Sunday, April 29, 2012

Some Fun

Into every life a little fun must fall! The Central Railroad Festival of 2012 on April 28 proved to add a little fun into the lives of the folks at Heirlooms & Comforts. After a year of hard planning and execution of those plans, Bobby saw the efforts all pay off with another successful event. All the committee members and volunteers did their parts, and "Elvis" arrived in good spirits to entertain the festival goers.

What fun it was to watch women of all ages, but mostly those of near my age, swoon over a guy who only dresses up like and sounds a little like Elvis Pressley as he performs his routine. It is all imitation of the real thing who is long since deceased, but fun to remember and pretend. "Elvis" spent most of his breaks between shows at Heirlooms with Sue, Kathy, and Sara preparing scarves and teddy bears to hand out to his audience and singing a little phrase or two from his repertoire. He even watched a video of the real Elvis just before returning to the stage for his second show. It was quite fun to see the behind the scenes of a professional impersonator and hear some of his real-life stories about Elvis fans.

If you missed the fun and the historic tours and the train museum and the other attractions in Central on Saturday, be sure to mark your calendar now for April 27, 2013, for the next Central Railroad Festival. Who knows, some year there could even be a marvelous quilt show with train quilts!!

H&C Feature of the Week: Clean Off the Bolt
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature Clean Off the Bolt all week. This is the time to get 25% off a regular price fabric when you buy all that remains on a bolt - whether it is two yards or 20 yards. If your choice is to buy all that remains on a sale price bolt you get an extra 10% off. Think backings this week, or think main fabric and borders. This is the time to save for that big project.

The class schedule for classes at Heirlooms & Comforts is now on-line as of last week. Look it over for what is happening this summer and call us soon to be sure to get into the session you want to have. Completed registration (paying the tuition) holds your place. When we reach the maximum number of registrants for any particular class we have to close off sign-ups for that class. Don't delay.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Heirlooms & Comforts has updated the face of our home (building) on Madden Bridge Rd. in Central! We love our new addition. The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has crafted a replica of one section of a Double Wedding Ring Quilt made by my mom, Sara Newton, about 25 years ago.Hopefully those who pass our building on Madden Bridge Road will look up and smile, thinking of Mema who loved the great art of quilting and who never had idle hands as long as they could work at happily making an object that would wrap her family and friends in a labor of love and devotion.
Mom loved putting the "quilt puzzles" together and passing them on to a friend who quilted them by hand. She also loved to then give those quilts to my brother, me, and our children as well as to special friends on special occasions. One Christmas not long after my father's death Mom went to her quilt closet and pulled out nine quilts to give as gifts to each separate household of her family because she could not "afford" shopping for each household that year. One day she and I counted the number of Double Wedding Ring quilts that she had made and given to family and friends - we could remember 30. Each of her grandchildren received a DWR as a wedding gift. The one that we replicated on the front of H&C is a "rare" one because she also hand quilted it herself. It therefore has special significance for us. Additionally, it is the quilt we used as a funeral pall to honor her art and skill when she died in 2006.

So once again we have a chance to honor our heritage of quiltmaking by displaying a replica of a section of her quilt. We are indeed a family blessed for having had the loving, caring, teaching, uplifting guidance of one who understood the value of keeping hands and mind occupied in a worthwhile activity, never letting idle mind and idle hands put you in a mire of doldrums. Come by to see this installation and share our joy.

H&C Feature of the Week: Curious Nature by Parson Gray
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature a fabric group called Curious Nature by Parson Gray from designer David Butler and Free Spirit fabric company. David is the husband of Amy Butler, artist and designer of fabrics. He noticed what he thought was a lack of masculine designs in the world of fabrics for quilting. He began to design with men in mind; and now we have fabulous designs in the shop that are waiting for your creative use. 20% off your choices this week in the Parson Gray group of fabrics. Look on the Free Spirit web site for inspiration on how to design your version of the masculine quilt.

