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Please make checks out to Quilters' Quarters or Terry's Thoughts and Threads Many thanks.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Yes, It's Been a Busy Week!

Customers, not so much. But community needs were high this week ... three towns not ten miles away from Quilters' Quarters were involved in what federal agencies called " Absolute Devastation" when the natural gas pipes leading to 8000 private homes and businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts (known as The Merrimack Valley) were overpressurized and caused three major explosions and more than 70 structure fires, simultaneously.

Fire fighters, local and state police and first responders answered the first alarm call for mutual aid from scores of towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire; Red Cross set up shelters in local public buildings in each area, and the governor of Massachusetts declared all three municipalities in a state of emergency. Homeowners were told to evacuate the areas and relocate in those shelters or with relatives or friends out of the area. Schools were cancelled ... all non-emergency municipal workers were asked to stay home and away from the area. Highway exits were closed for the weekend to the affected area, and all electricity was turned off to avoid any further sparks, as leaking gas pipes was a strong possibility. After all the fires were out, teams made up of a firefighter, police officer, gas company representative and electric company representative were assigned to go door to door and make sure that ALL 8,000 GAS METERS WERE TURNED OFF. Modern homes have gas meters on the outside, easily accessible ... but many homes in these areas are older, and entrance to the home had to be made ... hence, the police officer on each team. And then street by street, permissions to return to homes were given by the officials who deemed dwellings safe to re-enter. 

This all began on Thursday afternoon. Permission to re-enter was not given to most until Saturday evening. Even then, there were Facebook reports of a new fire that started because a returning homeowner's meter had not been turned off, and upon entering and turning something on, a fire was ignited. Unconfirmed reports that the street of that home had been 'missed' and the meters were not turned off began to circulate. The public's confidence was shattered by this report. Some are still being cared for in shelters, waiting for a safe return.

I learned Friday that a local resident in the next town would be bringing supplies to the shelters in Lawrence to assist those homeowners staying there for the duration.  I  'pulled an all nighter' Friday (something I hadn't done in decades) and was able to make up five juvenile quilts and got them to his home early Saturday morning in time to be included in the delivery. I was astonished at the collection of bottles of water, packages of disposable diapers, boxes of infant formula and so much more that he had gathered in those overnight hours ... I did put out a call to local quilters to join in the effort, but if they saw the call on Facebook they were unable to respond on such short notice ... it is likely that some were able to make quilt donations directly to shelters near them. I choose to believe that. Quilters are like that.

There was one death ... a young man sitting in a car outside one of the homes that suddenly exploded;th e home's chimney fell on top of the car he was sitting in. Some victims are still in hospital ... some were able to receive care and be released, but not to their homes ... The kind man who delivered the goods to the Lawrence shelter, including my humble quilts, told me they had an infant at the shelter with the mother, who had just come home from the hospital the day before the explosions happened. My heart broke for that family, but I was glad,knowing he would get one of those quilts to the baby.

There is a larger catastrophe currently in process ... flooding and evacuations facing families in the states of North and South Carolina. If I hear of a nation-wide call for donations (as I did and responded to a few years ago for the Idaho wildfires) I will let you know here or on Facebook. Though the needs are great, I believe our communities of quilters are up to the calls, and invite you to tune in and share what you can.


As always, thanks for reading my shop's blog. Please feel free to forward this email (if you're reading this in email) or share the URL of the page with your friends and family. And if the posted schedule  doesn't work for you, give me a call and we can set up a time more convenient to your own schedule.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Happy Labor Day!

And happy back to school week for most families. Whether you have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews or even the great-grands, there are always children to quilt for. And many adults appreciate quilts as gifts, too!

Quilters' Quarters is involved in a few quilting groups. Some of us meet twice a month to work on the Juvenile Emergency Comfort Quilts that we provide to the Georgetown MA Fire and Police vehicles. Another group meets once a month to collaborate on lap quilts and/or wall hangings to be presented to our local military veterans.  And when I hear that someone in town is reaching the age of 100 years, I make them a Centennarian Quilt!

In my family, I've made many quilts for 60th birthdays, and others to comfort those facing significant illnesses or surgeries. Grandchildren, of course have each received a few from me, as have several newborns in my extended family. And friends with grandchildren sometimes need a hand in making quilts.

One of my friends was surprised when she asked me to make a T-Shirt quilt from her collection ... my answer was the surprise. I told her I would gladly coach her through the steps involved in such a project, as the memories in those T-Shirt belongs to her and her husband, and deserved their attention and care. As we worked together on cutting and stabilizing and arranging the shirts, the stories flowed, the memories blossomed, , her pride in her accomplishment shone and the quilts will have so much more meaning as a result. 

