More EPP

Due to events beyond my control the EPP workshop had to be moved,  it is now on the books for this coming Thursday,  September 20.   Pick up a bag of scraps or a charm pack IMG_0625or other pre cut and some laser cut shapes, and you are set for a great relaxing project.    We have several examples in the shoppe,  from vintage ones to modern,  in all states of finish and preservation so you can learn from them all about this fascinating technique.   It is most commonly used for Hexagons,  but there are many other shapes that work well with this technique.    The International Quilt Study Center has a wonderful Mosaic Quilt with 60 degree diamonds as their Quilt of the Month for September.  Here is the link to the site, with information about it.   While you visit, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so you can see the quilt of the month every month.

There are a few things I want to remind you of coming up.  Tomorrow is Crazy Quilt Club.    It is also Hardscrabble Day here in Red Hook.   Particularly if the weather is nice you may want to come around the long way and avoid the traffic in the center of town,  — unless you want to partake of the festivities!!    Food trucks,  music all day,  stuff for the kids,  even a parade at 4:30.   It is a fun time.


Vintage Thousand Pyramids Quilt top

The next few weekends are busy,     the store will be closed on Sept 21 & 22 so I can go to family weekend and see how my girl is doing at college.   She made the Equestrian team and they will have their first event that weekend.   I am so excited.      You should also mark YOUR calendars for Quilts in the Valley,  the Wiltwyck Quilt Guild Show.    Saturday and Sunday, the 6 & 7th of October.   We will be vending there, and the shoppe will be closed Friday – Sunday that weekend so we can be there.   For more information on the show go to

By the way, the car troubles turned out to be minor and simply more of a bother than an expense.   Thank you to all who asked.    Be Happy, Be Craetive and I’ll see you soon.



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It has been tricky to get to sit down and write today’s post.   My car is having issues and depending on someone else for a ride means my normally scheduled tasks need to be…  flexible.     I am so glad that my major task for today involves handwork.   I need some hand stitching time.   It is amazing how much it can help things in my mind settle down.


Vintage Hexies, ready to be worked on!! 

Thankfully, next week is going to be full of lovely hand stitching time,  Tuesday is Handstitchers Club.  We will begin part four of our stitch sampler,  this time with fillers for large spaces.    You will probably want a slightly larger hoop for these as it is easier to get an even fill if the whole area you want filled is in the hoop at once.     We also have our Stumpwork Club in the afternoon.   We are nearing the finish on the Foxgloves.

Wednesday is a Work in Progress Wednesday.  Another chance for some hand work,  and Thursday is our workshop on EPP.   What is that?  It’s the abreviation for English Paper Pieceing – Most often seen as Grandmother’s Flower Garden.   It is one of the most portable of projects,  it can use up tons of lovely scraps, or be coordinated into larger diamonds and star patterns,   super fun. —- Did I say addictive?      The pre cut papers come in several sizes,  and we also have some other shapes that work well,  squares, triangles, and diamonds for tumbling blocks.      Call and let me know you are attending,  workshop at 10:30 on this Thursday, for about 3 hours,  $30.00. Bring hand stitching supplies.

And Saturday will be busy too,  with Crazy Quilt Club.   If you are planning on attending be advised that it is also Hardscrabble Day in town,  so you may want to plan some time to take that in,  or skirt around the center of town while driving in so you miss the traffic.       No matter how or when you visit next week be assured that there will be a fun project waiting for you to dig your hands into.




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Fall Showcase

I am thrilled to announce that the Fall Showcase is now up and running.    One Patch Quilts.   It sounds simple,  all the patches ( except occasionally a border ) are the same shape and size.   Sure squares.  ok.   How about really tiny ones?? a Postage stamp size?  what about rectangles?  They work too, in some really nice ways,  we have a lovely vintage one in the shoppe that you could come see.   Triangles??  Now we are really talking,  several kinds of triangles work.   Tumblers,  Diamonds,  even a five sided house shape.   Then there are kites ( see the Rose Star project if you can’t visualize ) and of course the Mother of all One Patch,   the Hexagon.


