A Little Office Excitement – and a Fabric Giveaway!

When at the Sudbury offices of Interweave it is always good to expect the unexpected. Our latest unexpected event was the fire alarm going off at about 10:00am on Monday morning. Let me tell you, our fire alarm is LOUD. It was actually painful it was so loud, which I guess will prevent anyone from staying inside when there is a possible fire. Which is obviously a good thing. Anyway, we all congregated outside and waited until we had the all clear to go back into the office. Since our iPhones are never far away from many of us, and standing outside for a while got to be rather boring, several people in the office (myself included) decided to snap some photos of the fire trucks as they arrived. Luckily it was a false alarm and we were back to work within a ½ hour, and the whole experience was reminiscent of a school fire drill.


Technical Editor Mary Walter in front of the fire trunk #2
(which, by the way arrived WAY before the other fire trucks. My bet is on #2 to save the day in a real emergency!)

Just hanging around, waiting to go back inside…

My "I am so cold, why didn't I bring a jacket today of all days" face.

Still waiting…. (sorry, just being dramatic. The whole thing took less than a 1/2 hour. )

Want to win some quilt making fabric? Tell me, what is the last unexpected thing that has happened to you in the studio? Leave a comment below and next Wednesday I will randomly pick someone who left a comment to get a jelly roll of Deb Strains’ Meadow Friends fabric from Moda! Please note the amazing frog fabric – I think that it is absolutely adorable! Although I am a bit biased because I do LOVE frogs as many of you may know.


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103 thoughts on “A Little Office Excitement – and a Fabric Giveaway!

  1. One of my cats bringing in a baby rabbit. I thought it was dead but rescued it from her and it revived! She managed to make a week or so of this, bringing rabbits in multiple times (I guess she found a “nest”). All but one survived though! When I’m sewing, the floor is such a mess anyway, what’s a baby rabbit or two ;>) Thanks for the chance to win! Rhonda (marshudson at comcast dot net)

  2. My sewing studio is in the basement and one day while I was sewing pieces of a quilt I could see ‘something’ moving… holy moly it was a huge spider on the quilt I was sewing!! I don’t think I ever in my life moved as quickly away from that space – it could probably be measure in nano-seconds!!

  3. As I was sewing a seam the lights went out, leaving me completely in the dark. There was a power outage that lasted 1 1/2 hours and I was totally unprepared :/

  4. I was so involved and concentrating on my work, that before I knew it, it was dawn, the sun was rising and the birds were singing outside the window. I had worked right through the night!

  5. I was so involved and concentrating on my work, that before I knew it, it was dawn, the sun was rising and the birds were singing outside the window. I had worked right through the night!

  6. I lost my sewing space temorarily to my husband so he can study for his mechanical contracting license exams. 🙁 BUT it gave him the idea that I need a sewing table/work area instead of the dinning romm table. So I guess it ended up in my favor even though this is a temporary inconcenience.

  7. One day I was cutting out a project and the breeze blew some pattern pieces off the table. My little dog Chance excitedly grabbed a piece and ran down the hall with it. Terrified he would completely destroy it, I sped after him, crying, “Please,Chance,drop it.” I managed to save it and my project. He had fun!

  8. strange noises that turned out to be my huntress cat dragging a chipmunk around. Fortunately Mr CHipmunk survived at least long enough for a return to out doors.

  9. We recently got new windows for our home. I love to work with natural light, so I got up from my sewing machine to adjust the blinds and the whole thing came tumbling down. I have a lovely group of violets that call that window home. I am so thankful that the blinds neatly fell between the window and my violet stands. No one was hurt, but we were all shocked!

  10. When my Ott light fell over. I have it up on the table to see better and I must have bumped it with the quilt I was quilting and down it came. Happy Quilting!

