Shop Small- Saturday, November 28

All advertising for Black Friday with its deep discount loss leaders (TV sets for $150, Computers for $199, etc) is meant to get you through the door so that you drop many more dollars on other great sales before leaving the store.  As a result, small local businesses have been left out in the cold, literally.

Shop Local Saturday

Not to be left out in the cold, small businesses across the country are making a come back promoting their great, unique shops with a special shopping day on this Saturday, November 28.  Yes, great deals, sales people who live in your town, friendly home town service, and you are supporting your very own home town economy and its people by shopping locally.

Local Quilt Shop Makes A Big Difference – The Missouri Star Story

How much of a difference can a local shop make locally?  This “Today” story shows just what can happen with an idea, business plan, and sharing what you love to do.  Click on the link below to see this great story.

http://www.today.com/video/quilt-company-weaves-small-business-success-572478531921

As Miss Piggy says, “Shop Small Saturday!  Monday, Tuesday. . . . .”

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Correct Binding Width – Technique for Perfect Binding

Have you had trouble with your binding being either two wide on the back, or not quite covering the stitching, or your corners are crooked?   As a scribe for judges at a quilt show this past summer, from hearing and recording their comments, I know how important well placed binding is to the overall look of a quilt. In fact, a poorly applied binding can detract from an otherwise beautiful quilt. A binding that has been applied evenly, is filled by the quilt sandwich with nicely mitered corners provides a beautiful frame for any quilt.

This binding technique video from The Quilt Show blog will illustrate techniques for getting the binding width correct, as well as making a mitered corner that turns perfectly. Although the machine promoted in the video is a Bernina, these techniques will work with current domestic machines.

Next time you bind your quilt, take a little extra time using these techniques to give your quilt the perfect frame.

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Quilting “Makes” The Quilt

I love quilt shows. I love to see the creative ideas, unique patterns, perfect piecing, unusual settings, and color combinations I would not have thought about. I also enjoy looking up close at the quilting. It is the quilting that really makes the quilt.

Quilting can either positively or negatively say something about a quilt. Simple quilting, like the quilting found on antique quilts, can be beautiful. Lack of enough quilting with lots of open unquilted space screams for more quilting. Thoughtful quilting can enhance the design of the quilt pattern, repeat the quilt pattern, or bring in secondary designs. There should be as much thought given to the quilting as there was to the design of the quilt.

At a recent quilt show I found examples to illustrate a couple of these quilting design ideas.

The quilting repeats the quilt pattern

Although more challenging than an edge to edge design, or simply using a background fill, when there is lots of negative, open space, try repeating the block pattern. Seeing this pattern repeated on the surface of the quilt provides a lot of interest.

In Dresden Plate below, not only are the Dresden plate blocks beautiful, as well as unusual, but repeating the Dresden plate design quilted in the center of the quilt and the the Dresden diamond shapes in the border along with other designs, the eye travels across the entire surface of the quilt.  There is a lot of interest in the quilting and your eyes never tire of looking for more.

Dresden Plate, designed, made and quilted by Sally Mowers

Dresden Plate, designed, made and quilted by Sally Mowers

In the photos below, notice the Dresden plate design, center of quilt and repeated in the border.

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The quilting patterns enhance the theme of the quilt

Some quilts have a theme. They may be a child’s quilt, a patriotic red, white, and blue quilt, a wedding quilt, or quilt with another theme. Choosing quilting patterns that enhance the theme add a lot to the overall impact of the quilt making the quilt’s impression more memorable.

African Twist features African theme fabric. Additional fabrics contribute to the African theme. To top it off, the quilting motifs designed by and others selected by Sally Mowers bring the quilt full circle letting the viewer know full well the African theme.

African Twist, designed, made and quilted by Sally Mowers

African Twist, designed, made and quilted by Sally Mowers

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IMG_7409resizeThis quilt screams Africa.  From African theme fabric, unique supporting fabrics to the quilting designs in the borders and open space, everything supports the African theme.

If you have spent the time to create a special theme quilt, take the time to think about the quilting. Whether simple or elaborate, choose quilting designs that will enhance the quilt, provide interest and keep the viewer spending time discovering more and more.  Repeating the quilt pattern in the quilting or using quilting designs and motifs that support the theme of the quilt are two ways of keeping the viewer interested.  In this way, the quilt is like a well written story, complete with the same theme from beginning to end.

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What Is Your Quilt Style?

Quilters have different quilting styles from very traditional, follow the rules pieced blocks, to modern “white” space quilts that show off awesome quilting, to out of the box, no rules apply quilting. You know what you enjoy doing, I hope that you appreciate other quilting art styles for their creativity.

Jamie Fingal is one of those out of the box, no rules quilters. Her website says aboutjamie fingal Jamie, “Rebel Quilter, Writer, Curator, Teacher, Artist, Fabric Designer, Stencil Designer. Creates one-of-a-kind art quilts for the wall.”

The link below is to a The Quilt Show slide show of Jamie’s fun, funny and thoughtful quilts and photos of her studio. I hope that you enjoy this “rebel” quilter, pick up a little inspiration and someday, just for the fun of it, try a little out of the box quilting.

Link to smilebox slide show of Jamie Fingal’s quilts.

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