- I made my first quilt in 1973 while pregnant with my second daughter. My mother and grandmother both quilted but had not taught me, so I really began from scratch. I wanted a quilt to cover her bassinet, it was awful but it kept her head from rubbing the woven bassinet. My next attempt was a crib quilt for her but I had no one to tell me how large to make it. I measured the mattress and made it that size. Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam with no room to cover the baby. It just lays flat on the mattress. To say I have learned a lot, is an understatement.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
At The Quilters Quarters, we think of the day after Thanksgiving as a technicolor day. The shop originally opened on the day after Thanksgiving in 1996, 13 years ago. A lot of people thought I was crazy to do that since so many people hit the malls to shop, they figured I would not have anyone show up for the opening of my little quilt shop. They were wrong.
I soon learned that there are a lot of people like me, who would rather take a beating with a rubber hose than go to a mall on the day after Thanksgiving. A visit to a pleasant, easy going quilt shop is far superior to that frenzy.
We have come a very long way in the past 13 years and it is all thanks to you. On official Thanksgiving day, we will enjoy time with our family in the normal way, but on Friday, we enjoy the gift of your friendship and loyalty for all these years (and all year round). That is truly Thanksgiving at The Quilters Quarters.
Join us if you can for a quiet day, come and sew if you want, visit, chat, enjoy some warm apple cider and cookies. Relax and just enjoy the company of other quilters.
Thanks to you, we continue to grow and quilt.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Have you seen the new Patriotic Gammill? This was created to honor the Quilts For Valor association. This is such a beautiful machine, more beautiful are the many, many volunteers who spend their time making quilts for soldiers wounded while defending our freedom.
As our country is in mourning for the soldiers who were killed or wounded at Ft. Hood, I pray we keep all service men and women in our hearts and prayers. We owe a debt we could never repay.
Thank you to those who serve and those who care for them.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
If you go to the quilt shop and ask for a fat quarter, would you notice if it were 1/2" shorter than before? 17 1/2" instead of 18"? Of course you would when you got ready to sew with it. Can you imagine the quilt shop giving you 17 1/2" and saying they were "Just-shy-of-a-fat-quarter"? Yeah, that would work! Or worse, NOT telling you the size?
We are used to receiving what we pay for. Quilters are always willing to buy what they need. We do not expect the quilt shop to give us fabric for free, we pay the full price. Most times when you get home and measure what you bought, you are surprised to see that it is a bit more than you ordered. That happens because each shop adds a little bit for straightening your edges. You are not charged extra for that, it is just something shop owners do to help you with your quilting.
Now why am I telling you this? This weekend I was putting groceries away and noticed something significant and it had the word "quilted" on it. I prefer Quilted Northern bathroom tissue and have purchased it for years, even when the commercials showed the quilters using knitting needles to make it. As I was stacking the double rolls of tissues I was instantly struck by the fact that they are now a full 1/2" more narrow than the last ones I purchased. (see photo).
Now that may not seem like much, but when you see that the packaging says it has 2 1/2 times the number of tissues as a single roll and nowhere does it say that it is more narrow, and you pay the same price as before, you have to wonder. It says that they have donated over $500,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and that is GREAT, how did they donate it? Are we now paying for that donation by smaller rolls of paper?
Now seriously, I do not care if my toilet paper is more narrow than before, it will not stop me from buying a product that I prefer. I just want to point out the value that you are receiving from your local quilt shop and small businesses in general. This just would not happen.
Small businesses could never get away with this type thing. You would raise Cain with us if we shorted your purchases. Especially if we did it without tell you.
So next time you go to the quilt shop, think about the value of the product you are purchasing and the quality and honesty of the small business person with whom you are dealing. October is Small Business Appreciation Month. We thank you for your patronage of our shop and I am certain that all other small businesses appreciate your support as well.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We just completed our 5 State, 12 Quilt Shop Strip N Stitch bus trip. What fun! Each bus was filled with happy quilters having a grand time. It never ceases to amaze me how happy quilters are as a whole.