  11. Sigh, I WISH a ‘critter’ came skittering into my bedroom/sewing room. My ‘unexpected thing’ was, while sewing a baby quilt, my sewing machine made a clunk sound and will forever ‘only’ do a straight stitch. : ( She is 30+ years old, poor thing. lol

  12. One evening I was painting the trim around a window in my studio. My studio is in the basement and the window is up at ground level. I had the screen off and the window open and I was standing on a stepladder. Suddenly, a raccoon stuck his head in the window! We were nose to nose, and both of us were surprised. I jumped down off of the ladder and he retreated back into the night. No harm done, no paint spilled.

  13. Unexpectedly finding a long lost piece of jewelry in my rarely searched zipper bin. How it ever got there is a total mystery! Finding it: one of life’s best surprises!

  14. Unexpectedly finding a long lost piece of jewelry in my rarely searched zipper bin. How it ever got there is a total mystery! Finding it: one of life’s best surprises!

  15. I was at a friend’s house, working on a quilt and had a severe gallbladder attack. Maybe I should mention this friend lives 140 miles away from my home. I had quite an adventure getting home, accessing medical care and finally surgery. It’s been a month today but I’m finally finishing that quilt. I had severe sewing withdraw pains as my machine sat there but I couldn’t.

  16. A bird flew in our front door and up the stairs to my studio. I panicked about it pooping all over my my machines and fabrics. I was so surprised when I was able to will it to sit still on the window ledge while I picked it up and carried it outside!

  17. I too have a passion for frogs. My bathroom is full of them. One jumped in the kitchen door and of course my cat spotted it right away and it took us a day and a half to get it out from under the hutch full of my craft books. When we finally got it out, we let it go and my cat finally slept for about 5 hours. I think she stayed awake day-in-day-out trying to get that frog.

  18. Well, that would be the day I walked into 2 inches of water in my studio! Fortunately the only thing on the floor was the foot pedal for my Featherweight, which I was able to dry out and oil without any problem! My husband raced to my rescue and we pumped the water out, figure out where it came from and created a multi-part solution so (touch wood) it shouldn’t happen again!

  19. Omgoodness, I had a fire in my sewing room! Thank heavens it was contained in the outlet however I did lose my Rowenta iron to meltage …very unexpected! Thanks!!!

  20. I was quilting and ran out of thread in the bobbin. I put in another bobbin and started sewing. Suddenly my machine stopped sewing. I checked to make sure my bobbin was in correctly and it was but the machine absolutely would not sew. I ended up taking it to my dealer to get fixed. They ran it through the diagnostics and it worked great. Suddenly I realized they had put in a different bobbin so I asked them to put mine back in. The machine would not sew. The computer could not “read “the bobbin as some of the metallic pain had worn off. Was I ever embarrassed but I now look carefully at my bobbins.

  21. I can only think of one unexpected thing that happened in my studio about five years ago. We had an excessive amount of rain that month and it was raining on this day. I was in my basement studio working at the computer for a couple of hours without getting up from that desk. My husband came down to ask if I noticed any water seepage because some neighbors had flooded basements. Only then did I see that the carpet under my feet was soaked. He didn’t see how I could sit there and not notice but hey, I had shoes on! We had to pack up everything from the studio and the next room. The insurance company had to replace flooring and wallboard. What a mess! Now there is no carpet down in the basement and all fabric is stored in clear plastic bins.

  22. While free motion quilting I noticed my machine seemed to knock. Upon checking below the throat plate found a lot of lint buildup. I was shocked
    that there was so much as I get so engrossed in my sewing that I forgot
    to check & clean that area. I have made it a priority now to clean that area
    after each project.

  23. A friend called in, looked horrified and announced: “I don’t mind it being this messy if that’s the way you like to work”. Up until then I hadn’t noticed the clutter but I must admit there were projects stacked on other projects, design options on the wall and baskets of scraps too precious to throw away under tables. and books, lots of books on both couches. Oh well!

