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April 2016

March 2016

The True Value Of A Finished Quilt

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As a lot of you already know, we sell many of our finished quilts here once the kits are sold, or the fabric line is gone. Some of them we keep and continue to sell patterns, but many of them are put up for sale. The "Mothership" is generous and gives a 25% discount off the regular price on all finished quilts. Quilt orders over $500 even receive free shipping. Every now and then we will put up a day-only extra savings special for one of our quilts in our daily email...so watch for that too! Our samples are pieced and quilted by women who love to sew. Their piecing is exquisite and the long arm quilting is gorgeous. Sometimes I wonder, "Why are we spending that much just to make samples? Wouldn't a simple block be sufficient?"

Yeah...that would go over well.

For ten years we've been making beautiful quilts, why stop now?

Since I continue to be in awe when someone expects a finished applique quilt to be $150, (or a baby quilt to be only $75 ) I decided I would seek out the true value of a finished quilt. People (especially non-quilters) do not take into consideration fabric cost (top, binding, backing), piecing costs, and the differences in the cost of long arm quilting. Simple vs more detailed. Of course, as a shop we are also selling off a huge part of our marketing so there is definitely an added value.  In a world where everyone starts to think they can do it "cheaper"...can they really? Personally for me, I prefer quality. I was very happy to find this video featuring a conversation with Marianne Fons of Fons & Porter about the "real" cost of quilts.

 

Here are just a few of recently added finished quilts for sale here at the Shoppe. They can all be viewed here! After listening to this video, our prices are amazing...and we don't undervalue! Granted we don't have quilts for $10,000 but we do have a few between $1000 and $1500.  Kits just for the quilt tops on many of our quilts were $150 - $200! Add backing and you've got $200 plus in fabric alone! Plus, they are made here in the U.S.A. by quilters who love to sew! To keep our finished quilts in excellent condition, quilts available for sale are not kept on the Shoppe floor. If you are local and would like to see one of our quilts for sale,  it's helpful to have an idea of style or perhaps the name of the quilt you wish to see!

Just one more reason to Stay Seeew-cial! See you next time ~ Brian

*DISCLAIMER: We no longer carry fabrics and/or patterns for the finished quilts we put up for sale.

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S.p.R.u.N.g Sneak Peak #2

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Our 3rd annual S.p.R.u.N.g Workshop is fast approaching on Saturday, April 9 2016. There are about a handful of seats left, seeew don't wait to register! There's even more interest now that the "Mystery Chick" has shown a sneak peak of the BONUS project using a variety of bright fabrics and wool! Remember, since our invited designers are designing these projects exclusively for our workshop, they are in "incubation" until it is time to "hatch." I love spontaneity (surprise me) but since I know there is this increasing need to see something before registering, here's a sneak peak...

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Doesn't look like much yet, but trust me...it's going to be precious and the perfect item for your sewing room! Especially in the Spring and well into Summer! Remember a sneak peak means a "work in progress." I'm not going to share it all before the big event! You'll just have to attend the event to enjoy all of its quilted goodness! I shared with you the sneak peak from Wooden Spool Designs in a previous post.

The fee includes ALL SUPPLIES to create all three (3) projects. Actually...the "Mystery Chick's" project is a bonus because we are extra nice and she felt like laying an egg.

Not only will you receive all materials to create these projects (which easily value $40 -$50 or more for each project), you get a delicious catered family style luncheon! We don't do just "chips and sandwiches" folks. Priscilla Queen of the Dessert "werks" over a hot stove to bring you a taste bud fantasy! I don't know about you....but I'm down! It's a great way to stay seeew-cial and meet some new Peeps! You also will receive plenty of instruction on various stitches used in creating these wool projects. No need to bring a sewing machine as all projects are hand-made wool creations. I detail everything here on our website.

Take care and I'll see you back here in a bit! Stay seeew-cial! ~ Brian

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New Shopping Bag In-Store Offer!

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We survived our first week back open since the re-model and I have to tell ya...we are still getting our bearings. Much work is left to do including adding in new lighting, re-positioning our displays and cutting table, continue painting and having our register counters built.

Pictured above is our brand new shopping incentive when you shop in-store! Our new Re-usable Bag program starts April 1, 2016. Bags are available to purchase now. If you want all of the details, read our daily email or inquire on your next visit! It's just another way we can pass on some savings for your favorite pastime...quilting! We've also just added a brand new sale fabric section to our website!

