So good to be sitting down to write to you all. I have good news to share to bring a smile to your face:)
It’s December and many of you are busy finishing up Christmas projects, or baking in preparation for periods of over-indulgence that may be ahead. I am no exception this year, as our nearly 40 year old daughter announced that she’s decided Christmas stockings are not really religious (I’d say she’s right about that) and so she thinks their family should have Hanukkah stockings this year… all five of them. And since they would cost her $200 on Etsy, she would like me to make them for her… does that sort of request sound familiar to any of you? So I am happily about to start making 5 Hanukkah stockings… next year I might even make ones for Vic and me too! And yesterday I had three grandkids over for a cookie making extravaganza, after which I was so exhausted I went directly to bed for a nap… Now enough chit-chat… on to all the good news!
Bi-Annual Sale, and Annual Challenge Quilt Display -- Saturday January 14, 10:00 to 5:00
Come view and vote on your favourite 2016 Challenge quilt -- celebrating texture!
All Bali Batiks on sale one day only $12/M (minimum cut .5M)
Kits on sale 10% to 40% off
All other fabrics 20% off
Batting & Notions 20% off
As usual, Advice, Laughter, Fun are all FREE!!!!!
I’m sorry to have to tell you that I haven’t had a run on my lovely Gift Certificates! But, it’s not too late… give your husband or special friend my phone number and I will happily help them make a purchase for your shopping fun:-) 604-250-8698… that’s all it takes!
I have a new quilt to show you… I designed this one when I was staffing the community participation table at the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild show in August. The activity involved getting people to design their own modern quilts using cardstock, scraps of fabric, scissors and glue. Since I was at the table for the two days, I ended up making a few designs of my own. One of them I even liked enough to come home and make the quilt. Here it is… and I can tell you it was surprisingly not interesting until I quilted it. But, once quilted, it has earned a place in my heart… and also in the heart of my grandkids as it turns out. And the best thing about this quilt is its name… I call it The Grape Escape:-)
I’m trying to keep the Japanese economy afloat… doing my darndest… and if you come by on January 14 I hope you will be able to see a new shipment of Japanese fabrics that should have arrived by then. These will include lots of amazing new yarn-dyes, a new line of textured solid cottons, and some amazing new printed cottons.
A tip for pre-washers from Meredith… There are several topics about which quilters hold views with what is something akin to a religious fervor. Steam or no steam, pre-wash or don’t pre-wash, seams pressed open or to one side, Superior or Aurifil thread,... and I could go on. I am in the “don’t pre-wash camp” and Meridith is in the “pre-wash everything” camp… and we are still friends. Recently when we were chatting, Meredith thanked me for having given her a technique for pre-washing batting (the one thing I do pre-wash) that works very well for her. If you haven’t had this lecture from me, it goes like this… put the batting in your top-loading washer and fill the washer with water, keeping the lid up to make sure the machine doesn’t go into agitate mode (and rip your batting to shreds). Then change to spin cycle, lower the lid, and let the machine spin out all the water from the batting. Then, throw the batting into the dryer. When it is done, all the shrinking that is ever going to happen to that batting has happened, and you can wash your completed quilts without fear.
What happens, I find, when we hear a good idea from someone, is we often will apply that good idea in a way that the original source of the idea had never thought of. Meredith did this with my batting pre-wash technique. She realized that she could employ the same technique with fabric she was pre-washing, and avoid having the fabric fray and tie itself into impossible to untangle knots. Instead of agitating her fabrics, she just lets them soak with the lid up for quite some time, and then she spins the water out… leaving her with washed fabric that is not a knot… what a great sentence! And what a great extrapolation of my original technique. Thank you Meredith.
Ichi ko, ichi e… (pronounced eechee ko, eechee e -- long o, short e) A lovely Japanese phrase for you to sock away for the right moment… Vic and Hiroko and I were watching a Japanese movie. Now Japanese movies, IMHO, are pretty much a long time of not much happening but leaving you with a pretty good understanding of the characters who are doing not much. But for some reason, I still like to watch one now and again. In the movie we were watching, this phrase was used and it was new to both Vic and to me… It means “Once in a lifetime, never again” and is an expression used by Japanese in those very special moments in life that are unlikely ever to be repeated… like you see the absolute perfect sunset, or you hold a grandchild in your arm for the first time, or your child says “Mom, can I do the dishes?” (sorry, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to throw that in). You understand… it is all about expressing appreciation for a very special moment in life… and we are all blessed with more of those than one might imagine… all it takes is watching for them.
So my wish for all of you as we end this year, is that you may have many “Ichi ko, ichi e” moments in the upcoming year… and that you are awake to them when they happen. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in the coming year.
Hope to see several of you on Saturday January 14!