Tag Archives: sue spargo

Back to work!

It’s a brand new year!! Thank goodness!! I am almost caught up from my month of being stressed out and “checked out”. It is terrible to be non-functional when you have year end business things to do, I am on my third office day and I’m starting to feel like I may catch up this month! Whew!

Thank you for all of your well wishes. Things are good. I am going to have two surgeries this spring, but they are more prevention than treatment. I should have had a different surgery two years ago but I didn’t like the plastic surgeon they sent me to and I couldn’t cope with the idea of traveling to Seattle.  Now it is time to take care of things. I’m definitely ready, and tired of being freaked out by bad mammograms.

Christmas was so great. We went up to the woods. Lots of snow, crackling fire, family, pinochle and no cell phones or internet. I did get a bit of stitching done, but not enough to be ready for any classes this month…. like a rebel I worked on my own things, not class things. Such a bad girl… I deserve my sleepless nights!

This is one of my Bird Dance blocks. Fun BOM, we are doing three birds/month. All in wool with terrific stitches, Sue Spargo Style!IMG_1660[1]


Then our Prairie Women Group got together for a Christmas gift exchange. We each brought a mug/cup with a matching mug rug then swapped ‘White Elephant’ style. Super fun.IMG_1754[1]Speaking of mugs… this is a mug I got from Brittany and Jordan, I LOVE it! And the little dude in the cup was from Brianna, he is a tea steeper. I put loose leaf tea in his pants. Hilarious!IMG_1833[1]He makes me laugh!

The picture at the top of the page was one of our recent retreats at the retreat house. We had a blast. Such a fun group! We scheduled two more retreats, one for January and one for February, they were both filled up in two hours. We set out the newsletter at our sale on the 1st and it was a done deal! That day we emptied 176 bolts in four hours! Good job! Bring in the New Year with new fabric!

Well, that’s a super quick rundown of everything I can remember from December (about 2% of everything that happened…). I do have the last block for the mystery all done, I will work on editing that post and send it out tonight. Then we can get that gorgeous thing finished up!! I have a mug rug done for January, I just need to take some pictures and type that up. I think I can get that done on Friday.

Thanks for hanging out with me. Stay warm and finish up those UFO’s while we’re stuck inside! Send me pics of what you are working on!


Well, I got it done. The newsletter has been planned, typed, proofread and sent. One would think that after 15 years of newsletters, it would get easier…. it doesn’t. I think I worry too much. “What do they want to do?” “Will they think this quilt is cute?” “Is this too easy?” “Is this too hard?” “Is a Friday afternoon a good time for this?”……

The other thing is I get a little crazy … maybe a lot crazy… because I get so excited about new classes. I want to make everything. I LOVE wool, I LOVE fusible applique. I LOVE interesting piecing. I LOVE quick pre-cuts, anything green, anything asymmetrical, and everything floral or Christmas (basically, I love it all). So when it comes time to pick new classes, it almost feels like I’m shopping… trying to decide what “I” want to work on for the next 4 months. And since I want to work on all of it, I try to pick a nice collection of classes that includes wool, easy, challenging, artsy, beginning, seasonal, and interesting… then I have to sit back and wait…. what will everyone pick as their favorite class (this is of course determined by number of sign-ups). Some fill up in one day, and every once in a while NO ONE signs up for a class – that always makes me sad.. because of course that means I don’t get to make that quilt…. yes, I know, I could still make it… after all there are 24 hours in a day, and I get 7 of those a week. But unfortunately I have a needy husband that thinks he should have meals and clean clothes… sheesh!

So, we’ll see. Our new class open house is in a few weeks, I’ll keep you posted, and show you progress on some of the projects we’ll be revealing.  Two of the things I am super excited about are the Sue Spargo class:SueSpargo_BirdsWhich is every single thing I love wrapped up in one class: fabulous asymmetrical background blocks, linens and lace, wool, hand embroidery, unusual graphics, well written pattern, bright colors…. just heaven.

