What makes a quilt shop fun?

I recently started a new job as a regional sales manager for Quilting Treasures. It’s all about the fabric, baby! I get to go to quilt shops every day and talk about fabric. Yep, I’m a kid in a candy store.

I’ve been very fortunate to edit sewing and quilting books the last 6 years. I’ve also been blessed to be able to design my own patterns over the last 2 years. Now I have yet another great way to express my love of all quilts. I’m one lucky dog.

My territory is the northern half of California, Nevada (except for Las Vegas), Idaho and the western 2/3 of Montana.

About half of the shops I visit are in California and I live in the Bay Area, so that’s nice. Most of the Nevada shops are in the Reno/Tahoe area, which isn’t far for me. I have family in Idaho and lived in Missoula, MT as a kid, so I have a deep affection for this gorgeous part of our country.

I spent the past week in southern Idaho. It was snowy and windy, reminding me of my hometown in Washington state. I visited some very cosmopolitan quilt shops, some independent one-stop sewing/crafting stores and a few thriving quilt shops in homes and outbuildings.

I have a fresh appreciation for the ingenious, endearing, intelligent and persevering nature of the independent quilt shop owner.

Owning a successful quilt shop must be like running a night club, a hair salon, a school, AND a store. It’s all about creating a welcoming community for your customers. What a talented group of women (and a few men) I am meeting.

Do you know an impressive quilt shop owner?

What do you like about the shops you patronize?

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Modern pillow pattern

Quick modern pillow – pattern available

 

This fab pillow is made using 5 fat quarters of Terra Australis 2 fabric from Ella Blue (due in stores in September). Of course you can use any fabric you like. But seriously, don’t you this fabric is amazing?

The pillow pattern available. It’s a great project for a beginning quilter or home sewist. The cutting and piecing is very basic. It’s a slip-cover, so no zippers or buttonholes required!

The pillow top is quilted in straight lines – easy peasy!

I’m setting up my Etsy store, so for now, just shoot me an email if you want a hard copy or downloadable PDF.

For those of you in the Bay Area, I’ll be teaching this class at Intrepid Thread in Milpitas, CA , October 3rd.

If you haven’t discovered Intrepid Thread yet, I promise that you will LOVE it! Julie carries modern quilt fabrics at great prices. All of the inventory is online, so you don’t need to be in the Bay Area to indulge yourself.

Don’t you love projects that give you instant gratification?

Boho chic tassel

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I made this tassel yesterday as a gift for my friend Barbara. I added tons of beads, though many are hidden in the depths of the tassel. 

An embellished tassel like this can be used as a keychain, a purse dangle, curtain tie back or, as shown in this photo, to spruce up an old brass lamp. It’s a little over the top, but I love adding this kind of rich texture to my life. 

I started by cutting narrow strips of three different fabrics. Then I threaded beads on embroidery floss and pearl cotton of various colors and weights. I tied a few of the larger beads to the fabric strips but wasn’t crazy about how jerky the fabric knots looked. (I kept them there because I don’t like to undo things very often. I prefer to keep it as is, my own personal creative expression, and try something different next time. If I try to make the first one perfect, it will never be done!)

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I tied it together at the top with wire strung with larger beads and wired that to a sterling silver keychain, as shown below. I wrapped a strip of fabric around the neck of the tassel, secured it with stitches and sewed beads there, too.Image

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Great quilt pattern by Denise Schmidt

Here is Paisley (prior to her haircut) sitting on a quilt top I made using a new pattern by Denise Schmidt called Here and There.

You can find this pattern in quilt stores or on her website DSQuilts. I adore Denise’s vintage modern aesthetic. Her designs are clean yet dramatic.

I’ve been working with Denyse lately to help her write pattern instructions. She is always so busy running her empire of fabrics, quilts, designs and art. I truly do not know how she gets it all done.

If you like modern fabrics and designs, check it out!

Once I quilt this top, it’s going to my niece who just had a baby boy, Tyler Jr. This one’s for you, TJ.

Keep stitching!
Ann

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