My trip was short but wonderful — just like my husband!!  Hee Hee.     That is him enjoying the underwater view of the sea liphoto (17)on tank at the National Zoo.   It is one of my favorite shots from the whole weekend.     It was very hot and humid so many of the animals were inside,   but we saw some wonderful things.   The second day we went to the Museum of Natural History and enjoyed the Insect Zoo,  and the Giant Squid among other objects of wonder.     That night we treated ourselves to a four star meal.   Can’t do that often but it was worth every penny.     It all has my creative juices flowing freely.    So glad we took the opportunity to have what may be our last family vacation.        The only ones who didn’t go were the dogs.     Jake waphoto (16)s very happy to come back to work this week.       He doesn’t like changes in his routine, especially when it means being apart from his people.

SO today was the first Big Stitch Quilting workshop.  It is such a great technique,  I know that if you try it you will love it.  There is another session you can still sign up for on August 11.

This coming Friday is our monthly night to be open late,  till 9,  and Saturday is our Block of the month.  We will be doing block number 8.    See you all soon.

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A quick note

The Shoppe will be closed Friday and Saturday,  regular hours will resume on Tuesday the 25th.      There is still room in the Big Stitch Quilting workshop for next Friday.   Check the classes page for info and to get on the list leave a message on the answering machine if we are not here.      See you all soon,    stay cool and keep quilting!!


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Summer travel plans

Do you have travel plans this summer??  I do but more on those later.   Even if you have a short “Staycation” only,  and you will have your feet in Laguna Beach005 a kiddie pool,   Summer is a great season for take along projects.    I have one or two of my own going year round, but if you need one we can set you up.     We have kits,  for bookmarks, for Christmas ornaments ( if you start now you might finish for this year!! )  and sashiko samplers.   We even have some wool felt in stock now that makes easy and very portable applique projects.      Also back in stock are punch needles.

If your summer projects include getting the quilts tops you made over the winter finished then you might want to sign up for The Zen of Freemotion,  or Big Stitch Quilting,  or both!!     Information on both is on the classes page

Now for my plans,   Since my girl will be a HS senior next year we have few opportunities for family vacations,  and she has wanted to go to Washington DC to see the Pandas at the National Zoo for quite some time,  we are going.   As a result,  the Shoppe will be closed Next Friday and Saturday.   ( July 21 and 22 )  Normal Hours will resume on Tuesday the 25th.

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The Mad Hatter had it Right.

photo 1 (5).JPGIt’s a rainy summer Friday.   I can’t think of any better way to spend it than on some indoor hobbies.   For me,  that is fabric  and music.     Being that it is also my birthday,  I don’t feel guilty at all for spending lots of  time on these things for myself today.      But it shouldn’t be just on your birthday or some other holiday that you stop the crazy  of life to do something that feeds your soul.    One way or another it should be part of every day.   I promise that spending evephoto 2 (3).JPGn 5 minutes each day on something that truly brings you joy will benefit your quality of life.    They say that stress is the number one cause of disease and anxiety,  and if you can reduce it by a simple and enjoyable five minutes a day then isn’t it a smart thing to do?       I thank my stars every day that I get to do something I truly love for a living,  but if you need to find your five minutes of joy outside of work that is ok too.

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We have two workshops this month that can help you find your joy,   Fabric Collage with Rene,  and The Zen of Free Motion.    The common factor in them is personalizing.   By this I mean using colors, fabrics, shapes, lines and patterns that are significant to you,  things that make YOU happy,  that bring you JOY.     Perhaps the Mad Hatter had it right,

“A Very Merry Un-Birthday to YOU!!”

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Distracted Quilting

This week’s zeitgeist has been about staying focused.

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Castle Wall hand pieced block


Several articles landed in my inbox and I saw a few things on social media that showed up without me searching.  The common denominator was to eliminate distractions.    Two of the articles cited studies that showed things as simple as being able to see your phone or computer ( even if turned off ) could have a negative impact on your ability to stay focused on a complex task.    Oh, you mean like Quilting??       I think most of us know this intuitively,  and it is part of why we started WIP Wednesdays.        I also think that the need to pay attention and avoid the distractions of everyday life is one of the reasons we find quilting to be enjoyable and sometimes therapeutic.     I know it is for me.

wool pincushions

Wool Pincushions

If you are looking for a nice handwork project to focus on for the summer there are a couple of good choices starting soon here at the Shoppe.     Wool applique pincushions,    a cornucopia in embroidery and needle lace,  and a hand pieced Castle Wall block.      The pincushion and cornucopia will begin on July 11, with our hand stichers and stumpwork groups.    New members always welcomed!!  and the Castle Wall by hand workshop is on August 15.    Please let us know that you are planning to attend these events.

Cornucopia in Stumpwork


We will be closed on July 4,   and we will not be open late for Friday Night Lights this month,   that will resume in August.

Lastly,  our Block of the Month will meet tomorrow,  July 1 and do 2 blocks.   # 6 & 7,   See you then.

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A Rose in any other Color—

is still a Rose.    and ours is based on Hexies!!

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Rose Star by Harriet R.

  I am sorry I didn’t get a better photo of Harriet’s beautiful version of Rose Star from yesterday’s workshop.     She is planning on finishing it as a mat for the center of the table.    One of the things that always is fun about workshops is seeing how simply changing the fabrics changes the look so very drastically.    And when I schedule for the fall I will show you yet another color version.


Color is on my mind today,  we just got in an assortment  IMG_6993of polka dot fabrics,  in some great and useful colors.    In order to get some really  good prices they came to us without bolts,  so I will be winding them over the next day or two.   Some well placed polka dots can do wonders for a project!!
Don’t forget that the Row by Row program is underway.    Come get your pattern and  or kit!!

Lastly,  on Thursday the 29th we will open late,  at photo (15).JPGnoon, as I have a doctor’s appointment.

Congratulations to all the High School graduates !!!

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Summer Events

Isn’t it funny how things go?      Remember the workshop I took a couple of months ago?    Well one of the skills covered were set in or “Y” seams.     Not a new skill for me,  but every person who does them develops a slightly different


Single Rose Star with Big stitch quilting.  

approach to the skill.      Since that workshop it seems as if every project I do has these intersections in it.    Our Rose Star project is no exception,    ( workshop has space and is next Thursday!! )


The cutting and stitching are a little bit unusual,  but it works like a charm.    All the Kite shapes pieces and all the set in were no problem at all.   This is the easiest method of Kites and hexies that I have tried.    If I only had more hours in each day I would have made a much bigger project.     These are fun to put together and would make a stunning bed size.     A single one like I did is a beautiful wall hanging,  side for a tote bag,   or table mat.      I have begun to work some big stitch quilting on it and I am really enjoying the look.  ( big stitch quilting workshop is later this summer.

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Row by Row 2017   Take a Walk round the World with Me



I am also working on a private commission that has a huge nine patch of eight pointed stars,  a block which requires Y seams.    It will also use y seams for the mitered border.   I will probably have the top with me at the First Dutchess Guild meeting this coming Wednesday so you can see it.

Another important summer event is the kick off of the Row by Row challenge.   As of June 21,  you can go into any participating independent quilt shop and ask for a copy of their free pattern, or purchase a kit.     If you make a finished quilt using 8 different patterns from 8 different shops and are the first to bring it into one of those shops you can win a collection of 25 fat quarters.      This year the theme is Row by Row on the GO.  —    so we took Jake the Quilt Pug and went on a Trip around the world.       Easy strip piecing and optional fusible applique for the paw prints make this a lovely project.   Finish it as a table runner or add  it to your Row by Row quilt.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and father figures out there.


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