Give Thanks and Keep Sewing

As the official blogger for Needle in a Fabric Stash I decided to get in on the sewing action during this Thanksgiving holiday. When I was growing up I loved sewing with my mom. One Summer I made a handful of shorts that I wore out completely. One pair had ice cream cones, one had Hawaiian flowers and another had loud geometric designs. I made quilts for my dolls, backpacks, dresses and anything I was in the mood for. Since then I have been busy with college sports, full time work and have not sat down to sew for years.

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Thanksgiving around our house is pretty relaxed. We like to keep the focus on the food and family. There is always lounging time in between meals and so my mom and I thought it would be fun to sew some pillow cases for Christmas gifts this year.

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We got started and it was just like old times. The first step was picking out the fabric – which was more difficult than it sounds for those who know how different our tastes are. I love all of the prints my mom picks out and can fully appreciate her eye for color. However, I admit that my own personal style is very plain and nothing like the ice cream cones I used to rock. I now have a fear of prints and bright color in my everyday life. It sounds extreme, but it’s true.

We came to a compromise that we were both very happy with. I loved the neutral tones of the Art Gallery Blithe Collection by Katarina Roccella and my mom sold me on the whimsical pattern of the Winter Woodland print. She especially loved the subtle metallic details on the Winterberries print. Lastly, using the Birch Bark print  for the cuff pulled the prints together. If you love these designs as much as we do, stay tuned in January because Needle in a Fabric Stash has been invited to participate in Katarina’s Blog Tour  and will be making a project using the Blithe collection.

FullSizeRender-1.jpgMy mom reviewed rotary cutting, pressing and simple techniques and she taught me the steps for this simple, fun and easy burrito pillow case pattern. I made a few pillowcases – one for myself, two gifts and even a sample for the store.

No matter how busy life gets it is special moments like these that make it worth sitting down for a moment with those who mean the most to you. Reminiscing over ice cream cone shorts and creating new memories of sophisticated pillowcases are just some of our Thanksgiving traditions here at the Stone house. From our family at Needle in a Fabric Stash we wish you a happy holiday season filled with laughs, love, good food and hopefully even some sewing!

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Coastline Blog Tour

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Hello and welcome to the Coastline Blog Tour!

I sat down to meet with an Art Gallery representative for the first time back in 2014. It was the second fabric order I had ever placed for Needle in a Fabric Stash. We sat in the shop for hours. I went home that night and when my husband asked how it went I said, “I saw the most beautiful fabric today and I cannot wait to sew with it.” Since then, my love of Art Gallery fabrics continues to grow and it is apparent through our expanding inventory in the store.

You can only imagine my excitement when Art Gallery designer, Sharon Holland invited me to join the Coastline Blog Tour. It is a privilege to create and share all of the fun ways I have enjoyed using her fabric designs in my shop and in my life. I want to thank Sharon for the wonderful opportunity to collaborate!

Two projects were inspired using Sharon’s Coastline fabrics. The Beachcomber Quilt and Noodlehead’s Bucket Bag from Anna Graham’s Handmade Style Book.

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Creating the Beachcomber quilt was a special experience for me. I have been patiently waiting for the perfect fabric collection to pair with an existing quilt pattern on display in the store. Customers have been begging me for the pattern. It was love at first sight. I instantly envisioned the diverse and colorful fabric line full of beach and ocean themes fitting perfectly with the unique pattern.

Tay and Quilt profile

From the Coastline Collection I selected seven prints for the panels, using the Beachcomber Tide as my focus print. I especially love the little sandpipers. The Netting Twine is also one of my favorites. I used it for the binding because I think the khaki Hawaiian vibe ties all the incredible prints and striking colors together so well.

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The other prints include: Sailcloth QuietudeConchology DuneBuoyant VistaTrade Winds Harbor and Sand Bar Lagoon

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Natalie Pollard at Pro-Stitched Quilts and I worked together to pick a customized design for the quilting of each separate panel. The meandering water on the Sailcloth Quietude print takes me right aboard one of the sailboats for a nice day in the water at Balboa Island, CA, where my husband and I used to sail as newlyweds.

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Each panel is quilted with a unique design

There was no stopping here. When I saw the Sand Bar in Canvas, I couldn’t resist the urge to use it for the Bucket Bag Pattern published in the Handmade Style Pattern Book. What more do you need for the beach besides a beachy quilt and an oversized canvas bag?

Every step of constructing this bag was fun. The Trade Winds Harbor print made a perfect base and I used a blue woven from the store for the straps. This directly navigates the eye to Sharon’s beautiful designs. The blue metal zippers are a perfect pop on the canvas. The stopper, created from the Trade Winds Harbor print paired with a tan leather strap, just pulled the whole look together.Tote and quilt with Sue

A local sewist and friend, Alexis Wright is also participating in this blog tour and we were excited for the opportunity to share our blog day. We planned a beach trip to La Jolla, CA and spent the day playing in the high tide and taking lots of photos. It has been such a treat to get to know Alexis better, share ideas, work on matching prints together and sharing sneak peeks with each other along the way. Alexis’ dresses and shirts designs are one-of-a-kind pieces that she so beautifully captures with her captivating photography. 

The Beachcomber Quilt Pattern and Quilt Top Kit, as well as the Bucket Bag Kit are offered as Needle in a Fabric Stash exclusives in the store, online and also at QuiltCon West beginning on Feb. 18th.

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It is amazing to see so many projects come to life with Sharon’s Coastlines fabrics. All of the prints mix and match so well. I hope we have inspired you to use these beach themed fabrics for your own quilt, tote bag and garment projects.