Another customer came and asked if I would help her make a wedding wall hanging for her niece, and in a matter of a month she had learned how to cut with a rotary cutter and ruler, how to add sashing to a block, how to shirr fabric to border a machine-embroidered center, and how to back, quilt and bind the piece. It was a lovely accomplishment for someone who had little time but much desire to provide a special heirloom for her niece. The wedding invitation sent by the bride was the focus for the colors and theme of the wall hanging ... serendipity!

So if you are wondering what type of quilt you might make, or wishing I had provided more photos of these individuals' accomplishments, come into the shop and I'll show you the fabrics involved in such quilts.  Sometimes an idea comes from a family photo, or from a favorite fabric, or even an article of clothing.

As always, thanks for reading my shop's blog. Please feel free to forward this email (if you're reading this in email) or share the url of the page with your friends and family. And if the posted schedule doesn't work for you, give me a call and we can set up a time more convenient to your own schedule.

~ Terry Crawford Palardy 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Another Way to Repurpose and Recycle...

Quilters' Quarters has several bolts of fabric book panels, with adorable illustrations and vivid colors that entertain our youngest friends, children and grandchildren. But it seems that once the little one reaches pre-school toddler age, the fabric books are put aside as being too 'baby-ish.'

Why not recycle that fabric book into quilt blocks? Or, why not purchase two panels and make both a lap size quilt AND a matching fabric book?

Come in and have a look at the many book panel fabrics in stock at Quilters' Quarters ... they are priced reasonably, as most are less than a yard in length, and of course the 20% discount and tax discount for cash or check purchases makes the cost even more pleasing. (25" length = $7.50 less 20% = $6.00 per panel!)

There are usually blender fabrics bought specifically to coordinate with the book panels, and the shop has an abundance of other brightly colored juvenile fabrics that will also enhance a toss pillow, or a toddler or lap quilt featuring the books' pages.

I'm happy to show you how to make, and then, if wanted, 'un-make' and reuse the book pages panel.  Re-use, Re-purpose, Re-cycle ... with many options to choose from~

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Starry Starry Night

I my previous post, I offered to lend a Deb Tucker Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star template to anyone interested in trying it out before purchasing it. This week, I'm offering free hands-on lessons in the shop using the ruler to make various sized eight pointed stars.  I find the ruler invaluable in making blocks for our local Georgetown Quilters group using red white and blue fabrics for local veterans' quilts and wall hangings.  Come in and try your skills in 'making and taking'  a block of whichever size will fit your project, or make one and donate it to our quilt group for the veterans. And if you want to 'quilt as you go' with your new star block, I'll help you free-motion quilt your block using a portable domestic machine in the shop, outfitted with feed dogs that go down and an embroidery/darning/hopping foot. (I don't stock the feet but can help you find and order them online or from a dealer who sells only those parts she  has pre-tested.)
6 1/2" and 8 1/2" Rapid Fire
LeMoyne Star blocks in holiday colors
Made with Deb Tucker's precision templates

12 1/2" blocks for veterans' quilts 
7 1/2" Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star block

7 1/2" LeMoyne Star blocks interspersed with flag blocks
cut from a panel at Quilters' Quarters
makes a veteran's attractive wall hanging

Come and visit Quilters' Quarters to see and use these templates. Fabric for on the spot lesson provided free. All  purchased fabric is discounted 20%, unless you are making a charity quilt, in which case fabric is sold at wholesale price of 50% off retail. The shop is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from noon to 5pm. If those hours do not fit your schedule, call Terry at Quilters' Quarters to arrange another time for a visit. 

Watch our Facebook page for more free lessons at Quilters' Quarters! Thank you for reading this, and please feel free to share this with your friends who enjoy learning quilting techniques.

Happy Quilting!
Terry Crawford Palardy

PS: The New England Author Expo is this coming Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 at the Danversport Yacht Club/Marina ... free admission to the public, many authors of childrens and adult books of all genres, illustrators with samples of their artwork and more! Go to this 2018 NEAE Facebook link for details and directions.  I'll be there with my ten titles! I'd love to meet and greet you.
Launching this, my tenth title, at the NEAE in Danversport, MA
Also available at

Friday, July 6, 2018

What's under your needle this month?

