Restoration of those vintage blocks.

A wonderful quilt came into the studio two weeks ago. The client whom I have known  for many years, was dropping of this wonderful vintage quilt. She  completed it for her soon to be 89 year old grandmother. The blocks where made for said grandmother 55 years ago by a friend !!!  From the age of the fabric & style guessing  it was made from late 40’s early 50’s clothing. The blocks where hand stitched with small fine stitches. The workmanship of said blocks is wonderful ! Now jumping ahead… Those wonderful blocks where never put into a quilt. Lori (the granddaughter) was asked if she would finish the quilt . The family plans to give it to her on her 86th birthday.

Into my hands it lands. First things first, the fabric is aged it needs some stability. One of my favorite products is Shape-flex by Pellon it is a cotton woven fusible . Yes this is adding to the expense of the quilt. These blocks you could almost see threw by adding said product now these blocks have added life. Did this to all the blocks.

Once this was done the quilting process could start. Ditched all the applique and blocks. Added a pretty corner flower to echo the flowers in the fabrics. Feathers in the border fabric as the borders where a whooping 10 inches. Did clouds in the background and bricks . The sashing did swirls and mirror imaged them. There are no computers it’s just me moving the machine. The needle is my pen. Once the quilt was finished them took it off the machine and now dealing with stains. Their are not many stains but over time those blocks did get handled and well not sure what each stain is . So out comes  my favorite spot remover, I will also make my special restoration spray and we will handle each stain until they are gone. Funny how skills from ones past come in handy. Spent a couple of years restoring train cars for the Cranbrook Railway museum & went to school to learn Restoration. Also worked for a dry cleaner and dealing with stains is coming in handy.  If they don’t come out then will blend fabric paints to cover them up. We will bring it back to it’s full glory.  So at the end of the day I hope I have done these women proud and they love the quilt as much as I have working on it. Restoring such a gem is a honor. I know it’s just a quilt but it has a story , it starts with the first woman that did the blocks, the next who kept them safe, the daughter that gave them to her daughter to give to the grandmother. This in my eyes is the true treasure , it’s love expressed with fabric. It’s a family heirloom or here’s hoping it becomes their Heirloom.  Check out our facebook page for the finished quilt pictures. Client loved the quilting and they still have 8 blocks to make a lap size one.

 

 

 

Christmas is Coming

1st Christmas quilt of the year finished.

1st Christmas quilt of the year finished.

Summer has ended , fall is here and Christmas is just around the corner. In the studio this summer we hosted a kids club. Once a week a couple of little girls came and made a small project which they then took home. Next summer we will be offering this program again because honestly it was so much fun and I think the girls enjoyed it.

The Kids club taught me that there is still a need out there for basic sewing . If you have an understanding of the basics you can create wonderful. Our school system does still offer sewing in the life skills class. But if your like me that was along time ago. So I was thinking…. would anyone be interested in a drop in class every Monday 10-1 & or 6-9 to make something for Christmas? Each week I would post the upcoming project on our facebook page . The Cost would be $40 dollars but that would include supplies and everything. Thinking Homespun Stitching .

Get a start on your Christmas gifts. I know a lot of people go to the local craft sales and shop but honestly there is nothing more rewarding than making something yourself and giving it.

So book your space, let us know what small project you might be interested in. The more input the better. Thinking the first Monday of November is when we will start. And the project will be a wall hanging. I have started designing it and will make it up next week. Each week will be a different project which will be kitted up so yes you will have to let us know if you shall be attending. If you can’t attend but love the kit one can purchase them for $25 dollars.

So consider taking a small class .

And if you have quilts that need to be finished for Christmas  now is the time to get them into the queue. Avoid the Christmas rush.

Also if you need a gift idea for that quilter in your life we are offering  $150 dollar gift certificates for $100 . A savings of $50 dollars. These gift certificates can be used for classes or longarm services only. This sale will be on until Christmas .

This week in the studio this gem was picked up by it’s owner. A Simple wool wall hanging but it turned into something I truly wanted to keep. Hence why I am designing my own wall hanging for our first Homespun Stitching class.

Kids Club

IMG_9976 IMG_9977 IMG_9979 IMG_9981For the last couple of weeks have been testing a new class idea out . We have been hosting a Kids Club . It’s been interesting to teach kids between the ages of 7-12 how to sew. Nothing major but little items like wall hangings, pillow cases, & doing some handwork. We have also discovered that okay sometimes we need to use a box so little ones can reach the peddle. Or one needs a stool so that one can use the big machine.

