Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Block of the Month Club!

Beginning January 1st, we're going To Grandma's House! You know, as in "over the river and through the wood." It's going to be a grand adventure packed with fun-filled facts, quilt blocks, and stories.

Set in the 1920s, this program is organized around the lives of 12 children—six boys and six girls. Each child has a favorite classic children’s book, one that has been popular since the late 19th and early 20th century. You learn about the child and the book, including why that child likes a particular story. With books like Little Women and Treasure Island, this program has already become a tremendous hit with our in-store quilt club members.

Each month during the program, you receive a themed block pattern and fabrics in your choice of four color schemes: 1930s, 19th Century, Batiks or Red/White/Black—you know, as in what is black and white and read all over?

You also receive a newly designed magazine booklet featuring a different children’s book and author each month. The booklet is filled with tips and hints, a recipe, an overview of the featured book, notes about each author, and two patterns from a popular 1920s era crib quilt.

A $10 start-up fee gets you registered. Club cost is $12.99 per month for 12 months, which includes all shipping and handling charges. If you're ready to join in on the fun, click here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

International Paper Dolls

Do you remember the paper dolls that used to be included in the McCalls Magazine? Each little doll would be carefully cut out and glued to cardboard; then her clothing would be cut out for hours and hours of enjoyment dressing up the dolls and playing with them. I used to love finding the dolls in the magazines and cutting them out.

Newcastle Fabrics has just released an adorable set of eight international paper dolls designed by Sibling Arts Studios that remind me of those old McCalls paper dolls. The Sibling Arts designers say that they got the idea for their dolls from a collection of paper dolls they found when they were going through the estate of their Aunt Lindy.

Each doll in this fabric panel comes with her own ethnic style clothing. Plus, there is also a coordinating bolt of fabric that includes more dress options. (One-half yard gives you all the other options you need.) What you can do is fuse the dolls to cardboard; then use fusible fleece on the back of the clothes so that they attach to the dolls. Make a fabric pouch to put the dolls and clothing in. It's guaranteed to be hours and hours of entertainment for the little ones in your life.

Order the panel by clicking here. Order the half yard panel by clicking here. Order fusible fleece by clicking here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Halloween at Grandma's Attic

Because Halloween fell on a "Open Sew with Tammy" day, she encouraged everyone to dress up for Halloween. Our photographer caught up with both Cheryl and Tammy that afternoon. Cheryl came as Woody Woodpecker, complete with sound effects. Tammy decided to be an angel. With wings and a halo, she floated around the tables as the Angel of Quilting, helping everyone get their projects done.

The lady in the middle is "Josephine" our larger than life mannequin. She's wearing a colonial style costume and a pumpkin for a head because we had just finished a quilt club session talking about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. What might that have to do with quilting, you ask? When you join our newest Block of the Month Club, "To Grandma's House We Go," beginning this January, you'll be amazed at the connection. Stay tuned for details! Sign-ups start very soon.

We never can seem to catch our photographer on camera. He's always behind one rather than in front. So when he began to horse around, we snuck up and took this photo of him in his Halloween get-up. (Or is that giddy-up?) It was his first "photo finish." What a hoot that was! We wanted to take more pictures, but he said he had to hoof it to a Halloween party after work.

And as for me? I won the award for "least imagination in putting together a costume." I came as a harried quilt shop owner in a dress of many patches! Oh well. I figure that someone at least had to be around to hand out the "goodies." I suppose there's always next time. I've got a whole year to dream up something better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grandmother's Garden Quilt

Here is a spectacular version of Grandmother's Garden Quilt sewn by Lynne Hawk of Salem, Oregon. The quilt is currently on display in the classroom at Grandma's Attic. That's Lynne in the picture with me in front of her beautiful quilt. If you're near the shop, you'll want to come in and see it!

Lynne says that she started this quilt back in 1999 using the fusible applique method outlined in Eleanor Burns' book Grandmother's Garden Quilt by Quilt in a Day. In Eleanor's version, easy applique methods help update this classic quilt pattern.

