Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pillowcases... a gift of love

You know when you get an idea...
                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

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Super easy, sewing only, tablerunner

About the time you think you've seen it all, a customer walks in with an idea I haven't seen yet. I assure you I know that I haven't seen it all, but new discoveries always make me smile none-the-less. This little story also shows how great ideas spread all over the country.

So Wendy comes in this morning, after visiting a shop in Arkansas.  The shop touted the runner as the '20 minute tablerunner' and Wendy showed me the general idea of it, but I had to Google it.  I found a 10 min, 15 min and 20 minute tablerunner.... all the same concept.  The best pattern I found is from a quilt shop in Iowa.  It is so funny when we all get excited about a concept.

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

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Well on their way to being all grown up.

Who are these two cuties?!! They are Brittany Kay Kimble and Everett Brubaker, as flower girl and ring bearer in Travis and my wedding 15 years ago.  Now I am not sure what is more surprising, that it's been 15 years since my wedding or that these two precious little ones are headed to COLLEGE!

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

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

...reflections relevant to life, love, all things fabric and yarn...and today FOOD

This space reflects the relevancy to life and love, and that covers about everything.  I am a total package, of what I am not always sure.  But Monday afternoon after a morning of pretty serious conversations, and being present with my lonely, sad self, I decided I needed some nurturing.

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 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

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Digs - Kay

Yes, it has been several months since we have posted from our 'new' space. We have been busy, but that's no excuse! We have shifted around a little bit more, and are feeling terrific in our new space.

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.
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