Maybe it is the life style of the quilter that should be studied by socialogists to determine how to train people to live a good life. Oh wait! That is what we do in quilt shops, teach quilters.
Here is the issue. You put 50 plus women in a small confined space (a bus) and tell them to sit still. Then you move that space across hundreds of miles. You only allow them to leave that space for controlled time periods and then to be put in another confined space (a quilt shop) and tell them to they must eat and drink while they are in this confined space....on yes, they must shop while there. And then expect them to be happy? Good grief! Aren't we expecting too much from our quilters?
Translate that to what is real. You put 50 plus women, who share a common passion (quilting), in a room together where they can laugh, chat, visit, sleep, sew, eat chocolate and relax. You take them across hundreds of miles of beautiful countryside in the fall or spring. You then open the doors to some of the most gorgeous quilt shops in the country and give them time to shop till they drop and also eat good food and laugh some more. You show them mountains of inspiration for projects, then move them on to the next shop.
Expecting too much from our quilters? Heavens NO. They are expecting us to find them new and better shops for the next trip and to get it going soon.
I have posted some of the kits that were the best sellers (read most inspirational) for the bus participants and maybe you can feel some of the excitement and joy they felt.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Today I wore yellow shoes to work. Bright, happy, yellow shoes. The weather was gray and overcast and I needed a lift, so out came the yellow shoes. Back in 1960- something-or-other, when I graduated and began my first job I had to walk five blocks from my parking lot to work. When the weather was ugly, I had a bright yellow London Fog rain coat, yellow T-strap pumps and a clear plastic bubble umbrella with bright yellow butterflies painted all over it. When everyone else was walking to work with dark colored rain gear, I looked and felt like walking sunshine. It made me feel good. It seemed to keep the nasty weather at bay. I still feel that way when I wear yellow shoes. With the long skirts popular now, they look especially nice just peaking out from under the hemline when you walk around. There is just nothing like a good pair of yellow shoes to keep your spirits up.
Now just what have yellow shoes got to do with quilting? Well, everything. After amassing huge collections of wonderful fabrics, quilters are making more scrap quilts than ever before. But these quilts need a cohesive and happy note. That note is the color yellow. For those of us who love the brighter shades and hues a sunny shade of yellow is more appropriate. For those who lean toward the warmer, country tones more indicative of the Kansas Troubles or Thimbleberries look, gold tones are the way to go. Unless you are making a very controlled scrap quilt, i.e. red,white and blue, blue and white or red and white, you need some yellow in your scrap quilts. It adds the accent that brings all the other colors to life. Much like sunshine brings life to all areas of our lives.
The next time you are putting fabrics together for a quilt, don't just consider the shape of the pieces, the size of the print and the scale of the design, really think about your color choices. Consider adding a touch of yellow to the design and see if it does not give you a quilt that says "hey, look me over, I am special and will make you feel good". Then, you too, may decide that it is a day to try wearing yellow shoes.
Friday, July 31, 2009
These wonderful bags are available on line at http://www.quiltersqtrs.com/ in the Quilt Kits department. They are so fun, quick and easy.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
"Stop the car, I want to go to the quilt show" was published on September 10, 1999.
When I was a child, my family drove on vacations and my brother, who just loved fireworks, would watch for road signs and yell, "Stop Daddy, fireworks for sale, stop". It became a family joke. We still yell at him when we see a fireworks stand.
Today, my family could laugh about my thoughts of, "Stop, a quilt show, stop". I want to go to every quilt show possible. Quilters and non-quilters flock to quilt shows for a wide variety of reasons.
The primary reason, I believe, is that everyone relates to quilts. Someone in almost every family quilted in past years, either a grandmother, mother, or beloved aunt or friend. A quilt represents a slower, peaceful time in our lives; a warm cozy hug in which to wrap ourselves.
