WWQP Bulletin Board

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Skillbuilder Panels and Studying Catalogs

Keepsake Quilting's catalog that arrived in the mail today provided its usual hour or two of reading this evening. That booklet certainly does provide a lot of "eye candy" if nothing else and there were a few things I just had to order .... sigh. One item I ordered was something called "Skillbuilder Panels" which you can learn about by going to http://www.keepsakequilting.com/productdetail.aspx?PRODID=2875

I've been doing free motion quilting for years but these "exercises" look like interesting practice sessions and a chance to see if I am as good as I think I am. (Probably not. I think I probably am in a rut. LOL)

The only two paper catalogs that I sit down and "read" are the ones from Keepsake and from Hancock's of Paducah. How about you? What catalogs do you "study"?


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Here is Sharons website for her videos

Here's the link to Sharon Schamber's page of videos. Nineteen of "how-to" videos that show a number of techniques. You'll love them. I was able to view without suscribing.


Sharon Schamber

Doris, thank you soooo much for the link to the Sharon Schamber how-to video. I watched several, including the on pieced-appliequed basket handles. Fascinating! And in a couple minutes time I learned several things by watching her videos. A short 1 or 2 minute video takes a lot less time than watching a half-hour quilting show. LOL. Thanks again.

bobbin genie

For those of you who do your own FMQ (free-motion quilting), I've just found about about this little notion. My Long-Arm MQ friend told me about it and sent me this link. The bobbin genie is supposed to eliminate thread nests on the bottom side of the quilt while FMQ.

Sharon Schamber submitted this video about the Bobbin Genies. She has won 1st place in many large quilt shows.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

In regards to fabric departments in the big stores

This is not a scientific poll. In fact, it's a poll of one -- me. No, no, I don't think that I'm the expert on this thought. It's just that..."My Thought on the subject of fabric departments". And this is my thought. I think that the current popularity of quilting has hit its peak and is on the downside of the hill.

When most of us began quilting umpteen years ago, quilting was just beginning its new popularity. Quilting had been a big thing in the 1930s. It's rather odd that so many quilt kits were available in those years, for many people didn't have the funds to buy such kits. So along with the vintage quilts from kits, we see numerous 1930s quilts that were made from scraps...applique butterflies, double wedding ring, grandmother's flower garden, etc. There were a lot of quilters in the 1930s. A quilting friend said she learned to applique at a work camp where her family had moved to work as migrant workers in the fields when jobs at home disappeared. The women of the camp swapped fabrics for their butterflies. My friend kept her applique blocks until just a few years ago when she set them together in a quilt. She still had the paper pattern that was copied from someone else's paper pattern. Even though the Depression had its grip on the country, women were quilting. Some fabrics were feedsacks that were purchased at the local feed store when the chickens needed fed. But other fabrics were new at the store. Vintage quilts of the 1930s are plentiful.

The war years (the 1940s) brought quilting to a quick decline. Yes, you will find quilts and quilt tops made from vintage 1940s fabrics (and presumably constructed during those years), but the major focus was now on rationing nearly every commodity on the market in order to provide the resources needed to keep an army in supplies. The government put in place certain restrictions that limited the amount of fabric that could be used in commercial garments. Skirt lengths were regulated as well as the amount of fabric at the hem. Along with the rationing, many housewives were now, for the first time, engaged in employment outside the home. My sister-in-law, then a petite 95 pounds and with flaming red hair, was one of the first women welders in the shipyards in California. With all those men working, she soon learned to keep that red hair covered with a bandanna to avoid unwanted attention. For various reasons, quilting - that is, fine quilting - declined during those war years. Nobody had the time.

