Archive for the ‘Fabric’ Category


Support Your Local Quilt Shop

September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day to all!

I’ll be teaching at Nancy’s Notions Quilting Expo this week and have been very busy making up kits for my  classes. When I realized how full the classes are (praise the Lord :-), I did a bit of panicking because kit making can be a bit overwhelming. My first thought was to just rush to my local Joann’s because it’s close and easy.

Then I gave myself a good mental shaking because:

1. I use quilt shop quality fabric in my quilts and should do no less for the projects my students will be making!

2. If we don’t patronize our local shops, we’ll lose them!

So I’d like to get on a soap box and take a stand for quilt shops. One of my favorite shops in the Milwaukee area was Fabric Fusion. It had an artsy personality and was owned by a hard working and creative couple. A friend recently related that quilters would go to Fabric Fusion, choose fabrics they liked, and write down the bolt information so they could go home and order it online for less. How disappointing. And this is a contributing factor to why Fabric Fusion is no longer with us :-(.

So, support your local quilt shop! It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to run a shop and it’s a tough business to keep finiancially profitable. Shops also provide many helpful services. We quilters are very tactile and neeeeeeeeeeed to touch fabric when we buy it.

Now this doesn’t mean I don’t want to keep my local Joann’s in business too. That store provides numerous jobs as well as a good price for non-fabric items that I need regularly. The hours are also quite convenient. Thus I really do like to spread my quilt shopping around.

On that note, I would like to share a recent lesson I’ve learned that would fit into the category “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”. On a recent trip to Joann’s I saw a product I found intriguing:

I’ve been doing a lot of “thread tail hiding” on my latest quilts, using the technique I illustrated in my March 27th post called Loose Ends: I’m using the standard self threading needles and they work well, but sometimes they’re a bit tricky to pull the thread into. I decided I needed to try this “side opening design”, even though it was packaged as one of those “as seen on tv” deals. Please don’t waste your money! The needles were thick, dull, expensive and quite difficult to thread.

Well, as of today the kits are together (with help from my dear husband) and I’m anxious to finish packing. Nancy’s Expo is always such fun. Hope to see many of you there! 


I just received a comment from Sarah B. informing us all that the original “Spiral Eye Needle” was designed by a woman named Pam Turner and is made in the USA. Sarah said that these needles are great, so I went to the website and ordered a set. I can’t wait to try them and I’ll be sure to share my thoughts in a future post :-)!


Beautiful Enough to Use!

November 11, 2010

What great comments. I especially liked the expression “shopping your stash”. Thanks Cindy. I think many of us could make wonderful quilts without ever making a trip to the quilt shop.

I was very convicted by Pat’s challenge to use my Liberty fabrics and they’re hanging on the design wall now just waiting for the right idea to grab me. (this may happen after the holidays – we’ll see)

While I was writing the “Too Beautiful” post I came to realize that I actually had reached the point a few years ago that when I buy a fabric I really love I allow myself to use it as inspiration for something new right away. The blendable, “tone on tones” go into the stash, but when the new, jaw dropper, makes my fingers start to itch I’ll often just ignore the guilt of that project I’m in the middle of (which isn’t as exciting as when it was first begun) and indulge in playing with the exciting stuff.

Another method I’ve found helpful lately is to put the new gorgeous stuff in the stash just until the next time I’m ready to take a new challenge or I need to come up with a new class project. Then I grab that inticing piece and allow it to be the impetous for this new endeavor. This usually helps to get the ball rolling. Picking out other fabrics to go with the exciting one is always such fun for me.

The only problem with this system is that the great fabrics from my “petting and not using” days are still in the stash. So, thanks to Pat, I’m going to focus on some past loves. Who knows, some of them may look great together.

Perhaps I should step away from the computer and fondle some fabric :-). Blessings, Chris


Too Beautiful

November 8, 2010

Mary Beth made a comment last week that inspired this week’s topic. She said she had received a piece of fabric in an exchange with a quilter in Africa and it was too special and unique to cut into. Haven’t we all been there? In 1989 my husband and I vacationed in London. Liberty’s of London was at the top of my list of destinations because I’d heard so much about their fabrics. They were beautiful and had a lovely silky feel. My husband was indulgent and I purchased a meter of 3 different yards and a few scraps from a bin. For years I would take them out and pet them and then put them right back in the purple plastic Liberty bag (duh!). That’s where I found them today.

This reminds me of a quote from Ricky Tims: “If you never use it, you’ll never use it”. I used to love it. Now I don’t. What a waste.

Admit it. You’ve done the same. Please let me know your philosophy on this issue by commenting at the end of this post and I’ll have a few comments on Thursday :-).