Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Quilters Crossing Gals

So we were all dressed and ready to go to Preview Night of the International Quilt Show when the weather report went sour.... Rain, flooding and severe thunderstorms threatening all night long.
So we decided to wait and go on Sunday- more time there, safer...
 But since we were all at the shop together- which very rarely happens we decided (I begged!) everyone to take a group photo. Now, anyone who knows us knows that Deb, Nancy and Mandy have "issues" with photos. The three of us avoid pictures at all costs but, you know for the record, and the memory of these good times with these wonderful ladies we took the pictures!
 Deb joked and asked if she could hide behind the sign so we were taking a silly photo but, at first only two of us hid our faces and my daughter (our photographer) was laughing and saying, "You guys know only TWO of you are actually doing it right?" So then we got it together and coordinated our joke picture! (Above)
And miracle of MIRACLES we managed TWO yes 2 pictures with all our eyes opened! See the evidence above and below!  
For the record, there were more pictures that didn't make the cut-- for various reasons--I was making a goofy face, Deb blinked, Nancy turned away, BUT, TJ looked GREAT in every single picture people! I mean to say, she is one photogenic lady, pretty in pictures and in person!
Hope everyone has a great week visiting the International Quilt Show! We will have tickets while supplies last.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Peppered" Shot Cottons+ a Contest!

The second session I attended during Schoolhouse day at Quilt Market was on Peppered Cottons, put out by Studio E. 
We recently received these in the shop, they are named after Pepper Cory, of course, and are actually "shot" cottons.
 Shot cottons have traditionally been made of silk and traditionally in India but, are now made of cotton in a 60x60 thread count comparable to quilting fabric's thread count. 

Shot cottons get there name because woven fabric is made up of loom or warp threads (threads that are threaded onto the loom) which run parallel to the selvedge and weft threads that run selvedge to selvedge. These weft threads are loaded onto a shuttle that "shoots" across the loom back and forth while the fabric is being made. 
Note in the picture the threads are purple one way and turquoise the other
Shot cottons get their name because they are unique. While normal fabric is being made the threads for the warp and weft are the same color, in shot cottons these are two different colors which gives a very different overall color effect. Thus the "shot" of shot cotton is the extra color seen in the weave. 
Pepper Cory holding a quilt designed by Laura Gilvan made of  Studio E's Peppered Cottons
Pepper Cory gave the following suggestions for shot cottons:
 If you pre-wash your fabric, do so gently and, in pieces large than  quarter yards if you are using a washing machine. Pieces smaller than one quarter yard should be hand washed. After machine washing you should clip frayed threads off before putting the fabric in the dryer. She also gives further information about shot cottons on her blog.
Washing will remove the very slight sheen that these fabrics have that is applied during the finishing process called "calendaring". Washing will plump the fibers of both thread colors as well which makes peppered cottons great for rag quilts or chenille effects.
Shot cottons are not recommended for quilt backings but are sturdy and beautiful for quilt tops, bags, purses and even some gently washed clothing.  Shot cottons shrink very little when washed- comparable to any other quilting fabric shrinkage.
They have been enormously popular with "modern" quilters and traditional quilters as well.
Studio E was looking for some softer colors to compliment and fill out their current jewel tone colors. The photo above shows the new colors being released in December to quilt shops. I am not sure the chartreuse green on the right end is "soft" but I like it!
Speaking of shot cottons and Studio E.... They are having a contest! Check out the Studio E website for more information. We are talking CASH prizes ($500 for the top winner) and even prizes for the shop selling the award winner's fabrics! Win-Win! Check it out and see if you might be interested in playing with a little Peppered Cotton?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Schoolhouse 2013

Friday was the opening day of Quilt Market Fall 2013 at the George R. Brown. Nancy and I attended "Schoolhouse". 
Here we are at the beginning:
Excited to begin and feeling the Quilt Market "energy" surrounding us!
Here we are at the end:
Brains ready to burst after 14 classes EACH in one day!
Aren't you glad I had my iphone? How did we live our lives without being able to constantly document them via photo/instagram etc...? We were just missing out! :-)
Schoolhouse is a BIG day full of hard core shop owner education. There are speakers there to give you ideas on how to make your shop the best shop around, spice up your local quilting community by hosting events and lots of new products are demo'ed so that shop owners know all the cool things coming out that their customers will be wanting them to keep in stock. 
Some of the speakers are famous quilters, designers, and pattern makers but, some come from more of a marketing background or a social media background. Quite a range of options all with lots to offer someone looking to improve or fine tune their business. It is a great opportunity and boy are we lucky it is right here in Houston every year!
Stay tuned for what we learned while we were there in the next few blog posts!
PS we still have tickets for Quilt Festival at the shop but they are going fast! 
Avoid the line and buy them from us- 
same cost & no line to wait in!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Watercolor wonder...

These soft, water colored style fabrics caught our eye recently as we were ordering fabrics
 Unique artwork really makes this line stand out.
 Check out the unique stripe!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bonnie and Camille have done it again!

This is the Scrumptious fabric line from Moda designed by Bonnie and Camille.
So girly and retro!
 We got LOTS of precuts for this line!

Deb made this adorable decoration for the shop from a pattern on Moda Bake Shop  and it uses the hexagon precuts! So cute!
There are a several patterns on Moda Bake shop that use this fabric line in adorable ways! Check it out!