The popularity of quilting began its resurgence in the early 1970s. You will find a lot of rather ugly (just my humble opinion) quilts of that time made from polyester double-knits. Admittedly they make warm covers, but their beauty would have to be rigorously defended. LOL. My first quilt for which I purchased all the fabric at one time was in the mid-1970s. I picked a Kansas City star pattern from a quilt book and drafted it onto cardboard. The cotton fabric came from the dress fabric in a locally owned store and today you might think my selection was rather unattractive. However, the fabrics were the ones suggested by the pattern (a solid brown, a red calico and muslin) and I was new enough to quilting to "follow directions". LOL. Not much variety was available. Later a few calicoes came on the market, aimed especially at quilters. We were so excited to see something "new".

Then, fabric companies began their multitudinous lines of coordinated fabrics....tons of companies....tons of fabrics....toooooooo many choices. LOL. We quilters bought fabric as if our lives depended upon it. I'll bet for every quilter who says she buys only for the current project there are 99 others, who like myself, bought on spur of the moment, bought on sale, bought just in case. Our closets overflowed. We bought rubbermaid containers and stashed. We built shelves in our closets and stashed. We renovated the basement or the spare bedroom and stashed some more.

I don't know about all of you, but I've tried cleaning out some of my stash by giving fabric away and by making charity quilts. I STILL have TOO MUCH fabric in my house. More than I will ever need. I can't remember the last time I went to a quilt store and bought fabric for quilting. It's been a long time. Fabric at $9 a yard is toooo expensive for a person who grew up in the 1950s and had to watch her pennies to purchase sewing needles in the 1970s. My frugal nature doesn't allow me to spend $9 a yard on fabric that will sit forever in my closet.

Somehow my quilting passion has died a slow death. Yes, I still sew....a little. It now takes me forever to complete a quilt that five years ago would have been one project amongst many completed in one month. And my quilting has become more simplified. I am no longer motivated or enticed to construct some elaborate, complicated pattern.

In my personal quilting career (which extends back to the 1970s) I see that my quilting will never again be the frantic focus of my life that it once was. I'm almost grateful for that. And relieved. LOL. I used to think that I must make quilts for all my kids, my DGKs and DGGKs so they would all have an "heirloom" from Gramma. Nope. Not anymore. If they end up with one of my quilts, fine. I hope they love it and enjoy using it. But I am no longer concerned that one of my quilts outlive me. LOL.

I'm venturing forth to say that I'm guessing I am not the only quilter who has gone through this grand experience and come out on the other end thinking "that was fun, but I'm glad I'm no longer addicted". If I'm right in thinking that, then I'm right in thinking that the demand for ever more fabrics is now entering a decline. Fabric companies and distributors will be on top of the trends and they'll follow the trail to profit. The next generation doesn't have the time nor sewing expertise to get heavily involved in quilting (not to mention the expense of mega-bucks sewing machines and other equipment)...they've turned to knitting, crocheting (who would have thought) and beading. They like to felt wool and make rugs or purses. They are into the crafts that we all left behind in the 1970s. Next thing you know, they'll be crocheting doilies for every surface in the house. LOL.

Life flows on.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chain Store

I checked with Mary at the Hobby Lobby near me and she said that as a corporation that they are scaling back to ONLY reorderable fabric so customers who come up short for a project can get more. Of course there will still be differences in dye lots, but I think this will mean the end of seeing designer's like Deb Mumm, Teresa Kogut, etc.....at Hobby Lobby because these designers do not do fabric that lends itself well to reordering. Sigh.......

Tried to post a message about crummy fabric on the chat page using my sign-in and password for this page as I think I am supposed to be able to (not real computer savvy) but it posted here instead. Well back to making valances for work at daycare, but I did get the "Going Batty" from Pieced Tree patterns done as well as A Winter's Tale wall hanging for the shop where I teach! Back to Appliquing!


Hancock's of Paducah

If you are interested in how Hancock's of Paducah became Hancock's of Paducah you can read the story at their website. Go to http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/ and scroll all the way down to the very bottom of their home page .... way, way, way down into the green area ..... and there's a link that says "About Us". Click on that and you can read how Hancock Fabrics and Hancock's of Paducah became two entirely different businesses.



