Love the Denim!

Update:  The pattern is complete!
You can purchase a copy at my Etsy Shop:
 


So, I've been working on my own method for making a rag quilt with circles instead of squares.  I've seen other people make quilts like this but have never seen a good method describing how to make one so I decided to come up with my own.


So far, I'm liking it!!  :)



I used 4 charm square packs to make this one.  It's pretty big and extra long.  (It's nice when a quilt can cover you from head to feet!)



Notice it was almost impossible to take pictures without the dogs getting in the way.  Oh well, they provide scale!!
 



What do you think?





This is what it looks like prior to me making any "cuts".  I actually like it this way but have noticed that it doesn't wash really great unless the edges are clipped.



There are about 10 pairs of jeans in this one (I think).  Of course, it won't be washed until I'm done clipping all of the seams.



I'm trying to spread out the clipping so it doesn't aggravate my hand and arms.  Although I do have  spring loaded scissors that are very sharp and this seems to make all the difference.  I can't imagine doing this without the spring loaded ones.




This is the view of the back...




Having lots of fun!  Thanks for stopping by!

Heather

Sierra Sewing Center in Reno and Carson City!


As formerly promised in an earlier post it is time to discuss another Reno Quilt Shop-Sierra Sewing Center!

Sierra Sewing Center
Reno, NV

Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10-5:30 pm
Sunday: Closed




Sierra Sewing Center has two locations in Nevada.  Their largest store is located in Reno and a slightly smaller version can be found in Carson City.  (In fact, it is currently the ONLY quilt shop in Carson City!) 

In the Reno store, you will find the employees hard at work.  Owner, Linda Lakso and manager, Lori Whitworth, devote countless hours to keeping their shop ever evolving and exciting! 

This is one of several aprons on display in the store showcasing the hot, new apron patterns!


Lori has a famous way of greeting each and every customer and wants to make sure that every customer leaves the store having had a truly enjoyable shopping experience!  As a matter of fact, I think you could say that customer satisfaction is one of their highest goals.


They say that one of the most rewarding aspects of their business is to match the right person to the right sewing machine.  A good functioning sewing machine makes the quilting experience SO much more enjoyable. 

I've heard people say that they sew on their mother's/grandmother's/aunt's old machine from 19...(fill in the blank).  I'm sure that they're functioning fine but there really is nothing to compare with a new sewing machine.  The technology of the new machines will take your breath away.


And...it's very affordable with Sierra Sewing Center since they even offer Lay Away!! 

If you're at all in the market for a new machine consider buying from Sierra Sewing Center at the upcoming Quilt, Sewing and Craft Expo coming to Reno at the end of June, 2010.  

Sierra Sewing Center will be supplying ALL of the sewing machines for the Expo and will be offering some "dynamite prices" (as Lori says) on all of the machines.  They will be offering Pfaff Express 4.0's and Viking Sapphire 875's.  Each machine will come with a full warranty and free instruction in the store!!  If you need a machine, now could be the time!!


What is unique about Sierra Sewing Center?

I LOVE their Moda Bake Shop!  They always have a great selection of charm squares, layer cakes and jelly rolls.  They carry the newest fabrics not to mention those that you might have missed the first time around.  When I'm looking for Moda Bake Shop, I always try them first.  (And pssst....their prices are great!)


Also according to Lori, they just got in 100 BOLTS of blenders from Moda.  They have the full spectrum of colors!!  Whoo-Hoo!!!!  I know I'll be checking this out soon!

I love their new patriotic display.  Who doesn't LOVE red, white and blue!!


When I asked Lori and Linda what sets them apart as an independent quilt shop from the other chain stores they were quick to respond.  They pointed out that in their store you will always get Personal Attention.  Whatever you may need, they are there to help.  Not to mention, they know what they have in terms of merchandise and they can (drum roll please) FIND it!!

Linda said she is pleased to know that her customers think they have a great selection of fabric and a nice variety.  It is a compliment she often gets.  Their goal is to appeal to as many people as possible, she says.

Below is a quilt that can be taken as a class as part of the monthly "Scrap Therapy" program. 


