Tuesday, December 23, 2008
We love this time of year. Not because of the materialism of it (no pun intended as we sell material...), but for the chance it gives us to gather with those we love and share food, fun, and memories. I will not get to be with my mom, dad, and my siblings this year-and I will miss them terribly.
But we will have all of our children, Dh's mom and sister, and our friends nearby. And we will make memories and laugh-LOTS i hope!
I anxiously await the new year!
We are proud to be listing on winkelf.com now. You can find us at: www.winkelf.com.
Of course, all of our other locations are still up and running:
Quilting by the Sea Fabric Supplies on Ebay
www.auctionfabric.com (Seaside Quilting Supplies)
We look forward to serving you in the future! Remember we are always willing to cut fabric in any arrangement you 'd like.
Happy, Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
It's Here! Tis the Season!
I don't know about you all, but I am finding that time really does seem to go faster and faster. My mom always said that and I didn't believe her. She was, of course, right!
I have not shopped out in the stores this weekend at all. I have done some online shopping. The last few years I have done most of my shopping online. I have had great online shopping experiences so it is hard for me to understand that there are still people who are "afraid" of it. No need to fear it at any of our shops. We always ship as inexpensively as we possibly can, and we always refund any amount over what it costs us to ship!
After the terrible news of people clammoring over "deals" to the point of someone's death, I may never shop brick and mortar on this weekend again.
Today, it is rainy and cold here in Virginia. I am writing while my amazing husband makes our weekend morning treat-an amazing coffee shake with extra protein, ice cream, half and half, and two shots of his great espresso.
There are still chores to finish, but today, the sewing machine will hum. I am finishing a project for a friend, am hoping to make good progress on a quilt for my mom, and will consider the other things I'd like to make for people.
I am finding myself so incredibly grateful for the life I have. I have a healthy family-great husband, 4 wonderful sons (one is my "in-law" son), one beautiful, pregnant daughter, wonderful parents, and a business that I love.
No, things aren't perfect! but therein lies the beauty! In the imperfection. So, I will sew with no fear of perfectionism! The beauty is in the love in the stitches, not in the perfect length of them!
Happy Sewing today!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We now have two shops on Etsy.com:
We decided to put the quilt kits in a separate shop so they would be easier to locate. We do custom quilt kit-choosing a pattern and then coordinating the fabrics ourselves-so that you are all set to sew once the kit arrives. No struggling with fabric coordinating! We are happy to enlarge kits! Just send us a message to get exactly the kit you need.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Good Morning! Well...It's almost here-The shopping frenzy. We have jumped in the frey.
And before the questions come-we do business at all of these locations and each shop costs us a different amount in fees and expenses-hence the differences in the specials!
Below are our specials at each shop:
Quilting by the Sea Fabric Supplies on Ebay~ get FREE US shipping on orders over $100.00 and for international orders, take 10% off your $100.00 order. Allow us to send you an invoice with the correct total.
Fabrics by the Sea on Etsy.com~FREE US Shipping on orders over $30.00/10% off international orders! Buy 5 yds get 1 FREE and every first time customer gets a FREE gift with purchase! Or if you buy a quilt kit, get a FREE Quilters Dream craft size batting! I'll send you a correct invoice upon completion of your shopping!
Seaside Quilting Supplies~We have lowered many of our prices yet again and we will continue to offer FREE Shipping on all US orders over $100.00 for the remainder of November and 10% off our international orders.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have been blog challenged of late..Didn't want to just ramble aimlessly...I realize that is the point of some blogs. But not ours!
Wanted a coherent, flowing, contribution. So, I waited, and waited, and I may still be waiting. But I am writing, nonetheless.
Today is my birthday. I am 45. I said to my husband, I suppose my life is half over (technically), but I feel like I am on the upward slope! Not that the first 45 were downhill, there was just such a learning curve in that half-how to be a great mom, a great friend, a super wife, a smart businesswoman-you know, all the hats that we women wear. So much to learn, so little time, and at a breakneck pace!
Now, although time seems to be going faster than ever, I do feel like I have learned a few things. And now, I can apply them to my world. I have learned lots of "skills" in the last 45 years. Often wondering what value they would have in my life. Some skills are now revealing their value.
