I know – you can chastise me later for not constructing an immediate, lengthy and glorious post about all the wonderments of Spring Quilt Market 2016, the moment I got home from Salt Lake City, Utah a few weeks ago. Suffice to say, there were wonderments – MANY of them, but since Market, I’ve been OH-SO busy planning OH-SO-MUCH-MORE important stuff to share with you!
Okay, okay – I’ll take a sec to share a few pics from quilt market, but only a few before I share what I REALLY want to tell you about…
Quilt Market wonderments…like meeting this girl:
And this girl:
Moving on to Quilt Market itself, how can I forget our visit to the Glamper?
Okay, okay, okay! Before I get too lost in the ‘nostalgia’ part of Quilt Market 2016, I want to talk about what I really, really, REALLY need to share with you in this post:
Ah yes – this brings me to the most important reason for my blog post today – the announcement of the first ever Serendipity Woods Block of the Month project!
It starts with Amy’s Modern Heritage Quilt book as our guide, which will take us through a 9 month pseudo Mystery BOM project creating a whole new quilt (aka – not in the book) with associated block instructions which can be found on corresponding pages.
Most importantly, we’ll learn together a little (probably a lot) more about quilting with a modern feel, yet preserving some of the tried and true, historical pattern styles. I don’t know about you, but I am so game!
The short, simple, to-the-point details:
What: Serendipity Woods Modern BOM 2016
When: July 22, 2017 – April 22, 2017
Reservation Fee/First Month’s shipment – $39.50 +$4.89 shipping (includes Modern Heritage Quilts book and your first month’s instructions and fabrics, including Kona Snow background)
Remaining 8 months – $12.50 + $4.89 shipping/ each month (includes instructions and all fabric needed for associated month)
Deadline for registration is July 1st, so we’re sure to have all the supplies needed in stock, on time!
Fabrics included are from our Serendipity Woods’ Happy Scrappy Modern Bundle, curated especially for this Modern Heritage Quilts BOM project.
How: Several Ways:
Tell us RIGHT HERE (a simple, ‘Count me in for the BOM’ will suffice. We’ll take it from there)
Find our post on Instagram, Facebook, or Ello and tell us there
Purchase our ‘First Month BOM’ listing at Etsy (subsequent months will invoice through Paypal) HERE
What else, what else, what else? Nothing, except we’re so excited and we hope you are too!
Pam and the Bunny Crew
PS – one more photo I ought to share of another miraculous girl I met during my adventure in Utah:
Well, remember how totally on FIRE I was a while back with my progress for the above Sugar Stars quilt? Then everyone was like – ‘Seriously? What happened to that quilt she was making? She never. Even. Published. The. Finish.’
It’s true – this is the first time I’m publishing my finished quilt because, as on fire as I was to get it finished, this happened:
Wouldn’t you freeze too? The bottom line is that quilting, like life in general, presents us with brick walls. Sometimes we freeze because, doggone it, we just wanted to start something, move along with a comfortable sense of propulsion, and get it done so we can enjoy the pleasant fruits of our labor. When we meet those brick walls, however, it sometimes becomes less about propulsion and more about learning something along the way. My response to that? I didn’t want to learn something along the way…I just wanted to start a quilt and finish it in a timely manner. No fuss no bother. Pth. The Quilting Universe had other plans, evidently.
As it turned out, it took me a while to admit out loud that I had two choices – Either cut a new backing piece (which sounded wasteful and I don’t do wasteful very well, especially when it comes to fabric) or veer to the more time consuming remedy – piece it with scraps. The cool thing is that my Sugar Stars Quilt is made up of 168 Easy Corner Triangle units like this:
Which, after sewing a white square in the corner on the diagonal and accurately cutting off the scrap with a rotary cutter and ruler, leaving an exact 1/4″ seam allowance – left me with a whole lot of these:
which I sewed together…
to make these…
which then could become 3″ pinwheels like these:
So as much as I hated how long it took me to rectify my error, I love the back of my Sugar Stars quilt so much more than if I’d cut the backing piece the right size in the first place.
In a nutshell, the fabric is from the Roots and Wings Collection by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake. It wasn’t supposed to be flannel. I ordered the wrong fabric. So, even though a fair bit of it did sell at the shop, it was the only flannel we had at the shop and I didn’t want people to get confused as I had been, accidentally buying something they didn’t mean to buy. So, I’ve used it for the backings of the last two quilts I’ve made. It’s quite soft and has coincidentally coordinated perfectly!
