Sunday, August 13, 2017

Brick 'n Mortar!

    Before our last farewell to the Bayberry Quilt show, I just wanted to show you our booth!

Left to right, that's Meg, from customer service, me, and then Tere who co-wrote the Summerhouse book with me. I realized very early in my career, that if you hang out with really talented people, it will rub off on you! And there was certainly much rubbing with the three of us plus customers in a 10x10 space. XOX

An incredible amount of work went into this, and it was a moment of pride, as well as gratitude, when I stood back and saw how great it looked. Absolutely everyone did their best, in this adult equivalent of a lemonade stand! My husband made me gorgeous wood quilt racks, and my daughter, Caroline, burned the CDs and created all of the packaging-- preparation was going on all summer.

The Bayberry Guild was amazing-- they gave us a spot at the very last minute... we were right by the front door and next to the ATM!! All the stars were in alignment at the Lucky Stars show.

This was our first show, and it was SO different from an internet store-- you actually meet and talk to REAL people! Build it and they will come, and come they did... in droves. I met some of my very best online customers-- some had come from as far away as Connecticut. Anyone who is brave enough to drive out to Cape Cod in the summer is a total rock star, and they did it for us! XOX

I wish I had taken more pictures, but we were hectic the whole time. Tere was going to help me with my demo, but we absolutely needed two at the booth at all times. I had to go solo with my little trunk show... I stitched out a mug mat and showed what you could do with them. My audience treated me like I was a magician! And so did my embroidery machine-- not one thread break!! We raffled off a Summerhouse Quilts book.

My head is still in the clouds.

Now that we have established a product line with embroidery CDs and the Summerhouse Book, we are looking to make the jump into quilt shops. Let us know if your local store might be interested!

And, I was going to use this blog to try to sell some of our left over stuff... but we're almost completely sold out! We have one t-shirt left, and some books and calendars-- we may reorder, so let us know if you are interested and we can make that decision.

And it's a wrap!

Highest priority now is the Flower Basket of the Month series which has rapidly crossed over the hump with 8 out of 12 designs-- Wow!

 There's a sneak peek of August above, debuting this week-- although I may move the poppies up front and center, for obvious reasons! We have started to sketch the missing border triangles-- and you are going to LOVE the idea...

Santa's Helper Christmas Club is also high on the list-- work on this actually started last December 26th and we have 8 projects ready... we'll be sneak peeking one of them Friday.

Have a wonderful week!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod 36th Annual Quilt Show

The show theme this year was "Our Lucky Stars!" Lucky for me-- you know I LOVE stars. There were over 300 quilts-- I'd have posted them all but I had a booth to run! I'm keeping commentary at a minimum... just feast your eyes!

Lucky Star Challenge quilts-- 
This is the hotly contested Challenge division--there are specific rules like using navy blue and lemon yellow, choosing from a list of themes, and the maximum size was 25" x 25." This is what greeted you as you walked into the gym-- there were 28 in all-- the creativity was amazing. My apologies for the lack of credit, but the names were kept secret until the voting was over.

Star Challenge quilts-- 
all LARGE and very detailed.

Alison Carroll
Love the design of this... I'm not sure if it was a pattern. 
Lotta half square triangles!

 "Star Gazer"
Leslie Riordan

 "Seeing Stars""
Anne Messier

Tere D'Amato
This is a Karen Stone pattern that came out better than Karen Stone's! LOL Won a blue ribbon.

 "Starry Night""
Elaine Dwyer
Another blue ribbon here. A Jaybird quilts pattern with no Y seams. The black rocks.

Wall Hangings, Quilted by Member
One of my favorite categories--

"Farm Truck-Retired"
Paula Tuano
The colors are so creative! 

 "Road Runner"
Kathy Hutcheson 

Medium Size Quilts, Quilted by Member

 "Welcome to My Nine Patch Garden"
Tere D'Amato
This is a famous quilt that toured with the National Quilt Museum for two years, having won a ribbon in their "New Quilts from an Old Favorite" competition. Perfection.

 "Indian Orange Peel"
Jean Howes 
This would have been my pick for Best in Show-- 
the color scheme is so sophisticated!

 "Twas The Night Before"
Marge Spevak 

 "Shimmering Fassetts"
Laurie LaConte

 "Log Cabin Sampler II"

Carol Burton 

Large Size Quilts

 "Snowflake Memories"

Kathleen Andreoli 

 "Grandma's Wedding Ring"

Agnes Knowles 

 "Woodland Creatures"
Judy Farrar
Mixed hexagons with a wonderful animal panel. <3 

 "Triple Irish Chain with Stars"
Sandra Davidson
A gorgeous quilt...  not sure why it wasn't in the stars division. 

 "Nouveau Blue"
Tere D'Amato
Craftsy's free BOM from 2016-- 
if you don't know Craftsy, check it out. 

Art Quilts

Rebecca Lawrence

 "Hope Not Fear"
Laurie LaConte

 "Beach Fire at Bayview"
Cathy Papazian


Every year, there is a youth division, and because Bayberry does free workshops for kids all year long, I have seen this category GROW! Here's a future rock star, ten years old, and this is her THIRD quilt!

 "Flower and Flutter"

Aviendha Andreoli

Best in Show


Paula Tuano

This was a king size quilt inspired by Karen McTavish, all hand quilted... I'm not a skull fan, but Paula is an extremely talented artist who is more than deserving based on her "body" of work. LOL

Phew! Hope you enjoyed all of them-- if you do have a local quilt guild, by all means JOIN! It is so amazing to see what your neighbors are doing, and a refreshing break from the big, prize money shows where you see the same quilts over and over again.