Quilting and sewing for example. I learned to sew at a young age (middle school) and my mom was a seamstress. I viewed the ability to sew mainly as a utilitarian skill. One that would serve me well in the future. An economical, practical skill to have in one's toolbox. And it has been that over time.
What I have come to learn about sewing and quilting, however is-that the pleasure in this process goes far beyond utilitarianism-the quiet hum of a sewing machine, the tactile pleasure of beautifully crafted fabric in your hands, and the transformation of tiny pieces of fabric into a gift of love, are magical. Those seemingly small moments provide places in our day where we can dwell on the quiet, gentle, important things in our lives- Those we love and cherish and want to communicate those feelings to, and those we may not know at all-to whom we want to communicate that the universe cares for them (thanks to all you amazing quilters who give away your works of love to those in need of care).
Here we find ourselves in the season of giving(although for most quilters the season of giving goes on and on) with only a few days left before the "BIG GIVE". That reality can create pressure and steal the joy of the gift making and giving away from us.
So my thought for today: Make the season of giving be whenever your heart is moved to give. Do not be confined to a day or a moment. That robs both the giver and the receiver! If your projects aren't going to be finished "in time", do not relinquish the joy of creating for the stress of meeting the deadline-simply write a lovely, loving note to those you wish to bless, and create on in peace.
just as an aside-if you ever wonder where you can find our things:
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Halloween Day! Now, I am not normally a big Halloween person, but this whole month has seemed like a trick or treat festival! Between the financial upheaval in the entire world and the election frenzy reaching a crescendo~I can't wait to move forward from this month!
I hope November becomes a month of thankfulness for all the opportunities we have in this country and in the world. A thankfulness for our health, our families, and the relationships we have with those around us.
With that in mind, I am going to get out some quick and easy patterns and quilt kits and start sewing for those I love..I can't remember a time in our history when a handmade gift will mean more. These stressful days call for something comforting. There is a long list of people I would like to comfort with a quilt~even if it's just a little lap quilt to fend off the chill as we sit and watch our favorite 5 minutes of television. Most of those I love the most live far away and I cannot be with them often..But if I get out those Just Can't Cut It , 5 and 10, and some of the other quick and easy fat quarter patterns we have, I can have something that my own hands have lovingly fused together that will create a bond across the time and space that separates me from those special people in my life.
So, today I will make a list-trying to be realistic-and begin planning which fabrics and which pattern for each of those people..Wish me luck and take on my challenge to send comfort out into the world with a handmade gift of love~a quilt!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Good Monday Morning!
This week will be a good one! We each need to choose for our week to be good, and then the collective will be good!
Once we have done all we can do to attend to the necessities of life-we need to enjoy that life as it is..So, I will embrace this week and make some plans for future projects. And begin work on that holiday list! Wow, is it close at hand.
We all know that there is talk of a much more conservative holiday season than we have seen in many, many years in this country. It helped me make a plan to give handmade gifts. Some will get aprons, some table runners, some lap quilts, and some will get tote bags. Unlike running to the store for a gift, these gifts will have a part of me in them. And I will have given something that can never be replaced or repurchased-time.
The creation of the gift turns out to be a gift to me if I approach it as an opportunity to give a piece of me with the gift. The project then is not a "thing" weighing me down, or hanging over me to be done; but a joy to create and produce.
It is with this attitude that I approach the creative gift giving season..So, grab your list, check out our site-we have lots of great, quick kits that will give you as much joy to create as it will to give them.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Well..another day of dismal news. I am not usually inclined to have my mental state impacted by the stock market or the news in general-but days and days have taken their toll..
So what should/could I do now to distract me from this doom and gloom snowstorm? I just want to sew. I want to make a quilt and wrap up in it and forget all of this! And I think I will. The holidays are coming and we are all going to need a little comfort after the last few months and the ones yet to come. I want my family to be able to grab their lap quilts, snuggle up, and wait for the storm to pass.
