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Monday, May 12, 2014

Row by Row "Sew a Season" fabrics have arrived!

Rick and I rode down to the New England Quilt Supply today and picked up the special order of the fabrics that the developers of the summer long Row by Row shop hop have chosen for the quilts.

Each quilt shop had to choose one of the four seasons, and Quilters' Quarters has chosen Winter.  In addition to the program fabrics, I picked up a few new bolts of blenders. I have many more in the shop's inventory that will also complement rows that feature spring, summer and fall as well, and quilters are encouraged to look through our shop to see what might work for their other rows, as well as ours.

The beautiful souvenir custom-designed license plate fabric has also arrived, and will be available for purchases by quilters as of June 1st, when Quilters' Quarters winter row of blocks pattern is ready for FREE distribution. The plates were designed by artist Debra Gabel; visit her website to see what other creative projects she has designed.  Shop owners chose their own slogans,  and Debra carefully fit their messages into their state license plates' own formats. 

What quilters do with the license plate souvenir could involve another contest and prize. I'm looking forward to picking them up at other quilt shop during my travels along the Row by Row trail. Not sure yet what I might do with them, but I'm sure I'll make new friends along the way, and maybe get some creative ideas from them.

Here are the important Row by Row dates for 2014:
June 1: each participating shop will have a free pattern available, and optional fabric kits to suit the chosen season. 

July 1 and onward: Quilters who have been busy in July might be ready and can begin bringing their finished quilts back to any of the eight (or more) shops they have incorporated patterns into for their quilt. First one back with a completed quilt that uses that shop's pattern will be awarded 25 fat quarters. Contest and prizes expire  September 2.

Start planning your summer travels. No one said you are limited to eight quilt shops: there are more than a thousand signed up to participate!  But while you're waiting, enjoy another look at these fabrics at the Row by Row website, and here at Quilters' Quarters.  They are luscious to look at and lovely to touch! Come in to see them.

As always, if you are reading this update in your email, thank you for signing up for the newsletter. We publish it about twice a month, but in between editions, we also update the various pages that comprise this blog. Recent additions are the Machine Quilting Classes page,  and progress on the tie quilt at the Terry's Quilting Journal 2014 page

Feel free to share this email or blog link with your friends and families, and encourage the quilters among you to check out the Row by Row page of the blog as well as the website itself. 

We're in for a great experience this summer ~ jump in and join us!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More New Items to Share with Happy Quilters

It is with a big smile that I greet Spring's belated arrival this week! As this is May Day, I gathered daffodils from my front yard and greeted the little ones heading home from school this afternoon with a daffodil for each child who walks with their parents by the front of our house.  Their smiles are a welcome, warming sight!

My sympathy to those who are or have loved ones living in states dealing with horrific rainfall and winds this week. Here in New England, our air temperatures have remained above freezing, though the persistent drizzle and cold winds have kept most from planting and spring cleaning outside. 

Inside at Quilters' Quarters, though, material continues to arrive ... some in big brown trucks labeled UPS, some in small electric USPS mail trucks, and some in car trunks brought by quilters themselves. That's what I'll write about here today.

When Rick built the cabinets to hold all of the bolts of fabric that we have been acquiring from fabric salespeople, wholesalers and shops, we were able to empty his mother's sea chest of those plastic-wrapped bundles of fabric that seemed untouchable and so remained unsalable. We tucked the big chest under a table in the wooden toy room and wondered what we might do with it later. 

Later took all of about three days to arrive, as two friends separately came to me to ask if I could offer a space in the shop to collections that they were willing to part with.  

One is a drapery artist who designs and makes window treatments for new and old homes. Her mother had been a quilter for many years, and when she passed away, Gwen took on the task of closing the home. She found boxes and bags of partially-cut cotton fabrics that she knew could have value in the right hands. She asked me to show them to people who would use them. When I asked her if she had a price in mind (the perennial question to which there is no right answer,) she said that I could let the people who were interested in the fabrics to offer whatever they felt was right. 

Shortly afterward, another friend arrived to ask whether it was true that I was accepting 'orphan fabrics' in the shop. She is a creative needle-worker who has ranged from quilting to knitting to felting to constructing with fabric, and her 'stash' is eclectic and larger than she can continue to store. She, too, had a similar answer to the question of how to price remnants of this, that, and the other thing. 

A third friend arrived with a stack of quilted squares, about 16 x 16 inches in size ... similarly patterned but differently colored and pieced by an apparent group of quilters who each had their own style of piecing. She said the squares had been found unused in a church closet, and wondered if I might show them to customers. She said that any money offered for them could be given to the church. 

And last evening,  another friend came in to see what new things I had in the shop. I showed her the new bolts that we had brought home from the warehouse in Pembroke, and then I showed her the sea chest half-filled with remnants that I had measured and labeled with sizes but no prices. She was delighted to rummage through the stash and commented that, only in a small shop like ours could one find someone else's treasures ... something unusual for that special touch in a quilt or in a tote ... something truly unique. She left happily with a small bundle, generously leaving some behind for another friend who would be by later to purchase such remnants as these.

 And yes, there was a young woman who stopped in at about 6:30 pm the other day, looking for a spool of bluish-gray thread and dreading the rainy ride down the dark highway to the large fabric shop there. She had seen our sign and stopped in, delighted to look through the shop and, as luck would have it, to find the color gray that she needed to finish her project that night. 

These are the moments I knew would hold the happiness that came with owning a small, local quilt shop. I look forward to more co-operative fabric-sharing in the shop. Please take a ride to visit us, and find a treasure of your own among the new and the old here at Quilters' Quarters. 

*If you're reading this in your email, thank you for signing up for these newsletters. Please forward this to your friends and family members who might also like to know about this new venture of ours ... quilters, needle-workers, stitchers in general ... we have some crewel kits as well as embroidery, and painted silk pieces, and old thimbles ... threads of all colors, a lending library of quilting books and magazines ... and of course, my own books.  

This newsletter is generated only when I update the main page of the blog. There are always other updates here at the other pages ... my 2014 quilting journal currently featuring two ongoing projects as different as night and day ... our quilt of valor page ... the page that features my books and Helen and Henry's ongoing saga ... and more. Click on the links at the top of the right margin to find what's been added to those parts of the Quilters' Quarters story. And be well, all!

~ Terry and Rick