Anyway – one more quilt down, and more quilting lessons learned. The moral of this story: If you know you’re going to have a whole bunch of scraps that will be about the same size and shape – cut them accurately with a rotary cutter, instead of just lopping them off with scissors at ‘about’ 1/4″. You might thank yourself later that all your scraps are exactly the same size. I sure did! Happy Sewing, friends 🙂
Whew! What a whirlwind of a July and already HALF of August! Happy Thursday, All. I’m inclined to apologize once again for how long I’ve been away from my CLH Blog, but as is abundantly clear to me now – the early dynamics of having a Quilt fabric business are more than a bit consuming! With that in mind, how about if I don’t apologize, and just get right at what I’ve been up to! Perhaps I’ll categorize a bit as well, so my head doesn’t just explode onto my keyboard in a completely nonsensical manner…
First – A few views of our shop, this very day:
Studio photos aside, things have been going really great and we’re learning lots! While Superman continues to navigate brilliantly through the financial logistics, storage solutions, and just cheering me on in general, I’ve been having great fun interacting with so many new and returning customers, as I ship them the treasures they’ve been finding in our little shop.
Especially popular in our shop:
One more thing I have to admit – I’ve been bitten by the Farm Girl Bug myself! A few of my blocks…
We’ve also had some pretty impressive (and unexpected) success with all kinds of patterns in our shop!
While we still put emphasis on selling precuts because they’re so versatile, we’ve started to also carry yardage. Recently, we picked up the whole line of Tree of Life by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks.
Okay – so I think I ought to wrap this post up so I can get some much needed sewing done! Before I do that, I wanted to share one more recent addition to our shop that I’m particularly excited about. To preface, we’ve been thinking about the fact that an awful lot of quilting going on today is of the scrappy nature. So great quality fabrics at great prices for stash building is important to you, and we’re on it! We’re thrilled to introduce a whole dedicated shop section called Serendipity SALE. It’s all the same premium quality fabric we pride ourselves in carrying (Currently from Penny Rose and Riley Blake – but look for more manufacturers as we go along!), all at $3.00 per half yard/$5.95 per yard.
I’ll bet you know that I’ve lots more I’m dying to spill into this post – but how about if I just hold tight and give you a ‘Next up’ hint…It’s scrappy, classic, and interactive – all at the same time. Stay tuned!
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know that our new Serendipity Woods Shop is up, running and feeling groovy! While not originally intended, my bunnies just sort of eeked their way into this new, otherwise unrelated, world of quilt fabric and notions, and frankly – I couldn’t be more delighted to have them along.
As always, I thank you for the support you’ve given us so far. I promise, now that we are finally really up and running, I’ll be able to stay better in touch!
Whew! This busy-ness of spring catches me by surprise every year. Whether it’s the lingering athletic activities (and the potluck provisions they involve), garden prep, or another graduating senior (we’re on our 4th), I seem to forget the flurry of activity that goes on every year at this time.
That aside, I have been able to stay up to speed with an ongoing quilt-along I jumped into 2 weeks ago called Farm Girl Fridays (just haven’t had a moment to post about it yet!).
If you’re unfamiliar with Farm Girl Vintage, it’s what I would consider a distinct style of quilting, truly brought to life by the author and host of the quilt along, Lori Holt of http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com. Lori’s quilting style has a specifically vintage/cheerful/farmy flair to it, whether throughout this book or any of her previous (of which I have 3 – all excellent). In a word, they’re HAPPY, which is always my favorite.
Below are my first four blocks:
If you’re interested in joining along with Farm Girl Fridays, it’s not too late! You can either scroooooll back up and click the image of Lori’s book (with my great fabric choices!) or visit Lori at http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com .
Happy Monday! I’ve been posting quite a lot about ‘quality fabric buying,’ and up until now (without necessarily meaning to) – I think I’ve been a little cryptic. What I want to share today is what I mean by quality fabric. What I’m really talking about is Premium quilt fabric, but what does that mean and why does it make a difference?
For starters, I’ve been making quilts for a long time. As I’ve said before, I’ve used fabrics that run the gamut, including those that I look at now (from beneath a quilt I spent hours and hours making), and I cringe. The truth is that mostly, I bought what I could afford at the time, and as a young mom of six growing children, it wasn’t a lot. Rarely did I have time to even go to an actual fabric store, so oftentimes it meant strolling through the craft aisle with a cart full of kids, in whatever store I was in for another purpose, being pulled in by a fabric that caught my eye based on pattern, and buying 2 or 3 yards. That fabric was then added to my ‘stash’ for later use and coordination with some fabric (or two or five) I intended to find later (but often never did), once I fell in love with some pattern I’d find in a book. All well and good, right? Not really because half the time I didn’t have that fabric with me the next time I was at the store, which then only meant another one-hit-wonder would catch my attention in the same fashion. So what I wound up with was a bunch of fabric whose patterns I loved, but really didn’t coordinate together.
