Tag Archives: riley blake designs

A Teeny Tiny Quilt Market Recap Plus a Great Big Annoucement

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Yummy fabrics, eh? Keep Scrolling, bear with me, and be a sweetie by humoring me while I lead with a bit of applicable Spring Quilt Market happy stuff.

I know – you can chastise me later for not constructing an immediate, lengthy and glorious post about all the wonderments of Spring Quilt Market 2016, the moment I got home from Salt Lake City, Utah a few weeks ago. Suffice to say, there were wonderments – MANY of them, but since Market, I’ve been OH-SO busy planning OH-SO-MUCH-MORE important stuff to share with you!

Okay, okay – I’ll take a sec to share a few pics from quilt market, but only a few before I share what I REALLY want to tell you about…

Quilt Market wonderments…like meeting this girl:

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A confession – the very first official quilt class I’ve ever taken was at the Riley Blake Shop Owner’s Extravaganza Retreat in gorgeous Park City, just before Spring Quilt Market 2016 (I’m historically more of a learn-on-my-own sort of girl). The one and only Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet was my teacher and I learned lots!

And this girl:

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Teacher of the second quilt class I’ve ever taken was the queen of English Paper Piecing herself, Sue Daley of Sue Daley Designs.  Oh, good grief – where do I begin?!  I cannot even begin to quantify how much I learned from this lovely lady about not only EPP (and her famous Knicker Knot!), but also just about our great business itself. I’m forever changed having met her and learned from her, HONESTLY.

Moving on to Quilt Market itself, how can I forget our visit to the Glamper?

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Carina Gardner, designer of patterns, paper art, and OH so many gorgeous fabrics (including Posy Garden, coming to the Woods in July!), was on the TOP of my list of Must-Meets at Quilt Market.  See that smile?  Yep – as genuine and sweet as it looks (even Sophie loved her enough to leap into her hands for the picture!)

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Had it not been for the fact that she knew I’d be all by myself at Quilt Market without her, I almost think Sophie may have stayed and gone home in the Glamper with Carina – she had that much fun hopping around in it.

Okay, okay, okay!  Before I get too lost in the ‘nostalgia’ part of Quilt Market 2016, I want to talk about what I really, really, REALLY need to share with you in this post:

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This gorgeous quilt was on display at A Schoolhouse class I attended the day before Quilt Market with Amy Ellis, sharing some details of her just-released-today new Quilt book called, Modern Heritage Quilts. Two words for which I specifically sought better clarity at Quilt Market : Modern Quilting.

Ah yes – this brings me to the most important reason for my blog post today – the announcement of the first ever Serendipity Woods Block of the Month project!

 

It starts with Amy’s Modern Heritage Quilt book as our guide, which will take us through a 9 month pseudo Mystery BOM project creating a whole new quilt (aka – not in the book) with associated block instructions which can be found on corresponding pages.

Modern Heritage Quilts Book

Invite your friends to join you for Serendipity Woods’ first ever BOM project, featuring Modern Heritage Quilts by Amy Ellis. Begins July 22, 2016!

Most importantly, we’ll learn together a little (probably a lot) more about quilting with a modern feel, yet preserving some of the tried and true, historical pattern styles. I don’t know about you, but I am so game!

The short, simple, to-the-point details:

What: Serendipity Woods Modern BOM 2016

When: July 22, 2017 – April 22, 2017

Cost:

  • Reservation Fee/First Month’s shipment – $39.50 +$4.89 shipping (includes Modern Heritage Quilts book and your first month’s instructions and fabrics, including Kona Snow background)
  • Remaining 8 months – $12.50 + $4.89 shipping/ each month (includes instructions and all fabric needed for associated month)
  • Deadline for registration is July 1st, so we’re sure to have all the supplies needed in stock, on time!

Fabrics included are from our Serendipity Woods’ Happy Scrappy Modern Bundle, curated especially for this Modern Heritage Quilts BOM project.

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Serendipity Woods Happy Scrappy Modern Fabrics collection, available at SerendipityWoods.etsy.com.

  • How: Several Ways:
    • Tell us RIGHT HERE (a simple, ‘Count me in for the BOM’ will suffice. We’ll take it from there)

    • Find our post on Instagram, Facebook, or Ello and tell us there
    • Purchase our ‘First Month BOM’ listing at Etsy (subsequent months will invoice through Paypal) HERE

What else, what else, what else?  Nothing, except we’re so excited and we hope you are too!

Cheers,

Pam and the Bunny Crew

PS – one more photo I ought to share of another miraculous girl I met during my adventure in Utah:

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My new friend, Crystal, owner of The Clever Quilt Shoppe, whom I met on the first day of the Riley Blake Retreat.  In a word: Serendipity.

