Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sew much going on...

It has been a bit since my last post. Construction in the village is wrapping up and we are in full fledged quilting season.

I will be heading to Houston later this week to check out the latest and greatest the quilting industry has to offer. I will post a couple things while I am down there and then we will have the full Post Market review 11/9 at 10:30 or 6:30.

We are doing some really fun stuff at the store. Summer can become a bit boring in the quilt world, so we starting holding demos on Wednesday nights. We have had so much fun preparing and customers have really been enjoying the format. Currently we are in the middle of the 12 Weeks of Christmas. Each Wednesday night we feature projects and teach a technique. You get a free pattern and enter to win a door prize. It doesn't get better than that! View the complete schedule in the front page of our website.

I will be working on keeping all of this up to date on the virtual world, I just need 5 more of me! We may not always have the full preview available as we are constantly looking to include as much as possible into these nights. They have provided us with new technique samples in the store and many new displays throughout. As one concept may flow from one week to another, you may see one project more than once, however there is always something new to check out.

This week Linda and Susie are featuring tree skirts. Linda stopped in the store today to pick up more fabric for her latest inspiration. Susie took a wedge from a skirt and transformed it into a pillow sham. I will be getting ready to head to Houston so I will miss the fun. :-(

When it comes to tree skirts, one of the most common questions customers ask, "can we quilt tree skirts on the long arm?" We absolutely can! We can quilt almost anything with a square or rectangular back. So let's say your tree skirt measures 50 inches across. We would need a back at least 56 inches square so that we can pin the back on the quilt frame. You can either bring in a complete circle or already have you center hole and splice already cut.

Remember when you bind your skirt to use bias binding. This gives your binding nice shape as it hugs the curves of your skirt.

Until next time... Happy quilting and make sure to check us out on Wednesday nights!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Construction Obstruction

It is finally summer in Wisconsin and the entire state has become a giant obstacle course with all the various construction projects.

Elm Grove is no different. Apparently we felt left out of the construction game so the village wanted to make sure you could have an adventure travelling to us as well!

No worries, our easy to follow map will lead you to our front door! We are even planning a fun Summer Safari program to make each trip extra special. Each week from July 11 through the end of the summer we will feature a different project or technique. Each Wednesday night we will demonstrate the project of the week. Our area eateries will all be open and many will offer great specials on those nights.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hello my name is Julie....

Hello, my name is Julie and I am a Halloween Fabric Junkie....

I love Halloween! I don't know if it is the costumes or the candy. I don't particularly enjoy haunted houses or scary ghosts, but Halloween is truly one of my favorite times of the year. During my high school and early adult years, I would design and construct my own costume and often costumes for my friends. I enjoy it so much, it is my goal to one day carry every Halloween novelty in the store. An odd goal one might say, but one to which I aspire.

It is my hope that we will become the regional destination for all things Halloween. I think the Halloweenophiles (yes I just made that word up) are a bit eccentric. Add quilting into the mix and you have a dangerous combination. Frank shakes his head with each box he opens which holds new Halloween fabric.

This week the 2011 version of Alexander Henry's "The Ghastlies" arrived. It kills me to not load the entire collection into my trunk and hide it!

From the Alexander Henry website:

In Ghastlie Manor on Ghastlie Street there's a Ghastlie family there to meet. Mathilda Ghastlie and husband too extend a Ghastlie "how do you do?" It's a Ghastlie day for a Ghastlie walk under Ghastlie trees around a Ghastlie block. A Ghastlie time for Ghastlie things like Ghastlie pets with Ghastlie wings!

Just look at this new 2011 print of A Ghastlie Dinner. OK I will stop now. But seriously, this is awesome fabric. If you are a collector, call or stop by soon. The original Ghastlies sold out in 2009.

I just get so sad that Halloween falls during Fall Quilt Market while I am out of the store. This year we are planning a Halloween Hooha (yes HOOHA) during the summer. You've heard of Christmas in July - well Hot Summer Halloween Hooha sounds WAY MORE fun!