Each week, I post something at the Quilters' Quarters Facebook page ( you can always find the link at the top of this blog's homepage, but for those reading in an email, I'll post it for you here:

This month, I've continued to work on comfort quilts for our police cruisers, ambulances and fire trucks, and also on blocks that will be used by the Georgetown Quilters group making lap quilts for Georgetown's large number of military veterans. The group has presented more than twenty in the past few years. Quilters' Quarters provides fabric at cost to the group of quilters, and when possible donates full bolts of red, white or blue fabrics. We get together once a month to share ideas and work on quilts. This past week I made some LeMoyne Stars using a strip pattern with specialty ruler by Deb Tucker's Studio 180.

Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Rapid Fire LeMoyne Stars
12.5  inch blocks

This retails for 32.50 at quilt stores, but at Quilters' Quarters, you can borrow before purchasing!

I've been quilting for more than forty-five years now, and have acquired my favorite notions and fabrics one by one, spreading the cost of each over a number of quilts made for family and friends ... for new quilters, the cost of templates like this one, added to the cost of retail fabrics and threads and daily notions like needles, pins, seam rippers (I call those 'froggers,' because I "rip it, rip it, rip it") can discouraging buying and trying these quilting tools.

I teach quilting to youngsters and seniors alike, and want to help them begin building a collection of tools, fabric and threads.  I can discount the fabrics and threads, but many manufacturers of templates require that the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) be honored wherever their items are sold. Rather than discourage quilters with these prices, with so many templates to choose from, I want to encourage them to try them out, and am beginning to stockpile a lending library of such tools in the Quilters' Quarters shop.

I also encourage new quilters to stop in for a free lesson on a quilt block now and then ... this past week, I've been sharing instructions for the "Ten Minute Block" designed by Suzanne McNeil, who has written several pattern books using this and other blocks. The Ten Minute Block has only three seams and looks much more complicated than it actually is. Suzanne tells in her you tube videos how to roll back a seam to form a cathedral window curved look, using all straight seams. I've played a bit, using five inch charm squares for veterans' quilt blocks, and ten inch squares made of 2.5" jelly roll strips for a Christmas quilt:

The center block appears after the third seam is sewn;
here, it looks like a cube or square.
Here, with a rolled edge topstitch, it appears to
have been formed by curved seams. 
These 2.5" strips are from Hoffman's
 'Jingle Pop' collection, in stock 
at Quilters' Quarters. The solid center block
is from a bolt of coordinating fabric.

An optical illusion occurs when the blocks are joined together ..,. stop in to the shop to see what happens to those center blocks!

As always, thanks for reading my shop's blog. Please feel free to forward this email (if you're reading this in email) or share the URL of the page with your friends and family. And if the posted schedule  doesn't work for you, give me a call and we can set up a time more convenient to your own schedule.

~ Terry Crawford Palardy

Monday, June 18, 2018

Why Don't I Have Quilts for Sale at Quilters' Quarters?

Quilters' Quarters is primarily a fabric and notion shop, but more than that, it is a place for quilters to come and relax, surrounded by soft fabrics, vibrant colors, and most often another quilter or two who have photos to share and stories to tell, questions to ask and answers to share.  It's a place where quilters feel at home.

I've had Wilmington Prints' "I Love You to the Moon" panel and border fabrics at Quilters' Quarters for a few years now, and the bolt has only a few panels remaining. Here is what i did with it this weekend: using three mini-charm packs from Wilmington Prints ($7 each) and the panel ($8) and a quarter yard of blender fabric ($2.50) along with three adorable Penny Rose retro-thirties blenders (a total 1/2 yd: $5) my total fabric retail price would be $41, but with Quilters' Quarters standard 20% discount (-$8.20) it came to $32.80. Not bad for two quilt tops or a reversible quilt! I also economize by buying queen size battings and cutting them up for small child size or lap size quilts ... that, and a little thread brought the total to about $35.00 for a hand made baby shower gift! Come on in and look through all our mini-charm packs and several bolts of attractive panels and see what you might create! 

Wilmington Prints panel "Love you to the Moon"

Of course, the cost of fabric is only one factor in deciding to make a quilt ... some quilters are proficient in piecing, but are skittish about quilting on their domestic machines, and often send the quilt top out to a Long  Arm Quilter, who will add the batting and backing. The Long Arm quilting machine is a significant investment, and the skill in using it takes many months of practice, and a great quantity of threads, both sturdy and decorative in quality. Sending a quilt out to be professionally quilted by a long armer can add more than a hundred dollars to the cost, increasing in amount with the size of the quilt and the complexity of the desired quilting pattern.