 

Sugar Stars Hazel Quilt – Finished, with Lessons Learned

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Sugar Stars pattern by Lori Holt, created with Hazel by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck, Sew for Windham and some Kona White for the background.

Well, remember how totally on FIRE I was a while back with my progress for the above Sugar Stars quilt? Then everyone was like – ‘Seriously? What happened to that quilt she was making? She never. Even. Published. The. Finish.’

It’s true – this is the first time I’m publishing my finished quilt because, as on fire as I was to get it finished, this happened:

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The teal pinwheel fabric is my backing, and I cut it THIS MUCH too small.

Wouldn’t you freeze too?  The bottom line is that quilting, like life in general, presents us with brick walls. Sometimes we freeze because, doggone it, we just wanted to start something, move along with a comfortable sense of propulsion, and get it done so we can enjoy the pleasant fruits of our labor.  When we meet those brick walls, however, it sometimes becomes less about propulsion and more about learning something along the way.  My response to that? I didn’t want to learn something along the way…I just wanted to start a quilt and finish it in a timely manner.  No fuss no bother.  Pth.  The Quilting Universe had other plans, evidently.

As it turned out, it took me a while to admit out loud that I had two choices – Either cut a new backing piece (which sounded wasteful and I don’t do wasteful very well, especially when it comes to fabric) or veer to the more time consuming remedy – piece it with scraps.  The cool thing is that my Sugar Stars Quilt is made up of 168 Easy Corner Triangle units like this:

Sugar Stars Units

Which, after sewing a white square in the corner on the diagonal and accurately cutting off the scrap with a rotary cutter and ruler, leaving an exact 1/4″ seam allowance – left me with a whole lot of these:

Sugar Stars lots of Triangles

which I sewed together…

Sugar Stars Pinwheel Sewing

to make these…

Sugar Stars HST Squares

Four of each fabric with lots leftover.

which then could become 3″ pinwheels like these:

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That worked out perfectly if I cut my backing fabric into 4 quadrants, using some of the excess I had lengthwise to create the little 3″ alternating squares.

So as much as I hated how long it took me to rectify my error, I love the back of my Sugar Stars quilt so much more than if I’d cut the backing piece the right size in the first place.

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Oh – in case you wondered, the backing fabric is flannel, and the result of another error I made with our first order of fabric for our shop.

In a nutshell, the fabric is from the Roots and Wings Collection by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake.  It wasn’t supposed to be flannel. I ordered the wrong fabric.  So, even though a fair bit of it did sell at the shop, it was the only flannel we had at the shop and I didn’t want people to get confused as I had been, accidentally buying something they didn’t mean to buy.  So, I’ve used it for the backings of the last two quilts I’ve made. It’s quite soft and has coincidentally coordinated perfectly!

Anyway – one more quilt down, and more quilting lessons learned.  The moral of this story: If you know you’re going to have a whole bunch of scraps that will be about the same size and shape – cut them accurately with a rotary cutter, instead of just lopping them off with scissors at ‘about’ 1/4″.  You might thank yourself later that all your scraps are exactly the same size. I sure did! Happy Sewing, friends 🙂

Oh – Quilt kit. Yes. Here:

Sugar Stars Quilt Kit with Hazel by Cluck Cluck Sew

 

 

 

Serendipity Woods Shop Happenings

Whew! What a whirlwind of a July and already HALF of August! Happy Thursday, All. I’m inclined to apologize once again for how long I’ve been away from my CLH Blog, but as is abundantly clear to me now – the early dynamics of having a Quilt fabric business are more than a bit consuming! With that in mind, how about if I don’t apologize, and just get right at what I’ve been up to! Perhaps I’ll categorize a bit as well, so my head doesn’t just explode onto my keyboard in a completely nonsensical manner…

First – A few views of our shop, this very day:

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I can’t decide whether or more excited about all the new fabric we’ve accumulated to share with you, or the clever storage design Superman has come up with, which houses everything in such a versatile way! In case you wondered, from left to right (atop each structure) is Mrs. Peabody Owl, Gracie Elephant, Big Sophie Bunny, and Gloria Bear (oh, and the ever-present Charlie in her newest yellow dress, not wishing to be left out).

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Though not originally intended, we found that not only does the peg idea work great for housing fabric bolts, but also – if we employ a simple 1/4″ smooth board, they work wonderfully as a shelf holder for precuts and other quilty wares.

