Canal Lights Punta Gorda

Family coming for the Holidays?

Show them how Christmas is celebrated in Florida.....
with LIGHTS.  One of the reknown lights displays is along the canals in Punta Gorda.  Board a comfortable motorcoach, travel to Fisherman's Village, enjoy dinner at the Captain's Table, then board a boat to cruise the canals and view the display of lights. 
Motorcoach leaves Alma Sue's parking lot at 2:00 pm, return is about 10:00 pm.  Yes, the coach has a bathroom.
Trip coordinated by Valerie at GEM Travel. 
Cost is $89 per person and includes transportation to Punta Gorda, dinner, boat cruise along canals, all taxes, tips, and driver's gratuity.

Just a couple more weeks to wind up all that sewing for your gifts to family and friends.  In September I happened to be up north visiting my brother.  His wife said "well it's time to get out the fall decorations."  I was astonished to see her pull out a fall table runner I made at least 16 years ago.  In the years since the runner was a gift they have moved, downsized, and have a new longer table to accommodate in-laws and grandchildren.  The runner didn't really fit, it wasn't long enough but Vee spread it out on the table anyway as far as it would go.  My mental note was to sew this year for the adults.  Brother Sam suggested they could use a Christmas tablecloth large enough to spread out when the table is fully extended with all the leaves.  With his help we measured the table and two weeks ago I shipped a 120 inch tablecloth made from that 55-inch wide fabric with poinsettia borders.  The new fall runner can wait for next year.  So my brother Jim lives next door and he has a new table just as long as Sam's table.  His wife Marty needed a runner.  Again using that great border fabric, we cut off one side border, backed it with green fabric from the middle of the two borders, added batting, did a little stitching, and presto Marty has a long Christmas table runner.  In between time, a couple from the UK came in and also needed a ten foot long table runner.  She wanted the poinsettia print on both sides, so that was easy, cut off both borders, put one on the back, add batting and stitching.  We used the middle part of the fabric between the borders to make matching napkins.  

We have another great runner panel, 40 inches long, printed with poinsettias for both sides and JOY written on the end.  Use one of the new "runner forms" by Bosal to make a quick runner in about 30 minutes.  You can either sew it like a pillow, turn inside out, close seam and topstitch.  Or you can topstitch or quilt it, then finish by binding.  The panel is printed with two identical strips, so you can make one runner with the same print on both sides, or make two runners by using a coordinating backing.  All Christmas fabric is on CLEARANCE sale.  Panels are $5 (small) and $8 (large).  What an easy quick gift, or useful panel for yourself.  Need it longer than 40 inches?  Then sew the two strips together to make a longer runner.  

In the shop we have many stripes that are perfect to turn into a runner.  I keep buying them because for many years before the quilt shop I made mostly runners, napkins, and placemats for various gift shops, so I can't help myself from buying those stripes that adapt perfectly to runners.  For batting, use up any of your batting strips, or use fleece, or the new runner forms.  We have fusible fleece and the new runner forms are also fusible, so no need to use a can of 505 adhesive spray to hold your sandwich together for quilting.  We have fall and Christmas stripes on clearance sale, stripes for spring and stripes for everyday.  Any stripe that is repeated about every 12-14 inches can be cut into perfect runners.  Add a border if you wish.  Sometimes the beauty of the fabric is such that it doesn't need to be cut up into small little pieces and resewed.  I know there's that "easy stripe table runner" pattern that takes stripes and cuts them up, but my preference is just to see the beauty of the stripe the way the designer envisioned it.

We still have some Christmas, fall, and seasonal fabric left - all on clearance for $8 a yard.  Tuck some away for next year.  Then there are those who sew year round for Christmas.

All finished items are 30% off.  We still have a selection of ADVENT CALENDARS.  Start using them December 1 in a count down to Christmas.  The numbers are not in order, this helps the child learn his numbers from 1-25.  Put a treat or coin into each slot for that day.  Another suggestion, place a note in the day's slot, giving a hint where something is hidden.  Or place a note in the day's slot telling the child something you will do with him that day.  As a child we didn't have formal advent calendars, but in school we always made something as a visual aid to count down to Christmas, often it was just a chain of paper loops to tear off each day.  Christmas is always such a big event in a child's world, the sights and smells of cookie making, visiting grandparents, pick and cut a tree, shopping, decorate the tree, listening for reindeer hooves on the rooftop, caroling and hayrides, putting together boxes of food and gifts for others less fortunate, learning your lines for pagents and programs.  And then Christmas morning, getting up before dawn to check out the boxes under the tree.  Everyone has special family traditions and foods to introduce to the next generation.  Keep it up.

In the finished goods, we still have a nice selection of placemats on sale $7 each, hot pads and aprons 30% off, finished panels (trees, santa, nativity) 30% off, those LED lights to install into wreaths, trees, and panels $5 each set, clear or multi-colored. 

MONDO BAG class Wed. Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, 1-4 pm.  $75.  Everyone needs a Mondo Bag!  Big enough to carry your quilts and quilting stuff, a shopping bag, airline carry on.  No hardware, no zippers, nothing but fabric and fusibles.  Class includes one Bali Poppies by Hoffman, interfacing, fusibles, fleece, everything to make the bag.  Great gifts!  Or great bag in which to carry all your gifts!

Santa Attic Windows class tomorrow (Nov. 30) 1-4 pm.  $65.Fabric strips precut ready to sew except panel.  Learn how to cut up a panel into windows and apply this same technique to any panel or print.

Panel finishing class, Tuesday Dec. 6 $20.  Learn how to sandwich, quilt, bind, and finish your attic windows panel.

Call the shop at 941-330-0993 for a seat on the bus for dinner and cruise to the canal lights.

Call the shop at 941-330-0993 for a space in the Mondo Bag class.

Call the shop for a space in the SANTA ATTIC WINDOWS class or the panel finishing class.

So how do you store your ongoing projects?  We have a lot of work in progress, both ours and those from customers, at least 50 or more projects in some stage of completion.  It takes the talents of several people to finish a project, Duke gets the needle turn applique and hand work, Dena and Deanna do design and machine sewing.  When the top is finished it is marked by Ella or Mary R, then goes to the quilters, and finally Mary M does binding.  Each project goes into its own work bag with work order number.  Some need a big bag, some a banker's box, some into plastic organizer containers.  We have a system, but what worked when we were a smaller shop doesn't work now and we have had to change the system several times.  The "finish it" business continues to get more busy as this generation inherits unfinished projects from mothers and grandmothers.  Thankfully today's children value the heirlooms and handwork done by generations past.  We recently finished a piece that was embroidered with a great grandmother's initials and date 1894. 

Blocks that are appliqued or sewn need to stay flat and pizza boxes are frequently touted as a great way to store your quilt squares.  Not sure our neighborhood pizza place would give us the boxes we need.  So I found a source to buy pizza boxes, without the writing.  These are white boxes so we can write the work order number, name and project on the side, stack on a shelf for a visual reminder.  If you need any pizza boxes to store your blocks, we sell them for $1 a box.

We will be CLOSED on Monday December 26 and January 2.  Closing early on Saturday Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.  (closing at least by 3 pm).  If you get inside the doors by 3 pm we will stay open until you are finished shopping.