Come September, Sierra Sewing Center will be participating in the Sierra to Sage Shop Hop as it prepares to celebrate its 3rd year this September 23rd-26th.  This year's theme is the Pony Express.  Their block will be featuring Applique and they will have a store sample representing their block.

There's no end to the creativity as you can see from the adorable quilted figures above.  It's not just about quilts! 

Lastly, don't forget that SSC offers a Fabric Punch Card.  Each yard of regular priced fabric is worth a $1 punch.  The first Saturday of the month is usually Double Punch Day (this day is subject to change so be sure and ask before you line up for your double punches)!!  On these days you'll earn $2 in punches for every yard of fabric.

Filling up your card means you've earned $20 in free fabric!  I don't know about you but I'm a fan of earning free fabric just from purchasing more fabric.  (Oh- the sacrifices I must make!  :)

Below is another adorable project from their Scrap Therapy classes.  They also offer monthly purse classes in the "Bag Ladies Club".  Too fun!


Their class schedule comes out quarterly so consider taking one in their comfortable classroom.  Here's a peek of their room...


Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you've been inspired to stop by Sierra Sewing Center soon!  If we're going to keep our local quilt shops alive, we've got to give them our business!  

Take care!
Heather








Windy Moon Quilts in Reno

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10-5:30pm
 Sun: 11-5 pm

Quilt shops may come and go but Windy Moon Quilts located in Reno, NV has a long tradition of providing quality service to its customers.  

Mike and Sandy Sullivan purchased "the Moon" more than 20 years ago.  As Sandy likes to say, "In my former life, I was a nurse". But with a love for sewing, Sandy made the decision to change careers and dive headfirst into the world of quilting.

After several local moves they finally made their permanent home in a repurposed bank building complete with a walk-in bank vault!



Sewing Machines!
Windy Moon is the local Brother and Janome sewing machine dealer.  Check out there WIDE selection of machines!


Classes!

They also have a full calendar of classes that can be found both on their website and in their print newsletter which can be picked up in the shop.

Among the many classes offered at Windy Moon, Sandy is known for her "History of Women and Quilting" classes. For 2010, she is offering a series of classes called "Women's Voices-The Women of the Suffrage Movement". Each class focuses on the history of this era, the women who lived it and a coordinating 12" block.


Additionally, they offer classes on how to use EQ6. Each class lasts for 5 weeks and in it you learn the fundamentals of using EQ6 software. Bring a laptop and start designing your own quilts!



 Longarm Services!

Windy Moon offers Long Arm Quilting services! As you can see here, they have a dedicated space for their long arm and an experienced individual ready to help you finish those tops!




 Retreat!
Every March they hold a quilting retreat in Virginia City, NV.  Participants look forward to staying in a completely renovated Civil War era hospital.  They stay in the patient's old rooms and gather to sew in a former ward.  

Windy Moon rents out the entire building and up to 25 people can join in the fun over a Fri, Sat and Sunday each March.  


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When I asked Sandy what makes an independent quilt shop better than a bargain chain she hit on three important points: 



  • Quality-Although you can often find the same fabric pattern in a bargain chain, the quality of cotton is different.  You're always going to get a higher quality of fabric in an independent store.  That means it will wash better and last longer!



  • Quilting Specialists- Your local quilt shop is dedicated to the art of quilting.  They eat, sleep and breathe it.  They know where all of their supplies are, they know who Mark Lipinski is and they probably can even know the exact location of that bolt of fabric to match that scrap you bought there 3 months ago!



  • They Care- They take the time to get to know you personally.  It's a place to hang out and feel comfortable.  They're going to ask about your latest project as well as your family.
Windy Moon carries a WIDE variety of fabrics from Civil War to Thirties to Bright Novelties to Batiks.




Keep in mind that our local quilt shops will only be around as long as we continue shopping in them!

Thanks for stopping by!
Heather

Workman Farms Quilt Shop in Fallon, NV

Workman Farms Quilt Shop- Fallon, NV

Open 7 days a week, 8am-6pm
Closed Sundays (in Winter)


I first met Vickie in the outdoor nursery located next to the building which houses her quilt shop.  Vickie Detomasi, the owner of Workman Farms, runs a Nursery/Quilt Shop.  This may seem like an odd combination, however, the Workman Family has owned and "worked" this land for the past 45 years.

