Online Quilt Shop -The Coffee Pot is On!

 

Did you know that more than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year?

smallbusinesslogoAs part of National Small Business Week, coming May 4-8, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

My father owned a small flower shop in our little town of Flushing, Michigan.  The shop was called the “Caron Lee Flower Shop;” Yes, it was named after me.   My Mother-in-Law owned an antique shop downtown (Trudy’s Antiques), my husband owns and operates Mosey’s Woodworks, and as you may know, HandQuiltingSupplies.com is my online baby. 

 

Caron Lee Flower Shop

 

A small business needs a few things to help make it successful:  a good product, a commitment to quality, dedication to good service, and…customers.  Honesty, integrity and a good work ethic are critical qualities in a small business person.  Without those qualities, the business will not last.                                     

As quilters, we love going into a quilt shop where we can pet the fabric, use all of our senses to see, touch, hear, and yes, SMELL the fabric and atmosphere around us.  Quilt shops have been known to have cookies and coffee on hand (taste!), and I think any quilt shop I have ever walked into had a bell on the door. Most shops I frequent also have a cat or dog somewhere on the premises.

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HandQuiltingSupplies.com may not have a door for you to walk through, but we do have Stormie the (furry) Quilt Inspector here to monitor traffic.  There is usually a coffee pot running and munchies on the counter.  Our shop is continually adding products that YOU have requested.  If you have quilting questions, you’re always welcome to send an email and you will receive a response from a hand quilter with 40 years’ experience… not someone behind the counter who has never made a quilt. 

 

I can honestly say that since the business opened in June of 2014, I have had the most wonderful customers!  This has been a learning process for me…and you have all been fantastic about sharing ideas, suggestions, and caring support.  If I had to name just one thing that I wish I could change, that would be the cost to ship your goodies to you. It’s out of my control.  But my husband enjoys building remote control vehicles, so who knows… maybe ours will be the first online quilt shop with a drone to bring you your packages!

drone


www.HandQuiltingSupplies.com

Hand Quilting Supplies

205 Brookside Drive. Flushing, MI U.S.A. 48433

The Way We Were and Why I Hand Quilt

Do you remember Barbara Streisand singing the song “The Way We Were?”  Those four little words are stuck in my head today as I sit in my house (not at work) listening to the radio with no Internet service or cable television.  I live in mid-Michigan, where we just had a record amount of snow and sub-zero temperatures.  People are being told to stay inside and not drive, and all schools, government offices, senior citizen centers and many businesses are closed.

I am lucky (at least, at this moment).  I have power, and while I can’t get on the Internet, I do have a laptop with power which allows me to at least write this post (which will be uploaded when everything is back in working order.)  Many other people don’t even have power.  My radio is on, and my clothes are tumbling around the dryer, almost ready to be hung up. 

I snuggled in my leather chair this morning enjoying the quiet and hand quilting on my latest creation.  I thought about technology and why it is that I love hand quilting so much.  So many people wonder why anyone still quilts by hand when we have fancy, huge sewing machines designed to do just that.  Why do we applique or piece by hand when most of us own a sewing machine?  Are we insane?
We live in a busy world.  It isn’t what I experienced when I was four years old, that’s for sure.  In 1960, we did have a television, albeit a black and white television.  I had to get off the couch to change the channel.  TV shows went off at midnight with the National Anthem playing (if you lived in the United States). Milk was delivered.  Microwaves had not yet been invented, so warming up a meal meant in a pan on the stove, which took more than a minute.

In 1960 our minds weren’t cluttered up with technology.  If we wanted to listen to a song and were lucky enough to have a stereo or hi-fi, we put on a record but had to turn the record over to play the other side.  We couldn’t plug our iPhone headphones into our ears and sit for days on end before we ran out of songs.  We drove our cars down the road with very few radio stations to listen to, that is, if our car had a radio. We couldn’t talk on our phone in the car.  We didn’t have Facebook or the Internet to communicate with other quilters from all around the world. We MAYBE had a few friends in our community who quilted who we could spend our time with. 
If you were a quilter back in 1960, a lot of pattern creation was done by the trial and error method.  Patterns were made out of cardboard templates (the back of cereal boxes) that were drawn by hand over and over to make them perfect.  Quilters used a yardstick.  They didn’t have plastic templates.  They didn’t have long arm quilting machines on frames.  If you needed something quilted, you did it by hand.  And it was relaxing, and it gave you time to think.

