Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Young Designers

As a Quilt Shop Owner we are bombarded in our industry with many voices telling us that we need to grab the Youth Market. We need to "make" new, young quilters. There are many avenues to travel, a myriad of of directions screamed at us. Do we abandon the experienced quilters who are the bulk of our customers? Of course not! Sometimes we hear that our industry will be dying out in just a few years as the Baby Boomer Quilter will age and there will be no one to take their place.
Well I say, the Young Designers are already here....I mean right here in Humboldt county...right here at Scottie Dog Quilts. Our newest pattern: The Market Tote is available for purchase. Designed by our own Liz Scott Adams, she has done everything from conceptualizing the bag, to trial & error sewing prototypes. She did all the computer work for the written pattern, designed the cover and took the awesome cover picture of Molly and Ella. The pattern is beginning to make the rounds on the wholesale circuit and you can get your own from Scottie Dog Quilts. Just come in the store or email us for details

Sandy Gervais had designed this whimsical Christmas fabric with Moda. Laura Meglemre, one of our own Scottie Dog Quilts staff has designed the fabulous quilt at the left using Sandy's Christmas panel (quilt center & 6 Christmas corner blocks) and just 3 other fabrics. Thanks, Laura, for being inspired. If you come to our store, we'll give you the yardage requirements so you can make one too.
Congratulations Liz & Laura! I'm proud of you both. You are imaginative and so inspiring. I say to the "powers that be" who are so negative in our business.....I'm not afraid of the future....The young quilters are extremely creative and they will keep the passion for quilting and fibre arts burning for years and years to come.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Quilt Camp

Every Summer at Scottie Dog Quilts we hold a 3 day event: Quilt Camp. We fill the classroom with quilters (mostly women, sometimes a that rare and exotic creature: the Male Quilter). This year they were all women, one Mother-Daughter combo, all age groups represented. There was lots of laughter, meeting of new friends, great food and a chance to sew interrupted for 3 days.
Our project was an Aunt Sukey's Choice quilt ( see it left) and we all learned how to make a thousand (well, it SEEMED like a thousand!) flying geese with Eleanor Burns' Flying Goose Ruler. This made the job go much easier and each and every flying goose turned out perfect! I caught a few pictures, but then left the camera behind when we went out to dinner at Rita's. I didn't get any pictures of anyone dancing on the tables.....oh, maybe no actually danced on tables, but everyone had a great time! The quilts turned out fantastic. Each and every on was different and yet, each would be welcome in my home!
Quilt Camp is Summer Day Camp for Grown-ups. We hold it every Summer and also run Spring Fling of course in the Spring! Sound like fun? We'll keep you posted.
In October we'll be hosting our Fall Mystery Quilting Retreat. There are still a few open spots. We have quilters from all over the United States coming. October 17-19. Let us know if you'd like a brochure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday Night at the Movies

Every Thursday night I meet with a small bunch of ladies....quilting friends. We call ourselves The Grateful Threads, GT's, ThreadHeads, friends. During the school year we meet at Scottie Dog Quilts because a Hand Piecing class meets there. We do our thing (chat, eat, chat some more, laugh, solve the world's problems, chat, eat some more and sometimes we even quilt!) while the hand piecers meet in the classroom. Summers we move around some. Last night we went to see Mamma Mia. We had extended the invitation to lots of other quilting women and filled up a couple of rows.
I'm no movie critic, I like what I like and don't like what I don't like. But here's my review:

The cast is wonderful, Pierce Brosnan can't sing, but after the first line or two it doesn't matter. Meryl Streep CAN sing...surprisingly so. The photography is Greek Island....lots and lots of water and sky The story is based around a bunch of ABBA songs. Not much takes place that's not a song and/or a dance. Of course it's a romantic farce. I suppose it's not REALLY a great movie. But I had so much fun. Not only were my toes tapping, but I can't seem to get the music, the energy out of my head. Meryl Streep throughout most of the movie looks to have minimal make-up on. Quite refreshing that she wasn't made up to look as if she were 35!

BrendaLou gives Mamma Mia a thumbs-up!

