Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas 2011 - Birth of a New Tradition

Christmas 2011 - Birth of a New Tradition

Did you start your Christmas Shopping yet ... I presumed you did ... me too ... but I thought that this year I will buy in small, local and Canadian stores. Buying local will allow our local economy to grow and ensure local stores and restaurants to stay alive.
Everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Ottawa hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

There are gazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by local working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?

Obviously I also want to recommend that you purchase gift cards from local specialty shops, like your local quilt shop, for the quilters in your circle of friends. I’d like to give you the opportunity to make suggestions and to use this space to allow you to make additional suggestions of independent business that you recommend. Make a suggestion by leaving a comment.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Binding Tutorial

Here is a great way to do binding...

I almost always make continuous cross-grain beinding.  There are lots of great informative tutorials available online which are clear to follow.

I do have a few other things to mention that work well for me.

To determine the length of continuous binding needed, measure the quilt top and side, multiple by 2 and add at least 25 inches.  This is on the generous side side, but it will ensure that you don't run out!

I cut my binding strips 2.5" wide.  I also use cotton batting which does not have a very high loft.  Extra width would be required if you are using a high loft batting.

I join the binding strips with a diagonal seam just like this:

By piecing the strips together on the diagonal, you avoid having too much bulk in the one spot along your binding and makes the join less noticeable.  Once I have the required length of binding, I fold it in the half along the length, pressing as I go.

I then sew the binding to the top of the quilt by aligning the raw edge of binding with the raw edge of the quilt top, right sides together.  I like to leave an approximate 7" tail of quilt biding at the beginning, and then sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.  I miter my corners.  I use a stitch length of 3.0mm for this and use a walking foot.  

I join the ends together with a diagonal seam:

I like to leave quite a large gap between the start and the end of the stitch, say appropromiately a 12" tail.  

Overlap the two tail ends smoothly along the quilt edge.  Trim back the binding tails so that they overlap by the width of the original binding strip plus 1/4" (in most cases that works out to be a total of 2.75 inches).  Be sure to use a ruler and mark the binding for the correct measurement.

Unfold the binding and place the two ends right sides together, perpendicular to each other.  Allow the ends to overlap by a generous 1/8".  Secure the strips with a pin.  Mark the diagnonal line and the stitch along the line (which can be a bit difficult to do with the entire quilt attached).  

You can now test to see if the binding fits along the quilt edge.

Trim back the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press open the seam.  Finish stitching the rest of the binding on the quilt as before.  

Works like a charm every time! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Quilting Oasis

by Yvonne Lance-Jodoin, October 2011

It's another world when you go through the door
Away from everyday strife.
The Running Stitch, welcomes and opens its arms
To encourage your "quilting life".
Creativity smiles with a capital "C"
And surrounds you everywhere.
Inspiration floods the mind and soul
Quilt "magic" with a flair.

A colour paradise treats the eye,
An explosion of visual delight
Magnificent fabrics and "fat quarter" haven
Ensure you get it just right.
Laughs and smiles permeate the space
And invite you to proceed,
Where patterns, threads and notions galore
Will meet your every need.

The classroom is a beehive of activity and fun
With instructors extraordinaire.
Come and quilt by machine or hand
With professionals who care.
Embroidery skills can be your own;
Learn by hand or by machine
From simple pattern to intricate design
And everything in between.

The "Batte Cave" is ingenious
A self-contained display
Of batte fillers in different sizes
Shelves burgeoning with their array.
If you want a new sewing machine,
To give your old one a rest,
This is the place to make your choice
The shop that does it best.

To complete you "sandwich" masterpiece
Just to go the room next-door.
Longarm quilting with an artistic flair
Will enhance it even more.
So if you want to sew a fine seam
Or learn to quilt "in the ditch"
Don't wast any time; just make a plan
To visit The Running Stitch.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Addicted to Quilting

She learned to quilt on MONDAY
Her stitches were all fine
She forgot to make us dinner
So we all went out to dine.

She quilted miniatures on TUESDAY
She says they are a must
They really were quite lovely
But she forgot to dust.

On WEDNESDAY it was a sampler
She says stippling is fun
What highlights what shadows!
But the laundry wasn't done.

Nine Patches were on THURSDAY
Green, Yellow, Blue, and Red
I guess she was really engrossed
She never made the bed.

It was wall hangings on FRIDAY
In colours she adores
It never bothered her at all
That crumbs were on the floor.

I found a maid on SATURDAY
My week is now complete
My wife can quilt the hours away
The house will still be neat.

