Saturday, March 27, 2010

One Million Pillowcase Challenge

Make a Pillowcase--Make a Difference! A pillowcase can provide comfort for a cancer patient, hope for a foster child, encouragement for a battered woman, or beauty for a nursing home resident. Grandma's Attic is participating in American Patchwork and Quilting's One Million Pillowcase Challenge! AP&Q is challenging quilters, sewers and crafters nationwide to make pillowcases that can make a difference within local communities.

Throughout 2010, Grandma's Attic is asking you to make pillowcases and bring them to the shop where they will be donated to Polk County Area non-profit organizations. Each pillowcase will be counted and the numbers made sent to the pillowcase counter at AP&Q. The counter will keep track of nationwide progress toward the goal of making one million pillowcases in all. This is an opportunity for us to really make a difference within our community. It's a simple thing for us to do but it can have a BIG impact!

Three area non-profits have been chosen to receive pillowcases returned to Grandma's Attic. Sable House, the local domestic violence shelter, will receive pillowcases. In addition, Leah, our daughter who has a brain injury, has chosen the Ron Wilson Center for Effective Living and Partnerships in Community Living (PCL) to receive pillowcases. Both of these organizations are dedicated to serving the needs of the disabled in Polk County. Depending on the number of pillowcases received, Grandma's Attic may be able to donate them to other area charities as well.

Joining American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in support of the One Million Pillowcase challenge are 2010 sponsors: AccuQuilt, BERNINA, Clothworks, The Fabric Shop Network's Independents Unite Campaign, Handi-Quilter, Moda, Paintbrush Studios, Presencia,Red Rooster Fabrics, RJR Fabrics, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, and Timeless Treasures.

We hope you will consider joining our efforts as we make pillowcases for others in our community. In addition to Grandma's pillowcase pattern pillowcase pattern and pillowcase club of the month, Grandma's Attic also has pillowcase kits. Each kit contains the fabric and pattern you need to make one standard size pillowcase.

Our Pillowcase Challenge runs through 2010. Please join us in making a difference by providing pillowcases to non-profit organizations in Polk County.

Friday, March 19, 2010

National Quilting Day - March 20

Did you know that there was an entire day devoted solely to quilting?

National Quilting Day began with a resolution passed by members of the National Quilting Association at their 22nd Annual Show in Lincoln, Nebraska, in June 1991. The 3rd Saturday in March was officially designated as National Quilting Day. It all began in 1989 when the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society organized "Quilter's Day Out" to celebrate the rich tradition of quilt making in Kentucky. The first National Quilting Day was observed in 1992.

For 2010, the theme is Tie One On ... For the Troops. They have a free quilt pattern available at their website. It's a Tree with a yellow ribbon at its base. The pattern is composed of 3" squares and half-square triangles so it's not hard to make at all. Click here to get their free quilt pattern. If you know a Veteran or a Veteran's family, this might be a great little gift for them.

There are countless ways to celebrate National Quilting Day. Here are a few ideas: 1) Make it a service day and work on a quilt for your favorite cause; 2) Organize an exhibit at your local library or historical society; 3) Work on a quilt with a school, 4-H, scout troop or simply sew with a grandchild; 4) Sponsor a sewing day making lap quilts for seniors. Turn it into an oral history project capturing stories of the community; 5) Give a baby quilt to the first baby born on National Quilting Day each year.

I'm going to spend this day working at Grandma's Attic. First, I will conduct the last class of the 2009 Clothesline Club, and then I'll work on a couple of quilt projects I've been dreaming up to present to you all in April. How will you spend the day? I hope it will be filled with many happy quilting thoughts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Recipe and Blessings

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

To celebrate the occasion, I am posting a tasty recipe and some Irish blessings that you might find uplifting. The recipe is for Corned Beef and Cabbage. I can't remember when the last time was that I actually prepared Corned Beef and Cabbage. Just typing in the ingredients was pretty inspiring though. I wonder how far back in the cupboard I've buried that Dutch Oven!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice pack
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges

Place the corned beef brisket into a large pot or Dutch Oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender. Add in whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are nearly tender. Add the cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest for another 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much of the cooking liquid as you have reserved in the large pot or Dutch Oven as desired. To serve, slice meat across the grain.

Irish Blessings to Brighten Your Day

May you live as long as you want,
and never want as long as you live.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
the blessings that come each day.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
than the happiest day of your past.

May the Lord keep you in His hand
And never close His fist too tight.

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
and heaven accept you.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Webstore Postage Charges

From time to time we hear those stories about how mail that never got delivered was found in the attic of an overworked postal worker, and of packages that sat in a truck on a loading dock during a busy holiday season. It's enough to drive you crazy when you operate a webstore that relies on mailing services! (And believe me, I don't need any help in the crazy department.)

I think everyone would agree that postal rates are high, yet how else does one receive merchandise when ordering on line? Clearly, you want your items as quickly as possible, in good shape, and at the lowest possible price. Right? At least that's what I want when I'm ordering on line.

After carefully studying all the mailing options available, we decided to mail as many packages as possible using the United States Post Office's priority mail system. We believe this method is the safest and quickest means of delivery available. These packages come in sturdy priority mailing boxes that are insured and sent with confirmation of receipt numbers. That way, should something go wrong, we have a hope of being able to resolve the problem. If your package is not received, we can track down where it landed using the confirmation numbers. If, heaven forbid, it is damaged, postage insurance can protect you. In our opinion, using USPS priority mail means that you have the highest probability of receiving your packages in a safe, secure, timely and convenient method.

And then there's our web store shopping cart. It's a great shopping cart that is totally secure when it comes to keeping your information private and protected. It's not so great when it comes to calculating postage. And that's because the United States postal system has decided to use "zones" to figure out how much postage to charge. Depending on where you live, postage can cost more or less than what it says on the order at check-out time. So what to do?

Our shopping cart postage charts are an "estimate" by the computer of what it will cost to mail a package to you based on price. It's the way the software in the web store is set up--an automatic thing but not necessarily what we will actually charge on smaller orders. If it costs more to send your order to where you live in the United States than you are charged, we do not charge extra postage. If we can get it to you at a lesser rate because of the zone you live in, we adjust the postage price down to reflect a lower amount. And clearly, we are not going to charge you $4.95 to send a package of needles your way, or a single pattern or block club packet. For those things, we do use first class mail whenever possible. (And if you think delivery to the United States is complicated, it's even crazier when shipping overseas!)

Bottom line is that every time postal rates go up, we are driven a little farther around the bend to insanity. We work hard to ensure that postal rates charged to you are fair and comprehensive. Hopefully, with this explanation of how the system works and why we use USPS priority mail for shipping the majority of our packages, you will have a better understanding of why we charge what we charge to get your goods to you as quickly and safely as possible!