Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FBC Special Event

This Sunday (August 29th), we had an in-store special event for the ladies who purchased a Frequent Buyer Card (for those of you who don't know, the Frequent Buyer Card entitles the holder to 15% off their purchases, except Bernina products, classes and magazines).  It was a lot of fun and quite the afternoon.  I enjoyed myself a lot. 

I had good intentions to take some pictures of the ladies enjoying the demos and the refreshments.  My intentions were so good that I'd even put new batteries in the camera so that there wouldn't be any technical glitches.  But... all my good intentions went out the window because we didn't stop hopping until all the ladies had left!  What can I say?

The turnout was fantastic and very much appreciated.  We had a bunch of demos prepared for the event.  There are so many tools of the trade out there and demos are a great way to see what tools can do for you.  There were special discounts, and because I like surprises, there were also additional bonus discounts in the form of coupons hidden around in bolts of fabric and in books.

There were a lot of happy people - me included!  Thank you to all who attended to make for a great afternoon!  Also a big thank you to Gabriele and Miriam who helped make this event as great as it was.  I look forward to doing another event like this one in the future.

ps: I apologize that not everyone got their mailed invitation.  Please make sure that the address that we have in our system is correct for future mailings!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nancy Crow

Construction #83
Undoubtedly, Nancy is among the most widely known of all art quilters, and she is considered the vanguard of modern art quilting.  Her influence is far reaching, and she has been pivotal in advocating for a definition of the art quilt.  Her work is creative, prolific, and constantly evolving.

Structures #90
The Ohio artist, credited with being one of the early revolutionaries of the art quilt movement, became disillusioned with the restraints of the form's traditional heritage.  Her early work were very much grounded in traditional quilt making techniques, using templates which then fit together.  Nancy made big works at the beginning of her career, and she worked that way until the mid-to-late 80s.  Feeling that she couldn't really create with templates, Nancy realized that she had to go a different route to truly make art with fabric that pleased her.
Linear Studies #7

Anna Williams, an African-American quilter from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, played a very influential role in helping Nancy free herself creatively.  Anna's spontaneous approach to design, achieved without using rulers or templates, showed Nancy the power of letting go.  Some of her quilts are reminiscent of work from the heralded African-American quilting community of Gee's Bend in Alabama.  Inspiration for Nancy comes from everywhere as she is influenced by diverse sources: her travels, nature, social issues, politics...

Structures #5
For Nancy, creating a quilt is an entire process that beings with the dying of all her fabrics to achieve the intense colour that she is looking for.  She cuts and machine pieces that fabric and hires someone to hand quilt the patters that she's marked on the quilt.  Nancy includes the name of the quilter along with her own on the back of each quilt.  Nancy takes a holistic approach to creating a quilt.  That is to say that when she works on a quilt, all other thoughts are put aside and her energy is channeled toward her creation.  She sees shapes in her head and decides how to cut them out of her hand-dyed fabrics.  Her time in her studio creating is also a time of self-discovery for Nancy.  She enjoys pushing herself to think and come up with more complex ideas because she knows those ideas are out there.  Her focus is second to none.

Construction #65
Nancy has been given solo exhibitions at such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian's Renwich Gallery in Washington, D.C., The Snyderman Gallery in Philadelphia, and most recently, at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, New York, just to name a few.  Additionally, she has published numerous well-received books and won several awards.  Nancy has taught extensively and internationally and her workshops range in skill from beginner/intermediate to advanced and master composition.

Chinese Souls #3
Nancy says of herself "I identify who I am with my art work... in other words, I love the work, the experience of making each quilt.  It's my life, my life's work!  I feel lost not doing art, unsatisfied, anxious, bored.  Everything else in comparison seems not terribly important.  The purpose of my quilts is to make something beautiful for me but at the same time they are a means of expression representing my deepest feelings and my life experiences.  In addition, my quilts are all about how I see color and color relationships; how I see shapes; and how I see line and linear movements.  They are also about complexity, sadness, and hope."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Edyta Sitar

Location, Location, Location
Edyta Sitar is the successful designer and co-owner of Laundry Basket Quilts line of patterns and one of my favourite designers.  Her love for fabric began at a very young age, when she used her mother's newly hung drapes to create her first fabric project.  Edyta's journey with sewing and fabric started with clothing, but evolved into creative textile designs.  From there, the first person to inspire her to quilt was Anna Sitar, her husband's grandmother.  With more than six decades of quilting experience to share, Anna taught Edyta the basics for hand quilting and scrap piecing.  Her first sewing machine was a wedding gift from her mother-in-law, Carol, which Edyta still has and her daughters, Anna and Delphina, love to use.

Elegant Garden Album
Midnight Bloom
Edyta says "Every time I begin a new quilt, it is normally because of a person or event that has inspired me.  Sometimes it can be for a loved one in need, birth of a child, a thank you or simply a tribute to a natural beauty that I have experienced, such as a lovely sunset".  Quilting has enabled Edyta to express herself artistically, especially through creating her own designs.  The combination of inspiration from nature, a love for fabric, and a keen eye for colour has blended into a fantastic talent for both designing quilts and quilting patterns.  This has further extended into Edyta's creation of fabric lines with MODA which range from batiks to more traditional fabrics.  Edyta's patters range from more traditional pieced quilts to appliqueed quilts (including raw edge applique). 

Edyta has been published in magazines world-wide and her quilts have received numerous awards.  She has also published books including Hop To It and Friendship Triangles as well as numerous beautiful patters such as Bon Voyage, Winter Lily and Maryam ... just to name a few.

Visit Edyta's website Laundry Basket Quilts at www.laundrybasketquilts.com.  

There's all kinds of good stuff there, including a free patter for a quilt called Treasure Box, which can be found under the icon Free Stuff.  Take a look and come to the store to pick out batiks to make one of your own!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Or, to be more precise at this very moment… 30,414. What you ask? That’s how many visitors there have been to The Running Stitch website! Quite the milestone! I have to say a very big thank you to all who visit the online world of The Running Stitch, and of course, to everyone who visits in person to the store. There’s nothing like being appreciated! I am glad that in the time that I’ve owned The Running Stitch that the evolution of the store has been positive and moving forward. There’s a lot of satisfaction in the translation of effort to success. As with any change, there’s always the possibility of things not working out according to plan, and I’m thrilled that is not the case with the store! As always, I’m interested in any feedback that you have. The only constant is change. That being said, visit often! Online and in person. I look forward to celebrating other milestones with you down the road.

ps: in the time that it took me to write this (which really wasn’t very long), the visitor count has jumped to 30,417 :)
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