Friday, July 7, 2017

" Free Motion Quilting"

"Free Motion Quilting"

The title is actually a little play on words. I was thinking about being flexible when we are working on our quilts as a result of a conversation with a customer a couple of weeks ago. She found herself short of a "critical" fabric. Haven't we all done that? Been in the quilt shop, gathering fabrics and wanting to spend only what is absolutely needed. Even as the salesperson gently reminds us that manufacturers, more often than not, do not reprint fabric collections, leaving us in a quandry at the point where my customer was.

Beth was looking for a fabric that she was using as framing around some hexagons she was making. She claims to be a beginning quilter.  She sent me a picture of the quilt while we were chatting on the phone and I laughed when I opened the file. Not disparagingly, but out of awe. Beginning quilters don't often take on such quilts. When confronted with her dilemma, she was not deterred by the small bump in the fabric, so to speak. She simply kept moving forward. 

We all could take a lesson from her lesson: to not be sidelined by our little bumps, but to quilt, and even live, with the imperfections and find new ways to move forward.

Thanks Beth for the reminder! You are one amazing "beginning" quilter. 

I often have good luck finding hard to find fabrics-if you are stuck, feel free to email me and I'll gladly look around for you.

I also often buy the last bolts in the warehouse, so we often have pieces that are no longer generally available.

Remember, it's time to get moving on those holiday projects! I look forward to helping you bring them to fruition. Fabrics, Quilters Dream Battings, Starr Hand Dyed Quilt Kits and Fat Quarter Bundles, and patterns and notions-we have it all. 

Happy Friday!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Amazing Starr Hand Dyed Quilt Kits~On Sale Now!!

The Amazing Starr Designs Hand Dyed Quilt Kits~On Sale Now! Find them here!

It is hard to describe the stunning kits that my friend, Kathleen Starr produces! The photos are really good, but to see them in person is breathtaking. She is meticulous in design, dyeing, and cutting. These kits take about a month to prepare and are worth every single minute! We are happy to custom dye backings for any kit, just email me with any questions. 

We even have complete kits available~fabrics for the top, backing, and batting!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kilt Quits

--> Kilt Quits, I Mean Quilt Kits

Are the Scotsmen revolting? Thankfully, no. At the Seaside Quilting Supplies main headquarters, we are usually each doing two or three things at once. This leaves very little room for speech processing. As a result, one of our most common unintentional phrases is “kilt quits”. The phrase never fails to make us laugh, no matter how many times it comes out that way.

We have found that many people who love to quilt, don’t have the time, confidence, or inclination to choose the many fabrics that must work together in the making of a quilt. Quilts by nature are usually made out of many different fabrics. Not only must they work with each other, they must also work with the pattern. A “serious” pattern doesn’t call for whimsical fabrics, and visa versa. Then there is the issue of borders, binding, and backing.

What then, is a kilt quit, I mean quilt kit? Our kits include the pattern, and all the fabrics for the top, borders, and bindings. Some kits include the backing, batting and a thread. These items can always be added to any kit! Kits are listed as a certain size, but most of the time this can be adjusted.

At the shop, we have the advantage of having all of the patterns and fabrics in front of us, where we can stack them up, lay them out, and visualize what the finished quilt will look like. We have many patterns that range from easy to difficult, suitable for any level quilter. And we have the world’s best photographer to shoot the finished kit so you too can visualize what the finished quilt will be!

However, we aren’t so vain as to believe that just because we liked something, you will also. Or maybe you like the top, but need a different color emphasized in the border or binding. All quilt kits are negotiable! We are thrilled to customize kits to meet your particular needs or tastes. Do you have a quilt idea in mind, but don’t see a kit that matches? Just contact us with your specifications, and we will gladly see if we can create it for you. But don’t be surprised if you catch us laughing when we answer the phone!

Time for a Batting Primer!

Time for a batting primer..To help with all the wonderful batting choices. Read on....

This photo is of the amazing Cotton Stuffing produced by my friends at Quilters Dream Batting. They do not sell directly to consumers but through quality quilt shops both online and storefront.Having used all the battings available here in the US, they are, hands down, my favorite. The quality is ALWAYS there and they have the most amazing customer support staff.

On to the useful information-I am often asked which batting to use for a given project. The choices can be overwhelming. There are cottons, polys, poly blends with cotton, silk, wool, recycled green battings, and midnight black poly battings. These days there are even battings with fusing attached to make projects super easy.

People often believe that the choices reflect the quality of the batting. With Quilters Dream Battings, this is not the case. Rather, the choices represent the weight of the lofts.

Each of the battings listed below is connected to a link on the Quilters Dream site that may have additional information you may find useful.All of the quilters dream products can be purchased on my site through this link: Quilters Dream Battings.

Options are:  Cotton  in 4 Lofts:

request-this is the thinnest loft available. This weighs about 3 oz/square yard and is 1/16" thick.

select-this is the mid loft batting. This weighs about 4 oz/square yard and is 3/32" thick.

deluxe-the loft becomes noticeably heavier here. This weighs 6 oz/square yard and is 1/8" thick.

supreme-this is the thickest of the cotton lofts and weighs 8 oz /square yard and is 3/16"thick.

Polyester Battings~ Available in 3 lofts:

request-same thickness and weight as the cotton request.
select- same thickness and weight as the cotton select.
deluxe- same thickness and weight as the cotton deluxe.

Quilters Dream Puff Batting-A fluffy light batting. This batting comes in only one weight 3.5 oz/ square yard and is 1/3" thick.

Quilters Dream Midnight Poly Batting (Black)- one loft-select and weighs 4 oz/square yard and is 3/32" thick.

