Quilt Shops

Temecula Quilt Company, California

Note: if you are looking for the Red/White Challenge, it is the next post!

Monday.  A very pretty Monday at that, just the thing for a little field trip.

Intrigued by their Red/White Quilter’s Challenge, I headed south to the Temecula Quilt Company.  They give very good directions on their website; it is located in a newer section of Temecula, more suburban than the Western-themed downtown Temecula.

Our Quilters Run begins at the end of June and this shop is getting ready.  They’ve divided up our large Southern California area into four sections, and each section has a season.  This area is Winter, and their cute winter quilt is displayed on the table at the front door.

I obtained permission from Sheryl Johnson (above), who owns the shop, to take some photos.  So here’s my little tour.
First up, notice the little mini quilts hanging behind here.  More on that later, but you’ll see them throughout the shop.

Temecula Quilt Co. is orientated around Civil War Reproductions, with fabrics predominantly in the creams, tans, and deep tones of the color wheel.  Sheryl has lots of great displays everywhere to entice the quilter into diving into the creative process of making a quilt.

On Monday mornings, they have a sewing group that meets, and by paying a small fee, you get the expert advice a fellow quilter.  I love how the quilts are displayed on the wall–lots of inspiration to keep the machine humming along–or at least that’s what I assumed, since the quilters were really going to town.

They have their own line of quilt patterns.  A “Monthly Mini” program exists that allows you to receive a kit for a mini quilt, and get the pattern too.  I think mini quilts are a good way to try out designs and techniques without investing in huge amounts of time or money.  When I used to take a lot of classes from designer quilters, I finally learned to make a mini quilt, which guaranteed that I would finish the quilt more often than I did when making the bigger (even wall-sized) quilts. You can always learn new things from field trips, I think.  Another good reason to break out of the sewing studio routine once in a while and hit the road.  Here are some more pictures of her shop:

More quilts arranged over a rack (I was taking this from the back, so that’s why they’re upside down).


She has a Red and White Challenge going on. {Details are •here•}  Bring your Red and White Quilt into the shop by September 15th, or if you are too far away, send a photo.  Head to her page for more info.  And come back tomorrow for my own little red and white challenge!

Creating · Quilts

Cross and X Quilt Block

In my last post I talked about Zombie Quilt Night.  Well, at least that’s how I felt.

So, in exploring my really overwhelming list of blogs in my Google Reader, I began to see this block appear:


These two are made by a quilter in London, and these photos are from her blog.  I found the Flikr pool if you want to see some more.  I like these blocks because it’s obvious you can use scraps and whatever, so long as you use a bland background and differentiate the cross fabrics from the X fabrics.  The blocks together look like this:


These are from Stawberrylicious’ photo stream, but couldn’t locate her blog (I admit to being dumb untutored about Flikr, yessirree). It’s nice to feel some enthusiasm for a new idea–that always gets my hands into the fabric.  There’s lots of potential for novelty fabrics and word fabrics, and cool prints.

(Update: I found her blog.  You have to be invited to view it.)

This interest in an old block by Nancy Cabot was apparently generated by Setsuko Inagawa’s quilt:

Somebody with a blog named Badskirt has developed a tutorial for this, and although the pictures are spot on, I am doing some wondering about the measurements. See below.

I kept looking at the blocks on Flikr and noticed that the angled wedge didn’t always line up properly into the cross in the middle.  I drew it up on my quilt program:

I realized part of the trouble many of the blocks I found on the web seemed to be a 7″ block.  But this is a five-segmented block, so the measurements are more true if they are done in units of five: 5″ block, 7.5,” 10″ block etc.   So, I checked her measurements–they are fine–so what I saw constructed may have been others not being careful, or using incorrect measurements.

For a 10″ block, the templates (with seam allowances included) look like this, with that long center strip 2.5″ x 6.5″, the square measuring 4.5″ and the other small blocks 2.5.”  My program prints out the snowball blocks as two triangles, which I cut out and tape together to get the measurement.  Or–just just cut squares 2.5.”  I’ll probably stick with the 7 1/2-inch blocks because I like the repetition of the small blocks.

