Say hello to Sally!
I know some of you have met her—but many of you only know her by name. Sally (in the middle) is the lady who does the long arm quilting for the shop. Here she’s pictured with her daughter Jen and new son-in-law.
And just what is it that they’re all holding up? What to you think? If you guessed quilt, you’re right. This is Jen’s wedding quilt—a California king—stitched with love by mom—and delivered on time. Now, that’s what I call impressive. I usually have to exercise my one year grace period on these projects.
Sally calls this the traveling quilt because it’s had quite a journey. She started it here in Chicago—conceptualizing, shopping for fabrics and cutting the strips. Then she escaped to a friend’s cabin in Wisconsin for a week of uninterrupted block piecing time. Back home she long arm quilted this beauty herself, and then finished the binding during the family’s annual ski trip to Michigan in February.
And now this quilt is living with the happy new couple in Maui! And yes, they do use quilts in Hawaii. The days may be glorious, but chill does creep in at night.
We all remember the headlines—major toy companies like Fisher-Price and Mattel recalled a bunch of their popular children’s toys made in China when it was discovered that paint used to make these products was contaminated with lead. The US government reacted to all of this with a sweeping new law that requires product safety testing for all products manufactured for children under the age of 12.
Okay—that was the good news—now here’s the bad news. Typical of most legislation, good intentions can sometimes run amok. The new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) requires manufacturers of all children’s products to safety test everything they make. This includes toys, child care items, clothing, bedding—and dare I say it—quilts. And because CPSIA defines “manufacturers” as everyone from big companies like the Mattels of this world down to individual quilters and crafts who donate handmade quilts to hospitals and charities—or make and sell stuff for craft fairs, school fundraisers and Etsy—the impact could have been devastating.
But—and here’s a good but—the crafter community pushed back! Last month the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a Stay of Enforcement of Testing for one year while they define a new set of rules. We can breath a (temporary) sigh of relief.
Quilters are pretty generous people—sentimentalists at heart. Sure, we like to make things, but often the best part of making a quilt is the giving it away part. Case in point—these fun little baby quilts. (I just love it when I get pictures!)
Susan from Cincinnati visited the shop over Thanksgiving weekend and picked up a couple of the Park Slope fat quarter bundles. And just look at what she did with them—popping color against a white setting fabric! Susan made this quilt as a gift for her friend Amy’s brand new baby. He or she is bound to love the color play.
And here’s another one—Debra’s sweet little quilt for Elayne. You gotta love the Urban Amish quilt pattern. 6 fat quarters = one baby quilt. It doesn’t get any better than that!
So keep on sewing and keep on giving my friends—it’s good for the soul! And don’t worry—the CPS commission will figure this all out. In the meantime, if you want to contact the CSP Commission and/or your local Congressmen, here’s a site with lots of good contact info and a sample letter to use-- http://dannythorpe.com/2009/01/09/new-consumer-product-safety-testing-law-set-to-destroy-home-crafts-industry/
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January...cold and grey days...dark and frigid nights...yikes! The wind chill is zero this morning and flip flop season seems like a lifetime ago. It may be cold and oppressive outside, but the minute I step into the shop, I feel warmed by the glow of the fabuous new quilts our teachers have recently completed.
Amy Walsh used Kaffe Fassett's hot new orange Bekah as the focus fabric in her newest Renaissance quilt (pictured to the left.) The fabric also comes in a cool teal blue and fabulous red magenta colorways! (We've got them in stock and will be adding them to the web site later this week.)
And speaking of Amy--she's back!
Amy Walsh (owner & designer of the Blue Underground Studios) will return to Quiltology this week to teach her Color Play class. Amy taught the class last fall and it was a blast. We pulled out the design walls and she worked one-on-one with students, helping them create rocking color plans for big bold colorful quilts.
We've got two spaces left in this week's class on Wednesday nights Jan 16, 23 and 30--6:30p to 8:30p. This is a great way to beat the January doldrums!
And thanks to our own resident color expert Susan Holton--here's another blast of fabulous color...Beach Balls! Same pattern (from Amy's Blue Underground Studios) executed in Kaffe's moody beach ball fabric.
...and how how a close-up?
I'm thinking that it just might be a good time to hunker down and sew something fabulous. How about you?
