Pearl Cotton Threads

August 9th, 2013

Well, as you know I have not been a very dedicated blogger these last few months…  With the release of our new line of pearl cotton threads comes the explanation.  Over the last several months it feels like every single hour I am not at the office I am at home tangled in threads!  How did this happen you may ask…  Well lets see… I believe I was having a not so fantastic day- perhaps a little frustrated- because I couldn’t get the threads I wanted when I wanted.  Looking back I was probably being a little bratty.  I recall calling my mom who was on the road and saying, ‘that’s it- I’m just going to do it myself’!  So with that I began looking for a perfect base and began experimenting with the colors.  I have had a few massive fails and probably a few minor temper tantrums, but all in all I must say I am pretty proud of myself!  Looking at the whole picture this is actually the perfect addition to the 100% cotton threads we already carry.  We have Valdani size 8, Painter’s Threads which are a size 3, and my threads which are a size 5 (a bit larger than our Valdani).  To set my threads apart I decided that I really needed to focus on one thing that I wished was more readily available but couldn’t really find- short variegations.  Needless to say I now know why that is- dyeing short variegations is not so easy…  However I have accomplished it!  In the beginning of August I released my first 6 colors- Shredded Denim, Mint Mojito, In the Cabana, Hot African Sun, Hip Hop & Pop Rocks and Whined & Dined (yes Whined- not Wined).

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Shredded Denim

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Mint Mojito

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In the Cabana

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Hot African Sun

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Hip Hop & Pop Rocks

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Whined & Dined

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Threads Drying

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All tied and ready to go!

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Outer edge- Bullion Knots in Hip Hop & Pop Rocks

 I am hoping to add a few more colors in September which I will be working on- well- in a few hours!  I hope you all get a chance to try my new threads and enjoy working with them as much as we do!

Kelly

Tonye Belinda Phillips!

July 26th, 2013

We are really excited to feature a few of Tonye Belinda Phillips patterns on our website!  You can’t help but smile at her fun, funky designs and think to yourself, ‘I want to make that.. no that one…that one too’…  Tonye is a fiber artist, living and creating in Camp Sherman, Oregon.  Her work covers several different styles from whimsical folk-art to abstract.  The key ingredient in Tonye’s designs?  Bright, saturated colors of course!  Tonye incorporates a variety of fibers into her designs for added texture and interest.  Tonye’s work is collected around the country.  Her first book (which I have- and is a treasure!), titled ‘Hand Appliquéd Quilts’, teaches you Tonye’s simple, no-fuss way to hand appliqué.  Tonye’s quilts have been featured in many books and magazines and her framed artwork can be seen at the Clearwater Gallery in Sisters, Oregon.

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Mom and Tonye teach collaboratively, generally once or twice a year.  Their next class with openings is at Santa Barbara Quilting Retreats in 2014.  Their collaborative quilts are marvelous if I do say so myself.  (Sorry- no kits or patterns are available for any collaborative pieces).

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Be sure to check out Tonye’s PATTERNS on our website…

 

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along with the fun and funky Studio Scrap Stacks we made to accompany Tonye’s designs!

 

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Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

 

Kelly

 

 

 

 

No More Excuses

July 1st, 2013

I am not even going to make an excuse for where I have been or what I have been doing.  Yesterday my mom returned from teaching at Madeline Island and let me know within minutes of her arrival that many people were ‘disappointed’ at my lack of blogging.  Nothing like a little guilt to get the ball rolling….. so with out a single excuse- let’s take a look at what’s been going on behind the scenes!

Many of our Market goodies have started arriving.  We were completely blown away by the support of our new products over the weekend, especially our new ‘Painter’s Thread‘ line.  We had so many orders this morning that Cathy ended up being a bit of a basket case… literally…

Cathy officially 'losing it'

Cathy officially ‘losing it’

I had to laugh as I saw the boy’s filling a rather large order together.  I guess they needed a bit of support… one pulled the order while the other held the basket…

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The boy’s

The Painter’s Threads were one of mom’s great finds at Market, and probably our most exciting addition.  They are ‘hand painted’ in Germany using a ‘secret’ technique- each one artistically accented with color.  Throughout the threads are small spots of contrasting colors, some more visible than others.  The Painter’s Threads are not dyed to repeat a set pattern or design, instead they are a multicolored melange of colors, which I think adds to their unique beauty.  The threads truly show their gorgeous melody of color once they are stitched.

