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!