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!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crazy Quilts and More!

New classes always lend new inspiration to the store- and it's easy to get inspired from these projects!

We're excited to welcome Suz Litzsinger as a new teacher at Two Thimbles. She is teaching two classes this fall- one is a crazy quilt class and the other is a bag class.

Crazy in the 21st Century is a technique-based class, and focuses on two parts of crazy quilting: first, constructing blocks; and second, refining embellishment skills. There is also some discussion about planning for a final project. This full-day class is being offered twice- first on Sunday September 25th, and again on Thursday October 13th. Below are some finished projects by Suz- you can get an idea of the range of materials and embellishment techniques that are available in this type of quilting!

The second class is called Gypsy Carry-All. There are several options to create this bag: you can use panels or pieced blocks, either quilted or not- or if you happen to take the Crazy in the 21st Century class, you can use some of your embellished crazy blocks! This class focuses on the construction of the bag, with several size options, so bring your blocks to class ready-made and spend the day stitching everything together! The class is being offered on Sunday November 6th.

We do have samples on display at the store now- you'll have to come see these fabulous creations for yourself! Alternative dates will be considered, so please contact us if one or both of these classes sparks your interest and we can try to accommodate requests. Space is limited- let us know soon if you'd like to participate or have other questions!

Also, just a reminder - there is a spot available in Reynola Pakusich's workshop Contemporary Storm at Sea coming up in September. This class will be a lot of fun and the final product, which is now hanging in the store, is just gorgeous- so please let us know soon if you'd like to take part!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Whirligig Quilt

Here is a vintage quilt that we are featuring this month. The name of this block pattern is called whirligig, although it has several other names including a swastika block. It is interesting to note that this pattern and its popularity in quilts came into existence long before the symbol was politically exploited in the mid 1900's.

In this project, the blocks are 8.25 inches square, and they consist of flying geese units which are about 1 inch by 2 inches. The layout of the quilt is 6 blocks by 6 blocks. The size of the finished quilt is approximately 80 inches square. This quilt was hand pieced and quilted, which is quite the accomplishment considering the size of the project! When this particular quilt was purchased, it appeared as though it had never been used, and is estimated to have been created between 1890 and 1900.

Here are some close-up photos of the blocks. Can you imagine all the time that someone spent to create this beautiful piece of art? The maker of this quilt is unknown.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy August!

Can you believe that August is here already? It feels like we are still waiting for summer to any case, we felt that pie was probably the best way to celebrate the start of a new month, and possibly to encourage good weather. This darling little pincushion is called Sweet as Pie from Chitter Chatter Designs. It has certainly caught some attention, and the best part is, you can make any kind you want! Apple, cherry, blueberry, whichever is your favorite...just switch out the filling fabric, and you've got yourself a sweet treat!

This sweet, scrappy little bee skep is a great project for a cool day. It's our August version of Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilt pattern. We've got kits ready to go, and we even have some little bee charms to attach after quilting ... the perfect addition!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Fabric, New Ideas

New fabric arriving in the store is a great way to break up these warm summer days!

These new Civil War prints are from a variety of manufacturers including Marcus Brothers and Blue Hill Fabrics. Perfect for supplementing your stash in shirtings and basic colors, and there is also a large scale print featuring American presidents which would be great for starting a new memorial project!

This new Christmas fabric is called Julien, and is designed by Julie Paschkis. This is the same artist who designed the 2010 Shop Hop fabric, and who also works as a children's book illustrator. Her Christmas line showcases bright red, gold, coral, and green and includes a panel for stockings as well as one for a holiday perpetual calendar, as a countdown through December to the New Year. A great alternative to the traditional advent calendar.

This darling little apron just makes you want to fly off to France and start cooking, right? The bright colors and farmhouse theme are eye-catching and modern, and we are excited to see some other uses for this fun fabric besides an apron (although we do love aprons...)

Happy Stitching!