For me, the best part of hand quilting is having the time to think.  To ponder.  To go slow.  To unplug.  Lately, I have tried turning the television off more while I quilt just for the silence.  I enjoy watching what my hands can do all on their own.  I have remembered more things from the past by allowing myself this quiet time.  I have found myself being more creative in my thinking, which I can only think will help me improve as a quilter and artist. 

In being a hand quilter, I have restricted the quantity of quilts that I produce (as compared to what a long arm or regular sewing machine quilter can do). That means I don’t have as many photos to share on the Internet with my quilting friends from around the world.  That means in my quilt guild’s Show and Tell time, I rarely have something to show.  But I ask myself, 

What is the rush? Perhaps it is time we slowed down and got back to 
“The Way We Were.”


Note:  No cameras were harmed in the publishing of this article.

Hell HAS Frozen Over

HellYes folks, it has, indeed frozen over.  

Here in Michigan, and in other parts of the United States, we are in the middle of a deep freeze.  Today, schools in my area were all closed due to the low temperatures.  We don’t want students standing outside waiting for the bus or walking to school in sub zero weather. 

I remember as a child attending Elms Elementary in Flushing… second grade, I think.  There was an area of the school by the kindergarten rooms that formed a little inset area; a buffer from the winds.  At recess time after lunch, we had to go outside no matter how cold it was.  The kids would all huddle together in this area to hide from the wind and keep each other warm.  We’d stand there for about 20-25 minutes shivering until the bell rang and we could go back inside.  Funny how you remember things like that!

I live in Flushing, a little town just west of Flint.  It’s a nice area with a downtown two short blocks long.  Here’s a nice picture taken just after Christmas.  

downtown Flushing

My favorite time of the year to sit and quilt is on days like today.  I can snuggle under my quilt in my chair, warm and toasty underneath all those layers of quilt, and just hand quilt for hours.  I think I’ll head over there and do just that. 

quilt night

Dear Samantha Jane Update

I’ve done a little more work putting this quilt together and thought I’d share it with you.  It will be on point as you see here…  the little nine patch blocks in the setting strips are SO tiny!  Each little square measures .75 inches, so they’re itty bitty!SammyJaneQuilt

Over the past week and a half I haven’t had much time to work on this, as I was away for a long weekend visiting the Traverse City, Michigan area, and then had to put a binding on our guild’s raffle quilt.  The quilt is huge (monster size), so it took quite awhile.  And, in the midst of all that, we had a big storm in our area that blew down trees and knocked out power for about 5-6 days.  Lots of excitement, but when there’s no power, it’s hard to use my sewing machine!

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We visited the National Music Camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.  The photo here is of the “Bowl” where many concerts are held.  A flag represents each country that has a student in attendance.  I attended this camp when I was in high school, so it felt like going home again. 

You should be able to click on a picture and enlarge it…

IMG_1784 See the little stone building?  That is one of the many practice huts around campus.  Students spend much of their day in classes, both private and group, and are expected to spend a certain amount of time each day practicing in one of the huts by themselves.
IMG_1818 We visited the Chateau Chantal Winery on Old Mission Point Peninsula.  From the winery, up on a huge hill, you could see all around.  That is Lake Michigan at the top of the photo.

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Another photo from the winery.  Isn’t it beautiful?  You can see the grape vines at the bottom of the photo, Lake Michigan in the background.

 

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This is the inside of Kresge Auditorium at Interlochen.  The building is open all around it, and overlooks a lake.  We saw Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers while we were there.  Oh my goodness, can he ever play banjo!  They were awesome!  See the black curtains on stage?  When those are pushed to the side, you can see the lake.  It’s beautiful in the evening, as you can see the sun set on stage.

More later!

 

An “Ice Day” to Stay Inside

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I’m in Mid-Michigan, where it’s been spring for only a few days.  Yet Mother Nature decided she wanted to send another blast of ice, sleet and snow our way, covering everything with a thick glaze.  Everything is closed: schools, senior citizen centers, etc.  I could go to work at my day job, but I think I’ll take this opportunity to work at home and get a few critical items checked off my list.

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The Woodworker took this picture last night when he got home.  Today it’s much worse.  What you’re seeing is not snow, it’s ice.  Yucky, slippery, cold ice.  Not worth risking life and limb to get to work.  I’ve convinced myself.  Twisted my own arm. 

Stay safe, Michigan!

