Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Wishes for a Joyous New Year!

We hope the holiday season finds you celebrating with friends and family and enjoying lots of homemade goodies! We are closing early Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 31st (3:00pm)...otherwise we'll be here for any last minute sewing needs!

Thank-you everyone for your patronage over the last year, and we wish you all the best in 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stories in Cloth

Seems like all we talk about are new classes, doesn't it? We've got to get you through the winter weather somehow...

This class should be really exciting- it's a free-form applique handwork class. The instructor, Kellie Sammon, creates small works of art using interesting textiles and fibers, and draws from her own ideas for inspiration rather than following a pattern. She uses dimensional stitching and embellishments to add feeling and emotion to her pieces. Some of Kellie's stitchery was featured in a 2002 issue of Quilting Arts magazine.

The class will be focused on exploring your own creative ideas to produce meaningful imagery in fabric. This could be a great class for someone who likes handwork and is willing to stretch themselves artistically ... Below are some samples of Kellie's work.

We're offering this class on Saturday, February 4th from 11-5 pm. Included in the cost of the class is access to scraps of various vintage and new fabrics and fibers to work from, but you're encouraged to delve into your own stash. Space is limited to be sure to let us know if you'd like to sign up or have other questions!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New and Exciting Adventures

As much fun as it can be planning for the holidays, it's also time to look ahead to new adventures. In January, we are beginning Prairie Women's Sewing Circle-Journey 3, created by Heartspun Quilts. This is a new club for us, and it will be offered in place of the Jo Morton's Little Women monthly club. We'll miss our monthly Jo's club, but we're looking forward to something new and different!

Each month for six months, club members will meet to discuss the historical perspectives of quilting in America; talk about new techniques and ideas for small quilt projects; and explore the historical concept of "make-do", which can be used to add a scrappy and unique feel to a project. Participants will receive a new small quilt project each month, as well as a bonus project using hexagons. The projects are pictured above. There will be lots of opportunities for student participation, and it should be a fun time for everyone involved!

Please visit our website for dates, times, and all the details. And don't hesitate to let us know if you have questions or would like to get on the list- there are limited spots available! This could be a great Christmas gift, just a thought...

Happy Stitching!

Friday, December 9, 2011

More Gifty Ideas

Hopefully your holiday preparations are going great...we're getting closer! Here are some more fantastic gift ideas if you've got some check marks to make on your list...

We talked about chalk cloth a few posts ago, and now we've got a sample! All you have to do is cut out the shape you want, prep it with a piece of chalk, and you're good to go! You can do placemats too, in fun shapes for the kids or classy shapes for the grownups (great for writing cocktail recipes!).

And of course, we couldn't say no to more ruffle fabric...this time in a peppermint stripe. Just in time for peppermint season!

The new Quilting Arts Calendar, a sewing book, or fabric in jars, shapes, and bundles...would all make great quick gifts.

See that doll bed in the photo? Those are handcrafted in Bellingham by a local artist. There are even a couple different designs to choose from- one has a heart carved into the headboard and the other has a diamond. These would make a lovely gift for someone who collects dolls, small quilts, or loves handcrafted wood items.

This is the newest line in the store from Bunny Hill Designs, called Puttin' on the Ritz. There are some lovely patterns, checks, and swirls to choose from...we've also got the jelly rolls in grey and pink. These would go great with lines from other Moda designers like French General and 3 Sisters.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter Wonderland

December already! Doesn't our little pincushion forest look just like a little Winter Wonderland? These fun little trees can be made in lots of different fabrics and decorated with as many shiny beads and sequins as you like. The smallest ones can be package decorations or an ornament for the tree. And of course, we all need a new pincushion, especially a seasonal one! The pattern company is called La Todera, and they've definitely got some cute crafty ideas! We've got kits to make this little forest up in the bright greens and reds that we are featuring here with all the fixin's or we've got the pattern separately as well. These cuties do not require any machine sewing either, so if you've got some young crafters you want to keep busy this is a great option!

Our December Calendar quilt took some quick thinking to find the right combination of ornaments, but it was worth it, don't you think? Pinwheels, bling, and some Texture Magic to create the 3-D packages under the tree...too much fun. As always, we've got kits for this sweet little tree...and this completes the series!

Lots of new gift ideas coming books, linen thread, tote bag patterns...the possibilities are endless! Looks like we'll be ready for the holidays...

Happy Stitching!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gifts to give and receive!

Can you believe it's already the holiday season? Now that radio stations are playing Christmas music ... time for some quick thinking about gifts if you're just getting started or just finalizing plans. We've got some new things to play with...

