What Makes Your Heart Sing?

What makes your heart sing?

I was listening to an inspirational tape today and the question was asked,

       “What makes your heart sing”?        

I thought about that for a moment and knew instantly several answers to this question. Here was one at the top of my list.

Quilt Shops….and why would a quilt shop make my heart sing???

1. The intense visual input (or colors)

2. The anticipation of knowing that a new project is coming

3. The feel of the fabric; the thickness, softness, drape

4. The creative stirring that arises as potential projects come to mind with     each new fabric admired.

5. The look of the yardage on the bolt; as each yard is spread on the cutting board, the pattern or print becoming more illuminated with each turn of the bolt.

6. The slightly muffled feel of the air from the row after row of fabric bolts pressing up against each other.

7. Novelty fabrics-my favorite kind of fabric! (I am obsessed with figuring out how to use these fabrics!)

8. The inspiration that comes from samples made by others hanging prominently in the shop

9. Wandering from row to row and finding release from the day’s pressures or worries, there’s nothing better than wandering through a quilt shop on a lunch hour!

What feelings do I experience as I browse through a Quilt Shop?

-joy

-happiness

-inspiration

-excitement

-freedom from worries

-a highly developed sense of creativity

-a “high”

For me, a great fabric store really is “The Happiest Place on Earth”, not Disneyland. And if only Disneyland had a fabric store featuring Disney characters I would be there in a heartbeat!

I also love the variety of fabrics among different Quilt Shops. Each owner brings their own love of fabric to their store. It’s why I love to visit EVERY possible quilt shop when I travel. Lucky for me, I have a terrific husband who is extremely supportive of my habit!

Fabric has recently gone up quite a bit in price but I find that is not a deterrent. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to see the prices go back down, but fabric is such an important part of who I am.

My creativity, my expression.

I LOVE the variety that fabric companies provide. There really is something for everyone.

My heart really does sing when I’m buying fabric, cutting fabric or sewing fabric back together into something amazing. The creative factor is mind blowing. When I’m sewing or quilting I find I’m not thinking about other things, worrying or even complaining. 

 

I’m creating. I’m being the highest, best form of me.

What could be better?

BTW…I visited one of our fabulous quilt shops in Reno this week and am in the process of writing a blog entry about this wonderful shop.  Stay tuned for more about Sew-n-Such.

 

Finishing the Easter Collars

I’m finishing up the Easter collars.  I can’t believe it’s still March and the Easter collars are going to be done!  It’s a record!

 

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Just about there…I’ve recruited my husband to help me with one of the jobs that can be done sitting in front of the television.  At one point, the collars have to be fed back through the slide buckle. 

Since he’s just sitting on the couch watching TV anyway, it seemed like the perfect job for him!  Just means I can do more cutting and sewing- right?

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We got a little snow here last night.  Not too much but since it was Saturday it meant I didn’t have to clean off the car or drive in the snow and ice- yeah!

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Check out the snow on Sam’s little nose!  Winking smile

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!!

Here are two of our dogs celebrating the big day with their green, festive collars!

I use the word “celebrating” loosely since when I took this picture they were exhausted from a day of playing.  Smile

No green beer for these dogs! 

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Jack at rest!

 

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Sam is absolutely exhausted but looking good!

 

 

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  Happy St.   Patrick’s Day!!!

It’s Time for Easter Dog Collars!

I know it’s not Easter yet but I’m so excited because I am WAY ahead of the game!  Most of the time I’m scrambling a week before the holiday hits.  I stay up late at night with a general feeling of crankiness at the amount of work I still have to get done.

That’s no good- this is supposed to be FUN!

 

If you remember from my last post, here are the fabrics I chose for Easter.

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The part of the collar that takes the most work is turning the fabric into the long “strap” or “band”.  Adding the hardware is actually the shortest step.  Here are some of the smaller sizes of collars made into bands, already Scotch guarded and ready for the hardware.

My dogs tend to get dirty so the Scotch guard is a must!

