responded, "well, you needed to know the proper way to do it".  Aaggghhh, I felt like screaming ;)

This week is your chance to try my favorite notion at 10% off.  Now through Thursday, May 23rd, ALL our notions are 10% OFF.

So, tell me, what's your favorite notion?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Warehouse Sale #1...done!

Well, this past weekend was our first Warehouse Sale - and it was GREAT!!!  We got a chance to meet some of our wonderful online customers, local neighbors, and people who just stopped by out of pure curiosity.
We had all our wonderful products out for everyone to see, touch, and of course, buy :)  It's always my favorite time to shop!
And while the sale was going on, the UPS man stopped by with our shipment of Flats by Angela Yosten.  Opening those boxes made it feel like Christmas in the warehouse - we have been waiting on pins and needles (get the pun, LOL) for this amazing fabric line to be released. 
As an insider with the designer, I have been able to check out these prints and have been dying to get my hands on them.  Being able to look, touch, and NOT have is pure torture! My mind is swimming with ideas (and tutorials to come) using this fabulous fabric.

FYI - our next Warehouse Sale is going to be June 14th - 15th.

Stay tuned for tutorials for quilts, craft projects and even some No-Sew ideas!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Come out and visit us at our first WAREHOUSE SALE!!!

Have you have ever felt the urge to gather your friends, get in your car, and take a road trip?  Well, come out and visit us at our first WAREHOUSE SALE - it will have a better ending then the one taken by Thelma & Louise :)

It's your chance to check out where the "magic" happens!  Stop by and see our newest products, build your fabric stash, and get some great discounts on our overstocked items!

Just click here for a map to our location at 399 Tanglewood Trail, Pottsboro, TX 75076.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at or call us at 903-786-7099.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Honor your Teachers with this Cute Gift Idea!

"A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils."  ~Ever Garrison

As National Teacher Appreciation week fast approaches, I find myself, yet again, scouring Pinterest for ideas to make for my girls' teachers.  As they get older and have more teachers, I find myself looking for gift ideas that help me stretch a buck.  After looking through my stash of school supplies (yes, I am addicted to them) and came across my extra composition books.  My search then turned to ways to cover them with fabric.  My favorite came from one of my favorite fabric designers, Vanessa Christenson of V and Co.

I used her tutorial to make this adorable cover for my oldest daughter's teacher - I hope see likes it :)
It's amazing what you can do with some fabric scraps, a sewing machine, and a little time.  I used some jelly roll scraps that I had lying around.  Check out our collection of pre-cuts on our website!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

May 1 is a day of many holidays. It is known as May Day, the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, and proclaimed by President Eisenhower in 1958 as Law Day and Loyalty Day. This article will focus on May Day.
May Day has been a day to honor the goddess of fruits and flowers, Flora, by the Romans. It was a day dedicated to Robin Hood, in England, as that was the traditional date of his death. Villagers elected a queen of May, danced around the Maypole, and celebrated with games and festivities. In the United States, some of the European traditions still remain. Some children still dance around the maypole, which is decorated with streamers or ribbons.

One of the favorite traditions of May Day has been to create May baskets, usually filled with freshly picked flowers, dandelion flowers, or clover flowers. These baskets are hung on the doorknob of neighbors’ homes, the doorbell is rung, and then the deliverer runs away; leaving a nice surprise for the homeowner.  *Which is what we did growing up...  It ended in a kiss from the recipient.
"Mary, Mary quite contrary... How does your garden grow?"
Well, here is how our garden is growing.   Little, but it is growing.  Jim and I decided last year that we would plant a garden in our backyard.  Well, that didn't happen last year... it has been 25 years or so since we last planted a REAL garden.  Not just flowers or piddly stuff... a REAL garden... So this year we bought seeds, which was a 1/2 day job on the internet... Survival Seeds... we couldn't find any seeds at first... No one local had any seeds... so we went online.  It was even hard there... but my husband doesn't give up easily... We bought almost $100 worth of seeds online.  They came in this little biddy gold envelope with lots of little baggies of seeds.  Wow... I wasn't expecting that tiny envelope... But... they are SEEDS!  So...  We planted our garden with the help of our (almost) 3 year old granddaughter, Kaylin... 
Good Friday, was the day we planted.  Jim made it a raised bed using old railroad ties that were dried out and had a load of good topsoil brought in.  He marked off the rows and we decided what to plant.  We planted... watermelons, honey dew melons, red potatoes that Kaylin is planting here.  Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, celery, beets, cabbage, 2 types of lettuce, brussel sprouts, spinach, onions, carrots, and tomatoes... plus a few others.
 This is how we marked off our rows.  Just wrote on the sticks we tied strings onto and ran from one side to the other to keep our rows straight. Ok... This is how it started on Good Friday, in March.  Today... this is how it looks.  
We also planted 5 grapevine on one end and put up fencing to support that grapevine when it grows.  Who knows... in a year to two, maybe we can make our own wine. :)  (Maybe I will blog that when it happens!   We also added a "knockout rosebush" on each end of the fence... I saw on "Pinterest" that planting a rosebush on each end of your grapevines will keep bugs off the grapes and onto the rosebushes.  And you know if it is on "Pinterest"... it has to be true :) ... So, why not!  It's pretty and it might just work!

It's really growing!!!  This picture I just took!!!!  Yeah!!! ... Ok... the tomato seeds are barely above ground, so we went to Sweetwater Farms, local nursery here and bought 5 tomato plants, already about 18" tall with tiny tomatoes on them.  They said the seeds would never make this year... so we had some help here.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed my gardening this year!  This is a year of firsts... in a long time for us!  Our yard is blooming and it looks very pretty.  In Texas, we have a mean sun, but we even put in our own water well this year to help that out... Jim put us in a large sprinkler system a couple of years ago, so our yard and our garden will get wonderful well water.  Well, that being a deep subject, I will end this garden party and hopefully you will share some gardening ideas with me.  Hope to hear from you soon!    
HAPPY "May Day" / GARDENING!!!    Karen

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