Our little shop has recently done everything we can to help in these tough times-so that we can keep sewing comfort for those we love and perhaps for those far less fortunate than some of us. Most fabrics in our shop are now only $7.50/yard! With most brick and mortar shops and even most online shops pricing fabric at $9.00-$10.00/yd-we can save you some real money at Seaside!
So go get yourself a cup of tea (spiked or not..lol), grab a notepad and browse through the shop, with the Ocean Sounds on (it'll help!) and make a plan to sew until you can't remember what made you retreat to your sewing spot! I'm gonna!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Fat Cats and Quarters
This week, I’m thinking a lot about fat. I know this is not a nutrition blog, but that’s not the kind of fat I was thinking of. I began my musings while listening to the news. It’s kind of hard to escape from, here recently. There has been much discussion about those “fat cats on Wall Street” who got us into the current big mess, and who should certainly receive their comeuppance! We could muse on this subject all day, but I will leave that to other bloggers of a more feisty nature.
Hearing “fat” juxtaposed with money led me to my next fat thought – fat quarters! Are these bloated coins that are desperately trying to keep up with the price of gas? Unfortunately, no. But don’t despair! Fat quarters are indeed anxious to help out a financially thoughtful quilter. Quilting fabric, as most fabric in the US, is sold by the yard. A yard is 36 inches long, so a quarter of a yard is 9 inches long. Most quilting fabrics are 44 or 45 inches wide. Therefore, a quarter yard cut will result in a piece of fabric measuring 9 X 44 inches.
Now granted, quilters often cut their fabric into inconceivably small pieces in order to sew them back together (we’ll discuss the rationality of this process another day…), but sometimes a 9 inch width may put you in a bind. (Not to be confused with binding, which we also discuss another day…). However, you may be loath to purchase a half-yard, and end up with much leftover fabric, which is not a fiscally responsible thing to do at all! Never fear – fat quarters to the rescue!!
A fat quarter is a half yard, or 18 inch cut, which has been cut apart at the fold, resulting in two 18 X 22 inch pieces. When you buy a fat quarter, you have the same number of total square inches as you would if you bought a quarter yard, only the rectangle is a completely different shape. Oftentimes this facilitates cutting pattern pieces in a more efficient way. Many patterns are designed to use fat quarters for this reason.
At Seaside Quilting supplies, we have a large selection of fat quarter packs available. We will gladly customize a fat quarter pack for you from any fabrics you see on the site. So whether you are a fat cat or a miser, consider using fat quarters in your quilting or crafting.
"Next week's quiz: What are the dimensions of a fat eighth?"
Sunday, September 28, 2008
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!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Mmmmmmmmmmm. Chocolate Zen. Sounds like comfort and peace in one package. Where can you find such a blissful combination? Why, in quilting fabric, of course! One of the great parts of owning a quilt shop is all of the inventive fabric names the manufacturers and designers come up with. “A rose by any other name…” is not just a rose! It might be a Seaside Rose, or a Mary Rose, or a Cabbage Rose, or a Vintage Rose. They might be Sweet Roses, or even a Sweet Bed of Roses! In quilting fabric, the possibilities are endless. Or at least it seems that way when we are trying to keep up with the names, but that just adds to the fun. Does today Seem Like Old Times, or are we feeling Topsy Turvy? If you’re not quite rosey today, perhaps it’s Tulip Time. If tulips aren’t your thing, then how about a Ginger Blossom?
Some names seem designed to put you off. Who wants to sew with a Bar Code Stripe? Lot of people, apparently, given the very short time that particular print stays on the shelf. Others send you to far away places, like Empress Woo or Kyoto Gardens. Our favorite place to go is the beach, so we Flamingo Run to gather some Sandy Seashells.
What’s in a name? Just click on one you’ll find out. Our name is Seaside Quilting Supplies and we would very much like to know yours soon. Hope you have a Nouvelle Melody in your heart when you step out into the Fresh Air…
Thursday, August 28, 2008
When I was a little girl, occasionally my mother would refer to me as a “fussy budget”. This was not an endearing term, and usually meant I was not going to have my way in the matter at hand. Oftentimes, when reading quilt patterns, I feel the old, familiar whine begin to rise in my throat, especially when I see the words “fussy cut”. It just sounds wrong to be instructed to be fussy.