Originally, the family sold their homegrown fruits and vegetables on this location in a roadside stand.  Over time the business developed and changed with the times and a nursery sprang up.  Along side the nursery, a craft and fabric store blossomed and today a full blown quilt shop  can be found at the site!

Workman's has actually carried fabric in this location for the past 25 years but it was only in recent years that Vickie decided to expand and develop the shop into a fully stocked quilt store.



Although Workman's carries a wide variety of fabrics, according to Vickie, they like to specialize in fabrics that define their region including cowboy fabrics and warm flannels. 

I really liked the clever, fun displays which showcased the newest fabrics in addition to the quilt samples made by Vickie, herself.



Workman's will be participating in this year's Fallon Quilt Show  presented by the Nevada Quilt Guild which will be held May 19th-22nd, 2010 (9am-5pm daily).  The title of this year's show is "Quilters Rule: Measure Twice, Cut Once". 

I asked Vickie about the combination nursery and quilt store and how it worked for them.  She said that in a small town like Fallon, the combination has worked well.  In addition, she has also noted that many quilters are also gardeners so many of her customers can satisfy two hobbies with just one visit!!


 




Finding this shop was a lovely surprise. The staff was friendly and helpful and the shop held many quilting treasures!

Thanks for stopping by!
Heather

 

Next Reno Shop- preview of Sierra Sewing Center

I just met with the owner and manager of Sierra Sewing Center in Reno. What a great conversation!! I can't wait to share with you all of the great things they have going on there!

What an amazing shop! I'll be posting our conversation and LOTS of great pictures very soon!

Heather :)

Windy Moon

Check out this wonderful video featuring Windy Moon Quilts in Reno, NV!


It's a wonderful peek into their store.


Just click on the link below...you'll be temporarily taken off of this site to "Animoto".  Click on the arrow in the middle of the screen to start the video. 


**I've been getting some feedback that the video is starting and stopping (to load while playing).  I know how Frustrating that is!  It's not happening on my computer...if you notice it on yours, will you let me know in the comments section?  THANKS! :)


Be warned...this video does have an accompanying music track! 


When you're done, just click the back arrow at the top of your browser to return here!


Click here for Video: Windy Moon


Outside Store Front
Photos courtesy of www.PhotographyByDarbyAnn.com



The Uncommon Thread Quilt Shop- Fallon, NV

On a recent Saturday morning I sat down with Julie Lamb, owner of the Uncommon Thread Quilt Shop in Fallon, NV. Uncommon Thread Store Front

Fallon, NV

Fallon, located approximately 60 miles east of Reno, is home to the infamous "Top Gun" Naval Base. It is a relatively rural town, home to ranchers and farmers alike, many with families having owned and worked the land for multiple generations.  

Five years ago, Julie, a chemist by trade, moved to Fallon when her husband relocated  to a new job.  At that time, Julie owned a quilt shop in Enterprise, OR.  After exploring her new town, Julie realized that a quilt shop would fit in perfectly and as she says, "she brought the quilt shop with her"!

Fallon is the only large town in Churchill county and thus serves a large population of people living in smaller communities.  People travel from Austin, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Hawthorne to buy their quilting supplies.  In addition, she also captures the attention of traveling quilters as her store is easily accessed from the main highway.

Shop Favorites

Julie's favorite designers include: "In the Beginning", "Red Rooster", "Kona Bay", "Michael Miller" and "Alexander Henry".  She admits that she enjoys fabric that is a little wild and bright.  She tries to carry contemporary fabrics and says that this seems an obvious choice in contrast to the brown Nevada desert!

Her store is delicious!  A true treat as you can see from some of the pictures.

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Patterns

The Uncommon Thread has a website and it's own line of patterns.  The website is just getting started and can be found at: http://www.uncommonthreadonline.com/. Julie's patterns can be found in the shop along with samples of her work. 

This is an ADORABLE pillowcase pattern and, yes, I couldn't resist, I took this one home!

"Crazy Patch Pillowcases"

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Placemats and Tablerunners...

