Time to Fall in Love with Hand Quilting!!


Basic Hand Quilting Class on Demand

The Sheep and wool festival is this weekend at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.   The weather has gotten cool and blustery.   This means it is quilting season.    It is the perfect time of year to sit with a lovely quilt and stitch along into the evening.    In the old days,  ( define that how you want ) the women would spend the summer months piecing the tops, and spinning the yarns,  and then when the nights got cool it would be time to knit and crochet the garments,  and get all the quilting done so the beds would be covered and warm for sleeping when winter hit.       There was a lovely ebb and flow to the seasonal activities.      Today not so much,  but when the frosts start I do love to dig into a new hand quilting project.     It is lovely to sit in the comfy chair with a quilt in progress to work on, on my lap,  often Jake the Quilt Pug also curled up under it and on my feet or even lap, with some nice hot mulled cider to drink.    Add to it the stunning color of the trees in my yard that I can see out the window and you have a little bit of heaven.


Base design for Welsh Style Quilting Class on Demand

The other thing that is wonderful about doing your own quilting, and by hand,  is that it is comparatively cheap.   Yes you still need batting, thread, needles and scissors,   plus perhaps a hoop and thimble depending on your technique of choice,  but those costs are minor compared to buying a machine that does decent quilting, or even paying someone to do it for you.    So I urge you to splurge on a hand quilting class from us.    We have several styles you can choose from, and you can even bring that top you made in the summer to work on.    We have traditional hand quilting,  Welsh style hand quilting,   and the trendy (and fast to do) Big Stitch.    They are all classes on demand,  so you call and make the appointment to sit and quilt for an afternoon, and while we are at it I will tell you all the secrets to making it easy,  relaxing and your new favorite way to finish your quilts.    Information on all of our classes on demand is on the Skill builders page.


Postage Stamp Strippy getting ready to be basted.    Class November 1 & 8


Now,  there may even be some of you out there who don’t have a project ready to quilt,  our postage stamp strippy would be a great one to make,  it doesn’t take long and it has some great spaces for lovely hand quilting.   This is one that is best done in a group because then there will be a bigger selection of scraps for the class members to play with and exchange,  making for more lovely rainbows in the pieced strips.    It is scheduled for November 1 & 8,  10:30 am.     Sign up for this one and we can schedule your quilting workshop for when you are ready.    It’s all just too much fun.   Here’s to the Fall colors and a warm project to work on!!!!


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Make it a habit

scenic view of mountains against sky at night

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yesterday my horoscope said to rely on habits if the day gets hectic.     Things were pretty calm,  but I thought about it and relying on habits has lots of benefits no matter what the planets are doing.   No one would argue that the habit of brushing your teeth every day is good for you.   But what about other habits that have benefits that may be less obvious?     How about your hobbies?   They could be habits if you engage in them daily.     If not,  maybe you should consider making time for them every day.    Some amount of time, even just 10 minutes, a day is enough.   Most of us can find ten minutes in a day.    It is amazing how that simple few minutes every day can add up.  By the end of the week it is over an hour.      I know that sometimes that is not long enough to set up the machine, sew and take it down again,  which is one of the many reasons I enjoy hand work so much.     My home is full of boxes, bags and baskets with projects in them,  sitting in all sorts of spaces.    There is almost always a project I can grab and work on while I am on hold,   waiting for the water to boil,  or chatting away on skype with my daughter.

Working on it every day also keeps it present in your mind.   When a thought stays at the top of the mental pile but you are not actively working on it interesting things happen.   Ideas and creativity blossom.    The muse may visit.     We have tons of interesting and fun hand stitching opportunities that ca help you develop a stitching habit.    From Clubs,  to classes,  and even during our open sewing time on WIP Wednesdays we are here to support your habit.     This is better than drugs or therapy.   It’s cheaper than both of those,  and when you are done you have a lovely project forever.     Check our events page on the website for the perfect project.      IMG_6993

Our Block of the Month will meet tomorrow,  a week later than usual because we were at the show,   Thursday is our scheduled day for the Rose Star Workshop,  call to register, or set up an appointment if that time doesn’t work for you,  and Saturday the 20th is Crazy Quilt Club.     So let me help you make it a habit.