Speaking of Christmas in July (I know it is only June), the holiday fabric keeps pouring into the store. Great novelties, fancies and even a few flannels. I know, I brought in some flannel. We truly do our best to bring in fabric for every holiday fabric is printed. From St. Patrick's Day to Hannukah, we've got you covered. If you can't spot it in the store, just ask!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kona Cotton Solids

One of the best parts of starting a new school year was getting a new box of crayons. A simple pleasure of 24 perfectly shaped wax tools that were cleaverly wrapped so that my hands would not get messy when I used them to color. As I grew older, the box of crayons got bigger, but the joy never changed. Today I don't color often, however I maintain my fascination with new crayons.
Solids are like crayons. Simple and beautiful. Each individual fabric may seem boring or mundane. No texture, no depth of color, no pattern. A utility fabric of sorts. Together they create a spectacular array of color. Use them as your personal crayon box when you need that specific color to match your palette. Pick a bunch for a contemporary styled piece. Turn to the selection for an artful yet cost conscious choice for a quilt back.

We are proud to carry the entire Kaufman KONA color solid specturm. Each fabric is carefully labeled and shelved in color card order. If we happen to be out of stock of a specific color you need, let us know so we can call you when the color comes back in stock. If you have a special project, email us your palette requirements and we will happily pre-cut your selection for you. If you are excited to use solids, but are afraid to take the leap, let us know and we will gladly set you in the right direction.

If you wanted to take a peek at a great local quilt designer who LOVES solids, check out the blog of mamaCJT.

Please let us know how you use KONA solids!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gallery Night

We were invited to co-host a Gallery Evening of quilts at The Watermark in downtown Elm Grove last night. The Watermark is an upscale condominium residence located just west of the old St. Mary's Church, across from the Notre Dame convent.

David Kiernan of the Mandel Group approached me back in April to organize the event. We played with dates and formats and after a crazy May we finally were able to put together an event June 3rd.

The event allowed us to showcase local artists as well as the talent of some of our very own Quiltie Ladies. It also provided the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the fancy condos in town.

As we hung quilts in preparation, I dreamed of living in this fantastic space, just blocks from the shop. I was envisioning my sewing studio in the living room area and relocating Frank's handmade cabinets to the walls of the unfinished kitchen. Outside of the price, Frank said we can't live there right now as he knows I would never come home if we lived so close... OH WELL, it is fun to dream.

It was delightful to see many of our customers as well as equally as many faces I did not recognize. Watermark residents, prospective residents, as well as diners in downtown Elm Grove who just wanted to come to the party all took in the creative inspiratioin of our quilts.

Standing back and listening to the chat, one non-quilter commented "Wow, this is a very exciting time for quilters!" It IS a very exciting time for quilters! Between the freedom to experiment with non-tradional techniques to the vast array of available materials, we are fortunate to be quilting in 2011.

Many visitors commented we did not feature artist tags by each quilt. I must confess, it did not occur to me to create artist tags. Not that identifying artwork is not important, at the shop we identify quilts by pattern, not by maker! Since we weren't selling anything, I did not make tags.

We featured the art of Southeast Wisconsin talent (in alphabetical order):

Kim Schaefer (author, fabric designer, quilt maker)
Bruce Seeds (mosaic quilter, web designer)
Carol Turznik (contemporary quilter, illustrator, designer, blogger)
Roberta Williams (applique artist, designer and Patched Works instructor)

As well as the work of our very talented Patched Works staff:
Diane, Jane, Jen, Lisa, Shirley, Susie and ME!

For those of you who had the opportunity to attend as well as those of you who did not, the FLICKR show below details the artist of each piece of a sampling of the pieces displayed. ENJOY!

After the event it was great fun to walk back to the shop and see the village lined with attendees going to or finishing up dinner at one of the Elm Grove fine eateries. As Diane's husband Kevin commented, "What next, close down Watertown Plank Road for Quilt Festival 2012?" Only time will tell!

***A special thank you to Cindy Vick for letting us hang her Civil War version of Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. I did not have all the pictures and left out mention of Cindy in the original late night post. Thank you!!!***
Happy quilting!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Post Market Finds

So I had to sit this Quilt Market out. There will be other markets and there still is lots of fabric to be purchased!!! Buying fabric for you is so much fun. It is one of the BEST parts of my job.