Vintage Hexagons I repaired

There are so many techniques to play with depending on the shape.   Hexagons are great for English Paper Piecing by hand,  Our postage Stamp Strippy quilt uses a special fusible interfacing to keep all the squares organized and increase your accuracy,   Take a Walk with me runner uses strip piecing.    Some shapes can be hand cut with a template, some can be rotary cut,  and all one patch quilts give you lots of ways to play with color and fabrics. I even have coloring sheets for some of them so you can play with your colored pencils too.   Back around the millennium,  Charm quilts had a brief resurgence.  They are one patch quilts where every patch was a different fabric.    The idea was to have 1000, or 2000 – for the millenium.     Soldiers pre 1900 were known to make elaborate hexagon quilts with large overall patterns that resembled mosaic tile.    The ones that survive are amazing – often with very small hexagons,  1/2 inch or so on a side.    In some cases these quilts were even described including a count of the number of pieces in it,  the goal being to have as many as possible to show off your skills.    Most of us don’t have that particular ambition nowadays.


Four Square Quilt.  in progress.  This was her very first quilt. 


Please check the Fall Showcase page for dates, and supply lists.    Come visit us in person to see the samples up close and view our collection of one patch vintage quilts.   I can guarantee that there is something on this schedule you want to make,  so please register today.

Our Block of the Month will indeed meet tomorrow even though it is a holiday weekend.  If you have work in the exhibit at the Fairgrounds,  it is back here at the Shoppe and you can come in and pick it up.    Thank you again for a wonderful exhibit.









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Going to the Fair

It’s TIME!!!  It’s time!!!   The Dutchess County Fair is almost here.    The  Shoppe will be closed Saturday the 18th,  and also Thursday – Saturday  the 23rd- 25th.    But we will be represented at the fair,  in the craft building.    Setup is this weekend and the fair runs Tuesday – Sunday.   When you go be sure to visit us.

I have had a great time with all of you collecting up projects to display.   Reminiscing about projects that were significant to you and remembering fabrics that we loved.  It does my heart good to know that I have had a positive effect for so many of you.     You all are the reason I am still here.    As I have watched the quilt industry change over the last decade or so I know that the most critical thing I can offer to you is ME,   My enthusiasm,  knowledge,  empathy,  and expertise.   My creativity and encouragement is here for you.     Reading this back I hope that you don’t read this as an ego thing,  that couldn’t be farther from my intention.     When I see your work with ribbons,  or the posts about how everyone cried when you presented the new baby with its quilt,  my heart just bursts.      When I know that because of my work a new generation will use and love that quilt that great Aunt Emma made I feel like I have made a difference in the world.      In the end, isn’t that the goal?vintage hexagons

I’m honestly not sure there will be a blog post for next week,  but rest assured that by Labor Day I will have the Fall Schedule ready.    I will tell you now that the showcase will be One Patch Quilts.   These are the quilts where all the pieces are the same shape,  Diamonds, Triangles,  Rectangles,  of course Hexagons,  Squares and even a wonderful Kite Shape.    We have machine pieced,  English Paper pieced,  quick technique hacks,   beginner quilts,  advanced quilts,   and even a scrap exchange  planned.     It’s going to be a great fall.

If you are new to this blog please subscribe by entering your email in the box on the right side of this page.   I generally publish  one post a week, on Friday morning and by subscribing you will receive a notification in your inbox.      You can also read the blog  on our Facebook page,  so be sure to like and follow there too.   That is where I will post some photos of our display from the Fair too.    Of course you get the best experience of them by seeing them in person, but I will try to get a few good shots.    So enjoy the rest of the summer and I’ll see you at the Fair!!



Close up of a vintage Hexagon that I Restored. 

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One stitch at a time

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there beforesmall orchestra RXR2018.”  – Neil Gaiman.

I came across this quote this week and it hit home.   It seems that everyone I know has a major transition going on in life right now.   Weddings, births, divorce, and of course the big one for me personally,  Liz leaving for college.   Some are good, some not so,  but always changes are disruptive.    There is also plenty of dissent and negativity in the larger world too.    Times like this I want to retreat to simple activities that soothe the emotions and allow for some calm amid the storm.    This is probably the time I most love doing hand work.   Hand quilting,  hand piecing,  simple embroidery stitches in abundance and done in a comfy chair with some good music playing is restorative.    Each stitch is something that was not there before,  and I am in control of it.  Each stitch builds on the last,  the work in my hands gets more and more beautiful,  more personal,  more meaningful with each pull of the needle.    The world gets a little brighter.    I know that it will all be fine.

Tomorrow is Crazy Quilt Club,  yes it’s a date change,  but the shoppe will be closed on Saturday the 18th for a wedding,   and then again closed on the 24 and 25th to take Liz to School.    Yikes,  where’s my stitching??

