It’s in the Bag

several apples beside bread pack and brown paper bag

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Dutchess and Ulster counties are separated by the Husdon River.   Kingston is in Ulster, but may residents of Dutchess, particularly from Red Hook and Rhinebeck cross the river and shop in Kingston.    Just this Monday Ulster County began a new set of regulations that ban single use plastic bags,  and if you want a paper one you need to pay for it.   This is probably a great step for the environment,  but at least for a while there will be lots of people forgetting their bags and buying paper ones.    To help with this situation,  I would like to suggest that you take our Five Fab Fats tote bag workshop.   This is a large, easy to make, endlessly customizable tote bag that works great as a market bag.   I know that if you are reading this you have a few extra fat quarters lying around,  and if not we have a variety available for you to choose from.

I love this project so much that I have decided to offer a discount on the registration fee if you schedule your class to run any time between now and Labor Day.    Class is usually $40.00 per person,  but for the duration of this special it is only $30.00    That savings can almost buy you enough fabric for an extra tote!!   Make one for yourself and one for a friend,  or even better, take the workshop with a friend for even more fun!!   There isn’t a person out there who couldn’t use a nice tote bag,  and the more you have the more likely it is that you have one or more in the car when you need them.     Call to schedule (845) 758-8541  IMG_2581

We also have a relaxation process that everyone could use,  Chair Yoga!!  Jake doesn’t quite have it down pat yet, but he IS in a chair.  For us people, our first session was wonderful and we are now doing it monthly.    Tomorrow is the day,  one in the afternoon,  in our air conditioning!!   Please join us,  your muscles and joints will thank you,  and I promise that you will feel good for the whole rest of the day, and maybe the week.    I might even bring my guitar for a little live music post exercise.    

Stay cool and keep stitching!!

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Know the source

I have been thinking about the internet lately.    It can be an endlessly numbing series of political rants and cute animal videos,  or it can be a wonderful source of real information on any subject you want to know about.    I have found hundreds of wonderful pieces of sheet music for free or low cost.    I have found the DIY for the tropical vivarium I am setting up to house some rainforest frogs,   and I have found several excellent quilt related sites that I want to be sure you all know about.      The first is the home of Quilt National,  for the last 40 years the best of the best in the art side of quilting.   Their website is     They also post regularly to their Facebook page,  including recently several artist interviews with exhibitors in this years Quilt National.      Time well spent to view.

Another site that I highly recommend for your viewing pleasure,  and one of the best resources for the history of quiltmaking is the International Quilt Museum.   They are the public face of the largest quilt collection in the States.   For the last week or so they have been sharing photos and a couple of videos of crazy quilts, and their predecessors.    They also maintain an index that is searchable by category of the collection,  for browsing and scholarly research.     or International Quilt Museum/Facebook.     While I am thinking of Crazy Quilts,  the meeting is this Tuesday, the new time for our club. Rocky Road

My thinking when it comes to using the internet for information is that going to primary sources is key.   And when You tube confuses you come see me.   I can help you sort out all the useless stuff and get that project going.    I am also happy to share that Chair Yoga for stitchers (and anyone stiff from too much web surfing ) will meet again on Saturday at one.   Please let me know you are attending.   Bring your friends too,   nothing beats in person contact.

Oh and my daughter did use the internet for her first blueberry pie.   It was delicious. IMG_2497

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With the day off yesterday I nearly forgot to post his morning.    Hope everyone is keeping cool.    So lately I have been thinking about independence,  and what it means in different contexts.   For some it may mean not being in a relationship,  for some it means no longer living with Mom and Dad,  for some it is political,  and for me it means being my own boss.     Many of us in a creative field feel this way,  and it is more important than ever than we independently owned businesses help each other out,  and that you the consumer helps by supporting us.    Yes I love when you come in and shop,  but take a class,  tell your friend (in person or on social media) that you like us,   and let us know when you like what we are doing.       It means a great deal and can actually make the difference between prospering and failing for some.

blur bokeh bright burnt

Photo by john paul tyrone fernandez on

With this in mind I am updating my lists of related services available locally.     If you provide a quilt and sewing related service as your business and would like to be included in my references please contact me and share business cards, website and phone numbers, plus anything else that would help me direct the right customer to the right service provider.    Seamstress,  Home decorating specialist, longarm services,  mending clothing,   and even if you are willing to make or help with T shirt Quilts.        These are all things I get asked about regularly.    I want to develop a good sized list of independent workers so that we all can support each other and thrive.      Even if you think I already have your info,  now is a good time to update and be sure that what I have is current.   If I get a good list together I may even post it on this website.    sewingworks150

