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You can purchase many items from our shop at our web store, via PayPal. http://www.terrycrawfordpalardy.com/apps/webstore/.
You can also email or telephone me to order an item: .978-352-2676;
needlesandpens@comcast.net
Please make checks out to Quilters' Quarters or Terry's Thoughts and Threads Many thanks.

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Foot From the Past

Your great-grandmother's generation had fabulous sewing machines ... some were hand cranks, some were treadle powered,  and some were limited to a single thread chain stitch...

What was most amazing, though, were the presser feet made to expand the power of these simply geared machines ... Each time I open one of those old green cardboard boxes that hold Simanco (Singer Manufacturing Company) feet I am immediately set to wondering whether anyone ever used all of these feet.

The same type feet were as carefully crafted by the Geist company and sold with non-Singer machines such as the White, the Standard, the New Home machines ... all crafted with the same mechanical ingenuity. My goal this year is to use each one of those mechanical wonders while designing the Quilters' Quarters Block of the Month set of patterns.

Last month, the pattern used only the standard 'comes with' presser foot all machines have when purchased. The January Snowflake applique is made with all straight seams, and is still available at the shop. This can be machine or hand appliqued to a ten inch block, and the size can easily be changed for other size blocks.


This month, the February Valentine block continues to use all straight seams, but makes use of one of the simplest of the old presser feet: the shirring foot. It looks like an ordinary, single hole straight stitch foot, but it has a curious little rise in it just in back of the needle hole ... and that makes all the difference. This little foot will gather the material passing under the foot as it sews ... and if the bobbin thread is elastic, the entire row of gathered material will be stretchy! But we're
not using elastic thread in the February Valentine block, and to prevent the shirred material from twisting once it has been 'shirred', the shirring foot is removed and replaced with the standard 'comes with' foot for a single row of what Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue and other clothing patterns would call 'stay stitching.' And then the shirred fabric is ready to be top stitched in place with that same ordinary foot.


Come in to Quilters' Quarters for your free copy of the February Valentine block of the month. I'll be happy to let you use one of the machines with a shirring foot, and will have a few of those feet on hand to sell, first come first serve. They are also available on eBay and at other online sites.

If you are reading this in your email, thank you for following the blog. Please share the page with your friends and quilting groups. And thank you for shopping at Quilters' Quarters in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Schedule Notification


I am sorry, Quilters' Quarters will not be open this weekend, January 31-February 2 ... the proprietor is not feeling well and will be remaining in the house. 

Members willing to come to the door for the key and able to find and cut their own fabric purchases are welcome to call ahead.  

The shop will reopen at noon on Thursday, February 7th, 2019.  

And ... coming next week: the Quilters' Quarters 2019 February Block of the Month free pattern and kit ... with another skill for you to learn or remember .... featuring the low shank side clamp Shirring Foot ... Stay tuned!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mid-month Update ... Notions In Stock at Quilters' Quarters

While the shop is primarily a fabric-oriented place, filled with eye candy of all colors and textures that meet the criteria of having a good hand (see an explanation of this term here,) Quilters' Quarters also stocks notions that quilters find useful and often necessary. 

Here's some of what you'll find at the shop:
Cutting mats in three sizes, rulers long and short, Creative Grid square templates on the 1/2" measure, butterfly head pins, sewing machine oil dispenser pens (that release that one single drop at a time,) Schmetz machine quilting needles, embroidery scissors, sizes 15 and 66 plastic bobbins, inexpensive thread snips,  threads from Coats and Clark, Gutterman, Mettler and Superior in solid and variegated colors, spools and cones. Hand and machine needles, thimbles of different sizes and styles, and even a few shoe horns and bra strap extenders! There are still a few antique sewing machines available for consideration, and bins full of donated fabric available free to quilters who will make good use of it!


Omnigrid and Olfa mats in different sizes

Havel sliding rotary cutter

Creative Grid rulers and square templatesin many sizes
Plastic bobbins to fit many generic
Singer and Brother machines

Sweet little butterfly straight pins

This pen comes with an inner and outer cover to avoid leakage
(unfortunately not shown in the illustration.)

Olfa blades and cutters of various sizes

Plastic shoe horns!
Who knew?


omnigrid rulers and mats
Quality needles in various
sizes and styles


Inexpensive, simple thread snips 
Retail price $1.99,
but LESS with your discount!
I almost forgot to mention the books and magazines that can be found and BORROWED FOREVER at Quilters' Quarters!  You just never know what you'll find in the nooks and crannies of the shop ... come visit ... you won't be disappointed.  All customers receive a 20% discount off manufacturers suggested retail prices, frequent flyer (members) receive 40% discounts, and all charity projects qualify for wholesale pricing (that's 50% off the sticker price.)

Share this email update with your friends and fellow quilters ... purchase for them a gift certificate to celebrate a special event in their lives (birthdays, grandchildren, anniversaries, get well, etc. etc.) I look forward to seeing you soon at Quilters' Quarters.
~ Terry

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

To welcome the new year, I'm offering a free copy and hands-on lesson for my snowflake machine applique quilt block. Quilters who visit this first week of the year will receive the pattern and a sample kit of winter fabrics to make one snowflake block. 

January 2019 QQ BOM
(Quilters' Quarters Block of the Month)


Quilters' Quarters will offer a new block with an original pattern and kit each month for 2019.  Patterns will be given free during the first week of each month, and can be purchased after that week with an accompanying kit containing enough fabric to make two blocks.   