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Truly, no matter how much my studio begins to resemble an actual quilt shop, all it takes is for me to turn my back for just one second, and my animal friends determine a comfortable spot upon which to perch (perhaps in fear of becoming irrelevant – which, I remind them just in case – is not possible).

Studio photos aside, things have been going really great and we’re learning lots! While Superman continues to navigate brilliantly through the financial logistics, storage solutions, and just cheering me on in general, I’ve been having great fun interacting with so many new and returning customers, as I ship them the treasures they’ve been finding in our little shop.

Especially popular in our shop:

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If you haven’t yet heard, this has been one heck of a FARM GIRL SUMMER! We’ve sold (and reordered, and sold, and reordered several more times) more of Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book than any other item in our shop.  Along with the book, folks have scooped up an assortment of Lori’s Modern Minis precuts as well, since this quilt, by definition, is as scrappy as the day is long – Precuts are working great for it!  In addition, Lori has also collaborated with Aurifil to create a perfect thread collection for use with all of her fabric designs (not just the current one).  We’re enjoying plunking it, and all of Lori’s happy designs into the post for our customers.

One more thing I have to admit – I’ve been bitten by the Farm Girl Bug myself! A few of my blocks…

Block 3Block 1Block 2

We’ve also had some pretty impressive (and unexpected) success with all kinds of patterns in our shop!

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We’ve done our best to select patterns that support precuts, since as we launched our shop – Precuts were some of the first items we stocked. 

While we still put emphasis on selling precuts because they’re so versatile, we’ve started to also carry yardage. Recently, we picked up the whole line of Tree of Life by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks.

While we're still learning about just what will be popular at our shop, Tree of Life was a complete no brainer.  Sue Zipkin's art is beautiful from every angle!

While we’re still learning about just what will be popular at our shop, Tree of Life was a complete no brainer. Sue Zipkin’s art is beautiful from every angle!

Okay – so I think I ought to wrap this post up so I can get some much needed sewing done! Before I do that, I wanted to share one more recent addition to our shop that I’m particularly excited about. To preface, we’ve been thinking about the fact that an awful lot of quilting going on today is of the scrappy nature. So great quality fabrics at great prices for stash building is important to you, and we’re on it! We’re thrilled to introduce a whole dedicated shop section called Serendipity SALE.  It’s all the same premium quality fabric we pride ourselves in carrying (Currently from Penny Rose and Riley Blake – but look for more manufacturers as we go along!), all at $3.00 per half yard/$5.95 per yard.

I’ll bet you know that I’ve lots more I’m dying to spill into this post – but how about if I just hold tight and give you a ‘Next up’ hint…It’s scrappy, classic, and interactive – all at the same time. Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting,

Pam

Serendipity Woods Launch Giveaway Winner!

A Giveaway at Serendipity Woods!

A Giveaway at Serendipity Woods!

Just a quick post this morning to announce the winner of this great bunch of goodies in honor of our launch.  Congrats Christine Brown!  We’ll send out your package as soon as you drop us your address.

Thanks to all who participated!

Cheers,

Pam

A Launch Giveaway for Serendipity Woods!

Good Morning, All…isn’t it a great day for a Tuesday, And a Serendipitous Giveaway? In honor of our Serendipity Woods Shop Launch, we wanted to share with you some of the great product lines we carry at our Serendipity Woods Etsy Shop, along with several great ways to win a great little stash of Quilting loooove (Giveaway guidelines below the photos)!

A Giveaway at Serendipity Woods!

A Giveaway at Serendipity Woods!

Included in this Giveaway: 1 – 5″ Charm Pack/Stacker of EACH of the Following:

Modern Minis Collection

Modern Minis by Lori Holt, for Riley Blake Designs.

Berries & Blossoms by Peg Conley for Clothworks.

Berries & Blossoms by Peg Conley for Clothworks.

1930s Minis by Erin Turner for Penny Rose Fabrics.

1930s Minis by Erin Turner for Penny Rose Fabrics.

  • 1 Jelly Roll/Design Roll/Rolie Polie:
Wish, by Valori Wells for Free Spirit.

 Wish by Valori Wells, for Free Spirit Fabrics.

  • 1 Large 1422 yard Spool of the Most Excellent Thread on the Planet…
Aurifil 50 wt 2021

Aurifil, in color 2021, 50 wt.

  • 1 – 10 count package of…
Wonderclips.

 Wonderclips for easy binding!

