Friday, March 20, 2009

Packing the Bags....again.

We've been home for 4 blissful days and I will be packing the bags again tomorrow for a 5 day trip to San Diego. I have agreed to a volunteer position on base, I am now the Command Ombudsman for our small Navy Detachment on the local Air Force Base. They are flying me to San Diego for training early Sunday morning. I am happy to do it. I feel like it's my responsibility as a "seasoned" Navy Wife to give back to our younger Navy families and make the transition in and out of our command as easy as possible. I will also be making sure that our deployed Sailors families are well taken care of while their loved ones are overseas. I am really looking forward to my new position! My family just happens to live in San Diego so I will also get to see Mom and Dad, my sister and her family as well as the Grandma's, even if it will only be for a few hours as I will be in school all day!

I know I said I was going to post everyday this week but I have been spending some quality time with Emme this week and let the business stuff slide for a few days. We've had a lot of fun watching movies and going to lunch. I even had her agreeing to a trip to the Mall! (She never wants to go to the Mall!) But, we ran out of time,as is the case.....always! Maybe I can rope her into it when I get home.

So, Dallas. Like I said, a lot of work, but worth every drop of sweat! It was so much fun! We were right next to our friends, Ron and Nora of Hands on Tradition. These are two of the greatest people you will ever meet! They always have a couple of their daughters with them helping in the booth. It was fun being right next door to them. When we had a moment to breath (not often!) we'd look around the corner and they would look just as worn out as we were! Friday, there was no time for pictures but Saturday, our friend Lori came to help out so we did manage a couple pictures that day.

Lori and I had a great time! Since she moved south of us, we don't get to spend a whole lot of time together so seeing her was just great! Lori is one of those kind of friends that once you meet them, you know you'll be friends forever! And she is one of those people you want in your court! She always has my back and takes care of me when I don't take care of myself (which is often!). Yes, she needs to kick my butt every now and again but she does it lovingly!

On Sunday, our very good friends Ann of Mr. Sweeney's Country Quilt Shop and Kathy of The Enchanted Quilt came to the show to see us and give us their support! (They had to listen to me blubber for weeks about how nervous I was.) It was wonderful seeing them and they had a great time looking at all of the beautiful quilt entries and figuring out where their booths should be next year!! (They WILL be doing this show next year!)

Here is a picture of our Booth De-Construction

It's a mess, I know. But it only took us an hour to pack up and pull out of the parking lot! Thanks to the help from my Aunt Judy and cousin Cathy who graciously stayed behind and helped out. My Aunt Judy and Uncle Bill housed us during this show. It was fabulous. Emily was safe and sound with my family and when we returned home from the show, my Aunt had dinner ready and on the table. We are so lucky to have family so close to us!

Well, okay, that was Dallas! I am so looking forward to next year! I need to introduce you to someone I met in Dallas but I will do that when I return from San Diego. A little teaser....she is a very talented handbag designer who I have heard of before but never had the pleasure of meeting. She is creative, bubbly and has great taste in fabrics!! ;-)

Say a little prayer for me if you think of it...I don't like to fly!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"There's no place like home!"

I don't own any ruby slippers but we are home now. I can't tell you how good that feels to say that! We've been on the road for 3 weeks and now, I can relax for a few weeks until the next road trip. I love doing these shows but there is nothing like your own surroundings, your own bed and your own sewing studio!! After the past 4 shows, I haven't been able to sew much but I have a list of projects now! The Dallas Quilt Celebration was AMAZING! I know, that's just not a sufficient word, but with my brain nearly melting out one ear, that's all I can muster right now. Our booth was wall to wall people, literally all day long, the quilts were superb. The people were delightful. The whole experience was just FANTABULOUS. (I'm a geek, I know.) We were slammed the whole time. There was no time to eat but I managed to do some shopping (thanks to my Aunt who relieved me for a few minutes). Friday was crazy busy. It was just John and me working and I felt like I had a rotary cutter for a hand! I was so pleased that everyone loved Amy's fabrics. We were one of the brightest booths there and were told that several times. We do need a bigger booth! Next year! Saturday was even busier but we were blessed with Lori of Texas Twister Quilts who drove all the way to Dallas to help us. With the three of us, we were all able to get something to eat and even visit the little girls and boys rooms when needed which we did not get to do on Friday or Sunday! Sunday was a shorter day but no less busy! The Dallas, Texas crowd loves Amy Butler! We sold out of the Birdie Slings, patterns and kits! The Lotus Kit was super popular and the Lydia Dress pattern was gone on FRIDAY (just to name a few)!!