Well, now its only SUNDAY
I think I'm about to wilt
I cursed, I raved, I ranted
Cuz the Maid has learned to QUILT!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why Quilting Improves your Health in ways even Exercise can't Manage

Would you believe that quilting is good for your health?  Or maybe you thought so, but never had the proof.  Ann-Marie Waddell who is an avid quilter and a customer read the article below (from Mail Online from the UK published June 13, 2011) and wanted to share with all fellow quilters.  Thank you very much Ann-Marie for sharing!

"As devotees of a quiet and contemplative pastime, they would be the last to make a fuss about it.  But quilters, it seems, have every right to celebrate their craft after researchers found that it is 'uniquely' good for you.  

A study found quilting improved well-being in ways that physical and outdoor activities could not, and offered a creativity that had been 'stifled' in the modern world.

The University of Glasgow team concluded that all hobbies - 'from reading to train spotting' - should be looked at for their mental and physical benefits.

They interviewed quilters and found the activity helped their cognitive, creative and emotional well-being, particularly among older people. 

The use of bright colours was 'uplifting', the activity distracted from the stress of work, and quilting offered challenges such as maths and geometry.  It also increased confidence and had an important social side.

Professor Jacqueline Atkinson, co-author of the study and a quilter herself for for five decades, said: 'Doing something that engages you and that you enjoy is key.  As adults, we don't often do enough that includes fun and play.  We put a lot into studying the use of green spaces and that's useful to individuals and communities.  But maybe we need to say there are other things too.'

Graduate student Emily Burt interviewed 29 members of the group and transcripts were analysed for the study, published in the Journal of Public Health last week.  It concluded that: 'Whether it is growing vegetables, kitting a jumper or discovering a new scientific formula creativity may be fundamental for well-being and has received little attention so far within public health. 

'Exploring creativity and what people do in their everyday lives, which they deem creative, may be an important avenue for well-being promoters.  Additionally, more consideration needs to be given to all hobbies from reading to trainspotting, and their potential for enhancing well-being.'

Craft Scotland said interest in quilting amongst younger Scots was increasing but there was no measure for how people people take up the hobby individually or in clubs.

Emma Walker, chief executive of Craft Scotland, said the research backs up what they are seeing on the ground.  She said: 'We've definitely seen an increase in groups doing quilting socially but also individuals.  There's an emotive connection as well as financial need to recycle.  Historically older groups of women did quilting but women in their early 20s are getting together and children's groups are also taking it up.  People are investing in quality pieces of quilting, but also looking to make items themselves and re-use materials they have in their homes.  I can only see the popularity increasing.'

The craft industry contributes around £3 billion a year to the UK economy." 

On that note, I wish you happy quilting and enjoy the health benefits!

Friday, May 20, 2011

20 Things My Mother Taught Me

This doesn't have anything do to with fabric, but it's good for a laugh!  Brought to us by Author Unknown...

  1. My mother taught me to APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE:
    "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside.  I just finished cleaning."
  2. My mother taught me RELIGION:
    "You'd better pray that will come out the carpet."
  3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL:
    "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
  4. My mother taught me LOGIC:
    "Because I said so, that's why."
  5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC:"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
  6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT:
    "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
  7. My mother taught me IRONY:
    "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
  8. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONIST:
    "Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!"
  9. My mother taught me about STAMINA:
    "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
  10. My mother taught me about WEATHER:
    "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
  11. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY:
    "If I told you once, I've told you a million times.  Don't exaggerate."
  12. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE:
    "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
  13. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION:
    "Stop acting like your father!"
  14. My mother taught me about ENVY:
    "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have the wonderful parents like you do."
  15. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION:
    "Just wait until we get home."
  16. My mother taught me about RECEIVING:
    "You are going to get it when you get home!"
  17. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE:
    "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."
  18. My mother taught me HUMOUR:
    "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
  19. My mother taught me WISDOM:
    "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
  20. My mother taught me JUSTICE:
    "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!!"

Happy Friday!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens® Quilt Sampler Magazine®… Who is in? TRS!!!!

We have some very exciting news to share with you!  After keeping our lips sealed since January and struggling to contain our excitement, we are finally able to tell you that TRS has just accepted a HUGE award at the International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.  TRS is 1 of the 10 quilt shops across North America to be featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens® Quilt Sampler® Magazine!

You can just imagine how difficult it has been to hold onto this secret!! Quilt Sampler® Magazine is published bi-annually and has been profiling North American quilt shops for more than a decade.  TRS was chosen from nearly 3,000 quilt shop applicants and is the only Canadian shop chosen for this issue.  To say that we are ecstatic, elated and trilled is an understatement!   