As promised, the ‘several ways to win’ part – For each of the following, you’ll receive one entry:

  • Comment on THIS post, with your favorite item in this giveaway stash.
  • Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteLovesHenry
    • Comment on the post there about this Giveway
  • Follow us on Instagram https://instagram.com/pamselkirk/
    • Comment on the post there about this Giveaway
  • Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/SerendipityPam
    • (Do I sound like a broken record yet?) Comment on the Post there about this Giveaway
    • Oh! You could retweet too, let’s make that another way to win an entry

As I count them, that’s 8 opportunities to be entered. Now since this is the very first Giveaway we’ve ever done, I can’t help but want to share the following blurb, with heartfelt sincerity: I don’t ever want anyone to feel annoyed or pressured about a Serendipity Woods Giveaway. For this reason, we probably won’t do them often. The reality is that Giveaways are a great way to connect with more people that make take interest in what I have to share here at the CLH blog and also the items we sell at our Serendipity Woods Shop. But REALLY – what’s most important to me is the ability to connect with quilters like me who fall in love with fabrics and notions and just want to share our favorite stuff about quilting. Of final mention: Please feel free to take advantage of as many, or as few, of the above opportunities to enter this, or any other Giveaway the comes down the pike. This Giveaway – Rules/Guidelines:

  • Entries will be collected through Thursday, July 2, at 12:00am (midnight) EST
  • Open to US Residents only (sorry abroad friends – I promise to catch you on another Giveaway soon!)
  • Winner will be announced here, there, and everywhere On Friday, July 3rd.

I think that’s everything! Cheers and Good Luck, Pam

Farm Girl Fridays with Lori Holt!

Whew! This busy-ness of spring catches me by surprise every year.  Whether it’s the lingering athletic activities (and the potluck provisions they involve), garden prep, or another graduating senior (we’re on our 4th), I seem to forget the flurry of activity that goes on every year at this time.

That aside, I have been able to stay up to speed with an ongoing quilt-along I jumped into 2 weeks ago called Farm Girl Fridays (just haven’t had a moment to post about it yet!).

A great book together with my selected fabrics for the quilt along!

A great book together with my selected fabrics for the quilt along!

If you’re unfamiliar with Farm Girl Vintage, it’s what I would consider a distinct style of quilting, truly brought to life by the author and host of the quilt along, Lori Holt of http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com. Lori’s quilting style has a specifically vintage/cheerful/farmy flair to it, whether throughout this book or any of her previous (of which I have 3 – all excellent).  In a word, they’re HAPPY, which is always my favorite.

Below are my first four blocks:

Block 1 Farm Girl Vintage

Block 1, Apron Strings.

Farm Girl Vintage Block 2

Block 2, Autumn Star.

Farm Girl Vintage Block 3

Block 3, Baby Chick.

Farm Girl Vintage Block 4

Block 4, Baking Day.

If you’re interested in joining along with Farm Girl Fridays, it’s not too late! You can either scroooooll back up and click the image of Lori’s book (with my great fabric choices!) or visit Lori at http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com .

Happy Quilting!

Pam

Why (and how) I Made the Switch to Premium Quilt Fabrics

Happy Monday! I’ve been posting quite a lot about ‘quality fabric buying,’ and up until now (without necessarily meaning to) – I think I’ve been a little cryptic. What I want to share today is what I mean by quality fabric. What I’m really talking about is Premium quilt fabric, but what does that mean and why does it make a difference?

For starters, I’ve been making quilts for a long time. As I’ve said before, I’ve used fabrics that run the gamut, including those that I look at now (from beneath a quilt I spent hours and hours making), and I cringe. The truth is that mostly, I bought what I could afford at the time, and as a young mom of six growing children, it wasn’t a lot. Rarely did I have time to even go to an actual fabric store, so oftentimes it meant strolling through the craft aisle with a cart full of kids, in whatever store I was in for another purpose, being pulled in by a fabric that caught my eye based on pattern, and buying 2 or 3 yards. That fabric was then added to my ‘stash’ for later use and coordination with some fabric (or two or five) I intended to find later (but often never did), once I fell in love with some pattern I’d find in a book. All well and good, right? Not really because half the time I didn’t have that fabric with me the next time I was at the store, which then only meant another one-hit-wonder would catch my attention in the same fashion. So what I wound up with was a bunch of fabric whose patterns I loved, but really didn’t coordinate together.

That said, I certainly had plenty of success over the years at coordinating fabrics together to make quilts. However, the process became about matching colors, which then opened me up to the dilemma of ignoring my discerning eye for quality fabric in exchange for a color or pattern that matched perfectly. Are you beginning to follow me, here? In a word:

Hodgepodge.