They also provide a visual feast: the soft, faded colors of antique quilts draw us back to cool evenings at grandma's house where the heat was not good, but we slept snug-as-a-bug under layers of handmade warmth.
The quilts of our "polyester era" provide us with a chuckle much like viewing an Austin Powers movie...did we really wear that stuff? And those colors? Yikes!
The newer quilts made from the exciting new colors and patterns are so lovely we can get lost in them. The quilters who visit quilt shows get caught up in various thought patterns.
We analyze each one for beauty, form, technical accuracy, and design. We mentally file away those that we would like to make for ourselvse and those we are certain we could never make.
The non-quilter sees a painting where the artist used fabric as a medium and often wonders, "how did they do that?". But the quilter knows.
The quilt show is both alive with activity and people, but at the same time often as hushed as a church or library. The quilts inspiring reflection and admiration also muffle sounds as they hang in rows for the pleasure of the viewers.
Yes, a quilt show is a delight, but a quilt show is also the final product of a tremendous amount of planning, thought, hard work, and dedication from a large number of volunteer workers. As you leave the next quilt show, please take a minute to thank the volunteers and the quilters, let them know how much you have enjoyed the opportunity to relax in their efforts. And if asked, take some time to volunteer the next time someone is organizing a quilt show. It really is quite an experience.
When I first wrote this 10 years ago, I did not think about the fact that each of us has an opportunity to go to a quilt show any day of the week. All we need do is visit our local quilt shop, they are filled to capacity with new and exciting quilts to view, enjoy and yes, make. You can visit many quilt shows without ever leaving your home, just go on-line and look at the displays on the quilt shop websites. I can't think of a better way to give myself some "visual candy" and looking beautiful quilts.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I added several new blocks of the month that are based on handwork, check them out to see if you enjoy them as much as I do.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The market held a lot of beautiful and exciting new fabric lines (yes, we ordered most of them) and just tons of new patterns and ideas. There were bags everywhere. Got to spend a few minutes with Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs and it was good to see her again. Joan always has such cute things.
Eleanor Burns also had new things….of course when El does NOT have something new we know the quilt world is in a bind. She is so full of ideas it makes your head spin.
As always, I ran around with my friend Debby Luttrell from Texas and also spent a lot of time with Mary Wilberg from Quilting Treasures in Minnesota and Kathy Runyan from Country Expressions in Missouri. Girl friends are so great; don’t’ you just love time with yours? We all ate way too much and laughed too much. We had a wonderful time on a Riverboat at the Moda customer appreciation party, laughin’ on the river. Kathy’s daughter, Jen, is the designer of Tula Pink from Moda and we enjoyed getting to know her. It is nice to see so many new, younger women involved in our industry.
Here are a couple of good photos from market though.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As many of you know, we moved the quilt shop at the end of February. We have had many questions about the move and so I thought I would share some thoughts and pictures of the adventure.
A quick history of The Quilters Quarters and her moves.
With each move and/or expansion between 1996 and 2000, the staff all pitched in and moved it all. When we moved again in 2004 the staff loaded all the fabric on little red wagons and walked it down the street to the new location, after all, it was only half a block away.
With the latest/LAST move, I did get some photos before and after the move. The staff worked very hard for two days to prepare for the movers to arrive and then the professional movers picked it all up and put it in the new space. Then the world’s most wonderful quilt shop staff made it beautiful! This wonderful staff has, however, threatened my life if I ever move the shop again.
How much work could that be? Right? I only wish I had pictures of that one to show you.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
We'll give you ideas on how to spend your $10,000 to create a fabulous, well-stocked, well-notioned creative sewing retreat for you.
Don't forget on May 1st is when the contest starts. Visit www.quiltersqtrs.com and look for the Dream Sewing Room Makeover button to enter.
Clicking my heels until we meet up at home again,
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