Next week is a busy one,   Tuesday is a Club day,  with handstitchers and stumpwork.    Then Work in Progress Wednesday is called off for this week because it is Art Camp week,  Wednesday begins the Art Doll Class,  and it will run the rest of the week.   There is plenty of room yet,  and Wednesday will begin with the making of the dolls head,   It informs so much of the rest of the character that it is the best starting point.    Bring your colored pencils or other media and lets have some fun !!    Details are on the Summer showcase page.   It’s not too late to sign up.

Oh and yes the Block of the month meets tomorrow morning.     See you then!!

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Independence Day

Just so you know, we will be closed on July 4.   Let’s hope for a nice day, not too hot, a little breeze,  but no rain.     We will be open normal hours the rest of the week,  so the Alaska BOM will meet on Saturday the 6th.     It is my sincere hope that by the time we meet I will have the whole quilt top together so you can see it.     It is going well now that last week’s little issue is taken care of.

There is still room in the Art Doll course.   These lovely ladies can be any personality you can come up with.   A customer came in this week and showed me some dolls she had made for the Clairmont estate,  based on some of the women who lived their lives there.  They were fantastic,  and having a once living person as inspiration for hair, makeup, clothing and accessories helps make some of the design choices easier.    If you are into genealogy how about making her into one of your own ancestors?    If you would like to do this gather your info before class,  we will start with the head so if you have photos we might catch a resemblance. This idea is intriguing to me.    The photos below are from Creative Cloth Doll Making by Patti Culea.   Both of these dolls were made by the author and I hope that they fill you with creative ideas for your own version.   I have several of her out of print books in my collection at the shoppe if you want to browse.


Chair Yoga was a hit.   We decided to make it a monthly event,   so our next session is July 20, 1 pm, $10.00.    Special thanks to Susan our instructor who even brought a CD of songs about quilts to share with us.      I found it on YouTube by searching “Scraps of Quilting Music”  the artist is Lil Rev.   It was the top item so it should be easy to find if you want to check it out.

Also coming up is handstitchers club on the 9th, and Crazy Quilt Club on the 16th.   This will be the first meeting on the new schedule.      If you need more information on either club check the Club News page.    Have a creative day!!


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cutting corners

At Work in Progress Wednesday we were talking about the first time a quilter goes to a retreat.   One of the most helpful things that happens is that all of sudden they see that everyone makes mistakes.   The un-sewing process is simply part of the deal.    The stunning prize winning quilt that makes you gasp is the result of many instances of  mistakes made, fixed and learned from.    And yes we all know that intellectually, but actually hearing that amazing quilter cursing under her breath as she takes out stitches has much more impact.     Mistakes are only a problem if you let them be.

Now having said all that and admitting that I make plenty of mistakes the conversation moved on.    That is until I made a mistake.   You see, I had been working on the very last block sample for the Alaska BOM.   I was excited to be finishing it and it was going well.   I had chain pieced four units and instead of taking the few minutes it would have taken to find my seam ripper to separate them,  I simply grabbed the shears that were at hand.   I cut them apart and as I was moving to the ironing board I noticed this little piece of fabric on the table.   As it registered what fabric it was my heart sank.   Didn’t take long for me to be muttering under my breath as I had to  find that seam ripIMG_2465per after all and take out a couple seams to replace the damaged bit.   Happily I didn’t have to go too far back,  and yes I had an extra piece that I had cut so that was good.   Of course the cut happened on a piece that had all the points just where they should be too.     

So the moral of this story is:

Don’t cut corners

or you will cut youRxR2019ChocolateHugsandKissesPhoto corners!!!


The Row by Row program starts today.

You have to come in and simply ask and I will give you a copy of the pattern for Chocolate Kisses and Hugs.   It is easy and fun and even if you are not doing the Row by Row, it is a fun to sew project.     Of course you can always purchase the kit,  It is precut for you and sells for $20.00 for the 18 inch project.   It would make a nice little wall hanging,   tote bag, or table topper.     And since it is chocolate themed, we have a lovely Valentine’s fabric that is available and fun for the back.