The patterns for Garden Bouquet originated in 1928 and 1929 as a series of newspaper patterns by Florence LaGanke Harris writing under the name of The Nancy Page Quilt Club. Each week, LaGanke presented one flower pattern for constructing the quilt. The original series included 17 different flower designs, with the rose repeated in all four corners. A basket pattern for the base and a quilting diagram were also included.

Lynne says that she worked on her quilt off and on for several years, putting it away when she moved, then picking it back up again. We're totally thrilled that she was able to complete it, and even more thrilled that she has allowed us to hang it on the wall for all to see. Isn't it beautiful? We sure think so. A big thanks to Lynne for allowing us to show it off.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Patchwork Party 2011

Gather your friends for a festive, fun-filled sewing party featuring Autumn in all its splendor! Patchwork Party 2011 has begun. Designed by Marti Michell using Set L of her Perfect Patchwork Templates, the fabrics are from Nancy Halvorsen's Bittersweet collection by Benartex.

This is our exclusive quilt block. Marti calls it "Turley's Inn" in honor of her husband Richard who is a descendant of the Turleys of Britain. And guess what? I actually found a Pub in Britain called Turley's. How interesting is that?

What I like about our block is its 9-Patch center and ease of construction. I think it turned out rather nicely, don't you? Using Marti's templates made construction of this block a breeze. Paper templates come with the pattern that is included in the kit but the acrylic templates of Set L are fabulous to work with and that's what we used.

This is our Finishing Kit. I named it Bittersweet Memories because I took my inspiration from those mid-19th Century quilts with their on-point applique blocks. Bittersweet is obviously because we used the Bittersweet fabric collection. Memories because of this quilt's 19th Century roots. Tammy Keith, our class coordinator and instructor, constructed the quilt and Linda Perry of Artistically Quilted by Linda machine quilted it for me. Tammy and Linda made my idea for the quilt come to life! It's beautiful! Thank you both very much!

This block is called Grandma's Peonies. It can be appliqued using traditional methods, needle turn methods or (my favorite) fusible web and button-hole stitch embroidery. Whichever way you decide to put it together, the block is beautiful. The block reminds me of those 19th Century red and green quilts that I love so much.

In addition to these Patchwork Party items, you can view others at our website. Then go to the official Patchwork Party 2911 website to view the other blocks you'll need to complete the finishing kit. That should inspire you to create a beautiful quilt too!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Sidewalks!

As part of Dallas, Oregon's urban renewal district program, the city has decided that we will receive new sidewalks. These sidewalks will include areas for park benches, trees and flower baskets. It's going to be beautiful when it's all done, but look at what's taking up the parking in front of the store today!

The construction crew has been very accommodating about the whole process, including providing us a way to get into the store while they work. Having watched these guys in action from inside the store, I can tell you that they work very hard at what they do.

That's a lot of old sidewalk they're tearing out in giant slabs of concrete. We're also getting a new sewer. You wouldn't imagine that would be too exciting, until you think about the fact that our store was on one of the oldest systems within the city. They never tell you about these things when you open a business. You only discover this after a few problems are encountered. All in all, we're thrilled to be on a new sewer line.

We named this piece of equipment "jaws" because of the way it can get right in there and tear up things.

The whole operation has been very efficient because these guys are serious about what they do. They're using the right equipment to get the job a timely fashion...while looking all nice and tidy when they're finished. And that concept got me to thinking about quilting.

Are you using the right equipment for the project you're trying to create? Or are you trying to get by with whatever you happen to have on hand? Is your seam ripper sharp, or are you using the one you got in high school over 25 years ago? Are your rotary cutters and rulers in good shape? Has your sewing machine been serviced sometime this century? Believe me, if these guys were trying to get at this concrete with a pick-axe and manual labor, they'd be here for weeks. With the right equipment, their work is going really fast.

So now I'm off to treat myself to a new seam ripper and rotary cutter blade. I'm working on nine patch blocks from the 1890s that I acquired recently. I'm sure I have better equipment than the lady who originally put them together. I'll think about how different her life was than mine while I sew on them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quilt Challenge Winners!