SANDRA, and anyone else. I would get familiar with some of the many web sites that advertise in the quilt magazines. I've had very satisfactory service from some. Yes, you have to pay shiping but if they don't have a physical presence in your state you are spared sales tax. They all have specials going too. Jo-Ann's has a web site although you will no doubt have to pay tax as I'm sure they have stores in all the states. It's www.joann.com I think. If not it would be easy to find on Google. I know that there is Hancock's web site as well as Hancock's of Paducah. The two are separate business. The latter tends more to be high end. They are owned by brothers and I believe they've litigated about the name.

Jane in NC

Monday, August 6, 2007

Available Fabric

The only fabric I have to choose from is 25 miles away at Hancock's,Wal-mart, or Hobby Lobby. Last Friday I popped into Hobby Lobby to check their fabric and yarn departments. I hadn't been in some time. It appeared that they had greatly scaled back their entire area that has anything to do with fabric or handwork of any kind. Is this happening in your area too?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

One More Reason to Teach Your Kids to Quilt

We have a wedding coming up this week and I've discovered one more reason to teach your children and grandchildren to quilt...they'll know how to use a needle and thread.. Tomorrow I will be shortening the hems on two pair of dressy slacks for a DGD. Yesterday I took a short tuck, using needle and thread, in the tie strings of a white eyelet cotten sun dress, size four. Nobody in this family knows how to use a needle and thread except for two DDs. In fact, I'm not certain anyone in this family even HAS a needle and thread in their household (other than the two DDs, one of whom I taught to quilt, and one who is an expert with the embroidery needle...her stitches rival the finest I've seen anywhere).

It's not that anyone these days really needs to sew garments...they're so plentiful and so inexpensive. However, everyone should know how to sew on a button in an emergency and to hem a pair of new slacks when need be. One of these days all of us DGMs will be long gone and all of America will be tripping over their hems....all because we failed in our duty to instruct them in the simple use of a needle and thread. LOL



I think I have 23 treadles and about 14 hand crank machines right now, plus some electric ones--some 221s (Featherweights), a 222 (the free-arm Featherweight), some 301s (slant needle straight stitch machines) and a 319 in a nice desk from 1956, and maybe a few more around. One of these days I'll have to take a count again, and I really have to put some of the duplicates on eBay. This pic is of 6 of the 7 treadles in the living room--one of the couches is off the pic to the right, so the two treadles behind it are doubling as sofa tables, LOL. The two on the left closest to the camera are in what is called parlor cabinets.
Pat in Rockport, TX, who hopes to get some stitching done on one of the studio treadles this afternoon, making baby quilts.

WalMart still has fabric in my area.

The big supercenter here has the fabric dept. and has new fall, Halloween, and Christmas fabric out now. The quilting notions have been restocked too. The facts seem to be that WalMarts in high population towns are closing the fabric dept. due to be seen as not upscale as they want to appear. And the same for the tiny population towns, where not enough sales in the fabric dept. warrants keeping it. There is a magic number somewhere in WalMart's brain that determines which stores have a fabric dept. for now. They have to have some stores sell the fabric that they have until the fabric contracts end. Carol in AR

Pat's machine and summer....

Pat...the machine is gorgeous....how many do you have now??? That one is just like the treadle machne that I had to give away just a couple of weeks ago...it had the same type decals and was in beautiful shape as was the wood cupboard itself.....it hurt to give it away but when moving and downsizing some terrible hard decisions had to be made....I even donated my antique piano that had been my 40th birthday gift to a seniors cooperative living centre for their common room....at least I know that it is being used and enjoyed and the new owner of my treadle is a quilting buddy who loves antiques so it is being loved in a new home now....

Sewing room in the new house was first one painted, but seems like it will be the last one unpacked....I have one more trip back north to retreive a few more things and close the house deal as well as get our son settled in the apartment....and settled to me means kitchen cupboards cleaned and things unpacked!!

Summer time is wonderful but not when it is hot and humid for moving....I would rather be sewing!!