A Little Quilt Project In Progress

I had to check to make sure it was okay to share this, and it is!

Windham Fabrics put out a call for people to make 18″ square quilts to decorate their space at Quilt Market. My fabrics came yesterday!

fabrics are here!

Hello Beautiful! Rome in the Spring! How can you not love that?

Ciao Bella

The main print is larger than I expected to have for a small quilt. Hmmmm. Time to play with these fabrics and see what looks good!

Perhaps a scrapbook page look? The florals are smaller pieces, so I thought I might use them to make triangles over the corners of the “photos”.

Ciao Bella

I need to introduce them all to the iron and then play with them some more. I could use the white for background, but I like the words if I am going for a scrapbook theme. Then the white can be the edge of the photos. Things look better on the brown background words than the green. I may end up leaving the green words out if I go this route.

Not sure about binding yet, either…

What would you do with these?


Fabric Shopping

Yesterday, I went to the fabric store.

SR Harris Fabrics

My husband decided to come along. We walked in, he said, “Okay, see you in an hour.” I gave him a funny look. He said, “What? How long do you think it will take?” Ummmm. That picture above? That’s one aisle of fabric. There are about 12 like that just for cotton wovens. The whole place is 30,000 square feet. I am not even sure how I got a picture without a person in it because it was really busy there yesterday. There was a basketball game on, so my husband decided to wait in the car. I thought that was a fine idea.

Anyway, I went there looking for some small scale repro print cotton wovens for a quilt square swap and some fabric to line a summer dress. I picked up these:
small scale cotton wovens

I haven’t decided if those are the ones I want to go with for the swap. I need four. Zoe is already making plans for the one on the left.

These also made their way into my basket:
small scale cotton wovens
The blue is for something summery for Zoe. Blue is a good color for her and it is a really happy print. The other two? I have no idea. Sometimes things just want to come home with me.

After I had been in there for an hour, I decided it was probably a good idea to cut the fabrics I had so far. I was standing in the checkout line when I got a text from my husband. “Just making sure you didn’t get lost.” I guess the basketball game was wrapping up. Good thing I did not go looking for those dress lining fabrics, he would have sent in a search team!

Of course, that means I will have to go back because I really do need that dress lining.

Happy Sewing!


Sewing From the Fabric Stash

This fabric is sitting on my cutting table.
knit fabric
The trouble is, I am having a hard time deciding what to make with it. I was originally thinking it would make a good top, perhaps Jalie 3132?
jalie 3132
Then I remembered I do not usually wear printed tops. But maybe that is only because I do not own any printed tops? So, if I had one, would I wear it? Hmmmmm, not really sure.

The fabric has been sitting her for a couple days now. I was thinking it could be a good skirt fabric. A contrasting solid colored yoga waist would be nice. Long or short? I just cannot decide!

What would you make? Shirt? Long skirt? Shorter skirt?



ps – Be sure to stop by tomorrow, there will be something exciting here!

End of the Local Fabric Shop

Mill End stores closing

There was a fabric store near the office I used to work in many years ago. I found it quite by accident; it was tucked into an industrial park.

When my daughter was born, I decided to make cloth diapers for her. We made many trips to the store over the years, as the sewing of diapers later became the sewing of clothes and other things. The ladies who worked there would comment on how cute she was or how big she was getting. Later I went there with her younger brother and they would still ask how Zoe was doing, if she was at school, and so on.

I bought a lot of fabric there. They used to have overruns from Carters children’s clothing lines, piles and piles of knits, quilter’s cottons, dress fabrics, fleece, home dec, pretty much anything you might want.

Over the last few years, some areas of their stock has dwindled. Children’s knit prints have been less plentiful and the quality of the fabrics that were offered was not as good as it was in the past. I ran into the owner shortly after the store closing was announced and he was quick to put blame on the new health care laws. That seemed odd since most of the employees were only part time – a fact I had heard them complain about on various occasions. (Yes, it is possible I spent too much time there…) My guess is the health care requirements, if they applied, were the final straw for a business that was on the decline for the last few years. But that is only a guess.

Mill End stores closing - fixtures for sale
Now customers are left watching as sections of the store empty and fixtures disappear. The wall shelving in this picture used to be full of quilter’s cottons, and the shelves extended across all of the wall that is now visible to the left and all the way to the door. The pile of unwanted fleece for a New York sports team is a tiny fraction of what used to be available here.
Mill End stores closing - thread sold
This thread display holds only a few stragglers now, and what remains of the notions wall is looking bleak. I don’t know if I will go back again. The advertising says they are bringing in remaining inventory from the warehouse to the few stores that have not closed, but it is pretty sad at this point. Employees say the stores are expected to close at the end of the month.

Goodbye Mill End, I’ll miss you.


Fabrics from Japan

My husband travels with some frequency to Taipei and Tokyo. A few months ago, he was in Tokyo and left me a voicemail saying, “I’m at a fabric store, what do you want?” Oh. my. gosh. Anything. Bring me anything. He sent me pictures while he was there.