1st Place Award for the Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge goes to Kristine Olson of Monmouth, Oregon, for her entry "Feigned Compassion Feeds the Cat." Kristine, who says that this small wall quilt is her first attempt at hand applique and hand quilting, wins a $100 gift certificate from Grandma's Attic.

2nd Place goes to Brenda Lopez of Auburn, California, for her quilt, "Kindheartedness." Measuring 41" x 36-1/2", the flowers on this one are absolutely gorgeous. Their three-dimensional effect is quite stunning. Brenda wins a $50 gift certificate from Grandma's Attic.

Third Place goes to Chris Schmitke of Salem, Oregon for her quilt, "When You Wish Upon a Star." Measuring 41" x 41", this quilt was also chosen by viewers as the winner of Best Use of Color category. Chris wins a $25 gift certificate from Grandma's Attic for 3rd Place, and a Gift Basket of Color Tools for Best Use of Color.

Mia Mohr, of Lyons, Oregon, won Best Interpretation of the Theme for her quilt, "The Touch of Compassion." She wins a 5 yard fabric bundle from Grandma's Attic in her choice of fabrics.

The Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge is a charitable event designed to raise funds for Sable House, a Polk County, Oregon agency assisting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Earlier this year, Grandma's Attic provided applicants with entry packets consisting of five fabrics, then challenged entrants to creatively incorporate these fabrics into a final quilt design. All proceeds benefited Sable House.

Voting took place July 21 through August 7. The general public was invited to view the quilts at Grandma's Attic; then vote for their favorites, plus the categories of Best Use of Color and Best Interpretation of Theme. Winners were selected on August 8. All of the quilts were then displayed at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall, Oregon, from August 11-14, 2011.

Grandma's Attic is strongly committed to the health and safety of women and children in Polk County and supports various local resources who share these goals. In addition, Grandma's Attic is dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault issues through the arts and crafts.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quilt Club Winners!

Look how excited Kathryn Mabey is! She just won a Sew Fun Elna Sewing Machine! Provided by Corvallis Sewing and Vacuum Center, Kathryn won Grandma's Quilt Club raffle for those having perfect attendance at last year's Quilt club.

Everyone who attended at least 11 classes last year was entered into a drawing for three amazing prizes: a sewing machine, a $200 gift certificate, and a chance to have your Quilt Club quilt professionally quilted. Kathryn won the sewing machine. Sarah Miller won the gift certificate, and Leona Wilson won the opportunity to have her quilt professionally quilted.

Our next club begins September 8, 9 and 10. We're going To Grandma's House! You know, "over the river and through the wood." But wait a minute: what are we going to do when we get there? Turns out, Grandma's are an endless source of fun-filled activities. They tell stories of adventure, growth and wonder--and those delicious treats aren't bad either. This year's Quilt Club, To Grandma's House is organized around 12 classic children's stories that have been popular since the late 19th and early 20th century.

Themed block patterns, a newly designed newsletter, and stories from Grandma Rachel are only part of the fun. This year, we're also offering discounts with club-only specials, a complimentary coupon book, additional chances to win door prizes, extra demos and tons more fun.

Quilt block kits are available in four color schemes: 1930s, 19th Century, Batiks, and Red/White/Black--you know, as in what is black and white and read all over? A newspaper or book! Pick as many colorways as you like. If you come to class, blocks are $5.00 per month per colorway. Sessions include door prize drawings, demonstrations, show and tell, and fun, fun, fun!

Special Door Prizes: Attend at least 11 sessions this year and you will be entered into a drawing to win one of three fabulous prizes: 1) a sewing machine; 2) your quilt top professionally quilted; and 3) $200 gift card to Grandma's Attic.

Grandma's Quilt Club is a fun way to learn about new products, participate in door prize drawings, be with friends and collect quilt blocks. You must pre-register for this class. For details on how you can participate, click here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Vote for Your Favorite Challenge Quilt!

If you live anywhere close to our Grandma's Attic brick and mortar store, you'll want to come vote for your favorite Color of Compassion Challenge Quilt. The entries this year are absolutely gorgeous! And since these quilts are judged by the general public, this is your opportunity to tell us which one you think should win!