Tuesday the 14th is hand stitchers and Stumpwork clubs.

Lastly, if you are loaning work to me for the fair exhibit please get it to me asap.   Thanks again!!


Can I help???

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Good Work.

We have spent some time lately looking at design.  This is simply an outward way of organizing.     Today I want to spend a few minutes on something less tangible.    I am talking about the reasons that we want to quilt in the first place.    Why do we do it?  Once again I was asked to explain why we bother to cut up lots of perfectly good fabric and sew it back together again.     Today you can walk into a big sewingworks150box store and buy a perfectly good ( and sometimes really pretty ) bed cover and blanket for very little money.     So there must be another set of reasons that quilting is a multi million dollar industry in America.    I bet that you are not shocked that I have a few ideas.

First and perhaps the easiest answer is that creativity is fun,  fabric is pretty,  and good fabric feels good in your hands.     Second,  once basic skills are mastered it can be very relaxing to do.   Third, there is a great satisfaction at finishing a project and seeing someone you love enjoy it.    This is probably the reason many of us got started,   so and so is having a baby, let me make a quilt.     This touches on one of the big picture reasons that I am so involved, and I suspect so many of you are too.  IMG_6502

Making a quilt,  or teaching people to quilt,  to me is simply making the world better.   Often when I gift a quilt, to someone I know, or charity,  I write on the back,  ” A quilt is a Hug whenever you need one”    Despite my deep love for the art quilt,  the connection to this kind and compassionate concept may be the biggest reason that I still make functional items too.    The inspirations I try to pass to my students comes in part from the value I place on creativity for the individual maker,  but also for the desire to spread a positive and supportive energy in the world.    It is up to us people,  Lets make the world a better place,  one project at a time.

Tomorrow is the Block of the Month meeting,  and next Friday is the Quilt Label workshop.   Just in time for you to get a label on that project for the Dutchess County Fair.      While I am thinking of it,  the nice ladies there have let me know they are looking for volunteers to be in the booth with the exhibit of my and your work.     A four-hour shift comes with free admission to the fair so let me know if you are interested and I will send them your info.      Keep up the good work.

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Looking it over

I want to extend a great big thank you to everyone who will be contributing to the exhibit at the fair this year.     I am busy writing copy and checking details so I can give the paperwork over to be laminated before I finish out this week.   I  will send a group email out to everyone participating by the end of today, for you to check over and be sure I have spelled everything correctly ( grin ).   Please respond with an ok or with whatever needs to be changed.


This one wont be finished in time.

This has been a summer for looking back. Reminiscing over our past projects has been great fun,  and has me wondering if one or two projects might be fun to do again,   Cloth Doll anyone?     It has also been instructive for me personally to look at my own work.   In my art school and teaching days I would do it regularly as a matter of course, but it has been many years since I have done such a review for myself.     When I was first approached with this exhibition opportunity I secretly wondered if I had enough work that was not shoppe samples that counted in my own head as “my artwork”.   Then I began to gather up pieces.     There was more than I thought.    What is more is that it all managed to look like the work of the same person,  where the shoppe sample projects are much more eclectic.      Looking at it all together I was able to see clearly the ideas and themes that have informed my creativity.    Using the design principles and going through a checklist like I shared last week,  I was able to write up a clear, consistent,  and concrete statement about my work and what it is really about.


This one might be done in time.  Love these colors.

Now most of you will never need to write a formal statement,   but a good description of your work to verbalize to friends and family gives  greater importance to what you are doing.    Don’t ever let anyone put it down as just a  hobby.   If you enjoy it it is important, and speaking about it in educated terms underscores that.  It also helps you to understand the things that you like and don’t like so that you can continue to create work that you still love when you are done with it.       Even for those of you who like kits and precuts,   you are still choosing patterns and designs that make you excited.   Everyone has design preferences,  and knowing consciously what yours are you will waste less time and money purchasing things you wont ever use.     And yes even though I own a quilt shop,  I want you to use the things you buy.    A huge stash of things you wont use is not doing anyone any good.

So look back at the things you have done,  the projects you love, and the ones you didn’t,  and learn from them more than just techniques.   You never know what you might discover about your own work.     And be sure that if you visit the fair ( or when you are there checking out your own entries!! ) to stop by the quilt booth in the craft building and Check out the exhibit.

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