But a beautiful quilt sometimes requires a little fussiness. Fussy cutting can mean several things, actually. Simply put, to cut fabric in a fussy manner is to pay attention to the print, not just the measurement, before attacking it with scissors or rotary blade. It’s usually easy to tell from the picture on the front of the pattern if fussy cutting will be necessary. For example, if there are blocks that contain a large flower in the center, you have to cut carefully to center the flower in the square. Sometimes a border will use a striped fabric that must be centered in the strip. If a fabric is very patterned and you are making very small cuts, you may find the resulting pieces look very different from one another, unless you turn on the fussy. Some quilts are appliquéd after the basic top is complete. An appliqué can be an object, such as a flower or bug fussy cut from a printed fabric.
Keep in mind that fussy cutting increases the yardage necessary to make the quilt, as there is usually some waste. But don’t get fussy about that! Find a pattern that lists the yardage requirements as “a pile of scraps” and you’re all set.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Pitter Pattern 2
OK! Now you have a pattern. You feel a sense of completion and accomplishment. Until you open it and look at the directions… Sometimes I think pattern writers’ sole purpose is to confuse the daylights out us. Here’s how I go about untangling the obfuscated instructions.
First, if the fabrics are labeled with letters or numbers, celebrate! If not, mark them on the pattern with whichever you like best. Careful! Sometimes a fabric is listed twice if it used in more than one place in the quilt. For instance, a piece in a block may also be used as a border, or the binding. Scan the list before you label to see if this is the case. If so, repeat the label as required.
Next, I like to repeat the labels on the picture of the finished quilt on the front of the pattern. This helps me visualize what the finished quilt will look like with the fabrics I’ve chosen, and to construct the blocks without straining my brain too badly. I also like to put the fabric labels on the pictures of the blocks in the middle of the instructions.
Before cutting, it is a good idea to walk through the directions completely to see if there are any mistakes. We have found that quite often there are, especially in the free patterns offered by fabric manufacturers. It is a terrible thing to be in the middle of a project and discover you don’t have enough of a fabric, or the directions told you to cut it incorrectly. Also, the required yardage listed may not have taken into account a directional print, or the repeat of a print.
Finally, see if you need any special equipment in order to cut or sew the quilt. Sometimes a template is required or helpful. Some patterns include templates that you can make yourself. Do you need a different color thread for an appliqué? Again, reading through all the directions before you start will help you avoid any nasty surprises later. And who knows? Maybe that direction-reading thing will rub off on your significant other the next time a grill needs to be assembled…
Friday, August 22, 2008
Got little feet on the way? Thinking of making a quilt to wrap the little darling in? First thing to do is find a pattern, which is no little feat! There are more patterns out there to choose from than baby names; it can be quite daunting. Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way.
Some patterns are marked with a difficulty level. This is definitely something to consider. If you are a beginner quilter, or do not have a lot of time to finish the project, choose a pattern marked “beginner”, “easy”, or “quick”. If the pattern does not indicate the difficulty level, there are some things to look for that will help you know. Straight-line seams are easier than curves to line up and sew flat. Lots of curves require more cutting time and sometimes, special templates.
Next, check for “points”. A point is the corner of a piece of fabric. This can be a triangle, a square, etc. If the point “floats” i.e. does not touch the end of another point, the pattern is easier than one where your points must line up exactly.
Now look at the blocks. A block is the basic unit of the quilt that repeats in the pattern. Some blocks are constructed from many small pieces, others from larger, simpler units. The smaller the pieces, the longer and more complicated the cutting and piecing time will be.
Finally, check the borders. How many are there? Are they pieced, or cut from long strips of fabric? Strip-cut borders may take more fabric, but they go together much faster than a border that must be pieced.
Once you’ve chosen the pattern, the next step is figuring out the directions. We’ll tackle that next time!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Quilting was once an intimidating form of fabric expression-even to experienced seamstresses. Not so anymore! Patterns have become more user friendly and there are classes taught all around the US and the world. Many for beginners and many classes with an approach to quilting that is not as rigid and rule bound as quilting was in the past. In fact, there are almost no “rules” now..Quilting is really being viewed as a form of self expression as well as a utilitarian craft.