Rosette Chain using Painter's Thread- color Cezanne

Rosette Chain using Painter’s Thread- color Cezanne

 

Bullion Knots using Painter's Thread- color Boucher

Bullion Knots using Painter’s Thread- color Boucher

Every dye lot of every color looks completely different.  Collectors of these threads anticipate the release of a new dye lot in order to add another one of a kind skein to their collection.  And if you have not caught on yet (and I only say that because it took me more than a minute or two)… each color is named after a famous painter!

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Van Gogh

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Mary C

 

Cezanne

Cezanne

A big thank you to all of our customers!  Due to your outpouring support we are always on the lookout for new and unique products!

Be sure to check out our complete line of ‘Painter’s Threads‘!

Kelly

Spring Market Recap

May 27th, 2013

Chaos, chaos, chaos!!!  That seems to be the best word to describe these days…  With mom on the road, Cathy, Jason and I packed and prepared what we needed to haul to Portland for Spring Market.  I was really excited to be going to Portland, it’s such a ‘funky’, artsy city- very laid back and all about ‘supporting local’.

Mom, Cathy and I made it to Portland without any major obstacles; we set up our booth and sneak peek in record time.

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Our Booth

 

Sneak Peek Display

Sneak Peek Display

There was so much color and creativity throughout Market.  I snapped just a few pics as I raced around trying to find new products for the website.

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Our first night in Portland we scoped out the very popular ice cream shop, Salt and Straw.  The ice cream was amazing with really unusual flavors; all ingredients were local.  Needless to say the line was always out the door, and we stoically stood in line each and every night we were in Portland.  Well- almost all of us did… I skipped a night or two due to terribly sore feet and ankles- those of you who know me well, know nothing short of a freight train will keep me away from a handmade waffle cone and made from scratch ice cream…

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In Portland it’s all about the ‘street car’.  In the beginning of our trip I was all about it… as my feet got progressively worse I started to resent it a bit and began supporting ‘the taxi’.

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Overall we had a wonderful Market!  Lots of enthusiasm and lots of orders!  Mom’s new book and patterns were a huge success, so Cathy and I headed home at 3:30am the morning after Market and filled orders all last week.  Mom stayed behind to soak in a bit more Portland before her next teaching stop.

I have a busy week ahead- I will be updating the website with lots of new goodies so be sure to check in soon!

Kelly

Exclusive Silken Pearls

May 9th, 2013

Has it really been over a month since my last post?  I was shocked when I realized this!  Well, we have been busy, busy behind the scenes, and with Market about a week away we have been running around trying to get everything in place.  There is so much I want to feature, but I think I will start with what we love most- embellishing!  We are so excited to begin to introduce our Exclusive line of Silken Pearl colors!  Cece and mom have put together a beautiful array of colors!  So far there are six colors in the collection, and we will be adding more throughout the year.

 

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Old Hickory

Tuscan Sun

Tuscan Sun

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Bayside Teal

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Plum Marmalade

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Kansas Prairie

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Mermaid Dances

Kelly

What’s New in the World of Sue!

April 1st, 2013

We have been super busy these past few weeks trying to get back into the rhythm of packing mom up and sending her out- packing her up and sending her out- again and again and again…..  Cathy’s been busy filling and taking orders, cutting BOM’s and kits, Mary’s been busy organizing BOM shipments and billing, Jason (yes- my brother Jason is here helping us out for a while!!!) has been running the shipping, hauling heavy boxes, organizing and well basically been at our beckon call, and I have been trying to keep up with the many, many emails and the website.  So- I was really happy once April’s update was done- because it is a big one!  We have some fabulous new fibers and fabrics- a beautiful velvet pack of all new colors- new buttons and African Heishi’s, a new kit, and tons of new embellishing threads and colors!  Be sure to checkout all the new additions- HERE!