Earlier this year, we created the The Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge entry packet using five pieces of fabric in shades of pink and brown; then challenged entrants to use them as the basis for a quilt. Entrants could include any other fabrics as long as they also used the packet fabrics. The only rule was that quilts had to measure 120 inches or less when the length of each side was added together.

Now that the quilts are back, it's your turn to tell us which one is your favorite. Prizes awarded are: 1st Place - $100 Gift Certificate; 2nd Place - $50 Gift Certificate; 3rd Place - $25 Gift Certificate. We also have awards for the best interpretation of the theme, and best use of color.

Voting takes place now through August 6. The Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge is a charitable event designed to raise awareness and funds for Sable House, a Polk County, Oregon agency assisting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Grandma's Attic is strongly committed to the health and safety of women and children in Polk County and supports various local resources who share these goals. In addition, Grandma's Attic remains dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault issues through the arts and crafts.

This photo shows the information board we've developed for Sable House. The red silhouettes in the photos are part of the Silent Witness National Initiative and represent victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. After you've finished voting for your favorite quilts, you'll want to take a look at our display to see how you can help as well.

Monday, July 04, 2011

July's Flower of the Month - Water Lily

Did you know that the water lily is July's Flower of the Month? Symbolizing rebirth and purification, the water lily is a member of the Nymphaeaccae family. There are approximately 70 different species of this plant. They like to live in temperate or tropical climates. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface.

The portrait above appeared in Curtis's Botanical Magazine in 1801. Begun in 1787, by William Curtis, a botanist at Kew Gardens, each issue was filled with artist renderings of plants, plus information and descriptions about their properties. The magazine continues to this day, and is published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew near London, England. Kew Gardens currently houses the world's largest collection of living plants.

The French Painter, Claude Monet, liked water lilies so much that he painted them for the last 30 years of his life. He developed a series of paintings inspired by the plants in his own garden. Of them, he wrote, "It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them." Monet created 250 different paintings of water lilies, many of them currently residing in museums around the world. In 2008, one of Monet's original water lily paintings sold at auction for $80 million.

Quilters are also inspired by water lilies. In the 1930s, the Chicago Tribune published a quilt pattern column under the name of Nancy Cabot, pen name of Loretta Leitner Rising. With each quilt block illustration, Rising included a description or background about the block and how to purchase the pattern.

The description written under the Water Lily pattern is as follows: "The water lily design is a delicately realistic block with its soft coloring of cream, green and touches of light blue on a gold grown, with alternate blocks of white. The simple, clear cut lines in this floral pattern make it one that is particularly easy to applique. The quilted veins in the green leaves afford a pleasant variation from the less unusual quilt pattern."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clothesline Club 2011 - Sweet Pickins

In the 1940s, bright and cheery colors and fruit motifs were all the rage for decorating American kitchens. One popular trend during this time period was the use of red and white, blue and white, or green and yellow color palettes, with checkered or geometric patterns. Fruit designs included cherries, apples, strawberries, pears and grapes. Darlene Zimmerman has captured this look perfectly with her newest Clothesline Club fabric group, Sweet Pickins. Produced by Robert Kaufman, there are a total of 28 fun reproduction prints in green, red, yellow and blue. Fruit motifs, geometrics and checks are scattered throughout this collection.

These fabrics make fun projects, including aprons, curtains, hot pads, casserole covers, tea towels, oven mitts, bags, and many other fun sewing and quilting projects. In Darlene's Clothesline Club she has included patterns for aprons, a market bag and a tablecloth using this fabric line.

I'm pretty sure that these fabrics won't stay in the store for long. Last I checked, some of them have already been discontinued by the manufacturer. To view more of these prints or to order, click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

American Flag Wall Quilt for Flag Day - June 14

Efforts to dedicate a day each year to the American Flag date all the way back to 1861, yet it wasn't until August 3, 1949, that an official Act of Congress, signed by President Harry S. Truman, officially declared June 14 to be Flag Day. During the 88 years between 1861 and 1949, Americans celebrated the American flag at different times of the year.