Cousins at Play

When I was a little girl (about a hundred years ago!) my dad would read me the Sunday Comics. We lived in LA and the LA Times had a very large Sunday comics section. Dick Tracy had this fantastic watch.....I think it was his 2-way wrist radio. In 1971 the college I attended had a computer (just one). They had to remodel TWO classrooms in order just to HOUSE the computer. It was that big. Flash forward to 1973 when Mr. Scottie Dog was then working for Radio Shack. I remember he called several people he knew because technology had finally reached the future.........Radio Shack had come up with a 4-function, hand-held calculator that could add, subtract, multiply and divide for ONLY $129.99!!! And people ran down in droves to scoop up those calculators. A few years later one of our friends had a watch with a calculator under the face....Technology on the march into the future. Now they give away calculators that do more than that early Radio Shack one! And it's the size of a credit card!
In 2008 my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter Sydney "plays" regularly with my 2 1/2 year old grandson Jakob. Not unusual you say? Well, it is, because they live 1578 miles apart! Sydney lives in Eureka,CA and Jakob lives in Savage, MN. Here they are on Tuesday. They show each other their puzzles, sing together and chatter. What is funny is that the kids were busy chatting here on Skype and their moms (MY kids, Beka & Liz) were chatting away on the telephone.
Grandparents---if I haven't convinced you yet: RUN, DO NOT WALK TO YOUR COMPUTER AND SIGN UP AT doesn't pay me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

We were moving some fabrics around the other day and after emptying one fabric shelving unit we turned around and "voila!" Sleeping Beauty.

Sydney's favorite princess is Cinderella, but I'm sure she won't mind being compared to Sleeping Beauty this time.

Quilters know how to Party!

What does a quilter do when she turns 60??? Does she hide at home feeling sorry for herself? NO WAY! Our friend Stephanie is a Quilting Diva, a child of the 60's who knows that turning 60 is just the beginning. After all, isn't 60 the new 40? So Stephanie invited "just a few" quilting friends to join her at Scottie Dog Quilts on Sunday for a Birthday Bash. We all brought "a little something" for the table.

Now if you're a quilter you know that we like to do 3 things:


You can see by the pictures that we had plenty to eat....we certainly didn't go hungry. Stephanie is such a talented artist and made a beautiful collage for each of us and didn't forget to provide us with THE MOST IMPORTANT food of all....the chocolate!

The cake was from Ramone's Bakery. UMMMM.
Everyone had made Stephanie a 12" quilt block using Batiks. Almost all of them had turquoise in them. The rest had orange. Remember when we went to Quilt Market in May we told you the new colors were Turquoise & Tangerine. Stephanie's 60th birthday quilt will be right in style. Of course there were lots of packages to open, lots of funny cards, lots of laughter and even a little sewing! Lynn worked on button hole stitching a Jean Well's project from long, long ago; Laura finished a store sample; Judy was binding a quilt; and so on.......Happy Birthday Stephanie! We love you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kid's Camp

Two or three times a year we hold Kid's Camp. Liz is the teacher. When a child is 9 years old and can thread a sewing machine and wind a bobbin solo they can come to Kid's Camp. We often have boys, but this week's session was all girls. Sydney took a real liking to these girls and they adored her. She felt like she was a part. She'd constantly be under the tables picking up stray pins, "ironing" or encouraging the girls to play hide and seek. They sewed up a storm! Each girl brought 12 Fat Quarters and helped Liz cut them into "Tumblers" on the AccuCut Machine. Then it was easy to sew the pieces first into pairs and then pairs together...etc. With the notches cut on each side it was simple.
Everyone finished their quilt top and some had enough time to make a cute Teeny Tiny Tote Bag or a miniature tumbler quilt with foundation piecing. These girls rock!

On Thursday they had a Pizza Party to celebrate the successful week. The happy students were Megan, Katie, Emma, Emma Ann, Julia, Dara, Mikalyn and Makayla. And mascot, Sydney. (I've probably spelled some one's name wrong, so please forgive me girls.)

Watch for Christmas Kid's Camp!

The Trip to Sisters

Liz took a trip to Sisters, OR for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last weekend. She had a ball with her friends (staff and teachers from the store!)

Here are a few pictures to remember the trip by:

To the left are Jenny, Margie & Crystal in the poky. Don't know WHY they got thrown in the Sisters Jail......speeding ticket maybe??????

They attended "Picnic in the Park" and heard Katie Pasquini Masopust give a talk and trunk show. Katie was raised in Fortuna and owned Katie's Quilt Shop (the first of it's kind in Eureka!) in Old Town in the mid 70's. I remember going in with my 3 toddlers and saying, "She'll never be able to sell cotton fabric for $3.99 a yard!" Don't we all wish for those prices now.

L to R: Jenny, Margie, Karen , Crystal, Liz, Jackie, Geri and Geri's sister-in-law (sorry I don't know her name).

