Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you get to spend some time today connecting with the ones you love. Here at the Shoppe, we love you, our loyal customers.
These heart applique blocks are from a quilt that is waiting to be repaired, but hearts are everywhere today and these have been much loved so I think they are better as a symbol of love than anything the card industry could come up with.
It has been busy here, bursting with creativity. Nuridiana is finishing her very first bed size quilt. The pattern is our four square, done in a sophisticated monochromatic color scheme. And her intersections are awesome, you wouldn’t know she is a beginner quilter.
Our Handstitchers Club also tried something new to them this past Tuesday, painted backgrounds for a beaded tree project. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by how well they did. You see work by Michelle, Sally, Fran, and Debbie. No drawing or lines to follow, just paint on fabric, and a basic formula. Even with the proof in her hands, Debbie had trouble believing what she had just painted. From here, these will get quilted, embroidered, and beaded. For more details on this project check the club news page.
ANd just Yesterday, the Starry Night class got all the fussy cutting done and made great progress playing with the Artful Snowflake fabrics by Paula Nadelstern. These beautiful fabrics are going fast so be sure to get some soon.
Tuesday is our Crazy Quilt Club, and Thursday we will finish the Starry Night project. Hope you have a Lovely and creative Day!!
Well, we made it through January and the Groundhog says there will be an early Spring. After the ice yesterday I have some doubts but boy do I hope he is right. So as the first post for February it is time for the next Outside the Lines. We still have some of last months Valentine fabric, but now is the time to get going for St Patrick’s Day. Of course the patterns are versions of Irish Chain, and of course the color is green. The key to a good irish chain is a consistent value grade, with a variety of textures. So we have the dark to light, with a solid , a larger scale print, a soft tone on tone, a neutral with the visual texture of irish linen and the lightest value with a more conventional overall print. Perfect for a nice traditional Irish Chain.
Of course being me, the patterns chosen for this month are variations. The first image is the double irish chain quilt from Quilts from The Quiltmakers Gift. and is done in reverse value placement from the classic. This is a great way to go if you don’t want to have a large neutral space to show off hand quilting. Irish Chain is just one of the many classic quilts featured in The Quiltmaker’s GIft. Yes I do have just one copy of the storybook for the first one to claim it. The companion pattern book is chock full of great quilt patterns with excellent directions. The log cabin that is on my bed in the winter comes from these pattern directions.
The second Irish Chain is a single, set on point and with a pieced scrappy block instead of the usual plain alternate. There is even less pressure to add fancy quilting this way. It is from Quilters Academy, vol 2, by Harriet Hargrave. I totally see this with lots of florals in the scrappy blocks, and I know that lots of you have scraps of those. Of course if you are interested in making one with hand quilting, we have an on demand workshop that will teach you how.
Just a couple of reminders, Hand stitchers and stumpwork clubs will meet Tuesday, barring weather issues. If Red Hook Central Schools are closed of delayed we will just pick up next month. If you are a regular I will try to reach you if this is necessary. Also next week is the first session for Starry Night. I have a couple kits and spots still available so let me know if you want to join us.
And lastly, It has come to my attention that some of you have been relying on seeing my car in the lot to know that we are open. This is not a good method since I frequently get a lift to work. I have installed a light up open sign in the front window. You can see it from the road and know that even if my car isn’t there, I am. So come on in, I’ll leave the light on for you.
I know this is a hard time of year. The Winter Holidays are over, it is not yet Spring, and despite the best marketing efforts of the candy and roses industry, Valentine’s day is just not that great for many people. That is why I am so happy that we have so many nice new fabrics arriving. I shared a bunch about the Artful Snowflakes line last week. Harriet got busy with one of the prints from the line and made this great zippered pouch. That blue almost looks like a marbled fabric. Love it. It warms my heart when one of you gets as excited about our new fabrics as I am. I believe that the pattern was from You Tube. These would make holders for sewing tools, or even use as a clutch bag to go with your favorite dress up outfit. There is still room in the Starry Night workshop, but it is filling. Be sure to get registered, so I can reserve you a fabric kit. These prints are going fast.
We also have in as of yesterday, this line called Embroidered Elegance. Just love the classic lines and stitch texture. The blues blend beautifully with the snowflake line, and that bright one second from the right in the photo is a fabric called Glacier by Carol Fallert that makes stunning sky, water or backing fabric. It just brings the detail of the rest of the fabrics right into focus. Don’t you think?
I know you will want to play with these florals while waiting for the real flowers to appear in Spring. Just wait till you see what I have planned for them.
Coming next week: the February edition of Outside the Lines!! Are you ready?
This is Starry Night, still in progress. It gets one more border that I hope to finish between what is left of today and tomorrow. It features the Artful Snowflake fabric line by Paula Nadlestern. With a touch of metallic silver and the stunning details in the panel print of the snowflakes, this elegant quilt will keep your heart and lap warm all winter. With the final border it is 50 inches square, perfect for filling the space left when the Christmas tree comes down, or tossing over the couch for chilly evenings with hot chocolate, for years to come. Paula is mostly known for her very intricately pieced Kaleidoscope Quilts and fabrics designed to create those, but these stand alone and give the feeling without the challenging sewing. Fussy cutting the panel and the stripe in the outside border ( that I need to still add ) allows simple sewing techniques to look very complex. This is a great project for bold beginners or intermediate level quilters. We are running a workshop on February 13 and 20, 10:30 am till about 2. This workshop includes a color printed copy of the pattern, and fabrics for the top and binding. For fees and additional supplies see our workshops page or come in for a visit.