Most of all, we had such a wonderful time with the Quilt Guild members! Richard Larson (who is originally from Burkburnett!) is a Master Quilter Extraordinaire and stopped by our booth to say hello with his Mom, Joyce. These two are two of my favorite people! They are two of the most talented quilters I have ever met! Joyce won two ribbons! Richard quilted the raffle quilt which was an amazing Amish design but quilted on nearly every inch. I am still grieving over the fact that my $50 worth of tickets did not win it!! My goal in life is to have Richard quilt one of my quilts. He is an artist and one day, I will be able to afford him!

Richard visiting our booth!

Valerie Hubbard was this years show chair. She was a bundle of energy running around the show making sure everyone was doing alright. She had a beautiful Mum that she wore (Richard's design) to distinguish her as the Grand Dame! She was delightful and I can't wait to work with her next year as I believe she is heading up next year as well. We also got to meet the Best of Show Winner, Kelly Monroe. She is in charge of the Arlington show which we are so grateful to be vending at in May! Here is a picture of her with her winning work of art:

She was in our booth on Saturday evening and bought some fabric, this is what she did with it, THAT NIGHT!!

Pretty nifty! I wish I would have taken a picture of her jacket she was wearing on Friday. Amazing!

Along with the fabulous people, there were some amazing quilts! Here are a few of my favorites. I am sorry that I won't be able to give proper credit to the artists. If you see your quilt, and would like me to give you your due credit, email me and I will do so!

These are just a few and I am exhausted so I will try and blog everyday this week so I can show you the cool people we met and the beautiful quilts we got to see. I had friends come visit and met so many new friends that I am looking forward to working with in the future! I have so much to tell you but the Guinness is going to my head so...GOODNIGHT!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Literally Have TWO MINUTES!!

The fact that I am even spending the time to blog right now shows you how much of a procrastinator I am! Man, what a couple of weeks it has been! Exciting, but exhausting! We had the Iowa Park Quilt Show this past weekend and had such a wonderful time! We were located in a room across from the exhibition hall and were lucky enough to be situated across from two of the funnest ladies I've met! They own a production business called S & S Designs and they have all sorts of nifty home-made crafts to make your life a little easier! These great "scrubbies" that are heavy duty cleaners but you are able to use them on just about anything without scratching the surface! They also make potato sacks (pop a potato in and microwave for an oven baked taste! I haven't had a chance to try mine yet as I have been drive-thru-ing it all week!) , beautiful doilies, fuzzy hair scrunchies which were a huge hit with the kids and crocheted kitchen wash cloths just to name a few! We had a lot of fun and laughed...a lot! I met more brand new Amy Butler fans and did really well! I am hoping they will make this an annual event! I will most certainly be back if they do! Here is a picture of me in our booth, I am wearing the Barcelona Skirt I made the night before.

This is a simple A-Line skirt with a zipper closure. I was so excited that I was able to get the XL pattern cut out from 1 YARD of her Home Decor fabric (AFTER PRE-SHRINKING)!! That's a $17 skirt folks! Can't get much more economical and stylish than that!! Yes, yes, it has an invisible zipper. The directions in the Barcelona Skirt pattern for putting in an invisible zipper are so easy, you'll never be afraid of a zipper again! But, if you are still weirded out by it, take some muslin and a zipper (they're 2 bucks) and practice. Aren't I CUTE!! A bit pasty white but hey, it's March, and when the heck do I have time to lay in the sun?? (Hopefully by next year, I'll be planning a trip to Hawaii!! We all need goals, right?)