That said, I certainly had plenty of success over the years at coordinating fabrics together to make quilts. However, the process became about matching colors, which then opened me up to the dilemma of ignoring my discerning eye for quality fabric in exchange for a color or pattern that matched perfectly. Are you beginning to follow me, here? In a word:
Moving on. Let me now share an image of one such fabric that caught my eye in the store a year or two ago:
Cute, right? It’s good quality too; 100% cotton, nice dense thread count, very soft, like any good quality fabric should be. And it has lots of colors I like for the purpose of creating a whole quilt, beaming with lively colors! Now let me show you the selvedge edge:
Are you getting where I’m going with this? No pattern name, design collection, nothin.’ What if I need more of this fabric? What if I’m trying to match it perfectly with the same quality, same exact color match, same everything? I could call around and explain what it looks like or search online, but odds are – I wouldn’t find it.
About the time all this started occurring to me, I began learning more about Premium fabric brands and the thoughtful collections they assemble. I fell in love with Moda’s Little Apples, April Showers and Color Me Happy. Then I discovered Riley Blake. Have you SEEN Country Girls? To Norway with Love? EVERYTHING designed by Lori Holt? These are fabrics that a) have a recognizable name I can seek out, b) are great quality so there is no guesswork to be done in terms of even feeling the fabric, because I already know it’s great, and c) are part of collections of several different fabrics intended to coordinate together. There are several premium manufacturers out there; these are just the two I love most.
Aren’t premium fabric brands really expensive?
The answer is yes and no. In general, premium quilt fabrics are of better quality and yes – tend to be more expensive than your average ‘Printed Exclusively for Hobby Lobby Stores’ fabric. There are, however, ways to conquer the price difference from what you or I may have bought previously (see how I plopped you right into my happy little sand pile of Premium quality goodness? That’s because if you are not already basking in my sand pile by your own choice already, I want you to join me!). Here’s how I did it:
Once I figured out which collections I was in love with, I started shopping around. I can tell you that some brick-and-mortar quilt stores will carry part of a collection, but not all. I have found that to be true with my local Field’s Fabrics. If you can catch a good sale, you’re in with at least some. That said, I have all of ONE real quilt store in my area (that isn’t a ‘big box’ store like Field’s). I stopped in about six months ago, for the first time, delighted to meet the owner and share my new status as a lover of premium quilt fabric. She then cheerfully walked me around the store, showed me where to find all the different brands and lines (as the energy of this fabric heaven welled up inside me), then told me on the slide that they customarily DO NOT HAVE SALES. What? For a few moments I thought, well, it’s premium fabric; I guess that’s the trade off. Then reality spoke and I left the store, never to return. I suspect that this ‘No Sales’ policy is not universal, so do visit your local merchants and ask questions. If we can support local, I think it’s right to do so, as long as they meet us halfway.
I started shopping online. After leaving the aforementioned ‘No Sales’ store, I began to really delve into the online world of fabric shopping. Because I now had names of fabric lines I loved, I could search and compare prices. Craftsy.com is a great source, and they have amazing sales! FatQuarterShop.com is also on the up and up. Lastly, since I have an Etsy shop myself (where I used to sell my recycled animal friends, but am on hiatus for now), I seek to support my comrades. There are some great little sellers out there whose prices are more than fair.
Consider last season’s fabric lines. Like fashion, manufacturers are always introducing new lines. If you have to have the new lines right when they come out, you’ll simply have to be comfortable with the MSRP – manufacturer’s suggested retail price (but there are sales to be had – so find them). Otherwise, I find that I’m still discovering some of the retired lines are fabulous enough that I want to grab them before they’re really gone. As a warning, you WILL encounter sellers (on etsy, in particular) that treat retired fabric lines like out of print books, by pricing them sky high because they are out of print. I guess it’s just a matter of how badly you want the fabric as it relates to how much you’ll pay.
As previously (perhaps relentlessly) mentioned, I discovered PRECUTS.
2.5″ or 5″ Charm Packs, of the entire line
Jelly Rolls or Rolie Polies (depending upon the brand) in either 2.5″ strips or 3.5″ strips, of the entire line
10″ Layer Cakes, of the entire line
Fat Eighth, Fat Quarter, or Half Yard Bundles, of the entire line
The thing about precuts is that although if you really add it up, they are a bit more costly by volume than yardage, I believe it’s worth the trade-off. They allow me to incorporate a variety of fabrics into my quilt projects, especially when combined with solids like white or ecru, to really accentuate the patterned fabrics. I recommend either Moda Bella Solids or Robert Kaufman Kona Solids. They tend to be more reasonable in price than the printed fabrics created by these same premium manufacturers, yet still the same great quality. The best part is that most big box stores sell the entire collection of solid colors, so I can find them locally.