My sales reps have been fantastic. They all have been rearranging there travel routes to see me with the latest goods. We did have the opportuniity to see many releases right before the big trade show in Salt Lake, so the selections so far have not been nearly as overwhelming.

What am I seeing in the trends so far? Well lots and lots of solids and textured solids. HMMM... we saw that coming :-) Our local, Kim Schaefer release 4 new Tic Tac colors with Andover, Jason Yenter from In the Beginning has some absolutely yummy contemporary styled tonals coming our way in September. These are great! Did you know we mark all of our reorderable tonals and solid with "BASIC" stickers? That way you know you can order more up front or you can expect us to likely restock the item.

I also have been seeing many neutral toned collections. Frank keeps telling me brown is not a color, but since I love brown, cream and gray, we have been carrying this style for some time. It reminds me of coffee! I love coffee!

Quite a bit of retro "ephemera" style prints. I love ephemera! This is my mom as the "Ephemera Queen".

FARMS - it seems that either all of the designers copy each other or all come to a like minded decision and come to market independently with the same concept at the same time. Lots of barns and farm animals and vegetables. Great for kitchen "kitsch", kids stuff and totes.

Reproductions continue to be strong throughout this anniversary of the Civil War. While we do not carry much (arguably any according to some) in this category, I am super excited to announce we will be launching the latest Bonnie Blue Cotton Club block of the month featuring Marcus fabrics this September!

The finished quilt measures 78" x 85". It is comprised of 45 - 5" squares set on point and framed with a beautiful border print. Details coming soon!

Tomorrow I see Stephanie from MODA. She should have all sorts of yummy things!

More updates as I see more cool stuff!

Happy quilting!


Friday, May 13, 2011

No Quilt Market for Julie

Tonight I should be in Salt Lake City at the Spring Quilt Market hob nobbing between manufacturer cocktail parties. Instead I am sitting in my pjs consuming as many clear liquids as possible. Now I am just battling a nasty sinus infection, no need for worry, however it could not have come at a more inconvenient time.

I knew I loved all things quilt market, but I had no clue that I was such a junkie! The buzz at Schoolhouse, the chaos of Sample Spree, the perfectly prepared booths on the trade show floor, the little give aways I get to bring home to you, the overwhelming inspiration and the networking. It is one of my favorite parts of the whole year!

With today's technology, there is quite a bit I can actually see even though I am sitting at home. I have been pouring over all the press releases overflowing my inbox and reading all the catalogs falling upon my doorstep. Still it is not the same without the hustle and bustle under the bright lights.

While we will have to cancel our in-store post market review on Wednesday, May 25th, I will do my best to share my finds along the way.

Keep that anti-bacterial lotion close by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paris in the Fall BOM

Paris in the Fall BOM, a set on Flickr.
Follow our Paris in the Fall BOM! 5 fabric kits from the store and many pick your own fabric options make this quilt a fun component of our MODA University.

Preparations for Quilt Market

Spring Quilt Market is almost here! I have learned I must sign up early for my registration and "Sample Spree" tickets, however I always wait to book my travel arrangements. I find the 2-3 week prior to travel as the sweet spot for airline purchase. Worked like a charm again tonight. Now to just find hotel accomodations. Get the Hilton points or stay across the street... hmmm... Frank will be travelling with me to Salt Lake this May and it will be another fun working trip.

With the hubby along I don't know if I'll be able to swing in a visit to the exquisite Kura Door Spa this trip, however we are staying an extra day so hopefully we will find something fun to do.

Stay tuned for postings to the soon to be famous entries. We will be hosting our popular Post Market Review Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Call for your spot. We always have a great slide show and a ton of give aways to those who attend.

Keeping it all together!

Today we spent the day preparing for Kim Schaefer's Trunk Show and Book Signing event on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Kim's new book "Quilts from Textured Solids" by C&T Publishing is a fun new book.

Frank created a beautiful new classroom at the store in the summer of 2009. We use it for hands on classes, club meetings, lectures and as a work room when class is not in session. Over the past year the room has been overtaken with quiltie things. Just like your sewing rooms, a sewing classroom seems to never get clean. Fabric somehow multiplies and patterns and books get out of place.

