Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Fine as Kind," or, new fabric, candy, a sale, a good deed and a pedicure!!!

Have you ever heard that expression, "Fine as Kind?"

It's a total "Maine" expression, I believe.

I've always thought it meant "hunky dory," which I'm realizing may be another "Maine" expression.

It means everything is great.

Which is a very appropriate title for this post because there is so much good stuff going on at the shop right now:

• French General has arrived and will be up on the website for your viewing and purchasing pleasure tomorrow morning. The pre-cuts on these (charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes, etc) have sold reeeaaallly quickly and we most likely cannot reorder these fabrics (MODA is funny like that) so if you want some may I suggest pouncing? A lot of people (including myself) have been waiting for these to arrive. (P.S.... It is lovely.)

• Amy Butler's 2 new patterns have arrived. The Sweet Harmony Handbag & Tote and the Liverpool Dress. They are up on the website and ready to be taken home. The Liverpool Dress is so my favorite. I can't wait to make it but I have a few other irons in the fire, so the Liverpool may have to get put on the back burner. Or I could burn rubber and finish my other projects up quickly. Or I will have to stay up late and burn the midnight oil. Something will have to burn in order for me to make this.

• You can bring your kids by this Saturday for some good old-fashioned trick-or-treating. If there's anything we love it's giving other people's kids lots and lots of sugar. We want to see all those ghosties and goblins in their Halloween finest (Hilary Petersen, if you are out there reading this, I have my camera this time and this means YOU!!!). In years past we have stayed open Halloween night, but this year we will just be open during the day. At night I will be party-ing it up at Miss Jessie's house. In case you are wondering I'm dressing as a Geisha. Ollie is dressing as a Game Warden Zombie. (How hot is that?)

• Saturday, November 7th is our annual Late Riser's Sale and Food Drive. In conjunction with Damariscotta's annual Early Bird Sale (where the whole town gets up at un-Godly hours and wears PJ's to go shopping and get great deals) we will be discounting all in-stock merchandise by 20%. The store will be open from 9:00 to 5:00 that day and we will be serving hot cider and goodies. Class fees and gift certificates will also be 20% off. In addition to the sale, November 7th is the official kick-off to our Holiday Food Drive. Anyone who brings in a non-perishable food item will receive a special free gift and a good healthy dose of the Holiday Spirit. The Food Drive is a cause that's very important to us: Food Shelters are always low at this time of year, but because of the tough economy they are particularly low this year. So, please bring a food item, your wallet and a smile and we promise to keep the lines as short as possible!

• The Late Riser's Sale is also being offered to our internet customers! (We wouldn't leave you guys out!!! We love you!!!) Enough people have asked for an internet sale and we listened. All orders placed on Sunday, November 8th, 2009 will be discounted 20%. The discount applies to all in stock merchandise while it lasts. You will need to use the code "Late Riser" at checkout to receive the discount and only orders received on the 8th will be discounted.

• In anticipation of our sale, the store is extremely well-stocked right now. Lots of the latest books, patterns, and notions arrived at our door just yesterday morning. And, in one of my more brilliant moves (though I say it myself), we now carry Pom-Pom fringe and giant Rick Rack by the yard at the shop! They are not available online (yet) but they will be soon. For those of you who are local, you must see the Pom Pom fringe and giant Rick Rack in person: they are the Bee's Knees.

In other news I went for a mani/pedi last night at Nail World in Brunswick. Nail World is owned by the cutest Vietnamese girl named Lily. I love young ladies who own their own businesses and the service was great. The staff had us in stitches the whole time we were there and we all left feeling very pampered. They also gave me a glass of wine while I was in that jacuzzi-chair thing, with the vibrator and the roller-back going, so that probably helped. Oh, and in case you are wondering the name of my nail color is "Turn of the cent-Cherry" on my toes and "Lincoln Park after dark" on my fingers.

That is all for now!

Hope you're day is "Fine as Kind," too!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vintage Goodies from the Netherlands

Hello and good morning to you!