Here’s the shop in the mall:
2013-11-21 14.43.03

He said shopping there was too overwhelming. He didn’t know what to choose.
Takashimaya Mall Fabric Store

Takashimaya Mall Fabric Store

Takashimaya Mall Fabric Store

He returned from that trip with nothing for me. I was soooo sad.

But, a few weeks ago, he was in Tokyo again with a little extra time. He was very brave, shopping on a national holiday there. The store was more busy than usual. I was chatting with him while he was waiting to get the fabric cut. He messaged me – “I’ve been here for 20 minutes and I just realized, this is just the line for cutting fabric! There’s another whole long line for paying for it!”

He persevered and brought me two things.

This is on my favorite:
For Sale Only in Japan

Check it out!
Snoopy Fabric!

Now, this second one, I’m a little stumped on. He chose it because he wanted something Japanese.
Names of fish in Japanese

This fabric is lighter than the Snoopy fabric. The Snoopy fabric feels like a nice weight quilter’s cotton. This one is much finer, perhaps linen? I have no idea what to make with it.

Also, earning bonus points, he asked his coworkers what is printed on the fabric. It’s names of fish in Japanese! Ha! He said they did look at him a bit strangely when he pulled out his phone at dinner and asked them to translate the words on the fabric he had bought for his wife.

So, what would you make with fabric covered in fish names? I’m stumped and I have 2 meters of it!

Happy Sewing!


Chez Ami Sale!

Lots of crafty sales this week, which is good if you are have plans for handmade holidays. :)

This just landed in my inbox: Chez Ami fabrics are 30% off until December 1st. I love shopping that does not require me to actually go to a store!

Fabric Chez Ami by Patsy Aiken Designs

(This is a Sewing Mamas affiliate link, so clicking through helps support Sewing Mamas if you are shopping!)

Happy Shopping!

Sewing Mamas Retreat 2013: Friends Help Friends Fabric Shop

Most of us arrived at the retreat on Thursday, some driving 16 hours to get there! We almost lost Jane and Vanessa in a series of road closures, but they made it. Whew! On Friday we headed up to SR Harris Fabric Outlet in Brooklyn Park. Their building is 30,000 square feet of fabric goodness. If you are in the Twin Cities area and haven’t been there, plan to spend the better part of the day shopping. Really. The pictures on their website are just a hint of what’s there. Be prepared to cut your own fabrics (and put away the bolts you’ve pulled!) because the staff only cuts if you need 5 yards or more. If you have questions, ask an employee or even another shopper. After all, fabric shoppers tend to be kindred spirits and quite willing to share their knowledge.

Fabric Shopping
Some of the girls after shopping at SR Harris. From left: Sarah, Vanessa, Jeri, Steph, and Jane. This photo also shows a small corner of the front of the store. Thanks to Michelle for the picture!

We were a little worried about maxing out the suitcase weight (and space capacity!) of some of the mamas who flew in, so some of the goodies traveled home via USPS. Flat rate boxes are fantastic! I’ve added a scale to my list of things to bring to our next retreat so we can judge suitcases better and keep them under the airline limits.

Shipping boxes
This is a medium flat rate box. It weighed over 14lbs and had 36 yards of woven fabrics/quilter’s cottons in it. Tons of wonderful in that box!

After spending the better part of the day at the fabric store, we stopped to get lunch and also popped into a Jo~Ann store to get a fabric marking pen. I found out later what that was for, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you. Probably tomorrow. :p

Happy sewing!

Sewing or shopping?

I’m in a shopping kind of mood.

Fabric.com has Amy Butler fabrics on sale this weekend.

Cameo Harriet’s Kitchen and Forget Me Not in the Sugar colorway are nice, but I also really like Forget Me Not in midnight blue. Hmmmm…
Amy Butler Cameo Harriet's Kitchen SugarAmy Butler Cameo Forget Me Not SugarAmy Butler Cameo Forget Me Not Midnight

Ooh! The Forget Me Not comes in voile! Maybe a lightweight skirt or top for summer?

I love the colors in the Gypsy Caravan line. I wish Spring would hurry up and get here, I’m so over cold and snow. Think a charm pack would give be enough for a patchy skirt?

This Paradise Garden with Bali Gate from the Love line maybe for a bag – or the beginnings of a quilt?

This is one of my favorite combos – Paradise Garden and Sunspots -

Plus, Robert Kaufman fabrics are 20% off through Monday – I love these:
Dress Up Mannequin Vintage Teal (This one comes in an antiquey charcoal and offwhite colorway, too.)

Vintage Couturier Sewing Box Ecru

Vintage Couturier Sewing Box Brown

I should stop now, before I also add all of these to my cart…
Vintage Couturier 2 Machines And Buttons CharcoalVintage Couturier Buttons And Embroidery Thread NaturalVintage Couturier 2 Machines And Buttons Spring
Vintage Couturier 2 Mannequin CharcoalVintage Couturier 2 Notions GardenVintage Couturier Sewing IvoryVintage Couturier 2 Notions Charcoal
But really, wouldn’t they be great for sewing room accessories? Machine covers, pin cushions, a little bag for sewing on the go? What would you make?

You can still get an additional 30% off clearance fabrics with the coupon code posted on their site!

Are you sewing this weekend? What are you making?

Happy Sewing!

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