Eight years ago my mom had mentioned she wanted to create a fun little Christmas event that would be exclusive to our Shoppe.
Um...notice I just said, "little."
Over the last eight years this "little" idea grew into a favorite event destination in which new and familiar faces joined us from around the country. This "little" idea came to be known as "Homespun & Holly." What began as a one night event quickly grew into a three day event. It was and is a beloved Shoppe tradition creating memories and friendships each holiday season.
This year my friend and colleague from our time at Disney, Brian Huff ...wrote a theme-song which celebrates all that makes this event seeew special! Yes, his name is nearly similar to mine. In the years since our days at Disney, Brian moved to Nashville with his wife and just let me know last week he will be performing a song on the Grand Ole' Opry stage in the Spring! Listen carefully for the shout-out to my beloved Priscilla "Queen of the Dessert" in this catchy little tune.
Oh look who it is! Yes, kids...that's me. I am the one who writes nearly everything you read. This year the "Mothership" (a.k.a. Jan) planned this dapper ensemble which was sewn by Christine. Who knew Christine was quite the seamstress? Uh..we did! Now all I needed was a horse and buggy.
Let me first tell you that preparation for our biggest workshop of the year is a bit of a beastly task. It doesn't happen overnight. This year, the "Mothership" found these fantastic tins that she used to hold the "secret" featured projects from our invited designers. The sight of these tins placed for our guests definitely helped in "making spirits bright!" Our invited designers included Kathy Cardiff of the Cottage at Cardiff Farms, Moda designer, Brenda Riddle (Acorn Quilt & Gift Co.), Sherri Falls of This & That, Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin, and local designer Debbie Busby of Wooden Spool Designs.
This year we featured five "secret" projects which were designed exclusively for our workshop by our invited designers. Seeew in other words this means you need to attend to receive. It's the gift that keeps on giving. From left to right: Top Left: Kathy Cardiff designed a holiday reminder pincushion to keep you on task during the busy holiday season. Top Right: Debbie Busby designed this darling Joy Banner that could be hung on your tree or across any fireplace mantle. Bottom Left: Stacy West created a holiday gift bag complete with wool applique. Middle Right: Brenda Riddle designed an elegant needle keep. Bottom Right: As a break from all of the stitching, Sherri Falls taught a new technique for embossing candles with cute vintage stamps and glitter.
It is almost a tradition in itself that I work through the night before the first workshop to ensure everything is cleaned up and ready-to-go. Seeew, even though I am half awake...it is the smiles, the laughter and people just having a good time that makes me say, "O.K. let's do this again."
With all of the details in place, it was time to let in our guests.
As I look at these pictures I can't help but marvel at the fact that each year we have folks from across the country join us for this event. If I'm not mistaking, I believe that's Katie looking at me taking the picture (below). If memory serves me well...she came all the way from Colorado just for our workshop! Throughout the three days we had people come from Georgia, North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Washington and California in addition to our local Oregonians.
Lunch is always a special time. Not simply because we all get to eat, but because of the desserts. Our caterer, who I have dubbed Priscilla Queen of the Dessert ensures that a different dessert is served each day. As always, she does not disappoint. Contrary to popular folklore, I only had one of each.
Are they not dreamy? Your tastebuds will thank you with each and every bite. Trust me.
Below is the lovely Sherri Falls of This & That. If you love Christmas themed quilts, you just might be familiar with Sherri. For the last two years she has produced some fabulous quilt books including Winter Wonderland and Holiday Wishes. Jayne, Freda and Rebecca enjoyed the break from stitching with Sherri's candle project.
In fact, Sherri is the designer behind our Let It Snow Quilt Kit.
One thing I know for sure is local quilt shops are not just for creating quilts, but they also create friendships. This group of ladies below and above met during our 15 month Farm Girl Vintage Block-of-The-Month and monthly Breakfast Clubs. We can't thank them enough for their friendship and constant support. Linda, Jan T., Cathy, Beth, Freda and Gwen. Thank you all seeew much!
Of course after everyone has eaten they are ready to rock it to our theme song in a way that quilters will only understand. Who knew Kathy Cardiff could get down like that...LOL. Look at her with her hands up in the air. Great designer. Something tells me she's the first one on the dance floor when it comes to line dancing!
Seeew...that wraps up the 8th Annual Homespun & Holly Workshop. You can check out other videos from the festivities on the front page of our official website www.hollyhillquiltshoppe.com.
As you may have heard, we have closed our physical store front location for now as of January 1, 2017. We are still available on-line and still provide the quality fabric, kits, patterns and more you've expected from us for the last 12 years at www.hollyhillquiltshoppe.com. Trust me, we've read all of the comments posted on our Facebook and Instagram. We know we have a passionate group of supporters and no one knows better than us how "sad" the situation is. There were many factors in this decision and when I feel the time is right, I may have an open discussion about those factors. In fact, I believe it would do the quilting community AND the quilting industry some good to have that discussion.
For now, I will simply thank you for reading and remind everyone to stay seeew-cial! ~ Brian