Pinwheels and Friends

If you're on our email list you've already heard the spiel from me about Pinwheels and Friends and you might be sick of hearing it by now but I think it's important to make sure the word really gets out there... Pinwheels and Friends is coming to the Holiday Inn in Mt. Kisco on January 30th and 31st and I want to make sure you know what it's all about. Pinwheels and Friends was the brainchild of Maria Tamoaka, owner of Pinwheels in Croton, NY. It was her vision to see all the local shops get together and do a 'Shop Hop' under one roof. All of us hanging out together with the items that make all our shops unique. In this smaller setting we can really spend time hanging out with our customers without the phones ringing and just spend time with you while you browse all the different shops and check out all the samples hanging up around the room. 

My Winter Uniform

I know lately I've been all about quilting. That seems to be my winter category and I have to tell you that as time has gone on, I've really learned to enjoy the process of piecing and have really started to become less and less afraid of free motion quilting. But this post isn't about quilting. I know, I know... It's about time! I wanted to share with you all my 'Winter Uniform'.

Through the last couple of years as I've gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight in weird places and then lost it in weirder places my wardrobe has been all over the map. I sew a lot of my own clothes here at the store for a number of reasons. First of all how am I going to develop my own skills and work on my own challenges if I'm not sewing? And second of all it's a great way to show fabrics and patterns here in the store. So I saw this New Look pattern back in the fall:

I mean it is so simple with clean lines and raglan sleeves I just couldn't help myself. I had to make it. Let me tell you, I've made it at least 4 times now and each time I make it in a new fabric I just love it even more. For the sake of speed and simplicity I left the pocket off and did view 'C'. 

Combined with basic jewelry, leggings and some boots, I'm ready for work, shopping, a quick bite to eat with my hubby or anything else I want to do this winter!

If you haven't tried this pattern yet, i suggest you come in, get yours and get to sewing. Nothing like a cold winter day to sit and make yourself something awesome!!

Happy Sewing!!

 

Eirn

 

Oh the Mystery!

As I sit here on my couch drinking a cup of coffee aI keep thinking it's been a long, long time since I last posted a blog. I don't know why. Maybe I was just too busy sewing and running around to sit down and do some typing. But the New Year is in full swing and in typical Erin style I started it off frazzled and determined to get it all back on track.

Looking forward to Spring!!

So to start on a real down note- 2014 has been pretty terrible to me. I know all around everyone I've talked to in the past few weeks has been having a rough 'go of it', but this year has really been a tough one. My grandma slowly slipped away from us and finally lost her battle just a couple of weeks ago. My son was fairly serially injured (thank goodness he's now perfectly fine) and there have been challenges I haven't had to deal with in a long time that have come up: The extremely cold weather means that my poor husband (a plumber) was out a lot working on frozen pipes and broken heating systems, which meant I spent more time alone than I've had to in a long time. The kids constantly being kept home from school due to snow meant I stayed home a lot and didn't get things done at the store that needed to be done. But now that the weather is finally turning a bit warmer and the threat of snow is slowly receding I'm looking forward to finally finishing some of my projects.
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The store that shall not be named.....

 

The kids are away for the weekend (THANK YOU Uncle Vinny!!!) so my husband Chris and I decided to run around all day today and do errands together. Which is something that parents of young children don't often get to do. I swear, as I get older my life becomes a bit lamer and lamer.... The tasks for today: Food shopping and a recon mission.

 

 
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Let's Talk About... Black Friday

We've been doing Black Friday for a few years now... Way back when (maybe 9 years or so ago) we thought about doing Black Friday as a way to clear out inventory. At that time we made the decision to open at 6 am because, well... Everyone was opening at 6 am. The big chain stores, the mom and pop shops, we all opened at 6 am the day after Thanksgiving. The only ones open earlier than that were the coffee shops.

How to make stuffed pumpkins

 

Today we'll be learning how to make cute and simple stuffed pumpkins that you can use to decorate for Halloween. We searched and searched the internet but we couldn't seem to find a set of directions we liked, but we found a bunch of different ways of doing it so we took a little from this one and a little from that one and came up with our own way of doing it! 


Get Creative. Day TWO

well, here I am. In New Jersey. Again. This time class begins at 8 am so I had to leave the house by 6 to make sure I had plenty of time to navigate, get lost, get found, get parked and get here and set up on time. Of course the rain started just before I got here and traffic slowed almost to a halt. But there is one thing that rocks in Jersey: Gas prices. I filled my tank right off the Highway and it still cost me only $30. Well, now that everyone seems to be getting here, it's time to get started! And don't worry, the coffee is already flowing freely... I think I'll be able to stay awake today.

Get Creative. Day 1

 

Get Creative Day ONE!

I made it to Jersey safe and sound... Only a little extra wear and tear on my nerves from the traffic. But otherwise in tact. And of course Pfaff has done a wonderful job of showing beautiful samples of embroideries and projects to inspire. I would like to take you through my day here at Get Creative. 

It's a long one, so bear with me....

Sewing For Animals

Today was a crazy busy day in the store!! Not only was it Saturday, but it was also time to sew beds for shelter animals. Over the course of the day nearly a dozen volunteers came in to cut, sew & stuff beds and make catnip toys. The beds varied in sizes depending on what animals they were meant for, but many of the cat ones were made from donated pillow cases. Squares of cotton fabric for the catnip toys had been pre cut and partially sewn shut. 