Community Service
Community Service is a term we hear often but we don't always get to experience. On Friday last week we at Heirlooms & Comforts were able to experience Community Service firsthand. Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative sent a two-man crew composed of Ricky and David (last names are lost with me) to install the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail blocks at the Central Roller Mill and at Heirlooms & Comforts. These two gentlemen have now installed about 80 of these blocks across the upstate of South Carolina and from what we observed on Friday have become very skilled at this installation process.

These photos show the work in progress and how their experience at handling heavy objects at great heights is a real asset in this kind of situation. Bobby and I wish to thank Blue Ridge Electric and Ricky and David for their expert assistance in mounting the "Barn Blocks" that the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail group constructed and painted for us. Also, thanks to Gil Huggins for his leadership and guidance in this process.

Class Schedule
The new class schedule for classes at Heirlooms & Comforts is online! We have the dates and times set and the instructors are ready to start. All we need is for you to call in and come by to complete your registration with payment to hold your seat in class. Remember that at H&C we always give you a 10% discount on the purchase of supplies that are listed by the instructor for her classes. Let us know what you don't have and we can find it for you. The staff is looking forward to seeing you soon to register and to collect up your supplies to ensure a stellar finish of the project!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Have you experienced a sharing of knowledge and information with a quilting friend? Do you know how wonderful it is to have someone, or more than one, with whom you can share and learn? The world of South Carolina quilting just lost such a person at the passing of Mary Isbell. She was a SC quilter who touched the lives on so many quilters and would-be quilters that it would be hard to count them. Mary taught everywhere she went. She was the quintessential quilter. Her handwork was exquisite. The appliqué that she produced was immaculate. Mary taught all over the state from her home in Gray Court, SC to QSC retreats to Heirlooms & Comforts and all around. She apparently received great satisfaction from showing others what she knew about the art/craft of quilting. Mary Isbell, an icon of quilt making and friend to many, will be missed by hosts of South Carolina quilters. Don't be surprised one day when you look up at the clouds passing in the sky and see a twelve-block setting of cottages with floral landscape drifting by in the heavens!

H&C Feature of the Week: Tools for Quilting
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature tools for quilting and your choice of one tool at 25% off. You may choose from scissors, pins, needles, rulers, markers, etc. Any tool that you would use in the craft of quilting is 25% off - one item of your choice, in stock only. Don't miss this opportunity to get that item you have wished for but put off buying. Now is the time.

Free Designs
Are you aware of the free designs and instructions for projects available to you on Look at this site for Free Designs and Free Projects each month. If you miss a good one that you should have downloaded when it was featured, you can still get it for a fee even years later. For example, the October project would make a great item for the summer as well. I think that I would put a "beach-y" or picnic theme design on the top for summer picnics or plan ahead for fall with the October design. Maybe you have an appropriate design in your collection to use.

I can see putting the Insul-Brite batting in this project to make it thermal for carrying chilled items. I can also see incorporating some Fast-to-Fuse 2 in the lining to make this "basket" sturdier for toting. Look over these areas of the Husqvarna web site each month to be able to take advantage of the free items. Think a little "outside the box" as you look so that you can personalize the projects for your lifestyle!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What a Day!!

What a glorious day Easter Sunday is on April 8, 2012! I certainly hope to hear everyone who comes into the shop on Monday and Tuesday say that they experienced this beautiful day of celebration as wonderfully as the Ballentine family has. We were early risers and the grandsons were hunting eggs in their pajamas very early this morning. The bunny at their house was out at the cracking of dawn to hide those eggs. "Curly", his brother and his cousin were dressed so nicely in their rosy colored pants and blue shirts and were off to church in the "Grandma Bus" (alias on Sunday mornings for the Red Expedition car) with Grandpa riding in the way, way back with Jackson for half the trip and Wyatt for the return trip. The most painful part of the day so far for the youngsters was the time when thy had to stand still and look as though they were happy to pose for forty (more or less) snapshots of them on Easter. Yuk!! (their response). Grandma is loving the yard today, especially since there was radical surgery yesterday on the over-grown shrubs near the terrace. Now one can SEE the terrace with its beautiful slate and the space for a flower garden. Mema once had a bed of rose bushes there, but the wonderful, big, tall oaks and maples have shaded out the roses. What to put there now? We may need professional help to decide what should happen in that bed. It is not going to decide and plant itself; some one will have to become the decision maker and "foreman" for the job. Could be Grandma because she is in love with the newly trimmed space!