The girls seem to enjoy the classes and in the fall we will be offering a once a week class. Feed back would be wonderful if your interested in signing up. As we can schedule it to fit schedules.  The Cost of the Class will be $25 a child but that includes all supplies and materials.

 

 

Gifts – a life lesson.

So as a Longarmer my quilts tend not to be completed.

Clients quilts come first guess the sayings true a cobblers kids don’t have shoes or a mechanic has the worse running car. Anyways last weekend I was hosting a wedding shower and thought oh I have time to make a quilt for the bride and groom. Yeah that didn’t happen ! I did get it pieced but not quilted, a quilt takes time and that’s just the facts. So what’s a girl to do ? Well I hate to admit it but I have a number of quilts in different stages of the process. This little gem was pieced around 2008 , sat for many years as just a top. Taken out again ( 2012 ) to add fish , sat for another  year before quilting it . And then it sat with just the binding to be done. So morning of the shower I was sewing like a crazy person to finish the quilt.

Now looking at this little quilt I have mixed feelings about it. Is it my best work ? Today no … Over the years my skills have improved but every time I picked it up to work on it I was doing my best work at that time. Those are just the facts !  Improving ones skills takes time and practice. There is planning, color theory , following a set of instructions , then doing. And most importantly finishing. I personally have a hard time giving away certain quilts because in my head I think oh I do so much nicer work now . At last count I have 17 quilt tops waiting for me to finish & 30 plus finished quilts in the studio.  Thinking it’s time to let go of more quilts The young bride loved the quilt and I know I will finish the one I was working on and eventually give it to them (might take me 5 yrs. evil laugh to finish) .

So life lesson … Remember it’s your best work at this stage of your journey , be proud of your work and remember no one but you can see the little flaws !

Thinking I will now let go of some quilts and maybe try scheduling in a couple of my quilt tops at least once a month.

 

 

 

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Added little feather fish through out the quilt.

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Added little fish using my embroidery machine .

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Elephant Abstraction Workshop – Book your spot

The hottest quilt at the moment is this wonderful Elephant Abstractions quilt by violet craft. This quilt will take a full three days to create but well worth the time. And once you have done one chances are your going to make another one. We will walk your through the steps of paper piecing using freezer paper. No paper to remove and  minimal fabric waste. Come enjoy three days sewing, learning a new skill and creating something special.

Wednesday March 15th to Sunday 19th – this week you can pick and choose the three days or come all five

 Elephant Abstractions / Giraffe Abstraction Quilt Workshop

IMG_9169Come and enjoy a three day workshop to create your own elephant or giraffe quilt.

Cost $75 dollars for three days       $100 dollars for all five days.

All meals and snacks provided.

Supply List

Pattern

Add a quarter inch ruler (If you don’t have no worries we have in studio)

Scoring tool (If you don’t have no worries we have in studio)

Freezer paper  ( can be purchased at your local grocery store)

2 meters of background fabric

Fabric strips that are at least 6 inches wide. Fat quarters work & lots of colors the more the merrier.

Things to note , the pattern calls for way to much fabric !   Fat quarters or six inch strips will work fine in a dozen or more  colors. The scraper the better. Shop in your stash  You will need two meters for the background fabric.

Sewing machines, irons, cutting mats and rotor cutters are provided. So you just need to bring yourself & Fabric.

Prep

We will be doing paperless paper piecing so if possible trace the entire pattern onto freezer paper. Assign a number for the colors so you know what color to use. Label all pieces. This will take a few hours to do but is well worth the time and saves distorting your pieces.

Class size – 4 quilters at our location Loopy D’s 79 Sunhurst Cres S.E. Calgary

 

And if you want to book a private workshop give us a call and we can schedule something that works for you.

And if you don’t quilt but want this wonderful quilt we will make it to order. For more information give us a call.

 

One on One instruction

So todaElephanty spent the morning with a client that came to sign up for our Elephant Abstraction workshop. Workshop is Friday Feb. 4, Saturday 5, and Sunday the 6th. Cost $75 dollars plus supplies. You can see this pattern on our facebook page . Its going to be a great weekend , meals included two spaces still available.  Now my client can’t do a three day workshop due to personal reasons and it made me think. Not all of us can take scheduled classes due to our own personal schedules. Maybe we needed to consider opening the studio up to those that needed help and an on hand instructor. So as of today we will be opening up the studio for those that need help would like to learn something or just want to use our sewing machines. On site we have three sewing stations , give us a call to let us know what you need help with and spend the day working on your own project. Cost $25 dollars a day.

