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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What's New at Quilters' Quarters?

The shop's roof was finished at the end of July, walls were painted upstairs in August, and some of Rick's woodworking tools were then moved into their new, clear space.

That left room in the downstairs workshop for the Wooden Toys and Gifts shop to move into newer quarters. And that move created more open space in the front of the barn for Quilters' Quarters to expand ... and so it is!

Ann's Fat Quarters and Bundles of Eighths
We plan to have all of the moving around finished in time for our 20th and 1st Shop Anniversaries on Small Business Saturday, November 29th.  All of Rick's toys and Terry's quilts will be back from their Art Exhibition display at the Pine Grove School in Rowley. And we have some new offerings from our consignment artists as well:

Ann Lainhart's  Fussy Cut Fabric note cards

Ann Lainhart has restocked our special fat quarters and "bundles of eighths" color family selections from her own collection of beautiful quilt-quality fabrics.  Ann has also added to her collection of quilted note cards, including some Christmas designs for kids.  Remember, these cards include actual hand done "fussy-cut" kaleidoscopic designs worked by Ann herself. Catalogs of Ann's work, including her jackets, vests, tile trivets and more are in the shop; remember to ask for yours if you don't see them while meandering through the cabinets full of fabric, the trunk of orphan offerings (remember: you set the price) and the new Wooden Toy and Gift showroom in the back of the barn.

Lynne Schulte LaValley's art cards

And our local painter, Lynne Schulte LaValley,  is also offering a selection of cards representing some of her favorite holiday images for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and, if you're really planning ahead, Valentine's Day! Each of her cards contains a high quality print of one of her paintings.

Sandra Golbert's Fibre Art Note Cards
 Sandra Golbert's fibre art cards contain many clever sayings to enhance the images she chooses to incorporate in her mult-media collection of note cards. Birthdays, Weddings, Showers, and Holidays are made more memorable when a special card hits exactly the right spot with that special person.  All of our artists keep their prices reasonable: five or six dollars per card, and a discount if more than four are bought from one artist!

National Wildlife Federation
explanation of embossed image
And our newest artist to join our group is Elizabeth Golz Rush, who, in addition to sharing her fabric line with us, also has been commissioned to provide drawings for gold foil embossed note cards from the National Wildlife Federation, and has generously given us packs of three of her designs, shown below; each of the birds featured in her designs is described in detail on the back of the card.

Elizabeth Golz Rush cards, counted-
 cross stitch kits and bolts of fabric
Her work has also been incorporated into the renowned Elsa Williams' cross stitch kits shown in the photo below, just behind the cards and in front of the fabric line.  Remember,  you can click on any image to enlarge it. There is much more to see at Quilters' Quarters, and even more to find in our webstore

 As the shop's spacial changes occur, more room will exist for workshops, lessons and eventually classes.  One such workshop is being planned for mid to late January: it is my goal to have the two Red-Eye Singer Treadle Sewing Machines in good working condition, and then offer a workshop on how to clean and maintain those old treasures that might be hiding in your family's favorite hidey-hole!

As always, if you are reading this update in your email, thank you for signing up for the newsletter. We usually publish it about twice a month, but in between editions, we also update the various pages that comprise this blog. Recent additions are the Massachusetts Women Artists' page,  and progress on current quilts at Terry's Quilting Journal 2014 page.  Come visit us at the blog and see what else is happening at Quilters' Quarters

Feel free to share this email or blog link with your friends and families. Thank you for sharing our pages.

Terry, web page, email:

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Rick's blog:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wow! 9,000 Site Visits as of Today~

We've had a large increase in followers here at the blog since the Row by Row Experience this summer, and today, just a few minutes ago, we reached the number 9,000. I cannot estimate what the size of that crowd would be in person; it is approximately the total number of people living in our town!

Rick and I are still working to move things around in our shop ... the toys are gradually migrating into their new space, formerly Rick's renovated workshop.  And Rick's smaller tools are moving upstairs to his new second floor studio, where he will concentrate on the scroll saw art he is doing.

The quilt shop will take over the other half of the front of the barn, gaining space where quilters can gather for workshops or just for social "Sit 'n Sews" in the evenings. We do have a heater in that space, so we will be cozy in the dark of winter afternoons as well.

The vintage sewing machines (that were there in the shop but not very visible) are now more prominent and accessible in our enlarged space. I plan this winter to give workshops on treadling, including information on cleaning, maintaining and USING those family treasures hidden away in attics and cellars of every small town in New England. Maybe you have one waiting to be found and loved?

To that end, I'll begin adding new items to our inventory that will help with the machine's upkeep.  We've started with a small purchase: sewing machine oil (commonly referred to by collectors as SMO) and Singer Lube in a Tube.

Most manufacturers sternly advise that THEIR SMO is the one to use ... Singer advises Singer oil, Bernina advises Bernina oil ... and some old wives tales tell of other alternatives such as mineral oil or generic "three in one" oil.  These alternatives are not used by those in the know ... in fact, those who repair vintage machines say that 'other oils' are often the cause of gummed-up mechanisms.  Mineral oil has minerals, which are miniscule but abrasive. And 'three in one' has earned a bad reputation with some fix-it men and women because it is heavier than true, clear SMOs.

 I want to be as cost-conscious as possible, as we are living on a pension now, and plan on running our shop to help quilters and other needleworkers be able to shop locally, conveniently and frugally.  We keep our prices in line with what we could afford to pay ourselves.  So here are our first two new items, available presently in the shop itself, and soon to be added to our web page when we've been able to build up an inventory:

In the shop for $2.99 plus 0.19 MA Tax
This is a plastic bottle of white sewing machine oil.  White is not a brand name - it's a description that tells you (and visibly shows you) that it is a clear oil at the light weight that sewing machines will appreciate.  The story goes that 'white is light' and will not gum up the works.  Both Singer and Bernina use white oil in their machines, and advise their customers that when the oil darkens, or yellows (or eventually turns brownish) it is time for a new bottle.  When the oil darkens, it is becoming thicker ... the viscosity is different, and the oil can  then make your sewing machine work harder than necessary, with more stickiness than slickness. 

 Vintage Machines were manufactured in the days when oil was less expensive, and they do require oiling and use to run as smoothly as the day they were built.  The tip of this bottle can be pulled up, revealing an extension tube or "Zoom Spout" that makes placing those essential single drops of oil in each designated area on a treadle machine much easier and more accurate.  

Many modern machines are electronic and sealed differently than the old ones, and unless your user manual instructs you to oil, your new machine may not need nor welcome SMO.  Always refer to your manual.

In the shop for $3.50 plus 0.22 MA Tax
Another sought-after tool for maintaining older machines is motor lubricant.  Treadles and Hand-Crank vintage machines do not have motors, and so do not need lubricant. But vintage machines from the twenties and beyond are electrified.  The motors are either external or internal, and need to have their moving parts lubricated. (Often, they also need to have their cotton-coated wiring replaced as well.) And it is worth noting that, conversely, wherever you need lubricant, you must NOT use SMO. 

That the oil and the lubricant come in small packages is a reminder that these products are meant to be 'refreshed' now and then so that  your machine is being helped rather than harmed by old, thickened oil or grease. 

We are selling the SMO in the Zoom-Spout bottle for $2.99 and the Singer Lube for $3.50.  Both of these items, unlike fabric, are taxable. We are limiting our inventory quantity to these small amounts (and their small prices) so that you will always be able to work with fresh products.