It has been the most incredible week! Thank you all so much for all the unbelievable interest in my little quilt blocks. I’m so grateful for all of the glowing emails and comments. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I am sewing like crazy and trying to fulfill all the custom orders I’m getting at the same time that I’m trying not to let the Ebay shop completely empty out. I put up three sets of blocks the other day and all three of them sold immediately…one in 48 seconds! I never even had a chance to see it posted online before it was gone. Thank you all so much….such a joyful few days. In the meantime, real life and my “day job” go on. I am a caterer by trade and the owner of Fire and Ice Hall in Montgomery, Texas. It’s an old, historic tin barn…warm and rustic and full of romance. Built in 1903, it was once a Sinclair compression station, with huge turbines that moved oil down the line to the refineries south of Houston. Now it’s full of tiny white lights, old quilts and lace and lots and lots of Texas spirit. We have had the most amazing, joyful weddings here. Taking care of the grounds and the flowers and making it all happen seems to be an endless task, but every once in a while, we get to work on something that we’ve been dreaming about. I am almost overwhelmed with the need for whimsy in my life. I’d never done mosaics before but I desperately wanted a mosaic Texas flag mailbox out front. It took me about a week to piece it together, but it’s not too bad for a first try!! It was a big hit with my mail lady. After the mailbox was done, I started thinking about an old metal cistern up on a wooden platform at the front gate…next to the mailbox. (Anybody old enough to remember Petticoat Junction….nah…me either…hahahah). I talked Jay into the idea of the cistern and it turned out to be a BIG job, but somehow we got the wooden platform built and then it was time for the cistern. We were both imagining something old and rusty but it wasn’t long before I started thinking about red and white stripes. It wasn’t easy to talk him into it, but LOOK!! I got my red and white stripes!! Ok. I think I have enough whimsy at the front gate….. hmmmmmm….what next?

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Quilt Block Madness!


It has been the most incredible week! Thank you all so much for all the unbelievable interest in my little quilt blocks. I’m so grateful for all of the glowing emails and comments. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I am sewing like crazy and trying to fulfill all the custom orders I’m getting at the same time that I’m trying not to let the Ebay shop completely empty out. I put up three sets of blocks the other day and all three of them sold immediately…one in 48 seconds! I never even had a chance to see it posted online before it was gone. Thank you all so much….such a joyful few days.

In the meantime, real life and my “day job” go on. I am a caterer by trade and the owner of Fire and Ice Hall in Montgomery, Texas. It’s an old, historic tin barn…warm and rustic and full of romance. Built in 1903, it was once a Sinclair compression station, with huge turbines that moved oil down the line to the refineries south of Houston. Now it’s full of tiny white lights, old quilts and lace and lots and lots of Texas spirit. We have had the most amazing, joyful weddings here. Taking care of the grounds and the flowers and making it all happen seems to be an endless task, but every once in a while, we get to work on something that we’ve been dreaming about. I am almost overwhelmed with the need for whimsy in my life. I’d never done mosaics before but I desperately wanted a mosaic Texas flag mailbox out front. It took me about a week to piece it together, but it’s not too bad for a first try!! It was a big hit with my mail lady.😉 After the mailbox was done, I started thinking about an old metal cistern up on a wooden platform at the front gate…next to the mailbox. (Anybody old enough to remember Petticoat Junction….nah…me either…hahahah). I talked Jay into the idea of the cistern and it turned out to be a BIG job, but somehow we got the wooden platform built and then it was time for the cistern. We were both imagining something old and rusty but it wasn’t long before I started thinking about red and white stripes. It wasn’t easy to talk him into it, but LOOK!! I got my red and white stripes!! Ok. I think I have enough whimsy at the front gate….. hmmmmmm….what next?

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More blocks!


Just three new sets of blocks added to my Ebay store today (Starranch1 on Ebay).  Now that I’m up and running again, I’m getting requests for more pictures of my four-legged babies.  I promise some soon.😉

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I’m back!!


Ugh!!!  It seems as if I start every post with “I’m BACK!!”.  My life is chaos.  We’re ice sculptors by trade and I have a beautiful old barn that has suddenly become VERY popular for weddings…so it seems as if I have not time at all!!  I am still sewing whenever I can and I realized that I have over 50 little sets of blocks ready to go!!  I’ll post them here and then I’ll list them on my ebay page for sale.  You can find me on Ebay at Starranch1.  I’d love to change the name to QuiltPeace, but I’ve been listing my little blocks for so many years as Starranch1…and I have such wonderful feedback, I just can’t seem to let it go.  If you see a set of blocks here that you like, and you see that they’ve already sold on Ebay, please just email me or post a comment here and I can re-create them for you….  Several of you have asked about larger sets of blocks and I can certainly do that for you (given a day or two to work on them).  Just convo me and we’ll work it out.  Thanks so much for looking!!  I’m going to be listing some mixed sets of blocks over the next couple of days.  I hope you like them!! 