Also,  tomorrow is chair yoga, at one pm.   We are hoping this rain lets up so we can take in some fresh air while we work out all the muscular kink from doing our projects.     We love our art, but it is all too easy to sit for too long and then be stiff from it.   Susan and I are so happy to be able to bring you this event so you have some remedies at hand.   It is relaxing, gentle and does not take any athletic ability.     For attending our first ever (but hopefully not the last) chair yoga event I have a pattern for a yoga mat carrier bag that I will give to everyone who joins us.

Lastly,  there has been a change in our Crazy Quilt Club Schedule.    The group is tired of working around holidays and other weekend events.   The meetings will now be on the third TUESDAY of each month.    Meetings will run from 1-4 and still be $18.00    If you will be attending the next meeting on July 16 and are new let us know you are coming.

Looking forward to seeing all of you soon.    Happy Summer!!

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Do you need some Chocolate??

There are times in life where a well timed bit of chocolate is just the pick me up you need.    Unfortunately many of us should not be eating chocolate.    I have a quilt related solution.    This summer the theme for the Row by Row is Taste the Experience.    I chose to design a piece that uses the Hugs and Kisses block, in mostly browns so that we have a design I am calling Chocolate Kisses and Hugs.     This wont raise your sugar levels,  rot your teeth, or ruin your diet,   but just like the silver wrapped treats,  I’ll bet you get RxR2019ChocolateHugsandKissesPhotohooked.   This technique is quick and easy,  and the kits are even cut for you.    All you need to do is sit down and sew.     The basic unit is so versatile too,   I have used it for so many projects over the years I am thinking that I may have to add a new skill builder workshop using it.

The Row by Row program begins on June 21,  that’s next Friday,  the day before the Chair Yoga workshop.      If you have not participated in Row by Row before,  it is kind of like a shop hop, but different, and yes there are prizes at stake.    During the time frame of the program you need to visit real quilt shops in person.   All you have to do when there is ask for the pattern and they will give you a copy of the design from that shop.   Many shops have kits available also.  You need to visit eight shops,  and then use the patterns all together in a quilt.  All participating shops have designed to the Taste the Experience theme.   If you are the first person to bring a finished (yes quilted and bound) to a participating shop you win 25 fat quarters and anything else the shop wants to add to the prize.    To help you find shops there are state by state Facebook pages,  and a directory on the Row by Row website.      At the very least you should get the pattern for Chocolate Kisses and Hugs from us.    Over the summer I will be unveiling samples on this blog of other ways to use these units so please do subscribe by putting your email in the space on the right hand column.   You will be notified in your email when I update.

So next weekend will be an eventful onIMG_2439e,  Please let us know you are coming to Chair Yoga.   You can see how happy Susan, our instructor is with her new Mat carrier bag.  She printed some of the fabrics for it with a hand carved stamp and we adapted the pattern to show them off.   When you come to our first ever session I will give you the pattern for free,  and since it also Row by Row Season you can also pick up that pattern and do several things that will make you feel good all at once.    Whats more,  these options are actually good for you!!  Please be sure to let us know you are coming to chair yoga, we may need to remove tables if the group is Large.    

Tomorrow is Crazy Quilt Club,  see you all very soon.



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Hello Dolly!

This summer the showcase is on dolls.   Art Camp will be a favorite soft doll construction based on the work of Patty Culea.    Her books are now out of print,   so you are not required to have them,  I will provide the pattern for a sitting doll, with a drawn/painted face.     When her character starts to emerge all sorts of fun can be had dressing and accessorizing her.     She is made from cloth and stuffing, and mostly sewn by machine.    Her clothing, shoes, hair accessories,   optional wings,   are all up to you.   Her wardrobe can be complex or simple,  even painted on works for leotards and bodices.   It all depends on who your Dolly wants to be.    IMG_2438

These three were made with the pattern we will be using.    Art Camp will be on July 10-13,   four days,   10:30- 4:30 with a lunch break.    That is four full days to let your inner child come out and play, for $125.      This is a project I am compelled to do every few years and the time is now.    Register Now so you can start collecting her accouterments!!!

Tomorrow is the June Meeting for Alaska BOM,    Tuesday is hand stitchers,   Thursday is Wee Felt Folk,  and next Saturday is Crazy Quilt Club,  so mark your calendars and come in for some  fun!!


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