Friday, June 6, 2014

What have I been up to?

Since the closing of The Woolen Willow quilt shop, I have been working at home for my job with our magazine. I go into the office a few times a week or so to pick up patterns that might need testing or corrected for the magazine, or templates. I also go in for meetings, and if my help is needed in the antique and gift shop we also run, called The Painted Cupboard. When I need to dye wool, which I still sell in the shop, I do that there also! In my free evening time and weekends, which haven't been free up till now, I get to sew or relax! This is what I've been working on.....

These are blocks I'm working on from an old Linda Brannock book called "Quilt Album" and the pattern is called Primitive Star. They are all appliquéd wonky, and don't have points! I saw it finished on another blog....I believe Homepunprimitives.blogspot.com, and asked her where it was from. I just love it!
This is a little sewing pocket I made for our retreat class at Blackwater Falls. It holds marking pens thread, scissors and pins! I can stick a few wonky star blocks in there too, and put it in my purse! It was fun to make, and I plan on doing up some patterns and maybe a few kits for when my new website is up and running!
Speaking of new website, it will be called www.woolenwillowdesigns.com! I hope you will come check it out!
So.....remember that new sewing room over the garage I told you about a couple posts ago??? Still waiting!!! The papers are all turned into the bank tho! Had to wait on our accountant to finish our taxes:( We have one estimate, and are waiting on another, then we should be able to start! I will definitely take pictures and share the process!
Okay, back to work for me!!! Have a terrific weekend!!
Jeni


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Im a procrastinator!

I Jeni Gaston, am a procrastinator! I have had about four quilts that my mother made for about 3 years, to quilt.  I had actually started quilting one for her two years ago, only to find out that after quilting about a four foot square area, that I had used the wrong backing! So I took it out of the frame, and folded up and took it home to rip the quilting out! Well, I didn't get around to it, and finally a few weeks ago, started to take out the quilting. Our long arm lady at our shop, helped one day also, which was great!  Since we are closing the quilt shop, we decided to sell the long arm. We didn't think it would sell so quick, but it sold the first day! The buyers are picking it up on the 11th, so after work yesterday I loaded Mom's quilt, and today after Church, I quilted it, and another of her quilts! Two down, two to go! The second two are smaller. here are a couple pictures of her quilts!

Mom has always made such perfect points! I wonder who of her grandchildren might get these two beautiful quilts! They will be lucky!
    My Daughter and her fiancé are here cooking dinner, and then we plan to watch "Turn!" I'm so glad they are cooking, cause I'm pooped!
   Have a great Sunday evening!
       Jeni

Monday, March 31, 2014

So overwhelming!

Good morning friends,
   I just want to say, Wow! This has been so overwhelming, the comments from our customers, on the Woolen Willow Facebook, and my blog, and through our emails! You have no idea how humbled we are by your comments and encouragement. We are sad, by how sad some of you are, and we do understand. We loved our shop also! Gretchen and I were so swamped at the shop on Saturday with customers coming in, that we didn't even have a minute to sit or eat lunch. The news hit our local paper on Sunday, with a nice front page article in the business section. It was a nice article, even though they usually mix up some of the information! Anyway, thank you, the outpouring, means so much to us.
   Yesterday, I got a call from my Mom after we all got home from Church. Seems Dads TV wasn't working and he really wanted to watch the Michigan State basketball game. It's where he went to college after all! You know, Dad was the youngest of 12 kids. His parents came over from Hungary. He was the only one to go to college. Since he had been in the Army, he was able to go to college. He and Mom (AKA Ask Mom) are 80! They came over to my house so Dad could watch the game. My Mom and I sat in the dinning room and sewed. Well, she sewed! I made casseroles for my husbands lunches and dinners for the week, since he is on a big overtime job for the next 6 weeks. I make his lunch every morning for him at 5:30, have for almost 30 years! Here is a picture of me and Mom, and you can see Dad standing in the family room!