Quilters Dream Angel Battings-100% flame retardant fibers-This is available in one loft~select-which is 3/32" thick and weighs 4 oz/square yard

Quilters Dream Orient (a personal favorite of mine)-this is available in only one loft-select and weighs 4 oz/square yard and is 3/32" thick.

Quilters Dream Wool(this is AMAZING wool!)-this beautiful wool weighs 3 1/2 oz/square yard and is 3/8" thick.

Quilters Dream Fusion-This wonderful product is available in an 80/20 Cotton Poly Blend and
in one loft~Select. This is a solvent free fusible batting!

Quilters Dream Green Batting-This batting sometimes strikes fear in people. (totally unnecessarily i might add ). It is made from recycled green plastic bottles and it is so soft you will be totally stunned. It is the palest of green shades and works so nicely in any project. Its weight is similar to the request

cotton, as its thickness.

Quilters Dream Blend Batting-This is a 70% cotton, 30% poly blend of fibers and is a delight to sew on. This comes in only one loft and weighs 5 oz/square yard and is 1/8" thick.

Last, but certainly not least, is the fantastic Sweet Dreams Stuffing! This product, made from luscious 100% cotton fibers is 18" wide and 120"long when unrolled. 

And so concludes today's lesson on battings :)

Happy Quilting and Sewing!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Newsy" Things in the Quilting Shop

The news these days can be somewhat overwhelming. We all seem to be so at odds with one another. The chasms get greater each day and I wonder how will we ever overcome the divide and find our way to work together for a greater cause. And as I was pondering all this, the quilt I was beginning to work on offered some prospective answers. Often when we begin to put a quilt together or just begin to plan for the quilt, we have a pile of what may seem to be disparate fabrics in front of us. Someone who doesn't quilt might be inclined to look at the pile and wonder how in the world those pieces would ever make something beautiful, comforting, and uplifting. As the process of "building" a quilt moves forward, what appears to be fabrics, colors, patterns that might never work together end up in harmony. It is the cutting and the placement of pieces and patterns until some continuity appears that reveals the underlying "threads" that allow the quilt to flow into one harmonious piece. On the surface of the quilt some patterns may appear too complex, with too many elements, to ever be able to blend in seamlessly. Both time and effort result in the blending of what previously appeared incongruent. The willingness to move a piece of fabric to somewhere you once thought "it shouldn't go" or to put it beside something you never had considered, often results in a more beautiful plan than could have originally been foreseen. Flexibility and open mindedness to new arrangements present us with the chance for a glorious outcome. It is my deep hope that I may be more open to new ideas..In quilting and life. Wishing you all threads that bring your own chasms together. 

 And in that vein, here are some photos of new things in the shop-to make our gifts of love with which we touch those around us:

We have two new entire collections just in.

The darling "Witchy" by StudioE Fabrics, and Holiday Flair also by StudioE. Both are stunningly colored with rich hues and incredible attention to detail.

Witchy is available here.
 Holiday Flair is available here

 I also spent a good bit of time the last few days doing lots of new fabric collections~perfect for the beginning quilter or for the experienced quilter who'd rather sew than figure out fabrics! 

You can look at all of the great collections here

 And last but not least, we always carry the amazing Quilters Dream Battings and the stunning Starr Fabrics Hand Dyed Quilt Kits-and they have some brand new ones!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The "Art" of Quilting

The "Art" of Quilting-

 So, I am about to begin a T-Shirt Quilt-not a quilt I had generally envisioned as something I would ever do. But a precious niece has a boy(man) she is very taken with and he wants a memory quilt of all his fire station T shirts. Now, being the daughter of a lifelong volunteer fireman, this project has occupied a space near and dear to my heart. And then the questions came.....What ever will I do with these very large "panels" on the back of these t-shirts? And how will I create interest, rather than just squares sewn together, and what if I am not talented enough to pull this off?? And immediately after the onslaught of doubt, I stepped back and watched the swirling questions cloud everything I knew I could do. In the space of "watching" the questions swirl, clarity came. The t-shirts will show me what to do with them. Perhaps only those who cut large pieces of cloth into tiny ones only to put them back into large pieces will understand those words. Sometimes the answers are in the fabrics. Patterns will reveal themselves. In the moments of unclarity-if we can step back and look at the fog-we can see that the fog isn't all there is-nearby, where it has always been, is clarity. The unclarity temporarily blocked our view of the clarity. It's that way with life too..The clarity and the unclarity are always there. Occasionally, we forget that and think one is gone. When in reality, it is obscured for a moment and if we sit with the fog and allow it to pass gently, clarity is revealed. Now, rather than get caught in the "unknowing" of making a t-shirt quilt, I am going to trust that the shirts will show me the way and that the finished treasure will be that indeed-a treasure for someone to hold onto, perhaps even in moments of unclarity..... wishing you a quilty weekend, barb

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For my treasured new Quilters (young and old)!

I thought I'd use today's blog to cover some basics for beginning quilters whether young or old.

All the different cuts of fabric can be confusing to  someone not accustomed to the "lingo".

The wide range of cuts can make putting together your first quilt much easier. So, for the beginners, here it goes.

Fat Quarters-18" X 22"

Fat Eighth-9" X 22"

Fabric Strips-2.5" x 44" (wof-width of fabric)

Skinny Strips-1.5" X 44"

Charm Squares-5" squares useful for many projects

layer cake squares-10" squares

1/8 yd = 4.5"

1/4 yd= 9"
1/2 yd=18"
3/4 yd=27"

I hope this tiny little primer on fabric cuts is helpful ;)