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Mini Quilt Blocks


I’ve been selling miniature quilt blocks on Ebay for over 10 years.  It’s unbelievable to me now that it’s been so long! This all began as an entrepreneurial effort on my part for my oldest daughter, Cheyne (pronounced Shane). She was in culinary school and about to go on a two-week long trip to China.  I’d really had to save my pennies to pay for the expensive trip and there wasn’t much left over for spending money. I’ve been quilting for over 30 years, I just LOVE to work in miniature, and I decided to try to sell a couple of my little micro-quilts on Ebay to see if I could earn some spending money for her. I couldn’t GIVE those little finished quilts away! I was thrilled one day when I finally got a bid for $9.00 on a little quilt that had taken me about 10 days to make!  Just as I was about to give up on the whole idea, I realized that there were several people selling quilt “blocks” online so that buyers could create their own quilts! What an incredible thing!!  I decided to create some blocks and post them to see if anyone would be interested in miniature blocks. The response was just incredible, I earned over a thousand dollars for Cheyne’s spending money fund and I’ve been making the little blocks and selling them ever since. Generally I make two sets of blocks. I keep one for myself and sell the other. It makes me happy to share them…to know that someone out there will be creating a little quilt with my blocks and I always wonder how different/similar our finished quilts will end up being.  I’ve sold blocks to women (and a couple of men!) all over the world. Once, a woman who had been the dressmaker to the Queen Elizabeth for 50 years commented that I did “beautiful” work.  It made my year!!

I strive to do meticulous work and I hope that it shows in my feedback on Ebay.  I have some incredibly loyal buyers and I am forever grateful to them. I have quilted my way through some almost unbelievable trials in my life over these 10 years and, although they never knew it, their never-ending interest in my work never failed to lift my spirits…even at my lowest moments.  Life for me is on a much more even keel these days (knocking on wood as I say this), and I’m back to joyfully sewing at night as my favorite form of relaxation. I have two full-time small businesses that keep me VERY busy during the day and I find myself daydreaming sometimes about sitting down behind my Janome at the end of the day and letting the stresses of work melt away.

I am beginning to invite my buyers to visit my blog, hoping to make a closer connection with the women who buy my little blocks and have been such an important part of my life for the past 10+ years. I promise, from now on, to upload pictures of upcoming blocks here so that you, my loyal buyers, can see them first and know what’s coming. I’d also LOVE to hear your comments and ideas! I have an intense love of color (anybody noticed that yet??)…and an equal craving for black and white prints. I have sooooo much fabric, and not a bit of brown or beige…olive green or peach..none of that. There are lots of quilters who make blocks in those colors and list them on Ebay, but, somehow, I have never seen anyone do anything even remotely like my blocks! Is that a good thing??😉

Thank you for visiting, faithful buyers. I’m looking forward to comments and even criticizms.  The blocks pictured at the top of this entry will go up on Ebay tomorrow.  I hope you find something you like!  Feel free to make requests. 😉

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Beginning Again


www.FireandIceHall.com
                 Fire and Ice Hall                       

http://www.FireandIceHall.com

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I last posted something on my blog. I often go back to blogs that I have enjoyed reading to find that the writer has gone away. To those of you who wrote to inquire, I’m sorry. So much has happened! There is so much to tell. So much that I want to hear back from all of you. I promise to do better.

I guess that I should tell you first about my latest obscession (well…to be honest, there are several, but this is the most time-consuming). We have a 107-year-old barn on the ranch that was once a Sinclair Oil compression station. It created the force necessary to move oil down the line toward the refineries south of Houston. The pipeline has been gone since 1957 and the building had little use after that. When we bought the place 18 years ago, the land and this huge old building had stood here unoccupied and unloved for 36 years. In the beginning, we fixed up the barn for our daughters…a place for their friends to gather and for the parties that would follow during their adolescence. When they grew up and moved away to Austin 10 years ago, the old barn seemed bereft in their absence…the life had gone out of the place. I look back now and marvel that it took me so long to see it as an event venue! Now we host the most amazing ranch/country weddings and company picnics. Everyone tells that they feel as if they’ve stepped back in time here….and that’s exactly what we hope for. At every party, people wander out to my little farm full of miniature horses, Pecos (our riding steer who is still alive and loving all the attention!), geese, chickens and goats. I am constantly amazed at how many people tell me it’s the first time they’ve ever touched a horse…a goat. I just can’t imagine! The old barn is all decorated inside with cowhides and tiny twinkle lights, Texas flags and saddles. The back wall is painted dark blue with a huge moon face that smiles benevolently down on the dance floor. I never realized how wonderful it would be to hear that old barn ring with music and the laughter of a happy, celebratory family.

The Fire and Ice Hall is a historic, Texas tin hall with a touch of magic. It has given me another huge obligation…but a joyful one. If you ever wander by this way, come dance under the mirrored ball and soak up a little bit of old Texas. ;-)  www.FireandIceHall.com

The photo above is courtesy of Epic Software, The Woodlands, TX.  Thanks Vic for such a great photograph.  I’m rusty at publishing and for some reason I can’t get it to come up under the photo itself!

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Mother’s Day


No time to post this past couple of days…up to our necks in Mother’s Day ice sculptures, but I came across this photograph of one of my daughters and I and thought I’d share it. She was 5 and I was about 38…a LONG time ago (Chase is 27 now). My other daughter is 29…it’s hard to believe! I can’t find a picture of Cheyne and I together, but when I do, I’ll post it too! I love you both so much…

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