Before they left they all took a class from our own Katie Hartsell who teaches the ever-popular Blue Sky Hat from Amy Butler. I'm waiting for Liz to make one for me....waiting....waiting...hint....hint.

Not only did they help with the light and the heat, but it was easy to spot their friends in the crowds. Ladies, you are STYLIN' in those hats!

Jean Wells, owner of the Stitchin Post and originator of the Show gets everyone into the act. Here is Jan Cossette, my sales rep from the EE Schenck Co. They sell me much of the lovely fabrics we carry in our store as well as stationery, books, patterns, notions and more. They had Jan and friends selling commemorative posters, t-shirts and more behind the Stitchin Post.

Oh, yes....they went to Sisters for the Quilt Show! Lots and lots and lots (how about 1200 quilts. That's right, twelve hundred quilts) of quilts. Every building inside and out was covered in quilts. The drug store, the clock store they all have quilts hanging from their eves, covering their sides and inside wherever there is space. Many of the quilts are for sale.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grandbabies Far Away

What's a Grandma to do? This grandma misses her g'babies so far away in the land of Minnesota. Of course I miss my daughter and son-in-law too, but I can talk to them.
The grandbabies, Mercedes & Jakob I want to SEE, I want to CUDDLE, I want to KISS them! I want to hear their laughter. I want to BE THERE IN PERSON. I want them to KNOW me.
Beka does a great job of taking pictures. She always has her camera nearby and documents most every day for me. How big is little Sadie getting? According to the picture, she fits nicely in a box of Baby Wipes. Well, carton of wipes! Isn't she darling? Such a little pixie at almost 7 months old. Her smile could melt the hardest of hearts!

Then there is Jakob--2 1/2 and all boy, all joy, all never-ending energy! He's enjoying everything that summer in Minn. has to, hot, hot and playing in the pool, running, jumping. He is all boy. Jakob moves at top speed. Most of his pictures involve movement. It's fun to be able to see him in the pool wearing the swim suit we got at Target when he was visiting in May. Grandpa and I are eagerly anticipating our long visit to Minnesota late September.
Do you know about Skype? ( It's the greatest FREE thing there is for Grandparents. You need a microphone for your computer and a web cam (camera). Both can be found very inexpensively at Staples or Radio Shack. Even THIS grandma can do it. SKYPE? It is a FREE program you download and it allows you to talk to others a world away WITH VIDEO! This means I can read Jakob a book or sing him a song or just chat. Sometimes I watch him play with his trains. Once I "sat" in Beka's kitchen and chatted with her while she made banana bread. This is the 21st Century way to keep in touch with family and friends who are far away.
When Beka and Jason and Jakob were in Kiev, Ukraine for nearly a year, I could touch base with them nearly every evening...of course they were eating breakfast because they were half-way around the globe. Jakob knew who I was when I arrived for his 1st birthday since he'd seen me and heard me every day. It's the next best thing to being there. I can coo to Sadie and she giggles back. Makes having grandbabies far away not so hard on Grandma's heart.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Reason #36 for Eating Out

Sydney is still with us.....Liz and friends are having a ball at the Quilt Show in Sisters, OR. I got the bright idea that we'd make Pizza for dinner. So we got into the car, drove to Murphy's Market and picked out the nicest mushrooms, a can of sliced olives (on SALE, no less!), a watermelon (what could be more special to a 3 year old than dinner of home made pizza and watermelon!), a whole wheat pizza skin (Grandma is still on the South Beach Diet and flour MUST be whole grain) and some mozzarella cheese.

Back home we made some pizza sauce and spread it on half the pizza (Grandpa likes his without sauce). Grandma sliced the mushrooms and then Sydney spread the olives, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. We shredded the cheese and topped our Pizza. Wonderful! We told Grandpa it would be ready soon and he should clean up for dinner. Grandma put the pizza in the oven and started putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

Sniff? Sniff? Sniff, sniff????? "Must have had something overflow in the oven," Grandma thought. Then, suddenly Grandma was sure SOMETHING WAS BURNING!!!!

Oh, NO! It was our Pizza! Grandma had turned the oven to BROIL instead of BAKE! I pulled out the pizza and said to Sydney, "Oh no, Grandma ruined the Pizza."

"Gwama, it's OK, you can fix it." It is wonderful that she has such faith in me. Grandpa came and tore off a tiny bit to show it was OK. He chewed a bit and then said, "I think
we'll go to Wendy's."