A few weeks ago I signed up for an online Vintage Swap.

I was partnered up with the lovely Kay of Kay Loves Vintage.

Kay is from the Netherlands (which I was secretly THRILLED about because what's better than vintage goodness? European vintage goodness!).

I sent her a parcel a few days ago.

Yesterday in my mailbox I found a parcel of my own!

(Don't you love the word Parcel?)

And anyways, here is what Kay sent me:

The coolest, cutest tin ever... each side has a different illustration of children underneath an umbrella being rained on by chocolate sprinkles ("Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", eat your heart out!).

Oh, wait a minute, excuse me, THIS is the coolest, cutest tin ever...

...along with a blue glass candle-holder and a Royco tea cup and saucer!


Aaand, as if that weren't enough, I also got these:

Stroopwafels (delicious waffle-y cookie/biscuits that are oh-so good with your morning tea as evidenced by the already opened package), bird napkins, a bird applique patch and a postcard from Amsterdam!

Did I completely luck out with my partner or what?

The answer is yes.

It's like Kay has known me for years and not someone I met a few weeks ago on the internet.

I can't wait for Kay to receive her package from me (she was very fun to shop for) and then I will tell you all about what was sent to her.

In the meantime, go visit Kay's blog.

You will love it and tell her Hi from me.

Her little girl Nila is in the hospital for (scheduled) surgery so I bet she would love all the well-wishes she can get.

I've been a little girl who had surgery and missed a lot of school myself, so I know how Nila feels.

Now that I am older I understand how Kay must feel as well.

(Hopefully looking forward to a vintage parcel from Maine will help to pass the time!)

Thanks so much , Kay, for all of my goodies.

They make me smile and bring a little bit of the Netherlands (and you!) into my home.



PS ... BIG thanks go out to Heather for setting up the Vintage Swap... Best. Idea. Ever.

Keep your eye out for the next Swap and you can get in on the action, too!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Checking In... W Style!

Watching: Say Yes to the Dress

Waiting: for Ollie to get home

Wearing: Sweats

Winding: Down from Sewing Lounge

Wishing: I had the energy to do a load of laundry

Wedding: at the Jordan Pond House exactly one year from today




Thursday, October 22, 2009

If we all ask reeeaaalllyyy, reeeaaalllyyy nicely...

then this lady

will teach this class

and we can all knock off this cardigan

and buy our yarn from this lady.

(Keep your fingers crossed and I will keep you updated!)

See you again soon!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

To Mardens or not to Mardens

... That is the question.

This weekend I went to Marden's for the very first time ever.

For those of you who are not local, Mardens is a lot like a Marhsalls or a TJ Maxx.

Except there is one big difference.

(Locals know what I am leading up to...)

The difference between a Mardens and a TJ Maxx-ish type place is that Mardens sells fabrics.

And not the cheap stuff that they sell at certain big box stores who shall remain nameless.

Mardens sells first quality fabrics from companies like Westminster, Free Spirit, Moda, you name it.

Only they sell their fabric much cheaper than my own establishment does.

Much cheaper.

As in, $2.99 a yard for designers like Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross, Kaffe Fassett, Anna Maria Horner, Phillip Jacobs, Martha Negley and more.

Now, before you go getting all jazzed you should know a few things:

1) Sorry, they don't sell fabric on the internet. (But we do!)

2) Most of the stuff there is a few years old...which is how it ended up at Mardens in the first place. Some of the stuff I saw this weekend was easily five years old. (Most of the stuff in our store is a year or two old... once it gets much older than that we also sell it at a discount.)

3) You won't be finding any complete designer lines or Amy Butler there, either. Most of the fabrics there are there for a reason. Most. (It goes without saying that our store puts the FAB into fabric.)


Having said all of those things, if you are willing to put in the time, going to Mardens is a lot like flea marketing. You've got to search and search and search through piles of stuff to find that one little treasure you want. And when you do, and you find it for $2.99 a yard, you've got yourself a nice little experience.