A beginner has a few things to consider when embarking on a quilting adventure. First, a general plan or “feel” he/she would like the quilt to have. Is it going to traditional, impressionistic, geometric, or a mix? Once you have your general idea in mind, you can begin the process of choosing fabrics. Some people work from a pattern that they like first and others choose a mix of fabrics and find a pattern or design one that best expresses those patterns.
Choosing fabrics involves several considerations: Scale, colors, tone, repeat of pattern, and fiber content. Manufacturers today design whole collections with different prints of many scales and tones which could be used to make your quilt. Or like many, you will want fabrics from a variety of manufacturers to meet the needs of your particular project. A focal fabric is the beginning of the process of coordinating your fabrics. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a single fabric, but a general theme that you will want to use as a guide when incorporating other fabrics into your project.
The Specifics of Fabric Choosing will expand on the process of selecting fabrics for your project.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
What’s Quilting Fabric For, Anyway?
Well, for one thing, you can make a quilt with it. Surprised? Maybe not yet, but wait! What is quilting fabric, anyway? What makes a fabric “quilt” fabric and not curtain fabric or dress fabric? It’s perplexing, I know, but here we go.
One difference in fabrics is the composition, or what it’s made from. Fabrics can be made from synthetic or natural materials. There are many synthetic fibers available today, and certainly they have come a long way from the polyester used in suits of the 1970’s! There are also many natural fibers, such as silk, cotton, or even bamboo.
There are many schools of thought in the quilting world as to what type of fabric is suitable for quilting. In the end, it comes down to personal choice. That is, after all what quilting is all about – making something that is unique and personal. However, quilting can be difficult enough without struggling with fabrics that don’t lie well, or slip when stitching. If a fabric has a nice “hand” it feels good to the touch; makes you want to wrap yourself up in it. A quilt should get better with age, and invite you to wrap yourself up in it for years to come.
Another difference is the weight of the fabric. Fabric weight is defined as a weight per unit area. Our fabrics are all 4 – 5 ounce per linear yard quilting weight fabrics. At Seaside, we carry only 100% cotton fabrics, because it is what we prefer to quilt with. We strive to stock fabrics that are not only beautiful, but that will stay soft and comforting through many washings.
But are quilts the only thing you can make with these fabrics? No! Cotton fabrics make beautiful projects of all kinds. Cotton is wonderful to wear because it breathes and is naturally hypoallergenic. Just as it is easy to work with when matching quilt points, it cooperates with little-girl pleats as well as curtain ruffles. We have customers who use our fabrics for all sorts of projects, from quilts to dog beds!
If you are not sure about your particular project, or if you need help with measurements or quantities, send us an email, or give us a call. We’d love to help you figure it out!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
A husband stepped on one of those penny scales that tell you your fortune and weight and dropped in a coin.
"Listen to this," he said to his wife, showing her a small, white card. "It says I'm energetic, bright, resourceful and a great lover."
"Yeah," his wife nodded, "and it has your weight wrong, too."
Whether they’re the kind we step on and see bad numbers, or the kind that are on scary critters, most of us don’t like the idea of scales. But there is one kind of scale we don’t have to fear – fabric pattern scale! When choosing fabrics for a particular quilt pattern, the place to start is with the main, or “focal” fabric. Quite often a pattern will incorporate one fabric that is the centerpiece of the quilt. It may be in the center of the blocks, the borders, or the corners. Usually, this fabric will be cut into the largest pieces. So, how do you choose the right fabric as the focal? Grab a ruler! Look through the pattern directions and find the measurements of the focal fabric cuts. Let’s say it’s 5-inch blocks, and you want the focal to be a floral pattern. Simply measure the flower groupings and see how the one you love would fit in a 5-inch block. The flower or flower grouping should mostly fill the space, with just a small amount of background showing. It should also not be cut off such that you can’t really tell what the flower is.