Happy New Year everybody!
For me this is the time of year to take stock—literally doing inventory in the store—but also figuratively—looking back on the year. So I thought I’d kick off this first blog of 2008 with a little nice visual candy…highlights if you will…from 2007.
Meet my niece Colleen Cogley. For Christmas I gave her the Amy Butler “Charm” quilt I made two years ago. I loved this quilt and wanted it to go to someone really special—and now it has! Enjoy Colleen—this looks great on your bed.
Colleen is a twin. I got her brother's baby quilt done years ago when they we're both babies. But I didn't get Colleen's done, and then of course you know what happened, she got too big for the baby quilt. I had to make something bigger--but time--where to find the time. And not once did Colleen nag me--not once! She's a doll. And now her patience has paid off. Lots of people wanted to buy this quilt--but I said no--this one's for Colleen!
Okay, can we just say that Jenn is really into quilting!
Evidence—on the left--a close-up of the fabulous tattoo she got on her left shoulder last summer. Painful--perhaps--but sometimes we all suffer for our art!
Barter anyone? Here's a pic of the quilt Jenn made for her tattoo artist as payment for a lifelong thrill! Art for art—good deal.
Wow, holy cow and gadzooks! The most fabulous T-shirt quilt I’ve ever seen!
The piecing is spectacular—right on the money. And to think this was Paul’s very first quilt. Folks—even the back is fussy cut and pieced! A great job!!!!
Stack-n-Whack Tuscan style…another incredible quilt from Ron Bedard! Enough said.
Finally, one of my quilts…my own little baby Spot on Retro quilt. I designed this pattern last year and made a larger grown up version of it for the shop in Denyse Schmidt’s red and aqua Flea Market Fancy fabrics. Sadly those fabrics went out of print quickly. But the new Katie Jump Rope looked like fun, so I recreated the quilt in brown, yellow, green and a bright bold orange! And I did it for little ones. Now we’re producing the pattern as part of our Quiltology learn to quilt series—easy and fun—that’s the goal here!
All the best in 2008!
It should come as no surprise to those who know me (or at least know the colors I like) that I’ve fallen in love with the new Blue Underground Studios “In & Out” quilt—this one a study in earth tones. Do I fall in love with lots of quilts—yes I have to admit that I do. Am I fickle or is it just this fall fixation thing again?
Usually I’m not one to rush the seasons—winter can certainly wait and the sizzle of the summer heat can take its sweet time—but there’s something about fall and the brisk air that I simply crave. For me Labor Day coming and going is like turning the page of a good book—anxious for what comes next. Of course I’m not quite ready to put away the summer sandals—living in Los Angeles broke me of that habit—but I am ready for the earthy tones and vibrant hues of fall like colors. I gravitate toward rich browns, radiant reds and glowing golds with just the right hint of black (magic?) tossed into the mix. Some people have their comfort foods—I have comfort colors. They engulf me just like an old comfy sweater. That’s probably why this new “In and Out” quilt is speaking to me.
I’m a big fan of the Blue Underground Studios patterns. For me they strike a nice balance between the formal construction of traditional patchwork and contemporary geometry. There’s a symmetry here that unifies the quilt top without making it appear too cookie cutter. Their use of deep saturated color, pattern and texture lend variety and visual interest to each piece so the eye travels easily over the top and we see something different every time we look at one of these quilts.
In their “Around the Block” quilt we see a classic courthouse step block made more interesting by setting it on point. And we can we talk scrappy? I love scrappy quilts—there’s a magic to them! Amy and Janine’s wonderful use of Kaffe Fassett’s fabrics take this quilt to another level. In fact we should be calling this “extreme” color! And just like extreme sports—this kind of color work is not for the weak hearted or ambivalent. You’ve got to just go for it.
Then you’ve got to stop by and see these quilts. We’ll have them on display in the shop for the next couple of weeks (through Saturday 9/22.)
And if you’d like to meet the Blue Underground Studios designers Amy Walsh and Janine Burke—then drop by the shop this Wednesday 9/5 between 6p to 9p. We'll be hosting a trunk show with samples of their work and copies of their newest patterns. Have a glass of wine and talk quilts!
Quiltology--The Urban Quilt Space