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You can also sign up for our daily email by clicking here.  BTW, daily means 3 to 5 days a week since we are closed Sunday (until Summer) & Monday. Just depends on how much we have to share. Seeew don't send me emails with "you send too many emails" or complain to me when we make a change or offer a sale you missed out on.  I get three emails from Pottery Barn a day, Nordstrom once a day...I just delete those emails I don't want to read. I don't write the company and yell "2 emails a day about a remodel? Really!!! START A BLOG!" <---Yes, a quilter did that. I don't mind feedback, but please make it constructive or at least show me you know something about our Shoppe because: 1.) I don't send two emails in a day and 2.) I have a blog. <Shrug>

I don't know what is going on in our world today, but if you're lonely or frustrated, freaked out...stressed, uptight...come talk to us. We'll listen. After today's news, the world is getting scary and clearly needs to be brightened up with more quilts!

If only it were that easy.

Maybe we should have a bottle of wine and be ready with hugs?

Stay seeew-cial! It's time for me to get some zzzzzzzzzz's....Brian

 

 

 

 


Announcing The Barn Girl Block Of The Month!

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Good morning!

We are excited to announce our all-new Barn Girl Block of The Month Club which begins May 2016. You must complete the registration form by April 25, 2016 to ensure your spot in the Block-of-The Month.

* For Thursday evenings (6:30pm-8:30pm) starting May 12, click here

* For Saturdays (9am - 11am) starting May 14, click here.

*To participate on-line only click here.

* Please, please, please...make sure you read ALL INFORMATION on the registration pages. I can't emphasize this enough. I'm a huge advocate of reading details...partly because I'm the one who writes them LOL.

If you need help with registering give us a call at 503-607-0600 or watch this new tutorial for our new website....

 

 

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We finally got some time to start hanging our individual Farm Girl Vintage blocks on a clothesline from the farmhouse (that sits inside the Shoppe). We do sell kits for each of the individual blocks here. Jan and Christine are dedicated to the craft! Not only do they sew blocks for their own quilts, but they sew the blocks for our individual samples here in the Shoppe. All total....they sew each block 3 times. They have got this down!

Stay seeew...cial! ~ Brian

 

 

 


New Vintage Postcards, New Website Tutorial & A New Look! Spring Open House is Saturday, April 2 2016

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Welcome back everyone! I have tons to discuss and share today, everything from the remodel to our brand new website! But first, let's talk about the adorable vintage postcards above! The "Mothership" has always wanted some samples of these adorable patterns. We love them because they are smaller and can be completed in a short amount of time. Each one incorporates a little bit of wool which makes them egg-stra special! Pictured here are Bunny Duet, Liberty Boy, and Robin. She's put together a limited quantity of kits for each one which are available on our website. The postcard with the umbrella will be available as a kit soon. These projects are just one example of how fabrics from Moda withstand the test of time and can be used in lots of projects. Every fabric is an opportunity. I love the way she packages our kits...they are not just fabric stuffed in a Ziploc with no labels. With the exception of those patterns where it should be obvious, she labels anything that needs detail. Now that's service!

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Spring is in the air around here, especially after finishing Phase I of our remodel.  I am happy to report that Phase I is over. Our workshop/classroom is now inside the Shoppe. Phase II consists of painting and light fixtures - all of the things we can do while being open.

Our official Spring Open House is Saturday, April 2. An "Open House" is a day for you to come in and support the Shoppe, sign up for a class or workshop, demos for our new and favorite notions, enter our prize drawings and get to know the "Mothership" and myself.

Springopen1In between the remodel, we both have been busy working on our brand new website, which we just launched on March 2, 2016. I'm already getting emails from folks telling me they are confused, don't know how to shop it, or the links don't work.  As I said back when we launched it, the two of us have much work to do and lots of images to add. I am creating 1 minute tutorials focusing on one feature at a time. Here's the first one which is simply about how to order some fabric! Because ultimately...that is why I do this, other than the fact that I get to show you what we are doing.

 

 

 Make sure you are on www.hollyhillquiltshoppe.com. Anything other than that address will take you to the old website which is now discontinued.

Now, before I leave you today I've got a few pictures of the remodel that has been in progress over the last week. Let's just say it has been exhausting, worrisome (deadlines) and a lot of cleaning. It will be so nice to see people again on Tuesday, March 15!

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Pictured above is the entrance to our new workshop/classroom. It is now directly off of the Shoppe floor. I don't know why we didn't think of this forever ago...but we are really in love with it! The entrance will eventually have giant barn doors that slide open...can't wait for that! For this year's Homespun & Holly....I already know where I want the tree! Surprise...surprise. I fly a freak flag when it comes to Christmas. As you can see new walls have been added to give us more walls for quilts!