Time is running low on the current Outside the Lines program. It will change at the end of the month. But you still have enough time to get a project done with the current collection for Valentines day. The focus print is so lovely that you could even just fuse it to card blanks and create Valentines to hand out. We have some nice lace trim and sparkly beads in stock that would make your project complete.
Outside the Lines Jan-2020
Or how about a little trinket bag filled with “I Love You” candy hearts?? We have sexy black satin cord for the drawstring. Get some today because we all need a little more love in our lives!!
Have a happy day.
So stitchers almost always want there to be more light. Good lighting can make stitching so much easier. Daylight (or daylight bulbs) can help us to see colors more accurately, make it easier to thread needles, and is essential when you need to hand sew down a black binding edge on a black background. I know you can all relate. We spend lots of time and money on the right lighting.
However much we need the light, our precious quilts, and even fabrics and threads are damaged by it every minute they are exposed. The damage is cumulative, and happens gradually so very often we don’t see it until it is too late. Recently I had a friend and customer give up on a UFO that was only about a dozen years old because it had been stored folded and the edge had been exposed to light from the basement studio window. The folded fabrics that were to be used with it got damaged too, and so the entire project has been scrapped. I took some photos, and the loss of the amount of hours to draw the original pattern and all the hand applique that had been done breaks my heart.
An easy way to protect your fabrics and threads is to store them in covered containers, or inside closets with doors that are closed most of the time. If you have open shelves, cover them with a dense white cloth. The finished quilts should be rotated if possible and even better changed out seasonally. When not in use storage in clean washed pillowcases in a closet is ideal. It can make a big difference in longevity.
Yesterday four lovely antiques came in. They have been stored away probably since sometime in the 1970’s and the contrast between the project above and these quilts properly stored is amazing. These are only preliminary photos but each one of these is at least a hundred years old. They appear to have been made by the same hand, with a quilting career spanning a few decades. They currently belong to the Embroiderer’s Guild, and they were brought to me for help with finding them the right home. If you are interested please come see them in person.
This Tuesday, the Crazy Quilt Club will meet for the first time this year. Lets hope that any weekend snow is cleared away and our parking lot is ice free. I will soon be posting details for the “Smarties” quilt class, a new class called Starry Night using Paula Nadlestern’s Snowflake line and info on the next Block of the Month. 2020 is going to be an excellent year even if it feels like it got off to a slow start.
This word, reusable, is one I think we will be hearing often. For a long time recyclable was the catch word that every product and package had to encourage you to purchase. Recycling has been getting trashed more and more often. We are hearing about how much that we think is being recycled just isn’t. So instead of sticking it in the recycle bin how about items that are reusable? This trend is starting to show in more and more counties and even states that are outlawing single use grocery type bags. We have an easy quick and customizable fabric tote bag workshop for the grocery type bags. It’s called Fab Fab Tote, ( short for Fabulous Fabric Tote ) and we even have a couple nice canvas prints in stock if you need something super strong. Call to make an appointment for this workshop, details are on the workshops page.
Honestly, I think that the semi clear produce bags are worse for the environment than the plastic grocery bags. These annoying things are too thin to reuse, and collect up much faster than the handled bags. The produce ones are not big enough to line any waste basket and there are very few places that use them that have a recycle receptacle for them. You do know that you can’t put plastic bags in the recycle bin, they need to be recycled in using different technology than your regular household stuff. With some produce it is fine to go without a bag, but this is not true of everything, and I have a solution for you. We carry a nonwoven polyester product called Spunbond that comes with a pattern for a great reusable and breathable set of three produce bags. We also have in stock satin cord that simply glides through the drawstring. They were super easy to make and I will be trying them out at the grocery this weekend. This product has some advantages over muslin bags, first it doesn’t fray so construction is beyond quick, second is it’s strength, I have tried to rip it and been unsuccessful. These bags will even hold all your potatoes!! And third, it is breathable, allowing some air circulation without moisture loss. And although you can paint stencil or embroider muslin too, this is white making your colors clearer. You know I will be playing with that.
Keep watching for some exciting things coming, more new goodies and classes and programs for 2020. All will be revealed soon.
Introducing a new feature, Outside the Lines. At the beginning of each month I will be posting photos of a selection of fabrics that go well together that are not all from the same fabric line. I have noticed that since the dawn of the precut and jellyroll many quilters are making quilts using only fabrics from the package. While these quilts are guaranteed to match, they often match so well that they lose some sparkle. A walk around your local quilt show and you can easily pick out the ones that are just that bit too homogenous. I want to help you have some more color confidence and showcase our fabrics at the same time. So for the first post of each month I will put together a fabric collection that goes outside the lines. It will be photographed and posted with a project or two that it would be suited to. If you decide to make one of the projects and get all your fabrics and book or pattern from us and let us post a photo within that month we will give you a free spool of Mettler silk finish thread. Your choice of color.
Our first installment of Outside the lines is based on a Valentine’s Fabric by Benartex. You may have seen the Boxers we made from it. but I have several nice fabrics that coordinate and two patterns with hearts that work beautifully with them. We know that when the holiday decorations come down everything looks plain and a new Valentine’s project for the table or wall can help keep us happy till Spring.
Outside the Lines Jan-2020
One other reminder that Tuesday is our Hand stitchers club meeting. We are working on UFO’s . See you then.