My daughter came over with her fiancée and his Son yesterday, and we made Southwest Spring Rolls for dinner with my Son, and also veggies and my home made ranch dressing! It was fun and yummy! Then we watched the Walking Dead season finale! Ha-ha!
   Have a happy Monday everyone, and I hope to see some of you at the shop soon!
Jeni
 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Woolen Willow retail store is closing.

 

After 10 years of business with the retail shop, The Woolen Willow, we have decided after many prayers and lots of consideration to close our beautiful shop.  After our sister Judy retired from her day job to be able to give full attention to our magazine, Primitive Quilts and Projects, we have decided to do the same. The magazine is growing fast, and we need to be able to put our full attention to all the work that goes into making it. We have loved every minute of our shops history and without it, we wouldn't have even thought of doing a magazine, let alone be able to grow so big, and so fast with it!  We will start our liquidation sale today, and plan to be closed by the first of May. The Painted Cupboard will remain open, and will expand into the footprints of the quilt shop. There will be an area with beautiful hand dyed wools and also plaids and textures still in the shop, for those of you who love our wool, because I will also be needing to use the wools still myself! I will be designing quilts and wool projects from my home, and will be continuing our Open Craft night on Thursday nights and Small Quilts Club. I do plan on an occasional class also, so please keep in touch through the blog! My patterns will still be available through the website, and in distribution to Quilt Shops. Glen, my husband, is working on plans for a large studio behind our home which will make it wonderful for our sewing and  hooking groups and future classes! Yay for Glen!
   I want to thank all of our wonderful loyal customers and friends for the years you have been coming to our shop and supporting and encouraging Gretchen and I. We truly value each and every one of you! You are like family to us and we hope you will continue to visit the Painted Cupboard and see us at the Primitive Quilts and Projects office in the back of the shop! I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I'll post again soon, and try to keep you updated on what is going on! For the next couple of weeks, we plan to have the Open Craft Night at the shop as usual on Thursday night!
   Love, Jeni

Check the Woolen Willow Facebook, for our public announcement, and more details.

Friday, March 7, 2014

And the winner is..........

The winner of the cute spring bunny Penny rug is............Julee!!!!  Julee, if you would email me at woolenwillow@aol.com, and give me your address, I will send it right out!! I hope you enjoy it!
   
Thanks everyone for trying!! I'll do another give away soon, so stY tuned!!
  Have a great weekend!
       Jeni

Pineapple blocks, and don't forget the GIVEAWAY!!!

Good morning this bright sunny Friday!
    I hope it is sunny where you are! I wanted to remind anyone who sees this blog that today I will be drawing a winner of the cute spring bunny penny rug in the last post! You need to be a follower of me, which means you can sign up and follow me today if you want and that would include you in the drawing! And also, I wanted to invite any of you to visit my cousin Jill's blog which is http://TaDaQuilting.blogspot.com and see what wonderful things she is doing over there! She is very creative, and funny to boot! I will be doing the drawing later this afternoon or evening! So stay tuned! If you are the winner, I'll be asking for you to email me your name and address so I can mail it to you!
    Tomorrow I have a class to teach at the shop, making Pineapple blocks, using the Creative Grids Pineapple Trim tool! It's the best tool so far I have found to make these blocks! I love it, and have tried at least three others! Yes, you do have a little waste, but why not use the little pieces left over for some paper pieced hexies?!! It would work wonderfully! Here is a picture so far of my progress....
  I plan to make more today! The ruler lets you make either 6, 8, or 10" finished blocks! I really wanted to make 12" blocks, so with a couple more rounds of strips, and using a 12" square ruler, it is possible! I'm telling ya, it is really slick, very easy to read, and has great clear instructions and markings on the tool itself!  I have always wanted to make a large Pineapple quilt, and even took a couple classes about 10 years apart! Ha-ha!  When I get this one done, I will put a two color version on the back burner, because I would like to do that some day too! For now, I'm using some of my favorite fabrics from my stash and a few from the shop! Our class tomorrow has 4 ladies in it so far, but I believe we have two more rulers available, so if you are in the area and want to join in, it's a bring your own fabric type class! Call the shop! 304-375-9665 (WOOL)
    Okay, back to sewing and I'll draw the winner later today!! Good luck!
       Have a great day, and I hope you get to sew!
              Jeni
 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Give Away, and a couple new quilts!