  24. One night I set up an embroidery and saved it to my thumb drive so I could stitch it out the next day. When I went in my sewing room to work on that particular project, the thumb drive wasn’t on the ironing board where I thought I had left it. I immediately panicked! I was afraid my preschool son and taken it and who knows what he does with some things! I was looking all over and after I calmed down a little, I thought to look in a bag that was under the ironing board and found the thumb drive there. Apparently my boy cat had jumped up on the ironing board on his way to my cutting table to take a nap.

  25. UNEXPECTED improvement !

    Last Summer, I made some paper-cloth & brought it inside still quite moist (thunder storms lurking). As I have a cat (Azi) who’s curiosity personified, I decided to put a piece of very thin gift paper on top of the very shallow box I had stored it in …to prevent Azi from traipsing over there & get glued.
    When I came back the next morning, the paper had sagged & adhered to the still moist paper-cloth giving it a very light coverage that made it better than what I had planned to be my finished product.
    Thank you Azi.

  26. Oh my, that fabric is darling! I love Deb strain, she is my favorite designer at Moda. Thank you for the chance!
    The most unexpected thing in my crafty space is when I find something I have looked high and low for, then stopped looking for and find days or weeks later. LOVE that! I always do a happy pants dance when it happens. 🙂

  27. The last unexpected thing to happen was we went out at about midnight to open some batching fabric and there was a cat in the screened in porch where we work. There are openings where it could get in. My husband said I think I heard a mew. Ten min later we saw a small kitten with eyes open but not big enough to navigate on its own. Luckily Mother Cat came back and moved it somewhere else. 🙂 Linda Spreen

  28. My sewing room is upstairs and it is always hot in the summer. My hubby surprised me by somehow fixing the vents in the house to shoot more cool air into my sewing room. It is blessedly cool now. He calls it my refrigerator. He is the best!!!

  29. I was surprised twice in one day. I wanted to make a cuddle quilt (charity quilt) for my guild. While I was looking for fabric in my stash I ran across extra blocks left from a previous quilt I’d made. I’d forgotten all about them and there were enough to make a quilt. And because the blocks were already made I was able to make the quilt top that very day. Two pleasant surprises in one day!

  30. Unexpected? I had to think a bit. Several years ago I had an addition made to my deck. As the carpenter had stuff (tools) all over the yard, I wasn’t able to water my lawn. I did however, leave my hose on a trickle by a plant in the flowerbed next to the house that absolutely needed a drink. Forgot and left the water on overnight. As I was busy watching the deck work, I didn’t go down to the studio for two weeks. Squish, squish–I had drown the place. Needless to say, that was an expensive lesson. Also necessitated some restoration work, and voila! a new, improved, brighter and lighter studio!

  31. The most unexpected thing? I guess it is an odd new habit one of our dogs has adopted. Wen he hears my sewing machine start up, he races over and plops himself down under the sewing table. Every time, with great enthusiasm, even though there is nothing dog related going on, no treats are ever given, and none of our other dogs pay any attention. Weird.

  32. I was using my rotary cutter and swiped my bangs out of my face only to realize that I had cut my forehead. Note to self: clip the bangs out of the way

  33. The most unexpected thing to happen to me was during an organizing session in my sewing room. I had taken all my fabric out of the containers and was in the process of refolding and organizing according to colour and type. I was surrounded by large piles of fabric when the blues suddenly started to topple. Soon I was up to my neck in blues when suddenly the greens and purples started to tremble and fall. I was soon in a sea of blues,purples and greens. After struggling out from under the mess I was able to stand and look at the mess of colours surrounding me. It was great inspiration for the water based collage that resulted from the sight :-).

  34. My most recent unexpected event – a wild Tom turkey jumped up on my redwood table and was peeking at me while I quilted – that’s a real Peeping Tom!

  35. My studio long ago dissolved into children’s rooms. Now I move projects from room to room and it is always fascinating to see what my oldest (daughter) finds and adores as she looks through my materials. She and I would have fun with these fabrics!

