Friday, 23 December 2011

"working" Dec 23!

It's hard to be diligent when it's December 23rd! And so we had 'day off' at work today! Jeanne and I had planned something a little extra for Jo and Yvonne, our two full time girls, who keep us on track! We had secretly made an appointment for the two of them to get pedicures this morning! We thought this would be a most excellent way to greet Christmas morning, and a little perk for these two hardworking ladies! Unfortunately, Jo ruined all of our best laid plans by having a pedicure the day before!! And how could we send Yvonne my herself? That's no fun! So we decided to give Yvonne a pedicure ourselves!
Jeanne giving Yvonne and pedicure!

Bright and Festive!

As for Jo, she's been feeling a bit overwhelmed, with working full time, having border guys at her home, getting ready for Christmas.....she was sure she'd be up until 4 am wrapping gifts, so Jeanne kindly offered her services to help Jo wrap! You didn't have to ask Jo twice! She came to work with an assortment of wrap and laundry baskets full of gifts!

Now my wrapping skills seriously lack, and if my gifts looking like this under my tree, my family would instantly know, I didn't do this!! Jeanne made Jo's gifts (and one of mine!) look absolutely amazing!!

It wouldn't be the Christmas season here if I didn't mention Jo's poppycock! OH MY GOD!! It is the most divine stuff ever!! I start nagging Jo fairly early in the season for her poppycock, and she rations me....but today she brought a bucket! Yum!
Thanks Jo!!
To make the day even more complete, we ordered lunch for the girls, chicken strips and sweet potato fries! Nothing but the best for our staff!
Jo and Yvonne and their trashy lunch!
And no, we didn't MAKE them wear the reindeer antlers and the jingle bell Santa hat....that was their choice! You wouldn't catch me wearing one of those! It might mess my hair.......

Jo and Jeanne wrapping gifts! 
After seeing that last picture, you've gotten a glimpse at the organized chaos of our main floor office! Behind Jeanne are pics of her grandchildren, behind Jo, notes to herself about what needs to be done!
Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of our day so far! Don't kid yourself, our girls work incredibly hard throughout the year, and we like to give them days like this (and the 24th off!) to let them know how much we appreciate them working for us, because frankly, the pay sucks! We can't pay these two girls, or the rest of our staff, what they are truly worth to us!
From our families to yours, have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Staff Christmas party!

Each year at The Quilt Patch we have a staff Christmas party, and we alternate every year. One year we invite the spouses / dates, and the alternate year we have just 'the girls'! This year was a husband year!
Jeanne and I hosted the event at Jeanne's house.
We started with food cooked by Jeanne and I (ok, well, mostly by Costco and Jeanne's oven!)

There was a ton of food! And it was all very yummy! The picture of the table was taken before all the food was actually on the table!!
There was lots of visiting! And even though we see each other at work, it's always fun to visit in a social setting! We even had a party crasher! The lovely Nikki, who left us for a 'real' job, brought chocolates and bribed her way in!

Nikki the party crasher!

Everyone had a great time visiting and mingling!

Jeanne and I planned to wear the same skirt that night to give our staff a good laugh! And to single us out as the hostesses! One of us looked voluptuous and the other like a telephone pole!
The leopard print skirts!
We even managed to get a great staff photo, which we made the party crasher take!

from left to right, Janice, Colleen, Yvonne, Jo, Jeanne, Shelley
Flo and Jeri.
Missing - Charlene!
After we all gorged ourselves on the amazing food, we had cheesecake!  We issued a "Cheesecake Challenge" to our staff! They all had to bring a cheesecake to the staff party that was to be judged by everyone! Some of the girls took this very seriously, others, not so much! 2 of the cheesecakes were bought, 2 made by the actual staff, 1 by someone's Mother, and 1 by someone's husband!!
As for the boughten cakes, one tried to disguise hers by fancying it up on her own tray! The other just whipped off the plastic lid!

This was the winning cheesecake!
The cheesecake judging was simple, presentation, taste and apparent effort! Most people took the judging VERY seriously, sampling every cake sometimes more than once!
Flo took the trophy, yes, we had a trophy....nothing but the best for the staff at The Quilt Patch!
She did tell us the secret ingredient......lots of booze!