Now, you may be asking yourself, why is she telling me about a place that sells fabric for $2.99 a yard when she owns a fabric store that sells practically the exact same thing for $9.99 a yard?

Well, let me tell you.

The answer is simple.

I love fabric.

I can't buy fabric wholesale for $2.99 a yard, so yeah, I get a little jazzed when I see an old Kaffe or a Katie Jump Rope or a Flea Market Fancy for cheap. Not the entire lines, and not even the best fabrics from the lines, but the old bolt here or there that makes you smile.

Now, I realize that other independent store-owners may be reading this and they may not be too happy with me right now.

I can hear these shop owners saying "Well I bet she wouldn't want a Mardens opening up in the same town as her shop."

But the truth is, I have had another shop open its doors literally five minutes away from mine.

A shop that was able to offer discounts on fabric that I could not.

And that was a terrifying experience.

But guess what?

It all turned out okay.

It forced us to be more creative, more competitive and more available.

And over time, I have realized that having another shop so close to my own was actually a good development, because if there's one thing people love more than a town with one quilt shop, it's a town with two quilt shops.

So what I would like to say is that I will never, ever give a customer a hard time for buying fabric from Mardens, because I buy fabric from Mardens.

And in this economy, from a completely capitalist-yet-optimist point of view, if a customer buys fabric at a discounted price, it may not be entirely bad for me, either.

If you save a little money at Mardens (or any other fabric store, for that matter) then maybe that means you saved enough to take a class with me.

Or maybe you will supplement what you find at another shop with what you find at my shop.

Or maybe it just means that you can afford to take up quilting as a hobby in the first place, and because of that you wander into my shop and see how fabulous we are, and by then you've tasted the Kool-Aid, so maybe when times get better you will be able to buy more fabric from me.

No shop can be everything to everybody.

Some places sell fabric cheap and some places sell fabric for not-so cheap, but we all provide our own different experiences to the customer.

In other words, it is Mardens' job to provide fabric for cheap and it is my job to provide fabric that is fabulous.

Sometimes the two worlds collide.

As an independent store I may not be able to offer a deep, deep discount... (Because of our overhead, I can't even offer my fabrics for the same cost as an internet-only shop) but I can offer creativity, inspiration, knowledge and friendliness in a comfy, positive, and (hopefully) beautiful setting.

So, if that is the kind of experience you are looking for, then give me a shout.

And if you aren't looking for that kind of experience this time around, then you have my blessing to go forth and shop elsewhere.

(And if you see a great deal, let me in on it!!!)

Okay, stepping off of soap-box now.

See you again soon!




If you are an independent shop owner, I sincerely hope you will still talk to me after this post.
Believe me, I understand all sides of this issue. As Popeye so eloquently put it: I yam what I yam.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fabric Covered Pumpkin How-To

Want to learn how we do our fabric covered pumpkins?

Well, it's a cute little story.

Mom has been using acrylic gloss and fabric to make Floorcloths for many, many years now and we have since progressed to using acrylic gloss for making fabric covered trays, fabric covered Japanese lanterns and fabric collages on canvas.

It was only natural that one of these days we would slap some acrylic on a Pumpkin, too.

And today, being a slow-ish day at the store and the day before I leave for a little mini vacation, that is just what we did.

And now I am passing this wisdom on to you.

Easy Peasy.

Here's what you're gonna need:

1 Brush (I like the natural bristle kind- run your hands over it a few times to get out any loose bristles)

1 small container of acrylic gloss which you can get at Alewives Fabrics if you are local. If not, you can get it at most any art supply store. (Note: we like Blick's acrylic gloss medium or Liquitex Acrylic Gloss works really well, too. I recommend Liquitex if you are going to keep your pumpkin outside... the Blick's will work just fine, but in the morning when it is dew-y or when the weather is rainy, I have noticed that the Blick's tends to turn white. Don't worry, though. As soon as the air dries up, your pumpkin will turn clear again)

1 plastic tablecloth (or you can cut up a garbage bag) to protect your work surface

Scraps of fabric (!)