Choosing focal fabrics online can be a little tricky if there is no scale with the picture. At the shop, we are more than happy to measure any print for you, whether it be a flower grouping, or the length of a repeat, or whatever! Just contact us, and we’ll happily grab a ruler.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Do These Fabrics “Go” Together?
I don’t know how old you are, but when I was a teenager, we used to “go together”. This meant stuff like you passed notes to each other in class, maybe held hands on the sly at recess. In high school it meant you traded class rings, went on dates only with each other, and everybody knew you were not available. When my daughter became a teenager, I was summarily informed that you don’t “go together” anymore, you “go out”. “Go where?” I would ask, only to be sighed at. “What do you call it when you want to go somewhere? You can’t say you’re going out, because you’re already doing that…” More sighs.
Sometimes, at the quilt shop, we are asked if fabrics “go together”. Hmmm, I wonder what the real question is? Fabric manufacturers create fabric collections, which usually contain a number of coordinating prints. These lines also often come in several color families. They are a set, so to speak. Obviously, a set of fabrics from one line goes together. But what about combining fabrics from different lines or even different manufacturers? Is this legal? Will the quilting police come and take you away if you do this? Or, most importantly, will the finished quilt look good?
The answer is yes! (Except for the part about the quilting police…) We try hard at the shop to put together fabric groupings that “go together”, even if they didn’t “come together”. After all, what is a quilt anyway? A bunch of fabrics blended together in an artful way to create one harmonious piece. The first step in creating a quilt is to see in your mind’s eye what a blending of many fabrics will look like in the finished work. If that is difficult for you, or too time consuming, take heart! We love to do this part. And we promise that any collection you see on our site “goes together”. Once you quilt them together, you could even consider them married!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Well, not really. At least not here in Virginia. Actually it’s what we call the “dog days” of summer (which means it’s not even fit for a dog to be out…) Upper 90’s, not a drop of rain in sight, nor barely a breeze. What better time to think about snow and Christmas? Besides, it must be snowing somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, or on a very high mountaintop.
Another part of quilting that is fun: quilts take some time to finish, so you have to start way ahead of when you want them. That means we can look at, handle and sew beautiful or fun winter-y, Christmas-y fabrics now! What a nice break from the dog days outside. We have been having great fun unpacking all sorts of winter holiday fun in the shop. Seaside1 drew the line when I began my rendition of Jingle Bells, but we all know how she fails to appreciate fine musical talent, don’t we?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
If you have visited our site, you may have noticed our novelty beach fabric section. And the store name is Seaside Quilting Supplies. I have had many comments over the years about the name when people discover that the store is actually in the mountains of Virginia.
I thought I'd use today's blog to explain the store name and my love of all things "beachy".
I am from Ocean City, Md. My grandfather was a commercial fisherman-he fished both the bay and the Atlantic for a living. I never knew him. He lived a hard life and passed away while still a young man. My mom was only a young teenage girl when he died.
We grew up camping EVERY weekend of my life in a pickup camper top on the beach at Assateague Island. There were 5 of us in a small pickup camper for 3 days every weekend from May til October. Obviously, we didn't spend much time in the camper. My sister and brother and I were outside from 7:30am til well past dark. Swimming, building sandcastles, fishing and shelling until we couldn't anymore. I used to think I never wanted to be "sandy" again.
Time marched on.....I married and moved to South Central/Western Virginia and began to quilt. Our family has vacationed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina every year since we had children. The oldest kids are now 23 and 21. Our kids have never wanted to go anywhere else(although we have been other places) for our family week together. Our only daughter was married on Coquina Beach, which is a little piece of perfection, just to the left off of Highway 12 as you head to Hatteras.
I decided that I so enjoyed putting fabrics together (nearly as much as the actual quilting process) that I would begin an online shop. With the intention to keep my shop as an online store only, I began contemplating a name. My heart and soul are strengthened by the sea and the sand and the shells. Thus the name..hidden here in the Virginia mountains, and hopefully not so hidden on the Net is our little shop. We intend to move it the Outer Banks one day very soon and make the name a reality.
Until then, we will keep a good selection of "beachy" fabrics and the sound of the seagulls running. (Remember, you can turn off your speakers!)
