A Dish Soap Apron – because it makes me happy!

Retro Kitchen Dish Soap Apron from GloryQuilts So Kitschy!

I’ve been wanting one of these for a while. It’s so delightfully kitschy – how can you not smile?  I scrolled through Pinterest this morning, looking for “retro kitchen” and “dish soap bottle dresses” ideas, and I came across this website: Home in the Finger Lakes. I printed out her pattern, but I made it wider over the “shoulders”, longer (because my bottle is tall) and fuller in the skirt. I added a cute little button at the back of the neck and a pocket.

It was a quick project. I had just enough of the picot-edged bias binding. It’s been in my stash for years, because it was too sweet to throw away. It’s perfect for this.  I used Aleene’s OK to Wash It glue to hold the binding to the fabric prior to stitching it, and even though it made a sticky mess of my fingers, it really was helpful. I zigzagged it in place while the glue was still wet.  It didn’t gum up my needle at all. I stitched through the button a couple times and then added a little glue to that, too. The pattern recommended a wash-out glue, but I feel the permanent glue will be better here.

I’m sure this will make washing dishes more fun, right?

Did your mother or grandmother have one of these? What retro kitchen items do you remember from your childhood? (or rather, what items do you remember that are now considered retro??)

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Quitting Quilting

Okay… I’m not really going to stop quilting, but GloryQuilts – as a business – is undergoing some serious restructuring. I made the decisions a few months ago, but the new year is a good time to announce the changes. I’m changing my business model, which will hopefully change my attitude, because I have started to loathe the very sight of my sewing machine. I’m burned out.

I have loved making quilts for nearly thirty years – until recently.  Lately, most of my quilting has been commissioned and special order projects. Deadlines led to pressure, sucking the joy from what used to be happy creative work. Creating a career from your passion sounds like a good idea, but what was the passion: the creativity or the process?  (That was a rhetorical question.)  Paint-by-number sewing and quilting have taken up all of my time, leaving me with no energy or enthusiasm for the kind of work I used to enjoy.  I had looked forward to having granddaughters to dress in poufs and frills, but instead I bought their Christmas dresses at Kohls on my way to pick up more thread from WalMart. The last two grandsons still haven’t received baby quilts. One of them is already reading. I haven’t had time for those “unprofitable” projects, when there were so many paying projects waiting to be finished.

I never made a conscious decision to turn GloryQuilts into a quilt factory. I just gradually drifted into that situation, mostly for financial reasons. Creating a special order quilt always  seemed like a good idea at the time, when someone was writing me a check, flattering me with their confidence in my skills. By the time I finished, though, it was seldom truly profitable.

When I started selling quilts online, my descriptions explained that I was selling class samples and pattern prototypes.  Those sold well, and I started thinking of it as a job. Eventually, I was making quilts and quilted items to sell, designed specifically for financial gain, using fabrics and patterns that were trendy. My items looked pretty much the same as everyone else’s.

There is nothing wrong with that, if a person wants to run that kind of business, but it isn’t right for me.  I want to keep the joy of teaching quiltmaking, drafting patterns and creating original quilts. Of course, I’d be happy to make money from it, too, but the business has to come from the passion and not squash it.  I am going to continue selling class samples, pattern prototypes, and original, creative quilts and quilted items. I am not going to worry about whether or not the fabrics are fashionable. After all, those will look dated in a few years, and I want my quilts to last much longer. 😉

If a friend asks me to mend a pair of jeans, I want to be able to bless her by doing it gladly instead of saying I don’t have time – or bursting into tears.  I’m not a quilt snob. I do mend and sew crafty things and I don’t regard my creations as sacred works of art. I don’t think all vintage quilts need to be preserved in their original states, wrapped in acid-free paper and packed away from the light.  I think it’s okay to have Aunt Nelly’s hand-pieced quilt top machine quilted if the alternative is to leave it in a box for another 50 years.

I want my sewing room to be my happy place. I also want to spend more time writing. I haven’t been able to do much of that while I have been so over-committed with commissioned projects, and it’s important to me – another form of creative work I am increasingly passionate about.

So now, if you see a new GloryQuilts item for sale, you will know that it was stitched with happiness as well as skill, and it’s a truly unique creation.  I’m excited about the change.

The Stockings are Hung By the Chimney – or Anywhere

Christmas stockings are a big deal in our family. When I was a little girl, we had a split-level house and the stockings were hung on the half-wall in the livingroom. There were just five of us for a long time, and then my mother added more stockings as we married and grandchildren came along. None of us had large families, but they added up. The grandchildren married and had children of their own.  Last year, there were 28 stockings on my parents’ mantle. (Actually, as you can see, Mom had to move their stockings up to the wall, to make room.) In 2015, my parents welcomed two new great-grandbabies, so they will be up to 30 stockings!

Mom has strict rules about Christmas stockings. Most of the grandchildren dated their spouse a long time – 3 or 4 years – before they married, but no one gets a stocking until they are legally married into the family.  It doesn’t matter if they are with us for every holiday and special occasion – no wedding ring, no stocking.

It’s a family tradition my husband and I have continued. In 1985, when we lived in Germany, there were only three of us. Our stockings hung from a windowsill!

TimmonsChristmas1985

Our family has grown, too, over the years. We had 12 stockings in 2014, and we hung them on a clothesline, celebrating Christmas at our oldest son’s house.  Another grandson was born this year, so we will have 13 stockings to hang on our new fireplace!

TimmonsChristmas2014

My plan is to make coordinating stockings – not matching, and I am not embroidering names on them! I’ve made many quilted stockings over the years, to give as gifts or as class samples or to sell, but ours are an eclectic collection so far.

We put candy and small, inexpensive gifts in the stockings. It’s the place for the “I know this isn’t very exciting but I thought you might need it” gifts, like Minnie Mouse toothbrushes, ponytail holders, lip balm, pencils, etc. I have Disney-themed band-aids for the grandkids’ stockings this year. Won’t they be excited?

Do you hang stockings?   What do they look like?    Where do you hang them?    What do you put in them?

 

Free Shipping on Everything in the GloryQuilts Etsy Shop

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday – the online version of Black Friday, for people who want to lounge around in their jammies over the holiday weekend and then do all their Christmas shopping online from the comfort of their own home, still in nice comfy clothes and slippers.  Or is that just me?

There are so many golden opportunities for marketing and shopping this time of year, and it’s such a busy time of year! I was not prepared for Small Business Saturday, but I have a last-minute plan for Cyber Monday:

Every single item in my GloryQuilts Etsy Shop ships FREE today and tomorrow!

The sale is limited to addresses within the United States, unfortunately, because it’s so expensive to ship overseas. If you live outside of the United States and want something special, send me a convo on etsy and I’ll figure out a discount for you.

I had a great response to the gift basket giveaway, and I’m please to announce that Ronnie from Georgia is the winner! Hooray! Thanks to everyone who entered. It was fun hearing from so many of you on my blog.

Enjoy your cyber shopping tomorrow!

Cyber Monday