At the end of the year, quilters will have collected enough patterns and fabric kits to make twenty-four quilt blocks, (enough to make a 4 by 6 block lap quilt.)

 This is my first attempt at designing a block of the month group, and I promise that each original pattern will offer you a new skill to learn and practice. 

I look forward to sharing these patterns and fabrics with you! 

Here is a photo of a child size lap quilt I made five years ago using my new (then) snowflake design.

A "Frozen-ish" lap quilt, made of
nine inch blocks with two inch sashings.

Thanks for signing up to follow this blog. Please feel free to share the email with your quilting friends.  Fabric discounts begun in 2018 will continue in 2019 ... all customers will receive a 20% discount; friends who become frequent customers will receive a member discount of 40% on fabrics cut from the bolt. Quilters who are working on charity projects can purchase fabrics for those fabrics at 50% off.
Wishing all a healthy and peaceful 2019.
~ Terry


Friday, December 21, 2018

Wishing you a Peaceful, Gentle Christmas!

Quilters' Quarters will not be open again now until after Christmas, but I want to thank everyone who made December a positive month for me. This time of year has always, in a teacher's life, been hectic and stressful, but the past two have been filled with changes and loss. Your visits to the shop, even if you aren't purchasing anything, keep me involved and emotionally invested in providing whatever I can, as inexpensively as I can, for quilters.

For thirty years, I would tally up at the end of the year the amounts I spent on classroom supplies, student projects, school initiatives, graduate courses, educational books and videos, bulletin board materials, and so on and so on, just in case I would be audited to prove I had spent those hundreds of dollars at my job. Living on a pension is different than having a full salary, particularly when I no longer have a partner with a pension or salary ... (teachers don't qualify for spousal SS income.) But I am fortunate in that Rick and I had finished mortgage payments a few months before he died, and had only an equity loan for the remodeling and roofing of the upper barn to pay off. It's less than the mortgage amount, and I can manage it within my budget.

The reason I'm sharing this is to reassure all of you that my giving healthy discounts to faithful quilters is not putting me in any financial distress. As I've explained to some, I've already earned my living once, and have the pension to show for it. If I can continue to pay just the utilities from the shop sales, I am content to continue to run this shop as a cooperative for quilters.

Instead of tallying up school material purchases, I've tallied my sales for the year. I offer 20, 40 and 50% discounts on all of my fabrics ... and have a rack card in the shop that tells who gets which discounts and why ... it averaged out this year to a 31% discount overall ... which means I still had about 19% over the cost of the purchases to use on utilities. So what I'm doing is working well enough. My pension covers my household expenses, and the shop is finally able to earn enough to pay for itself while still providing an opportunity to meet quilters' needs with discounts and without stretching their budgets, nor mine.


I feel satisfied in being able to do what I do ... I love teaching young and old to quilt. I love learning with them new techniques via You Tube. I love sharing ideas and beautiful fabrics and cups of tea or coffee with those who visit. I'm happiest when I'm finishing a quilt for a veteran, or a smaller one for the fire and police departments to have on hand when needed.


I would be lying if I said life is good ... I miss Rick every hour of every day. When I'm in the shop, I can feel his presence still there. When I talk with newcomers about the few remaining vintage and antique machines, I feel his warmth sharing the information with me. When someone mentions his woodworking, or his sense of humor, or his patience, strength and generous spirit, I remember his love and his confidence in us together.



 I am sad when I think about how ready he was to work in his new space ... to take advantage of the insulation and windows and light in his new workshop upstairs ... of his plans to be sorting through patterns until his shoulder would have healed enough to get back to his wood art. I intend to chase some of that sadness away in the next year or two by learning to use his scrollsaw to finish some of the work he had begun ... it is there waiting for me ... patterns afixed to panels of Baltic Birch Plywood, pilot holes already drilled and ready for the tiny saw blades ...

When good weather returns, I'll continue to spend three days in the fabric shop, but will spend some of the rest of the week upstairs in Rick's woodworking shop, with his sixties music playing loud enough to hear over the sound of the machinery. And I know he will be with me there. This, I believe. He often said, when cutting out wooden ornaments and while I painted them: "It is always Christmas at the  Palardy's house." I will make that true again, in time. There will always be little ones looking for Santa's helper shop. There will always be grownups enjoying the smell of freshly worked wood.

Meanwhile, thanks for your patience, your company and your support.



Wishing you a peaceful, loving Christmas and happy new year ahead.
~ Terry (and Rick in spirit)

Friday, December 7, 2018

What's Under Your Needle?

The second week of December begins, and for some, the push is on to finish holiday gifts. 

I would love to see, and share, photos of projects that you are finishing this month as gifts.

Send me your photos at my email (needlesandpens@comcast.net)using 'blog share' as a subject, and I will transfer the images here to the blog with whatever information you provide. If you used a specific pattern, please try to identify it to both credit the creating artist and to guide others who may want to find his/her work.

I look forward to hosting this exchange of ideas and talents!

As for me ... I continue to work on a civil war potholder quilt for a special nephew who has retired from his career as a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy.  Here are a few blocks ... 








I am quilting "as I go," block by block, some with a walking foot, and some with a hopping/free motion foot. I do some work on my Bernina Activa 125, born in this century, and some on my Singer Featherweight 221, badged in 1950. Just this past week I ordered a Featherweight Sew Steady extension table from the Henry Family in Idaho, and am having a lot of fun using it for these blocks. 



Wishing you all a safe and peaceful holiday season!
~Terry