Saturday, December 17, 2011
"..and as the year draws to a close, I think about my living.."
And I think a lot about how I live, especially in the season of focus on what we want, and what to give that might top last year's gift.
And yet, I am hearing some wonderful things this Christmas Season. Common, ordinary people doing some not so ordinary things. And I am inspired by people who go a step further than throwing some dollars in the red buckets. I like the little red buckets. I save dollars so I have them to put in more than just one as I shop. I think it is easy to give that way.
I am inspired by the extra effort people are going to to make the holidays special for those who are less fortunate. First on my list of inspiration is one of my customers who came into the shop soon after Thanksgiving. She had the name of an elderly person she got from a Christmas Tree somewhere in her shopping. The woman wanted place mats and napkins. My friend had a pattern, and she bought some really wonderful Christmas fabric and all she needed to make 4 beautiful place mats and cloth napkins. She did not ask for sale fabric. She did not buy the cheapest thing she could find. She did not go to a box store and find a ready made set. She bought the best she knew. I cut her fabric and rang up her bill. What a gift she was giving--and she still had to cut and pres and sew, sew, sew!!! I am deeply touched, and I know the woman who opens that gift will be thrilled.
Having been a member of more than 6 different congregations in my life, I have often heard people say that if something was to be given to poor people, they will be happy for anything. Or that it is just for the church, quality doesn't matter. I have been trying to figure out for years why someone would give something they would not give a member of their own family. I love hand-me-downs and shopping for a bargain at Good Will or Gift and Thrift. Yet, I am inspired to hear stories of people giving and thinking first about what the recipient would really appreciate.
I am also hearing of "Anonymous Santas" paying all but the last penny of toys laid away til almost the minute. I read of a woman who stood in the layaway area, and when a person who seemed to have needs beyond their means, came to make a payment on their lay-away--she stepped up and paid the balance. Where ever it started, it has inspired others to follow her example.
I really love that I am seeing people modeling the idea of giving the best they are able to give, and giving in very unexpected ways. I just finished a gift for a friend. It is so awesome, ( even if I say so myself!!!) I would like to keep it for myself. My friend is not expecting it, and she would not know the difference if I gave her something else. But I won't. I love to give gifts that I would enjoy receiving.
So this year I am looking for ways to be my best and give my best..... inspired by those who go beyond the expected. Ordinary people giving in extraordinary ways.
If I do not have time to write again before Christmas, I wish you all the Peace, Hope and Grace that this season celebrates. The birth of a Child who grew in stature and in favor with God and those around him. And his radical ideas changed the world. Merry Christmas to all. Let Peace begin in with me--how I think and how I treat those around me. .............Rachel
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Patches arrived at our door quite small--and stayed small all of her life. No one imagined she was as old as she was. When she was tearing around the shop in her earlier years it was easy to understand. In these later years, she seemed even smaller. She never weighed more than 7 pounds.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
1. Grab a good friend, or two or three.
2. Fill the car with gas.
3. Pick up a passport at your favorite quilt shop on the tour.
4. Spend the next three of four days traveling the byways that connect the eight shops.
5. Be sure to stop to eat along the way; take in the beauty of the country side.
6. Shop, chat, tell stories, laugh.
At the end of events, I find myself wondering what it would be like to travel this shop hop, be a mouse in someone's pocket, and hear what everyone is saying. I have been in almost all of the shops, but the excitement and laughter I hear coming through my shop doors makes me think it would be fun to do the tour myself.
1. Grab a friend or two or three, fill the car with gas, and head out on a quilting journey.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
and it comes out of your mouth...
and then you're committed.
And then (usually sometime later) you realize your idea may have been 'too big'.
Well that is exactly what happened to me when I committed us, and our customers to making 110 kid themed pillowcases for Camp Dragonfly.
It all began when American Patchwork & Quilting put out a challenge for all the quilt shop and quilters across the country to make one million pillowcases in a last year. We started with gusto as we solicited customers to make pillowcases for our local Hospice of the Shenandoah. Without blinking, we had over 100 pillowcases for hospice patients... of all ages.
So while talking to Hospice's director, Lori, Camp Dragonfly came up in conversation. I figured that if the first round of pillowcases came in so quickly, so would bug or kids pillowcases. I didn't figure that there really wasn't as much bug fabric out there (on the market) as I thought or that customers would find making pillowcases for kids a challenge. But that's what happened and we were coming on the camp date faster than we were getting pillowcases.
So I sent out a desperation email, made kits, and gave a deadline that gave me enough time to make up the difference in pillowcases if needed. And, as usual, our customers and some of Hospice's volunteers came through. We surpassed our goal and have enough to start a stash of pillowcases for next year.
All of this leads to a huge THANK YOU to you our generous customers for the gift of your time, talents and fabric to bring some love and sunshine to local kids who are grieving.
We continue to collect pillowcases all year for hospice patients (young and old) as well as continuing our Camp Dragonfly collection for next fall. We love this 'rolled' pillowcase technique and make a lot of pillowcases for friends and family at the holidays. Enjoy. Kay
Rolled Pillowcase - American Patchwork & Quilting
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This is an all sewing, no batting, coverlet style runner. I made two with some of the Jason Yenter fabric that I have been wanting to do something with, but needing something that would show off the print. I hope you find it as fun as I have.
