Thursday, September 27, 2012

Family Quilt Fest

Mom spoiled all of us, buy fabric and tools 
Inspiring customers are so ... well inspiring! When I was working the cutting counter this summer, two sisters came in and told me all about their upcoming family reunion. All the ladies in the family get together for a quilt retreat. They have plays and projects and raffles. It all sounded like so much fun, I decided my family should do it too!
I told my mama all about it. She and I started planning and scheming right away. We were lucky enough to get all, but one sister to come (she is serving a religious mission in NJ). Since all the sister have such different styles, we decided to work on our own projects .

Chris- loves fractals, and math type quilts
Dee- loves bright, bright colors and happy-go-lucky patterns
Orendia- is more into formal designs and rich colors
Me- like fall colors and vintage styles with a twist
Sami- modern with pattern, pattern, pattern
Orendia loved chatting with the sisters (bonding)
 and leafing through mom's magazines

Using my mom's totally SWEET iron!
What I loved about this visit was collaborating with my sisters in a way I never had before, and getting to know them better (there is a big age gap with me and my older sisters). Mom was tickled pick to teach us her amazing skills with clothes, quilting and crocheting. She showed me how to crochet snowflakes!
Mom and Dee discussing the "flip-flop" quilt
What pleases me most is that my mom and sisters who live nearby are continuing to get together to work on projects even after its over. My mom can pass on her knowledge and my sisters get to build up their skills as well their relationships.
And mom's cooking was awesome too!

By Cassie Grace

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sew Therapy, for Real-sies

I was recently introduced to Debby, one of our die-hard, awesome customers. She has an interesting story. Debby wasn't always a quilter, but she used it to get through a rough time.

1. How did sewing help you work through your difficult time?

   My oldest daughter, Brittany, was killed in a roll over accident that we were in. (2000)  I got back into sewing, discover something new...and also to finish my Sunbonnet Sue quilt.  HERS, actually. 
I find when I quilt that I catch myself smiling most often.  I usually have DELILA, the queen of romance radio program on also, when I quilt.  It comforts me...I feel creative....I like what I'm doing!  It's like gardening, only a different medium.  It's fun to see the growth in me as a quilter. It's amazing the hours that pass when i am with my machine.  Quilting, listening to love songs, drinking tea, thinking.......what could be sweeter???!!!!
I have made Brittany's bedroom my quilting room.  That too, is very comforting to me!  I feel often that she is right there with me!!!

2. How has sewing changed in its purpose for you over the years? (Is it still therapy, or is it a hobby now?)

   Quilting was always a hobby that i wanted to explore more.  It is therapy yes, but I think it started as a HOBBY first.....went into THERAPY from there....back to HOBBY.....THERAPY...... 
Sometimes I just go into that room and quilt JUST to get away from all the crud of the day.   I am thoroughly enjoying making something for EACH of my family members now....and I mean EACH of them.  (I wish my nieces would stop having babies tho....LOL)
What started as something new and fun, has NOW become an incredible quest to MAKE things for people.  I am enjoying giving a personal piece of myself to everyone I love.  Most aren't quilters and are in AWE with what I've done.  Once I start making things for my AVID quilting buds, I will be a bit more nervous about "giving of myself!".

3. Would you recommend sewing as a way to work through things to others?

   I HAVE recommended it to others.  I've even taken others to beginning quilt classes, which is something KIM did for me!  I want them to see how rewarding it is to actually come home with something useful that WE have created.  Such an incredible feeling.  I often am astounded with the beauty of the matching of materials.....hard to believe that I have made some of the things that i have.  With Kim's help and many others too, I am learning how to match prints, individual touches to my quilts.  It's an ongoing LOVE affair with a new quilt each time!!!  
I wish I had truly learned how to quilt when I lived in NM, as it was colder there.  But, i guess it really doesn't matter....
I enjoy doing it...and I now feel:: SOOOO MANY QUILTS....SOOOO LITTLE TIME!  I need to bust my butt and start pumping them out faster, as i am doing MORE collecting of ideas, patterns, and  materials!

When I go in their shop....the colors, the quilts hanging up....their smiles, suggestions, time spent with's MY HAPPY PLACE!!! 
Quilting is a passion in me that is growing daily.  I use to dream of designs in my I dream of designs to make with quilt fabrics!!!
Expensive hobby.....but seeing a counselor is more expensive!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Austin Quilt Fest

I had the great pleasure of attending the Capital of Texas Quilt Fest. I'm so glad I did! My new friend Christina came with me, which made it so much more fun. She's new to quilting and I think I may have another convert! Haha!