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I want to extend big thank yous to everyone who came in this past week to help me collate, bag kits, and prep for the show this weekend.     It means so much to know that you were willing to support me when I needed you.     Even the universe has told me this week that I am on the right track.     I am feeling very deep gratitude.     So what happened?   I know you are curious and you should be.      Yesterday afternoon a stunning quilt came into the shoppe.    It no longer matches the owners decor and taste so she wants me to help her find it a new home.      So why do I think the universe is watching out for me?      Because it is a big beautiful  mosaic hexagon.  about 3/4 inches on a side.   Medallion setting,   black background,  mostly clothing silks,  amazing condition,     and English sh paper pieced.    What is more she has given me permission to bring it with me to the show.     I am featuring hand work in my booth,  including EPP.    The show is also a place to advertise the conservation and repair work I do so having this amazing piece ( probably from the late 1800’s ) on hand is simply fantastic.       I will be taking some better photos of it when I can spend the time to do more than use my phone.     I just love the way they are set,  you don’t see this one very often.   The medallion is in the center,    this is a detail of the surrounding field of flowers.       IMG_7125

When normalcy (??) returns on Tuesday we have our Hand stitcher’s Club.    We are finishing the sampler.    We will discuss a few ways to finish it off and go over the materials for our next project.            The list of supplies and the link to the project directions is on the club news page if you need to see it.       It should be fun and playful, and easy to stitch.

We will be closing today at one so I can pack my car and go set up.    The show is Quilts in the Valley,   and you will need to visit us there for Saturday and Sunday.  The shoppe will be closed.   I will try to get some photos from the event on the facebook page, so if you haven’t “liked” it please do so.    The show is in Roundout Valley Middle School,  122 Kyserike Road,  Stone Ridge    10-5 Saturday,   11-4 Sunday.    http://www.Wiltwyckquilters.org   if you need more info.     See you there!!  – and thank you again for your loyal support!!



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Upcoming Show

Last weekend I went to visit my daughter at college for the first time.  I am happy to say she is settling in very well and loving all her new friends,  both human and equine.    I never figured her to be a “Horse Girl” as she put it, but she is loving it and doing great.   Things here have shifted into high gear as well,  with a large number of conservation projects and private lessons happening lately I have barely had time to get ready for the show Columbus Day weekend.    I only vend at the two local guild shows,  and this year is Quilts in the Valley,  the Wiltwyck Guild Show.    I still have a mountain of kits to cut and fabrics to organize so I am going to do something I have never done before,  ask for help.

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Can you lend a hand?  Please

If you would be able to come in to help any time befire the show bplease contact me ASAP.  845 758 8541    I can’t pay you outright,  but I am sure we can barter something inspiring.

Since I will be vending,  we will have to close at noon on Friday to pack and transport to the site for setup,  and with the show on Saturday and Sunday, the Shoppe will be closed.    I encourage you all to attend the show,  with vendors,  lots of quilts,  food and even live music.   You know I love that!!     I might even ask one of you who volunteer if you would sit with me at the booth one or both days.   I always bring handwork to work on and demo.   Makes things interesting and productive on several levels.    Vending is fun and social and a great opportunity to meet new quilters.     I am always amazed at the enthusiasm of all the brand new quilters I meet at these shows.     For more information,  http://www.Wiltwyckquilters.org



After the show,  we have handstitchers club on Tuesday the 9th, and we will be finishing the embroidery stitch sampler.   In November we will do the Redwork Ornament for 2018.    It is a sister piece to last years design, with the drawing taken from the same source.   Can’t show you yet,  but this was the one from last year.     This is one kind of Hex that I don’t mind.   ( can you tell I am also getting into the Halloween spirit?? )

With all this wonderful stitchy stuff happening be sure to stop in,   lend a hand,  or get set up for your new fall projects.    Looking forward to seeing you all.

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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 http://www.wiltwyckquilters.org

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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