Looking back , Looking forward … Quilting Goals for 2017

2016 was an interesting year to say the least. In the spring we installed new windows in the studio . Then a small disaster happened and we ended up doing a complete renovation  in the studio. Reworked the entire studio. Did a major purge and donated fabric and quilts to a number of organizations.  September we where finally fully up and running. New floors & lighting makes for a happy Bright space. Must say loving the new set-up.

Due to the new set up we now have more room…

So we brought in more wide backing fabric ,  now we carry almost 75 bolts of 108″ wide backing , and adding to it on a regular basis. We started carrying Fireside which if you haven’t used before its so nice to work with and is soft ,  it’s 60″ wide .

We also still carry a full selection of battings .

Honestly can say 2016 was not a year I would want to do again but there was some amazing quilts that we had the pleasure of working on.

Looking forward 2017 should be a wonderful year. We have finally started working and developing our new patterns. We will be launching them at Heritage Park.

On our Facebook page doing a tip of the day although it might be more like tip of the week .

In the studio Finishing the last of last years work and looking forward to working on the quilts that are coming into the studio. Hoping to see some amazing quilts come in. Already two quilts have come in that will be shown at the Calgary Stampede so going to do some major playing to showcase the quilters work off.

 

s1095662774_30064013_1159Having a Valentines special – If you quilt has a heart on it anywhere you will save $25 dollars on the quilting.

Also we still offer classes so book a class learn a new skill. Give feed back as to what you would like to see in the New Year.

 

 

Sale just in time for Christmas !

Today I was asked why do I create ? Simple answer is it recharges my spirit and soul. Will my works ever been in a museum or art gallery chances are not . But who is to say. There are some amazing quilts in museums that the makers had no idea that their little piece of art would be so highly valued. My favorite such quilt was made be Harriet Powers. The Bible quilt made 1885-1886 all cotton , pieced and appliqued . The Quilt now lives in the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum  of American History. This proud African American woman loved the quilt so much she said it was not for sale for any price. Four years later when things where hard for her family she sold this quilt to Jennie Smith for a whole $5.oo dollars. Harriet  gave her a full description of each scene with great earnestness, and deep piety she departed. Harriet did come to visit Jennie Smith several times to see her quilt and Jennie Smith did provide Harriet with scraps of fabric from her own stash. Note I don’t think they had a stash back then, evil giggle.   Okay my past life is sneaking into this, yes I have worked in a museum as an archivist .  I hate to admit it but I have a rather large collection of books on vintage quilts , fabric, and fiber history. Any ways getting back on track we create because it’s part of our DNA . We want nice things for our home, a special gift for a loved one so we create with fiber. It’s an art form and it’s our voice. You look back in history and young women made samplers to put into their hope chests for their future home. As women this is a part of us. Saying this I am the first quilter in my family, to funny I know.

So I take pride in what I do and try my hardest to do the best job I can on every quilt that I get to be part of its story. Yes quilts have a story and sometimes that’s the best part of my day when a client is dropping off and I ask them about the quilt. Personally I have been working on a quilt that I have taking all over the world when I go to quilt it that will also be part of it’s story. And it will have designs representing all the cities, towns, and countries it’s been to.

Anyways that’s why I create .

Name Your Price Sale

Now if you have read my blog before you know our studio had a little disaster and I said once we where up and running we would be having a sale. So we are having a name your price sale. If you only want to spend $50 dollars on a quilt we will do two hours of quilting on that quilt, so you know it’s going to be a simple all over nothing custom. This is a great sale for baby quilts , Christmas throws etc. as you don’t need over the top quilting. Name your price sale Starts October 1st and runs until the end of the month.

Also things to note…

The studio will be closed October 17th until October 24th

Christmas deadline this year is December 5th. If you are needing your quilt done for a gift that’s as late as you can leave it.