In an age before the telephone, sending postcards to celebrate special occasions was an inexpensive means of communicating with loved ones. During the Golden Age of Postcards (1898-1915), fine artwork in bright colors was featured on these postcards, many of which celebrated the American Flag. Today, these same postcards are very collectible and highly sought after. In fact, they're so popular that finding original postcards has become an intense hobby.

With no vintage postcards of our own to display, we discovered American Flags Set 1 by Olde America Antiques. We decided that these authentic images of vintage postcards, pre-printed on fabric, were just right for creating a small wall quilt. Olde America Antiques must have thought so too because, to our delight, a wall quilt pattern was included in the fabric packet.

The American Flags wall quilt, shown above, was constructed from a four pack set of images that were printed on 4"x6" panels of soft cotton sateen fabric. Because the company utilizes a new printing process called 8-color giclee, the panels are colorfast when hand washed in cold water. Making this 21" square wall quilt was easy to do, and we soon had our little quilt hanging up in the shop.

If you'd like to make your own American Flags wall quilt from these pre-printed fabric panels, click here. If you'd like to view our other pre-printed fabric panel selections, click here.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

June - The Month of Roses

New to Grandma's Attic are beautiful fabric panels (4" x 6") of gorgeous flowers, printed on soft cotton sateen fabric, ready to sew and showcase on your wall. The panels come four to set and include a pattern for a small wall quilt. One of my favorites from our newest group is Flowers Set 3 - Roses by Olde America Antiques. The images are of the actual covers of vintage seed catalogs from 1893-1909.

During the Golden Age of Illustration (1880s until after WWI), seed catalogs featured covers of beautiful flowers that could be grown in one's garden. Catalogs from companies such as the Iowa Seed Company, Lippincott Seeds, John A. Salzer and John Lewis Childs were so bright and cheerful, people kept them on their parlor tables. And since roses have been cultivated for thousands of years, many of these covers featured paintings of roses.

Throughout history, many poets and authors have written about the rose. The Italian poet, Dante (1265-1321), writing in the 13th Century, declared, "The rose, wherein the word divine makes itself flesh."

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) refers to roses more than 50 times in his works. In Romeo and Juliet, he wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

And the English Poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674) penned, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying, And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying."

Since Victorian times, roses have been associated with deep love, passion, beauty and everlasting love. They have been grown and cultivated both for their foliage and their perfume. Even today, companies like Jackson & Perkins in Medford, Oregon offer a seemingly endless variety of roses for gardening enthusiasts. Their catalog showcases "the newest and most exciting roses available" and provides practically everything you need to grow gorgeous roses.

You can bring the beauty of the garden into your home with these gorgeous flower images. To view our entire pre-printed fabric panel collection, click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The World's Largest Piece of Cake

I just got back from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. Quilt Market is a three day show where shop owners like me have an opportunity to place orders for fabric, books and patterns that we will be carrying in the shop as they become available. And while it sounds like it would be amazingly fun to see all these fabric companies and visit all these booths filled with every imaginable quilting goody, you cannot believe how stressful and tiring this can be. For one thing, if you only have a cup full of money to spend, and the stuff you are looking at requires a gallon jug, you have to pick and choose from among everything offered--which would be okay if you're only choosing for yourself, but stressful if you're trying to magically know what your customers are going to enjoy.

Anyway, after a really long day of walking up and down aisles and calculating out what we needed to order, Amber and I decided that what we really "needed" was a nice steak dinner at a sit-down restaurant where we could relax and let our brains recover. So Amber goes up to this information kiosk in the Salt Palace Convention Center and says to the woman, "Where can we go for a nice steak dinner?" The lady behind the counter says that she knows just the place to go, Christopher's Prime Steak House and Grill. She tells us it's only one block from where we are, and hands us a coupon for a free dessert! "Doesn't that sound wonderful?" I say to Amber. And off we go to this little restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City where we did, indeed, have one of the nicest steak dinners I've ever eaten.