Be sure to check out all of the talented people on this blog tour including Raedene Averitt who showcased her project on Friday, Feb. 5. And Jennifer DeShazer who will be the next on tour tomorrow, Feb. 9. You can visit Sharon’s blog for more details about other fabulous makers on this tour and how to win her giveaway of a Coastline Fabric Bundle…good luck!

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You cannot know where you are going until you know where you have been

Needle in a Fabric Stash is proud to share with you a true ‘before and after’ story. With one year in the books, we decided to look back and reflect on how far we have come. 

500 bolts of happy, bright, modern fabric has grown into a stash of over 1500 bolts.

After looking back at the pictures from the grand opening, we were in disbelief of how much the store has transformed in only 12 months. 

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Grand Opening 11/8/14

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One year and 1000 more bolts later

Not to mention, the launch of our online store, where most of our fabric, bundles and kits can be purchased whenever and wherever.

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Processed Online Orders

With a larger stash in our midst, we went to work. The Starfall and the Bowtie quilt kits did not remain our only 2 kits for long. Needle in a Fabric Stash has now handpicked and curated a total of 13 kits for purchase.

Sue, the owner, has taken inspiration one-step further by drafting exclusive patterns. This year she created modern designs such as the Apron, Cotton/Linen Canvas Tote and BOHO Shirt. In 2016 she will be featuring new designs such as a Poet’s Smock, Urban Poncho and Improv Star Pattern. 

The New Year also promises a remake of the Charlie Harper Bird Quilt, showcasing a brand new line of  Art Gallery Fabric that we cannot wait for you to get your hands on.

Other designs in the store feature the creativity of Alexis Wright. Her first girl’s dress pattern was brought to life using our fabric and remains an eye-catching display in the store today.

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Alexis Wright’s girl’s dresses

Natalie Pollard, our in-house longarmer, has also been instrumental in the first year of business. She continues to inspire, co-teach classes, and aid in the preparation for our quilt shows.

This year we jumped at any chance to participate in the larger fabric, sewing and quilting community. One of our favorite projects was hosting our first Row-by-Row Experience.

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Tropical Fish by Needle in a Fabric Stash

June through September, quilters from all over the country visited our store to pick up a complementary pattern for their row-by-row quilt. Over 130 people also took advantage of the chance to purchase our one-of-a-kind kit and add to their modern fabric stash.

For our first quilt show, we traveled to the Flying Geese Quilt Guild’s show in Mission Viejo, CA. Our goal was to create a mini-store in our 10X10 space… And we did just that.

Attendees were thrilled to capture just a sliver of the atmosphere that Needle in a Fabric Stash offers. We were just as excited to network and serve a new community of quilters and sewers.

Some of our biggest news arrived back in September, when we were officially accepted into QuiltCon West (February 18-21,2016 in Pasadena, CA). Presented by The Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon is the largest modern quilting show of its kind. We are honored to be a part of this event and cannot wait to share our happy and bright fabric and designs with modern quilt lovers alike.

Last but not least, Needle in a Fabric Stash has been deemed the official home of the new Temecula Valley Modern Quilt Guild. In the beginning of December, we hosted a mixer with 13 people.

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Temecula Valley Modern Quilt Guild’s first mixer at Needle in a Fabric Stash

Four out of those 13 stepped up for leadership positions. TVMQG will meet the third Thursday of every month and is in the beginning stages of what we hope to be a tight-knit and fun group.

Although at the beginning of this blog, we said this was a ‘before and after story’, we most definitely do not plan on stopping here. We are so thankful to our loyal and passionate community, whether you have inspired us, shopped with us or are just now discovering us. 

IMG_0556This is just the beginning my friends, so do not hesitate to get to know Needle in Fabric Stash a little better this coming year.

Who knows what will hit our stash next…  

Personalized Beginner 9 Patch

As I sat down to start this project I began to pull from my own stash as I anxiously await for the fabric to arrive for the Grand Opening. It is important for beginners to challenge themselves to choose and coordinate their own fabric. Sewing is all about expressing who you are.

Today was a day of inspiration!

I was working on another sewing sample and found myself daydreaming while listening to Fleetwood Mac and Cat Stevens. Instantly, I traveled back to my high school days spent on Cherry Street Beach in Carlsbad and Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. I just love how a song, or a smell, or certain type of weather can make memories come alive. I gathered up Tula Pink’s Seaweed Colorway out of Salt Water by and began to create.

I cannot wait to see what others taking the class will choose for their fabrics upon their moment of inspiration.

Everything will be centered around this guy…he is the theme!

Everything will be centered around this guy…he is the theme!

First, I added in coordinating prints and solids.

First, I added in coordinating prints and solids.

Then, I reviewed through some of the more basic blocks in City Sample/100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink. I have found this book to be very helpful and it will be available to purchase in my shop.

I started with the octopus as the center block. This block requires a fussy cut – that is planning and cutting a piece of fabric in a way to highlight the art on the fabric. Notice the splash of bright solid and a little geometric print added in with the Salt Water collection.

I like to put my own signature on a collection of fabric by utilizing my fabric stash and adding in a surprise or two if I can! What are rules if they weren’t meant to be broken?

Skipping to the end result…here it is!

Skipping to the end result…here it is!

I hope you will have as much fun as I did when you take the class at Needle in a Fabric Stash and discover what sparks your creativity!

9 patches are one of the best ways to learn how to sew

9 patches are one of the best ways to learn how to sew