With warm beachy thoughts,
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
One day, in great anticipation, we opened a new shipment and gasped with horror at what we beheld. The ugliest mustard yellow polka dots we had ever seen. Yuck! We didn't order that! As it turned out, it was shipped by mistake, so our supplier said we should just keep it. Hmmmm, dare we place it on the shelves with all of our other very beautiful & carefully chosen fabrics? We decided it could go on a very back shelf, next to the wall, where we wouldn't see it much.
Then came the day when I was designing a quilt kit, and I thought "maybe, just maybe..." Amazing!! Those ugly dots were just the perfect complement to the kit. They might have even been the pull-it-all-together fabric. Next came the beach charm squares. What do you know? They were just the thing with those cute little beachy prints.
And so I come to what I love the most about quilting. A scrap of something, all by itself ugly and useless, is transformed into beauty and art when placed in a quilt. I try to keep that lesson foremost in my thoughts when life hands me an ugly scrap, and I have to find just the right spot for it in my life's quilt.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
All kidding aside, we are the very best of friends who are carefully wading into the business waters together. She may groan at my quilt kits with 20 fabrics in them, but she smiles when she remembers who has to cut them... Which I do gladly as long as she keeps the latte machine humming. We do have different talents, but the same love of the ocean and life and each other.
So, fire away! If we don't know the answer to a question, we will make every attempt to help you figure it out. And we LOVE special requests and challenges, as long as it doesn't remind me of a song that will cause her to throw things at me...
Welcome to our blog!
I began quilting long before I opened my own shop. A friend taught me to quilt and then she disappeared from my life..but left me with love for fabric and quilting.
As a young quilter I read all the quilting magazines and all the varying opinions on what constituted "art" in a quilt. There was the "only hand quilting counts" camp, the "only abstract quilts are art" camp, the "only hand dyes are art" camp, and on and on it went (and still goes!).
As I contemplated the many beautiful fabric projects I had enjoyed the pleasure of viewing in my life, it occurred to me that those opinions were above all else-arrogant and small minded. "Art" and "beauty" in quilting or anything cannot be defined by one group or affiliation. When we look beyond the narrow confines of our "world" we can find beauty in places we never dreamt of..
Each quilter, and for that matter, each seamstress (male or female) takes a piece of cloth and weaves into it a bit of themselves..that alone creates beauty. As we work with cotton fabrics or synthetic fabrics and turn them into things others find beautiful, we have created "art" by any definition. The fabrics available today, not just for quilting, but for sewing and crafting, offer opportunities for each artist to express him/herself with color and patterns that speak without words.
My shop began as a very traditional online quilt shop. I carried a very narrow spectrum of prints and colors. However, as I have begun to explore beyond the narrow confines of "my world" in many areas of my life, my shop too has expanded in its spectrum of ideas and fabrics. We now carry mostly cottons, but in many patterns and colors. We love to coordinate fabrics for our quilting patrons, for whom, choosing the fabrics is the hard part-the art for them is in the physical building of the quilt. We also love to compose entire quilt kits for people based on a color idea or a theme. Some of us are "scale challenged" or "tone" challenged and for those of us who have been gifted with a color eye, it is our joy to share that with others.
A friend and I are testing the waters to see if we are able to work together without jeopardizing a treasured friendship of many years. She, too will be posting here. I will sign my posts as Seaside1 and she will sign as Seaside2. While just a tender young quilter, she has a wonderful eye for color and scale that has been a gift to me.
We don't do just quilt kits though! We have patterns for totes, and throws, and wall hangings! And we have many great retro fabrics in stock and more coming for those stunning diaper bags, totes, quilted purses and beach bags that are so popular now.
Before I go for today I must make a confession- I was once a "cotton only" elitist. I am no longer. I believe you can incorporate into your quilt whatever fabrics are speaking to you. I do believe that there is some truth in the assertion that synthetic fabrics will degrade cottons more quickly than if you use only cottons; but if your project is loved and brings joy to others for the time it is here, then it has served its purpose.
With warm beachy thoughts for today,