Moving on. Let me now share an image of one such fabric that caught my eye in the store a year or two ago:

Cute FabricCute, right? It’s good quality too; 100% cotton, nice dense thread count, very soft, like any good quality fabric should be. And it has lots of colors I like for the purpose of creating a whole quilt, beaming with lively colors! Now let me show you the selvedge edge:

SelvedgeAre you getting where I’m going with this? No pattern name, design collection, nothin.’ What if I need more of this fabric? What if I’m trying to match it perfectly with the same quality, same exact color match, same everything? I could call around and explain what it looks like or search online, but odds are – I wouldn’t find it.

About the time all this started occurring to me, I began learning more about Premium fabric brands and the thoughtful collections they assemble. I fell in love with Moda’s Little Apples, April Showers and Color Me Happy. Then I discovered Riley Blake. Have you SEEN Country Girls? To Norway with Love? EVERYTHING designed by Lori Holt? These are fabrics that a) have a recognizable name I can seek out, b) are great quality so there is no guesswork to be done in terms of even feeling the fabric, because I already know it’s great, and c) are part of collections of several different fabrics intended to coordinate together. There are several premium manufacturers out there; these are just the two I love most.

Aren’t premium fabric brands really expensive?

The answer is yes and no. In general, premium quilt fabrics are of better quality and yes – tend to be more expensive than your average ‘Printed Exclusively for Hobby Lobby Stores’ fabric. There are, however, ways to conquer the price difference from what you or I may have bought previously (see how I plopped you right into my happy little sand pile of Premium quality goodness? That’s because if you are not already basking in my sand pile by your own choice already, I want you to join me!). Here’s how I did it:

  • Once I figured out which collections I was in love with, I started shopping around. I can tell you that some brick-and-mortar quilt stores will carry part of a collection, but not all. I have found that to be true with my local Field’s Fabrics. If you can catch a good sale, you’re in with at least some. That said, I have all of ONE real quilt store in my area (that isn’t a ‘big box’ store like Field’s). I stopped in about six months ago, for the first time, delighted to meet the owner and share my new status as a lover of premium quilt fabric. She then cheerfully walked me around the store, showed me where to find all the different brands and lines (as the energy of this fabric heaven welled up inside me), then told me on the slide that they customarily DO NOT HAVE SALES. What? For a few moments I thought, well, it’s premium fabric; I guess that’s the trade off. Then reality spoke and I left the store, never to return. I suspect that this ‘No Sales’ policy is not universal, so do visit your local merchants and ask questions. If we can support local, I think it’s right to do so, as long as they meet us halfway.
  • I started shopping online. After leaving the aforementioned ‘No Sales’ store, I began to really delve into the online world of fabric shopping. Because I now had names of fabric lines I loved, I could search and compare prices. Craftsy.com is a great source, and they have amazing sales! FatQuarterShop.com is also on the up and up. Lastly, since I have an Etsy shop myself (where I used to sell my recycled animal friends, but am on hiatus for now), I seek to support my comrades. There are some great little sellers out there whose prices are more than fair.
  • Consider last season’s fabric lines. Like fashion, manufacturers are always introducing new lines. If you have to have the new lines right when they come out, you’ll simply have to be comfortable with the MSRP – manufacturer’s suggested retail price (but there are sales to be had – so find them). Otherwise, I find that I’m still discovering some of the retired lines are fabulous enough that I want to grab them before they’re really gone. As a warning, you WILL encounter sellers (on etsy, in particular) that treat retired fabric lines like out of print books, by pricing them sky high because they are out of print. I guess it’s just a matter of how badly you want the fabric as it relates to how much you’ll pay.
  • As previously (perhaps relentlessly) mentioned, I discovered PRECUTS.
    • 2.5″ or 5″ Charm Packs, of the entire line
    • Jelly Rolls or Rolie Polies (depending upon the brand) in either 2.5″ strips or 3.5″ strips, of the entire line
    • 10″ Layer Cakes, of the entire line
    • Fat Eighth, Fat Quarter, or Half Yard Bundles, of the entire line
Charlotte's favorite activity:  Playing with my fabrics. She's quite a little coordinator!

Charlotte’s favorite activity: Playing with my fabrics. She’s quite a little coordinator!

The thing about precuts is that although if you really add it up, they are a bit more costly by volume than yardage, I believe it’s worth the trade-off. They allow me to incorporate a variety of fabrics into my quilt projects, especially when combined with solids like white or ecru, to really accentuate the patterned fabrics. I recommend either Moda Bella Solids or Robert Kaufman Kona Solids. They tend to be more reasonable in price than the printed fabrics created by these same premium manufacturers, yet still the same great quality. The best part is that most big box stores sell the entire collection of solid colors, so I can find them locally.

Next Up:

Storing your Precuts: My Eureka Technique

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