Jeanne and I like to make sure each of our staff and their guests leaves the party with a gift, so we spend a great amount of time choosing just the right gifts to wrap and have fun with! We do a gift exchange that consists of stealing other peoples opened gifts! Its always fun to enjoy this game with a large group!
Some of the gifts included, a gift basket with nachos, chips, salsa and napkins. Coffee mugs and hot chocolate, a case of beer, a bottle of wine, a book on the history of Rock and Roll, portable coolers, popcorn bowls filled with popcorn and napkins, and much more! The gift Jeanne and I were really waiting to see opened was the framed picture of us! The picture that is in the back of our Urban Country Quilts book! It was quite funny, cause really, who wants a framed picture of their bosses in their home?? Well in the end Flo ended up with it, and after all the stealing was done and our guests were admiring everyones gifts, we revealed that the framed picture was in fact a most fabulous gift with a gift card to Boston Pizza taped to the back of the frame! It certainly was Flo's night!
Flo's winnings!
It was a very fun night, and every year we wonder how we'll top the previous year! If any of you heard about last years staff Christmas party....whew! The girls are still talking about it! And the year we sent our staff and their husbands on a scavenger! One of our most fun events was the year we gave each of our staff money in an envelope, drove them to the mall (after a few glasses of wine of course!) took away their purses, and set them loose to buy something for themselves! There were prizes for the first one back, the biggest bang for their buck, and more! Jeanne and I are nothing if not creative!
However if any of you happen to have any great ideas for next year.....let us know!!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Tattooed Quilters?

Ok, so not your typical quilt shop blog post, but I did say this was the behind the scenes stuff!!
Tattoos and quilters, it does seem an unlikely combination doesn't it? Well, times are turning, and I think you either like tattoos, or you don't. Here at The Quilt Patch you may or may not know that many of our staff have tattoos! Does that surprise you?
If you've come in to the store on a warm day, you have seen one or more of these tattoos displayed! Yvonne sports 6 tattoos now! Some represent her family, while others are simply because she liked them! Her most recent is an Asian symbol for sisters! Her and her two sisters now have matching tattoos in the same spots on their legs!

This tattoo represents Yvonne's children

Yvonne and her husband got
matching tattoos for their
35th wedding anniversary!

Yvonne and her sisters
have matching 'sister' tattoos

Our newest staff member, Jeri looks the sweetest most innocent little thing! Don't let her fool you! She's smart as a whip, knows her quilting like a pro, sports 2 tattoos and is just 19 years old!
Meet Jeri!

Sneaky kinda hidden tattoo!

Jeri's leg!

I can't possibly leave out our princess Nikki! Although she recently left us for a 'real' job, she stops in for visits, continues to participate in our staff functions and will no doubt crash the staff Christmas party!

Nikki has four tattoos, buttons on her wrist 
to signify her and her two sisters, each of her sisters has the same tattoos!
She has a star on her other arm, a beautiful purple pirate ship on her leg and flowers on her back!

Nikki's back

As for Jeanne, no tattoos, but most of her children have tattoos. She's not opposed, just not for her.
Flo - no tattoos although both her daughters do!
Jo - not yet.......we think if she can overcome her pain threshold she'll do it! Her children all have them!

As for me, I have 2 tattoos.
This tattoo has my children's names
and cherries blossom flowers that match one of my daughters tattoos

Does it surprise you that I have this large tattoo?
I am a rebel at heart!

My daughter and I enjoyed that bee so much we recently went back to get matching bee tattoos! I had mine added to my back, and my daughter sports hers on her forearm!
Mom and daughter matching bee tattoos!

Now my daughter Sarah isn't a 'regular' quilt all the time kinda girl, but she does enjoy making baby quilts for friends, and the most recent quilt she's whipping up has a pink background with old school tattoo appliques on top! Her and tattooed friend are making it together for a pregnant tattooed friend.
When it's complete I'll post the pic!
Just one of Sarah's many tattoos

So while it may not be for everyone, we certainly aren't your typical 'Quilting Grannies'!!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas at The Quilt Patch

Today is our annual Christmas Open House! It's the day we hand out our 2012 coupon books! To get ready, Jeanne has been very busy decorating, hanging quilts and generally making everything festive! 

Hot cider and goodies!

Looking very festive!

Through out the shop we have beautiful wintery displays, all the projects just ready for you to take home!

Our Tis the Season display

I will be completely truthful and upfront here....I have absolutely nothing to do with these beautiful displays!! Jeanne really does all this work, making our store as beautiful as it is!

Lots of great holiday ideas! 

There is no shortage here of great holiday quilt ideas! 

Stocking stuffer ideas and Block of the Month programs!

Now these pics are NOTHING, wait until you see the pics of our staff Christmas party!!