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Please Help Make My Wish Come True!!

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Handmade Goat Milk Soap

As most of you know, Goat Milk Soap by Meadowfly Farm is a little less than a year old. With such a young business, I need all the help that I can get. I’ve just entered a grant contest that could allow me to win a $5,000 grant!!

This grant would be invaluable to me in growing this business. With $5,000, I would be able to purchase more equipment as well as a small shed for my goats.

Having more equipment will allow me to increase soap production. Once I know that I could meet increased demand, I would be able to establish my soaps with more larger companies.

Currently, my goats are housed in over-sized dog houses. These shelters are adequate but not ideal. With this grant, I would be able to purchase a small shed that would have enough room in it for all the goats and would…

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Time Flies By

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Freeform Flowers Coasters 1You often hear people say, “There aren’t enough hours in the day”, or even the week, but it is especially true of the weekend. Sometimes you feel like and blink and it’s over. That was true of my weekend. I had so many things on my to do list and I didn’t really even make a dent. For example: I needed to go up to Ashby Sewing Center in Kennesaw, like I had planned to check out their embroidery machines so I can get some information back to you. But things didn’t work out that way.

Spring Break happened. My wonderful husband decided to pack up myself and the boys and head up to The Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. It was a fun trip by the way that had some cool things, including dinosaur bones, a variety of rocks, a display of old cars, even a fossil dig and gem panning. It also happened to be located a little over an hour from our home.

I don’t know about you but if I’m not driving on a trip of any length I usually spend my time on my phone. I might check my email, play a game, or peruse the internet. Which is what I happened to be doing on Saturday. Sitting there in the passenger seat of my Dodge Journey, I started thinking about other ways that I could get my craft items out so that people can see and purchase my items. I thought about entering craft shows and selling stuff there. So I started with Google.

Well my I ended up having a crash course on art shows this weekend. I learned a lot and I got a lot of tips and good advice from the forums that I belong to as well.

Here is a summary of what I have learned.

1) Arts and Crafts shows are expensive. Most of the better known festivals with a good projected attendance are very expensive. Most of the shows that I looked at to think about entering were $300.00 and up. Way out of my league at the current time. Plus a lot of the shows were not in my current area. That wouldn’t be bad for a one day show but if the show ran multiple days I might have to include lodging into the price. Those expenses add up.

2) A lot of the deadlines for the shows I looked at were already gone. Some of the shows weren’t going to happen until Christmas and they were already filled.

3) Supplies. I never realized all the things that you need to be a vendor at an arts and crafts show. I got some good tips and started composing my list.

4) A lot of shows have an extensive application process. Some have exorbitant fees, some require slides, you just have to be sure to give them all that they require if you wish to participate and you may not be approved.

After looking and looking I finally found a local show coming in September that would be a good fit for me.

  • The items I sell would be a good fit for the overall theme of the event.
  • It is a local show so I wouldn’t have to worry about an extensive drive or lodging.
  • It isn’t until September so I still have a good bit of time to build up my inventory.
  • Also I still have enough time to accumulate all those miscellaneous things that I need that I never realized I would need.

So I emailed the contact person for the event and asked for more information and I was sent an application. It all seemed pretty straightforward but after reading a lot of posts and blogs about art shows I realized that I need a few details. Such as is the show indoors or outdoors, do you need a tent or canopy or is one provided, how big is your display space. (The list goes on and on). So I emailed her back and found out that the display space is 10 x 10 and that I will I need to purchase a tent. So tonight I filled out my application, enclosed my application fee, put a stamp on my envelope, and instead of planning my trip to Ashby Sewing Center for this weekend; I will be searching for a moderately priced tent for my upcoming art show. Just one more thing that I can add to my to do list.

These are some of my favorite blocks

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This quilt is a fairy tale fantasy. The panel is comprised of scenes from: Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Rumplestilstkin, and The Three Little Pigs among others. Panels are surrounded by a blue checked border and the back panel features those same characters, surrounded by light sky blue material. Handmade binding feature a gold material with crowns from kings and queens. Beautiful quilt for anyone who loves fairy tales.

Once Upon A Time Quilt

 

Quilting has a long tradition in the United States. Quilts in the earliest forms were used (as they are today) to provide warmth. However the social aspect of quilt making has changed a lot from the early colonial days. Long gone are the community quilting bees, no longer are young ladies expected to have a certain number of quilts made to establish her home. Today quilts provide some of the same functions as in the past. They are made as they were in the past to commemorate a marriage, to welcome a new baby into the world, to welcome a war hero home, or even to simply decorate your home. Let me introduce you to a few of my favorite quilt blocks.

Block Designs:

There are many traditional block designs that have been around for a long time. One of those designs is the Log Cabin block. Log cabin quilts are pieced quilts featuring blocks that are made from strips of fabric that encircle a small centered square. Red is traditionally the center square which symbolizes the hearth of the home. Light strips form half of the square and dark strips for the other. Depending on layout you can achieve many different looks for the quilt.

Scrappy Log Cabin quilt

This was one of the first quilts that I made. I revamped my quilt into potholders.

