Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Playing Catch Up

February 12, 2013

Now that Valentine’s Day is approaching, maybe I should get around to posting pics of my booth at the 2012 holiday show.   The show ran from Nov 30 – Dec 24th in an empty store front in Midtown Memphis and participants took turns staffing it.  I had many more sales this year because I had a better variety of products and price points.   I also set up shop with other women makers at a Memphis Cash Mob event in the lobby of our local literacy agency.  It only lasted a few hours one rainy afternoon, but lots of people came and everyone did well.

Here is the whole setup.  It looks a little awkward and there is too much empty wall space, but I will remedy that next year.  We never know where our booths will be until the last minute so it is hard to plan ahead.  This year  I bought some fancy gridwall to better display the bibs.


I went ahead and made aprons even though everyone is making aprons.  I used large-scale prints with coordinating fabrics for backs so that they are reversible.  The best seller was the Buddha apron which is second from the back in the pic below.  I bought a lot more of that fabric for next year.


These birdseed ornaments sold as fast as I could make them!  I made the boxes out of recycled cereal boxes and nestled the ornaments in shredded tissue from last year’s gift boxes.


My sister made these adorable house ornaments.  There was only one left at the end of the show.


This was the big surprise of season.  I made about 30 decoupage ornaments using pages from fabric catalogs.  I was just sure that most of them  would be coming home with me after the show closed.  But I sold every single one of them and many of the people who purchased them bought two!  These take a long time to make and I even took the supplies on vacation with me.  Many were assembled while we anxiously watched last year’s presidential election returns in front of a fire in a cozy condo in North Carolina.


Other merchandise included hand knit caps, black and white fabric books for infants and recycled yarn.  I only sell one or two lots of yarn every year, but I will keep putting it out because people think that recycling yarn is cool and the pretty colors draw them into my booth.

Things went so well in 2012 that I’m looking to do more shows next season.  And I am starting on the stitching now to avoid the last-minute making frenzy that happens to procrastinators like me!


Handmade for the Holidays

December 25, 2010

Wow what a crazy holiday season! I had it totally under control until a few last-minute projects popped up. But the celebrating was done by noon today and I immediately settled in for a long (5-hour) winter’s nap.

No more keeping the handmade gifts under wraps! First, some ornaments for a swap with my knittaz in the Memphis Knit Mafia. They did not have to be knitted, so I made mine from glass balls and pages from a fabric catalog.

Handmade ornament for swap

This was not a fast project, so I cut and pasted in the evenings while watching White Christmas three nights in a row. As a result I have been continually humming the tune from “Sisters” and thinking about technicolor blue dresses and fluffy feather fans. The Hancock’s of Paducah catalog didn’t stand a chance as I cut up the Kaffe Fassett pages for the color and photos of a blue fabric collection for one monochromatic ornament. When the glass balls were all covered, I strung them up from the bathroom shower curtain and applied three coats of mod podge to make them shine.

Handmade ornaments ready for swapping

There was minimal knitting since I have been so busy finishing the Crosstown Quilt and running all over Hawaii. But I managed to crank out a soft Saroyan scarf/shawl for my cousin. It was completed on Tuesday, blocked on Wednesday and given on Friday night. The yarn is Berocco Palace. The first pic is the best representation of the true color.

Scarf for my cousin

Scarf detail

About a week ago, I was searching for some stitch markers and found some yarn I had bought to make my sister a hat. Not just any hat, but a replica of the Ralph Lauren hat worn by the US athletes in the 2010 Winter Games. Last winter, these hats retailed for about $70, sold out before the Olympics started and then sold for up to $500 each on ebay for months afterwards. In March, I found a pattern for it on Ravelry, promised one to my sister, bought the yarn and promptly forgot about it. So I cast on in a hurry and did the stranded color work for the first time. It was not a fast knit, but I love the finished product. This hat is pretty big. If I made it again I would leave out some of the rows of white below and above the moose/reindeer.

Olympic hat

Even with all of this going on, I accepted two opportunities to make a little money. After all, the credit card bill with the Hawaii trip on it was coming! I picked up a quilt from a friend on Wednesday, bound it for her on Thursday and returned it Friday. Fortunately, my sister was in town and helped me get it done. I love binding quilts, so getting paid to do it is especially fun.

We also hosted a canine visitor for a week while her people were at Disney World. Annabelle is a good girl and a pleasure to have around. Her presence forces me to take those walks I should be taking anyway. While she was here, she snagged a half-eaten turkey sandwich off a counter while I was answering the door. Made me think I was crazy because I couldn’t find the sandwich and didn’t remember finishing it! The game was up when Larry spotted some telltale pickles on the floor.

We made a date to meet my friend Nancy and her wild-man dog Jethro at Memphis’s new dog park. This was my first visit to the park and now I know that it is THE place to go for free entertainment. That’s Annabelle on the left and Jethro mugging for the camera.

Annabelle and Jethro at the dog park

There are still two small gifts to finish and give. After that I’ll be working on two commissions (pillows and a shoulder bag), participating in a linen quilt block swap, and signing up for the next Doll Quilt Swap.

What will YOU be making in the new year?

Look Mom, I’m Paper Piecing!

January 26, 2010

I started this new blog in a fit of optimism that hasn’t really returned. But it’s no fun being out of the loop. And the seam rippers have seen some action, so here we go!

Before we start with the crafting, let it be known throughout the blogdom that it is ok to write or ask about Gwen. I like talking and thinking about my sweet girl, so don’t hesitate to say something if you want to. Really.

There were fewer handmade holiday gifts than originally planned, but the first thing I tackled was the FSQS Holiday Quilt Swap. After we lost Gwen I decided to stay in this swap so I would have something else to think about. Little did I know that grief all but wipes out your attention span and ability to concentrate. Plus, I had decided to try paper piecing for the first time. It took forever! but I was happy with the result and sent it on it’s way to Mari in Norway.

FSQS holiday swap quilt

The pattern is Geese in the Forest from the lovely and talented Anina of Twiddletales store and blog. Because this was a mini quilt, I reduced the block size from 6 inches to 4 inches. And used batiks because I love them so.

Like many of the quilters on flickr, Anina was inspired by this quilt that appeared in the Tokyo International Quilt Festival in 2007. Check out more GTF quilts in the Geese in the Forest Flickr group.

Paper piecing is not so hard after a little practice. It’s especially helpful when working with triangles or very small pieces. There are a few things I wish I’d had known before starting this quilt. I’ll tell you all about it in the next post!

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