H&C Feature of the Week: 60" Fabrics
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature 60" Fabrics, mostly from Amy Butler and Valorie Wells, at 40% off. There is one beautiful bolt of Grey Melton Wool, and one bolt of Imperial Broadcloth in the group, too. There are three rolls of laminated fabrics from Westminster Fabrics as well. All of these 60" fabrics and the laminated fabrics are 40% off this week. Better come soon for the pieces you want!

Get Prepared
At Heirlooms & Comforts we believe that summer and very hot weather are not far behind the spring vacation from school. So we are suggesting that you be prepared to spend time indoors with your sewing/embroidery machine. Another suggestion is to look at the Husqvarna Viking models to find the one best suited to your needs and interest. With that in mind we remind you that we have two Designer Topaz 30 models that are previously owned and are offered at a great price of $1999.00. That is a considerable savings over the MSRP of a new model. We also have the Tribute 140M and the Tribute 140C models that are new and are the 140th Anniversary models that celebrate the history of Husqvarna Viking sewing machines. Come in soon to test sew on these so that you are set up and ready to sew indoors in the summer!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Things Aren't the Same

Are you 40 yet? Can you remember 40? Would you want to be 40 again? You know, 40 now is not like 40 was 30 years ago. When I was 40 thirty years ago there was a 13 year old son, a 10 year old daughter, a 9 year old son, and a 6 year old daughter in my household. I was very sure to be on my p's and q's to not say or do anything to influence their behavior in any manner that was not according to the southern, conservative, fundamentalist point of view. I don't even remember whether there was a party to celebrate the maturation process and arrival at that milestone age. Forty years old now is quite different! Our then 10 year old is now 40 and there has been a party. Preparation went on for days; invitations went out to lots of people to attend with guests ranging in age from very young adulthood to senior citizens with white hair. Considerable amounts of food were prepared by her friends and elaborate decorations within a theme were put in place. A music system was put in the building for guests to dance to. The party day arrived on last Friday and the guests came in anticipation of "roasting" the honoree and having a great time with conversation, dancing, food and not least of all adult beverages. Wow! Even Grandma had fun with it all and stayed awake up to midnight. I'm telling you, 40 is not now like 40 was 30 years ago.
H&C Feature of the Week: Clean off the Bolt
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will again feature Clean Off the Bolt Week. Since last Clean Off the Bolt Week a number of fabrics have been placed on the sale bench. You don't want to miss one of your favorite choices when it arrives in the sale area, so you will want to come in to the shop soon to be sure that doesn't happen. Remember you get 25% off a regular price fabric when you take all that is left on the bolt and 10% additional discount when you take all the is left on a sale priced fabric. Great things can happen when you shop the Clean Off the Bolt Week at Heirlooms & Comforts!

New Fabrics from Westminster Fibers
At Heirlooms & Comforts last week we received a shipment of new fabrics from the Kaffe Collective-Kaffe Fassett and his friends, Philip Jacobs and Brandon Mabley. They are sooooo...beautiful and bright. It is next to impossible to describe the colors and patterns. There are Cosmos, Brassica, Feathers, Roses, Sand Dollars, and more to choose from. If you love those wonderful Rowan Fabrics from Westminster Fibers that are designed by these talented men, you should see these!!