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Whole Cloth Quilt - twin

Whole Cloth Quilt – Custom

 

Reno Sale…

It’s been awhile since I last posted but their is a reason. On May 5th I had a plumber come in and install a new kitchen tap. That weekend I took a workshop with Luke Hanes (amazing workshop) although was home every night was to tired to head down into the studio . Monday morning into the studio I went to work to discover that the plumber didn’t do his job right and my studio was flooded ! Okay carpets where wet one wall wet and ceiling tiles destroyed. Spent the day sucking water up with the shop vac, called plumber basically dealt with the mess. Thought nothing more about it until the following week when my kitchen tiles where popping and cracking. Insurance company called and yes a lot more damage was done than what we first thought. Just saying we where not planning on a total house renovation ! They took out all the floors , including the sub floor in our kitchen and dinning room area as we had asbestives in the flooring. The base cabinets where destroyed which means new cabinets. Getting the picture. Been dealing with insurance company, disaster clean up, contractors and the list goes on. After seven weeks of living with this mess things are finally happening. The drywall is finally replace in the studio. They fixed and painted the one wall , which now means I get to go buy paint and do the other walls. The electrician comes in on Monday to replace our electrical panel and redo kitchen wiring (on my dime) cause well the building codes have changed and we now have to get the house up to code. The kitchen and dinning room are getting a total makeover . Yeah it’s time but was not in this years budget plan. The insurance company is only covering the flooring and the four base cabinets and that counter top area. The rest of the kitchen we could leave but really four new cabinets and then our old ones makes no sense . So we are having the entire kitchen made over and applying the funds from the insurance. To say the least it’s been crazy around here. As for the studio everything was boxed up so nothing came to harm. Yesterday they finally informed us that yes they would be taking out the carpets and replacing them. Okay no I am not putting carpets back in we picked a wonderful laminate flooring that we will pay the cost difference. Needless to say my pocket book is taking a major hit with all these unplanned renovations. We already did our big project this year installing new windows so not much is left in the piggy bank.

Saying this on July 15th until the end of the month we will be having a sale. Stay tuned on that. I am thinking have two quilts quilted third one free. 164970_612876008723932_755535659_n

As always look for the positive. On the plus side we are getting a new kitchen ! When we bought this house I was twenty truly I am not the same person I was then. And now I know what and how to design my new kitchen to totally work for our family. On the plus side when one uses the microwave and the kettle at the same time the breaker will not kick out. Evil giggle. On the plus side my studio is going to be switched around , reworked and function better.

I have also been purging the entire home and things are being donated, sold and given away. Also because I can’t work in the house or the studio my gardens have gotten my total attention. Evil laugh. Always look for the positive.

Next time I will post pictures of the before and after. Hope you drop of quilts in July just saying will be back up and running at full steam.

Art for a Cause…. Charity begins at home.

Morning, as I haul myself out of bed this morning looked outside to see my yard was white my first reaction was shit my plants where not covered. Living in Calgary the first rule of gardening is don’t plant anything until after the May long weekend. On closer inspection (put my glasses on) it wasn’t snow but the apple tree flowers dropping it’s peddles. Breathing a sigh of relief wander into the kitchen to grab a coffee then head outside to sit on the deck and watch the sun rise. Each day it’s important to take time to reflect, refocus & regroup for the up coming day. It’s also a great time to appreciate all the good in ones life. Sitting outside this morning watching the changing colors of the sunrise the oranges and yellows reminded me of the pictures of Fort McMurry fires flooding our news networks. It was cool outside , wind blowing and I was praying that they where not getting this wind. Better still rain would be a real nice thing at this point in time.

Our province right now is facing hard times with employment. Calgary is an oil and gas town and when things are bad in that industry we have the trickle down effect. Companies are letting go , people are cutting back and the dollars are not flowing. When you have a emergency such as this fire in Fort McMurry displacing an entire city you hope and pray we as a community can step up. I know my quilting community is doing that by making quilts. Donating their services and time.

While watching that incredible sunrise & reflecting I thought what could our studio do ? Yeah we could make quilts and donate them but what is really needed at this time ? Red Cross says make a donation and those funds would be used where it’s needed right now. So thinking cap on , another cup of coffee. What could we do ???

And it hit me !    ART –  for a cause 

What if all my quilting friends made a small art piece nothing large say a wall hanging or table mat size piece . If your not a quilter  make something.  My Husband said he could donate a photo or two.  Get your artwork  to the studio say by May 25th and we have an on line auction June 1st.   Sell the pieces then donate the funds to the Red Cross.

A little piece of art from many people can turn into something larger.

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Some times small things can change the world.

So let me know what you think. I think its a wonderful plan and if there is enough interest we will get to work getting this plan into motion.  Today I think I shall do something special  to get this event started.