Chelsy and I knew it was time to throw some things out and dust off some shelves to prepare for our big event!

After only a couple hours, our humble little room has returned to its glory! Let's brew the coffee and set out the cookies for a night of fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fat Quarter Frenzy

Fat Quarter Frenzy is always crazy at the shop. I always get nervous a few days ahead of the event. Do we have enough fabric? Is there enough variety? Will anyone come shopping? Will the weather behave?

Frank always laughs at the worry "do we have enough fabric?"

The photo above captures one segment of the fabrics we set out this weekend.

We hope everyone who attended enjoyed the event! Stay tuned for our fall edition in October!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Jelly Roll 1,600 Quilt

The ladies at strip club told me I need to check out this concept. The innovative quilters at Heirloom Creations in South Dakota created this YouTube sensation early in 2011. 40 strips, one quilt in the simplest of methods. Follow this tutorial to make your own.

Check out our own Strip Club show and tell with an original 1600 Quilt variation.

For inspiration on what to do with your 2 1/2" strips. Check out Strip Club at Patched Works on the first Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mama CJT Pin Toppers

Mama CJT Pin Toppers by PatchedWorks
Mama CJT Pin Toppers, a photo by PatchedWorks on Flickr.
Delicious handmade pins from local quilt artist Mama CJT!

Pair a couple with a Patched Works gift card for the perfect Quiltie Gift!

Friday, March 18, 2011

St Paddy's in the Grove

All work and no play make Julie a dull girl. Our little village of Elm Grove is a haven for St. Paddy's fun. O'Donoghue's, a local Irish pub, is the center of all things Irish. This year the quiltie ladies, or shall I say.. lassies.. indulged in an early toast at the pub to avoid the crowd.

Today, Frank and I enjoyed our 2nd annual Irish Boiled Dinner lunch at the Silver Spur. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day and the Spur knows it's meat. The brisket is awesome and the portions ample. We had enough leftovers for dinner.

To round out the festivities, we stopped at Le Cakery for Highlander Grogg coffee and some delectable Bailey's Irish Cream cupcakes - YUM!

No matter what the fare, there is always something good to eat and drink in Elm Grove!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jennifer Chiaverini Book Signing

IMG_0658 by PatchedWorks
IMG_0658, a photo by PatchedWorks on Flickr.
Janet is having her copy of Union Quilters signed by Jennifer at our book signing event with Boswell Book Company at the Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New book arrivals from C&T Publishing

We just received the new releases from C&T this month. Check out our new titles, there are so many to choose from:

The Quilter’s Color Club
Secrets of Value, Temperature & Special Effects • 12 Hands-On Exercises • 8 Projects
Author: Christine E. Barnes
Availability: In stock.
Give Color a Try!

• Discover a practical approach for using color to bring your quilts to life
• Learn how to use "magic" fabrics that give your quilts movement and depth
• Start your own Quilter's Color Club- experiment together, swap fabrics, and creatively challenge each other

Christine's quilter-friendly approach will open your eyes to new and exciting ways to apply simple color concepts to your work. See successful color combinations in action with an inspiring gallery of eye-catching quilts. Chock full of hands-on exercises, this book teaches you how to use value, temperature, and intensity to make your quilts luminous and full of movement.

Free-Motion Machine Quilting
From Practice to Perfection • Troubleshooting Guide • 50+ Designs
Author: Don Linn
Availability: In stock.
Click here for a Google Preview

You CAN quilt it yourself!

• Refine your free-motion skills with a series of machine quilting exercises using your table-top sewing machine
• Don's visual troubleshooting guide to common machine quilting problems and solutions is indispensable
• Master a variety of techniques, including perfectly stitched points, absolutely straight lines, and smooth curves
• Choose from 50 quilting designs or gain the confidence to draw your own

Mr. Quilt will teach you how to machine quilt like a pro! You can get professional-looking results on your home sewing machine with new techniques for drawing and stitching quilt designs. From needle to thread, Mr. Quilt walks you through every aspect of free-motion machine quilting.

Carol Doak's Legal-Size Foundation Paper
50 Sheets, 8 1/2” x 14”
Author: Carol Doak
Availability: In stock.