It is an incredible honour to be considered one of the top quilting shops in the country, especially as a Canadian store and we are absolutely  delighted.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to you for helping to make this possible.  Your continued and committed support and encouragement has allowed us to become the quilt shop that we are today.  Our heartfelt thanks goes to everyone.  

We will have a lot to say about this in the comings months.  We invite you to stay tuned to be part of the celebration!  The Quilt Sampler® Magazine complete with a profile of TRS and photos will go on sale on September 6th.  Reserve your copy as well as kits of our original quilt, Urban Row, which will be featured in the Quilt Sampler® Magazine by contacting the store today!

Thank you all, again, for your ongoing support!!  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Understanding Cotton Prices

Article by Jim Salinas, sales associate for Moda Fabrics, edited by Susan Fuquay, originally published in American Quilt Retailer, Vol. 17, Issue 97, January 2011. 

Cotton Plant
If you are wondering what is behind the recent increase in the retail prices of your quilting cottons, here is a brief explaination to help you understand the situation.

Cotton is a commodity and like all commodities prices are increasing.  Most would attribute this primarily to the weakening dollar.  As confidence in the dollar erodes, commodities rise in value.  The dollar has weakened, of course, as our national debt has skyrocketed.  Premium fabric branks are printed in Japan and Korea.  The dollar has weakened by approximately 20 percent to these countries' currencies.  

We are also wrestling with a worldwide cotton shortage.  This shortage is exacerbated by flooding Pakistan, heavy rains in China and hail damage in west Texas.  India has stopped the exportation of cotton altogether, and China has severely restricted its cotton exportation because rising wealth is boosting consumption in their own country.  Labor shortages in China have also contributed to the reduction in available cotton.  Indeed, the entire globe is competing for a finite about of the product.  As is sometimes the case, when commodities spike in price, speculators hold out for better prices, and it appears that is what some greige goods producers may be doing.

Historically, when cotton prices rise dramatically, mills could blend their way to a cheaper product.  The quilting culture simply does not support a blended product, not to mention the fact that polyester (a petroleum derivative) prices are also rising.

Truly we are dealing with a "perfect storm" of problems when it comes to fabric costs.  The quilting industry is also dealing with a significant decrease in the number of print mills that can print the smaller minimums our industry requires, as well as the 16 to 18 screens so frequently used.  There were once approximately 25 printers that could do this type of work; we are down to 10 now!  This puts upward pressure on printing costs.  We still have six mills left in America, but they produce carpet, upholstery, etc.  They may do some high speed rotary printing, but with large minimums and only four to six screens.  They do not do low mimimum flat bed press printing using 18 screens.

As if this weren't enough, the industry is also dealing with two other issues.  As the cost of greige goods (fabric before it is printed) increases, the duty on these goods also increases.  last but not least, UPS shipping costs are increasing 4.9 percent in January 2011!  Wow!  The perfect storm indeed!

Stephanie Dell'olio, president, retail division of Marcus Bros., recently exclaimed, "We have experienced shortages in the past, but this particular set of conditions is like no other we have ever experienced in our 100-year history."

One reason these price hikes are creating so much consternation is that we have experienced so little inflation in the fabric industry over the last 20 years.  My wife, Roxanne, took quilting classes when we lived in Phoenix 20 years ago.  She was paying $6.99 per yard for Hoffman of California prints.  The industry was mauch smaller then, and Hoffman was considered (as it still is today) a premier brand.  Today Hoffman prints are $9.99 per yard in many quilt shops.  This is only a 44 percent increase in 20 years!

In 1990 a loaf of bread was $0.70.  In 2010 a comparable loaf was $2.69.  That's a 284 percent increase.  The average cost of a new car in 1990 was $16,900.  In 2010 the average price of a few car was $27,000.  This is a 65 percent increase.  One pound of ground beef was $0.89 in 1990.  In 2010 a poud of ground beef was $3.29.  This is a 270 percent increase.

You can look at just about anything you purchase and if you compare the price of that item in 1990 to the price today you may just find quilting cotton is still a good value worth the joy it brings you!

Jim Salinas has close to 40 years experience in the fabric industry.  He was a store manager and then district manager with Hancock Fabrics for 17 years and later vice president of marketing for Cloth Worth, director of fabric merchandising for Michael's Arts and Crafts and executive vice president of House of Fabrics.  He has been a sales associate for Moda Fabrics since 1997. 

The Running Stitch © 2008. Design by :Yanku Templates Sponsored by: Tutorial87 Commentcute