Good morning!
     It's been a while, so I thought I would start off with a fun Give Away!  I know that some of you live where the weather is nice right now, but a bunch of us are experiencing a really cold and snowy Winter! So to look forward to Spring, I am offering a fun little Spring Rabbit penny rug for the give away! To be in the drawing, be a follower, make a comment, and visit my cousin Jill's new blog about quilting and crafting! Her blog is.....http://TaDaQuilting.blogspot.com! She started to long arm quilt a few years ago, and is going like gang busters with it! I'm sending her a couple quilts soon! Jill has been quilting for a long time, longer than me! I'm not sure how much longer, but I've been quilting for about 20 years! I remember when she started, she was a maniac, making tons of quilts really fast! I didn't know how she got them all done, because she also had a full time job and two energetic Boys! Ha-ha! Anyhoo..... Jill is my cousin, our Mothers are sisters! When we were young, our Grandmother used to have all the grand-daughters come one week to Pittsburgh and stay, and the Grand-sons come the next week. She would take us all over the place having a great fun vacation! Jill lived in PA and we lived in WV, so it was always so fun to get to spend time with her that week! We always went to Grandma's for Thanksgiving also, so then we would get to see her whole family! Talk about FUN! What a fun family!! Jill's mother Judy is also a quilter, as is the other sister, Aunt Martha! They got us cousin's all quilting when they inherited their Grandmother's quilt tops and learned to hand quilt them! The quilting bug started! My mother, AKA "ASK MOM" Mary, couldn't very well let her sisters get away with quilting without her, so she learned, and passed it on to me and my Sisters! I wish we could have known our Great-Grandmother the quilter! I don't think my Grandma quilted, but she sewed, crocheted and did lots of other crafts. I remember her making beaded jewelry also! What a neat lady! She lost her husband when my mother was 14, and raised her three girls herself while working to support them. She was very independent and just so much fun to be with! We lost her a number of years ago, but I always imagine the wonderful reunion it must have been in Heaven when she met her husband who had been gone for 50 years! Wow!  Back to the quilters.... Aunt Martha, Aunt Judy, Jill, and several other friends of theirs, along with Grandma, in the beginning of the quilting days, would gather together for evenings of show and tell, and quilting! We called them the Pittsburgh quilt guild, and we were the WV branch of the Pittsburgh quilt guild!  We would travel up occasionally and join them! It was much fun!! So here is the picture of the little penny rug! Good luck if you try to win!
 
This little penny rug is made from an army blanket and wools that I hand-dyed!
 

Okay, on to the new projects! I have a couple of smaller quilts to share with you. The first one is called Winter Blooms, and was made for my "Small Quilts Club" in January! I'm getting ready to make a scalloped border for it! Well, actually, I'm procrastinating making a scalloped border for it! Ha ha! I did see a nice tutorial for doing it, though, so maybe today I'll give it a whirl! 
I used "Cross Weaves" by Moda for most of the quilt, and a few other prints by Marcus Fabrics. And of course, my wools! It's heavily quilted, which is why the edges are kind of wonky, but when I make the scallop, that will fix that problem! Well, unless my scallop is wonky! If you want a kit, visit our website, www.woolenwillow.com!
 
The next quilt was for my February "Small Quilts Club" and is also available in a kit. I decided to make a giant Churn dash and put applique in the middle! I was going to do wool, but was low on the colors I needed, and wanted to be able to make kits, so I kept it all cotton!
 


 


And this is Chester, who thinks it is too cold out and is very bored with me being on the computer!
 

He loves the comfy couch! What a lucky dog!

Well, thank you for visiting! I will draw the winner of the penny rug on Friday! I'm working at home today, so I'll keep you posted on what I'm working on! I have a class on Saturday teaching the Pineapple block, so I plan on getting several blocks done on my quilt today!
    Have a great day!
         Jeni