Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Better Late than Never

It was a combination of putting off and kept forgetting that I never blogged about this. I decided today was the day. I thought I would show you the place I hang my hat when it comes to quilt stores. Some of you living in Ontario will recognize this place and know a quilter can have a lot of fun there. They also were chosen from thousands to be included in the Quilt Sampler magazine. I was so happy for them when it happened. This is the last issue from the magazine and the store is featured on page 44. It is called Quilters Cupboard .

Sue the owner of the store is an amazing person in more ways than one. To hear her explain how a store gets to "audition" for the magazine is a story all by itself. I never knew there was so much work involved. It's not just phoning them up and saying you'd like to offer your story. There were all kinds of preparations before the magazine decided to run their story and many months afterwards when the magazine decided to finally feature the store. Many nights with little sleep trying to meet deadlines and coping with all the changes made. Sue kept it all light hearted and managed to survive that. After all, she is a survivor of another sort. Sue was diagnosed with cancer (she had no signs whatsoever) and the prognosis was not good but with a lot of prayer and a lot of friendship from all she managed. During her various medical regimes she decided to host a cancer-quilt-marathon. She organized groups quilting around the frame non-stop (and I mean 24hours) for many days. People signed up for sewing, feeding the masses, entertaining, serving, quilting etc. The word got out throughout the town and even men were dropping in to see what the fuss was all about. Some even tried their hand at quilting. There were pledges signed and things sold through auctions via the store. People then started coming from all around to participate in this worthwhile cause. Sue also had a bet going with another quilt store to do the same (raise money for cancer) in another part of the province. Other quilt stores throughout Canada heard about it and did their bit as well. When Sue totaled the money that her store alone raised for the cancer society we all fell off our chairs. In the matter of 2 weeks (I believe) Sue's store raised over $30,000. Yes, more than $30,000. You have to remember that Uxbridge, where the store is located, is just a small town. It is in farm country. To me that showed how much Sue and her store is loved and how much the town and all that participated wanted to help fight a terrible disease. Word spread throughout the "land" and more and more people wanted to "help" so Sue organized another marathon the following year. I don't know how much that one raised but I'm sure it was a vast sum again. There have been other marathons for cancer put on by other quilt stores in Canada but to date no one has matched Sue's amount collected. There is more to this story but have kept it brief. Visit Sue sometime and she'll fill in the details for you. Besides, this will give you another reason to visit the store (besides shopping) and meet her in person. You won't regret going. If you live too far away turn to page 44 in the magazine to read about her store. Too bad the article wasn't longer. There is so much more to say. Then turn to the pattern section where Sherri designed a quilt for the article in the magazine. Wonderful, in a word. Sew-long!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all and hope that the year has started on the right foot for everyone. I for one love the New Year because it's like starting over again, a new slate so to speak. It reminds me of going into a pine forest after the rain when things are still damp and feeling that everything has been "cleaned" off. Then smelling that wonderful pine scent the trees give off which instantly refreshes and vitalizes me. How wonderful is that? My New Year has started with moving on from the deaths that occurred during December (we had 5) and thinking of getting back to my sewing and blogging (which I will be doing today).

This block  I made for my new partner Shirley living in Ontario who is a member in the IFQ. Shirley sent me the centre square and I added the other fabrics to the block. I have heard back from her and she loves what I did with her centre square fabric.

Secret Santa Swap
I joined my very first Secret Santa Swap. After I signed up I realized what that meant. It meant I had to send something to someone I had never met and knew nothing about. Talk about momentary panic. I did have her blog address and tried to glean some insight reading her blog but that did not help much. So I thought just do your best and keep your fingers cross that she'll like whatever I make her. I forgot to take pictures before I sent it off but I did hear back from Polly at Polly's Porch that she loved her present. Signing up for Secret Santa also meant that I would receive a gift in the mail from someone. It was Stephanie from the USA. This time I remembered to take pictures.
 Stephanie made this wonderful pin cushion from an antique demi-tasse cup. It is the perfect size and colour for my room. It just so happened I needed another pin cushion.
Pictured behind the demi-tasse was a huge candle and a Christmas card that she made herself.
If that wasn't enough she also made me these mug mats from wool. As you can see one is big enough to use as a small table runner if a person wanted to. She hand stitched the smaller mat with a blanket stitch and the larger mat with machine blanket stitching.
Stephanie didn't stop there. She also included a wonderful, big mug and some biscotti to have with my hazelnut flavoured coffee. Such a gal!
To top things off she included some candy cane and tree ornaments (which I put on my tree right away). I couldn't believe how blessed I was in receiving all of this from a stranger. Thank you, Stephanie. When I opened your parcel that day and peeled back all the layers I thought how this kindness has brightened my life. I hope all of you that signed up for the Secret Santa Swap were just as lucky.