Sew Musical

I am excited to announce that this years Row by Row theme is Sew Musical.   As a player of classical guitar the imagery for our contribution was an obvious choice.    Besides it being an amazing sounding instrument, the way that the curves of its shape contrast with the grid formed by the frets and the strings has intrigued me from a visual perspective.      The great Andres Segovia gave this piece its title,  he said,  “The Guitar is a small orchestra, it is polyphonic.  Every string is a different color, a different voice.”  small orchestra RXR2018

We chose the new format of 18 inches square because of its visual impact and the ability of a piece this size and shape to stand alone.   Small Orchestra  works as a wall hanging or pillow top as well as a block in a larger Row by Row Quilt.     We used machine applique and hand embroidery for the strings, but you can easily fuse the applique and put the strings in with the quilting instead.

In addition,   since I do play, I will be keeping a guitar at the shoppe for the duration of the Row by Row program and will play for anyone who buys a kit.   I am not quite as good as Segovia was,  but I do play with the Mid Hudson Classical Guitar Society, and am happy to make some beautiful sounds for you.

This weekend is Memorial Day,  and since we are usually closed on Mondays anyway, we will have regular hours over the weekend.   In fact, I usually park in front of the store for the parade Monday Morning.   If you see me and need something just ask.    Here’s hoping for good weather — and some good music.



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The Big Event

It is easy to be distracted by life.   The little things of everyday,  but the planning and work that goes into the big events too can totally prevent us from spending time for ourselves and our hobbies.     Things like babies being born,  graduations and proms, weddings, even moving houses,  can completely remove us from things we are CAP-AND-GOWN_PHOTO_-LOS-FELIZ_JUNE-2015_PHOTO-CREDIT-GETTY-IMAGES-copy-2passionate about.      Even though these things are positive and exciting, they are transitions that can be filled with stresses too.    I think that is why they are often celebrated and commemorated with quilts.    How many of you made your first quilt for a baby?     Tonight is my last Spring Concert for the school band.   They do a thing in this piece where one by one all the Seniors put down their instruments and walk off  the stage.    I have cried through this number every year and now that my daughter is one of the Graduating class I am almost in tears thinking about it now.   Yikes.   But she is getting a new quilt for going away to college next year – of course.    Tomorrow is the Royal Wedding,  and our Crazy Quilt club will have tea at the monthly meeting, how many of us have made a r special quilt as a wedding gift?       If you made one and want to share we would love to see pictures.

wedding preparation

So life’s big events are quilted.    Why?  because the making is therapeutic and guarantees that we take a few minutes to think.   The end result is a long-lasting reminder of the Happiness and love that led to the big event,  and when the stresses of life get to us they are a hug from a friend that you can take with you no matter where you go in life.   Not to mention they are beautiful.

No matter what your skill level there is a quilt project you can complete to celebrate the big event.    We are here to help – with new fabrics arriving shortly, and projects patterns or workshops for every occasion and skill level.     We are here to help make your big event extra special.   Congratulations!!




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Don’t just text Mom!!

It’s a busy weekend around here.  tomorrow is Apple Blossom Day,   a town festival and all around fun day.    If you visit for the festivities be sure to stop by.   Then Sunday is Mother’s Day.    Please remember that we have gift certificates.   If Mom is a quilter,  or would like to be.    Wouldn’t it be fun for you and Mom ( or Auntie or Gramma ) to take a workshop together?     Our skillbuilders workshops are great projects centered on a specific skill, and our new summer schedule is up and full of great ways to show Mom how much you care.

This past weekend I was happy to attend the Northern Star Quilt Guild Show in Danbury CT.     It has been a while since I was able to attend a show as just another quilter and I felt like I was on vacation.    The artwork of Van Gogh has always inspired me, and the amazing quilts from this exhibit prove that others feel the same way.     I was excited by the number of quilts in the Junior category because that means that kids are getting actively involved.     It was fun to see Victoria Findlay Wolf again, and get a better look at some of her quilts.   The pictorial quilts of Kate Themel were there also and offered a no less stunning but totally different way of thinking about art quilts.