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Above is a corner of the new workshop, to the right of the future farm doors. When I had posted the construction timeline, I had forgotten that just because the clean up crew removes all of the construction mess, they don't necessarily clean your floors and paint. Seeew yesterday the painters were here and started on the walls in the workshop. That color is called "Cottage Green" and it's dreamy. I took two side by side pictures to try and capture the right color. The one on the right is how it appears in person if not better. I don't think I will ever get my mom and Christine to leave!

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Because wall construction and painting is never enough, the "Mothership" is even having a lot of our furnishings refinished with some fabulous new colors! This folks...is only the beginning!

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B.T.W. I'm an excellent floor cleaner. If Cinderella and I were in a competition, I would be the one going to the ball because girl is too busy dreaming in bubbles. The floor survived with minimal damage. A few scratches but it's not the end of the world. As I said earlier, that was Phase I. Phase II consists of more painting, some new light fixtures and positioning cabinetry. Phase III is our register will be built. We are using a temporary counter in the meantime. Seeew come on in starting Tuesday, March 12!

Stay seeew-cial ~ Brian

 

 

 


It's Looking Like A Zoo Around Here!

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Like many other families I joined the masses and took my niece to see "Zootopia" this past weekend. What can I say other than...I am obsessed with the little song in the movie called, "Try Everything." The song is performed by Shakira who just happens to be a pop star named Gazelle, in the city of Zootopia. Of course, she is in fact...a gazelle. I can't stop laughing and I definitely can't stop dancing. As always is the case with me, it's not seeew much the beat, but the lyrics. If you can get past Shakira's yodel (that's the only way I can describe it), these lyrics certainly point out a great lesson in this ever-increasing complicated world.

"I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end
And then I’ll start again
Though I’m on the lead
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail
I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end" ~ Shakira

 

 

Yes, I just quoted a Shakira song on a quilt shop blog. Oops. In addition to its amazing "world building" (the film is gorgeous, I wanted to jump into the screen!) it's the message of "keep trying" in the movie that I love. Even if you fail, you have to keep going. In my early 20's I was a magnet for naysayers. Actually...I was more like a fly strip. I would choose the wrong people to share my ambitions and passions. Don't get me wrong...they were'nt terrible people or anything, they were just people with no real drive. They woke up everyday and just did the basics, what they needed to do to get by. If something didn't work out for them, well then...nobody else could succeed at it either! What I discovered is there are those who will try to discourage you (without being conscience of it) based on their own experiences. Their experiences, however...will not be your experiences. Seeew the moral of my story is choose those who support and uplift you. You can do anything you want to do. It would be silly to think you are somehow obsolete from failure. It is how you take the failure and transform it into something better that will be your biggest lesson.

Wow. I'm kinda smart. LOL.

Anyway, as we drove home from the movie I started half-singing this stellar lyric "Birds don't just fly, they fall down and get up"  and from the backseat I get...

"Uncle Brian...shouldn't you like, maybe wait until you buy the song?"

GASP! #Rude. I am...offended. "Don't make me pull this car over...missy." Now...let's try again. LOL. 

Seriously, give it a listen while you're sewing and I guarantee your feet will be tappin'. You may even shake your charm pack too!

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When it comes to Quilt World, I can honestly say that the "Mothership" and I have definitely tried a little bit of everything. Over the course of ten years some things worked and some did not...the extra space across the hall comes to mind. LOL. What were we thinking?  It's seeew nice to have everything in one location. When something doesn't work, you try again until it does work.

Now...let's talk about the quilts! I figured since we were discussing Zootopia, why not take a peak at some of our little animal prints and projects for kids! We get a lot of grandma's-to-be who want to pull their hair out because the new parents don't want to know the sex of the baby. Um...makes it a little challenging....doesn't it? 

Decisions, decisions.

Are you familiar with the Urban Zoologie prints by designer Ann Kelle? As you can see below, we've got quite a collection and they are full of color! We could open our own zoo! Ann designs for Robert Kaufman fabrics and we just love the simplicity of these animal prints. We just happened to use the Hippo above, but there is a menagerie of animals to select from. With the help of a simple pattern you'll be amazed at how cute your project will turn out. Remember, children are going to put some wear and tear on a quilt, so you don't want to get too fancy.

