Celebrating Halloween with a “Ghostly” Surprise

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A post from Kelli–

If you didn’t know, I became an aunt this past April.  Jason’s brother Brent and his wife Rachel had a beautiful little baby boy and I have really loved being an auntie.  Because Rachel is a photographer, I’ve even gotten a few chances to sneak over and babysit while she has a photography session.  When Rachel told me she was going to be taking Mr. Joshua trick or treating, I knew that I needed to find him a halloween goodie of some kind!

After a little bit of thinking and bouncing ideas off of mom, I came up with this:

ghosts (180x300)Last week when I was in town, I picked up a couple containers of the little baby puffs, a cute halloween bucket, and some candy.  When I got home, I cut 2 approximately 24″ squares from an old sheet and a few strips about 12″ long and an inch or two wide.

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I wadded up some extra stuffing into a ball shape and held it on the top of the bottle.  I found the middle of the 24″ square and placed it on the top of the bottle, pulling it down tight.  I used the 12″ long strip to tie it around the bottle.

Ghosts 3 (181x300)I finished off the little ghosts with a pair of permanent marker eyes and an oval mouth.  I added them into the bucket with some candy treats for Rachel and Brent and Waalaa!  Halloween treats for everyone!

 

 

Farewell to Country Threads

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Ever since I heard that Country Threads (my favorite quilt shop in Garner, Iowa) would be closing, I knew I wanted to go one last time.  By far, above any quilt shop, it has been my favorite and to be honest, I don’t think for me another quilt shop will ever top it.

I told Kelli I was planning to go and she said she wanted to go too.  We had been juggling schedules trying to make things work-then finally I reminded Kelli and this was their last week.  Wednesday we went.  We weren’t there to get some wonderful deals…although everything was 50% off…and we did go home with plenty, we went to say so long to the gals and to the quilt shop.

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There were still lots of samples on the walls tempting us…and I’ll admit, I fell to temptation.

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I so wish I had the gift of color.  I talked to Mary about it and she said it was Connie’s doing and it’s Connie that knows colors.

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I think she was being modest.

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I have studied and studied what it is that I love so much about the coloring.  In that basket quilt to the left, I wouldn’t have used the dull colors in the border or in the center of the quilt.  I would have used a bolder color.  Those duller colors actually make the blocks take the center stage though and it’s something I need to remember.

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I asked Connie about it too.  She said that every quilt needs fabrics that you don’t love.  Those fabrics make the fabrics that you do love look even better.  They said that customers often came in the store and when the gals suggested a not so cute fabric that customers would not want that particular fabric but if a person wants that “Country Threads look”, they need those dull fabrics.

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The quilt below is their 30 stars quilt from Country Living Magazine.  I always liked the original but it never grabbed me as a “must have”.  Done in the patriotic colors, I LOVE!!  Yes, I ended up buying the pattern.  I LOVE IT!!

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I had to laugh when I saw this four patch hanging in the store.  Mary put this pattern together several years ago.  It was always a shop favorite.  Time and time again, customers would want to make the “exact quilt”.  Well they would run out of the back ground fabric.  They would make a new sample with a new background fabric.  Again and again they would remake this quilt.  In it’s simplicity…I still love it too.

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I bought the below pattern too.  I love feathered stars and this construction looked easy enough for me.

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They did some fabric left yet to purchase.  The shelves were pretty bare but Kelli and I still found some things we liked especially for backings.

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Here’s an old traditional block but isn’t it cute.  See…they do just know how to do color.

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Kelli and I both loved this simple nine patch….See how they jazzed it up with rounded corners.  I would have never picked that for a binding but it looks so good.

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Isn’t this a fun little quilt??

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The red and teal got two huge thumbs up from Kelli and I.

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Remember that I love all things polka dot.  Well this quilt is included on the list of polka dot favorites!

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There were quite a few punch needle project left and a bit of wool too.

Today is the last day.  At 5:00 pm they close.  I am so happy for all the gals there and hope retirement is all they ever dreamed it would be.  I can’t thank them enough for being so kind to me over the years and generous with their talent.  As I look at my walls, I see them filled with quilts that I made from their patterns.  Try as I might, I’ve done good but never quite mastered the color the way the Connie and Mary did.

I guess I’ll be on the hunt for a new favorite quilt shop….These are a few things I am looking for:
1- samples and samples and more samples-all samples labeled with pattern and pattern CLOSE by.
2-friendly helpful service but not pushy or intrusive workers
3-Variety.  I love fabric, wool and punch needle.
4-a homey atmosphere
5-and even more samples.  I truly LOVE samples.

There are so many projects that I saw over the years at Country Threads that I would NEVER have bought the pattern if I hadn’t seen the sample.

With that:  Cheers to you Mary and Connie and the girls.  You had a great run.  Thanks for being part of my quilting world.

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