Ruffle fabric is our new just sounds fun, doesn't it? Whip up a quick scarf- we've got kits ready, and some styles just take one seam and you're done! Baby booties, a fun skirt, adorable leggings for a little girl...the possibilities are endless!!

Pillowcases are always a great option for kids and adults. We've got some kits made in holiday theme, sports, outer space, and a few flowery fun options. If you've never done French seams before, you'll love how crisp these look when finished, and they are a snap to make!

For the reader in your life, an e-reader cover might be just the thing. These covers can be adjusted to fit Nooks, Kindles, and other e-readers. You can choose the right fabrics to fit the style of the recipient, and there is even instructions for a pockets inside to hold reading glasses. We made ours up in chalkboard fabric, perfect for a student or teacher!

One of the many exciting finds at Quilt Market was new oilcloth in funky new colors and styles. We've got red and white polka dots and a black-and-white floral design. Garden chair covers, messenger bags...lots of great ideas!

Chalk cloth is a similar product - except you can write on it with chalk! Placemats to keep the kids busy at holiday dinner? Samples coming soon!

Fat quarter bundles and needle packs make great stocking stuffers. We'd love to help you cross some gift shopping off your list, and talk about all our new come see us soon!

Happy Stitching

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tree of Paradise

The blocks in this vintage quilt go by many names, including Tree of Paradise and Tree of Temptation. It's an appropriate choice following our half square triangle event, don't you think? The blocks are approx. 20 inches square, and combine 2" half-square triangles units with solid squares. This is a two color quilt, combining tan and cream. It has a layout of 4 blocks by 4 blocks, with simple sashing and posts. The quilting is double lines, and this quilt was hand pieced and quilted, with machine binding. Enjoy!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trading Fabric, Trading Ideas

The first Two Thimbles Half-Square Triangle Exchange was a great success - everyone seemed to have a lot of fun! We had nearly two dozen participants, and the number of half-square triangle units that people traded ranged from 28 (the result of one foundation paper) to over 500. There were over 3700 units traded overall. That's a lot of little bits! Some quilters kept some of their units for themselves and traded the rest, and others left things to fate and exchanged everything they had! We put the "currency" out on a couple of tables, did a little math, and let the frenzy begin. The classroom was pretty quiet with all the counting and concentration - you didn't want to lose your place!

Everyone came out with a good variety of half-square triangles to make into a scrappy project. We had some half-square project ideas out on display, combined with Edyta's book and hopefully there was enough inspiration to get started! Below are some pictures of the event, for those of you who couldn't make it!

We received some positive feedback about the variety of the squares, and everyone is excited to do it again! We plan to hold another Civil War-themed trading event in Spring 2012- watch for details!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ready to talk Turkey?...

This seems to be the truth at Two Thimbles, anyway. These two birds may not be exactly the same but they definitely share that 'fabulous' trait that we strive for.

We added some frayed edges to November's Calendar quilt to give it some dimension, and we're pretty excited about how it turned out! The border applique pieces are bright fall colors and we toned it down to warm homespuns for the turkey himself. Pretty fun for a Thanksgiving decoration!

Our owl pincushion is more subdued, but just as darling. We've got kits for this little wool creature - the pattern is from Bunny Hill Designs and we used some newer winter-toned wools and a few Civil War prints as accents. Of course, we had to use the inspiration of the outdoors for our photo shoot- those fall colors fit in just right, don't you think?

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Grind...and a Party!

Are you a coffee enthusiast, or do you know someone who is? Then you know how important that daily cup can be. This fabric line, called Daily Grind from Quilting Treasures, is a cute little reminder to take pleasure from the little things, like the first cup of coffee! We've got some retro coffee pots, sweet little cup and saucer combos, and a plethora of coordinates. Flowers, beans, plaids, and dots... in primary colors with a chocolate splash. New tea towels, anyone? Or better yet...a barista apron?

Speaking of 'little reminders', an important event is coming up...the first ever Two Thimbles Half- Square Triangle Exchange! We've had this sign posted for a bit and now is the time for the fun to begin. We've chosen Civil War fabrics as the theme, and many of you bought our little 'cinnamon sticks' (based on Edyta Sitar's ideas from her book Friendship Triangles) or some half-square triangle paper and made lots and lots...of little bits! Now all that hard work will finally pay off...
Tuesday November 8th
beginning at 11:00 - til we're done!