One of my other favorites is this super cool perpetual calendar by SamSarah. It also has interest, color, simplicity… and it’s unusual.IMG_0916I wanted to do it as a block of the month, and at the moment that’s how I have it, but I’m fairly certain I will have to change that. Because what would we wait for? We need to do all of the numbers, all of the days, most of the chachka weather/seasonal images…. I think this one should be one long day… I’ll have to figure this one out before the open house. But it is so dang cute… I want to start using it!!

But for now, I am just so HAPPY to be done with the computer!! It takes forever to get that thing done. I have missed my sewing machine!! I am working on my second little snack mat/mug rug for a new feature on this blog… it is a “Monthly Mat” starting September 15th. I will have a post that includes the pdf pattern. The snack mat will be 8″ x 10″ (big enough for a lunch plate and a glass) and the mug rug will be 5″ x 7″ (perfect size for a mug and a cookie). I have had tons of fun drawing… now I get to sew them. They are a bit addicting because they are so fast. It’s rewarding to make a mini quilt in an evening.

My other new adventure (because 18 classes and a blog are not enough) is the video thing. Not my favorite. I do think it is a good idea, but I am so horrible at it. I like teaching, but the video is without people, so it doesn’t feel like teaching… it feels like someone is staring at me. Worse yet,  I get self conscious because Brianna giggles in the background, which jiggles the camera. What is she giggling at? My unmanicured fingers? My made-up words? My math under pressure? I really don’t know… probably don’t want to know… it would make me even more self-conscious. She laughs through the whole thing then at the end she just says “that was great”. Hmmmm.

We have tried a nice camera, an iPhone and a Go Pro. Oddly, the phone has the best picture. But sound is a bigger problem. I sound like I have a lisp…..

click to watch:  Magic Miter Tutorial

Since we have committed to at least two new tutorials per month, my friend Mike suggested I buy a mic. So we’ll see if that helps. And yes, I know… smile. I think I have been smiling in the others, but this last one… not so much. I was grumpy and apparently didn’t hide it very well. We had planned to do the video, so we did it, but it was two days after our flood at the shop. 600 bolts ruined. $83,000. The insurance is still undecided if they are going to cover it. Long story, really rotten, I’ll write about that when I have a happy ending, but for now, I want to do something fun. So I am going to clean my sewing room and get a snack mat done and a Sue Spargo background block stitched so I can work on a gorgeous red bird! Stitching therapy… how I need it!

To Market to Market……

Part of being a shop owner is the purchasing for the shop. Fabric vendors (Moda, Hoffman, Andover, Art Gallery, etc) will come to us. They bring multiple stuffed suitcases and show us “strike offs” of fabrics that will be available in the coming months. We  order fabrics that we will not see for three to four months.

Market is different. We have the option of fall market in Houston every October, or spring market in varying locations (last year Portland, this year Pittsburg). Market is filled with pattern designers, book authors, new notions and more. It is four days of shopping, shopping, shopping. We take classes and look at EVERYTHING trying to pick the things that our customers will find interesting. We have to choose our upcoming BOM patterns and sift through all of the new ideas to see what is smart… and what is not….

This year we started by visiting some of our favorite people…



Terri Atkinson has the distinction of authoring three patterns on the top twenty in the U.S.   We love all of her stuff.  Super smart designer.


Tula Pink is showing her new fabric line. Beyond fabulous!! We ordered every piece… every color…. can’t wait for it to arrive!!


And of course we had to see what Sue Spargo has been up to. We are working on a workshop with her – she said she would love to come to our shop (her son went to college in Ellensburg!).


We are going to start a “Bird of the Month” Stitchery class in October… but for now that is a secret! I have to get started on the sample first…


We are also going to do a “Towel of the Month” club. I think that sounds like a lot of fun. We are going to laser cut the fusible appliques with our newest purchase… the Silhouette!

Here is a close up:


In addition to the applique, each towel has a cute little sewing technique lesson, this one features the folded ridge.

At the moment, we are crazy with at least 10 boxes coming in every day. It will be a challenge to display everything well enough to see what is new, interesting and intriguing. This means it is “clearance time”!! 24 new bolts in clearance yesterday, 14 so far today.