It's a wrap for 2017... way to go, Bayberry!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies!

     A quick post about my quilts in the Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod show-- heartfelt thanks to all of my "real" friends and all my "internet" friends who turned out for me-- the suspense is over!

   First, some background info-- I have only entered in this show for the past three years. The first year I got an honorable mention, the second year, I did get a couple of red ribbons and a yellow-- not the coveted blue-- to this point I had never had a blue ribbon, anywhere! This group is not made of big machine embroidery fans-- I do show 'n tell at most of the monthly meetings and when I ask how many people like machine embroidery, I get 2 or 3 hands up out of 200 people. So I decided to try really hard this year and entered four pieces in four different categories... this show is all Viewer's Choice--wait till you see the response this time!

    First, the challenge quilt. I thought this was my best shot at a blue because I minimized the embroidery-- it's English Paper Piecing, Foundation Paper Piecing, Machine Applique-- a little something for everyone. Plus, what's not to like about a tall ship? These are hung right by the entryway-- I walked in on Saturday morning and there it was! Yay! My ship came in!

Of course, I entered the New England Album-- ALL machine embroidery now-- I mean, people just think a computer did it. And my baby had a really challenging location in what is best described as the middle of a labyrinth of rows-- I couldn't even back up far enough to get a straight on picture. That being said, the difficulty of hanging a show like this with so many deserving members is noted and appreciated. 

Well, the crystals must have blazed a trail for everyone,
because they found it! Unbelievably humbled at this point-- there were some rock stars in this division. (More on that next blog post.)

My next piece was "Autumn Village"-- you might remember it as a Mug Rug of the Month-- and I just entered it because it's a personal favorite. I also entered it in an art gallery show a few months back, and it was hung behind a potted planted under a stairwell. So no expectations there. I remember on the night before the awards, realizing I hadn't even seen where it was in the show. So at this point, I was taking pictures of the ribbon winners, and I saw the ribbon, and went to take the picture, and through the viewfinder thought...

Hey, that's mine!

I think this was my biggest success... the Art Quilts category is the one I would never have dreamed of winning. I do love the way my free motion wood frame came out, don't you?

Finally, just another personal fave-- my Kiss Countdown Valentine Advent calendar... Valentine's Day is a big deal in our house because it is also my husband's birthday. I even hot glued mini chocolate bars into the pockets. I may have "bought" some votes this time, though, because when I got it home, some of the candies were missing. XOX

Don't you think the red ribbon is just perfect on this piece?!

So that's my story... I have to admit this is just way over the top, completely unexpected. Grateful thanks to the Bayberry Guild and all of the attendees. I'm happy to say, my fascination with ribbons is officially over, and I'll never say again that machine embroidery doesn't get the respect it deserves. But it's time to retire back to my sewing room and do what I love-- happiness is in the journey, not the destination.  

Later in the week, I'm going to do a heavy picture post of all of the gorgeous work in the show, and then a final post about my first ever booth and demonstrations-- once I restore order in my studio!


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

All Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion...

    I'm sure we have seemed quiet to you this summer, but BIG things are happening... tomorrow, we are setting up our first ever booth at the Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod Annual Quilt Show! We have a ton of REAL merchandise: a new book, embroidery CDs, yes, even T-shirts, plus high hopes to start a presence in brick 'n mortar shops. Here's a quick peek at a few things you can see if you are in the neighborhood.

Challenge Quilt: CHECK!

     I so proud of this piece-- my family is KNOWN for backhanded compliments, so when my daughter said, "Mom, that is my FAVORITE thing you have done in SUCH A LONG TIME!" I knew that I'd arrived. Here are some details:

At last count, there were 34 quilts entered in the challenge, and plenty of talent in this pool, so I am pretty sure my little ship will be annihilated by someone's fantastic star. (For the challenge, a star, and the colors blue and yellow had to be in it.) Not one to be discouraged, I've already made up my mind to write the pattern for this-- it was really FUN to make-- a nice taste of English Paper Piecing, machine applique, and, of course, EMBROIDERY! Wish me luck.

Embroidery CDS: CHECK!

We have most of our best sellers-- it was hard to play favorites, and I admit, a big moment of pride when I saw how many sets we have since starting around 2005. We always have stores asking for wholesale CDs, and now we can answer, "YES, we do have a wholesale program!"

SFOXCO Merchandise: CHECK!

Yup, t-shirts, mugs, and bags branded with the "And She Stitched Happily Ever After" design. I stopped short of adding our logo-- I, myself, hate advertising for people, plus, we were in the middle of doing a new one that wasn't ready, which brings me to:


We've been hating on that old, dreary bridge for a long time, and don't you think the logo for a sewing company should of all things, be STITCHED?

Hope you like it-- a new logo was keeping us back from redoing the website, so this fall, we're plunging ahead with that as well-- customer accounts, one-click ordering, e-mail downloads, wholesale-- we can hear the collective YAY on that!



Tere and I put together this book just for the booth, with just the blocks, no projects. Once all twelve projects are done, we're hoping there's enough interest for the SECOND EDITION with everything in it!

So, got to run... the show details are here:

Stop by and say hi if you are ANYWHERE on the Eastern Seaboard, the show is well worth the price of admission. And if you can't, we will really miss you, but you can catch some of these items on the website soon after.