We'll have some fun as we trade triangles and we'll offer some inspiring ideas for triangles - just in case you end up with a few too many! You can bring your trading 'currency' on the day of the event, but it would be even better if you can bring them early so we can get organized beforehand. You don't have to be present to participate, but who wants to miss out on a Two Thimbles party?

Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can try to prepare for possible chaos (and fun!)...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Banner Time!

There seems to be a banner theme going on in the store these days ... what a fun and easy way to brighten up a room!

The best part about this darling Halloween decoration pictured below - besides how cute it turned out - is the snap it is to make. We just fused coordinating prints onto the back of each little square, then pinked around the edges. The banner fabric is available by the row and comes in a variety of motifs- from a snazzy owl to a creepy witch. The fabulous grey and black trim that we used to hang the banner is available too. Perfect for a front window or doorway on Halloween? WE think so!!

This fun pennant is from Riley Blake Designs in conjunction with The Quilted Fish, and the fabric line is called Delighted!. We did a little topstitching around the edges to mix things up a little. We've got lots of coordinates; this line would be great for decorating a little girls' room (with a matching quilt to go along, perhaps?).

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jo Day

Jo Morton day has come and gone for another year! Jo celebrates her birthday this month, so we thought October was as good a time as any to have a celebration! Several stitchers participated in the block exchange, lots of quilts from many different artists were displayed, fabulous door prizes...and lots of delicious treats, of course! It was a fun way to break up the wet and windy fall weather. Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A New Block of the Month Program

This new batik project is our latest Block of the Month adventure. The pattern, called Tonga Rhapsody from Wing and a Prayer Designs, features 12 different blocks and a unique zig-zag setting layout. We chose to substitute our own fabrics rather than use the ones in the pattern. Emphasized are deep purples and blues, dark reds and bright greens with a pop of orange and gold. The border fabric is a fabulous multi-colored ginkgo leaf print - you can't go wrong there! This is a 9-month program, and the quilt finishes at 92" x 106". Space is limited, so please contact us for more information or if you'd like to sign up!

Here is the beginning of the store sample- still a work in progress!

Pictured below are a few new pieces from Art Gallery. There is a range in patterns from modern geometric to delicate damask, mixed in with some lovely florals. The color pallette definitely has a contemporary feel. So many creative possibilities!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jo's Birthday Celebration

October is birthday month...for lots of special people! For one, it's Jo Morton's birthday on the 19th of this month, so we're having a celebration here at Two Thimbles. Many of you know Jo as a designer of Civil War era fabrics and the inspiration behind 'Jo's Little Women Club' that meets here monthly. We're having an all about Jo day - so whip up a few exchange blocks and drop by for treats, of course! If you're a Jo fan you don't won't want to miss the fun.
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Halloween

October already? You know what that means... new Pincushion of the Month! This month we're using selvedges. This darling pincushion comes together in a snap, and the pom-pom trim adds something extra, don't you think? You could easily switch out the selvedges and make this pincushion take on a different theme. We've kitted up our version with a couple of Halloween-themed fat quarters to make a little treat bag to accompany this treat! You can place your new pincushion in the bag to give as a gift, or fill the pincushion with pins and use the treat bag for chocolate...or candy corn?

This charming pumpkin has been hanging in the store for a couple of weeks now, and it has certainly caught some attention. This is the October quilt from Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts pattern. We love the metallic fabric for the pumpkin, his button eyes, and of course the candy corn in the border!

Don't forget, the 91 Mile Yard Sale is only a few days away! More info can be found here. We hope to see you soon!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little History

So many new projects...sometimes it's nice to take a break and talk about something with a little history. This post's vintage quilt (owned by Laurie Bingham, a Two Thimbles customer) features poison green and double pink, in a two-color style that is very striking. Unfortunately, our photos have washed the colors out and changed their intensity. So a little imagination, please! The pattern features (9) 7" blocks which are combined into a larger block of 4 T's, attached at their bases and pointing outwards. Interestingly, only three sides of this project have a border. One unusual feature is that it was hand quilted with two different colors of thread, not a common occurrence in older quilts. The maker is unknown, and it was purchased here in Washington.

Pictured below are several angles of the quilt, giving you an idea of the intricacy of the hand quilting and the formatting of the T pattern. What a many hours of quilting would you guess?

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Fun Shopping Bag, and New Fabrics, Of Course!

With the increasing popularity of bring-your-own-shopping-bags, we thought it was time to create one of our own! One of our Two Thimbles staff designed this funky and fully-functional Roll-Up Market Tote. It's quick to put together, uses only a yard of fabric and rolls up small enough to fit in your purse. Perfect for a quick gift, or make a few for stylish grocery bags! It holds a ton of goodies (fat quarters anyone?).

