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.