  36. My daughter and I spent about five hours together in the studio. Beautiful magenta azaleas fill the window. We got all the appliques for 9 blocks ready to stitch onto the blocks. We had a fun day.

  37. I fell down the basement steps Thursday. Thankgoodness I only injured my left knee and not the right, as I need that for the footpedal of the sewing machine. Hope that never happens again.

  38. When our guild did a UFO swap, I took a well-aged skirt and jacket that had been cut out a few smaller sizes ago, but never sewn up. I was flabbergasted when an extremely talented friend returned the next month with a completed suit that turned out to be way too big for her but fits me perfectly! What an unexpected gift when she handed it back to me, beautiful and ready to wear!

  39. My daughter and I working on putting the borders on a quilt, when out of nowhere, my 15 month old grandson decides he’s going to help us. He snuck up on us and started pulling the pinned borders off, which we got to him in time, then proceeded to wreak havoc around the room. We just had to stop what we were doing and leave the room. Still haven’t gotten back to it.

  40. I had always heard of people sewing through their finger and thought how stupid! How could anyone do that.I used to do substitute teaching for Home Ec. classes and had a student put the needle through his finger and he had to go to emergency to have it taken out! They were practising sewing lines on paper. One day I was doing edge stitching on something for my granddaughters and was concentrating so hard on getting it just right that I actually sewed through my finger. Luckily I thought quickly and had pliers near by. I undid the needle from the machine and grabbed the pliers and removed it. Not too much blood and a bit painful and I wont do it again.

  41. A few years ago I was sewing in my ‘creation station’ located in the lower level of our home. Something that I assumed was a huge delivery truck rumbling by made me bump a bit into the air. Later that evening on the news I found out there had been an earthquake about 20 miles off the Island. First time I had ever experienced a quake and I “missed” it.

  42. While I do like frogs, my daughter and I are both ladybug fans and I noticed one on the roll of fabric!

    The most unexpected thing to happen to me was when, out of all the places I’ve ever lived, I was able to have a sewing room once! It was really just a corner of our basement and wasn’t very big but it sure beat the kitchen or dining room table and having to constantly take out/put away everything.

  43. I was helping my mom out with a project while she was at my home. Suddenly we were missing a bobbin and a seam ripper! We looked all around us for over half an hour and finally found both in a wee cranny nearby behind the chair. My budgie has stolen them and added to his little stash of booty! hahah!

  44. I was helping my mom out with a project while she was at my home. Suddenly we were missing a bobbin and a seam ripper! We looked all around us for over half an hour and finally found both in a wee cranny nearby behind the chair. My budgie had stolen them and added them to his little, secret stash of booty! hahah!

  45. Yesterday I was teaching my 5 year old granddaughter how to sew, we were making a new princess dress. She was setting in my lap and was controlling the off / on button. She fell asleep!

  46. I was in my sewing room pinning the border on my quilt. Pinning…pinning…pinning when all of a sudden I heard this laughter coming from behind my work table. Upon investigating, I found my parrot PT pulling the pretty headed pins out as fast as I was putting them in! There was all my pins pulled from the quilt all over the floor. And to think it only took me an hour to figure this out! Thank goodness my bird found it funny or I could still be there pinning!

  47. Snakes scare me and a green snake dangling from an overhead light fixture in an interior room / studio of my house really scared me – screaming hee-bee-jee-bees scared. How on earth could that snake have gotten there?

  48. The most unexpected thing was when i was at my moms house fixing a tear in her antique quilt and i smelled something funny. She had left her water glass and antique mirror near the window and the sun hit them JUST right and it caused a small pinhole smoldering fire in the window sill! I used the water in her glass to put it out.

  49. I was watching my 3 !/2 yr. old grand daughter and needed to get some sewing done. So, I took her in my sewing room and set her up with some lacing cards that were my daughter’s from 39 years ago. They were plastic and were made by Fisher Price. It made me realize that some things never change. Children learn to love what they are shown.