Sydney was up for that! Grandma got a Cesar Chicken Salad, Grandpa got his dollar menu regular: baked potato, garden salad, chicken nuggets, Dr. Pepper. Sydney got nuggets, "white milk, Gwama, not Choklat," and oranges.

The watermelon will wait for lunch tomorrow.

Reason #36 for eating out: Burned Pizza

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Queen BrendaLou

I told you about how I'd been crowned Queen of the Patchwork Finishers' Club. Today Laura brought in a crown for me to wear. She paid the Big Bucks for it at Target ($1.00!). Of course it was really made for a tiny tot like 3 year-old Sydney, so it's only sitting on my head. Tomorrow I think I'm going to get a REAL Tiara at Michael's. I have a 40% off coupon.

Sydney is staying with us for a few days. Liz, Crystal, Margie & Jenny left at "the crack of dawn-thirty" this morning for Sisters, OR for the BIG outdoor Quilt Show. Margie is taking a class tomorrow and the rest are sewing up a storm in the house they rented. Liz and Crystal were at the shop yesterday cutting up loads of their 30's stash with the AccuCut Machine. Zip-Zop they were done in a minute (or 10!).

Syd was missing her mom and got a bit teary-eyed when she got up from her nap so I told her she should ask Grandpa to take us to Fresh Freeze (for those of you who don't live in our's a 1950's drive-in type place. Hasn't changed since 1959) for an ice cream cone. She brightened right up and we piled in the car for soft serve cones. Sydney ate every drop!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Clamping" with the Queen

For the 4th of July weekend we went "clamping" (that's Sydney-speak for camping) with a bunch of family and friends to Grizzly Creek State Park. The site is so beautiful with ancient redwoods, ferns and, of course, the small Grizzly Creek. We ate all the typical camping foods: Watermelon, S'mores (Liz introduced us to "S'mores Grande"), berry cobbler, bar-b-qued chicken, Kabobs and so much more! I think Camping is just a great excuse to eat fabulous food with no guilt.

We didn't have fireworks in the Redwoods but there was a parade of cute children, friends and a grandpa (Mr. Scottie Dog of course!) all waving flags and singing "You're a Grand Ole Flag." I was part of the applauding audience. I spent much of my time reading and just relaxing. I read Rosamunde Pilcher's "Winter Solstice." I like her books having read "The Shell Seekers" years ago. I also earned the title of "Sleepy Head" as having slept through breakfast two days in a row. I made sure that this morning I was up for Liz's French Toast. We stayed up late playing cards after the kids went to bed. Liz is here modeling her new Amy Butler Hat.
On Saturday, July 5 several of us had a date at Crystal's house just a few miles away. I belong to a loosely united group called "The Finishers Club." Each month we gather to eat, chat, laugh and crown one of our members QUEEN. You know, the Queen of Quilting, Stitching Diva, Patchwork Princess, the Duchess of Applique, the Sovereign of Sewing.... QUEEN of Finishers. The idea was to help us FINISH our UFO's. I've never been in the running before, but because of the sample sewing I did for Runs With Scissors in June I was the sleeper candidate....I finished 10 (TEN!) projects. So....when you see me this month you may bow and say, "Hail, Queen BrendaLou....Hail you, oh thou of Finishers most excellent." Please do, as I'll probably never win again! Crystal & daughter Samantha were excellent hostesses (I confess, the campers were so rude as to bring all the kids & hubbies too!) and we had a wonderful time.
The rest of our camping trip was wonderful.....we all have trailers or tent trailers so we weren't really roughing it. Sydney had fun in the water, fun in the dirt, fun riding her bicycle, fun, fun, fun. Grandma did too!
Tomorrow (Monday) it's back to school and work. I've passed my first test with flying colors. I got 100% on my spelling test. Big surprise to those who know me well.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New from All Washed Up!

Yesterday I had a visit from Angie & Weezie from All Washed Up (you know them---they designed "Just Can't Cut It," one of the patterns that has stayed in the National top 5 selling patterns for years now.
Of course now when they come in the first words out of our mouths is, "Did you bring Cade?" He's growing fast--over 20 lbs. I heard. He is such a cutie and I wish I had caught him with a giggle on his face. Cade is three days younger than my granddaughter Mercedes.....hmmmm wonder if we can set them up!

All Washed Up has a new pattern---another winner in my book, called "Sparkling Cider." We have the pattern available for purchase at the store and have a good supply as they are selling quickly. Be sure to check out all the quilt samples (two of which are pictured on the table above) in the pattern. You can make several sizes and all take fat quarters.

Hope Cade comes to see me again soon! too, Angie & Weezie!