Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sweethearts Redwork Sampler Quilt

We're going red for women's heart health this month! February is Heart Health Awareness Month, so it's the perfect time to introduce our newest Block of the Month program Sweethearts Redwork Sampler Quilt Club. As part of the national Go Red For Women campaign and the American Heart Association, we're committed to helping build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke for women.

You can say I Love You over and over again with Sweethearts Redwork Sampler Quilt Club. The club features embroidered hearts that I designed and/or adapted from vintage redwork patterns. In choosing patterns to include in the club, I looked at literally hundreds of different heart motifs that have appeared in quilts and needlework through the years. It was interesting to note that in the 1800s, hearts were only included wedding quilts, yet by the middle of the 20th century, hearts appeared on all types of textiles.

After the research phase, I designed and/or adapted 13 different hearts to showcase designs representing different eras in textiles. Designs chosen for the sampler quilt include those found in the penny square redwork quilts of the late 1800s, plus heart designs like those used in the 1930s, 1980s and today. I even included an adaptation from the late 1700s called Love in Bloom.

All of the heart designs in this program are easy to stitch using simple redwork embroidery techniques. They're also fun to do. And since embroidery can be a relaxing way to unwind after a hectic and crazy day, some take more time to complete than others. Each packet in the program includes the fabric and floss needed to create an embroidered heart block. I've also included information from FabShopNet's Quilt Red program with tips for keeping your own heart healthy and strong. So the program is a win-win: interesting, fun, informational, relaxing, and good for your health!

We've kept the cost of the Sweethearts Redwork Sampler Quilt Club low at $9.99 per month, including shipping and handling. A Finishing Kit for setting your blocks into a beautiful red, white and black quilt measuring 95" x 95" is also available.

Sign up today so we can get that first packet in your mailbox right away!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We're 17 Years Old!

"Where does the time go?" People say this all the time, yet this is my most honest reaction about Grandma's Attic celebrating its 17th birthday. One minute we're opening up a tiny little shop with approximately 400 bolts of fabric, and the next thing you know, we've grown into this great big shop with over 4,000 bolts on the shelves!

One thing I can say is that the first year we were open, is that I actually had a little quilting frame set up in the back and I did a little hand quilting every afternoon. This last year I've scarcely looked at a quilt frame, much less put in a stitch or two! Instead, I've been busy working on both the brick and mortar and the web stores. It's been fun; I'm having a great time; and I'm not anywhere near a stopping point! The shop is a blessing in my life and I am very grateful.

We're taking an entire week to celebrate this milestone. All fabric in the shop is 17% off this week (in honor of 17 years). Plus, if you bring cans of soup into the brick and mortar store for the local food bank, we'll give you an additional 7% discount for being so generous to others in need.

Everyone who purchases at least $100 either on the web or in the store itself, will receive a gift from us--a beautiful scissors set (two pair!). In additional, we are still holding our book close-out sale of 50% off with plenty great titles to take home with you.

As for me, I am trying to work a little more hand work into my life this year. Whether hand quilting or embroidery work, I am looking forward to the relaxation needle arts can bring.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remodeling Again!

As you probably know, we're always changing things around here at Grandma's Attic. Whether it's redecorating our front windows after the holidays, or featuring the latest and greatest products received from suppliers, we really keep hopping. What with trying to figure out where to put the product and how best to display it so that you have room to shop, it's a fact that I get my daily exercise. And as long as I am not absolutely killing my knees trying to do too much, I enjoy the opportunity to get up close and personal with the merchandise.

From the picture above, you can see that we totally remodeled the Books and Notions area of the shop. We've made it easier for you to browse through the books, find the Leanin' Tree cards, and purchase notions. Seana helpfully posed with a book to show off our new arrangement. Not only is there more room to look through our selections, but to be honest with you, the real reason I decided that this had to be done was that it is going to be a lot easier to set up for registration check-in during Quilt Club sessions. I move one Deacon's bench, haul in a table, and we're there. (Okay, so I don't actually move it myself, but I sure am good at directing someone else to do it.) The upside of this new arrangement for you is that there's more space to move around and there's better lighting.

When we revamped, the batting rack migrated over to the hall area between the front of the shop and the classroom. It's easier to see everything there too. Not to worry about those empty spots on the rack. They'll be full in no time because I just placed a big batting order now that I can see what we're missing!

In order to make more room, I had to get real about the number of books that we are carrying in the shop. I know for a fact that even after we purge some of the books by putting them on sale to you at fabulous prices, we will continue to have more books in the shop than you can imagine. (Don't forget, the book area is just one place we have our books. There's books in Batiks, 1930s, Redwork, 19th Century, Baby, Kitchen items, and the top of all the shelves. It's crazy. What can I say? There's so many good ones out there. It's a win-win situation for you though. I put over 125 book titles on sale 50% off and I moved them all to the classroom area so that you could shop them easily.

This is the book close-out area. Everything is 50% off. And yes, I know there's a gigantic pole in the middle of that space. It's not very attractive, but it's holding up one of those gigantic satellite dishes. My landlord used to own Oregon Cable TV and this was part of the office. The dish is still there and so is the pole which is just fine with me. I have the best landlord on the face of the earth and a little pole in the middle of a display is nothing I can't work around.

Come see our changes for yourself. And while you're at it, bring some of these books home with you. You'll love learning new techniques and discovering new ideas.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bonnie Leman of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine

Somewhere in the hubbub of the holiday season, I missed hearing the sad news that Bonnie Leman, founder of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, passed away on September 4, 2010.

According to The Denver Post, Bonnie "found her calling in the publishing business, when, in 1969, she founded Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. Through her magazine she helped revive and foster an appreciation of quilts as a great American art form that continues to this day. Bonnie grew her magazine readership to more than 200,000 subscribers in over 100 countries, as well as writing and publishing numerous books and other publications on quiltmaking. She traveled much of the world in the course of her career, made hundreds of friends, and contributed to the growth of the quiltmaking art in many countries."

When Bonnie began publishing her magazine, it was the only magazine on the market devoted solely to quilting. Before very long at all, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine was the magazine you had to have if you were to consider yourself a "real" quilter. And, indeed, I have managed over the years to collect every single issue from that first one in 1969, until the present day. My favorites are the ones in the 100 series (the 1970s and early 1980s). There is so much good information packed into the pages of those issues that they are hard to put down once picked up. Here's a copy of what the very first magazine looked like:

Bonnie typed those first magazine issues at the kitchen table using a manual typewriter. And, on the day that very first issue was published, she was at the hospital giving birth to her seventh child. Her staff back then consisted of her children. There is no way she could have fathomed the tremendous impact she would have on quilters all over the world. From that tiny seed, she grew a giant oak of a publication. Forty-two years later, here is a copy of what the latest issue looks like:

Clearly, both the magazine and the quilting industry have come a very long way since Bonnie pounded out that first issue at her kitchen table. Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman has composed a lovely tribute to Bonnie, whom she credits as giving her a start as a published author. You can read it by visiting her blog, Material Culture. Bonnie was inducted into the Quilter's Hall of Fame in 1982. You can read their tribute to Bonnie on the Quilter's Hall of Fame blog.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's now 2011! That's 1-1-11 to be exact and, it seems to me, a great time for new beginnings. I'm sharing with you a few of my favorite quotes in the hope that they will inspire you to new projects, new dreams, and new beginnings.

"Whatever you do or dream you can do--begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832 --

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." -- Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962 --

"Never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself." -- Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910 --

"You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream." -- C.S. Lewis, 1898-1963 --

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850