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Panels have become a popular element to her shop and she has a terrific stock as you can see here.  The panels are packaged individually and usually come with a finishing suggestion on how to turn the panel into a quilt!

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Short Arm Quilting

While the shop itself doesn't offer quilting services, they do offer classes on their "Short Arm" quilting machine.  The working width is 6-7" but it can easily accomodate up to a King size quilt.  The cost is only $30/day once you learn how to use the machine. 
An interesting bit of trivia is that Julie brought the idea of a Shop Hop with her from Oregon.  Once here, she asked around at various shops in the area to see if anyone was interested in participating in a Shop Hop and eventually partnered with a shop in Reno.  All of the local shop owners were invited to a meeting and the Sierra 2 Sage Shop Hop was born.
Sierra 2 Sage Shop Hop, Sept 2010




This year's Sierra to Sage Shop Hop will be held on September 23rd-26th, 2010 and the theme is The Pony Express.  Every shop will design a unique block using a different technique.  The Uncommon Thread has designed their block to feature Seminole Patchwork.  Other shops are inlcuding themes such as Prarie Points, Applique or Crazy Quilting.  To see all of the stores involved and to get more information go to: www.Sierra2SageShopHop.com

There is a bit more to this year's blocks which I haven't yet revealed that make them exciting and unique.  Check back soon to hear about these details in our upcoming post on Fallon's other quilt shop, Workman's Farms.

One last look at Julie's wonderful store...


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Visit The Uncommon Thread and support your local, independent quilt shops!














"Colorful Cats"

Personalizing with Names

So, does anyone else try out a pattern or new technique and then want to do a bunch of those things until you're sick of them?  That happens to me a LOT.  I recently got into personalizing things with names. 

Now, I've decided that to properly create letters that look good and have a lot of character I need a AccuQuilt Cutter.  Probably not the GO version but the GIGANTIC, EXTRA HEAVY version.  WHY? Well, I double checked and as of now, the GO cutter doesn't have any accompanying alphabets.  AND, I really want to cut multiple layers of denim (for when I cut up old blue jeans) and I know the large version of the AccuQuilt Cutter will go through a lot more layers at once.  And...I know I can think of some more reasons!

But, for now, I have been hand stenciling letters onto fabric.  Not a quick process but it works.  I decided on pillowcases and travel pillows for my niece, nephew and their friends.

I really liked the process and would love doing more...but it really does take a long time to trace and cut out those letters.

Here's what they looked like.

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I experimented with decorative stitches until I found one I liked.

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Both girly and boy-ish, I tried out both types of pillows.  I'm happy to say that the recipients were pleased!

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I was also really pleased with the final product.  Until next time!!


Heather  :)

Lots and lots of Circles!!

I decided to make a quilt that I've been wanting to make for a really long time.  It's called a "Less Than Traditional" quilt or more commonly called "Cathedral Windows".  Basically, you make a whole bunch of circles and once they're assembled the quilt is done.

Here is my box of circles.  They're a random assortment of Asian fabrics all backed with a purple batik.

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Notice the white basting stitch around the edge of each one?  You sew the fabrics together, (right sides matching) and then turn the circles right side out.  Then you smooth the outer edge and put in a long basting stitch to keep the edges flat and keep the fabrics from turning to one side or the other.

One of the reasons I decided to do this project was that I could turn and stitch the circles during my lunch hour.  I worked on them on a recent plane trip to and from Hawaii and from there on my lunch hours.  I'm all done now and I have 96 circles.

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You assemble the circles in units of four.  Here is one of my units.
 I've seen the Less Than Traditional technique at many shows.  The first time I saw it was when I went to the Paducah, KY show.  (It was AWESOME, by the way!)  :)

The author's website is Quilting With Charlie if you'd like to check out the technique. 

Here is the biggest section I have so far.  It is a combination of 4 segments made up of 4 circles each (for a total of 16 circles).

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 Here's the thing I'm not liking.  When the segments of four come together, the area where the stitching meets is pretty stiff.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong...but I really do like the overall look. 

It was a good way to use up all of those Asian fat quarters!!  I'll keep plugging away at it.

Thanks for stopping by!  Heather  :)

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