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

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.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Okay, snow this morning but it has stopped for the moment ... so Quilters' Quarters is giving up waiting for warmer weather, and is now open for 2018 ... Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12-5pm. And remember, ... Button Up Your Overcoat!

As promised, all fabric on the bolt is 20% discounted ... members' discount is 40% ... and all fabric purchased for charity projects is 50% off to all shoppers.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Sorry ... yet another snow prediction and another delay in opening date ...

Sorry ... more snow predicted later this week, so Quilters' Quarters will remain on winter hiatus until Spring makes more than a brief appearance. The barn has been so cold for so long that it will take a sustained sixty degree spell of several days to allow the building to warm up to a tolerable level. See you later this month ... Now looking toward the middle of April ... maybe Thursday April 19th? Or, perhaps by Mothers' Day weekend in May? Only time and temp will tell...

Friday, March 23, 2018

Easter Sale

As the shop's reopening for 2018 has been delayed until after Easter this year, I am offering a special price reduction for online orders of fabrics that feature beautiful spring bunnies and flowers.

Beautiful bunny fabrics~ click on this link to access the fabrics by mail through the web store for Quilters' Quarters!

Any overage of shipping calculated by the website will be revealed at the post office when the order is mailed, and you will be refunded the appropriate amount via Paypal.

Of course shopping in Quilters' Quarters on site will save you not only the shipping, but an additional 20% discount~ cash and check orders will also save the equivalent of the sales tax!

Garden Gathering by Wilmington Prints

blender on left, panel on right

Sweet fabric book panel of Garden Gathering

I look forward to seeing shoppers on or after April 5th ... but if you want this fabric sooner, please order online or call to arrange a visit to the snowbound Quilters' Quarters!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Leprechaun's are influencing Mother Nature's temperament this year

The vernal equinox, March 21-22, has always been 'the first day of Spring." But the network meterorologists began 'simplifying' the calendar a decade or so ago, proclaiming it 'easier' to label Spring as beginning on March 1st ... and, ever since they brazenly ignored the revolution of the earth's path around the sun, winter has taken a later, not earlier, hold on our portion of the planet (and yes, the north and south poles do move gradually every year.) Seems to me that Spring weather (which is what meterologists are supposed to be aware of) arrives later rather than earlier ... we've even had snow as late as April Fools Day in recent years ... that may have been Mother Nature's taunt at those weather fools ... her effort at bringing them back to her reality ... and her punishment of the rest of us seems to be her arbitrary shortening of Spring and Fall, and her extension of the blasted heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter ... or maybe that is her collusion with those who choose to live at the highest and lowest latitudes... just sayin' ... I'm going to call Spring the brief four weeks between Tax Day and Mothers' Day ... Let's be real about this. Thanks a lot for ticking her off, meteorololgists...

And so she is threatening another snowstorm this coming week ... which makes re-opening Quilters' Quarters on the first day of spring impractical. There is no heat in the barn. It is presently 40 degrees outside and 30 degrees within. I can't cut fabric with frozen fingers. Customers are not comfortable shopping for fabric and notions while wearing winter coats ... they cannot feel the 'soft hand of quality fabric' while wearing mittens or gloves. Spring is dilly-dallying somewhere else on the planet, and is sorely being missed here.

The revised plan for the re-opening is now set for Thursday, April 5th. My apologies to all ... I clearly have no pursuasive power with Mother Nature, nor with the weather pattern we are enduring here. Three classic nor'easters in the past two weeks? Over two feet of unmelted spring snow? More ahead? Really? Can we all say "Global Warming's Extreme Effects? Or shall we all just blame the foolish meteorologists' tinkering with the calendar date for First Day of Spring (read that: Vernal Equinox.) Apparently, she's offended. 

See you in April?