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P.S. The bunny makes a great Easter Basket! Trust me...I know a few things;-)

We do have two new quilt kits available including Topsy Turvy and Hanging Out In The Jungle. Both quilts are simple and fun to make...both use a panel! Each kit is just $59.99 and include ample fabric to complete the top and binding. The pattern is also included. Backing is purchased separately. For our panel quilts, we typically keep the quilting fairly simple. Those turtles are precious, aren't they? If you just want the panel, we may have one or two left here.

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Our re-model/construction is underway and progressing nicely (below). Talk about "trying everything!" Never before have we attempted an actual remodel with construction in the Shoppe.  But you know what...we had to try. I'm excited, the "Mothership" is excited...you're all excited...it really is exciting and the very reason why you should always... try! Do you see a lesson here on this blog? Because I...I'm not seeing it. LOL.

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What you're looking at is part of our new workshop/classroom space. Don't worry, all of those cabinets get repositioned into the Shoppe. This is where we will be hosting our fun and exciting workshops like S.p.R.u.N.g which is Saturday, April 9. Both Debbie Busby and Kathy Cardiff are designing super cute projects that will be made with wool for Spring! Maybe I'll get a sneak peak! The fee includes all supplies to complete their projects, instruction by both Debbie and Kathy along with a delicious family style meal. It's a full day of fun and I hope you get to join us!

As a reminder, we are closed through Friday, March 11 for the construction process. I don't know what will happen for Saturday, March 12. If you were to look at the floors today....you'd probably want us to at least clean the floors. I told you it would get messy. Are you following us on Facebook and Instagram? I hope seeew...

Stay Seeew-cial and don't forget to try a little of...everything! ~ Brian

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Come Hatch With Us At Our 3rd Annual S.p.R.u.N.g Workshop!

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Lots and lots happening here in the Shoppe and on our website! Where do I even start? For those of you that tune in regularly I know... you know (love our devoted fans!). First of all, our Shoppe will be undergoing some remodel construction Saturday, March 5 thru Friday, March 11 2016. Since we are not allowed to be in here while they are sawing and tearing down walls, putting in steel beams, etc..we are closed that week. I've communicated that this would be happening since New Years Day. Friday March 4 will be the last day to visit us before the remodel. It is also the last day to save 25% off all cottons, batiks and flannels with a 1yd min. cut in-store.

Seeew what are we doing? Well...our workshop/classroom is being moved from across the hall into the back part of our Shoppe. To accomplish this lofty goal, our cutting counter is getting ripped out, new walls are being constructed, barn doors are being added...it's going to get messy! 

Have you taken a workshop here before?

You haven't?

Well...you simply must when it's done! We know service and we definitely go all out to make sure you have everything you need! We know that with Youtube tutorials it's all too common to park it in front of a monitor and learn, but we have found that people have questions. They want to touch. They want to experience. They want to get to know you and of course they want to be seeew-cial!

Seeew to celebrate our new "nest"...we will be incubating with our 3rd Annual S.p.R.u.N.g Workshop on Saturday, April 9 2016 from 10:30am until 6pm!

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Both of our guest designers (Debbie Busby of Wooden Spool Designs and Kathy Cardiff of The Cottage at Cardiff Farms) will be designing two exclusive secret...FABULOUS  "Spring" wool projects for the workshop. This year we decided that the projects needed to be larger and our "hatchlings" (that would be you)  needed more time to complete them. In fact, both Kathy and Debbie are designing them as we speak! Well...type. The fee includes all supplies to create the projects, instruction from both Kathy and Debbie along with a catered family-style meal! Chicken dancing, an egg-stra special discount and other fun is all part of the experience! DID I MENTION FUN????? DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE FUN? It's a good time for you...and us! LOL. To take a peak at last year's event, click here.

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On top of all of the other things going on....our new website launched today! Literally while we were sleeping...it launched! There's still work to be done, but as with everything new... we will keep adding. The best part? We now accept PayPal in addition to your debit and credit cards! Do you know...how AMAH-ZING that is? I can't even begin to tell you. I'll save it for another blog post perhaps. 

Once on the new website located here, to get started shopping click on "Go Shopping" up in the pink ribbon once on the website. As we go forward, the links on the left that say "Fabric", "Finished Quilts For Sale", "Notions", "Classes", etc. will eventually work for quick finds, but for now you need to click on "Go Shopping." As with anything new, "good things come to those who wait" and I know...you all taught your children this valuable lesson. Because...you're all stellar human beings. Oh c'mon..."smile...it increases your face value."

Thank you for your support and remember....stay seeew-cial! ~ Brian