Quilt Potholders Quilt Potholders

Nine patch blocks are typically the easiest and the first ones that a new quilter undertakes. The block consists of three rows of three squares. A checkerboard effect with alternating blocks is commonly used.

plaid 9 patch block

One of my favorite quilt blocks that is on my “to do” list is the Bear Paw. This block is said to relate directly to nature and the new life that Pioneers experienced (like the Log Cabin Block). The bear paws quilt that I want to do is actually a wall hanging that features applique. It is from the book Traditional Mini Quilts.

bear paw berries

One pattern that I admire but I doubt I will ever attempt is called Grandmothers Flower Garden. There are often hundreds of small hexagons that go into making a finished quilt. These quilts represent a great deal of labor. The method for completing a quilt like this is using the English Paper Piercing. It is a method done by hand.

grandmothers_Flower_Garden_quilt

The Storm at Sea quilt pattern is a fun quilt to make that is full of movement. Your eyes “see” curves due to the position of the blocks, but there is not a curved seam anywhere in the quilt.

storm at sea detail 2 storm at sea detail 3 storm at sea detail 1

The last block that I want to talk about is the Sawtooth Square aka the Ohio Saw Tooth Square. This block features a square in the middle and triangles formed around it. One great quilt I made was the Wild Stars pattern featured in the book Great American Quilts book 9.

This quilt features the sawtooth square divided up by a black and white checkerboard design. I used bright batik fabrics for the stars and the inside colored checkerboards.

Sawtooth Squares with checkerboard

I hope you have enjoyed a taste of my favorite quilt blocks. Some of these items will be for sale so be sure to check out the Twisty Stitches Online Store.

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Atlanta 2013 Quilt Shop Hop

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Well our day started off as a success. Our trip took us near Charlies (a small store off of 166). I love stopping there when I get a chance so I can grab one of their fantastic Southern Biscuits. I chose the Sausage and Egg and Christopher had Bacon and Cheese. Let me tell you they were great and the lady that made the biscuits was very nice.

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Yum-Yum!  Feeling good and ready to shop.

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Our first stop was Quilts and Fixins, in Jonesboro Georgia.

http://www.quiltsandfixins.org/

I was super excited as this was our first store and I forgot to take photos. I got my passport stamped. Entered the drawing for the shops prize which was a large wooden thread holder. I remember buying a couple of patterns. Everything was bright and cheerful and it was a great first stop.

2nd stop was

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Intown Quilters in Decateur Georgia.

http://www.intownquilters.com/

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This was a nice store. Really cheerful. I liked the penant hanging from the ceiling with their shop name spelled out. I would like to do something like that in my office. Plus it would give me a chance to work on my applique skills. Hmmmm. Sounds like a to do blog project.

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They had some cute Doctor Seuss themed cloth with a variety of items made from it. This bag was really cute and quite simple.

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This store carried a really good selection of patterns for all kinds of projects. (I especially liked their clothing ones and their purse patterns.) I really had to control myself. I think that this shop had a quilt in their window that I really liked. The cloth had squares that could cut out and it looked like vintage valentines. They had cut them out and assembled them with other valentine theme material and made a really cool wall hanging. I remember taking a picture but facing the sunshine in the window you couldn’t see the quilt.

On the road again.

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Our next stop was Little Quilts in Marietta Georgia.

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http://www.littlequilts.com/

This was the shop we stopped at a week or so ago when we were in the area. I really liked this shop. One thing they had was this cloth that looked liked vintage seed packets. They were assembled into a wall hanging. This store has some cute doctor Seuss cloth, patterns, purses, books, cloth. The space is a little tight but it is just crammed full of awesome things.The ladies are always super nice and it is a pleasure shopping there.

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Next stop was Tiny Stitches in Marietta Georgia.

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http://tinystitches.com

One thing that I liked at this store was their game quilt. It had checkers, tic tac toe, a bean bag toss, and a couple of others. I also liked their I spy quilt and the small quilt made with Nancy Drew book covers.

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Lots and lots of themed cloth that kids would love. (And adults too!)

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Almost done only 2 more stops.

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The next shop was one of my favorites. Red Hen Fabrics in Marietta Georgia.

http://www.redhenfabrics.com/

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This shop had a lot of cloth. All kinds of patterns and colors and themes. They had a lot of panels as well. I liked the snowman Christmas panel. I don’t know how I missed buying that one for the store. The presents and gingerbread cookie table runner was super cute. Only problem I have never appliqued. Again I am going to have to work on that. Rudolph was super cute. He is made with pinwheels. They tilted them and changed colors to make him. Very clever.

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The final shop on our tour was

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This shop is the closest to me as it is in Mableton Georgia.

http://www.stitchnquiltt.com/

They have a very nice shop filled with beautiful cloth. Lots of projects on display.

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All in all I feel that the Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop was a successful. In a lot of ways it was like a professional conference. I visited a lot of shops, saw a lot of projects, got some good deals, met a lot of my fellow quilters, and I came back home ready to create.  Visit my website at http://TwistyStitches.biz to see the photos that we took.

“We are all app…

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“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master” Ernest Hemingway