  50. I was watching my 3 !/2 yr. old grand daughter and needed to get some sewing done. So, I took her in my sewing room and set her up with some lacing cards that were my daughter’s from 39 years ago. They were plastic and were made by Fisher Price. It made me realize that some things never change. Children learn to love what they are shown.

  51. I was watching my 3 !/2 yr. old grand daughter and needed to get some sewing done. So, I took her in my sewing room and set her up with some lacing cards that were my daughter’s from 39 years ago. They were plastic and were made by Fisher Price. It made me realize that some things never change. Children learn to love what they are shown.

  52. Last unexpected thing that happened in my sewing room…let’s see…must have been the last time the power went out during a storm when I was working on a project…no lights, no machine..no progress until PG&E came back on!

  53. Pets in the sewing studio seems to be very popular. My cat Sarah discovered that sharing my sewing bench makes her feel secure so now I always have company while in front of my machine. I love it!

  54. My sister was visiting and spent a day organizing this dream of mine to have a craft/sewing room. Now I am off on a brand new adventure and complete change in my life!

  55. Being a fairly new sewer there are lots of unexpected things that happen, but the most recent and what I consider to have made me a real “Quilter/Sewist” I was finishing my first full size quilt top called Prairie Point Pizzazz and it has lots of seams. As I was adding the next to the last row I approached one of the major intersections and I was trying to guide it to make the stitch hit the cross hair of the seam and being thick I was kind of helping the fabric along a little too much and as it hit the hill my index finger went under the needle and of course I jerked. torn out my finger nail and end of finger. I managed to get to the sink and wash it off and find a bandaid. When I checked my quilt top there was not a spot of blood anywhere!

  56. My sewing studio is a blacksmith shop, over 100 years old. Needless to say, it has lots of cracks and crannys! One day, I opened the door and 2 large lizards ran out! The cats pounced on them as they came out onto the porch but they escaped, thankfully!

  57. While sewing one day, my husband sat down visiting with me and announced he’d like to make his sister a pot holder. That was the most unexpected surprised so I went to get him a stash of materials to decide on, I almost fainted but then again I was thrilled to share too! Oh he’s a truck driver and he did a great job making them with my help. =0)

  58. Finding $40 tucked away in the ribbon box – haven’t got a clue why/where/how it got there or what it was intended for but it soon found its way towards the purchase of some fat quarters!

  59. I had one of those moments, you know the one, where you sit focused on your project, blocking out everything around you, quiet and still. My six month old Maine Coon cat jumped onto my workbench to supervise my work and promptly put her paw into my glass of water and started to drink from her paw! I just watched with awe and wondered how many other glasses of water we have shared without my knowledge!

  60. My dogs one day had managed to get into a corner, all curled up on a pile of fabric. I guess they were telling me it was time tomake them their own quilt.
    The fabrics are adorable. Thanks for the opportunity.

  61. My dogs one day had managed to get into a corner, all curled up on a pile of fabric. I guess they were telling me it was time tomake them their own quilt.
    The fabrics are adorable. Thanks for the opportunity.

  62. The last unexpected thing that happened to me was while feeding fabric through the sewing machine, my finger got caught under the needle, going right through my finger….OUCH!

  63. Last Christmas as part of my gift, my then future daughter-in-law, cleaned and organized my sewing room even down to color grading my thread. It became a more creative and calming space.

  64. The most unexpected thing at my house is when my sewing room is neat and orderly . . . it rarely happens, although I would love it to always look neat.

    Thanks for the chance to win fabric!

  65. My biggest surprise was breaking my toe in my sewing room. I smashed my toe into my sewing chair and ended up with a broken toe..ouch! Thanks for the fabric give away.

  66. i was making a memory quilt using dog toys- my unexpected lesson was that i could indeed make a 2 demensional quilt out of 3 dimensional toys! Came out really cute by the way!

