Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Civil War Sampler Challenge

Sewing school is back in session! With summer starting to fade, we thought this would be a great time to introduce our latest program. It's a Civil War Sampler Challenge, and we're doing it a bit differently than a traditional block of the month. The concept is to make-do with fabrics at hand, and challenge yourself to use colors and patterns that you normally wouldn't, other words, embrace scrappiness! 

We'll begin the program in September. Come in and purchase a pattern (we're using Carol's Sampler from Carol Hopkins Designs) along with a starter kit, which contains enough material for four blocks. Complete your 'assignment' over the next month, bring them in for show and tell or email us a photo...and receive your next kit free! Each kit contains fabric for four blocks, and the first part of this program runs through January...which means a total of 20 completed blocks, all for the cost of the first kit as long as you complete each set of blocks by the deadline (the fifteenth of the following month). If you miss a deadline, you can pay a fee to get caught up. The first deadline is the 15th of October. 

Then you'll have all of February and half of March to complete your project, using whatever fabrics you wish. Drop off your completed quilt by March 15th, and we'll begin a mini quilt show on March 20th, displaying quilts through the Tri-County Quilt Tour at the end of March. There will even be a couple of prizes for viewers' favorites!

Pictured below are some scrappy blocks from various projects...sometimes its worth taking a risk and putting together startling combinations, just to see what you can come up with!

The goal of this program is to challenge yourself- to use scraps, to stretch your limits in fabric selection, and to work on any technical skills that you may be struggling with (piecing accuracy with small pieces, for example). In the end you'll get to show off your work, and you'll be in the running for a prize...what beats that??

Contact us for more information- you can even participate through the mail with an additional fee for shipping, let us know if that's your preference and we'll work out the cost. 

This would be a great and affordable way to get back into sewing...after the long break of summer!

Just a reminder...we are back to being open 7 days a week!  We'll be open on Sundays from 12-4 through the fall and winter, beginning this Sunday, Sep 2nd. Just in case you are hard at work finishing a project and need some thread or fabric last minute...

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stitching for a Good Cause

As much as quilters love to work on their own projects, sometimes you just need to sit and stitch, right? Donated projects can be really good for that kind of therapy.

There is a group of quilters in Bellingham who make quilts for donation to the local hospice. Over the past two years they have made and donated approximately 175 quilts...that's a lot of work and a lot of heart gone into a good cause. These quilters meet monthly - varying their location between Two Thimbles and the Hospice Administration Building.  Their meeting day varies a bit to accommodate some busy schedules! 

If you want to participate or have questions, you can contact the group's coordinator, Alice (ask here at the counter for her contact info). You can also just drop into a meeting- let us know if you are interested, and we'll let you know when the group's next scheduled sew day is. There is always lots to do- from piecing to ironing to cutting. 

You don't have to be a perfect stitcher to be involved in something that will bring a lot of joy and comfort to someone- you just have to want to help!

Another group that works towards helping others is Project Linus. You can visit their website here to get more information- this national organization collects handmade quilts to give to children in need or in pain. One of their missions is 'to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”'. There are now chapters in all 50 states, each benefitting children in the local area.

Two Thimbles is a drop-off point for Linus quilts- you don't need to call ahead, just come by if you have a quilt to donate.

Helping to bring a smile to someone's face, and working with fabric all at the same time...can't get any better than that, right?

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ready to go Shopping?

With the new bag restrictions in Bellingham (what was advertised as no more plastic bags - is actually a bit more)!  We're required to charge for paper bags now too, so it's definitely time to stock up on reusable shopping bags. Sure, you can buy the ones you see in the grocery store...but isn't it more fun to make your own? We've got some ideas....this first one is an exclusive Two Thimbles pattern, called the Roll Up Market Tote-Bag. We've blogged about it before... it takes about a yard of fabric and rolls up nice and small to fit in your purse. No excuses for leaving them in the car then, right?

The tote on the right is called the Go Green Bag from Mountainpeek Creations...pretty appropriate fabric, don't you think? We're almost out of it, but we did make up a few kits...and there are too many other fun possibilities to personalize your bags and choose funky combinations you might not put in a quilt! This tote isn't as roll-up friendly because of the heavy interfacing used to stabilize it...but that stiffness makes it perfect for toting heavier items - it is the same size as a brown paper grocery sack. 

The bag on the left comes from a tutorial which you can find here. It rolls up and ties with a little ribbon that you stitch into the topstitching. Everything is done with French seams, so no raw edges in this unlined bag! And of course, I couldn't resist using some of the new Halloween prints...

On a side note... we had to share this darling pillow that one of our super-creative customers shared with us! Isn't that stitchery darling? Especially with that little pop of color in each person...too cute!  This is her interpretation of a $$$ catalog option - and what fun to have bragging rights that you 'made it yourself'!  Need the perfect gift idea for someone - this could be just right?  

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New and Exciting!

Never too early to start planning your Christmas projects, right? It's a nice thought, anyway! We've stocked up with some of the latest holidays prints and spruced up the Christmas corner...there are a LOT of gorgeous lines! This first one is called Blitzen by BasicGrey for Moda; we've carried lines from them before and they always seem to use the most in-style colors and prints. Don't you just love the grunge prints that work great as blenders? This would make a beautiful holiday throw or apron...they mix just great with lines from previous' years.

This fun print is called Christmas Kitties from Hoffman...don't you just see that as a fussy-cut stocking? Or a pillowcase-that's definitely a quick gift. We have a few more from that grouping, in an aqua colorway (snowflakes and sparkles)...come take a look!

This is our newest little quilt, and we're calling it Crimson Pinwheels...could be a really fun Christmas table topper. With that little bit of cheddar and yellow it could work any time of the long as you like red and green! The pattern is called Puzzles with Nana, from Carol Hopkins Designs, and it finishes at a little over 20 inches square, and we have kits ready to go!

Speaking of new things...we've started carrying DMC Pearl Cotton in a couple different colors (great for big stitch quilting!), as well as a few more varieties of precut papers for English paper-piecing (tumblers, honeycombs, and a few sizes of hexagons, to name a few). Just in case you needed another project to take with you on your summer travels...

Happy Stitching!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Spiced Pears, Anyone?

Aren't these little pears too cute? This is our August pincushion, Spiced you can see, it's hard to make just one! They take just scraps to make, plus a little button and a small twig for stem, if you like. We've got the pattern (from Sewn into the Fabric...Pieces of our Lives pattern designers) and some fat quarters ready for inspiration. 

I know, it's a little early...but we just moved some of our new Halloween fabrics from the back corner of the store, up to the front to feature! Only a few are pictured below...there are some pretty fabulous new lines from Michael Miller, Moda, and others. It's not a great photo, so you might have to come check it out in person! Hopefully this doesn't mean that we're jinxing fall to come early this year...

Remember, the plastic bag ban started Wednesday in under the new requirements we now charge you 5 cents for paper bags as well. Of course, we encourage you to make your own and bring that for show and tell...we've got a cute pattern for a roll-up tote that's quick and easy, and a couple of other tote bag ideas if you need some encouragement.

On another note...if you are looking for something to do this weekend, there is a quilt exhibition that opens on Saturday at the Whatcom Museum - it includes an antique quilt market that is Sunday only, and some related lectures Saturday and later in September.  You'll definitely want to get this on your calendar!  You can find more information here. Normally we aren't open on Sundays during the summer, but this Sunday our hours will be 12-4 if you want to stop in!

Happy Stitching!