See the dessert at the top of this post? That's the totally reasonable dessert that came with my steak dinner. It's a little bit of ice cream with some berries on top. VERY nice. But remember, we also have this coupon for a free dessert. I say to Amber, "You know, I'd really like something chocolate." She says, "Okay, well, I'm not into chocolate like you are. You order something chocolate and I'll eat the dessert that came with your dinner."

It sounded like such a reasonable plan! I showed the waiter our coupon and innocently said, "Do you have anything chocolate?" He tells me that he's got the best chocolate cake in Utah. "That sounds great!" says I. In a little while, he comes back with what I can only tell you is the largest piece of chocolate cake I have ever seen in my life! It was several layers tall and looked like someone had just cut one of my grandmother's hand-made chocolate layer cakes into four slices and put one of them on a plate. Honestly, it was the biggest piece of cake I have ever seen in my life. Had I eaten the whole thing, I would have immediately gone into a sugar coma and Amber would have had to drag me out to the car. Instead, I nibbled on one small corner of it.

Don't believe how big that thing was? Here's a photo of me that Amber took with her cell phone. What's even more amazing is that I did NOT eat the whole thing! Some things in life are just too much to have all at once. And in case you're wondering, that's a big glass of iced tea in front of me, not anything stronger. I was in Salt Lake City, remember?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge

It's that time of year when Grandma's Attic hosts a Quilt Challenge to support Sable House, our local domestic violence shelter. Our theme for the past few years has revolved around "The Color of" concept. So far, we've hosted the Color of Peace, the Color of Love, the Color of Courage, the Color of Healing, and the Color of Hope.

Entry packets for this year's theme, The Color of Compassion, include five theme fabrics, challenge rules, and an entry form. All proceeds from the sale of the packets go directly to Sable House. The maximum quilt size for quilts entered into the challenge should not exceed 180 total inches when all sides are added together; however, there is no minimum size requirement. Each quilt must incorporate all theme fabrics, although the amount used is up to you. The remainder of the fabric used can be quilter's choice.

Quilts are due in to Grandma's Attic by July 20, 2011 where they will be displayed from July 21-31, 2011. The general public will be invited to vote for their favorites. Winners will be selected by customer ballot (one vote per viewer) based on Best Interpretation of Theme and Best Use of Color. (Remember, this is the general public, not professional quilt judges, so don't be afraid to enter.) First Place prize is $100 gift certificate to Grandma's Attic; Second Place prize is $50 gift certificate; Third Place is a $25 gift certificate. In addition, Best Interpretation of Theme will win a five yard fabric bundle and Best Use of Color will receive a Gift Baskets filled with color tools.

Quilts will also be displayed at the Polk County Fair in Rickreall, Oregon held in August, and on display at other locations as well. All quilts will be returned to their owners by the end of August, 2011.

If you'd like to participate in this quilt challenge, you can purchase a packet either at the shop or on the web.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heat Press Batting Together

I'm sure you know how frustrating it can be when the pieces of batting that you happen to have on hand are all just a smidge too small for the project you want to complete. I know that there have been times when I've gone through all my batting scraps only to discover that there's not a single one the size I need. Now, thanks to a new product by Jeanne Harwood Designs, I can fuse my batting pieces together to get the size I need!

This new product is totally easy to use. What you do is lay the two pieces of batting right next to each other, snuggled up all nice and cozy, then press the tape over the two edges. By heat pressing the batting together with this fusible, you can create any size you desire. The name says it all. It's called Heat Press Batting Together. This fusible comes in a 10 yard roll of 1-1/2" wide cloth tape. If you'd like to try it and see for yourself how easy it is to use, click here.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Block of the Month Catalog

We just got our 2011 Block of the Month catalog back from the printer and is it ever pretty to look at!

The catalog is stuffed with photos and information about our Block of the Month Clubs and how they work. Seeing all the clubs together, I was amazed at the number of programs that we do here at Grandma's Attic. I also noticed that we have many different embroidery available, including our new one Sweethearts Redwork Sampler Club. I've been embroidering blocks for this club and also for Flower of the Month Club. That one is currently being revamped with a new setting that will make it twice as gorgeous as before.