New larger size-print more designs on one sheet! • Stays in place while you stitch and tears away easily when you're done
• No shrinking, curling, turning brittle, or printer jams
• Works in most printers and copiers (inkjet or laser)

This new, larger size is the same great quality as the 8-1/2”x11” sheets you know and love. Fabric doesn't slip on the surface and you won't have any extra bulk when you join sections of your blocks together. This paper is absorbent, so any inked areas won't transfer to your fabric. Now it's easier to create longer quilt border designs-a free border pattern is included in the package!

Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts
11 Easy Appliqué Projects to Embroider by Hand
Author: Laura Wasilowski
Availability: In stock.
Click here for a Google Preview

Stitch new life into your fusible appliqué

• 11 fun and easy projects-make an assortment of whimsical houses with full-size templates
• Take your art quilts to the next level by hand quilting and embellishing in one step
• Learn how to make wavy bindings

Laura shows you how to make bright, cheerful fused appliqué quilts. Along the way, you'll discover 17 different hand stitches that add unique color and dimension, so you can tell a story with your work. You'll also love the small, take-along size of these projects.

Circle Quilts
Create Dramatic Medallions from Strip-Pieced Rings
Author: Colleen Granger
Availability: In stock.
Click here for a Google Preview
Quilting in the round

• Vibrant and eye-catching, these round designs look more complex than they really are
• Learn an easy paper-piecing technique for sewing strip-pieced rings into stunning circle quilts
• Different fabric choices and colorways show how you can personalize each project
• Includes full-size foundation patterns

Eight different projects use medallions to create striking circular quilts, unique wall hangings and more. With this fast and easy "power piecing" method, you'll be working confidently in no time. Learn how to use high-contrast prints and hues for high-impact creations. Colleen's practical tips ensure success at each step.

Inspired to Sew by Bari J.
15 Pretty Projects • Sewing Secrets • Colorful Collage
Author: Bari J. Ackerman
Availability: In stock.
Click here for a Google Preview
A fresh look at vintage style

• Bring boutique style to your home and wardrobe
• Learn how to mix and match today's bright, irresistible fabric prints and use them with many different sewing techniques
• Loads of practical advice and mini tutorials-so you will love what you make!
• Peek inside Bari's inspirational sewing studio

Popular designer Bari J. brings her bright and feminine signature style to 15 new projects. Tap into her love of sewing with ruffled quilts, a unique tunic and bag, plus sweet decorations and accessories for every room of your home. She shares her favorite "keeping it real" tips for each project, so you'll get the results you want with fabric collage, free-motion stitching, machine appliqué, patchwork piecing, and simple garment techniques.

Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting
Modern Piecing & Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching
Author: Allie Aller
Availability: In stock.
Click here for a Google Preview

Welcome to the "new" crazy!

• Jump into crazy quilting with seven enticing projects that include small quilts, a needle cushion, and a softie
• Learn four different crazy piecing methods
• Try creative techniques on fabric, such as stenciling, photo-transfer, and Angelina fiber effects
• Discover how to add beauty and dimension to your work with embellishments like 3-D ribbon flowers, embroidery, beads, and painted lace
• Follow along with a step-by-step photo guide that takes you from cutting to piecing to binding

Allie shows you how to make crazy quilting more contemporary with an array of easy-to-master techniques. You'll learn how to combine traditional methods with modern fabric tricks. The photo gallery reveals just how fun crazy quilting can be-and anyone can do it.


Happy reading! See you soon!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome to my new blog!

I finally am starting a regular blog! Why now you ask?... Frank thought it would be a good idea. Seriously!

Over the past four and a half years I have wanted to start one and now we are settled enough at the shop for me to take on this new endeavor. SCARY! Now I'll actually have to post! :-)

The purpose of this blog is to share the innerworkings of the store including club preparations, fun events and new product.

I will add this to the blend of email and FaceBook communications. I cherish the email subscribers and Face Book fans that I want to honor the relationship. Rather than blanket emailing everyone all the time or posting to FB several times a day, I will use the blog for all my crazy ramblings.

So sit tight... this will be fun! Thank you for sharing this adventure with me! :-)