A note about acrylic gloss: when it is still wet, acrylic gloss will wash out with water, but after about 5 minutes, the acrylic will dry and it will be almost impossible to remove it from clothing, your tablecloth, etc. The moral of the story is to clean up any messes as they happen.

Here's what you do:

1. Clean and dry your pumpkin.

2. Working on a small section of pumpkin at a time, cover the surface of the pumpkin with acrylic gloss. The gloss goes on looking milky white, but it will dry clear.

3. Place fabric on top of the area you just covered, and then paint some acrylic gloss on top of the fabric, too. Don't be too stingy with the gloss, but don't slop it on, either. You want just enough gloss to completely saturate the fabric.

4. Repeat this process working one section at a time until you like the way the pumpkin looks. Remember that the gloss will start to dry after about 5 minutes, so resist the urge to go back and "fix" things that have been drying. If you do, you will incorporate air into the gloss and it will dry opaque, rather than clear.

5. Let your pumpkin dry thoroughly (overnight, perhaps?) and that is all you need to do!!!

You can put your pumpkin outside and it will hold up just fine (although I will warn you, the added embellishment makes your pumpkin a prime target for being snatched and smashed. I know of which I speak).

You can do all kinds of things with this technique... A "crazy quilt" pumpkin (paint the embroidery stitches on with acrylic craft paint), a "Denyse Schmidt" style pumpkin (that's what I did), or you can use a great focus print (like the Very Hungry Caterpillar print Jessica used).

Since you don't have to worry about seam allowances, you can cut pretty flowers, fruits, or other shapes from the fabric you are using (like Jessie did with her "Pears and Apples" pumpkin).

If you have a favorite quilt pattern, you can translate that onto the pumpkin, too.

This is a great project to do with kids, because none of the materials are toxic and everything cleans up with hot water and soap.

If you do make one of these pumpkins, I would love to see it.

Send me an e-mail ( or leave a link to your pumpkin in the comments section. This is where it would behoove me to have a flickr page, but sadly I do not.

And I will leave you with some more pictures from PumpkinFest and from our own personal PumpkinFest that we had this afternoon.

Ollie and I are off to Bar Harbor tomorrow for a little weekend getaway (and to make some wedding plans).

I will see you when we get back!!!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miss Kay, Miss Kay, These things are on their way!!!

(I wrapped Kay's vintage goodies in fabric, because I do believe that there should be some perks to being partnered up with a fabric store owner!)

Now I just have to play the "happy mailbox waiting game."




Thanks so much, Heather for setting up all this goodness. I want to say for the record that I think I got the best partner in the world and I hope we will forever be sending goodies back and forth to each other!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Happy PumpkinFest to you!!!

Mom and I completed phase one of our giant pumpkin for PumpkinFest this morning.

Every year, on Columbus Day weekend, our town gets all Pumpkin-ed out for PumpkinFest.

It's a "Damariscotta thing."

Among other things, people actually make BOATS with motors on them out of the giant pumpkins md then they get in them and ride them around the river.

Did you ever used to watch that show "Gilmore Girls?"

I think of Damariscotta (my small New England town) as the real Star's Hollow (fake small New England "Gilmore Girls" town).

Instead of Knit-a-Thons and Revolutionary War reenactments we have Pirate Day, Woofstock and Pumpkinfest.

Although I would like to say for the record that I think a Knit-a-Thon is a very good idea.

And actually we do have Revolutionary War reenactments.

So I guess I don't know what my point is.

Anyways, I say this is only "phase one" of our pumpkin because phase two will be completed tomorrow, at which time I will post more pictures.

If you are a local you should come see me do my pumpkin thang around noontime tomorrow at Clark's Auto Parts (NAPA) out on Old Route One.

If you do you should bring me some cocoa.

