Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

A civilized accumulation in the back yard
We had a wonderful Christmas with my youngest sister in Charlotte, NC.  Charlotte had only 3 or 4 inches of snow on the day after Christmas and it stuck only to the lawns.  Not so in Philadelphia, which had it's first blizzard of the season.  Since I hate snow with a passion that burns hotter than the fires of hell,  I decided we should stay and experience Charlotte's civilized snowfall for two extra days.  Why come home and deal with the immediate aftermath of a blizzard?  It would have killed all the warm, fuzzy holiday feelings from the aftermath of Christmas.  Instead, I indulged myself with sewing related activities even though I was far from my sewing room.

Shopping for Fabric
My sister and her husband are expecting a son in Spring and I agreed to sew the baby room stuff!  On Christmas Eve, we went to Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC to search for the fabric.  Mary Jo's is huge!!!!   Hard to believe, but even with  the tons of fabric in the store,  Little Sis didn't find anything she really loved.  I found a piece suitable for my mini-SWAP, so I was happy.  My eight-year-old niece found a piece of minkee to use as a TV-watching-cuddle-up blanket, so she was happy.  Only Little Sis was disappointed.  Two days later while she was at work,  I went on a solo reconnaissance mission to Sew Much Fun in Charlotte and sent a few pictures of possibilities to her cell phone.  Still, nothing.  I can't go into a fabric store and not buy anything, so I bought a package of Wonder Tape as seen on the Sewing Toolbox DVD (see below) and two packs of charm squares (20% off!) for a future quilting project. Our last chance was Hobby Lobby.  There are no Hobby Lobbies in my area and I was curious about them.  For me, it's too much of a craft/decorating store and not enough of a fabric store.  But that wouldn't stop me from shopping there if I had one.  Little Sis found just what she wanted, but there wasn't enough yardage on the bolt.  Luckily, she was able to order the amount she needed.  In addition to the stripe pictured, she ordered dots in the same colorway.   The brown minkee is for the crib quilt.  Mission accomplished.

Sewing Books for Christmas
I got both volumes of Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing Toolbox for Christmas.   The books are full of just what the subtitle promises:  "tips/techniques not found in patterns".  I'm guessing the content is from the Power Sewing webcasts available by subscription on the Power Sewing website.  (I am not a subscriber.)   The books are very capably reviewed by Sharon on Adventures from the Sewing Studio.  I have nothing to add except I think the books are definitely a "must have."  Having the books and accompanying DVDs  made up for being so far away from my sewing machine.

If I had been snowed-in at home, I would have spent long days in the sewing room and that would have been wonderful.  But I didn't feel cheated.   There was lots of fabric shopping and I had two new sewing books to read.  Best of all, I got to spend Christmas with a small part of my extended family which made this Christmas more like the Christmases I remember.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. Good for the soul.
    Now I really do have to buy these books. I've been waiting for someone other than a beginner to wax rapturous about these before buying.

  2. What a nice holiday! Looks like you got some wonderful reading material too!

  3. Argg more to add to the sewing library-I agree if you think they are good as experienced as you are they need to come here.
    A trip to MaryJos and the other places sounds like sneaking in a bit of a sewing holiday to me. What control to only haul home a piece for a swap of course you have those good fabric places you go to and blog about. It sounds like a really nice trip. mssewcrazy

  4. Actually, that sounds like a pretty good holiday - staying in and enjoying the family! Bonus that you got fabric to make everyone happy.

  5. I know you had a GOOD time. I took my machine and serger with me. Still didn't get as much done as I had thought I would,as I was a bit lazy.

  6. I think I'd have avoided blizzard aftermath too - and I like snow! Of course I live in a city where 'heavy snow' is an inch or two on the ground, lol. Besides, shopping for sewing-related things is almost as much fun as sewing. I have the stash stats to prove it!

  7. Oh, to be confined with sewing related stuff! I really have to check on that new Betzina book!

  8. I want to get this book and give it to my mom. I'm sure she'll gonna like it. Thanks for the info.

  9. You have such a beautiful smile. Thanks for the heads up on the book. I didn't know Betzina had a new book out. It sounds like I need to check it out.