Barns: The Disappearing American Icon

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The Woodworker and I enjoy driving out in the country to enjoy the peace and quiet, especially on a beautiful summer evening.  Last night was the perfect evening.  We rode for almost two hours with no destination in mind, around Genesee County, Shiawassee County and Saginaw County in Mid-Michigan.  Half way through our ride we swung through McDonalds for a fast food dinner we could eat in the car.  We drove paved roads, dirt roads, and roads that looked like nothing more than a narrow cow path.  We both spotted this cluster of barns a distance away, and the truck just seemed to want to go in that direction… so we did.

I love barns.  In fact, our first son’s baby quilt was a barn quilt with nine barns, quilted in a chicken wire pattern.DSC01583We drove up to the barns and I just had to get another picture or two.  They looked to be freshly painted and were next to a farmhouse that also looked lovingly tended. DSC03645 DSC03646 I love that they included the date on the largest barn:

1900

Signing the date on the barn… kind of like signing and dating a quilt.

I feel another barn quilt in my future.

 

Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! 2010

A little of this, a little of that

Karen Ann Buckley has a beautiful post on her blog that includes photographs from her trip to Charlevoix, Michigan.  She even has a photo taken on the channel of the condo my parents used to own.  I love the Charlevoix area… and all of northern Michigan.  If it weren’t for the tons of snow in the winter, you could easily persuade me to move up there.  Thanks for the pictures, Karen!  DSC03585

Would you believe I have never taken a quilt class before?  Oh, I’ve taught lots of classes, but never TAKEN one.  I had an opportunity to take a class with quilt portrait specialist Aniko Feher on Monday, and I loved it!    She taught us the basic methods of shading, positioning, shading with watercolor pencils and so much more.  I learned a lot and brought my little sample class projecthome to finish it.  I’m going to do a second portrait using my mother’s photo, and I’m excited about that.  Thanks for the class, Aniko!

Don’t forget about the giveaway at Michigan Quilts! 

The drawing in July 4th, so you have a few weeks left to enter.

Michigan Quilt Bloggers: Liz Burt

Michigan I love Mackinac Island! It’s a quaint place in Michigan that we rarely visit, but that I adore. As a former teacher, I always thought it would be fascinating to teach on the island. I was thrilled when I discovered Liz through her blog and learned that she is both a teacher and quilter!

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quiltstackHi, I’m Liz and I am guest blogging today. I’m nobody special really: I’m almost 40 (insert audible gasp here), a quilter, the mother of two, a school teacher, and I’m one of the 500 people who live year-round on Mackinac Island. Cars are illegal on the island so we do everything by horse, by bike and by snowmobile. If you’re curious about my little island life, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and read all about it here.

I said that I’m a quilter, but I haven’t quilted much lately. I discovered, as many quilters do, that not much quilting gets done once children come in to the picture. My children are now three and five, and this is the first quilt I’ve completed since they were born.

yellow brick rd1I love this quilt; it’s just so sunny and warm. My friend Maggie made one years ago with the same colors and I just loved it. She has always been my quilting inspiration because she is so prolific. (Just check out her blog and you’ll see.) I borrowed her pattern before my son was born and started collecting fat quarters. I had it all pieced and ready for the boarder when I got pregnant. (Which was wonderful news since it took us two years to conceive.) Now, here we are, six years after I started it and my Yellow Brick Road quilt is finally finished.

yellowbrickrdquiltingUsually I quilt my own quilts on my trusty Bernina, but let’s face it, I wanted this one done. So I sent it to Marsha, a wonderful machine quilter in Fowlerville, Michigan. Marsha is amazing. She’s talented, willing to help you through the quilting design process, and her rates are very reasonable. I’m just so happy with this quilt; it hasn’t left the bed since I finished sewing the binding. Now I’ve just got to find the time to finish the other quilt top that has been languishing since I became a mom. All it needs are the borders and a little of Marsha’s time and then I can enjoy that one too. Hopefully it won’t take me another six years to get it done!

Michigan Quilt Resources

In an attempt to provide a centralized location of “quilty stuff” in the State of Michigan, I spent the evening putting together a new quilters’ resource:

Michigan Quilt Resources

If you are a quilter, instructor, longarm quilter, quilt guild or show sponsor located in the State of Michigan, please drop by the site at http://miquiltresources.blogspot.com and take a peek around. The more information we can gather, the more useful the site will be.

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