Monday, August 15, 2011

The Peach Keeper and Shopping (Branson, MO)

I'm having a hard time getting back into my old quilting routine that I had going last winter.  Instead of quilting, I finished reading "The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allen.  I read another book by Sarah called "Garden Spells" with an apple tree that seemed to have a mind of its own and its owner Claire a talented cook with a flare for healing and comfort food.  People would claim her food had its own magic.  I think I gained 10 pounds just reading what Claire was making.  It sounded so yummy!  I find Sarah's books to be different from my usual readings.  I love the characters with their secrets and history of knowing each other with a hint of magic in the southern small town atmosphere.

"The Peach Keeper" is about four high school students meeting again as adults.  Their family's history of wealth, friendship, lost, and magic makes for a relaxing read.  I loved how Sarah included Claire from "Garden Spells" for a brief time.  I will be reading more of her books.
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen      Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
I had to visit Quilts and Quilts Country Store in Branson.  I have always loved the Ozark quilts.  The more traditional look of the simple country style reminds me more of my own childhood.  This quilt shop has been a family operated business since 1983.  Three generations have worked at the shop and now there is a fourth generation...well, she is only 17 months, but it is never too early to start her love affair with fabric, right?  The 7,000 sq. ft store has over 10,000 bolts of fabric, 1,000+ books, and 2,000+ patterns.  I could have spent hours in there!  Everyone was cheerful and helpful.  I had a great time quilt talking and browsing through the many aisles.

I need to use up a few yards of muslin and I thought the best way to use it would be in 1930s quilts or with some redwork.  I have been wanting to buy some redwork patterns, but I haven't seen anything that jumped out at me.  Well, I found what I was looking for at this quilt shop.  I have no idea how many redwork patterns they had on display.  I do know that I had a hard time picking out just one pack!  There were so many cute patterns!  

Now I don't know about you, but I always did the iron-on stamps for embroidery and redwork.  I knew that I could use my light box to transfer the pattern.  The question was "with what"?  Water soluble pen?  Yea, I can see that fading out before I'm done.  Permanent ink?  What if I goof?  Silly question!  I would slip's a given, then I would have a permanent mistake.  I finally asked and two ladies behind the counter told me "I use a #5 pencil.  I have never used anything else.  It is the best way to transfer and it doesn't snag the material.  I just talked you out of a sale, didn't I?"  I loved their honesty and they are right.  A pencil would work and it washes out.  

That made me think of how I have let all the magazines and other quilters influence the way I have changed my quilting habits.  When I first started quilting, I made my own templates and I used a 1/4 inch wheel to make the seam allowance.  Later, I used store bought plastic templates.  All patterns were hand drawn on the material (not easy to do on dark fabrics) and cut out with scissors not with a rotary blade.  All the blocks were sewed by hand and then quilted in my small hoop.  I suddenly realized that I missed those quiet hours and I have let the business side take over.  Maybe it is time to get back to my roots and stop buying all the fancy tools. (Leaves more money for fabric)

This reminds me of a joke my husband told me many years ago about astronauts needing a pen that could write upside-down while in space.  Researchers spent thousands of dollars to make the perfect pen for the astronauts.  The astronauts rendezvous with the Russian Cosmonauts in space.  When it came time to write reports the astronauts showed off their expensive new pen. The Cosmonaut shrugged and pulled out his trusty low cost pencil.  Granted the government needs their reports done in ink, but I don't.  Lesson learned. :0)


  1. I couldn't fit my machine in the camper and just spent a few hours last week cutting out templates, drawing them on fabric, and cutting out the fabric for the girls' quilts. I too, enjoy just relaxing and doing handwork.

    love the pattern. I have several in here to work on. Can't wait to start them.

  2. I look forward to seeing your projects, Michelle. I hope you and the family are enjoying the trip to California.

  3. Yep, the best advice about quilting comes from other quilters and there is good reading advice too.
    Sometimes I think what I am doing might go faster by machine but I enjoy doing it all by hand the cheap way...make my own templates the size I want, mark and cut and sew by hand...

  4. Hi Julie,
    True, but I have also had many quilters tell me to go with the more technical way especially in quilt shops. I actually had a couple of them wrinkle their noses at the idea of using the old traditional way. That bothered me so much that I quit asking for help when I was younger. Not now!
    I'm sure you will agree, it is the love of the journey in making the quilt. I have to admit that sometimes I am happy to be done with a quilt, but usually I am sad to finish it and to part with an old friend that I have spent many hours with over the years. I know this quilt inside out.
    Oh no! Please don't switch to a machine. Your quilts are gorgeous!

  5. That store is massive! The first time I was there, I got separated from my mom and got lost. And I was an adult!!

  6. Hi Greta, Oh no! It is a big store. I had a problem navigating the store the first time, but I liked being lost. It gave me more time to explore.


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"Friendship is a blessing, It's the best you have to share, The talents and the wisdom, The capacity to care." ~ Emily Matthews

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