One of my favorite clubs is the Bobby Sox Sisters. Each month, you follow Apple Betty, Patti Poundcake and Jenny Jello as they explore the changes of the 1950s. There's quilt blocks to create and 1950s-era appliances to embroider, as well as a special newsletter for reading about what was popular during those years.

If you'd like a copy of our latest catalog, send us an e-mail at with your snail mail address and we'll get one in the mail to you right away!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jewels of the Valley Quilt Show

One of my favorite quilt shows takes place right in my own back yard. Held every other year, the 2011 Quilt Show is put on by the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

This year, the theme is Jewels of the Valley. It starts tomorrow, April 21, and continues through Saturday, April 23. Held at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall, Oregon, it's only four miles from Grandma's Attic. Come see us once you've been inspired by the show. The quilt you see here is called "Gem Stars." Made by quilt guild members, it is going to be raffled off Sunday afternoon and one lucky person will be taking it home.

In addition to the quilt raffle, this show features judged and non-judged quilts, a silent auction, a vendor mall, a boutique full of quilty things made by Guild members, and a bed turning. The bed turning is one of my favorite parts of this show. And just like it says, what will happen is that they will tell you all about the quilts that have been laid out on a big old bed. One of the Guild members will discuss each quilt in detail--how old it is, where it came from, etc. Then they will turn it back to reveal another quilt.

Admission for non guild members is $5 and well worth the price. Allow yourself plenty of time to be able to see all the quilts, visit the boutique and vendor mall, bid on silent auction items and even have a little something to eat. Remember, this show is held every other year so if you miss this one, you'll have to wait two whole years before you can see it again!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stephen's Chickens and an Egg Recipe

April 2nd is "Chick Day" at our house. That's when Stephen will go to the Feed Store and bring home six to ten new baby chicks to add to his small barnyard brood. We didn't get any babies last year. This year, he says that the 13 chickens he has are not getting any younger. And since those "old ladies" are getting up there in years, he says it's time to bring in some new little chicks.

When he brings the babies home, he sets up a special box that he built for them. Then he adjusts a heat lamp, and provides food and water so they will be well fed, warm, and ready to grow. And when they get old enough, they will start laying eggs.

Stephen's chickens lay an average of six to eight eggs per day, which means that when they're laying, he's got as many eggs as the Easter Bunny. The chickens come to him when he calls them. They know he's going to feed them and follow him anywhere he goes!

We have a hen house for them with a fenced-in outdoor area for keeping them safe. On most days, though, he opens up the coop and let's them wander around the farm for a while. No matter how far they wander, they always manage to put themselves to bed when the sun goes down. Then Stephen goes out and shuts the door to the hen house and locks them in all nice and safe from predators.

We have different types of chickens on the farm. Right now we've got buff orphingtons, bantam cochins with feathers on their feet, Rhode Island reds, and Plymouth Rocks (the ones that look like they're on a prison gang in their black and white feathers). I'm sure we've got other types as well, but I must admit that I don't keep up with them as much as Stephen does.

The eggs they lay are absolutely fabulous. Nice big eggs with brilliant yellow yolks that look just perfect when poached and sitting on the breakfast table. And speaking of breakfast, here's a fabulous breakfast casserole recipe. You make it ahead; then refrigerate until morning when you pop it into the oven for a yummy start to your day.

Breakfast Casserole

1 pound ground pork sausage
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
6 slices bread, toasted and cut into cubes
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Night Before: Crumble the sausage in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly browned; then drain. In a medium sized bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese. Stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.

Next Morning: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover casserole dish and bake 45-60 minutes. Uncover, reduced temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until set.

Serves: 8 (377 calories per serving)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

National Quilting Day - March 19, 2011

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 2011, the theme is Build Your Own Log Cabin. They have a free quilt pattern available at their website. It is based on the log cabin block and is 64" square. Click here to get that free quilt pattern. This would make a great donation for your favorite cause--or make one for yourself to honor family and friends.

