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?

It was worth a try.

Just before Christmas I made binding for 4 quilts I am finishing. I had the brilliant idea to use empty wrapping paper rolls to wrap the binding around instead of letting it lay in a heap, as I normally would (see the clump in the foreground of this picture).

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I’d read somewhere about using a toilet paper roll to store binding and thought my wrapping paper roll would be a vast improvement. Wrong. It was beyond cumbersome. Wrapping the binding diagonally made it wrinkle, which isn’t a good thing.

In the end, I stooped to using a lowly toilet paper roll, which I have to admit worked beautifully.

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For the first time in over 20 years of making quilts, I pieced together scraps to make the binding for a blue and white baby quilt. I LOVE the way it looks wrapped around the cardboard tube, bathed in morning sunlight. What can I say, I’m nuts for anything blue and white.

May the New Year find your quilts “wrapping” your loved ones in bliss.

Ann

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Work gets messy

I am a freelance editor of sewing, quilting and craft books and I work from home. Most of the work is done electronically, but at times I have to organize reams of text, photos, samples and illustrations. I have a system to track it all, but I work on more than one book at once so the volume can be daunting. It’s important to know where everything is so I keep as much of it in files as I can.

I know what’s in the pile in this photo, but I need to work with it again today, so it isn’t filed yet.

I like to embrace my messy side and don’t “get” other people’s obsession with organization. However, I admit that ‘Messy’ becomes ‘Stressy’ if I can’t find something I need.

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