These artsy new prints featured below are from the line Expressions from P&B Textiles and have just a hint of gold. The patterns range from stripes to large dots to paintbrush strokes. We've got a few fat quarter bundles- these could be a great addition to a Christmas project or an art quilt in the works.

Mark your calendars- October 7th and 8th is the Tri-County 91 Mile Yard Sale. That's only about two weeks away- and you never know what treasures you'll find at your local quilt stores, so be sure to make time to stop by! More information can be found here.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Projects

No better way to usher in fall than a couple of cloudy afternoons, right? This sweet little quilt
certainly has the right color combination going on ... cheddar, butter yellow, and a little
splash of chocolate brown make a fun little 9-patch on point. We have kits ready to go for this one.

And of course, we couldn't help snapping a picture with this darling little rocking chair prop - it's a perfect size!

Block exchanges can be a fun way to get a jump start on a scrappy project. Or, another way to go is this half-square triangle exchange program, where you can sew up your scraps and trade them for others! This program is based on what Edyta Sitar describes in her book Friendship Triangles, pictured below. The idea: purchase our premade 'cinnamon sticks' containing special half square triangle paper and scrappy Civil War era fabrics, add your own fabric scraps, and make up as many half square triangle units as you'd like to trade. You can also buy a pack of the paper and create solely from your own stash.

Then, on November 8th, come to the store to exchange half-square triangle blocks and socialize with other quilters! In the end, you'll come away with a bigger variety of half-square blocks and some possibilities for a start on a scrappy quilt - doesn't that seem like a great way to start the holiday season? If you can't make it to the event we can do your trading for you- but Two Thimbles events usually include treats, and you wouldn't want to miss that! More details about the event to come later - and now is a great time to get started on your 'trading currency', we've got cinnamon sticks all ready to go!

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More From Gwen Marston

Gwen Marston's new book came in a few days ago - and it's definitely worth checking out! Gwen taught at Two Thimbles back in May, and her artistic insight was such an inspiration. In her new book, she delivers beautiful photographs of small projects, created in her desire to experiment with different techniques and color combinations. The book is narrated and printed in an artsy and whimsical fashion, making it a joy to explore. Below, the cover of the book is pictured, as well as some beautifully structured pages from inside.

We've got some new fabric choices coming in - linen blends from French General in grey and cream , a collection of brightly colored hand-dyed velvet pieces, and some fall-into-winter tone wools by the yard. Lots of inspiration for working with different and unique fabrics!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Already?!

It is hard to believe that summer is quickly coming to an end!

Our September pincushion has a historical backstory. When quilters in the Civil War era created pincushions, they used buckshot to stuff them, because it was easy to come by. When putting together our version, it took a bit of work to find some shot (not our normal stock item!) and it quickly became apparent that using buckshot alone would make a pincushion almost too heavy to lift - so we chose a combination of shot and poly-fil. We've got the pattern and shot all ready to go for this, and you can choose your own fabric to match any style!

Our September Calendar Quilt seems pretty appropriate for this month, with school starting (thank goodness the strike was quickly resolved). We made a few changes to the monthly pattern , and the result turned out pretty cute, don't you think? We've got some kits available of this one, as well as the calendar quilt pattern set for all twelve months.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick Pinwheels

As much fun as we have sewing little bits together to make darling little quilts like those pictured below, sometimes it is nice to have a shortcut. Both of the little quilts are made using a pinwheel tool from Primitive Gatherings. Sew together scrappy blocks, cut out using the tool, and you're almost done!

There is a difference between the two projects, however. The quilt on the left, with the cheddar border, was created using the Patch It fabric shown in the photo. This clever fabric is made of 3 inch squares - so, rather than cutting and stitching scrappy 3 1/2" squares, all you have to do is cut out your desired quilt size and part of the work is already done! The end result has a little more repetition but the colors and prints are a great combination. A perfect choice when you need something fun and simple.

The cute little pinwheels pictured below are pieced using more traditional methods, rather than using a quick little tool. The results are just as fun, and we've got some kits available for this one! The pattern comes from Thimble Blossoms.

Don't the colors in those displays remind you of fall? We're not ready for that just yet, but you always need a little lead time for sewing so it is time to get started now for our favorite time of year! We've got some great Halloween fabrics out and who knows, there may be a few more to come? We'll keep you posted, but you'll have to stop in and check them out for yourself!

Happy Stitching!