As always it was a wonderful experience for every one involved. Liz Peterson, founder of Dancing for Animals was on hand to supply us with tons of upholstery batting, donated fabric and more from Rational Animals Mothers Comfort Project. With us were some familiar friends as well as new faces. We had a mother/daughter duo and someone from as far away as New Rochelle.  

As soon as I get some pictures from Liz, I'll be sure to post them! 

We'll be doing our next even in February. Please consider joining us. 

Yorktown Grange Fair 2013

Well, it's the official start to the Fall season here in Yorktown as the Grange Fair closes for the  89th time! An annual tradition in Yorktown, the Grange Fair website says: 

As Westchester County’s only true country fair, “planting” is of course appropriately descriptive of the Grange Fair. Because, in addition to carnival games, rides and foods, the Grange Fair also celebrates Yorktown’s agricultural heritage every year with livestock, produce, flowers, and baking exhibits and competitions.

Come ride the ferris wheel, watch baby chicks being hatched and sheep being shorn, snack on funnel cake and cotton candy, walk through the livestock tents, or listen to one of the many local bands performing on the main stage – the Yorktown Grange Fair is a unique, family fun experience with lots to see, do and eat for people of all ages.

And of course the Grange wouldn't be complete without all the exhibits. One of my favorites is the Lego exhibit, but that's for another blog.

This year I decided to enter two quilts that I had done this past year. The first one is known as my 'Apex' quilt. Named after the pattern that the quilt is based on. 

My Apex quilt

Last Spring we got in some cool quick patterns and this one intrigued me. Instead of just taking a panel or large piece of fabric and just sewing borders around and around this one had a bit more of a design element. It was just a but different than the usual. So I decided to go for it. And I mean it seemed easy enough, right? HA! The sewing part wasn't at all difficult and sure there were no major blocks that had to be pieced, but picking the colors was a bit more challenging than what I had originally thought. And believe it or not, the binding was the hardest fabric to pick: It touched almost every single fabric in the quilt. I had to find just the right color so it wouldn't get 'lost' against some fabrics or be too harsh against others. I have never, ever had so many problems choosing a binding before. But I finally settled on the dark brown solid and I think it compliments the colors nicely.

My second quilt in the show was a bit more involved than the first.... I had been working on a bunch of 'Twister' quilts. Twisters are just pinwheels using this cool ruler:

 

Twister Rulers are available at Fabric Mart, come on in anytime to take a look at the ruler and see all the fun you could be having!

And several quilts ago I figured out that you could easily take those little pinwheels and make really cool designs when laying them out. So I picked something that gives a nod to my Irish American heritage (and since at the time St. Paddy's day was right around the corner and all we were thinking about at the store was corned beef and cabbage.) I made this quilt top:

My twisted clover!

Both of these quilts were a ton of fun to make and presented their own unique challenges. But I'm happy with how they came out. If you want to take a closer look they will be at Fabric Mart for everyone to enjoy. 

And now for some shameless bak patting, here are my quilts with their ribbons. 

My Apex quilt won a Blue Ribbon

My clover quilt also won a Blue Ribbon as well as Best in Class!!

Dog Days of Summer

t's been pretty boring around here lately... Everyone is away on vacation, the juices of creativity have started to slow down as we all switch over to back to school mode, and the humidity is terrible things to everyone's hair. But the cooler days and chilly nights of fall are right around the corner and we are ready to go with some cool new things. 

 

13yr old Guest Blogger

Hi! I'm Abby, and I'm a guest blogger. I decided that I want to tell you guys about the awesome time I have had, and still having, making a beautiful white cape with Linda. 

When I first chose the cape I am making, I really didn't know how to sew anything than a kind of straight line. But apparently I didn't care that I was horrible at sewing, and went ahead and chose a bigger project than just a 5 minute pillow. After i decided which cape I wanted, Linda helped me with color and which material would be best to use. We decided on this beautiful cream white colored fabric, and got right down to business. You know, after figuring out the pattern and reading all of the directions, and getting confused again. After we had all of the pattern pieces cut, we placed them on the fabric and started to pin. Linda and I both had our share of cutting out patterns and fabric, while I did a majority of the sewing. Linda did most of the pinning, because I decided that I was horrible at pinning, and she was way better at it. Each time I had to sew something down, I got really nervous because again, can't even sew a straight line. But Linda was able to get a couple feet with guides on them, and helped me with all of it, And I needed a lot of help... But I was able to sew a couple of straight stitches, and managed somehow to get all of the pieces together without using duct tape, which was a miracle in itself. I had a lot of trial and errors, mostly errors, but we were able to have a nice seam, and I was actually able to do a bit of top stitching to make it all nicey nice. I am extremely happy with how it looks, although it does have really broad shoulders and we left shoulder pads in the 80s for a reason. But over all, it does really look great and nice, and I would have never known what I was doing if it weren't for Linda, who also happens to be my grandmother, so it was really nice to be able to work on something together. Ok, so, bye!

Back in action!

My last blog post was about how I was so run down and un inspired that I hadn't sewn anything in a long time (like a week or two in my world.). Of course the universe had something to say about all this- as it usually does, and sent in Judy to intervene. Judy is wonderful. She makes beautiful things and is always so precise! I want to be that precise! But that's a different blog for a different day.... But Judy had come in with this great little quilting project that I couldn't help but get excited about. It was just a square of quilted fabric, bound, folded and turned into the cutest little bag. I couldn't believe how awesome this little bag was and was just the right kind of project to kick my butt back in gear.