15 Minute Tablerunner - Pineneedles
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Brittany is going to Washington State University and Everett is off to Eastern Mennonite University. They have grown into wonderful young people. Individuals in their own right, yet very compassionate. They have great love for their families, friends, and environment. They make me smile to think of the young people they have become. I am proud to call Brittany my God-daughter, and Everett my cousin. God Bless!!
Of course they couldn't go off to college without a gift from 'Auntie Kay'. I made matching pillowcases & laundry bags for each of them. Hopefully, the pillowcase will bring them a smile if they are lonely, and the bag will be strong for hauling that laundry home (haha... not a possibility for Brittany unless it's at Christmas!)
Signing off before the tears start....
Love & Peace to you, Kay
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Nurturing myself comes in several forms in my life. Most recently, time with friends, time sewing, a little knitting here and there and always writing. But late Monday afternoon, I opened my refrigerator to see again an extra 2 quarts of milk I had purchased forgetting I still had 2 quarts in the frig...waste not want not. I will make pudding. Feed my dreary sweet self with a bit of comfort food.
Pudding from scratch is the only way to go. I am sorry busy people. The chemicals in the box do not count!! When I looked at the milk it is 1%; I cannot make good pudding with low fat milk. I seldom go to the grocery store for one ingredient. But I needed half and half and whipping cream to bolster the low fat milk. I looked at my day-off-straight-haired-strubbly face in the mirror. I twisted my hair up under my favorite Cubbies cap, and headed for Food Lion for just 2 ingredients: half and half and whipping cream--not the heavy stuff, just whipping cream. And I made the entire two-mile round trip without seeing anyone I knew.
Back home, I need a bit of background noise. I turn on the TV. And there is Ellen Degeneres. Perfect. I need some laughter and silliness in my day. And Ellen does silly and funny very well. She will be my cooking companion. Laughter fills the room as she spins yet another funny story.
Cooking is a bit of a ritual for me. I assembled all of my ingredients. And my equipment as well. Miss Stech (Manchester College, Indiana--1966) taught me well. Bowls for eggs. Bowls for sugar and milk and cornstarch. My favorite silicone wire whisk, a bowl scraper and at least 2 wooden spoons because I'll probably misplace one before the evening is over. And a mug full of cute little tasting spoons. Milk, half and half, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, salt and really good vanilla. Oh, yes, a cloth to wipe up dribbles and spills.
I scalded, mixed, beat and whipped, tempered the eggs perfectly, blended and poured. The pudding came together so well, I got a little carried away. If vanilla pudding is good, what would make it better--stir in some coconut...my taste. It wasn't enough for 10 servings. So, I stirred up another pot of pudding, and added chocolate. I dug out my Christmas dessert dishes. A layer of coconut pudding, one of chocolate, almost to the top. A Mounds Bar parfait. Something was missing.. In my freezer I found a cup of slivered almonds. Toasted with several teaspoons of sugar in a pan will make a praline topping for my dessert.
By now Ellen has led to Dr. Oz....please don't talk about cholesterol today. But I barely listen.
Then the news, then I turn it over to one more NCIS rerun. David McCallum and I go way back to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (circa 1965). He's good company, But again, it is background as I stir the almonds until they are coated just right.
This week our Small Group meets on Tuesday. My assignment for our meal together is dessert. And there it is. I scoop the cooled almond off the wax paper and into an airtight container. I will add them as I serve the pudding. Almond Joy!!!
Self care this one Monday evening meant time in my little kitchen. I feel so much better. Therapy comes in so many forms. The dishes can wait. ......... Rachel
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Our new favorite 'yarn' is the Katia Triana novelty yarns and really I should be online looking for more colors that are available.
We have new fabric book panels available and they make the sweetest gift for a new baby. Jason Yenter's Christmas line are very popular right now... are you getting ready for Christmas? I know it sounds crazy, but it won't be long.
So we'll do better about posting, and the new blog will be more blog-like... reflections and ramblings relevant to life, love, and all things fabric and yarn.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Having said that, we did our homework, talking to the landlord, working and reworking our ideas, considering options, making list of pros and cons, and through it all, dreaming about what we really want for our space and for our time. The dream continues. Dreams grow, and with growth, change happens. It feels good to have some control of the process.
I am looking forward to all the possibility, promise and potential this space has to offer. Every day is new and full of hope for what can be. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Have you been wondering, “What is going on at Rachel’s?”.
In an effort to use energy and space more efficiently, we are working with our landlord to remodel, reset and reconfigure Rachel’s Quilt Patch. That means change. You will come in a different door. Our space will look different. What will not change is our goal to bring you great fabric, wonderful yarn, and the customer service you are accustomed to receiving from us..
Please bear with us over the next few weeks as we make these changes. The shop will be closed Monday, April 4 & Tuesday, April 5 so we can focus on the task of re-creating our floor space. Our goal is to become better stewards of our time, our space, and energy needs. Will re-open Wednesday, April 6 with a new look but the same heart.