Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How 'bout some SUGAR?

Do you like sugar in your coffee? Your iced tea? On your cereal? How about with your quilts? Until this week we thought sugar was something to avoid—or at least limit--but then participants from the SUGAR (Statler Users Group and Reps) began stopping off at the store on their way home from this year’s conference, and we discovered SUGAR was a good thing!

With the energy and enthusiasm of the newly inspired, the SUGAR gang dropped by on their way back to their longarms. This bubbly bunch examined Connie Gresham’s quilting on our shop samples, put together exciting combinations of fabrics for their next projects, and took time to share a few stories before they got back on the road to head home.

Hughetta, a Homestead Hearth friend from a Nashville event, told her SUGAR tale of being in the right place at the right time. Thanks to an encounter with a man in charge of outfitting Disney World’s Cinderella’s Castle, Hughetta and her buddy Jewell’s ability to stitch more than straight lines earned them the opportunity to quilt 17 comforters. Isn’t that a fairy tale come true?

About the time the SUGAR folks wandered away a three-generation group of gals stepped into the store. Mothers, daughters, and a daughter of a daughter roamed the shop matching completed embroidery tops to border cloth, hand-picking colors for new projects, and browsing the books. One of the mothers in the clan, Connie, shared this creative idea during her time at the cutting table.

Take one son-in-law who works as an over-the-road trucker. Put him on the highway for weeks at a time. Stir in a little boredom and Connie’s inspiration (and determination) to find a cure. What do you get? A postage stamp (2x2”) quilt built from novelty fabrics accompanied by a printed Seek-and-Find guide. How much of the puzzle do you predict he’ll solve before his next trip home?

When the afternoon rolled around our Thrilling Thursday continued with an invasion from Burlington, Iowa. When the bright, red Trailways bus pulled up we were thrilled to welcome 37 enthusiastic quilters from across the border! While some of the gals holed up in the brights, others delved into the Civil War fabrics. The rest? They spread out throughout the store—and the other two fabric stores in town. We’re sure Bonnie at Mexico Sewing Center and Mona at Sticky Wicket enjoyed the Iowa gals as much as we did. Y’all come back now, you hear?

Don’t you love summer when you can get out and go? Whether passing through on the way home from a conference, making a special bus trip, or just out for the day, it is wonderful to have all of you filling the store with your excited voices and the opportunity to tap into your amazing ideas.

Lately many of our visits have been from folks traveling to family reunions. One couple, Quilter’s Travel Guide in hand, was making the journey from Utah to Quincy, Illinois, one shop at a time. Another day a multi-generational trio took time out from their adventures at Lakeview Park to wander into the store and pick a project for the campsite. Once in a while grandmothers and grandchildren stop by to select fabric for “Grandma Camp” projects. And of course there are always remembrances under construction for weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and soon-to-come babies.

Quilting is such a wonderful way to celebrate the milestones and connections in life, but as you create those projects remember to include labels with the Who, What, and Where. Nothing is sadder than digging through a box of lovingly made quilts or old family photos not knowing the hands, hearts, and faces behind them.
Labeling can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. Handwritten information can be done with a permanent pen, or some quilters prefer to write and then embroider over their lettering for more longevity. Whether you use your computer to print labels, the embroidery feature on your sewing machine, or your own best penmanship, we created the Family Album panel to help simplify the preservation of your family’s history.

Get your own Family Album panel by clicking here.

Loved enough for a quilt? Certainly loved enough for a label.

Summer is definitely here, so enjoy your travels, enjoy your families, and enjoy making memories of simpler times.

Happy 4th of July!
Sue, Sarah, Dolores & the Homestead Hearth gang

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