December 31st, 2012
As 2012 winds down, I just wanted to take a few minutes to say thanks…for your business, your love and support, and your encouraging words along the way. It was a great year at the shop, beginning with the phone call in January telling me that Sweet Home had been selected as a Top Ten Shop for Quilt Sampler magazine, followed by weeks of frantic preparation for the photo shoot in early March, and then the agonizing wait until May when the official announcement was made at Quilt Market. There were times I thought I’d burst with the news, but we managed to keep it quiet. The outpouring of love and congratulatory messages received from all of you when the announcement was made were both humbling and heartwarming, and served as proof that Sweet Home is as loved by you as it is by us! We’ve met so many wonderful new friends from all over the U.S. and several other countries as a result of the magazine article, and I never tire of hearing “what a wonderful shop!”, which always makes me smile…it makes every effort worthwhile!
In the midst of preparing for the Quilt Sampler photo shoot, we welcomed Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs for a workshop in February. Sixty-five quilters spent two fun-filled days working with Terry testing a quilt pattern from her then soon-to-be-released book, Graphic Mixx, which has proven to be another hit for her! Every single time I look at the Graphic Mixx book I think to myself “we had a part in that!” Today, almost a year later, I still hear comments about how much fun that weekend was, and when can we do it again?
So many special moments from throughout the year … I could write a book! But I won’t since you’re probably getting ready for champagne and fireworks! I do especially want to thank everyone who has helped support our charitable efforts this year. Thanks to you, more than 500 pillowcases have been donated to ConKerr Cancer, and over 100 pet beds went to the local animal shelter. When Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast, you were quick to answer my call for help, contributing nearly 100 quilts and blankets and money to help with shipping costs. I really think we made a difference in a lot of ways this year, and I’m so proud to have the support of such giving hearts! You lift me up every single day in ways I never could have imagined!
Tomorrow brings a new year. I’m excited about this one. Good things are planned. Good things are happening. I’m ready.
Wishing you happiness,
Wishing you health,
Wishing you blessings …
Happy New Year!
December 26th, 2012
This video was created by Ken Kaufman of Robert Kaufman Fabrics during a visit to their printing plants in Japan. I thought you might enjoy this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the many steps involved in printing fabric. The video takes you from design concept to final printing and all the steps in between. It’s a wonder the price of fabric isn’t ten times what it is!
December 25th, 2012
The holiday season is a sensory overload … of gaily wrapped gifts, twinkling lights and trees, cookies and candies, over-excited children and exhausted adults. But now, after the gifts are unwrapped, and the wrappings cleared away – it’s time to pause … sit quietly with a hot cup of cocoa, breathe in the smells of Christmas, reflect on the memories of favorite ornaments on the tree, and give thanks for the many blessings of the season.
From our house to yours, we wish you love, joy, and peace in this season of hope.
Melisa & Mike
December 22nd, 2012
CRAFTSY CHRISTMAS SALE!
Expires Dec. 24, 2012 at midnight!
Click image to select classes & register. To say thanks, you’ll get a follow-up email with a $5 coupon you can use to purchase supplies for your online class at our shop.
December 14th, 2012
I’m one of those “I hate fruitcake” people…there, I said it! Is there a holiday food more ridiculed than the fruitcake? Bad jokes abound about fruitcakes surviving all sorts of catastrophic events intact, or the “gift that keeps on giving” that gets passed around from year to year! And is there a more dreaded Christmas gift? Who in their right mind thinks a gift of fruitcake would be welcomed?
Everyone knows there’s a lot of bad fruitcake out there. Especially those dense, dry loaves speckled with lumps of green, yellow and red that don’t resemble any fruit I’ve ever seen! Even those that are steeped in booze are often inedible, giving off clouds of alcohol fumes strong enough to give you a serious hangover! I remember my mother baking fruitcakes weeks in advance of the holidays, wrapping them in rum-soaked cheesecloth (and periodically dampening the cheesecloth with rum again!) leaving plenty of time to “cure.” Ugh!
Forget everything you know – and perhaps dislike – about traditional holiday fruitcakes. I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite recipes with you, and I promise it is unlike any other fruitcake you’ve ever had. Even better, it’s a breeze to make and a little slice to nibble on is just the right amount to satisfy your sweet tooth!
No Bake Ice Box Fruit Cake
1 box vanilla wafers or graham crackers
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 box coconut
1 box golden raisins
1 qt. chopped pecans
Crush vanilla wafers or crackers with a rolling pin. Mix all ingredients thoroughly by hand. Roll into about a 2-inch round log (recipe will make several logs), wrap tightly in waxed paper and refrigerate for several hours (best overnight). Slice into about ¼ inch rounds to serve. Will keep several weeks in refrigerator, tightly wrapped in wax paper.