With the current semester schedule themed on Text-iles,  I was delighted one of the challenges that the guild had sponsored,   called wordplay.    The participants were to choose a word and make a small quilt about it every month for 12 months.    Two people accepted and the results were wonderful.    These were by Joyce Sullivan,  and her word was apple.   Since it is Apple Blossom time here these seemed like the ones to show you.

I was also quite happy to see that Carol Weber, current president of First Dutchess Quilt Guild had received so many accolades for her leaves quilt.    Very well deserved.   Congrats Carol!!



Over the next few weeks I will continue to share about the show.    There were so many quilts that had text or letters on them,  and I tried to get photos of them all.    In the meantime,  here is the sampler letter,  L,  the block finishes to 18 inches with this IMG_7116alphabet.   The workshop is on May 24, and you can use any letter or number and any one of several alphabet charts.    This will probably get finished into a pillow.   I may have to make two more and spell out Liz for my daughters dorm.    She wont survive without a few extra pillows.    The things we do for our kids.

Call,  email, or stop by  to register for our workshops.    Have a great weekend.


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It has taken a bit this morning to get the usual post up,  I had some camera issues so not all the photos are up for the summer showcase,  but descriptions,  schedules and supply lists are ready and waiting for you under the tab.    With the temperatures where they have been the last few days talking about the summer projects is a good fit.     You might think that a theme like Text-iles would be limited,  but the more I play and developed workshops for you the more variety I found.  From patchwork inspired by vintage sampler alphabets,  to contemporary mandalas that look like some of the ones found in the Grownup coloring books that are everywhere you turn.   And of course it wouldn’t be summer without a surface design project,  this one uses a simple version of block printing.    You wouldn’t believe how simple it is to make and carve the mirror image letters needed to make a legible print.     And of course lettering on quilts is most commonly found on labels so we have a workshop on that just in time for you to label your entry for the County Fair.


Jake can’t wait to nap in Air conditioning all summer

I just know it is going to be a great summer!!!     I may even have one more exciting thing to add,  just hunting down some supplies for it.   Stay tuned.     In the meantime,   tomorrow the Block of the Month will meet,  and Tuesday is Handstitchers Club.    We are working on our embroidery stitch sampler,  this time we will experiment with some wide linear stitches.     See the Club News page for more details and feel free to join us!!!

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Sometimes a single word can carry meaning far greater than its few letters indicate.   Flow is one of those words.    Water flows,  air flows, blood flows,  energy flows.   Peak performers, athletes and creatives all talk about being in a nearly mystical state of flow where everything just works smoothly.    With this being a

IMG_7108year of great transitions in my house it seemed the right word for me to choose as my word of the year.    The reminder to breathe and go with the Flow has helped as we help my daughter choose and prepare to go away to college.

So while I was considering what short word to carve on my block for the summer printing on fabric workshop Flow seemed the right choice.     Simple block printing like this is a wonderful way to create something special for a small project.    Doesn’t it look like a modern batik??   My original intention was to create a table runner using only the printed fabric squares, IMG_7110

but I found some fabrics that I just had to put together with it and create a larger piece that will actually work well on a wall, or to cover my round kitchen table.   I designed a simple asymmetrical block to alternate with my printed fabrics and when you take the class I will share that pattern with you.     In the spirit of the word,  when the strips I had cut yielded only 12 of the alternate I chose to piece together the leftovers and one of the test pieces of printed fabric for the very center.    I am now deciding on how I want to quilt it.   Something watery and wave-like might just do the trick.      The class will be two sessions,  one to make the plate and print your fabrics,  and one to construct your top.    I will have the details of supply lists up soon.  I am still working on scheduling for the summer so if you are interested let me know what days and times are good for you.

