Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Winter Stitch-a-Long...

So, of course, my previously mentioned rotator cuff repair pretty much totaled the fall sewing season! And I am still lamenting the fact that there's no Santa's Helper Club this year. Especially since those Santa's Helper's office samples made for some pretty nice Christmas gifts for friends and family. I may have to shop this year! But you won't bump into me out there today.

My shoulder is getting better by leaps and bounds now... So at the studio we brainstormed what fun thing we could do to salvage Christmas this year? And the answer is.... "The Twelve Days of Christmas Winter Stitch-a-Long!" 

We've been wanting to digitize our very own version for quite a few years. Heck, six of them are birds-- what do we love to digitize more than that? Then there's the ubiquitous golden ring-- should be no more difficult than drawing a circle. But then comes those last few days with people...  people doing weird things! Leaping, piping, dancing, milking cows- that could be a bit challenging to render in thread. Before committing, we sketched up Lords-a-Leaping, just to make sure we got this-- and... I think we got this! 

To keep the stress off, notice we're calling it a "Winter Project"-- we can all start now, stitching as time permits through the next busy month, and then have the early, quiet months of next year to finish it up. Our projects will be ready way ahead of time... for Christmas 2017! In addition, to the beautiful 4x4s shown, there will be a free 2x2 charm size with fewer colors that's much quicker to stitch.

And now, just because we LOVE bigger projects and making things even more complicated, detailed, time consuming, and now have all year to do it... we found these 12" Christmas star blocks made about five years ago... (there's a benefit to having a bunch of UFOs lying around waiting to leap out like lords at exactly the right moment...)

We're going to stitch our designs in the middle of them. Just an idea, folks. You can just stitch yours on white and your finished project will be just as spectacular.

So we welcome you to our winter project... The first block has posted today-- (it's number seven, the swan-- no, we're not going in order because inspiration rarely comes as 1,2,3...) Download our free easy and quick to stitch 2x2 charm size, or get tempted by our 4x4 fully detailed version-- who else doesn't love a bigger project!

Be sure to take a quick read of the general instructions provided so you don't miss a stitch... the link to the series is below, add it to your favorites for December!

...and allow us to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons ahead!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Where've Ya Been?

It’s been quite a while since my last post,  but I have a good excuse....

This happened! That makes it sound like I had an accident, but that's not the case... apparently, my rotator cuff has been wearing away over time like a piece of cheap fabric until finally it ripped in half like a hole in the knee! (It figures I would have a health problem brimming with sewing metaphors.) For over a year, I had been having excruciating shoulder pain which at first was controllable by cortisone shots, but by the end of this summer, was totally unbearable and left no choice but surgery.

Initially, I feared all the hooping and free motion quilting finally caught up with me... But NO! My doctor assured me, it is just because of my AGE! Which I guess is good news, because I do intend to hoop and free-mo some more for quite a few years yet. A benefit of enjoying a pastime associated with grannies is that you’re never forced into retirement.

Not having any MLB pitcher friends to tell me about their experience, I went into it totally not knowing what to expect. When I went a couple of days before surgery to get fitted for a sling, I was not offered the cute pink silk version with Swarovski crystals I had in my mind--but this horrendous black appendage with huge foam brick attached to it and no less than four straps! At that moment, my heart sank.

It has been slow going, but the good news is I am eight weeks out already. I burned the black appendage couple of weeks ago and apparently, my new seams are holding strong. Many thanks to my OTHER right hand, Meg, not to mention the rest of the gang who kept the business running flawlessly. My biggest concern was keeping the Baltimore Album series going…did you notice the huge lapse of time between the September and October blocks? Well, the November block will be out in just a day or so, and we're even hoping to have December’s block (last one!) by the first week of that month... can't believe the whole year has gone by!

The bad news… having any sort of Christmas Club this year was just not possible. But as I am so fond of saying, there's always next year. We are hoping to pull off some shorter notice fun like a 12 days of Christmas series... With a little free charm version and an upgrade every couple of days after Thanksgiving. Even saying that makes me fearful I can’t keep up, but I’ve always wanted to do it, so I reserve the right to finish it in January if needed!! It wouldn't be San Francisco Stitch Co. if we weren't behind a bit.

As soon a s I could sew two pieces of fabric together I did, and that combined with not being able to drive and stuck home, I finished the first of my road trip quilts of valor. Not sure my doctor would have approved, but the joy of it kept me off of pain meds! :-)

We also have an exciting new plan for 2017... some of you know I was a quilter before I was a machine embroiderer… I have partnered with an award-winning quilt designer to offer our first ever quilt BOM patterns in 2017... these do not have machine embroidery, but are strictly for quilters. Each month there will be a new block with a project idea, or you can save your blocks and make a full-size quilt. We hope you'll join the fun and tell your quilting friends! Apparently, “Tropical” was quite the new trend at Quilt Market this year, and we are ahead of the game. This will keep your sanity in the winter months to come. Sneak peek… below.

So that’s what has been going on in our world! Let us know what’s happening in yours below… we LOVE to hear from you. XOX