Here's a picture of Jessie's super-cute little boy Blake with the pumpkin.

Here's a picture of me looking like Saint Rhea of the Order of the Perpetual Pumpkin.

The giant pumpkins are not as giant as they normally would be, because this was a reeeaaalllyyy tough growing year with all the rain we got in the Spring.

But I think you would agree that this pumpkin is still pretty large.

I will be back and post some pictures of our finished pumpkin and other people's pumpkins, too, and give a little "How-we-did-it" tutorial that you all can do with your pumpkins at home.



Just to let you all know, I have not forgotten about the Oliver+S School Days Coat I promised to make. The coat is well underway but I have run into a "toggle" situation. Mainly that I couldn't find any. I did eventually find them and have some on order but until they come in I am at a stand still.

The good news: the coat has been really easy to make so far... no buttonholes, no zippers... smooth sailing and a real pleasure to work on.

The bad news: I have said the word "toggle" so many times now that it no longer holds any meaning for me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I cheated and I scored

AlewivesGirl confessions:

I cheated on Alewives Fabrics with another fabric store yesterday...

I wanted some old-fashoined-y stuff and I knew just where to get it.

Mom and I went to the Busy Thimble in Litchfield and I got some great repro's that are going to become a wallhanging in my kitchen very shortly.

The plate is one of a pair that I found this weekend while Ollie and I were out "Antiquing."

(They will also be hanging on the wall very shortly).

The plates and fabrics and tablecloth all match quite well, don't you think?

And I think you will agree that I scored when I found this coat in our local consignment shop.

It is going to be my wedding coat.

Ollie and I are getting married outside (hopefully) about a year from now.

It is going to be chilly-ish (hopefully) so it was very important to me to have a wedding coat to wear over my dress.

It is what people are going to see me wear when we tie the knot.

I did have it in my head that I was going to wear a turquoise coat over my dress... something akin to the fabric in the curtains in the photo above.

I don't know why I thought that... I just had it in my head.

That would have been very "Sound of Music" of me, don't you think?

But when I saw this in the shop (I was looking for Fall sweaters, not wedding coats, mind you) I loved it.

I tried it on and it literally fit me like it was tailored for me and that was that.

It is brand new, with tags and spare button still attached and the fabric is gorgeous and soft, but what I love the most is that I got it locally and second-hand.

Vintage it is not and thrifty it was not but oh how I love it.

I feel very "Bride-y" now.

And very "Sarah Jessica Parker-y."

And that is the story of how I cheated and I scored.

See you again soon!




Did you watch NieNie on Oprah yesterday? I thought she was amazing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


(I'm so excited to watch this)

Nie Nie's on Oprah tomorrow...

Pass it on!



Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm in "Love."


I told you this may happen...

I'm pleased to report that I like the fabrics much more in person.

We ordered a bunch of Amy's new collection "Love" a couple of weeks ago (Sorry, they won't be here until December-ish)

Besides the regular quilting weight cottons, there are some laminates (the nice, drape-y laminates, too!)... there are some home-dec weight and there are some double-face quilteds (the kind of stuff Vera Bradley bags are made from).


I just saw that there are two new sewing patterns coming out.

How jazzed am I for that Liverpool Dress?

Very much so.

Actually, I have known about the Liverpool Dress for a few months now.

I have my customer and good friend Gray to thank for that.

(Yes, her name is Gray. Is that not the coolest name ever? Cool name for a cool lady.)

Gray is tall and reedy and will look great in the Liverpool Dress.

I am short and not the world's skinniest person in the world but I can't wait to be wearing that dress with jeans waaaay more than I should be and channeling my inner Kiera Knightley.

I don't know when the patterns are coming out, but rest assured, I am on it.

See you again soon!



Saturday, October 3, 2009


Thursday night we went to see Rufus in concert.

He was great.

If he wasn't gay and I wasn't getting married I would probably ask him to run away with me to Bavaria and I would make him sing to me every night.