Tomorrow is world Tai Chi day,   so it is a great day to stop, breathe deeply, and allow yourself to feel the flow of energy.      It will help you truly engage in your daily activities and maybe reach that flow state where everything is smooth, beautiful and easy.

Don’t forget that you only have a few days left to  schedule one of our log cabin showcase workshops.     I hope you take advantage of them before they are gone.

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Why?? – Why Not!!!

If you have ever spent time with a kid who has just discovered this word you know how hard it can be to answer some of the why questions.   You probably also discovered that this question can go many layers deep.   Why can’t I have that cake now??  because you’ll spoil your dinner.   Why?  Because you will be too full of sugar to eat what is good for you.    Why?   You should eat food that your body needs.   Why?  You will be healthier and not get fat, or cavities .   Why??  — and so on.    If you are not ready to answer these multitude of questions it can be more than a little annoying.     However we need to remember that the child asks out of a genuine curiosity and our patient answers are adding to their intellect.      So why am I thinking about this?


Yellow Brick Road by Sue F

Creativity is often given wings when it is driven by a good why question.    Several times this week I have discussed the frustration that happens when a project runs flat.   Whether it was preempted by life events,   something else came up on a deadline,   or whatever the reason,  it can be hard to go back to something that got put aside.     This is where you can ask yourself the first why,   Why did I stop working on this?    Once you can answer that you can ask,   Why did I start it in the first place?     If this answer still holds true,  you have the reason to get it going again.   If you don’t yet,  then ask yourself Why do I want to finish it now?   If you still don’t have an answer,  ask Why am I keeping it?    If you get this far then maybe you have learned what you needed to from the project and it is time to pass it on to someone else,  or finish it in a different way than planned.   I spoke to a quilter this week who began a large and intricate sampler a few years ago.   She ran into some health issues and only ended up with one block done.   When I suggested she make a pillow out of it instead of trying to make 19 more blocks,  she felt a great sense of relief.      Suddenly her why became  Why Not!!!


Hounds tooth by Sue F

So as I get the summer workshops and samples ready I want you to reflect for a moment on your own Why.    It can reconnect you to your projects in a profound way.

I hope you enjoy the Show and Tell that Sue Forrest brought to Work in Progress Wednesday.  She recently finished them both. Aren’t they great?

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Spring Showcase running out of time

Spring keeps teasing us,  but time is marching on and the semester is quickly drawing to it’s end.    This means you don’t have much longer to register for any of the Log Cabin Showcase workshops.    Still on the schedule are group sessions for Log Cabin cushion cover  April 17 & 24,   and  Pineapple Block,  on April 19.   Of course until May 1 you can still arrange for on demand sessions of these workshops as well.

log cabin cushion

These are such great blocks I firmly believe that all quilters should make them at least once in their quilting journey.   I bet that once you make one you will want to make others.   Because they are simple in design they are adaptable to many situations.    If you look at the traditional value arrangement of a log cabin,  it is divided in half on the diagonal.   This means that any block made from half square triangles and squares can be re interpreted as a log cabin quilt.    This example by Carol Hemphill Gershin  dated 1995,  is a wonderful contemporary example of what can be done if you are careful about your color planning.      I apologise for the poor photo,  you can see it more clearly in The Art Quilt,  by


Robert Shaw.


The end of one showcase means the start of another.    As usual,  Summer sessions are more creative and  Highlight something a bit out of the box.

Our Showcase theme for this summer ( May -August )  will be TEXT-tiles.     Workshops will cover labels for quilts,  Patchwork Alpahabets,   Hand carved stamps,  and a “Signature Mandala”  Over the next few weeks I will be unveiling these exciting projects.   I can’t wait to share the fun.

If you just can’t wait to get some fresh inspiration,  check out The Art of the Needle this weekend,  April 13-15,  the Biennial Needlework Show from our friends in the Skillkill Chapter of the EGA.    Locust grove, 2683 South Road ( Rt 9) Poughkeepsie.    Show is open 10-4.

Please get registered for our Log Cabin showcase workshops before it is too late.


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