Hope you all enjoy!

Kelly

DESIGNER- JEN KINGWELL!

March 14th, 2013

We are pretty excited to have the opportunity to feature and carry a few of Jen Kingwell’s designs.  Jen and my mom have been friends for many years; both nurses as their first career, now both designers- Jen a lover of cotton, my mom a lover of wool- both with a very unique look- and I think- both ‘elite’ in their class.

Over 30 years ago Jen stumbled into quilting; this interest became an obsession and then became her career.  Jen describes herself as a’ traditional quilter with a modern twist’.  She loves scrappy quilts and the more fabrics she can use in a single project the happier she is.  We are so excited to be able to feature her and offer a few of her patterns on our website.

The Circle Game

The Circle Game

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Green Tea & Sweet Beans

Steam Punk

Steam Punk

Jen has owned quilt stores for 14 years and currently owns Amitie Textiles in Melbourne Australia.  When mom and I were in Australia we were lucky enough to be able to quickly stop in and say hi to Lucy, Jen’s daughter.  Jen currently lives in Abu Dhabi with her husband who is working there, and  Lucy currently runs Amitie along with the help and support of a great staff.

Amitie Textiles

Amitie Textiles

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Amitie has an eclectic mix of fabrics including Japanese, Liberty of Londen, linens from Europe, french toiles and a wide collection of patchwork fabrics.  They offer wonderful service and classes and host both local and international teachers.  If you ever get the chance you absolutely must stop in!  Despite an episode of land sickness while I was in Amitie, I gathered quite a few unique treasures.

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We are all so Jen inspired we have put together a few new funky fat 1/16th packs to get your creative juices flowing!

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We have also added Bohin Finger Cots which were introduced to us by Jen and have quickly become our new favorite notion!

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Be sure to visit :

Amitie’s Website

Jenny’s Blog

Follow Jen on Instagram at jenkingwell

Lucy’s Blog

and checkout all of Jen Kingwell’s Designs featured on our website!

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Cloth

March 8th, 2013

If you have ever been to Quilt Market you will know that the amount of fabrics available is completely overwhelming!  When we go, we have a booth, but we also have to shop for fun finds for our online store.  The first day is generally spent with all of us maning the booth, and the second is spent with one of us bolting out, scoping the scene, then scurrying back to report our findings.  I must say that shopping for fabric is one of my least favorite thing to do.  I find it absolutely exhausting- there is so much out there that after an hour or so I am on complete sensory overload- wondering around like a zombie- and can’t make a single decision.  My mom however, is a pro.  She can find the most unique items quickly and efficiently, and still be smiling on day 3!  When we shop for fabrics we tend to not follow the crowds.  We end up in the tiny booths, with not many buyers, looking for the ‘cream of the crop’ in the fabric world.  We spend a lot of time selecting each piece, looking for quality not quantity, and love those fabrics that have a story.

This month we just added this brilliant piece to our online store.  The fabric was made by a very, very small Japanese manufacture,owned by a husband and wife.  They only print very traditional Japanese prints on high quality cottons.

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The fabrics below are designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji, and available here (#2203, 2204 & 2205).  The photos can’t possibly do justice to this fabric;  minimalism at its best.

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Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Kelly

From Land to Sea and Down Under

February 10th, 2013

I still can’t believe I’m home!  Mom and I had such a blast on our first cruise, traveling to Australia and New Zealand.  Although we were away for about 3 weeks, it was such a whirlwind- and honestly not nearly enough time.  Our first stop was Sydney, Australia, where we met up with our good friends Joc and Rolo.  They took us under their wing and showed us around for the brief time we were there.

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Our cruise ship was enormous!

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We left the port at Sydney and headed to Hobart.

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In Hobart, we stopped by ‘The Quilted Crow’, a quaint little quilt shop inside of an old church.

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Next stop was Melbourne, where we swung by ‘Amitie Textiles’.  Jen Kingwell, the owner and our dear friend was away, but we were able to at least catch up with her daughter Lucy.  (Stay tuned- we have more exciting news to announce about Jen later in the month!)