 

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I love these fabrics….so cute. 

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Next step…assembling the finished product!

St. Patrick’s Day Collars!

So, it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve made a large batch of collars to sell at two local stores.

Here’s what I started with, I chose three different fabrics.

 

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This is a fourth fabric that I found the other day.  I liked it so much I bought the rest of the bolt!!

 

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I like to have fabric variety but not so much that I can’t handle the volume of making several collars in each size and design. I find that three different prints seems to work well at least at this stage of the game.

I just can’t help but LOVE holiday themed collars! It’s so much fun to change my dogs’ collars with the seasons. I also make seasonal collars for my Mom’s dogs, my sister’s dogs and my in-law’s dog. They all have labs. So, each time I make collars to sell I have to make 7 extra collars just for the family dogs!!

Here’s my cuties…we just recently lost our baby Pearl to liver failure. She was born with a shunt and so she was just 4 years old when she died. She was just the most loving, loyal, sweetest dog ever. We miss her so much! She was a true gift.

 

             Sam                            PEARL!  We miss you!!

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                    Mo                                      Jack

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I know so many of us are dog lovers and it’s so hard when we lose one no matter how old they are.  Smile

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I finally got the St. Pat’s collars done and ready for the stores. I usually put tags on for one store and not the other (the owner’s preference). I’m afraid I got a bit carried away with this version of tags. I was trying to get a variety of dog breed examples on the tags but in doing so the tags got a bit LARGE.

 

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I’m trying to think of a good name for my collar business. I started the business with “Dog Collars by Heather” and most recently I changed to “It’s a Dog Day”. I’m trying to decide whether I should keep that name or go with something new. I’m just not sure. But I want to find something and stick with it. It’s my intention to get a custom logo made and some tags for the collars.

Anyone have an opinion about the name?  Love the feedback!!  By the way, thanks so much for the wonderful feedback in the last post!  It’s so great to hear from other people who make collars and just the support from others is wonderful!

Anyway, I’m ready to move on from Saint Patrick’s Day and onto Easter! Here’s a preview of the Easter fabrics!

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Another Custom Order

I mentioned in my last post that I recently got a request for dog leashes. This prompted me to get busy and figure out how to make them. Turns out it was an easy process once I knew where I was going with it!


I’m excited to make more leashes for my upcoming shows this year. I’m committing to doing at least one dog related show a month starting in May. I’ve got a couple on my radar but need to find others. This will be fun but I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me designing the booth and getting the necessary supplies not to mention making a LOT of collars!

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The shows will mostly take place in warmer months and outside so I’ll need an overhead “tent” (don’t know what else to call these things). I’ve seen plenty of them at craft shows, now I need to figure out where I can get a reasonably priced one.
Anyone know?


Another recent special order was for a pair of greyhound collars. In addition to the buckle collars, I also make martingale collars which are great for dogs with heads smaller than their necks. The sizes I had in stock at a local store weren’t quite what these customers were looking for so I made 2” wide bands in much smaller lengths. Presto- Greyhound Collars!

Here’s what they looked like. The customers picked out the fabric.


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There’s an extra collar in there, the red one with the birds was also requested by the store.
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Next post, my St. Patrick’s Day collars!! They’re SOOOOOO cute!

Making Dog Leashes


As I continue to make dog collars, I’ve had requests for matching leashes.  I finally got a custom order request and decided it was time to figure this out.

I don’t have a pattern for a leash, I’m just figuring this out as I go.

This was my test fabric.  I didn’t want to mess up the custom order fabrics!!  Winking smile
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Here are the special snap hooks I had to order.  Turns out that 1 1/2” snap hooks are not a very common size. This is the largest size of collar I make and it happens to be the size that the special order customer requested.

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I finally found a vendor in Hong Kong.  It took a few weeks to get the hooks but here they are! 
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So here it is.  It was actually easier than I expected. 
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In the picture below, you can see the matching collar as well.

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Now, I’m onto finishing the custom requests now that I’m pretty happy with the finished product!

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