  67. The time that I went to grab my glass jar of basting pins and grabbed some kind of big bug along with it! Dropped the jar and scattered the pins. Thank goodness it didn’t break!

  68. I had to really think about this one. Not much unexpected happens except maybe a project that goes super smooth-rare for me. Probably the most unexpected was when I was cutting some yardage with a rotary cutter and took off the side of my thumb. I’ve been sewing over 20 years and had never had a rotary accident. It took a minute for me realize that I’d sliced my finger.

  69. It amazes me how much of my stuff disappears without a trace…. between my caregiver, the cleaning ladies, my 2 kids and husband blocks seem to vanish. I spend more time each time I attempt to sew looking for stuff I don’t get anything done before I have to go back to bead and get my feet up. Also being stuck in the wheelchair I can’t get in anywhere to dig for myself!!!! Any fabric whisperers out there?

  70. I broke 3 machine needles in less than 15 minutes. I so rarely break a needle that to have 3 break so close to each other was very surprising to me. As I have heard so very often, things happen in threes. I guess in this case it is true. Good thing I have a good supply on hand.

  71. My husband just installed hardwood floors in my work room and I replaced the area rugs without any thought. Rushing around as always, I slipped on a rug and banged my head against the door handle. Fortunately, I wasn’t seriously injured but a lessons for all is to make sure you have a non-skid pad beneath all rugs.

  72. I was working on a project and left the room for a couple of minutes, then when I came back, the candle I was burning (yes I left it unattended, for just a minute) leaked wax on the fabric/canvas project! Ack, I managed to save it with brown paper and my iron, but yeesh!

  73. I was machine quilting on a tablerunner one day, when I got my finger under the needle. The needle went right through my fingernail, missing the bone. It was the first finger of my right hand. The needle wheel being on the right side of the machine, I couldn’t reach it to pull the needle up and out. While I was dithering and saying, “Ow, ow, ow”, I hit the foot pedal and the needle went up and down again in the same place on my finger! My daughter heard me and saved the day by turning the needle wheel up. Now, when I machine quilt, I’m very conscious of my hand position!!

  74. Everytime I enter my studio, something unexpected might happen. Maybe I’ll sew that perfect 1/4 inch seam, or actually piece both fabrics right sides together, or match my points in my star blocks, or find the perfect colors that I absolutely love.

    But what would be very unexpected: would be if the time spent with my sewing machine and fabric didn’t transport me to some place far away where time stands still. Because it always does wilthout fail.

  75. my “studio” is the kitchen table so unexpected things are always happening I guess the most common is kids running in with tear stained faces needing me to kiss an owie :0)

  76. I left ona two week trip, my husband was left behind. The most miraculous thing, when I returned home, everything was in the same place as when I left! My husband LOVES to organize things, and tries to get away with it when I’m gone. My studio (if you can call it that) was untouched.

  77. The power suddenly went out at my place of employment. We found out later it was because of some road construction that is going on nearby that apparently hit a power line accidentally. Fortuantely, we have enough windows around that it wasn’t too dark, but it was eerily quiet with no AC running. It was out for three boring hours because the computers were down so we just sat around and twiddled our thumbs and answered the occasional phone call!

  78. While going through one of the seldom used boxes in my stash, I found some 50 year-old fabric I’d forgotten about. It was leftover from a dress my grandmother made for me when I was little.

  79. When hubby unexpectedly decided to make me a shelf to store more fabric. I was shocked, but it is awesome to have more shelf space. Now if only I’d find some time to get the fabric all organized. Thanks for a chance to win. 🙂

  80. Getting ready to press dresses for a wedding, and the power went out at the place we were staying. Yes, it was fixed quickly at the circuit breaker box, once it was found…

  81. It is always an pleasant surprise and completely unexpected when my husband or grandson are interested in my project. But, once interested they always give me a compliment.