Last night Ann (Mr. Sweeney's Country Quilt Shop), Kathy (The Enchanted Quilt) and I were invited to attend the Pease River Quilters Guild meeting in Vernon, Texas. What a fabulous group of ladies! They fed us (Wonderful food! Quilters sure know how to feed peoples tummies and hearts!!) and we set up shop so they could take a look at what we had to offer in our stores. It was a win/win! They didn't have to drive an hour to get to us and we had a chance to introduce our items! They were very grateful for the work we put into it and we were extremely grateful for such a warm welcome! I did bring my camera but we were all too busy to take pictures! (YEAH!) For most of these ladies, Amy Butler is new. You can't find a whole lot of it in these small towns (until I roll in!!) but they loved it! Vernon is going to be swimming in Birdie Slings before long! They also purchased yardage to use in their monthly block challenges! That warms my heart! I am such a die-hard Amy fan, so when I can bring her beautiful designs into a group who might not have seen it otherwise, my AWESOME job is done!

Well, I better hit it! I have today only to prepare for Dallas as Emily and I are riding the big yellow school bus tomorrow to the Oklahoma City Science Museum with the school. This week has been the definition of BAD TIMING but we just keep plugging along. I think we are doing great and after this weekend, we will have a few days to relax and then I am off to San Diego! Unfortunately, I am being sent in an official Command capacity (I am now the Naval School of Health Sciences San Diego Detachment Command Ombudsman, I needed something to do in all of my spare time!) but I get to sleep in the room I grew up in and that is always comforting! I need some Mommy time!

I will most likely talk to you after we return from Dallas so wish me luck and come see me if you are near Market Hall on March 13, 14 and 15!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Does it GO??

Isn't that the question we all ask ourselves about this time of year? Maybe I'm alone but I suspect that most of us are asking "where does the time fly?" about March 1st! Honestly, I barely remember Christmas ever happening and now, all of a sudden, they are testing the tornado sirens! It can't possibly be close to Spring yet! (Hopefully, that will be the only time I hear them this year!) We have already started thinking about putting the house on the market as we are getting ready to move on to our new duty station soon. I won't say where that is just yet as I always jinx myself! I will say that if it all works out, I will be very happy!

We were lucky enough to be invited to vend at the Munday, Texas Cotton Pickin' Quilt Show this year. We have returned and had so much fun. It is a lot of work traveling with our store but honestly, it is so worth it meeting all the people we are lucky enough to come in contact with! Munday is a very small farming town but so full of wonderful and joyous people, most of which were born and raised in this tiny town. We met a school teacher who grew up in Munday and had some wise advice for our 8 year old. We also met quite a few people from out of town who travel every year to visit this annual event. (I think they come for the food, the best chicken spaghetti I have ever eaten!!) I even had a customer travel all the way from Oklahoma City just to see me! That gave me goosebumps! I work very hard at running our store and giving the best customer service I know how to give so when I hear that someone travelled that far just to see me, WOW! It was incredible! We were also lucky enough to be located right next to two of my very good friends, Ann and Jim of Mr. Sweeney's Country Quilt Shop and Kathy of The Enchanted Quilt. We also got to say hello to Ron and Nora of Hands on Tradition who we first met at The Red River Quilt Guild Show and have been running the same circuit ever since! All of these shop owners are genuinely nice people who truly care about everyone! I am so lucky to know them!

I have been working on some new projects. The Lydia Dress by Pink Fig is complete and was in our booth on our borrowed mannequin (Thanks Ann!) who we have yet to name. This was the first time I've worked with elastic thread and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. The pattern does call for some serging which I do not have so I did some satin stitched edging instead. Then I moved to under-turned hems as the satin stitching took a long time. I love the way it turned out. It grabbed a lot of attention at the show.

I will be making another one soon but would really like a serger to finish it. That probably won't happen so I'll brush up on my satin stitch!!

Have a wonderful day and go play in your fabric!!