I quilted this baby quilt on my domestic machine (a fourteen year old Bernina Activa 125) and am happy to coach you in quilting on yours. There are specific feet that are helpful to domestic quilting, and they are sometimes generic and applicable to several machines (short shank models) or they may be specifically designed for your brand of machine. 

Referring to your machine's manual will help you determine which foot for which type of quilting you want to do. 

I did some free motion quilting around the figures and stars on the baby panel using an embroidery foot, with my feed dogs down. (See above.) More often, I use a walking foot and machine quilt with a decorative (serpentine) stitch along diagonal lines evenly spaced. (See below.)  Diagonal in most cases means along the bias line, or 45 degrees against the grain of the fabric. In a pieced quilt top, with small patches going every which way, sewing in any direction is quite likely. Machine quilting on a bias line is no different than on the grain, though I find, with the walking foot, I experience far fewer puckers than might be expected when quilting without basting or pinning the fabric layers together... Serendipity!

Quilting lines evenly spaced two to three inches apart
will show nicely on a solid fabric, and will not interrupt
the images of a print fabric, as shown in this quilt made
for the Georgetown Fire Department's ambulances.

I rarely accept an order for a quilt to be made as I don't have a long arm machine. When I do, it is done with love, charging only for the fabrics and thread, and without a price for the work of quilting However, I will happily coach any quilter who wants to learn how to quilt her own work on her own domestic machine .. and I don't charge anything for coaching! Why not? Because my goal is to encourage the continuation of home quilting. I have, or can usually find a supplier for, most of what is needed to create a special quilt made with love and care, from piecing to building the quilt layers to quilting and binding it. I believe that anyone who has sewn or has the interest in learning how to sew can make a quilt on their own sewing machine. I coach new quilters at the senior center here in town, two afternoons a month, and delight in introducing them to the new tools of this century ... cutting mats, rotary cutters, plastic rulers, etc. We have a lot of fun sharing ideas, mistakes and lessons learned.

Come in to Quilters' Quarters and talk to me about your own plans for creating family keepsakes or treasures for friends ... I'd love to help you get started! Soon enough, you'll be what one of the quilt designers calls "a confident beginner!"

To see more of the quilts I've made in years present and past, go to the table of contents and open one of the pages of my quilting journal... here's a link to 2018

As always, thanks for reading my shop's blog. Please feel free to forward this email (if you're reading this in email) or share the URL of the page with your friends and family. And if the posted schedule  doesn't work for you, give me a call and we can set up a time more convenient to your own schedule.

Terry Crawford Palardy

Monday, May 28, 2018

Thanks for your patience!

The shop is up and running, finally, on a regular schedule: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 pm. Sometimes visitors come by on another day, or earlier or later in the day, and I always open for them. If my Chevy is in the driveway (with the Happy Quilter license plate) and I am not out on a walk, I'll be in the house. Just ring the back doorbell and I'll happily invite you into Quilters' Quarters. Or call me to arrange a time that better suits your schedule and mine.

This month I have been laying bricks to connect the new driveway to the front door of the shop ~ it is a work in progress, and I've asked shoppers to enter by the side door to avoid jostling the bricks before I finish the task with sand in the crevices. It's a job Rick and I intended to do together once his shoulder had healed, but I'm learning to do more things independently now without his strength and patient skills. I'm sure he is still guiding me, though, as laying and lifting bricks and re-tamping pounds of sand is beginning to come naturally to me. I'm more than half-way there.  (And yes, I'm working carefully to use this task as good therapy for my healing broken arm.) I'm sure the arrangement I've chosen has a quilt block name, but don't know what it is... two vertical, two horizontal ... almost a post rail fence?

New bolts of fabrics continue to arrive, one or two at a time. These are stragglers from the orders I'd placed last summer, and each arrival is a surprise! Here are a few that came in this week, from Wilmington Prints ~ one horizontal and one vertical panel that could be used as a center block for a quilt or wall hanging; the other could be fussy cut for appliques... 

Panels are priced at retail, but at Quilters' Quarters all fabric is at least 20% discounted ... more for members and charity work! These panels measure 24", and the fabric retails for $12.00/yard, so the 2/3 yd. panels are priced at $8.00, and the discount lowers that to $6.40 each! I have beautiful blender fabrics that will enhance each of these scenes ...

Come see us soon!

Thank you for following Quilters' Quarters. Please forward this email notification to your friends and family who enjoy quilting - suggest that they also sign up to follow this blog and receive emails once or twice a month.

ps: I invite you to check the updates on another page of this blog ... my 2018 quilts journal ... All of my work is done with fabric from Quilters' Quarters, and I'm happy to share patterns with you.