There were so many quilts to see. I was impressed with the range of styles. There were very modern designs, traditional and several art quilts. I like the one above because I think the artist might be as crazy as me! Each square was a little different!! 

I think this style is called french broadcloth quilting. Its all about the stitching. No distracting fabrics. Because I've been obsessing about how to quilt my big celtic knot. I'm feeling more inspired. 

This one cracked me up!!! I grew up with the Harry Potter series, so this was especially fun. It was done by Jennifer Ofenstein. I especially liked the monster book. 

This modern piece was done by Heather Grant. I love her color choice and circle motifs. 

Last but not least, "Salute to Pasta" by Victoria West. Isn't this clever???? The whole design is created by the quilting. It's like the french method, but with a more modern motif. I would hang this in my dining room rather than hide it in my bedroom. My brain is just percolating with ideas!!!!!

There were vendors there too! I hadn't known about some the shops in the surrounding areas, and I met a long arm quilter. There were demonstrations too. It was such fun to be in a place where everyone was passionate about quilts. Sigh... such fun. 

By Cassie Grace

Ps. If you want to see the winners, you can go to the website:

Friday, September 14, 2012


Now that I have a serious deadline, aka baby coming, I'm finding I have a great drive to finish things. I've talked to other quilters and creative types and I've found a common theme. We are all great at starting new projects, but struggle to finish them. Some people thrive in quilting clubs because they must have a block done at every meeting. Some people find that competitions get them in high gear.

To get myself organized, (and less distracted by ideas) I've put together a calendar for the end of this year. I found it when I googled: calendar August to December and picked one I liked. I'm doing great at meeting my sewing deadlines....not so great on my art ones, but this is progress people! I can work on any one of the projects as long as it's moving me toward one of the deadlines.

How do you get yourself to finish a project?

By Cassie Grace

Ps. Do you love my foam monster? He is a lightbulb. Haha.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Valli's First Quilt!!!!

Opening a store filled with quilting fabrics was a dream but not because I was in love with quilting.  I love the fabrics and am always telling the customers, "Kim is the quilter, I am the Interior Designer!" I find good uses for the beautiful fabrics, other than that wrong?  I spent many weeks each Summer growing up, with my Grandma Ruby.  She was a quilter, a beautiful quilter!  I remember her porch was lined with rows of cabinets draped with fabric fronts. The shelves behind were filled with folded quilts, all handmade, all wonderful!  I think I fell in love with the random, mismatched look of scrappy a long time ago.  She also taught me how to sew on her pedal Singer sewing machine.  "Thank you Grandma!"  

That was then and this is now....I'm still all about the fabric.  The quilting industry has so many fabulous designers creating so many beautiful prints, I think that's why I prefer scrappy...because I don't have to choose just a few, I can use them all!  The more mismatched the better! So, after almost two years it's time to quilt. My first quilt has to fit my criteria of easy, easy, easy and places for lots of fabrics. I saw this quilt in one of our books and loved it!  It's basically a "flip and sew" (and iron) Cut your favorite fabrics in assorted widths, randomly place, sew, flip, iron and start over! It's fun and fast. Now I can say I have made a quilt. My quilts will probably always be simple, I'll leave the detailed, more exact quilts to Kim and Robbie!

By Valli Daniel

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quick Announcement

Some of you may have known this, but I am pregnant! And my husband and I just found out on tuesday that we are having a little girl!!!! Because babies are on my mind, there may be one or two more articles than usual on the baby stuffs (baby blankets, dolls, etc.). But I thought you kids might get a kick out of some costumes I've designed for Halloween. I want to take advantage of my baby bump!

Most of the maternity Halloween costumes I found in my google searches were LAME! I am not painting my belly. Period. So, I'm going to put my sewing skills to work. Most of these I can buy a cheap t-shirt and add cotton/notions from Valli & Kim to it. I can't wait to show ya'll the finish!

Do you have a favorite? OH! Before I forget, I'm taking any ideas you have, as well. 

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

May the Force be with you...

Who doesn't love a bit of Star Wars stitch-geekery?

Have you seen this before? I found it on and it cracked me up!!! The gal who designed it is Carina (here is her website: I want to make one of my own and frame it for my sewing area. 

This got me thinking though, some people swear by ironing your seams open and others to one side. Depending on my project I might even do both. EGADS!!! For example:

It made sense for the Hexes to do press both open and to the side, so it would lie flatter. If the center bit had been open seamed, it would have been a folding little mess. 

You may be able to see that I put this together in columns and then sewed the columns together. I took care to iron half the seams north and the south, so that when they came together there would be less bulk. 

How do you press your seams? Open, closed, combination?

By Cassie Grace