I wonder if anyone else is like me–that even when you’re working on a project, you need a spark now and again to keep interest.  I heard an interview with Andrew Zuckerman on Swiss Miss’ Creative Mornings series and he said “I hate every project three months in.  I’m exhausted.  I’m questioning whether it’s any good.  I’m unhappy.  [But] that’s just the process.  You have to get through that.  You have to commit. . . there’s no pulling out–it has to work.  And then it works out, because of the commitment.  There’s always failure when you don’t see it through fully.”

Just knowing I have Cross and X block possibilities in the back of my mind, will help me get through the Lollypop Trees process.  I hope.

Creating · Quilts

SewDay with Judy

Last week we had Quilt Night at our house, and yesterday (since all the tables and ironing stations were still set up), a friend came over to quilt since she couldn’t make Quilt Night.  We were working with the same stash of fabrics from Fabricworm (I love their bundles!); Judy purchased two in order to make quilts for her granddaughters and I liked it so well, I got one to make a Bento Quilt.

I’d been admiring Bento Box quilts for a long time, and when we were in Nova Scotia–Cape Breton’s small town of Mabou–I purchased a pattern at Fiddle Stitches, a quilt shop there in town.  Good memories while I stitch.  Here’s a slide show of our day of sewing.  I may yet cross off all my quilting tasks off my summer To Do List.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some explanations:

Judy was making rail fence blocks.  We dangled little bits of her sets off the end of the table so she could initially keep track of what strips she had used, but later on, didn’t need them.  I thought they looked like a bunch of jewelry dangling there.

We made a mess of every surface in my living room: extra table, dining room table, piano–you name it.

When I was a young mother I used to read my children a poem about rainy days from a Richard Scarry Book.  The illustration had the children making blanket tents, arranging toys, emptying cupboards, while the rain pelted the windows.
Substitute “sewing days” in for rainy days, and you have:

On sewing days we stay indoors,
We have a lot of fun.
But there is so much work to do
When sewing days are done!

Creating · Quilts

Lollypop Trees Block Two



Thoughts so far:

My block number one is Kim McClean’s block number two , as numbered in her pattern. My block number two is her number three.

It took me about a day to pull all the fabrics together.  Some have said–on the Glorious Applique blog (which features Lollypop Trees)–that taking the first dive into cutting up the fabric is difficult.  I recently have come to the place where I’ve realized that saving “for the best” must come to an end.  What am I saving all these Fassett fabrics for if not to cut up like Swiss cheese and use?

It took me the better part of a day to stitch down the pieces.

I think those little yellow flowers on the green shoots look like cactus flowers.  Well, maybe it’s the green shoots that evoke this.

I’m tired of applique.  Today a friend comes and we do patchwork!

The book I listened to is The Weird Sisters.

I recommend it highly.

Creating · Quilts

Lollypop Tree–Block One

One down!  Who Knows How Many to go!

How I did the machine applique:

You saw the earlier post on preparing the pieces: freezer paper lightly glued to the back of the fabric with a regular glue stick, the edges pressed over onto the waxy side, tamping them into place.  I got out a stiletto to assist me wherever the going got tough: where there was a tuck, or a sharp corner that normally, with the edge of hand needle-turn applique, would be smoothed out.  I lined up my piece with the center notch of my presser foot, and with a narrow zig-zag (1.0) and smallish stitch length (1.5 on a Husqvarna), went sort of slowly.

Remember that I’m a beginner.

Then I cut out the back of the pieces with the freezer paper (mostly the large and interestingly shaped pieces), leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. The glossy surface you see is the waxy side of the freezer paper.  Kind of pull–a bit–the edge of the applique to “break” the seal of the bond between the fabric and freezer paper, then place your scissors (closed) or your finger under the freezer paper and snap it out.

I took the paper out, finished cutting, then pressed it all, face-down on the ironing board.

I’m still stewing about whether or not I want to do hand-applique.  We’re in the middle of watching Foyle’s War, a BBC-TV production, and there’s something so relaxing about hand work and television.  But I also know that while I really like this pattern, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life making it, and I’m not that fast of an appliquer.

Fret. Fret. Fret.  I hope I’m not the only one in  Quilt Land who stews about these kinds of decisions–should I do it this way, or that? Use this technique or that?