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One of my favorite parts of the trip was our visit to Fiordland National Park.  We spent the day cruising through the absolutely magnificent natural landscape.

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We docked in Port Chalmers, New Zealand.  It was here we boarded an 8-wheel-drive Argo which took us to Penguin Beach.  From a distance we saw the rarest penguin- the Yellow-eyed Penguin.  We were then greeted by a whole slew of fur seals and pups.

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We were then off to Akaroa.  We spent the day driving- making a stop at a farmhouse renowned for fine Merino sheep and champion sheepdogs.

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Our next stop was Picton.  We spent a wonderful day on  Pelorous Sound, visiting a green mussel farm.

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It was here we learnt how to differentiate male vs. female mussels- the lady wears the lipstick.

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House in the hills anyone?

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Next stop- Wellington.  Mom and I visited Te Papa Museum which was over 3 football fields in length.  There was a wonderful collection of Maori artifacts, including a meetinghouse and ornate carvings.  It is also home to the only complete specimen of a colossal squid.  We were surprised to find a breathtaking natural landscape just outside the cafe.

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Next, we docked in Tauranga.  We spent the day with a Maori guide who shared the local legends of their homeland and took us to Te Puia Thermal Reserve, home of the spouting Pohutu geyser, silica terraces, pools of boiling mud and steam vents.

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Of course it was not all fun and games… we had to get some work done too!  Mom taught on the ship the days we were at sea.  I took her classes where I worked non-stop on Earth n Twig, 2012’s Block of the Month.  I had big goals set, thinking I would have plenty of time to finish while I was cruising.  I am sad to report that there was too much fun to be had to stitch…

Mom’s classes were held in the Skywalkers lounge.  Every time I got off the elevator I laughed to myself- it was like entering the ‘Roxbury’.

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We were at the top of the ship with an amazing panoramic view.

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And of course it couldn’t be a vacation without eating every 23 minutes!  Mom, Sue, Terry and I frequented ‘The Savoy’- where we ate and drank way to much- way to often.  Lots and lots of laughs!

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We finished up in Auckland, New Zealand, where we spent a few days with Jan Chamberlin and her family before we flew home.  I had so much fun here, but it was just way to quick.  Jan took us to the beach, gardens, shopping and the Auckland Museum.

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Last stop- home.  We were welcomed home with a missing bag, frigid temperatures and snow.  I was pretty much exhausted but oh so happy to see my babies Marley and Zoe.

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XOX Kelly

Back up from down under

January 6th, 2013

It has been a whirlwind since Market.  I have literally not stopped since we returned.  I finally feel like I can put a few words in a quick post as I sit in the airport- on the west coast, with my heart in the east-  waiting for my flight to Australia.  I have had good intentions by documenting the last few months with photographs- but really bad follow through.  I am to say the least just plain exhausted.  My mom has put my blogging to shame- but be sure to see her blog for our latest- last minute- fly by the seat of our pants- happened overnight adventure… OUR BIG MOVE!  From Creative Stitching (thousands of orders- thank goodness for Mary because Cathy and my mom were conveniently in Canada for the big launch- Im’ not sure either of us slept at all that week) to our annual 12 Days of Christmas celebration- to trying to set up our new space in 36 hours (that’s 36 hours total including move time which we did not have 1 single box packed before the movers arrived)- because why not move an office a few days before Christmas in the midst of absolute mayhem???  To the 2013 BOM sign ups which we increased from 500 to 700 participants… from working in 2 places at once- one with no internet or phone and the other with no supplies- I have never been so ready to get out of a place so bad.  24 hours ago my mom and I had no idea how we would ever make it to the airport.  We had no clothing- no suitcases- and absolutely no energy.  This exhaustion is a good exhaustion- the type that results from hard work and  lots of support from you!  We all want to say thank you for supporting us- thank you for your kind words- and thank you for your patience during the last few weeks of craziness!  I am off for some fun, sun and to spend time with my mom, something I don’t often get to do.

Kelly

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