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 teaching classes at Grandma's Attic. I'm teaching the Clothesline Club exploring 1930s-era quilting at 10:00 am, followed by Quilt Red where we will explore embroidery and heart health at 11:00. Then I'm planning to 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 quilts, quilting and good thoughts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

African Adventures with Tammy

Tammy just sent me another small note from South Africa, along with a few pictures. This one of Anne (on the left) and Tammy (on the right) definitely shows that they're having a great time. I'm thinking that the weather and the good company are very restorative for Tammy's health and that's a good thing. Both of them look great! Here's Tammy's note:

"Anne and I have been on many adventures in the last weeks with little computer access to share in a timely manner. I do miss my friends back home, but I am happy to say I have much to share with you. I have seen so many animals and beautiful countrysides. The people are so kind and friendly, you all would be impressed to see how people treat each other despite what little they may have. I have learned to humble down some. Talk to you soon!"

Here's a face only a mother could love! The Warthog, also called "African Lens-Pig," is a wild member of the pig family in Africa. Those wart-like protrusions on the head serve as a defense when males are fighting.

Like camels, warthogs are able to conserve moisture inside their bodies to stay cool. They are tough, sturdy animals with large heads and two sets of tusks. The upper tusks form a semicircle. The lower ones have a sharp cutting edge. When they run, they carry their tail upright so that it looks like a little flag. Believe it or not, even though they look tough, they would rather flee than fight.

Warthogs are grazers of grass and plants. They are approximately 30 inches tall at the shoulder, weigh between 120 and 150 pounds, and can live up to 15 years in the wild.

When I think of Africa, I always think of elephants. Those majestic animals are the largest land animals on earth and have a life span of up to 70 years. Their ears sort of look like the continent of Africa itself and can radiate heat to help them cool down.

An elephant's trunk contains approximately 100,000 different muscles and can be used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking and grabbing things. Trunks also come in handy for taking a nice shower. African elephants use their tusks to dig for food and water. Males also use them for battle. Because their tusks are made of ivory, they attract poachers, even though this is completely illegal. As a result, some African elephant populations are endangered.

Elephants are herbivores and can eat up to 300 pounds of food a day. How's that for a big food budget? They roam great distances foraging for food with female elephants living in herds. The females give birth to one calf every two to four years and, if you can imagine it, are pregnant for 22 months. (And you thought nine was tough!) At birth, a baby elephant is approximately three feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. In contrast, fully grown elephants are 8-13 feet tall measured at the shoulder and can weigh anywhere from 5,000 to 14,000 pounds.

Seeing Tammy's photos of warthogs and elephants reminds me that the 11th annual Quilter's Safari shop hop is just around the corner. From April 22 to May 1, you can be on your own wild adventure checking out Mid-Willamette Valley quilt shops and hunting down all those fabulous fabric deals! Click here for more details.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

South African Adventures with Tammy and Anne

As many of you may know, our class coordinator, Tammy Keith, and her friend Anne are currently visiting South Africa. Here's Tammy's latest letter:

"We are here at Lorna's farm at Noordhoek. Its on Chapmans Peak Rd, and Chapman's Peak Drive is very close as a cross road. We are doing very well and are having a great time. I finally feel relaxed and the heat is starting to make a difference. As before, everyone we meet is gracious beyond belief. We have met many new people who are instant friends. Two days ago, we had a very nice lunch at a quilter's house and two other quilting friends came to meet us and share their projects with us. This all came about because of a woman we met at Louisa's home. She wanted to share us with her friends. I find this country amazing. This has been a wonderful trip so far!"

After spending the night in Plettenberg Bay, Tammy and Anne are on to Grahamstown, South Africa, between Elizabethtown and East London.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Starry Night Block of the Month Club

Star Light...Star Bright...First Star I see Tonight... Do you remember wishing upon a star when you where young?

Here's a wish that can definitely come true: a brand new block of the month program at Grandma's Attic using Laurel Burch's Celestial Dreams fabric. Starry Night is filled with bright stars that twinkle in a night sky. Using a deep black background fabric, the prints sparkle with life.

Each month, you will receive the pattern, rotary cutting instructions, and all the fabric you need to complete a 12" quilt block. Finished quilt measures approximately 57" x 72". Click here for more details on this delightful block of the month program.