It’s the ONLY fruitcake I’ll eat! I hope you’ll give the recipe a try, and let me know how you like it!
December 11th, 2012
It has been my experience that quilters are the most selfless, giving group of individuals ever, and once again, recent calls for help did not go unheeded. I’m often moved to help when a specific need arises, but limited time and resources limit the help I’m personally able to provide. I am thankful that I can use Sweet Home Quilt Co. as a means to facilitate help in those situations.
Just like everyone else, I was immensely shocked and saddened by the devastation left behind along the eastern seaboard by Hurricane Sandy in late October. What little I was able to do personally just didn’t seem to be enough; but then I learned of an effort spearheaded by Victoria Findlay Wolfe through Acacia Network in New York to collect quilts and blankets for those most seriously impacted by the storm and I realized I could facilitate the gathering and shipping of donated quilts from our quilting community.
One email later and the donated quilts began pouring in, along with monetary donations to help with the shipping costs! After 10 days, we had shipped 13 huge boxes filled with nearly 100 quilts and blankets to Acacia Network!
I recently received a warm thank you note from Victoria and the folks at Acacia Network that reads in part:
Thank you for the beautiful quilts donated to the Bumble Beans and Acacia Network Quilt Drive. These will go to individuals, families and children affected by the recent super storm.
It warms my heart to know that our quilting community rose to the occasion once again, and almost 100 people will have a beautiful quilt, at the least, to bring warmth and comfort as they recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Thank you, thank you to all of you who answered our call to help!
December 10th, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I received this Facebook message:
My 3 year old son and I were in your shop about 6 weeks ago for the first time. He absolutely LOVED the play room and was quite content to stay there while I looked/shopped. MANY times since, he has asked if we can go back to that "dilt" (quilt) shop and play with that "digger dactor" (digger tractor.) We are about 1 1/2 hours away so we can’t just run in and play whenever we would like. However, he has asked for a digger dactor for Christmas like the one in that dilt shop. Can you describe it for me…..color, name, approx size, etc? This is probably the first time you’ve been asked a question like this and I know you are very busy getting ready for Christmas shoppers but I sure would appreciate it if you could help me with this!
Thanks so very much,
I remembered the afternoon Susan and Nate spent at the shop … he was a delightful little boy, very polite and well mannered, and Susan was able to just shop to her heart’s content while he entertained himself in the play room.
The toy basket had several toys that I thought might be the “digger dactor” he described, so I snapped a quick photo and sent it off to Susan to help with her search. I sure hope she’s able to find a digger dactor for Nate.
It was pretty obvious that Nate is a special little guy. Susan shared with me that they have five sons … the oldest is 23 and Nate is the youngest at just 3 years old. I’m sure his older brothers dote on him! Susan also shared with me a video of Nate telling his “hunting story” and with her permission I just have to share it with you. In the story, Clayton is Nate’s 21 year old brother. If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face, you should probably have someone check your pulse!
I can’t wait for Susan and Nate to come back for a visit! I love that he has fond memories of his visit to the “dilt” shop!
December 10th, 2012
Time is getting short for Santa to be shopping … and the Elves have been working very hard so Santa doesn’t have to. We’ve created a whole section of WRAPPED & READY GIFTS to help Santa out. Choose from a variety of stocking stuffers, books, kits, notions and gift items all beautifully WRAPPED & READY for Santa to take home and put under the tree. Of course, if you have something else on your wish list for Santa, we’ll be happy to wrap that, too! You could even buy something for yourself and put it under the tree … one surefire way to get what you want for Christmas! And if Santa still isn’t comfortable choosing a gift for you, a reminder that GIFT CERTIFICATES in any amount are always available will solve that dilemma!
We want to make sure you get exactly the quilt-y gifts you’ve been dreaming of under your tree and in your stocking! Tell Santa there’s no excuse … we’ve covered all the bases!
November 29th, 2012
Last year about this time, my friend, Roseann, at Rosebud’s Cottage showed me how to make tin ornaments using my Sizzix die cut machine. Time got away from me and I never got around to making any, but I finally gathered all the materials last week, and started playing.
It’s been so much fun that I want to invite you to come and try your hand at making these holiday ornaments this Saturday … December 1st …10am to 2pm. You can choose from my die cuts, and I’ll show you how easy it is to use the machine. Then you can sit down and ink and embellish your ornament however you’d like, and finish it off with a hand-turned wire hanger. Each ornament you make is $4.99 plus tax.
Everyone loves a handmade gift and these would be perfect for teachers, co-workers and friends. I’m also planning to add them to a few special gifts as package tie-ons!
Hope you can join us!